Category Archives: Family

Episode 23: What Families Can Do to Support the Church {Podcast}

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March rolls on, and we continue on the podcast to talk about the relationship between the church and the family. This week, Leah could not be with Adam to record, but the show much go on, so Adam speaks about some things families can do that will support the church.

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Show Outline

6 Things Families Can Do to Support the Church

1. Teach and show proper respect for authority

2. Maintain proper discipline

3. Teach and maintain proper priorities

4. Grow a love for the local congregation

5. Teach and show basic concepts of stewardship

6. Cultivate an appreciation for true worship

Why Do We Often Fail to Do This

1. It’s hard!

2. We’re too busy doing our own thing.

Episode Resources

[Podcast] “Training Your Children for Worship

[Podcast] “Our Thoughts on Smart Money, Smart Kids

[Book] Smart Money, Smart Kids

[Printable pdf] “Training for Worship” Family Devotional Guides

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Music Credit

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

Closing theme: “Afterglow” by Josh Woodward

 

A Reminder from a Difficult Child

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We are blessed with two good kids, but they are not always so good. And, especially when he was younger, our son was quite the difficult child at times. He has shown himself to be stubborn and to have a very strong temper.

Thankfully, we are seeing him grow and mature, but that old way still comes out at times. And, considering they are still kids, both our children are difficult at times.

If you are parent, you have had those moments. You just wonder how you can handle that child. You throw your hands up and wonder if you can do it. You cry or just get totally frustrated.

All children are difficult at times, and some are just difficult nearly all the way through. It is just a fact of life. Even parents who say they had easy children, if you push them enough, will admit there was a season when it wasn’t so easy, or a negative trait that had to be overcome.

But the next time your child has one of “those” seasons, or the next time you are ready to just quit, may I challenge you?

Remember that God is your Father, and you aren’t that easy, either.

Think of where you were when you began your spiritual journey, and you will see quite a few rough edges. You will notice times along the way where God had to discipline you out of His love. You will see multiple times where you failed Him.

In short, you are a difficult child.

But your Father stays with you and helps you grow into who you should be to His glory…

…which is exactly your job as a parent.

——

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Episode 22: The Importance of Every Family Member being in Bible Class {Podcast}

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As we continue our March theme of the relationship between the family and the church, we take this week’s program to consider how the Bible school program is a great tool for families to use. But, every member of the family must be involved for it to provide the most help. In this week’s program, we give four reasons why.

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Four Reasons for Every Member to be Involved

1. Bible class provides Biblical education for all ages.

2. Bible class gives parents a great way to lead by example.

3. Bible class allows parents to live out the priority they “say” they have on the Bible and church.

4. Bible class allows each member of the family to connect with others of their own age/life experience.

More from A Legacy of Faith

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Music Credit

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

Closing theme: “Afterglow” by Josh Woodward

 

Churches, For the Sake of Families, Keep It Simple

This month on our podcast, Leah and I are spending time thinking about “The Relationship between the Church and the Family.”

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In our first episode of the month, we talked about one issue that I felt needed to be fleshed out a little more, so we talked about it for a few moments, but decided to also put some of those thoughts in a dedicated blog post.

As a preacher, one appeal I often make is for families to try to simplify as much as possible. Children do not need to be involved in a zillion activities (karate, baseball, piano, gymnastics, etc.) in order to be fulfilled. Too often, parents become glorified chauffeurs, running their children to-and-fro from one activity to the next.

Now, am I against children being involved in things? Not at all. But we all know it can get to be too much. Add to that all the clubs, boards, and so on that mom and dad are in, and a family rarely is spending truly quality together.

And then they come to church and are reminded of that again and again.

But if we are honest, it could be that churches also have some of the blame for families being spread so thin.

The announcements are made on Sunday, and your family can’t help but look at one another and see how this week is going to strain your already swelling calendar. This committee is meeting Monday night. The youth group has an activity Tuesday after school. There is a work night Tuesday evening, a meal before Wednesday night Bible study, and another committee meeting Thursday evening. The men have a breakfast Saturday morning, and about the time that’s done, the young people leave for a day trip.

Oh…and we didn’t mention Sunday worship or Bible classes.

And if sister Sally–who is in critical condition–dies, there will be a funeral to attend (and it’s your month on the food committee).

That may be a bit over-the-top, but for many congregations, that is not an unheard of weekly schedule. Six of the seven days have something (and we usually load up Sunday afternoons as much as possible, too).

And then we wonder why are families are not “as involved as they should be.” Let me ask: in which of those things do the vast majority of congregations expect families to be involved? (The answer, whether we want to admit it or not, is “all of them.”)

If we are going to teach that the family is of utmost importance, maybe it is time our church calendars reflected that. I am all for active congregations; in fact, some who know me may be shocked I’m writing an article on this topic. Activities are good, but there are many more efficient ways to be active without using up every evening…and then chastising families for not being involved in every activity.

Here are a few general suggestions for a congregation to consider.

1. Combine events. Instead of a youth “fun” outing each month and a devotional, why not have the devotional on the bus ride to or from the outing? Move the men’s (or women’s) breakfast to Sunday morning instead of Saturday, since the attendees will be coming to the church building anyway.

2. Cancel some activities. I know, we aren’t supposed to cancel anything, but we can become so bloated with activities that very few are effective. Let some go, and free up more time for families. (Not to mention, it will help the activities that remain be more effective, but that’s a different post.)

3. Be respectful of the clock. If you say an event will only take 60 minutes, it should only last 60 minutes (maximum). The more something drags on, that time is taken from families.

It is a delicate balance, to be sure, but to be consistent with what we preach and teach, the church does not need to contribute to the problem of families being too busy. For the sake of family, I urge churches to take a serious look at the calendar, simplify where they can, and encourage families to spend more time together as families.

——

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Episode 21: What Churches Can Do to Help Families {Podcast}

(Click here to listen on the blog.)

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In the month of March, our podcast is designed to talk about the relationship between families and the church. For our first episode, Adam and Leah discuss ways that churches can show real support to families, especially families with children.

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5 Ways Churches Can Support Families

1. Strengthen Ties with Other Christians

2. Serve Families Through the Education Program

3. Show Families New Ways to Teach Children

4. Supply Families Time to be Families

5. Support What (Should be) Happening at Home

More from A Legacy of Faith

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Music Credit

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

Closing theme: “Afterglow” by Josh Woodward

 

There’s More to Life than Likes

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I was about to leave my office when I decided to check my email one last time, trying to free up those few moments later in the day for my family.

Am I ever glad I did.

In my email was a message from a family site that I enjoy going to, sharing a couple of new videos they had come out with. One of them caused me to stop and literally say a brief prayer about my own life and parenting.

Here it is (don’t worry, it’s less than a minute long).

(Video not playing? Click here.)

Parents, I want to ask: are we making the life of our families and our children more about how many likes we can garner on social media?

For too many of us, we think that the world needs to know everything our children are doing, and then we somehow don’t feel validated if that post doesn’t receive a significant amount of social media interaction.

All the while, we are setting up our family as more of a reality show, just without the Hollywood budget. Is this really what we want?

Now, before giving some suggestions, let me state this disclaimer. I am not saying that we should never post any pictures or anything else about our family. After all, that is one of the great uses of social media. I love seeing children of my friends as they grow up, and I like knowing various things about those I cannot physically be near due to geography. But do we feel the need to update all the time?

We need to be teaching our children that there is more to life than likes. And some of us adults need to learn that lesson ourselves.

So, how can we do that? Here are a few suggestions.

1. Don’t Post Something from Every Event. They call them “family” outings, so why not keep a few of your outings just for your family?

2. Forget Instagram-worthy Pictures. One of my favorite things about the video above is the dad trying to get the boy to get more excited. Some people are more concerned with how a picture will look to others than about simply enjoying the memory.

3. (Gulp) Don’t Take Pictures. Trust me, I like them, too. But it is nice, every so often, to just go somewhere and not worry about thinking you need a camera or cell phone to remember the experience. Spend the time talking and enjoying, instead of posing.

4. When You Do Post, Forget the Likes. Just because you’re “perfect” zoo picture did not garner tons of likes on Facebook or Instagram, you still (hopefully) have a memory that is far more important than how many other people interact with that one photo.

Take–and post–some pictures, but let’s do our best to spend more of our energy making memories instead of searching for the most social-media-ready pictures.

We are living in a time when social media interaction–or lack of it–has literally been linked to anxiety and depression among young people. But I wonder if the same is true of some of us adults, too. Are we spending more time thinking about how that picture of our children will look to others on Facebook, or are we actually enjoying our children?

In the end, I think we know which one matters more. Now it’s time we lived like it.

——

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Episode 20: Are You Bouncing Your Eyes? {Podcast}

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All February, we have been spending our time thinking about love, especially in marriage. In this final and short podcast, we share one very practical way to show love and respect to your spouse, even if your spouse is not nearby.

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More from A Legacy of Faith

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——————

Music Credit

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

Closing theme: “Afterglow” by Josh Woodward

 

49 Reasons to Give Thanks Today

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“If we magnified blessings as much as we magnify disappointments,

we would all be much happier.” –John Wooden

The news seems to spread nothing but fear and dread, but Christians need to count their blessings.

In case you need help with that, today’s post simply offers 49 reasons to give thanks today, no matter what might be going on in your life or in the world. Enjoy!

1. God is still on His throne.

2. The blood of Jesus continues to provide salvation.

3. The Bible is still the infallible light for your path.

4. You are able to read this post.

5. God hears every prayer you offer in faith.

6. Today provides another opportunity to bless someone’s life.

7. Someone, somewhere is praying for you.

8. There are still people who stand for the right and will not cower in fear.

9. You live somewhere that has the technology to read this list.

10. There is something to eat near you.

11. You get to choose how to react to your circumstances.

12. You are not a robot, but have emotions to respond to each day.

13. God still keeps His promises.

14. Heaven is real.

15. Somewhere, a soul is being reached through the prayerful work of a friend.

16. There are still elders who stand for the truth.

17. A child was just born instead of aborted.

18. You can look out your window and see proof of God’s creative handiwork.

19. Jesus died just for you…

20. …but He didn’t stay in the grave!

21. A missionary is teaching someone you’ll never meet, at least on this side of eternity.

22. Whether you think so or not, you are loved.

23. You are able to process information and make decisions.

24. You can read the Bible in any number of ways (paper, online, on a tablet, on your phone).

25. Your Father in heaven is longing to hear from you in prayer.

26. Repentance.

27. Mercy.

28. Forgiveness.

29. Grace.

30. God has promised to be with you throughout life.

31. You have all you need to fight the devil.

32. Oh, and he has already lost!

33. You can learn from the past.

34. You have an opportunity today to mend a broken relationship.

35. Laughter.

36. Though people are crying, they are assured the loved one they just buried is safe in the arms of Jesus.

37. A preacher is toiling over a sermon that may not make the “all time best” list, but will teach truth to one who needs to hear it.

38. Jesus Christ nailed the Old Testament to the cross.

39. The invitation of Jesus to come to Him is always open.

40. Many parents are still teaching their children morality.

41. Somewhere, a Christian politician is standing for Biblical morality.

42. Christian teachers refuse to teach evolution and are holding to truth.

43. Thousands of young people are still living for God and will impact this world for good.

44. The book of Acts shows us that, even should persecution come, the Church will flourish.

45. You are still breathing.

46. Genesis 1:1 is still true, so you can know where you came from.

47. If your hope is in Christ, your life is secure.

48. Faith can see you through anything.

49. This list could go on and on and on and…

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A Beautiful Home

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On the 75th anniversary of my parents’ wedding day, I posted something on Facebook about the significance of that day to me. I really didn’t expect a lot of comments about that. I was just thinking about them and wanted to remember that day.

I have a cousin who is quite a bit younger than me. In fact, he is enough younger that he was in high school when I taught at that high school. His father and my mother were siblings. As I remember it, we did not really spend that much time together.

However, there must have been enough time spent that my parents made an impression on him. It was, as you will soon read, a very favorable impression.

His was the first of only two comments about my post. I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing what he posted with you:

What an awesome tribute to aunt Jenny and uncle Delmar.  I have memories of visiting their beautiful home as a child.  I was young, but my memories say love & safety” (emphasis mine, jf).

“Beautiful” was not a word I would have used to describe that house when I was growing up. It is not a word I would used to describe it now. When I first read my cousin’s remark, I thought that the years must have clouded his memory.

It took me a second or two, but it occurred to me that my cousin did not use the word “house.” Instead, he used the word “home.” 

He may not have intended to say anything significant by using that word. I don’t know. I think that, whatever his intentions were, he expressed something very significant. 

We did not have any of the things that many people think to be necessary for a beautiful house. It was not constructed with beautiful brick. In fact, it was constructed with a material that my dad had to “patch” from time to time. We had only one bathroom with only a tub (no shower). The furniture was far from new. The kitchen was not much bigger than one of the many closets found in many houses today. There was no central heat and air. In fact, during all the years I lived there,  the “air-conditioning unit” was a window fan.  

I think you get the idea. There was not much about that house to make it special.

However, things like love and safety go a long way in making for a special and a beautiful home. I’m glad I got to grow up in an environment like that.

Maybe three words from my cousin’s comment could serve as a challenge to all parents. Your children will, indeed, have memories of how they grew up.  Will they remember material things, or will they remember things like love and safety?

Will they remember a house or a home?

—–

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Episode 19: 5 Ways to Show Respect to Your Spouse {Podcast}

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In the month of February, we are focusing our podcasts on marital love. This week, Adam and Leah share five ways you can always show respect for your spouse. We hope you find this discussion encouraging and helpful for your marriage.

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The Five Ways

1. Listen Carefully

*Seek to understand.

*Listen if you are not that interested in the subject matter.

*Remember the importance of nonverbal cues, such as body language.

2. Always speak well of your spouse.

*Even if he/she is not present!

*Be honest if he/she has weaknesses, but choose respectful ways to discuss those.

3. Remember important dates.

*Birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, etc.

*Could also be dates of loss (when a mother or father or child died)

*Putting these on your calendar shows a priority to the emotions of your spouse.

4. Never read or view any kind of pornography.

*Doing so shows a disrespect for your spouse in more than just sexual intimacy.

*It makes you think that someone is at least his/her equal, if not greater, than your spouse in an area of marriage that is clearly restricted to the oneness of the union.

5. Consider each other’s feelings and knowledge when making decisions.

More from A Legacy of Faith

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Visit the show archives

——————

Music Credit

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

Closing theme: “Afterglow” by Josh Woodward