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What Is Your Top Priority?

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I love the way the NLT bible puts this verse. KEEP AWAY from ANYTHING that MIGHT take God’s place in your heart. This verse shows how important it is to keep God first above everything and to protect ourselves from the world’s distractions or maybe the distraction is even ourself! God’s proper place of order is ABOVE ALL, including our spouses, kids, jobs, or *place something or someone important to you here*. Has there been something you’ve been putting first before your relationship with God? What is your first priority? What way can things be put in proper order? Too much of a good thing can become idolatry. Start with a small amount of time and go to your quiet place and spend time with God. Get an accountability partner if this is something you struggle with. A little encouragement can go a long way!

Also, a really awesome book to go along with today’s devotion is- God’s At War by Kyle Idleman.

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The Tail of A Lost Pup (See what I did there…)

Good morning everyone!

I hope everyone had a restful night, but if it was anything like the Lunney Household, it was anything but. (Not complaining…Let me tell you why!)

We left church around 9pm as it still rained and flooded the area. We came to a little dog in the road running around with a collar (no tag), wet and lost. My husband looked at me and of course I told him to put the little guy in the car! We brought him home and our puppy was, to say the least, having a puppy moment. Playing with her new friend or trying to establish dominance, I’m not really sure. Needless to say, we talked about what to do next. We called people who we thought could help and they told us to take him to the vet in the morning and see if he has a microchip. I posted all over facebook pages for lost pets and spouse pages wondering who could’ve lost their baby. This pupper is seriously the sweetest. We drove around the neighborhood searching for people who may have lost him, but came to another dead end. We opened the car door to bring him in and he dashed into the woods. (Yep, that really happened.) My husband and I prayed as we went to bed. He soon fell asleep and I began to pray to God, asking him to put protection over this little pupper that I found…and then lost. I prayed for God’s will to be done and for him to go home or for him to find safety. HERE’S WHERE IT GETS GOOD. My husband woke up this morning and opened the door to let our puppy and this little guy slept on our porch all night. Ughhh, my heart! I’m sure you are thinking a couple things…1.How did she lose a lost dog? 2. This poor puppy. & 3. Why is she telling me this?

Here is why…

During my quiet time Holy Spirit has revealed to me some things through this little guy. (So cool that he can use a puppy to bring revelation and a blog post to share with you all!)

We have all been this puppy. Searching for home. Searching for love, care, and protection. We all have been lost, myself included. How often do we choose being lost in the woods when God has provided us with everything we need? We settle for the woods because, well its adventurous and we don’t really know God when we first come to him. Our old life looks pretty appealing when God challenges us on our behaviors and worldly ways. (Or for this little pup, peeing on the laundry basket…) So we venture out in the woods, lost, “alone”, and searching for home. We can never be fulfilled unless it’s through our identity in Christ. We will continually search and even sometimes settle for less than what God has to offer, like the porch for instance.

Even if you were to get lost, fall off track, I know God still remains the same. The promises of his word tell me so!

“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”-Deuteronomy 31:6

It took faith for this dog to show up on our porch this morning. He ran away from us, but something drew him back to our home. Was it the love we showed him while he was here for a brief moment? When you get a taste of what God, his pure,steadfast love…you don’t travel far into the woods before you realize what you needed was back where you just were. We didn’t need the puppy to clean up before he entered our home. God doesn’t need you to clean up before you ask him into your heart. He wants you as you are at this very moment.

I just posted a verse yesterday on Instagram and it’s really fitting for what has transpired over the past 24 hours.

“This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”-Jeremiah 29:10-13

God doesn’t say we aren’t going to go through trails or tribulation’s. He promises us that he hears our prayers and that we will find him when we seek him wholeheartedly. He promises us plans to prosper. Plans to prosper doesn’t always line up with what we think is best. But often what we go through, is what shapes us into Christ-like character and puts us exactly where we need to be. Or for this lost pup, in a warm house out of the rain, snoozing on the floor.

Did God just use a dog to reveal all this to me? Yes, yes he did. That’s the cool thing about God. He will speak to you in ways that you will listen.

Lost-and-Found

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-Grandma Dorsey-Why You Impacted My Life On Such A Great Scale-

I have really been thinking about my Grandma Dorsey within these past couple weeks. To the point where I woke up out of a deep sleep. I’ve been up since 3:30am, reminiscing all the wonderful memories we shared together. One thing that has really stuck out to me since she passed in October of 2016 is how my relationship with God has flourished. Back in 2016, I was still struggling with addiction. I didn’t know who I was. I struggled with my purpose of why I was even here. In February of that year, I just left Harbor Oaks, a hospital for suicidal thoughts. I was saved that February and through the many talks with my Grandmother, she continually loved & supported me in my walk, even with not being at a Catholic Church. She struggled with it for a while. Always telling me how I was welcome back and she knew I would come back. Towards the end of her life here on earth, one thing really stuck with me. It was how she grabbed my hand and said, “Now, you stay at that church. It’s okay. Whatever way you focus on what’s important, that’s okay with me.” My Grandma saw that unity in the church was what God was really after. We were all loving on the same God. We were all loving on Jesus. She also knew and saw the change in me before I ever did, Holy Spirit. When I went before a rather large group of people at her showing, something I said really has continually proved itself over the years.

“If I can love her as much as I love her & she can love me as much as she loves me….I can’t even imagine how much God loves us.”

My grandmother showed me the unconditional love of Jesus. She lived every single day like her eternal life depended on it. My grandmother’s love brought me to having a relationship with God.

When she went home, I could no longer depend on her for understanding of biblical principles. I couldn’t depend on her prayers anymore. What really got me was the fact I couldn’t hear her voice and her wise words every day like I used to. But, her work here was complete.

I really believe God used my Grandmother’s passing, to bring me where I am today. She died to save mine. Just as Jesus died to save us. I know that God works everything out for the good for those that are for him. Even in these instances, death.

In the past 2 years God has completely flipped my life upside down. He has changed me from the inside out. My heart is no longer cold or misunderstood. I have the blood of the most high king pumping through my veins.

I am forgiven.

I am loved.

I am healed.

I am precious in the sight of Abba.

I know my purpose .

I am God’s masterpiece.

I am free.

I am a Child Of God.

If you would’ve asked me where I saw myself in 2 years on Valentine’s Day of February 2016. I couldn’t have been able to tell you because my suicidal thoughts haunted me every single moment of every single day. My past taunted me. I used drugs and alcohol to cope. I looked for my value in other people’s opinions and guys who didn’t care about anything other than what I had to offer physically.

Valentines Day, February of 2018 I am in Louisiana, laying next to my wonderful husband that I prayed for since 2014. (Yes, I prayed for years! Totally worth the wait!) While my puppy that I always wanted is laying on the floor. I am currently being discipled to be a Youth Pastor. I am writing a book along with this blog. I have saw miracles of healing and revelation run through my hands and out of my mouth. Holy Spirit has done some work these past 2 years as God called me to be obedient. I will be returning to college and going to Lee University for Ministry Leadership With Emphasis In Counseling. A dream I had before God was at the throne of my heart is now going to be used for his glory.

If my Grandma wouldn’t of went throught what she went through and went to her eternal home when she did, I’m not sure I’d be here today. If I would’ve successfully taken my life when I wanted to, God wouldn’t of had the chance to make me into something beautiful. I feel like some of the greatest people, with the biggest futures, are blindsided by satans lies and take their own life. If my Grandmother wouldn’t of displayed Christ’s love and continually prayed for me, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Without God, I am nothing.

I am forgiven.

I am loved.

I am healed.

I am precious in the sight of Abba.

I know my purpose .

I am God’s masterpiece.

I am free.

I am a Child Of God.

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Challenging Worldly Thinking Part I

God has brought a lot of revelation of the difference of being worldly and the new creation he has made me us. He has shown me things in my life that when trials and tribulations come that I begin to think from a worldly perspective. He has also used the people closest to me, facebook, and even people in the church, to show me the difference between worldly and thinking and acting like The Children Of God That We Are. How many of our thoughts are just mere feelings and worldly thoughts compared to biblical truth?

(This blog will have a couple different parts over the next couple days!)

Let me drop some biblical truth that relates to being worldly:

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[The old has gone, the new is here!”-2 Corinthians 5:16-17 NIV

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”-1 John 2:15-17

Now let me challenge some worldly thinking:

Finances

We worry for nothing, especially when it comes to money. “But Tanja, money is important!! The world revolves around money!”

Let me stop you right there…If your world is revolving around anything but your relationship with God, then your priorities are out of order. God is supposed to be first in our lives. He is supposed to be at the throne of our heart. Not our spouses, children, nor our jobs that often can take up a majority of our time. That job you have doesn’t provide your needs, your heavenly father does. As long we give our first fruits (tithe 10%), he will provide our needs. There has been a lot of animosity about tithing. What if I told you tithing has to do with your heart, not your money? Do you trust God to provide your needs even though the overwhelming amount of bills are coming in continually or are you going to keep that money for yourself? The streets are made of gold in heaven. I assure you that God doesn’t need our money! But he is after out heart!

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”-Malachi 3:10

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”-Philippians 4:19

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you-you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”- Matthew 6:25-34

(Here’s the link to a video concerning financial worry and recent government shutdown)

Worrying or Worshipping (Government Shutdown Video)

I Don’t Have Time

A recent article showed me some astounding facts about how much time we sit in front a tv screen and on social media. I am thankful that I am able to use social media to spread the good news, but how much of our time is really spent on cat and puppy videos or even the death being spewed all over social media platforms?

“Astonishingly, the average person will spend nearly two hours (approximately 116 minutes) on social media everyday, which translates to a total of 5 years and 4 months spent over a lifetime. Even more, time spent on social is only expected to increase as platforms develop, and is expected to eat further into traditional media – most notably TV. Right now, the average person will spend 7 years and 8 months watching TV in a lifetime. Currently, total time spent on social media beats time spent eating and drinking, socializing, and grooming.” -Socialmediatoday.com

Are you spending as much time connected with God as you are other people?? (now that’s good, thankyou Holy Spirit!)

Let’s put social media aside…

Even children, spouses, friends, and our favorite hobby can take up the quiet time being spent with God. I am not saying that these things are bad. However, anything that takes precedent over first spending time with Abba, has become and idol.

Even Jesus took time away and prayed and spent time with the heavenly father. We see this in scripture several times. There was even a time where people were looking for Jesus, but he knew there was nothing more important than to surrender and have quiet time with the Father.

“Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”-Luke 15:15-16

“Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. Later Simon and the others went out to find him. When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.””-Mark 1:35-37

“Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”-Luke 22:39-45

The Broken/Needy/Poor

The worldly perspective of the broken, needy, and poor are that they aren’t worth helping. Wipe your hands of them, they will hurt you, they are scary, they put themselves there.

Man am I thankful God took the broken person I was and made something beautiful out of me! Jesus hung out with the broken, the worldly “low-life’s”, the prostitutes, tax collectors, the sinners. None of us are holier than thou, including myself. God has used my testimony to set people free. He has used some of the hardest things I’ve went through to display his glory of healing, forgiveness, and overall victory.

Did you know when you love the poor, you are actually doing loving  God?

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘LORD, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'”-Matthew 25:34-40

“As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.
While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.””-Matthew 9:9-13

God Focuses On:

  • love not hate
  • life not death
  • victory not defeat

I hope this post somehow challenged you like it has challenged me. We are constantly growing which causes growing pains and that’s okay. Remember, progress is progress!

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”-Colossians 3:2

 

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“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.”-Romans 12:2