My Life’s Mantra: Three Lists

I’m a list person. You’ll find them everywhere. I have a notebook by my bed-full of lists, sticky notes surrounding my desk-list city, and one of my most-used apps on my phone: Wunderlist-a list of lists! I list my groceries, my prayer requests, and even my friendships (my co-workers make fun of me-but I need to be organized!)-and find it to be helpful to visually categorize things in my life. With that being said, you’ll not be surprised that my life’s mantra equates to categorizing all things in my life into one of three lists.

Find the things that increase your affections for Christ, and with all your heart-pursue those things. 

Identify the things that neutralize your affections for Christ, and as much as possible-avoid/redeem those things. 

Know the things that decrease your affections for Christ, and for your soul’s sake-run from those things. 

These lists will be different for every person, and this is not an exhaustive list for me-but it’ll give you a good snapshot 🙂 Oh and as a side note, I do think that many things mentioned in List Two have the potential to be moved to List One-it just takes intentionality and a desire to worship God in all things! AND there are things naturally in List One, that if I get lazy or negative or look away from Christ, they will transition to List Two. :0

List One: Things that Increase my Affections for Christ

  • Quality time with God
    • Journaling
    • Reading His word
    • Reading about Him
    • Doodling quotes about Him
  • Talking about God
    • With unbelievers
    • With my sisters and brothers in Christ
    • With my mentor ❤
    • With the world wide web!
  • Enjoying the world He made (especially with friends!)
    • At the beach
    • On a run
    • In a kayak
    • On a trail
    • In the city
    • Some music 🙂
  • Blessing the senses He gave me!
    • Through coffee and icecream (not together though…)
    • Making and having dinner (with friends!)
    • Good music
    • Aesthetics
  • Enjoying the relationships He gave me
    • Family
    • Friends
    • Co-workers
    • Church family
  • Random Things
    • Learning in general (TED Talks=time of worship for me!)
    • Movies that spur good conversation

List Two: Things that Neutralize my Affections for Christ

  • Some Social Media
    • Complaining instead of peacefully praying (about what’s going on in the world)
    • Comparing instead of praising
  • Being lazy (not resting…actually being bum like)
  • Media intake without processing/reflecting
    • I NEED to talk about a movie after i watch it in order to “redeem” it from List 2, to List 1. This may just be me-but I want to dialogue about the lies portrayed as truths, and the evils portrayed as good. I want to welcome God into my TV/Movie viewing and do that best through conversation! I understand not everyone is like this and that is a-okay 🙂
  • Working haphazardly
    • If I work hard and with a focus on honoring God in my job-it’s totally in List One, but the days (and weeks) that I just go into work without remembering WHY I work, and WHO I ultimately work for-it’s List Two.

List Three: Things that Decrease my Affections for Christ:

  • Most TV Comedies
    • Humor that I find funny, that God does not
    • Wasting hours
    • Being convinced that I want what the world has
  • Some Social Media
    • endlessly scrolling through Pinterest humor, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
    • being too intrigued by the world’s gossip/interest (buzzfeed stories for me)
  • Pining for what I don’t have
    • Wishing/daydreaming/coveting breeds mistrust and discontentment

So that is what I came up with! This is something that helps me, and maybe it’ll help you too! Write out your three lists, and see what you can do to eliminate things from List Three! Also see if you can transfer things from List Two to List One with a little prayer and focus 🙂 Through Jesus Christ, God has given us the GREATEST GIFT in life-and that is HIMSELF. We can know, enjoy, and love Him! Let’s prepare for eternity and do it as much as possible!!! (Also, make sure you read these quotes below!)

We make a god out of whatever we find most joy in. So, find your joy in God and be done with all idolatry. - John Piper

Biblical Homemaking: on being an unfaithful bride {how trials reveal your true affections} biblicalhomemaking.blogspot.com

"Sin is what you do when your heart is not satisfied with God." - John Piper

Why I’m Passionate About Lancaster Bible College

“If Christianity is to capture the people of this land, the theologian must become an evangelist, and the evangelist must become a scholar, and intellect and emotion must go hand in hand.” -William Barclay

I want the gospel to spread like wildfire. So at work I strive everyday to find students who will help fulfill that Great Commission. I help get them to LBC knowing that while they are here, we will aim to train them as scholars AND evangelists-to speak the truth in love to everyone the Lord brings their way.

Core Values and Goals

Why a Short Term Trip to Spain?

Hello readers! I thought it might be fun to keep you sporadically  updated on some of my journey to Spain! Below is an email I sent to our team reminding them of why we are going. This is not a vacation, nor is it simply to “experience a new culture”. We  have a goal and we have a purpose. 

Dear Teammates,

I am beyond excited that God is opening up the doors for us to travel to Spain together this summer. Above all things, our passion and drive in life is the gospel of Jesus Christ. In this beautiful, true story of God’s redeeming plan through Christ-there is hope for the entire world. We must never forget that this is at the center of what we do. GOD reconciled us (vile humanity!) to Himself! Though we deserve to spend life and death without Him, He made a way for us to be with him. We can find absolute joy, total fulfillment, and perfect love in relationship with him. How can we keep this to ourselves?

People in Spain, just like people here in Lancaster, are missing out on this incredible opportunity. Their pasts are full of heartache -with no one to heal their scars. Their lives are full of empty pleasures-with no one offering true satisfaction. Their futures are destined to be ultimately purposeless and painful-with no one to give them hope.

Team-we know the Great Healer.

We know the One who made the human heart and can satisfy it.

We know the Author and Creator of Hope.

I understand that it is a daunting task, in our finite minds, to raise $2,900 each (though this is merely chump change to our God!). I understand it is uncomfortable to ask people for money (though they get to partner with us in the furtherance of the gospel-what a gift for them!). I understand it is scary to travel to a land where we don’t know the language (yet :)) and are strangers. But we do not do this, or ask for support, for ourselves, for our gain-but for something much greater than ourselves.

So that missionaries in Spain are revitalized and strengthened to speak boldly and often-we give up 2 weeks of our summer and travel thousands of miles.

So that more Spaniards will know that through grace alone there is salvation-we raise support.

So that more Spaniards will hear the truth that God is all satisfying, perfectly just, and incredibly merciful-we pray steadfastly.

Team, can you make it a point to pray every day for this trip? Some days may be short, some days I hope are long-but please pray. Pray for the Tempeltons and the 200,000 Christians in Spain. Pray for the 47 million in Spain who today destined for a Godless eternity in hell. Pray for our team. Pray for our givers and senders. Pray for our churches. Pray that when we return-the Lord will use us to inspire others (or ourselves) to go and serve and proclaim Him in Europe.

Also, do not wait for Spain to start sharing the gospel with boldness. Start now. If you don’t do it here-you certainly won’t be prepared to do it there.

Prayerful and Excited,

Betty

“The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.” Timothy Keller

This Bible verse reminds me of the song "That The World May Know" by Central Worship in Mt. Vernon!

"May we be faithful followers of Christ, examples of righteousness, thus becoming lights in the world." -Thomas S. Monson

Also, as a side note-I downloaded (for FREE!) the app “Memrise” on my phone to help me learn (and re-learn) some Spanish. It’s awesome!  They use quite a few different methods of memorization and mnemonic devices to help vocabulary stick! I also subscribe to this youtube channel and listen to it while I run sometimes! 

I am excited to keep you updated on all that the Lord does during our trip to Spain. Who knows the amazing things He may have in store?! Thank you for journeying with me 🙂 

Sin-It Isn’t What You Do, It is Who You Are

These are some excerpts from my message in Germany

“We are going to read in 1st john tonight, the entire first chapter. John wrote this letter to a group of Christians who were struggling with some pretty tough questions. And you know what’s something really awesome about god? He can handle all of your toughest questions. Questions like: Does God care if you are a good person or not? Is sin even a big deal to God? Once you become a Christian, should you not sin ever again? What do we have to do to be cleansed from sin? Was Jesus really god? Does God ever sin? were addressed.

Let’s read 1 john chapter one together. This is the most perfect thing I can ever say, it is precious, beautiful and true. ) Let’s all stand to show respect and reverence to God’s word:

1 John 1

Two quick things: Every time you read the bible ask yourself, what does this tell me about God? And secondly, if you don’t know what to be reading in your Bible, Johns writings are a great place to start. 🙂 Anyway, the first few verses give an eyewitness account. Jesus really walked and talked and bled and died and rose again. Those CLOSEST TO HIM SAW HIM EVERYDAY FOR YEARS SAY, YEP…Jesus Christ really is God.

Then, you can see how the text goes on to talk about how you know for sure that people are really believers in Jesus Christ? The answer is not if you’re a good person, but 2 parts, 1 if you have realized/confessed that you are a sinner and 2, God has opened your eyes to trusting in the payment that Jesus Christ has made for your sins! Atonement! And once you TRULY BELIEVE ONE AND TWO, then you r truly a believer in Christ and you will less and less want to sin and more and more want to honor and serve God with your life.

As for me, even at a really young age, i KNEW I was a sinner. Though I didn’t do drugs or kill anyone, I KNEW that I WAS a thief a liar and a manipulator, and that God was as good as everyone around me seemed to think he was, I bet he didn’t really like it when I did bad things. So I confessed to God that I knew I did wrong things, sins, and told him that I believed In Jesus and wanted god in my life to help me not to do wrong things anymore. And probably that is what many of you have done and thought. I did the first part, of confessing, but I didn’t do the seconds trusting. I didn’t trust in the payment that Jesus Christ made for my sins. Because I was afraid that god didn’t love me after I would do bad things, or that he would punish me, like hit me with a lightning bolt or something! If you struggle with those thoughts, you are not realizing the beauty of the truth if what Jesus’s PURPOSE was when he died on the cross FOR YOUR SINS.

So let’s go back to the first part: confessing you are a sinner.

So confess or admit  that you are a sinner? What does that mean? What is a sinner? Is it JUST the bad things that you do??? I think helpful way to answer that question is to watch the beginning of a cartoon that I remember watching as a child about a frog and a man who wants be rich, let’s watch that now!

Love that song! It’ll be stuck in my head for daaaays now! 🙂 anyway, here is my question…when the little green creature was sitting a croaking, what animal was he? Everyone say A frog! That’s right! Good job! Now, when that animal was dancing and singing, what animal was he? Right! Even if he acted differently, that didn’t change what he was. Still a frog.

In that same way, Sin Isn’t just what we do so much as it is who we are. We are sinners. We have a sin nature. So we are each born this way.

It is like we are that frog in the video! There are things we would naturally do as a frog, live eat flies, jump and hop along and croak like this ribbitt. And if we stop and start singing and dancing it does to make us a human, just a dancing frog.

NATURALLY WE ARE SINNERS. NO ONE TAUGHT US HOW TO LIE, OR CHEAT,  OR HIT OUR BROTHERS OR SISTERS WHEN WE WANT THEIR STUFF- we just do! And if you just try to stop sinning, without having the faith that Jesus Christ died for your sins, you are not a Christian, just a well behaved sinner, who still is separated from a perfect, holy, loving, and just God.  Just a dancing frog!

God is amazing and wonderful and perfect. He is the ruler, judge, and flawless king over all things. Sin is everything opposite of that…rebellion against God, and  in compete opposition to God. Sin says, “I am the ruler, only I matter, I should be worshiped.” God says he should be worshiped and the ruler!  So clearly these two things cannot coexisted. You must choose which one will be the ultimate ruler and authority in your life!

So let’s recap, shall we?

Sin is not JUST the bad things you do. But who YOU ARE NATURALLY. And God is so incredibly and so perfect and so wonderful, he is not just a little annoyed by your sin, he is not okay with your sin, he does not simply see it as an inconvenience, but God HATES IT WITH A HOLY PASSION! It is against him, it hates him, and therefore he wants nooooo part of us. The bible tells us in that we are Gods ENEMIES! It shows us that he is beautiful and good and perfect! And we, though initially created to be those things too, chose to rebel against god and are now all sinner, naturally you are opposed to God.

Do you feel uncomfortable? Kind of like you suck? Me too! Sin is not good news!

But here is he crazy awesome, beautiful, wonderful thing. There is really, really, REALLY GOOD NEWS.

Another way to look at it is like this, God is a king, and his kingdom is a beautiful and perfect and it’s walls are high and it’s gates are impenetrable! Sinners are His enemies, from a nearby city. All They do is attack him and everything he stands for! They want to rule his people! God, the king is not worried, nothing can get past fortress, but instead of just getting rid of us, or waging war against us like he should since we’ve rebelled against him, he has made a way for us to no longer be his enemy, no longer be “frogs”…he can give us a NEW nature be on his side, in fact be his heir! Isn’t that awesome? Because without God giving us a new nature, we could never be part of his kingdom because we would just attack it!  So he is loving and just and thought of the perfect way to do that. He allowed Christ to take on all of our punishment for all of our sin natures .

The Bible tells us that because of his great love for us, that while we were still sinners, even though we are his enemy, Christ died for us!!!! It says in 1 Tim, 1:15 Jesus was sent into the world to save sinners. He took alllllll of gods wrath and anger and judgment that SHOULD RIGHTFULLY BE ON YOU, on himself on the cross, so that you can be united with God and no longer his enemy but now, his child.

If you do not believe that Christ is the only way to salvation. If you do not want to read Gods word to know God better. If you do not want to obey the commands he makes in scripture, even if it is really hard. If you do not want to submit to the authority of the local church…then you want to stay a frog…you want to submit to your ruler, sin.

But…if you see that it is a privilege and a joy to be ruled by the wise, kind, just, perfect, gracious creator of the universe, and you believe that Jesus is who he said that he was, and he did what the bible said that he did, and you want to live a life dedicated to pleasing him as your lord and ruler…then you have rid yourself of your sin nature and now have Christs nature.

Get this, I sin every day and I hate it! Just like Paul does in Romans! But God does not see me as a sinner, but as RIGHTEOUS, LIKE HIS SON, because HE BECAME MY SIN SO THAT I COULD BECOME HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. And knowing that motivates me to WORK HARD TO TRY TO NEVER SIN!! Knowing that I deserve to be banished from his kingdom, because of my sin nature and that instead of banishing me, he has made his son take my punishment and I get his righteousness motivates me, causes me to PRAISE HIM AND LOVE HIM AND DEDICATE MY LIFE TO KNOWING HIM AND HELPING OTHER PEOPLE KNOW THIS INCREDIBLY GRACIOUS AND LOVING GOD OF THE UNIVERSE.

We are justified, seen as righteous in Gods eyes by our faith in Jesus Christ. And not just that he existed, but that he took on himself, all of my sins.

Listen carefully, you are NEVER, NEVER good enough to not need God. And you are never, never, never “bad enough” for his death on the cross not to cover alllllll your sins, and for you to be a NEW CREATION in him.

So I close with this, 1 if you haven’t yet, realized you are a sinner, and enemy to perfect, loving, and just God, realize that today! but please, don’t stay there go to part two and believe that God made a way through Jesus Christ for you to be his child and seen as righteous in his eyes and to be part of his kingdom here one earth and in the afterlife. Then let’s embrace being no longer sinners, but now children of God.

 

What 2 Weeks at a Christian English Camp in Germany Taught Me

Germany Take 2 1052

When you come back from a trip-everyone wants to hear a snippet about it. Though you made be prepared to speak for a mere 7 hours reflecting on your favorite parts, fondest memories, and lessons learned, they (most of your friends and family) have just a few minutes to spare to listen to the highlights about your travels.

This is hard for a talker like me.

I have hundreds of stories ranging from dangerous Hunger Game resembling afternoon activities, to fireside fun and language laughs. But I need to boil it down to just a few minutes worth of memories and lessons so when I am asked, I can  explain what I want them to KNOW about the trip.

So I’ve thought of three main lessons that God taught me through the two weeks I spent in Germany:

  1. Use any means God provides to build relationships and share the gospel
  2. We all need to be reminded of the AWESOMENESS of salvation
  3. Know in Scripture where to back up your beliefs

Let me elaborate:

  1. Use any means God provides to build relationships and share the gospel
    1. God is brilliant and uses the English language as a vessel to share His good news. How cool is it that hundreds of teenagers will sign up to attend a Christian camp in a little, nowhere town in Germany simply because they have the drive and desire to learn the English language. Some of them are hearing the gospel for the very first time, and all because God in His AWESOME sovereignty has made it so some people are drawn to our language. As English speaking Christians, we need to be ON this! What a cool opportunity! We need to be leveraging this tool that the Lord has given us for as long as it is available to us! Who knows if this is just a fad, and in just a few short years, it’ll be all the range to learn Hindi! The doors are open now, so let’s go! Always keep your eyes  attentive to looking for ways that you can share God with people!
  2. We all need to be reminded of the AWESOMENESS of salvation
    1. Is your faith stagnant? Prayer life feeling stale? Are you struggling in sin? Then pray along with David in Psalm 51 for God to restore to you the joy of your salvation! And for me, the number one way He does that is through evangelism and discipleship. Try sharing the gospel with someone! What a JOY it is! Nothing blazes a passion in my heart more than being able to talk to someone about the God that sees me as righteous, though I was at first born his enemy. I hadn’t been PUMPED about that in too long. I had forgotten, in a way, what a big deal salvation is. Talking every day to young people about what a huge deal it is that while we were still sinners Christ died for us, reminded me of the exciting truths I needed to hear as well!
  3. Know in Scripture where to back up your beliefs
    1. If you are anything like me-you are awful at remembering references. I can tell you if it is Old or New Testament, and sometimes I get lucky and remember the book…but once we get down to chapter and verse…I’m far too often stumped. And this is so not cool. I was confronted quite a few times on why I believe what I believe about the Holy Spirit or the gifts of the spirit or about the Bible. It is not enough to be able to say, “somewhere in Scripture it talks about blah blah blah”. I’m blessed with my Bible’s concordance in the back, but sometimes even that can’t help me! So I was really challenged to be able to, simply put, know my Bible better, and not just “know I believe things because it’s what I am taught at my church” but know WHERE in the Bible I can find solid support for what I believe. Hopefully a blog post on HOW I am planning on doing that will be coming soon J
      1. Side Note: VALUE THE BIBLE. It is CONTAGIOUS. Love the comfort, knowledge, and holiness that Scripture brings so much, that when other people see it, they are DRAWN to its pages as well.

So that is basically what I am going to tell people if they ask. And that I was SUPER blessed with an AWESOME, SELFLESS, ENCOURAGING team, that I thanked God for every day. Oh and here are 10 random additional things that I may include just for kicks:

  1. Germans are wonderfully, very blunt
  2. Some bathrooms have self-cleaning toilet seats!
  3. Germany looks just like Lancaster County, but with more trees
  4. They don’t have peanut butter
  5. They eat A LOT of bread and meat…but on just one slice of bread-not as a sandwich!
  6. Their windows open 2 ways! And don’t have screens!
  7. It’s really cute when the mispronounce their v’s and w’s (wegtables, williages, and motiwating)
  8. There is a German “translation” of the Bible that is “modernized” and has Jesus riding into town on a scooter, and eating not bread and wine, but chips and cola.
  9. They have bread machines (like a vending machine!) in Aldis that pops out warm bread of your choice
  10. Saying “Goodnight!” in German is dangerously close to saying “Good naked!” in German. Be careful…