Monday Mind Dump (2/4/19)

Luke Simmons / February 4, 2019
mind dump

It’s been a while since I wrote a mind-dump post, but inspiration struck. So here goes!

  • Super Bowl was pretty boring last night.
  • I can remember when the Super Bowl used to be a blowout every year, so I at least appreciated that it was a close game.
  • I didn’t really care too much who won – so that means I root for the offense.
  • Made for a long night, since neither team could really move the ball.
  • The commercials seemed OK, but none that really stood out to me.
  • Except I’m now 100% sure that Bud Light does not have corn syrup.
  • This had not been a top-of-mind concern for me, but now I know.
  • Lots of people have asked me recently how I’m doing in light of Tom Shrader’s passing a few weeks ago and funeral this past Saturday (you can watch the service here – starts around 13 minutes in).
  • I think I’m doing pretty well, but it’s been a very weird last three weeks.
  • We had the excitement of our 10th Anniversary and nearly 400 people taking a new step to serve, immediately followed by news of Tom’s passing.
  • The following Wednesday we had a gathering of pastors and leaders from all nine Redemption congregations and spent a lot of time reflecting on Tom.
  • Then that Sunday I preached on “What God Gave Gateway Through Tom Shrader.”
  • As a verbal processor, all this really helped me – and drained me.
  • Molly and I had a nice getaway the following weekend, which helped us re-energize a bit, and then last week was really full and fun with our first round of Launch Team training.
  • So when Tom’s service this past Saturday rolled around, I hadn’t been thinking a ton about all of it.
  • But Saturday turned out to be, wonderfully, very emotional.
  • It was a beautiful service and I was honored to have a small role in it.
  • Got to see so many people from various circles of life and it felt like a big reunion.
  • The only problem was there were more people I wanted to talk to than time I had.
  • Maybe in the New Heavens and Earth we’ll see all these people you know and love and actually have time to catch up and enjoy each other?
  • I continue to be exceedingly grateful for Tom and thankful to God for putting him in my life.
  • And I’ve been praying that each of my kids would someday have a Tom-like figure in their lives.
  • Not everybody gets one, and I feel lucky.
  • At this point my sadness is pretty much around two main things…
  • One is that I keep having things I’d like to tell Tom, send to him, share with him, etc.
  • I keep seeing funny tweets and think, “I should send that to Tom” and then realize I can’t.
  • Second is the reality that C.S. Lewis wrote about and Tyler spoke about at the service that, as Lewis says, “In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out.”
  • So many of my best friends and closest colleagues were shaped deeply by Tom as well.
  • He was central in many ways to our relationships.
  • And I’m sad at not only what I lost in Tom, but what has been lost in all of them that only Tom could bring out.
  • Time will tell what those things are, but knowing that it’s true makes me sad.
  • God was glorified in Tom’s life and in the service on Saturday.
  • One theme kept emerging: “It’s all about Jesus.”
  • That’s a pretty good way to finish.
  • Some other things on my mind…
  • We’re in the process of redoing the church’s website and, thus, moved our sermons to our YouTube channel.
  • Go ahead and subscribe and you can see all the latest content when it posts.
  • I’m also having a blast with our staff right now.
  • We had an amazing staff retreat in December to Juarez and then a few more great people have joined us since.
  • There seems to be a real chemistry and camaraderie, which is awesome, especially when I consider that our staff is larger than it’s ever been.
  • Rather than breaking into silos, it really feels like we’re one team made up of smaller teams.
  • We’ve also been focused on a new mantra for this season that I think is challenging all of us and leading us into prayer and dependence.
  • (You’ll have to ask a staff member about it if you’re interested).
  • Last weeks’ Launch Team trainings really energized me, and I feel like this next season is going to be a lot of fun.
  • Well, that’s probably enough for now.
  • Have a great week!

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