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Saturday, January 29, 2011

11th Hour Preacher Party: On the Mount to Stay

Hello, Preacher Gals and Pals!

This week I looked back at the other times I've preached Year A (2005 and 2008) and realized that this is the first time it will spread out over so many weeks. That's a lot of Sermon on the Mount. Instead of turning the corner toward Lent right now, we have five more Sundays to build toward the Transfiguration.

So what are you up to on this last Saturday in January? Will we wrestle with the Beatitudes or Micah or foolishness well into the night? Can we surpass last week's comment count?

Join the party today and share your thoughts. I'm brewing Fair Trade coffee and baking chocolate chip muffins, just because. Keep me company?

78 comments:

  1. I won't tell you how long I've been reloading the page, hoping this post would appear! Thanks Songbird.

    I'm definitely going with the Beatitudes, and buckled down today to do all my reading and note-making. Even thought of an introduction, so I may go ahead and start and see how I far I get before needing to sleep.

    I made blueberry muffins this morning, so any early birds or insomniacs are welcome to snack on them!

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  2. You are welcome! Those muffins sound great!!
    I am up with a very affectionate cat who felt the need to put herself all over me. Hoping she'll grow tired of me...could really use some sleep before writing.

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  3. Well, thanks to some pondering of Barbara Brown Taylor's sermon on the Beatitudes in Gospel Medicine, I've somehow got 1373 words, but they haven't quite gelled into a cohesive or non-boring sermon yet. But now I must get some more sleep and finish the sermon crafting later in the day.

    Hoping for a good and blessed (ha) start to everyone's day and everyone's work.

    Oh, and BTW, if anybody is looking for the "blessed are the cheesemakers" scene from Monty Python's Life of Brian, it's in the first part of this clip. Trying to figure out how and if I can work this in...nevertheless, good for a laugh...

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  4. Oh, and I hope you got to sleep, Songbird!

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  5. hi, I'm not preaching this weekend. but I'm up early sneezing after swimming last night again.

    tried the nose clip.

    if I were preaching, I'd for sure want to go with the Micah 6 passage.

    just my humble, early contribution to the comment count. ;)

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  6. oh and I'll be back again later...

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  7. Hi, a late night for me, almost midnight. been at a church working bee and a baptismal conversation today. almost done. Preaching on the beatitudes, and linking them with the people nominated in various categories for Australian of the year. people who saw a need and did something about it.
    blessing children and teachers tomorrow as school starts back form summer holidays on Monday.

    there are home made choc chip biscuits and chamomile tea.

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  8. Songbird, gotta love those affectionate cats. I hope to have one again some day! I am going with the I Corinthians passage and the message of the cross. Got a lot of work done in it earlier this week, so I'll try to post it later. In the meantime, join me with a cup of coffee!

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  9. Just stopping by to bemoan that I'm not preaching this week. This call process is tough -- pouring yourself dry for unknown congregations who tell you how much the sermon meant to them and then disappear back into their process and issues.

    I'm going to lurk and learn here today.

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  10. I'm up! I'm up!! Sorry for sleeping in; that cat would not leave me alone. Coffee is on!!!

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  11. Weaving both Micah and the Matthew into a sermon. I used "Claiming the Beatitudes" by Anne Howard as a resources.

    Robin, I hear you!!! It is tough!

    The blueberry muffins sound delicous... thanks

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  12. I'm preaching sustainable sermon today because I have family visiting and just didn't want to have to think about a sermon with guests in town. I originally planned to take a vacation Sunday this week, but my sister begged me to since she'd never really seen me do my thing, as she said. Ahhhh...family's that don't really get it.

    Anyway, I used this lectionary last week because I didn't want to miss the Micah 6 chance. I never did get it posted, but I will later today. It's on the church blog already, but not my own. I'll get on that in case it helps anyone.

    Last week I also read the Beatitudes although I didn't refer to them much at all. My sustainable sermon is from a time I preached Luke's version of them, so that will sort of be my tie in to last week. My folks aren't too aware of the lectionary that I use so it's no big deal, but it gives me my way to start. A little compare and contrast. Mostly my focus is how Luke couples the teaching with healings among the crowd and the blessings and woes aren't so much predictive as they are descriptive of God's vision for the kingdom, the woes being full of grief and compassion.

    Or something like that. I just need to take out the illustration that were more appropriate for the original campus ministry context, but that's about all I'm letting myself do. I truly want a virtually sermon-prep free day.

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  13. Beatitudes for me... Just now starting to get to it... But first the homemade cheese danish....

    Glad for the company as I write today!

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  14. Cheese danish! Chocolate biscuits! What next?
    Second pot of coffee on the way to wash it all down.
    My text for tomorrow is the beatitudes, and the way they feel like a progression, in a sense, but suggesting that we meet them in many ways along the spiritual journey and may find ourselves back at #1.
    Or something like that. Anyway, I have a hook, so I'm hoping this one won't be as much of a slog as last week's.

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  15. Chocolate chip muffins? Yummmmm.

    I'm preaching on the Beautitudes at a supply congregation who did not appreciate my justice take on the widow and the unjust judge. There are great things to say about the Beautitudes, and Jesus's vision of the kingdom of heaven that talk about God's prefential option for the poor and outcast(my seminary class on Matthew was taught by the renown Dr. Mark Allen Powell). Somehow, I don't think this congregation is ready to hear all that.

    In all fairness, this congregation is very unhealthy and deeply divided, so it's understandable that their eyes are upon themselves at this time. So my question today is "what is the good news of this vision of the kingdom of heaven for a congreation in conflict?" Blessed indeed are the peacemakers!

    On the other hand, this is a congregation who appreciates learning about the text, so I might go verse by verse with my class notes from Dr. Powell's lesson on the Beautitudes and just leave it to simmer in the collective congregational consciousness.

    What to do, what to do?

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  16. To refer back to yesterday's Five, one of these Beatitudes is my most irritating verse. My mother's idea of the meaning of "Blessed are the Peacemakers" was that my little brother was never, ever at fault, and I had better make things right, no matter what the circumstances. Ugh. Aargh! (And I wonder how things turned out the way they did in my life?)

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  17. Good morning, all! I slept in a bit today, which was quite delicious after several days of not nearly enough sleep.

    I'm preaching Micah 6 and am really looking forward to it. Neither my husband nor I have ever preached it here, yet Micah 6:8 is part of what we use in our walking benediction every single Sunday. So for 10 years, this text has been spoken every single Sunday in our worship (except for the Sundays of Easter when we do a different benediction). It is also our church's "tagline" on our website. So it's a core part of our identity, yet has never been explicitly preached on. I'm excited about taking the opportunity to do so!

    I have really good dark roast coffee and some Trader Joe's croissants to share. Yum!

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  18. Earthchick - I love it! Micah 6:8 is one of my favorite verses. What a great idea to use it for a congregation's tagline. And it does make a perfect set of 'marching orders' for a worship dismissal.

    I may just borrow the idea from you if - oops, when I get a call.

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  19. I just told my dh about sustainable sermons and he said, "I don't get it. People re-read poems and novels -- why can't you re-preach a classic sermon?

    Word verification: rample. Sounds like a good word for it. I am rampling this week.

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  20. Ha! Ramona, borrow away! We borrowed from someone else.

    We do a weaving together of the blessing from the Book of Numbers, Micah 6:8, and the Shema, alternating lines between my husband and me as we walk down our double aisles. It's really my favorite part of the service!

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  21. Have just made a caramel sauce for dessert, and I had to secretly borrow my husband's specialty drink blender because I couldn't get the texture right. But, it's looking pretty good now!

    Is anybody going to Pastor's School at Stetson University this week?

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  22. Chilly Fingers, is that the kind of thing that creates relationship friction?

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  23. The mail came, and with it my book for BE 4.0!!! Hurray!!! In 28 days, we'll be boarding!!!!!

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  24. Holed away in a nook at Panera with hot coffee and chocolate scone. Noticed the gentleman at the table across from me also has a bible open and is typing furiously.

    Going with the beatitudes and borrowing from Barbara Brown Taylor, but putting a spin on what it would mean to live in a world that claimed the beatitudes as a model. We honor the merciful, yearn for justice, remain pure in spirit, etc.

    What would it mean if all the Ten Commandments signs people have posted in their yards in our conservative IN town were proclamations of the beatitudes?

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  25. I was SURE I was preaching on Matthew tomorrow, to set things up for the rest of the Sermon on the Mount to come (which I am uber excited about being able to preach on). But after thinking so much about Micah (partly as a result of yesterday's FF, and partly from reading Feasting on the Word, I'm now feeling torn.

    And to make it a bit mor complicated, tomorrow is our annual meeting and whatever I say needs to be brief and in some small way lead up to the meeting.

    So here's what I'm thinking: We often hear people talking about the "will of God" as an explanation for things that are mostly not understandable--illness, death, catastrophe. That kind of theology troubles me, and Micah offers us a different vision of "God's will" if we think of that as what God wants for us and from us instead of God's plan for what is going to happen. God wants us to "do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God." How does that translate for our lives? What does that mean for what we do as a church?

    But I'm also drawn to Matthew b/c I think it is important to say that the beatitudes are NOT imperatives, they are not commands to be "poor in spirit" or even "peacemakers" per se; rather they are indicative case, describing the state of the "poor in spirit" etc.--they too are INCLUDED in God's 'honor'. In the context of 1st century Palestine that would have been a radical notion since honor, status etc were set fairly rigidly and often perceived to be a sign of God's honor. So God's honor includes ALL of us, and in the kingdom of heaven Jesus is preaching about, that's how things will be. Which is one way to lead into what is to come, since the rest of the "sermon" is really a handbook for discipleship in God's kingdom.

    So I'm torn and I guess I'm going to have to start writing and see where it goes.

    Meanwhile I've been staring in fascination out the window as my next door neighbor tries to tackle the snow on his porch roof by pouring buckets of hot water on it Given that it is still below freezing and the snow is DEEP, I'm not sure that is really going to help....

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  26. Loving the passage from Carol Merritt from Day 1 about how scriptures travel...


    http://day1.org/2543-blessed_are_those_who_mourn

    "These words--they were rolled into brittle parchment scrolls and archived in caves. The letters have been etched into animal hide so that they mingle with the pungent smell of leather as men and women read them. The syllables have been bound in heavy books, stored in monasteries, placed gingerly into a holder. They have been passed out in small tracts, left fluttering on street corners, and trampled by pedestrians. The words--they come in red and green fonts or on onion paper. They have been covered in colored plastic. Sometimes, you can still find them in the drawers of hotel rooms. And now they have come up on my computer screen, and I scroll through them in an entirely different manner."

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  27. I'm not preaching tomorrow but I'll drop in periodically as I prepare for other things tomorrow.

    On an unrelated topic: anyone have advice for bringing a rescue dog into a home that already has a dog? we might be doing that.

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  28. and this is the post where I actually check the email box

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  29. hi everyone.


    wow. am I grouchy this morning. let's just say i'm very very jealous of earthchick getting enough sleep.

    have a long day with nothing much planned until dinner at my house for some church leaders. so, there's some houselcleaning in my future, I'm betting. and sermon writing. and maybe a tea date with a friend if I can get away. and, also, please god, a nap.

    anyway, I have a thing that I wrote that weaves all the scriputres together that's about 600 words, so now I need about 8 or 9 hundred more that talk about what I'm talking about. At this point, I'm tempted just to read it twice, say "get it?" and sit down.

    usually I like workingpreacher's podcast, but I think they freaked me out this week by saying something like "how you approach this week will affect how you will approach every other week in Matthew because you will keep coming back to these ideas." which makes the whole thing seem So Very Important and therefore So Very Hard to write. So my biggest task today might be to lighten up.

    I would have granola to share but I ate it all. Hmm, maybe I'll be heading to the grocery store today too. Guess I better get going!

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  30. Hi all...some lovely sounding takes on the Beatitudes out there, not to mention lovely sounding treats.

    Not preaching for two weeks--that will be the tough passage about anger and lust in the heart--and fittingly enough the drama and search for healthy communication with this new community continues. I'm starting to think that they're just not ready for a woman priest and my energy might best be spent elsewhere--especially because this is not just non-stipendiary but taking time and energy from other work, i.e. writing and building up a spiritual direction practice, that will eventually be a financial blessing to the family. Interesting discernment which the Beatitudes may shed light on, come to think of it. Prayers appreciated and they're offered here for all composing and planning today. Off to try a barbecue place for mother-son lunch, since we slept through breakfast!

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  31. Hi all, lots of delicious goodies here and I've already had a big breakfast and too much coffee. (as if there were such a thing)

    I'm preaching Micah and wrote the sermon yesterday since the church lot wasn't plowed and I decided to work from home. (nice!) Any of you ever feel guilty for doing that instead of being out visiting/

    Anyway I'm reading "Blessed are the Pacifists" by Thomas Trzyna b/c I'm filling in as SS teacher tomorrow for a class just beginning the book. Now I'm tempted to weave in some of his comments. But I will probably just edit and print and prayer for the HS to make the best of my offering...

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  32. I'm so hungry! Thanks for all the sustenance. I was woken at 1am to be with a dying member, then stayed with her son a while after... so I'm just getting up.

    I've wrestled with the beatitudes for a whole week, and I'm going to wrestle with them in my sermon--I've never been charmed by them.

    I'm going with a "reversal" for my upper-middle-class comfy congregation, that the Good News is sometimes hard news for we who are "well fed & comforted."

    If Jesus meant what he said about he poor, meek & merciful, he meant it for those of us who are not--that we're going to weep sometime for our loss of PRIVILEGES while others rejoice in their newfound blessings. Talking to myself here too, so I freely admit I want his beatitudes and kin-dom to come...but I don't... but I DO!

    Such a challenging passage for me (that's why I chose if over Micah--although that would have fit beautifully).

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  33. I'm about 2/3s of the way there and can't decide whether to keep going or do my exercise for the day. At 2 (90 minutes from now) I am having a hot stone facial! I fear after that I'll be too relaxed to care about either the elliptical or the sermon.

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  34. Hi friends,

    I'm going to preach on Matthew tomorrow with a little bit of Paul sprinkled in. The beatitudes are why I went into ministry. It is a vision of the kingdom that God desires for all of God's creation to live in. But to put it in sermonic form, that's another thing. I'm struggling for a sermon illustration, a real life example of the beatitudes that my congregation can understand.

    I've spent the morning studying, will be putting it to words soon...after my nap...hopefully the Holy Spirit will tell me what to say in my dreams.

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  35. BTW, Mercury must be in retrograde because my kitteh has been extremely affectionate through the night last night and all day today. He woke me up at least three times through the night to get pets and snuggles.

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  36. Good grief, is that the feline excuse, G_G?
    Here's a question. In Matthew 5:1, Jesus sees the crowds and goes up on he mountain (to get away, presumably) and his disciples come to him. And then he talks for three chapters, with no stage directions about people coming or going, and at the end of Chapter 7, the *crowds* are amazed at his authoritative teaching. What's up with that? When do the crowds climb the mountain? He doesn't come down until the beginning of Chapter 8.

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  37. I'm not preaching tomorrow, though I am borrowing this week's Micah passage for next week's services, so I'll be lurking around stealing (umm, borrowing) ideas. :-)

    Songbird, having been to the place where the sermon on the mount was supposedly delivered (you know, "traditionally"...even though it's so unlikely to have been one long sustained teaching in real life...), it's more a gently sloping hill than a mountain. It would be easily possible to be on the top and to have the crowds gathered on the slope. It's almost like a natural amphitheater, only used in reverse (since the sea of galilee is at the bottom/low-point). I'll see if I can find a picture and send it to you on FB.

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  38. I sat down and started writing and what came out was something about God's will for us using both Micah and Matthew...I think it works, but I'm going to let it sit for a bit while I finish up preparations for tomorrow's meeting and then reread it.

    SB, my favorite commentary on Matthew argues that Jesus is in the "hill country" and that he and his disciples sit down on a hillside while he teaches specifically them, but the crowds are always lingering on the borders. The "ascending a mountain" to preach bit follows a Moses typology understanding of the sermon on the mount, but it doesn't have to be understood that way. Does that help?

    Enjoy your facial!

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  39. or, even better, here's one from the other side (mine are all from the top looking down at the sea of galilee--this is a better perspective...

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  40. Thank you, RDM and Teri! You have just pulled it together for me. I had a lot written, but an uncertain sense of describing the space.
    I can now go to my facial with a sense of peace. Yay!

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  41. I am at zero, both in terms of word count and inspiration. I think I will go look through the old files...

    Two ideas I read did grab me a bit. First is the oxymoron "Christ crucified." A crucified messiah? Impossible! The second was something about how we are willing to believe practically anything on Sunday morning in church, but we aren't likely to keep acting on it come Monday because it's so foolish by the world's standards. But I can only come up with a few sentences about each of those and then I'm done, which is not sufficient even for a brief preacher!

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  42. Hah! Found one, and it's not bad; 21 years old but its content has held up. And interestingly, in light of the conversation here about kitties, the parellel with which I began it has to do with my cats (conveniently, the two I have now are not dissimilar in personality to the two I had then). I am feeling much better :-)

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  43. I've done some reworking and now have 1310 words that are somewhat less boring (and managed to work in the Monty Python reference). Also finished one last report for our annual meeting tomorrow. Glad to see the Spirit working out there...

    I think I'm going to get out and run some errands, then come back and make soup for the meeting tomorrow. And then perhaps think about my remarks at the meeting (my own state of the union, as it were) and really polish this sermon up.

    I'm going with a theme about sayings...how the Beatitudes are often reduced to sayings that don't really conflict with the rules of this world...but that's not what Jesus intended them to be. They are supposed to reshape our vision to see where God is truly present.

    There are still a few blueberry muffins left...if anyone is ready for a snack...

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  44. I can't get past what one commentary said about the beatitudes (like the 10 commandments), the first ones are about our relationship with God and the rest about our relationship with people. And the first three are mind, heart, and strength -- we need to recognize we don't know it all, humble, not proud; we must be pure in heart; and meek (gentle), not over-exercising power. All this in order to love God with all our heart, mind, and strength. This is counter intuitive in our culture, so I'm tying it in with Cor and a sermon title of "That's foolish!" we'll see if I'm the foolish one. :P Earl Grey tea, anyone?

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  45. at the suggestion of an article i read via workingpreacher.org... it wondered what it would look like for us preachers to let our congregations know they are already blessed...

    so everyone gets a wooden cube tomorrow, that fits into the palm of their hand with B L E S and D written on the sides and a cross on the sixth side... and we're walking thru what it is to be blessed. each letter standing for something...

    *sigh* hope it works, because it was a craptacular week, and i'm leaving it alone now to walk the dogs, clean the bathroom and resume life as normal.

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  46. I like all three readings and 1 Corinthians is one of my favourites, so maybe I'll go there next week.
    back to school blessing this morning, and 3 children starting school. it was Australia Day during the week, and some of the nominees are inspirational [well they probably all are]. a man who watches from his window near a major suicide spot, then goes and invites people for a cup of tea. in Australian of the year awards, each of 8 states and territories, award Australian of the year, Senior Australian of the year, Young Australian of the Year, and Local Hero. Out of those named in each state, a national Australian if the year is awarded. only the last 2 on my list are from the national awards, which means the other people are likely unknown in the congregation.

    I have drawn heavily on The Beatitudes: A Call to Social Justice by Paul Raushenbush.


    time to get showered and at the church.

    happy writing
    Beatitudes in action

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  47. I'm back, and probably a little too relaxed.
    How goes it out there? Anyone need afternoon coffee? Tea? More muffins?

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  48. Welcome back, SB! I hope your facial was wonderful!

    The only thing I need is: motivation. And focus.

    I was cranking along and then just let myself fall down a rabbit hole of distraction, mostly in the form of Goodreads and the Kindle forums on Amazon. Ugh! Not what I need to be doing right now.

    Am going to make myself stop right this minute and get to work for real. For once, I mostly know where I'm going with this sermon. It's just a matter of getting it out of my head in a way that makes sense.

    Okay. I'm on it.

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  49. semfem - I envy your working in of Monty Python! I've been trying to find the right way to do that for a couple days... okay, not trying very hard, but still...

    Rev Dr Mom - thanks for the reflection on God's will. I'm combining Micah and Matthew and focusing on the last couple beatitudes so that'll be a big help!


    Yup, this sermon is going to include the following: "Oh, it's the meek! Blessed are the meek! Oh, that's nice, isn't it? I'm glad they're getting something, 'cause they have a hell of a time." (Life of Brian); the line (or something like that) "have we been reviled lately? No? Then what are we doing wrong?"; selections from the Confession of Belhar which goes before my presbytery at my church in two weeks.

    Also, on a personal note, this Sunday will be the first time the new boy comes to church to see/hear me do my thing. Gah! Prayers always appreciated.

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  50. I'm at 1784 words and just got to the closing - which probably means I am going in two directions. Still, I have a good outline and just need to weed out the extraneous material.

    Which I will do right after I take a break - maybe watch a little TV since it's much too late for a nap.
    Maybe I should start dinner?

    Fresh eyes are desperately needed at this stage.

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  51. Hi y'all. a second week not preaching for me. But had to see what you are all up to. Last Easter, at a women's retreat in Virginia, we modelled the Beatitudes, using soft toys and other things we found - based on an idea in BBT's Worship in the world - lots of meaningful fun.
    Anyway, today I have finally managed to clean house - first time since Christmas - and, since I'm trying a new diet plan, I have cooked up a storm to get me organised for next week.
    Just have to work out how I can be as domestic when I'm also preaching. LOL

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  52. For the first time since before Christmas, I have a draft done before dinner! Yay!!! I've posted it here: An Elliptical Way.

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  53. Not that dinner is done, mind you. Must give that some thought.

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  54. Lots of good work going on here...back from an afternoon denominational meeting.

    I've tweeked the sermon and hope it will "stand well" tomorrow. If you have a spare minute you can find it here.

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  55. I"m back and the lease with new tenants is signed! TBTG! Still have boatloads (make that dumpster loads) of stuff to haul out of attic, but that will be the job in the next 2 weeks.
    Meanwhile, i have more to do that I'd like. I' look forward to reading your sermon SB. I'm trusting mine to stand as I've got to move onto other things. and I skipped supper by heating up leftover soup for sick hubby.

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  56. Sermon rough draft done. I hope my congregation won't burn me at the stake for quoting "The Life of Brian."
    Foolishness

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  57. Hot Cup, I read that same commentary and it really stuck with me; I love the blocks idea to go with it. I'll have to tuck that away for the future.

    Took my laptop along to (re)write the sustainable sermon while son#1 got a haircut (the Bishop's Ball tonight for the high school youth...gotta look sharp!) and I haven't touched it in the hours since then. That is the problem with a re-run; the temptation to give it less than its due, even if I have some time, is overwhelming.

    Fresh chocolate chip cookies and some blueberries here, if anyone is in need of a snack.

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  58. Betsy, yummy!
    We are watching a movie and have ice cream to share.

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  59. UGH.

    I just rounded into page 10 - which is 2 pages longer than I usually write - and I still can't find my ending. PLUS this one needs to be on the short side because we've added an element to worship tomorrow. PLUS I feel like while my main focus is sound, the sermon has no depth.

    UGH.

    Please send help. Preferably the chocolate kind.

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  60. I'm here, but I have to make a few phone calls that I forgot about before I can get back to the sermon. Also accidentally fell asleep for a few hours there, so now I need to make up for that lost time.

    And I still have to make the soup. Ugh! Panic!

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  61. I've tightened up the prose and have most of a conclusion and now I'm at 1798 - about 500 words more than usual. But it's ok because there's no communion, so I don't have to worry about the service running long.

    I ended up going with an expository sermon. It's not my usual style, but if I was preaching over the next several Sundays at this congregaiton, I would want to set up how the Beatitudes are Jesus' vision statement. It's more of a 'law' sermon, than a 'gospel' sermon, but it is what it is.

    I'm going to let it sit one more time and write my prayers. Maybe by then the ending will have crystalized.

    How perfect is it that my verification word is 'bless'!

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  62. Oh I forgot the best part of the day - hubby came home from work with the bread and bananas I asked for and my favorite low-fat frozen yogurt as a surprise!

    Blesses are those who anticipate the needs of their sermonating spouses!

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  63. I hesitate to ask.....

    but does anyone have a children's time idea??????

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  64. Gord: Uh-oh.
    Everyone: I am headed to bed. More coffee in the morning. Try not to stay up too late! I worry.

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  65. My iPad just died, which has my partial sermon on it. Was planning to speak on the foolishness if the cross and how foolish the beatitudes would have been to JC's audience. Then I realized that it is all still foolish to us today, if we are still married to a theology that waits for God's signs and then preach them to others and foolish to logic and wisdom of the powerful. To say the oppressed and marginalized receive the divine blessings is still as backward today as it was then, and yet it is still wisdom of the peaceable kingdom.
    My hook is our ministry to the homeless and how our congregation is a mishmash of socioeconomics. It is our call to accept this foolishness as reality for our identity.
    Hope it floats.

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  66. Hi! I'm not preaching but I'm back in the area for awhile because I'm preparing a bible study and a few other things.

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  67. Okay, I'm calling it down for now. Not thrilled with it, but I've done all I can for tonight.

    Blessings on all who are still working!

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  68. Finally done. I've really got to start writing sooner. My sermons are getting finished later and later on Saturday. I need to get to bed now if I want to get up in enough time for a 2 hour drive for a 9:15 service!

    My offering this week can be read here if anyone is interested.

    Peace and grace on all preaching and presiding and leading the people of God in worship.

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  69. I've made it to the computer for the first time in a few days. I'm doing the sustainable sermon thing like Betsy and am trying to force myself not to totally rework the whole thing. That defeats the whole purpose of using a sustainable sermon, right? So, my goal is to clean up a paragraph or two that don't even make sense to me anymore and take out the campus ministry references and hit the hay. I have not slept well this weekend. We've had a few extra kids around (nieces and a nephew) and no one has slept particularly well. My baby (8 months old) is back in our room in the bassinet (barely fits). Well, actually she isn't in our room; she's in the closet. I look forward to having her sleep back in her room tomorrow!

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  70. Just got in a little while ago from dinner with friends and am thinking I might make it to bed before 11. Now, THAT would be something!

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  71. Okay. The phone calls have been made, and the soup is simmering in the Crock Pot. Time to come back to this sermon and put the finishing touches on it. (A big change from last week, when I was STARTING the sermon at this time.)

    Looks like the late night crew has been reformed this week of our procrastinating ways...or have we?...I suppose we'll see!

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  72. Done. Just before 11:00 p.m. my time. Awesomne. I've got it saved to the iPad an I'm heading to bed. Night-night! And blessing on all those still working!

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  73. It's done. It's not the best ever, but it has the distinct advantage of being finished, and I'll have to hope the Spirit fills in the gaps.

    Peace to all who are writing at this hour!

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  74. 1240 words, and I'm done! Whew!

    Just got some stuff to get organized for tomorrow...

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  75. Technical difficulties dramatically altered my anticipated schedule. However, I'm not preaching tomorrow. So I'm off to bed without partying very much with y'all.

    Blessings on your Sunday

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  76. Hi there everyone! Looks like a fun party - I have some leftover Company Chicken (baked with mustard, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese) if you need some protein and also icecream with cherry cognac sauce if you just want indulgence.

    I have enough writen up that I hope I can fix it tomorrow - only 10:30 here but way too tired to do any more tonight. Blessings on your preaching, all!

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  77. Okay, I'm headed to bed with all my ducks in a row (I think). I don't think anyone else is still working...but if there's someone out there...take heart! The Holy Spirit has your back.

    Blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation this day.

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  78. Good morning! It's snowing here, but just a little. I'm hunting around for an alternative movie for Junior Youth group, just in case the family bringing the one we planned doesn't show. Also hoping we have a DVD player...which points up for me how new I still am. I know there's a big TV and an area with couches and a rug. But I don't know much else.
    Blessings to all of you in your preaching today. semfem already gave the Benediction, so I will add my prayers.

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