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February 2016 Newsletter


Today is Ash Wednesday, Welcome to Lent.

Valentine’s Day is a few days away. Have you gotten your sweetheart something yet? There’s still time. While you’re getting her a Valentine’s Day card, get a bunch of other cards for her too. Get some romantic ones, silly “thinking of you” ones, and some blank ones. Then you’ll have cards on hand to give her at random times.


God Loves Odd Couples – Stephen Altrogge

“Perfect marriages exist only in Nicholas Sparks novels. Every marriage has challenges, hurdles, and seeming impasses. But God loves odd couple marriages.”

I don’t know what a Nicholas Sparks novel is, but I get the idea. The fact is, “God is for you, Jesus is in you, and the Holy Spirit is interceding for you. Jesus can give you power to serve and sacrifice. The Holy Spirit can transform your marriage into a piece of divine art. You only need to ask.”

Looking for a way to strengthen your marriage? Take one of these courses.


Some Thoughts For Those Who Are Considering Divorce – Randy Alcorn

“Don’t just trust that God can change someone else’s heart. Trust that He can change and renew your heart.”

A challenging but encouraging article from Randy Alcorn.


Saying These Two Words More Often Will Improve Your Marriage –  David Pescovitz

“We found that feeling appreciated and believing that your spouse values you directly influences how you feel about your marriage, how committed you are to it, and your belief that it will last,”

You know those cards you bought because of my Valentine’s tip above? Use a few to give your spouse some random, but specific, Thank you’s!


Ministry to Men is More Than Pancakes – Kris Dolberry

 “Haven’t we had enough pancakes? Let’s take those two words found in men’s ministry—men and ministry—and meet each other, engage, learn, grow, challenge, inspire, and love one another. Walk out of isolation into interaction.”

Amen. You older men, just don’t fade into retirement. Use those experiences and lessons God gave you in life to mentor younger men. We need it.


The One Ingredient Essential to Biblical Manhood – Thabiti Anyabwile

“As men, we can fight the symptoms of a disquieted inner life—anger, lust, insecurity, anxiety, and the like. Such fights are necessary. Or we can wage war against the bunker out of which these enemies come: lack of self-control.”

Self-control or as I like to call it discipline, is key in living out God’s calling in our life. It’s tough, but thankfully He gives us the power to do so. And the grace when we do not.



Friendship – Tim Keller Podcast

“The book of Proverbs says that you will not be a wise person and you will not lead a wise life unless you are great at choosing, forging, and keeping terrific friendships.”

As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17. That’s verse this newsletter is built on. We need friends and not just “Did you see the game?” friends. We need friends that really know us. A friendship like that is irreplaceable.



Your Guide to the Best Day Ever – Matt Rise

Want to have Your Best Day Ever? Download my free guide to getting the day before the day gets you here.  The guide will help you be intentional about your mornings so that you can do those important things first. 3D Mockup I.jpg

Click here to download it for free.








That’s it for this month’s newsletter.


Stay Sharp,


December Whetstone Newsletter

The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God. Quote by CS Lews


Merry Christmas!  Tis the season for stress, busyness, and overspending. So, take some time, say no to something, jump off the hamster wheel, and just spend time with your family. Play some board games, go sledding, do something non-commercial and relationship oriented. Christmas isn’t about the gifts you get your kids (or don’t get them). They won’t even remember what they got next year anyway. So remember, Christmas is about God coming down to us to say I Love You.


Articles of the Month

Advent: How to Resist the Culture and Clutter of Christmas Stephen W. Smith

Advent is choosing to resist the culture and to slow down not hurry.”

Remember when you were a kid and it took forever for Christmas to get here? Doesn’t seem like that now does it? Work holiday parties, gift buying, decorating, treat making, filling the unrealistic expectations of others (and your own) make this season fly by leaving us exhausted, weary, and thankful when it’s over. But, as Stephen writes, it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact it should be the opposite. We should slow down this time of year. Say “No”, to something or two.  “Start today. It’s not too late. Resist the culture and choose to wait!”

The 6 Assassins of a Man’s Contentment – Darrin Patrick

“These enemies distract us from the present and prompt us to either idolize or demonize our past and future. We either worship or hate the past or future, but doing so makes it impossible to embrace the glory of the contented life.”

Ahh contentment. We don’t see much of it in our consumption based, never have enough culture. But, what if the true enemy is us? “We have seen the enemy, and he is us.” Darrin gives us 6 internal assassins of contentment.

And, #6 Hurriedness is the one the hit me the most. Because, “Hurried people can’t celebrate (which is the secret sauce of contentment) because they are focused on the next thing on their to-do list.” Which one hits home with you?


10 Diagnostic Questions for Your Marriage – Kevin DeYoung

I love the picture at the beginning of this article. It’s what I see my marriage like in 30 years. Still laughing because Jen pulled my finger.

Want to get a simple gauge on how your marriage is doing? Go through Kevin’s 10 questions and give them honest answers. How will your spouse answer them? Better yet, go through them together. I dare you.  Now ask your wife to pull your finger.


4 Dangers of Pornography – BJ Foster

“It starts simple enough without any sign of danger, a movie on cable or the click of the mouse. We tell ourselves there’s nothing wrong with it, or perhaps it’s not that bad, even though we keep it secret. Pretty soon what started as “controllable” and “here and there” turns into a habit, deeper and deeper.”

The internet is a wonderful thing. Never in the history of mankind has information been so cheap, easy to access, and widespread. But, the inherent sinfulness of man corrupts all things. And so we have done it to the internet with pornography. Porn too has become “cheap”, easier to access, and more widespread. Even if this isn’t something that you deal with, someone you know does, so check out BJ’s article to see what damage and danger this seemingly “victimless” sin creates.

Need help quitting porn? Take the X3 Pure 30 Days to Purity Course Here. *


Slay Your Dragons Before Breakfast – Michael Hyatt

“I face a dragon named Lethargy every morning. It has three heads: Pneuma (spiritual), Soma (physical), and Nous (intellectual). If I don’t slay this dragon before breakfast, he usually gets the best of me. “

One of the best things I’ve done for my life daily has been to have an intentional morning ritual. We all have a morning ritual, but is it intentional? Do you wonder why you never get consistent with important disciplines like bible reading, prayer or exercise? It’s because we’ve only got so much willpower. We get fatigued throughout the day making decisions. So if we leave the important stuff until later, chances are we won’t do them. Michael’s strategy is to slay those dragons right off the bat, when you’re at your strongest.


Podcast Episode of the Month

Become More Productive By Reengineering Your Morning Ritual – Michael Hyatt

This podcast builds on the previous article by giving you 7 steps to building a morning that will kick your day off right. Want to change your life drastically and simply? Start your days off right with an intentional morning ritual.


App of the Month


Prayer is a discipline that I really struggle with. Not in a get it done daily sort of way. I can check off boxes with the best of them. But, in a meaningful, intentionalPrayerMate Logo way. I could sit down and “pray”, but the monkeys in my brain would always start throwing bananas distracting me. So enter PrayerMate. PrayerMate is an app that I have been using for sometime now. It has not only helped me remember who and what I need to pray for, but helped me to see God’s work in my life and in the lives of others. The app takes a bit of setup but once you’ve got it going it takes a lot of the resistance to praying out.



Stay Sharp,


Signature for Matt Rise

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November Whetstone Newsletter

american-flag-veterans day

Happy Veteran’s Day

Happy Veteran’s Day!  Thank you to all of our military veterans as well as first responders. We appreciate your service and sacrifice. Support one of the Whetstone’s own heroes by visiting this month’s Sponsor, Northern Colorado Firearms Training, for a great deal only for you at the bottom the of the page.

Articles of the Month

Five Strategies For Daily Bible Reading Gavin Ortlund

I have found that amid the pace of life, Bible reading (like so many other things) tends to be eclipsed unless it is structured into our daily schedule.

It seems that daily bible reading is something that easily gets put to the side. We get busy, distracted, and sometimes just plain apathetic. So we ignore this valuable discipline and miss out on God’s real words to us. Check out Gavin’s 5 Strategies for Daily Bible Reading to get this important discipline going in your life.

Interviewing Mister MaybeScott Williams

My daughter is 12 and nearing those oh so fun teen years and all that implies. And that includes dating. And that’s scary to me as her father. In a world where boys get their education about women from porn sites and peers, it’s my responsibility as her father to protect her. And not just protect her, but her potential suitor as well. Scott writes a thoughtful article on interviewing your daughter’s date and how to go about it.

I want him to know that I’m calling him up, maybe even to be better than he thinks he can be. I want to call him up to be his best, just as his own dad would.

Want more on this? Pick up the book Interviewing Your Daughter’s Date by Dennis Rainey here.


5 Reasons I Still Struggle With the SabbathSteve Smith

I love Steve Smith’s writing (The Jesus Life, The Lazarus Life, Inside Job). I could fill an entire year’s worth of newsletters with his stuff. In this article Steve shares why he still struggles with Sabbath, and why we need it.

The Secret Enemy In Your Marriage John Weirick

” Left untouched, unexpressed conflict will turn assumptions into accusations and accusations into evidence. It’s like rendering a verdict when the other person didn’t even know court was in session.”
John shares 5 practical ways to ways to deal with unexpressed conflict and number 1 is the hardest (Go First).

Every Young Woman’s BattleTim Young

One of the toughest aspects of parenting, for me, is having conversations about sex with my kids. As Tim says in his article, if we’re not having the conversation, someone else is. The consequences are great. Our society’s views are so skewed that everything seems OK. As uncomfortable as these conversations can be, we need to have them. Tim shares his experience of talking to his daughter about sex and shares a letter he sent her reminding her of what God has to say to her.  Hit the link for a grace filled and encouraging message.

Free Audio Book of the Month

Sex and Money by Paul David Tripp   9781610456708

The Free Audiobook of the Month for November is Sex and Money by Pastor Paul Tripp. It grieves our Lord when there is sin in the church. Headlines of Christian leaders sinful failures in areas of sex and money create national news. Sex and Money by Pastor Paul Tripp was written to address these issues and provide clear biblical counsel in these areas.

Podcast of the Month

Prophets of Doom Dan Carlin

This month’s Podcast of the Month is in honor of Reformation Day, October 31st.

4 and half hours of Reformation history! This podcast episode is awesome! Seriously.
“Murderous millennial preachers and prophets take over the German city of Munster after Martin Luther unleashes a Pandora’s box of religious anarchy with the Protestant Reformation.”  You’re going to need a long drive or a podcast player (see last month’s app of the month in the October Newsletter) that can speed up the playback to enjoy this one. Great background and historical context for the Reformation.

Video of the Month
Searching for West is a powerful, beautifully shot video about Mark Seacat’s transition from man to father within the context of hunting.

“There’s things in life more important than hunting. And for the past couple of years, I don’t think that I knew that. There was this moment that taught me that I need to be better at being a father.  I needed to be better at being a husband. And hunting was something in my life that could wait. There’s things in life more important than hunting. And for the past couple of years, I don’t think that I knew that. There was this moment that taught me that I need to be better at being a father.  I needed to be better at being a husband. And hunting was something in my life that could wait.”

Searching for West from Helio + Company on Vimeo.


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