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Faithfully Serving West Houston and Katy

K AT Y

Fa m i l y Fr i e n d l y Ne w s w i t h a n E t e r n a l Pu r p o s e

June / July 2012 • Complimentary

Inside this Issue: Feats of Faith:

Lisa Stanley Tucker Christian Business Profile:

Looking for something fun to do this summer? Check our our calendar of events on page 41.

Keller Williams Premier Realty

Three Things Every Man Should Know for His Health Katy’s Own Dog Wisperer:

Jack Richards

Ride Baby Ride: Fighting Ovarian Cancer Retaining Skills During Summer Break Kerryl Anne Frank Credits the Composer of Her Life

www.KatyChristianMagazine.com • For Advertising Information, Call (281) 600-0077 June / July 2012

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2 • For Advertising Information, Call (281) 600-0077 • www.KatyChristianMagazine.com

June / July 2012


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June / July 2012

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Letter From The Publisher

K AT Y Volume VII, Issue 3 6

Truly: The Brothers’ Encomium

10 Christian Business Profile: Keller Williams Premier Realty Katy 16 Feats of Faith: Lisa Stanley Tucker 19 Local Christian Student Profiles 21 Pastor Profile 22 Three Things Every Man Should Know for His Health 26 Katy’s Own Dog Wisperer: Jack Richards 30 Ride Baby Ride - Fighting Ovarian Cancer 35 Retaining Skills During Summer Break 38 Kerryl Anne Frank Credits the Composer of Her Life 41 Calendar of Events 44 Creator’s Kids and the Goff Family

Our Mission Statement:

“Our mission is to have a magazine devoted to His glory, provide cutting-edge stories important to today’s Christian, promote Christian-Judeo values we find important, and editorial content that your entire family can enjoy.”

President/Publisher Joseph Menslage

joseph@katychristianmagazine.com

Editor Melanie Saxton

This issue is especially exciting. Father’s Day has arrived along with the end of another school year. Households are abuzz with a new dynamic, because our kids are home! We also have the Fourth of July to celebrate . . . along with the feats of some wonderful Katy locals. In fact, Katy is a community that includes fascinating people. It’s simply a honor to feature their heartwarming stories. For instance, Gayle Huffman of Keller Williams gives back to the community, author Leilani Hurles fights cancer, and Katy’s Dog Whisperer shares some of his adventures. We visit with an amazing mom and founder of Creator’s Kids, talk to an after-50 college graduate, and hear the inspirational testimony of singer Kerryl Ann Frank. There’s something for everyone in our June/July issue and we are so pleased to share the journeys of fellow Christians with our readers. Isn’t it comforting to know that God has a special purpose and plan for each of us? We are incredibly privileged as Katyites and as Americans. God bless America and God bless us, every one of us, as we enter summertime. Vacation safely and may God grant you peace, family harmony and some welldeserved fireworks! May You Be Richly Blessed, Joseph R. Menslage

Columnists Mark Williamson Robert Crutchfield Dr. Steven F. Hotze

Pastor G.F. Watkins

For advertising information, contact Joseph Menslage at (281) 600-0077 or email joseph@katychristianmagazine.com

© 2012 KATY CHRISTIAN MAGAZINE. All rights reserved. No part of this publication or website may be distributed or reproduced without prior written consent of the publisher. Advertisements and or editorial content published in Katy Christian Magazine does not necessarily reflect the views of Katy Christian Magazine. To SUBSCRIBE: send a check or money order for 30.00 for a 12-month subscription to Katy Christian Magazine, 650 West Bough, Suite 150-170, Houston, TX 77024. For EDITORIAL or calendar submissions, please mail them to Katy Christian Magazine, 650 West Bough, Suite 150170, Houston, TX 77024. CUSTOMER SERVICE

For 24/7 service, please visit our website: www.KatyChristianMagazine.com. You can also call

President/Publisher Katy Christian Magazine www.KatyChristianMagazine.com (281) 600-0077

Find Us On Facebook! facebook.com/katychristianmagazine

(281) 600-0077 or write to us at

650 West Bough, Suite 150-170, Houston, TX 77024.

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June / July 2012


390 6000

The number of services we’ll host this year.

The number of devotionals we’ll share with inmates, their spouses, and supporters this year alone.

100

About In The Word Ministries In the Word Ministries began in 1986 with ministry at Harris County Jail, Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Men’s Development Center and the Star of Hope Men’s Facility. Since that time, God has provided In The Word Ministries with a vision and compassion for reaching out to those behind bars and trapped in their addictions. Over the years we have seen tens of thousands of people make the decision to follow Christ as Lord and Savior. We have been blessed to keep in close contact with many of these men and women and be a part of them becoming successful and being reestablished in society.

The number of individuals who responded to our alter calls and dedicated their lives to Christ during a recent event with 9 services held over four days.

How to Help In the Word Ministries is a 501(c)3 ministry and your support is greatly appreciated.

Prayer

www.itwministries.com Simmons & Fletcher, P.C. is proud to be a supporter of In The Word Ministries.

During the first quarter of this year, In the Word saw over 500 incarcerated individuals come to know Christ through salvation and or dedicate their lives to His service. We ask for your prayers that God continues to use In the Word Ministries to impact lives.

Volunteer Interested in becoming involved with In the Word through prison ministry? Visit our website to learn more.

Financial Support 800.973.1700 | simmonsandfletcher.com 9821 Katy Freeway, Suite 925 • Houston, TX 77024

June / July 2012

In The Word Ministries relies on financial support. Your support is greatly appreciated and will allow us to continue to impact lives for good.

For Advertising Information, Call (281) 600-0077 • www.KatyChristianMagazine.com • 5


Truly: The Brothers’ Encomium By Rev.. K. Lynn Lewis The Bible Seminary Amidst the backdrop of the ancient Olympics, around 30 A.D. or so, two sets of brothers began following a man they thought might be the ultimate victor, the grand champion of all things. This person, whom they believed might be the longawaited Messiah and whose coming had been foretold in prophetic encomiums, invited them to follow him, which they did, for several years, until he was killed, resurrected, and ascended into heaven before their very eyes. They then invested the rest of their lives in recounting his exploits and explaining the significance of his actions. This is a summary of their story - their encomium about Jesus Christ. “The time has come,” the man called out. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news.” “Come follow me,” he said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” The four of us Dropped our nets in array, Relinquished our boats, careers, compatriots, and preparations,

Fish provide payment for his taxes, Swine abide the legions of his enemy, Trees wither or flourish at his word, Water beads beneath his feet like soil.

And left without delay. Truly, we have seen this Jesus Christ of Nazareth, With our own incredulous eyes, We heard him speak with our own ears. We are witnesses, And cannot help but speak about What we have seen and heard.

Stones restrain themselves from crying out, The whole earth stands silent before him, And groans in travail In anticipation of his return. Diseases are cured by his touch; Demons know him by sight, and obey his commands; Even the wind and waves obey him.

Truly, the time has come, To have confidence in the Sovereignty of God. He knows the thoughts of his detractors, The doubts of his friends, The faith of his neighbors, And the needs and worries of his family.

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June / July 2012


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June / July 2012


Stars herald his existence, Wise men seek him, God loves him and is pleased with him, Satan tempts him, Angels attend him, Moses and Elijah visit him, Children praise him, Centurions acknowledge him, Samaritans believe him.

And prays privately, fervently, and repeatedly.

The diseased want to touch him, The hungry want to eat with him, The crowds want to meet with him, The lame want to walk with him; The blind want to see him, The scholars want to test him, The self-righteous want to kill him, The hometown doesn’t want him.

He obstructs palterers, Confronts pretenders, Skews predilection, Acts with prescience, Stands silent in the face of accusation, And restrains angels From coming to his aid During his most critical hours of need.

He eats with sinners, Drinks with saints, Dips with traitors, Breaks bread, Makes bread, Bakes bread, Cooks fish, Washes feet, Sings hymns,

Truly, the time has come, To have reliance on the Word of God. He was with God in the beginning, He was, is, and is to come. In Him is life.

He amazes over lack of faith, Distresses over stubbornness, Longs over cities, Cries over friends, Turns over tables, Gets over denial, And presides over all eternity.

Elucidates with patience, And commands with expectation. Infirmities flee at his direction, By his word, sins are forgiven, The lame walk, the blind see, The deaf hear, and the dead rise. Truly, the time has come, To have dependence on the power of God. He created and sustains all things The heavens and the earth, Animals, plants, and people, Music and laughter, pain and healing, Life and death, health and wealth, Faith, hope, and love. By His Holy Spirit, we speak, We stand firm and ready, still, To trust this man, and only this man, With all that we have, With all that we are, With all that we ever hope to be In ages past or present, And all eternity.

Truly, no one ever spoke like him. He teaches with authority, Preaches with conviction,

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Christian Business Profile: Keller Williams Premier Realty Katy By Melanie Saxton Real Estate has an emotional component. For most, a home is the largest investment they’ll ever make. Down-sizing, empty-nesting, relocating, and moving kids and pets can stir drama, tug on heart strings and upset the balance of life. However, a caring Realtor and strong team can make all the difference. Meet Gayle Huffman, who has been active in real estate since 1975. Huffman has worked as an agent for many independently and corporately owned agencies. She’s been in the West Houston and Katy area all these years. Today, she and business partner Kathy Girgenti are co-owners of Keller Williams Premier Realty Katy (KWPRK). Huffman is the broker and operating principal and feels the success of the company comes from hard work of nearly 200 agents, give or take, who represent KWPRK.

Corporate Culture “We are fortunate to have an international Keller Williams culture that emphasizes: God first, family second, business third,” says Huffman. “We have incredible leadership team. Fred and Stacie Wright, a married couple, work together and are starting year 15 with Keller Williams. They are amazing, along withTammy Harris, our operations manager.” The focus is on support, encouragement

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June / July 2012


Travers & Travers Attorneys • MediAtors

The attorneys and staff of Travers & Travers are Family Law Leaders offering clients a diversity of skills and utilizing an effective teamwork approach to every family matter.

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June / July 2012

For Advertising Information, Call (281) 600-0077 • www.KatyChristianMagazine.com • 11


and development. “Our agency is comprised of Realtors, a trademark term, meaning they are governed by a code of ethics and standards of practice as defined by the National Association of Realtors (NAR),” says Huffman.

2000), and that’s a huge achievement. “I think our success stems from the Keller Williams International culture,” says Huffman. We have a belief system that includes such positive philosophies, and our mission statement says it all: To exceed our customer / client expectations while increasing the growth and profitability of our associates and company by promoting success through community service, consulting, ethics, recruiting , teamwork, technology, training, and WI4C2T’S.

In Huffman’s view, the agents are most important people. Although KWPRK has a website, but it is not the main focus. “Our sales team are independent contractors, and we train them to have productive businesses. If you visualize each agent having his or her own company and website, you’ll see busy, professional realtors attracting homebuyers and sellers through social media and their own sphere of influence. We help agents build and be profitable.” Success Through Ethics KWPRK is ranked highly at #13 in the Houston Business Journal for all real estate companies in the Houston Metroplex (out of over

The Agents Make it Happen And speaking of community service, KWPRK supports Cinch Charities, a nonprofit that provides residential housing for caregivers to patients who have devastating illnesses. “It’s similar to Ronald McDonald House, and we are so thankful for the Ballard family, who have donated enough funds for us to plant roots and provide a permanent facility,” says Huffman. The West Medical Center, including M.D. Anderson near Christus St. Catherine, has referred multiple dozens of people so far. Mo Anderson is in charge of culture internationally and challenged agents about six years ago to build a legacy in their communities. “Our culture encourages us to give back, and on May 10 we had

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June / July 2012


Girl Talk

Women’s health has a language all its own. CHRISTUS St. Catherine Hospital speaks it fluently. At the Birthing Center, suites combine the comfort of home and the convenience of labor, delivery and post-partum

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June / July 2012

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June / July 2012


hundreds out at the Brookwood Community painting houses and working on vehicles alongside Home Depot, Lowes and many others. This was how we celebrated RED Day, an international Keller Williams designated day for giving back. Happily Entrenched in Katy Huffman is happily married to Phil, who is also a Realtor. “I don’t list and sell, but he does,” says Huffman. The couple loves collecting art and traveling, and just came back from China. They also have a deep Christian faith. “Philip and I are both Christians, and I have a running conversation with God all the time because I think that’s what gets me through my day and helps me relate to the agents.” Huffman loves feedback from clients. “They walk in our front door and feel the energy -“Your office feels good!” they say. “It’s the agents doing that. The people in my company are just amazing. They have same ups and downs as all of us do and work for commission only,which can creates stress. Yet 99% of time they are upbeat, production driven and other-oriented. They make me very proud.”

KWPRK is located at 22762 Westheimer Parkway, Suite 430, Katy, TX 77450. Visit them at www.katytxhomes.com.

Serving Infants-12 years old Serving Katy for 20+ years Providing before and after school care to Faith West Academy and West Houston Charter School in addition to these KISD elementary schools: Katy • Hutsell • King • Wood Creek • Winborn 5315 E. 5th St. • Katy, Texas 77493 281.391.8750 • www.TigerLandPreschool.com June / July 2012

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Feats of Faith: Lisa Stanley Tucker enough time to fulfill the dream of completing a bachelor’s degree. “I have a deep Christian faith, and that’s what has kept me going through life’s mountains and valleys,” she states. She has always prayed on a daily basis for strength, courage, guidance, healthy kids and family unity . . . and in the back of her mind also prayed that one day, that elusive four-year university diploma would be hers.

By Melanie Saxton Tackling a college degree takes energy and focus, even for 20-year-olds. Meet one determined student who graduated after 50 as a single mother! Lisa Stanley Tucker is an HSE Associate at ConocoPhillips. She’s always been a busy working mom with hobbies in interior design and crafts. “Lisa is famous for her spotless home, love for animals and her big heart,” says Chris Koehn, Lisa’s best friend since 1981. “I’ve watched her raise two children, always putting everyone else first. She’s certainly been there for me through the years, and it’s fantastic to see her finally reach a personal milestone and graduate with honors from Belhaven University.” It seemed like an unreachable goal. Lisa was born in Houston and moved to Katy in 1973. She attended Katy ISD schools and graduated from Katy High School in 1979. After completing an Associates Degree at Tyler Junior College, she married and began raising a family. As is common, life got in the way. Between work and family obligations, there never seemed to be

Why was the degree so important to her? “It was a personal goal,” says Lisa. “I always wanted a degree in business, and I wanted to demonstrate to my children that feats of faith are possible.”

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June / July 2012


As the decades flew by, Lisa’s children progressed through elementary, junior high and high school -- in Katy ISD, just as she did. Her dream briefly faded, especially when she entered the difficult realm of single motherhood. But her prayers were answered in the form of inspiration -- and a bit of freedom. When her youngest became a bit more independent, all of the sudden the world opened up. “It dawned on me when my son Travis was a sophomore (and driving) that earning a four-year degree was achievable.” She took the brave step -- financially and time-wise -- of enrolling a Belhaven, choosing a Christian University. “It was important to me to be in a supportive Christian environment,” says Lisa. She attended classes while working full time at ConocoPhillips and seeing her son graduate from Cinco Ranch High. In April 2012, Lisa graduated with honors from Belhaven with a degree in Business Administration. That she made the Honor Society is just another layer of icing on the cake, and another admirable feat of faith. Now, in addition to working she enjoys spending quality time with her friends, decorating and gardening. Lisa has recently enrolled in a sewing class to fulfill another long-time desire. And her family is especially proud that this mom’s testimony is inspirational to others who want to complete goals later in life.

June / July 2012

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June / July 2012


Local Christian Student Highlights Austin Jade Taft

Samuel Mote

Classification: 3rd Grade Robert E. King Elementary

Jonathan Farr

Classification: Senior Faith West Academy

Austin was born in Austin, Texas on July 12th, 2003, but she has lived in Katy her whole life. In fact, her grandfather, Steve Wells, owns New World Auto Transport in Katy, where her great-grandfather and her mother work. This makes Austin a fourth generation transportation expert! She attended the Early Childhood Enrichment Center through Pre-K, which prepared her well for her years to follow at Robert E. King Elementary. She has a strong Christian faith and prays often with her family. She loves attending Sunday School and church events. She continually shares her Christian beliefs by caring for others, her giving personality and her love for all. Austin excels in academics and has been in Gifted and Talented program since 1st grade. She loves working with the teachers, exploring and researching interesting topics, and being challenged to work hard. She especially loves Math and Science and always exceeds with Spelling. Austin also enjoys reading, drawing, and writing creative stories. One of her favorite bible verses is Corinthians 16: 13-14: “Be careful. Continue strong in the faith. Have courage and be strong. Do everything in love.”

Samuel Mote was recently named the Valedictorian for the graduating class of 2012. Samuel, is the son of Stella Mote. Samuel excelled in the classroom where he took Advanced Placement and Honors courses and had a four year GPA of 4.74, as well as participated in numerous extracurricular activities. He was a member of the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, the football team, and the ComedySportz team. Mote was named as a finalist in the 57th annual prestigious National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Samuel exemplifies the character and achieved the academic requirements that define his as an outstanding 2012 graduating seniors of Faith West Academy. Commencement ceremonies for Forty-nine graduating seniors were be held June 2nd at Grace Fellowship UMC in Katy, Texas. In the fall, Samuel will attend Texas A&M University to major in electrical engineering.

Classification: Senior Faith West Academy

Jonathan Farr was voted “Most Representative Senior” by the faculty at Faith West Academy. This honor is bestowed to a male and female student each year on the basis of excellent conduct, academic achievement, leadership, and consistent Christ-like character. Of the award he said; “I was pleasantly surprised, because it was almost like God telling me ‘good job’.” One activity that led the way for the selection process was a Bible Study group he started at his school. They met everyday to study the Word and to pray for fellow students. Farr was on the boys’ soccer team and represented FWA at TAPPS State Competition for cross country. This fall he will be attending Liberty University in Virginia to major in intercultural study so that he may pursue his goal of participating in and directing many world mission projects. He says his favorite Bible verse is Ephesians 3:18-19, because “It is a testimony of the vastness of God’s love for us and that is an important thing to remember throughout your daily life,” Farr stated. He is a member of Kingsland Baptist Church.

Katy Christian Magazine will be highlighting local Christian students each issue and we need your help! We’re currently accepting nominations for outstanding elementary, middle school, and high school students to be featured in Katy Christian Magazine. To nominate yourself or someone else, please send an email to joseph@houstonchristianmagazine.com with a short bio and photo. The students bio should include their name, school, grade, church, and life goals. If applicable, please include information about sports, hobbies, and activities as well.

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June / July 2012


Pastor Profile: Chaplain Jerry Thomas of Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital By Melanie Saxton Most pastors shepherd a church, or perhaps several church campuses. Meet Chaplain Jerry Thomas, whose parishioners are patients. Chaplain Thomas has typical 8-5 hours at his office next to the chapel at Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital. But he’s on call 24/7 and has spent 16 years serving patients and their families in the Memorial Hermann Hospital system. Married 30 years to Brenda, he’s raised two daughters who grew up knowing why his particular calling often took him away from home at odd hours. Often a call late at night could mean life or death. “Everyone needs a friend when they’re sick,” says Thomas, and this may be as simple as a comforting presence or a friendly “hello.” But others need much more. “There are some differences in pastoral care and chaplaincy care,” says Thomas. “For instance, a pastor may have congregants who tune out during a Sunday morning service. My congregants are hospital patients, and those critically ill or facing death are highly tuned in. Their minds are open. When people are scared, they want someone present to help reconcile their life and their death.” In fact, some come to the hospital without family or a support structure. These patients may or may not have a church home. Perhaps they had a bad church experience. For whatever reason, Thomas becomes their pastor. “Whether it’s a three day stay, or the last three hours of their life, I’m there for them. It’s an honor to make sure they

June / July 2012

do not die alone, and it’s a privilege when I’m asked to officiate at their funerals,” he explains. Thomas attended Baylor University and was ordained and licensed as a Southern Baptist, but attends a nondenominational church in Simonton. “I care for people of all denominations and faiths and my church home reflects that,” he says. He was a hospice chaplain before he became a hospital chaplain, and in 1995 he obtained his Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and interviewed at three hospitals. He chose Hermann and learned through first hand experience what a Level 1 Trauma Unit entails. Through the years he’s built wonderful relationships with pastors and priests in and around Katy. “I don’t hesitate to call a Catholic priest who can administer Last Rights, or a Rabbi for Jewish patients,” says Thomas. The chapel at Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital is open around the clock for families and patients who want to visit. Readers are encouraged to stop by and say hello to Chaplain Thomas, who provides such a meaningful resource to patients. You can learn more about the Memorial Hermann Hospital system chaplaincy program at www. memorialhermann.org/servicesandprograms/chaplaincyservices/.

For Advertising Information, Call (281) 600-0077 • www.KatyChristianMagazine.com • 21


Three Things Every Man Should Know for His Health By Steven F. Hotze, M.D Hotze Health & Wellness Center Whether or not they would like to admit it, most men do not place enough importance on their health. With reasons ranging from not wanting to admit they are feeling ill to just simply not having enough time in their busy work schedules, most men make excuses for not making their health a priority. June is National Men’s Health Month and a great time for every man to evaluate if he is taking the proper steps to ensure not just a longer life, but a more enjoyable life. Male Menopause Yes, it’s real and often referred to as andropause. Men encounter the change of life just as women do during middle-age and for some men it occurs as early as their thirties. While men fortunately do not have to experience many of the same symptoms women do during menopause, they do encounter a significant decline in their testosterone levels as they age. Symptoms of low testosterone include: Decreased libido, increased fat content, elevated cholesterol levels, indecisiveness, depressed and irritable moods, loss of muscle mass and strength, loss of initiative and fatigue. Additionally, many men will

experience a loss in ambition with their career that they once had in their younger years. Some men, who are as young as their forties, begin to desire retirement. If this sounds familiar then you should strongly consider having your free testosterone levels evaluated. If your levels are below that considered normal for a 20 – 29 year-old then you may benefit from bioidentical testosterone replacement. As with thyroid and other hormone levels, blood tests are certainly not the be-all and end-all for diagnosing low testosterone. If your lab tests come back as “normal”, that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from bioidentical testosterone replacement therapy. Consider finding a doctor that will diagnose based on more than just the lab results. Additionally, it’s important to note that this is not the same testosterone that is touted in the media as being dangerous. Bioidentical testosterone is molecularly identical to the testosterone naturally produced in the body. However, there is one very dangerous side effect associated

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with supplementing with bioidentical testosterone; many men get their drive back at work and are a force to be reckoned with. Symptoms often include doubling your salary and running circles around the younger guys at the office. High Blood Pressure High blood pressure is particularly dangerous because it’s a precursor to several other chronic illnesses such as heart and kidney disease, stroke, and eye damage. If you go to the doctor and are told that you have high blood pressure, you should first ask “Why do I have high blood pressure?” Some common causes for high blood pressure include: 1. Low magnesium levels – Magnesium is a mineral that relaxes the smooth muscles in our arteries, helping to lower blood pressure levels. The majority of men are deficient and should supplement with between 600 – 800 mg daily. 2. Poor nutrition – It’s important to eliminate grains, sugars and simple carbohydrates as diets high in these foods often lead to increased blood pressure levels. An ideal meal contains fruit, vegetables and a lean protein. 3. Extra body weight – In addition to a healthy diet, daily exercise is essential to helping keep your body weight to a normal ranges and thereby helping to lower blood pressure levels. 4. Low levels of vitamin D levels – The sunshine vitamin has been shown to help control blood pressure and prevent artery damage. Make sure to have your vitamin D levels checked by your physician to ensure levels are optimal.

Heart Disease: Heart disease remains the number one killer in men and unfortunately, many men are turning to cholesterol-lowering drugs, also known as statins, to prevent a heart attack or stroke instead of taking natural approaches to address some of the underlying causes of heart disease. In fact, over half of those who die from a heart attack have normal cholesterol levels. The cause of heart disease is inflammation and damage that causes weakness in the blood vessels. In addition to taking the steps mentioned above for lowering blood pressure, men should consider the following to help protect against heart disease: 1. Hypothyroidism – Dr. Broda Barnes performed a study, which showed a decreased heart attack death rate of 95 percent in patients who received hypothyroidism treatment utilizing natural thyroid hormone - a truly remarkable finding. 2. Vitamin C – This immune system-booster is also great at helping to prevent the deposition of LDL cholesterol in the arteries thereby decreasing the incidence of arteriosclerosis, which is the stiffening of the arteries, and heart disease. We recommend a starting dose of 2,000 mg twice a day. 3. Fish Oil – Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial to maintaining cell membranes throughout the body. These are just some of the steps men should be taking to protect them from serious illness as well as enjoy a better quality of life. Are you thriving or merely surviving? Don’t place your health on the backburner and make it a priority ever day.

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For Advertising Information, Call (281) 600-0077 • www.KatyChristianMagazine.com • 25


Katy’s Own Dog Whisperer: Jack Richards By Melanie Saxton

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From specialized police K-9s to household chihuahuas, every dog can learn . . . and so can their

Visit Jack Richards any day of the week and you’ll find him working with dogs. Some he’s spotted and rescued from shelters with indicators they’d be good police dogs. As a police officer working dangerous night shifts, Richards developed an eye for working canines and started the K-9 program at Houston ISD in 1996. “My brother was on the force in Stafford and worked with an impressive police dog,” says Richards. “He encouraged me to purchase 13-month-old Egon at the cost of $3,500. People may not realize that officers often have to buy their own dogs. Egon turned out to be priceless, not only showing me that I have a gift, but demonstrating his own gifts in

narcotics detection, man-tracking, and street patrol.” Richards credits Egon with convincing Houston ISD to embrace the K-9 program.

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Award-winning Service Richards went on to earn a slate of awards in 1999: Officer of the Year from the Texas Municipal Police Association, Lifesaving Award from Houston ISD Police Department, the Astrodome Rotary Club Outstanding & Dedicated Service Citation, and the K-9 Unit Citation from Houston ISD Police Department. Richards has been turning dogs on death row into “detect and protect” K-9s ever since. “A strong faith and much prayer have been the bedrock of my service,” says Richards, who left the force to devote himself full-time as a specialized K-9 and companion dog trainer. In 2006 the media dubbed him “Katy’s Dog Whisperer.” The Cleanest Kennel in Katy Jack and his Scottish bride, Fiona, were married December 15, 1989 and are a match made in doggie heaven. Fiona founded Privileged Pets in 1995, a boarding kennel and pet sitting service that enjoys an excellent reputation and is among the cleanest in Katy. In fact, customers comment that it doesn’t smell like a kennel at all. “We keep it immaculate, which is no small feat, because we want all our boarding dogs to be healthy. They have large fields to romp in and we attend to dogs with special needs, as well,” says Fiona. In fact, her petsitting services are popular with families who want to travel while keeping their pets at home. “We are trusted by homeowners to feed, groom and keep their pets company.” Celebrity clients include Frank Bielec of TLC’s Trading Spaces, television host Katisha Cosley of the Deals Show on the LiveWell Network, and Roger and Debbie

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Clemens. But the heart of the kennel lies in the community and the families who count on them. Privileged Pets has won numerous awards and heartily support CAPS. “In fact, we help place animals for CAPS and often take in strays, providing them medical care and finding them homes,” says Fiona. Training Milestones Surprisingly, the couple’s favorite breed is a Chihuahua. “I fell in love with several Chihuahuas and found they are easily trainable. My Chi, Twix, delights audiences by balancing on a basketball– his favorite trick,” says Richards. He also trains any garden-variety mutt, which reminds him of the companions he surrounded himself with as a boy. Some canine clients need the basic lessons of sit, stay, or fetch. Others have ‘issues’ such as separation anxiety, incessant barking or bad manners. “All have needs that must be met and instincts that must be understood,” says Richards. “Relationship training is all about a partnership between dogs and their owners.” It’s a lot like the relationship between people and the Lord. “Everyone needs a master,” he explains. “The dog looks to us for guidance and purpose in the same way we look to God.” The goal is a dog with some life-skills, and owners with some dogskills. Find out more about Jack Richards dog training tips at www. privilegedpets.com.

For more information or to make reservations go online to www.c3networking.org or call Kirk @ 281.391.5683 ext .221

For Advertising Information, Call (281) 600-0077 • www.KatyChristianMagazine.com • 27


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Ride Baby Ride - Fighting Ovarian Cancer By Melanie Saxton When cancer strikes, almost every family is caught unaware. Meet the Hurles family, whose matriarch, Leilani Essary Hurles, has fought the battle of her life . . . and wrote about it in laugh-out-loud moments. As a self-avowed Texas girl, Leilani Essary Hurles didn’t plan to write a book. During her hospital stay for ovarian cancer treatments she was inundated with prayers and inquiries from concerned family and friends. Her daughter, Lani, fielded the calls and suggested her mother write “Monday Updates” to keep everyone informed. From those email updates, which were often hilarious, sprang a book, Ride Baby Ride: Your Courage to Overcome Ovarian Cancer and Life’s Adversities. A Positive Outlook Hilarity and cancer? Yes, belly-laughs can help win the battle, and

battles do not have to be depressing. Along with the zany insights into hospital life and funny family moments, Leilani had her family and friends -- and

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now her readers -- in stitches. For instance, Leilani’s 98-year-old father Oved -- or Magoo as he is fondly nicknamed -lives with Leilani and her husband, Bill. “Just keeping up with Magoo as he floods his handicap-equipped shower stall, drenching our Dachshund, makes me laugh.” She and Bill blended her three kids and his three kids into a unit complete with eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. “You can imagine the antics,” says Leilani. Determination and Hope “I had no idea that my Monday Update emails would touch a chord and go viral,” says Leilani. “People forwarded them on until they had circulated around the world, being read by prayer groups all over the place.” Her book is a natural segue from email diaries to a full-blown, real account drama in novel form (or rather, sit-com) about an ovarian cancer crisis. “God has a plan and my job is not to challenge it, but feed from it and figure out what He is trying to tell me. It’s like crop circles. No one can explain them, but they are there. And heaven knows no one can explain me!”

honestly -- including the embarrassing moments in hospital gowns in front of crowds of doctors -- means I can share the journey through my own personal lens of humor. I’m not necessarily brave. It’s just my nature to laugh at life, and, like Reader’s Digest says, Laughter is the Best Medicine. It helps to have faith, family and friends. And Magoo. Support systems are invaluable, and Leilani has that in abundance. She and her husband, Bill, have a combined household of six kids, eight grandkids and four great-grandkids -- much like a modern day Brady Bunch. During family gatherings, Magoo enjoys being one of four generations that mingle and fellowship. Read about their antics and more on the the fight against ovarian cancer at www.ridebabyridebook. com.

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Life Prepared Her As a retired teacher, coach, mother, wife, author, horse-and-dog owner, and stage three recurring ovarian cancer survivor, Leilani’s focus, really, is to uplift those who need a big hug. “Talking about ovarian cancer

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YELP/GOOGLE Reviews

Since 1997

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Julie C. - “Dr. Cesak and his staff will heal whatever ails you... After just 4 visits to Dr. Cesak, I am feeling no pain, I have mobility again, and I can sit in a chair and work. You cannot go wrong with this office.”

“Both Delisle and Nick were involved in motor vehicle accidents and Dr. Cesak treated their injuries so they could make their trek to Mount Everest.”

713-880-3939 1235 North Loop West, Suite 907 Houston, Texas 77008

DR. BRIAN CESAK

Dr. Cesak has been in practice for over 14 years. He specializes in chiropractic techniques such as Gonstead, Diversified, Biophysics, Thompson and Activator.

14760 Memorial Drive, Suite 307 | Houston, Texas 77079 281.589.2225 | www.cesakchiropractic.com

32 • For Advertising Information, Call (281) 600-0077 • www.KatyChristianMagazine.com

June / July 2012


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Run to Rita’s for Ice, Custard and Happiness! With the most mouth‐watering Italian Ice and cool, creamy custard, there’s happiness in every spoonful! The world needs more happiness. The world needs more Rita’s! So stay Cool this summer with a Refreshing Treat from Rita’s!! Run to Rita’s today!

Mention this Add and receive $1.00 OFF A Large Misto Shake 6825 South Fry Rd. | Katy | (281) 391-RITA Located in the HEB Plus Shopping Center S. Fry and Grand Pkwy. | In Front of Hobby Lobby

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For Advertising Information, Call (281) 600-0077 • www.KatyChristianMagazine.com • 33


34 • For Advertising Information, Call (281) 600-0077 • www.KatyChristianMagazine.com

June / July 2012


Retaining Skills During Summer Break By Carolyn Saunders Director, Huntington Learning Center With summer vacation just around the corner, your child may be ready to toss his or her backpack and school books out the window for three months. While every child deserves a break from the hectic routine of the school year, research shows that most students experience some amount of regression when they are not in school. Help your child retain important skills during his or her summer vacation in order to smooth the transition back to school in the fall. First, talk with your child’s teacher to gain an understanding of your child’s proficiency level in various subjects. Your child’s teacher will be able to identify risk areas for regression in your child and offer suggestions for summer exercises that will help your child practice and enhance skills learned throughout the school year. Here are a few ideas for fun “anti-regression” summertime activities: Math activities: • Card games - Start with simple games such as High/Low, Crazy Eights (UNO) or Blackjack (21). As your child becomes more interested in cards, try introducing more challenging games such as solitaire, Rummy, Hearts or Bridge. • Online games - Visit www.KidSites.com for a list of kid-friendly,

educational websites. Find dozens of approved sites for math games and other math activities that your child will enjoy. • Make graphs - Have your child track the time he or she spends reading, exercising, watching television, hanging out with friends and doing other activities, and develop weekly and monthly pie or bar charts to analyze the results. • Practice fractions - When cutting pizza (or other foods) into sections, challenge your child to tell you what fraction of the pizza is on his or her plate, on your plate, and remaining on the baking dish. • Track sports statistics - Is your child a baseball fan? Have him or her track a favorite player’s bats and hits for a week or month and calculate a batting average by dividing “at bats” by “hits.” • Plan your vacation - Taking family trip? Arm your child with a map and a ruler to measure the distance you will travel. If you are driving, have your child calculate the cost (and amount) of gas you will use depending on the route you take. Your child can help develop the vacation budget, too - tell your child how much you’ve set aside for the trip and have him or her help you determine what to allocate to hotel, airfare (or gas), meals and entertainment. Reading and writing activities: • Visit the library - Most libraries offer summer reading programs, book clubs and other reading activities for children of all ages. • Enjoy pleasure reading - Don’t force educational reading on your child in the summer, but rather, encourage him or her to pick out books he or she will enjoy. Remember - magazines, cookbooks, comic books and other reading material are great alternatives to books.

At Tradition Bank, helping local families, schools and churches prosper matters to us. From helping your grandchild deposit their first allowance to supporting school and church fundraisers, Tradition has the local answers.

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June / July 2012

Grand Parkway • Pin Oak • Fry Road The Plaza • The Woodlands • Alief • Bellaire 713-666-2511 www.TraditionBank.com

For Advertising Information, Call (281) 600-0077 • www.KatyChristianMagazine.com • 35


Making Adoption A Reality

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36 • For Advertising Information, Call (281) 600-0077 • www.KatyChristianMagazine.com

June / July 2012


• Try audio books - Let your child pick out a story to listen to in the car, whether on a week-long road trip or as you drive around town together. • Keep a summer journal - Journaling and freeform writing are great ways for your child to explore his or her mind and develop a regular writing habit. • Get a pen pal - Does your child have a cousin (or aunt or uncle, grandparent, other relative or friend) in another city or state? Perhaps he or she would enjoy staying in touch - and receiving personalized mail in return - through letters. Other activities: • Take fun classes - Check out summer activities and programs for kids and families at the zoo, cultural center, or art, nature and science, history or other museums in your area. • Head to summer camp - There are hundreds of camps for children of all ages across the country - from day camps to overnight camps, from art camps to science camps. Search camps on a wide variety of criteria at www.acacamps.org. Summer learning is an important part of your child’s scholastic achievement. Don’t let your child lose academic skills he or she has worked hard all school year to develop. Find enriching experiences and activities for your child to enjoy during summer break that will help him or her continue to build knowledge and succeed in the next grade.

Friday Night Socials Join us for a time of fun, food, and fellowship designed for special needs children and their siblings. The cost is $30 per person and includes pizza and other goodies.

Creative Arts Learning Center

Take part in our art, music, drama, and home economic classes. The Creative Arts Learning Center is designed for all children ages 5-18.

Junior Master Gardening Club Our new Junior Master Gardening Club is a gardening program designed for special needs children ages 14 and up. Participants have the opportunity to earn a gardening certification.

The Creator’s Kids seeks to enrich the family lives in our community and beyond by presenting the unconditional love and acceptance of Christ in the flesh.

21820 Kingsland Blvd., #106 • Katy, Texas (281) 394-3412 • www.TheCreatorsKids.com

TheBibleSeminary.org Graduate-level ministry training - right here in Katy! Bible Certificate - Study all 66 books of the Bible and develop your leadership! Evening classes once a week. Fall 2012 semester classes begin in September

Master of Divinity - Designed for full-time graduate students seeking a comprehensive training degree for vocational ministry.

2655 S Mason Rd Katy, TX 77450 281-646-1109 info@TheBibleSeminary.org

Accepting applications for Fall 2012 $10,000 scholarships available for the first 25 M.Div. students accepted for Fall 2012 semester!

Apply Today! June / July 2012

For Advertising Information, Call (281) 600-0077 • www.KatyChristianMagazine.com • 37


Kerryl Ann Frank Credits The Composer of Her Life By Mark Williamson Kerryl Ann Frank has been blessed many times over as a child of God, wife, homeschooling mother of three, and registered nurse. She is also the daughter-in-law of Dr. Neil Frank and hales from a musical family. She’s a vocalist and keyboardist at Parkway Fellowship. Yet she never saw herself as a musical artist until God called her in a new way, just two years ago. The fall of 2009 was challenging for Frank. Her oldest had gone to college, her daughter was planning to attend A&M, another was at Baylor . . . and the family was worried about finances. Frank had home schooled for 11 years and in the back of her mind thought about re-entering the nursing field. “I kept my license up-to-date, just in case,” says Frank. She felt torn, not quite sure of her path. In hindsight she says, “Everyone walks through valleys and struggles, and God equips us to handle problems, but He also wants us to give those problems to Him.”

A turning Point One day Frank was completely humbled before God, on her knees folding laundry, when she felt His presence and cried out in her spirit, but also vocally. That night she “started over,” pulling out different Bibles and 2010 devotional books. She found a chronological Bible given to her by her mother who had a music degree and taught her children piano and sang professionally and in the church choir. Her kids were musically gifted -- how could they be otherwise, especially since they were a captive audience to both sets of grandparents, all living nearby? Each grandparent contributed to their education and talents. Her oldest would come home from Baylor and play beautiful, original music. “Mitchell, do you understand this is a generational

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blessing from your grandmother, a God-given talent?” she asked him. “Although you’re majoring in engineering, you are a phenomenal musician . . . just stop and recognize it’s from God.” Frank just assumed the blessing had skipped one generation (her) and that God gave her other talents. She felt she was merely mediocre as a pianist and vocalist and that her place was serving, but not out in front.

them with the world. Thus was born her original CD titled, “What Lies Within.” It features beautiful, heartfelt songs including Pray For Me, The Lord’s Prayer, Love On A Tree, The Power Of His Love, Yesterday, Today And Forever, and What Lies Within.

Then Came an Epiphany As she read Genesis 1:1, John 1:1 and Psalms 90:1, she looked up a particular song, not a Psalm written by David, but by Moses. She totally recommitted herself to God, and when she got to Psalms 90:1, 2 and 4, the entire passage leapt off page. All the instruments, all the harmonies, were given to her. Although she never asked God to give her a song, she audibly heard His voice say, “I did not skip you. From your son to your mother, I went through you and for you.” That song played constantly in Frank’s head for for next two weeks - never stopping. She called Pat Hunt, Music Minister at Parkway, and said, “God gave me a song, can you listen to it?” He said, “Sure,” and she went straight to the church to play it for him. “How did you do this?” he asked, overwhelmed. “God did it,” Frank answered. “I can’t explain it.”

Now, when a song plays in her head, Frank asks God, “What are you wanting to show me?” She had dusted off her resume to prepare to go back into nursing, but God kept giving her songs. “I’m supposed to be investing in the kingdom,” says Frank. “I’ll say, ‘I need to hear Your voice, will you give me a song?” and God answers.” She learned to pray out loud, using all her senses. To this day she opens her Bible to see and speak and hear His word. “This is a powerful tool to defeat the attacks against marriage and family, absolutely vital to help do battle against enemy. It’s more than just reading words in a Bible. I have to be active, proactive, and keep praise music playing in house all the time. Those tools of seeing, speaking, praying . . . they create songs that come from those scriptures.” What Lies Within The music is from God -- miraculous -- not so much that He did it, but the fact He did it without Frank asking. “Choosing which songs would appear on the CD was difficult,” says Frank. The tracks total twelve with more to follow, as each day brings new songs. And each song shares a bit of her personal journey, which includes some times of despair as well as great joy. Messages of faith, hope and God’s faithfulness permeate each. Frank gives God credit as the composer of her life. The title of her next CD will very probably be Composer of the Song.

Love Notes Hunt was stunned by the chords and the fact that Frank had no song writing training. “People just don’t ‘do’ this!” he exclaimed. Frank answered, “I know - it’s new, its fresh, and I’m still just basking in all God is telling me.” And God didn’t stop there. Frank was given more songs and took them to Hunt. He said “You’re making me feel bad!” -- and was inspired to start writing his own songs again. And he said, “You need to write lyrics for me!” It became clear that it was time to start making a CD. In short, Frank, indeed, is a music artist. Her album contains all her own, original music-- and she feels that two years ago as she prayed and read His Word, she was given an anthem sung by angels. Love notes —literally—were placed on her heart with instructions to share

Helping artists find their light since 2001

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June / July 2012

You can learn more about Kerryl Ann Frank and her inspired music at http:// www.reverbnation.com/kerrylannfrank, on itunes.apple.com/us/artist/kerrylann-frank/id494374235 and on her Facebook page.

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For more info, please visit us on the web at www.GracieBarraKaty.com or call (281) 647-6621 for a free introductory lesson. 40 • For Advertising Information, Call (281) 600-0077 • www.KatyChristianMagazine.com

June / July 2012


Katy Christian Magazine Calendar of Events June 2012

on the zip line! We are a nondenominational camp whose sole purpose is to reach today’s youth for Christ. Every week of camp should be a life changing experience because of the extreme fun experienced and the Bible training received. Our mission is to challenge campers to strengthen their personal relationship with Christ while experiencing Adventure... With A Purpose!

Bear Creek United Methodist Church School Registration June 1 - Sept. 1 Bear Creek United Methodist Church School 16000 Rippling Water Drive Houston, TX 77084 bearcreekumc.org/children/preschool Bear Creek United Methodist Church School registration is open for ages 12 months through kindergarten, including a transition class for five year olds. Classes begin September 5. Call 281-4632969 for more information or email bcumcschool@yahoo.com.

Vacation Bible School June 25-28 | 6:30-8:30 p.m. CrossPoint Community Church | Westgreen 700 S. Westgreen Blvd. Katy, TX 77450 www.crosspt.org Join us for Vacation Bible School. Register now at www.crosspt.org.

Boy’s Camp 1 June 17 - 23 Camp Peniel 6716 E. FM 1431 Marble Falls, TX 78654 www.camppeniel.org Camp Peniel, where God is known, and lives are changed. Prepare for exciting adventures on 382 acres of the beautiful hill country! Swim in our lake, hike, ride horses, or challenge yourself

Camp Invention June 25 – 29 | 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Rainard School 11059 Timberline Road Houston, TX 77043 www.campinvention.org Think like an inventor, solve real-

world challenges and design your own cool gadgets in this hands on day camp for students entering grades 1-6.

July 2012 Tools 4 Teens Summer Camp July 9 – 12 | 10:00 a.m. - Noon The Fellowship at Cinco Ranch Church 22765 Westheimer Parkway Katy, TX 77450 www.tools4lifebooks.org

While at the lake, campers will zoom down the zip-line, whiz down the waterslide, and get bounced off ‘the blob’. Snacks are available at the ‘Snack Shack’ and fishing is always an option! Parents can pick up pleasantly exhausted campers by 4 PM. Robot Power Quest conduct by American Robotics Academy July 23 - 27 Faith West Academy 2225 Porter Road Katy, TX 77493 www.faithwest.org

Camp West - Kindergarten thru 6th grade July 16 - 20 Faith West Academy 2225 Porter Road Katy, TX 77493 www.faithwest.org Campers will begin each day at 9:00 AM with a high-energy, interactive performance. There will be times for worship, games, and live character skits. They will then participate in planned activities like climbing the rock wall, crafts, and sliding down our hillside waterslide! After lunch, it’s time to break out the sun block and race to the lake!

This class is for those students (grades 6-12) who have a creative imagination and have been working with Lego products. The class has different skill levels for those who are new to robotics, working with one motor to other participants who have some robotic experience and will work with two and/or three motors. Classes are from 1:00 PM-4:00 PM, Monday thru Friday and are held at 2225 Porter Road, Katy, TX 77493. Cost for session is $160.

August 2012 Labor Day Family Camp Aug. 31 – Sept. 2 Camp Allen 18800 Fm 362 Navasota, TX 77868 www.campallen.org Kick off the school year with a fun filled family weekend! Join us for a fun-filled Luau Weekend full of family entertainment. Retreat package include 2 nights of hotel style accommodations, all meals, and activities such as fishing lessons, hiking, Hawaiian Luau, campfire with s’mores, canoeing, swimming, arts & crafts, outdoor education classes, rock climbing, moonjump, petting zoo, and much more! Horseback riding, skeet shooting, and massages are also available for an additional fee. To register or to learn more, call 866-334-CAMP or visit campallen.org.

September 2012 River of Life Golf Tournament Sept. 14 | 1:00 p.m. River Ridge Golf Club

Prom • Homecoming • Bridesmaid • Wedding • Party

Great Selection of

Contemporary and Modest Prom Dresses Shop early for the best selection or to allow for special orders. We offer custom made jackets to match prom dresses or bridesmaid dresses. Closed Sundays and Mondays Tuesday - Friday 11am - 5pm • Saturday 10am - 5pm Evenings by Appointment

We teach pre-school children about God’s creation through a strong, age-appropriate academic program. Your children develop a foundation for all future learning... in a Christ-centered, loving and safe environment. Children 18 months through Pre-K/Bridge Fully Accredited by the Texas District Lutheran School Accreditation Commission and National Lutheran School Accreditation Commission Recognized by the Texas Education Agency

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5810 Third Street • Katy, Texas (281) 391-0172 • www.mlckaty.com

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Katy, TX www.donate-phckaty.org River of Life Fundraising Golf Tournament to benefit Pregnancy Help Center of West Houston. Friday, September 14, 2012, Tee time @ 1:00. River Ridge Golf Club. Please contact Robert for more details @ 281-578-0078 or info@ PHCKaty.org. ComedySportz Teacher Appreciation Weekend! Sept. 7 - 8 ComedySportz 901 Town & Country Blvd Houston, TX 77024 comedysportzhouston.com ComedySportz, Houston’s longest running improv show, will say thanks to all of Houston’s teachers with a Teacher Appreciation Weekend September 7th-8th. As a proud result of public education, ComedySportz knows how much teachers deserve a big pat on the back for getting the school year started! So after inservice is done, you’ve met your new students, and you’re ready for a little laughter, head to ComedySportz for FREE tickets for all teachers. Just show your school or ISD badge to get in any regular CSz match September 7th-8th for no charge.

Miracle Service Sept. 18 | 7:00 p.m. Living Stones Church 26605 Peden Road Magnolia, TX 77355 www.joanhunter.org Come share in the ministry of Joan Hunter, daughter of Charles and Frances Hunter as she speaks a prophetic word, prays and lays hands on the sick. She is a wonderful woman of God going about His business. Come be blessed.

October 2012 Ordination/Healing School Oct. 25-27 Living Stones Church 26605 Peden Road Magnolia, TX 77355 www.joanhunter.org Come share in the ministry of Joan Hunter, daughter of Charles and Frances Hunter as she speaks a prophetic word, prays and lays hands on the sick. She is a wonderful woman of God going about His business. Come be blessed. if you are interested in being ordinated please contact our office at 281-789-7500 ask for Grayce or email grayce@joanhunter.org.

Recurring Events PreSchool Playhouse Mondays | 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Chick-fil-A - Mason Road 369 S Mason Rd Katy, TX 77450 cfarestaurant.com/masonroad Join us for arts & crafts, singing, dancing, story time, and play dough each week. Complimentary coffee while your little ones play. It’s Fun for Kids, Fellowship for Mom! KidzConnection Wednesdays | 6:30 p.m. Faith West Academy 2225 Porter Rd. Katy, TX 77493 KidzConnection is an evening that includes worship, games, live characters, object lessons, and tons of fun for children in Kindergarten through 5th grade. Pizza provided for a $3 charge. Contact Allen Strickland at astrickland@faithwest. org for more information or visit www.fwakidzconnection.blogspot. com. Family Fun Night Wednesdays | 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Chick-fil-A - Mason Road 369 S Mason Rd Katy, TX 77450 cfarestaurant.com/masonroad Join us for a night of family fun at

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Chik-fil-A on Mason Rd. Fellowship Friday Second Friday of each month Bear Creek UMC 16000 Rippling Water Dr. Houston, TX 77084 281-463-2330 Social activities and lunch provided for persons who require daily care due to Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other disabilities, while giving their caregivers some time off. No charge. For details, call Dot McLaren at 713-466-1898 or Sue Edwards at 281-463-7894. Hour of Prayer Third Friday of each month Bear Creek UMC 16000 Rippling Water Dr. Houston, TX 77084 281-463-2330

Holy Spirit Services Saturdays | 7 p.m. New Destiny Christian Fellowship Church 6830 North Eldridge Pkwy #107 Houston, TX 77041 www.annott.org In His Presence Ministries is holding weekly Holy Spirit worship and miracle services every Saturday night at 7 pm. Meetings are located at New Destiny Christian Fellowship Church. Prophetic, dream interpretation and healing teams will be ministering at each service. Come and get a touch from God. Service will be broadcast live on the web at www.annott.org.

Hosted by the Prayer and Care Team the third Friday of each month, this event offers a time for reflection and meditation through prayer, scripture and music. West Houston Women’s Bible Study Tuesdays | 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. BridgePoint Bible Church 13277 Katy Freeway • Houston Please join the women at BridgePoint Bible Church as we study God’s Word on Tuesday mornings.

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Feature Your Event in Katy Christian Magazine To feature your community calendar listings in Katy Christian Magazine, email your event information to joseph@houstonchristianmagazine.com. Please keep all listings to under 50 words and include date, cost, times, location, etc.

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The Creator’s Kids and the Goff Family By Melanie Saxton Funny how life’s twists and turns can be miracles in disguise. Meet community hero Lisa Goff, her family, and The Creator’s Kids Creative Arts Learning Center. From the time she was 15, Lisa Goff took every opportunity to work with the special needs community, moved by their stories, innocence and their desire to be loved. “In my mid-teens I told my mother about my dream -- to have a family that included special needs children. My mom stood there and cried, and at the time that made no sense to me,” says Lisa. “But years later my mother cried again as I stood before her as a married woman and announced that Brian and I were seeking to adopt a special needs child. This time her tears made sense, as she reminded me of that day when I was 15. She said that when I told her my dream back then, she literally had goose bumps realizing that it truly was to be. She knew this came from God.” Colliding Dreams What developed was the formation of a perfectly “atypical” family. At first, Brian did not share Lisa’s desire for a special needs family, and Lisa had secret doubts about marrying him. But she took the plunge for the sake of love, and God handled Brian’s heart through a string of divine coincidences. First, after seven years of marriage, they found neither were able to conceive a biological child. Second, as they looked into adoption, Brian wanted a “healthy white newborn.” But as he spoke to the adoption counselor, a social worker walked in with a stack of “CAP” photos-- children awaiting adoption. Lisa browsed them, and Brian asked about these photos on the way home. After

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hearing their stories -- Down’s Syndrome, cleft palate, dwarfism -- he said, “if there truly are children like those out there, we have absolutely no business adopting a healthy newborn.” He just as choked up as Lisa. “This was the day our dreams collided,” says Lisa of this blessing. A Family Forms “Our family truly began 15 years ago when we lived in New York. Our first beautiful girl, Brianca, came to us through adoption out of Florida. Brianca has spina bifida, and throughout those first years we were in the hospital with her more than we were at home. She’s grown into a beautiful, vibrant young lady with a mission for Christ, I might add,” says Lisa, proudly. “Next came second miracle child,

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Christopher, who has Down’s Syndrome. He loves when Brianca tells him the story of our flight home with him when he just eight weeks old. He loaded his diapers immediately after take off, and the entire plane had to endure that “experience” until we could unbuckle,” she laughs. Indeed, it is the joy and humor of daily life that bless Lisa and Brian. The family moved to Texas to be near the Medical Center, and just when they thought they were “done” the social services department in California called, hearing through the grapevine that we had experience with spina bifida needs. “Honestly, my first inclination was that we couldn’t handle another child, but after hearing that Lucy would live her childhood in foster care and then likely be institutionalized, I blurted out, ‘Not in my lifetime!’ And she came to us red-headed like me . . . a “Mini Me! It was meant to be.” Lucy’s health was delicate, and many hospital scares later the Goff ’s praise God for their third miracle child. The Creator’s Kids It was a natural segue for Lisa to open The Creator’s Kids -- an arts and learning center geared for inclusion. The aim: To value all life as we work daily to represent Christ’s love in the flesh. “The Creator’s Kids was inspired by all the needs that were never met,” says Lisa of her journey with her children. “I spent four years running from it, then earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Innovation and Design to prepare for it. I then earned my masters in health care manage-

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ment to ensure The Creator’s Kids offers everything necessary for success and growth, perhaps even franchises.” Classes in homemaking, Mommy & Me, gardening, drama, dance, vocal and Social Fridays are offered, along with parties and summer camps. The center provides a stable, secure environment where families can learn the importance, as well as the joy, value and benefits of physically playing together. “We want to educate the community,” says Lisa. “The Creator’s Kids is being built around an overwhelming passion within me to remove the significant barriers placed on families and communities as a result of the broad level of diversity experienced all around us. By diversity, I mean diversity of the mind, body, and spirit. This diversity is primarily represented in cultural differences, physical and mental differences in ability levels, and basic language barriers.” Learn more of the Goff ’s story and become inspired by their longrange vision at www.thecreatorskids.com.

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Katy Christian | June - July 2012  

Katy Christian Magazine | June - July 2012

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