Laurie’s Blog

Laurie’s Blog

Watch this Mommy!

When I recently looked at old photos of our boys learning to swim, it gently reminded me of the trust God asks us to place in Him for our security and well being and the rewards that will follow when such a relationship exists. Jumping off the wall into the arms of a teacher is tough- especially the first few times! (Tough on the kid… tough on the parent) However, with time, the level of trust builds, the confidence begins to emerge, the anxiety disappears and a smile replaces tears of fear. “Hey, this is great!” is written all over that happy face.


So many times, God requires us to reach out, to trust Him and jump into the plans He has for us. It is so easy to want to run the other way and hide in our fear of what may lie ahead. But think about it. How many times, when you have trusted God to lead you through the unknown challenges that lay ahead, did you not emerge with a new level of confidence, an inner peace, even a thrill of excitement? You just want to exclaim to anyone who will listen, “Hey, this is great!”

Try it! Jump into the arms of God and enjoy a life worth living.

He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

-Laurie Stroud

Founder, Christian Family Publications

Laurie@ChristianFamilyPublications.com

“Look t the Lord &His Strength, Seek His face always.”

1 Chronicles 16:11

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Laurie’s Blog

Laurie’s Blog

A Mountain Top Experience

When my sons were just four and five years old, we decided to improve the look of our “weed happy” front yard. To the great pleasure of the boys, a large load of red rocks was dumped on what was once a “nature area.” It was only a matter of seconds before the boys scrambled to the top, raised their hands up high and shouted with joy, “Look at me!”

As we prepare to celebrate this Easter, let us embrace a mountain top experience that gives us the joy to shout, “Look at Him!” Look what Jesus has done for us! Look at the blessings He has given!

Let us look toward the day when we will be able to celebrate with Him in heaven the power of His forgiveness. He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

-Laurie Stroud

Founder, Christian Family Publications

Facebook: Birmingham Christian Family

Twitter: @CFPBirmingham

205-408-7150

Celebrating 17 Years of Good News!

“Look to the Lord & His Strength, Seek His face always.” 1 Chronicles 16:11 (Holman Standard)

 

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Laurie’s Blog

Laurie’s Blog

Celebrating 200 Issues of GOOD NEWS!

The February 2017 Issue of Birmingham Christian Family marks 200 Issues of GOOD NEWS shared in our community. We consider this a milestone that could only be reached through God’s guidance and your embrace as a reader. If it were not for readers like you- sharing the monthly publication with friends and supporting our advertisers, we would not have the opportunity to continue in this ministry and help others establish similar publications in cities throughout the Southeast. Often through your enthusiasm and affirming response, we have felt God giving us wisdom and strength to press on. I cannot thank you enough for your continued prayers and support in the coming years!

 

Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 12.48.52 PM-Laurie Stroud 

Founder, Christian Family Publications

Facebook: Birmingham Christian Family/Twitter @CFPBirmingham

Celebrating 16 Years of Good News!

“Look to the Lord & His Strength, Seek His face always.” 1 Chronicles 16:11 (Holman Standard)

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Laurie’s Blog January 2017

 HAPPY New Year!
unnamedEvery once in a while, my mom will bag up and bring me some “treasures” of the past like old letters, photographs or childhood toys. Among the “treasures” is a note I wrote to my mom and dad many years ago. Judging by the artwork and handwriting— I was about eight or nine years old. Before my mom gave me the letter, she attached a yellow sticky note that simply says, “This is one of my Treasures. I Love You, Momma.”
It was a silly little letter I had composed, but the more I thought about it, the more I saw the value in it. I cannot recall the circumstances that prompted the note, but it is obvious to me my parents had recently been sharing with me an important lesson about the choices God gives us. One of those critical choices is to be, in the words of a child, “happy or sad.” Not to ignore the fact that in this world we face sad and some times tragic situations, it is up to us as to what type of attitude we choose to have when faced with a challenge. Do we look to God for strength and focus on that which is good? Or do we immediately consider how we might fix things and engross ourselves in how difficult life is? Although the circumstances may not lend themselves to feelings of “happiness,” do we allow them to steal our joy?
As we consider the blessings of the past year and the opportunities that await us in 2017, let us thank God for the choices He gives and the joy He offers us each and every day. Happy New Year to You & Your Family!
Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 12.48.52 PM-Laurie Stroud
Founder, Christian Family Publications
Facebook: Birmingham Christian Family/Twitter @CFPBirmingham
Celebrating 16 Years of Good News!
“Look to the Lord & His Strength, Seek His face always.” 1 Chronicles 16:11 (Holman 
Standard)

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Laurie’s Blog

Christmas Roles
unnamedWise man? Shepherd? Angel? I have great memories of my three sons preparing for their much anticipated church Christmas programs. One year, at the ages of 7, 6 and 6, they each had a very exciting role to play. One son escorted Mary to the stable and watched over baby Jesus. Another put on his most royal look and brought baby Jesus gifts. And yet another watched over his flocks and sang praises like an angel. It doesn’t get better than that!
God has given each of us a special role to play this Christmas. He has given each of us a stage of unique circumstances and gifted each of us with unique talents to live to for His glory. As the hustle and bustle of the season descends, let’s not forget the most important role God has given us this season and all year. We are here to shine a light on the best gift ever given- our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year!
Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 12.48.52 PM
-Laurie Stroud
Founder, Christian Family Publications
Facebook: Birmingham Christian Family/Twitter @CFPBirmingham
Celebrating 16 Years of Good News!
“Look to the Lord & His Strength, Seek His face always.” 1 Chronicles 16:11 (Holman
Standard)

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Laurie’s Blog

Jesus Loves the Children

unnamed“Jesus Loves the Children” are the simple, profound words engraved into a plaque below a stained glass window. The window beautifully depicts Jesus gazing upon the children that surround Him (Matthew 19:14). It was given in memory of a child taken from this world and now in the hands of our Savior, my cousin 21 year old Timothy Kuehnert.

This time of year is filled with the excitement of celebrating the holidays with family and friends but for many it unnamed-1is also a time of loss- a time remembering who is missing from the celebration. I encourage you to reach out to those you know who may be struggling with a loss this Thanksgiving and Christmas. Consider inviting them to be a part of your holiday celebrations. These children of God need to feel God’s love and know His presence. They long to hear and be reminded that we will be reunited again when our Lord Jesus returns to take all of His children home to be with Him forever! (John 14: 1-3)

Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 12.48.52 PM-Laurie Stroud 

Founder, Christian Family Publications

Facebook: Birmingham Christian Family/Twitter @CFPBirmingham

Celebrating 16 Years of Good News!

“Look to the Lord & His Strength, Seek His face always.” 1 Chronicles 16:11 (Holman Standard)

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Cookie Ministry: The Legend of Mark Norton

After retiring from a career in real estate, Birmingham’s Mark Norton enjoyed working a few hours each month for Bud’s Best cookies, sharing samples of “the little cookie with the big taste” with grocery store customers. When declining health led Norton to move into assisted living at Fair Haven Retirement Community, the owner of Bud’s Best, Bud Cason, decided Norton still needed his cookies. Boxes of cookies would routinely arrive for Norton and he would share his treasure with fellow residents. He soon became known as “the cookie man” and began hosting a monthly “cookie social” for his friends in assisted living and skilled care. His former boss, Bud Cason, and his son, Al Cason, made sure he had enough cookies to share each month, and despite major physical challenges including arthritis, the loss of a leg and loss of vision, Mark Norton continued to serve others with a smile and a cookie until his death at almost 94.
“He was like a flower in the concrete,” remembers son Tommy. “He hurt from head to toe but still was as sweet and positive as he could be. He was a man full of faith and he was not going to be unhappy.” When Norton died, his son Tommy and wife Dianne decided to continue his cookie tradition. “This is our ministry in memory and honor of my dad. I feel like every time we do this, he smiles, and these people are so sweet and so grateful.” Now in their eighth year of cookie service, the couple comes every first Tuesday of the month to Fair Haven with cookies donated by Bud’s Best to host two cookie socials, one in assisted living and one in skilled care. Tommy organizes the socials and oversees games for the residents while Dianne, who played the organ for Dawson Baptist for 43 years, plays the piano and leads the residents in singing. “Everyone loves Tommy and Dianne. They are a blessing and have done so many wonderful things for the residents throughout the years,” explains Fair Haven’s Lorrie Carruba. Bud’s Best’s Al Cason shares, “Mark Norton would be so proud to see his son continue this. Mr. Norton touched so many lives and continues through his son.

  • Laurie Stroud

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Life is a Stage

life is a stageThe morning before my oldest son graduated from high school I was feeling both excitement for him and anxiety. I sought to settle my mind on God’s presence and the image that came to my mind was one that I had not seen for many years but had seen almost every Sunday growing up. I thought of the portrait of Jesus that hangs above the stage in the fellowship hall of my childhood church, First Lutheran. If you ever have the opportunity to go inside the church, there are two things that are sure to get your attention- the stained glass windows depicting the life of Jesus from His Birth to His Ascension and the Jesus portrait that hangs above the heavy green velvet stage curtains we loved to hide behind as kids.

Last May as my son walked the stage at graduation, he and I were both moving into a new stage of life. That portrait of Jesus reminded me that neither of us would walk that next stage alone. Jesus was with us. Recently I had the privilege of seeing that Jesus portrait above the stage when I attended the funeral of a close family friend. I heard that day numerous accounts of how Frank Brown had walked each stage of his life as an example of what it meant to be a godly husband, father, church leader and friend. Frank Brown was a man who lived out his life looking to Jesus and living out his faith on life’s stage.

I encourage you to live out your life for Jesus in whatever stage of life you are in and on whatever stage of life He has placed you. Remember- He is with us!  Let’s keep our eyes on Jesus

bcf-laurie-stroudLaurie Stroud 

 

 

 

 

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Pick Me Up Wednesdays

Pick Me Up Wednesdays

Business woman using app on a tablet computerI don’t know about you but it seems like I can start out the week with a full head of steam- ready to take on the world, but by Wednesday I’m feeling drained, and not quite so enthusiastic.

Birmingham Christian Family magazine is here to provide you with a “Pick Me Up” mid-week and all week long. Here on our website, www.birminghamchristian.com, we have made it our goal to continually provide you with encouraging, uplifting local stories to read and share with your friends and colleagues. In addition, we are launching a “Pick Me Up Wednesday.” Simply like our Facebook Page, Birmingham Christian Family, follow us on Twitter, @CFPBirmingham, and sign up for our Newsletter at the bottom of the home page of www.birminghamchristian.com for opportunities on Wednesdays for Give-Aways your family is sure to enjoy. Coming up in April will be tickets to the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports and tickets to the Regions Tradition Golf Tournament.

Thank you for reading and supporting our advertisers that make it possible for us to share Good News with you each and every day!


bcf-laurie-stroud-199x300-Laurie Stroud

Founder, The Christian Family Publication, Inc.

www.BirminghamChristian.com

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