Marriage is All About “U”

marriage is all about u

We have often heard it said that marriage is not all about you. A good marriage is one where a great deal of sacrifice takes place, and where the other person’s needs are put above our own.

But, maybe, marriage should be all about you…or, actually, all about “U.”

There are three “u’s” that a marriage needs to have. Each of these can be found in Genesis 2:24, which states, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become on flesh.” Based upon those famous words, notice three important things about marriage.

1. Unique. Leaving father and mother implies that this new marriage is establishing a new, unique home. While the parents still should have input from their years of wisdom and experience, they should allow this new home to flourish and, yes, to work through mistakes on their own.

2. United. The word “joined” carries the idea of “glued.” Nothing should be able to separate this new home, because the husband and wife are so glued to one another. Every other relationship (work, children, parents, etc.)–save the covenant between a person and God–must be subordinated to the relationship between this man and this woman.

3. Union. They are now “one flesh,” which means more than the sexual relationship. In every humanly-possible way, this man and woman should be “one.” Dan Winkler suggests five areas this must be true:

  • Natural (the helpmeet relationship)
  • Intimate (they must remain monogamous)
  • Sexual (the marriage bed is undefiled, Hebrews 13:4)
  • Spiritual (they should help one another glorify God and go to heaven)
  • Permanent (“’til death do us part”)

So, as you can see, marriage really is all about “U!”

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“Ohhhhhh Boy!”

ohhhhhh boy

Many years ago a gentleman was born in western Kentucky named Odell Lamb. They called him “Red Lamb” because of his wavy red locks and his ruddy complexion. Odell went from the Kentucky farm to the German battlefields. He served in World War II and was present at the Battle of the Bulge. He came back to the Unites States and settled down with his wife Edna.  They had two children together. He worked at the stove plant and also farmed in beautiful Calloway County.

By the time I came to the New Providence church, Odell had lived a long and healthy life. He was retired, but still farming. He had served as an elder in the church for many years, but had now left that work, too. I was only 25; he was about to turn 80. He had a kindness about him. His smile was warm and genuine. He never missed an opportunity to worship with the saints. He always – ALWAYS wore a suit.

Every once in a while there is a person in your life who brings nothing but positive things. In the four years I preached at New Providence, Odell Lamb was peace and joy. Always encouraging – always thankful – always one of my biggest fans. He was dependable, and as solid as a Christian man could be in every aspect of life. He was honorable, he was gentle, he was strong, and he was loving. If you wanted a walking definition of a mature Christian, you would look no further than Red Lamb. When he prayed, you could tell you were listening to a man who had prayed before. He talked with God as one who had carried on life’s conversations with his Creator for more than a generation.

In 2003, I left green fields of Kentucky winter wheat for the rolling hills and streams of southern Tennessee. But I still go back to Murray State Racer country now and then. When I go, I always stop by and look for Mr. Lamb. He resides at Emeritus, an assisted living facility for the elderly. Last October when I saw him he was in bed and could not leave it. I was sure that visit with my friend would be our last. But this past Wednesday, I stopped by again and he was still there; still in bed, and only two weeks short of his 95th birthday. When I walked in the door he immediately straightened up, smiled, and exclaimed, “Jeremiah! I never would have thought it!” We sat and talked for awhile about old times and caught up on the new. What a wonderful visit we shared with one another!

Before I left our discussion turned to more serious matters, and he said to me plainly, “I am ready to go to heaven.” “So ready….Ohhhhhhh boy!” As I relay his words it is impossible for me to express his tone of voice and the look behind his eyes. But he said these words with excitement, joy, and a deep longing for something he had been working toward for 95 years. He did not say this because he was unhappy. He was not complaining about his age or the weakness of his body. He was simply saying that he was so blessed to be a Christian and that his time on earth was over and he could hardly stand to wait any longer. He said these things with the understanding that the better country was on the horizon and he could almost touch it. I have seen many a weary Christian long for heaven on a bed of affliction. But I do not know if I have ever seen a deeper joy, a greater hope, or a truer, more genuine faith.

I left and thought, wow! I had just seen something really special. I now know what I want if I ever live to be old. I want that feeling. I want that confidence. I want that anticipation. I want that hope.

Heaven is really going to be glorious beyond imagination. I pray that one day I will be able to see it from the place where I lay my head and say, “Ohhhhhhh boy!”

“For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.”

– Hebrews 11:14

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Never Out of Character

 

never out of character

It has been a while since the comedian, Robin Williams, took his own life. Probably by now, millions of words have been written and read about him, his career, his family, etc. In addition to that, countless words have been written about depression, suicide, the “shallowness” of fame and fortune, and a host of other things connected with him and his passing.

I hesitate to add to all of the dialogue, but one comment I heard has been on my mind ever since I heard it shortly after his death. The comment was made by a man who was identified as a friend of his.

I can’t remember the exact quote, but it was something to the effect that this friend had known Mr. Williams for thirty-five years, but that he had never really known him. The reason for that, his friend said was (and I do remember this part of the quote) “he was never out of character.”

By that, of course, he meant that Robin Williams was always “putting on an act.” Even when he was not in the spotlight, he was “on”…even with close friends. For that reason, maybe nobody ever saw the “real” person.

Some of the thoughts I’ve had about that quote center around word that is used in both the Old and New Testament. Interestingly enough, every occurrence in the New Testament is from the lips of Jesus Himself. It is also of interest that our Lord had nothing good to say about this word.

That word is “hypocrite.” According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, the Greek word means:

…a ‘stage actor’; it was a custom for Greek and Roman actors to speak in large masks with mechanical devices for augmenting the force of the voice; hence the word became used metaphorically of ‘a dissembler, a hypocrite.

It is important for each of us to be “real.” This seems to be especially true with regard to those who are close to us. How sad it would be for a friend, a child, or a spouse to never really know us.

However, there is another and even more important aspect of this. Every time Jesus used the word “hypocrite” He was talking to or about religious people. He denounced them because their worship of, devotion to, and relationship with God were all just part of an act. In short, it could be said that their entire life could be characterized as being never out of character.

What the world saw was the mask; not the real person. What our Lord saw was the real person and He did not like it at all.

Please consider some words written a long time ago by David. They may help all of us to determine whether our commitment to God is real or if we are merely playing a part.

Search me, O God, and know my heart!

Try me and know my thoughts!

And see if there be any grievous way in me,

and lead me in the way everlasting!

–Psalm 139:23-24

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A Legacy of Faith @PtP2014

Each year, we anticipate attending Polishing the Pulpit. This great event is held annually in Sevierville, Tennessee, and will be attended by around 3000 people in 2014.

Today, we want to share with you some ways to learn about this great event, and how you can keep up with us during the week.

PtP Resources

To learn more about PtP, use the following links.

Homepage

2014 Schedule [pdf]

My Biggest Takeaway from Polishing the Pulpit [A post I wrote after the 2013 convention]

7 Reasons Why you should Go to Polishing the Pulpit [Andy Brewer]

Our Speaking/Leading Schedule

If you look at the schedule, you may notice that some of our names appear there. Here is where A Legacy of Faith members will be speaking or leading in various ways throughout the week.

Donna Faughn

Saturday, 6PM (Hotel Deep Creek): “God’s Encouragement for Single Parents”

Tuesday, 3:30PM (Ballroom A): “7 Minutes of Wisdom: Practical Tips for Opening a Conversation about Divorce/Remarriage with a New Convert or Potential Convert, One-on-One”

Wednesday, 9:30AM (Ballroom B): “The Importance and Value of Elders’ Wives”

Wednesday, 1:30PM (Ballroom A): “Pure Religion: The Head, the Hand, and the Heart”

Thursday, 10:00AM (Ballroom A): “A Final Charge: Heaven Will be Wonderful Because there Will be No ‘Final Charge’”

Leah Faughn

Tuesday, 12:45PM (Ballroom A): “Tips for Shopping for Clothes for Little Girls and Finding Modest Clothes and Good Prices”

Adam Faughn

Sunday, 5:30PM (EH1): Leading congregational singing for evening worship

Monday, 8AM (Ballroom D): Leading morning congregational singing

How to Follow Us

Besides learning for ourselves, we also like to share some things we gain through social media. While we will not flood you with stuff, we try to push out quotes, ideas, and other encouraging information.

Of course, if you are friends with any of us on Facebook, you’ll get some of that info there. You can also follow a couple of us on Twitter.

Follow Jim Faughn on Twitter

Follow Adam Faughn on Twitter

Let Others Know about Us

In addition to all that, we are also pleased that we will have a small presence in the display area. Our friends at Kaio Publications have agreed to let us display some of our materials in their booth, and for that we are so thankful.

Since you are reading this, you know about us, but we will have (1) brochures, and (2) an email sign up form for those who may not know a A Legacy of Faith. So, if you know someone who has not heard of our work, introduce us in person, or take them by our display and let them see what we are about.

We look forward to seeing so many of you this week!

Episode 3 : Smartphones and Kids (guest: Chad Landman) {Podcast}

Welcome to the 3rd episode of A Legacy of Faith, the podcast. In this episode, Chad Landman joins Adam to talk about how parents can help their children navigate the world of the smartphone.

LOFpodcast

 

Topics Discussed

1. How widespread are smartphones among teens and kids?

2. What does it mean that, when we give a kid a smartphone, we put the “world in his/her hand?”

3. How can parents keep track of a child’s usage of various parts of the smartphone (calls, texts, apps, etc.)?

4. Is there really “privacy” in private apps?

Links and Resources

Chad Landman’s website

Follow Chad on Twitter

Ministry Bits podcast

Active Digital Parenting

Subscribe

Subscribe via iTunes

Subscribe via rss

Archives of the podcast, and more information, can be found here.

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Music credit:

Opening theme: “Josie Has the Upper Hand” by Josh Woodward

Closing theme: “Afterglow” by Josh Woodward

NEXT EPISODE (September 4, 2014): “5 Common Homeschool Myths”

How I Use If This, Then That (ifttt) for Organization and Information

how i use ifttt

We live in a technological age. Over the last couple of days, the posts on our site have reminded us to be careful that we do not get so connected with technology that we forget what is really important.

Today, I want to share a practical way to let technology work for you. It is a way for you to connect services you already use and be more efficient.

The service is called “If This, Then That,” and is usually referred to as IFTTT.

I first found out about this service a couple of years ago, and used it a little bit. Back then, only a few websites and apps were part of the site, so what could be done with it was very limited.

Oh, how things have changed.

A list of the services that can now be linked using ifttt is quite long now. Just scan this list and see how many of these you use for various purposes:

  • Dropbox
  • Evernote
  • Foursquare
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Buffer
  • Instagram
  • LinkdIn
  • One Note
  • Reddit
  • Vimeo
  • YouTube

And there are a ton more. For a full list of all the sites and services that are currently available, use this link. (There are a total of 124, by the way!)

What IFTTT Does

The idea behind ifttt is to think of two services you currently use that could be better used together. In other words, IF you do THIS, THEN technology takes over and lets you also do THAT.

Each of these are called “recipes,” and they simply link two services you already use so that you don’t have to worry about doing two things. Confused? How about a couple of everyday examples to help:

For example, what if you want to have pictures that you take with your smartphone automatically backed up on Dropbox? You simply find that “recipe” on ifttt and, pow!, it’s done. Maybe you want to send your wife a text message each time you leave work. No problem. Since your phone has location services, when you leave your office or job site, it will send an automatic text to let her know you are on your way home.

You can even have your phone’s volume automatically turned down (or off) when you enter the church building!

Why I Like IFTTT

I have to admit, I am not a “heavy” user, but there are two basic ways I have come to use ifttt on a fairly regular basis.

1. Avoid duplicate tasks. I have a couple of recipes that automatically back up certain information where I want it, so I don’t have to worry about doing it later. Instead of doing something twice, ifttt takes care of the backup for me.

2. Get information more easily. I have some recipes that send me information that I would otherwise have to go looking for, but it comes up on my phone, usually via text message, by itself.

My Recipes

I currently have 12 recipes that I use through ifttt. You will probably notice a couple of themes in them, but more than that, I hope you’ll see the usefulness. I have described them below, and also provided a link to them in case you want to add them, too! (Note that I use an Android phone, but all of these recipes are also available for iPhone and iPad users. Just do a quick search on the site and you’ll find them.)

Back Up Information

1. IF Android Picture, THEN Evernote. Any picture I take with my phone is automatically backed up in Evernote the next time I have data on.

IFTTT Recipe: Upload any new Photo from Android Gallery to Evernote as an Image note connects android-photos to evernote

2. IF Android Screenshot, THEN Evernote. In the same way, any screenshot I might take on my phone is automatically backed up in Evernote, as well. 

IFTTT Recipe: Upload Android screenshots to Evernote connects android-photos to evernote

3. IF Buffer, THEN Evernote. Each time I send out a Twitter update through Buffer, a link is sent to Evernote. I like this, because it gives me a running diary of the articles and other information that I found important enough to share with others.IFTTT Recipe: Save to Evernote every time I Buffer an article connects buffer to evernote

4. IF Foursquare, THEN Evernote. I rarely use Foursquare (or now, Swarm) to check in. When I do, however, I like that I can find those places again. So, each time I check in, it sends the check-in information–including the map–to Evernote. IFTTT Recipe: Archive your checkin history to Evernote connects foursquare to evernote

Social Stuff

5. IF Foursquare, THEN Facebook. Just for fun, I also have Foursquare linked to Facebook. So, anytime I check in on Foursquare, it sends a status update to FB. That way, I don’t have to check in twice, and the information (because of #4 on this list) is backed up.

IFTTT Recipe: Foursquare Check-In to Facebook Status connects foursquare to facebook

Get Information

6. IF YouTube, THEN Feedly. I don’t click “watch later” on YouTube all that often. If I do, however, it sends the video to my Feedly list (which I use for rss), so that it becomes part of my daily reading. IFTTT Recipe: Save YouTube video for later in your Feedly. connects youtube to feedly

7. IF Raining, THEN text. I get a lot of updates through sms (text messaging). Three deal with the weather. The first is simple: if it is raining nearby, I get a text.

IFTTT Recipe: Raining now? Text me!!! connects weather to sms

8. IF hot, THEN text. In the same way, if the temperature goes above 95 degrees, I get a text. (I know the picture says 100 degrees, but it can be adjusted to any temp you would like.) IFTTT Recipe: SMS when temperature goes over 100 connects weather to sms

9. IF cold, THEN text. Finally in weather, if the temperature drops below 15 degrees, I get a text. (Again, the picture says 50 degrees, but it can be adjusted.)

IFTTT Recipe: Send me an SMS when the temperature drops below 50 connects weather to sms

10-12. IF my favorite teams, THEN text. I get sports information this way, too, but only for specific teams. Using this link, you can set up ESPN to text you updates about any team (or league) that you would like. (Just click on “Create New Recipe.”) I get news headlines for the New York Yankees, Tennessee Titans, and Duke Blue Devils men’s basketball.

Conclusion

Yes, some of these are more for fun, but you can see how they also help get more things organized. Instead of scouring the web, information is sent to me in a way that I can see it when I want. I am really enjoying ifttt, especially the “back up” features.

Oh…and it’s free, which is always a positive in my book.

COMMENTS: Are you using ifttt? If so, share some ways you use it in the comments below!

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What I Learned when I Quit Facebook

what i learned when i quit facebook

I like to communicate. I like a room full of people. I like activity. I like to share ideas and thoughts and dreams with others. I am a people person. The advancement of social media for a person like me has caused a reaction similar to that of my six-year old daughter when she recently tried a new dish. She took one bite and said, “Where have you been all my life?!”

As an evangelist I use social media for the gospel’s sake. I have had countless Bible studies and private spiritual discussions involving counseling online. I have left “chat” immediately to meet the very people I have been chatting with at the church building to baptize them. I do not deny many friend requests because I want to be a link between people and God. This is my job. I know Jesus is the only mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2:5), but I want to be a link between people and the mediator. I care for souls and this love for people influences my decisions within the social realm.

But social media can take over your life if you are not careful. I had to cancel my Facebook account once and start again when the number of friends reached over 3000. Slowly but surely it began to build again. By the end of last year, I needed a break. I decided to quit all social media for a month with absolutely no cheating. I did not look on anyone else’s page. I did not ask questions. If people started talking about anything related to social media I walked away. It was a refreshing experience. Several realizations came in the process.

1. Social media can become an addiction just like anything else. It can drain time and energy and productivity. Don’t get me wrong, it can be a blessing in many ways and it is not wrong to engage in it. But if you want to know if you are addicted I have one easy litmus test: Do you ever sit in your office or at home at night on your computer, phone, or tablet refreshing newsfeed? Yeah, you may have a problem.

2. Social media can keep a person from engaging in real relationships. If you have to use media to have a relationship with someone, you may be living in a false reality. Some use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to create a person they want people to see but is not truly them. They post certain pictures and say certain things in order to project the person they wish they were. Looks can be deceiving. The best person you are is the person you are in public – talking with people, working, and being a regular part of society. The world deserves the real you. You need to contribute and be functional in the outside world. Never hide behind technology.

3. Social media keeps us in the loop. It’s the 21st century. Some people might want to think about deciding to enter it with the rest of us. I was amazed at how much information I was gleaning from social media, especially Facebook. My timeline for gathering information or finding out about situations was considerably affected when I left. If you want to minister to people information is valuable. I lost several opportunities to be a Christian influence when I stepped away for a month. In truth I am definitely closer on some level to people whom I communicate with electronically. If you don’t answer email, text, return calls, or do any social media in today’s world you are almost a hermit. Sometimes people reject these avenues of communication because they really are very private and just want to be left alone.

4. Quitting anything you habitually practice is healthy for you physically, mentally, and spiritually. I would suggest at least a short break from anything that consumes a fair amount of your time. You are missing out on the rest of the world if you dwell too often with the same people in the same places. You need to drive outside of town on a clear night and just look at the stars for a while. You need to take your kids fishing or to the park. You need to go have a long and meaningful one-on-one conversation with an older person you love who will not be here forever. If you will step away for a few days or weeks you will be practicing one of the fruits of the spirit: self-control. And let’s face it, self-control is the hardest spiritual fruit of all for anyone to grow – and the tree God wants us to be growing cannot plug in to an electronic outlet. The only real and lasting power is in His Word.

“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.”

– Philippians 3:7

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A Disconnected Connected Society

a disconnected connected society

Posts, tweets, pins, links, updates…

The list goes on and on.

IMHO, we are becoming the most disconnected connected people who have ever lived. (By the way; did you see how cool I am? I know tech speak for “in my humble opinion!”)

We know what is going on with somebody half-way around the world whom we have  “accepted” as a “friend” (even though we’ve never met them), or “follow,” are “linked in with,” or are in some other way connected electronically. At the same time, we have no idea what is going on with our spouse who is sitting right next to us; our children who live in the same house; our real friends who have been there for us at difficult times in our lives; the people who live next door to us; and/or a host of other people we used to know and spend time with before we got hooked on our electronic devices.

People who know me know that I’m sort of a sucker for this stuff. I guess it started with the iPhone.  I was among the millions who were “wowed” by it. I couldn’t believe that one little device was capable of doing all that it could do.

It took me a while to get an iPhone, but, once I did, I was hooked. Although I’ve gone to the dark side and now have an Android phone (and tablet), I’m still intrigued by the possibilities that electronics provide for us.

I’m also intrigued and saddened by what I am observing; that is, when I look up from my phone or tablet. Increasingly, I am seeing (and sometimes participating in) a scenario in which family members, friends, etc. can all be in the same room and are all communicating. The problem is that they (we) are communicating with somebody somewhere else. Instead of sharing their (our) lives with those who should be the closest to us, something as trivial as a joke or a cute picture is being shared with somebody who may not even care enough to look at it.

I’ve never had the privilege of sitting right behind home plate in the front row of a major league baseball game. I don’t expect I ever will have that privilege.

However, as I’m sitting at home miles away from the stadium, I’ve watched as that center-field camera zooms in to the home plate area. I have seen people who occupy a seat I can only dream of having. I’ve watched them texting, emailing, or doing something other than watching the game. I’m wondering how much money they spent on those tickets — and why.

When was the last time you went to a sporting event (maybe even a little league game in which your child was playing) and just watched the game?

When was the last time you enjoyed some of God’s wonderful creation without feeling compelled to share your experience with the world?

When was the last time you and your spouse had an uninterrupted real conversation?

When was the last time your entire family sat around the same table at the same time and enjoyed a meal without any electronic interference?

When was the last time you “unplugged” and just lived life with those whom you love?

I’m beginning to think that there is, in fact, a disconnected connected society. I’m beginning to also think I’m a part of that society.

How about you?

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Friday’s Family Friendly Finds {August 15, 2014 edition}

Thanks to you, it has been another great week at A Legacy of Faith. Our podcast continues to do well on iTunes, and we were also added to Stitcher Radio this week.

We are looking forward to next week, when we have four posts (including our podcast) that deal with technology. But, wow, are the posts ever on varying subjects within that world! We are excited to share them with you.

If we haven’t told you enough lately, thank you! We are amazed by the reception A Legacy of Faith continues to have, and we are truly grateful.

Now on to this week’s family links!

Family Friendly Finds

This Week’s Finds

Married for 91 Years {A Bible Commentary}

5 Ways to Show Love to Your Children {for the family}

How to Have a Farmer’s Market Treasure Hunt with Your Kids {My Kids’ Adventures}

How to Save $1,000 in One Month {Dave Ramsey blog}

Our Week in Review

The following were our five most-viewed posts in the last week. These were not necessarily published in the last week; they just drew the most views. (Original publication date in parentheses.)

#5: Episode 1 : “What is A Legacy of Faith?” {Podcast} (August 7, 2014)

#4: Episode 2 : “Connecting Kids with Family Heritage {Podcast} (August 14, 2014)

#3: Do You Want to Be a Missionary? (August 11, 2014)

#2: How Sexual Lust Destroys the Great Commission (August 13, 2014)

#1: The Implications of Goodbye (August 12, 2014)

Connect with A Legacy of Faith

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Episode 2 : Connecting Kids with Family Heritage {Podcast}

(Trouble listening? Click here to listen on the blog.)

Welcome to the second episode of A Legacy of Faith, the podcast. In this week’s program, Leah and Adam discuss ways in which parents can help to connect kids with their family heritage, and why it is important to do so.

LOFpodcast (1)

Notes

Part One: Three Reasons It is Important to Connect Kids to Their Family Heritage

1. It builds a trust in the stability of the family unit.

2. It shows character traits from their own family that children can emulate.

3. It is a great way to teach “real” history (everyone loves a true story).

Part Two: Three Practical Ways to Get Started Connecting Your Kids

1. Talk about family history when the children are around.

2. Work on a family tree, but let the kids help investigate stories and lives.

3. Always include Biblical “victories” and high points when telling family history.

Call to Action

Do you have a story to tell, in which your child made a connection to family history? Share it in the comments!

Subscribe to the Podcast

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe via rss

Learn more about the podcast, and see the archives, here.

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Music credit

Opening: “Josie Has the Upper Hand” by Josh Woodward

Closing: “Afterglow” by Josh Woodward

Next Episode (August 21): “Kids and Smartphones” with guest Chad Landman