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  • My 3 Month Group – Walking in CORE Strength – starts April 2nd. If you are interested in learning more, click here

Are You Living Your Faith In Real Life?

By Leslie Vernick

I was baking cupcakes with my granddaughters when we got stuck. We needed to figure out how to divide two thirds of a cup in half. I turned to my daughter to ask her when she said, “Don't look at me, you know I hated fractions.”

I understood her shame. Math was never my strong suite either. No matter how much I studied math facts in school; those tricky word problems exposed my weakness. What I knew on one level, I couldn’t apply in another.

In the same way many of us also struggle with real life spiritual applications. For example, we know Jesus says we should forgive people, but how do we do it when our husband cheats on us and repeatedly lies to us?

We know we shouldn’t let the sun go down on our anger, but how do we let go of our hurt and anger when our teenager has defied our rules and broken our heart? We know that the Bible says that God loves us and we are his precious daughters, but how to we live like that’s true when we don’t feel anything like a daughter of the King; instead we feel more like an abandoned orphan?

Whether our learning is educational or spiritual, it must become personal in order for it to move from our head to our heart and become practically useful. It did me no good for me to learn French in high school and college and then never speak it. Proverbs 24:32 says, “I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw.”

Below are five practices that can help informational become transformational truth.

1. Read the Bible out loud, or listen to it audibly on CD. Sometimes when we read the same Bible verses over and over again they start to get stale and fail to grab our heart in fresh ways. Listening to God’s word helps you hear things differently and more personally, like he’s speaking just to you.

2. Memorize a portion of Scripture that has an action step. For example, James 1:19 says, “Be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” Challenge yourself to memorize a new verse each month, not merely learning the verse but also intentionally practicing what it says for the entire month. You’ll be amazed at your transformation by the end of one year.

3. Slow down. Sometimes when I read my Bible, I feel like I’m rushing to get a certain amount read each day. Although I’ve loved reading the entire Bible in a year, sometimes I am none the wiser because of it. Slow down your reading. Focus your attention on a few words, or a single phrase. Psalm 23 is a wonderful psalm to savor. Begin with the first line, “The Lord is my shepherd, I have everything that I need.” What does that mean to you? Is he your shepherd? In this moment, right now, can you trust God has your needs met? If not what? What holds you back? Talk to God about that.

4. Meditate. This practice focuses your intellect, reason, imagination and will on a particular topic, story, verse, or image, allowing God to speak to your heart in specific ways. The Psalmist says, “I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word” (Psalm 119:15,16).

While meditating in Luke 5, I read the familiar story of Jesus asking Peter to let down his nets to catch some fish. Peter had been fishing all night long, with no success. Peter was tired. Jesus asked Peter to use one of his boats so that he could preach but now he told Peter to go further out and let down his nets. Peter was dog tired. He had already cleaned his nets and explained that to Jesus, but then Peter said something else that caused me pause. He said, “We worked hard all night and didn’t catch a thing, but if you say so, I’ll do it.” How many times do I argue with God that I’m tired, I’ve already tried that, it didn’t work, no success. Yet Peter said, “Because you said so, I will do it.”

5. Go silent. What would it be like for you to spend a day or weekend with no cell phone, computer, television or talking? To be all alone with God? We live in a world that bombards our senses. Rarely do we take time out of our demanding lives for quiet and solitude.

Yet God says, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). It’s often in those quiet times where God shows up. Practicing silence even for five or ten minutes at first can be quite unnerving. Yet, by carving out periods of time whereby we are quiet, both our inner life and our outer life become renewed. It is in this space that we not only come to understand our own thoughts better, but to begin to grasp the mind of God.

Learning without application isn’t real learning. It’s head knowledge, not heart change. The Lord asks, “For who is he who will devote himself to be close to me” (Jeremiah 30:21)? Will you?


The Emotionally Destructive Relationship

by Leslie Vernick

This practical and thorough resource will help countless individuals, families, and churches view abuse from God’s perspective and understand how vital it is for victims to embrace His freedom from the physical, emotional, spiritual, and generational effects of emotionally destructive relationships.

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 “Tending the Soul: 90 Days of Spiritual Nourishment” by Anita Lustrea are Charlene A. and Sheryl F.

What Is An Emotional Separation And How Do I Do It Without Hurting Her?

Question: Your book “The Emotionally Destructive Marriage” saved my life. Having sought guidance through the Church and secular therapists, I was going nowhere. You brought together both therapy and spirituality, which gave me direction and help. My question is this. My wife and I have been married for 34 years. She’s been verbally and emotionally abusive most of those years and it’s only intensified towards the children and me.

Answer: You’ve decided to do an in-home separation, where you are detaching from her emotionally.

Detaching doesn’t mean you don’t care, dismiss or disrespect her as a person, or ignore her. Detaching means that you have come to a place where you let go of any requests for her to do something for you, for her to respond a certain way, repent, say she’s sorry, go to counseling, or be nice or respectful or loving towards you. You don’t NEED her to love you, or honor you or be truthful to you, or be faithful to you in order for you to be okay. It doesn’t mean that those needs or expectations are not reasonable in a normal healthy relationship.

Here is What People are Saying About Leslie's Walking In Core Strength Group

I am so very thankful that I took Walking in CORE Strength. I have learned how to take things my head has known and apply them to me in a very real and personable way.

My head knows I am loved by God, my heart even knew that as it comforted me through many a hard time but now I am able to carry that through to its intended end…that I roll my shoulders back, hold my head up and stand before others as someone who knows how deeply loved she is. Being loved means that I can love and being loved means I can love for the good of the other not for keeping myself safe and protected.

I have learned to stop pretending. I still do at times but that is growing less and less as I grow stronger and stronger. I don't pretend I can do everything and I ask for help. I don't pretend to have feelings I do not have. I don't pretend I want what my husband wants.

I am learning to stop lying to myself and I can do that because in these groups I have found a safe emotional place where I can be genuine without fear of being shamed.

Thank you so much!

Roby T.


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