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Saturday, February 11, 2012

11th Hour Preacher Party: Seven Dips Edition

Hello, lovely preacher friends and enthusiastic kibbutzers and innocent bystanders! We're about to celebrate a very special holiday, and I'm excited!!!

It's Seven Dips Sunday tomorrow. Yay!!!


Wait, you don't celebrate Naaman the Leper and his seven dips in the river?

But you seemed so excited.

Oh, you were thinking of Valentine's Day.

That's okay, too.

Whatever you're thinking about for tomorrow, or even later today, we're here to work it out together, to share ideas for talking to the children, and to cheer each other along the way.

I've got Blonde coffee from Starbucks, which sounds as silly as what Elisha told Naaman to do, but works just as well. And later there's a plan to make Red Velvet Cupcakes. Stick around and have one!


  1. WOW! I'm first tonight. printer is going at the moment, so finished for the morning. It is 10.45 pm here, and I am looking forward to a cup of tea and bed.

    sermon is
    here if you are interested.

  2. Good morning, pearl! I'm up, and I'll try to get a look at your sermon before I have to leave.
    We have a celebration of life in the early afternoon, and I'm still finishing my preparations for it, and although I have an outline for tomorrow, there is a lot of work ahead of me.
    So I'm starting with coffee and oatmeal. Who needs a cup? a bowl?

  3. I'm here too, and grateful for the companionship on one of those weeks when I'm really wishing I had a 9-to-5 sort of job. Sermon hasn't even been started yet... and there's a long day ahead, otherwise! At least there is St. Arbucks!

  4. Spending the day at a Red Cross First Aid training, so glad sermon is finished. Using the epistle to talk about the Bible as conversation for the journey, part of a 4-part series on the lectionary. Hoping that my sore throat and laryngitis vanish so that I can preach it! Lots of snow here -- drive safely, everyone.

  5. Hoping for inspiration. I was on vacation until yesterday. Not much sermon prep happened yesterday as the afternoon was spent traveling to hospital in larger city (oh...the joys of living in rural america)to check on a parishioner.

    We will be reading both healing stories but I think sermon will be mostly Mark. Any ideas for a children's time...either on the texts or on communion as we celebrate that as well tomorrow.

  6. Purple, do you have a copy of the Spark Bible? I'm going to read the Naaman story to the kids directly from that. The focus is on giving thanks to God. And the picture of Naaman's skin is cartoony gruesome, which goes along with my sermon theme for the adults, about visible differences that close people out of community. I'm thinking of using the quote from Ellen DeGeneres that has been out in the world this week after the One Million Moms/J.C. Penney controversy. How sad is it that a non-religious person is expressing the gospel message of love better than our churches do most of the time?
    Robin, prayers for your voice.
    Rev Potato Head, ask for the Verandah coffee, it's one of the Blonde roasts, and it's great!

  7. Hi Pals,

    Up again on this fine Saturday morning to pack for the big move.

    I am excited but now I'm starting to freak out. In less than three weeks I'm going to be living in a new apartment, in a new state at a new job. I feel like a junior high girl wondering if I'll be able to find my locker,home room, lunch room etc. Wondering if they'll (the church) will like me. Wondering if I need to go out and get new clothes because my wardrobe totally sucks. Thank God I'll be wearing a robe on Sunday mornings.

    I've got blueberry waffles to share. Beloved and I decided to eat all the stuff in our freezer rather than try to move it.

  8. Thanks Martha. I'm going to have to get the Spark Bible for future use.

    G_G, I know the will be fabulous.

  9. Headed to city-wide spelling bee with our daughter, who wasn't informed until yesterday that she qualified. (She had breathed a sigh of relief to place second - thinking she wouldn't have to go any further.) So I have an agitated, unprepared perfectionist on my hands. What are the chances that I will get a sermon written while I'm there all morning? Prayers, please, that we all survive this.

  10. I have my sermon done in plenty of time mainly because I am using the same sermon as I preached last night in Chapel,at the seminary that I work.
    I have started experimenting with writing and preaching narrative sermons this is my second go at it, Henry's Story, I be happy to hear any feedback if you are needing an excuse to procrastinate.

    Prayers for all that are handling the stresses of life on top of the stresses of ministry.

    Have just baked some chocolate cookies and about to do a batch of scones, happy to share them around if will help.



  11. Welcome, G_G, Pastor Lynn and Revem. I often give thanks that I am wearing a robe, and this will be one of those days. Em, thanks for the prayers. Scones sounds delicious!
    Lynn, my older son went out of the County Spelling Bee (this was years ago) on the word "croup," which was ironic given how many times he had it. :-) Blessings to your young perfectionist and to her mama.

  12. I will be out the door soon for a wonderful, fun-filled day of defensive driving. While online options are available, I cannot tell for certain that "my" judge accepts that option. So in order not to put myself in a bind for time later in my 90 day window, I signed up at 10:30 pm last night for class today. I'll see you when I'm done with that. I'll read your email when I can.

  13. Good morning everyone!
    My espresso is freshly brewed and I'm here for a bit. But a friend asked me last night to join her for the Met's theater re-broadcast of Gotterdammerung. So I'll be back in 6 and a half hours after a little bit of Wagner! Very excited.
    Am probably about halfway done with the sermon. Am focusing on Naaman and how he managed to be the leader of the Syrian army with leprosy and how we all use the gifts we have to overcome societal limitations.
    Good luck with the spelling bee, Pastor Lynn!

  14. Good morning, all!

    I am preaching Mark and am feeling unusually unprepared to write today, as I have spent most of my mental energy this week trying to complete a series of articles on some selections from the Gospel of Matthew. I wish there were something - anything! - I had written this week that would provide a springboard for my sermon thinking, but there's nothing. I think I had some reasonable thoughts toward this sermon on Monday and Tuesday, when I was doing my reading for it, but right now that seems very long ago indeed.

    It is cold and snowy here, and I wish Starbuck's delivered! I'll take some of that Blonde coffee, Martha!

  15. Good morning! I'm giving many thanks that my kids let me sleep until 8:30! The bigger ones got themselves up and dressed without waking me (well, except when my little man wanted help putting a belt on before he watched his cartoons), and the baby stayed really quiet and happy for a LOOOOONNNG time in her crib. Thanks be to God!

    I've got my last sermon in my Epiphany "God is on the loose..." series which I have LOVED (how's that for humility?) and has gone over pretty well. I spent much of the week not worrying about this one, but trying to figure out Lent. I was not thrilled with using the lectionary this year, but wanted a series to tie the season together, but then also since this Epiphany was a hit, it seems like I could tie back into that somehow, too. I'm also interested in sort of redeeming Lent as more than just something the Catholics across the street do. Six weeks of "discipleship is sucky and hard" wasn't appealing to me. I get the lose your life piece, but what I think gets left out of that rhetoric is the part of taking on an abundant life instead, Christ's life. Anyway, in the end I've decided to focus on the traditional spiritual disciplines of Lent (and a few more to get enough weeks) using one of the traditional origins of Lent as our guide - -the preparation of catechumenates and the rededication of those people of faith who have for lack of a better term, wandered from the Way. The disciplines of faith help us recommit ourselves and grow in our life with Christ so that when Easter comes, the celebration of rebirth of all rebirthes we will be ready to live into the celebration more fully. If we don't have a baptism to celebrate that morning ( I've got my eye on a new family that has been worshiping with us for 9 months now and has a 3 month old), I just my do a reaffirmation of baptismal covenant with the congregation that day. Not sure. A guest preacher did it on Baptism of the Lord already, so it might be "too soon" and become just one of those things we do. Anyway, my plan is to take the different ways I have preached God is on the loose during Epiphany and match them with spiritual disciplines to tie the two seasons together. Proclaiming the message goes with testimony. Casting out demons goes with fasting, "giving up." etc etc.

    SO! This post mirrors my week. I spent a BUNCH of time focusing on all of this and next to NONE working on this weeks sermon. I LOVE Naaman, but will be preaching from Mark (which I also LOVE). I'm going to talk about God stirring up trouble - - touching the untouchables, breaking the rules, making it impossible to go into the towns (because of crowds fame AND uncleanliness). Ulitimately this is what it means for God to be in the world, and it is what it likely means for us to follow God in the world. A question I asked the ladies' Bible study a couple of weeks ago was this, "When was the last time one of us got into trouble for the way we spoke about or lived our faith?" Two possible answers - - our faith is much more accepted than early Christianity (we were talking about periods of persecution) and/or we aren't saying the radical things Christians are called to say. I'm going with the second answer in this sermon.

    Not at all sure about how to talk about getting into trouble for the children's time! :) I think I'll stick with loving people no one else loves. A little bit of anti-bullying in there.

  16. Holy cow. SO so so sorry about that. I should have read back before posting and realized I was thinking "out loud." So sorry.

  17. Good morning dear women! I awoke to a beautiful blanket of snow. First significant snow this winter and I live in Ohio!

    Sermon (mostly on Mark's healing passage) is far from complete. My energy and calling has been heavily pastoral this week: graveside and memorial yesterday, wedding tonight and today I will stand with a son who will remove his mother from life support.

    Such strength I find in this new gathering of women!
    I am sure I will check back in later tonight.

    Lynn...blessings on your gifted daughter. We just went through the same process..."But mom, I don't want to win because I have to keep going but I don't want to lose...".

    Martha: Red Velvet cupcakes! Yum! I will be right over.

  18. well, I am just checking in. I am going to have to check out Blonde Coffee later today. Martha, prayers for you as you lead your people at the celebration of life. GG, you will be fine, and the idea of eating the frozen goods instead of packing is wise. Everybody else, sermon and spelling bee prayers abounding!

    I am going with Mark and the epislte with a completely meaningless title, On The Loose. We do the bulletin on Tuesday, and I can't remember why I thought that title was clever.

    Am surrounded by dogs on my bed---the pit bull and beagle hound mix were playing tug last night, and my 14 year toy poodle decided to referee, which didn't sit well with the beagle who then attacked her.
    Today I have a lame old lady that I am debating whether to take her to the emergency vet, but all dogs are around me so I can keep an eye on the shenanigans.

    Whoops. TMI, sorry!

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. Morning, Sistahs. I have only mini-wheats and k-cups this morning and a sermons that is beginning to perculate on expectations.

    G-G, Hey, they called you, didn't they? Yes, they want you. It doesn't matter if they like you or not. 8>D Just preach the Gospel and be authentic. You will be great.
    {{ Marci}} 6 hrs of Gotterdamerung??? Even as a professional musician would I have done that! May the Valkyries be with you!

    Vicar, I wish J was going with you!

    Now down to the sermon: I want to look at the different expectations of healing that Naaman and the Mk leper have. It is often our expectations that keep us from seeing the miracles in our lives. I am also mindful of a handicapped woman in my bible study on MK who always felt that she didn't have faith because she was not healed when she prayed as a child. What an awful message to give a child that her faith was not great enough. I wonder if traditional Christianity has gotten this interpretation of miracles right.

    See you later. I want to check Henry's story too

  21. Ok so beloved and I were packing and tossing and recycling. I took the old stereo equp. To bestbuy (they recycle old elec for free) and I am still in bestbuy. Electronic gadgets comfort me.

    Guess I better go home before beloved calls me wondering where I am.

    BTW since I am at bestbuy does anyone want me to pick up a big screen TV.

  22. Welcome to the new arrivals! I'm on my way out the door to be at church and unlock that door for the flower delivery. I'll check back in when I'm settled there. My meditation for today's service has a theological ending, but I need to write the biographical portion in some sort of order (my least favorite part of this) since no one else is speaking about the person's life. More soon.

  23. Martha: The bio is the hardest part. You will know what to say when the time is right.

  24. Good morning friends
    Sermon title is Do we want to be made well?
    Annual meeting after church which may well be very ugly. Budget angst in search if a guilty party to blame and punish... our elder who has been diligent and faithful in his commitment has been the target of ugly rumors and accusations. Ugh! Prayers appreciated for this church and its future.

  25. G_G - a big screen tv would be great, but how bout picking up a keyboard for my kindle fire? That way I could write my sermon on it while traveling to the city.

    We decided that we needed a trip to the city today, but, for a variety of reasons my sermon isn't even at putting words on paper stage yet. But I'm taking my cue from all you wonderful revpals and relaxing about sermon writing. Of course I can go to Bismark and come back and write this evening. I don't have to dedicate my whole Saturday to sermon writing. Hanging out here on Saturdays has really helped me let go a bit and have more of a life. Thanks for the lesson!

    I'm going with Mark, possibly talking about how the first chapter tells us exactly who Jesus is and what the Kingdom of God looks like. I have a oral presetation DVD of the Gospel of Mark and watching/hearing the first chapter performed really got me thinking about how Mark sets the stage. Lectionary Homeletics (sample article) talks about how Mark has set the stage here with the 'messianic secret' that is revealed in the cross. I think I can work with that.

    Or maybe I'll work with the contrasts between Mark and Kings. I haven't decided yet - I need my shower for sermon writing inspiration!

  26. lots of food for thought here -- thanks. since we are next door to WA state and marriage equality conversation is in the news (yeah!!), I am heading that direction, too. One of my colleagues is doing this march and keeping a blog, so I will likely quote him. did not think of ellen quote, martha, but thanks bec I will incorporate that now. WE've had two diff people express interest our congregation recently - even to the point of getting involved in things - but then leave bec we are "too open" (to glbtq). So, I'm going to talk about that and about how reaching out to those on the margins comes with a cost. Jesus is willing to pay the cost and go to the lonely place ("I do choose") -- are we?

    Struggling a bit with the anger bits, so would be curious to hear how you are dealing with that?

    I got zero kids time ideas - how about you? Last week's supply guy did a thing with them on valentines day, btw, where he brought candy canes and had them hold one with a friend to make a heart. The lesson was: "the love that Jesus brought us at christmas lasts all year." also something about loving one another, I think, since it takes 2 to make the heart, you know? AND the kids got a candy cane! score! Wish I could do it again, but I guess I'll have to do something else. :b

    Ok, I"ll check in later - I actually was helped/jumpstarted by your thinking out loud, she rev so keep it up. And thinking of you, gg, in your move. When I got my new call, I gained 10 lbs, because the guy before me was literally and psychically a big presence and I was worried about filling his shoes -- turned out there was not need for that. so don't worry about your clothes or whatever - just bring your awesome self!

  27. So many stressful lives, so many great ideas, I love Saturdays at the Preacher party.
    I also love SheRev's 'taking on abundant life' thank you that may give me just what I need.

    I am all over the place and see that no one is using the Race from 1 Corinth? I'm not a runner, altho do hope to get to the gym today. It seems to play well into upcoming Lenten disciplines, but if only I could get a bit more focused. Perhaps it is just time to try to write it out from all these notes and mind map bubbles...
    Best to all you pastors and preachers today. (And I'm not a blonde coffee fan so have a nice darker roast for anyone who would prefer it.)

  28. Warm scones, fresh from the oven available to all just let me know .

    Continued prayers for all


  29. Man, Em, I would LOVE some fresh scones!

    Nancy, I was very tempted by the Corinthians text. I am a runner and it resonated with me quite a bit, but that was actually why I chose not to go with it - I talk about running so much (not in sermons, just with other enthusiasts in the congregation) that I thought it might just be overkill. I was afraid of ending up with a too me-focused sermon. I preached that text 6 years ago and used a great quote from Chariots of Fire that I still like a lot. If you are interested in it, I can find the quote for you.

    So I tried the Blonde coffee a few weeks ago when Sbux was giving away samples. I prefer bold, dark roasts myself, but was pleasantly surprised with the Blonde - all the more so when the barista told me that the lighter the roast, the more the caffeine! I had no idea.

    Okay, I'm going to follow SheRev's lead and think out loud here a bit. I'm preaching Mark and my title is "What Jesus Chooses," because I was so taken when the leper's declaration of "If you choose" - not "if you *can*" but "if you *choose*", as in the leper already trusted that Jesus could. And I love Jesus' very firm response: "I do choose." So I'm pondering what it is that Jesus does choose, esp. when most of us do not get the sort of physical healing that the leper gets. I'm looking at how by the end of the story, Jesus trades places with the leper. The leper had been on the fringes of society and now goes out proclaiming openly, while Jesus had been traveling freely and proclaiming openly, but by v. 45 can no longer go into town openly. In ultimate sense, Jesus will trade places with us all when he goes to the cross. So I'm reflecting on that as what Jesus finally chooses.

    That'll preach, right?

  30. Juniper, thanks for the "i do accept the cost of what this healing will mean"...I had a whole paragraph in what you said in a sentence.

    I think I'll approach the compassion/anger from the perspective that Jesus was not angry at the man but at the system which was carrying out the injustice...his righteous anger moved him to action.

    Thanks for valentine's idea...may have to see if there are any candy canes left for purchase in tiny town.

  31. I should be writing. Instead I'm watching my cat enjoy the box my new shoes came in.

    Have Equal Exchange Mind, Body, and Soul coffee - hubby just made a huge pot for everyone. Please take some!

    Also have a general idea but needing that spark to get me going. One of my college kids gave me a book on the sacred and the suffering he read. It talks about how the church often rushes to "hope! life! better days ahead!" While hope is obviously good, sometimes folks aren't ready for that. Sometimes we need to feel our painful feelings before we can move on. Holy Saturday, the author calls it.

    So, somehow this is going to be my sermon - thinking about how Naaman had to dip into the river 7 times (it's a process to become whole again) and Jesus touched the leper before he healed him - compassion and solidarity coming before healing.

    Maybe the spark I need is in those red velvet cupcakes...

  32. earthchick, that same line struck me, and I'm thinking in a similar path. Thinking about what we are able to do but choose not to. Would Jesus call us to choose to do so, taking on the costs we're not willing to take on? Something like that. I also have a bit in there about Naaman's willingness (or rather, unwillingness) to do the seven dip thing, but it may get cut later.

    I have half a sermon from last night and likely won't get a chance to look at it till this evening. It's a three-funeral week for hubby, so I'm on my own with the cuties.

    Bread dough on its first rise, pecan pie for the bake sale still to come. I'll be happy to share.

  33. Welp, I got a good start on Monday. And then silence. Did a bit more yesterday. And some this morning. Not done yet. This is notoriously late for me. We're observing the feast of Absalom Jones, first black priest in the Episcopal Church and founder of our congregation. First lesson Isaiah, preaching good news to the oppressed, Psalmody by the rivers of Babylon, an epistle from Fr Absalom and the gospel of lurve, greater love has no wo/man... Not sure about my slowness and stuckness...

  34. The family is arriving, the meditation was finished before they arrived (yay!), the organist is playing pretty music, and I am about to put on my robe.
    I'll see you all later, and no doubt long, since tomorrow's words consist of a title and a short email to myself.

  35. Mine came out a bit too long but I have 3 services to mold it so that it comes out right by the 10:30 tomorrow. I have posted it here

    It is looking at healing from the Scriptural view and what is real healing is.

    Now I need to make brunch and get ready for the 5pm service.

  36. Wow, Earthchick, thanks for the insight on Jesus' choices and the cost of those choices. Your comment about the cross resonated with me in part because the book I'm reading as I prepare for Lent has as part of an exercise on social sin and our participation in it a prayer reflection that ends with a conversation with Jesus on the Cross. The book is "The New Spiritual Exercises: In the Spirit of Pierre Teillard de Chardin."

  37. RevAlli, I'm glad my thoughts were helpful! (right now I wish they were helping me a little more! I'm stumbling my way through the sermon so far) I can't take credit for the insight about the leper and Jesus trading places, as I have read about it in many sources this week (even found some sermons online on this text called "Trading Places"), but it does seem to me to be pointing to what Jesus ultimately does for all of us.

    The book you're reading sounds great!

  38. Dear all, I am so gleeful at getting another swing at Naaman the leper -- at our very early service tomorrow, which is intimate and informal and welcoming. bishop coming to the later service so the rest is on the one in the pointy hat.
    But in the meantime I have to concoct a couple of loaves worth of sandwiches for the lunch to follow the service, and do a major strategic list'n'shop for supper for the student group tomorrow night.
    Brilliant sunshine here but COLD so I am procrastinating. Meantime tidying bedroom, kitchen, bathroom...all to the good, of course.
    stay well, stay warm, sistahs!

  39. Cold here, too, CR. Not as cold as some days, but cold enough to make me want to tuck up under a blanket.
    The service went well, thanks for the encouraging words. Eating a late lunch and then I need to write!
    I think I'll make another pot of that surprisingly caffeinated coffee. :-)

  40. Good afternoon preachers! Lots of good energy and good ideas here!

    I thought I was preaching on Mark and Kings and had some ideas tying them together (and I might still go that direction) but doing some reading in FotW this morning has me thinking more and more about Paul's athletic metaphors, and how we are called to a life of practice. I rarely preach on Paul...but I think I'll start writing and see where it goes.

    SheRev, I love your ideas for Lent, and I always like hearing the thought processes people go through coming up with cool things, so no apology needed! Keep right on thinking here!

    It's cold and grey here--we were supposed to have snow, but it didn't really amount to anything, and I'm kind of disappointed because we've had hardly any snow since the freak pre-Hallowe'en storm...just lots of dreariness. At any rate, I need to stop procrastinating and start writing!

  41. Thanks for all the ideas, sisters et al. I am using Naaman and Mark, and am captivated by the idea of Jesus being angry at the religious establishment, but I'm not sure how it will preach in conservative ranching country.

    My neutral pulpit last week went well, and I am tendering my 30 day notice tomorrow at churches I've been supplying. I'm excited and panicked all at the same time! Trying to wrap my mind around moving in a month and starting a new full-time position. Hoping it is smooth for me, DH, and kids; this community is all the kids have known.

    Anyway, will be here for a while since nothing is coming together. See all you late nighters soon.....

  42. if you are looking for something about Jesus' anger, try preaching peace
    Sunday morning here, time to stop reading your ideas and go preach what I have:)

  43. Ok, how about this for a children's time? Talk about how it feels good to do a good thing if we know other people are watching, and will recognize or praise us. What about doing a good thing and not caring if you have recognition/wanting to make a show of it, but you just want the other person to feel better/loved/happy? That's what Jesus did in the story today.

    Show the kids the valentines card I got in the mail today that is signed with a ? (I actually am pretty sure I know who did this, but it is so sweet!). And, give them each a valentines card in a stamped envelope they can send to someone without signing.

    Does that sound ok? I"m always leery of telling kids to keep secrets, but hope to keep the focus on a wonderful surprise here. Let me know if you think it's over the line, though.

  44. Juniper--I like the children's time idea. I don't think of what you suggest as keeping a secret (especially if you are careful not to use those words).

    I don't have to do a children's time this week. (But will file the candy cane/heart idea away for next Valentine's Day--where to write it so it doesn't leave my head by then?!)

    My sermon is about halfway there and I'm trying to say that this story isn't so much a straightforward miracle of physical healing that Jesus performed, even if he is capable of that. But rather, it's about all of us because it's about being restored to community. Leprosy is different from other ailments that Jesus encountered in that it isolated people (as opposed to a fever or blindness or paralysis). I think I kind of know what I want to say, but I think a one paragraph sermon might be a bit too short!

  45. Hola hermanas!

    She Rev, I love that you shared your ideas/”thought out loud” with us! I totally understand the “long-term planning is more fun than short-term planning” thing!

    Earthchick, your “What Jesus Chooses” theme has my mind spinning in all sorts of directions – that was inspired!

    Juniper, I like your Valentine’s tie-in for the kids. I think I’ll adapt it as “send this to someone who won’t receive a Valentine this year --- a homebound member or a classmate who’s sad.”

    I just got back from a Friday/Saturday church retreat and am vegging watching 30 Rock on hulu (Happy Anna Howard Shaw Day, everyone! Happy League of Women Voters Day!). Then I need to get started on this sermon. I had the sermon all planned out ---- Jesus invites all people, even and especially those who have been excluded from the community --- with the key question, “Who’s missing from our community?” This message is exactly what one of the churches (the one I went on retreat with) is ready and needs to hear.

    However, three people from the other church contacted the Pastor-Parish Relations committee this week to complain that I don’t “preach the Bible” and they are “waiting to hear a good sermon… an old fashioned hellfire and damnation sermon.” All I do is “tell stories” and when they get home, they remember the songs more than the message. (quotes from the letter)

    I am meeting with each of the people complaining individually, so hopefully that will help, but I know that preaching about God’s inclusive love is going to be the exact opposite of what is desired… and I’m afraid I’ll appear combative. But I don’t want to write two different sermons for the two different churches :-(

    All of this is giving me writer’s block…

  46. Finally...the words came together. I have found I cannot sit down and just write it needs time to sit and percolate.


    No candy canes to be found...but I like the valentine's card idea...maybe I'll just make hearts and use envelopes!

  47. La Peregrina, prayers for you. What an awful feeling to be split between two congregations, knowing that your good work in one is falling on deaf ears in another!
    I have been contemplating the future and the state of the world, have taken the dog for a walk and caught up with a neighbor, but none of this has gotten me a sermon.

  48. Purple - love it!

    La Peregrina, prayers as you meet with those folks. Good for you for de-triangling!

  49. Back from the Opera! IT WAS AWESOME!!
    I will be a Valkyrie in my next life, or at least will have Waltraute's amazing costume.
    Okay, enough with the Wagner.
    Back to the sermon.

  50. I persisted with Paul, and I have a draft...letting it percolate for a bit. If I decide on rereading that it won't do, I have a sustainable sermon to fall back on, although it needs a new ending.

    La Peregina, ugh. Prayers for you as you deal with your complainers. I confess that I would be hard pressed to come up with a real hellfire and damnation sermon...hopefully you can help them see that's not what biblical preaching necessarily means.

    Rev TSB, congratulations on your new call, and to you and GG best of luck with your moves!

  51. The wind is howling and temps are dropping but hubby made a delightful fire down here. We had a simple supper after an excursion to the computer store for some cables. I'm finishing the worship pieces, then I have to look at the sermon I think is finished - you know how that goes.
    Thanks for the encouragement Earthchick and Rev. Dr. Mom I'd like to read what you come up with.
    Hope to check back later.

  52. Cuties in bed, still have to clean up the kitchen, make the pie look pretty, and stop eating the loaf of bread! Then...sermon.

  53. LaP my heart goes out to you. I've been there. What I had to keep saying to myself was that the complaints are more a reflection on them than a an assessment of your preaching. It was so hard for me to do this but it helped me to be less pn the defense when I met with my complainers.

    You are in my prayers friend.

  54. I've got hershey almond candy bars for everybody. Enjoy.

  55. Okay, I'm pitching a sermon to myself, and I've got an old sustainable in the bull pen, just in case. I'm giving this new one an hour!

  56. Marci- I can so see you in a fierce Wagner chick costume! GF. Happy moving all will be well. La P That sounds awful

    Sermon printed. Intense run through of tomorrow s annual meeting planning for a crazy raft of complaints and grievances. We have been holding monthly listening sessions since summer. Todays were all new... I am very grateful for a small group of church leaders who have put in long hours to help prepare for this meeting. However it turns out, I am ready for tomorrow to be over.

  57. Celeste, you have my prayers. I'm so glad there is support, but that sounds exhausting.

  58. LP, that is a tough situation; prayers for you as you meet with these individuals.

    I am not preaching tomorrow, and it is a good thing. My mind is totally not in the game; I will need to put on a good face to officiate. My younger teen had a bad crash on his bike early in the week; no broken bones, but lots of scrapes, bruises, and strains, and three badly chipped teeth. My sister starts chemo tomorrow. One of my best friend's dad died this morning under circumstances a lot like my dad's 9 months ago. To say that I am distracted is an understatement! Perhaps I am covered in figurative sores and in need of healing... For the moment, a jog and a cookie will need to do the trick! GG, I am grabbing one of those Hershey bars you are offering :-)

    Rev TSB, congratulations on the new call!

  59. Ah, y'all are making me glad to be a supply preacher. Many prayers to those of you ministering in the midst of God's people not acting like they are.

    And Betsy, quick healing to your son and comfort to the mama.

    I'm at the point where scrubbing the stove and kitchen sink are looking pretty appealing.

  60. We're back from the big city - about 2 hours later than scheduled. Apparently, I can't type on my kindle fire in the car, so I re-read my notes several times and thought hard, but I'm still stuck for sermon direction.

    Looks like I'll be partying with the late nighters!

  61. Well, I"m back, with a few notes, a (I think) good idea and TWO HOURS (that's what I've given myself to type it up. I'll check back in and let you know how it goes.

    Thanks for the affirmations on the kids sermon - I"m going with that one - sometimes it's so hard to know if something that sounds ok in the brain will actually work, you know? I love you guys.

    In the meantime I went for a walk/jog (5 min/2 min) and reactivated my @#$%^ plantar fasciitis, so I'll skip the chocolate but gratefully receive ice and sympathy :b

    See you soon!

  62. Celeste, I will be thinking of you tomorrow through the annual meeting. Prayers ascending for you and your congregation. Bet you will taking a loooooonnnnnnggggg nap tomorrow afternoon. :)

  63. Celeste, perhaps you should wear a fierce Wagner chick costume to your congregational meeting.
    Okay, maybe not. But I will pray that it goes better than expected. We had ours right before the cruise and also had some anxiety about it, but the poorly behaved folks kept quiet and the meeting went well. Prayers that it will be a good, helpful, and real discussion for your congregation.
    My sermon now includes FDR and Jackie Robinson, in addition to Naaman. Hmm...
    May edit some more in the am.

  64. Hey late nite gals, howzitgoin? I have enuf of a draft that I'm gonna sleep on it and give it another look-see tomorrow morning. Blessings on all of your preparing and proclaiming....

  65. I'm late, I'm late!

    I'm using the Mark text, with Paul Simon's Spirit Voices. I'm soothed by the idea of us all searching for healing—from the demon-possessed, to Simon Peter's mother-in-law, to the whole town, to the leper. And in searching for it, they were able to see it.

    But I think that Mark would have us push past regular healing to see that what Jesus is doing, and what we are seeking, is something more. It's a move from unclean to clean, from the profane (or common) to the sacred.

    In other words, healing is holiness, and we are already there... we just have to see that we're there.

  66. I fear I was a pretty sorry hostess today, friends. I have a draft, hard-won, and I'm going to let it rest til morning. I would love to read your sermons but don't dare until mine feels more settled, which won't be until morning. I hope y'all get some sleep, as I am going to try to do now.
    Good night!

  67. Thanks all. Imagine me tomorrow with a badass Viking helmet and warrior armour! My husband usually leaves with me during the awkward discussion of how much I get paid. This time he is staying. Figures folks should be willing to be accountable for their words. And yes, a nap is in the plan. Blessings on all the rev night owls.

  68. Walking this dog around the block for a second time. Sermon (for this time) is not done and I am revamping the old one from 3 yrs ago.
    Came home very tired from the secular job and had a barrage of e-mails from church ladies on committees and a lot of drama....Uh, one of them was really, really mean. I have SUnday School kids that behave better.
    ANyhow, jsut don not have much in me, so I am revamping and hitting the hay soon. I need sleep more than anything
    Trying to make some new sense of old sermon to fit my title. May not do it...but do they ever read the titles?

  69. Well, I guess it's time for me to be back and do SOMETHING. Thanks for the feedback on my outloud thinking. It's way late, but I love your choosing theme, earthchick, and particularly how Jesus and the leper change places. That certainly fits with part of what I'm doing with Jesus "stirring up trouble" or doing the thing least expected or allowed.

    My husband took our not-quite-5 year old to the 3D Star Wars movie that started at 7:00 p.m. There was no way I could convince the not-quite-7 year old to go to bed while he was still out and about, so bedtime for kids was just at 10:00. I had some downtime with Weeds (the TV show, I swear), and now I need to get SOMETHING on my screen so I can hit the hay at midnight. I've got nothing, but what's in my head, and it's not bad, but I don't have things, like, I don't know, a way in, illustrations if needed, you know. Stuff to make it interesting to listen to. I'll start writing shortly though and see what comes out. I also never finished listening to Sermon Brainwave which was giving me good food for thought, so I might head over there and see what comes up.

  70. 1-4, isn't it pitiful when the kids act better than the adults?

    Juniper, sorry your foot is acting up; I hope you can find ways to get off your feet tomorrow.

  71. Hello everyone...I've been reading off and on most of the day, but just now got the motivation to post. If that sounds pitiful, I gladly claim that title tonight. Just feeling more or less unmotivated (more than usual).

    However...thank you, She Rev, for reminding me that I also did not finish listening to Sermon Brainwave this week (I fell asleep before they got to Naaman, which is what I'm preaching). So I'll go revisit that and hopefully get fired up soon.

  72. I have just finished working on PowerPoint that I thought had been handled by someone else. Better to discover it today and be able to fix it than find out in the morning.

    I'm still tinkering with the sermon, kind of. But that might not last much longer.

  73. Passed my own bedtime because I can't keep myself focused. Giving myself 10 more minutes to get my outline down on the screen then I'm calling it quits for tonight. I'll be back in a few hours. Peace!

  74. This is later than I like to be up on a Sunday, but I finally finished. What Four Words would you use to describe Jesus? What would we do without David Lose's insights for us desperate working preachers! It's a risk - I doubt either of my German/Russian, Norwegian (with the token Dane) congregations are the interactive sermon type. We'll just have to see how it goes.

    I'm off to read everyone's sermons and then get my stuff together for tomorrow. Peace to all!

  75. I think I have everything in a "Sunday ready" state.

    Blessings on your Sunday!

  76. Okay. I give up. Sustainable sermon it is. The well is dry and I am exhausted (having just woken up from falling asleep mid-typing).

    Making edits now to get it into a better state. It was decent three years ago, but not great.

  77. Let the scramble begin. I have enough good ideas to pull this together on the screen, but I was so stinkin' tired that I let myself push snooze more times than usual. Must. stay. on. track. If I do there won't be a problem at all. Here goes something.

  78. You can do it! I'll be over here making more coffee for you. And hoping that I still like my sermon when I open the document again...

  79. 1114 words, it's as done as it's going to be, and I'm off to print the things I need and get ready for church.

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

  80. Half way there. Got a slow start, but things are moving now. It's going to be done in plenty of time. No worries at all.

  81. Okay, I'm contented. Here's mine: When It Shows.

    Get out there and be fierce and fabulous for Jesus!


    Here's mine. Thanks for all of your help.

  83. 2pm and the annual meeting is done! Thank you for your prayers and the prayer of St Francis which was set on repeat in my brain (kept me from saying stupid stuff!) It went much better than it could have. Lots of questions and concerns expressed but by God's grace, almost everyone was able to listen and feel that they had been heard. The leadership has a lot of work ahead but it is doable since we are not having to deal with a scorched earth stratagy. Some friends coming for dinner so no nap this afternoon but that is ok. Grateful to God for this group!

  84. Celeste, thanks for the update. Was thinking about you.
    Enjoy your dinner. I had a brief nap, but am back at church for our annual chili cook off, followed by the Talent Show. Much better than the Grammy Awards. (And I have Downton Abbey set to record on my DVR!)

  85. Celeste, so glad to hear from you.
    My good news is positive feedback on the edgiest sermon I've preached. Someone commented (favorably) that I had fire in my eyes! Really glad I pushed on and finished the new one rather than buffing up the sustainable.

  86. By which I mean, edgiest in this church. :-)
    Marci, enjoy the chili and Talent Show!


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