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 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!

1 comment:

  1. Great post bro. I loved the series and the opportunity to preach at Vintage. I'm excited to walk through the fall, and I'm excited about all that God is going to do in the coming months. Thanks for being a leader on a marathon.


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