Great quote on contentment – Paul Trip

The key to getting off the ladder and experiencing true
contentment is not having more or learning to live with less.

The key to contentment is worship.

It is only when my heart is satified because of what I have been given in Christ
and so much more delighted with God’s glory than in the possibilty of
possessing the next glorious physical thing, that I will leave the hunt.

Photo. Justine Blick. 5-20-12


the first installment of a story from the pen (keyboard :-) of Turner Blick, our 4th grader…

The lost city of Zeetie

By: Turner Blick

Photo: Archive picture, taken in 1874

Chapter 1

In 1863 a baby child was born: Buck Rider. The Rider family was so thankful. Buck was the third oldest out of 4 brothers and 2 sisters. The oldest child was Boe, a boy, who was 19, and in the war. The second oldest was Kelly, a girl and was 15 and had blond hair.

Buck was the third oldest, a boy, 12, and had a deep dark sandish color of hair. The fourth oldest was Alex. Short for Alexandria the 19th. A girl, 11, and she had the color of hair that’s like the color of dawn. She always got A+ on every assignment in school, while the others never got higher than a B+. The fifth oldest was John Travis. ( After his two great grandpas.) A boy, 8, and he loves to compete, no one in the entire school, even all the staff can’t beat him at anything sports wise!

The sixth oldest was Shon, a boy, 5, and he has a extremely large imagination! Some say he invented all the myths at age 3! And last, the youngest, Charlie, 1, and loves to make farting noises! It’s 1868 in Kai kai…

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

” But mom! I don’t want keemy! ” whined Shon. Keemy is a Anchovy and a Artichoke blended and morphed into a square.

” You get over it! Here’s how I do it, I plug my nose, then eat the keemy, and you wouldn’t have tasted anything! ” said Buck.

” Thanks Buck! You’re the best! ” said Shon.

” At what? ” said JT.

” What do you mean? ” said Shon.

” You said, Thanks Buck, you’re the best! And I’m asking… at what? ” said JT in one of those bratty voices.

” At giving advice! ” Answered Shon.

” I bet I can give better advice than you! ” interrupted Kelly, Giving one of those bratty looks.

” Stop it! Both of you! ” said Shelly. The mom.

” Now, your mother’s right kids! ” entered Rob. The dad.

” Kids like you shouldn’t be fighting all the time! ”

” Well, I don’t argue with my relatives!” said Alex.

” I don’t have to! When I get good grades and read non-fiction books all day. I am better nurtured, more Academic than my relatives, so, why argue, with people that get the same and lower grade than me! Now, I’ll be off to learn the rest of Quantum Physics! ” Said Alex. as her voice trailed up to the up-stairs…

” Well, I must be off to the Market, the have a 99% off for a whole 1 sector of the Market! Can’t miss that! ”

Exclaimed Shelly.

” I must be off to the bank! Kelly, you’re in charge until Boe gets here. Bye. ”

” Guess what I found out in a History book! ” Exclaimed Buck pointing at a section in the history book…

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Coming soon… January 13th

Coming soon… January 20th

Coming soon… January 27th

Coming soon… February 3rd

Coming soon… February 10th

Coming soon… February 17th

Coming soon… February 24th

Coming soon… February 31st

Coming soon… March 7th

Coming soon… March 14th

Coming soon… March 21st

Zeetie’s ending… April 2nd

When our first parents decided that God could not be trusted, and therefore did not need to be obeyed, their rebellion brought shame, fear and guilt into the world – a condition only God’s promised Son Jesus can remedy.

Photo. Blick sr. Santa Cruz, CA. 2011

IX. The Sermon: Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve – Genesis 2-3 – Rev. Kyle McClellan, Senior Minister, Grace Presbyterian Church

Intro. Where does fear come from? That is a key question they have been wrestling with as a Midland University football team as Kyle has led the Chaplin services.

Genesis 3 is filled with tough yet good truths.

The Big Idea: When our first parents decided that God could not be trusted, and therefore did not need to be obeyed, their rebellion brought shame, fear and guilt into the world – a condition only God’s promised Son Jesus can remedy.

I. A lack of trust leads to a lack of obedience (3:1-6).

In Genesis 2, we see all things as good and going along very well! Chapter 3 Satan is introduced and misquotes God. God only had limits on one tree not all trees. Then Eve also misquotes God saying that they can’t even touch the fruit.

The sin is in believing that God is not trustworthy. He is not to be trusted. The sin is believing that God is a kill-joy and is holding the best of the garden away from Adam and Eve for himself. They are acting as though somehow God is holding out on them. Because they don’t trust him, they do not obey him.

II. Know the consequences of a failed coup.

A. Shame (2:28; 3:7). They sew loin clothes because they are ashamed of their nakedness, even though they we naked the day before.

B. Fear (3:10). We have not seen fear anywhere in scripture yet until this point in the quote by Adam.

C. Guilt (3:14-19). They are pronounce guilty and punished.

The guilt and shame and fear are in my life and each of our lives as it was in the garden. We are broken people. It is not just coach Sanduski that is broken – we all are. The shame and guilt of our first parents belong to us.

Is it a sin to be afraid? Fear is here because of sin. We know we will be afraid, but are we afraid of the right things? Are our fears ordered rightly?

So is that it? Our first parents sin and we have to be ruined with no hope?

III. Seek God’s remedy (3:15; cf.: 1 Corinthians 15:54-58).

In Gensis 3:15, it says that there is coming a human being who will reverse the effects and ruiness of the fall. All through the Bible we read and sit anxiously wondering if the new leader on the scene, like David the shepherd boy turned king for example, is the one to reverse what Satan has done. David was not nor anyone in the Old Testament , but they all pointed and foreshadowed Christ.

All that is broken is going to be fixed. Jesus is this guy. Not only is he the son of Adam but he is the son of God. The life he lived and the death he dies show us how to rightly order our fears.

In our New Testament reading of Jesus casting the demon out of the Gereseane demoniac, the people move from being afraid of this man to being afraid of Christ as they realize they are in the presence of God.

Paul in 1 Cor asks the question, where, o death, is your sting? Through Jesus we have this victory over shame, fear, and guilt.

What does it mean to experience victory? What does it mean to know first-hand to be on the winning side? It is good to cheer when the Huskers win and say that WE won, but we are not on that team and did not help them. However, how do we experience actually being on God’s team and experience this victory personally?

The books of our own life are filled with shame and fear and guilt. There are numerous pages in that book that show I did not trust God and instead believed he could not be trusted like Adam and Eve. I am separated from God, no longer able to be in his presence like Adam. But in Christ, my book is laid on Christ.

So where is your book? If its in your hand then, though you will have some good in your life thanks to common grace, you will never know the Father. Come and know personally the One who conquers your shame, and fear and guilt by his death for sinners!

The Sermon Passage: Genesis 2:25-3:24
25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But theLord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

14 The Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”
16 To the woman he said,
“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”
17 And to Adam he said,
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”

20 The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.
22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” 23 therefore the LordGod sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

1 Corinthians 54When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

God Only Wise. Job 28 – some of my notes from a Tim Keller sermon combined with some journal entry thoughts. Sermon from iTunes

Photo. Santa Cruz, CA. Picture by Richard Blick. 2011

The big idea: we need wisdom, but how do we get it?

Point one. Wisdom is absolutely important.

Knowledge of God’s moral law and applying it well to life is wisdom. The ten commandments are non-negotiable, but how do we discern what job to take, who to marry, where to live, etc.? These are not spelled out in the ten commandments, yet if we chose poorly, dire consequences result.

Wisdom is knowing yourself and also knowing your limitations. Wisdom is knowing how to make decisions which allow for the timing and seasons of life. Wisdom is understanding the complexities of life.

The genre of the book of Proverbs is not a book of promises nor commands as much as it is truth about how life usually works. Life is more complex than we normally allow for. If you obey your parents you still may die early and not live long on the earth. A man works hard and gets rewarded and the sluggardly does not. It is good to work hard but Proverbs also show that sometimes the poor are hardworking but are poor because of oppression. Normally hard work pays dividends but not always because life is more complex than that.

Point two. Wisdom is only found in God.

Many othe religions believe the world was made in conflict. The Bible teaches that God created the world not out of a conflict between good and evil forces. It teaches that God, the master craftsman, made it as an overflow of joy in himself.

Only God can see the order and the pattern in everything in the world. Look at his plan: creation and redemption after the fall.

Point three. How to get some wisdom for yourself?

We know what it is like to hope in something and then it is cut off: broken dreams, broken things, lost jewelry, broken relationships, good works, etc. But when we hope in wisdom, proverbs says, our hope is never cut off. When we are leaning as if to fall, which is the essence of worship, we will never fall when leaning on the Rock of wisdom.

Prov. 24:13 My son, eat honey, for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.
14 Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off.

If all wisdom is in God, where do we see the climax of God’s wisdom? On the cross. Eph 3:10 When we hope in the cross, that is the only thing we can hope in that will not be cut off.

Eph 3:10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.
13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.

Proverbs defines what wisdom is, namely the fear of the Lord.

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Job 28:28 says the same thing: And he said to man, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.'”

What is this type of fear that leads to this wisdom? The type of fear that it is talking about is like standing quietly in an art gallery, not being loud, looking at a beautiful piece of art. It is awe, wonder, reverence and stillness.

In Job’s life, we see the principle that the fear of the Lord is especially poignant, important, and life changing when in the middle of suffering. Fear of the Lord is gained certainly through knowing his Word, but it is also gained in our experience of suffering.

The fear of the Lord is stillness before the Lord in suffering. Though we cannot see the pattern or purpose sometimes in our life’s events, God DOES see the pattern. It is like the 18 month old child getting shots at the doctors office. How do you fully explain to her look of betrayal on her face in her pain that this is for the protection and joy of her life? It is done out of pure love. The parents see the pattern behind the suffering, though the child does not. But there IS a pattern in our lives, and it is designed by God out of infinite love for us!

There is nothing like suffering that teaches us to know ourselves deeper, to know more of the timing and seasons of life, and to know more of the complexities of life.

We have something that Job and Solomon did not have: we see the wisdom of God unfolded on the cross in Christ. On the cross, the people told Jesus to come down if he was truly God, and what did he do? He stayed in stillness. He showed the ultimate fear of the Lord in suffering by being still.

We will never stay in stillness before God in our suffering until we see that Christ stood still on the cross in suffering FOR US and for our sins. May we use this matchless expression of love on our hearts for change! Holy Spirit, do this, please!

Remember 1 Cor 1:And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom…

So not only is all wisdom IN Christ, not only did he perfectly DISPLAY wisdom in the fear of God in complete stillness on the cross, but Christ has also been made MY wisdom! I can never be still enough in suffering like Christ was – but he was that perfect stillness before God for me! Now, because I have been made to be still before God perfectly IN CHRIST, I can make headway in daily stillness today!

In Deuteronomy 4, Moses is preparing the people to enter the promised land. He is giving them many reminders and much instruction as they enter. He says,

5 See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.
6 Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’
7 For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the LORD our God is to us, whenever we call upon him?
8 And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today?

The truth of the scripture is that we do NOT obey perfectly and act wisely as vs 6 says. Not only does God give us wisdom how to live this life the way he built it, not only does that make him seem glorious for being seen as the God who is close to his people, but Christ obeys these rules perfectly, making this right living or wisdom ours through him! I think this is yet another sense in which Christ becomes our wisdom!

1 Cor 1:28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are,
29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.
30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,
31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

As is wisdom, so the same is for righteousness. In deuteronomy 6 Moses says that if they obey the word of thenLord then it will be their righteousness in the land. Again, we know the punch line: they, like us, are unable to obey for righteousness. We need another’s. The powerful verse again in 1 Cor says that God makes Christ become that for us! This is great news!

Deut 6:20 “When your son asks you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the LORD our God has commanded you?’
21 then you shall say to your son, ‘We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt. And the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand.
22 And the LORD showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and all his household, before our eyes.
23 And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers.
24 And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day.
25 And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us.’

Praise God for His infinite wisdom!

Reconciliation – Joseph and his brothers. Genesis 50. Tim Keller sermon. iTunes

Picture. Kenya 2011. The Kyle, chris, les, Harrison, Jackson, Eric, and Julius. Tom had to leave early for his father who was dying. The great rift valley, kenya.

Intro. Most objections to the Bible and God are personal rather than intellectual. They are usually over, “how could God let that happen to me” versus “I don’t believe in miracles.” Jospeph hits these personal objections head-on.

The big idea: three marks of a man changed by grace.

1. He avoids Gods chair – leaving justice to God. Vs.19

How do we sit in Gods chair?
A. We are our own moral authority. Genesis 3
B. We let others come to us for their deepest needs. 2 kings 5
C. We have inordinate worry. Matt 6
D. We keep a grudge. The opposite of what Joseph does in this story.
Only God has the right, the knowledg, and the power to judge perfectly. If we do not forgive the evil against us, that evil enters us and changes us.

2. He takes God’s view – seeing God’s hand in man’s malice. Vs.20

Evil is both real and life is ordinarily filled with evil but God is always good and right and sovereign and beautiful in the midst. This is not the either or: either thinking things will get better tomorrow or the pessimist to say that life is hard and will never get better. This is radical both and. Even you can’t put your life on plan B. It is impossible to muck up your life. Nobody can sink me, said Joseph. Ultimate proof is in Christ not being plan B, Acts 2+4.

Find the mp3 files of the Dick Lucas tapes on Joseph and Genesis.

3. He images Gods love – replying with affection and compassion to wrongs. Vs.21

When he said he will provide for them and their children, he is loving them. Because of points one and two above he has BOTH the humility AND the confidence to love them. Joseph knew that he did not deserve God’s love and favor and at the same time was confident that nothing he could do could alter that love for him. He had bold, humble confidence.

But I am not Joseph. How do I do this? You can’t. However, Jesus says you can do better than Joseph. What? In Matthew 11, Jesus said John the baptist was better than Joseph and David and all old testament people before him. Yet Jesus says that the least in the kingdom will be better than even John the baptist.

On the cross, Jesus is the far more and ultimate example than Joseph of God meaning evil for good. Jesus, though he was in Gods chair, forsook that and became human for me. Joseph did not see what we see that God himself would one day have to come and die for our sins. We see that we are so very wicked that it took not just a good man to die in our place but a perfect man who was infect God himself! That is how sinful we are and this should humble us more than Joseph.

On the other hand, If God did not spare his very own son for dying for me, what else will he not freely give me? We have a greater confidence than Joseph had as well. God has already given me that hardest thing, that most valuable thing he could! His son!

Together, this gives us greater humility than Joseph and also greater confidence than Joesph to live greater lives than Joseph. That is what Jesus means in Matthew 11.

God, help me to live radically like I believe this with all my heart! Do we really believe that God is the best one to sit in his chair, that I am unsinkable, and I have better roots for humble-boldness than Joseph and David? God, do this in our heart, please, for our joy and your glory!