Talk Yourself Out of Lies

I was recently praying to the Lord about my future-my desires, my heartaches, my deeps hope that only He and I know about. After expressing them to Him, I ended with “not my will, but yours be done” and I started to cry. I cried because I was scared that God’s will looks very different than what I hoped for my life. I cried because I feared God’s will would be difficult and painful and possibly opposite of me getting what I want so badly.

And then I stopped myself, and asked God to search my heart.

I was quietly speaking and believing lies to myself. My tears said: “My desire is for my comfort and happiness. If God is good and loves me deeply, then He should go after that for me because I know what’s best for me. But I fear that God is not good and his love for me not deep enough to care about my heartache or my pains. He might, in fact, PURPOSEFULLY make it difficult or opposite if what I want”.  That’s what my heart believed in that moment!

Thankfully, the Holy Spirit who resides in me fought those lies with truth from Scripture. I then thought:

“…YOU God, are the ultimate joy, prize, and satisfaction (Ps. 16:11). Getting ____________ is NOT what will “make or break” my life-KNOWING AND LOVING YOU will. If I seek you-I WILL find you (Matt. 7:7), and in finding you, getting to know how amazing you are will be ABOVE and beyond all I could imagine (Eph. 3:20). And you’ve already promised me you’ll be here-you’ll never leave me (Heb. 13:5). You’ll not stop loving me, and everything you do is good and right (Rom. 8:28-19). Your will is PERFECT! (Ps. 18:30) You’ll fulfill and satisfy me, direct me, and give me EVERYTHING I need (Phil. 4:19)”.

This is the Word of the Lord; thanks be to God.

One of my burdens right now in life is singleness. Maybe yours is a wayward child, or a jobless future, or an unloving spouse. As you run to God with your desires for the future, remember to combat any lies that sneak into your heart. Any doubts that creeps in that tells you God isn’t good, or isn’t working-need to be immediately fought with truth from Scripture and a reminder of the eternity to come. I ended my prayer like this:

“Oh dear Father. Please help me not to get tangled up in lies and distracted by thoughts about a possible (but not guaranteed) future marriage. Because I AM guaranteed a wedding and a groom-a PERFECT one-Christ in glory. I have salvation! Forgiveness of sins! I am your daughter! Knowing, believing, and clinging to THAT truth will propel me through all seasons of doubt, loneliness, rejection, or whatever else. Because even if you see fit to allow me to endure suffering through singleness for the rest of my life-I’ll choose to believe that you always give what is best for me. YOU ARE ENOUGH. YOU ARE WORTH IT. YOU WILL SATISFY.”

“There are no disappointments to those who wills are buried in the will of God.” Frederick William Faber

When you go through a trial, the sovereignty of God is the pillow upon which you lay your head. ~ Charles Spurgeon: When you go through a trial, the sovereignty of God is the pillow upon which you lay your head. ~ Charles Spurgeon

Probably the Best Quote You’ll Read Today…

As you may know, I am a quote junkie. It’s almost embarrassing how often I’ll insert quotes into conversations-but I find them so succient, helpful, and well-said! The one I’m bringing to you today is one of my absolute favorites! It is a beautiful prayer by A.W. Tozer that I often use to start my time in the Word, or to prep my heart for church on Sunday mornings. May it stir your affections for Christ and deepen your desire to fellowship with Him.

“O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need for further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, so that I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, ‘Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away.’ Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long.”

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 🙂 

How a Veggie Tales Flashback Saved My Evening

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I had worked late last Tuesday evening. No big deal; it was a good day-but I was tired and ready to head home. Though, as I drove I reflected on my past few “home cooked meals” I’ve made for myself:

  • Sunday afternoon: scrambled egg
  • Sunday Evening: Kraft Mac N Cheese
  • Monday Evening: Noodles with Ham and Apple Slices

This is no joke. Literally-that is what I had in my refrigerator and therefore, what I had for dinner.  So I decided it would be smart (nay, necessary!) to stop for groceries at the best food store on planet earth-SHARP SHOPPER.

For those of you who don’t know what Sharp Shopper is, let me explain to you by some of my most recent purchases:

  • 10 Blueberry Bagels for $1.59!
  • 15 Packets of Oatmeal (3 different flavors!) for A BUCK!
  • Okay, those are the only two things I can think of off the top of my head, but I wanted three bullet points to match the above bullet points, so…you get what I’m saying! It’s great!

 ANYWAY…so I am a shoppin’ a way- tomato sauce, eggs, yogurt-you know-essentials, and I start to see a series of happy couples. Hand in hand, some young, some old, each shopping for groceries for their lives together. Now, normally, this doesn’t bother me at all. Normally, I am able to rejoice with and for people who are happily paired with the love of their lives. But not this night. This night I was discontent and frustrated and lonely. This night I walked to my car with a heavy heart, sad that I was buying groceries only for me. 

And that’s when it hit me. Pulling out of the parking lot, from the far corners of my memory came I song I hadn’t sung for quite some time. The first time I heard it, it came from the mouth of a carrot…or maybe an asparagus, I can’t remember, but it was on the VHS of Madam Blueberry and it said this:

A thankful heart is a happy heart

I ‘m glad for what I have, that’s an easy way to start

For the love that He shares as He listens to my prayers,

That’s why I say thanks every day!

 I sang it a few times, and my heart lifted with each line. Silly as it may seem, that little diddy realigned my heart with God’s that evening. I spent the rest of the ride home thanking God for all the MANY blessings he HAS and IS giving me right now, and thanked Him for the greatest gift of all-my salvation. I thought of gift of grace, after gift of grace He has given me and turned my heart of discontentment into a heart of gratitude.

It’s so easy to look at what we don’t have, or what God isn’t doing-instead of being creatures of humility and thankfulness and seeing what He has given us and what He is doing-with a proper understanding that we deserve none of it!  A mentality of gratitude changed my evening from being one with a heavy heart, to one with a happy heart. God uses all sorts of things to bring us back to himself, even a little veggie tale song! And hey-that’s a good reason to say thanks every day!

Seek Righteousness, Find Satisfaction

 
I feel like I write a lot about satisfaction. I am not exactly sure why, it just seems to be a reoccurring theme in my life. I consistently try and find satisfaction in the fleeting “pleasures” of this world and am reminded time and time again that I feel most fulfilled, most content, and most joyful-when I am settled in the center of God’s will which is to be seeking, loving, and obeying him. C.S. Lewis says it well in, The Weight of Glory:

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a                                                        holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

I somehow convince myself that watching SNL reruns will be a more fulfilling addition to my laundry night than listening to a podcast. I persuade myself that listening to the ”hottest jams” on 95.9 to pump me up for a run, is more beneficial than serenading my soul with songs of spiritual substance. And I live with the lie that talking to myself instead of talking to God will do me any good at all. How quickly I forget the things that TRULY satisfy!  This morning I read Matthew 5:6: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for RIGHTEOUSNESS, for they SHALL BE SATISFIED.” It is a great reminder of what I should be longing for (righteousness) and what its promised result is (satisfaction).  If you are looking for freedom from guilt-look to the cross. If you are looking for peace and hope for the future-look to the empty tomb. If you are looking for satisfaction- look to your attainable righteousness because of the cross and because of the tomb.

Quick Side Note: Matthew 5:6 is a super easy verse to learn! Take 47 seconds today to commit it to memory 🙂 (Psalm 119:11)