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


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

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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 


205-999-2780, tdoug@tdrepro.com

Member www.Convenenow.com

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Are You Ready to Answer God’s Call?

Are You Ready to Answer God’s Call?

Healthy Living

Are You Ready to Answer God’s Call?

If you’re like me, you probably jumped at that question with an enthusiastic, “Yes!”

We want to know and understand God’s purpose for our lives, and we get excited when we think about playing a role in fulfilling His divine plan. Romans 11:29 says, “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” He has chosen us as His sons and daughters, and as Ephesians 2:10 says, we were “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand.” Paul continues in Romans 12:1, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.”

But the question is, are you taking proactive steps to preserve your health and live in such a way that you’re completely prepared and able to do what God is calling you to next? Are you physically capable of meeting the needs of others or are you hindered by unwise lifestyle choices? Or maybe you’re feeling so overwhelmed by the stress of the world that you’re struggling to minister to others. Do you get enough sleep and have margins in your schedule so that you have the time and energy to serve or do you walk around in a fog all day?

At Wellness in the Making, my purpose is to use my training and expertise as a pharmacist to provide a framework for you to step back and truly evaluate your health, to empower you to take control of the wheel, and to give guidance and support as you change the direction you’re moving if necessary. After I listen to your complete story, we’ll identify the underlying issues contributing to your symptoms and set personalized goals that are practical for you and your lifestyle. We’ll first focus on the foundational aspects of wellness like nutrition, movement, stress levels, and sleep quality. From there, as a pharmacist I am uniquely qualified to help you optimize your prescription medications plus any supplements you may be taking. There’s certainly a place for both prescriptions and supplements, and I’ll help you find the balance that’s right for you.

Located inside Double Oak Mountain Pharmacy, I’m easily accessible both in the office and online to provide ongoing support and encouragement as you take steps forward to improve your total wellness and live in a way that allows you to fulfill God’s purpose for your life. To find out more or to schedule your initial consultation, give me a call at 205-440-2478.

-Hope Davis, Pharm.D. 

Wellness in the Making


At Double Oak Pharmacy, 5510 US-280, Birmingham, 35242


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A Heart for Husbands & Fathers

A Heart for Husbands & Fathers

Faith at Work

Scott Jones serves as facilities manager and chaplain at Brother Bryan Mission. He also volunteers at Sav-A-Life Vestavia and serves in a leadership role at Cultivate Church in Alabaster.

“I love sharing God’s grace,” exclaims Scott Jones. Eight years ago, he and his mentor, the late Russell Worrell, began volunteering with the Sav-A-Life Vestavia ministry. At that time the ministry primarily served women, supporting and building meaningful relationships with them through pregnancy. Jones and Worrell were the first male volunteers, offering encouragement to would be fathers. Seeing his passion to minister to men, Worrell encouraged Jones to start working with Brother Bryan Mission of Birmingham, knowing Jones would be a perfect fit. “He knew my heart for helping fathers to become who God created them to be,” says Jones.

To help meet this need, Jones started teaching classes at the Mission to help men become better fathers and husbands to their families. Jones has offered these men living proof that there is life after drugs, and because of his dedication and service, he has seen men’s lives change. He can tell story after story of the regeneration he has witnessed, from alcoholics becoming sober to families being reunited. “My favorite story,” says Jones, “is of an atheist who not only accepted Christ but now his mom, step-dad, sister, brother-in-law, and niece all go to my church weekly.”

As facilities manager and chaplain at Brother Bryan, Jones oversees the maintenance of two buildings, staffing, and discipleship. He leads morning chapel every Tuesday for the men at the Mission and oversees a chapel service and lunch every weekday for the homeless community. Jim Etheridge, Executive Director at Brother Bryan Mission, says, “Scott represents the best of our staff’s care and concern for those who come under our influence.  Through firmness and love Scott prods others to seek a better life.”

Besides working at Brother Bryan Mission, Jones continues to serve as a volunteer at Sav-A-Life Vestavia, leading a Daddy Boot Camp. “The importance of volunteers like Scott is the fact that they just ‘get it.’ They understand the impact their volunteering makes and how it changes lives,” explains Shaun Barnes, Sav-A-Life Vestavia, Fatherhood Ministry Coordinator.

Through his volunteering at Sav-A-Life and his work at Brother Bryan, Scott explains he has received a huge gift. “I feel I have personally grown as a leader, as a Christian and as a man. I have learned how to share the love I have experienced through the forgiveness of God.”

Learn more about how you can make a difference at Brother Bryan Mission and Sav-A-Life Vestavia. Visit www.bbmission.org and www.savalife.org.

-Regan Green

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Recipe for Discipleship

Recipe for Discipleship

Encouraging Word

A recipe is a set of instructions for preparing something; a method to attain a desired end; a formula that produces anticipated outcomes. A disciple is a student that receives teaching and training. I suggest there are four active ingredients that make a Christian disciple: Focus, Follow, Faithful and Fruitful.

  1. Focus means to have clear vision; a fixed gaze; to look intently; to give your full attention to. Hebrews 12:2 says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith …” You need to beware of some hindrances to staying focused. They are distraction, detour, doubt and discouragement.   
  2. Follow means to move behind in same direction; to acknowledge authority; to conform to and comply with. A Christ-follower must submit to and stay close to Jesus as He leads. In Matthew 16:24, Jesus says to “Follow Me.”
  3. Faithfulness is also an ingredient to discipleship. To be faithful is to be true, reliable, dependable and loyal. To be found faithful one must be dedicated, disciplined, determined and devoted. In II Timothy 4:7, the Apostle Paul said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
  4. Fruitful means to be productive; to cause results. Galatians 6:7 says, “. . . A man reaps what he sows.” There is a sowing principle that says: you reap what you sow; you reap after you sow; and you reap more than you sow. Galatians 5:22-23 lists the spiritual fruit that should be evident in the Christian’s life. It says the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  

As a Christ-follower, make sure you have the spiritual recipe for discipleship that includes these ingredients: stay focused on Jesus; follow His lead; remain faithful; and be fruitful.

-Tony Cooper 

Celebrating 27 Years of Service as Exec. Director, Jimmie Hale Mission


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Training and Equipping: Transformation Ministries

Training and Equipping: Transformation Ministries

Education Extra

Brought to you by: White Plume Technologies, www.whiteplume.com

Rock Hobbs and his team at Transformation Ministries will kick off fall classes the week of August 21. The TM School of Ministry averages about 200 students a semester. Learn more at www.trministries.org.

Transformation Ministries(TM) provides local churches and the body of believers in our community with a resource for helping families in crisis, particularly families touched by addiction. “Our mission is to set at ‘liberty those that are bruised’ in this world through counseling, prayer ministry and discipleship. We want to be an extension of any church that is wanting to partner with us to minister to their church body, train and equip their lay leadership and provide inner healing and deliverance to all that need help,” explains Rock Hobbs who founded the ministry in 2009. Headquartered at WMU (Women’s Missionary Union) in Birmingham, TM has a three-pronged focus: Family/Individual Biblical Counseling, an Inner Healing and Deliverance Prayer Ministry and a School of Ministry.

The School of Ministry will begin fall classes the week of August 21 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings (10 a.m.-Noon) and Tuesday and Thursday evenings (6:30-8:30 p.m.) “Our mission for the school is taken from Eph 4:12,13 that says, ‘…to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ,’ ” explains Hobbs adding, “We train and equip men and women with ministry tools to enable them to minister to the local body of Christ in their churches as prayer ministers and counselors.” Students attend one of four 12-week classes: Part I/”The Keys to Inner Healing”, Part II/”Liberty from Life’s Bruises”, Part III/”Spiritual Warfare and Deliverance” and Part IV/”Advanced Ministry Tools.”  Classes are two hours long once a week. “We teach for one hour and then we have small group break outs where the students can practice what they have been learning,” says Hobbs.

The school offers two tracks of training. On the Education Track, you are not required to attend all the classes and there is no homework. On the Ministry Track, you must attend at least 10 of the 12 classes and all the homework must be turned in by the end of the last session. Through this track, TM also offers continued training for “Licenses to Minister” and eventually Ordination after completing all prior requirements and two years of prayer ministry experience.

Classes take place at WMU and are also offered via live streaming to remote locations including Auburn and the Shoals area. If you register before August 1, tuition and books for the 12-week classes is $150, after August 1, $175. For times and days each class is offered, video testimonies of how the TM School of Ministry has changed lives and to register for classes visit www.trministries.org. For additional details about the school, call Nancy Moore at 205-991-4053. 

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Service Recognition: Prince of Peace Hoover

Service Recognition: Prince of Peace Hoover

Church Leaders

Outstanding Church Activity Award presented to Prince of Peace’s Gerald Buford (right) at the Knights of Columbus Alabama State Convention.

The Prince of Peace (POP) Catholic Church Knights of Columbus received four awards at the recent Knights of Columbus Alabama state convention. Vic and Bette Graffeo received the “Alabama Family of the Year” award for their dedication and service to the POP community. Nick Cvetetic was awarded “Knight of the Year” for his service to the POP Knights and the church. In addition, the POP Council received an award for their efforts in connection with the “Keep Christ in Christmas” poster contest in which POP school student, Natalie Sandlin, was a contest runner-up. Finally, Grand Knight Gerald Buford accepted the very first state award for “Outstanding Domestic Church Activity” on behalf of the POP Council. The honor was bestowed upon the Council as a result of the many service projects that the Knights completed throughout the year as well as their fundraising activities that support not only the school and church’s needs, but also to the special needs community throughout Birmingham. †

Alabama Family of the Year award presented to Vic and Bette Graffeo, a founding family of Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Hoover. (L to R) Vic Graffeo, Griffin Shreves, Bette Graffeo, Gerald Buford, Jeff Allen.

Prince of Peace’s Nick Cvetetic (center) receives Knight of the Year.

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