Covenant Spotl i ght March 2016
Unity in Christ, reflecting love in Louisiana.
Volume 3, No. 3
ON THE COVER: Captain Clay Higgins
Covenant Spotlight magazine
Photo credit: Bella Noel Photography by Melanie Doucet
is your resource for hope and direction through the Bible. Our pages are filled with local issues, human interest stories, church ministries and a central point for area events. This publication aims to unite the body of Christ together with one simple goal: spread the word of God and His love throughout Louisiana â€“ and have fun while doing it!
NEXT MONTH: MOTORCYCLE MINISTRY
Risen in history: Evidence for Easter . . . 4 Orphan to heirs: Part two . . . 6 Why, God?: A question we must face . . . 12
Covenant Spotlight, LLC P.O. Box 7, Carencro 70520 (337) 258-4546 www.cspotlight.com
Faith, hope, love: Gifts to receive . . . 14 Captain Clay Higgins: Redemption story . . . 20-21
Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Inside out: Internal mirroring external . . . 26
Kid Korner: Cross to resurrection craft . . . 28
Keith & Christy Boutte Christy Boutte Cori Phelps Tiffany Wyatt Geneva Andrepont Lori Briggs
When you can't grow: You got to go . . . 30
AGENDA 2 Masters of Deceit: Acadiana Patriots screening . . . 33 Action point: Just war on the Islamic State, part two . . . 38 Calendar . . . 38
Scrapbook . . . 39
Staci Boudreaux, Keith Boutte, Megan Bowen, Daisy Boyce, Vicky Branton, Lori Briggs, Staci Boudreaux, Ercell Charles, Sally Creed, Angie Dumas, Julie Estaâ€™, Kylie Gaspard, Lelan Gimnick, Amanda Harris, Julie Hasling, Christopher Holten, Katie Kirkpatrick, Pastor Ken Lazard, Christian Lewis, Ngozi Maduagwu, Missy Manuel, Michael Melder, Pastor Travis Minnich, Coretta Perkins, Jim and Cori Phelps, Karen Rue, Pastor Aaron Shamp, Don Short, Nick Sigur, Sancha Smith, Bernadette Steven, Cheryll White, Marlice Young-Dugas Covenant Spotlight, LLC reserves the right to reject any advertisement not meeting the standards of acceptance of Covenant Spotlight magazine or website.
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Publishers' message W
e celebrate the resurrection of Christ Jesus our Lord this month. Redemption as defined in Webster’s 1828 dictionary: In theology, the purchase of God's favor by the death and sufferings of Christ; the ransom or deliverance of sinners from the bondage of sin and the penalties of God’s violated law by the atonement of Christ. We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord this month and the resurrection offered to all humans. “And that
message is the very message about faith that we preach: If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved” Romans 10:8-13 NLT. “Jesus came and told his disciples, 'I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the
commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age'” Matthew 28:18-20 NLT. Covenant Spotlight is a Christian magazine that proclaims that there is only ONE way to heaven and that way is Jesus the Christ. We also proclaim that there is only one God worthy of praise and that no one will be in heaven without accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We completely disagree that there are many ways to heaven and that all belief systems can get you to heaven. We also reject that all gods lead mankind to the same place. We agree that the Word of God is true and never changing and with it states in “Instead,
you must break down their pagan altars, smash their sacred pillars, and cut down their Asherah poles. You must worship no other gods, for the Lord, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you” Exodus 34:13-14 NLT.
Keith & Christy Boutte
CSM declares Jesus as Lord of all and the salvation of all who choose to believe in Him. Amen.
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Risen in history
Examining the evidence for Easter by Pastor Aaron Shamp
hristianity stands or falls on Jesus’ bodily resurrection at the first Easter. In Christianity and Liberalism, J. Gresham Machen said: “If religion be made independent of history, there is no such thing as gospel….For ‘gospel’ means ‘good news,’ tiding, information about something that has happened. A gospel independent of history is a contradiction in terms.” The Apostle Paul expressed the same urgency when he said that “if Christ has not
been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins” 1 Cor. 15:17, ESV. Christians living in a skeptical postChristian society must be aware of the massive amount of evidence which points to Jesus’ resurrection in history. There is not nearly enough space here to dive into that ocean, but we will try to dip our toes. In this article I intend to argue that belief in the bodily resurrection of Jesus is the most plausible conclusion of the historical evidence.
First witnesses All four of the Gospels’ resurrection narratives testify that women were the first eyewitnesses to both the empty tomb and the resurrected Jesus. The modern reader isn’t impressed by this fact. Yet, consider the social climate of the first-century Mediterranean world. Jewish culture, as well as Greco-Roman culture, was very patriarchal. Women were not privileged with the same egalitarian ideals which we have today. One of these ideals being that women may testify to an event as accurately as a man. The ancient world considered the testimony of a woman to be unreliable, even inadmissible in courtroom settings. Therefore, if the resurrection narratives 4
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were a hoax, why would women have been chosen to be the first witnesses? The Anglican scholar N. T. Wright argued: “If they could have invented stories of fine, upstanding, reliable male witnesses being first at the tomb, they would have done it.” The best explanation? The Gospels are telling the truth.
Birth of the Church This second piece of evidence is so obvious that it is often missed. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, and His ministry ended with Roman execution, then why does the Christian Church exist today? Skeptics have objected with many theories, such as the theory that the disciples were experiencing mass hallucinations of a risen Jesus. This one fact undercuts many of these rival theories: Christianity began in firstcentury Jerusalem. Christianity rapidly spread in the very city where Jesus had been publicly crucified. The location of Jesus’ tomb was public knowledge and available for investigation (see Matthew 27:57-61). If the disciples had invented the story, or if they were experiencing mass hallucinations, then the entire movement could have been debunked with a short trip to Jesus’ tomb. There’s a reason that this never happened. Jesus’ tomb was empty, and everyone knew it.
Transformation of disciples A skeptic may argue that the disciples had stolen the corpse of Jesus to make their wild story more believable. This objection conveniently overlooks the soldiers guarding the tomb; yet, it also fails to explain the transformation of the disciples. During Israel’s occupation by Rome, several messianic leaders rose up, gained a following,
and were crushed by the Roman army. The followers of the messianic leader had a choice: die in the fight or go into hiding. Jesus’ disciples chose the latter, but what happens next is a historical anomaly. They are all out of hiding and boldly proclaiming the Easter message. What caused this transformation? The philosopher Douglas Groothuis answers: “The actual resurrection of Jesus is the best explanation for the disciples’ transformation from cowardice, despair and confusion to confident proclamation and willingness to suffer persecution, hardship and even martyrdom for the sake of Jesus and his Gospel.” We have only dipped our toes into the ocean of evidence for Easter. However, even a little dip into that sea is enough to strengthen faith and challenge doubt. If you’re a Christian, allow me to encourage you to wade deeper and learn more about our good news that has happened. If you aren’t a Christian, may I ask you to consider this question: “Are my doubts in harmony with, or contradicted by, the clear historical evidence for Easter?” Let’s all sit at the bank of the shore and allow the tides of Easter to wash over us a little more than we’re normally comfortable with until we find that our doubting minds are eased, our hearts are healed, and we’re all swimming in an ocean of God’s grace.
Pastor Aaron Shamp is the pastor of Redeemer City Church and a student at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He lives in Lafayette and is married to Layla.
By Coretta J. Perkins
For the last 22 years, Miller’s Formals has
been known as a local business that provides tuxedos, limousine services and formalwear accessories. But to owners Brian and Melissa Miller, Miller’s is more than a business; it is their ministry. Starting their business was a complete leap of faith in every sense of the word. Prior to owning Miller’s, Brian had worked in the formalwear industry for five years till he decided to take a leap of faith under the direction of the Holy Spirit to open his own business. With no cash capital or investors, he and Melissa applied for a small business administration loan in 1994, received approval in record time of two-and-a half weeks, opened the business, received inventory, and have not looked back since. Brian still speaks in a voice full of awe regarding the start of their business. His thought was, “God, you can do that for me?!” Indeed, God provided the resources they needed at that time and has continuously supplied above and beyond since then. The Opelousas native has relied on God-inspired ideas to grow and maintain business for the last 22 years. Brian and the Miller’s
God, you can do that for me?!
Business by God’s design
staff strive to serve with integrity in every aspect of their business. Miller’s is dedicated to providing complete customer satisfaction and superior service to each and every customer. Brian takes pride in offering quality merchandise, but more importantly, the souls of customers are a top priority. If he is in the store, be assured that you will leave with more than clothes or services–you will also leave with a healthy loving dose of the Gospel. In all that Brian, Melissa and the entire staff at Miller’s do, everything is done for the glory and honor of God. The Millers have established their business on Christian principles and are reaping the benefits that come with TWO LOCATIONS TO SERVE YOU: commitment to 2310 Ambassador 9324 Airline Hwy God above all Caffery Baton Rouge, LA else.
Lafayette, LA 70506 (337) 983-2266 Fax: (337) 984-9009
70815 (225) 216-1900 Fax (225) 216-1982
Coretta J. Perkins is a daughter of the Most High, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, teacher and writer living in Vienna, VA. She truly loves God, people, exercise and Acadiana's food. She takes great pleasure in hearing and sharing the stories of others.
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Orphans to heirs Running from covenant, back to legacy Part 2
By Ercell Charles
Running from covenant
Mothers give unconditional love. But that is only half of the love needed to be whole in a lifetime. Why haven’t some of us gone forth in our destiny? We haven’t gotten a father’s love. What do fathers provide? They give affirmation to be released into destiny. You can have a natural father, but a spiritual father releases spiritual destiny. We have sons and daughters on the street who have been loved unconditionally without affirmation. When you don’t have affirmation, you go find it. You look for it in gangs, in drugs, alcohol, music, sex and all the other devices the world has perverted. If we’re not going to give them affirmation in the family, the world will. They’re sons of the world and not sons of God. Read the New Testament from a father’s perspective, not from a “God” perspective. When the prodigal came home, the first thing the father gave him was his ring for covenant. Then he gave him a cloak for covering to say, “I’m going to have your back.” That’s what fathers do; they provide covenant and covering. Twenty-nine times in the Bible you see “son of Nun.” Who is Nun? He’s not in the Bible. But to see him, just look at Joshua. “Anyone who has seen me has
seen the Father,” Jesus said in John 14:9.
Back to legacy We’ve got to get back to legacy and quit trying to get the world to fix our problems. Family is an internal problem, not an external problem. The government can’t fix your problem. They’re not interested in fixing your problem because then you won’t need them. God made the church for families. The church is like a series of Christmas lights but half the bulbs are not lit. The bulbs represent families and the church can’t glow in His glory until families glow in His glory. We keep trying to fix the individual in the church and we’re not spending time fixing the family to embrace the individual. They keep 6
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coming back for repair because at home they are not being sustained. The message from the pulpit has to be preached over and over because at home there is no sustaining the message. The pulpit should be the place of confirming who they are, but they need to be covered when they go home.
I AM Father God wants an even more intimate relationship with you, not just as God, but as Father. When you honor God, He gives you what you want and what you need. When you start honoring God, He’ll honor you. We need to understand that we’ve had a matriarchal church. Women have had to run everything. The key to your breakthrough, the key to your spiritual wealth, is worship. Men need to lift up holy hands and worship God as Father. Women and children don’t have last names. Every woman’s name is a name of a father. They get a chance to be covered by a man. The trouble today is we have too many too many widowed women and too many orphaned children because we have lost the affirmation of a father. We have to quit blaming society for our ills, and we’ve got to get back to God being our Father. We have to quit waiting for society to fix our problems. We’ve got to quit trying to parent without accountability. We’re scared to tell our children no. The highest honor I’ve ever received was
being a father. The highest accomplishment I ever made was being a son of my father and mother. There is an orphan spirit in the church. Married or not married, orphaned or with parents, we feel alone. There are some people in broken relationships and others who plan not to be in a relationship because of what they saw in their earthly father. They don’t trust fathers or men. In some ways, we’re deserving of it because we haven’t done right or been right, but today the buck stops here. We need to be fathers, faithful to our wives and children and faithful to their futures. You can’t carry on legacy or blessing unless there is honor. God is waiting for men and fathers to come back to the house of God. The church is only going to grow as families when men embrace that calling, forgive the fathers of our past and repent for not being the men we have to be. Only then will the Holy Spirit of our Father rest on the church. Part 1 can be read at cspotlight.com from last month's issue. Ercell Charles is an inspirational speaker, life coach and business development consultant for organizations and individuals. A native of New Iberia, he resides in Atlanta with his wife and children.
Women, repent Your men need you By Vicky Branton
ave you ever done something as a Christian you wish you hadn’t and you know you can never take back? You can ask forgiveness and know your Heavenly Father has forgiven you. However, the consequences of your sin linger, perhaps for a lifetime. The lesson is learned and you set about to change, but your life will never be the same. Consider Jezebel of 1 and 2 Kings; she had no respect for God or men. In 1 Kings 21:7-8, she openly mocked her husband the king and took matters into her own hands. Let’s cspotlight.com
face it, ladies: the Jezebel spirit is rampant in our day As a product of the 1970s, we have allowed the women’s liberation movement to undermine the family. Foundationally, the cause is a good one when it comes to wages and opportunity, but we’ve taken it to a place where it now damages women. For too long, we have spoken ill of the men in our lives either to their faces or behind their backs. We have cursed them, demeaned them, contradicted them, humiliated them and emasculated them so much that we have lost a great number of gentlemen to the ways of the world. It has become so commonplace that we no longer even notice the slander. As women, we have given into manipulation and lust for independence to the point that we deserve the female domination (and subsequent lack of male leadership) so often found in prayer groups, volunteer committees and social outings. That’s not to say the men who are in the church are ineffective; I know some powerful men of God, but there are just too few. I often wonder what my life might have been like if I had not let my insecurities, hot-tempered jealousy and aggressiveness cause me to offend a very dear friend in my early days as a born-again believer. It’s been nearly 25 years since I shamed him in front of a church committee and severed any hope of reconciliation. Over the years I have cringed while observing wives, daughters, girlfriends and mothers speak ill of the men they claim to love—men they share children with and men they work with. These are the same men that we need to be encouraging, building up, admiring, affirming,
acknowledging and yes, even obeying. If God created Adam, then Eve, and if He set apart Esther, Ruth, Sarah and Mary— great women of God—to be subject to their husbands, then why and where do we come up with the strategy that we must be the dominant partner in a marriage relationship? Ladies, if God Almighty came down today and saw our marriages, would He find a marriage that He created or one that we created? Let’s never forget that He doesn’t need to come down; He already sees them. It is up to us not to let the confusion of the world and our own selfish desires destroy the very institution that God knew we needed to thrive as women. Let our prayer be: “God, forgive us, for we know not what we do. Without Your Word, we can do nothing. We can speak nothing but harsh words, gossip and slander of our fellow man. But in Your strength Lord, we repent of our sins and ask you to show us each and every time we are out of alignment with Your Word. We desire to walk in obedience to Your Word and become the women You want us to be, supporting the men You put in our lives, knowing that like us, they are Your works in progress. We praise You and thank You that You will not condemn us because You love us. May we honor You all the days of our lives until You rule and reign forever from on high. Amen.” Vicky Branton is the Teche Life editor for The Daily Iberian and a children’s author. She spent 20 years in Nashville’s entertainment industry before God’s plan returned her to Louisiana.
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Food with attitude By Angie Dumas
Cafe Josephine is a down-home
fine dining restaurant. The restaurant is quiet and elegant yet casual. It is located in the small, quaint town of Sunset and in our recent visit, it certainly had that small hometown feel. One of the appetizers we tried was the Zydeco Shrimp. The shrimp were fried golden brown and tossed in a homemade spicy mayo with sriracha and pepper jelly. A little on the spicy side, but the flavors were superb! For my entree, I ordered the Braised Beef Short Rib. This is a dish we make quite often at home and it’s one of my favorites, so I couldn't wait to taste this dish. The short ribs were served on a bed of homemade mashed potato cakes, seared on both sides with gravy and carrots. This dish was amazing; the ribs were so tender and flavorful because they are slow-cooked for 12 hours.
To finish off our meal, we tried two desserts: the chocolate lava cake and the bread pudding. All I could say was “OH, MY!” The chocolate lava cake was topped with homemade ice cream, made in house, and that chocolate goodness was amazing. Before leaving, we had the opportunity to sit and chat with the chef and owner, Chef Troy Bijeaux. Oh, what a wonderful time chatting with him! He shared some of the stories of how he started and where the restaurant is now. Chef Troy was very down-to-earth, humorous and relatable. His food is served 818 Napoleon Ave., Sunset with love and he appreciates his customers. Their motto is “Food with an attitude” and they strive to have the freshest and finest ingredients. Overall, we absolutely enjoyed our dining experience at Cafe Josephine. We Angie Dumas is the creator of DA'Stylish were extremely impressed with the food, Foodie, dastylishfoodie.com. She and her service and the professionalism. husband Brian have two children and reside
Healthy Cajun By Julie Esta'
e have been called to a special mission as children of God! We must rise up to all that God has called us to be. Rising up may require us to make some sacrifices and may not be very comfortable. However, in the end, the reward of obeying God’s Word will return amazing dividends. So how do we rise up when we keep getting knocked down? Our first step to rising up in any area, whether that be in our mind, body or spirit, is an awareness that we need or want to make an improvement. Make a goal and create an action plan to include a time frame and steps. Ask someone trustworthy to hold you accountable. Learn from your mistakes. We will not have success in any area of our lives by just going on about our day and letting life take us where it may. 8
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Our past may not have been pleasant and even our present may not be; however, we can rise up and step into a destiny in Christ that He longs to see and has created us for.
CAULIFLOWER RANCH CHIPS • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese • 1 cup grated raw cauliflower • ½ tsp parsley • ½ tsp basil • ½ tsp dill • ½ tsp chives •1 ½ tsp Purely Cajun Seasoning Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Add all ingredients to a bowl. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place about 1 tsp. of the mixture on prepared baking sheets, about 1-inch apart. Bake 5-7 minutes. Remove and turn cauliflower chips over. Bake for another 5-7 minutes. Makes 7 servings.
Julie 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.
Pax Renewal Healing wounds Center “W
e have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home any who have lost their way. ” Inspired by these words of Francis of Assisi, the Pax Renewal Center has provided counseling to Acadiana since 2003. Guided by gospel values, we integrate the best practices of counseling theory and spiritual wisdom to help our clients seek peace, joy, freedom and a greater love for God, others and themselves. We offer counseling services for the entire family. Individual counseling is offered for children, teens and adults throughout the life span. We help individuals heal the wounds of childhood trauma, emotional struggles, life transition issues and difficulties with work and personal relationships. We also offer sports counseling and consulting for high school and college-aged athletes. We offer couples a variety of services to meet the unique challenges of marriage and parenting in today’s world. Specialized services include not only traditional marriage counseling but also marriage intensives that
allow couples to overcome major issues in their marriage. We offer marriage and parenting workshops, seminars and live webinars. One of our unique specialties is working with couples healing from infidelity and betrayal. We also offer discernment counseling for couples on the brink of divorce. Finally, we offer services for couples preparing for marriage. We offer counseling services for children and teens as well. With a keen understanding of the human person; the unique physical, emotional, behavioral and spiritual
development of each child is considered and treated with great care.
“Foolish is the man who sows discord by his insolence, but with those who take counsel is wisdom.” Proverbs 13:10. Please give us the opportunity to help you follow the Lord and find your way in His will. Look us up on our website, www.paxrenewalcenter.com or call 337-993-1960.
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Unity By Michael Melder
ears ago, computers were the size of a room and were more mechanic than electronic. Over time, the computer was perfected through trial and error into the smaller wearables we have today. The spectacular part about computers is the unity of all its components. Without unity, errors occur, glitches happen and the computer starts to fail. The importance of the unity in a computer can reflect truths about life with God. For example, if we don’t have unity in how we act both in and outside of church, then our lives degrade and happiness melts away, because we aren’t living as God designed us to live (1 Corinthians 12:12). The first part of a computer is the motherboard. This is the main piece and without it, we could not unite all the other components. Likewise, without Christ, we cannot overcome our sin and be united with God and others (Ephesians 4:13).
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The motherboard holds the RAM cards (memory), CPU (Central Processing Unit a.k.a. the brain), the bios (the overseer of the components), and many connector spots. The second part of a computer is the Central Processing Unit (CPU). This does all the calculations and interpretations. Without this piece, the whole computer fails. In the same way, the Bible, which is a God-given manual He inspired people to write, gives His calculations and interpretations and helps everyone to live a life worth living, giving glory and praise to our true Creator. The next parts of a computer are the RAM cards. They are the temporary storage for the CPU and the hard drive. Because the first computers were slow, we needed an in-between storage medium that could store data from the CPU that goes fast to be later written to the hard drive. This speeds up the process and allows the computer to run faster.
Just like this storage, this life is temporary and will yield to something far better. The fourth and final main part of a computer is the hard drive. This is where all information, typed or produced, is stored. This resembles the long-term memory in our brains, and without it, we wouldn’t be able to store important information for extended periods of time. Just like the computer has a “brain” to remember our words, God gave us brains to remember His word and keep it close. “I have
stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” Psalm 119:11, ESV. Michael Melder is an IT Support Specialist for Core Laboratories. For interest in building a website of your own or computer repair email, meldermichael64@gmail. He and his wife Jodi have three kids and reside in Lafayette.
Brainstorming ideas for your child’s next birthday party? Planning an upcoming wedding or prom night? Need unique transportation for a date night, birthday or corporate client? Based in Lafayette, Party Time Trolleys & Limo Services has been providing the State of Louisiana with fun, professional and affordable transportation for more than 13 years. Why ride in a car, when you can take a trolley? “For birthdays, we can come and pick up the kids in the trolley, take them to get ice cream, head to the park - wherever they want to go!” owner Robby Peatross shares. “We
even had one family take an otherwise very somber moment, their grandmother’s funeral, and change the memory to a positive one. Rather than dark limos, they took all twentysome grandkids on the trolley to travel to the location where they planned to scatter her ashes, and that memory will now be forever a positive one in their minds.” Our fleet consists of trolleys, limo and buses, luxury sedans and even a gorgeous, ivory, antique 1959 Rolls Royce, perfect for not only the to-and-from for the bride and groom, but also for memorable pictures of their special day. We can truly accommodate
Party Time Trolleys & Limo Services
any travel needs. From our friendly and courteous administrative staff to our experienced, licensed chauffeurs, our entire team of professionals is committed to providing the exceptional service necessary to insure that your experience with us is a safe, pleasant and memorable one. Please visit us at partytimetrolley.com, call (337) 237-3155 or email us at email@example.com for a quote and availability. We’re located at 3432 W. Pinhook Rd, Lafayette, LA 70508, if you’d like to see our fleet in-person.
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BODY & SOUL
Why, God? A question we must face
By Megan Bowen
These words are humbly dedicated
to my dear friends who’ve opened their hearts to me during times of grieving and allowed me the honor of witnessing their struggle. I cannot help but reflect on the many tragedies and losses I’ve witnessed, and, from a short distance, been a part of in this past year. It has been an unusually large number. I’ve seen three different friends lose their fathers, a precious toddler begin his fight against cancer, a relative’s son commit suicide, multiple friends have miscarriages, and if I were to go further out into the circle of acquaintances, the list could easily continue, including a community mass shooting, a prominent local pastor losing his son, and on and on. I’ve watched people mourn deeply and work relentlessly to regain a life of joy and thanksgiving. The question I’ve been pondering is: How do we give thanks when we’re also experiencing the depth of sorrow that can curl us into the fetal position, sobbing on a bathroom floor? More specifically, how do we give thanks and honor to the sovereign God that allowed these things to happen? As Christians, we’re not just after a thankful disposition, but we are actually giving thanks to the God of the universe, about whom we’ve said, “the Lord gives and the Lord takes away, but blessed be the name of the Lord” (see Job 1:21). So now, in the midst of having something dear taken from us, how do we bless the name of the Lord?
Will we trust our Father even if we never understand why this happened? 12
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The most natural initial reaction when we experience loss is to question. Whether it’s a quiet questioning in the back of our minds that we try to ignore, feeling it’s irreverent, or a verbalized discussion with the Lord, I think everyone goes here to some extent. It’s in this questioning that I believe the question is turned back on us: Will we trust our Father even if we never understand why this happened? When a dear friend was processing the preventable death of her father, she very honestly told me she’d been asking God “Why?” There was no answer. But as we talked about trusting God, she said, “I know that I know the truth. I just need to go remind myself.” Those words stuck out to me as the intersection of heartache and the determination not to lose faith. One of my very best friends went through a miscarriage. She called me when she thought it might be starting, and we prayed in faith that God would not allow it. Despite our prayers, she lost the baby. She grieved, and yet through extreme sorrow, I watched my friend walk out the tremendous faith she had always shown me. She surrendered the need for an explanation and declared her trust in the goodness of her God. I was listening to a song whose lyrics perfectly describe this process. Bryan Torwalt’s “He is Faithful” says: “I have heard a sound coming on the wind, changing hearts and minds, healing brokenness. I feel a generation breaking through despair. I hear a generation full of faith declare: ‘And our song, it will be out of the darkness, we will
rise and sing, “He is faithful, he is glorious and He is Jesus, and all my hope is in Him! He is freedom, He is healing right now, he is hope and joy, love and peace and life.”’” My prayer for anyone grasping for joy (and this, I believe, is the key to breaking through despair) is a faith that chooses to declare: “He is still faithful! He is still glorious! He is Jesus and all my hope is still in Him!” After Jesus had finished a difficult teaching beyond many of his followers’ understanding, He asked of His disciples: “Do you want to
go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that you are the Holy One of God” John 6:67-69, ESV. What a declaration! Dearest reader, whatever your sorrow, may your faith rise up within you! May we together declare that we have believed and have come to know that He is the Holy One of God. He is still Jesus and He is altogether righteous. In Him alone is hope and joy and love and peace and life. May we allow this faithful Father who loves us to turn our mourning into dancing little by little as we give thanks for who He is, for what He has done, and for the salvation we have in Him. May we crawl into our Daddy’s lap and declare that even if we don’t understand, we trust Him and we love Him. Megan is a mother of three young children, children’s ministry director, and wife to Pastor Steven Bowen of Foundations Church, a new church in Acadiana.
n exciting opportunity for women has launched in Acadiana, called Propel. Propel is a Christian leadership organization for women founded by Christine Caine to assist women in walking out their purpose and fulfilling their passion and potential. Local business owner and personal growth and leadership coach Missy Manuel is heading up the Lafayette chapter. “Today, many women are leading in various areas, yet they still wrestle with identifying themselves as leaders or feeling empowered to operate within their full leadership potential. Propel offers the tools to live fully in whatever God is calling us to, in any particular season.” “My passion is to see individuals realize
and walk fully in their talents, abilities and passions, and to remove obstacles to their growth; which is also Propel’s mission. Propel provides a learning opportunity and time to process and connect with likeminded women to encourage one another in their growth journey. The response has been overwhelming! We are getting many testimonies that this is ‘just what I needed in my life,’ and this is ‘incredible; such rich conversations.’ The women of Acadiana cannot wait for the next opportunity to learn and grow together!” Meetings are held every third Friday of the month from 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. Preregistration is required, the cost is $20
and lunch is provided. The meetings consist of a brief teaching on relevant topics for today’s woman and a video curriculum, followed up with table discussion and networking led by a panel of strong women that will share their journey and reflect on things that help them in leading a successful and fulfilling life.
BODY & SOUL
For more information or to register, email firstname.lastname@example.org or like their Facebook group page at /groups/PropelWomenLafayette. Learn more about the Propel organization and read great articles at propelwomen.org.
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our desires to fulfill God’s desires for our lives. Jesus said in John 15:12-14 NKJV: “This is
BODY & SOUL
By Keith Boutte
“Three things will last forever— faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love" 1 Corinthians 13:13, NLT.
What an amazing verse Paul pens here about God and His gifts to us! Our faith in Jesus secures our eternal life with God, giving us real hope for the future, and God, who is love, gives us these gifts.
“And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him” Hebrews 11:6, NLT. Knowing without faith we face the impossibility of pleasing God, is it important enough to share our faith in Christ with someone? Anyone? Faith, or believing God at His Word, transforms a person from spiritual death to spiritual life! It is the foundation believers hold onto in the best and worst of times. How can a man, woman or child face evil without faith?
“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” Hebrews 11:3, NKJV. And also as stated in 2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV,
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” We cannot get faith in a can nor from another person. “So then faith comes
by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” Romans 10:17 NKJV. And by faith in Jesus we are more than conquers in this world and are secure in the promise of eternal life with God (see Romans 8).
HOPE Our hope is secured by promises we have in Jesus Christ, who sent His Holy Spirit to direct 14
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us on our journey. And the journey is not our reward but the hope of something more!
Let's look at Romans 5:1-5 NKJV: “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Our hope is secured as we accept the leading of the Holy Spirit. God directs our path by guiding our hearts to do His will. Hope is what we possess and believe, knowing that God has our eternal future prepared for us. David states in Psalm 147:10-11 NLT: “He
takes no pleasure in the strength of a horse or in human might. No, the Lord’s delight is in those who fear him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love.”
LOVE The greatest power known to mankind is LOVE! Nothing in all creation can match God’s love for us. “For God so loved the world
that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” John 3:16, NKJV. Love is and always will be given to anyone who will accept Jesus; this love will never end. God’s expression of love towards us is that He gave. “Therefore My Father loves Me,
because I lay down My life that I may take it again” John 10:17, NKJV. True love is following Jesus and giving up
My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.”
Is love being commanded? YES! Love is controllable and must be controlled. We often allow the world’s definition of love (softness, non-offensiveness) to control us instead of wielding God’s love. We must have godly love for one another. The key is to love the sinner and hate the sin. “For the LORD corrects those he
loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights” Proverbs 3:12, NLT. And also, “Whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you” James 2:12-13, NLT. To have mercy is to love! And so it is and always will be that love is the greatest of all. Paul gives us the meaning of true love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT: “Love
is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” Try putting your name for all the times it says “love” or “it,” and see if you are becoming the biblical definition of love. Our faith is in Jesus, our hope is in the seal of the Holy Spirit who leads us, and God is LOVE, the greatest of all things, seen and unseen.
“I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me” Proverbs 8:17-18 NKJV. Be wise and love as God loves, always (no period here, love keeps going and going and going and going..........) 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.
Shadows Three that affect your life By Don Short
The shadow of death:
“To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” Luke 1:79, NASB.
The shadow of healing:
“They even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on any one of them” Acts 5:15, NASB. Let us be near to and surround ourselves with a community of believers. We can draw our healing from them and be in a better place when we try to minister to those who are sick.
Isaiah 34:15 talks about how the owl cares for her young under the shadow of her wings. Isaiah 32:2 talks about Christ as a refuge from the storm under the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land. In Isaiah 49:2 and 51:16, we read about finding safety in the shadow of His hand. What a wonderful God we serve! We are living in a land and time when there are many shadows. Many are lost and afraid, filled with fear and anxiety. They don’t understand these shadows and can’t
recognize the difference. For them, the shadows all look the same. They are afraid just as we were before we came to know our Savior. In darkness we can find our Savior, for He is the light. His sheep know Him, feel Him and know His voice. Let’s make this a year of introducing others to our Lord and Savior so they, too, will find healing and safety in this dark world.
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There are people in our lives and things in our past that want to destroy us and keep us from becoming all that God wants us to be. When we draw near to our Savior and allow the light of His Word to shine on our lives, our feet will be guided in His ways and in the paths of peace.
The shadow of safety:
Don Short is a licensed counselor with After Hours Counseling. He and his wife reside in Acadiana.
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To will and to act Resurrecting your resolutions By Daisy Velas-Boyce
esurrection power, anyone? Need gumption to do some spring-cleaning of soul, mind and body? Just like a knotted and tangled yarn, it takes time and discipline to untangle our messy lives, but we just need to start.
BODY & SOUL
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” Matthew 6:33-34, NIV.
We have a natural bent towards focusing on ourselves more than on God, and that’s where we get in trouble. Rather than resting in the arms of our Father and being secured in our identities, we worry about the stuff of life. An antidote for worry is spending time with God. Make that daily appointment with the same time, same spot and ample amount of time to read God’s Word, listen and pray.
Ephesians 5:15-17 NIV says, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” What we believe shapes how we live. We are warned to be careful of everything, especially the use of our time because if our days are not invested in doing good, they are evil. Make an honest inventory of your day’s activities. Plan for a better day tomorrow, and repeat.
“Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his
good purpose” Philippians 2:12-13, NIV. (“Salvation” here is not referring to the time after conversion, when the Holy Spirit rules in our hearts.) God’s sovereignty does not diminish human responsibility. It takes an act of the will to be disciplined to do what we’re supposed to do in the physical so we can manifest the power and the strength that can only come from our one true God. As Dr. Kenneth Cooper states, “A healthy, fit body is the most appropriate home for a vibrant spirit.” Daisy Velas-Boyce, MIfHI is a nutrition consultant and she and her husband reside in Lafayette. Her mission is to promote, cultivate and propagate willful wellness.
Faith like a mustard seed By Ngozi Maduagwu
“If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to
this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you” Luke 17:6, NIV. This was Jesus’ response to the apostles’ request for Him to increase their faith. On another occasion, Jesus used the mustard seed to describe the kingdom of heaven, explaining that although it is the smallest of all seeds on earth, when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants (Matthew 13:32). These references explain how the mustard seed, like faith, has the potential to produce something great even though it starts out so small. Did you know that miraculously packed into those tiny seeds are therapeutic benefits that could potentially slow down the growth of a number of cancers, help prevent prostate problems, and help in the management of prediabetes? Mustard has also been known to be used as an aid for soar throats, muscle and back relaxing, and as a hair conditioner to treat damaged hair. On the culinary front, although mostly used as a condiment known as prepared mustard, mustard powder, seeds and oil are different forms in which this spice can be used to kick your meals up a notch. Try sprinkling raw or toasted mustard seeds over steamed vegetables 16
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The miracles of mustard
or make a special barbecue rub by adding dry mustard to your regular barbecue spice medley. I also like to add mustard to my meatloaf recipe and use it as a staple condiment to accompany meat dishes, make homemade salad dressings, and of course as an ingredient in potato salad. So the next time you reach for a bottle of mustard, thank God for the faith to believe for greater things in your life!
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, loves to travel and share the love and joy of God.
Understanding chronic sorrow By Karen Rue
Coping by depending on God W
e all know people who have experienced incredible loss and live with ongoing sorrow that has no predictable end. They live a life experiencing cyclical periods of happiness mingled with moments of re-experienced grief. Many of these people have lost a child or may be raising a child with lifelong physical, emotional or mental challenges and may be frustrated with their inability to live their lives as others around them do. One of my best friends has a grown daughter who lives with chronic depression. She is an intelligent, gifted and wonderful young woman who has a family who loves and supports her. She sees the world as half-empty and her problems as the fault of others, and she enjoys little in life. Her mom misses the close relationship they had through her early 20s, worries about her welfare and is in dismay that her daughter sees little positive about life. Though she has finally accepted that she cannot fix her, she has a sadness that winds throughout her days. I visited with a woman this week about health issues involving her husband. As we discussed her support systems, she mentioned the death of her daughter from injuries sustained from a motor vehicle accident eight years ago. As she spoke of the incident, her eyes filled with tears, her voice faltered and she apologized for her emotions. Those with chronic sorrow ask that we be patient and gentle with them, that we be there, that we understand and that we pray for them. Depending on God provides support and strength because it is a good coping skill. â€œWhen
anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joyâ€? Psalm 94:19, NIV.
Karen R. Rue is the Faith Community Nurse for Asbury UMC in Lafayette. Karen has been a Registered Nurse in the community for 40 years, owns her own business and is actively involved in her church, working with the staff and congregation on issues of wellness and care management.
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Love leaders arise! God spoke to Pastor Ken Lazard of
HEART OF MAN
Destiny of Faith Christian Center many years ago, telling him that he would be a “Pastor of Pastors.” That prophetic word is coming to fruition through his appointment as President of the Senior Pastoral Alliance of Southwest Louisiana. In a recent interview, Pastor Lazard talked about the Alliance. Some say that this Alliance has been a long time coming. Many have prayed for it. Others say that it is a miracle. Those men and women who have become a part of the Alliance know that it is simply time for churches in the Body of Christ to unite and arise in love. During the interview, Pastor Lazard stated that there are ministerial alliances in existence for fellowship, but this Alliance is mission-oriented — to do a work on behalf of the Kingdom. He also talked about the difference between a ministerial and a senior pastoral alliance. Using a head of state as an example, Pastor Lazard stated that senior pastors, because of the position they hold and the authority they carry, are able to make decisions regarding the community on behalf of the people they represent. They also are able to use their influence to draw the people they pastor to the heart of the vision in order for them to participate in the fulfillment of it. That is what these amazing men and women are doing! The Alliance is a multi-denominational group of Senior Pastors. There are currently 27 members, including Pastor Lazard, and all senior pastors in the Southwest Louisiana Region are welcome to become a part of the Alliance as well. These are men and women who are ready to lead their members out of the four walls in order to engage and create change in the communities around them. Pastor Lazard is very honored to lead the following fine men and women in this mission: • Omar Thibeaux – Philadelphia Church • Charles Banks – Fellowship Full Gospel • George Austin – Ark of the Covenant • Jarvis Harmon – True Vine Ministries
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Pastoral Alliance of Southwest Louisiana
• Carlos Harvin – New Beginnings Church • Larry Lloyd – Spirit of Liberty • Lloyd Joiner – Progressive Baptist Church • John Milton – Imani Temple • Gregory Hills – Cornerstone Church • Corey Young – St. James Baptist Church • Carl Sonnier – St. Peters Baptist Church • Maggie Banks – Trinity C.M.E. Church • Robert Johnson – LA. Ave. United Methodist Church • Ty Cook – Lighthouse Family Church • Ben Carter – Beyond Walls Church • Brenda Cherry – King of Glory Tabernacle • Ivan Ledet– Jubilee Nation • Victoria Harmon – Restoration Family Ministries • Tracie Millard – Spirit of Faith Church • Tyrone Davis – Destined Generations Ministries • Ricky Carter – Good Hope Baptist Church • Abram Freeman – Acts of Love Church • Brenda Herbert – Rivers of New Life International Ministries • Harold Alexander – Church of Christ of Lafayette • Rev. Alton Gatlin – Gethsemane Church of God in Christ Members of the Alliance make the following commitments regarding themselves and those they represent: 1) We will LOVE
according to Mark 12:30-31; 2) We will LEAD according to Titus 2:7-8; 3) We will UNITE according to Psalm 133:1-3; 4) We will REACH according to Matthew 28:19-20. Pastor Lazard’s constant refrain is the brand or hallmark of Destiny of Faith Christian Center Church and is the demonstration of God’s unconditional love. This is probably why the church’s two services overflow every Sunday morning; people need love and know it is active in that ministry. Through his leadership that brand will be stamped on the Alliance and everything connected to it, and will produce the result that scripture states very clearly: Love NEVER Fails (2 Corinthians 13:8). Through the Senior Pastoral Alliance of Southwest Louisiana love leaders are a rising! If you are a senior pastor and you want to become a part of the Alliance, go to the website at www.seniorpastoralalliance. org to sign up. You may also contact the office at Destiny of Faith Christian Center at 337-231-5119 for more information. Please visit Destiny of Faith at www.destinyoffaithccc.org.
uietly situated on a side street in North Acadiana, the Opelousas Lighthouse Mission (OLM) is a Christ-centered emergency shelter and transitional housing facility that can comfortably accommodate 37 men a night and is open seven days a week, 365 days a year. The heartbeat of our mission is the Gospel. We believe that the ultimate need for our residents is to experience the life-changing power of Christ. We conduct daily morning devotions and weekly Bible studies and chapel services. On Sundays a church plant, Christ Church Opelousas, meets in our chapel that our residents attend; some are members. Our organization strives to serve the needs of this community with love, patience, respect and honor. We know what it takes to bring dignity back to a man who has been broken and beat down.
We provide food, clothing, counseling, mentoring, assistance and medical and transportation expenses to the 37 men living at the Mission. Men who seek assistance at OLM are expected to help with chores, cleaning, gardening, lawn care and cooking according to the capabilities of each man. We pride ourselves in being a place for learning and growth so that our men will be better equipped for life. Residents are afforded the opportunity to assume leadership roles to foster experience and confidence for the future. We examine the performance and skill level of our residents and train those qualified to oversee various mission functions. We operate a vegetable garden year-round that is overseen by OLM with important assistance from Southern University. Our work readiness program helps our men
HEART OF MAN
Beacon of hope for men
gain work skills, life skills and preemployment tools. Our men are better prepared to gain employment and keep employment once they complete these courses. We covet your prayers as we continue to minister to the homeless and needy in Acadiana. We gladly accept monetary donations to help fund our ministry efforts and as we look to expand our bed capacity in 2016.
Learn more about OLM at www.olmission.org; give as led at www.olmission.org/donations, and please connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ opelousaslighthousemission.
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Interview with Captain Higgins HEART OF MAN
By Christian Lewis
LEWIS: In your Crime Stoppers spots, you speak directly to the suspect in almost biblical terms of good and evil. Why do you choose this approach? CAPT. HIGGINS: Christian, my way of communicating through the television camera is the same way I communicated with folks on the street. I was a night-shift cop for seven years, so there were many times ... I would end up in the yard or stand there on the front steps or the front porch of the home where the suspect was and I would know that he’s in there. So, I would have a conversation with the young man and my intent was to get him to just come open the door. You know, “Let Uncle Clay help you. Let’s try to get our arms wrapped around this little trouble you’re in. You know I’ve got no malice for you, son, but I’m not just going to walk away. I’m going to give you this opportunity to listen to me and trust me. And that doesn’t mean you won’t be arrested. If you are arrested, I’ll help lead you to a better day.” So, the way I talk to the camera is exactly the way I would address suspects from their yard. LEWIS: How do you manage not to have malice in your heart
toward them, especially after years of being on the street? CAPT. HIGGINS: Well, because I’m a failed and fallen man myself. My history is replete with decisions that I made that were wrong and that hurt others in some way. I didn’t honor my marriage vows in a previous marriage. I wasn’t a good father. I drank all the time. You understand I’m a failed and fallen man myself. So I could no more have malice in my heart for my fellow man that has fallen in some way than I would for myself. I believe in the redemptive nature of the human spirit. I see my job as a way to communicate that within the parameters of my profession as a cop. I’m a highly decorated cop but I’m a lowly decorated Christian. LEWIS: If you can, tell us about the transition from car dealerships to law enforcement. CAPT. HIGGINS: I had grown to be known as a fixer in the car business. I was a guy that could be hired to go into sales departments that were struggling and turn them around. I had money, I had status amongst the material of the world, and I had cars and houses and things like that, but inside ... I was just sort of empty spiritually. I read
I found myself really going into the foundation of who I was as a man and I began making repairs to my foundation. I got closer to God in a real way. 20
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the Bible and I went to Mass and yet I was greatly lacking; I felt that there was something missing inside of me. You know, life was passing me by. I’m starting to look at the end of this thing and what would my life mean? To have more money than the next guy or a nicer boat, or the better car? I don’t know, it just wasn’t fulfilling for me. LEWIS: Please take us through your what your thought process was when you saw that there was something missing. CAPT. HIGGINS: So, when I was finishing a job in Opelousas here, I had been at the dealership a couple of years and it was time for me to go from that job. I had no roots, I had lost contact ... with my children. My wife, the mother of my children, had left me years before and I didn’t blame her. I wasn’t faithful to her. I never came home. Others might have looked and said, “That’s a good dad. He really loves his kids.” I did really love my kids but man, there’s a difference between what’s accepted by society and what you know is right. So, I was certainly seen as a good dad and husband but I knew that I wasn’t faithful to my wife. My wife didn’t know but I knew. I knew that many of those nights when I had to work until 10 or 11 o’clock, I had left [at] 8 p.m. and had been at a bar drinking. I knew that I was living a life unfulfilled in spirit. LEWIS: What affirmed that such a drastic change was right for you? CAPT. HIGGINS: I had become an active reserve officer for OPD. And that side of me started really feeling comfortable in that role. My spirit was telling me something and I began to listen. Over the course of 2004 ... I just knew I was supposed to be a cop, despite the guaranteed financial disaster that it was going to be. And boy, I was right. It was like taking a vow of poverty. But you know what? I learned to live small and humble. I remember getting my first paycheck; two weeks’ pay at OPD after taxes and everything was $276. So, you know, poverty is humbling. I found myself really going into the foundation of who I was as a man and I began making repairs to my foundation. I got closer to God in a real way. I stepped away from the material gains of a wealthy job. I found the spiritual gains of a job that gave me the opportunity to embrace spiritual wealth. It was a transition of wealth [of] one type into wealth of another. It was so rewarding because it’s impossible to be uplifting without being uplifted. So every shift, something happened from the depths of the horrors of what man can do to man — something uplifting had happened that allowed me the opportunity to touch someone with cspotlight.com
kindness and compassion including the suspects that I crossed. LEWIS: Turning to the type of people you deal with, what are some of the common characteristics of the individuals that are committing crimes around here? CAPT. HIGGINS: The common characteristics are a broken family and drugs. The loss of a strong family unit, I think, is the foundational essence of what’s wrong with our society. Isn’t that tragic? Because we have let that happen — my generation, your generation — we have let that happen. Secondary to that are drugs. With rare exceptions, drugs don’t crawl into a strong family’s life where the children have strong examples of mothers and fathers that are trying to live right in life and offer good counsel and support. Somebody whose whole life revolves around drugs is stealing to support their habit. They get trapped in that horrible world of drugs and petty crime. LEWIS: Do you see anything that the Church can do to get into people’s lives and make a difference? CAPT. HIGGINS: The people on the street have got to be able to call a number at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning on a holiday and have a compassionate human being answer the phone. Imagine if every church had a hotline manned where drug addicts, the homeless and the prostitutes — those that are really starving for redemption — could call. If they can get to a phone and call and hear a compassionate voice ... the Holy Spirit can jump right through that phone and touch that person. LEWIS: How has doing Crime Stoppers opened up opportunities for you or changed your life? CAPT. HIGGINS: Long ago, [in] one of my failed efforts to seek counseling to become a better man, I met with a priest. He said, “Clay, why don’t you let God be God and you just be Clay?” So that’s what I’m doing now. God’s interaction in our life is sort of like poetry in motion. There’s no more meaningful means by which to communicate ... than written or spoken poetry, and yet one verse of poetry [by itself] has no meaning. But it will carry so much more weight if you go on and let the poem finish. So to me, God’s interaction in our lives is like poetry in motion. It might not make sense right now, that one verse, but if you just let that poem go on and run a little bit you’re going to look back and go, “Wow! This was very meaningful.” So, I recognize these things happen as His interaction in my life.
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Echoes in ETERNITY
“Witnessing” to Jehovah’s Witnesses with Pastor Josh Buice
By Jim Phelps
We are often rejected by secularists when
HEART OF MAN
we talk about Jesus. Nevertheless, Easter presents a great opportunity to share the role Jesus’ death and resurrection has played in our own lives. After all, our salvation depends on it. In the same breath, we should also realize there are people seeking the Lord who are massively confused. Take for example Jehovah’s Witnesses, who believe that Jesus is Michael the Archangel and do not celebrate the resurrection of Christ. This is no fault of their own. It’s a matter of deceit, stemming from the teachings of their founder, Charles Russell. The next time they’re in your neighborhood, please don’t hide and keep the door closed. Please don’t dare to claim to be a Christian and reject them at your doorstep, as if being Christian and possessing a different belief is a free pass to ignore them. These men and women are lost and need direction. In this article, we’re given tips with the help of Pastor Josh Buice to help navigate them through the Bible to see Jesus as He really is.
Gospel first One of the best ways for a follower of Christ to engage in conversation with a Jehovah’s Witness is by prompting a conversation about the Gospel. Remember, without a triune God, there is no Gospel. Begin by asking the Jehovah’s Witness to explain the Gospel. Enter the conversation by praising Jehovah (God) as Creator of all things and Ruler over all things. After you are comfortably engaged in conversation, let them know you would like to show them the Bible actually teaches us that Jesus is Jehovah.
begin by asking them to open their Bibles to Psalm 102. Encourage them to read verses 25 to 27. After reading the passage, ask them, “Whom is this talking about?” If they struggle to answer, point them to verse 1, which says (NIV): “Hear my prayer,
O LORD; let my cry for help come to you.” Most translations refer to Yahweh (LORD), while theirs will point to Jehovah. You can also share verse 21 to help make the point that the text is clearly about Jehovah.
Hebrews last Have your new friends hold their place in Psalm 102 and turn over to the New Testament to Hebrews 1 and read verses 6 to 14. After they’ve read this passage of scripture, follow these two remaining steps: 1. Ask them to tell you about whom the passage in Hebrews is speaking. You can point them to several key verses, like verses 2, 5 and 8, which are clearly words about the Son of God, Jesus.
Psalms next This is contrary to what they believe, so 22
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Pastor Josh Buice is pastor of Pray’s Mill Baptist Church, located in Douglasville, Georgia, and is the director of the G3 Conference. You can listen to the entire conversation at cspotlight.com.
2. Once they’ve agreed that the passage in Hebrews is about the Son, ask them to show you where verses 10 through 12 are referenced. Pastor Buice tells us: “In their own translation of the Bible, in the New World Translation, in the center column, there will be a reference that points them back to Psalm 102. This is key because this is taking Jehovah and Jesus and putting them on the very same level. What this is doing in Hebrews 1 is teaching that Jesus is Jehovah.” In conclusion, Pastor Buice confirms: “Jesus is actually God. He is Jehovah. Jehovah is the name of the being of God who exists in three distinct co-equal and co-eternal persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” This spring, we can celebrate Easter by sharing the truth of God’s Word with Jehovah’s Witnesses. God willing, one day, you may be speaking to them about the death and resurrection of Christ from your doorstep. Jim Phelps and his wife, Cori, are passionate followers of Christ. They work to seek financial support and raise awareness for various nonprofits. Jim ias particularly interested in mobilizing men and growing small groups. Learn more at 2717ministries.org, or contact him at email@example.com.
I am “I
am redeemed, bought with a price! Jesus has changed my whole life! If anybody asks you just who I am, tell them I am REDEEMED!” is a few words from the last song that my father sang before he was promoted from this life to glory. In order to understand the meaning of the song, you would definitely have to know my story. I would say it dates back to the Garden of Eden beginning with one man and one woman. Of course it is an epic saga with one deadly conclusion that ends with a punishable crime against God. This crime carried a gruesome sentence called guilt and shame. As a little girl, I was sexually molested and abused. For years, it was hard for me to separate the act of what happened from the person that I was, or the person that I was becoming. I had become self destructive. After trying to commit suicide three times and being unsuccessful every single time, I began a journey of searching to no avail. I felt short changed in each moment. There was no meaning to life. I felt insignificant. I was paralyzed with so much fear it was hard for me to operate on a daily basis. My relationships were shallow, and it seemed as though something was definitely missing ... and yes there was a huge void in my life. Filling that void is how I would come to find the answer to what I had been in pursuit of my entire life. The sexual abuse had begun to dictate the direction of my life. It was as if all I could see was the struggle and the pain of my past. For cspotlight.com
years I knew of God and heard of Jesus in my Sunday school class. I would even sing about Him in the choir, but never had a personal encounter or relationship with the Father. At that point, being completely consumed with the effects of the rejection of my past, I would see the story of my life being edited for a different outcome. In the month of April 1997, I had a personal encounter with Jesus. He appeared to me and told me what I should do if I wanted to be spared from what the enemy had planned for me. By this time I had started attending a church in Breaux Bridge and was being wooed by the Holy Spirit. I guess you can say it was my "Job" experience, in which the Father literally wooed me out of my distresses. I began to seek God daily for hours. I would have encounters and would then begin what I call personal, one-on-one deliverance sessions with the Holy Spirit and Jesus. The root of abuse was so deep, the entire process took years. You may be wondering what the key to my deliverance was. It was one word — forgiveness. I had to be willing to release the offense. When you think about it, it really wasn't the person who did it. In my family was a generational curse that I call "recycled trauma." The devil knows who God has chosen to make impact and whom God will use to transform the world. I had to separate the act of what was done and realize that the person who did the act against me was a human being with a weakness. If in their right
HEART OF MAN
By Marlice Young Dugas
mind, not under the influence of the enemy and not given in to their fallen nature, this person probably would not have committed the offense at all. I understand that when the Father redeemed us with His son’s blood, that redemption paid the price for every single act that would be done — even the act of molestation and sexual abuse. SIN is sin and a transgression is just that — a transgression. Forgiveness is a choice. Isaiah 60:1 became life to me. God commands us to get up from that prostrate position where situations and circumstances have kept us down. I had to come to the reality that I am not what happened to me. I am only stronger because of what I have endured. Every time I share my story, I liberate someone, and a deeper level of freedom comes to me. It was in my most painful moments that I learned to trust God. Why am I sharing this story? It is because someone needs to know that, if I can overcome and forgive, so can you. Look for Marlice's tips to healing in our May issue. Young Dugas is an on-air host at KIEE 88.3, a leader at Free-Style Fellowship Church, and serves on the Faith and Character Task Force. She and her husband, Jonathan, live with their four children and two grandchildren in Lafayette.
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Voir dire L
HEART OF MAN
et me share another legal term with you this month. “Voir dire” is a phrase derived from Old French that means “to see, to speak.” At the beginning of a jury trial, the potential jurors are questioned by the court and the lawyers to determine their qualification to serve as jurors. There are general qualifications such as age, ability to read and understand English, and good enough health to sit through the trial. There are other qualifications which are essentially a lack of any prejudice that would prevent one from rendering a fair and impartial verdict. We all have prejudices. Potential jurors are often upset when told they have prejudices. I like to explain it to them this way: If instead of a trial, we were picking judges for a “cutest kid” contest, could you honestly say
you could be fair if your own grandchild was one of the contestants? I find potential jurors can relate to that example. Some things we are just too personally involved in to be able to step back and render a fair opinion. As Christians, I think it’s obvious that we are coming to a time in which we will be required “to see and speak.” We need to be ready to stand up and be examined for who we are. It’s okay to say that we have prejudice. To be prejudiced is to pre-judge. We have already determined that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. We can’t go with the thought that there are any other valid ways, truths or real lives. It’s a prejudice that makes us qualified for eternal life. That’s really the only qualification that matters.
Nick's By Nick Sigur
Personal Easter F
or Easter, let us be renewed for the fearless and extraordinary lives we should live as redeemed children of God. If that’s not where we find ourselves this Easter morning, we need to review the process. We know that Jesus has not missed the mark. He accomplished His assignment perfectly. If things are not as they should be, we missed it somewhere. We need to see and understand what Jesus knew. As God and as man, He saw and understood the enormity of sin. We like to say that “if I were the only person on earth, He would have died for just me.” That’s a wonderful truth. But what we really need to fully understand is that if He would die for only one person, His death would still be as horrible as it was. Our personal sin is that enormous and our personal salvation is that incredible. If we are to personalize the resurrection, we need to personalize the death. We cannot have resurrection without death, new life hanging on
to old life, sanctification with sin, salvation without repentance or power without surrender. On Good Friday, our old lives must be crucified as He was. If the old is not dead, it will come back to us and we will return to living it. Like Israel in the desert, we will long to return to Egypt, the memory of life in slavery forgotten. As for Sunday, we must rise with Him. For some of us, the process stops on Friday. We live a life of continual crucifixion, unable to get past all we have done because we can’t grasp the enormity of what He did. If the Monday after Easter isn’t all it should be, personalize it. “It’s my sin that made it necessary. His resurrection is mine. His new life is mine to share with new purposes and priorities and powers.” Nick Sigur has practiced law and ministered with his wife out of their Broussard home for 34 years. Email questions to nick@nicksigur. com or text 337-205-2353.
Views and opinions expressed in this column are of Nick Sigur and do not necessarily reflect Covenant Spotlight.
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We are not ALL Monthly God’s children word
By Lelan Gimnick
ne of the most dangerous heretical statements out there is this widely popular thought that “we are all God's children.” While this may appear to be a comforting way to perceive our standing with God, it has one glaring and potentially fatal flaw; it’s simply not true. Please read the following: Matthew 3:8, Romans 8:14-17, Ephesians 1:3-13, Galatians 3:26-4:5 It is exactly true that we were all created by God. One must be cautious, however, about making assumptions regarding our relationship with Him. As the ultimate Sovereign, God gets to say what goes, and in His Word, those who would be given the privilege of being called the children of God are described as only those who received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (John 1:12). By exclusion, of course, this would mean that according to God, those who do not receive Jesus are not His children and therefore have no hope or eternal birthright. And that is an important thing about which to be utterly certain.
By Cheryll White
huiothesia /hwee-oth-es-ee'-ah/noun (Origin Greek) - This noun refers to adoption, with an emphasis that the child has full inheritance rights and the same status as a natural child. #5206 Strong’s Greek
Elder Cheryll D. White is a licensed, ordained minister for over 26 years and resides along with husband in Scott.
Lelan Gimnick is the founder of The Healing Arts Project and an ordained minister.
Control your finances
Don’t let your finances control you
By Staci Boudreaux
Start with a clean slate If your finances aren’t in the best shape, let go of any guilt or blame and start fresh as you set goals for your future. The sooner you start planning for your financial future, the easier it will be, but it’s never too late to get on the right path to financial freedom.
Establish goals Two important goals to start with are having an emergency fund to cover three to
six months’ worth of expenses and setting money aside for retirement. Other important goals could be saving to purchase a home, college expenses or charitable contributions. A goal that many of my clients have is to get out of debt. Did you know that most people can be debt-free in nine to 12 years without adjusting their lifestyle? Reducing or eliminating debt will give you freedom to pursue other passions you have.
Reduce risks Saving is important, but it is not enough to help you and your family if you are diagnosed with a critical illness, disability or worse. One of the personal financial representatives that I work with asks his clients, “If everything you thought to be true turned out to be false, when would you want to know it?” You don’t need to find out the hard way how long your money will last. Talk with your financial professional or insurance agent about reducing your risks and protecting your assets. A little planning now can minimize the risk of running out of money in the future. For a free, no obligation appointment, give our office a call at 337-896-1134. Staci Boudreaux has been an Allstate agent since 2004, with an agency in Carencro and Moss Bluff. She and her husband Howard live in Cecilia with their two children Logan and Madilyn.
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Inside OUT Making the internal match the external
By Pastor Travis Minnich
ach day was the same: get up, head to school, smile and fight not to let anyone know there is anything wrong. This was his story, but something had to change. Josh was a normal, everyday teenager. He enjoyed listening to music and riding his skateboard with friends. No one would have ever guessed that on the inside he was running on empty. Things really seemed to be going well for him. His grandmother worked as a secretary at the local Christian school, and he was enrolled as a student there from day one, receiving an education and spiritual guidance. Everything seemed to be in place for a happy life. What people didn’t realize was he carried pain, rejection and suffering on the inside every day. His father had left the family years ago and the void that remained grew greater. It reached the point where no sermon or lesson was enough to dull the pain he was feeling. At this moment he devised a plan to eliminate the pain forever. He had decided to take his own life and end the constant struggle to act one way on the outside while feeling completely different on the inside. Knowing that no one would understand, he kept it a secret. As the weekend approached, he saw a flyer for a Christian music festival featuring 20 bands on two stages. Wanting to partake in one of the few things that brought him joy, he 26
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decided this would be his farewell party. Josh found the money for the ticket and headed to the festival. He was having a great time and fell in love with one of the groups. Having nothing to lose, he decided to talk to them after the show and ask for a free CD. The group didn’t know how to respond. It wasn’t their normal practice to just give away products, but they decided to give it to him anyway. Josh was surprised that strangers would actually give him something for nothing. Nevertheless, with the festival over, he knew it was time to carry out his plan. Grabbing his newly acquired CD, he headed home to listen to it and decide how to end his pain. That night, one song on the album struck a chord with Josh. His finger seemed to automatically hit repeat over and over as tears streamed down his face. Something was changing inside of his heart. The words of the song seemed to speak directly to what he was unable to share with anyone. After hours had passed, he forgot about his master plan and drifted off to sleep. As he awoke the next day, he decided that he would check out the church that hosted the concert. What did he have to lose? Also, he thought he remembered the band’s drummer mention he was one of the youth pastors there. Maybe there was more to this than he thought.
The two grew closer over the months. Josh wanted to go to everything the youth pastor/ drummer did and be a part of everything the church was doing. He had finally found purpose and value in his life. The youth pastor never made it a goal to replace his father, but he was able to fill a role that had long been abandoned. Through this simple act, Josh aspired to work more and more on his music and eventually, he started a band of his own. He began to dedicate his life to doing exactly what the group that helped save his had done, using music to reach out to others. His life was truly transformed from the inside out and God blessed him, using his band in greater ways than he could ever imagine. He now travels around the world wherever there is an open door, looking for the opportunity to reach the one that feels hopeless, lost and forgotten, just as was done for him years ago.
Pastor Travis Minnich and his wife, Sunshine, currently serve as the student pastors at First Assembly of God in Youngsville. God has given them a deep burden for the next generation and they count it a privilege to be able to serve students.
By Sally Creed
hen is the last time someone read a story to you? Probably when you were a small child. I have always loved a good story and ever since my children were small, their bedtime routine included reading them a story (or two) every night before they went to bed. When they were really little, it would be short stories with few words on the page. I would read at least three of those. Then, as they got older, I would read longer stories, only reading one or two chapters of the story each night until the story ended.
The first books I ever read to my daughter were the Read Aloud Bible Stories by Ella K. Lindvall. Her favorite story was of the creation. When I was pregnant with my son, she used to say that she had Eve in her tummy and I had Adam in mine. We had not planned to name our son Adam, but when she started saying his name was Adam, we decided we liked it and it stuck. Years later, I was reading my daughter a book called Beauty by Bill Wallace and it got to a really sad part. I got too choked up to read. My daughter grabbed the book and said “for goodness’ sake, Mom! I’ll read it!” So she read it out loud until the sad part was over. As my daughter got older, she enjoyed reading out loud, so she took over the role of reading to her younger brother. As you can imagine, both of my children grew up to be readers, though my son doesn’t read as much as before because he’s in college now. My daughter majored in creative writing and she is an amazing writer. Years ago, I led a stress management group in a psychiatric hospital in Houston. I did an experiment with the group one day and asked them all to find a comfortable spot on the couch or floor and close their eyes. I began reading to them from some fun books I had. The group loved these sessions and asked me to read to them every day. They reported that it was very helpful for
Importance of reading
them to relax and take their minds off of their worries for awhile. There are many ways that reading benefits us. Reading increases intelligence, improves memory, helps develop empathy, is relaxing, aids in sleep (if you read before bed) and is contagious. A recent study by Scholastic suggested that reading aloud to kids through their elementary years inspires them to become frequent readers. This statistic is true for both of my kids. I worked in the school system last year and saw children from kindergarten through 12th grade. Many of them were at or below the poverty level. Barely any of them read much. Those who did were doing better in school. Those who didn’t were basically failing. They would rather play video games or watch TV than read. It’s tragic that many kids today do not enjoy reading. They rarely ever have a story read to them and the books that are assigned in school don’t interest them. If you have kids, take the time to find some interesting stories to read and start reading aloud to them. There are lots of resources to help you find good read-aloud stories, but author Jim Trelease wrote several. Here are two of his books that I recommend: The Read-Aloud Handbook and Hey!
Listen to This: Stories to Read Aloud. Why not choose one evening a week to turn off the television and have everyone read for an hour? Reading opens the entire world to children and can help them in every area of their lives. And who knows? You might just learn something, too! Sally Scott Creed is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Registered Play Therapist Supervisor who has been working with children and families for over 23 years. She has two adult children and resides in Lafayette with her husband.
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By Lori Briggs
The cross to the resurrection
o you enjoy doing arts and crafts projects with your children, yet sometimes you cringe at the thought of complicated messes that you know will end with glue and paper everywhere? Do you want to express to your children the joy of Jesus on the cross and His resurrection? Then consider this simple, yet effective project for any age. While this project does involve glue and paper, the glue can be different for younger to older kids. For example, consider using stick glue for younger kids when you don’t want glue to get everywhere, and the older kids can have a good old time with paste. On the other hand, using the paste for toddlers may help build up their fine motor skills, as they have to squeeze with a bit of pressure to make the paste come out. We’ve covered glue; now let’s talk about paper. You will need both black paper and
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neon colors like yellow, green, blue and pink. The black paper you will cut into the shape of a cross for the children; if the children are older, perhaps you will want to let them cut it out themselves. The cross will be black because it represents the darkness of a sinful, fallen world before Christ. The colored paper will be cut (by you, the parent, or by your children, depending on age) into little triangle-like shapes. The children will then glue them on the cross wherever they want them; encourage them to use their own unique creativity! As you do the project, explain to them in your own words, how the world was dark and when Jesus died on the cross, “there
Pictured First Baptist Christian School PreK teacher, Misty Bennett and student, Amelie Wyatt.
was darkness over the whole land” Mark 15:33, ESV. Then explain to them that three days later, when He rose from the grave, He brought light back into the world!
Explaining patience to my son has
required an extra measure, of well, patience. This 4-year-old has an apple juice addiction that’s no joke. I’ve struggled to explain what it means to wait patiently. He thinks it means asking really, really insistently as though I didn’t hear him and then adding pleeeease just as I open my mouth to say “be patient. I will get you juice in a MINUTE!” Patience is (I finally heard somewhere and promptly plagiarized) actually waiting with a happy heart. Waiting. With a happy heart. It reminds me of a dear friend’s favorite verse — “I pray that God, the source of hope, will
fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” — Romans 15:13 NLT I hear myself saying to this juice fiend “Do you trust that mommy will get you juice? Is the urgency because you’re so thirsty you just can’t make it?” It’s simple. “I just want it now.” Don’t we all.
Beyond the wait
How often do I want it now? I want the victory now. The result, an end to the wait of every problem or difficult road I’ve been tasked to travel. I think maybe I can shut my eyes in the waiting or beg my way out of it. But, even the Almighty waited. There was purpose in the waiting. Three days in the grave, and He rose on the third day – not the third minute or the third hour – but, three days of waiting. Would I have been a patient enough follower to endure those three days without throwing a fit like a child? I would venture to say the waiting season is more common than not in each of us. And it can feel like a season without purpose. A season of doing nothing until God does the big thing. Sometimes the waiting was the big thing. It was in the waiting that He revealed more of Himself. It was in this waiting that He revealed more about who I am, what I lack and how desperately I need Him. And perhaps He shows me in the waiting that it was in someone else’s interest because
By Amanda Harris
the world isn’t actually revolving around me. If you are in a waiting season, begin praying now for a heart that waits happily. It is not a heart in denial of the challenges of the wait. It is a heart that knows and acknowledges the truth of painful waiting, yet bubbles over and pours from the sides and erupts with a hope knowing our good Father brings extraordinary things on the other side of patience. His way is ever worth the wait.
Amanda Jean Harris is a joyful follower of Jesus Christ and mother to one wild child, Wilder, who makes life divinely sweet. She is a master of gluten free roux, a writer and a Lafayette style editor and photographer.
A cadiana AD O P T I ON
eborah is a talented artist who loves to draw and craft. She dreams of becoming a veterinarian due to her love for animals. Deborah is an honor roll student in the ninth grade. She is a member of the color guard Submitted photo. and enjoys competing in Deborah & John band competitions. She has a medical diagnosis that is managed with medication and diet. ohn is an adorable thirteen-year-old. He is very helpful in the kitchen and has expressed a desire to become a world famous chef. John loves animals and spending time outdoors, jumping on the trampoline and swimming. He is a very affectionate child but is shy about asking for attention. John is in the seventh grade. He plays the trumpet in the band. John is a good student but requires encouragement. Deborah and John hope for a fun, loving family who will welcome them into their home. For more information, contact the Lake Charles Adoptions Unit at (337) 491-2470.
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When you can't grow,
you gotta go
By Kylie Gaspard
As an 18-year-old worship leader, I am taking a journey from Lafayette, LA to Sydney, Australia to attend Hillsong International Leadership College to study worship leadership and song-writing. Leaving home and starting anew where I will have no family or friends and be completely alone is a scary thought. Although I will feel a LOT of nostalgia for this home, I can’t wait to go there and not only learn more about the things I need to become successful in my career, but also draw even closer to God, despite being so far away from home. And the biggest question is “What are you doing after you’re done?” This is the question I find myself having the hardest time answering, except: “I don’t know.” I knew I was going to this college the summer after my sophomore year in high school. My mom and I were looking up Bible colleges around the country. We somehow stumbled upon Hillsong College and I noticed one in Australia. Immediately I said, “Ooh, click on that one.” And that was it. I knew then and there that’s where I was supposed to be. Lots and lots of prayer went into making this decision, and plenty of people (especially my family) have begged me to stay. As much as I would like to stay, I have bigger plans for my life than just to stay here and be a music major at the city college and land some job as a music teacher. That’s not my calling, so I won’t settle. During a friend’s job transfer, she said, “When you can’t grow, you gotta go.” How powerful is that? That statement has been 30
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ringing in my head since the moment she said it. I believe that came straight from God. I have an amazing family. I have an amazing church. I have amazing friends. I basically have everything I could ask for and more. So that’s why I have to leave. My family’s situation in short: my sister developed a disease that’s basically like “pre-leukemia,” so she went through chemo at Texas Children’s Hospital. My parents also went with her, and they were all gone for four months while I stayed here at home alone. This was really hard on me and I developed a lot of sleeping problems, especially because it happened so close to my leaving. So when we were listing things in my life that are positive, I realized that the majority of my life is great. I have a good job, I have a Christian family who raised me right, I have a great place of leadership at my church and I’m loved by a lot of people. That’s a problem for me. As a Christian, I don’t want to have what I want, but what God wants. I want to have trouble sleeping, not because I’m going through a “tough time,” but because I’m up all night praying for the lost, learning about God and finding my rest in Him. I don’t want to be in a place where I’m comfortable being a youth worship leader and being cool with where I am. I want to be in a place where I’m so uncomfortable
and unfamiliar with my surroundings that the only thing I can latch onto is God. I can’t grow here, so I have to go. I’m gonna be honest with you guys; I’m going into this completely blind. God called me to live, quite literally, across the world, but I’ll go where He sends me, and whatever He tells me to do after that, I’ll do it. He’s provided so far, why would He just leave me stranded? I have faith that He’ll use my calling to its fullest extent. Yes, leaving everything and everyone I’ve ever known is incredibly difficult. I’m really good at putting on a strong face, but it is definitely heartbreaking and just super hard to drop everything and leave it all behind. But I’ve gotten too comfortable here, so God's called me elsewhere. I’m finding peace in God and in His awesome plans for me, so I can’t wait to grow to my utmost in Australia so I can eventually go somewhere else. My flesh will not prevail, but His spirit will forever, and His plans will prosper and I will obey His calling no matter where it takes me. At age 18, already a musician, singer, songwriter, artist and worship leader, Kylie Gaspard is going to Sydney, Australia to attend Hillsong International Leadership College where she will major in Worship Leadership (Vocals) and minor in Songwriting.
Church’s response to abortion
By Sancha N. Smith
If God were to ask believers the question, “Where are you on the issue of abortion?” or “What have you done to address this issue?” how many would reply, “Am I my sister’s keeper?” Irish statesmen, philosopher and political theorist Edmund Burke is credited with the famous quote, “Evil prevails when good men do nothing.” How many in the Church would have to acknowledge the sin of doing nothing about the evil of abortion— no gaining of understanding; no prayer; no demands of their legislators? Are you one of the good men who has done nothing? Even worse, how many in the church have adopted the perspective of a godless world; “It’s a woman’s prerogative to do what she wants with her body” or “live and let live.” Scripture defines our responsibility to one another in a way that is more directly related to women. James 1:27 states, “Pure and
undefiled religion before God is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” It
is clear that we are responsible to take care of one another, especially the women and children among us who are in need. He adds that we are also to keep ourselves unspotted from the world. Concerned Women for America of Louisiana (CWA) is concerned about the sanctity of all life — including protecting the unborn from abortion, fetal tissue cspotlight.com
experimentation and embryonic research and protecting society from euthanasia, cloning, population control and human genetic engineering. We are also concerned about the emotional condition of the girls and women who have abortions, particularly in our state.
The following chart demonstrates the horrific percentages of abortions in Louisiana. The numbers are intensely disturbing for African Americans. Louisiana has been in the fight to stop abortion in our state, but legislators have had limited success. In 2014, House Bill 388 was passed. It stated that any doctor who does abortions is required to gain privileges in a hospital within 30 miles of his practice. This would not only provide additional oversight to these doctors, but it would help to save the mother’s life if something went wrong during the abortion. However, that bill was blocked in federal court. The lawsuit claimed that it would be too difficult for doctors to obtain privileges and would shut down most or all abortion clinics in the state. But another bill that was passed in 2014, HB 1262, and is in effect, requires that those who seek abortions get proper information about abortion
Are we our sister's keeper?
through educational literature. In 2015, HB 701 stated that abortions be prohibited based on sex selection. Pro-life advocates argue that some abortions are performed due to preferential sex selections. Skeptics believe the bill forces liability upon practitioners since they cannot confirm that abortions are performed based on the sex of the unborn. The bill is expected to be reviewed in the upcoming 2016 session. CWA of Louisiana will continue the fight to save our unborn babies. But we need people, the Church in particular, to get in the fight. We are called to love what our Father loves and hate what He hates. Trust me, our Father hates abortion. But He loves those who are caught up in the deception of abortion. We must be our sister's keeper. It is what God requires of us.
Sancha N. Smith is the State Director of Concerned Women for America of Louisiana Legislative Action Committee.
THINGS WE MUST DO: PRAY. The battle must begin on our knees. (Proverbs 21:1)
EDUCATE yourself on the truth about abortion.
CALL your elected officials and urge them to support any measure which protects babies in the womb. USE YOUR VOICE! Write your local papers, use social media, and attend pro-life rallies/events. VISIT cwfa.org for more information and join like-minded individuals by getting involved in your state. March 2016
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Right here ADORATION
By Cori Phelps
Interview with recording artist Charles Billingsley
Launching his newest album
years and more than 2,800 concerts later in over 2,000 churches around the world, singer and worship pastor Charles Billingsley went from daring teen to a powerful voice in the he first realized his talent and he revealed this world of worship. unexpected story: Now as a leader at Thomas Road Baptist in “Well, it was an accident, honestly. I was Lynchburg, VA as well as having numerous singing hymns at my church, just goofing leadership roles elsewhere, Charles told around and being a little obnoxious, and my Covenant how he remains focused on the buddy standing behind me leans up and Giver of the gift through all of the success. says, ‘Hey man, you’ve got a “Well, you know, I can’t say I good voice; you should sing always was...sometimes you just right here for our Sunday school take for granted and then CHARLES other times you just get so class!’” Charles reminisced: wrapped up in just doing “And I thought, ‘He’s the dates themselves kidding!’ but he was and the conferences... not, and so I just kind and sometimes you fail of took it as a dare, to see the big picture. and decided ‘Okay, I’ll But nothing makes you do this once in my life.’ I appreciate that gift more got up and sang that song, than when it’s taken away and God sort of just anointed from you.” that moment.” Charles shared this faith-testing After continuing to sing through college, a experience in 2009, when the Lord took career-launching moment came just before his voice from him by way of a polyp on graduating. “The last semester of my senior his vocal folds. Terrified he may not regain year, I had a couple come to me and offer his voice, Charles was challenged by family to pay for me to make a CD, just basically and friends, who asked, “If something goes to help put me on the road. They told me, wrong, will you still worship God? Will you ‘Don’t think in terms of what you need, but still serve God, and will you still love God?” think in terms of what you wish you had.’” Charles admitted: “I knew I would still love Charles laughed: “And I only had one date God and still worship God, but I didn’t know on the calendar and that was from my uncle, how. Then when it came to serving God, I and it was the day after I graduated.” Twenty really didn’t know the answer to that. So my
Right Here this month, Charles Billingsley took a few minutes to reflect with Covenant Spotlight. We asked Charles when it was that
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answer was, ‘I think so,’ but in my weakened state of faith I couldn’t say for sure. And I think if I had to do it all over again—which I hope I never do—I believe I would have an answer for that.” After five days in silence on doctor’s orders post-surgery, Charles was changed. “I wouldn’t take those five days back for anything. It forced me to just relearn all over again how to worship God without a voice— to rediscover that my voice, and my career, and record sales and bookings, the church and even my family are not the source of my strength or my career, but Jesus is, and Jesus is alone….Then God gave me my voice back after that surgery, and I tell you, I was a different man.” Charles’ experiences have led to years of albums, like his newest CD Right Here, and he expressed: “It is probably, sonically at least, the best record I’ve ever done. I love the way it sounds! It’s huge; it’s very big. It’s a pop record but the lyrics are really strong.” Billingsley also shared: “There’s a song on there called ‘Victory the Blood,’ which is just a great Easter celebration; it’s a wonderful congregational song,” adding about the title cut, “This is about you and me walking with God, and don’t forget that no matter where you are, He will never leave you, He’ll never forsake you. He’s always right here.” Read and listen to the unabridged interview at cspotlight.com.
Visit charlesbillingsley.com. cspotlight.com
Documentary event with filmmaker Curtis Bowers
and “deceit,” we have one of two reactions: 1) look the other way and not get involved, or 2) learn more so we can tell everyone we know the details. In the case of former Idaho legislator Curtis Bowers his letter to the editor about the drastic changes he was seeing in America’s culture unexpectedly became a
mission and purpose: To educate, motivate and empower ourselves and our fellow citizens as to the original intentions of our Founding Fathers, the contents of our United States Constitution and Bill of Rights and also to further educate in civics, the rights and duties of citizenship. Their organization also holds monthly meetings addressing local and national issues, which the public is invited to attend.
Often when we hear words like “agenda”
featured story across the country. His choice to learn more about our nation’s apparent war against God and promotion of socialist and communist ideas not only garnered a surprising number of responses, but also led him to produce and release the documentary Agenda: Grinding Down America in 2010. Winning the grand prize for “Best of Festival” at the San Antonio International Christian Film Festival also in 2010, this first documentary has been distributed worldwide through grassroots efforts of organizations such as the Acadiana Patriots. Six years later, the sequel, Agenda 2: Masters of Deceit, has been released and is nominated for an award at the Christian Worldview Film Festival being held March 14-16. Acadiana Patriots will host a screening of the documentary with Curtis Bowers here in person in Lafayette on March 10. Acadiana Patriots is hosting this event because it coincides with their organization’s
MAKE PLANS Watch Agenda 2 & meet Curtis March 10th, 6 p.m., Robicheaux Recreation Center, 1919 Eraste Landry Road. View trailers and get your own copies of both documentaries at agendadocumentary.com.
MORE INFORMATION? Contact Jim Crumling at firstname.lastname@example.org or 337-654-2805, and visit acadianapatriots.com.
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Local book publisher,
touching lives N
eal Bertrand is a Lafayette-based Christian author and publisher with 20 years’ experience. His books have been instrumental in helping busy people’s lifestyles for years. He wrote two books to cook one-pot meals, have less mess to clean and get out of the kitchen quicker. Rice Cooker Meals uses a simple rice cooker for meals such as jambalayas, seafood, meats and pasta dishes. Slow Cooker Meals: Easy Home Cooking for Busy People has easy crock pot meals plus desserts like Chocolate Peanut Clusters. Neal also produced DownHome Cajun Cooking Favorites with 140 authentic Cajun recipes, such as étouffée, fricassee, gumbo, sauce piquante and seafood. Aside from cookbooks, Neal decided to
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tell the story of his father, who took 600 pictures everywhere he went during WWII. Using these photos and his battalion’s official journal, Bertrand traced his father’s steps from home to war and back. Dad’s War Photos: Adventures in the South Pacific is a treasure for lovers of history, photography, militaria and WWII planes. He also published From Cradle to Grave:
Journey of the Louisiana Orphan Train Riders with 89 biographies of little New York City orphans who arrived in Opelousas by train and were placed in the care of Cajun foster families. Bertrand states, “These city kids had to learn to speak French and overcome their fear of chickens.” A House for Eliza by Lafayette native Constance Monies is one of her two books
published via Cypress Cove Publishing. Her work shows how her grandparents raised 17 children through the Great Depression and two world wars.
Never Say Goodbye: True Stories of the Cajuns, Monies’ other work, has three short stories: the first locomotive in South Louisiana, how Abbeville’s Catholic church started and how a New Iberia plantation home survived the Civil War. Bertrand also recently published Sudie Landry’s four-part Spiritual Warfare Series.
See all of Neal Bertrand’s books at CypressCovePublishing.com and DadsWarPhotos.com, or call (888) 606-3257.
Brandon Spriggs By Bernadette Steven
Jow stands on another of God's promises that “with God all things are possible” Matthew 19:26. He knows that change can happen, but only when we desire to change. He proclaims that Jesus Christ is his foundation and that he has the faith, belief and wisdom to know that He is the Driver of his destiny. We know through faith that God always gives us what we need. As I concluded my interview with Humble Jow, I asked him about his mission in life. With a loving smile and a bold-but-humble voice, he answered: “Ms. Deannie, my only mission is to use my Godgiven talents to help as many people along the way as I can.” And THAT is who Humble Jow is.
t is important to know the promises of God. Psalm 147:6 ESV says, “The Lord lifts up the humble.” This is one of the promises Brandon Spriggs aka Humble Jow stands on. I was honored to host Humble Jow's JUSTLISTEN, The Movement album release, a few months ago. Make no mistake, this young man is aware of the cost of following our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He tried it his way until he heard God's voice softly saying, “Just listen, my son. JUST LISTEN.” That is why today, the Humble Jow movement, JUSTLISTEN, has reached many souls. His movement has earned him the name of Mr. Justlisten because he speaks boldly yet lovingly about Jesus Christ. As we spoke concerning his music ministry, he expressed that being a pianist, drummer, producer, writer, poet, etc. doesn't even compare to the joy of being called a child of God. Imagine a young man with a dream of a more positive society that doesn't allow negative situations to take over people's lives. Big dreams for a huge world may seem hard but not impossible, because Humble
Aka Humble Jow
FOLLOW HIM @humblejow /Humble Jow
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Searching for a church home? Abbeville United Methodist
Community Baptist Church
First United Methodist
Adonai's House of Prayer
Freedom Baptist Church
Progressive Baptist Church
Miracle Place Church of Acadiana
213 N. State St. (337) 893-5216 Sundays, 10:30 a.m.
100 Thomas St. Ste 1, 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.
101 Live Oak Blvd. (337) 984-4211 Sundays, 8:30, 9:45 & 11 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.
Calvary Baptist Church
4015 Moss St. (337) 269-0976 Sundays, 9:30, 10:30 a.m. & 5 p.m. Wednesdays, 6:30 pm
111 Camellia Blvd (337) 962-3616 Sundays, 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m.
800 Rue De Belier Sun., 9:30, 11 a.m. & 6 p.m. Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m. 150 Verona Drive (337) 234-4308 Sundays, 9, 10:45 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m.
Destiny of Faith Christian Center Church
1900-C Cameron St. (337) 231-5119 Sundays, 9 & 11 a.m. Wednesdsays, 7 p.m.
4416 LA-Hwy 14, New Iberia (337) 367-7223 Sundays, 10 a.m. Wednesdays, 7 p.m.
Faith Family Fellowship 230 Robertson St., New Iberia (337) 365-0051 Sundays, 10 a.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.
First Assembly of God 3555 Verot School Rd (337) 857-0018 Sundays, 10 a.m. Wednesdays, 7 p.m.
First Baptist Church of Broussard
210 S. Morgan, Broussard Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m. Sundays, 9:15, 10:30 a.m. & 5:30 p.m.
First Baptist Lafayette
Christ Church Northside
800 Jefferson Blvd. Sundays, 10:30 a.m.
• Opelousas Campus Sundays, 10 a.m.
Christian Life Center 411 Verot School Road Sundays, 10 a.m.
Church on the Rock 1411 E. Admiral Doyle New Iberia Sundays, 10 a.m. Wednesdays, 7 p.m.
1100 Lee Ave. (337) 233-1412 Sundays, 9:45, 11:11 a.m. & 6 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.
119 Jefferson Street New Iberia (337)369-3721 Sundays, 8:30 & 11 a.m.
1132 N. Martin L. King (337) 523-8192 Sundays, 10:30 a.m. 209 Southpark Road Sundays, 10 a.m.
Hope Alive Freedom Church 2723 W. Pinhook Road (337) 267-7880 Sundays, 9 & 11 a.m.
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.
King's Highway Ministries
3828 Moss St. Sundays, 11 a.m. Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m.
Lafayette Vineyard Church 705 Bonin Road (337)837-7060 Sundays, 10 a.m.
Landmark Lafayette Worship Center 1610 W. Willow St. (337) 232-3974 Sundays, 9 & 11 a.m.
Lighthouse Family Church 1300 Bertrand Drive (337) 261-8801 Sundays, 10 a.m. Wednesdays, 7 p.m.
Living Faith Youngsville
200 E. Butcher Switch Road Saturdays, 6 p.m. Sundays, 10 a.m. Wednesdays, 7 p.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. Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m.
2101 E. Simcoe St. Sundays, 11 a.m. Wednesdays, 6 p.m.
Redeemer City Church
109 Vine St. (Cite Des Arts) Sundays, 10:30 a.m.
Rising Hope Christian Center 1314 Moss Street, Lafayette Sundays, 10 a.m.
Rivers of New Life 600 General Mouton Sundays, 10 a.m. Wednesdays, 7 p.m.
New Kingdom Ministries
Riverside Church of Christ
Spirit & Truth Church
2032 NE Evangeline Thruway (337) 234-6868 Sundays, 9 a.m. Tuesdays, 7 p.m. 105 Merchants Blvd. (337) 232-9279 Sundays, 10 a.m.
200 South City Pwky. (337) 984-2035 Sundays, 10 a.m. Wednesdays, 7 p.m.
1128 W. Simcoe Street (337)234-0678
Spirit of Faith Church
1709 Dulles Drive (337) 981-6438 Sundays, 9:30 a.m.
205 Touchet Road (337)456-5315 Sundays, 10 a.m. Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m.
Our Savior’s Church Lafayette
• Broussard Campus
Trinity Bible Church
1201 E. Broussard (337) 839-8889 Sundays, 9, 11 a.m. & 5 p.m. 1st Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m. Sundays, 9 & 11 a.m. 1st Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m.
• Crowley Campus Sundays, 10 a.m.
• Eunice Campus Sundays, 10 a.m.
• Jennings Campus
Sundays, 9 & 10:45 a.m.
• Midtown Campus
Sundays, 9 & 11 a.m. 1st Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m.
• Opelousas Campus Sundays, 9 & 11 a.m.
1320 Fortune Road Sundays, 10 a.m. Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m.
200 W. Willow St. (337) 233-3387 Sundays, 8 & 10 a.m.
1100 Camellia Blvd. #202 (337) 501-6612 Sundays, 10 a.m.
3501 N. University (337)886-1555 Sundays, 11 a.m. & 6 p.m. Wednesdays, 7 p.m. 130 E. Broussard (337) 406-2801 Sundays, 9 & 10:45 a.m.
Trinity Presbyterian Church 3001 Verot School Rd (337)856-8145 Sundays, 11 a.m.
Victory Family Worship Center
204 Apollo Road, Scott (337) 593-8994 Sundays, 9:30 a.m. Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m.
Youngsville Community Church 1800 Chemin Metarie Pkwy. (337) 451-6829 Sundays, 10:30 a.m.
To view the interactive map of local churches or submit your church to this list, please visit cspotlight.com. 36
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The message of salvation You must be born again By Julie Adams Hasling
“Anyone who belongs to Christ has
become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17, NLT As believers, everything we need for a godly life has been given to us by God (2 Peter 1:3); however, we may not realize that it was given to us in seed form. This means that in order for us to enjoy this new life, the seed must be nurtured and developed (discipled). Just like newborn babes, we have some challenges ahead of us! We must learn how to walk, talk and think anew! Unfortunately, there’s no quick or easy way to spiritual maturity; it can’t be forced, manufactured or microwaved. It is only developed by consistently submitting to the Master Teacher, the Holy Spirit (John 14:26). Ephesians 4:21-24 NLT says, “Since you
have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” In order to reach maturity in Christ, we must throw off our old, sinful, self-centered ways of life and allow the Holy Spirit to teach us how to think and live a new way — a higher way! We cannot simply add Jesus to our old lives; we must be born anew and live anew! That’s why Jesus said, “You must be
born again” John 3:7.
Have you been born again by the Spirit of the living God? Today, right now, without putting it off another minute, why don’t you
make your future certain? With all sincerity of heart, pray for the Spirit, accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, repent of your old way of life, and be born again. Your new life begins the moment you surrender your heart to Christ and will last throughout eternity!
Julie Hasling is founder and president of Life With Father Ministries (lifewithfather.org). She and her husband, Alan, served as elders Houston for 11 years. In 2013 they moved to Lafayette, where Julie writes encouraging messages, ministers in prisons, and is active in several mission outreaches. Her book "Moments of Grace" will also be available to purchase at Barnes and Noble and through the Ingram Network.
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Calendar of events
March 2 Worshipping Church Tour,
6–9:30 p.m., Our Savior’s Church, 1201 E Broussard Rd., Lafayette. Attendees will receive a greater purpose of what worship is to local church growth. Purchase tickets at eventbrite.com.
March 3 Monthly City-Wide
Prayer gathering at Lafayette Consolidated Government building at 12 noon. First Thursday of each month. Contact Kelly Mouisset at 337-349-6538 or email at Kelly@oneminuteministry.net.
March 5 A Night of Prayer &
Worship 6:30 p.m., 1960 W. Laurel Ave, Eunice. Presented by Word Ministries Church and including Marvin Samuel & Family, Philadelphia Christian Church Choir, Word Ministry Praise Team and Teen Choir and Saxophonist Darcy Green.
March 1, 15, 22, 29 - Adult Men’s
Bible Study at Family Christian Store, 103 Acadiana Mall Circle. Every Tuesday,
5:30–6:30 p.m. For more information, visit 2717ministries.org or email email@example.com.
March 9 Mike Farris in Concert at
Vermilionville Performance Center, 300 Fisher Road. 7 p.m. For more information, go to mikefarrismusic.com, or purchase tickets by clicking on ad at cspotlight.com.
March 12 Benefit for Kindra Welch
Roy Cajun Harley Davidson. 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Live music, jambalaya cook-off, 50/50 raffle auction, special appearances by Disney characters, the Easter bunny and blood drive. For more, visit gofundme.com/kindraroy.
March 12 Focus on the Funny: Chondra Pierce. 7 p.m. Greenwell Springs Baptist Church, 19421 Greenwell Springs Road. For more call 1-800-965-9324.
March 19 InnerFaith Prison Ministry
22nd Annual Crawfish Boil 1319 W. Pinhook. 11 a.m.–1 p.m. 5 lbs. crawfish plates for $20. Purchase tickets at 337-232-1060 or innerfaithpm.com.
March 25 Yadah Muzik Annual Good Friday Concert, Doors open at 6:45 p.m., show starts at 7:30 p.m.; at Word Ministries Church parking lot, 1960 W. Laurel Ave, Eunice. $10 general admission, $5 student admission, 12 & under free. For information go to yadahmuzik.com.
March 10 Book signing by Neal
Bertrand, author of Dad's War Photos: Adventures in the South Pacific. Thibodaux Public Library, 5–6:45 p.m. (See book feature on page 34.)
March 12 Book signing by Sudie
Landry, author of the Spiritual Warfare Series. Faveur Gift Shop, 511 S. Union St., Opelousas.
To view the complete list or to submit your event, please visit cspotlight.com.
Action point –
Just war and the Islamic State
By Christopher Holton
n our last article on just war and the Islamic State, we introduced the concept of just war and the circumstances under which it may become necessary to wage just war, particularly against the Islamic State. Today we will examine the first criteria for just war in this scenario: the inability to negotiate with the Islamic State or its leaders. Under Christian doctrine, if a negotiable solution were possible, war would not be justified, but the Islamic State not only refuses to negotiate, but as part of its founding, they believe that they can never be defeated. This quote is from the Islamic State’s founding document issued in June 2014: “O America, O allies of America, and O crusaders, know that the matter is more dangerous than you have imagined and greater than you have envisioned. We have 38
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warned you that today we are in a new era, an era where the State, its soldiers, and its sons are leaders, not slaves. They are a people who through the ages have not known defeat. The outcome of their battles is concluded before they begin. They have not prepared for a battle since the time of Noah except with absolute conviction of victory. Being killed–according to their account–is a victory. This is where the secret lies. You fight a people who can never be defeated. O crusaders, you have realized the threat of the Islamic State, but you have not become aware of the cure, and you will not discover the cure because there is no cure. If you fight it, it becomes stronger and tougher. If you leave it alone, it grows and expands.”
What this indicates is that the Islamic State plans on continuing its aggression no matter what we do in response, whether we seek to talk peace or defend ourselves. Since negotiation is not possible, war could be justified under Christian doctrine. In our next installment in this series, we will examine the inability to avoid attacks from the Islamic State.
Christopher Holton is Vice President of Outreach at the Center for Security Policy, a national security think tank tasked with promoting President Ronald Reagan's philosophy of peace through strength.
Scrapbook CSM Habitat for Humanity Volunteer Day
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