East Baton Rouge Parish Libraries, Career Centers Help Transform Lives

EBRP Libraries Transform Lives

Career Center seminars help clients with job applications, resumes, and professional advice.

While libraries are known as a hub for community programming and resources, the East Baton Rouge Parish Library (EBRPL) has made strides to ensure that we go far beyond the old expectations of your grandfather’s library. For more than 75 years, EBRPL has served the community, working to offer quality experiences at every age and stage of life.

This time of year, the focus is often on students as they return to school. It’s an exciting time for them, but EBRPL has not forgotten about our more seasoned patrons. We’ve got amazing free programs, events and resources for adults all year long. The driving force behind our efforts is to be valuable, impactful and transformative in the lives of our patrons.

Tasked to serve the community as a catalyst for the development of a career-resilient, self-reliant workforce, the Career Center is one of the ways the EBRPL helps to transform lives. Head of the Career Center Anne Nowak has witnessed many stories of transformation. “The Career Center exists to transform lives by changing a person’s perspective, helping them find a fulfilling career and giving them hope,” she said.

The Career Center is not an employment agency or a job-training agency. It is a free public service offering trained and professional help and extensive resources to identify a client’s needs while planning a career path and conducting job searches. At the Career Center, patrons have free access to computers and WiFi, trained professionals to help with job search and applications, assistance with résumé and cover letter writing, extensive career coaching and active area job lists.

The Career Center also offers specific programming throughout the year to help jobseekers and those looking to make a career change succeed. These special programs include:

  • Artist’s Way, a 13-week workshop to help participants become inspired to live out their creativity adventurously, whether personal or professional.
  • Job Club, which offers a powerful combination networking, support and encouragement while job searching.
  • Dependable Strengths, designed for those who are ready to take their job, career or life in a new and more fulfilling direction, but need help with the transition.

For more information about the Career Center and any of its free programs, events and resources, call (225) 231-3733, or visit careercenterbr.com.

The EBRPL Small Business Services offers a variety of free tools that can be helpful for budding or experienced entrepreneurs who are looking to start or improve a business. Established organizations can receive help finding new customers, and those who are new to business can get assistance for transforming an idea into a solid business plan. We also offer free consultations with a business librarian who will guide entrepreneurs through the Library’s resources. Staff can meet with business owners and entrepreneurs to customize what we have to match their unique needs. Visit the Small Business Services InfoGuide at ebrpl.libguides.com/smallbusiness. For more information or to set up a consultation, email smallbusiness@ebrpl.com or call (225) 231-3750.

Our collection of digital resources continues to grow, with several major new online additions including the Gale Small Business Builder for business planning, Lexis Nexis Legal for in-house legal content, Mergent Intellect which is a business research directory and Kanopy for streaming films and documentaries, including the Great Courses. Learn new skills or sharpen existing ones by using Gale Courses for online learning in accounting and finance, computer applications, writing and publishing and more. Learning Express and Lynda.com resources offer more online learning for workforce development, business and high-quality teaching for colleges and universities.

With 14 convenient locations across the parish including the Main Library at Goodwood, EBRPL is open to serve you seven days per week, and 24/7 online at ebrpl.com, and in the Digital Library at www.ebrpl.com/DigitalLibrary. Get access to computers and Wi-Fi, computer classes, online databases, books and magazines, downloads and e-media, programs, concerts, book talks, game nights, various workshops and storytimes, business tools and seminars, career and technology resources and much more – all free with your Library card! Don’t forget to visit our Facebook page at facebook.com/ebrpl, and tell us how your Library has transformed your life!

Anne Nowak leads a Career Center seminar

Kayla Perkins is the Public Relations Director at the East Baton Rouge Public Library. A native of Baton Rouge, Perkins holds a Master of Art in Mass Communications from Southern University. Perkins has worked for the library for over six hears and is responsible for composing, editing, and producing the monthly newsletter, The Source, which has distribution of more than 8,000 monthly. Perkins also serves as the in-house reporter for “Beyond the Stacks” in the Library’s monthly television show, The Library Road Show.


Knowledge… or Education?

Todd Shupe is the president of drtoddshupe.com and a Christian blogger at toddshupe.com. He currently serves as the president of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is training to become a men’s ministry specialist under the General Commission of United Methodist Men.




I think society tends to confuse knowledge with education. But a person can have extensive education and college degrees and not necessarily be very knowledgeable. Perhaps they were a poor student and just did the minimum to get by or maybe they have not kept current in their field over the years.

If I memorize chemical reactions, mathematical equations, and even scripture, then I have developed some knowledge on the subject, albeit somewhat superficial. A person who has understanding of a subject has mastered the topic and is on the path to wisdom.

Proverbs 2:1-6 gives us insight into knowledge. “My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the Lord grants wisdom! From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”

Everything we have is from God, and this includes our education, wisdom, and understanding. God wants us to “tune your ears to wisdom,” which means listen to those who know more than you do. “Concentrate on understanding” is an invitation to use your God-given brain to move beyond memorization or superficial knowledge and strive to understand. God is giving us advice on how to better understand Him. Then we can use this knowledge to live a Godly life and bring others to Him. Knowledge of God is essential for discipleship. How can you follow God if you have no understanding of Him?

The scripture above tells us that God’s mouth provides knowledge and understanding. God’s Word is available to us at all times in the Bible. In 2 Timothy 3:16, we learn that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

You may be familiar with the armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-18. It encourages us to “take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Knowledge of God’s word is essential for us to be “perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:17).

Knowledge of the Bible will provide you the wisdom to make proper decisions. We tend to make poor decisions when we are hungry or tired. We are told in Matthew 4:2 that Jesus had fasted 40 days after His baptism and was hungry. It was in this condition that the Spirit delivered Him to Satan. The first words that Jesus spoke to the enemy were, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4). Jesus is showing great wisdom in the face of great temptation because He has a complete understanding of scripture.

Knowledge is a great thing. We should always be learning new things. All knowledge comes from God and if you have knowledge and understanding of the Bible, you will be prepared for all of life’s challenges and ready for good works. I encourage you to use your knowledge to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.


Finding the David in Us

Fred Townsend is the husband of Beth Townsend, the publisher of Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine. His 45-year career in marketing is a eclectic collection of work in everything from political campaign consultant to television producer and creative advertising positions at two Fortune 500 companies. 

MAN UP,  By Fred Townsend


There is something about Solomon that fascinates me. Blessed directly by God as the smartest and wisest king ever. Riches beyond the imagination! Author of three books of the Bible–even after 3,000 years, Proverbs is the rulebook for sound decision-making. But with all that going for him, Solomon’s story didn’t end well.

Solomon’s pedigree was awesome. Paul recounts that legacy in Acts 22:13: “After removing Saul, He made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’” Get that? Solomon’s daddy was not just a man after God’s own heart, but the Almighty himself testified to it!!! “What a heritage it would be if a prophet proclaimed to a group of believers, my son Rhett amongst them, that God told him: “I have found Fred son of Bernard, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.”

Wouldn’t we all want our legacy to be just that? After all, being a man after God’s own heart is the only truly meaningful goal in life! If we do everything God wants us to do, we could claim a place in the roll call of the “great cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1). Can any of us think that God knows it about us? So, why do we fall so far short of this standard? More importantly, why accept lesser goals for ourselves? In other words, what is the legacy we leave for our sons and daughters if it is not to be a man after God’s own heart?

The very first proverb is about knowledge: “Respect and obey the Lord! This is the beginning of knowledge. Only a fool rejects wisdom and good advice.” (Proverbs 1:7 NIV). Solomon wrote it. Obviously, he knew its importance. Like his father, Solomon was hard-wired to the Creator of the Universe. God picked David to lead His chosen people. After David’s death, God appeared to young Solomon. 2 Chronicles 1 tells the story. God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Pretty open-ended opportunity! Many of us — maybe most of us — would pick riches! But Solomon responded to this question with the answer “discernment.” Pretty self-effacing for a fifteen year old to pick wisdom over wealth, since God offered an open checkbook. God was so pleased with the answer that he told Solomon (2 Chronicles 1:12 NIV), “therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.” Solomon got off to a bang-up start with the Creator.

“Solomon knew stuff! So much stuff that he was famous, and people from came from everywhere to listen to him talk about anything and everything. Since it was Solomon who said, “Respect and obey the Lord! This is the beginning of knowledge. Only a fool rejects wisdom and good advice,” he knew that without revering God knowledge was worthless. And without respect for God, there was no wisdom. With both that understanding and with David’s legacy, how then did Solomon drift from his mooring?

Despite despicable acts surrounding the illicit relationship with Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, King David never put any god before the God of Israel. Therefore, God forgave even David’s most egregious sins. But unlike his father, Solomon placed the world’s gods on equal footing with the one true God. Narcissism did him in. Solomon was an ancient version of the rock star. The world was his oyster, with the trappings of wealth and legions of hangers-on. Everyday was a party with his 700 wives and 300 concubines. Some of the wives and a few girlfriends seduced the king into building temples to their gods, and he bowed down to their idols. The son of the man after God’s own heart, then himself directly blessed, chose to disobey and disrespect the Creator. A foundation of knowledge was washed away. All that wisdom was squandered by the acts of a fool. Predictably his life took a turn for the worse. “The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice.” (1 Kings 11:9 NIV).

If the only worthwhile goal in life is to be a man after God’s own heart, then why do we fall short? And why do we accept lesser goals?” In Ecclesiastes 1:9, Solomon wrote that there is nothing new under the sun. People are the same flawed beings now as the people in ancient times. Many, including Christians, are seduced into the worship of the false gods of fame, sex and money or envy of those who have it. Even believers get caught in the conundrum of what God says versus what the world says. Like Solomon, we may compromise what we know is right, choose wrong and directly disrespect and disobey God.

The secular worldview is that “right and wrong” are relative. We can fall into that trap! Frankly, the example we have set for the next generation falls short of what God expects, which contributes significantly to an epidemic rejection of belief by millennials who don’t see righteousness in our generation. We live in an abundant, affluent nation, with easy access to education and an unfettered flow-of-information. Yet for far too many, knowledge is not about respect and obedience for God, but the means to selfishly advance themselves by impressing others. Sadly, we often accept lesser goals than living righteously, simply because it’s the easy way out. We’d rather make God angry than face rejection from friends and acquaintances. Vanity can steal our souls just as it did with Solomon. It’s time to man-up. Go after God’s own heart! 

The next generation and the one that follows must see the David in us; not the Solomon.


Students in Pursuit of Excellence

Dr. Richard Rayborn and Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul

Students in Pursuit of Excellence
By Falcolm and Yvonne Hull
The Overseer Richard Rayborn, Sr. Scholarship Fund held its third annual Scholarship Award Banquet on June 16 at the Christian Assembly Full Gospel Church where Dr. Richard Rayborn II is the pastor. Eight Ascension Parish seniors were recognized and awarded $1,000 for their pursuit of excellence in academics.
The students honored are Alexis DeShea Anderson, Dutchtown High School graduate accepted to Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond where she aspires to become a neonatal nurse; Kyali Nicole Anderson, East Ascension High School graduate who will attend Xavier University in New Orleans, majoring in Biology and pre-med; Kailyn Marie Cooper, St. Amant High School graduate who plans to attend Baton Rouge Community College to complete her undergraduate prerequisite courses and transfer to Southeastern Louisiana University Nursing School Program; Cameron Terrell Jones, Dutchtown High School graduate who plans to attend River Parish Community College to receive an Associate Degree in Instrumentation; Lauren Elizabeth Michelli, East Ascension High School graduate who will attend Mississippi College, majoring in Biology and pre-med to pursue a career in ophthalmology; Miquel Joseph Miles, Jr., Donaldsonville High School graduate who will attend Southern University, majoring in agriculture science economics; Jessica Leontine Popularas, Dutchtown High School graduate who will attend Louisiana State University, majoring in kinesiology and focusing on human movement science; Kiersten Janae’ Roberts, Dutchtown High School graduate who will attend Xavier University, majoring in history and pre-med.
Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul was the keynote speaker for the occasion, and focused on the importance of education, making the right choices, and living a life that emphasizes faith and family first. Dr. Richard Rayborn II, pastor of the Christian Assembly Full Gospel Church in Gonzales, expressed his pride in the students’ achievements.


Divine Providence

Divine Providence, By Rannah Gray

Did something ever happen in your life that you felt was simply meant to be?

If you believe in Divine Providence, it isn’t fate or destiny or luck that intervenes. It’s God revealing his hand in our lives and through love and wisdom, directing all things.

If ever there was a moment of Divine Providence in my life, it happened in 2013 when I received an email from a young man in England, a complete stranger who had been a student at an academy run by Scott Rogers in the 1990s. Rogers had been accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old boy, but his two-week trial in London where he produced 17 character witnesses, ended in a hung jury. Rogers left England in disgrace and ended up in Baton Rouge, reinventing himself as host of a weekend TV show and emcee of many local charitable events.

His former student wanted to warn our community that Rogers was a dangerous child predator who had abused his students for at least a decade. He was able to locate Rogers because he found a letter to the editor I wrote that was published in The Advocate newspaper online. I wrote the letter to correct false statements Rogers had made, and by naming him, I unknowingly helped one of his victims end a 13-year search for Rogers. Faced with his request for help, I felt the best thing I could do was connect the young man with federal law enforcement agents.

A year-long international criminal investigation followed, revealing that Rogers made false statements to become a U.S. citizen, obtain a concealed weapons permit, become a foster parent and adopt children. Two little boys he had adopted were removed from his home and a federal grand jury was empaneled to consider charging him with fraud and extraditing him to England to face more serious assault charges there.

I wrote the book, Familiar Evil, in collaboration with the British abuse survivor who contacted me (called Ethan in the book) and Mary Jane Marcantel, a paralegal who assisted us. The book takes readers behind the scenes of the investigation and reveals how dangerous child predators operate.

Ethan wrote a chapter in Familiar Evil and explained his decision to email me after compiling a list of local people he found through his online research to have connections with Rogers.

He described the moment when he chose to send only one email to me after reading my letter, hoping justice for the children would bring healing:

“It was late in the afternoon; it had just turned 5 p.m. Here I was. Standing at the cliff, nothing but darkness. As I drafted my email, I knew. This was the beginning. As I pressed send, I felt like I leapt off the edge of a cliff into the darkness, alone. As I fell, a hand caught me. A hand caught me and pulled me into the light.”

It still brings tears to my eyes to read how difficult it is for a survivor of child sex abuse to reach out to someone and tell their story. What gave Ethan the courage to contact me was the thought that Rogers would still be abusing children.

Providence changed both our lives that day.

Ethan said he began to heal from the years of abuse he endured as a child when he connected with me, and together we began to search for a path to justice for Rogers’ victims. While we hoped those young men would find that justice in a court of law, Rogers chose the coward’s way out, orchestrating a murder-suicide plot with one of his victims that left both men dead.

Only now do the survivors of his abuse finally feel free. Ethan described it as a feeling that everything was supposed to happen the way it did.


I speak throughout the country on Familiar Evil and people are always amazed to learn that Ethan sent one email to one person and this entire story unfolded as a result. But something told me he was telling the truth the instant I received his email.

When it comes to what we do about the suspected abuse of children, we can’t make decisions by asking ourselves, “What if I’m wrong?” We should ask instead, “What if I’m right?” I believe the answer to that question, and the presence of Divine Providence in our lives will lead us to make better decisions that keep children safe.”  Providence. When it comes to what we do about the suspected abuse of children, we can’t make decisions by asking ourselves, “What if I’m wrong?” We should ask instead, “What if I’m right?” I believe the answer to that question, and the presence of Divine Providence in our lives, will lead us to make better decisions that keep children safe.

Rannah Gray is a public relations consultant whose career highlights include Louisiana’s two favorite pastimes—politics and sports. Her work as a media producer has been honored with numerous national awards. Politics Magazinenamed her one of the Top 100 Influencersin Louisiana; and she was named Marketer of the Year andone of Baton Rouge’s Influential Women in Business by theBaton RougeBusiness Report.

She previously served for 13 years as Associate Athletic Director at LSU, managing marketing, promotions, radio, television, and ticket sales for 20 sports. Prior to that she was Undersecretary to the Louisiana Secretary of State.

She is a graduate of LSU with a B.A. and a Master’s degree in Journalism.

Rannah currently provides expertise in advertising and public relations to a broad base of clients.

Her first book, Familiar Evil, is a story straight out of the headlines from Louisiana to London and follows the international search for TV personality that exposed his dark side as a child predator. Released in November 2015, it has won 12 national and international book awards, including eight Gold Medals for Best True Crime and Best New Nonfiction.

Because of the lessons that can be learned from Familiar Evil, Rannah was invited to serve on a committee of experts for the national Center for Child Policy; and was a presenter at the 10thInternational Congress on Child Abuse held in Coventry, England in April 2018.


Witness at Work, Mark of Excellence

William started with us as a salesman almost 20 years ago. He moved up to management by an impressive commitment to hard work and a true sense of doing the right thing for customers and has also been a company man during this time. He has shown Christian values throughout his career, which has impressed me personally. We promoted him to general manager 5 years ago at Gerry Lane Chevrolet. He has continued to work hard and keep our store as the number one volume chevy store in Baton Rouge for 31 straight years. Thanks William for being a committed Christian and valued employee. Eric Lane, President of Gerry Lane Enterprises. 


With hard deadlines, client demands and the ever-changing landscape of technology, today’s business climate can seem cold and methodical, one completely closed off to expressions of faith. For many Christians, that means it’s often difficult to display their spirituality at work.

But for William Holmes, the general manager of Gerry Lane Chevrolet, bringing Jesus to the job is as simple as taking a breath. To cloak or hide his faith would be unrealistic since, as Holmes explains, it not only guides his next step, but also offers him an assurance for the future.

“My sight is my faith,” he said. Since starting work as a car salesman with Gerry Lane in the 90s, and through his current leadership role at the Chevy store, Holmes has achieved much. Professionally, his hard work has led to many accolades, including the dealership’s “Mark of Excellence” award. Spiritually, he has witnessed and led colleagues to Christ, encouraged others around him to find and use their God-given talents and solidified true Christian friendships with previous and present customers.

To this day, Holmes remains humbled by what God has allowed him to do. But surprisingly, this ordained minister and active member of Family Worship Center in Baton Rouge wasn’t always eager to serve Christ. As a young man, he was more concerned with doing things his way.

“I thought I was a good person. I didn’t care too much for drinking or smoking, and I just tried to live a good life. I thought that was sufficient,” Holmes said, adding, “I didn’t go to church.”

Life, though, would soon point him into another direction, starting with his first job at Sizzler Family Restaurants.

“When I left home, my dad told me I could do anything I wanted to do, be anything I wanted to be and go as high as I wanted to go,” Holmes said, explaining he “fell in love with work” early on following his dad’s advice.

“I enjoyed having my own place to live and being able to have other things. Work provided that,” he explained.

In the short years that followed, Holmes quit college to work full-time and married his wife, Sheila, who he met on the job at Sizzler.

Fortified by a strong work ethic, Holmes found success quickly in the restaurant industry. But even as he received promotion after promotion, he knew something had to change.

“I was working [as a restaurant manager] in Baton Rouge two nights a week, then driving to and from New Orleans, managing the restaurant on Carrollton Ave. two nights a week and then two nights a week at the one in New Orleans East. I was killing myself with all of the work,” he said.

Still Holmes continued to push himself, even taking on another job stocking shelves at a grocery store at night.

“My wife and I made the decision early [that she would stay home with the children], and I did whatever I needed to do to make sure that happened,” he said.

Then everything changed. “One day, I got a call from my manager. He wanted to talk with me, and you know what he said? They [the Sizzler Family Restaurants] were closing down. I was devastated,” Holmes admitted, adding that even though he was treated well during the separation, his job loss was sudden and difficult to handle.

The next Sunday, he decided to join his wife and children as they left for church. “I don’t even remember now what the pastor was saying, but I just remember the Holy Spirit coming down on me and God saying, ‘Do it your way or my way.’ I was just staring at the pastor, and I made a decision in my heart right there,” said Holmes.

“I just walked up and did an altar call, and I told the pastor I wanted to give my heart to God,” he explained. That was the beginning.“Early in my Christian walk, I heard someone say, ‘Whatever you render to the world, God will expect you to render the same to him.’ So, I carried that same diligence and that same work ethic my dad taught me, and I just gave myself totally to the ministry,” Holmes said.

From attending classes and other activities to serving, even cutting the grass if that was needed, Holmes was committed.

Career-wise, he decided to leave restaurant management and began a new job as a cook. While working one night, a customer asked to talk to him. From that faith-filled conversation, he said he knew he was on the right path. He then began to listen more and to trust God more with his future, which eventually brought him to a sales position with the used car division of Gerry Lane.

“I got into it like I did everything else, I just worked hard and kept working and working,” Holmes said. But he struggled with some aspects of the new job. In the industry, he had found examples of deception and darkness. “I asked God why he pulled me here, and I was told, ‘because you are a light in the darkness,’” Holmes said.

Understanding now what he was called to do, Holmes began to work harder. He committed himself and the job to God, allowing God to work through him. He noticed positive changes taking place.

Then, he said he felt the Holy Spirit was leading him away from the car business. But as he started to move forward in that direction, he discovered a different path being created, one that God was obviously preparing for him all along. “I was offered the GM of the Chevy Store,” he smiled. “This is how God works.”








Come Apart…. or come apart.

Two of the greatest ambassadors of the Kingdom of God I have had the privilege to know were the late Elder Joshua “Turnel” Nelson and the late Dr. Wade Taylor. I consider both to be spiritual fathers and mentors, respectively. On separate unconnected occasions, they said the following (and I paraphrase) … “If I fail to come apart to be with Him, I shall eventually come apart.”

This statement has had a profound effect and impact upon my approach to God the Father and my continuing relationship/fellowship with Him. As a result of the biblical leadership influences of Nelson, Taylor, and the late Dr. Myles Munroe, my personal approach to and pursuit of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel was set on Biblical, scriptural, historical and theological moorings.

As leaders, especially in and of Christ and His Kingdom, we must understand that our leadership domains emanate directly from the Purpose for which we were born. We were created and are constantly being developed and trained as we obediently cooperate with His process, to serve the will and intentions of the Ancient of Days, while at the same time over the course of this life, totally fulfill His particular leadership assignments designated to each of us. Ultimately, we are to rule, reign and administrate with Him in the expansion and establishment of His Kingdom here on earth and abroad.

There is no doubt a desperate need in this global age, not necessarily for a greater number of intelligent or gifted leaders, but for deep leaders. In order to be truly effective, we must possess certain dimensions of depth within our arenas of leadership. A leader’s life marked by the evidences of depth can often only be cultivated by God during regular periods or seasons of time spent in quietness, obscurity and solitude with Him. These are vital necessities in this aspect of our continuing leadership development and spiritual training.

The Bible shows that those used greatly (Moses, David, Joseph, Elijah, John the Baptist and apostle Paul, to list a few) were first called and then prepared for their mighty exploits during time spent in solitude with God. Most of them did not have the luxury of choice but were placed on their respective “retreat-advances” as I call them, by a set of divinely arranged circumstances. As leaders in today’s society, we must endeavor to regularly set aside time to be apart and alone with our Creator in order for Him to further nurture and maintain the dimensions of deepness demanded by our purpose and by those for whom we are responsible to love and lead. Many of us as leaders must manage public lives no matter what our sphere(s) of influence and responsibility. However, it is critical that we cultivate a hidden life as well, wherein we practice the personal discipline of “coming apart” for short or extended periods of time to be alone with Him. This is key if we are to have true, impactful, and lasting effectiveness.

Brother Kenneth R. Fabre’ is an author, speaker, ordained minister, and servant-leader dedicated to his family. He has a passion for the Body of Christ and believes that it is his mission to encourage, lift up and edify those around him. His Summit Place is a platform where Ken can touch lives and share God’s word.


Giving thanks for the Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine


Giving thanks

for the Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

“Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:38) What am i thankful for? As we explore stories of God at work, we are encountering people who pray without ceasing and step into impossible situations in profound faith. not just a few, but many people. They inspire me. They energize me. They remind me that, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” (Matthew 19:26) As we tell His story through their stories, we are overwhelmed with the reality of God at work in our own city. As God-followers in ancient times took the long hike to the temple for worship, they recited psalms of praise, detailing His work in the past with an eye toward their future. They reminded themselves – and each other – that God is good, constant, caring and capable. Let’s keep telling each other our Godstories. Let’s keep reminding each other that prayer matters, that God loves us and intervenes here and now. it is my prayer that we will all have the courage to follow, faith that does not falter when the going gets tough, and lives overflowing with thanksgiving. “Taste and see that the LorD is good…” (Psalm 34:8a)
Susan Brown600
– Susan Brown
I am grateful for Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine because it features people in our community who share how God has worked in their lives either during a joyful time or a time of pain. Everybody has seasons in life, and to read others’ real life stories gives me hope and reinforces my belief that God hears my prayers when I am faced with questions or things I do not understand. I also see how the magazine has brought people together. Whether one is rich, poor, downtrodden, joyful, confused or fairly certain, we all share in the Hope of Christ. People need people and I have seen just how much we need each other by the stories I have read. I always think of the parable of Jesus feeding the 5,000 with only five loaves of bread and two fish (Mark 6: 30 – 43). This magazine feeds people who may already believe in Jesus or who may have questions. Could it be that questions tell us more than answers ever do? (Michael Card, Christian songwriter, from his CD “in the Wilderness”). Also, I love the people I have met by being a featured columnist for the magazine. As an artist, I enjoy interviewing other artists, so please take time to read the Artist Spotlight each month. It is all about positive news and real people … for that I am grateful.
Sharon Bailey
– Sharon Furrate Bailey
Believers in Christ need wholesome reading material and Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine provides this. Newspapers and other publications too often provide the news, but not good or positive news. So many have turned from even reading them because seldom is there anything positive. We all get tired of getting negative reports and articles. I am thankful that all the material in the magazine is uplifting. Another quality of Christian Life Magazine is the warm feeling experienced with just about every part of it. From cover to cover, the features bless the readers. There are stories on family life and how people have overcome issues and problems to become great role models. While the magazine features many authors, the common thread it presents is always centered in Christ. What a wonderful message this magazine provides. There are pieces in it for women, men and even children. Local heroes are featured, as well as arts coverage and fun stuff to do in our city. Even our advertisers tell their stories as they offer up services in insurance, auto repair, home furnishings, eateries, personal care and the like. Finally, this free monthly publication is available all over the city and several surrounding areas – in churches, professional offices, grocery stores, restaurants, libraries, schools and recreational facilities.
– Therese H. Winters
To stand or kneel, to be herded into one opinion or another, the deliberate tactics to aim Joe Public’s reaction in a particular trajectory. it’s demoralizing and daunting to watch or read the news circulating today. it seems to indicate chaos and that our nation is disjoined; it seems to indicate that people in general can’t get on the same page and unify – how disheartening. However, I am thankful because in Baton Bouge, I feel that we have been given a gift – Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine. In our publication, readers find countless stories, lessons, advice, and true sentiments of people who put aside disagreements and love one another. The magazine provides an avenue to take readers on a journey each month to witness our community living as protagonists of humankind, unified in the body of Christ. As much as recent disasters have proven that we actually do look out for our neighbors, our magazine shows that even without tragedy, we continuously come together as brothers and sisters and foster the desires of Christ. I am thankful for the gift of Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine for this reason. I am especially grateful to have been asked to be the graphic designer. I love that I can be an integral part in bringing to life the words and images that make the magazine what it is. The team that works to put our publication together each month is truly inspiring … each person in his/her own individual ways come together to create an amazing publication. I am blessed to be a part of this team.
Screen Shot600
– Kelli Knight
Baton Bouge Christian Life Magazine provides exactly what this community needs – positive, Christian-based stories of The Hand of God in the lives of people in our community. Too often we are overwhelmed with media coverage of violent crime, budget deficits, political fighting, racial disharmony, etc. it is so refreshing to see positive stories of how someone’s faith has helped them overcome adversity in their past and how they use this experience to minister to others. The magazine is based on the principle of one body, one church. everybody can enjoy it because it has something for everyone regardless of denomination, age, race, etc. it is good to focus on the things that unite us rather than what divides us, and the magazine is a leading force in the community to do this. it also provides companies with an opportunity to be a part of the magazine’s ministry by running ads to help underwrite costs. Their sponsorship is a blessing for the magazine, its readers and the sponsor. I have been blessed to see the fruits of these sponsorships develop and build up the body of Christ in baton rouge. I am thankful to be a part of the magazine because I know that for many unchurched people, it has served as a springboard to follow Jesus and begin their Christian journey.
002 (3)
– Todd Shupe
There are several reasons I am so very grateful for Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine. First, it is the only publication of its kind that presents the Gospel of Christ through its many stories and features. it is a blessing to read about how the scriptures are being lived out in the daily experiences of many in the baton rouge area. it goes beyond the Sunday worship services, where one expects to see Christianity in action. Another special quality of the magazine is how it appeals to all believers, regardless of church and denominational affiliations. each item is “Christ-centered,” without being doctrinally focused. The Bible is clearly seen without any narrow stance or interpretation. This is evident from the variety of writers, who come from a wide range of ministries and service organizations. I am intrigued by those who financially support the magazine with advertisements. They come from a vast spectrum of business entities. everything from auto services, personal and family care, recreational companies, restaurants, and many others make the magazine available at no cost to its readers. And with over 200 distribution sites, the message is clear that this is truly an asset to the community. I am very privileged to be a part of such an amazing work of God.
– Elmo Winters

JULY 2015

When you become a Cornerstone Partner with Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine you get more for your advertising dollar!

Baton Rouge Christian Life MAGAZINE

Cornerstone Partners

Click here to learn more!

Click here to learn more!

Click here to learn more!

Click here to learn more!
BRCLM Lagniappe, October 2017, Uncategorized

This is the day to manifest the fruit of Patience

This is the day to manifest the fruit of Patience

by Joan Rougon

Oh, Lord, help us for this is the fruit That we often pray will always take root, Where people will see, no matter the condition Patience revealed in our disposition.

Though we lose it in a time of trial He always teaches us…with a smile, To become more like Him every day In all our actions; in all we say.

What a loving Father He is to all He gives Patience to the great and the small. So let us daily take His character and forbearance For by it He has given a glorious inheritance To all who will but obey and believe An eternal reward we will receive!

“….but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” Hebrews 6:12

Baton Rouge Christian Life MAGAZINE


Click here to learn more!

Click here to learn more!

Click here to learn more!

Click here to learn more!
Geaux Life, October 2017, Uncategorized

The Cajun Army Soldiers on…to Texas Volunteers Help Victims of Hurricane Harvey


The Cajun Army Soldiers On … to Texas

Volunteers Help Victims of Hurricane Harvey

Just over a year ago, Christian Life Magazine interviewed Chris King of the Cajun Army, which helped thousands rebuild after Baton Rouge’s devastating flood of 2016. At that time, King, along with brothers Nick and Josh Loupe, had founded the group after volunteering on rescue missions with the Cajun Navy.

In early September, King found himself traveling to Texas with his army of volunteers, this time to help victims of Hurricane Harvey, which caused catastrophic flooding along the Texas coast. It was a painful reminder of Nature’s destructive powers, but also of the amazing goodness in many people’s hearts.

The Cajun Army has established three bases of operation in Texas, including Port Arthur, Pasadena and Magnolia, where volunteers collect and distribute supplies, cook meals and assist local communities with relief efforts. The Cajun Army has committed to a three-to-six month plan, and will collaborate with other groups in the coming weeks.

“I don’t want to take credit for the work we’re doing,” King said. “The credit goes to God. Our people are working around the clock, and I’m just thankful to have a front-row seat and be able to watch what God is accomplishing through us. People ask why we do this and all I can say is that personally, I get great joy in doing what Jesus Christ asked us to do … to love our neighbors as ourselves.”

King encourages others to consider how they can contribute as well. “There are people who have lost everything, who are crushed beyond comprehension,” he said. “Everyone here in Louisiana needs to ask themselves, ‘what am I doing to help?’ The local and national media will eventually move on to other things, but people will still need our help. We can bring hope to them. Believe me, when you help change people’s lives, it’s worth your time and effort.”

To get involved, go to thecajunarmy.com or visit The Cajun Army on facebook.

Baton Rouge Christian Life MAGAZINE


Click here to learn more!

Click here to learn more!

Click here to learn more!

Click here to learn more!
Distribution Team - Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

BRCLMagazine Locations

Distribution Team - Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine

Are you looking for a copy of the Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine?  Search our location map for a distribution location nearest you or email your request to info@brclm.com. And, we want to hear from you.  Send us your thoughts of the magazine.  Images and brief comments (30 words or less) are welcomed.

We would also like to thank our Distribution Voluteer team for all their hard work in getting the magaizines to locations near you!

Here is how the map works:

  1. In the ZIP/Address bar insert your zip code or location. Example: Zachary or 70791.
  2. Press Search.
  3. The locations will be represented with a Red Pin.
  4. Click on a Red Pin to discover the location.
  5. Press Directions, Insert your current location and select GO.
  6. Your driving directions will appear.

* Also note the locations are listed under the map when search completed.

[wpgmza id=”5″]

buddies recommending me

All we hear is negative in the media, it’s wonderful to get to hear what God is doing through his people. Keep up the good work.
Margaret Hersh
Love to hear about the missions trip. How can I get involved with this publication? We have a group that is primed and ready to work.
Bradley Morris

Cover Story, January 2016, Uncategorized

The Miracle of the Bible

by Mark Hunter

Part One

Radio Bible Courses, Ltd., teachers (L. to R.) Jack Lynch, Rev. Louis J. Hilliard and board president James "Jimmy" Gill, meet with 50 to 100 members of their classes each Sunday morning at the Burden Center.
Radio Bible Courses, Ltd., teachers (L. to R.) Jack Lynch, Rev. Louis J. Hilliard and board president James “Jimmy” Gill, meet with 50 to 100 members of their classes each Sunday morning at the Burden Center.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work,” II Timothy 3:16-17.

Christianity and the Christian life – and, in fact, basic life here on Earth – is a miracle no matter how you look at it.

God created time and the universe, the Earth and all that is in it and He made mankind in his own image. He guides history, past, present and future, and provided Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. He inspired dozens of writers to describe what He was telling us and why, in the library of 66 books we know as the Holy Bible.

The miracle of all that is taught on a regular basis, book by book, verse by verse, by the teachers of the Radio Bible Courses, Ltd.; James “Jimmy” Gill, Jr., Rev. Louis J. Hilliard, and Jack Lynch.


Jack Lynch – God’s Miracles, Genesis and You 

Essentially, a miracle is an unusual manifestation of God’s power designed to accomplish a specific purpose. The creation of the universe out of absolutely nothing at all would be a good example.

If there ever was a “time” when nothing existed, what would exist now? Obviously nothing.

Jack Lynch discusses a passage in Romans during a recent Sunday morning Radio Bible Courses, Ltd., class at the Burden Center. photo by Mark H. Hunter
Jack Lynch discusses a passage in Romans during a recent Sunday morning Radio Bible Courses, Ltd., class at the Burden Center. photo by Mark H. Hunter

Therefore, the fact that we exist—the fact that anything at all exists—means that there is someone who has always existed, and who has used His power to bring us into existence. Therefore, God has always existed, and has miraculously created the universe, and us in His image.

God’s Word tells us, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth… So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them,” Genesis 1:1, 27.

If we are told that we are the result of matter plus time plus chance, then there … is no ultimate significance to our existence.

The true flow of history starts in Genesis. There, we learn of God’s miraculous, historic space-time creation out of nothing; the creation of man in God’s image; a real, historic, in-space-and-in-time moral fall.

Because we have been made in God’s image, we are capable of great good and beauty. And because of the fall, we are capable of unspeakable evil.

The true flow of history—found only in God’s Word—allows us to understand that sin is real, and we need a Savior.

Now when Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:3a-4b that, “Christ died for our sins…and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,” we see the tremendous impact this miracle has upon our lives!

Louis J. Hilliard – The Bible is God-breathed

God gave us the Bible over many centuries through many different writers, according to II Tim 3:16-17.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God … The word ‘inspiration’ in Greek is ‘theopneustos’ which literally means God breathed – the very breath of God – which makes it different from any other book – from Shakespeare or Milton or anyone else.”

It is a living book – the miracle is that it comes from God and is alive.

Hebrews 4:12 says the Word is, ‘alive and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword.’ And, II Peter 1:20 says, ‘knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of private interpretation,’ it is not of man – not Shakespeare or Milton or any of those guys – it came – Peter says – ‘by holy men of God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit’ – the miracle is that God got all of these writers to write the words that he desired to go into scripture at the same time allowing their personalities to go into it.

Jimmy Gill – The miracle of salvation

We’re blessed because we are living in the church period and our salvation has been accomplished. It was over with, accomplished, in human terms, when Christ died.

He came, he lived a sinless life, he offered himself as king of Israel and as was prophesied by Daniel and Isaiah, he was rejected. But that rejection led to his crucifixion and his shed blood, which paid for the sin of Adam and all sins that came from it forever. God accepted that as complete payment forever.

James "Jimmy" Gill introduces Jack Lynch, (checking his microphone) to a Sunday morning Radio Bible Courses, Ltd., class meeting at the Burden Center.
James “Jimmy” Gill introduces Jack Lynch, (checking his microphone) to a Sunday morning Radio Bible Courses, Ltd., class meeting at the Burden Center.

How can Christ’s death at that time pay for future sins? The answer is – God can – because God’s not trapped by time – He created time for us.

Miracles are the fact that God is outside of time and that in eternity past he established the full and complete plan to bring man – that he knew would sin – not only back to Him, but also back to Him not as a creature, but in His Christ.

Now he wants to show this group of people the miracle of Christ, his death, burial and resurrection, that we become joined to him as discussed in Ephesians chapters 1, 2, and 3. It is all done by God, it’s all guaranteed by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and it is all free grace.

He has chosen us, in the church, to show the world his perfect grace, saving sinners while they were yet sinners, because Christ paid the price for that sin.

All we have, as the church, is one commandment and that is to, ‘love one another as I have loved you.’ And when we do that and we remember who has bought us with His blood and we choose to live His way – that’s what He wants from the church – and that is the miracle that He has planned.

Part Two

The miracle of the Bible and the miracles in the Bible are studied verse by verse every Sunday morning at the Campus Bible Study, hosted by the Radio Bible Courses Ltd., at the Burden Center.

From 50 to 100 members of the Radio Bible Courses, Ltd., meet each Sunday morning in the conference room of the Burden Center, to study God's Word, verse by verse, line by line. photo by Mark H. Hunter
From 50 to 100 members of the Radio Bible Courses, Ltd., meet each Sunday morning in the conference room of the Burden Center, to study God’s Word, verse by verse, line by line. photo by Mark H. Hunter

Founded by the late Nick Kalivoda (1922-2013), in 1986, the non-denominational, expository – meaning verse-by-verse – Bible study began in the Kalivoda home and soon expanded to the LSU campus. They moved the group to the Burden Center’s Visitor Information building’s main conference room four years ago.

Kalivoda produced hundreds of hours of verse-by-verse Bible study that can be heard daily on five radio stations (see sidebar list), and also on the group’s web site. He also wrote two booklets, “Grace” and “Heaven’s Password,” and most of his teachings, via a large DVD/CD/tape library, are available for free at: www.rbcword.org

Radio Bible Courses, Ltd., is, according to biblical definition, a church; a group of Christian believers who meet on a regular basis to study the Scriptures and support each other spiritually and emotionally. For IRS tax purposes, it is a 501(c)(3) non-profit ministry, explained board President and longtime teacher James “Jimmy” Gill, Jr.

“We call the group a class intentionally because we want people to feel free to be in an atmosphere where they are comfortable and where they sit,” Gill, 79, said with a laugh, hinting at how many regular church-goers sit in their same spot week after week. The RBC group does not ask for money, but they do accept donations and financially support the Voice of the Martyrs, the Cutting Edge Foundation, which provides medical services in the African nation of Chad, and Lamb Ministries of New Orleans.

Gill and Jack Lynch rotate each month in their teaching and the Rev. Louis J. Hilliard teaches each fifth Sunday.

Bibles and notebooks are open and ready for a Sunday morning Radio Bible Courses, Ltd., class in the Burden Center.
Bibles and notebooks are open and ready for a Sunday morning Radio Bible Courses, Ltd., class in the Burden Center.

Average attendance is about 50, Gill said, and, like many regular churches, if everyone on the rolls all showed up at once that attendance would double. The conference room seats about 100, so Baton Rouge Christian Life readers are all invited to visit and/or join them.

The class time is set for 9:15 a.m., so members can attend their own regular church service but many of the members say the group is their church.

Eric Kalivoda is Nick Kalivoda’s second son and is secretary of the board of directors.

“We have people that come out of all denominations and backgrounds including Catholicism, [and] various Protestant denominations; people who have been turned off by organized churches so they find this as an alternative,” Kalivoda said. “For a number of the people here – this is their church – some attend other churches.”

“We are definitely non-denominational, it’s purely Bible based, verse by verse teaching,” Kalivoda said, “all it is – is a class – people come in, have coffee and study the Bible – we don’t have a choir or sing songs.”

When asked to further define their theology, Kalivoda said “we’re evangelical – we’re born-again Christian people.”

Gerry McArthur said she has been attending the class for 22 years.

“I was raised Catholic – we didn’t even have a Bible, and I thought it was all works,” McArthur said with a big, happy smile. “Nick Kalivoda inspired me and my husband that Jesus was the right way. It opened my eyes!”
She invites Christian Life readers to attend their class, and if not here – “Get the best teacher that can give you God’s word. The Bible is the best inspiration – it is not works it is by believing His word that you can have everlasting life.”

Warren Beasley drives over from Hammond to Baton Rouge every Sunday to attend the class, he said. He’s affiliated with the Church of God in Christ, and has been attending at least 4 years.

“If you are interested in the Word of God, knowing what the Bible has to say, you need to attend a good Bible teaching class and that is what this is,” Beasley said. “No politics, no talking about what’s going on, it’s strictly 100 percent good Bible teaching.”

“It’s knowledge – it’s teaching, not preaching,” Beasley said. “When you’re traveling you want to know how to get there and that is what knowledge is- that’s what the Word of God is. It’s not about whoopin’ and hollerin’ and choir or building funds or pastor celebrities – it’s about the word of God – John 1:1, says, ‘in the beginning was the word and the word was God.’”


Shepherd’s Market: Meeting the Needs of Our Neighbors

by Susan Brown

Director Theresa Sandifer and volunteer Fran AndersonMany people see community needs and feel overwhelmed. Theresa Sandifer feels – inspired. “I’d like to say that I feed people in the name of God,” explains the founder of Shepherd’s Market. “I don’t just stand in the doorway and hand them a bag of food and not ever know who I’m serving.” The personal touch from volunteers, and the decision to let them shop throughout the food pantry for hot and cold items their families enjoy, makes the ministry at St. John’s United Methodist Church unique.

And it’s popular. Since its debut in July 2012, the market has served more than 2,000 unduplicated families. The vast majority of the 380-400 families served each month are the working poor, according to Sandifer. The church’s strategic location, near the corner of Highland Road and Gardere Lane, provides easy access for families from the four zip codes they serve: 70808, 70809, 70810 and 70820.

“Mainly it’s single moms that just can’t make ends meet,” she says. Others have unforeseen medical bills or other expenses that make it impossible to meet the everyday cost of living.

“I really want them to be able to come in and be served with dignity and respect,” she says. “I truly feel like I had a call from God to do this.”

Sandifer’s desire to make a difference took on a distinct shape and urgency during a Walk to Emmaus retreat (http://lcwe.org). “I had gone up to the altar to pray and when I got up I heard in my head, ‘Feed my sheep.’”

“Coincidentally about six months earlier, our church had to make a really tough decision to close down a 40-year ministry here, the daycare center,” she says. “So we had this whole building that was not being used throughout the week.” Then-pastor Juan Huertas welcomed the idea of a client choice food pantry to serve their Gardere neighbors. “Everybody that I spoke to was just like – yes – this is what we’re supposed to be doing.”

People told her it was going to be hard. “I didn’t know the first thing about operating a food pantry, but I had been up to Hope Ministries and volunteered there with various groups,” she explains. “I also knew that what I was envisioning.” She had no nonprofit status, but the decade-old Opening Doors nonprofit offered to take on Shepherd’s Market as a project. That allowed her to apply for grants and become part of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. Both Jefferson United Methodist Church and St. John’s supplement the supplies with a grocery bag Sunday once a month.

“Everything just fell right into place,” she says. “That’s how I know it was a God thing. There were no obstacles at all.”

Sandifer believes in food for both body and soul. Volunteers Fran Anderson and Duane Craig treat 35-40 clients to a generous breakfast as they wait their turn to shop. Pastor Jay Hogewood sets the tone for spiritual conversations through a devotional designed to encourage those who are struggling.

Always, the focus is on the needs of their neighbors. They purchase items not covered by food stamps such as shampoo and toilet paper. And, after discovering that many worked traditional hours – precluding an 8 a.m. Tuesday/Thursday starting time – they opened a Monday night shift.

Back Row. Bobbi Marino“It didn’t make sense to take off work to come get free food,” Sandifer says. “The night shift which is very unique in Baton Rouge.” Sandifer understands what it means to juggle obligations. She arrives early every shift to organize the day, then leaves for work while Derdre’ Halliburton, Cindy Adams and Lynn Cooper continue to run the pantry.

There have been surprises. There is a powerful sense of God’s presence evident to volunteers and clients, Sandifer says. And, it’s not unusual for clients to come for companionship, a place to be heard, or an opportunity to sit in a welcoming environment.

The holiday season brings special opportunities. Shepherd’s Market holds the Great Turkey Giveaway the Saturday before Christmas. For $15 donors can provide a holiday meal for a family. Last year, they gave away 450 turkeys along with fresh produce.

Current needs also include volunteers to unload food at 9 a.m. on the second and fourth Friday of every month. L’auberge Casino and Capital One Bank have consistently provided volunteer help, along with frequent support from local students who want to earn service hours.

Looking down the road, Sandifer hopes to expand. “I have this vision of something called the Shepherd’s Outreach Center where we offer much more than food. We can help people break out of the cycle of poverty, not just put a Band-Aid on it.” She hopes to include financial literacy training, GED “I’m pretty sure God has placed it on somebody’s heart,” she says. “Working together we can make it happen.”

Sandifer encourages people not to ignore their sense of God’s call to act – but to take a leap of obedience. “I think people need not to discount that thought that comes into their mind or that tug,” she says. “Go ahead and act on it, start talking it up, because I guarantee you there are other people that had the thought, too, and all of a sudden you’ve got a group of people that can work on it together.”

For more information, explore www.shepherdsmarket.org.


Keys to Gratitude: Do What You Are to Love What You Do!

by Mary Feduccia, Ph.D., LPC

mfeducc@lsu eduAt this time of year as we reflect on our blessings, I’d like to ask you a question. On a scale from 1 to 10, how grateful are you for the job you are in? If you’re not working, use the same scale to think about a job you may have had in the past. I’ve found that far too many of us, when our alarm clocks go off in the morning, dread getting up and going to work. And for many of us, it’s not just the “job” but the whole career that’s the problem.

Rather than having gratitude for the work we do each day, many of us experience stress, burnout, and sometimes hopelessness about being stuck in something we don’t enjoy. Countless research studies support the fact that work communities in which employees express gratitude to each other during the workday and are generally grateful for their jobs create positive work environments that are dynamic and productive.

Wise Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” This concept captures perfectly the essence of cultivating gratitude for our work. When the work we do brings enjoyment and a sense of accomplishment, it seems we’re barely working, at least not in the true sense of the word. Gratitude naturally flows from being able to do the work we love and when we’re able to express gratitude for our work, we’re usually more positive, healthy, and fulfilled. What a blessing!


KATHY DAVIS_for MaryFstory“Follow your heart, listen to your inner voice, go where your spirit guides you.” 

If the idea of finding work you can truly be grateful for seems like an elusive dream, consider this: in all of my work with individuals who were unhappy in their work or confused about knowing the work they could be most grateful for, I’ve discovered the underlying core issue. In almost all situations, there is a disconnect between the individual and the job or career in one or more of four areas: interests, abilities, personality, or values. That’s it! Those four areas are critically important to explore to determine best fit with a job or career. We can be interested in a particular line of work, but if we don’t have the abilities, it’s not a good fit.

Some of us have the abilities to do well in a certain career but lack interest, so it’s not a good fit. Different personalities are better suited to certain careers than to others, but we often don’t know what they are. And a misalignment with values is often the cause for a lack of fit in a particular job or career. Grasping the significance of this concept is the key to finding the work that can become our passion.

There are countless high school juniors and seniors confused and often overwhelmed about college majors and careers that would be best for them. Thousands of college students across the country engage in “major shopping” trying to arrive at the major most likely to be the right ones for them.

As a result, they change majors frequently and take much longer to graduate or drop out along the way. And a significant number of college graduates earn their degrees and launch their careers only to realize that they’ve made poor choices but don’t know the reason for this, what to do, or where to turn. Often when further along in life, many become disillusioned or unhappy with their work, sometimes after years of truly enjoying the work. And almost always without fail, the reason is a lack of congruence with one or more of the four critical areas.

In discovering the keys for gratitude for our work, Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple, hit the nail on the head when he said, “The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking, don’t settle.”

About Mary: Mary Feduccia, Ph.D. is a Licensed Professional Counselor, career coach, and professional development consultant. She has worked with high school and college students and older adults in career transition for the past 35 years and is grateful for the work she does in helping her clients explore their interests, abilities, personalities, and values to discover their passions. She recently retired as Director of the Olinde Career Center at LSU and launched CareerWorks360 (www.careerworks360.com) to do the work she most enjoys.