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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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Favorite 2009 Vintage Pics

Annabeth and I are currently downtown NOLA. The Vintage Vision Team hooked us up with some R&R to kick off the New Year. We have had a blast reflecting on 2009 and getting excited about 2010. I am so grateful to God for all that He has done and is continuing to do. Here are some of my favorite 2009 pics hanging with the Vintage Fam:

Mardi Gras Outreach

Myanmar Trip w/ Rob & Sean

Lawrence Park w/ my Bolt

Vail, CO
Acts 29 Retreat w/ Annabeth

MissionLab Summer Rap Video w/ Drew

Kidz Summer Outreach

Talking w/ Pastor Cipriano

East Bayou (Vintage Sponsor)
25 Year Celebration for Pastor Mike

Fall Baptism at Valence

Israel Trip w/ the Vintage Crew

Vintage Christmas Adopt

For more pics from the last year go to www.vintagenola.org/photo-gallery/

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Join the Conspiracy

Following our ENOUGH series through the book of Colossians, the Vintage Church family is in the middle of a series called ADVENT CONSPIRACY. For 4 weeks our church is uniting together to reclaim the true meaning of Christmas. We are sacrificing the money and time that we would normally spend on ourselves in order to give to others who are in greater need. Vintage will give in two specific ways: our money & our time. We will give money to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (supporting foreign missionaries around the world) and Matties Little Angels (supporting a daycare in our neighborhood). We will give our time by adopting over 60 kids from Matties Little Angels and hosting a Christmas party on Sunday, Dec 20th.

Here is a video summarizing what Vintage will give toward this Christmas:

Churches from all around the world have joined this conspiracy. You can find out more info about this movement at www.adventconspiracy.org.

To summarize, we want to focus upon Christ this Christmas. On November 29th, we launched this series by laying out a foundational theology as to why we celebrate Christ. Here are my notes and a link to my sermon:


Philippians 2:5-11

5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.



Exists As God (vs. 6)

Served As Man (vs. 7)

Obeyed As Savior (vs. 8)

Reigns As Lord (vs. 9-11)


Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pics from Israel

I had a blast with Clay Corvin and the crew from NOBTS in Israel. Thanks for some great memories. Here are some of my favorite pics from the trip. They were all taken from my iphone with the best camera app.

1st morning sunrise outside Jerusalem

Top of Masada on the Dead Sea

Hiked down this trail from Masada

Temple Mount

Western (Wailing) Wall

Via Dolorosa

Vintage Drew
Holy Church of Sepulchre

The Godfather (Dr. Butler). Lamb Kebab was incredible!

James leading us in a song in an Anglican Church on the Via Dolorosa

My friends Clay and Adam Corvin

Hanging with the Vintage/MissionLab dudes

Inside Catholic Church

Speaks for itself

Chicken Schwarma with T-money

Looking at the Southern Wall

Pastor Mel & James with a skyline of the Old City

Clay giving devo in the Garden of Gethsemane

Me and the Duke. He walked us through the Parables. Amazing!

Hoot giving Devo at Bet She'an

Morning devo overlooking the Sea of Galilee

The Duke (enough said)

The crew on the Mediterranean

Mosaic floor

Our crew walking the streets of Arco

Giving devo at Ceasarea by the Sea (Die to Live/Live to Die)

JP (enough said)

Stole this sign to put up outside Vintage

Dr. Butler giving devo near the Mt. of Beattitudes

Cool Window

"On a boat"

In Christ and His Word

Reflection from Israel:

I want to praise God for His answered prayer. In my previous post, I shared three prayer requests for my trip: refreshment from Christ, feeding on the Word, and vision for Vintage. He answered all three. My time with the Lord through His Word was incredible. There is something about reading a passage like Mark 4:35-41 (Jesus calming the storm) when you are on a boat on that same Sea of Galilee. There is something about reading about the suffering of Christ in a pit where Christ actually suffered. While He was speaking to me in these places through His Word, He gave me a very simple vision for Vintage.

Stay in Him and follow His Word.

Listen to the words of Jesus in John 6.
"I am the bread of life....Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you....For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink....It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life."

Being in Israel again was another confirmation that we serve and follow an extremely real and powerful God. He came in flesh, walked this earth, loved people, voluntarily sacrificed His life, conquered the evil one, ascended into heaven, and remains with us through the Spirit.

His command to us is to "make disciples". How do we do this? In Him.

It might seem simple, but I think it is extremely freeing and powerful. Those whom Christ has saved are empowered by Him and are called to follow His Word. As a new church planter, I am swarmed by so many church growth tips & strategies online, in books, from other pastors, and conferences. All of this is good, but if staying in Christ and His Word isn't the priority it will ultimately be ineffective. May God forgive us for trying to lead His church outside of Him and His Word. He is our Senior Pastor and His Word is our strategy book.

Thank you Jesus for this reminder. Give us your strength as Vintage Church to stay focused upon YOU AND YOUR WORD.

I'll post some of my favorite pics in my next post.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Back to Israel

I am on my 3rd hour sitting at the Newark Airport waiting to board a plane for my 3rd trip to Israel. To be perfectly honest, this is really only my 2nd trip that will have any spiritual significance. My first trip was when I was a in high school and let's just say that I was more interested in the girls on the trip than the historical sites.

We will be traveling with our friends from NOBTS. Clay Corvin, Dr. Dukes, and Dr. Warren will be hosting/leading the trip and Dr. Dukes will be teaching on the parables. I am really looking to seeing these parables come alive as we dive into the text in the locations where they were taught.

I will certainly post a reflection blog of the trip, but I wanted to share a few prayer requests:

  1. Refreshment with Jesus. I have really been bustin it this fall. Everything that I do I love to do, but I have definitely gotten tired. When I get tired it seems like my priorities get out of whack. My family life, school life, devotional life, friendships, fitness, Vintage, etc. Can anyone relate to this statement? Sometimes you can work so hard for Christ that you forget about Christ. I need to be with Jesus because it is only through Jesus that I can ever accomplish all the things above. Please pray that my time in Israel will be a time of refreshment with Him.
  2. Feeding from Scripture. I am so pumped about Dr. Dukes teachings on the parables. I am really asking for Christ to smack me around with His Word. I am praying for Christ to ignite a burning passion within my soul to study and live out His Word.
  3. Vision for Vintage. After spending time with Christ and His Word, I am praying for God to reveal His direction for Vintage Church. I am always overwhelmed by the task that God has called me to in NOLA. The weight and responsibility of being a pastor is extremely intense. I absolutely love it. My only fear is that I would lead outside of the will of God. I am so thankful for our church. I can't believe we just celebrated 1 year. Join with me in praying for God to reveal His good, pleasing, and perfect plans for Vintage as we journey into the future.
Thanks for praying.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Prayer Is Where The Action Is

Right now I am sitting at my favorite bfast place in NOLA, Slim Goodies. I absolutely love the workers, the music, and especially the food. I am sitting at my favorite window booth watching the Magazine St. world pass by. You would think that life would be good right now, but I am currently overwhelmed.

Without going into any details, I just returned from the hospital trying to visit someone. This person is struggling hardcore and is contemplating ending their life. I tried my best to convince the doctors to let me seen him, but they said that he didn't want to talk to anyone. I want so desperately to let my friend know that Christ loves him, I love him, and our church loves him. This and many other experiences over the last month have brought me to a place of desperation before God.

So what is my response to the great need for Christ in my city? Prayer.

This past Sunday, we continued our journey in Colossians looking at "Your Prayers". You can listen to the sermon online at www.vintagenola.org/podcast. Our media team created this video as a lead into this message:

Unfortunately, prayer isn't always my first reaction. Lately, God has really convicted me about my prayer life. Planting a church in NOLA will do that to you. There are so many needs, so many people who need the love of Christ.

God call your people to prayer. May we be broken on our knees before you in intercession for these incredible people in NOLA and around the world.

“Prayer is where the action is." John Wesley

Monday, August 24, 2009


Enough Series from Vintage Church on Vimeo.

This past Sunday was an amazing day. We launched a second gathering at our Valence Campus, had a great block party called V2K, and began a journey through the Book of Colossians called ENOUGH. We are going to learn through preaching and Community Group study that Christ is enough for our authority, identity, community and mobility.

You can subscribe to the Vintage Podcast and listen to the first sermon in our series:


Here is our journey this fall:

Christ is Enough from Vintage Church on Vimeo.

Wk 1/Aug 23 - Authority: Your Call (Col 1:1-2)
Wk 2/Aug 30 - Authority: Your Prayers (Col 1:3-12)
Wk 3/Sep 6 - Authority: Your Position (Col 1:13-18)
Wk 4/Sep 13 - Authority: Your Need (Col 1:19-23)
Wk 5/Sep 20 - Identity: Your Suffering (Col 1:24-29)
Wk 6/Sep 27 - Identity: Your Wisdom (Col 2:1-7)
Wk 7/Oct 4 - Identity: Your Sins (Col 2:8-15)
Wk 8/Oct 11 - Identity: Your Death (Col 2:16-23)
Wk 9/Oct 18 - Community: Your Life (Col 3:1-4)
Wk 10/Oct 25 - Community: Your Actions (Col 3:5-17)
Wk 11/Nov 1 - Community: Your Relationships (Col 3:18-4:1)
Wk 12/Nov 8 - Mobility: Your Speech (Col 4:2-6)
Wk 13/Nov 15 - Mobility: Your Mercy (Col 4:7-15)
Wk 14/Nov 22 - Mobility: Your Endurance (Col 4:16-18)

I am really excited to launch our Community Groups this fall. We have changed from 11 LIFEgroups to over 20 Community Groups. The biggest change is simple. We aren't encouraging people to have a Bible study once a week. We are encouraging people to "do life" together. Acts 2:47 says that "the Lord added to their number DAY BY DAY those who were being saved". That means they weren't just meeting on Sundays and Wednesdays. They were always on mission...being the church. As our CGs live out the Gospel, we have equipped them with a study that is parallel to our journey in Colossians.

This study is intended to facilitate an opportunity to learn and apply the truths that are preached on Sundays. Each week’s study takes the central themes to higher level of understanding and application. The central theme will be based on the weekly Colossians passage, but will focus upon a parallel text.

In preparation for our study this fall, we will provide the following to our church family:
  • Sermon Notes & Podcast Download
  • Vintage Kidz Bible Study Notes and Guide
  • Weekly Community Group Study Guide (includes worksheet overview and full study)

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Journey Ends and Keeps Going

Yesterday we wrapped up our journey through the Psalms of Ascents. We called our series RISE. The goal of our series was to journey upward towards God as we looked at different spiritual disciplines that were brought out of each Psalm. The journey included Repentance, Providence, Worship, Service, Help, Security, Joy, Work, Happiness, Perseverance, Hope, Humility, Obedience, Community, and Blessing. I reminded Vintage that we were on a marathon, not a sprint. Whether it is joy, hope, community...take it one step at a time. I know most churches live and judge as though they are perfect people, but no one is perfect. So what does this mean? Our summer journey through these Psalms might have ended, but it keeps going.

Here is a basic summary of these Songs:

PSALM OF ASCENTS (Psalm 120-134)
• Songs sung by Hebrew Pilgrims on their journey to Jerusalem (Temple of God).
• Faithful Hebrews would not only participate in daily God-following but also attend events like the Feast of Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles and would also take 3 trips to Jerusalem each year.
• Literal Ascent – Jerusalem was the highest city in Palestine.
• Metaphoric Ascent – Life as a faith-journey lived UPWARD TOWARD GOD

We also journeyed through Eugene Peterson's book, A Long Obedience In The Same Direction. I highly recommend reading this book as you journey through these Psalms. Here are some of my favorite quotes from this book:

  • “It is a rejection that is also an acceptance, a leaving that develops into an arriving, a no to the world that is a yes to God.”
  • “Every skeptical thought, every disappointing venture, every pain, every despair that we can face is lived through and integrated into a personal, saving relationship with God – a relationship that also has in it acts of praise, blessing, peace, security, trust, and love.”
  • “God wants us to sing like this! Christians are not fussy moralists who cluck their tongues over a world going to hell; Christians are people who praise the God who is on their side. Christians are not pious pretenders in the midst of a decadent culture; Christians are robust witnesses to the God who is our help. Christians are not fatigued outcasts who carry righteousness as a burden in a world where the wicked flourish; Christians are people who sing “Oh, blessed be God!...He didn’t abandon us defenseless.”
  • “We want a Christian faith that has stability but is not petrified, that has vision but is not hallucinatory. How do we get both the sense of stability and the spirit of adventure, the ballast of good health and the zest of true sanity? How we get the adult maturity to keep our feet on the ground and retain the childlike innocence to make the leap of faith?”
Another great part about our journey was hearing from some of our other leadership. I praise God for the quality leadership that has surrounded me at Vintage. I am extremely blessed to be linked with these studs. Thx Drew, Brick, John, Luke, Gavin, and Matt for faithfully preaching the Word. You can listen to all of the messages from this series at our podcast (http://www.vintagenola.org/podcast).

Concluding Thoughts:
I am going to conclude my thoughts as Eugene Peterson did in his book. All of life is about one thing, glorifying God. Peterson brings up the first question in the Westminster Shorter Catchism is "What is the chief end of man?". The answer is "To glorify God and enjoy him forever." Yesterday I preached on Psalm 134 about "Blessing". Ultimate blessing is found in God. That is it. Our goal on this journey isn't to gain more knowledge, become more spiritual, receive health and wealth...our goal is God. Our carnal mind doesn't allow us to understand the blessing that we will receive when we get to heaven. We will worship God. We won't think about our status, our location...we will be united with Christ.

Lord, keep your church focused throughout our journey in this world on YOU!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


MissionLab 2009 Week 7 from MissionLab New Orleans on Vimeo.

I can't believe that we have just wrapped up another MissionLab Summer. Over 3000 people poured into NOLA to share the love of Christ. I am so thankful to Christ for the privilege of journeying with this mission over the last 4 years. We had an incredible summer staff that served Christ with everything. We raised tons of money to help our friend Hannah Sterling stay in Africa. We loved people all over the city of New Orleans. We saw people come to know Christ at camp and in the city. If they'll keep us, the AOB and Rob show will keep it going for another summer.

To all my friends out there that came to NOLA...I love ya and thanks for coming. Keep "BEING THE CHURCH". God has called you to a great mission.

For your enjoyment, I have uploaded the rules video that my boy Dan and Brett put together. Mike and Travis did a great job making this probably the most amazing rap video ever. As you will notice (and in my defense), I didn't have my lines memorized. Started looking like a Bruce Lee movie towards the end. By the way, that isn't Fat Joe rapping next to me, it's Andrew Ogea.

MissionLab 2009 Follow The Rules Rap from MissionLab New Orleans on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

MissionLab Summer #4

I can't believe I am about to launch into my fourth summer with the MissionLab program. Right after Katrina I received a phone call to come back to NOLA and help revive this great ministry. That first summer we saw close to 600 students flock to our city. This summer we have close to 3000 students coming! God is amazing.

Why stick around with MissionLab for so long? #1 God has called me. Enough said. #2 I love it. Seriously, I have a blast. #3 The impact. Each summer I get to preach to hundreds of church groups that have poured into my city to "love God and love people". I could talk for days about the stories of impact for Jesus Christ in NOLA.

Summer #1 our theme was IGNITE MISSION. Summer #2 - LIVE LOUDER. Summer #3 - REBIRTH. This summer our theme is BE THE CHURCH. We will be taking a journey through the book of Acts. I can't wait.

Here are a couple of videos that highlight our mission in NOLA. The second is a video that the groups watch as preparation for their week.

MissionLab Youth Camps from MissionLab New Orleans on Vimeo.

Preparing for your New Orleans Mission Trip from MissionLab New Orleans on Vimeo.

Tonight the 2009 Summer MLab Journey Begins!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

DETOX: Day 10 (Daniel 11)

Saturday May 9: Daniel 11

Read Daniel 11

In spite of present evil situations, God is in control! He has always been and will always be sovereign. The prophecy given in this chapter is amazing when you read history and see that everything God shows Daniel is fulfilled exactly. God knew and controlled the Babylonians, Persians, Alexander the Great and his four sons. When the Antichrist arises in power and unleashes havoc, God will still be in control. Daniel concluded by saying “Yet he shall come to his end, with none to help him.” (v.45) The infinitely powerful God who guides the events of history also extends His guiding hand daily to each Christian. How do you need God to be your guidance?

Deeper Study: Compare yourself with Gideon (Judges 6 & 7)
Ask God for direction in the area of life that you currently need Him most.

My Reflections:

Matt Brick has done an amazing job with these short devos. I love being surrounded by studs. One of the things that sticks out to me the most in Daniel 11 and in this devo is the simple fact that "GOD IS IN CONTROL". This has so many implications to our lives. Our plans, our circumstances, our lives...He rules and it is all for His glory. God has orchestrated all things in this world for His supremacy. How dare I think that I am more significant that Him? What??????? Rob, there are times that you think you are more important than God? Everytime I sin or move against God's will for my life I am basically saying that I am more important than God. One of my pastor friends in town gave me this expression when confronting people on Lordship Salvation. "So what's it gonna be...Kingdom of Self or Kingdom of God." God is in control. He rules and reigns. Holy Spirit, unleash your knuckles upon my life in such a way that I never forget this truth.

Friday, May 8, 2009

DETOX: Day 8&9 (Daniel 9&10)

Thursday May 7: Daniel 9

Read Daniel 9

Daniel’s prayer stands as the model prayer for us to follow as we intercede on behalf of New Orleans, North America and the world. The beginning (v.4), the end (v.17-19), and everything in between is primarily focused on God. God-honoring and God-glorifying prayers are ones that have Him placed at the center. God does all that He does because He is who He is. (v.17-18) The answer for accomplishing Vintage’s world vision of reaching the nations must be found in God Himself. (v. 19) This type of prayer has an impact upon our daily lives because we realize that God is even more passionate about His interests and purposes than we could even imagine. Today, use this chapter as you pray and, as Daniel did, bring God’s greatness and glory into your prayers for His sake.

Deeper Prayer: Use Nehemiah 1:4-11 to help you be in continuous prayer today.

My Reflections:

This past Sunday, we looked at Daniel 9 as an example of how we should approach God in prayer. Remember Christian fasting and prayer focuses on God. Here are my notes from the message on Sunday. You can listen to the message at http://www.vintagenola.org/podcast


Contrast it with THE LORD’S PRAYER in Matthew 6:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

1. PRAISE (3-4)
Matthew 6:9
Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.”

2. CONFESSION (5-15)
Matthew 6:12
and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Matthew 6:11, 13
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

4. PRAISE – BOLDNESS (18-19)
Matthew 6:10
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

God gives Daniel an answer:
Daniel 9:20-23

Vs. 20 Angel Gabriel brings an answer
Ch. 9-12 is the revealing of the coming of the Messiah and the end times (tons of different views)

All you need to know:

Friday May 8: Daniel 10

Read Daniel 10

John Piper described prayer as a wartime walkie-talkie for the mission of the church against the evil one. Daniel experienced spiritual warfare in this chapter as evil forces challenged his prayers. But the resistance made him even more fervent and earnest. (v.12-13) In the same way that the iPhone and Blackberry are powerful tools in the hands of business professionals, so is faithful prayer in the hands of Christians. Today, focus your heart on asking your heavenly Father for understanding, strength and the Words of Life to speak. Use prayer for the proclamation of God’s Glory.

Deeper Study: Meditate on Ephesians 6:10-20. Prayer is for wielding the Word.

My Reflections:

In Daniel 10, we find Daniel going on a 21-day fast. Reading through this book I am amazed at his pursuit of God. He is relentless. I love the illustration found in Piper's book. Is prayer a wartime walkie talkie or is it a domestic intercom? Life is war. God is calling us to seek him with great urgency. We are in a war for people's souls. Satan is throwing everything he can to distract the world from seeing Christ. Our only hope is for God to move. Thank you God for speaking to me through this fast about the urgency of praying for people's souls.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

DETOX: Day 6&7 (Daniel 7&8)

Daniel Second-Half Introduction
An Apocalyptic summary statement: “I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.” Daniel and Revelation are two of the most different and difficult books to understand in the Bible. Both are known as apocalypses, carrying the meaning of disclosure. The message communicated through an apocalypse is that the future prediction of God’s action is something that would break into the present. Daniel 7 marks a major transition in the book, turning from stories about Daniel and his three friends (Chap. 1-6) to Daniel’s visions of the future (Chap. 7-12). Daniel’s visions revealed that the Messiah would be the ruler of a spiritual kingdom that would overshadow all other earthly kingdoms. Even though the second half of Daniel contains what some might consider strange images and symbols, this section is still God’s revelation of truth to his people. So let’s dive into His message to us as we continue in this present spiritual battle between God’s children and Satan.

Tuesday May 5: Daniel 7

Read Daniel 7

The most important truth that comes from Chapter 7 is the vision Daniel receives regarding the sovereignty of God. The Most High is the supreme ruler that controls history and human nature. This is at the core of the Gospel that we share with our friends and coworkers. At one time we were all eternally separated from God, but the amazing thing is that God did the impossible by making redemption available to us through Jesus Christ. (Rom 3:23-24) The Most High is a conqueror and His saints receive the eternal kingdom. (v.17-18) Will you live in the power and victory of the Most High today?

Deeper Study: Colossians 1:15-29. Commit yourself anew today to the Gospel.

Wednesday May 6: Daniel 8

Read Daniel 8

Daniel was so overcome by the visions of the future suffering of his people that he was set back a few days. (v.27) At this point Daniel didn’t fully understand the vision. Further details were to come later, but until then Daniel got on with his work. When you think about the enormity of the task facing Vintage Church in New Orleans, how do you respond? Today let these thoughts drive you to diligently pursue sharing with people how they can become a child of God.

Deeper Study: Soak up Luke 15. God’s heartbeat is to find that which is lost.

My Reflections:

The last two days we have launched into the apocalyptic visions that were given to Daniel. In ch. 7 we find the vision of the 4 beasts, the Ancient of Days, and the Son of Man. Honestly, all of these visions can be pretty difficult to understand. Don't feel too overwhelmed by all of these readings. There is nothing wrong with studying about the end times, but there is also nothing wrong with resting in the following phrase that my dad is known for saying, "JESUS WAS, JESUS IS, JESUS WILL BE COMPLETELY VICTORIOUS." What should this saying mean for us? It is actually quite simple. In Christ, you are victorious. Do you know Christ? Have you given your life to Him? I hope so. Christ is calling, surrender your life to Him.

Monday, May 4, 2009

DETOX: Day 4&5 (Daniel 5&6)

Sunday May 3: Daniel 5

Read Daniel 5

The story in Daniel quickly becomes a thriller with the intense drama in this chapter. In the ancient world, kings had all the power to either reward or punish people within the kingdom. (2:5-6) Daniel boldly announces the bad news no matter the cost. How courageously do you proclaim the Good News that Christians possess? May we say: “Nevertheless, I will make known to you the interpretation.” (v.17)

Deeper Study: Compare Daniel 5:18-23 with Matthew 23:1-11
Greatness comes from serving. How will you humbly give of yourself today?

My Reflections:

After taking over the throne from King Neb, King Belshazzar brings out some old idols and throws a large party in his home worshiping these idols. While they are gettin jiggy, a large hand writes something on the wall. I am grateful that Daniel wrote this book, because there is no way that we would have considered this story to be true. We would be blaming it on the al-al-al-al-al-alcohol. Daniel interprets the handwriting on the wall. The message is a tough word. Have you ever been at a party where things have gotten out of hand. How tough is it to stand against the crowd and speak truth? I am inspired by Daniel's boldness. God give me the boldness to stand for your truth even in tough places and circumstances.

Monday May 4: Daniel 6

Read Daniel 6

This chapter is packed FULL of meaning and application for our Christian life. Today our focus in on prayer as exampled in verses 10-11. When a law was proclaimed against prayer, Daniel’s immediate response was to go home, kneel down and PRAY! Prayer was an integral part of his daily life. Today if one of your lost friends barged in on you at home, where would you be found? Are you paying attention to earthly kings or your heavenly King who is the King of kings and Lord of lords? Today get so actively involved in sharing your faith that you have to passionately pursue guidance and strength from God.

Deeper Study: Compare the pictures of the living God in Daniel 3:8-30 & 6:16-27
Allow these passages to explode your view of God, who is more than able!

My Reflections:

What a story! Another King tries to get our boy Daniel to denounce his faith and focus upon God, but Daniel remains faithful. Remember his mission was all for God, his commitment was all to God, and his reward was all from God. What a stud!

God has really challenged my prayer life during this fast. Do you know that we have brothers and sisters around the world who would love to have the freedom to pray to God? But even though it is illegal, it doesn't stop most of them. Most days I can't even turn off the TV or get up a little earlier to pray. God forgive me for my lack of commitment to prayer. May I long to spend time with my Savior in PRAISE, CONFESSION, INTERCESSION, and BOLDNESS (check Daniel's prayer in Ch. 9).

Saturday, May 2, 2009

DETOX: Day 3 (Daniel 4)

Saturday May 2: Daniel 4

Read Daniel 4

It’s the Weekend! Time to relax, right? As you come before people today, are you one in whom the Spirit of the holy God dwells? Today, live enabled through the Spirit. (v.18) As Daniel lived, may we also live on May 2, 2009.

Deeper Study: John 14:9-31. Holy Spirit enables the advancement of the Gospel.

My Reflections:

Daniel 4 is a perfect picture of the power of the Gospel. King Neb started out this book completely against God, by the end of this chapter he has been humbled and is praising God. I know that I came to Christ at an early age, but I also recognize what I could have become without the power of the Gospel in my life. How about you? We are only saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. But once we are saved, there is a significant difference. This past week I was hanging with my buddy Robby Gallaty. He is now pastoring a megachurch in Chattanooga. 7 years ago he was one of the top drug dealers in the city of NOLA. What happened? Christ. The Gospel transformed him. I am praying today for all of my friends in Uptown that need this transformation. I love them and they need Christ. May God expose His grace and truth in their lives.

The passage in John is a confirmation of the work of God. Only God saves. The Holy Spirit is at work. He desires to use us to lead others to Him. Allow the Spirit to lead and guide you today.

Friday, May 1, 2009

DETOX: Day 2 (Daniel 3)

Friday May 1: Daniel 3

Read Daniel 3

-Who or what has your full attention today?
-Who are you serving today?
-Who are you worshipping today?
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were three Jewish studs that trusted in the Most High God who is all-powerful and in whom there is no other. They committed to worship God more because of who He is rather than what He would or would not do. (v.17-18)

Deeper Study: Examine how Paul defines the Christian life (Philippians 1:12-30)

My Reflections:

I spent this morning with my buddy Mike Walker reading through Daniel 3 and Phil 1. We had a great time reading the text. Sometimes it is great just reading God's Word and let it speak. Read Nehemiah 8. I just heard my mentor David Platt preach on this as I drove to Ruston to preach tonight. I was sharing with Mike this morning that this was a great testimony for God because the 3 guys served as a confirming testimony to the true God. It started with Daniel in ch. 2 and was confirmed in ch. 3. The 3 guys refused to worship any idol and remained faithful to God. God protected them. It is so important that every person has a personal relationship with Christ. You can't worship Christ or obtain salvation through your parents, church, religion, etc. Shad, Mesh, and Abed were in a position of influence because of the faithfulness of Daniel in ch. 2. In ch. 3, the guys got a chance to take ownership and step up to the plate. They did so boldly for the glory of Christ. Tonight, this was confirmed in the lives of 5 youth. I preached at a DNOW tonight and gave a very intense invitation. No singing, praying, or lights dimmed. I challenged the youth to repent, quick hiding behind their parents, and stand up in response to the Gospel. 5 kids stood in front of their peers. Awesome. Thanks God for saving their souls.

By the way, one of my favorite texts is in Phil 1: "For to me to live is Christ, to die is gain."

Thursday, April 30, 2009

DETOX: Day 1 (Daniel 2)

Thursday April 30: Daniel 2

Read Daniel 2

“With the all-powerful God nothing is impossible.” This was Daniel’s reply to King Nebuchadnezzar in verses 27-30. Wisdom and power belong to our God (v.20), but He freely gives to us because of His mercy (v.18). Before you go too much further today, ask God to enable you to make Him known and intercede for the lost in this city.

Deeper Study: Compare Daniel 2 with Genesis 41 the story of Joseph and Pharaoh

My Reflections:
In ch 2, I am reminded of God's sovereignty as He works out His plans through the faithfulness of His people. Daniel was brought into Babylon as a slave with no rights and because of the goodness of God and his faithfulness, by the end of ch. 2 he finds himself standing in front of the king that is bowing at his feet. Wow! I am encouraged by this text as I share Christ in Uptown. There are a lot of people that don't care anything about Christ in this city. It seems like it is impossible for them to come to faith in Christ. But God is calling us to be faithful. I pray that these people who refuse to even consider Christ, will be bowing at the feet of Christ in the near future. I believe it can happen for the glory of God. Nothing is impossible!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Invitation: WANNA DETOX?

I want to invite you to join Vintage Church for a 10-day fast. Here are some of the details that you can find online at www.vintagenola.org:

Detox Overview

The Daniel Fast is a spiritual discipline designed to better connect us with God. As Vintage Church, we’ll take 10 days within the two weeks of the DETOX series to deepen our relationship with God and center ourselves around what God is going to do in our church and in our lives. We are praying that many people will come to faith in Christ during the DETOX series as we invite and share with our friends who are searching for God.

Who is doing this: The entire Vintage Church staff and leadership will be participating in the fast and we are asking for our Vintage family and friends to join us as we seek God during this exciting season.

When are you doing this:
Thursday, April 30th, 7pm: Begin the “10-Day Daniel Fast”.
Saturday May 9th, 7pm: Break the Fast!

We have plenty of resources online like recipes, websites, books, etc.

Visit www.vintagenola.org. The entire website has been DETOXED.

I will preach two sermons from the book of Daniel. The first sermon on Fasting was this past weekend and is already available online @ www.vintagenola.org/podcast/

In conjunction with the fast, we’ll be reading a chapter in the book of Daniel per day for the duration of the fast. The book of Daniel has 12 chapters so we will read one chapter of Daniel to prepare and conclude this fast. This will be a challenging process, but we look forward to seeing what God does in our church and experiencing him with intensity during the 10 days of the fast. Thanks @mattthebrick for writing these for us.

Here is our first devotional out of the book of Daniel:

The book of Daniel is divided into two sections: the first half of the book provides a historical account and the second half is prophetic. The theme throughout is God’s sovereignty and power over all nations and powers. Yahweh is the one true God. All other gods are merely idols.

Wednesday April 29: Daniel 1
Daniel detached from the pleasures of his status in Babylon in order to maintain his identity as one of God’s children. Prayerfully consider other activities, objects or “royal food” of the world that God would have you abstain from in order to focus more clearly on Him over the next 10 days. May God grant to you favor, compassion, understanding and wisdom (v. 9, 17 & 20) as a result for your undeterred loyalty to Him.

I will post the devotional each day and share some of my thoughts. It's gonna be a great 10 days! Expect great things!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Reflections from Myanmar

Well, it has been over a week since I got back from Myanmar. I am not sure if it was because I had a really challenging week or if the flight was really that bad...but I have really struggled getting over this jet-lag. We traveled over 39hrs and flew over 27hrs. Nasty!

This Myanmar Trip reflection is going to be short and sweet. Because of the lack of internet I was unable to keep posting blogs each day. However, I have over 10pgs of journal notes. Instead of posting all of these I have decided to just share a short summary.

This was my first opportunity to return to a mission location that I had already visited. Both trips were incredible and had their own unique elements. Since my first trip in the fall of 2005, I have wanted to go back to Myanmar. As I entered the country, I remembered my heart breaking for this people group and how much I fell in love with their culture on the first trip. This second trip was no different. It was awesome learning about the various traditions, especially those centered around Buddhism. The people were extremely kind and loving. Even more so then most of my Christian friends. On this trip, I loved the basketball (coaching & playing), the food, the massages, the hotel...but most importantly I love the people.

Our typical day looked like this:
Early Breakfast 8
Coaching Clinic from 9-12
Lunch 12-1
Coaching Clinic from 1-3
Basketball Games 4-6
Shower and Rest 6-7
Dinner 7-9
Devotion Time 9
Bedtime 10

I was excited to see so much progress on the bball court in comparison from my last trip. Their basketball skills had improved and they gave us a run for our money in the games. Well maybe not, we still crushed them by over 40.

One of the greatest aspects of this trip was the fact that Sean and Rob came with me. I have really grown to love these guys. Sean is a high school basketball coach and Rob is a student at Tulane University. Both of them are members at our church. I had a blast getting to know these guys better over basketball, wierd food, massages, and long flights. It was excellent! I know that God is going to do great things in each of their lives through the lessons that were learned on this trip.
Throughout the week God opened up doors for us to share the Good News one on one and around the dinner table. I believe that we were faithful to the mission and many seeds were planted. Most of our opportunities came when the coaches and players asked us about our faith. We were given an opportunity to be in Myanmar because of the government and basketball. The basketball federation would love to grow in their basketball ability and compete with other nations, possibly improving in order to compete in the Southeast Asia Games. One of our guides shared with me that it is not illegal to be a Christian in Myanmar, but the government restricts all proselytizing. I was amazed at how God used the game of basketball as a tool for us to build relationships with the people. Here are a few friends that I will be praying for until I am able to return again: Swan, Sue, Lance, Victor, Zarni, Arthur, Diana, Nigel, Kenneth, Jessie, Austin, Omah, Kg Sett, Japanzee, Sun Dai, Swie.