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Saturday, September 08, 2007

11th Hour Preacher Party - Barely Holding It Together Edition

Every time I think I've already been as busy as I can possibly be, I am proven wrong.

On my usual hosting weeks, I write this post in the wee hours of Friday night/Saturday morning because I know I'll sleep later than some of you, and wouldn't want you to arrive to an empty table here. Tonight I am doing so because I have to be at church in fewer than 8 hours to do a funeral, which will be followed by a wedding, after which I will return to write a brilliant (ha!) sermon about a text I read on Tuesday and haven't thought about since, and get ready for our Sunday School kick-off. Whoooeeee!

And then I think, some of you do this sort of thing and also have families. I am impressed.

Anyway, thanks to my parents, I now have a fancy-schmancy programmable coffee pot/carafe thingy and plenty of French roast, and it'll be brewing overtime all day. I also have a platter of pastries passed on by the bereaved. So, dig in, find a comfortable seat, and join in the idea-sharing, venting, groaning, rejoicing, etc. Party on, preaching pals!


  1. so everyone's sleeping... just finished a draft. because i didn't want to leave it til tomorrow. it's meandering and not "there" yet... and can i just say i'm sick of writing sermons. sick.

  2. oh wait it's already tomorrow... i'm goin' to bed. if y'all get a sermon done post it okay?

  3. I have an all day thing tomorrow so the sermon is done. My blog has a story I'm using for Jeremiah and a sermon by Frank Fisher for Psalm 139. You can check them out by scrolling down or clicking the side links for (respectively) The Cracked Pot and Coming to the End from here

    Party on! I'll check back tomorrow night.

  4. Well I'll be some other early bird party goers. I have a rough draft, finally. I was afraid to leave it until tomorrow, its a kid thing.
    And I am up late posting, reading, praying, and commenting.

    Yes, hot cup Lutheran, you are more than welcome to say you are sick of writing sermons, I get that way too, and I imagine a few others to do. Now go to bed, relax, you will feel better in the morning.

  5. oh Abi you're such a good mom. i'm going now i really am... the dog is already snoring louder than Pavoroti sang and HubHC is tossing upstairs by his lonesome...

  6. Wow, that's the first time I've arrived to see a bunch of comments already here (being in the UK and all that).
    Well, I'm going back to the church I've just left tomorrow for my 'leaving do' - and I'm preaching at the service first. It's an all-age with baptisms and I'm on Jonah (with a bit of an outline and a few ideas so far).

    While I'm here though I'd like to pick your wonderful brains about the church I'm being licensed to in just over a week... Here they have a short children's talk just before the children go out and then they have the sermon - is that what I've heard some of you talk about - I've never done that before, it's always been either an all-age or a 'normal' sermon... any tips or is it just going to feel like writing two sermons for one service every week?

  7. Stacey mentioned officiating at a funeral today, and it brought to mind Pavarotti and now Madeleine L'Engle who have now gone to be with their Maker.

    Have we not lost two wonderful friends who have provided much joy in two different ways?

    I'm going to miss both.
    Back to preacher party.

  8. hey all!

    stacy- blessings in this crazy day.

    hot cup lutheran- good for you for getting a draft done and i hear you on your weariness.

    crazy day for me too- sermon and wedding meditation to write, wedding to perform, wedding reception to attend (shoot- thought we weren't going to be invited!)- and lots of other things I could do, but will try to let it go if I don't. I've just stretched and prayed and now I'm going to soak and read for a bit. and then into the office to write, write, write away...

    i may be be back several times today.

    any food out there?

  9. Oh, you early birds! It's a good thing will smama and I are both off traveling this week or we would be weeping!!
    Chelley, there are lots of ways to approach a children's time. I generally ask myself what is the central message I am trying to communicate to the adults, then consider ways to say it to the children, remembering that some adults will listen to the children's message more than the sermon!
    Once you have a sense of who your children are, you can consider being interactive, either giving them something physical to do or asking them questions.
    Often my children's time comes out of a story I considered as an illustration for the sermon.
    In a moment of desperation, read them a picture book!
    Blessings to you in your new setting (and don't forget to Google "children's sermon").

  10. Thanks so much songbird- I'll definitely take your suggestions on board!
    Well, all-age Jonah is finished. As usual I'm not feeling very sure of it... I'll post it to my blog in a bit and any comments would be much appreciated. (Then I've just got to make the printed words and pictures into banner type things).

  11. I'm further along this week than I have been in a long time--the beginnings of an outline!

    I will probably have a meeting this afternoon which may stretch into this evening...and I'm ushering at a community theatre production tonight, so I need to have this done by early afternoon.

    I'm using Luke, and if anyone has a really good illustration, I'd appreciate it. My theme is that in order to become disciples, we have to create space for God to come in--clear away the clutter--and are we ready to let go of that clutter in order for the divine presence to enter our lives and change them?

    Focus and power on!

    I've got some free trade organic hot chocolate...and some grapes. Also some pink M&Ms. Looks like I need to get groceries, too.

  12. I'm not quite as busy as ya'll this week, but I am looking forward to taking off tomorrow after worship for a two day 25th anniversary celebration with my spouse!
    My to-do list includes:
    bulletin insert
    Sunday school flyer
    call to worship
    food prep for today
    and --Oh yeah-- a sermon
    This is the last week I'll be off lectionary. I'm talking tomorrow about the Quakers and their relationship with native americans. This because tomorrow is
    the observance of the "feathers of peace" incident ( also known as white feather meeting, or fierce feathers)found at:
    I have cereal, coffee, cheesecake left over from my husband's birthday yesterday to share.
    Yes, we got married 3 days after his birthday--thus insuring he remembers the day ;)

  13. I'm starting from scratch--scratch, I tell you.

    I had a family in my church suffer a terrible tragedy. Not a death, but a very serious spinal cord injury. It has really consumed my energy this week. Plus add the already short holiday week, and there you have it.

    Dang! I have no idea where I'm going with Philemon. Where's Teh Clooney when I really need him?

  14. Well, my offering's here.
    Comments welcome, and tea, chocolate orange, encouragement and prayers for all still working away. (It's 1.45pm here - I think this is a miracle for me!!).

  15. Cheesehead, I'm doing Philemon as well. "The Church in Your House." What happens when church comes home? Something like that. I have about 550 uninspiring words so far.

    What was I thinking?


  16. I am awake, and that's about it! Hubbie is back from the Men's fellowship breakfast with biscuts, gravy, sausage, beggs, and bacon. I cannot eat any of it, so I am offering it to y'all!
    We have a memorial service at the church today for a visitor's father who has been creamated. Then we have the annual pie supper where you can eat free barbeque and buy a pie at auction for (rumor has it) up to 150.00. That's the record for a pie, most go for 20 dollars, again according to rumor. This will be our first pie supper and I hope to bring back a treat for you late nighters, as it appears I will be joining you. I'm using Jeremiah because the imagery is sooooo strong. Not sure what I'll say, right now I'm more worried about the homily for the funeral. Blessings y'all!

  17. Chelley, one pastor I know has a special small box he uses for children's time. He gives it to a different child each week and asks them to bring it back with a small item in it (nothing that is alive or recently deceased!). Then he ad-libs a short message about the item. I find that a bit too scary, but you might try it if you like being spontaneous :-)

  18. Hi all, after staying up late last night, getting up earlier with the kids, spending time with them, I thought I drop by to say Hi, and to see if anybody needs anything. I have got to go over my really rough draft. No telling what I wrote at the wee hours of the morning.

    Chelly, you have asked us about the children's sermon. Lot's of people do it different ways. The way I do it is usually try to boil my sermon down into something the kids can grasp. Sometimes I make it, and sometimes I don't. Sometimes I bring an object to get the point across. Sometimes I wing it at the last moment when I just can not come up with what to do. Frankly I hate it trying to come up with something. I don't mind being with the kids, I just hate trying to do it. At Text this Week they ussually have a link for children's sermons that go with the lectionary.

    Well I am struggling with this sermon on Need based Evangelism as part of my series on the NCD. How to get them to pay attention and not have that glazed over look the minute you say the word evangelism.

    Yep, hot cup lutheran, just call me mom abi.

    And Marth I am glad you and WS are traveling, but really did you have to make us jealous?

    And Cheesehead, I sure will be thinking of you, the person and the family. What a tragedy to deal with.

    And you all with busy days, thinking of you too.

    Stacey crank that fancy schmancy coffee maker of yours up for some heavey duty leaded coffeee. Thanks for hosting.

    And thanks to all who are here partying, I need you all today.

  19. hmm, I'll second/third/fourth/whatever the crazy busy thing of this time. I had no idea I could be this busy, actually. I thought I had excellent boundaries. And then fall happened. GRR! so this morning I am off to talk to the association of teachers and retired teachers about Egypt. That ends at about 11.30. at 12 I have to train Sunday School teachers until 2. Thankfully the confirmation retreat that was supposed to begin at 2 has been cancelled (by me) because 2 of the 5 confirmands can't come--including one who told me that on Thursday afternoon. oy. (side note: Is it a bad sign when I'm sick of the confirmation class before it's begun?)

    This Sunday we are doing Jeremiah. We have managed a pottery wheel in the sanctuary, but not a potter so we are just using the image. I have to hand out Bibles to 3rd graders during the children's time as well as somehow get something in about how God is still working on us. Here's the plan, in case anyone desires to steal/adapt it:
    -stories...they make us think/feel/act differently. God's story helps us to think and feel and to act differently. Jeremiah says God is always working on us just like clay or play-doh. How does God do that? with the story. We read and hear the story of God and God's people and God uses the story to work on us and always make us more like God wants us to be. Third graders are getting Bibles today, which means they can read the story anytime they want. They can read at home and bring it to SS and ask their parents to read from it too. Having your own Bible is an important step in being a part of God's story and letting God make you into the person God wants you to be. (hand out Bibles). pray. done.

    It sounds so simple...I'm sure there will be a catch....

  20. Not preaching today ... I begin my internship soon. But I like to stop by and see the process and ideas.

    Chelley -- I like the distill the sermon to your one sentence point, then rephrase for kids. My old church had lay people do the children's sermon and all we had to go on was the text and title. Sometimes Providence led us to really help make the minister's point.

    Quakerpastor: My anniversery is on 14 Feb so he can't forget.

    I have some gluten-free pancakes and Earl Grey tea to contribute.

  21. Thank you all so much for your ideas on the children's talk - lots to help me along there. At the end of the day I'll copy and print out all the comments.

    And revabi - thankyou for your comment on my blog - that is such an encouragement which I really feel in need of at the moment, having one week before I start at my new place - eek! (And I still haven't finished the unpacking of boxes).

  22. Ooh, I meant to say yes please to the gluten free pancakes! (I'm coeliac)

  23. :( I have not heard about Madeleine L'Engle till I read it here just now. Phooey. :(

    Like the rest of you, I feel like I'm drowning in too much stuff to do. Neither dh nor I are preaching tomorrow - Gary Dorrien, prof. at Union Seminary, is lecturing tomorrow night at our church ("Militaristic Illusions: Iraq, Empire, and the Ethics of Resistance") and will be preaching tomorrow morning as well. I initially thought this would mean a light, enjoyable weekend for our family. But no, a family in the church decided to schedule the memorial for their mother for a Friday night (last night), which meant yesterday (supposed day off) was taken up with funeral prep, and then tonight we have a social event for Dr. Dorrien (meaning yet another evening of childcare, as well as having our weekend be characterized by 3 nights out, all church-related), and in between all of that there have been behind-the-scenes yuckiness at our church, as well as the kick-off for our campus ministry (which I'm in charge of) which will include a major campus publicity event on Monday that I am nowhere near ready for. In the midst of it all, my boys are starting preschool on Monday, and I'm trying to get everything ready for that big event. If the rest of this semester is going to go like the last 7 days have, I am not sure I'm going to make it....

    I'm glad to be here, with people who understand!

  24. Can I just ask another question (still around the same subject)? I am most familiar with a pattern of worship that usually has children off in groups during the main part of the service and back in to receive a blessing/communion in which case there's a normal sermon OR it's a family service when everyone's in together for the whole (non-communion usually) service and the sermon is a children friendly/interactive/all age one. I'm going to a place where the children just go out for 20/25 minutes or so, after their talk and mainly during the sermon, then they come in again for communion - is that what happens in your places?

  25. Oh, and I have some delicious vegan pumpkin-pecan muffins, fresh from the oven, to share!

  26. Prayers for you earthchick - hope you find some space amidst that lot and all goes well for the boys with the start of preschool.

  27. earthchick - am beginning my ninth semester at seminry (on the perpetual plan) with two boyz - once the schedule gets stable, it gets easier - at least that's what I'm telling myself this week (as I finished a paper at 1:30 am Thursday)!

  28. Looks like you all are up and at it! Coming with good dark roast and oatmeal with walnuts and raisins for sustenance. As always, it amazes me what we all pack in to these sermon writing days. I'm in Luke today. It's been coming in bits and pieces all week....something about all the things we are attached to being in the way of our relationship to God and service to God's people, and needing to be let go... and how we cannot do that without God's help, with some bits about God calling us to authenticity and the cost of discipleship thrown in. Yeah. Or something. Well I'll be back with an update.

  29. well, wedding meditation done.

    sermon not yet started.

    focus- scattered.

    belly- a bit empty.

    chelley- you're getting great tips here. i'm with abi. i like the time with the kids, but i strongly dislike trying to figure out what to do and have mixed experiences doing them. i don't have much to add- just encouragement. also... just because the church you've been called to/appointed to (whatever the case may be) may handle children in worship in a particular way, that doesn't mean that, in time, things can't shift to something with which you're more familiar or comfortable. When I came the children's sermon was early in the service and then the youngest kids left for Sunday School. We now have kids in the whole service and the children's sermon is after the sermon- what was modeled for me in my field site. Kids are usually ready to move at that point- it offers a brief distillation for the congregation after the main deal is done. It allows the linking of the chldren's time to the sacraments (at least in our order of worship). I like it this way.

    Must write sermon now.

    Love to everyone in a frenetic season!

  30. after catching some shut eye... i wake up to church members diggin' a trench in my backyard, cutting concrete between house & church, and doing some sort of grunty men's work... but damn it at 8am on a saturday? on my day off? on a morning when i need to think??? arrgggh!

    and the dog threw up. i mean threw up... in the living room. on beige carpet. i'm waiting til HubHC returns this afternoon to run the steamcleaner.

    and... sermons. yes indeed. going visual as i like to do. what does "the cross" in Luke mean when we see it? golden arches on a red square we think "mmm Big Mac" attack at McDonald's... and on and on the list goes. But the what do we see there?

    i'm loaded on dark roast... brain hurts. jackhammers are not friendly.

  31. Good (late) morning, everyone.

    I'm moving very slowly this morning. Medicare is about to audit our notes at my hospice and everyone is in a tizzy at work. So, I've had exactly no time to write this sermon.

    Stacy, I may borrow liberally from your great ideas here, as it is "Rally Day" for this church tomorrow. Thanks!

    Chelley, I am very ,much in favor of having the children return for the end of the service, especially if you are celebrating a sacrament. Some feel that it is too distracting for the adults when the children return to the sanctuary, but we're supposed to teach our faith to our kids, right? And I've found that when the kids are continually taught about the right way to re-enter the sanctuary they do all right, usually.

    I've just had some Eggo waffles, which you're welcome to, but I wouldn't advise it.

  32. I am back after settling a big fight, a melt down, another one and another one. Then gave baths and showers to the kids. Then one for me, started a load of laundry, got the kids mid-morning snacks, fed the dogs, ai! And now they are watching Elmo and want to make a snowman out of our socks and rice. I know I am going to have to help with that too. Yep been a real MOM ABI. Have I worked on the sermon draft any? no. Will I? Yes, later it looks like.

    You are welcome Chelley.

    Teri, you sound like me, before I realized I had to breathe and eat and go potty.

    I am upset about Madeleine L'Engle. I love her writings.

    Earth Chick hope all those doings go well too.

    I like the visuals you all are coming up with.

    All I have to offer are granola bars and peach tea. Anybody?

  33. Well, we have alot going on in worship tomorrow - commissioning of Sunday School teachers, backpack blessing (thanks Hot Cup!), and communion. Which means that my sermon can be shorter. But so far my experience has been that when my sermon can be shorter it ends up being longer than usual. I'm working with Luke and Jerermiah - God molding us to live a cross-shaped life, and our fears around that, then maybe weaving in some of Psalm 139. Obviously it's still trying to come together.

    Chelley - when I'm stuck for childrens sermons I go to I've never done theirs verbatim, but often times it gives me a spark of inspiration. The kids time at first really scared me, but now it's one of my favorite times. The kids are really responsive when I ask them questions, and often the sermon takes off from there. I've also sometimes given them a homework assignment that involves they and their parents digging into the Bible - like memorizing a Scripture passage that they like. Then the next week I ask them what they memorized and why they liked it. I've also incorporated a time of sharing praises - something good that happened in their week that they are thankful for, and something they would like us to pray for. Now that it is a regular part of their time up front, they really look forward to it. Next week I'm going to start sermon series with them, each week talking about an element of the worship service and what it means. And of course, alot of this is modeled for the adults too!

  34. Rev Kim, how nice that your kids are responsive! At my church, once they turn about 10 they become silent. The little ones, on the other hand . . . I'll never forget the time I invited them to look at the large stained glass cross at the back of the chancel and one said "Hey, look at all the spider webs up there!" Ugh.

    Sermon - I knew I was forgetting to do something. Actually I've been gathering bits and pieces of illustrations all week for carrying the cross of Being Christian. Of course, those little bits are on little bits of paper all over the place. Now if I could only find all of them and type them up I might have most of a sermon.

    The seller of the house I'm buying asked "Is escrow an earthly form of Purgatory?"

  35. Egads ladies, barfing dogs and fighting kids and guys digging up your yard....and I was gonna whine cuz I'm stuck about half way...feel like I should be offering rescue instead! I could bring in some Chinese, it is almost lunch time here!

  36. My goodness! What a crazy day around here for everyone.

    I preached on this week's texts (well, Luke specifically) last I don't know if it will be helpful...but my kernel last week was: Jesus sets up impossible requirements for discipleship. Look at Good Friday: it WAS impossible for anybody else to follow in the way of the cross. But elsewhere in Luke (and in Matthew and Mark) it says that what is impossible for mortals is possible for God.

    And look what happens in Luke vol. 2 (Acts)? The people who could NOT follow and carry the cross are suddenly doing all those things that were once deemed impossible, but only because of God.

    Another theme I was chatting about with a sermon buddy is the theme of change--this is not upgrading or downsizing, the kinds of change we are used to. This is a fundamental change Jesus is proposing...are we really willing to be changed by God? (a la Jeremiah as well.)

    I don't know. Those might help somebody out there, although it seems most of y'all already have an idea and a direction. :)

    I'm a bit further along than I thought working with last week's hospitality texts for our big fall kickoff. Good thing because I have to also attend to the matter of our new hymnals and get ready for a funeral on Monday.

    Stopping rambling now. Starting work!

  37. cheesehead - so sorry about the tragedy you are dealing with.

    As for Teh Clooney? He's in Canada for a film festival. Canada - as in, where I live. (Ok, he's about 2500 km from where I am at this moment, but still...)

    I'm about 1/3 done on the sermon. It feels like a dog, but it's all I got for now.

  38. Well, at 900 words I'd say right now I have a dog's hind end of a sermon. I took a break to make myself a WW-friendly tuna melt (7 points)

    Man Child is home this morning, which is very unusual for a weekend. Spent some time catching up with him, which was well worth it for mothering points as well as a procrastination tool.

    Right now I'm upstairs eating the juiciest nectarine I've had all season, and admiring the clean windows. Spouse and WonderGirl washed all the windows of the house. And she just had her oral surgery yesterday!! Is it any wonder I call her WonderGirl?

    I suppose I should follow her example and be industrious about finishing out Clifford the Big Red Sermon.

  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. I had not heard about M.L'E. either. Makes me sad. Pavoratti too. :-(

    Poor Stacey. I've never had the honor of a wedding and a funeral in one day, and I hope I never do.

    Cheese, I'm so sorry. :-) Could have been the same here...a kid rolled his car twice. Was is totalled. The boy is fine. Whew.

    As for sermons, I'm picking this week to do Sally's wonderful Martha monologue. (Posted on her blog a month or two ago. THANK YOU!) I am going to make some bread and have it cooking in the church kitchen when folks arrive so the aroma will be (I hope) wafting through the church. And then Martha is going to knead bread dough for a bit, before she begins speaking. Nice visual for Martha the busy bee, doncha' think?

    So, off to make dough...and read and reread so I can kinda commit it to memory and later set up a few props.

  41. (((cheese))) so sorry about the tragedy, and yes your daughter truly is wondrous.

    i have my sermon drafted and posted it on the blog if anyone is interested.

  42. Well I have a Clifford of an outline. Need an intro and concluding paragraphs. Working away....

    Oh, I'm in Canada too, and Teh Clooney is only about 230 miles from me...not that I can head in that direction either.

  43. I made a little tribute display for Madeleine L'Engle here at the library. I read somewhere that she believed that religion, science and magic were connected and it showed in her books, didn't it?

  44. I'm back in the proverbial saddle! I'm guest preaching tomorrow for a pastor whose father died this week. So it's great to be back among you seeking inspiration. I'm going with Jeremiah 18 potter and clay. I'm drawing on some of my hospital experiences (see A is for Amazing to talk about when we wind up as a lump of clay thrown once again on the potter's wheel.

    Cheesehead, I so understand the misery that comes with tragedy and the energy it takes to care for the family. I'll be praying for you and for them.

    I have an outline in my journal, but not on the computer. I preach from an outline, but this needs work. I also need to find my book of worship to review the communion service and dust off my robe. Wow it feels good to be back. I know there will come a time when I'm sick of writing sermons, but just for this weekend, I'm going to enjoy it.

  45. OK... someone help me out here. I gather we're talking about Gorgeous George (Clooney). But why "Teh"???

    Signed, Clueless in Philemon

  46. Almost done! But I'm trying to decide if it would be silly of me to bring clay for everyone to work with during the sermon. Is that the sort of thing that only works when you know the congregation pretty well? What do you think?

    Mags, I think "Teh Clooney" is just a joke on the common misspelling of "the" when blogging.

  47. Well, I've finished the laundry, had a late lunch, and Facebooked. I must leave for the meeting and ushering at the play in 30 minutes (and I do have to change too).

    Have I completed the sermon? No, I have not.

    I guess I'm not going out after the play after all. Sigh.

    I will see you all back here in a while. Anything I can fetch whilst I'm out?

    ("Fetch?" "whilst?" Where did they come from? Can you tell I've talking to Brit Boy a lot recently?)

  48. Wow, busy day for you all ... It's Rally Day where I live too. Meantime...sharing the blessings of Madeleine L'Engles life here

  49. Just got home from the Presbytery meeting. Sermon? What sermon? I am tackling the Jeremiah text. Keep your ideas coming! Maybe they'll spur some creativity in me.

  50. Hi all, while you have been working away I have been napping. I just plain ran out of steam. We got one kid to nap while the two girls did quiet play. Its rained and rainy here so no more outdoor play for the time being. Which means the inside is going to be noisy, I get to procrastinate more. Although i have done some more work on the draft.

  51. Thanks, Cheesehead and Iris, for enlightening me. I liked "an intensified 'the'" as the best explanation!

    Iris, I think the clay depends on the culture of the congregation more than if you know them well... some folks might love it! You know they'll remember it.


  52. Since both churches are having outdoor worship with potluck picnics tomorrow, the sermon is a very brief homily followed by discussion questions, already planned.

    Just returned from taking DH's mom grocery shopping, because she lost her drivers license a couple of weeks ago. Not a big deal, 'cept she lives an hour and half away.

    I am about to go purchase peaches for two peach cobblers I am making for tomorrow's festivities ... I'll make enough to share. Even you WW people could have one bite.

  53. Thank you SemFem, you launched me into the second half! I am done and posted. This is really strange. I am done and it is daylight. Not real sure how that happened. Prayers to all who are still toiling. Will be checking in to provide moral support and/or refills on the beverages.

  54. I have half of my Psalm 139 sermon done.

    Psalm 139:13 has hit home today. I got two lines on a pregnancy test this morning. I hate to say anything this soon (cause I lost my 2nd pregnancy at 10 weeks), but I am finding it difficult to concentrate on a sermon.

    I had never thought about having a third child. I may be just a little depressed about this new situation.

  55. Outline typed and rearranged. Feels good, but still need to practice. Considering going up to home church to get feel of being in pulpit again.

    Abi, I don't know if you can do this when you need to keep half an ear out for little ones, but
    here is an investment I made for Gifted & Talented that I borrow on a regular basis when I need to shut the world out and get down to work. They are expensive. I justified the cost for Father's Day based on his daily use of headphones while looking for music for Sundays. I think they paid for themselves this summer when my mom moved in for 6 weeks and my computer wound up in the den.

    Blessings All.

  56. WEll lets see, I had great (well sort of) ideas on Tuesday. THen I have done little or nothing on PSalm 139 since.

    Children's time I have. Got out the play-doh I bought six years ago for these passages (which the girls now think of as "theirs".

    ANd I had to be on the highway at 7:30 this morning (well 7:45 actually, ran a bit late) to go to a meeting two hours away that I got back from after 3. Actually it was good, but it was the meeting after the meeting to deal with allegations of abusive behaviour at the camp this summer that was draining. ANd I wasn't even at camp! BUt the kids who complained about excessively rough horseplay are from here and so guess who gets to meet with the disappointed/distressed parents.

  57. I just finished meetings (attended both, helped take out the trash - as a true intern!) Now I am working on developing an outline for a pericope of my choice in 2 Cor 3-4.

    Leftover bread and spreads from Panera Bread here, also some orange juice (sorry - caffeinated stuff is all gone!)


  58. a lin: prayers for you.

    I'm done with my sermon. Now to shower, change, and go to the store for something to grill for supper. I'm thinking pork chops.

    What do you think?

  59. midlife rookie what a gift for your hubby. I have bose earbuds for my ZUNE that are rally great and help keep the noise down at least.

    I am thinking of you A Lin too.

    I have made a little headway.

    Hubby grilled steaks for supper, any one want some...

  60. presentation about Egypt to women teachers/retired teachers: check
    Sunday School teacher training: check
    Confirmation retreat: cancelled (see can't say that for my rant about that)
    Leftover thai food, including veggie egg rolls (mmmmm): heating
    Irish Coffee Cheesecake (made with real irish whiskey): waiting to be shared with all.
    plan for tomorrow: ummm.....

  61. All of you are in my prayers, and especially A. Lin.

    I'm making a banana nut cake from DH's mom's recipe...second's a very arcanely written recipe and gives no baking time or temp nor pan suggestion.

    It was always his b-day cake. She has been dead for 10 years so I can't ASK her why it turned out so fall-y apart-y the last time. I can just try, try again.

    Recipe calls for "oleo" for the frosting. Hope Parkay will do...

    good writing.

  62. Steaks on the grill....mmmm. Thanks for the invitation, but we are going out for Mexican food. Bread is not baked. Spent the afternoon dealing with a very delicate and difficult church situation. :-( Bread baking and prop finding await my return from the restaurant.

  63. You're in my prayers too, a.lin

    I have a question for all you word count folks. How many words in your typical sermon? I've always counted pages. Right now I have 3 pages, which is about 1/2 a sermon. (The word count is 808.)

    Am I too late for those steaks?

  64. A. Lin, blessings on your evening. Prayers being said.

    Mary Beth, basically Parkay is oleo, so you should be fine. Sometimes, comparing a goofy recipe with a trusted one, helps point out what's needed. Do you have Betty Crocker at your house?

    No sermon being given by me this weekend, but it's nice to hear all your ideas.

    Husband just asked when my next preaching gig is. (When you supply they pay you....) Wonder if he is missing me at church or hoping to play golf with the windfall?;-)

  65. I go by pages too, but it looks like your pages and mine are similar in length. Eight pages equals 1,500 words in my world.

  66. Sermon practiced in home sanctuary. Works on paper - stinks out loud. Will have to work on in in the early hours when I'm most creative. Needs feeling! manBoy ordered Chinese which is here, so I'll go eat. Isn't teaching your teenager to order in a skill necessary for going off to college?

  67. prayers for a.lin
    sermon done--1330 words; short but it's alot of history.
    It's time to pack for tomorrow's trip YAY!

  68. rev maria,
    I'm at 2200 words and still need a conclusion. Generally, I have about 2500 words. My church expects "longer" sermons. I have slowly been weaning them toward shorter sermons.

    revabi - I'll take a steak, too!

    a. lin -- prayers for you

    Mary Beth - "oleo!" reminds me of my grandma!! took me forever to understand she meant "margarine"

  69. Sermon is done--finished on Thursday (I had a come to Jesus meeting with myself about my more late Saturday nights.) but holy cow, I just cannot seem to com eup with a pastoral prayer. I've always found these hard, and especially hard when it's not "my" congregation.....starting at the blinking cursor.

  70. Woa, I just now find a moment to drop into the party...and I find it's been going on since the wee hours of last night???

    I've been up very early, organizing and participating in our "fall clean-up". We do a major clean up around the church at least once a year...usually late Spring. But this year it was today.

    So. I got to church at 7:30 and am just now settling down. (OK, I made dinner for my family in between)

    And, thankfully. I am not preaching tomorrow...

    But. I have lots to offer the rest of you: grilled chicken, baked potatos. red wine, ice cream bars, gummy bears, chocolate (all kinds), iced tea (herbal or caff)...

    Anything else? I just may have it...OH, Dr. Pepper, Sprite, Coke, Diet Peach Citrus Fresca...

    Party on! And may the Spirit fill your dreams, your thoughts, your prayers, and your words...tonight and tomorrow.

  71. JUST walked in the door. I'm so glad you managed to party so well without me - it helps me feel like less of a delinquent host. At some point today, I jotted down what I thought might be a coherent structure for a sermon. Now to actually put it together...

  72. iris- give it a try. sounds cool to me. though mags advice is good.

    (((a lin)))

  73. Peach Cobbler.

    Just Out Of The Oven.



  74. Praying for A Lin, Cheesehead and those of you with extra duties this weekend

  75. Back with you all again, after supper, cleaning up, putting kids to bed. I think I know what you mean about a sermon looking good on paper, but not having life to it. And sometimes the life doesn't take place until I start preaching.

    Singing Owl, that has got to be hard having to take care of a touch church situation. Hope you can focus to write your sermon.

    Ice cream anyone?

    Oh and I don't count words, I just try to write it and usually come up with about 8 pages. They are used to 30 minuet sermons, and I too am trying to get them to have less sermon, and more participatory worship.

  76. Oh I forgot to write, Big even people, I posted an email with some more info in it. Go check it out.

    Mary Beth, can we have some of the cake if it works?

  77. Mmmmmm, peach cobbler AND ice cream, please! I've already written two sermons this week; my brain needs the nourishment.

  78. RevDrKate: I'm so glad something I posted was helpful to you!

    Hmm, I think I may have allowed my previous feeling of being ahead of the game to sabotage my sermon-writing. No further along than I was before.

    But hey, I have a lot of other little piddly things done for tomorrow, and the hymnals are at the imprinter FINALLY, so I guess I got something done today.

    It will be a caffeinated night for quite a few of us, it seems! Prayers for everyone...especially a.lin and Singing Owl.

  79. hey y'all. Take a break and havesome chocolate, wine or some cheese and crackers. My sermon is not until next week, but i am with ya anyhow. Right nwo I am keeping up with ballgames, a race, and the kitty.
    Check out my latest guest blogger at
    Peace to all,
    1-4 G

  80. I've decided to be done, although the sermon still seems rather short and might be a bit abrupt. After three days of non-stop, early morning to wee hours of the night working, I need my bed badly. Good night, preaching pals, and blessings on your efforts tonight and tomorrow.

  81. well I made it home and took a nap. The sermon is done much earlier than usual!

    Remember, the Holy Spirit has got your back

  82. Good night, all.

    Help yourselves to cobbler ... may the spirit give those of you still working wings for your sermons, etc.

  83. Prayers to you who are still writing. Doesn't seem fair SemFem! Prayers for you A.Lin. I have allmy little church taskies done for morning and am picking it in. Blessings on everyone's preaching.

  84. I know I'm hopping down too many rabbit trails with this sermon, but it's what I've got! Rest well, everyone, and blessings for worship tomorrow.

  85. okay, so as I was putting everything away and getting ready to go to bed I noticed a pot boiling away on the stove: my hard boiled eggs! I forgot them for an hour. Are they still edible? Weigh in over at my place...I need the advice--it's a whole dozen eggs!

  86. This was not supposed to happen! I was supposed to be blissfully done and sleeping by now! And apparently I am going to WHINE about it!

    Word count: 314 and climbing slowly. (And Rev Maria, I tend to run about 1500-1700 words, about 3 pages for me before increasing the font size, about 5-6 pages for me after increasing the font size.)

  87. 688! And I thought of a great whole new illustration. Just hope it's not too much for this sermon to bear.

  88. I done yet?

    Good thing everyone else is asleep, so I can be slightly punchy without annoying people in real time (that I know of).

  89. I hear thunder!

    And I seem to have lost steam...only 1184 words. I'm slowing down...*yawn*

  90. 1834 words, and I'm done! Whew!

    Off to shower, do a last readthrough, and sleep. Oh, and put together a hymnal dedication somewhere in there. A brief one, I think.

    Blessings on all proclamation!

  91. Geez, Semfem, you've barely gone to bed...and kept the party going all by your self into the wee wee hours.

    Blessings All on your preaching today. May the Spirit fill your hearts and words this day.

    Me. I'm off to set up for a BIG church meeting about some major plans we have...and our annual Church Picnic...

  92. Semfem, you're a preaching-party animal!

    Blessings on all who preach,lead, and worship today.

  93. Done and ready to preach. I've posted "I Will Follow Him" here

    May God's blessings fall on all who preach and listen this day.

  94. survived teh Homily and the pie Supper. Still working on the sermon for tonight. The headache of all headaches is in it's 4th day and I don't really think at all at this point. If a sermon gets writen let alone preached it will be a miracle!

  95.! You NEVER get to go to bed at a decent hour on Saturday night! I don't know how you stay awake to preach on Sunday.


    The Martha Monologue went very well, and everyone ate bread after.

    Thanks again, Sally!

  96. Thanks for all your prayers. It was just a bit of a shock on Saturday, but now I am excited. The next year should be interesting.

    And I did all of Sunday's service fine.

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