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Saturday, June 16, 2012

11th Hour Preacher Party: Finding God in the small and unexpected


My husband took this photo of a baby squirrel, nibbling on breakfast, while sitting on a step of the deck in our backyard


Over the years my husband has managed to take some fabulous (IMHO) photos of baby animals. Our most recent is the one above. But one of my favorite is the one of the ground squirrel family below:



He is able to get these photos because he is both observant and patient.

Being observant and patient are qualities required for us to embrace, expand, and live into the message of our scripture readings this morning. Each of the readings point us to consider the ways God is working in and through the small and the unexpected...God working in and through unknown young people who become kings, small and unexpected seeds that become potent as they grow.

All of this may point us to ponder how God is working in and through the small and unexpected moments in our own lives.

Where are we limiting God's desire for us and all creation? A desire that God would gladly enliven, if only we might have the vision to imagine such possibility? Or, at the very least, allow for the potential that God is acting in and through our lives in small and unexpected ways...

I mean, seriously, don't you wish God were much more explicit? Much more grand and obvious?

Anyway...I have a very busy day, a big funeral and a necessary hospital visit a good distance from home. Much to do today. Right? Don't we all?

So, how do we manage the time and the patience to notice the small and unexpected ways God is moving in and through our lives?

And, what other ideas and images and thoughts are leading you as you ponder the readings and consider your sermon for tomorrow?

What other distractions does this day hold for you?

How can we be of help?

I have lots of delicious coffee and tea - along with fresh fruit and veggies from the farmers market and from my garden. Pull up a chair, we're here to feed you in body, mind, and spirit!

May the party begin!


127 comments:

  1. 8.15 pm on Saturday evening and I have one sentence.
    scratchy throat all week, though voice is stronger today than the past few days, so I probably will have enough voice to preach tomorrow. Today I was at a training day in church procedures and admin, aimed at Church Council, but no-one could go, so I will now try and teach it locally.
    Tomorrow we farewell a long time member who is moving a few hours away to be closer to family. after worship I have an adult ed group, then a church lunch, and Messy Church. all of which means I should be in bed early tonight, which means actually writing something for tomorrow.

    I will drop by later, with a sermon!

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    1. Prayers for you, Pearl, as you manage this busy day while struggling with your health. I hope your voice is fine...and that the day is blessed and of good energy even as you say good by to a beloved member and then move through all the other events of the day.

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    2. Hope you feel better soon. Blessings.

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  2. It's lunch time here in Scotland and I have to confess I am not long up. I had the bulk of my service prepared in principle yesterday (unheard of for me). It is Sunday School Prizegiving tomorrow and the kids will be in church for the whole service. I needed 2 talks with enough of a message to engage the adults and older kids but interactive enough to keep the younger ones amused.

    The Olympic torch has been making its way around the UK and was in Scotland this week so I have decided we are going to re-enact some of the torch relay and use this as an opportunity to talk about the "ordinary" people who were asked to carry the torch (nominated usually because they had done something good or overcome some affliction) and (mostly) not big, "important" people. I am hoping this will tie in with the annointing of David reading.

    I have also been down to the Garden Centre and bought seeds and pots and soil and decided we are going to plant seeds as part of the second talk. A bit risky as I know nothing about planting. I just looked for packets of seeds that said it was ok to plant them in June and I am hoping for the best! And while they are planting I will talk about the small things we do bearing fruit and us not always being aware of the extent of that fruit.

    Today I just need to finish off the prayers and figure out how to make a few Olympic Torches!

    I am hoping to bake for our congregational picnic tomorrow (sort of a new venture) so I hope to have some muffins to share later. I hope the weather is better tomorrow than the rain pouring from the sky today!

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    1. Tanya, great ideas! Sounds like a lot of creativity and fun. Our church picnic is tomorrow, too, assuming the people who were supposed to plan it actually did so...(can you tell it is hard for me to not be in control of everything?)....I hope you have good weather, too.

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  3. Good morning/afternoon/evening -
    I'm mustard seeding this morning with my curiosity grabbed by the bird nesting - not very industrious, is it? Nesting. The intro to this post about God in the details is timely for me and the sermon, thank you.

    Grateful to be on the other side of baseball season so the morning has a more leisurely pace to it. The Boy will be returning home later this afternoon with the community pool on his mind so it would be nice to be done by then.

    Which means I should probably start...

    Blessings upon you all!

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    1. kathrynzj, lots of baby squirrels and birds around here - so glad that what is on my mind resonates with what you are thinking about. I found some useful material from Bruce Epperly on his blog, The Adventurous Lectionary....hope you get the sermon done so you can enjoy time with your son at the pool! I have fond memories of pool days with my son.

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    2. kzj - "nesting" around here in church talk means finding a friendly congregation that will rent a worship space and let you dwell in their space for a bit. idk if that can play into your thoughts or not, but it is a blessing to find a church that will let us leave worship stuff in a closet or corner and keep that space open for worship. harder to find than you might think - and a true blessing when the relationship works.

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  4. Hi, all~
    I'll be doing the mustard seed, too, with reference to the tree I planted a few years ago expecting it to flower, but not to produce apples. I think I'll be weaving the tree story through the sermon, but since I haven't written any of it yet...you get the picture.
    This morning I meet with a 9-year-old great-granddaughter of the church who has asked to be baptized. Her young life has been very challenging; we're throwing a little party for her after worship, with cake and flowers and the gift of a prayer shawl made especially for her. Someday that may make a sermon illustration about the kingdom of heaven, but for tomorrow, I'm hoping it can feel that way without explanation.
    Mid-day, I'm hoping to meet up with a friend I haven't seen since college. All of which is to say now is the time to start writing!

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    1. Martha, how lovely, I was baptized when I was nine, and the memories remain with me, very profound. I hope the day proves to be the same for this young girl. It sounds like you have planned a very special day for her. Hoping your sermon comes together easily and you can enjoy your meet up with your college friend!

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    2. Well, there is a mustard seed for you!

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  5. Good Morning! Preacher friends and friends of preachers! It's a steamy morning here and a busy day for me. I have a huge funeral at 1pm, which overlaps with the huge AA meeting, so parking will be interesting - I have folks coming to assist with parking and hoping we can accommodate everyone with grace and ease. Following the funeral and interment in the memorial garden I have to drive an hour north to visit another failing parishioner who is in the hospital for the umpteenth time in a month. I will be gone from about 11am until 5pm.

    I hate Saturdays that are that busy....wear me out, they do.

    BUT - as a result I have my funeral sermon done!

    And, I have my sermon for Sunday done!

    Of course I was up until 1am gettting them done. But they are done.

    Sunday will also be busy. After the services will be our church picnic and a car wash fund raiser for our youth going on pilgrimmage in 2012. And, we have our WordlViews Seminar beginning on Monday. Lucinda Mosher, the lecturer, arrives today and will be at my church setting up tomorrow evening. I will help her.

    So, busy day. Busy weekend. Busy week ahead. All this and I am so tired from a a busy year. But hey! Such is life. I'm happy to be here with you all for the party! Who needs coffee? Or sustenance?

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    1. Blessings on your busy day, Terri. Prayers for the journey.

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  6. After tripping myself up with research, I am getting in the shower and going to my baptism meeting. Darn me for trying to learn more and disproving my thesis.

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  7. Good morning, gals! It's saturday morning, and I haven't even started on a sermon-- as I've had too much on my mind to settle down this week. I've had a hard time with these texts this week, and my mind is already on the vacation we'll take next week. But, in a few minutes, I will make a call to accept a call (that's not awkward wording or anything) to a beautiful church where I'm so excited to be going! Because of my denomination's processes and hoop jumping, I won't be able to tell my current church for a month-- I'm just bubbling over with excitement, though, so it's going to be a long month.

    Am grateful again for your wise insights on what are, for me anyway, blah texts! Your thoughts are at least helping me generate some thoughts!

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    1. Oh my, you have to wait a mont. wow. that is difficult. But congratulations on the call!

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    2. Did that with my dr's disertation. Not good!

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    3. Congratulations on the new call, and good luck with the wait. I did that once...very hard.

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  8. Now I'm playing with the idea of parables in general - they are windows into an understanding. So like any window, you can't see it all, but your can enjoy what you can see and use your imagination to fill in some of the blank spaces. These parables invite us to walk by faith and not by sight... to not necessarily have them all figured out with each object being assigned a definition, but rather to engage in the overall picture.

    Or something...

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    1. My older sister just wrote to me this week about windows and how she felt like a lot of her role in my life had been to look out windows--both literal and metaphorical--with me, often holding me up to do so (letting me climb on her shoulders, reading out loud to me, etc.). She helped me catch sight of worlds I wouldn't have seen otherwise.

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  9. I am not preaching this week and I doubt if I will even get to Church tomorrow. Please keep J in your prayers. The infection has not responded to treatment and the Infectious Disease drs have been brought in.
    My mother hen traits are showing. I cluck at everything.

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    1. Muthah, I am sorry to hear this. I once had an infection, very bad, in my jaw. The Infectious Diseas team had to be brought in. It was tough going, but they are brilliant and figured out an effective treatment regime, I trust they can do the same for J. Will keep you both in my prayers.

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    2. That is scary...prayers for both of you.

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  10. Good morning! Blessings to each of you whatever your task this weekend.
    Thank you, Terri, for the "God in the details" reminder.

    I am "mustard seeding" also tomorrow but pulling in the Ezekiel passage too. Focusing more on the "birds of the air" aspect. My father is a birdwatcher and I have a few good bird details to pull in the passage.

    Today we are hosting the 80th birthday party for my father-in-law. He is Korean and the family/birthdays are very important in the Korean tradition. I just came off a week of vacation, so very little has been done on my sermon! Alas...

    We are ordaining and installing officers, so the message must be a touch shorter.

    Happy sermoning to each of you and prayers for J. especially.

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  11. Tomorrow is my first Sunday in the new church. Even though my sermon and prayers are already printed, I'm "tagging" along with y'all today for the comforting routine of this beloved Sat ritual and your voices which help to sustain me.

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    1. Love that you're here! I'm excited about your first Sunday.

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    2. Praying for a wonderful first Sunday, blessings to you and to all involved.

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    3. So excited for your new church! They will be so blessed to have you.

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  12. Welcome RevKel and Vicar. Blessings on your day.

    I'm rushing to get ready and out the door for the funeral. I regret that I will be gone until about 5pm...please keep the party going, I'll catch up when I return.

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  13. The readings this week practically write the VBS sermon all by themselves. I will be preaching it at the closing party tonight and then modifying it a bit for the two "mostly adult listeners" services tomorrow. We had more than 150 children each day for VBS, so I'll be curious to see how many will be here for the worship service and party tonight. We'll be doing the Children's Eucharistic Prayer (modified) from Wales, so it should be shorter than usual also.

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    1. It actually went very well - reminded the children of Samuel's very early calling, then David's - talked about how everyone has a calling but they need to know how to listen to God to hear it, then I anointed them all for whatever call they will live out in their lives. We had 131 people there with communion and were done in 55 minutes total... whew!!

      Now to re-write for adults in my head - it will not get any longer at this point. I remember a mentor priest early on telling me "No one ever complains about a short sermon" - banking on it!

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  14. I just got back from a week at confirmation camp - there are a few idea rambling around in my head but no sermon.

    We talked about worship at camp and the kids are doing parts of the service tomorrow. Which I clearly told the parents 4 weeks ago and asked them to check schedules to make sure everyone would be there this Sunday. Of course, I get a call at 10pm last night, letting me know that Child will not be at worship Sunday, because it's Dad's weekend to have him. Arrrgh! Did she not know this before hand? Now I have to reschedule the youth doing one congregation and since this cong had only one confo student, I have to re-make arrangements to take confo student from another congregation with me. But of course, it's not a problem - it's not like we just spent a whole week working on writing prayers and practicing readings for this week's texts (heavy, dripping sarcasm)!

    Ugh.

    And I get home to find out that our doggie school has rescheduled yet again. Last Saturday was supposed to be the last class - we are never going to get done. And we still have to go to the City to get the stuff we need for next week's church picnic. I like going to the City, but every Saturday? - it really messes up my schedule and wears me out.

    So. Here I am without a sermon. The kids illustrated the parables and will display their murals as I read the gospel. I think I'm going to talk about volunteer watermelon plants and creepy jenny (the local invasive weed) in the parsonage landscaping - how is that like the kingdom of God? But it's going to be hours before I get to type the first word.

    I'm tired already!

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    1. Yikes! So sorry....hope the sermon flows

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  15. Just not motivated to write...

    I had hoped to finish this sermon before last Sunday as I wasn't preaching last week. We took a vacation weekend to attend a dear friend's wedding. I was off the rest of this week also as my 13 month old daughter had surgery to repair her cleft palate. The surgery went well and she's doing okay--home after only one night in the hospital. She's not drinking as much as I would like (and for three weeks she can only drink from an open cup--no utensils, no sippy cups, nothing) so I really want to her to drink! She's not much more clingy than normal; the arm splints (so she can't bend her elbows and get hands/things in her mouth) don't seem to bother her much, we are keeping her on heavy duty pain meds so her sleep patterns are a bit off (as in more sleep), but overall she's doing well. But I would still rather be snuggling with her as she naps now or playing with her or otherwise showering her with attention instead of sermonizing.

    Plus I have a wedding this afternoon--supposed to be outdoors, but it poured all morning, so I don't know. It's small, basically family service, so we didn't have a rehearsal for which I'm glad.

    Babe just woke up so must tend to her before I come back to the computer!

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    1. Silent - so hard to have a sick baby - you are in my prayers today!

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    2. Silent, breathing deeply for you - what a lot to have on your mind. Prayers ascending for the 13 month old.

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    3. Prayers ascending for your little.

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  16. Taking the notion that God doesn't see what we see, I'm focusing on all of the folk that get passed over in the David story - not just his brothers but his sisters whose names are remembered when those of Jesus' sisters from last week are not and his mother, in and out of the text to talk about all of us as part of the divine story. When someone like David is the focus of the story he's still a part of the people of God and God relates to us individually and collectively without regard for how famous we are.

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  17. Good morning!
    Got a big funeral this afternoon and then tickets to a G and S opera tonite, so trying to get a lot done this morning. Not getting a very good start, alas, watching an "it gets better" video from my local police dept and bawling my eyes out...

    Anyway, Corinthians. And Community. And DBB's new book "Christianity and the end of religion" which is FANTASTIC. I just always find her writing so resonant with my experience and understanding, but so smart and succinct. So, I'm looking forward to sharing some of what I'm learning from that book too. So, better get hopping.

    And hey, speaking of books, still hoping to hear more from Wil about the CEB, if you are willing, Wil? I have dipped in, not studied deeply and so far have appreciated what I have seen.

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    1. I think it's mixed. There are some useful but I think they erred by making it too colloquial. Biblical translations exist on a continuum of formal equivalence on one end (literal, preserving Hebrew/Greek syntax, idiom, etc.) and dynamic equivalence on the other (paraphrases like the Message are the terminus here). Most are somewhere in the middle. I lean towards the formal equivalence end. I like that they use the human for the (lowercase) adam. But hate that they (and NRSV) use wind for the Spirit, erasing her from Creation. I like that they use messenger rather than angel since messengers didn't have wings and the same word is used for humans and it means messengers - angelos comes from the Greek and the Persians gave them wings. And using immigrant for alien can be politically useful but may infer more about legal processes and status than existed in that context. I hate the beatitudes are "happy is the person..." rather than blessed. The people to when we are in debt in the Lord's prayer have not necessarily "wronged us." I appreciate what they're trying to do with Human One rather than Son of Man. And I don't like "change hearts and lives" for repent particularly when they keep sin. "Prayer that comes from faith will heal the sick, for the Lord will restore them to health." is *not* the same as "The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven."! (James 5:15)

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    2. Thanks Wil - great critique. They kind of had me at hello, because I loved what they did with the first lines of genesis, making creation a Process instead of a single Event, which from my very very very limited understanding of Hebrew seems more accurate to me. And I also am a big fan of Human One. But I ,like you, tripped over the beatitudes (harass is so much weaker than persecute - can't figure out what they were thinking about that).

      For my purposes, however, as a small church pastor to a group who is mostly biblically illiterate, and uncertain, I lean toward the colloquial. I'm kind of like the librarian who doest care if the kids are reading Goosebumps as long as they're reading. BUT I have been trying to wean a few folks off the Good News (ok, so I don't want them reading just ANYTHING it turns out) in our weekly bible study, and I think this will be accessible enough to do it. I often use the Message, but sometimes that goes too far even for me. And, over the years, I've really come to hear Peterson's voice so much in the text that it's a little distracting. And, of course, that's not actually a translation. I do love about the CEB that they had such a wide range of input on the translation.

      Would be curious to hear others' thoughts/concerns about this translation or if you have others as your go-to.

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    3. From your context, CEB makes sense as a "goosebumps" bible. A lesser evil than Good News or NIV or the Message. NRSV is a classic for a reason, it's also the first translation to make use of the Dead Sea Scrolls, more than 80 corrections. I'm actually going to download the CEB to give it a more thorough going-over for the reasons you cite. It may be the best middle way - and as a 'Piskie I love the Via Media! I also love the Inclusive Bible with is both formal equivalence and (some might say except for being) thoroughly gender inclusive. May favorite is Everett Fox's Five Books of Moses (only Torah and he did Samuel in Give Us A King) but he hasn't done the whole bible yet. I also assign the JPS Tanakh (no NT) and sometimes the Complete Jewish Bible (a Messianic version with both Testaments). And of course I just translate it myself when I need to.

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    4. This is all very interesting! One of the resolutions being presented at our General Convention in July is to add both CEB and The Message to the list of approved Bibles for use in the liturgy. When I went back to see what was already there, I was horrified to find The Good News! By that standard, the first two are so much better. The argument for CEB is that we are part of the group that sanctioned the translation. The only reasonable argument I have heard for The Message is that it resonates with younger members. I haven't figured out where I stand but your comments have helped.

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    5. I've used The Message on occasion. It is not a translation, however. It's another way of telling the story, sometime enticing, sometimes not.

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    6. I'm using The Message tomorrow, as I liked the use of the pine nut. Pine trees are all over here, so it is easy to relate.

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    7. Right Terri, the Message is a paraphrase, not a translation, so it's not even on the formal-dynamic equivalence scale.

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  18. I have a wonderfully free day; with no commitments tomorrow other than presiding, I can relax today. Except (there's always an except) my 17 y.o. son is speaking at the adult forum, and I need to prod him into coming up with an hour's worth of content and photos. The invitation to do this didn't come from me, and though I think he is well suited to the topic, I also know I will have to set aside my expectations about what preparation he should do!

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  19. Preliminary sermon work, exercise and shower done.
    I believe it is time to type it into a document.

    The Kingdom of Heaven is like...

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    1. ...the blank page.

      At least, I have to hope it is. Off to stare at mine :b

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    2. ...full of possibilities for a future yet unknown!

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    3. And 40+ minutes after typing that it is now time to actually write. :)

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  20. I don't feel motivated but have to finish what I started. At least I'm getting some help here for the 'holes' in my existing outline. I managed to fill some in on the treadmill yesterday typing on my iPad, but now have to decipher what I struggled to get down. ha

    Grad party this afternoon and was out later than normal to see a good game tween Nationals and Yankees, but we lost. to NYY, sadly. 2 beers and I feel hung over. crazy life we lead, isn't it?

    anyway, I'm off to read my work and others from the outdoor ministry curriculum from this summer, "Secrets of the Kingdom" one of the days was the mustard seed and I have the exegetical work on this commupter drive somewhere. I'll email if it would help anyone at this point. let me know revnancyfitzgerald at gmail.

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    1. Rev Nancy, I'm intrigued by your typing on the ipad on the treadmill. How do you do that...just set it in the tray where you would put a magazine. I've found that when I've tried that, the ipad is too far away to see well or type on easily. I'd love to get a set up that works for those really busy weeks when it would be nice to get work done while I walk

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  21. Hullo friends, all around the world.

    Welcoming new members tomorrow, having our annual "Music Celebration Sunday," and trying to keep anxiety at bay about a whole host of things. Foremost at the moment: our wonderful substitute organist (our regular player is out for a month or so post surgery) is, herself, in the hospital following some worrisome symptoms. Prayers for her appreciated.

    On the plus side, we are having so much sun this week it almost doesn't feel like home. :-)

    Writing the anointing of David, with this tiny kernel: he gets anointed, then nothing much happens. Trying to tie that in with new members taking their time to discern where/ how God is calling them into the life of the congregation.

    Gorgeous peaces, iced coffee and granola here. Yes, I know it's after noon. That's what happens when you have a hospital visit and grocery shopping for Father's day first off.

    Blessings on all the words from the Word.

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    1. Pat, my day has been much like yours...way too busy. ..at least you have sun!

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    2. prayers for both organists

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  22. I'll have some "gorgeous peaces" (ha! sometimes auto correct is better than the original, yes?)

    Ok, done with writing memorial stuff - the longer I'm with this congregation, the harder these become, btw - and now moving on to sermonating. I have poached eggs with avocado and lots of pepper if anyone wants that.

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    1. Junioer, truth! Funerals and funeral sermons get harder as our love for folks grows deeper.

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  23. Preaching on Jacod and Esau with OT classics. Won't be back to do the final edit until later this evening. Just have some fantastic scones. I'll share.

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  24. Urgh. Funeral and graveside service ate up my sermon-prep time this week, and this Sunday the youth are *supposed to be* doing everything but the sermon. (The senior pastor, whose sabbatical I'm covering, advised me to "let them fail or succeed as they may, and don't worry too much about it.")
    So, I'm doing David's anointing and the mustard seed & God's vision of our capabilities & possibilities being different than our self-perceptions & societal judgements. But right now it feels just like so much blah-blah-blah... got to try to make it a bit more zingy before nightfall.

    But for now, I'm off to the lumberyard, 'cause there are other things that need to be done while the sun shines...

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    1. Mainecelt, if you don't have the energy to make it ore zingy, just keep it short!

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  25. "zingy"--that's exactly what I need too, MaineCelt. Prayers for those with ailing loved ones this day.

    I'm working on the David passage, trying to figure it out a bit better. I have a few more hours this afternoon--the cuties are home with Daddy and the cable tv repairman. I'm frankly glad to be away from all of them right now! I got to run some errands this morning and now sitting down with some peace and quiet for the sermon.

    I also have some fresh local peaches to share--they are delicious.

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  26. Well I never found my work from the outdoor ministry curriculum. The problem with my filing, paper or electronic is my lack of consistency in a system. sigh
    But the message is done, such that it is. Here's a draft and I'd love comment. I may take out the Dietrich Bonhoeffer quote b/c I think it detracts from the message. What do you think?
    I'm off to shower for a grad party and possible an emergency Pastoral Care call.

    My best to all and I hope to check in later. I may

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    1. It is a big learning curve to organize ones self electronically....

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  27. I'd like to use the L'Arche community as an illustration. But--ack--I don't have any idea how to pronounce it. Can someone with better French than I help me out? Gracias :)

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  28. Stopping in for just a moment. The funeral went well. Now off the hospital where the parishioner has gone from ill to worse - in a coma and septic...so, off to do last rites, and then prepare for another funeral in the not too distant future....

    thanks all y'all for keeping the party going! I'll be back in a couple of hours, and then here for the night.

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  29. So...small world - the daughter of the parishioner whose funeral I just did was my New Testament Seminary professor - imagine my surprise when I met her and said, hey! I know you! She only taught two classes at the seminary (filling in for someone else) - haven't seen her since 1998.

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  30. Weirdest thing happened in my research...I was thinking about mustard as an invasive plant. Thought about how we try to dig out and eradicate invasive plants. Thought of the message in the parable that (for me) then becomes a story of faith persevering in the face of oppression. Then, thought of a Jack London story (one based on facts) called Ko'olau the Leper--the story of a leper that fought and resisted having his family removed from their home and transported to the leprosy colony on Moloka'i. How, they couldn't "root" him out, how his story endured...did some research and discovered that my great great grandfather was one of the men hunting for him...

    So, new sermon tack...what happens when we "literally" find ourselves in the story? How are parables meant to engage us, to empower us to find our own path, our own way of understanding?

    How do we claim these stories as our own--because they ARE our own--and how do we keep our faith/our stories from being eradicated? How do we claim our voice (especially for folks on the margins who may not realize their power or have always been denied a place at the table--eg David)?

    So, cool research, and interesting rooting around!

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  31. L'Arche is pronounced Larsh

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  32. Thinking about ending the sermon with, "The Kingdom of God is like a shortened sermon on a Summer Sunday" so I can be done. :)

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  33. Trying to decide if equating David learning his destiny as a young teen can work by drawing parallels to the Dalai Lama and/or to Harry Potter....

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    1. Well, each in their own day was/ is a "hero".... I think it could work!

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  34. As I was sitting here catching up with y'all and pondering the next task to tackle, I heard a small snap. I quickly came to the realization that the underwire in my bra had broken. Can I tell you how relieved I am that it happened today and not tomorrow? I'll be back in a little while ...

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    1. There was that time I was preaching a prayer breakfast without a robe and one of my garters broke and I had to put my hand in my pocket to hold up my stocking...

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    2. I once had the elastic on my half slip give way completely so that the slip immediately dropped down around my ankles. Fortunately I was with other women who were able to laugh with me and not mind while I stepped out of it...

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    3. All of the things we manage while still delivering the Word of the Lord!

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  35. the Internet decided not to work last night, so my sermon is not posted on my blog yet, maybe sometime in this crazy Sunday. it is very short, and I'm not sure it says much, which probably says something about my energy levels last night. the problem of not much voice and being out most of the day in a room that wasn't quite warm enough - wet and cold yesterday.

    time to shower and get to church
    blessings on your prep

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  36. This might be the end of my sermon: "When God looks on David’s heart, what does God see? Perhaps God did see all of David’s brokenness and knew that it was still possible for David to be the man that God called him to be. And I think that’s good news for the rest of us."
    I'm walking away, getting some dinner, going to watch a movie and will review and revise it before I go to bed. Blessings all.

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    1. Wil, that ending makes me want to hear the entire sermon!

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    2. Thank you. As always, I'll post to my faculty site.

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    3. That's an amazing sermon ending.

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    4. I don't know if anyone is checking back, but here it is: What did God see in David and what does that have to do with me? http://ltsp.edu/it-takes-village-shadow-david

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  37. Thanks everyone for keeping the party going! I am back after a long day, made longer when I realized that if we are going to honor my husband on fathers day it had to be tonight...so a quick stop for a few small tokens of our affection. We'll order out for Chinese...all good. But I am done.

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  38. You certainly have had a busy day, Terri. thanks for also hosting!
    I found that the nice grad party was also 'work', but good work. Tomorrow will now be busier than usual but that's ok. I need to finish up a few pieces of worship and don't feel like doing anything but reading. ah well, here's to getting it done...
    how's everyone else doing?

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    1. Ordered Chinese for dinner....that helped!

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  39. Spent much of today getting ready for a Father's Day cook out at our place. In our former life we used to host parties all the time. For lots of reasons we never started here. My guy wanted to cook for a bunch of people to celebrate Father's Day so that is the plan. Now just have to house clean enough to pull this off... the other procrastinating technique has been my 30th College reunion next weekend. First one I will have attended so I have been trying to figure out what to wear for an all day outdoor /indoor picnic and formal event 3 hours from home. I plan to preach Sunday so I am very glad dear husband can handle the late night drive back on Saturday. It is now 6 pm. I did most of my writing yesterday but now need to finish and print. I am with kzj- the kingdom of heaven is like a short and done sermon! So glad to know I am not alone out here in sermon writing land!

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    1. Celeste, that is a lot! Hoping all goes well.

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  40. Hi, Ok funeral over. I only cried a FEW times but mostly held it together. Sheesh.

    Now, I got nothing for tomorrow and an hour to do it in. Any ideas about children's time - maybe little plants for the kids? What message would go with that, hmmmm?

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    1. Juniper, i cry sometimes too...we're human. Still, it feels awkward when you are the worship leader...

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    2. Terri - totally. My people are very nice about it when it happens (seldom anymore - used to a lot more) - but I can see a few of them worrying "what is going to HAPPEN?"

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    3. I know what you mean...once you have a year with a lot of funerals you kind of get a grip on it, but then if you go awhile without a funeral it starts over again...at least in my experience...sigh

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  41. I'm going with an apple cut open to talk about the number of seeds and how many trees it would make...from Sermons4kids but i'm going to adapt their story so it doesn't conflict with the conclusions I"m NOT drawing from my sermon.

    Just going for the checkered flag at this point.

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    1. Thanks Nancy. That might just do it!

      Ok, everyone off to dinner with DH and then operrrra (trrrrrilling my rrrrr's) so I am letting my 600 words rest and hoping while my back is turned they will grow into something more "I know not how..."

      The kingdom of God is like....

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    2. Nancy, i like the idea...will probably like your adaptation too! Better than the other...

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  42. Well its time to restart this mac for the day ahead and go read until I fall asleep which should be about 5 minutes. Nite all, hope there's not too many night owls, just enough for company.

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  43. Okay--lumber run done, sick partner fussed over & fed, hay scythed & fed out to cows, new fruit trees sprayed with "deer-off," and a trip to a big hardware store two towns away for the one part of our new outhouse we didn't want to make ourselves: the seat! Now it's after dark and I can get back to the sermon...yep, this one's gotta be short!
    I really like the whole "kingdom of God is like an invasive, pervasive weed" idea that several other folks are using. Now, if I can just connect that to the "God sees things differently" thing in the story of David's anointing, I think I'll have enough stuff to fill the sermon-sized hole in my Sunday morning.

    Here's some Thai coconut-chicken soup with freshly-harvested winecap mushrooms to sustain all you other late writers!

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    1. Ok, you had the busiest day....I think...

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  44. We got back from the City with just enough time to put away the perishable items and rush off to the big community fish fry. YUM doesn't begin to cover it. There was a fishing tournament today,and the walleye caught this morning were the main course at tonight's feed.

    Of course, I come home to a blank screen and no sermon, but how can I complain with a tummy full of fresh fish!

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  45. Can I just say I love the glimpses into your lives that the posts here provide? Partners and children and churches and...hay scything and outhouses?!?...and ball games and family trees and fresh peaches...intertwined with poignant funerals and vibrant children & youth ministries and the intricacies of Bible translation...ah, what wonderfully full and interesting lives! :)

    And now...back to the sermon writing...

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  46. Well preacher friends and friends of preachers, this preacher gal is calling it a night! Keep the party going, I'll stop by in the morning and keep all of you in my prayers!

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    1. Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite!

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  47. I'm not writing, but I will still hang out here to offer company and prayers for those who are!

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  48. Betsy - I appreciate your company! DH skipped out to the local tavern and left me alone to finish my sermon.

    At least it's done now and my musings on how the kingdom of God is like Volunteer Watermelon, Mint, and Church Camp is posted. Comments are welcome.

    I'm going to watch an episode of Crossing Jordan and go to bed! Good night and God's blessings to all!

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  49. By the way - if anyone can tell my why Blogger has decided to publish the text of my blog in a color that is unreadable with my background and how to fix it without ending up with the mess I have this week - I'd be really grateful!

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    1. Ramona the color for the text is in the setting in the advanced settings for the blog design. I can send you on email the directions. I will try and do that this afternoon or tonight. Shoot me an email if i get side tracked? I do change the settings all the time, not hard to fix, must need right terminology to find it.

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    2. Thanks Terri - I've been wrestling with it for several weeks now and can't find the right setting to fix it. It's strange because I didn't change anything in the blog at all. I'm not sure what happened.

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  50. Terri, Amy, & Betsy-- bless you! (And blessings as well to all who are struggling with illness, death, and grief. I have had a busy day, but it was not as spiritually challenging or draining as the circumstances many of you face.)

    I've managed to get Jesse's sons lined up in sort of a "Bethlehem's Got Talent" show with David showing up as the surprise contestant, like the Goth kid who blew everyone away with a counter-tenor aria on the American show last week. That's all I can manage tonight-- gonna get up early and do my best to tie in the mustard seed bit!

    Good night! (she said, scattering chocolate mints on everyone's pillows...)

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  51. MaineCelt, I'll grab one of those chocolates!

    Ramona, no clue about the blog color, but I love the title.

    Anyone for a TJ's chocolate soy ice cream sandwich?

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  52. hoommme from the opera - so fun! - and now too late for more work, so seeing the alarm for Ridiculous O'clock. Blessings ya'll!

    :) Jennifer

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  53. Good morning! It's a thick cloudy day for our chirch picnic...but rain is not ecpected until tonight. Here's noping that all goes well for all of you! Blessings!,,

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