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What's New:

  • Save The Date: I will be doing a special free training on Monday, October 7th. Details will come soon but I wanted to give a heads up. Mark your calendars!

  • New Videos: I am releasing some new short FB teachings on my professional FB page. If you want to know more about how to handle destructive relationships check it out here.

Discovering Joy

By Karla Dornacher

Looking for more joy in your life? Giving thanks may be the transformational tool God wants to use in your life to help you discover the joy you’ve been missing out on.

As an artist, I understand the concept of transformation well. My studio is filled with paint and brushes… colorful markers, pencils, and pens… everything I need to transform a blank canvas into a work of art… but if I don't pick them up… if I don't dip the brush in the paint… nothing happens. There is no new creation or transformation. I can't make something out of nothing without first picking up the brush or the pen and having some sense of expectation that something wonderful will happen when I do.

I was a young adult when I came to know Christ and began to understand His desire and power to transform my life. My very first Bible study opened my eyes to see God's creativity from the beginning of time and I was thrilled to learn that He wanted to continue His creative work in me and through me. It was like walking into heaven's art studio and having God hand me the brushes of His Spirit and His Word… truths that had the power to transform and create my life anew… truths that had the potential to change my life from one of chronic depression, anger, and self-pity into a life of love, joy, and peace. But… I also learned that I had to pick up these truths much like a paintbrush, dip them in the well of faith, and surrender the canvas of my life to Him in order to see the transformation take place.

That new believer Bible study was about the five elements of prayer: praise, thanksgiving, confession, petition, and intercession. As I grew in my knowledge of God, I was in awe of who He is, and had no problem picking up the brush of praise. But picking up the brush of thanksgiving was a little more challenging. The study was written for women and it suggested we give thanks for our husbands. Now I must confess that in those days I wasn't accustomed to giving thanks for much of anything… especially not for my husband. But because I was so desirous of pleasing God and being obedient to His Word, I knew I had to try. So I prayed and asked God to show me something… anything… to be thankful for in this man. (In case you hadn't guessed, our marriage was not exactly a happy one at the time!) But God is faithful and He heard and answered my feeble prayer.

I can still remember starting off thanking God for what I called the positives of the negatives… things like thank You God that he doesn't stop on the way home from work and get drunk like some of his co-workers and thank you God that He doesn't beat me or physically abuse me. And then it gradually turned into… thank You Lord that He gets up every morning and works a hard labor job in order to support us… and thank You that he chops the firewood so we can stay warm in the winter.

Over a matter of weeks of daily, out of obedience, thanking God for my husband an amazing thing happened. I actually became thankful for my husband… and my attitude toward him began to change. And then an even more amazing thing happened. Because my attitude toward him was changing, his attitude toward me began to change as well. Over the next few weeks and months I witnessed the incredibly creative power and saving grace of God at work in my heart, my life and in my marriage.

Giving thanks is just one of the joy builders and potential life-changers that you’ll find in Discovering Joy in Philippians… A Creative Bible Study Experience. But this one holds a special place in my heart and always reminds me of what God did to save our marriage more than 48 years ago.

God is faithful to His Word and He promises to transform our lives through the renewing of our minds but, just like any earthly creative endeavor we might pursue, we have to do our part. We have to make the choice to pick up the brush and dip it in the paint or pull out the thread and make that first stitch or dig the hole in order to plant the flower.

My hope today is that you will pick up the brush of thanksgiving and paint with confidence, trusting that the Lord will continue the work He has begun in you. (Phil 1:6) You are His masterpiece and He's not finished with you yet.


Discovering Joy in Philippians: A Creative Devotional Study Experience

by Pam Farrel (Author), Jean E. Jones (Author), Karla Dornacher (Artist)

If difficult days have ever left you discouraged, this interactive 11-week journey will help you engage creatively with God’s Word and establish habits that lead to greater joy and peace. Refresh your delight in the Lord through:

Daily Lessons with an introduction and key questions for each chapter to help you dive deeper into the heart of Scripture and incorporate it into your life with joy builder activities

Choosing Joy Devotions and inspirational quotes to stir hope even in difficult times as you learn to trust God’s faithfulness and rest in his strength no matter what circumstance you find yourself in

Creative Connections including bookmarks and coloring pages that provide an outlet to knit your heart to God and explore your faith through artistic expression

“…that your joy may be full.” John 15:11

This unique discovery book includes ideas for group studies, verse-inspired artwork to color, fascinating details about the Bible, and online connections and communities so you can build up your joy and build up others!

Two winners will be selected in our next newsletter (giveaway only available to U.S. residents)

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

The winners of “The Emotionally Destructive Marriage: How To Find Your Voice And Reclaim Your Hope” by Leslie Vernick are Sunshine H. and Andrea K.


Upcoming Events

October 3rd
The Evening of Stories 2019
Spokane Convention Center https://genesisinstitute.org/

October 4th and 5th
RLS Convention
Dallas, TX

October 9th – 11th
AACC Annual Conference
Nashville, TN

October 25th and 26th
Maranatha Bible Church
Akron, OH

November 2nd
Hawthorne Gospel Church
Hawthorne, New Jersey

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

I Have No Idea Who I Am. I'm Lost. Help!

Question: I have been married for 31 years to a wonderful man who has committed adultery at least 3 times, but we are still together. When I say he is a wonderful man, I am not being sarcastic. My husband is well liked by many people. He has one of those vibrant personalities.

I, on the other hand, am much quieter and reserved and do not like to be the center of attention. I am struggling with my choices. I feel stuck and angry and just want to feel like I have some power in this relationship. I think one of the problems is my husband has certain athletic activities that fuel him and define him. I will say I’d rather you not participate in this event, but he feels like I am holding him back from who he is. When I say it seems to be all about you and has for most of our married life, he says, what do you want to do, what are your goals, etc. And I can’t think of any.

It’s like I have been swallowed up into his life and I don’t even know who I am and what I want, so naturally, he gets to do what he wants because I can’t think of anything. So he moves on with his life, while I stay stuck and then I feel resentment toward him. I need help.

Answer: My heart broke as I read your question. It’s so sad to me that you have lost yourself in your marriage and that you describe your wonderful husband in terms of personality type rather than character traits. In fact, the one character trait you did share was he seemed rather selfish. “It’s all about him” were your words.

Adultery three times…that you know of…. and you’re still together because…..? You didn’t say why but I hope it’s because he’s genuinely repented, he loves you and you love him. And he’s doing the work he needs to do to figure out why he betrayed your trust and his vows and you are working together to rebuild trust.

But since you don’t say, my guess is that deeper healing is not happening. Meanwhile, you feel stuck and angry and want to have some mutual power in this marriage. When you ask him not to participate in athletic activities, he tells you that you are holding him back.

Here is What People are Saying About Leslie's Conquer Support Group.

I can't thank you guys enough for all this ministry has given me. I have finally escaped my abusive husband after many attempts and empty promises of change. I don't think I could have ever had the strength and courage to do it without Leslie and the Conquer program. Thank you again for all you do and please extend my heartfelt gratitude to Leslie as well.

~Dana Lee.


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.