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Saturday, August 18, 2007

11th Hour Preacher Party: Rise and Shine!!! Edition

Good morning, Cabin One!!!!

Rise and Shine and give God the glory, glory!
Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory!
Rise and shine and (stomp) give God the glory, glory!
Children of the Lord.

That's how my Saturday began last week, on the not-so-far-away but magically distant shores of Pilgrim Lodge Summer Camp. Fortunately, I was delivering the wake-up call, not receiving it.

The gospel lesson this week is a wake-up call, too, and I have to admit it goes against my inclinations to preach one in the summer. I like to be gentle in the summer months, when the people in attendance are "the faithful remnant," making it to church week after week while others sit in boats at their family camps.

On the other hand, maybe they are the ones who can hear it.

Where are you finding the Good News this week? What sort of wake-up calls lie ahead in your day? And most importantly, what would you like in your coffee?

Join in the comments as we encourage one another along the way today, and if your sermon is already finished, try not to rub it in!


  1. Goodness, I am up and at it early this morning. But I have a wedding this afternoon and then I have to travel to my Sunday church. This is my last Sunday in an Episcopal church for awhile. It saddens me a bit but at the same time I am looking forward to my new congregation.

    And wouldn't you know that these are the readings that I have to preach on my last Sunday! I am going to take them on. There is too much schism going on in TEC not to preach on them and the congregation will appreciate me addressing it. Tough work, though.

  2. We are up already this morning (yawn), but we are moving in less than 2 weeks...can't wait, it will put me within 5 miles of the church instead of 35! So, the plan today is to pack.

    I've gone with Luke text- I'll pull it out later on for some polishing. In the meantime, I'm breaking bad with doughnuts. Please help yourself!

  3. Less than a month away from getting back to the lectionary - phew! For now I am working with Psalm 139 and trying to communicate what it is about without sounding like I am singing about Santa Claus (he knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you're awake).

    SB, your camp wake up call reminded me of a mission trip where we stayed in a school building and they would use the PA system to wake us up. Always with a "Good Morning Campers" and then usually some rousing song.
    Except for the last day when they played 'Morning Has Broken' and no one could get out of bed!

  4. I believe it, will smama!
    It surely got those campers up and ready to pack and go home.
    Muthah+, may your transition be filled with grace.
    Chilly Fingers, sounds like a great move!

  5. Division, division, division. that's what I'm working with this morning. Who wants to follow this Jesus guy if this is what he preaches? Where am I finding the good news? The children's sermon will focus on the Hebrews reading, the "cloud of witnesses." We will be putting names of our encouragers and mentors on clouds and putting them up (somewhere, I haven't yet decided) in the sanctuary. The trick will be getting my very traditional congregation of adults to participate in this "children's activity." The plan, at least for now, is to return to the cloud of witnesses for encouragement and support when it feels like all division, all the time. And of course, we don't agree on everything with those in our 'cloud' either.

    I have homemade waffles to offer--they are going fast with two hungry guys in the house. If you want one, let me know, I'll set some aside!

  6. mamaS, cool! I'm planning something similar--thanks for reminding me I need to cut out the clouds!!!

  7. Good morning! I began my sermon yesterday, got about 1/3 done. (No bragging there,trust me.)

    I'm off to our fabulous Art Fair today. I'll be back around 4:00, then it is back at it for me.

    Carry on, friends, I'll be back to check in later.

  8. Due to unusual circumstances, my vacation Sunday has been separated from my actual going away vacation which was a week ago. Which means that I'm not preaching tomorrow! I'm here to cheer you on and offer to run errands. Happy writing!

  9. Cream, please (in my coffee, that is).

    As far as Good News goes, I'm still searching for it (in Isaiah). All I've got so far are vague and amorphous ideas, and a hankering for doughnuts.

  10. I wrote a draft of this sermon on Wednesday, but haven't looked at it since - because - I had to write, and now preach, a funeral sermon (not to mention preside at the funeral)...

    how's that for symbolic of all my time here at small church - I return from a two week vacation and my first service is a funeral...

    says a lot....about a lot...

    and I won't know anyone there, he was a parishioner 20 years ago, married there, then moved away...

    anyway. I have coffee and cinnomon swirl toast. I hope to make it to an art fair after the funeral, if the weather holds (looks like rain).

    Then I'll be back to work on the sermon for tomorrow.

    blessings all!

  11. I am just starting here--waking up slow becasue of the tubing trip we did yesterday with youth and adults from the meeting. I will probably post pics at my blog.
    I am off lectionary again this week-still exploring the world of missions among Friends. Tomorrow's focus is Africa-primarily Kenya.
    Please pass the caffeine!
    Peace Y'all!

  12. I don't drink coffee, but I have the kettle on, and plenty of "free range tea" (my husband's term for that which is purchased at the co-op) will be ready to share soon.

    I'm also working with the Luke passage-- like Muthah, it seems to me too pertinent to "the goings on" to be able to pass it up.

  13. The phrase that won't leave me alone is the "cloud of witnesses." The problem is that's all I have--and less than 8 hours before it needs to be preached at our Saturday service. I'm getting very nervous!

  14. I;ve got cookies inthe oven for a picnic later today. Semi-sweet and white chocolate chips with nuts. Eat all you want virtually - -they are calorie free if consumed online. I will be skipping them until later :) Coffee is brewing as well, and there's cereal.

    The draft was finished on Wednesday, but is very short and I have to do a children's sermon after I lengthen it. I am also preachign hebrews, but hesitate to use the great idea I heard about here -- we have only had 1 kid the last 3 weeks, she's 3 and does not like to talk during the children's sermon.

  15. I'm not a preacher, just the lowly organist, so I don't have a sermon to write. However, I will be working all day on my lesson plan for Session #2 - Biblical and Theological Foundations of Worship. Now, how I'm going to cram that into less than an hour is beyond me, but here goes.

    I'm at my sister's house this morning, so I have Berry Berry Kix to offer, some milk and leftovers from Olive Garden for lunch.

  16. I got an email from a gentle soul this week telling me that Reverend "He who shall not be named" had told his congregation to pray for the deaths of the leaders of Americans for the Separation of Church and State. She was feeling very much like the language of pray had been hijacked for evil purposes, and asked what's the point of being Christian if ministers can make such statements in public?

    This week I also had a Moslem friend ask me why we Christians are always fighting when really we are all here for the same purpose - to do God's will caring for each other.

    I believe the lectionary passages, and the 4th chapter of James that I am using, can address this beautifully. At least, I'm going to try.

  17. Skim milk in my coffee, please.

    Muthah, wish I could hear that sermon! Dangit, wish I could hear all of them. Wonder what I'll hear tomorrow?

    The cloud of witnesses is my all time favorite scripture and what I will be working with in my prayer time. How do I increase the cloud daily? How might I diminish it?

    Today: errand in Dallas. Farmer's market. House cleaning. Desk cleaning.

    Good writing, all.

  18. Logistical crisis for 16-year-old son has now gotten in the way of sitting down to write a sermon or going to the farmer's market. Maybe I'll find one or the other on the way to meet him?

  19. I've had so many weeks away lately that I almost forgot to stop by the party! I'm still at square one with the sermon, with vague ideas about the cloud of witnesses as support during divisive or difficult times, but no actual words yet.

    Since I'm in the midst of my Anti-Spread Campaign, I also don't have any goodies to share, unless you're really into lowfat yogurt or whole wheat toast. I'm also not taking any of your treats...but I will take some coffee.

  20. I'm with you, Stacey, on the support of the cloud of witnesses in difficult times, and as the connection between Hebrews and Luke. I'm thinking about some of those in my cloud of witnesses who were far from perfect people themselves, but that's human nature, and a part of the divisions in our families and church and world - and maybe that Christ wants us to confront honestly those divisions? But I still have to work out how to divide up tomorrow's wedding that I'm copresiding at with a colleague before today's rehearsal, and do it before I leave for regional planning meeting. Oof.

  21. ok don't hate me the sermon was finished's tough. rough. unapologetic. maybe it's not as tough as i think though... anyhoo i ask many questions in it and hopefully folks will catch on that it's a thought-provoker and they are meant to pray & come up with answers... not wait for me to magically deliver them answers.

    we'll see... began the day with strong black coffee. fielded a phone call re: a teenager's boyfriend killed in an accident last night - now off to prepare for afternoon wedding. oh yeah and fought with hubby before he left for family reunion I'm skipping b/c of said wedding...

    so... i might post my sermon later tonight to ellicit feedback. (like right you have nothing to do but read my blog...)

    good writing gang! good praying! good being in the vineyard with you!

  22. Greetings to one and all!

    I have raspberry scones for you. I'll leave the extra dark happy caffeine juice to someone else. I have had my fill of that today.

    My sermon is done. A friend is in town, so I needed to git 'er done. Heh. Um, the Talking Heads helped a lot with Luke this week...Burning Down the House.

    Go here.

  23. Ok, It's posted here.

    Once again I can;t make the html work to get you there by clicking. It comes up 404 not found.

    Off to walk and then head out to the picninc. I hear there will be veggie burgers in addition the the ususal suspects. can I bring anythign abck?

  24. chilly fingers that's far too efficient... I'm moving on Wednesday (removers coming Tuesday to load up) and I'm ploughing through the packing. Not sure at the moment if I'm winning or not! So, I'm officially between jobs and not preaching tomorrow - prayers offered for all of you slogging away, and I'd appreciate prayers for my alternative labours today if you can manage some!

  25. Songbird, that song is one I used in my religion/english classes in Egypt when the class was at 8.30. Even first grade girls needed a pick me up. We used hand motions and standing-up-sitting-down to turn it into something like an energizer. They loved it.

    Not preaching here, just children's timing. We are doing the cloud of witnesses so I am planning to have pictures of some people (maybe the ones from the passage, maybe not) like Noah, Abraham, Jesus, and some photos of church people all mounted on clouds. After talking about this for a brief moment, how faith is passed on from person to person and how people help us grow in our faith, then we'll have some grown-ups from the congregation come and stand in a circle around the kids, holding the clouds of course, and we'll pray. I'm hoping it will engage adults to see that they are part of the cloud of witnesses as well.

    Must go make clouds, find pictures, and do some gluing...good times.

    I know it's lunchtime many place already, but today I have to offer blueberries, strawberries, nectarines, and green grapes. I am trying not to eat the thousand and one cookies that magically (by which I mean "after I asked for them") made their way into my hot little hands after this week's cookie-sale/ice-cream-social. The cookies are amazing, but they're in the office and I'm at home. On purpose.

  26. Chilly Fingers and Chelley, you're both way ahead of me. I'm not even sure when closing on the house will be, but my offer and loan application have both been accepted so it will be sometime in September. The problem is I keep looking at paint colors and drawing pictures of how I want the house to look instead of drawing points to make in my sermon!

  27. Clouds of witnesses here too...I'm going to talk about the impact of the missionaries on the Church of S India, throw in a much loved former vicar here who still casts a long shadow 30 years after his death and then work in our own current "clouds"...I think. But I've bot no time flat to do it in...Eeek
    I know, I know, I should have written it before I went away but there were (she whines) other things demanding time and energy then.
    Oh...I do have some rather good gingerbread men for the party, though.

  28. The last load of post-vacation laundry is in the dryer (a week after returning), the tea is brewing, and I'm sermonizing! We have a potluck at my dean's house tonight to say farewell to one of my best friends/colleagues (*sniff*) so I'm trying to get done early and figure out what I want to make. Anybody have any suggestions for good finger food potluck items?

    I was all about the cloud of witnesses earlier in the week...but then our adult ed class met and they all voted that I should preach on Luke instead. And, some of the points I was going to make fit with Luke as well, so there you go. A less uplifting message, but perhaps better than just reading the Gospel and then ignoring it completely.

    Interesting connect with St. Smaller as well, where their very location (on the opposite corner from the LCMS church) is born of division, and people now complain about why they can't merge.

    Songbird, are you still using the title "Jesus Loses It"? I really want to refer to that in my sermon, if that's okay with you.

    And wouldn't you know it, I just got invited to Ravelry today. Must...resist...the temptation...

  29. semfem! Come find me on ravelry (I'm earthchick) and let me know your username so I can add you as a friend! I thought my Ravelry-addiction might've cooled a bit by now, but it only seems to be getting stoked as more and more people come aboard and adding their knowledge (and pictures!) to the database. Oy.

    Oh yeah, sermon. Um, I think I am finally understanding why the rest of you people have gone with Luke or Hebrews instead of Isaiah. Woe is me. [or, as Isaiah would have it, woe is all of us!]

  30. I thought I might preach on Luke, but hubbie's doing that in the morning service. Then I thought about Jer. Then I read what y'all are thinking about Hebrews and it sounded great. So where does that leave me? No sermon, no real direction, and a pot luck in 5 hours.
    Pass the "free-range tea" please!

  31. I'm usually one of the last to learn these things, but what is ravelry?

  32. Tripp, I love it!!
    I'm using a Marvin Gaye song as my title: "Can I Get a Witness?"

  33. Up to a full page of ways we are unfaithful to God - then got distracted by the unfinished shower in the fixer-upper house I don't own yet and wandered off to look at shower doors and such online. Must Focus!

    Hmm - perhaps this will serve as a good illustration on how we get distracted from being faithful. . .

    Anyone have chocolate? There's a cheesecake here to share. Remember - virtual calories are not fattening!

  34. semfem, as you can see, I changed my mind, but I will probably still mention that I considered it, and you feel free to do so, too!

  35. Wow, between Songbird and Tripp, I have a whole soundtrack for Sunday in my head now. :)

    preachermom--the shortest explanation I can give of Ravelry is that it's sort of like Wikipedia for knitters and crocheters. I bet earthchick can tell you more. :) It's at if you want to check it out.

    I may somehow use "Jesus Loses It" as a way to kick off the sermon. Hope that's okay, SB.

    Still need potluck finger food ideas...anyone?

  36. I'm holidaying this week, so no sermon--I get to hear one from a dear friend and mentor who's in town this week--and with whom I just had lunch. Good times.

    So I thought I'd stop by with some of my mom's decadent brownies (they love them at the blood drives). Enjoy--because cyber-brownies have no calories!

  37. Brownies! thanks Rainbow Pastor. :-)

  38. Thank you RP for the brownies! YEAH!!!

    The dog and I are going up into the sort-of mountain for a hike because it is just to gorgeous outside not to.

    I will be mentally preparing the communion meditation of Psalm 139 as I go. really...

  39. I'm back after doing just about all the other things that need doing. Like laundry, reading books to LittleBear, more laundry, lunch, going to the church to make copies of clouds, cutting out said clouds, putting inserts in the bulletins, double checking on the broken window in the church, bank.... you get the idea. I've now reached the time when I need to bribe myself. If this sermon gets done soon, I'll have time to enjoy this beautiful weather and do some scrapbooking tonight.


  40. I now have a draft using Jeremiah 23 and a bit o'Hebrews. I'm posting it here Let me know what you think. It is way too short, but it is HOT and an evening service tomorrow.
    Oh well, I'll let it rest and add/change tomorrow. I'm headed downstairs now to see what I can steel from the potluck prep!

  41. I have been putzing around with DH and our riding lawn mower for the past 3 hours ... but at least it is working well enough to mow our acre before the monsoon this week --and she's happy. ["If Mama ain't happy ..."] Putting a new drive belt on a mower is like putting panty hose on an elephant!

    DH's mowing ... I'm drinking a cold beer, because I can. Anybody want one? Perhaps later?

    In the meantime, does it interest anyone that the Contemporary English Version of Luke 12:51 is: "Do you think that I came to bring peace to earth? No indeed! I came to make people choose sides."

    It's not so much that Jesus intends to bring division --but rather that division is often a consequence of choosing to follow Jesus [or God's will] ... or not.
    Jeremiah and Isaiah could have ignored the fire shut up in their bones and chosen to be silent ... Israel chose a different "side" from one that God called them to choose ...

  42. Thanks Quixote! What an interesting insight with the CEV version. I had been leaning that direction in my sermon.

    I've been reading Brian McLaren's Generous Orthodoxy lately. It has a TON of insights to add to the discussion.

  43. Mmmm brownies.

    preacher mom, semfem explained in a nutshell what ravelry is. Basically, crack for knitters and crocheters. It's an interactive database for knitters/crocheters to track all their projects, yarns, patterns, planned projects, etc. I can look at everything semfem has uploaded, for instance - see what she's made, what she's currently working on, what she's planning on making someday, even what knitting books she has! (and not just semfem's, but thousands of other people's data). There has been nothing like it online till now. It is an amazing research tool. And an outrageous Time Suck.

    Sermon? What sermon?

    Please pass me another brownie....

  44. Wow, good thing I didn't upload anything, since then I would delay not only MY sermon but YOURS as well, earthchick. :)

    Brownies please! I'd make some for the potluck tonight, but I think we are going to have s'mores. I'm pondering artichoke squares right now (but can I make them wheat-free for my allergic dean?).

  45. Preachers, how did this day fill up with family shuttling and tasks? I tell you, I do not know.
    May I get you anything before I take off on another shuttling mission? There is a fresh pot of Fair Trade brewing as I type this, and I would be happy to make some popcorn, too!
    (And please stop tempting me with Ravelry. Please. I mean it. At least until after I work on my sermon.)

  46. Friends,

    This week Marty Moss-Coane interviewed Peggy and Tony Campolo on FreshAir. They were speaking of their differing viewpoints on the issue of homosexual marriage. Worth a listen (if you have 53 minutes), and reflecting on how we life together in the midst of the division(s) that our faith commitments bring.

  47. teehee, semfem!

    Yes, Songbird, you can get me something before you go - a completed sermon. Thanks!

    [and you are on Ravelry, too?! Can you let me know your username so I can add you to my friends?]

    Y'all, I know it sounds sad that I'm over here pimping for Ravelry friends. But it's one of my favorite Ravelry activities right now - go over there and hit the button that says "friends' activity" and see what everyone's been up to. Yup. I am a Peeping Thomasina.

  48. Wow, if Songbird's picking up completed sermons, I could use one, too! ;)

    I've been staring at this screen for a long time now, and have about three paragraphs. I will not be distracted by video interviews or checking out this Ravelry thing. I will not! I will not!

    (However, I clearly will be distracted by reading the comments here)

  49. Okay, I'm not going to try to tempt y'all over to Ravelry this afternoon, b/c if y'all are able to resist distraction and get your sermons done (unlike me) then more power to ya. But when you knitting/crocheting clergy-types DO get over to Ravelry, maybe we could set up a little clergy group? (there are a bazillion groups over there and I keep thinking it would be fun to have a clergy one, but so far I haven't known any clergy knitters' usernames). You know, just so we always have one more option for playing around online....

    I know I really need to get serious. Here I am supposed to be working with this text that is all judgment and no hope, and everytime I start to make any headway into the darkness of that, I find myself taking a little internet break. I'm such a wuss.

  50. Earthchick, maybe this is one of those primo opportunities for triangulating with the congregation against the text?
    When I first heard about Ravelry, the site was down. I haven't joined yet, but I will definitely give it a look. I want to say that will be tomorrow, but I somehow doubt it.
    If I can get my husband out the door for his hiking trip, the only remaining family task will be fixing dinner with the two young men who I think of as my "boys." They are going out to a movie later, so I will have the house to myself.
    I swear I will not sign up for Ravelry while they are gone.
    Unless I am really desperate.

  51. Fresh homemade guacamole and chips, anyone?

    Thanks Mamas for that tip about the Campalos on FreshAir

  52. hey all! ravelry... very, very intriguing...

    we have family visiting so i got the sermon done a few days ago. i've been trimming ever since. i just printed so... it'll have to do. it's on my blog if anyone is interested- if it is helpful and not distracting, i'm happy to share. though distraction does seem to abound today!

    i don't however have a children's sermon yet. your cloud of witnesses ideas are good, but i don't have time to make props. so... if anyone has any other ideas- my sermon basically ends up focusing on the "though they were commended for their faith, they did not receive what they were promised" because... they're waiting for us. Big party coming, but can't start till everyone gets there. So... any ideas?

    We have some local bologna (not like oscar meyer) more like... i don't know... salami... summer sausage... that I could share.

  53. Songbird, why don't you go and request an invitation to Ravelry from the founders...that way you can't join and procrastinate today...that will be put off for another day! :)

    Oh, and triangulating with the congregation against the text? I am SO there. I do that a lot.

  54. Oh, and earthchick, great idea for a clergy group on Ravelry! Or a RGBP equivalent! If you start one, I'll join :)

  55. You know it's a good hike when you have to hose off the dog.

    Bluegrass concert on my lawn with food wagon - oh if only they had a fryer. But good burgers, hot dogs, hot sausages, homemade pies and ice cream ARE available.

    Sermons are on sale 2 for 1!

  56. I'm back from Art Fair, which was a soggy mess.

    Now to sermonizing...oy.

  57. *prepares to make will smama an offer for those sermons*

  58. I'm glad I'm not the only one fighting the distractions. I even traveled 200 miles away from home to get a couple of days worth of work done, but I'm just as distracted here as at home... oy!

    ok, back to OT worship....

  59. Sermon on the Hebrews text is almost done. I think I'll go take a break before I try to tackle the conclusion and the Children's message.

    Pass the guacamole my way, please!

  60. Have y'all noticed that hymns for these passages are few and far between ...? "Division" doesn't appear in the subject indices of ANY of my hymnals.

  61. Oh wait. We do get "Struggle and Conflict" in the New Century Hymnal ... but the selections leave me cold.

    Here's some guac.

  62. Did I mention that I found a farm stand on the way back to town? We are having fresh corn with our dinner, and there is plenty to go around!
    (Still no work done on sermon...)

  63. Mmmmm...guac and fresh corn...

    Shockingly, just when I thought it was going to be an effort of several more hours, my sermon came together in a flash. I'll go back to it later to make sure it's really ready, but for now, it's done enough for me to take a break and find something good for dinner. Here's hoping the rest of you get some flashes of inspiration, too!

  64. Oh! Did I mention I also have banana bread for a snack, if the guac doesn't do it for ya?

    Two songs down, two more to go.

  65. KnittinPreacher, great connection in your sermon between the abstract cloud of witnesses and the real world life we're in.

  66. mamas, thanks for the link to the interview. I listen to Fresh Air a lot via Sirius radio but I missed this one. Tony Campolo is one of my favorites because of the way he integrates evangelical Christianity and social justice. He did a lot to form my faith as a high school student. He is the one that made me question how someone with deep faith could be content pew sitting with a ticket to heaven instead of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God.

  67. more cows, we were initially going with a sort of relay-race idea here rather than the cloud thing, talking about how the people before have passed the baton to us, and we'll pass it on again and again and again until one day we'll all receive the reward, but in the meantime none of us get to WIN the race, we just get to be part of the team.

    So if you have something you can use as a baton, you can try turning that into a children's time. It's another good one for involving the older folks...

  68. OK...Hebrews done here. Too long for St M's but probably about right for the evening slot, so St M's will just have to fidget in their seats for once. Now I only need prayers and a quick homily for the baptism...
    Longsuffering Clockmaker has gone to bed, leaving an open bottle of home made wine behind him. Would that help or hinder? I'll pour a glass or two and see how you feel...

  69. Help, friends! I went with the Luke passage. I'm 1200 words in with no discernible way out yet.

    Man,why did I choose such a challenging text??? What was I thinking?

    I'm making a pot of coffee, doing laundry, cleaning the kitchen, anything to procrastinate finishing this sucker!

  70. Funeral went well, even the funeral sermon was ok. Someone said it was just what they needed to hear, helped them deal with ongoing grief over the death of son who died many years ago...

    And, I made it to the art fair (but it did rain)...still I managed to get a birthday present for daughter and one for our niece...and have an anniversary lunch with my husband...and now, I've had a chance to catch up with you I will make some dinner and get back to the sermon for Sunday....

  71. Songbird... Thanks for the summer camp flash back! Did you sing all the verses, too?

    "The Lord said to Noah...."

    Anyway, I am finishing up a sermon. We are on the second to last week of our "Stations of the Cross" series. Tomorrow the focus is on Jesus' death. We lost one of our saints this week ~ a lovely and spirited woman ~ so this topic will both be timely and difficult.

  72. cheesehead, I'm with ya! 1300-ish words in, with an ending I wrote out before I wrote anything else, only now the ending (which I LOVED) does not seem to fit. No idea how to wrap this sucker up.

    [am I really the only one who went with Isaiah? If you are out there lurking and you are doing Isaiah, please delurk and tell me what you're doing with it!]

  73. Chalice Press recently published a hymnal concordance. Hymns containing the word division are:
    When in Awe of God's Creation
    O God of Every Nation
    I come with joy
    and Like the murmer of the dove's song.

    They all deal with the healing of divisions but may be helpful.

  74. KristaBeth, we sang all the verses, but only one or two per cabin. Then we started again!

  75. There I was plugging along, getting excited about the sermon when I decided to check the mail. What is there in my mailbox? Two catalogues on home decor and design! Plus my first copy of Living Pulpit.

    Distractions abound!

  76. Is it time to break out the microwave popcorn? Or drink a Diet Coke?
    I have a very strong beginning, but that's all at the moment. And I'm not sure how different that is from where I was two days ago.
    Do you think a bubble bath would help? I have a bunch of articles from The Text This Week I could take with me.

  77. Oh Yes, Songbird. A bubble bath with appropriate reading matter is a great idea! Join me in the world of distracting printed materials. :-)

  78. Yes, SB, a bubble bath is a great idea!

    Rev Maria, was one of your catalogues IKEA? Mine came today and has provided multiple distractions.

    Surprisingly, I think I might've just finished a draft. Who knows whether or not it hangs together and works as a whole, but I'm actually rather stunned that it has come together at all. [FTR, I did end up choosing to make a Christological move in order to break out of Isaiah's picture of complete judgment. Another option would've been to use other texts from Isaiah, but with what I was doing it worked better to do the Christological thing.]

  79. Yes, Earthchick, one was IKEA and one was something called Room and Board filled with "contemporary" expensive stuff.

    Sermon is about 1/2 done, I think. Of course, I forgot that I have to adapt it for an afternoon service in a retirement home health care unit. No More Distractions! (Does blogging count as a distraction?)

  80. it's tomorrow morning already here...and after daughter's car broke down, leaving me to rescue her from a late night waitressing slot, I'm about done for. Blessings on all of you as you prepare and preach...

  81. Stopping by after the potluck. I have some very yummy turkey enchiladas with all the fixin's! I'd love a diet Coke and popcorn as well!
    All this talk of ravelry has me interested, even though I'm not a knitter!
    Doing some editing on too short sermon, although, honestly, I won't get it finished until tomorrow. I really need to be working on my sunday school class lesson on Hebrew 5 and 6.
    Maybe I need some of those brownies afterall :)

  82. I'm done! And, I've a successful day packing. It's funny - as excited as I am about this move, it makes me a little sad to see my house starting to empty out.

    Anyway, I'm going to make some peppermint tea with fresh lemon - anybody care to join me?

  83. I took the bath and read the articles. Now I really, really have to write. Really.

    No, really.

    But first, I'll put on some hot water for tea. Anybody want a cup?

  84. Sermon draft finally complete here.
    I focused upon Hebrews and the cloud of witnesses. I brought in Tammy Faye, Elvis, along with Moses and Abraham. I also included two dear friends from a former church who I just learned died only 5 weeks apart. It is a sweet testament to their love, I think that they would die so close together.

    I think I have selfishly used my sermon to work through some of my grief with this couple. Actually, there were 6 (yes 6) deaths in that church last month. All 6 were folks I knew well and I was close to 3 of the 6. I am somewhat thankful to be experiencing this rough month of loss from 1000 miles away. I feel bad for the pastor. How difficult this time must be for him.

    Nonetheless, I pray my sermon holds together and is as moving for the congregation as they hear it as it was for me writing it!

    I want some guac and chips, please.
    Low carb diet be darned!!!!

  85. I'm sorry I missed the party... just forgot.. said... have a glass of wine before bed on me... preached once.. then up for everything tomorrow.

  86. Getting a late start here on the writing part, but the grapes are pressed and have been mellowing in my head all day. I actually woke up at 5:15 this morning thinking about my sermon. Usually that is what happens on Sunday morning.

    I've been thinking about ballads - old cheating and unrequited love songs and seeing the link to Isaiah. I'm thinking about singing the scripture as part of the sermon. Now I just need to get into a really creative mood.

    The day was full of errands and car repairs and church ice cream social. No more food here! I already ate more of the stuff I shouldn't than I should have! But we do have homemade ice cream in the freezer if anyone needs a snack!

  87. Well, I'm done. I finished while having one ear out for the schmoopies who were downstairs.

    Now its a glass of vino, a bath, and bed for me.

  88. Ok, I have herbal iced tea (Tazo "Calm") and low fat ice cream bars. I have a sermon that is: not as awful as I thought. But. Neither is it finished.

    You all have been bouncing around some great ideas, makes me wish I were preaching on Hebrews and not Jeremiah and Luke...

    I'm using the movie Freedom Writers, with Hilary Swank, as an illustration - to get at passion. Erin Gruwell was (is) passionate about helping the kids. In a similar way God fills us with a passion to make a diffference in the world - Jeremiah fights it, Jesus does not, in the end God's passion, stirred in us through the fire of the Holy Spirit, (Jesus baptizes with fire and Holy Spirit, the disciples are filled with tongues of fire and Holy Spirit on Pentecost, we are given the HS and fire - passion in baptism)....God calls us to ministry, lay or ordained, and sometimes we are like Jer. - we fight it...sometimes we are like Jesus and live it...

    well, that's where I am so far...I think.

    a bubble bath does sound very nice...

  89. hey teri, thanks. i think i did that the last time i used this passage- might do it again. we'll see. i have hubby thinking on it.

    songbird, i saw your note on a bath and went up to draw one. i hear it filling now. thanks.

    blessings all, on your writing, or resting, recovering (from stressful days) and in your grieving ((((revdari)))). and on your preaching tomorrow.

  90. My sermon is posted. Still need to work on the end..always the end...but stop on by if you have the energy and see what I have to say about Passion Like Tongues of Fire

    I gotta go to bed. Blessings on you all, this night and tomorrow.

  91. Hey, all,
    Just wrote my opening prayer for tomorrow and I thought I'd share:

    Holy, almighty and ever-living God, you bring a word that shatters us into pieces, so that we may be remade in Your image. You bring a word that burns us with its intensity, so that we might be set ablaze with Your passion for the world You have created. You break the relationships we cherish, so that You can rebuild them in love that is deeper than we can imagine and grace that stretches far beyond our ability to give. Shatter us – set us ablaze – rebuild us as the grace-filled body of your Son, Jesus the Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

    Maybe you can tell I'm struggling with how to say what I feel called to say and how best to say it - pray for me!

  92. Stick me with a fork... I'm done... at least until the final read through tomorrow morning. I'm preaching from Hebrews... and talking about being the Bread for the Race of Life. May God's face shine on each of you as you serve Christ in all that you say and do.

  93. Hey! I think it worked! Take a look at the ballad of the vineyard I'm going to sing. The asterisks mark breaks to talk about the text

  94. Scott, that is a beautiful prayer. May you find the other words you need as well. (I feel sure you will!)

  95. Back finally from potluck, complete with campfire and s'mores (I smell like woodsmoke). Very full and starting to get sleepy, but must finish sermon first.

    I got about a page in (660 words) before I had to leave. And when I left, I was really in the groove, so I hope I can find it again!

  96. Friends, I'm up later than usual, but now I am hitting the sack. Will someone get the lights and unplug the coffeepot? No rush, we are good sleepers around here!

  97. It's only 9:00 p.m. here - and prime writing time has only now finally become available with kiddos off in bed... I think.

    I'm flowing with the good parts, and stumbling on the division stuff. I'm also tired of repeating cloud of witnesses. Perhaps I'll switch to the mist of saints... fog of forefathers and foremothers... haze of heroes... any others getting loopy at this late hour?

  98. *crickets chirping*

    Still typing away here, but almost done (word count 1479)...anybody else still out there? Rev Zookeeper?

  99. (And I just can't resist being the one to post comment 100. Heh!)

  100. Okay, I'm off to sleep. I'll get the lights etc. since I seem to be the only one left.

    Blessings on all proclamation tomorrow!

  101. Woke up early to another loud thunderestorm and torrents of rain. I should not complain, given the awful weather others are having...but I am anyway.

    May this day bring each of you the Grace of God. May the Holy SPirit fill your words with tongues of fire stirring up passion in you and the people you serve.

    At the very least I pray you all have a good day.

    Coffee's on, it's time to go.

  102. Good morning, mompriest!
    I am ready to go back to our regular worship time, but there are a few more Sundays left on the summer schedule. So we will be out early today, too.
    Blessings to all who preach today.

  103. boo on thunderstorms that woke me up sometime much before the alarm (as in many hours) and continue now. No one else is going to come to church in this weather, why do I have to go?

    {{end whine}}

    happy Sunday, all!


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