Delta Small Groups End of Year Party

On Wednesday night we had our Delta End of the Year Pool Party. It was a fun night for the students who were connected in our small groups this year to get together one last time before summer. A very fun night for all.

Kevin James LIVE Pics!!!

Tonight Adriana and I were so blessed to be able to see Kevin James do standup with our good friends the Dantonas. We sat in the second row and thoroughly enjoyed laughing our heads off the entire time. Opening act Richie Minervini was also good. What a treat! What a fun night!

Matt, Dominic, MaryAnn, Adriana, Kevin, Danielle
Richie Minervini – Opening Comedian

Going to See Kevin James!

The months of waiting is over tonight! Adriana and I are going to see comedian/actor Kevin James do standup with our good friends Dominic and MaryAnn! So excited!

Excellent Date Night in NYC Featuring Daniel Bennett Group

On Saturday night Adriana and I went on a very nice date in New York City. We went to see the Daniel Bennett Group at Tomi Jazz in Manhattan. Daniel and I have known each other since we were kids. We both attended the same high school and church. It was really neat finally being able to get into the city to see him in concert. What a super nice and tremendously talented guy! We so enjoyed listening to him and his band play while we ate dinner at this great little hole in the wall jazz club. They played some songs off of his new album which is releasing July 10th. Excellent classic jazz!


The Life of the Body

The last couple of years have been a whirlwind of change for our family, and I must confess that I fell out of the healthier rhythms I had been in for about 5 years. I got away from the regular exercise I had maintained during that season. I stopped really caring about the food I was putting in my body, and perhaps more significantly, started eating more and bigger portions than I needed. My sleeping patterns, which have never been very good, got even worse.

I just finished reading The Life of the Body by Valerie E. Hess and Lane M. Arnold. I needed this book! I needed a wakeup call. I needed to be reminded of things I know. As we all know, there’s a difference between knowing something and doing something. I needed something that challenge me to get out of my head, get off my butt, and get on with the business of healthy living. This book was that something for me.

I need to be healthy.

My family needs me to be healthy.

The people I serve need me to be healthy.


Because: “Our body is where we live each day. Our heart, mind, soul and spirit lead us to ponder meaning within this body. Together, every component of who we are informs and impacts the other components, forming us more or less into the image of God…. let us be diligent to consider how daily choices affect future realities” (p. 118).

The health of my spiritual life is inseparable from the health of my physical life. The two are so intwined and must be viewed and approached in an integrated way. The body is good, created by God, which He will ultimately redeem in the resurrection, and must be stewarded as such in the here and now. To view it otherwise is to embark on a slippery slope toward gnosticism. (This is also true of the earth itself, which is also touched on in the book.)

I very much appreciated that Hess and Arnold pointed out that health doesn’t necessarily mean looking like the models our culture sets forth as pictures of perfection. In a world inundated with media espousing what we are “supposed” to look like, we all (and especially our children and teenagers) need to hear this. We must embrace  living “a healthy lifestyle in the body shape and size [we are] given” (p. 80) and not compare ourselves to what culture says we need to look like.

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

God, forgive me of not caring for the temple that your Holy Spirit lives in. Help me to honor you in my body so that I can be who you’ve created me to be and do all you’ve called me to do. Amen.

Why You Need a Strong Youth Ministry

“Our findings suggest … that the greater the supply of religiously grounded relationships, activities, programs, opportunities, and challenges available to teenagers, other things being equal, the more likely teenagers will be religiously engaged and invested. Religious congregations that prioritize ministry to youth and support for their parents, invest in trained and skilled youth group leaders, and make serious efforts to engage and teach adolescents seem much more likely to draw youth into their religious lives and to foster religious and spiritual maturity in their young members…. Stated negatively, when religious communities do not invest in their youth, unsurprisingly, their youth are less likely to invest in their religious faith” (Smith, Christian in Soul Searching, pp. 261-262).

How We Initiated 6th Graders and Welcomed Them into Student Ministries

In just a few weeks the 6th graders of Shelter Rock Church will be officially moving up from Children’s Ministry to Student Ministries. We believe it’s important for us to help kids make this transition, so this past weekend the Tweens (5th and 6th graders) went on a camping trip. I took some of our current Jr. Highers (7th and 8th graders) and we went on a Secret Mission. While the Tweens were out on a hike, we hid in their campsite, and when they returned we jumped out with water guns and captured them for a couple of hours. We took them to Wendy’s then to play mini golf. Everyone had a really fun time! Before returning them to camp we gave them each a bucket with candy, gifts, and our summer calendar and told them how excited we are to have them moving up this summer.