Visit our new site at

Saturday, May 30, 2009

11th Hour Preacher Party: Greatly Exaggerated Reports Edition

Good morning, gals and pals!

Tomorrow the liturgical among us celebrate a great festival of the church. We get to wear our red stoles! We may be including Confirmation (and sometimes therefore Baptism) in our services. Will there be time to get through all the business of the day and preach, too?

Whether you're raising up dry bones or being changed by a mighty wind or still deciding where the heck you're headed, please join us here for the Preacher Party.

I've got raspberries and blueberries and a really fine pot of coffee and an array of tea possibilities, too. Let us know what you're up to today, whether you've thought up a Children's Message (lighters? sparklers? fire code breaches?) and what you hope to accomplish in your preaching tomorrow.

And if you've got nothing, well, there's always The Delta Rhythm Boys:


  1. Am I really first?

    I'm trying to finish up this morning b/c I have a big funeral this afternoon. And the Bishop is coming tomorrow, so I'm really only preaching tonight and at the 8am tomorrow.

    Anyway, I'm trying to work with how John's gospel talks about the HS--how is the HS an Advocate in our lives?

  2. well I am done with a draft of on sermon, and working on producing the liturgy. For some reason I am fighting off waves of creeping depression, so I'll take a cup of coffee and chill for a bit.

    I could do with the fresh wind of the Spirit right now...

  3. We've got three baptisms tomorrow and then a birthday party for the church. We've never done the birthday party luncheon but I'm kind of psyched about it...and am hoping I don't struggle too much with the baptisms. We immerse, and I have a couple of people bigger than me.

  4. Chilly Fingers, we DON'T immerse, and I still struggle with baptizing people bigger than I am!
    RDM, you were really first.
    And Sally, hugs to you.

  5. thanks Songbird...
    we don't immerse either, but I have no problem with tall folk being 6' myself!
    Hope it goes well Chilly fingers.

  6. its 10.30pm here, so the liturgy and sermon are just off the printer for tomorrow morning. as well as preaching tomorrow I am rostered for children's talk. I'm going with sailboat/windmill and balloon images. They all need wind or breath to be what they were meant to be. same with us. we become who God intended when we are filled with God's Spirit.

    Sally, love the poetry. I sometimes think I should go one week behind the liturgy, I'm asleep by the time most of the ideas come in.

  7. I've got a meeting today at 10:00 am, ten it's write, write, write. Or probably write, laundry, write, grocery store, write.

    I'm thinking about the control burns we used to have to avoid in Hottubber County every year, as the conservationists intentionally burned some invasive plant species off the hillsides. The wind always made it exciting, and everybody who lived near the control burn areas had to be on high alert all the time.

    That's about as far as I've gotten.

  8. I've got to shop for Snowman's graduation cookout planned for tomorrow afternoon, but since the weather forecast for tomorrow is thunderstorms, I'm thinking of changing the menu a bit. Maybe baked barbecued chicken? With garden burgers on the stove for the vegetarian teenage girls in the crowd?

  9. Songbird: Those vegetarian girls always mess everything up, don't they? (Said tongue-in-cheek by the mom of one who is having a Festival of Grilled Meat as her party but will probably eat a bowl of mac-n-cheese right before everybody gets here.)

  10. Heading off to a Children's Festival that looks REALLY cool. Maybe I'll find some good Pentecost illustrations since it's an international festival.

    I've got a pretty good idea of where I'm going tomorrow. If i had the guts (and thought it was altogether appropriate) I'd call my sermon "What're you smoking?" However, I don't and it isn't. That's the general direction though. Everyone thought they were drunk because of what the Spirit was doing. They could come up with no other explanation. What could we do, INSPIRED BY THE SPIRIT, that would have the same shocking response? Lots of this came from our Tuesday discussions, but it's been bouncing in my head all week, and I think it'll write smoothly tonight.

    The kids are singing "This Little Light of Mine" and a few other old-timing songs. I plan to give out little red tealights to everyone in the congregation, and will make this flame/light theme work throughout the sermon and sending.

    Had hoped to fill the chancel area with balloons the kids could then take, but I still haven't ordered them from the grocery store floral section. We'll see if that happens.

    I'll check-in later. Peace!

  11. No preaching for me tomorrow as our lay rep is giving his report from last week's conference annual meeting.

    However I learned on Thursday that I don't have an organist this week (apparently she and I have different interpretations of "till the end of MAy") and two of the planned hymns I do not have recorded music for. One I migth do anyway with guitar accompaniment (hhave to check that out) but the other has to be changed. Unfortunately it is the communion hymn, one of the very few the congregation knows.

    Next week however I will be preaching a Pentecost sermon on being reborn (using the Nicodemus story with references back to Acts 2 and Ezekiel's dry bones). Anything to avoid trying to explain the Trinity on Trinity Sunday ;)

  12. Pentecost--so many images and symbols, so little time. We've planned a terrific service complete with creating a spirit ribbon banner, fruits of the spirit candles, baptismal water flinging during the assurance of forgiveness. and then we're having a picnic on the wide expansive lawn...with no trees...and it's scheduled to be 94. I said it at the team meeting and I'll say it here, what were we thinking planning a picnic on a treeless lawn when it's usually in the 90s in late may?!

    no idea about the sermon, or which image I'll use. But I'm working with the ACts text, and the Ezekiel text is also in the service so I draw upon that.

    Prayers for the waves creeping upon you to turn into breath of life flowing through you Sally.

    I need prayers for a quick sermon today!

  13. :-) Gord, silent sermons for Trinity Sunday work well, just invite people to soak in the mystery, and then run!

  14. I love the idea of red tea lights for Pentecost. We used to do balloons, but letting them go (intentionally or not) seems to be problematic these days.

    I'm not preaching next week but I keep thinking as I work on the gospel of John how much trinitarian stuff is implied there--the Father-Word-Advocate link is really strong. I'm trying to tie that in to my sermon for this week a little bit, but I'm struggling. I have to confess that I find it more difficult to write when I'm only preaching at the two small services because I get so little audience response of any sort. And they aren't the sort that I can just do a five minute off the cuff reflection and ask for thoughts like I do midweek either.

    Off to shower and get dressed; finished or not I have to go open up the church for funeral prep.

  15. Good morning! I'm on Cheese's schedule of writing and laundry. Toss in packing for my stealth sneaking way after church and it will be a busy day. I'm hoping there is time to get the rest of the plants in the ground.

    Not sure yet where the sermon is going. I loved what I read in Feasting on the Word this week talking about Pentecost as the day we remember who we are as a church and the word we have to proclaim. The passage ends with a discussion of Pentecost as the end of the cycle that begins with Ash Wednesday -- from ashes to flames. Kristin Saldine is the author of the Pastoral Perspective, and it has given me some good stuff to think about this week.

    We're confirming here today, and I think my children;s sermon will talk about that.

  16. I've got some thoughts up over here. Which clearly I was thinking about when I titled this post...

  17. Off to the church for a Trustees' work day, then back to get going on the sermon. No baptisms or confirmations tomorrow...and not sure what to do for children's time. Ideas, anyone?

  18. I'm so excited about Pentecost I can hardly stand it! It's my first year as a solo pastor. We'll start with the Acts reading which will set the tone for the service. To Lord's Prayer in English, simultaneously a few members will be saying it in Greek, Hungarian, and German. There's a baptism, and then toward the end of the service, we'll head downstairs for a meal followed by communion.

    Now, if only I could figure out what to do for the sermon...

  19. Yeah for Pentecost and confirmation Sunday - one of my favorite sundays of the year!

    Now just to finish all the prep that goes along with confirmation, preaching a sermon, and attending a grad party for a youth.

    Come Holy Spirit and blow through us!

  20. Getting ready to head out to the festival, but while waiting for my husband to get ready I went ahead and did the Friday Five.

  21. Hello all!
    After tomorrow I will not be preaching for three weeks (off, house church and guest preacher)! So I'm trying to make this a good one, especially coming off the last two weeks' services, which were spectacularly full of the Spirit. At the same time, I'm with Sally, battling a creeping sense of despair--preaching to myself this week, too!
    I also have a paper to finish polishing for possible publication--it's due Monday.
    Anyone for a blueberry smoothie?

  22. mmm, Martha, blueberry smoothie, yum!
    I came over scrounging for something virtually healthy to snack on since I just had something chocolate decadent truffle leftover from beloved's out to lunch thing yesterday. a little comatose.
    I am feeling bad about not being prepared to celebrate Pentecost in a huge way--red tea lights! lord's prayer in different languages! beautiful.
    I just have a sermon title, "Unleashed"....and that is about it. is infinitely gorgeous today and don't feel like writing.
    maybe some fire on my head would help!
    peace everyone~~

  23. Sounds like prayers for sunny yet temperate weather are in order for many of you for tomorrow! May all your celebrations be joyful.

    Sally, I hope the Spirit is quietly present with you right now.

    I am doing the family service sermon. I'm thinking of popcorn; hard kernels until heated, at which point they open up and are light, wonderful, and useful. I'd bring in my hot air popper and make some right there.

    My one concern is whether it will be too tempting to children who are little enough that their parents might not want them eating popcorn (probably about 6 under-3's at this service, along with 20-25 kids bigger than that and equal number of parents); will the potential struggle cause the parents enough problems that they'll wish I hadn't done it? I would welcome your thoughts on this!

    This service has a lot of kids who are too young to understand analogies--stories work best with the littlest ones--so I always have to figure out how to blend those needs too. That applies even more for Trinity Sunday next week, which doesn't have a good story to go with it.

    My younger son (11) is cooking something for breakfast in bed for us; I have no clue what, but it smells good, and I'll gladly share with anyone here who's hungry!

  24. The sun came out, so I went for a walk with Sam in his favorite wooded park. We've had so many days of rain, there was mist rising off the path as things warm up. Now that the birds are back, it sounded (and felt) a bit like a rain forest. After some squirrel chasing but no catching, Sam is ready for a nap.
    kjarla, is that anything like "Off Leash?" :-)

  25. Since there have been a couple posts that have mentioned depression etc.---I am currently reading a Kathleen Norris book "Acedia and me...a marriage, monks, and a writer's life". The concept of acedia is very interesting and thought-provoking...haven't gotten far enough in the book to say what I think of it, but it does give much to think about re: spiritual depression. Have any of you read it? I know this is off subject for the preaching party, but not really, since getting stuck in those dry, desert places is certainly part of the writing/preaching journey.
    I am off now to clean the church and prepare for our after worship cook-out tomorrow, and meet with an elder for what will be a very challenging counseling session. Ah, the joys of being the pastor of a small church!

  26. Whoops, last comment was under a different identity! I'm also Martha...

  27. grace eagle, I think history would show that *nothing* is off topic for the Preacher Party. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  28. Summer seems yo have arrived in Scotland. Since it's often so short lived, I'm reluctant to miss out by working on sermon. For children's time, we have bubbles - enough for everyone - those little wands you sometimes get as wedding favours. Might even get all the children outside for that - then sermon wouldn't have to be so long. I also have baptisms - adult and child and a girl guide award presentation. Sermon getting shorter all the time - if I ever get around to it! Struck by the idea of birthdays being hushed up suggestion that appeared on Tuesday- and I could make that interactive. Thanks to all of you, I'm not short on ideas - just time and getting it together. Specially praying for those of you who need the Spirit to boost your spirits. May you feel her blanketing embrace.

  29. Another angle worth exploring: Pentecost as a celebration of Language & Communication.

    Think of how our understanding expands when we discover the nuanced meanings of biblical terms in the original Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic...

    Think of all the special words we learn as Christians that become more and more meaningful as we are "educated into" a richer, deeper faith...

    Think of the Reformation, all those passionate translators and the electric excitement among commmon folk who heard "The Word" in their own languages for the first time.

    Today, bilingualism and intercultural understanding may be Gifts of the Spirit: when we learn to listen, when we open our ears to others' stories, the circle of God's Kingdom is drawn wider.

    Opening ourselves to the testimony of others--this is the kind of thing that can re-animate dry bones and fill our hearts with fire!

  30. I think I have a rough outline, which puts me about 6 hours ahead of where I usually am at this point on Saturday. It's too pretty to be inside, so i am going to put the last plants I am panting in the ground. Just flowers, but they need to be done.

    I am itching for a trip to the farmers market, but will have to wait until next week i think.

  31. Norris' book is on my list. I had checked it out from the library after reading an excerpt in Christian Century. However, after a few pages in, I realized I would rather take some time to digest it with a copy of my own. the "spiritual depression" concept is interesting. maybe it will be a revgapbookpal book someday.

    Songbird, well, yes, Unleashed is very similar to off-leash. Got any sermon seeds for me????

  32. There actually is a sermon in my files entitled "Off the Leash," but I'm not sure it's helpful for Pentecost. Still, there is a sense the disciples are off leash now, isn't there? They've been restrained by all that came before, and in Jesus' presence they always looked to him. Now the Spirit will allow them to go forward with God inspiring them, but not tied to only one way of doing things. Something like that?

  33. Hello all. 2/3 done here. It will be a full service as we celebrate what God has done in and through our church this year -- video, volunteer recognition -- all of which means knock 5 minutes off my sermon. Hurrah!

    Question: what pronoun are YOU using to refer to the Holy Spirit? I have fundamental issues with "it." I usually think "she" but have a congregation expecting to hear "he." Thoughts?

    I found this site quite helpful as I tackle the Tower of Babel/Acts 2 connection.

    Blessing to all those who are feeling weary -- especially those of us dragging against spiritual weariness.

  34. so Songbird, did you start that sermon talking about dogs off leash? ;-)
    Yes, the image of being off-leashed, untethered is important for the disciples...and then for us...if we really were able to get (me included) a wild, unleashed spirit at work in the world, in our the midst of groans and sighs and even depression...are we even capable?

    sigh. maybe I need to start writing and stop wondering for a minute.

    Meg, as for pronouns, I don't use "it" but usually refer to spirit in adjectives with no pronouns...e.g. "this wild wind spirit of God" or "the one that advocates and comforts" etc.

    but, if I NEED and adjective...She is quite biblically correct and I use it.

  35. Done with the sermon, although I'll come back and do a final edit after the funeral. It is about the notion of spirit as advocate for us. I really like today's gospel for Pentecost--different from what we hear most years.

    The sun finally came out here, and I'm kind of envious of all y'all who have time to go out and enjoy it since I'll be here at work all day!

    Our bishop who is coming tomorrow is a great preacher, so I'm looking forward to what she has to say about Pentecost.

  36. I'm beginning to wonder what the heck I've been doing all week. I didn't go to Tuesday Lectionary Leanings, I didn't put lots of random notes down -although I did email some to myself from my phone while I was someplace or other. I have a few ideas on little Post-it notes. And since I've decided to go with Romans this year I can't fall back on other years or even RevGals ideas. Arrgghh.

    Of course, I'm not sure why I'm stressing since I have never yet actually used my carefully prepared manuscript on Pentecost. I have always awakened that morning with something entirely different that wouldn't allow itself to be put on paper. Don't want to count on that, though, even though the sermon is going to be about letting the Spirit in. . .

    Chilly Fingers, we baptize by immersion too. I'm only 5'3" so pretty much everyone is taller than me. But our baptistry is so shallow it barely comes up to my hips, so I have to make everyone kneel down in the water so I can bend them back far enough to be immersed.

    Gord, we have run into no accompanist Sundays occasionally. On those days we go with a hymn everyone knows really well sung a capella with a strong singer leading.

    Grace Eagle, I'm also reading the Norris book, and I'm thinking it fits nicely with the Romans passage, which says in part that we don't know how to pray. Norris talks about a depression/disconnect from God and everything else, which certainly gets in the way keeps us from knowing/remembering how to open ourselves to God in prayer.

    This year I feel pretty confident that the sanctuary will be ready, decorated and properly "flamed" in plenty of time for the first worship service. That's probably because I will be there really early to do it all myself. :-) I do hope I still have plenty of red "stoles" left from last year for the folks who don't wear read.

  37. Rev. Maria - I just returned from church and setting out all the decorations for tomorrow. Just need to fill up helium balloons and tie to already cut pieces of string.

    Meg - It's my first pentecost with this congregation, but i'm guessing they are used to hearing "it" for a HS pronoun. So far, I'm mixing "it" and "she" in the sermon. I think "she" will be a stretch for a lot of folks and want to be conscious of that.

    Now ... on to the sermon ... or maybe a quick nap first ...

  38. My sermon is about halfway done. I'm focusing on why we like to leave out the Spirit: she doesn't neatly fit into our nice little boxes. Like wind and fire, we might think we can control her but we can't.

    Acedia and Me is a wonderful book. I read it last year. I loved it.

  39. I'm kind of weddinged out today, though both services were very special. The sun is shining with unusual determination for England in May, so I just want to flop about and feel v sympathetic for all who live with hotter weather most of the time!
    Tomorrow it's an All Age Communion, & the guy on placement with us promises what sound like pretty stunning visual effects of flames playing on the church walls plus wind sounds to accompany the Acts reading - so I feel less pressure to produce something exciting. That said, we have a cake, on which I will place those relighting candles, we have balloons (most pumped up, but one left deflated as a sermon illustration) and we have an awful lot of streamers that were made at Messy Church. Am hoping that we can end with a manic child-led procession in all directions - but living with the risk that thanks to half term there may be very few children. MEanwhile, there's celery & hummus on the table & cold beer in the fridge. Please help yourselves as I continue to blow up balloons. Why do I have these ideas??

  40. Okay, I've done the grocery shopping for Snowman's party, broken up a cat fight, seen the dog get involved in it, checked everyone for injuries, and now it's lunchtime. Anyone want a vegetarian burrito?

  41. Hubby is preaching tomorrow, but wanted to drop in to wish you all God's continued blessings on your preparations!

    Blow, Spirit, blow!

  42. Good afternoon, preachers! Some wonderful ideas here today!

    We are doing a fun readers' theatre type presentation of the Acts 2 reading at the the top of the service. For the sermon, I'm going a different direction. The John "abiding" passage really struck a chord with my congregation a few weeks ago, so I am preaching off lectionary tomorrow and tackling Galatians 5, fruit of the Spirit- tying it back to "abiding."

    Right now, I'm trying to think of this funny poem I read once. It was someone saying that she hadn't done anything wrong that day- hadn't said anything hurtful or been selfish at all- then she says, "but I'm about to get out of bed..."

    Anyone know what I'm talking about and where i can find it?

  43. Spirit blew through here and I've got a rough draft of the sermon. Outside now to water the plants and paint my toenails red!

    Sending the Spirit in your direction ...

  44. Hugs for Sally, hope you're able to keep that depression at bay.

    Chilly Fingers, is there someone who could help you with the immersion?

    Betsy, I like the idea of using popcorn! I was thinking about talking about the way they burn off fields in the middle of the state, but I know so little about that. Popcorn, I could handle!

    Iris, I've seen the prayer you're talking about. Found it on multiple bulletin boards/email groups. I don't know its true origin: Dear Lord...So far today, I am doing alright....I have not gossiped, lost my temper, been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish or self-indulgent. I have not whined, complained, cursed, or eaten any chocolate. I have charged nothing on my credit card....But I will be getting out of bed in a minute, and I will need your help then.

    Surprisingly enough, I already have my sermon. I had to preach at the nursing home yesterday, so I wrote a Pentecost sermon for that, and it was very well received. One lady even said "I'm so glad you brought us Pentecost!" as she showed me her red jacket. A prominent member died Thursday night, and so now I have a funeral do do before Annual Conference wed-sat. I'm trying to talk lay members into preaching next week. One has said yes, and I think the other will, too (two different churches).

    I have bing cherries and many snacks to share having just grocery shopped this morning.

    Blessings on all your many and varied proclamations.

  45. Kim, thank you, thank you...

    I've just made some strawberry, kiwi smoothies that are just 1 weight watchers point! Help yourselves...

  46. I've got a draft up my place. Comments welcome, if anyone has time and inclination...or wants a procrastination excuse!

  47. I'm feeling a strange urge to write now, in the middle of the day which many of you know IS NOT NORMAL. However, for once I've got some running around stuff I HAVE to do (like stopping by the grocery store to order our balloons for the chancel area tomorrow) that's more time sensitive. Oh well. I'll be back tonight to write! Kids are sleep so I should make my run now to take advantage of it!

  48. 800 words!! Thank you Prof. Beverly Gaventa and TEXTWEEK!!!! (oh, and thanks, Holy Spirit)
    Let's bring this baby home now!

  49. I'm about 1000 words in and really rocking this "Controlled Burn" metaphor.

    Today's fact: did you know that the sequoia seed can only split open, germinate, and become a seedling if it is exposed to fire?

  50. cheese,
    there are a number of conifers that only grow when their cones are exposed to fire. In the past I have preached on Pentecost about the mixed nature of fire. A forest fire seems destructive but is really a natural way of regeneration.

    Sometimes I think we need a magic fire or two in the church.

  51. Thinking of dinner and a rewrite while it cooks...BBQ chicken, anyone?

    I've also decided to use Robin Mark's "Revival" during communion, instead of our usual quiet backgroundish sort of music. It will carry the theme right up to the Table!

  52. Rainbow Pastor, I LOVE Revival! Nice choice for communion on Pentecost!

    Sermon now consists of 2 pages random notes on the passage, letting Spirit in, and comments on the social justice forum I went to Thursday evening that seem to fit. Sigh.

    However, I have read all the blogs I follow, tweeted about random stuff, ordered a friend's first novel from and downloaded a book on Kindle for iPhone for the first time. :-)

    I will now work on sermon and not read the new book. Really. Even though I suspect I'll end up re-writing it in the morning anyway.

  53. Okay. It's done and about as prophetic as I have preached in a few years.

    (What's that that TAR being heated? And where did all these feathers come from?)

  54. Cheese, lol! I may be sharing your fate... Move over, there's plenty for both of us!

  55. Go for it, cheese!
    We are heading out to a concert at the newer-to-me of the two churches I'm serving. Snowman will be playing, and it should be fun. I'll check back in later!!

  56. Well Gee, Cheesehead & Rainbow. On Pentecost of all days you can always defend yourself by saying "the Holy Spirit made me do it."

  57. I got my hymns rearranged. It means using one tune 2x but oh well.

    ANd now the organist will likely show up tomorrow and we won't have to adjust after all...

    Beloved has porkchops almost ready for eating

  58. I am getting somewhere slowly, and hope to be done in the next hour and a half so I can work on some other things. My motivation is low today - -I want to play outside!

  59. Go Cheese!!

    Gord - I'm not preaching next Sunday. Can it really be that I'll be missing Trinity Sunday????!! How did I let that happen?

    ***** Odd interruption ******

    Our Sears Fall and Winter catalogue was just hand-delivered to our condo. It is only May 30th right?

    Anywho....I'm using an illustration re: the Holy Spirit and catching glimpses of her in the most interesting places. I posted about the experience here.(Scroll down about half-way through the post...)

  60. Bringing it in for a soft-landing. The sermon "end" is really the beginning of our celebration of how the Holy Spirit has worked in our church/through our church this year with video & volunteer recognition. So I need to "end" but not really. hrm. . .

  61. Sally - I hope those waves of creeping depression (and what a perfect way to describe them) don't stay around too long.

  62. The funeral is thankfully over, daughter is in the tub enjoying her bubbles, and I THINK I've remembered all the details and stuff for tomorrow's parish confirmation / Pentecost service. You know that nagging feeling that you've overlooked something even though you've gone over everything a bunch of times? Yeh, there I am!

  63. Just couldn't resist dropping by and saying hello - sounds like the Spirit is working in a lot of places today! Sally, I join my prayers with others for your healing and peace. I just got home from the Saturday night service - did the reader's theater of the Acts reading and blew cut up pieces of red, yellow and orange tissue paper off the balcony with a fan - all over the folks! It was a lot of fun. Sermon on HS Surprises went over well.
    I'd be happy to make anyone a cup of tea, herbal or Lipton, on my way to putting kids to bed. Not much to eat around here right now, but I still have some of those dark chocolate truffles from a couple of weeks ago, and I am more than happy to share.
    Blessings to all, and a great dose of the HS on everyone!

  64. p.s. - Hi Nutella - hope you got the sermon done quickly as you wanted! And have everyone bring their parasols (or umbrellas) tomorrow. It has been raining here in NE Ohio for the past week, and chilly, so I would gladly take some sunshine!

  65. I am reading back over everyone's quotes and thinking.
    I had presby meeting today, went to see a nursing homebound member in that region, returned to get some shopping done and then had dinner. Also did an arrangement of flowers for church. NOBODY signed up for Pentecost. I mena, dang, what a cool(or hot) time to do flowers. So, those are done and in sancturay and yes, i turned air down a smidge so everyone will fuss about how cold it is, but will fill GREAT to me in a robe.
    So, now finishing up a barely written sermon and thinking about how to get those dry bones to dance.
    I have fresh peaches and cream and I have really good blueberry muffins. And wine if anyone is so inclined

  66. MUMpastor, how totally awesome!!!!

  67. I have written about another 1/2 page, but have done several things to do that don't involve writing on Romans. Even changed my photo in Blogger.

    Must write. Or maybe eat. The Husband took me earlier out for comfort food - avocado bacon cheeseburger and fries (what cholesterol?)- and I brought 1/2 the burger home with me.

  68. Oh MumPastor, I WISH we had a balcony!!!!!

  69. Okay, everybody, I need help.
    Years ago, from like my childhood (in the 70s) there was a story in National Geographic about the petrified remians of bodies after a volcano ( i think).
    Very vivid photos of bodies strewn about when the volcano erupted and some trying to run from it.
    The remains were actually quite old, but i can rememeber seeing them and looking at them over and over.
    Does anybody remember more details, where, when, what,etc?

  70. That's got to be what you're thinking of.

    Wikipedia stuff is probably pretty good since it's a well known event.

  71. I think that is it. You are brilliant!!!!!

  72. Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 CE. Stopped the town of Pompeii dead in its tracks, pardon the choice of words, but that's pretty descriptive of what happened. Fossils have been found like you mention - - people leaning into ovens to get bread out who never knew what hit them, to those who must have seen something and tried to run, a pregnant woman clutching her belly if I remember correctly.

  73. Hey, y'all! I'm back. It was a fun event at church with musicians of all ages and levels playing. Snowman did really well.
    I believe I have all my ducks in a row for tomorrow. Can I get anyone a piece of Texas Sheetcake?

  74. I would love a nice, healthy slice, SB.
    Can anyone tell me if any other states have their own cakes or desserts? Is it jsut Texas that has a sheetcake?

  75. Songbird, I would love some texas sheetcake!

    I think I am done, even though the sermon isn't. Prayers for a wonderful Pentecost!

  76. Sermon is least til I get up in the morning and read it again! I've posted it here and welcome any comments.

    Still looking for something for children's time...anyone?

    May the Holy Spirit pour herself upon you as you prepare and proclaim!

  77. I will leave the cake on the counter, help yourselves! I'm going to hit the sack, because my day starts earlier than usual tomorrow, as we rehearse the Confirmation class one last time. See you with coffee in the a.m.!

  78. Finally got home from church cleaning and counseling with, as it turned out, all three members of a family in great distress, and have been sermonizing and doing the bulletins. As usual, as I read over all of your comments, I am so impressed with all of your thoughts,inspiration, and all that you accomplish. Prayers for those still working, prayers for those who are suffering...and I have homemade veggie/whole wheat pizza to share for a late supper if anyone's still hungry! Oh, and I have been fighting the urge to use the sermon title "Burn, Baby, Burn"! Actually, I went with "Playing with Fire".

  79. I don't have anything edifying to add--just thought I'd report that I'm sitting here, completely unmotivated, 2 1/2 weeks away from my due date, grimacing with braxton hicks contractions working on a Pentecost sermon on Romans 8--b/c God has a wicked sense of humor. I'm not really ready for this baby personally or professionally, but right now labor and delivery seems a little more enjoyable than producing a good sermon.

  80. 1-4 Grace: Herculeneum (sp?) is the other volcano-ash-covered town. I was utterly fascinated by the Nat'l Geo articles about Pompeii and Herculeneum both. I seem to recall the Herc. article being back in the early or mid 1980s.

    Hope everybody's having fun Playing with Fire and makin' them Bones walk around... In honour of both, here are some spicy BBQ ribs for all you night-writers! HAPPY PENTECOST!!!

  81. Good-night, everyone. May the Spirit show up in wonderful ways tomorrow!


  82. I'm finally here, just in time to bid many of you good night! Got back tonight from synod assembly and now it's time to write, write, write. I'm going with Romans 8 too (but don't have the fabulous irony of Kate's situation). Not a scrap of anything yet.

    Hmm. I think I need need some food first. This could be a long night--NOT what I need right now.

  83. hey. sorry to be late. been at meetings and at worship all day. I have a sermon. I actually am surprised at how it finally turned out. not exactly what I was envisioning, but I think I had enough ideas for more than one sermon.

    anyway, I talked about the Spirit giving us the power to tell the story only we can tell... the power to speak, but that it also includes the power to listen to those speaking on the margins.

    I really didn't think it was going to turn out this way.


    not sure if this is good or bad.

    but it being late, I'm going to go ahead and preach it.

    how is everyone?

    I'm tired.

  84. RE children, in spite of last week's balloon discussion I am going with a modified version of the Pentecost children's sermon at, talking about how balloons are pointless until we breathe into them, and we too were nothing until God breathed into the people who wrote the Bible sometimes used "breath" as a word to talk about God...and then shamelessly bribing (umm, I mean, reminding!!) them by giving out red helium-filled balloons (volunteers handy to tie them on, of course).

  85. OK. So I have pretty good outlined material, but nothing really in written form. I really want to get this finished before I go to bed since my husband is going to another church tomorrow to lead their Pentecost activities. Unfortunately that church will not have their usual childcare because of said activities so the little ones have to come with me to our church - - an hour before the nursery workers get there. So, I really need to have everything ready to go when the morning gets going. At least he'll still be here to help us get out the door.

    That said, I need a sermon (duh), prayers of the people (not a major crisis), and a plan for handing out the red tealights I mentioned earlier - - sort of a reverse offering I'm thinking, maybe with the kids who are singing doing the passing out. Oh yeah - - and we've got 30 red, orange, and yellow helium-filled balloons coming in the morning, too. I'll need to find a way to incorporate them into the service so they aren't so random. They will be decoration, but I feel like they should also be mentioned!

  86. Wow - - we're closing down early. Well, I'm still up, but it's not much of a party by myself. Just need to focus and stop playing around and I'll be able to go to BED!

  87. I have GOT to remember that when it's not coming together like I need it to it's because there is something on the page that doesn't belong. Ugh. Finally got my flow right, so I'm going to bed for a few hours.

  88. Fell asleep at my desk, which I guess I needed, so here's hoping I can get something together soon...ugh...I really don't have very much to say and it's late! ack!

  89. Can I say "this sucks" in my sermon? Or is this an ill-advised homiletical move born of sleep deprivation?

  90. I'm going to have to say ill-advised. I always ask myself if I would be ticked if a preacher said it when my kids were within earshot. While I say it at home in front of my kids (probably still ill-advised) I would definitely be ticked if a preacher said it in the pulpit when my kids were present. It's a lot harder to have a leg to stand on when telling them it's not good to say it in public when the preacher is saying it in worship.

    (Although it's all together appropriate to say it here in reference to a sermon, like I will - - this SUCKS)

  91. 1246 words, and now I'm just rambling...I need to bring this home ASAP and start getting ready for the day.

  92. She Rev: would this part help, or no?

    "(Now, I feel I must apologize if any of you are offended by my repeating this prayer from the pulpit. Kids, I would not go repeating this prayer at home or school. Because these words are not always appropriate.) But I've repeated the prayer here because I think we need to challenge the concept that prayer is only prayer when it is neat and nice and theologically sound and sounds like poetry. Because that turns prayer into something that only English majors and pastors can do, and that is exactly the opposite of what the Holy Spirit is doing."

  93. Er, the prayer mentioned was basically "Dear God, this sucks."

  94. The set-up definitely helps, so I guess it depends on your particular context. I might still try to replace it with a well emphasized "This stinks," but if it needs the strong language it's not like the Bible is without strong language. My other thing with sucks is that while it rolls off my tongue very easily and doesn't sound at all offensive to my ears, I understand it is different from those of an older generation. My mom's pretty "hip," but it's still a phrase that makes her cringe a little. However, my guess is that's probably why it would work so well in the sermon. Good luck!

  95. That's it, She Rev...I am trying to make a theological point by using that level of language, not just giving in to the slang of my generation. Does that help? Who knows. Before preaching I may sweep the crowd for any kids, and either speak to parents beforehand or alter the story if any are present.

    Funnily enough, I think it might be more effective (if I change it) to not substitute something, but simply to allude to using questionable language in a prayer. And see how many people later ask, "so....what did you say???"

    Now, off to get ready. I'm going to be late! Blessings on all pondering, preaching and proclamation today.

  96. We broke the "suck" barrier last summer with a Children's time about words you aren't supposed to say at home, much less in church, but I have to say I would still hesitate to preach it!
    I've got a fresh pot of coffee for early revisers or last-minute scriveners. May the Spirit speak through each of us this day.

  97. Well, I have one of those sermon dogs that non one wants to take and preach out of. Yesterday seeing the dogs that no one wants at the pet store and up for adoption, made me think of my sermon. It just won't come together. But I am going to preach it anyway and walk that dog proudly.

    So praying for each of us as we preach the word this morning. Come Holy Spirit inspire the hearts of the faithful.

  98. Abi, the Spirit will be with you, I feel sure.

  99. Thanks, Song bird and with you and each of as well.

  100. Later than I hoped, but I'm bringing this one home!

  101. And we're off...
    Preaching the word, asking the Spirit to be with us, sucky, dog sermons and all.
    And by noonish we shall be into the homestretch as we say the benedicitons and shake hands at the door.
    Our moderator told story of the lady who would come up to him after service and say, " Nice try."
    Oh my, well, spirit has got our backs today as always.
    Lets party!


You don't want to comment here; instead, come visit our new blog, We'll see you there!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.