Tuesday Mind Dump (9/1/20)

Luke Simmons / September 1, 2020
mind dump

• Happy September

• Yes, you read that right — it’s September(!) 😳

• As good as 2020 has been, I’m pretty sure we can count on it being an awesome month.

• But at least there may be some college football. 🤞

• Got to see a movie in a theater this past weekend.

• Actually felt pretty normal — more than I expected.

• Saw The Personal History of David Copperfield and enjoyed it.

• Didn’t know much about it in advance, but it was fun, whimsical, random, and a bit of an adventure.

• Tonight I’m going to see Tenet, the new Christopher Nolan movie.

• Can’t. Wait.

• Had a good time team teaching with Seth this past Sunday.

• Probably not something I’d like to do very often, but it’s a decent way to mix things up.

• And it’s always fun to hear Seth dive into some deeper theological and historical topics.

• Along those lines, we’re launching a number of new podcasts this month as a way to provide more equipping content for our people:

For Jesus (weekly on Tuesdays) — thoughtful conversations about how to live “all of life, all for Jesus,” hosted by me, Joshua Ruiz, and Alessi Debartolo. (subscribe on iTunes)

• Talking to Humans (weekly on Fridays) — exploring the dynamics of relationships from a biblical perspective with Vicki Diemert, Mark Andress, and guest hosts. Season 1 is about “discouraging encouragement” where they share how to properly encourage one another.

• King & Culture (bi-monthly on Thursdays) — diving into important theological issues and how they relate to culture with Seth Troutt and me.

• Daily Dose (Monday-Friday) — a bite-sized biblical encouragement from multiple staff and leaders (also on YouTube).

• Stay tuned for links and details.

• This is all stuff we’ve thought about for a while, but it’s now time — there’s a strong appetite for good content and we think we have some ways to contribute.

• I continue to have a heavy heart over all the pain and discord in our country.

• It’s so loud and consuming that even a German friend of mine in Germany recently told me, “I need to stop consuming so much news from the U.S. because it is negatively impacting me.”

• Holy smokes — if that’s how somebody in Germany feels, maybe that’s a good sign that we all need to not let ourselves get sucked into the doomscrolling vortex of bad news.

• I’m not only saddened by all the pain in the nation, but by the turmoil in the church.

• God will get us through it, but there’s no doubt that it’s a painful ride.

• It’s hard to see some people who have been part of our church family for a long time decide that they want to go elsewhere.

• It’s easy to overestimate the loss in terms of numbers (since it’s relatively few), but it’s still sad when it happens.

• In most cases it involves concern that we’re somehow heading in a “new direction” related to race.

• We’ve addressed these issues in a few meaningful ways based on all that’s going on in society — through a video Tyler Johnson made, a prayer event after George Floyd’s death, and a video Seth and I recorded — but we’re not headed in any new direction.

• Two years ago I spent three messages in Ephesians talking about what it looks like for the church to be “one new man,” with people from different ethnicities united in Christ.

• Over fifteen years ago, me and Tyler Johnson (Redemption’s lead pastor) started a ministry called seven:ten that’s based off of Revelation 7:9-10:

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

• That’s the direction we’ve been going and nothing has changed.

• So when I hear that we’re headed in some kind of new direction toward being “woke” or committed to Critical Race Theory I kind of have to laugh.

• We’re committed to Jesus, his word, and his vision for the Kingdom of God.

• But it’s still sad when friends leave.

• (I don’t share this stuff for a pity party or as a way to ask for atta-boys, but if a mind dump means anything real, then I have to share some of what’s really on my mind)

• At the same time, I greatly rejoice in what God is doing through Gateway.

• We’re meeting new people every week, have hundreds of students participating in weekly ministry, and are in the midst of planting our first congregation.

• In case you missed it, we’re sending out Josh Watt to plant Redemption North Mountain and are having a special send-off Sunday for him and his team on Sunday, September 13.

• That day at the services will also be a “Baby Shower,” where we’re asking you to consider giving a special one-time offering to cover the startup costs of the new church.

• Here’s a “registry” of some of what they need. (Josh’s salary is already covered by our general giving)

• That’s a financial gift I am personally so excited to give.

• And I’m hopeful that the mission of sending this church plant might help us get our eyes off of ourselves and away from any kind of divisive in-fighting as we remember that there is a lost world that needs Jesus.

• In other news, my middle and high school daughters have both started in-person school and are loving it.

• They really missed friends and teachers and are so thankful to be back.

• It’s nice for them to have some stronger tastes of relationship and normalcy.

• Well, thanks for reading and for your prayers and encouragement.

• We are deeply loved by Jesus — and someday soon we get to see him face to face.

• All of life is all for Jesus.