Publisher Beth Townsend
March 2018, Publisher's Letter

March 2018 Publisher’s LETTER

March Publisher’s LETTER

Wow! This month’s Word theme of Reflection stirs a great deal of emotion! As we look forward to our three-year anniversary in April, it’s with great thanksgiving to the Lord and several others for our journey thus far.

Looking back. It’s hard to believe we published our first edition in April 2015. So many didn’t believe we could do this. Yet God is faithful and went before us. He provided generous advertisers to come along beside us. He helped us 

to assemble a team of wonderful people with great talent. The stories of God at work in the lives of His people are never-ending. We are honored and thrilled to get to hear these amazing stories every month. God is at work in our city.
Looking over. Much has been learned over these years. I could say a lot about the trials along the way. The criticism, the challenges, and those who seek to discourage our efforts have been difficult. Yet so many of you offer words of encouragement! There are even those who have supported our ministry with monetary gifts at just the right moment of need. Many who purchase ads often do so because they not only want to bring attention to their businesses, but they believe in our efforts to bring Unity to our Body of Believers in our city. God is at work in our city.
Looking up. Our goal is to bring glory to God and unity to the Christians in our city.  1 Corinthians 12:14 (KJV) is our mission statement. “For the body is not one member, but many.” We are called to be One and we are called to One Another. Together we can do great things to expand the Kingdom of God and help others come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It is by working together that we see the Power of God move mightily in our midst.

Looking forward. Change is coming! In April, you will see change. Our team is collaborating to see how we can improve, grow and learn from our experience and also learn from others. If you’d like to offer suggestions, please do. Do you know of great stories that need to be told? Let us know! beth@bethtownsend.com Share on our free Calendar of Events news@brclm.com. Follow us on social media!

Join us on Face book https://www.facebook.com/BatonRougeChristianLifeMagazine, Instagram https://www.instagram.com/brclifemagazine/, and Twitter https://twitter.com/brclife. Our goal is to provide “Good News” to our city and encourage one another.

We thank you for reading, for encouraging, for advertising and for sharing your stories. We are humbled to get to do what we do. We ask you to pray for our team and the work before us – that we bring the glory due His name.

We are changing the world, one story at a time.
As I reflect, I praise the Lord for what He has done.

signbeth

Baton Rouge Christian Life MAGAZINE

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February 2018, Publisher's Letter

February 2018 Publisher’s LETTER

february Publisher’s LETTER

Introducing…’Words of the Word’

One of the most powerful tools in the world is perhaps the most underutilized. Words.

The first chapter of Genesis is the story of Creation. One of the key phrases is “And God said…” He created this most amazing world by speaking. “Let there be…” Also in Genesis, we read how God created man in his own image. If God spoke the world into existence with His words and created us in his image, what does that say about our words? Our words have tremendous power.

Because of this transformational Truth, we will spend this year focusing on ‘Words of the Word’ This month’s word is Intimacy. Since “love is in the air” in February, we felt it would be fitting to go deeper and talk about the depth of God’s love for us and our love for one another. “No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.” (1 (John 4:12 ESV).

Each month, our theme word will reflect one of our team member’s favorites. While planning the year, each has carefully picked one special word that had deep meaning to them. That person will write about what they have chosen and why it is important in their life. We know you will enjoy hearing from our various team members each month!

As publisher, my goal for our monthly magazine has been to bring unity to our Body of Christ. Can you imagine how we could affect our city if we were all working together, somehow on the same page for the same reason at the same time? While we attend different churches of various denominations, we can come together and support one another. One way we can do that is to commit to using our words as tools to bring change and help others to grow in their faith.

Some words to consider:

Encourage: It takes very little to encourage another. Speaking kind words is always good, but speaking life means reminding others to reflect and see God at work in their life. “Let’s pray about this. Ask the Lord to lead you about that. Let’s find a Scripture for guidance before you make that decision. What if you wait until you hear from the Lord before you make that life change? May I pray with you now?” Those simple statements or questions can usher God’s power immediately into any situation.

Equip: Remind others that God has a purpose for them. Even in the hard places, He is at work bringing about His will. Our world rushes people into quick decisions, yet our faith is most often deepened when we choose to wait on God. Equip others by reminding them to listen for God’s voice above the noise of the world and the voices of others. Waiting on God can often help others avoid making catastrophic decisions.

Engage: Great conversations don’t just happen. It takes intentionality. Good eye contact and body language help initiate depth and authenticity. Listen more and speak less. Converse with one another, listen for the Holy Spirit to move as you seek to hear Him more. He promises to be our Helper! Let him truly help by inviting Him in to every conversation and trusting Him to guide and nudge our hearts into alignment with His will.

Words? How we use them can change everything! Join us this year as we commit to using them to encourage, equip and engage one another more intimately.

signbeth

Baton Rouge Christian Life MAGAZINE

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Publisher Beth Townsend
July 2017, Publisher's Letter

July Publisher’s LETTER

 

July Publisher’s LETTER

It was a defining moment. Though I’d been a Christian for years, the question loomed in my mind for days. “Do you believe in the goodness of God?”

The pastor even made the statement that if in all of our Biblical knowledge and years of study we still doubted the “goodness” of God in our own lives, we needed to go back to Christianity 101. It is the foundation of all other beliefs.

We struggle with that belief because of the bad things that happen in our lives or those of our loved ones. “If God is good, why did He allow this to happen?” While a valid question, we must believe that He is at work in all circumstances, both good and bad to bring about His will.

What is goodness?” In Galatians 5, Paul lists the fruits of the spirit. As the Holy Spirit works in our lives, our character changes. Where we had harbored selfishness, cruelty, rebelliousness, and spite, we now possess love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and selfcontrol. Everything in the list reflects the character of God, and goodness is one that relates directly to morality.

Bad things have happened in my life and yours. Bad things have happened to people I love. That has caused heartache and I’ve cried out to God, asking “why?” Sometimes I get a glimpse of understanding, yet in many situations I can simply lift those concerns to the throne of grace and choose to trust God to bring about something that brings Him glory.

It’s easy to see God’s goodness in the lives of others. Yet behind every door is a story; a mom on her knees, a father praying for guidance, or a family in turmoil. We all need grace. We all need healing. We all need direction. We all need God.

Is God good? Yes! He is goodness. He is forgiveness. He is grace. He is redemption. He is healing. He is wisdom. He is Love. He is savior and Lord. He is good. Let Him have your heart and teach you about His goodness in your life and how you are to be goodness in your world.

Why? Because God is good.

Baton Rouge Christian Life MAGAZINE

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June 2017, Publisher's Letter

Publisher’s LETTER

June Publisher’s LETTER

Dreams change but never die…

Years ago, my husband Fred and I were in a paddle boat in the middle of our neighborhood lake fishing with our two young children. We were using “stinky bait” to catch catfish. Let me just tell you, stinky bait stinks!

My husband laughed when I said, somewhat befuddled: “To think I wanted to be a television talk show host,” as I wiped my hands, failing to get the stink off. That goal of being the Christian version of Oprah Winfrey was not in the cards! It seemed stinky bait and raising babies detoured my plans.

We all had dreams when we were kids. For many, it was the dream to escape, to prove our worth, to establish an identity — that brief moment in time when being a rock star seemed a real possibility. Then life seems to happen, and the older we get, the less we dream. Bills, commitments, jobs, families and other priorities become front and center, and all of a sudden, year after year, we have forgotten that potential is still a thing and dreams are still very much a reality.

The Bible has much to say about humility. One, it’s a fruit of the Spirit. Which means if we have Jesus, we have humility! Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life. (Proverbs 22:4 NIV)

As a believer, humility is a healthy and reverent fear of the Lord. It is trusting God with what is, what was, and what is to come. We can look back in regret over things that didn’t happen. We can linger into the future in hopes of what may happen. But right now — today — this is the day the Lord has made! This is the day set before us to trust Him to speak to us about His miraculous plans for our lives.

Pride is usually considered the opposite of humility. Often referred to as our mortal enemy, it can certainly wreak havoc in our lives. Yet being confident is different. We are gifted by God to do His will, therefore we get to be great at something! (1 Corinthians 12)

Therein lies the confusion. Pride says we can do it ourselves. Confidence says we trust in God to do what He said He would do. He put each of us here for a purpose and gifted us uniquely to live that purpose out, surrendering our agendas to his as only He knows what is best for us.

I’ll admit, I’d still like to be the Christian version of Oprah Winfrey and host a talk show to share the amazing testimonies of God at work in the lives of his people! But for now, that is STILL not in the cards. God has instead blessed me with a marriage of 24 years, two grown children, one grandchild and a ministry that I love. And I would not trade those “stinky bait” days for anything, for those are treasured memories.

Humility includes trading our desires for His perfect purposes. I still believe in God-sized dreams. Do you?

signbeth

Baton Rouge Christian Life MAGAZINE

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