Battlefield of the Mind Podcast: Wilderness Mentalities

Part 1: “My Future is Determined by My Past and My Present”

Part 2:”Someone Do It for Me; I Don’t Want to Take Responsibility.”

Battlefield of the Mind: Wilderness Mentalities

Can you imagine going through life with dark tinted windows? Shades over your eyes? Or walking in a fog? Never truly being able to appreciate the world for what it has to offer.

Would you even know how blue the sky really is? Or how brightly the sun shines every day?

Unfortunately, many people who go through life like this don’t realize they are missing out on anything. They are blinded by darkness, yet it is unbeknownst to them. They don’t have literal shades on, but these people see life through a foggy filter that warps every good gift and constantly leaves them wanting more.

I used to be “one of them.”

I had so much to be thankful for, yet I couldn’t truly appreciate my life. I was forever looking at what was missing in my life. Instead of appreciating all the good things I had been blessed with, I focused on the few things I was lacking.

My mind was a wilderness, full of all kinds of wrong mindsets. I was deceived into thinking all kinds of lies. One of the biggest was this: If I could just get this, then I would be that…  And then, I’d really be happy.

Over the course of time, through much prayer and seeking the Lord, I realized this simple truth… “You can’t make an unhappy person, happy.”  A person who is a wilderness on the inside will feel discontent even in the most majestic of places.

Once I made this awesome discovery, my life began to change. Not because my situation changed. The change took place inside of me. My wilderness mindset soon turned into a bubbling brook.

John 7:38, “Whoever believes in Me, as scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

In this podcast, based on Joyce Meyer’s best-selling book, “Battlefield of the Mind,” you will learn how to change your wilderness mentalities into life producing ones.

Hope and Healing Through Hurting Times

Part 1

Part 2

Hope and Healing Through Hurting Times

When we go through a trial in life, one of the biggest lies of the enemy  is to make us feel as though we are alone; that no one else struggles with similar challenges; and that we will never get though to the other side of our mess in victory. The truth is, however, that in life we all go through difficult seasons. We all struggle with unruly emotions at times, and with the right tools, we can make it to the other side victoriously.

Learning how to negotiate the emotions that come with being hurt or disappointed is key in finding healing. In this week’s podcast, my long-time friend, Tania Stout, shares how she overcame adversity when life didn’t turn out the way she expected. She shares with complete candor what it is to be vulnerable and how to grieve the loss of a dream in order to reach a place of total wholeness in mind, soul and body.

I believe, you too, will be inspired to work through your emotions to reach a place of wholeness as you listen this week. (We will return to Week 8 of the Battlefield of the Mind series next week.)

About Tania…

Tania Stout is a licensed Mental Health Counselor and graduated with her Master’s in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Central Florida in 2006, and has been working with children and families for the past twelve years.  Tania specializes in the treatment of trauma and is an EMDR trained clinician.   Tania is highly skilled in working with individuals, couples and families and her areas of specialty also include: anxiety, depression, women’s emotional health, play therapy and child and adolescent behavior issues.  Tania has also had specific training in perinatal mood disorders and has worked with new mothers experiencing post-partum depression. She is also certified as a Supreme Court Family Mediator and has completed the parent coordination training.

Tania became a therapist to help people navigate life’s challenges in order to live a healthier, happier life.  She dedicates a focused commitment to her clients in providing the highest quality of care and believes people can change, heal, recover, grow and achieve maximum results in reaching their full potential and dreams.  She is characterized by others as a genuine and highly passionate therapist and has excelled in facilitating her clients in working through their past and current struggles in order to achieve new insights for optimum personal growth.

 For more information on Tania’s private counseling practice, please visit her at www.VeritasCounselingInc.com

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.” Check it out!

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.

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.”

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!

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