Episode 64: Some Thoughts about “The Me-Time Myth” (with Leah Faughn) [Podcast]

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Many people–and, it seems, especially mothers–talk about “me time.” A couple of years ago, a blogger wrote a powerful article about how having true “me time” as a mother is a myth. She took a lot of heat for the article, but it sparked some good discussion.

On this week’s podcast, Adam and Leah talk about the article [which you can find here] and about how mothers need a little “me time,” but how the ideal of this concept is really a myth for mothers who truly want to impact their children.

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Resource

The ‘Me Time’ Myth” [Your Mom Has a Blog]

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From the Perspective of the Church Greeter

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It’s on almost every congregation’s “privilege list” I’ve ever seen. Lots of people sign up to perform this weekly duty because (let’s be honest) it doesn’t take a lot of time out of our schedules during the week. It’s a relatively easy job which simply requires that you arrive at services before everyone else begins arriving. 

Now don’t get me wrong…it’s a very important task which needs to be taken seriously. Meeting people at the door with a smile on your face and a warm greeting is very valuable, especially to those who may be visiting for the first time. Handing those who enter a bulletin and directing them to a class can make a difference as to whether or not they will return to your services. 

I was talking this last week with someone who had served as a “greeter” (less than a thousand miles from me) and she gave me some things to think about. She discussed it from the perspective of the greeter. Here are some of the things she noticed (and a few I have noticed when performing this task):

  • It’s fairly easy to tell which people are happy to be coming to worship God. Now I know that is a judgment call, but from her perspective (and mine), facial expressions say a lot. Frowning faces and slouching shoulders don’t exactly say I’m happy to be here…especially when you are being greeted with a smile and an open door.
  • Those entering on walkers and crutches, or sitting in a wheel chair, seem to be some of the happiest people to be able to assemble to worship God.  I am always humbled by those who physically struggle to make it to the services of the Lord and yet do so with happy hearts.
  • It’s fairly easy to detect which young families with children have put a priority on the importance of coming together to worship God.  Everyone will be entering with a Bible in their hand if they are old enough to hold one. The children won’t look like they have been pulled from their beds at the last minute and forced to come for Bible class and worship. 
  • Serving as the greeter does not make you the head of the complaint department.  Some folks enter the doors with a complaint on their tongue (had to park too far away, it’s hot/cold outside, are we ever going to get that parking lot fixed, etc.). 

The greeter who talked with me caused me to think about my behavior when I come to worship God. She was there for a special purpose – to help me feel welcome as I enter into the fellowship of those who have come together for the very special purpose of offering worship to God.

We all need to spend some time thinking about one very important fact…God needs to be glorified when I am a greeter and when I am being greeted.


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Free Resource: Esther Review Sheets for Family Devotionals [Printable]

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Last Wednesday, we released review sheets to help teach the book of Ruth to your children. [Find out more here.] We also promised, though, that something else was coming this Wednesday.

So today, we are pleased to let you know that we have review sheets for another book of the Bible ready to release, and it is the wonderful book of Esther.

As with our sheets on Matthew and Ruth, these sheets each contain about 10 questions directly from the text, 3 or 4 discussion questions, and a memory verse. Also, as with the other sheets, these were created during little snippets of time, so we are certain you’ll find some typos. We apologize, but hey, we’re busy folks!

We hope these sheets help you teach this wonderful story of God’s providence! To access the sheets, click this link or the picture below.

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Also, to find all our free printable resources visit our store by following this link.


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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

Falling in Love with Jesus Again

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I don’t know about you, but there is a part of me that wishes I could hear about Jesus for the very first time today. Do you remember the first time you heard about Jesus helping the woman caught in adultery? Do you remember the first time you read about him weeping over Lazarus? Do you remember the first time someone preached to you about him looking out at the multitudes and having compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd? Do you remember the first time you were told about the cross, “Father forgive them…”, and “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”
Something happened to me over a period of time the more I learned about Jesus. I was slowly changed from a person who thought about my own needs to a person who began to concentrate on loving others. I was day by day transformed from a person who felt sad and alone to a person who knew someone loved me perfectly and continually. I was progressively falling in love with Jesus every single time I learned more about him and what he had done for my soul.
Is it possible for us to fall out of love with Jesus? I think it is. If we stop appreciating anything–our spouse, our job, our blessings, no matter what it may be – before long we will not be as moved within ourselves by their presence. This is why Christians can actually attend worship for weeks, months, and even years and remain totally unmotivated, unproductive, and unashamed.
I want to fall in love with Jesus all over again. I want to cry about the cross. I want to be inspired by his faithful last march into Jerusalem. I want to be empowered by his miraculous works. I want to be encouraged by his constant care and concern. I want to be excited about his return. I want to be humbled by his mercy. I want to be amazed by his wisdom. I want to be enraptured by his heavenly glory. I want to fall in love with him like I did the first time I realized everything about him.
What will it take for us to fall in love with Jesus all over again? I suggest we erase the chalkboard and open up the gospels as if we have never read them before. I suggest we approach listening to the preacher as if we are searching for Jesus in every sermon. I suggest we humble ourselves and see our sinfulness and realize how desperate we are for a Savior. I suggest we understand how lonely we are in this world without perfect love and open ourselves to the idea once more that it does in fact exist and that he is it.
When I think about Jesus, I mean when I really think about him, I can’t help but be in love with him. He is all there is. He is the only way, truth, and life both now and forever. He is the love of God manifested toward us. Take the world. Take everything. But give me Jesus!
“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10
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Three Words about Baptism

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I am writing this on the morning after I had the privilege of baptizing a person. That experience never gets old. It is an honor to assist somebody in this way. It is also a very humbling experience for me. It is difficult for me to wrap my brain around the fact that somebody like me can take a part in something that has eternal ramifications.

This particular person was not baptized on a Sunday, but on what was otherwise a normal weekday. Of course, the baptism changed all of that. There was nothing normal about that day or the rest of the week. 

The decision to be baptized followed a long conversation and Bible study with a good friend. There was also a conversation that involved both of them and me prior to the actual act of baptism.

During that conversation, three words were used that I thought were interesting. That was especially true because of the background of the person who was baptized. 

This person had been baptized at a fairly young age. Now as an adult, there was some real uncertainty about how much was understood, what kind of commitment was made, and a number of other things. I suppose that, in biblical terms, this dear soul had wrestled with the admonition penned by Peter to “…make your calling and election sure…” (2 Peter 1:10).

During the discussion with me, the friend used an interesting word. There was a desire expressed to the effect that the person wrestling with all of this needed to be more involved. Admittedly, during the number of years we have known each other, the attendance patterns and level of involvement have been fairly sporadic. It is my prayer that the decision that was made will, in fact, lead to a great zeal for the Lord.

The person who was considering baptism also used an interesting word. She thought that her baptism could and would help her to be better.

It was about at this point that I added my two cents’ worth. I expressed something about which both of the others agreed. I did not disagree with anything that had been said. After I said what was on my mind, there was agreement as well with my thoughts. It may be felt by some that I didn’t need to add anything, but I felt that something needed to be said before such an important step was taken. 

Here (to the best of my recollection) is what I added to the conversation:

A person can be involved without being baptized and can be better

without being baptized, but the real need is for a person to be saved.

I fully realize that there are a great number of good people who are taught–and are teaching–that baptism plays either an insignificant role or no role at all in the salvation of an individual. That is the tradition, in fact, in which I was reared.

As kindly as I know how to ask anything, I would ask all who read this to consider the following:

  • A person is a new creature/creation “in Christ” (2 Cor. 5:17).
  • Baptism is required in order for us to get “into Christ” (Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27).
  • Repentance and baptism are for (in order to have) “the remission/forgiveness of sins” (Acts 2:38).
  • Saul/Paul was told to “be baptized and wash away [his] sins” (Acts 22:16).

I know and am thankful for many good, moral, religious, and involved people. They would do nothing intentionally that would harm me in any way. I feel exactly the same way about them.

My only motivation for typing these words is the same as “…our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 2:3-4).

After the Holy Spirit inspired Peter to write about the salvation of Noah and his family, He added these words:

Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you — not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience — through the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:21, NASU, emphasis added).

It is possible, you know, for a person to have a good conscience even when they have been misinformed. After all, Paul would include his violent opposition to Christians in his statement that: “I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day (Acts 23:1).

Thankfully, the person I baptized, and who inspired this article, now has a “good conscience” and can have that confidence because she can find what she did and the reason why she did it in the Bible. 

I pray that all of us can have that same confidence.


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[Quote] Zig Ziglar on the Difference between Rich People and Poor People

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Want to start building a good library? Visit our store from A Legacy of Faith to find several volumes that we have written or to which we have contributed.

One Thing You Lack

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In Luke 18 (and Mark 10), we read the account of the rich young ruler who famously asked Jesus what he needed to do to inherit eternal life. Imagine his excitement when Jesus began naming off things he had done, in his own words, “from [his] youth.” Here is where the rich young ruler and I part ways.

You see, most people use this passage to talk about how Jesus can see into your heart and know what “one thing you lack.” And He can do that with ease. He knows our every thought. Of course, He knows what we lack! But here is what I am thinking …

I wish I only lacked one thing!

I’m afraid that if I asked Jesus where I was lacking, the list would be long. No, scratch that. I know it would be long. But this post isn’t a plea for people to reassure me or a pity party, because I believe all of you who are reading this are in the same boat with me! Not to be insulting, but we all lack a lot.

That’s why grace is so wonderful! We can never be good enough, check off enough commandments, fulfill enough areas of service … do anything to merit heaven. In fact, God made it that way so that we can never even try to take credit for our salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9). Because of this amazing grace we are able to celebrate the fact that “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)

Because of God’s grace we can thankfully say with Paul, “But by the grace of God I am what I am,” (1 Corinthians 15:10a) and like the Ethiopian eunuch who contacted that grace through baptism in Acts 8, we can go on our way rejoicing instead of hanging our head like the rich young ruler. We know we are lacking but our God–and His grace–is not!


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Free Resource: Ruth Review Sheets for Family Devotionals [Printable]

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Several months ago, we shared with you some review sheets we used in our family to teach and review the book of Matthew in our family devotionals. [Find out more here.]

Today, we are sharing another book of the Bible and (are you ready?) next week we will release another!

The free pdf we are sharing today is from the book of Ruth and consists of a single pdf that is divided into six lessons. Each lesson contains questions straight from the text (usually about 8-10), review questions (3 or 4), and one memory verse.

As usual, I made these on my lunch breaks or between meetings, so you will probably find a few typos or some questions that could be worded in a more succinct fashion. Still, we hope you find these sheets to be a good aid, and that they help your children learn the wonderful and beautiful account of Ruth.

To preview or download the sheets in pdf format, click on this link or on the picture below.

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Finally, to access our store, which contains several other free printables, follow this link. We hope these free resources help your family dig into God’s Word together!

As we said, another freebie is coming next Wednesday! Be on the lookout for it.


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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

You Are Not Good Enough

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I have good news and bad news. What do you want to hear first? Usually, people say the good news. That has never made a whole lot of sense to me. I want to hear the good news last. I want to end on a positive note. So let’s go against the grain and start with the bad news.
The bad news is that you are not good enough for God. You are not good enough for heaven. You in many ways are not even good enough for the kingdom (church) in the sense that your example is often imperfect and your hypocrisy can at times be more of a detriment to the cause than it is a blessing.
This bad news leaves you in a lost state. There are no good deeds you can perform to make up for the sins you have committed. Sin separates you from God (Isaiah 59:1, 2). And there is not one person who is going to go through adulthood without sinning (Rom.3:23). Not one is righteous (Rom. 3:10). If we keep the entire covenant and yet stumble even in just one aspect we are guilty of the whole thing (James 2:10). So yes there is bad news – I mean really bad news. Your sin disqualifies you from ever being perfect and good enough to enter heaven. You are in a serious bind.
Ok, on with the good news. The good news is that Jesus is good enough. Before he was even born his parents were told to name him Jesus (“Jehovah is salvation”), “…for He will save the people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). He was tempted in every way a human being can be, and yet did not sin (Heb. 4:15). Knowing no sin he became sin on the cross for us and paid the price of death so that the rest of humanity could become the righteousness of God through him (2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus became the answer to the fact that the human race is not good enough.
At the end of your life, you are going to step on the scale. You are going to be judged, weighed, and examined. And this is a very fearful thing because as we have already stated, you are not good enough, and you are not going to measure up, no matter how good of a person you are in this life.
But what if when it was your turn to step on the scale, Jesus stepped on it for you? What if he was the one who was examined, judged, and weighed? What if he took your place? In that moment, you would understand grace. In that moment, you would be thankful that somebody died so that you could live.
All the time I hear people saying they could never be a Christian because of all of the terrible things they have done.  They say they could never be forgiven. They say that they could never be good enough for the church or heaven or God. Well, guess what? Join the club.
But Jesus is good enough. And this is why he came. He came so that we could understand the grace and love and mercy of Jehovah. He came so that we could rise above our limitations as human beings and experience the joy of being children of God. He came, so that our eternal part, the part he made in his image, could reach its potential, and forever live in heaven with him, the Father of us all.
You are not good enough. As long as you are in the flesh you never will be. But Jesus is good enough.
This being the case, isn’t it about time you stop trying to earn your way to heaven? Isn’t it about time you stop with the excuses and feelings of inadequacy? Isn’t it about time for you to come to Jesus?
“But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens” – Hebrews 7:24-26
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“…To No One’s Regret”

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Power, notoriety, and influence do not necessarily translate into respect, honor, and love. This can be seen in the inspired information we have concerning a man who had all of the former and none of the latter.

His name was Jehoram. During his life, he held a position of great authority. He was the king of Judah for eight years. You can read some information about him and his reign in 2 Chronicles 21.  That information ends with these words:

He was thirty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. And he departed to no one’s regret. They buried him in the city of David, but not in the tombs of the kings. (2 Chron. 21:20, ESV, emphasis added)

My purpose here is not to delve into a study of Old Testament history. Our interest here is not to go into (gruesome) details about the manner of his death.

What that verse has made me do and what I hope it will encourage all of us to do is to look into the mirror. Better yet, in the words of scripture, “Examine yourselves…” (2 Cor. 13:5).

Will there be any regrets when I die? Will there be any when you die?

Will my wife miss my voice, my company, and/or my embrace? Will she only miss the paycheck I faithfully brought home each week or the interesting things we bought or did together? Will she find that they can have those things and do those things just as well without me? Will I be no more to her than whatever inheritance and/or insurance policy I leave behind? Will she remember and miss a man who demonstrated the kind of love Paul writes about in Ephesians 5:25?

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her (ESV).

What about my children and grandchildren? Will they only be proud of whatever success I’ve had in my chosen career? Will I have been a stranger to them during my life? Will they have any memories of me other than watching me as I left the house and came home from whatever that job was that I had?

Will they know that their dad loved them more than he could ever express? Will they remember sacrifices of time, energy, and financial resources that were made because of them? Will they remember a man who took seriously his duty in providing spiritual instruction and training to them?

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

Will any of my church family, my neighbors, and my friends miss me? Will they notice that I’m gone? Will they regret that I’m gone? In Matthew 5:13, the Lord refers to those who are truly His followers as “the salt of the earth.” Will people who knew me remember me in that way? Will they remember me as one who “added flavor” to the lives of those with whom I came into contact or as one who was good at “rubbing salt into wounds?” 

Maybe another passage would be instructive as each of considers how we are to live our lives and what kind of legacy we will be leaving:

The years of our life are seventy,

or even by reason of strength eighty;

yet their span is but toil and trouble;

they are soon gone, and we fly away…

So teach us to number our days

that we may get a heart of wisdom

(Psalm 90:10, 12, ESV).

Surely none of us would want people to spend the rest of their lives in mourning once we are gone. If we truly love people, it seems to me that we would want them to “go on with their lives.”

At the same time, I pray that it could never be said about any of us that he/she “…departed to no one’s regret.”


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