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Saturday, September 02, 2006

11th Hour Preacher Party

Hooboy. It's early. At my house, the college student is in final packing stages, just about ready to load the car and go. The other children are eager to do some back-to-school shopping. My sermon on James? The same sort of gleam in my eye they once were.

As we get ready for Sunday School to start, I am thinking about this quote that came with our wonderful Seasons of the Spirit curriculum:

If I’m not for me, who will be?
If I’m only for me, what am I?
And if not now, when?

(Words adapted from Hebrew Pirkei Avot)

A baby who cries for nourishment and comfort has an instinct for the first of these, but how do we begin to contemplate the second? I think I'll be talking about the role church plays not only in our youngest Sunday School class but ideally throughout our lives in answering that question. Let's hope that sounds sensible when I am wide awake.

I'm getting ready to grind some coffee beans in the Official St. Casserole Coffee Grinder, and I'll put on some water for tea, too. Anybody bring bagels?


  1. I'll bring cinnamon raisin bagels with cream cheese.

    By the way, school has been in session 20 days here. School supply shelves at Wally World are almost empty. What's left is on clearance.

    Anything else for this morning's breakfast??

  2. I've already had some italian bread with butter but could definitley use the coffee. High octane? I am not thinking well this a.m. and the quaote is going over my fuzzy head. My daughter just did a paper for philosophy (college student living at home) on wether man was inherently good or evil. Is that where this quote is going?

  3. smkyqtzxtl, I think it's getting at the idea of what good is, and the need to direct it not just at ourselves, but also not just toward others, and to be about it now. How's that for a Saturday morning task?
    Cathy, many of our area schools started on Thursday and the rest start this coming week, with Sunday School to follow on the 17th at my church (also fairly typical around here). The lectionary text from James gives a lot of instructions about being good, refers to us as God's first fruits and reminds us that God is unchanging. I'm hoping to explore the question of whether goodness that people do without seeing it as God's work is still God's goodness. In other words, is all goodness God?
    But first, having said good-bye to college bound #1 Son, I must walk the dogs.

  4. We're starting a sermon series tomorrow explaining the parts of the Eucharist service, so tomorrow I'm beginning with the 'Preparation' - collect for purity, confession, absolution, gloria. The slightly complicating factor is that we only realised a few days ago that the Sunday school groups won't have started back, so I've got to preach it as an all-age sermon (ie. shorter and inclusive/accessible for the children too)! We also won't actually be using the regular order of service (which includes the collect for purity) but our 'Family Communion' service sheet!
    Still, at the moment I'm going to focus on how important 'getting ready' is (starting with some 'getting ready for celebrating a birthday' things and moving onto what we do to get ready to meet with God - both rather special occassions and one that we get to do together every week!). I'll let you know how it's going... first I have to write a few secondary school reflections to get e-mailed...!

  5. I wish it was still only 9.18am - it's 2.15pm here according to my watch!

  6. I rarely participate, but I'm on the computer this morning to get a couple things done. I packed the boys off to Home Depot for Kid's-Build-it morning. There are some biscuits and jelly leftover...

  7. Hi all. It's moving day at Chez Cheese. My son is hitting that dusty trail, moving the majority of his stuff to the hipper, younger side of the tracks. Spouse and Wondergirl went off in search of sustenance in the form of donuts. You want I should have 'em pick up a couple extras?

    Me? I've got this sermon to do from scratch. But I've got my coffee goes the rest of me...

  8. laughing ... bless you all as you work with His word - may it encourage you and bring you closer to Him today

    and oh I love bagels - you can't get them here ...

  9. Ooh, wishing you all prayers for sustenance. I'm not preaching tomorrow (wahoo!). I'm heading out for provisions, though. You want I should pick you up something? Jewish neighborhood---the best bagels, knishes, babkas....whatevah you want!

  10. It's Stacey's birthday, so go over and say "hey."

    I've zOOmed her on my blog.

    Hey, maybe she'll bring some b'day cake to the preacher party!

    We want cake! We want cake!

  11. Mmmm...cake.

    I'll bring lox to go with the bagels.

    James and I are still in conversation. I am trying to listen to him. I find him challenging. Have you ever simply wanted to rest in the word? You know, wallow around in the lovely challenge of living hopefully in the midst of disillusionment? Well, I seem to be there today. I want to wallow and not do.

    Making the journey from hearing to doing and not losing what we have heard in the process is tough work.

    Well, that's the core of my sermon. Hmm. Needs work.

  12. Except on rare occasions, my sermon is finished before the party here begins. It's a matter of necessity. Remember, I have two 3-year-olds home with me all day on Saturdays - not much hope for writing! Still, mind if I drop in, munch some goodies, and offer moral support? I do, after all, have to do my final edit before the day is over. I'm always scared to look. What if I realize that what I wrote late Thursday night is really a piece of trash?!

  13. Preacher mom: we have a saying here about that "piece of trash" (which we all know is not trash at all): If you've got a dog, walk it proud!

    Many a Sunday I've headed off to St. Stoic clutching Clifford the Big Red Sermon, only to find that the Spirit has got my back!

  14. Mmmm, birthday cake...

    I'm starting from scratch this morning, too, having given up on all efforts to prepare for Sunday sometime on Wednesday, when I realized I wouldn't really have the time, and the best thing to do was just to let it go. So I did.

    It felt good.

    So, now, some plain bagels with lox and cream cheese and a sliver or two of onion would be marvellous...and off to decide how to talk about the Exile.

    I'm using various passages from 2 Kings, Psalm 137 and Jeremiah to talk about being in exile. We have all experienced exile in some form or another; how do recognize God's presence in our exile? Jeremiah was told to urge the Israelites to marry, to buy land, to, in other words, simply live their lives.

    Does that mean God is present in the daily routine of our lives? I think so (see Kathleen Norris's little book "The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy and 'Women;s Work'"), but I think it is also true that living our lives in the face of exile gives us strength to know that we still are God's, that God is with us. If we give up and crawl in a hole ("go eat worms," as DP says), then those forces of exile have won. Simply by living as who we are (Hebrews, CHristians, women, whatever the identity is that is threatened by the exile), then we know God is with us and the exilers have not been able to conquer us.

    Oops, better save some of that for the sermon.

    Pass the coffee, please!

  15. It may be my birthday, but there is still church tomorrow, so here I am at the preacher party, trying to grind out something on the Mark passage.

    I come bearing cake. Ice cream cake, with lots of chocolate. The kind of cake I really, really wish was actually going to appear in my house today.

    I am trying to think of a family tradition to use as an illustration. I can come up with NONE. It seems that my family is not so attached to ritual. Would it be wrong for me to make up something?

  16. Thanks, Cheeshead! I need that reminder from time to time.

  17. Stacey, here's the illustration I used three years ago, when preaching on Mark:
    A young bride was preparing to cook her first holiday ham for her new husband. She remembered watching her mom cook those special hams, and she did things just as she had always seen her mother do. As she was about to put the ham in the oven, her husband asked, “Honey, why did you cut the end off the ham?” His bride answered, “That’s the way my mother always did it.” She decided to call her mom. “Mom, why do you cut the end off the ham?” Her mother quickly replied, “That’s how Grandma always did it.” Hmmm. The bride called her grandmother and asked the same question: “Grandma, why do you cut the end off the holiday ham?” Grandma answered, “That was the only way it would fit in my pan.” has a great history of stories similar to this one, here.
    These stories come from all over the place, apparently. I don't know where I heard it or found it in the above form, but I didn't quote or cite it, so probably someone told it to me and I wrote it down my way.
    There are a couple of examples on the Snopes page that take the scenario of doing what others do without thinking about it into other walks of life.

  18. ***Strains of violin from Fiddler's roof in the background playing Tradition***

    One of the things I so envy about the Jewish religion is how ritual has been used throughout the centuries to retell the stories so important to the faith. This is why I push Advent candles at the dining room table with my parishioners... although who eats around a dining room table any more?

    I stole from Listing Straight and tomorrow we both plan to do the Sermon on the Mount. That's right, with a bit of introduction, we are going to preach Matthew 5 thru 7.

    Next week we start a Year of the Bible campaign and so I am going to use this Sunday to show the importance of hearing the WHOLE story and not just the snippets the lectionary points out.

    Plus, that means this week I don't have to write that much sermon... Jesus did it for me!

  19. I've got pineapple/peach upside down cake. Better you should share it than I eat it all!

    Dang, I want to write a sermon today, instead of what I'm doing: paying bills, reconciling accounts, and prepping taxes (payroll, franchise, income) for my husband's company. I'm sure it's just sour grapes and I'd be a terrible sermon writer. Maybe some of you would be happy to trade with me? (Anyone?)


    I AM thinking about the 30 Days of Nothing gig and comparing it to Mark: "there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile."

    It's not buying stuff that defiles. It's what we do with it, what it means to us, what it makes us. I have no answers, only questions.

  20. Okay. I don't want to brag.

    But I am DONE, people!

    I think I may have found my missing mojo, thank you Jesus!

    Is writing a sermon, start to finish, in 2.5 hours...wrong? If so, I don't want to be right!

    (That's just the gidiness talking.)

  21. Just returned from the farmer's market with cinnamon swirl bread, and for Tripp's bagels with lox, some onion with the dirt still clinging to it. They were out of scones already. *pout* Which is sort of where my thoughts about a sermon are: gone.
    I'm so so so very thankful for all you thought-stirrers. Now I'm off to get some coffee and play with my kidlet until DH and I switch at noon. Oh, and some more bread.... mmmmm.

  22. If you figure out where you found it, cheesehead, let me know.

  23. I'm just about done on the sermon... what I've said all seems a bit obvious though seeing as I'm doing all-age on the Preparation parts of the service. I know though that often I feel like I'm not really saying anything, but others hear something (if you see what I mean)! Any volunteer fancy reading it for me if I e-mail it (though I don't have the courage to let you comment on here :D )
    I know I should trust God with what I hope he's helped me to write, but I continue to feel inadequate to the task!

  24. Chelley, I think everyone appreciates hearing why we do things the way we do in church (whatever that way is!). Even the most faithful attender may learn something new. And preparing for all-age may seem like simplifying, but that may way well prove to be a gift to people you assume already know. Blessings on your preaching tomorrow!
    The clock on the blog comments is Eastern Standard Time, primarily because the early contributors were East Coasters. But believe me, we are starting and finishing at all times!

  25. I had grits [that's gri-i-i-its, y'all, but not the kind you kiss] for breakfast --did any of you want some? With real butter, fresh cracked pepper and sea salt [ok so I'm a southern yuppie gourmet wannabe]

    My thoughts are oscillating between tomorrow's sermon and tonight's dinner.

    Tomorrow's sermon: on the imago Dei, since I'm on "Humanity Sunday", the second in the season of creation, texts from Genesis and a servanthood text from Mark's gospel. I don't manuscript --I just have to think and meditate, sometimes out loud, and think up a sermon sentence and a simple outline in my head. [If I can't remember it, it's not simple enough for my hearers to remember either...]

    Tonight's dinner: Black Bean soup [which is why I have to think about it now], some nice tortillas or flat bread, maybe a green salad on the side? A nice light white wine. A Piesporter or a lower alcohol Chardonnay.

    A benefit of not manuscripting is that I can cook up my sermon and cook up dinner at the same time --and I need all the help I can get!

  26. Thanks Songbird :)
    And yep, I'm in the UK so a good few hours ahead!

  27. Heck,- not a thought in my head, and its late afternoon and I'm out to supper with my MiL tonight and on at 8.00 and 10.00 as celebrant, then OpenHouse at 4.00 and preaching AGAIN for Evensong...Matthew 5. I wish just sometimes I got to preach at the Eucharist, so at least I'd be stuck on the same sermon as the rest of you...
    I also need a thought for the day for the 8.00 but may just pinch that from whoever is tomorrow's Ordinary Time writer...Oh deary me. What a muddle I'm in. Again.!

  28. Still chugging along over here, but with no great progress made. I MUST finish this sermon by 4pm so that I can go for my birthday dinner with a free and clear brain. Keep the coffee coming.

  29. Prayers for continued inspiration Stacey... and have a wonderful birthday dinner :D

    And Kathryn, may plentiful inspired thoughts drop into your head too!
    And oh yes, isn't Ordinary Time wonderful to have on the shelf - thanks all of you!

  30. Sunday's sermon at church is Part Two of what I started last week, so I'm okay there. But my husband is out of town and I have to fill in preaching THREE sermons at the prison tomorrow. They can be similar, since it is a different group each service (except for the choir who are "blessed" to hear three sermons). Problem is, if I preach the same sermon three times I am so bored by the third time that it really shows. And I have no ideas. And I have to iron clothes for my mom and get them over to the nursing home soon.

    I'll take time for a cuppa joe and a bagel though.

  31. Hi all,

    Not to brag, but I finished a draft of my sermon yesterday! Of course, it helped that I was stuck in a car for nine hours with a finished book and a laptop. It also helped that I anticipated today to be shot with an all-day picnic. Instead, it's pouring, the picnic has been cancelled, and now I'm procrastinating looking at the masterpiece or disasterpiece I saved last night. Who knows, I may still be up until the wee hours of the morning trying to form something I can live with tomorrow. I'm preaching on James, and it's the beginning of a month-long emphasis on stewardship, but at least we're out of John. YEAH!

    Over the last few weeks, I have read several messages saying "if you have a dog, walk it proud." It reminds me of an ever developing metaphor a friend and I have shared over the last few years. With her permission, I share it now:

    Most preachers have sermons that they aren't quite ready to preach or Sundays they don't feel like preaching at all. However, Sunday morning (or whenever the worship service is) arrives, and just like a dog that needs to be walked, you get up and do it. So-so sermons became "walk the dog" Sundays. But since we both like to play with metaphors, we added to the dog. A really terrific day bore the description: "take the dog to the park and play with the frisbee." A sermon that felt really awful was described as "drag the dead dog through the mud." The combinations are endless and have provided many opportunities for creativity and laughter in the midst of processing. I wonder what kind of dog Clifford is when you walk him proud or drag him up to the pulpit.

    To will smama -- may all go well with you in preaching the Sermon on the Mount. I did it a few years ago and learned a lot about the congregation. Although I thought I had made it really clear that the sermon was going to BE the Sermon on the Mount, one person came up to me afterward and said,"Wow, you really covered a lot of ground today." Another person said,"You really used a lot of scripture in that sermon." -- Do you think so?!?

    Thanks to all for delicious treats and delicious thoughts.

    More later (probably)

  32. Hey all, I'm back in the pulpit this week after my very first weekend off since beginning my first call...and boy am I feeling rusty.

    We're using this week as a transition week between "bread of life" ad nauseum and the constant push towards the way of the cross that is coming this fall. We're wrapping up our food drive competition (the smaller church is winning!) and having a potluck picnic after worship outside (if the rain stops in time).

    I think it's fascinating that we talked about bread for five weeks, and now we are suddenly back in Mark, but we're talking about table manners. How are we going to eat this food we have been pondering?

    Perhaps James ("epistle of straw" though it may be) holds an answer here. Hearing the world without doing it is what defiles us as we eat the bread of life. Eating with stubborn hearts is like eating with dirty hands--or rather, it is far worse.

    Anyway, those are my musings on this rainy afternoon, but I have a big fat nothing actually written. Time to get back on track. Some chocolate babka and coffee would help GREATLY. :)

  33. I do believe that I have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility.

    Tomorrow we have a lay preacher for our early service. Earlier today, she called and asked if I wanted her to give the message at both services, so that I could enjoy my birthday. And I What the heck is wrong with me???

    So, I am now getting what I deserve for turning down the gift horse: an afternoon of sitting at my computer, stressing over my sermon and trying desperately to get it done before dinner.

    It sounds like many of you are having great musings (since musing is what we do best at RGBP). Sadly, I'm off in some other direction. And I don't think I can even use Songbird's lovely ham illustration.

    Isn't it about time for the birthday fairy to show up with a sermon for me? Oh wait, she already did, and I SAID NO.

  34. Stacey... can you phone her back?

  35. Yeah, I'm sure I could, but I do have most of a sermon now, and I still have that nagging guilty feeling that if I asked her to do it, I would be foisting off a pretty major part of my job. But I do need to make a note to myself for the future that it is okay to let people help me.

  36. Oh, help me!!

    I had my sermon half-written, flowing nicely, and took a break for lunch. When I returned, my computer had decided I wasn't coming back and had shut down. But somehow it didn't shut down properly and now EVERYTHING I wrote is GONE!!!

    I have tried "open and repair" and I have tried "open as repair file," and it just won't be repaired!

    I could cry.

    Well, here I go, starting all over again...

    (sobbing quietly into a tissue)

    Pass the coffee, please.

  37. Oh no!!! That is such an awful feeling. I hope your sermon comes back to your brain quickly, if not to your computer.

  38. Oh, RP -- Sending you prayers! That's a terrible feeling!

    Mine is coming along... Worship is 90 minutes away. I feel confident that I'll have *something* to preach!

  39. Oh, Rainbow Pastor! How awful!
    Did you read Jan's post about having that happen?

  40. ACK! *big hugs to Rainbow Pastor* I'm so sorry!
    Trying to find the bright side...perhaps this "second draft" will be five times better, since you will have already thought it through once before? Or maybe we just need to help you wallow for a minute.

    Let's get her some coffee. Or other appropriate beverage.

  41. My dog has a bit of the mange, but it's still going for a walk in the morning. In the meantime, I'm going out to have a birthday. Good luck, everyone!

  42. Well, I've reconstructed it as much as I can. And I finished it.

    I printed out a copy, even though I plan to come back to it for a final polish later tonight or in the morning--just in case.

    Many thanks for all the prayers! They worked--I breezed through the second half of it!

    Time to start dinner...

  43. Semfem, LOL

    Scotch is always appreciated... and since I have a hard copy in my hands, I'm ready for tomorrow if need be.

    And Stacey..? (Calling our the back door) Enjoy your birthday!

  44. Y'all? Reading your comments feels like we are all sitting in the same room chatting. Such a pleasant image of being in the midst of a load o' preachers!

    I'm not much interested in any of the passages this week. If there's a "hook" somewhere, I'm not finding it so I'm blasting into James who strikes me as bossy and worse. The Mark passage is too many pieces of the 7th chapter and will be difficult for my Bible-reading-along folks even if I copy the lectionary selection in the bulletin for their ease.

    I had grits for breakfast while out doing estate sales. Things were great today and I came home with many useful things along with a box of stuff that I cannot figure why I bought it.

    Happy Birthday, Stacey! I hope you have a great time and I wish you lived closer.

    It sure is good to be with you all and I hope I don't do too many re-writes to the mud puppy for tomorrow.....

  45. I'm back from school shopping with my 11-year-old daughter. I hope she will not be ashamed on the first day of middle school. And I hope I will not be ashamed in the morning. She asked me in the car what I was preaching about, and there was a long pause before I said, "Well, there are three ideas--" and then there was another significant silence before I said something about the first fruits of creation and something about goodness and something about Sunday School. I don't seem to be much further than early this morning. Bleh. Anybody want pizza?

  46. Rainbow pastor,
    Glad the sermon came back to mind at least. I hope it goes well tomorrow.

    Happy Birthday. One possible advantage of preaching on your birthday is the number of members who may comment on how wonderful you are to preach this day and allow that thought to flavor how they respond to the sermon or preaching itself. It's sort of like not being given a speeding ticket on your birthday (or is that an urban myth?) My birthday was a few weeks ago, and my dear one did surprise me with an ice cream cake. There's still a slice left, and I think it's been frozen well. I sent it to you with blessings.

    I'm not taking my dog to a show (especially not with all the rain), but I think I'll at least get the ball out to play. I actually had fun writing the sermon, even if it may lean on the verge of heresy for some. I decided to begin by imagining a creation story that incorporates the James passage. I posted it on my blog if any of you are curious.

    Blessings to you all tonight and tomorrow. Enjoy the beverages, hot, cold, with and without spirits!

  47. 1. Whew, RP! Here's a celebratory Scotch. :)

    2. Happy birthday Stacey, of course!

    3. Songbird--I'll take some pizza, yum! And I hope you don't mind if I borrow your ham illustration, even though it didn't quite work for Stacey.

    4. My newest breakthrough: Christians today seem to be fighting a LOT about what it means to be at the table with someone. Love how James reminds us that our anger does not produce God's righteousness. (Why am I weirdly all up in James' business this week?)

    5. I got an outline, half-finished laundry, bread and cookies to bake, signs to make, food to load up and parishioners to call. Here we go...

  48. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  49. Hmmm . . . I like the dog metaphor. Lots of possibilities for describing the ever-changing sermon experience.

    Songbird, while I hate being in the spot you are in at the moment, I think some of my best sermons have come after they percolate for awhile before I try to put them down on paper. Sometimes that kind will practically write itself. Hope that's the case for you!

    Happy birthday, Stacey. Enjoy!

  50. Oh Songbird...if only we could much pizza side by side...
    I now have the thought for 8.00 plus intercessions sorted, have survived supper with MiL, footled around trying to sort out vital visual aids for Open House....
    and I still haven't worked out a route in to the Evensong sermon on the Beatitudes in Matt. I know more or less what I want to say once I get going...but getting there. Think I'll go to bed now (it's gone midnight, and I do have to be up betimes for the other service) and pray that God gives ms something to say that I can write swiftly in the miniscule gaps of tomorrow.
    Stacey, would your spare preacher be open to video link sermons in Charlton Kings??

  51. Hi everyone! I'm back. In the meantime I went shopping with the person who we refer to around here as "Mom's Gay Boyfriend". Everyone needs a GB if you ask me. Boy, can he shop!

    To answer Songbird: I think I found my mojo at the shoe store last week. Try looking there!

    We are getting ready to have pizza to feed the hungry movers (three 19-y.o.s) and the painters (two 15-y.o.s), and us. Pepperoni, anyone?

    PS: I threw my meditation for tomorrow up onto my blog, if anyone is interested.

  52. And I've just thrown mine on my blog too. Gonna go and have a read of yours then Cheesehead :)

  53. Um, Cheesehead's is so good I am crying. Both because it is beautiful, and because mine isn't written yet.

  54. Don't despair Songbird - the same God is inspring you too... I'm praying for the ideas to flow for you.
    (I admit though, I always feel inadequate when I read the offerings of others!)

  55. I need pizza. Thanks for the thoughts peacepastor.

  56. Will smama I've got two kinds of pizza: hamburger and mushroom or ham and sausage. Want some of either of those?

    I just finished the last lectionary sermon for many weeks. We have a "mandated" sermon series handed down from on high and then a stewardship thing that coordinates SS and sermons. So long lectionary, see you in Advent.

  57. Just stopped by to say hi. I'm not writing a sermon, but syllabi and class guidelines and such. I can almost see the big comfy living room where we're all sitting and I wish we really were. K is working as well, assigning classrooms to college professors for the spring semester while they're still calling her to complain about the ones they have for this fall.

    Can you smell the bread? I'm baking for communion tomorrow. I always make an extra loaf to have fresh out of the oven with butter. Here you go. And K made cookies. Turtle and oatmeal raisin. Here's some with milk.

    Cheese, I gotta say, the mojo's back in force, girl! WOW!! And hey, we shopped this week too! And that's an event. Maybe I'll blog about it. Happy Birthday, Stacey. (I know, she's gone, but anyway...)

    Bless you all as you preach tomorrow.

  58. A piece of each please, Vicar and Marie syllabi and class guidelines certainly count.

  59. I know you're not supposed to eat and then go to bed, but that is what I am going to do. Good luck everyone who is still going!

  60. Bless you all for encouraging one another today. My sermon is finished. It's in the form of a letter to my son, who has just returned to college. It is either the most original idea ever, or a complete stinker, but that's how it came to me this week. I must trust the Holy Spirit with this one! (Okay, and with all of them.)

  61. Songbird--that sounds AWESOME.

    I'm in the home stretch of the sermon (I think...I hope). Communion bread and potluck cookies are baked (so at least the house smells good). Laundry is clean and dry, although not folded. Signs are NOT made.

    Food will have to be loaded up tomorrow. Parishioners just won't get called, sadly, so we'll see who remembers the different worship time.

    I made the blessed mistake of reading Cheesehead's beautiful meditation, and now I think all I have is a little teensy dog that is producing a lot of poo on the sidewalk. Let's hope it walks all right tomorrow.

    Grace and peace to all who are preaching!

  62. semfem, it's 6:45 Sunday AM (EST) and I have a stiff neck and a headache and yet your commentary on your sermon as compared to Cheesehead's just made me chuckle.

    Cheers to all of us with hopes that we:

    1) Let it go... the Holy Spirit has got our backs.

    2) If we've got a dog, walk it proud (and in semfem's case, bring extra bags).

  63. will smama, har!
    Since Cheesehead liked the excerpt I posted on my blog, I feel more confident. Thanks, Cheesehead! This is yet another proof that we don't know how much a word of encouragement will mean to another person.
    Preach well, friends!

  64. Well, it's a dog...more like a Shih Tzu than a greyhound (i.e., lots of fluff), but it'll walk!

    Now, off to find a former board member to do the board member stuff since all of the current members are hors d'combat due to vacation, bingo and illness...

    If it's not one thing it's another!

    Walk 'em proud ladies!

    PS Thanks for the Scotch, it was just what I needed! Just two fingers, heavy on the ice. Perfect.

  65. I wasn't sure what the preacher party was..then I looked in to see who was here and what was going on. What a great party!

    Lot's of food, both to eat, for thought; news of wnat's happening with folks; and best of all .... what great company!

    The letter-sermon is a true message to someone (anyone who's listening) you already love. That in itself invites my inner know the one to the be attentive.

    Rainbow Pastor, glad to know all went well after the machine 'ate' your sermon. Hard copies are a belief of mine.

    Oh, are there any bagels left? Cream cheese, maybe?

    Yummy! Thanks!

    Free Flying Spirit

  66. Oooops! I noticed a couple of glitches in my posting.

    As someone said, "Be patient, God isn't finished with me yet!" So say I, as well.

    Then I forgot to do the word verification...

    Free Flying Spirit


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