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Saturday, September 24, 2011

11th Hour Preacher's Party: the Garden Variety




Good morning, Preachers and Pals! I don't know about you, but I am deep in the throes of the church program start up year - ramped up ten fold by being in a new call. The learning curve is high. Even good stress is still stress! I seem to be going all the time and in many different directions all at once. The choices in the lectionary are plentiful this time of year. But sometimes too many choices leads to confusion instead of clarity. Or at the very least just another decision to be made. For example at my church we are entering the Season of Creation, four weeks behind others. This means I am going off Lectionary for the first time. I'm looking forward to this season even though I will be working off of different texts than the rest of us. So, for me it's Genesis creation imagery and Nicodemus in John.

What about you? Are you doing Season of Creation, or another off Lectionary series? Or are you working with one or more of the texts assigned for Proper 21 year A? For more insight into a previous conversation on this: Tuesday Lectionary Leanings.

Where ever you are this day, take some time to join the party. The harvest is plentiful! And we are here to help whether you need a prayer request, a children's time idea, some feedback on your sermon - or an idea for the ending for your semon (at least I always find the end to be my biggest challenge).

Pull up a chair, grab a mug - the coffee is flowing, or tea if you prefer. Let's get this party started!


Photo of some of the harvest from my garden...

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

90 comments:

  1. I am home from the "Friday night lights" to see the party has already started! I'll be off and running in the morning so I might as well comment now.

    The lectionary Gospel of Matt is the text for me this week. In one of the classes along the way to where I am, I recall being taught: when someone says they are changing look at his/her behavior to see the truth about the change; words are cheap.

    That's all I have for now. See you tomorrow after my morning duties and a nap. :)

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  2. Morning Terri - and Vicar - hope you rested well.
    I've just cooked for our men's breakfast - now settling down to write. Amsuing myself by likening all the grumbling about the Facebook changes this week to the Children of Israel grumbling their way through the wilderness.
    Was also helped by Gord's musing in Tuesday's Lectionary Leanings.
    Din't have anywhere else I need to be until after dinner - so look forward to hanging out here.
    For those of you across the pond just beginning your day, I have fresh coffee, hot tea and bacon and tattie scone morning rolls.
    I'm already onto lunch - carrot and butternut squash soup. Mmmmm.

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  3. Good morning Vicar and Liz! I am up early following a late night out. My husband and I had dinner with a parishioner couple at the local, semi famous country club, and then attended the symphony with another group of parishioners. It was a delightful night. But now I need to get ready to lead our womens group in a meditation on Hildegard of Bingen. So, I'll be in and out this morning, but around the rest of the day.

    Vicar, love that line! Liz, your meal sounds delicious!

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  4. Morning to all! I'll take some of those yummy-sounding rolls while my wife makes me coffee. Am I the only one whose church is using the Ezekiel text? I've been pondering these 3 texts with their themes of changing minds and hearts along with the events that have made this week a rather heavy one: the executions of Troy Davis and Lawrence Brewer, the suicide of Jeremy Rodemeyer. Not going to make for a happy sermon, for sure, and I'm left as always with the cry of frustration, "What do we DO?"

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  5. Love love love the picture of your harvest. I had a good year in my garden as well. Ate and gave away the harvest to fast to take pictures of it.

    For those who are curious, last weekend went very well at the neutral pulpit. I am heavy into the process of discernment. Keep praying for me to open my ears, head and heart to hear where God is calling me. Thanks for the prayers, thoughts, emails and support. I love you all!

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  6. Marie, the Ezekiel text is so rich in imagery, I suspect it will support the emotions and content of what you are being called to express.

    GG, I made up this basket as part of my daughters birthday gift, or I too would have no photos..lol. Grateful the neutral pulpit went well. Prays continue.

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  7. The sun is just peeking up over the horizon. Sermon #1 is 3/4 done (Matthew). I am also preaching at an installation tomorrow afternoon...that one is on tap next. (It has been brewing so hopefully will come together).

    GG, glad the neutral pulpit went well.

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  8. I am up and for once grateful for the rain, as it's caused me to postpone our youth apple-picking trip. I have a funeral late this afternoon and then a first date(!) so I need to get the sermon at least mostly done before then. I also need to finish the stole I'm making for a woman being ordained in our church tomorrow afternoon.

    I'm focusing on the Matthew text, with a side of Philippians. The title I picked weeks ago is "Topsy Turvy," based on Jesus' kingdom statement, but...that's all I've got at the moment!

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  9. Welcome, Purple and Beth...here's hoping your sermon(s) come to together so you can tend to the other fun and important events today and tomorrow!

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  10. Thank you all for the prayers and well wishes last week and this. Presbytery last Saturday went great and I was approved for ordination. Yay for that part!

    Then I had to take the representatives of my new congregation outside to explain that I was in the middle of an obviously completely unexpected evaluation for breast cancer.

    And so this week-end, instead of preaching my first sermon as their pastor, I'm at home recovering from biopsy surgery and wondering what's next. I have at least one very tiny early-stage cancer and another who-knows-what. I've sent off a reflection to my new congregation and I'm going to take it easy this week-end -- and wait five more days for results.

    Boo for this part.

    I'm eager to see what the rest of you make of texts that I was so looking forward to preaching on!

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  11. hi everyone! I am not preaching this weekend or for the next two weeks either, which seems incredibly odd.

    We have missionaries from India coming tomorrow. We have supporting them since Nihjar (the wife) was a single woman in seminary (that is, for a long time).

    I have need of some prayers re: something I can't post about right now, but just prayers at about 11:00 this morning. That's all I can say.

    Will check in later today.

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  12. I have more than I usually do at this point on a Saturday, but I won't have a chance to work on it till evening. I have the kiddos all day, so we'll be playing and running errands and doing laundry (mostly due to an unfortunate diaper malfunction).

    Blessings on your writing, everyone. Robin, many prayers for quick healing and thankful for an understanding congregation. Prayers for you to, Diane.

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  13. You all have to check out the search page for google.com So cute!

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  14. I have my very first ever funeral today. Last night's prayer service went well, so I'm praying that the funeral will also go smoothly. I feel totally unprepared - we don't do enough of this in seminary and leaving it to internship seems now hit or miss. I'm nervous about my funeral sermon, having never written on. Of course, I can't remember a single sermon from a funeral I've attended. No wait - there was my cousin's funeral where the preacher said basically, it's too late for D, but the rest of you sinner better repent. Needless to say, I'm not going there!

    So my sermon writing schedule is off, because I will be officiating when I am typically sermonating. Most of tomorrow's sermon is written, but it's very rough. And I still have the rest of the service to get in order and confirmation to get ready for. And there's a conference I'm heading out for as soon as confirmaiton is over. Good stress, bad stress - it's all stress!

    I need to have most everything done by 1pm - and there's zero motivation at this point.

    Here's hoping the South Dakpta wind blows the Holy Spirit my way!

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  15. Robin, continuing prayers for you - and for GG.
    Finished up early here, so off for a walk on the beach.
    If anyone has time, I've posted here
    Will pop back later to see what everyone's up to and gather prayer requests.

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  16. Diane - I'll pray for you too as I walk the beach x

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  17. Ramona -- praying for you in your funeral preparations today! I remember my first one -- my first week of my first call!

    May the spirit guide you....

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  18. Prayers for Diane, Ramona, and Robin...and all those "heart prayers" which are too deep for words.

    I finished tweaking We Do Not Know which is for tomorrow morning.

    Now on to "The Y/S Root" for the installation tomorrow.

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  19. Hello! I've got a fun full day. Our town has a wonderful art festival today within walking distance from my house. Waiting for my husband and son to get home so we can head down that way with the baby, pick up the big girl at a drama class across the street from the festival and enjoy it for a while together. Later the big girl goes to a LONG birthday party and the rest of us will go pick apples. Doesn't get too much better.

    I've got a decent line on my sermon for Sunday - - going with Matthew. Chuck Campbell's opening story of Dr. Phil will be my way in, but ultimately I'll get to a real delicate treatment of the parable. My minor worry about it all is that we have a situation MUCH like the ATM question from this week going on. I don't want to sound too much like an indictment of that one person to her, but I fear there's nothing I will be able to do about that. I'm going to relate the whole thing back to the congregational reaffirmation of baptismal vow that we did last week. Point to it saying that it can't just be an interesting thing we did to start the year. Our actions have to match our affirmations.

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  20. Welcome Robin, grateful to hear that all went well last weekend, but saddened that it is complicated by this potential health dilemma. Continuing to hold you in prayer.

    Diane, welcome! And, as it is almost 11 my time, I will begin a prayer vigil for you...as I sit in my office and contemplate my sermon for tomorrow.

    Ramona - prayers for you and the sermon. I have found that funeral sermons are best when you can do some honest reflection on the person, as you knew them. OR when I have not known the person I reflect on what we might have had in common had we known each other...and then I talk about the Christian understanding of life, death, and the realm beyond - of the grace of God's love and mercy, and how we can honor the person through our memories of them - in our laughter and our tears, and in the sharing of stories. Anyway - I am sure the Spirit will guide you to the words you need to say for this occasion.

    Liz and Purple, I be round to read your offerings, shortly.

    SheRev - woa! prayers for you too - I think you have a sensitive and appropriate way into the concern.

    I just finished my presenation on Hildegard...now - back to my sermon..

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  21. oh liz! TATTIE SCONES!!! I almost wept aloud, truly. Recipe??? pretty please???
    Not preaching tomorrow so enjoying the hiatus and doing other things, but I'll check in from time to time.

    Terri -- beautiful header picture and gives me an idea of the beauty of your garden. Wow!

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  22. Good Morning Everyone: I've got fresh zucchini muffins with cranberry marmalade with a side of cheddar cheese and a luke warm coffee (I'll have to do something about that soon). I haven't managed to put one word to paper yet because I spent the better part of last week at a training course. I'm feeling mightily challenged because this Sunday is "Back to Church Sunday" in our neck of the woods and I need to craft a sermon that will be welcoming and inviting and entertaining enough so as not to embarrass the folks who were brave enough to invite a friend to come to church with them.

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  23. Diane -- prayers ascending from here, I'll let the Almighty figure out our time-zones...
    GG -- such good news about the "neutral pulpit".
    Robin -- following along with you and praying for the best and happiest outcome.
    Ramona -- memory and hope!! and love that ties them together!!

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  24. there's so much going on here today...praying for Robin and Diane and GG...and desperately seeking both a sermon on Exodus 17 and another 3000 words for the chapter that was due yesterday.

    umm...I have some leftover mostaccioli for lunch, a cat to sit on your feet if it's chilly, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me on the radio, and...that's about it. I might potentially have a children's time idea, but I need to figure out whether it will actually work or not before I put it out there....

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  25. Crimson, welcome! Enjoy the respite.

    Lady father - ohhhhh, yum!

    I'm leaving my sermon for a bit to go walk dogs and eat something...then back to finish it up...back soon!

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  26. oh- and welcome Teri! A cat foot warmer is so delightful!

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  27. Hello everyone, glad to see the Spirit moving out there. I am praying for so many of us today. Robin, I am glad (if that's the right word) that what was found so far was found early.

    Pondering myself just how much of worship I should attempt after being sick all week with a sinus and eye infection. I have meds and am starting to feel a tiny bit better. To preach, or not to preach (and hand it off to the deacon)?

    Advice welcome--I can't seem to remember any of the good advice offered here on this subject before!

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  28. Good morning, preachers.

    My mind is all over the place this morning, finding compelling bits in all three readings, but not a coherent thread to pull them all together. I'm struck by the first phrase of this week's collect," O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity,", and by "work out your own salvation in fear and trembling" and the comment at FotW that this refers less to our own individual salvation and more to our collective lives in community. And of, course there is God's never-failing response to the Israelites never-ending complaints. Yeah, not sure where I am going.

    Lifting up prayers for Ramona, GG, Robin, Diane...

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  29. A bit of a hectic morning for me. PIF revised and sent to a couple of churches. Roast in the crockpot for dinner. Household chores. Dog escaped. As soon as she returns, off to the park with the boys to wear them off so I can write later. Haven't decided exactly on focus.

    Prayers arising for the many concerns....

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  30. Oops - wear them OUT...... hehehe

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  31. Welcome SemFem, I hope you feel better.

    And, Revdrmom, I hear you, happens to me too! Hoping for clarity for you.

    RevTSB, wearing out my children through exercise was frequently one of my goals...

    Me, heading out for a dog walk!

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  32. Was leaning towards Phillipians, and just read a sermon by Tony Campolo on authority that gives me a focus and way to link Phil. with Matthew. Yea!

    Dog still isn't back, but as soon as she is, off to the park!

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  33. Hi, all. I'm getting a late start today, and it will be delayed further by a needed pastoral call. (Tough situation, really challenging me over the past week.) Tomorrow my daughter will be confirmed, and I'm using Philippians as the text -- along with Matthew, but that won't be as much the focus -- for a sermon about Confirmation as a rite of passage after which we are called to keep working out our salvation, not to call it good and move on to other things.
    I did record last week's sermon, for those who wondered if I would really dare use the phrase "farting around." kathrynzj paid up her $10, and it's going to the Pet Place Pantry at my church. If you joked around about paying me, you can listen to the sermon here, and any donation you want to make to the PPP would be much appreciated.

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  34. Diane and Robin - prayers ascending.

    Semfem- my advice is to remember that if you may be contagious, you need to consider how much contact you might have with the elderly and immune-impaired folks. If you can limit contact, and feel well enough to preach, then do. Otherwise, since you have a ready replacement, use her!

    Praise be to God, my sermon is done! Well, I think the ending is week, but I'll let it set for awhile. Comments appreciated on The Ultimate Undercover Boss.

    Now for a quick lunch and to get ready for the funeral. I think I can finish the confirmation prep and packing for the conference this evening.

    Back later to see how everyone is progressing! Come, Holy Sprit, come!

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  35. Robin, so glad about the new call--prayers for your health. Hope your new congregation is surrounding you with love and care.

    I have nada this morning. Only the clarity that whatever comes will be focused on the first part of the Philippians reading. A way to weave the results of our A-I conversation into the homily. Fell asleep praying this morning. Yikes. I can see a long day ahead.

    But I can look forward to next week in Asheville for the Ecclesia Ministries "Come and See" weekend and maybe even some fabric shopping!

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  36. Prayers ascending for all of you, especially those who are struggling with illness, transition, and pastoral challenges. I've got a first draft done with many thanks to Working Preacher website. I see that there is a lot of activity happening at the church, so I think I'll pull some real clothes on (as opposed to yoga pants and a tank top) and go photocopy the bulletin.

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  37. Songbird, sorry about that pastoral issue....prayers for you...and those concerned.

    Revalli, welcome! Praying for inspiration for you..

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  38. I found the inspiration I needed to pull my thoughts together here and I have a draft. Now I think I'll let it sit for a little while and see what I think of it when I come back to it.

    SB, I love that theme for a confirmation sermon...blessings for your family on this special day!

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  39. The problem with not writing sermons is that when one wants to go the sustainable route you have to rely on memory. What DID I say 3 years ago????

    And I have to prep a funeral for my brother-in-law's mother (who pretty much just dropped dead out of nowhere, since they couldn't find anyone else to provide leadership. Head down to the city after potluck lunch tomorrow.

    And now I have to arrange to meet someone from the anniversary committee at the nursery so we can buy a centennial tree.

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  40. Songbird, didn't your charity get my check. I mailed it on Monday morning. It was worth losing the dare just to hear you say "farting around" from the pulpit.

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  41. uuughhh, meh sermon. Trying to bring it home but coming up empty. I think I'll try to take a nap and hope the sermon fairy drops a sermon conclusion in my dreams.

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  42. g_g, I will check on that. Thank you!

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  43. I'm back from a good, but hard, visit. I wish I could say more, but will just say I appreciate your prayers. I'm trying to get a start on my sermon before my daughter comes back from her dad's house, but now the dog is making pre-dinner sad noises. "So hungry...Half-starving...Nobody loves me..."

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  44. Gord, wow....praying for you, too, and your (extended) family.

    Songbird, welcome back. GG - I hope the nap helps.

    Me. I'm running behind schedule as is par for the course for me lately...simply more to do than there are hours in the day.

    Sigh. but my sermon is as ready as its gonna be for now - and posted

    A Strand in the Web of Creation

    I have a few more things to tend to then I really will be round to read yours!

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  45. For Crimson Rambler - and anyone else who would like this traditional Scottish tattie scone recipe:

    Ingredients:
    1lb/500g potatoes, cooked and mashed
    1 oz/30g butter, melted plus for greasing
    1/2tsp salt
    1 medium egg
    4 oz/125g flour, plus a little extra for rolling out
    1tsp baking powder
    Preparation:
    Preheat the oven to 395F/200C/Gas 6
    Place the mashed potato in a large baking bowl and add all the other ingredients to form a sticky dough.
    Roll out the dough on a floured surface to approx ½ inch/1 cm thickness. Cut into saucer sized rounds then score a cross into the dough to mark 4 equal wedges.
    Grease a baking sheet with butter and bake the scones for 15 minutes until golden brown and risen. The scones can also be cooked on the stove top on a griddle or heavy based frying pan. Cook the scone 5 minutes on either side until golden and risen
    Eat while warm.
    I like to let these get cold and then fry them after frying bacon so that they get all the lovely bacon fat. They are great topped off with fried egg - soak up all the yolk. Mmmmm

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  46. Songbird, you goggie sounds just like my kitteh.

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  47. I'm exhausted but the funeral went well. It's a milestone I'm happy to have behind me!

    I think need a nap now. Hubby is baking cookies for me - I promised them for my confo kids but didn't have time to make them. What a super guy to bake for me!

    Maybe I'll find a good ending for my sermon after the nap.

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  48. I'm glad it went well Ramona, and I hope you get some well deceived rest.

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  49. Tree is purchased. and the sermon from 2008 has been listened to twice--and none of the illustrations will work in this context!

    Time for some reworking I guess

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  50. Well, here I am at this late hour still not together. Just came back from a symposium by Partners in Health/Paul Farmer and crew. Now, to get my scattered thoughts and notes together into a sermon and still get my laundry done.

    I'm focusing on the end of the Philippians passage: "it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure." Matthew and Ezekiel will come in, too, as will a number of things I heard about Haiti this afternoon.

    Hope you all have finished or are well on your way. I trust God will show up (and I'll hear). But then, that's part of what my sermon will eventually be saying, so I do hope to be able to take that seriously.

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  51. Hello preachers and friends
    I just scanned the comments and offer my prayers to the others for Robin, Songbird, Diane and GG...and probably others I have missed.
    I am in dire straits here. Just got back from the high school youth retreat. It's 7 p.m. and I am totally exhausted from that and other unbloggable things. I had a sermon when I left, I wasn't really happy with it, and so I gave it to a couple of people I trust to look at. Both of them suggested major revisions, in different directions. SO now, what do I do? I guess I start banging my way through it and hope that something preachable comes out. As a new associate, this is only my second time preaching at this church and my only time between now and the end of the year. No pressure at all (gulp). I am used to preaching every week to a little congregation who loved me.
    In other words, if you have any prayers to spare, I could use them! I am running the show tomorrow at three services since the senior and other associate are gone. Lots of details to remember on top of everything else.
    In a word. Help.

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  52. Oh Gord, sorry, alas, that is usually my experience with sustainable sermons, too. Hoping yours comes together without too much strain.


    Hi Sarah, hoping the same for you.

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  53. Prayers, MP!

    If I feel dramatically better tomorrow (it would have to be really dramatic), I will come to the early service to offer moral support.

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  54. MumPastor...I am holding you in prayer

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  55. MumPastor, so am I.
    I have a lead-in for my sermon, but I have spent so much time today thinking about other things, it's hard to get to it. This saddens me because it's a big day. But there's still hope. Maybe a cookie will help...

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  56. Terri, surely you meant for Ramona to have well deserved rest, not well decieved. Was this a darn you auto correct thingy. :)

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  57. GG...yes it was...auto correct failure once again

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  58. Prayers for everyone who is feeling overwhelmed in one way or another.

    The girls are in bed, hubby has promised to do the dishes (his sermon is already done), so I'm sitting at the computer...not finishing the sermon. I've got a couple of ideas for illustrations, but need some more meat in there.

    And, this is my supply gig where I need to have a children's sermon. Oh boy. Preaching Philippians, but I'll take just about any idea.

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  59. Oh, Mum-Pastor, so with you. Sometimes it's hard to block out those other voices. How about a good set of earphones and some loud music? Oh, maybe you've had enough of that at the youth retreat!

    Songbird, a beginning is a good thing. I'm still without an opening sentence and without that I'm toast. Pass the cookies!

    I can see the connection I want to make between the first four verses of the Philippians reading and our visioning conversation--some were chomping at the bit, some were hanging back, and some were downright scared. Need to make the connection come to life.

    Off to walk the dog and hope for a few words on a blank page.

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  60. I didn't actually sleep - I dozed wtih a nice SD breeze blowing over me and the hum of the church women next door finishing the clean up. So maybe my nap was "decieved" but I still rested? Maybe I'm just so tired still that I'm being silly.

    MumPastor - prayers go with you!

    I think the sermon will stand as is. Time to get my confo stuff together and pack for the conference. I'm ridiculously excited that there's a whirlpool!

    And Hubby suggested a trip to the next burg over for ice cream later on - I am content!

    Blessings on those still sermonating.

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  61. And there's my hubby's famous chocolate chip cookies still warm from the oven for those needing sweet gooey inspiration!

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  62. Ramona, your husband is taking good care of you.

    Mumpastor, I hope you can hear and trust your voice in this regardless of the feedback from others...

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  63. ramona, that hubby of yours is a keeper. Chocolate chip cookies AND ice cream all in one night? Be still my heart.

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  64. Having doubts about my sermon....sigh

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  65. I tried to write something. I really did. But it doesn't seem to have come yet. I have a few paragraphs of bad...they will hopefully be backspaced over in favor of something worth saying!
    I also have no dinner ideas, nor really the current appetite for dinner (which is odd). I did get a walk in with Guinness, my favorite dogsitting charge. (well, okay, he's my only dogsitting charge!) Now I'm going to try to focus again...

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  66. Teri...I usually find that a walk with dogs helps...hope it helped you....

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  67. Maybe I need to go find a dog somewhere...

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  68. I'd take my kitty for a walk but really it would be a drag.

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  69. Thanks so much for all of your prayers. I wrestled and wrangled and have something I think I can preach tomorrow...remembering the Spirit has my back of course. Sent it back to my old SP for comments and he was greatly encouraging. Had a good talk with a good friend who convinced me I can still do this. And your prayers, they helped a lot already! Robin, someday we will support each other in person but I won't expect you tomorrow. Knowing you are there around the literal corner means so much to me, a sister in spirit to be sure.
    SB, I know the Spirit will speak through you and I will pray for you just now. Teri, the dog will help and my prayers are with you too.
    Thanks be to God for you all, a blessed community.
    Time for sleep for me.

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  70. okay, I successfully (I think) re-wrote the whole sermon up to the same point it was before...and I'm stuck again. I like this first part better, but it's a) longer and b) doesn't have an obvious connection to where I thought I was going. So...that'll be interesting.

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  71. Mumpastor, glad it came together for you. I hope you rest well, and yes, the spirit will fill your words and sustain you!

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  72. G_G, you're a comedian!

    Teri, that sounds tortuous. Sorry for the stuck.

    I think mine is ok. Still no children's sermon. Off to google-landia for that.

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  73. Teri, that's rough....dang! Would some cookies help? And, a cup of tea?

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  74. Well...it's been a party, but time for me to call it a day. Sleep well!

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  75. ok, I got somewhere. It's a little forced at the end, but gets where I wanted it to go, so it'll have to do. I may have a brainwave overnight and end up editing, but for now you can read all about it over here. Thanks for a great party!

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  76. Hello, friends. I am finally sitting down to prepare my prayer for tomorrow, and I thought I'd stop in to the party for a moment.

    Robin, thank you for the update on you. You are in my prayers.

    Our church, along with the church next door (FUMC) is throwing a Block Party tomorrow after worship. It's been an exciting event to plan, but also very stressful, and I'm jittery about how it's going to go. Having never done anything like this before, none of us have any idea what to expect.

    Okay, I'm going to write my prayer and then unwind a bit with some spinning and knitting. I'm hopeful I can sleep tonight without being too anxious about our block party. Blessings on all of you who are preaching tomorrow, and on those of you who are still preparing.

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  77. I was sitting as the computer paying more attention to the football game than the social networking tools and managed to finish the sermon already. funny how that can happen. Now I have to try to figure out what the heck we're taking to the church picnic since I forgot to plan for the food part of that! shoot. although with a completed sermon this early I have plenty of time! and the picnic is in the evening anyway. Blessings on your Sunday!

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  78. G_G - LOL!! Sounds like my cat!

    Terri and esperanza - After 21 years, I think I'll keep him. He's a good friend and a good husband.

    OK - I'm ready for worhsip, and I think I'm ready for confirmation. All that's left is to back up my laptop (seriously overdue) and pack for the conference. I'll be glad when I'm safely in my hotel room and able to relax a bit!

    May the Spirit give you a clear mind and speedy fingers as you finish your sermon writing!

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  79. Just in from my secular/part-time/other job at the BIG TOY STORE
    and very tired.
    No preaching tomorrow, teaching youth Sunday School and leading in worship.
    I have fresh made apple cider donuts from our trip to the orchard today.
    Yes, had that too, but it was FUN>
    So, have a donut, some milk, tea or coffee.
    Prayers for those who will proclaim the WORD today/tomorrow.

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  80. Done! but NOT done in. Prayers for those still writing. Sweet dreams for those long done.

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  81. Esperanza, hoping your sermon came together...or that you found a dog to walk.....lol

    Prayers for all of you, especially those who showed up after I went to bed, and have some anxiety about today.

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  82. Weird. I came by to leave a comment later last night, but it doesn't show up anywhere. It was at about #81-ish, not quite 11:00 p.m. EST. Oh well. Long story short is that I learned last week that even if I want to go without notes, if I do my prep at the computer I produce a manuscript without really meaning to. So, last night I had to step away from the computer and do things by hand so I didn't write more than I should.

    It worked! I had my thoughts pretty much all together by 11:35 p.m. and I hit the hay! Now up at 5:00 a.m. to go through it all a few times before everyone else wakes up. I'm considering writing my last paragraph or so. I noticed that last time I went without notes I had a hard time figuring out how to bring it all to a good close in the moment. We'll see. I'm not sure yet, so we'll see what happens in this final preparation.

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  83. That was me right before with my wrong account signed in. Oops.

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  84. SheRev, I often have that same issue when I preach without a text, writing out the final paragraph or even the final sentence helps! Hope it goes well.

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  85. Thank you, Terri! I needed that "permission" (?). Got it all organized and somewhat rehearsed in my mind. Now to feed kids, get clean, and all that. Next practice - the shower when all of that is done!

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