Books I Read in 2018

  1. A Cook’s Tour by Anthony Bourdaine
  2. Across the River and Into the Woods by Ernest Hemingway
  3. A Hobbit Journey: Discovering the Enchantment of JRR Tolkien’s Middle-Earth by Matthew Dickerson
  4. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
  5. American Gangster by Max Allan Collins
  6. A Stranger In The Woods by Michael Finkel
  7. Breaking Cover: My Secret Life in the CIA by Michele Rigby Assad
  8. Egypt: Travels with my Camera by Jane Barrett
  9. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry
  10. Ernest Hemingway: A Biography by Mary V. Dearborn
  11. Hiking and Backpackingby Karen Berger
  12. Lord of The Flies by William Golding
  13. Muslims Next Door: Uncovering Myths and Creating Friendships by Shirin Taber
  14. Robin Williams: When the Laughter Stops by Emily Herbert
  15. Spiritual Grit by Rick Lawrence
  16. The Beautiful and Damnedby F. Scott Fitzgerald
  17. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  18. The Lays of Beleriand by JRR Tolkien
  19. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  20. The Story of Layla and Majnun by Nizami
  21. The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom
  22. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Work Situation Update

Hi Friends! Many of you already know, but to some this is new. As of the end of May I am no longer working at Shelter Rock Church. This is the short version as to why: For a couple of years we were moving toward me moving over into something else; something of a teaching pastor or campus pastor, but back in the fall I was informed that they had nothing else I could move into at this point, and that they were pulling me back from my teaching pastor role so I could put all my energy into the youth ministry. This was the opposite direction I had been going, and I had to really assess the situation. After a lot of conversations, this spring I took a one month leave of absence and when I returned I was told they still didn’t have anything and they needed to bring someone on who wants to do youth long term, so they were letting me go. I was very disappointed that things had changed and that they could not find another “seat for me on the bus” in which I could focus on using my primary strengths and gifts of communication, event organization, etc. I am pleased that they were able to bring on Peter Ladenheim, a young man I have been mentoring since he was in 7th grade. He is an excellent emerging leader and I wish him nothing but the best. I could not ask for a better successor. As for us, we do not know where we are going or what we will be doing. I do know that I want to live in my strengths of communicating, creating, and networking. If you know of anything that might be a good fit, please feel free to contact me at

Spartan Race

So enjoyed running the Spartan Race at Citi Field for the second year with Natalia. I am down 47 pounds from last year’s race, and I really felt the difference.

Let’s Ride Discipleship Road Trip 2018 Day 4

On Tuesday we drove to Brooklyn and unloaded at Living Waters Church where were staying. After lunch we took the subway into Manhattan where we went up to the top of Freedom Tower. We spent N hour taking in the amazing views. We then went to a park before heading to the Bowery Mission where we led about 100 people in chapel. Caitlin and Natalia sang a few worship songs beautifully, Peter preached, and we all prayed for folks who came forward to share their prayer requests with us. After service we went to Times Square, had dinner outside (so beautiful out!) then Carol Doody surprised us and took us up to her office where we were able to look down on the New Year’s Ball. So cool! We came back to Living Waters, made lunches, then had a very good time of deep sharing about our theme of the day, Compassion.

Let’s Ride Discipleship Road Trip Day 3

On Monday our theme was Possibilities. During our drive we watched the movie Miracle about the unlikely upset of the Russian hockey team by the United States during the 1980 Olympics. As soon as the movie ended we arrived in Lake Placid and we visited the very arena in which the upset took place in the Olympic Museum. We also took a ride up Whiteface Mountain on the Cloudsplitter Gondola. Really great! We then spend the night at Community Gospel Church in Albany.

Let’s Ride Discipleship Road Trip 2018 Day 2

On Sunday we attended service at Love Joy Church, the church which hosted us for the night. After church we drove to the Rochester area and visited Elim Bible Institute where we had a tour and learned the almost 200 year history of a campus as a place that has been devoted to helping people discover God’s will for their lives, our theme for the day. We then went to the local classic Tom Wahl’s for dinner where I had arranged a special surprise for the team … Charles and Julia Chu, who recently moved from Long Island to the area, joined us. So fun reconnecting with them. We then went to New Testament Christian Church for the night and enjoyed hanging out with Pastors Jimmy and Laurie Bolton.