Category Archives: Family

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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Click to view program archives

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.

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Music Credit

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

Closing theme: “Afterglow” by Josh Woodward

 

Episode 17: Romantic Dates on a Budget {Podcast}

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It is February, the month that contains Valentine’s Day. With love in the air, we are dedicating each of our four episodes this month to areas of love and respect that are needed in marriage.

In this week’s program, Adam and Leah share some ideas of how husbands and wives can continue to “woo” one another, even when dollars are a bit short. We hope you enjoy this practical, whimsical program.

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Click to view program archives

Areas of Discussion

Babysitting

1. Swap with other families

2. Let an older lady/couple babysit

3. Offer babysitting at church

Eating

1. Cook together

2. Have a picnic

3. Go out, but just for dessert

Activities

1. Walk/jog together

2. Stream a movie

3. Use the bargain bin or borrow a movie

4. Search for free community nights/activities

Communication

1. Put the cell phones away!

Resources

Real Life Romance {Your Mom has a Blog}

10 Things You Can Do to Romance Your Partner on a Budget {Two of Us}

More from A Legacy of Faith

To subscribe to A Legacy of Faith by email for free (and get a free eBook) click here.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes

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Visit the show archives

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Music Credit

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

Closing theme: “Afterglow” by Josh Woodward

 

Racy Ads and the Places We Go (Yes, This is about Carl’s Jr., Sort Of)

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It is Super Bowl time. For many, the game is primary, while for others, the commercials are looked forward to with just as much anticipation. With a huge number of people watching the game, advertisers have long focused huge amounts of effort and revenue in creating ads that will be talked about long after the final whistle blows on the game.

In recent years, some companies have made a name for themselves with racy, sexually-charged ads that have gotten talked about, which is the goal, I guess. Most companies have started to turn away from this style of commercial (thankfully). It is reported that even GoDaddy.com, one of the first to try to shock viewers with sexually-charged ads, will have a very tame ad this year.

But not Carl’s Jr.

The hamburger chain continues to churn out ads that use women to sell fries and burgers. The ad they will show in the western US during the Super Bowl this year will, according to media reports, feature a woman who seems to be nude, but turns out to be wearing a bikini in the end.

Now, this article is not going where you think it is going. I am not going to call for a boycott of Carl’s Jr., although that might be a wise thing to do. I am not going to turn this into an argument about watching TV with discretion, even though that is certainly needed.

Instead, I want you to consider something that a Carl’s Jr. representative said as to why they do not feel this advertisement is over the line.

“We don’t show anything you wouldn’t see at the beach.”

When I read that comment in a news report, I was stunned. What stunned me was how so many people are completely outraged that this kind of ad would be on television, but then who will see exactly the same type of clothing (or lack of it) by their own choice by some of the places they choose to go.

Is it a sin to go to the beach? No. However, do we ever take the time to consider what we are putting into our minds when we go where people are wearing next-to-nothing all around us? Why do we not have the same outrage at that as so many seem to have for this advertisement?

You see, it is far easier to complain about a few seconds of flesh when we would rather be watching “the game” than it is to complain about seeing the same thing at a place we want to be. I want to go to the beach, so I will just overlook the scantily clad people all around, even if I am filling my mind with the same images that Carl’s Jr. is putting before my eyes on Super Bowl Sunday.

All I am calling for in this article is a return to discretion. As Christians, we must think about all we see, do, and say through the lens of God’s holy Word. That begins by putting the Bible into my heart, but it also takes thinking about the decisions we make each day, including the places we choose to go, even just to unwind.

Will I go places at times where someone might be dressed immodestly? Yes, but I am going to do all I can to make sure that is accidental and not an intentional choice.

Why don’t I go to movies where I know a woman is going to be scantily clad, or even nude? Because my mind and heart need to be only on my wife.

Why have I never taken my kids to a waterpark to splash around in the hot summer sun? Because I know without a doubt I would see things that I do not need to see as a Christian man.

Why do I avert my eyes when I know there is a Victoria’s Secret store coming around the bend at a mall? Because I do not need to intentionally see things on other women that should be reserved only for my precious spouse.

Yes, my family has been to the beach. However, before going, we made sure it was a time of year when few people would be there, and we searched to find a fairly empty stretch of sand. It took some work, but we found a spot where it was just us pretty much as far as the eye could see. Then, we had a great time with no regrets over things we might have been putting into our minds.

Too many Christians only think about the “fun” part of life. Instead, we all need to think about the pure fun and enjoy things that provide entertainment without darkening our consciences.

What choices do you need to make to have fun without willfully seeing immodesty all around you? It will take effort, but it is worth it to keep your heart and mind pure.

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Separation Anxiety

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I literally couldn’t breathe. It was an overwhelming feeling. It came at a place and in a time I was not expecting. This is just how grief goes.

It was a Wednesday morning and I was in the Kroger supermarket in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. I had gone back for a visit to see my mom and grandparents. It had been at least six months since my father had been taken from us by a sudden and unexpected death. But I was reliving the anxiety of the separation all over again.

If you are not a spring chicken you probably know about the senior discount at Kroger. If you are sixty or older it used to be that on Wednesdays you could receive money off on groceries. My parents always believed in getting the best deal for their money. So Wednesdays became a day on which they would shop together.

I don’t even remember why I went in Kroger on that day. But I do remember walking down the aisle and seeing all of these older couples together buying groceries. I had a brief and instant moment of realization that almost made me fall on the ground. My parents were supposed to be one of those couples! My father was supposed to be here and be with my mother together in our family! They were supposed to grow old together and he was supposed to be here for us! But he was gone. It took my breath away. I gasped. I could not get any air. I began to cry. And it had been six months – six months!

Recently one of our friends experienced the death of two siblings within a short time. To her they were more than siblings, they were like two of her parents. She lost her mother when she was very young and these older siblings basically raised her from infancy. Her grief is great because there is true anxiety in being separated from the people you don’t know how to live without.

As we talked in the church foyer I could sympathize with the feelings she was experiencing. That person you loved and were so close to is gone. You talked to them every day. You keep picking up the phone to call them but then you remember you can’t. They are not coming back. The feeling of emptiness and loss is powerful and overwhelming. This is the true definition of bereavement.

As I continued to talk with my dear friend I remembered the experience in Kroger. And then I came to a deeper and more meaningful understanding of a truth that was both spiritual in nature and certainly more important. In this life we have time to cope with the grief. We have a hope of heaven. We have a knowledge of the rest and comfort of our departed loved ones. By the grace of God we have the promise of an eternal reunion.

But hell will not be this way. We will be separated from God, from our family and friends, and from every ounce of joy that we have had or could ever know. The anxiety of this separation is a large part of what makes hell so unimaginably terrible. The moments of loss we experience in temporary seasons here will in hell be an eternal reality that never lessens in its sting and in its sorrow.

Our physical death is not a choice. Sin has sealed its coming since the fall. We can do nothing about it. The seasons of grief that will come to us because of physical death are a part of life. But to be spiritually dead, this is our own predicament. To be separated from God is a reality no person should ever want to experience. It leads to a whole new and different kind of anxiety that desperately calls for a solution.

This is why Jesus came. This is why He died and rose again. This is why His sacrifice demands a response.

“…when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9

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Episode 15: Parents and Mentors (with Dale Sadler) {Podcast}

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Parents have many roles; they wear many hats. One that is rarely discussed, though, is the parent as a mentor for his/her children. In this episode, Adam is joined by counselor and youth minister Dale Sadler to discuss what a parent as a mentor looks like, and what it means to the family structure.

This interview comes out of Dale’s newest book, Generations to Come: Becoming All Things to Your Child.

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Resources

Generations to Come (paperback)

Dale’s other eBook, 28 Days to a Better Marriage

More from A Legacy of Faith

To subscribe to A Legacy of Faith by email for free (and get a free eBook) click here.

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Music Credit

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

Closing theme: “Afterglow” by Josh Woodward

 

A Covenant Worth Keeping

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And so it begins. The previews are now showing for “50 Shades of Grey.” Honestly, it makes me sick. Go to the movie theatre and you will be reminded that there are many movies that don’t need to be seen. Do we even screen what is on the big screen? I know many people who consider themselves Christians who have absolutely no problem letting Satan have control of their lives for two hours while they are entertained. And they have done it so many times that their hearts are calloused. They believe it is their God given right to watch activities that if they participated in them themselves would seal their doom in eternal hell.

The saddest thing about writing this article is that I know that the majority of people are going to think that I am close-minded when it comes to entertainment. They would love to begin an argument about degrees of sin. But if what that really means is that I am open to what God wants for me and closed to what the world wants – then I am alright with that. I want to be like Job, who said, “I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look with lust upon a young woman?” (Job 31:1). I understand what Jesus was saying in Matthew 5:27-28 – “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

I know that sin begins in the mind and heart; therefore I want to make a covenant with my eyes, to avoid putting my heart and mind in jeopardy. Does this mean that I can be perfect and never lust? Does this mean it is possible for me to completely avoid temptation? Does this mean that I have made a decision that I will never sin again, and that in making such a decision that I will never break my promise to God? My desire to make a covenant with my eyes cannot mean any of those things because I am human. But such a covenant needs to be made so that I will intentionally not put myself in situations where failure is a very good and certainly real possibility.

I believe humans, though weak because of their carnal side, are also intelligent enough to discern between good and evil. It is in our initial discernment that wise decisions and moral decisions can be made. True Christianity is not just a ceremonial washing of sins. It also involves a game-plan from God. This is what the New Testament can provide. I need to live for God on purpose in every waking moment of my life. That means making moral decisions to fight against what my flesh may be suggesting. It involves making covenants, not just with some parts of my body, but with my entire body, soul and spirit.

As a Christian, there are some things I will not do. There I some places I will not go. There are some things I will not watch or listen to. There are some people I will not follow. Since I have decided to follow Jesus, the only other people I can follow must also be following Him. This is a black and white issue. There is no “grey” area.

“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.” – Romans 8:7

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Kids Say the Truest Things

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Those of us “of a certain age” remember when Art Linkletter had a television program based on the idea that children often say some very funny things. The program was very entertaining and it lasted a number of years.

It is, indeed, true that children often say some very, very funny things. It is also true that, often, children say some things that are very honest and true.

That point was driven home to me a number of years ago when our children were still at home. During one of our family vacations, we spent some time at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Illinois. 

As we viewed some of the exhibits, we notice that there was one exhibit along one of the walls that seemed to be attracting a sizable number of people. When we made our way to this exhibit, we found that the title of the exhibit was Prenatal Development

Along this wall, there were forty different examples of the various stages of development that all of us went through prior to our mothers giving birth to us. The “examples” were not pictures or models. Instead, they came from pregnancies that had been (according to the museum) naturally terminated. 

Each display gave information about the development of human beings. Those who were responsible for providing the information informed those of us who were reading the information that there was a stage in the development when it was proper to stop using the term embryo and start using the term fetus

I noticed that there was one term which was conspicuously absent from the displays. Although the “experts” did not provide that term for us, a young boy looking at the exhibit did.

This young man looked to be about eight or nine years old. As he and his grandfather made their way down the line, I heard the word that the scientists and educators were unwilling to use.

The boy looked up as the man and said, “Grandpa, I feel sorry for these babies.”

To his credit, the young man instinctively understood something that many so-called educated people in our society refuse to admit. Even in the mother’s womb, a human life is a baby. Many may want to use “scientific” and “technical” terms to deny this fact, but one young man was not fooled. 

When I heard this young man make this statement to his grandfather, I immediately thought of the Holy Spirit described John, the forerunner of our Lord, prior to his birth:

And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb (Luke 1:41).

Yes, it is true; sometimes kids do say the truest things.

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Episode 13: What We Learned from Reading the New Testament as a Family {Podcast}

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Families are always looking for ways to have Bible time with their kids. We are wrapping up a very interesting few months, in which we have read the entire New Testament with our children. In this episode, Adam and Leah discuss the joys and frustrations of this experiment, then talk about some other ideas for family devotionals you might want to try.

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Resources

“Object Lessons” (CD-Roms from Kaio Publications)

Discovery (Magazine from Apologetics Press)

Subscription for one year

Bound volume of 15 years of the magazine

Egermeier’s Bible Story Book

Illustrated Family Bible Stories

One Year Children’s Bible

More from A Legacy of Faith

To subscribe to A Legacy of Faith by email for free (and get a free eBook) click here.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes

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Visit the show archives

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Music Credit

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

Closing theme: “Afterglow” by Josh Woodward

 

My 2015 Word of the Year

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For the past couple of years, there seems to have been a trend of people selecting a single word to focus on for each year. The word typically represents some area of life in which the person wants to improve, or at the very least, in which he/she wants to focus.

In late 2013, I thought about doing this for 2014, but (honestly) just never selected my word. I thought about it, but just did not put any real time into it, so I let it go.

However, as 2014 wound down and 2015 approached, I knew this was something I wanted to try. Moving and the holidays made it where I didn’t select a word until a few days into the year, but that’s okay. Today, I want to share my thought process and reveal the word I have chosen for 2015.

From the time I started thinking about my word for 2015, I had a general concept that I wanted to work on. Thinking of one word to convey that, however, proved more difficult than I thought.

In short, I want to improve on things such as manners and having a dignified spirit. I do not feel these are things I am woefully inadequate at, but they are areas I need to spend some time focusing on, for sure. Further, I see these ways declining in the larger society, and I would like to do what I can to buck that trend.

Knowing that, I narrowed my thinking down to three words. The were quite similar, but the one I chose seems to capture all of this the best. It may be a very specific word, but I think it puts in my mind what I want to be better at.

First, I considered the word “manners.” While manners are certainly part of what I want to improve upon this year, that seemed to not capture the dignity part of what I was thinking.

So, I moved to the word “gentleman.” I liked this word, and almost went with it, but I think this word has taken on such a double meaning (think “gentleman’s club,” for example) that it did not capture, in a focused way, what I wanted.

Finally, after a lot of thought and prayer, I have settled on this word for 2015:

“Chivalry”

That may be a very old-fashioned word, but it is what I feel is lacking among many men in our society, including myself. It includes having very good manners, but it also carries the sense of dignity that I want to have in my life.

I settled on this word for three reasons:

1. Spiritual. Some may think that a man who treats ladies properly and has great manners is a bit odd, but no one can think that a man who has chivalry is a stumbling block to knowledge of God. Honoring others through good manners and real dignity will mean that I do not stand in the way of people seeing Christ in my life.

2. Relational. Other people deserve to be honored. Most importantly, this goes for my wife, who deserves to be honored simply because she is a lady and she is my wife. But others deserve to be treated with true dignity. I am going to work on things like standing before those who are older than I am, saying “yes ma’am” and “no sir” more often, and trying to bring dignity to various conversations. This should be done for the simple reason that people deserve to be treated with dignity.

3. Parental. As a dad, I want my son to be a man who still is chivalrous simply by following my example. I want my daughter to know that this is how a real man treats ladies, especially the lady to whom he has pledged his life.

Will I be perfect at this? Certainly not! That is why I have chosen it for my word. I have a long way to go to be a man who has real dignity and decorum in all settings and who treats people with the respect and honor they deserve. But a few steps in that direction this year will be a great way to spend 2015.

Here’s to being a person of chivalry!

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Two Years of My Mentoring Group: What I’ve Learned

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In 2013, I began meeting monthly with a wonderful group of young men in what I call a “mentoring group.” After just a handful of meetings, I knew this was something that I was going to really enjoy doing. In fact, after just three meetings, I blogged about it in a post called “Inside My Mentoring Group.”

Now, it has (almost) been two years. My 2014 group will be having our final meeting in early January, as my moving led to no available dates in December. Still, we are all committed to meeting for the final time and growing closer together.

After a great year with my 2013 group and 2014 group, I want to share some of what I have learned. Keep in mind that confidentiality is a key component of the mentoring program, so I will not be speaking to too many specifics. Still, there are several reasons why I hope to do this again in the future.

I have learned that men need the support of other Godly men. While society says that men are supposed to be self-starters and self-sustainers, we need others who can “hold our hands up” and with whom we can share both triumphs and struggles. The support these men have given each other–both in meetings and throughout the year–has been tremendous.

I have learned that some men open up faster than others. Some are just quieter, or less quick to share that dreaded word: “feelings.” Still, with the knowledge that confidence is real and that anyone can share anything and will not be slammed, each person has opened up over the course of the 12 months about various areas of life. It seems that this grows as the year goes along, and for that I am grateful.

I have learned that some think the preacher is perfect. I had one great young man say he was worried about what he was getting into, because it was “the preacher” who was doing this. After I admitted to weakness and we all laughed a few times together, though, he said that was his major takeaway: that the preacher isn’t perfect, but just another man striving to do his best.

I have learned that men will read…if the books are interesting. While the mentoring group is not a book club, we utilize books each month to lead our discussion. Some of the books have not been as appealing as others, but some have really gotten the attention of all of us. In year 2, I changed out a few of the books, simply because the ones that were used in the first year were not as good as I had thought they would be for this purpose. Below is a comparison of each year’s list of books (the links are to Amazon, if you wish to purchase any of the books).

Month20132014
JanuaryCreating Your Personal Life Plan (Michael Hyatt)Stepping Up: A Call to Courageous Manhood (Dennis Rainey)
FebruaryStepping Up: A Call to Courageous Manhood (Dennis Rainey)The Conviction to Lead (Albert Mohler)
MarchWho You are When No One's Looking (Bill Hybels)Who You Are When No One's Looking (Bill Hybels)
AprilWhen Work and Family Collide (Andy Stanley)When Work and Family Collide (Andy Stanley)
MayFighting For Your Marriage (Markman, Stanley, and Blumberg)7 Men and the Secret of Their Greatness (Eric Metaxes)
JuneThe Barnabas Factor (Aubrey Johnson)The Barnabas Factor (Aubrey Johnson)
JulySex is Not the Problem...Lust Is (Joshua Harris)Sex is Not the Problem...Lust Is (Joshua Harris)
AugustThe Servant: A Simple Story about the Essence of True Leadership (James C. Hunter)The Servant: A Simple Story about the Essence of Leadership (James C. Hunter)
SeptemberPoint Man (Steve Farrar)Point Man (Steve Farrar)
OctoberThe Power of Full Engagement (Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz)Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success (John Maxwell)
NovemberSamson and the Pirate Monks: Calling Men to Authentic Brotherhood (Nate Larkin)The Power of Full Engagement (Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz)
DecemberFinishing Strong (Steve Farrar)Finishing Strong (Steve Farrar)

I have learned that I love these men, and they will do great things in this world for the Lord. Not all have the same talents, but these men want to serve the Lord. They want to honor their wives. They want to be godly dads. They want to be Christian businessmen, teachers, preachers.

And they will, because their desire to serve God is remarkable. They have shaped my life far more than I have shaped theirs. I am a better man for having been part of these groups. My plan is to take 2015 off, due to moving and not having the time to look for those who will be in the group, but also to think through the program again so that, should I take it up again in 2016, it is even better.

To the 9 men who have been part of the mentoring program so far, thank you. Now, go Finish Strong!

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