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Saturday, February 24, 2007

All Preachers, Report to the Party Immediately!

Okay, you don't really need to come right this minute, but you know, sometimes relaxation is an urgent matter!

On the other hand, it might just be temptation...

Speaking of which, what party fare do you offer people when it's Lent and the lectionary Gospel text is about Jesus resisting temptation? Surely not rich, ooey-gooey brownies...which is a good thing, for I have none. I do have some oatmeal butterscotch bars and, as always, coffee - hot, strong, fair-trade, and plentiful. You're welcome to help yourselves.

As much as I'd like to bow to the temptation to procrastinate, I have a morning meeting and then a day of condensing a wide array of thoughts into a preachable sermon ahead of me. Where are you finding your focus today, or what is keeping you from focusing? How will you be observing this first Sunday in Lent? What do you have to say about temptation?

Come one, come all, and party on, preachers!


  1. Reporting for the party, ma'am!

    I'm actually up late preparing a Confirmation retreat for tomorrow, after which I will settle down to hopefully write a sermon on FALSE abundance and TRUE abundance as expressed in the Gospel reading.

    I am reprising the use of key items for Lent, and I think I may go for simple--a rock and a piece of bread, to illustrate the two versions of abundance. But something more gimmicky might be better. We'll see. There's a long way yet to go before I get to the sermon-writing stage.

  2. Saturday morn here, and I've got a training morning to get to...spent yesterday footling around with questions of identity...the temptations demand that Jesus steps outside his identity as Son of God...for us, temptation is about the choice to put ourselves first "because I'm worth it"...but our calling is to become our fullest selves in Christ. Sin shapes us, not what we are doing but what we are becoming is being tested...
    Or something.
    Love the sound of the oatmeal butterscotch bars...Would anyone like a smoothie? Apple and mango?
    See you later

  3. I am trying to get pumped about sermon prep, but lost my mojo yesterday when a major winter storm watch went out for a storm that is supposed to start early Sunday morning.

    Is it too early to cancel?

    My liturgy is Lent but my heart is an ooey-gooey brownie.

  4. I'm feeling lonely for my out-of-town husband, and the next five weeks or so of absence feel like a real wilderness time, so I guess I'm in the right mood for the Jesus in the desert stuff, but not in the mood for writing. I would love to do something with bread and stones to decorate a worship center, but I left my really great basket of stones at my other church. That makes me feel lonelier. WAH!!
    I will try to stop being a baby.
    In a little while.

  5. Hi SB--it's a tough place to be--I'm thre myself right now, separated from your SO.

    My congregation is in terrific upheaval right now. They need a good lay-it-on-the-line, truth-telling sermon about being a healthy Christian community.

    The readings I chose for today (Psalm 91 and a reading from Rainier Maria Rilke about growing into the answers to your questions) don't exactly fit. Or at least I can't see it right now.

    I have all day, luckily--dinner party this evening with non-church friends (for whom I praise God daily), so I do have a deadline, but nowhere else I have to be for the next eight hours.

    To heck with temptation--I NEED chocolate today. Hershey's Kisses, anyone? (twirling my pencil thin mustache...)

    I also have some apples that need to eaten... (continuing that temptation theme...)

  6. Morning all. I'm not preaching this week because we have our winter meeting of Presbytery going on. I have to head out in a moment for another long day of reports. Then I will be spending the night at the church chaperoning the Youth Event.

    Enjoy the party!!

  7. Um, SB--I meant, seprated from my SO! I've never met your SO, so it's not hard for me to be separated from him, but it is hard for you to be, just like it's hard for me to separated from my SO...

    Whew. Glad I clarified that. Don't want SB upset with me (or her SO)!

  8. I understood, Rainbow Pastor, no worries.

  9. I'm just on deck for AM...writing my Prayers of the Church...which I'm procrastinating by doing heavy-lifting furniture-moving work for Fellow Traveler.;-) I want to tie in the nature of Jesus' temptations -- the temptation to self-serving power and privilege, to living in a way other than that of the rest of humanity -- to the Prayers.

  10. I would gladly write three sermons today if I could trade them for three healthy children. We are are day three (for my son) and day two (for my two daughters) of the flu. Morning brings lower temperatures, thank God, but they are still sick little kiddos.

    I'll stay away from the party in order to spare you all of the germs, but I might peek in the window from time to time for a reminder of the world outside the sick ward.

  11. Reporting in for the party with a loaf of Norwegian 10 Grain bread, whipped butter, and elderberry jam...our junior high speech tournament was cancelled this a.m. due to icy road conditions and freezing drizzle that's to lay the way for a few inches of snow tonight and tomorrow.

    I'm working off an idea in the ELCA publication "Sundays and Seasons," using Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken" as a touch point for "The Roads of Lent." This Sunday's topic is "The Road of Truth."

    I'm heading off down the merry path of relativity in our culture and how we are seduced by illusions of happiness, fulfillment, and abundance. And we, being human and desiring to fill the hole at our center, grasp for all the pretty "marbles" that once consumed only weigh us down and leave us feeling burdened and continually seeking. If this works, then I'll move on to Jesus' model of dealing with temptation and how by focusing on the truth of the gospel and God's amazing love for us, we can fill that empty place in our lives with the one thing that's custom-tailored to fit--loving God with all our hert, soul, and might (referencing the Shema and Jesus' use of scripture from Deuteronomy).

    Journeying in the wilderness can be a beautiful and rewarding experience when one's pack/life isn't weighed down with non-essentials.

    Pax Christi.

  12. I say you give into the brownies especially if you don't have them on your fasting list.

    Hey semfem, hope the confirmation retreat goes well. I am starting confirmation Sunday. arrgh. I have got to get that ready too.

    SB it is okay to be a baby sometimes, especially when the one we love is out of town.

    WS go ahead and cancel. I am right there with you in the brownies.

    We have Tornado and Thunderstorm watches up already.

    I am preaching on Christ on Trial, with the first witness being Matthew. I have a short script for a person to play Matthew and one to be the Prosecution. Bob is going to play one, now if I can get another man to do the other.

    preachermom, prayers for you three children and you.

    Our Zach is starting to feel better, but I woke up with a stuffed up head and headache. The flu is going through the school too.

    I am headed now to Emmaus Team meeting in HSV. At least I don't have to do anything there other than be and listen and support.

    I am with you all in the party prep for Sunday.

  13. Stopping by between digging the car out of my driveway and running off to a meeting. Glad to see you all here!

    My sermon will be the first in a series called "Meet Jesus." I think I'm going to talk about Jesus' counter-cultural priorities...but I'm really not sure. Must dash off and help another church interview pastoral candidates.

  14. Yawn. . I was blessed to be ablle to sleep in this morning. It's already 7:30 and I haven't even had my coffee yet. I have some lovely croissants and cream cheese or I Can't Believe Its Not Butter to share with anyone avoiding major sugary stuff.

    My Board has decided, with my blessing I might add, to focus on doing a New Thing during Lent this year. We're asking our members to give up whatever keeps them at home and show up for Sunday worship every week, come to Bible Study for a change, attend our brand new not even started yet Adult Discussion Group before worship, come to the Lenten Simple Suppers on Thursdays, and/or pray daily for the church.

    So the temptations we're looking to give up are the ones that keep us home, keep us from fully participating in the life and work of the church and in our own spiritual life. How I'm getting there I'm not quite sure, but then I'm not really awake yet.

  15. I'm not sure if I dare say it here (but do remember, it's 4.30 pm in UK) I have just finished the sermon...Not great, but greatly relieved!
    otoh, I haven't even begun writing an illustrated talk on India which I'm supposed to give tomorrow evening.
    Do I choose the illustrations first, sort out the power point and hope the talk flows from there? Can I lift stuff from the blog??
    On the whole, I wouldn't mind writing another sermon.
    But I did bring a big bag of wine gums, in case anyone is steering clear of chocolate...and there's a bowl of satsumas, with lots of vitamin C, for those fighting germs.
    Hope the mojo is behaving generally, my friends!

  16. Rev Maria,

    Great idea! Wouldn't it be wonderful if all our latent layfolk would give up their invisibility for Lent. Imagine what might happen. Mind if I mention that as an option in my mid-week service? How would you like credit for the idea given?

    I tell you what--whole grain bread is good, but it's not dark chocolate. Oh, for a brownie. Or chocolate mousse. Or death by chocolate. Or just a bag of Dove dark chocolate hearts. Sigh...

  17. I am considerably cheered up after going out with my dogs, then successfully finding the fabric and other items I want for a worship center tomorrow. First time doing one in my new setting, so I want it to go well!

  18. Now I have an image of "General Mojo" after reading Kathryn's comment.

    as in...

    "I need General Mojo to come and rally the troops!!"

    Actually, I might not. The Big Ass Storm of 2/07 is hitting my part of the world before it hits WS's. We got our appetizer last night with about 5" of fresh snow. Now to wait and see what else is coming tonight.

    I don't even know what the procedure is for cancellation. I live farther away from the church than almost all of the members. (20 minute drive in good conditions)

    Wouldn't you know that tomorrow is part one of a sermon series? There is a short drama all ready to go, and I'm about halfway done with my short meditation, thanks to a quiet Thursday morning.

    I feel as if finishing it will surely bring on the blizzard! (And let me tell you, they don't use the 'b' word very often around here, but that's what they're calling it!)

  19. Alas, the B word (which is also heading our way) won't get here in time to cancel church tomorrow...and besides, the big ol' Lake between us usually shrinks snowstorms a bit (warmer air over water). So I guess I'd better write the sermon. But to do that, I need some suggestions, fellow preachers!

    I'm using Psalm 91, as I mentioned. I 'm going from what Rev Abi mentioned in another context (and another blog, but I want to give her credit) about letting go and letting God be God. In other words, God has a plan for us; let's stop the blame game and watching each other to see where someone else is messing up. Let's look to our own lives and see how they need cleaning up and what it is we, ourselves, are called to do--not our neighbour, and is s/he answering that call--but what are we supposed to be doing? Further, we all need to be involved. Our congregation has done a lot of good stuff, but no one did it alone, We have got to work together, trust each other and God, in order to do what God wants us to do here in River City. Otherwise, we might as well close our doors, because God did not call us to bicker among ourselves and blame each other for every bump along the road. We are not modeling CHrist in that behavior.

    Oops, started writing the sermon...

    But what I need is an overarching theme or image, something to tie the whole thing together. I've tried pulling something out of the Psalm, one of the images used there, and am getting nowhere.

    All ideas, suggestions and chocolate gratefully accepted.

  20. Prairie Pastor,
    of course you may use the New Thing in Lent for your folks. I've preached it other years, but this year my Board really got on board with the idea. (intentional pun, sorry.) They are individually writing articles for the newsletter and sending cards to encourage members in this spiritual discipline for Lent. And who knows, perhaps it will carry over past Eastr. :-)

    I can see snow on our mountains, but down here in the valley it is mid-60s, and last night's rain cleared the smog from the air, so it's sunny and clear. Of course, that's how it's supposed to be in So California in the winter. My prayers for all who face snow storms this weekend.

  21. I have a recipe for "chocolate fasting cake" from the Coptic Orthodox church--I'll share if anyone wants it. This is what they eat during lent and advent, I kid you not. It's incredible.

    No sermon this weekend for weekend will be all its own challenge, though. Today I'm supposed to have a confirmation class lock-in starting at 4, and then a field trip into the city tomorrow morning. But the impending blizzard (and my stupid cold/flu thing that just will not go away in spite of already two whole days spent at home!) may be changing the plan.

    I do not have a back-up plan.

    This does not make me happy.


  22. Wow, I'm preaching! I get to go to the preacher party!

    We've been talking about having me preach at my friend Janine's community, where I often concelebrate. And she offered me the chance yesterday after reading the post about getting dissed on the Ash Wednesday service. So I wish I had more time but at least there's no procrastination guilt since I got right to the exegesis and prayer.

    I just wish that's all I had to do today. I have till about 2:30 (about four and a half hours) till I have to start driving to Santa Barbara to meet with a couple of the Roman Catholic Womanpriests--exciting but time consuming. At least if I get some more prep done I can use driving time, since I am continuing my new commitment to practicing well prepared ex temp. And I should really try to knock off at least a big chunk of the World Civ. midterm and study sheet. I am feeling like a foie gras goose taking in this overload of information and I feel really bad for the students who don't even have half of this stuff in some level of their brains.

    Anyway, the Holy Spirit was leaping off the page at me in the first several chapters of Luke, including the temptation story, so I am going to be focusing on her and really connecting it to the preceding baptism and following synagogue at Capernaum stories. Luke is gentler than Matthew, where the Spirit drives Jesus out to be tempted--here it's just out to the desert, presumably to pray and discern what to do with "you are my beloved child", and how to go about starting his public ministry, and the devil takes the opportunity to pounce on him. And somehow the whole time including the temptation clarifies for him what his mission is about, which we hear in the synagogue--anointed by the Spirit to bring good news to the poor, etc.

    Maybe bring in some Ignatius on discernment and the differing voices of the good and evil spirits....I think it's going to be good but it's all swirling around at the moment. Anyway, thanks for listening and I'll try to get back with some more clarity. May those hoping for inspiration and those hoping for snow/tornado days (with no ill effects) get their wishes.

  23. Would someone please come and share (or take away) the Kettle Corn I bought at Whole Paycheck?
    I think it has an intoxicating effect.

  24. Anyone have a great children's message idea?

    I'm not anticipating lots of kids with impending bad weather, but do want some plan!

  25. I would write more but I am too busy doing a snow/sleet/rain dance.

  26. That sounds like fun! Do you think it will work?

  27. Back from the meeting, and staring at a blank Word document. Please pass the kettle corn! And maybe some mojo too?

  28. Silent, I'm printing out some art images of Jesus, and I'm going to ask the children if they know which one is Jesus. I'm on a theme of establishing how we think about Jesus, who we think he was and is. We'll put some of them on the worship center, and I hope the adults will come take a look at them later.

  29. Ooh Songbird! Images like an African Jesus and a Navajo Jesus and a Latino Jesus and a Middle Eastern Jesus in addition to the blue-eyed Jesus? Cool. Wonder which one(s) they'll pick?

  30. Hey, WS, how's that rain/snow/sleet dance working for you?

    Well, I have a draft. I must say, it does kick some a**. Now if I can bring myself to preach it with fervour and conviction tomorrow...

    I'm laying it on the line--this is what we have to do to continue as a church. If we don't do these things, then we'll call it a day and the church will close.

    Gahhhhh.... my stomach has butterflies. It's what's needed, though--a challenga and a show of, as my bishop said, gonads.

    Pass the chocolate, I've got nerves...

  31. I'm in a similar place with Will Smama, Rainbow Pastor, Teri and Cheesehead ... impending, threatening winter storm leaves me lacking in motivation somewhat. Even if we don't cancel service tomorrow at the morning church, I suspect the threat of nasty weather will keep lots of people home. Afternoon church will probably be cancelled if it gets as bad as they say it might.

  32. The Big Ass Blizzard of '07...hahaha. I suspect we may be cancelling service tomorrow. We too have about five inches, and they say we will have a white-out in the a.m. We had some guests from Teen Challenge Milwaukee coming, so no sermon, but I called and told them please don't try to drive up north tomorrow! I'd just cancel church now...
    but...well... go take a peek at my blog and you will see my problem.
    and I don't know what to do, or if I should have a sermon.


    Meantime, have some caramel coffee and a piece of "English Muffin in a Loaf."

  33. I would rather talk about food than Lent 1 any day - I'm thinking some fabulous bread and cheese - brie, chevre, anything - and fruit, if you're absolutely against the brownies. I'm not. But why not try the cheese? I also like Kathryn's smoothie suggestions, but if you're feeling cold already, some hot chai latte might be good.

  34. Well rp, I'd feel a lot more confident in the dance if there was EVEN ONE CLOUD IN THE SKY! But there are none.

    And why would I spend 8 hours on a newsletter when potentially no one will be here to pick it up but NO TIME on a sermon that potentially no people will be here to hear.

    I wish the percentages for chance of precipitation were a bit higher for the early morning hours... right now I don't feel confident at all.

  35. Oh Singing Owl, that's a true dilemma!

    Maybe roads will be more passable tomorrow than you anticipate. I hope so.

  36. I am always impressed at how early this preacher party begins... I will not be actually putting words on paper until after the movie night at church.

    That said, I think I have a rough idea of where I am going. I am going to use a clip from Little Miss Sunshine. If you have seen the movie, it's the part where the teenager and uncle are talking and the uncle talks about Proust learning through suffering. Then he talks about high school being prime suffering years... just think of all the learning.

    I am going to point out that while suffering is not necessarily to be glorified, the wilderness is the place in Scripture where God's people are formed. In the Exodus, and in this story, the wilderness is where all is stripped away, and relying on God is the only option... truly it is a vital way we discover who we are.

    I may also bring in something about Lent being the traditional time for the church to reach out to the lapsed (call your friends who are fallen away!) as well as prepare people for baptism...which is about identity.

    Lenten Discipline will also be in there...perhaps as a way of entering God's wilderness space, stripping away what is not God.

  37. Wow- I'm preaching tomorrow! Remember when I thought that being an AP would mean that I started working on sermons earlier? Not so much working out that way...

    Presbytery meeting today, so now I'm getting to work.

    Basic temptation message- wilderness, Jesus was tempted after the fasting, the different kind of disciplines (giving up a vice, giving up something important, taking something on), and finally about integrating our different worlds (Jesus had to integrate his humanity with his divinity).

    Quotes. a Poem. And a story about when I dated a guy who was into body piercing, tatoos, and drove a Harley.

    Will it work?

    WS- Can you video you doing the dance?

  38. As it happens, I am pinch-preaching at my wife Joyce's covenanting service with Little Church Near the Inland Urban Lake. The one we had asked to preach has been very ill, and can't make it. Focus? Um, well... Deuteronomy, as in we're descended from a wandering Aramean, and Luke, the Spirit of the lord is upon us (we hope), and by the Rivers of Babylon, we hung our organs on the trees and wept--the branches broke and rained keyboards all over downtown Babylon. How can you tell i'm tired?

  39. Hi Everyone! Back from our annual vestry retreat. We go to a retreat center up north, sounds like we were near Cheesehead and others in the BA storm center. We got 3 inches or so with more expected tonight. Home, now though, and less expected here in the southern portion of storm central.

    Vestry retreat was fabulous as usual. And I had my sermon written by late Friday morning, needs some tweeking, but will do. Speaking about the ONE campaign, the MDG's and the three temptations - a lot for one little sermon. Basically its about not trying to just satisfy people's physical hunger and ingnore their emotional, spiritual, and moral needs (temptation 1). It's about taking a close look at one's self rather than diverting the focus onto someone or something else - don't point fingers at the problem, do soemthing.(temptation 2) and its about remembering to care for all people equally and with commpassion - even those we'd rather dislike (like some of the hard headed folks in the Anglican Communion)'s not about putting ourselves first, its about taking time for a self-examination of the spiritual kind, in order that we can become "our fullest selves in Christ."

    Think it will preach? We'll see...

  40. So many ideas, and none of them fully formed! My mojo is definitely MIA. Many of you seem to have good thoughts, however.

    I just checked the weather to see if the snowstorm might make it this far east. No go. Guess I have to keep writing.

  41. Three comments appeared while I was typing my last And wow, poor mad peter - I thought I was tired! Watch out for falling keyboards.

  42. Sounds to me like it will, mompriest!
    Singing Owl, I hope the family arrives safely!!

  43. No sermon to tell you about, but let me tell you about the weather. Following the night's noisy thunderstorms, we've got a bright and sunny day with major blustery winds. It's MARCH that comes in like a lion here...

    My annoying "storm alert" thingy that flashes on my computer is telling me imperiously that we are having "BLOWING DUST ALERTS!"

    I'm sorry, I just can't get so upset about it. But with my allergy thing, I am sure not going outside.

  44. The national weather service claims that my neck of the woods may get up to 10" of snow tomorrow. Guess I better go to the grocers to pick up a few things, like dog food and chocolate.

    I have completed my worship services, but I have a feeling that I may be doing my Lent 1 services on Lent 2 or some such weirdness. Winter is SOOOO bizarre sometimes.

    Not sure where I will be going with the sermon yet. PHC is about to come on the radio --will GK say anything about Lent that will inspire me?

    By the way, anyone want to join me in a glass of Cabernet?

    Hey RP! Go Gonads, Go!

  45. Weather report here shows it is a pastor's worst case scenario: not enough to cancel, more than enough to keep a significant amount of people home.

    Oh well... sounds like everyone is digging deep and a lot of great ideas out there.

  46. Big ice storm predicted here. I may not be preaching a sermon in the morning...but neither am I cancelling the services, because the weather is sooo unpredictable...will just have to wait and see.

    Lenten theme: prayer cairns. I use lots of rocks in various places around the nave and sanctuary - I replace the glass bowl in the baptismal font with a low bowl filled with rocks that overflow onto the wood rim of the font. then I add a vase filled with rocks and dried branches and a bowl of left over ashes (in rough charred form)...all to symbolize the rugged journey, the desert place of Lent...etc....This year we have added rock piles along the aisle from the font to the altar, on the altar, and on the reredos behind the altar, and lots of candles. These rock piles I'm calling Prayer Cairns (ie as in cairns from Scotland)...I have a huge basket full of more rocks and the instruction for folks to pick up a rock (or several)and hold it during the worship service praying into the rock one's concerns, then to leave the rock on one of the cairns (rock piles) when one leaves church, leaving behind one's burden to remain in a place a of prayer. The church will hold the burden in prayer....light level will be low for Sunday services with lots of candle light...we'll see if folks like the invitation to prayer...

  47. Back from the Confirmation retreat, which went MUCH better than the last one and much better than I was worried it would. Whew! Now to celebrate by writing tomorrow's sermon.

    My mojo appears to have been squandered on the Confirmation thing, because it's really tough to get started. Plus I am doubting the whole item idea even though it always makes preaching easier. Maybe because all the rocks around here are covered with snow, so I can't just go out and find one.

    I like the identity piece of the wilderness, and am leaning towards that. But we're having a stewardship Sunday a week from tomorrow, and so it's tempting to preach on Deuteronomy instead.

    Off now to browse for sparks of inspiration...I don't think the weather here will warrant cancellation, sadly enough.

  48. gonads.... tee, hee, hee

    And now for one of the more surreal sentences I have ever typed on a wintery Saturday night with my Sunday morning stuff no where near completion:

    I'm off to a church pool party.

  49. Greetings Friends!! I am checking in after a long, exhausting 24 hours!
    We had a youth overnight that started on Friday evening at 7:00 p.m. I remember checking my watch at 3:00 a.m. for the last time as the kids FINALLY started actually falling asleep...
    Up at 6:30 a.m. to wrap up the overnight and merge it into a denominational meeting at our place that lasted until 3:30 p.m.
    My sermon?! A gleam in my eyes, which are closing as my head crashes into the pillow. I'll be up at about 4:30 a.m. to put it in writing...Gotta love ministry in all its forms!
    Peace out--for the count...ZZZZZZZZ

  50. BTW, I second the call for wine and cheese...that was my Valentine's Day treat!

  51. Hi everyone. I'm not preaching this week, so just checking in to say hi. There's no chance of a blizzard here--I'm wearing shorts around the house. Also no chance of real food. I just ate Cheerios for supper. I'm happy to share them, though.

    The different wilderness ideas are speaking to me thanks for sharing them.

  52. Pool party? That sounds more fun than staring at a computer screen, if a little strange given the season.

    Sleep well, Quakerpastor, and may your sermon flow quickly in the morning!

    I have some shiraz and havarti to contribute to the wine and cheese portion of the party.

  53. It's always such an encouragement to drop in here and know that others are slogging away too... though I could do with being on 'other side of the pond' time at the mo seeing as it's almost 1am and I still have a looooong way to go before a sermon emerges from my bunch of random thoughts!! Still, it's partly because I spent most of the evening asleep in the chair! Thoughts and prayers with all of you in the places brewing bad weather.

  54. I'm getting close, friends, getting close. Keep writing!

  55. Ice storm has started here, snow plows out salting the roads. Me, I'm watching Taxi Driver (wow, haven't seen this movie is in ages...) and having dinner: rice, asparagus, smoked pork chops, and a glass of red wine. Done with my sermon for the night...will look back at it early tomorrow morning when I know if I will actually be preaching it...

    For those still pondering and working away...I'm sure the words will come and the Holy Spirit will lead you...

  56. Hmm...perhaps it's the Spirit's fault that I'm in this wilderness? How appropriate.

  57. Hmmm, I'm feeling very challenged at how easily I give into temptation - hopefully the sermon (when it is one!) will have some useful effect on others too! If anyone read my last blog post you'll know what I was trying to do for Lent - though I have not been good at replacing net time with more constructive/reflective pursuits - especially having had a bad week last week! I've had a kick in the right direction again at least!! Back to it...

  58. We are celebrating Temptation Sunday -- asked worshippers a couple of weeks ago to write down temptations they struggle with. Very interesting responses.

    Evening service: Temptations tunes.

  59. After finishing my sermon, I did the dishes. While doing the dishes, I put angel hair pasta down the disposal. The disposal returned it to me, and for the past two hours I have been dealing with a plumbing disaster, successfully in the sense that there is no longer water pouring into the cabinet under the sink, but unsuccessfully in the sense that the sink is once again and still full of water.
    I am now going to eat Ben and Jerry's Vermonty Python right out of the carton, and I don't much care what anyone thinks of me!

  60. Shoot Songbird, after that kind of night I only think you are crazy for waiting that long to crack open the ice cream!

    And Quaker Pastor... that description of your weekend is why I ended my Youth Ministry days. God bless ya!

  61. I think Vermonty Python might be the best ice cream ever.

  62. The snow has not begun here, but the wind is whistling round the corners of the house. No kids here yet. It's about time they should arrive...soon i hope.

  63. I have done something that apparently former pastor/best friend of St Stoic never did: with the concurrence of 10/12 of session I have cancelled worship tommorow.

    They don't just throw the "blizzard" word around here, folks. It takes about a foot of snow and heavy, heavy winds.


  64. Well played Cheesehead, well played. Enjoy the serendipitous day!

  65. Officially jealous, Cheesehead!

  66. Well, I don't have much written (that's being generous) and I'm tired sooo there is one last mature thing left for me to do...

    Goodnight. I am going home to put on my pajammies backwards and jump on my bed in a circle three times... that still works when you're 37, right?


  67. Hoorah for snowdays! I'm happy for you and a little envious as well, cheesehead. Did someone say jammies and bed? That sounds so great...but I have GOT to finish up this sermon. Only about a page to go...

  68. Stacey, did you know Arcade Fire is on SNL tonight?

  69. Yes! I don't have that channel, but someone is recording it for me.

    I am finally done with the sermon, and heading off to bed. Whew. Last one out, get the lights, will you?

  70. Well, I just got back from a long drive and a good conversation in Santa Barbara.

    The homily will need more time tomorrow, but mass is at 5 so I'll have it. Best part of today is before I hit the road I finished the study sheet and the midterm! (Except for tweaking the essay questions a little). So I will be in good shape to keep reflecting on the Holy Spirit tomorrow with the icky stressful stuff out of the way.

    Thanks for the company, good preaching or happy snow days to all.

  71. It is almost midnight and kiddos and baby are here...looking worse for wear. Just a little snow coming down, but increasing, and blowing something fierce. They said they should have stayed put, but now they are glad they came. Whew. Night all...and blessed preaching to those in the pulpit tomorrow.

  72. Done! And fairly decent, I think, if I can remember the items. It's not a full brunch, but it's more than cold cereal. Now for a shower, an assembling of items, a quick readthrough and BED. I'll get the lights on my way out.

    Blessings on preaching, proclamation, and postponements. :)

  73. 2:21 am here and things are relatively quiet at the hospital for a moment. The ER is full though. To all of you preaching while I sleep tomorrow (oops today), many blessings. May the spirit flow. By the way, there's good news at my place.

  74. 6:35am and not a drop of liquid has fallen from the sky... but I can see it coming on the radar.

    I guess I'll start gearing up for church. Yeah God!

    I hope all of you who either have had or will have services today experience the Holy Spirit in phenomenal ways and if you as the worship leader aren't to sure about what you have to lead the people, don't worry the Holy Spirit has got your back.

    And if you've got a dog - walk it proud.

  75. Good morning, preachers!
    My sink is still backed up, but the coffee is on for you last minute polishers.
    Preach well today! Bring the Good News!

  76. Blessings to all today too.
    Hope every one is safe who are in the blizzardy areas. Cheesehead great call. Singing Owl glad the children are safe. Songbird hope you enjoyed the ice cream for the rest of us, what a night you had.

    I had to quit early on the computer had thunderstorms with high winds and possible tornados. Tried to work on the sermon and kept nodding off, so I did as WS and went to bed early. I am now up early, and what am I doing, reading yall's posts and commenting, not written a lick yet.

    So to all, may the holy spirit move in which ever direction your listeners need to be moved. And may it somehow move my brain to come up with the sermon that's stuck in there somewhere.

    WS and Quaker Pastor, I don't do youth either, and yet here I begin confirmation today. I like the prayer cairns mompriest.

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  79. Totally relaxed last night with friends and wine and to see if the sermon I thought was kick-a** yesterday is the same way today, then to dredge up conviction to preach it (from under my dread of the reactions...).

    I know it has to be done, but oh....

    Blessings on anyone still working!

  80. Well it was a dog and I walked it as proudly as I could. Good to be home from the dog park because of course NOW it is snowing.

    Hope all went well around the ring as well.

  81. Woke up at 1am with intestinal flu...felt real lousy until about 7am...but make it through both services and a meeting after church - only consumed black now I'm going to eat some plain rice and see how I do...oh, and I have a cold with a sore throat...but it was the intestinal stuff that really got me.

    No ice after late night, rain all that's better! Still, very low attendance.

  82. oooh, mp - get some rest and feel better.


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