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Saturday, July 11, 2009

11th Hour Preacher Party - A Heady Affair

OK - so, puns aren't usually my thing, but I couldn't resist.

There are definitely some rich and image-filled texts to work with this week - dancing before God and kings, heads on platters, plumb lines. On Tuesday it looked like there were a lot of folks going with David, but there was a smattering of everything being tossed about?

Are there any Reformed tradition folks recognizing the Blessed Birthday?

What are you thinking about? Where are you going? What do you need?

As always there are snacks, sermons, prayers, intros, illustrations, and support to just wrap it up and preach it! Stop in when you can and enjoy the party. Like the lectionary this week, there's rarely a dull moment!


  1. Nice work, Sherev. I can't sleep so I am watching Will and Grace reruns.
    Maddy is sleeping comfortably beside me.
    I am doing my sermon with the Amos and Mark texts.
    Uh, title is Dire Consequences of Truth Telling. The baptist pastor up the road puts his sermon title on their little board thingy. His title: Telling the Truth.
    I have actually thought about stealing his title one week and seeing if anyone notices. It is always up by Tuesday.
    But this time it was an accident.
    So, I dont know what I am doing as yet. I had to get my sh!t together early b/c my awesome admin asst went on vacay.
    So I will check in tomorrow AM(it is tomorrow, yes?) and see what is going on.

  2. Good morning folks...
    Sermon's done and off to conduct yet another funeral today. I have become the angel of death since I started this locum - 5 in 11 days. None a direct consequence of dancing girls, I think, however.

    We are very much dancing tomorrow - well, as good and decent Presbyterians, we'll be talking about it and David, rather than actually dancing in the aisles. Focusing on David probaby NOT being a presby.: his dancing, his skimpy clothes, his tendency to exhibitionism [so very un-Scottish]. All with a view to reflect on who is it we worship, allowing ourselves to be open to the potential of being shockingly, utterly transformed by our boundless, amazing, wonderful known-yet-unknown God...
    That worshipping can be dangerous - making use of Annie Dillard's great observation about handing out crash helments and life preservers in church...
    And wondering if we've already filled our dance cards, or if we've left them empty, waiting with eager anticipation to dance with God - Lord of the Dance - allowing ourselves to be drawn , in that dance, to a place beyond our wildest imagining....

    Breakfast is on the hoof today due to funeral, but can I take orders for Starbucks for anyone? Chai latte for me :)
    Look forward to seeing where you all are going with your sermonising!

  3. I had hoped to finish before today, since our Mary Beth is visiting, but sadly it is not finished. At least it's outlined and begun, though.
    I am preaching the epistle and stringing together some scenes from my personal story with public images pertaining to adoption and our identity as God's adopted children. I keep thinking of Paris Jackson's testimony to her love for her father, a connection that touched me deeply, while most everything else about the whole situation did not. So much discussion in the news about who provided the sperm for those kids, but what does it matter? He was Daddy.
    So --- coffee, dog walk, Farmer's Market -- and at some point, if at all possible, Antonio Banderas on the front steps with a finished sermon!!!

  4. I also want to mention something Cheesehead said in a post the other day: she wants the preacher to show her Jesus. I think thevgospel this week is hard for that, and for those of us with a low-to-middling Christology, they all are. But now I want to do it, maybe especially because it is a challenge.

  5. I'm up early here, having already walked and fed the dogs that are staying with me while their "mom" is in the UK.

    After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, I'm preaching on JB and much as I don't like the story of the head on the platter I don't think I can ignore it. The theme will be speaking truth to power, and it does connect the two readings.

    I think it was Cheese also who mentioned process theology; there is a nice process theology reflection on this week's readings here.

    I have a funeral this afternoon, too, so I need to get this writing done!

  6. I'm up this morning and hoping to finish the sermon early - have a wedding this afternoon followed by dinner plans with a group of parishioners. I'd really like to just stay home! I'm preaching the II Corinthians text from last week - just because I liked it, and the elusive thorn in the flesh peaks my curiosity.

  7. Good morning! The sun is shining here after a deluge of almost forty days and forty nights, so everything seems fresh and lovely. I brought a bowl of fresh-picked snow-peas and baby carrots for everyone to munch-- the only things in my garden that survived!

    After much gnashing of teeth, I felt moved to preach from 2 Sam and Ephesians. The plan is to approach the story from Michal's side, not David's, talking about the struggle to find our "proper" place and the question of willingness to follow God, even to the point of wildness.

    Teri shared a great idea, earlier this week, of using "The Hokey-Pokey" for the children's message. Brilliant! I intend to borrow the idea, sharing how we can pray with our whole bodies. IF we have any kids in worship (I hope I hope), we'll do The Hokey-Pokey together, then talk about the Jewish tradition of danced prayers, how they would dance and sing songs without words "Haida haida" & "Bim bom", etc.) when the joy or sorrow went beyond what normal language could express.

  8. Good morning everyone.

    In a crazy-busy week (I'm dancing myself, and singing, onstage in a production of HMS Pinafore), I'm feeling called to preach on Michal. But I too read Cheesehead's words this week-- show me Jesus-- and am a little stuck as to how to do that with the hard, hard story of this woman's life, used as she is by father, by husband, yanked away from the one man who loves her (apparently).

    Any suggestions? The page is blank.

  9. i have 2/3rds of something resembling a sermon... talking about the cost of life; the hidden costs, the high price... how Amos was a "seer" of those things, John the Baptist also... and how Paul says in Ephesians that the value of life lies in our being "in Christ"...

    we'll see if it makes sense?!

    in the meantime Hazelnut Creme coffee... and tryng to get to know my homily for the wedding today. AND can i say i wish i was still on vacation??? *sigh*

  10. Hi all,
    I'm off to a funeral in a few minutes, but thought I would stop by.

    I'm not preaching Mark this week. I'm going with David dancing in the streets. Title: "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service".

    The "No Service" part I managed to tie into the story of Michal who stands looking over the whole scene of celebration and unabated joy and feeling entirely left out. She's got little in the way of joy when it comes to observing David's near-naked dance. She's been tossed around like so much chattel by her father and unappreciated by David. Why should she be happy?

    I wrapped that around our two congregations spending the summer worshiping together and our challenge as Christians to bear one another's burdens and to show one another God's grace. There will be some for whom all this upcoming change will be too much and they too may stand back and watch, despising the whole thing.

    Our call is to show them compassion, a loving, listening ear and to extend the love of Christ - even to those who cannot dance with abandon at the changes being experienced throughout the church in our time.

    It sounds better when the whole thing is there (I hope!) - but I talk a bit about how David's reign has so far been all about radical changes - first uniting the North and South, now finding a "permanent" home for the Ark - these would not have been good and exciting times for everyone.

    There had to be at least a few who thought so much change would mean the end of Israel....etc etc.. in other words - I contextualize it for our churches, but mostly it is about Michal and her need for compassion not judgment.

    Sorry, long post.

    Now - funeral. Catcha later...

  11. Not preaching this week..."house church" i.e. discussion of the reading and this week I'm focusing on Ephesians.

    And today the congregation is meeting to decide whether to stay open or close by the end of the year. We've been struggling with resources, both financial and human, for a while. Some folks want to stay open, but I fear they are also burning out. All the leadership people have three or four "jobs" and that's at least one too many. And even so, we;re not doing everything i think we could or should be doing.

    And the complication in this for me is that if the church does close i have to leave Canada, since my visa only allows me to be here to work for the church. So I would be looking for work, coming out of cancer treatment, and having closed a church...doesn't that sound like someone YOU'D like to have as a pastor?

    And yet I feel it is time for this congregation to say, "we've done what we were called to do." It's also how I'm feeling about this call.

    Oops sorry for hijacking the thread...

    Anyway, that meeting is this afternoon. Before then I'm hennaing my hair (I figure either I'll look great which will boost my confidence or I'll look awful and match my mood...). Afterwards, it's dinner with a colleague/friend/mentor who is chairing the meeting for me.

    Prayers please..

    And some would be good.

  12. Welcome everyone. I am up, but haven't made it too far out of bed yet. Just a run to grab the computer. The 4 year old is propped on my legs watching THE MOUSE. I'm looking a pics of my friends' (friends of a few of ours on here, I believe) son who arrived from Korea last night. Adoption is on my mind, but not in my sermon.

    Actually, I'm behind a week in the lectionary. Since I missed a few weeks and the supply didn't use them, I'm picking and choosing a little more than usual which is kind of fun. I'll do JtB next week though. I'm with Jesus' rejection and reconfiguration. Thanks for last week's helps!!!

    Can I get anyone anything? Not much around here for breakfast, but I'd make a run for something more exciting! I do have blackberry cobbler made last night from the wild blackberry bushes in our side yard. That's kind of like breakfast - - fruit and biscuits, right?

    Peace to you, Nik, as you lead another funeral. People were just waiting for you to arrive! Blessings to you in your worship and ministry today!

    Also, prayers for you Rainbow. May you find God's will for you and the congregation.

    Sounds like we've got some good ideas floating and some diversity, which is fun for the reading!


  13. I'm glad someone finds the hokey pokey option good! I still think I'm going to do it. I'm also contemplating whether I can use a prayer we used to do in preaching class (yay Anna Carter Florence) that we sometimes called pseudo-yoga. it involves moving your whole body, stretching up and down and back and front and around. I don't know if people will do it if I try to put it at the beginning of the prayers of the people, but maybe. I'll have to see what the sermon is about (since i'm not preaching, it will be a last-minute decision, mid-service tomorrow morning!). If it won't work there, maybe we can do it as the prayer at the end of the children's time. we'll see...

    The dancers are lined up and practiced, I'm all ready to push "play" on the CD player at the end of the sermon, and I'm even clicking the powerpoint for the 830 service (the more "contemporary" (for lack of a better term) service with the band) because there's no one else to do it this week. Dog Days of Summer, here we are!

    I have mini bagels and cream cheese for those who still need a breakfast pick-me-up...and I'm thinking of running to the farmer's market and hoping against hope that someone still has kale...mmmm, kale....what a great lunch! a wedding this afternoon, followed by a reception at the country club (crazy!), and then I'll be back to share yummy desserts with you all before bed. I'll smuggle the cake out in my purse--no one will notice. ;-)

  14. Nik - today is the first of 3 funerals in 4 days for me. Perhaps the same angel is following both of us.

    Peace to you RP - and lots of prayers.

  15. I am working on something called "Out of Kilter". What is plumb in an out of kilter world? Wit both of my traditions meeting in church-wide assemblies this year, one of them as we speak, I think that we can look at church-wide assemblies as an attempt to find plumb in an out of kilter world. But the words aren't really coming. I may have to do something else.

  16. 1-4, I really like your title, too. That may work with the out of kilter thing too.

  17. She Rev! What great news you bring of the baby arriving from Korea! I'm dancing with david over the news.

    Rainbow Pastor: my prayers and heart are with you and your congregation. I'm in a similar situation, but our little church is about 3 steps behind yours, not even beginning to think it might be time to close, but seriously lacking in human resources. I too have struggled with the professional implications you raise, "will anyone hire a pastor who's just closed a church?" Theologically, of course, we know we can't confuse faithfulness to God's call with success by the world's standards. But we hope others seeking to hire us won't either. prayers for your health, congregation, and future ministry.

    I'm preaching Amos and J the B. no idea what to say about htem though. But at least we now have a working garage door.

  18. New to this conversation and new to my parish.
    In my second week, I am opening the family album of the biblical witness. We find that what our biblical family does, our family today does too - good and bad. Using the Samuel passage, I am talking about how Our Family Praises!

  19. sherev, I was celebrating with them last night too! such a great looking family. right now I wish I could figure out who you are...but it will come to me...or else I'll go over to facebook and start asking. :-)

  20. Nik and Sue, you have both inspired me this morning. Best wishes for the funeral celebrations you will lead, you will be blessings to those families.
    I love the no shirt...title but am already tied to mine. "A chicken in every pot" I'm doing a reverse offering of modern raisin cakes; oatmeal raisin cookies. (That my dear admin asst is baking!) then will get into the story of David's joy. The reality of his dual (or more) motives and how this relates to our lives. (the tough part)

    Perhaps the duality of our motives doesn't preclude our giving and sharing joy. Thinking of you, Rainbow Pastor, as you have tough meeting today.

  21. I'm contemplating David. This will be my last week to preach here before the news of my leaving is announced this week. But I wish it was known, because the whole idea of David's rule being one of change (to summarize the comment poorly!) may fit nicely. Hmm...

    Teri - -I used that pseudo-yoga prayer as our monthly prayer fro preschool chapel and the kids love it. Use it for children;s time if they are in the front. You may have to modify it for adults, as the pews can make it hard to move and not hit people.

    no farmers market for me today :( Maybe next week.

  22. rain here today - after my soccer game and before the girls' baseball games, perfect timing! Just dropping in to say I am praying for those of you hit with funerals, weddings, dinners, and especially for you RP, you have so much on your plate.
    I am in a good place today, and so I will make anyone anything you want for brunch - we just got some raspberries from our CSA and our blueberry bush has some nice ripe ones ready...
    Starman leaving for Poland today for a conference. Girls week here! Sermon on dancing is done and "tripping" according to WisePastor who read it so I am happy.

  23. Teri, I've found sometimes that stuff that may be WAY uncomfortable for adults can be introduced much more easily through the children's time. One time I did the Lord's Prayer with prayerful actions that I like doing myself during children's time, and afterwards a BUNCH of adults came and asked me for the directions. The next week before we prayed, I told the whole congregation that I would lead it with the body prayer, too, and anyone who was interested was welcome to join in. It had a much better reception than if I had just started doing it with the whole congregation at the start. Sort of annoying, but just the way things are sometimes. Sometimes they'll try things "for the kids" and discover they like them!

  24. Prayers for you, too, Sue as you lead funeral worship.

  25. I've used the body prayer (pseudo-yoga) with teens, who loved it, and with my small group of adults (who also loved it)...I think y'all are right about the pews. Plus I don't want anyone who can't do it (ie wheelchair bound, stiff joints, etc) to feel uncomfortable. I'll probably do it with the kids, especially since the adults usually pray with the kids.

    The only problem comes if there turns out to be no children's time (and at one service we KNOW there's not b/c it's during SS...)....

  26. You've all given me food for thought (not to mention my virtual tummy). I'm needing to challenge my small congregation to stay at the plate once they've stepped up to it. I'm a bit peeved with the leadership for not showing up for meetings they're supposed to chair, others simply not showing up for just about anything... I'm thinking the plumb line is the key here, and that the community of faith is charged to help each other with the signposts that lead us back to God and a sense of being centered when the rest of the world does its best to yank us away from it.

    I do love Nik's dancing stuff, so maybe I can find a way to encourage our folks to dance to the center (maybe like a maypole--with colorful ribbons attached...).

    Anyway, that's where my thinking is at present. As it is lunch time on the eastern seaboard I'm offering some blt's with fresh, garden 'maters. I've even got some avocado if that tickles your fancy. Help yourself!

    And Nik--whoa on all those deaths! I once had 11 in 11 weeks, but this bout of yours is intense!

  27. Rainbow Pastor--prayers galore for you!

  28. I just got an email from our pianist who can't make it tomorrow...oh the joys of small church ministry.

  29. Oh Nutella! ACK! If that were me, I would have to cancel the hymns, as I really don't have a good singing voice. I'm sorry for you.

  30. This week... I used Mark's text... and my sermon is here.

    Comments and criticisms are welcome.

  31. Back from the funeral. It went fairly well. No one sings at funerals anymore. Is there anything more painful than five verses of Abide With Me where the minister is the only one singing? I don't think so. Also - no one said the Lord's Prayer either. I knew this family was only "loosely" associated with the United Church, but wow, I was surprised.

    Anyway, final touches to sermon, then prayers and children's story.

  32. ok, silly question time:

    How do we pronounce "Michal" - the name of David's wife? Like the boys name Michael" or something closer to the girl's name michelle?

  33. I've decided to go with Amos. There were a few - very few - resources on textweek, but they were good - mostly exegesis. So I decided to gamble (not a good United Methodist thing) and google "Amos 7:7-17". Actually found a couple of helpful things, including an illustration in a sermon outline found here:
    (I have no idea how to actually post the link)
    Hope some of these might help others struggling with Amos.

    Prayers for all those with all the funerals - I remember when the pastor of visitation (80 years young) at my first church became seriously ill, many of "his" shut-ins became sick and were hospitalized, and some died - all in a short period of time!

    RP, prayers with you as well!

    I'm off to get supplies for church the farther/larger's picnic tomorrow. Hope to find some goodies to share here as well (already got strawberry marshmallows for toasting and maybe for smores).

  34. Knitting Preacher - no such thing as a silly question! I decided to google the question, this is the first item I found - a question like yours, and a response:

    It is pronounced MeeCHAL with a CH sound like in Loch (Ness). At least in the Hebrew bible the stress is on the second syllable, I'm not sure about modern Hebrew here.

    The above is certainly the correct pronunciation in Hebrew.

    However, the traditional pronunciation in English when the Old Testament is read aloud is usually just like "Michael."

    (Some of you procrastinate with Facebook; me, well, I love "quests" and puzzles, and searching with google!)

  35. Knittinpreacher - I was just about to ask the same question!

    Thank you Eileen for your literary detective work!

  36. This comment has been removed by the author.

  37. Hey y'all! I think this is the most my name has ever been mentioned here--and I'm not even preaching this week!

    I'm off at what I'm calling Preacher Camp, which is really a regional gathering of pastors on a college campus about 3 states away from Snow Belt. It's an 8 day program crammed with lectures, films, classes, discussions, but most of all EATING!

    I'm writing about my exploits over at my place (the last three posts), and yes, I did talk about wanting a preacher to show me Jesus, but it was over and against the tyranny of overly folksy 'yukking it up' to show how cool the preacher is. My critique from this morning (for this preacher, not necessarily you all) is similar. Tell me a story where maybe you don't end up on top, or where you learn the lesson, but maybe not in time... Don't make every story about this privileged trip you were on to get an award.

    Clearly I am a tough homiletical cookie and maybe I am spoiled for pew sitting forever.

  38. Back from the funeral--a small graveside service, and a beautiful day for it.

    I'm about 200 words short of a sermon--need a strong closing. But it's suddenly weighing on me that this is the last time I'll preach for the main service here. My last Sunday is two weeks from tomorrow, but no preaching b/c we're having a special version of our Children's Joy Mass. Not sure that this week's sermon will live up to expectations.

    And as I write about my last Sunday, it occurs to me that a few weeks ago I said I'd be back with an announcement, but I don't think I ever made it. Those of you who know me on Facebook have heard this, but some of the rest of you may not have: I've accepted a call to serve as rector of a church in another New England state beginning September 1! Very good news, but the goodbyes to the congregation are hard.

  39. we found a pianist, and it didn't have to be my husband...I try REALLY hard not to put him in pastor's wife situations.

    so now I just have to find another 800 words or so and some good news somewhere regarding the beheading text. I'm just really not feeling it today, and sadly, have reached the point bordering on not caring either. How do you preach when it just seems like throwing words into teh air? Praying hte HS shows up and infuses me with a bit more enthusiasm.

  40. RevDrMom, congratulations on the new rectorship! May your parting be gentle and your arrival be joyous.

    Special prayers for those of you facing so many funerals. Sue, I agree with you about the challenge of being the only one singing or praying. I don't like funerals to be a spectator sport.

    Cheesehead, nodding my head with you; people know that none of us is always the hero, and if all the other times don't show up in our preaching, we lose the connection with those to whom we preach.

    Volunteered yesterday at the Episcopal Church's General Con as a page for the bishops; very interesting to watch and listen to them, and I'm sure it will be sermon material soon. Older son is there this weekend; I'm delighted he's getting to see some of the breadth of our denomination. I'll be back there on Monday; I am thinking that I should leave my credit card at home because the shopping is tempting!

    Lovely fresh peaches to offer...they are as sweet as can be.

    No preaching for me tomorrow; it's our interim's last Sunday and I'll simply assist at the 3 services. That makes for a very nice Saturday!

  41. Checking back in here during our nap time. I had high hopes of writing during this time so I can get a decent night's sleep tonight, but boy am I tired right now. I can't keep my eyes open. Don't know what that's about. I think I'll take a little afternoon nap, but try to be more diligent tonight. Watching a PBS show on the Shakers now. Pretty cool

  42. Just thought I'd drop in and say hello. I'm back from a house blessing and long visit with a member and her three year old, and ready to start on my sermons for tomorrow. I'm off lectionary until mid-August doing a series on Creation Care as Justice.

    Rainbow, my prayers are with you and your congregation as you make a difficult decision. And with all others who are facing change in their calling, joyous or otherwise.

  43. Mary Beth and I have to get ready to go to the Bean Suppah in Freeport, so I am posting a draft and hoping it works for tomorrow morning. See y'all later!

  44. Wow -
    So many pieces of news to digest... prayers for all of us in transition and for everyone in a place where you know it's not "you" who is successfully preaching, leading, and praying but rather God.

    I'm not preaching (two weeks in a row? one can wish) but the Gospel passage always makes me want to muse on the connections between power and absolute power and God's will being done anyway.

    I'm still studying Pietists. Interesting and thought-provoking, since here I am studying to attain knowledge to then show others how to live Christianly. Has me a bit bemused.

    Praying for all of you preachers!


  45. I could use some nice cold icea tea with lemon! I am talking about the two dances, dancing with joys and praise, and dancing as a means of revenge and hate Trying to flesh it out

  46. Thanks for looking up the pronunciation Eileen!

    so far today about the most productive thing I have done is make scones and fire the domestic goddess (which should have happened a long time ago, but I kept giving her one more chance.)

    Dinner tonight with the former chair of my PNC and his family, which I'm not really looking forward to. We've had the tough conversation, which went well, but now I'm not sure what else he needs to say.

    If I can find my way in to the sermon I'll be in good shape. Just not sure how to get there...

  47. Prayers for all struggling with deaths and other transitions...

    Muthah+, when I read about your "out of kilter" thing, I thought you were describing David during his ecstatic dance. Wasn't it him being out of his kilter that got Michal so upset? ;-)

  48. questions about pronunciations remind me of my liturgy prof in seminary:
    Student: "How do you pronounce this?"
    Prof: (with a dramatic sweep of the arm) "With CONFIDENCE!"

    There is something to it, I think.

    Ah, if only I had any confidence about tomrrow, though...

    Midsummer pet blessing. Why? Because it's a great idea to bring the animals to church on the HOTTEST DAY OF THE YEAR. Right, we're doing it differently next year... So, I need a story about an encounter with an animal that showed you how to be a steward of God's realm. Gals? Got any good ones of your own or from Lit-err-a-turrr?

    Rushing off to an appt then back to put this service togather. Finally something we're doing is announced in the newspaper, and I have a terrible cold and am experiencing everythign thru The Fog. Sigh.

    Blessings on those contemplating chruch closings, that is hard!

    And welcome to the party RevMG!!! Blessings in your new call.

  49. I'm rather late to the party, but I'm starting work on a 2 Samuel 6 sermon. Thanks all for your inspiration.

  50. Really late getting here this week. Its 10:30pm here in scotland and I've just got back from two weeks holiday. Why can't I organise things better so that I don't have to preach as soon as I get back? I've not worked through the comments here yet but the ones from Tuesday have me buzzing. I so want to do hokey pokey and interactive intercessions and throw in some dance. So many great ideas and we are doing all age throughout the summer, so I just might get away with it. Just need to think it into some sort of order. But all you companions on the way - cheers yet again. Love journeying with you.

  51. And also with you liz. Welcome back from holidays! I hope it comes together quickly for you tonight.

  52. oh dearie me, all I can think of is the old campfire song:
    "Salome was a dancer, and she danced the hoochie-cooch, She made a hit with Herod cuz she never wore too mooch; Herod said, 'Salome dear, there'll be a scandal here,' but Salome didn't give a damn, and kicked the chandelier."
    Now isn't that helpful?

  53. It sure is Crimson Rambler. I'm laughing out loud. Oh if we could only share more of our nonsense, folk would be beating a path to our churches.

  54. Juniper, the one thing that comes to mind right off is a guide dog. These are dog breeds that are happiest when they have a job to do and a person to do it with. When trained as guide dogs, their talents/instincts are fully used and, in the wonderful interrelationship of animal and human, they offer back so many gifts to their human partner, allowing that person to more fully experience life as well. Seems to me a good example of the mutuality that is always a hallmark of the kingdom.

  55. Juniper: if you're comfortable using saint stories, try something from the Franciscan tradition or one of the Celtic saints. There are many beautiful--and mercifully brief--stories of their mystic, wisdom-bestowing encounters with animals, insects, and green-growies. I'm away from my books at the moment, but a couple hours from now I should be able to put my hands on something that might prove useful.

  56. It's getting close to supper time here, so if anyone wants a brat just give me a shout. My husband must have bought out the meat department for some reason. There's some AWESOME potato salad that I allow myself to have a bite of at each meal. Anything more than that takes way more points than I can spare.

    So, I napped instead of working on my sermon. Ho hum. We'll see if I can keep the distractions turned off after the kids go to bed and get to sleep at a more decent hour than usual. I don't know why I'm so tired, but maybe a good night's sleep will help.

    Anyone need anything. No good animal stories here, Juniper, but I'll keep thinking on it while the night progresses.

    Two of the neighbor's kids are here playing, so I have three princess prancing around in every dress-up thing possible. The 2 year old boy (mine) is sportin' a HUGE egg on his head from a "run in" with the coffee table before lunch. Poor boy!

  57. KP,
    Hope all goes/went well with dinner. Ugh.
    Sorry about the DG situation, but glad you did it.
    I have tried being domestic here and cleaning up some.
    I decided today I would clean all floors(vacumn, sweep, and/or mop). Then do bathrooms.
    I will tackle more tmorrow. Bit by bit, inch by inch.
    No sermon yet. I keep looking but no sermon fairy.

  58. way to go KP - you are doing the hard stuff today!

    Mainecelt - SO great to suggest St Francis - I realize in reading aroudn that I dont actually know that much about him and he is actually a very interesting guy!! (That big DOH you're hearing is me from across the continent). Anyway, thanks!

    Ah, theres no one home but me - this hardly EVER happens so I cant decide if I should take a nap or work on my ser...zzzzzzzz.....

  59. Dinner got moved to tomorrow night TBTG.

    The sermon fairy is here and said this week she will be in lots of places at once, so hang in there, she is on the way!

    I just made some tea, so I will now be awake all night (oops....) and dinner is in the oven - -chicken cordon bleu, or as I call it chicken nuggets for grown-ups.

  60. I have one piece (sorta) of homemade pizza. Turkey pepperoni, green onions, olives, bell pepper and a few different cheesses.
    It is sort a piece as the crust is thin and did not cut well. So the pieces are not the traditional triangles, but amebea shaped.
    Turkey pepperoni is great and does not give heartburn.
    Sermon is coming along...slowly, slowly.
    Cleaning has gone well today

  61. Thankfully, in no small measure due to all of you, sermon has come together quickly tonight, so can now get a few hours sleep before getting up early to print. Brief reflection here
    Praying for all the transitions going on. Hopefully spirit-filled times, painful and blessed.

  62. Thanks to you all for prayers!

    Well, the congregation voted to remain open. I spoke last, and told them that a vote to remain open committed us to working very hard--all of us, and to volunteer instead of waiting to be asked.

    The interesting thing is that there is an opportunity, "smaller than a man's hand" at the moment, which may, I say, may, allow us to remain viable. It was not mentioned at the meeting (only the Board knows of it) because it is in the very embryonic stage (like maybe even pre-conception). However, since they want to give it another shot, this may be the nudge the Spirit was giving us.

    I still think I need to look at moving on, but will be thinking and praying about this opportunity--if it's an opportunity for me as well.

    Had great BBQ afterwards with Boss Pastor (who led the meeting for me), and I brought some home--pulled pork, waffle fries and salad with chipotle dressing....if anyone is hungry.

    Prayers for those still writing/sermonating!

  63. Should read amobea, but y'all already knew that.
    So, anyhow, I am about of a third of the way done.
    A good part of that is talking about who Amos is/was and a little lesson on prophets.
    Still a teacher at heart, but it was important to set up where we are now.
    Uh, anybody have a brillant childrens sermon, without the use of a platter and a head.
    I remember the Halloween episode of Little House once.
    Laura is certain she sees Mr. Olsen cut Mrs. Olsens head off. There is a vivid scene (in her dreams) where they are at dinner table and they have a big covered platter. he raises the lid and there is the old bitty's head, screaming away.
    It made me scared for a long time. I still don't like covered platters.

  64. Are there any other Little House fans out there?
    Take the 6 minutes or so to watch this clip. :)

  65. Wow, Rainbow... sounds like the Spirit is a-movin' all over this land!

    I'm preaching to a congregation in similarly dire financial straits tomorrow...inviting them to move from a place "somewhere between Michal and David" into a more deliberate, intentional future.

    Draft to be posted soon...

    and, 1-4 Grace? May I please have one of your pizza amoebas? I have a packet of orange "club" bars (little cookies bars with orange fondant and chocolate) for anyone that wants one!

  66. Help yourself MC.
    And I take it the orange bars are not WW? Sounds good.

  67. What a party of dancing and deep thought! I love reading all of the comments....
    and I must say, it is 9:41 here and I am just settling down. The first sunny Saturday in Boston in like forever...
    so I chose to PLAY ALL DAY...
    and now with coffee and evening, I am going to dance my way through writing my sermon.
    Did you know that Lord of the Dance is NOT IN the UCC New Century Hymnal, nor the Disciples Chalice hymnal.
    What up with that?

    Will check back later.

  68. I'm late to the party, and wondering why on earth I didn't say "yes" earlier in the week when my senior pastor asked if I'd like him to preach instead of me.
    Just back from 1 week of classes in NJ (tiring), 3 days with my niece and nephew (wonderful), got some medical tests on Monday (we know something's wrong, the question is what) and I had the bright idea to take on the Mark passages, because I enjoy the challenge of the tough stuff.
    I'm an idiot.
    Praying for ya'll and craving yours in return. I'll have a draft posted shortly for anyone who is interested...

  69. I'm back and getting ready to start. I also just calculated the rest of my points for today and realized I have 4.5 left. Looks like a small bowl of ice cream is coming my way. WOO HOO!!! I'll be back after enjoying that little dish of heaven.

    Rainbow - - sounds like a Spirit-filled meeting. Now the Spirit-reinvigorated life must begin! I'm talking about situations a little like this in my sermon. I'm a week behind in the lectionary and felt somewhat inspired by a train of thought Gord seemed to be on.

    Not sure exactly how I'm going to do it, but I've been thinking a lot lately - Sometimes it seems easier to make radical, creative changes when your back is up against the wall. What about churches who don't feel that close? How do we stay in tune to what the Spirit is doing, leading, calling? That's the eventual question, but the challenge for this sermon is trying to pinpoint how in a sense our backs are always up against the wall. Complacency is a dangerous place to be. And change doesn't need to happen just for the heck of it, but paying attention to our place, our acceptance, and our unacceptance in the world is pretty darn important to the ministry we're a part of. Not exactly sure of all this yet, but we'll see where it goes when it starts going!

  70. The sermon fairy was here for a while, but then she left, and I'm still. not. done.

    2 sundays till vacation. I can do this.

  71. We are waiting for the Blueberry Buckle to come out of the oven. It is fun having Mary Beth here instead of out there in cyberland!!! Who wants to visit next?

  72. mmm. ice cream. blueberry buckle.
    SheRev, sounds like great thoughts percolating for you!!

    I didn't know there was a sermon fairy.

    Can she come visit me???

  73. kp, we're living under the same star. Two more Sundays after this one and then it's holidays for me too. Good luck with the sermon.

    Blueberry Buckle???? Dang. Now I'm hungry!!! ~off to find something tasty~

  74. If Antonio and Teh Clooney are busy tonight, perhaps the Idea Kitteh can help.

    Check him/her out over here.

  75. Sometimes teh kd lang stops by, too...

  76. Okay...I have a draft up at my new sermon blog for anyone who's interested. Time for bed for me!

  77. revjkarla, of course she can! Kind of like Tinkerbell, she will visit anyone who calls on her.

    the end is in sight! I think.

  78. Sue, you always find the BEST stuff over at that site. Whenever I go there, I just dork around and never find anything funny.

    Rev Anne - oooo, nothing more annoying than somethign wrong, but we dont know what. prayers coming your way.

    I got a good outline - preaching from notes tomorrow, so I think that it should be ok. Now just gotta figure out what to do for childrens time besides "see this? this is my dog!"

    Have a great night everyone!

  79. I have enough to be done for now. Blessings to the midnight crew!

  80. so...anyone out there?
    nothing yummy in the pantry, so settled for a lovely glass of chardonnay to bring the sermon home.
    little sermon fairy is helping!!! thanks for sending her by, KP.

    And Sue, LOVE the idea kitteh!!

  81. Sermon done and posted here!

    The Piper just got home after a long drive, so I'll call it a night. Must be up in the morning in time to make scones, print out sermon, get to church early, and preach!

  82. okay peeps, I know it's kinda late, but I'm back from the wedding, and I smuggled out the chocolate fountain to bring to you. No one eve noticed, I swear...

    So dip some strawberries, stick your whole head in like the Vicar of Dibley, add chocolate to your breakfast when you awake... :-)

    wedding was great, reception was fun, so all in all a good night. Though I did finally have a really definitive young-single-female-pastor moment, where it hit home that I might be three of those descriptors forever...(sigh) It'll all be fine in the end, right?

    Now I must go to bed because wake-up time comes so ridiculously early! blessings on all of you as you dance into Sunday, hokey pokey or otherwise! ;-)

  83. I'm still around for hopefully just another hour. I got a good little idea spurt that gave me my general outline. I've found lately that struggling to find the place to start or end or whatever else is elusive is not helpful. Usually as soon as I get to the bed the ideas start flowing. I scribble them down furiously in my journal and put the pages on the stairs to grab on my morning run to the computer.

    So, I'm working until just before midnight my time, heading to the bed, scribbling whatever comes at that time, and waking up to perfect 4:30-ish. Sounds like a plan!

    Finished my lovely peanut butter ice cream (vanilla with a REAL THICK peanut butter ripple through it) and brushed my teeth to put an end to tonight's snacking. I can grab folks water, though, if you're still here. revkjarla's chardonnay sounds way better, though.

  84. Forgot the brushed teeth! Nothing can keep me away from a chocolate fountain! Thanks Teri!

  85. Done with dancing sermon!

    She Rev,
    After dipping into Teri's chocolate fountain, I have a nice little glass of chardonnay for you.
    Blessings to all finishing up...will check back in the morning.

  86. Thanks revkjarla. I mean, what's the point of holding back now?

  87. Oh, we interrupt this 11th hour party, to let you know that 1-4 will be away next weekend. My cousin is dancing in a big clogging competition. She is quite good, yet I have never seen her! It will be in the state with the really good women's basketball team, a rocky top, and music city.
    Anyhow, I'll miss the party, but will be thinking of y'all.
    As you were

  88. We will miss you, 1-4. My plans to go to bed "early" have been thwarted by a 4 year old with a couple of really nasty bug bites. Why don't we have Benadryl in this house? She keeps waking up because of the horrible itchiness. The Rx-strength cortisone hasn't even helped. Yucky for her!

  89. teri, dude, you SMUGGLED out a chocolate FOUNTAIN? you are so totally my kind of fun.

    SheRev - no fun at all! sometimes a little ice on there helps....

  90. And, you can also rub each bite with a little alcohol(hopefully sheh as not broken the skin scratching) and then put Scotch tape over it. Leave for a couuple of hours and then remove. Maybe tell her it is a magic trick and play it up, in order to keep her from takinng it off.
    I say this as I have several sores on my legs from scratching the bites.
    I did find out that you cna make a home repellent from vodka, apple cider vinegar and a few drops of citronella.

  91. Or you can just drink the vodka.

    (Did I type that outloud?)

  92. I'm back with less writing time than usual, but I'm feeling pretty good about what I have. I might be tempted to go in there with partial notes. We'll see how the next 90 minutes goes. That's a lot of time for what I think I have left to do!

  93. She Rev,
    I hope your little one was able to get comfortable last night...

    am up, too, later than I wished, to do my weekly tweaking (or, really, making sure the durn sermon makes passable sense!!)

    blessings to you this morning!

  94. Thanks revkjarla! She didn't wake up again, so hopefully she's OK. We didn't have Benadryl, but we had another antihistamine on hand, so I tried that. Not one usually used for acute kinds of things, but I was willing to try anything and she's taken it before. Gave her an ice compact (like nectar for the gods for my 4 year old, it should make anything better) and re-dosed the calamine, so it seems like something in that mix worked. Hopefully she isn't miserable through church and can hang on until we get to Target!

    (955 words in mostly incomplete sentencees, so I better bring this one home. Once I fill all that in we're looking at a pretty full sermon already.)

  95. yes, ice packs are magical, right?

    sounds like you are in good shape...and I have one paragraph that needs re-organizing.

    I realize I have no ink for my printer. Dang.

    Prayers that our internet is working at the office otherwise I am screwed...

    or, I will just put Lady Gaga on, and we will all "just dance"

    Peace to you.
    (Target is my favorite store. Don't just get medicine, get something fun, too!!)

  96. 1-4 Grace-- Does your cousin keep a clog blog?

    Teri-- Anyone who can smuggle chocolate fountains need not worry about being alone. Look at how many of us have already followed the lure! Go hang out with The Holy Spirit and do the Hokey-Pokey for a while. You'll feel better!

  97. I read Karla's last comment as "ice pIcks are magical" and I had to go back and figure out who was doing in whom with an ice pick...then I realized my read-o (my brain's "typo"). LOL!

    We are off to double church. 2 sermons in one day - what more could one preacher groupie want!?

    loves to y'all

  98. I just wrote "get our backs up off the wall" and I'm not even preaching all that dancing stuff!!

    Thanks for the party folks! It was great having you. I believe there's a little more chocolate still flowing in the fountain, so help yourself. It's the breakfast of champions, or tired preachers with no energy to make anything else.

    Preach it, sisters!!!

  99. Happy Sunday all! I hope the sermons came together as they always do and the Spirit will dance around all over the place this morning.

    And yes, RP, you are quite right - sometimes kd lang does show up at the door with the sermon. My apologies for the omission.

  100. MC, LMAO over clog blog.
    And I am singing, " There is a fountain filled with choclate...."
    And I sooooooo need it bad.
    In 45 minutes or so I will be in a dark room watching Andy Griffith. Lets hope I do not go to sleep.
    Thanks Sherev. Great party hostess and prayers to all who preach the Word today.

  101. A suitable bulletin illustration for Calvin's birthday can be found
    provided that the artist gives her permission.


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