I Remember Thanksgiving

I remember Thanksgiving. 30 years ago, in 2014, we celebrated with turkey and dressing around a large table near Jasper, Alabama with Leah’s family. We talked to my family on the phone. For one day, everything seemed to be slower and life was centered around things that were important.

But that was 30 years ago, and this is 2044. Oh how times have changed.

Now we still get together with family on this day, but we all have to take a vacation day from work. It is no longer considered a true “holiday.” Some schools are out, but only because they haven’t had to use this late November Thursday as a makeup day for snow or some other bad weather.

Stores are open all day. It used to be that some people would spend part of Thanksgiving Day looking at sale ads for what was called “Black Friday.” That day-after-Thanksgiving Friday was a crazy day of shopping, meant to give a jumpstart to the Christmas shopping season through all kinds of sales. Now, the Thursday is just another shopping day, as people started looking for those trinkets and toys for Christmas a few weeks ago.

I miss the way Thanksgiving used to be. While I know some of it was manufactured, it was calming to think that people slowed down a bit, said a prayer, and spent time with their family. Whether every family really took time to say what they were thankful for, it was reassuring to think that some did. I know the ladies in our family had to cook a huge meal, but even they said that this day was slower than nearly any other. I miss that.

I miss the world seeming to just stop for a day and reflect. I miss the gratitude that was reinforced in a lot of traditions. I miss wiffleball in the front yard when it was warm in November, and reading by the fire when it wasn’t.

Somewhere in our mad rush to get more stuff we forgot how to take just one day to be thankful. I miss that.

But I won’t forget it. I remember Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Proclamation

This Thanksgiving Day, I would hope that all of us would take some time away from parades, meals, football, and preparations for ‘Black Friday” to reflect on how this unique holiday got started. It is interesting to me that, both the Congress and President Washington were involved in this proclamation.

It seems to me that, while we may have made a lot of progress in a lot of  areas during the past 225 years, we might be well advised to “return to our roots” when it comes to our acknowledgment of, and dependence upon, God.   — Jim Faughn

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Thanksgiving Proclamation

Issued by President George Washington, at the request of Congress, on October 3, 1789

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go. Washington

Friday, Um, Non-Finds?

Each week, we publish our Family Friendly Finds on Friday. This week, to be honest, we just did not get it done. Between moving and having our internet turned off early at the house, there was no way to piece together the links as we usually do.

Also, we are taking next week a little lighter. We currently have just two posts scheduled, and may just stick with that schedule. Our goal is to be back with our usual number of posts on Monday, December 1.

Thanks for understanding, and thanks for continuing to come back to A Legacy of Faith!

Episode 9: Making Thanksgiving Memorable {Podcast}

Player not working? Click here to listen on the blog.

Thanksgiving is coming soon, and we want you to be ready. In this episode, which is a re-release of an episode of the Faughn Family Podcast, Adam and Leah share some ideas to help your family make this Thanksgiving more than just another day. Enjoy!

LOFpodcast

 

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Music Credit

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

Closing theme: “Afterglow” by Josh Woodward

The Memories of a House

memories of a house

Tomorrow, they start packing and Friday we move out. For about 6 1/2 years, one address has been the place we called home. It has been a wonderful house.

Still, it is made up of wood, concrete, vinyl siding, carpet, metal and other material “stuff.” Through the designs and work of people with different skills than I have, all this “stuff” becomes a beautiful and functional place to live. When looking for a place to live, we think about if our couch can go here or if all our pots and pans can fit in there; we consider if this room will work for an office or den or if that room will be the bedroom for one child or another. It is utilitarian.

…and then you live there awhile.

That back yard is where we put our child’s first swingset. It was cold, so her first ride on the swing was in a coat and gloves.

The oddly-laid-out living room has been the home of countless family devotionals, movie nights, and games.

The red dining room (that we liked at first, then thought we would change until we decided to move) has hosted scores of people and helped us connect with so many individuals. It is also where we put together puzzles and tried to teach manners.

In that light green room upstairs, I watched my daughter start to pick out her own clothes (sometimes), fix her own hair, and dress her dolls. I picked her up for our daddy dates at the bottom of those stairs.

In the blue room, I wrestled on the bed with my son, and watched him gain a love for reading about God’s world. I saw him make train tracks in the floor and caught him flexing in his mirror a time or two.

In another room, I continually saw my wife grow in her beauty and grace. From getting ready in the morning to reading Anne of Green Gables after I had turned off my lamp, she continually amazes me and fascinates me. We have cried so many tears over people we know who are hurting, and have laughed at so many inside jokes in this room.

It is just a house, but in those four walls, life happened. Too rapidly, at times, but it happened. Mistakes were made, triumphs were celebrated, tears were shed, and lots of laughs were shared. Meals were enjoyed, friends were entertained, and a few storms–literal and figurative–were weathered. We even had our mailbox destroyed once.

…oh, and the bare spot on the front yard? That’s just from kids being kids.

…and the front porch? I have read more books to my children out there than I can count.

…and our first day of homeschool? It was in the room that was listed as an “office.”

And on and on it goes.

It’s just a house, but memories are everywhere. It is hard to leave it behind.

Until I remember that the home isn’t made of the material stuff. It is the three special people who have helped make all the memories throughout the years. You see, we are leaving a house behind, but we are taking a home with us.

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Photo background credit: ME! The picture is from the day we moved into our house in Hermitage. Needless to say, all of us have changed (the kids have gotten bigger, I have lost some weight, and Leah has only gotten more beautiful).

 

Praying Together

praying together
One recent religious survey noted that the average minister only prays three minutes each day. I found this astounding. I do not know if it is accurate, but if this is true, is it any wonder why the church is not growing?Hey wait a minute…maybe we should ask ourselves how much we are praying? It’s not that there is a required amount, but rather it has to do with where we are in our spiritual lives. Prayer is key. Prayer can change everything.

I am finding that one of the most important things I can do to change and improve my own prayer life is to pray with others. When we pray with our spouses it changes our marriage. When we pray with our family it brings God into our home in a greater way. When we pray with our friends we share our lives together and our friendship grows. When we pray with the church we have more confidence in our spiritual journey.

Here are a few suggestions that I believe will enhance your prayer life:

1. Have a prayer list.

  • Sit down and think of all the people who have special needs and all the problems people are facing. A prayer list helps you focus on issues others are struggling with and humbles you. You will realize how many people need prayers, and you will be reminded about how many blessings you have.
2. Pray more in your Bible classes.
  • It would be a good idea for each of our Bible classes, if we started and ended with a prayer. It will change the way you study. It will allow God to be present with those who are looking into His word.
3. Make a regular time each evening to pray with your spouse.
  • When couples communicate with God they also communicate with each other. If you have never heard your spouse pray, you are missing out on knowing them as well as you could.
4. Teach your children how to pray, and help them to pray regularly.
  • There is nothing more rewarding then listening to your child as they learn to pray. As they improve, you are developing in them a relationship with God that they will never regret.
Prayer is not a job, it is a privilege. We desperately need to pray.
“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” ~ James 5:16
Photo background credit: Stevan Sheets on Creative Commons

Zager & Evans Miscalculated Slightly

zager and evans

Those of us “of a certain age” may remember an unusual song recorded in 1969. Among the things that were unusual about it were the following:

  • It was recorded by a folk-rock duo from the state of Nebraska (of all places).
  • It held the #1 position on the record charts longer than any other record of that year (even though such notables as Elvis Presley, The Beatles, The Fifth Dimension, The Temptations, and others also had #1 hits that year).
  • It has no chorus. It just sort of progressed through an imaginary future timeline.
  • It had a unique (and unusual) subtitle; Exordium & Terminus (Beginning & End).

For those who are not “of a certain age” and for those who are, but who may have forgotten this unusual song, I have in mind is In the Year 2525 by (Denny) Zager and (Rick) Evans. (No, I did not remember or even know their first names. I had to look them up.)

Anyway, here are some of the lyrics of that song:

In the year 6565

Ain’t gonna need no husband, won’t need no wife
You’ll pick your son, pick your daughter too
From the bottom of a long glass tube

Folks, we are there! In fact, if my math skills haven’t completely deserted me, we are there 4,551 years earlier than the song predicted.

As evidence of that, consider the following headline from the online edition of The Washington Post of October 2, 2014:

White Woman Sues Sperm Bank after She Mistakenly Gets Black Donor’s Sperm

The opening paragraph of the article states:

An Ohio mom and her same-sex partner are suing a Chicago-area fertility clinic for sending sperm from a black donor instead of the white donor’s sperm that she ordered.

A little further in the article, the reader learns this information:

After poring over pages of donor histories from Midwest Sperm Bank three years ago, Cramblett and her partner, 29-year-old Amanda Zinkon, selected donor No. 380, who was white. Cramblett used the sperm to get pregnant and, months later, the two decided to reserve more sperm from that donor so Zinkon could one day have a child related to the one Cramblett was carrying.

During that process, the couple learned the truth: An employee at the fertility clinic allegedly misread a handwritten order — and Cramblett had been inseminated by donor No. 330, who was black.

So, having a child is no more than a business transaction now. I can’t help but wonder what sort of “return policy” there would be on something like this.

God’s design was and is for one man to marry one woman. Together, they were and are to bring children into the world and nurture and train them.

He is eternal. His will is binding; Zager & Evans and Crablett & Zinkon notwithstanding. For that matter; the government, social pressures, liberal theologians, etc. notwithstanding.

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Photo background credit: Chris Drumm on Creative Commons

 

Friday’s Family Friendly Finds {November 14, 2014 edition}

It is cold! The old adage in Middle Tennessee is that, if you don’t like the weather, wait about 15 minutes and it will change on you. That may be true sometimes, but we are looking at temperatures in the 20s and 30s for the next several days. For this part of the country, it’s just a little early to have those temps for that many days in a row.

But, the changing of every season is just another reminder that God is in control!

On to this week’s family links.

Family Friendly Finds

This Week’s Finds

The No. 1 Reasons Teens Keep the Faith as Young Adults {Huffington Post}

10 Ways to Incorporate Gratitude in Our Kids’ Every Day Lives {We are THAT Family}

The Value of Listening {National Institute on Biblical Parenting}

Have You Entered the Silent Years of Parenting? {for the family}

5 Ways to Instill Modesty in Our Daughters {All Pro Dad} NOTE: I think this post is good, but is missing one essential element: any reference to God and His design for her. Still worth your reading, though.

Our Week in Review

The following were our five most-viewed posts over the past week. These were not necessarily published in the last 7 days; they just drew the most views. (Original publication date in parentheses.)

#5: Whitewash Can be Dangerous (November 10, 2014)

#4: Training Your Children for Worship 1: A Devotional Guide on Worship {Free Printable} (October 22, 2014)

#3: Training Your Children for Worship 3: Prayer Checklist and “Time for Worship” Cards for Kids {Free Printables} (November 5, 2014)

#2: The Omnipresence of God (November 11, 2014)

#1: Training Your Children for Worship 4: “My Worship Notes” Handout {Free Printable} (November 12, 2014)

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“A Promise to Claim?” Not Always

a promise to claim

Reading through the Bible, one will come across any number of great promises by the Lord. From beginning to end, in both the Old and New Testaments, there are a large number of promises. Each one is rich with meaning and provides a shining beam of light to the story of Scripture.

Today, when we read or hear people talk about how to read the Bible, we often hear the mantra “name it and claim it.” The idea is simply this: when you see a promise in Scripture that touches your life, claim that promise. After all, does not God always “make good” on His promises?

Of course, He does. God never lies (Titus 1:2), and He always works out things in the end for His ultimate will. His people are victorious in the end, and living the Christian life is filled with innumerable blessings.

However, this idea of looking for “a promise to claim” can be dangerous territory if we are not diligent in our Bible study.

Why? Too many “claimed” promises are taken out of context and were never intended for my own personal claiming.

For example…

God promised Abram (later, Abraham) a land in which his descendants would dwell (Genesis 12:1-3). The same promise was later given to Isaac and others in Abraham’s family line. Should then I claim that promise if I want my descendants to have a great farm or beautiful countryside on which to live?

God promised David that his offspring would sit on the royal throne forever. Jesus, of course, was the ultimate fulfillment of that promise, and sits ruling over His Kingdom–the Church–today and forevermore. But, if I want a child to be a ruler, should I not just claim this promise for my life?

These may be extreme examples, but they prove the point. When we just claim any promise of Scripture, we could be removing the promise from the original context. God often made specific promises to specific people for a specific set of circumstances. Those promises always came about and showed God’s providence, sovereignty, and power. That is why they are contained in the pages of the Bible.

Now, does that mean there are no promises believers can claim today? Of course not! We have many precious promises that help us through countless hours of our lives. Without changing the context of the Bible at all, the Christian can “claim” a great number of promises that provide hope and help.

For example…

Peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:4-7).

The presence of the Lord (Hebrews 13:5)

Wisdom (James 1:5-8)

and many, many more.

Still, even with these great promises, the context is key. I cannot just “claim” the promise of wisdom and expect to gain such from the Lord. James said that I must ask for that wisdom in faith and have no doubt that God will give it. Just like Abraham had to actually travel to the land in order to receive it, I hold a part in gaining the great promises of God for my life today.

As you read the Bible, look for those wonderful promises. They truly are “great and precious!” (2 Peter 1:4). But when you find one, do not neglect your Bible reading and study skills. Never neglect the context, and make sure the promise is one that is for followers of Christ today.

But, if it is? Claim it!

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Photo background credit: Kamilla Oliveira on Creative Commons

 

Training Your Children for Worship 4: “My Worship Notes” Handout {Free Printable}

Today, we conclude our four-post series designed to give you encouragement and (most importantly) resources to help you train your children for worship.

If you have not been following these posts, here are links to the previous three:

1: A Devotional Guide about Worship

2: A Set of 5 Devotional Guides about the Acts of Worship

3: Prayer Checklist and “Time for Worship” Cards

Today’s final post in this series is also a printable to be used by children in worship. It is one that we have used before, and even make available to our families at Lebanon Road. While designed for smaller children (lower elementary is the target age), it can easily be adapted to children of just about any age.

The key to this printable is that it engages the child in every aspect of worship and has them write down specific things, rather than general aspects. We hope you find it useful!

To view/download this printable, simply click on the picture below. Enjoy!

kids worship handout 2