Laurie’s Blog

Laurie’s Blog

WORKING TOGETHER to Deliver Good News!

It takes a lot of work every month for Birmingham Christian Family magazine to make it into your hands. It is the work of a group of people- many who work tirelessly behind the scenes and never see their names in print:

Lyle and Jimmy who each month prepare our files for print at Franklin Web. Chris who has literally walked the dock at the shipping terminal to make sure the magazines left the bindery and were on a truck headed our way. Crystal who has tracked the delivery of many a magazine issue- even through snow- until she knew we had them. Bob who delivers magazines with his grandsons to area churches and businesses in Shelby County. Glynda who takes care of readers in Blount County. Greg and Trent covering Gardendale, Fultondale and more. Mark, Marlys and Benton who have logged thousands of miles delivering Good News all around town. Meghan who ensures you can easily read articles on line and makes sure you know all about our great giveaways. Trae who posts our monthly issues. Kevin who responds to any digital SOS. Wendy whose design skills and flexibility are a treasure. Keith, Kolby, Zared, Alistair, Jacob and the rest of the team at the UPS Store on Valleydale Road who make sure copies are mailed out and much more!

All this work plays a critical role in delivering the Good News of Jesus to you each month.

I am so THANKFUL for the willingness of this team of people who make it all possible.

To God be the glory!

Laurie Stroud

Founder, The Christian Family Publication, Inc.

www.BirminghamChristian.com

Facebook- Birmingham Christian Family

Twitter @cfpBirmingham

Instagram @cfpbirmingham

 

Birmingham Christian Family NOVEMBER GIVE-AWAY!

TO SAY THANK YOU for reading and supporting the businesses and organizations that advertise with us and make spreading Good News possible, we have a great giveaway for you this month!

Family Day Pass to High Point Climbing and Fitness Birmingham

Treat your family to a day at High Point Climbing and Fitness on Highway 280.

Simply visit Facebook.com/BirminghamChristianFamily, LIKE/FOLLOW our Facebook page AND Share the High Point post to be entered to win! Good for up to 4 People/$84 Value!

Offer Ends 11/20/17. Winner Announced on Facebook Wednesday, November 22, 2017!

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Name the New Attraction at Alabama Splash Adventure for a Chance to Receive Season Passes

Name the New Attraction at Alabama Splash Adventure for a Chance to Receive Season Passes

Are We There Yet?

Birmingham’s Alabama Splash Adventure was recently named one of the top five friendliest parks in the world by readers of Amusement Today, a national amusement industry news leader.

After recently being named one of the five friendliest parks in the world, Alabama Splash Adventure is adding a new kids slide complex and interactive play structure which will debut in May 2018 and feature 5 colorful slides. Some slides will offer gentle, yet exciting hills, while others will offer twists and turns. The slides all will empty into shallow water ensuring a safe experience for riders. The interactive play structure will offer various water features that will spray in all directions and provide a fun place for kids to cool off. The play area will feature “zero-depth” water to maximize the safety of guests. “Our guests have been requesting a new water attraction and we are listening to our guests,” says Dan Koch, President of Alabama Splash Adventure. “This new attraction will be perfect for the children and families that visit Alabama Splash Adventure, and will help us increase our waterpark capacity as we continue to expand.” In addition, the Park will add additional seating and new cabanas around the attraction so guests can stay cool.

The Park is turning to the public to decide on a name for the new attraction. A naming contest will be held and the winning entry will receive four complimentary season passes for the 2018 season. Names can be submitted at www.AlabamaSplash.com.

Here is a rendering of what the new interactive play area at Alabama Splash Adventure will look like. Submit a name for the new attraction for an opportunity to win four complimentary season passes, www.alabamasplash.com.

The new attraction marks the latest addition from the Koch family, who purchased the Park in 2014. The owners have introduced 10 new attractions as well as free Wi-Fi, free sunscreen, free parking, free tubes, and free unlimited soft drinks. The new attraction is only a part of the $10 million in capital improvements the Koch family has brought to Alabama Splash Adventure. The park is located where I 20/59 and I 459 meet at exit 110, just minutes from downtown Birmingham.  For more information on tickets, season passes and group outings call 205-481-4750 or visit www.alabamasplash.com †

 

 

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Holiday Conversations

Holiday Conversations

Legal Matters

presented by Bradford & Holliman, Estate Planning

As families gather to enjoy food and holiday time together, it can be a good opportunity to discuss estate planning issues for parents. Consider your own family situation and decide if some of the following questions will be beneficial for your family to discuss:

  1. Do your children know that you have an estate plan? If so, do they know where to locate the documents when they are needed? Ideally, the person(s) that will be in charge should already have copies of these documents.
  2. Are your estate documents old? Do they need to be updated? Laws change and your documents may not have all the necessary powers that are needed.
  3. If you need to name a person(s) to act on your behalf for financial and medical decisions, have you told this person that you have nominated him or her? Will this person be prepared to act? If not, you may need to reconsider this person as your choice for agent.
  4. Do the children understand your wishes about how to care for you as you age? How do you feel about in-home caregivers, assisted living, memory care and nursing homes? Take into consideration what the family should do if you are no longer able to care for yourself and caregiving in the home is not working. This occurs most often when the person has serious medical needs or is an escape risk due to dementia or Alzheimer’s. Giving permission to your children to place you in a nursing home can ease the guilt experienced by children when they feel forced to place a parent in a nursing home for safety issues.
  5. How do you feel about end of life decisions? Do your children know if you want to be kept alive by life support or feeding tubes; or, have you clearly stated you do not want to be kept alive if you cannot recover and have a meaningful life?
  6. Do you believe there will be disputes about your assets at your death? If so, a conversation clearly stating what you wish may help to prevent future disputes. Of course, in some families, this tactic will not work and you must judge your own situation.

These topics are not festive; but, discussing these subjects is crucial to a peaceful aging and estate process. Take time when everyone is available to make sure everyone clearly understands your estate plan; or, make the decisions necessary to create an estate plan.

Melanie Bradford Holliman 

Partner, Bradford & Holliman, LLC

Practice focuses on estate planning, elder law and special needs trust.

2491 Pelham Parkway, Pelham, Ala. 35124

205-663-0281, www.bradfordholliman.com

This article is for educational purposes and is not intended for specific legal advice.

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Steps to Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

Steps to Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

Money Matters

presented by Vision Financial

Whether they’re snatching your purse, diving into your dumpster, stealing your mail, or hacking into your computer, they’re out to get you. Who are they? Identity thieves. You may never be able to completely prevent your identity from being stolen, but here are some steps you can take to help protect yourself from becoming a victim.

Check yourself out. Review your credit report periodically. Check to make sure that all the information contained in it is correct, and be on the lookout for any fraudulent activity. You may get your credit report for free once a year at www.annualcreditreport.com.

Secure your number. Your most important personal identifier is your Social Security number (SSN). Guard it carefully. Never carry your Social Security card with you unless you’ll need it. The same goes for other forms of identification (for example, health insurance cards) that display your SSN.

Don’t leave home with it. Carry only the cards and/or checks you’ll need for any one trip. And keep a written record of all your account numbers, credit card expiration dates, and the telephone numbers of the customer service and fraud departments in a secure place–at home.

When you toss it, shred it. Before you throw out any financial records such as credit or debit card receipts and statements, cancelled checks, or even offers for credit you receive in the mail, shred the documents, preferably with a cross-cut shredder.

Keep a low profile. The more your personal information is available to others, the more likely you are to be victimized by identity theft. To help minimize your exposure:

  • Stop telephone calls from national telemarketers, list your telephone number with the Federal Trade Commission’s National Do Not Call Registry by registering at www.donotcall.gov
  • Remove your name from most national mailing and e-mailing lists, as well as most telemarketing lists by registering with the Direct Marketing Association at www.dmachoice.org
  • Remove your name from marketing lists prepared by the three national consumer reporting agencies, register online at www.optoutprescreen.com

Take a byte out of crime. Try to avoid storing personal and financial information on a laptop; if it’s stolen, the thief may obtain more than your computer. If you must store such information on your laptop, make things as difficult as possible for a thief by protecting these files with a strong password–one that’s six to eight characters long, and that contains letters (upper and lower case), numbers, and symbols. And when it comes time to upgrade to a new computer, remove all your personal information from the old one before you dispose of it. Overwrite the hard drive by using a “wipe” utility program. The minimal cost of investing in this software may save you from being wiped out later by an identity thief.

-S. Joey Elmore 

Vision Financial Group, Inc.

4505 Pine Tree Circle, Birmingham, 35243

205-970-4909, www.vision-financialgroup.com

 

Prepared by Broadridge Communication Solutions, Inc. Investment Advisory Services offered through Investment Advisors, a division of ProEquities, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.  Securities offered through ProEquities, Inc., a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA & SIPC.  Vision Financial Group, Inc. is independent of ProEquities, Inc.

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Mission Makers: Alabama Teen Challenge

Mission Makers: Alabama Teen Challenge

A Thanksgiving Message from Alabama Teen Challenge, The Proven Cure for the Drug Epidemic

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, we want to embrace the words of the Apostle Paul that he spoke to the Philippian Christians. He said, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petition, with THANKSGIVING, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-9

The staff and the students of the Alabama Teen Challenge ministry are truly thankful for all of you who help with the process of transforming lives with the proven cure for the drug epidemic. We are humbled by your generosity and we pray that the Lord continues to meet all of your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (Hebrews 6:10)

We have a pressing need right now for monetary donations, and we ask that you consider including Alabama Teen Challenge in your year-end giving. If you are 70 ½ years old or older, we would also ask that you consider donating your RMD tax-free to Alabama Teen Challenge in 2017. A donation counts as your required minimum distribution, but does not increase your adjusted gross income. If the Lord enables you to do so, your donations will provide a much appreciated blessing to Alabama Teen Challenge. Thank you for considering this request and for all that you mean to this vital work of the Lord.

Robert Angles 

Executive Director, Alabama Teen Challenge, Adult Men’s and Women’s Centers

205-763-0909

P.O Box 270, Lincoln, AL 35096, www.alatc.org

 

“Too many young people have already lost their lives, and too many others have suffered serious injury for us to ignore the problems. Programs such as Teen Challenge work to change people’s lives by changing their hearts. Let us bring to all Americans who struggle with drug addiction this hope: The miracle of recovery is possible, and it could be you.”  President George W. Bush

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