March 29, 2008


Last night was “Faith Night” at the San Antonio Spurs game. That is – the World Champion San Antonio Spurs! I had met the guy who set the whole deal up when I was the pastor for the Faith Night done at the Rampage Game. Anyway, he is a great guy and really has a heart for sharing the faith with others through their organization.

Mark was scheduled to play outside the AT&T Center before the game – and he did, though he had to end early because of rain. In fact, I just missed hearing him even though Jesse and I went there early just to hear him! So, we hooked up with Mark and the guy playing with him and then ran into our friends, the Dippos from church. They invited us up to their company’s box! It was so awesome. They were so sweet and made us feel like princes. At halftime I had some great food followed by a giant caramel apple covered in M&M’s!

We watched the game from about the fifth row – center court. It is incredible to see the athleticism of those guys from eye level. The interaction between players, coaches, and referees is fascinating. At one point Mark looked at me and asked, did you ever believe we would experience things like this in ministry?

After the game, a musician named Phil Wickham performed some songs and Bruce Bowen gave a witness. Former Baylor football coach Grant Teaff also spoke. It was a really encouraging night.

My favorite part of the whole night though was getting to just hang out with my friend and mentor, Jesse. We have been working so hard on church projects that we haven’t had much chance to just relax and talk. I rely on him so much for spiritual direction and counsel that it was good to connect again on life and love rather than the bricks and mortar that has consumed us the last several months.

March 24, 2008

the day after

The day after Holy Week concludes is a major day of rest for us clergy types. I am having a nice relaxing day that included a trip to the gym, some video games, a massage, and a much needed adjustment (no, not to my attitude thank you very much). After weeks of endless moving and preparation for an extraordinary number of worship services (my contemporary team did 9 in 8 days) we are all fairly beat. In addition to the physical strain, we all paid the emotional and spiritual toll for living in the mist of Christ’s passion, the vigil as we awaited his resurrection, and the party that was Easter! It is a gorgeous day in San Antonio – again. We seem to have an abundance of gorgeous days here. I can’t believe I am blogging about the weather. I really must be tired. I think I will just quit while I am

March 19, 2008


The dam has broken and the waters of revival are flowing. Though the building is riddled with orange dots and blue tape marking needed finish-out from the contractor, we are off and running in our new space. We were featured on Great Day SA (a local morning show), Mark and his band were the studio musicians on the same show and thousands of people have made their way into worship. We had our highest attended Spring Break Sunday in memory last week. We are running headlong into Easter this weekend with contemporary services planned for Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Morning. I have to admit, if we are able to pull off what we are planning for our Good Friday service, I believe it will be the most profound service of worship I have ever been a part of. I think people will really begin to see the level of creative worship that can be done in our new sanctuary.

Sorry for the slow pace of posts, I will try to be more attentive!

March 5, 2008


The following was originally written for publication in the March edition of our uzine, The Encourager:

“We were having dinner at the Anglican Guest House with the staff of the Rhungari diocese. As we were visiting, we began to talk about how various nationalities are being received in Rwanda. Some folks are certainly more welcome than others. At the moment Americans are well received. As we were sharing, one of the men of Rwanda remarked, “How do I know you are good, unless you are good to me?” How indeed. As the church we claim goodness as though it were a divine inheritance, but even Jesus asked, “why do you call me good, no one is good apart from the Father.” It seems to me that my friend is right. How do I know you are good unless you are good to me?” Or put another way, “How do I know you are from the Father unless you share what the Father has given you with me.” In the end, that is the church’s call. How will people in San Antonio know that University is good unless we are good to them?”

Being and doing the good work of the Father is, and always has been, the work of his people. In Jesus Christ, the goodness of God is most clearly known. He who had no sin, became sin for all that we might be saved from hell and given abundant life. God’s goodness grants us eternal life and sustains us in times of trial and turmoil. Through his grace, we endure and thrive.

We have been blessed by the model of sacrificial love given through Jesus’ work on the cross. This blessing is meant to be shared with others. Jesus was equally committed to sharing the path of salvation that leads to personal holiness and the way of righteousness which leads to social holiness. By his teaching and example, the church comes to know its two-fold responsibility to the world around us.

The Church often confuses our calling by narrowing the focus of our calling to promoting either personal holiness (Evangelism) or social holiness (Missions). Instead, we are called to participate in the goodness of God in both word and deed. It is important for all of our missional work to be decidedly evangelistic. After all, Jesus was clear about his uniqueness in all creation to offer salvation to humankind. At the same time, we are told that the Word became Flesh. God’s goodness became incarnate in his Son. Thus, it is equally important that our evangelism be decidedly missional.

My call to you, church, is to wholeheartedly take up your responsibility for Outreach. This work belongs to the whole people of God, not just a committed core of people within the church body. Our obedience to Christ compels us to participate in the ongoing work of God on earth. Everyone is uniquely gifted by God and will express their work in outreach differently. Some will build homes in San Antonio while others will provide medical care to the people of South America. God certainly invites us to discern our role in his Kingdom building work – but he expects that we will be doing Kingdom building work.

Church, the work of reaching out belongs to us all. You are called and expected to support the work of evangelism and missions through your sacrificial financial support. You need to be supporting University’s operating budget to ensure that all works of Christ body are executed with the utmost excellence. Moreover, you are expected to put your hands and feet into direct action. I know that our incredible Outreach Ministry Team stands ready to help you find a place to serve the goodness of Jesus Christ in points locally and around the world. Let’s get to work, the world is waiting and watching to see if we indeed are good.