IF:Gathering: Finding My Messy Community

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In the fall of 2013, I was invited by one my closest friends Lindsey Nobles, to attend a retreat with 60 other women in Austin, Texas to hear about the vision of a new ministry called IF:GATHERING. I had no idea what to expect or who would be there and to be honest, I really didn’t want to go. I was in the midst of some major changes for me…

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2 Fears that Over-Promise and Under-Deliver

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One of the predominant emotions that characterized the first ten years of our marriage was fear. Fear is something we usually equate with traumatic events or circumstances. But fear grips more of our heart than we are often willing to admit.  I lived most of my married life with a spirit of fear: Fear of being found out Fear of being rejected Fear of being misunderstood Fear of being proven wrong…

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The Greatest Threat to Intimacy

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It is impossible to earn forgiveness. Forgiveness, if it is authentic, is unconditional. Forgiveness is as much for you, the person that is offering it, as it is for the recipient. Trust is something completely different. Trust has to be earned. Trust is a sequence of relational deposits, made with an authentic heart. Trust is the basis for intimacy. You can’t build a relationship in the absence of trust. We know a lot…

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5 Barriers to Oneness In Marriage

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Today, we’re honored to have a guest post from our friend, Scott Kedersha. Scott is the Director of Premarital Ministry at Watermark Community Church in Dallas, Texas, where he leads a premarried ministry called Merge. Merge is designed to give engaged and seriously dating couples a unique opportunity to learn, seek biblical wisdom, and receive Christ-centered counsel about marriage in a safe, fun, challenging and authentic environment.    The wedding…

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What It’s Not About

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What if I told you that your greatest struggle, your most repeated sin (the one you have promised yourself and God you’ll never do again, but you keep on doing it) is probably only a symptom of a much bigger deal in your life? In our story, the affair gets all the attention; has all the shock value and raises all the questions. But the truth is it was only…

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A Game We Always Lose

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When we compare ourselves to others, we always lose. We are never pretty enough, smart enough, rich enough, successful enough, popular enough, recognized enough. The comparison game brings anxiety to our mind and hurt to our heart. There is a comparison game that many people play in their marriage as well. Their intentions may start out good, but in the end it is always a loss. When we play the…

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Counterfeit Intimacy

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I (Justin) was never taught how to develop true intimacy, never realized the spiritual aspect of intimacy and never considered there could be any deeper level of intimacy than having sex. Almost from the beginning of our marriage, I fell into the trap of withholding parts of my heart from Trisha. It wasn’t always sin or struggles that I withheld…it was also fears that I was ashamed of, things I…

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Friday Repost: 8 Things That Restored Our Marriage Part 4

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The X Factor – “An unknown or hard-to-define influence; a factor with unknown or unforeseeable consequences.” I would venture to say that the “X Factor” could easily be changed to the “seX Factor” in most marriages today. Sex seems to be the “unknown or hard-to-define influence” in our marital relationships.  I have had several conversations with women, regardless if they have been married 2 or 20 years, and most question the role…

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Mistakes that Hold You Back Part 3

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We started this blog series Monday, talking about the mistakes that we allow to creep into our marriage. These are the mistakes that probably won’t cause divorce, but they will keep us from experiencing the marriage we long for and the marriage God has in mind for us. First, we talked about scorekeeping. Yesterday, we talked about sweating the small stuff. Today is part three. The number one goal I…

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In Pursuit Part 2

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On Tuesday, Justin wrote about the art of pursuing your wife so today I thought I’d tackle the art of pursuing your husband. So often after we get married we lose our tenacity to pursue one another like we did when we were dating. What once was a blissful opportunity to show how much we love our husbands some how becomes an obligation after we are married. Wives… think about…

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