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Saturday, June 07, 2008

11th Hour Preacher Party: Hoping against Hope Edition

Good mornning, gals and pals! I am here early this morning with the coffee and the muffins, also with one ear and eye on the radio and the television for severe weather warnings! We lost power last weekend, which resulted in very interesting sermon preparation indeed. (sermon prep by candlelight -- very romantic.)

There has been a very interesting commentary going on here on the various readings for this weekend, which much food for thought, and a couple of helpful links.

So, where are you and your sermon headed today? Are you hoping against hope, with Abraham, believing and trusting that something new can be born? Are you getting up immediately and following Jesus, just because you have heard his voice? Are you faithful or doubting, full of creativity or stuck? And... are you hungry?

Come, join the banquet! Share with us your ideas, ask us any questions (someone should know the answer), and bring whatever goodies you have to share. At this table, there is a place for everyone.


  1. Hello? Is anyone out there? I don't want to hate to eat all these muffins myself.

  2. Hey, I'm here! For once I have a pretty quiet Saturday. Just returned from a trip to New York, and I took advantage of airport down time to get the sermon started. But I am with you here today!
    I've got an elaborate plan for a children's time that needs some props, so that is on my mind, too.
    So, pass the muffins!

  3. great to have you here, Songbird. I'm having a little trouble with blogger accepting my comments right now.

    I was (at the beginning of the week) planning to be done before today.

    But I had a funeral yesterday, so I'm not done writing yet.


  4. Hi! I am here, also, as I am every Saturday, although I rarely comment. I am still technologically challenged re:blogging/chatting/posting etc...hope to catch up soon. I am focusing on the faith in action/hope against hope aspect. Right now I am pondering--what does it really mean to "hope against hope"? Also have a meeting today with a family to plan a funeral for a woman who was quite closed off spiritually, as is some of her family. She was in hospice (my full-time job). As for food, well, I have uninteresting but nourishing eggs and high-fiber toast. Muffins sound much better....but am trying to eat "WW" friendly. Prayers on all our work today.

  5. grace eagle, always remember, cyber muffins are 0 points. :-)

  6. Hello everyone! Peace and grace and inspiriation going out to all of you!

    This is my first Sunday since I began working at my church that I will NOT be preaching tomorrow. I am at our Iowa United Methodist Annual Conference right now, and we are having a great conference this year.

    Good luck everyone!

  7. Welcome Grace Eagle and Katie! Yes, as Songbird says, these cyber muffins are 0 calories and also NO TRANS FAT!.

    It's humid and a little eerily still here. We had a little rain and wind last night, and it looks like it's getting ready to DO IT AGAIN.

    I promise, I will start working on the sermon soon.

  8. I'm here, with a sermon no farther along than it was Tuesday. I'm sure I had a brilliant thought last night while feeding the baby, but I didn't write it down, and it is gone. I HATE it when that happens.

    Our fridge is full of leftovers from Grandma's visit this week. Help yourself, and I'll take a muffin.

    We actually had a sprinkle of rain, which is sorely needed. Of course, it is the "Citywide Garage Sale" today...ah well. It's already stopped--just enough to get all of the treasures damp.

  9. I'm scarcely begun, I'm doing a pulpit supply tomorrow, and just finished my first week of CPE. I didn't realize how little I would have to left in me during the week.

    {minor panic sets in}

    Time to get another cup of tea and hunker down to Genesis (following the pattern of the normal preacher for this crew)

  10. I am in the office...writing a couple of letters and preparing for a final premarital planning session with a couple related to the church...It'll make for an interesting morning.

    The sermon needs some serious work. I have been preaching without notes lately, but I'm not sure I have the time for that today. Oy.

  11. Althea,

    Blessings on you and your time in CPE. I know where you are coming from. Take care of yourself. Find times to be kind to yourself.

  12. morning, all! I am quite tired today. Need some quiet time before I really get started.

  13. I've got the easy part of my sermon done (intro and middle) and I need to do some theology. It's on faith healing. I'm eating healthy: cereal and raspberries, but I got a couple of pounds of cherries yesterday to munch on while I write.

  14. I'm in this week; it's my turn to preach. Funny how on the one hand I miss preaching every week and on the other I don't know how I would pull it off now. Something to remember should I ever leave my present appointment (I hope not!).
    I'm working on the Matthew passage, focusing on Jesus' statement in v. 13: Go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.'
    When I say working, I mean I've thought about it some. I really need to start writing!

  15. I'll have to get after finishing my sermon later, as I've got to go to a brunch honoring those who have been members for 50 or more years. I'm preaching the Abraham and Sarah text and I'm hoping to gather some stories from this brunch for this sermon about faithfulness.

    There is going to be quite a spread, can I grab anyone some cheese grits or a cinnamon roll? Party on, preacher party!

  16. Well, blogger hates me today, I've tried to comment three times under my blog name, and it doesn't like me.

    In any case, I'm frustrated from the trying and am just going to try to post this comment under my gmail account to see if the whole blogger is broken, or just for those of us who use open ID.

    I'm racing the sun today---going to be a scorcher, and without air conditioning, I'm hoping not to be stuck at the computer when it hits 98. We'll see.

  17. My best to you all preachers! We are having a creepy rainy looking day and it looks like t-ball will be canceled. We have all kinds of cereal here, help yourself.

  18. Good morning everybody. We will not have a sermon tommorrow, instead I will participate in a skit. Should be fun but I have to make an attempt at memorizing my lines.

    It's a good morning where I am at, just spent a couple of hours in the garden. The weather will be heating up to the 90's. Does the east coast have a spring. It seemed like we moved from winter to summer in a split second.

    Have some burritos on me. Surely it is noon somewhere in the world.

  19. Almost 4pm here in Scotland and I'm just getting down to the sermon- once I've blogged a little of course. I have some jam dougnuts to bring to the table.
    tomorrow is my last communion service before I leave here in around 6 weeks and the first time I confront people en masse since announcing my departure. Could be interesting. And the lectionary - about following calls and moving on - is that for me or what? I'll do some work and then check back in.

  20. I'm back, now in the office, and just settling in to write since I spent time,

    1) looking for my glasses (still can't find them
    2) going to the bank, where computers are down
    3) remembering that this is the church trunk sale in the parking lot!
    4) I had a lot of good ideas for how to organize some of the disorganized parts of my sermon while I was walking the dog this morning. Let's see if I can remember them now.

    Hello Everyone! Althea, Oh, I can't imagine doing CPE and preaching too. CPE is good, but intense work. Praying for you.

    whoever talked about getting a great idea and losing it? I'm there with you on that.

  21. Good morning all. I've already been out this morning - and here it's just 8 am. One of the Spanish speaking congregations at the church is hosting a huge event today and I woke up at 6 realizing there are no towels in the bathrooms! (this is not the place to comment on whether buying paper towels at 7 am is the pastor's"job," is it?)

    I have 1/2 each of 2 sermons written - one for the Recovery worship this afternoon, one for my regular congregation tomorrow morning. I really need to get to work on today's sermon, which is not lectionary based. It's on Step 4 - self examination, removing the plank from your own eye. But I'd better get to work on that first!

    For tomorrow I am using the Matthew text, with focus on Jesus healing and accepting the disenfranchised, especially in light of the California Supreme Court's recent overturning the ban on gay marriage. Whoopee!

    Songbird, I'm guessing that cyber muffins are also cholesterol free? I'm having to get serious about changing my poor eating habits. I'm going to miss McDonalds. :-(

  22. oh dear preachers... the clouds are here too. the sermon(s) are done since well... Big Brown is running in the Belmont today... i wanted to have the day free. and i'm uh still "processing" events from last night's BIG highschool reunion... ack!!! let's just say some us age better than others of us...

    happy writing!

  23. Hi all, another sort of upside-down Saturday for me! Spent a lazy morning with first WonderGirl, then Spouse (WG is off to volunteer at a charity bike ride, at which she hopes to see Lance!)

    I've had my bubble bath, walked through the yard to see which landscaping is hopelessly weeded-over, finished another load of laundry, and really have no excuses now.

    But I have distractions. Sick dog we are all worried about, and other anxieties of a family nature are all buzzing in my head this morning. ManChild is facing an unexpected job transition, and WG found out that the ex-schmoopie has moved on already, with one of her friends.(Less that two weeks! After a serious year-long romance!) The mothering really never stops.

    Is it any coincidence that my sermon title, chosen weeks ago, is "By Stages"?

  24. Hello all!
    No I haven't fallen off the earth (in case anyone was keeping track).

    Last two Sundays I was off--my wonderful deacon gave me the Sunday off after we said goodbye to Mr. M, and then last Sunday I had already planned to take off since Saturday was Strong Heart's graduation (Yay! She's an M.Div. now!) and the Sunday was Sister City's Pride celebration.

    And I'm getting to ease back into it slowly--tomorrow is our "house church" worship, when we have a discussion rather than a sermon, so I prepare some background material and some questions to get discussion going.

    I'm looking at the gospel passage--those on the margins (the tax collector, the ill, even those who seem to be dead) have a part to play and are called by Christ to new life. At least that's where I'm going at the moment.

    Today I have an incentive to get it done--a party for Strong Heart given by a former church...and eeps, it's only five hours from now and I have a shopping trip to get in there somewhere!

    I have garlic multi-grain bagels and coffee on offer, plus a little bit of strawberries and angel food cake left from out dessert/snack last night.

    Party on!

  25. Happy preaching day,
    Each week I promise myself and spouse that sermon will be done by friday. each saturday I'm here with yall writing away. Thanks for being here with me. I'm struggling with Abraham being a blessing to the world, called to a life of blessing others, called to leave behind everything he knows to enter the places that desperately need blessing. I'm strugling because I know it'll preach, but it doesn't seem to want to write. *sigh*
    I also need a children's sermon...anyone have anything dealing with blessings? or anything else since they won't be there anyway to hear the sermon?
    I have bran muffins we've decided aren't the definitive recipe, and coffee.

  26. TH, I am proud of you. I hope to one day get there. I'm close, but not quite...

    RP, I was wondering about you lately. Glad all is well.

    And Diane, tomorrow we are supposed to have that exciting thunder and lightening you experienced last week.

    I am preaching about "early and late rain" from odd if while that is happening the rain is pouring down. For now I am ironing--it is already in the 80s so I want to get it done before afternoon. Later I'll be heading over to church for a serious meeting with our worship leader and then some sermon work. I have a draft. A very incomplete draft.

    Yummy muffins, Diane! ;-)

  27. Had an interesting week...a few days ago a tornado came within 3 blocks of the church. An elder responded with a laugh - "evidently the Lord is not ready for any extensive remodeling to the church" One member said she was in bed at her home and the vibration woke her up. Everyone else is fine - some trees down, and some damage in town. The nearby army base got hit pretty hard, but no injuries.

    Haven't started writing the sermon yet, but am using the Matthew passage to talk about Jesus' association with the marginalized.

    And with all this rain, I am seriously considering building an ark...

  28. I am finished--I am not happy with it but perhaps I will not read it but just jump extemperanously off of it.

  29. Once again it's nice not to be alone on Saturday. :) I don't have much more than I did earlier in the week. I think processing about the mental block on my blog helped some.

    I will probably go with Matthew, that's were much of my energy has been this week. Too many ideas right now, need a main point/direction. Been thinking about what it means to be seen, called, healed by Jesus and that he comes for us all, we are all sick in one way or another, even those who may not look marginalized who look like they have it all together on the outside. Jesus uses table fellowship to gather people to him, he seems to include anyone, not those of similar social standing.

    Also thinking about Jesus telling the Pharisees to "go and learn" what it means that God desires mercy. Why did they need to learn? I think we tend to read this as judgemental - tsk tsk you just don't get it. What if Jesus is being compassionate, knows he's introducing something new and invites them in - this is some new stuff... go and learn, it may make more sense to you. What did they need to learn? What do we need to learn?

    Lastly, I toyed with doing a first-person narrative as either Matthew, the bleeding woman, a Pharisee, or even Abraham - what was it like to be there, what might they have been thinking?

    Thinking about going to an art show in the park for a while. May check back later.

    Happy writing all!

  30. ok, happy party everyone. I do have a first draft, but like muthah+, I'm not entirely happy, so it will probably get some tweaking later.

    Right now, have dog class and a graduation party, too.

    see you later! hang in there.

  31. Hi friends! I'm back from a week-long contemplative type retreat and am feeling utterly fabulous and also grateful that I am only on children's-sermon duty and so have a little more time to ease back into the rush of life.

    My strawberry plant is producing berries! But I picked the two ripe ones and ate them already--they were so amazingly good. Perhaps more will magically ripen throughout the day....

    SP is preaching on Abraham being called and following and I don't know anything about what he is going to say. "something about a journey" is all he was able to tell me before I left. Should be interesting, since worship was planned around the Matthew text and he just changed his mind on Monday morning, which is not enough time to change the music/liturgical pieces. I'm intrigued to see how it all goes--at the contemporary service we are singing the Indigo Girls song Closer to Fine! (speaking if the Indigo Girls--I went to their concert last night and it was awesome! but I got home at 2am...oh my. Thank goodness today's Saturday!)

    I think I'm going to watch the monk movie (Into great Silence) as a way to end my retreat week now....back in a few hours, maybe with magically ripened berries! In the meantime, have some strawberry lemonade. organic!

  32. My word, I am just about at the end of my rope.

    General shenanigans around some other huge projects this week have really impacted my concentration and my motivation. Basically the whole week feels like it went for nothing. Then the AC went out, a great friend of mine is coming to visit, and there's a sermon to write as well as a speech for later in the day. Blah blah blah...I'm just feeling whiny and hot and wish some of those thunderstorms would come here and break this heat!

    As for sermonizing...I'm going with Genesis and the idea of "traveling by stages" and marking where we have been on life's journey...that God doesn't always show us all the steps ahead of time. Plus the idea of being a people after the pattern of Abram, taking that first step, marking where we have been with landmarks, and being blessed to bless others.

    Anyway. I may not be back at the party today--but wanted to check in briefly. muthah--I'll see you next week!

  33. Hello preachers! I was going to say good morning then looked a the clock and realized it is afternoon and I have nothing, yes nothing, written! I had hoped, based on the fact that I had sort of an outline already last week, that this would go quickly...Abraham, Matthew, responding in faith, going where God calls's eight years ago this week since I began my own "great journey" so I'm thinking I may do something I rarely do in sermons and tell my own story...but I think that may be why I am sitting here not writing and wanting to eat muffins, virtual or other, or anything else that may be in sight, as well as clean my desk, write to my friends, and whatever other stalling things I may find to do. Oh, well....evasion availeth nothing. So off to it.

  34. oh semfem I like the idea of traveling by stages. let us know more as you travel enroute so to speak.

  35. One sermon done, one to go. And it's not even lunchtime yet! Hmm, lunch - tomato sandwich and iced green tea, anyone?

  36. Ooh, I actually just finished writing! squee! Sorry...not trying to brag...but I guess the stress worked for good this time.

    Diane, I definitely focused on the traveling in stages, almost exclusively...about how EVERY journey we make through life begins with just one step, and we almost never know how it is going to turn out, but whenever we hit a dead end (as Abram and Sarai appeared to have done), God makes a way forward. Also worked in some stuff about setting up landmarks and monuments to where we have been...including the church building...and while they are valuable, they are not the final destination. Only God knows what that will be.

    Whew! Off to somewhere with better AC (hate to go to the Wal of Mart on a weekend, but it might be worth it).

  37. My sermon is actually finished; it's about Jesus being found with the marginalized etc...

    but, it's my last Sunday, and I am absolutely stuck as to how to preach a "goodbye" children's sermon. Any suggestions are muchly appreciated!

  38. Melissa -- maybe draw parallels to grandma, aunts, uncles, and cousins who come to visit then go back home; or older brothers and sisters who go away to school: we're always part of the family, but sometimes we move on to other places.

  39. Back from a shopping trip with the fam and a too short nap. I haven't read anything yet, but I'm going to do some jotting and thinking. I think I have way too much for one sermon, but I also have a Wednesday night service I'm linking to Sunday so that should help me.

    I'm doing Matthew the next four Sundays have called the series "Radical Discipleship". This particular sermon is called "Radical Reach". What I'm thinking right now (although this could change) is focusing tomorrow on how Jesus reaches out and calls not the perfect, but those who are in need of healing/doctor/
    wholeness/forgiveness. I am planning to do a service of healing and wholeness on Wednesday where people can go to one of a few stations for prayer one-on-one with myself or a lay person and receive anointing if they desire. That will link into this and into the two healing stories in the second half of the lesson. Lots to flesh out between now and then and I'm really sleepy! Think I'll read more, respond if I have anything, finish my nap, and be ready to really write after the kids go to bed.

  40. I have spent all day "writing" but not. I'm just really distractable today. I've made macaroni salad (when have you ever heard of me cooking?) checked web pages, washed dishes....I have an idea but I just can't seem to sit down and write. Wait, is that a bird?

  41. Hello my dears....Hope everyone is proceeding more smoothly than i am. Having had an endless succession of wedding couples today, plus a 5.00 staff meeting that lasted 2 hours (I so rarely get to see my associate, because he is in full time work, when I do get the chance I feel I have to make the most of every second) I'm only starting now. I'm preaching at Church on the Hill, my more challenging congregation...The family are off seeing Indiana Jones, which is just as well, as i've not a word written nor a thought to my name. This is becoming disturbingly familiar. Wish there were such a thing as a lectionary group round these parts, but they just don't happen in the UK as far as I can tell...I do have some seedless grapes to console myself...will leave a bowl on the table over there, next to the elderflower cordial.

  42. Well, here I am. A meager 4 pages later. Not enough for me; I need to have at least ten to have a sufficiently long sermon, and I do want to give them full measure, as I'll be away at school for a few weeks.
    Using "Go and learn from this" as a title, and thinking about how each of those who encountered Christ in Matthew's reading encountered Christ and what they might have learned...and still struggling. Fresh cherries on the counter, and I'll be making homemade mac & cheese later on, along with grilling pork loin chops. C'mon over!

  43. Went to tea, stalled some more, took deep breaths and wrote. I think it's done. I know it's personal, it scares me silly. Which is so strange since I blog my brains out...why is it so much harder to "preach personal" than to blog? Oh well...done and posted. Dark chocolate covered edamame and banana chips on the desk in thanks for the moral support. Will check in with you all after I do chores.

  44. I've been enjoying a visit from my mom today - she'll be playing piano for church tomorrow, so the music is destined to be good. In the meantime, here is what I have for a sermon tomorrow. Party on!

  45. Checking back in. Baby has been exceptionally high maintenance today (de-compressing from Grandma, probably!). Sermon is not much further along than it was this morning when I posted. But Daddy has arrived home from the business trip and doesn't have to preach tomorrow. Daddy to the rescue!

    Anyone have a children's idea for Jesus reaching out to people on the margins?

  46. Esperanza: hmmm only thing that really comes to mind at the moment is choosing up teams for some kind of game and those who get chosen last for whatever reason. Or maybe Dr. Seuss's star-bellied sneeches and plain-bellied sneeches? I'm sure you'll come up with something.

  47. Gone 11pm here. I'm done. Not ecstatic about it - very preachy but HS will take it through - please.
    Some low fat yogurt to share before bed.

  48. Yay - I've finally mamaged to get that link formula right! But it would be the night I probably have worst sermon to share. Can't have everything!
    Blessings on the evening ahead for colleagues across the pond.

  49. Liz, your sermon can't be worse than mine, and it's midnight now, so bad will have to do...I also need to work out a truncated version for the 8.00ers...or maybe I'll just preach fast!!!
    Not sure if I dare go and visit anyone else's now. Suspect I may just crawl away under a stone - or up to bed. I was about to say I could't possible post it, but I guess if I'm prepared to preach it, then post it I must. Oh heck ;-(

    Blessings on the rest of you - hope you have a happier time with the text than I did!

  50. Hello, all.
    After a very quiet day, I took another pass at the sermon and I've posted the latest (and I hope final!) version over at my blog.
    I still need to write out the skit for the children's time. Also brush the dog, if I'm going to take her to church!

  51. Hi, I'm back, after 5:00 service. Hoping to get all of your offerings read, as well as post mine soon, if the power doesn't go off :).

    How is everyone? Looks like some have gotten productive work done!

    storm warnings again tonight here.

  52. Okay - so we had tornadoes on Tuesday night, today it's floods. The worst floods in this part of Indiana EVER. So bad they closed Interstates 65 and 70. So, am going a completely different direction on the sermon. That is if I can actually get to the church tomorrow. We've closed for snow, but never for flood waters.

  53. Oh...after all that I didn't give you a link. The shameful thing is

  54. I'm preaching on Matthew, but not real sure what, yet. I got home from annual conference about three hours ago, and after about an hour nap, find out that the keyboard on the desktop computer wont type a,d,w, or g. So now I'm on the laptop, trying to get some direction.

    Conference was good. I was commissioned as a probationary elder last night, and had no idea it was to be such a big deal, so I didn't make my family come. during the reception, I kept being overwhelmed by waves of sadness and loneliness as I saw others celebrating with their families. A few friends hung out with me periodically to be my "family" but it wasn't really the same. I don't do "alone" well. My lay delegates stayed around for the ceremony, though and it was nice that they were there.

    It could be a long night or a very early morning...

  55. Well, friends, it was very exciting here in Snow Belt this afternoon. We spent a n hour or so huddled in the basement while the hail fell and the tornado sirens screamed.

    My son called to see if we were in the basement, and he complained about having to be in his. It was touching, really, that in a moment of stress he called his Mom. Then after the storm passed by my MIL (who has lived through a couple of hurricanes) called to check up on us. We are fine. WG's car didn't even get scratched by the hail.

    My sermon is done, and I'm glad about that. Dinner and a cocktail next. Probably not in that order.

    Edit: Crap, Presby Babe. Just about our whole family lives where you are talking about.

  56. Cheesehead - It is really ugly down here. Prayers for your family. Most of my church folks got off easy - water in their basements, trees down from the tornado - but I do have some in lower areas who are now flooded. My sermon title last week was "And the Floods Came" Some members are ribbing me about that one. Who knew...

  57. Kim, Congratulations! I hope you will find time in the next week to pat yourself on the back!
    Presby Gal and the midwest set: grace and peace to you! We spent the last hurricane season with a bulls-eye drawn on us, but we don't see a lot of tornadoes (thanks be to God!).
    I'll be stealing...I mean reading...everyone's posted sermon, looking for inspiration.

  58. Well, I've reading great sermons, still haven't posted mine. In a little while....

    we're thinking popcorn and a movie here.

  59. Congrats, Kim. My husband had the very same family-less experience when he was commissioned (I was there, but nobody else).

    I'll pray for peaceful evenings and nights for those in the crazy weather zone.

    Sermon is done. That's about all I can say about it. A sermon that combines politics and the junior high lunch table likely needs some remedial help, but it's Saturday night, so it will just have to lean on the Holy Spirit. As usual around here.

    Prayers to write, then hopefully early to bed.

  60. My 7th grader broke up with her boyfriend yesterday and is sad about it (although she did the breaking), so we went downtown to Coldstone for some ice cream therapy. The weather here is so peaceful compared to what others are suffering, I am sorry for the stress and difficulties y'all are having!

  61. oh, ice cream.

    I think the tornado watch is over here. I don't think my town has sirens, or if they do I can't hear them (or else they're never tested). Which worries me a little on days like today and yesterday!

    Still no children's sermon...I wonder if I could talk about the Indigo Girls concert?

  62. ice cream yum! we are having popcorn and watching a movie called August Rush.

    gotta post my sermon soon. kind of nice and relaxing and unusual saturday night.

  63. Blessings to all you preaching in the morning (or in a few hours depending on geography.) No sermon for me, I'm beginning an all-night senior high lock-in and the kids are hiding in the church, playing sardines! Just a prayer to keep me awake tomorrow. best to all, i'll be up if you are. :-)

  64. Finished the sermon and the prayers and whatnot. Finally. Now I have cabin fever....get me out of here!

    Blessings on those still working, and those hiding in basements. I spent half my childhood, it seems, in basements for tornadoes, so I am with you in spirit.

  65. I'm procrastinating so badly I just spent an hour working on my Friday Five. What a dork. Now it's time for me to do some writing. I have high hopes of going to bed and staying asleep until morning by 11:00 p.m. If nothing else I want my sermon done in the next 90 minutes, so then I can plan my meeting with committee chairs, and then I can go to bed by midnight!

    Wish me luck!

  66. my sermon is done! It's only for the early service tomorrow. At the late service, there is a baptism and the dad of the baby being baptized is preaching. I have to gather the prayers but that shouldn't take very long.

    Meanwhile, I was an eyewitness to an officer involved shooting this morning. My mom was a little freaked (she was right next to me) while I confirmed that I really do have a pretty cool head in crisis.

    You just never know what your day will bring.

  67. Oh - - and here's the Friday Five play since I bothered.

  68. Poop! I just discovered I left my notepad from the Fest of Homies at the church. It had a bunch of stuff I wanted to use as intro material for my "Radical Discipleship" series from Matthew the next few weeks. POOP!!!

  69. Whoa, Vicar, glad you're okay. Hope your mom's able to settle down. I can imagine my nerves would be all jangly.
    SheRev, it's a rite of passage to indulge in these kinds of work avoidance. Congrats, and happy writing.
    I am done, done, done! Before 11am my time. It's here: go and learn what this means

  70. If anyone is still up, I'm still up for a little while, and sharing popsicles. don't seem to have a storm so far, which is ok, but it's humid here.

    anyone still working?

  71. well, the work is mostly done, but I'm still hanging around

  72. ok, if anyone is still up, my sermonh is posted here

  73. I just got home from an emergency visit, so yes I'm still working. I still have just an outline. I do not want to preach tomorrow. It was not a good day. I said earlier that I was meeting with our worship leader...well, I did.

    We have lost many people this last year (and of course I resigned and then didn't), but through it all we have persevered, and we are heading in a positive direction.

    Our worship leader is a very key leader in our congregation in more than one way. He is also someone whom I have stood by when I maybe should not have because I believed in him. We have loved and prayed him, his wife, and two of his kids through MAJOR trauma and crisis.

    And for the last year I am watching him come into his own--seeing the potential I always knew was there begin to really blossom. He has been writing hymns and choruses, and they are wonderful....oh I could go on and on.

    Today he said something like, "I know you are turing things around. I sense that people are coming together in ways they never have. I believe you will succeed. I am hopeful. And I do not want to be here anymore. I am not going to go to Not Far Away AG, and I am not going to run to Bigger City AG. I don't know where I will go or what I will do. The kids want to stay. They will still be part of youth group. My heart is not in it anymore, and I know I am making you sad telling you this, but I just can't stay. I just am not part of what is happening."



    I cannot overstate what a loss this is. The congreegation is just NO WAY going to understand this. My heart, once again, seems to be breaking. WHat the heck do we do this pastoring for? It seems like the people I "invest" in and love the most are the ones who are gone.


    Or maybe I should just show up and say "I don't want to preach."

    Why did I stay? Not sure.

    Gee...sorry! Just venting so that maybe I can go try to put something on paper.

  74. Making progress here...1257 words. That's further than I usually am at 10:15 on Saturday night. I have the basics in it. Now it just needs a little polish and personality, and I think it will walk (if not fly).

    But for now I think I will go to bed and tackle the rest in the morning. I still need to make an accompaniment CD for the smaller church, or maybe we can just go acapella. The crowd will be very small with many out of town, but we'll have a good time anyway!

    Thanks RevAnne and esperanza for the congrats. I appreciate the kind words.

    Hang in there SheRev. I'll check back later.

  75. Singing Owl, I just HATE that. I'll send you my sermon on Genesis if you want it. Or I have an old one on Matthew that I could send. Just let me know which one ... or both

  76. {{{singing owl}}} That is so hard. Is that his final answer, or is he open to further conversation? Could there be something else he is struggling with and this position is the scapegoat? What is your gut saying (besides "I don't wanna play this game anymore!)?

    I'll be praying for you.

  77. ((((Singing Owl)))))
    no words here.
    but praying in a way... though I don't know what to pray for.

    my heart hurts for you.

  78. Aw Vicar, thanks for the sermon offer. I did put something on paper--I have an outline anyhow--don't like it, but oh well! And thanks kim and diane for the thoughts and prayers...I am sorry I sorta lost it. I feel like I can't take much more--but then again, MUCH good is happening. Always seems like we make progress and them something wrong and devastating happens. His final answer...I don't know. I do wonder what is "really" going on, and I hope I will learn more. He is not leaving right away, tho he says he wants to, is hoping to find I do have some time. For now, off to bed. It is POURING here and we are under a flood watch...yikes1


  79. Singing Owl, you're welcome

    I'm headed for bed now. There are shows on the DVR that need to be watched so I'll do that as I fall asleep.

    Blessings on your Sunday

  80. ((((Singing Owl)))) I, too, don't know what to pray, so I'll let the Spirit turn my wonderings into prayers. As my daughter has learned to say when she's said for someone, but it's not her fault, "I'm sorry for you!"

    I've been here working, but the wireless connection from the laptop in the basement has been weak, so (probably that darn spirit on my side again) I have not had the internet procrastinator!

    My sermon isn't too much farther along at this point, but most of the rest of my tasks are completed, so I can hopefully wrap up the ends of my sermon in the next 30 minutes, and have met my "plan B". I'll be asleep by midnight without the need to wake up SUPER early. I am going to beat the rest of the family out of the house so I can take care of other stuff at church without kids under my desk. Godzilla, the ALMOST 1 year old, LOVES pushing the blue power button on my work computer usually right before I hit "save" on something important.

    Anyway, I'll check back in shortly before I go night-night.

    Sounds like most folks are wrapping things up. Where's the late night crew??? I've been out of my preaching mode for two weeks. Don't tell me you all got responsible on me???

  81. SheRev, I'm still here. I haven't been up this late with a sermon for quite some time, but I just can't seem to get it right. I may neded to just let it go til morning.

  82. thanks! I'm going to call it a night. I trust that the Spirit will help me tie up the loose ends in the morning.

    Blessings, she rev, on your offering. That goes for the rest of you, too! Night!

  83. 5am EST... I'll put the coffee back on. Never have I started this late with less.

  84. Don't worry, will smama, you are not alone. I planned to get up at 5, but the wind kept waking me, so it was 4 instead...4:30 here now (central time). I'm awake, but can't seem to keep my eyes open at the moment. Could be the wind...

  85. thanks kim. Plodding along here, I think it is at least at dog stage which is good... could've been better but this is the reality so I am trying to embrace it.


  86. 9/10's done and munchkin is downstairs... should make for an interesting morning.

  87. good morning gals and pals! It's time to trust the Spirit! blessings to everyone!

  88. 6:01 AM, 1775 words...I think it will work. Time to go print and go back to bed for a bit. Blessings for those still writing, those leading, those listening, and those proclaiming today!

  89. I'm still working on mine. :P Have got to find a way around doing this on Sunday mornings. Thankfully I think I have a direction/main point, sparked by this morning's prayer. I often like to use the blessing that folks would be strengthend to be Christ's hands and heart in this world. Last week I kind of talked about service, being the hands. So today I'm going to enter with this reflection and then talk about being the heart. How do we be compassionate, show mercy, try to see people as Jesus sees them?

    Spirit filled preaching all!

  90. Blessings on you all this morning. My sermon notes are here. I am sans manuscript again. It's been good for me.

    Peace and all good things to you preachers this morning. Proclaim the kingdom!

  91. Chiming in here this morning with prayers for all who were up early. I was up on the later side for me on a Sunday, but got here early so I could work without the kids all over me. I know see my husband making his way across the parking lot with the children an hour and half before worship starts. UGH! They're going to want to be in here with me and that just can't happen.

    Anyway, blessings to all who are still working or preparing to preach! I'm on to the other tasks for the morning!

  92. I'll never understand this gig, never! I guess the less impressive the original material, the more the Holy Spirit works to counter shortcomings. It's the only explanation, as my less than glorious effort went down startlingly well.

  93. Sorry I missed the gathering yesterday - we had our synodic assembly and I was a bit tied up!

    I ended up with the sermon that I had mentioned way back on Tuesday (it's been dancing in my head for weeks!). Basic theme was that God's mercy is so abundant that it enables us to both follow and lead...just as Jesus did in the Matthew 9 stories.

    Read at:

    It went well - a few folks were a bit challenged by the edgier comments. Received many good non-verbals during the sermon as well as thoughtful feedback following the sermon.

    And, like you said Kathryn, it is amazing how the Holy Spirit just keeps showing up!

    Peace to you all!


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