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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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Meeting Dr. Billy Graham

Today my dad gave me a great Christmas gift. He took me to see Dr. Billy Graham. The Graham house is located in Montreat, NC. The whole experience was incredible.

Here are a few things that I'll never forget about the trip.

  • The home is very secluded and hidden in the mountains. We had to go through an electric gate. They have a lot of land, but the home is extremely simple. This must have been an amazing place of rest and retreat for Dr. Graham.
  • One of Dr. Graham's staff led us up the mountain to his home. His name is Morey. He has served on the mountain assisting the Graham family for over 30 years. I was blown away by his love and dedication for this family and ministry.
  • Over the last few weeks Dr. Graham hasn't been feeling that great, but today he was wide awake and sitting in his office chair. From the moment we walked in the room, Dr. Graham was focused upon us and made us feel extremely important. Wow. Dr. Graham made me feel important. Talk about a lesson in humility.
  • When my dad introduced me to him, he remembered that I had preached for dad a couple of weeks ago. I am glad I only found that out after I preached. Talk about adding some extra pressure to preaching. He said that he will be praying for our ministry and church in New Orleans.
  • I was amazed at the love he had for my dad. He must of kissed him a dozen times. Over the last decade my dad has served as his pastor. They have an incredible bond. They talked about everything from his health to world issues to my dad's messages. The biggest surprise was when he told my dad that he wanted to become a member of FBC Spartanburg. He worships with them each week through the TV ministry. This brought my dad to tears. What an honor!
  • When my dad asked him how we could pray for him. Here were his two requests: SPIRITUAL RENEWAL and that he would be FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT. This blew me away. This a man who is suffering physically and near the end of his life, and he is still pressing on toward the goal of Christlikeness. Thank you Jesus for Billy Graham! May I learn from his devotion and pursuit of you.
I will always remember December 24, 2008. Thank you dad for this amazing experience. Thank you Dr. Graham for your testimony and witness for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Here is a great website about the life of Dr. Billy Graham:


Monday, December 22, 2008

Bolt the Superhero

Check out my latest video of Bolt. He is growing up quick.

You can see more videos at www.youtube.com/IMNEWORLEANS.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Vintage Christmas Adopt

This Sunday (December 21st), Vintage Church is celebrating VINTAGE CHRISTMAS ADOPT. I just got word that our church membership and staff have stepped it up and adopted 34 children for Christmas. WOW!

One of our church members (Tamara) came to me last month with a ministry need. She works throughout the year with children that have parents in the Jefferson Parrish Correctional Center. Her heart and commitment to this ministry in incredible. Tamara came to me with the desire to see our church reach out to these children over Christmas.

We decided to dedicate this Sunday as Vintage Christmas Adopt. Last Sunday, we only brought 19 names to the table. Those children were adopted extremely fast by our community. Our team went back and throughout the week we gathered some more names. I am proud to brag on our young church for adopting 34 kids for this coming Sunday.

An unexpected need was brought to our attention a couple of days ago. When we called to follow up with one of our kids, we found out that their home was destroyed by a fire just the day before. After church yesterday, we took out the mom and her daughter to lunch in order to find out how we can meet their needs. This mom has another little boy, her sister with three children under 11, her grandmother and mother living in this house with her. The men have either left or are in jail. She is basically the only provider in the family. Our church is excited to adopt this entire family and work with other local churches to meet their needs. Please pray that Christ would expose His grace to this family during this time.

Every person who is adopting a child will call and visit their home, buy $30 worth of gifts (the prison ministry wants all the kids to have the same amount of gifts), and pick up their kid and any family member that wants to come to church this Sunday. At church we are going to have a Christmas worship, lunch, games, and I even think Santa might show his face with some gifts. I CAN'T WAIT!!!

Thanks Tamara, Wendy, and Matt for your leadership with this event. I am praying for Christ to use us as we bless these families and share with them about the "reason" for this season.

If you are in New Orleans this Sunday, come and join us at 10am. If you would like to give towards this ministry please email info@vintagenola.org.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Drink Up You Hypocrites!

I just got home from my longest run (5.21 miles), you can see the stats on the side of my blog. I got in the zone on a beautiful day in NOLA. Plus I had a lot of Mexican and Ice Cream last night. Extra motivation. I always run different routes from my house to Temple Gym where I lift weights. Temple is right below Vintage Church (see pic below). After I lift weights I usually have a cool down walk or jog back home.

While I was wrapping up my workout at Temple I looked across the street at the local bar, Jax. There were two guys fighting. One was the old owner and another was a young guy. Basically, this guy had been drinking all night and morning and was wasted beyond understanding. He was outside damaging people's cars. The owner and his other drunk boys were holding him down as they called the cops. Eventually the cops showed up and aggressively cuffed the man and tossed him in their car. Believe it or not, that is probably the 50th time I have see someone arrested since we moved into Uptown. Each and every one brings me an overwhelming burden and motivation to proclaim the Gospel in this area.

While all this went down, I began to talk with my friend that trains people at Temple. He began to talk about how funny and HYPOCRITICAL it was that the old man and all his friends were yelling at the drunk guy becuase they were the ones who served him the alcohol all night long. I have actually talked with the owner about his need to set up some perimeters, but it hasn't really worked. Every Sunday, our church gets a little crap from these guys across the street. Most of the neighborhood (Christian or not) despises this place.

As I walked home praying over this situation, God placed an unbelievable burden upon my heart in regard to Vintage Church. This situation brought some questions to my mind even about the Church universal. Let these marinate for a little while:

  • Is it possible, that the world views the HYPOCRISY of the church in the same way that my community views this bar?
  • Are we truly living out what we are preaching?
  • As pastors...is our only concern that people come to our buildings once a week to get drunk off our words and performance with very little concern about what they do during the week?
  • How does your community view what happens at your church?
  • Are you spitting out a product of people that care about Loving God and Loving People...or are you spitting out a product of people that are vomiting all over your community?
  • Are you a serving as a stumbling block to your community?
Check out these verses:

Matthew 6:2
“Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

Matthew 23:13
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.

Mark 7:6
And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;

I am writing these things in great humility. God has convicted me of the importance of living out the Gospel in Uptown NOLA. I pray that you and your church represent (through the power of the Holy Spirit) a true picture of God's amazing truth and love. May we not just preach the Gospel, may we live it out.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Check out the snow in NOLA! This has only happened 7 times in the city. I remember it snowing around Christmas when I was 8. Bolt didn't have to wait long at all.

more videos at www.youtube.com/IMNEWORLEANS

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Two Great Weekends

The last two weekends were spent on the road. Both trips were amazing.

Our first trip was to our parent's home up in South Carolina. Both of our parents live in Spartanburg. That is where Annabeth and I met and fell in love. My granny rallied all of the Wilton's for Thanksgiving. We hardly saw Bolt for the few days that we were up there. It was kind of a nice break. Bolt has 6 great-grandparents still alive and doing well. Annabeth and I are extremely blessed with family that love each other and love Christ. Here is a pic of all the Wiltons on Thanksgiving day.

I hadn't been in the Burg since the spring and it was great seeing so many faces that were so influential in my high school years. My brother had a wedding shower and I got to reconnect with a lot of friends. One person that I reconnected with was my discipleship leader, Dr. Rick Mathis. His son (David) is the Executive Pastoral Assistant for John Piper in MN. We grew up in the same neighborhood and church. I am amazed at how much I learned as God molded me through high school in Spartanburg. I am truly thankful to God for those years.

On Sunday, I preached for my dad at First Baptist Spartanburg. It was actually great timing because my dad got real sick. Click HERE for the link to the video. You can download the video at www.theencouragingword.org.

The next weekend was just as great. My brother got married in Boca Raton, FL. He married Abby Masters. Greg has married into an awesome family that also loves each other and loves Christ. I was blown away by all the people who took the trip to Florida from all over the US. Greg is one loved dude.

The wedding festivities were absolutely perfect. There was a lot of fun and joking around, but most importantly the rehearsal and the wedding ceremony were worshipful events. Greg and Abby got married on an outside deck of a library overlooking a lake as the sun set. It was really like being in a movie. My favorite part of the wedding reception was having a dance off with Abby's little sister Zoe. She kicked my butt.

We are proud of you G and Abby and excited to walk with you on this new journey.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Homeless Man

A couple of months ago, I was approached at Vintage by Wendy McGuire about wanting to help out. She felt led to quit her job and spend the next year serving at our church. Wendy and her husband (Scott) are in New Orleans studying and preparing for the foreign mission field. Over the past few months, Wendy has served as our church and ministry assistant. On top of that she hosts a lifegroup with her husband, writes our vintage kidz material, sings with our band, answers our office phone and emails, and most importantly makes us laugh (crazy sarcastic). We are gonna die when she leaves us. Thanks Wendy for all that you do.

So then, why is this blog titled, "Homeless Man"? She just wrote a blog about an experience she had today and I wanted to share it with my blog friends. During this season, I pray this will encourage you to look for ways to give and sacrifice for those who are in need.

Today I witnessed one of the greatest acts of kindness I have ever seen. As I was exiting the interstate my eyes were immediately drawn to the side of the road where they rested upon a very small, fragile looking older man dragging what appeared at first to be an extra large “plea for help” sign. I was only half surprised when I realized it was actually a large garbage bag full of aluminum cans. As I waited patiently on the red light I watched the slow moving man. He was dirty and balding, hunching over his bag and scanning the nearby patches of grass for any treasures he may add to his collection. His left arm bore a shriveled hand and he walked with more of a hop than a limp. Moved I glanced over to my cup holder at my now empty can of coke, which I think had been sitting in its place for well over a day, and wondered if I could somehow drop it out the window without drawing the attention of other drivers and passengers of cars nearby. I thought about my change drawer, the pennies and nickels that I typically store up for the occasional White Chocolate Mocha. But before I had a chance to dismiss this thought as well I heard someone, or something for all I knew, calling out. The little man looked up and noticed about the same time I did that the driver of the van directly in front of me had rolled down the window and was summonsing the man. Expecting to see a hand holding a few dollars, or as I had originally planned an aluminum can, come shooting out of the window I was astounded when I realized what actually came from the driver was a coat. I hadn’t even noticed the man’s bare arms. But wait, I had. What I truly had not noticed was the warmth and comfort of my 1999 Honda Accord verses the cold and rainy weather to which I was now fully alerted. How could I have seen the man’s tiny shriveled hand and not noticed the misty rain droplets on my driver’s side window or my windshield wipers that I had apparently turned on some time ago. I watched the man’s face. A smile like that of a child on Christmas morning invaded his dirty, wrinkled features and I knew that this man was more grateful for that coat than I was of the warm home I was soon again driving toward. I couldn’t tell if he muttered thank you or any words at all. His face said everything. As I drove past him with tears in my eyes and a prayer in my heart I wondered about the giver. Most likely they were a seminary professor headed for the same wrought iron gates that I was. But no, the driver turned into a store and as I passed her by I couldn’t help but notice her sleeveless shirt.