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Saturday, May 03, 2008

11th Hour Preacher Party: Phenomenal Cosmic Power Edition

Let me tell you the truth, preacher gals and pals: as a little Southern Baptist girl, I never heard "boo" about the Ascension.

My first contact with the word came on the school bus, a bus that ran from my suburban Northern Virginia neighborhood, shared by students from St. Agnes and St. Stephen's with the boys from Ascension Academy. They were the ones with the grey uniform jackets, and one of them took the liberty of stabbing me in the cheek with his pen.

Yes, I was a victim of (private) school bus violence. I'm told the story made it to the Washingtonian magazine.

This has nothing to do with my choice to skip over the Ascension texts, however; I am simply wrapping up a sermon series.

What are you up to this Saturday? Reminiscing about the school bus? Quoting Denise Levertov? Choosing Acts or Luke?

Whatever your plan for preaching, I hope you'll check in here and share with those gathered here, have a cup of coffee, share a treat, ask for help or tell us about your brilliant plans for a children's message!


  1. Good morning! Songbird - stabbed in the cheek? Oh my!! I think I would forever after have negative connotations with the word "ascension." [as a Southern Baptist girl I also was never exposed to the word or the concept]

    I'm going with John, 7th Sunday of Easter, and actually got started with the writing yesterday. Fear got to me - once again, dh is teaching all day and I'm home alone with the boys, trying to both write and be a mom. Only this time, we also have a nighttime commitment, so I can't count on working late.

    So I've got a start, but no real idea of where I'm headed...

  2. earthchick, what a day!
    I'm returning to Emmaus with part four of my Nouwen series (taken/chosen, blessed, broken and now given), adapting a sermon I wrote for a colleague's installation last year. The adapting part still lies ahead of me, as do three commitments at and around the church.
    My husband was originally supposed to get home from his out-of-town job today or tomorrow (my birthday), but that is not going to happen after all.
    So I have to fit a little moping in somewhere, too.

  3. Yes to coffee, and I'll join you in moping!

    I'm so sorry your hubby won't be there for your birthday. That sucks!! I hope it's a happy one anyway....

  4. As a little Pentecostal Girl, I never heard 'boo' either. We're not really big on Ascension around here, we leave that for the Lutherans to sort out.

    I'm finishing a sermon series as well, on "Being Church." I'm realizing that my series has been a lot more "why be Church" than "how to be Church." Tomorrow's message seems as if it will be about being Church in response to the presence of evil in the world. Working title: It's a Jungle Out There.

    I say "seems as if" because there is not one word committed to paper. I have to run WonderGirl to her SAT here very soon, then home to begin working, then back across the Big Mean City to pick her up.

    Children's Message: it is Undies Sunday, so I'm sure it will involve underwear.

  5. I do have a children's message suggestion tied to communion. I'll have a small round loaf, and I'll ask the children how we can all get a piece of it (no knife) and then worrying about how it won't be a loaf anymore if we break it, winding up with the idea that we can't share it with each other or with others unless we break it. Then, we'll eat it. :-)

  6. May I join in on the moping please?
    Today is Hugger Steward's departure for darkest Africa (in about 2 hours now...oh help) and I'm struggling to function sensibly at all, as the world keeps getting rather damp and misty.
    I'm saved, in preaching terms,by the fact that tomorrow is decreed to be "Family Service" (let's not even ask what that says about the rest of the month...) so I'm telling a story that came from Edward Hays originally, which someone shared on the PRCL list. Just in the process of reworking to make it my own, but I think it'll preach quite happily, even if the preacher is overcome with grief en route.
    I am SO bad at saying Goodbye :-(

  7. (((kathryn)))
    Sounds like good planning for tomorrow to me.

  8. Baby and I are up and fed. She's practicing being cute (and doing a good job, if I do say so myself). I've "started" the sermon, if you count a title, scripture passage, and date at the top of the page as "started." Yikes. I'm doing the Luke text--sort of a combination of a Great Commission and Ascension. This little Presbyterian girl didn't hear much about Ascension either, except for the Apostles' Creed, I guess.

    My hubby is going to be out all day too--it's some sort of epidemic!

    Hopefully I'll get some inspiration and/or desperation sometime soon.

  9. for once not preaching tomorrow- as I am off sick, we told the Ascension story in School assemblies using a huge white sheet as the cloud, it went down very well..

    prayers for all you preachers
    (((Songbird))))- hope you manage to celebrate any way.

    Kathyrn, been there, I was very tearful after putting my eldest on a plane to leave us for a year, but it went very quickly.

  10. Good morning! I'm not preaching tommorrow however I am helping with a Christian Education Open house at our conference center. I set it up yesterday with the latest and greatest of the UCC Sunday School curriculum samples.

    My first association with ascension is from my Catholic School days. Our rival school was Ascension which was a mile away from our school. Perhaps those stabbing boys came from the same school.

    Good luck preachers, here are some muffins for inspiration.

  11. i never heard much about ascension in my presby upbringing either- save for the creed- i'm with esperanza. i boarded a plane in chicago at 5:30 this morning and managed to draft a sermon on the flight to nyc... i now have a longish lay over in which i'll try to find someone to run the sermon by. i think it is dull, dull, dull... but... considering that i'm soooooo exhausted i'm just glad to have something written. i may post the sermon (on the acts passage) my way shortly if i decide it is not too terribly bad.

    would someone please consume something strongly caffeinated for me or take a good nap in a comfy bed for me?

    blessings all.

  12. In the midst of your sermonizing and moping remember to take a stab at the RGBP Trivia challenge!

    Today's topic is Religion -- More DIfficult

  13. Boo! I only say that cause I never knew nothing about the ascension either, and still have a hard time wrapping my mind around it. So Boo.

    A victim of stabbing in the cheek. And I thought those things didn't happen back then. I was stabbed in the hand with a pencil and came home with the lead to prove it. I don't even want to recall what all happened on the bus. Hate school buses, have nightmares involving school buses. I hope there is no school bus taking us to heaven when it is all said and done.

    I have woken up with either sinus infection or the beginnings of a cold. And I just feel yucky. The kids are playing well right now, no stabbing going on here. Ball games to come.

    Acts is calling me to preach her, not sure exactly why, everytime I have set down to write something I draw and absolute blank. So help this may be an all day all nighter.

  14. Good morning, preachers! I have a "Spring Fling" event today, so the sermon is done. I sure hope we have decent turnout today - the weather is perfect. This is our first effort at having several churches (meaning FIVE) come together for fun. And, my church routinely says we need to do outreach to the community, but they are not very good about stepping up to support it. Hence, the sermon tomorrow!

  15. This past week in my (very Reformed) seminary, one of our (UCC in this case) professors mentioned with some sadness how little attention we pay to the Ascension and challenged us to see whether it garnered any mention in our churches tomorrow.

    I'm kinda wishing I'd gone to Mass on Thursday. I don't think I'm going to find it with the Presbies tomorrow.

  16. I grew up a good southern Presbyterian and we didn't do the ascension either. We didn't do Lent or Advent, either. Maybe it's a southern thing.

    I'm not doing ascension. (I really dislike those funny church days: Ascension, Trinity, especially Christ the King). I'm doing Emmaus, too, songbird. Only for some odd reason, I'm doing Biblical interpretation. We read the scriptures through the lens of Christ's life as Christ explained to Cleopas and his/her companion the scriptures in the light of Christ's life. I'm cobbling together two old sermons.

  17. Well Strong Heart is working today, too, which puts me in the same camp as Esperanza and SB (although it is not my birthday).

    One thing I have discovered; being able to see her only on weekends means the sermon is done before that. :)

    But not this week.

    My sermon is started like Esperanza's is started--Scripture, date, and a vague idea or two. I'm doing Luke, something about looking up (as the disciples did), and Ascension, and why do we look up when the work to be done is here? Don't want to be flinging guilt trips about, though.

    Also have to put the bulletin together.

    Other tasks are householdly ones--laundry, clean house, etc.

    Oh and no musician tomorrow--we're "all CD, all the time" tomorrow.

    Can we HAVE any more fun?

    I have poppyseed bagels, coffee, and (if you ask very nicely) some almond rocha Strong Heart gave me.

  18. Nap has been taken care of, More Cows. It was on the couch, but very comfy. Sermon is at same point as before. Must get going.

  19. My process so far:
    6:00 - wake up and stare at ceiling, wondering how I'm going to make it through the day
    6:10 - strain my ears in disbelief at the sound of a child downstairs, already up and at 'em
    6:30 - get on computer, goof around
    7:00 - start a Scrabulous game with Songbird, make breakfast for the boys, discover that we are out of bananas
    7:30 - deal with cat pee on the brand-new rug in the boys' room
    7:45 - say good-bye to husband for the day
    8:00 - do dishes, feel sorry for self
    8:30 - give the boys a bath, consider how a good mother would take them out for the day, feel sorry for self
    9:15 - set boys up with puppet theater, pat self on back for coming up with something good for the boys to do
    9:30 - marvel at how quietly and happily the boys are playing, pat self on back again, attack sermon with gusto
    9:45 - discover that the boys have actually disassembled the puppet theater and are using the dowels as weapons. fuss at boys. feel defeated. answer "yes" when one of them asks "are you fusterated?"
    10:00 - succumb to boys' request to dress up in last year's Halloween costumes, find costumes, get them dressed
    10:05 - undress a little owl so he can use the potty
    10:15 - get the boys a snack, decide I need one too
    10:30 - waste five minutes writing a list of what I've done today

  20. I am up tomorrow, too, for one of my 4-5 annual preaching dates. Thus, I stress about it. Using Acts from last week: Paul in the Areopagus. Something about how religious we all are...something else...then something about groping for God while God is near. Hey! I'm almost done! Or not... I am also home while Mr. Incredible is teaching. Handled soccer game and snacks already. SuperGirl wants to invite a friend over. WonderBoy is on his first Boy Scout camping trip with the big's not Africa, but I feel your pain, Kathryn! No Ascension here, but maybe I'll work it in...

  21. Keep playing, earthchick, we have a long way to go!

  22. I'm working the ascension angle today for the sermon. I grew up with it, though it wasn't a big emphasis. It'll be a challenge to get it done since today is our daughter's 5th birthday party, a big extravaganza of games, cake and little excited people EVERYWHERE. I will be fun and exhausting! Oh, and my parents are showing up tonight, so I should get the house cleaned up.

  23. I am usually fun and exhausting at parties too.....

  24. oh earthchick, you've made me tired just reading. Have already reached "feel sorry for self," and I'm quite confident "fusterated" will come before the day is done.

    Word count is still 8 (title, passage, date).

  25. It's 4.00 and teh boy has just gone so I'm typing in a rather blurry fashion and wondering why mums aren't programmed to let go more easily...
    However (and please DO remember that I'm hour ahead of most of you AND have to go to a do with the Bishop tonight) I've done my best with the
    so had better press on with further distractions in the shape of the piles of paper on the study floor.
    I seem to have invited the whole parish to tea on why did I imagine that THAT might be a good idea?!?
    Those of you being distracted by Small People, I'm very happy to come round and babysit. Things felt so much better when they were just in the next room... :-(
    BUT the boy did leave some fudge...chocolate, no less...I'll put some out in a bowl - we need the energy, I'm sure.

  26. Here's my first line:

    Had the Apostle Paul lived in our day, he would have ended up on YouTube.

    And reading some other comments I am appropriately grateful that my offspring are old enough to sometimes entertain themselves for short stretches...

  27. I'm another one who didn't grow up with the Ascension. I'm also hampered by a strong sense of the ridiculous, and an image, stamped on my brain, of a Greek Orthodox church I visited in Turkey where there was a pair of feet sticking out of the ceiling to represent Christ disappearing into heaven.

    However, once I get past that image, I want to explore something about needing mystery and holiness as part of the fuel for living out our faith on earth. We'll see, I may end up somewhere quite different.

  28. I'm tackling John 17...deciding to go with the non-Ascension lectionary texts, and starting to regret it. Fortunately, it's a communion Sunday so I only need to drag on for 10 minutes. I have a couple pages, but am horribly stuck...trying to talk about unity...

    I have a great children's message though! I'm going to draw a heart on a piece of stiff paper, cut it out, and make into a puzzle. On Sunday, each kid will take a piece to put together, showing that although each of us is different, we're all one because God makes us one!

    Hm. Maybe I should make that the adult message too, lol.

  29. Just got home from last night's middle school food in the house, really, only tea, no sermon either. All the ideas I have so far are the one sentence I put in yesterday's friday five. That can't be good.
    Also, it's cold and gray and rainy and gross, and I only slept a few hours last night, and I haven't vacuumed in weeks so I'm thinking there might be procrastination available...

    (end whine)

    Okay, I'm going to put the title ("Wait for it...") on the screen and see if that helps. And even though I'm totally poor, I might be having thai food delivered for lunch, since there's nothing here.

  30. Queen Mum - I love your first line. :) Those of you with a title and date and scripture chosen and on the page are ahead of me.

    Got up early intending to work on the sermon, ended up searching for hotel rates as I'm thinking after a discussion last night that I want to try and attend the Festival of Homiletics in 2 weeks, was trying to figure out if I was up for staying out by MOA and taking the light rail. I lived in Minneapolis for 4 years so I found searching for hotel and transportation to be dredging up old stuff.

    Maybe now I need some breakfast and coffee to help me get started. My goal is to have something to preach figured out and be asleep before midnight tonight. That gives me 12 hours.

  31. Well the kitchen & bathroom flor are clean! Living room not so much. (have to clean at least a little bit since the --supposedly annual but hasn't happened for 6 years-- walk through the manse with trustees is happening on Wednesday)

    SErmon??? You mean I need to preach tomorrow??? I thought Sundays were supposed to be a day of rest! Darn. THinking about suffering and feeling abandoned. So not sure what it will be.

  32. I think I am now officially taking a break. I have surprised myself with 8 pages of a sermon already (and 8 is about how long I plan for the whole thing to be, or maybe 7). I feel mixed about what I've got, and there's no ending yet, but I can't seem to get a fix on what I'm really trying to do with it. So I'm going to let it sit and marinate a bit.

    Anyone else doing John 17? I'd be interested to see what others are doing. Though I'd be hard-pressed myself to summarize what I'm doing....

  33. We are a kinda grumpy, sad bunch today, eh? Here it started out sunny but now it is once again cloudy and cold. I am sick of the weather, and I need honest-to-goodness spring, and I know not having it for more than one day, sporadically, is doing bad things to my outlook.

    That said, as a little Southern Baptist girl and as a grown up Pentecostal girl I did know about the ascension, but i never heard of Ascention Sunday as a day on the calendar. I realized earlier this week, that I may have never preached about it, ever! That needs to be remedied, however I am obligated to continue with our OASIS series. Last Sunday was an introduction, and it was a really good day. Tomorrow I have the O sermon. It is.....drum roll.....


    There is a problem with that. Ironically, or maybe it's that pesky Holy Spirit, this is a week where I have feel hopeless and afraid and not sure if I can trust God or not.

    If something doesn't happen I'm gonna feel like a big phoney in the pulpit tomorrow. The sermon is done, but i do not like it, and what's worse, I don't feel like I believe it.

    Ah, I do need some protracted sunshine, don't I?

    I have orange/cranberry scones to go with the coffee if you'd like.

  34. Howdy! This site always gives me such hope whenever I preach (and hope for whatever is happening at work - that I'm not the only one dealing with some of the day-to-day crappiness that can be the church) - but I haven't ever actually posted anything.

    But this week, I'm really struggling with the sermon. Sigh... I love and am challenged by what Chilly Fingers wrote about *needing* the Holy Spirit - if I wasn't such a procrastinator, would I *need* the Holy Spirit as much as I do on Sunday mornings?:)

    And yet, I'm also stuck on John 17 - so often we think of Jesus' last words as "Father forgive them..." or "It is finished" and yet John 17 is really Jesus' last words on earth...and they are in the form of a prayer. Seems like that ought to go somewhere...still sitting with it. But it is sunny here...and I have a whole case of diet coke to share!

  35. Hey, its 6pm here in a warm sunny Scotland - miracle of miracles. We had a big national gathering of churches all telling their stories .Since my church had nothing to tell, I went along for inspiration. Because of all this, sermon was done - actually started Tuesday this week - another miracle. Posted at I'm going with the lets not stand around idea after ascension - and, hopefully, after tomorrow, I won't have much longer to cool my heels around here - please Holy spirit - do your stuff!
    Kathryn, big hugs. My two are not at that stage yet. Sounds hard but also sounds as though you are going to be really busy in your new charge - that should distract a bit. Really enjoying all this comparing notes and sharing and, soon I'll learn how to post links in the comments box. Just heading out for some spicy chicken pizza.

  36. Well I've started laundry, put the bulletin together, decided on menus for the next week, emailed unnecessarily, and changed my Scripture for tomorrow. I'm now going to do Acts, not Luke.

    Sort like saying I'm doing peanut M&Ms instead of plain, lol.

    And word count is no higher.

    Time to move the laundry to the dryer so I'm having lunch--Strong Heart's lefthover pot roast from last night. There's enough to share!

  37. Hi y'all. I haven't been around much, and I have missed you all.

    I don't know what I'm going to say tomorrow. Since my service isn't until 4:30 p, I have the luxury of pondering all these things in my heart today and actually enfleshing them tomorrow. I am going to let today's troubles be sufficient for the day. [Maybe I will preach on that instead?]

    Today is my Sabbath, and I have a car to clean, a window screen to repair and ribs to grill [later. I'll probably share.]

    So far today I blogged about "84 Votes", which was the difference in the vote at the UMC General Conference to retain the current language regarding homosexuality. It was a blowing-off-steam kind of blog.

  38. I'm back. Baby and I have each been fed again. I have had a glimmer of an idea...does this make sense to anyone? "You are Witnesses"--not you have been witnesses or will be witnesses or should be witnesses, but you are. And it's up to you what kind of witness you are. Does that work? Ugh. Pulling teeth over here.

    And Kathryn, you'd be welcome to a baby smile and snuggle from our direction. Yes, distracted, but a great joy nonetheless. I don't mean to complain and she shouldn't get the blame for my procrastination through the week!

  39. We had an Ascension day service on Thursday evening which I preached at so I'm not focusing on that in the morning. I'm thinking about 1 Peter. The children's message I think will be around 'cast your anxieties/burdens on Jesus...' and I'm going to label some bricks with day to day type burdens and with one child being Jesus and the other carrying the bricks (!) in a backpack we're going to give them to Jesus (I think we won't literally 'cast' them at him as there may be an injury!!). Also say how we actually do that - pray them at him and trust him to be working in them?

    The main sermon I think will be thinking to start with of the places and situations TODAY around the world where there are 'brothers and sisters undergoing the same kinds of suffering' and thinking about the call for faith even in such situations - and in the difficult day to day situations we face in our lives. The think about the Good News presented: his glory will be revealed; the Spirit resting on us; we'll be exalted in due time; he cares for us; he will restore, support, strengthen and establish us... Much good news even when there's suffering...

    Sound reasonable?

  40. I am impressed with the liveliness of the party so far! I've returned from various church obligations, including buying a May basket full of tempting goodies. Please have a few! I'm eating Thai Stir-Fry vegetables with homemade peanut sauce, so if you're hungry, pull up a fork and join me.

  41. Chelley, sounds great to me, as does your idea, esperanza.
    And texasrancher, welcome!

  42. SOunds good to me Chelley. I am going in a similar direction myself. BUt I have to admit that I find the advice in 1 Peter really un-helpful, at first glance at least.

    In a town where 2 of the 3 major employers are closed (possibly permanently) tellling people to cast their cares and suffering on JEsus does not sound like the best solution...

  43. Hugs and love and sympathy to all of you who are sad, lonely, missing loved ones and coming down with yucky things!

    I did grow up with the ascension, but then I was raised RC. Tomorrow I'll be using that text, but I'll be using it in a Go back to Jerusalem and wait context, and not in a "formal" sermon either. We had our first meeting last night with the denominational Transformation assessment person and are wondering who we are going to be in the future. So we'll be very interactive in talking about what we did last night, what we will do in this process in the coming months and about how what we really have to do is "go to Jerusalem and wait."

    Tonight, however, I will be preaching on the unknown god text from last week in our Recovery of Hope worship. A sort of step 2 merging into step 3 sermon - learning who God is and turning our lives over to God's care. I have it roughed out just have to put finishing touches on it.

    Back to writing! I only have 3.5 hours!

  44. okay, so I took a nap (an hour and a half longer than I meant to), scrounged up a bean-and-cheese burrito, and now am finally getting a cup of tea and down to work. I managed to put the title on and to copy-and-paste the scripture in (I'm using all of Acts 1.1-14). That's it so far...

  45. So, have got past feet dangling from the church ceiling, and have got the makings of a preachable discourse for tomorrow. I don't do scripted sermons, but have posted a prayer of confession at my place which fits in with Ascension if it's any use to anyone.

    Meantime I have had my Sat night stiff G and T and have plenty left to share whenever its appropriate in your timezone. And I also made a mercy dash to M and S for a couple of ready meals that purport to be fair trade and free range. Fish cakes or chicken and cashew nuts anyone ?

  46. I distracted myself with the Apostle Paul and YouTube line, and had to go look on YouTube for awhile. Then I needed to find out about how many gods there were in Athens, and what some of them represented, and got sucked into reading a long blog-debate about postmodernism and much to do on the computer. So few pages....2.5 so far. Time for a break. Granola and yogurt anyone?

  47. I just spent ten minutes reading various reviews of Bibleworks, hoping one would tell me that the newest version runs on a Mac. Alas, no. Since I switched back I've been greek-and-hebrew free and right now I'm sort of feeling that. I don't remember enough to just break out my greek NT without a lot of help, and I could potentially really use a little greek right now.

    Or, barring that, some greek food.

    but it looks like I'm out of luck on both counts, so perhaps I'll just get down to work....

  48. Oh, Teri what a lovely idea. I was thinking I needed some Greek now too, but all my stuff is at the office and I am at home. But I think Greek food would fill that spot nicely.

    yeah. Still pulling teeth. Baby and I have eaten yet again. She's now napping, and I'm up to 673 words. Lots to go.

  49. Back from the first ball game, and some shopping. There was a pottery sale in town, and I had to go by. Got to see a person I know from a different organization who was there. How sweet it is to have some friends.

    And I have had some thoughts come my way, now to put them on paper. I realized this morning, that part of my struggle with preaching here is that I have already turned away from them as much as they have from me. I don't know what else to say to them, but goodbye, farewell. There are some things I would like to say to a few of them, but now is not the time. So pray for me as I attempt to write and preach to those who I do have some connection to.

    How is everybody doing? Need anything? I got Diet Dr. Pepper, Diet Coke and Crystal Light Raspberry Tea.

    Ooh rev maria, I would love to know more about your recovery of hope service and service. Sounds intriguing.

  50. I spent the morning at the church clean-up day. My hands smell like bleach. As a mother whose children use the nursery, I am more than well aware of how badly those toys needed cleaning. I didn't get through probably even half of them, but you know I started with my kids' favorites!

    Everyone is sleeping now, so I hope to have some quiet time to start some work on my sermon...that and watch the taped Oprah-Tom interview from yesterday.

    I'll read through what's been written, but hope maybe some other folks will also take a look at a question I posted way late in the Tuesday threads. Now that I'm ready to start writing I need to figure out if I'm over-reacting or over-analyzing myself.

  51. I'm improvising a late lunch of some Wheat Thins, brie, and a caramelized onion condiment sauce I found in the frig. I'll gladly share, if you want. If only I dared open some wine to go with it, but then the sermon would never get done.

    I'm drawn to the John 17 Easter 7 text, though I'm not entirely sure where I'm going with it. I get a feeling of a deep intimacy in the prayer, sort of the same feeling I had when cleaning out my mother's estate this fall and coming across a bundle of love letters from my father. I might play with the notion that God's love for us is so powerful that even the most intimate exchanges of the Trinity have to do with giving us eternal life.

    OK, that's three sentences of the sermon. I wonder what I'll do for the other 9.5 minutes!


  52. I'm back from the SAT toting trip. WonderGirl's group got a late start, so I wasted an hour sitting in a parking lot.

    (I was her driver on account of some drama we had this week that left her exhausted and emotional. Go to my place if you really want to know.)

    I have about 300 words, that are deeply mediocre. Blech!

    And I second Singing Owl on the craptastic nature of our weather.

  53. I'm trying to rework this dog of a sermon, and it is not working. I am heading out to find a swimming suit. I'm a glutton for punishment, I guess!

  54. It amazes me when I read the preacher party, of how much is going on in our lives on a Saturday, oh parenting, oh cleaning the house and/or church, weddings, funerals, marriages, and that's just to name a few. Its a wonder any of us step into the pulpit on Sunday with anything to say.

    I have been interrupted so many times, and distracted by the kids and hubby and etc, I have made no way with the words I had. Rats and Darn.

    It is awesome that you all who have finished, finished. That is great. But I just envy you all at once.

    Happy Bday to Songbird hope it is a good one and that you and hubby find a way to celebrate it someway sometime.

    Prayers for all the mopers, those having to say goodbye to spouses, mates and children.

    Safe journey more cows than people. I have been drinking a lot of caffeine for you.

    Oh rainbow, I feel for you with the cd music. I went through that for a long time here. I can't stand it anymore. I'll be thinking of you.

  55. Just to let you know, I discovered that Bishop Hope Morgan Ward closed out the UMC General Conference using the Acts passage. Here is the link. At that link, you can choose to watch her on video or you can read her sermon.

  56. Okay. It's almost 4:30 and I have NOTHING. Well, not nothing. I'm preaching on JOhn 17 and Acts 1, because I like punishment. Working with "What Are You Looking For?" and wishing my first line could be:
    I wish I had a t-shirt that said, "The uterus is not a tracking device."
    Can't pull it off, but an thinking about an opening illustration gently mocking Ben's inability to find anything he's looking for, and his determination that I will automatically know where it is.
    Thanks for the inspiration. I'll be back...

  57. So I saw the reference to Denise Levertov's Ascension poem and had to go search it out - thanks - between that and Salvador Dali's painting - I have a sense of the mystery now to turn it into a sermon - which will probably happen tomorrow as I drive to Rock Springs (125 miles from home). Here are my thoughts as of today.

  58. One down, one to go. Today's recovery worship meditation is groping for god

    Now I'll go make sure the powerpoint and sound system works!

  59. ooh... esperanza thanks for the nap and rev. abi thanks for the caffeine.

    home safe and sound. must preach in an hour and a half. sermon printed now. must clean up and rest a bit.

    may your sermons come together with grace, my friends. mine dropped out of the sky this morning. it is posted my way, and if it is helpful i offer it up.

  60. Y'all, I have been a poor hostess. I'm trying not to type too much due to my current wrist trials, but I do want to offer you a round of Diet Cokes as a late afternoon "pick-me-up and-shoot-me-straight-to-where-I'm-going, I-pray" libation.
    Thanks to those who offered birthday wishes. My husband may be home next weekend, or he may take on another six weeks of work out-of-state. I am trying not to be a whiny little baby, because when gas is $3.59 a gallon, something has to give. Sigh.

  61. Well, the video was only a portion, sorry, I thought it was the full sermon. But the sermon transcript is.

    How's everybody doing? Ready to be outside and play? Anybody need anything.

  62. Okay, I still have nothing. I know that if I could just get a first couple of sentences, it would be fine.

    Can I start with Inigo Montoya and "I hate waiting"???

  63. Oh Songbird! Six more weeks! And you with a punctured cheek and everything!

    I'm just back from Tball, made a few necessary (Ugh, I can NEVER spell that!) calls and am thinking about childrens time - act out the Ascension story? or talk about communion? Both good ideas - thanks ya'll. I have 12 minutes to figure it out, and then I have promised to play Light Saber Store.

    That Jesus Feet image reminds me so much of the witch from Wizard of Oz. I keep cackling and imagining them in striped socks, curling up and out of sight.

    I have a half a sermon, but I may have bitten off a bit much - let you know how it goes in a couple of hours....

    Ok, ya'll, off to cogitate on the kids. Back soon.

  64. Juniper, LOL! Punctured in 1968!!!
    Thanks, I needed that.

  65. Teri, nice Princess Bride reference. I like to work those in when I can. I took a Target break, for chocolate mostly, (but darn it if a few other things didn't slip into my basket) and realize where I want to end my sermon. But how I get there from where I am now, I have no idea.

    How did the bathing suit shopping go??

  66. Hey Juniper ! There's a certain (possibly tasteless) synergy going on here between the dangling yet punctured feet, and you and Songbird. What a cheek !

  67. I totally went to sleep again. I am so tired! And of course still have nothing. I swear, I am getting right down to work.

    SB, I hope your hands get better soon and you and PL have a chance to get together at least before 6 more weeks.

    I'm going to make some tea, and then this is me working. No, really.

  68. I just came across this and I'm not sure I can use it but thought I'd share, from George MacLeod, founder of the Iona Community:

    There is a very old legend, and all legends that persist speak truth, concerning the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to heaven after His Ascension.
    It is said that the angel Gabriel met Him at the gates of the city.
    ‘Lord, this is a great salvation that Thou hast wrought,’ said the angel.
    But the Lord Jesus only said, ‘Yes.’
    ‘What plans hast Thou made for carrying on the work? How are all men to know what Thou hast done?’ asked Gabriel.
    ‘I left Peter and James and John and Martha and Mary to tell their friends, and their friends to tell their friends, till all the world should know.’
    ‘But, Lord Jesus,’ said Gabriel, ‘suppose Peter is too busy with his nets, or Martha with her housework, or the friends they tell are too occupied, and forget to tell their friends – what then?’
    The Lord Jesus did not answer at once; then He said in His quiet, wonderful voice: ‘I have not made any other plans. I am counting on them.’

    George MacLeod

    From Daily Readings with George MacLeod, Ron Ferguson (Ed.), Wild Goose Publications

  69. Holy shit! Jesus ascended?!?!?!

  70. Hey, that could preach! It would definitely get more reaction and conversation than the words I've written so far... :)

  71. WS--no, no, that's tomorrow!!! ;-)

  72. Back again, checking in. Have lost count of the number of meals for the sweet baboo and me both. Have accomplished her physical therapy and a bath. She's settled in for her pre-bedtime nap (please, Lord). I'm eating supper (leftovers my mom left last time, thanks Mom!).

    Current word count: 1325. We can go short this week because of communion, so I don't have too far to go. But...BORING. I'm bored and I haven't even read through it yet. Sigh. Holy Spirit better be ready for tomorrow morning.

    And things are definitely livelier around here now that will smama checked in.

  73. CD music. Yep, did that a long time, and still do it when our guitar playing worship leader cannot be here. Better than nothing, but not a lot, huh? Sorry, RP.

    As for the swimmng suit expedition, it is frustrating to head for a rack that sayd "instantly slimmer" and think it must be for more generous figures, only to realize that the suits are six 6, 8 10 and 12. Why does a size 8 need a slenderizing suit, I ask you? After much frustration, I did find one that is passable. It had a price tag of $88 and I was thinking that it better be a lot better than passable, then realized it was on sale. It's one of those newer two piece kinda thingies where the bottom is like shorts. Do I look slenderized? No. But I did get "inspired" to go over to the lingere dept. and buy some on-sale slenderizing undergarments. Ahem. TMI? Okay.

    I have shopped, eaten a solitary supper (my husband is out of town too) and watched two shows on Animal Planet. No more excuses. Back to the sermon. I hear it barking at me from the table. I did get an idea of how I might fix it, so we shall see.

  74. Well, what are the word counts? How are the masses? Is it Spring ANYWHERE?!

    These are the things I want to know.

    Everyone sounds like they are on a good path and that the Holy Spirit is quite present.

    If nothing else, you can wish your good friend Songbird 'Happy Birthday' during worship... oops. Did I say that?

  75. If it's passable, I would pay the $88. Swimsuit shopping sucks.

    I thought I was done. Read it to Mr. Incredible, and he said, "....sure." I thought it was better than that meself. (trying to think up a good response for him when he reads me his in a few minutes....)

    Any ideas?

  76. I can't believe it. It's still light out--the sky has cleared and there are birds chirping and everything--and I have a sermon draft up here. It's just a first draft, and WOW does it need some help (please help me help it!), but at least there are words, they are written down and saved and posted and it's STILL LIGHT outside! I'm rather amused as I totally worked the Inigo Montoya thing in throughout the sermon. heehee!

    I think I'll try to scrounge up some dinner and then look at it again...

  77. Ugh - still drafting and it's dark here. Congrats, Teri!!!

    My draft, however, is too long and too much. I'm trying to flesh out (ha) the angels' question: what are you waiting for? Hitting home on the point that we are loved, we already have all we need, and we have the Holy Spirit - but do we live that way? What are we missing by our self-importance, self-pity, etc.? We are not called to look up or back but out and especially to look at each other - for it is then that we become the church. What are we waiting for? Lots of questions...need some substance;)

  78. ws-
    word count is 1557. We're past Spring--it was in the 90s here yesterday, and that counts as summer in my book.

    Sermon is as good as it's going to get. Got to get after the prayers and children's sermon. Husband is grmpy and is working it out by cleaning house. What a guy!

  79. Well the house is clean(er). Excepting the rooms I am pretending don't exist of course.

    THe sermon will hopefully fall into place once I read the article I saw in the latest issue of our denominational magazine.

    Since I never really did any writing about it in seminary, why is there suffering anyway? I could use a nice pithy response to sum up the sermon. OR would "Life aint fair, pass the beer nuts" work?

  80. word count pretty much 0

    temperature here where it is spring 70

    somehow I think the word count is supposed to be higher than the now cooling temp

    tomorrow the forecast is for 78 degrees, wonder what the sermon forecast is?

  81. Will smama, I am so glad to find you here!

    Hey Songbird, in YOUR Southern Baptis upbringing did they sing the "other" birthday song? The one that made me wonder why we couldn't just sing the one everybody else did? I figured it was because we had to have "Jesus" in the words somewhere.

    A happy birthday to you,
    A happy birthday to you,
    Ev'ry day of the year,
    May you find Jesus near,
    A happy birthday to you,
    A happy birthday to you,
    The best that you'be
    Ever haaaaaaad!

    Back to the sermon.

  82. Gord: LOL! I may start with that tomorrow.

    For the record, WS, word count: 1400-ish. Done. Got the shot-glass-on-the-hubcap tomorrow, so I can go a couple hundred short.

    Could my sermon be any more preachy? Don't think so.

  83. my "done" wordcount is 1389. Who knows what will happen after I edit after I eat. :-)

  84. as I was talking to the ladies who were serving the family meal after the funeral, they suggested that since tomorrow's communion Sunday, the sermon could be short

    how short do you think they meant?

  85. Songbird..Happy birthday and may your wrists heal quickly and completely...

    Cheese - it took me a minute to figure out "shot-glass-on-the-hubcap" - that's priceless!

    First Sunday not preaching in a few weeks - and I had three (two of them hard) funerals over the last two weeks I am grateful to be reading this weekend's "preacher party" as a listener, rather than a writer - sending you all prayers for power in your preaching.

  86. Weel the kids are in bed. Te boy's ball game is done. Bob left something on in his car and drained the battery, but we recharged it this evening. I feel done, and yet yeah you guessed it the sermon is no where done. will someone please write my sermon for me?

    No, oh well. How is everyone else? Who else is up with me tonight? I have diet coke and Diet Dr. Pepper? Ice cream? Pop corn?

    Uh Vicar if you were preaching in my church that would be 10 to 15 minutes. So maybe it is 7 to 10 minutes in yours? Just guessing.

    shot glass on the hub cap, too good. I think they might roll over and die in my church if we called it that.

    Teri, thanks for the George Mccleod telling of an old legend. I think I will work that in somehow.

    Singing Owl, Swimming suit shopping is no fun for those of us that slimming styles don't seem to slim or aren't actually made for.

    And WS, it is moved past spring into summer here.

  87. I usually aim for 1200 words in a Communion meditation, though I've got 1400 for tomorrow. Does that help?

  88. Y'all, I'm going to head to bed. Good things in the freezer are yours for the taking. Just get the light when you go, and come on back for coffee first thing in the a.m.!

  89. Oh, I have already used the "shot-glass" line with my peeps, as well as "rip-n-dip" and "tear-n-share"! They totally laughed.

    And I learned that particular phraseology from THE (former) Associate for Worship at the famous Louisville office, so it's official!

  90. Evening everyone.
    I'm just getting started after spending much of the day at a big meeting a few hours away. And the grumpliness is with me as well...I just want to curl up and forget about the world. Looking back at last week, apparently this is my appointed day of emo-ness.

    I'm hoping the sermon will be short tomorrow. I think I'm going to talk about the oddness of this day, stuck between Ascension and Pentecost...the disciples going through Jesus leaving them yet another time...and how we are caught between staring up at the sky and getting out there and doing stuff.

    BTW, there's a great story at if you need a funny bit about Ascension. It involves a plastic Jesus and a Roman candle...

  91. Zero words.

    My "mass" is massive after a great dinner at a neat Irish pub.

    And it's not spring here yet. At least we didn't get the snow that was in the forecast for today.

    Esperanza - - If I remember correctly (which I don't always do) this is your first. If you're wondering, they do eventually eat less! Getting ready to hook myself up to the milking machine so my husband will have something to feed the ALMOST 11 MONTH OLD tomorrow during worship. Time flies. (Then they turn into almost 3 year old who insist through waterfall tears that they aren't sleepy. Right.)

  92. I keyed in on the word Immeasurable Greatness in Ephesians when I planned a week and a half ago. I thought I would identify places where people have experienced the immeasurable greatness of the power of God. What are your stories? Where/when/how have you experienced the immeasurable greatness of the power of God? Post your answer....PLEASE!

    In other news, the papers are all done for the M.Div.; one small presentation left, and then commencement on May 16. It's a little tough to be motivated these days.

    I got a late start today. I, too went shopping for some undergarments to go with a dress I'm knitting that has a lace pattern, and therefore holes. It's for commencement, so I have to be somewhat respectable. I hate trying on clothing, especially those slimming things that need to provide instruction on how the heck to get them on in the first place, and then how to get them off. I was worn out by the time I finished shopping.

    I loved the image of the "shotglass on the hubcap." It took me a second, but I got it. Thanks for the smile.

  93. sherev--yes, this is our first. And she's a champion sleeper, so she has to eat frequently during the day, I guess. I'd rather have that than the other way around! I have no idea how any of you do it with two!

    Really. I need to concentrate, so I can go to bed. Sermon is done, if I could just scrape together a prayer. Focus, focus, focus. But this is so much more fun...

  94. Well, Cheesehead, you are just going to lead your people to believe that they really can have fun. Love it.

    Semfem welcome to the late night party.

  95. Thanks Abi!

    Kim in kck, congrats!

    I just found out a parishioner has cancer. *sniffsighweep* Not trying to be a downer on these Saturday nights, but this just hit me. Sorry.

  96. Sorry - - back to showing compassion - -


  97. Checking back in. Really want to use the homing device line. "What Are You Looking For?" is becoming "WHat are you waiting for?" but at least it's moving forward. 1377 words, which is only a bit past half for me...short words, and I talk fast...but I'm getting there. Temp's currently 70, but it was a glorious day to not write a sermon.

  98. Thanks, semfem!

    I'm going to bed in about 45-75 minutes. I hope I have something by then. I really wanted to sleep until 7 tomorrow, but it will probably be more like 4, because nothing is working, and I've been in a foul mood all day for no apparent reason.

    Gonna hide out for a while. I'll check back before I head upstairs. I have a little leftover parmesan artichoke dip with wheat yourselves.

  99. ok, friends. The sermon is done, and so am I. Another hook up with the milking machine (hee hee, she rev), another bottle for the sweet baby, and to bed for all three of us. It's been nice to hang out here today.

  100. Temptation - - I had this plan for tomorrow's sermon, but at 9:43 p.m. I have nothing written because I'm WAY to distracted by Facebook right now. So, a friend to whom I sent my copy of last year's Ascension sermon says it's good. I had a great new idea for this year, but now I'm tempted to just tweak last year's and go to bed. New call - - it's doable, although it sort of cracks me up that this week members of my former congregation who have friends in my new congregation are going to be visiting. The big question - - would they notice????

    Funny how my idea for this week's sermon is centered on the idea that Jesus' resurrection isn't about new life to relive the glory days (restoration of the former kingdom), but new life for new Spirit-inspired things. That little bit makes me thing the Spirit might be calling me to NOT use an old sermon!

  101. Temptation passed. Just re-read it. It's not bad, but it REALLY isn't speaking to me at all. Whew. In my mind and place at the time it was so situation-specific I can't imagine tweaking it enough to work anywhere else. Funny how pieces of it seemed to work for my friend, though. Very interesting.

    (Great word verification: xoeznlp Too bad I can't use that one in Scrabulous. I'd totally win!!!)

  102. Good show, she-rev. :)

    I think I got some valuable thinking done while I drove, because this is coming together more quickly than I feared it might. Still got a ways to go though. And I'm definitely using the Jesus on the Roman candle story.

    My SO keeps bugging me to get on Facebook...nights like tonight are exactly why I keep resisting!

  103. I didn't mean for so much time to pass before I checked back in. I took a sermon break - a long one - hung out with the boys, cleaned the house since we had a babysitter coming, ran an errand, and then went out for the evening. So the upshot is, 11 hours later I am still about a paragraph or two short of a full sermon. Now that I'm home from all the socializing, I need to try to get my head back in this game.

    I have to say, it was weird leaving the party and explaining to people that I have to work in the morning. Most of them are not church types (these are the parents from my sons' preschool), and they were like, "What are you doing in the morning?" and "Do you have to give a talk?"

    Yes. I think I'll give a "talk" in the morning.

  104. I'm better off than I sometimes am at this hour. I'm using the High Priestly Prayer from John 17. After working on the sermon with half my mind while watching The Chronicles of Narnia with the other half, I decided that I can use examples from the movie to illustrate what it looks like when we are one as Jesus prayed for. I may quote a conversation early in the movie between the older children and Professor Kirke in which they ask him "You don't think we should believe her [Lucy]?" His reply: "But she's family." I don't want to push the illustration too far, but I think it will make the point I want.

    Hoping to be done in about an hour so I can get a decent night's sleep.

  105. I hear you, earthchick. We went out to dinner partly because I needed someone to help provide some distraction for the almost 3 year old. I think we all would have gotten on each other's nerves here at home for the rest of the evening. The LOVELY Irish owner/waitress saw that we were needing a bit of a break and kept trying to talk me into a beer with my dinner. One just makes me sleepy so I had to refuse. I didn't feel like going into why one beer wasn't good because I have work in the morning. Sometimes the explanation is more than it's worth.

  106. This comment has been removed by the author.

  107. Yawn...what a long day. I put together the agenda for a board meeting, made a bulletin insert, I have dishes piled in the sink and a very dirty kitchen floor. However, the sermon is FINALLY reworked. I still don't like it much. As CH said, "Could it get any more preachy?" I posted it, with misgiving. And I'll look at it again in the a.m. Can't stand to look at anymore tonight.

    Blessings to semfem and you other later night sermon writers. 10:30 is late enough for me.

    Now to wash at least some of the dishes before crawling under the covers...

  108. Well, here I am with not much to show for it. The great idea early in the week got lost among the preparation for a really hard funeral.

    I'm really wishing that there was a sermon library where I could just check one out and return it when done.

  109. You're welcome to one of mine, vicar! I don't have this year's done yet, but last year's Ascension sermon got a thumbs up from a friend. It goes more with the waiting theme, but essentially is about the promise and call of the Holy Spirit. Serious - - it's up for grabs!

  110. Hi All,
    I'm checking back in after longer away than I intended, too.
    A little nap, Ikea, Target, and 6 hours (!) later, I'm back.

    I finally have childrens sermon all set, just gotta get going on the Big People's Sermon now :)

  111. Crap - - just remembered I forgot to set the frozen communion bread the children made last month out to thaw before tomorrow morning. Crap.

  112. SheRev, seriously thank you for the offer. I think I'm going to use the same story Kathryn (Good in Parts) got off PRCL. That will let me at least move toward the point I thought I was trying to make.

  113. Welcome back everyone who is trickling in. I am obviously unmotivated tonight. I love where I plan to go. I think it's from the Spirit, I'm also a little nervous about delivering it, so that seems to be keeping me from writing it. Oi. Soon I'll buckle down, because I'd like to go to bed in an hour and 15 minutes, and I'd LOVE to not need to come back to this in the morning!

  114. okay, I have a short one. And a need to sleep. I wish I used bigger words, or talked slower...

  115. I think I'm using that, too. It's a good one. I'm not totally sure it fits, but man if it does, I'm all over it. I'll have to see when I get there if I'm still on the track I think I am.

    Microwave's free!

  116. nite, nite to all you done with your sermons and no later than 10:30pm people, we'll see you in the morning.

    In the meantime, Vicar, I wish I could loan you one, but I am afraid I can't, I don't have one either. It is is hard after a long hard sermon.

    she rev, I find myself you tubing. I understand. I think it is okay to reread or reuse old sermons on occasion.

    You mammies with small ones have full plates.

    Kim hope you were able to get something while in hiding.

    Glad your done and feel good about it, pastor Barbara.

    Sem Fem, that is a downer, and the reality in our parishioner lives. Just how does the ascension fit into that one?

  117. I wondered why I came here again.

    Frozen COMMUNION BREAD! Yikes! Same here.

    And our former communion-setter-upper bowed out for good and I forgot to replace her. Dang dang dangity dang....Oyster crackers are bread, right? :-( I KNEW I forgot sometning.

  118. Teri,
    Thanks for the George Mac quote - taht will totally be my offering invitation

    Sherev, Empathizing with you about things left undone...

  119. so microwave the frozen bread

    There's no if about Kathryn's story -- everything else is "in or out" depending on that story

  120. Well, I don't feel finished but I'm calling it done. I love John, but man it can be a bear to preach. So rich, so thick. Too much.

    Anyway, here's my go at it, for anyone interesed.

    I need to write up an agenda for a meeting I have to chair tomorrow and then I am calling it a night. Best to those of you still working!

  121. okay, so I didn't make any major changes so far, though it sort of needs some. This is one of my more pointless sermons yet...which is kind of funny since I basically say that waiting isn't pointless. ha. good thing I didn't say that listening to sermons isn't pointless!

    anyway, the latest revision is here.
    Here's hoping that someone finds something useful in it.

    I spent the last couple of hours watching Dogma...we said we were going to show it on High School movie night next Friday. Except I haven't watched it in ages and tonights review showed me how much profanity and sexual stuff is in this movie. I'm not sure I can get away with it, but we'll see...

    After all my naps today I'm not tired, which is bad bad bad. I'm making some herbal tea--anyone want some?

  122. I'd love some tea, thanks Teri.

    she-rev--something you posted earlier sparked something for me, and added a big chunk to what I had in mind. I hope it doesn't go into ranting about their obsession with the "glory days", but honestly, maybe it's time for me to say some of these things from the pulpit.

    Easter 7 and/or Ascension was my first Sunday at these churches a few years ago...surely I should be able to speak truth to them...right?

    Abi...I don't know about how Ascension fits with my parishioner's cancer. For now she wants it confidential until she knows more, so that will not be on people's minds tomorrow, but it is a wondering for me personally.

  123. Hey we have used hot dog buns, oyster crackers, whatever works that is bread. At least I don't have to worry about that one. Just the big people sermon. Got the wee one's in my mind, now hoping we didn't pack the balloons with all their other toys or Bobby is headed to the store in the morning.

    Why did I think I could do Acts 1? i Thought I remember doing it before? But I can't find it anywhere. Waahh. Magic sermon writer where are you when we need you?

  124. semfem -- that fear of rant is what's keeping me from writing tonight. I haven't been here for years, but think the "glory days" are all they can imagine. The long story short on this congregation is that about 89 years ago or so they sort of imploded on themselves. Big conflict led to loss of lots of member, two pastors in quick succession, and basically a mess. One "side" didn't just leave though. A few from both sides left and the rest decided to stick it out and get healthy. Good for them. They spent 7 years without an installed paster getting healthy. 7 years! They had the same stated supply (in Presby-speak) turn interim until I got here in January. They are held up in the presbytery as a congregation that has worked through conflict in a healthy and successful way. They've got their usual bumps and gripers, but nothing like before.

    HOWEVER, it seems to me that it's been so long since they have done something new or since they have felt "normal" or since they have known they are healthy that they only thing they can imagine to do in their newfound health is make things look like they did in the old healthy days. I hear, "Now that we're on the right track again, we should re-start the Wednesday night kids club." Or "Now that we are gaining new members again we can do a real cantata like we used to do at Christmas." Or "Now that we are growing we should go back to having this adult class."

    I'm not saying those are bad things, but at the same time, are the old ways the only ways to be the healthy church? We have been resurrected with Jesus, and like Jesus was resurrected with a transformation of some kind, maybe we are, too. There comes my resurrection is not the same as restoration, which is what the disciples are looking for.

    I just need to write this stinkin' thing instead of telling people about it!!!

    I fear the rant, though, and don't feel like I should quote the comments I have heard, but at the same time I want to be specific. I also want to find some ways to be personal and not just communal with this resurrection/not restoration idea.

    Hmmm...we'll see what happens in the next 40 minutes. First a potty break, though.

  125. it's getting really bad here - just read an article online about how Madonna went out drinking with Justin Timberlake.

    Theres no WAY I can justify that as research, is there?

  126. she rev, maybe it's not just "the old way" but they have no idea of any other options. Kinda like trying to explain IM or texting to someone that only has experience with rotary dial

    I'm outta here. I've got a migraine starting now. I've taken the drugs and I'm heading for bed.

    I'm glad y'all are here

  127. "Bishop Clifford Petty of the National Church of God in the Caribbean confirmed to PEOPLE that he presided over the wedding of Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon.

    Petty provided no details except to say that he did not give a sermon. "

    But THIS is research, isnt it? Because it has a church-ish thing in it.

  128. juniper, how can you be "in the world but not of it" if you don't know what's in the world?

    how's that for prooftexting?

  129. love you too, she rev....

    but I still have to work, though

  130. vicar, you're right. this is just me being in the world. I'm preaching about it after all
    "go to the CITY..."

  131. juniper--heehee!

    here's some tea--I have a number of kinds all going at once. fruity? check. vanilla-y? check. traditional herb-y (like chamomile and stuff)? check. :-) water's boiling--enjoy!

    I am going to lay in bed now (well, after brushing my teeth, obv.) and pretend to go to sleep, while actually composing a communion prayer for tomorrow and hopefully revising that sermon in my head because WOW is it not good. Repetitive much?

    hope you all have a fab night and a good sunday tomorrow! peace, friends!

  132. sure, Juniper, if you are preaching a good ol' Baptist sermon.

  133. I know I left a sermon ending lying around here somewhere. WHERE IS IT?

  134. I agree, vicar, that it's not just about the old way, but not being able to imagine other options. That's where I want this to go eventually - - to be a sermon encouraging holy imagination. How can we be resurrected with Jesus and not simply restored? Resurrection is transformative new life, not a simply a chance to relive the old one. Or with an ascension theme - - we shouldn't be left looking up for what has gone into the clouds, but looking out for where the Holy Spirit is leading and calling. (Don't mean to imply that Jesus is a "has been", so that part won't get said THAT way!)

  135. isnt there some kind of old joke about that? about the preacher preaching a good old style teetotaler sermon, getting really worked up and at the end exhorting everyone to "throw it all in the river - throw your beer in the river! throw your whiskey in the river!" and etc,and then turning to the choir who sings their prepared anthem for the day

    wait for it

    Shall We Gather At the River

    And, to be serious for a moment, sorry to hear about your Migraine, Vicar. That is so hard on a Sunday :)

  136. LOL - - Can we just skip stuff at the Festival and read gossip magazines together? A guilty pleasure for me and I need someone to share it with.

    Also, there are plenty of rivers to gather at up here, if you know what I mean!

  137. OK. Thankfully, right as the clock struck 12 I hit a transition point in my sermon. Right where I need to be. I found the lead-in to the story Kathryn shared, I know how to get back out of it to wrap things up.

    I'm pumping, then sleeping, then coming back to wrap this all up in the early morning hours!

  138. SheREv- Yes, let's gossip! It is my guilty pleaure too. Sometimes I get away from it, but it always lures me back. (What IS Britney up to Right This Minute? I know you are wondering....)

    Good going with the sermon. I"m on a roll too. Sleep tight!

  139. And where was Miley's dad while she was taking nake-y pictures? Oh yeah - - he was right there with her, in a couple that make them look a little weird together.

  140. oh my we have gotten loosey goosey.

    I'm listening to the music to Oh Brother Where for Art Thou while writing this sermon? Does that mean anything? If it does I don't care.

    So sem fem, did you find your ending.

    And she rev, I think all you got to do is copy and paste, copy and paste from what you wrote here.

    Vicar hope the migrain goes away

  141. Ya'll don't get me started on Miley and her dad. My girls just adore her.

    And Zoe girl either.

    Worst drake and Josh and then there is Carly.

    But Miley and her dad. Where was mama? I had put a end to the whole thing before it ever got started.

  142. No, I am still in search of my ending!

    Somehow I have written a sermon all about balance and why we should keep things in balance. Where is the good news in that? Hrmph.

  143. Of course I talk big and money does too.

    Sem fem, the good news brings balance, yet an edge. you'll find it for your sermon. Maybe you should sleep on it as I tell the kids.

  144. Almost done here.
    Any one else prying the eye lids up with toothpicks, and the brain with caffeine or sugar or chocolate?

  145. I just performed a classic preacher side-step--after managing to obscure the good news in one passage, I borrow it seamlessly from another. Not the preferred MO, but at this point, it works.

    I think the end is in sight. Anyone else still out there working?

  146. Right there with you, Abi!

    The holy nap tomorrow afternoon will be oh so sweet.

  147. I'm still here - doing my best with a sermon that could go in at least 4 different directions and hastn decided which one yet. Sigh. Well, it's not midnite here yet, so maybe it's not so bad, but I WOULD like to close up at 12.
    Back to work....

  148. Well I am now listening to the Chieftans and tying the loose end.
    Sem fem I like that the Preacher side step.

    And Junia we'll make it.

    Whoever is last turn out the lights and the coffee machine. I think that's going to be me.

  149. I'm done...I think? It sucketh mightily, but I desperately need sleep. Will get lights and appliances if everyone else has gone.

    Blessings on all preaching and proclamation and pondering today.

  150. Ok, packing it up. I'm almost there - got probably an hour more that I can finish in the morning.

    Sunday blessings all...

  151. Although my sermon was done and dusted early this week, I've gotten so much out of hanging out at the party. Lots of your sermons are speaking to me - specially the idea of going back to former glory days instead of moving on. So thank you all. Please pray that the folks coming to hear me will take the risk of moving on with me (to a new charge and call)cheers - or slainte in scots gaelic!

  152. I'm back for the next round of the party!!! 4:30 a.m. here and it's time to finish this puppy up. It's a very quiet party in my house, though, since I'm sitting right outside the kids' rooms. I like living on the edge. One sneeze and I could be in big trouble!

    Check in as you wake up! I'd love to hear from you!

  153. I'm back, with nothing more than a hymn stuck in my head. I think I'll go check all the words and see if the HS put it there to help me out. Anybody back yet?

  154. Now someone (other than my baby) has joined me for the morning portion of the party. Just finished this sermon in my head while nursing him for his morning snack so now I need to spew it onto the virtual paper while he whines in the crib for more cuddling. Poor guy seems to have a cold or something; he sounds so hoarse!

    I think I might post this one when I get it done. I've never done that before, but there's a first time for everything.

  155. Coffee's on! Who needs a cup?

  156. Oh no! With the fantastic story I'm WAY OVER my length for a communion Sunday with a special guest kids' choir providing lots of music. CRUD!!! I'm going to have to tell the story with much less fun detail or cut it altogether. POOP!!!!

  157. Ugh. I'm going to have to talk fast. I can't cut anything else out. Idolatry! Idolatry! I love it!

  158. Hmm, maybe you don't need the coffee, after all, She Rev?

  159. I know it. I'm a little nutty.

    OK a LOT nutty.

  160. she rev is a virtual party animal. I say don't cut, let it flow. Either speak faster or have the choir sing quicker or something. Who knows God is good it will work.

    I have been up for an hour, just didn't check in, didn't realize the party was back at it.

    But lets get this party going on over to the church in a little while.

    After a hot day yesterday, it is a cold morning so I am trying to warm up. I'll take lots of coffee, was up way too late. So thanks Songbird.

    Remember semfem, the Holy Spirit will cover you back side and give it the juice it might need, but and thats always the big but, will the ears of the hearers be open as well as their hearts and minds?

  161. oh my, some of you were up late/early!
    My sermon is just as bad this morning as it was when I went to bed...that's always so disappointing when you're hoping it will get better as you sleep!
    Ah, well...the Holy Spirit is going to have to pick this one up, as I'm not able to come up with a better one in the next hour--and I have to go buy batteries on my way to church! Too bad there's not a single retail institution of any kind between my house and church, so I'll have to go the wrong way first.
    I think I'll stop by Caribou then too, as long as I'm going the wrong way. nonfat Caramel HighRise anyone?
    happy preaching and worhsiping!

  162. Happy Birthday, Songbird!

    Happy preaching, everybody!

  163. Yes - Happy Birthday Songbird!

    If I can remember the Presbyterian Women's version. I'll "sing" that to you momentarily.

  164. Ah, coffee. Thanks, Songbird--and best wishes for a great next year. And I don't like my sermon any more than I did yesterday. But I can't change it. I'm going for it. See ya later, preachers!


  165. good morning.

    happy birthday songbird!

    blessed sunday everyone!

  166. Wow! What a party! I'm sorry I missed it, but I was confirmation retreating.

  167. I just had to leave a comment to make it an even 175! Wow! Is it a record?

    Call me Monk if you wanna. I don't care. :-)

    And the Holy Spirit came through again and I managed to interject some lightness and humor into that overly preachy sermon! I was a lot happier with the preached version than I was with the printed one.

    Off for my holy nap now...


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