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, November 12, 2007

Bragging on Jesus!

The picture above is a picture of present day Corinth. The apostle Paul did an amazing work in this area as he spread the name of Jesus and planted a church. I love the passage of I Corinthians 2:1-5. I was directed toward this text in my Proclaiming the Bible class at Seminary. My good friend, Tony Merida, is one of our preaching professors and Dean of the Chapel. He is the Interim Pastor of Temple Baptist Church in Hattiesburg, MS. God is definitely using him to spur me on in the ministry. Anytime he preaches God's Word, I feel like I have never preached in my life. I thank God for surrounded me with people like this. I thank God for pointing me to this passage. Read it a thousand times below.

"And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God."

This was my passage for my first sermon at Valence Church. I titled the message, "Bragging on Jesus". Paul helps us see that this life is not about us, it is all about Christ. I was challenged to remind our church that if we had any hope of making an impact in Uptown, it was going to be because the members of Valence Church understand that this life is not about us...it is all about Jesus. God has definitely humbled me through this opportunity.

I am an extremely independent and self-motivated person. I always have been. Because of this fact in my life, it is difficult for me to accept help from people. But God has completely broken me of this stubbornness. With this new opportunity I have learned two important lessons. First of all, I recognize that I am completely unqualified to be a pastor of a church without the grace and power of Christ. Second of all, I recognize that I am completely dependent upon friends, churches, associations, etc. for help in the rebuilding of this church. This is exactly where God wants me and our church.

Paul reminded the Corinthian Church that he came to them in weakness and fear, and that Christ alone was his strength and power. The Corinthian people had begun to lose sight of the supremacy of Christ. Paul redirected all personal praise to Christ. The city of Corinth was very similar to New Orleans. It could have easily adopted the name "Big Easy". God used Paul in a mighty way in this city. I Corinthians 2:1-5 reiterates that when he came to Corinth, Christ took over.

Holy Spirit, I have to have you within me to equip me to do your work. Brothers and sisters in Christ, I need your prayers and partnership in order to complete the task. My good friend Travis has put up a website for the church, www.valencechurch.com. You can read about our church strategy and plan. Join us as we are going to have a blast "bragging on Jesus".

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