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Saturday, March 29, 2008

11th Hour Preacher Party: Doubting Thomas Edition

Okay, I'll confess: I've been crabby about that "doubting Thomas" thing for a few years now. Poor Thomas has been libelled as a "doubter" for eons, when there is so much more to him than that (how about "courageous Thomas"? -- He is the one who says to Jesus in John 11, "Let us go, that we may die with him.")

Anyway, in this 2nd week of resurrection appearances, what are you focussing on? Jesus and his wounds? The breath of the Holy Spirit? The testimony of Peter in Acts 2? Or would it be some aspect of Thomas' story?

As for me, I'm meditating on Jesus' greeting: "Peace be with you", and what it means to share the peace -- really. I'm also drinking coffee, and eating oatmeal with blueberries (and a little brown sugar!) -- working on the cholesterol thing.

How about you? What are you working on? Preaching? Playing? Scratching your head over a children's message? Or recovering? Pull up a chair, show us your wounds, tell us your stories.

So -- we're not on the cruise! There's always next year -- right?


  1. Diane, what tiem do you need to be up to get this post on so early. I'm in UK but, for the next three Saturdays I'm going to be able to experience the preacher party in real time - I'l be preaching in Virginia for two weeks and then vacationing in Indianapolis for the last few days. Can't wait. I'm just about to go for my Saturday morning sermon inspiring walk before returning to a young mens breakfast worship - with coffee and bacon rolls. will check back later.

  2. Forgot to say - I'm focussing on the breath of Christ - that up close, intimate stuff that, for me, is at the heart of everyone's ministry but that is often hampered by all the other church crap! Anyway - bacon rolls first.

  3. well liz, to be perfectly honest with you, I drafted it last night, revised it and hit publish by mistake! that's why it's so early.

    I'd like to hear more about the "bacon rolls" they sound yummy.

    also, I like the idea of the "breath of Christ," too.

  4. Well, not early this morning, but here I am...

    And no appointments or meetings or evening events, so I have all day to finish up the sermon (have some ideas and that's it), as well as some paper-worky sorts of things--worship schedule, mainly.

    I'm looking at those locked doors--the LGBT community often sits behind locked doors in fear. And I'm also looking at the doubt--and then trying to tie the two together. Something like--if we venture out, if we unlock those doors and make allies, we will be able to testify to God's love for us. If we stay behind those doors, no matter how safe it feels, no matter how much we believe, we're not advancing the realm of God--we're not doing that "go and tell" bit. At least that's where I'm headed right now.

    I have some chocolate chip muffins to share...

  5. chocolate chip muffins!!!! my favorite!

    and I like your idea... kind of where I'm going on "sharing the peace of Christ..."

    .... get out of your comfort zone...

  6. I'm focusing on THomas' doubt--I think the poor guy has gotten a bad rep over the last few centuries. Doubt is a natural part of our process in beleiving. But,we do need the holy spirit to breathe on us, to help us understand.

    I'm mostly, though, interviewing for a scholarship (fingers crossed), taking my son to his first baseball practice, and having a play date. Somewhere in there, I'll edit and proofread. :)

    May the Holy Spirit breathe on you a word of inspiration.

  7. Beloved has waffles waiting and I'm off to a board retreat in just a few minutes, so I'll be joining you all later today.

    I'm after "The Scars Still Remain" as my title. I have about 2/3 of what I normally do, but I'm stuck and hoping to get unstuck early tomorrow morning. I'm talking about our scars and how they come from being in a world that can sometimes cause pain - and how Jesus sends us INTO that world, not away from it or to hide in locked rooms for fear of the world around us.

    Good luck, all!

  8. I have a funeral this evening which needs a meditation (for a 25 year old woman who committed suicide. She is not a church member), and then a sermon for tomorrow.

    I was thinking about the peace of Christ, and how in your face it is (read the theolog post from Tuesday at but may be focusing on the doubt part -- it ties in to a little of what I was preaching about before easter - -you on;t have to be sure and you don't have to know it all to believe.

    Food is scarce around here, but there is cereal and milk, and organic fair trade coffee.

  9. I have one sermon complete here, and one still to write, can't really recycle the first one as one is for a Baptism with mostly unchurched people, and the other for an evening service with a contemplative theme....

  10. What we are not on a cruisi? You mean its all just in my mind? I thought there was something wrong with this boat. LOL.

    I love your confession, about being crabby about the doubting Thomas thing. I think he gets a bad rap too. In fact I say so in some of my thoughts I have been writing on him, and so does everyone else just about at Text this week.

    But it turns out I don't have to preach this Sunday a friend of mine who I set up to preach for me when I made plans to be on the cruise is still going to preach.

    Today we have Angel Food ministries. We also have a girl's softball game at 11:30. I have done a funeral already in Wadley, and will turn around and do one Monday. Will have to cut out of BOOM too to do it.

    And did I mention we have a kid recovering from tonsillectomy at home, and another one who came down with Tonsillitis.

    I am remembering you all who are preaching.

  11. knittin preacher- prayers are with you for that meditation, and funeral.

  12. After a couple of months hiatus from preaching, I'm back this week to join in the party. It's good to see so many of you again!

    I am preaching about walls and locked doors - the literal ones that contained the disciples, and the internal ones that kept Thomas in disbelief. Jesus doesn't leave them there; he breaks right through their walls, speaks peace to them, breathes life into them, and sends them out beyond their walls to bring peace and life to others. It needs to be finished in about two hours, so I'm off to type like a madwoman.

  13. knittin preacher - prayers.
    rev abi - yikes! you're busy!

    dovetailed on revscott's thoughts upon scars & wounds. the flip side of joy. sipping a mocha & debating which housework to tackle first...

  14. As a seminarian, it is rare that I get to join y'all for the 11th Hour Preacher Party but this morning I'm on a quest to finish up my sermon on Acts 10 - the 2nd Pentecost/Peter's sermon in the household of Cornelius. I'm focusing on the fact that the disciples who were with Peter were greatly astounded by the work of the Holy Spirit and asking the question of where/in whom/through what we might be astounded by the on-going work of the Holy Spirit.

    So not Doubting Thomas HOWEVER I preached on that story two summers ago and the link to that text is here:

    Also, if you are in need of inspiration, please do yourselves a favor and download NickelCreek's song entitled Doubting Thomas - In fact, if you are fresh out of ideas, you could probably just put this song on loop for 15 minutes and call that a sermon!

    Blessings to all!

  15. Thanks for the tip on that song Meg

  16. I decided to join with the lectionary crowd this week. ;-)
    The trouble is, I chose the I Peter passage. It is so packed with theological richness, etc. etc. But now I find my brain needs sometihing a little bit more concrete...and wishing I'd chosen the John passage. Not that Jesus appearing out of nowhere is "concrete" but you know what I mean. I'm too tired for fleshing out what "living hope" means. Alas, I already put it in the bulletin.

    I'm off to run some errands, but will have to really get to it later today. Just wish I had an idea.

    Anybody else looking at I Peter?

  17. I'm preaching tomorrow then I've got the week off! I had a few thoughts but I just decided that this would be the outline (though I can't write it til later this evening as I've got people due to arrive soon - it's 3pm here):

    3 'marks' of being Christian:
    1. You can't stay behind locked doors. (Look at some people who got out there and what they did for the kingdom).

    2. You need the peace and breath of Christ. (All we do needs to be in his strength and power).

    3. With Thomas you wear/carry the words "My Lord and my God", and live them! (despite doubts!)

    Does that sound do-able?

  18. I love that passage Singingowl- it is a sermon in itself....

  19. I'm off-lectionary this week. We're celebrating "Laughter" or "Holy Humour" Sunday. There will be a clown. I'm not generally a huge fan of clowns, but this one is very good. Most of her face is not painted (so the children can see her and identify who she is - she's a member at our church, and a professional clown).

    Seeing her face made a huge difference for me in the creepiness factor. I hope it works for the children too. Crying, terrified children on Laughter Sunday - awkward, yes?

    knittinpreacher - prayers for you and your funeral this evening.
    revabi - more tonsillitis??? Oy.

    Good work so far everyone!

    * I wouldn't want the RevGals on the Big Boat to feel left out :) so here's a shout-out to the Cruisers!! *waving from the doc*

    Bless you all - I hope you've had a wonderful time so far.

  20. I'm here, and the sermon is really the only major thing on my plate today. I'm going with the doubting thing, but from the perspective that Christ still comes to us beyond ALL our doubts.

    Friend and I are taking kids to piano at 10:30. I will work on graduation announcements there.

    Daughter is having study group over at 3, I'll go run bulletins at the church.

    And husband & son are on a campout, so the rest of the day will be quiet!

    There is a fundraiser for my upcoming mission trip to Haiti after church tomorrow, and the PowerPoint for that is already done. Just need to make my bing cherry salad for the potluck and take it over.

    Any body want some?

  21. We are celebrating Joy Sunday and having a baptism. Have a mini sermon together complete with jokes. Our Not-Ready-for-Sunday-Mornning-Players will have a short skit and then we do an open mic for those who have a good clean funny joke to share. I bring along extras for those who forgot to bring a joke.
    Our "World Class Church Kazoo Band" will be playing "This is The Day!" lead by the kids during the children's time. Interesting how many Presbyterians don't know how to play the kazoo!
    So, it will be a Sunday of joyous celebration when everyone leaves church healthier and in a good mood.
    May God strengthen us all this day in our preparations and may we not forget to delight in God as God delights in us.

  22. Know what you mean, Sally. It seems to me it is about ten sermons...maybe that is my problem. Every phrase in the passage is a sermon! GOtta narrow it down somehow.....

  23. Exercised this morning. Spent some time in the backyard with the sun, and the birds singing, beautiful, in a desert kind of way.

    Drinking coffee, not preaching tomorrow, but getting ready to head in to church for a baptismal rehearsal. Yes, I've been here almost three weeks and in that time I have done Holy Week, Easter, a funeral, and now a baptism...all I need is a wedding (and I have one on the books for August)...

    Prayers for all those preaching. If I were I'd probably take Thomas. I actually do love that he expresses "doubts" which gives voice to the times in our lives when we doubt and assures us that its ok...

  24. Funeral meditation done, now on to find lunch (can I have cereal if I had cereal for breakfast?), take a shower and think about Thomas.

    Thanks for the prayers!

  25. Did young men's breakfast worship, then a wedding - now for sermon. Had thought in car - at beginning of Lent the whole congregation wrote their names on cards, we gathered them up and placed them in the baptismal font to celebrate God knowing our names etc. Thought maybe this week we could give out tear drop shapes. folk could hold them and think about times of disappointment,loss whatever - the kind of disappointment and loss that must have affected Thomas. Then we could gather those up and place those too in the font to celebrate how the God who knows our name shares our sorrows and breathes his spirit into them and us - as he breathed on and transformed his disciples. that's it so far.

  26. what about Thomas's TRUTHFULNESS? and his CHALLENGE to what he had been told, which brought him to a new place of understanding and recognition -- and FAITH -- which nobody had yet really reached until he uttered it, and thereby shared/taught it: "My Lord and my God." Could we tie this to all the places in the Gospels where the disciples HAVEN'T spoken up during Jesus' ministry?

  27. I like your thinking Crimson Rambler. I think Thomas is too easily dismissed as a doubter...

    btw I have just returned from the store where I treated myself to a bar of chilli chocolate, any takers?

  28. here's a thought - -did any of the rest of them doubt too, but just not say anything? how much courage does it take to say "I need a little more than faith right now"? To drop the facade of looking like you are Ok when you are not sure, to unlock the doors we use to hide how we are really doing from the world. Maybe we criticize Thomas for doubting because then we do not have to admit that we doubt too.

  29. sorry I have been gone so long. internet at church is OUT. So, I haven't been able to keep in contact. Knittingpreacher, prayers for you in your funeral preparation.

    lots of good ideas here. we're having pizza. want some?

    I've GOT to look up that Nickel Creek song.

  30. One coat of paint on the newly renovated bathroom. Another coat in an hour or so, and I'll be done. Meanwhile I'm finding places to touch up with paint in other parts of the house.

    Sermon done, but it needs a review later on...then some prayers.

  31. I with knittinpreacher on this one. I am focusing on the John passage. I think Thomas verbalizes what the others are feeling and to an extent what we all feel at some time or another. As a post-script to the hoopla of Easter Sunday, what do we actually believe?

    I am also getting ready to head out this week to Mexico on a mission trip. It's not a cruise, but I'm not complaining!

  32. Oh, and like Gord, I will be observing Earth Hour tonight.

  33. Earth Hour. Why don't I know about this? I'd like more details please!

    I will be heading back to church in a few minutes, so I'll be offline until after the service again (argh!).

    Here's a story I heard about sharing the peace:
    family was traveling in europe. The tour guides kept saying they should be careful, beweare of the gypsies and pickpockets whereever they went. So they were in a cathedral for a tour, but while the tour was going on there was also a Mass. As they were touring around the building all of a suddden this woman comes out of nowhere and sticks out her hand and says something, and the woman in the family backs away, and keeps here hands at her side, because she is afraid. And then a little later she realizes that what the woman said was "la Paz de Dios" -- she was trying to share the peace.... she had left the sanctuary and was extending god's peace to the tourists....

  34. Crimson Rambler I love it! That will work with my challenge to unlock the doors, too.

    Not got a lot more done on the sermon. Working on laundry, had lunch, caught up on email. Think I'll put the ham and corn chowder for dinner together and on the stove, then come back to power through this.

    Would y'all prefer cornbread or beaten biscuits with the chowder?

  35. The story about the scars never came so I went with walking by faith and not by sight. You can find it at

  36. rainbow preacher,
    Thanks for touching on the locked rooms. I lived in mine for too many years. Now we just need for others to get out of the locked rooms and know that we are all folk who love and and live holy lives in faith.

  37. I'm away at a conference this weekend (alas, not a conference on a cruise ship, but still a women's conference...) so am not going to be in church. However, when we talked about Thomas in our lectionary group we talked about WHY he wasn't with the other disciples when Jesus showed the first time--was he out because he wasn't afraid the way they were? Because he was sharing good news of resurrection? Because he went home for the night? Because he needed some introvert time? I like the idea that he wasn't so scared he had to hide in a locked room.

    Also, since the other disciples had all seen Jesus already, I always point out whenever this text is read, Thomas isn't asking for something the others haven't had. They've had the face-to-face, the corporeal experience. Thomas wants it too--to be part of the in-the-know-club or something? I think that's what is behind Jesus' statement at the end of the pericope.

    But maybe that's just me.

    Okay...on with your party....I'm going to take a post-workshop-leading, pre-worship-leading nap. :-) I'm dropping off some chocolate chewies cookies from whole foods...enjoy!

  38. Regarding Earth Hour...

    I don't know how to do a link, but if you go to Google, it talks about it right on the main page. In fact, they've "blacked out" the page in honor of Earth Hour. Or you can go directly to It happens tonight at 8:00 p.m.

  39. 8.20pm here now and my visitors have gone so about to try and make my vague outline something worthwhile! (Hoping that no comment earlier was good not bad!).

    And the clocks go forward in the UK tonight - I don't want to lose that hour!!

  40. I'm assisting tomorrow...we had a "come to Jesus" (pardon the pun) meeting of our lay ministers this week where we finally sat down and got our Sunday ritual choreography synchronized, so that will be great...but I still have to compose my Prayers of the Church. When I told FT I wanted to ad lib, she said, "To be totally honest with you, the last time you did that it sounded like you pulled it out of your [anatomical area] with no preparation" I guess it's back to the script for me, at least for now. I am weighing different elements of the Gospel lesson for a motif that I can run through the prayer.

  41. BTW, we're having wine, crackers and cheese at my place for our Saturday evening repast...we were in the Cultured City down the highway from Outer Podunk, stopped at the gourmet store there and randomly picked whatever little tag ends of unfamiliar cheeses were lying in the cheese case. (We do this all the time, and it's a great way to splurge without spending a lot of money. And there's less guilt/buyer's remorse if you wind up truly hating a particular variety.) Bring some crackers and join us!

  42. So, how is everybody doing? Chelley hope it all comes together in time. I like your 3 marks outline.

    Oh man Lutheran chick, they would chew me up and spit me out if I prayed a written prayer. Good writing.

    presby babe, hope your mission trip goes well.

    Stacey welcome back.

    We finished Angel Food Ministries with a bang. Met with the family that I am doing the funeral for. Got to do some Pastoral Care with them. The girls won their game, and Kara got a hit.

    There are some great thoughts going back and forth on here. I have some candy and Diet coke if anybody wants some.

  43. Diet Coke with a twist of lime, gourmet cheese & crackers.. i'm in! spent all afternoon and i mean all cleaning out one cupboard of pretty things in the kitchen - deciding what i wanted to keep and what can go to the antique stores. whew! downsizing is something else... maybe thomas was home dong that.

    ok seriously... best wishes on the writing folks and on the preaching... boil water. pour into cup with 3 Tbsp honey and 3 Tbsp lemon juice. excellent for the throat if ya know you've been preaching alot lately... heee

  44. Thanks for your words of encouragement revabi, I find it hard to trust my own (well I hope God-given) abilities to say something valuable!
    I quite like those three points and will write a sermon from them one day - but I suddenly decided to see if I'd preached this passage in a previous church - and I had, and I liked it so I'm gonna preach it again!
    Now, is that a complete cop-out or more along the lines of whoever said, "if a sermon's worth preaching it's worth preaching twenty times!" (or something like that - who was it?)?

  45. I'm writing later tonight. I don't have a whole lot composed in my head yet which isn't my favorite place to be. Last week was resurrection hope; this week is more like resurrection responsibility. I'm working with John and mostly with the part about being sent as the Father sent Jesus. I'm with others who have wondered about where Thomas was. I think it was Dylan's blog that ran with this a little more? Anyway, when you look at John 20 as a whole the two people who verbally declare who Jesus is after the resurrection (Mary with "Rabbouni" "my teacher" or "my lord" and Thomas with "My Lord and my God") didn't seem to be locked up in that room in fear. They were out and about looking for Jesus, proclaiming Jesus, having encounters with him in the world. I don't know if I'll go too far with that since I haven't really studied it much, but I read about it a little and found it intriguing.

    I need to stick with my first and major plan - - being sent with the Spirit to proclaim and live the resurrection, my title is something about being turned inside out. I won't go into much of the Thomas stuff at all, and almost cut the reading short so the waters didn't get muddied, but I left it for the "Blessed" part. I think people who believe without seeing are blessed because someone is a blessing to them. We should be that blessing to others.

  46. Nah, no cop out. I have gone back and read my sermons, and perhaps updated the illustrations sometimes or a thought that fit the present church.

    You have good thoughts, Chelley.

    I admire your cleaning work. Can you come help us clean and pack and move, hot cup Lutheran? Good recipe for the throat. my mom always threw in a little Bourbon or Whiskey, and that always helped too.

  47. Theolog's Blogging toward Sunday really made me think with "Peace and wounds dine together on Easter." I took off on that here.

  48. As a seminary student, I'm getting to preach this Sunday at my home church for the second year in a row. Last year it was Thomas: the courage involved in taking the risk to doubt and question, and how much we need him to reflect what is often our own experience. This year, Thomas, Peter and Mary Magdalene (I expanded a bit): what happens to people in light of the Ressurection.

  49. well I've got tomorrow morning sorted out, I think that tomorrow afternoon will be a time to re-visit the evening service.

    Like Chelly I am heading for bed early... perhaps to dream of cruising!!!!!

  50. Hi all - I'm sneaking in some sermon work before a wedding tonight. I feel like I've got a good theological flow - starting with 1 Peter and the living hope and flowing into the John from there and focusing on the sending/breath/blessing. But I feel it is all woefully heady - I have no stories/lightness/examples. I'd like to use the 3-days-dead morning breath thing from Theolog only because I think it's funny but think it may be a little too gross?

    Maybe there will be a great illustration that happens at the wedding of how we are sent as Christ is sent? I should have gone with straight up Humor Sunday and not have to worry about whether the jokes fit! Help!
    Oh, and a children's moment, anyone???

  51. I'm back in connected land! home from church. preached once, will probably add little something before tomorrow.

    didn't get as much practice as I would have liked, as someone forgot to set up for communion.

    chelley, your idea sounds GREAT. it is hard to trust ourselves sometimes.

    wine and cheese sounds good, but we're having cheeseburgers. mmm mmm good

  52. knittinpreacher, hope the funeral goes well, that sounds like a toughie.

    meg, I found the song and lyrics. You are right. Hope you are able to put your sermon together.

    Amy how did the interview go? Baseball, and well of course the sermon?

    Gord and presby babe thanks for the reminder about Earth hour, I almost let it pass by.

    rev zookeeper, I was reading your thoughts, and I have thought about the halitosis thing too. I then remembered my Pastoral Counselor used to say to me Halitosis is better than no tosis at all. So maybe the three day morning breath is better than no breath at all.

    Shawnee renee, good work and ideas.

    gannet girl hope the preaching goes well.Your theme is sort of where I am going all Easter.

  53. she rev -- I like your move from resurrection hope to resurrection responsibility. can't wait to hear more.

    taking a break now....

    be back with wine?

  54. Back from the funeral and am thankful for your prayers. It was awful -- the mother of the deceased got angry and stopped the service declaring "this isn't what she would have wanted" and left. ummm.... long (long long) story short, when someone says to you "she wasn't religious" and you ask specifically "can I talk about God if I don't mention jesus" and she says "yes" find a way to double check, because despite what she says, she didn't mean it. What every other family member will tell you (and they all told me it was OK, and they all knew her better than mom did, which was the sad thing), is that she felt connected to a higher power in nature, and wanted to talk about that. That reading genesis was OK, but please no jesus. Oh, and did I mention the other pastor whose sermon was essentially an altar call - -i think that;s what sent mom over the edge. The step-father, who was really running things was happy with the way it ended up. Never having ended a funeral with trying to apologize to people before I sneak out the door, it was quite the night. I cried the whole way home, and finally after talking a friend (also a pastor) was able to understand what the rational part of my brain was telling me -- nothing anyone would have said would have been right - -specially for this place (25 yr old suicide), and maybe part of my job tonight was to be the lightening rod for grief and anger that have no place else to go. The funeral director, and the rest of the family (except mom's sisters) were not upset, so who knows.

    So, needless to say, the wine is flowing quite freely - -or will be once I finish the sermon for tomorrow. I would be quite happy to not do a funeral for quite some time. That's number 5 since the beginning of december, and number 3 since the second week of March.

    Thomas? Who is that?

  55. KP I think you have done your fair share of funeals for awhile.

    ANyway, I am mulling over the image of a seed being planted in terms of explainging resurrection. Using Paul (1 Cor 15) and JOhn (12:24) as my resources.

    I got diddly. OTher than mentioning that we encourage growth from the rotting remains of what once was (compost). Mind you I think I'd be more inspired if it was later in the spring and there were actual signs of new growth occuring...

  56. Oh knittinpreacher that sounds just horrible!!! I agree with what others have told you - - nothing would have been right, and maybe your holy purpose was to be the one they/she could get mad at.

    Gotta go. Husband just let the baby roll off the bed!

  57. Thanks ya'll, I appreciate it.

    She-rev -- is the baby OK?

    Gord - -think about bulbs -- you know they are there, but are waiting for them to come up. They grow from what was before. That's all I've got.

  58. Oh, knittinpreacher, how awful - peace peace peace be with you - and I agree fully that being a lightning rod is a ministry, just a really really hard one.

    Gord, I got new life all over my yard for you - but they're weeds.

    And sherev- I'll walk your crying baby if you'll walk mine!

    Okay, wedding couple is here dressing (having forgotten the license though), office is quiet for a few minutes, so Holy Spirit, come on down!

  59. I hope these links work. Here are a variety of children sermon ideas for this Sunday

    On Thomas

    Using Koolaid that changes colors Children's

    On peace Lectionary .org

    Talks2children uses Eeyore

    Sermon and Liturgy Scroll down to spreading the news

    uses identification

    sermon4kids uses Ripley believe it or not.

  60. oh knittin preacher, how horrible, but suicides are just hard to preach and deal with. I am so sorry. and yes we are often the lightening rod. Take it easy on yourself.

    Hope the baby was okay, I'll come walk both of the babies if necessary.

  61. oh knittinpreacher!!!!
    I am so sorry!
    prayers ... anything else you need?

  62. (((((((knittinpreacher))))))))

    OUCH! May the peace of Christ be with you.

    I finished up the I Peter sermon, and I'm heading home (been at my church office) after a very long day. Sermon will need a little tweaking in the a.m., but I think it will do. Part of me says that all I have to do is read that powerful passage about living hope because of the resurrection and sit down and shut up. So I am trying to keep it simple.

    Off to the grocery store and then home to the couch....yawn...

  63. Knitting Preacher, what an experience! I feel for you and yet you just showed us your wounds from the night. And you (unwillingly) participated in a needed outlet for a very wounded mom.
    Being used by God can leave us wounded and in need of the locked room. But others are right when they say we can't stay there and continue to be used.
    I don't preach tomorrow but commented on the texts. I love that Jesus gives Thomas just what he DEMANDS. How about that?

  64. Baby is fine. They bounce. It was actually not a full bed, but a lower futon, so not a huge deal. It just jarred him enough that he was ready to nurse to sleep. Nothing like a little bonk on the head to get a baby ready to go to sleep! That sounded way more irresponsible and sketchy than I meant it. I just mean that both of my kids have always been ready to cuddle and then sleep after the minor injuries that come with being kids.

    After slowly getting better after my horrible sinus infection that was at its PEAK WORST during my sermon on Easter Sunday, I've been getting worse again as the day has gone on.

    I've got a huge mug of tea here, some laundry going so I'm not naked while preaching tomorrow, and I'm going to nail this bad boy out in a couple of hours so I can go to bed without needing to wake up early to write. It doesn't happen often with me, but I'm not giving myself a choice. I'll check back in later when I'm done.

    Peace to all of you!

  65. Oh thank you Jesus, for answering a somewhat sick woman's prayers.

    I know I said I was done for a while, but I had to come back one last time. I just discovered that I preached from this text (John) last year on our confirmation Sunday. The sermon is very contextual, but has some great opening pieces that will be a pretty good framework for the new thoughts I have had this year. Thank you Jesus!

  66. Scholarship interview went great! I somehow had connections to everyone who was interviewing me--neighborhood, denominational, or mutual friend connections. I ahve a one in four chance of getting the scholarhsip.

    While I was waiting for the interview, I managed to proofread the sermon without too much tweaking.
    "In our doubt, there is beleiving."
    Happy sermonating everyone.

  67. they bounce! so true (good thing)

    Singing Owl, I read that passage from 1 Peter tonight at worship and you are right: it is so powerful. prayers for you in the a.m.

    tea kettle is on for the late nighters.

    are there any?

    she rev, sounds like things are going well..??

  68. Sherev, I love the image of bouncing babies. Our two eldest both experiemented with going downstairs into teh back hall--the fast way.

    I'm with Sue, the candles and darkness and conversaiton was nice. ALthough jus as the hour started Beloved says "well gee, I guess we'll have to have a conversation"

  69. Rev abi: thanks for the children's sermon leads. I had just found the Ripley's one, and got side-tracked in my son's Ripley book, but I may use the Eeyore one instead since I have a cute stuffed Eeyore.

    {{{{KP}}}}: That is so rough. Please don't take it personally.

    She Rev: Glad the baby is okay.

    My daughter's study group stayed until 7:30 and then one called at 8 to make sure we were observing earth hour. DD and I did, reading by the light of oil lamps. It sure made Abelard make more sense! The lamps are still lit, but now the computers are on again. The electric lights are still off an hour after the end.

    Sermon still isn't done. Couldn't do much while the girls were here. I'll finish in the morning...I do have some notes and ideas. Time to blow out the lamps...

  70. knitting preacher: whew... you did right you know to preach/talk of Jesus. whether or not the deceased would have wanted it or the family... you were breathed on with the Spirit & sent too. take care of yourself & the rest of us will surely lift you in prayer...

    altar call at a funeral? oh wait did i mentally just spill hot coffee on that pastor???

  71. take care all. I'll leave a lamp on and a plate of cookies out for all of you who may be still writing.

    for the rest -- sweet dreams...

  72. Poo. It's taking a little longer than I had hoped to rewrite what I had written before. It's OK. It's going to get done before midnight and that is still WAY better than normal. I had just hoped to be asleep before right now.

    I also remembered that I forgot to prepare my adult Sunday School lesson for tomorrow. I don't do these weekly so it's not like I forgot something REALLY obvious. Thankfully it's stuff I'm pretty up-to-speed on and I'm using The Thoughtful Christian which is pretty user friendly. I'm just going to tweak if for our group that wasn't given the "homework" ahead of time.


  73. i'm here for the 11th hour 11th hour preacher party. who's up?

  74. Totally done - - going to bed.

    Peace to any others who may still be writing.

  75. I'm BAAAAAAACK. Anybody else still up....or back here again?

    I just woke up from a really weird dream in which I was totally unprepared, and went to the church to at least get an outline on paper and everyone was already there and I kept getting interrupted. I realized I was wearing jeans, so I tried to call my husband to ask him to bring me my dress, but the phones at the church were messed up. We had several new visitors and the whole congregation and the visitors were playing some game outside and ready or not, jeans and all, I had to ring the bell to get them to come in to church. They were outside the doors and I called them in! At least I didn't lock the door.

    I know there's a message there... How do I use it??? I had already planned to do things a little differently today. Maybe God just gave me permission.

    Time to get to work.

  76. Well, with bouncing babies, wounded pastors, Earth Hour and all, just remember the Holy Spirit has got your backside as we all go to preach. And even if our sermon is wounded, not quite prepared, or imperfect the Holy Spirit has breathed on us, and thus will speak through us. Now may the same Holy Spirit breath on our church members as they listen and worship the Holy One on this laughter Sunday.

  77. thanks diane for hosting. Even though I am not preaching today I enjoyed the party...

  78. G'morning all - it's early here in the west and I can now finally finish up after the wedding dragged on last night longer than expected and my kids acting out distracted me.

    Have say rev abi ROCKS - thank you thank you for the children's links - you are all wonderful. And the kids were reading Prince Caspian with daddy which reminded me of the stone statues in Lion/Witch/Wardrobe and Aslan breathing on them so at least I have some sort of illustration for that part. Okay, rereading revabi's reminder of the holy spirit... here we go!


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