Wednesday Mind Dump (11/13/19)

November 13, 2019  |  Luke Simmons

  • Sitting here at Black Rock between meetings and thought I’d do a quick mind-dump.
  • Amazing how I go to coffee shops so much less often now that I have an office.
  • But I still like the feeling of them.
  • The new Queen Creek Black Rock is a pretty cool environment, though I think the last thing Ellsworth Rd needed was more traffic.
  • Happened to go there last Friday when they were giving away free drinks for the opening.
  • I was in definite need of coffee after returning from Italy.
  • Our trip there was really great.
  • The main purpose of the trip was to connect with Giovanni Traettino and the movement of churches he helps lead throughout Italy.
  • Redemption’s Lead Pastor, Tyler Johnson, and Giovanni connected a number of years ago and they’ve had a special relationship.
  • Tyler wanted to introduce Redemption’s Executive Team to their team to see what we could learn from each other.
Molly and I with Giovanni and Franca
Our team meeting with their historic leadership team
  • It was a really special time together.
  • One of my favorite things was the sense of fellowship between us despite the many cultural differences.
  • C.S. Lewis said, “Friendship arises… when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden). The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, ‘What? You too? I thought I was the only one.’
  • That’s how it felt.
  • These pastors across the world had the same heart and desires and vision for ministry that we do — very cool.
  • People who have been to Italy keep wondering what all we did and I keep saying, “None of the stuff people think about doing when they’re excited to go to Italy.”
  • The most sightseeing type thing we did was visit the Amalfi Coast.
  • Other than that, we spent time walking around Naples and Caserta and building relationships.
  • Oh, but we did eat well.
  • The food highlight was visiting Pepe in Grani, which Food & Wine Magazine said might be the best pizza in the world (this YouTube pro agrees).
  • Every. Single. Bite. Was. Spectacular.
  • Probably my top highlight from the trip was having Molly get to go with me.
  • It was great to experience it with her and continue to build our mutual heart for the Lord and for ministry together.
  • We came away from the trip not just wanting to be leaders, but wanting to be faithful Christians who depend on Jesus for everything.
  • Didn’t have much jet lag after getting home and was able to go see the Illini beat GCU on Friday night with my father-in-law who is visiting from Ohio — that was fun!
  • Illinois has a 7 feet-tall, 290 lb freshman who is made of granite and is going to be very good.
  • Sunday was a fun day preaching on the plans for the Tabernacle (watch it here).
  • It came together better than I expected, considering how much interesting stuff is in Exodus 25-31.
  • Was fun to preach and I loved being back with the church family.
  • This week has been a lot of meetings as I try to get back into the groove.
  • I’m mindful that all of us are carrying a lot of pressures, stresses, challenges, and needs.
  • Nobody in life really has it easy and we all need a lot of grace.
  • Along those lines, I saw an article I liked the other day on how to pray for your pastor.
  • I’d love you to pray those things for me.
  • But I also think that every point he mentions in the article would apply to any Christian.
  • The best thing I’ve read this week, by far, was Tim Challies’ “A Husband’s Perspective on a Postpartum Body.”
  • The third to last paragraph was my favorite.
  • Today some of our leaders have a video call with a pastor and counselor who specializes in oppression and abuse in marriage.
  • It’s an area where we need a lot of help to learn how to handle these situations wisely and, sadly, there are far too many instances when it’s really a problem.
  • Other than that, I’m prepping to preach on Exodus 32-34 on Sunday.
  • This Exodus series has sure gone fast, and it’s been fun.
  • After this, we’ll do an Advent series through December and then an Ask Anything on December 29.
  • Then in the new year, we’ll preach through Malachi, then a series on Redemption’s convictions, and then begin the Gospel of John after Easter.
  • Should be a fun year.
  • And how crazy that we’re nearing the end of the year?!?!
  • Still time to make good on your resolutions… er… maybe not.
  • Alright that’s it for now.
  • Have a great day.
  • All of life is all for Jesus.