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Passion and Fire

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Passion and Fire

It is so easy to lose our zeal for life.  Too get lulled into a sense of complacency.   My tendency is to want to isolate and hide from the world.  To play it safe, shut my blinds and get lost in a book or just have some chill time. 

It will go in spurts.  I will be all fired up and ready to take on the world and then something happens and I just lose all of my steam.  Does that resonate with you? 

I want to live my every day with passion and fire.  Actually, I want to live every moment of my life with passion and fire.  I often ask myself if that is possible?  I don’t know, but I do know not living that way sucks the soul right out of us.  That lack of energy, lack of purpose and just trying to survive the day. 

FULL BEAT DOWN MODE

I was in full beat down mode earlier this week.  I don’t know if was coming down after a weekend adventure in the mountains or it was an extreme case of allergies.  All I know is it took every ounce of energy just to get out of bed. 

I am normally a get out of bed between 3:45 and 4:30am kind of a guy, but it took every ounce of energy and courage to drag my 1000 pound feeling body out of my warm comfy bed.   The brain fog was real. 

I know it’s really hard to have any sense of joy when we are feeling that way.  Fortunately for me, it was short lived.  By Thursday, I was back to feeling energized and alive. 

But for some of you, you are stuck in that state of living a passionless life.  Believe me I get it.  I was there too for many years of my life. 

LIVING IN QUIET DESPERATION

I was stuck in a job that was unfulfilling and in a hopeless marriage that emasculated me.  I had no idea who I was or what my purpose was in my life.  I was living in quiet desperation instead of living with passion and fire. 

I finally got the courage to get out of a marriage that I had been fighting so hard to save to no avail.  I had lost the battle of keeping my family together, but I knew I couldn’t go on living the way I was living, broken and hopeless.   There was at least a glimmer of hope when I got out from underneath being alone and isolated in a broken marriage. 

My next step of courage came when I left the comfort of the pharmaceutical industry to start my own fitness ministry.   To give up a six-figure job, company car, 401k and all of the perks that when along with this cushy job wasn’t easy, but I knew in my heart and soul that God was calling me to something different.  It took me two years to take that leap of faith and start my own business that I had been dreaming about since I was twenty five years old. 

I would love to tell you it has been all sunshine and rainbows since moving to Colorado from Florida, but it hasn’t been.  But I wouldn’t trade the adventure for anything.   There have been financial challenges with starting my own business, a heart break or two along the way along with trying to find a new church and new friends. 

LIVE WITH PURPOSE

There have been two things in my life that I want to share with you that has helped me live a life of passion and fire.

The first is that I am living my purpose.  Each and every day I know I am living out on a daily basis what God has called me to do.    God has called me to be revolutionary in helping people integrate faith and fitness into their lives.   He has also called me to be a spiritual warrior and lead other men into their spiritual warriorship.   That is an amazing feeling.  That helps me live with passion and fire. 

The second thing that is helping me live with passion and fire is that I make sure that I am incorporating outdoor adventure and physical challenges into my life.  Last year my big challenge was the Triple Bypass bike ride which was 120 miles over three mountain passes and ten thousand feet of elevation gain.    This big hairy audacious goal excited me and scared me at the same time. 

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My out of my comfort zone goal for this year is a series of gravel bike races.  I did one already in February and I plan on doing four more throughout the summer. 

I believe we all need to be challenged physically otherwise we get soft and complacent.  We need to do things that get us out of our comfort zone physically, so we are challenged mentally and spiritually.  With all of my clients I challenge them to come up with a BHAG as coined by Jim Collins.  A big hairy audacious goal. 

It has to be something you aren’t sure if you can do it.   Something where you risk “failure” and you have to train your butt off to complete it. 

When I was training for the Triple Bypass I was up every Saturday morning by 5am and out the door by 6am so I could spend six to eight hours on my bike.  I wanted to give myself the best chance to complete the Triple Bypass and I am proud to say I felt strong and completed the ride with energy to spare.

So have you lost your passion and fire for life?  Are you bored and living a life of complacency?  Have you gotten soft mentally? 

WHAT’S YOUR BHAG?

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If you answered yes to any of those questions it’s time to get your butt off the couch and quit living life vicariously through others.  Start living your mission.   Start challenging yourself physically, mentally and spiritually.   Come up with a BHAG.  Start living your life with passion and fire every moment of every day

My mission is to build a tribe of spiritual warriors who are willing to get out of their comfort zone to fight and serve our families, our communities and churches.   We need to rise and up and be spiritual warriors.   We need to train ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually each and every day.  

Will you join me in living with passion and fire for the betterment of humanity?

Troy Ismir

Spiritual Warrior Coach

 

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Rise Up to the Murph Challenge

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Rise Up to the Murph Challenge

When was the last time you got out of your comfort zone?  When was the last time you pushed your physical limits beyond what you thought you were capable of?  When was the last time you have felt fully alive?

In this day and age it’s easy for us to get soft.  We have 200 channels on the TV to choose from.  We have fast food restaurants on every corner.   We have phones that keep us connected to the world 24/7.

I don’t know about you, but I am about over it.  

As part of my fitness ministry I challenge men and women to get out of their comfort zone.  To push beyond what they think they are capable of.  To choose a goal that both scares the living daylights out of them and excites them at the same time. 

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As part of my spiritual warrior training I have learned to embrace physical and mental suffering as part of a journey of self-discovery and spiritual growth that makes me feel fully alive.

I believe when we don’t challenge ourselves physically we get lost in quiet desperation and complacency.  We need to rise up, take on physical challenges for the greater purpose of bettering ourselves so we can make a bigger impact with humanity.

So are you ready to reclaim your inner warrior?  Are you ready to get out of your comfort zone and put yourself in a position of being uncomfortable and risking “failure”?

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I have just the challenge for you.  It’s called the Murph Challenge in honor of LT Michael P Murphy who was a United States Navy SEAL officer who lost his life in the War in Afghanistan.   If you haven’t seen the movie the Lone Survivor, I highly recommend you watch it as soon as you can.  If you aren’t inspired after watching that movie you better do a pulse check. 

The Murph Challenge is more than just a workout, it is a tradition that helps push us, humble us, and dedicate a bit of pain and sweat to honor a man, LT Michael P Murphy, who gave everything he had. 

The Murph Challenge consists of:

·         1 mile run

·         100 pull-ups

·         200 push-ups

·         300 squats

·         1 mile run

In a 20 pound vest or Body Armor

You will be challenged to push your limits physically, mentally and spiritually.   What a better way to reclaim your inner warrior and get out of your comfort zone. 

Let’s rise up and honor this fallen soldier and everyone who has sacrificed their life for our freedom.  This is the least we can do. 

Start training today.  I don’t care if you can’t do one pull-up right now.  It’s all about the spirit of competition and bettering ourselves.  It’s amazing what we can do in two months when we are committed. 

If you live in Fort Collins, Colorado we will be an official host site at The Body.   Please contact me at troy@troyismir.com if you want to sign up.    The official Murph Challenge will be held on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27th. 

If you live outside of the Northern Colorado area, I want to encourage you to find another gym in your area or just do it on your own. 

Let’s bust through the status quo and train ourselves like the warriors we are.  Say good-bye to being soft and complacent.  Let’s better ourselves for the betterment of humanity.

My mission is to build a social movement of men who are reclaiming their inner warrior through fitness challenges and physical adventure for the betterment of humanity. 

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior

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Life Change Happens at the Dinner Table

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Life Change Happens at the Dinner Table

In 2017, former US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy identified the most common threat to public health that he had witnessed:  not heart disease, diabetes, or cancer-but loneliness.  Isolation and lack of social connections, he wrote in Harvard Business Review, “are associated with a reduction in lifespan similar to that caused by smoking fifteen cigarettes a day and even greater than that associated with obesity.  Loneliness is also associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia, depression, and anxiety.” 

Men are even more affected by this loneliness epidemic which is most often accompanied with the feelings of depression and despair. 

In my own personal life I have felt that feeling of quiet desperation.   That feeling of extreme loneliness and isolation.  It is a hopeless feeling that can lead to a path of soul killing destruction. 

Thankfully, God brought two men into my life at just the right time to help me get out of that state of quiet desperation. 

One of the main reasons that men often times live in quiet desperation is they are reluctant to show vulnerability or ask for support.  Men are less likely to seek out other men when they are struggling because they feel like it is a sign of weakness. 

In reality, asking for help is one of the most courageous things we can do.  Being vulnerable is coming from a place of strength not weakness. 

One of the biggest problems I have realized since starting my men’s ministry is that men don’t have a place where we can show up and be vulnerable.    Men do want to be transparent and share their darkest truths, but we haven’t done a great job in creating those environments. 

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As warriors we are looking for something different.    We want camaraderie and shared purpose.  We want to be shoulder to shoulder in shared experiences.  When we are shoulder to shoulder sharing something challenging or purposeful is when we develop trust and a level of openness that we as men aren’t used to. 

I lead a men’s discipleship group called Bible and Barbells out of the gym I train out of called The Body which stands for The Body of Christ.  It’s a Christian gym where I am fortunate enough to do ministry out of.  We study a Christian devotional for the first thirty minutes followed by thirty minutes of a strength training circuit. 

I have seen so much life change and relationship building through this ministry.  It has been quite astounding.  I hear men pour out their struggles around their battle with pornography, relationship struggles, feelings of inadequacy, career crisis, struggles with anger and other challenges we as men face. 

This is an environment where men care share, be vulnerable and recognize we are not alone.   It’s through this practice of being vulnerable where we draw strength to be the spiritual leaders in our families, communities and churches.    Without this shared community of strong Christian men I know we would continue to live lives of quiet desperation, depression and isolation. 

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I led my first Spiritual Warriors Unite Men’s Retreat a few weeks ago.  It was a powerful weekend where a group of men got away to reclaim our inner warrior.  Life has a way of beating us up and from time to time we need to get away and have some good quality bro time along with time to connect with God. 

One of my biggest take-aways from the weekend was that life change happens at the dinner table.  After we got finished eating we would sit around after each meal and we shared what was on our heart.  We all learned from each other. 

We tackled questions like, what does it mean to be a man in this day and age and how can we be stronger spiritual leaders?  We shared great inspirational books we have read and we all went around the table discussing what our morning rituals look like. 

I know I left the retreat a better man than when I first arrived.   There is something powerful when a group of godly men get together and share our hearts.   When we are transparent and vulnerable and willing to learn from one another. 

It is sad to me that so many men are living in quiet desperation.  Trust me, I get it, I used to be one of them.   My vision for my ministry is to help men get out of quiet desperation by being in community together.  Where we build a faith and fitness community that inspires men to be stronger spiritual leaders. 

I believe it starts with men having the courage to be vulnerable.  Finding a community of godly men who are willing to share their darkest truths and not just talk about sports.  Of course that can be a part of it, but there is so much more to life.

As men we are called to be spiritual leaders.  There is no way we can be the spiritual leaders we are called to be when we are living in isolation.  We all need a group of men where we can share our darkest truths around the dinner table.  Life change happens around the dinner table. 

I want to challenge you to be a man, reach out for support.  Get out of your quiet desperation.  It’s up to you to take action.   Find at least one friend you can be transparent with.   Find a group of godly men who will support you on your journey of becoming more like Jesus, the ultimate warrior. 

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior Coach

 

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I Am A Spiritual Warrior Coach

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I Am A Spiritual Warrior Coach

What is it about taking risks that scares us so much?  What is it about being so concerned with what people think of us?   I have been ensnared in the safety and comfort zone trap my whole life.  I have been bogged down by wanting people to like me as long as I can remember.  It’s an exhausting and soul killing way to live.  It has made me shrink back and play small out of fear of what people think about me. 

Here is my recent battle as small as it may seem, it’s a really big deal to me.   Over the course of the last year I have been developing and growing my fitness ministry.  As I dig into my work and listen to the desires God is putting on my heart, I am realizing more and more my ministry is centering on men’s discipleship.  This is where my heart feels fully alive.  This is where I feel I can make the biggest impact for the Kingdom of God. 

When people ask me what I do for a living, I have been giving them a safe answer of, “I am a personal trainer.”  Of course there is nothing wrong with being a personal trainer.  I believe helping people with their health and fitness is a very noble thing to do. 

But what I realize and what I am truly stepping into is I AM A SPIRITUAL WARRIOR COACH.  I help men to reclaim their inner warrior through physical fitness and fitness adventures for the betterment of humanity.   Fitness is merely the platform to help men become stronger spiritual leaders.  To re-learn how to be a lover and a warrior as Jesus calls us to be. 

Men in today’s culture are perceived as weak, passive or overly aggressive.   In many cases we have lost the ability to be strong spiritual leaders.  I believe God is asking me to step up and take on the role of modeling what it looks like to be a strong spiritual leader. 

If there is one regret in my life is that I was not the spiritual leader in my family as my kids were growing up.  God was not central in my life at that time and therefore it wasn’t something I modeled on a regular basis.  I was an engaged father to my kids, but it centered on athletics and school and not what it meant to be a Christ follower.

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I do know this though.  It’s never too late.  As my faith grows and I believe in myself more, I am stepping up to be the leader God is calling me to be.   A leader in my family, my church and my community.  It has not been an easy path, nor will it ever be an easy path.   As Christians we are asked to pick up our cross and follow Jesus, no matter the cost.   That has been a work in progress for me.  Sometimes my soul is on fire and there are other times I want to go back to my old easy life.

So what exactly is a spiritual warrior?  Here are the traits that I believe exudes what a true spiritual warrior made in the image of God looks like:

·         LIVES A LIFE OF ADVENTURE

·         EMBRACES UNCERTAINTY AS THE THEME OF OUR LIFE

·         GOES INTO THE UNKNOWN WITH GOD

·         LIVES A LIFE FULL OF PASSION AND COURAGE

·         IS DISCIPLINED INTERNALLY AND EXTERNALLY

·         HAS MENTAL FOCUS

·         HAS AN ATTITUDE OF PERSEVERANCE

·         TRAINS PHYSICALLY, MENTALLY AND SPIRITUALLY EVERY DAY

·         LIVES TO GLORIFY GOD IN ALL WE DO

·         WE LIVE FOR A TRANSCENDENT CAUSE GREATER THAN OURSELVES

One thing I have realized on this journey is we are all warriors in training.  We never arrive.  We are never perfect.  We will always be learning and growing.  Most importantly, we need to surround ourselves with other godly men to go on this journey with. 

That is why I AM A SPIRITUAL WARRIOR COACH.   As men, we need support, encouragement and a safe place to be vulnerable and courageous.  Too many of us are living in quiet desperation.  We are afraid to take off the body armor and show up truly as we are.  We are afraid of failing, being seen and therefore we shrink back and become passive or overly aggressive.

Men, it’s time to change that.  Your first courageous step is to reach out for help.  If you are still struggling with the same things you have been struggling with for the past months, years or maybe even decades, maybe it’s time to do something different.  Maybe it’s time to reach out to a spiritual warrior coach. 

I am seeing lives being transformed through the work God is doing in me and through me.  Be strong and courageous and most importantly take a chance on yourself.  Imagine the possibilities when you reclaim your inner warrior and live the life you are created to live.   Imagine what will happen when you get out of your quiet desperation and start to live fully alive. 

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior Coach

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Rewire Your Brain Back to Perfection

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Rewire Your Brain Back to Perfection

I want to change the world.  I want to show people what is possible when we fully step into who we are created to be.  What I have realized is I will never be able to do this with my current self-limiting beliefs.  I will never become the person God created me to be with my history of toxic thinking. 

That’s why I recently embarked on a journey of renewing my mind.  I decided I was going to put as much effort into my mental training as my physical and spiritual training.    I am learning that they all work together.  If one of those areas is under-developed we will fall short of who we are called to be and what we are called to do. 

I have been completely geeking out on quantum physics, neuroscience and epigenetics.  I am channeling my inner geek to learn as much as possible about my mind and the power that we have been given to control our thoughts and ultimately change our brain and pattern of toxic thinking. 

One of my favorite authors and neuroscientist is Dr. Caroline Leaf.  I just finished reading her book for the second time called, Switch on Your Brain:  The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health.    She has a 21 day brain detox program that I have been going through. 

One thing she said that I thought was really profound is we have the capability of rewiring our brain back to its original state.  We can rewire our brain back to perfection.  Wow!  How amazing is that. 

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One of the scriptures that really ties into that thought is 2nd Corinthians 5:17 that says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:  The old has gone, the new is here!”

We are born again when we accept Jesus as our Savior.  We have a new life in Christ.  The old Troy is gone and the new Troy is here.  But, here is the thing I am learning.  It doesn’t happen overnight.  Yes, we are saved, but our life isn’t automatically transformed.  It takes time, patience and perseverance. 

I have committed to rewiring my brain back to perfection.  To renewing my mind every single day and sometimes minute by minute if I have to.  I am meditating daily, journaling, memorizing scripture and taking every thought captive.   I am determined to get rid of toxic thinking once and for all.  Toxic thinking actually leads to brain damage. 

I am reading as much as I can to help me understand how powerful our God given mind is.  Proverbs 4:23 says, “Be careful what you think because your thoughts run your life.”  How powerful is that.   The enemy wants us to shrink back and believe his lies.  No more!  I will only believe the truth and what God says about me. 

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Ephesians 2:10 says, “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared us in advance to do.”  That is the truth.  It is up to me and you to let that sink into our hearts and actually believe it and live out our life that way. 

What toxic thoughts are you struggling with?  Imagine the possibilities in your life if you started to rewire your brain back to perfection.  If you got rid of those destructive thoughts that you believe about yourself.  It takes time, consistent effort and perseverance. I am learning it is worth every second I am investing into my thought life as I can already see the difference in my life and how I am showing up in the world.  I am ready to be that world changer that God is calling me to be. 

How about you?  Are you ready to step into being the person you are called to be?  Don’t go it alone.  I specialize in helping men reclaim their inner warrior by strengthening their mind, body and spirit.  Transformational changes happens in community.   You can reach me at troy@troyismir.com to explore what it would look like for us to do some spiritual warrior coaching together.

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior Coach

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Heart Transformation Happens in Community

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Heart Transformation Happens in Community

Is there ever a word that keeps showing up in your life over and over again?  It’s that tap on the shoulder, that voice in your head, that desire in your heart.   The word that keeps getting shown to me is community.  Which is kind of ironic as I have become a master of isolation over the course of a life time.  Isolation is my default button when I feel overwhelmed and don’t want to deal with the challenges in life.

What God is showing me is heart transformation happens in community.  Of course we need our alone time with God, I have been doing that consistently for over eight years now.   What I am learning is the importance of community.  A place to be authentic and vulnerable.  Without that component of non-judgmental accountability it will be very challenging to become the person God created us to be. 

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There are two components to heart transformation.  A relationship with Jesus is the vertical component that helps us to become more like Christ.  The horizontal component to heart transformation is our relationship with other people.  Proverbs 27:17 states, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

This played out recently on a personal level with me last week.  I lift weights once a week with a great friend.  Our workouts are as much about spiritual transformation as they are about physical transformation.  We have a relationship where we can be real and vulnerable with each other.  He spoke the truth into me and encouraged me based on some of the struggles I have shared with him over the past year.   

He showed me the love of Christ by speaking words of encouragement into my heart.  Of course I have taken this battle to God many times over, but there is something about sharing our battle with other believers that brings it home.  What I have discovered through being in community is so many of us our facing the same battles.  Why go it alone?

God recently put this strong desire on my heart to create a community for men where we can be completely real and vulnerable.   To me this is church.  It’s men showing brotherly love to each other.  Learning how to become more like Christ through scripture, prayer and shared struggles and victories.  It’s having our hearts transformed in community. 

This community is called Spiritual Warriors Unite that meets once a month at the gym I train at called The Body, which stands for the Body of Christ.  How cool is that?  Romans 12:4-5 says, “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 

We are developing a community or church at The Body that is caring for the Body of Christ.  After all the church is people.  It’s not a building or an institution.  It’s quite simply followers of Jesus serving and caring for others. 

Heart transformation happens in community, but so many people isolate themselves from community when they are hurting, depressed, struggling with sin and addiction or feel unworthy.   I totally get that as isolation has been my default for many years of my life.  I have learned the hard way that things never turn out good when we go into isolation mode. 

Here are three things I have learned to do to get out of isolation and into community for a heart transformation.

Find one or two guys you can be 100% real and vulnerable with:

This has been the biggest game changer in my life.  I have two guys in my life I can share my heart and soul with.  I know I can tell them anything and I will not be judged.  I can share my heart, my struggles and my dark side knowing that they will love me unconditionally. 

This is a rare thing especially for guys.  We talk about real matters of the heart.  We don’t try to fix each other.  We listen to each other, showing compassion and caring for one another.  If you don’t have somebody like this in your life you are missing that horizontal component of life change.  Pray and ask God to bring a brother in Christ into your life that can speak the words of truth and love into your life. 

Join a men’s Bible study: 

Being in the Word of God shoulder to shoulder with other brothers is transformative.  I recently joined a men’s Bible study at a local church.  At first I was hesitant to do so because I wanted a morning where I didn’t have to be somewhere at a certain time early in the morning. I also love my quiet time alone (there is that isolation piece shining through.)  I made myself go and it has been one of the best decisions I have made. 

The pastor is a masterful teacher of the Word.  The insights I have gained in a few short weeks has already transformed my heart.  I have also developed friendships with other men I never would have had the chance to know on a personal level.  Take a chance and join a men’s Bible study. It will transform you heart.

Be a spiritual mentor to someone else:  

As followers of Jesus we are called to love and serve others.  We are not meant to keep our faith to ourselves.  We are called to disciple other men.  This will transform our heart as well as the person we are mentoring. 

When we know we are making a difference in someone else’s life it changes us on the inside as well.  One of the best things we can do when we are hurting and suffering is to use our pain to do good.  That has been a basic principle in my life over the past eight years.  It’s amazing how God uses the suffering in our life to make a difference in other people’s lives. 

God has used my pain of divorce to mentor and counsel other people who have gone and are going through the trials of divorce.  He is using my story to help others to see that there is life after divorce.   “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28.

Isolation only leads to a dark and lonely place full of depression, sadness and despair.  Being in community leads to heart transformation, peace and love.  Find another guy you trust, join a men’s Bible study and be a mentor to another person and you will see heart transformation at its finest. 

Heart transformation happens in community.  Don’t go it alone.  Take that first step and reach out to me or another brother.  It takes courage and strength to put yourself out there and to create a new possibility for yourself.  Choose life not despair. 

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior Coach

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