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 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.

1 comment:

  1. I love listening to that podcast too. I connect with the loving but not liking part of Baton Rouge. Good stuff man!


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