Awareness of Legal Options in Specific Situations

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Legal Matters

Community Partner Logo 22 FINAL 1Brought to you by: Holliman & Holliman, LLC, Estate Planning, 

October is a busy month with art festivals and Halloween, but it is also the month for Mental Health Awareness Week on October 2-8, Stroke Prevention Day on October 29, and Domestic Violence Awareness recognized with purple ribbons all month. These three situations have legal protections that you should know if a family member or heir has one of these issues.

Domestic Abuse. In a domestic abuse situation, the abuser often attempts to control and dominate the victim mentally, physically, and financially. Preventing an abuser or spendthrift spouse from access to an inheritance gives your heir more power and options. A good estate planning attorney can create a spendthrift trust in your estate plan for an adult heir with an abusive spouse or mental health issues. If your adult heir is the one with spendthrift tendencies, a spendthrift trust can protect the adult heir, too. 

Mental Health. According to John Hopkins Medicine, one in four Americans have a diagnosable mental disorder. A durable power of attorney and healthcare power of attorney for a family member or heir with mental issues can help in future crises. Thinking long term with no crisis in sight, one grandmother set up a trust in her estate so that her grandson with significant mental disabilities would be cared for by a guardian and conservator long after she was gone. The parents were not viable options. An estate planning attorney can advise you about whether a guardian or a conservator is right for your situation.

Stroke. The CDC reports that in 2020, someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds or about 795,000 people a year. Strokes remain a leading cause of death even though huge advances in treatment now exist. A complete estate plan including financial and healthcare power of attorney and healthcare directive can be invaluable when an individual has a stroke. While the stroke victim is in rehab, the financial power of attorney ensures that bills are paid. If the stroke victim doesn’t recover, the healthcare directive and healthcare power of attorney allow someone to make the hard decisions about life support based on the stroke victim’s preferences. And with about 37% of Americans living alone, it’s important to have an estate plan in place to manage any eventuality.

Make sure your estate plan can manage these situations.

Melanie B. Holliman-Melanie B. Holliman, JD

Partner at Holliman & Holliman, PLLC


No representation is made that the quality of the legal service to be performed is greater than the quality of service performed by other lawyers.

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Education Extra

The 2022-2023 Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School (OLS) Peer Helpers have been chosen! The students were selected based on their teacher recommendations, grade point average, individual questionnaire, and personal interviews. These ambassadors help host special school events. They also tutor and help other students with reading, writing skills, math facts, and art projects, in addition to assisting teachers with various bulletin board projects in the school.

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The 2022-2023 Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School 8th-grade Peer Helpers are as follows (from left to right) Left to Right (top):  Olivia Sapalaran, Sofia Arteaga, Caroline Von Hagel, Isla Rohling, Linley Sparks, Sophia Bell Left to Right (bottom):  Hannah McMillan, Joseph Fuller, Caleb Brown, Max Sullivan, Delaney Sparacio

Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School fosters the religious, academic, and social development of every child, recognizing that knowledge enlightened by faith and realized through service is at the heart of Catholic education. Accredited by Cognia, we provide a curriculum that combines Catholic faith and teachings with academic excellence. We offer a partnership with parents in the religious formation of their children through a family friendly environment to prepare our students to be productive citizens and future leaders. Our school consults with the Diocese of Birmingham Catholic Schools Office, the CDC guidelines, and the recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics to maintain a safe environment for our students. To learn more about Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School, visit †

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Home for the Holidays

Just because you see fewer pests in the fall and winter doesn’t mean they aren’t around! In fact, many bugs will seek your home out for shelter once the weather starts cooling down. Make sure you have a pest control plan in place before they make a home out of your house.

Things You Can Do Now. Before fall sets in, there are several things you can do to pest-proof your home. Make sure your home is properly prepared, and that you have a pest control plan in place! 

  • Inspect Your Home for Entry Points. Take this opportunity to do a thorough inspection of your house. Note any large cracks or gaps in the exterior, as well as larger gaps around doors and windows. The same goes for your house’s interior- try to find any spots where pests might come in while seeking shelter in the fall and winter. Replace old or worn out weather stripping. Added bonus: this will help with your heating bill too!
  • Don’t Forget Your Attic. Give your attic a thorough inspection. When the weather gets cold, your attic is the perfect new home for squirrels, mice, and other furry pests. Be sure to check your insulation as well. Some pests will chew through it- and cockroaches can even make a meal out of it! 
  • Be Aware. One of the best pest precautions you can take is simply noticing pest and their activity. As you’re inspecting the exterior of your house, make note of any insect nests you come across. If you see any chewed wires, animal droppings, or other signs of pests in your home, be sure to tell your pest control service providers. This will help them make an accurate diagnosis, as well as come up with the most effective solution. 

Pests to Look Out for in the Fall and Winter. The pests you’ll need to look out for during the colder months are called overwintering pests. That term simply means that they survive through the winter. These are the pests that are most likely to seek out warm shelter in your home. Some of the most common ones include lady beetles, rodents, ants, stink bugs, box elders, and stinging insects.

Now is the time to start pest-proofing your home for winter! For all your pest needs- whether you have mice, termites, or wasps- you can trust Vulcan Termite & Pest Control to get the job done and done well. Contact us at 205-663-4200 or visit to get started on your pest control plan today. 

Vulcan Termite and Pest Control LogoVulcan Termite & Pest Control, Inc. 

For more tips on preparing your home for the holidays, click here.

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Money Matters

Brought to you by: OneAscent Wealth,

“The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money…but rather a legacy of character and faith.” –Billy Graham 

The purpose of a financial plan is more than just earning money. It’s to grow assets that enable you to live an abundant life and steward the resources God has given you. The following three questions are helpful markers to help illuminate your legacy. 

1. What goals have I achieved? A legacy filled with redemptive stories doesn’t just happen. You must dream big, set goals, and work hard every day to make progress. If you want to be thought of as a faithful steward of your resources and gifts, start small. Identify small goals to achieve in six months to a year that build towards bigger overall goals. Long-term financial goals might start with a brown bag lunch three days per week while increasing monthly contributions to your retirement accounts.

2. How did I learn from the mistakes I made? No person’s life journey avoids every bump in the road. There will be times when you make the easy choice instead of the right choice. You’ll do things that hurt others or embarrass yourself. You might lose perspective and place your friends and family behind things of less importance. Although these kinds of mistakes happen, don’t let them define you. When you’re looking back on your life decades from now, these stories of growth will be far more important than the stumbles along the way. 

3. How did I impact others? You may not love everything about your job, but you can choose to show up to work and love your neighbor. You may not be rich, but the way you give your life away will point you and others to the truth proclaimed in Mark 10:45 where Jesus says, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many.” When considering your legacy, you won’t regret spending more time with your family, whether that’s taking your kids to school, or coaching their sports. 

Authoring these kinds of life stories doesn’t just happen. Living an abundant life is a process that combines long-term vision with intentionality. If you need help writing your next chapter, OneAscent Wealth would be honored to talk about your life, goals, and legacy. 

John Beatty -John Beatty

Advisor at OneAscent Wealth


Investment advisory services offered by OneAscent Wealth Management, LLC, a registered investment advisor with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Business Today

Community Partner Logo 22 FINAL 1Brought to you by: Community Partner Sawyer Solutions,

Every business is unique, and that often includes the security measures you employ to protect your network and data. Here are three “universal truths” that every business needs to consider when evaluating their cyber-defenses.

1. Protection. No matter the industry in which you work, your computer devices, networks, and databases contain valuable information. That’s why every business should put protection measures in place as a first line of defense against hackers and cybercriminals. One such defensive measure is a reliable antivirus software package. This program, or set of programs, scans for, detects, and removes malicious software, and prevents it from gaining a foothold and spreading on your devices and/or networks. Other ways to protect your business include multi-factor authentication, cloud-based backups, updating your operating system, email filters, and more. Also, remember that not every threat comes from a malicious source. Protection against power surges that may lead to data loss is also a must.

2. Response. While being proactive is the best way to protect your business, having an incident response plan in place helps ensure an issue doesn’t turn into a full-blown disaster. Keep track of how many devices you have and where information is being stored. It’s also a good idea to have a backup in place in case data gets stolen or deleted. 

3. Training. Uninformed employees can be one of the biggest threats to your security, due to their access to your information and unfamiliarity with cybersecurity concerns. On the other hand, well-informed employees are a critical first line of defense against cyberattacks, including phishing campaigns, malware, and viruses. For example, something as simple as educating your employees on what a suspicious email looks like can deter more attacks than you may realize. Having policies in place to prevent downloading unauthorized applications or clicking on ad links will instruct your employees on what they should and should NOT access on their work devices. 

While these “top 3 things” shouldn’t be the extent of your cybersecurity strategy, it’s a good place to start. Sawyer Solutions has the experience and expertise to determine what your business needs and implement it in a way that allows you to be as hands-off as you desire so you can focus on serving your customers and running your business. Would you like a snapshot of your company’s current IT security risk level? Take 5 minutes to answer 15 quick questions and find out whether your business is at risk. Visit to take the complementary quiz. 

Sawyer Solutions logo-Sawyer Solutions 

We do I.T. so you don’t have to!

Our promise to you:

1. We Keep You Safe

2. We Serve You with Care and Compassion

3. We Respond To You In A Timely Manner

If you are not satisfied with your onboarding, you don’t pay for it.



The Great Outdoors

Presented by: Mark’s Outdoors

October 15, 2022 is opening day for bow hunting, which means it’s time for the final stages of getting your fields finished and stands placed. It’s also time to get your gun sighted in, and Mark’s Outdoors offers a free sight in with the purchase of two boxes of Hornady rifle ammunition. Before heading out, make a hunting checklist to ensure your first trip to the woods is safe and successful.

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The Extinguisher ($19.99) is the Mark’s Outdoors Staff #1 Pick in Deer Calls.

√ License. First and foremost, make sure you have a current Alabama hunting license. If you are a license exempt hunter, meaning you are over the age of 65 or under the age of 16, you will still need a Hunter Exempt License Privilege (HELP) number. Your license or HELP number can be obtained in-store at Mark’s, or online at Anytime you are hunting, have your hunting license readily available.

√ First time Firearm Buyers. We are prepared to help all, new and old, firearm customers. Purchasing a firearm can be a difficult process but we will make it as easy as can be. We have great inventory to choose from and want you to feel protected at home and wherever you go! Let us help you with your first purchase. We are service with a smile!

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A wide selection of deer scent attractants are available this season and at Mark’s, ranging in price from $5 to $30.

√ New Rules. The 2019-2020 whitetail hunting season has changed its view on baiting deer. It is now legal t bait deer in Alabama with any type of attractant such as corn, rice bran, salt licks and any other aftermarket attractants. We have invested heavily in Backwoods Attraction and all the products they offer to bring the deer closer to you! MAKE A NOTE! You will have to purchase a baiting permit to use these attractants if you plan to hunt with the product in the field. The permit is $15 and can be competed at Mark’s outdoors or at home.

As always, if there is anything you need to get ready for the season, call or stop by to see the friendly and knowledgeable staff at Mark’s Outdoors. Happy hunting!

– Mark’s Outdoors Marks Outdoors Logo

1400-B Montgomery Highway, Vestavia 35216

205-822- 2010,

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Miracle Moments

Brought to you by: Molly Maid of Birmingham,

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

I can still remember the long, awkward ride from my “home” to Big Oak Ranch. It was April of 1990, and I was 14 years old. It’s my most vivid childhood memory – arriving at Big Oak Ranch. As I was welcomed into my new home, I watched my dad drive away and I stood there uncertain and angry.

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After arriving at Big Oak Ranch at 14, Ranell Tillet still calls the Ranch home today.

All I had ever known was a life of brokenness, instability, and chaos and I didn’t see how Big Oak could change that for me. In fact, I was determined to let no one pass the protective walls I had built around my heart. The walls seemed like a refuge from the cycle of disappointment to which I was accustomed. But little did I know, Big Oak was being written into my story because God wanted to reveal Jeremiah 29:11 as a promise to me. One year from that day, I realized His provision in my life. I experienced the love of Jesus through the lives of selfless, seed-sowing, faith-filled people – a love that would tear down my well-built walls. My biological sister also arrived at Big Oak during this time, and I began to see a work unfolding in both of our futures. I was finally able to reflect with gratitude and praise because God had not only provided me with a home that day in April, but a place I still call home today. I grew to trust His plans for me, and I stayed at Big Oak through college. 

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Ranell Tillett is seen here with her four children.

The care I received then prepared me to be the wife and mother I am today. I have been married for 23 years and I am the mother of four children. As my husband and I raise our children, I am blessed to return to the examples of my childhood at Big Oak. The powerful love of God that intervened in my life continues in my children. Even more, because of the generational impact of Big Oak, my biological parents experienced the love of Christ and, later in life, came to know Him as their Savior! From an untrusting 14-year-old girl who knew nothing of the plans God had for me, I now stand boldly upon them as a daughter of God who repeats Philippians 4:16, “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

-Ranell Tillett

Best Books 1022 Legend of Christmas

Best Books

To believe, or not to believe, is a question surrounding Christmas. For Christian families, the answer would seem obvious. After all, we are believers. And yet, when it comes to Christmas, the talk of believing is all about Santa Claus and Christmas magic. 

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Visit to order your copy of The Legend of Christmas.

Commercialism in Christmas has concerned parents for generations. It’s hard to combat the onslaught of shiny new toys, the latest electronics, and the hope in a child’s eyes. Let’s be honest, it is our Christmas joy to give children gifts that make their faces light up. The idea of a Santa Claus gives parents a story and a fun way to enjoy Christmas giving. Cartoons and Hallmark specials light up the season with warm thoughts of Christmas miracles and magic. For young Christian families, it’s a time to create childhood memories. It can also be a time to lay a foundation for the truth of Christ, and the man their classmates call Santa. Parents no longer have to choose between celebrating the birth of the newborn king, and Santa. 

Santa Claus is the evolution of the Dutch name Sinterklaas, which means Saint Nicholas. Who was in fact a real man. Not only did he live, but he also followed his faith, just as his mother taught him as a child. Living during a time of severe Christian persecution, his good works were in stark contrast to the world around him. And like the Apostle Paul, he spent part of his ministry in prison. In The Legend of Christmas: An Untold Story of the Real St. Nicholas, children are introduced to a rugged man in tattered clothes being cared for by a cellmate. The stories of his kindness, bravery, and powerful prayers had spread throughout his small Mediterranean village. The scruffy younger man is amazed that a good man like Nicholas could be in prison with a thief. 

Historically accurate, with beautiful images spread over each page, parents have a new story to give their children–and something more than an elf to believe in. Parents are encouraged to try new traditions of honoring the birth of the savior by following Jesus, with childlike faith, just as St. Nicholas did. Whether or not to believe in Santa, is arguably the first time Christian children are confronted with the fantasy of our culture, and the faith of their family. This true story of Christian history, untainted by secular commercialism, gives families a deeper sense of their own spiritual heritage, and inspiration to create new faith-filled traditions this Christmas.

-Theresa White 

Best Books 1022 the Lord Roars

Best Books

Around the 8th century BC, God raised up several prophets to address the crisis confronting His people. Among them were Amos, Micah, and Isaiah. Their ancient prophetic message, now enshrined in our scriptures, voiced God’s love and frustration for a nation that claimed Yahweh as their God, offered him sacrifices, sang his praises, observed holy days, and read the scriptures. They thought they were in good standing with God – that they were doing it right and believed the right things. They were, however, terribly mistaken. Not only were they in a political, social, and national crisis – they were in a theological crisis. Even their religious leaders were divided – often offering competing views on what was true and what was false. Sound familiar? 

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The Lord Roars is available for purchase at Sanctuary Christian Books & Gifts in Alabaster.

In his new book, The Lord Roars- Recovering the Prophetic Voice for Today, M. Daniel Carroll R. presents a powerful appeal for modern Christians to learn from these ancient prophets. Amos, Micah, and Isaiah have a message for us today. Their warnings to God’s people about systemic injustice, nationalistic arrogance, materialism, and economic inequality are just as relevant today as they were when proclaimed to ancient Israel. The prophets of the Lord can speak into our world. The writings of the prophets are both a warning for us and an invitation to live in the hope of a world more closely conformed to the righteous vision of God. The Lord Roars is a message we would be wise to heed.

The prophetic vision for the world is not dead, nor is it confined solely to the future. As Christians, we are called to live in anticipation and hope of the coming kingdom of God, a reign of justice and abundance and true worship. But we are also obliged to live in alignment with that hope right now, in this world. We are to yearn for a just society, to work and pray and speak boldly. What does the Lord require of us? Do justice, now. Love mercy, now. Walk with humility, now. Our allegiance is not, nor should ever be, to any political or social ideology. Our allegiance is to the Roar of the Lord.

-Darrel Holcombe, Owner

Sanctuary Christian Books and Gifts

Colonial Promenade, Alabaster 


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Parenting Points

Halloween is October’s national holiday, yet for some Christians, Halloween is taboo. Due to the evil nature of the day with ghosts, goblins, and devils, many Christians have sought to avoid the day by either turning off all the lights to hide from kids in costumes or running down to the local church for the latest “fall festival” activity. But what if Halloween became a strategic day for your family to build connections with your neighbors?

When it comes to cultural engagement, theologians have debated over the course of many pages what the appropriate Christian response is to engaging culture. Should Christians seek just to become another part of the broader culture? Should we create our own Christianized copy of the culture (i.e., fall festivals)? Or should we seek to look thoughtfully for opportunities to step into a cultural moment to shine as the light in the darkness? In the middle of the darkness of Halloween, followers of Jesus have an excellent opportunity to be the light. In choosing to be the light in the darkness, we can be like John the Baptist, standing in the darkness and pointing to Jesus as the light: He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him” (John 1:7).

Your family has an opportunity to bear witness to Jesus’ light this Halloween. When we think of this statement, our minds may rush to ideas of passing out tracts at the door or making people listen to gospel presentations for a free mini-Snickers bar. Just as Jesus came into the darkness relationally, our approach to being the light of Jesus to our neighbors must first and foremost be relational. We want to love our neighbors well, befriend them, and point them to the hope we have found in Jesus through our words, actions, and deeds. Engaging your neighbors for Halloween begins by being intentional about being home on Halloween night. Halloween is a great night to meet neighbors and begin to build relationships. Through these connections, God may open doors to go deeper into relationships.

This Halloween may be a great opportunity for your family to stop hiding from your neighbors in the back of the house or run to attend the fall festival at the local church. Trading these activities may open the door for your home to be a place of light, hope, and healing for those around you.

Ben Birdsong-Dr. Ben Birdsong

Missions Minister at Christ Church Birmingham

Writer and Speaker

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