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.

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.

2019 Highlights

I took a break from blogging for much of 2018 and 2019. They were 2 years of a lot of hell for me personally and I was simply too exhausted to expend emotional energy trying to express myself creatively. (At some point perhaps I will share more, but this is an interview I did in which I talked pretty candidly about some of my experience should you care to give it a listen.) However, in 2019 we had some very special, significant moments in our family. Before I share about life as we move ahead into 2020, I wanted to share the monumental moments that we experienced last year.

Natalia made All-County in softball! After 3 consecutive years being named All-Conference she made it her goal to dominate her position as catcher, and she did it! She received a place on her high school Wall of Fame and was honored to play in the Nassau County vs. Suffolk County Senior All Star game. She also went to prom, graduated Roslyn High School, and began her freshman year at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ.

Claudia remained in Phoenix through the summer, taking a full load of classes, which enabled her to graduate with honors from Grand Canyon University with her B.S. in Communications in December. She also landed a full time job in Scottsdale, AZ. Last week she moved into her first apartment and this week she began her new job.

We could not be more proud of our girls for their great accomplishments!

Adriana and I were able to enjoy several travel experiences together in 2019. Amongst the locations we traveled to were Portland, OR, and San Fransisco, CA, two places we had never been before. I had 34 unique speaking engagements between local churches, camps, retreats, and leadership trainings, traveling all over the country, and it was nice for Adriana to be able to get some time off of work to join me for a few of them.

In June we were able to have a Mahaffy Family Reunion in Yorktown, VA. It was the first time we had all been able to get together in several years. We loved being able to have the whole crew together for a few days, a rare thing as we all live in different states.

In June we also had to say farewell to our beloved dog Pedro. He was 14 years old and was such a joy to our family. Over the past couple of years his health had been deteriorating. He was still a very happy boy, but we made the difficult decision to put him down before he really started suffering, and we did it while our whole family was back together so we could all be with him as he passed. We miss our fun little guy but are glad he had a good life and did not have to suffer.

Throwback Thursday: A Fun Family Idea

Throwback Thursday. #TBT. Every week on Thursdays you will find people posting pictures from their past. It’s such a fun way to remember years gone by.

Last week our daughters were visiting from Arizona, and on Thursday we decided to do #TBT a bit differently. Instead of just posting pics, we decided to take a trip down memory lane. We spent the entire day driving to spots that we went to often when the girls were little. We went to the local beach we enjoyed picnicking at, had lunch at our favorite pizzeria, visited their elementary and middle schools, took a stroll in one of our favorite parks, went to the mall, and got pastries from our favorite bakery. It was so much fun sharing stories and reliving memories. It gave a whole new meaning to Throwback Thursday. I’d encourage you to try it out with your family.

Would love to hear your feedback.

  • What are fun things you do/did as a family to build memories?
  • If you try this activity, let us know how it went.