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Saturday, August 22, 2009

11th Hour Preacher Party: Armor, Armour or More Bread?

Good Saturday, preachers!

It's early in the morning, and I am up thinking about armor. When this week in the lectionary rolled around last time, I was just back from a visit to the U.K., including a stay with Kathryn, and a trip to the Tower of London to look at the armor. When I returned home, someone pointed me to these lovely pajamas, intended to encourage our young people to become Crusaders, though I believe Paul had rather more Roman armor in mind.

Whether you're serving up more bread or breaking down the armor metaphor or considering the stories of Solomon or Joshua, I hope you'll join our party today. I'm in charge of coffee and tea, and if we want ice in it, we can get it right through the door of the whole refrigerator of Songbird! For inspiration, I commend to you Tuesday's lectionary discussion here.

And if you're new to the party today, please say hello in the comments!


  1. Good morning, preachers. I was having a very lazy morning and then suddenly remembered that I was doing some wedding preparation.
    Fortunately I had time to dress up a bit and got there in time.
    But, having completed that, the day is free of any other engagements. And even better, the summer reflection on JEsus' hard sayings is done. There's also a wee reflection from my early ponderings after Tuesday's posting.
    So, with sunshine here, we're going into the garden to blow some bubbles. I'll be back.
    I have some nutty breakfast cereal and, a bit later, there will be some roasted red pepper soup - maybe even some home made bread.
    Songbird - can't really see me using the armour of God as a bedtime story - is that just me? :)

  2. Long day ahead. The kids are coming... and I have laundry to do (one of the dogs got sick on my bed & baby girl slept in the bed I already prepared for man child). I need to clean up the yard... cut the grass... and get something together for lunch.

    Phone call last night... an aging parishioner died... may she rest in peace. She was feisty... hot tempered... and had a absolutely wicked sense of humor. The first time we met... she tried to get me to argue with her. Finally she figured out... I agreed with her... and we thought that was funny as all get out.

    Last week's sermon... well that PO'd about 1/2 the congregation... so this week's sermon starts from where they stopped listening... and take them to the end of the endless bread texts. I tried to do that... without losing the sense of what Jesus is calling us away from... and better yet... what Jesus is calling us into.

    The whole armor of God PJ thingy is freaking strange.

    Coffee's on... brown sugar cinnamon Pop Tarts (frosted and regular) are ready for the toaster.

  3. I've had my morning cup of tea, read all about the Lutherans' courage, and paid some bills. This morning is a four hour rehearsal for the coming Chorale concert and this afternoon is a four hour liturgy class for a vocational deacon. Fortunately, I have already posted the basis for my sermon tomorrow. It's my turn to tick off half of the congregation!

  4. Hello,

    Pulpit supplying again tommorrow. This month has been fun getting to know different churches in the area.

    I'm going to preach on the Armor of God. Say Songbird, do they still make those pajama's. I think I'll wear that instead of a robe.

  5. Marg., I am going to preach on the Joshua reading and the Lutheran courage. Ain't streaming awesome?

    After 6 years of bellicosity within the Episc. church and also facing the same theme among the Lutherans, I don't want to use the armor image. I would like to see if we can use some other images about becoming one.

  6. I'm happy to say I went back to sleep for a while, though I had odd dreams. Not before stepping in dog barf in the dark, though, so I feel your pain, Beach Walkin.
    Now for breakfast. I would love some of those Pop Tarts, my favorite!

  7. Morning preachers!

    I am on "vacation" this week - -today is my down day of moving week. But we are at Mom's house and she put on extra coffee for the party, and we have the homemade muffins with carrots, craisins, and apples.

    The sermon fairy tried to stop by, it is saturday after all, and I sent her to those of you who are writing. Blessings on the day to you all!

  8. I'm impressed, KP, if the sermon fairy can find you even on vacay! She can't find me here where I've lived for five years.

    My day off yesterday got a little bit kerflumpled (that's a word from WG's childhood) as you can read in my blog if you want, so I'm going to try to do some of the self-care errands today that were on yesterday's agenda. It's a much nicer day today, anyway. :)

    When I get back, its on to Joshua and claiming our inheritance! I got a good start on Thursday, so a few hours should do it, fairy or no fairy.

  9. uh yeah... began a sermon on flesh and spirit...comparing flesh to the church bldg. and spirit to our spirit as teh people of god... what the hell was i thinking? i'm tired of writing sermons... just tired of it!

    hazelnut coffee is on... i have 90 minutes to write something spectacular before walking the doggie.

  10. Oh, how I wish I could preach those ideas I blogged the other day. It's just all wrong for my setting.
    So far I have a title and nothing more. Maybe coffee would help...

  11. @Songbird ah, but what a wonderful illustration for a children's sermon.

    I just made some colby cheese omlettes, complete with green onions and tomatoes from the garden.

  12. Maybe for youth group, but we don't do a children's word in the summer. So it's a no go.
    I think I'll go to the farmer's market and see if I come up with anything else.

  13. Oh my. The jammies... Wow.

    Week 3 in the "sustainability" series, and it's about society. I break that down to mean community locally, being part of the human family globally, too. What does God want our human family to look like? How are we called to treat each other and work together to pass on what we are a part of?

    I'm going with Mark 2, the friends lowering the man through the roof. It will fit in a number of ways. Our organist's FIL died last Sunday morning RIGHT before worship. She announced it during the prayers of the people. A very active couple in the church with two young children has come mostly public to friends in the church about their impending divorce.

    We need to hear about carrying each other toward what they need. I will do so on a very small scale - carrying our friends to comfort, strength, etc. Then a community sense - carrying those who need education, maybe even a piece here about making the arts more accessible to whole communities instead of just those who can afford it. Then a more global scale - little dabble in healthcare talk, maybe a little Bono/Africa piece. We'll see how it pans out, but the sermon title "Carrying Each Other" is begging for the inclusion of U2.

    Might also use Team Hoyt as an example at some point - the father/son marathon/triathlon team where the son is pushed or carried by the father through whole races.

    We'll see. But all that is for much later. First a day with the family. I think we're planning to take a walk to the waterfalls in the local state park.

  14. I've been off since late July - family wedding, missions trip and vacation...and it wasn't easy getting back! I had these great ideas that I would somehow work a little each day and plan sermon themes and such. Not.

    BUT after a great game of soccer this morning (also my first in a month) I am looking over edits and hoping to be ready to preach about armor from a pacifist point of view. We'll see how it goes! I have to preach three services this weekend, but the same sermon, so I better like it! I'll try to post it in a bit.

    Lots of fresh blueberries here, some melon, and some yummy hot cocoa to share...blessings to all in your preparations!

  15. Back after 4 weeks away! How I missed you all. Got a rough outline concerning Joshua and choosing God.

    But first up, watching lasts night's Monk and some blueberry pancakes. There's plenty to go around and even some cool whip for those who want to make breakfast a real treat!

  16. time for some water. it is so humid here. I feel like I'm sitting in a bowl of pea soup.

    BTW to my Lutheran friends, I am praying so much for you and you all are in my heart. With every watershed decision comes consequences. To those of you who will be preaching on it this week, may your words be lifted by the power of the Holy Spirit.

  17. God_Guurrlll thank you so very much. I've been reflecting on it most of the morning and trying to craft the sermon carefully...

  18. Sitting outside enjoying a blueberry muffin and coffee, watching a sidewalk art show being created, and listening to a steel drum/marimba band. Aahhhh... Back to reality and the sermon soon enough.

  19. I'm back from the Farmers Market with corn, baby turnips, lovely little eggplants, lettuce, cucumbers and even a locally grown cantaloupe!
    Also, a sermon!!!
    Thanks be to God.
    Now, who would like some iced tea? I'm brewing Constant Comment Decaf, it's delicious over ice.

  20. eating me some jesus leftovers from last week--using john from last week. hoping for some inspiration and some good food to move me along.

  21. @ songbird, you found a farmers market that sells homegrown sermons. where can I get some.

  22. As the co-originator of the home-delivered-by-Antonio-Banderas-fully-written-sermon, I am replete with unexpected sources.

  23. hey all,

    poking my head in to say hi and I'll be back later. spent my prep time this week reading up on St Patrick (interesting character, btw) since I was planning to preach about The Breastplate prayer, but now I'm just going to preach about those pj's - ha!

    ok, off to a rehearsal, back this afternoon...

    trying to figure out twitter, so if you do that, maybe you can answer my question. i'm juniper68 over there.

  24. Any sermon faries out there?
    We have our big rally day tomorrow and our youth will also be taking part in the worship service.
    Uh, wish they had the pjs in adult size.
    I am trying to rest up from a busy week and do my sermon.
    I place a link on Tuesday to a West Wing clip, might help.
    Okay, back to work.
    Anybody want a tomato sandwich?

  25. I was looking up the pjs, and found this...Armor of God paintball

  26. Oh, 1-4. That is just too much.

  27. LOL at the idea of G.G. preaching in those pjs. :-)

    Just stopped in to say hello to the preachers at the party.
    I am employed.
    Not at a church, but a paycheck is a paycheck.

    Meanwhile I MISS YOU GUYS!

  28. Owl,
    I guess congrats on a paying job, but so sorry you are not preaching. Somebody is missing out on a good preacher!

  29. Hot Cup, I am with you and all the ELCA on that. This will be a difficult week for pastors. The Sturm und Drang is not over for TEC either but it feels like the dust has cleared.

    Know that this fairy's prayers are with you.

  30. So, in an effort to preach and be nonanxious in a toxic situation, I offer this: grace and serendipity. I can't really say anymore...

    well, except I love you all! really.

  31. OK... the PJs are a hoot. But why does the girl get the "Maid Marion" headpiece? I want a helmet too!!! (Just sayin...)
    Praying for all you preachers...

  32. I found out Wednesday, when I got home from vacation, there will be "visitors" in the congregation when I preach this Sunday. You know...those visitors charged with finding the next pastor for their church.

    Adds just a bit of pressure to preaching the John passage.

  33. Purple, that's great news! Where are you headed with the sermon?

  34. Here is my finished sermon with pictures! Please come by and read, leave a comment.

    Just click here.

  35. SB:
    I am using "The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life" as a theme verse for the sermon.

    Through the working of Spirit our earthly lives and our spiritual lives really exist as one unit...not as an either/or...and this bread of heaven...the creative force (or word) of God is the question we are asked to respond to.

    I did the classic 4 page sermon...trouble in the text; trouble today; good news in the text; good news today.

  36. That sounds great, Purple.
    The piece of advice my mentor gave me when I was searching right after seminary was to memorize the end of the sermon. Even if I couldn't do the rest (and I could not!), ending on a firm note impresses them, he said.
    I'll be praying for you!
    And Singing Owl, glad to hear that good news!

  37. Good news Purple, but yes, it can be a little tense too.
    I think the best thing you can do is simply be yourself as a preacher. I figure it is best to give them what they can expect on a typical Sunday.
    And GG has a fantastic sermon and is well written.
    How is everyone else? Anyone want a sandwich or a cranberry orange muffin>

  38. ahhhh armor pj's

    I slept till noon. How can this be? but have the wash going, dinner planned, my wear for tomorrow ready, and the sermon ...well it's brewing still.
    And I read this article linked from and thought it gave me a good anchor. Yeah Cynthia Campbell

    Ok be well sisters and here we go again

  39. Y'all, I am so close to done, but I cannot bring this one home. I've started the conclusion three different times. Help!
    Wish we had ice cream here.

  40. OMG! took a break b/c I had to do a wedding... an out-of-towner, a very hot out-of-towner made some overtures toward me... *whew* was it hot in church t'day or was that me blushing? when asked how I was spending the rest of my day... hotcup lamely answered she had to finish the sermon for tomorrow.

    *sigh* but after all I am committed to dolcejava... but did I mention how HOT this guy is?

    off to find something cool to drink... maybe some wine.

  41. Because I've done very little all day, I'm absolutely bushed! Its been good to read through some of your sermons - great stuff out there. Usually I don't do that until Sunday afternoon because I'm busy writing up until then. The word of God is certainly getting out there (IMHO). Hot Cup - any chance the "out of towner" will show up to hear that sermon you had to rush off and do? How cool would that be.

  42. Okay, I'm there, I guess. We have to leave for a church event, so I will be back later to check in with you all.

  43. OMG if mr.hottie shows up tomorrow i'm gonna need a fan in the pulpit!

    anyhoos... here is the sermon for tomorrow for what i expect will be an anxious crowd

  44. I've just gotten home from working all day at job #1, and now am going to start trying to write a sermon for tomorrow. Songbird, I join everyone else in saying thanks for the "armor pj's"...who thinks this stuff up? And, who buys stuff like that???
    I am tired, so I think it will be a rather straightfoward armor of God sermon for me...unless of course, the sermon fairy shows up with some creative ideas! Nothing much to eat here, but I can share leftover birthday cake from husband's birthday yesterday. Prayers for all as we plug along here tonight!

  45. I've written the meaty ending of the sermon. Now to go back and put a front porch on it.

    But I might need a break first ... anyone need any cleaning/organizing done? My house is looking pretty good - ready to tackle another project.

    (Can you tell things at church are a bit chaotic right now? I've been organizing and cleaning away at home to try to get some semblance of order in my life.)

  46. I fell asleep listening to public radio and awoke to Bishop Gene Robinson's voice. My first thought was what is Bishop Robinson doing in my bedroom. Knowing him...knowing me...very unlikely.


  47. Purple - - thanks for reminding me of the basics. I've had trouble getting started these last few weeks although, I think the sermons have ended up in good places. I'm going to remember the classics tonight when I get to writing! That will work perfect for where I'm going this week.

    Sounds like things are going well for the most part. We went hiking to waterfalls with the kids this morning, a stop a yarn store for a set of needles I didn't have but need to finish the baby cardigan I am knitting, and then mostly unproductive naps. Hmmm... that should mean early to bed for them and more writing time for me. (If I can stay away from my knitting!)

  48. I love being done with the sermon before 5:00 local time. This week I made it with about 20 minutes to spare.

    This was one of those weeks when the sermon took a very different turn that I thought it would.

    Now I guess I have to figure out what to fix for dinner.

    Carry on, preachers!

  49. We're back from the bean supper at church. Kids and husband agreed to go once. Once. I would like to know if there are churches out there that offer a vegetarian baked bean option?

  50. ok, havent done any sermon work all day, but hope the work I have done is going to bear some fruit somehow. including that one hour nap. yeah.

    in the meantime, I have to take out the compost - it's getting fragrant. and while I"m out there, I'm sure some other ways to kill time will occur to me.

    problem is, I'm doing a "not from manuscript" this week, so that means the sermon never actually gets DONE, it just keeps percolating until moment of delivery....

  51. Juniper, I am still too chicken for that. Well, except that time I left my manuscript at home, but that was a short thing for a special service, and I had been aiming at setting down the manuscript anyway.

  52. HotCup!!!
    You are cracking me up! I only get hit on by very old, slightly insane guys.
    And you played the "I have to finish my sermon card?"
    Oh, come on! Did you give him your card with your numbers on it.? (wink).
    Keep some ice water in the pulpit tomorrow!
    I am finsihing up the sermon and then must get to bed. We have Rally Day tomorrow! Muffins are done for breakfast and I will cut watermelon before hitting the hay

  53. Songbird, as I'm sure you know there is such a thing as (canned) vegetarian baked beans!!! Maybe you can introduce that to the church?

    I've got Diet A&W on tap. Ok, in cans. Anyone?

  54. I need help chose to preach on Psalm 84. Talking about roads taken and dwelling places. Can not get focused really struggling. Help!

  55. Is the later night crew arriving? I'm getting close to getting to it. First I've got to finish this big bowl of ice cream - - good ol' fashioned chocolate chip - - virtual ice cream is calorie free. Does that count for me since I'm the one sharing?

  56. Well I'm off to bed my friends. Blessings to all of you. See ya in the morning!

  57. I am still here Sherev.
    Oh, and pass the Rootbeer please I love it.
    I have bottle Blenheim Ginger Ale. It is rather "hot" with extra ginger and is great ice cold. Also helps with upset tummy if anyone needs it.
    Muffins are done and although the recipe is to make 12, I had enough left to do two mini loaves.
    I am twothirds done and trying to come up with brillant ending. Just found out a colleague will be in worship tomorrow. He is on Sabbatical and looking for a place to worship. Can be a little unnerving to have another preacher there, yet, another preacher will best understand the weekly challenge to bring the Word in a new and relevant way.
    Anyone need anything?

  58. Here is the link to the
    site that I am drinking tonight.

  59. 1-4 grace, I can sure use some of that ginger ale! roads taken and dwelling places,sometimes we stay on a road that we think is familiar and safe, but often is not

  60. yes i am the total dork that played the "i have to finish my sermon card"... geeze... and did i mention this guy was HOT and uhm was summering in The Hamptons and was driving a snazzy convertible? he even called me by name... and asked to pet mochajava (who was on my front porch when the wedding party was outside taking photos)...

    seriously i'm such a dork. oh well... some shameless flirting at the reception could've been terribly fun! (must be the new earrings i wore today) bwaaa haaa haaa temptation is HOT people. HOT.

  61. HCL!!!
    I am LMAO! No wonder you call yourself HOT Cup Lutheran!
    yes, shameless flirting is totally fun and oh, so fine.
    I just don't get to do it much because I have about 3-4 older ladies that watch my ever, loving freaking move!
    If "A" had been there, you would be the topic of conversation at morning coffee tomorrow!
    Still, LMAO

  62. I think i may be getting somewhere remembered one of my favorite hymns that we haven't sung since I have been here anyway, using some of those verses connecting in with our travels also used some stories about traveling my dad's solution when he got lost, gps gone hey wire and a mention of folling the yellow brick road how with out remembering that God is constanly with us our journies have issues any way hope its okay. I have cucumbers with vinegar and splenda and warm diet pepsi. Blessings all

  63. Glad it sounds like things are going better, revie. Cucumbers. Yum. My favorite veggie.

  64. childrens time ideas anyone? besides the pjs????

  65. 1762 words I think it finally clicked I hop any way. Good night all

  66. Haven't even thought about children's time yet. I'm not on lectionary with you all anyway, though. I'm also trying to decide whether to plan a CT "just in case" or let someone else come up with one at the last minute. The organizer of CT volunteers quit a couple of weeks ago without any volunteers lined up for the next couple of weeks. The worship committee chair is lobbying for me to do them every week, but the Personnel Committee is standing by me. I'm happy doing them once a month, twice even if needed, but there are some very talented folks in the congregation who do these well. Worship committee chair is very much a "staff are paid for this" kind of chair, and she isn't excited about having to recruit people either.

    So, I don't know if anyone was recruited for this week. I think I should have something ready in case, but I'll let someone squirm a little in the morning. I don't want the kids to not have anything if I don't make a back-up plan, though.

    Anyway - - that hasn't nothing to do with anything.

    Armor Scripture - - maybe liken it to a recipe with lots of ingredients if you're trying to get away from the armor images. I remember making "Peace Pie" with all my cooking utensils once.

    Or maybe instead of focusing on the battle images of armor you can just make it a unity thing - - all these different pieces make the armor whole. Without one it isn't complete.

    Just look at me trying to dodge the tough imagery!!!

  67. actually, that's interesting sherev. I LOVE doing ct, and even tho I have one volunteer who would do it every week if I was ok with it, she does it once a month. I kind of think of it as an intro to the sermon.

    so for ephesians, will show pictures of people in occupations that you can easily guess by their dress (baseball player, chef, bride - is that last one an occupation? depends on the girl I guess. ANYway...), and then how do we show on the outside that we are followers of christ? by wearing truth, faith, peace, prayers of the gospel, etc., no matter what you wear for your job....

    probably be a stretch for the little ones, but I'm throwing a bone to the older ones who have to sit thru a lot for the preschool set.

    Ok, going to bed. Up early to say my sermon aloud! Sleep tight to all who are sleeping and write right to all who are writing!

  68. Sounds great, Juniper.

    I guess I came off a bit catty earlier. I do like doing CT, but I have found in this call, when compared to my last when I was an associate pastor, when I do them too often it makes worship feel, at least to me, like "The SheRev Show." I see that as a great time to get some other voices in the game instead of just mine. We do have a lay reader do our opening liturgy stuff, but those are still my words (or at least the ones I found and put in there!). CT is the time when we get to hear a Word from God in worship that doesn't come through my lips and my filters. It's nice and I don't want to lose that.

  69. Not preaching again this week, as I'm still in Halifax where today I conducted my nephew's wedding.

    Lovely day today (in all respects - wedding and weather included).

    Tomorrow - Hurricane Bill. My first hurricane. I'll be fine. The hotel is great, my sister and her hubby are in the same hotel - we'll just hunker down and see the day out. Winds are high tonight and lots of rain, but so far that's it.

    Peace and blessings to all of you tomorrow.

  70. Sue, be safe and don't end up on the Weather Channel with Jim C.
    Sherev, I enjoy CT, but would love others to do it. I feel like it is the 1-4 G show. I have put more responsability on my liturgist though.
    And Juniper, you have saved the day/night/tomorrow, by giving a great, non military idea.
    Whew...I have 1001 words and two "things" to get in before it is over.

  71. Glad to have some company again. It was getting lonely here. I am having the hardest time getting into this one although I know where I want it to go. It's definitely already a very different style when compared to what I have done lately, and I'm throwing a lot of "creative license" into the story of the paralyzed man whose friends carry him on the mat to Jesus. It's something I get a little nervous about doing since it's not in the text, but I just hope I can stand somewhere in the tradition of Midrash and this is OK for preaching.

  72. 1442 word.I normally shoot for 1500, but it is so close and I like it as is. 48 words can come another time. If I add now, it will mess it all up.
    Plus, somebody said once that a mark of a good preacher is knowing when to sit down. (hee-hee)

  73. Then sit on down, 1-4! :) Good for you. I just reorganized what I was doing because I was doing it all wrong. I'm not feeling tired yet, but know I will be hurting tomorrow/today. Trying to decide if I will go grab a little sleep or just push until I'm done.

    Aiming for shorter than usual for me which would be your 1500. I know there's a lot of music tomorrow organized by a woman who repeatedly tells me her pieces are shorter than they are so that I won't tell her she can't play them. Then I don't get to adjust my length to accommodate her and we end up going "late." No one ever blames the 8 minute clarinet quartet, though. So anyway, this time I'm trying to be brief to allow for her. We'll see if I can do that.

  74. Wow. 4:30 a.m. here and I haven't yet gone to bed. I think I will in the next 30 minutes. I had no idea this one was going to take this long. I had no idea. I knew exactly where I wanted it to go, but I just couldn't get it there. It is significantly shorter than usual for me, but I haven't had anyone complaim YET that I didn't preach enough. I'm not too worried about that.

    Glad things went smoother for the rest of you. I look forward to trying again next week!


  75. Gosh, y'all, I fell asleep and never came back! I'm sorry!
    I've got a last minute pot of coffee on for those who are reading over their sermons (or still writing them).
    Remember, as we used to say in the old days, the Holy Spirit's got your back. And if you've got a dog, walk it proud!

  76. Good on ya, gang. There's some good stuff here. Keep it up. Preach 'em into the Kingdom!

  77. I'm off to church. Blessings to you all.


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