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Saturday, July 26, 2008

11th Hour Preacher Party: Primarily Parables Edition

Good morning, preachers and visitors!

It's that delightful week in the lectionary that brings us many parables, or a text from Romans with famous wonderful words interwoven with stuff we might just as soon ignore, or a Genesis romance gone awry!

Just like the mustard seed, our ideas as we begin the day may feel small and insignificant. But from these seeds, our sermons *will* grow, I promise you!!! And we will nurture each other along the way.

To prime the pump, I offer you Fair Trade coffee or green tea, and who would like one of those little vanilla bean scones from the coffee shop I cannot resist but will not name here? If you have goodies to share, bring them right over and put them on the table!

Let us know what you're up against today, tell us what you're thinking of preaching, ask for help if you need it, share any resources you think are helpful...and try not to make the rest of us feel too bad if you're already finished, okay?

Together we *will* find the treasure in the field, for the kingdom of heaven is like a group of preachers ready to work and play together, although they are separated by time zones and oceans, by denomination and heritage, by manuscript and notes, by pipe organs and Power Point.


  1. I'm the first comment!!! I am so excited.

    I am trying to wake up, but still foggy. I am on my third cup of coffee and it still hasn't hit.

    I bring banana chocolate chip muffins to the party.

    Partner and I are going to the beach this morning for a little ocean time and then I will be at the computer this afternoon to write the sermon. Hope inspiration strikes me at the ocean.

  2. It is Saturday evening here and I have just printed the service for tomorrow morning. This week focussing on Matthew, and demonstrating how dough rises with yeast - hopefully not too much mess in the church! Also baptising, and following a suggestion from someone last week - sorry can't remember which of you wonderful revgals suggested it - I have written a letter to the child. Now the seed of faith is planted, hopefully that faith will be nurtured and grow.
    Thanks for beng there in cyberspace.

  3. Good morning!
    In case it's not obvious, I put the post up last night. My theme for this week is indeed the mustard seed, and the surprises that can come from sowing seeds of mutual respect (using the story "The Rabbi's Gift") and self-respect (telling the story of the Sisonke Beadwork Cooperative, with which my prior settled church had a relationship). It's time for my interim church to begin talking about its mission, and I hope to use this as a springboard.

  4. g_g, enjoy the beach! How can it fail to inspire?
    Patty, so glad that suggestion worked for you, I believe it came from a colleague of muthah+'s (how's that for puncuation?), and she brought it to us. It's such a great idea!
    Who wants coffee? I have tiny little streusel coffee cakes, one WW point for 3, or if you're not counting your cyber-calories, Eggo waffles with real maple syrup. :-)

  5. Actually, here's a more current link to Sisonke.

  6. I haven't started teh sermon yet, but I know where I'm headed, so I'm not stressed.

    children's sermon (oh how I hate them!)? I have no ideas whatsoever. I welcome any and all.

  7. ppb, I'm going to read "The Carrot Seed." Are you near the public library? If you don't know the story, it's about a little boy who plants a carrot seed and everyone tells him it will never come up, but when it does, it's HUGE!!! I'm going to give out seed packets (okay, I don't have those yet, but that's my plan) of various sorts.
    I just hope there are some kids there. Other than mine. Because she's a good sport, but at 13, I don't know how much longer I can expect her to stand in for absent children...

  8. Hedwyg's post that she linked on Tuesday has really helped me tie Romans and Matthew together.

    Now if I could just get my sleep-deprived bran going and fully flesh it out, that would be ideal.

    Thankfully no children's time to do!

  9. Well these last three weeks have been beyond busy! I miss my blog friends!

    I'm not preaching tomorrow--we'll be showing the documentary "For the Bible Tells Me So," which looks at Christianity and homosexuality through the lives of five LGBT Christians. It is excellent!

    But the reason we'll be showing is that is that I won't be there--I'm going to be across town at another church participating in a one-on-one debate on the Presbyterian Church in Canada's statement on homosexuality (the usual--it's sinful and against Christin belief). My opponent is someone very active in "ex-gay" circles, and after reading his blog, I'm a bit nervous. The hosting pastor and congregation I feel fairly comfortable with, actually--it's my opponent who has me spooked.

    So today I'm working on the presentation for the beginning of the debate (10 minutes), and talking points for responses to his statements. As the "con" position, I at least get to have the last word, which I think will be "Would Jesus discriminate?"

    I have some great resources to use--now I just need to pull it all together.

    Prayers tomorrow morning at 9:30 and 11 am EST (North American time, whatever that translates to where you are) would be greatly appreciated.

  10. Do. Not. Seek. The. Treasure.

    Just channelling O Brother, Where Art Thou... foggy head here thanks to a late amusement park night. Dog care, farmer's market, and yet another bluegrass concert on my lawn.... sigh.

    Sermon? Yeah, we'll get there.

  11. rp, that is quite a challenge! You have my prayers.
    ws, that's a different kind of challenge...because what every preacher wants is a concert on her lawn on Saturday night!
    Silent, you really ought to let your "bran" sleep as much as possible...
    Seriously, how old is the baby now? How do you do it?

  12. Rainbow Pastor,
    You might want to hit the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire website for two reasons. There is a video there that was made by the people of that Diocese to introduce their bishop to the Lambeth Conference now going on. And +Gene is also blogging about his experiences in Canterbury where he is not allowed to represent his Diocese because he is openly gay. As I read your post, I thought of some of the things he has written.

    As for the sermon tomorrow, I read a blog by Louie Crewe, lay person in NJ, who suggests that the language of Kingdom of God doesn't work for us non-kingdom people but we do understand - although perhaps by a different word - the polity of God. Jesus is saying, "here is hw God does things; here is how God operates in heaven." And Ed Stivender, a storyteller from Philadelphia, tells the story of St. Francis of Assisi being sent by God to tell us that the kingdom of heaven is like a party! I couldn't believe I went to Storytelling Live yesterday to get sermon notes. ;-)

    Then I went to visit the parents of a woman who committed suicide yesterday and it reminded me of a discussion I had with a teenager who was dying once. We talked about the mustard seed as being something planted in us and how it continues to grow to such unimaginable size even beyond death and into the next part of life. We pray in one of the Episcopal burial rites that "having opened to her the gates of larger life, she may grow from strength to strength." That sounds mustard seedy to me.

    Okay, I need to eat something now but I've got nothing as exotic as y'all. Cheerios are all I can offer.

  13. On Today's agenda: Sermon, eulogy (to be preached by a friend when I am out of town), cleaning the house (so said friend can walk through it when she stays here to care for the dog & cat), and finishing up travel arrangements and packing for our trip to Chicago. Daughter and I leave tomorrow after church to visit various colleges during the next week. We will visit my MIL on the way back. They expect her to be home by then. Husband and son are there with her now. Thanks you all for your prayers last week during her surgery. Things went well, but there will still be some follow-up radiation and/or chemo. I made the mistake of looking up the type of tumor it was and became very sad when I read the typical prognoses.

    Next week I begin a sermon series based on Bishop Robert Schnase's book: Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations, so I'll be off lectionary - kinda - for a while. I'll still check in on y'all.

    Blessings on preparation and preaching. I'm cleaning out the fridge today, so help yourself to whatever! I know I have blueberries and watermelon I need to do something with before leaving town.

  14. Yes, my 'bran' is tired! :)

    Baby Girl is 8 weeks old today. I started back in the office this week, having her with me in the a.m. and leaving her home with her dad in the p.m. (he too is working in the mornings--in cornfields so can't have her with). I haven't gotten into a new sermon-writing rhythm yet and so was up until 11 p.m. last night trying to get it done--and didn't. So, here I am this morning because I need it for this evening. Unfortunately when I was up at 2, 4, and 6 a.m. I wasn't inspired! (at least not for this)

    And--though sometimes I hate it, I'm glad today that I'm an associate because due to some weird scheduling things, I will not be preaching the next 4 weeks--which hopefully means I will be getting a little more sleep by the next time--and maybe, just maybe, I can get a sermon done prior to the Saturday I need it!

  15. I can't remember who posted the tennis court analogy earlier this week, but that helped me a lot! And, also, in thinking about that treasure in the field, I may have had too much caffeine, but I believe I will make a reference to the Beverly Hillbillies-remember that song...Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed; A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed, Then one day he was shootin at some food, And up through the ground came a bubblin' crude. Oil that is, black gold, Texas tea. Well the first thing you know ol' Jed's a millionaire...sounds like a buried treasure to me!

  16. I'm here getting ready for a 10 am funeral, and my sermon (which must be preached at 5pm) is not written. I HOPE I know where I am going with it, but it will be a busy day.

    Back later...

  17. Hmmm... I htougth I commented earlier and said how much I miss all of you, and was wishing I was preaching this week instead of still recovering from my still broken ankle. I even offered cinnamon coffee and the sermon I preached on the Mustard seed from Mark earlier this summer. Those comments have either been eaten by cyberspace or are not showing up on my screen. Someo f the comments I swore I read are gone too. maybe I commented in another preacher party that is now long over? But, I did re-post my mustard-seed sermon at my blog. Either click my name above or go to for some inspiration. it was for graduation sumday, but hopefully it can start some wheels turning.

    Confusedly -- KP

  18. Good morning all. Im not preaching tomorrow as our Regional Minister will be doing the honors for our Mortgage Burning Celebration. It has been a very busy and emotionally challenging week so I'm happy that I don't have to think too hard today.

    Thursday I performed a funeral for a premature infant who lived only 2 days. His parents just attended our church for the first time last week, and the original funeral officiant cancelled on them at the last minute so they asked me. Then yesterday was my very first wedding for a lesbian couple - they've been together 25 years and now are finally married, thanks to the California Supreme Court decision.

    RP, my congregation loved "For the Bible Tells me so". When we showed it we also made the book "What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality" available. My prayers are with you as you face your debate. I do love enjoy end point - "Would Jesus discriminate" indeed! I'd like to talk with you about some logistical questions for gay and lesbian weddings if you have a chance. It's completely new territory for me.

    Going out to get a salad for tomorrow's pot luck. Anyone need anything while I'm gone?

  19. Good morning, all!

    RP, prayers for you as you plant some seeds in perhaps some hostile soil. As someone who has had her mind and heart changed about LGBT concerns, trust me, what you are doing makes a difference, even if you can't see that right away.

    Well, I am only about half-way done, but I won't be able to finish it until later because I have some Presbytery committee work to do today.

    See you all later. Help yourself to some left-over pizza. (Am I the only one who like cold pizza for breakfast?)

  20. rats, SB, this is when it stinks to live in a Jewish neighborhood. Our library isn't open on Saturdays. maybe Borders will have it?

    I'm writing the wierdest sermon ever. I'm kind of liking it. I'm not really preaching the text(s) much but talking about our ways of hearing the text--contrasting the metaphors and mystery of the gospel with the plain-spoken pointedness of the epistle. I read BBT's sermon on this text and it sparked this in me (it's totally not what BBT wrote--though hers is a lovely take). We'll see how it ends up and if the congregation likes it or hates it. This is a congregation that HATES having guest preachers and is mad because both pastors are gone at once. This is my 2nd of 3 weeks there.

  21. I am sure no here is interested in procrastination techniques but just in case...

    Let me remind you about the RGBP Trivia Challenge! Today's topic is Science and Technology.

    WE now return to your regularly scheduled partying.

  22. PPB, my plan is to take an envelope of yeast and pour it into a bowl, add water and sugar and ask what will happen. Which reminds me, I wonder if we have any yeast....
    I m still where I was on Tuesday. Which is a not bad place, don't get me wrong. But still I would rather sleep, walk the dog r play in the garden (read as pull the weed forest) than think today.

  23. I, too am guest preaching, week 2 of 3. The minister doesn't use the lectionary, so I am freely rearranging. I'm in Romans 8 and did living in the spirit last week, adoption this week and will do the always with us (lectionary this week) next week.

    This is the first time I've done back to back weeks; and, when I agreed, I didn't know how much CPE would be taking out of me. Although it is giving me some fodder for the "nothing can separate us" next week. I just have to get through this one first.

    Three cups of tea and I think I have the outline. Oh, and my first cousin once removed who is a minister is in town and might come to hear me. no pressure.

  24. Hi all, I am not preaching tomorrow either, although I have the liturgist's duties in the contemporary service to include a children's sermon. I am really thinking about that one. We have a party later at the lake with some folks from church. But first since all week was VBS and both Bob and I were involved, we have a house cleaning party with the kids. (I'll let you know how that goes.)
    Thinking of all of you with your various agendas today,and tomorrow.Thinking of you all who are dealing with hurt, pain and grief out there. And Thinking of the ones who are carrying their own pain as well.
    Songbird is the Rabbi's gift the story about the Rabbi who sent a woman in grief away with a seed to other's homes? Can't remember the whole story, I'll find it. I have used it several times.

  25. Songbird thanks for the link to Sisonke, I like it. I hope your current congregation finds their mission.

  26. I began my sermon on Thursday, before teh migraine. Don't know how it'll end, but it is loosely based on Romans 8 and Q 1 of the Westminster Catechism, which was sort of a mantra of our class in seminary.

    I got a panicked call from WonderGirl this morning while she was on her break at work, that she apparently lost her wallet on Thursday (!) and today, a Saturday, wants me to fix it! Yesterday, the day that we could have actually done something, she had Other Things To Do, which did not include telling me that she was without a driver's license.

    But somehow on her break at the nursing home this morning it was Teh End Of The World As We Know It.


  27. 'Morning, everyone. Silent, I feel your tired 'bran.' Sympathies on the sleep deprivation. Nine months is considerably better than 8 weeks, but it does seem to add up.

    Preaching on the Romans text, one of my favorites. My title is "Nothing," which gives me the giggles...but I'm focusing on the "nothing can separate" part. But what to do for a children's sermon? "Runaway Bunny" comes to mind, but last week we decided it had creepy undertones and I can't get those out of my mind. Any other ideas for a Romans children's time?

    House guests are going to the amusement park today. Baby and I will be hanging out at home working on a sermon and on sitting up unassisted. If only we could trade tasks, I'd be in good shape.

  28. I'm in the office making visitor follow-up phone calls... not my favorite task. However, beloved spouse and kids are off on a grand adventure (picking fruit somewhere) so rather than add to my freckles, I'm making good use of the time...

    Praying for those of you who are sermonizing. I have some home made cinnamon rolls from the Amish market.


  29. I don't think the runaway bunny is creepy--not when the mama bunny is God and not an actual mama.

  30. Good Morning!
    Coffeecake muffins out on the kitchen counter with peppermint tea ready....
    I'll be preaching on Romans 8:28 "we know that all things work together for the good of those who love God". Speaking of food...
    I have come up w/ a title for sermon...."What's God Cookin' Up in the Kingdom Kitchen?"
    based on ..."all things work together for good for those who love God"
    God as the chef of all that occurs in this world...God has given certain assignments to humans...taken separately, the things God "allows" may seem bad or inconsequential to us. But Paul says that all of the things, working together, produce "good". He doesn't say that each separate thing is good or that each action will produce "good".
    JUST LIKE COOKING! (which has been a theme of my internship!)So as the master chef, who uses all types of ingredients ... some tasty by themselves, some not so good on their own. God takes all things in the pot or baking sheet and when we have contributed our separate ingredient into the mix, by mixing with all the other actions and God's blessing, what is produced is "good".
    Kind of thinking out loud here so forgive my stream of randomness!

    Also will use the "already but not yet" concept.It certainly fits in! God's kingdom is here and is still to come...just as the promise from our baptism...we begin with a promise and God continues to promise to stir up some yummy concoctions for the future.

  31. You all don't know me yet, but I feel as if I know you...

    One of these days, I'll get around to creating a blog and then becoming a member (most likely after my older daughter leaves for college at the end of this month).

    Until then, though, I wanted to tell Esperanza that I'm preaching on Romans, and may use "The Giving Tree," as part of my sermon (or children's sermon). It may be a little less creepy than "The Runaway Bunny" because the tree doesn't follow the boy everywhere. Any separation that occurs is caused by the BOY leaving. (So even our own actions can't separate us...)

    I pray you all will be "inspired" by the interceding of the Spirit! (We also do not know how to preach as we ought...)

  32. Good morning all, Bringing some fresh rasberries to the party from my stop at the farmer's market. I had a date with a a rosemary bush to be picked up from our local herb grower. It's really healthy and smells so wonderful. now if I can just keep it alive! Off to a slow start with that trip and getting the puppy I am sitting today settled. Preaching tomorrow on Romans with a slide into Matthew. Have thoughts but nothing on paper. Here's hoping it all falls together because it is a gorgeous summer day and I don't want to spend all of it writing! Love your mission ideas Songbird. Must run over and take a look at Hedwyg's post for inspiration...back later.

  33. Esperanza - one of my favorite children's books that tells the "nothing can separate us" theme is Mama Do You Love Me? It's an Inuit daughter asking Mama will you love me if...
    By Barbara Joossen
    Hmm.... I may use it now that I think of it!!!

  34. Hey, knittinpreacher, I think your comment ended up on the Tuesday thread instead! Sorry to hear about your ankle, ouch!

  35. ppb, I bet they would, because there's a 60th anniversary edition out.

  36. Abi, here's the link. It's the story Scott Peck uses in Different Drum about the monastery that is failing until a rabbi tells the abbott that someone in the community is the Messiah.

  37. I read as far as the Carrot Seed suggestion, looked in the online catalog for the closest library and I'm out the door. I'll try to have content later. Meanwhile, this will serve my purpose for getting the comments via email :)

  38. Imm: thanks for the "Mama Do You Love Me?" suggestion. My library had it and I got there ten minutes before closing! I really like it, and it is less cloying than some others. Plus the illustrations are beautiful, which can be very helpful with squirmy kids.

    Once again Preacher Party saves the day!

  39. Chilly fingers - i thought of the Hillbilly's this week also but it seemed to me the treasure found them... they already owned the field... they had to leave their old way of life behind - for what they got in Beverly Hills...hmmmm... which would I choose??

    Margaret - I have had St. Francis on my mind for this weeks parables. I read at "Sermon Nuggets" the following: it seems to me that the Kingdom of God is more of a verb than a noun; the reigning of God, more than the reign. Jesus is not really comparing the kingdom to 5 THINGS, but rather 5 ACTIONS. For example, he doesn't say that the kingdom of heaven is like A PEARL; he says it's like a merchant IN SEARCH OF pearls. It's like a mustard seed... that SOMEONE TOOK AND SOWED, like yeast... that a woman TOOK AND MIXED; like a treasure... that someone FOUND AND HID; like a net... THAT WAS THROWN. It may sound really obvious, but all of these THINGS are useless... unless they are used! So the Kingdom of God is not some lifeless thing that we can look at and appreciate: it is life and action and response to God's call."

    I am running with that and using the Prayer of St. Francis also - that is very active: where there is hatred, let me sow love;
    where there is injury, pardon;
    where there is doubt, faith;
    where there is despair, hope;
    where there is darkness, light;

    I have blueberry muffins and more fair trade French Roast to offer... also some fresh blueberries. Later...

  40. Many thanks for the comments and emails of support!

    I have a (fairly) rough outline, on the way to becoming an detailed outline for my opening statement (only 10 minutes), with points that don't fit there noted under their respective topics for anything that is brought up.

    Now for a final review of the resources to be sure I've gotten everything in much good stuff in there, I just want to hand the congregation these books and sheet of weblinks and say "Read this, they said it much better than I can!"

    Question: I'm thinking about telling (an abbreviated) version of my story as an intro. Cheesy? TMI for the congregation? Off-topic (we're supposed to bee debating the church statement)? What do y'all think?

  41. One more mustard seed thing. We're going to sing some words I wrote to the tune of Amazing Grace, and I posted them on my blog the other day. Obviously they are "tuned" to my point for the sermon, but if anyone would like to use them, just let me know.

  42. rp - God is with you, I can feel it (and I don't usually say (type) those things.

    I am popping in to greet and after I grab a book from the office and eat something I am hitting this thing for real. I am using the mustard seed as an opportunity to talk about ordinary time and how it is a perfect time for our own faith growth.

    Now if only I could find the resource that started me in that direction LAST week - d'oh!

    Wonder if we are going to get rain on our bluegrass?

  43. I have chips and dip, peanut butter sandwiches and diet coke or water for anyone interested.

    Thanks for the link, that is a good one, Songbird.

    You all are doing great! Good ideas for children's sermon and for the sermons.

    Hang in there.

  44. Oh I like that templeamma. Doesn't fit with where I am going this week but file away for another time...

    I am acutely aware how relieved I am that I start holidays in a week. And aware of how nice that break might be.

    For this week I think I will have to use the weed patch I call a garden as a sermon illustration about GOd taking over from small things. I also went back to the Tuesday LEctionary Leanings and really like the idea that a pearl is an irritant that becomes valuable -- that'll preach when we often find the kin-dom stuff irritating (What? We might have to change???????)

  45. 3:03 est and both the church chimes and the bluegrass are playing. Thought it was a good time for a brain break while those things compete in the not-so-distant background.

    Sermon is just about outlined and that is always a good place to be. I am hoping that despite sound check, an exhausted Boy will continue to nap.

  46. Well, I think I have a children's message...
    I'm taking a jar of wholegrain mustard and telling them I have a tree in my pocket - well it's not quite a tree yet, it's just a seed - well actually it's a lot of the seeds that Jesus was talking about - and I'm going to scoop some out and show them - and see if any of them want to stick their finger in the stinky jar to get a mustard seed.
    "Those are the kinds of seeds that (when they haven't been pickled!) grow into a tree big enough to house the birds. And Jesus used them to tell us that the Kingdom of God grows like that too - from a tiny speck to something great and significant.
    The kingdom of God is growing. You might feel like there're not many other kingdom people (God followers) around, and you feel a bit on your own among your friends sometimes, but Jesus says... look at that seed and believe me when I say that God's kingdom will grow inthe same way and many people are part of it!"

    How's that sound?

  47. Signing off until post-bluegrass concert. sigh...

  48. My sermon is "about outlined" too willsmama, so I'm taking encouragement from the fact that you say it's a good place to be! ;)

  49. I took a nap.
    Is it still Saturday?

  50. Is it a good sign that I'm feeling encouraged myself, already, by the message of these parables - having been bumbling along here for nearly a year at a small church and hoping that something is happening... (just need to make the notes into a sermon!).
    The encouragement has also come from a few reminders on the front page of will smama's blog - thanks! (eg the slow fruit of past youth work etc).

  51. So, I'm thinking it's time to break out the Diet Cokes.
    Anybody else ready?

  52. Must write sermon, must clean house, where to begin? The travel arrangements, reservations, and google and mapquest maps have been made and printed, yet my sermon is still not showing up. Nor is the house (or especially the fridge clean!) Where IS Mary Poppins when you need her? But wait, she was a nanny - don't really need that, just her housecleaning skills.

  53. Goodness, yes, Songbird, I'll take a Diet Coke.

    Thanks for the children's sermon suggestions, everyone.

    On to writing prayers and mentally preparing for a funeral that will likely be coming soon.

  54. I'll take a Diet Coke, too.

    I threw a surprise party for my husband last night. It was my first and we had fun.

    Today I have zero energy around my sermon. I am mentally already gone for Synod School, which starts tomorrow evening - - sort of a Presbyterian intergenerational camp/conference. The kids and I are leaving to pick my mom up at the airport IMMEDIATELY after worship. She's flying in from Florida to come with us.

    Anyway, I'm on my last Sunday (for a while anyway) of messing around with the lectionary, and I'm glad. I miss not being on the same stuff as the rest of you.

    I'm going back to last week's Genesis stuff for this week, but reading all the way to the tithe piece to talk about stewardship as thanksgiving. I really just want it to be done, but I don't even want to start it.

    And I REALLY shouldn't stay up all night since I need to drive 4.5 hours tomorrow. Ugh.

  55. I just had a snack of Trader Joe's poppyseed and pepper Water Crackers (4 crackers are 1 point) topped with TJ's roasted red pepper and artichoke Tapenade (2T are 0 points)

    And then I had another. When you double the tapenade, tho, it is 1.5 points.

    There is plenty to share. Anybody?

    Also, I am enjoying a tall refreshing glass of my new favorite beverage: diet pomegranate juice topped with lemon-flavored seltzer. YUM!

  56. Hi...I took a nap and remembered that it is NOT communion Sunday tomorrow and so not necessary to make sermon so short.
    PPB, I used Runaway Bunny and did put it in context of God and us...not creepy at all.
    Had sem prof tell us that Givign Tree was bad as the tree was abused and in a r'ship where the boy used was poor to say tree was female.
    I thought it went a little too far with feminist ideas, so I say it is still a good book. And quite the way we do with God...always asking for more.
    Anyhow, i went wit hidea from Tuesday and am folowing mastercard commerical format. Actually looked up prices and all online.
    Most;ly a feel good sermom, rather soft.
    For kids I am talking about seeds and how they grow into soemthing bigger. I have some tiny herb seeds...Herb plants can grow bigger, but they are packed with flavor when you use them to cook with...way bigger than you imagine from a tiny, tiny seed. Wish i had some herb bread, but then again kids might not like that.
    I am tired today..allergies
    are bad and I have a stopped up head.
    Happy preaching, mpore ;ater

  57. I'm a bad bad preacher. I got back from the beach, took a nap. Now it is 5:00 pm est and I have not written one word of my sermon.

    I'll take a diet coke with a little sermon in it please.

  58. Can anyone explain why last Saturday I insisted I didn't have time to watch Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog when it was free, but today I seemed to have plenty of time to watch it after buying it on iTunes?
    It's a mystery.

  59. g_g it did sound like fun though! Too bad we don't have "instant sermons"...just add water for days like this. There were so many wonderful ideas here today that just inspired me, I wanted to write about ten sermons. Compromised with one rather long one that I seem to not be able to edit, so hope they will be patient with me tomorrow.
    RP you will be in my prayers tomorrow. May it all go well.
    Wills I think bluegrass sounds lovely, not so much for getting a sermon done, tho...but wish I could be there with ya!
    Cheese those snacks sound yummy, and good in the points dept, too.
    Well, I'm off to post my sermon then go see how the pups are doing on their play date. Blessings on all your preaching, debating, traveling, mothering and all tomorrow

  60. Well, I'm off to dinner with the host pastor (of tomorrow's debate), his wife, an elder from the church and my opponent...

    I just keep reminding myself that this is Canada--insults, comments maybe--but I'm safe enough, enough folks in other parts of the world where this debate wouldn't even be happening...

    Prayers to all of you who are writing...

  61. 5:44pm here and I've drawn a blank all week. Hoping to get inspired by comments. Maybe some coffee will help.

  62. she rev -- Synod School sounds wonderful! We used to go to Hanover IN, have such fond memories! I'm a little jealous. My daughter are so grown up now. Have a great week! Oh, my sermon. It's done, it's brief, it's simple. There's a VBS report-back tomorrow, with singing, dancing, pictures, lots of fun stuff.

  63. Ok, I have 1076 words and all I need is a conclusion.

  64. still not exactly sure where I'm going. I liked the Margaret Mead quote someone posted (was that on Tuesdays comments?), I liked the idea of all the parables being about an action rather than a thing.

    Thinking about yeast reminded me of Amish Friendship bread - I think we discussed that on here with another set of texts a while back. I think about how with the starter you need to keep adding to it, it's always changing/growing, and you don't keep it, you give it away. It keeps getting passed along and shared with others.

  65. Rainbow Pastor: Wow! I'll pray for you. I hope dinner tonight helps set a positive/non-hostile tone for tomorrow.

    Yay God Guurrlll! Hope you found your conclusion.

    I'm drinking coffee and ruminating on lectionary readings.

    I procrastinated by trying to find a book for you all. I can't remember the exact name - you'd think it'd be easy to locate online, but no. It was one I took to Honduras, in Spanish (maybe bilingual), but I left it there at the orphanage.

    It's about 3 bear siblings who ask their parent bears who is their favorite. Each worries they won't be loved as much as the others because there is something different about them. But the parents keep saying basically that they are all their favorites. Each time I searched for bears I kept getting Goldilocks, or Berenstein. Sorry I couldn't find it for you. I'd gotten it at a Border's Books in San Antonio.

  66. Under family pressure to watch "The Return of the King," I have finished and posted my sermon! May you all be finished soon!! I'll keep checking in to offer Diet Coke, ice cream treats of low point amounts, or anything else you might need.

  67. Concert still going strong with first band just starting their second set (Each does 2 plus a tad of third for the diehards). I played my single parent/pastor card and came in with The Boy to get him cleaned up and try to pick up the sermon again.

    Yes, an outline is good but YOU try writing with both Little Einsteins and Bluegrass playing in the background.

    Further proof that Jesus was a non-child having bachelor, thank you very much.

    Diet coke me.

  68. She Rev: have fun at Synod School! I think we will have many mutual friends there. I'm almost sorry I'm not going,except it is a nine hour drive for me to get there. Yuk.

  69. Here's a cold one, will smama.

    Now the oliphaunts are on the field of battle, and Light Princess wants to know, "where are the dwarves?"

  70. I have 3 stories and one quote that take not quite 2 pages and, for those of you who count words, add up to 594 words.

    Clearly, I need a break. or food. or a movie. or to find a geocache. or ...

  71. Well content is coming, somehwat.

    But to kill some time while (unsuccessfully) convincing the girls to go to bed I gave myself a facelift, well the blog anyway. Come take a look...

  72. well conclusion is done. used an example from our community. read sermon to my partner, she though it was good. but then she always thinks they are good.

    i'm going to bed now. it is so humid. I will proof read my sermon tommorrow.

    uh oh, my cat is sneaking towards my computer. I know as soon as I go to bed she is going to change all the references of "kingdom of God" to "Kingdom of the Cat" All praise and glory be given to the ceiling cat.

    Peace and love everybody!

  73. Add 'uneasy night's sleep' onto the list of reasons why I am getting tired of the bluegrass concerts. Even The Boy's a/c does not block out the music so "special treat" he gets to sleep in my room while I ward off errant feet, arms and head butts.

    Sermon coming along... dare I say 1/2 way done?

    Please get those crazy kids off my lawn.

  74. Okay, I have reached 'done enough' status. My sermon is manipulating the text to talk about the importance of growing in our own faith and pushing ourselves to be bigger plants/bushes/trees.
    Anyone else channelling Jeff Foxworthy in their sermon?

    You might be a seedling if…

    • If you consider the Moment with the Children to be ‘The Adult Sermon for Dummies’… You might be a seedling.

    • If you listen intently to the ‘Moment with the Children’ so you can use sermon time to organize your ‘to do’ list…. You might be a seedling.

    • If the last time you prayed on your own was during a traffic jam when you were already 20 minutes late to your destination… You might be a seedling.

    • If you base your decision on when to go to church on who is doing coffee fellowship that week… You might be a seedling.

    • If putting the air conditioner into the Sanctuary took away your main excuse for not coming to worship in the summer…. You might be a seedling.

    • If you ever cut the grass and found your car… okay, you’re a redneck on that one.

    Shower time... and if you hate it don't worry, usually by morning the Holy Spirit has helped me come to my senses and I take stuff like that out.

    G'night and g' luck.

  75. Hey everyone! I just got back from vacation and I'm SO excited that I get to have tomorrow morning off. But I'm praying for all of you and your work!!!

    I actually preached on this text last week as the last installment of my "Three Simple Rules" series. If you are stuck - maybe you'll find some inspiration...

    Stay In Love With God

  76. I am back from Target...did a kitty litter/cat food/lotion run.
    Also got some of the Archer Farms Lemonade. I like teh Pomegramite the best. One day I shall freeze one and mix with some vodka or shall ahve a special name...
    Anyhow, there is plenty for one and all. I also shall bring in some poptarts or muffin minis.
    it is breakfast food, but somewhere in RGBP land it is tiem for breakfast.
    Oh, funny story.
    Okay, so my screen name begins with the denominaiton I belong to...I jsut got new DSL service but due to tech issues could nto register. So I call for help and have to give my screen name to the ncie lady with an "accent" and so I tell her my screen name is "..." and she says okay, that is with a T as in Tom, R as in Romeo, E as in esther. S as in Sam...
    I was laughing so hard, I had to correct her to P as in Paul...

  77. Checking in late today. I actually was ready to write yesterday, but didn't actually do it. Getting into a rythm for this job is killing me. But, we did have a new baby come this week, so I got to go to the hospital and pray a blessing on him during his first day on earth, what fun! I can't wait for more babies, but with the average age of my congregation, I don't think that will be a common occurence for us.

    Jumping ahead on the lectionary a couple of weeks and talking about Peter jumping out of the boat. It's in first draft now, and I'm letting it percolate a while before I go back and time and polish.

    Must stay away from son's new video game system. Why didn't anyone tell me they were evil? That's why I'm running so late, but don't tell anyone.

  78. Friends, it's closing in on bedtime for me. Okay, it's a little past bedtime. I'm going to turn in, but I hope you'll continue to make use of the party room!
    I'll be back in the morning with the coffee. Try to get some sleep!!!

  79. OK. It's 10:00 p.m. I'm somewhere in the middle of 4 loads of laundry. My car is mostly packed for my 4.5 hour drive after worship. Now it's time to think about this sermon. I've got my priorities straight!!!

    My goal at this point is to talk about Jacob's response to his experience of the divine. (I'm doing last week's Genesis.) He has his "theophany" and then makes a vow to God (commentaries I have read say it's not conditional on God doing the divine part first, because God already made that promise), a place to worship, and pledges a portion of his worth. Ding ding ding. There's my stewardship sermon. Out of thanksgiving for our relationship with the divine we are called to make offerings to God.

    I think I'll start with just talking about interactions with God. I'm also pretty sure I'll use a clip from the Joan of Arcadia pilot when she has her first conversation with God. She's less than receptive. Then I might open it up to have folks in the congregation talk about ways they have experienced the divine. Then we'll go on with Jacob's interaction, and, especially his reaction (contrast with Joan's).

    Lots of illustrative material that's not straight from me - - I haven't done that in a while, and tonight it's looking good. I just need to tie it all together, and write about half the normal sermon. Almost a "devotion" for lack of a better term. Feels good for my lazy-ish night.

    OK. Off to deal with laundry then back to hopefully tie all this together and go to bed by midnight? I'm hoping! Two hours!

  80. I've finished a load of laundry and hung it up so I have something to wear tomorrow. Have several pages of notes, I can feel things percolating and starting to gel a bit.

    On a side note, wondering what it is in folks that creates the need to seriously rev their engine and go "Varoom" down a residential street. Seems to happen with some regularity.

  81. My husband just told me it's "unprofessional" to find the longest clip I can just to avoid having to write a normal length sermon. Poo on his honesty!

  82. Didn't get started writing until after 8:00 tonight, and I actually just finished. Woohoo!!!! I am focusing on Leah, and somehow the sermon just flowed. Gotta love that when it happens (which isn't very often!)

    Also, I officiated my first wedding today. Very exciting. Loads of fun.

    So off to read the Bible study lesson and then bed. First Sunday back since vacation.

    ohhhh...ooops....Children's message - maybe it'll come to me in the morning.

  83. I joined Sherev and Bythesea for laundry detail...I only had two loads though.
    Word count is still low, but i do have two great quotes that I would like to weave in (both are from Texts for Preaching)just because they make sense and sound good.
    I think they are both Gaventa quotes, but I may just go with saying, " A new testament scholar says..."
    Little chance of anyone there knowing who she is.

  84. Oh and congrats to PB on first wedding. Those are exciting and fun.
    My first wedding I forgot to have the congregation be seated unitl I was part way through my openign spill...and wondered why they were all standing there like knit wits!

  85. woo hoo! Sermon's finished!
    Going to have a brownie bite now to celebrate - come on over for brownies & milk (soy)!
    Then to make the "custom" signs for the ceramic cookie jar house w/ removable roof that we'll use for the capital campaign(for a roof!) special collection celebration tomorrow...
    The sermon matches the title I put in bulletin on Wednesday....whew!

  86. sermon and prayers are printed. I'm heading for bed.

    lmm - I have a long standing policy of no titles just so I don't have to worry about that.

    Blessings on your Sunday y'all

  87. Never did check in again last night! I went to bed at midnight my time (after folding the second to last load and throwing the last in the dryer), but now I'm back here after 4:00 a.m. to finish this bad boy up. It's going well. Blessings on all!

  88. Woke up from a dream that someone had laid out a body on the altar! I hope that's not a comment on my preparedness for today's sermon.

    The dogs have been out and my tea is gone so it's time to hit the shower which is where I do some of my best thinking. Still lots of ideas running around my head but I think it's going to work. I'm focusing on the polity of God as a way of understanding the kingdom of God and how polity gets in our way. My bishop blogged a wonderful event last night that ties in well, I hope. If not, I'll tell it at announcements. Sometimes my folks call announcements the second sermon. It's my social justice time.
    Have a good day, everyone. I feel a nap coming on already.

  89. Good morning everybody,

    sitting at my computer, drinking my third cup of coffee and getting ready to proof read the sermon.

    Usually I have this stuff done by Saturday morning. I'm little behind the eight ball this week.

    May the spirit be with all of us this morning as we share the good news.

  90. Coffee is brewing, my friends. We had thunder in the night and have severe storm warnings for later in the day. (This means we had Dog-in-Bed syndrome at our house.)
    How's the preaching weather where you are?

  91. coffee ready, cats fed, sermon needs tweaking and final prayer must be finished...ah joy of living half mile from church...
    Any muffins out there? I am kinda hungry.
    Overcast hee, with promise of some showers.
    Prayers for your health WS....
    Prayers for all who are sharing Good News with folks all over, prayers for all who have a day off from preaching, prayers for those who are in need of a Word from God yourselves this day.
    Lets go do this thing and as the Sargent said on Hill Street,
    "Let's be careful out there..."

  92. I've got lowfat bran muffins on offer. Good for getting you going! And San Angelo blend coffee - a little cinnamony.

    WS, feel better! Praying for you and all this group as each of you prepare to preach and lead and listen and smile and encourage.

    And many, many prayers for RP.

  93. Pass a muffin, but since they are low-fat can I dab a tablespoon or two of butter on mine>


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