Tuesday Mind Dump (10/12/21)

October 12, 2021  |  Luke Simmons

• Been a really fun last few weeks.

• Definitely some challenges and disappointments as well — the biggest being that some of our extended family was going to visit but had to cancel after coming down with Covid.

• And some people I know well and love are going through some tough stuff.

• Despite that, though, there have been a lot of things I’ve been grateful for.

• For one thing, our guy Hank turned 5 a few weeks ago.

• When a kid turns 5, it feels like they move from being a little kid to just being a kid.

• So it’s a little weird that we no longer have any little kids.

• But we had a good time with him and he enjoyed the day.

• The other kids had a good fall break, despite our family not being able to come visit.

• Then last week was a blast with everything that happened in our congregation’s gift to Living Stone Community Church in Eastmark.

• See more in the video below:

• It really was a “wow” and so cool.

• Last week I spent a couple of days in some offsite meetings with our all-Redemption executive team, and it was really helpful and productive.

• We’re seeing this current season as one of covenant renewal and are working to re-clarify and re-structure some things in the process.

• I love those leaders and it was fun to feel like we made some progress.

• Then Sunday we got to have Josh Watt back here to preach for the first time since planting Redemption North Mountain.

• I see him almost every week but was the first time a lot of people got to see him in a while.

• And the first time ever seeing him for a lot of our newer people.

• I thought his message was really clear and moving.

• Then yesterday was my 42nd birthday, and it was a nice day.

• Worked the day like normal, but then had a nice family dinner — we got some Vero deep dish pizza and a Costco pumpkin pie, which are both about as good as it gets.

• I received a number of nice gifts — including a nice gift for our upcoming trip, some clothes, and the new NBA2K22 game(!) — but a highlight was the picture that Molly commissioned Caitlin to draw.

• You can see it and read about it below…

• When I first opened it, I thought it was just a nice drawing Caitlin had done.

• And then, as I looked closer, I saw the turtle on the fence post.

• It brought me to tears.

• It’s now hanging in my office, and I love it!

• Now today is that day before you go on vacation — you know, the one where you get a bunch of stuff done?

• Molly and I are heading to New York for a week for our 20th anniversary (the anniversary is actually in December, but we wanted to go now and experience the fall weather).

• We are SO excited.

• I was there once for a few days and Molly has never been there.

• Our plan is basically to explore a different neighborhood or part of the city each day we’re there.

• Plus we’ll see “Come From Away” on Broadway and do a few of the other touristy things.

• I’ve asked some close friends with NYC experience to give me their top 3 things (knowing that if I asked for 3, I’d actually get 5)

• So we’ll mix some of that in too, though I’m 100% sure we won’t get to all of it.

• We’re pumped about New York, but mostly I’m excited about us both having a lot of undistracted time together.

• I’ll fill y’all in on how it went when we get back.

• Oh, and cheers to my parents, and a number of others who are caring for our kids and helping shuttle them all over the East Valley while we’re gone.

• Before I sign off, some recommendations and links…

• I was happy to be interviewed with Geoffrey Wilcoxson to talk about what it’s like to do the job of a pastor. (Apple | Spotify)

• Molly and I have loved Ted Lasso and recently finished the second season — I really appreciated these Twitter threads diving into some of the character dynamics (click through to read the whole thread). Mike Cosper produces the Rise and Fall of Mars Hill podcast and Steve Cuss coaches leaders on family system theory.

• Some other tweets that caught my attention semi-recently…

• And on a more serious note…

• Our family watched America’s Got Talent this year, mostly through YouTube clips — here’s the guy who won, Dustin Tavella. He’s amazing and when I first saw his act, I thought, “That guy is a Christian.” Just something I sensed. Turns out he is, and it’s fun to see how his faith informs his act in a winsome way. Plus, how does he do this stuff?!?!?!

• This was funny and very well made.

• I went down a little bit of a Norm Macdonald YouTube wormhole after he passed away recently, and this was one of my favorite things I found…

• Some other podcast episodes I liked recently…

• Alright, y’all, that’s probably enough for today.

• All of life is all for Jesus!