Farewell to Another Friend

In the fall of 2018 I was in a very difficult place in my life. After almost 20 years of vocational ministry I was in the land in-between. I had taken on some speaking in writing, and was trying to figure out God‘s next step in my life. One day I got a message from Chris Zeigler out of the blue. I did not know him, but he introduced himself as the Director of BASIC College Ministries and asked if we could meet up in New York City for dinner while he was in town. We met at our favorite Italian restaurant, Carmine’s, in Times Square. Over dinner he and his wife Cheryl Zeigler introduced themselves to us and talked about their work with students on college campuses. He said he had been given my name by some mutual friends and was wondering if I would be interested in joining their staff in a newly-created position as Director of Development. I had never done any of this kind of work, but after couple of weeks of prayer I decided to take a leap and try it out. Over the next year and a half I learned this new field and enjoyed working with Chris to reframe partnerships and fundraising for the ministry. In 2020 I decided to go back to work in the local church. Five weeks after I began, Covid shut the world down. Interestingly, so much of what I learned doing development work suddenly came in to play. Phone calls, checking in on people, developing systems for connection, etc. A few weeks ago God really put Chris on my heart. I was thinking about him and was so thankful that he took a risk on inviting me into a role even though it was uncharted territory. I am currently doing work at the church in which I am leaning into so many other things that I learned in that brief season with BASIC. Additionally, two weeks ago I was in Las Vegas and was thinking about him as we drove by the Raiders’ stadium. He was a diehard Raiders fan. Then Ady and I saw a sign for a Carmine’s. We couldn’t believe there was one out west. As we were eating , Ady said, “The last time we were at Carmine‘s is when we went out for dinner with Chris and Cheryl to talk about you possibly joining BASIC.” It was only a few days after that when we heard the news about Chris’s diagnosis and learned the devastating news that doctors told him he only had weeks to live. Last week I am so thankful I had a chance to call and pray with him. Hearing that two people received Christ in the hospital as he witnessed to them was not a surprise at all. He was full of faith and trust in God all the way to the end. Chris, it was a privilege to know you and serve Jesus with you, my friend. Well done good and faithful servant. Our deepest condolences to Cheryl and his three wonderful children. Praying for God’s grace, peace, and comfort. 🙏

10,000 Meals Prepared to Help Stop Hunger Now

Today I was so proud of Bay Hills Church. We had about 75 volunteers come together to pack 10,000 meals in less than an hour and a half which will be distributed around the world in partnership with Rise Against Hunger.

Books I Read in 2021

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  1. Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning
  2. A Burning In My Bones: The Authorized Biography of Eugene H Peterson by Winn Collier
  3. Black Cop’s Kid by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  4. Broken Signposts by N.T. Wright
  5. Business Made Simple by Donald Miller
  6. Fields of Gold by Andy Stanley
  7. From Burned Out to Beloved: Soul Care for Wounded Healers by Bethany Dearborn Hiser
  8. It’s Personal by Virginia Ward, Reggie Joiner, and Kristen Ivy
  9. Lead by Paul David Tripp
  10. Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate by J. Clif Christopher
  11. One Love: Parting Words to the Church on Race and Love by John M. Perkins
  12. Row the Boat by Jon Gordon and P.J. Fleck
  13. Quitter by Jon Acuff
  14. Sacred Sorrow by Michael Card
  15. Single Gay Christian by Gregory Coles
  16. Spiritual Grit by Rick Lawrence
  17. Stick Together by Jon Gordon and Kate Leavell
  18. The Coffee Bean by Jon Gordon and Damon West
  19. The End of the Golden Gate by Gary Kamiya
  20. The Fellowship of the of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  21. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  22. To Have and to Hold by Doug Fields
  23. The Storyteller by Dave Grohl
  24. When Faith Fails by Dominic Done

Books I Read in 2020

  1. A Beginner’s Guide to the Stock Market by Matthew R. Kratter
  2. Doing Life with Your Adult Children by Jim Burns
  3. Everybody Always by Bob Goff
  4. Experiencing Grief by H. Norman Wright
  5. From Social Media to Social Ministry by Nona Jones
  6. God Has a Dream by Desmond Tutu
  7. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
  8. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
  9. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
  10. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
  11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
  12. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
  13. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
  14. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  15. The Search for God and Guinness by Stephen Mansfield
  16. The Wounded Healer by Henri J.M. Nouwen
  17. To Shake the Sleeping Self by Jedediah Jenkins

Six Pack if Peaks: I Overcame The Devil Today!

Wow! What a day! My hiking partner, Wes, and I were supposed to meet up to conquer Mt. Diablo together this morning. However, somehow entering the GPS coordinates in Waze and Google Maps took us to different entrances — Waze to the north, and Google to the south. Once we realized we were a 40-minute drive apart we decided to meet at the summit. Wes’ map said he was 3.5 miles to the summit, the board where I was was scratched off but looked like it said 4 miles to the summit. Wes tried to call me when I was nearing the peak and I told him I was about 5-10 minutes away. The peak was not actually 4 miles, but over 5. I followed the trail to North Peak, only to discover it was not the highest summit, and that he was on the actual summit. He headed down and I headed the extra 2-miles to the summit. After relaxing a bit on the summit I headed back down and ended up doing 14-miles on the nose back to my car. 4,374’ of elevation was quite a workout. Bummed we couldn’t get a pic together on the summit, but glad we got to both defeat the devil on the same beautiful day.

A Christian Response to the Election

It’s election season. Rather than the typical divisiveness, here’s a biblical message you deliver to unite your students (and all people, for that matter) in your church regardless of whether their political candidate wins or not. Click here to order A Christian Response to the Election.

When Life Takes a Left Turn

I preached this message March 1st. It was the last time our church gathered in person. The next week, life took a hard left turn for all of us. I hope you find the message inspiring and encouraging during this challenging time we are living in.

What Move Means for My Speaking Engagements

Over the past 2 years I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities I have had to travel and speak all around the country. It has been a true honor and privilege. I was really torn about getting off the road and settling back into a role in the local church, but we felt it was the best decision for our family. With our recent move to the San Francisco Bay Area for me to become a family pastor, many people have asked what this will mean for my speaking engagements. Our new church was gracious enough to allow me to fulfill the commitments I had already made through this summer, so I am happy to announce I will be speaking for the new Merge Conferences being hosted by Group Mission Trips in Cincinnati, OH, Roanoke, VA, and Chicago, IL this summer. Other than that I will be speaking occasionally at Bay Hills Church, and speaking locally (I preached last Sunday at the church, and spoke this past week at a local school), and I am really looking forward to networking and building relationships here in California. I will continue to field requests to speak at camps, retreats, and do leadership training as my schedule allows once I have had the opportunity to get established in my new role. So, please continue to keep me in mind toward the end of 2020 and into 2021. Complete a speaking request form here.

2019 Running Recap

Finally received my 2019 1,000 Mile Finisher medal. It was a good year of running. I completed several races and challenges, including my second full marathon.

Big Move in 2020

In February I will joining the staff of Bay Hills Community Church in Richmond, CA as Family Pastor. I am excited to be stepping into a new position in which I can maximize my 20 years of youth ministry experience as well as oversee kid’s ministry and marriage and parenting. It is a great opportunity to invest in leadership teams, shape church culture, and help all of these ministries work together with a shared sense of purpose and alignment. Adriana and I really enjoyed our time visiting the Bay Area and are looking forward to calling it home.