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What's New:

  • Happy New Year! I will be doing several FB lives in a few weeks to get us going strong on a great new year and decade. Stay tuned

What Story Will This New Year Tell?

By Leslie Vernick

Have you ever read a book or watched a movie and hated the ending? A story where the bad guy won and outsmarted the good guy? Or the person who was supposed to grow and become the hero, gave up, or went back home defeated and discouraged?

That almost happened in the movie Ground Hog Day.

Bill Murray’s character woke up to the same day over and over again. At first, he thought this was great. I can eat what I want, drink as much as I want and have all the women I want with no consequences.

But as he lived his life day after day, he began to hate the shallowness and self-centeredness of his own life story. It was boring. It was deforming. He needed to change and, had he not, the ending of the movie would have been disappointing.

In contrast, people loved the movie Frozen, the Disney film about two sisters. One who lived from her virtues of kindness and sacrificial love. The other who lived out of her feelings of insecurity and anger. Had Anna stayed dead and Elsa frozen, the movie would have flopped and there would have been no sequel. But that’s not how it ended. Anna lived and Elsa was freed from her anger.

But Hollywood isn’t the best story teller, God is.

In the Biblical narrative of Joseph, I wonder how different the story would have ended if Joseph became angry or bitter after his brother’s sold him into slavery and Potiphar’s wife falsely accused him of sexual abuse? (See Genesis 37-47)

Or what if Queen Esther had cowered in fear and stayed passive because of Haman’s evil plot to kill the Jews? What if she was just too afraid to go into the King, or thought her place as a good wife was to stay silent and submit to her husband’s decisions? (See the book of Esther)

Esther’s story would have changed for sure, but like Joseph’s story, Esther’s story impacted so many other people’s story. As does yours.

As you enter into this New Year of 2020, this new decade in history, let me ask you a question? How’s your personal story going?

Maybe you don’t recognize that God has given you an opportunity to co-partner with Him in writing your story within HIS larger story. Like Joseph and Esther, Abigail, Daniel, Moses, Deborah, and Mary, the mother of Jesus. These were real people, facing real life challenges and struggles, just like you and me.

God allowed some of them to be in horrible life circumstances, but they still recognized that they had choices about how they were going to live out those circumstances. And their choices made all the difference in how their story played out. History bears witness to their impact on future generations.

Sometimes when you or I are in the midst of difficult or unfair life circumstances, we lose our way. We abdicate our personal power and allow the situation to decide the ending of our story. Instead of allowing God to build the virtues he wants us to develop to accomplish his purposes. we let life circumstances and our emotions determine the outcome of our story (See 2 Peter 1:3-10).

During this past Christmas, I thought of Joseph, Mary’s fiancé. Joseph had a choice on how his own story would play out when he found Mary was pregnant. He chose to act virtuously even though he must have felt confused, even betrayed. He didn’t understand everything about what was going on. Yet he embraced his situation by faith and cooperated with God. That mindset gave him the strength to write his part of the story differently than he would have had he written it out of his painful or perplexed feelings.

You too can create a different ending to your life story.


Rely on God’s love for you. He may have allowed tough circumstances in your life. Situations that you would never volunteer for. Understand, he always has a bigger purpose than you can see right now.

Embrace God’s sovereignty and cooperate with his plan to mature you through it. Doing so will empower you to write a new chapter to your life story in 2020.

Like Joseph, Esther, Joseph, and myriads of other Biblical characters, will you decide to trust God and embrace that you have a choice on how you write your part of the story? You don’t always get to change the setting or the other characters, but you have a huge role in how you live out your part within that setting.

Don’t let another year go by allowing your life story to be written by default. Instead decide. How do you want to live your precious life, even in the midst of hard?


Jesus Every Day: A Journey Through the Bible in One Year

by Mary E. DeMuth

Trying to juggle all your worries and burdens alone? As the challenges of everyday life threaten to continually distract you, your conversations with God can start to feel threadbare—too rushed to touch on the real issues that crowd your heart.

Rediscover your compassionate Savior with this collection of daily heart-provoking prayers and accompanying Scriptures from author and speaker Mary DeMuth. Each reading will awaken your tired soul, prompt new ways to encounter Jesus, and inaugurate the kind of authentic conversation you've always yearned to have with Him.

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 winner of “The Emotionally Destructive Marriage” by Leslie Vernick are Diane B. and Barbara C.



Upcoming Events

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

March 26th and 27th 2020
Dallas, Texas

Lessons on a Hike

I’ve always wanted to hike. I walk but it’s not the same as hiking. I did a little bit a few years ago when speaking in Colorado and last year in Tennessee when visiting a friend. I loved it and I know there are great hiking trails here in Arizona, but I just never got around to going.

A new friend of mine invited me on a hike a few weeks ago, and I made the time. It was pretty easy and lots of fun. Last week we went on an early morning sunrise hike. The Arizona sky is one of the prettiest I’ve ever seen, both AM with sunrise and PM with sunset. The colors are spectacular and it’s worth getting up early just to witness it.

But this weekend I went on the hike of my life. I and two women from my Conquer group decided to hike Camelback Mountain. Now if you don’t know anything about this mountain in Scottsdale, AZ you can learn more here.

Camelback Mountain has two sides and both are not for the faint of heart. Honestly, I didn’t know if I could physically or mentally do it. I’m scared of heights. I’m not an athlete. I’m out of shape. I’m not that strong. I’m getting older.

My son hiked it several years ago and told me it was the hardest physical thing he ever did and he’s strong. The other two women were much younger than I am and I didn’t want to hold them back if I got scared and backed out halfway up. And I didn’t want to freak out in front of them. Yes, I too have a lot of negative stories in my head that limit what I think I can do.

But I did it. We hiked up the Echo canon trailside and hiked down the Cholla Trailside. At the top, we met Camelback Santa and basked in our newfound strength. A few years back I ran a half marathon, but I had months to train for it. The run was hard but not scary hard like this challenge was. And during the hike, God taught me three profound lessons about life that I’m carrying into this New Year and I’d like to share them with you.

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

“I loved hearing the words that CONFIRM what I have been going thru for so long is WRONG, WRONG,WRONG.. And the courage to bravely reach out to other women being kept in the darkness. When I asked the Lord to show me how He saw me, I closed my eyes and immediately saw a small white daisy with light purple edges. I saw its petals opening. I know I am that flower opening, blossoming, with newfound courage into the woman I really am. Thank you!”

~Intro to CORE Strength Participant


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