Our Guest: Sydney Tooman Betts

Sydney Tooman Betts is a Christian fiction author with six books under her belt – her first series, The People Of the Book – has 3 books. Her current series Phoebe’s Mysteries, also has 3 with a 4th in the works.  Sydney is also an ESL teacher, a wife and the grateful mother of 2 adult children.  


Key Thoughts and Scriptures:


Romans 12:2 NIV Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.


Romans 12:2 NLT Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.


  • God tells us to be wary of what we see and hear coming from the world. Don’t adopt their way of thinking, responding and behaving.
  • It’s not always something wonderful that prompts you to become a Christian.


Hebrews 4:12 NKJV For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.


  • “It convicted me and showed me that I wasn’t the good person that I thought I was, and that I needed a savior.”


Luke 9:26 NKJV For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.


Psalm 25 NLT O Lord, I give my life to you. I trust in you, my God!…


John 3 NIV …For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life…


  • All they wanted to do was live like the early church, and that was their model.


God changed Sydney’s thinking and understanding of various ingrained worldly influences that we all are subject to in life.


  • A common belief among so many is that we can earn our way to heaven.
  • We have to understand our salvation if freely offered and that we can’t do anything to save ourselves or to earn God’s grace. From start to finish it’s all grace.
  • It doesn’t mean that we can go ahead and sin whenever we want.


Hebrews 10:26 NIV If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left


  • Sydney had it ingrained in her that she had to be perfect.
  • God used a difficult period in her life to totally destroy the construct that she was superior to anyone.
  • The Gospel became more meaningful to her.


Luke 7:47 NIV Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown…whoever has been forgiven little loves little.


1 Corinthians 15:10 NIV But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.


  • God showed Sydney that her sense of self-worth was displaced.
  • The worldly mindset tells us our worth and identity is defined by other people.

God showed Sydney that the devil is a liar.


John 10:10 NKJV The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.


John 8:44 NKJV You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.


  • It’s the value of our creator who created us that gives us worth.


Exodus 20:12 NKJV Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.


  • However Jesus offers us a third way in saying to turn the other cheek.


Matthew 5:39 NKJV But I tell you not to resist an evil person…whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.


  • Because Sydney’s self-worth was anchored in God now, her mom lost her primary weapon against her.
  • Jesus is the definition of love. And yet, they killed Him.


1 Peter 2:23 NIV When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.


  • We’re simply called to seek the good of the other person in the ways that are in their best interest and walk daily in forgiveness and leave the rest to Him.


“Love is never wasted, for its value does not rest upon reciprocity.” — C.S. Lewis.


  • “What’s more important to you, the money or your sister?”


Luke 12:13-21GW Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to give me my share of the inheritance that our father left us.”…


  • God kindly used that situation to reveal to Sydney the root of unbelief in her life.
  • He also used their failure in business to root out things in her husband that she’d been praying about for decades.
  • God takes the things that we think are disasters, or horrible or painful, and He uses them to set us free.
  • When we have the eyes of Christ, we are not easily rattled.


1 Corinthians 3:11 NKJV For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.


  • Christ is the one whose plan is at work and we can have confidence in Him because scripture tells us that we are hidden in Christ Jesus. His plan is His whole plan of the gospel from the very beginning throughout history. We’re being fitted into that plan.


Colossians 3:3 NKJV For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.


  • God is faithful and He loves us so much.


Hebrews 12:5-6 NIV …because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.


Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV He has made everything beautiful in its time… also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.


  • You can wholly trust God’s Word.


Mary, the sister of Martha’s story


Luke 10:38-42 NIV, John 12:1-10 NIV 


  • She loved God’s Word, sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to Him.

Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.


  • Lean not on your own understanding, which is often influenced by the patterns and concepts of the world


Psalm 16:5 NKJV O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot.


Ephesians 1:17-20 NLT Asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.




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