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Saturday, November 13, 2010

11th Hour Preacher Party - The Time is Near!

Oh - We 11th Hour folks know as well or better than any that the time is near! I remember in seminary, the night before a big paper was due or an exam was coming the greeting at dinner was always, "Come, Lord Jesus." We were begging for the time to be REALLY near!

But in the end, not a hair on our heads perished. OK, maybe that's not the best example to carry forward from the text. Many of the male students are now losing their hair, and I bet most of the women color theirs. But anyway, none of us faced certain destruction because of a paper or a test, and the same promise is true for us today as we're writing.

Not a hair on our heads will perish.

They may not be perfectly styled, but none of them will perish over these sermons.

Do you know where you're going yet? What else do you need -- children's time, prayers? Join the 11th hour party in our comments, and we'll support each other as we wait for the end (of the sermon) to come!


  1. At first I'd planned to be away this Sunday...but now I'm preaching...booger.

    I'm pondering the thing about testifying and how the faith gets handed on even in times of great chaos. Really am trying to get something done now (Friday night) as opposed to waiting, since tomorrow is also a full day...

  2. Hi,
    just finished, I think. 1093 words, close enough. I'll see if it makes sense in a minute.
    working with both Isaiah and Luke. Isaiah this picture of hope and the kingdom of peace and justice, and Luke, the persecution that comes our way when we live out God's kingdom.
    If I work out how to I’ll put the sermon on my blog and put in a link.

  3. Here is the link to my sermon for tomorrow morning.

  4. Good morning. I am about 3/4's through thanks to this being the day I researched to present a paper and sermon ideas to my lectionary study group. I am going with Luke and Isaiah with an emphasis on what makes us rigorous disicples (witness, pray, watch, endure) and what doesn't (trying to guess/worrying about when the end will come).

    My lead-in is my own hypothesis that Jesus was freaking out a bit at this point in Luke because no one who was supposed to get it, was getting it (in Luke he weeps over Jerusalem as he rides in).

    First, a modest breakfast.

    I'll be checking in again and look forward to hearing what else is going on!

  5. Oh semfem, that's me next week. I was supposed to be using my last continuing education week for an at home reading week, but the Stewardship Committee couldn't get its act together. Now it's the big stewardship push week. I like your direction.

    Thanks for the link, pearl! Blessings on you as you preach it!

    Hey kathrynzj! It sounds like you have a great start. Good for you!

    I've got about a quarter or third of my written from my Wednesday writing day. I considered working on it last night, but chose to knit a little instead once the kids were in bed. It happens so rarely anymore, and I've got to finish the sweater I'm making for my nephew for Christmas. I'm off lectionary still and don't have a real good way to summarize this one which is probably a bad sign. Oh well. I'm at the point where I just want to get through it.

    I'm also not sure if I'll even be able to preach it. I had little to no voice yesterday and so far haven't been able to squeak out anything more than a whisper. I feel pretty good, but just have some congestion and coughing and DON'T have a voice. What have others of you done in this situation? Kept writing and let someone else read it? Wait it out and hope for the best tomorrow? Warn some lay folks and let them run with the sermon on short notice? Do a hymn sing in the service tomorrow? I'm wondering what my back-up plan should be. I'm not crazy about having someone else read my words. That seems like it would be hard for them and for me, especially the way this one is heading.

  6. Well, I napped in the recliner for most of the evening, then woke up about 6:30 and started working. And now I have a draft! It's too long (1420 words) and not especially polished, but it's something...whew!

    (Not trying to brag, really...there is NO time today to work on this, so I really need to be done ASAP. And I'm getting a cold too...yippee.)

    Breakfast...well, I don't have much, but I do have some lefse and smoked salmon to share.

    Off to do errands...I'll probably be back.

  7. That sucks, She Rev! I would probably tend to have a lay person preach my sermon (or a published sermon on the same text, with attribution of course) or go for a hymn sing. If you force your voice, it will just go away for longer, at least in my experience. It happens to all of us--they will (or should) understand. Perhaps you can re-preach this one later, or publish it as an essay for folks to read in the newsletter. (???)

    Oh, btw, I also used the story of The Singing Revolution ( as my sermon illustration. A suggestion straight from our denominational resource, but in this case it worked well for where I was to continue in small ways in the face of apocalypse.

  8. interim sr is preaching this weekend, after two weeks for me. He did a long stint first.

    we're giving Bibles to our 3rd grades tomorrow, so I have a class with their parents and them this a.m.

    It's snowing here, and I have an um, obligation in the evening, outstate, that I'm not sure about getting to.

    Not trying to be a wimp here, I used to serve a rural parish and I know that lots of snow is different in the country than it is in the city.

  9. yes, I really like kathrynzj's 3/4s. kudos.

    And she rev ... I could seriously use some continuing ed.

  10. The Boy spends Friday night into Saturday mornings with his Dad so now is the time for sermon writing but the couch... is calling... sooooo..... sleepy......

  11. checking in. Sounds like a lot of you have got your acts together! Well done!

    I'm feeling good about the text and the sermon but it's still all in my head. Oh well, I'm headed to the gym shortly and to give a friend a ride into the city of our seminary experience. Planning on relocating to my favorite coffee shop/bakery there for the writing.

    I'll check in from there and will have some tomato basil soup to offer around lunchtime!

  12. Welcome Diane and Rev Irrev.

    When the baby finishes her breakfast I'm heading to the kitchen. What do you want? Eggs, waffles, yogurt, bacon (of my husband didn't take it all to eat with the Men's Breakfast at the church)?

  13. Morning Pals,

    My beloved loves sermon writing mornings because I do household chores to procrastinate. I got the air conditioner out of our bedroom window. Set up a perch for my kitteh to rule the world from our bedroom window and worked on some computer stuff. I guess I could start working on my sermon now...oh look a butterfly.

  14. Good morning! Popping in to say I'll be back later in the day to join the party.

    I know some in the crowd may not know who I am, since I have not been a regular partier for about a year, and then partied under a different name. (CH)

    I'm filling in for a friend tomorrow as a "plug and play" preacher, meaning that lay people are doing everything except the sermon and the Prayers of the Peeps.

    I'll be honest: I'm nervous, for reasons that I won't talk about here.

    I got a good start yesterday, brushing off and re-working a "front porch" from six years ago when I preached this text for the first time.

    This time I'm thinking about what it must have felt like for the early Christians to hear Luke's words with Isaiah 65 still ringing in their ears. How does "You will be tortured" feel when you have been promised--and have been counting on --"I will create Jerusalem as a joy"? When everything you know is crumbling around you, how do you hang on to the memory of your future?

    These texts are not just meaningful for me, but for the congregation I'll be visiting as well, which has had some disappointments and faced some hard truths lately. I'm hoping to bring a word of comfort for us all.

    But first: water aerobics at 9:00 to work off the pancakes Blue Eyes made for me this morning. Then sermon, then I'm going to start my first batch of red wine: pinot noir.

    See you later, partiers!

  15. G_G, I so get that. It's amazing what I can get done when I'm avoiding doing something else!

    Glad to have you under any name, Jules. We'll see you when you get back!

    Well, the kids voted waffles, so it's what I'll bring back to share shortly.

  16. Unlike semfem, I was scheduled for pulpit supply today and then it was cancelled. In fact the regular puplit supply I had till the end of the year fell through. Very disappointing, but somehow we'll manage. Maybe I'll finally hear from the congregation I interviewed with this weekend.

    Sherev, the only time so far I have been in your shoes, I had a nagging cough and couldn't speak more than a few words at a time. I was on internship, and the backup plan was for my supervisiIng pastor to read my sermon if I was unable to do so. Depending on the sermon, I might have a lay assistant read it. Otherwise, go for the hymn sing. Does your congregation have a tradition of testimony - that could be a good alternative.

    Blessings on all you partying preachers!

  17. I am working on the Isaiah text...using three letters. One from the perspective of one not exiled. One from the perspective of a returning exiled person. And the last is a letter to God written in today's time.

  18. Jules!

    I napped for a bit and now must eat as somehow the piece of toast with honey is failing me now... duh.

    G_G, I SO hear you on those household chores... that could happen here too.

  19. Hi Gals and Pals!
    Got a sermon done yesterday on the passages from Luke and Isaiah, called Building on the Brokenness - it may be a stretch, but I was trying to say how God never gives up on us, and how we can make things stronger, not by forgetting the past mistakes but by building on them. The Feasting on the Word stuff on Isaiah really got me going. I'm happy to share, but I haven't posted to my blog in so long I almost forget how. And I have a sick kid and a husband in Argentina. But I am trying really hard not to complain! It is a gorgeous day here and I might get out to rake some leaves.
    Good to see "old" and "new" here - prayers for you Jules as you preach in difficult circumstances and after a while! You will rock it. Howdy to the rest of you. My middle girl just made pink pancakes for breakfast and you're welcome to have them as we enjoy the sounds of Veggie Tales songs from the next room (You're big, I'm little....)

  20. SheRev, when that happened to me last year on Epiphany, I ended up with a sermon that could be read by two voices and I had two lovely people read it from the back like a meditation. It worked really well. So I'd go for "someone else to read it" personally. Just make sure you call them ahead of time--LOL!

    I'm not preaching tomorrow, and we even "outsourced" the children's time to the people who want to promote the cookie sale "for mission" so...I'm basically here because I love you all and don't know what my Saturdays would be without you! LOL. Surrounding all of you with hugs and prayers and good vibes and great ideas! That's all I've got...

  21. The three letters are done. Could It Really Make a Difference.. Ireally wanted to tell a story...longer than I usually preach, but hope it is compelling enough.

    Each letter will be in its own envelope. I'll be sitting on a kitchen-type stool in front of the congregation.

    SheRev...all will be well
    Jules...all will be well

  22. I'm commenting from my office at church, where I've been helping out at the Fall Work Day. I washed storm windows! I served doughnuts! (Which I brought.) Now I'm going to bow out and pick up dry-cleaning, then head home to start the sermon process. I'm using Luke and Isaiah, talking about the cycles of falling down and getting up again that are an inevitable part of our human life, with an emphasis on the power of community to pull together and build God's commonwealth of love (that's my UCC-speak for the Kingdom).
    So here I go, and I'll see you again...right after I put in a load of (procrastinator's) laundry.

  23. I have taken procrastination to a new level: looking up and printing trail maps and directions to a state park 12 miles away from here... as if we couldn't figure it out ourselves - duh.

    Have to get these Fall walks in now before hunting season starts and the idiots are allowed to use their guns.

    No, not all hunters are idiots but I consider the ones who hunt in State Parks near parking areas and playgrounds to be.

  24. I am trying to remember a source for a discussion. I think it is from a book I have read repetedly, or possibly from a movie (this may not be an exsact quote):

    1: But we can not destroy everything
    2: Say it. I destroy!bredg

  25. Welcome ramona, Purple, MumPastor, Teri, Songbird, Gord!!!

    Sounds like folks are well on their ways, if not with their sermons, than at least their busy days.

    I just joined the kids for a little of their snow play outside. Thank God they are old enough to entertain themselves out there this year! It's SUPER WET snow and they made their own snowman all by themselves. Cute!

  26. Celeste checking in... is it B.E. yet...? Come February come...

    snow and cold in this part of the world... no sermon started yet after a full week with a very full day ahead... two of our number (who have persevered through all manner of destruction) are preparing a fundraiser feast after church tomorrow to benefit our youth ministry. They first began this effort when there were no youth... now we have dozens ... new heavens and new earth indeed through acting in hope... so between helping them prepare, a sermon will come out of Luke and Isaiah... I have a title and a bunch of random notes... back at it

  27. They restrain us until we burst, but we cannot destroy everything that has been built." "Say it! We destroy!" Ari gritted his teeth and held his tongue. The old man ranted, then suddenly he stopped and flopped his arms to his sides. ...

    Leon Uris, "Exodus"
    (via Google; I don't have a page number)

  28. semfem, just a word of thanks for pointing me in the direction of "The Singing Revolution." And thanks to your denominational resources. Wow! What an amazing story! It might be just what I need to finish my sermon.

    And good writing/ preaching/ procrastination/ water aerobicizing/ napping/ etc. to all!

  29. Hi all, back from the gym where I did two classes back to back because the instructor was a good one I seldom get to take class from.

    My arms and legs are a little "noodly" from two straight hours of hard-core exercise, so I decided to sit down for a small smackerel of chicken sammie and leftover homemade french onion soup.

    There's plenty of soup, so who wants a bowl? Did I mention the Gruyere on top?

  30. Anonymous thank you!!

    That is it! Not sure it will work for the sermon but it was driving me nuts trying to remember where ti came from

  31. Am now to the "Holy Crap!" part of a sermon based on so-called "apocalyptic" texts.

    (word veri: wormin. As in, I'm wormin my way back out of this hermeneutical corner...)

  32. Big kids are back out in the slush for a little bit before naps. Not sure how I'm going to convince the babe to nap again since she just did a little and her cough (that sounds an awful lot like mine) keeps wakimg her up.

    Hopefully my powers of persuasion work soon, so I can get some writing done. I think my plan will be write it for me to preach it if I can. (This is supposed to be my iPad preaching debut.) If i can't we'll default to a hymn sing/testimony plan - askig folks to answer on the fly the questions I asked the session members to answer for our meeting coming up on Tuesday: 1. Where do I see our church joining God's work/mission in the world? 2. I think God might be calling us/me to....

  33. Welcome, Magdalene, and welcome back, Jules. Also Anonymous who helped Gord earlier. It's what we're here for!

    Anyone need anything?

  34. You will not believe the way I found to procrastinate this afternoon. It was amazing even for me. I decided it was time to clear things out of the antique china cupboard inherited from my great-grandmother, because one of the shelves in the bottom section needs to be shored up, and I wanted to move the heavy china on it to the upper section, where it was probably intended to be displayed in the first place.
    How many years has it been since I noticed the overburdened shelf? 6? 8?
    But we have a fair at church next Saturday, famous for its "Trash and Treasure" room, and I determined that there were things in that china cupboard that I could part with now, and that meant moving other things around, and so forth. (I also hid all the unpolished silver dishes in the part with solid doors. I'm not far enough gone to spend the rest of the day polishing silver.)
    (Well, maybe I would if I had some silver polish.)
    So here it is, 2:30 EST, and I have a title. Somehow I think I'll be spending the evening with Shrek 2 in the DVD player. (And if that reference makes no sense to you, the story explaining it may be found here.)

  35. I have three hours to finish this sermon and then it's play time for me. A three hour play. Oh, youth.

    I too am pairing Isaiah and Luke and while I've got the focus and function down I can't help but feel as though it's just the same ole same ole. The kingdom's coming (sure, it's not here yet and stuff kinda sucks in the meantime) so let's work for/toward God's reign.

    Yeah. I'm currently missing that personal "hook" that might make my words mean something beyond "that's nice."

    So I apparently come to the preacher's party bearing little on the idea front and much on the whining front! :)

  36. Have spent the day "envisioning" with another cong (not my own). Was good and my facilitation was appreciated.Brought back lots of choc that I used as sustenance/for discussion - help yourself.
    Tomorrow is Remembrance Sunday in UK - we remember those fallen in war and look for peace. Always a good turn out of vets - hard to preach - but then, when isn't? Just feel that all the warnings and promises made after conflict, all the pleading with govt to find other ways falls on deaf ears. I guess hope is what I lack. Still, onward - tomorrow cometh all too soon.

  37. Off lectionary, or rather on Sept 19th lectionary, as I moved it all around to accommodate a sermon series for our bicentennial.

    Preaching about the dishonest steward/manager on dedication Sunday. An initial yikes! has turned into a sermon.

    But as for a children's sermon, have you seen it? What did you do 2 months ago? Or any brilliant ideas in general about talking to kids about stewardship?

  38. Songbird, I went back and re-read the party from that day and was amazed to find that I did not participate. Then I read the date and figured out that it was right around the time my world imploded. Ugh.

    I'm happy to be participating today, even though it is only temporary.

  39. A rough draft is done inspite of my procrastination. Feel free to stop by and read it here.

    Now it's time for a nap.

  40. G-G, I stopped by to read your draft, and can say that "great minds think alike"--I also have Isaiah 65 ringing in their ears. ;)

  41. Sunday morning, and the news is that Aung San Suu Kyi has been released from house detention. I remembered a story from a book by Robert Fulghum [Maybe, maybe not]about a cellist in Sarajevo. So I am wondering about ditching the sermon and telling the story - something to reflect on while I shower.

  42. Thankfully, I had the seeds of a sermon started mid-week! I'm working with the Isaiah text and have to keep it short because we also have communion tomorrow.

    It's done, it's printed, it will be what it will be according to the leading of the Spirit. (Which is a nicer way of saying "Dear Grilled Cheesus, please make this sermon work, even just a little.")

    We have a church event tonight which starts in about an hour. No time later to touch anything up, so *deep breath* it is what it is.

  43. I don't know, Sue. It never hurts to throw one up to Grilled Cheesus anyway. :) Enjoy your evening knowing it is done. The rest of the work will be up to the Spirit.

    I never did get the baby to sleep. Her cough kept her awake. Now we're getting ready to head out in the pretty big snowfall to a church member's 55th birthday party. I might be able to get a good read from some folks about what to do with my voice. We won't stay long, so I don't mess it up even more. We have to go, though, because I have no other plan for dinner!

  44. Actually I got the idea from your post earlier this morning. Hope you don't mind.

  45. confused, tired and fed up and it is 22:48 pm here...

  46. Okay, I got started! But first I had to get my daughter off to a choral festival, and that included a last-minute discovery that the hem in her dress was out, and a desperate search for apparently disappearing needles, and a last-ditch effort with tape. I arrived home after delivering her to the venue and felt uninspired, but after a little fiddling around, I finally wrote something more than a title. Go, me!

  47. G_G, of course I don't mind! It just startled me for a minute! :D

    Mine has been printed for a couple of hours. Have watched too much FoodTV, have sort of planned out T-giving menu with our guests for that day, phoned Man Child, walked dog, and sent Blue Eyes out for Chinese take-out.

    Am now going to peruse the interwebs to find the best venue for a local fresh turkey, hoping I am not hopelessly too late for such an item.

    Carry on, preachers of the Word!

  48. At some point this week I saw logic in dscussing how Scripture portrays God as Destroyer as well as Creator/Re-Creator as a lead in to the New Heaven and NEw Earth.

    I wonder where I saw that going????

  49. I'm amazed to say, I have a sermon. Here it is, if you want to take a look: We All Fall Down.

  50. Oh, Jules. I'm sorry. So glad you are with us today, and looking forward to a time when it's just the usual thing again!

  51. wow, it's been a busy day here. Blessings and hope, make that help, for all you preaching with sore throats and diminishing voices tomorrow.
    I stayed up till 1 last night/a.m. to finish sermon so I could be away at a conference today. I just finished worship pieces. Now I'm going to sit in front of TV and edit and hope it doesn't need too much work.
    I feel like I'm preaching a different version of the same tune lately as our denomination faces touch stuff. Maybe I am, I hope I'm saying it in a way we need to hear, not the "beating a dead horse". ah well,
    I was hoping for the holy spirit to deliver a typed manuscript, but since its Saturday night and I have one, may the HS came thru!

  52. Thanks for the flashback, SB. Wow, time sure flies...

    I've had a good Saturday of exploring a new park with the family and putzing around this morning, now to polish this thing.I'm giving myself until 10.

    Of course, The Boy is still up so that could play a role... and oh yeah I need a shower... and maybe I should straighten out the china cabinet...


  53. Jules - I wasn't there either that day. I have no idea why.

    I'm here with a minor thought that I don't really think I can turn into a sermon.

    The SportsQueen is asleep on the couch with the dog nearby.

    The Entertainer is at her first ever speech tournament. I just found out she made finals!

    I think I'll be around for awhile.

  54. I'm extremely rusty, but here is my sermon for tomorrow.

    May Antonio or Teh Clooney be the sermon fairy for those who need it.

  55. Don't these texts just SCREAM lets have a baptism? I mean really...think adorable baby + wars and rumors of wars. Sigh. That said, waylate to the party, but I am grateful for the line in Luke about J giving us something that our opponents won't have. Will be using Wrinkle in Time and Meg's capacity to love as the illustration for that. Thank heavens for L'Engle.

  56. Just printed my final copy. Now to go over it once tonight.

    PS - I'm in my church office. Alone on a Saturday night. I don't do this often and it's kind of creepy.

    PPS - I still have to get home tonight. Baptism tomorrow, which means finishing up a baby quilt tonight. Who's bright idea was it to make this a personal tradition? No one to blame but myself. grrr....

  57. Reverend Irreverent - that's a pretty common experience for me and I look over my shoulder (just in case) in solidarity!

    Sermon is almost done - yay! It does, however, include one bit which maybe should be cut but I don't think will be... and now to entertain you all (just imagine a very terrible voice - mine - singing this to sleepy people):

    (talking about Luke)

    It’s all rather depressing. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather start humming the classic Joy to the World a bit early than sing to myself “Joy to the world, the Lord is come, but the earth didn't receive her king. Before he comes in glory, there will plagues and earthquakes, and some famine and some death, and you will be persecuted for your faith.”

    Ah, good times.

  58. Well, I'm back to continue my hosting. Sorry about the brief break there. Schmoozed. At a member's 55th birthday party. I'm about ready to finish writing the sermon I don't know if my voice will let me preach. Joy.

  59. Jules and Vicar, I wasn't there either... but I played a big role in the story anyway. ;)

    I still have 10pm as a goal - LOVE my illustration but it takes up too much space and ruins the rhythm... but dammit, it's funny.

  60. good night pals. see ya in the morning.

  61. I don't know why I didn't just say the two friends were us, kzj.

  62. You didn't want to age us by marking how long we've known each other. I mean we knew each other when Antonio Banderas was still sexy!


    Just kidding...

  63. I only like him as a cat, so I don't know how much his age matters. ;-)

  64. I fell for Antonio in "The Mask of Zorro" which made Puss-in-Boots all the more funny to me.

  65. So.... I got us out of Consecration Sunday in an hour. Any chance folks put up with me preaching 6 pages instead of 4?

    I don't think so either.

  66. Ok. I'm leaving this alone and all of you alone as well as I have appeared to have hijacked the comments (and Puss in Boots).

    Blessings to you all and remember:
    1) Don't worry... the Holy Spirit has got your back;
    2) If you've got a dog, walk it proud!

    Blessings upon you all and the Good Word.

  67. Don't leave us, kathrynzj. I'm still here and love your comments. I've been trying to decide if my sermon is worth finishing if I might not have a voice. I'm at the point tonight where I can't tell if it will be there in the morning, but I also could probably claim it's "bad enough" even if I have it in the morning. Decisions, decisions. I wish I weren't prideful enough to push myself into preaching when I have such a good (and real) excuse to give myself the Sunday off. Here I sit at 9:40 getting ready to dive into a sermon I'm not all that crazy about.

    The baby is in the room with me still in her carseat from the return trip home 2 hours ago. I guess she might just stay there as long as I'm writing since she doesn't seem to be waking up. I won't be able to sleep with her stil in there there, though, so I'll wake her up and move here before I head to bed in a couple of hours.

    Another good thing about my iPad? Moving from sermon to games and other distractions is just slightly more difficult (in a good way), so I don't do it as often. Time to move back to the sermon for the first time since Wednesday.

  68. Hi, late night friends! I spent the day doing Standing Committee interviews with folks discerning a calling to ordained ministry. Because that is an intense and draining activity, I am particularly grateful that the bishop is coming tomorrow to preach and preside at a single service for Consecration Sunday. It's her first visit to our parish; should be fun! And because I didn't have to worry about anything, and both my boys are away for the night, my husband and I could have a nice dinner out, complete with drinks and dessert.

    Prayers for those still working. She Rev, I hope the little one makes the move from car seat to bed easily!

  69. Anyone remember Amelia Bedelia? She made her way into the sermon. I hope that works.

    KZJ - Mine is too long too. But kickoff isn't until 3:15 so I'll just tell them they'll be out in time for the game.

  70. I hate it when the printer runs out of ink while printing my sermon.

  71. Thanks, Betsy. She moved fairly well. Or I think so. I'll know more fully in another 20-30 minutes when there's been time to see if the transition sticks!

    Sounds like you had a lovely night out!

    Back to the sermon.

  72. I'm printing the prayers now.

    I'll be in bed soon!

    Blessings on your Sunday

  73. late night pals--I'm just back from a dinner party and I have chocolate fondue leftover (in a crockpot so it stays warm!)! angel food cake and strawberries and graham crackers to dip...enjoy a little late night snack!

  74. So far so good, Vicar. Blessings on you and the rest who have finished. I'm pretty sure I'm bringing this party home. I have decent hopes that I can finish in the next 61 minutes. No need to print since I'm trying this one one from my iPad for the first time. Prayers would be good. I might work on those eventually, but it's more likely that they'll be off the cuff. I came up with a children's time that matches my sermon theme (always helpful) and doesn't depend on my voice too much. I'm talking about ways we share our faith both with our actions and with our words. We're good about talking about showing our faith through our actions at this church, but, like many Presbyterians, aren't as good about speaking it. I'll try to hold a conversation with the kids without speaking. After a little while we'll talk about that, what it was like, etc. Then I'll point out that there are somethings we can say without words, and others that we just need to speak or hear spoken. "I love you." "You're special." Sure there are actions we can do to show these, but doesn't it feel good when we hear them, too? I'll end with "You are a child of God."

    It works!

  75. Amelia Bedelia! Wow, did she ever make me laugh :-) As an adult, I became good friends with a woman whose dad illustrated the early AB books, and I felt like I rediscovered her all over again. Hope your congregation enjoys your example as much as I would!

  76. Well, I didn't get done by midnight, but I'm done enough to go to bed. The rest of this will, I hope and believe, come quite easily in the morning. I'm heading to bed now in hopes that my head completely hit the pillow by midnight, and I will sleep straight through 'till 5:00 a.m. If the little one gets me up before that, I guess I'll just come write then instead.

    I took some time to figure out how to get this sermon from a text document to a pdf so I can preach from the new toy. I think I'm hoping for the Spirit to bless that whole mess even more than the sermon. I just hope my new technology works on it's first Sunday out!

    Blessings on any who are sticking with it tonight. I'll put the coffee on when I get back early in the a.m.!

  77. Well, I'm back and will put on the fair trade coffee for anyone who needs it. It was a rough night at our house for those with coughs and colds. Oh yeah, that's all of us. And SHOOT, I left the notes I made in the middle of the night down in my room where the baby finally fell asleep like 10 minutes ago. Crap, crap, crap.

  78. She Rev, so sorry your night had apocalyptic qualities. I was up early to take my 10th grader and her friend to meet the 6 am bus to a high school leadership program retreat. They've already done the hardest part by getting there in time! Later, ropes courses, etc.
    I have a busy day. My sermon feels ready, but I'm still wrestling with a children's word.
    But since usually I'm just waking up now, it feels like I have plenty of time!

  79. Thanks, Songbird. And I don't know, but high schoolers at 6 a.m. sounds pretty apocalyptic to me, too!

    Prayers that you find your word for the children!

  80. It's possible there were rumors of war...


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