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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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Hanging with Sinners

Yesterday was Labor Day. My day off started with my nephews waking me up at 6:45am. Usually that would tick me off, but not when it is Cash asking me for goldfish, capri-sun, and cartoons. My brother and sister-in-law moved about an hour away a couple of months ago, and my wife and I love having the nephews over. The rest of the day consisted of going to the Audubon Zoo, lunch, putting up a new fan, hanging out with some friends in uptown, dinner and watching football.

When I was at the zoo I got a phone call from a friend that lives in Uptown. He invited me to come over for some barbecue and beer. When we brought the nephews back to our apartment after a hot afternoon at the zoo, I went with my friends Travis and Brandon to the cookout. When we arrived, we were surprised to find no one there but the cook. I asked the cook where my friend was and he told me that he was out delivering food. At first I felt bad, thinking that no one showed up to my friends cookout. But I was completely wrong. The cook told me that every now and then they do a thing called “Cook for Cops”. They deliver food to all the cops and fireman in the area, thanking them for all their sacrifice and service.

Now if you are from New Orleans, you are probably saying, “Why in the world would you want to thank the cops?” The cops in New Orleans aren’t necessarily the purest, greatest force in the world. You find most people complaining about them. But here were some citizens being proactive in making a difference in their community.

I was extremely humbled. Here were some people (most of whom didn’t know Christ as Lord and Savior) who were exemplifying exactly what the church should do and be. Isn’t it funny how you rarely here of Christians or the church involved in these types of acts. When we got in the car to return home, Brandon stated how interesting it is that most non-believers are more hospitable and kind than most Christians. I am not bringing this up to judge, but I think it is important to bring this to the table. This past year my wife went to a Beth Moore conference in South Carolina. She returned from the trip longing to hang out with her friends at work (most of whom don’t follow Christ), because the ladies at the conference were extremely snobby and harsh.

Maybe that is why Jesus hung out with the sinners. Sure he was on mission, but honestly I think he just enjoyed these people a whole lot more than he enjoyed the religious zealots. Most Christians have fallen into this category. Their life is consumed with self, religion, judgment, snobbery, holy huddles, and did I say self. There have been many times in my life where I have fallen under this category. By no means am I excluded from this category.

This was a great reminder for me. I pray for the day, especially in New Orleans, when “Cook for Cops” becomes an expression of the local church in New Orleans. God forgive us for becoming Pharisees! Call your people to repentance and call your people to a true representation of Christ.

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