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Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Footprint of God: An 11th Hour Preacher Party


Our readings for Sunday, Proper 16A, take us from midwives creating civil disobedience to Pharaoh's daughter causing another kind of disobedience, and both getting away with it. We have Isaiah reminding the people that God is everywhere - from Abraham and Sarah to the rocks, the coast land, and the heavens. And then the Psalmist who remind us of the awesomeness of God. We have Paul who, in his letter to the Romans, offers phrasing that has become well known in Christian tradition for baptisms and confirmation; of what it means to be Christian. Lastly we have Peter and his sudden awareness of who Jesus is, the Messiah.

With all these options, what's a preacher to do?

I thought I was going to preach on Shiphrah and Puah, that amazing duo who outwitted a Pharaoh and saved the Hebrew babies (at least for awhile). And then I found myself drawn to Romans, and then the Gospel, "Who DO YOU say I am?" And if I had even considered Isaiah I would have completely thrown our Sunday readers who are preparing to read Exodus...


So, now I have pages of notes just waiting for a direction. One thing I am pondering is the way God's footprint shows up in all these readings. In the lives of women who follow their heart rather than be obedient. In Paul's argument to the Romans and his plea for them to see God in Christ. For Peter and the disciples who get it, who figure out who Jesus is, and yet don't fully understand what it means to be the Messiah. In all these, and many other, places God is present.

Where will God show up for us today as we ponder and fret and pray? How will God fill us with words to proclaim?

That's in part what this preacher party is all about - to help us help each other - do you need ideas for children? Are you swamped with other issues to tend too? Is a sermon is the last thing on your mind? Are you actually finished with your sermon and willing to share what you said and where you went with the texts?

What ever the case, pull up a chair, sit awhile. The coffee is on, hot water waiting... I'm posting early for those across the pond and will be back, when morning hits my end of the world, to check on things. In the meantime, help yourself! Let's get this party started...


  1. Good morning! Couldn't resist being the first to post! It's 10 minutes after midnight, so that counts as morning, right?

    I promised myself I'd go to bed tonight (Friday) with the sermon written, but after I got my outline down and was less than thrilled with it, but didn't see it going anywhere I went to bed.

    I tossed and turned for 5 minutes before inspiration struck. I flipped the light on and jotted somethings down so I could just go to sleep. Didn't work.

    I snuck out of bed and decided to come write and see how far I get.

    Don't need much this week. We've got a guest praise band leading probably more music than we're used to and a baptism. Something about half the length as usual will probably be just fine, but it can't be more than 3/4 of what we're used to or I'm bound to go "over".

    I'm working with the Exodus texts and my baptism theme. I'm think about the ripples of the water, the effects of people God puts in our path, and the call of the community of faith to make ripples in one another's lives, especially in the context of baptism and the promises we make there.

    I think I'll start my sermon in the pulpit talking specifically about the Scripture, but I'll move halfway through it to the baptismal font and preach the rest of it there about the sacrament.

    Woo hoo! I've got something like a plan!!!

  2. oh, yeah...sermon? Hmmm...lets see...nothing yet.
    Continuing journey in Matthew...our youth are participating in service and I am trying to gear sermon to them (and children) and to think on beginning of school year.
    Title is: Here Are Teh Keys
    Nothing more there.
    I have been wrapped up in doing stuff with beattitudes (baking bee cookies, doign table decor, making phone calls to be sure everybody has done stuff...) and I have not doen a sermon.
    I am off to a bubble bath and look forward to our chats in the AM.
    Oh, anyboyd going to the place in the mountains that rhymes with concrete this week? Training going on and I'd lvoe a revgal hookup!

  3. Hello everyone! Thank you mompriest for posting this a little earlier.

    I'm up sermonizing for a wedding tomorrow and have not a single word for that yet. Ugh. I'm looking forward to the wedding itself--wonderful, low-key, not high-maintenance people, but not to writing the sermon.

    And, of course, there's the sermon for Sunday, which should be as done as possible before I head to the wedding and the reception. I'm also pondering the midwives...she rev, I love what you're thinking about already! I am hoping to finish up our journey through Genesis with three blasts from Exodus, and then re-enter the Gospel stream.

    We'll see how much I can actually check during Saturday, but for now, I should actually start writing.

  4. Semfem - we must be marrying the same couple tomorrow! I've got one, too, but I have to admit as a former wedding chaplain...I mean associate pastor at a beautiful large neo-Gothic church... I pulled one out of the bag for this. A little "Find and Replace" with the word processor and my planning was pretty much done.

    Also, I don't know them well enough to have been invited to the reception which is fine by me.

    We have a Staff-Personnel Committee cook-out tomorrow night to help folks all get to know each other. That probably won't keep me out too late, but it would ROCK MY WORLD if I were done before then. I'll hav to figure out how to entertain the kids while my husband plays golf and I sermonize in the morning. Not hard with the 3 year old, but the 1 year old is a bit trickier.

    Here's the start that was disturbing my sleep. I think I can head to bed now.

  5. right...haven't started, of course! Definitely doing something about the women in Exodus who create God's future by resisting a culture of fear...or something. Fear of the Lord different from Pharaoh's fear? I don't know.

    What I do know is that in 15 minutes I'm leaving the house until around 3pm...we (the adult leaders and the returning youth ministry members) are kidnapping the new youth group members (with parental consent of course!) and taking them out to breakfast, a team challenge course, and pizza. It's going to be awesome...but it means that I'll already have worked a full and hard day before I even get HOME to think about the sermon!!! Ack!

    Well...gotta run. If someone comes up with a sermon while I'm gone, let us know!! ;-)

  6. So much for being organised in this new charge! Shortly, I'll be heading off to hear son play in a brass band contest. fortunately its fairly close by, so can work and then run. Its also hubby's birthday, so would like to eat out this evening. Not sure when the sermon is going to get done.
    In my head is the notion that there is more than one way to skin a cat - the midwives and their quiet subversion that proved effective and Peter and his all out confession that earned him the keys.
    Would like to tie in those two strands somehow.
    Meantime, I'm headed over to amazon to search out a new breadmaker.
    I have some wholemeal toast, pink grapefruit marmalade and Scottish breakfast tea on offer. Dig in.

  7. 'Morning, y'all!

    I'm off lectionary this week, preaching at a church in North Carolina while dh holds down the fort here. I pulled out an old sermon that I liked - at the time - to revise. Am having major second thoughts about it, but now it's too late. I have to go with it (or some version of it). I was going to work into the wee hours last night, but I took some cold medicine that wasn't supposed to make me drowsy but did. Actually it made me woozy - I could sit up, let alone work on my sermon anymore. So at 11:30, I packed it in. Fingers crossed I can finish this baby in time to get packed and to the airport!

  8. I'm just back from vacation, and trying to get my head around actually having to preach this afternoon at 5:00. I want to use the notion that "eklesia" which we translate "church" really meant gathering, and that "faith" was the rock the gathering was founded on, not Peter. So how does our faith root us, a congregation gathered together, all claiming that Jesus is the son of the Living God? What does that mean for us as we go forward? I'm just struggling to frame it in a way that will work--we are facing some growth challenges and I think this could be applicable as we face our future. But I'm not inspired right this minute.

  9. I did my beginning to my sermon "she rev style" which is to say that I was in bed midnight-ish last night tossing and turning, got up and got about 800 words down before finally turning in at 2:30 or so.

    Then I got back up at 7:00. Don't ask me why. No little kids or pets that need to be up at that unholy hour.

    I've got my laundry started, and my coffee going. I have to drop off the dog at the kennel this morning, due to very, very early flight on Monday. No, they don't accept drop-offs on Sundays.

    I hope to get the sermon done by noon, then spend the rest of the day getting ready for NYC!

  10. I haven't posted in ages, but it's good to see the party in progress. We have a baby dedication tomorrow and a blessing of the backpacks! The best news is that I've finished the sermon and am off with a couple of church members to do something I've never done before! We're going door to door in the neighborhood surrounding our church to invite children to our fall ministry - it's kind of like a night of vacation Bible School every week only there is a GREAT homecooked meal. All free of charge. We'll see how that goes.

  11. I am dusting off a sermon about Miriam's Well. Sort of with the lectionary, but not so much. Since it is at the end of the summer in New England, and a beautiful weekend at that, there will be about 9 people in church. Seriously. But it is a good sermon, so I don't feel that bad about recycling. Am headed to Whole Foods for tofu and something yummy, yet to be discovered. Can I get someone anything?

  12. it sounds like everyone has great ideas brewing this morning (even in the wee hours!)

    I have an outline of my sermon - which is a lot for me this early on a Saturday!

    This too is our fall kickoff and we will be blessing our Sunday School Teachers and will have a prayer for the new school year (both school and church wise). But I'm also kicking off a LONG sermon series on what it means to "be the church". It will go from this Sunday until Christ the King Sunday. I'm thinking that it will be a loose sort of series, but each week will be one way that our congregation can be the church - based on the lectionary readings for the week.

    outline posted here. I'm drawing on Isaiah (look to the rock from which you were hewn), heavily on Romans, and just hinting at Matthew (I will build my church).

    I'm focusing on Peter's declaration and then also the fact that Peter didn't quite have it all right NEXT week for our first way: Accepting who Christ is.

  13. she rev- aren't you glad you listened and got up to write that? it is truly a wonderful beginning!

  14. First, mompriest, thanks for hosting today!
    I'm on vacation, at least in theory, but due to an error in judgment a few weeks ago I am in the position of needing to show up at church fifteen minutes after worship ends tomorrow to be part of a memorial service, and spending part of today with the mother and brother of the deceased, too. I am disappointed to have one of my few Sundays off for the year compromised this way, but fear that makes me sound mean. Anyway, I'm vacation-deprived due to the schedule of Interim Ministry and have had only a week instead of the 3 or 4 I usually take in the summer, and I realize now how important that block of vacation was to my spirit and my sanity!! Live and learn.
    Rant over.

  15. Good morning everyone! Well as the host of this Preacher Party I'm glad to see that you all have been rummaging around and helping yourselves while I got a little sleep...and being that I live in the only state that doesn't go on daylight savings time, I am hours behind the rest of you.

    Sherev - awesome that you were inspired that way...hope it continues to unfold

    1-4 grace - have never been able to come up with a title before I've written the sermon -sigh - sounds like you have something there to work with!

    semfem - I always use the same wedding sermon and change the relevant parts...and I have a lot of colleagues who just never preach at a, options are there....hope both your sermons go well and the services too.

    teri - sounds like a fun day, maybe you'll be inspired from this and the sermon will pour out of you?

    liz - I think you have something there between the midwives and then Peter...I'm noodling in the same direction.

    earthchick - feel better and have a great trip and preaching...

    rev dr mom - sounds like you have something brewing there!

    cheese - oh, I hope all goes smooth and quickly (and have fun in NYC)

    chilly - thanks for sharing!

    Karlajean - since I'm in a new call I've pulled up a few of my old ones and reworked...felt like you do, but they ended up fine....

    katie - awesome plan...thanks for the notes...

    ok. did I greet everyone so far? welcome one and all!

    now, I'm going to make some more coffee...

  16. ((songbird)) I feel your pain having been, until recently, in a similar position - lack of vacation and rest...I hope you find good rest even in and around the pastoral caretaking...

    hey, MM - welcome!

  17. ahhh, semfem, that ought to read, "preach at a wedding..." (preach at a sermon, haa haa, that could happen too, I suppose)

  18. Thanks for the support, ladies, here and there! I had hoped to plop the kiddos in front of the TV for a little bit this morning and see if I can finish it up, but unfortunately (or fortunately) the 14 month old doesn't quite get the fun of that yet.

    So, I'm off to the evils of Sam's to knock that job out of the way while my husband plays golf. When he comes home he can take the kids to a park (at least that's my plan), so hopefully I can finish up. Maybe my late night habits are changing.

    liz - I like that comparison/contrast of the way the midwives and Peter respond. I think you're on to something. I am not very good at using two texts, but I like that mix of different (faithful) witnesses across the ages.

  19. In her book of MT sermons, BBT has one about tomorrow's gospel. She starts with a woman who is approached outside the church by a man who asks what they believe in there. She is stumped for an answer.
    I realized yesterday that despite having worked all week long on a children's homily for the 10:30, I still need a sermon for 8:00! And that led to revising the CH as well. I want to talk about Jesus' question. Who do you say that I am? I think Romans helps answer that and the actions of the midwives speaks volumes about who they were, too. While I am sure I've preached about internalizing our faith and then acting out of it as much as possible, that's probably the direction I'm going again this week. One of my homiletics professors told us everyone has one sermon, two if they are exceptional, and we have to figure out new ways to preach it each week.
    Meanwhile, I've got company coming for dinner and have to make potato salad for tomorrow's Rally Day picnic. There's also laundry to do and packing so I can leave right after the picnic for Oak Park IL with half of tonight's company. Naturally, I'll be back in time to preach next Sunday and that's why we keep our old sermons! Have a great day, all. I'm off to make chicken salad.

  20. Oh, Songbird!! That does NOT sound mean. I feel so bad for you. I once had a much-needed vacation almost ruined because I agreed to preach a memorial service the day after the vacation ended (actually, I ended the vacation a day early specifically for the service). It hung over my head the whole trip - no fun. I'm sorry you didn't get your full vacation this year!

    I have posted a sermon draft here . It's off lectionary, and a major revision of one I preached here 15 months ago (I'm guest preaching in NC in the morning).

    I'm off now to pack and get to the airport. I'll try to check in later - I'm pretty sure I'll be working on my sermon more once I get settled in at the hotel. Party on, y'all!

  21. loving Sherev's idea. i preached from communion table once, but love doing one at font!
    i am envious of thsoe usign the OT text. I think iwill plan to do a first person narrative from place of a midwife, hmmmm...maybe before she actually saves the/ a baby/ies...uh, anyhow, this will be soemthign I do later on in the year.
    but, everyonme is doing great.
    My handiman, F is here to put in a new storm door....old one was dilapadated. He is lots of fun...also watching basketball

  22. Thanks, earthchick. I also feel pressured because the meeting with the family is at 4 today and the service is at 11:15 tomorrow, which means writing a eulogy for someone I did not know on a Saturday night, or on Sunday morning, no pressure!! Actually, the latter might be better, I'll be less resentful when it's right around the corner.
    I will get to take a whole four weeks of vacation during the year I'm contracted for at First Parish, but it's going to come in dribs and drabs (a few days in October, a few more the week of Thanksgiving but no Sunday off, and then, blessedly, a whole week after Christmas including a Sunday). I'm saving the last days (which won't include a Sunday) for my high school senior's spring break in March, to take him to conservatory auditions, I hope.
    Okay, TMI.
    I do have a treat to look forward to tomorrow: clarinet-playing son and his bass-playing friend are participating in a Vespers service at my friend Linda's church out in the country. I get to worship, not lead, AND hear the boys play. That will be the real end of my vacation, and a happy one at that.

  23. There is this great British resource called Lectionary Reflections by Jane Williams from which (at this moment) 2 quotes are beginning to shape my sermon. Sidenote: I am so impressed by those who already have outlines and final drafts!!!

    First, the thought that in listening to someone answer the question, "Who is Jesus?", we are more likely to learn more about the person answering than about the man from Nazareth.

    Second, does Peter's confession seem an adequate foundation for the Church? Shouldn't there be more rules and ethical norms laid down? How odd that Peter's sole qualification for the job - apart from a big mouth - is that he can recognize the activity of God when he sees it.

    Obviously, I thinking toward Matthew this week - but somehow tying Peter's confession into our own and how is it that God is breaking into our lives today - especially as this new academic year ramps up and it's so easy to forget about God in the midst of the business... Still pretty rough - but grateful for this blog and Jane Williams.

  24. doin' a sermon series off lectionary... started. not done. exhausted today. commitments tonight...

    ah so party on gals! it'll all come together... the holy spirit does a wonderful job of connecting the dots we throw out there - or at least that's what i'm hoping for. don't have it in me to completely draw the picture for folks this week...

  25. I'm back after walking dogs - nice morning here, cool(ish) and slightly overcast (rare around here).

    SB, it can so challenging to rest when vacation comes in bits and pieces...

    TR - good resources, thanks for sharing!

    hc - prayers for you too!

  26. I'm really struggling with a children's message. I am thinking maybe of something related to the body of Christ? about how we need each other?

    Or maybe about the rock that we build our church on?

    Any of you have inspired ideas?

  27. earthchick has a great illustration in her sermon draft...and katie has some good notes too....

    How are the rest of you? About ready for lunch? (OK, here I am just about to make breakfast, french toast and sausage...but most other parts of the country are heading into the lunch hour)....

  28. my only idea is to bring in different tools or kitchen utensils and pretend to use them for the wrong thing... like using a fork to eat soup or something... and talk about how each one has it's own special task, and we need all of them to eat, or all of them to build a house... and we all have something special to offer and together we make the church

  29. Good almost afternoon all, I am procrastinating a bit here. Thought I knew where I was going...Matthew-Romans but too many shiny things and rabbit trails have got me off track and I seem to be writing something really BORING! Have a walking date in the state park with a friend and my dog this afternoon so need to focus and get moving. Margaret, I think I agree with your professor and I seem to have misplaced mine! Oh well, back to work.

  30. ...and, she-rev has a wonderful opening to her sermon...see link above.

    welcome, revdrkate...hope you get enough done to really enjoy your walk...

  31. Well folks, it's pouring here and it has been pouring since yesterday, thanks to Tropical Storm Fay. It is stationary on top of us right now. It's cleaning out the trees and the wind is knocking out cable every few minutes. Power has been out twice since yesterday. I posted a video of the rain on my blog and am thankful that it is no worse than this, but the amount of rain we have had has been significant and no end in sight today. Prayer gratefully appreciated.

  32. I bring fresh tomatos... crispy bacon... soft white bread... plain old mayo for sandwiches and potato chips for lunch. Sweet tea or diet pepsi to drink.

    I wrote a sermon... but nothing like I posted about on Tuesday Lectionary Leanings. I posted it here.

    Comments/concerns are welcome.

    May your sermon writing go quickly and say what God wants you to say.

  33. Hello everyone--I love reading the little early bits of thoughts, knowing that eventually they will all be grown-up sermons!

    Wedding sermon is finished but needs to be polished. I, like so many others here, do use the same ideas and concepts in pretty much every wedding sermon I preach, and I succeeded in making this one short and sweet. (I always try for this--people aren't there to hear me--but I looked at some old wedding sermons and man, I talked forever.)

    For Sunday's sermon, I still just have a list of random ideas, but I'm hoping I'll have time to figure out some kind of outline and unifying plan. I really enjoy how she rev's beginning puts us into the story! More things to ponder.

  34. Hey PK---
    Is that Duke's Mayonaise? Thats the only kidn we eat donw here with our 'Mater Sandwiches!
    Just saw a new item on a menu for a Fried Green Tomatoe BLT!

  35. I have now written halves of two pretty bad sermons and I am giving up and going walking in the hopes that fresh air and sunshine will help. I have great ideas and good notes and it all seemed so easy earlier in the week....ah it is. Back later to give 'er another go.

  36. cathy, prayers for all who are suffering from this torrent of rain....

    PK, oooh, I'll take one, please, with diet pepsi...

    semfem, I think we (revgals) should start a sermon file for weddings and funerals, so we can tap into each others ideas...??

    revdrkate, I have sermon writing days like yours....sigh...and have found that walking dogs really helps - hope so for you.

    my sermon is in draft form...I'll post it soon.

    I'd also like to ask for prayers for my daughter and ryan, whom I've written about, but who are having serious relationship issues...after 5 years this relationship may be over...sigh...prayers that the hurt and fall out will not be too tragic?

  37. Ok, sermon draft,Seeing the Signature of God, can be found here

  38. well, I'm back from the youth initiation--we successfully kidnapped new youth and took them out to breakfast, to a team challenge course, and out for pizza. All the parents picked up on time--hallelujah! We had 23 youth and 6 adults participate and it was awesome!

    But now i'm totally exhausted (having gotten up at 4, left house at 5, got back at 2...) and have nothing. I'm thinking of reading the story a few more times until I fall asleep praying about it, and let my subconscious work on it for an hour or so. Hopefully then a thunderstorm will break the humidity but not the electricity and I can write write write....

    All I know is that my title, taken from the tuesday LL, is "Holy Disobedience." awesome.

  39. teri - I highly recommend a nap...many sermons of mine have found their way up to my consciousness from a nap...and, I love the title of the sermon idea...

    Pk has written a good sermon, I like her illustration and how she develops it...

  40. I'll put everything out for the 'mater sandwich... except for the mayo. We are a Kraft family... I'll eat Duke's or Hellman's... if that's what someone else uses. On the other hand... if they slather up a 'mater sandwich (or any other kind of food) with Miracle Whip... I'm not touchin it with a ten foot pole... much less puttin it in my mouth. YUCK!!!!! PTTTHHH!!!! EEEWWWWW!!!!

    Sorry about that to all of the Miracle Whip lovers out there... I just can't deal with it.

  41. When we divvy up teams for the Mayo v Miracle Whip world series, (or what I like to call "Real v. Fake") I'm on PK's team! In fact, can I be your co-captain, PK??? Pretty please?

    I'm down to the home stretch with the sermon, which is not too bad considering I left the house for a couple of hours, then made BLTs for lunch, then did four loads of you-know-what.

    I might even post this one.

  42. ohhh, the gauntlet's been thrown...where do you fall: mayo or miracle whip?

    me - mayo.

    cheese - please, yes, post your sermon...

  43. Mayo vs. Miracle Whip - - NONE OF THE ABOVE

    Can't stand either. Not one bit.

    Well, not one bit as a spread. If I'm mixing up potato salad, tuna salad, or any of the other salads then I'll go with mayo first, but won't skip it if all that's around is MW.

    As one who doesn't like either, I'll ask the question - - what's the difference?

  44. A big difference is corn syrup. Miracle Whip has it, Mayo has no sweeteners of any kind.

    Plus real Mayo has a much, much shorter list of unpronounceables--if any. The classic stuff is just egg yolks and oil, plus a tiny bit of acid such as vinegar or lemon juice,and some salt.

  45. Here in Scotland, I have no idea what miracle whip is or what our equivalent would be. But could do with a few miracles - maybe one would do - to get this sermon nailed. Spent afternoon listening to brass bands, ate takeaway food, had a long nap. Now I need to get to work. Perhaps if I just start instead of surfing around checking how everyone else is doing, it might come together. I'll let you know soon. I'm off to give it a go.

  46. checking in late. I just returned from a week of family camp, and am re-writing the sermon I pounded out before camp to incorporate that experience. I'm going with Romans 12:1-8. Talking about being vs. doing. Sermon title is embodied doxology. Who we are in Christ, as children of God, has everything to do with how we are the body. I hope to weave in some stories from camp about how we were knit together throughout the week and conclude by pointing to a communion tablecloth that the campers made out of a canvass that held our sins. we'll see where it all goes.

    I've got some extra strong coffee and pizza to carry through dinner and the early evening.

  47. Just finished my wedding. Folks are milling around here still as they finish up picture taking. I decided to hang out here to work instead of going home between now and the dinner for staff and Personnel Committee. I've got to go get the babysitter later so it's easier to just be here then go back and forth. A sermon-writing change of pace.

    I'm finding it extremely difficult to sustain the voice I started my sermon with. I don't think it needs stay the same the WHOLE way through. My idea of changing locations while preaching gives me a good time to change voices, too, if needed, but making all of that happen smoothly is turning out to be a simple job. Definitely doable, but not simple.

    Instead of struggling too hard with it, since I only have about 35 minutes, I might just start on next week's bulletin since I'm taking an extra day off next week!!!

  48. Back from my walk and ready to have another go at it. I walked with a local RevGal as well as my doggie and we talked sermon, so I think I have a fresh perspective and am hopeful I really might get out of here sometime tonight. I am tempted to go read those posted, but have to restrain myself until I am at least further on the path lest I get distracted again.

  49. Miracle Whip is technically "Salad Dressing." And, yuck, I do not like it very much. I would rather eat a dry sammich than eat that.

    Real Mayonnaise on mine, please.

    For dinner I am fixing my DH's favorite meal: bacon, blackeyed peas with onion on top, cornbread, and canteloupe. And adding fried okra to the mix.

    That is NOT what I am having. I shall hopefully find something a little less Point-y.

    Praying for all of you, including SB with the broken vacation, and Mompriest's kiddos. It's so hard to stand by as these things develop!

  50. Thanks for the prayers, MB...there's a lot of high emotion, sleepless nights, and general angst...sigh...

    I'm back from a hospital visit and about to take a dip in the pool to relax my cramping back....and then back to the sermon...gotta fix a bit of it here and there...

    Suz - welcome to the party - like your sermon idea...

    cheese - thanks for the heads up on mayo v MW...there's still time to vote - but it looks to me like poor MW is losing big time...

    Sherev - I don't know how you are doing all that you are doing today...really! I hope that sermon really gels - I do think the movment from pulpit to font will give you the means to change "voices"...besides a change in voices will keep folks listening too.

    Revdrkate - glad the walk was fruitful in the inspiration stage - hope it produces something on paper too!

    Liz - same for you, hope inspiration strikes and it land on paper!

    Ok, I'm heading into the pool, come on over and join me! It's 103 here, sunny, dry, and the pool is perfect....

  51. so the one hour nap became a two hour nap, which I apparently really needed, except once again it's 5pm and I have no sermon. Thank God we no longer have a Saturday pm serivce!!

    I'm getting started, I swear...

  52. Ditto to what Mary Beth said. Except what her hubby is geting for supper. YUM! I love all that stuff. I'm about to leave my church office to go home to fix nice healthy salads for us. Ha!

    I'm struggling but maybe food will help.

    Back later, hopefully to say I'm all done.

  53. Oh, mompriest, I will pray for them.
    I'm back from meeting with the mother and son, feeling a little bad about complaining here and then worrying if I'm not a little intoxicated by the job we do? It's a danger, isn't it?

  54. I am so tired. I managed to copy and paste the scripture reading into a word document, but I still have nothing written. I wish I had written this earlier in the week, but then I'm not sure when I would have done all the stuff I did earlier in the week. I don't know how those of you who are solo pastors do everything--I definitely do NOT have the rhythm down that allows me to be the only one. Alas, I'm the only one until mid-October (though with two guest preachers in September), so I guess I'd better figure it out...after I figure out what I'm going to say tomorrow!!!

  55. teri, have some dinner? Maybe food will help with the fatigue? Try reading a few of the sermons posted on this blog or at text this week, there are some great ideas out there...maybe inspiration will strike? At the very least can you talk about the inspiration for this awesome day with the kids, how the day went, and then connect it who Jesus is? Who do you say I am - or How do you know Jesus when you see him (maybe Christ was present in the mix of these kids today?)...and, if worse comes to worse, go to bed early and get up early to write the sermon (well, I probably wouldn't be able to sleep if I had nothing on paper - but a friend of mine does it all the time, and her sermon comes to her in her sleep)...anyway, I'll make dinner soon and share what I have (I'm thinking mac and cheese)....

    songbird - yes, there is a danger in who we are to people and what we do...a danger of it going to our heads...sigh...but at least it ameliorates, to some degree, the fact that you missed some vac-time to be there....thanks for the prayers...

  56. OK. There is a sermon. Of sorts. Have to tweak some then posting later.

    Sorry to hear about Ryan and daughter. Five years is a long stretch. Prayers for them.

    Wish I could dip in that pool. Hot tub is calling my name after sunset tonight. Glass of wine. Mmmm.

    Going to tweak and read others offerings now.

  57. Phew! Its 1:20am here. But I have a sermon. That means I can at least sleep. I think its a bit "all over the place" with too many metaphors but its going to have to do. I've posted here
    Have enjoyed all the company here today. will check in early tomorrow to see what's new. Blessings on the prep still ongoing and on all the preaching. Go revgals!!!

  58. Have read all of yours! Good work RevGals as always. Posted mine here. On to print and stuff bulletins and all that other jazz that remains. Thanks for the companionship today and blessings on all tomorrow brings.

  59. well, I've read revdrkate's sermon and liz's - both well done. So many different ways to take these readings...

    how's everyone doing? Can I get anyone anything? Are finished and relaxing...OR...Are you fed up with the day and looking to unwind? A cup of tea and sweet? Or perhaps a glass of wine?

  60. Perhaps some wine might help this draft read better - it's just not there, but baby is still up and sigh...come holy spirit. I have a friend who jokes that the holy spirit lives in her pillow - wouldn't that be lovely!!!

  61. as is often the case lately, I'm still working on my sermon. Have to log off due to a storm that's rolled in. Praying for peace and inspiration for those still sermonating.

  62. Glad to see the party's still going. I'm here in Charlotte, NC, in a hotel room all to myself, having had an evening that did not include cooking for anyone, cleaning up after anyone, or putting anyone to bed. I also may have spent an ungodly amount of money at Dean & Deluca's, just a few doors down from my hotel.

    I am so run down from this awful cold I've had this week and I really REALLY need to have energy and focus in the morning. I am all keyed-up about being in an unfamiliar pulpit, so maybe that nervous energy will help me? We'll see....

    SB, isn't it so strange how we can vacillate between feeling intoxicated by what we do and feeling like crap about all that we aren't doing, since this job is just never done. If it's not one self-esteem trap, it's another.

    Oh and for the record, MAYO. All the way.

  63. come Holy Spirit, may she rain down on those in storms and this still brain-storming a sermon...I've opened up a virtual-reality bottle of wine, it can be red or white, your choice - have glass!

    Earthchick, glad to hear you made there safe and sound. Hope you feel better in the morning!

  64. earthchick, you've nailed it.

    And how can a bunch of preachers not love Miracle Whip? :-)

  65. Back from the wedding! It went perfectly, if SHORT (like 15 minutes short!). Beautiful reception on the lake, watched the sunset, now back at home needing to write tomorrow morning's sermon.

    But, yawn. I'm sleepy!

    Glad to hear many of you are done. mompriest, you are such a conscientious hostess.

  66. okay, I have something resembling a sermon which I'd love feedback on if anyone's still up and available to read 1200 words.

    It's not what I was hoping for this week, but given the way my week's gone, it might have to do. Unless I end up changing it overnight or in the morning, which could happen!

    And now I'm breaking out the skinny cow mint ice cream sandwiches. Anyone want one?

  67. I'm back, looking to tack the last 500-600 words on mine. Or less. I'm not too worried this week about length because I want to take my time with the baptism. It's a mom who's raising her kids in the church, but whose husband is an atheist. I want to just drench her and her daughter in God's love and the love of the church. Oh yeah - - and they're moving across the country the day after the baptism. She's really worried about being lonely while her husband starts graduate school while she is home with 3 kids (including the baptizee who is not yet 3 weeks). Anyway, she needs to know that God is with them and this congregation loves her even when they're far away. The baptism is the most important part of the service this week.

    Anyway, back from wedding, party, and everything else. I hope to re-find ANY voice and finish this bad boy up in no more than two hours (less would rock my world). I'll start counting right after I play just a couple of round of Biggest Brain on Facebook. Love. that. game.

  68. welcome back's about three hours earlier where I am than, I'll stay up with you for awhile (BUT I'm not pullin an all-nighter, sorry)....hope sermon writing goes well for you!

    Cheese and teri - excellent sermons - thanks for sharing!

  69. Sherev, welcome back as well! Wow, many prayers for the will be challenging but could also be good, that move...the baptism sounds awesome...and I bet your sermon will be great!

  70. Checking in late this evening. Sick baby, sick mama, gone all week, sermon written last weekend with the label "Needs Help" on the file folder, Saturday funeral. Sigh. I am tired. The sermon may still need help, but I'm too tired to figure out how to do that, so I'm leaving to the Holy Spirit and going to bed. Well, as soon as I come up with a children's sermon and write a pastoral prayer and load the dishwasher. I think Daddy's staying up with the baby for a while.

    And, mayo and miracle whip are both white, gloppy and slippery. Yuck. Can I vote against both?

  71. (I voted against both esperanza.) Many prayers for you. Do the rest, skip the dishwasher, and let the Spirit provide the needed help. Go to bed. :)

  72. oh, I neglected to vote in the mayo/mw debate. I grew up with miracle whip but mayo is way better. I clearly come from that generation (or that socio-economic place) where we grew up with all kinds of non-foods (miracle whip, margarine, etc) that were supposed to be "better" for you because they weren't fatty or cholesteroly or were cheaper...and now we're switching back to real food and discovering how much better it is. not cheaper, though.

    mayo, tillamook cheddar cheese, and fresh tomatoes, with a little salt and pepper--it's like summer heaven on wheat bread.

    anyway...I made a few minor revisons and now I think I'm going to bed. It remains to be seen whether the morning will bring a total rewrite or just an attempt to really sell what feels like a weak sermon with my winning personality!

  73. Mayo for me, definitely. I usually buy light (but not non-fat) but have a jar of olive oil mayo in the pantry to try soon. And I still can't get used to buying Hellman's instead of Best Foods.

    All this tomato talk has got me thinking not about mayo, but about a caprese salad! Fresh mozzarella...mmm!

  74. ok semfem...I've gone the other way from Hellmans to Best Food...haa haa...

    and yeah, a third option could be neither!

    teri - rewrites? weak sermon? now you sound like me...and I have been reminded more than once that sometimes those "weak" sermons ending up being very Spirit-filled...anyway, you'll know what to do.

    esperanza - sorry for the illnesses...sigh...prayers for you. and, yeah, go to bed, don't worry about the dishes...

  75. Teri: Oh,you had to go and invoke Tillamook. Haven't had that since I left the coast. Mmm...can we get it here in the flyover?

    And a friend of mine says about weak points in the sermon: "Weak point? Talk louder. Pound pulpit."

    G'night friends...

  76. Best Foods is the BOMB.

    (I finally have an introduction. Anyone else notice that Shiphrah and Puah are named, but the PHAROAH is not???)

  77. cheese - you can find Tillamook cheese at Dominick's stores in the Chicago area....

    "pound pulpit, speak louder"

    haa haa haa

    I'm about to go to bed folks...keep the party going....and last one up, get the lights? It's been a fun party, thanks everyone!

  78. darn. I have been goen and msised the MW vs Mayo debate...although, I have to explain, I prefer Dukes to "mayo"
    Now, back from grad party for niece. She graduated from "nail school" and will be a liscensed foot/ manicure/pedicure person.
    So, we had a "party" for her at a BBQ house. AND,...the mother-in-law brought the cake...
    the cake was rectangular and had a half manicured hand on it (I am so not kidding) and a message saying, " Congratulations nailed 'em!"
    The hand looked like a corspe. I am so was all icing. When i got my piece I said, " I wanted the bird finger!"
    Mom gave me funny look, but now I think I just might have seen it all!

  79. Oh, went to see Nunsense, Ahmen!
    Quite fun, but sermon not yet done.
    Church hall looks lovely with bees, flowers, and beatitudes for kids!
    See my toe nails at" frogblog.
    Now, sermon is all about keys, responsability and great responsability of the kingdom for all of us.

  80. Still here, but hoped to be done. I think I finally found the transition I needed to get from Moses in the river to the waters of baptism all this with ripples throughout. I don't think the rest is as strong as the beginning, but I've got what I've got. Hopefully 30 more minutes (of actual work, not screwing around on computer games) will be all it takes!

  81. OK. I have enough to sleep on. A little touching up just before the kids wake (if I can predict that) and I'm good to go. I'll post in the morning when it's cleaned up. Looking forward to reading everyone tomorrow afternoon!

  82. Finally finishing up and you all have been lifesavers. How is that possible when you all have so many of your own challenges to deal with. I'll take the red wine and skip the white slimy stuff altogether. Thank you for the life preservers...

  83. Oops, I just frittered away something like 30 or 45 minutes. Crap. And the wedding food has worn off and I'm hungry again.

    Why is it that no one ever names their baby Shiphrah?!

  84. Just took a brief nap in chair and now it is time to really finish this thing up. I bet the early-morning crowd will be here soon if you aren't already!

  85. 1365 words...and I'm spent. And the sun is coming up.

    Time for a shower and breakfast. I've got the coffee on for she rev and anyone else who wants it.

    Blessings on all pondering, preaching and proclamation today!

  86. I completely gave up after my outline yesterday. I got sucked in by political and olympic coverage in the morning when i wanted to work on my sermon =(

    BUT - I did get to spend the afternoon in the great outdoors playing disc golf and feel great... i needed the exercise after being sick the first half of the week.

    Sermon's coming along great - I really just needed a story to get me started and I'm talking about building a house with shoddy materials and having to live in it being like us building Jesus house with all of our gifts and talents and not using them to their full potential.

  87. Thanks for the coffee. I'm not a HUGE coffee drinker, but looking at the remote weather station next to me (my husband's a gadget junkie), I see it's 48 degrees outside. That screams "COFFEE!" to me!

    I've got 50 minutes before I have to participate in the family, so I'll wrap this up and start finishing up my memorization of the Scripture. We're good to go!

  88. cheesehead, tillamook is around, but you have to look for what you want. I can buy small blocks (the 8oz package) or sharp cheddar (red wrapper) at Jewel, or big ones of either medium cheddar (orange wrapper) or extra sharp white (in the black wrapper) at Costco. It is so worth my costco membership for that.

    It's a little more expensive than it was at home (Tillamook used to be my "local" dairy (less than 250 miles!) until I moved out...) but just as tasty!!

    oh, right, Sunday morning is here...guess I better go make up some prayers of the people and a children's sermon (today is my intern's last sunday so she's doing the two later services, but it will be just my luck that ALL the kids will show up at the first service and I won't have thought of anything). The sermon will have to go as is because I pushed snooze.

    happy Sunday, everyone!!

  89. Good morning everyone - thanks for the coffee!

    I'm still tweeking my sermon and hoping for a good first Sunday back from staycation...

    prayers and blessings for all of you too!

  90. Well, here I am printing out the memorial service, while the regular church service starts without me. I find this all very odd. A seminarian will preach, and I will arrive in time to lead the other service shortly after. Odd, odd, odd.
    I hope the rest of you are having good Sundays, and I do trust the Holy Spirit has all our backs.

  91. I want you all to know that the Holy Spirit did indeed have my back, mostly by working through you all. At 7 pm last nite I had no sermon, mere random thoughts rambling around in my head and no direction. Except for the kids. Which is funny because there were no kids today, they were off site, which no one told me ahead of time would happen (I was pulpit supply, not their regular pastor). I used the MT text and I finally wrapped it up at 11 last nite, getting up at 4 to let my geriatric dog out and finish formatting the manuscript. I wish every one of you every blessing on this week to come and a nap if you can, you all earn it!!!


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