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“Against the flesh, the traitor within, a warrior uses discipline. We have a two-dimensional version of this now, which we call a ‘quiet time.’ But most [people] have a hard time sustaining any sort of devotional life because it has no vital connection to recovering and protecting their strength; it feels about as important as flossing.

“But if you saw your life as a great battle and you knew you needed time with God for your very survival, you would do it.” ~ John Eldredge

I’ve been doing a quiet time* pretty much every day since I was 16. I’ve got stacks as tall as I am of journals and Bible study notebooks I have filled. The Bibles I’ve used over the years each look like a graffiti war zone of ink colors and highlighters and notes in the margins. I’ve got a bookcase full of study tools (now made irrelevant by the internet), and files full of study methods, prayer methods, journal methods. I’m all about the methods. I’ve even published books on methods for studying specific parts of the Bible.

For the most part, this daily practice has been good for me. As far as it goes.

But it doesn’t go far enough. In fact, it never really has.

This is especially true if you’re a faith leader.

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I’m excited to welcome Jenn Peppers to the blog today. Aside from being one of my closest friends, Jenn is a terrific leadership & business coach, and is the co-author (along with Tara Miller) of the insightful yet practical book Finding the Flow: A Guide for Leading Small Groups and Gatherings. You can find out more about Jenn’s life and work by visiting her site at

So, it’s easier for me to talk about this topic if I share a quick personal story first. When I was in my mid-30s a series of things happened that led me to have a season of performance anxiety. One of the worst attacks happened the night before I was planning to run a 5K. I did not sleep that night and never ran the 5K, but I did realize something important: my sense of self-worth was extremely closely tied to how well I performed.

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“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” ~ Catherine of Siena

(This post is part 3 of a series. Read parts 1 and 2 here and here.)

So what if you suspect you are living the wrong story? How do you change your Defining Narrative?

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