Category Archives: Family

Praying With Your Family

Yesterday something happened that gave my wife and children cause to celebrate. We had a late day – two hours late to school due to bad weather. I decided to take advantage of the extra hours in the morning.

We went out to breakfast together. It was a prayer breakfast. We used the time we never have on a Monday in which we are usually in a rush to get ready. We talked. We ate a sit-down meal together. We discussed the week ahead. Then I asked them all to tell me something specifically they wanted to pray about. It was a great morning for our family. It was also a very humbling moment for me as a father.

How often do you pray together as a family? I am not talking about a quick prayer before a meal or a brief nighttime prayer you may have with your spouse or your kids. I am talking about an organized gathering where you share your thoughts and anxieties and spend some quality time together with every member of the family present in unified supplication to Jehovah God.

We need to pray more together. The family at home needs to communicate and then pray. The local congregation that constitutes your spiritual family needs to communicate and then pray. But we don’t! We are in too much of a hurry!

And just as we go too fast in praying before a meal at home, we often rush through every instance in prayer with the church. There seems to be a time limit on the Lord’s Supper.  I mean, after all, we have got to get the preacher up there ASAP so we don’t go over! If old man Jones leads the closing prayer and he gets long winded the people begin to fidget! And when is the last time you heard a prayer in the assembly that was more than five minutes long?

Slow down to pray. Whatever is going on can wait. Your work for the day will hang out and still be ready for you until you are done praying.

We need to repent about our prayer lives! We have robbed ourselves, our families, and our Father from prayer time by simply not making it a priority. We think we are doing a great job as parents because we are making every practice, getting all the homework done, and being on task for each and every responsibility. I would rather have a child who wasn’t as good at basketball as the other kids, if my child knew how to pray. I would rather have a child that gets B’s than a kid who gets A’s if my child was one who walked and talked with God. I’d rather have the laundry backed up and the kitchen not as tidy as long as I had a spouse who was allowed the time to have a healthy prayer life with me and my children.

It just hit me yesterday. In doing the right thing about prayer for once I realized I had been doing the wrong thing most of the time. Families MUST share quality spiritual time together and pray. This is true for the church and it’s true for the home.

If you are an elder and you are reading this I ask that you consider making 2017 a year of prayer for your church family. If you are a parent I suggest you to the same thing for your home. You will not regret it. I left breakfast for once feeling like a pretty good husband and father. Not because I am good, but because my family had together just talked to the One who alone IS good, and that is God. We left everything at His feet. We trusted Him and His will and it gave us peace. We came together in love and care for one another in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And it was wonderful.

“Father, forgive me for not praying as I should. Forgive me for not leading my family in prayer as I should. Forgive me for all the times I didn’t make time for a conversation with You. Because You are what I need the most. And You are who I love the most. I am looking forward to talking to You more. Thank You for always being there to listen and help me. In Jesus name, Amen.”

Whatever you are doing, you have not done as much as you can do…until at first you have prayed.

“I desire then that in every place the men should pray…” – 1 Timothy 2:8


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AUTHOR: Jeremiah Tatum

Photo background credit: BillAC on Creative Commons

A Picture That is Meaningful to Me (On Many Levels)

As many who read the posts from A Legacy of Faith know, the annual Freed-Hardeman University Lectureship takes place on the first full week of each February. For years, I have looked forward to that week and its events. In so many ways, this event is a true “spiritual feast.”

One of the highlights each year is the opportunity I have to spend time with people who have meant – and continue to mean – a great deal to me. It is good to hear many of them speak, to share ideas with them, and to just enjoy their fellowship.

This year, the older gentleman in the picture above will not be there. He is one of those people I have always looked forward to seeing. As far as I know, he was never a “big name preacher.” Many people may not recognize the picture. To them, the name Robert M. Waller may mean very little.

However, Robert M. Waller is a name that means a lot to me. The reason for that is that he is the man who baptized me into Christ a number of years ago (cf. Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27). 

Because of brother Waller’s role in my conversion, I always tried to make sure that he and I spent some time together at the FHU lectureship. I don’t know how much that meant to him, but it sure meant a lot to me.

Sadly (for me), brother Waller will not be attending the lectureship this year. He passed from this life to the next a couple of weeks ago. Although he was buried not far from where I live, I was not there. 

Instead of being present for the burial of a man who meant so much to me, I was at a retreat for the men of our congregation. I chose to go there because the speaker for that retreat was the other man in the picture – our son, Adam Faughn. 

I’m sure that brother Waller would have understood. I can almost hear his voice as he would probably say in his quiet and unassuming way something like, “Now, Jim; you know where you should be. You ought to be very proud of Adam and you need to encourage and support him.”

It should be apparent by now that the picture means a lot to me because of the two men in it. It also means a lot to me because of where it was taken. It was taken on the campus of Freed-Hardeman University during the lectureship. It also means a great deal to me because it was taken after our son had presented a lesson at that lectureship. 

This picture also means a lot to me because it serves as a visual demonstration of how far-reaching the gospel can be. While every soul is more valuable than the entire world (cf. Matt. 16:26), the baptism of one person can have an impact that may be impossible to appreciate at the time. 

I am sure that, when brother Waller baptized me over forty years ago, he never imagined that he would hear my son preach. In fact, when he baptized me, he probably never imagined that he would ever hear me preach. Preaching was not even on my “radar screen.” I was a high school teacher in my hometown and thought that was going to be my life. 

Who knew then that I would spend over thirty-eight years in “full-time preaching?” Who knew then that Donna and I would have both a son and a son-in-law who would be preachers? Who knows how many of the people who have heard us preach will be preachers and/or will serve the Lord in some meaningful way?

I did not realize it when I took the picture, but I actually took the picture of three people. As I looked at the picture later, I noticed for the first time that our son’s son, Turner, is in the background. 

He doesn’t appear to have been too interested in what was going on, but that can change. Who knows what the future holds for him? Could he (or one of our other grandsons) be the third generation of gospel preachers? 

Who could be influenced or taught by you? Who might spend eternity in heaven because of your efforts? 

The number could be much higher than you think!

There is an old saying that informs us that we can count the number of seeds in an apple, but we cannot count the number of apples in a seed.


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AUTHOR: Jim Faughn

Episode 72: Capturing Great Family Photos on Your Smartphone (guest: Chad Landman) [Podcast]

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With smartphones now having great cameras, how can families take good pictures? Where do you store those pictures?

On this podcast, Chad Landman rejoins the program to talk with Adam about taking great pictures with your smartphone, and then what to do with those pictures.

Lots of links below!

Links and Resource List

Chad’s website

Active Digital Parenting

Camera and Photo apps for Android Phones 

Google Photos

Google Camera

Instagram

VSCO Cam

Camera Zoom FX

Snapseed

Camera and Photo apps for iOs (Apple) Phones

VSCO Cam

Instagram

Snapseed

Snapfish

Chat Books

Mosaic

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Legacy Recipe: Mom’s Cheese Soup [Free Printable]

My mother and my mother-in-law were both excellent cooks. Since both of them have passed from this life, you can imagine how much I treasure the recipes I have from each of their kitchens. Some of them are written in their own handwriting and some are in old cookbooks compiled by groups of which they were a part. 

I thought it might be fun (especially for the ladies and the men who like to cook who read Legacy) to share some of those recipes with you. Most of them are very easy and full of comfort. Since I’m on a different eating plan than I used to be, I don’t always fix the recipes I’ll share with you, but I will treasure the memories they bring to my mind.

I hope you enjoy this new segment of Legacy of Faith.

Mom’s Cheese Soup

3 cups diced potatoes

1 cup water

½ cup carrot slices

½ cup celery slices

1 chopped onion

¼ cup parsley flakes

1 chicken bouillon cube

Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook until vegetables are tender

Gradually add 2 Tbsp. flour to 1 and ½ cups milk and stir until smooth

Add to vegetables and cook until thickened.

Add ½ pound Velveeta cheese (more or less if you want)

Add 1 cup chopped ham if desired.

(May use 2 cups milk and no ham if desired – but Mom always added the ham)

This was always one of our favorites on cold wintry days, and hers was always better than mine!

I hope you enjoy Mom’s Cheese Soup.

Click on the image below and you can print out a free recipe card for mom’s cheese soup!

An Important Date & An Important Reminder

I am typing these words on January 20, 2017. As I type these words, millions of people are waiting for a new president to take the oath of office and begin a new era in our nation’s history. According to some information I have read, the cost of the inauguration will be somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 million. 

Flags are flying. Bands have been–and will be–playing. “Important” documents will be signed. Millions will witness the events, either in person or by means of some form of mass media.

While I love all of the fanfare, excitement, and meaning involved in every inauguration, this date is particularly important to me. Its importance is not due to the people involved or the location of the events. It is the date that I have on my mind.

Seventy-seven years ago today something happened that many people in the world did not know or care about. On January 20, 1940, my parents were married. 

Instead of millions of witnesses, there were six people present when my parents were married. The preacher who performed the ceremony, his wife, and a couple of my parents’ friends who served as the witnesses were the only people there with my parents.

Instead of a “state of the art” venue for that event all those years ago, the wedding took place in the kitchen of the house in which the preacher and his wife lived. It was cold in Pope County, Illinois on January 20, 1940. Apparently, the warmest place to be was in that kitchen.

There were no flags or banners. Instead, since it was so cold, the preacher’s wife had hung the week’s washing in the kitchen to dry. That meant that my parents and the others were surrounded by clothes lines, clothes pins, drying clothes, etc.

There were no bands. I’m not sure if there was any kind of music, but I’m thinking that it is doubtful.

There was no news coverage. It is probable that some family members and close friends learned about the marriage “after the fact.” 

So – what took place all those years ago was no big deal – right? 

It was to me! In fact, if that event had never taken place, there would be no me.

As I’m sitting in front of my computer and keeping one eye on the events of this day, I’m thinking that the event that took place seventy-seven years ago may serve as a reminder that ordinary people who do ordinary things are what make life meaningful. It is those people and those things that may have the greatest impact on individuals.

You and I may never “make the news.” Each of us, however, can make a difference. 

Presidents may make a difference in the history of a nation. Ordinary people can make a difference for eternity.

May God help us to remember what really is important on this day and every day.


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AUTHOR: Jim Faughn

It’s the Small Things

It was one quarter. Just twenty-five cents. However, it seemed to make all the difference in one particular woman’s day.

I’m an Aldi’s shopper, and I keep a quarter in a little compartment in my car when I go there so I can quickly get my shopping cart and begin saving all that money on groceries. It was right before the holidays and I was shopping as I usually do about once a week. When I finished loading my groceries in the back of my car I headed back to the store with my shopping cart.

I happened to notice a young woman on her way to get a cart, so I asked her if she would like to have mine. She started to hand me a quarter and I simply said for her to keep the quarter and let me have that tiny little blessing. She stopped, smiled, began to thank me profusely, and then she said, “You have just made my day. God bless you and your family.” It was such a small thing to do, but I think she felt good about it…and I know I sure did. 

When I got in my car and headed home I began to think about all of the little things we as followers of Jesus can do to help others feel better – things that don’t necessarily involve money.

Here’s my short list so far (and I hope you will add your ideas to it):

  • Smile and speak to the people you see – whether they smile or speak to you or not.
  • Let someone go before you in the grocery line if they have just a few items.
  • Sit down before church services with a widow or widower and just talk for a few minutes.
  • Give hugs freely at church (it isn’t hard to see those who need one).
  • Look into the eyes of those around you because the eyes are the windows of the soul.  If you take the time, you can see hurt, sadness, happiness, etc. and share with them.
  • Pat a teen at church on the back and let them know you are proud of them.
  • Tell your husband and children/grandchildren how much you love them…often.
  • Help someone in putting their coat on if you see they are struggling.
  • Walk with someone to their car if they seem to be having trouble.
  • Get down on a little child’s level and listen to what they have to say.
  • Check on a neighbor who may not have any family living close to them.
  • Let someone who’s trying to get in your lane of traffic go before you…even if the person behind you honks his horn.
  • Speak kindly and respectfully to waiters/waitresses in restaurants…and leave them a decent tip.

When I sit and think about the life of Jesus here on this earth, I think of a young man who loved and cared for others. I believe others were drawn to Him, in part, because He included little kindnesses in His everyday life. After all, wasn’t it Jesus who said, “…whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them…”  (Matt. 7:12)?

Now I keep several quarters in that little compartment in my car.


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AUTHOR: Donna Faughn

Episode 71 : Forever His (with Shelley Hazel) [Podcast]

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What can a congregation do to help families who have children with special needs? Forever His is a ministry that helps in that area. Recently, the Forest Park church of Christ in Valdosta, Georgia held a Forever His Bible Day Camp, and on the podcast this week, Shelley Hazel joins Adam to talk about this wonderful and uplifting day.

LOFpodcast

Links

Forest Park Church of Christ (homepage)

Video: Forever His [vimeo.com]

Forever His information at Karns church of Christ (includes registration form)

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Photo credit: Annika Leigh on Creative Commons

The Foolishness of Alcohol

Almost five years ago, I wrote this post, wherein I talked about an experience I had in trying to help a lady who turned out to be drunk.

Then, just a couple of weeks ago, I saw it all on display again.

As my dad wrote on Monday, our family was able to enjoy the recent Music City Bowl together. It was a wonderful time with family; a day I will not forget.

However, not every detail of the day was a delight. Sitting behind us were some fans of one of the teams (I will not reveal which team, because I am certain there were fans of both teams in the stadium who this could be said about) who cursed and slurred their way through a pretty decent football game.

In fact, at one point–probably late in the third quarter–one of the men yelled out to his friend that they needed “to go watch the [team name].” To that, his buddy explained, “We are watching them!”

You read that right. Almost 3/4 of the way through a game, one of these men did not realize he was even at the game. Oh, and at the time, the team he was rooting for was winning!

Certainly, this was not the only case of foolish behavior at the game. We heard racial slurs yelled. We later saw a video (from another part of the stadium) of fans who were rooting for the same team in a fistfight with each other. We heard language that was indescribably bad…and incessant.

This is not an anti-sports post. It is not a post meant to keep people from attending sporting events or concerts.

However, it is a reminder to us all of the complete foolishness of alcohol. The beer (and other drinks) were flowing freely in that stadium that day. The speech got more slurred and the smell of alcohol grew stronger all around us as the game wore on.

And no one seemed to stop and wonder what in the world they were doing to themselves, or how utterly foolish they were acting.

Our society just says it’s all part of “having a good time.” It’s just a small piece of the “game day experience.” It’s why you work, so you can afford to “let go and unwind.”

The Bible calls it foolishness.

The Bible calls it sin (see Galatians 5:19-21).

I know Christians who believe that social drinking is fine. I’ve heard and read all the arguments (more times than I can remember).

And then I go to a game and am reminded of reality: it is nothing more than playing the fool to drink.

All the arguments about “it’s just a little fun” or “I can handle it” or “I know my limits” look nothing more than foolish when you think about them.

Give your arguments to the parents who are burying a child killed by a drunk driver who “could handle his liquor.”

Share those statements with the teenager who would love just one day where dad didn’t come home and “drink away the stress of the day,” and instead would listen to his children.

Point out your wise counsel to the business owner who has to fire a good employee who thought he could handle just one more, then made a nuisance of himself at the company party.

Share your wisdom to the teen who drank just one beer at the party last Friday–the first drink he ever took–and, because took and shared a photo, now is off the basketball team and is socially an outcast for that decision.

And then, the next time you think about drinking, remember how you said that this would just be a “one-time” thing to get through the day, or to help enjoy the game. And ask yourself, who is really in charge here?

Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? [If I may add, who doesn’t even know what game he is at? ADF]

Those who tarry long over wine; those who go to try mixed wine. Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly.

In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart utter perverse things. You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, like one who lies on the top of a mast.

“They struck me,” you will say, “but I was not hurt; they beat me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake? I must have another drink.” (Proverbs 23:29-35; emphasis added)

Society says is cool.

But Scripture says you are a fool.

After what I saw at the game, I was reminded of the absolute truth of that Biblical claim. I may not be as “cool” as some people, but you know what? I actually remember the game I went to watch and can share every memory of it with joy and with no shame.

Now that sounds cool to me!


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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

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