New Life

Charles Kiser —  February 24, 2009 — 17 Comments


This week has been full of new life on a couple fronts.

Front #1: on Sunday afternoon, Storyline house churches gathered for the baptism ceremony of Lowell Rhodes. We met Lowell at our first neighbor’s lunch last fall and he has been part of Storyline ever since.

While we stood around the pool, Lowell shared with us that he had been baptized at a very early age but didn’t understand its significance. He wanted now to be baptized because Jesus was baptized — and Jesus is the one who he wants to follow in every way.

Lowell also brought an internationally recognized, one-volume encyclopedia of chemicals, drugs, and biologicals: the Merck Index.

He explained that he bought it many years ago because he wanted to learn how to make drugs that he could sell to other people at high prices and become rich. In fact, in his old life Lowell was a drug dealer for quite some time.

Lowell declared in a public way that he had left that life behind forever.



After Lowell was baptized, he threw the Merck Index in the trash as a symbol of the old life he was leaving behind and the new life of which he was taking hold.



Rejoice with us for Lowell’s act of faith!

Front #2: Last night, ten of us gathered at 1001 Ross in Downtown for the first meeting off the 1001 Ross House Church. More people participated in house church gatherings last weekend than any other weekend since Storyline started.


God is sending us a new wave of growth that we are attempting to ride with faith and obedience. It’s an exciting, stretching time for us.

Please pray that God will continue to nurture the new life that is sprouting up in the Storyline Community.

Charles Kiser


I’m a pastor, missionary, and contextual theologian in Dallas, Texas. I’m committed to equipping and coaching Christians to start fresh expressions of Christian community in Dallas County — communities of hospitality, inclusion, justice, and healing.

17 responses to New Life


    What a wonderful testimony to God’s changing power. I am looking forward to meeting Lowell.

    We love you all-


    Praise God! Even though I was there, the pictures of Lowell’s baptism just caused me to tear up! God is doing AMAZING things through Storyline and I’m fired up to be a part of it!


    Rex Butts linked me to this blog – great story 🙂


    What a beautiful picture of Lowell throwing away that Merck Manual that had been intended for good but was being used for evil. Praise God for Lowell – that he has find a home with God and your fellowship.


    Awesome! How exciting to see God at work in such powerful ways in Uptown. We love you guys!


    Love this, Kiser. Thanks for sharing, especially the powerful sentiments concerning throwing away that book.


    I remember meeting Lowell during our brief visit to Dallas to see you all. I talked to him about that book he was carrying around and even then I sensed he wasn’t too sure why he was doing so anymore.

    Praise God that justice was served at the Cross to make this possible! Praise God for His undeserved grace!


    Thanks for sharing these photos. I got teary-eyed.


    What a great story! I wasn’t even there and I’m fired up! I can’t remember who said this, but I immediately thought of it when I read your post.

    “Changed lives are the main evidence that God is working in the church.”


    Charles – thanks for the updates. God is working in mighty ways in Uptown through Storyline. So exciting!! We rejoice with Lowell. I love the imagery of throwing away the book he purchased to make drugs to throw away the old life and enter into the new with Jesus. And, excited to hear about the new house church launch. Sending our love to you all.


    What a powerful testimony Lowell gave to the Storyline group! I wanted to reach out in Patrick’s video & HUG him so much! Please tell him for me how happy I am for him, & wish I knew him. I’ll be praying for him every day! Love all of you & your precious hearts……


    I am touched by what God continues to do to change lives.


    Praise God! What an awesome post!!


    Awesome! Praise God! I hope the picture of Lowell, with towel, putting the book in the trash remains emblazoned on my mind. What a true metaphor for a new life! And I feel a great love for Lowell even though I’ve never met him because he’s my brother and because he’s reminded me of God’s transforming grace.

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