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The Mind of Zach Windahl

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Gnarls Barkley Style Crazy.

First and foremost, life has been a little wild lately in preparation for Sonshine festival next week and the release of the other projects I have been working on. I will be taking a week and a half off of my usual categorical blog production and will return back to normal on July 18th.

I apologize for seeming distant and leaving you out at sea for 11 more days, but it is all in good intentions. Don’t take it personal. Please. Thank you.

With all apologies aside, I have been working at least 12 hours a day towards what is next in our journey together. I hope you won’t be disappointed. Actually, I know you won’t be.

So, what in the world have I been getting ready for?!?!

Welp, it’s a multitude of fresh ideas.

I have been spending a lot of time in the studio with some amazing producers recording audio versions of A Makers Dozen and Juice Box Living. I recorded them as if we (me and you) were having a conversation with each other. So, the listener hears me speaking on a more personal level. Also, each chapter is an individual track with music fading in and out, for easier listening. Each book has 14 mini-sermons if you will. Those will all be out on iTunes in a few weeks so make sure to keep your ears attentive.

On July 17th I will be releasing a video series entitled Lakeside Sessions. For now, there will be five 7-10 minute videos and they will be released one at a time for five consecutive weeks on YouTube. Each video is based on a Sunday school story that I remember as a kid, but with a fresh, modern, older kid perspective. Allowing you to relate. Allowing your sister to relate. Get ready. Lakeside Sessions are going to rule.

Lastly, I will be attending Sonshine festival in Willmar, MN from July 13th-16th. Well, I won’t just be attending, I’ll be marketing the madness out of myself. I have a booth for the entire camping extravaganza with my friends at 1 of 1 Clothing. If you see anything based on 1 of 1, I will be there. If you see anything based on me, 1 of 1 will be there. That’s how we do it. Come visit our booth or come find me walking around because I have 17,000 stickers that I need to distribute and I would love to put one on your forehead. I will also have download cards available for five bucks a piece that have the audio books on them. It should be crazy. Like Gnarls Barkley crazy.

With all of that said, keep your ears cleaned out and attentive for the release of my audio books. Keep your sunglasses on and your eyes peeled for Lakeside Sessions. And de-grease your forehead for sticker application and free hugs (yes, de-greasing is appropriate for both). Hope to connect soon!

Until the 18th.

Peace, love, and unscented bug spray.



Filed under Zach Windahl Author Books A Makers Dozen Juice Box Living Sonshine festival Lakeside Sessions Gnarls Barkley Bug Spray iTunes YouTube Video series Audio Books Willmar Minnesota 1 of 1 Clothing

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Mystery Monday: 7/4

This weeks “Mystery Monday” post is an excerpt from my book Juice Box Living, which can be found HERE. The chapter is entitled Smiling Loud.

"For the first few weeks while I was living in Charleston, South Carolina I had a bad attitude. It was not what I expected it to be at all. Moving down there from Minnesota I had a lavished life planned out and a new beginning on the horizon. I could smell it every day leading up to my departure. When I arrived though, it was a completely different story. What was supposed to be a nice suburb of downtown ended up being the most ghetto suburb Charleston had to offer. There was a crack house down the street from my complex and the sounds of gun shots more often than not littered the streets at night. Like I said, not what I expected. 

One night while talking to my mom about a week after I had arrived, she told me about a Charles Swindoll poem entitled “Attitude”. Lets just say it completely changed my perspective and outlook on my situation. Chucks point that struck me the most was when he said, “life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it…we are in charge of our attitudes”. After I read that I started using it to influence my outlook on my situation.

I found that if you can find one bright side to any situation and hone in on it you can get through anything in life. Happiness is a state of mind that an individual can alter, based on their attitude. It’s up to you whether or not you want to be happy today and from here on out. If you can’t find a bright side to your situation, ask God to show you. He will make light of anything troubling that you are dealing with.

After changing my state of mind to be solely directed at the positives in life, I created a clothing line called The Smile Co. Though we are still in the beginning/planning stages I hope that it catches on for those with an optimistic outlook on life similar to mine. Your state of mind can depict your state of life. If you want to be happy you can. If you want to be successful you can. There is nothing in life that can hold you back from being the individual that you want to be.

Alter your state of mind. Alter your life. Smile.”

Filed under Zach Windahl Author Books A Makers Dozen Juice Box Living Smile Charles Swindoll Attitude

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Favorite Friday: 7/1

One of my favorite pastors over the last five years has been a man named Louie Giglio.

Louie is a pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, GA, as well as an author, speaker, and founder of the Passion Movement.

He’s fun. He’s hip. He’ll make you laugh. He’ll make cry. His words will get your blood flowing in motivation for creating a change and will produce butterflies in your stomach so thick that your actions burp them out in worship. He’s the man.

I attended a Passion Conference four years ago with my best friend, Geoff, and it was one of the most amazing weeks of my life. Hands down. I was able to see Louie speak a few different times at it and every instance was incredibly motivating.

He is also the author of three different books, all of which I have read and you should too. They are fairly short and straight to the point. Louie writes in a simple yet complex style, making it easy to read, but makes you think about the topics on a much more in-depth level.

Louie has a gift and he knows how to use it. Check out one or two or ten of his video sermons from Passion City Church HERE!

Have a wonderful Friday!


Check out my two e-books entitled A Makers Dozen and Juice Box Living, HERE!

Also, follow on me on Twitter at @zachwind

Filed under Zach Windahl Author Books A Makers Dozen Juice Box Living Louie Giglio Passion City Atlanta Georgia Passion Conference

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Welp, it’s Wednesday! 6/29

Today I was thinking a lot about when I was out in Montana a few months ago. I was looking at pictures, laughing to myself about certain instances, you know, reminiscing. The funny thing about it though was the fact that none of the pictures even came close to justifying how amazing some of the scenery was where we were located. I actually thought about the same thing while sitting on top of the mountain too.

I remember taking a picture of the horizon thinking that it would be able to contain the greatness to somewhat of an extent, but it just couldn’t! Not that the picture didn’t look amazing, it just wasn’t the same as being there to witness it firsthand.

Have you ever taken a picture of a situation, hoping to capture the moment and allow others to experience the same thing, only to realize that you can’t come close to the real life experience? I’m sure all of you have.

The reason why a picture doesn’t compare to being there is because looking at a picture alone lacks the use of important senses to capture a moment completely in time. It lacks hearing. It lacks smell. It lacks touch.

God did not just send His son to earth for no reason, He sent him here to save the lost and give hope to the hopeless. He then sent the third part of the trinity down (the Holy Spirit), to walk through the lives of every Christian and to bring life inside the Church. Not the church as a building. The Church as a whole. As a People.

It takes more than one sense to experience your surrounding fully. It takes the entire Trinity to experience the life of a true Christian completely. Don’t look at God as a distant being, look at Him as a friend, as a Father. Look at the life of Jesus and try to mirror it. And finally, allow the Holy Spirit to take over your life and direct your ways to living the perfect life that you were created for.

You can’t experience the greatness of life without the entire trinity in effect. Just like you can’t experience breath taking scenery completely without multiple senses ignited.

Do you just want to look at a picture? Or do you want to experience it firsthand?

Filed under Zach Windahl Author Books A Makers Dozen Juice Box Living Picture perfect Hope Trinity Montana

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Mystery Monday: 6/27

This week’s “Mystery Monday” post is an excerpt from my chapter in “A Makers Dozen” with Kyle Petty, former NASCAR driver. You can pick up a copy of it for only $3 HERE!

"I think Kyle spoke a lot of truth when he said, “Don’t define yourself as a Christian. You are a Christian and that’s who you are. I hear so many people say, ‘well this is a Christian business’, yea, it’s a business, you can run it with the Christian principles and that’s the way it is.”

"I think when you get into stuff, so many times so many people want to be labeled, they want to be labeled as this or they want to be labeled as that and you label people. My faith is a part of who I am. I was a racecar driver, now I run my mouth on TV, I’m a Christian, I’m a father, I’m a brother, I’m a son, I’m a lot of things. That’s just another part of who I am.”

You, yourself are a Christian.

You, yourself are a college student.

It’s who you are. Live by Christian principles and your work should portray that you are a Christian instead of having to go out and introduce yourself by it.

“I think when we try to say we are Christian leaders and we are in a Christian business, almost all businesses can be Christian businesses and those businesses can be run through Christian principles when you look at it like that. That’s kind of the way I look at it because so many times people will use that as a selling point to get through the door and then you realize they’re really not running their business by Christian principles.”

That doesn’t even have to be looked at on just a business level either. I saw that all of the time when in college even. I attended a few different state universities before attending a well-known Christian university and I could not believe the difference between the two. When my fellow students at the “Christian university” were more judgmental and materialistic than the majority of students at the state schools it really got me thinking. Being a “Christian” has become more of a status symbol than anything in the college market. You are a “good kid” so you go to the Christian university. No, in reality, being a Christian is based on where your heart is. If you can’t be out loving the people in your city or even the person next to you in class, you need to rethink what you are preaching. That’s why Christianity has such a bad record in this day and age. Follow in Jesus’ footsteps, show love to those around you, be generous, be modest, and then you will be living out the life of a true Christian. Not the “Christianity” that is portrayed so poorly.

“There’s so many times I deal with people that never mention their faith in God and their faith in Christ but once you get to know them and get into their business and get into where they’re at you realize how deep their faith is and how strong their business is and how strong their Christian principles are in their business. That’s the kind of Christian leaders and Christian business people that we need”, said Kyle. 

Filed under Zach Windahl Author Books A Makers Dozen Juice Box Living Kyle Petty Christianity Business

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So Sorry Saturday: 6/25

So, yesterday was a little hectic for me, to say the least. Because of the madness, I was not able to give you a “Favorite Friday” post. Sooooorryyyyy!

In return, I’m giving you a post that I wrote entitled “Modern Day Mentoring”. It’s much longer than my normal Friday posts so I hope that will do!

Modern Day Mentoring

In a time when being independent reigns supreme the concept of mentoring is forced into a questionable position. Does the younger generation need older, more knowledgeable people to mentor them? Absolutely!

Though situations have changed extensively over the last decade, having a mentor remains incredibly important in the life of every youth. Yes, things have changed over recent years with such advancement in technology, making it harder for older people to relate on that level, but hard work and life experiences could never be replaced by such advancements.

Being 23 years old myself, I have witnessed a vast number of my peers give into the mindset of what society portrays as “independence”. The “I can do whatever I want, whenever I want, and no older person can tell me different because they can’t relate to what I am going through” mindset. It’s the complete opposite of any generation in the past.

Jesus mentored his disciples. Michelangelo had a mentor. Thomas Edison had a mentor. Abraham Lincoln had a mentor. Martin Luther King Jr. had a mentor. What lessens the importance of mentoring today? Nothing.

Having a mentor is important no matter what age you are. There doesn’t come a time in life when an individual can no longer grow within themselves.

Some of you may be thinking, what makes having a mentor so important?

  • They serve as an open ear. A mentor is someone to talk to. To share your problems with. Someone to listen when no other person will.
  • Mentors are typically older than you and have essentially experienced more in life. Even if they haven’t been through your exact situation, they have probably experienced a similar case and can throw some form of helpful insight your way.
  • They serve as “co-dreamers”. A mentor should be there to dream with you. I know many younger people who feel “stuck” and don’t really know what they want to do with their life. A mentor should explore options with you and motivate you when doubt creeps up.

So, yes, having a mentor is important, but how do I find one?

  • If you are connected within a church in your area, finding a mentor there is a great option. Get connected and search out the perfect person for you.
  • If you have family members or friends that are well connected in your field of interest, ask them to provide people for you to meet up with.
  • If you know of a person in your city that you think would be a great mentor for you, find a way to get in touch with them and just grab a cup of coffee. Who know what can come out of one conversation?

Never be afraid to ask someone to mentor you. I know many people that want to have a mentor but are afraid to ask. That should never be the case. Older people love it when a younger person asks them for help. It makes them feel good about their position in life and the fact that people look up to what they do.

What’s stopping you from either finding a mentor or being a mentor yourself?

Filed under Zach Windahl Author Books A Makers Dozen Juice Box Living Mentoring Jesus Disciples Michelangelo Thomas Edison MLK Jr. Abraham Lincoln

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Welp, it’s Wednesday! 6/22

The Twelve Apostles were a pretty odd and reckless group of individuals. They were all different, yet the same. So wrong, yet so right. All were under twenty, aside from Peter, so you know that the other eleven had a lot of energy and spoke their mind, just as teenagers do today.

Some of the guys were single, some were married with children. One was from the city, the rest were from the country. Some were in the same family, some probably didn’t know their family. Some had their own family business, some worked in politics. Matthew worked for the Roman IRS and Simon the Zealot hated the government. Your college roommate and the guy who your dad didn’t want your sister to hang around. Two people that should have fought constantly, both in the same group, learning from the same leader.

It rarely was an issue though because they all loved Jesus and that’s all that mattered. When Jesus is behind something, he can use any type of person to pull through. These guys were an interesting pack that worked so perfect because they complimented each other’s strengths.

If you think about that in the way of societies present mentality, these twelve should not be the people that the son of God would be the most closely associated with. He should have been picking people like Donald Trump, P Diddy, Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg, you know, the richest and most powerful type. But He didn’t. Thank God he didn’t.

Jesus, the son of God the Creator, chose people who didn’t have influence. Didn’t have worldly respect. Didn’t have much to offer in general. But they did have a life that could be molded into something special.

Jesus doesn’t care about your status. He doesn’t care about how much money you have or don’t have. But, he does care about your heart and your life as a whole. All it takes is for you to get over yourself and let Him know that you want a different life.

Money doesn’t provide eternal happiness.

Fame doesn’t provide eternal happiness.

Living a life with Jesus and fulfilling your job here on Earth provides a happiness that soars higher than anything society portrays and it lasts for all of eternity.

God wants to be in your life. You just have to want Him back. 

Filed under Zach Windahl, Author Books A Makers Dozen Juice Box Living Jesus Happiness

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Favorite Friday: 6/17

This weeks “Favorite Friday” post is dedicated to one of my favorite authors, Max Lucado, and more directly towards his most recent book: Out Live Your Life.

If you have yet to read Out Live Your Life I highly suggest that you do so in the near future. Here is a little description of it from Mr. Lucado’s website:

"These are difficult days in our world’s history. 1.75 billion people are desperately poor, natural disasters are gouging entire nations, and economic uncertainty still reigns across the globe. But you and I have been given an opportunity to make a big difference. What if we did? What if we rocked the world with hope? Infiltrated all corners with God’s love and life? We are created by a great God to do great works. He invites us to outlive our lives, not just in heaven, but here on earth. Let’s live our lives in such a way that the world will be glad we did."

Out Live Your Life is inspiring, motivating, and engaging in a multitude of ways. It helped me clear up my God given goals and focus solely towards what I am to do while here on Earth.

You can learn more about Out Live Your Life on his website, HERE.

Book cover

Filed under Zach Windahl Author Books A Makers Dozen Juice Box Living Inspiration Motivation Max Lucado Out Live Your Life