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What's New:

  • Next week we are kicking off another round of Be Brave; Grow Strong Week! Starting Monday, September 17th at 12 PM ET. Tune in for some amazing interviews. See you Monday on my Facebook Page.
  • The 2018 Conquer Conference: Be Brave, Grow Strong tickets are here. This live event happening October 2018, will be amazing. You can click here for more information. Get your tickets before prices go up on October 1st!

3 Ways to Download Courage

By Georgia Shaffer

Courage is contagious.
Just like people influence us with their anger and sullen moods,
others can help us increase our level of courage.

About two years ago, I spent a week with two women whose lives were in danger because of their work for Jesus. While each woman had credible threats on her life, they both had little, if any, anxiety. They continued to concentrate on the task they each felt called to do. I walked away feeling thankful for the opportunity to observe these strong warriors.

What I did not anticipate, however, was the contagious nature of their courage. I arrived home and decided I wanted to be just like them. I shared their stories with anyone who would listen, hoping others would also be encouraged. I learned courage can be “caught” from doing three things:

1. Interact with the courageous. Simply being around these two women and watching them in action gave me an extra dose of boldness for the Lord. Courage can be put “into” you from the outside. Psychologist Dr Henry Cloud says the word encourage literally came from ‘in courage.’

Our character and abilities grow through internalizing from others what we do not possess in ourselves. What are you worried, concerned or frightened about? Find someone who is living with that reality and successfully tackling it. For example, one of the benefits I found when I attended my first Conquer conference was how powerful it was to be with other like-minded women who want to Be Brave and Grow Strong. If you need more courage, I hope to see you there this year. Remember, we become like the company we keep.

2. Read about the courageous. The Bible is full of stories of courage. For example, the Old Testament story of Joshua and Caleb, who were sent by Moses along with ten other men to check out the Promised Land. Only Joshua and Caleb came back and told Moses we believe that with God’s help the Israelites could defeat the giants living there. More than 45 years later, when the Israelites finally took possession of the land, Caleb said to Joshua, “Today I am eighty-five years old. I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then. So give me the hill country that the Lord promised me” (Joshua 14:10-13 NIV, emphasis added).

Now the hill country was one of the places that the Giants still lived. Caleb successfully fought those giants and I can almost promise you that you will have to face some real giants as you face your fears.

3. Pay attention to the Holy Spirit’s gift of courage More than once, when I was unsettled and anxious, God strengthened me through the Holy Spirit’s guidance to a Scripture verse or passage. He has whispered a verse into my heart or caused me to remember something I read or heard.

That was true for Joshua, who led the battles in the Promise Land. God encouraged him with these words: “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous; for you shall put this people in possession of the land that I swore to their ancestors to give them” (Joshua 1:5-6 NRSV).

Whether you discouraged about a project, struggling with a disability, or are in a difficult or destructive relationship, search out someone—dead or alive–who has faced a similar challenge. Ask God to bring a role model into your life, someone who has successfully navigated that issue so you can observe and learn from them. ­­­­­­­­­­

As I mentioned earlier, courage is contagious. Not only will there be brave women who have faced many challenges at the Conquer conference, but I would love to meet you at one of my workshops. I will be speaking on the topics of Taking Out Your Emotional Trash and When Life Doesn’t Turn Out the Way You Thought: Rebuilding After Loss & Unwanted Change.

Bio: Georgia Shaffer is an author, a Professional Certified Coach and a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania.


Taking Out Your Emotional Trash: Face Your Feelings and Build Healthy Relationships

by Georgia Shaffer

What needs to grow and what needs to go? Licensed psychologist and author Georgia Shaffer asks women this vital question as she encourages them to recognize and let go of the unhealthy, toxic emotions and lies they hold onto and replace them with godly truths.

With a strong biblical foundation, Shaffer offers encouragement, insightful questions, practical steps, and personal prayers to help readers

  • release destructive guilt and insecurities by embracing their value in God
  • reduce anxiety by addressing their deepest fears with God's wisdom
  • experience greater intimacy and honesty in their relationships
  • increase their physical energy and spiritual peace in God's strength
  • turn from unrealistic expectations toward realistic expectations and positive goals

Readers will discover hope and renewal as they watch God transform their trash into treasure through His mighty grace

Two winners will be selected in our next newsletter.

If you would like to enter to win, you can click here to provide name and email address.

The winners of “It's Momplicated: Hope and Healing for Imperfect Daughters of Imperfect Mothers” by Debbie Alsdorf are Monica A. and Marcia D.


Upcoming Events

September 28th and 29th
Conference Dallas, TX

October 12th and 13th
Conquer Conference

October 26th and 27th
1st Baptist Church
Houna, LA

November 2nd and 3rd
AACC New Life Summit
Charlotte, North Carolina http://charlotte.cmhcsummit.com/

Want to have Leslie speak at your event? Click here to find out more information.

Do I Have To Laugh At My Husband's Jokes?

Question: I am no longer in an abusive marriage or church system because after setting boundaries regarding pornography and an assault, I had to leave both.

I am putting my life back together, but find myself particularly and deeply troubled when I hear “Christian” teaching on what a wife is and isn’t supposed to do. I tend to not listen to a particular program that comes on the Christian radio station in my area because of what I consider subversive views of a woman’s place in marriage and how these ideas I believe to be a core culprit in the corporate gaslighting I experience in my marriage. Unfortunately though, this evening I wasn’t quick to turn it off.

I am hopeful you can help me detangle what I just reheard (as my husband use to say this) and I am very much struggling with it, even three years later. I heard that on this program a woman say she believes that it is disrespectful for a wife not to laugh at her husband’s jokes.

I am so deeply disturbed by this because I was told that my own personal choices to like or dislike something my husband did or also liked was why he was unhappy with me and ultimately why he ‘strayed’ in pornography and that I drove him away by setting healthy boundaries.

My question may seem silly but: Is it really disrespectful to not laugh at a joke I don’t find funny? Or did I really miss something? And is this some kind of corporate abuse? I’m having a hard time understanding how to engage in the larger Christian community because of these kinds of things. I go slow with my story and am cautious about who I let in, but wonder, should I keep away from places that say these things entirely and makes me wonder and more than a little afraid of being taken in by these subversively destructive messages again. Things that ultimately are saying: “in order to be a good wife, I’m not allowed to have my own self”,or some more destructive that say “by not going along with what he says, you are destroying your marriage.” Sometimes I just want to scream back and say, “Can’t you see that you are saying he is God and I am his slave!” but really I’m not sure that will be much help.

Leslie, how can I find help to de-program from these ego-based ideas of a dominance of men over women in the church, or is this what is right? There are so many scriptures that really can confuse me still and have been many times used to ‘keep me in my place.’ Is there a God-ordained hierarchy of men over women?

I’m grateful I’ve found my right place, in my own mind and body, safe and healthy again in my own home. Thank you for your work and efforts. Without your work and books and speaking to put scripture back in its right context I would not have had the great early help I needed to leave a very (now clearly) unhealthy situation.

Answer: You asked a teensy weensy question, “Is it disrespectful to not laugh at your husband’s jokes?” and opened a huge can of worms, “is there a God-ordained hierarchy of men over women?”

So in my limited space and theological perspective, let me try to answer both.

First, the speaker on the radio program who said it is disrespectful to not laugh at your husband’s jokes, in my opinion, is off base theologically and relationally unsound. It might be disrespectful to snicker, roll your eyes, or show disdain towards your husband’s jokes, especially if you are in public with other people, but if you don’t find his joke funny, why would you pretend you do? That isn’t walking in integrity with your own self nor is it being honest and real with him.

What Others are Saying About the Conquer Conference

The best part of [the] CONQUER Conference was getting to meet, hug, laugh, cry, and pray with my CONQUER sisters. At this stage of my life, no one understands what I’m going through like my CONQUER sisters do. The kind of encouragement we are able to give each other strengthens us all so much. We made time to meet wherever we could — in restaurants, hotel lobbies, and in between sessions just to talk face-to-face. Some I had known well from the online support group, but I also connected with new friends at the conference and we still stay in touch. I’m looking forward to having this soul-filling experience again in October! The workshop on co-parenting was really helpful, too.

– Katie P.


Leslie wants to help you grow in your personal and relational effectiveness. Please submit your questions by clicking here.

Then, visit Leslie's Blog as she posts her responses to one question per week.

Note: Due to the volume of questions that Leslie receives, she is unable to respond to every question.


Leslie Vernick PO Box 5312 Sun City West, Arizona 85376 United States