Don’t Follow the Dog!

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He usually played in the back yard or in the field that adjoined it, but on this day, he found himself being lured into the front yard. His attention had been drawn to a cute little dog he hadn’t seen before. 

He was only allowed to cross the gravel road for one reason. If one of his parents gave him permission to retrieve the mail from the mailbox on the other side of the road, he could do so, but only after hearing the familiar, “Be sure you look both ways!”

But on this day, he crossed the road without looking both ways and without permission. He couldn’t waste that much time. His new friend was already well ahead of him. 

Before he knew it, he was in the woods across the road from his house. Yes, those woods. The woods his parents had made sound so terrible. His new friend apparently hadn’t seen any danger, though, so he had happily followed him into the “forbidden forest.”

Before long, a new realization dawned on him. He had no idea where he was. He also had no idea where his new friend was. He was surrounded by briars. He was all alone. He was scared. He wanted to go home, but he did not know how to get there.

He was very glad to hear his dad’s voice calling his name!

He knew he might be in trouble for doing what his parents had told him repeatedly not to do, but he didn’t care. He just wanted to go home. He had no desire to ever be in those woods again. He didn’t care if he ever saw that dog again (which he didn’t). 

Later, he discovered why his parents had warned him so sternly about those woods. There was an old abandoned well in those woods. He learned that his dad’s heart sank when he saw the evidence that his only child had been dangerously close to that well. The well was so obscured with leaves, limbs, etc. that the father feared that there was a chance that his son’s body would never be found if, indeed, his son had fallen into the well.

The little boy never knew he was in that much danger. He just knew that his “adventure” wasn’t as exciting or rewarding as he had thought it might be and that he was more than ready for the comfort and security of home.

About sixty years later, that “little boy” has five grandchildren, all of whom are older than he was when his carelessness could have cost him his life. In those sixty or so years, he’s seen his story repeated countless numbers of times.

He’s seen far too many people follow a person, a lifestyle, a philosophy, and any number of other things so far “into the woods” that they become totally disoriented and estranged from the people who really love them. More importantly, they have become so confused and entangled that they don’t think they can find their way back to God.

For more than thirty of those sixty years, He has attempted to warn people about the dangers of being lured in and/or lured away by improper influences. He’s also spent quite a bit of time trying to reclaim those who have become ensnared by Satan and his devices (cf. 2 Cor. 2:11).

He has shed tears of joy when a precious soul has returned home. He has also shed tears of sadness when one has gone into eternity without ever returning home.

You have a Father who loves you, a Savior who died for you, and brothers and sisters in the Lord who care deeply for you. You’ve got way too much to lose in an unguarded and reckless moment.

Please take it from one who has been there — Don’t follow the dog!


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Episode 30 : Relaunching the Podcast!

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After a several month hiatus, our podcast is back! We are thrilled to be back on the digital airwaves, sharing information and encouragement through this medium. Today’s program simply shares what we are planning to do with the relaunch of our podcast.


If you are new to our podcast, you can find our archives here, or subscribe on iTunes here.


Music Credit

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

Closing theme: “Afterglow” by Josh Woodward

Moving is Hard Work!

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Jim and I have just moved, and it was hard work. We moved from a 5-bedroom house with 3 bathrooms to a 3-bedroom house with 2 bathrooms all within the same city. The old house had a huge walk-in attic and it was full. It also had a large shed and a two car garage with a storage room off of it. We now have a small attic, no shed and no storage room off of our garage. 

Downsizing seemed like a very logical thing to do at our age (and it was), but little did we know that it would be so difficult. Deciding what furniture to move and what to sell was the least of our worries. My biggest worry was trying to figure out how we ended up with so much stuff! I guess after 45 years of marriage most people have accumulated quite a bit, but what we were sorting through seemed excessive.

I learned some lessons during this process:

We all have too many possessions. I remembered a story Jim told me after he returned from doing mission work in India several years ago. He told of a family who had a tarp over their meager space out in the open – and that was their home. They didn’t complain, but seemed happy to have a covering over their heads. As I sorted and unpacked boxes of items I hadn’t used in years to determine if I needed to keep them, I felt ashamed that we had accumulated so many things. Those things had become a burden to me. They were unnecessary.

I remember Jesus talking about a young man we refer to as “the rich young ruler.” He was interested in obtaining eternal life. He knew the Law and had kept the commandments from his youth. However, he had accumulated many things and when Jesus told him to go and sell what he had and give to the poor, he “went away sorrowful because he had great possessions” (Matt. 19:16-22).

Happiness and contentment in life have nothing to do with the possessions you have. If I thought that the happiness and contentment Jim and I have in our marriage was based solely upon the “things” we possessed, I would be most miserable. Houses, cars, furniture, clothes, jewelry, and anything else you may have are worthless when it comes to happiness and contentment. Relationships are what really matter – with God, with your spouse, with your children, with your church family, and with others with whom you may come in contact.

Success in life is not measured by what you have accumulated. The world measures success by how much money you make and by how many things you are able to accumulate. Sometimes it takes years for us to learn that we are measuring our success in this life by those around whom we live. Hopefully, at some point we learn that God measures success by our faithful service to Him. When we live our lives being faithful Christians and remembering that our citizenship is in heaven and not on this earth, we are successful.

Houses and possessions are temporary. Thousands and sometimes millions of dollars are spent to build dwelling places and to fill those dwelling places with finery. Storms, fires, and floods can wipe all of that away in an instant. When we become so attached to earthly possessions, any disaster will devastate us. But when we realize that this world is not our home, we are just passing through and our treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue, life here on earth becomes our temporary home.

Hard work is good for you. Jim and I (along with our children and many wonderful members of our church family) packed, toted, sorted, lifted, and moved what seemed like enough possessions for several families. Jim said often that he was looking forward to the day when he could just go somewhere without a box in his hands. We have made it to the smaller house, with fewer possessions, and more peace of mind. The work was hard, but so educational. I’m so grateful to God for what we have. He has blessed us beyond measure. I love the “lightness” I feel of having less to keep up with and clean. I’m grateful for all of the helping hands we had during this process. But I am most grateful for a loving heavenly Father who moves with us wherever we go.

“…I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.”  Philippians 4:11


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A 5×5 Approach to Ministry

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When we are trying to minister to others, there is always more that needs to be done. Whether we are on the staff at a congregation, or a member just trying to help others to heaven, there always seems to be more people to reach than we have time to devote.

So…too often, we do nothing.

Instead of trying to reach people, we often make up excuses, fill up our time with other things, and do not reach out to anyone.

With that in mind, I am trying something personally that I think might encourage you. I call it “5×5 Ministry.” It’s not a new idea, but it is something I am just starting to try, and so far I really like the way it helps me stay a bit more organized in the “ministry” part of, well, ministry.

What is “5×5 Ministry”? I’m glad you asked.

5×5 Ministry is simply this: there are 5 things I want to try to do 5 times each week.

Here are the areas:

  1. Five Visits. These can be in home, in a nursing home or hospital, or I also include having people over to our house. Basically, this is a way to track face-to-face interaction. Also, personal Bible studies would be under this heading (and I hope it is at least one each week!).
  2. Five Cards/Letters. Personally, I am terrible that this, and this is the catalyst for “5×5.” I am trying to send cards or letters to people I see do something well, but not something that often gets credit. You may choose to send cards to the sick or shut-in, or anyone else who just needs some encouragement.
  3. Five Phone Calls. For me, these are most often to check on the sick, but you may have a different group of people in mind. Maybe it is inviting others to worship.
  4. Five Emails. I try to email 5 people each week with just a note of encouragement of some type. Sometimes, these are invitations to worship, as well, but usually they are more just a quick pick-me-up, or a quick “just checking in” type note.
  5. Five “Other Messages.” I include text messages or private Facebook messages here. Each week, I utilize these technologies to invite people to worship, especially late in the week (Friday/Saturday).

Here is what I’m using to keep track each week (click on the image to download a pdf card for your own use):

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At least one of these areas (maybe making visits) probably causes you to cringe, while another (maybe phone calls) just comes naturally for you. Personally, sending cards or letters is my hardest one. I am not a letter writer, but this helps me track my effort in that area of ministry, and trying to do just five each week is not too much to ask.

You may not have time to do all of these each week, but could you pick just 3 or 4 areas? Or, could you do all five, but just try for three of each?

Think about if an entire Bible class tried to just have a “3 x 5 Ministry.” How many people would be encouraged weekly? If your Bible class has 12 people, that would be a total of 180 contacts made each week, by just one Bible class.

What if an eldership did something like a “5×3 Ministry.” If you have 4 elders, that would total sixty points of contact…every week by the elders!

Maybe your family could try a version of this ministry. Your kids might want to try a “2×5” or a “3×3.” Whatever you choose, this is a simple way to keep track of your effort.

In reality, “5×5” is not about 25 personal points of contact each week. It is just something I am trying to help me keep up with how well I am really reaching out to others, and in various ways. Some weeks, I won’t get to 25. Some weeks I might make 10 visits, but only send 2 emails. It’s not about being perfect with “the grid,” it’s about reaching people.

I just pray this encourages us all to do that.


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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

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An Important Tip from An Eight-Year-Old

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Some sermons are heard and some sermons are seen. Human behavior can be extraordinarily moving and thought provoking. There were even times in the life of the Son of God when He marveled at the actions of certain individuals. He marveled at the faith of the centurion (Matt. 8:10). He marveled at the unbelief of His own countrymen (Mark. 6:6). And I believe He marveled when He saw the widow give all her livelihood at the Jerusalem temple (Luke 21:1-4).

It is with this in mind that I recall last Wednesday evening. Returning home from Bible class my young daughter traveled with me as we stopped to get a smoothie. We went inside and as they were preparing what we had ordered she saw the tip jar on the counter. Seeing a host of one dollar bills in the transparent container she asked me if this is how people paid for their drinks. I explained to her that tips are something given as a courtesy to say “thank you” for a service that has been provided. I told her it was just like when we go to the restaurant and leave cash on the table.

Before the words were out of my mouth she was already opening her change purse. My daughter always has at least one purse of some kind that has something in it. And she probably has a book or two, and a doll, and a stuffed animal, and the kitchen sink. She said, “I am going to give them a dollar.” I told her that would be very nice. She was so happy to give it. She knew it was an extra, that it was not required. She knew it was an open expression of thanksgiving. She knew it was an opportunity to bring joy to someone else. She gave it so freely and openly. I know her well enough that if it had been her last dollar, or if I had told her that people usually give a twenty, it would have been the same story.

As we left I had a similar feeling to the feeling I believe our Savior experienced with the widow and her two mites. My daughter had made no comparable sacrifice to the poor widow, but there was a resemblance according to the level of their faith. What makes a widow give her last penny? What makes a child give everything she has only minutes after she receives it?


Faith in God that he will provide. Faith that the giving of something does not determine that we are losing anything. Faith that understands the importance of doing the right thing and not worrying about the end result. Faith that says it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).

While my heart was overflowing with warmth for my daughter, there was also a part of me that felt ashamed. I wish I could find within myself the simplicity that exists within the heart of an eight-year-old. We grow up and we begin to think that we actually own things. But we don’t. And then one day we will leave this place and find that the only thing we ever owned was the opportunity to make a daily choice concerning the stewardship with which we had been entrusted. And it will be in those moments, the moments of our decisions, that we will determine the success of our existence. Our earthly impact, and our eternal destiny, may be defined in essence by something as basic as our attitude toward transparent containers filled with a few one dollar bills.

“…Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 18:3


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A Great Free Resource for Bible Students [Video]

Here is a recent Periscope I did on a wonderful and free Bible resource from Polishing the Pulpit. Enjoy!

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How To Lose Young People (in Three Words)

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There comes a time when we have to loose young people. At some point in their lives, they have to be on their own. 

Parents have to “let go” and let their children start their own families, careers, etc. Some secondary school, trade school, college, or university will be the last place of formal education for them. Home congregations will have had the last opportunity to instill truths from God’s word (at least on a regular basis) as they move on in life.

However, the cry heard from many quarters has little to do with loosing young people. Instead the cry from families, educational systems, and churches is:

“We are losing our young people.”

Parents lose sleep and shed tears because of some of the things their children believe and do. School systems struggle to merely keep order in a classroom; much less help students prepare for the real world when they graduate (or quit). Church leaders go into panic mode when there seems to be fewer young people attending worship services and Bible classes as has been the case in former times. 

Sadly, the “solution” proposed and practiced by many is actually a sure-fire way to totally lose the next generation (and generations to come). This “solution” can, as has been suggested in the title, summed up in just three words:

Cater to them.

Instead of being parents and having guidelines and rules for your family, cater to your children. Make sure they are always happy. Make sure they have everything they could ever want. Make sure that they, instead of you, call the shots. If you follow this advice, you will be well on your way to losing your children–and having more heartache than you can imagine.

Instead of demanding a certain level of behavior and competence in the school system, cater to the students. Make learning exciting and fun. Before long, there will be no more learning; only excitement and fun. We may not only lose our children as far as making a contribution to society is concerned, we may lose the society in which we hoped they would compete.

Instead of teaching our children God’s plan for marriage, the home, the church, worship, etc., cater to the least knowledgeable members of a congregation — regardless of their age. Why should an old, dusty book matter as long as people are finding what they think they want out of life? Let’s teach that “the here and now” is really all that matters. Whatever comes after that (if anything) will take care of itself.

The Bible has many examples of young people who stood for and practiced what was right; even when they had to stand alone or as a part of a very, very small group. They did this because of a deep faith in God. We will not run the risk of truly losing our young people to the world and/or to Satan if we help them to have a faith like them.

May God help us to do just that.


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One Week Until Our Podcast Relaunch

You may have noticed a lack of posts over the past few days. (At least, we hope you noticed!) Since so many of us have been at Polishing the Pulpit, we took the week off from the site. Of course, we can schedule posts ahead of time, but it is harder to “promote” the posts when we are not sure of our internet connection during the day. We hope you understand our little blogging vacation.

Today, though, we want to remind you that we are just one week away from the relaunch of our podcast from A Legacy of Faith. Adam has been hard at work recorded episodes, and we hope you are excited to hear what’s in store.

Next Friday, a relaunch episode will be released, in which Adam will talk about the past and the future of the program. That episode will be a little shorter (about 12 minutes). Then, on September 11, regular length programs will start being released each Friday. These programs are scheduled to be between 20 and 30 minutes in length.

If all this is new to you, you can visit this link to check out our 29 previous episodes in archive format, and to learn a little more about the program. If you are more of a podcast pro, you can go here to subscribe on iTunes or here to subscribe via rss. That way, you’ll be sure to never miss an episode.

So, next week, look for our regular blog posts on Monday through Thursday, then for the relaunch of A Legacy of Faith: The Podcast on Friday.

Quick Children’s Devotional Idea [Video]

I recently did a Periscope with a short devotional idea for kids. (Yes, it was one that actually worked!) Here’s a quick description of how you can do this same devotional for your kids.


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A Legacy of Faith at PtP 2015

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It is about time for a highlight of our year: Polishing the Pulpit. This is an event that quite a few of us here at A Legacy of Faith look forward to each year. Though we rarely all get to attend for the entire week, we still love it.

If you are not familiar, Polishing the Pulpit is not just for preachers. Rather, it is a gathering of well over 3000 Christians in Sevierville, Tennessee and it features classes and lessons for elders, deacons, members, preachers, ladies, youth ministers, and young people (and more). To say it is uplifting would be an understatement.

Where We’ll Be Leading

This year, four members of A Legacy of Faith will be leading various sessions during the week. If you are coming to PtP, here are the sessions we will be leading (in chronological order):

SATURDAY, August 22

8:00AM: Donna Faughn, “Feel Like a Failing Mother? Throw Away that Perfect Mom Scorecard” (ladies only; Ballroom A)

10:00AM: Leah Faughn, “Parenting in the Pews: Training Your Children in Worship, from Newborn Up” (ladies only; Meeting Room A)

SUNDAY, August 23

9:30AM: Donna Faughn, “Heaven Will Surely be Worth it All” (ladies only; Ballroom A)

10:30AM: Adam Faughn, leading congregational singing at Sunday worship (Exhibit Hall 1)

5:30PM: Adam Faughn, leading congregational singing, “Old Favorites” (Exhibit Hall 1)

MONDAY, August 24

8:00AM: Adam Faughn, leading congregational “early morning worship in song” (Ballroom D)

1:30PM: Donna Faughn, “I’m Innocent! How to Deal with People Who Don’t Like You or Disagree when You Stand for What’s Right” (ladies only; Ballroom A)

1:30PM: Jim Faughn (as part of a “2-for-1” class), “Elders and Preachers–Rivals or Teammates?” (Ballroom D)

TUESDAY, August 25

1:30PM: Jim Faughn (as part of “Seven Minutes of Wisdom” session), “Employer-Employee or Shepherd-Flock?” (Ballroom D)

3:30PM: Donna Faughn (as part of “Seven Minutes of Wisdom for Preachers’s Wives” session), “Can You Give Me Some Pointers on Keeping My Toddler Quiet in Worship?” (Ballroom A)

6:25PM: Adam Faughn, leading congregational singing, “Learn Some New Songs” (Exhibit Hall 1)

WEDNESDAY, August 26

9:30AM: Donna Faughn, “Training Yourself to be an Effective Elder’s Wife” (ladies only, Hotel Deep Creek)

3:30PM: Donna Faughn, “Commitment is Key!” (ladies only, Ballroom B)

Follow Us on Social Media

Even if you are not attending PtP, we would love to let you know some of the things that are going on, and one of the best ways of doing that is to follow us on various social media platforms. We will send our pictures, quotes, and (hopefully) even live streams at various times.

Adam, Jim, Donna, Amber, and Jeremiah are all on Facebook. Search for us there.

On Twitter, follow Jim Faughn, Leah Faughn, Jeremiah Tatum, and Adam Faughn.

On Periscope, follow Adam Faughn (@faughn4).

For more information about Polishing the Pulpit, visit their website, or follow them on Twitter.