Tuesday Mind Dump (5/4/21)

May 4, 2021  |  Luke Simmons

• Man, so good to be back at Gateway this past Sunday!

• There’s just no place like home.

• The service was simple and sweet, and I had a great time preaching. (watch here)

• Most of all, it was nice to see dear friends and have some good conversations.

• It was fun to put the sermon together in light of the preaching workshop we did with Larry Osborne last week (last week’s mind-dump had some highlights)

• One of the glacier aspects of preaching for me (rather than an avalanche) is reminding us that God is sovereign even over pain, suffering, and sin.

• It’s something I talk about frequently, but I think we need to keep hearing it.

• I’m convinced that if we preach good news to people in pain, there will always be an audience.

• Just so much pain in the world — and in our lives.

• Just in the last few weeks, I’ve spent time with people navigating how to care for a baby with epilepsy, processing grief from miscarriage, navigating recurring marital pain, dealing with the total breakdown of marriage, and more.

• And though this isn’t as traumatic as those things, on Friday, I had a sad conversation with some Gateway friends who are going to head to another church.

• I think it’s probably the best thing for them, but it’s still tough and sad.

• And, as I get older, I just am more aware that pain and loss are just so much part of life in this fallen world.

• I think it’s making me more tender and compassionate, but I can see how it could easily make me more jaded or cynical.

• Perhaps that’s the difference between faith and unbelief — as your faith grows, you become less cynical.

• Also plenty of fun things in the last few weeks.

• On Friday, I went down to the Windmill Winery in Florence to officiate a wedding.

• You didn’t know there was a winery in Florence, did you?!

• Yup, there’s more than just prisons (but not much)

• It was a cool venue and a happy couple.

• Also got to coach some t-ball — which is happier for me and Hank than most kids.

• So, life is filled with rejoicing and grieving.

• We have to cling to Jesus, so we don’t get jaded.

• We also need to hear encouraging stories that keep us going.

• That’s what’s behind a new project that is being produced by Redemption’s communications team called “The Stories Around Us.”

• Here’s an AMAZING first episode:

• It will encourage you like crazy.

• Another thing that keeps me going is music.

• And in our house, there’s been a ton of anticipation for Elevation Worship and Maverick City Music’s new album, “Old Church Basement.”

• When it released on Friday, Abby and I went on a 90 minute walk and listened to it together.

• Every song is good, and some are phenomenal.

• The video from the title track just came out — and it brings back a lot of feelings of God’s faithfulness and grace over the years.

• My favorite song, though, is “Shall Not Want”

• Some of you will remember those overhead projector lyrics! 😆

• Such a good reminder that we have a Good Shepherd who will take care of us, lead us, feed us, and keep us encouraged — even in the valley.

• As the line says, “The green only grows in the valley and that’s where you are.”

• So good.

• No matter what you’re facing… keep looking to Jesus.

• All of life is all for him.