Faith Matters for June 30, 2012

After Jesus Christ changed her life, Betty Guerin invested in helping change the lives of others.

“I used to think that people were going to be the same no matter what, but I found out when you accept Jesus as Lord, there is a change,” said Guerin, who accepted Christ in 1964. “When I got saved, I truly got saved. I knew that there’s work in me, and I have to do what he’s calling me to do.”

The evangelist has been in the ministry for 30 years. Guerin has been served as co-pastor of Joy of Deliverance Ministries in Baton Rouge with her husband, Fred, for 11 years.

Guerin, 68, a cosmetologist by trade who runs a beauty salon, said she started ministering in the streets of south Baton Rouge years ago and hasn’t slowed down in her work for the Lord.

“When I leave here, I want to be empty of what God wanted me to do,” she said.

Life is a journey, Guerin often preaches.

“What are you going to do on this journey?” she asked.

“What I do is leave Jesus wherever I go.”

Guerin has made it one of her missions also to recognize other women like her, many in the ministry, who work to change lives and empower others in the community. And she tries to recognize those women on a grand scale.

On July 13, Guerin and City of Joy Inc. will host the second annual Women of Honor Affair at 7 p.m. at the Lake House Reception Center, 12323 Old Hammond Highway.

The event will honor 12 women of varying denominations, backgrounds, races and ethnicity who give back to “our communities while transforming youth and families by training, teaching life skills and encouraging them to stay in school and stay free of alcohol, drugs, violence, crime and tobacco.”

Women were nominated by people in the community and selected based on community service, diversity, service to people in need and leadership.

“These are the women who get out there and do the hard work other people run from,” Guerin said.

Honorees will include Cheryl H. Emmanuel, Debbie Fines James, Shannon S. Decuir, the Rev. Cheryl Jackson, evangelist Sharon Green, Andrea Williams Jones, Mary Alice Brown, evangelist Julia Bridges, evangelist Kathy Lemelle, Sarah Holiday James and Gertie Whitaker. The Rev. Rose Florida and the Rev. Rica Kwentua and evangelist Joyce Cox will also be honored.

Tickets for the Women of Honor Affair are $30. Call Guerin at (225) 769-2532 or (225) 252-2395.

‘Royalty’ concert

Jerris Cade is using what he knows best — music — to help an area of Baton Rouge that so desperately needs a healing.

Cade and his Continual Praiz group will hold a free concert and original song CD release from his album “Royalty” in hopes of bringing the community together for a time of inspiration in the 70805 ZIP code. Law enforcement officials have targeted the area for its disproportionately high violent crime rate.

The concert is set for 6 p.m. Saturday at Greater Mount Carmel Baptist Church, 6262 Prescott Road. Donations will be made to the church’s youth group.

“I really want God to empower that area and to help try to give them a different mind-set as well, especially the young folks and the great things that we can do,” said the 26-year-old Cade, who has been playing music in church since the age of 10.

Cade, a member of In His Hands Baptist Church, said he has long worked to mentor and develop youth in church and in the community. He is music minister at In His Hands and Community Bible Baptist Church.

He said he encourages youth, as the Bible says, that they are royal priests to Christ, the king of kings and lord of lords.

“If you believe that you’re royalty and you have that mind-set, I believe it will create a different atmosphere in our community,” he said. “They’re more powerful than what they feel and what we’ve been raised to believe.”

Cade said he’s been in the position of a lot of the youth. He said he was raised by a single mother after his parents split.

“Life was dark for me all the way up until my teen years and in some cases it was in my young adulthood. I was reminded of my faith and God says, ‘I got your back.’ I saw myself in God’s eyes,” he said.

The “Royalty” album consists of 12 tracks.

Other Continual Praiz members include, Kylah Allen, Ariane Asmore, LaJuana Ray, Avery Jackson, Kendra Jackson and Ike Williams. The group is in its seventh year, Cade said.

Spiritual focus

Who’s your spiritual eyesight?

Author Chris Kugler suggests it’s time for a checkup in his new book “Being Christian: A Journey from the Boat to Shore, Culminating at the Cross” (West Bow Press).

“Jesus came to show us how to live and how to see what God sees. Jesus came to help and show us we need a good pair of glasses,” Kugler writes. “I am writing to those of you who are adopting and adjusting to these new lenses. … Jesus can help you see what matters; he can help you see God’s love the world.”

Kugler also says God expects his people to think differently.

“Christians are not people who simply make different decisions than the rest of the world, but we are people who should be operating from a different mindset,” Kugler writes. “We should be operating from a mindset that has been invaded by the ideas of heaven.”

The Tennessee author categorizes his 103-page book into five sections. “In Spilling Over,” he deals with believers who are truly experiencing the love Christ to share it with the world.

“If Christians would fall in love with Jesus, evangelism would explode in our churches,” he writes. “Let’s quit begging Christians who don’t love Jesus to go tell people about him. I would rather those people be silent … Jesus doesn’t want the unconvinced to try to go about convincing others; it hurts the kingdom more than it helps.”

Faith Matters runs every other Saturday in The Advocate. Terry Robinson can be reached at (225) 388-0238 or email him at trobinson@theadvocate.com.