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Saturday, September 01, 2007

11th Hour Preacher Party: Come to the Banquet

Welcome, welcome, 11th hour preachers!

The table is laid, my friends, and you are welcome. Coffee is brewing, and the teakettle will soon be whistling.

Does a busy day lie ahead of you? Come and gather yourself for the fray.

Are you almost finished with your sermon? Stop a moment and encourage others.

Wondering what to tell the children? Ask if anyone has a great idea!

The party starts NOW!!


  1. Good morning, all. Thanks for getting us started, SB. It's nice to know I'm not alone today b/c in real life I feel very alone right now. Labor Day weekend here means the first U-M home football game. Since we live 5 blocks from the stadium, that means our neighborhood is treated as a parking lot, trash bin, and party zone. It also means I've been hearing the band play since 7 this morning.

    DH is out of town on study leave, been gone all week, returning tonight. Yesterday, instead of taking my usual day off, I hired a babysitter and went in to the office in hopes of cranking out my sermon then (it's very hard to get a babysitter on game days, esp. since people do not want to navigate the traffic in my part of town if they aren't actually coming to the game). Though I got lots of good sermon thinking done, I got no sermon writing done. So here I sit, at my usual Saturday place - blank screen - only without childcare and with a thousand distractions outside my window.

    "Listen!" my text commands (Psalm 81). "Open wide your mouth and I will fill it!" (with a sermon, perhaps?) Trying to listen for the divine voice, trying to open myself to divine provision....

  2. Whoot! First comment!

    Although I remember all too well what happened last time I made the first comment...the day went downhill from there.

    Ay any rate, it's appropriate that I be one of the first, as I have nothing else planned for the day and nothing much planned for the sermon. I'm using the Gospel text on hospitality, and thinking of pulling some illustrations from Lord of the Rings. That's as far as I've gotten.

    I've brought blueberry waffles and some Lady Grey tea, although I think I need coffee this morning.

  3. Ahh. Not first comment. I feel safer now. Thanks for beating me to it Earthchick.

  4. Coffee sounds good... for apart from a few random thoughts on Thursday this sermon is going nowhere fast!

    I need to go shopping with Jon for some new boots for college- maybe inspiration will strike me there....

    if not I'll be back for more coffee, I'll try to find something yummy to go with it in town.

  5. Oh Rainbow Pastor those blueberry waffles sound fab!

  6. The family has dined on poptarts and frozen waffles. I'm going to look for some cheerios. The blueberry waffles sound great!

    I'm not preaching this weekend, but I think it's an interesting task in that you have a really low Sunday that is looking towards Rally Day and a text on hospitality.

    Blessing on the work, folks!

  7. I'm going to model the breaking of rules of accepted practice by serving communion differently than usual. It feels appropriate, yet slightly cowardly, since it will indeed be a Low Sunday. The weather here is gorgeous, and people, rightfully for this climate, will be thrilled to experience it.
    I have a wedding rehearsal this afternoon, with the wedding tomorrow at 5, so this is definitely a working weekend! Looking forward to that holiday on Monday...

  8. I got a really good start on my sermon earlier in the week, including last night, even though technically it was my day off. I wanted to get it completely done so that I could enjoy today with Spouse,since Wondergirl is out of town for the weekend with her boyfriend's family. (More about that at my place.)

    I'm now at that place where I always get stuck--1200 words or so. I've decided that if I can't wrap it up in the next 2 hours or so, I'm going to walk away and come back tonight. I'm going to give myself 30 minutes now to see what happens.

    There are leftover Belgian waffles on the counter, compliments of Spouse!

  9. sorry earthchick for the distractions...

    My husband is home today. Our son is going to his first rock concert, and outdoor event (so that makes us a little anxious), I am supposed to go to dinnner and to a Second City comedy show with some women of the parish tonight, beginning at 4:30. And a big meeting in the morning between services...that I have yet to plan...So, lots of distractions for me too.

    anyway. I have found this weeks set of readings to really difficult. I've thought and read and researched and done exegesis several times from several different sources - expended way more energy just trying to get a hook on SOMETHING...finally yesterday morning, I think, something came through. I'm headed over to microsoft word.doc to read it again and see if it is doable.

    I have coffee. and soon I will make homemade french toast (white and whole wheat bread) and sausage links....

  10. You know, in all my complaining, I forgot to offer any food. I made a big batch of vegan peanut butter oatmeal cookies last night and they are GOOD (if I do say so myself). Have some! I may or may not have hade some for breakfast....

    Anyone else doing Psalm 81?

  11. Morning all - I will be listening in the pew, as usual (and who knows which pew). Anyway, who has got the book for September's book discussion? If you don't you can click on here and get one.
    Good Fences: The Boundaries of Hospitality

    After that, if you need another for free shipping, consider Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, that is October's book. Support RGBP!

  12. hey all!

    i received a wonderful birthday present (my b-day is tomorrow) when an elder dropped a sermon in my in-box for my review and then when I asked she said "Sure, I'll preach it this Sunday."

    so... i'm heading into the office today for curriculum development and some prayer prep. but i'm blissfully sermon free. i found the lectionary to be challenging this week too, mompriest. i like the hebrews reading (mostly), but... i was grateful for an out!

    blessings all! oatmeal anyone? sorry, i never have anything exciting to offer.

  13. OK, in the interests of thinking outside the box....

    I like to listen to house music, even when I'm sermonising. Listening to one of Brit Boy's mixes today, Rihanna's Umbrella struck me in a whole new way.

    One of the commentaries I read had this to say "The invitation to love is an invitation to life, made from the premise that life’s greatest reward is to live in love and that to do so is to participate in God’s being and to best fulfil our own." (William Loader, Murdoch University, Uniting Church in Australia)

    And of course the Rihanna song is about caring for a friend.

    So I'm thinking of using it as one of the illustrations--certainly something our younger people will identify with--but pointing out that we're to love not only our friends that way, but everyone...

    I've got the complete lyrics in a cool little widget thing I found, over at my blog...should you be so inclined.

    Who, me? Procrastinating? Never!

  14. I'm taking a preaching sabbatical tomorrow and reading a story from one of Phil Gulley's books for the message. HOWEVER, I am working on the September newletter which need to be ready for distribution tomorrow.
    The weather is beautiful here too and I'm tuning in to the BIG GAME over in Columbus come noon. GO BUCKS!
    We have fresh sweet corn from our garden ready if anybody wants some. Our corn roast is Monday evening and y'all are invited--just bring a dish to pass.

  15. I got an outline worked through yesterday, but it needs some "meat" on its bones. Earthchick, I'm also without childcare today, my hubby's away at a music festival. Blessings to all as you consider and write!

  16. Mmmm, quakerpastor - fresh sweet corn! I'd love some!

    mamas, doesn't it always seem that the kids turn extra-needy when one spouse is away? Or perhaps I am just extra-sensitive to the neediness. For the last half hour I have been dealing with a 3 year-old upset b/c I cannot make the cat stay on the chair with him!

    Anyone have a great story, poem, or quote about listening?

  17. I finished in my 30-minute window, am showered, dressed and ready to go out with Spouse for the day! Hooray!

    Keep at it, friends.

  18. Even 12 year olds do that, earthchick, when there is sermon writing involved...

  19. Morning, all. I have some crustless broccoli quiche to offer, and some Jamaican-Me-Crazy decaf.

    I am focusing on the Luke readings (for my first official Sunday as the designated pastor!). There was an ad in the paper today, saying "come meet our new pastor," very spiffy, with the sermon title I had to come up with three weeks ago (The Place of Honor... sounded safe enough). There was also a little article in the religion section, a press release from the church.

    So naturally, at 10:28 AM EST I got nuthin'.

    Not really.

    Here's an idea for a children's message: have the children line up in all different ways: youngest to oldest, oldest to youngest, tallest to shortest, by month of birth, by first letter of their names (see if they can suggest ways to line up). Then talk about how it feels to be first, and how it feels to be last. Then have everyone join hands in a circle, and point out that in a circle there is no first and last, we are all together, and this is how Jesus invites us to be at the table.

    As for the other sermon, ready, set... go!


  20. Well friends, I have lots of scattered notes and thoughts that haven't quite jelled--and I will admit that instant-messaging with friends in Australia and browsing for song lyrics hasn't helped--so I'm off to cut the grass, shower and get some (eek!) lunch, hoping that the occupied hands will free up the brain.

    Anyone need anything? Besides a sermon?

  21. Hey morecows, I think we share a birthday. Mine is tomorrow too, and since I've received no gift sermons, I'm feeling a little whiny about having to preach. Oh, and I haven't written a word yet. Off to do that, now. Or at least contemplate it.

  22. more cows and stacey,

    Happy Birthday! I don't quite share one--mine was yesterday. Thankfully it's senior pastor's turn to preach, so I have the privilege of a lazy day with family.

    to all,

    Just stopping in to say hi and blessings to all sermonizing today.

  23. ooh, magdalene, that's a good children's time! Particularly excellent since we have put round tables and chairs on the chancel and will invite people to come take a seat to share communion this week!

    Well, that just made my Saturday a whole bunch better!

    Now I just have to write a communion prayer and all will be well. I swear, I am going to collect all the communion prayers I have written and publish a book. Shouldn't take long--we don't use the Book of Common Worship prayer here so I have about 15-20 communion prayers a year to work with. I might have most of a book already. When I have all three lectionary years, I won't have to write them anymore. Ha!

  24. Is it significant that I'm preparing worship services and sermons about hospitality while I am listening to NPR's "A Splendid Table?"

    Thanks to all you posting today and Tuesday for your thoughts --they're very helpful. I'm having a difficult time motivating myself to prepare for what I know will be a "low Sunday" --which I suppose is a lapse of hospitality on my part.

  25. I love the children's sermon idea!
    Now all I need is some children in church, which on this last holiday weekend before school starts is darned unlikely.

  26. Songbird, I know. My biggest worry is that I'll have one child or two... and lining up is not exactly fun with that size group!


  27. But thanks, all for the positive feedback!

  28. Hi everybody.
    This is my first post. I'm a UCC student in my last year of seminary. I clicked on revgal as part of my procrastination on tomorrow's sermon and discovered 11th hour preacher. Cool! Now I don't feel so bad about where I am in my preparation.

    Thank you rainbow pastor for the Loader quote- I'm co-officiating on my first commitment ceremony this afternoon and I'll probably use it in my welcome, talking about the congregation's wide-open arms.

    My teenager and I had english muffins and nutella this you guys have me craving a cup of coffee.

    My sermon title is Musical Chairs--remember the game where everybody scrambles for a seat and they're always one short...that's how the culture operates much of the time, but it's the exact opposite of God's way of doing things.

    Thanks for inviting me in...

  29. How long should a sermon be when 1) the forcast is for 107 degrees, 2) the sanctuary does not have AC, 3) the service begins at 11:00,
    4) it is Labor Day weekend,
    5) there is also communion and a back to school backpack blessing happening?

    Maybe we should hand out bottled water at the communion table (except that individual bottles are bad for the environment).

    I'm preaching on the 1st chapter of Exodus. Title "Faithful Labor" (get it, labor, the midwives, and Labor day?) That's what I have so far.

  30. At my home church, on days when the number of children was small for a message time, we generally invited the "young at heart" to participate as well --which meant some of the adults came up too.

    Hey, happy B-day to Stacey, More Cows and Silent.

  31. I have an odd thing this Saturday - no husband aruound (at an all-day church event), no dog (we boarded him yesterday since we were going to be gone all day and well into the night, and Dave will pick him up later). So, with a quiet house, no distractions, I should be able to knuckle down and knock out my sermon. Right? RIGHT? *she says really for her own benefit*

    I'm focusing on the Jeremiah passage. I think I'm going to do more of a narrative sermon, and just preach through the passage, what could possible profit us more than God, using a Craddock technique of "maybe this? maybe this? Then after answering all of those with a "no," turning to God and the blessings there. We'll see - I often never know where a sermon is going until I get into it.

  32. "ps," thank you!!

    almost rev, welcome!

    birthday girls, happy birthday!

  33. Happy Birthday to all you birthday preachers!
    almost rev, welcome!
    And who me?, welcome to you, too! I'm going to say 800 words, give or take, if it's that hot! (That's about half of my typical length.)

  34. Greetings all. I have lurked for a few weeks and am now posting for the first time.

    Magdalene, thanks for the children's sermon idea! I have been wondering what I will do for our children tomorrow.

    I had thought about sharing when I was a child and had to sit at the "children's table" at big family gatherings. I always longed to sit at the "big table" with my Grandfather and Grandmother. From that memory (oh yeah, and I was 30 before I got to sit at the "big table"-- though I wouldn't burden the children with that point!), I'd move to how the "rules" at God's table are different. There are no "children's tables" in God's kingdom. In fact, we might be very surprised who all is at the table and who sits in the seats of honor...the first shall be last and the last shall be first...

    But I like the concrete experience for the children that you suggested.

    I brought cream cheese, lox and bagels! (This is part of your blog tradition, yes?)

  35. What a wonderful feast you have all spread... what great things to enjoy! I'll go for the blueberry waffles myself! And I will add Dunkin Donuts Hazelnut blend to the table.

    I'm preaching off lectionary this week... Consumerism and the Christian Way. I thought it was appropriate for Labor Day weekend... How do we spend all that money we labor to earn? And does our spending reflect our faith? I know it's a challenge for me, as I'm sure it is for a lot of people.. At least I'm hoping so!

    So far much thought, but not a lot of words.

  36. Good morning and happy birthdays and welcome!

    Songbird, just for fun - in a joke book called "you might a Disciple if..." "going to a different church is an opportunity to experience yet another way to do communion." Sometimes my deacons will say "Hey, let's do it differently this week." And special Sundays often inspire me to do something a little different than usual. What better time than on a Sunday when the only the faithful remnant is present?

    Quaker Pastor, I've been thinking about Quakers a good deal as I prepare my sermon this week. It's my last week off lectionary and James 5:12 is "Let your yes be yes and your no be no" - both a condemnation of swearing and an encouragement to plain speech between/among each other.

    Meanwhile, it is my last week off lectionary. Summer and my sermon series both end this Sunday! Yay! Now I can feel fully a part of this party again.

    I have LOTS of chilled fresh fruit to share on this 100+ day - strawberries, pineapple, cantelope, watermelon and grapes.

  37. Oh help...
    I've been procrastinating allllll day (with a couple of hospital on calls and a baptism visit thrown in) and now it's 5.30 and I have not even the glimmering of an idea as to what theme to run with for our last vaguely creative Sunday evening worship slot..I want to work with one of the ideas from Greenbelt (my justification for all that blogging) but which? Faith and doubt? Heaven in ordinary? Strangers or friends??
    Would anyone care to vote. Once I've made that crucial decision, I hope and pray (and even believe) the rest will follow.
    Meanwhile, we've been given so many apples by assorted fruit tree owning friends, I'm putting a bowl of them on the table...and the Dufflepud is on hand to make banana smoothies for any and everyone.

  38. Thanks Songbird, I was thinking about 1/2 of normal too (which would be about 1000 words, I talk fast). I was also thinking of going light on any exegesis and heavy on illustration. The family is leaving for the beach in a few hours, so I'll have a nice quiet empty house for the rest of the day.

  39. Hello everyone! I'm preaching a week ahead--we switched this week's texts with next week's, thinking that the banquet table and hospitality fit next week better--it's our Fall Kickoff, combined potluck, combined choir, combined service project, etc.

    Of course, this means that I'm working through a tough Gospel where Jesus tells everyone they need to hate in order to be his disciples, and it's all about the cost of discipleship. I am drawn to preach on Deuteronomy, actually.

    But hey, I'm glad I'm not alone. I'm fighting off a cold, so I'll take every high-vitamin-C thing you have! (I do have a touch of vacation-itis--I'm leaving Sunday afternoon for a few days in a big city to the east.)

  40. Hey Rev Maria--let me know if you need any info about plain speech and/or Quakers
    And Who Me--I'd love to see that backpack blessing!
    The newsletter is progressing and OSU is winning so far--YIPPEE

  41. Howdy y'all!
    Happy b-day to all who are having one, and Happy un-birthday to everyone else!
    It is my turn to preach SUnday morning's service and I chose Luke earlier for some strange reason. Hubbie will be using Jeremiah at the night service. I have this urge to go with next weeks discipleship lesson. Could that be the HS talking, or just my anger at the church right now? I guess I'll stick with hospitality and maybe I'll learn something myself.

  42. It is 6pm I need to cook something for dinner and I am no further forward- we did manage to find Jon a pair of boots ( he has size 13 feet!)....

    Hey ho It will come- waiting on the Holy Spirit and scratching my head- maybe enchilladas and a nice glass of red wine will help!!!

  43. cpclergymama--it might be the HS, or it might be my desperate brain waves looking for someone else to work on next week's text with. :)

    If it's the latter, take with about a million grains of salt. Desperation is a powerful emotion.

  44. QP, I'd love a little more information than I think I know about the "not swearing" part. I learned a bit growing up in a Quaker town in PA, and have some knowledge from church history classes. I'm fairly sure I remember one or more US Presidents were Quaker and didn't swear on a Bible when they took the oath of office but I wouldn't "swear" to that. ;)

    My email address is

  45. For those of you for whom the unaccustomed silence in your house may be itself a distraction:


    "Woof!!! Woof, woof, woof!!!"

    "MeOW! Rooooowwwwlll! Pfizt, pfizt, pfizt!"

  46. After eight weeks off, I'm back in the pulpit tomorrow.


    Happy Birthday tomorrow to More Cows and Stacey.

    Pass those waffles please. Any comfort food will do, really.

  47. To distract myself from sermon writing I posted a piece about the truly horrific week I had, and how it got better. For a short distraction you could go here :-)

    Special thanks and blessings on Songbird and Mother Laura for their help and support this week.

  48. Well, I have 1/3 of an outline, distractions too numerous to list, nothing going on that I have to get the sermon done for (no appointments or parties or dinners tonight) and a weak will.


    Anyone have chocolate?

  49. Wow Songbird, you really got the party started off right. I am so excited to have a little time to stop by. I have a rough draft, and I mean a really rough draft, that I finished late last night. I am not sure if it makes any sense whatsoever. But oh well.

    Encouragement to all who are struggling through their thoughts and brining them together.

    I think I'll talk about laborers, because people are going to come in their work clothes.

    We are sitting here eating chips, cookies and drinking milk. Anybody want some? Bob is slipping while I have the kids, but he will get them later.

    And fortunately for me, my football game (FSU v. Clemson) is on Monday night.

  50. Welcome to Rev Gen!
    Any other lurkers out there?
    I am happy to say I'm finished. My day, however, is not over. I must travel into the countryside for a wedding rehearsal (about 2 hours round trip), and that was my motivation for working earlier today than I usually do.
    I'm posting my sermon here, then taking off for the wilderness; back in a few hours!

  51. One of the revgalblogpals mentioned something about cyber tailgating in one of the comments about fall. This is as about as close as we are going to get to it, unless one of you start one.

    Right now U of M is losing but may still pull it out. VT is winning. PSU is clobbering FLAINT. YSU doesn't stand a chance against OSU. The Gators are chomping up WK.

    And I got kids wanting my attention and more snacks. And a cat laying next to me purring.

    Isn't writing sermons such fun.

  52. Done. And I like it! Thanks all for keeping me company, and blessings to those who continue writing.


  53. Well, Appalachian St has pulled a big upset over Michigan in Michigan. Earth Chick, maybe it will be quieter where you are now.

    Congrats to Mags for finishing. Also congrats to Songbird.

    Welcome Rev Gen.

    Rainbow Pastor is your outline fleshing out better+

    How is everyone else doing? Anybody need anything?

    revmaria sorry you had a bad week, hope things get better for you. Sometimes writing about it helps to work through the feelings involved.

    Sue hope you are doing okay getting back into the swing of sermon writing.

    Happy birthday to more cows and Stacey. Hey its a birthday party too.

  54. RevAbi, or anybody else who might know, how is UO doing? (that's Oregon, not Oklahoma) I don't dare turn on the TV to find out if their game's televised (I doubt it is here).

    Oh, right, the sermon. No progress. But I did start a load of laundry and actually changed out of my pajamas.

  55. Quiet is right! It's so funny - dh and I care nothing at all about football, and yet we always know exactly how things are going in every home game because of the noise level. When things are going well for U-M, we can hear the cheers down the block. But when the game ends in a loss, people walk quietly back through our neighborhood to their cars. [Even though I know almost nothing about football, I can say I am surprised that U-M would lose to App State!]

    Things are looking up here - dh should be home in about two hours, the sermon is 2/3 of the way done, and the boys are happily (and quietly) occupied. For now.

  56. If all the birthdays weren't reason to celebrate, now we can add OSU's first victory of the season.
    that would be a big Happy Birthday and Go Bucks one and all.
    Newsletter still in process---

  57. great earthchick. You are on the home stretch. Glad the boys are occupied and you will be ready for the special homecoming with DH!

    Semfem, they are winning, they are just in the first quarter. Don't feel bad about not being able to watch, I can't either.

    And I seem to be stalled on the sermon work and worship prep. But that is what happens when the kids are around.

  58. Well I have the outline and the intro. Just need to do the intro and maybe flesh out the outline a bit. Even though I preach from an outline, I like to have the intro and conclusion written out so I start and end strongly.

    However, I'm going to let it sit for a while now--"cool" as a friend once said--and come back later to put the frosting on.

    earthchick, I sympathise with the football noise, actually. Twenty-seven (ack!) years ago, I was one of those students wandering quietly home through what I suspect is your neighbourhood after a loss; and partying too, I must admit. And my sister once lived in your neighbourhood, too. Well, at least it will be quiet...?

    How are you others doing?

  59. Don't know about Oregon, SemFem, but Notre Dame is losing. Of course, it's early yet . .

  60. OK, I'm about to go cook dinner and I'm taking reservations virtually.

    Anyone want: grilled porterhouse steak, grilled sweet corn, caesar salad and Italian style tempeh stuffed cabbage [for the vegetarians among us], red wine or wheat beer?

    You'll notice there's no dessert ... anyone want to share B-day cake? Or something else?

  61. rev donna mmm, mmm, mm! sounds good even though it is 10: 20 pm and I need to go to bed!!!

  62. I have a draft finished, feel free to look at it here.
    I'm going to help with dinner, pepperoni pasta bake (much better than it sounds). I'd be glad to share! Oh and ice cream is on its way, we've all earned it!

  63. My team, Txas Tech opens on the 3rd against SMU. Monday at 3pm central, what a weird time for a game, at least it will be on ESPN. Hope y'alls games are going well and that the tailgateing is even better!

  64. Rev Dona, I am coming over to your house. Believe it or not, there is a restaurant here that makes the most delicious sugar free desserts. MMM good.
    Good night Sally, sleep well.

    Great job getting done cpclergymama.
    How is everyone else coming?

    SemFem are your doing okay? Hope you are feeling better.

    I am just going to have to wait until the wee ones are asleep. No sense in trying to make sense when there is so much nonsense.

    Oregon is still winning. The ACC is looking horrible today. But you are right Ga. Tech is beating Notre Dame still. Wake Forest is ties with Boston College. Colorado won in overtime. Most of the ranked teams are winning.

    Cpclergywoman is that time because it is a holiday? I'll take ice cream too.

  65. I'm finally done writing mine. I won't preach from it, but it does help to have it written anyway.

    Thanks for letting a once-a-year or so gal drop in. For the suppertime crowd, I've brought some yummy vegetarian pasta sauce--with black olives--and some bow tie pasta, along with a green salad and homebaked wheat bread.

    (That's what I'd fix for myself, if my head didn't ache so durn bad and put me off my feed.)

    Blessings to all.

    P.S. Happy birthday to Silent (belated), More Cows, and Stacey, and thanks for sharing your sermon title, Almost Rev--I needed a good opening, and that sparked it!

  66. Happy B-day!
    Hope you are enjoying not preaching this week "more cows". A Sunday off for us solo pastors is a glorious thing.

    I am SO stoked! I just finished next week's sermon. Yep, this week's is ready to preach and now I have a rough draft of next week's. I am rarely this motivated or ahead of the game. However, I am headed to NC to visit ailing family tomorrow afternoon until Saturday. I want to actually have some down time rather than simply going to NC and working every free moment. I've done that and it is no time off!!! Just work in a different location.

    So, this time, I have succeeded!!!
    Hooray for me!

    Ok, ok, ok, enough hooting and hollering here at my place. Want to wish the writers well and wish those who are finished a resful evening.

    I am eating odds and ends as I'm trying to clear out all the perishables prior to travel! I can offer some spring greens, avocado, and feta cheese salad with an assortment of dressings from which to choose. I also have an open bottle of red wine which MUST be drained prior to departure (darn!). All are welcome!

  67. Safe travels and congrats on getting ahead, Revdari. I hope your ailing family member(s) are better soon.

  68. I've decided to do a couple of things differently tomorrow. First of all, I'm going to preach from the communion table. It's communion Sunday, and the text is just way too appropriate for that to pass it up. Second, I'm just using the barest outline. I'll be talking about tables: the many tables where Jesus ate, the diverse people who sat at those tables, the way Jesus talked about the seating arrangement, and the place that is set for each of us at the ultimate table. I'm considering setting the communion table with a dinner place setting, but I fear that might be taking it too far. We'll see.

    I have no birthday cake here, sadly, but it certainly seems like we should have some! Eh. I'm going to take myself out for some dinner now.

  69. Just about finished with my sermon on the Jeremiah text. I still need to tie it all together, but I think I'll let it rest for awhile in hopes that the HS will bless me with an ending.

    I'm not big into college football, but I am looking forward to the Colts' opening game this Thursday night.

    Happy b-day to more cows, stacey and silent!

  70. Waaah
    It's gone 11 and I still don't really know what I'm doing.
    Congrats to all of you who are done and dusted and birthday hugs to those who are celebrating.
    Now back at the curate's house, stirring cold porridge is the order of the day. Where has that shining bird of inspiration gone?

  71. Hi, all! I'm back!
    We had a lovely ride to a distant venue, and a nice ride back.
    Now it's time for dinner. Anyone have ideas?

  72. RDQ, is there any left? I had a leftover pork chop and baked potato, but yours sounds better...

    I'm packing it in for tonight. It's mostly done--just need half an hour when I'm awake and my head doesn't hurt.

    Prayers and blessings on all still working--and happy b-day to the b-dayers among us!

  73. Hi all! I'm back from my shopping adventure with my sweetie.

    Chicken chili is on the stove (not really chili weather yet, but that's what I had ingredients for).

    Sweetie is out mowing the grass, then after he showers we'll have diner and enjoy our kid-free evening together.

    Preach with confidence and grace!

  74. Songbird, we had meatloaf and couscous with some gravy. I vow I am going to cook something interesting next Saturday just so I have something good to post. Of course, I could tell you I made some really exotic dish and who'd know? Me, I'd know.

    For those who are stuck, an old friend said. Stop, write one sentence that says what you think the point is of the text. Then go back and see if you're on the right track.

    It helps me a lot when I get wound up in a homiletical knot or when I can't find the ending.

  75. Hey all,I'm late to the party as usual, but fortunately I consolidated my notes before checking in here so as not to get distracted. The notes are pulled together and I have a few fitting illustrations. I'm starting a series (off-lectionary) that ties in with our annual stewardship campaign, and the materials didn't arrive in time for me to use the official cheats, so I'm pretty much winging it from my reading notes.
    I got the whole house cleaned yesterday before the MIL arrived, and today was grocery shopping and barn painting, so I haven't really been procrastinating, just letting the word of God marinate. I have a large beef roast in the Crock-Pot (it's also marinated) and some sweet corn. I may be able to finish up after dinner and actually sleep until 7 tomorrow! No. Probably 5 as usual on Sunday. Now I just need to figure out what to wear - do I have any clean clothes? Oh yeah...better do some laundry.

    Happy writing!

  76. I am now ready to copy the newsletter-and the bulletin for tomorrow, BUT my son has lost the keys to the meetinghouse!
    This is why we should NEVER lock the building...I am steaming and cussing...
    Time to break out the alcohol.

  77. I have some fruit salad (yellow watermelon and honeydew), some amazing tomatoes from the farmers Market and about 1/2 a sermon. Oh, and a killer headache.

    I am so stealing Mags childrens sermon. If I get lucky I will have more than 2 kids there. But probably not. I think this will be a very low sunday indeed! The City Schools start on the 10th, so next week will be fun with rally Day, but this week lots of pep[le are taking advantage of "off season" rates at the beach. Wish I was there.

    Anyone else having a week where the sermon is totally not what was marinating all week, but is doing somethign else?

  78. Potato fritattas here, quick and easy. I always feel proud when I manage something more than Domino's on Saturday night!

  79. When the marinade goes out the window and something else steps into the pot- I think it's usually that whole Jesus thing at work. But save the marinade. It might be really good in three years when the text comes around again! ;-)

  80. Songbird, what's in a potato frittata?

  81. Notre Dame was totally demolished - sigh. My brother and I have consoled each other over the loss on the phone. Now I really have to start writing.

    Dinner? Hmmm - Pork chops, mashed potatoes and green salad with carrot cake for dessert.

  82. revhrod, we've been making them for a while with frozen hash browns as the base. Fry those in the skillet until nicely browned on medium, then add eggs you have whisked with a little milk, salt and pepper. Let the eggs set on the bottom, then treat the whole thing like an omelette, pushing the edges in and letting the uncooked egg fill in around hte outside. (I approach this less neurotically than I would an actual omelette.) Sprinkle some shredded cheese in the middle when it's almost cooked, turn the heat down and let the cheese melt.
    I was dismayed at the prospect that I couldn't make this and enjoy it while doing Weight Watchers, but I solved it by substituting fat-free frozen country style potatoes (Cascadian Farms brand from the whole foods section, for anyone who is counting points; they're Core, if you're doing that.) and fat-free cheddar.

  83. Well I can hardly believe it but I'm actually done, and good ol' HS even showed up and gave me a surprise ending. It wasn't at all what I was expecting, but I like it.

    DH got home, picked up dinner, bathed the boys, and is even now cleaning the kitchen and telling the boys it's time for bed. Man, I love it when he's been gone a week and feels he owes me for all I've done to hold down the fort at church and at home. ;)

    Blessings to all who are still writing! I'll leave a plate of cookies for anyone who wants. I soooo don't need to have them tempting me anymore....

  84. I brought some homemade bbq sandwiches, coleslaw, and sweet tea... help yourselves. (Watch the sauce... it's kinda hot). I've got a sermon... but I'm not going to promise that I'll actually say anything like this tomorrow. Y'all have a restful night... I'm going to ponder the text some more.

  85. Keys found, stuff copied; I pray I will live to complete these prjects in the morning before worship. I'm off to watch the Vicar of Dibley.
    Blessings to all on rest, worship, celebrations, football games, et al.

  86. Yikes,

    Between chasing a toddler around all day, and napping when he napped, I'm no further than I was this morning. Inspiration needed! Thanks to all for your great ideas.

    I've got freshly brewed iced tea and yummy peaches to share.

  87. Thank you for the warm welcome, Songbird.

    My 5 year old's birthday party this afternoon was a success, now hopefully I can get my thoughts together on the children's sermon.

    I'm thinking through the logistics of Mag's idea. I will use colored notecards with numbers on them. Trying to alphabetized kids by their names will be too cumbersome. The moves need to be clean, so I think if the "young and the young at heart" are arranged and rearranged based on the color and numbers on their card, then this idea will work more smoothly.

    chocolate. chocolate. chocolate.

  88. I am back from cleaning up the kitchen after supper, and then getting the kids to bed. So now it is time for serious work on the sermon. No more fooling around. Although I am watching the Auburn/Kansas State game on tv.
    sorry rev marie about Notre Dame. Tonights games could be interesting, but I need to quit paying attention to them and get writing.
    I am impressed rev dari that you have one done and are getting another one done.Psalmist so glad yours is done. pk good for you! Bravo earthchick and so glad dh thought he owed you.

    quakerpastor hope you find the keys or the alcohol. And knittinpreacher that is how my sermons go every week. I start in one place and then it goes in another by the time I have it written.
    And kim in kck, I can't believe you spent the whole day cleaning yesterday, and have notes for a sermon. I can't believe you are not freaking out with having to wing it on your sermon. Hope the series goes well. What materials are you
    using if you don't mind me asking?

    Way to go presby babe getting that sermon done. Stacey I like your idea. I wish I was there to take you out to dinner and bring you a birthday cake. rainbow pastor you can get it done. And Kathryn it will come to you, just get some good sleep.

    And Cheesehead you sound positively happy, mmm wonder why.

    So much good food and so little time to eat it all.

  89. Yum.

    Nice grilled porterhouse steak with sauteed mushrooms in a cream, beef boullion and cabernet sauce ... mmmm

    Decided to boil the Michigan sweet corn -- yum.

    DH tells me the tempeh stuffed cabbage rolls were awesome. They were covered in homemade tomato sauce made from homegrown brandywine tomatoes.

    And there's caesar salad in a chilled bowl ... help yourselves!

  90. All this food sounds great! I just had a quick chicken and chile quesadilla earlier...I'm ready for more food now! And what is it with everyone having headaches today? I've been fighting one off for days now and it is threatening to resurface.

    Well, I got laundry, lawn mowing, showering, and most of my packing done. What's not done? The sermon (among other things). I have an outline but it is BOOOOOORING. Discipleship is costly, blah blah blah. I should seriously give anybody who shows up tomorrow a break and preach half my usual length.

    Thanks Abi for the updates on the Oregon game! *hop* And good luck anybody else who is still writing!

  91. How's it going out there, preachers?
    I must admit I fell asleep watching a movie with my daughter, and now I am going off to bed. Last one up, get the lights?

  92. 1 sermon. 1 partial sermon. 1 start of a sermon. I quit. I'm at the point of not caring what I say tomorrow... as long as it isn't a heresy. I'm going to bed!

  93. I have just returned from a long's 9:30 here...and where is my sermon? well, it's been printed off, but that's just so I can read it and make appropriate changes...I hope it is good enough to preach. This has been one of the most difficult sermon I've had to prepare in awhile. I think it's because I have been so busy planning and organizing programs for the church and its really hard to shift gears. Sermon writing for me is contemplative work, program stuff is not...if you know what I mean...

    Anyway, sleep well. Seems like you had a good party even though I missed it all...

  94. Revabi, Thanks for the thoughts, but the freaking out seems to just be beginning. Since I wasn't making any progress, I decided to clean out the car to get it ready to haul the whole family tomorrow, and then came in to get my stuff ready for tomorrow. Communion set....where's the little bottle. just ran it through the dishwasher day before yesterday...wait. DH helped clean the kitchen yesterday. Dear, did you happen to see a little plastic bottle with a white top? Yeah, I threw it away. YOU WHAT!?!? That's my communion stuff! What time is it? Quarter to nine. I have just enough time to get to Dollar Tree to get another one. AAAAAAAGGHHHHH. Get to Dollar Tree and CAN'T FIND THEM! Dear Lord, don't make me have to go to Walmart!.. I was nearly in tears at the store, so I asked, and they were hanging on a pole away from where I found them before. I calmed down before I left, bought some special dark chocolate and smarties, too, and wished the cashier and the woman in front of me a blessed weekend. The new bottles are in the dishwasher, and DH now knows what they are for. He was very apologetic. I have enough stuff for the sermon, just need to make it flow. It will happen tomorrow morning when the house is quiet. God has been very good to me so far and I don't expect to be let down.

    Thanks for letting me rant. You are the folks that understand all this. Thanks for being here.

    Oh yeah, and the stewardship program is Treasures of the Transformed Life.

  95. Just home from a very long day followed by a long drive during which I took a wrong turn and added an hour to my trek home.

    Sermon is partly done, thank the Lord! I'm off for a quick, and hopefully rejuvinating shower before I look at pages once more.

  96. I don't know exactly how I did it but the sermon is done! Wonder if I can actually get to sleep before midnight? Preach on

  97. Sermon is done. I am about done. I have been watching Auburn pull it out in the very end.

    How is everybody else doing?

    Hey welcome Singing Owl, glad you didn't stay lost.

    OOh,Kim in kck, I think hubby owes you big time. Glad you found the bottles. that would have been rough. Thanks for sharing what program you are doing. Hope it goes well, let us know.Glad we could be a place to hear your rant.

    Sem Fem, I can't believe how much you have done. The sermon will go together and you will be fine.

    mompriest, I do know what you mean. You sleep well too.

    pk you will be fine.

    Silent, I forgot, Happy Birthday!

  98. Woohoo Vicar! (I'm envious!)

    I'm 580 words in and trucking along, going in a totally different direction from my outline but apparently going somewhere.

    In non-sermon news: washed dishes, picked out music for the drive, ate a good-sized snack.

    Soy nuts, anybody? Or chocolate almond Pocky from Korea?

  99. Word count: 922! Zoom zoom!

    Don't mind me, I'm just trying to keep myself psyched up!

  100. 1273--and I'm done! I think.

    Going to go attend to a few other things and then do a quick read-over to make sure it all makes sense.

    Whew! I think this is early for me to be finished. I'll get the lights...?

  101. Congrats SemFem and good night.
    Great party.

  102. Hey, thanks for your encouragement, RevAbi. I'm off to bed and hope you are too! Thanks again for letting me party with the weekly preaching crowd.

  103. Sleeping now. Blessings on all proclamation tomorrow/today.

  104. Oh, and I echo Psalmist--I really appreciate your encouragement and cheerleading, RevAbi! I am glad to be done for another week. It's short, but hey, that's their reward for showing up on Labor Day weekend, I think.

  105. Good morning, Preachers!

    Anyone polishing this morning? Let me make a pot of coffee, just in case.

    And may God bless all our endeavors this day.

  106. Good morning, I am polishing my sermon. But I think I am stopping, and stop trying to be perfect.
    You are welcome Psalmist and SemFem. I really enjoyed the party it kept me going especially toward the end when I was trying to finish myself.

    Ya'll need to read the prayer today, Sue shares her Sunday morning ritual.
    It will lift you up this morning, and calm your anxieties.

    Blessings to all today.

  107. Well, I slipped this week and got off schedule. So, the sermon was completed just four minutes ago. Making the intuitive shifts in logic transparent to the congregation is such a struggle.

    Anyway, here it is: The Ladies Who Lunch

  108. I've reached the end of the Summer Sermon Series, the end of James and I've posted the Last But Not Least

    Blessings on all who preach and listen today.

  109. I want to thank Magdalene6127 for the children's sermon idea. I tried it with the 3 children I had (thank goodness there were 3 to make a circle). When I put them in a circle, I heard a little "ahhh" from the congregation. I know it made some kind of impact, and it went well with our pastor's sermon this morning.

  110. Yes! Thank you to Mag for the great children's sermon idea!

    My husband gave blue, green and purple cards out to the children. At sermon time, I laid a table cloth on the floor and said "I'm having a party!" The children waited in the isle until I invited them and I asked them what their favorite party foods were as I smoothed out the cloth. then, I invited all of my green and blue friends to the table. But wait! Some had #1 and some had #2 on their cards. The 2's were asked to move down and the 1's asked to move up. Then I asked if everything was right for the party. The poor purple group still standing in the isle said "no!" as did our green and blue friends. Noting that "our ways are not God's ways" and that's why we often get it wrong, I suggested that we have the kind of party that Jesus has and invite the left out and forgotten folks. The purple friends joined me at the head of our table (the first shall be last and the last shall be first). Then I asked some wondering questions a'la Godly Play style.

    It went over very well. THANK YOU Magdalene for the idea! Much better than the boring thing that I was thinking of!


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