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May 14, 2014



What's New?

  • CORE Focus Group: Registration will be opening soon for a CORE Focus Group taking place Wednesday, May 21st and Wednesday, June 4th from 8:30pm to 10:00pm EST. Keep an eye out for that email! This group fills up quickly!
  • New Group Coaching Starting Soon: Moving Beyond People Pleasing: Learning to Speak up and Set Boundaries. If you are interested in this group, please visit this link and submit your name and email address to be notified as details are finalized.           
  

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Learning to Pass God's Test


I was baking cupcakes with my granddaughters recently when we got stuck.  We needed to figure out how to divide two thirds of a cup in half.  I turned to my daughter and she instantly shot me back one of those looks and said, “Mom, don’t ask me, you know I hated fractions.”

I knew her shame.  Math was never my strong suit in school, especially those tricky word problems.  No matter how much I thought I understood specific concepts, working them out in the practical applications presented by word problems was a different story.  Those word problems revealed what I didn’t know or couldn’t apply.

As Christians, many of us know a great deal about the things of God.  We have read our Bible and many other good books about living the Christian life.  Yet when we try to put those biblical concepts into practice we stumble.  Like my trouble with measuring the ingredients for cupcakes, what we find that we know on one level we can’t necessarily apply on another.

James 1:12 says that when we have passed the test God gives us, we will receive the crown of life.  What is the test? I find it often comes in the daily troubles and trials in life that expose the realness of my faith.

For many of us, the big trials of life such as being diagnosed with cancer, or the loss of our marriage shakes us to the core and we know we must trust God.  But the every day kinds of tests God allows in our lives may reveal something far different.

For example, what happens to you when you get stuck in traffic on your way to the airport and miss your flight for vacation?  What happens in you and to you when your teenager gives you a smart response, or you can’t find your keys and you’re already late for work, or your dinner gets burned and your dinner guests are knocking at the door?   Just today I started to fall apart because my automatic bill paying process submitted my payments twice and I didn’t know how to cancel it.

These moments of testing reveal whether we are applying the things we say we believe to the real life troubles that come our way.  Is God good?  Can we trust Him?  Is there a bigger picture here even if we can’t find it?

When we pay attention to how we respond or react during these testing moments, we will also see areas of weakness in our flesh and our faith. And we’ll also have a clearer idea of the things God wants us to work on and change (for our good).

Take some time to pay attention to these three areas when you are in the middle of a “test”:

Your Feelings:  The next time life throws you a curve ball, pay attention to the emotions you feel in the midst of it.  You may begin to see a pattern in your emotional responses to life’s trials.  Do you typically respond with irritation, frustration and anger?  Or perhaps you feel more anxious, worried, nervous, or scared in the mist of your trials.  Either way, your feelings are telling you something about what’s going on in your heart.  Pay attention.

Your Thoughts:  God says our thought life is important.  Our thoughts act as a filter or lens by which we view the world and make sense of our circumstances.  If you haven’t realized it by now, you talk to yourself and the way you talk to yourself  will determine whether you pass or fail God’s test.   Do you speak only your “truth” or does God’s truth shine forth in the midst of your test?

The apostle Paul speaks honestly of his temporal pain (feelings) when in the midst of suffering.  He says he is hard pressed on every side, perplexed, persecuted and struck down.  Yet, he did not become crushed, despairing, abandoned or destroyed.  Why not?  Because he learned to firmly fix the eternal perspective on his spiritual eyes.  He says, “Therefore we do not lose heart. …So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:8-18).

Paul never minimized the pain of the temporal, yet discouragement didn’t win because he knew that God’s purposes were at work. (See Philippians 1:12-14 for another example).

Your Actions:  Our decision-maker (will) is an amazingly powerful gift from God.  Did you know that even when our feelings are contrary, we can still choose to trust God and do his will?  

Jesus showed us how do pass the test in the Garden of Gethsemane.  He didn’t feel like going to the cross. He wanted there to be some other way of saving humankind. Yet, in the end, he submitted his will to God and he said, “not my will but yours be done.”

Submission to God in the moment of negative emotions may feel like hypocrisy but in reality, it’s obedience.  Job said, “Though he slay me, I will trust him.”  (Job 13:15).  Trusting God in the midst of negative emotions is not hypocrisy but obedience, which pleases and glorifies God.

Life is hard, people disappoint and hurt us and we don’t always understand God or his ways. The prophet Nahum talks about a day of trouble and reminds us “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, he knows those who trust in him.” (Nahum 1:7)

Friends, how do you need to trust God today in the middle of your real life, even when your negative thoughts and feelings are screaming “just give up?”

P.S. I want to warmly welcome ALL new subscribers who have joined our community since last month! You are going to love the resources you find to help you grow. I'm thrilled to have you here!

P.P.S. Don't keep this to yourself! Forward this newsletter to your friends and colleagues or send them to www.leslievernick.com so they can register for themselves.

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Leslie Answers Your Questions


My Husband Is Willing To Go To Counseling, But How Does That Work?

Question:  In the past, we had a few different marriage counselors who did not have experience in abuse situations. This morning, I was calling a few different ones – asking for specialty in verbal / emotional abuse.

Praise God I found one who has seen your videos. I hope the counseling will work for my individual counseling.

My husband said he will go to a counselor. Do you suggest that we go to the same person at different times during the week or should he go to another counselor?

I heard you say in your video that these are Evidences of the fruit of the repentance.

1. Accept full responsibility. No blaming and be responsible
2. Recognize and have compassion for the hurt and pain that he caused
3. Accept the consequence of sin – without excuse, demands
4. Make Amends for damage caused
5. Show that he has grown in a healthy relationship

When the above steps are in place, am I the one to say I feel we are ready to have marriage counseling together or the counselor or both?

Is it best to have us come together at that point, my husband with his counselor and me with mine?

Read More >>

Add your (or view other) comments to Leslie's answer to this question by clicking the link below.

www.leslievernick.com/blog/

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IN THIS ISSUE

ARTICLE

Learning to Pass God's Test

 

COACHING
Coaching Spots Available

 

WHAT'S NEW

Take a look at the upcoming events to watch for from Leslie.

 

BOOK GIVEAWAY

Invisible: A Novel by Ginny L. Yttrup. Plus see the winners of the previous giveaway!

 

LESLIE ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS

My Husband Is Willing To Go To Counseling, But How Does That Work?

COACHING INFORMATION

For more information on Leslie's coaching program, please click below.

Coaching Programs

BOOK GIVEAWAY

HERE ARE THE DETAILS FOR THIS WEEK'S GIVEAWAY:

Invisible: A Novel

by Ginny L. Yttrup 


Ellyn DeMoss -- chef, café owner, and lover of butter -- is hiding behind her extra weight. But what is she hiding? While Ellyn sees the good in others, she has only condemnation for herself. So when a handsome widower claims he’s attracted to Ellyn, she’s certain there’s something wrong with him.
 
Sabina Jackson -- tall, slender, and exotic -- left her husband, young adult daughters, and a thriving counseling practice to spend a year in Northern California where she says she’s come to heal. But it seems to Ellyn that Sabina’s doing more hiding than healing. What’s she hiding from? Is it God?
 
Twila Boaz has come out of hiding and is working to gain back the pounds she lost when her only goal was to disappear. When her eating disorder is triggered again, though she longs to hide, she instead follows God and fights for her own survival. But will she succeed?
 
As these women’s lives intertwine, their eyes open to the glory within each of them as they begin to recognize themselves as being created in God’s image.

To win, please use this form to submit your name and email address by midnight on Sunday, May 25th.

The winners of The Emotionally Destructive Marriage (2 DVD set): Counseling Strategies that Work for the Emotionally Destructive Marriage & The Five Common Mistakes People Helpers Make
are: Sandra S. and Lynn F.

UPCOMING EVENTS

May 16-17 Women's Conference with Pennsville Baptist Church. Mt Pleasant, PA

Invite Leslie to speak at one of your events.
Call us at 1-610-298-2842
leslie@leslievernick.com or
visit www.leslievernick.com

 

HERE'S WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT LESLIE'S SPEAKING...

"Leslie Vernick helped me gain perspective of my situation.  Although I came from a great family, I am educated, and in a leadership type profession, I began to believe over the many years that I was an awful person or just plain crazy.  In many interactions with my husband, I would walk away feeling confused, bad, sad, mad, guilty and crazy.  Leslie helped me to see where there is truth.  I also brought up other personal challenges I was going through and due to experiences in my marriage, I expected to be judged or criticized.  Instead, she was very supportive and non-judgmental and in turn helped me to not be so judgmental on myself.  She has helped me through a very dark place in my life and I’m very grateful!"

— Cheryl K., Phoenix, AZ

LESLIE WELCOMES YOUR QUESTIONS

Leslie wants to help you grow in your personal and relational effectiveness. Send your questions about dealing with difficult people, stress, or relationship issues to:

Leslie@LeslieVernick.com

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.