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Saturday, August 04, 2012

11th Hour Preacher Party: Would you like some whine with that?

I'm just back from vacation, and it's possible I'm feeling much like the Israelites.

On the way home, I missed a turn-off and added over an hour to a 500+ mile trip.

Not everything went exactly the way I wanted it to go.

Was it prophesied? This week the lectionary brings us the biggest whiners ever, and last winter using these texts, I wrote a prayer on the BE 5.0 cruise that began:

"The whole congregation of the RevGals complained..."

We had no real reason, of course, except that some of us did.

And some of us will today. Join us in the comments and share what's going on in your world. I'll give thanks that I finally arrived and hope any travel in your lives has gone more smoothly. There will be blueberries and those amazing donuts to share. And coffee. Always more coffee. And yes, maybe later, we'll break out the whine--er, wine and cheese.


111 comments:

  1. Good morning! I'm at word zero where the sermon is concerned. This could be a long day. Yard sale at church, but I'm not expected to do much other than putting in an appearance. Right now coffee is my priority.

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    1. Good afternoon Martha. Having taken care of my coffee and sleeping in priority, I am now at my computer with a title and and few words. Hoping this all comes together in a "not long day" way for all our preaching pals.

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    2. Sleeping in sounds good, but I'm famous for being unable to do it. Sadly. Glad you were able!

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  2. this sermon....oy....I keep throwing it out and starting over. I get an idea and then it fizzles out. In any case, we have a baby's first birthday party today that apparently is going to take from noon to six--how does that happen? In any case, i'm pushing on a deadline (I'm pretty useless late at night--and I will also need to spend some of that time learning the other stuff for tomorrow) and my ahem, assistant, is not quite getting the "mommy got up early to work, not to play with you" concept. Oy, oy. I just need one of these ideas to pan out. I'm not seeking greatness....I'd be quite happy with the upper echelons of mediocrity....or perhaps even the middle echelons of mediocrity. I've got two hours...go! Hope everyone else has a workable spark!

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    1. And may there be a workable spark of self-entertainment in your household!

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  3. Good morning, all. Our son Matt arrived home last night from his ten weeks as a law clerk in Seychelles, so I mostly finished my sermon yesterday in order to enjoy time with him. As I take a look at it this morning, I am wondering about what you all do with this dilemma:

    For the majority of my members, Sunday worship is their only encounter with the Bible all week. I have begun to incorporate more Bible study elements into my sermons which, on the downside, make them longer and more lecture-like, at least at points, than evocative. On the upside, folks often tell me how much they appreciate learning something (which does not translate into showing up for other learning opportunities.)

    I just went through and highlighted about 20% of my sermon, all of it material which could easily be deleted -- and if it were, the sermon would be much better imo.

    How do you all strike this balance?

    Off to try to get in a walk before it hits 90 again. Afterward, muffins will be available!

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    1. I would say that, if you think Bible background is what they need, then that's "good news" to them, and that's a good thing. I have also used the bulletin, at times, to add additional information if it didn't fit well into the sermon. But there are times when I feel that, in the sermon, the Bible set up needs to be extensive and I just try to make that part of the story-telling.

      Also, most weeks, what ends up on my "cutting floor" is more than what's in the final sermon. But I may be a remedial case in that regard!

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    2. I try to find the place where there's more preaching than teaching, or in other words more inspiration than lecture, but I think most of us mainliners struggle with congregations who don't know as much as would be useful for getting the context. We're reading about the grumbling Israelites tomorrow. I think they'll get the mood of the piece, but I doubt more than a few will know the story in much detail.

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    3. I try to weave any teaching that absolutely needs to be there in order for the scripture to be heard in all its fullness into building the context--both the Biblical context and our context. Tomorrow I'm off lectionary and will include focus on the context of Lamentations and the context of times of chaos and despair in our lives.

      I taught history for almost 30 years. I've learned that people learn in a way that they remember when they have a question or a passion. About the best I could ever do with history was love it. I suspect the same is true with the Bible.

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    4. I am a teacher at heart so I do incorporate teaching elements into my sermon, and people seem to appreciate it. If the teaching elements start to make it too long though, they are what get trimmed.

      My congregation (like many many people these days) are familiar with snippets of scripture but are woefully short on seeing the big picture and getting the context so I feel like it is really important to help them get that.

      I think it's also important to recognize where your particular preaching gifts lie. For a while I berated myself because I'm not the same kind of storyteller that many of you here are. But I've come to realize that my style may be different but it works for me (based on the feedback I've received from people I respect) so I go with what I feel like I do best, and that is probably more teaching that some would be comfortable with.

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  4. I'll have some of that coffee, please, Martha. You set a beautiful table!

    And, Robin, let us know when those muffins are ready.

    I'm splitting my day between sermon preparation and the lovely task of "getting the house ready to put up for sale." So, after coffee and some leftover pizza, I'm going to get busy on something! I'd rather day dream.

    Help yourselves to a piece of my pizza if you are in the mood for something savory. It's really quite good!

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    1. Sharon, I'm on a similar house mission, though I have more time to get ready. I feel your pain, and your desire to day dream.

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    2. Oh, Sharon and Martha, I have been there so many times. Sermon prep and day dreaming are so much more fun than getting a house ready for market. Yikes.

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  5. Not sermonating this weekend, but dropping by with fresh-picked highbush blueberries for y'all--the great big juicy kind, many as big as marbles. Also, be happy you are not doing what I'm doing today: caring for a sow with a large flesh wound. There. Doesn't sermon-writing seem nicer, all the sudden? ;-)

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  6. I am sitting outside reading, drinking coffee, and enjoying the morning before the dreadful heat returns. I have homemade banana bread and homemade zucchini bread with dark chocolate chips which I will share...even though I am on vacation. And so I am not preaching tomorrow. But here is a reflection you may appreciate written by Janine and posted <a href="

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    1. Blogger and iPad fail. I cannot post the link. I really hate the reality that blogger is not user friendly with the iPad. anyway, if you are curious about the reflection you will have to go to my blog and then click on the link on the left side bar for "Feminist Theology"...sorry I can't make it easier...now, back to my vacation.

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    2. Terri, a friend of mine has been using an app called Blogsy with Blogger for her iPad. Maybe something like that would work better for you?

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    3. I've been using Blogsy as well. It's not free, and it's not as easy as the computer, but it's a ton better than the free WordPress app. Doesn't do a darn thing about the comment issues, though.

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  7. 21yo is up, so we are off to get the donuts.
    Back soon!

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    1. Saturday confession- I covet your donut shop

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  8. I am not supplying anywhere this week, and am so looking forward to being in my church. The last few weeks other duties (supporting a friend, chaplaincy) have kept me away. Just wanted you all to know that many of us in the congregation appreciate all you do, and look forward to hearing the Word from you tomorrow!

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  9. Fresh-picked blueberries, Chocolate chip zucchini bread, a good cup of coffee. Wish I were there with the treats. But I'm here looking for inspiration.

    Am weaving a memorial into our Sunday afternoon bi-lingual, bi-cultural worship service. The widow is a member of our community. A very complicated grief. Family is poor, unstable. Kids thrashing. A lot of chaos in their lives. Mother/widow has strong sense of presence of God. Think I'll preach on Lamentations--God's mercies new every morning--and La Vida Nueva. I'll be talking to the family and the community that supports them and one another in their grieving. Words of wisdom needed and appreciated.

    But first today is "no tax on school supplies day" in New Mexico. I'm going to Office Depot to stock up. Need anything?

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    1. Wow, that's pretty amazing. No taxes? I would like a printer cartridge, please. :-)

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  10. Back with donuts and iced coffee. Now to write, while glancing up at the Olympics. Ahem.

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    1. I have been Olympic glancing all day in between laundry, vacuuming and sermon writing! Go for the gold!

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  11. summertime sermons seem a struggle... loss of focus perhaps? it is cooler and it rained!!! this is BIG. hazelnut coffee, caramel rolls, and i'm going to watch some food network TV, and i'm sure the conclusion to my sermon will appear while i watch Paul Deen add butter to a pan, or Pioneer Woman, cook for a crowd and make it look effortless. yep.

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    1. I've got the same thing with the Olympics. Going to ride out to church and see how the yard sale is going.

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    2. You must be fairly close to us - we didn't get the rain (a 10 mile raidus around us was missed by yesterday's wonderful heavy rain :( But it's a lot cooler today!

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  12. It is almost 10pm here, and my sermon is inching its way into the world. I think I'm suffering from a case of acute introversion - I really feel like I need a break from having to put words out into the world! (my blog is definitely suffering, as is any social media and even email that is not work-related)

    I've been musing about the Ephesians passage all week, and finally made some traction forward when I remembered an episode of 'Big Bang Theory' which was all about the awkwardness of receiving gifts and not knowing what the appropriate measure of reciprocation is going to be (The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis). In the end, the gift that is received is so overwhelming, the recipient is unable to find an appropriate measure of response. So I'm thinking about what it is to receive 'grace according to the measure of Christ's gift' and, not being able to earn or reciprocate it, instead we live in response to that... Or something like that.

    Hope there is joy and ease for you folks in the writing.

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    1. I love that show. What a great approach! Blessings to you, Jemma, I hope it all comes together quickly.

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    2. We're also fans of that show - and I'm also preaching Ephesians. I LOVE the analogy, (my day job is in the IT industry, I swear I know most of those guys for real...) But I don't think that most of the congregation would "get it".

      I've pulled out five key words: therefore, worthy, call, unity and prisoner, and am doing a little meditation around each one. Currently surfing to try to find a picture to go with each one, and building in a couple of Olympic games analogies. Not the best sermon I've ever written, but I'm at the stage of "don't let perfect get in the way of good."

      coffee to share all round !

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    3. Jemma- There's a fascinating short essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson about the giving and receiving of gifts that I found really helpful for understanding local church folks here in New England-- he talks about all the assumptions that complicate gift-giving and how it's even harder to receive a gift, because we start trying to second-guess the giver and wondering if the gift is actually somehow a judgement about what the giver thinks we need or lack... Can't point you to a link, but your own rendering of such possible assumptions might be a helpful sermon element.

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    4. Looks like the Emerson essay is online. Do a search for "emerson essay gifts."

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    5. I love the BBT connection and I need to tuck it away for future use. I live in BB town, so any connection would especially grab folks here!

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    6. Betsy - ha! I read back after your comment looking for the Barbara Browne TAylor connection :) I guess I'm used to those initials meaning Only One Thing.

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  13. Welcome back Martha! Hope your vacation was all that you dreamed it would be.

    I am two Sundays away from vacation, and it can't come too soon! Started reading a novel yesterday afternoon and stayed up til 3 am to finish it which hasn't helped my sermon mojo one bit and also meant that I slept too late to go for a run (because it was already too hot when I woke up). And I'm not feeling very inspired so far with this week's readings. So yes, I guess I do want some whine with that :)

    Iced latte sounds good....I usually save S*bux for a late afternoon treat though so I guess I better just get to work.

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    1. I made coffee just to ice it for this afternoon. :-)

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  14. Enjoying the blessed cool weather (66 degrees at 11:25 in the am). June and July have been mostly high 90's and lots of 100 plus degrees. We usually do not see the 100's until August.

    My plate is relatively free for tomorrow...creating a PowerPoint for people to enjoy before worship (in our fellowship area...no technology in the sanctuary) on our recent church trip. The sermon is titled "Stepping Out" and is everybody sharing their experience on the trip.

    As much as I enjoy the art of preaching...it's nice to have a Sunday without all the prep work.

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    1. Purple- We got similar weather. Good rain last night, mild temps -70 at noon!- green where we have not seen it for a while. This rain could save some crops that might not have made it. As with all things farming... we will see. Glad for you that you have a preaching break on such a lovely day. Enjoy it!

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  15. I'm preaching my 2nd and last sermon on the John-bread series. Vacation in 4 days! Then it's full-fledged wedding prep for our oldest.

    I'm toying with the image of craving - how the people wanted Jesus to feed them always, but Jesus tries to get them to see that what they really crave is much deeper. I read the passage at my shut in visits this week and talked through it with them, but I don't feel any closer to a sermon. Maybe I can connect the praying for our daily bread with the prayers of praise and God's will to be done that surround it...

    First though, I have the a meeting with one of my council presidents (met with the other congregation's last night) to discuss recent youth trip issues. And then I probably should go to the bridal shower this afternoon - I don't usually go to them, but we're kinda close with the parents of the groom.

    Too much to do, too little time!

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  16. Wishing for a little reality sharing when I read about your baking and fresh blueberries..sigh, I guess virtual sharing's advantage is no-calorie.

    I've been doing other things this a.m. Time to get back to my draft and finish worship. Gals will be my motivation...but there's a movie on I'd like to see. . .

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    1. What's the movie? Hope the afternoon is going well for you.

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  17. I am enjoying a few weeks of vacation; they aren't turning out quite how I hoped, but they are a much-needed break nonetheless. We have lots of ripe tomatoes and I am thinking it is a day to make sauce; I don't think they are a variety one would typically use, but I don't see why they wouldn't still be fine. And Olympic event watching...many hours of that! Prayers for all of you for quick inspiration and words that flow easily from mind to paper/keyboard.

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    1. We've got water polo on TV and this morning's track and field streaming on my laptop so I can see the 400 m heats when they turn up. All in all, not so good for the writing.

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  18. No sermon prep this week for me. I have an ordinand from Mirfield College in Yorkshire staying with me for 6 weeks and he's keen to be as involved as possible. Preached at a memorial service on Thursday and will preach tomorrow. He has also sorted out anything he wants special in the liturgy. So, after a huge funeral this morning followed by an exceedingly "windy" and boring archdeaconry meeting, I am now about to settle down to an evening whisky. Cheers everyone!
    By the way, does anyone know where I can find a really nice Eucharistic liturgy for women's day which we celebrate next week. It's actually Thursday but we are going to celebrate it on Sunday.

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  19. Noon here- when I put the bulletin together - oh so very long ago the title 1+1+1+1+1+1+1= Bread came to me- Doing Ephesians 4 with its list of 7 ones... ( body,spirit,hope,Lord,faith,baptism,God ) and 7 "I Am's" in John. Now the challenge is how to do all that in a compact communion Sunday sermon. Back at it. Too pretty a day to spend it all inside.

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    1. ooh - nice concept. Could you post it when you're done. I'd love to read it.

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    2. ramona- I don't blog- not sure how to do that

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  20. Welcome to all who arrived while I was out! I'm trying to get sermon-focused, but my 17yo daughter is out with a boy she has liked (apparently unrequited) for a year, and they are in his car driving to the mall, which is only a smidge better than the original plan, to hang out at the pool at his mom's house. I realize these are small worries compared to some, but she has jumped from "Jane Austen Heroine in her own mind" to "21st century girl out with boy" since yesterday. I'm somewhere else in the time warp.

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    1. Mercy. T'was an inevitable shift, but still a shocker. Hugs to both.

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    3. She's been texting me regularly, so I guess she's still my girl. :-)

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    4. I love this. Another mom (of a much younger one) told me today "I stopped being cool. It happened on Saturday." She can pinpoint the MOMENT. Funny how fast things change...

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  21. Seriously lacking motivation and inspiration here....and see vacation pix from the beach on FB is not helping. Of coures one solution would be to stay off FB until the sermon is written but you know how that goes!

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  22. In what is an unusual move for me, I have ALREADY decided not to preach on John next week. Ephesians instead. Anything but more of John 6....

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    1. Understandable. I'm currently writing a portion of my sermon comprised of whining about give weeks of John. Which may well end up on the cutting room floor...

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    2. B=Bread year. I think I timed my vacation well! Really, how much is there to say, especially if you have cycled through it a few times in a long term placement.

      I am trying a tomato sauce recipe that involves roasting the tomatoes with garlic and olive oil in the oven; I don't know how it will end up tasting, but the smell in my house is fantastic :-)

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    3. Five weeks. Five weeks. And that part disappeared. I'm underway again, though.

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  23. I"m whining about John too. I was going to start the sermon with a bit of comedy, but realized coming off a serious prayer and meditation, it wouldn't work. So I'm "explaining" and trying to "teach" (see earlier discussion) using a "pop-up Bible Study moment".
    Not to mention I need to justify my sermon title, "Jesus says, 'You're full of ..'"

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  24. Done!!! And glad of it. What a challenge--holding together community worship and individual grief. In our (Episcopal) context every Sunday is a mini-Easter and a Burial service is focused on resurrection. Nonetheless pulling all the threads together in a short enough homily to be translated one paragraph at a time was quite a task. Not sure about it. There's still time to fix it so help is welcome. Here it is.

    Now off to that tax-free sale on school supplies. Martha, haven't forgotten your cartridge request. And I'll be counting on that wine and cheese when I return.

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    1. I'll be sure to read it. But I really ought to write more of mine, first. Aargh!

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  25. Oooooo - Thanks for the craving language ramona!! It just may be the string that will hold all of my ideas together. The sermon begged to be written at 3am Friday morning, but it needs a common thread that I think you have just provided.

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  26. Hello everyone. Is anyone venturing into the Chick-Fil-A issue from the pulpit this Sunday? I'm working on John's gospels and Jesus the Bread of Life, and see some possible connections, but can't figure out if or how to do it. Thanks for your help.

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    1. I was too upset about the Chik-Fil-A issue this week to even go near it in a sermon! Good luck. And peace.

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  27. Taking my inspiration from the Rolling Stones and Anthony Robinson on Text This Week, I'm 3/4 of the way there....You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you find you get what you need....

    Now I need an ending. Maybe now is the time for a S*bux break.

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    1. Love the song focus. way to go.

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    2. I thought about U2 also - still haven't found what I'm looking for. Sounds like the crowd.

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  28. Here's my late afternoon whine: I left the room, laptop on and open, and returned to find it had shut down and half my sermon was lost. Not half a sermon, but half of what I had. Back to the drawing board. Where's my cheese?

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    1. And yes, it was on Dropbox, but you still have to save, for heaven's sake.

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    2. Ugh. You definitely get some w(h)ine and cheese with that one!

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    3. That's more than wineable. That's downright whiskyable.

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  29. Yep, def a whineable issue!
    I'm saving in Pages and Word and sometimes I get to church and can't open the doc on my iPad. I usually do it from home so I know in advance but the other sunday had to open it on my desktop and re-save before I could use it.
    a 'tech-whine'? What kind of cheese would you suggest?

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    1. I was going to say Wensleydale, because it's cheerful, but your answer is much cleverer, Betsy. :-)

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  30. Ok, I've got my "final" (until the next edit) version posted here. Comments always welcome. is it too vague?
    I'm influenced by the comment I read this week, (was it workingpreacher?) that if we weren't careful we could end up saying, "Jesus wasn't very clear, too bad. Let ME tell you what he really meant." So I quote that at the beginning of the sermon. I think it leaves everyone wanting, but perhaps that's part of the 'bread' thing...

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  31. I am so skipping the bread of life, for all the reasons here. :)

    Going with Ephesians and last in my series on peace is Peace in Our Church. I visited a museum re an intentional community not far from town this week. And then went and stayed at a monastery for a couple of days, so I have quite a few anecdotes about being in Christian community, but not sure they hang together into anything sermon-ish. I am thinking of calling it "Things With Raisins in Them Set Off the Fire Alarm" (sign I saw above the toaster a the monestary) in part because it cracks me up, and in part because it interests me alot what the spoken and unspoken rules are in community, and how you communicate them.

    (And feel free to use that title, those of you bread of life-ing, btw).

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  32. Also, check in:
    Not cranky in spite of unusual heatwave out here in the Other Portland, because 2 phone calls I've been putting off did not suck. But, still recovering from pneumonia, so tired. Very very tired....

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    1. Juniper, be patient with yourself in recovery. Pneumonia is so hard.
      And what a great sermon title!

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    2. Thanks for the permission to take time. I've never had pneumonia before.

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    3. I haven't had it myself, but my oldest did. I wish I had understood it better then.

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    4. Ugh, pneumonia recovery takes for-ever. So sorry you're in the midst of it. Sleep when you need to...easier said than done, I know.

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  33. Still trying to tie together my perhaps "too cute for its own good" sermon title. Today included a few hard (as in tears shed) conversations as well as many distractions. To add to the lack of focus, band camp started this week - fully 1/4 of our HS. students are in marching band so welcome to the unofficial start of the school year!

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  34. I have both 21yo and 17yo at home this evening, and I'm trying desperately to finish my sermon in the next 45 minutes so we can enjoy some Olympics together. Go!

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  35. My sermon procrastination activity of choice has been piling up my stuff to get ready to donate. I hope I can get it all gone and then call the realtor on Monday or Tuesday.

    But now to the sermon. Already-published title: Full of Loaves and Still Hungry for Bread. I figure I have 5 minutes to preach something somewhere in the midst of the VBS celebration, the Search Committee Commissioning and Holy Communion.

    Already yawning . . . not good . . .

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  36. Just a short post to say hello to all the RevGals. Working on the John 6 passage and remembering each of you from Big Event 5! Can't believe it is August. Blessings on your sermon writing.

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    1. I've had Mary Beth and Tiger Beat on my mind all day. :-)

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  37. After a time out for S*bux and a trip to the store to get coffee hour supplies and set up for coffee hour, I've got a draft that I hope is coherent. Now for some supper--hummus and tabouleh anyone?--before final edits,

    I don't know if it is impeding vacationitis or the readings, but this one was hard!

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  38. I've got a draft, and that's a relief. I'm going to eat ice cream with the children who are not children anymore. I'll be back to check in later!

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  39. A quick check of email after the bridal shower turned into an hour long wedding planning session with our daughter. By then dinner was ready and then dishes had to be done. Which is to say, no sermon progress has been made.

    On the other hand, our experiment with heirloom tomatoes has yielded a exceedingly tasty treat - I highly recommend Cherokee Purple tomatoes. They may not be very pretty - our son said the color made it look like it was rotting - but that may have just been the most delicious tomato I have ever eaten.

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    1. Cherokee Purples are amazing! We had them for a couple of years and, as you mention, once we got past the appearance we loved them.

      My spaghetti sauce made today from our Mortgage Lifters was good, but it isn't really a tomato designed for that. One of our favorites is Momataro; a friend gave us some of his this year and I found myself wishing we had gone with those instead.

      In an hour or two, when I hope it will be solid enough to scoop, I invite any who are still up to enjoy some homemade chocolate chip cookie dough frozen yogurt. I used a recipe I saw on the Pioneer Woman blog, and if the unchecked flavor was any clue as to the taste when it is frozen, we are in for a treat. Super easy, too.

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  40. Betsy, that sounds great!
    After some blinking in and out of the Internet here, I have my sermon posted: Bread and Whine. I'm going to hit the sack as it is almost 11 here. Blessings to all who are still up and writing. I'll have a fresh pot of coffee on in the morning.

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  41. I have a sermon, but I don't have an ending. At least I think I don't. I'm trying to honor the warning from workingpreacher not to try to explain the bread metaphor just yet. But every where I go with the ending that's just what I do.

    I want ice cream! Betsy - your frozen yogurt would fit the bill nicely. I wanted to wait and have it as a reward for finishing, but maybe a scoop or two would give me inspiration.

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  42. Not preaching this week--it's the end of our partial-week vacation for our anniversary. Hubby is preaching, alas. Grandma and great-grandma have been here with the girls, which has been mostly good. Blessings on all you preachers, tonight. Prayers for all.

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  43. I'm putting it to bed, whether it's tired or not. I am!

    Cravings.

    Now to satisfy my craving for ice cream!

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    1. How is everyone? Anyone need something? Coke? Juice? Something stornger?
      How about some pink lemonade cake?
      I have 800 words and a Sunday school lesson completed.
      Not quite sure how to get to my point yet. I think my whole sermon is suppossed to have a point, but I am having a tought time brinigng this one to a close.
      I had a little family drama involving a leaky roof and a fathe who cannot hear (really needs hearing aids and finally admitted that tonight!). But in the mean while, we are hoping it does not rain this weekend, although the garden needs it. Also ready to get the roof people out to see about it is still under waranty.
      I am going to take a quick bath and get my hair washed. Saves time in the AM. Then I am back to finish this baby out.
      If anyone has a great closing statment about God's justice and sin. let me know.

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    2. Pink lemonade cake? Yes please!!

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  44. In a rare move, I am JUST starting my sermon now (and I'm on the East coast of the US). This week was my first back after most of the summer gone and the first of four before I move to a new call (AND included the senior pastor's last day), and so filled up quickly. I was up painting our new kitchen until 1am yesterday and then awake at 6 to spend the day painting, cleaning, and unloading stuff. My eyes are focused on the prize: the Sunday afternoon nap!

    I think I'm going with Paul's list and an idea of "unity in diversity." Hope it comes together--unfortunately I think I've got that "three Sundays left 'til I'm gone so maybe it's ok if my sermon isn't stellar" feeling.

    Still any cheese left to go with my whine?

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  45. Late to the party... Early in internship and trying to honor Saturday as a day off, away from the keyboard, so I worked out most of my sermon Friday. Preaching tonight and focusing on the freedom we're given to be God's hands in the world when we receive the bread of Christ, God's promises and love. Still want to do more with the freedom because in this service, I preach to seniors who are often confined to walkers and wheelchairs and cannot go to their home congregations where they'd love to be.

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  46. So I ended up mentioning Chick-fil-A, which is ironic because I've been trying to steer clear of all the hoopla. I am also hoping I can get through singing some of U2's song "One" without choking up. Not a bad sermon, and glad it's finished. Blessings on all who are preaching this morning (or who have already done so)!

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  47. Good to hear you finished up, Beth. And Chritina, good for you! The Preacher Party is full of people who choose to write on Saturday, but what matters is finding a practice that works for you.

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