Tuesday Mind Dump (8/17/21)

August 17, 2021  |  Luke Simmons

• I have so much gratitude right now for the gracious ways God is working around Redemption.

• Attended the kickoff dinner last night for Redemption Community leaders and was so encouraged to see so many folks who have stepped up to lead new groups or are continuing to lead after serving faithfully for a while.

• Most church leaders will tell you that the small group / community experience of their churches were brutalized last year.

• While some groups bonded in new, deeper-than-ever ways, a lot of groups were torn apart by all the divisions and preferences that tore everything apart last year.

• So to see some leaders who really had to endure and lead through challenges last year still keep going… man, that’s encouraging.

• Was also massively blessed by visiting R/Peoria and R/Alhambra on Sunday.

• I hadn’t been to R/Peoria since they’ve been meeting in their current location with their new Lead Pastor, Jon Demeter, so that was really neat to see.

• And it had been a long time since I’d been to R/Alhambra on a Sunday, and it was a joy to hear Wayne Wynter preach.

• I walked away from both experiences thinking, “I’d invite anyone I know to these churches and they would be in good hands.”

• People were friendly, the music was beautiful, the preaching was biblical, and the environments were relationally warm.

• Our newest pastoral resident, John Pope, as well as Matthew Braselton joined me — and it was fun to be together and share the experience.

• The whole day was a tangible experience of the blessing of being connected as congregations.

• If you ever get a chance to visit another Redemption congregation, I hope you will — and if you want a recommendation, then check out Alhambra (it’s one of the more different from Gateway).

• Like a lot of other people, I’m watching what’s happening in Afghanistan and praying for that brutal situation.

• It’s so sad to hear what’s happening to people on the ground there, especially women and Christians.

• I also had no idea that I knew so many people with geo-political insight who could offer such penetrating analysis 🙄

• But it does drive me to pray and to wonder what this will mean for the future.

• And it’s wild that it’s not the only major human disaster happening right now.

• Just staggering how much suffering there is in the world.

• Reminds me of a text I got the other day from an intern at one of our other congregations asking one of the most important questions to consider.

• Here’s his question and my response:

• Here’s a link to that sermon in case you’re interested.

• It’s so hard to see massive suffering everywhere and remain hopeful — but I don’t see any other good option in light of the resurrection of Jesus.

• More pain is coming, which is why I pray regularly for a soft heart and a steel spine.

• I don’t have a lot of other personal updates I guess, so here are some links and tweets to some stuff that I found helpful and/or interesting.

• Here are some portions of Ernie Johnson talking with the Alabama football team that are worth your time.

• This one was a bit convicting:

• And, also this.

• There has been SO much talk in the last year about Critical Race Theory — in the church and the broader culture — and this mid-week teaching by Tony Evans was one of the best talks I’ve heard about it: describing what it is at core, what’s gotten unhelpfully attached to it, and a biblical alternative.

• Had to laugh at this one:

• I saw this thread and sent it to our 20-somethings on staff and they said it was helpful (click to see the thread).

• Not endorsing this podcast as a whole (haven’t listened to enough), but this episode was REALLY interesting related to a very famous story that has a lot more to it than met the eye.

• This quote and podcast episode were $$$$

• That’s all I have today.

• Shine light out there — the world needs it!

• All of life is all for Jesus.