Monday Mind Dump (3/2/20)

Luke Simmons / March 2, 2020
mind dump

  • Happy March!
  • Crazy that it’s already here, but you can feel it in the air.
  • Yesterday the lobby at Gateway was open and there was a phenomenal spring breeze pouring through.
  • I can tell it’s spring by the number of family members that are soon arriving.
  • My in-laws arrive tomorrow for a few weeks, and more folks visiting in April.
  • Makes for a fun time of year.
  • Had a really good time preaching yesterday on Jesus as the only way to be forgiven of sin and reconciled with God (see it here).
  • I walked away from it amazed by Jesus’ grace to me, and more deeply convinced that the big issue when it comes to the exclusivity of Christianity is the resurrection of Jesus.
  • A few books that were helpful:
  • Butler has been especially helpful on a personal level.
  • Since he’s a pastor at Redemption Tempe, he’s a big contributor to our weekly Preaching Collectives.
  • It’s pretty cool to frequently have an issue come up and he says, “here’s a chapter I wrote about that…”
  • Seeing “reckless” in his subtitle makes me want to address a critique we get sometimes about the song, “Reckless Love” by Cory Asbury.
  • The critique is that we shouldn’t sing that song since the dictionary defines “reckless” as “without thinking or caring about consequences of an action.”
  • Some folks make this argument in funny (but not meant to be funny) ways (like this), and others in more serious ways (like John Piper).
  • I love the song — and approve it for our congregational singing — because it’s an artistic expression based off of Luke 15, where God is seen as pursuing his people like a woman who loses a coin, a shepherd who loses a sheep, and a father who loses a son (that son is often called “the prodigal son”)
  • Prodigal is a word that means “recklessly extravagant,” and it comes from the KJV translation of Luke 15:13.
  • But as you read the story, you see that the true prodigal is the father — he’s the one who chases down his son, and exposes himself to the shame and humiliation that his son deserves.
  • This is the picture of God’s love — not that it’s without thinking, but that it’s willing to be recklessly extravagant in extending grace to sinners like us.
  • You may not agree, but that’s why we sing that song.
  • Didn’t expect to go there, but that’s why I call it a “mind dump.”
  • The other big thing on my mind is related to our staff adjustments and realignments in light of Josh Watt leaving soon to plant a new congregation.
  • We’re overdue for some staff restructuring anyway, and this makes sense as a time to do it.
  • Seems like we have a number of good options for filling the gaps Watt is leaving in addition to what we’ve already done (moved Joshua Ruiz to oversee students and brought Robbin Howey to full-time to provide administrative direction).
  • I won’t get into details here — but if you think of it, please pray for God’s wisdom and leading as we move forward.
  • Another big thing on my mind is my Easter sermon.
  • I’m planning to do the “History of Redemption” sermon that I last did on Easter 2015.
  • It’s about 25 minutes of only Scripture that goes through the whole biblical story.
  • It’s a lot to memorize, but it’s also really fun and I think will be a blessing for folks this Easter.
  • Again, if you think of it, pray for me.
  • This is a fun time of year as a family and church.
  • Hope we can make the most of it.
  • Have a great week! — all of life is all for Jesus.