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Warrior Resiliency Conference

Whether in the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, or Coast Guard, every man and woman serving our country in the armed forces has answered the call to live for something higher than self and be willing to pay the ultimate price in order to protect the freedom of others. But what does it really take to serve your God, your nation, and your family with faithfulness and integrity? What does it take to leave a legacy of honor?  

These are the questions that every military service member must ask. And for those who take the call to leadership and service seriously, there are other questions that arise as well. Questions such as the following.

          How will I respond under fire?
          How does someone become a trusted combat leader?
          What do I do with my pain, guilt and anger?
          How can I protect and nurture my marriage?
          What do my kids want from me the most?
          Why doesn't my family understand me?
          How do you handle collateral damage?
          How is emotional intelligence essential to strong leadership?
          How will my military training prepare me for life beyond war?
          What does it take to be a success in civilian life?

The Warrior Resiliency Conference (W.R.C.) is a powerful weekend experience designed to get at the heart of the answers to these questions. Viet Nam combat veteran, Phil Downer, and his 28 year-old son, Paul Downer, team present a series of dynamic, vulnerable, insightful interactive sessions over this 2 to 3 day conference.  Speaking from the point of view of two generations during the W.R.C., Phil and Paul unpack the conflicts, mistakes, struggles, and breakthroughs that they have experienced in the dual war zones of live combat and relational conflict in the civilian world. This hard-hitting weekend is built around the following presentations.

Sample W.R.C. Session Titles

     1. The Battle Abroad And At Home: Our Story
     2. Life After Trauma: Finding Healing
     3. Battle Ready: Purity and Faithfulness
     4. Trained To Lead: Courage Under Fire
     5. Your Marriage: Fighting For Your Fox Hole Buddy


Want to Strengthen Military Marriages?

To find out about the Military Marriage Renewal weekends which Phil offers for all branches of the U.S. armed services, click here!


Full List of Available W.R.C. Sessions By Phil Downer
(Variously Joined By Paul And Anna)

1. From Hell to Eternity Through Discipleship
This session deals with Phil, a returning veteran, and his personal struggle with his wife, Susy. This session addresses how destroyed their marriage by anger, adultery and selfishness, and how God used discipleship to change them, save their marriage, and mend hurt and brokenness.

2. Oneness & Intimacy in Marriage Through Discipleship
This session focuses on the need to shift from a military mindset to a relational oneness focus. You will learn practical tools for how to deepen your marriage through discipleship principles that will not only enhance the excellence of your marriage but also equip you to win and disciple other couples around you.

3. Leaving a Godly Legacy--The Military Parent and His or Her Children

This session explores biblical principles of discipleship as they relate to overcoming the sense of fear and defeat in raising children. Phil shares practical ways to pass on your faith and character qualities to your children in order to build a lasting legacy.

4. Going Into the World and Making Disciples
This session will train you to begin seeing your role in the military and military family as an opportunity to make disciples world-wide. Phil uses Scripture and exciting examples to inspire and equip you to make disciples in your military relationships, church, neighborhood, and community.

5. Your Call To Be Vessels Of Life For Those Who Are Wounded
Biblical life approaches to becoming channels of peace and restoration to those impacted by the stress and carnage of war

6. Keys To Protecting Military Marriages
Insights on putting down combat and picking up compassion, communication, intimacy and faithfulness in the military marriage

7. Serving Your Country, Your Family, and Your God
The biblical case for the harmony of the threefold calling of a Christian in the military

8. Kids, I’m Home!  
How to leave the drill and drain of war behind and see your home become a haven of peace and as a training ground for eternal impact

9. Mom & Dad Volunteered But I was Born In the Military!
Understanding the unique opportunities, challenges, and subtle cultural features of having been raised in a military family

10. Preventing The Collateral Damage of Broken Military Families
Three ways to build stronger military marriages and families and overcome the inadvertent pain and injury veterans can cause others after active combat and military life

11. Nurturing The Military Marriage From Good To Great
The resources to nurture closeness, communication and fresh joy in your marriage along with strategies for escaping the routines and ruts that are sucking the life, fun, and excitement out of your relationship with your spouse

12. Keys to Increasing Resiliency & Combat Readiness
The daily need and methods for experiencing spiritual and physical refreshment to promote effective service and leadership on the front lines

13. Understanding Your Own Heart: Popping The Hood Post-Combat
Overcoming anger, emotional withdrawal, apathy, false guilt and discouragement

14. M.I.6: Mission Integrity & 6 Strategies For Moral Success
Learning the principles, strategies, and battle tactics for winning the spiritual battle for your heart, your faith and your marriage

15. Principles of Sound Military Leadership
Understanding the habits, standards, practices and values that shape a person in the present into a decisive, principled, courageous, rock-solid leader in the future

16. Bunker-Busting For Leaders In Training
How to help military men and women get to the root of and overcome destructive attitudes, habits, thought patterns and character flaws that will otherwise limit or destroy their future potential for service and leadership

Topics Presented By Anna & Paul Downer
(Variously Joined By Phil)

17. The Military Family And A Girl's Identity
We Have the Story Wrong! Girls today are bombarded by false and destructive messages from every direction, all too many of which sink in and begin to mold and shape their beliefs, their sense of self, their values, and their choices. Even girls who are being raised in strong Christian families often buy into these cultural messages. Girls learn that their worth and beauty are found in being sexually enticing, their strength is found in being manipulative, their safety is found in being in control, and their confidence is found in perfection, productivity, and high performance. In this session, these and other lies that are poisoning the hearts of girls today are uncovered and debunked for the sham that they are. This session is the opening salvo of Anna’s teaching on God’s design and heart for His beloved daughters

18. The Truths, Secrets, and Choices that Make a Daughter’s Heart Come Alive!
All too often, the idea of identity in Christ is described to teenage girls with vague clichés. In this powerful and vulnerable session, Anna shares the core identity discoveries that God has brought her in her journey with Him. She shares the specific truths and treasures from Scripture and the heart of God that every girl most longs to hear and embrace. But she doesn’t merely share the content of those truths. She explains what it looks like to actually receive them for yourself, to let them sink in, and to begin to truly believe that, yes, this is God’s heart for you personally! Anna also shares detailed strategies for what a girl can do to take her heart more fully to the heart of God

19. What Daughters Need to Know Most About Guys
We live in a world where movies, books, TV shows, and music artists send mostly superficial and false messages to girls about what guys are supposed to bring to their lives, what guys need most, how girls should relate to them, and what the single years should be all about. Anna dismantles many of the most common and most destructive fallacies that girls believe about guys, and she shares from personal experience, from Scripture, and even from the cannon of pop-culture what a true vision of guy-girl relationships looks like. She addresses such subjects as dating, destructive teenaged social dynamics, the building blocks of unshakable security and value, modesty, the girl’s role in a guy’s quest for purity, and a guy’s battle for identity, strength and calling. Any girl or parent who attends this session will come away with a fresh and clear picture of what it can look like for a girl to live vibrantly and beautifully for the very purposes for which she was created.

20. What Your Daughter Wants & Needs From You Most of All
This session was not easy to come by. Truly, for Anna, it is the product of 21 years of pain, love, struggle, joy, woundedness, friendship, conflict, and reconciliation. Anna will share from the depths and the heights of her personal story a hand-picked collection of the most life-changing things God has taught her about the parent-daughter relationship. For Anna and her parents, the journey to a vibrant and strong relationship was both difficult and profoundly fruitful. Parents who attend this session will walk away with many new insights and practical application steps on how to truly reach, befriend, and impact the heart of a daughter.

21. Perfectionism & Grace in the Military Family
This subject is so deeply intertwined with Anna’s heart and story that speaking on it has become one of Anna’s greatest areas of passion and insight. There is a common, strong, and dangerous tendency for those who are raised in faith in the local church and in Christian families to be so surrounded by messages on the importance of character, obedience, correct beliefs, loving actions, sacrifice, generosity, service, etc, that the gut-level summary of the Christianity they begin to live out is nothing more than a graceless perfectionism. Perfectionism is a prison of performance, a cage of conditional love. It is a wasteland for the heart, which desires above all to be accepted, embraced, and cherished in and of itself. A heart enslaved to perfectionism and starved of grace is a heart that can neither receive nor give genuine love. It is a heart that feels safe only when it can point to a list of achievements, a schedule of commitments, and a track record of successes. It is a heart that is beginning to die a slow and painful death. But this is not a depressing presentation--it is packed with refreshing and liberating news! The answer to all these challenges is right under our noses--the true gospel of Jesus Christ. This session takes a close look at the witness of Scripture and the Person of Jesus to discover that a heart-liberating and life-transforming freedom and grace both should and CAN be alive and well in the heart of any person or family who desires to walk in the company and teachings of Jesus.

22. How To Help Military Kids Draw Near To the Heart of God
This session is a pragmatic, nuts-and-bolts description of what it takes to build a real relationship with Jesus--the friend that sticks closer than a brother. Anna will address some of the top challenges that teenagers encounter as they endeavor to draw close to the Person of Christ as a matter of daily life. Anna will talk about why and how to read Scripture, how to let Scripture sink into your mind and heart, how to bring the deep hurts, disappointments, hopes, and dreams of your soul to the heart of Christ in the Word. She will share her struggles with making daily fellowship with Christ a treasured reality, and the steps that God led her to take which helped her move closer to Him. Those who attend will come away equipped and encouraged, confident that their walks with Christ truly can go deeper than they currently are.

23. Purity and Accountability for Military Fathers & Sons
This men-only talk is a direct, no-holds-barred discussion of the need for godly character and sexual purity, based on biblical principles and with practical applications. It is appropriate for any man age 13 or older, as long as they are well-informed by their parents about all aspects of sexuality prior to attending.

24. Resolving Conflicts & Building Strong Parent-Teen Relationships
This session addresses the vital topics of resolving conflicts with your teenager, opening lines of communication, understanding the barriers that he or she is putting between you, becoming your teenager’s favorite life-coach, addressing negative influences in your teenager’s life without getting pushed away, understanding what your teenager wants most (despite appearances), balancing the growth of freedom and responsibility in your teenager's life, maintaining consequences without being controlling, and helping your teenager live for the favor of God rather than man