Monday Mind Dump (3/22/21)

March 22, 2021  |  Luke Simmons

• Dang, yesterday was fun!

• After every service we had a church picnic and it was so, so sweet.

• It was a record attendance since Covid began — by about 300 more than we’ve had up to this point.

• I guess free lunch is a good reason to come to church!

• More seriously, though, when I saw what was happening outside I realized why so many people were hungry for it.

• It wasn’t about the food, but about the community, friendship, laughter, and play — the togetherness in the name of Jesus that makes the church special.

• And, goodness, it was the perfect day for it — warm, sunny, and a slight breeze to keep it from getting too hot.

• After what has felt like a year of fasting, this felt like perhaps the beginning of a year of feasting.

• Just watching people linger and enjoy each other was so massively life-giving.

• And the kids! — to see the kids running around, playing, and enjoying life at church was so cool.

• Years ago we designed our campus to be a great place to be outside, so it was awesome to see it as planned.

• And a fun preview of the Holy Week to come — Good Friday on April 2 in the courtyard and Easter on April 4 on the lawn.

• For our family, Sunday felt like the perfect end to what was an incredible spring break.

• A lot of our vacations are to visit family — which we truly love doing — but it was nice to have some time away with just the six of us.

• We went to San Diego (a little chilly, but still nice) and it was a terrific week.

• I turned off email, Slack, social media, and — most of all — my leadership brain… and just enjoyed the family.

• One of the highlights for the week was that we decided to try a different taco shop each day and rated them to come up with our favorites.

• The winner as a family was The Taco Stand — if you go, get the al pastor burrito, which is just a melt-in-your-mouth delight (their chips are top notch too).

• In a crazy twist, we ran into some AZ friends while we were in line and ended up hanging out that evening.

• A close second was Tacos El Gordo — the food was outstanding and the experience was a cross-cultural delight.

• It was so fun to see my kids navigate a very foreign experience, with the way things are ordered and most things happening in Spanish.

• I also tried lengua (tongue) and cabeza (head), which was good — but not as good as the carne asada and pastor.

• My kids also think it’s funny when me, a pastor, is eating “al pastor.”

• Just for the record, Hank’s favorite dish was the cheese quesadilla from Mike’s Taco Club 😆

• The whole taco tour thing was something everybody really got into and had fun with it.

• Felt like a fun memory-making experience.

• Also had some other fun days hiking in Torrey Pines, riding bikes around Coronado Island, walking through the Gaslamp district, and enjoying the beach.

• I’ll never understand how children can just plunge right into that freezing cold water, but they sure do.

• I’m constantly aware of how brief and precious these days with the family at home are, so I’m deeply thankful for it and try to soak it all up.

• Now I’m trying to get my head around what comes next as I get back to work.

• I get to preach again this Sunday — tackling the story of Jesus healing the blind man in John 9 and then gear up for Easter.

• I can’t tell you how excited I am to only have two Easter services (compared to six services in ’19).

• My in-laws will be here too, which should be pretty special.

• Also working on some all-Redemption projects that feel significant.

• It’s been sweet across Redemption to sense that we’re turning a corner after a tough year and that the leaders are finally feeling some wind at our backs.

• Trials and challenges have a way of bringing you together, and that’s definitely the case for us.

• But I think back to a year ago and realize how fragile everything is.

• We have to keep trusting the Lord and walking by faith, step-by-step.

• Alright… I’ll finish with some recommendations…

• Tim Keller’s article on “Growing My Faith in the Face of Death” is a must-read.

• The always interesting Brett McCracken shares this article on some of the most meaningful music from last March to this March from a Christian perspective.

• I liked the little game that Jimmy Fallon and Jerry Seinfeld played, where Jerry is a life coach:

• This song is a wonderful way to get your heart ready for Easter:

• One of my favorite comedians is Nate Bargatze — saw him a few weeks back in Phoenix — and now he has a new special out on Netflix that’s definitely worth watching.

• I got a great laugh out of this tweet — kind of doubt I’ll ever have a sermon that moves people that quickly!

• This is also pretty insane…

• And, finally, Seth and my recent episode of the King & Culture podcast was pretty fascinating — on how foreskin, semen, and menstruation all connect with baptism and the people of God.

• That’s it — have a great day!

• All of life is all for Jesus.