Friday, September 04, 2009
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
The Bible study had been meeting faithfully since the storm and was comprised of students and young adults. There's nothing unusual about this except for the fact that this group has carried on their activities without specific leadership or the involvement of an existing church. They've met, studied The Word, led others to Christ, discipled new believers and even sent some of their own on mission trips. The cool thing about it is that no one told these students to do these things. They simply poured themselves into God's Word and obeyed it.
I was encouraged by this group of students and their faithfulness. They had great community and did life together at every turn. It is one of the most authentic body of believers I've run across in the metro area. They truly are the church, the body of Christ.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
These kids are learning that serving Christ is not always comfortable or easy. Not only have they endured the heat but they have also come face to face with crack addicts, abused children, con artists, thugs, atheists, health & wealth junkies, non-religious, angry-religious and more. They've seen difficult situations and been asked tough questions, all because they chose to invest themselves in people's lives instead of serving from arm's length and hoping morality will rub off in Jesus name. These kids will go home changed for the better because they are learning what it means to be a missionary in New Orleans as well as understanding how God works in our culture. I'm proud to serve along side them.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Monday, May 04, 2009
From the time I was a boy I’ve loved comic books. The characters, the stories and the artwork all fed my vivid imagination. I had a list of heroes that I wanted to be like. Add to this the fact that I was raised in a very religious family. This introduced me to a whole new set of characters and stories of which Jesus was often playing the title role. To me, he was a lot like the comic book heroes I loved so much. Sometimes my imagination had Jesus and Spiderman rushing into a burning building together to save Aunt May. He was an ordinary guy that did cool stuff, and that’s where I left it.
As I got a little older, I discovered an unsettling truth: something wasn’t right with the world. I saw people doing a lot of bad things on the news and heard my parents talk about this problem and that problem. What was worse was the fact that I realized that something wasn’t right with me. I wasn’t doing any of the bad things I saw on the news but I did plenty of stuff that made my parents, who loved me very much, sad. I tried to stop doing those things but couldn’t no matter how hard I tried. Not only were these things hurting the people I loved, I was told they were hurting God, the last person I wanted to offend. Something about me was broken and beyond my ability to fix and that bothered me. I had offended a God who loved me, and I knew I was doomed.
Fortunately for me, this unpleasant discovery led me back to Jesus. I was older now and had moved beyond Jesus-as-comic-book-hero to actually considering the things he said and did. As I read the gospels and heard more stories about Jesus from my parents, I found that he specifically address this issue of being broken. As I read and listened, I felt that somehow Jesus was speaking directly to me. He claimed that he was God’s Son and that he had come to fix the brokenness and make things right. He claimed that he was the only one that could fix it and his plan for doing so shocked me. Jesus willing traded places with me so that He could accept the rightful penalty that had to be dished out for my offence toward God. My offence, sin as the Bible calls it, earned me God’s wrath and I knew I deserved it. However, when Jesus was crucified, he took the full force of God’s wrath for me. His followers buried him but the Bible says Jesus rose from the dead three days later. Over 500 people saw Jesus alive after his resurrection. But it was his last claim that tied everything together.
Because of who he is and what he did, Jesus could substitute his right standing before God for all the garbage in my life and offer me absolute forgiveness for my sins and remove from me the curse of God’s wrath, but only if I wanted it. I did want it. I wanted it more than anything – I needed it. The Bible said it was mine for the taking but I had to put my trust in Jesus, who provided it for me, and follow him, really follow him and him alone. I thought about it and decided this gift was too precious to leave on the table. I believed Jesus was who he said he was and did what he said he did. I decided to trust him with my life, accept his forgiveness and offer of a new life. I decided I wanted to follow him no matter what. I stopped living the way I wanted to live and started down a new path. That was the best decision I’ve ever made and I have no regrets. I’m not perfect but I couldn’t do life without Jesus. My job, marriage, surviving Katrina, would not be the same where it not for Jesus.