• Man, been a great last week.
• I have to guess that the huge amount of rain and multiple days of lower temperatures had a lot to do with it.
• There was so much rain that I saw people playing water polo and kayaking in one of the retention basins in our neighborhood.
• I thought it was funny — and pretty dang gross.
• A few days into the storms, I was thinking that maybe this was going to just be the end of hot temps for the summer.
• Amazing the lies we can tell ourselves! 😆
• But all in all, that was pretty great.
• Another highlight last week was our covenant members potluck on Monday night.
• Was the first time in more than a year that we’ve been able to do a members potluck (we’ve had members gatherings, but this was the first one with food).
• It was so sweet to see people lingering, talking, laughing, and enjoying each other.
• We ate, shared some stories of God’s work among us, prayed, and I shared some vision and update stuff.
• Part of what I shared is that for the last few months I’ve been spending about half my time working as the Executive Pastor for Redemption as a whole.
• Over the last year it became clear that we needed more leadership to help us implement our vision and communicate well, and I kind of naturally moved in that direction.
• So I’m continuing to lead Gateway overall, preach as much as normal, and participate in the life of the staff at Gateway, but Seth and Matthew have taken some of the day-to-day leadership and oversight off my plate.
• I’m still adjusting to it, but it’s going pretty well so far.
• At the potluck, I also shared a handful of my biggest prayers for Gateway:
1. To be moved by the beauty of Jesus
2. To overcome the temptations to find our allegiances and loyalties outside of Christ
3. To see our friends and family members meet Jesus through our ministry
4. To show our kids and students that Jesus loves them and is enough for them
5. To depend on the Spirit — not our resources, power, or strength
• To the degree we experience answers to those prayers, we’ll also have a lot of joy and delight.
• Had a handful of very meaningful meetings and conversations last week as well with people and leaders in our church.
• Some of them were really tough as people are dealing with pain and challenges, and others were really encouraging.
• In it all, I just try to look for God’s fingerprints and faithfulness — and you can see them when you look.
• Had a good time finishing the book of Nehemiah this past Sunday (watch here)
• Was originally going to do chapters 10-12 last Sunday and then chapter 13 this Sunday, but they just fit so well together that I combined it.
• Now we’ll jump back into the gospel of John for about a month, I’ll do a special stand-alone sermon for Fuse (our in-town student camp), and then in September we’ll begin/resume a series called Countercultural Convictions.
• It’s a series we just started when Covid hit in March 2020 — finally circling back to it.
• Should be a fun fall of preaching and digging into God’s word.
• I’ve already enjoyed getting back into John and looking forward to it this Sunday.
• Was also a fun week for watching some interesting stuff.
• The best thing I saw was the new Nicolas Cage movie, Pig (trailer here)
• I can’t quit thinking about certain scenes in it, and I think it’s maybe my favorite movie over the last year or two.
• Also got started on season one of Ted Lasso, which a bunch of people kept telling me was a good show.
• It’s got lots of British humor, swearing, etc, but the main character is just really amazing and Molly and I have enjoyed it thus far.
• Then the Olympics kicked off this weekend, which we’ve (mostly) enjoyed.
• Normally I love watching the opening ceremonies, but this year it was atrocious.
• Watching it with an empty stadium and seemingly endless reminders about Covid and all the disruption — plus watching extremely healthy athletes having to wear masks outside — just didn’t want to watch it.
• But the events are a bit better — the swimming, gymnastics, and beach volleyball are the main attractions for our family.
• Still so sad to know that these athletes’ families can’t be there and have to watch from home.
• Either way, we’ll keep watching.
• This week will be hotter, sunnier, and drier.
• Many of us have kids back at school (or soon will).
• We’ll keep experiencing the challenges of life in a fallen world.
• And the blessings of living in a world made, sustained, and graced by God.
• Keep looking to him as you go where he leads.
• All of life is all for Jesus.