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Saturday, May 23, 2009

11th Hour Preacher Party: Avoiding Ticks Edition

Good morning preachers!

Avoiding ticks - - that's what I'm telling myself I'm doing since I will have to write my sermon sometime today (or tonight, more likely) instead of playing outside. Yesterday on my day off, I did some SERIOUS weeding in the over-grown jungle that is the weird side of our yard/uphill wooded area. (At dinner my husband found a tick embedded in my ear just south of where I got the upper cartilage pierced while I'm seminary.) New to this house and area of the country we loved the beautiful purple flowers the bloomed all over the last spring. We thought nothing of just letting them go. A year later and a year wiser we have discovered they are horrible creeping weeds. There's a sermon for another day in there. In fact, I think it was about this time last year that all those parables came up.

Anyway, how's your writing going? This is my first time hosting the party, but I'm not a stranger around here. I'm excited to be giving this a shot, and hope we have a great writing party together.

You can find the discussion from Tuesday here. I'm sure the breakfast food will be served shortly, but until then the coffee's on. Help yourself.

I hope you find what you need - creamer, sugar, a children's sermon, the elusive "way in," the right words for Memorial Day if you are in the US and struggling with honoring that appropriately. I'm working with the gospel and can't be more thrilled to be almost done with my 3 week series of Johannine epistle and discourse work.

What are you working with today?


  1. I'm here! But not working on the sermon yet. Just packing up and getting ready to return home tomorrow after a week away with my fabulous peer group.

    I'm preaching Ascension and have no idea what angle I'm taking on the text...and I get back at 8 pm...this is going to be interesting. Let's hope for a productive flight.

  2. I'm preaching assension too, and right now have a head devoid of any sensible thought... need a break so am off to the post office to collect a stray parcel...b back soon

  3. I'm here - wishing my dog would stop post-surgical licking. He's going to hate the e-collar if he keeps it up! I'm preaching on Acts and the disciples 'casting lots' and taking a gamble on the Spirit.

  4. I found the Roman Catholic lectionary reading for Ascension and was charmed... mark 16:15-20, complete with signs of the true church that includes snake handling. I am so there!

  5. I didn't even think about it being Memorial Day! Egads! I totally missed that on the bulletins--let's see what I hear about that.

    We're off lectionary this week and instead focusing on UMC Heritage/Aldgersgate Sunday. We'll be reading 2 Peter 1:4 and Mark 12:28-34a which are believed to be the scriptures JW heard the evening that his "heart was strangely warmed."

    I'm not sure what to do for the children's sermon. that seems to be the most difficult thing each week!

    Peace and blessing as you craft your sermons!

  6. Good morning all!

    Sermon seeds were sprouting as I slept last night, but quite sure how they will come together.

    Memorial Day began as Decoration Day after the Civil War and developed into a way to honor the soldiers from both the North and South ...part of the healing of the nation. Early on it was also a time to continue the cause of the freed slaves. I found this article helpful:

    Also working with Ascension...
    ...perhaps Jesus on the throne/reign/nationalism/citizens of Christ's reign

    ...perhaps church's continuing struggle to accept all people equally (Luke: all nations)

    ...perhaps our need and dependence on the power of the Holy Spirit to live into the ministry Christ entrusted to us

    Hoping to get some fun time in today, too. Monday I'll be preparing for Tuesday's funeral.

    Blessings to you all as you play and pray and prepare.

  7. I'm here. not preaching, but i am working on a children's sermon , or actually looking for one. we are doing ascension this sunday.


  8. PS - also hoping to weave in a gracious explanation (again) about why we don't have an American flag in the sanctuary.

  9. Ascension Children's Sermon:

    a helium balloon can be a great prop for demonstrating "ascension"


  10. I'm preaching on Acts 1, how we never hear Matthias (or Justus') names again, though the 12 are referred to. Focusing on who are the anonymous apostles who have shared the good news with us, and how we are that to someone else.

  11. Young children cannot make the connection between a balloon and Jesus. They are literal thinkers. People always try to make these comparisons in children's sermons and the adults may think it is cute but the children do not get it. Just tell the story about how Jesus is in heaven which is a place that makes him close to everyone no matter where they are.

  12. Thanks for hosting She Rev!

    I've got family coming in for the weekend. So I'm busy cleaning and sermon writing and hoping it'll all get done before they arrive at 2pm. Ahhhh!

    In terms of children's sermons - never underestimate just telling the story. But also keep in mind your audience - "children's sermon" in some contexts can include kids up to 5th or even 7th grade. Balloon idea would work for older kids.

  13. Hi there! We're up, and I hoped to have waffles to offer everyone, but I was the only one who wanted them, so I stuck with a more WW-friendly breakfast. Hope someone else had a breakfast more fun than me!

    semfem - - I've found working on planes to be pretty good. Something about the slight distractions, but completely empty time. Also, I seem to get some weird kick out of people seeing me work hard and thinking I must be doing something very important. I should probably work that issue out.

    semfem, Sally, Magdalene - I usually do ascension this week, too, since I think Presbyterians don't hear it much. Didn't go that route this year, though

    Chilly -

    revhipchick - I've got a couple doses of "heritage" stuff this year. Wondering how I'm going to pull it off for Calvin's birthday, and our church's Scottish festival, and Reformation day. All different parts of the history, but history just the same. Good luck!

    Great article, Bethany!

    yanxan - I like that take on Matthias. It came out in the Tuesday discussions, too.

    Pastor Joelle, Dancing with God - Isn't that the hard part about children's times sometimes? Trying to make it work for all different ages and stages of children AND still work with woship in general? Thanks!

    Hi Diane!!!! Happy hunting and enjoy your day!

  14. I had the opportunity to preach the Ascension on Thursday, so I'm concentrating on John, using Jesus' "High Priestly Prayer" as a model of prayer for us.

    I forgot it was Memorial Day, too. I wouldn't preach on it, but we do usually mention it in the bulletin. Ah,well. We'll see what fall-out I get about that.

  15. So, as for me - - I didn't stay in bed with the 4 year old when my husband and the 2 year old started to move. Usually that's my favorite Saturday morning plan, but I had to get up and get moving to see what was happening here. Pretty excited (maybe kinda dorky too?).

    Anyway, as I said before I'm working with John and the prayer for the disciples, particularly the danger and hatred he foreshadows. Wrapping up my little mini-series on love, my basic angle is that the ministry we're left with in Jesus' name, the ministry of love, is dangerous. Abiding love (from 2 weeks ago) is dangerous because it exposes us (intimacy), it forces us to be available to others, it is inclusive, etc. Active love (from last week) is dangerous because it asks us to work on behalf of others (laying down our lives) which is not always a popular thing to do. For this one I'm thinking about Civil Rights works, GLBT Rights workers, praying for BOTH sides on Memorial Day, advocating for the homeless, interfaith dialogue - - all sorts of situations when choosing to love is not always the most popular choice.

    In the end, pulling from our baptism earlier in the service, the good news is not that we are pulled out of the world to avoid this very necessary work, but that we are promised the presence of God to strengthen us for the ministry of love.

    Now I just gotta fill in the blanks. After a day with the family, a wedding rehearsal (Sunday afternoon wedding which I am really liking), and a wedding sermon to write, too. Busy day!

  16. Rev Dr Mom - Last year I "heard" about missing the church's matriarch singing "God Bless America" on Memorial Day. It was my first year so I didn't know the tradition, and, set up to fail, no one bothered to tell me. Inside I was thankful because I would have tried to find a way to stop it anyway which would have caused issues, I'm sure. After a few days of apologizing and grovelling and trying to make amends we discovered in the office it wasn't even a Memorial Day tradition, but a 4th of July tradition. The folks who were upset were upset early! At 4th of July, the singer-matriarch said she couldn't sing anyway (health issues with her husband prevent her from being in worship regularly). No one would even THINK about replacing here. Problem solved.

  17. Chilly - - forgot to type what I was thinking above - - Hope the dog stops licking so he doesn't get the alien collar! That's not fun for him or you!

  18. Just popping in to say hi. Home from FofH and taking it easy today. If anyone is intersted I have real muffins from the Farmers Mrkt. in Hot-lanta.Also, fair trade and some fruit.
    Blessings to all who preach this day

  19. Oh, man, Memorial Day! Oops. Guess I know what the focus of the prayer o' the peeps will be.

    I just got back from Festival of Homies yesterday afternoon, and am kicking myself for not taking this Sunday off. Oh well.

    I'm preaching Acts and keep remembering an invitation I received at the Festival a couple of years back to be "more beloved than important." It was really about turning off cell phones, but I can't help but think about the guy who was called in to take Judas' place, like a last minute substitute. We are called to be more beloved in our ministries than important. That was a thing that occurred to me as I sat among 1600 other preachers and watched/listened to/experienced the Heavy Hitters of the English-speaking preaching world.

    But first, off to a poetry reading at a nature center. Not my choice of how to spend this morning, but something at which I must make an appearance.

  20. coffee with white chocolate - coconut creamer... sounds summery yes?

    sermon... on the model jesus gives us for dealing with a very bad day. i mean it was maundy thursday in john right? he knew what was gonna happen later... and yet did he get smashingly drunk? phone a friend? have a pity-party? nope... he prayed and prayed for others...

    the transformative power of getting one's eyes off of thyself... that's the sermon in a nutshell.

    children's sermon... oh we'll make that up in teh shower in the morning! hee hee

  21. The sermon is done! I wrote it Thursday and edited it this morning. It might not work for anyone else but me, of course, a chance we take on any given Sunday. But, just in case a piece of it might resonate with where one or more of you are thinking of going with Acts, here it is.

    And now back to English Church History in preparation for next Saturday's class. There's not much to eat, alas, but I'm heading out after church tomorrow to visit my sister in Charlotte and go to Costco. *Then* there will be good things to eat and drink as well as paper products, all of which are dwindling as fast as my food stores! And there is a graduation barbeque this afternoon. I'll bring back some leftovers for y'all.

  22. SheRev, I just remembered that the veteran who usually waves the flag while we sing "America the Beautiful" is out of town, so maybe that will mitigate some possible complaints. We'll see.

    I don't mind "America the Beautiful;" in fact its last verse is quite good. I just don't think flag waving and patriotism belong in the liturgy. Hello, we're here to worship GOD. Honoring veterans, as important as that is, belongs in a different context.

  23. Technically, I'm preaching ascension but really I'm going with "why are you standing here looking?" and talking about opportunities for mission/outreach & hands-on, people work in the name of the risen Christ

    Any mission (especially UM) stories about places to go? people who experienced changes?

    I'm already pulling the CNN story about Lydia Patterson Institute in El Paso. Anyone have others?

  24. America the Beautiful is always my suggestion when the conversation starts to turn toward the need for something "patriotic" in worship. It's the one I can more than live with. I love it. I think for all it's grandiose sound, the words actually have a sense of humility mixed in, too. Flag-waving? I don't think I could handle it.

    Sounds like the Homies are making it back safe and sound. Can't believe you're preaching Cheese!

    Nice work, Margaret! Enjoy your day.

    I like your starting points, hot cup and vicar.

    Getting myself ready to go to the wedding rehearsal and second dry-run with a new webcam and Skype. We're skyping this wedding to the groom's elderly parents who can't attend. Bought the church a new webcam for the occasion.

  25. This Homie is back too, and sending up extra prayers for you, Cheese and all who were at the Festival (which was wonderful and exhausting) and came back to have to preach! This would include my senior pastor, WisePastor, who is preaching for me tonight so I can take this weekend to play with my family...bless you all!
    We just enjoyed a breakfast of cinnamon/blueberry muffins, fresh fruit and homemade hot cooca on the deck - but we have some left to share...prayers of good words and strong proclamation coming your way!

  26. I'm preaching Jesus' prayer and just have a few scattered pieces of a sermon.

    This week on NPR, they did a series on spirituality and the brain with some interesting research insights into prayer.

    Last Sunday afternoon, I went with our youth to serve the evening meal at one of the local homeless shelters. As we were finishing up, our youth director had all of us circle up for prayer. Two of the folks at the shelter, finishing up their meal, jumped up and asked if they could join us. As I listened to the prayer, I was disappointed that he hadn't really included these two. After we finished and they returned to their seats, I went over to talk with them and offered to pray with them. I asked what they wanted to pray for, fully expecting to hear something like a way to get off the streets or a job or a place to live. Wisdom, peace, guidance, hope...these were the things they were seeking from God. I'm glad I asked first as I would have prayed an "of the world" prayer rather than an "in the world and need God's presence and strength" prayer.

    Off to go get something started for the sermon and get the bulletins finished. Back later...

  27. I used the Acts 1:15-26 text for my sermon. I posted it here.

    Off to go get dressed... find a baby shower gift and go to a shower for a young woman at church.

    When I get home... getting into my PJ's is my first priority... then... hubbahubba is going to cook us a steak for supper. I've missed him in so many ways these past couple of weeks... and today eating real food... instead of tuna salad... PBJ... and egg salad sandwiches... might be at the top of my list of reasons I'm sooooo glad he's home!!!

  28. HI everyone! I'm working on a funeral for this afternoon and then will come back to write the sermon.

    I posted my Memorial Day litany over at my place, if it is helpful to anyone. It will begin the prayers of the people. My worship committee asked to sing the Navy Hymn this week, and so I was trying to find a way to turn it from "worship the Navy" into something more appropriate for worship. Thus, it is being done as a prayer for all who served and serve, for those who lost them, and a prayer for peace.

    It's here for you to use.

  29. I'm with the Vicar of H.--Ascension and "Why are you looking up?" Found some good stuff re: looking both up and down by Peter Gomes via Ken Cook at Blogging Towards Sunday. We look up to worship, but down to earth to do the work.

    Thinking about th chapel at my seminary--one wall was solid brick, no windows except for some very narrow stained-glass ones high up. The opposite wall was completely glass and open to the world. Sort of a visible metaphor of how to live--withdraw to worship and then break down the wall and go out into the world.

    Strong Heart described some members of her new congregation as "so excited by worship they were ready to break down the walls and go into the neighbourhood."

    Now that I like! And would love to see here... We are suddenly seeing an influx of new folks, who want to join and participate! Praying to be an adequate channel of the Spirit for them to be inspired and joyful about joining us and refreshing us!

    I have a fairly bare cupboard today...sesame seed bagels and cream cheese? And of course coffee.

  30. Oh gosh....after another busy week of pastoral care visits and the pending deaths of several more parisihioners...I have a wedding today! And another one in two weeks. So out of sheer necessity I wrote my sermon for tomorrow a few days ago...on an evening when I was home along and only re-runs on TV....but last night as I tried to finish it I ended up going to bed frusrated, thinking I would have to scrape the whole thing.

    But I think I found some ways this morning to salvage it. Posted here is: The Battle WithinI am not really dealing with Memorial Day at all - except to wish everyone a good and safe weekend in the announcement time...wonder if I'll get any flack?

    well. I'm off. will be gone the rest of the day. Hope the party goes well and lots of good stuff here! You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.

  31. RevHipChick-- with Aldersgate, how about a children's message using one of those little hand-warmer packets you can get in camping stores? You could have them all "get their hands ready" (hold out open hands, maybe with closed eyes?) activate the chemical reaction in the packet, then hand it around so they can feel the "strange warmth."

    Then you could talk about how the Wesleys and their friends learned that we should always practice being ready and open... and/or talk about how the HOly Spirit surprises us with a warmth we can always enjoy, even if we can rarely explain. (rather like the hand-warmer's chemical heat, which is also hard to explain.)

  32. Oh, and I'm working at the British Import shop again today, so I have meat pies with HP sauce, Irn-Bru and Jaffa Cakes!

  33. Well, I thought last week was my last week at the party for a while, but it turns out I am doing a baptism this week (the baptizee is only three weeks old, and we feared we would be rushing things to do it last week...what if he was a late arrival?).

    I am not preaching; one of our laypeople is. I am, however, doing the children's sermon, which had better be about baptism. Any ideas?

    I just skimmed through beach walkin's sermon, and I think her opening would work for a children's sermon. It's also brilliant.

    I am quite grateful for my husband, who just watched the little one long enough for me to get a nice mid-morning nap. Now--work and packing and thinking of what to cook for supper.

  34. thanks for hosting the party, She Rev. I've just seen your own blog post re hoping we Europeans would post early - well, it's gone 5.00 pm here in the UK & I'm only now sitting down to the sermon. Excellent workshop this morn on music & worship has given me all sorts of lovely things to ponder,but no lead in to tomorrow's texts.
    Preached on Ascension on Thursday, & on Mathias & being chosen on his own day. Wish I hadn't, as I'm now floundering a little & predictably short of time. But I DO have some vanilla & toffee ice cream, for those who have the same sunshine we're enjoying here. Do help yourselves..

  35. Just coming by to say "hi" and "have a GREAT DAY" to sherev, when I bumped into that big TICK picture...


    SO GLAD not to live in tick country anymore!

    I've got 3/4 of a sermon, will finish the last 1/4 either tonight or early tomorrow.

    Diane, here's an idea on childrens time (not doing this because we have a baptism, which we do during childrens time at this church) but this idea came from a sermon I read earlier this week (cant remember where, but you can find it at textweek - maybe it was Lundblad?)

    It's hard to picture the ascension, so in olden times, if they painted a picture of it, thye would paint just Jesus' feet. Then, say something about how that is because when we go somewhere, sometimes we leave behind a footprint. And then, give them a foot outline with a word on it (like I love you) to leave somewhere where someone can find it?

  36. The wedding rehearsal I am at is for the wedding of the composer of this. Needless to say, the music is pretty phenomenal! He wrote or arranged 7 pieces for the service, all of which are TOTALLY liturgically appropriate! There is also a commissioned poem and the couple wrote wonderful vows. I love this grown-up wedding!!!

    Despite the preponderance of funerals going on today things seem to be moving fairly well. Lunch anyone?

  37. I'm with all of you preaching Jesus' prayer in John 17.

    This is the chapter wherein the UCC finds our motto, "that they may all be one", and we interpret it as Jesus desiring Christian unity... but with everything Jesus shares about himself being one with God and desiring oneness for all of us, added to 17:3 saying, "This is eternal life: that you may know God", I'm working on relationship with God. How do we really know God, when God is so OTHER?

    I'm really enjoying the images amidst this crazily convoluted language (I compare it to a labyrinth). Now I just have to come up with a children's message... any thoughts?

  38. She rev, was just about to offer lunch to any hungry preacher.
    I forgot about Memorial day, but have a guest preacher who requested i pick hymns. However, i asked the CD to pick them, since i would not be there.
    We call this pass the buck.
    Anyhow, if there is need for a patriotic hymn, we can do that for July4 or flag day.
    I am church visiting this weekend, if I show up at church in the wildewood, I will be bombarded with stuff. I am on ConEd/Vacay.
    And Cheese, a poetry reading?Really? ugh. I like poetry, but do nt care to listen to others read it.
    Anyone want a sandwich

  39. rev pink dragon,
    had to look a minute, but this is not a bad childrens'. message.
    It all depends on their ages, younger kids will not get the symbolic leap there, so might need to give them more concrete.
    However, all will enjoy the visual.
    And for youth and adults, you can even tak it up a notch to day how there are times in our lives when we get shaken and can easily fall into trap of becoming wordly. Our need is to remian in God and not the world

  40. Funeral written, now on to lunch, shower, some prep and then the service at 4. I wanted to work out today but that may not happen. Time is flying!

    Lunch options here: Tabuleh, homemade hummus and homemade pita bread. Dinner will be the same but with some grilled pork. There's enough for any of you who want some.

  41. Aaaa! Brother and fiance will arrive in less than an hour and I'm just sitting down to look at the sermon.

    Good thing I got the "front porch" on on Thursday (thanks for that term cheesehead).

    Prayers for all who write. Great ideas flowing around here today!

  42. Ah, Memorial Day. I still remember the first year I missed Memorial Day - not my fault, I protest - it was Pentecost Sunday which totally trumps. Okay, actually, I just didn't think about it. Memorial Day had no meaning for me and I was still a little naive and didn't realize how important it is for some.

    We got an anoynomous letter about how just because the pastoral staff hates Bush doesn't mean we should hate on the soliders.

    Speaking of hate, that's where I'm going with my sermon. I've got the title "Hate On Me" - thank you Jill Scott - but that's close to it. That whole John stuff with prepositional fun. The basic theme is if we aren't hated, what are we (the church) not doing right.

  43. joining in via airport wifi, coming home from son's graduation, sermon begun in a pencil-in-Moleskine version, haven't written one that way since 1997! I'll try to check in later from Newark. Thanks for hosting, She Rev!!

  44. SheRev. Great party. I'm another UK late arrival - 7:30pm here. Usually I'm on really early but I've been away a lot this week so was catching up on family time. Preaching from Acts - and Kathryn's homily on Mathias' day gave me good ideas to get started. As I write I'm really distracted by the business going on at our General Assembly tonight - wish I could be there and hear it first hand. Just have to keep working and hope that the commissioners vote to retain our "broad church".

  45. I actually would rather be sleeping than doing anything else today. However, tomorrow is Sunday and I do have two services that need sermons so I guess I need to write instead. Now if I can just stay away from Twitter for a little while . . .

    The sermon is still where it was on Tuesday. I'm working with Acts, allowing God to be part of the selection of leaders and ministries, and how some work quietly without ever having anyone hear about them, like Matthias and Justus. There's some really good stuff here today to help me fill this out. :-)

    I did remember Memorial Day in the bulletin and will lift up the day in the prayer. Luckily there were no long standing traditions surrounding this holiday to trip over when I arrived here.

  46. We are finally at week three of three in the Spiritual Gifts series that is supposed to lead up to Pentecost...(sigh) This week SP is preaching on Ephesians 4. It's a bit repetitive after having 1 Cor 12 and Romans 12 the past two weeks! Not sure what kind of children's time I'm going to come up with this the Memorial Day thing, mentioned only in prayer here...thankfully.

    I still have some farmer's market fresh spinach if anyone would like a salad! If only it were strawberry season here...but not yet. So we shall content ourselves with spinach and black bean quesadillas, perhaps? :-)

    happy writing, friends!

  47. Husband has just brought in a very welcome but potentially distracting glass of wine...I'm working on unity but am anxious that my own frustrations with one particular example of disunity between my two churches may become too prominent.
    Think I DO need to go there, but mustn't abuse the pulpit.
    Oh - would anyone like a drop of wine - Fair Trade, of course.

  48. Naptime around here. I should stop playing around and start writing. That would be a good idea, right?

  49. I've got my sermon posted here. It's on the Acts passage and hopefully it's a set-up for Pentecost.

  50. Well, I have a draft up at my place here (assuming I did the link right...). Comments welcomed!

    This one is a bit personal--or feels that way--talking about relationships changing. In fact, in an earlier draft, I did talk a bit about a couple of previous relationships--then realized that the congregation might misinterpret what I had said, and that what I had said also intruded a bit on the privacy of my exes, tried to fix it--and finally dropped all personal mention, just saying that I had been, and I was sure some of them had been, in relationships that changed form... Sometimes personal is good and sometimes it's TMI.

    Now for the prayers and announcements, and some brats on the grill! Anyone else up for brats (that's sausage, before anyone panics)?

  51. I'm conflating Memorial Day, Aldersgate Sunday, and Ascension Day, preaching the Acts passage.
    Which means I have no real clue what I'm doing. But I have an hour of silence here in the office before I run home and fix supper. Anyone's welcome for BBQ pork chops, grilled squash, baked apples and mashed potatoes!

  52. Back from the funeral, livd and not wanting to write at all.


    I so should have planned a hymn sing.

  53. Chilly--can I borrow from yours, please? Love your opening! You can email me from my profile page or let me know here.

  54. Knitting Preacher: can you not call your musicians and still have one? Perhaps select the first few songs on a theme, so you can speak a little, and then let God and the congregation take care of the rest?
    Is that livid as in angry? Hope things get resolved...

  55. RevAvve - -normally that would be possible,but we are not sure who will be there tomorrow. It has been on of those "when it rains it pours" weeks. My pianist has a family wiht recently diagnosed health issues and asked us yesterday to see if we could find a sub. No luck yet. If we don;t have an answer in 45 minutes, then she will be there, but because of the stress she has been under, I can;t spring it on her last minute.

    Yes, livid as in angry. No, not because of this.

  56. great party ,she rev!. so glad it's not me, at least this time.

    I am tired and wish my elbow was healed, which it's not.

    juniper, I like the footprint idea.

  57. Kintting preacher: Of course. These things have a way of happening when it's least convenient and we're least equipped to work through them. I'm sorry there's so much going on. If I had any musical talent, I'd lend it to you. Instead, I'm praying for peace and resolution and grace to get through...for all of you.

  58. Thanks!

    Ok, who is ready for dinner - -I decided to hit the ret button by cooking. Here's what you may choose from:

    Grilled pork tenderloin (teryaki marinade)
    Taboulh (made with bulgar, edamame, carrots, onions, cucumber, parsley, bulgar and green pepper)
    Homemade pita bread
    Humus (no tahini)
    Crystal light lemonade.

    all ww friendly!

  59. Popping back in to share our oh-so-responsible dinner. Microwave kettle corn and chips and salsa from Trader Joe's. Nice. We moved Sunday night movie night to Saturday night since husband and I will be at the wedding reception tomorrow night and the kids at the home of church members. Also because we had no real plans for dinner, so our movie dinner sounded just right for tonight.

    So sorry knittin! Sounds like a rough day (week) over there. Praying for the Spirit to be obvious soon!

  60. Dunnit, dunnit, dunnit...and it's only half past midnight!
    Sleep well, fellow preachers, when your time comes and meanwhile, have another coffee on me

  61. OK, I need help from movie people. For the children's sermon, I'm wanting to talk about that scene in Toy Story (I'm pretty sure it's the first one) where the little boy writes his name on the bottom of Woody's boot. But my brain is fried--WHAT is the little boy's name????

    And is this movie too old?

  62. His name is Andy and it's Toy Story II

  63. fwiw It's not too old for the kids at my church. even the little ones know TS 1 & 2

  64. Boarding plane #3, I'll rejoin you when I get home!

  65. Esperanza - - One of my FAVORITE baptism illustrations. One time (done it at two different churches) I used it without the movie when I was nervous about whether or not the kids would know it. I just brought in one of my old stuffed animals with my name on the tag.

  66. I'm not done exactly, but am for tonight. Thanks for your support!

  67. Plane #3, yikes! I lucked out this time and only had one, which arrived twenty minutes early, so I now pass my good travel mojo on to Songbird.

    I actually did get a sermon written on the plane, but have no idea whether it's any good or not. Let's go find out! I think I focused on Ephesians 1 and the power that caused Jesus to ascend now being present in his body, the church.

  68. gotta watch toy story again.

    great illustration

    anybody want popcorn

  69. Praise Jesus, it 9:00 p.m. and my "way in" just showed up! That's the key to a speedy writing night usually. I have no idea what else he wrote, but the opening section to James Howell's sermon on the Day One website has given me my start - - "Be careful what you wish for." Someone should have shared this with the disciples because after a few years of following Jesus who kept trying to go off by himself to a quiet place to pray, now he's finally doing it in front of them. What they overhear, though, probably doesn't sound so good.

    (Insert rest of sermon on the danger of loving.)

    Can I get anyone anything? Just had a bowl that was a lot bigger than it should have been of vanilla ice cream with peanut butter ripples through it. The NCIS marathon is still on the background here, but will probably need to be turned off soon. Don't know how much longer I can "ignore" it and still write.

    I've got to AT LEAST get my wedding order of worship put together in Publisher (meaning, cutting and pasting from old weddings). I'll have time to write my "meditation" after worship tomorrow before the 3:00 p.m. wedding. If I can knock this sermon out before midnight, though, I could also work on that one.

  70. I'm eke-ing out the last few words, so I'm ahead of's well before midnight, local time. Have what alleges to be low-fat cheesecake from the (fabulous) local bakery; will gladly put on a pot of coffee or a cuppa tea if anyone wants.

  71. Oh yeah - - if there are band music lovers out there, here are re-links to the music of the guy whose wedding I'm doing tomorrow. A brass quintet, the organist, pianist, and a couple of singers are mix-and-matching throughout the service to play 7 pieces he wrote or arranged for the occasion.
    Star-Spangled BannerGavorkna Fanfare

  72. Just finished--turned out differently than I expected. After 8 years of preaching, you think that would have no power to surprise me! Anyhow, I'm working with the Ascension texts. I compared and contrasted the hope of RESTORATION (Acts 1:6) with the promise of RESURRECTION that we have been working with all of Eastertide. Life as we knew it, or life anew? That's the main point I'm working with. My sermon critic (husband) thinks it'll definitely preach, so good night all!

  73. I love that arrangement of Star Spangled-Banner. Isn't it a joy to work with folks who "get it" for weddings?

  74. She Rev--I've played stuff by Jack Stamp in wind ensemble or symphonic band before. Can't quite remember which pieces, but I'm sure I have (it was a while ago though). How cool!

    Okay, now I am really going to go read my sermon and see if it sucks or what.

  75. It's been so fun semfem. We discovered last night that we actually have a connection we didn't know. He and my brother-in-law have worked together many times over the last few years. I've only known him since the wedding stuff has started. He lives very out of state from here. His soon-to-be wife lives in my town and is the Methodist choir director. They have always had a long-distance relationship, and actually will continue it after the wedding.

    This afternoon while I was experimenting with our webcam (we're Skyping the wedding to his parents) I recorded some of the music. He saw me playing it back, and I got worried that he might get upset. Some people are very protective of that. I promised I would destroy all copies as soon as it we got it all working. He said, jokingly, "Hey - - if you can use it to raise some money for the church, go for it!"

  76. Just stopping by to see if all were well. I have some strawberries and angel food cake left over from dinner.
    These are not the strawberries from FofH. Those were orgraincally grown, the size of golf balls and incredbily sweet. everytime you bit into one you had to make noises. That good.
    Anyhow, help yourself. I am turning in soon. Back is hurting from a not so great bed and sitting a lot.
    Oh, also have some baked ritz chips in dairy cheddar. dee-lesh

  77. I'm still here making sure my sermon doesn't suck too are you doing Vicar?

  78. staring up at Jesus wishing he was dropping sermon type words like Tinker Bell drops fairy dust

  79. Let me call Antonio for you!

    Seriously, what are you stuck on?

  80. Really, I just need to work out the flow. I finally think that's kinda happening. I had to scrap the original plan because I was too stuck. It'll be okay. The bad news is that now done has taken precedence over good ...

  81. Done is now better than good...well, I think there always comes a point on Saturday where that's the case. Sometimes it's before you finish, sometimes it's after. I think I'm approaching that point too.

  82. I'm here still, and have surprisingly many words written for 11:01 p.m. on Saturday. In fact, I may be on the way to too many words. I've got a baptism tomorrow, so I'd rather keep things on the medium to short side so I can take my time with that. I'm going to do my first "walk and talk" with the baby. Usually, when I do the walk around afterwards it's while the congregation is singing a hymn. Since we have had a surprising increase in the number of baptisms lately, I'm trying to make sure I keep them different, especially since one was just 4 weeks ago. The thought of wandering and speaking somewhat extemporaneously made me slightly nervous, but for some reason walking and praying didn't. I plan to do that. It also sort of mirrors the gospel text. NOT that I mean to compare myself to Jesus, but I mean, prayer for someone that he/she (and others) overhears. I won't draw a line between what I'm doing and the text, but the pattern is there twice in the service at least.

    Anyway, I need to get to my point in my sermon before I get too off track. I'm feeling much better about this one than I have about the last two in this Johannine gospel/epistle series. That's for SURE!

  83. That tick thing was pretty gross, wasn't it? Sorry Juniper and any others who may have been ook-ed out.

  84. Whew, I think I'm done, and it doesn't suck quite so badly now.

    She Rev, I'm glad John is agreeable to you more so now! And have fun celebrating the baptism. Those are such joyful times, even if you're doing more than usual lately.

    Vicar, here's hoping some fairy dust hits your pages soon. I'm happy to share if it'll help (I'm preaching about the power of the Ascension also being the power in the church, a la Ephesians). E-mail me at semfem (at) escribitionist (dot) com.

    Blessings on all pondering, preaching and proclamation today.

  85. thanks semfem, I'm almost done now. It finally started to flow in a way that was helpful instead of "stuck in suck" I've got about 11 minutes so I'm good. just finishing the story and the challenge to be the church

  86. Finally finished - with the usual left turn at Albuquerque!

    Blessings to all of you still drafting and tweaking.

    If anyone needs a half-past midnight snack, I'll leave the pretzels and the mini-Hershey bars.

  87. sermon's done except for printing. still have to pull the prayers together but those things won't take very long

  88. I called it a night last night after I got the news from General Assembly that the minister who had been prevented taking up his new post would now be able to do so. By that time, I was too tired to be creative. so now its 6am and I have to get things together in the next couple of hours. A few things emerged in my dreaming, so here's hoping I can write quickly. Hoping hubby will bring me some breakfast soon.

  89. Your last push, Liz, is my call to go to bed. Just after midnight here, and I'll need to do that 4:30 or 5:00 a.m. wake up to finish. Blessings on your final preparation!!!

    Blessings to you all, and thanks for coming to my first party!

    Any of you non-preacher Homies feeling like making a doughnut run for the rest of us in the morning? Please?

  90. Man. Vicar, you're done? And here I am, in a more Eastern time zone, still plugging away. My son's plane set just off from the gate for over half an hour, and we got home LATE! I have notes in my notebook, but it is not a sermon yet. Help! Where is Antonio?

  91. Songbird, I'm so sorry you are still up. You have my thoughts and prayers for speedy sermon writing ... or you could preach from your notes :)

  92. Glad you checked in, Songbird. My hopes of going to bed have been foiled by addictive computer games. Might as well, get to my done or almost done mark and then sleep a little later. You can pull it together! I know you can!

  93. Sadly, they are none-too-legible and not in any order other than "when I wrote them."

  94. Due to power outage, I once preached from "no order" notes that I organized with A, B, C, etc in the margin so I'd know which section was next.

    May the Eye of Jupiter guide you ... to a "sermon home" :)

  95. Well, everything is printed so I am off to take medicine and go to bed.

    Blessings on your Sunday

  96. Thanks for letting me get to 100 at my first party!!! Happy preaching!!!

  97. Go She Rev! You win! ... mostly the satisfaction of winning, but winning nonetheless.

  98. I have 1258 words, but no ending. I think sleep is in order, rather than further meandering. Let's hope I figure out where I was headed all along!

  99. Songbird, It ends when you quit talking. :)

  100. Well, the morning sunshine here seems to be inspiring me. It's coming together nicely so far. Now if I could just stay on it and not stray around blogs?...

  101. Okay, it's printing, and it has an ending. Not the strongest ending *evah,* but maybe it will preach.

  102. Yay. 8:30am and its done. Time to hit the shower. Thanks for another party and blessings on all your preaching, hearing, living the word.

  103. 5:00 a.m. here. I'm not a coffee drinker, but I'll put some on for whoever wants it. I've got about 60-90 minutes of work left on this sermon I would guess, maybe even less if I can stay focuses (read: "off Facebook"). I've got about that much time 'til the kids wake up, too, so to avoid a scrambling morning I'd like to get it done sooner rather than later.

    Thanks for the great party last night! Peace today!

  104. When everyone else has been sleeping, not much happens on Facebook, but good luck!
    I am re-reading and most likely re-writing, and I will take some coffee!!!

  105. But worse than other people on FB are the games on FB. Got sucked in for a little, but I'm a short conclusion away from being done and only one little person is awake here so far. She is just happy watching TV on the couch next to me, so the men-folk have stayed asleep so far. Finishing up then getting some breakfast and shower!

  106. Yes, after reading your comment, I had to just "see" if it was my turn in Wordscraper. I'm slapping my own hands!
    Wow, was I sleepy last night, my sermon is full of howlers! Fixing, fixing, fixing...

  107. Print. Will read and edit over Cheerios, likely reprint at the church. Blessings on the rest!

  108. good morning!

    esper = thanks for the andy/woody reminder! I'm totally using that - if not today than sometime.

    now, i've got about 1.5 hours of writing to do in the next half hour! gotta go.

    Sunday blessings, all


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