Episode 74 : FHU Lectures, Personal Evangelism, Women and Men are Different, and More! [Podcast]

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On this week’s podcast, Adam and Leah discuss a host of items going on in their lives as well as some things they have found around the web recently. Links below!

Links

Freed-Hardeman University

Podcast: “Personal Evangelism in a Small Town” [guest Rob Whitacre]

Facebook photo about women

Book: For Better or For Kids [Amazon]

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Rise Up, O Men (and Women) of God

It’s a song we don’t sing very often anymore. Written in 1911 by William P. Merrill, this song has a command we don’t often hear from those in leadership positions today. The first verse reads: “Rise up, O men of God! Have done with lesser things; give heart and mind and soul and strength to serve the King of Kings.”

As I have been studying the book of Nehemiah lately, this song kept coming to my mind. The strength of Nehemiah’s leadership in the face of so much opposition has invaluable lessons for us today.

Six Traits that Made Nehemiah a Great Leader

Nehemiah was a man of passion. When he learned about the remnant who were in shame and the condition of the wall and gates surrounding Jerusalem, he wept and mourned over the state of that great city. How many of us today have shed tears, fasted, and mourned for the weakened condition of the church in so many places?

Nehemiah was a man of prayer. He turned to the only Source of all good blessings in his time of trouble. I have taken the time to color all of the times that Nehemiah prayed in this short book. I find it refreshing to thumb through the pages and see the times that he turned to God in prayer. Sometimes they were long prayers, and sometimes they were short utterances, but they were sent to the “Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep His commandments.” Do I recognize this great source of strength?

Nehemiah was a planner. It seems very obvious to me that Nehemiah had spent some time in thinking through what he would need in order to complete the task of rebuilding the wall, should he get the opportunity to do so. He needed time off, confirmation from the king that he had the authority to travel to Jerusalem, and letters for the timber he would need to rebuild the gates that had been burned. How often to I devote time to planning something that will help build up God’s Kingdom, the church?

Nehemiah was a partner. After surveying the damage and assessing the work that was before them, he makes one of the most powerful statements in this account. “Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision” (2:17, emphasis added). Rather than sitting back and expecting others to do the work, he joined in helping with rebuilding the walls and gates of Jerusalem. Do I ever think that the work is for someone else to do, or do I willingly join in with others to accomplish what needs to be done for the Lord?

Nehemiah was opposed from without and within. He was ridiculed, discouraged by friends and enemies, talked about falsely, and met with opposition on every side. In every instance, he met these darts of the devil with prayer and courage. He not only showed the strength that a man of God should have in times of trial, but also the way to respond to such opposition. How often when I am opposed is my first thought to pray and then calmly respond to the opposition?

Nehemiah was a provider. He provided courage and help for rebuilding the wall which gave the city of Jerusalem physical protection. He then began to make provision for the spiritual protection of those people who would reside in that territory. Ezra was called to bring the Book of the Law of Moses and he read it before the people – “the men and women and all those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law” (8:3). Am I attentive to God’s Word today, and do I see it as the provision of protection for my life?

Conclusion

The lessons from Nehemiah could go on and on, but I hope that if you haven’t studied this book lately, this short list will whet your appetite to dig into the text and apply these lessons to your life.

Rise up, O men (and women) of God. Face the opposition with the help of the same powerful God who helped Nehemiah so long ago.

“Lift high the cross of Christ! 

Tread where His feet have trod;

As brothers of the Son of man,

Rise up, O men of God!”


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AUTHOR: Donna Faughn

Photo background credit: David Amsler

Episode 73: Same Podcast, New Format [Podcast]

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Starting next week, we will make a change in our podcast. It will still be released every two weeks, but the format will be a little different.

On this very brief podcast, Adam lets you know about the changes.

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This is for the Elder…

Elders in the Lord’s Church need encouragement. Their office is the highest office anyone could ever attain, but it carries a weight and a responsibility unlike any other.

Too often, elders do their best, yet receive so little encouragement. I hope this post helps lift their spirits a little bit.

I am not an elder, but I spend a lot of my time with elders, and I can–at least to some extent–appreciate their role and responsibility. I do not always agree with what elders decide, but, through spending so much time with them, I appreciate what they do, and I want to hold up their hands.

So, this post is for the elder…

…who hasn’t slept much lately because you want to win back that wayward soul, but you just are not sure the best way to approach him.

…whose wife was removed from the ladies’ group text at church the day you were appointed to the office.

…who hears the whispers around the building that maybe you’re getting too old for this and it’s time to pass things on to the next generation.

…who visited 5 people last week, then got lit up in the foyer on Sunday for the one visit that was not made.

…who finally took his wife on that 40th-anniversary cruise (in year 42 of marriage), only to get crushed by a member because you missed their second-cousin’s-brother-in-law’s funeral while you were out “seeing the world” instead of “doing your job.”

…who has a wife who wonders why no one will talk to her any longer, now that her husband is one of “them.”

…who cries in private over the growth of a desire by some influential members to move beyond Scripture, but who teaches a Bible class week after week, holding fast to the Truth.

…who is about to vote for a budget decrease, and who knows that there will be major blowback (mostly likely by people who give less than anyone).

…who shakes hands every Sunday, then receives a letter from one member for not shaking her hand, because, obviously, “you must not like me like you do those other folks.”

…who tries to delegate, only to be asked a thousand questions about minor matters. Then, when you say to go to the deacon who is in charge, is told, “I thought you were supposed to know what was going on. You’re an elder, right?”

…who holds Bible studies on a regular basis and teaches a Bible class, but who is told almost every week that “no one in this town wants to hear the Truth anymore.”

…who, every time you stand up to make announcements, sees that one member who folds his arms and makes it very obvious that he doesn’t want to hear from you.

…who is thinking of stepping down from the stress and strain.

This is for you: “When the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory” (1 Peter 5:4).

Elders, this is for you.

Thank you.


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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

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!

What Too Many Want in a Preacher (Hint: It’s Not John, Paul, or Jesus)

I see them often (not because I am looking to move!). They are the “ads” for preaching openings, as congregations try to summarize what they are looking for in just a paragraph or two.

In a large number of these ads, you’ll find words like, “The [name of church] is looking for a younger man who will reach young families.” You might also find descriptions like “dynamic preaching style” or “accessible sermons.”

And if you poll a large number of Christians about the type of preacher they are looking for (or not-so-secretly wish they had), they will spend far more time talking about his style or his presentation or even the way he looks than they will about one very important factor: Does he preach the Truth, no matter what?

I’m afraid that, in our image-conscious and style-centered culture, we have put those things as the highest priority, even when looking for someone to preach.

Now, let me say this: preaching style can be important, and every preacher needs to seek to improve or even adapt at times. If the members can predict what you’re going to say every week because you always preach the same style (or, worse, are riding a hobby horse), that’s a sign that the preacher is not growing.

But too many Christians are more concerned with the externals than they are with whether or not that man spends time in the Word and preaches the Truth, even if his style may not be on par with the greatest world-class speakers we’ve ever heard.

It should be very concerning that if we were to look at what most congregations want in a preacher, that some of the greatest men of the Bible would never even be invited for a “try out.”

If John the Baptist sent his sermon entitled “You Brood of Vipers!” to an eldership along with his resume, do you think they would call him to come and try out for the open pulpit position? Yet, Jesus said that “among those born of women none is greater than John” (Luke 7:28). Do you think that someone like John might be needed?

What about Paul? Those who heard him speak said, “His bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account” (2 Corinthians 10:10). We can’t have that as the public face of our congregation, now can we? We need someone who looks strong and who is a great orator, right? But don’t you think a preacher like Paul could do some good where you are?

Even the Lord Jesus Himself might not be welcome, if you think about it. When He starts talking about divorce or lust or even calling people hypocrites, do you think He would be allowed to stay very long? The cell phone of each elder would be blowing up with complaints!

Preachers should care about externals, but only to a minor degree. I remember growing up and hearing the late and beloved brother Wendell Winkler admonish young preachers to make sure they weren’t “slovenly” in the pulpit, but that they looked like they were serious, because the work they were doing is serious! A preacher should seek to grow in his abilities and talents.

But if the first thing we consider when we think of a “good preacher” is style and looks, we have missed the point of Gospel preaching! It is first and foremost about the proclamation of the whole counsel of God to save the souls of men and women.

Elders, I urge you to encourage your preacher to spend time in the Book and to not be afraid to preach the truth, boldly and in love. Help him know how to balance bold proclamation with loving rebuke, and how to balance sermons that “reprove, rebuke, [and] exhort” (2 Timothy 4:2).

Preachers, I urge us to seek to grow in our talents but to never lose sight of how we are to be sharing all of the Gospel, “in season and out of season,” and not to shy away from what might be difficult to present. (You know, those sermons that you not-so-jokingly call your “U-Haul specials.”) Seek help in how to have “complete patience and teaching” when the times come that people are not enduring sound teaching (2 Timothy 4:2-3), while never compromising Truth.

And Christians, I urge you to think about your attitude toward the preacher. He may not be the best orator you’ve ever heard, and he may get a little predictable at times. He may not dress in the latest styles or have a modern haircut. (And, horror of horrors, he may still wear a coat and tie instead of a sweater or skinny jeans!) He may even come down on you a little hard at times. But he loves the Lord, and he loves you enough to preach the truth to the best of his ability. If that’s true of him, thank him and love him for it.

No, he isn’t John or Paul or Jesus. But he’s a servant of God, and that’s what every congregation needs in the pulpit.


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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

“Not My Jesus!”

I saw the sign. It said plainly, “Not my president!” Before you think this is a political commentary please understand that this sign could have been used in a march this week against Trump or last week against Obama. This sign is nothing new. You see, depending on the situation there are going to be some people who don’t want to submit to the existing authority. There are going to be people who don’t like who is in charge, especially if that authority figure doesn’t stand for or profess what they want to be doing.
But you know what? I am not concerned about the people who are saying, “Not my president!” I am concerned about the people who are saying about Jesus, “Not my Savior!” “Not my Lord!”
First, I am concerned about the people who reject Jesus as Savior. They do this by not believing in Him as the Son of God. They do this by not accepting the covenant He initiated by His sinless, sacrificial blood. They do this by not adhering to the purpose and plan of the gospel. They do this by following a religion other than Christianity. They do this by believing in evolution. They do this by following a culture that is humanistic and hedonistic.
I am concerned about these people because whether they choose to accept Him or not, Jesus IS, in fact, a Savior and more specifically, the only Savior of mankind (Acts 4:12). His future parents were even told, “And you shall call His name ‘Jesus,’ for He will save the people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). Jesus’ very purpose in coming was to be the Savior, and that is exactly who He is (Luke 19:10).
Second, I am concerned about the people who reject Jesus as Lord. They may be believers and followers of Jesus. They may even be “baptized Christians.” But just because a person has followed the plan of salvation does not automatically mean that Jesus has become the Lord of their lives. There are people who claim to be Christians who reject Jesus as Lord every day. They do this by not keeping His word. They do this by being their own masters. They do this by stubbornly following their own will, rather than accept His greater and higher will. Such is the sincerest form of hypocrisy. Jesus Himself said at the end of the Sermon on the Mount, “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ and do not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).
People can protest against the government and hold up signs all they want. It’s a democracy. Let their actions proclaim their motives and let their political agendas speak for themselves. But woe to the people who protest against Jesus! Because in the spiritual realm it’s a monarchy. And Jesus is Savior and Lord forever! Those who reject Him are ultimately sentencing their souls eternally to a devil’s hell.
“Not my president!”? That’s a political statement. No big deal. It doesn’t make the president not be the president. The laws still apply. If followed by actions this statement will have legal consequences. But it only concerns a temporary kingdom with a temporary leader.
 “Not my Jesus!”? That’s a rejection of the love of God. It doesn’t change the fact that “God made this same Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). And its concern is greater because Jesus’ is the eternal King of the everlasting kingdom. And the actions that follow such words will have eternal consequences. He has all authority (Matt. 28:18). He is coming to judge the world (2 Tim. 4:1).
“For it is written: ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.’ So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.” – Romans 14:11-12
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