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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Friday, January 29, 2010

Churches Helping Churches

This Sunday, we will launch our partnership with a new organization called "Churches Helping Churches". We are going to kick off our partnership by taking up a love offering. Here is a summary of this organization:

Churches Helping Churches was created to address the immediate and long-term needs of churches when disaster befalls a country, region, city, or people in the spirit of Galatians 6:10—“…let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

Our help complements the initial waves of humanitarian aid that pour into a country in the wake of a disaster. Many countries have relied on networks of local churches to be a primary conduit for the flow of health care, humanitarian aid, and even education. Rebuilding churches is a means of restoring infrastructure in a country through which aid can flow into local communities which so desperately need it.

Both throughout history and following specific tragedies it is often the local church that cares for widows, orphans, and the poor. It is the church who performs the funerals, grief counseling and spiritual follow up with families of victims.
Rebuilding local churches helps address the practical and spiritual needs of a country, one person, one neighborhood, and one community at a time.

When the magnitude of a catastrophe can be described as “biblical,” it is the local church that reminds people that another biblical concept is even more powerful: hope in Jesus Christ.

We are excited about partnering with this organization for two main reasons:

1) The church is the most effective way to make an impact in Haiti.
2) Helping and planting churches in Haiti is a long term commitment. We want to serve our brothers and sisters in Haiti with a marathon perspective, not a sprint. Speaking from our experience in NOLA from Katrina, this is going to be a long journey.

Join us this Sunday for our partnership launch. Come ready to sacrificially give.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Drenched Wk 2

Here is my outline from today's message. I am big time thankful for what Christ is doing through Vintage. Come Holy Spirit!

John 16:7-15
7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. 12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

Why have we called this series DRENCHED?

We are praying for the Holy Spirit to completely DRENCH us because....
• We are promised it in Scripture.
• We have been called to an impossible mission.
• We have a God who demands all glory and praise.

Last Week
THEOLOGICAL journey through Acts 1&2
• Who He Is
• When He Comes
• What He Does

I am really praying for the Holy Spirit to move throughout our church family. This has to happen within each of you.

Our strategy at Vintage is three-fold:
Individual Expression
Community Group Expression
Gathering Expression

When does He come?
He comes within everyone who is saved by the Gospel and also comes upon the church to display the Glory of God for the salvation of the World through Christ.

From Pentecost till Now –
Works in the Individual
Works in the Church
Works in the World

Let’s look at the 3 ways the Holy Spirit is at work:

I Corinthians 6:19-20
19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Can you be filled? You must be born again
John 3:5-7
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

Are you sure you want to be filled? (John 6 “Are you sure you want Him?)
Matthew 10:16-22
16 “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17 Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, 18 and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. 19 When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. 20 For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21 Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, 22 and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

For most, this is ALL that you want from God. Christ has become your insurance plan into Heaven. You have no desire to live radically for Christ because your concept of Christianity is social and convenient instead of spiritual and sacrificial.

How are you filled?
• Surrender (Rom 12:1-2 “Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice.”)
• Ask (Luke 11:9-10 “Ask and it will be given; seek and you will find: knock and it will open)
• Obey (Acts 5:32 “And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”)
• Believe (Gal 3:2 “Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?”)

Ephesians 2:18-22
18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

Through the Holy Spirit:
We Experience God’s Presence
We Obey God’s Commands
We Fulfill God’s Purpose
-To glorify God by making disciples of all nations.

The Holy Spirit:
Empowers the Church for the Gospel
Acts 1:8
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Regenerates the lost through the Gospel
Titus 3:3-7
3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
• The Spirit opens our eyes (sin/separation)
• The Spirit convicts our soul (true repentance)
• The Spirit transforms our life (holistic)

Glorifies God through the Gospel
Ephesians 1:13-14
13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

All of life is about the Glory God. So when the Holy Spirit works in the world, it always magnifies the Trinity (Father, Son, & Spirit).

Knowing how the Holy Spirit works in the individual, upon the church, and throughout the world...I wanted to close giving you some summary thoughts on how you can live a Spirit-filled life.

• The Holy Spirit Life is a DAILY EXPERIENCE.

Daily Walk with the Holy Spirit:
• Cultivate the Person (think about your relationships)
• Glorify Christ (honor, trust, follow, obey)
• Pursue Righteousness (actions & thoughts)
• Meditate on the Word (His Word is Spirit & Life)
• Activate His Power (Believe)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Studs Surround Me

I thought I would write a little blog about how much I love the staff that surrounds me at Vintage Church. Amazingly we all work part time, usually only meet in person once a week, and still manage to get everything done. Here is the crew: Andrew Ogea (Executive/Worship Pastor), Matt Brichetto (Ministry Director), Luke Johnson (Discipleship Director), Wendy McGuire (Kidz Director), and Travis Manint (Media Arts Director). No matter if we are going through a typical week, putting on a special event, witnessing to a neighbor, cleaning up a mess, setting up and tearing down for the millionth time...they never stop working with passion for the glory of Christ being proclaimed in New Orleans and beyond. This past week Matt Brichetto sent me an email asking me if it would be alright to send out a letter to those who were involved in our Christmas Adopt Sunday. God had placed a burden for the family that he adopted and he felt led to share that burden with the rest of the church. This is one example out of thousands that makes me thankful to God. It is an honor to be SURROUNDED BY STUDS.

Here is the letter. May it challenge your journey with Christ.

Hey Vintage Family

Happy New Year! The beginning of a new year always brings such great excitement for what is to come. This year the great Adopt Sunday we had just a few weeks ago is still so joyously in my mind. I hope you were truly blessed to love on those families. On Christmas day Sarah and I were surprised with a call from one of our mothers wishing us a Merry Christmas and thanking us again for the past Sunday. Talking to her was a great blessing for us. As Vintage Church, we really want to continue to love and serve these families in whatever way God might call us.

I have not been able to put out of my mind the houses that my two families lived in. One of my families didn’t have any visible source of heat and the other didn’t have blankets to sleep under. This morning I heard the weather man say that this week in New Orleans we are expected to experience some of the coldest temperatures of the winter. My thoughts immediately went to my two families. So I want to encourage each one of us to take 5 minutes this week to contact our families and ask them if they might need anything.

Allow the Spirit of God to work through you to meet any needs that your family might have ultimately bringing Him glory.

Thankful for and appreciate each of you

BE the church!
Matthew Brichetto
Vintage Church

Monday, January 4, 2010

Drenched Wk 1

Yesterday we launched into a 2-week series on the Holy Spirit called Drenched. My prayer in 2010 is that the Holy Spirit would come within everyone who is saved by the Gospel and also come upon Vintage Church to display the Glory of God for the salvation of the World.

Here are my notes from the first sermon in our Drenched Series. We walked through Acts 1-2 while looking at three important aspects of the Spirit (Who He Is, When He Comes, and What He Does):

Francis Chan “The Forgotten God”
You might think that calling the Holy Spirit the “forgotten God” is a bit extreme. Maybe you agree that the church has focused too much attention elsewhere but feel it is an exaggeration to say we have forgotten about the Spirit. I don’t think so.
Perhaps we’re too familiar and comfortable with the current state of the church to feel the weight of the problem. But what if you grew up on a desert island with nothing but the Bible to read? Imagine being rescued after twenty years and then attending a typical evangelical church. Chances are you’d be shocked. Having read the Scriptures outside the context of contemporary church culture, you would be convinced that the Holy Spirit is as essential to a believer’s existence as air is to staying alive. You would know that the Spirit led the first Christians to do unexplainable things, to live lives that didn’t make sense to the culture around them, and ultimately to spread the story of God’s grace around the world.
There is a big gap between what we read in Scripture about the Holy Spirit and how most believers and churches operate today. In many churches, you would be stunned by the apparent absence of the Spirit in any manifest way. And this, I believe, is the crux of the problem.


• THE PROMISE (1:1-11)

Who is He?

*The Holy Spirit is a Person.
He speaks Rev 2:7
He intercedes Rom 8:26
He testifies John 15:26
He leads Acts 8:29
He commands Acts 16:6-7
He guides John 16:13
He appoints Acts 20:28
He can be lied to Acts 5:3-4
He can be insulted Heb 10:29
He can be blasphemed Matt 12:31-32
He can be grieved Eph 4:30

*The Holy Spirit is God.
He is eternal Heb 9:14
He is all-powerful (omnipotent) Luke 1:35
He is present everywhere (omnipresent) Ps. 139:7
He is all-knowing (omniscient) I Cor 2:10-11
He is called God 2 Cor 3:18
He is the Creator Col 1:16-17
He is God. Eph 4:4


• 1. THE OBEDIENCE (1:12-14)

• 2. THE LEADERSHIP (1:15-26)

• 3. THE ARRIVAL (2:1-4)

When does He come?

Before answering this question, we need to establish an important fact. The Holy Spirit has always been.

*For the most part as we study the Bible, here is our conclusion in regards to the Trinity:
OT – Work of God the Father
Gospels – Work of God the Son
From Pentecost – Work of the Holy Spirit

However, Scripture is very clear that God the Father, Son, & Spirit have been working together as three in one since the beginning of existence. Let’s look at the Spirit through Scripture & today.

*From Creation to Bethlehem –
In creation of the world Gen 1:2
In man’s creation Job 33:4
In the saving of man at the flood. Gen 6:3
He came upon, rested on, & filled men like Gideon, Samson, Zechariah, & David.
He told of the coming Messiah in Isaiah.

*From Bethlehem to Pentecost –
Begotten of the Spirit Luke 1:35
Baptized by the Spirit John 1:32-33
Led by the Spirit Luke 4:1
Anointed by the Spirit Acts 10:38
Empowered by the Spirit Matt 12:27-28
Became an atonment for sin by the Spirit Heb 9:14
Raised by the Spirit Rom 8:11
Gave commands by the Spirit Acts 1:2

*From Pentecost till Now –
Works in the Individual I Cor 6:19
Works in the Church Eph 2:22
Works in the World John 16:7-11

When does He come?
He comes within everyone who is saved by the Gospel and also comes upon the church to display the Glory of God for the salvation of the World.


• 1. THE CLARITY (2:5-13)

• 2. THE WORDS (2:14-40)

• 3. THE RESULT (2:41-47)

What does He do?

We see the Holy Spirit coming within believers and upon believers for the Glory of God. In more detail here are some other examples of the Spirit at work.

Helps us speak as our MOUTHPIECE. Mark 13:11; Luke 12:12
Teaches us and reminds us as our CONVEYER. Ps. 143:10; John 14-16 Acts 9:31
Empowers us to witness as our EQUIPPER. Acts 1:8; Rom 8:26
Convicts us of our sin as our CONDEMNER. I Thess 1:5
Free us from our sinful slavery as our REDEEMER. 2 Cor 3:17
Protects us from our sinful nature as our DEFENDER. Rom 8:2
Surrounds us into His presence as our COMFORTER. Rom 8:15-16
Leads us by His fruit as our SANCTIFIER. Gal 5:22-23

*taken from "The Holy Spirit" by Billy Graham

Knowing...Who He is, When He comes, What He does. What is God stirring within your heart? I can tell you that what He is stirring within my heart is a longing to experience a DRENCHING movement of the Spirit of God within my life, within Vintage Church, throughout NOLA & the world.

Leonard Ravenhill Why Revival Tarries – A classic on revivals
In his chapter “As the Church Goes, So Goes the World” he writes,
For this midnight hour, incandescent men are needed. On the day of Pentecost, the flame of the living God became the flame of the human heart to that glorious company. The Church began with these men in the “upper room” agonizing – and today is ending with men in the supper room organizing. The Church began in revival; we are ending in ritual. We started virile; we are ending sterile. Charter members of the Church were men of heat and no degrees; today many hold degrees, but have no heat! Ah brethren, flame-hearted men are the crying need of the hour!......We need knights of prayer to lead nights of prayer.