Archive for category random

The Side of Joel You’ve Never Seen

Second Mile Church was so blessed to have Joel Buckingham lead us in praise and worship for our first four months, and it was a thrill to have him back with us this past Sunday. He serves full time at our sending church and was so gracious to spend so much time helping us. Joel loves Jesus, cares deeply about helping people express their joy in him, and is growing rapidly. But, if you don’t know Joel very well, the video below you will show you the side of him you’ve never seen…


While I’m Gone: Don’t-Miss Resources

After church on Sunday, my family is heading out of town for our summer vacation. It will include 3 days/nights in Vail, Colorado for the Acts29 Lead Pastor’s Retreat, where we hope to connect with some of our fellow church planters and wives for a time of mutual encouragement and refreshment. In particular, we’re looking forward to time with the pastors and wives of some other metro Phoenix churches (Praxis, Missio Dei Communities, Old Town Bible, and others). After that, we’ll spend some time with my parents in Denver and then head to Toledo, Ohio to be with Molly’s family. We’re super-excited to get some rest, get out of the intense Arizona heat, and spend time with our families.

While I’m gone (thanks to a cool feature of this WordPress blog that allows me to write posts now and schedule them to be published later) I’m going to have a number of posts with resource recommendations that you don’t want to miss. If you’ve read this blog much, you know that I’m kind of a resource junkie. So, check back over the next few weeks and feed your heart with these great resources.

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10 Random Thoughts & Lots of Links

Wow. It’s been almost a full month since I last posted. I promise to get back in the groove. For now, I thought I’d just post 10 thoughts and lots of links…

  1. I’m really enjoying the study and teaching for our current series on Jonah. It’s challenged me personally and I think it’s something our church needs to hear, especially the next few weeks.
  2. Our Community Groups are off to a great start. We have 178 people signed up(!) not including the 15-20 students who are part of the new student ministry.
  3. After Jonah we’re going to study the church’s core values, digging into a new passage each week.
  4. I’m so excited about our new Associate Pastor, Matthew Braselton. He’s going to bring so much to our church and it’s great to have another partner in ministry. We’ve been enjoying this book together.
  5. I love these blogs: Straight Up, Kacey Luvi Photography (you can see some of her pictures of our family here and here), Drew Litton, Mike the Middle Child, and Between Two Worlds.
  6. I find the podcasts from the Stanford Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders to be interesting, enjoyable, and stretching as a leader.
  7. Twitter is much more fun and useful than I originally anticipated. John Piper’s twitter feed is a great example of why.
  8. I was very sad to hear this week of another Christian Pastor who disqualified himself through sexual sin. It serves as a great warning for me and anyone else in leadership. “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” (1 Cor 10:12)
  9. These sports articles from The Onion were very funny: Detroit, Pittsburgh Both Attempting To Lose Stanley Cup, Avoid Expensive Victory Parade, Rafael Nadal Thinks He Disappointed Millions By Losing French Open.
  10. As an auditory learner, I’m so thankful for so many wonderful audio resources that are free online. Here are a few that I’m listening to: Alistair Begg (all his sermons were recently put on for free by Truth for Life), Andy Stanley’s Leadership Podcast, the recent Advance09 Conference,  and A Conversation Between John MacArthur and John Piper.

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Off to San Diego

I’m leaving this afternoon for a few days with a couple of brothers from Second Mile to go to the San Diego Acts29 Boot Camp. It will be a few days of sharpening the saw with some great Acts29 pastors and also a day of helping assess two potential church-planters (both in the Phoenix metro area).

Acts29 is a great network filled with godly brothers who are passionate about Jesus, and I’m so thankful to be part of this encouraging group of men. For a worldwide look at Acts29 churches and candidates, click here.

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Follow Me on Twitter

I recently decided to start using Twitter. So far it’s been a great way to share information, good resources, and stay up to date with some friends and others that I like to keep up with and learn from.

You can follow me at @lukedsimmons.

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Encouraging Video

Here’s a great story about a guy who’s overcome some significant obstacles and achieved something really impressive. It’s definitely worth your time.

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NCAA Tournament Challenge

It’s time again for the NCAA Basketball tourney…I’m inviting you to participate in a FREE and friendly competition through called “Tournament Challenge.” The group is called “AZ Bracketologists” and our motto is “Where total morons think they are geniuses.” Please feel free to invite others who you think might like to play as well.

If you’d like to participate, simply do the following:

1. Go to

2. You will be prompted to either enter your existing member name and password or create a new one for FREE

3. Create only one bracket for this group (give it a name and pick some winners!). All selections must be finalized by the morning of Thursday, March 19. For additional rules and scoring info, go here.

4. If you have other friends you’d like to invite, pass this to them.

5. Check back along the way to see how you’re doing.

May the best moron win!

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