Thinking Out Loud

June 28, 2015

This Blog’s All-Time #1 Post

This weekend we’ve focused on this blog’s top three all-time posts, of which #1 is The Eight Things Destroyed Our Marriage by Justin and Trisha Davis. On Friday and Saturday I re-posted the entire texts of the other two top traffic generators here, but today we’re not doing this because (a) it’s very long, and (b) I’ve always felt guilty about any traffic this might have diverted from the authors’ blog over the years, though it obviously is meeting a real need. Like Friday’s, this one was deemed as special from the very beginning and existed as a page rather than a post. You can read it by clicking here.

Since we already ‘borrowed’ so much from material from Justin and Trisha, I thought we might as well go one step further and share their story in this space instead. But again, we encourage you to read it directly at source, because there’s a video at the end of their story as shared with Cross Point Church (Pete Wilson) in Nashville.

Justin and Trisha DavisHey there. We are Justin and Trish… Here is a little bit about us. Our hope is that as you learn more about us and our story, you allow us to learn more about you as you become a part of the RefineUs community.

Our return to ministry is the result of a victorious battle for our marriage and family. After successfully planting our first church, Justin had an affair with a staff member, who was also Trisha’s best friend.

What followed was a 4-year journey of pain, grief and ultimately the restoration of our relationship by the grace of God. This experience left a watermark on our marriage of what it really means to experience grace, love and redemption firsthand—both individually and as a couple.

In 2009 we founded RefineUs Ministries using their story of failure, loss, and transformation to guide individuals, couples, churches, pastors, pastor’s wives and church planters towards a healthy marriage and family.

We currently wear a lot of hats. We are bloggers, authors, and teachers and we live in Nashville, TN with our three boys.

Justin is on staff part-time as a pastor of Cross Point Church, recently named the 6th fastest growing church in the country.* We both attended Lincoln Christian University in Lincoln, IL where we met and fell in love (with Justin adamantly asking Trisha out twice a week for 6 months before she said yes.)

Justin received his BA degree in Christian Education in Lincoln and Trisha later earned her degree from Indiana University.

With the rare free time that we can scrounge up, you will find us going on walks, eating at PF Changs, or having coffee together; and sometimes all three at once. We believe the resurrection of our marriage to be a great gift and we know it is a privilege to use RefineUs to help others towards that same healing.

Our first book, Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Isn’t Good Enough from Tyndale House Publishers, is available now. You can order from a number of places today. Click here for more info.

We are passionate about sharing all that God has done in our life, marriage and family. If you would like more information about booking us for your event, your church service or a conference, please check out our speaking page… [continues to video introduction]

In preparing this, I have just noticed that the links within the eight sections are broken, if anyone wants to send us updated ones we’ll edit that post. (I know part six exists still.)

Again, I am in awe at the traffic this generates and the needs in marital relationships that probably represents. To J. and T., thank you that we were able to steal borrow the eight individual blog posts that made up this article; I know it is blessing many people.

I want to encourage you to read the authors’ blog,

*Even as we’re publishing this, Justin is completing his time on staff at Cross Point and they are moving on to a new adventure in Indianapolis. Follow them on Twitter @JustinDavis33 and Trisha @TrishaDavis23

Here again is the link to the article as it appears at Thinking Out Loud.

April 17, 2013

Wednesday Link List

Build a Pharisee

Wednesday List Lynx

Wednesday List Lynx

Lots of good stuff this week. Take the time!

Now Go Do It

About the Blogroll:

This blog has a rather interesting link list in the sidebar. Blogs mentioned are chosen because they are (a) faith focused and (b) posting regularly. The doctrinal flavor of the blogs listed is quite varied, but I don’t include blogs that appear to have more “agenda” than content. Some blogs are listed somewhat permanently, some disappear and return a month later. Together, they represent almost one fifth of the bloggers that I have bookmarked in my computer and read regularly. Some of the blogs appearing in the Wednesday link list end up on this page later on, while others have a key post that I feel is worth mentioning, while at the same time I haven’t gotten to know them well enough yet to establish them as a link or imply endorsement. Recommendations are invited.

December 7, 2011

Wednesday Link List

Hark how the links, sweet silver links, all seem to say, “Throw cares away!”

  • Gonna do something I’ve done here before and make the first link one from this very blog.  I’m getting a ton of hits for a piece I wrote here last year dealing with the burning question, Should Audiences Still Stand for the Hallelujah Chorus?  But with only eleven comments, there’s still room for yours, and it will get viewed many times over the next few days.
  • Just when think you’ve seen all the weird churches in the world, you discover this one, which has major parking problems, not to mention severe access issues.  Check out this mini photo essay from our old friend Abraham Piper at 22 Words.
  • It’s rare in the Christian blogosphere that you see someone give a Christian book a really bad review. Perhaps that’s what makes this review at the blog Supermoms Are Fake, in some ways, so refreshing.
  • Some of you remember Hermant Mehta at the blog, The Friendly Atheist, from his book I Sold My Soul on E-Bay.  Sometimes I check back to see how he’s doing, whereupon I found this one: Why Are This Many Atheist Scientists Taking Their Children To Church?
  • Leaders are readers. So begins a concise, 7-point piece by Dave Kraft at Leadership from the Heart, I Would Love to Read More, But…
  • Music video department: Enjoy a free taste of fourteen updated hymns at Indelible Grace III – For All The Saints.
  • …which got me poking around YouTube where I ended up listening to this updated version of Jesus I Come (which I know as Out of My Bondage) by the Shelly Moore Band.
  • Christianity Today music guy Mark Moring talks to Chris Tomlin aka the “worship song machine.” Tomlin just doesn’t see himself writing any other kind of music. Which I suppose suits us just fine.
  • Philanthropy meets good business sense as a Toronto group puts together winter survival kits for the homeless.
  • Canadian Charismatic Evangelist Todd Bentley is in the UK, but a Member of Parliament is telling Brits to beware the tattoo preacher.   The Sunday Express reports. (HT: Rick and Bene.)
  • The newest blog at Alltop Christian is called Slow Running Honey, another blog which seems to exist for the purpose of promoting a book. That’s fine, I guess, but the Christian blogosphere didn’t start out that way. (Though it got there quickly.)
  • Newest blog at Alltop Church is Nate Fietzer‘s which is a KidMin blog, meaning children’s ministry and leadership.  It’s him we also thank for the Life graphic below. Did you design that, Nate?

  • I think Justin and Tricia attend Pete Wilson’s church; I know Justin filled in for Pete once during the summer. Here’s an article that could revolutionize your marriage, and the concept is so simple, it revolves around one little three-letter word.
  • After a few days in Sick Bay, Rev. Billy Graham is now back home.
  • Okay, so you go to a church where women don’t teach, but they do scripture readings. But isn’t the public reading of scripture a type of teaching ministry? Or is it? What about soloists? Jesse Johnson wades into a thorny topic.
  • Sounds of the season: Drummer Sean Quigley is the latest to offer a fresh take on a classic, in this case The Little Drummer Boy.
  • Lots of videos this week, but you don’t want to miss this one: Bethlehemian Rhapsody, which was actually posted in 2009, but is still being discovered. (The sheep steal their scenes each time!)
  • Like all good link lists, we have another t-shirt for you. This is from Amanda at Faith in The Journey a tumblr blog packed with great graphic ideas. The shirt is from

July 22, 2011

A Letter To The Groom

It’s a July weekend which means many people are getting married, heat wave or not.  Michael St. John from Austin, Texas, who blogs as St. John The Lutheran wrote this last month when his niece Allison was getting married to a guy named Matthew.  I discovered it somehow and felt it deserved a wider audience…

Dear Matthew,

It’s only a few days away from The Big Day, and I am sure that you are being overwhelmed with details and well-wishers. I’m also sure that over the past several months you’ve received marital advice from a wide range of people including everyone from your parents to the pastor who will perform the ceremony, to a long-lost cousin who’s been divorced five times and wants to tell you what he’s learned from all of his failures. I apologize for adding myself to the list of people handing out free advice. In the years before I was married, I had heard so many sermons, read so many books, and listened to so many people talk about marriage that I felt I had a pretty good idea what it meant to be a good husband almost fifteen years ago when I was about to walk down the aisle. With that in mind, this is my attempt to give you some unique advice that you might not have heard before. Here goes:

• There is no secret formula that guarantees a successful marriage. Dealing with the psychology of flawed, individually-unique human beings is messy. You have to take a little bit of wisdom from what you read, hear, and experience and apply it where it fits in your own life. Praying together, never going to bed angry, telling her that you love her every day, never forgetting her birthday or your anniversary – all of these are definitely good things to do, but they don’t guarantee that your marriage will be successful.

• Do not believe what you see, hear, or think about material things that you need to be a family. Just because you are married does not mean that you are under some deadline to finish your education, buy a house, have a kid, or get a new car, lawnmower, television, stereo, furniture, decorations, etc., etc. The longer that you can live in less than ideal conditions and save all that you can, the more prepared you will be for the inevitable emergencies and expenses that come along once you do have children and own a house. No matter how little you make, save 10%, give 10%, and live on the rest. If I could go back to when I was first married and do just one thing that would have made the biggest impact on my entire married life, this would be it. Oh, this is still no guarantee of a successful marriage, but it is true that most marriages fail due to financial issues.

• Do not ever assume that you know, understand, or are familiar with your wife. The knowledge, experience, and physical changes that happen to us as human beings over time create a constant change in our personalities, ambitions, and needs. This is a good thing – it’s keeps us from getting bored with each other!

• Always remember that love is not an emotion. When we attempt to love someone, it is a reflection of the way that God loves us. God did not love us by adoring us from afar but by showing us love through his actions. We show love to one another by reflecting God’s actions to the best of our ability through the Holy Spirit. So, we show our love to our spouse through the fruits of the Spirit: affection, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

• Very few things that happen in the movies have any real basis in reality. However, there is one thing that happens in movies that is very true to life: Lying and covering up the truth always is much worse than immediate confession. You are going to mess up. You are going to make bad decisions, make mistakes, and do rude, selfish, immature, and stupid things. And, it is never easy to share these screw-ups with your wife. But, the guilt and stress of hiding these things – and, the resulting mistrust, disappointment, and disillusionment that the discovery of your hiding these things causes your wife – are much, much (did I say much?) worse. I am positive that when God gave Moses the commandment, “Thou shall not lie,” he was giving Moses marital advice…. I’m just saying.

Of course, there are many other things that I could share, but these are the things that I would tell myself if I could go back and talk to myself 15 years ago. You can take them or leave them or have them tattooed on your forearm.

I wish you and Allison all of the happiness and joy that life can give. I pray that God will bless your marriage and make your relationship grow and prosper. Welcome to the family!

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