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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Bettelli Buzz Vol. 4 Jan. 27, 2016: My First Week in Colorado Springs


So I have officially been living in Colorado Springs for a full week. It is so different from Florida. No matter where I drive I see mountains, and it takes your breathe away every single time...or maybe that's just the elevation...


Last Tuesday was my first day at Focus on the Family and I woke up to this:


I couldn't believe it. The first day of work, and it snowed the night before. I thought, God has an interesting sense of humor. It made me think of how I learned how to swim. When I was a kid, my oldest brother threw me in the deep end of our pool and told me to swim to the steps. I was so scared, but I got to the steps in no time. My oldest brother lives in Minnesota, and as I began to drive to work, I called him to get a few driving tips because I was extremely nervous. This was my first time driving in snow. As I approached my first intersection, I began to push on the breaks and I thought something was wrong with my car because it sounded like there were rocks in there making some sort of clunking sound, so I couldn't stop. As I turned left, I began to fishtail and thought to myself, I might not be working for Focus on the Family after all. 

I did end up getting to work, but I was the annoying guy in the right lane that everyone stares at because they drive so slow. Again, God's sense of humor...

The second day of work was a little better, except for the fact that as I was walking out to my car there was ice on the driveway, and being the Floridian that I am, I didn't think anything of it. Well, in a matter of seconds my legs were swiftly pulled up into the air and I then got to see what Colorado ice looks like up close. 

Here is a picture of what it looks like as I drive to work every morning. 



My week was filled with trainings, and paperwork, and meeting all kinds of people. I got to sit in the broadcast studio of FOTF, and see where they create all the sounds for Adventures in Odyssey. 

On the weekend I went over and checked out the Garden of the gods. It made me think about how incredibly creative our God is. 


I also went to my first Denver Nuggets game, and it was a "nail-biter," but the Nuggets pulled ahead and won in the final minute of the game. 


Here I am with my new friend David, who has been volunteering at Focus the past week. 


The next morning I took a hike, with my friend Dale and his son Rhett, through a park near where I'm living right now. In the first picture, I'm actually standing in the middle of a pond that is frozen over. The second picture is me and Rhett at the top of a hill that had an amazing view of the Rocky Mountains.



After church Dale invited me over to his house for an afternoon of Broncos football and deer meat. We had venison steak, venison sausage, and venison jerky. It was amazing, and did I mention the Broncos won the AFC Championship. GO BRONCOS! Yes, I am jumping on the Bronco Band wagon. Hey, I can't help it if my new home town has a championship team in the NFL :)


Yesterday I got to meet Dr. Al Mohler, who was recording a broadcast that will air at some point this Spring. He was very gracious and kind. I got to sit and listen to the entire recording in the control room and watch how it all goes down. BTW...It's going to be a great broadcast!


So I'll have more of my Colorado Adventures next week, but because of all the busyness of life, I have used most of my time to read material put out by Focus on the Family. As I finish some of the books and curriculums, I'll be sure to write about them so you know what's out there.

There was one really ridiculous article I came across last week that came out about the Department of Education. Eight senators requested that the Department of Education make public the names of all the institutions that have asked for religious exemptions from Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. The worst thing about this news is the reasoning behind why the senators asked the Dept. of Ed to do this. They said they believe these waivers allow for "discrimination under the guise of religion." Click here for the full article.

Here is your Book Buzz:

The Gagging of God by D.A. Carson $3.99
Worship By The Book by D.A. Carson $3.99
Telling the Truth by D.A. Carson
The Next Story by Tim Challies $3.99
Preaching and Preachers by Martin Lloyd Jones $3.99
The Real Face of Atheism by Ravi Zacharias $2.51
Divine Design by John MacArthur $2.99
Proof by Daniel Montgomery $3.99
Exalting Jesus in James by David Platt $2.99
Exalting Jesus in 1&2 Thessalonians by Mark Howell $2.99
Exalting Jesus in the Song of Songs by Daniel Akin $2.99
Introducing Covenant Theology by Michael Horton $2.99
Reclaiming Love by Ajith Fernando $3.99

Be Edified.





Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Buzz Vol. 3 1/19/16 The Road Trip and why Marco Rubio gained somemajor points with me

Today I start my new job in Colorado Springs with Focus on the Family. "Excited" is too small of a word to describe how I feel today. Please continue to pray for me. Please specifically pray that my house sells in Florida.

Well, I arrived in Colorado yesterday after my 3 day road trip. It was actually a very smooth trip. I went about 730 miles the first day, 750 the second and around 370 the third day. There were two things that made the drive easy. 

First was my audiobook Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas. This book has 33 chapters and I only got through 7. It's very interesting and informative. The first 7 chapters gave me a glimpse of what it was to be German before and after WW1. It also gave the theological landscape of Germany during that time. I'm hooked!

Second, was the radio/podcast Serial. I listened to the entire 1st season. It is extremely well done. It will have you sitting on the edge of your seat through all 12 episodes. Serial Season 1 is a dramatic radio broadcast of a murder mystery set in 1999 in Maryland were a teenage girl is killed and her ex boyfriend is charged with the crime. The series walks you step by step through the entire case. It's ten times better than any Law and Order show. 

One highlight from the trip was driving through Monroe, Louisiana where I stopped to see the famous Duck Commander headquarters.


I also drove through a section of New Mexico, a state I never thought I'd ever visit.


I made it to Focus around noon, mountain time, which is really throwing me off btw...(I was wide awake at 5:30 am...ahhhhhh)




So normally I would include links to these resources I've been writing about, but since I'm writing this post from my iPhone you will have to simply google them this week. Please excuse any grammar errors 😉

Here are a couple of other things that have been buzzing around in my head:

The Briefing and The Gospel Coalition reported last week on the Anglican Communion. The big news was that they sanctioned the Episcopal Church of America for their ordination of gay and lesbian bishops, and support of gay and lesbian marriage. 

Focus on the Family's radio broadcast yesterday was moving. They simply played recorded calls from people with stories about getting and/ or not getting an abortion, and adopting a child. I will never forget one story about a married woman sitting in Planned Parenthood ready to get an abortion and how God, through very specific circumstances, gets her to leave. You gotta listen to this one!

Wayne Grudem is one of my theological heros. He has written a litany of books, but he is most famous for his Systematic Theology, which is used in many evangelical Bible colleges and seminaries in the US. Last month John Piper posted an article explaining that he has Parkinson's disease so please please pray for him and his family. But last week I found out through Twitter, specifically from some tweets between Justin Taylor and Ruth Graham that led me to Ruth Graham's article greatly criticizing Wayne Grudem because he holds the biblical view of complimentarianism, that Marco Rubio has appointed Wayne Grudem to his 15 member religious liberty advisory board. This is huge! Marco Rubio just gained some major points with me. Wayne Grudem had an enormous book on politics. If you google it, it will come up.

That's it for today. The Book Buzz will be back in these posts next week.

Be Edified.



Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Buzz Vol. 2 Jan. 12, 2016

So this is my final week as admissions director of Trinity College. I leave for Colorado Springs on Saturday. I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous. In fact for the past week, it seems like everyone I know asks, "Are you ready?" I don't know how to answer that question. How do you prepare for something you've never experienced? So, I am just going to rely on God to prepare me for each new day. With all that said, here is the Buzz.

THE BRIEFING: It seems like Al Mohler's The Briefing will be a weekly topic on this blog because I listen to it almost every day. Last Thursday, Dr. Mohler pointed out an article released in the Boston Globe that pointed to a court ruling where "a state judge ruled that an all-girls Catholic school discriminated against a gay man when it rescended a job offer after learning he was in a same-sex marriage." The point is that this judge decided that this Catholic school did not have the right to mandate this employee adhere to Catholic doctrine to be employed. Al Mohler says, "The state court judge here clearly ruled that erotic liberty, or sexual liberty, trumps religious liberty when it comes to this Catholic school in Milton, Massachusetts."

Another huge case in California should be on the radar. Two former women's basketball players for Pepperdine University have claimed they are victims of sexual discrimination by their coaches, when coaches found out they were in a lesbian relationship and made efforts to "force" them to quit the team. The plantiffs made their claim under Title IX which prohibits colleges and universities who receive federal funding, from discriminating on the basis of sex or gender. The point is that the judge in this case has ruled that sexual-orientation discrimination is the same as sex discrimination.

For more on these stories, go here.

WHATS BEST NEXT: This week I was reading in What's Best Next again, and Matt Perman really keyed in on the answer to why we are so often unfulfilled at the end of the day. I certainly have come home from work and felt extremely unfulfilled. In those times, you can't help to get down on yourself. Matt says, "You are satisfied with your day when there is a match between what you value and how you spent your time." I find this to be sooo true in my life. When I spend my time doing what I believe is valuable in life, I come home from work fulfilled.

For more on What's Best Next, go here to download the book.

ON BEING MATT CHANDLER'S ROOMATE: The Gospel Coalition has an article that I read a few weeks back, but I saw it on their front page this week. It was titled, On Being Matt Chandler's Roomate. Steve Bezner talks about his struggle with jealousy while he was in Bible College with Matt Chandler. Check it out here.

EVANGELICALS FOR LIFE: The Evangelicals For Life Conference is right around the corner. Christians from all over the country will be meeting in Washington D.C. to join Jim Daly, David Platt, Russell Moore and others to rally Christians in support of the value and sanctity of life. For more information, click here.

4 PRINCIPLES FOR PARENTING IN A WORLD OF VIDEO GAMES: So this morning this article was in my FB feed. It got my attention because I have to sons who love the Wii and the Ipad. There is some great BALANCED advice in this article that does not tell it's readers to go throw away all their electronic devices or equate them to Satan. It's worth a read.

WINTER JAM 2016: If you haven't planned to attend Winter Jam this Saturday in Tampa, and you don't have plans, GO! My good friend KB will be performing and it is going to be amazing. He is extremely talented and loves Jesus with all his heart. Did I mention he is also a graduate of Trinity College? You won't be disappointed.


BOOK BUZZ and some FREE BOOKS:

1. God's Love Compels Us by D.A. Carson $2.99
2. Here is Our God by Kathleen Nielson $2.99
3. The Scriptures Testify About Me by D.A. Carson $2.99
4. His Mission: Jesus in the Gospel of Luke by D.A. Carson $2.99
5. When Sinner's Say I Do by Dave Harvey $1.99
6. The Most Misused Verses in the Bible by Eric Bargerhuff $1.99
7. Perspectives on the Extent of the Atonement featuring the writings of Carl R. Trueman $.99
8. Navigating Trials in the New America featuring the writings of John Piper FREE

So have you ever visited the BOOK section of the Desiring God website? Most of the books are there for FREE. So if you haven't read John Piper yet, you have most of his books at your fingertips. Click here to scroll through the many titles John Piper has to offer.

So I found another treasure of books today. J.I. Packer's rare Puritan library is now online and available for FREE. This is a treasure chest of rare books that you will want to read and reference.

Be Edified.




Thursday, January 07, 2016

Your Selfie Stick Can't Do That

Yesterday my wife bought me a selfie stick. I have seen people use these things everywhere they go. From one perspective it seems like a really useful tool, especially when you don't have anyone to take a picture for you. On the other hand it also seems weird to me.


I feel like it's kind of strange because the whole point of a selfie stick is to take pictures of yourself.

I hope my wife doesn't think that I like to take pictures of myself, or that I'm so narcissistic and conceded that I want to see myself plastered all over Facebook and Instagram.

The truth is, the selfie stick is a perfect example of the culture we live in today. Our culture is ruled by the idea of "self."

We develop new technology every day with the intent of producing things that will allow each of us to do more and more and more by ourselves. Our tablets, phones, computers all make our tasks easier to get done alone.

But no matter how much our culture tries to make our lives self-sustaining, we will never truly be able to connect with God on our own. 

Galatians 3:11 tells us that it's evident that no one can be justified by the law for the righteous shall live by faith.

In other words, we will never be able to earn or work our way to God on our own. To truly know God one must have have faith. 

Galatians 3:26-27 goes on to say, "for in Christ Jesus you're all sons of God, through faith."

You see it was Jesus who earned our redemption to God. 

No matter how much you accomplish, or how smart you are, or how much money you have, you can't know God without knowing Jesus.


Be Edified. 

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

The Buzz Vol. 1 Jan. 6, 2016

I'm starting a new weekly blog post for the 2016 year called The Buzz.

My goal with these posts is to simply give you some great resources that I've been reading, listening to, or watching that I think will encourage, inform, or edify you in your path of sanctification. 

I hope to post every Wednesday. This blog will take the place of my Mid Week Book Buzz. Don't worry, I plan to include some of the great deals I see out there on some great books.

So let's get started...

1. FOCUS ON THE FAMILY RADIO BROADCAST: As you already know, I am moving to Colorado Springs to join the Focus on the Family team, but what you probably didn't know is that I listen to the Focus on the Family Radio broadcast almost every week day.  I downloaded the app from the app store and I usually listen to it during my commute to or from work. You can check out the broadcast here. This week they have been highlighting how to manage or erase debt. They have some great resources on how to get started if this is something you are going to tackle this new year. The broadcast highlighted the Queen of Free blog and the book Slaying the Debt Dragon this week.

2. THE BRIEFING: So I am technically a "generation Xer" but I have a lot of "millennial" blood in me so it's not easy to know who to trust when it comes to the news. It seems like every TV station has an agenda and it's not one that I agree with, so I have a hard time trusting what I hear, even from Fox News. So I found someone that I do trust who gives me a 20 minute breakdown of what's going on in the world every morning, Dr. Albert Mohler. Dr. Mohler is the voice of The Briefing. His program analyzes all the major news each morning and explains what's going on from a Christian worldview. I highly recommend you start listening!

3. SEVEN REASONS NOT TO PLAY THE LOTTERY: John Piper released an article this week titled Seven Reasons Not to Play the Lottery, and it has caused another very HOT discussion online. I was reading some of the comments left on Facebook yesterday, and I can tell you that it seems like Christians are very divided on this issue. This article is worth a read.



4. WHATS BEST NEXT: What's Best Next is a book I started reading a few months back and absolutely love so far. It's a book on time management. Matt Perman really gives some solid advice on this subject. I will most likely quote this book throughout the year. Here is my quote for this week:

"Simply speeding up doesn't help if you aren't going in the right direction in the first place."

5. THE BOOK BUZZ: I told you I'd still post some book deals.

Standing Strong by John MacArthur $.99
Which Bible Translation Should I Use by Andreas J. Kostenberger $2.99
Essential Theological Terms by Justo L. Gonzalez $3.99
God and the Government by Charles Colson $1.99
Look and Live by Matt Papa $2.99
Joy: Poet, Seeker, and the Woman Who Captivated C.S. Lewis by Abigail Santamaria $2.99

Also, many of the Holman NT Commentaries are on sale for $2.99 each, and you can grab some of the Exalting Jesus Commentaries for $2.99 or $3.50 but you will have to scroll through them to find which ones are on sale.

Be Edified.