Monday Mind Dump (3/28/16)

March 28, 2016  |  Luke Simmons

  • Happy day after Easter!
  • He is (still) risen.
  • What a tremendous weekend.
  • Really started Thursday night when I took my 7 year-old Caitlin to the rehearsal for Good Friday.
  • She was one of the Scripture readers and needed to get her bearings on the stage and with the microphone.
  • She worked really hard at it and ended up doing a wonderful job.
  • A lot of people can’t tell her and Abby apart, so Abby also got lots of compliments on her reading.
  • All the readers were tremendous and I was really blessed by our Good Friday service.
  • A lot of folks have asked about the closing video.
  • It was flat-out amazing.
  • I can’t even begin to understand how you could come up with that.
  • It came from Passion City Church and Passion Conferences and they made it available to churches for free.
  • Good Friday is always one of my favorite services of the year because of its emphasis and its uniqueness.
  • Then Saturday we mostly took it easy.
  • Molly and I rented Daddy’s Home with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.
  • Totally struck our funny bones.
  • One of my favorite thing in the world is watching Molly LOSE IT laughing.
  • So much fun.
  • The night before Easter our little Mary kept waking up crying, which is highly unusual.
  • And then one of our smoke alarms started chirping in the middle of the night.
  • I kept laying in bed awake thinking about how the enemy may try to stop us, but that Jesus has already defeated him.
  • Kind of fun, really.
  • And then yesterday…Easter…wow.
  • What an amazing day.
  • There was so much to be thankful for…
  • I loved hearing the stories of a number of new and recent Christians who were baptized.
  • A lot of the stories I knew, but in almost all of them there were new things I’d never known about.
  • Every time I see stuff like that I think, “This is why I live here.”
  • Really fun to see so many people volunteer and create a welcoming environment.
  • I met a TON of new people, almost all of whom had been invited by a friend.
  • And a lot of them went out of their way to say they would come back.
  • I love the combination of exuberant celebration from committed Christians and the silent watching of new guests.
  • It’s a powerful witness about the significance of Jesus.
  • I loved preaching about why we should want the resurrection to be true.
  • Like a fresh breath of the real world we live in, where Jesus is King and makes all things new.
  • It was great how our folks responded to the request to come at 7:00am or 11:30am.
  • All four services were well attended and the last one had standing room only.
  • So cool to see how our committed folks (especially men) eagerly gave up their seats for guests.
  • I went back and checked our records, and we had more people (500+) in the 11:30 service (not including kids) than the total number (including kids) we had our first Easter (about 450).
  • That blows my mind.
  • All told, it was over 1,900 people (including kids) for the day.
  • And our volunteers and team handled it all so well.
  • Really proud of them.
  • When you do the math, there were 70% more people than a typical Sunday.
  • Really makes me wonder how many people total consider Gateway their “home” church, even if they only attend once a month or so.
  • Would be fascinating to know how all that stuff breaks down–not sure we’ll ever know.
  • Either way, it’s a huge privilege to minister to all those people with the love and truth of the gospel.
  • I’ve been hearing great reports from our other Redemption congregations and other churches we’re connected to.
  • It’s easy to overestimate the impact of one day, but I don’t want to underestimate it either.
  • God uses all this stuff–the big days and the ordinary ones–to bless and build his church.
  • And then you hear about attacks like the one in Pakistan yesterday that targeted and killed Christians.
  • Despite that kind of evil, Jesus reigns and rules.
  • And nothing will stop him, whether petty things like preachers who can’t sleep the night before Easter or serious things like his people being killed.
  • Jesus continues to reign and rule.
  • He’s initiated the world we all long for by destroying the sting of death — and the day is coming when it will all be made right.
  • This week we begin a new series on Titus.
  • I’ll write a post later this week introducing it, but I’m looking forward to it. Been a while since we’ve been in a New Testament letter, and they’re always enjoyable to study.
  • Plus, since a lot of folks don’t seem that familiar with Titus, I think it will really nourish our church.
  • And I have something fun to announce on Sunday.
  • Well, have a great week.
  • All of life is all for Jesus.