“And he (Jesus) who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’” Revelation 21:5
Last month I traveled to “The City So Nice, They Named It Twice,” (New York, New York) to explore the possibility of church planting. At one point, while striding through Manhattan, I passed a garbage man; black, mid-thirties, and hard at work hauling huge bags of garbage to the curb. I nodded at him and kept walking. A block later, I stopped, and turned around.
I mustered a confident smile, hoping to hide my nervousness as I approached the garbage man. And then, to both of our surprise, we started hauling garbage to the street curb together. Somewhere, in the midst of this, we became friends. He asked if I was married, and I tried (failed) not to sound too excited about a special lady in my life (Hi Joelle). Then my new friend opened up to me; sharing that he was married, but that he and his wife had been separated for four years, and that life seemed really hard. We finished lugging our mound of trash to the curb, he took his gloves off, and we shook hands. An outburst of laughter ensued as we discovered we were both named Brandon! Then, just before we parted ways, I gripped his hand tightly, looked him in his eyes, and said, “I just want you to know, there is a Redeemer, and his name is Jesus. He LOVES you, and He SEES you! Keep looking up!” Brandon squeezed my hand tighter, as the news of a Redeemer’s Love stirred his heart. He didn’t want to let go, and I didn’t want to let go either. That night, in the shadow of Time Square, a fierce warmth blazed in our eyes for each other, and time stood still as two Brandons stood next to a heap of garbage in one of the most sacred moments I’ve ever shared with a complete stranger.
This savory moment in the Big Apple became the seed which germinated into the name Redeemer’s Love, further unearthing an ethos which God has painstakingly planted deep into my life over the course of 34 years.
And It took my going to see New York City for the first time to, at last, see Houston for the first time! In a moment of clarity, while descending back into Houston, I finally appreciated that one of the greatest mission fields in North America is this vast, global jungle-of-a-city growing wildly in my own backyard! Before my plane landed I had made a decision to plant a new church in Houston and to name it Redeemer’s Love.
This week, I begin a fundraising campaign to see this come to pass. I’m earnestly praying for gospel partners; people committed to joining us in 1) praying, 2) giving, 3) going. If you don’t hear from me personally, but would like to partner with me, please call ( 936.222.4260 )or message me. I’m thankful for my home church, FBC Kennard, for their willingness to be my Sponsor Church, and donations can be made directly through them, as a tax deductible gift.
It’s in our most honest moments where we are blessed with the painful awareness of our own brokenness and need for redemption. Would you consider HOW you might join our team (?) as we set out to gather & shepherd a gratefully redeemed people committed to telling everyone in Houston, from far and wide, that our God is a Redeemer; He rescues and restores precious lives trashed by sin, when we otherwise would be tossed to the curb and lost forever. Our Redeemer demonstrates His amazing love, at great cost to Himself (the Cross), that we might look up, (by faith & repentance) and see the one who sees us; the one who makes all things new!”