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Saturday, January 22, 2011

11th Hour Preacher's Party: Seeing the Great Light edition

(photo of the sun through a dust storm, The Sonora Desert south of Tucson, taken by Terri)

"The people who have walked in darkness have seen a great light."

If I were preaching tomorrow I would reflect on this phrase found in both the reading from Isaiah and Matthew. One thing I might ponder is the power of words and the ways in which our words matter. Take for example someone I met at a conference last summer who spoke about being blind. She talked about her struggle with the lack of physical eye sight being a spiritually negative metaphor,as in "Being spiritually blind, being in darkness.."She said, "Being blind is my most precious gift, it is how I am made in God's image. When will being blind be the cool thing?"

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.

We are a people who are walking in darkness. Perhaps this darkness is like the deep rich earth, where roots take shape and form, establishing the foundation for stems and stalks, trees and branches, flowers and leaves, fruit and vegetables, to come forth.

It all begins in the darkness. Not a negative thing at all. Spiritually rich.

Anyway. I have no idea where you all heading with your reflection this week. What part of the text speaks to you? Or, are you off lectionary?

Share with us your thoughts, your worries, your struggles. Join us for a cup of coffee or tea. Soon there will be eggs (soft boiled? over easy? scrambled? perhaps an omelet? how about with broccoli and cheese?) We're here for the day and well into the night. Please, settle in, get warm, what can I get you, coffee, tea, or a hot chocolate?

176 comments:

  1. Hello preachers, and Terri, thanks for opening up the party! I'm still here, winding down with a hot chocolate with a liberal infusion of peppermint schnapps and browsing through some of my favorite preaching websites, chewing on things in preparation for writing sermons tomorrow.

    For the morning, I think I'm going with the gospel and how Jesus shines light on our everyday vocations...and how the disciples were simply everyday people, not special super holy people. Then in the evening, I was asked to preach for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity at a Catholic church, so I'm pondering writing a different sermon for that one on the 1 Corinthians reading. Not sure yet though.

    Off to bed soon...see you back here in a few hours!

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  2. Hi Revgals,

    This week I am looking at Matthews Gospel, no surprise there.

    thinking about light, and discipleship. draft is here:
    http://apearldownunder.blogspot.com/
    sorry, forgot how to do the link thing.

    I think it is a bit long, I'll see how I feel about it in the morning. for the children's address - though still being summer school holidays there may not be any - I am showing how it needs to be dark for the torch to show light.

    time for Chamomile tea and bed.

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  3. Well, it's 13 out there -- not as cold as for some of you, but plenty for me. So I've thrown in a load of wash and crawled back under the covers to read my college students' papers' -- their first stab at defining religion.

    I wrote most of my sermon yesterday, most of it on the gospel: on all that the disciples left behind (work, place, relationships) in order to follow the unknown into the light, and on all that we might be asked to leave behind in order to follow and Jesus into new light.

    I need a big chunk of time away from it -- I suppose until tonight.

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  4. Hello all. We've got -3 here in the lovely southern tier.

    I wrote most of a draft (needs a closing paragraph) Thursday. However, I've been sick as the proverbial dog with a cough and just general weakness-- as in, haven't really been out of bed since Wednesday afternoon. It all began with an ocular migraine. It's been a weird week.

    All of which is to say, who knows what I wrote or if it makes any sense at all?

    I'm working on Matthew, focusing on Jesus moving (again) to Capernaum, and then being on the move generally, and what that tells us about our call as a church (i.e., let's not wait around for people to discover how wonderful we are; let's get out there!).

    I'm offering oatmeal and fresh pineapple.

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  5. It's only 10 degrees here! I have both a sermon and a charge to prepare, the latter a charge to the last church I served as an interim at the Installation of their new pastor. I have a direction for both, but still a lot of work to do!

    So I am pondering an errand that will get me out of my post-Snow Day reverie. I have a package to pick up at the post office, and I think it might be a box of grapefruits!

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  6. BTW, Terri, that's a terrific photograph.

    Feel better, Mags.

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  7. Oh, Mags! I hope you feel better soon!!

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  8. Good Morning Semfem, although it was still night when you wrote...I like that idea of focusing on ordinary lives. I'm curious though about the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity - when I've done this there are readings provided by the international ecumenical group that plans the week/prayer - which can be found on-line - or is your group reusing the Sunday readings? Just curious...


    Morning, Pearl - I'll stop by in a bit (have to have my coffee first) and read your draft.

    And, Good Morning Robin - I hope those papers are interesting...not sure what I would have written as a young student....but then I never took a religion class as a young person - a very secular school system and upbringing...anyway - I really understand the need for time away - hope the night helps.

    Now. Here's coffee everyone, and the kettle is on for tea.

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  9. wow - in the time it took me to welcome the early folk, two more showed up!

    Welcome Magdalene and Songbird!

    Magdalene - I had that same virus back in December - a bad/weird headache followed by a sore throat, cold symptoms...and then it repeated itself. I really hope yours is short lived and less intense! How about some airborne and zicam? and a cup of tea with honey?

    And Songbird, picking up a box of grapefruit would probably be enough inspiration to get me out of the house. We're actually warmer here than you, its a whole 11 degrees here...LOL - be careful venturing out.

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  10. Terri, I was just thinking about that question: what would I have written as a college freshman after six years of religious schooling?

    Something like:

    Religion is a set of beliefs fabricated and practices developed by man to assuage his sense of aloneness in a hostile universe.

    And I would have written that in a women's college class after those six years in Catholic and Protestant girls' schools!

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  11. Good Morning! It's a balmy -2 here and I'm trying desperately to motivate myself to get to the gym for water aerobics. I'm trying to convince myself that the whirlpool and sauna will be ample reward for braving the cold.

    I've already written two mediatations on the Matthew text. One outlining my personal call story and one playing with Jesus' calls to come and see, come and follow, and his selection of the apostles (come and serve). I also have been thinking alot about how Jesus calls us from the work-a-day world to be lights in that very world, vocation and such. I'm not sure how it will come together.

    The only think I am sure of at this point is my children's sermon. "Sundays and Seasons" (ELCA worship resource) suggests playing follow the leader (Simon Say's would work too - maybe make it "Jesus says") and then ask what we do when we follow the leader - we imitate what she is doing - and that's what we need to do when we follow Jesus. They also suggest passing out shoeprint cutouts for the kids to write out ideas of things to do to follow Jesus.

    Monday's call story and Tuesday's come and see/follow/serve reflections are here if anyone wants to read them.

    I know I'll feel better and be proud of my self if I go to the gym, but it's soooo cold.....(whine)!

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  12. Glad for this conversation!
    We might get above 0 degrees today - yesterday we woke up to -17 degrees, and the kids hammered a nail into a board with a banana we left outside overnight.

    Is anyone else doing the 1 Corinthians text? Last night I got sucked into all kinds of background and reading about the Belhar Confession, and there is something brewing in my mind about telling three stories - Belhar, the Corinthian context and our own, and dividing the congregation or trying to somehow let the three different "groups" stories inform one another... still brewing, but this week we have a Sat. evening service, so hoping it gels soon!

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  13. Good morning - I've got some strong coffee, if anyone needs a boost. I am going with "Follow Me," and I've been inspired by Robin Meyers' "Saving Jesus from the Church." He makes a strong distinction between discipleship and doctrine. I'm mostly done - so that means I can clean my house today, and it needs it!

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  14. Robin - I might have written something like that too...even though now I always cringe at the use of "man" when we mean humanity or men and women...gender language sensitivity is one of the big take-aways that I have from seminary. LOL

    Ramona - the thought of getting into water would not motivate me today - except I also know that you really will feel better!...I too am pondering a trip to the gym. I'll be around later to read your reflections.

    Kara - what a metaphor - hammering with a frozen banana! yikes.

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  15. good morning all, still darker than a wolf's insides here but I've been awake for a bit.
    I have about 2/3 of each of three sermons, maybe, and not a hint of a children's talk. Gah. But I think it's the Gospel, setting Paul aside for a week, because I am irked by all the usual takes on "fishers of men" (sorry, friends, I'm old school), and actually it's glossed and redeemed by Jeremiah 16.16. I think.
    Pretty quick here, ham and eggs.

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  16. I am working with the 1 Corinthians text. I was caught at first on the "power of the cross" then in my first draft, went more to the mission of the church and how the divisions within a church are a. perfectly normal and b. can't get the upper hand.

    It's not nearly so cold in Southern Arizona as other places, still chilly enough to warrant a steaming cup of chai.

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  17. @Terri, I want to thank you for the words from the blind woman who struggles with our use of seeing/ not seeing in spiritual contexts. I've heard this from others. It's important to be sensitive about this issue.

    @Robin, I think I was well and thoroughly indoctrinated as a college freshman at a religious university with twelve years of Catholic schooling under my belt!

    @ Songbird, I've been thinking of your struggles with snow-wrangling. It's getting to that point here as well. It's deep out there, and more's-a-comin'.

    @Crimson Rambler, I too have no hint of a children's message. Though I love ramona's ideas, specially the footprints!

    Blessings upon your work this day friends. Stay warm.

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  18. Good morning and welcome Chilly, Crimsom, and divineconomy...

    ham and eggs is on my list of possible breakfast foods, too...

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  19. Good morning (est) all!
    I am in the Corinthians text this week with our Presbytery heading into some big votes in a couple of months. I am focusing in on Paul's warning that we not empty the cross of its power - yikes!

    As I look around and see those who have turned their backs to the cross because of the 'Christians' standing in front of it telling them they are not worthy of it... well, I think we would be better to heed Paul's warning.

    Our super power is unity - not uniformity - but unity.

    Or something...

    I'm admittedly using a sustainable sermon from a few years ago to go from since our staff transition has obliterated my normal sermon writing schedule.

    Hmmm, I'm hungry - who'd like some french toast, eggs, fresh coffee and some fruit?

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  20. hi everybody. I overslept this morning because I was up in the middle of the night sneezing. I think it has something to do with swimming. anyway, I took benadryl and I'm still kind of groggy.

    I've got about two thirds of a sermon called "God calling." I'm using an old story about what happened when I preached at the Denver City and County Jail once long ago...

    Not sure about my decision, but there it is...

    thanks for hosting the party, Terri. I hope I get less fuzzy soon.

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  21. Hi Pals!

    I've been thinking about John the Baptist this morning and how Jesus began his spiritual quest as a disciple of John and then according to Matthew, Jesus continued John's ministry of calling people to "repent for the kingdom is near" Don't know if that's the direction my sermon will take, I'll let you know as I begin writing.

    I love the children's sermon idea of playing follow the leader.

    BTW, my word verification is singsxye. Makes me think of the internet video "I'm a kittycat" where the cat says "I singsxye songs to myself when I'm dancing."

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  22. It's a whole 2 degrees above zero where I live. Woo hoo time to break out the sunblock.

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  23. oh, it's one measly degree here, now.

    and here's just the beginning of my sermon

    such as it is...

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  24. Morning everyone! It's 6 here, but the sun is out and the sky is blue and the snow is brilliantly white, so it is a beautiful day.

    I'm preaching Matthew (no surprise there for me) and have no clear direction yet, so it was good to read all your thoughts. I like what semfem said about Jesus shines light on our everyday vocations and calls everyday people. I must do some more reflecting and pondering before I begin to write though.

    My only "outside" activity today (at least as of now) is a hospital visit to a 96 year old parishioner who broke her arm.

    I'm not an everyday coffee drinker, but the cold today may inspire me to drag out the Bialetti and make a latte--haven't done that in a long while!

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  25. @Magdalene, you're welcome. That quote has stayed with me as I develop the WordsMatter Expansive Language Project in the Episcopal Church...for me it really points to the heart of the project and the importance of the conversations we're promoting.

    @Diane - hope the groggies leave soon and you feel better and that sermon comes together. - now I see you have posted it, I'll be over in a bit to read it.

    @RevDrMom - I've been using my Bialetti too and making mocha latte's...perfect for this cold weather. Be careful out there today!

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  26. welcome God_Gurrll...we're a whopping 13 degrees this morning - it's a heat wave here!

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  27. Well I have the "warm" temperature of 19 so far today. Glad to get with the party today as I seem to have a "chip" on my shoulder. I suspect the many wonderful family members that are living together (Grown children with us) have something to do with it. They are all wonderful but I am glad we are going away for a couple days Mon-Tues to SKI. Oh it is going to be COLD!
    I wrote a draft last night in which I hope to put people in touch with their passionate feelings and remind us that unity means living WITH those with whom we disagree, NOT always winning them over to our side. Maybe I should listen to my own sermon now...or just retreat into my office with coffee and shut the door.

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  28. Mags, I know this is belated, but my prayers and well-wishes, too.

    I'm finally beginning to wake up.

    Terri, re: the sermon, I just posted the beginning.

    ok. I'm going back in.

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  29. @Diane, I read your sermon beginning, and it absolutely gripped me.

    I've posted my draft at my place, and would love feedback if anyone is so inclined. It feels very much all over the map.

    http://magdalenesmusings.blogspot.com/2011/01/sermon-draft-on-move-matthew-412-25.html

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  30. But now I'm going back to bed for a while.

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  31. I am thinking that I have a handle on the sermon.

    But children's time. That is another matter. I put in the Bulletin taht it would be about the Week of PRayer for Christian Unity. Any ideas how to do that??

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  32. RevNancy - welcome to the party! I find your sermons to be thoughtful and motivating, so I hope other do too.

    Magdalene and Diane - I have to run an errand, will be back in a bit to read what you've offered.

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  33. ...and welcome, Gord. Looks like a discussion on ideas for children's time would be valuable today....so, while I'm out maybe you can talk amongst yourselves?

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  34. Hey Gord-

    What about using a map of the United States or world where the states are all different colors. Is that how God sees the country? Or is it more like a photograph without all the divisions? Our vision of the church is kind of like the color coded map. God's vision of the church is like the photograph from space. This week we are praying that we can become the church that God sees, not the one we see.

    Now, can you help me with my sermon>

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  35. Mags, you read mine, I'll read yours.

    then, I have to get dressed, I guess.

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  36. Children's time idea for Christian Unity...I think this might work: Have you ever played the game Knots? Everyone stands in a circle with hands in the middle (don't do more than about 10 people) and grabs someone else's hands. Don't grab both hands of the same person; you should be holding two different people's hand. Now it looks like you just have a giant mess...a knot. Without letting go, start untangling the knot by having people go under and over and twisting around. At the end, you should end up with one big circle (possibly two, so have an explanation for that ready!). What looked like an impossible mess--which is sometimes what the Church appears to be to us--is in fact a big circle...interpret as desired.

    This just occurred to me; not sure if it will hold up to scrutiny, but it's worth a thought and it's both fun and really easy! You could let older kids or a few adults help coach the untangling.

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  37. Blessing upon you all, both who have checked in and those who are still to do so. I am heading out to 'coach' (wrangle?)K-1 boys basketballers.

    See you later. :)

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  39. I've been up doing housework while the rest of the family sleeps; I got a good start on some things, so that's satisfying. It's supposed to be 70 here today, warming up to in the 80's as the week goes along; wish I could package up a bit of that warmth for a few of you! Love the banana hammer story :-)

    I'm picking up on an idea someone mentioned on Tuesday, that Jesus called fishermen to fish for people; he asked them to use the gifts they had, only in a different context (I realize fishing for fish and fishing for people have some big differences, but it's the metaphor here...). I'm doing the family service sermon, and I want to emphasize that point, because I think far too often people fear they will be asked to become someone totally different, or abandon the skills they have, to follow Jesus.

    I have two ideas for this. One is to use silly bands, and talk about how they can be stretched all sorts of ways but they still bounce back to their same shape; their shape is inherent in what they are. However, I think that's an easy one with lots of applications to save for another day! More likely, I'll bring in some pairs of "tools of the trade"--a baseball and glove, an apron and spatula, etc.--and give one to each of several people to indicate that person's gifts, then try mismatching the other half...give the person with the glove the spatula, and so on. Take it from there.

    Most of today's task is winnowing through 350+ photos from the year to put out the best and put together a slide show for tomorrow's annual meeting. I've done this for several years now and people love it; I think it also helps give folks a sense of community, which is always a good spirit to have at an annual meeting!

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  40. Betsy great idea for children (or adults) I just can't count on having more than 2.
    Terri thanks for the kind words.

    While I'm taking a short break from the sermon (and preaching to myself) there are several resources for the Week of prayer for Christian Unity at
    <a href="http://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/wcc-commissions/faith-and-order-commission/xi-week-of-prayer-for-christian-unity/week-of-prayer-for-christian-unity-resources/resources/2011/2011-worship-and-background-material.html>the WCC site</a>. If you want to check it out.

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  41. I was so excited to be back on lectionary this year, but here I am monkeying with it already. I've got my family coming in town next week and while they wanted to see me "doing my thing" at church, I didn't want to have to think about writing a sermon while they are visiting. So next week I'm hitting the sustainable sermon file, and this week I'm stealing next week's Micah 6/Matthew's Beatitudes. I just couldn't could with fishers of people another year. Also, last week the volunteer doing children's time did something about taking it to the next level and that idea struck me. I think Micah talks about that. Worship being one level, but not the only level. We are called together to worship God, but then we are called to seek justice, love kindness/mercy, walk humbly with God as a response or sending from our worship. I think I'll use the Beatitudes as the examples of how God sees justice, mercy, etc.

    Nothing at all on paper or screen yet, but I'll deal with it tonight.

    Next week's sustainable sermon is actually Luke's sermon on the plain with the beatitude parallel, so I'll tie the two weeks together that way.

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  42. I'm going with the Gospel and a bit of Rob Bell for support. Check it out here:

    http://easyasfallingoffablog.blogspot.com/2011/01/call-comes-in-midst-of-life.html

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  43. Inspired by something in Feasting on the Word about Jesus' call being a call to adventure, I've hammered out the first 3/4 of a sermon...now I have to see if I can wrap it up coherently. I've been preaching on a continued theme of "we are ALL called to ministry" leading up to our annual meeting next week where we will bring up some tough issue we need to address as a congregation, so I hope this will work into that as we all find our sense of adventure in ministry, welcoming the kingdom of heaven in our midst. Or something like that. We'll see.

    I have salsa soup for lunch with tortilla chips, if anyone is hungry. Super easy and really good.

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  44. I'm almost ready to get to church.

    wow! comments have ratcheted up while I was gone!

    I have these candles with batteries for the children's message. I asked the children's ministry director to get them for me (she knew where to go) but now I have to figure out how to use them.

    (two for a dollar at the dollar store.)

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  45. Greetings again everyone...it's great to see so many here, and so many good ideas flowing! Helps get the creative juices going!

    I am up and moving, but I have a few things distracting me that I didn't mention when I posted last night. First, I am on BabyWatch, not for me but for a friend who is in labor with her first child a bit earlier than predicted. Please hold her in prayer.

    Second, I find myself in a position of discernment (not unexpectedly, but this particular part of it is proving harder for some reason). I would welcome suggestions for Scripture to ponder in discernment. I know, the gospel for this week is not a bad starting place...but I welcome others.

    Terri, to answer your question of me earlier, the group I am preaching to tomorrow evening uses the Sunday readings, as that is their main weekly Mass. And frankly I am thinking of borrowing Betsy's idea for the children's sermon of having the "knot" that untangles...it would work really well with this group, even though they are not kids!

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  46. Oh, for the morning sermon, I'm also pondering the observation from Working Preacher that Jesus calling the disciples is a template for how God works in the world: calling us, small though we may be, to be partners in his work.

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  47. Wow! Excellent sermon, Sarah Brush! It spoke to me.

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  48. Trying to warm up here in my home office. We are happy for bright sunlight today, which is always a mood lifter, but it was seven below zero (F) when I woke up and it is still in single digits. More coffee...! I'm preaching tomorrow (three times at prison) so am back to the preacher's party today. Totally without inspiration today...so hopefully reading what you preachers are pondering will help me! Back later.

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  49. I'm back from the gym and I do feel better for working out. There's spinach and feta fritattas, fresh pineapple and ginseng green tea for lunch - I'm always so hungry after working out.

    Diane - I want to hear more. That's the great thing about story - you always want to know what happens next. Really great stories even make you wonder what happens next after the end of the story!

    I'm not quite ready to start serious sermonating. There are a couple of unrelated things rolling aroung in my mind I need to get on paper. And I still haven't decided on a focus. Oh well - Son is having a friend in and headphones and sermonating are great ways to survive two teenage boys in a very small apartment!

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  50. Sarah Brush, great sermon, and I love that part from Rob Bell about the education process. Thanks.

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  51. While not a typical time of year for commitment sunday, ours is this week for a variety of reasons. These are not bad texts for that but kids home for 2 days and some customer service tales have shifted the typical sermon prep rhythm so I'm trying to get my brain to function faster and more effectively than it is willing to function at this point.

    I'm pretty sure I'll be in and out most of the day and night.

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  52. hi everyone! thanks for the inspiration mags, diane, sarah - appreciate seeing your ideas.

    I'm working on matthew (no surprise) but what it means to follow without looking back. I've been reading Hamlet's Blackberry in addition to having one of those kind of weeks where I've been questioning everything I'm deciding, so I think it'll be something about how easily distracted we are both by the outside world, and by our own worst thoughts. Or something.

    Still thinking of songbird's tuesday challenge to look at who exactly the Matthew Jesus is, but maybe we have future weeks for that?

    I'm doing Sunday Surprise for kids' time these days until Lent. Have you ever done that? We have a box and the kids take turns bringing something in the box and then I make a childrens time around that. I try to think a little bit of the theme of the day before hand, and work it in when I can.

    Ok, off to look at working preacher now and then really must get down to some writing. A meeting in an hour (yikes!) and then a dinner thingy tonite, so busy day and lots to squeeze in the cracks.

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  53. oo, just remembered my sermon title is

    “Immediately, Immediately, Immediate–L–Y”

    i think i was thinking of that song from Electric Company....

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  54. Juniper, the last time I preached this text, it was all about the immediately. (Kind of wish that were my title this time...)

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  55. I'm back from running my errands and WOW! - Welcome all of you who have come since I left...and lots of great ideas going here!

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  56. Juniper, I do your Sunday Surprise a couple of times a year in school chapel; I call it Challenge the Chaplain and everyone loves it. Have fun!

    Knots works fine with adults as long as they still have a bit of flexibility in their bodies :-) You'd want at least 7 people to make it interesting; 10 is better.

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  57. Songbird, thanks for the link. It led me on the watch "The Closer" Sesame Street style.
    I think Bert and Ernie make a better children's time than I do.

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  58. And on the subject of Matthew's Jesus, here's a great link at Working Preacher, and also I believe I am concluding that *I'm* the one who needs to know who Matthew's Jesus is, so I know what I'm doing!

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  59. I'm still planning on using the Epistle tomorrow. I really liked the Journey with Jesus posting for this lesson and will probably follow along those lines - Christian infighting/slaughter.
    The walkabout with our bishop nominees begins tomorrow; I leave right after the second service to go be a part of the traveling group. I've been thinking about unity through the lens of electing/calling a new bishop, how we are being intentional about making this a Spirit-filled process rather than a human-managed one. In all the talks about rules of order and ballots over the last several weeks, this has become clear.
    But, even without politicking, will we be able to unify behind the one elected? Will she or he really be seen as the one whom the Spirit has led us to elect or will be have months of rancorous battles over how much better off we would be if someone else had been elected?
    I think we do what we can to be one in Christ but that we won't ever come close unless we are willing to turn over the management of our unity to the Spirit. That means letting go of an awful lot of things, especially those we like to fight over the best.
    Anyway, that's where I am. I think I'll go buy tissues and cough drops for the vans.

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  60. I have a sermon! It's up at my alternate blog. I'm trying to evoke emotions for arguing so we can FEEL how hard it is to be One. If you have time to check it out, tell me if I'm successful or not.

    Now for a short break and then finish worship. And get the fishing pole out of the garage.

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  61. I am now doing the happy dance!

    As I was sermon procrastinating, I decided to search my files to see if there were any usable and interesting stories. My search of Matthew 4:12 turned up a sermon I had forgotten from several years ago that says almost what I already intended to preach tomorrow. Three cheers for sustainable sermons that need minor revisions!

    I really need to go visit an older member this afternoon but was feeling pressure with the sermon so "undone." Now I can do both well!

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  63. I'm working on a sermon that deals with the call to stay put in an ordinary life. Zebedee wasn't a disciple but it doesn't mean he wasn't called. Using some images from this remembrance of my grandfather.

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  64. The "delete" is just a double post.

    I wonder if I still have a fishing pole in the garage?

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  65. ok, I wrote the end of the sermon, but haven't posted it yet.

    lots of good ideas here! there are many good directions to go.

    can't believe there are so many comments already!

    and, I'm still trying to figure out how to use those candles.

    now, to go read Sarah Brush's sermon.

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  66. Yes, some wonderful offerings here today...and great that there are also sustainable options, too.

    I think it's time for tea and chocolate - right?

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  67. Well, BabyWatch has proved fruitful, as my friend and her husband gave birth to their beautiful baby boy! HURRAH!

    Oh, right, sermon and other things. Time to stop daydreaming about all the things I'm going to knit for this child and re-focus.

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  68. Semfem, hooray for new babies!

    I have the 350 photos cut by about half; now I am cropping and adjusting so that they show up their best. Some of the photo-eliminating is based on my rule of thumb: Would I want that picture of me projected on a giant screen? ;-)

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  69. Semfem - yay!! congratulations to the new parents and the little one.

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  70. I've gotten some work done, but it feels pretty piecemeal. The charge for tomorrow afternoon is outlined in a way that will make filling in the sections easy. The sermon has approaches for the gospel, divided in three parts, but I don't have a hook for beginning it. (Well, other than a slightly naughty story from college that will.not.preach. but is in my head whenever I try to write a beginning.)

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  71. Semfem - congrats on the new baby! Lovely times.

    Revhrod - that is a great story and very appropriate to talk about call.

    I got the unrelated things out of the way, so no more sermoncratsination! My current idea is based on something I read in "Matthew for everyone" (NT Wright) which reminded me of a conversation with a friend. I had just discovered he had been a lawyer and was now working for a social service agency. I asked him why he made the switch. He was a defense attorney and one morning after he won a case, he saw a picture of him in court defending his client, a child molestor (who was actually guilty but got off on a technicallity). Something in him just said, "I can't do this anymore and be faithful to my call to follow Jesus." He went on to head up an agency that worked with mentally ill, troubled and abused kids and their families.

    I don't know if I'll use it. I'm going to re-read my earlier reflections and then just start writing and see what comes out.

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  72. Here is what I'll be preaching tomorrow. I am now going to go warm myself by my gas logs.

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  73. joining the party...preaching off lectionary in a sermon series. trying to get a good intro to sermon on james (taming the tongue). a light hearted approach to begin with. all i've got is a youth lesson i did once with a piece of frozen cow tongue. lol. don't think that will preach!

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  74. Morning RevGals, all the talk about snow and cold temperatures, here it is midsummer, and we are expecting 30 Celsius today.

    trimmed 150 words from the sermon this morning, and I hope it is now less waffly.
    time to shower and get to church.

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  75. Ramona, another good story! If not used tomorrow, for another day.

    Welcome RevMommy.

    and, Pearl - blessings on your day.

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  76. Finished the charge!!! Yay!!!

    I know where I want to go with discussion of the gospel, but it feels too structure at the moment, not my usual way of putting a sermon together. Just not in a flow this week.

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  77. here's the deal. sermon written yesterday. tweaked today. i "borrowed" and indeed quoted a post from a fellow blogger... b/c my well is done froze over... if there's anything in my well, sure doesn't feel like it.

    snowing wildly.
    walked dogs in falling snow, and my body is exhausted now. a cup of tea, and watching some downhill skiing... *sigh*

    the sermon hopefully will fly.

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  78. uhm let me revise that... i quoted a story from someone... i didn't "borrow" their posted sermon or something like that...

    goodness!

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  79. Hotcup, welcome....and did you post that sermon, er, story?

    YAY Songbird.

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  80. 900 words or so in, and using the frozen cow tongue as an example. and rereading my sermon on the same text from a few years ago. hoping it's not a repeat of that. Ramona, love that story. did you use it?

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  81. Mags: get well soon!

    Terri: awesome quote, thank you. I have been reflecting on that issue more intensely since getting to know an amazing Deaf woman (part of downtown community and also comes to Thursday mass here). Her difference from the norm--like my own--is definitely a gift as well as a challenge.

    No preaching tomorrow though I am definitely reflecting on the difficult passage I will face in Feb. (Sermon on the Mount about anger, lust in the heart, etc.) Very crucial as I found out this week that due to board miscommunication I was placed on presider schedule before everyone explicitly signed off, so the first six months are definitely an audition to see if I will continue. I have really been relying on RevGal wisdom from the past several years of posts and comments as I integrate into the community as new, first female, clergy. Amazing how painful it can be with good intentions all around, and how many buttons I can push with people who are very wounded by the church, and how complex the power dynamics are (I am new, they are long term; I have no governing force, those on board have all; I am ordained and theologically trained, most are lay and not; I live with straight privilege, most are gay or lesbian; they are male, I am female). It's great to have the freedom of a new and very progressive thing and also frustrating to have so few models to draw on!

    Today has been very full with other ministry stuff, which is why I read comments but didn't add mine till now. Met with my Walk to Emmaus sponsor and am very excited and hoping I make it on the February weekend--especially as I found out their ecumenism extends to allowing non-Methodist clergy to lead once they have made a weekend. Also a great conversation with the general editor of the Divine Feminine Version of the New Testament met through RevGal Shawna Atteberry...which ended with the invitation to join her as an associate editor and start on a draft of John's Gospel! So very exciting, and doable with everything else I am juggling because it's not cold translation but adapting a public domain English translation with reference to the Greek.

    Off to read people's drafts--prayers and good energy to those still writing.

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  82. just in from an all day presbytery meeting. now, what was I thinking when I started this thing? I know it's the epistle and it's about factions that bring the outside world's values into the church instead of letting the church bring the all sufficient God to the outside world.

    And I know I had an idea for the children's message, but it is no more.

    I have plenty of Earl Grey tea to share, and beef stew over rice will be ready soon.

    and we didn't get into double digits today. On the other hand, I found out that the thermostat on my car DOES register negative numbers. :)

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  83. Robin: forgot to say LOL! So exciting to hear you are in the classroom and jumping right in with their reflections...can't wait for the related blogging!

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  84. Diane, I would love to hear the end of that sermon--especially if you share anything the prisoners said in response to that Gospel!

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  85. Sorry, no chance yet to read the other comments yet, but I'll get to it soon.

    Workshop on "Visioning and Action" last evening and all day today, so I wrote a sermon on Wednesday. Then I decided I didn't like it and wrote another one Thursday.

    Now I have a totally different angle after the workshop. ~sigh~

    My exhaustion level after being in a room full of people for a day and a half (Introvert anyone?) means that I will probably go with Sermon the Second which I like better than the first draft.

    I'm working with the Matthew text, mostly inviting people to wonder along with me about all the people who said "No thanks" when Jesus said "Follow me". Seriously, there had to be plenty who may not have taken the radical plunge that the twelve did, but had a ministry nonetheless.

    Zebedee stayed behind to keep the family fishing biz going, and in his own way, that *was* his ministry. He did not actually say the words, "Yes, I'll follow you" but his work helped to feed God's people, so his actions were really his "Yes".

    My sermon says it much more clearly than my info-overloaded brain can at this point....but that's pretty much what I've got.

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  86. Chilly Fingers, I loved your sermon.

    Still no inspiration here, so I am (groan) searching through old ones.

    Any sermon worth preaching once is worth preaching twice...right?

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  87. Singing Owl, yes, preach it twice, sister! I don't know what has come over me, but I'm going to cook tonight.

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  88. Back from hospital visiting and various and sundry means of procrastination; still need to write a conclusion!

    I love Matthew; it is my favorite gospel and I am geekily excited about being able to preach through the sermon on the mount in this long-as-it-ever-gets Epiphany. I hope I still feel that way in a few weeks.

    Love the Bert and Ernie bit, SB!

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  89. You go, Singing Owl! Pull out that sustainable sermon and give her another round with pride :-)

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  90. Well, older member was not were I expected so I have to try again. I still need to go to the grocery store, too.

    RevHRod, What a great story!

    Even though tomorrow's writings are mostly completed, I have dissertation stuff, too. I'll be back.

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  91. hey sue, that's good. I've often wondered what happened to poor old zebedee.

    jsut back from the grocery store - hey in portland oregon it is sunny and 55 degrees. come on by, you snow bound folks and have a set in the sun! I'll pull out a chair for you...

    so far I have a sketchy outline, and that's just about all this might be -- i may end up preaching from notes tomorrow. after several missed this days this week due to illness (mine and kids) that might be all i have energy for. i will know more after a little nap.

    see you later, alligators!

    PS: Songbird, hilarious ernie and bert thing btw...

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  92. Happiness is dropping off three loud, noisy teenage boys at the bball game! It also helps to know that I am only picking one up.

    I wish I was happy with my sermon. Seriously thinking about starting over.

    Guess I could use one of my earlier meditations if necessary, but they don't really strike me as sermon-esque.

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  93. Juniper, I seriously hope you feel better and the sermon comes together for you....sounds as if others are moving along.

    I have pizza and red wine, if anyone is hungry or at a place where they can imbibe a bit...

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  94. Structured. I meant structured. Ugh.
    I have words and thoughts, but I have no poetry this week. That makes me sad.

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  95. This early in the day (4 PM PST) and almost to 100!

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  96. And I can't resist seeing if I can be the one ;-)

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  97. Ugh....trying to finish up what I wrote this morning and finding I don't really like it...but it seems kind of late to start over.

    Hoping for inspiration soon!

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  98. Songbird, I know what you mean about poetry. bummer.

    one of my preaching professors once said, though, "the lights only have to be bright for a little while." somehow, that helps.

    I think the prisoners provide the poetry, this week.

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  99. and what's up with 103 comments at -- what -- 6:10 here??? It's not Easter, is it?

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  100. I went back to look for that electric company LY song and it's even more genius than I remember. So heres some poetry -- for those of you feeling unpoetical. Or whatever that word would be.

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  101. Some weeks it's a homerun. Other weeks, not so much. I'd settle for a nice double. It doesn't have to be the best sermon in the world, just enough to be satisfying. Oh and finished....

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  102. Well, you never know what people will connect with. After seeing some of Sarah Brush sermon before church this morning, I added in a little about schooling and Rabbi's - and that got a few comments about how helpful it was.

    warming up, time to head to the coast. [11.20 am Sunday and it is already 80 F]

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  103. Ironically, I've done a lot more exegetical work than I ordinarily do, so it's not like the homework hasn't been done. But I guess it's okay to be workwomanlike, sometimes.

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  104. Songbird, there was a guy in my last parish who always LOVED the kind of sermon you're describing. I always felt there should be more colorful material but he thought those work-woman-like sermon's were the cat's meow. So maybe you're writing for Eric's doppleganger.

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  105. Juniper, thanks, now I get the "immediately" LY. very good. I'm just checking back in b/c the day here has been so interesting. Keep posting your links, I'll be reading. I don't feel like watching hockey or the movie on in the other room. Anti-social-LY...

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  106. What a great party! I just finished up my two annual reports, which I was sort of ignoring, until the secretary called and asked when I was going to send it to her. Oops. But they are done now, warts and all.

    I'm running to the grocery store now for a few ingredients for tomorrow...I am cooking a few things for shared meals. Then, while the cooking is happening, the sermons hopefully will as well.

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  107. OK, mine's up.

    I want to thank whoever - I just cant go back through 111 comments now! -- talked about the word "adventure." When I looked at this again this afternoon, I thought, it just needs something to pull it together -- and that's the word.

    I'm preaching for a city church that has dwindled to a small fraction of its needed number, and big changes are going to come one way or another. So . . . here we go with the four called in Matthew. Toward light.

    Preaching WAY ahead of myself this time.

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  108. I am never going to finish this sermon!! It's going in two directions and I can't make the threads weave into a finished piece.

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  109. Oh my gosh, 113 comments and it isn't even 8:30 pm yet.

    Here's my sermon to add to the mix. Now I'm going to write some prayers.

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  110. oh dear, Ramona...let me get you a cup of tea while you ponder this one out...may it come together, literally, soon

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  111. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  112. Hey thanks for the "LY" song link! I remember that song (I liked Electric Company better than Sesame Street). the "LY" song was one of two written by the estimable (and I do mean estimable) Tom Lehrer.

    I can't remember the other one.

    I think workwomanlike sermons rock, Songbird. And the you never know how the Holy Spirit will use those sentences....

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  113. Have loved reading along with you all. Now I have a batch of black bean brownies to share...they are really good and good for you too! (Even my husband likes them...)

    Also serving tea of many types. Peppermint, chamomile, Cranberry Blood Orange, PG Tips, you name it. Let me know what I can get you.

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  114. Pizza and black bean brownies! what a party!

    well, I preached the early edition. actually got a few other things done too. I'm sitting here, not making a salad and not writing thank you notes.

    I guess I'm going to knit.

    oh, and it put it in a separate post for some reason, but

    here's the second part of the sermon

    for what it's worth

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  115. Thanks for the encouragement, Pals. I'm slogging through it, filling in the places that need expanding, hoping to wrap up by 9:30.

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  116. Robin, great sermon! I'm the one who used the word "adventure" and I'm still floundering a bit....I think you captured a lot of what I've been trying to say.

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  117. Thank you for identifying yourself, RDM! And for the word that pulled it together!

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  118. wow - not preaching this week - just checking in! Now I'll be off to read all the sermons and watch both the SS and EC videos - how fun!!
    "God will not be thwarted" - direct quote of Dr. Alyce Mackenzie on the first day of Homiletics Class - very helpful to me when I am unsure about where I'm going with a sermon.

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  119. Elastigirl -- I Love Love Love that comment!

    oh, I forgot about a phone call I need to make.

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  120. I have found it to be true, that God will not be twarted....just sometimes takes awhile for God to redirect that which strive to thwart...


    Mary Beth, I would love me some black bean brownies....!

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  121. Hopping party!

    I have returned from being a Mom to both The Boy and the dogs. I have a sermon that is too long to read over and try to pare down, but that is MUCH better than the alternative.

    Prayers for all of you who are in that place right now.

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  122. Just hit print--after reading Robin's sermon I was able to go back and cut out the parts of mine that were threatening to become a second sermon, and pull it together. Thanks, Robin! Seems that we helped each other :)

    Mary Beth, black bean brownies? Really? Sounds intriguing!

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  123. Ok Songbird....it's after 9:30 your time, wondering how you are? Can I get you a cup of tea? Are you close to being where you wanted to be? Are you finished?

    What about every one else? What can I get you?...

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  124. Whew. Let's see how much further I can take this party in the comment count. It looks like a lot of the late night regulars are farther along than I am, so without much company I might not go far. I'm back to the place I used to be on Saturday nights in the REAL OLD days. Not. one. word. written. Not one thing scratched on a page anywhere. Only a few things swirling around in my head. Uh oh.

    Well, at least college football season is over and there's nothing I want to watch on TV. It'll be tempting to turn it on when SNL starts, but until then I hopefully can just start writing and see which of my thoughts come out and in what order. I've had some feedback that I'd mostly like to toss out (because it was worded really MEANLY) about this person wanting sermons (in my interpretation of the comments) that are more personal. I tend to preach to the church as the gathered body more than the individual members of it. I'm going to try my hand at that, but it'll be hard. We'll see what happens.

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  125. Oh yeah - - and my son and I made chocolate chocolate chip muffins. I have plenty to share!

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  126. Well, I have a beginning, a middle and an end, but it doesn't feel particularly graceful. Thanks for asking, Terri.

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  127. Help me - - A new book came out relatively recently. I've seen some folks commenting on the premise, but I can't remember the title and Google and Amazon are helping. The idea of the title (although I don't know the content of the book) is - - How much do Christians have to believe? or What do Christians need to believe? Or how little can I believe and still be Christian? Anyone know the book?

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  128. I think the book you are talking about is "What is the least I can believe and be Christian."

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  129. Hello friends. Just popping in at the end of a rather surreal day to say hello while I prepare my prayer for tomorrow.

    I have Rice Krispie Cheese Crackers in the oven and am happy to share. And there are brownies cooling on the stovetop, but they are technically for our church's annual meeting tomorrow. So tempting, though!

    Y'all have been busy partying today! Blessings on all y'all as you prepare for tomorrow.

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  130. SheRev - I'm with ya! My husband just said "It's 8 p.m. Why didn't you start your homework earlier?!"
    We can keep each other company.

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  131. For better or worse, it is done. Now off to relax a bit before bed. Coffee flavored frozen yogut is availble to share.

    My rambing sermon can be read here.

    Prayers of inspiration for those still writing. The Holy Spirit has your back!

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  132. Well... I took out a sentence.
    So be it.

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  133. That's it! That's the book! Thanks Anonymous!!

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  134. SheRev - sorry about the mean comment someone made to you....somethings really need to be let go of (although I am terrible at letting go - at least for a day)...hoping your sermon writing goes well..

    Earthchik - welcome to the late night party!

    And Rev TSB - I suspect there will be company to keep you going - usually is.

    I have homemade carrot cake with cream cheese icing - just in case we need another offering her tonight - although really some very tasty things have been laid out for us!

    Tea kettle is on - so help yourselves.

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  135. Well, I'm going to call it done, if not good. I apologize for linking when I haven't been to look at others' sermons. I just felt so flat today, I was afraid I would lose confidence in my own idea.

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  136. SongBird - may you sing your sermon with peace in the morning.
    I've been off reading sermons and retrieving teens. Peace and good night to all!

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  137. Well friends, it's time for me to call it a party and a day. I'll leave a light on and the kettle too - help yourselves. Last one up - get the lights and turn off the kettle, too.

    Blessings on your words, your sleep, and your Sunday.

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  138. So nice to be here today and read everyone's comments and sermons. All in all, not a bad way to spend a Saturday! Dream beautiful dreams.

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  139. We had our annual "Chili and Movie" night, so I haven't been back to look at my sermon in many hours. Thanks so much to all of you who read it and commented! I am so grateful for the feedback.

    Blessings to all for tomorrow's preaching (today's for some!).

    Mags

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  140. Well, I've finally started to get some words down on paper/screen. I got distracted for too long when my brother in law's girlfriend posted something about the beautiful "bling" she received from him for her birthday. I was very excited that it might be the ring we all anticipate is coming sometime sooner rather than later, but after further inquiry I discovered it was not. The waiting continues. She did post pictures of a beautiful diamond necklace, though. Good for them for doing what's right for them!

    (Procrastinating, procrastinating, procrastinating)

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  141. I am now back from retrieving the one child who is with me. I went to get her an hour earlier than I was supposed to but by the time I figured that out it wasn't worth coming home and going back so I waited. Then ended up in a conversation that lasted almost an hour but that was actually a really good thing.

    So here I am again. I'll be re-reading the sermon for spots to tweak.

    I'm amazed that we're just over 50 comments from 200. What a great community!

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  142. SheRev -- re: you comment: ugh.

    well, I just remembered that I didn't figure out my children's message.

    uh-oh.

    gotta figure out those candles.

    I want it to be something like Jesus calls us at whatever age, and then give the candles.

    you can see it's a little vague.

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  143. Thanks Diane and Terri. I'm mostly over it. Can't you tell?

    Still not too much written. Having a hard time focusing and I'm wondering how the baby who can sleep without making a peep every other night of the week always seems to stir the Saturdays that I have the least amount written. I'm not one who usually would say, "Maybe it's God trying to tell me...." but maybe it's God trying to tell me to get my dang sermons done earlier. :)

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  144. I am currently printing the sermon. It's taking longer because I'm running out of ink so I chose "best" for quality because I've learned that's how my printer rolls ... so to speak.

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  145. Songbird - I think your sermon worked out really well.

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  146. Hey! Is anyone else still here? It's not really that late yet

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  147. Diane, your comment about your children's sermon just made me laugh out loud. That's about the level of clarity I generally have up until the moment I call the children forward, at which point I pray desperately for something to become obvious. Let's just say that doesn't work every week.

    Tomorrow I too am doing the follow the leader thing, combined with teaching the children and congregation the chorus of "We Walk His Way" (from south africa, I think, but arranged by John Bell). We're going to learn the song, then sing it while we play follow the leader. The choir is going to sing the verses, we'll sing the melody of the chorus. If I get super adventurous, maybe the congregation will sing in two parts. (ooh, exciting! LOL)

    Tomorrow morning we also have the youth pancake breakfast fundraiser, and the annual meeting (during which we'll discuss the $50-60,000 budget deficit). I'm sensing a stressful morning ahead...and I just (like while I was typing this) remembered that I don't have butter or syrup for the breakfast. So I have to go to bed, since now I'll need to get up early and run to the store. Sigh.

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  148. Look at that!

    150 comments before midnight EST on a not holiday party

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  149. Children's Time! I still have to look for the fishing pole.

    Teri - I wish I knew that song it sounds just right for where my sermon is going. Good luck with the pancakes and the meeting.

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  150. It must be the mid-winter blahZzzzz...... I have ideas in my head, mostly coherent, that can be strung into some semblance of a meditation/sermon..........aaahhhggg.
    BUT it's early yet - only 10:20p.m. here - never mind that I have to get up at 5:30 to leave at 6:30 for a 2 hour drive to the first preaching point..... :/

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  151. Teri -- you made me feel a little better so I think I'm going to bed...

    I also like the follow the leader idea. I'm very much in favor of getting kids active and doing things.

    also, the song sounds intriguing.

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  152. Things for which I am thankful right now: sermon done "early" (ok, so that's in a relative sense); articles for dissertation read; an electric blanket warming my bed; RevGalBlogPals :)

    Blessings on your Sunday!

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  153. Hello again everyone! Late night crew in the house! I got swallowed up by my obligations to cook for tomorrow (and the lack of freaking green beans in this town) and have spent the last three hours cooking food, rather than cooking a sermon.

    It's really not a good sign that I'm just eating dinner now, is it?

    Time to do something resembling a sermon. I think I was dreaming when I thought I could do two.

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  154. I'm still here, cheering on those of you who are thinking/writing/praying like crazy!

    I finished up the slide show for the annual meeting; every time I thought it was done, and had it under 200 slides (this shows during coffee hour, at 2-3 seconds per slide, so it's not like everyone is just sitting watching it), I'd find another batch of photos someone had sent me.

    Right now dh and I are girding up our loins for a battle with our older son; he had a boatload of homework to do today and knew that if it's not done by tomorrow morning, he doesn't get to go to the all day conference he really, really wants to go to. He chose to spend much of his time goofing off, and at this point, it's hard to see how he can be finished. It will all be our fault, of course. Oh, the joys of a teen with major ADHD...

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  155. Yeah for being here, semfem!

    Sorry for the battle, Betsy.

    You know what they need to invent? Some kind of device that reads your thoughts and types them up for you. I have this problem when I'm nursing the baby in the middle of the night and my hands are not free. I come up not only with a great outline when my sermon is stuck, but even good sentences/paragraphs to go in that outline. And then somehow, as soon as I get her right back in bed and my rear end back at the desk, it is gone. I need something to transcribe my thoughts!!!!

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  156. She Rev: You mean sort of like a tape recorder? :)

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  157. Sort of, but straight to my brain. I can't talk outloud while the baby's trying to sleep!!!

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  158. Hmmm...sort of on a roll, but I think I'm going to come up way shorter than usual. I wish I could count on one of my longer winded children's time volunteers, but alas it's not his/her turn this week.

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  159. You invent that device, SheRev, and I'll be your first investor :-) It has to work while sleeping and on the edge between sleep and wakefulness, though; more than once I have come up with a perfect, complete sermon arc just after the alarm goes off, only to have no idea what it was by the time I hit the shower.

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  160. Oh, duh. You can tell I don't have kids...I would know better than to suggest speaking while a child is going to sleep!

    Whenever you invent that device, She Rev, it also has to be waterproof for all those great ideas that crop up in the shower.

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  161. Those are the other two times FOR SURE! Luckily I keep my journal next to my bed and I have finally learned that my brain will not retain those thoughts I have as I am falling asleep until I wake up. WAY more than once (more like every other time, BUT once) as I'm falling asleep for my couple hours' nap on Saturday night/Sunday morning I'll come up with the piece that I'm looking for to tie it all together just as I'm trying to fall asleep. It plauges me until I write it down. Probably drives my husband nuts, but he knows better than to say anything when the light snaps on and the pen starts scratching. Once it's down on paper in the back page of my current journal, I can go to sleep then come up and type it in when I wake up again. This glorious invention would work then, too!

    So, on that thought, I think I'll head to bed. I've got 859 words which is about half my normal length, but I've got at LEAST 500 more in me, and that means more like 600 or 700. Perfect. No one complains when things are a little shorter! (Every time I say this, I end up struggling to cut it down to normal size when all is said and done.) I've got a decent trajectory. I'm heading to bed. Be back in 3 or 4 hours or so!

    Peace!

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  162. Great party, all...

    Remember the Holy Spirit has got your back and if you've got a dog - walk it proud!

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  163. Back to finish. Praying my electric blanket and space heater do their job first, though. It's 58 degrees in the office!

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  164. Brrr! Hope you are almost done now, She Rev...

    I did my usual routine of falling asleep in the recliner and waking up with just enough time to write. Finally got inspired by a story and it just poured out, so I suppose that's a good sign. Just going to do a quick read-through and print, then shower and get ready for the day.

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  165. Okay, 1189 words and I'm done!

    Unfortunately my voice is fading! Whee!

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

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  166. Blessings on you, semfem. I am about done, and even warmed up enough to turn the space heater off. I'm at 1300 words and getting right now to the "do justice, love kindness/mercy, walk humbly" part. Perfect timing! (I'm a week ahead with the lectionary so hopefully this can help someone next week.)

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  167. She Rev, I'm guessing it's more likely the little one feels your tension. But either way, there's a value in sleeping on Saturday nights.

    Which I sort of did. I've been very wakeful the past couple of nights and woke up praying for the energy to get through a long day. God be with all of you, whatever the day holds.

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  168. Good Golly - you all partied long and late! You remain in my prayers this day as you break open the Word...

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  169. Thanks for comments one and all! Sermon went well with one of those marvellous moments when a lady said to me "Thank you. You know I actually LEARNED something today!"

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  170. One for the Murphy's Law files:

    I had the children's sermon all worked out with playing follow the leader. When I got to the church where I am supplying, I realized that this is the one without wireless mikes. So, follow the leader was out and talking about playing follow the leader was in.

    Sheesh - come up with a good idea and still get thawrted!

    Sermon was well received though! Hope everyone had/has a blessed time at worship and gets a peaceful after church nap!

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