Wednesday Mind Dump (8/3/16)

Luke Simmons / August 3, 2016
jesus, mind dump, mission, politics

  • Kind of a lot on my mind these days, but probably even more than I can take time to write.
  • Guess I’ll start with talking church stuff.
  • Have really enjoyed some good meetings with leaders, talking about the future of our church and discussing how we can continually to steward God’s blessing to us.
  • In so many ways, I rejoice in the fact that we’re a very average church filled with lots of average people.
  • None of us are all that impressive, flashy, or anything.
  • But in other ways, I see that we’re actually not that average–there’s something actually really special and remarkable when average people surrender to Jesus and use their vocations, time, money, and energy for the glory of God and the good of others.
  • I see it all over our church and it amazes me.
  • We’re in a sweet season right now where new people keep coming and enjoying the refreshment of the gospel and a culture shaped by it.
  • We’re also in a place where, as we prepare for the future and building a new campus, we have plenty of time (won’t move until mid-2019) to be able to focus on care in people, training leaders, aligning our staff, and preparing for who God will bring us in the future.
  • It’s fun.
  • Speaking of fun, had such a great day yesterday with our pastors and some volunteers leaders walking through the story of the Bible with Chris Gonzalez from Missio Dei Communities.
  • Chris has such generosity of spirit and has been so deeply formed by the gospel story that it’s a delight to be with him.
  • It was an experience that I think we’ll soon be reproducing at Gateway both to share the gospel with non-Christians and disciple Christians.
  • Amazing to see the threads that run through the whole Bible and find their culmination in Jesus the King.
  • It was a good tie-in with my sermon from Sunday, which was also a lot of fun.
  • Psalm 96 is a passage I’ve been soaking in since my sabbatical last year, so it was really enjoyable to get to bring it to bear for our folks.
  • This recording of Psalm 96 has been one of the main ways I’ve been soaking in it.
  • I touched a bit on some of the issues of racial injustice and tensions between communities and police toward the end of the sermon.
  • I’m still very much processing and listening to wise, experienced people related to those issues, but I was glad to be able to talk–even if briefly–about it.
  • Another thing that I’m wrestling with, as are a lot of people, is how to make sense of the election that’s happening in around 100 days.
  • Lots of people ask me my thoughts about the election (especially Trump) and occasionally I post some things on social media or engage in some discussion, but I’m still formulating my opinions and debating the degree to which they would be valuable to share more broadly.
  • Some aspects of it are very clear in my head–others less so.
  • How’s that for a tease?
  • Since the race will basically come down to Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, and North Carolina, I’m not even sure how much what I do will matter for the outcome.
  • But it does matter in terms of worldview formation and engaging with the culture in a way that loves our neighbors.
  • Who knows…maybe I’ll say more…or maybe I won’t.
  • (Here’s a request for those of you who are following the election…Would you please send me via email or social media ONE article that you’ve read that you’ve found to be the most compelling or important in shaping your thinking so far on the race? Again, please send only ONE. Don’t bombard me, please.)
  • On the family front, my older two girls begin school tomorrow and are quite excited about it.
  • They’re at a new school this year and I think it will be a good experience for them.
  • We’re just 7 weeks out from baby #4, so the reality of all of it is starting to sink in.
  • Always hard to fully appreciate how much another kid will change your life, but I know it will.
  • We have a boy’s name and I think are getting close on a girl’s.
  • This whole thing is a different ballgame when you don’t know the sex of the baby.
  • Should be interesting.
  • Finally, let me share a funny story.
  • I’m teaching a class right now called “3 Life-Changing Practices.”
  • This Monday we were talking about prayer and I created a few different prayer experiences for people to test out.
  • One involved a prayer walk where, among other things, folks went out back to the dumpster to confess sin, using the dirtiness and smell of the dumpster as a way to remind ourselves of the ugliness of sin.
  • Well, later that night we got a Facebook message from a mom who has a daughter at the dance studio and whose son saw us and was scared that we had found something bad out there.
  • I’m sure we looked pretty odd just standing around a dumpster praying.
  • Anyway, we responded to explain the situation and tell her that all was OK, but it was still pretty funny.
  • She may wonder what kind of trash cult we’re operating…
  • Alright, time to get to some other things.
  • Thanks for reading.
  • All of life is all for Jesus.

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