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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

 

do-not-conform-romans-12-2-goldfish-wallpaper
“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

 

 

 

 

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My First Trip To New Orleans

As we traveled down the streets of New Orleans this week, I was overwhelmed with compassion as we passed by the amount of poor and broken people we saw sitting on every street we went down. I went to New Orleans in anticipation of eating beignets and sight seeing. As we started to get closer, my thoughts drifted to Katrina and how the town was devastated and how many people were effected. We parked and began walking and I soon realized that I was in a town full of brokenness. It was a Tuesday afternoon and I really just wanted to love on every person and dog I saw. No matter what we did in New Orleans my mind wouldn’t travel far from how I could love on these people. I have been at a spot in my life of brokenness, hopelessness, needing of healing, love, grace, and mercy. I wanted God to use me as a vessel to share the Good News. I wasn’t able to do much while I was down there, but I know there is a plan for more. God wants to use people who imitate Jesus’ character. He wants to use people who are full of mercy and grace. He wants to use people who love on the broken and aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. In that short time I was down there visiting, God brought me a sense of humility and a hunger to help those who the world looks at as “invaluable”. Even though I have never been homeless, I did once have a drug and alcohol problem. I did have a mental illness and demons that tainted my every thought and action. I did come from a place of brokenness and being completely lost. I saw someone who didn’t know what they needed, even though he was only once conversation away. I saw people who needed love and for someone to hear their testimony. I saw people who needed to be encouraged and to hear that it will be okay even if it feels like they are in an abyss. When I was walking down the streets of New Orleans, I didn’t see them, what I really saw was me. Don’t forget where God has brought you. & don’t think that people can’t change. With God everything is possible.

“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 25:35-40

Lord, I just pray that every person that needs healing and love from you that you place people in their life to love on them and imitate you. I pray that we never forget who we used to be before we put you at the throne of our heart. I ask you Lord, for you to make our hearts more like yours everyday. I ask you to show us people who need you Lord so we can love on them the way we needed to be loved. I thank-you for the gift of salvation, the grace, mercy, and pure love that you give to me everyday. I thank-you that you never left me or forsake me when I was at my darkest. & thank-you Abba for being my light when it was dark. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Giving This Holiday Season

After I wrote an apology about not posting for a while, Holy Spirit laid something on my heart!

  • “And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.”-Acts 20:35 NLT
    • “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.”-Luke 6:32‭-‬35 ESV

I began reflecting on Christmas a little more than usual this year. I am newly married and now living across the country from my family due to my husband being apart of the military. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that I would much rather have family time than presents. (Presence instead of presents) See what I did there! Haha! As my walk with God has grown, I’ve really realized it is much more rewarding to give than to recieve. I used to have the mindset of expecting people to treat me nice, I’m a nice person so why shouldn’t I be treated nice? However, loving on that person who is having a bad day, even though they’re taking their bad day out on you, is the best thing you can do.

People continually search for love. They’re searching for Christ’s character in you. The most important time to give, is when you feel like you can’t. If we do our part, God will bless it! Even if we don’t recieve our blessing here, we know God has stored it up in heaven. Lend people things, money, ect. without expecting it back in return. (Completely contradicts the world’s standards, I know…) Be kind, show love, because it’s what we are called to do as Children of God!

How will you give a little extra this holiday season? Don’t let giving be only something you do around Christmas!

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Convicted

Did you know that if you make more than $2.50 a day that you are richer than half the population of the world? And, did you know that more than 1.3 billion people live in extreme poverty, making less than $1.25 a day?

This blew my mind today, after I complained about how the new printer we got wouldn’t connect to the Wi-Fi to our touchscreen laptop. Holy Spirit smacked me in the face with that one.

Brad & I are participating in a challenge that my church back home is doing. Its called the The Complaining Challenge! Feel free to join with the link provided below!https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/26375190/posts/1655219211

Needless to say, during this challenge I have realized that I take a lot of things for granted because I live in The United States. I have a lot to be thankful for. We have the freedom to praise God freely in churches without fear. We have the freedom to read the bible openly at anytime, anywhere we please. We have the freedom to choose to wake up every single morning and choose to be in his presence without the fear of our government coming in and killing us. This is the reality for many Christians. I have a roof over my head, food in my mouth, and clean water. I have many things I don’t need, like electronics to write my blog, use social media, and watch Netflix. Many of us can go out to eat and have people cook for us. We often forget that these things are luxuries.

Holy Spirit really gave me the true meaning of persistently being devoted to prayer with an attitude of thanksgiving today.

Are there things you often complain about that you really should be thanking God for?