Who Really Owns Your Business?

Who Really Owns Your Business?

Special Feature

A foundational principle for a Christian entrepreneur is that God is the REAL Owner of the business. The stock certificates may have your name on them, but they’re really held in trust for the Owner.

Wise men seek truth, and the first truth about all things is that God created them. Our lives, abilities, wealth and opportunities are ultimately given to us by the Creator. The most reasonable thing we can do is acknowledge His lordship over our lives and businesses with thanksgiving and seek to let Him work through us to accomplish His purposes.

“The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.”

Psalm 24:1 NLT

Do you acknowledge God as the rightful Owner of your business? If not, ask Him to help you see that truth and act on it. If you do, how often do you thank Him for that tremendous opportunity?

How do your business strategies reflect God’s ownership? Are you confident you’re fulfilling His unique purposes for the business? Are you at least as committed to fulfilling God’s purposes for His business as you would want your trustee to be in executing your estate according to your desires?

 “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.”

1 Corinthians 4:2 NIV

Find more leadership resources at www.convenenow.com/resources. To learn more about Convene, contact your local convene chair.

-Harris Wheeler 

2017 Convene Chair of the Year

(205) 936-7038

hwheeler@convenenow.com

-An excerpt from “24 Ways You Can Build a Christ-Centered Profitable Business” by Convene Corp.

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“Ultimate Author Day”

Photo Fun

Our Lady Sorrows Catholic School 8th-grader Max McGwin and Dr. Kesha James, Director of Distance Education Lawson State Community College, have fun working together during Ultimate Author Day, where professionals shared their expertise with students as they celebrated their work as accomplished authors.

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“Library Fun”

Photo Fun

Renowned children’s author Kevin O’Malley recently shared his experiences as an author with the students at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School. This is one of the fun activities the children experienced this year through their school library program.

 

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Thank You for Your Service!

Photo Fun

“Military Excellence”

Birmingham’s Seaman Recruit Andrew Lockhart, recently graduated as the top Sailor from Recruit Training Command, earning the Military Excellence Award. Lockhart, a 2017 graduate of the University of Alabama, said he joined the Navy to achieve a sense of accomplishment. “I want to be able to say I know I did something with my life,” Lockhart said. “Many people struggle to answer when asked what they are most proud of in their life. I know that I will have no problem answering that question now.” The MEA Award is the top award presented to the No. 1 recruit of their graduating training group who best exemplifies the qualities of enthusiasm, devotion to duty, military bearing and teamwork.

 

“Serving Half Way Around the World”

Birmingham native and mine hunter Micah Brown is serving with the U.S. Navy in Japan. The 2015 Bessemer City High School graduate is aboard one of the forward-deployed mine countermeasures ship, USS Patriot. Brown is proud to serve in the Pacific and fondly recalls memories of Birmingham. “If you put your mind to it, you don’t have to make bad choices to be successful which I learned from my mom,” said Brown. “She also taught me that when situations are tough, to not just quit, because there will always be hard times.”

 

“Birmingham Sailor Aboard USS Rushmore”

U.S. Navy Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Reymundo A. Villegas III.

Intelligence Specialist 1st Class Shannon Diaz, left, from Birmingham, prepares video for the USS Rushmore’s Nautical or Otherwise Photographic Intelligence Exploitation (SNOOPIE) team while participating in a force protection exercise.

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Does Your College Student Have a Healthcare Package?

Does Your College Student Have a Healthcare Package?

Money Matters

presented by: Vision Financial

Every year, tens of thousands of young men and women begin or return to college. In Alabama alone, there are more than 60 colleges or universities in the state. In total, the number of college students enrolled in an Alabama school at any one time can be well over 100,000. Unfortunately, most of these students are sent off to college without a Healthcare Package.

What does it mean for a college student to have a Healthcare Package? In the State of Alabama, an individual is considered an adult upon his or her 19th birthday. Federal and State law restricts the disclosure of healthcare related information about an adult patient. Specifically, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) can impose civil and criminal penalties on healthcare providers and insurance companies for failing to protect or wrongfully disclosing a patient’s health related information. The possible imposition of these penalties can encourage healthcare providers to develop policies which refuse to disclose certain health related information to family members of patients.

An example of this problem involves a scenario where a college student is rushed to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. Upon entering the hospital, the student is unable to sign any release forms. While the student is in the emergency room, a hospital administrator contacts the student’s parents to determine what insurance the student has. When the parent asks what is wrong with their son/daughter the administrator responds that it is against their policy to disclose health related information without a HIPAA Release or other form of approval.

For any college student 19 and above, he or she should have three important documents in his or her Healthcare Package to overcome these regulatory pitfalls:

  • HIPAA Release Form
  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Advanced Directive for Healthcare

Although these three documents cannot stop a disaster, these documents can help mitigate the damage and provide relief to loved ones. Different forms of these documents can be found for free on the internet; however, it is highly recommended that you seek the advice of a competent attorney, licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction, to help develop your college student’s Healthcare Package.

-Tommy B. Majors IV

Attorney and Managing Member of The Majors Law Firm, LLC

Brought to you by Hal Holland

Vision Financial Group, Inc.

4505 Pine Tree Circle, Birmingham, 35243

205-970-4909, www.vision-financialgroup.com

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Duck Dynasty’s Missy & Mia Robertson

Duck Dynasty’s Missy & Mia Robertson

Princess[es] in Camo:

“Advice I’ve been given lately, having a middle school daughter for the first time, is this too shall pass,” Missy Robertson says with a laugh of raising daughter Mia, now 14. “God is ultimately in charge but he’s given us the responsibility of leading our children, and as long as we take that seriously, we have fun with them, we’re open, [we’re going to be okay]. Basically, I think the No. 1 thing in raising kids is being honest. Letting them know when you fail. Letting them know when you mess up and apologizing for it, and then they can understand that they can do that too.”

Duck Dynasty may have aired its final episode on A&E Network last spring, but 14-year-old Mia Robertson and her mother, Missy, have found a way for the playful antics among young cousins to live on in a new book series. A fictional take on what it was like filming reality television with family, Princess in Camo (Zonderkidz, $8.99) launched earlier this year with its first two titles, Allie’s Bayou Rescue and Running from Reality. Intended for girls age 8-12, they offer the same blend of relationship building, silliness, family values, leaning on Scripture, and the great outdoors found in Duck Dynasty—but with messages fit for pre-teens and parents as well.

In the series, protagonist Allie Carroway is 12 years old and dealing with the challenges of severe allergies and the embarrassment of fame. In the first book, rumors among producers and family suggest if she has another serious asthma attack, her parents may sell their home and move from the Louisiana Bayou to Arizona, far from the homes and property where they film their reality television show, Carried Away with the Carroways. This was an ailment specifically chosen by Mia to reflect the physical and emotional struggles that she has shared with audiences nationwide. Mia was born in 2003 with a bilateral cleft lip and palate and had her first corrective surgery at three months old. Since, she has also had palate correction surgery (7 months old) and a second lip correction surgery with additional correction to nasal passages (5 years old). In 2014, Mia underwent a major bone graft surgery, in which her physician took bone from her left hip and placed it in the cleft of her upper jaw. Missy explains that the Christian faith the Robertsons vocally cling to on screen has carried the family through it all.

Missy and Mia Robertson will release books three and four of the Princess in Camo series in early September. Dog Show Disaster features famous lap dog Hazel Mae, seen here on a bike ride with Missy.

As Allie’s health challenges follow her through the book series—which will expand to four titles in early September—so do glimpses into the Robertsons’ lives among camera crews. Missy says that while the characters and basic plot of each book were dreamed up by cousins Mia, Bella, Lily, Merrit and Rowdy, there are plenty of nonfiction glimpses sprinkled throughout that give a behind-the-scenes look at what it was like to film Duck Dynasty. While filming Carried Away with the Calloways, for example, Allie and her cousins hint at required wardrobe changes and mandatory gun safety training. The Diva Duck Blind, a glittered-duck decorated fort in Allie’s Bayou Rescue, is based on a real hideout Mia and her cousins decided to remodel to help Rowdy Robertson feel welcome after his adoption in 2016. And in Chapter 7, the cousins communicate covertly behind producers’ backs by drawing in the dirt. Missy says that detail was added as an accurate portrayal of the family bond that made Duck Dynasty so appealing to begin with. “Oh, they can read each other’s minds. They understand each other’s looks,” she says. “That’s what happens in real relationships. You can almost finish each other’s sentences. Even though that gave more of a visual—writing in the dirt and things like that—they are very close in real life, and I hope it came across that way in the book. I think it did.”

Ultimately, Missy says the books reflect lessons that are vital to the pre-teen years, including perseverance, family bonds, and sacrificing for those you love. As Birmingham Christian Family parents and youth head into summer and plan for a new school year in the fall, Missy shares four of the lessons found in the book series:

  • Speak Up. In Allie’s Bayou Rescue, Allie’s father tells her not to worry so much, but Allie is quick to inform him that 12 years olds do, in fact, worry quite a bit. It’s a moment that represents a child learning to lean on her parent and a parent realizing his daughter can listen to her own instincts and build her own faith. For Missy, it’s this slow growth toward independence that should make a parent proud. “They are going to have to start making decisions on their own as individuals and not just lean on their parents to make every decision for them. They are going to have to step out on their own and have their own faith,” she says. “That sometimes is hard for parents, especially if it’s your firstborn.”
  • Trust in God’s Love. It’s a matter of bravery to pray for God to remove a specific challenge from your life and know it may not happen. “God has his reasons for doing and not doing what he does and doesn’t do, but you have to trust that God loves us more than anything else on earth and wants that relationship with us,” Missy says. “Sometimes he allows us to go through things to draw us closer to him, to lean more on him, to understand that we need him. The will of God is for his kingdom to grow…. so even though we may not have all the answers figured out, we need to learn that God loves us more than anything. More than the sparrows. More than the trees. He loves us individually.”
  • Resist Poor Influences. Each Princess in Camo book touches on being yourself in the face of peer pressure. In Finding Cabin Six, the cousins are praying and sleuthing to save their favorite Christian summer camp from getting sold to a resort developer. A character named Madison seems to bring out the worst in Allie, who has to decide whether or not to give in and “join that negative club” or show mercy and “extend that olive branch,” Missy says. “A lot of that has to do with the people around you, especially with girls in that age group influencing each other in what to say and how to say it. Each one of those books hit on that a little bit.”
  • Stay Put. As Allie and her cousins dream of a life away from the cameras in Running from Reality, sometimes we’re all tempted to completely rewrite our lives. However, it’s possible God has given us opportunities we shouldn’t miss right where we are. When what used to excite us about life becomes mundane, count your blessings.

In 2015, Duck Dynasty’s Missy Robertson authored the book Blessed, Blessed…Blessed chronicling her family’s journey of raising a child born with a cleft lip and palate. Now she and daughter Mia are co-authoring a series of fiction chapter books for young girls with seasoned Faithgirlz author Jill Osborne. Pictured here are Mia, Cole, Missy, Jase, Reed, and Brighton Robertson.

Finally, Missy hopes parents and girls invested in the Princess in Camo series will look to Romans 5:30 for encouragement—as Mia has done with her cleft lip and palate, and as fictional Allie does in the face of her own health challenges. Faith nurtured in youth builds character, and Missy is proud that her daughter can speak (and write) so freely in a way that credits God for her blessings and perseverance. “She is the epitome of that verse because she is able to rejoice in her sufferings. The world just laughs at that,” Missy says. “Yet Paul was writing a lot of his books in the Bible sitting in a prison cell, saying you should rejoice. That is such an oxymoron to the world. Yet it’s so true…. That suffering produces perseverance that makes you either choose ‘I’m gonna give up’ or ‘I’m gonna trod on through.’ Perseverance of course produces character, and that character gives us all hope.”

 

  • Camille Smith Platt

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A Volunteer Perspective on Service: Christian’s Place Mission

A Volunteer Perspective on Service: Christian’s Place Mission

Mission Makers

Brought to you by: Community Partner Tom Douglass,

Since its beginnings in December 2008, Christian’s Place Mission has served nearly 31,000 people in the Nauvoo area with food as well as medical and dental services. Join volunteers in helping every third Saturday of the month.

Every third Saturday morning of the month, Christian’s Place Mission (CPM) volunteers converge upon Nauvoo United Methodist Church (UMC) to give out food and clothing and spend time with about 450 people in the rural poverty-stricken area of Winston and Walker County. Matt Morris began volunteering at Nauvoo with his Sunday School class. Morris says the passion his friends had for this ministry led him to Nauvoo and what he experienced has kept him coming back.

“I’d expected a small rural community that we’d help pass food out to. What I didn’t expect was the number of people in need.  When I arrived the first time for a ‘serve day,’ I was immediately moved by the number of folks there in need. I wasn’t worried about whether or not I would be wasting my time…I must have spoken to and listened to 20 people over the next few hours. Time flew. I heard about what poverty was, and how hard it was without an industry or work. I heard about how much those folks needed the things that were provided from food to clothes to diapers, but more importantly I was moved by how much they just wanted a chance to vent, to explain their plight. And while I believe the things we talked about were important, I think just the physical act of being there and giving them someone to talk to was just as important. The thing I was most impressed with was that several of the people, despite their lack of sources for income, food on the table for their kids, or inability to even drive to a job should it become available (for lack of transportation) was their faith. They wanted to pray. They believed that this was a phase of life that would not last forever. Even in death, they knew that they’d eventually be with Christ, and that moved me. It moved me that the things one tends to believe to be important, aren’t. and faith can exist even in our greatest state of need. I was filled with the Holy Spirit to want to hear more. Too often we try to keep up with the Jones’, and ultimately we will feel empty even when surpassing them. These people, despite having nothing of material substance, were filled. Filled with something man can’t provide. It is these people that keep me going back to Nauvoo. While we give them food, a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen, they give us more. They give us the ability to listen, understand, believe that faith isn’t something that comes from being blessed. It is something we can have no matter our material wealth or good health. Something by the grace of God we can have- eternal life with Him. If you decide to volunteer at CPM you will be blessed in ways I find hard to put into words. It will touch your heart, mind, and soul.”

To learn more about CPM visit www.christiansplacemission.com, find them on Facebook @Christians Place Mission or call 205-410-7029. The ministry especially needs monetary donations and work/casual clothes.

-Brought to you by: Community Partner, Tom Douglass, Brik Realty 

www.TomDouglassRealtor.com

205-999-2780, tdoug@tdrepro.com

Member www.Convenenow.com

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Do You Need a Special Needs Trust?

Do You Need a Special Needs Trust?

Legal Matters

Presented by: Bradford & Holliman, Estate Planning,

A common mistake we hear from individuals with disabilities is that they need a special needs trust to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. While this is true for many people, it depends on the type of disability benefits the individual is receiving. There are two types of Social Security disability benefits: SSDI (Supplemental Security Disability Insurance) and SSI (Supplemental Security Income). A person receiving SSI disability benefits will need a special needs trust to hold assets that exceed the maximum limit of $2,000. A person receiving SSDI disability benefits should not need a special needs trust. The difference depends on the person’s work history.  

SSDI is based on work history. If a person has obtained 40 work credits, 20 of which were earned during the last ten years, a person should be able to qualify for SSDI disability benefits.  This means that if the person is found to be disabled, they can receive disability benefits and there are no limits on their income or assets. I often like to say that a person can be a millionaire and still receive SSDI disability benefits because it is solely based on whether the person is disabled and if they have sufficient work credits in the Social Security system. Conversely, a person that does not have the required work credits, will not be able to obtain SSDI benefits.  Instead, the individual will apply for SSI disability benefits. This issue typically applies to children who are now adults and are disabled to the point they cannot work; or, a person that has not been in the work force very much over the last ten years and does not meet the work credit requirements.

To obtain SSI, the person must prove they are disabled and meet very strict financial criteria. In other words, the person must be very poor to receive the SSI benefits. Generally, the person cannot have over $2,000 in countable assets. If this person wants to qualify for SSI and has too many assets, the person can place the assets in a special needs trust and obtain SSI and Medicaid. Work closely with your attorney to prove the type of disability benefits you are receiving so the attorney will know if a special needs trust is right for you.

Melanie Bradford Holliman

Partner, Bradford & Holliman, LLC

Practice focuses on estate planning, elder law and special needs trust.

2491 Pelham Parkway, Pelham, Ala. 35124

205-663-0281, www.bradfordholliman.com

This article is for educational purposes and is not intended for specific legal advice.

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An Innocent Text Can Change Your Life

An Innocent Text Can Change Your Life

Legal Matters

presented by: Frank S. Buck P.C., Personal Injury

Texting and driving is as dangerous as drinking and driving. Every week news stations report on yet another car wreck with severe injuries or even death that was caused by texting and driving. These constant and heart wrenching warnings should stop us in our tracks. Yet drivers continue to ignore the risks associated with a cell phone when they take not only their eyes off the road, but their hands off the wheel as well.

The statistics of car wrecks while using a cellphone are overwhelming. A driving analytics company called Zendrive found drivers are using their phones 88% of the time they are in the car. Just a two-second distraction increases your risk of crashing by 20%. A driver going 55 mph can travel 100 yards in five seconds. If that driver is texting, that is equivalent to driving the entire length of a football field while blindfolded. One in four car accidents are caused by cell phones. A study from the University of Utah has found that people are as impaired when they drive and use a cell phone as they are when they drive intoxicated. Cell phone users are 5.36 times more likely to get into an accident than undistracted drivers. The U.S Department of Transportation has found that text messaging increases the risk of crash or near-crash by 23 times. According to national studies, 78% of all accidents, are caused by texting while driving. New teenage drivers are at higher risk. The fatal crash rate for teens is 3 times greater than for drivers age 20 and over.

In an effort to reduce the accidents and fatalities from cell phone use while driving, many states have banned texting and cell phone use while driving. Interestingly, many of the states that have banned cell phones have fewer motor vehicle collisions. Even the cell phone companies know the hazards of cell phone use and driving. In early 2013, the nation’s four biggest cell phone companies launched their first joint advertising campaign against texting while driving. Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile united behind AT&T’s “It Can Wait” advertising campaign, warning their customers against the misuse of their own devices.

Under Alabama law, drivers owe a duty to others on the road to drive with reasonable care. If someone drives in an unreasonable manner, such as driving distracted with a cell phone, and hits another vehicle because of it, that person is legally liable for the resultant injuries. The injured person is entitled to recover money for those injuries. Is that text or phone call worth it? It only takes one second of taking your eyes off the road for a life to be lost or forever changed. Let’s all go back to the basics of driver’s education, eyes on the road, hands on the wheel. If you must respond to a call or text, please pull over to make that call or check that text. Because of the legal issues involved in a personal injury case, please contact us if you or your loved ones are injured so we can help you.

Frank S. Buck, P.C., Attorneys at Law have been offering professional legal services and serving Alabama citizens for over 43 years.  We have experienced trial attorneys who have over 100 years of combined trial experience. You can reach us 24 hours a day at (205) 933-7533. Please call us for a free consultation.

Read more from Frank Buck at www.BirminghamChristian.com. Click on News/Family/Legal Matters

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