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What's New:

  • The 2018 Conquer Conference: Be Brave, Grow Strong tickets are here. This event happening October 2018, will be amazing! You can click here for more information.
  • Leslie will be speaking on April 14th at the Arizona Christian High School - she will be speaking to the public on marriage. You can find more information here.
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Five Words That Can Change Your Life

By Leslie Vernick

This Lenten season, I've been meditating on how to make the presence of Jesus more of a reality in my everyday life. I firmly believe that if we knew that God was in us and with us, we would not be so afraid, or bored, so lonely, or lost. We would not be seeking pleasure in sinful ways, or stuffing ourselves full of food, or spending our money on more and more stuff, or looking for love in all the wrong places. Our lives would be rich and meaningful, and full of purpose and direction. Jesus told us, “I have come that they might have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10)

But truth be told, most of us, even as believers, don’t live in that reality. After Christ’s resurrection but before he left this world to ascend into heaven, he spoke five words to his followers that changed their lives. He said, “I am with you always.” (Matthew 28:20)

Let’s look at these five simple words more closely and see how they can change us too.

He said, “I am with you always.” Who exactly is making this claim? Jesus said this after his resurrection and the disciples only then starting to get the big picture. He is not just their friend, their companion, their teacher. Nor is he a religious leader or future king of Israel. Jesus proved that he is the Son of God. He was raised from the dead. He is the great I AM. He is the one who is omniscient and omnipresent. He is sovereign, he is love, and he is good. It is HE who promises that He is with us always. The disciples realized “if God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

How about you? If you knew God, the great I AM, is always Present with you, what would you fear? How would you change? What would be different in the way you live today?

Not only is Jesus declaring that the great I AM is with us, but that he IS with us, right here, right now. He doesn’t say He will be with his disciples sometime in the future, or later on in Heaven but he says “I am (present tense) with you always." If you believed that Jesus was with you right now, how would that affect the choices you make today? How would you feel differently?

Jesus told his followers that “I am with YOU always.” Every individual is important to God and “He will never leave or forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) He is at your right hand. (Psalm 16:8 ) His Presence is promised. Paul speaks of that great mystery, “Christ in us”. (Colossians 1,2) The reality of that promise is not the biggest problem in our spiritual journey.

Our biggest problem is that we are not aware of his Presence. Do you remember in the Old Testament Jacob that had a dream where he heard the Lord promising that he was with him and would protect him? After he awoke from his sleep he said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it.” (Genesis 28:16)

How about you? If we only could only see (be aware) that the great “I AM is with US”, it would make all the difference in how we feel, what we choose, and how we go about our day. Our step would be lighter and our eyes brighter because we would not only be looking at our day from our own vantage point, but we’d also have the eyes of God who gives each of us a wide angle lens on things. He infuses meaning and purpose into traffic jams and spilled milk, job losses and relationship pain.

Jesus said, “I am with you ALWAYS. Not sometimes, not only when you’re listening to him, not only when you’re good and faithful, but ALWAYS. ALWAYS. ALWAYS. He said he is with us when we’re sleeping and when we’re awake. When we’re in church and when we’re watching something we shouldn’t. He is with us when we are loving on our children and when we’re screaming at our spouse. He is with us in our success and in our failure.

Friends, my prayer is that we would learn to be more aware that HE is PRESENT ALWAYS. Knowing God’s Presence changes the way we respond to difficult and stressful life situations. We would not get so angry or aggravated. We would not feel so alone or rejected. We would experience peace, not chronic anxiety and worry. We would feel joy instead of emptiness. We would be filled with hope instead of despair.

Sarah Young, the author of Jesus Calling wrote, “A renewed mind is Presence-focused.” I like what she said. Start today. Remember, you are not alone or helpless. God is with you always. Let your mind dwell on and heart be filled with this truth. If you do, I promise, it will change you.

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Discovering Hope in the Psalms

By Pam Farrel and Jean E. Jones

Explore God's Word on a deeper level and engage with his truth in fresh ways! This study of 10 psalms of hope invites you to discover the incredible design and purpose of inspired Hebrew poetry. Perfect for group discussion or personal reflection, Discovering Hope in the Psalms offers compelling teachings, motivating devotions, and plenty of creative options for interacting with the psalms—including beautiful artwork to color. This discovery book will show you how to...

  • rejoice in God's mercy when sin knocks you down
  • request help with hope when troubles surround
  • respond with thanksgiving for each answered prayer

Immerse your mind, heart, and soul in the hope flowing through the psalms.

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

The winners of Cherish: The One Word That Changes Everything for Your Marriage by Gary Thomas are Terry G and Melissa C.

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Upcoming Events


April 14, 2018
Gilbert, Arizona
For more information please click here

April 21st, 2018
General Conference
Indianapolis, Indiana
For more information please click here

May 4-5, 2018
Grace Fellowship Church
York, Pennsylvania
For more information please click here.


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


Our Marriage is Getting Worse

Question: I’ve been married for 25 years and our relationship is becoming increasingly toxic. My husband and I fight frequently about everything, from our young adult children to finances. My husband is a Christian with many good qualities and is never physically abusive, but our relationship has become destructive because we cannot communicate.

There are two predominant patterns: when we argue, he will go silent, sometimes for days. I almost always break the ice by trying to initiate conversation and even then at the risk of another blow-up. He occasionally apologizes, but rarely with any real sense of sorrow. The other pattern is that when I bring up a concern about something he has done – or not done – (I’m careful to use “I” messages and speak calmly), he becomes extremely defensive, gets loud and turns the tables – attacking me as a person (accusing me of being selfish, immature, negative, miserable, a chronic complainer and on and on). So if I raise a concern about his actions, he attacks me as a person.

Also, if I confess something about myself that I’m not proud of (for example, being jealous of a friend), he quotes Bible verses at me and then uses my confession against me in future arguments. So I’m not inclined to share much anymore.

I’ve suggested counseling on numerous occasions and his reaction is visceral – doesn’t want to go because he’s “not a big believer in counseling.” He has suggested we try to do things on our own like take a trip or go through a book and pray together now and then, but will not seek help from a third party. He also says he has “given up trying to change me.”

His most recent outburst/accusations were withering, and I’m so depressed I’ve spent much of the last two days in bed.(I’ve had ongoing struggles with depression/anxiety and much of it is related to my marriage). I don’t want to leave, but I’m not sure how much longer I can handle the fighting and the personal attacks. When we’re not arguing, he’s a very jovial person, but we’re never far away from the next fight. I’m walking on eggshells, and always wondering what mental notes/criticisms he is making about me for use in the next argument. Please help! Thank you.

Answer: There is a lot going on with your question, but I have a few questions of my own to clarify things. You say that your marriage is growing increasingly destructive. What’s different now or in the last few years that was not present earlier in your marriage when it wasn’t as contentious or destructive?

What Are People Saying About Leslie's Introduction to Core Strength Class?

I've been married 19 years and I have 2 children. I grew up in an abusive home so I went from an abusive childhood to an abusive marriage.

Before taking Intro to CORE Strength, my biggest hesitation was just thinking outside this religious box he had put me in and realizing there was more to this life as a woman then being this man's footstool. I wanted to join because I was so unhappy and felt deep down there was a better way that God would want for me.

My biggest take away is that I'm important and just because I'm married doesn't give him the right to treat me like a slave. God cares more about me than if I'm married, divorce, or separated. He wants me to do what he has called me to do and it's not walking on eggshells.

I learned to handle myself and stay in CORE. I've been angry for years over the way I've been treated. Now I'm able to realize it's okay to be angry but how I handle myself like a woman who matters.

I lived in so much denial and created so many excuses for my husband. Living in truth has helped me to see what is happening right here. It was painful, but in that pain, there is hope and freedom that I can overcome it, because it's going to be okay. I value myself more than ever.

I wish I had a time machine that could take me back in time so I could understand CORE before getting married.

- Sarah C.

LESLIE WELCOMES YOUR QUESTIONS

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.

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