Category Archives: Family

It’ll Never be the Same Again

The picture reproduced here is an image of the way things used to be. It is also an image of the way things had never been before. 

Four of us used to gather around a table to eat – just like the picture shows. In that way, the picture shows the way things used to be. 

Four of us had never gathered around a table at a Panera Bread in Nashville. In that way, the picture shows the way things never had been before. 

This picture was taken on the next to last day of 2016. It was taken close to the end of a whirlwind and emotional week for the “Faughn Family of Four.” 

On Sunday of that week, I had preached for the last time as the full-time minister for the Central church of Christ in Paducah, Kentucky. I completed sixteen years of work with that congregation in that capacity and over thirty-eight years as a full-time gospel preacher. On Monday of that week, our family finally got together to open Christmas presents and enjoy some time together for a few days. 

On Wednesday, our son and his family left for their home in Haleyville, Alabama. On Thursday, our daughter and her family left for their home in Cookeville, Tennessee.

On Friday, the four of us met in Nashville because our son is a life-long Nebraska Cornhuskers fan. He had never had the opportunity to see them play in person, but they were to play later on that Friday in the Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tennessee.

His wife had surprised him with a ticket to the game as a Christmas present. Our son-in-law did the legwork and secured that ticket and three more so that the four of us could enjoy the game together. (Yes, all the rest of us paid for our own tickets.) 

As you can see from the picture, his sister (our daughter) probably enjoyed the game more than he did. She has become a Tennessee Volunteers fan and, as you may know, the Vols beat the Huskers on that Friday.

It wasn’t about wins and losses on that Friday, though. It was about the four of us being together. It was about, as my late mother-in-law used to say, “making memories.”

The four of us spent a little time that Friday trying to remember when it was that just the four of us did something special like this together. None of us could come up with a definite answer to that. There have been some changes over the years. For one thing, when the family got together earlier that week for Christmas, there were not just four of us. There were eleven of us. 

While I could not come up with a specific memory of the last time the four of us did something special together, I did come up with a very distinct memory. I remember very well the night before we took our daughter to Freed-Hardeman University in order for her to begin her freshman year there. 

I remember the four of us lying on a bed together and “just talking.” I can remember all four of us crying.

As long as I have a memory, I will never forget something her brother said that night. Through the tears, he said, “It’ll never be the same again.”

I’m not sure he realized then how right he was. In the years since that statement was made, there have been more changes than I need to document here. There have been changes in the composition, ages, and locations of our family. Degrees have been earned. Careers have changed. Loved ones have been lost. The list could go on and on.

The words of a song that we sometimes sing present a pretty accurate view of the changes we all experience. The words also present to us some valuable admonition/advice.   

Time is filled with swift transition –

Naught of earth unmoved can stand.

Build your hopes on things eternal,

Hold to God’s unchanging hand.

Along with the admonition and advice in that song, I would add the following from one who has lived long enough to see more changes than I can remember.

Treasure time with your family and others with whom you share your life. Do all you can to make good memories. Do not take any moment, event, or experience for granted. 

Remember that it’ll never be the same again.


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AUTHOR: JIM FAUGHN

[Quote] Mark Twain on the Beauty of Forgiveness

Overcoming Seasonal Depression

Depression is real, and its effects are not only felt by those who have some type of mental health disorder. According to The Journal of Biological & Medical Rhythm Research, “Seasonal Affective Disorder is a mood disorder subset in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms at the same time each year, most commonly in the winter.”
Winter can be a very difficult time of the year. The weather is harsh, the sun is rarely seen, and those who are elderly, alone, bereft, handicapped – really just anyone dealing with a difficult circumstance – are likely to be affected by this seasonal challenge. While there are chemical changes in winter that affect the mood, such as low Vitamin D that can be addressed by adequate supplements, what should we do when we just can’t get over the overall feeling of being down and out and spiritually weak?
In 1 Kings 19, we meet up with Elijah, God’s powerful prophet. Even though he had just experienced a great victory at Mt. Carmel over the prophets of Baal, we find him away from the public, alone and depressed and asking for God to take his life. He was exhausted because of Jezebel’s constant threats, and he felt as if he were the only person left trying to do what God wanted. In this moment God teaches Elijah how to be restored inwardly. 
Consider some of the things Elijah heard:
1. “Arise” – (1 Kings 19:5). You won’t change your mood by hiding under the covers. You won’t feel bright and cheerful in the darkness. Even though it is cold and dark outside you need to force yourself into the habit of getting out there and facing reality. You will find that you can be just as active in winter as in the summer under the right conditions and with enough determination and will power.
2. “Eat” – (1 Kings 19:5). You may be saying, “Eating is all I have been doing since the candy bowl came out at Halloween.” That may be true. Then consider what you are eating and change the content. In a spiritual sense, we need the living bread which will give us spiritual life. There is nothing more uplifting than time in the Scriptures. Read the Psalms – they are hymns of praise and calls to God for deliverance in difficult times. You will be encouraged.
3. “Stand before the Lord on the mountain” – (1 Kings 19:11). Elijah was called into the presence of God so that he could see what the Lord was doing in his life. On the mountain, He discovered that God was not in the wind or the fire or the earthquake but in the form of a still small voice. It is important for us to faithfully come into the presence of God in all of life’s seasons. The winter weather will cause many to stay inside, but it’s better for us to face the elements and receive our sustenance in the quiet and peaceful whisper of God’s holy assembly.
4. “Anoint others” – (1 Kings 19:15-16). Elijah felt alone but in reality he was not. God told him there were still 7,000 faithful people. Among them were Hazael, and Jehu, and Elisha, who God called Elijah to anoint as either king or prophet. Sometimes the best way to overcome depression is to anoint other people to help you in your struggle. People are the closest thing on earth we have to being with the Lord. They are made in His image, and those who are faithful to Him will help us cling to Him in hope.
Are you depressed? Get up! Find nourishment! Seek the Lord! Fellowship with His people! If it worked for Elijah it can work for you!
Our God is a God of hope. Difficult seasons won’t last forever. The irises and aconites will push up through the snow once again, and we will feel the warmth of His Son and blessings of spring.
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
 – Galatians 6:9
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Episode 70: One Spiritual Improvement You Can Make in 2017 [Podcast]

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2017 is upon us. Many of us will set various resolutions, but are we thinking about our spiritual growth as we make those resolutions?

On this very special episode of the podcast, the entire A Legacy of Faith family (Jim & Donna Faughn, Adam & Leah Faughn, and Jeremiah & Amber Tatum) sit around the microphone. Each of them shares one spiritual improvement they are hoping to make in 2017, and that we pray encourages you to think about your spiritual growth in the coming year, too.

Each suggestion is listed below.

The Improvements

Amber Tatum: Be more engaged in what I do, not just do things “because I have to.”

Donna Faughn: To be more supportive of Jim’s role as an elder, and to be more hospitable.

Jeremiah Tatum: As a preacher, to spend more devoted time in study for sermon preparation.

Jim Faughn: To show that, now that I am retired from preaching, as an elder I need to shepherd, and as a Christian who is growing older, I still have a great deal to offer the local congregation.

Leah Faughn: To make certain that, though I am a busy mom, daily Bible study is a top priority.

Adam Faughn: I want to show the children at church that I love them and they are valuable.

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3 Ways to Make Every Christmas Unforgettable

With two kids in the house, the excitement in the air can almost be felt. We are just days away from Christmas, and we have done all sorts of things to build the excitement to this day.

But for a lot of people, Christmas comes and Christmas goes and there’s not much worth remembering. Being too focused on the presents under the tree, we put our heart in things and not in the relationships that can be built and cherished on a wonderful day like Christmas.

With that in mind, here are three things you can do this (and every) Christmas to make it one that is not soon forgotten.

Spend Time in Worship. That is easy this year, as Christmas is on Sunday! But, even if it is a year when Christmas is not on Sunday, what better thing could you and your loved ones do than spend a few minutes in devotion to the Lord. It doesn’t even have to be because of that whole “reason for the season” thing. It is simply taking time on a day off to spend focused time in praise to God.

Serve Someone Else. Even on Christmas, there are opportunities to serve others. Some will volunteer at a soup kitchen or other similar place. Others will visit a nursing home. For several years, our family used to sing Christmas carols at an assisted living home. It could be something as simple as taking a plate of leftovers to a neighbor’s house. Whatever it is, it will fill their heart with delight, and help cement the joy of this great day in your own heart.

Slow Down! How many Christmases come and go and we don’t even know where they went due to the flurry of activity and travel? Take some time to just sit with some hot chocolate and visit. Rest awhile. Enjoy each other’s company. Take a few extra minutes around the dinner table to share a story. Slow down!

I know that none of these is profound, but they are ways we can all make Christmas special.

Oh, and if you really pay attention, these are ways we can make every day–holiday or not–special! So, why wait for Christmas?


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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

7 Reasons Why We’ll be in Worship on Christmas Day

It happens every few years. Christmas day falls on a Sunday.

Amazingly (and tragically) there are churches that cancel all services on that day or move services to a weeknight. Other congregations decide to only have one worship service or to move the time of services, but they are still meeting on the Lord’s Day to worship the Lord.

Still, a lot of families decide that “since it’s Christmas” they do not have to attend services on that day. After all, it’s a day for family and traditions and it only comes once each year. So, many people will stay at home while the church meets.

However, barring illness or some other unforeseen event, our little family will be in worship on Sunday, December 25. And here are 7 reasons why.

1. Worship is Commanded by the Almighty. Our Lord does not make worship something to be chosen by His followers. Hebrews 10:25 makes it clear that we are not to willfully forsake being together for worship. This is not a suggestion, and it does not have caveats for special holidays.

2. God is More Important than any Holiday. If I am going to say that “God is first in my life,” then there is no holiday that can take His place. There is no holiday that should be able to keep me away from worshiping my Lord.

3. Our Family Will be Together. I am amazed at how many people stay home from worship on Christmas so their family will be together. Our little family will still be together, just dressed up and in a church pew; not in pajamas in front of a fireplace.

4. Our Children Need to Learn Priorities. “Well, since it’s Christmas, we’ll stay home.” In the mind of children, that translates to, “What you want to do is more important than the commands of God.” He is first, and this is a glorious opportunity to teach that.

5. I Want to Encourage Every Christian Who Attends. How discouraging would it be to go to worship and see that a large percentage of your Christian family did not think enough of you to come and encourage you? We are uplifted and encouraged when we attend worship together, and I want to encourage those who make the effort.

6. We are to Obey Our Elders. Elders have no right to cancel Lord’s Day worship altogether, or to move it to another day of the week (that’s another article for another time). Many are making the decision to only have one service or to move the time to best accommodate family traditions. They are not making an ungodly decision, so I am commanded to obey them and to let them rule with joy (Hebrews 13:7; 13:17).

7. There’s Nowhere Else I Want My Family to Be Every Sunday! Whatever date is on the calendar, I want my little family loading in our car and going together to worship God. There are times when one or more of us has been sick and we have not gotten to worship together. I can’t stand it! Each and every Lord’s Day, I want my family to know the joy and the high privilege it is to join hands and hearts together as we worship.

Christmas is special. Each year, we enjoy all kinds of movies, snacks, get-togethers, and gifts. Having kids makes it even more special, as they get so excited for the holiday. The Grinch is not welcome at our house!

That said, no holiday–Christmas included–can ever top the joy and excitement that should fill our soul as we are allowed into the very presence of God to express our adoration and praise to Him. Every Lord’s Day, we should do that with all our enthusiasm…including December 25.


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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

[Quote] The Importance of Dad and Mom Being in Agreement on Parenting

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SOURCE: For Better or For Kids by Patrick & Ruth Schwenk (page 76)

A New Look at Discipline

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He had come home from a long hard day at work. That was the norm in those days. Men went to a job, often involving exhausting labor. Moms stayed at home and cared for the home and the children. Supper was put on the table when dad got home and everyone, including all of the children, gathered around the table for a meal together. Each child got to tell what had happened in their day, and laughter was plentiful.

Children did chores in those days, and those chores often included washing the dishes after the meal was over. This was most definitely before the dishwasher days. On this particular day, Dad and Mom had gone to the living room to relax a bit, and the children had begun the task of clearing the table and washing the dishes.

The peaceful relaxation that mom and dad were enjoying was interrupted by the sound of arguing which was coming from the kitchen. It got louder and louder until Dad decided to intervene.

He went into the kitchen (which immediately stopped the noise) and told the children to each get a kitchen chair and line them up facing the sink. The children were puzzled, but they did as they were told. The look on dad’s face conveyed that they had better not ask any questions! He then told them to have a seat in those chairs.

When the children were all seated, Dad proceeded to roll up the sleeves of his shirt, walk to the sink and begin washing the dishes himself. He made those children sit quietly as he did the work they were supposed to do. 

Do you wonder what was going through their minds? Why is he doing this?” “Great! I don’t have to wash the dishes tonight!” Or maybe, “I know Dad was tired tonight.” “I didn’t work all day.” “I feel terrible because Dad is doing my work.”

When he finished washing and drying the dishes, he looked at those children and slowly walked from the room without saying a word. He didn’t have to say anything…his point was made and his discipline was understood by these children. From that day forward those children never argued again when performing this chore.

I was told this story a few years ago by a wonderful Christian man who has gone on to his reward. He instilled in his children a work ethic like none I had ever seen before. He, as well as his children, were well up in years when I first came to know them. All of his children had a strong work ethic and the daughters I knew best were not complainers when hard work was required of them.

I just wonder if parents today who either have or do threaten without following through, yell out of frustration, or spank out of anger have ever considered a method like the one written about above?

Those children knew their father loved them, worked hard to provide for them, and was a disciplined man. For some reason, Jesus comes to my mind.

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.  Eph. 6:4  (emphasis added)


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Episode 68: Memories of Cousin’s Camp [Podcast]

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Every year, there is a special event in our family called Cousin’s Camp. What is it? How special is it?

On this very special episode of the podcast, Adam sits down with Jim, Donna, Leah, Mary Carol, and Turner to talk about the importance of cousin’s camp, as well as to share some memories. We think you’ll love this fun discussion!

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What to Do When Someone Else Gets What You Wanted

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Everyone has had it happen, and it hurts. It is when you worked for something, you put yourself out there, and someone else was chosen for what you wanted.

You applied for your dream job…but were passed over.

You wanted to get into that graduate school…but you didn’t make the cut.

You sought a promotion…but someone else got it.

You tried out for the team…and were left to be in the stands instead of on the bench.

We know the feeling. It is painful–because we wanted it so much–to be told “no,” or even possibly, “you’re not good enough.”

(By the way, as an aside, I have often wondered about the man we are told about in Acts 1 who is named “Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus” [v.23]. Can you imagine being the one who was not chosen to be an apostle, while Matthias was? I have no doubt that Joseph handled it well, but it has intrigued me for a long time.)

When those times come and you are not the one chosen, what can you do? While this is not an exhaustive list, here are 6 things that I would hope every Christian would do.

1. Prayerfully Evaluate Yourself. It is easy to assume that you were better qualified, more prepared, or more gifted than you actually were. After all, we are striving to put our best foot forward, so we emphasize (maybe overemphasize?) our good traits. Is there something you could have done better? Is there some training or education you need? Could you have been more humble? More well-spoken? More prepared for the interview?

2. Take Your Frustration to God. God created us with emotions, so He understands when we are frustrated and hurt. While we must always remember to be reverent toward God in our prayers, it is acceptable to pour out our frustrations to Him. After all, as a loving Father, He wants to hear from His children!

3. Respect the One Who Got the Position. You did not get the job (or promotion or position), but someone did, and they have feelings, too. Scripture commands us to “rejoice with those who rejoice” (Romans 12:15), and that is not always easy! Even if you feel that you were more qualified or prepared, respect that the leaders did the best they could, and do not ruin this positive moment for someone else.

4. Be Gracious of the Leaders and the Process. I have literally seen people who were passed over for a job or position take to social media to blast those who did not choose him/her. Such is unbecoming of a Christian! Leaders, in a vast majority of cases, are doing the best they can and are trying their best to have the best process in place. Give them the grace they deserve as leaders and respect the system used of selection.

5. Learn and Grow. The sting of the moment is very real, but if you will use it properly, you will come out on the other side better. How many of our best doctors did not get into their first choice of medical school, but used that to better themselves, and we are better for it! How many preachers did not get that job, but are far better preachers because they know better how to have humility from that “rejection?”

6. Trust that God Has a Plan. Is it not at least possible that, in His perfect providence, God would like you to take this time where you feel rejected and use it to His glory? Maybe you didn’t make the team so you can use that time to learn Scripture better and teach a friend. Maybe you did not get the job over there because you need to shine His light right where you are. Maybe you did not get into that school and it is because it would have been a place where you were tempted to move away from the faith. Even through times when you feel passed over, trust that God has a plan.

None of this is meant to say that you won’t feel down, hurt, or even rejected. The pain is real and natural; every person knows that feeling. But as people of God, there is a right way to handle every situation, even when someone else gets what you wanted. I pray these things will help you when that moment inevitably comes.


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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn