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Saturday, May 31, 2008

11th Hour Preacher Party: I Got a Rock Edition

Good morning, preaching gals and pals! What's up for you today?

Whether you are preaching about rocks of refuge or shifting sands and firm foundations, or taking on Paul, or examining Deuteronomy--because, yes, there were almost too many choices this week!--there has been a lot of great discussion at Tuesday Lectionary Leanings. Take a look if you're seeking inspiration!

I'm headed to church later to rehearse a dramatic reading with my children, then hoping to find the box that has my basket of little stones, to hand out a rock to each of the kids in church tomorrow. Since my office is still packed, due to construction going on there, this may prove challenging.

What challenges lie ahead of you today? I'm sure we can meet them with encouragement and sustenance here at the Preacher Party.

Coffee is on, a delicious blend sold at one of our local coffee shops and benefiting Maine Women's Fund. There is hot water for tea, and we have some delicious apple muffins, too.

Pull up a chair and let us know what's going on with you today!


  1. wow, songbird, you're up early!
    I have taken my brother to the airport after a week-long visit and now I'm here to offer you all a variety of cereals (he lives on cereal) and really good local milk! I am on children's-time duty this week...about Matthew...Senior Pastor had this to say about his sermon direction:
    "The "rock" is *obedience* to Jesus (hearing the word and *doing* it), so of course it all comes down to acts of compassion, Matt 25, etc. So we build our house out of love."
    Right...last time I tried to make that a children's sermon it went badly. So time for a new plan...

    Happy partying today, friends! I'm planning to make homemade mozzarella sticks (including making the mozzarella) for lunch so I'll be back to share! :-)

  2. Hey, my preaching schedule got changed and I am preaching this week and next week. I had a really good start right away with Robert fulgham's old essay, "All I needed to know, I learned in Kindergarten." But then trying to do the third paragraph I got stuck. (sigh)

    I want to have something GOOD because the church is actually celebrating my 10th anniversary there tomorrow.

    Do you think I am putting a lot of pressure on myself?

  3. Hi all,

    I'm not preaching tommorrow nor do I have a class or a meeting tommorrow after church. I'll work at the library today, then if the rain lets up I'll be out in the garden. I do have a bible study that I'm leading on Tuesday so I'll probably work on that today.

    What a treat! Here's some rhubarb pie I made for today's festivities.

  4. oh, Teri, I just got your comment too! when I did my Bible study on Wednesday we connected to matthew 25 as well (particularly in connection with the "Lord lord" section)

    Perhaps instead of those "acts of power and prophecy" people are so proud of, Jesus really wants us to do acts of mercy. heh.

  5. I'm off to a medical missions conference this morning and working on sermon this afternoon. Title is "When the rains come..." That's pretty much all I have right now, but the plan is to consider the storms we face and the solidity of the Rock on which we stand.

  6. Teri, don't forget, I am an hour ahead; I actually slept in today! Didn't get up until 7:48. It's nice to have someone else home to feed the dogs! ;-)

    Mozzarella sticks sound delicious, count me in.

    Diane, I can totally understand how you feel. Do you have strategies for working through the stuck places?

    God_guurrlll, thanks for the pie!

    Kim in KCK, that's the direction my dramatic reading goes, too.

    I'm going to put on a second pot of coffee, okay?

  7. I am working on foundations of faith. I did a wedding that I inherited when I first came to the parish. NOT one of the wedding party knew the Lord's Prayer. I want to make sure that the folks are teaching the foundations of faith to the children.

  8. Muthah+, that is very interesting. Were the wedding party members related to the church? If so, that's even sadder.

  9. Songbird, thanks! I think I have my progression now...

    My next step has to do with what "these words" refers to and talking about the Sermon on the Mount", I think...

    oh, and by the way, Muthah+, I like what you are talking about re: Lord's prayer, particularly in light of the Deuteronomy lesson... thinking a lot about that lately, too.

  10. Awake again. I've had my Cheerios and milk and was ready for a snack. I see I've come to the right place. Working on the foundations piece in Matthew; I think I'm saying that the foundation is doing the (difficult) work of loving God and neighbor.

  11. The dramatic reading also comes around to that particular foundation!
    I love it when we're all thinking alike. :-) It's reassuring.
    Snacks, let's see. We do have muffins, and since boys are home, we have Pop-Tarts, too!!

  12. yep, God and neighbor, that's what the sermon on the mount is about. and how do we get the courage to do this difficult work?

    I'm thinking a lot about the school in China that fell down in the earthquake because of the shoddy materials, and substandard construction.

  13. oh, and I've been thinking about the meaning of the sand: the foolish man actually built on a dried up river bed, called a "wadi". duh. There was bound to be rain, eventually. So, what was he thinking?

    not thinking about the future, that's for sure.

  14. Oh, really? Diane, I think you just gave me my first thoughts for the Communion Invitation, which will be my opportunity to reflect (briefly) on the scripture. Thank you!

  15. I have written and rewritten my sermon three times. Do you think I'm lost?

    Trying to connect having a good foundation with the health of this church (it is healthy) and where we need to go next...moving out from the physical level for which we have built a solid foundation in stable finances, beautiful buildings, etc the spiritual level. We are going to work on building the spiritual foundation for the work we need to do next. It shouldn't be difficult write about...but alas, it seems to be...Essentially we are parish that was built by retired depression era folk who need to save save save - we never have enough money saved....but is slowly becoming a parish of baby-boomers who want to give away and share what we have...we are moving from "hoarding" to "abundance and generosity"...Anyway I have a few hours to work on it then a funeral this afternoon.

    I have coffee and donuts...please help yourself!

    teri - build our house out of love migh work in my case...can see why it would be more difficult with kids - the homemade mozzarella sticks sound fab

    muthah+ wow! I've some experience with folks like at's tricky doing church in those instances....

    diane - 10 years WOW! You are putting a lot of pressure on yourself - but who am I to talk, I would too. Still I trust what you say will be wonderful.

    I'm getting long winded, so blessings, all!

  16. Hey! I got to church here to finish the sermon and found a card and a present by my door! Card says: Hope you have another 10 years! (ok, I opened it, even though the celebration isn't until tomorrow. I'm bad bad bad)

    Now onto the wise/foolish men and their respective houses!

  17. diane, yay for the present, so nice that people show they care for you!

  18. Good (late) morning, all!

    I'm doing backwards Saturday today.

    WonderGirl is off at work, so Spouse and I have been spending the morning together, and I've already had my bubble bath, which is usually my "I've printed my sermon" reward.

    Spouse and I are headed out our favorite Sate Park to take a short hike while the weather is nice, then I'll come home and write this afternoon.

    Carry on! Comment lots of good ideas for me while I'm gone, 'kay?

  19. I am finished. I preached on Foundational churches rather than fundamentalist churches. Churches that are places of shalom.

  20. Diane and Songbird, for what's its worth, I once pitched the family tent on a "leech" field. A term I was unfamiliar with at the time. Of course it was the drain field for the campground and when the 'rains came' (daily btw) whew...what a smell and LOTS of runoff. if the story fits, use it.

  21. I'm focusing on the gospel lesson from Matthew. Since Sunday is graduation day for our HS, my sermon is on "Building a Life" - using Frank Lloyd Wright's Larkin Building plaques: "Integrity, Loyalty, Fidelity; Sincerity, Humility, Courage; Prudence, Learning, Wisdom; Faith, Hope, Charity and Thought, Feeling and Action," as the structure of our lives built on the rock of Jesus' words and our living into Jesus' words.
    Had a wonderful ham and cheese omlet which has fueled me well!

  22. Thanks Nancy.

    Also thinking of that old film, "The Rains came." about a flood in india...

  23. Diane, how sweet!
    Nancy Fitz, ick! You poor thing!
    St. I, that sounds like a good plan.

    We've gotten our first rain in ages today, and I'm grateful for it, since rain is a theme in the dramatic reading. Last time I used it we had nothing *but* rain the week before!

  24. Rained out garage sale (AFTER we set up every thing, of course), running off the bulletin and inserts and gathering materials for potential SS lesson are behind me.

    Sermon writing, folding/stuffing of said bulletins, full intergenerational SS lesson and plan still ahead.

    And nap. I must nap.

    it's been a hard, controversy filled week. A lot of things closing... waiting for the one thing to open.

    sermon title: "We must protect this house!" - a take off on the athletic wear ads that are out there, but going in the direction Muthah+ did - teach the 10 commandments, pray around the table, plan for your family's faith future as well as it's academic, financial, etc...

    Please pass me whatever will salve my enflamed throat.

  25. Checking back in...I've now cleaned the bathroom and the kitchen. Baby's about to wake up and eat. Everyone's ideas sound good. Any other children's sermon ideas?

  26. good morning all. I have to preach 2 -- count'em, 2 -- weddings this afternoon -- but I have a pretty good start on tomorrow morning, I THINK...much buttressed by juicy quotes from Jeremy Taylor out of last week's clergy retreat. Taylor is very good on the dimension of faith that comes from OBEDIENCE to the will of God = lovingkindness, in my book. We have Noah for first reading. So I may talk about the necessary shift from speculating about the likelihood of rain, to some hammer'n'saw work ("fwooba, fwooba" a la Bill Cosby)...

  27. well, it's done but I don't like the end. back to kindergarten.

  28. okay, friends, mozzarella sticks are in the fryer--come and get 'em! :-)

  29. almost forgot--the marinara's on the side for anyone who wants to dip....

    and I'm bringing some Trader Joe's French Berry Lemonade (carbonated and amazing) to the table too.

    Soon I'll be brainstorming RE children...any ideas out there?

  30. Homemade mozarella! WOWZER! I'll have some with my rhubarb pie and coffee, thank you so much.

    And congratulations, Diane. I hope you're all rested and recovered and feeling great.

    Cheese, isn't it glorious out!? I hope you enjoyed the walk and came back raring to go.

    I've been doing overdue yard work, but now I have a pot of spaghetti sauce bubbling on the stove and I'm settling down to finish up the last of my OASIS series. This week's topic is "Seeking God's Purposes."

    Tomorrow winds things up for our big vision exploring six weeks (we have had a lot of fun and it has been good, but not as well attended as I'd hoped) and the service is packed. We have a fun video of church things, people, the oasis in the entry, and so on, and I'm trying to upload it to my blog so I can share it, but no success so far. There is lots of celebratory music planned, and a glorious worship dance and with that and other stuff I'll probably have about five minutes for the sermon. That is okay.

  31. We're going to leave in a few minutes to head to church for a rehearsal. The microphones are not exactly greatly situated for four voices, so that will take some finagling. I leave you all with a mid-afternoon Diet Coke to help with slumping energy!
    Back a little later.

  32. I meant the service schedule is packed. Oh, how I hope and pray the sanctuary is packed too! ;-)

  33. It's 2:00pm my time- and I have survived an early weekend of bachelorette festivities. I am now hydrated, and have had a shower- and I'm now ready to write. I've decided to diverge from the lectionary and preach about forgiveness tomorrow- what a tricky and wonderful subject. I will approach it with care. This is an awfully late start for me though!! Although I have been preparing all week, so I'd like to invited the Holy Spirit to pull up a chair and hang out with me. I've got my sweet dog Dolly and a diet cherry limeade by my side. Let's do it...

  34. Homemade mozzerella - yes! please!

  35. willsmama - a rained out garage sale, ouch ouch ouch...hope you get that nap

    SO - sounds great!

    crimson, 2 oh my!

    esperanza - you are busy today...

    teri - I'm heading over some mozzarella only I'd like tall glass of SB diet coke...

    oh, wait, I have to go officiate at a funeral. drat....I'll be back...maybe even to finish a sermon (sigh)

  36. Pass the mozzarella and the berry lemonade. Yummy. And how come Teri always has much more interesting food than I do??

    Living room is now clean(er). Can you tell company is coming Monday?

    Oh yeah. Sermon.

  37. just got back from taking Scout to agility class where she is kind of behind the others...
    now to practice sermon and get ahead on hymns!

  38. esperanza, I have interesting food because I don't clean my house! I only have time for one, and I choose food. ;-)

  39. Thank you so much for the children's sermon idea about giving out stones...I was going to just talk, without a "take-home".

  40. Fizzy Berry Lemonade will exactly hit the spot! I'm preaching tomorrow (and 4 of the 5 following weeks) for the first time in several months. I feel out of practice. I'm nervous about things that ususally don't bother me and the sermon I wrote yesterday afternoon is terrible. The revisions I made in hen scratch in the early hours this morning are better but not complete. I've run several errands and been to the church twice today. Now I'm finally sitting down to type revisions and find the rest of the sermon. One thing I discovered about myself recently is how much I've come to appreciate knowing that others are praying for me. So, I am unashamedly soliciting your prayers. I'm preaching on Romans (yes I'm crazy) and the Prayer of Confession that is part of our Communion liturgy. It kind of goes along with muthah+'s idea of teaching the foundations. I'll drop by later and see how things are going. We have good friends coming for fajitas later - I'll bring some by.

  41. The Boy is still napping and that has allowed me to find a better place. Sermon is nearly outlined and usually I write fairly quickly from there... not counting revgal comments.

    Would someone please tell me why I volunteered to run an intergenerational Sunday School program through the summer? Intergenerational clearly takes more detail skills (not to mention arts and crafts) then I am gifted with.

    Sigh... back to sermon.

  42. ps:
    I love how updating the footer on my sermon for the week somehow makes me feel like I have accomplished a major task. As if by changing the title, scripture and date I have now taken a crucial step to proclaiming the word of the Lord...

    just sayin'

  43. well, I'm back. Funeral service went I guess I have to face that sermon...but first I think I'll go sit outside and drink a cold diet coke....

    mid-life - the prayes of this blog community have sustained me (and others) through many a Saturday sermon struggle...and one thing I've learned for sure (thanks, willsmama and others) is that the Holy Spirit's got your it.

  44. OK...home now from helping Hattie Gandhi move house, which was fine and happy BUT not a word to my credit and it's gone 10 here (do you notice a sort of awful familiarity in this statement??)
    It's our "Family Service" tomorrow, which means that I need to be notionally child friendly, while accepting that in reality there may be only 3 or 4 children there at all.
    All I can think is to take some sand down to church and try to get them to build something...while talking about some of the things that people try to use as foundations...then maybe knocking their building down?? But it's so horribly obvious, really retelling the parable..what can I offer that the children will absorb but which challenges the adults in some way? I'm thinking I'm about to lapse into entertainment mode...and what if there are NO children?
    Fresh strawberries (with wicked vanilla sugar) in a bowl on the yourselves!

  45. Hey, WS, it might not be the biggest step, but it is the first!

    I'm about 1000 words in. Should I have a point by now?

    Just wonderin'...

  46. We're back from our rehearsal and a trip to the grocery store to buy goodies for tomorrow's family celebration of #1 Son's graduation. Pizza is ordered.
    I'm facing the fact that since I've been unwell I'm not as good at doing things off the cuff and should probably write my Communion invitation out ahead of time. That makes me sad. I like doing it "live" and giving the Spirit some room to move, but I'm not getting enough "bars" these days, to use the cellphone comparison.
    There are Diet Cokes aplenty, how about another round?

  47. Well it's as done as it can be for now. If I'm true to form, I'll wake up very early tomorrow morning thoroughly convinced it needs to be completely revamped.

    Mompriest, my head and even my heart have no doubt the Spirit is with me in the writng, in the preaching... I just wish my gut would figure it out this afternoon.

    Now in continuation of my efforts to put more joy in my life, I'm gonna relax and enjoy our company and some good food.

    Keep praying and I will do the same!

  48. My congregation decided that this Sunday would be a wonderful Sunday to celebrate the 35. ordination anniversary of our pastor. And how better can you celebrate it than letting the soon-to-be Seminarian do the preaching?!?

    Right now I feel more like throwing stones than preaching about them. But I hope all will be well tomorrow. (Please?!?)

  49. ringelstruempfe, you can do it!

  50. When I remember the difference in our times zones, I'm hugely impressed by your collective industry.
    I've now produced a rather lame offering, based on the children actually doing some building while I speak to the adults,and everyone ending up with a stone to take home (thanks, whichever lovely person it was who mentioned that)
    Not excited but it's workmanlike at least! And we get to sing the song too, regardless of whether or not there are any children there! I'm confident that the Church in the Valley congregation will be happy to do the actions in any case! to bed, once I've loaded sand, rocks and blocks into the car.
    Blessings on all of you as you preach tomorrow xx

  51. It is oh so much better reading comments from Kathryn F. when you can hear her voice in your head.

    1/2 way done with sermon when The Napping One woke up, now he is about to go back to bed.

    I am feeling pretty good about it though. Eustace from Voyage of the "Dawn Treader" will be making an appearance. How can you go wrong with that?

    @1500 words... looks like I might be cutting later. I HATE that... but not as much as being stuck at 15.

  52. I love Eustace. That is my favorite book. Go, ws!!

  53. Let me interrupt the preacher party briefly to say a thank you to Songbird, for graciously allowing my congregations to use her liturgical drama in worship tomorrow instead of a sermon.

    Songbird, I've been able to find all the readers I need (although I am one of those readers) and have already heard multiple compliments on your work. Consider your offering very much appreciated by my people. :)

  54. Am I the only one preaching the Genesis text?

    I'm about through, finished enough to put it aside for wandering around the house admiring the cats and doing laundry.

    If I'd known how much I like quiet Saturday nights with nothing special going on when I was in my twenties, I'd have had to shoot myself.

    I've got good apples and peanut butter and diet cokes.

    Glad to be with you all.

  55. I hear Kathryn's voice in my head whenever I read her too. Good thing she's louder than the other voices ...

  56. Ok, I think I'm finished with the sermon and I have a special musical treat for you here.

  57. And I also here St. casserole's southern drawl in my head as I read her posts. And the vicar of hogsmeade's laugh, etc. Oh heck you all are in my head.

    It's getting late out here. Would you all like some hot chocolate and brownies while burning the midnight oil.

  58. Chocolate cures everything, of course, I want some. We have a baptism and communion tomorrow, I'm thinking a 3 minute sermon might be too long. But they'll probably get at least 5 anyway, not that I've actually put anything besides very brief notes to paper

  59. Aw, shucks, semfem!

    Gals and pals, I am going to have to hit the sack, but I want you to feel free to help yourselves to anything that will fuel your sermons!

    See you for coffee in the morning.

  60. finishing up after getting back from hubbie's surprise 30th b-day party. We went to a friend's and chilled by the pool. Had lots of beer and lots of fun. Time to get the ending written. Guess it's a good things tomorrow's communion, I can get away with a short sermon, 'cause that's what it's looking like right now.

  61. St. Cass I hit genesis three years ago. Sorry to leave you hanging this year. Did a whole men of the Bible thing in June since I think the OT texts hit on Adam, Noah, Jacob then Joseph or something like that... and yes I did something for the women that year too.

    Headed back to edit and then I am done for the night. I figure the SS lesson will just come together, right?


    Thanks all!

  62. can we build sand castles and rock castles during the children's time?

    probably not....time for plan b...

    how do I even think about talking to small children about "building your house out of compassion"? oh my.

    I have root-beer-float ice cream to share. :-)

  63. St Cass, I'm preaching a micro Genesis sermon.

    The folks who tend to our marquis put up: Noah was a brave man to sail a wooden boat with two termites

  64. SBR, I love the sermon and the song.

    Ah, Songbird, I'm so sorry. May your bars soon increase!

    I have a sermonette done, which is all we'll have time for.

    I'm looking forward to tomorrow. It is supposed to be bright and warm again, and we have such good things planned. I'm actually playing a kind of bongo in church for a sort of calypso sounding new song--prayers appreciated--LOL!

    Nice to see ya here, St. Cass. Been thinking of you. One of my church ladies moms is visiting. She is from New Orleans and still struggling. Her sweet drawl made me think of you, as well as her story.

    Blessings to all still working away. I am off to a hot shower and then bed.

  65. Hey all, I've got a post and pictures about the Festival of Homiletics on my blog. Oh yeah, doing that instead of working on my sermon. Blah procrastination. Time to get to work!

    If you need a break from sermon writing you can check it out.

    Festival of Homiletics Post

  66. I'm up late and praying for all of you. I'm preaching in the evening service on the houses on rock and sand, which I'm pretty sure we've done before. But this time I'm talking about the incongruity of preaching "against" houses built on sand here at the coast, and what it means to live in between: in between here and eternity, in between certainty and uncertainty, in between hope and a reality that often disappoints. But we don't use manuscripts for the evening service, so I'm just sort of mulling in preparation for making some notes tomorrow.
    Grace and peace to you all.

  67. I'm using the genesis text tomorrow - as well as Psalm 46 and a bit from Matthew.

    It's 10pm here, and I haven't written a thing yet... but I know the general gist of what I want to say.

    I've been thinking a lot about the storms that come into our lives and how we can be prepared for them. Noah built a boat and created a floating seed bank for a new world in preparation for the future. Some people in our planet are doing just that today... in preparation for the worst that could happen.

    But in the midst of all of our preparations, we have to remember that nothing about being Christian, about having faith in Christ, prevents the storms from coming. It's not a question of if, but when. What will ground us through that? what will sustain us? That is the rock that we lean on even when our homes are knocked over by the winds and our schools are destroyed by floodwaters.

    I'm leaning heavily on Psalm 46 here too... "therefore we will not be afraid."

  68. Wonderful evening with Dogblogger and the Alpha. Praying for you all. G'night Gracie.

  69. It's 8:00. I've got to write a very very very short sermons since we'll be welcoming new members, having a baptism (of one of said new members) AND celebrating communion.

    Also, I have a sore throat, so I MUST get to bed at a decent hour tonite...

    I'm on Genesis, also, and am still talking about Noah, although I've messed around with the lectionary a bit.

    Diane, congrats on your 10th anniversary! I hope it is a wonderful celebration!

  70. Thanks for having us over, MLR!

    Keeping all of my preachin' RevGals in prayer as I get ready for bed.

  71. The completed sermon managed to survive the program crash except for one small and easily remembered change. Now it is printed as are the prayers.

    I'm off to play Wii 'cause I'm not tired yet. After all it's still early for me on a Sat night!

    Blessings on your sermons and services

  72. Anyone else still up or am I the last one?

  73. Good morning, all! What a quiet party!
    Coffee is on, I'm working on my Communion invitation/prayer, and kind of wishing we were more liturgical so I wouldn't feel the need to re-invent the wheel.
    Who needs tea?

  74. Hope it all came out alright, SemFem.

    Have a great Sunday everyone.

  75. I guess I'm still here - after a break to sleep for 5 hours. I am so stuck on how exactly to get the message I want to share across.

    Because of the destruction around us, I want to really address the "why do bad things happen to good people?" question. and yet the scripture texts aren't helping at all. They keep leading me in other directions and I find myself constantly preaching against them.

    I guess I'm left with the idea that we will not be afraid because God is God... and nothing we can do will change that - but I know that there is a better reason to not be afraid than that... I know it is somewhere here in the text and I just can't figure it out.

    Still have 2 hours before I have to be at the church... there is still time.

  76. I find these texts ask me to step up and do my part, Katie Z., not to sit around waiting for God to wave a wand but to really, as the Psalm says, be still and know, to work at quieting my own wild trains of thought in order to reach the place where God has been all along.
    (Yes, I've been thinking about how this applies to being physically hampered. Don't like it, but i've been thinking about it.)

  77. Still working too - only have an hour until I need to leave :(

    Even though I originally wanted to focus on being still and God as our foundation, after yesterday at the soup kitchen I seem to be being lead to Matthew and being doers of the word. Jumping off a new ad for the Episcopal Church and my post yesterday, I'm thinking of calling it "slicing carrots for God."

    A thought that occurs to me when Songbird said to step up and not wait for God to wave a magic wand. We are Christ's body, God acts through us. I think of the Teresa of Avila quote... Christ has no body on earth but ours... with which to look with compassion on the world.

    anyway... come holy spirit come and may God inspire everyone's preaching this day.

  78. Oh katie... about bad things happening to good people. A friend of mine pointed out that storms, rain, flood, winds and beatings happened to *both* the wise man and the foolish man. The wise man had a strong foundation to help him weather the storm.

  79. lol... when I first read your post, I understood it to mean that I have to step up and do my part with this sermon, and stop waiting around for the Holy Spirit to do it for me! (which is probably very true and why I read it that way)... but I think it's also very helpful as we think about what we can do in the face of natural disasters, that we don't just sit back and watch and pray for it to go away, but that we be still, know that God is God, and then realize we are called by God to be the hands and feet of Christ and so we need to respond.

  80. This comment has been removed by the author.

  81. thanks so much to songbird and bythesea... i think i figured out the peice I was missing.

    I keep wanting to talk about how something is different after Noah - and include the promise that never again will God smite the earth. I want to share with the congregation that I truly don't believe God uses natural disasters to teach us lessons... and I finally realized why.

    Up until the Noah story, humans were just this part of creation that was special to God, but God didn't really interact with them that much. He kind of left them alone to do what they will. And everything went to pieces. But after the floods, God realizes that is just our nature, that our hearts are evil from our youth, and so what does God decide to do with us? God calls Abram... God calls Moses... God calls all of the prophets and God keeps telling us over and over - you are my people. I choose you. I will be your refuge and your strength if only you let me. God becomes one of us and dies for us in order to be that refuge.

    And so the storms may come, we know what we cling to. We will not be afraid. And now as God's people, we aren't just innocent bystanders to what is happening over there - we must act with God's compassion towards those who are our brothers and sisters, who are also children of God.

  82. I think I am in the downward spiral part of a horrible children's-sermon vortex. I keep hoping it will reverse, but I suspect not. At least, not in time for this morning. Sand castles it is...

  83. oh teri! my prayers are with you! and good luck!

  84. "I think I am in the downward spiral part of a horrible children's-sermon vortex."

    Potentially the best quote over in regards to preaching... I shall remember it always.

  85. Sorry I left the party last night, but we had severe weather and hail and lost our electricity at about 6:30. I ended up revising my sermon by candlelight.

    Still no power today yet! (I'm at church!)

    I'll check back when I can!

  86. Home finally and napped for a while. Spirit prevailed as always. My Lay Advisory Committee (people I work with in my appointment beyond the church who are helping me in my journey to ordination) came to hear me preach then met with me afterward. All was well. All is well. manBoy is out driving with G&T, so there's a whole new prayer request. Thanks for the prayers that got me through today.


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