An INNER VIEW with Actress, Singer and Beauty Pageant Winner, Tania Joy

An INNER VIEW with Actress, Singer and Beauty Pageant Winner, Tania Joy

BIO

Tania Joy is an actress, singer, speaker, and winner of multiple beauty competitions – Miss Teen Illinois 1993, Miss Teen America 1994, and Miss Illinois 1996. She started Beauty for Ashes and is the host of her show, The Tania Joy Show, which focuses on combating the many anti-Biblical ideals and cultural norms of today. She has dealt personally with anti-Christian attacks on her career and life and as a mom, has had her family and Christian beliefs and values targeted for sharing her viewpoints and faith. She has worked in corporate American finance, Bio-Pharma, Retail, and HR but currently travels the country speaking about what it means to be a modern-day Esther. She is passionate about preserving Christian values, political freedom, and the importance of preserving the traditional family unit.

INNER VIEW

Kathleen Cooke: As a TV host and speaker, you are passionate about preserving Biblically based values, but in today’s culture, it takes courage. What has God taught you about being bold in a Babylonian world?

Tania Joy: He is good and faithful through all of life’s storms and circumstances. When He calls you, He qualifies you. You might not feel qualified when He first calls you, but never doubt that you are not placed here, at this point in history, for such a time as this. He will use the foolish things of this world to confound the things of the wise and the weak to shame the strong. Just like Esther, she had to be willing to sacrifice even her own life to follow the call that God had placed within her. She was scared, yet she prayed, fasted, and then obeyed.

I have followed Jesus since I was 3 years old, but I was not fully prepared for what would be required these days to follow the narrow road laid out before us. The cost and sacrifice to follow His Word and teaching is often a difficult choice but one that God asks of us. Yet, when we fully surrender, we step into His fullness of joy, blessing, and fulfillment like nothing we could ever imagine. We are living in biblical days, the days of Noah, the days of Esther, the days of Gideon’s army, and truly in biblical proportions. We are seeing in America, for the first time, the cost of being a Christ follower, experiencing persecution like we have never seen. But let’s not forget that He has already overcome this world. We are only passing through. This is not our forever home. We were called to occupy until He returns, so let’s love Him above all other gods and love our neighbor as ourselves. I believe this is what we must encourage each other to do in these days.

Kathleen: How have you been able to find hope when things look so bleak in our world today?

Tania: The Word instructs us in Matthew 16:24 that we are to take up our cross and follow Him; in other words, count the cost. We are called to lay down our ways, our hopes, and our thoughts and seek Him for His dreams over our lives. Sometimes, what we face on this side of heaven will not ‘feel’ as good as we would hope. Jesus told us in John 15:18 that the world hated Him first and that, as a result, if we truly follow Him, the world will hate us in return. How many Christ-followers truly understand what it means to have the world ‘hate’ you, the culture, the common world around you, the community, and the social networks – ‘hate’ you? If we choose to follow Him against all odds, regardless of how unpopular it might make us, we will suffer in this world.

I have watched my world collapse around me multiple times; the suffering is deep, long, and hard. But the Word tells me 365 times not to fear. We will suffer. The world does not like what we stand for. The way to get through the suffering is to surrender all our callings, our fleshly desires, our hopes and dreams, and everything that we think about, knowing that He will sustain us. We are to be in this world but not of this world. It is often hard to understand the suffering we see in this world, but we must remember that we are living in a fallen world. When Jesus walked this earth, He reminded us, “Be of good courage because I have overcome the world” John 15:33.

Kathleen: The world is relentless. It pushes us to our limits with 24/7 non-stop demands. How have you found rest, particularly as a TV host and with the travel you do?

Tania: The Lord has been speaking to me a lot about rest. He told me about a year ago it would be crucial to know when and how to rest in Him. We are in a spiritual battle. There are many scriptures about the battle that we are in; my favorite is Ephesians 6:12: we “are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” The only way we can battle in this way is to know how to rest in Him at the same time. The Bible talks about rest; in fact, it mentions rest 57 times. Psalms 37:7 talks about finding rest in the Lord and to wait patiently for Him. During our busy daily lives, where we are surrounded by the push of the culture, social media, and 24/7 work, we have forgotten the importance of what rest can and will do to us.

Resting is vital for our health, increases our concentration and memory, healthier immune system, reduces stress, improves our mood, and gives us a better metabolism. What does that look like? Turn off the phone and let your thoughts be on Jesus! Put your mind on Him. (Col. 3:2) Then stay there. We have become a culture that thinks our ‘rest in the Lord’ is like a Tesla charging station: plug in for 30 min and then get back on the road of life. He wants our everything. This is how we renew our minds daily. He alone will refuel us. If we do not take the time to rest, we will have nothing to give out. “For out of the abundance of being in His presence, do we have what is necessary to flow out onto others. (John 7:38)

Kathleen: You have a big following and have become an influencer. What has God taught you about being the right kind of influencer?

Tania: The definition of influence has changed for me over the years. When I was young and dreamt of being an actress/singer, I thought of fame and fortune, of lights and cameras. That definition has drastically changed in me over the years, and I am thankful that the Lord was kind to keep me on the journey of transformation in preparation for today. Influence is a very powerful thing, it can sway culture, it can transform nations, it can change hearts and minds.

Being a woman of influence means that the words I say, the places I go, the things I support, the views I have, and the beliefs that I stand for – all have the potential to impact someone else. Both good and bad. My voice can bless or curse. Therefore, it is of high value that I surrender my life daily to Jesus, that I seek His face on a regular basis and listen for His words so that when I speak, I am not just sharing my thoughts, but I am sharing what I hear Him saying to His Bride in these days. Being a woman of influence is the power to touch others with the love, truth, and power of Jesus Himself in a broken and dying world. We have a great responsibility when we have an influence of any kind.  I believe He has placed many of us on this earth, at this point in history, for a specific reason. Like Queen Esther, she was prepared for the time at which she lived and was in the kingdom. Had it been years earlier or later, her impact would have been different. Every woman on this earth right now needs to be prepared and has been called for such a time as this to set the nations free and save God’s children from being stolen by the enemy.

Enduring Despite The Circling Eagles

Enduring Despite The Circling Eagles

The grip of the eagle’s claws dug into my gloved hand, and it took every ounce of my strength to hold up his 20+ pound body on my outstretched arm. Within just a few minutes, the eagle’s trainer, who was standing by, came up behind me to help me hold up my arm as its claws dug in. I was in Mongolia shooting a project on how Christianity spread to the ends of the earth and the stories of the many missionaries who had made unthinkable sacrifices by giving their lives and sacrificing the lives of their spouses and children so that God’s story and light might be made known. Holding that bird became a teaching moment for me. One I’ll never forget.

In Luke 17, Jesus is trying to provide some understanding to those listening of what the end times on earth will look like. Many throughout history have speculated on when Jesus will return for the final time and what life will be like. Jesus shares a few examples and then tells us that it will be like the days of Lot in Sodom and Gomorrah, when there was much debauchery. To those living there, it was normal and nothing new. They had accepted the culture into their lifestyle. (more…)

Meet Anna Oakley Atlanta’s New Influence Lab Coordinator

Meet Anna Oakley Atlanta’s New Influence Lab Coordinator

We’re growing! Influence Lab Women is expanding into the hub of film and television production in Atlanta. “Hollywood and New York are no longer the only epicenters of media production,” shares Kathleen Cooke. “Influence Lab Women is thrilled to introduce you to the new Atlanta Influence Lab coordinator, Anna Oakley.”

The kick-off of the Atlanta group will be an in-person watch party of the Influence Lab Women’s online event featuring guest Cindy Bond, producer of “Redeeming Love” and the box-office hit, “I Can Only Imagine.” If you live in the Atlanta area, sign up here to join us for this event. (Not in Atlanta? Sign up here for the free webinar.)

And now, meet Anna Oakley…

Hi! My name is Anna Elizabeth Oakley, and I’m an actor, puppeteer, and children’s coach living in what has come to be known as the “Hollywood of the South” – Atlanta, Georgia. In December 2021, I journeyed to LA to hear actress and producer Jessica Oyelowo speak at The Influence Lab Women’s Christmas Gathering. I didn’t know anything about The Influence Lab and little did I know what God truly had in store for me that night. After a long desert season of almost two years due to the pandemic, the gathering blew me away and filled my soul. It was not only an evening filled with new connections, friendships, and empowering prayer but of being strengthened and mentored in faith and career excellence. I was inspired to press on and into what and where God had purposed for my life.

My immediate question when I met Kathleen was, have you thought of bringing this to Atlanta?

It turns out she had! The Influence Lab team had been praying about expanding into Atlanta. They, too, knew that Atlanta had grown into a strong industry community and had become a major hub for TV and film production. The Influence Lab had felt an urgency to expand, encourage and empower professionals there. But how? It was a matter of God’s timing. That night I felt God tapping me on the shoulder and calling me into action. (more…)

An INNER VIEW with Darlene Zschech

An INNER VIEW with Darlene Zschech

Bio

Australian, Darlene Zschech, is a globally acclaimed composer, worship leader, pastor, author and speaker and is well known for her ministry work at Sydney’s Hillsong Church. However, she claims her biggest success is serving God and His people whom she loves with all her heart. Alongside her husband Mark, and with their daughters, son-in-laws and grandchildren, they lead Hope Unlimited Church (HopeUC) with locations in Australia, India and the U.S. Darlene is perhaps most well known for her worship song, Shout to the Lord, but she has composed numerous other worship songs including Kiss of Heaven, Change Your World, You Are Love, In Jesus Name and the album, Revealing Jesus, which she recorded with Grammy Award winner, Israel Houghton. In 2016 Darlene recorded a live HopeUC worship album, Here I Am, Send Me, where she collaborated with other top worship leaders. In 2018 she released, The Table, and in 2019, she recorded, I Speak Jesus, with Integrity Music writer, Dustin Smith.

Her passion is to train and encourage others in worship and in the Word of God and has penned six books which have been translated into 20 different languages, including The Art of Mentoring, Revealing Jesus (devotional), Worship Changes Everything, and The Golden Thread, as well as an online worship course, Your Ministry Mentor, designed to equip global worship leaders.

She and Mark have a passion to restore Hope globally but especially to Rwandans. Their ministry provided strategic hope and healing following the 1994 horrific genocide and has continued to expand into parts of Africa, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and India. Darlene says, “First and foremost I am a woman who simply and wholeheartedly loves Jesus Christ, and serves Him through loving my family, serving the Church, and speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves.”

 

Kathleen Cooke: We are all working through recovering from the global pandemic on many levels, but what is the single biggest thing that has God taught you during the challenges that COVID has brought?

Darlene Zschech: The big thing for me over the last 3 years is how God has shown me the importance of The Table. It’s the importance of the gather… that as we break bread together and see and hear each other that we make the time to celebrate Christ together in a way that is personal and intentional. And… that discipleship and authentic community will be what flows from lives that have the table at the Centre.

Kathleen: You have had great successes but lots of challenges too. When those out-of-the-blue challenges came your way, what did God teach you?

Darlene: FORGIVENESS… this has been a big one for me. When I was going through treatment for cancer, I had lots of time to listen to God speak in a new and often challenging way. I had to dig deep on my theology about healing and about God’s plans and purposes. One day, He spoke to me and asked me to trust Him with my heart in a new way. To do this, He asked me to forgive those I had held deep unforgiveness toward… which REALLY shocked me. I thought I was a very forgiving person. So… slowly but surely, the Holy Spirit gently led me through person by person what I needed to set free in my heart. This was a life changing few months for me. Not only do I believe He helped with the healing in my body, but He has literally brought me so much more freedom that I didn’t even know I needed. (more…)

An INNER VIEW with Linda Tavani (Peaches)

An INNER VIEW with Linda Tavani (Peaches)

Kathleen Cooke: You’ve been blessed with an amazing talent and great success as a musical artist, but the business is challenging. What has God taught you about lamenting and praying differently which transforms our thinking when things don’t turn out the way we want? 

Linda (Peaches) Tavani: I have experienced being at the top of success and trust me, it’s unfortunately very temporary. I know now from experience how important it is to prayerfully consider seeking God first. Pray about the vision you’re being called to and prayerfully ask for the right people in your field of interest to help you along the way. Nothing is worse than the consequences of not doing this. When in doubt, walk it out. Pray. The risks are too great and the time you waste cannot be replaced. There will always be lessons to learn. Remember our loving Father of forgiveness and grace pulls us through our mistakes no matter what we have chosen to do. My advice is to always consult God first. He’ll walk you through. If He says no, let it go!

(more…)