Transferring the Glory

On Sunday we saw the folly of building towers of self-sufficiency for our own self-glorification from Genesis 11.  We briefly referenced Thomas Watson and his instruction to “transfer the glory”; here’s that quote in context:

As the silkworm, when she weaves her curious work, hides herself under the silk, and is not seen; so when we have done anything praiseworthy, we must hide ourselves under the veil of humility, and transfer the glory of all we have done to God. – Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity


a new home group (& our outward mission)

This Fall, Sung and I intend to lead a new kind of home group for us here at Grace Church.  This group will pursue fellowship especially (though not exclusively) around outreach and evangelism.

The goal is to create an evangelistic “vehicle” or “pathway” to which all of us can invite unbelieving friends, neighbors, and co-workers.  So this group will intend to host an outreach course (perhaps using the 7-week “Life Explored” material) in the Spring of 2019.

A heart for the unreached and a desire to serve are all that are needed for this group. For the Fall, we plan to meet every other Friday evening, beginning on Sept 14.

Sign-ups for all of our groups begins August 12.  Please find a group in which you can connect with others, pursue biblical fellowship and experience real care and growth as a result!

elders & wives retreat – prayer request

Every year we, as elders and wives, pull away for a couples’ retreat.  Our retreat this year is scheduled for the last weekend of August (Aug 24-25).  This retreat is an important time for us, so I wanted to bring it to your attention.  If fact, I’d be very grateful if you would pray for our time together.

A primary goal of this retreat is to refresh and encourage these elders and wives.  They do so much to serve us sacrificially.  This retreat is one way we seek to build into those who are building into the members of this church on a regular basis.  So we seek to connect relationally, build memories together, and care for each other during this retreat.

A benefit from pulling away like this is that it can further fuel our unity as an eldership as we strengthen our friendships with each another.  We’ve been blessed by great unity together, and that unity has been a precious gift from God to this church.  We want to simply continue to be “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph 4.3), as Scripture commands!

Thank you for praying for us that each of these elders and their wives would be refreshed and encouraged, and that we would glorify God together as a result!

PS – unfortunately, Tim and Linda cannot make it to this retreat (they are visiting their son and daughter-in-law in Alaska), so I invited Dan and Melanie Arthur to take their place.  So please pray for the Liddells while they travel – and for the Arthurs as they join us!


Genesis 6 – Follow Up (Paul Tripp)

I saw these words today and thought they were a great follow up to what we saw in Genesis 6 last Sunday.  I hope it’s helpful for you too!  (Note the helpful reflection questions at the bottom of this post.)

Wednesday's Word from Paul Tripp

Depraved … But Not Totally?

My family and I were in church and had just heard a powerful sermon from the Ten Commandments. I turned to my wife said, “I am so glad our children were here to hear that sermon!”

She didn’t even have to say anything to me. She simply gave me that look. You know, the one that says, “I can’t believe you are actually saying what you are saying.”

I felt embarrassed and grieved. It had happened so subtly and quickly. I had placed myself outside the circle of the sermon’s diagnosis. I had accepted that whatever the Word of God and the preacher were describing did not include me. And I was glad that the people in my family who “really needed” the diagnosis had been in attendance.

Why do we find comfort in pointing to people who appear to be worse sinners than we are? There’s only one conclusion that fits. We stubbornly hold onto the possibility that we’re more righteous than the Bible describes us to be.

And how does the Bible describe us? It’s devastating; a hard pill to swallow: “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5)

I wish this verse was describing a historic super class of sinners. But sadly, it’s a mirror into which every human being is meant to look and see themselves. It’s capturing in a few powerful words what theologians call “total depravity.”

Total depravity doesn’t mean that as sinners we are as bad as we could possibly be. What it actually means is that sin reaches to every aspect of our personhood. Its damage of us is total.

Physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, motivationally, socially, we have been damaged by sin. It’s ravages are inescapable and comprehensive. No one has dodged its scourge, and no one has been partially affected. We are all sinners, all totally depraved.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I want to believe that I’m deprived, but not depraved. Or that I may be depraved … but not totally.

That’s why I make up self-atoning revisions of my history. That’s why I erect self-justifying arguments for what I have said or done. That’s why I turn the tables when someone points out a wrong, making sure they know I’m not the only sinner in the room.

Remind yourself of the Gospel: There’s no need to line up all the good things we’ve done as a counter-balance for all our wrongs.

“Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1-2)

Each one of us needs grace that not only forgives our sin, but also frees us from the self-atoning prison of our own righteousness. We’re not only held captive by our sin, but also by the delusion of our righteousness.

We must all humbly confess: “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. . . . Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!” (Psalm 51:5, 2)

And then rest in his righteousness alone.

God bless

Paul David Tripp

Reflection Questions

  1. When was the last time you were “glad” that someone else was in the room to hear a message?
  2. Why did you think you were outside of the diagnosis of what the Bible had to say?
  3. How have your words, actions, or desires proven that you still needed grace for that particular area?
  4. How have you experienced total depravity recently, both internally in your own heart struggles and externally in this fallen world?
  5. What are some practical, everyday responses that we should have to total depravity?

Summer Preaching Schedule

It was suggested to me this past week to let you know which passages in Genesis we’re covering when, that you might read those passages ahead of time and familiarize yourself with what God is saying through his word in those passages.  What a great idea!

So, below you’ll find the preaching schedule (as currently planned) for the rest of the summer… Please note that sermon titles are mostly tentative!

8-Jul-18 Genesis 4 Bleak Sin and a Glimmer of Hope Tab
15-Jul-18 Mark 8:22-26 Change Takes Time (Tab on vacation) Tim Cain
22-Jul-18 Habakkuk (Tab on vacation) Trent
29-Jul-18 Genesis 5 The Inescapable Reality of Death Tab
5-Aug-18 Genesis 6-9 The Flood Joshua
12-Aug-18 Genesis 11.1-9 A Name for Ourselves Tab
19-Aug-18 Home Groups: Vision & Purpose Joshua
26-Aug-18 (elders & wives retreat: Fri-Sat) Jonathan Schradar

Missions & Mercy

We recently had a great meeting as a mission committee, and I so appreciated the wisdom and direction provided by our deacons, Jerry and Robbie Zeller.

For a while now, they have been highlighting the privilege and opportunity before us in five particular areas.

Three of the five are local:

  • Bridge of Hope – where a number of you serve in food distribution and tutoring:
  • International Christian Fellowship at SDSU – where some of our members go weekly to help with English language learning, and to reach out in friendship and love:
  • College Area Pregnancy Services (CAPS) – where we have members serving ladies who are in crisis pregnancy:
The other two are international:
  • Mexico:  As you may recall, Alan and Mindy Colton recently represented all of us as they joined our friends from Tijuana in their mission to the Tarahumara people group in Mexico. You can find the prayer requests for that mission, and the Colton’s presentation by going to our blog here.
  • Japan:  We are also supporting a church-planting in Tokyo.  A friend and pastor is planting a church there in Japan, which is the second largest unreached people group in the world.  You can find their latest update, along with an encouraging video narrated by their children by going to their website here.

Our desire is to keep these exciting expressions of mission and mercy before us all the more, that we might engage all the more in God’s purposes here and around the world.

We’ll also be doing more to help you in reaching out to your own network of relationships, and we’ll bring you those plans soon.

Join us in praying that, as a church, we would be salt and light in the earth – and in San Diego!


Tarahumara Trip Recap

Early in May our very own Alan and Mindy Colton joined a team headed for the Rowerachi Village in Mexico to minister to the Tarahumara people.  As a church we partnered with them in prayer during their time away, and upon their return they shared details about how God was at work during this trip.  Alan and Mindy also shared how we can continue to pray for the Tarahumara, and the missionaries who are living among them. Below you will find the specific ways that we can continue to pray and partner with the those who are doing the work of ministering to the Tarahumara regularly.  You can also click through the Colton’s PowerPoint and see pictures and more details about the update they shared in church on Sunday, May 27th.

  • Jasmine
    -Unity for the People of Rowerachi
    -Clarity on who should be serving in Rowerachi
    -Unity among those serving in Rowerachi
    -Discernment for who to bring the gospel to within the Tarahumara people
    -A husband
  • Josh and Candace
    -Learning the Tarahumara language
    -Determine what Mark and Carmen will be doing
    -Patience waiting on God for His direction for where and how they serve

Rowerachi Missions Trip Presentation

(Click the link above to view the slides and pictures! It opens as a PDF)