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Saturday, January 19, 2008

11th Hour Preacher Party: Love Is All Around

Hello, Preachers!

Are you ready to party?

Let's hope it doesn't turn out the way things did in Cloverfield, which various members of my family took me to see last night.

There is lots of love in these lectionary passages, for those of us who use them: God's love, our love for God, our encouraging love for one another, and the instant connection that Jesus makes with Peter.

Where are you headed today? What is the Good News for God's people in your particular setting on this particular Sunday?

(Do you get the feeling I may need to answer these questions myself?)

We have fruit and cereal and really good coffee and, as ever, the possibility of tea. Bring something to share, be it food or ideas or perhaps the kind of encouraging word Paul sent to his friends in Corinth. Let us know what's up today, or how we can help, in the comments below!


  1. Woot! Am I really the first?

    Well, need an early start today, as in addition to the sermon, I have a pre-wedding counseling meeting, references to put together for a conference next month, the order of worship to copy, and two meetings tomorrow to prepare for. Bring on the coffee!!

    I'm using the gospel passage--leaning on the "telling others" bit--as I retell our church's story, since this is our 20th anniversary weekend.

    I have banana cake to offer, and one last piece of plum pudding.

  2. I'm here early too, I see. I have cinnamon rolls just out of the oven and some Chai latte or coffee over here. I'm working off the title "Eye Witnesses" talking about John's line, 'I have seen and I testify,' asking what is it that we have seen and how do we go about testifying to what we have seen God do in our lives. I'd say I'm about a third done at this point. We'll see how it goes. BTW, looks like we're actually gonna get some snow around here today. Good day to stay inside and write (unless it's enough to go play in!)

  3. I hope I'll be sharper after coffee, but I wait for that until after my Weight Watchers meeting and the almighty weigh-in! This may be why I'm getting a slow start most Saturdays and also why I left out the paragraph in this post that connected to the subtitle.
    I'm interested in the connection between Jesus and Peter, the way we sometimes know as soon as we meet someone that they will matter in our lives, sort of "trust at first sight." I'm playing around with the idea of Peter as Rock and Jesus as real foundation stone.
    But really, I've got nothing. I wrote more about all the other passages this week, but for some reason I chose this one as the sermon text. It must have more to unfold to me.

  4. RP, such a busy day!
    We have family coming over later and (hurray!) the cleaning lady this morning, so I am working against the deadline of the former and the potential distraction of the latter.
    Rivkah, enjoy the snow!

  5. I'm headed to Bible Study Breakfast this A.M. (below zero here) and having oatmeal. Then have to really settle down to the sermon that won't come together. hmmm. I've always been partial to Andrew, myself. wonder what that means!

    I'll be back! I have to be done by 5!

    I'm looking at Come and see... come meaning follow, and see meaning believe... inverted order? usually we think believe and follow?

  6. One of the only things I love about being a half-time Associate Pastor is that I don't have to preach every week.

    I am getting ready to leave for my part time job then I am leaving for a church leadership retrea which I am really looking forward to. Have some hazelnut coffee on me.

  7. Well, friends, I had a late night last night. Go see Requiem for a Heavyweight at Victory Gardens if you are near Chicago. Wow.

    But the sermon is done! Woot!I focused on MLK and systems of shame. Stop by if you are looking for ways to procrastinate.

    I am off to lead a workshop on children's sermons. Um. I have to be more careful about how I volunteer myself to do things. Heh.

    Donuts are are the table. Sorry, I ate the Boston Creame.

  8. Tripp, that's my husband's favorite donut! He always eats them before anyone else has a chance.
    I'll try not to cry when I read that your are finished already.

  9. No preaching for me tomorrow. But I do have a Sunday School lesson to prayer. Blessings on all your efforts. And I am so glad Tripp brought donuts since my daughter says there is "Nuthin good to eat here." ;-)

  10. Ooh early birds. And rainbow Pastor because you were the first you get to be the one who cleans up at the end. TeeHee. Just kidding.

    I am preaching from Gen 27 on Esau and Jacob, and their dysfunctional family. It could be interesting.

    I also have basket ball games today in our gymn at the church, so it could even be fun.

    I have muffins to offer.

    Songbird hope you find the answers.

    and Tripp, I am going to say it anyway, you are a Tripp with seeing Requiem for a Heavyweight at Victory Gardens and getting your sermon done anyway!

  11. The wedding counseling session just got cancelled--one of them was stuck in an airport due to the weather.


    I'll take a doughnut, Tripp--thanks! Got a Maple Dip?

  12. I have whole wheat cinnamon toast to share here. I also have a long list "to do" of office work. Yes that includes a sermon on Isaiah 49.
    I also need to write a letter to a county judge on behalf of my young friend-age 19- who's being held in county jail on a felony. Long story, but please pray that i have the appropriate words for this letter! ...and my sermon--peace y'all!

  13. Come and see... come meaning follow, and see meaning believe... inverted order?
    Thanks Diane will probably add that into the mix of my sermon thoughts - it is about how we start with small steps following and live into understanding of our call -- using MLK, Jr. "kitchen revelation" story and ending with a quote from the psalm. 2 Epiphany

  14. I got a bee in my bonnet early in the week regarding the "It is too small a thing" line in Isaiah.

    My sermon is titled "Living Large".

    How do we get past thinking of ourselves as insignificant in the body of Christ and accept the command to share the gospel not just with those in our immediate area but with the whole world? Does "living small" serve God's purpose?

    That's what I'm bouncing around right now. No actual words, yet.

  15. morning friends! I brought you tea and also McVitie's digestive biscuits and Lyons Rich Tea biscuits--why yes, one of my grocery store chains has begun stocking a little section of British stuff, which is either taking the edge off my anxiety to go back to Scotland this summer or feeding it! Anyway, I can share.

    Not only am I not preaching this week, I'm not actually going to church this week. I'll be worshipping at the airport, waiting for a 10am flight to NC for a 3 day conference at Montreat. I so need this time away...send me some happy thoughts!

    Also, if anyone has a cleaning lady I can borrow, let me know. My house is a disaster and naturally my senior pastor is the one coming over to feed my cats while I'm gone...I feel it needs to be a little cleaner when he walks in.

    stay warm, friends! current temp here: 0 degrees F, working toward a high of 4!!

  16. I'm working on the gospel--not sure where I'm going with it yet, but I hope I find out soon!

    As a lectionary preacher I'm intrigued by the insertion of John into Matthew's cycle.

    Drinking decaf chai latte here, and happy to put the kettle on if anyone else wants some.

  17. dark roast coffee on tap. outside it is -6 degrees! sermon pretty much wrapped... but cheesehead oooh i like the "living large" & i'm gonna weave that in. totally fits!

    last week i used JC's baptism, gift of the Spirit as THE moment when JC was inaugurated into the ministry for which he had been born. And our own baptism as THE moment when same such happened for us... which gives our lives purpose, meaning. Using John the Baptist & Andrew this week as examples...laying out how their ministry unfolded and leaving it "open" for folks to figure out what God intends for their ministry to be...

  18. I'm working on the Isaiah passage. Like cheesehead I have the It is too light of thing rattling around in my head too. But I want to combine it with Jesus' "Come and see" as well. Jesus is given the assignment of bringing salvation to the nations, but he started with two of John's followers. Considering there are three of us in my home church. This might be a good thing to hear.

    I'm hoping to get it done this morning. I'm having tea with one of parishoners (the one that isn't my hubby) and then some cleaning needs to be done.

    I was just debating tea: red vanilla roobios or chai? What do you think?

  19. I'm back! It's a little chaotic here, but I will try to get focused.
    Can I get anyone anything?
    Because that would *surely* help me focus.

  20. I was half done last night and now I'm
    half done.

    Oh well. since I'm using my cat's account, I suppose I could offer up some greenies.


  21. I think I've figured out a way to tie that UFO sighting in Stephenville, TX into my sermon. Oh yeah!

  22. My sermon, probably on identity, using the Gospel of John and building off our phrase in baptism, "marked as Christ's own forever"..what does that mean?

  23. My sinuses are killing me once again (third day in a row), so I've canceled tea with my friend because the wind chill here in Chicago is -18 F. If I go out, I will wind up with a migraine.

    The sermon is started. And I made coffee instead of tea. Needed something with more of a kick to get the sinus medication in my system as quickly as possible.

  24. QP-- prayers arising

    Rivkah -- that should get their attention!

    Like Teri, I am seeking warmth. BUt Teri is practically in the tropics by comparison. Here it is currently -28C with a hoped for high of -22C (0F = -18C).

    I was initially struck by the "too small a thing". ANd that will still be part of it, a call to be less inward looking. But I was at a Conference Executive meeting this week and the Executive SEcretary shared some of his goals and some of them are just calling to be worked into the sermon (his goals were for the conference but they can be re-worded for the congregation):
    -be less inward focussed
    -Provacative in nature/risk takers...less confined by our restraints/more sure of ourselves as a Christian Community
    -expect faithful/strenuous questioning (indicative of health)
    -to be a community respectful of one and another, while challenging those around us and the GOspel

    These are coming for a man who declares repeatedly that it is his belief that "The United Church of Canada is the best vehicle of the gospel of Jesus Christ in Canada". Maybe I should have just brought Bruce back to preach on Isaiah 49:6 in my stead...

  25. Good chilly morning everyone!

    Good thoughts here so far. Cheesehead and the others thinking of living large spurred thoughts of "living la vida gospel" and what that might mean. That makes room for MLK, Christian Unity, lots of things.

    Those of you focusing on MLK, do y'all know this song?

    I'll check back in after chores and errands.

  26. And I should add, it is our annual parish meeting, so the theme of "who we are," is relevant.

  27. ((QP))) prayers for you and for your your friend. May you feel God's presence.

    For the past two weeks I've talked to our congregation about living in heathy community, and about how God is with us and we are beloved.

    This week, Jesus calls us to action. Real, "get up off your butts" action. So I'm talking about courage. It must have taken some guts for those first disciples to say yes. I'm also connecting it to Isaiah's ability to speak the truth to God's people - to let them know that their task was no small thing. Their calling was high, and so is ours.

    I'm done *ducking as someone throws a donut* but tweaking today.

    The temperature here today, with the windchill, is -37 degrees (at -40 fahrenheit and celcius are the same - arse bitin'cold).

    Brrr....back to the coffee.

  28. I just want to say: it's ten below zero here.
    I'm behind. I need to keep typing. I'll be back later.
    tea. I'm drinking tea.

  29. References are done (assuming our lead person on the presentation approves). I need to get a good start on the sermon, then I'll go do the bulletin, pick up the photo albums for the anniversary dinner tonight, and work on the sermon a bit more before I go to the dinner. I had hoped to be able to drop by two other events tonight (Art's 1,000,045th Birthday, a fundraiser for a local art gallery; and a band night fundraiser for a local arts festival) after the dinner, but even with the sermon done, I still have the meetings tomorrow to prepare for.

    My Facebook status often says that I'd be willing to pay extra for a few more hours in my day--that is SO true today!

    Plus it's cold!

    Time for grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup--anyone else interested?

  30. I just can't seem to end this sucker. And I'm usually better at endings than beginnings. And I really, really want to leave the apartment today. Since tomorrow after church---time to start the sermon for Firday!

  31. the temperature seems to be going down instead of's now -3, with a "real feel" of -22. I'm pretty sure that's not up from 0.

    But maybe I just need to go back to High School math...(my youth group makes this suggestion occasionally!)

    Okay, I'm seriously about to vacuum my house, then think about cleaning the kitchen, and call that clean enough.

    Any lunch requests? Since I'm not preaching, I might as well make myself useful. No meat in my house though, sorry...vegetarian lunches all around!

  32. On the road again.....
    Just heading out for the 200 mile drive to town of little church. When I get to my mom's house, I'll work on typing the outline into a sermon. I'm preaching Psalm 23 - What does it mean to be sheep? I figured for this 4 week guest preaching gig in a church that doesn't follow lectionary, I could preach from familiar texts.

    I'm leaving Sister Shuberts yeast rolls with sausages from the Baby Blessing our reunion group had for one of our very pregnant members.

    Gotta drive. Will check in later.

  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. OK, let me try this again...

    I have posted my sermon What Are You Looking For. It's a draft but at least now I can let it perculate while I move onto the other million things I have to do...but first, yoga anyone? I have a great DVD and am going to take a break....

  35. Hi all, I seem to be coming with crumbs and, treats and sermons... Just not feeling very inspired. I had some thoughts earlier in the week but there was too much week and I lost them somewhere, so I really appreciate reading what you all are doing here. I'm going with John, I think. I keep coming back to why they followed him, why they stayed....what was it that was so compelling... and by extension,why do we follow, why do we stay? Can I get 1200 words from that? Not if I don't stop procrastinating! Argh! Please pass the donuts....

  36. I'm coming late to the party, after spending the morning at a town-hall kind of meeting for work. Good energy there, so that was nice.

    Now its back to the sermon. I'm guest preaching again this week, and I think I'm going to go with the idea of "come and see" as well. At a conference last fall, one of speakers kept using the phrase "Faith is caught, not taught" - and I want to bounce off that idea, and look at how spending in day with Jesus led to conversion and discipleship, and ask the congregation to consider the ways in which they invite others to expereince the work of Christ in their own lives - "where they are staying".

    In the meantime, I'm working at a deli in Ann Arbor, so holler if you want some pickles or rye bread.

  37. I'm coming late to the party- after a full day of teaching on New Age good to find all of these comments to think through...I have a draft posted here on Thursday...but am now feeling unsure abt it!

  38. QP, just catching up with your earlier comment. You have my prayers, too.

  39. Sally, there is ALWAYS coffee chez Songbird.
    Let me pour you a cup.

  40. ahhh...thanks Songbird....starting to feel human...

  41. Thanks for the prayers! Letter is finished and mailed. Now on to the bulletin and sermon. Peace!

  42. Lolling about here in the pleasant consciousness that our assistant preaches tomorrow...but I do like that "It is too light a thing..."
    Were I preaching, I might try to tie it into the issues (ok, one issue) currently gnawing at the church, and vice versa, and tie both to the principle that no problem can be solved by an answer at the same level where the problem is stated. You always have to find a solution one level above where the discussion seems to be going on. The solution for Israel was not to "fix Israel" but to be the light for the nations...etc.

  43. QP that was some letter you needed to write- so pleased it is done- prayers for the sermon prep...

  44. Somehow it's become nearly 2pm and I'm just starting to write. Tomorrow will be my second-to-last Sunday with my congregation, and I'm struggling with what to say as I leave them. I'm also struggling to rouse up enough energy and focus to actually write something. Anything. But preferably something relevant.

  45. I'm fighting it out with John's "come and see" and somehow fell into thinking about how Christianity grabs and convicts in beautiful ways.

    Not a clever or helpful thought in my brain. Maybe if I vacuum or go watch the dvd Mr.C's watching for a few minutes...

    Pitiful, but hopeful here.

  46. Well, I finished a nap. Started the sermon. Need coffee, SB! Many thanks!!

  47. Teri, I wish I had three days at Montreat coming up!

    Wonder if it's snowing there? We are in a freeze down here in the tropics.

    I heart Montreat. I need to be there.

  48. Greetings everyone! I wanted to post earlier but kept getting interupted. I am intrigued by disciples leaving John the Baptist to follow a new Rabbi - Jesus. And what they experienced in spending the day with Jesus that confirmed their decision to follow him.

    I just enjoyed a fresh peach for an afternoon snack And will soon perk another pot of coffee.

    Check out Jan Richardson's blog at for some wonderful "insight" into seeing.

    I'm still finding myself pulled too many directions with this text. Jan has helped some to focus my thoughts. But I clearly need more help.

    More later...

  49. This comment has been removed by the author.

  50. Ugh. I promised myself I would not be around to join the party this week, yet here I am. I am really trying to break my Saturday writing habit now that I am in a call that includes weekly preaching. My first two weeks went fairly well. At least I didn't stay up past 11:00 p.m. This week that doesn't seem possible. I'm writing now from my office between a memorial service and a burial, my first in this congregation. I have been here not quite 3 weeks.

    The sermon took second billing this week and I took my first Friday day off, so I'm behind where I wanted to be. Oh well, enough of that. I'll join the discussion here when I read a little more of it.

    I know I'm working with Isaiah and John. I know I am preaching on the "bigness" of Jesus' mission. The Lamb of God who takes away the sins "of the world", and the light "to the nations".

    I think I'm looking in the same direction as cheesehead at this point, but it's not fleshed out yet.

    Below zero here too. How did this Florida girl end up this far north??? (Must've been God)

  51. Well, I've got 1600 words that don't make me want to jump off a bridge, so I'm stopping for now, taking a shower, and venturing out into -3 to the grocery, when I'm sure people will be stocking up on "football game food" and lots and lots of beer.

    It's congregational meeting tomorrow, so I had to work that in as well. I'm giving them the good news that we are no longer considered a small church in our presbytery. At least I hope they'll see it as good. I sure do.

  52. OK I'm heading out into the polar freeze to run the bulletin and pick up photo albums. Be back in a bit to finish (I hope) the sermon.

    Anyone need anything while I'm out?

  53. Since I'm busy doing everything but writing my sermon, I've made some soup. Spicy black bean, tomato, and brown rice. It's not really dinner time yet, but you're welcome to a bowl whenever you get hungry.

    It's really hard to imagine that after the next two weeks, I will no longer be spending my Saturdays in this state of perpetual anxiety.

  54. I have a nice pot full of wonderful beef and vegetable stew. I don't know why it turned out to be so extraordinarily good, but the fragrance is filling the house. Which is nice, because outside the temperature is still below zero. I'm praching one more difficult sermon tomorrow. I had planned on starting a kind of fun Noah series, but I can't until I make some things crystal clear. Our church's future probably depends on it. But the sermon, a bulletin insert and a powerpoint are done! Woooo Hoooooo! It's from Haggai, and not cheery, but can be, if we determine to do what is right. The cold is not supposed to break till next week, so I don't know how many will be in church. Oh well. Blessings on those who still are writing away.

  55. Quoting cheesehead: "Well, I've got 1600 words that don't make me want to jump off a bridge"

    These, friends, are sermonizing words to live by. I think I'll go and cross-stitch that on a pillow so I won't forget it.

  56. Susie/Nueva Cantora, if you're at the deli that begins with Z, I'd love a Cheddar Herb Scone.

    Now that chores and errands are done, it's to work on tomorrow's worship.

  57. Hey gals, I am finished! I also have a pot of venison chili to share--sorry about you vegitarians-but I live in hunting country. When a parishioner shares meat, I take it!

    Finally got the Come and See thing to work. We have annual meeting coming up next week. Seemed appropriate

  58. I am still looking UP at zero on the thermometer, and also pretty much at a blank page as well. Brain freeze, sermon block or what-have you. I am seriously thinking of a brisk walk...windchill or no...and then trying again. There is a coffee shop on the walk route...I'll be happy to take orders....scones? Chai? Bagels?

  59. The week of prayer for Christian
    Unity is rather inspiring to me.
    I have enlarged on this with a
    couple of snall groups in the past
    few days and had good response.

  60. I'm done. My sermon is here. Please pray for me. I don't know my sinuses have just run me down or if I'm coming down with something, but I do not feel good.

  61. (((RevDrKate)))- prayers ascending... that the spiritual themometer would rise....

  62. Eeek. It's 10.15 pm and I'm just in from driving 3 hours each way to celebrate my honorary mum's 90th birthday...Definitely well worth it (will blog it tomorrow) but for now...I have no thought for the day for the 8.00 Eucharist nor do i have the second half of my Galatians 1 sermon for Evensong...and I don't much feel like writing either.
    But - we were at the seaside so there is some very superior fish and chips (the fish is in a special batter made with the local ale) on the table..and also some of Eirene's birthday cake. Enjoy while I panic! I do that Soooooo well :-)

  63. Kathyrn- yup it is 10:22pm now- prayers with and chips yum- we had pasta- washed down by a decent red though!!!!

  64. Mmm, fish and chips...makes me miss Scotland. I wish for fish and chips, and a completed sermon.

  65. I'm not preaching because we have a guest preacher on Sunday.

    On a side note, The Entertainer was in preschool in Stephenville for a year. I wonder if they were looking for her and just got the year wrong?

  66. I'm back, after fighting with the copier at church...

    Wow, venison chili! I'll take some of that! Or, er, I would if I weren't heading off to our 20th anniversary celebration dinner! Here's hoping for something low-calorie, hot, and satisfying on the menu.

  67. oops, meant to add that I will be back later, to finish up the sermon...

  68. Friends, we are making fishcakes here (potato pancakes with the addition of poached haddock), and when I say "we" I mean my brilliant sister-in-law is doing the cooking. I'll be back after dinner and share what's left. We have shortbread and Williamsburg Orange Cupcakes, too!

  69. Hey all,
    This has been a crazy week and on top of everything, I have a sick kitty to deal with. He has surgery scheduled for Monday.

    Had a funeral this morning then an hour drive to the cemetery out in the country. That had to be the coldest graveside service I have ever done, and no doubt the fastest!

    I am now fighting a migraine and think I may just have to pull a sermon from the files. I used the Corinthians passage three years ago, so I hope I can just freshen it up a bit before my head explodes.

    Peace and blessings to you all.

  70. Presby babe- prayers for your prep...

    Songbird those pancakes sound good... even though I have eaten...

    I need to go to bed is 11pm here...just a few more bits to finish...

  71. Taties baking in the oven ...
    Steamed Broccoli ...
    Kernel corn ...
    Rib-eye with sauteed mushrooms au jus [cuz it was the same price as sirloin this week at my favorite butcher's]

    "Y'all hungry?" she asks, in the voice of Eve contemplating the apple ...

  72. I am hungry now...and I was going to bed...

  73. I'm done with my message! YIPPEE!
    Now on to the stuff that I skipped over earlier--or maybe I'll just read until bed time and get up tomorrow to get some other work done...Hmmmmmm. My book is calling, and so is my son ;)

  74. well, I'm back. I had to be done because I had to preach at 5:00. Also went to "lunch with the pastor" at Noon. Then 6 elementary school age kids and I went to the library to hear a presentation on Martin Luther King Jr! It was inspiring! he sang and told stories and really engaged the children.

    He said some pretty memorable things, such as "Monday shouldn't be a day OFF. It should be a day ON." and "It's not the words of your enemies that betray (now I don't quite remember)... but the SILENCE of your friends." And a young woman read a poem about her dream that made me CRY!

    Now, my husband said he wanted to go out to eat, but he changed his mind. So, he is picking something up at the deli.

    When I know what it is, I promise I'll share.

    I'm still drinking tea (I have a cold.)

    Shawna Renee, I feel your pain. really. prayers ascending.

    RevDrKate, praying for some inspiration. It appears to be cold in MANY places.

  75. oh, and presby babe, prayers for your sermon and your head.

    Muthah+ I would like some venison chili please. Is it spicy?

  76. Not sure if it was the chai or the prayers (strongly suspecting the latter) but it is done and posted and I am done and going HOME! Blessings on those still writing and snuffling! Spirit has you all. Thank you for your support. (((Preacher Party)))

  77. WEll I think my meditation for tomorrow is set. ANd I have notes for my Stewardship Moment on Planned Giving.

    For those who may want to look ahead to Palm/PAssion Sunday I have a series of monologues I wrote 6 years ago based on Matthew's telling of the story. You can find it here

  78. I do believe my sermon is finished at last. I also have to figure out some sort of meditation for a jazz vespers service tomorrow night, so I suspect I'll be up for a while. Meh. Anyone else still here with me?

  79. well I'm checking in. Looks like all is coming together for each of you...

    Just got some really sad news. My friend M2, who just had the precious twins, has been told by her church that they cannot afford to keep her, now that she has a family, and her time with them will be terminated on Feb.17.

    Can they do this to a new mother? I'm appalled. Prayers please...

  80. oh mompriest, this is awful. praying praying praying...

  81. I hear a lot of tough Saturdays happening out there (especially M2...I can't believe that!), and I don't mean to whine, but...I'm panicking. Thanks to a bunch of stuff that I won't list because it just seems like excuses, I'm just starting the sermon now. *sigh* Wish I'd preached this three years's definitely a day I would consider "repurposing."

    I'm zooming off to check all the drafts that have been posted and then start praying for inspiration! Help, RevGals and Pals! You're my only hope! (Along with Antonio.)

  82. I'm back from the dinner... Not as well attended as I would have liked, partly due to various people being ill, partly due to the cold. But those of us who were there had a great time! Including a couple of people very influential in our community, although they aren't members. So that pleased me. As did a wonderful chicken fajita salad...

    So, another look at the sermon, with an eye to fitting in "Pacman" (dear Music Man, has to give me the impossible ones), gather together the papers for the board meeting and look at the stuff for the SoP meeting...then bed.

    It's past 10:30 and I was going to be in bed by 11.

    Oh dear.

    Mompriest, that is astonishing! How can they do that!? Prayers going up...

  83. Oh, and Songbird, I've had "Love Is All Around" in my head ALL DAY LONG. Thanks! :)

  84. Oh, mompriest, I'm so sorry to hear this!

  85. I'm just back from checking out the Salem Baptist Gospel Choir (75 voices) singing at Willow Creek and from a church fellowship dinner at my favorite local restaurant, a Thai place. I brought back Pad Thai with tofu for any who'd like to share--I know it's late, but it makes a great late-night snack!

    Our dinner was also low in attendance, probably due mainly to the cold and to a couple of people with health issues.

    Well...I'm waiting for my laundry to be clean so I can pack, and then it's off to sleep for me, and off to the airport in the morning. I cannot tell you how much I need this time away...

    blessings on all of you tomorrow...Insha'allah (God willing) I'll be back with you next week, actually doing some work!

  86. If anyone is still up and wants to know how I worked that UFO sighting into my sermon, it's here.

  87. Mompriest, that's awful! I can't imagine doing that to someone.

    ((semfem)) I've definitely been there.

    Teri, I hope you enjoy this time away, and I'm glad you're finally getting it!

    I'm considering going to bed, despite the fact that I have no meditation for tomorrow night. I have been cranky all day and probably shouldn't increase the crabbiness by being tired tomorrow.

  88. Mompriest, I think it absolutely SUCKS that a church would fire a new mother.

  89. I would think it'd be illegal to fire someone just because they happened to have children.

    And you'd think there'd be diocesan or (insert judicatory of your choice) rules about how much notice you can give...less than a month? Outrageous!

  90. I stayed up too late, enjoying the company of my son and his girlfriend, who leave for college in the morning. I'll probably regret it tomorrow, but for tonight I'm glad I did it!
    Blessings to all of you and a good night's rest, even if it's compressed for some of us.

  91. 862 words, and I'm going to take a shower and start some laundry and maybe grab some caffeine.

    Is anybody else out there?

  92. Sleepy...caffeine not working...zzz...

    it's almost time for the early birds to show up...

  93. Last week it was cans of food, this week it's Magic Eye pictures. (Remember those?) Late nights bring out some weird sermon illustrations.

    But it's finally done, and I'm going to grab a nap before it's time to go.

    Blessings on all preaching and proclamation.

  94. Oh, semfem, I'm tired just thinking about when you went to sleep!
    My first priority: coffee.

  95. oh gosh, what a night...seems like everyone was a bit of a struggle. I slept fitfully, had bizarre dreams, and worried about M2. After a longer conversation, when she had stopped crying, I learned that the church is REALLY out of money. Her absence for bedrest to maintain the pregnancy, then maternity leave, etc. seems to have allowed the church to implode. Not that anyone from the church was telling her this - she needed her privacy, I guess. They are in many ways repeating their history. It's too sad all around.

    I shared with M2 the phrase mother laura gave me: when a door closes God opens a window, but the hallway in between can be hell...(at least she lauged)...

    I pray something comes her way soon...and I appreciate your prayers on her behalf....

    Blessings on everyone this day...

  96. To all who preach:
    If you've got a dog, walk it proud. And remember, the Holy Spirit's got your back. :-)

  97. Oh semfem, you sound like me now that I'm reading what was posted after I last went to bed last night. I was up until about 11:00 p.m. last night, but went to bed with maybe half a sermon written. This used to be my regular practice. I didn't write a word until about 9:30 p.m. on Saturday night. Then I would put together a pretty decent outline and go to sleep no later than midnight, but usually closer to 11:00 p.m. I'd set my alarm for

  98. Hmmm....accidentally sent that before I finished (if there's anyone even reading this thread anymore!)

    Anyway, I set my alarm for 2:00 or 2:30 a.m. (depending on how confident I was) and then write the actual sermon until 6:00 a.m. By that time it was time to shower, eat, and hit the road to get to the church in time for the 8:30 service. Ugh.

    My sermons weren't bad (actually, I think I was pretty good), but it ruined me for the next day or two. The good news is that I was an associate pastor so I wasn't doing this weekly.

    I promised myself and, more importantly, my husband that I wouldn't do that now that I'm preaching weekly (just started this month, 3 sermons so far). My first two weeks went great, but I was so defeated when I started to slip into old ways last night. I could blame the funeral I had Saturday, but I don't really believe that was the whole reason. I'm just not focusing well during the week. I get distracted too easily at work.

    Anyway, just wanted to say I feel for you and your night/morning! Have a restful day today!


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