About Me

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New Orleans, LA, United States
Family from South Africa, Born in New Orleans, Lived in South Carolina. Married to Annabeth since May 2004. We have three boys (Bolt, Mack, and Birk). Currently living in Uptown NOLA and serving as Lead Pastor of Vintage Church and Camp Pastor of Student MissionLab.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Choked Up (Reflections on Out of Range)

I don’t get choked up a lot. In fact I can only remember three times in my life when I have been so dramatically moved that I was silenced by pure emotion.

  1. Watching the movie RUDY, RUDY, RUDY. When he comes out on the field and sacks the quarterback, I absolutely lose it.
  2. When I preached after my dad almost lost his life from a blood clot. I got to preach the Word on Father’s Day at my home church while dad was in the hospital. Dad is my hero, I was really shaken up.
  3. When Annabeth came through the doors and down the aisle on our wedding day. I couldn’t believe that God had blessed me with the sexiest, sweetest, most amazing woman in the world. When I saw her, I stopped breathing.
This past Friday night at Out of Range, it happened to me again. I’m not sure why it hit me when it did (I think it was because it was my first time to slow down in a couple of days). I was sitting with David Platt, Leeland, and Dr. Rhonda Kelly. The building was slammed (we had 429 people register for the event) and it was smokin hot. The room was electric and the worship was rockin. People had come to unite in prayer and worship…with a passion to see the Glory of God. After a video, it was my turn to welcome people, share the vision, interview Leeland, and pray. I got up on stage, looked over the crowd…and I WAS COMPLETELY CHOKED UP. It was only for a couple of seconds, but it hit me hard. I shared the story behind this event in my first blog, “Paralyzed by God’s Glory”. I prayed and asked God to paralyze us. In that brief moment, God did exactly that. I wasn’t choked up necessarily by the size of the crowd. I was choked up by the fact that God’s vision that was implanted in my heart over two years ago was now burning in the hearts of over 400 people. Not for my delight, but for the delight of God. I know that God’s favor was upon us, because I looked into the eyes of people who were delighting in Him. To quote Piper, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”

I just received a comment on our website (http://www.outofrange.org/) from someone stating that they are praying that this prayer movement would not end with this past weekend. This is our prayer and this is God’s purpose for Out of Range. Whatever was sparked in the hearts of those who attended, I pray that God would ignite it in a way that would expose His Glory around the world.

It was a great weekend. We prayed, sang, prayed, listened to the Word, prayed, danced, prayed, painted, prayed, wrote in a journal, prayed, witnessed, prayer walked, celebrated, prayed, cried, prayed…and in all of this I was choked up. Thank you God for exposing your Glory to us this past weekend. Expand your vision and call your people to pray.

If you read this blog and attended Out of Range, I would love to hear your thoughts and reflections from the weekend.

Monday, August 13, 2007


After reading the title of this blog, you might be saying...what the crap is he talking about? If you are not from New Orleans, I don't expect you to understand. I have lived in New Orleans for the majority of my life. It is part of the fabric and blood that makes up my life. I am head over heels in love with the city, but I don't really like it. Let me explain.....

I love podcasts. Most of my ipod space is filled with podcasts. Annabeth (my wife) knows this more than anyone...especially when we are on a long road trip. I would much rather listen to a good interview, sermon, or even talk show than listen to music. Time flies so much faster for me. One of my favorite preaching podcasts is Mars Hill Church in Seattle with Mark Driscoll. The man speaks close to an hour about the Supremacy of Christ, Scripture, his family, ministry in Seattle, himself (sometimes a little too much), and then attacks or confronts any aspect of life in a refreshing, honest, throat-punching (I heard him say that he wanted to do this to some people), but loving way. I have never met the guy, but I feel an unusual bond with him. He was born and raised in Seattle, moved away for a while, and then returned to start and grow the largest church in one of the least Christian cities in the country. Although I am not sure what God has in store for me in New Orleans, I know that it is going to be significant for the Kingdom. New Orleans and Seattle are very similar cities. He is currently diving into Nehemiah - the series is called Building A City Within A City. Great stuff! As he opened up the series, he began to explain how much he loved the city of Seattle. But that as much as he loved it, HE DIDN'T LIKE IT. So I can't take complete credit for this title.

After hearing him say this, I reflected and concluded that I feel the exact same way about New Orleans.

I love New Orleans!
Pretty much every part of it: Gentilly (where I currently live), Lakeview, Irish Channel, Bywater, Marigny, Uptown, French Quarter, Harrahan, NO East, Fat City, Carrollton, Jefferson, Indian Village, 9th Ward, Kenner, Metairie, Mid-City, CBD, Warehouse.

I love the people in these different neighborhoods!
Let me introduce to you Mr. Robert in Gentilly. This man is an angel in his neighborhood. He alone is rallying people to rebuild their homes.

I love the food that is produced in the neighborhoods! Do I have to repeat myself?
Perfect day for me: Breakfast at Slim Goodies (Uptown), Lunch at Koz's (Harrahan), Dinner at Drago's (Fat City)...CHARBROILED OYSTERS.

I love the activities!
Jazz (Preservation Hall), Clubs (Ray's Boom Boom Room/Maple Leaf), Shops (Funky Monkey),
Coffee (Cafe Du Monde/Rue), Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest.

And finally with its own category...I love the New Orleans Saints!

WHO DAT, enough said.

With so much love, I really don't like New Orleans.
I don't like the crime, the traffic, the attitude, the poverty, the sloppiness (yeah I know Katrina hit and it hurt, but we aren't just back because of the government...most New Orleanians are some of the sloppiest people on earth), the tourists, and most importantly the lack of spiritual impact found only through the life transforming message of Christ.

It is true, "God's glory is being proclaimed in the city of New Orleans like never before" (if you have heard me speak, you have heard this a few times). Churches and organizations from around the country have come to New Orleans to help us rebuild and many people have come to know Christ as Savior and Lord. Praise God for this, but when are the people of New Orleans going to wake up and start taking care of God's business themselves. Most NO churches are dead or dying. Our college campuses are virtually completely unreached. Sin is the driving force of every aspect of our culture. People follow religion (predominantly Catholicism) and not Christ.

This is what I don't like about New Orleans and I refuse to sit and do nothing about it. If someone was to ask me what keeps me up at night, it is the fact that in New Orleans people need the saving message of Christ and few are willing to share it. (Matthew 9:35-38) I am praying that God would call an army of people who would fall in love with New Orleans, but wouldn't like it!

In my next blogs, I am going to share some things that God has been showing me as I have prayed about how to make a spiritual impact in a city that I love, but don't like.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Paralyzed by God's Glory

I have never gotten into blogging, journals, etc. I have tried to journal on many occasions, but it only seems to last for a couple of days. I am not a big share your emotions, reflect upon colors and patterns, let's read poetry and dance around like we have sniffed something that shouldn't have been sniffed....kind of guy. This is new territory for me. But I am excited.

So why start now? God led me to fast about 7 days ago. After studying the book of Nehemiah, God ripped me apart for my lack of prayer for the city of New Orleans. When Nehemiah saw Jerusalem through the eyes of God.....he broke down, fasted, and prayed. 14 days from now, young adults will unite in New Orleans to pray. This event started two years ago with 21 guys (picture above) who decided to pray for God's glory to be proclaimed in the city of New Orleans and beyond like it has never been proclaimed before. As we came together, God paralyzed us. It was the most intense time of prayer that I have ever had. God has and is continuing to answer our prayer. On August 24-25, we will unite at Out of Range to intercede on behalf of a city and world. I am praying that God will allow us to see New Orleans like He sees it. When this happens I believe that we will mourn and weep for a city that desperately needs the life-transforming power of Christ.

Today I started a new book. David Nasser has put together a Book/CD project called "Glory Revealed". Top artists from around the country developed a chilled out, scripture-based CD that focuses on the love letters of God. I absolutely love it! And David Nasser wrote a devotional book on the same concept. The first chapter is titled "Glory Revealed through Quieting Love". Zeph 3:17 says, "The Lord will bring (you) quietness with His love". Nasser asks at the end of the chapter to describe moments in your life when you have been quieted by His Glory. As I reflect upon my life, there have certainly been moments when God has silenced my activity and response. But I am saddened because there aren't many of these moments. This has to be my problem. Am I seeking out God's Glory revealed in my life? Am I anticipating God's Glory to silence me? Sometimes I am so busy for Christ that I forget why I am busy in the first place.

As I continue to fast, I want to be paralyzed by God's Glory. I long to be frozen by His power and majesty. Lord, give me these moments at any cost. I just want to be still.