Saturday, February 28, 2009

Deadly Fast Ball.....

One of my favorite Bible stories as a child was the tale of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17. During my trip to Israel, we visited the valley where this story took place. There was no church or plaque to commemorate what happened here, which is why it became one of my favorite sites. Standing at this place, I could still see the Israelites and Philistines on either side of the valley while David threw the pitch of all pitches.

Video from David & Goliath Site:

Until my trip I had always envisioned the stone David threw as a tiny stone like what I skip in the mountains, certainly not a rock the size of a softball. No wonder Goliath fell over!

However, as I have reflected on this story, reading it several times over, I think that the size of the stone had nothing to do with David's victory. Instead, the victory happened all because of a particular name - the Name of the Lord.

In 1 Samuel 17:45 David proclaims a powerful word when he says "You (Goliath & rest of Philistines) come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied."

When I read this passage, my mind was drawn to another story, one that is becoming a favorite, as I'm currently a child in ministry: Acts 3- The Healing of the Crippled Beggar. Like David, Peter and John used the same power to heal, the name of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the fulfillment of God's promises from Genesis to Revelation and it is through him that we have a right relationship with God.

The question that God has convicted me of is "Whose power do I daily rely on in ministry and life?"

David, Peter and John are heroes of our faith not because of power that they had in and of themselves, but because they lived everyday relying on God's power to work through them to impact people.

Today I challenge you to ask God where or to whom He would have you to go and offer spiritual healing in the name of Jesus Christ. Know that if you have a relationship with Jesus Christ that the Lord Almighty now lives and works in you. Don't waste the "today" that God has given you to impact and influence people for His Name.

  • Oh God, by Your Name work in us today to reach this dying world with your Gospel.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Announcing the Newest & Coolest site.

As you can see, we're no professionals when it comes to video recording, but we hope you'll check this out anyway...

Looking forward to sharing this journey with y'all.

Our Wedding Blog Link:

Matt and Sarah

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Parents and Parades....

The Mardi Gras/Carnival season has wrapped up for another year. This year saw the largest crowds since Katrina. This is such a fun time to be in New Orleans. While Mardi Gras and Bourbon Street are often synonymous, the French Quarter is not the only place in the city to find Mardi Gras action. Outside the Quarter, there are much more family friendly activities to be involved in. This year Sarah and I hosted my parents for five days of parades and fun. I wanted to post some photos so you can see what Mardi Gras looks like.

Crawfish boils are common during this season. Dad loved them. Mom ... not so much.

Beginning of Endymion Parade

Formula for TONS beads: Arms Raised + Dancing + Screaming

End of Endymion Parade
This parade had the best floats and throws the most beads

Sarah and I with our bling.

Dad was ready to party after grilling three boxes of burgers for Vintage's Mardi Gras Outreach.
He stepped right in to help where to meet a need.

Mom also partied like a rock star on Sunday after floating around to assist in many different areas. Both my parents have a tremendous heart for serving God by loving people. I know where I get desire to serve from.

This was the aftermath of three parades on Sunday.

9 parades in 5 days = We're exhausted!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

One of A Kind...

New Orleans is currently in the middle of carnival season, which is such a fun time to be here.

Tons of people line the streets for parades every night for a week and a half. My parents have actually come down to enjoy the 2009 festivities.

Tonight I write this as a conquering stud of Muses.

Muses is one of the big parades on the Thursday night before Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras Day). Muses is an all girl parade. The prize possession from Muses are hand decorated shoes from the ladies. There are a very small number and each are one of a kind. My mission when I went on Thursday was to get one for my one of a kind girl.

After tons of beads and losing my voice from screaming.... Mission Accomplished!!!!!!!!!!!

Sarah is now living in NOLA and we have fallen even more in love over the past month.
This picture is from Valentine's Night.
Doesn't see look amazingly beautiful?

If you read this post you should also email Sarah to make her blush:

Love you Sweetheart

Thursday, February 5, 2009

If we only knew....

Over the past year @ 6:15am every Wednesday morning a few men from Vintage have gathered to pray. Personally this time has created an accountability in my life to be more devoted to interceding for the city of New Orleans. Through these weekly meetings God has burdened my heart for people, which just leads me back to my knees almost as soon as I have risen. God is starting to move in our hearts and launch something that we can't take one bit of credit for. I write this blog because I want to share part of the time that we had this past Wednesday.

Instead of giving them a devotional challenge like normal, I simply asked them to divide a sheet of paper into two halves.

Side 1: Who the Lost are...
Side 2: Who the Saved are...

What I learned preparing for this week was that to truly be burdened for lost people requires that we as Christians fully grasp what a person is (their state) without Christ. Since I became a Christian at the age of 9 this is a difficult task for me, as it probably is for you. Right now I encourage you make two halves on a sheet of paper and read Ephesians 2. This passage clearly communicates each, as you read make a list.

Ephesians 2
Made Alive in Christ
1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

One in Christ
11Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)— 12remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

14For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

19Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

  • Now take 10 minutes and think about just one person in your life (work, school, family, friend or neighborhood) that needs some prayer today. Then go share with them today about how there is a God that is rich in mercy and abounding in love. He sent Jesus to earth, where he lived, died and rose again. Now we can have forgiveness of our sins and be made alive with Christ. (Eph. 2:4-7)

This is the good news from God. I pray that you accept it and allow it to compel you in your mission field today.