Category Archives: Family Finances

Episode 96: Setting Family Resolutions for the New Year [Podcast]

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Many people set resolutions for the new year, but what about a family? On this week’s podcast, Adam and Leah share how to set specific resolutions in certain areas as a family, and give some examples to help you.

Areas discussed are (1) spiritual goals, (2) marital growth goals, (3) financial goals, (4) goals for hospitality and service, and (5) goals for fun.

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Episode 95: Christmas Memories [Podcast]

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With Christmas right around the corner, we thought you might enjoy a relaxed conversation. So, on this episode, Adam is joined by the whole Legacy of Faith crew to share memories about Christmas. Enjoy thoughts from Lyssabeth, Turner, Daniel, Mary Carol, Luke, Leah, Amber, Jeremiah, Donna, and Jim!

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How Titus 2 Will Transform a Church (and Save a Bundle of Money in the Process)

Families are struggling. Even in the church, families are going through rough times. We can act like it isn’t happening, or we can face it head-on.

While there is nothing wrong with this approach, for many congregations the default response is to hire someone. “Let’s get a younger preacher who can relate to these families.” (Never mind the fact that, since he’s young, he’s probably struggling, too!) “Let’s add a family minister to our staff.” “We need to add a counseling center.”

Trust me, none of these are necessarily bad things, and in many cases, they can provide a great help to a congregation.

But in our rush to think of staffing as the solution, are we forgetting a Biblical (oh, and far less expensive) method? It’s found right in the middle of the book of Titus, and it might just transform a congregation.

Interestingly, chapter 2 begins by introducing us to the phrase “sound doctrine” (which just means “healthy teaching”). Typically, when we think of “sound doctrine,” we think of issues like the plan of salvation or pure worship. Those things are true, but what is interesting is this: that’s not the subject under consideration in Titus 2. What is? What is the “sound doctrine” Titus is supposed to preach and hold to? The relationship between older Christians and younger Christians!

For example:

Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in the faith, in love, and in steadfastness. (Titus 2:2)

Don’t you think there might be some younger men who would see that type of example and understand what it means to be a godly Christian man? What if these older men were willing to teach some classes or even just take a younger man under their wings and show them what it means to walk in the faith?

What about our Christian ladies? Paul had that covered as well, and it didn’t take bringing on another staff member:

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. (verses 3-5)

It’s simply about living the right way and being willing to pour that into the next generation.

Here’s what I often see as a problem, though. Younger men and women (and I’ll let you decide what is “younger” and “older”) have some issue and, instead of the church asking a wise older person to teach or help, they simply go to their peers for advice or (more often) validation.

Of course, we need peers as friends. They can provide a sounding board and a place where we can know we are not alone.

But God’s Book says the older ones are to be teaching the younger ones how to do things in this life God’s way!

Older Christians, that means it is time for you to step up to the plate and do what God has commanded you to do! Instead of seeing an issue and helping to pay for another staff member, you roll up your sleeves and help that struggling dad or that hurting mother! You show them what God’s Word says and you share your immense wisdom with them.

But younger Christians, that also means you have to swallow your pride, not think you or your generation has it all figured out, and actually listen to the wisdom of these wonderful saints! Instead of trying to seek out a hired hand who is more “relevant” and in the same boat, why not listen to someone who has been there and still carries himself or herself with Christian grace?

You want to transform a church and help your families? I’ll take God’s plan any day of the week!


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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

Some Thoughts about Your Money This Holiday Season

It’s hard sometimes to stop long enough to think hard about who you really are. We are all wrapped up in this culture. And because we are in it we let everything around us dictate our behavior. We wind up being so swept up in the world that we do everything just like everyone else. I think the holidays are the ultimate example of this reality.

Take this into consideration: On Valentine’s Day, we go to the restaurant. On July the 4th we go to the lake. On Thanksgiving, we go to grandma’s house. And the day after Thanksgiving for about a month we go to the store.

I want to plead with you to be less materialistic this Christmas. Don’t spend thousands of dollars buying Christmas gifts out of obligation. Don’t give your kids everything they want on their list. Don’t make unwise financial decisions that are going to affect your budget for months into the New Year. 

Sit down with your family and make the decision not to make this final month of the year about “things.” Make it about relationships. Make it about spending time together. Make it about thanking God for the blessings of the year. Make it about doing something with those blessings to help others.

Here are a few suggestions about what to do with your money in December:

1. Make sure you are giving to the Lord of your first fruits. Don’t let your weekly giving decline so you can buy stuff at Christmas! Our giving to God should be planned and consistent according to our prosperity. If you increase your giving this month, don’t let it be for the tax break. Do it because you are thankful and because you love the Lord. 1 Corinthians 16:2 still counts in December.

2. Don’t spend more money in December than you did all of the other months. We justify overspending because of the holidays. I am confident that nearly 100% will spend more this month than any other month. Some get end-of-the-year bonuses and perhaps this makes spending more a little easier. But have some self-control. Stay on budget. Don’t get pulled into all the propaganda of the marketplace.

3. Do less for your blessed family and more to help those who are hurting. If you are going to buy Christmas gifts for your children, you can teach them a great lesson by buying for those who don’t have much. Right now is the time to let your family know that you are going to share your blessings with others instead of taking hours and hours to open up presents on Christmas morning.

4. Give presents that are not so expensive. We have all heard the expression, “It’s the thought that counts.” How true! It’s not the size of the gift or the amount of money that you spend that matters. The case in point for us has been our middle child. For years as soon as he gets that one thing (often inexpensive) that he wants, he is ready to go into the other room and enjoy it for hours. He often doesn’t even care about opening the rest of the gifts! You don’t have to break your pocketbook to show others you love them. The greatest gifts are often made by hand and come from the heart, not the store.

My prayer for you is that you can rest and enjoy this holiday season. Make it about spiritual things rather than physical things. Love more. Bless others. Give thanks and honor to the Creator and Sustainer of every good and perfect gift!

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” – James 1:17


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AUTHOR: Jeremiah Tatum

Episode 92: A Candid Conversation about Comparison and Perfectionism [Podcast]

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Being a parent is difficult, but being a parent in the social media age leads to all sorts of insecurities about not measuring up. On the podcast this week, Adam and Leah have an unscripted and open conversation about the struggle many feel with comparing to others and the drive for being good enough.

Resource

Why I’m No Homeschool Superstar” [Read Aloud Revival]

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Episode 79: 100 Verses Resource, Expenses Parents Don’t Need, Surprising Parenting Statistics, and More! [Podcast]

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On our latest podcast, Adam and Leah spend some time sharing family updates, then discuss a great article about how parents can cut expenses by thinking about what is most important. Finally, they discuss some research from the Kaiser Family group that is a bit surprising (and sad). Find the links below.

Resources

100 Verses to Know from 1st and 2nd Corinthians [pdf from A Legacy of Faith]

8 Kid Expenses that Are Not Worth the Money, According to Real Parents [Healthy Way]

Sex on TV 4 [pdf from Kaiser Family Foundation]

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[Quote] Zig Ziglar on the Difference between Rich People and Poor People

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Want to start building a good library? Visit our store from A Legacy of Faith to find several volumes that we have written or to which we have contributed.

Episode 61 : 5 Foundational Financial Principles for Families (with Westley Hazel) [Podcast]

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Following up on our last podcast discussion about family finances, Adam is joined by Wes Hazel to discuss five foundational principles every family needs to keep constantly in mind in order to be pleasing to God and wise in this area of life.

LOFpodcast

The Five Foundational Principles

  1. God is the One Who gave what we have to us.
  2. We need to honor God in our giving.
  3. We need to be generous to others, and willing to share.
  4. Avoid debt (like the plague!).
  5. Live on less than you make.

Resources and Links

Beyond the Tithe [Amazon]

Forrest Park Church of Christ (Valdosta, GA)

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Episode 60: Our Ups and Downs of Budgeting [Podcast]

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After a few weeks away, we are back with a new season of our podcast, which will be released every other Friday through the end of the year.

On this episode, Adam and Leah sit down to talk about budgeting in general. They share some of the things they do well with a family budget, but also some things they need to improve on.

We hope this episode encourages you to look at your family’s finances and take control of them, all for the glory of God.

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Resources

EveryDollar [Free online budgeting software]

Dave Ramsey [homepage]

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One Small Decision, A Family Tradition, and Saving Almost $500 Each Year

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A few years ago when our family moved to Nashville we made a very hard decision. You see, we were barely 30 years old. We had realized early on in our marriage that living in perpetual debt was not for us. We had paid off a relatively small student loan and we had paid off our car. Then we did this little thing called adoption and found ourselves in debt again, along with another car payment.

We were tired. We had two children under the age of 3, with their futures in our very hands and we were determined to put an end to paycheck-to-paycheck living. We wanted to start saving some money.

We finally began to understand that if we wanted our lives to look different, we had to start living differently. What a concept.

A Couple of Big Changes

We made some big changes. One was to refrain from car payments. This is no small thing, because we had one car at the time, in Nashville, and we lived 15 minutes from the church building where Adam worked. We knew we needed another car. It would have been easy to go buy a car and have a “small” $200 car payment. We were serious, though, and decided that one good car was enough. We bought an old car that Adam could use traveling back and forth from work. I love my husband for many reasons. One of which is that he was willing to drive a car without heat, air, and a radio during that time.

This was also about the time we decided to turn off our cable. That decision wasn’t only about money, but the $70 monthly bill sure wasn’t winning us over. That decision truly transformed our family. We were forced to think of other things to do. As our children grew older, they also were forced to think of other things to do. Television shows and movies became a treat and a decision; not a default. These were some big changes we made, but there was also a small decision that really made an impact on our family.

The Small Change with Big Impact

We found out that controlling our spending was a lot harder in Nashville where there were approximately 30 billion restaurants (and it seemed that about 10 billion of them were on our drive home from worship).

We noticed a pattern every Sunday morning. After worship, all of our friends would start making plans about where to eat lunch. Inevitably, our friends would invite us along. We would go along for a couple of reasons. First, we didn’t want to be impolite. Second, I didn’t have anything already prepared back at home.

We knew this would be a problem. After all, even as young as our kids were then, we were spending at least $80 each month for Sunday lunch. That may not seem like a lot to you, but to us at that time that was a lot of money.

So, we made a plan. We decided to start making our own Sunday lunch. I knew myself well enough to know that in order for this plan to work, Sunday lunch needed to be “in the oven” before we headed to worship. It was during this time that I learned how to roast a chicken, which, by the way, is very easy. I also got pretty good at cooking a roast. We figured that all told, we could eat for around $10 at home, when you consider the leftover meat and broth. In addition, we almost always had Sunday night sandwiches taken care of from the leftovers.

We began inviting other families over to eat with us because we knew that Sunday dinner is a great time to visit with other young families who would otherwise be too busy during the week.

I know that others say that the expense of eating out is worth it because they are visiting with other families. Well, we were visiting with other families too, and in addition, we were building a wonderful tradition of a nice Sunday dinner every week.

Plus…we had around $40 dollars extra a month!

What $40 Each Month Could Mean

Now, I know that saving $40 a month might not seem worth it to some people, but I want to encourage you to look at what $40 dollars could do for your family.

For that same $40, you could order a subscription to “Discovery” magazine for your child and order every Apologetics Press “Learn to Read” or “Advanced Reader” series of books and still have at least $12 left over.

Or you could order a one-year subscription to Gospel Advocate and Christian Woman magazines with a couple of dollars still in your pocket.

If you are not in the buying mood, you could give $40 more dollars to the work of the Lord or you could pay off S40 of your debt that month. Do the math and that little change adds up to almost $500 in one year’s time.

Conclusion

You see, a small change in your life can have big effects. The obvious is financial, but as you can see, we got much more than a financial benefit from this small change in our life.


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AUTHOR: Leah Faughn