Battlefield of the Mind Podcast: The Mind of Christ

Part 1: A Passive Mind

Part 2: The Mind of Christ

Battlefield of the Mind Podcast Week 7: The Mind of Christ

 The night before His crucifixion, Jesus instructs His disciples not to be troubled (John 14:1).  Jesus knows the disciples are about to face the most trying time of their lives. He is well aware that His death is going to rock the disciples to the core. Yet, He commands them not to allow their hearts or minds to be troubled.

Think  about this situation from the disciples’ standpoint for a moment.

The disciples believed Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah who was the “King of Kings.” They laid down their lives to follow Him. Each disciple left his family and friends to pursue the Lord. The disciples left their comfort and security to follow Jesus. These twelve men quit their jobs to join Jesus in teaching others about God.

They falsely expected Jesus to set up His kingdom on Earth.

But He didn’t.

Instead, Jesus fulfilled the plan of God by laying down His life on Calvary’s Cross. He died the death of a murderer -even though He had done nothing wrong.

How confusing for Peter, James, John and the disciples. As far as they could see, everything they had lived for up until this point was gone.  Their livelihood appeared to be destroyed. Their Messiah was dead. And with His death… went their hopes, dreams and plans.

Peering at the Cross, these men could not make sense of what had taken place. Yet Jesus, knowing how completely defeated His disciples would feel, told His followers not to let their hearts be troubled.

This Word is still as pertinent today as it was 2014 years ago. It doesn’t matter what you are going through, how things appear, or whether or not they are as you expected. If you will keep your eyes on Jesus and trust in His plan, you can remain in perfect peace through every storm knowing that His plans far supersede your understanding

Isaiah 26:3, “You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind (both its inclination and its character) is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.”

In this Battlefield of the Mind Podcast, I give real life examples on everything from how to keep your home life in order to letting your voice be heard in your relationships. Through personal examples and teaching from the Word of God, you will learn how to overcome passivity and walk in the mind of Christ.

I am confident you will enjoy this latest “Battlefield of the Mind” podcast on Chapter 12 and 13 of Joyce Meyer’s best-selling book, “Battlefield of the Mind.” Join me Thursday mornings at East Coast Christian Center in Merritt Island, FL at 10 am for a live message- now through November 20, 2014.

Battlefield of the Mind Podcast: Why worry?

Part 1: Why Worry?

Part 2: A Judgmental Mind?

Battlefield of the Mind Week 6: Why worry?

What is worry? Why do we do it? And how do we stop it?

This is the topic of the Battlefield of the Mind Podcast for this week. If you will take a few minutes to listen, I believe the message presented will radically change your life. Simply click on the play button for Part 1.Then wait a few minutes in order for the message to download. Repeat for Part 2. (In part 2, I share an incredible dream the Lord gave me recently which you are sure to be blessed by.)

The definition of  worry is to torment oneself with disturbing thoughts or to allow your mind to dwell on difficulty.

Did you hear that? To worry is to torment  yourself by allowing  your mind to dwell   on difficulty. On the contrary, the definition of peace is freedom from disturbance. So how do we get from a worried mind to one of peace?

The Word says in Philippians 4:6, “Be anxious or nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Knowing that “do not worry” is a command from the Lord. We have the assurance that it is possible to live a worry-free life. However, in order to walk in this victory, we have a role to play in ridding our minds of this useless emotion. While it is true we can not stop certain thoughts from entering our mind, we do have the ability to control how long we think on those particular thoughts.

We can not have peace and torment ourselves by thinking on difficulty at the same time. We must begin to actively resist the temptation to think on worrisome things by replacing those thoughts with the truth written in the Word of God. When we do, we will begin to experience the “peace that passes understanding” the Bible promises us.

This Podcast based on Chapter 12 and 13 of Joyce Meyer’s book, “Battlefield of the Mind” is sure to transform your thinking, help you to live the life that Christ has called you to, and rid yourself of an anxious/worried/judgmental mind.

Please join me for Women of Power Bible Study at “The Avenue” of East Coast Christian Center in Merritt Island Thursdays at 10 am now through November 20, 2014. Child care is provided.

Battlefield of the Mind Podcast: Let Go of Reasoning and Doubt

Part 1: Stop Reasoning

Part 2: Doubt Your Doubts

Battlefield of the Mind: Let Go of Reasoning and Doubt – Week 5

Chapter 10 and 11

There are many things in this world I don’t understand: How does – an 875,000 pound airplane  fly so magnificently through the sky? Or a 40,000 ton cruise boat not sink to the bottom of the ocean? How does the dish outside my home bring a live feed of the latest baseball game straight to my living room?  And how can my husband rewind it and watch the same play over and over again?

With all of the technology in the world, it still blows my mind that electricity enters my home through an outlet and activates everything I need to cook, clean and blow dry my hair simply by pressing the “on” button.  I am flabbergasted that I can type an email, and in mere moments it will reach the hands of another person half way around the world.  Forget cell phones and GPS systems, I am still amazed by the fact that a phone attached to the wall with a cord can connect me with my mother-in-law in Missouri at the touch of a button. Call me simple, but even the way an oak tree grows from a mere seed and a caterpillar turns into a butterfly continues to mystify me.

Sure. I understand that there is a natural set of events that cause these things to take place. But on a certain level, I have to simply trust that the mechanisms work the way “they” say they do. After all, with my natural eyes, I can’t see electricity, the signals that cause television waves, or what is happening to a seed below the ground.

I feel confident that if we were to travel back in time, even just a mere one hundred years ago, many people would surely tell us that some of the modern conveniences we have available today are simply not achievable. Yet they would be wrong. Every day, we discover something that was, at one time or another, thought to be impossible.We are constantly discovering new ideas that push open wide the boundaries we once held this life to.

I wonder. What will it take to get some to see that just because you can’t make sense of it…. doesn’t mean it isn’t there? Just because you can’t see something. Or feel it. Or taste it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

The word says in Romans 1:17, “For in it (the Gospel of Christ) the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

There are many activities I participate in every day that I can’t explain.

I simply trust.

I trust that my couch won’t cave in when I sit on it. I trust that my light will come on when I flip the switch. I trust that I will wake up in the morning to start a new day, every day.  I trust that my legs will hold me up when I get out of bed. And that when I open my refrigerator to make breakfast, my food will still be in there.

We put our trust in a whole lot of things. Many of which, we cannot see. Some we don’t even understand. Why wouldn’t we put our trust in God, too?

In this Battlefield of the Mind Podcast, we tackle the role of reasoning, logic and doubt in learning how to live by faith. Through personal testimony, coupled with teaching from the Word of God, you will learn how to lean on the Lord rather than on your own limited understanding in life’s difficult situations.

I am confident you will enjoy this latest “Battlefield of the Mind” podcast on Chapter 10 and 11 of Joyce Meyer’s best-selling book, “Battlefield of the Mind.” Join me Thursday mornings at East Coast Christian Center in Merritt Island, FL at 10 am for a live message- now through November 20, 2014.

If I Had One Year to Live….

When I heard the news that my sister in law, Nadine Brandes, landed a contract on her book, “A Time to Die,” I was elated. My excitement soon turned to apprehension, however, as I realized I would have to actually read the book and give a review of it. Quite frankly, I hadn’t been able to finish a fiction book since I was fifteen when my sophomore English teacher convinced me I would love to read if I just would give the book, “Rebecca” a chance. I hated it.

“What if I hate Nadine’s book too? What if she really can’t write at all? What if it is so bad, I can’t finish it? How will I write an honest review of the book? After all, she is my sister-in-law…”

After reading “A Time to Die” last month I am proud to say, all of my fears were unfounded. The book is absolutely incredible! In fact, I can see it on the big-screen. It is that good!

From the moment I started reading, I was captivated.

With three young children, a part-time job, and a bible study to prepare, I was able to read it (on my phone- imagine that) in just a few short days. The story is well-developed. The characters are relatable. The imagery is vivid. The message is thought provoking.

I could hardly put it down.

In honor of the book release, I decided to participate in the blog hop to answer the question: How would you live if you knew you had just one year left on this earth?

Blog Hop Button

(Click here for instructions on how you can participate in the Blog Hop, too.)

So… How would I live if I knew I had just one year left on this earth?

This is a question I have rolled over and over in my head for weeks. What would my life look like? What would I change? What would I keep the same? How would I live?

I could tell you a million things, but there one particular that sticks out in my mind leaps and bounds above the rest. While I try diligently to perfect this area in my every day life, I am constantly falling short.

In my last year of life, I would undoubtedly be present in my present. In every situation and every conversation – particularly with my children – I would strive to be all there.

With all of the demands placed on me, I frequently find myself only half-present in my now. I half-listen to the excitement in my daughter’s voice as she relays the latest book she is reading. I  half-witness the pleasure my boys enjoy as they conquer another Indiana Jones adventure… Each time, only half-experiencing the moment I am living in.

I take for granted that “there is always tomorrow.”  I wrongly trade my enjoyment of today for the opportunity to experience it tomorrow.

But tomorrow never comes.

I hear myself telling my children the same lines over and over again. “Yes. Mommy will play with you in just a few minutes.” But, the laundry takes longer than I plan. Or the phone rings and I get sidetracked. Each night as I prepare dinner, three sets of hands beg for my attention, but I don’t have time. I send them away. “Not today. Tomorrow we will have fun in the kitchen making dinner.” But tomorrow, never comes. Homework calls and the dishes long to be washed. The kids’ teeth need brushed and their hair washed. Before I know it I am hollering from my computer, “Hurry along kids! It’s time for bed. Tomorrow is another day.”

We will do it…

Tomorrow.

James  4:13-14, “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money. Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow…” 

Even as I write this post, I am convicted. My throat has a lump. My eyes feel heavy. Tears stream down my face. Why do I put off the joy of life through the wonder of my children for the chance to clean my house, again.

Pretty soon, they will be all grown up. They will head off to the movies with their friends. They will beg me to drop them off at the football game. They will leave for college. And have children of their own. Instead, of me saying it to them, I will hear my own words echoed through their voices…

“Tomorrow Mommy. We will spend the day together tomorrow.”

I don’t want another tomorrow to come without being fully invested in today. Rather than let  another moment pass me by, today I am throwing away the half-life. From this day forward, I will be completely vested in experiencing to the fullest – my present.

No one knows the day or the hour that our lives will end. But one thing I know for sure…. It will come much quicker than I have planned.

I don’t want to half-live another minute.

How about you?

“Lord, I can’t do is without you. I need your help recognizing what is truly important in my life. Help me to lay aside that which can wait to invest myself fully in that which really matters. Help me Lord, to be present in my present from this day forward.  And forgive me when I fall short. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

How would you live if you knew the day you’d die?  (Book Summary)

Parvin Blackwater believes she has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside. In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the government’s crooked justice system.

But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall —— her people’s death sentence. What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her Clock is running out.

Giveaway: Click here to enter the rafflecopter giveaway for a signed copy of “A Time to Die” and/or a $10 Amazon giftcard!

Nadine

“A Time to Die” is Nadine Brandes’ first novel in the Out of Time trilogy.   To learn more about her, you may find her at any of these places. Simply click on one of the links below:

Website: http://nadinebrandes.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/NadineBrandesAuthor

Twitter: http://twitter.com/nadinebrandes

Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/nadinebrandes/

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/nadinebrandes/

Battlefield of the Mind Podcast: Quiet Your Mind to Hear God’s Voice

Part 1: Hearing God’s Voice

Part 2: A Wondering Mind

Battlefield of the Mind:  Quiet Your Mind to Hear God’s Voice – Week 4

Chapters 8 and 9

Occasionally, I wonder what people who knew me years ago think of me now. “How did she get here? Why is she so bold about her faith? Why does she feel such a huge desire to share it with everyone she knows?”

My answer is simple.

I was twenty-one and had everything I ever needed to make me happy in life. But… I wasn’t. I was still missing something. I longed to have true joy. To be filled to overflowing. To reach that place of peace the Bible talks about.

I began to cry out to God to show me what was missing in my life.

Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

Since that day so many years ago, I have had many amazing encounters with the Lord. I have tasted for myself of the Lord’s goodness. I have seen the Lord in a real, tangible way in my life. He is not a far- off God to me anymore.

He still speaks today.

In the first part of this podcast, I share an amazing testimony of how the Lord taught me to hear His voice. I believe it will begin to answer some of those questions you may have had about why I am so quick to share the message of Jesus Christ and how much He loves you.

If you have ever wanted to know how to hear the voice of God, this message is for you. I just know you will enjoy it!

Please, join me on Thursday at 10am at “The Avenue” of East Coast Christian Center in Merritt Island, FL for the live “Battlefield of the Mind” message.

How Would You Live If You Knew The Day You Would Die?

As many of you know, my sister-in-law, Nadine Brandes, has recently written her very first novel: A Time To Die. It is the first of a three book series. (Click here to read the first chapter.) The novel is dystopian- like Hunger Games or Divergent- only with a Christian theme.

In the book, the main character, Parvin Blackwater was given a clock at the time of her birth. Now, she knows the time she will die. And her time is running out. With just one year to live, Parvin makes a decision to live her remaining days with purpose. It is this decision that sets the scene for the amazing journey that ensues.

A few weeks ago, I was blessed with the opportunity to read an advanced copy. (You can buy it here now.) I absolutely loved it! It is beautifully written. And entertaining. And thought provoking. And inspirational…. And yes. I truly believe you will love it too. So I invited her to be a guest on my blog this week to give a little background on what inspired her to write this incredible book.

Without further ado, here is Nadine….

Let me introduce you to a young man named James.

James, doesn’t finish things — at least, not the things expected of a man in his mid-twenties. He’s a little too adventurous and daredevil, traipsing off to Africa to hunt and serve in needy villages.

This is a great pursuit, but he should find some way to make a living or at least get a degree to support his travels to Africa. After all, he’s a young man — an adult now — who will get married someday and he needs to be the breadwinner. After that, he’ll have his whole life to go serve in Africa.

This is the opinion I formed about James from the snippets I heard about him from others. Every chance I had to meet him would fall through because he’d ditch to be in Africa or something. My overall impression of James was that he was an unsettled, somewhat irresponsible, but good-hearted guy. Why couldn’t he just get his degree and then go to Africa?

I’ll tell you why.

Because he died at age twenty-seven. In Africa, from natural causes.

My entire view of his life changed after I found out. I realized how shallow I’d been, putting his life in the typical box of expectations. But once he was gone, I understood. James didn’t have time for lengthy college or the American dream. Something in him — inside his soul — knew  his time was short…and it needed to be spent in Africa.

You see, James was close to my age. His death shook my foundation. What if my  time was short like James’s? What if I knew  how long or little I had to live? Would I live differently?

Would you?

Through James’s death, I questioned life…and God answered me with the book, A Time to Die.

The story idea — of a world where everyone has a Clock telling them how long they have to live — plagued me as I finished up my last years of graduate school. In fact, it grew so heavy in my mind I finally abandoned homework one week and just wrote it out.

I’d always felt called to be a writer — always wanted to spend my life penning stories. But this…when this came out of my fingers, it was like nothing I’d ever written before. This was the culmination of my writing dreams, and it all started from a young man’s death. I’m reminded of a verse in Hebrews talking about Abel’s faithful and righteous sacrifice to God. The verse ends saying:

“And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.”

Through James’s faith to follow God’s call into ministry for the African people, his death spoke into my life — and I’m sure many others. Now I’ve been given a chance to live with new perspective. Hopefully my writing will inspire others to do the same. 

How might your life change if you knew how much or how little time you had left?

 

Nadine

About Nadine:

Nadine Brandes writes stories about authentic faith, bold living, and worlds soaked in imagination. She lives in Idaho with her husband and works as a freelance editor. When she’s not writing, editing, or taste-testing a new chai, she is out pursuing adventures. A Time to Die is her first novel.

Visit Nadine on the web at:

Her Website: www.nadinebrandes.com

Amazon: http://bit.ly/AmazonATtDpaperback

 

Battlefield of the Mind: Podcast – Expect Good Things.

Part 1

Part 2

Battlefield of the Mind Podcast: Expect Good Things – Week 3

Big stick. Angry God. Ready to hit you over the head when you mess up. Or have a beer. Or smoke a joint. Loose your temper. Or have sex outside of marriage.

Is this how you see God?

Until I really came to know Jesus, I spent a lot of years running from Him. I guess I thought if I ran from Him, He wouldn’t notice all the wrong choices I was making.

Then one day, He tapped on my heart and instead of running, I listened.

I realized I wasn’t doing so well on my own. So, I invited Him in.

I made a choice not to run anymore.

It didn’t mean I didn’t make bad choices anymore. It was simply a decision that said even in the midst of my choices, I wanted Christ in my life.

I needed Him in my life.

So, I began to stand. Facing Him. In my guilt. In my sin. I accepted His goodness in exchange for all my weaknesses.

It was then that I realized: He is a Big God—- But he doesn’t have a big stick. He has a Big Heart and He longs to be gracious to me. The sinner. The one who ran for so many years. The one who put Him on the cross.

He longs… to be gracious… To Me. And He longs to be good to you, too.

Isaiah 30:18 (Amp), “And therefore the Lord (earnestly) waits (expecting, looking, and longing) to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show you loving kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who (earnestly) wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him (for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship)!

This week’s Battlefield of the Mind Podcast Series will encourage you to understand and know how much the Lord longs to be good to you. It will encourage you to press on to be all that Christ has called you to.

I encourage you to get a copy of Joyce Meyer’s book, “Battlefield of the Mind” and follow me on this journey to freedom in your life. I promise you, it will change your life!

This week’s podcast is a review of Chapter 5, 6, and 7. Enjoy!

Battlefield of the Mind: Podcast – Don’t Give Up.

As many of you know, I have recently started teaching the series, “Battlefield of the Mind” at East Coast Christian Center in Merritt Island. (It’s Thursday mornings at 10am. I would love for you to join us.)  Amazingly, with my lack of technology skills, I have managed to figure out how to finally get a podcast of the message from this morning. It is 100% raw. There is not one ounce of editing involved. Should you take a few moments to listen, I am confident (despite the background noise, “um’s” and other flaws) you will be encouraged.

Though, in the day in which we live, many would consider this podcast unpolished, I am beyond thrilled to call it mine. Standing in front of a crowd preaching the Word of God is like oxygen to me. More than anything else on this earth, I want to see people everywhere living out their potential in Christ Jesus. My passion is to share His amazing love with others, that they might know how He longs to heal their hurts and comfort their hearts.

In fact, my heart is leaping right now, knowing that for the first time ever, others will get to hear the good news of Jesus through what He has done in my life.

This “Battlefield of the Mind” podcast marks what I consider to be “small beginnings.” And those small beginnings, I do not despise. I am so excited to be taking this step of faith. For years, I have felt a call on my life to teach. For years, I have been faithful to share His Word with anyone who would listen.  Finally, I am getting to share it with you.

I pray that as you listen, you will be ministered to. That the words from my voice would bring life, and peace, and hope to you. That the anointing from the throne room of heaven would fall on you as you hear the truths outlined in the message. And that you would never be the same.

I don’t want to be a good speaker. My words are just words. It’s His anointing that breaks the power of sin and death. May His anointing rest on my words as they enter your heart and change everything for His glory!

Thank you for sharing in this time with me. I call it a blessing to know that you were here today.

With excitement and expectation for what is- and what is to come.

Yours Truly,

Amy Brandes

If Something is God’s Will, Will it Automatically Come to Pass?

In my early twenties, Pastor Chris Hill from the Potter’s House Church, prophesied over me. A portion of the word was this, “I have taught you how to walk. I am teaching you to run. There’s an eagle in you. You can fly… if you want to.”

In the weeks and months that followed, I must have mulled this word over in my heart at least a thousand times. There was one particular portion that always made me pause: those four little words tacked on to the end of his statement, “… if you want to.

Who wouldn’t want to fly? To float above the trials of life?

Yeah. I wanted to fly.

But why did he add “…if you want to”? If God wanted me to, wouldn’t it just happen? I mean, doesn’t God’s will always happen in the life of someone who prays?

With years of experience under my belt, I have learned a great deal about God’s will. And no. Just because something is God’s will, doesn’t mean it will automatically happen.

There was a time in my life that I wanted a lot of things. I wanted to be married. I wanted to be free from the emotional roller coaster I lived on. I wanted to be healthy and maintain a normal weight. I wanted to have joy independent of my circumstances.

Today, I still want for things. I want to pay off my house in the next six years. I want to write (and publish) books. I want my kids to be successful in every area of their lives. I want to have a great marriage fifty years from now.

Wanting something, however, isn’t enough to make it happen in our lives. In order to see our desires come to pass, we can’t just pray about a matter. Or even hope for it (though both are important). There comes a point when we have to turn our “want to” into action.

In order to meet our goals, we have do something about our want to. And I know from personal experience, if you want something bad enough, you will do whatever it takes to get it.

When I came to a place in my life where I really wanted to be married, I began positioning myself to meet that special someone. I struck up conversations with strangers and went on blind dates. (And you better believe if I had known about a dating website where I could investigate a potential spouse’s resume, I would have been on it. I would have winked, and smiled, and done whatever it took to allow God to work a miracle in my life.) No matter how many Mr. Wrong’s I met, I did not stop until I met the one. In reality, once I positioned myself appropriately, it was less than a year before I met him.

I wanted to be healthy mentally and physically. And I wanted it bad enough to do whatever it took to bring it to pass. I prayed and asked God for help daily. I read books on how to harness my emotions and have joy based on Christ alone. I surrounded myself with people who would encourage and challenge me. I listened to sermons. I took the steps needed– no matter how hard it was. I tried any, and everything I could until I found what works. And guess what? I got free in the process.

One of my goals as of late is to be completely debt free. When we bought our current home, my husband and I decided we wanted to pay it off in ten years. Is that an easy goal? No. It requires self-discipline. Lots of it. I can’t buy a new outfit every other day. I can’t take a vacation every other month. My kids can’t go to private school. But every month, I see huge steps toward paying off our house. At the rate we are going, it will be paid off sooner than that and I will be free to do what God has called me to on a much larger scale.

Big dreams start small.  Large callings start with faithfulness in the mundane. Acting in faith in little ways. In areas that few notice. In ways that don’t feel all that special. And seem to be going nowhere fast.

I want to write books, so I started this blog. I want to help others be all that Christ has called them to be, so I began teaching a bible study at my church. (which – by the way- will be starting again Thursdays at 10 am. Sept 4, 2014 at East Coast Christian Center.) Both are small steps, but they are steps in the right direction. I am writing. I am teaching. I am being faithful in the little things. It isn’t always easy. As much as I love to help others, there are days I dread sitting down to write. But I do it anyway. Standing in front of a group of expectant ladies can be daunting. And nerve racking. But again, I do it anyway. When I am seventy-five, I don’t want to look back at my life and say “I could have… if only I would have.” I want to help others live victorious lives. So I take action to do what I can with what He has given me, and trust Him to take care of the rest.

It seems almost silly for me to write about this, because it seems so obvious… To put action to our desires… Yet I see so many people around me wishing for things that never come to pass. Don’t be like them. Don’t sit around and wish for something to happen in your life. Get up and do something about it. Take a small step in the right direction. Then do it day. After day. After day. And one day, off in the distance, you won’t be wishing anymore. You will be living the life you desire.

Today, I want to encourage you. God is faithful to His word. 2 Corinthians 2:14 says, “ Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.”

The average person is where they are in life because of the choices they make and the things they wholeheartedly pursue- day in and day out. In order to live the life you want to live, you have to be willing to step out and take calculated risks. Unfortunately, you can’t just “want” something to happen. You have to want it sooo badly that you will do whatever it takes to get it. And as you follow the Spirit of God down that path, He will lead you to the victorious life you long for.

Lord, I thank you for the power that dwells on the inside of every single believer to get up and do something with the gifts and dreams that you have placed on the inside of them. I release that power in their lives right now to act on what you have called them to do each and every day. I thank you in advance for their ability to see that great plan come to pass in their lives. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Anything is Better than Nothing: How I Finally Got Motivated to Start Exercising Again.

Before I got married, I ran three miles a day. Four days a week. Faithfully. I never liked it, but I always did it. For the obvious reasons. Exercise is healthy. It helped me stay thin. And I had extra time on my hands, so running and going to the gym kept me from sitting around feeling sorry for myself. For a woman who desperately wanted to be married, it gave me a social outlet and posed a way to meet a potential hubby. In my opinion, all great reasons to get in shape.

Then I met Landon.

In that moment, the life I knew changed overnight. I was hypnotized by him and wanted nothing more than to spend every waking moment with this charming, new gent. (Funny how love does that to you.) Without question, learning every detail of who he was, talking into the wee hours of the night and going to dinner with him far outweighed the grueling runs and trips to the gym I had incorporated into my every day life.

Our relationship grew quickly. Six months after meeting, Landon and I were married. Shortly thereafter, I became pregnant with Aspen. Then Jayce. Then Ty. With the addition of a husband and three small children in the scope of six years, I had little time for myself. Rocking babies, changing diapers, and chasing little ones around the park quickly replaced exercise on my priority list.

Eventually, I stopped all formal types of exercise completely.

It wasn’t something I intended to do. In fact, frequently, I would set goals for myself. Running a mile or two at least three times per week. Walking thirty minutes a day. I even had a gym membership multiple times throughout the years. For a brief time, I would meet my goal. But it wouldn’t last long. My husband would go out of town, one of the kids would get sick, or a dirty house would beckon me to clean it and I would miss a date with my running shoes.

My frequent inability to stick to the plan would cause me to quit exercising altogether.

This year, however, I made a new resolution. One that finally motivated me to reestablish an exercise routine. And keep it. The resolution is this: There are no rules. Anything is better than nothing. When you can, exercise. Walk. Run. Bike. Go for as long as you like. Stop when you want. If you can do it once a week. Great. Two or three times. Fabulous. If you aren’t able at all one week. No big deal. Pick it back up the next week.

Anything is better than nothing.  

As a physical therapist, I tell my patients this all the time. And it really is the truth. Yet, for years, I failed to incorporate this advice into my own life. Instead, I let the demands of life and my own high expectations prevent me from doing anything at all. In my mind, if I was going to exercise, I had to go all out. Otherwise, I was failing. If I couldn’t run a full mile. Or for thirty minutes. Or at least three times per week. I wasn’t making a difference in my health. And I certainly wasn’t meeting my goals. So, I would quit.

In March, after a discussion with one of my patients about the importance of exercise for our physical and mental health, I began to take my own advice. I quit comparing myself to the “cross-fit-junky” friends I have, strapped on my running shoes for the first time in a while, and went for a jog. Two minutes in, I decided to start walking. But I stuck to my plan: No pressure. No rules. Just do something. As frequently as I can.

Anything is better than nothing.

It has been four months since I made my new resolution. Most weeks, I only exercise once or twice a week. There have been a few weeks, I have missed all together. But, I am still at it.

Getting back into shape has been a slow process. Only recently have I started to see the results of my efforts. The other day, I ran a mile and a half without stopping. A small feat when compared to my three mile/four days a week season of life, but huge for me in today’s season.

Running still isn’t my favorite pastime. But it is important to me to live a long, prosperous life; to be around to see my kids and grandkids grow up. So I am making it a priority again. And like every other area of my life, I am learning that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I am learning for myself, what I have been teaching others about exercise for years…

Anything is better than nothing.

2  Corinthians 8:11, “But now finish doing it also, so that just as there was the readiness to desire it, so there may be also the completion of it by your ability.