Monday Mind Dump (7/19/21)

July 19, 2021  |  Luke Simmons

• Great to be back at it!

• Been a fun last month of ministry and vacation.

• About a month ago I was in San Diego for the summer camp that Gateway was attending, along with four other Redemption congregations.

• I went to be an encouragement to the students, staff, and mentors.

• Plus, Molly and I got to stay with the new-ish Lead Pastor from R/Peoria, Jon Demeter, and his wife, Tree.

• Really great getting time with them, encouraging one another, and experiencing some of this “better together” that we talk about.

• Camp was great too — here’s a little video from one of the students that has some highlights.

• After camp, our family went to Toledo, Ohio to visit Molly’s family for a couple of weeks.

• We’ve made it a bit of a tradition, and it’s a great time of year to go there.

• We’ve realized that the 4th of July is one of our favorite holidays — as long as we’re not in Arizona for it.

• Some of the highlights:

• Our kids hanging out with a bunch of their cousins

• Going to Cedar Point, one of the best roller coaster parks in the world

• Enjoying my brother-in-law’s incredible backyard pizza oven

• Hank getting to play hockey (kind of) with his Uncle Mike and cousins — and they handed down some pretty sweet gear

• Walking a lot around Wildwood Metropark, one of my favorite places on the planet

• Mary losing her two front teeth

• Hank catching his first fish

• Getting to see my Gram for a few hours

• Celebrating Abby and Mary’s birthdays — with a special cake made by their sister and cousin

• Showing the kids the baseball field at Michigan, where I played a number of games

• Hanging at one of my favorite coffee shops with Abby

• Watching Molly be surrounded by all of her favorite people

• We had a really sweet time, but it was still nice to get back home.

• As soon as I got back, I found out that I won something really cool… more details to come so stay tuned!

• Then last week it was just really nice to catch up some with folks from our staff — such a fun group.

• And really nice to get back into the pulpit.

• I was only gone for two weeks, but that’s enough time to build up some hunger to get back to it.

• Yesterday’s sermon was intense and important — and I needed it as much as anybody. (watch it here)

• Then I jetted out real quick to take Hank to his first big-league baseball game.

• It was Molly’s gift to me for Father’s Day to take Hank to see his favorite team, the Cubs.

• We had built it up pretty significantly and it did not disappoint.

• He wanted to stay through the whole game, and there were enough diversions — concessions, kids wiffle ball, walking around — to keep it interesting for a full three hours

• Plus it was a great game that came down to the wire.

• You can see a recap of the day here.

• I’m looking forward to our covenant members potluck tonight — been way more than a year since we had one of those and I think it will be good to have that time together to fellowship, pray, and encourage each other.

• As I wrap up, a few recommendations…

• I’m really appreciating Christianity Today’s podcast, The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill

• It’s very well produced and I think is doing a fair job of presenting the good and bad of one of the most influential churches in America in the last twenty years.

• It’s also striking a chord in me that’s pretty deep.

• I haven’t entirely processed my emotions around it, but each episode has been pretty stirring.

• I think a lot of it has to do with the relative proximity I had to Mars Hill and Driscoll in the early days of planting our church since we were part of the Acts29 network.

• Maybe once I have my thoughts together I’ll share more, but in the meantime, it’s worth checking out.

• If you get a chance, be sure to watch the newest 30 for 30 film, Breakaway, about Maya Moore and Jonathan Irons — they are solid believers who beautifully demonstrate how faith in Jesus has significant implications for what we sacrifice for.

• Here’s a trailer:

• This is GOLD — especially his line at the end (you’re going to hear that around the Simmons household)

• This distinction got me thinking…

• I think Anthony Bradley is on to something

• Co-sign

• If you’re on Twitter, be sure to follow Ray Ortlund — he will encourage your socks off

• An important reminder for parents:

• Well, that’s it for today.

• Hope you have a week of trusting Jesus — the only One who can save you from sin and shame.

• All of life is all for Jesus.