Memories of Mom

(photo of Ruth Turner, daughter Donna faughn, Granddaughter Amber tatum, and great-granddaughter lyssabeth tatum, taken about 2008)

“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck” (Proverbs 1:8-9). So said the wise man Solomon. 

Many of us were raised in homes where our fathers and mothers loved and cared for us. They provided for our needs and taught us much about how to live in this world. Some were blessed to have both parents as faithful Christians, and some of us were not. This was the case in my home. My father was not a faithful Christian while I was growing up. He had been baptized as a young person but left the church early in his marriage to my mother. My mother, on the other hand, remained faithful to God and taught me much about serving Him and living for Him.

When my mother was in the last few weeks of her life, I visited with her often at the assisted living home where she lived. On one particular day when I arrived she was asleep on her bed. I knew she hadn’t been feeling well so I didn’t want to disturb her. 

I pulled a chair quietly to the side of the bed and just watched her sleep. I sat there and made what I called “mental snapshots” of the beauty of this woman who had raised me to be the woman I am.

Let me share with you a few of those thoughts:

  • She was a loving mother. I never doubted for a single minute as a child her love for me and my brother. She saw to our needs to the best of her ability. I can recall to mind so easily the clothes she made for me, often after working a long hard day at the hospital. She was that Titus 2 woman. She loved us and she loved God.
  • She was disciplined and she disciplined us. In every aspect of her life, she was self-controlled. Days were planned with what must be done and what could be done. There was no “sleeping in” for her children (unless you were sick) because she had plans for your day too! Along with that, she disciplined us to behave like she wanted us to and God wanted us to. I have picked many switches from trees in order for her to teach me a lesson.  I learned quickly!
  • She was a hard worker.  I don’t recall much time when she just sat down and rested.  She kept an immaculate house and served great meals.  The yard and flowers in the yard were beautiful and cared for. Spare time was something she didn’t know much about. Like the Proverbs 31 woman, idleness was not part of her life.
  • She was a nurse. Being a young woman during World War II, she felt it her calling to enter the army where she was trained and became a nurse in the armed forces. Caring for others made up much of who she was. She didn’t think much about herself, but most often focused on what she could do for others.
  • She was committed. While serving in a hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, a young man was shipped from Europe back to the states with a horrible injury from battle and she became his nurse. She later married him and nursed him for the next sixty years. Many of those sixty years were not happy years for her because of his lifestyle after leaving the church, but she had taken vows before God to stay together for life. She lived up to that commitment we read about in Matthew 19:6. In the last years of their marriage, he returned to God and the church in part, I believe, because of her example in life. (1 Peter 3:1-2)
  • She was beautiful. Oh, she was a beautiful woman on the outside, but more importantly, she was beautiful on the inside. She had a heart that always sought to do what was right in God’s eyes, while others around her were doing wrong. She spoke with wisdom and showed compassion to others.

I was blessed with a wonderful mother. She wasn’t perfect, but she was close in my eyes. I often look at her picture on my desk and when our eyes meet, I stop and say a prayer of thanksgiving for the mother with which God blessed me.

“Her children rise up and call her blessed;”  (Prov. 31:28)

“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,

but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”  (Prov. 31:30)


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AUTHOR: Donna Faughn

He Typed a Blog Post. You Won’t Believe What Happened Next!

Call it “clickbait.”

Call it “exaggeration.”

Call it “over the top.”

Call it “hype.”

Whatever you want to call it, if you are on Facebook, you have seen the posts, because our news streams are filled with them.

It might be a picture of a singer walking on a large stage, but the post says, “She walked on stage and everyone thought she looked strange. But when she opened her mouth, you won’t believe what she did!”

Okay, so I have clicked on a few of these. Here’s the thing: virtually none of them were all that impressive.

The girl might have been an okay singer. The artist might have had some talent. The dunk might have been better than average.

But was it worth all the hype that was generated in the Facebook post? The reality was far exceeded by the build-up; by the hype.

I am not writing this article to rail against any of those posts in particular (although, the more I see them on my feed, the more they drive me nuts–and I don’t click them at all anymore). Instead, I want us to think about what all this “over the top” posting means for Christians.

Specifically, what does it mean as we seek to share the simple message of the cross?

Literally, nothing more important has ever happened than when Jesus died and then overcame death three days later. Everything hinges on it–both our eternal fate as well as our daily morals.

But you don’t see Christians trying to put an article online about the cross and then “clickbaiting” it with, “He went to a Roman trial. You won’t believe what happened next!”

Why?

Because we know that the message we are to share with the world is not about getting page views. It’s not about clicks. It’s not about hype, or about over-the-top headlines.

It is about sharing the simple message of salvation through humble lives and clear teaching.

The cross is not to be dressed up. It doesn’t need some type of hype video. We don’t have to add countless overused adjectives.

“Old” and “rugged” seem to have worked just fine for a couple of millennia, don’t you think?

When we understand sin and its connection to both the cross and our eternal fate, the resurrection becomes its own best expression. We are thrilled by it, but we want people to come to that same excitement and joy through a deep study of God’s Word, not through any modern clickbait antics.

“O grave, where is your victory?” is quite powerful enough, isn’t it?

We need to talk about Jesus. We need to overflow with the joy of Christian living. We need to never shy away from being both humbled and honored to be part of God’s family.

Our humble and peaceful lives, and our clear and concise teaching of the Word, are all the “hype” we need to share the Gospel.

But, I must say, if we are faithful until the end, I really don’t think any of us can grasp what happens next!


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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

How Drinking Skim Milk Can Help Your Marriage

I grew up drinking 2% milk. Sometimes it was just good old vitamin D milk. We might on occasion drink 1% milk. But skim milk? No thanks. Isn’t that just water with some kind of milk powder in it? Is there such a thing as white food coloring in water? – because that’s what skim milk tasted like to me. I didn’t like it at all and I decided that if I was ever going to drink milk it wasn’t going to be skim.

But then I got married and guess what? I found out right away that my wife grew up drinking skim milk. To her, 2% milk was too thick and whole milk was disgusting. So she was not interested in drinking any milk that wasn’t skim. So we had a choice to make. One of us could either try to like a different kind of milk or we could buy both skim and 2% and leave them in the fridge all of the time.

Welcome to marriage! They don’t teach you this stuff before you get here. You learn as you go. I have often laughed in premarital counseling sessions when young couples think that everything is going to be pie in the sky. You find out once you are married that there are a lot of things you didn’t know about the other person. Things are going to come up and you are going to have to figure out how to resolve them. Early in marriage couples fight over the silliest things! It usually isn’t really about the issue at hand, but rather, it is that two people are trying to jockey for position in the relationship.

You see, when people live together everything about them is exposed to the other person: the fact that they are messy, or that they don’t hang up their towel in the bathroom the same way that you do. Maybe they snore. Maybe they want the thermostat at a different temperature all the time. Maybe their ideas about individual responsibilities over certain household chores are different. Maybe they are a morning person and you are a night owl.

So guess what? I started drinking skim milk. Why? Why give in? I didn’t see it as giving in. I saw it as a way to show my wife right off the bat that milk was not that important. I felt that I needed to lead the marriage. I have heard people say over the years that marriage is about compromise. I understand what they are trying to say but I don’t think that I entirely agree. If marriage is about compromise then what you are saying subconsciously is that you think the other person has moments in which they need to bend your way. That’s stinking thinking. It leads to an attitude of discontentment and resentment on those occasions when you had preset in your mind that it was their turn to do it your way.

I would rather say marriage is about sacrifice. Somewhere I remember reading that God said a relationship between husband and wife was to be like the relationship between Christ and the church. Christ exemplified his love for the church through full sacrifice. It humbles me as a husband to realize that my job in my marriage is to spiritually lead my family by loving and sacrificing in the same way that Jesus did for the church.

The rest of the story? Well, for about 20 years now I have been drinking skim milk. I still prefer 1 or 2%. But I have gotten used to skim and it’s not bad. And if the milk spills I don’t cry about it. It’s just milk.

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her” – Ephesians 5:25


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AUTHOR: Jeremiah Tatum

The Shiny New Van

It pulled up next to the vehicle I was driving. At first, I did not notice how shiny it was. I did not notice for a minute how new it looked. 

What caught my attention originally were the letters on the side of the van. Those letters spelled out the name of a congregation of the Lord’s people in our area. As I looked inside the van, I saw that one of the preachers for that congregation was driving and that the other preacher was in the passenger seat.

It is not unusual for people in the community in which these two men live to spend some time in one of the two hospitals in the community in which I live. That fact led me to assume that these two young men were in our community to visit one or more of their members who might have been in the hospital.

I was glad to see them. I was also pleased to see them in what I at least perceived was their role of ministering to some of the needs of the people with whom they worship and serve. Any man who spends any time in ministry will spend a significant amount of time “on the road” in an attempt to know and serve people.

As the shiny new van made its way to the next destination that these young men had in mind and I made my way to my next destination, my mind went back a few years. It went back to a phone call I received from a friend of mine asking me to go with him to look at a vehicle he was thinking about buying. 

There were some factors that influenced my positive response to his request. Most importantly, this experience gave me an opportunity to be with my friend. Because of the busy schedules that both of us had at the time, that didn’t happen very often.

It is sad to me that we do not get to see each other now as often as we did then. That is due to the fact that he and his wife moved out of our area a couple of years or so ago.

You see, my friend used to be the preacher for the congregation that now has its name on the side of a shiny new van. For reasons unknown to me and are none of my business, it was apparently felt that a change was needed. The need for change meant that my friend and his wife needed to relocate. 

Along with the change in the “ministry staff” of the congregation where my friend used to preach, there must have also been a change in attitude. At least that is what I thought when I saw that shiny new van.

The vehicle I went with my friend to look at was a used vehicle. Used vehicles were the only kind of vehicles I have ever known about him and his wife having. Used, personal vehicles were all he used during his approximately twenty years with that congregation. There was no shiny new van provided for him to drive.

I have no problem with the congregation allowing their new ministers to have a nice vehicle to use. I just wish that this had been the case for my friend. 

Please read the next couple of paragraphs before you read anything else.

The fact that I noticed the “new wheels” provided for the new preachers may be indicative of a lot of things. If I know my heart at all, though, that fact does not indicate that I am an old, bitter preacher who feels that he has been mistreated during his ministry. While it is definitely true that I am no longer young, it is not true that I am bitter and/or that I feel that I spent my life being mistreated by my brethren. I have been blessed in so many ways by my Lord and by my brethren.

The fact that I am commenting on what I saw also does not indicate that I think that the church is going to the dogs because younger men are now preaching where older men used to preach. I am thankful for those who are younger who will faithfully “carry the torch” long after some of us older ones are gone. 

This is not about me in any sense. Since I no longer preach full-time, as the saying goes, I no longer have a dog in that hunt. 

What I am thinking about are preacher-congregation relationships in general. Specifically, I am thinking about men who have spent a number of years with one particular congregation. It seems that it is almost inevitable that his replacement will receive more financial support, encouragement for new programs, “perks,” etc. than he has had. 

How many times has the following scenario played itself out? 

  • A preacher is told something like, “We are sorry, but we just can’t afford to provide any more financial support for you.”
  • The preacher leaves for either financial or personal reasons (or both).
  • The leadership experiences “sticker shock” when they find out what the current “going rate” is for preachers.
  • “Mysteriously,” additional funds are found in the budget for increased financial support, equipment, etc. for “the new guy.”

May I ask my friends who are in leadership positions in congregations to consider something? May I ask all of the members of those congregations to consider the same thing?

If you have a man who is sound in the faith and dedicated to the Lord and your congregation, please do your best to show your appreciation for him and to him – and his family. If you are going to stretch the budget, why not do so for a man you know who has given you years of service instead of a man you are just getting to know and are just hoping will be helpful for the congregation?

In the corporate/business/educational world, it is a fairly common practice for older, experienced personnel to be dismissed in order to hire younger, less experienced people. Usually, the rationale is that the younger people can be employed for less money than is being paid to those who are older. As I understand it, there is sometimes an expensive “buyout” that is still better for the bottom line than would be the case if the older employees continued their employment. 

Why is it the case that, in the church, just the opposite is often true? It seems that, in many cases among God’s people, the “logic” goes something like this:

“We don’t need to worry about increasing brother ________’s financial support. He seems to have been pleased when he came here and it seems like he still is. I expect at least a cost of living increase where I work, but I guess he does not expect that. He’s never said anything.”

Once the relationship no longer exists, the “logic” often changes to:

“Now, that brother ____________ is gone, we need to spend whatever it takes and do whatever we need to do to get this new man. We don’t really know him, but we’ve heard a lot of good things about him.” 

It is my prayer that God will help all of us to include preachers and their support in the admonition to give “…honor to whom honor is owed” (Rom. 13:7, ESV) – regardless of age or length of service.


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AUTHOR: Jim Faughn

Episode 80: The Big Picture of Parenting, No Complaining Day, Manners for Toddlers, and More! [Podcast]

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For the 80th episode of the podcast, Adam and Leah go a little long, but hopefully share some things that will touch every parent’s heart. They talk about how we need to see the big picture in parenting and not the everyday frustrations. They talk about their recent “no complaining” day and what a difference it made. And Leah tries to guess a list of 10 manners every toddler should learn.

Enjoy it all, and more, on this week’s show. Links below.

Resources

The Day My Child Lost Her Joy–And What I Did to Revive It” (For Every Mom)

Sometimes We Have to Step Back for Parenting to Come Into Focus” (We are THAT Family)

Manners and Common Courtesies Toddlers Should Learn” (Of the Hearth)

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I Want You

Put yourself back on the elementary playground. Two team captains are choosing sides, and you are standing in the group waiting. Depending on the game or your reputation, you may be trying to get noticed or hiding behind everyone else. Maybe you are simply waiting, thinking, “Please don’t let me be picked last.” Another way to word that might be, “Please let someone want me.”

In reality, you are, and always have been, very much wanted. God has always wanted you. Ephesians 1:4 tells us that God chose us before the world began. Verse 5 goes on to tell us that He predestined us for adoption into His family. The God of heaven wants us!

But that’s not all. There is another who wants you on his team. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us that this “team captain” goes about on the earth seeking whom he may devour. Interestingly, the one who wrote that warning was told by Jesus that he had been asked for by name by this team captain, that he might be sifted as wheat (Luke 22:31).

Did you notice the difference in the captains? One has predestined you for adoption; one is seeking whom he may devour. One wants you out of love. The other wants you out of revenge. One loves you. The other loves no one.

Everyone wants to be wanted. Make no mistake. You are wanted. But unlike the grade school playground, you have a say in which team you join. You don’t have to try to be noticed and you can’t hide behind a larger friend. Both team captains know you are there, and both want you. Which side will you choose?

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life …” (Deuteronomy 30:19)


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AUTHOR: Amber Tatum

10 Reasons I’m Proud to be a Member of the Church of Christ

There seems to be a great deal of fear and even pessimism concerning the church of Christ. Certainly, there are areas of the country and in the world where the church is not growing, and others where it is declining in number and influence.

More than that, though, there are some who are ashamed of the church—or, at least, they act and write like it. On social media, there are constant “pot shots” taken at the church for backward, out-of-touch, or even just silly beliefs. In some pulpits, preachers castigate the way we “used to do things” as if they are nothing more than tradition.

I am here today, though, to say that I am grateful, honored, and proud to be a member of the Church of Christ! And here are 10 reasons–among many I could name–why that is true.

1. It Belongs to My Lord. Jesus clearly stated, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18), and that is exactly what He did. Beyond that, though, He also purchased it with His precious blood. I do not ever want to be part of any church that does not belong to Jesus.

2. It is Not Ashamed to Wear Christ’s Name. While there are many Biblical designations for the church (“The Way,” “The Church of the Firstborn,” etc.), I am grateful to be a part of a congregation that is not ashamed to proudly wear the name of Jesus. We do not shy away from our Founder, our Cornerstone, our Savior, and our Lord!

3. Hell Cannot Defeat It. As I said, there are places in the world where the church is in decline. That can be upsetting and even depressing. But Jesus made the clear promise that “the gates of hell” would not prevail against His church! (Matthew 16:18) There are people being saved by the blood of Jesus and added by the Lord to His church every day around the world. Hell not only will not win, it cannot win!

4. It is My Spiritual Family. Yes, sometimes, there are members of the church that can be a bit knuckleheaded (trust me, I know…I’m one of them), but these are my brothers and sisters. As the song says, “Sometimes we laugh together; sometimes we cry.” I honestly do not know how people make it through this life without a spiritual family to lift them up.

5. The Church Helps Others. One of the “shots” that people like to take at the church is that it is insular; in other words, it only takes care of its own. If you believe that, you have not been to the congregations I have been around! While they may not have world-renowned “programs” or massive budgets, members of the Lord’s Church are helping those in need every single day. The light of God is shining in these communities because of the church.

6. The Worship is Simple, Biblical, Emotional, and Powerful. No, we do not have instruments. God has not authorized them (cf. Galatians 5:19; Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 13:15). No, we do not have soloists. God has not authorized such. But when all of God’s people, in humility and reverence, worship Him together, absolutely nothing stirs the soul any more powerfully. If I leave unmoved by worship, it is not the fault of the church. It is my own fault!

7. I Get to Meet the Greatest People on Earth. When I travel to speak or to attend other events, I am constantly amazed at how wonderful God’s people are. They are humble, kind, filled with good manners, encouraging, and loving. There are times when I have spoken somewhere where I literally did not know a soul when I arrived, but I left with great encouragement in my heart because these were the finest people anywhere around.

8. It Will Stand Long After Any Denomination. Many in the broader “Christian” world are beginning to see that denominations (what are sometimes referred to as “mainline churches”) are failing fast. People are tired of “this group” and “that name.” Churches of Christ don’t have to worry about any of that. I’m grateful to be part of the church that started on earth in Acts 2—though it was in the mind of God long before that!—and continues to this day. It will stand because it does not denominate; it does not divide based on creeds of man or based upon personality. Instead, it faithfully follows the same pattern it has for 2000 years: the Word of Christ.

9. Only the Church of Christ Can Truly Balance “Spirit” and “Truth” in All Matters. Other groups must add a third thing—manmade creeds, statements of faith, opinion polls, and other additions—to the balance. Instead, we simply follow the Truth, which is the Bible, and seek to balance that with our own God-given emotions, the spirit (cf. John 4:24).

10. Christ Will Bring the Church Home Forever. These wonderful people I get to spend time with here on earth? They will be with me forever in heaven because Christ will bring His Bride, the Church, home. Enough said!

Trust me, there are dozens more reasons why I am grateful to be a member of the Church of Christ. Yes, I am concerned at times by various statistics or reports. I do not like the direction many take against the church of our Lord.

But none of that will move me. I love the church because I love Christ. I pray you will love His Church and be proud of it as well.

“For Christ and the church” let our voices ring,

Let us honor the name of our own blessed King;

Let us work with a will in the strength of youth,

And loyally stand for the Kingdom of truth.

(E.E. Hewitt)


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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

Photo credit: Greg Westfall on Creative Commons

Through His Poverty We Were Made Rich

On one occasion during his ministry, when the multitudes pressed him, Jesus departed to the other side of Galilee. But one certain scribe didn’t give up the chase. He said to Jesus, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever You go. And Jesus said to Him, ‘Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head’” (Matt. 8:19-20).
           
Truthfully, Jesus had given up heaven for a human life of poverty and unrest. He was more than the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). His life was one of humility and his ministry of long dusty roads and tiresome days. His nights were spent in prayer. His time was dedicated to everyone else but himself, and most of that time he spent with the off-scouring of society.
           
Matthew 12 is a testimony to the type of life Jesus led on the earth. One Sabbath day His disciples were weary and hungry. They went into the grain fields to find something to eat (Matt. 12:1). Poor people ate in the grain fields. According to the Law of Moses, one could pluck standing grain or eat grapes in a neighbor’s vineyard, as long as they put none in their container (Deut. 23:24-25). Jesus had lowered Himself from Creator of all things to one who depended on support from others.
The gospel of Luke points out that Jesus received financial help from certain women to keep His ministry going. Women such as Mary Magdelene, whom Jesus had freed from an evil spirit, as well as Joanna, Susanna, and others, “provided for Him from their substance” (Luke 12:2-3). To be in a position in Jewish society that relied on women would have been considered by many as shameful at best. Words from the song Tell Me the Story of Jesus say it well: “Fasting alone in the desert tell of the days that are past. How for our sins he was tempted, yet was triumphant at last; Tell of the years of his labor, tell of the sorrow he bore, he was despised and afflicted, homeless, rejected and poor” (Fanny Crosby – 1880).
           
When Paul wrote to Corinth about their giving, he reminded them of the sacrifices Jesus made for mankind – “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9). The point here is not just for Christians to give. It is understanding the degree of the sacrifice which was made by Christ – and that is our motivation to follow his lead.
Those who have been so blessed materially have a great need for reflection when it comes to how we think and what we value. Would we walk for miles on hot dirt roads with little or no food or water to a town that wanted to accuse and reject us? Would we continue to help people who didn’t want to listen to us, but just wanted our healing power and the miraculous food we had to offer (John 6:26)? Would we give up everything we had to suffer a lonely miserable death at the hands of a people who hated us so much they would let their own children take the blame for our murder (Matt. 27:25)?
           
We have a Savior who did all of these things. He lived in poverty to give us unsearchable riches (Eph. 3:8). He did so because He loved us more than heaven.
“He left the splendor of heaven, knowing His destiny, was the lonely hill of Golgotha, there to lay down His life for me…” – Dottie Rambo
—————————————————

Where Is Utopia?

I’m sure that we are all familiar with the word “utopia.” Many of us may think that, if certain things were true, we might even be able to experience it. 

For those who may not be familiar with either the word or the concept, dictionary.com defines “utopia” as:

1. an imaginary island described in Sir Thomas More’s Utopia (1516) as enjoying perfection in law, politics, etc.

2. (usually lowercase) an ideal place or state.

3. (usually lowercase) any visionary system of political or social perfection.

There are at least two words in that definition that are intriguing. Those words are “imaginary” and “visionary.” They indicate that one cannot point to a spot on the globe identified as Utopia.” 

That becomes even more clear as one researches the etymology of the word. According to the same source (dictionary.com), the origin of “utopia” is a combination of two Greek words. It is very interesting to learn that those two Greek words mean:

“not” and “a place.”

While it may be true that most of us already realize that no physical location will be perfect we may still be seeking something like utopia in other ways. We may express this in our “if onlys.”

You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? If not, here are a few examples:

  • If I only had more money…
  • If I only had a better job…
  • If I only had a better boss…
  • If only my spouse was more understanding, caring, romantic, handsome/beautiful, etc….
  • If I only had a new car…
  • If I only had a newer/older, larger/smaller house…
  • If I only lived closer to/farther away from some members of my family…
  • If I only lived in a larger/smaller, more urban/more rural community…
  • If only the climate where I live was warmer/cooler, more consistent during the year/changed seasonally…
  • If I only could be more independent/dependent…

In the rather lengthy conversation that Jesus had with His apostles (except for Judas) recorded for us in John chapters 14, 15, and 16, He said this to them:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid (John 14:27).

It seems to me that our Lord was, at the very least, suggesting something to them. When this is “fleshed out” in the rest of His teaching and the teaching of those apostles, I am left consider the following:

  • Utopia is not a geographical location.
  • Utopia is not dependent upon whatever circumstances prevail in my life.
  • Utopia is not dependent upon the political, social, or economic environment in which I live.
  • Instead of a futile effort to find anything that resembles utopia, I need to focus on my relationship with Jesus. 
    • I need to make sure that I am “in Christ” (2 Cor. 5:17). 
    • I need to understand that the only way to get “into Christ” is by being baptized “into Christ” (cf. Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27).
    • I need to continually “walk in the light” so that His blood can continually cleanse my sins (cf. 1 John 1:7).

If my focus is on Christ, my interest in things of this life will be less and less important to me. In the words of a song that has enjoyed some popularity in recent years:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face;
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.


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AUTHOR: Jim Faughn

My Memory Bank is Wiped Clean

As I write this, Jim and I are staying in a motel while he is preaching at a Gospel Meeting. It has been a very pleasant stay so far with a spacious room and a great breakfast provided every morning (I could get used to this!).

All of the staff members here have been very nice to deal with, but one lady who helps with breakfast has been very pleasant to talk to. She has told us about her children and grandchildren, about the job she has, and why she has it. She’s a very hard worker and gets extremely tired every day.

The other morning, while discussing how tired she is at the end of the day, she made this statement to us: “At night, my memory bank is wiped clean. Each morning begins a new day.”

I thought that statement over for a while and came to the conclusion that it would really be nice if we could wipe our memory bank clean – at least concerning some things.

Wouldn’t it be nice to forget…

-that hateful comment someone made to you?

-those words of discouragement you heard that day?

-those disparaging remarks about someone you love?

-the bitterness and disappointment in the voice of your sister in Christ?

-the grumbling and complaining you heard about your elders or preacher or both?

-that sarcastic tone in your brother/sister’s voice?

-being left out by those who are supposed to care about you?

But if my memory bank was wiped clean every night, I would lose those great moments that I experience every day.

Things like…

-laughter with a friend.

-a smile on my grandchild’s face.

-that hug my husband gave me this morning.

-witnessing a baptism or restoration.

-seeing that older member coming through the door at church on their walker, or in a     wheelchair, to worship God.

-teaching a class and seeing that light bulb of understanding come on in the eyes of your student.

You see, I really think the last part of what that sweet worker said is most important: “Every day is a new day.”

I can choose to hang on to the negativity of yesterday, or I can focus on the good and thank God for a new day.

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;

His mercies never come to an end;

they are new every morning;

great is Your faithfulness.

“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,

“therefore I will hope in Him.”

(Lamentations 3:22-24)


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AUTHOR: Donna Faughn