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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Eleventh Hour Preacher Party

Okay, so it's not the eleventh hour yet; it's barely Saturday. However, it is, technically, that pressured preacher day, and hey, it's my first post on the RevGals site, so I wanted to get a jump on things. Big shoes to fill here. Also, I've never been known as an early riser, so I wanted to greet you early birds without actually being awake myself!

I've set the timer on the coffee pot, so it should be ready when you get up. Same rules we use at my favorite camp: if the supply looks low, make another pot before the next person will be forced to drink the dregs. The bar is stocked with a variety of libations (alcoholic and non), but if you want something fancy, you'll have to hang out for a while (there are benefits to paying your way through college and seminary by bartending). Comfy chairs abound, so make yourself at home, and let the creative juices flow! I'll join you when I've slept off my time with the bar ministry and taken the dog for our morning run.

I'm preaching the final sermon in my series on David, so I'm a bit apart from the lectionary, but I'm looking forward to hearing your insights. Now, well, you know what to do. Blessings on your preparation!


  1. I know it's rude to be early to parties, so...pretend I'm not here. Shhhh! I did bring a nice almond coffee cake, though, for the breakfast crowd.

    My wacky sleep schedule finally comes in handy now, when I get to be early in posting for a change. I'm trying to get something in hand tonight so tomorrow isn't so scrambled.

    Let's see, small church, hurting and figuring out how to recover and reach out to the community again, feeling like its contributions are worthless...yeah, I've got plenty to preach about in this text. I just want to make sure to leave something for the next four weeks!

    Oh, I also have to make some banners for collecting food during these "bread weeks", and get set up for that. Anybody have some butcher paper they can lend me?

    *tiptoes out and heads for bed*
    I'll be back in the morning. Or the afternoon. Or the evening. Happy sermon-writing everyone!

  2. just swinging by to drop off some goodies - the last of this years Finnish strawberries -and noticed we're out of tonic.

    The Sat sweat party starts earlier here - but have Monday's teaching in the bag - an outline for Tuesday and cannot do Weds /Thurs until I see how the teenagers really are ...

    off to hunt for my Swedish Bible

    - I leave later today and will rest tom afternoon at the camp site with DD and some of the teens who have been leaders at the kids' camp this week. Technically I'm the 'person in charge' until the others arrive at about 9pm ... but I'm hoping that just means sitting by the lake 'supervising' the swimming through closed eyelids.

    Let's see. Time for breakfast here ... now where did I put those strawberries (grin)

    Back on Friday ...

  3. Oh, wow, y'all. I just woke up and realized I haven't got a thing for tomorrow!!!! Aaarrgghh!!!

    And then I really woke up and remembered I AM ON VACATION!!!!

    My advice, therefore: be sure before you write that you are actually preaching tomorrow. And blessings to all who are. Back later to see how things are going!

  4. I, too, am just swinging by to drop off some streusel coffee cake on my way to other events...finished my sermon for tomorrow last night!

    I would like to polish it up a bit when I get a chance, though. I'm looking at the story of the centurion and his "servant" as the NRSV translates it, in Matthew. I think he was more than a servant...

    Must dash, enjoy the coffee cake, and for heaven's sake, will someone let the dog back in?

  5. WIll I get kicked out of the party for not having a sermon to prepare for the morning? I did however promise my readers a week of blogging devoted to sex...and I only have day one and two done. Anyone want to work on that instead of their sermon?

  6. I haven't got a sermon tomorrow either ... **just** a meeting of my team that designs the worship services. We're scoping out the fall series and dealing with some team dynamics issues. Then we go off to service worship to make lunches for a homeless shelter. At my church we devote the last Sunday of each month to service worship.

  7. Wow -- is anyone here actually preaching? Well, I guess I don't care if you've brought goodies!
    My sermon has a decent springboard to it as I preached at a nursing home yesterday, but it could clearly use some work... dealing with how we try to limit God and each time we do that God slips away and turns up in new ways...

  8. Well, we certainly have some early birds, and look at all the good food that's here. Including fresh strawberries, I love fresh strawberries. MMM good. And this time since Stacey is bartending, I might imbibe on a Strawberry daquiri(sp) later when she gets really going with the blender. Teehee.
    I am preaching tomorrow. I have a really really rough draft started. I had trouble concieving of illustrations to fit Ephesians as to where I was going with it. So I'll be praying and vegetating on some possibilities.
    We are leaving today to go home from the beach which is probably why I am having trouble finishing it. I'll be back in about 7 hours if we get home by then. Prayers for all the rest who are at the 11th hour as well.
    And songbird you are too funny. I may be on vacation during the week, but I am new on the job, and next week the DS is preaching for homecoming and noteburning so it would break the preacher's rule "one cannot miss 2 Sundays of preaching in a row, when one is the new minister at the church they are serving, or there will be great uproar among members, the heavens and the Preacher Police." Hezekiah 2:10
    See you later. Oh and I started another pot of coffee so no one had to drink the dregs.

  9. I have to preach as well - vacation Sundays are coming up in two weeks. Until then, I'm sitting down with ice tea and not the usual coffee because 100 degrees are in the forecast for today and want to start cooling off right away. Brought some ooey, gooey carmel rolls, as well.

    I'm preaching on the feeding of the crowd, ala John. From John's point of view, Jesus is the one to ask about the hunger of the people and Jesus is the one to pass out the food. And then gather it up, so that nothing is lost. Keep us from being lost. Keep us from perishing. How are you hungering today??

  10. Wow Stacey, it looks nice in here. Thanks for the great set up. I am starting at ground zero with my sermon however, my husband and the youth group just returned from the mission trip and told me they wanted to speak about it. Sweet! Meditation for me it is!

    As for illustrations you can always check out:

    I also have a fairly funny prayer illustration, let me know if you would like to read it.

  11. Stacey that's some wonderfully descriptive hospitality you've provided there!

    Associate pastor that I am, I'm just coming to say hi and give moral-support hugs--I'll see you at the party next weekend though.

  12. Well, I'm here, enjoying the coffee and wishing my church would switch to RCL already. (We're on the Epsicopal lectionary, which is usually similar, but not this week.) So, all you RCL folks... I have Mark's episode of Jesus walking on the water. I think I'm going to preach about fear, and how living from a place of fear prevents us from seeing God at work.

    But what i really want to do is go see the Carrie Newcomer concert today. Maybe I could just preach on that...

  13. Well, I am preaching tomorrow, despite having been on vacay this week. Mine is almost done, but since I started it a week and a half ago, I guess that's not very brag-worthy, is it?

    Psst: Susie--I"m going to see Carrie Newcomer in November! YAY for me!

  14. will smama -- by all means, do share the funny prayer illustration...

    I am preaching this week. I started writing the sermon yesterday and became quickly bored with it. If the preacher is bored by it, there's a good chance the congregation will be asleep.

    *sigh* Vacation for me is three Sundays away, and I'm feeling it.

    What I have so far is a theme relating to the myth of scarcity. We've had a regional visioning process going on in our area for the past year or so, and it was started up on the basis of perceived scarcity -- not enough people, not enough money, blah blah blah.

    What I would like to do is highlight the other perspective -- where is our abundance? The little boy shared his bread and fish, and 5000 people were fed. His generosity of spirit was a blessing. I want to explore the different ways that our little church can live out of its abundance, rather than out of fear of scarcity.

  15. Nice to see you all up and about, and sharing goodies, even though many of you appear not to be preaching tomorrow. I shall sit quietly in my corner and envy you. My sermon is mostly written, but needs to be typed and refined, as I did most of the writing while listening to a band play on Wednesday. Sometime today I also need to do laundry, pack for camp, and write up "cabin rap" helps to give to the counselors, so that I can dash out immediately after the service tomorrow. Wheeeeeeeee!

    Girl - I'd trade you a David sermon for a sex blog post in a heartbeat, except that single, female pastors apparently aren't supposed to think or know about sex.

    Abi - What kind of illustration are you looking for? Can we help?

  16. I just printed my sermon out. I'm abandoning the lectionary this week. I've felt too blah to struggle with it and creativity is flagging. Instead I wrote a sermon on worship that I've been carrying around in my head since the beginning of the summer.

    And Cheesehead, anyone who starts a sermon a week-and-a-half in advance has full bragging rights! Welcome back!

  17. thereverendmom at yahoo dot comJuly 29, 2006 at 1:43 PM

    Tomorrow is youth sunday and the youth minister is preaching. But I have a wedding following worship and a sermon to write for that. They've lived together for some time. We're glad they're finally getting married but the sermon has turned into more of a challenge than the average Sunday sermon. AUGH!

  18. As y'all know, I don't preach; but I'm really enjoying the parties :) I always like a party! I've got some Cadbury Dairy Milk that DS brought me back from New Zealand. A perfectly ginormous bar! So why don't I share it here....we can all enjoy those good chocolate endorphins together.

    A little revelation for me: as a non-preaching type, this is a great weekly blogevent that helps me be sure I actually read, (and hopefully also "mark, learn and inwardly digest") the lectionary for Sunday before I actually get to church on that day!

    I'm with Susie on the RCL versus the Episcopal lectionary (which will change at SOME POINT in the future, just not soon enough for me).

    So last week we had feeding of the 5,000 and this week Jesus is walking on the water and the disciples are amazed...they just saw the miracle of the BIG EATING, but "their hearts were hardened."

    So often, aren't our hearts hardened to the miracles with which we are presented? Even when they happen over and over? I'm going to lunch in a few minutes, but when I get back I think I'll head over to my place and think about miracles a bit. Ciao for now.

  19. I have a little time during nap (which may or may not happen- the jury is out) so I'm getting started. The "Bible Story we should all know" this week is Samson and Deliah. New Interpreter's Bible Commentary is open, waiting for me to dive in. Here I go!

  20. ::looks around::

    I guess everyone is hard at work.

    Or napping.

  21. Well, I'm about to go make a fresh pot of coffee so that I can enjoy some chocolate with it! Even though it's *still hot* the air conditioning makes me able to drink my coffee. Oh, about the sermon... :)
    I think it's done; it's short (most of mine are). I've used much of what I slapped together for the nursing home service yesterday but have tweaked it so that it actually makes sense... Cheers -- I'll be back.

  22. Listing Straight, we did a service on Samson and Delilah last summer. It turned into a real hummer. We all thought we knew Samson, until we started reading the "whole" story. You have to back up and read about Samson's whole life to get his context. We thought it would easy and light, but it turned out to be kind of heavy.

    I'm off to drink some coffee and do some meeting planning. Bleh ...

  23. I'm hopping up out of my chair in the corner to crank up the air conditioning and get a cold beverage. Anyone need anything while I'm up?

    The sermon is not getting "typed and refined" as quickly as anticipated; i.e., what I scribbled on Wednesday was not quite as complete or coherent as I thought. Oops. Also haven't packed a thing for camp. However, I have been hard at work having a psychotic moment on my blog.

    Now, back to the writing.

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  25. *adds a 12 pk. of Saranac Trail Mix to the fridge*
    *cracks open a Black and Tan*

    I've been floating around RGBP for at least a year, but mostly hiding out as a wall flower. Since Stacey has made me right at home, I thought I'd throw my hat in the ring this week - plus I am actually preaching tomorrow.

    Like many early sermons I feel like there's too much going on. Hopefully some focus will arrive before the morning, but I'm tossing around "storms": the ones we create in our lives (like David) and the ones that we get caught up in (like the disciples).

    David should have seen that storm coming from a mile away. How come he didn't do anything to stop it? (like ask a friend for help or admit his mistake)

    Do we let Jesus into the boat even when we've messed up? Or do we try to ride out the storm on our own?

    Are we willing to follow Jesus' example and get in the boat with a storm-tossed soul?

    So many thoughts, so little time!

    Hope to drop in again later tonight.

    Blessings, everyone!

  26. Welcome, Bethany!
    What good questions you ask--we're always talking about wanting Jesus to walk with us or wanting to follow Jesus--are we prepared to go out on the water with him? To walk where we are unsure of the footing? Good texts for tomorrow. Y'all almost make me wish I were writing along with you!

  27. Ooh, Saranac! Good choice.

    Despite the fact that I'm preaching on a different text, your thoughts on following Jesus fit well with where I'm going, too. I'm tying up my series on David with the story of him dancing before God, and I've used dancing as the guiding metaphor to talk about his life. The really great David moments were when he was willing to just take God's hand and follow. Are we willing to abandon ourselves to dance with God?

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  29. Argh. Didn't get my links right. Trying again:

    Stopping in for a little charge up before digging in for the rest of the day. My guys are at the baseball game, leaving the apartment quiet for me (except for the passing trains). Still trying to find my hook in to the lectionary texts--I'm concentrating on the feeding and the storm-walking. I posted some initial thoughts here the other day. And may bring my thirsty lion into the mix as well. This morning I woke up with what may be the first line of the sermon: "We are a hungry people."

  30. I preached last year on this story about Peter walking on water...and it was perfect because it was my last sermon in the congregation I'd served two years before I left for Egypt.
    I talked about Peter getting out of the boat because, contrary to popular belief, the boat is not his comfort zone but rather being near Jesus is his comfort zone--even if getting there means taking a risk.
    I almost wish I was preaching on john's version now that I'm back--I think I would have some more things to say about that after seeing the risk it really is to look for, see, and follow Jesus (as he really is, not as we want him a-la-the-beginning-of-the-text) in a hostile environment.

  31. I am working through the feeding of the 5k and the walking on water. What is in there that speaks to politics?

    They tried to make him king.
    Is this idolatrous? John Calvin seems to think so.

    Go here.

    I would like to leave it alone, but with Lebanon and all that jazz running about, it is hard to ignore the approach to justice and suffering thet John reveales in Jesus' miracles...and the response of the disciples.

  32. I'm back, and I come bearing a wedge of brie, a slab of double Gloucester, and some cracked wheat crackers to add to the mix.

    I finally got my butcher paper/poster board for those food drive signs, and now I'm on to what to say. I'd like it to include some of this Walter Brueggemann prayer. But we'll see!

    I'll be back.

  33. Whoa. If anyone out there is preaching on the feeding of the 5000 and needs a real-life sermon illustration, here's one for you. (I happened to see someone on Desperate Preacher refer to it.)

    Las Vegas makes it illegal to feed homeless people in parks.

    I'm sure there's a joke here somewhere about how Las Vegas wouldn't recognize Jesus if he walked up and won every hand at the table, but I'll let you fill that in yourself.

    Okay. Back to work.

  34. I got back from a week at camp yesterday to do a wedding today. Needless to say 17 hour days leave little time for sermon prep. Tomorrow's sermon title? What happened at camp?

  35. *Did* something happen at camp?

  36. hey party heartiers. What great posts, makes me wish I was doing the Jesus thing. But OH NO, I had to commit to a series on Ephesians. So Here I Stand. I am back after 7 hours on the road, which seemed longer given a 4 yr old, 5 yr old, and 6 yr old, got car fever, and went crazy. I am trying to calm down from the ride to focus once again on the sermon.

    I would like to here the funny prayer illustration. And I am headed over to sermon illustrations to see if I can find one that fits. Sadly to say I didn't bring anything to this party. We didn't have anything left in the car or home. Pizza has been called for.

  37. Yes Gord we are waiting to hear, did something happen at camp?

  38. *Sets a pitcher of mojitos on the counter and flops down into a cushy chair*

    Well, my sermon is done. Short, but done. How's everyone else coming along?

  39. Well its coming along. I found some illustrations. That's good. Now to tighten the thing up and finish it.

  40. w00t! Go Abi, go're coming down the home stretch.

    I'm contemplating packing...note that I haven't moved from the chair...

  41. All right, it looks like this is too little too late but here is an oldy but goody... first, pass the nachos. Okay:

    A Small town had historically been dry, but then a local businessman decided to build a tavern. A group of Christians from a local church were concerned and held an all-night prayer meeting to ask God to intervene. It just so happened that shortly thereafter, lightning struck the bar and it burned to the ground.

    The owner of the bar sued the church, claiming the prayers of the congregation were responsible, but the church hired a lawyer to argue in court that the prayers were not responsible for the lightning and fire. The presiding judge, after her initial review of the case, stated that "no matter how this case comes out, one thing is clear: The tavern owner belives in prayer and the Christians do not."

  42. Has anyone seen my sermon writing mojo? It has been gone for quite a few weeks now.

    I think the dog chewed it up while I was out walking it proud.

  43. New Interpreters is still calling out to be read. Samson and Delilah. Where are the fun Bible stories that are fun to preach? Oh. I already did Jonah.

    Congrats on the many of you who are done- You are my heros. When I grow up I want to be like you.

    WS- Your mojo is Not here.

  44. I may have put your mojo into those mojitos...Did you leave it next to the mint?

  45. I think I may have accidently left it out too long a few weeks ago and it got all hot and dried out.

    Maybe I should put a margarita on it.

  46. Stick a fork in me, 'cause I am DONE!

    Well, I still need to make those posters, and read the sermon over again and make any needed changes. But we'll ignore that for now.

    *pours herself a much-needed mojito*

    I hope your mojo's been resurrected, will smama!

  47. What exactly *is* a mojito? It sounds dangerous.

  48. Hey Will Smama thanks for the funny, I had heard that one at some point that is a good one.

    Hope you have gotten your mojo back in order to write your sermon.

    I have done the tightening, and finishing. So I am laying it to bed to the work of the spirit.

    Thanks for the 11th hour party.

    Stacey get packed and don't stay up too late.

  49. I'm going to pout now, because when Songbird hosts, there are like a bazillion comments. My party is apparently a bust, despite the open bar, and extremely capable bartender.

    Okay, just kidding. Hope you are all done or progressing nicely. I still haven't packed. So, I'll just be over here, drinking a mojito and watching "Desperate Housewives."

  50. *tosses back her mojito*

    Okay Stacey, give me something fruity and very alcoholic, please! Surprise me!

    (feel better now? :) )

    Songbird: Webtender is my friend for figuring out stuff like that.

  51. Whoa, a spurt of simultaneous comments. That's what I get for whining :)

    Three cheers for all who are done!

    Mojitos: rum, mint, sugar, and club soda. Very tasty for hot summer days, and yes, dangerous. But fun!

  52. Stacey, you are a lovely hostess, a hostess with the mostest. It sounds like we don't have many preaching among us this week. But it's the quality that counts, right?

  53. Oh God, I hope it is NOT the quality that counts.

    My bad Stacey, everyone was out looking for my mojo... not to mention the smart people who are on vacation from preaching this week OR who got a head start (Cheesehead).

    I am wrapping it up here... very big dog this week. Huge.

    It is the Clifford of sermons.

  54. But Emily Elizabeth loves Clifford. And Clifford can do whatever he wants. Walk Clifford proud. He's a Good big red dog

  55. It's ok, I really was just kidding.

    *presents semfem with an alabama slammer, heavy on the SoCo*

    Party on, dudesses!

    Will smama, does that mean you located your mojo?

  56. P.S. I remember when I used to quote Tolstoy, Tillich, and Calvin. Now I'm not even sure I spelled them correctly. And I want to reference SaTC in my sermon. Somwhere a seminary professor is surely weeping.

    Night everyone!

  57. My dog this week is more like a chihuahua, btw. My actual dog informs me that it can barely be considered a dog at all.

  58. In the pews most places, they would rather hear about the Big Red Dog than the big dogs of theology.

    And will smama, I meant the quality of the comments...

  59. LS - I have quoted worse... and my profs too are weeping.

    I believe my mojo is at the beach. The bad news is that I will not be joining it until September.

    I am quitting for the night but let it now be stated that my next dog shall be named: Mojo.

    If nothing else that will be easier to explain than: wtf.

  60. I LOVE Alabama Slammers! *hic* To the RevGals and their Pals! *clink*

    And on that note...g'night, everyone.

  61. I'm a'writing a fast as I can.
    I've two sermons in different places, different contexts and different scriptures tomorrow. I'll worry about the 7:00 pm sermon ... tomorrow afternoon. I'm doing the Eph text, so some one take pity and post a sermon, please???

    Oh and I authored some really good media this week, if I say so myself. New MacBook has really great software.

  62. Wait!! How come it's past midnight ALREADY!!

    I didn't notice. AARRGGHH!!!

  63. Good night, all, and blessed preaching!

  64. Red wine. Lots of red wine.

    And I think I just finished. -deep sigh-

    Thanks all. Couldn't have done it without you.

  65. Good Morning campers...

    I hope each and every one of you has a very blessed Sunday. Please keep our congregation and others in your prayers who do not have air conditioning. I am not kidding... it is already over 80 in there and my older folks will insist on coming out.

    Have fun today and remember:
    1) Let it go... the Holy Spirit has got your back.

    2) If you've got a dog, walk it proud.

  66. Down, Mojo! Down!

    (Yes, I know I don't need to be up this early. Could you please send a memo to my dogs?)

  67. OK, both sermons done. but now I'm getting a scratchy throat.... I sure hope I don't get a cold.

  68. Me and Clifford will be goin' off to church now...

    Blessed Lord's Day, everyone!

  69. Depends what one means by "something". Nothing overly exciting (which really is usually good news -- the exciting stuf often means trouble). Look for a post over at my place sometime this afternoon.

    And besides, as one of the sponsoring congregations people want to hear a report from camp (mind you most of them won't hear it since it is the middle of the summer and, well, let's just say numbers are lower...

  70. Good morning dogs and owners. Hope all who had those Alabama slammers are not too hung over this morning. I am so glad Will Smama found her mojo at least for this Sunday.

    And reverend mommy, I was already in bed by the time you were writing so I couldn't send you my sermon. And it probably wouldn't fit your church's context.

    Prayers to all without air conditioning in this heat! May the Holy Spirit blow some cooling winds your way.

    I got us reread my sermon, and did some further deleating, (I had too much.) And the kids are singing songs from Vacation Bible School. That's a hard act to follow. So I am going to let them be the stars.

    My dogs are in to fighting over their chews this morning, so no walking them yet. But I would be proud to walk Clifford, the big red dog this morning. In fact I have used Clifford as an illustration before. Be proud of Clifford this morning, and don't worry about you seminary preaching profs.

  71. It is finished...

    How bad? Let's just say animal control showed up wondering what the problem was.

    TGISA (Sunday afternoon)

  72. One down, one to go. Went real well, considering ... well considering. I posted the sermon on the blog. I got "serious" at the end. It was good.

    Now, though, I have no voice and the next service is lots and lots and lots of singing. 6 1/2 hours to recover (and rewrite THAT sermon one more time.)

  73. TGISA (Sunday afternoon)

    I agree. I am breathing a big sigh of relief.

    So how bad did Animal control fine you?

    I too have a sermon due at 6pm. Only it has to be a whole other sermon.

  74. Stacey! You did a great job!

    will smama, my preaching mojo is hiding, too. I need time off.

  75. will smama--TGISA! I love it!

    revabi--no worries, I took some aspirin and water before bed to avoid the hangover. :) But thanks for being concerned!

    Stacey--GREAT party!


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