A Response to Victoria Osteen about Worship

response to victoria osteen

It is only 36 seconds in length, but it has caused waves in the online world. It is a video of Victoria Osteen, wife of Joel Osteen, as she described the reason why we worship.

If you haven’t seen it, here it is:

(Video not playing? Click here to watch on YouTube.)

So, when we worship, it isn’t about God. It’s about us being happy. Overall, that’s the takeaway from Victoria Osteen’s short speech.

If I may, I would like to respond to her words.

1. God’s Primary Concern is Not Our Happiness. It’s Our Holiness. Mrs. Osteen’s words only reflect a very commonly held view in modern religion, and that is that God’s primary concern with my day-to-day walk is that I be happy. While that certainly sounds good, it is not the message of Scripture. Yes, I know we are to be people of joy (Philippians 4:4, et.al.), but joy and happiness are not the same thing. When Paul was shipwrecked, when Christians were run from Jerusalem, and when Stephen was stoned, were they happy? Well, then I guess they weren’t living right in Victoria Osteen’s world. But they were certainly people who were holy, and that is what matters to the Lord (see 1 Peter 1:16).

2. Worship is Primarily toward God. In studying, preaching, and writing about the Psalms this year, I have been filled with this idea in a deeper way than ever. Worship is ascribing to God what He is due. Every aspect of our worship (singing, Bible study, prayer, giving, and communing) is God-centered and is meant to lift Him up as the only One worthy of such adoration. Anything less than that puts something else before God, which is the very definition of idolatry. If I come to worship seeking my own happiness, I have made my personal feelings my idol.

3. Our “Horizontal” Goal in Worship is Teaching and Admonishing, Not Happiness. We are told in the New Testament that our singing is to be such that it teaches and admonishes (Colossians 3:16). There is an encouragement bound up in admonition, but the word also means “to warn.” Teaching can lead to happiness, but not everything we teach is going to make us happy in the moment.

4. Knowing God is Pleased is My Joy. This is where the “God wants you to be happy” doctrine misses it. Their idea is that, if I’m happy then God is happy. Instead, when I have done my best to worship God and I know He is pleased, then am filled with joy.

I know that Victoria Osteen is not the first person to teach this idea of doing what makes you happy and that will please God. But I also know, tragically, she will not be the last. Our joy as Christians is to lift God up before the world, no matter if it brings us some earthly happiness or not. Mrs. Osteen would do well to understand that concept, but so would we all.

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A Labor Day News Dump

Sometimes, you just have to get a lot of stuff out that may not be something for a full post. Today, we thought we’d take advantage of the Labor Day holiday to share with you several items in a rapid fire way. Enjoy your holiday!

Leah’s PtP Slideshow

First, at last week’s Polishing the Pulpit, Leah presented a class to ladies on modest clothes for young girls. We thought you might find her PowerPoint interesting, so, here you go…

Speaking of Polishing the Pulpit…

What an amazing crowd! I don’t remember the exact attendance at the 2013 PtP, but it was about 2800. This year, there were over 3600 who registered for the event. If you are not familiar with Polishing the Pulpit, visit their website and see what all the buzz is about! Then, start making plans to attend in 2015.

Our First Digital Download

Over the years, I (Adam) have written several books and self-published them. We have recently added one of those books, Blessings from Revelation, to our store as a digital download. You can download the pdf version of the book for just $2.50. Click here to visit our store, which currently has one free item and (now) the digital book.

Donation Button

We have said before that A Legacy of Faith is not intended to be a huge money-maker, but we also do have costs associated with running the sites and podcast. If you like what you get from us, we have added a “donate” button to the right-hand sidebar of the blog. You can use it to donate via PayPal. Any amount will help us offset the costs and would be appreciated. (If you are reading through email or rss, click here to visit the blog where the button is found.)

Video Summer Series Update

In early 2014, we told you about the Video Summer Series, “Building Godly Families.” We could not be any more pleased with how that series has been received. At last count, 43 congregations are either currently using the videos, or have registered (for free) to use them in the future! To God be all the glory for how these are being utilized. If you don’t know about this resource, click here to visit the site.

Momma’s Fresh Peach Pie {Recipe}

mommas fresh peach pie

It’s that time of year again. The peaches are ripe and plentiful. I know a little bit about peaches because that was my dad’s favorite fruit. This time of year always stirs some memories within me now that both of my parents are gone. Dad would spend more than he normally would for this precious fruit just because he loved it so much. Oh, he complained a lot about the price, but he still bought the peaches.

What I remember even more vividly than his love for peaches was the way my mother would always use them to please him. She peeled and sliced them and served them for breakfast along with the bacon and eggs she cooked. She even worked hard to preserve them so that he could have some in the winter. But nothing was better, in my opinion, than her fresh peach pie.

My mother worked as a surgical nurse – long, hard hours – often being called back to work during the night for emergency surgeries. Her uniform was always starched and ironed and pure white. Her white shoes were always polished and shining. She kept an immaculate house. She served us good meals and sewed clothes so we would have something new to wear occasionally. All of these things were very important to her and she made sure she taught me much of it. She had made a commitment to be a good mother – and she was one of the best.

She also had made a commitment to be a good wife, even though my dad was not a faithful Christian for much of their marriage. She lived every day of her life helping other people and everyone benefitted from her service. Dad and Mom were married for 60 years before my dad left this life. He watched her live a faithful Christian life for all of that time. First Peter 3:1-2 is one of my favorite passages: “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.” My dad came back to the Lord for the last years of their marriage. I know her example around him had much to do with that decision.

I still make fresh peach pie from Mom’s recipe. My daughter makes fresh pie from that same recipe. I am hoping that she will teach my granddaughter to make that same pie.

Let me share her easy recipe with you. I hope you are committed to being the faithful wife and mother God intended for you to be. Maybe her pie will help you toward doing something pleasing for your family.

mommas fresh peach pie recipe

[Feel free to print out or pin on Pinterest!]

An excellent wife who can find?  She is far more precious than jewels.  The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.  She does him good and not harm, all the days of her life.  

Proverbs 31:10-12

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Freeze Tag

freeze tag

It’s the movie my little girl loves and her older brothers tolerate because of one very funny little snowman and some trolls. This movie has been lauded for amazing songs and parodied in almost every way possible. It has also caused a swirl of controversy over the possibly not-so-hidden agenda of those who created it.

I, of course, am talking about Frozen. It broke the debut record set by the Lion King and changed lives (and ears) of elementary school teachers everywhere. There is much more I could say about this movie, but I want to make one – hopefully – unexpected application.

Many Christians have been upset by a trend set by Disney that is, at best, moving away from traditional family values as established by God (cf. Genesis 2:24). Instead of focusing on that, may I suggest that we spend our energy sending our “own” message?

You see, when I saw Frozen, I saw a young woman in the beginning stages of a romance with the “reindeer king” decide that sacrificing her own wants and even needs was the right thing to do. She knew someone else, her sister, needed her help much more than she needed “true love’s kiss” so she put her desires and her life on hold to offer that help.

Now, I’m sure that’s not the message Disney intended. But instead of allowing the world to dictate what we see and hear, why don’t we make some noise about an altruistic, others-focused love that sounds an awful lot like what we are told to do in the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12) and in countless other passages of scripture (e.g. John 15:13, Mark 12:31). Maybe if we as Christians were busier teaching God’s way instead of bemoaning the agenda of others, we could be that light that Christ called us to be (Matthew 5:14).

See the bigger picture. Show the love God wants us to show. Put others first. Play “freeze tag.”

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:13

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Marriage is All About “U”

marriage is all about u

We have often heard it said that marriage is not all about you. A good marriage is one where a great deal of sacrifice takes place, and where the other person’s needs are put above our own.

But, maybe, marriage should be all about you…or, actually, all about “U.”

There are three “u’s” that a marriage needs to have. Each of these can be found in Genesis 2:24, which states, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become on flesh.” Based upon those famous words, notice three important things about marriage.

1. Unique. Leaving father and mother implies that this new marriage is establishing a new, unique home. While the parents still should have input from their years of wisdom and experience, they should allow this new home to flourish and, yes, to work through mistakes on their own.

2. United. The word “joined” carries the idea of “glued.” Nothing should be able to separate this new home, because the husband and wife are so glued to one another. Every other relationship (work, children, parents, etc.)–save the covenant between a person and God–must be subordinated to the relationship between this man and this woman.

3. Union. They are now “one flesh,” which means more than the sexual relationship. In every humanly-possible way, this man and woman should be “one.” Dan Winkler suggests five areas this must be true:

  • Natural (the helpmeet relationship)
  • Intimate (they must remain monogamous)
  • Sexual (the marriage bed is undefiled, Hebrews 13:4)
  • Spiritual (they should help one another glorify God and go to heaven)
  • Permanent (“’til death do us part”)

So, as you can see, marriage really is all about “U!”

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“Ohhhhhh Boy!”

ohhhhhh boy

Many years ago a gentleman was born in western Kentucky named Odell Lamb. They called him “Red Lamb” because of his wavy red locks and his ruddy complexion. Odell went from the Kentucky farm to the German battlefields. He served in World War II and was present at the Battle of the Bulge. He came back to the Unites States and settled down with his wife Edna.  They had two children together. He worked at the stove plant and also farmed in beautiful Calloway County.

By the time I came to the New Providence church, Odell had lived a long and healthy life. He was retired, but still farming. He had served as an elder in the church for many years, but had now left that work, too. I was only 25; he was about to turn 80. He had a kindness about him. His smile was warm and genuine. He never missed an opportunity to worship with the saints. He always – ALWAYS wore a suit.

Every once in a while there is a person in your life who brings nothing but positive things. In the four years I preached at New Providence, Odell Lamb was peace and joy. Always encouraging – always thankful – always one of my biggest fans. He was dependable, and as solid as a Christian man could be in every aspect of life. He was honorable, he was gentle, he was strong, and he was loving. If you wanted a walking definition of a mature Christian, you would look no further than Red Lamb. When he prayed, you could tell you were listening to a man who had prayed before. He talked with God as one who had carried on life’s conversations with his Creator for more than a generation.

In 2003, I left green fields of Kentucky winter wheat for the rolling hills and streams of southern Tennessee. But I still go back to Murray State Racer country now and then. When I go, I always stop by and look for Mr. Lamb. He resides at Emeritus, an assisted living facility for the elderly. Last October when I saw him he was in bed and could not leave it. I was sure that visit with my friend would be our last. But this past Wednesday, I stopped by again and he was still there; still in bed, and only two weeks short of his 95th birthday. When I walked in the door he immediately straightened up, smiled, and exclaimed, “Jeremiah! I never would have thought it!” We sat and talked for awhile about old times and caught up on the new. What a wonderful visit we shared with one another!

Before I left our discussion turned to more serious matters, and he said to me plainly, “I am ready to go to heaven.” “So ready….Ohhhhhhh boy!” As I relay his words it is impossible for me to express his tone of voice and the look behind his eyes. But he said these words with excitement, joy, and a deep longing for something he had been working toward for 95 years. He did not say this because he was unhappy. He was not complaining about his age or the weakness of his body. He was simply saying that he was so blessed to be a Christian and that his time on earth was over and he could hardly stand to wait any longer. He said these things with the understanding that the better country was on the horizon and he could almost touch it. I have seen many a weary Christian long for heaven on a bed of affliction. But I do not know if I have ever seen a deeper joy, a greater hope, or a truer, more genuine faith.

I left and thought, wow! I had just seen something really special. I now know what I want if I ever live to be old. I want that feeling. I want that confidence. I want that anticipation. I want that hope.

Heaven is really going to be glorious beyond imagination. I pray that one day I will be able to see it from the place where I lay my head and say, “Ohhhhhhh boy!”

“For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.”

– Hebrews 11:14

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Never Out of Character


never out of character

It has been a while since the comedian, Robin Williams, took his own life. Probably by now, millions of words have been written and read about him, his career, his family, etc. In addition to that, countless words have been written about depression, suicide, the “shallowness” of fame and fortune, and a host of other things connected with him and his passing.

I hesitate to add to all of the dialogue, but one comment I heard has been on my mind ever since I heard it shortly after his death. The comment was made by a man who was identified as a friend of his.

I can’t remember the exact quote, but it was something to the effect that this friend had known Mr. Williams for thirty-five years, but that he had never really known him. The reason for that, his friend said was (and I do remember this part of the quote) “he was never out of character.”

By that, of course, he meant that Robin Williams was always “putting on an act.” Even when he was not in the spotlight, he was “on”…even with close friends. For that reason, maybe nobody ever saw the “real” person.

Some of the thoughts I’ve had about that quote center around word that is used in both the Old and New Testament. Interestingly enough, every occurrence in the New Testament is from the lips of Jesus Himself. It is also of interest that our Lord had nothing good to say about this word.

That word is “hypocrite.” According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, the Greek word means:

…a ‘stage actor’; it was a custom for Greek and Roman actors to speak in large masks with mechanical devices for augmenting the force of the voice; hence the word became used metaphorically of ‘a dissembler, a hypocrite.

It is important for each of us to be “real.” This seems to be especially true with regard to those who are close to us. How sad it would be for a friend, a child, or a spouse to never really know us.

However, there is another and even more important aspect of this. Every time Jesus used the word “hypocrite” He was talking to or about religious people. He denounced them because their worship of, devotion to, and relationship with God were all just part of an act. In short, it could be said that their entire life could be characterized as being never out of character.

What the world saw was the mask; not the real person. What our Lord saw was the real person and He did not like it at all.

Please consider some words written a long time ago by David. They may help all of us to determine whether our commitment to God is real or if we are merely playing a part.

Search me, O God, and know my heart!

Try me and know my thoughts!

And see if there be any grievous way in me,

and lead me in the way everlasting!

–Psalm 139:23-24

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A Legacy of Faith @PtP2014

Each year, we anticipate attending Polishing the Pulpit. This great event is held annually in Sevierville, Tennessee, and will be attended by around 3000 people in 2014.

Today, we want to share with you some ways to learn about this great event, and how you can keep up with us during the week.

PtP Resources

To learn more about PtP, use the following links.


2014 Schedule [pdf]

My Biggest Takeaway from Polishing the Pulpit [A post I wrote after the 2013 convention]

7 Reasons Why you should Go to Polishing the Pulpit [Andy Brewer]

Our Speaking/Leading Schedule

If you look at the schedule, you may notice that some of our names appear there. Here is where A Legacy of Faith members will be speaking or leading in various ways throughout the week.

Donna Faughn

Saturday, 6PM (Hotel Deep Creek): “God’s Encouragement for Single Parents”

Tuesday, 3:30PM (Ballroom A): “7 Minutes of Wisdom: Practical Tips for Opening a Conversation about Divorce/Remarriage with a New Convert or Potential Convert, One-on-One”

Wednesday, 9:30AM (Ballroom B): “The Importance and Value of Elders’ Wives”

Wednesday, 1:30PM (Ballroom A): “Pure Religion: The Head, the Hand, and the Heart”

Thursday, 10:00AM (Ballroom A): “A Final Charge: Heaven Will be Wonderful Because there Will be No ‘Final Charge'”

Leah Faughn

Tuesday, 12:45PM (Ballroom A): “Tips for Shopping for Clothes for Little Girls and Finding Modest Clothes and Good Prices”

Adam Faughn

Sunday, 5:30PM (EH1): Leading congregational singing for evening worship

Monday, 8AM (Ballroom D): Leading morning congregational singing

How to Follow Us

Besides learning for ourselves, we also like to share some things we gain through social media. While we will not flood you with stuff, we try to push out quotes, ideas, and other encouraging information.

Of course, if you are friends with any of us on Facebook, you’ll get some of that info there. You can also follow a couple of us on Twitter.

Follow Jim Faughn on Twitter

Follow Adam Faughn on Twitter

Let Others Know about Us

In addition to all that, we are also pleased that we will have a small presence in the display area. Our friends at Kaio Publications have agreed to let us display some of our materials in their booth, and for that we are so thankful.

Since you are reading this, you know about us, but we will have (1) brochures, and (2) an email sign up form for those who may not know a A Legacy of Faith. So, if you know someone who has not heard of our work, introduce us in person, or take them by our display and let them see what we are about.

We look forward to seeing so many of you this week!

Episode 3 : Smartphones and Kids (guest: Chad Landman) {Podcast}

Welcome to the 3rd episode of A Legacy of Faith, the podcast. In this episode, Chad Landman joins Adam to talk about how parents can help their children navigate the world of the smartphone.



Topics Discussed

1. How widespread are smartphones among teens and kids?

2. What does it mean that, when we give a kid a smartphone, we put the “world in his/her hand?”

3. How can parents keep track of a child’s usage of various parts of the smartphone (calls, texts, apps, etc.)?

4. Is there really “privacy” in private apps?

Links and Resources

Chad Landman’s website

Follow Chad on Twitter

Ministry Bits podcast

Active Digital Parenting


Subscribe via iTunes

Subscribe via rss

Archives of the podcast, and more information, can be found here.


Music credit:

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

Closing theme: “Afterglow” by Josh Woodward

NEXT EPISODE (September 4, 2014): “5 Common Homeschool Myths”

How I Use If This, Then That (ifttt) for Organization and Information

how i use ifttt

We live in a technological age. Over the last couple of days, the posts on our site have reminded us to be careful that we do not get so connected with technology that we forget what is really important.

Today, I want to share a practical way to let technology work for you. It is a way for you to connect services you already use and be more efficient.

The service is called “If This, Then That,” and is usually referred to as IFTTT.

I first found out about this service a couple of years ago, and used it a little bit. Back then, only a few websites and apps were part of the site, so what could be done with it was very limited.

Oh, how things have changed.

A list of the services that can now be linked using ifttt is quite long now. Just scan this list and see how many of these you use for various purposes:

  • Dropbox
  • Evernote
  • Foursquare
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Buffer
  • Instagram
  • LinkdIn
  • One Note
  • Reddit
  • Vimeo
  • YouTube

And there are a ton more. For a full list of all the sites and services that are currently available, use this link. (There are a total of 124, by the way!)

What IFTTT Does

The idea behind ifttt is to think of two services you currently use that could be better used together. In other words, IF you do THIS, THEN technology takes over and lets you also do THAT.

Each of these are called “recipes,” and they simply link two services you already use so that you don’t have to worry about doing two things. Confused? How about a couple of everyday examples to help:

For example, what if you want to have pictures that you take with your smartphone automatically backed up on Dropbox? You simply find that “recipe” on ifttt and, pow!, it’s done. Maybe you want to send your wife a text message each time you leave work. No problem. Since your phone has location services, when you leave your office or job site, it will send an automatic text to let her know you are on your way home.

You can even have your phone’s volume automatically turned down (or off) when you enter the church building!

Why I Like IFTTT

I have to admit, I am not a “heavy” user, but there are two basic ways I have come to use ifttt on a fairly regular basis.

1. Avoid duplicate tasks. I have a couple of recipes that automatically back up certain information where I want it, so I don’t have to worry about doing it later. Instead of doing something twice, ifttt takes care of the backup for me.

2. Get information more easily. I have some recipes that send me information that I would otherwise have to go looking for, but it comes up on my phone, usually via text message, by itself.

My Recipes

I currently have 12 recipes that I use through ifttt. You will probably notice a couple of themes in them, but more than that, I hope you’ll see the usefulness. I have described them below, and also provided a link to them in case you want to add them, too! (Note that I use an Android phone, but all of these recipes are also available for iPhone and iPad users. Just do a quick search on the site and you’ll find them.)

Back Up Information

1. IF Android Picture, THEN Evernote. Any picture I take with my phone is automatically backed up in Evernote the next time I have data on.

IFTTT Recipe: Upload any new Photo from Android Gallery to Evernote as an Image note connects android-photos to evernote

2. IF Android Screenshot, THEN Evernote. In the same way, any screenshot I might take on my phone is automatically backed up in Evernote, as well. 

IFTTT Recipe: Upload Android screenshots to Evernote connects android-photos to evernote

3. IF Buffer, THEN Evernote. Each time I send out a Twitter update through Buffer, a link is sent to Evernote. I like this, because it gives me a running diary of the articles and other information that I found important enough to share with others.IFTTT Recipe: Save to Evernote every time I Buffer an article connects buffer to evernote

4. IF Foursquare, THEN Evernote. I rarely use Foursquare (or now, Swarm) to check in. When I do, however, I like that I can find those places again. So, each time I check in, it sends the check-in information–including the map–to Evernote. IFTTT Recipe: Archive your checkin history to Evernote connects foursquare to evernote

Social Stuff

5. IF Foursquare, THEN Facebook. Just for fun, I also have Foursquare linked to Facebook. So, anytime I check in on Foursquare, it sends a status update to FB. That way, I don’t have to check in twice, and the information (because of #4 on this list) is backed up.

IFTTT Recipe: Foursquare Check-In to Facebook Status connects foursquare to facebook

Get Information

6. IF YouTube, THEN Feedly. I don’t click “watch later” on YouTube all that often. If I do, however, it sends the video to my Feedly list (which I use for rss), so that it becomes part of my daily reading. IFTTT Recipe: Save YouTube video for later in your Feedly. connects youtube to feedly

7. IF Raining, THEN text. I get a lot of updates through sms (text messaging). Three deal with the weather. The first is simple: if it is raining nearby, I get a text.

IFTTT Recipe: Raining now? Text me!!! connects weather to sms

8. IF hot, THEN text. In the same way, if the temperature goes above 95 degrees, I get a text. (I know the picture says 100 degrees, but it can be adjusted to any temp you would like.) IFTTT Recipe: SMS when temperature goes over 100 connects weather to sms

9. IF cold, THEN text. Finally in weather, if the temperature drops below 15 degrees, I get a text. (Again, the picture says 50 degrees, but it can be adjusted.)

IFTTT Recipe: Send me an SMS when the temperature drops below 50 connects weather to sms

10-12. IF my favorite teams, THEN text. I get sports information this way, too, but only for specific teams. Using this link, you can set up ESPN to text you updates about any team (or league) that you would like. (Just click on “Create New Recipe.”) I get news headlines for the New York Yankees, Tennessee Titans, and Duke Blue Devils men’s basketball.


Yes, some of these are more for fun, but you can see how they also help get more things organized. Instead of scouring the web, information is sent to me in a way that I can see it when I want. I am really enjoying ifttt, especially the “back up” features.

Oh…and it’s free, which is always a positive in my book.

COMMENTS: Are you using ifttt? If so, share some ways you use it in the comments below!

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