Addressing Curb Appeal & Safety

Addressing Curb Appeal & Safety

Addressing Curb Appeal & Safety 

John Gallagher, Bob Cooley, and their team at Classic Iron Works offer you personalized service in determining what will provide your home with not only great curb appeal but also the latest options in safety and security. Visit them on Facebook @CIWBham to see how their Tapco security products work.

Railings and a quality, secure front door are two aspects of home improvement that can quickly boost your home’s curb appeal and safety.

SECURITY DOORS offer protection, decoration and insulation, and they no longer look like the burglar bar doors of the past. “The way the doors are constructed, the workmanship, has not changed, but these doors don’t look like your grandmother or mother’s storm doors,” explains John Gallagher who owns Birmingham’s Classic Iron Works with his partner Bob Cooley and together have 70 plus years of experience in the business. A visit to the Classic Iron Works Show Room is a great way to see all the options available to you, including doors that compliment any style of home from classic to modern to log cabin, plus offer cost saving insulation and cutting-edge security technology as an authorized Tapco dealer. The team at Classic Iron Works can determine for you how best to utilize their products in your home, office or church.

Clear View. Even with a clear view door you can get ample security with the use of hurricane glass versus tempered glass.

Color Choices & Durability. “Early on black was the only color offered, “says Gallagher, “but now you can choose from many different colors that are more durable due to the power coat painting process.”

Beat the Heat. If your front door is exposed to direct sunlight much of the day, tinted tempered glass will help provide heat reflection and reduce the temperature as much as 15 degrees. “It reduces the heat but does not stop the heat,” says Gallagher.

RAILINGS are a necessity if you have steps leading in and out of your home. If you want to sell your home, you will likely be required to add railings. “Back in the day, a rail was a rail. Now we can make rails anyway you want them,” says Gallagher who adds it is important to keep in mind the more ornate you want your rails the more they will cost.

INSTALLATION is key with the purchase of security doors and railings. “Be sure to choose a company that has experience in installing your doors or railing in such a way that you get the optimum benefit from your investment,” says Gallagher. Ask for referrals to see if an installer’s customers have been satisfied.

Take your time in determining what door and/or rails is best for your home, because it is likely a permanent purchase to your home. Check out your options at Classic Iron Works, 3724 1st Avenue North. The showroom is open Monday through Friday 8:30am-5pm and Saturday 9am-2pm. A representative from the company will also come to your home and provide a free consultation to determine what options may best fit your needs, 205-322-6868, www.classicironworks.com. †

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Taziki’s Keith Richards

Taziki’s Keith Richards

Jesus, Others and Yourself: Taziki’s Keith Richards

Keith Richards began his restaurant career cooking chicken in a K-Mart kitchen and waiting tables at Olive Garden. Today he serves as Chief Development Officer for Taziki’s, which he founded in 1998 with an original location off Highway 280 in Birmingham.

After a vacation to Greece in 1997, Keith Richards was inspired to recreate the same richness of community he experienced there in his home town of Birmingham. Opening his first Taziki’s restaurant in 1998 was a leap of faith quickly bolstered by the idea of giving back. Now with locations in 17 different states, Richards reflects on how his Christian upbringing contributed to his drive to succeed and his commitment to employing and inspiring special needs teens and young adults in the communities he serves.

Growing Up in Birmingham. An alumnus of Green Acres Elementary, Charles A. Brown Middle School, and Midfield High School, Richards grew up in Ensley and says his strongest memories of childhood involve being outdoors. “Back then, of course, we had no devices that would distract us,” he remembers. “We had an area called The Trails where we rode our bikes and shot BB guns and chased squirrels and went to the Boys and Girls Club. That’s all we did—that and play baseball. Church on Sundays. It’s almost like a country song.” Richards’ family attended Fairview United Methodist Church, and as far back as he can remember, every store in Ensley was closed for Sunday services. “Sunday was the Sabbath, and that was the day we went to Sunday School, went to what we called Big Church, and then at night we would have youth group.” Even on vacations, Richards says his family would find a place to worship.

In his teens, Richards worked at Camp Sumatanga, an experience that strengthened his faith and gave him a taste of servanthood and pointing others to God. “During those impressionable years—16, 17, 18 years old when some teens are starting to wonder—it grounded me even more.” His contributions to the spiritual growth of his campers, he says, was primarily directing them toward the Lord revealed in nature. “Scripture is so important, but my perspective was more of look what God has given us.

Keith and Amy Richards married twice in 1992—once at Peavine Falls at Oak Mountain State Park with a preacher but no paperwork, then again six months later at Canterbury United Methodist Church. They opened their first Taziki’s restaurant 20 years ago with the mission “to create an environment that combines extraordinary food with the meaningful human connection missing from much of society today — all to help people achieve a deeper, more sustaining form of happiness.”

Richards’ father, Joe Richards turned 79 this past November, and inside his birthday card Keith Richards wrote, “Thanks for being my hero.” “He’s the one I strive to be like, not only with his faith but with his heart, his goodness,” Richards says, noting that his mother passed away nearly six years ago. “We had a Bible School class at church growing up, and it was the J.O.Y. class. It stands for Jesus, Others and Yourself. That has always stuck with me. I saw my parents live that.”

Growing a Business. After jobs at a Kmart cafeteria and Olive Garden followed by a 10-year career at Bottega under award-winning Chef Frank Stitt, Richards and his wife used their home as collateral to build his first Taziki’s location off Highway 280. Richards reflects on how his parents’ example served as inspiration. “My father was a telephone lineman for South Central Bell / BellSouth, and I knew what hard work looked like. It was a leap of faith… We didn’t have the money. There wasn’t an option. We could not fail,” he recalls of Taziki’s beginnings. “Ultimately, however, the challenge was how do we start giving back? That was the first thing to do. How do we get into the community to let people know we are here and who we are? Faith has a lot to do with that. You pray for success; sometimes it doesn’t come, sometimes it does, but prayer and hard work is a great combination to reap rewards.”

Giving Back. Giving back for Richards started with a chance meeting with Shelby County Schools Job Coach Cindy Vinson while on a cruise vacation. Bored with the band playing one evening on the ship, on a whim Keith offered to stand in as a drummer. An experienced musician, while he jammed on stage, Amy Richards struck up a conversation with Vinson, who was sitting nearby. Vinson asked if Taziki’s would consider employment for students with special needs. The Richards said “Yes,” and since then Taziki’s has been helping local students and young adults with challenges realize their potential, earn a paycheck, relate to peers, and be a part of a team. Richards adds that meaningful employment also meant relief, in a way, for the students’ parents. “Growing up, I wasn’t exposed to the challenges that the parents of children with special needs have. Today, if I can allow that parent 12-15 hours a week to pray, yoga, tennis, whatever their passion is, then I’ll do it.”

“They say God works in mysterious ways,” Keith Richard says of he and wife Amy being the parents of two sets of twins, one conceived with the assistance of fertility specialists at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and another conceived naturally. “I think it was just something that God said you’re doing something right in your life, and I’m going to bless you again.” Seen here are Keith, Amy, Oliver (15), Charley (13), Margaux (13), and Maggie (15). Photo: Bernard Troncale

The Richards and Vinson also began the H.O.P.E. (Herbs Offering Personal Enrichment) program in 2012, which purchases herbs for Taziki’s restaurants grown by special needs students at area schools. Being taught how to grow, harvest and sell cilantro, rosemary, thyme, parsley and rosemary gives the students opportunities to practice social skills, learn the value of money, set goals, and follow through with plans. Richards is expanding the program to include at-risk students as well and hopes that in 2018 the program will become a nonprofit organization. He hopes that all of his friends in the Birmingham restaurant business will consider following his lead in cooking with locally grown herbs. “God has blessed me, and I’ve said a thousand times you have to give back. That’s the plan. That’s God’s plan. And, of course, I don’t do it for extra wing points or any kind of halo points. I do it because that’s the way that my parents raised me.”

Richards suggests that choosing to make 2018 a year for giving can be simple. It doesn’t require finding needs to meet worldwide. “In our own backyard, there are people that are hungry, people that don’t know Christ, people that are struggling on a daily basis that we can help,” says Richards. “Find something dear to your heart…what makes your heart flourish?”

 

  • Camille Smith Platt 

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Gracious Housing & the Hope of Christ

Gracious Housing & the Hope of Christ

Brought to you by: Community Partner White Plume Technologies www.WhitePlume.com

Gracious Housing & the Hope of Christ: Red Mountain Grace 

Red Mountain Grace is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing gracious housing to out-of-town patients and caregivers during their extended medical stays in Birmingham. Members of the ministry team include Ashley Weaver/Development Assistant, Debbie Tidwell/Patient Coordinator and Lizzi Wilkerson/Executive Director. Learn more at www.redmountaingrace.com.

Through local volunteers and donors, Red Mountain Grace ministry provides extended housing for families who are receiving critical medical care in Birmingham. “The stress of a diagnosis alone is overwhelming for families,” explains Red Mountain Grace, Executive Director, Lizzi Wilkerson, “But then the added stresses, complications, and expenses of extended travel for patient care often amount to a sense of hopelessness, further complicated by the disconcerting feeling of temporary homelessness.” Wilkerson stresses the ministry meets much more than a physical need. “We are able to not only help these families by relieving them of some of their financial burden, but we are able to meet them in a very difficult place where we can pray over them and give them continued hope.” Volunteers work behind the scene to make the ministry possible. “They clean and decorate apartments, provide meals for the families, visit them and their loved ones in the hospital weekly, and are continually praying over them,” explains Wilkerson.

Since opening its doors in August of 2013, Red Mountain Grace has welcomed over 200 families. The organization has grown from 2 to 12 apartments, and is looking to expand to 15-20 in 2018. “I see the love of God surrounding these families in some of the hardest moments and I’m thankful that we have the opportunity to love our patients and their families the way we do,” says Wilkerson pointing out that just last year, Red Mountain Grace served more than 70 families, but the need is even greater and growing. On average, there is a wait list of 30-40 families nightly seeking lodging that are in Birmingham for medical care. To learn more about Red Mountain Grace and the many ways you can volunteer to help visit www.redmountaingrace.com. †

Brought to you by: Community Partner White Plume Technologies, www.WhitePlume.com

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Faith In Action in 2018

Faith In Action in 2018

Encouraging Word

What is faith? Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance (substance) of things hoped for, the conviction (evidence) of things not seen.” Faith is the foundation that hope is built on. Hope is the desire for good, accompanied by anticipation and expectation. Hope helps provide meaning to life. The struggles of life can be overwhelming when there is no hope. Hope helps provide the motivation to continue when you feel like giving up. And where there is no faith or faulty faith; hope will be difficult to find.

Faith involves, belief, trust, confidence and dependence. Faith is a powerful thing. Faith is the foundation that forms your belief system. Your belief system determines your values and convictions. You use your convictions to help make choices and decisions in life. Your life style (how you live your life) is conditioned by what you believe and the object of your faith. Belief should mean “by life”; in other words, if you don’t live it, then you don’t believe it.

Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”  God needs to be the object of our faith. We must place our faith solely and completely in Him!

If we say we believe in God then we need to live like there is a God; knowing that God is real, alive and well- realizing that God is holy, sovereign, all-powerful, all-knowing and all-present. He is infinite, eternal, immortal, infallible and immeasurable. He loves us and adopts us into His family as we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Almighty God becomes our Heavenly Father. Praise the Lord!

Let me encourage you to walk by faith and not by sight. Place your faith in God and live out your faith as a “Christ follower.” Put your faith in action in 2018!

-Tony Cooper 

Celebrating 27 Years of Service as Exec. Director, Jimmie Hale Mission

www.jimmiehalemission.com

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Resolve to Spend More Time Outdoors in 2018

Resolve to Spend More Time Outdoors in 2018

The Great Outdoors

presented by Mark’s Outdoors

The Christmas season has come and gone and now it’s New Year’s Resolution time. I encourage you to set goals for yourself and your family and hopefully make this year even better than the last. As a rule, New Year’s resolutions usually revolve around things like fitness. “Ok, this year I’ll remove all of the clothes hanging on the treadmill that I bought when I made last year’s resolution and promise to use it this year.” Or resolutions related to finance. “This year I will save a little extra cash out of each paycheck and finally taking that vacation I’ve been wanting to go on.” All of that is well and good but are we really taking full advantage of the New Year’s Resolution?

This year consider adding a resolution that involves getting outside and enjoying the great outdoors. Perhaps your outdoor resolution includes getting into or back into hunting. Good news! Your timing is great. You still have until the end of the month to enjoy hunting season and plenty of time to get ready for next fall.

Another great outdoor activity available this month is the annual Festival of the Cranes, January 13 – January 14, 2018. This two-day celebration of Sandhill Cranes and Whooping Cranes brings together experienced birders and those who would like to learn more about birding and other wildlife that live in Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge in Decatur (www.friendsofwheelerrefuge.org). Over 12,000 Sandhill Cranes along with several pairs of Whooping Cranes spend the winter each year at the Refuge. Enjoy nature walks, live raptors and refuge tours. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring binoculars and a camera. Throughout the event, the enclosed Wildlife Observation Building will offer views of thousands of Sandhill Cranes, along with Whooping Cranes, ducks, geese, raptors, and maybe a bald eagle. There will be bleachers and spotting scopes available along with volunteers and staff members on hand to answer questions.

Need more outdoor ideas? Visit us at Mark’s Outdoors to become inspired and to be fully equipped to make the most of your time in God’s great outdoors. We will help make sure that you have everything you need to make your time outside that much more enjoyable. Happy New Year & God Bless!

– Mark’s Outdoors 

1400-B Montgomery Highway, Vestavia 35216

205-822- 2010, www.marksoutdoors.com

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