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.

Books I Read in 2019

It was a light reading year for me. I needed to let my mind breathe a bit.

  1. All-American Murder by James Patterson
  2. A Serial Killer’s Daughter by Kerri Rawson
  3. A Spirituality of Fundraising by Henri J. M. Nouwen
  4. Bad Christian Great Savior by Matt Carter, Toby Morrell, and Joey Svendsen
  5. Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller
  6. Didn’t See It Coming by Carey Nieuwhof
  7. Falling Upward by Richard Rohr
  8. Filthy Rich by James Patterson
  9. Growing Givers’ Hearts by Thomas G. Jeavons
  10. Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain by Charles R. Cross
  11. Kings X: The Oral History by Greg Prato
  12. Masters of Modern Soccer by Grant Wahl
  13. People Raising by William P. Dillon
  14. Summit Fever by Andrew Greig
  15. Talk Like Ted by Carmine Gallo
  16. Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle
  17. The God Ask by Steve Shadrach
  18. The Mastermind by Evan Ratliff
  19. The Story of Layla and Majnun by Nizami
  20. Van Gogh: The Life by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith
  21. Why We Eat Our Own by Michael Cheshire

Speaking for Compassion

I am happy to announce that I am now a part of the Compassion International speaking team. What this means is that I will advocating for children around the world who are stuck in poverty by inviting people to become child sponsors at my speaking engagements as I have opportunity to do so. Children like Leonardo, the 6 year old little boy from Mexico that our family sponsors. For just $38/month Leonardo is able to receive life-changing opportunities such as:

  • an opportunity to attend or stay in school
  • medical care, which often saves lives
  • nourishing food
  • mentoring and a safe environment through a local evangelical church
  • and most important, opportunities to hear the gospel.

If you would like to support a child today, please contact me or visit the Compassion website to begin today.

Natalia’s Homerun

Natalia crushed this beautiful line-drive homerun over the fence in left center en route to a 5-3 win over Great Neck North today.

Looking Back: 10 Life Lessons Learned on Mission Trips

Having led approximately 40 mission trips over the past 20 years, I can tell you, thankfully, the answer is a resounding yes! But you don’t have to take my word for it. I conducted a brief survey asking people who went on mission trips more than 10 years ago (for most, 20 years ago) to look back on their mission trip experiences and share the life lessons they learned which have continued to guide and shape their lives all these years later.

Click here to see what they said.

How to Engage Youth in Service

“What is the name of your church again?” she asked. I repeated the name for a second time.

“And where is it located?”

“Just a half mile up the road from here,” I replied.

“Huh, never heard of it.”

Her words made me realize things had to change.

Read the full article here.