Dealing with Emotional Distress During the Holidays

Dealing with Emotional Distress During the Holidays

Healthy Living

Although a holiday can be a time of joy, many people experience emotional distress during the holiday season. Reasons for this can include:

  • the responsibilities of hosting parties and family gatherings;
  • the challenges of traveling;
  • the pressure to buy gifts;
  • financial strain due to atypical expenditures;
  • interactions with family members with whom you have chronic conflict;
  • the absence of loved ones who have passed away, divorced, relocated, or are serving in the military;
  • the shorter daylight time;
  • cold and gloomy weather; and
  • the year’s end, which prompts people to take stock of their accomplishments or lack thereof.

What can you do to help yourself cope during the holiday season? 

  • Avoid relying on alcohol, using other recreational drugs, or misusing prescription medicine, as these consumptive behaviors can worsen your mood, your thoughts, or your behavior
  • Minimize your contact with relatives with whom you expect to have unpleasant interactions
  • Simplify your celebrations
  • Focus on the spiritual meaning of each holiday
  • Plan and perform acts of kindness to friends, neighbors, or strangers (which could include volunteering within a social service agency)
  • Serve your church congregation in a new way
  • Connect with the people in your life who have been sources of support for you in the present or past
  • Seek the services of a mental health professional.

My company, Crosswalk Psychological Services, provides faith-based psychotherapy services online to clients throughout Alabama. To learn more, call 334-744-3694, visit www.crosswalknow.com, or email us at office@crosswalknow.com.

-Dr. Thomas Maple is an Alabama-licensed psychologist and the founder of Crosswalk Psychological Services, LLC. His clinical background includes work in private practice and in university clinics. Born and raised in the Birmingham area, he resides in Auburn with his wife and his two daughters.

Fill your Facebook feed with more good news from Birmingham Christian Family!
Click the Like button below.

Start a Family Tradition at Christmas at the Falls

Start a Family Tradition at Christmas at the Falls

Are We There Yet?

See the spectacular “Christmas at the Falls” at Noccalula Falls Park in Gadsden through December 30 (closed Dec.24-25), www.noccalulafallspark.com.

Just a short drive over to Gadsden, Ala. will take you to a place sure to get you and your family in the Christmas spirit: Christmas at the Falls. Each year Noccalula Falls Park welcomes visitors to experience the lights and sounds of the season from Thanksgiving night November 23 through Saturday December 30 (Closed Dec. 24-25).  Enjoy riding the train or strolling through the park to view more than a million lights. Stop by the petting zoo, visit with Santa and take pictures, decorate cookies, and sip hot chocolate. For children too shy to speak their wishes to Santa or who just want to be sure he has their list right, the Park’s Old Post Office in the Pioneer Village has a special mailbox for dropping off letters to Santa. Purchase tickets to Christmas at the Falls on-line at www.noccalulafallspark.com or at the Entry Pavilion as early as 4pm each afternoon. The park is open from 5 until 9p.m. each evening. Admission is $6 for ages 4 and up and children three and under are admitted free. For more details call the park at 256-549-4663. †

Fill your Facebook feed with more good news from Birmingham Christian Family!
Click the Like button below.

Small Town America at its Best: 18th Annual Chelsea Christmas Parade

Small Town America at its Best: 18th Annual Chelsea Christmas Parade

Are We There Yet?

The Annual Chelsea Christmas Parade on Saturday December 16, 2017 offers young and old a great way to celebrate the season and experience Chelsea’s “All About Family” atmosphere.

Nothing will get you more into the Christmas spirit than the 18th Annual Chelsea Christmas Parade on Saturday December 16. “It is a tremendous family event,” explains Chelsea Mayor Tony Picklesimer. “It’s a symbol of small town America that is unfortunately going away in many parts of the country but remains an integral part of our town.” The festivities start at 9 a.m. with local entertainment at the parade grandstand positioned at the Winn Dixie/150 Chelsea Corners Way. The parade begins at 10 a.m. at Chelsea Middle School and will include music from the Chelsea High School Band, Mr. and Mrs. Claus, a showcase of students from local dance studios, area boy scouts and girl scouts, and of course professional and homemade floats with riders throwing candy to bystanders all along the route. Over 70 groups, businesses and civic organizations will participate in the parade which will conclude at the Winn Dixie where a Christmas Village will offer refreshments and other items for purchase. The parade will be followed by an open house from Noon-3pm at the Chelsea Community Center, 11101 Hwy 47, where children will have the opportunity to have their picture made with Santa and Mrs. Clause as well as the famous characters from Frozen, Anna, Elsa and Olaf. The open house will also offer face painting, bouncy houses and games.

The Annual Christmas Parade is the largest Chelsea community event of the year drawing between 2000 and 3000 people. “It gives us a chance to get our citizens together but it also gives people outside of Chelsea an opportunity to come and see what Chelsea is all about,” says Mayor Picklesimer adding that the family event fits perfectly with the city’s long-time slogan, “Chelsea is all about family.” For more details visit www.cityofchelsea.com/christmas-parade-info †

Fill your Facebook feed with more good news from Birmingham Christian Family!
Click the Like button below.

Christmas in Four-Part Harmony at the Lyric

Christmas in Four-Part Harmony at the Lyric

Music Notes 

The award-winning men’s a cappella chorus, Voices of the South, will perform their 18th annual Christmas show, “Christmas at the Lyric, “December 9 at 7 p.m. As the name reflects, the performance will be at the beautifully restored downtown Birmingham Lyric Theatre and will include a wide variety of great Christmas music.

A part of the Barbershop Harmony Society, Voices of the South, is dedicated to preserving a style of music that is original to the United States. “Barbershop harmony today is not your grandfather’s barbershop,” Chapter President Ed Wharton says. “We do a wide variety of music ranging from the old classic ‘Shine on Me’ to the more recent Leonard Cohen tune ‘Hallelujah’, and all of it is sung in four-part harmony. At their most recent district contest in October, Voices of the South placed first in their plateau/division and received the distinction of “Most Improved Chorus.” In addition to performing at events and competitions throughout the year, Voices of the South supports Wings of Hope Pediatric Foundation, a local charity providing assistance to parents who have terminally ill children.

This year’s Christmas performance will include a special guest appearance by the Iron City Singers, founded on two principles: singing quality choral music at a high level of artistry, and performing as a close-knit community of singers who care about one another. This talented ensemble is composed of singers who have previously performed together at the high school, collegiate, church, and professional levels, and is made up completely of volunteers.

For more information about Voices of the South visit voicesofthesouth.com. To purchase tickets to “Christmas at the Lyric,” go to lyricbham.com/events. †

See Alabama’s own Voices of the South perform live with special guest, Iron City Singers, at the Lyric December 9.

Fill your Facebook feed with more good news from Birmingham Christian Family!
Click the Like button below.

Deck the Halls: Christmas Home Tour & Holiday Gift Market

Deck the Halls: Christmas Home Tour & Holiday Gift Market

City Scene

Jeanna Westmoreland and Susie Hammers welcome a guest to the Samford President’s Home during Samford Legacy League’s Christmas Home Tour.

Looking for ideas on how to best decorate your home for Christmas? The Samford Legacy League’s 7th Annual Home Tour Thursday, December 7 is guaranteed to give you great ideas and put you in the Christmas spirit. Visit five stunning area homes as a part of this year’s tour which you can enjoy either from 10am-2pm or 4pm-8pm. The tour will also include an opportunity to shop for unique gifts. The Holiday Gift Market located at the Samford President’s Home will include a fabulous selection of jewelry, art, children’s items, clothing, food, accessories, home items and more from carefully selected merchants. Also enjoy hors d’oeuvres and desserts at the Samford President’s Home as part of the tour. The tour features the homes of:

Lisa and Randy Freeman, 11 Bonita Drive, Homewood

Rhonda and Tom Powell, 4441 Caldwell Mill Road, Mountain Brook

Cheryl and Terry Spitzer, 4429 Caldwell Mill Road, Mountain Brook

Jeanna and Andy Westmoreland, Samford President’s Home, 1994 Shades Crest Road, Vestavia Hills

Lisa and Harris Wilson, 4408 Old Brook Run, Mountain Brook

Proceeds from the event will provide life-changing scholarships for deserving students with significant financial need. Tickets are $25 through December 5 at www.samford.edu/legacyleague or $30 at the door of featured homes during tour hours. Visit www.samford.edu/legacyleague or call 205-726-2807 for more details. †

Fill your Facebook feed with more good news from Birmingham Christian Family!
Click the Like button below.

Laurie’s December Blog

Laurie’s December Blog

The Reason for the Season

It is such a thrill to see the minds and hearts of young children begin to understand what the birth of Jesus means for them. Which brings me to the tricky part. As parents, we know that our children are not only absorbing the messages of Christmas we share with them about Jesus’ birth but they are also being exposed to the commercial side of the holiday season. A balance is tough, whether you have children or not!

Growing up, my parents used the advent wreath to help us focus on the true meaning of Christmas. During nightly, family devotions in December, one or more candles on the wreath were lit as we celebrated the coming of Jesus. As more candles were lit each week, the closer my brothers and I knew we were to the BIG day! As a parent, I have great memories of sharing this same Christmas tradition as well as an Advent Calendar with my sons and visually emphasizing to them the real meaning of the season. I encourage you to take time this Christmas to continue or establish traditions that allow you to celebrate the reason for the season and share that message with family and friends.

From Birmingham Christian Family to you and your family-

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

-Laurie Stroud 

Founder, The Christian Family Publication, Inc.

www.BirminghamChristian.com

Facebook Birmingham Christian Family

Twitter @cfpBirmingham

Instagram@cfpbirmingham

Birmingham Christian Family DECEMBER 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!

  1. Family 4-Pack to the Nutcracker performed by the Birmingham Ballet- Four tickets to the December 16 evening performance at the BJCC.  Simply visit Facebook.com/BirminghamChristianFamily, LIKE/FOLLOW our Facebook page AND Share the Nutcracker give-away post to be entered to win! Offer Ends 12/12/17. Winner Announced on Facebook Wednesday, 12/13/2017!
  2. Mixed Case of Cookies from Bud’s Best! 2 Winners! Sign Up for our E-newsletter at www.birminghamchristian.com OR visit Facebook.com/BirminghamChristianFamily, LIKE/FOLLOW our Facebook page AND Share the Bud’s Best Give-Away post to be entered to win! Offer Ends12/19/17. Winners Announced on Facebook Wednesday, 12/20/17!

Fill your Facebook feed with more good news from Birmingham Christian Family!
Click the Like button below.

Local Medical Advance Keeps Missionary on the Move

Local Medical Advance Keeps Missionary on the Move

Healthy Living

Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center physicians, Drs. Jeffrey Davis and K. David Moore, standing beside the Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery System used to help patients like missionary Tim Prewitt. “I’d like for people to understand this is not something where I wind up a robot and then go get a cup of coffee,” says K. David Moore, M.D., one of the first surgeons in the area to utilize the innovative technology that allows him to personalize total knee, partial knee and total hip replacement procedures to each of his patients. “Surgeons are still doing the entire operation, it’s just that the robot guides us to make the boning cuts according to our plan for the patient’s individual anatomy.”

With church plants, Bible Institutes and humanitarian efforts in 13 countries on three different continents, World Reach founder Tim Prewitt is accustomed to international travel up to eight times a year. Last year, however, extreme hip pain was limiting his mobility. Thanks to a talented surgeon and an advanced robotic-arm assisted surgery available here in Birmingham, he is back to the mission field he loves.

As a young professional, Prewitt spent nine years working for Sears, Roebuck and Company before he began to feel that God was ushering him out of corporate management and into full time ministry. He and his wife, Carol, joined three other men in founding World Reach in 1981, and today the mission organization establishes Bible Institutes and indigenous, self-sustaining churches around the world. Prewitt’s travels often include encouraging staff or teaching in an Institute, but a year ago an x-ray of his right hip showed significant deterioration that could no longer be managed with anti-inflammatory medication. “The doctor told me it was bone-on-bone. It was exacerbated by the fact that I travel so extensively, walking and carrying suitcases and so forth,” he explains. Every move he made forced him to shift effort to the left side of his body to avoid pain and limited mobility.

Prewitt found that Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center was the first and only orthopaedic practice in Birmingham to offer robotic-assisted total knee, partial knee and total hip replacements using the Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery System. K. David Moore, M.D., says its technology has been a game changer in terms of accuracy and precision. “Traditionally, we’ve really done these operations based on the law of averages, using average anatomy. There are some ways you can accommodate for variations in people’s bone structure, but it’s been very imprecise. The Mako allows us to really customize each operation to the individual.” In knee replacements, for example, the Mako’s precision in placing an implant speeds the recovery and improves the longevity of the results. In hip replacements, dislocation is less common, as is unnecessary postoperative differences in leg length.

A Peruvian pastor thanks Tim Prewitt for helping his village with humanitarian relief related to flooding earlier this year. In Peru, World Reach ministries include a bilingual Christian School, medical and dental clinics, children’s and youth ministries, a Mobile Bible Institute, and church plants.

Dr. Moore’s treatment for Prewitt began with a CT scan of the joint and the construction of a 3-dimensional model that allowed him to plan the procedure in virtual reality a week prior to the surgery. Prewitt, who recently celebrated his 75th birthday, says his surgery took place at St. Vincent’s Birmingham on a Wednesday morning, and he was walking by Wednesday afternoon and home on Thursday. “I am 100 percent better. I can now move free of pain, without thinking I’m just causing more injury to what is already there,” he says. “I have complete freedom in terms of movement, range of motion.”

The demand for joint replacements is expected to rise in the next decade, and as the baby boomer generation sees a need for relief of arthritis symptoms beyond conservative treatment measures, the Mako System allows for a personalized surgery based on each patient’s specific diagnosis and anatomy. “This generation of people has been more active on the whole than previous generations and less tolerant of limiting their lifestyle because of joint pain,” Dr. Moore explains. “We certainly think that is important not just for quality of life but quantity of life. Once you stop moving, your health deteriorates fairly quickly. We want to make sure that people can stay active as long as possible.”

Now able to travel comfortably again, Prewitt says World Reach plans to bring on additional missionaries and add six new Bible Institutes in the countries he serves in 2018. For more information on how you can get involved in World Reach’s global efforts, visit www.world-reach.org. To connect with a physician who can help with conservative arthritis treatment or provide more information on the Mako System, visit AndrewsSportsMedicine.com or call 205-939-3699.

-Camille Smith Platt

 

Fill your Facebook feed with more good news from Birmingham Christian Family!
Click the Like button below.

Governor’s Salute to Alabama Veterans at American Village

Governor’s Salute to Alabama Veterans at American Village

Special Feature

On Friday November 10, veterans, active members of their United States Armed Forces and their families are invited to join Governor Kay Ivey at the American Village in Montevallo for the Governor’s Salute to Alabama Veterans. The event is free and begins with a Service of Recognition and Thanksgiving at 10:15 and concludes with lunch. “On this day we will come together to recognize, honor, and thank Alabama’s veterans, active members of the United States Armed Forces, and their families,” explains Tom Walker, Founder and President, The American Village Citizenship Trust.  “Our Nation, our State, and the people of Alabama must never forget the service and sacrifices made for our liberty and for our freedoms.”

The Service of Recognition and Thanksgiving will take place in the American Village’s Colonial Chapel and will honor WWII veterans and their families. Special organ music will be provided by Dr. Laurie Middaugh. The Veterans Day Program and Governor’s Salute to all U.S. veterans will begin at 11am at the National Veterans Shrine with music provided by Ms. Mildred Lanier, Mrs. Denise George, Dr. Joe Ardovino and the University of Montevallo Concert Band. The Salute will conclude with free lunch provided by the American Village and Full Moon Bar-B-Q while quantities last. Although the event is free, attendees are asked to register online at www.americanvillage.org/2017governorssalutetoalabamaveterans or call 205-665-3535 extension 1776.

All veterans and their families are encouraged to attend the Governor’s Salute to Alabama Veterans at the American Village in Montevallo November 10.

Fill your Facebook feed with more good news from Birmingham Christian Family!
Click the Like button below.

500TH Anniversary of the Reformation Celebration

500TH Anniversary of the Reformation Celebration

Special Feature

Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz will speak at the November 15 500th Anniversary of the Reformation Celebration at Hodges Chapel Samford University. Learn more at www.vestavialutheran.org

Join Christians throughout the world in observing the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. The Lutheran Church of Vestavia Hills is sponsoring a Reformation Celebration at Hodges Chapel on the campus of Samford University on November 15. There will be preservice music by the Shades Mt. Brass Quintet at 6:30pm and worship at 7 pm. Service music will feature hymns that are a confession of a Lutheran’s faith. Luther understood the significance of music: “Next to theology I give music the highest and greatest honor.” Luther desired to communicate the Gospel message that sets people free from the bondage of sin. What better way to spread that message than to teach what we believe through music.

Rev. Dr. Gregory Steltz, who has served as speaker of the Lutheran Hour Radio Program from 2011 to 2017, will be the keynote speaker at the Reformation Celebration. Dr. Steltz follows in the footsteps of Dr. Walter A. Maier the first and founding speaker of the Lutheran Hour ministry that gained worldwide popularity in the 30’s and 40’s with the largest radio audience of the 20th century. The Lutheran Hour has a current audience of over 1 million listeners, airing on more than 1,600 stations across North America as well as the Armed Forces network.

Dr. Martin Luther gave the Reformation its impetus when he nailed the 95 theses to the church door of All Saints Church in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517. These theses called the church leaders to discuss major teachings of the church that Luther believed were contrary to Scripture and to stop the   unbiblical practice of selling indulgences which the common people were led to believe shorten time in purgatory and even forgave sins. As a young man, Luther had an obsessive fear that he stood under the judgment of a harsh God, “my sin lay heavy night and day” he wrote. In his study of Scripture, he discovered that a person’s relationship with God was a total gift – it is by grace through faith in what Jesus accomplished on the cross that a person stands justified before God. Man is not saved by doing good works but by the good work that Jesus did when He died on the cross for the sins of the world. Luther taught that God does not need our good works but our neighbor does. Good works are the evidence that the person is walking and living in a faith relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Martin Luther’s reforms focused on these three solas: sola scriptura, sola gratica, and sola fide.  Scripture alone is the source of teaching and doctrine; grace alone is responsible for sins forgiven; faith alone receives the gift of a relationship with God for now and in eternity.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  (Ephesians 2:8-10)


-Rev. J. Mark Kuehnert

Fill your Facebook feed with more good news from Birmingham Christian Family!
Click the Like button below.

Pin It on Pinterest