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Saturday, February 02, 2008

11th Hour Preacher Party: A Lamp Shining in a Dark Place Edition

And now, only (let's see, counting) 27 days after Epiphany, we turn to another bright day, Transfiguration Sunday! Is the light blinding your eyes? Or can you finally see clearly the way of life? Where are you this morning? Are you on the mountain with Moses? Or on the mountain with Jesus, Moses and Elijah? Or are you turning to 2 Peter, who is staying faithful to apostolic teaching while waiting for the day to dawn and the morning star to dawn in our hearts? Or are you off Lectionary tomorrow, doing something completely different?

Me? I'm preaching on the Gospel tomorrow, having exhausted, these last few years, every possible example for a children's sermon using flashlights, candles, lampshades and other lights hidden or revealed. I'm especially focusing on the instructions of the Voice: "Listen to Him." Not "look at him." "Listen to him."

And as we prepare for Lent in just a few days, what kind of feasts are in front of you? Tomorrow is our congregation's annual Mardi Gras brunch. We are serving egg bake, and featuring cake walks and face painting. Today however, there is (as always) Fair Trade coffee brewing (today it's French Vanilla) and tea. In honor of Fat Tuesday, have some blueberry pancakes as well, and please, bring some of your own leftovers to share as we prepare for the Lenten fast. Then, pull up a virtual chair, and let's feast and share our own visions and voices.

Image from the St. John's Bible.


  1. Good morning everyone! I am not preaching this Sunday, which is a good thing. In the thick of moving my daughter to her first apartment. In the process of gathering with thousands of other Episopalians in the Diocese of Chicagoe to participate in the consecration service of our new bishop - and so will be gone all day. AND tomorrow I am gathering with a lot of folks from my church and others to baptize the twins (for whom I am a Godmother) - this service will take place at a near by church and Bishop Katherine (the Presiding Bishop of TEC) presiding and baptizing. So. A busy weekend - and much joy to celebrate. It is all about the transfiguration here!

    Blessings to those of you who are working hard today...

  2. Blessings to you, Mompriest! Thanks for stopping in, and pray for us all! Blessings on the baptisms tomorrow.

  3. Well, I'm off to a morning Bible Study. I'll be checking in a little later. Hope all is well.

  4. Mompriest, have a wonderful day. I knew your past bishop fairly well--he was a classmate of my partner and was back to do his dr. when I was in seminary.

    Someone wrote on Tues. about putting God in a box. I really like that image--the celebration
    of Sukkoth and the boothes--the place where we celebrate being to small to celebrate God.

    Now off to get the hoary head shorn--I am beginning to look like the white shinning shaggy.

    I will bring back goodies for the virtual brunch--how about pecan rolls and cappichino?

  5. Mompriest--blessings on all your busy doings! And Muthuh+, that sounds perfect...mmm pecan rolls.

    I'm on the gospel, and I like Diane's thoughts about "listen" rather than "look." Although I am also taken with a friend's sermon title: "Glory All Around Us."

    No meetings, appointments, baptisms, consecrations or other formal distractions for me today--so I just have to ignore the online ones, like F*ceB**k and Scr*b*l**s... And a friend is celebrating a birthday tonight--I would like to drop in on that for at least a while--so I have motivation to get the bulletin, board agenda for next week, and sermon all out of the way!

    I have some lovely paczkis, the cream-filled kind, if anyone wants some of this caloric Polish pre-Lenten treat!

  6. Wow, we are getting a nice assortment of treat's this morning! Thanks Muthah+, and Rainbow Pastor. Pecan Rolls! Paczkis! (don't know what they are, but they sound wonderful!

    I also like what Muthah+ said re: putting God in a box, and the tents of Sukkoth. We talked a little about that in my Bible study on Wednesday.

    Rainbow pastor, good sermon title! looking forward to hearing how it comes along. I have a beginning and an end, but need to work on a middle.

  7. I'll have a paczki, thanks RP.

    I have coffee and tea to share.

    Preaching the gospel tomorrow, going to take the line that the disciples see Jesus in a different light

  8. My initial thoughts are at my blog - second one down under the Super Bowl stole one. I am thinking about how the star at Christmas has become a super nova at the Transfiguration -- and now we enter that black hole of lent to be recreated on Easter. Black hole - not an image of depression but in the sense of the universe - where gravity draws all things into itself.

  9. The weather is pretty today, and we're heading out to play golf (I use the term "Play" loosely) with a couple who joined our church last week. But, I'm having dinner guests tonight and have baked a Coconut Cream Bread Pudding if anyone would like a taste - you'll have to wait for the accompanying sauce until I return!

  10. oooo as i wait for the toilet bowl cleaner to "do it's thing"... thought i'd pop in.

    haven't eaten. no coffee brewed yet either.... aaaaaa

    sermon working on how Jesus "came to" Peter, James and John and met them where they were. Does our Savior not do the same with us?

  11. I'm about 2/3 the way through a sermon about how there is a God and we aren't it.

    That's my take on T-fig this year.

  12. cheesehead, I like that. so simple. and we all need to be reminded!

    hotcup, that do, Jesus coming to us where we are.

    it reminds me to stick with the basics.

  13. Smiling at Cheesehead.... :-D

    I have been sick all week. Just crewling out from the blankets today, and thinking I will manage to preach tomorrow.

    I have a sort of "fun" series on Noah which should take me through till my last Sunday. I have to get some words on paper though.

    May I submit a quick prayer request? One of our church guys cut his fingers mostly off in his snow blower last night. He had surgery...a little reconsturction was possible, but not much. Not sure what his future holds. I'll be seeing him a bit later today.

  14. of course, praying for your church guy, singing owl!

    and what a great idea, to do a "fun series" on Noah! looking forward to hearing more about it as it progresses.

  15. I'm still trying to do something with TRUE "imagination"...and transfiguration...and Psalm 2 "Why do the people, imagine a vain thing?" I'm afraid the moment they hear "imagination" most of the congregation will go "BRAAAPPPP, imagination = not real, time to go back to sleep"...I have some notes but I think I have to "simple them up". and I have a memorial service at 11 this morning. Dinner with a friend and then HMS Pinafore tonight.

  16. Praying for you, SO, and for your church guy. happens every year, doesn't it? No matter how many times the warnings are out: "Turn the thing off before you un-jam it!" Somebody does it anyway. I hope he is able to recover some function of his hand.

    We had a guy narrowly escape that fate last year...sigh.

  17. you get out, crimson rambler! Guess that's why they call you "rambler". HMS Pinafore sounds fun!

  18. Bulletin and prayers done for tomorrow...think I'll bat out the agenda before lunch.

    I feel like a tuna melt ("Funny, you don't *look* like a tuna melt...").

    Anyone else want one?

  19. And definitely prayers for your church guy, SO...:-(

  20. Good thoughts here.

    Anyone want some candied almonds?

  21. Always knew there was something fishy about you, RP ... ;)

  22. Oh no, this seminarian who is very stressed out about preaching this tomorrow at the Big Services of the day is getting more confused reading about all of your good ideas!

    Since epiphany (with its themes of the glory of God revealed) is so short this year, I'm going to back track a bit and remind us where we've been in the last few weeks. Then I'm going to talk about how the Transfiguration points us forward to Easter, and that we should not take our eyes off where we're headed. The idea is not that we don't take Lent seriously, but that as the Easter people we are transformed by Jesus' resurrection, no matter how dark things may seem.

    Or something like that.

  23. If any of you are as motivated for sermonizing as I am then you will surely be more than happy to go play the trivia challenge

  24. Pooh to you, RDQ! lol

    And Gord--you just make me laugh!

    I love you guys, all of you!

    (Off to the trivia challenge...)

  25. Sermon done. I've had a week from H E Double Hockey Sticks. All has to do with a wall-haning in our sanctuary that was taken down, with the permission of its artist (who hasn't darkened our doors, or supported us financially in twenty freakin' years....blah blah blah)

    Anyway, Generic Horrid Church Woman took it out on me - big time. Though it all happened months ago while I was on holidays.

    Sermon -- we would LOVE to stay and adore some static, immovable version of God at the mountaintop, but that is not where we are called.

    We are called by Jesus to follow him down the mountain into real life where the power and presence of God is really needed.

    Then I give a bunch of real-life examples of where Jesus is - with the sixteen year old mom on provincial support, with the kid who's being bullied, with the guy who lost his job..etc.

    That's where the real power and presence is felt - when the people who followed Jesus down the hill (uh, us) bring the love of God where it is needed the most.

    I took out all the parts that sounded even remotely attached to this week's "troubles". I think it's a good sermon.

    I wish I drank. A nice scotch would be good right now. Damn headaches anyway. (I have discovered that alcohol is a definite trigger).

    Now, I'm going to see a movie because it's been way too long since I had any fun.

    hugs to all, good sermonizing to everyone.

  26. NOw for the working thing...

    Our Annual Meeting follows the service tomorrow. SO the service is a time to name/celebrate our ministry. FOr Children's Time I plan to ask the kids "Who works for the church?" and then have people stand as I call out things that have been done. THe hope of course is to get everybody standing...

    Sermon? WEll we will read together the congregation's Mission Statement, and I will talk about the lines from the UCCan New Creed "We Are called to be the church..."

    HOpe to put some challenge in as well as some laud. What is this ministry we have?

  27. To be clear -- the wall hanging came down months ago -- the royal chewing out of the pastor happened this past TUesday.

  28. Great children's story idea for Annual meeting day Gord. Can I steal it? I'll tell the kids that your church did it first....

  29. Steal, borrow, share---all the same to me.

    Oh and anyone want a couple of kids? Last night and this morning I would gladly have farmed out the middle, stubbornly independent, selectively deaf and unresponsive, child.

  30. Good Day everyone!
    gord-no thanks, I've got one of those at home who we are also potty training. Taking on another would be crazy at this point (says the 5 month pregnant preacher)
    Tomorrow is denomination sunday, the day we celebrate the birth of the good old cp church. It all started with three ministers who met to pray in a log cabin in Tennessee. After much prayer and listening to God's words they formed a new presbytey, which became our denomination. I'm thinking of talking about how they were transformed by this time of prayer. Connecting that to Jesus' transfiguration. Hearing the words "listen to him." And then reminding the congreation that we too are to listen to what Jesus says.
    I'm also getting the house ready for guests tonight, so we will see what actually gets accomplished.
    blessings y'all!

  31. I have no idea what I'm preaching. It will be a transfiguration sermon, but I am having trouble getting anything on paper. So I need to get the sermon written and then move on to some housework. Which means at some point I must focus (instead of watching The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy).

    I made honey cake for St. Brigid's Day. Enjoy yourself.

  32. Hey, y'all!
    I've been at church all day wrapping up our Living the Questions class. I've come home to a gorgeous afternoon, and I'm headed out for a walk, then back to focus on the sermon. I did some writing earlier in the week, but I will have to see how much of it I can use.
    Hope you're all doing well!

  33. wow, there are lots of good ideas and good food here! put it all out on the table before Lent, folks!

    Inner Dorothy, it DOES sounds like a great sermon. praying for you. The royal chewing out of the pastor and the other things from your week -- not great.

    tuna salad sandwiches -- great idea! How about some potato/bacon/cheese soup to go with that?

    Heard the Phil saw his shadow this A.M. Six more weeks of winter! We could have told him that!

    Gord -- I like your children's sermon idea. Might steal if for later refernce.

    I'd like to sneak a peak at Cheesehead's sermon, but not just yet.

    So a couple of us are done, but you others, let's hang in there! I always preach at 5:00 so I have to be done by then.

    Now I have to pick a bunch of Lenten hymns and finish a Bible study.

  34. *sigh* I've been in Atlanta for the last few days at a very awesome Baptist event led by Jimmy Carter (my personal hero). Now I'm trying to come back from that mountaintop and get my heart and words on paper. Thought I was so full of inspiration and ideas that it would all start flowing on the plane ride, but, well, not so much. Just a few notes, and that's it.

    I'm doing 2 Peter, title "Eyewitnesses to Majesty," and am pursuing what "majesty" might look like in our time - how we spot it, how we live as eyewitnesses to it, and how we continue to point people to it, the lamp shining in the dark places.

    The conference this week was, for me, definitely a lamp shining in the darkness: Jimmy Carter speaking so eloquently about putting aside divisions and putting faith into action by caring for the poor, and the earth, and the children, and the dispossessed, and the stranger, and the children; Marian Wright Edelman speaking so incisively about the plight of children in our country (and esp. about those born at "the dangerous intersection of poverty and race"); Tony Campolo reminding me again that our call is to a radical faith, and radical expression of it; Al Gore speaking on care for the earth - from a thoroughly Christian perspective (y'all it was SO freakin' good - even better than his film); and so many other compelling speakers and preachers (William Shaw, Charles Adams, Julie Pennington-Russell, Bill Clinton!). And the best part was the racial diversity and racial unity throughout all of it, in a denomination that was torn apart over slavery 160 years ago. "I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood." - that's what was happening this week, on the red hills of Georgia, as we joined hands in worship and tried to think and talk and pray together about how to answer Christ's call together. I am so full up with hope right now, I feel like I could burst.

    Surely something out of that will preach. Right?

  35. earthchick, that sounds so inspiring! can't wait to read/hear about it! (Jimmy Carter is one of my heroes, too.)

  36. WOW, Earthchick! Just reading how moved you are was moving to me. Go for it!

    Good to hear where everyone else is, too. I somehow woke up two hours later than my alarm was set this morning and have NO recollection of turning it off. So I need to scoot over to church and photocopy some things to prepare for tomorrow. (We are giving out little wearable LED lights to everyone as their little piece of the T-fig.)

    And then dig into the sermon. I'm using some of the "thin places" stuff I thought about last week...but when I type it out it sounds stupid. Hrmph. I knew I should have written this sermon last week, when everything I thought of seemed perfect for this week.

    On my way back from church I'll pick up some Timbits for the party!

  37. Yay, Semfem! Timbits! Just what I need for inspiration!

    Or something...

  38. I have finished at least a working draft. It's here waiting for a responce before it makes it to the priter files!

  39. I ment PRINTER files. sigh, long day!

  40. RP--after going to seminary in Canada, I cannot tell you how glad I was to be assigned to a part of the States that has Tim Horton's. :)

  41. I'm chiming in this week. I'm allowing myself to chime in. I have found that it is not hard for me to spend more time than I should on this thread when I need to be preparing the sermon. That said, some of my great breakthroughs have happened when responding to other folks' posts.

    Anyway, my three posts from earlier in the week are sure to turn into my sermon today (1, 2, and 3). I got it well focuses and outlined Thursday, so my hope is to pound out the official sermon while my 2.5 yo takes a nap. Unfortunately the baby is not napping, but rolling around in a dirty diaper on the floor next to me. The big question, will my husband's nose discover this and change it so I can work, or will I need to get up and deal with it? He's a lovely man, but I'm pretty sure I know the answer, and there's a break in my future (even before I get started).

    Oh well. I'm working mostly with Matthew, and having only done one or maybe two T-fig sermons, I'm not out of ideas quite yet. Talk to me next year. Last year I talked about how God got the disciples' attention visually, and what the visual image of the transfiguration stood for (or something like that). This year I'm working with the desire to build a place for Jesus to dwell (to contain him) where everything seems good and right and perfect in hopes that it means we can avoid or ignore the more difficult parts of faith and life. The bulletin says my title is "God-in-a-box", and at some point I had an idea to use the image of a "Jack-in-the-box" where we try to stuff God in like the clown, but eventually (as tension builds) the light of Jesus can't help, but to explode out. We'll see if I keep working with that image or if I just ignore my title and write what I write.

    OK. I'll read what folks have said so far, comment as I can, change Mr. Stinkypants, and get to work!


  42. For Gord and cpcmama - sorry, no takers here either. Mine are all grown up. Been there, done definitely have my sympathy though.

    Songbird - we're doing LtQ right now and Loving. It. Our group is really engaged and getting a lot out of the program.

  43. Hey, if any of y'all want to see any of the videos of the speakers I was mentioning above, they have all already been posted, here . A few of the remarks are primarily about/towards Baptists, but for the most part everything is relevant to any Christian. I am really excited that the Al Gore video is online, b/c I think his slant on things in this presentation might be more persuasive for some Christians who haven't yet been able to get onboard with our call to care for the earth.

  44. Wait--someone mentioned something that was posted on Tuesday--was there a Lectionary Leanings this week? I can't seem to find it...

  45. Forgive me littlemankitty for using your login, but I just refuse to get a login from a company I'm not using.

    If LMK were to write here, he'd say that sermon writing STINKS. He hates that I'm home but not playing. So he's entertaining himself by batting a pen around the room.

    Girlkitty would say that sermon writing ROCKS. She has been my constant companion all day.

    I'm saying this sermon is eeking its way out. I preached a pretty rocking version of it last year, and I just spent so much time with the text that this year, I'm just not into the topic. But slog along I'm doing.

    Everything that I have to eat is brown. cereal, mac and cheese (well that's orange, but close), granola bars....brown, brown, brown. I can't imagine anyone wanting any of it, but if it sounds good, let me know. Oh, and almonds. almonds are brown, but good. Maybe you want some of those?

    I can't imagine this is going to take me more than another hour, if I can just focus!!!

  46. semfem - There wasn't a Tuesday this week (well, you know what I mean). I couple of us posted lectionary stuff on Wednesday with the festival stuff to get some juices flowing. That might be what was referred to. Actually, I'm pretty sure of it since I was one of the ones part of that little discussion.

  47. no, there was not a Lectionary Leanings this week. Thank you to those who contributed on Wednesday.

    My sermon's done, since I have to preach it at 5:00. So's the Lenten Bible Study, sort of.

    The sermon is called: "Until the morning star shines in our hearts." Kind of brought 2 Peter and Matthew in. Sermon will be up later.

    How is it going, everyone? Sounds like there are some snacks floating around.

    Pretzels? Potato Chips? Anyone?

  48. Well...
    We took the dogs to the beach, and then we went to the store, and now I am moving my notes from earlier in the week around and hoping they somehow transmogrify, if not transfigure, themselves into a preachable sermon. This was a very demanding week at church (contract negotiations with program staff) and at home (interviews for possible next jobs, crunching numbers from two churches, also a deadline for financial aid forms for 17-year-old's school), and I'm glad I started writing earlier in the week! But those reflections aren't exactly all of a piece, so I am trying to pull it together now.
    I'm glad I got out into the sunshine, anyway.
    If you haven't tried Oreo Candy Bites in the 100 calorie package, I highly recommend them.

  49. I just got a call from the pastor who was supposed to preach tomorrow that he has the flu and will not be able to be there. I'm on. It will be a late night. I'd appreciate your prayers.

  50. Oh LOrd, that is my worst nightmare, the Saturday night flue. May the muse be with you!

  51. I am still trying to slog through my sermon. I just cannot focus. But I did find this wonderful sermon Madeline L'Engle gave in 1991: The Mythic Bible. Okay back to work.

  52. Good evening, everyone. I am working through the middle of the sermon now. I have a beginning that is about the middle of Peter's time as an Apostle...and his denial of Christ (I think of the Transfiguration as happening more at the beginning of his time with Christ.). Then I take us to the end of his time with the epistle reading. I am hoping to find some way to tell the story of Peter's transformation, not just Christ's.

    I have no idea how this is going to happen. Peter is in the midst of the "politics of transformation." The fear, the denial, and the eventual hopeful proclamation.

    See? I am swimming.

  53. Earthchick...Wow. I so wish I could have been there. The transfiguration of a denomination at work?

  54. Maybe so, Tripp. Wouldn't that be something? [definitely check out some of the videos when you get the time]

  55. Wow amazing stuff happening here! I often wish I could somehow be at all your churches (incognito, of course) to hear these wonderful sermons. Your congregations are all blessed to have you, and if they don't agree, tell them I said they're wrong...I'm sure that will change their minds. lol

    I'm done...going to let it cool overnight, and with the luxury of tomorrow morning to do a final polish, am going off to play at the birthday party for a while!

    Blessings on those of you still working! (I'm sure that will be me next week...)

  56. Any chance that if I preach 89% of a sermon there will be a blinding flash of light when I reach the point where I am now stuck and no one will wonder what happened to my conclusion?

  57. Oooh, Songbird, that would be fantastic (I mean, if the same thing could happen here). If you figure out how to make that occur, please let me know.

    [says she with roughly 43% of a sermon]

  58. HAHAHAHAHA Songbird, I've often wanted something like that to happen. Sometimes I write the ending first.

    I feel like Rainbow Pastor, I'd love to lurk in all of your churches.

    Tripp, your idea sounds so intriguing.

    Ok, I'm taking a break for 'burgers with the family. Husband is cooking. Gotta love that, right?

    I'll check in a little later, putting on a fresh pot of coffee for those who are still writing, and chocolate chip cookies?

    It's almost Lent you know. You might have to give them up.

  59. That's a thought, Diane. Although it's a little late to write it first, maybe I need to go to another document and write a conclusion and then see if I can't put them together.
    And earthchick, if I figure it out, I'll definitely share it.

  60. Back after making little yellow cards at church, which will have LED lights attached to them sometime tonight. And a taco salad dinner. Er, that's what I ate, not what will be on the yellow cards. You know what I mean.

    I have an outline, which doesn't suck so bad, and now it's off to actually write the thing. I really need to be functional after church tomorrow, so I shouldn't keep my usual late-night schedule.

    Tripp, I really like your "transformation of Peter" idea...have to sock that one away for a future year. Wow.

    Let me try something...

    *blinding flash of light*

    Shoot. Guess it doesn't work that way!

  61. Ugh. This is not working. I have a reflection with no conclusion, still. I have written and deleted so many sentences!!!

  62. Okay, as usual, just after I tell you I can't finish, I do. Unless it's a really bad idea to call Peter a block-head...

  63. After supper I suddenly remembered that I have to give the opening prayer for the Annual MEeting. ANd that I wanted to write a new one since the one I found in my resources wasn't quite "right".

    SO between helping the Beloved print off a bunch of pictures for a project she is working on and playing backgammon online I got it written. I am about to go post it at my worship blog. You would likely need to adapt it to you own contexts but anyone is free to borrow if it helps.

  64. All things considered I thing blockhead is a good description of Peter. Mind you, I have a "dimwitted disciples" theory for the Synoptic Gospels (particularly MArk)

  65. Holy Multi-tasking Gord! Are you baking a cake at the same time??

    My Luke prof used to say the disciples were as dumb as a bag of hammers.

  66. Imagine how we would feel if they had been brilliant? ;-)

  67. As usual I am stuck on the conclusion. I can never seem to wrap it up all nice and neat like I want to. Though since this is a text about a messy disciple being shown immense grace, maybe my folks will show my messy sermon some?
    Anybody want to share the H-D Mayan Chocolate (choc. w/cinnamon) ice cream that I'm eating right out of the container? I have clean spoons. Dig in!

  68. I finally finished my sermon woo hooo. I was stuck on my conclusion too, however a blinding flash of light came in the form of a country song. I am ending my ermon with a quote from Carrie Underwood's song "Jesus take the wheel."

  69. well there is somewhat of a chance that there was some avoidance of the task at hand happening. Sort of like "what do I want to say--oh backgammon"

    ANd the pictures were an all-afternoon project (computer issues.

  70. I'll take cinnamon in anything, especially ice cream. Hand me a virtual spoon, and I'll dig right in.

    I'm done, but might tweak it a little tomorrow when I preach it again). I basically like it, but a couple of things might need smoothing out.

    Is anyone still working? I'll check in again, but probably be going to be soon.

    Thanks for coming to my first "regular" time as a preacher party host!

  71. Yes, I'm still working. Dangit. I'm ready to be done, but I really couldn't expect to be given that I didn't type the first word until mid-to-late afternoon.

    I'm getting to where the ending needs to start happening, but I don't know how to wrap this baby up. Usually if I post a desperate message here, indicating that I've almost given up hope of coming up with anything, I'll find an ending within about 20 minutes. So, uh, consider this my desperate message.

    There. Let's see if that works.

  72. I'm still working, and I'd like to add that I have OFTEN skipped from the middle, written the end, and then tried to get the two together. OFTEN.

    OK. Off to nurse the little one to sleep, then back to actually type this one out. Nap time did not go as planned today, so here I am doing my writing at 8:15 p.m. Oh well. Still better than my previous tradition of 4:00 a.m.

  73. Still working here...probably because I took a little procrastination break to check blogs. *ahem* But now, really, back to work.

    Still got Timbits if anybody needs a quick snack!

  74. I'm still working. Just completed my worship prep, but still have newsletter articles to do.

    I'm having a red beer, in honor of Spring being a mere 6 weeks away [didn't we determine that's what candlemas means yesterday?]

    It's two parts beer to one part clamato juice, with a generous splash each of lime juice and worchestershire, salted with creole seasoning. Tabasco optional.

    May I pour you a red beer---?

  75. Oh, to be needing to know how to end the sermon...still trying to find the path to begin...

    Why are you here? One might ask. I think it's a way of trying to assuage my anxiety. I hate having to jump in at the last minute without having had time to "live with" the text for a few days.

    I hope God has something to say cause I don't.

  76. Sue, I like your approach.

    I am very intrigued by the statement at the end of the Gospel text, where Jesus tells the others to "Tell no one." Why? Any ideas from the vast reaources of the RevGalPals would be greatly appreciatied.

    I'm getting here kind of late, but we've been working on the house all day. The DH invited his Boy Scout Troop for a super bowl party, and then the dd's youth group was also included. I have no idea how many people are coming, but there will be tacos and chili for all.

    Family is watching Shakespeare in Love. I'm just happy to be sitting down as my knee was giving me trouble earlier. I may read a little more and trust the Spirit to be on task in the morning.

  77. Okay, so that was closer to an hour than to 20 minutes, but I think I'm done for now. It feels a bit like a jumble and a bit incomplete, but for now I have done all I could for it.

    It's posted here .

  78. Hey, lookie there. Looks like I have finally gotten the hang of html. Twice in one day I have accurately posted hyper-links!

  79. Yay! I finished! And it's not even midnight! WOOHOO!

    Really, once I stopped farting around and got down to business, it took about an hour and a half to get out in words. Silly me.

    Yay Earthchick for being done...encouraging cheers to Betsy for getting started (check out the sermons posted, that almost always gets my ideas flowing)...more cheers to Kim and she-rev who are working away...and red beer sounds interesting, RDQ. (I think red wine is more my style though!)

    Now to get a million little lights ready to be given out. Well, okay, more like sixty.

  80. there's a pot of tea on for anyone still working (and I know a few of you are).

    Last one up, turn out the lights, ok?

    congrats to earthchick for the successful hyperlinks.... and sermon.

  81. I'm sad to have missed the party today--Youth stuff going on all last night and all day today.

    So here I am, too late at night, to share this:
    In August I thought, "I hate t-fig. I think instead of me preaching that AGAIN we should make it Youth Sunday." So we did.
    Today I thought, "I hate Youth Sunday. I think we should never have it again." Somehow I don't think that will be as simple to accomplish....

    and now an exhausted me is going to join my anxiety dreams in my bed, only to wake up a few hours from now to help procrastinating youth finish the powerpoint, practice the testimonies, write/edit the communion prayer, and learn to teach the congregation a new song. Good times.

    If you never hear from me again, you'll know that I have at last succumbed to my fantasy of being too ill or too dead to show up for Youth Sunday this year.

  82. Someone should note this day, semfem and I are both done before midnight "blog" time. WHOO HOO to being done early!

  83. We're switching roles this week semfem. Looks like I'm going to be finishing up way late. Or way early. I'm doing the farting around tonight that I am trying to train myself away from. I'm going to go to bed now, though, because I'm very happy with how I FINALLY got my intro piece going. Now I'm at a point where I can just cut and paste various pieces from my blogging earlier in the week, tweak things here and there, and preach at 9:30 a.m. I'll do that after a good 6 hours of sleep! Good deal and good night.

    Totally unrelated - - I had a GREAT day (and Friday night) enjoying our small town's annual hot air balloon festival. It was COLD (but apparently not as cold as previous years), but so exciting for me to see them inflate and take off right in front of me. I was the one with the excitement of a 2 year old, not my 2 year old. It was neat, and well worth being a little bit behind since I actually spent 24 hours straight with my family for the first time since before we moved here in mid-December. I can handle an early morning for that reason. (Hopefully it just doesn't lead to another string of good excuses next week!)

  84. Did everyone leave because semfem and I are done early?

  85. SheRev: I've been back a couple of hours, but it's as done as it's gonna be and printed, so I'm off to bed for another hour before I have to get up and get ready to go.

    Blessings on your continued work. May the Spirit fill you up with words to share.


  86. Remember, Gals and Pals:
    If you've got a dog, walk it proud.
    The Holy Spirit's got your back.
    (And if all else fails, maybe you'll get the blinding flash of light.)

  87. too late to heed your advice, Songbird, but I walked my "dog" anyway!


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