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Saturday, May 09, 2009

11th Hour Preacher Party: How Does Your Garden Grow Edition?

Good morning, gals and pals! This morning the corridors of the education wing are lined with, you guessed it, flowers! Baskets, bedding plants, and all manner of green and colorful things, waiting to be planted in the warm spring ground. I'll also be helping to teach a group of 4th graders just a little bit about the Apostle's Creed this morning. And of course, there are those readings all about love vines and branches and love and baptism.....

How does your garden grow this morning? I've been thinking of a lot this week about Jesus' command to "abide in me": how life is all about staying connected -- to God and to one another. How does your garden grow this morning? What threatens to cut you off from the Source of Life, and how do you keep connected? I commend to you the conversations on these subjects earlier this week here.

This morning I am actually making blueberry pancakes (a rare treat in our household), and invite you to pull up a chair and join us. Also, of course, have a cup of coffee or tea; share your journey through your sermon preparations, your children's sermon ideas, or any thoughts, opinions, etc you have about this very complicated 5th Sunday of Easter, and Mother's Day.


  1. 10:30am here in Scotland. The breadmaker is on and shortly I will go and put some butternut squash, sweet potato and red pepper soup on to simmer while I settle in to do some work. The Tuesday Lectionary leanings really inspired me but I didn't quite get around to putting anything in writing so, as I cook, I'll try and put the meanderings of earlier in the week into some kind of preachable format. While I've had loads of fun the last few Saturdays with no sermon to prepare, today is one of those dreich Scottish days, grey sky, grey seas and drizzly rain, so it seems good to hunker down in the kitchen with the laptop while the rest of the family are busy in home improvement projects. Taken by the idea of hospitality in the encounter with the eunuch in Acts. And that seems like a timely message here - our church is growing and sunday worship is attracting folk who (gasp!) don't know how to behave. I'll try to preach the Holy spirit rather than make points though. Looking forward to the company of all you revgalblogpals.

  2. Hi woke early here cool breeze cleansing. -the vine image I think is more radical than we tend to give it credit. It is not a group of individuals who make the vine strong with their independent gifts. It is the vine that is necessary for abundant life. Living in / with JC. Is what makes for both survival and growth. Abiding is an activity. Not an address or a stopping place.
    that's what I have so far as focus. Maybe I'll re-rack it is only 5am in Oklahoma. See you all later. Chai Tea anyone?

  3. blueberry pancakes.
    chai tea.

    not preaching, but up anyway.

    I've got some lovely robust Cafe Justo to share....

  4. mmm. and save me some soup for later, liz!

  5. welcome to all this early a.m. Liz, it sounds like good and fascinating things are happening at your church! I would love to hear more about it sometime.

    Bobbi, I like what you are saying about abiding.

    I also like the chai tea, and I'll be looking for some soup a little later, too.

  6. Hey, y'all! I'm continuing the complicated life of serving two churches and trying to keep my personal responsibilities afloat, too. Today I will teach a class at Confirmation Retreat for Y1P, be a chaperon for 75 girls at my daughter's choral concert this afternoon and then come home to finish preparing for worship at 1PF. I have a sermon draft (and it's, for me, a classic Thursday first draft, unpreachable--this is why I write on Saturdays!!), so I need to write/rewrite tonight, as well as finishing a skit due to be given to the Sunday School teacher before class tomorrow (in outline form at the moment). There is also quite a bit of driving involved. I will try to check in when I pass through mid-day, but I will *definitely* be back this evening!

  7. songbird, I was where you are last weekend (but for the whole weekend.)

    blessings on your complicated life, and on your sermon!

  8. Good morning pals,

    I am really needing some sermon mojo. Feeling very unfocused.

    I will be giving two workshops at a clergy education event and then comming home to write teh sermon.

    I will try to work on the sermon during the day inbetween workshops but I don't know how much I'll get done.

    the thing I'm stuck on is "Ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." There's a lot of unanswered wishes in my congregation right now. How do I preach to that. Some of those wishes are mine btw.

    Peace and love,

  9. Would anyone like any funnybones. They are chocolate covered little snack cakes with peanut butter in the middle. My beloved gave me a couple with my morning coffee.

    Peace and love,

  10. While I have thought about the sermon, I haven't come up with anything as formal as a sermon. I do have my power point presentation of vacation slides ready and all the food has been bought for today's lunch at the Salvation Army. Not much to prepare this month as I'm feeling lazy.
    Organist called late last night after a 5-car accident. She's sore but okay otherwise, she thinks. Vestry member leaves for surgery four hours away this morning so I spent time there yesterday. And I'm still hip deep in church history for my May 30 class. Then there's the Blue Book to read before Province IV meets on June 3rd in preparation for the July General Convention in Anaheim.
    So I'm giving thanks for Feasting on the Word and Christian Century and REvGals as they fuel my sermons in the next two months. Happy Saturday to you all. I'd offer to share breakfast but it's only cheerios.

  11. Hi this is my first time trying to leave a comment, being a bit of a luddite I am not sure I will mangage it! I am focusing on abiding this week, how we abide in Jesus and how we reflect that experience. For some months I have been reading revgalblogpals and as someone who finds anything technological difficult was scared to try and join in. However I have enjoyed listening to you all so much and desperatly wanted to take part, in fact even though I dont know you all I feel as though I have been 'abiding' with you as we all strive to fulfill our ministries. I will be so excited if this actually works.

  12. Wow, some very busy lives out there today! Mine not so busy - playing soccer at 9, taking girls to get haircuts at 11, Freckleface soccer game at 1, then leave for church at 3:30 for the Saturday night service. I am excited to have no place special to be tomorrow!
    I just had a yummy breakfast of oatmeal mixed with blueberries (frozen) strawberries (fresh) and fat free vanilla yogurt. Yum! I'm happy to make another, or when I get back from soccer I'll make you a cup of homemade hot cocoa, my morning beverage of choice.
    Sermon is 95% done, on what it means to abide - that word appears 14 times in this week's texts, and fascinated me. First time in a long time the sermon just came, on Wednesday! Thanks to SheRev who really got me going on it on Tuesday. I'll try to post it in a bit.
    Blessings to all on your busy, or not so busy (is there ever such a thing?), days!

  13. Good morning, y'all. I'm sitting in Panera bread, giving myself a pep talk that I will finish by this afternoon and not be up at 4 am Sunday writing the second half of the sermon. I've known about y'all but have not been on revgal for the 11th hour edition. It is good to feel solidarity and companionship in this endeavor. I'm still figuring out how to write a sermon every week, and the writing part causing such anxiety. But for today, I am concentrating on the pruning aspect - what it means for us as a church as well as individuals to be pruned by God and by the Word. It's not fun, but it's a necessary part of discipleship. I, too, have found Christian Century helpful, articles that are listed in So glad to have a working breakfast with y'all!

  14. anfiexiles -- it worked! welcome! mumpastor, that sounds like a very very delicous breakfast.

    Looking forward to feasting and planning with all of you.

  15. I'm going to focus on abiding, and use some stories from a book I'm reading about the Desert Mothers to connect abiding in love and something about mothers - our Desert Mothers.

  16. REv Deb -- I like what you are talking about! sounds intriguing!

  17. For anyone who has been following: Our big boy cat is feeling much better this morning. He's had food/water/meds and no frow up. Yay!!

    Not preaching this week, as I'm (technically) on holidays. Blessings to all of you as I head off for a full day workshop on amalgamation with another church. (Doesn't SOUND like holiday activity, but what can you do?)

    I leave you with an early morning haiku (or at least, my fuzzy-brained attempt at one)

    There is snow on the deck
    And a workshop to attend
    But still, it is May


    have a great day everyone.

  18. Bravo on the haiku, Sue!

    I woke up earlier than I intended, after staying up too late last night waiting for a call from the WonderGirl, who flew to The State That Might Fall Into the Ocean Any Second Now, but forgot to call when her plane landed. Oy. I called her midnight-ish and she was apologetic.

    I am motivated to get this thing done because Blue Eyes and I have plans to go to the 4:15 showing of Star Trek.

    But I also have some last minute things for my trip tomorrow to get ready. I'm going to Synod City right after worship (well, technically I'm headed to the airport, but the plane will take me to Synod City) where I will sit in a stuffy Synod office tomorrow afternoon/evening and pour over about 350 pages of legal documents in order to prepare for Monday and Tuesday, which are a church trial. As you can guess, I can't say any more about that.

    My sermon is about "off the beaten path" and the Acts text. Since there is a little time/space continuum breach in that text, I will probably borrow heavily on this week's "Lost" episode!

  19. Snow, Sue? It was 100, count 'em, 100 degrees here yesterday. No spring in sight--we're already in summertime.

    Let's see...I am way off lectionary and preaching a re-worked old sermon on Jesus calming the storm. But, I am also working on next week's farewell sermon, based on the vine & branches passage from this week's lectionary. I'm thankful for all the wisdom so far shared on that one.

    And, for any Acts preachers out there, I preached on the Ethiopian eunuch last week. I focused on his very good question "what is to prevent me from being baptized?" The answer, for him, and for all of us, is "nothing." What can keep God's grace away from us? Nothing. Hope that might be helpful to someone.

    After a trip to the doctor's office this morning, I'll be back to check in.

    Oh, and regarding Mother's Day, I'll mention it in the prayer.

  20. Thanks cheese. I'm hoping to see Star Trek tomorrow night.

    esperanza - it was only a dusting of snow, but still.... And I'm with you, when I preach on Mother's Day it only shows up in the prayers.

    Blessed preaching folks...

  21. It's grey and drizzly here, and I slept later than I meant to. I'm trying to recapture some of what I said in an extemporaneous homily Thursday morning about pruning and abiding. We'll see how it goes.

    I'm preaching all this month while the boss is away on vacation and while John isn't usually my favorite to preach on, I'm enjoying these weeks of 1 John/John in the lectionary.

  22. boy do I need to find out more about "Lost."

    Star Trek! I have heard good things. Tell us about it, Cheese (but don't spill the beans.)

    Hope everything is going -- well -- fruitfully. I'm packing up for church now, a class and a communion call, and then will be back with you in the p.m.

  23. Spaghetti sauce is in the crock pot.
    Laundry is well underway.
    Dishes used to prep above saue are washed.

    Sermion? Ideas floating around in my head.

    But first I have to go cook sausages for tomorrow's brunch (boil them off and then brown them a bit)

  24. Blessings on all your ministerial gardens!

    I'm setting out a big bowl of organic yoghurt mixed with ginger preserves and some "rebel crunch" granola. I've put violet blossoms around the edges of the bowl--you can eat them too!

    No preaching for me this week, though I'm gearing up for next Sunday. Take a wee break, stretch your legs, and come down to my garden!

    We planted tatsoi, spinach, "easter egg" radishes, swiss chard, shallots, and "chioggia" beets this morning. Earlier this week I planted trees: ginko, linden, apple, pear, and snake willow. Now the fruit trees are all unfolding their tightly-clenched spring leaves to receive the light.(Possible sermon material?) The morning sun illuminates them like living stained glass.

    We also have pruning to do, but that won't get done today. I love the process of pruning, of looking over a tree and trying to understand all its dimensions, all the different directions it needs to grow. Pruning is a dialogue between two growing things in which both are changed and shaped. I enjoy the process of opening a tree to the flow of air among its branches. It is hard to make the cuts, but the process brings health as it redirects the energy of growth.

    Ah, but the pruning has to I'm off to my off-farm job, then tonight we're picking up eight piglets!

  25. Okay, I will admit it, I have already played computer games, checked my email and yes been on Face Book. I had a relapse.

    But I am using face book as my modern metaphor being connected in my sermon. I have a good start, now for a middle and an end.

    Ya'll are up way to early and already cooking, off doing things, and writing.

    Songbird I remember the days of two churches and trying to juggle life too. i'll be thinking about you.

    BGM I agree the vine life is radical.

    welcome Anfiexiles.

    Congrats Mum Pastor.

    Yea Sue.

    Cheesehead, I am glad you and blueeyes are gong to see Star Trek, maybe it will prepare to boldly go where none of like to go through those legal documents and church trial. I am not hinting you are on trial, I just hate legalese. Be thinking aobut you.

    RevDrMom hope you can recapture.

    Just a prayer tomorrow. Just a prayer for moms.

  26. Oh, golly, no, I'm not on trial.

    I'm a member of the "supreme court" (kinda sorta--a group of 7-9 "judges") for our Synod. Prayers are appreciated. These next few days are going to be rough, for all concerned.

  27. I've got a new dog! Picked him up from the shelter yesterday, and is it terrible that I don't want to go to hospital visitation because I'd rather stay here and play with him?

    Anyway, thankfully, the sermon is done so when I get back, I can play!

  28. Good morning ladies. A storm is a-brewin' here -- as is the tea and I have cinnamon rolls to share!

    I am done sermonating for the day -- Thomas the Twin sermon is a rewrite of a previous meditation + some closing thoughts on the four week sermon series I'm concluding -- just in time for vacation Wednesday!

    BUT I'm also hoping I can help all you John 15-ers out with a meditation I wrote on said text. It was for a seminary chapel so its geared more for our lot but there may be some universals in there too (it is scripture, after all). I contrasted fruitfulness & productivity asking this question: Was Jesus Christ productive. . .or was he fruitful?

  29. Diane - I'll take some blueberry pancakes, please! Yummy!!

    Liz - I'll be back for some soup around lunch time.

    Anfiexiles - welcome!

    CH - many prayers for the difficult work you will do

    I worked last night on constructing a vine and branches out of rope, fake flowers, construction paper, and pipe cleaners. Had some good moments of reflecting on the sermon as I did so.

    Now to just get it onto the page ...

  30. My 'rents are in town visiting from Florida, so I'm off for a day with them. The daughter turns 4 on Tuesday so the festivities are beginning. This morning it's a trip to the Mall of America for rides, lunch at the American Girl restaurant, and a new doll (a surprise for her from Mimi, not me).

    Anyway, I had my ideas earlier in the week about abiding and hospitality and tying in Phillip's story, too. I still like that. I had hoped to write yesterday before the company showed, but the almost-2 year old boy's stomach had a different idea. He got sent home from daycare with a stomach bug and that messed up my writing plans. As I was heading to bed last night I had some ideas that also incorporate a painting I found by Google image searching "abide." I got permission from the artist to use it in our worship, so I decided not just to show it, but to use it as a discussion starter at the beginning of the sermon.

    Basic plan:
    1. Conversation with congregation about the word abide (a la discussion about its underuse from Sermon Brainwave)

    2. Discussion about painting called "Abide/Sheltered". Bring to availability/hospitality.

    3. Move to preaching - - abiding as hospitality (Help from book referenced on blog about Benedictine hospitality)

    4. Acts story at hospitality/abiding

    5. Bring it home.

    Lot going on, but I think it's very doable. I'll be doing it late tonight.

  31. Drop everything, go see Star Trek, it's worth it. I hadn't thought about the time-space continuum in Acts and I'm preaching it. hmmmm Not a fan of lost but there are some in the congregation and I've seen enough that perhaps I can use it. thanks cheese.

  32. Like Anfiexiles, I'm also focusing on "abide", because I too was fascinated by it being used 14 times b/w the two texts - 4x God abiding in us, 10x us abiding in God (in case you're interested. :) Hmm, why does it mention us abiding in God more than God abiding in us? Anyway, that's pretty much what I posted on Lectionary leanings, and I don't have much more than that. Though I have my introduction written.

    I smell really good bacon cooking, so at least I have that to offer for breakfast. Don't know what else Dave is cooking up. It's a beautiful day here, so I'd like to plant myself for 2-3 solid hours and be done with it, so I can be outside enjoying the sunshine and romping with the dogs.

  33. Oh this is really good. Yesterday when I was preparing to leave work, I got a phone call that interrupted my train of thought and what I was doing. I had to go downstairs to take care of something, then something else, and something else. You all know how it goes. I went back upstairs, finished loading my book bag and left. Oh yeah I forgot something that I only discovered this morning, my laptop. I don't have my laptop that has all my notes, beginning sermon, etc in it. And now it is storming, so I am not going out to go get it. It is reconstruct time. But maybe that's better just a little more work.

    So how is everybody else doing?
    Chilly fingers congrats on the new dog. I understand about not wanting to do hospital visitation and instead play. But you have your sermon done already? Sigh congrats.

    Meg you done too? Congrats.

    Dancing with God, hope you too can construct the sermon. Love the visual you made. Get pictures.

    Supreme Court Justice Cheeshead, it has a ring to it. Should we turn your name into Obama to replace Souter? And yes prayers.

    Main Celt, sounds lovely.

    Ya'll say a prayer for my boss the senior Pastor, he is really sick and the Doc told him no preaching this Sunday. He has vertigo and they put him on one of them powerful drugs. The Doc said it would be funny, but not a good sermon. So he is abiding by that. My service Pastor the other Associate is going to preach in traditional in his place. So now I will have it all. His name is Charles Gattis by the way. And he would appreciate the prayers. He dosn't do well with sick. And his wife would appreciate them too.

  34. Well, I'm about 2/3 done, but now I'm afraid there is too much "Lost", not enough Bible. Yikes!

  35. Prayers going up for all we are doing today and in the next few days!

    I'm using the Acts passage and pulling in Isaiah 56 to match it. So far I know I will be talking about listening, guiding and making disciples, rather than "converts," per the Great Commission. i have abunch of notes and not much else.

    I am motivated to be done by 4 pm, as I am meeting a friend at my favourite tea/coffee/sandwich place. She's off to Cambodia in a few days, where she works in public health for a non-profit; a few months here, a few in Cambodia. Amazing stories she has to tell...

    I am also planning to make Sag Ghosh for dinner--a lovely beef-and-spinach dish from India/Pakistan. I'm using my friend's recipe and it's the first time I'll have made it myself, but I love the dish and have missed it since I moved here to River City (and away from my friend...).

    I really should also do some house cleaning--I've already done the bathroom!

    I have bagels (as usual) and oatmeal to offer. Sag Ghosh for dinner!

  36. After my last comment, I remembered my preaching mentor who sometimes relied heavily on "West Wing" and "The Sopranos" back in the day. I feel better.

  37. Strange morning here.

    Washer no longer wants to spin clothes - so have a bin full of wet sheets. Dear Husband, who has his sermon done already, has run off to laundrymat for rest of laundry.

    Lawnmover doesn't want to stay on, so the lovely green grass is even lovelier and lush and Long.

    I got a intentionally guilt-inducing e-mail from my sister saying - CALL MOM. Which is I did. Which I intended to do. I did forget mailing a card. Does an e-card count?

    And finally am trying to settle my mind down for sermon-writing. How do you'all do it when you have kids to handle, workshops, and so many other projects on the burner at once?

    The text is the Ethiopian and Philip - the theme is that real love is sharing God's love with an acknowledgment of Mother's Day.

    (the real challenge this year will be preaching on July 5th).

    I want to incorporate the old 'Prayer for the Children' as well.

    Maybe I'm trying to do too much.

  38. Mainecelt: your comment -Pruning is a dialogue between two growing things in which both are changed and shaped - really hit home. Thanks for that. Sermon is coming along slowly. Soup turned out well and the kids demolished all of the home made bread. Hubby is just toasting some bagels for an afternoon snack. Wish we could get that sweet cream cheese that you get over there - ours are all savoury varieties. However I do have some bramble jelly to share with the cinnamon and raisin bagels.

  39. A side comment about "reading", as the Ethiopian is doing. I remember reading in a book about Chaucer that he was one of the first people it can be attested to that read silently, to himself.

    Chaucer's wife would take him to task for reading silently in her presence. She thought it was rude that he did not share the book.

    My thought was that 'reading' was once a public endeavor. The Ethiopian would be reading not only for himself, but for all who were with him. So his search for faith (and Philip's response) weren't really the 'one-on-one' example of personal evangelism some want to make of it. Faith is communal.

  40. I am done with the sermon. It is rough and i will clean it up later. Now off to a children's event for some fun.

    How is everybody else doing?

    Hey Rainbow, I hope you get done, nice to have such motivation as you do.

    Prisca@peace, I only called my mom today, I forgot too. Its okay. Hope you can settle down and write. Sounds like you are doing your part to green the earth.

    Cheesehead, sometimes a lot of scripture is appropriate, and sometimes a medium amount, sometimes a little is appropriate. I am sure yours is just right.

  41. Wedding tonight, and preaching tomorrow at a church that has just been through a LOT of issues - like most of the congregation leaving to form their own non-denominational church, and taking many of the church's significant physical possessions with them. So, I'm preaching about finding hope when you're missing something. The eunuch was obviously missing something; the gospel passage is about being pruned; and yet, there is hope. We'll see how it goes.

  42. Prisca@peace: what an interesting idea! reading silently vs reading for the community (and especially for those who couldn't read, I'm assuming?)

    I'm home somewhat under the weather and WAY behind on this week. no bulletin yet. no sermon yet. but a funeral done, way too many trips up north to my church this week, and way more work with my other job is also behind me. so it's down to my sermon, a bulletin, and then tackle 3 bulletins and pentecost celebration next week before heading to the festival of homies. Hoping to meet up with some of all there!

    Cheesehead, I had a parishioner just yesterday say I needed to fill him in on LOST. WE even batted around the idea of a sunday school series on it. I've been thinking about all the religious references and tie-ins lately as well. I say preach it. And I also say keep preaching from West Wing too.

    I'm tackling the eunuch and want ot talk about our fencing God's grace from others...I thought three stories dealing with this idea would be good, so I just need to come up with three stories. arg.

    with my sore throat, a crazy hectic week, no sermon adn no bulletin, I thought tomorrow would make for a great hymn-sing sunday...especially as it's been requested, then I remembered we have a guest pianist who doesn't know our hymnal well enough to have hymns requested of her at hte last minute. oh well. sermonizing it is.

  43. Meant to say, we celebrate mother's day here in the UK at the midpoint of Lent. Somehow that gives it another focus - as a bit of a relief from Lenten discipline - an excuse to party. So we try to celebrate motherhood and stand alongside those for whom the day brings pain. I've found that, while I used to be quite cynical about it being another commercial victory for the card makers, grounding it in Lent, in journeying through the wilderness and allowing ourselves a brief respite from that makes it more "do-able" in terms of liturgy as well as more inclusive for the worshipping community.
    Now, back to hospitality and pruning.

  44. Survived confirmation retreat session...just passing through...soon to be faced with 75 girls grades 7-12...back later!

  45. That's interesting Prisca --I've never thought about reading out loud as being the more usual practice one upon a time.

    Still think I am going with Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch as a hospitality story, but that abiding thing looks attractive also.

    I sometimes picture this encounter in my head as RuPaul meets Billy Graham, but I concede that image may be over the top. ;)

  46. Home from Mother/Daughter brunch which came way too early after the late night that resulted from The Entertainer's broken arm. I much prefer being at the ER in a pastoral role :)

    Meanwhile, Confirmation and Mother's Day are tomorrow and I'm taking a nap before a sermon will even begin to take shape.

    See you later

  47. Yay. Its only 6:30pm and I've got a draft. Its posted here. As always, comments will be very welcome.
    As a bonus the dreich Scottish day has given way to a bright, breezy evening so I may go and blow the cobwebs away before supper. Been inside the entire day and feeling a bit headachey.
    I can offer some bbq chicken pizza and lots of fresh filling salad for those still working. And I'll pop back in a bit to see how the party's progressing and to read a few more sermons and wish I'd said that! Fresh air, here I come.

  48. I am back from Apostles Creed class. I forgot that the picture book I used was so old; I need to change some of the language for next time.

    I also visited a woman whose cancer has just returned.

    So many good ideas here! Wish I was preaching!

    Instead, I am getting ready for a mother's day lunch for my mom and mother-in-law (simple salad menu) and helping my husband fix the garage door. I don't have any idea what I'm doing but he says I can be helpful.

  49. Just took a Kashi pizza out of oven - artichoke hearts & sundried tomato. Plenty for all.

    Ugh, Mother's Day.

    Praying for you preachers.

  50. Well, for the most part, I'm done. I'll look at the sermon later on tonight for revisions, flow, etc. It's amazing what 2 1/2 hours glued to the computer, with not even a game of solitaire or free cell here and there to distract, will accomplish. Off to spend some time outdoors.

    As for Mother's Day, I'll acknowledge it in the prayers and try to be inclusive of the many different situations, but that will be it for recognizing it in worship. This year Mother's Day is harder for me, as it begins to sink in that our hope for a baby may not be God's hope. Alas.

  51. ((rev kim))

    I'll have a slice of that pizza Mary Beth! sound very yummy!!!

  52. Church fundraiser dinner later today, sermon still needs much work, but I really just want to knit right now. Been in a bit of a funk most of the week, and on Friday, hubby and I leave for a getaway to Savannah, GA. We tagged on to the frontside of his business trip, so that we could celebrate our 20th anniversary which he'll be gone for. Daughter graduates the following weekend, so that weekend is hers and the relatives' that are coming in. Will probably do a hymn sing then because it's Memorial Day weekend, and attendance will probably be down. So if i can just get through tomorrow, I'm home free for a few weeks.

  53. ((((RevKim)))) I know what that pain feels like.

    You all have been so busy this morning! I had an early morning appointment with my ob/gyn oncologist, who is promoting me from the semi-annual visits I've been doing for the last 10 years to annual checkups. Halleluia!

    Then breakfast with husband to celebrate and I did keep to my diet by only eating 1/2 of what I was served. I've lost 12 pounds in the last few months and I'd hate to gain it back. But may I just say that trying to not smoke while watching my calories/cholesterol/carbs is crazy making! (I will quit smoking, I will, I will, I will - with God's help.)

    Then to the hardware store for some plant stakes. I have a potted tree that keeps leaning way over, which makes it hazardous to walk across the dining room. Sadly, my "garden" is all in pots as I have a small patio and no yard.

    So it's nearly lunchtime and I haven't even started writing.

    I love what you're doing, Prisca@Peace. I think I'm headed in the same general direction, if I correctly remember what I was thinking on Tuesday. I keep telling my folks that Scripture is meant to be read out loud and communally. And that certainly explains how Philip even knew what the eunuch was reading.

    Now if I can stay off Twitter for more than 5 minutes maybe I'll get some writing done.

    I have lots of fresh veggies and mandarin oranges to snack on, and enough iced green tea with lemon for everyone.

  54. I have a preachable (barely) sermon! Now to put together prayers of the people and I can go to tea with a clear conscience.

    When I get back, it will be cooking time! Looking forward to banging pots and pans, tasting this and that, making the house smell good...

  55. I am off to a fish fry for supper soon, but first wok on sermon and/or finish the scarf for my mom.
    I am doing Acts and still keep thinking of bad, bad jokes!
    Godgurl, would love some funnybones. Pass a handful.
    Welcome to Anfiex!
    Nice work Sue. Now if you can help me write a hymn text for Pentecost, as most of ours suck!
    Hugs to Kim!!!!
    Prayers to Cheese too! That sounds like one of those yucky things to do. I am now on the Ministry Committee here and end up hearing about a lot of yucky stuff.

  56. And yes, I'd much rather be knitting or putting together a beaded braclet.
    Mugsy has been actign wild. I think he got a sniff of the jewlery cement I was usign earlier. He keeps rolling around and biting his tail. It is good to just see him playful after such a rough time with asthma.
    Prayers to all.

  57. 1-4, a fish fry sounds incredibly good. It has been a long time...

    I'm off to take a nap and hopefully then work on these sermons and prayers and (yikes) children's sermons.

  58. Oh, how many folks do we have heading to Festival of Homies?
    I know Nutella and I will be there. Cheese, JaneEllen and Cass are all going?
    Anybody else>

  59. Rev Maria, hooray for you on the weight lost and the determination to stop smoking. Both challenging undertakings.

    CH, prayers for the trial and those involved.

    Glad to hear about new or healthier pets!

    I have zero ideas, or maybe it's a few ideas and zero interest in developing any of them. We are in an interim, and our search committee met with the vestry today to pass on the final names. I celebrated eucharist with them and preached at that, and it seems to have used up all my motivation. I'm going to see what some of you have written; that should inspire me!

    The last bits of some salsa verde pork (rub pork with garlic and a bit of salt and/or pepper, put in crock pot, dump over it a jar of salsa verde, and cook for 10 hours...yum!) and corn tortillas are here for anyone who wants them. I'm thinking those funny bones sound mighty tasty.

  60. I'll be there at the Festival of Homies too...

  61. Alas, I am not coming to the Festival of homies this year...I opted for the REvgals event instead, and then... was not able to go. I will miss you.

    (((Rev Kim))) you are in my prayers. really.

  62. Prayers for you RevKim

    A favorite sub sandwich, and a clean sink later (I tried that clean the bathroom trick), but stll no sermon...

    and now a nap is calling me but I must resist the temptation.

    As for Mother's day, my congregation already experiences and knows me as being on teh spacy/forgetful side, so I can just claim I forgot to mention it. :)
    Forgetfulness hides a whole multitude of sins for me!

    ok, I WILL write this sermon, I WILL write this sermon...

  63. Meg, that meditation for which you gave the link is fabulous...hitting rather close to home for me. Productivity vs. fruitfulness. And I love the consideration of Jesus's concern (or not) with productivity!

    ChillyFingers, well said, and with lots of dry humor that makes me want to hear you preach it :-) I like the question of what it takes to acquire a taste for God, and whether it's really what we want.

  64. Back safely from chaperoning all those girls, and I survived, barely.
    Now must care for dog, figure out dinner, then get to work on re-writing crappy first draft of sermon and filling in Youth Sunday skit. We're going to Whole Foods, to the bakery, and pick up a Mother's Day Eve sweet of some kind. This is a holiday with a vigil, right?

  65. Oh sisters. Would that this forum had been present all along. I've almost finished sermon folks ask after 30 years of preaching don't you use sermons from the barrel and I tried at one time. But it didn't work for me.

    You going to homelitics forum. Twitter what you are hearing. I'm. bobbiemcgarey. If you do sign me up as friend. All y'all can do this. Another way to be in touch. Same name on facebook.

    ok here's my mothers day story. Years ago I called my Mom on mothers day. We were in close touch so hearing from me was not unusual. I dialed. A woman said hello - I said Mother? -she said with great joy YES!! - I hesitated. Is this betty? - with a deep sigh. no---- oh I said I have a wrong number. But happy mothers day. --thank you she said. Sadly

    I thought who else needs a call from someone important to them. Who remembers them?

    All I want is a mosquito net given in my honor to networkers.

  66. Oh sisters. Would that this forum had been present all along. I've almost finished sermon folks ask after 30 years of preaching don't you use sermons from the barrel and I tried at one time. But it didn't work for me.

    You going to homelitics forum. Twitter what you are hearing. I'm. bobbiemcgarey. If you do sign me up as friend. All y'all can do this. Another way to be in touch. Same name on facebook.

    ok here's my mothers day story. Years ago I called my Mom on mothers day. We were in close touch so hearing from me was not unusual. I dialed. A woman said hello - I said Mother? -she said with great joy YES!! - I hesitated. Is this betty? - with a deep sigh. no---- oh I said I have a wrong number. But happy mothers day. --thank you she said. Sadly

    I thought who else needs a call from someone important to them. Who remembers them?

    All I want is a mosquito net given in my honor to networkers.

  67. Dinner time here and I'm done with the sermon (except for the Sunday morning edit)!

    Making quesadillas and margaritas. Join me for sustenance, a break, or a beverage!!!

  68. Songbird, if this holiday doesn't have a vigil, we should start one! tonight!

    Bobbi -- I LOVE your mother's day story.

  69. Hi ya, and how is everyone? Can I get you anything?
    Been working on the prayer after we came back from the children's events. We have a date tonight, and its been a long time since we had one.

    I do have to clean up the sermon.

    Yea, Dancing with God for being done, enjoy.

    Bobbie, I love your story. I also am not going to Homiletics, going on vacation instead. Ya'll twitter or facebook it.

    Songbird glad you made it back in one piece good luck in cleaning up the sermon.

    Nutella, you can do it.

    Betsy hope you can get motivated.

    Oh (((RevKim)))). Love and hugs to you in your pain.

    Vicar of Hogsmede prayers for the healing of the broke arm.

    And now to finish that prayer. Someone mentioned children's sermon, and I just realized I got to have one tomorrow, yikes.

  70. Meg, Liz, thanks for sharing your meditation and sermon...the productivity/busyness vs. fruitfulness spoke loudly today (perhaps I'd rather be busy doing something else? Hmmm). I'm going in that general direction as well.

    I've also been reading The Shack this week as part of a covenant group discussion. I'm intrigued by the way the author describes the Trinitarian relationship, especially in light of the "abiding" language in this week's Gospel. Does anyone else get a little nervous reading stuff you know is Christian fiction and feeling like you're supposed to have the "right" response? And, yes, that sounded a bit dumb to me, too...

    Ooooh -- got flowers delivered today from the boys! And hubby didn't even put em up to it!

    Have opened a nice cab, if anyone is interested. Homemade enchiladas on the menu tonight - always plenty to share.

    Back to the sermon, praying for something fruitful...and prayers for all of you.

  71. Hey everyone, I'm back, and I don't mean to make anyone hate me or anything, but I am done - prayed, preached, sung. The service I lead on Saturday nights has seen its attendance go up this year, and for that I am grateful. And two of my buddies from the church our family belongs to drove out to see me (about 40 miles) and I am very grateful to them!

    Prayers for all for whom Mothers' Day is difficult. I am mulling a post for my blog - although I have three daughters I adore, I still don't like this day for other reasons. We prayed the prayer found in the United Methodist Book of Worship that acknowledges the pain as well as the joy, so that felt ok. And I didn't talk about it at all in my sermon.

    I am going to the Festival! And I would love to meet up with folks! It is my first time, and I am wondering at the huge do we find one another?

    I'll post and link my sermon in a sec, in case it can be of use to any of you. Abide, my friends.

  72. My sermon sucketh thus far. I just can't get the sermon mojo going. I'm exhausted from delivering two workshops today.

    I'm also not feeling the hope of the gospel text. Does God answer all prayers, no. Where's the good news in that. Sorry to sound so negative.

  73. OK, folks, if you get a chance, would love your comments, and of course, if it inspires you in your own writing, I will be pleased! Here is my sermon for Easter 5B

  74. Oh, God Guurill, prayers for you. Hang in there, you have the Word in you! It abideth there! And Rev Kim, special prayers for you. Now, I must pack up and drive home - it's getting late and I have an hour to drive...many blessings and thanks for this shared community.

  75. Checking in for the evening shift at this party! Although technically I've been here for a while, I haven't really DONE anything except doze at the desk and make a few phone calls.

    I'm back from a far-off vacation, now recovering from jet lag and a slight cold I managed to pick up on the way home. So, not sure what the voice will be like tomorrow, but before I worry about that I need to worry about the sermon. I have a great illustration from vacation that I'm itching to use, but I don't think it quite fits with the readings this week (and they are great ones! why can't I get on fire for them!).

    Lots happening out there. Prayers for all who need them...

  76. Sag Ghosh is about ready! It's an Indian/Pakistani dish of spinach and beef, with curry, garlic, and other spices...over rice. Anyone hungry for some?

    My sermon is done, as are prayers and announcements! This is a once-in-a-season event, folks! I can relax tonight without guilt!

  77. Okay, I've got something I'm going with, because I have to move on to the skit, and because I've already worked uncountable hours this week, and because I want to watch "Baby Mama!"

  78. Back to work children's sermon ideas this week???

    Many prayers for RevKim and so many like her. And for those who just don't like Mother's Day, for a whole host of reasons. Blech.

    Really, I'm working. Watch me go.

  79. Children's story is related to ACTS in general. I'm going to fill a round tub with water and give each kid a pebble. we'll take turns tossing them in and watching the ripples. then we'll talk about the 'ripple' of Christianity and how it spread from Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. then I'll use the ripple picture now and then in the sermon.

  80. I have words on a page, about half of what I need, but they don't amount to much content. In other words, I have been semi-productive, but not at all fruitful! Prayers for all of us who are dragging this evening.

  81. Dinner is done. The kids are playing out back with the grandparents. The house looks like it's been hit by a tornado. Will play a little more with the kids. Then play with my parents. Then send them on to their hotel and hit the computer and sermon hard. Hopefully it's been running around in my brain long enough to come out smoothly and quickly. Last week I pulled my first COMPLETELY all-nighter in years and it STUNK. I had my idea for that sermon all week, but it just wouldn't write. I have a hard time preaching from non-narrative texts and that's what I picked last week. This week, too, with 1 John, but I've decided to incorportate enough of Acts into it to make it feel easier. We'll see what happens when writing time comes in a couple hours!

    See you all again soon!

  82. Draft is posted here. I haven't done an out-loud read through yet and will likely make some mods but would greatly appreciate your comments.

    Children's time for us will be a "what have you learned from Mom" Q&A followed by a prayer for all moms, moms of the heart and mom-like people in our lives.

    Prayers to all in your preparations and your struggles.

  83. sherev, I have the same problem with non-narrative texts. Narratives were all we preached on in seminary.

    Oh right. I was working. Not checking in on the party, nor facebook. Working. Got it.

  84. hi everybody. I need to get started on the mother's day menus for the moms tomorrow. So I'm here for awhile even though I'm not writing a sermon now.

    but I've been procrastinating.

    now: salad number one: broccoli and bacon and stuff.

    I'll be back in a little while.

    Usually for mother's day my children's message has to do with giving thanks for mothers and for people who are nurturing like mothers.

  85. checking in again after one salad is done. Is everyone finished for the evening? or still working? anyone need anything?

    I have some tea.

    or, some sorbet, if that suits.

  86. so I'm back. I have the same amount of nothing as before.

    If I pray for the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to come quickly, is that the same as asking to be dove dive bombed?

  87. We are back from Star Trek. Very interesting. People clapped at the end.

    Well, I am not totally done. My prayer sucks, I can't get a children's sermon that seems to work, and the sermon is oh so rough.

    I'll take chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. Thanks.

  88. Hey Vicar watch out for the droppings from that dive bombing dove. LOL

  89. Rev Abi, I'm glad you went to the movie. we saw it last night, awesome for anyone who followed the original series.
    My sermon is written and many edits. i'm not completely happy with it, maybe reading it thru again tomorrow will help. Back to the SS class stuff.

  90. hey, dove dive bombed. I'm going to remember that one for a long time.

    okay, I cooked orzo for the first time ever, now I'm looking for the recipe to mix up everything else.

    I was going to make low cholesterol bran muffins with egg whites but I'm too tired.

  91. Ugh - - I'm getting nervous. My son was out of daycare from Wednesday on last week with a stomach bug. He seemed to be perking up today. His sister (turns 4 on Tuesday) didn't eat much today, but was happy and running around and excited about a trip to Mall of America and the American Girl store.

    Well, she just puked and now I'm totally worried that I'm next. I feel like I've got to get my sermon in some sort of usable form quickly in case I go down next. And even if I don't get sick tonight, I'm worried about going to church and being around all those people! If I'm carrying this stomach bug I'm sure to pass it on.

    Gotta get writing!!! Gotta get something to hand over to a substitute preacher if need be. And if I do, they BETTER preach it instead of scrapping it for a hymn sing!

  92. Discovered that the brilliant phrases I typed just before the laptop battery gave out didn't make it, and that was before dinner so I don't really remember them. Why doesn't that ever happen with cruddy sections, only the good bits?

    Pass the sorbet, please! I have leftover bbq teriyaki chicken for anyone needing something a bit more substantial.

  93. woo-who! We are a tiny 7 comments away from hitting 100 by midnight(EDT).
    Nice going!
    I am not doen with the sermon, but I do have menu for tomorrow:
    Brocolli chicken in the crockpot, fried okra, creamed corn, asparagus, rolls, jello salad, and strawberry shortcake for dessert. Anybody want to join us?
    Gifts are done and ready to go. Well, I still need to finish off the scarf, but that is not a big deal.
    Sermon is a big deal.

  94. Whoa. I think I just fell asleep at the desk for a few hours, woke up and the brain feels like a BRICK. Still jet lagged, still sick, and feeling worse. Oh, and now I have a few notes but no coherent thoughts to make into a sermon.

    This is all after arranging a taxi ride for a poor soul who called me earlier and shepherding that to completion. But apparently it took every ounce of energy I had. What do I do now? UGH.

    Man, I am a whiner.

  95. Oh poop!!! Justin Timberlake is on SNL tonight. I don't have time for this. He's always so GOOD!!!

  96. Thanks to an old sermon posted on another list with fact previously unknown to me about fingerprints, I now have enough to save but not yet enough to print.

    but a timeout to go eat mac n cheese made with whole milk and real butter ... mmmmmm

  97. At this hour, Semfem, it's not whining; it's justifiable complaining! Especially with all else you have been doing (nap included...that's jet lag recovery).

    We have dinner ingredients for tomorrow: hamburgers on the grill, sweet potato fries (the TJ's frozen ones are great and so easy), and fruit salad. Well, we'll have all the ingredients for the latter after I go pick some grapefruit and oranges off the neighbors' trees ;-) There is even one tiny strawberry that looks just about perfect in our garden, as long as the snails don't get it tonight. Hmmm...I could go out and search for snails rather than write...

  98. She REv -- I am praying for you. I hope you don't get sick. And I hope you get a sermon.

    All others -- praying for you too, the jet-lagged, the dinner-planners, and scarf-finishers....

    more tea?

  99. Just stopping by to say I'm prayng for all those still writing. I think I'll stay home tomorrow. I think I may be the only Assemblies of God minister in the nation who did not feel compelled to do a "Mother's Day Sermon." And I can't listen to myself since I'm not a pastor these I'll stay home and read some of your posted sermons. Blessings, all!

  100. Peeing in my pants at the SNL Mother's Day song!

  101. Sherev wins tonight and just in time to go change her pants!
    I missed the song, I will have to check it out on youtube
    G'nite all

  102. I wouldn't recommend it for the easily offended, but I am not, so I found it hysterical.

  103. nobody told me that if you are 100, you win.

    congrats to everyone for going over 100! before I go to bed.

    the chicken salad is done. I think. I might tweak it tomorrow. add a little pizzazz.

    in the meantime, prayers to all still working.

    instead of tea, I'll leave the margararita mix out.

    I mean, it IS a party.

  104. Thanks, everyone for the prayers. They do bring comfort in the midst of sadness and hurt.


  105. 1 a.m. and I'm heading to bed on the couch outside my daughter's room. She continued to get sick in bed about 90 minutes ago, but didn't even wake up enough to sit up. The gagging and choking was too much for me to be comfortable being in the basement in my bed while she sleeps upstairs.

    I hope my alarm clock doesn't wake her up in a few hours when I get back up to finish this sermon. It's coming along fairly well, but it is SO different from my usual! I need it to be tonight, so I'm glad. I am hopeful for some good discussion and group proclamation tomorrow!

  106. Reaching out a hand across the miles to RevKim, and to SheRev as well.

    I'm writing, finally, but still feeling like crap. 635 words so far. I think I'm using my vacation illustration even if it doesn't quite fit, because, well, it's all I have.

    Is anybody else still up? I'm nursing some tea and am happy to share.

  107. Okay, I'm done and headed to bed soon. Whew!

    Blessings on all pondering, preaching and proclamation today.

  108. Good morning Pals,

    Still working on the sermon. trying to get a hook, something that will grab the congregations attention and I'm working on a conclusion.

    Anyone want any coffee?

    Peace and love,

  109. Hey there God-Guurrlll. I'm back as well. I've sort of been up with my daughter on and off for the last hour, but not I'm up and back to the sermon. No good hook found here, so this one's just going to start right in. As my daughter says "You get what you get and you don't throw at fit."

  110. good morning and blessings to all. just here with a reminder to all to get out there and walk those dogs.

    take care this day, in all you do...

    blessings on you and your families and your congregations.

  111. Morning all, I should have stayed with you all last night, love the humor, and comments from the late night group. I just had to finish the sermon, the prayer and the children's sermon. Prayer done, children's sermon sortof done. didn't get through with sermon like I wanted. Sunday school lesson, nada. Lord in your mercy.

    Well, Lord walk with us all as we boldly go where no man has...oh sorry that's star trek, but we do go where a lot of people won't go, so Lord walk with us, speak through us, and abide in us.

  112. First draft of my sermon is finished. I'm going to edit and then shower.

    Hey She Rev, can I steal your daughters quote "You get what you get and don't throw a fit" as my opening prayer?

    Peace and love,

  113. :) It's all yours God_Guurrlll. It's all yours.

  114. I'm getting a late start on these texts. I'm preaching them - some of 'em - on Wednesday in (Seminary) chapel. I'm using the Isaiah passage in 53 for the first lesson and Acts and the second, expanding the psalm. I'm preaching on the intersectionality of Isaiah and Acts, focusing on biblical interpretation.


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