Category Archives: Family

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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Is Gratitude a Thing of the Past?

A stranger held the door open for me as I was entering the restaurant and he was leaving. I responded with a heartfelt “thank you.”

When Jim opens the car door for me and sees that I am safely inside (which he almost always does), I try to always thank him for that kindness.

When I receive a gift from someone, I thank them verbally for that gift, and sometimes send a thank you note.

When I am asked to speak at a Ladies’ Day at a congregation, I usually begin my talk with a thank you for the invitation and the hard work that went into making the day possible.

When I pray to God, I thank Him for so many blessings in my life. They are too numerous to list!

Do you see a trend here? Saying “thank you” was instilled in me at a very young age. In fact, if I failed to thank someone for some kindness given to me, and my mother was anywhere nearby to observe that oversight, I would not be thanking her later for the spanking I would get. I’m thanking her now, even though she has been gone for several years, for her teaching of common courtesy to me at a very young age.

But I’m wondering if gratitude has become a thing of the past?

I offered for a young woman to go in line before me because she had just a few items in her cart and my cart had many items. She rushed ahead of me without so much as a word.

When someone works hard to offer an event for a group at school or church and not a word of thanks is ever uttered, wouldn’t you agree that it would appear that gratitude is a thing of the past?

When our young people are taken to many different events for spiritual training and also for fun, and not a word of thanks is uttered to anyone who sacrificed time and money to get them there, wouldn’t it seem like they have not been taught to be thankful?

When Bible class teachers and school teachers sacrifice time and energy preparing and teaching a child in class and never receive a word of thanks, doesn’t it seem as though gratitude is a thing of the past?

You may be thinking to yourself, “she certainly has her negative attitude on in this post.” And maybe I do. But I know the importance of having a grateful heart. I also know that you aren’t born with a grateful heart. Your heart has to be trained. And, sadly, I know some young people who are not being trained to be grateful for what they have. I also know some older people who were never taught to be grateful and to express it to others.

At the end of Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, he says some very important words to them:

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, emphasis added).

These same words apply to us today. 

Parents, please teach your children to not only say “thank you,” but to develop a heart of gratitude for those things they are given so that those words will be heartfelt.

When we sing the song “Thank You, Lord,” do you really mean those words, or do you just like the catchy tune?

May all of us daily give thanks to the One who makes all things possible for us.

Please don’t let gratitude be a thing of the past.


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AUTHOR: Donna Faughn

Forgiven, Forgiving, & Free: The Peace of Living Without a Past – A Partial Review

After a break from teaching and a foray into teaching younger children during Bible class, I am back to teaching our Wednesday night ladies’ class for a time. On my surprise visit to a day of Polishing the Pulpit this fall, I was excited to see some of my favorite people: Dan and Diane Winkler. I was also excited to purchase Dan’s new book about forgiveness.

If you are like most people, the idea of forgiveness is something we all want but may struggle to give. I was enthralled with reading about this topic from someone who has so publicly been called upon to grapple with and demonstrate the Christian grace of forgiveness.

I can say without reservation that my excitement has not been disappointed or abated as I work my way through the book. If you read the whole title of this article, you noticed that it said a “partial” review. That is because I am only halfway through the book and cannot wait to share it!

As I began the book, what I wanted was a formula to help me move beyond previous hurts and be able to forgive others. What I found was the wisdom of starting with the perfect standard – God’s forgiveness. We are sure to fall short of our aim, so starting with the highest standard is the only way we have a chance to reach our best. Dan Winkler has an amazing ability to state a profound truth so simply that you have to go back and reread it to get the depth and impact it contains. He uses the beautiful pictures given to us by God in His word and makes forgiveness attainable in all directions.

The book is available in Kindle format and paperback here. Although only halfway through the book myself, I highly recommend it for anyone struggling to forgive others or to feel forgiven by God.

Ephesians 2:4-8

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God …”


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AUTHOR: Amber Tatum

It’s Okay to Cry on Christmas

Happy holidays.

Merry Christmas.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

While there is a lot of stress associated with Christmas–with all the shopping and outings–it is a time of the year I always enjoy, especially while we still have children at home young enough to be totally into Christmas.

For some, though, Christmas isn’t easy. They may enjoy the day, and get to see family, and take part in all sorts of traditions, but, at some point during the day, they may shed tears. And I’m writing today’s article to say that it’s quite okay to cry on Christmas.

To me, Christmas is all about memories. We make memories each year, and we have memories of those past years. And with all the hurry and hustle, sometimes our emotions overflow as we think back to something that’s just not there this year.

Maybe you’ve lost a loved one since last Christmas, and this will be your first holiday without that special person.

Maybe you’ve gone through a very difficult year and Christmas may not have all the trappings it did just a year ago.

Maybe you are still going through a time of illness and just aren’t feeling up to all the excitement you so much love about this time of year.

Or maybe it’s a memory from longer ago; just someone that you used to spend Christmas with, but who hasn’t been there for a long time. Still, the memory lingers each time you eat that special meal, or sit down to open gifts, or just stare at the tree for a few minutes.

I know people who try to hold in emotions, especially on holidays, because they think it “brings down the mood” of everyone else. They feel as if they are ruining everyone’s Christmas because they shed some tears or just need to be alone for a little while to collect themselves.

Let me assure you today: you aren’t ruining anyone’s Christmas by shedding some tears. In fact, you may be helping others, who also need to release some emotion this time of year and who feel that you have given them permission to also express those emotions.

If Christmas is about memories, then share them all. If some tears are shed as you tell stories or open a very special gift, there is no shame in that whatsoever. You never know: those tears may become not only cathartic; they may just become a special reminder of just how special this time of year really is.


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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

Fountains and Drains

On the day that I am typing these words, I heard a man use an interesting expression as he was interviewed on a radio program. I found out as I listened to the man who used it that it is, as he said, one of those “old sayings.” 

I suppose that I need to do more reading, listening, and/or something because it was the first time I’d heard it. I am quite sure that it will not be the last time I think about it. 

The man, who is a coach of an athletic team I don’t even follow, was talking about how some people are fountains and how others are drains. He was telling the man who was interviewing him that he encourages his team and others to be fountains and not drains.

According to him (and “the old saying”) people who are “fountains” bring beauty, life, and freshness to others; to relationships; to the workplaces; etc. On the other hand, those who are “drains” can (in his words) “suck the life out of” these same things.

As I listened and later thought about what he said, I was reminded of a statement I displayed in an office I once used. Its message was:

Everybody brings joy to this office.

Some when they enter; others when they leave.

I am certain that you have seen both types of individuals. You know who the “fountains” are in your life. As soon as you hear the names and/or think of these people, you smile. Your mind is flooded with great memories of enjoyable times spent with them. These are the people who really know you; who truly care about you; who have constantly and consistently been there for you. It is not all about fun and excitement. The reason you smile when you hear these names may be because these people sat and cried with you when that was just what you needed at the time. 

Unfortunately, most of us can also recall names of the “drains” in our lives. These are the people you would just as soon avoid contacting in any way. You dread seeing certain names on your caller ID. You know you are in for a long session of gossip, complaining, etc. When you see certain people heading your way (yes, even at church), your mood does not improve. You know that what you are about to experience is summed up fairly well in the old song that some of us heard years ago on the old television show “Hee Haw:”

Gloom, despair, and agony on me

Deep, dark depression, excessive misery

If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all

Gloom, despair, and agony on me.

We laughed when we heard that song then. We find it difficult to even smile when we think of the “drains” in our lives.

I see the same face multiple times a day. I see it when I shave; comb my hair; brush my teeth; etc. I wonder if I’m looking at a fountain or a drain. 

More specifically, I wonder how those around me see me. Do I make their lives better or do thoughts of (and interactions with) me make them bitter?

How about you?

Do you try to be a fountain or a drain?

As I think of the answers to those questions, I also think about what the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write to an entire church:

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you (Phil. 1:3).


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AUTHOR: Jim Faughn

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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Time to Prepare

Jim and I were privileged to attend an annual holiday dinner for those over 65 years of age where our son preaches. We enjoyed the visit with those people so much. The food was delicious and the talent show that followed the dinner was so much fun.

One of their older members led the prayer before dinner and I appreciated all that he said in that prayer, but one statement really caused me to begin to think. He thanked God that He has given us time to prepare for eternity.

I’ve spent some time pondering on that and I began to wonder if I fully realize that whatever time I spend here on this earth is the time I have to prepare for eternity. Do I just let one day flow into the next day without a real purpose in mind? Do I fritter away time that could be spent doing something that helped prepare me for eternity? Do I recognize the blessing of time to prepare? Do I really understand that for which I am preparing, or is living here on earth all that is important to me?

Here are some thoughts for your consideration:

  • As a wife/husband am I spending time in God’s word studying what He wants me to be in that role? You see, God in His wisdom gave us guidelines all throughout His word concerning the role of wife/husband. A simple study of Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3 would not only help with our home life but also teach us that the husband-wife relationship is a picture of what the church should be like. Since those who live faithfully in the church will be in heaven one day, I need to prepare by being the kind of wife/husband I need to be.
  • As a young Christian person, am I focusing on God’s command to obey my parents? Many today show no respect for parents (and many parents neither demand nor deserve respect), but God’s word is clear concerning this (Eph. 6:1; Col. 3:20). When you make that decision to put Christ on in baptism, you need to begin preparing for eternity by being obedient to your parents.
  • As an employee, am I preparing for eternity by giving an honest day’s work for a day’s pay or am I simply being a people pleaser (Col. 3:22)? So many today work from their homes, and it would certainly be tempting to just do the minimum and then relax the rest of the day. When you travel for work, do you put in your time and fulfill your full obligation, or cut back just a bit because you are away from home?
  • As members of the body of Christ, are we preparing for eternity by the example we set – in our Bible study, attendance, benevolence, lifestyle, dress, language, entertainment, etc.? Do we just fit in here with the world because that is where we are now, so we’ll live like everyone else around us (2 Cor. 6:14-18)?

I’m praying you’ll add to this list those things which apply specifically to your walk of life.  Isn’t it time for all of us to focus less on the here and now, and more on our eternal home?

“In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also”  (John 14:2-3 ESV).

Are you preparing for eternity while blessed with the time to do it?


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AUTHOR: Donna Faughn

Twenty-Six

One would like to think that a place of worship would provide a safe environment for people. Sadly, that no longer seems to be the case. 

Not long ago, the largest mass shooting in the history of the state of Texas took place on a Sunday morning at a relatively small church in a small town. According to one report I read, every person who was in attendance that Sunday was either killed or wounded. As the news began to spread, it was widely reported that a total of twenty-six people lost their lives that day. 

I was intrigued by the wording of a report posted a week later on nytimes.com. I found one portion of that report to be especially interesting:

The Texas Department of Public Safety said the victims included 10 women, eight children, seven men and the fetus of one victim, Crystal M. Holcombe

The reason I find that wording interesting is that Crystal M. Holcombe was in her eighth month of pregnancy when the shooting took place. Both she and her unborn child (and other members of her family) lost their lives that day.

In the week between the shooting and the report I read, it seems that The New York Times found a “workaround” in order to suggest that a child who had been in the mother’s womb for eight months was only a fetus. If they had given the total number that had been widely reported, they would have included this unborn child among that number. Their worldview apparently would not let them do that, so they broke the numbers down in order to let their readers “do the math” and draw their own conclusions.   

Some may wonder why the original reports used the number twenty-six as the total of people killed on that Sunday morning. The answer may lie in the laws of the state of Texas. 

According to thehuffingtonpost.com:

Texas was among the first states to pass a fetal homicide law. The state’s penal code includes a definition of ‘an individual’ as ‘a human being who is alive, including an unborn child at every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth.’

I will not take the time or space here to delve into all of the scriptural, moral, and/or legal arguments that may help to explain why I am opposed to the evil of abortion. I think that the state of Texas did a pretty good job of that in their fetal homicide law.

Until the infamous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision which was handed down in 1973, one of the safest environments for an unborn child was in the womb of his/her mother. Since that decision legalized abortion, that is no longer the case.

Since the decision in that case was handed down, a huge number of unborn children have never been blessed with the opportunity to worship or to do anything else. Their lives have ended before they ever left the safety and security of the womb of the mother.

That number of abortions is significantly more than one (the unborn child whose life was ended in Texas recently). It is significantly more than the total of twenty-six who lost their lives on that day. 

It is significantly more than the total current population of the entire state of Texas. In fact, it is a little more than twice that number. According to the latest figures I can find, the population of Texas is 28,797,290.

As I type these words, the current number of abortions performed in this country since 1973 is 59, 937,525 – and counting! (There is actually a website – www.numberofabortions.com – that has an “abortion clock” which allows you see that the number change every few seconds.)

It is my prayer that the “creative reporting” of some segments of the news media will not somehow obscure the fact that every soul is precious; including the souls of the unborn. May we never forget that the number of people who lost their lives in a small church in Texas was –

twenty-six!


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AUTHOR: Jim Faughn

Photo background credit: Kelly Sue DeConnick on Creative Commons

What Makes a Day Good?

Do you ever have one of those days where you just realize all is going well and things are good in the world? I had one of those today and as I sit here tonight trying to reflect, it makes me wonder: what was so special about today?

What made today so good compared to yesterday or tomorrow? Nothing spectacular really happened. I did manage to get up on time, which is always a nice start for me. It was a normal day at school with a positive start celebrating a recent success of some of my kids. I still had lessons to teach and paperwork to complete. Some of my students were good; others were challenging. I dropped my ranch dressing and made a mess in the floor, but I also had a student find a welded sound without even being asked! My sweet husband brought me a diet soda because I had a faculty meeting straight to a band concert and finally got home after over 12 hours away.

I think, as I sit and reflect on why today was one of the “good ones,” I have realized that my reaction to events and my attitude were a large part of what made the day good. I didn’t take every event – good or bad – and make it all about me. I just let the day happen and was thankful.

In this very busy season, where it is all too easy to let small frustrations ruin a day, don’t miss the gifts God is giving you in each day: the smile of a child, the warmth of a hug, a sincere compliment, air to breathe, people to love. Those things are around us every day, but sometimes we miss them.

As I looked for a Biblical thought to put with what I am trying to express, I was thinking about attitude. And the best example of that (and everything else) is – of course – Jesus, our Savior. In Philippians 2, we read about His attitude of always giving, always emptying Himself on our behalf. That will go a long way in helping you have good days!

Continue reading the book of Philippians and you find another simple, yet powerful, thought that can help you as you seek good days:

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8


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AUTHOR: Amber Tatum

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