Monday Mind Dump (12/9/19)

December 9, 2019  |  Luke Simmons

  • It’s actually feeling a bit like winter here… rain, grey, fog.
  • OK, let’s be real — that’s not winter.
  • But it’s still been a little funky.
  • “Funky” is a good way to describe how I felt yesterday (Sunday).
  • Not sure what it was, but everything just seemed a bit off.
  • I’m normally very excited to see and greet and visit with people, but yesterday I kind of just wanted to be alone.
  • Tried my best to fight through it and love the people I engaged with, but it was a bit of a struggle all day.
  • I’m guessing everyone has days like that too, so hopefully I can get some grace.
  • Other than that, it was a good last week and weekend.
  • We had our staff and elder Christmas party last Tuesday and it was really fun.
  • What’s insane to me is that we had over 70 people there with all elders, paid staff, and spouses.
  • I was laughing this week remembering the first staff Christmas party we had in 2009.
  • It was me and Matthew Braselton and our wives going to dinner and then seeing Avatar in 3D.
  • We couldn’t agree on where to sit for the movie, so the Braseltons sat in the front row of the theater and we sat in the back.
  • Apparently Matthew wanted a much more immersive 3D experience than we did.
  • Anyway, just crazy to think that what started as a 4-person Christmas party is now one where there’s 70+ people.
  • I told our team that by any way it’s measured, 2019 has been a wonderful year for Redemption Gateway but that it didn’t happen without a bunch of those leaders paying a significant price.
  • Lots of extra hours, lots of important decisions, lots of navigating change — in that sense it’s been a difficult year for our leaders and I’m really proud of them.
  • Saw one of the best movies of the year this week too: Parasite.
  • Dang, was it good.
  • It’s not every year that one of my favorite movies is an international film with subtitles, but this was fantastic.
  • So many interesting layers and themes to it, all the while keeping you on your toes with the story.
  • Had the joy of officiating a wedding on Saturday for a young couple in our church.
  • It was at the home where the bride grew up and was a beautiful setting in the desert up in way north Apache Junction.
  • One of my favorite things was seeing the older couple in our church who had counseled and mentored them through the pre-marital process.
  • At the reception, the married couple asked these mentors to pray for them and it was very sweet.
  • I just love that these mentors are using their experience and wisdom to be a blessing to the next generation.
  • Feels totally like what the church should be about.
  • Made it home from the wedding in time to catch the Big Ten championship game with Ohio State and Wisconsin.
  • Great to see the Buckeyes pull out the win after a tough first half (since Illinois consistently stinks and my mom and most of Molly’s family have Ohio State ties, I’m a Buckeye football fan)
  • This college football playoff is shaping up to be pretty epic.
  • In my view, the top three teams could all be a legit #1 seed, and I think it will be fun to see how it shakes out.
  • Feels like Christmas and the New Year are really starting to bear down on us — just a few weeks away.
  • It’s a fun time of year.
  • Molly and I celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary on Sunday.
  • Then it’s full-go toward Christmas Eve services and Christmas with the family.
  • After that we’ll do an “Ask Anything” Sunday on December 29.
  • That’s always a fun week as our directional team answers questions that the congregation texts in.
  • Alright, a few other things to share…
  • Been seeing lots of “best books of 2019” articles coming out: World Magazine, The Gospel Coalition, Russell Moore, Trevin Wax, TGC Editorial Staff, Erik Raymond, Jared Wilson.
  • If you are a serious reader (or want to take a challenge step), be sure to check out Tim Challies’ 2020 Christian Reading Challenge.
  • I decided to pick up Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World’s Largest Religion since I’d heard good things already and it showed up on a number of lists.
  • It will be a good way to prepare for one of our 2020 sermon series on “Controversial Convictions.”
  • I also showed it to my daughters and both of them were interested in reading it.
  • In related but different topics, this was one of the most insightful tweets I’ve seen recently related to politics and religious liberty:
  • I mostly thought it was insightful that secular society (and especially the progressive left) is not arguing for a neutral approach to morality, but rather one that very much resembles the Episcopal church.
  • There is a sense of “orthodoxy” and “heretics” will be persecuted for not falling in line.
  • Oh, 2020, what kind of an election year will you be?
  • And with that, it’s probably time to sign off.
  • Have a great day and week.
  • All of life is all for Jesus.