Monday Mind Dump (2/22/21)

February 22, 2021  |  Luke Simmons

• Happy Monday!

• Another fun and soccer-filled weekend for the Simmons family is in the books.

• Just as I’m actually getting to enjoy a full day outside at the soccer games, it’s about to come to an end.

• Had a special Friday with Hank and my dad.

• For Christmas, we gave my dad a “bro day” with three generations of Simmons men.

• Started out with coffee and a snack (Hank ordered a strawberry smoothie and asked them to make it “extra cold”).

• Then headed up to D-Bat in Scottsdale — it’s an incredible indoor baseball/softball training facility owned by some friends from Gateway.

• We all got some swings in, played catch, and had a lot of fun.

• Hank thought his dad was a pretty good hitter, which made me happy. 🙂

• He hit the ball pretty well too — makes me look forward to our upcoming t-ball season.

• There were some minor-league guys working out there too — but, like a sweet kid, Hank didn’t really care.

• Just wanted to be with his dad and grandpa.

• Then we headed to Peter Piper for lunch and games — a bunch of games were out of order from COVID, but we still had fun.

• Other than that, it was a pretty chill week and weekend without a lot of extra stuff scheduled.

• Kind of nice, given how this week is a bit more filled with some action — the Tuesday night Inside Redemption Live event, plus a short trip to Flagstaff to visit our leaders up there.

• Speaking of the Inside Redemption Live event, here are the details…

• This will hopefully be the first of these events, each one focused on a different topic or conversation, but this one focused on the Gospel and Race.

• This is our first topic, not because it’s the only thing we care about, but because we’ve had so many questions about our convictions and about what we hope to see happen.

• So the night will be three conversations.

• The first one will be moderated by me and will feature pastors from across Redemption and we’ll talk about how our convictions flow out of the gospel — as well as make available a more detailed written set of affirmations and denials on the topic.

• The next conversation will be moderated by Aaron Dailey and will feature men and women from across Redemption who are prioritizing leaning into proximity to people different from them.

• The final conversation will be with me and Tyler Johnson, the movement leader for Redemption, trying to land on a good bottom line.

• We’ll also have some prayers and a song.

• It’s designed to be mostly an online event, streamed here:

• Some folks will be in-person (available with pre-registration)

• The video will be available afterward at www.youtube.com/RedemptionChurchAZ

• We’ll also make the audio from the conversations available (as well as some other resources on our Inside Redemption podcast — available on iTunes, Spotify, or anywhere else you listen).

• I’m praying fervently for the event, and I’m not expecting it to be perfect.

• I have every expectation that everyone who listens will have something that they don’t fully agree with.

• It’s a conversation related to race — how could it be any other way?!

• But I do hope that those who watch and listen will be patient, gracious, and thoughtful.

• There’s so much to learn from each other about all of it.

• Other than that…

• I was so encouraged by yesterday at Gateway.

• Lots of people — including some people who came back for the first time in-person after being vaccinated — and it was sweet to see the volunteer fair in action.

• As much as anything, it was just fun to have an outdoor event and it felt like there was a sweet buzz of love and activity.

• Also made me really excited for the Church Picnic we’re doing on Sunday, March 21!

• We have the most beautiful campus, especially in the AZ spring, and it was rendered useless last year by COVID.

• So this year, we’re making up for lost time with the church picnic, and then Good Friday and Easter will both be outdoors (you heard it here first).

• Good Friday will be in the round in the courtyard, and Easter will be out on the lawn.

• More details coming, but we’re less than six weeks away!

• If there was ever a year to rejoice that Jesus conquered death and is making all things new, this is the year.

• I think that’s a good place to end.

• Have a great week and stay focused on Jesus.