Wednesday Mind-Dump (11/23/16)

November 23, 2016  |  Luke Simmons

  • Well, happy Thanksgiving everybody!
  • It’s really great to have a week to slow down and spend extended time with family.
  • Especially after the conclusion of what has been a really intense month at Gateway.
  • I loved the Home Away From Home series and getting to cast a vision for the things I hope our church always cares about.
  • Just about every week was pretty emotional for me as I thought about all God has done for us and all I hope he’ll do in the future.
  • So I enjoyed it, but also am pretty relieved that it’s over.
  • Sunday was a particularly special day, with so many people making commitments to our Home Away from Home initiative (learn more here).
  • The total gifts and pledges are still being counted (and coming in via mail) so I don’t know exactly where it stands.
  • What I’ve heard thus far is encouraging.
  • We’ll announce the total on December 4, which gives some folks a little time to get things mailed in if necessary.
  • With the commitments, a different approach to communion, and singing the closing benediction, it made for a fun day.
  • One of the weird things was that almost nobody came up to talk to me after any of the services, which is unusual.
  • I don’t know if it’s because the service ended differently or if it was because of commitments people were or weren’t making, but it was kind of odd.
  • Oh well.
  • When I think of this initiative, I’m really proud of the work that our team has put into it and of the approach we took.
  • I told our staff months ago that we were going to work hard on this, but we were not going to sell our soul or become motivated by new things because of a building project.
  • I think that remains true, and I’m really glad for that.
  • It was also a kind of emotional Sunday as I thought about Redemption Gilbert celebrating its 25th anniversary.
  • That congregation has had such a profound impact on me, my family, and our church.
  • As a way to show my appreciation and as a way to cultivate gratitude this Thanksgiving, I wrote a post about “25 Lessons from EVBC / Redemption Gilbert.”
  • I hope you’ll read them and be blessed.
  • This Sunday we’re starting a new marriage series called All I Want for Christmas is You (read about it here).
  • It was inspired by the dozens of prayer requests about marriage that I received this summer when I did my study and prayer retreat.
  • I think we’ll have a lot of fun with it — actually, I know that this Sunday especially we’ll have a lot of fun with it.
  • I’m not going to say much more, but I would highly suggest you get there on time for the beginning of the service.
  • Saw the movie Arrival last night.
  • Pretty serious mind-bender and really well acted.
  • Definitely worth seeing.
  • And I’m looking forward to the Ohio State / Michigan game on Sunday.
  • Molly has a brother who went to Ohio State and a sister who went to Michigan, so it’s a pretty fun day in our family.
  • It’s fun anyway, but it’s even better since they are both Top 5 teams this year.
  • So with that and Thanksgiving football, it should be a great weekend.
  • I’m cooking the bird at our home which is one of my favorite things.
  • And it’s pretty dang good too.
  • Well, I’m running out of stuff to type so I’ll wind it down.
  • Just one more piece of advice: tomorrow when people ask whether you want pumpkin, pecan, or apple pie, the correct answer is, “Yes.”
  • “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)