Episode 63: Personal Evangelism in a Small Town (with Rob Whitacre) [Podcast]

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Every Christian knows that personal evangelism is not optional. However, when you live in a small town or rural setting, it is easy to come up with excuses to not teach others the Gospel.

On this week’s podcast, recorded at Polishing the Pulpit, Rob Whitacre joins Adam to talk about how personal evangelism can be done in any setting. They also discuss how every member of the family can play a vital role in helping to lead someone to Christ.



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Contact Rob Whitacre to order “Personal Evangelism Seminar” on DVD

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Spiritual Beauty


A couple of weekends ago, I spoke at a ladies’ day on the topic of spiritual beauty. As I prepared for this topic, I consulted Sheila Butt’s book, Seeking Spiritual Beauty.

In chapter 4, Sheila writes,

We need to make sure that young ladies in the church are taught and demonstrated the right priorities. We need to let them know that they are made in the image of God and that they are very special. We need to praise them for visiting the nursing homes and taking care of a young mother’s children for her. We need to praise them for their modesty and their love and concern for others. And most of all, we need to be modeling spiritual beauty for them.

I remember thinking that most people would say they agree with this statement, but so many people don’t live their lives in agreement.

For instance, how many parents will spend vast amounts of time making sure their children excel at sports but don’t have time to make sure their children could say the books of the Bible? How many parents arrange schedules to accommodate all the activities their children are involved in, but draw the line at the church event that they “don’t have time for”?

You see, our lives are a living picture of what we think is valuable. If we believe something is valuable we prioritize it. When we allow the spiritual things in life to be crowded out by worldly, physical things, we are making the statement that spiritual things are not as important. Our kids will hear that statement loud and clear.

When we praise them for visiting nursing homes as much as we praise them for scoring the winning basket, when we praise them for understanding the book of Galatians as much as we praise them for understanding math, when we praise them for being kind and considerate as much as we praise them for having beautiful clothes, they’ll believe us when we say that “Spiritual things are more important.”

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AUTHOR: Leah Faughn

What Have You Done for Him Lately?


I love hearing Christians tell stories about people they have helped. It encourages me to hear about someone they have taught the Gospel to who is now a faithful Christian. It motivates me to hear about a missionary they have supported or a case where someone needed benevolent help and a Christian stepped up and provided it.

Personally, I do not ever try to listen to these stories as if my brothers or sisters are bragging. Rather, when we have a “win,” we like to talk about it. And that is great!

However, I sometimes hear something in these stories that truly concerns me.

[Disclaimer: I am just as guilty of what I’m getting ready to say as anyone else. That’s why I’m writing this post!]

That concern comes from this fact: often when these stories are told, it is as if the person was helped or taught just a matter of a few days or weeks ago. As the story unfolds, however, it might have been years or even decades since this brother or sister aided that person.

Even more tragical is this: sometimes, it is the last person that Christian really, sacrificially stepped up and helped!

As Christians, we get rejected or hurt so often that, when we finally have a “win,” it can be easy for us to rest on our laurels. After all, we have finally helped someone become a Christian, or we have had an opportunity to truly sacrifice to help someone in the name of Jesus. So, we can carry that victory with us for years (or more) and point back to it as our defining moment.

If we are not careful, though, we can treat that one event as just a checkmark we have made.

I’ve held a personal Bible study with someone. Check.

I’ve given a significant amount of money to someone. Check.

I’ve supported a missionary out of my own pocket. Check.

All those things are good, but Christianity is not about checking something off a list one time.

Christianity is a lifestyle!

In other words, I need to ask myself: am I continually and constantly seeking to teach people the saving message of Jesus, or am I just resting on the fact that I did it one time?

Am I looking for opportunities to give and help in sacrificial ways on an ongoing basis, or am I satisfied with the fact that I did it one time for “that guy” way back in the day?

Am I constantly praying for, and seeking to help as I am able, good works (such as missionaries, children’s homes, and Christian schools) or do I just remember that one time I did so and think that is enough?

Christianity is more than doing a good work. It is about constantly being the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world.” It is about consistently letting our light shine so that God gets the glory (Matthew 5:13-16). It is about doing good at every opportunity we might have (Galatians 6:10). It is about continually going and making disciples (Matthew 28:19-20).

In other words, Christianity is about being like Jesus, who did not do one good act then fold up His ministry and say, “Look at that one thing I did back then.” It is about following the example of the One who “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38).

Be grateful and proud of your victories. Never forget them, for they give you motivation and joy.

But ask yourself daily: what have I done for Him lately…

…or even today?

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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

A World War II Veteran and the National Anthem

Last Monday evening I was given the opportunity to speak at a small congregation during their series of gospel meetings. At the end of the service, as we were exiting the building the local preacher introduced me to an elderly gentleman who was walking out.  I noticed he was using a cane to steady himself. The preacher informed me that this man had fought in the Battle of the Bulge. This immediately encouraged me to have a conversation about the man’s work and sacrifice in that effort.
He was still fairly light on his feet and his eyes had not dimmed. He was mentally intact and well-spoken, yet humble, quiet, and kind. I thanked him for his service to our country. His words were few, but he told me that he was not drafted for the cause, but that he volunteered for it because he believed in it so completely. He also said he was so thankful for the home front. He said if it had not been for all of the support the armed forces had been receiving from home they would have never been able to have success in the battle overseas. For three and half years this man, now mid-nineties, had fought and sacrificed and given his life to his country. As he passed me and headed down the church steps I could have no other feelings than appreciation, thanksgiving, and respect.
Imagine believing in something so strongly that you would be able to offer up your life for it voluntarily! There was a time in the history of our nation when what we were doing and why was entirely more clear. With all of the recent controversy and media hype over the Kaepernick kneel at the playing of the national anthem, I am reminded that those who are now choosing to kneel have been given that freedom by none other than the people who once bled and died for its existence.
If there is any kneeling to be done, let us kneel at the feet of those who made our country great! If there is any kneeling to be done, let it be out of respect and sadness and humility rather than out of protest! If there is any kneeling to be done, let it not be for our personal, divisive, political agenda but rather let be for no other purpose than to serve and protect and sacrifice and pay honor to the colors of freedom and the unity of the hearts of the people who still live in the greatest country in the world!
There is another emblem of freedom that was first raised at Golgotha. It stands today as a symbol of international and eternal freedom for all those who come to terms with its meaning. When its song calls to us, will we hear it? Will we obey it? Will we respond to it? Those who sit in church buildings and refuse to observe its anthem are no different in some respects than those who declare citizenship and yet refuse to observe the very call that makes them free.
But you cannot be drafted. You have to volunteer. You have to believe in the cause so completely that you would lay down your life for it. That’s the only way true freedom has or ever will be gained.
“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.” – Mark 8:35
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[Quote] What the Abundant Life of John 10:10 Means

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Source: God’s Game Plan: Strategies for Abundant Living (page 18)

Let’s Get Together and Eat

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How often have I said those words? How often have those words been said to me? I couldn’t even begin to guess how many times in my life as a minister’s wife I have extended that offer, or had that offer extended to me.

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear, “Let’s get together and eat?” If you’re like most people you begin to think of all of the restaurants that are in your town or city. We all have favorite places that we love to eat, and we frequent them often.

But, what happened to the time when an invitation to get together and eat meant preparing a meal in your home and enjoying the company in a quiet, inviting atmosphere? 

The home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus comes to my mind. I’m sure when Jesus came to their home, a meal was prepared. After all, wasn’t Martha “distracted with much serving?” (Luke 10:40) Don’t you know that Jesus and those with Him enjoyed a time to have a meal and just sit, relax, and talk?

And that’s the point, isn’t it? We are all so busy and caught up in our own lives that we can’t even take the time to make a meal for our own family – much less prepare one for company! 

May I suggest a return to the practice of the hospitality of inviting people into your home for a simple meal and some comfortable conversation? Here are a few people who need to be invited into your home:

  • Those who can’t afford to invite you into their home. They seldom get invited to someone’s home to eat because they can’t return the favor. 
  • That young couple you may have noticed at church who seem to be struggling in their marriage.
  • The elders and their wives who spend so much time and effort in watching for your souls.
  • Those widows and widowers who spend many hours at home eating alone.
  • Those teens who love to have a devo in someone’s home instead of in the fellowship building.
  • Those who have demanding work schedules and don’t get home-cooked meals often.

This list could go on and on, but I think you get my point!

Why not come up with a simple menu, straighten up the house, and invite someone over to eat a meal at your dining room table? Then you can move to the “soft chairs” and have some conversation. They will never forget your hospitality. You will never regret the blessing you will receive from this simple act of hospitality.

Let’s change the meaning of “let’s get together to eat.”

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Could Football (or Any Other Sport) Cost Us Our Soul?


I love sports.

That needs to be said right at the outset of this article. Often, I read or hear people talk about how sports are ruining society, but they are people who do not like sports in the first place. (It would be somewhat like me writing about how shoe shopping is ruining us!)

It is great to go to games and relax in front of the TV at times to watch a good game. As I said, I love sports.

All that said, today I am writing a post to me first, but one I pray will be read as it is intended. The title of this article is meant to ask exactly what it says.

Is it possible that a sport could cost us our soul?

The answer is yes.

Knowing that, I think that many Christians–including this author–need to do some serious self-evaluation along these lines. I don’t care if you’re a preacher, an elder, a Bible class teacher, or whatever. There are many Christians who–by their actions and words–clearly put sports above their faith.

How do I know that? Let me share some things that I see on a regular basis and just ask us each to evaluate our own lives.

If someone were to read your social media timeline (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), what would they conclude is usually on your mind? I am amazed at how often some Christians post on social media about sports. It is throughout the day, every day (to borrow a Biblical phrase, “in season and out of season!”). And before someone says, “Well, it’s just a random thought that takes, like, 10 seconds to post,” may I remind you that it is also showing where your mind is constantly going? What else are those who follow you on social media to conclude, other than that your mind drifts toward sports more often than it does what is spiritual?

How many Christians will drop a ton of money on a weekend trip to a football game (after having paid a decent little amount to watch a high school game on Friday night, by the way), but can scarcely find $10 to give to the Lord on Sunday morning? After all, the pilgrimage to the football stadium is an experience we won’t soon forget. (I guess worshiping the Creator is all too forgettable, then?)

Deep down within you, what do you anticipate more: kickoff or worship? Which gets your blood flowing and the excitement welling up inside of you more? Are you more built up by a school fight song, or by a hymn of praise to God?

Maybe the clearest evaluation is this: which do you talk about more? It amazes me, but there are times when I can go to worship and hear more casual conversations before or after services about the game on Friday night or Saturday than I hear about Jesus. I am just as guilty as anyone else of this, but it is something I am working on, because it shows where our mind really is.

Trust me, in writing those things, I said “ouch!” more than one time.

But does this really matter? I mean, if we keep up with all the sports excitement, could it cost us our soul?

I need to be constantly reminded of one simple fact that we teach our kids and young people, but I think we too often forget as adults: the definition of idolatry. An idol is anyone or anything that takes the primary place of God in our lives. Money can be an idol. Fame can be an idol.

And, yes, football (or any other sport) can be an idol, too.

I am not suggesting that we avoid sports. The Apostle Paul clearly enjoyed sports, judging by the ways he used references to them in his writings. Sports for exercise and recreation are a great thing, as they help us build up our bodies and they provide an “outlet” for people, which is usually wholesome.

That said, when we begin to talk more about “our team” than our Lord’s church, spend more time thinking about sports than Scripture, and begin to find more excitement in a touchdown than in salvation, is there any other way to conclude than that sports have become an idol?

And won’t any idol keep us from heaven?

Yes, football–or basketball, baseball…any sport–can cause us to lose our soul. Christians, I beg each of us to do some serious examination, so that we do not exchange an eternity in heaven for a 60-minute game.

“Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive perishable wreath, but we an imperishable…But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:25, 27)

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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

Can Anything Good Come from 9/11?

Fifteen years ago this past Sunday our nation was devastated by the worst act of terrorism we have ever witnessed. 2996 people died, over 6000 more people were injured, and the economic effects of the 9/11 attacks were estimated in the trillions of dollars. Of course, the main thing was that innocent people were murdered by evil Al Quaeda operatives. These attacks shook us to the core and we won’t ever forget what happened on that day. In truth, the people who were directly affected by this terrible tragedy are in a different category when it comes to grieving. And so I tread lightly as I ask the question, “With all of the heartache of what happened fifteen years ago, can anything good come from 9/11?” I think we all know that the answer is a resounding, “Yes!”
Hundreds of articles have been written addressing how our nation changed because of the 9/11 attacks. There was a revival of patriotism. There were heroes. There was an awareness of the length to which terrorists will go to try to destroy the fabric of our country. There was an appreciation for those who daily work to defend us. There was a renewed sense of comradery among races and diverse cultures who are all in reality just Americans. There was a pause from bi-partisan politics at least long enough to sing in unison, “God Bless America!” There was increased respect for the flag, the national anthem, and the military. There was a rise in charity and sharing. We could go on and on. But above all of the possible good things, there were the spiritual blessings. This spiritual awakening came directly from our people having to look evil and death in the face and discover how to properly deal with it all.
There were individuals who had not darkened the door of a church building for decades who were found worshiping the following Sunday morning. There were people who were rededicating themselves to God and family and country. There were those who were unsaved who immediately decided to embrace Christ and get right with God. There were atheists who chose to renounce their stubborn will and believe in God. There were entire churches who responded with spiritual efforts in their communities to reach out to people who were hurting and lost. And individually, for every person, there was an awareness of morality and the judgment and an understood need to be ready to meet the Lord.
Good things can come from terrible things. Think about some of the worst things that have ever happened to you personally. How did you respond to them in the long run? Didn’t they help you prioritize your life and build your character? Didn’t they shape you into the person you are today? Aren’t you better and stronger because of the challenges that were created by those experiences? The worst days for us in this physical world are, in reality, the days that will lead us victoriously into eternity. Jesus, while on the cross, made the worst day in history our moment of everlasting redemption.
Can anything good really come from something like 9/11? I seem to remember a man named Nathaneal once asking the question, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” I think we all know how that turned out.
It all depends on how we choose to respond.
“For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.” – 1 Timothy 4:10
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Misplaced Respect

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You’ve probably heard it. You may have said it. When the name some politician comes up in a discussion, you can rest assured that somebody will at least be thinking it.

“I do not respect him/her, but I respect the office.”

Those few words say a lot. Most of what is said is not good. Part of the message is that some particular individual is (at least in the eyes of the one making the statement) unworthy of respect and honor. Their character may be flawed. Their abilities may be very limited. The people with whom they associate may be unsavory. Any number of reasons may be given. The bottom line is that they are deemed unworthy of respect.

At the same time, those words indicate a respect for such things as authority, rule of law, a functioning society, etc. In fact, they indicate a respect for God who instructs us through His Word “…that prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions… (1 Tim. 2:1-2, emphasis added). 

There are many areas of life in which it is true that a position can be respected without any real knowledge of the type of person holding that position. For example; I do not necessarily need to know anything about the person wearing a police uniform in order to follow instructions given to me. The mere presence of the badge (and that gun on the hip) will help me to respect the position. 

The person who owns the company for which I may work may be a real scoundrel. It would be wise, though, to demonstrate respect for the position whether or not I respect the person. That would be true especially if I enjoy getting paid on a regular basis. 

Should I fail to turn in assignments in school because the person in front of the classroom does not “measure up” morally? The answer to that question may be determined by whether or not I would like to continue my education.

What might be appropriate in the areas alluded to here and many others should never be an option in the church. Such things as character, devotion, godliness, and commitment are absolute necessities for those who would attempt to serve in any leadership role among God’s people. 

Those who would attempt to lead God’s people need to exemplify such traits. They are not to “throw their weight around.” Rather, they should lovingly and patiently develop a relationship with those they would want to follow them. 

It is to be a relationship based upon trust and respect. 

It is to be a relationship based upon mutual trust and respect.

It is to be a relationship based upon mutual trust and respect for individuals, not necessarily


But Jesus called them to Him and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.’ (Matt. 20:25-28)

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Episode 62: Building a Future Library for Our Children (with Brad McNutt)

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Reading is an essential part of life, and we want to challenge our children in reading. On this week’s podcast, Adam is joined by Brad McNutt, who is doing something interesting for his very young son. He is building a “future library” of books he wants his son to have when he is an adult.

On the program, Brad talks about what gave him the idea, and also gives some recommendations if you would like to start such a library for your child. (The recommendations are listed below.)


Brad’s Book Recommendations

Gods at War: Defeating the Idols that Battle for Your Heart by Kyle Idelman

Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul by Bill Hybels

Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No, to Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

Can Man Live without God? by Ravi Zacharias

Other Resources

The Book Club” [Brad’s podcast on The Light Network]

Al Mohler: Study Tour” [Video]

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