The Invitation to Belong Part 1

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It was the summer of 1996. Only four months into my twenty-first year of life and already so much life had been lived. Justin and I had barley passed the finish line into our first year of marriage when we became first time parents. In the span one year, we went from college life, to married life, to soon-to-be parent life. So much life change in one year. On July…

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3 Ways to Actually Enjoy Your Family This Thanksgiving

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Holidays used to be really hard on our marriage. Some of our biggest arguments would come on our way to or on our way home from Thanksgiving or Christmas with family. Unmet expectations. Unspoken expectations. Little patience. Harsh tones of voices. Short fuses. Those are some phrases that described us as we spent holidays with extended family. When our marriage imploded and we began to address some of our own…

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A HUGE Announcement From Justin and Trish

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We’ve been anticipating sharing some exciting news with you for a few weeks and this week are able to do that. Over the past five years, this community has shaped us and our faith in ways we can’t even describe. We are so very thankful for you. Stepping out in faith is never easy, but it’s as we take faith steps we experience God’s presence the most. We want to inspire…

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One Man, One Dream

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. believed every life, regardless of color, economic status or belief system, posses the ability to LOVE. And through the power of love, racism and war could be eradicated, resulting in a world thriving in peace and brotherhood. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was just ONE man. ONE man who decided change needed to happen. ONE man who inspired a movement. ONE man who empowered others…

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Saving Your Sanity While Visiting Family

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We have great intentions going into the holidays. We romanticize time with family and truly believe those things that bother us at other times during the year aren’t going to bother us as much because it is Thanksgiving or Christmas. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. For many of us, we are surprised every single year that our family visit…

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3 Questions to Keep You Connected With Those that Matter Most

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Life is busy. It isn’t that we don’t have good intentions when it comes to staying connected as a family, it’s just hard to be intentional. I’ve never drifted into spiritual health. I’ve never seen our family drift into quality time together. We’ve never drifted into deep, meaningful, life-giving conversations. Those things have to be chosen. Trish and I used to think that whatever stage of life we were in,…

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A Letter To My Husband…

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A few months ago I was searching for a specific document and during my search found this letter. I wrote this love letter to Justin in 1994 a year before we got married. We had both moved to Vermont Illinois (a small farming town) for a part-time youth ministry position, while also attending Western Illinois University. Although the families we stayed with were amazing and our small country church was…

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It’s Only a Season

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A phrase I’ve historically said to Trish when our life is busy and our schedule is full is, “Don’t worry, it’s only a season.” For the first ten years of our marriage and ministry, I would wear this phrase out. As a pastor, this phrase came out around Easter or Christmas or the launch of a new ministry or a building program. Saying, “It’s only a season” in my mind…

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Surviving Your Family This Thanksgiving

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I’m really excited about Thanksgiving this year. Our family leaves tomorrow to go visit both sides of our family. It will be a lot of driving; a lot of eating and a lot of family. Holidays used to be really hard on our marriage. Some of our biggest arguments would come on our way to or on our way home from Thanksgiving or Christmas with family. Unmet expectations. Unspoken expectations….

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You Have to Choose It

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This weekend was a pretty cool weekend. Trish and I got to be a part of Lifeway’s Festival of Marriage weekend. Over 600 couples gathered in North Carolina and Dr. Gary Chapman opened the weekend with a powerful talk on The Five Love Languages. Trish and I have written a book on marriage, but this man is THE expert on marriage. His book, The Five Love Languages has sold more…

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