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.

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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

 

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Keys to Successful Marriage Therapy

Keys to Successful Marriage Therapy

Healthy Living

Why do some couples benefit from marriage therapy while other couples do not? My work has led me to the following conclusions.

The most important factor is a faith-based foundation of the marriage. I have tried to provide therapy to spouses who were not devoted to God; the results were not good. Here’s why:

  • A person with little or no faith likely will enter into a marriage with the goal of finding happiness through the relationship. This is an inherent problem. God wants each of us to find joy and peace through Christ; the spouse should be a help to that goal, not a substitute for that goal.
  • In marriages not based in faith, typically, one’s own happiness is the top priority. This seems perfectly natural, but God calls us to rise above our nature and to live a life of sacrifice. When I give to a couple the homework assignment, “Each day, find a new way to demonstrate your love for your spouse,” the faithless couple returns and reports to me that they only made a slight effort to do the homework. Why? Because, as they display in our discussions, each spouse is chiefly focused on what he or she isn’t getting from the marriage rather than what he or she isn’t giving to it.

In addition, it is important that the therapist is of the same faith as the clients. I’m reminded of an individual client who came to me for an initial session even though she was already engaged in therapy with another psychologist. She told me that when she asked the other psychologist whether she and he could incorporate spirituality into their work together, he had replied, “We can talk about religion some if you want, but I don’t want it to get in the way of our work.” In the way? If your spirituality has the importance that it should have in your life, you don’t attempt anything without it; and you certainly can’t expect to improve your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors without it.

To explore the opportunities to participate in online therapy in our practice or to explore the opportunities to attend our Marriage Bread workshop, please visit our website at www.crosswalknow.com, call our office at 334-744-3694, or email us at office@crosswalknow.com.

-Dr. Thomas Maple

Dr. 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.

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ROW, ROW, ROW for Your Health!

ROW, ROW, ROW for Your Health!

Healthy Living

No matter what your age is, a fitness plan that includes cardio (or aerobic exercise) is an important contributor to your overall health. The benefits of regular aerobic exercise include weight loss, increased stamina, and a stronger immune system. Endorphins released while you work out can also help improve your mood and sleep quality. Because it requires the use of so many major muscle groups, a rowing machine is an effective way to raise your heart rate and increase your oxygen intake for an effective cardio workout. The adjustable resistance on most rowers lets you easily work up to your target heart rate as well as slow back down to your resting rate. Great for weight loss, toning and building muscles, and increasing stamina, this machine is a fitness game changer. Rowers work out several major muscle groups and will help you develop both your upper and lower body. Most importantly, using a rowing machine gets your heart pumping and lungs working, providing a serious aerobic workout.

It has been called the “new spinning.” Yet this fitness craze is based on a sport that dates back to Ancient Egypt, and the machine itself has been around since the Civil War era. So why, suddenly, has rowing skimmed ahead of many modern fitness fads and longtime cardio standards? Besides the fact that “vintage is in,” it seems this age-old workout is finally gaining speed and getting its proper due with mainstream America. And it’s well placed. Rowing is high intensity and low impact, so it’s a win-win at the onset. Even better – when it’s done correctly, rowing engages about 85% of your muscles. Now that’s a championship workout!

There’s a proper technique to oaring, though, both in and out of the water. Below are a few training tips to help you maximize the benefits of your rowing routine:

  • Don’t Grip the Handles Too Tightly. This will protect your hands and forearms from pain and soreness later.
  • Lead with Your Legs. If you’re doing it right, your leg (and butt) muscles should be doing the most work.
  • Legs, Hips, Arms – Reverse! This is the progression of movement for rowing. Very important!
  • Pull Straight Back. If you’re pulling back – not up – your body should stay firmly seated throughout the workout.
  • Pull with Your Legs, NOT Your Arms. Keep your elbows straight, but relaxed, while your legs are doing the heft.
  • Sit Up Straight. Maintain good posture throughout; your entire core should be in line all the way down to your seat.
  • Breathe Well. Exhale going backward; inhale going forward.
  • Stay Fluid. Don’t drive the seat into your feet; keep your motion steady and smooth to the finish – not choppy.

So, who’s ready to row? It’s a great workout for all ages and fitness levels. Best of all, you don’t need an Ivy League coach, eight-man crew or frigid winter waters – just your neighborhood Y!

-Jean Bowick

YMCA of Greater Birmingham, www.ymcabham.org 

Read more healthy information from the YMCA at www.BirminghamChristian.com. Click on News/Health

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101 Mobility: Improving Lives in Our Community

101 Mobility: Improving Lives in Our Community

Faith at Work

Owners of 101 Mobility Alabama, Derek and Ashley Gann, with their children Reagan and D.C. at their 101 Mobility office on Highway 280 near Greystone.

Birmingham Christian Family recently sat down with 101 Mobility of Alabama’s Derek Gann who shared with us how God is using his team to serve others in our community.

Q. How does owning 101 Mobility allow you to live out your faith in the marketplace?

A. As business owners, our main objective is to serve: to serve our customers, community and our employees. My wife Ashley and I believe that emulating the traits of Christ is our greatest earthly calling. From owning a business, to leading my family, and rearing our children, it all points to Jesus. Because 101 Mobility focuses on improving life, what a ministry! We get the opportunity to help people navigate through a difficult and often fragile time. When families and individuals are faced with circumstances that are often beyond their control whether it’s the reality of aging parents, a tragic accident that claims one’s mobility, or a family member with a disability it is easy to feel discouraged or broken. That’s the beauty of Jesus and what we get to do as owners of 101 Mobility. We get to be a part of restoring others. We can bring back some hope and dignity. We make the days ahead easier than the days before. 101 Mobility provides mobility devices to help individuals regain that independence. We help families live longer in their homes and provide free face to face consultations that help guide customers through all their options and what works best for their needs.

Q. How does your faith impact how you run your business?

A. Simply put, our faith drives us. Each day we remind ourselves that all that we do on this side of eternity should all point to the greatness of Jesus. Even leading up to the decision to become business owners, every day was filled with prayer. We asked for wisdom, discernment and direction. Ashley and I feel that God has led us to right where we are and we must be faithful stewards of what we’ve been given. We think the greatest leader of all time is Jesus and we try daily to replicate those traits. Our faith doesn’t mean our business is void of difficult decisions or tough calls, but our faith guides us and reassures us of our purpose. We strongly believe that you have to have vision and our vision is to love our customers well, build strong community relationships, and provide top-notch service. These goals are all predicated on our faith and our hope to be a glimmer of light in what can be a dimmer time in one’s life.

Q. What is the most rewarding aspect of the business to you?

A. No question, the most rewarding aspect of our business is being able to give someone a new lease on life. No one wants to wake up
and discover they can no longer walk up their stairs or get around their house like they used to. So, when 101 Mobility can design a plan, unique to your needs, that gives you that freedom and independence back, it fills our heart and reminds us that each time a job is done, we’ve left one life a little better. The greatest gifts in life are truly the ones we give, not the ones we get. We are blessed to provide mobility devices that give back joy, that give back freedom, that give back hope. The stories we hear from the customers we serve can often leave tears in our own eyes, so being able to restore something that has been lost is the greatest reward of all.

-Learn more at www.Alabama.101Mobility.com or call 205-538-5692.†

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Bringing Birmingham to New Heights

Bringing Birmingham to New Heights

Are We There Yet?

Sundays from 5-8pm High Point offers a reduce priced day pass perfect for youth groups. Also ask about special church rates, www.highpointclimbing.com.

One year ago, this month, Birmingham was introduced to the world class climbing facility, High Point Climbing and Fitness. “We are really thankful for the opportunity to introduce the community to climbing and to those who already love the sport, a way to climb to greater heights,” explains High Point General Manager, Tony Levy, who moved to the area to open the facility on Highway 280 after serving as assistant manager at High Point Climbing and Fitness in Chattanooga. “Our team is really given the privilege of sharing with parents and kids something they will be able to enjoy the rest of their lives.

High Point offers activities at all skill levels. “The Kid Zone is an awesome area for people of all ages to experience climbing- see what climbing is about in a very non-intimidating manner. It’s a really fun introduction to climbing,” says Levy adding, “We have something for everyone from beginning climber to experienced boulderer or rope climber.”

To introduce families to all that High Point as to offer, the facility offers day passes as well as monthly and annual memberships. There are also Kids and Youth Club climbing opportunities and a more regimented High Point Birmingham Climbing Team. A cardio studio, weight room and yoga classes are available free with a day pass or membership. High Point also has special facilities to host birthday parties and other special events including youth group outings.

High Point offers not only opportunities to climb at all skill levels but also a cardio studio, weight room and yoga classes which are free with a day pass or membership.

In celebration of their one year anniversary, High Point will host the new Reel Rock 12 film November 9 at 7:30pm. Watch the best climbing and adventure films of the year at this high energy community event. Admission is $10 for non-members and $5 for members. High Point will also host the last stop of the USA Climbing National Cup Series January 5-6, 2018. About 60 professional climbers will compete and opportunities will be available for the public to watch qualifiers for free Friday and Saturday night for $5 per person.

This month, Birmingham Christian Family is giving away a Family Day Pass to High Point (4 people/$84 Value). Simply visit Facebook.com/BirminghamChristianFamily, LIKE/FOLLOW our Facebook page AND Share the High Point post to be entered to win! Offer Ends 11/20/17. Winner Announced on Facebook Wednesday, November 22, 2017! †

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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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Stretch Yourself: The Benefits of Stretching at Work

Stretch Yourself: The Benefits of Stretching at Work

Healthy Living 

Americans spend huge portions of their lives at the office. But since we’re so busy working, most of us don’t think of our desks – or our cubicles – as ideal places for working out. Given the increasing demands, stress levels, and repetitive requirements of many of our jobs, however, it is essential to our physical and mental health to keep active during the day, stretching ourselves beyond the regular rigors of spreadsheets and paperwork.

Whether you realize it or not, sitting in an office chair hour after hour is one of the worst things you can do for your body, particularly your back and neck. Couple that with extended hours of repetitive motion tasks like typing or answering the phone, and you’re setting yourself up for chronic pain and stress-related issues. According to an article posted by WebMD, employees who maintain sedentary positions at their jobs – with narrow ranges of motion – are more likely to suffer long-term injuries, chronic stress, and weight gain. One of the best ways to protect our joints, bones and muscles, however, is to take regular, stress-relieving stretch breaks throughout the day.

Some of the stretching exercises we can perform at work include shoulder shrugs, torso twists, back hugs, leg hugs, leg extensions, and hand and finger extensions. Standing up and sitting down at regular intervals (without help from our hands) can also make us more alert, energetic and flexible. And if we have the option, replacing our office chair with an exercise ball is an excellent way to improve our balance and strengthen our lower backs, reducing the risk of spinal stress and accompanying vertebral injuries.

As an added bonus, frequent stretching can also make us more refreshed and productive in our jobs. As reported by Shape magazine, these mini-breaks help clear our minds for the tasks ahead, and release us, at least temporarily, from the stresses of our day.

For optimal results, schedule your stretch time every hour, or every bathroom break, to fully integrate these changes (and benefits!) into your daily work routine.

-Jean Bowick

YMCA of Greater Birmingham, www.ymcabham.org 

Read more healthy information from the YMCA at www.BirminghamChristian.com. Click on News/Health

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The Proven Cure for the Drug Epidemic

The Proven Cure for the Drug Epidemic

Special Feature

Presented by Alabama Teen Challenge Adult Men’s and Women’s Centers

Phil Cook completed the Alabama Teen Challenge program in 1977 and today serves as Senior Pastor at Rich Valley Church, Valrico, Fla.

1977 Alabama Teen Challenge graduate, Phil Cook, came to Alabama Teen Challenge as a teenager and now 40 years later he is sharing the life-saving message that saved him. A supporter of Teen Challenge and senior pastor of Rich Valley Church, Valrico, Fla., Cook testifies to the longevity and continued success of Alabama Teen Challenge:

“In 1977, at the age of 15, living in NYC, doing drugs and rebellious- I got deep into trouble and I was interviewed for Teen Challenge at the Brooklyn NYC Teen Challenge on Clinton Ave. –My parents didn’t know what to do with me, my dad was from Alabama and I had family there, so I ended up going to B’ham Alabama Teen Challenge-within two weeks I asked Christ into my heart and was born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit. I stayed at the induction center for the whole year- the director even moved me into his own home for the last 6 months. I went on to Southeastern University, met my wife, have 3 children, 3 grandchildren and even went to grad school. I was ordained and in 1986 we started the South Florida Teen Challenge- I have also started two churches -Calvary Church & Rich Valley Church- these ministries are all thriving! None of this would have been possible without the beautiful mercy and grace of God…….and the ministry of Teen Challenge!” Pastor Phil Cook, ’77 Alabama Teen Challenge Graduate

 

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

 

“I saw the humble beginnings of Dave’s ministry in New York City and it was a dangerous setting with all the violence in the gangs. It’s beyond calculation, the lives that have been touched and changed, who in turn have touched and changed many more. The impact is enormous. Really, it’s God’s work.” Pat Robertson/Pres. The 700 Club 

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