By Tanya Cooper | TRINICY.org
TRINICY: What spiritual habits and disciplines do you follow on a daily basis?
TANYA: I don't drink coffee, but I have to read my personal devotional or I feel like I'm missing something important. I also utilize one or two additional prayer and/or devotional guides to pray for specific issues concerning my family.
TRINICY: Out of all God’s attributes, which one amazes you most? Why?
TANYA: God's faithfulness wows me and I believe it's mostly because disappointment, dishonesty, and deceit was so prevalent in my environment as a child, that I have trouble truly believing or trusting anyone. But God (I could actually stop right there.) didn't just deliver me, love me, forgive me, etc. He sticks around to provide all those over and over and over again. Endlessly, because I belong to Him. God made a covenant with King David that if David obeyed all His commands, God would make sure that the Kingdom of David would not end and, wouldn't you know it, for 300+ years despite other rulers after David died disobeying the Word of God, God delivered and remained faithful to David and his descendants. My heart is always wow'd by God's faithfulness to mankind regardless of our frailty, stubbornness, and utter stupidity.
TRINICY: Who led you to Christ? Who are you leading or hope to lead to Christ?
TANYA: My mom led me to Christ. Yes, led would be the right terminology. She didn't ask me to read the Bible, nor do I remember watching her do it. We didn't pray together except in church, and meals of course. We didn't do quite a bit of the Christian-like activities one is usually involved in. But yes, she led me with her soft spoken words, her change in behavior, her quiet determination to attend church, Bible study or choir rehearsal, no matter what else came up.
The persistent but undominating way she encouraged her family to attend church and change their behavior as well. Yes, she led me to Christ by her quiet, unassuming, loving persistence in our home. To be honest, I'm not sure who I'm leading to Christ but I hope everyone I spend time with can see Christ in my actions and words, or a touch, hug or smile. I have a specific heart for women and the homeless community. Those are the people I speak with most often.
TRINICY: What primary talents and gift(s) has God given you? How are you using them for the kingdom?
TANYA: My primary gift is speaking (I assume it's because I can't quite stop talking) and then writing. Currently, I've been fortunate to be able to facilitate a few sessions at our women's bible study, and began writing a devotional. Occasionally, I also engage in spoken word showings.
TRINICY: Which person from the Bible do you resonate with the most? Why?
TANYA: Gideon is the person from the Bible I resonate with the most. When his story begins in Judges 6, the Lord finds him hiding and calls Gideon a mighty warrior and tells him that the Lord is with him. Gideon responds to both statements by saying, Pardon me but if You are with us, why are we oppressed? How can I be a mighty warrior when I am the least of the least in my family. THAT'S ME! I questioned how God saw me, how He called me His own, chosen and loved because I was unable to see beyond my circumstances into the future He had prepared for me. Gideon's story continues as he accepts God's call to be a warrior and leader of his clan and defeat their oppressors. I too have accepted what God has called me to be.
TRINICY: What social issue do you care most about? Why?
TANYA: Poverty and homelessness. My family was poor for most of my upbringing. There is little to no identification with self-esteem, self-worth, confidence or value without access to adequate income, social services, healthcare, education, and safety and that is often the catalyst to self-defeating mindsets and behaviors. God called Gideon a mighty warrior (mind you, not just any ordinary warrior). But Gideon saw himself as worthless. Often, we need help in recognizing who we are and the potential to be used to do and be great things despite our deficiencies.
TRINICY: What does being a Christian mean to you? Why Are you a Christian?
TANYA: Being a Christian means yielding my way to the way of Christ. That includes my thoughts, decisions, actions, language...everything. It means that all I am belong to Him. I am a Christian because He drew me near enough for me to feel that something in my life was missing and that He was the only one who could fill the void. I became a Christian as a teenager and didn't really understand what all of being a Christian entailed but I knew the Holy Spirit's voice when I heard Him speaking to my heart. True to form, I didn't yield my heart to Him right away but true to form, He never stopped wooing me. My beloved spoke and said to me, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me." Song of Solomon 2.
TRINICY: What does being a Conservative mean to you? Why Are you a Conservative?
TANYA: Being a conservative is not a political bent for me. To me it's a way of thinking and living according to traditional social and Christian values. I'm a conservative because it leans more toward the values and principles I believe in and live by stemming from the Bible.
TRINICY: What were your first thoughts when you heard about TRINICY?
TANYA: Incredible. I was so impressed by the vast array of featured quotes and comments from people from all ages and stages of life. I was also surprised by its open forum that encouraged comments and lively yet respectful stimulating discussions among all walks of life.
TRINICY: What book(s) do you recommend conservative Christians read to help strengthen their faith in a secular and/or liberal setting?
TANYA: All Christians should begin by reading the Bible in whatever form is easiest to strengthen their faith. The stories in the Bible speak to real life circumstances both then and now because the people, the places, and the hardships were real. It's the best reality show ever. But I also think all people (not just Christians or conservative Christians) should read anything they can get their hands on. To quote the largest children's literacy organization, RIF, "reading is fundamental." When we read, we engage, we think, we ponder, we question, we debate. The more varied the subject matter, the wider your engagement, questioning, etc.
TRINICY: What advice or resource would you offer to fellow conservative Christians today?
TANYA: Our mightiest resource is prayer. We can take it with us wherever we go. No one can stop us from using it and we have unlimited access to unlimited power.
TRINICY: What is an interesting/unusual fact most people don’t know about you?
TANYA: Most people do not know or believe that I get really nervous around a lot of people. The more nervous I get, the more I talk.
TRINICY: What passion or dream keeps you up at night or wakes you up in the morning?
TANYA: Writing and speaking is my passion. But writing is the one thing that'll wake me up and take me on a journey.
TRINICY: If Jesus were physically here now, what would you want to ask Him or talk about?
TANYA: I would love for Him to tell me about heaven.
TRINICY: What are the three greatest life lessons you’ve learned thus far?
TANYA: God knows best (He really does). Trusting God does not mean limits; it means expansion. I'm not in control...of anything. Obedience IS better than sacrifice.
TRINICY: Which Christian song best connects with you?
TANYA: "Counting Every Blessing" by Rend Collective
TRINICY: What legacy do you want to leave as a Christian?
TANYA: Perfection isn't necessary or required, but obedience is.
TRINICY: Which teacher has impacted you most? How?
TANYA: Stacey Knight is a public school teacher and a Bible study teacher. She not only taught the principles of God's Word but she did it with passion (not exuberance), honesty, and transparency. I want to be like her when I grow up.
TRINICY: What is your life verse? Why?
TANYA: Matthew 6:33. When I thought I was in control of my life, I worried constantly about how to make ends meet, career goals, raising a child, etc. When I read this verse, I accept that I'm not the one in control and by seeking God and His righteousness, I submit to His control over everything.
TRINICY: Which world events have influenced, changed, or shaped your life?
TANYA: I live near Washington, DC and I think 911 brought to bear a different mindset. It was a devastating ordeal but it also brought to my mind how little control we have and how great God is. By world standards, it was not the greatest tragedy but it was the greatest tragedy the U.S. had been exposed to. But God brought the people of this nation together in prayer and in community regardless of our differences. God's ways and thoughts are not our ways and thoughts and though it's sometimes difficult to conceptualize, His view is so much broader.
TRINICY: What is the most difficult thing for you about being a Christian?
TANYA: Witnessing is my Achilles heel. I find it to be a difficult activity to engage in.
TRINICY: What, thus far, has been your greatest "praise report"?
TANYA: My mother and I were both diagnosed with cancer a year apart. Me first, then her. God used that circumstance to not only draw us closer to him but each other. Through the recovery process, we also grew exponentially spiritually and have since broadened our ministry activities.
TRINICY: What is a question you wish we had asked but didn't? What is your response to this self-selected question?
TANYA: What or who is your biggest influence and why? My daughter. God created her to be the best of her parents without adding the worst of her parents. She has a kind heart, generous spirit, wisdom beyond her years and a beautiful smile you can't buy anywhere. She inspires me daily to be better than I am.
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