AlongTheWay

How Dropping an "F-Bomb" Changed Her Life - Amanda Brougher's Journey AlongTheWay 07

May 27, 2019 John Matarazzo / Amanda Brougher Season 1 Episode 7
AlongTheWay
How Dropping an "F-Bomb" Changed Her Life - Amanda Brougher's Journey AlongTheWay 07
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AlongTheWay
How Dropping an "F-Bomb" Changed Her Life - Amanda Brougher's Journey AlongTheWay 07
May 27, 2019 Season 1 Episode 7
John Matarazzo / Amanda Brougher

RealLife TV CoHost, Amanda Brougher, shares her journey of faith, falling in love with the Word of God, pioneering the Pittsburgh DreamCenter, and trusting God through loving wayward child.

Her AlongTheWay moments include 

  • The “F-Bomb” that changed her life
  • Pioneering a DreamCenter
  • Keeping Her Child-Like Faith
  • Trusting God through loving a wayward child


Get to know more about Amanda…

Pittsburgh Dream Center’s Website

-Watch Amanda on RealLife
Books

Contact AlongTheWay

AlongTheWay

Facebook

Instagram

Email - To win this episodes prize please send me an email with your name, where you are listening from and what you have enjoyed about AlongTheWay.

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/AlongTheWay)

Show Notes Transcript

RealLife TV CoHost, Amanda Brougher, shares her journey of faith, falling in love with the Word of God, pioneering the Pittsburgh DreamCenter, and trusting God through loving wayward child.

Her AlongTheWay moments include 

  • The “F-Bomb” that changed her life
  • Pioneering a DreamCenter
  • Keeping Her Child-Like Faith
  • Trusting God through loving a wayward child


Get to know more about Amanda…

Pittsburgh Dream Center’s Website

-Watch Amanda on RealLife
Books

Contact AlongTheWay

AlongTheWay

Facebook

Instagram

Email - To win this episodes prize please send me an email with your name, where you are listening from and what you have enjoyed about AlongTheWay.

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/AlongTheWay)

Amanda Brougher :

I began to see this so differently. And it broaden the wells of my heart of compassion for people that are walking through seasons that aren't pretty. That's not my role to tell them. Well, if you wouldn't have done this, if you wanted, it doesn't help. It's like, we just got to be there for people right where they are, and love them right back into the kingdom of God. God relates with us as parents, but we have children that go wayward, because Israelites did that constantly. To him, you know, and we do that.

John Matarazzo :

Welcome to along the way. I'm John matter as your host and fellow traveler, thank you for joining me along my way, as I try to become more like Jesus every day. I love when I have the opportunity to talk with fascinating people and learn how God has met them along their way. Everyone has a story, and we can all learn from each other's journey. Through my work as a television producer, I get to interact with some of the most amazing people making an incredible impact for God's kingdom. And this episode of along the way, my journey connects me with Amanda Crocker of the Pittsburgh Dream Center. And she is also one of the CO hosts of my TV show real life on Cornerstone network. And the wrap up of this episode, I will be giving away a free book that Amanda recommends, please stay tuned for how you can win. And now here's how my journey joins with Amanda along the way. Thanks so much for being on along the way.

Amanda Brougher :

Well, this is awesome. I'm so glad to get to be a part of your journey. And I know I'm enjoying you being a part of mine. So this is an awesome experience.

John Matarazzo :

Yeah, it's been fun getting to work with you as one of the one of the hosts of your life. You're on Mondays, and you fill in as needed, and other places and you're you always bring joy, and really not just any joy, you bring God's joy. That's one of the things I I always appreciate about you is that you exude the Lord's joy.

Amanda Brougher :

Praise God. He has done so much for us. So yeah, yeah, I have something to be excited about. Yes, we're gonna dig into this. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah,

John Matarazzo :

I did. I really appreciate the fact that you've been serving the Lord for a while. You and your husband, Gary, are the founders of the Pittsburgh Dream Center. Yes. And we're seeing God do some cool things with that. But as this, as this podcast is all about are the things that we've learned along the way. And looking at where Jesus was walking with us that we didn't realize until we look back and we realize, then we see that he was there the whole time. I want to hear about your story, Amanda, because you haven't always been on TV, you haven't always been. You know, working in the Dream Center. You've had a bit of your journey. But I want to see from you where Jesus has been meeting you along your way.

Amanda Brougher :

Yes, my journey. Wow, it starts when I was little, like, I never didn't know who God was. So he was a part of my life. My parents got saved very early on. But we moved around a whole lot because my dad's job. So he was in the coal mining and that one coal mines in Pennsylvania started closing down, it took us to a nuclear power plant out in Ohio. And then the Lord choose me brought us back to Pennsylvania, and he worked in heavy construction. So it was an adventure. I was in a lot of different schools. But I think in all of that, I learned that where was home home for me wasn't really a place. It was the people that I was with. And I think that it sort of matured me as a child that I had an understanding maybe the other kids didn't, they didn't even think about they took it for granted. But I think that that was something that God really helped shape my life.

John Matarazzo :

Sure. What do you mean by that? What what areas did you grow up in fester?

Amanda Brougher :

So I think just in maturing, so it's kind of like people who go through, maybe hardships, the younger they are, it causes you to grow up, you know, quicker, maybe have a different mindset on things. There were struggles, so to speak, even that my family endured, and I was along for the ride. And we learn together and I watched my parents just hang on to the Lord. And that was something that always was a part of my life going to church. And I was a prim at one point, and, you know, it's a premise part of the mission net program, you know, so Wednesday night programs, and I think always just that was a part of it. And that was a joyful part for me, you know. So I really relied on the church as a whole, and that experience with my family. But yeah, so home for me wasn't like, I had this house that I think of as home home was not a location correct. And that was huge for me, because as my relationship that established with the Lord, our ultimate home is in heaven, and you realize, we're all just journeying through, and it helps me to not be too overwhelmed at certain things in life. So music was a big part. So that was another thing my dad self taught, you know, himself how to play the guitar. And so he would sing a lot when he was at home. And those songs are so in my heart. So like, Keith green songs, you know, one of them that I was just really impacted by was asleep in the light. And, you know, one of the, the lyric part was, oh, can't you see such sin, because he brings people to your door. And you turn them away, as you smile and say, God bless you be at peace, and all heaven just weeps. Because Jesus came to your door, you left him out on the streets. So I grew up with like this type of thing, realizing there's more to my belief system than just going to church, okay, and another one like Dallas home song was live what you say, you know, don't say that you love him. But live like you don't you know your words, what you're speaking needs to equal what your actions are. So from Little lot, you know, as you're trudging through life, and but these were seeds that God on purpose, because of knowing that one day, Amanda Brock and her husband are going to be ministering to the least of these, that I've always had a heart to serve. Like, I don't see the Bible separate like that you're preaching one thing up on a stage, it's like more than that. It's like, we're called to live this out. So I just think that that was really cultivated in my life from early on. To now it's being fulfilled. So

John Matarazzo :

I want to talk a little bit about this music thing that you brought up. When did you realize that music was more than just Alice? You know, this sounds good? Or when did when did the words start to mean something to you?

Amanda Brougher :

Well, for me, my dad, I can like specifically remember, he would be in his bedroom, and they have a little desk and a wooden chair. And he would sit there and that's where he would often time practice. But you know, as a kid, I could have been out playing and I'm sure I did that. But I would choose to sit quietly in there. And I would just hear the words he was saying and the passion that he had behind it, and my dad lived it, you know, he would go and visit people. And at different times, we would take fruit baskets to the nursing homes. And just, we would walk and he would play his guitar and sing. And we would hand out fruit baskets. And that was one thing my dad would say you're so different as a kid, because I would just hug these people like he could remember one lady, she had draw even an it didn't matter to me, I just went up and I, I I hugged her. And so there's just something that the Lord was doing. And ultimately, we all have, you know, that thing within us that God's called evading. But even my parents could see that on my life when I was only six years old, when I would sit in my dad's room and just listen to him. I could have been out running around, but I wanted to sit there. So I think he really set an example. And I never saw warship, even in a church setting as a program we're putting on or a performance that is to be watched. I always from early on, and it's more affects something my husband said drew him, you know, caught his eye was because I was a young teenager, and I was just raising my hands and worshiping God. Even though I had these moments with God. There was that decision desire within me to fit in. And I was, you know, I was homeschooled a little bit with all the moving. We have school. I have three siblings. So

John Matarazzo :

you're one of four.

Amanda Brougher :

Yes. And two of them I was raised with the fourth one, though, is same parents and everything. But he came when I was 20. So I was already married and out of the house. So really, I grew up with, you know, my brother and my sister and the oldest. So yes, police patrol. But yeah, I love them. But there was, you know, my brothers five years younger than me, my sisters eight years younger than me. But yeah, our age difference. We, you know, didn't necessarily play together. We weren't on the same wavelength. I can remember when I was like, 12 My sister was begging me to play Barbies with her and I thought, okay, I'll I'll do this. And just we get everything set up. And I'm finally getting my mind to like, imagine how you do when you're little or you know, as a preteen. And she's like, Okay, let's go outside. I was like, what she was for, though, you know? So it's like, yeah, we just, we didn't really hang out in high school. I married when I was 18. Going on 19. So I already moved away. We moved to Pittsburgh. Yeah. So, but we love each other. I mean, our family is our family. But yeah, I was kind of an only child for a little bit of time. So

John Matarazzo :

that's interesting. It is an interesting gap.

Amanda Brougher :

That Right, right. Yes,

Unknown Speaker :

my and then the 20 year gap is

Amanda Brougher :

that's just fun. So literally, he's 22 months older than my daughter. Yeah, I watched my mom go through pregnancy. And then we had gotten pregnant. So. But yeah, I was always very pretty easygoing, as a child. And I just had a love for the Lord that I did. But I was not perfect. So here I am my preteen years, and I'm really trying to fit in and when you go to different schools, and that it can be tough, because you don't know people. So then you're trying to do things to be cool or whatever. And so I had a rather really nasty potty mouth.

John Matarazzo :

Really, I can't imagine I know

Amanda Brougher :

who was that girl. So anyhow, we move yet again, for my dad's job and new school district. And so one of the people from the old school district calls and we're on the phone, and I am dropping the F bomb, like, I'm just some cool person. really shouldn't be doing this. But hey, you're trying to fit in here. And my mom, why did you feel like you needed to fit in that

John Matarazzo :

bad?

Amanda Brougher :

Well, because I all new friend group at the new school. And so I'm just trying to be real cool with this other kid that went to the school that I was at, kind of acting like, yeah, I'm cool. I'm at this new school. But really, I was struggling as all get out because you're the new kid on the block. And here, my mom was on the other end of the phone. Oh, no. And all I hear is, Mandy, get off the phone now. And I knew I'm like, oh, my goodness, I gotta go. Bye. That was the last time I ever talked to him.

John Matarazzo :

Oh my gosh. So

Amanda Brougher :

this is what happened. And it was the best thing for me. And it was a dose of reality. But my moms like I can't even talk to you right now. I'm going to talk to your dad when he gets home. And we'll sit down and my dad just, I had such a wisdom. You know, I know they were consulting the Lord. But what he told me was, you're too old, you know, to just get a smack and then be done with this. Like, I want you to get your Bible. And for the next two weeks, every day, you are going to present to me a reason of why you need to watch what you say, from the Bible perspective. What that did for me was incredible, because it put a desire in me to study because he taught me, I'm like, Well, how do I look this up. So then he's showing me how to use a concordance. And how to do little Bible studies for my own topical Bible said about the tongue. I'm 13. So I every day, and I so enjoyed it, that I can remember taking my little brother outside, and we had rented a property that was on a farm. And I took him out to the barn. And I sat him down, you know, with hay bales, like they were my congregation. And I remember like preaching to him, these things that I had brought about the tongue. When I look back at that moment, though, it seemed like there was an all get out trouble and making, you know, just being stupid in our flesh, how we do we choose these things just to fit in. But God turned that around to really be a motivator for me to seek after the heart of God. And shortly after I got baptized at the church we were at, I was really beginning to choose Christ for me. And then I can remember Laverne trip, he came to our church, and talking about the filling of the Holy Spirit. So within my my 13 year old year, I was, you know, had this heart change was really pointed in the direction of Christ, water, baptized, and filled with the Holy Spirit. With the evidence of speaking in tongues. This was like a big year for me. Yeah. And when we look back, my husband was actually baptized the same day. So our certificates are the same, even though we really didn't know each other. We went to the same church. And we both were filled with the baptism the Holy Spirit when lover and trip came. So it was like, we had these things in common yet before we even met, online, and that that was a defining year for my life. That school, you know, I'm still at a public school up there. This lady girl, she was a senior that year, I was in seventh grade. And I told her because she would invite me to sit in the back of the bus because I wanted to be wanted to be fit in. Yes. So I was potty mouth and then just like the rest of them to fit in. And I said to her, you know, I really got in trouble for talking like this. And I got to get my life right with God, and I can't talk like that anymore. And her whole demeanor toward me changed. And in school, my mom, she had to go the guidance counselor with me because this girl, and I think what it did is it convicted her heart, that she would bash me up against the lockers. So not none of my friends them would walk with me, right? They stayed out of the aim of fire. It was no longer was, yeah, I wasn't able to sit in the at the bus no more, because I will I didn't fit in. And that was so hard. And I didn't understand why. But it was like the Lord was teaching me that no matter what happens, like men say, like, are you going to do what pleases me or you can do what pleases them. So that was happening for me in my seventh grade year of school. And the way our school was, is seventh through 12th was in high school because it was a smaller school. So there was no middle school. And a neat story to fast forward is that two years out of my graduation, my mom was part of a census, where you went door to door and just to get people's address and confirm where they lived in Somerset County, which is where I'm from. And she happened to knock on her door. Okay, the senior and with tears, she told my mom to please tell you, daughter, I'm so sorry for that. And I now have a relationship with Jesus. So you, I mean, you can't even imagine, like I was so broken at that point. But my mom, we would pray. And of course, she did what she needed to do in natural and take me the guidance officer who was meeting with her telling her not to do this anymore, but it was anyhow, the persecution or that what was coming against me there was purpose in it. And it had to do with that own girl's life. And her turning to God. So that was kind of like the Lord letting us see the fruit of our prayers by her going because other than that we never would have known so yeah, really, that was that was a neat experience to have.

John Matarazzo :

So literally an F bomb changed the course of your life for

Amanda Brougher :

real. Yeah, yeah. just said, and are you really saying Yeah. And then my dad knowing to turn me to the Word of God as my correction. So you know, it helped me learn. And then in a good resented that, oh, I could have but I didn't because I did have a heart for the and I knew what my dad was telling me. He wasn't gonna lie to me. And that's where I feel like as adults, we really got to live. What we're saying. And he did, it wasn't like he was telling me this. I had a relationship with Him. And I think even with my own children, we have to realize it, we can be quick to tell people Oh, that's not right and do that. But really, we have to do that when we're in a relationship. Because they're going to listen, if they don't have a relationship with us, whomever we're talking to, it's just like, whatever, you know, they don't take what we're saying as serious. But my dad and I had that relationship. So when he was talking to me, I knew, okay, I really got to get this together. And your dad's voice

John Matarazzo :

was big in your ears,

Amanda Brougher :

huge. And then God's word, it does not return void. It was the perfect correction for me. I saw how foolish I was in using court gestures, you know, and we're actually taught by God not to do that don't take part in that. And to speak life and not death. It matters. What comes out our mouth is like seeds being planted. And what do you want in your tomorrow is what you speak today. And it doesn't always happen that quick.

John Matarazzo :

So you had this desire to fit in? I did. And the course language was what you felt was going to do

Amanda Brougher :

that connected me to them. Yeah.

John Matarazzo :

But the result of that caused you to really not fit in, right? I mean, just a little bit about like, how you found God more. During that time, this desire to fit in with your peers, yeah, wasn't going to be fulfilled. How did God fulfill that for you?

Amanda Brougher :

So my eighth grade year comes and I meet my future husband. All right, when you're in eighth grade, when I'm in eighth grade, how old is he? He is 19 at this time, and I'm 14 at this time, okay. Okay. And the only reason my parents were okay with it was because he was part of our church, and they did see him and know him from that you were you were dating at that point? Well, we didn't get to go anywhere.

John Matarazzo :

like each other.

Amanda Brougher :

Correct. Okay. Yeah. So and, but it was a really hard year for me, because here I am. I'm learning how to talk. I'm baptized, I'm filled with the Holy Spirit. But what this is fairly lonely, and I was struggling immensely. And so I'm me, Gary. And it's like, he became someone that I could call we would like, every night, we would call each other and we read the Bible together. Like it just that was really our relationship was God's word. And I can see how the Lord used him in my life, to even give me that you know, someone who wasn't pressuring me to do wrong things. And we both are passionate about God. And it just so happened, right when we're at the same level of seeking God puts us together. But as far as me going to school, I'm still feeling very lonely and left out. And, you know, there's parties that are starting to happen. And I'm just I'm like, I knew I wasn't to be a part of it. But yet, it was hard. And so once again, God uses my dad. And for 30 days, this is what we did 31 days, every night, when he would get home from work, we would sit down after dinner, and we went through the book of Proverbs. We did one proverb, every night. And we would just talk about that it was so good. And then I started going to this prayer and fasting on Tuesday nights that our church was having. And so we would pray, and fast until after the meeting, and then we would go to subway and eat or foxes pizza up there in Somerset. And might, it just, it's amazing. The opportunity that we have to be in people's life, and how important relationships are like, I needed my dad so much. And you think of people who don't have that I had that in my life that he took the time for me I was he wasn't too busy for me. And anyhow, it was unique. And even my dad recalls, it's unique for a young person like myself, to desire that so much in my life. But for him not to pass by that but feed that he was feeding the spirit what was hungry in me. And

John Matarazzo :

it sounds like he wasn't missing those along the way moments for you with you.

Amanda Brougher :

Not at all. It was there. And it was happening. And it wasn't like we were he had that in his mind that that was his goal. It was just happening. And my husband, well, it was not my husband then. But he starts showing up at these Tuesday night prayer meetings, okay, and the same thing is happening. And just, it was such a neat time. But I had, you know, those growing moments, and then really something that I struggled with, and it was from my early teen years was sexual addiction, like I had this issue that I was so embarrassed, and I never would tell anyone. And so as I get through high school, you know, for some reason, in the back of our head, we sometimes think these pet sins, as I call them, like, well, I can get over this when I when I choose to like I can get myself together. And I really thought that once I got married, you know that this is just going to go away. And that was a lie. I needed. I needed Jesus in this matter, but I didn't even know how to do it. And I really believed within me, I knew that what I was dealing with was sin. But I didn't know how to tackle it. And like I said I was too I was really embarrassed to say anything, no matter how good that relationship was. And I'm sure the enemy was just like you don't want to tell anyone you know, which is what he does.

John Matarazzo :

Oh, yeah, he's in so biggest liar ever.

Amanda Brougher :

Yeah, here I am out of high school, we get married. I start at ICM school business going through Business School. Okay. And what ended up happening to me was, I began to have nightmares of, you know, not just Am I this temptation that's just constantly beckoning to me, especially when I would get stressed, and I'm trying to study it was like, I couldn't get away from myself and like, God, what is happening, I'm crying out to him. And God gives my mother in law, a dream. And she comes to church, this particular Sunday, and she's like, pulls my dad aside, and, and my husband and my mom, and she's like, I had this dream. And in this dream, you are running and screaming, and this guy is about to rape you. And I'm like, Oh, my gosh, this is the type of dreams that I was having, as I'm trying to just quit this, like, I'm done with this, I don't need to do this. I'm married now. You know, and it was not, it was very intense. And I, if I can describe it like this, we allow the enemy to come in. And for years, I allowed this thing in my life. And I cultivated almost a relationship with this idea, this thing, this expression of feeling whatever. And so to just not have that it was like I was oppressed, I didn't understand it. How can I believe in God, but yet, I'm dealing with sin. But this is something that is very real oppression is real. And we need to hit this head on. And the best thing I could have done was expose it and go to someone and say, I'm really struggling with this. And let them help me, you know, through God's Word to show me so

John Matarazzo :

God gave your mother in law, a dream,

Amanda Brougher :

I dream of this. And that broke me Because you know what? I knew that what cries that I had in the midnight hour. God saw me because I felt very alone. It was another moment where I was feeling really alone. And so it was like a few weeks later, I am at home by myself. I'm trying to study for finals. And this demonic, I was a spirit was just on like county me and I'm like, God, and I fell on our apartment floor. And I'm like, I need your revelation on this. I need your help, because I did not know how to deal with it. And it was the first time in my life that I heard God speak to me. And he said, read first, second. And third john. Well, I'm an A student, and I would study study study, I would memorize material because that a meant something to me. But that night, I could have cared less about my finals, because I just heard something that I had never heard before. And I went there and I began to read and these are just some of the verses. First, john one, verse five, this is the message which we have heard from him, and declare to you that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. And I'm like, oh, because I knew that this was a dark secret that I had been hiding, but there is no darkness in God. And if you read on in verse eight, if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. And then into chapter two, verse 29, if you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of him. And it come on down in chapter three verse. Whoever abides in Him does not sin, whoever sin has neither seen him, nor known him. And that verse right there was just like, oh, Lord God Almighty, cuz I knew I knew God. But I was literally you're living a lie when you think that sin is okay to have in your life. And what, after reading first, second, and third, John, I just cried out to God. And within my spirit, I literally had three neon balls. And I don't understand this. I just know what I saw with my spiritual eyes, was these three objects leave me and they actually went through my door. And I thought, Well, that was odd. But later talking with people who have had ministries of casting out, talked about how they come in through windows and doors, and they exit through windows and doors I had I did not know that. So I mean, that's for a future study. But this book of first, second, and then third, john became like, living waters. To me, it was like the washing of the word. And what I can say is on April 8 1996, that's the day this took place. I have been free from that oppressive spirit. And I have never had that same urge or torment again, in my life. It's been that many years. And I was afraid to tell anyone that it was going to come back. So it took me a whole year, I waited till my anniversary a year. And I'm like, I think that we beat this God. And I actually went to my mother in law, she was the first person that I told. And I said, You have no idea how much that dream that you had a year ago, meant to me because it brought me freedom. And I walked her through the process. And we were up for hours in her living room with just a manifestation of God's glory, praising God and reading scripture. It was such a neat encounter. And then I did share with my husband. And then I did share it with my dad. And it was like, there were things that I told him and he's the one who was like, he knew what that was because he had interest in the whole deliverance ministry. So he helped me to even have understanding of being oppressed. That's possible. You can be a born again, believer, but yet, you're oppressed by

John Matarazzo :

the devil doesn't like us. So of course, he's gonna press Yeah, he's gonna do whatever he can. That's right. So he's gonna do whatever he can to keep us from our purpose to keep us from hearing God. Yeah. And, Amanda, I know you. You've got married to Gary, and you have four children? Yes. And glory to God. You and Gary have started the Pittsburgh Dream Center. Tell me a little bit about that. Because that is really tied into your purpose. Right? Right.

Amanda Brougher :

It is totally. So this is like we knew, and I knew, and even if I could just read one more scripture, first, john, and it's chapter three. But it's verses 16. Through 19, it says, but this we know love, because he laid down his life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brother and but whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in Him, my little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this, we know that we are the truth, and we shall assure our hearts before him. So I mean, there was so much happening when I look back, knowing that the ministry that God was calling my husband, and it was really to a ministry of service ministry, where we're just not preaching the good news, we are literally giving people the groceries that are hungry, or we're giving them the clothes because they are naked. In most cases, in America, they are not naked, they usually have something but they need a coat in winter, or blankets, if they're outside at tents, mats for our homeless friends, whatever it is the need that's there, it's like God has put it in our heart that we just don't want to tell them. God bless you be at peace. It's like, that's not what that song from Keith green, it's like no, all heavens weeping when we do that, we have got to take it to another step, and really reach out beyond ourselves to meet the need. And then they want to know what do you know why they want to know who we know. And it's our open door to present the gospel to them. But it's not always been easy. I can I know, because here we have our children. And you would think they did a lot of ministry with us. And whether it's, you know, the enemy coming at us because we're doing good or just, they each have their own little world. And you know, and there's preteen years, they're all going through the same struggle, that that I did that my husband did, and our process to becoming, you know, what God wants us to looks different for all of us. And so our, you know, second child really struggled. And it was a really eye opening experience. When you are doing the gospel, you're reaching out God brings me to Cornerstone television, I had no idea this was in my future. But God did put a desire in me before we even left Oklahoma because we went out to Oklahoma, and got our training for Oral Roberts University and we are plugged in with Pastor Billy Joe and Sharon Doherty at victory Christian Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and it was the best training ground that we needed. Because they were those type of people. They were who they were on the pulpit, and they were in Walmart, you know, they were the same people.

John Matarazzo :

So you didn't just have a heart to do this kind of ministry. You said, we're going to go get trained on how to do it affects. Yes,

Amanda Brougher :

that's right. So this was being birthed in us while we were in Pittsburgh, and we were here for about 10 years. My husband worked at PNC Bank. And he was doing very well. He just has favor there. And but that desire in our heart to minister the gospel was, it was very strong, it was very loud. And we knew we didn't just want to go and Pioneer something without being adequately trained and getting the connections that we needed. So the call to go to Oklahoma came and really it was through my sister that this all transpired. We were handed an ORU application from our friends there who were ministers to give to her. And it caused Gary and I'd be like, well, who, who's Oral Roberts? I surprisingly, did not know. And so we started watching chronicles of faith that Oral Roberts was on and just getting acquainted with who he was. And then we started watching ORU chapels. Sure. on Sky Angel TV exist. And just, we had this desire, like, Oh, my goodness. So here we are, we have all of our children.

John Matarazzo :

And our ages at this point that you moved out,

Amanda Brougher :

we moved. My daughter was seven years old and my boys 453. And Jonathan was four months old.

John Matarazzo :

Yeah, that's not an easy time frame. No,

Amanda Brougher :

no, but it was like the Lord. It was him making the way. And that wasn't easy. But our house sold when nothing else was selling or realtor. She was a believer, I can remember tears, because she needed a house to sell. It was in November of oh five. And our house sold at a time where things in the market weren't so good. And we all knew it was a miracle of God. And then the Lord blessed us with a house in Oklahoma that was right across the street from the only family we new. Oh, wow. And they were our pastors like years before. So God move them out there. And that was just such a blessing. I had her like grandma to my kids. They were just there for us. And yeah, what a blessing when I look back at that in the provision during that season, because Gary ends up working at ORU, which pays for his tuition, which is how we were able to do this, wow. And then I, we would have clothing given to us for our kids. We literally people talk about having checks show up in the mail, people who were praying for us in Pennsylvania, just upon the leading the Holy Spirit would put a check in the mail. And it would just show up at the day that we needed it. So I mean, I got to see those things happen. It's very real God desires to provide us where he guides us to go. And we were out there for six and a half years before he was like, calling us to come back. And minister but we weren't even sure that we were to come back here. We were actually interviewing for jobs until Ito Ohio, and in Mobile, Alabama. And it was for regular pastoral positions. And then my husband in 2010. He said, I think that I need to take a trip out to the LA Dream Center, just a short term missions trip. And I'm like, we'll go and God ends up speaking to him while he is out there. He went to the LA Dream Center. And it changed his whole perspective on what our call was. And it was sort of complicated, because we're in the middle of like, literally this interview in Mobile, Alabama to become their children's pastor, they had flown us there and everything. So to call them and say, You know, I think God's changing our direction was just like, Oh my gosh, we seem so irresponsible. Lord help us. And but God always confirms His Word. He confirmed to them even in our interview process. God is calling you guys to go to Pittsburgh, and you need to go. And they released us from that obligation. How wild is that? And then we go to kids camp, and the lady that was ministering her and her husband, they move in the prophetic a lot. And Gary were just camp counselors that he's up front with his little the guy group. And the lady went over. And all I know is my husband is not very emotional. And he hits the floor. And I'm like, What is happening? And I was in the back with the girls. And I'm just wondering, like, What did she said to him? What is this? So at the end of the meeting right away, we walked back to our cabins together and I'm like, What What happened? And he's like, she read my mail about this whole thing of pioneering something and to not have fear. And don't worry about the provision that God will be there is not

John Matarazzo :

a not taking this job in Alabama. Oh, you don't get paycheck? That's correct. A pioneer something there's no contract.

Amanda Brougher :

Yes. So here, he says. And she said that God told me 30 days ago, and I'm like, 30 days ago, when we looked on our calendar, he pulled it up on his little flip phone. And then 30 days to that day, is the day that he was leaving the LA Dream Center. And God told him, I've called you to go to Pittsburgh and plant a Dream Center, a mission like an outreach. And so we knew it was just confirmed, and there's no denying like, God, just what he did. And then, yeah, that was a process of us, relocating back here and pioneering. And within that year, I end up working here at Cornerstone, just so many divine moments, all out of relationships, relationships are so important. And if anything, I can say that that's probably the biggest thing right now that God is teaching me. Because even reaching my son who really first I was so angry that he wasn't following the ways of the Lord and like, why are you doing this, you're you're reaching all these other people for God. And yet my own son was like sand in my hand. I couldn't, I couldn't manage him. And it was so hurtful because he I love him. And God taught me through, you know, the book of Hosea, really that relationship that God asks us, like he did Hosea man of God to go after the prostitute, Gomer. But yet really, we're all Gomer. The Lord showed me that, like, I have to be able to go after him. And, you know, relate to him right where he's at, and love him right where he's at. And I think that that's really the whole Ministry of the Pittsburgh Dream Center is you learn to love people right where they're at, because that's what God does. He knows we can't get cleaned up, come to church, churches, like the hospital worth of broken come to be healed. And that's the perspective we have to have is those eyes that were willing to leave the 99. You know, the church party that's happened and go after that one, who's lost out there, because if we don't go after them, and for my own kid, that's really what God did. And I had to quit run into all the meetings, I love church meetings, but God was like, I need you to sit at home right now. And just be with your son. And what I found was, at first, I didn't even appreciate it. I was like, mad like, I'm missing out, I'm sitting here at home, my husband, you know, he's having to go, he has responsibilities. And I just had to cut out my ministry responsibilities. Because my son was the one that God was like, I need you to relate right here, have relationship right here. Because going to church and taking them with you and sitting in a Pew, just because he's beside you doesn't mean you're building your relationship with him. That's good. Yeah. And it was like I began to see this so differently. And it brought in the wells of my heart of compassion for people that are walking through seasons that aren't pretty. And a lot of times, it's the only decisions that they've made themselves that took them there. But that's not my role to tell them. Well, if you want to have done this, if you want to, it doesn't help. It's like we just got to be there for people right where they are, and love them right back into the kingdom of God. And yes, there's Bible Promises, Jeremiah 31 1718, about where God says, refrain from weeping, because everything that you prayed is going to happen, he's going to restore those children, he's talking about the Israelites back to their rightful borders, they'll no longer be in the land of the enemy. And it was like, that became a promise for me. God relates with us as parents, but we have children go wayward. Because Israelites did that constantly. To him, you know, and we do that. And we need to see our own error. None of us are without sin, or fall, right? We all and we got to give that grace to one another and just love people right where they are. And I'm happy to say that all those church meeting I missed today, I am so grateful. For the time that I had with my son, it was well worth it. He needed it. And it was where God had me. So it's just we have to listen to the Holy Spirit and be led by him and not condemn one another because you weren't in the church meeting. I think that's huge for us today. I grew up, you know, church, you were there. Right? You were there. And I was there. And as a child, I loved it. That was where my dad and I connected we went. But for whatever reason, you know, we're all different. And that wasn't for, you know, my kids walk and that's okay. So we just love people, right where they are? Yeah, it's been a season of learning and growth. Right. But those relationships are about most important. Absolutely.

John Matarazzo :

Amanda, you know, you've talked a good bit about your journey, it sounds like you've had some real detours that could easily cause you to say, I'm done. I just can't do this anymore. How did you get over that? And then also, what advice would you give to me to overcome some of the obstacles and in life,

Amanda Brougher :

right? Those hard times, I think I actually did have moments in this last year, where I wanted to just quit, I thought, What am I doing? And what am I What am I really pursuing? If anything, when you do have struggles, it really makes you get rid of all the fluff, like you just where does the rubber meet the road? And you're in that moment, and there's friction in that moment. But yet, it's also shaping. So we don't want to run from those moments. Sometimes you do, you just I want out of this situation. And God taught me that his grace, it never means that he's going to remove you from a struggle to have God's grace in the middle of something is his presence, and the promises of God of peace, love, joy, faithfulness, I can walk in those things in the middle of my struggle. And I would think, you know, the biggest thing I've probably learned to is faith. And really taking this down to its simplest form. Is that word faith, f forsaking a all. I trust him. You know, when things are not going, how you're praying according to the Word of God. You're just like, what is happening? And, you know, we've had some real moments, you know, one was my son last summer, he actually overdosed. And he was lost. downtown Pittsburgh, and it was like, you know, trying to wrap your head around this. He was supposed to be at home. And the miracle that happened is my husband called me and left me know, I was just leaving work to pray. And he was downtown looking for him going on the streets. And he calls Jonathan, my 12 year old who is at home and tells him if, if Andrew who is my oldest son comes home, please call and tell me we're looking for him. And Jonathan said to me, Mom, I got down and I prayed. And God told me, Andrew is in the Starbucks at Market Square, and he's lying on the bathroom floor. And I was just like, okay, and he said, I called dad and I told him, and they found him. And I'm like, What? Tell me this again,

John Matarazzo :

I wouldn't call the home to, I went,

Amanda Brougher :

well, what I did is I pulled up our account. Yeah, and I'm like, Did someone call and tell him because it's something here we are. We're born again, believers, and we love God in the impossible. And I'm prayer Partner Manager, and we read testimonies. But for God, he he did what he talked to you, Jonathan, and I had that encounter before myself. And it's it's not an audible voice, so to speak, but it comes from within us, it's like you hear it with your spiritual year. But that's exactly what happened for him. And the miracle is that my husband did what he told him to do. And found my son, he was already at that particular Starbucks. It saved his life. Yes, i. So, God, even in all of that, like you're struggling, and you're just like, God, what are we doing? But God telling me Keep your eyes on me? My promises are for you. My promises are for your kids. And I don't want you to look at the circumstances around you. But put your eyes on me. And it was the little saying is faith triumphs in trouble. So when I keep my eyes on him forsaking all, I trust him, my eyes are on him. We've got the victory. We're going to triumph and even my child triumph in that moment, and there's no logical explanation for it. It's just a miracle of God. So I know that God is there with us. And he's walking with us, as we're going through these different struggles in our lives. And I think that's the most powerful thing that we as believers can tell someone who has yet to know God, you want to have him walking with you in life? Absolutely. Yes, he is who is going to ultimately give you the victory? Through every struggle that you can possibly walk through?

John Matarazzo :

Amanda? I like asking this question to people, it's just a fun one for me. If you could talk to yourself in the past, what version of yourself or what stage of life? Would you visit yourself in? What advice would you give yourself?

Amanda Brougher :

Yes, well, I think in those teenage years, I will have to visit myself there. And just to tell myself, that I really can believe and be bold, even with my friends. You know, when I look back, I'm like, even though I was finding God, for myself, that is what I was doing. But I would love to been a little more expressive to the things of God than I was in that season of my life. But I think a huge thing for me was my senior year I was in this club. And we were investing. So you're learning we had a finance course. And then out of that, I signed up for this club. And we did a mock investment. And in 1995, the year I was graduating that spring, there, we had Apple, where you could buy shares and Microsoft and I was into computers, I loved all this, it was just coming out. See, we didn't have internet yet or any of that what we know of today, no cell phones. But my teacher said to me, if you would have invested even $100 for real in what I did in the mock investment, you would be a millionaire. So if I can't go back, I would be like telling myself to really. And she actually said that to my teacher. Like we should just go down and really invest money. Because I was an adult, I could have done it. But we just like said it is Oh yeah, sure. Yeah. Correct. And I was like, oh, if I could go back to any moment, that would be one of those funded a whole lot of gospel I would have probably been in why when traveling the world for Jesus,

John Matarazzo :

I couldn't imagine you holding on to a million dollars you would be you would be so quick to get rid of take care of other people. Yeah. Yeah. Amanda, one of the things that I have always appreciated about you, and that I've, you know, I've known you for the last almost seven years now. I think,

Amanda Brougher :

yeah. We started the same year here. Did you were here long before the volunteer.

John Matarazzo :

I was volunteering. Yeah, that's right. But one of the things that I've seen about you and I admire about you, it's come up several times in this is about your faith. And to me, you always demonstrate what it means to have that childlike faith, I end up complicating my faith so much. But you always inspire me to keep faith simple. And something that you just trust God, and it blows my mind. Every time we talk about faith, every time we talk about those things in it, even in this conversation that that comes out your faith in God and just trusting in God. Could you just give me some advice about how to keep faith? Simple, how to how to keep it so that a child can understand it, but an adult can understand it? Because we need to have a childlike faith. Right? And I complicated.

Amanda Brougher :

Help me, right. So I think I can too. But God has always taken me back really to Christmas time. And this is how I see myself. So I'm kind of simple. I love like I can dive in to you know, Joyce Meyer teaching or Rick Renner teaching or K Arthur and really the meat of the word, right. But I think basically, you know, as a child at Christmas time, if you're told Santa exists by your parents, you just believe them. You don't need to see him necessarily like to believe that, that he is who they say they are. We didn't ever do that with our kids. But I really, that is really, I think what God has helped me that even throughout my years, like I literally when I read God's word, I really just believe what he says. And if he says he'll do it, do I always see it happen right away? No, but it's like, there's this belief that's there, that I know somehow he's going to come through. Even in my deepest of struggles throughout my life, there was an underlying belief that I'm created by God. Like, and I, he's going to work this out. And I don't even always have the answers. And I think that's where I'm okay. I don't have to have all the answers. And I don't think I'll ever feel like I've arrived, no matter how much of God's Word that I'm a study. I want more, and I want to learn more. And so it's almost like these situations God has used to, to help me have to apply that childlike faith. Yeah, because you have to just believe God, there's no other way that this is going to work out, other than just believing him, and then feeling comfortable enough that you can rest in the moment knowing that he has this taken care of. And otherwise, the anxiety of life is so overwhelming. And I think that was the biggest moment last year that I really had was with my son was overwhelming anxiety, and anxiety To be honest, God corrected me in this because it's basically me telling God, I don't think that you can handle this. Ouch. And so I'm trying to come up with right resolution and answers. And man, I couldn't come up with anything I couldn't. I couldn't make my son better. Like I couldn't. It just it took me letting really go of him spending time with him, but yet not taking him on. As anxiety is like I'm the one who has to save him. Because it's impossible for me to. So I had to just that childlike faith puts it on God like okay, you said that you're going to do it, I'm going to do my part. So I believe that when God gives us a scripture that we really just need to believe them just like we believed our parents when we were a child,

John Matarazzo :

right, speaking of Scripture, I always like to ask about a life verse. What is the verse you're holding on tonight? Right now? What is the verse that is your life? Verse? Yeah,

Amanda Brougher :

my life verse and this has been from my teenage years, this is always comes out effusions. 210. For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

John Matarazzo :

You are doing a good work.

Amanda Brougher :

Can you imagine, though, that he was thinking about us? You know, as he's knitting us together, our mother's womb? Like he already beforehand had things planned out for each of us. It's this is an exciting life to live.

John Matarazzo :

Yeah. Do you have any books that you would recommend for me?

Amanda Brougher :

Well for you, so I'm not a huge book reader. But I really do like Rick Renner studies, he has the sparkling gems of the Greek. And it is so in depth, he has a few different ones. And I really like that. But a book that you actually introduced me to, I'm going to say back to you, okay, and that's love leads, because in all of these things in my life, you know, that have been happening more recently, the principles of that book, is exactly where I've had to be, like we in leadership, We're all called the lead. And we better be leading by example, we just can't be preaching at people. Because the next generation, they're not, they want to just see it, show me I believe, is what they're saying, show me Don't stand up there on the pulpit and say one thing, and then go home and act a different way. You know, and it's really our responsibility as believers to be that example, to really let love lead. And so that would be the book that I would definitely I recommend for everyone. And it's an easy read.

John Matarazzo :

It's It is a good book. Yes. Well, Amanda, it is a pleasure to have you on this podcast to have you along the way to share your journey with me. And as I said earlier, I really do learn from your example. And that's something that I'm very grateful that you're not just in my along the way moment for this for this interview. But you've been, we've been along the way together for the last several years. And now we get to be on real life, or you get to be on real I think I'm behind you

Amanda Brougher :

get to tell me what I need to do.

John Matarazzo :

Yes, I get to help you with that. But I just prayed that you're allowing God to use you in this way.

Amanda Brougher :

Amen. Thank you. And thank you for your obedience to the Lord. I believe that he's gonna continue to use this podcast and I'll be asking for your autograph in a few years. Oh, goodness.

John Matarazzo :

Thank you very much, man. I appreciate I truly mean, what I said about admiring Amanda's faith. I thought that my faith level was pretty good. But then I got to know Amanda. And I know that I need to grow more in my childlike faith. Don't outgrow your childlike faith. Hold on to it for dear life. Faith doesn't need to be complicated. Keep it simple. God loves you. He wants the best for you. And not only does he see you, but he is right there with you. wherever you are. When we choose anxiety over faith, it's like we're saying, I don't think you can handle this God. Lord, help my faith. Help me to know that somehow you are going to come through. Amanda also talked about pet since this seems that we enjoy. I was convicted when she said that we think we can get over this. When I choose to. I can get myself together. Those are lies. We need Jesus, we need his help. The enemy wants us to keep everything secret and shameful. There is freedom when we expose our struggles to the light and ask for help, God's help and the help of our friend. I loved when she talked about getting in trouble for dropping an F bomb. But how she handled that correction changed her life. It's good to ask ourselves, how do I handle correction? Amanda chose to embrace the correction and actually developed in her a love for studying God's word. Let's choose not to reject God's correction, but to let God's correction grow our character. The work that Amanda and Gary rocker do through the Pittsburgh Dream Center really demonstrates the tangible love of God to the hurting and broken it's really an out flowing of their hearts. It's a passion for sure. If you want to know more about Amanda, check out the Pittsburgh dream centers website. You can watch Amanda on my show real life on Cornerstone network. You can view episodes online at CTV and dot o RG. I'm sure that you may have noticed that Amanda has a great relationship with her father. I know that not everyone is blessed with relationship like that. But I want you to know that no matter what your relationship with your earthly father is like you have a heavenly Father that desperately wants to have a loving relationship with you. He is right there with you. When you ask him, he will start that relationship with you today. And it will change your life forever. If you need help with that, please feel free to contact me through my Facebook, Instagram. Or you can email me at John along the way at gmail. com. There were two books that Amanda mentioned in this episode. sparkling gems by Rick Renner and love leads by Dr. Steve green. Thank you for joining me along the way. If you've enjoyed joining me along my way, please rate and subscribe to this podcast and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. If you want to hear more episodes, you can visit my website along the way dot media. You can also email me at John along the way at gmail. com. As I said in the beginning of this episode, I have a giveaway for you. Amanda mentioned the book love leads by Dr. Steve green, and I have a copy that I would love to send to a lucky listener to win this prize. Please send me an email with your name, where you're listening from and what you've enjoyed about along the way. I will announce the winner in my next episode. All the links mentioned in this episode can be found in the show notes. I hope that you've enjoyed this part of my journey. And may you realize when Jesus is walking with you along your way