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Saturday, January 05, 2008

11th Hour Preacher Party: Home By Another Way Edition

It's Epiphany! Do you know where the Christ-child is? It's not often that the Feast of the Epiphany actually falls on Sunday. So, where is the star leading you this Sunday? Are you bringing gifts with the magi? Following the star? Or are you going home by another way? Or, are you doing something completely different this Sunday?

I'm not preaching this Sunday: I am actually packing to leave for a week's vacation starting tomorrow afternoon! However, I do have the children's message. I bought a bright gold balloon in a star shape, which I will carry around the sanctuary, with the children following me. Where do you see God's love?

I have Fair Trade Toffee Caramel coffee brewing, as well as Good Earth Tea, for those who would like it. I think there may also be a little of my mom's Kringla left over from Christmas. I'm also planning on using up some old bread and making French Toast with cinnamon a little later. And, how about some fresh turkey sausage? So, pull out a virtual chair, pull up to the table and share some food and some food for thought.

I leave you with a few words from James Taylor's song, "Home By Another Way," from the CD Never Die Young.

Those magic men the Magi
Some people call them wise
Or oriental, even kings
Well anyway, those guys
They visited with Jesus
They sure enjoyed their stay
Then warned in a dream of King Herod's scheme
They went home by another way

I'll be checking in periodically, between a funeral, a baptism and packing for vacation.


  1. eeek
    I have guests coming over to celebrate Hattie Gandhi's imminent 21st this evening (she'll be in the middle of exams when the day comes)so a whole heap of cooking and cleaning to be done
    For no good reason I seem to be feeling decidedly icky too
    And the sermon? Well, there are at least 6 possible routes it could take and I'm really struggling to settle on just one.
    There's alot of fruit salad to be made shortly...that might make a good addition to the preachers party, I think - specially with natural yoghurt. Enjoy.
    (Oh, and bon voyage Diane...have a great trip)

  2. Wow, sounds like a full day! will be looking forward to how everythig shapes up (including sermon, AND party).

  3. I have very little at the moment other than what I wrote in the comments on lectionary leanings the other day. It's been that kind of week, as it so often is after a vacation. This worries me. I suppose it's good news that I have no major social obligations today? Kathryn, I don't envy you!
    Traveling mercies, Diane!

  4. Morning all, Thinking of you all prepare your sermons for the Feast of the Epiphany.

    However, I do offer you a diversion, again. Many of you are members of = We do have a Revgalblogpals group there which may be of interest to you. You may find it here. If you cannot access it, let me know in a comment, and I will see if there is another way to link it.

  5. I hadn't heard of Goodread. thanks for the tip!

  6. I've been up since 5:30, did an hour of yoga, prayed, took care of dogs and cats, and now I sit here staring at my notes...

    I have seven pages of notes...and no clear direction in mind...where is that star of inspiration leading me?

    at least, like SB, I have nothing else I have to do today...

    diane, hope you have a great the gold balloon idea for the kids.

    kathryn, hope you feel better and party is fun...

  7. mornin' all- full day with some interesting pastoral care and counseling on the agenda, BUT the sermon is written, and printed!

    i have done epiphany on the Sunday closest for the last two years so I worked with my old study notes and threw a sermon together on MONDAY! that is a new record for me. anticipating the screwy week with the holiday in the midst of it. i thought i better give it a try. phew. it is on my blog and if it can be helpful, please feel free to borrow.

    Just wanted to check in and send along good cheer and encouragement.

    Blessings on your preaching preparation all!

    Sending lots of love to Kathryn in her crazy day, Songbird in her crazy week, and Diane in her preparations to leave (but do a baptism and funeral FIRST)!

  8. Sermon done , thanks be to God.
    Still feeling really icky, but the only thing I can do is to get on wut regardless abd hope desperately that I'm not including all sorts of unwelcome germs with the vegetable chili.
    Love and blessings on all of you as you continue your semonising... xx

  9. augghg...that's the sound of me getting out of bed late this morning. coffee brewing. sermon started yesterday and now today - my day off - i have to finish it. why do i do this to myself?

    grrr... the start is good. but where the heck is the sermon going? i kinda blew the whole wad last week on the gotta dig deep.

    diane - have a fabulous vacation!
    mompriest - yoga, taking care of pets, up at 5:30... puts me to shame. i woulda got up but my lower back is killing me after sitting on bleachers last night.... where's the coffee?

  10. coffee brewing here, hotcup! hey! I hear you. I'm bummed because I got up and realized that I had forgotten to put Scout's food in the refrigerator last night, so had to cook some new hamburger this AM! Glad I'm not preaching! I have enough to do.

    taking tree down, as well, today. about 1/3 packed. Like More Cows, I've preached on this before (like, almost every year, and have notes from previous years.) latest one was: the 2 kings (Jesus and Herod), contrasting the types of power and priorities. Also had one where the sermon title was "Star Search."

    I'll be back!

  11. I have in laws visiting, and the whole crew just got out the door to go skiing. Just me and one dog (Tanner) left--the other dog is going to the kennel for the day, as the two dogs don't share space very well.

    I feel utterly unprepared for this week. I have what I think is a great idea but nothing to back it up. And I need to be done before the crew comes back at 6:00 for dinner! AACKK!

  12. Well, here I am, no sermon. some loose notes and thoughts. But it ain't coming together. I just have not had time to work on the sermon. And today isn't looking much better. I am preaching on the Ephesians passage. Was I crazy or what?

    Diane have fun on your vacation.

    Kathryn, happy big time birthday to Hattie Gandhi. Glad you find which route to take with your sermon.

    Songbird you and I are in the same place. Back from a vacation too.

    Mom Priest will come take care of all our animals and kids too. Cant' believe you were up so early and have done Yoga already. hope the star of inspiration shines for you.

    Well at least More Cows has a sermon written. Nice.

    Hot Cup Lutheran there is some gold in that mine somewhere, hope you find it for your sermon.

    Sorry to say, the cupboard is bare, Bob is suppose to go grocery shopping, maybe later I'll have something including something on the sermon.

  13. Diane, I hope your vacation is terrific!

    I am not preaching about the maji. These next two Sunday will be difficult, as I will be "speaking the truth in love" to my congregation. Two weeks of hard truth. I'm still struggling with my next step, but for now I must stand up in both love and correction and shepherd these sheep--ACK!

    Thinking of you all, and praying for the Holy Spirit's presence as we prepare.

    Oh please, pass that coffee!

  14. prayers and coffee to you, Singing Owl! I'm off for the first appointment of the day, will check back later.

  15. Okay, I've gone to Weight Watchers and returned. I'm drinking my nonfat, no-whip mocha from Star$$. Where is my sermon? Where is my mind?

  16. Oh, Songbird, I love the nonfat mocha from Star$$...alas, I always ask for light whip, and get this tiny spray on top...makes me feel better LOL.

    Well sermon is shaping up, praise God. Gotta let it rest, will be back after some food and a shower.

    Here's praying for the rest of you, may the inspiration flow and fill your imaginations...

    especially prayers for SO and the next few weeks...sigh.

  17. I'm about to join Revabi's Bob in doing some grocery shopping as well as a few other errands --anybody want anything from Kroger or the local produce market?

    Then I'm coming home to finish worship and sermon. There's some other stuff to work on too. I'll be checking in from time to time.

    Thanks for hosting our party Diane.
    Happy preparations and safe travel.

    Blessings on you folks trying to complete your return from vacation.

    Hugs and prayers, SO.

  18. I posted my sermon draft yesterday. Come and check it out! I have whole wheat blueberry waffles for everyone!

  19. Diane, I love the topic for today, "Home by another way." I am also not preaching tomorrow, but doing children's sermon (and planning to have the kids following a star looking for Jesus!). Traveling mercies to you. If anyone has the time, check out my thoughts on Epiphany on my blog:

  20. Oh yeah, I'm also drinking fair-trade caramel coffee- small world!!

  21. I've got lots and lots of steel-oatmeal to share, and Kona blend coffee.

    Praying for all of your days and especially SO tomorrow. Diane, have a great vacation!

    We have an Epiphany pageant tomorrow. :)

  22. So, I know I'm supposed to be writing a sermon, but I'm leaving for Scotland on Monday, and I'd just so much rather be packing and reading my guidebook! Meh. I have nary a sermon-related thought in my head. I think I'm going to go for a run and see if anything emerges. I have only 3 Sundays left at this church, so I really need to give them something worth listening to.

    Prayers for you, singing owl, and for everyone preaching through difficult circumstances.

  23. I am really foggy today. "Going home by a different route" is a good theme. But I can't get anything going today.

    We are going house shopping this afternoon--ARG! Funeral on Mon. Too many things in the brain to focus.

    I may want to think about gifts we bring to God.

  24. mary beth - at first glace i thought you were eating "steel oatmeal"...hee hee

    singing owl what can i say but 'preach it sister!' and yes 'the spirit be with you!'

  25. How lovely to hear of so many upcoming travels!! Alas, no travels for me for awhile (late May), so I'll travel vicariously through all of you instead. :)

    Fair-trade carmel coffee!!! Must. Have. Some.

    I'm sitting here listening to Sia and reviewing the sermon I wrote yesterday. I'm a bit concerned because it felt REALLY good to write it. That usually means I have worked out some of my own stuff, which is okay as long it is good news to the congregation as well.

    Topic: Change. It's not a four letter word. I'm picking up on Cheesehead's thoughts from earlier in the week - going home by another way can be the most faithful decision in light of present realities. If you listen to God's leading, you may need to shift your trajectory and consider another route.

    That's exactly where our congregation is right now. We've done our holy visioning (2 years worth!) and now we need the courage to act. We need to trust that God is still with us as we turn toward a new direction and keep moving forward.

    I made sure to keep it all positive and encouraging. I know this church can do wonderful things. We just need to let go of the security blanket and venture out in faith.

    I have plain old coffee sitting here that seems rather dull. That light mocha sounds so good...

  26. ((((Singing Owl)))

    I'll be thinking of you and your people tomorrow and praying that they will have ears to hear what needs to be said.

  27. muthah+,
    I am going with the what gifts do we bring God angle. Mind you I have half a mind to use the title as an excuse to talk about special/planned gifts (bequests, gifts of stock, annuities etc). I have wanted to bring that into a sermon for some time but have never found the opening.

    Then again I may go with teh whole "Ministry is finding where your gifts/talents/skills intersect with the world's pain" idea. MEantime I have a pre-wedding meeting and should likely pop across the street to visit the fellow whose brother died yesterday.

  28. Singing Owl, continuing to think of you and pray for you.
    It's 11:56 am. Maybe if I eat lunch, I'll feel inspired?

  29. Well, I've got about a page of blah, blah blah. It bores even me. And there will be family in the pews tomorrow. Aacckk!

    ((((Singing Owl)))) The truth in love can be so hard. Stand strong, woman of God!

  30. I found some wisdom from Renita Weems in "Listening for God" that might connect with the theme of changing direction.

    She talks about the people of Israel muttering about the vastness and uncertainty of the desert after their release from captivity...the conversation is between Moses and God...

    "He whispers under his breath his own anguished prayer to God for direction. And then comes a voice ringing above the noise, 'Why do you cry out to me? Tell the people to go forward.'

    You can be sure that wherever the right place, the appointed place, is, it is forward, one step ahead, where you can't see, out in the deep water. There. See? Of course not. You won't see until you go."

    I am loving Renita right now. This is exactly what I needed to finish off the sermon.

  31. I'm focusing on is Jesus Just the King of the Jews with a visit from these priests from what is now Iraq and Iran and was Assyria and Babylon. Who is this king that pagans come to worship? And what does that mean for us when "pagans" come to worship with us? That's the general idea. We'll see where it goes once the writing is done.

    Tomorrow is the first service of the home church meeting in my home. So this afternoon, I need to take the tree down for more seating (I'm leaving the rest of the decorations up until tomorrow afternoon) and clean.

    I made a pumpkin molasses cake with chocolate chips last night. Come, have a piece.

  32. Sue, I'm reading "Listening For God" (again) preparing for the book club discussion in a few weeks. Where is this quote, what page? I think it may be a great way to wrap up my point as well...

    this has been very helpful for me today...

  33. Sorry Mompriest - I had intended to put the page reference earlier.

    It's page 121.

  34. Looked back at my sadly pedantic sermon from five years ago but was reminded by it that the visit of those "pagan" astrologers foreshadows the sending out of the disciples at the end of Matthew. It reminds us in another way not to be so closed down and certain, doesn't it?

  35. thanks, Sue!

    Songbird, another good point!

  36. well, everything is going on swimmingly without me! lots of good food and discussion here. I just got back from a pedicure (yes! in preparation for our trip) and am signing baptismal cards and putting baby's name on postits, and getting together funeral bulletin.

    also, finishing itinerary.

    be back a little later!

  37. Have any of you ever baked an Epiphany cake? Anyone here familiar with the tradition?

    Tomorrow's potluck Sunday, and I think an Epiphany Cake would be fun for dessert.

  38. Songbird, I have a hard time picturing anything that you wrote to be "sadly pedantic."

    Okay, I'm hitting the home stretch, at 1200 words. Time to "tie it all up and bring it home".

  39. I added something interesting to my sermon about moravian stars. I'm praying for all of you who are super busy.

    My only busy (and so far all is going well) is that my hubby has flown across the US for a masters course. So I have the kids and I'm not great at being patient with them. Hubby is the patient one, but I already have the bulk of my sermon done and I think that is due to God making them extra calm for me and making my brain listen and work well. Thanks be to God!!! :)

  40. Sorry, I was having steel CUT oats! in the oatmeal!

    Goodness, I'd need some dental work after that!

    Speaking of which...We used to have Epiphany Cake when I was really little. I'd forgotten about that! RDQ, let us know how that turns out! But do warn folks to watch their teeth...

  41. I'm done, which is a good thing since I have to preach and preside at 5pm. I'm picking up a bit from 4 Advent when I asked "what would we know about Christmas if we only had Matthew's gospe?" This week I'm focusing on what the coming of the magi meant for M&J in that context, for Matthew's immediate audience, and for us 2000 years later. I'm kind of superstitious about posting a sermon before it's preached (as silly as that may sound) so I'll leave it at that for now.

    I love the "home by another way" theme--maybe next year!

  42. I'm just checking in quick before a trip to town for moving supplies (does that sound stupid, or what? But we're out of packing tape and bubble wrap, neither of which can be found in a town of 350). I'll put on the next pot of Equal Exchange Mind, Body and Soul blend when I get back later this afternoon.

    For my final sermon before moving to my new call, my title is "Found through Faith and Fear" (aaaah, I LOVE alliteration). The Magi found Jesus in faith - Herod tried to find Him through fear. Both happen to us, too - how can we find (or, more Lutheran-ly, BE found) in faith and not in fear?

    Hope everyone has a good, creative afternoon!

  43. i'm just in after (in socks & sandals) chasing mochajava puppy in the next block who heard about the wise men and decided to take another way home himself...- i know the darn dog heard me hollering his name and asking him to come... he looked straight at me and ran the other way. is that not how we are with God? anyhoo... back in. my feet are brr chilly. puttin' on the soup.

  44. RedHeadRev, your post has problems. Not your sermon ;-) the post. Check it out.

  45. Hello! Well, I survived my first Christmas in this church, and in charge though I'm enjoying my post Christmas break very much!
    So I'll be spending tomorrow with my family for my nephew's 4th birthday. I'll probably sit and read your posted sermons for a bit of reflection though - thanks!

    How did the rest of you feel in the first few months of taking on new churches? I'm also adjusting to being in a small church and trying not to be paranoid about numbers! Any insights/advice?
    Prayers for you all in your preparations. (I have chocolate to offer to the party...)

  46. Rev. Scott - I like the sound of that sermon. A very excellent theme.

  47. I'm calling it kinda sorta done.

    Now to the convalescent home, then back again in time to make brownies for the post-ski crowd.

  48. cheese, I love you. But I'm telling the truth. It had too much scholarship and not enough Good News. I have a vivid memory of sitting at my dining room table with Craddock and Breuggeman and indulging in a major bluestocking fit. I was still new at this thing.
    Today, I'm spinning my wheels. This week has been full. I'm going for a walk to clear my head.

  49. chelley, I've lived your anxiety for seven years...worrying about numbers is a fruitless expenditure of will not change anything...growth can happen, but it takes time....

    still i have found a lot of good work and ministry can be done in small church and that's the most important thing. takes your mind off the numbers...

    well, I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you don't know...I hope it is a place of grace for you.

  50. The trajectory my sermon went can be found here. It needs some tweeking....

    I need to take a walk, I'll be back in a bit to read the other posted sermons....blessings all!

  51. I got all my errands run this morning and am now trying to wrap things up while the 3 year old is napping. (Praise God!)
    I'm a little in awe of Cheese wrapping things at 1200 words. I thought my 1700 was gonna run a little short, but I suppose that's ok since it's a communion Sunday-my very first, btw.
    I have some Tazo black tea with a little milk and sugar and some mincemeat shortbread cookies. Help yourself.

  52. I'm done. Phew. I'm feeling sad but okay about this. Reasonably strong. It is all those prayers going up, no doubt. Thanks, everyone. I'm now off for a haircut. Nothing like a haricut to life a woman's spirits!

  53. Blessings on you rivkah as you share in the Table Feast tomorrow! I remember well those "Praise God" feelings at nap time.

    chelley, I hear you about the numbers thing. I try to remember often that God's sense of success and human success are very different things. Ministry is about more than BIP (but*s in pews).

  54. Well, way too much to do this past week--back home Wednesday, working at my other job Thursday and Friday, then to my mom's to get the dog, back home. However, due to circumstances beyond my control, I'm having to be at the local coffee shop to work on my sermon--but I have a meeting with the consultant for our grant this afternoon, then later tonight I'm out with friends--sorely needed, after a stressful week. Let's just say Roomie and I are having some bumps in the road.
    Luckily I had planned a free-form service for tomorrow--no printed orders of worship, interactive meditation/sermon leading into Communion, etc.

    ((((Singing Owl)))) The truth in love isn't always easy--but often needed.

  55. I finished a rough drat. But I am not sure I like it. I am going to let it sit for awhile. I also have to go to the hospital to see one of my members.

    I ave now a full cupbaord to share. The girls are going for popcorn and suckers. Any one else want some. I Think I having some diet coke.

    How are the rest of you doing?

    Thinking of you Singing Owl. Such a hard thing to do.

    So glad the rest of you are getting things pulled together. It makes me wish I was preaching the same text so I could go with the rest of you, such amazing thoughts.

  56. Working in my study on a very gray Saturday afternoon on the idea of leaving by another way. I'll take my three Wise Men from my vintage Woolworth's collection to worship and use them along with Listing Straight's suggestion of William Carlos Williams "The Gift" in the service.

    Grateful today for being a preacher and having a congregation to share the Word with.

  57. Abi, I love the idea of your "rough drat". Kinda says it all, doesn't it?

  58. Thanks mompriest and Sue - those are just the kinds of things I needed to hear. I'm ok at saying them to other people, but am glad to have my wise RevGalPals say them to me. There's so much of value in a smaller church - not least being able to get to know everyone! But I do get a bit fed up with the sense that only big is beautiful and successful... of course I want God to bless this church and I want as many people as possible to get to know his love and grace. I wonder if there's any writing about on being the 'remnant' or some such comparison, and making the body as strong, faithfilled and effective as possible - however few or many they are?
    Er, sorry, I'm done now - thanks for listening... or scrolling past my ramble haha! :D
    (I've only been here 3 1/2 months!)

  59. (As I ponder it aloud to you all I realise that one uncertainty for me is whether my ministry is going to grow things or shrink things (size and faithwise) - a testing point as I ministered as the assistant in a large church before and now the buck stops here (well with God, but you know what I mean!)

  60. I don't suppose anyone has received a delivery from Antonio?

  61. WAiting for Catherine Zeta myself.

    I am wondering, are people really interested in learning what gift they have to offer GOd? So often I sense that they aren't really.

  62. Looks like semfem and rainbow pastor and other 'later-in-the-day' writers will be joined by me today. Busy weekend, busy week and next week gets worse... sigh.

    3 kings, 3 kings... hmmmmm

    All I've got so far is the idea to open with it actually being the twelfth day of Christmas/Epiphany so we are surrounded by a LOT of gifts that seem incredibly impractical (12 drummers drumming, et al PLUS gold, frankincense and myrrh) and yet....

  63. All I've got so far is the idea to open with it actually being the twelfth day of Christmas/Epiphany so we are surrounded by a LOT of gifts that seem incredibly impractical (12 drummers drumming, et al PLUS gold, frankincense and myrrh) and yet....

    Oh I LIKE that WS, there is certainly something useful there.

  64. singing owl-thanks for pointing that out. It looks fine in Firefox, but when I switched to Internet Explorer, I saw what you meant. Yikes! Yet another reason you should switch to firefox! ;)

  65. I've fixed my formatting now. Sorry everyone! Here is the again.

  66. just finished the baptism! will be going home and then looking at all comments (and packing). Can't wait to read some of these sermons, too!

  67. just finished the baptism! will be going home and then looking at all comments (and packing). Can't wait to read some of these sermons, too!

  68. Going running did absolutely nothing to spur on the sermon. It did, however, assure me that the new shoes I bought for trekking around Scotland are quite comfortable. Band practice didn't help either. That 12 Days thing WS mentioned might have given me the beginning of an idea...but we'll see. I am in need of chocolate.

  69. chelley - I hear you on both aspects of small churches. I love feeling that I can know people. But I do feel that "what if I can't keep them going/growing?" kind of angst sometimes.

    In a big church, I miss some things about small. In a small church, I miss some things about big. sigh.

    by the way, this was the first ever preacher party I hosted!

    Is anyone still working? How about a Canadian Bacon and Black Olive Pizza for supper?

  70. I am definitely still working, and pizza sounds fabulous! Thanks for being such a wonderful host, Diane!

  71. The sermon is done. The tree is also down and the house is clean. Yeah! How does pizza and wine sound for supper?

  72. diane--I'm still working, in fact, just getting started, and that pizza sounds DELICIOUS.

    Not back into the swing of things yet, and feeling a little surreally lonely after spending a week and a half with various loved ones.

    Sermon-wise, I think I'm weaving together all kinds of bits y'all have mentioned, because there's some great stuff out there. Now to see if I can weave the gift stuff with the change stuff. My people need to hear both of those, I think.

    will smama, there's always plenty of room at the late-night party!

  73. I'm still working ... I have hymns to select, but that will be easier than usual, I think.

    I also have a little newsletter to pull together.

    Veggies and ranch dip to go with your pizza, y'all?

  74. chelley, the alban institute has all kinds of articles, books, etc.that speak about the potency of small churches...(and big ones) find the link here. They also send out weekly email newsletter articles on church dynamics....I've found their books to be very helpful....

    Also, I just had some fabulous deep dish pizza, spinach, black olive and pepperoni...yum. I also have red wine if anyone wants...or water, or tea, or various soda beverages....

    and, if you are working late chances are I'll be getting up about the time you are turning in (hormonal induced insomnia being what it is these days), I'll say, "hey" if that happens....

    diane, thanks for hosting a great party!

  75. the veggies sound great! and the red wine, too, for those who are still working.
    I have some chardonnay to contribute, if anybody wants one.

    and I'll put in my two cents on Alban Institute. I'm glad I joined!

  76. Does anyone else have this problem? Everytime I post a sermon on my blog I get someone commenting on how I shouldn't be preaching. I try to ignore it, but it really is irritating. Especially since it's everytime! I don't preach very often-about once a month, but still...very irritating!

  77. Sue, I like your approach.

    I've been thinking about home by another way all week, but just now sitting down to write. I had to reread the Stephen King short story "Mrs. Todd's Shortcut" to see if there was anything useful in it. It's in "Skeleton Crew." A woman keeps fining shorter ways to get from point a to b, and eventually shortens the distance to less than the straight-line crow-flight distance. She keeps getting younger in the process, too. Weird story - like most Stephen King, but I think there is a connection. Again, its about change. If we don't seek a way out of our ruts and always take the easy way, we miss a lot of opportunities.
    We see new things when we take another road. We have adventures. We may have to slow down. All kinds of directions I'm thinking of. Also, was the first century the last time men stopped to ask for directions? For the children, I'm gonna bring in a road map and let them help me find another way somewhere.

    Well, that's my starting point tonight. I'll be here 'til ten, and then really get it done about four AM...that's how the Spirit seems to work around here. Anyone else planning to be around a while?

    Lemon ginger or cinnamon cardamom caffeine free tea? Water is heating, and the gingersnaps are calling my name.

  78. hmmm... there's an african proverb, I think it's "if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others." don't know if this is part of the "home by another way" approach...
    Also, a japanese theologian talks about God as a "three-mile-an-hour God"... slowing down to our speed, to walk with us. something in the last comment reminded me of this.

    cinnamon cardomom tea, sounds good!

    I'm making food for my dog, washing a sweater.

  79. Stealing the cat's account for a while......
    I wanted to write about home by another way---the song has been bouncing around my head all week, but ended up stuck in the middle of the story instead. Epiphany is my favorite season. I wish I had been able to spend more time on the sermon--but I take off for a mission trip immediately afterward. The combo of sermon prep/packing has not made for a happy kitty. He's going to be even less happy now that I have stolen his signin!

  80. I'm finally done, thanks to a healthy dose of the 12 Days of Christmas and O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi." I feel okay about it, although I've been fairly distracted by the presidential debates, planning for the concert I'm attending tomorrow after church, and getting ready to go to SCOTLAND. I'm going to be jumping out of my skin all day tomorrow.

    My dog joins littlemankitty in packing-related unhappiness.

  81. My dog's been a little mopey too due to packing...

  82. redheadrev - those are called trolls and you seem to have attracted two particularly nasty ones.

    I delete and ignore... this eventually seems to keep them from coming back.

    Sorry this happened.

  83. Have sermon outline! Now if I can get into the study tomorrow to print it...

    I went with both dreams and "home by another way," pulling in some themes from a couple weeks ago as well. What do we believe our dreams (night dreams, not hopes or daydreams) to be? Do we listen to our dreams? Do we follow their guidance to "another way" home? If we did, what might that other way be? And where would home be then?

    It's going to be more of an interactive meditation than a sermon--I'm interested to see what people say.

  84. The sermon is written - 'Being There' is the title - the crockpot is full and on a timer and 3 out of 4 of the downstairs rooms are clean and decluttered (10 for post-church lunch tomorrow). Time to go to bed and hit the rest in the AM.

    Blessings to you all whether you are done, just starting or somewhere in between.

    Peace friends.

  85. will smama - Thanks for the advice. :)

    I'm off to bed too.

  86. take care and good night, all!
    will smama, great advice for redheadrev. yeah, trolls. plus, you sound very organized for tomorrow!

    blessings on your sermons, no matter which way the star has led you!

  87. I'm about halfway done (700 words) and sort of stuck...great start with the gifts, but losing momentum fast.

    Anybody else out there still?

  88. semfem, I just got here so you're about 700 words ahead of me.

  89. w00t, Vicar, glad you're here!

    I haven't added any words since my last post, so am I still 700 words ahead?

  90. You are still WAY ahead. I got distracted before I even got started. Now, I'm really starting

  91. Word has now crashed twice in 5 minutes. I'm taking a break so I don't throw the laptop across the room. AUGH! Technology is great when it works ...

  92. Hey! I'm up late, but only after going to bed early. I woke up a little too warm, since I apparently maladjusted our thermostat, and in this now quiet house took another crack at my sermon. It's so much better now, I think, and I've posted it here.

    redheadrev, what will smama said. Don't feed the trolls, and they will certainly go away. No amount of arguing will change them, and there is no requirement that you give them a forum on your personal blog.

    Blessings to all who preach this day (because it is definitely Sunday now where I am!).

  93. Use WordPad!

    I'm up to...1100-something words...?

  94. Yay! I was hoping you'd post your sermon, Songbird. Welcome to the late-night party. :)

  95. I'm finally up to 710 words. Good thing there are no Sunday meetings for me tomorrow. And Seattle already played so I won't have to miss my nap for them either! Go Seahawks!

  96. Did you know that the stars that make up Orion's belt are sometimes called "The Three Kings?"

  97. If I keep talking to myself, we'll get to 100 comments.

  98. YEARGH.

    The ending is always the hardest part! Well, not always. But tonight it is.

    1320 words. Surely I must be close? One of my professional resolutions is to write shorter sermons.

  99. Oops, I sort of took that 100th comment from you, Vicar!

    I can't believe I forgot that the Seahawks game was today, though. BLEARGH all over again! At least they won.

  100. Okay, I'm calling it good for now and heading off to take a shower before the final readthrough and then bedtime.

    Good luck, Vicar, and anybody else still working.

    Blessings on all preaching, proclamation and pondering.

  101. Oops. I forgot I need to write a dedication of our new altar candles at St. Larger. SHOOT!

  102. I was actually waiting to see if anyone else was still up to get to 100. I'm finally done! I'll get the lights. God be with y'all in the morning.

    PS Seattle plays Green Bay Sat 1/12 at 4:30 ET

  103. Wow! We broke 100 comments! Guess I shouldn't have gone to bed so early! Hope everyone's day has gone well.


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