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Friday, March 09, 2012

11th Hour Preacher Party: Words, words, WORDS edition

(Southern Utah, top of the Rocky Mountains, looking east)


Words are key to our readings this week. But, we are not limited to just the spoken word, we are invited into the idea of images and symbols which words convey, even the unspoken word can permeate our imaginations...

From Exodus - "God spoke all these words..." which we call commandments for living in right relationship with God, with our neighbor, and yes, even with ourselves.

And then the Psalm tells us that all creation tries to speak into the world, "Day pours forth speech, and night declares knowledge"...yet even as the voice of creation goes to the end of the earth, it is not heard. We pray that the words and meditations of the heart will be acceptable to God.

Paul reminds the Church in Corinth of the paradoxes of faith and life, "Has not God made foolishness the wisdom of the world? - For Christ is the power of the wisdom of God..." (that will preach...)

And since it's Lent, we get a good dose of Jesus in the Gospel of John - this Jesus who knows everything from the beginning and faces into being devoiced and mocked with a confidence that can only come from God - for the Word that was with God since before creation, cannot be silenced.

Where are you going with the texts this week? Are you inspired by words or images?

One thing I know for certain, we will surely be inspired by one another. Join us for the party. Share with us your concerns, worries, ideas, hopes, and questions. We'll read your sermon and offer you support. Pull up a chair, let me pour you a cup of coffee or make you some tea.

We're here to care for one another as we prepare to break open the word.


166 comments:

  1. I am taking a clue from a sermon on textweek and going with the Berenstain Bears. Jan B. died last month and I have found memories of reading her books as a child. So, a mini tribute to Jan and Stan and then on to some major housecleaning, Jesus style.
    Trying to tie in the Epistle text a bit too.

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  2. Oh, I am a good two-thirds of the way done because I have a full day tomorrow, thus may not get to see me here much.
    I will have some fair trade Mind, Body, Soul brewing though.
    Anyhow, between a full day, time change and a long drive to the church where I will preach (shhh. read possible 1/2 time job) I will need to wind up early tomorrow night.
    So, she ya in the AM and then maybe in the PM

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  3. Done. not sure I am happy with this, but it is finished and printed. Mark's version of the Temple incident. so much background I wanted to cover, not sure I managed to do much with it. a baptism tomorrow, so not sure what the visitors will make of this.
    Mark 11:12-21
    time for a cuppa.

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  4. Good morning! I haven't even warmed up the chai yet, but the Ten Commandments woke me up so I started an outline. Adding in the 1 Corinthians passage, I'm preaching "Rules and Ridiculousness" -- taking a critical look at what happens when the purpose of rules is simply to be right; that is, what happens when we take the covenant/conversation out of our understanding of rules. (Hint: we behave ridiculously.)

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  5. Good morning preachers and pals!

    1-4 Grace - here's hoping and praying this is a good weekend for you!
    Pearl - you have a big full day, a reflection on the Jesus in the temple is useful in any context, I think.
    Rachel - welcome, you are up early. I tried to get up early so I could manage the time change tomorrow, but I just laid in bed and hit snooze for an hour. I was neither up nor asleep.

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  6. I finished Fall of Giants earlier this week and the crumbling of Tsarist Russia along with changes happening in Britain in class status have stuck with me as I pondered the Ten Commandments. Then there is the news of the last year as Egypt and Libya fell and we kept asking, "what kind of government will take the place or has anyone even thought beyond the overthrow of the current regime?"
    The Soviets behaved in much the same manner as the tsarists had but claimed it was for different reasons. Similar things are going on today in Egypt. When God brought the people out of bondage, they had nothing to replace what they knew and were likely in danger of following the only path they had experienced. Perhaps they would set up Aaron or Moses as a kind of pharaoh who would rule over them. God shuts that down, making it clear that "I am the Lord your god."
    I'm not sure yet how cleansing the Temple will fit in here but I need to go there, too.
    Meanwhile, I need to finish the shopping for this morning's Salvation Army lunch prep, make slaw and a cake for my sister to take to our uncle's today to help feed those who are gathering for my aunt's funeral tomorrow. This afternoon is a vestry retreat on outreach, followed by dinner together. So I won't be back online today and the sermon may be patchy at best tomorrow!
    To the shower and beyond!

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  7. Good morning pals,

    So good to party with you again. My kitteh just jumped up on my desk for our saturday morning attention fest. He's sitting on my children's sermon right now.

    I'm planning on preaching on the ten commandments with a smattering of Paul's letter to the Corinthians. Thank you Rachel for the connection. I'm going to talk about the difference between power over and how the ten commandments were written like a treaty between a king over a vassal and how Jesus' authority was being in solidarity with the people, what some might define as foolishness. Then I'm going to end my sermon with my 10 covenants with the church where I'll elaborate on some of the ways I will work with my new congregation in living out God's mission for them in this time and place.

    Wow! I'm overwhelmed. Time for another cup of coffee

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  8. Good morning Margaret. My goodness what a day you have before you. We will hold you in prayer.

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  9. Welcome, God_Gurl, the first Sunday in a new congregation is overwhelming. Prayers for you.

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  10. Psalm 19 for me (with a hint of the Big 10).

    James May from the Interpretation series had some great ideas from which I am drawing. The vastness of creation...to the interior life of what the Torah gives. That's my direction and I titled it "Outer Space"

    I might begin by asking people to share where they see God in creation. I keep pushing to make be more interactive. This is also one time I so wish we had technology in our sanctuary. I so show them "The Powers of 10" (it's on you tube...the 9 minute version). But alas...

    Eggs and English Muffin Toast here.

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  11. Good morningt preaching pals! As always lots going on here. Drinking my italian roast coffee with soy before launching into a full and exciting day.

    1-4 Grace. Housecleaning Jesus style gave me a frame for Sunday. Today is church spruce up day...painting,cleaning and sorting through what is worth keeping. We have a a good sized group committed . Some of the clutter that needs to go is a habit of passive aggressive behavior toward leaders and anyone who steps forward to do anything that was not done in previous generations. Result has not been pretty... off to welcome and encourage those who have a vision for a church that welcomes and has left the building. Back later once the building is quiet.

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  12. Hi Purple - welcome! I love the title and the idea for your sermon. No technology in my sanctuary either, but sometimes it would be nice!

    Hi Celeste - I have found that church cleaning days can be great for community building....I hope that the clutter that needs to go is gone!

    I've been working on taxes this morning....now to have another cup of coffee, exercise, and begin (yes, BEGIN) to think about the sermon...sigh

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  13. Good morning, preacher pals! I'm preaching John and wish I had a better sense of what I'm doing with it. My husband has preached my favorite ever sermon on this text, and in light of his sermon, I'm finding it hard to find my own way in. I have tended to consider his sermon the definitive word on this text (ridic, I know). But I have been very inspired by Jan Richardson's reflection on The Painted Prayerbook (from a previous year - The Temple in His Bones - isn't the title alone just so lovely?), as well as by Fred Craddock's Knox Preaching Guide on the Gospel of John. I'm actually going to try writing out my focus and my function to see if that will help get my going.

    I have a funeral midday today (I'm co-officiating but not actually preaching, which is a relief), so my usual writing rhythm will be a bit interrupted.

    Happy to be partying with y'all! I don't have much food to share, but I do have some good strong coffee!

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  14. I already have a draft from earlier in the week around John's temple action - which has turned into a muse around the theme of what does is mean for us today to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. But I'm not really satisfied with it - I feel there is still something missing. I'm also looking for some gentle, tactful words related to the French political context - which is becoming increasingly hostile to foreigners. I feel that I can't preach on this text with integrity without "going there" but I need to do so in a way that will be 'hearable' by the French 2/3 of the congregation - and I'm not the pastor and I am foreign so I feel the need to tread carefully.

    Rather than open with a history lesson about the role of the temple in 1st century Judaism, I've written a little story about one of the dove sellers... finishing with him packing up his doves to take them home and just not understanding what the fuss is about. The idea is to smuggle in some background info in a form that is not too dry !

    Peruvian fair-trade coffee to share.

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  15. morning friends! I woke up to an email from the head of the worship enhancement team (decorations) saying that "it's been a few weeks of Lent and you haven't said anything about the theme or decorations'--to which I actually responded "really??" The decorating theme is "hidden in plain sight" and the cross is hung behind a blurry window so you can't really see it, and there are 40 crosses hidden throughout the sanctuary as well. In two weeks we've used the phrase "hidden in plain sight" more than I ever have in my entire life combined, gestured at the cross while talking about obscured vision, I preached an entire sermon about needing a new perspective in order to see God's presence, and--get this--*the liturgy is the same every single week* and includes the phrase "we can't see clearly" and "our vision is obscured" and other such gems that are directly taken from the conversation we had about the decorating.
    oh yeah.

    So...apparently we need to be even more obvious. sigh.

    Luckily, this week I'm preaching on Acts 9--Paul being struck blind and then unblind--with the title "see clearly" and the anthem is "I Can See Clearly Now The Rain Is Gone"...so I should be able to be much more obvious, I guess. Though that makes me sad--can't we evoke rather than explain? Perhaps the wondering is part of the seeking? Or maybe the problem is that people don't want to seek so they continue on their path until something major literally strikes them between the eyes. ugh.

    I'm going to try not to be annoyed while I write this morning. Good thing I have plenty of tea to keep me going! Stop by for a cup, but ignore the messy house... :-) I also have plenty of chocolate--how wrong is it to self-soothe with chocolate at 815am?

    I'll also be plotting a children's time that will hit the theme hard, since the worship enhancement people (and "more people than usual" who've asked about it) apparently can't pay attention to the liturgy, hymns, sermon, prayers, and charge. okay, I'm snarked out, I swear. Thanks for being here for me to snark to. :-)

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  16. Good morning everyone!
    My americano is freshly made and I am back at it. I am preaching the Big 10 and had planned to also weave John's lectionary passage in with it. But I was struck by "all these words" that were written on stone and it reminded me of John 8, where Jesus kneels before the woman caught by herself in adultery and writes in the sand. So, we're going with John 8 instead.
    I'm struck by all of the "lists" to which people are asking other people to adhere. I'm also struck by the war on women that is being waged in our political and religious cultures, so Jesus and the adulterous woman seems right.

    And Teri, that drives me nuts also. Snark away!

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  17. Teri - episodes like that make me wonder why God called me to this work - all I can think of is "those stiff-necked people" and remember that even Moses had to deal with 'em too.

    I am suddenly preaching tomorrow - and just starting the process. I may use the Collect of the day as a framework for the sermon: adversities of the body and evil thoughts which assault and hurt the soul... it is contextual to the national & diocesan situation, and personal even. Let's see if it holds up under the weight.

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  18. Welcome, earthchick, really difficult if you have someone else's sermon in your head to make your way through it. Hope the day goes well for you.

    Allison, oh my. You have burden...prayers for you. I do love the story idea!

    Teri, i hear your pain. We can hold your snarkiness gently and compassionately, for we understand. Sigh....I think we are a culture that has become unable to see metaphor and symbols, we are literalists and short sound bite people...

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  19. Today I plan to attend a geocaching party. So for once the busy day is centered around fun for me! It's colder than I would like and supposed to rain later so I may not stay very long. I've had it on my calendar for awhile so I have had plans to use a sustainable sermon. I have two from which to choose. Both of them have been given in this church previously. A great one that may make some folks mad (or even feel bullied/preached at) and a decent one. I'll probably choose the decent one even though the great is fitting.

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  20. And just in case you haven't found us yet, not only do we have a facebook page for you to like, we now have a facebook group for you to join! http://www.facebook.com/groups/324105847636725/

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  21. Good morning! It'd s leisurely morning for me with coffee and news and surfing the web. DH want to run into town for a bit. Otherwise, it's housecleaning and sermon writing.

    The theme for this week's book study was 'fear of disappointing God' and I doodled with it yesterday and came up with nothing. The sermon outline that came with the study is not all that good, so I think I'll ditch it and come up with my own. It's been good to be able to incorporate group discussion into the sermons. On internship, we did a weekly congregation text study, which informed the sermon. I missed that input here and really like having it again. So, I think I'll review my notes from the group study and see if that gives me any inspiration.

    I have to write a brief message for the newpaper too, and I'm coming up empty for that. Hoping for inspiration.

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  22. I am having a difficult time posting comments. If I write with my iPad there is a delay between the time I type and the time the letters show up. Then it freezes and won't let me write at all. This has been going on ever since I switched to the newest version of blogger. ack.

    Anyway, Welcome again Marci - I too am struck by the war on women that is raging in this country - it's frightening and sad. The push back is vicious, and the collective reactivity is alarming, I think. Although I am grateful to learn that some of the push back produces healthy consequences for those who are wagging their tongues to much.

    Amy - I hope the sermon prep goes well.

    Vica - have fun today! I wish I had a sustainable sermon, but it appears I do not...never saved it or lost it or gave this Sunday to others on staff to preach?

    Anyway, I have a few notes and some contempation before me...

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  23. Hi there,
    On the tail end (I HOPE!) of a cold - I was very good and rested for two whole days! So my reward should be excellent health, right? We'll see.

    Dogs woke me early from a wonderful dream in which I saw St Augustine, but he was nice and had a lovely long red beard. I walked up to where he was sleeping and he woke, smiled at me, took my hand and said "I've been waiting for you! What took you so long?" I took this as a sign of some kind of grace, since it immediately followed one of those church anxiety dreams where I forgot to write a sermon, the banners fell down, they were memorializing someone I'd never heard of, etc.

    Anyway, sermon. We're having special cong. meeting just after church to talk about some building reno. that needs doing, and to set everyone up for a larger cap. campaign we hope is coming later this year. So, I'm heading int he direction of What We Do With Our Space Matters To JEsus - but not sure where I'm going exactly. And 10 commandments? No idea.

    Very cranky about DST which always messes me up this time of year. Glad you all are here. I''ll check in later.

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  24. Hi Juniper - what a dream! You sure have a lot on your plate...and then there is that pesky DST - which I too disdain....mess with me since I prefer more daylight in the morning and don't care that much about it at the end of the day...sigh, not to mention the lack of sleep...

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  25. And this afternoon I get to participate in the ordination of a new revgal! Liz Ryder is being ordained in Boise Presbytery to serve as a chaplain at St Luke's Hospital. Very excited to welcome her to the journey!
    But first, a piano festival with son Elliott, and soccer games for both Elliott and Alden!

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  26. And, oh, Teri forgot to say - HATE those kind of emails! so sorry you got poked!

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  27. Good morning preachers! This has been an INSANELY busy week, and I slept extra late this morning in compensation, I think. Not looking forward to "springing ahead" either.

    Earlier this week I had some sermon ideas, but right now I couldn't tell you what they were...ugh. So I need to get a cup of tea and get my head togehter.

    Teri....ugh. Someone once gave me a red target to put on the wall...it says, "Hit head here" and I've had occasion to want to use it; that kind of email would put me right there.

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  28. also, what I REALLY want to do today is read The Hunger Games which I just put on the kindle....

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  29. Good morning preacher pals! I was up slightly later than planned (darn snooze button), but still early. Unfortunately, that hasn't helped me too much. I am preaching on Corinthians, have a title (Holy Fools), a few notes and a general concept, anyway. Already been out on errands (growing boy needed new shoes) and back again. As I was pulling out of the store parking lot, I had an idea to do a "game show" with the congregation. One half would be "world's wisdom," the other half, "God's wisdom." People would be prompted to answer according to those guidelines, not their own opinions. Questions might include things like, "True or false: to save your life, you must give it up," and "What does success look like?"

    On the one hand, it sounds totally crazy and chaotic; on the other, it might just make the point in a fun way. Maybe I could get my son to put together the foam jester's "crown" he has leftover from Shrove Tuesday, and I could wear it to play host?

    Of course, my other option is to actually get my notes and thoughts organized into something that actually resembles a sermon...

    Time for a second cup of coffee and some yummy trail mix. Plenty to share!

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  30. I am struck reading everyone's blogs and how many and varied ideas you all have. What I say seems so mundane. I went with the 10 commandments setting us free rather than being restrictions. Jesus' objection wasn't so much to the Temple rules as the corruption and rigidity. Which leads us to ask if we are a "consumer-based" church (does this church give me what I want or shall I shop elsewhere?). Do we use religion for our own convenience? (Bringing children for baptism/confirmation as a matter of course and never being seen again happens a great deal.) External observance is not enough. Which brings us to Lent -- a time to be cleansed ready to re-commit ourselves at Easter. All seems pretty by the book and lacking in any spark. My congregation are poor and mostly not that educated so flights of fancy and hidden meanings are not really understood. But surely I could be more inspired!

    On which note how about a cup of really strong coffee?

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  31. Pat, I serve a well-off and mostly overeducated congregation, and they obviously don't get things even if the meaning isn't hidden at all. So it's not just you! I think it sounds like you have a message that will work for your context, and you should go with it! Unless, of course, you get another spark from somewhere and you can work with that. There is nothing at all wrong with just saying what's there--some of us probably don't do that enough (guilty party right here!).

    Well, I watched the panda cam, listened to pray as you go, loaded the dishwasher, updated my computer's software, gave the cat medicine, and planned what to make for dinner...I still have laundry to do and Roomba brushes to clean so it can vacuum, and then I'll have exhausted all my procrastination/calm-down options. I'm about to listen to Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, and by the time that's done in an hour all that other stuff will be done, and I'll have nothing left but to stare at the screen and come up with something to say. Hopefully by then I'll be less irritated. I turned my email off so at least no more will come in!

    Let me just tell you, dinner is going to be awesome at my house tonight. y'all come.

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  32. Teri -I actually considered sitting down and writing the thank you notes from my ordination that are woefully overdue in order to procrastinate a bit more.

    Pat - thanks for your comments - I am trying to figure out how to tie the covenants of the ten commandments and the last two weeks with Noah and Abram to the Gospel and you have helped. I think your sermon sounds solid and full of hope, fwiw.

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  33. Welcome, RevDrMom, I get that, wanting to read the Hunger Games!

    Pat, yes, what Teri said. Trust your gut for what you need to say in your context, the Spirit gives us each the words we need for where we are...

    I've exercised. Now, scrambled eggs with cream cheese and asparagus, bacon, toast, and more coffee. Who's hungry!

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  34. Teri, just tell her your compliments on the decorations must have been hidden in plain sight.

    I am buckling down(ish)with Jesus in the temple and I Corinthians. I named the sermon title 'Angry Birds' for my son (he's 7) and need to just accept there is no connection (except for an unperched dove) and move on.

    8am handbell rehearsal and a bit of batting practice with The Boy are already behind me. He returns just before four, so it is time to hunker down.

    Really.
    It is.

    I think I need to take my contacts out first.
    And maybe put on a pot of coffee.
    And I'm hungry....

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  35. Welcome kzj! I will share breakfast, although virtual food is not as filling as the real thing...

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  36. KJ - ha! that reminds me of a colleague who told me her default sermon name when she can't think of one is "No Drums, No Trumpets" ("and then as long as you don't mention either drums or trumpets, you're golden") Maybe No Angry Birds could be our new go-to? And then as long as you don't mention Angry Birds...

    Ate some great pancakes, ifidosaysomyself, fried in bacon grease. Now, have to do some stuff around the house and then there's a boy's TKD tournament. But still don't have a word written. It's all percolating in there, right?

    What was that children's time someone had once with praying and some kind of word/memory device with your 10 fingers? I was gonna do that, with a loose tie-in to the 10 commandments if I could only remember it.....

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  37. Juniper, I have vague memories of a 5 finger device but not a 10 one. The five finger was something like thumb = adoration, index = confession, middle (longest one) = thanksgiving, ring = supplication for others, little finger (smallest and weakest) = supplication for yourself. It was something like that. Maybe 10 = twice a day??? Don't know if that's what you were thinking of.

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  38. here is a good explanation of the 5 finger one I was thinking of. if you watch the video - she shows how at the end, she shows how she had the kids put their two hands together in prayer, which I think will work connecting it to the 10.

    Ok, sermon, here I come. Maybe I'll do some more reading... Yeah....

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  39. Well I like 'No Drums, No Trumpets' a lot better than 'Insert Sermon Title Here'.

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  40. I usually don't come up with sermon titles until after they are written, so I've gotten my congregation out of the habit. But my standard, generic title would be "yet another morning when Marci talks about Grace".
    My favorite sermon title was "Snakes on a Plain", which I think is next week's text right? Can I just re-preach that sermon?

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  41. Wow, lull in the conversation...I hope that means everyone is either (a) accomplishing what needs to be done and/or (b) taking a much-needed break!

    I am here for a while, at least...we have Messy Church tonight at 6, so my goal is to get done before then (and still have time to pull together my Messy Church story). That way after MC, I can put some time on the children's sermon and hopefully NOT stay up late enough to see the clocks actually turn forward.

    With some inspiration from Lectionary Lab and BBT's sermon in Gospel Medicine, I somehow managed to get this thing halfway done! I'm back to focus on covenant and the Big 10...especially liking what Rachel said earlier about rules needing to be understood in the context of covenant...also thinking about how rules can give shape and structure to freedom and grace. (BBT has this great image of a tent--grace--and tent poles--the law. Grace is what shelters and protects you. Law gives it a framework.) Just need to stay in the groove and it could be finished. If I get off-track...I'm toast.

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  42. Marci, that was my favorite sermon title too! My go to would be "Hey, Kathryn's talking about how everyone is a beloved child of God again, EVERYONE."

    I'm still progressing on this thing. I actually might be able to pull in the angry birds. Let's be angry birds for Jesus!!!

    Okay... no.

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  43. Hi all,

    I worked on an outline for my sermon and went to the quilters lunch at church. Boy can those ladies cook. So stuffed I might have to take a nap.

    Onward and upward.

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  44. Hi, y'all.
    I had a thing at church this morning (every Saturday since the Big Event, and I don't dare say when the next free one might be, because that would surely jinx it). I'm underway on a sermon entitled "Sweeter than Honey," but I've got a ways to go. Reheating coffee in the microwave, despite the email from The Father of My Children this morning warning against their dangers. (He concludes by saying "I'm going to tell 16yo to stay away from microwaved food." To which I want to respond, "Then she had better move to your house.")
    Yes, there are frustrations abounding. Maybe I'll turn over a few tables myself.

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  45. I've been procrastinating too...read some, emailed some, FB chatted with one daughter and facetimed with the other (love technology!), showered, got dressed, did a load of laundry, took yesterday's mail to the church, ate lunch. MUST.WRITE. NOW.

    I have not one but two sustainable sermons I could use: one on the Ten Commandments and one on John. I'm thinking of something in between the two right now but we'll see how it turns out.

    Terri, I just read David Lose's comments on The Hunger Games; I haven't read them b/c my son told me that they were pretty violent, and I really don't like violence. How have you found that to be? I've heard such good recommendations I'm thinking I should read them after all.

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  46. Back from the funeral, out of my funeral clothes, into my sermon-writing clothes, and waiting for the hubs to bring me a pulled pork sammy (brain food, right?). I wrote an experimental paragraph before the funeral, and that's all I've got so far. But I'm for real ready to get down to business now that the funeral is over. For real! Gonna do it! In 3, 2, 1....

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  47. Back to finish up. I think that I've finally got something that might work by focussing on the temple main idea and keeping things simple. I also want to do a couple of photo montages, for the more visually oriented in the congregation, but its amazing how fast that can be done with google.

    I love the Angry Birds title. Maybe some of the doves were angry (though I guess being sent home early let them live another day, maybe best not dwelt on.) Its evening here - I'm bribing myself with a glass of wine when I get to the photo-montage stage, if anyone wants to join me.

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  48. RevDrMom, I haven't read David Lose's Hunger Games comments, but I gotta say, I read the trilogy last week and I LOVED it. They are violent, it's true, but they're meant to be a critique of violence (as well as of entertainment culture, and of the relationship between violence and entertainment culture). I thought all three books were great, and very thought-provoking! I read them because the youth in my church were reading them, but I became totally obsessed with them.

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  49. Hey Welcome all y'all who have come since I checked in last. In that time I have meditated and walked the dogs, its a bright, chilly, sunny day here. And I am totally procrastinating on the sermon. I have some idea but nothing anchors me....that said - I too loved the Hunger Games series even as I found them disturbing and caused me sleepless nights as I tried to rewrite the storyline in my dreams...good critique of them earthchick.

    Ok. NOW I will make my first attempt to actually write something for this sermon. Five pages of notes, not one word written.

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  50. I have a sermon on the Gospel on inclusion It is posted <a href="http://stoneofwitness.blogspot.com>here</a> but of course my printer is on the blink so I am going to have to preach out of my back pocket.

    Hmmm it is only 2:30 pm here and we 50+ comments? It is either a GREAT day in the neighborhood or a really bad day for sermons.

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  51. I procrastinated some more by going to the Kindle store and buying The Hunger Games after reading eathchick's comments. (And let me just say that the Kindle store app for my iPad may be the most seductive and dangerous piece of technology for me ever!) But I will not let myself start reading it just yet, because I've written not one single word yet. Argh.

    Oh Martha, seriously? I wouldn't make it without the microwave either....and my children all managed to survive so far :)

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  52. RevDrMom, I totally hear you about the seductive nature of Kindle!! I have not, in fact, been writing more words on my sermon, because I found a book that I thought might relate to my sermon and had to download it rightthisveryminute. And basically have been reading it ever since. It's really good - The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business - and I do think it will be of help for my sermon. But I really should stop reading and get to writing (I'm pretty sure I've already read what's relevant for my sermon, but it's so darn intriguing I can't stop reading! - actually very good stuff in here for pastors about shaping social habits).

    Anyway, RDM, you are very smart not to let yourself look at The Hunger Games yet. Because if you're anything like me, once you start you won't want to stop!

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  53. I have a fairly complete draft on the Ten Commandments! Yay!! This NEVER happens this early. TBTG. Amazing what can happen when there is a week with no funerals.

    Plenty to do still today, so I will come back to the party and polish and print the sermon this evening, after the other things are finished up.

    Let's go Holy Spirit!

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  54. Wrapping up my draft on a rainy Dallas afternoon. Preaching on Exodus 20 and using the idea of the 10 commandments as the law of love that gathered the Israelites as a community while on the way to the promised land. Similarly, this law of love for God and neighbor gathers us together on our Lenten journey.

    Opening with a quote from Home from Marilynne Robinson about the fact that home is exile for Glory and Jack as they seek to love their father.

    Also working in some quotes from Chris Hedges' Losing Moses on the Freeway, The 10 commandments in America.

    The sermon is done, but it still doesn't feel together. It might not get there as I've got family time slated the rest of the afternoon...Peace to all of you writing and prepping!

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  55. The Boy is home! Yay!
    Sermon docked, hopefully it will come along nicely after Boy bedtime.

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  56. Lots of "other-ness" but finally I have words down in a document. I have a feeling it is a first-draft type. Need to hit the exercise thing today as it won't happen tomorrow. Later.

    Diet Pepsi Max anyone??

    p.s. Hunger Games and Game of Thrones are both on my wish list.

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  57. 9:30pm here and I can feel my brain switching off for the night - I am not good at being a night owl! But I have something I think is preachable on the 10 commandments and John 2. We'll see when I read it again in the morning - been known to rewrite completely when I look at it with fresh eyes.
    I also have something prepared for my first New Communicants class tomorrow. I am hoping to keep it fairly informal but as it is the first one I am not sure how participative they are so needed to prepare something in case I need stuff to get them going.
    I think it is time to call it a day and perhaps pour a glass of wine!

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  58. And I want to thank the person who pointed me to BBT's Gospel Medicine (and add my appreciation for Kindle and the ability to download immediately the books we want!)

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  59. So, I managed to squeek out a sermon draft, which is posted as The Word Between the Lines.

    I'll be around soon to read your offerings and catch up on the party.

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  60. HEY! Welcome Semfem, Suz, and Tanya! Looks like you all are coming along. YAY. I've to run over to the church and do some work, and then make dinner. I'll be back soon!

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  61. I have been stuck inside at a presbytery meeting n the most beautiful day In all of creation. Joy.

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  62. well, I grabbed a nap, hoping inspiration would strike, since I've been sitting at one paragraph all afternoon....I woke up with an idea for an ending, which is nice I suppose, but I'm more concerned about the 900 words in the middle! LOL. Also, the ending *may* be snarky. I can't tell because I was half asleep when thinking it, so we'll have to see how that all turns out...

    okay, I'm going to stare at the screen, which will hopefully lead to writing, for one hour, then start dinner. Crossing my fingers that by the time I start dinner I'll be done with sermon! :-)

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  63. Purple - Have read both - loved both except that Game of Thrones is not finished and I am greatly frustrated by that after 5 books...

    I am a bit worried about how the violence of child on child will be portrayed in the movie - it's one thing to read about it, but I worry about visuals in the movie and heightened callousness of violence against children. Having said that, I'll see it in the first 24 hours with all of the children who live and move around in my house.

    Sermon mostly done - meh - needs something else so I'm letting it percolate.

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  64. Late in the day and I have only a blank page and just a slightly less blank mind. A trip to the grocery store is in order.

    I've been focused all week on "We proclaim Christ crucified" and wondering what that looks like, means today for the communities I serve, and what it meant to Paul and the Corinthians. Images floating in my mind include an old Van Cleff and Arpels ad for a very expensive bejeweled cross, Matthew Shepherd on that fence in Wyoming, and that haunting scene from Night and "Goethe's tree" at Buchenwald. Stripping the "niceness" and serenity off the face of faith.

    Taking refuge in the grocery aisles.

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  65. sermon -bleah. Just keep writing, something will work.

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  66. One of those weeks where the Word broke me open, but at least I have a sermon in the end: Sweeter than Honey.
    We have nothing but popcorn in the house, so I'm off to the store. I'll be around to read your sermons later!

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  67. Rough draft done. What a relief. Please stop by and comment. Want to make sure I'm starting off on the right foot with my new congregation.

    The Joy of Covenant

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  68. I am back from the geocaching party. I have printed everything that needs to be printed for tomorrow. I much prefer this to what I usually do when I "lose" an hour!

    Now I get to work on contacting folks for interviews for my dissertation research, watch tv, reset the clocks in a little while, and work on crocheting. The laptop will still be on so I can check in occasionally.

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  69. Ramona, welcome.
    Muthah, welcome!

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  70. After a whole lot of agonizing, and actually having too many ideas competing with one another I settled on my sustainable sermon on Jesus releasing God from the Temple, with some fairly minor revisions. I like the premise, but I wish my brain could've settled in to take it to the next level the way I hoped. But honestly, I need to wrap it up and get some other things done so that I can get to bed at a decent hour. Springing ahead usually kicks my butt even when I don't stay up too late.

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  71. Take a trip Outer Space

    Thanks Juniper for the link to five finger prayer (and other great ideas).

    Next up...something for dinner.

    Must. Not. Forget. To. Spring. Forward.

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  72. okay, that actually kind of worked. In the sense that I have enough words to call it done. Unfortunately, I don't think it's terribly good--it's a little prosaic and preachy. help! I have an obstacle in my way trying to write this one. it's here: See Clearly. If only I could see clearly how to fix it.

    I'm off to make dinner and then come back and see if it gets any better or I have any brainwaves.

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  73. I have tried t welcome all and leave comments but blogger is not liking my iPad. So, forgive me if I seem inattentive. I can read but not always comment.

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  74. Having the same problem with blogger and iPad. In fact, I have had it for a couple of weeks. Blogger is not liking much but Chrome these days.

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  75. Hunger Games? Oh my, kindle store later this week perhaps. I slipped in earlier to see what was happening, but then got hung up with computer 'issues'. Finally resorting to my RELIABLE iPad while I waited for my computers to free up. Apple is right, it is a "post-pc-era".
    Here's my offering until tomorrow's edit: Born For Passion
    Now I will finish worship and read some of the offerings posted. Looks like it will be a full night here.

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  76. So I am now on my laptop. Thanks for the heads up She/Rev, at least it is not just MY iPad...

    I've wanted to comment on the comments - on being broken open by the word (Martha) and having too many ideas (RevDrMom) and taking refuge in the grocery aisles (RevAlli) and feeling bleh(Ramona) and everyone else...sigh...

    I have rewritten the end of my sermon, it's ok now.

    I will be around soon to read your sermons...

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  77. To pick up an earlier topic, I love the Game of Thrones series. Both sons love it, too, and my daughter is now reading the first book. I'll be interested to see if her reactions are similar to her brothers'.

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  78. I'm currently reading the Game of Thrones series. Love it! After that I'll tackle the Hunger Games series.

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  79. All this kindle talk reminds me of an observation I made earlier this week while shopping the kindle store: a kindle in the hand of an inveterate reader is indeed dangerous technology!

    Almost done with the sermon - just need a transitional middle thingy and the ending. It developed a chiastic structure - I hope that works better for my congregation than it does when I read them!

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  80. BTW -hate, hate, hate the new blogger comment format. It doesn't function the same everytime I open it. And I liked the separate box much better!

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  81. home for a few moments between church and a Baptism lunch, then this afternoon it is Messy Church.
    This morning I ad libbed most of the sermon, it bears some resemblance to what I posted.
    after reading some of your sermons just now, I am again amazed at the diversity and creativity of you all.

    off to lunch, then back to finish preparing for Messy Church.

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  82. Back to it... sort of. The Boy is still up and offering "helpful" antidotes for the Angry Birds sermon. Not sure the 8:15 crowd would agree the Eagle is like Jesus forgiving all sins, but I love his PK thought process.

    Also, it's already 9:15... hate this time change.

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    Replies
    1. I am not in favor of the time change either, KZJ.
      Just got home from my "other" job and still have stuff to do.
      And boo to the friend who is sleeping late. UGH.

      Delete
  83. Ramona, I'm having the same trouble with blogger today - the commenting has been at least three kinds of different today!

    So for the kindle-lovers among us, have y'all borrowed from the Kindle lending library yet? I hadn't tried it until recently. The Hunger Games was the first one I borrowed. You can only borrow one a month from Amazon, but you can borrow from other Kindle owners. So after that, I borrowed Catching Fire and Mockingjay from friends with Kindles. It was pretty cool!

    I have made good progress on my sermon but I keep feeling like it is slipping away from me. And I'm getting that familiar feeling I often get when preaching John - it's possible that what I'm saying is going to sound like total nonsense to people! Oy.

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  84. Note from the Web Master: I made the change from the pop-up box to all on the same page at a request from one of our Friday Five hosts. If others find this format problematic, please give me your feedback. I'm willing to take responsibility for the problem since I made the change. I don't, however, have power over Blogger, which is having a number of issues at the moment.

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    Replies
    1. just registering my preference for the same page format. I found myself doing way too much flipping back and forth and losing my place with the pop-up window,

      Delete
  85. And, I hope Preacher Partiers at least appreciate that we don't make you do comment verification here, as the latest version of Blogger CAPTCHA is highly annoying.

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    1. I like this comment format slightly better than the other box, but hate most everything about blogger. Glad I moved to wordpress. I just wish that blogger would remember me. Each time I comment, even on the same post, I have to select my profile. And the captcha thing is awful. I can't comment on anyone's blog who uses it. Either I'm blind and can't read the thing or it just doesn't like me. I gave up commenting on Teri's Friday Five yesterday after bringing my son over to read the captcha to me. He couldn't make it work either.

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  86. I actually like this comment format fwiw. But I haven't tried it on the iPad.

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  87. And I do greatly appreciate no comment verification as it usually take e a couple of tries to read the *(&^) letters and get it right.

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  88. FWIW I like the comments on the same page as it makes it easier to refer back to the original post while commenting AND, more importantly, when the comments are in a pop-up box then if you click a link it opens in a new tab within that pop-up, where there's no address bar or any way to navigate or know where you are. I like this format a lot. And I SO SO SO appreciate the lack of word verification--it's particularly awful on blogger right now.

    I made an amazing dinner, which y'all are welcome to share--quinoa-and-veggie-stuffed buttercup squash (yeah, I had to find out what kind of squash it was using google images, lol) and garlic butter crescent rolls. There was roasted broccoli too but I'm sorry to tell you it was so delicious I ate it all. LOL. There's plenty of quinoa deliciousness in and not-in the squash though, so help yourself!

    I'm now going to give some thought to a children's sermon that will address the concerns of the worship enhancement team...maybe a little game of "find the _______" and have some of the things really obvious but not obvious...talking about how God is always around us but we don't always notice unless we're looking in the right way. Or something. I was thinking about something with 3D glasses but I didn't get any, so....

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  89. Hi All,

    Started the day with a few very early minutes at our church's monthly pancake breakfast and then headed for the Presbytery meeting 1.5 hours away. Now I'm watching NCIS and about to catch up on 3 days of blogs. Tomorrow I'm preaching on "Practicing Sabbath" in our morning service and on "Practicing Paradox" in our evening service with three other churches. I like the second one a lot better, but I have a feeling that the prevailing opinion may be the reverse of mine.

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  90. Yes! I like the lack of pop-up box and the lack of word verification. Yay!

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  91. I'm not using an iPad but had trouble earlier in the day anyway. In addition to some weird formatting a time or two, Blogger ate one of my comments, which is a problem I hadn't had in awhile.

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  92. the window is not the problem I am having, it is just the way blogger is responding to my iPad whether here or on other blogs. It's annoying - typing mystery words that appear sometime after I type them...or just stopping and refusing to let my type appear on the comment. anyway, it's working now. yay!

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    Replies
    1. That's the problem I was having last night, too, which is why I never even came back. It would just quit capturing what I was typing in the middle of a post. And woe to the one who tried to use backspace to delete a typo! This one has going completely smoothly, though.

      Delete
  93. FWIW - I liked the pop up box because I have constant trouble with navigating the main revgal blog page - take forever to load and then is cranky and only scrolls down when it wants to. I also liked the ability to jump to the comments and work back to where I last read - which I have not been able to do consistently with the new format. As far as navigating in a the pop-up box, if I control/clicked on a link it would open in a new pop up box, so I didn't have the nagivation issue. I do appreciate not having to do the verification thing.

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  94. Blogger is suffering several mysterious problems. For instance, all comments on all blogs show Pacific Time, no matter how you do the blog settings. And we haven't been able to update the blog list for months. That function isn't working. These are "known issues." So we just wait, I guess.

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  95. I miss the pop up box but am willing to sacrifice to get rid of the word verification.

    Am I comment 100?

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  96. Teri - I think your children's idea is brillant and it's just what those mean email people need to hear too!

    kathrynzj - PK sermon insight is so much fun. It's amazing the connections our kids make. The Angry Birds analogy is priceless! I'm still waiting to use my son's idea of using the Stones 'Sympathy for the Devil".

    I just re-read my sermon and tinkered with the middle. I still need a paragraph or so for the ending.

    We have to make bars again - the youth spaghetti supper was snowed out two weeks ago and the bars we made then somehow disappeared! DH's famous brownies are in the oven, and then it's my turn to make the son's favorite sugar cream cake bars.

    So much for getting to bed an hour earlier. Guess who's going to be Pastor Grumpy tomorrow!

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  97. Martha - Pacific time? That explains a lot. It was really confused me last week!

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  98. Ramona, do you mind if I ask what browser you're using? We've done everything we can think of to retain content but speed up the load time.

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  99. Oh my it is past my bed time, according to the new time change. rats. dang. after this cup of tea I am heading to bed, hoping I sleep...so, it's been a good party all, thank you! I'll keep you in my prayers tomorrow as you break open the word, or it breaks you open.

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  100. This is not a good night to be 'friends' with folks who don't go to church on facebook. My favorite so far?
    "Tonight I will get a full night's sleep. In the morning I will relax with my coffee the same as I do every Sunday morning (which isn't worth bragging about). Then, at 10:00 a.m. I will spring my clocks ahead so that lunch just comes sooner."

    Nothing like feeling totally irrelevant on a Saturday night.

    Sigh...

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  101. Am back from the Ordination, which was great. And have fed one of my kids (other one is on his own if he chooses to play soccer during meals) and will get back to work on the sermon.
    But I've left the coffee and have moved to a glass of wine.
    If anyone else is dealing with the words being written on stone (Charlton Heston, stone tablets, etc) I am referencing an NPR piece about the stone mason who has to correct the quote on the MLK statue and how difficult it is to change words in stone. FWIW
    Peace. Glad to be in good company tonight.

    And I know I'm relatively new to the group, but are we sold on blogger?

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  102. kzj - that is just like rubbing your nose in it, man. not good at all.

    if we are voting, I can deal with both this format and the popup, but this is better imo.

    BUT, WAIT, I missed the whole HG conversation, because I was head down all day READING HUNGER GAMES! Which I enjoyed so very much. Now resisting the terrible temptation to buy the second one , because that will definitely mean no sleep tonite and I really really really need sleep tonite. So fun, anyway, but did not get me any closer to my sermon.

    Ok, going to return a couple of calls and then back. to. it. Srsly.

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  103. ALSO! Sugar cream cake bars? Recipe please!

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  104. Marci, you're not the first to ask that quesiton tonight. But as I think about it, we've been on Blogger since 2005, so unless we could move our comments, too, we would lose a lot of history.

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  105. I moved my whole blog to Wordpress. I certainly didn't have the comments revgals has, but I don't think I lost them. May not be worth the trouble.

    And I also loved the Hunger Games and can't wait for the movie.
    Now that I've finished Lauren Winner's new book, one of my friends loaned me another of her books. Need to finish the sermon so I can start it!

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  106. I second Juniper on the request for the recipe - yum!

    Sermon done - will post later - not quite happy yet but getting ready for bed - maybe sleep will smooth it over. I'm off to cover ClayOla's church in the morning, so maybe just the novelty of a different voice will buy me some grace.

    Good-night Preacher Peops!!

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  107. I am not advocating for (or against!) a change from blogger, but *if* we decided to go that route, we should be able to move comments as well. I was on blogger from 2005 to 2008, and when I switched to Wordpress, I was able to transfer everything - old posts and old comments. I left them on the old blogger blog as well, in case there were links out in cyberspace that pointed there. Wordpress made it super-easy, and I was so happy to make the switch.

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  108. Checking in for the night-shift. Trying to make a shift from housecleaning and state basketball watching to sermonizing...wish me luck! ;-)

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  109. Martha - Oops - just realized that I didn't switch browsers when I got my computer (3 years ago) and I'm still using the default Internet Explorer. Still, I only have the slow load and various problems with this web page and I use blogger for my own blog. Maybe I should think about using a real browser though. I'd welcome suggestions.

    Brownies are done, sugar cream bars are in the oven and my sermon is done. My musings on "Strays, Sinners and Grace" can be read here.

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  110. Nighty night folks. It's almost 10 eerrr I mean 11:00 pm. Hate daylight savings.

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  111. Juniper and Amy+ - I'm happy to share. If you are familiar with sugar cream pie (a Hoosier treat!), these bars will remind you of it - and they are alot easier to make!

    Sugar Cream Cake
    18 oz yellow cake mix
    ½ c melted butter (1 stick)
    4 eggs
    8 oz softened cream cheese
    16 oz powered sugar
    1 tsp allspice

    Heat oven to 350 degrees.

    Beat together cake mix, butter, and 2 eggs. Pat into greased 9x13 cake pan.

    Combine cream cheese, 2 eggs and allspice, add powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Spread over cake mixture.

    Bake 35-45 minutes. Center of cake will be moist when tested.

    Cool and top with powdered sugar.

    I'll post the recipie on my blog too, along with the recipie for sugar cream pie.

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  112. Sermon is done and posted on the blog. I'll practice it two more times and then off to bed as we spring forward!

    peace to all!

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  113. Ramona, is there a particular element that seems slow to load? I know we used to have an Amazon widget that was too complex.
    As far as browsers go, I highly recommend Google Chrome.

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    1. It looks like it loads ok - at least the top part that I can see. But then once the little spinny thing on the tab becomes the blogger logo, it takes a while longer before I can scroll down or click on any links. So I don't know if it's a particular element, or not.

      Delete
  114. I've been away all day and y'all have had a PAR-TEEEE!
    So, I am here now and checking in

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  115. What's another peace hymn along the lines of Kumbay ah and Let there be Peace on Earth?

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  116. Dona nobis pacem?


    Finally got a groove - it was reading your sermon that did it Martha - that is one great piece of work! Although I'm doing something very differint, it kinda greased the wheels, you know?

    Ok, so have a pretty good outline - now to flesh it out. How're the rest of you?

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  117. Good one, Juniper, but not enough folks here know it. I'm doing a riff on the crap that is going on in the world and how kumbaya ain't gonna cut it.

    I like to have my rants come in triads so I need one more peace song that folks have heard of.

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  118. Gosh, thanks, Juniper!
    I am supposedly asleep already. Ahem. Maybe I'll put down the phone...

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  119. They will know we are Christians by our love

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  120. There's a song in our hymnal called "This is my song" by Lloyd Stone, sung to the tune of "Finlandia. I think it's fairly common in hymnals - it's also called "Song of Peace." Lovely words and more hymn-like than Kumbaya-ish, if that's what you're looking for.

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  121. Kathrynzj - I just read your follow up post - If you're looking for a Kumbaya-ish song to fill out your triad, how bout "We are the World."

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  122. If you're going for kind of milquetoasty, id go for They'll KNow We are Christians By Our Love...

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  123. A song I actually like, but you know, it's in the lovey dovey we'll all be alright style of camp song, right?

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  124. ha! vic! great minds think alike!

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  125. juniper, of course!

    now I just have to get "we are the world" out of my head

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  126. Wait! It's a small world!

    (speaking of songs you can't get out of your head...)

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  127. Good night all! I wanted to be in bed an hour ago. Hope I wake up in time - it would be bad for the pastor to be late after reminding everyone else last Sunday to spring forward! LOL

    Blessing on everyone still sermonizing. May the Holy Spirit flow through your fingers, saying exactly what needs to be said.

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  128. Oh great, Juniper - now I'll have 'it's a small world" going through my dreams!

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  129. Ok all, I have enough of an outline to sleep on and will finish in the am.

    Have a lot of other stuff to do in the morning, too, and I'm liable to be sleep deprived and cranky, so I guess I should toddle off.

    But before I go, everybody SING
    ...there's so much that we share, that it's time we're aware...

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  130. thanks for being here today, btw. You got me thru what felt this morning like an impossible day.

    many blessings on your proclaiming! walk (or sing as the case may be) 'em proud.

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  131. Waaaah!! All I want is a closing sentence!! Is that too much to ask?! Waaaaahhh!

    /tantrum

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  132. Good night to all! Blessings on your Sabbath.

    Sad to lose an hour of sleep...damn that Daylight Savings Time!

    We are "turning tables" in Ohio tomorrow morning. I like John's version of Jesus' temple temper.


    @Teri: snarky is definitely called for. I would have even been biting.

    @kathrynzj: LOL on your sermon title. Love it. I think the birds at the temple might have been angry about Jesus' tantrum.

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  133. Probably just talking to myself at this point but here goes... with all the technology that surrounds us, sometimes I just have to sit in the corner with a pen and a yellow pad of paper. FINALLY progressing.
    Typing it in now.

    I never sleep on DST change night anyway.

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  134. Just popping in to say goodnight and farewell to everyone...and blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation in the morning.

    Messy Church went really well...then a trip to Walmart for fake coins for the children's message...then some polishing and final crafting later, I am done and headed to bed. Not as early as I hoped, but better than being up to actually witness the springing forward.

    Spirit, be with us all!

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  135. Hi,
    semfem I am just back from Messy Church. here it is 7.30 pm on Sunday evening, and I am one tired RevGal. worship with Baptism, Baptism lunch and Messy Church [started at 4pm, so I was there at 3 setting up], with the other main leader not there because she is sick. But it went well.
    Husband is not home so had to tell someone.
    I guess I should see if he has left for home yet, or if he is staying away another night visiting family.
    We change DST in a few weeks, 1st April. I sympathise with you all, it puts me out for weeks.
    Blessings on worship tomorrow,

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  136. Hi pearl, glad it went well and you are on your way (I hope) to a holy nap! I shall join in that sacrament at 1pm est. :)

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  137. I'm up. Had a hard time focusing last night after an all day presbytery meeting that just zapped the energy right out of me. The choir director isn't going to be here this morning, so I'm taking the opportunity to have a more casual, question and answer, group proclamation sermon before I get to my ending part. Not that his opinion matters too much, but he HATES that stuff and it blow my mojo in the middle of it to see him pouting.

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  138. Spoke too soon about the comment and iPad finally working. Now it's all screwed up again. Oh well. My topic is prayer this morning. My series in Lent are the practices of faith that help us grow as disciples following God in the world. I'm thinking of prayer as time spent nurturing our relationship with God instead of prayer as divine "help" button or a laundry list of wants, needs, thanks.

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  139. Steph, I had the same issue with my iPhone last night. I tried pressing "done," then tapped on the comment box again and was able to edit/finish.
    Whatever the reason, it's very frustrating.
    May this day go smoothly for all of us. No tables turned over in our churches, not literally, anyway.

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  140. Oh well. If nothing else it keeps me from chatting here more than writing my actual sermon, especially on a weekend like this when motivation has been hard enough to find. I'm a little worried about next weekend when I'm the host, but I guess I'll work something out. No major worries. I like the reply-directly-to-a-message feature as a potential host - - no more long drawn out replies to the whole world in one long post. Sounds wonderful in my book. I don't usually subscribe by e-mail, though,

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    1. Is that how you are able to tell when a post you have written gets replies? That would make it easier to find specific answers to specfic questions like requests for help with children's sermons, etc. I like that.

      Delete
    2. I'm not sure, Steph. Let me know if you get an email about this comment.
      I couldn't get this feature to work on my iPhone...

      Delete
  141. Ok, trying to finish now, but actually in a DST daze....

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  142. Sunday evening here and I'm exhausted and ache all over, but sermon was well received. Had a major technological batttle, though - decided I was done and hit print at 10;30 and discovered that printer was out of ink! (Guage said low but paper came out blank.) Ended up setting laptop up in pulpit and it was ok, so it all ended well. Will distrust printer guage in future!

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