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Saturday, August 30, 2008

11th Hour Preacher Party: Adversarial Edition

This weekend at my congregation will be our last outdoor-on-the-lawn service of the season, always kind of a sad day. It means that summer is ending, and the gears are shifting, and everything is beginning to hum a little louder as we get ready to cast off summer vacations and get to working harder. At least that's how it is around here. How about you?

In the meantime, this Labor Day weekend, we have "adversaries weekend." Peter is called God's adversary because he is offended by the cross. Paul's advice to the Romans includes lots of advice about how to deal with enemies and adversaries, bless them, feed them, give them something to drink. And Jeremiah (in my tradition our 1st Lesson) asks for deliverance from his adversaries; yet he eats God's words, and finds them delightful.

So, where are you headed on this Labor Day weekend? Which adversary are you engaging? From which text are you wrestling a blessing? Or, are you off lectionary this weekend?

I have the table set, the fair trade coffee on, and I'm making blueberry pancakes. And, in honor of the State Fair (in my state), we have some virtual mini donuts, and almost anything you could imagine on a stick. Bring whatever goodies you have on hand, and hold out your coffee cup. Let us know what's on your mind, your heart, your soul.
picture from here


  1. I must be tired. I hit publish by mistake, when I just wanted to schedule publishing.

    so.... if it is Saturday for anyone?

  2. Hey, it is Saturdya here. I am up due to long nap this afternoon.
    I am not preaching as I was away.
    Instead we have a CPL (commissioned lay pastor)in training. She will preach. I am glad.
    However, I will be dropping in to help out and offer goodies, between ballgames of course!
    I will ahve Fair Trade's Mind, Body, Soul coffee ready and soem fresh muffins. I also have fig preserves to offer.
    And for those who really need it, I offer a five minute (anit-stress) massage for neck and shoulders.

  3. Saturday bright and early here (the joys of life with a puppy ;-) )and though I'm not preaching this week, I've a ton of work stuff to do today - and I need a short homily for the 8.00. It would be good, too, to get ahead for next Sunday when we are relaunching a revised liturgy for "All Age Eucharist". I want to focus on prayer. Any brilliant child-friendly ideas most welcome.
    Meanwhile, I've just made a pot of Earl Grey to aid the gentle wakeup process, and there's some lovely fat free apricot yoghurt too.
    Happy Saturday,folks!

  4. It's the wee hours of Saturday here. Let's I described on the Tuesday Lectionary Leanings, a member of the congregation asked me several weeks ago about my call story. So I've reluctantly decided to tell it. I'm ditching the sermon title in the bulletin and calling it "No Burning Bush Here." Yep. Not too exciting, and it's feeling terribly self-indulgent. Need to work on it a little more.

    And children's sermon: in what is clearly a dangerous misalignment of the universe, I have an idea. And it's not even Sunday morning yet. I was thinking about the name of God that God reveals in this passage...I think I will take one of those baby name books, so the children can look up what their name means. Then we will talk about God's name and what that means.

    I'll take one of those food items on a stick. I'm sure it will be inspirational.

  5. Yep, Saturday morning here in Scotland. But I'm ahead of the game this week because I'm heading off to an 18th birthday party - starts in the afternoon.
    I'm also off lectionary because we're celebrating baptism and the start of our youth church after summer break.
    But, if you're interested in love - check it outhere
    A new breadmaker was delivered during the week, so there's a lovely aroma around here - and loads to share.
    Thanks for hosting, diane.

  6. mmm, earl grey and warm bread! It's getting to be a party! thanks for coming.

    I am preaching. I have a wedding (sermon done for that) and Sunday sermon (not done), and plenty of other work, at home AND at church. I'm on the Romans text, struggling a bit. Why did I choose it?

    The list.

  7. I'm up early (for me), and the house is quiet. WG is working and Spouse is off running his first (and maybe last) half-marathon.

    I am preaching tomorrow after a week of vacay. Remind me to never do that again, 'kay?

    I'm working on Moses, the burning bush,and an obscure line from "Lost", season 2: "Don't push the button because you have to, John. Push it because you were meant to."

    (Or maybe that line becomes the central theme for the whole series. What do I know, I'm only in season 2. spoilers, please.)

  8. intriguing quote, cheesehead! interested in seeing where it goes. I'm actually going to go back to bed for a little while, walk the dog, and finish the sermon... (I hope)....

  9. My sermon is done because---
    wait fer it--
    today is the start of college football season for THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY BUCKEYES!

    However, I could use a children's time based on Romans passage :)

  10. Oh Yeah, my spouse is cooking a full heart clogging breakfast: eggs, bacon, bagels...yum
    come join us and wear scarlet and gray ;)

  11. wow, great breakfast, quaker pastor!

  12. Does anyone have thoughts for a children's time? I'm not preaching this week (I've been up for the past 2 Sundays, but yay, SP is back from vacation so he gets to preach this week!), but could use some thoughts for the kiddos. Esperanza, I liked your idea for the names, but we aren't using that text this week, and I talked about names with the kids last week. Sigh.

  13. I'm not preaching tomorrow, either, since it's a "5th Sunday Month" and Dave's & my churches gave us the 5th Sundays off as part of our terms of call this year so that we could visit other churches and worship together. Unfortunately, his church has a major fundraiser this weekend so he can't be gone. I'll be in the congregation of my congregation, though, hearing our CLP in training deliver her very first sermon. It will be nice to just worship.

    But today isn't a day-off. I have a wedding at six. The reception favors are glasses engraved with "I got smashed at * & *'s wedding." Ahem. The wedding and rehearsal are in the same hall, and as the bridal party gathered all holding bottles of beer, I had to give my "no alcohol before the wedding" speech/lecture. I hate doing that.

    Esperanza, I did the meaning of their names with the kids one Sunday, and they loved it. It was so neat to see the looks of wonder and excitement in their eyes as they waited to hear what their name meant.

  14. I mean to say, "the wedding and reception are in the same hall, and as the bridal party gathered for the rehearsal they were all holding beer bottles."

  15. Hi ya'll, from the deep south. How is everyone. No preaching for me, just Service Pastor in the Contemporary service. I will be looking for a good children's sermon though, so if any one has one that fits the Gospel or for labor Day wkend, let me know. In the meantime, the kids are helping Bob wash the car. I'll be thinking of you and praying for you all.

    Also, do I have to say it, but its College Football Weekend!

  16. "Adversarial Edition" is certainly an appropriate title for my Sunday! My church is being picketed tomorrow by a particularly nasty anti-abortion group. As both of my colleagues have conveniently left for the week, I'm on my own. Good times. In an attempt to relate to the situation at hand without making the service all about the people who will be shouting outside, I'm preaching about resistance and how we stand up for what we believe in.

    I will be sorely tempted to say, "Is it by waving posters of mutilated fetuses in the faces of children and screaming that everyone is going to hell? I think not." But I won't.

    This sermon has been coming into being all week, but its actual writing is going to have to wait a while; I have a couple of commitments to attend to first. I'm thinking I'm not going to extend much effort into the children's sermon, since most parents in our congregation won't bring their kids with all that happening. So, things aren't looking too bad. Good to be with you all this morning!

  17. "Don't push the button because you have to, John. Push it because you were meant to."

    Almost Calvinist, there Cheesehead!

  18. Like Cheese, I made the mistake of scheduling preaching AFTER my vacation...I won't do that again!

    However, I am at Strong Heart's, she's off doing a funeral, so it's me and Synoptic Cat and the Preacher Party.

    I'm preaching on the Romans passage, and just finished reading "Why Forgive?" by Johann Christoph Arnold to feed my thoughts there. I think I want to go in the direction of the healing nature of forgiving, of not holding on the pain and negativity, difficult as it may be. And of course some things are easier to let go of than others... But what would it mean for the church if we, as members, could let go of the resentments we hold against each other (whether we are aware of them or not)? And even more, if we could take that out into "the world" and forgive our neighbour or co-worker or someone whose politics are different than ours?

    That's where I'm headed... I have "everything" bagels to offer, but those blueberry pancakes sound yummy too!

  19. Well, I'd been thinking cheerfully that I'd invite my 8.00ers to think about their call experiences - only to discover that the blessed Redemptorists, whose pew sheets we use, have gone for Jeremiah instead of Exodus this week. So now I've done some of my footling at the desk but am quite without inspiration for a homily...
    But Hattie Gandhi is making a fat free cake - which smells rather wonderful - so it might just be time for tea!

  20. The crap is hitting the fan here, although I can't talk about it. I'm really stressed out, have a wedding at 4:00, and my husband was going to go with me, but now he's not.

    Also a birthday party for my husband tomorrow, and supposedly taking his son up to school on Monday.

    And the house is not looking so good.

  21. Today is about cleaning the house for in-laws tomorrow, and finishing the last bit of my sermon on Romans 12. What a challenging text! I have struggled all week about how to give the words meaning, that they not be trite. It's a late low-carb breakfast around here- we're trying to be good again :)

  22. oh my, busy morning here! diane, hope things go okay...

    I had brilliant plans to write Thursday, and then yesterday, both foiled (Thursday by other work, and yesterday by surprise corporate-suite tickets to the Cubs game--impossible to turn down...).

    So today I am trying to write a sort of guided-meditation thing about the burning bush text. I've done this with the Elijah-still-small-voice story and I think I can do it for this one, but the idea hasn't come to me yet. And I have Sunday School teachers to train in an hour and a half, so it looks like another Saturday afternoon/evening write for me.

    I am planning, however, to be mildly irresponsible and go get a pedicure after the teacher training, so I can be barefoot for part of worship tomorrow (take off your shoes, after all). good times.

    for snacks...umm...I have toast and locally made boysenberry jam. That's about it until it's real-food time, when I have more bell peppers, eggplants, carrots, and corn than I can eat. help yourself to the makings of ratatouille!

  23. Stacey, one of the best response I ever heard toward one of those groups was to offer them hospitality. Take them coffee and water and them what "Christian" love is all about.

    I have a short sermon on Exodus 3 posted on my site. I preached at the nursing home yesterday, so that's it. Meanwhile, I'm doing a sermon series on Schnase's Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations. This week is Extravagant Generosity. When is a stewardship sermon not a stewardship sermon? I have lots of notes. I just need to put it into some kind of order, and I'm not panicking yet. I picked up a copy of "The Quiltmaker's Gift" to use for children's time. KC Irish Fest is today and tomorrow, so I'm going over this afternoon to judge knitting. Lutheran Cup asked about it last year, so if any of you are in the KC area, it's at Crown Center.

  24. I'm grilling burgers and slicing the two tomatoes the groundhog didn't eat. #2 daughter made bread so we will not use the 2 week old hamburger buns that are... green.

    I am actually finishing homework on the "isms" relating to inclusivism, universalism and so on. Will I ever get to preach again? One wonders. But even in this, I press on.


  25. kim, i used the quiltmaker's gift a few weeks ago. I ended up cutting out the middle section where the king is mean to the quiltmaker, as the story was too long (even with the cut it was too long--children's time normally is about 5 minutes and I was definitely closer to 10) and because it didn't exactly further the point of the day. That section paper clips together really well so you can turn the pages. Just a thought.

  26. I am joining after doing some errands etc. I finally got words on a page yesterday and they have been brewing. I find my editing to be best when I begin to read it outloud...and make notes...that is today's task.

    Preaching Romans and using the theme of containers and letting these imperatives Paul gives us overflow. The Children's time will also focus on containers.

    Offering home grown watermelon.

  27. Teri, Thanks for the tip. I'll take a look at that.

  28. Bulletin is together, waaaay too much Facebooking done.

    Sermon? Um, not so much.

    There are so many ways to go with this, even with the forgiveness bit, that I'm having a hard time making a decision.

    I'd love to be done by the time Strong Heart gets back in...c.4 hours.

    So here goes--full speed ahead, Facebook off and sermonwriting on!

  29. My husband took Baby Girl (3 months this weekend) out shopping so that I could finish my sermon. Think that's helping? Nope--now it's too quiet.

    Perhaps it's just a simple lack of motivation though. So I'm procrastinating by commenting here! :)

    I'm read something this week about picking up your cross isn't so much about you as about picking up and helping carry the burdens of others. I like that image. I'm trying to think of good examples from our congregation without explicitly naming people without their permission. (since I won't have time to ask them before this evening when I preach the first time)

  30. ok, this will be my last check-in for awhile. The sermon is done; I don't really like it; it doesn't seem to connect with what's going on right now, or Labor day, or anything. But, it's done.

    Now I have to print, and get to the wedding in a little while.

    I will be back, but the wedding is in another town, so it might be late.

    I agree with sunny on the Romans text. That's what I've been struggling with.

  31. Well, I've got a bunch of good notes and three main topics I want to focus on--forgiving does not mean condoning the other person's actions, it doesn't mean being a doormat, and finally, hospitality should be an attitude, not a list of duties--something we do all the time. Now to have some lunch and a shower and ponder how to fit all those together before I begin earnest writing.

    I think lunch will be cheese and fruit--I have some lovely apples, cheddar cheese, and rosemary/olive oil wheat crackers. Also my new addiction, wasabi peas! Help yourselves!

  32. OK...have found various things I should have done long since, done a couple of them, spent time with a funeral family , listened to one of the Aradhna CDs I bought at GB, and realised that it may be a bit like drinking retsina - perfect in context but pretty rubbish anywhere else..and am now contemplating the readings and regretting them.
    I'm wondering about the kind of Alice in Wonderland, reverse logic of the gospel...there might be an idea in there, maybe...
    But it's 7.00 pm and I still need to photocopy the pew sheet and think what we might eat...Fridge empty. Bank account probably emptier. Ummm

  33. One of my seminary classmates died on Monday, and on top of that it has been a long & busy week, so despite sleeping in some this morning I'm feeling tired and drawing a blank.

    A couple weeks ago I did exegesis on Romans for my clergy lectionary group and was tempted to talk about this long list of things we're supposed to be doing and how it kind of seems like a tall order. I also had several other ideas (i.e. does this passage mean we are to be a doormat). But I also love the reading from Exodus, many rich things there. So I hadn't completely decided on a direction.

    Now, I keep thinking about "Let your love be genuine" and love one another with mutual affection, and to persevere in prayer, to weep with those who weep. In connection to what I've seen among my classmates as we rallied upon news of our classmate's surgery and post-surgery recovery, and again upon news of the death. That this is love within a community. And that love does not have to be all warm and fuzzy and hearts and flowers.

    But I just don't know if I should go there, and even if I should, if I could. This was not one of the people I was closest to, so while I haven't been completely devestated, it has had me in a funk, and sad all week (other classmates report a similar experience). So while I don't think I'd get so choked up I couldn't finish, I might get choked up or definitely show some vulnerability.

    If I were to do this, I don't want it to be indulgent, all about me and my classmates, but a way to help others see perhaps a similar connection in their lives or in our parish community.

    So I find myself with a kind of fuzzy inertia where the sermon is concerned.

    I am as always impressed by those who are also juggling family and weddings etc. (I haven't had one yet) around your sermon writing.

  34. Hey, y'all~
    I spent the morning and early afternoon on scholarship forms for my high school senior and now I am exhausted, if relieved they are done. I don't have much for my sermon other than a title and a story about the leak that came through my kitchen ceiling this week. There is a hospital call ahead of me, and I could really use a nap. Where did this week go?
    Diane, I'm sorry about the un-writeable things you mention.
    Maybe I'll just close my eyes for a few minutes...

  35. bythesea,

    It sounds like a wonderful example to share, even if you do choke up a little.

    Is there an experience in your community that you could compare it to that would help the hearers transition from you to them?

    Or if you told it in 'third person'? "There was once a community, a group of classmates at my seminary, who came to understand this passage from Romans in a completely different way when they experienced the death of a classmate."

    Blessings whatever you decide to do.

  36. House is full for the weekend with all napping right this moment and my mind all but blank as I emptily blink at the screen and frazzled notes.

    One more Sunday School lesson to prepare as well and a minor league baseball game to go to tonight.

    Very grateful for all who DIDN'T write, "I'm not preaching tomorrow..." even if it was followed by a "but".

  37. Sounds like everyone is at different stages of the game...and lots of "life" is creeping into the 11th hour party.

    I ended up with a bit longer sermon than usual and still may do some editing, but am posting here.

    Off to get some M&M's to put into the container for Children's Time.

  38. Well, I took the nap first, which I imagine was wise, and now the hospital call.
    Sermon still consists of title, scripture choice, four notes to self and one caution, also to self. Please tell me that is better than nothing.

  39. Nappage sounds like an excellent plan for those preachers who can manage it.

    RE: names idea for children's time: what if their name is a made-up one and not in the book!? Yikes...

    I'm cleaning house and heading out for Home Depot. Before I go, would anyone like a cool beverage? Or a hot one? I've got iced tea and lots of Stash teabags.

  40. i'm totally stuck. i have to turn in a video/dvd of tomorrow's sermon--not terribly stoked about that, especially since it's not coming along as i had hoped.

    very distracted. today is my eldest's 13th birthday. we had a slumber party with 9 extra girls at our house last night. they were fun but i'm having a difficult time being focused. the new teenager wants to go whereelse but the Mall! ugh!

    to add to that i totally want to go into "the city". i totally want to visit KCMO but no such luck. i'm still getting used to living in a small town.

  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

  42. I'm tired. The pinecones are picked up. The grass is cut. I planted some grass in some dead spots. I've written a sermon on the Matthew text and it's here.

    As always... comments and concerns about the sermon are appreciated.

    Right now... I'm going to go make a big pan of brownies. Hubbahubba is at the store getting Brown Cow ice cream to go on top of the brownies. You are cordially invited to participate in the pigging out on chocolate party... in about 45 minutes. Come as you are.

    If you can't come by for brownies and ice cream... I hope it's because you have something lots... lots... better to do... like eating lobster... or drinking a mojito... not because of work. Peace!

  43. mm, brownies and ice cream....too bad I haven't even started on tomorrow yet.

    however...sunday school teachers trained (check), fellowship hall cleaned up after the mess I left it in earlier in the week (check), pedicure to turn my toenails the color of a burning bush (check), plan for dinner (eat leftovers from lunch) (check), laundry started (check). House cleaned? not check. meditation written? not check. hmm...

  44. By the Sea--you and your classmates are in my thoughts and prayers. It's difficult to lose a member of the community, whether you were close or not.

    I'm done--and Strong Heart is back from the funeral, which went well "for a funeral" she reports.

    Time for some Scrabble then pulled pork for dinner--y'all cna help yourselves!

    Blessings to those of you still writing...

  45. brownies and ice cream sound great!

    Sermonwise, things are in exactly the same state in which I left them this morning. Uh oh.

    I think I'm in the clear on the names for the children's sermon...with my (very small) crew, I can be pretty sure no creative names will come up. I guess if we get stuck we can look up my name, the organist's name, their parents' names, etc.

    I'll check back later after supper.

  46. Well, friends, its another "1800 words that don't make me want to jump off a bridge" week for me.

    Glad that's done!

    For the kiddos (like there will be any!) we'll take off our shoes and walk around the sanctuary barefoot because it is holy ground!

  47. Oh...chocolate! Thank you so much pk. you may just have saved my life.
    Homily accomlished, thanks to much and grateful if I could only persuade the printer to live up to its name, things would be fine and dandy!
    However, I'm off to bed regardless. The pup will wake at 6.30 if I'm lucky, and it's 10.45 now...Write well, my dears...and sleep well when you get there xxx

  48. well, I have a guided meditation done. A lot of how this goes depends on how i end up voicing it, so I'm off to practice some different inflections, lengths of silence between sections/sentences, etc. Also still trying to decide where I should be while we do this--last time I sat on the steps in front of the communion table but this time there's a big bush and candle there. Front pew? My pew in the chancel alcove? The steps but off to the side? a stool? the back of the sanctuary? Any suggestions?

  49. Not too much to add since I haven't done ANYTHING yet. After two weeks of doing really well at working ahead, I'm back to leaving it all for Saturday night. At least this week I have a bit of an excuse. I had an interesting and challenging and rewarding funeral-ish service. I'll blog about it when I come up for air. My parents flew in from Florida Thursday night so we've been playing around with them all weekend, including the MN State Fair last night. Garrison Keillor didn't do the greetings so I didn't get one out to you all. Well, there were 2 - - total. I was fired up to do it, though!

    I'm doing Exodus with plans to talk about being called to help relieve oppression, captivity, etc. In an old PC(USA) stewardship resource this is "Stewardship of Public Life" - -the call to be involved in the well-being of a all epeople, to be involved in public/societal concerns.

    Most of the Scripture is committed to "heart" and ready for storytelling. I think I might cut it a little short since I don't plan to do anything with the "I am what I am" part. Little less to memorize and I can end the storytelling with the high impact parts about bringing the people out of oppression which is my main point.

    I'll check in after everyone's in bed and I'm ready to get started.

    I WILL NOT PLAY ON FACEBOOK TONIGHT!!! (Help me in that!)

  50. I am preaching -- Exodus, not Jeremiah -- but in the form of an epistle to a gal who wrote to me this week to ask whether there shouldn't be something more to preaching, and to the purpose of a church, than "let's all be good to the poor because we can all agree about that."
    So I am going to try to summarize what it IS that we proclaim...the God who is, and who loves, and the struggle to discern his will. I want to say something about how the extraordinary -- the burning bush -- is the reality that underlies and creates the ordinary -- the blackberry bush...and how hard it is to hold the ordinary and "natural" in the right balance with the extraordinary and the supernatural.

  51. I'm "working" on my sermon...which means doing anything else but at this point.

    I'm preaching from exodus. I was going to talk about God's name and how moses' true identity is based on his call, which is based on his creator....and somethign about God's name and then I was thinking of linking it to the Roman's text using the things Paul tells us to do to inform us about who God is and what is close to God's heart.....but i can't seem to sit down to write it. Thoughts?

  52. grcgrl, I'm no help, I'm over here struggling with an idea about God as the irresistible force and us as the immovable objects (Moses' resistance and ours to going out to do what God wants us to do).
    I've overdosed on political coverage, bleh, it can make a person bilious.

  53. So, I ahve chick-fil-a, the game food of champions for anyone who wishes to partake...also ice dreams (no topping ,we are dietign here!) and a ballgame to watch.
    I think I am rootign for the Tigers, even though I am a Gamecock fan.
    Revkim, still shaking my head at the weddign story...bridesmaids with beer bottles, not a pretty site at all.
    And, I jsut went by church and had a weddign request on my desk. I need to double check our wedding policy!
    Now dopn't we all want to look at our weddign photos one day and say, "Yeah, Grandmother does nto remeber a thing about when she married Pops. She was smasjed off ehr butt and had no idea what she was doing.
    And, how about the vows with an occasionla, proverbal burp?

  54. Hey Cheese.
    I like idea of kids takign off their shoes to walk on HOly Ground.
    Prayers out to all Gulf Coast folks!
    Be safe

  55. I'm here, but I'm ready for a nap too. Is it too late to take one?

    I'm preaching Exodus, and have a list of random thoughts, and that's it since I had a synod meeting three hours away this morning and afternoon. Tired, emotionally exhausted, and wishing it was Saturday tomorrow instead of Sunday.

    This is going to be interesting!

  56. hello!
    I have been home from Oak Park IL for about forty minutes, long enough to see my dog sitter to give her the Penzey's I got for her and to greet my godson who has evacuated from New Orleans. Also long enough to pour a glass of wine. ;-)
    So after a week of vacation, I began looking at the readings a few days ago (yes, still on vacation at that point). In the collect for the day we pray "inrease in us true religion." So I'm thinking about tht in context of Moses and taking up our cross as well as how Paul says we are to live. Increasing in true faith/religion has so much less to do with being a good churchgoer, for me, and so much more to do with doing the really hard things we don't want to - like all those things Paul says and how God seldom tells us to do what we really want to.
    And on that note, I'm going to go back to read Tuesday's musings and then go to bed!
    I'll check back in the a.m.

  57. Prayers for all who preach tmorrow - as well as for those evacuating and those on the path of the storm as we remember the anniversary of Katrina tomorrow.

    Not preaching but projecting my very first power point service tomorrow - I have looked and looked, but I know there is still probably a typo in there somewhere.

  58. Where is Antonio Banderas tonight?


    It's my own fault for letting my boys watch Ocean's Eleven instead of Shrek 2. Those guys aren't in the habit of bringing me sermons, darn it!

  59. Elastigirl, I bet you'll do great! I enjoyed working with Power Point the few times I got to do it.

  60. Semfem,
    How often i have wished for a second Saturday to throw in the mix. I will be more confused with having monday off now....Shoudl have jsut stayed away until Tuesday!
    Church in the Wildewood has not gotten into doing Power Point jsut yet.
    One of my goals is to get a website and e-newsleter up and going. :0

  61. ok, I'm back, late, I like the taking off your shoes idea, whoever thought of that.

    It was hot hot hot for my outdoor in nearby city outdoor wedding. but went ok.

    Now I'm going to shower, and take a look at my sermon, and if I don't hate it. Maybe read it aloud once.

    It's on Romans 12, and it's called "Things to do."

    Is Romans 12 a list of things to do, or is it a song? Are they obligations, or aspirations?

    I knew a song once, started at Romans 12, verse 9, just went throug the RSV version exactly.

    Is anybody still here?

    or is it just me.

  62. Well, it's a good thing I finished a little while ago because I read The Shack, which is NOT a book I recommend for a Saturday night if you've had any kind of loss in your life. Now I'm all puffy-eyed and stuffed up, but I do have to say that the book doesn't have nearly the theologically-distressing factor I was expecting--in fact, it was surprisingly close to my own theology. That almost never happens in pop literature/christian stuff, so I suspect I may have been blinded by tears and the book will need a re-read...great. Anyway--it was compelling and easy to read, so I recommend it. And if you all find glaring theological errors, let me know so I can try to focus on those next time instead of on grieving. And read it with a box of kleenex.

    anyway--now, of course, i'm hungry. cheese and tomato sandwich anyone? tillamook sharp cheddar and home-grown, vine-ripened tomatoes, with a little mayo (no MW to be found here) and a little salt and pepper? I'm making several, so help yourselves to a late-night sermonizing snack!

  63. the cheese tomato sandwich would be great, except I had a chicken dinner at the wedding reception. I left before the cake, though.

    I'm tired.

  64. oh, do you think I can get "the Shack" at the Library? I'm trying not to buy books right now. We have a serious accumulation problem.

  65. Diane, of course the late nighters (like me) are still here! A nap would benefit me A LOT, but I'm trying to get as much done before I need a little snooze.

    I've got a decent outline now, so that's a great help. Whew.

    And I will pass on the tomato sandwich for now, thanks Teri! Could use more caffeine though, my iced latte is very watery and almost gone.

  66. I think it's in libraries.

    do you want a half sandwich?
    It's really good cheese. :-)

  67. Tillamook reminds me of my childhood, so I'll take a half sandwich. And maybe I'll toast it too. :) Thanks!

  68. Can I just say that I love it when class notes from seminary actually come in handy when writing a sermon?

    *munches Tillamook* mmm!

  69. Note to seld (and anyone else with a knitting problem): Never start a brand new project on Saturday night when there's a sermon to write.

    Ugh. It's 10:00 p.m. and I'm finally bringing myself to the blank computer screen. Actually, I'm finally bringing myself to the party and to textweek, and THEN to the blank computer screen.

  70. I love tillamook. with fresh tomatoes, there's nothing better that's not ice cream or mashed potatoes. wow.

    Speaking of ice cream--I also have mint skinny cow ice cream sandwiches! :-) Help yourself to the freezer.

    I think I'm going to take my puffy eyes to bed, though. Here's hoping I'll look normal by morning...and that there will be enough people in worship on a holiday weekend to see whether my eyes are puffy or not!

    blessings on you still writing and those of you waking up across the pond...peace and burning bushes to all. :-)

  71. Oh, Teri, I'll take a sandwich, just leave off the mayo. And can I grill mine? Yummy. I'm up working on a little project for my grandmother's 90th birthday. Sermon has been reviewed, but I'll work on it again in the morning.

  72. I'm afraid to read my sermon. what if I don't like it?

    in the morning is not a big option for me. we start at 8:00 a.m. on the lawn.

  73. she-rev, preacher of power, I knew you'd still be up out there somewhere! I've managed to resist knitting so far tonight...but not Facebook. sigh.

    esperanza, ninety years is quite a landmark!

  74. Okay, my kids hate it when I refer to 9/11, but I couldn't help it.

  75. walk that dog proud?

    easier said than done, I know.

  76. Man, that's two weeks in a row you've mentioned Tillamook, Teri! I've gotta find some up here.

    I miss my 'mook.

  77. Thanks semfem - - I'll try to never let you down! I've still avoided facebook, but that hasn't kept me off of just about every other website in creation. The blessing and curse of Google image search. Just trying to find a good clear pic of the burning bush at St. Catherine's in Sinai. I went pre-digital camera, so mine's too much trouble to use.

    Soon I've got to go upstairs and take LadyPrincess to the bathroom. She's been 3 weeks night-time diaper free, but I'm not brave enough to give up the mid-night pee trip!

    I wonder what can distract me on my way back to the computer....

  78. 485's not pouring out of me, but at least it's coming from somewhere.

  79. well, off to bed.

    it's not all good, but I do really like my ending.

    prayers and blessings to those still working.

    I'll peek in in the morning.

    I'm so happy there's the Holy Spirit.

  80. Wow, looks like people are still around...I am just getting home - some things came up, to say the least - and getting busy on putting the many fragments of this sermon together into something that will work in the morning. Wahoo.

  81. greetings Stacey. welcome back to the late night party! I miss the days when you were a regular here. although you probably don't. :)

  82. I don't know...sometimes I miss preaching more regularly. Although not having the pressure on all the time is kind of refreshing. Glad you're here with me at this late hour! How goes it?

  83. how is everyone? thought i'd check and see if anybody needed anything.
    since I am nto preaching, I decided to wear a fun, long, flowing skirt and crepoe style top...neither work well under a robe, but are too dressy for mid "off- Sunday" when I am there, will be good time to wear them. Normally I throw aoutfits together five minutes before I walk out door.
    So, can I get anyone something?

  84. Oh Teri, I love, love love Skinny Cows. We ahve nto had the mint ones as of late and I have settled on vanilla...
    But oh how i lvoe them!

  85. Stacey, it's slow going for me tonight. At least I seem to have gotten a brief second wind sleep-wise.

    sigh, I just got sidetracked by some music, and now need to figure out what I meant to say about Moses and vulnerability. Where was I?

    I had a stressful meeting today, so in some way I am glad that's done...just looking forward to my day off now.

    I hope your fragments are coming together...

  86. The first 500 words came out in one rapid things are going quite a bit slower. Blech.

    I know what you mean about the stressfulness, and waiting for the day off. I have most of this week off after tomorrow, and I cannot even express how ready I am for that to begin. But first, the sermon...the sermon...the sermon...

  87. Yeah, I think I saw something somewhere about how stressful your life has been/will be...and in comparison, I have no right to whine. :)

    1-4 Grace, I could use a nice stiff drink. Er, make that a nice strong coffee (give the nice stiff drink to Stacey). If you're offering. :)

  88. Coffee is probably a better idea here, too ;)

  89. Finished another row of the new knitting project.

    Watch some SNL (never saw it the first time around in Oct. 2007).

    After spending too much time on Google image search I got a great outline down. Pictures of the burning bush with a fire extinguished near by were priceless inspiration.

    I'm gonna hit the hay now, and be back at 4:30 to flesh it out, but I'll be honest for once I wouldn't freak out if the alarm didn't go off. I would feel pretty comfortable preaching this one without a manuscript if something disasterous made the the case. Still not gonna try. I like memorizing the text instead now that I've been doing it 3 weeks. But I'm just saying. If something happened. This one would preach from my notes pretty easily.

    See some of you in a few hours.

  90. 1184 words and I am almost getting to my point. I think. What was it again?

  91. 1295, and wandering a bit. Think I can wrap this up by 2am?

  92. Stacey, there are no verb tenses in Hebrew, correct? That's what it says in my notes from seminary, I just want to make sure I got it right then.

  93. Well, I don't know that there aren't tenses at all, but the tenses are usually ambiguous. Which, for your purposes, probably means the same thing.

  94. Okay, thank you. I have tweaked my sentence accordingly.

    And, my final point has no way to transition into it. Great.

  95. If it makes you feel better, I'm not sure I have a final point. But I'm about to pass out, so I'm going to bed, and I'll hopefully make sense of my conclusion in the morning. I will take the sage advice of a friend, who earlier today told me, "End with 'Amen.'"

  96. Ugh, 1642 words and I think I'm finished. But that's way too long. I need to cut something.

    But first, a shower to wake myself up a bit, then revisions, and then sleep, blessed sleep.

    Blessings on all preaching and proclamation today!

  97. Sherev and I are both alte night funny!
    I hope Semfem and Stacey are sleeping well by now.
    I am off to bed and then hopefully sleep soon thee after.
    Peace to all,

  98. outdoor-on-the-lawn service

    I love that concept.

    Oh and it was already Sat here - but now it's Sunday and I'm only just checking in. Guess it's still Sat somewhere though :)

  99. You've all been really busy while I've been partying. Hope all the work and diversion has paid off. Look forward to checking out links later. On my induction night here, I took off my shoes and said I felt as though I was on holy Ground - I did - but I was also wearing unfamiliar heels and had just had a wonderful pedicure - so it was good to show that off.
    Prayers with you all today - and more with those on the Gulf coast - not looking good again. Keep safe y'all.
    PS given the wedding rehearsal discussion - my word verification is burptp - too funny.

  100. Nice job hitting 100. I'm back, and plan to be done by 6:00 a.m. I know I say that every week and it never happens, but I've also never stayed Facebook free and that happened last night. Maybe this time it'll happen. I also haven't played one games of solitaire, Hearts, Minesweeper, or Spider. Go me!

  101. Didn't make 6:00 a.m., but I'm sure I'll make 6:30 WITH my prayer completed. Not bad. I've got some pictures and an Affirmation of Faith to stick into PowerPoint, but with good luck that should go smoothly.

    I think I'm definitely going to end my reading at vs. 12. It's all I've got memorized and the I am stuff isn't even appearing in my sermon. I think it will just distract from the call to social action that I'm focusing on. The name of God is another sermon for another day.

  102. well, it's just about time for me to go. Pray for me -- and I'm praying for you all, too.

    take care.

    as you have said, "let's walk those dogs."


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