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Saturday, September 12, 2009

11th Hour Preacher Party - Words, words, words

Whether the words are words of confession (a la Peter), words of confusion (a la Peter again), words of rebuke (a la Jesus), words of instruction (a la...well, you get the point), words of warning, or words of praise. The words we say matter. The words we say shape the way we believe and the way we live. They also characterize and set the tone for our entire discourse with one another (a la a certain congressman from South Carolina).

The words we say matter, and this is particularly true when the church is speaking in a hostile or foreign culture. Who do we say that Jesus is? What word does the Word have for our communities today? Join the party in the comments. There's a lot going on with all of us these late summer, almost fall weeks!


  1. Its a beautiful day here in Scotland - definitely autumn though. I'm enjoying home made lemon and ginger marmalade on home made bread. Autumn always makes me want to be "domesticated" - cooking and nourishing and preserving - maybe to protect my loved ones from the ravages of autumn and winter. Must be some primal instinct.
    I have an out of the ordinary opportunity in worship tomorrow. The youth church are having a party so won't be joining us in the sanctuary. However, something a bit lighter to fill the youth church slot will still be expected so I'm going to use the "Who do you say I am" bit of the gospel to encourage folk to share with each other when or how they discovered Jesus is Lord - sharing testimonies, though we'd never call it that in Church of Scotland! And I have a student for ministry who will share her story to get things started.
    Then, in the sermon, I can concentrate on "the rebuke". Want folk to hear that there will always be voices, even well loved voices to hold us back - but that we must hear beyond those the voice of Christ calling us to life. And that we can challenge the obstacle makers lovingly.
    That's where I am so far.
    Room at the table for a few more laptops.

  2. Hi all,
    Blessings as you preach it out today. I'm on my way out of town (a few hours from here) for a funeral and will be back by day's end.

    I spoke (ok, preached!) at a wonderful peace rally last night. It's on video (which is a bit spotty and skippy at times, unfortunately) over on my blog. It was an amazing evening. Thought it might be of interest in terms of preaching style....though I'm not usually this LOUD on a Sunday...

    I'm at the 45 minute point if you want to skip the rest. The rally is in support of a young gay man who was brutally attacked last week.

    The link is here.

    Have a good one....

  3. Oh, and the guy with the long black is my son, one of the primary organizers. So proud!

  4. Sue,
    I've been following your blog for a while now but, since your spam attack can't access it. If you'd be happy for me to do so, please tell me how at:
    thanks and blessings

  5. Where is everyone today?
    Unbelievably I'm almost half way through my sermon for tomorrow. I need to find a way towards an ending now. But first, I think I'll have some red pepper soup and some more of that home made bread for lunch. Maybe after that there will be more folk to party with!

  6. Good morning all. I haven't been to a Preacher Party in awhile because I haven't preached in awhile. Took a leave of absence for the last year and only preached 3 times over the course of that year. Just went back to work this week and I'm up tomorrow. It's like riding a bike, right?

    I'm preaching James and have a lot of ideas but nothing written yet. We have a 3-hour church planning conference this morning so I can't really get working until after lunch. I had hoped to have something more written before this conference, but it's been a nutso week starting back to work and starting my boys in kindergarten. Here's hoping for extra inspiration (and extra speed!)

  7. It's still early on this side of the pond, liz! I'm drinking my first cup of coffee. My job for tomorrow is to greet the Sunday School, first with a litany in church, then in an assembly in the Chapel. Our text: the Great Commandment. My prop: this t-shirt. Which I need to wash.

  8. hi, trying to sleep in past 6:00 here. I haven't been sleeping well lately (worried about my dad and some other things), and yesterday I set my alarm wrong and was up an hour early. Walking the dog and wondering why it was still so dark.

    This weekend is Rally Day, Sunday School students are returning. For the first time in a long time I'm preaching, and I THINK I have a sermon, which is good because my day is almost full and I'm preaching at 5:00.

    It's about Jesus' words: "Deny yourself and take up your cross and follow me," versus Marketing. I'll talk a little about our youth's mission trip this summer, about following Jesus, and where we end up. Invite people to follow Jesus, even with the "fine print" about the cross.

  9. I've arrived @ the Preacher Party early this morning because my day promises to be full. Water's on to boil. Sue, way to represent. . . & your son too!
    We are launching our church-year theme "Called to the Story" tomorrow and, while the service is beautiful, my sermon is only 1/4 finished. "A Story Bigger than Yourself" -- using Hebrews 12, some Madeleine L'Engle and a heavy dependence upon Stanley Hauerwas.

    In other news, please pray for me @ 1:30 today. I have an appointment @ hospice to help a family say goodbye. . .Then it's on to our church & neighborhood picnic, followed by set up for tomorrow's ministry fair. . .

    Here's hoping the next 4 hours get my sermon in a good enough place.

    Blessings fellow preachinators!

  10. Love the shirt, Songbird!

    I am up to get ready for a meeting that I called way too early this morning (my bad!) and for which I am not really prepared (my double bad!)
    I am feeling a little desperate about the sermon, perhaps because I feel pretty strongly about the James passage for tomorrow, and yet the gist of it--how we speak to each other, how we "talk" our "walk" of discipleship--is something about which I'm afraid my heart is a little too tender this week, due to some unbloggable situations. So James becomes one of those texts that, not handled properly and with grace and the love of Jesus (which is frankly the love on which I am depending right now, since I may be fresh out of my own) could become a weapon. And not in the good way.

    Prayers accepted, y'all. This is going to be a hard one.

  11. I am off lectionary: I'm doing pulpit supply at a church that's doing a year through the Bible. The congregation will have read Isaiah chapters 25-37 and Philemon and Hebrews 1-4 during the past week, so I was to draw my text from there. I went with Isaiah 29:9-16 and Hebrews 3:7-19 and am preaching on a hardened heart. But I don't have the sermon yet....

    I need a cup of tea..

  12. cheese, any chance of using Isaiah with it, and telling a story that is farther away from the life of a local church? In Bible Study this week (my first time with the older folks at Y1P), the images in that passage struck us all as so powerful and such a good companion for James. They wanted to know more about Isaiah, what he was up against, how that connected to Jesus, etc.

  13. Hi friends!

    I am at a neutral pulpit this weekend. Please keep me in your prayers. Sermon is already written because I am spending today with the search committee.

    I'll check in later tonight.

  14. Prayers, Cheese, that God's love holds you up and fills you this weekend.

    I haven't preached in 6 weeks (gulp) and tomorrow is my first Sunday in my new parish (bigger gulp). They've been wonderful to me so far, and seem like great folks, but I'm nervous!! I think I'm going to use the "who do you say that I am?" theme and talk about how we need to look at who we say Jesus is and who we say that we are and how we live that out as we begin our ministry together with the hope of growing the church.

    My rhythms are off, too. I used to have to hammer out the sermon on Saturday morning in advance of a 5pm Sat. service. I don't have the same pressure since no Sat. service here, but I need a certain amount of pressure to do my best writing (weird maybe, but true). And I DO NOT want to get in the habit of being up Saturday nights writing. So my plan is to work for little while this morning, stopping to go get my new driver's license and registration for the car (which I tried to do yesterday but was sent home for lacking one little piece of identification), and then come back and finish the sermon by mid afternoon. We'll see!

  15. Check out my PJ Postscript

    Now you know why my sermon is coming slowly this morning!

  16. finished for the morning, here it is time for bed. I'm preaching on Mark, and 'who do you say I am'. Do our words and our actions give the same answer.

  17. I posted my sermon here. As always... comments... concerns... are always welcome.

  18. Songbird - sorry. If I'm up and at it, so should everyone else be - time differences notwithstanding!
    However there's even more surprise and pleasure in the notion that as you ponder over breakfast, I am done. for now anyway - will tweak later.
    Cheese, I too had a bit of a dilemma about wanting to use notion of rebuke as healthy but not resort to using it as a weapon - and that's from the gospel.
    Posted a reflection on tuesday's lectionary leanings in that vein.
    QP - what fun friends!
    I'm off to play for a while.
    Catch up with y'all later.
    Sending the sermon fairy on her way - she's been brilliant company here this morning but I really need to share. :)

  19. AAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    that's what I have to say today.

    Somehow I don't think that's going to constitute a sermon. (sigh)

    I have no inspiration right now (oh sermon fairy, where ARE YOU!?!?!?!??!), I have a wedding in just over 3 hours, then preparing for a fellowship event, then actually having said fellowship event, then re-setting the fellowship hall to be ready for youth group tomorrow. Sometime before the wedding i need to get to both the grocery store and the farmer's market. Why do I let (or even make) these things happen? You would think I would have learned by now just how much I can fit into one week, but no...

    I am working on the gospel, my sermon title is "out loud," and it's Kick-Off Sunday, so I need a sort of rally-the-faithful kind of sermon, getting them fired up for another 9 months of ministry together. (a whole year is too much to ask for! LOL!) I know the sermon is in there, I've had ideas before, but now that I actually need them to come together into something coherent on the screen, I'm staring at a blank page. (sigh)

    Maybe it's time for a cup of tea. anyone want one?

  20. telling a story from vacay this sunday... on how sometimes words escape our lips and really, really? is that who i meant to say jesus is?.... uh nope. it wasn't.

    hopefully it works cuz it's all i got, and today involves errands and college football aplenty.

    prayers meg. prayers cheese. prayers diane. prayers god_guurll.

  21. Praying for Cheese and GodGurrl and for all of you. Love what I am reading so far! Go Holy Spirit!

  22. Decided to give up on James...those sharp tongues are just too close to the simmering conflict in my church and I think now is the time for words of encouragement and hope. My gut tells me the short tempers and ugly attitudes have much to do with the fear, anxiety, and uncertainty permeating our world today.

    With that said, I'm looking at Mark's exchange between Peter and Jesus. I had also thought of having them share their testimonies, as Liz mentioned. As far as the rebuke goes, I love that Jesus tells Peter to "get behind me" rather than "get away from me." He doesn't cut him off from following even when Peter struggles with a reality beyond his expectations.

    Now to get something on the blank screen...

  23. After a long hiatus from writing sermons, a blessedly long hiatus, it's back to the grindstone for me. But since I wasn't preaching last week and our supply was off lectionary, I'm going with last week's mark text and tackling the syro-woman - Jesus debate. Loved all the comments from last week's revgals. And it's still raining here which we have desperately needed. I have a quiet house, a kitty on my knees, and just need a sermon to present itself clearly. Prayers for yall this morning!

  24. I have been at it since about 9 EDT and can't get even a theme going. I keep going to sleep at the laptop. We have Rally day too so we will have a decent crowd.
    I didn't get to my bible study group on Tues either so I haven't had a chance for the conversation to bubble up all week. HELP!

  25. Let's hope the sermon fairy can visit as many homes as Santa in a night. I too am in need. Have sermon title, "In Need Of A Name Badge" and preaching the Mark "Who do you say.." text. I thought I was done my reading but am finding great stuff on word "Messiah" in good old Bible Dictionary. Now to make a sermon not a lecture. I do have a story to begin with/but that's about all for now.
    best to you all, I have a chocolate stash..

  26. Since "take up your cross" hits more than once in the cycle, I'm preaching James.

    fwiw, I think I'm going to include a description of the loop on the tongue of athletic shoes that helps keep it in place. When the tongue is in place the foot is more protected and the logo shows. When the tongue is out of place, the foot gets sores and the logo doesn't show. Does your logo show?

  27. Nice Vicar, i like the question. I put my thoughts and questions up on my blog but I think I need to be answering a few of the questions to give the sermon some meat. Maybe I've been eating too many veggies lately.

  28. Prayers for all--those awaiting the fairy, those tender and carrying burdens and any others out there unspoken.

    I haven't a clue what I'll be preaching tomorrow, but I think exploring the "who do you say..." bit offers room to give folks permission not to be sure who Jesus is to them. In a community overloaded with baptists and Church of Christ (southern) church-goers the few hale and hearty 'piscis often feel intimidated about what they know and are able to articulate. I fear it stops many in their tracks from pursuing Jesus at all as a result. So I may go there.

    It's our rally day as well, though I think we will have one, yes, one child for Sunday school. This is from a potential pool of 13 of mixed ages. Sigh. So many challenges for these good people to get back on their feet. Not so long ago there were more than 30 kids!

    Anyway, yogurt here, which doesn't compare to homemade anything, but as it is nearing lunch time in my neck of the woods I think I'll turn my sights to something more substantive. Whatever I find, you're welcome to partake with me!

  29. Sermon is finished except edits and run-throughs -- Thanks be to God.

    Now I am preparing for my hospice visit and then off to church for the afternoon/evening.

    In 24 hours it will all be over. I can do this. And so can you. Keep on keeping on sista preachas!

  30. Blessings on your hospice visit Meg.

    I'm back from our church planning conference and ready to write, theoretically at least. The conference was actually really good - very energizing. But I also feel drained, you know?

    Okay, let's see if I can get some words on paper....

  31. Meg, it's just 1:30 here so I am praying for you, the patient and the family. What a sacred yet challenging moment to share with them.

  32. Preaching on healthy and unhealthy intepretations of cross-bearing. Felt pretty clear on what I wanted to say, but just found out an actual Latina dropped by and will hopefully come to mass tomorrow--so I will have to mentally rehearse it in Spanish. (I've been celebrating in Spanish and preaching in English as we have had all Anglos to date). But first I have to finish this bilingual program with all the prayers, which is taking hours, and then we are going out into the Hispanic community to greet people and invite them to Sunday mass and the special mass and dinner for Dia de los Muertos.

  33. Sophia, what a wonderful challenge and ministry you are offering. I admire your ability.

    Question for all you other procrastinators, I mean sermon-writers, what is the perfect beverage for sermon-writing?

    Water is not cutting it today. I've had coffee and also a cup of spiced green tea. I figured you would have suggestions for me.

  34. Rev Nancy, I am drinking Diet Sunkist. It's good! But I'm not sure if it offers the magical sermon-writing powers I need.

  35. Sorry that I've been a bit of an absent host. Our church is hosting its Scottish Heritage Festival today. It started at 10:00 am and ends at 4:00 p.m.. I put in my 3 hours, so now I'm home. I should use nap time to start the sermon, but I am WIPED OUT. The nap first and the sermon tonight. Will read around and come back in a bit!

  36. Prayers to all who are in need! It does seem to be that time of year again.

    We are commissioning Church School teachers and kicking-off the Church School year, so I started with back-to-school which lead me into a discussion of discipline. Every teacher on the first day of school goes over the rules. I see that in the Mark passage as well with Peter finally declaring Jesus the Messiah (first day of school), getting some discipline to get him back on track, then Jesus expounding on the rules for disciples following Christ.

    I am hoping to transition to expectations of Christ-followers (like that of teachers in James) being higher than for others. There are many instances in the news and otherwise of people "we expect more of" speaking impulsively (even as Peter did).

    I am also really hoping I can work in the phrase: you kiss your mother with that mouth? :)

    Peter's blessing/cursing Jesus seems to fit with James' "from the same mouth".

    Not sure where this is all going to land, but God always seems to make it turn out alright.

    May you each discover what you need in the coming hours.

  37. wedding: check. next meeting, 57 minutes. copies for meeting: not check. sermon: DEFINITELY NOT CHECK.


    I may have to escape the building for some dr. pepper and come back...

  38. Good to have you back, earthchick!!!

    Prayers for you Cheesehead.

    And for you God_Guurrlll! For discernment and energy. I'm more extroverted than introverted and I'm still exhausted by neutral pulpit weekends. Don't know about you!

    Good luck with that faux-pressure, Rev Dr Mom. I didn't desire to get into this night writing thing, too, but I did. Stay away from it if you can because it sucks you in!

    Hope more has coming together for you, Teri. I'm hoping my ideas will come together quickly, but later.

    Love the athletic shoe piece, Vicar.

    Nancy - I'm going with water for now. I've been SOOOO thirsty these last few days.

    I debated a bit about reading James, tomorrow, too, with my mostly-Mark based sermon, but I think if I do that things will be WAY TOO MUCH. Mostly I'm going with Mark, then, and playing up the cultural setting of Caesarea Philippi and how important it is for us to think about who we say Jesus is as we head to challenging places, as we figure out how we're going to minister when we get there. We're getting ready to start a new mission/vision process, so that's in mind. Starting a new ministry year is also in mind. Lastly who we know Jesus to be, shapes how we follow him/minister in his name. We'll see how it plays out. I couldn't fall asleep Wednesday night until I planned it all out, but I haven't looked at that plan since. I like it, though, and hopefully it will help me write rather quickly. I will need to be concise because there are quite a few smaller moves all pieced together.

    OK - - back to that nap plan!

  39. I have a sermon, though I'm not sure how good it is. Maybe I'll post (I haven't for a long time). I haven't had complete manuscripts for awhile. so we'll see.

    also we have a sofa, or loveseat, anyway, something to sit on, which we haven't for awhile. So tonight we might watch a movie.

  40. Prayers fo Cheese, Godgurl, and the rest of you.
    The James stuff is great, but hard.
    (sigh) Bad sinus/allergy day and there is football on!

  41. I usually like to read all the comments before I leave mine, but this is the latest I've ever started typing a sermon since I began at my sole pastorate! Probably has something to do with the fact that my ordination is tomorrow and I've been SWAMPED with last minute details all week. I really should have followed through with my initial idea to do a hymn sign in worship tomorrow. However, I now have a sermon to write. Luckily, I'm actually okay with letting myself off the hook for it being of the utmost supreme quality this week; I think it'll still be alright...

  42. Here's what I'm actually working on: talking about James first with the whole "tongue of fire" dealy, then moving on to talking about Peter's assumption of what the Messiah should be in Mark. The main idea is that when we gossip, we may be spreading around a false idea about someone; we're prescribing who they are and who they should be, and we're not letting them have any room to be who they really are. That's what Peter was doing with Jesus -- saying he was the Messiah, he was picturing Jesus in a certain role, and didn't like what Jesus had to say when he described what HIS Messiah was all about. When we think we know who Jesus is, without being open to fresh interpretations or meetings with him, we also miss out. That's pretty much it in a nutshell; hope it all comes out as I keep typing!

  43. Blessings on all of you and all of the things going on in your lives.

    I am finally back on lectionary this week after a sermon series and several special worships heralding the end of the summer. When my clergy colleague and I met for our quarterly worship planning retreat I fell in love with the Hebrew Scriptures represented in the lectionary for the rest of the Pentecost Season. Lady Wisdom, the capable woman, Esther, Ruth and one lone male, Job. All of these are special to me in different ways so I will be focused on them.

    This week Lady Wisdom chastises the ignorant and cynical and invites those who wish to embrace her. It seems particularly appropriate this week following the un-wise outburst during the President's speech and the instructions of the judge the day I spent on jury duty. Of course and as usual, although I have all my stories and commentary stuff ready, the actual writing is barely begun. :-)

    It's good to be back at the Preacher Party!

  44. It's been quiet over here for awhile, so I just thought I'd pop in and say hello.


    I have finally gotten on a bit of a roll and am hoping this might not be the late night I feared. I need to preach a shorter-than-usual sermon tomorrow because of other special things we have going on in the service. It seems fitting that a sermon on this passage from James ought to be shorter and tighter - no unnecessary words. We'll see....

  45. okay, I think my friend Amy may have rescued me when she mentioned (on FB chat) the Christian/Christ Follower videos. I have an idea. It started with a phrase that "bearing the cross" (following Jesus) is not the same as "wearing a cross" (like a necklace). She mentioned the video (I'm using the one where he has books and bumper stickers but looks down on the guy who lives it out) and I have something of an idea now. AND I got the technology guy the video too, so I can even show it. Hallelujah.

    now we're at wedding: check. meeting: check. prep appetizers for tonight's fellowship event: check. sermon: not check, with one hour and 14 minutes to go. I'm writing now, I swear.

  46. My nap is over, but my current distraction is football, like 1-4. I could make better use of my time since my husband took the boy to Best Buy and the grocery store so that the girl could play with her best friend in relative peace. Everyone is occupied, and I could have a good productive afternoon. But instead, I'm watching football. Fall preaching, I discovered last year, is SO HARD for me because of this darn college football!

    Sarah - - blessings on your ordination day. We're a fun bunch in the afternoon/evening/early morning crowd!

    Welcome back, rev maria!

    Going to stalk you on FB now, Teri, to see if I can find that video. Not sure if it fits where I'm going, but sounds like a good one and possibly a site for future gems....

  47. Ahhh - - feeling less guilty about not working while everyone is occupied. The girls have joined me downstairs and are now truly a distraction!

  48. ahhh, the gator game has come and gone and I'm back to work. I did have to rum out to the drug store to get a new (clean) ace bandage for my hand .. decided the stinky one I've been wearing since I sprained it last Sun pm was probably better replaced before worship. NOw if I could ony get the typing thing to work with more than 5 fingers spread across 2 hands... This may be an outline week!

  49. here is the video I was referencing. If you can play mp4 format on your computer, you can also download from here.

    If you need the windows media player version, you have to buy it from here and it's a little expensive.

    Or, of course, you can just watch it at the first link or by searching youtube for "christian vs. christ follower." there are 6 videos, I think...I'm using number 1.

  50. My writing was interrupted by a trip to the DMV to get my new-state license and tags, which of course took longer than it should have. And I practiced my chanting for tomorrow since it's not something I've done on a regular basis. But the sermon is ALMOST done. I need another 100-150 words .... I WILL NOT be up late tonight doing this, so off to finish NOW!

  51. Althea - It was my niece's first game in the Swamp. I haven't heard the reports yet, but that 5 year old knows all of the offense by name. It's crazy!

  52. Good for you Rev Dr Mom!! Sounds like it's going well!!!

  53. I have a VERY rough draft up here,including the video at the place where I plan to use it.

    I will likely do some SERIOUS editing later (it feels clunky) but at least I have *something* down. It lacks the punch I was hoping for in this sermon, but I may have to let that go this time...we'll see.

    For now--checking on the tech stuff for tomorrow, grabbing the last few supplies for the event tonight, and going to fellowship.

    I'll see if I can sneak some goodies out of the fellowship party for the preacher party! I know there's going to be a chocolate fountain with belgian chocolate in it! Maybe I can hide it under my robe or something and get it over here....

  54. Prayers for you Cheese and God_Guurrll for tomorrow.

    Well, the sermon is in the bag. It's not going to get any better tonight. Some weeks ya just have to live with the dog, you know? I put everything into the rally message, spent four hours driving today to a funeral and back, and now I'm just plain DONE.

    Aw crap. Children's story. Any ideas? Anyone? Help!

  55. Great stuff Sarah!
    I am working away on James too, but love the tie in with Mark text!
    And I have a really good ball game on. It is hard to finish a sermon.
    For those of you that know me on Space Hook, I put the opening 250+ words in a note.
    THere is of course, more, but that is my uh, "kickoff play."

  56. Prayers for Cheese, God_Guurl, and Rev Dr Mom for tomorrow. My sermon is actually done, maybe not as smooth as I'd ordinarily like, but I did some mild editing and I think it's ready.

  57. Hello fellow preachers and revgals of all ilks! I scanned the comments and offer up prayers for cheese, godgurrill and tami, and all else who need them. Sue, a wise woman here (maybe 1-4?) said to me once, if you have a dog, walk it proud! And it worked. So you walk that dog proud.

    I have posted my sermon here, on James and Proverbs, if it helps anyone. It sure was fun to preach about teachers I remembered...and for the first time in a while I felt a real resonance with the congregation (Saturday 5:30 service here).

    1-4, enjoy the football! For me it has been soccer - played one game and had two girls in two other games today - took all freakin' day!

    Blessings to all, I'm headed to bed!

  58. I'm almost at 1400 words. now to make the connection to the conclusion. Sorry about children's message, Sue. Did you say you are preaching James? You could do the toothpaste for the tongue stuff. can't put it back in the tube... might be a little heavy for real children. ours are a bit older. good luck.

  59. Hi everyone! Thanks for all the prayers. I felt all of you pulling for me as I wrote.

    I'm also doing the toothpaste trick! I have a tube of it I'll pass around and have each child squeeze some out (onto a paper plate), then the last one gets told to "put it all back in."

    We're also giving a Bible to our single third-grader, and commissioning teachers, plus it is our choir's first Sunday back, which I try to make a big deal of. Now I'm wondering if my 1600 words is too long! Yikes!

  60. Love the toothpaste trick. Love it.


  61. Woo-who. I have a kids sermon. Thanks Cheese!!!!
    My hero!

  62. Yeah, just don't let them eat it. I did it once with jr high and a kid ate a pile of toothpaste and then spent the rest of the evening in the bathroom upchucking. I figured he needed THAT lesson as much as the one on what we say.
    I'm done. it's at my other blog. It will need a morning edit but I am too unfocused to it now. A little work on tomorrow's prayer and I'm giving it up.

  63. Yea! It sounds like a good group of us are finishing up. The kids are now it bed, a knit scarf has been finished, and I'm getting ready to settle in to write. I feel pretty dirty after a morning in the Wisconsin-muggy outdoors. (I say Wisconsin-muggy because I know it's nothing compare to the muggy in other places, but I guess it's all relative. I feel gross.) So, I'm gonna run and take shower, probably catch the end of the MN game (if I can shower fast enough), then come up to get writing. Hopefully I'll stay focused (read: of Facebook) and get a good chunk done before midnight. That's my goal anyway.

  64. Well, I can hardly believe it, but here it is . I have struggled and struggled over the last two pages for hours - I can't remember doing so much writing and deleting before! And then all of a sudden, the ending just jumped up and happened when I didn't expect it.

    So. Yay. Done. Now for shower, spinning/knitting, and Mad Men! Blessings to those who still labor.

  65. Here I am, checking in for the evening, but unfortunately it's without a word written. I'm in a blue place and having trouble getting going after a busy day. I participated in a panel discussion with other pastors on worship, and a stewardship planning meeting. Then stressed out about random stuff. Let's just say I hope a certain church (at which I will not be preaching) will be hearing a sermon on James tomorrow.

    Other than my own use of Scripture for retributive purposes, I got nothing here except the kernel of an idea; to use various types of crosses as illustrations and talk about how the crosses we bear are particular to each one of us and to our challenges and gifts. (based on an idea from Sundays and Seasons, if you use that.)

    At least it's one service instead of two, so it's a bit lighter day tomorrow. Then I get some FOOTBALL tomorrow evening, yay!

    I'm glad to see most of y'all finishing up, and She Rev and I are here for the late night shift. :)

  66. I believe the dog walking line came from a seminary professor of kathrynzj's. That's a story we probably ought to tell again, too. Y'all are writing my post for next Saturday!

  67. Hey semfem! Thanks for your comment on my sermon. I'm sorry you're blue. :(

  68. Sorry, too, you're blue, semfem, but more than happy to have you here for the late night festivities. So far I have FAILED at staying focused (read: off FB and every other internet site out there). I did not fail at getting a shower, and I'm sure my procrastination to watch the end of the MN football game is the reason they won. There are a lot of people happy I stuck that out!

    So, now, here I am with dripping wet hair, and decent but challenging outline (in terms of keeping things to a reasonable length). Not a clue what I'm doing for children's time, and THANKFUL this is my last time for a while. A small group of people have been trying to make this my responsibility every week, but one a month, but while I enjoy it, I like that our congregation has lots of people gifted in this area. Oh yeah - - and I don't enjoy it on a weekly basis when it means my kids act up by crawling all over me. So, after our most recent recruiter resigned, the committee will be back to doing it's job after I filled in for like 3 weeks straight. It's time for a break.

    Oh yeah - - but I still don't have one for this week. It's not necessarily going to be lectionary based since it's sort of the intro to the 3rd graders getting their Bibles. However, maybe the end of Ps. 19 "The words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart..." might be a place to go. Too bad I put the CT before the reading of that Scripture this time. Hmpf.

    OK. To Word I go. To Word I go.

  69. Semfem,
    so sorry you are down tonight.

  70. Opps, i jsut switched to watch local news and USopen is still on.
    Apparently Serena Williams got in BIG Trouble!!!!
    oH WOW, sermon stuff.
    I have never seen a match won over a player getting ugly.

  71. Thanks everyone for your kind words...still not making a lot of progress, but at least it's not TOO much wallowing.

    I'm much pondering the sermons that have been posted...especially Earthchick's and Teri's...and the commentary at I think I can piece something together with that and with the cross piece I've been pondering for a while. And hey, if this sermon is short, nobody will complain. They'll be glad to get to the potluck earlier.

  72. 1-4, what happened? My local news channel's website isn't saying anything.

  73. Semfem, apparently, she was called for a footfault, which took them to match point.
    She got mad and yelled a string of profainty at the line judge. They bleep out what she says, but you can read her lips.
    Anyhow, this costs her a point (which in turn cost her the match).
    They replayed it on CBS. It makes for a good sermon illustration if you are using James. So sad to see her lose due to temper, but it came at the wrong time.

  74. I misunderstood and though the match was called due to what she said/did, but it was just a matter of where they were in the match.
    Odd to not have either one of the Williams in the final.

  75. SheRev-I hear you about the Wisconsin muggy. Outside most of the day and I showed up at a committal service sweaty and gross. Not looking my professional best!

    Blessings to all preaching and all hearing the Word tomorrow!

  76. okay, I made some revisions (thanks Amy for helping me out with a paragraph from YOUR sermon!) and I'm a little happier...only one paragraph now that I really want to rework. I think I'll take a shower and come back to it in half an hour. In the meantime, anyone who wants to give some feedback--I need it! I feel I've only just edged out of mediocre into "okay"...and it's kick-off sunday, so i sort of need it to edge from "okay" into "good." "great" is beyond me this week, I think, but I'll take "good."
    What's KZJ's line, "I will not sacrifice myself on the altar of a perfect sermon"? I'm feeling that. And also replacing "sermon" with "confirmation class lesson plan" and "youth group idea" and "inquirer's class"...

  77. What is my issue? Promising myself to get at least half way there, and then I'm going to bed for a few hours. Can I get there in the next 26 minutes? That would make me extremely happy!

  78. Did you make it, She Rev?

    I'm going to write my first words RIGHT NOW if it kills me. No more games.

  79. I'm as done as I'm going to be, and now it's sleepy time. Happy Sundays, all!

  80. Oh thank you, semfem. I'm so glad to see someone is as easily distracted as I am.

    I did not make it. Well, I have enough words on the page for them to half of a sermon by word count, but definitely not by coherence. I'm not keeping this as tight as I need it to be, and it's sort of going all over the place.

    I think I need to put a good little outline down on the page, then all the pieces will fall in the right spots and can be written in the morning. I feel like I'm giving the ending before the beginning and that's not good. I want to weave from bible to contemporary, bible to contemporary, but in doing that I'm giving away the punchline from the discipleship/cross stuff, before I get to it. Maybe I need to let go of my format to let this flow better. Maybe it's going to have to be all exposition of Scripture, then application to contemporary. I don't like doing that as much, but I'm having a hard time doing something different. Ugh.

    One last shot then, I give in, go with the emerging flow, and go to bed for a couple of hours.

  81. Glad you're done, Teri!

    I know just what you mean, She Rev, and that is SO frustrating. Is it too late to go with the Paul Scott Wilson model (trouble in the world, trouble in the Bible, grace in the Bible, grace in the world)? Would that help?

    Either way I'm sure you'll find an order that works. It just might take time. :)

    I'm at 409 words and trying to get as much written before I am just too sleepy to go on...

  82. Nothing's too late. I've been starting with the trouble in the text this time, so maybe I'll look at flipping that around.

  83. Here it comes! Here it comes! Heading to bed for a nap in 25 minutes or less. I can feel it!

  84. Awesome - - the super detailed outline of how I will get where I am going is almost 1000 words long. I can fill in the "ands, so thats, and therefores" in the morning. OK soon. It is the morning. So, after I sleep. Good night. (I think I like this one. I hope it preaches.)

  85. Ugh, 1477 words, which is too long.
    What can I cut from this sermon?

    I need to sleep...1-4 are you still working?

  86. I'm pulling the trigger (otherwise known as hitting the "print" button) and calling it a night. It's not great, but it'll preach, I think. Whew. Tired. Anyone who's still out there working, good luck to you.

    Blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation today.

  87. Back up and ready to fill this out. 1477 is too long??? I can't ever have you guest preach; people would be way too happy!

    Blessings on the rest of you as you start waking up!

  88. Good morning, RGBPs! Blessings to all as you preach this morning. I love knowing that there are so many of us out there at one time, doing God's work each week. Have a wonderful day!

  89. Good morning all. I hope those of y'all who got little sleep somehow find yourselves refreshed and renewed this morning.

    As for me, I'm coming down with some sort of cold with a sore throat and bad cough - bah! Am hoping adrenaline will make up for what I lack in energy.

    Peace and blessings.

  90. Thank goodness for everyone else's postings here! It's 8:30 on Sunday morning, and I just got a call that our supply preacher's sick. That means I have to lead worship and do the sermon. Now, I'm not entirely stressed out, as the supply preacher has an "emergency service" complete with sermon tucked in a box at church. I don't have to write something new in the next hour. But I do like to personalize the prayers and other worship elements and connect folks to the lectionary when and where it's appropriate.

    So...a quick perusal of all your lovely thoughts and ideas, and then it's off to play circuit rider!

  91. MaineCelt, just wanted you to know I saw this. I'm praying (and cheering!) for you. I know you will be fierce and fabulous for Jesus!!!


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