Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Tales from the Parsonage

Saying for the day: Watch out for the but.."

One Sunday afternoon after I had been in the Trout Creek Parish about two months we had visitors at the parsonage.
Now , to be honest with you, visitors at the parsonage when there is no Bible study and no invitation make me nervous.

The three ladies were from the middle Church in the Parish.
One of them was on the Church Council.
We invited them in and offered them a cup of coffee.
They looked very nervous.

“Pastor” the leader said, “we know you are just out of seminary”.
Now that phrase did not give me good feelings.
Then she said” We know your young.”
Now I am feeling even worse.
Its bad enough being just out of seminary but being young as well makes it even worse.
Then she said, “ We know this is your first parish”.
Now I am guilty on three fronts and the really bad word was coming.

She went on, “ You preach a powerful sermon “ then the bad word “but”.

When the word but comes in a sentence where the person just said something nice about you, then you know your in trouble.

“But your sermons are too short”!
There it was the terrible truth.
I knew it was true.
I had followed a line of thirty minute preachers and I had to stretch to reach fifteen minutes.
I was in trouble.
She pointed out that short sermons like mine weren’t worth getting out of bed for.

I thanked her and promised I would try to do better.

Hey, I was young. I could improve.

News from Pigeon Falls– the little town in my garage where the trains still run and so does Mrs. Trumble– The White Rabbit was seen last night in his red , white and blue sweater. He was down by the railroad station waving at the incoming passenger train. Mrs. Trumble was on the platform with her shotgun but couldn’t get a clear shot at him. She was afraid of hitting the kids playing in the school playground. After he did his vanishing act she went to see Mayor South and demanded that the city council do something to get rid of this menace. “It could have gone after the kids in the playground and hurt them” she said. It’s the job of the city council and Mayor to protect us. Mayor South was polite and told her there was nothing they could do under the law. The White Rabbit had broken any laws. Mrs. Trumble complained that by wearing that sweater the rabbit was insulting both flag and country.
Some people are afraid that if she gets too mad she will run for Mayor. She would be a one issue candidate. Her one issue would be rabbit eradication. She would use the office to get that rabbit and then quit. One has to hope that nobody suggests this to Mrs. Trumble. Can you imagine a debate where Mrs. Trumble is one of the candidates? It would be weird. But then small town politics is often weird.
Local people are going to the deer camps on Saturdays and Sundays to get them ready for deer season. Everybody has a deer camp or belongs to some group that has access to one.

Today's link:-My Knitted Family- Remember to leave the words Dr. John in the comment to get those highly animated JCPOINTS. Check HERE for your points.
We got another blogger cup mailed out ( four to go) and Monday's and last Friday's prizes. I do procrastinate. Followers of the White Rabbit might go to Magaret's blog and see her White Rabbit cartoon. You might also go to Cindra Jo's blog so that tomorrow's Pigeon Falls will make more sense. Now I need a breathing treatment.


Blogger The Rev. Dr. Kate said...

There are people in the world who want LONGER sermons??? Just how long can you go? 8 minutes is my average - and 10 minutes is stretching it! Not to mention that good episcopalians prefer worship to be done in an hour - leaving time for the country club and golf course!!

4:29 AM  
Blogger Catch said...

I would say our sermons last about 15 to 20 minutes....I think you can say a lot in that amount of time. Our services are from 10:30am till 11:30am, our Preacher goes over that and people start getting antsy...lol, then they start looking at the clock. hahaha.

4:33 AM  
Blogger Sunflower Optimism said...

Oh no! Dr. John - our current priest is young and his sermons are ALREADY too long! This does not bode well, for the future. . .

Our Eastern Orthodox services run close to two hours, as it is.

4:58 AM  
Blogger Cuppojoe said...

One of my first sermons was a whopping 6 minutes! I think it may have been longer if I hadn't been so nervous and just flown right through it, though! I eventually settled down to a comfortable average of 20 minutes, or so.

And, just for the record, your blog entries are as close to perfect for length as they can get, Dr. John.

5:02 AM  
Blogger Chana said...

good morning. the sermons from all the priests i have heard are way tooooooo long..in the Latin Mass which already run almost 2 hrs when they are formal celebrations, they are just way too much...
of course this complaints comes from someone who cannot make a short comment, lol..

and i agree with Joe, your post are just perfect, no matter the lenght i assure you.
Mrs. Trouble cannot run for Mayor. Oh my goodness, pls NOOOOO!
I don't think i have thought of it before really..she can't..she might but she shouldn't...Poor rabbit, poor dragon!
Now i'm all scared...Pigeon's Fall is such a beautiful town..she would wreck it with her obsession and weird perceptions on how to go about resolving things.
I'm delighted that you got the first loan.i'm sure that takes a bit of the pressure off. I do pray that your house sells soon though. hope you both have a wonderful day. much love.

5:28 AM  
Blogger Chana said...

PS. i made up the missed post and their links..now the world is good again..all is in order and i have had my Dr.John fix..:)

6:41 AM  
Blogger sleeplessinoklahoma said...

Too short??? Obviously those ladies have never been to a Pentacostal church when the Spirit is really moving. Services can last 2 hrs or more. I once heard a preacher preach for 2 hrs. Why too long no matter the message. I think 30 minutes is just right. Gets the point across concisely.

No, no, no to Mrs. Trumble for Mayor. What would Pigeon Falls do without the Rabbit & Dragon??!!!???!! Someone with a good head on their shoulders must step up & declare as a candidate.

I agree with Cuppajoe & Chana. Your blogs are just right. Beautifully written. Lovely to read.

Thanks for being in my life each day. I always look forward to visiting you.

Blessed be...

7:37 AM  
Anonymous Stacy said...

Did those women speak for everyone when they asked for longer sermons? Or just themselves? I honestly can't imagine anyone complaining about short sermons. Long ones, oh my, yes, but in most of the churches I've been in the folks would have been on their knees thanking God for sending a minister who got right to the point.

8:37 AM  
Blogger Kat Campbell said...

As if I didn't know it before, I am now definate that you aren't a Baptist Dr. John. Our church members would have said "you preach a lovely short sermon BUT your hair is too long."
Mrs. Trumble needs a shrink to find out why she hates rabbits so much.

9:01 AM  
Blogger BobCiz said...

Anything over ten minutes is just repetition anyway. I always felt succinct was the perfect description of a sermon.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Margaret said...

This just in!

"The White Rabbit is forced to wait by Pigeon Falls' clock tower while Mrs. Trumble is off seeking a 1pm alibi."

Dr. John, will you please come over and save him. He looks so very sad.

2:40 PM  
Blogger Lori's Minute said...

I thought your sermons were just right....


....then you retired.

3:26 PM  
Blogger QUASAR9 said...

Hi Dr John,
Talking of preaching brough to mind

Part of the reason for invading Iraq was meant to be to remove a cruel dictator, and we replaced it with a crueller form of repression
Kill insurgents (even if kurds?)
Kill opposition (even if Shia?)

But isn't that what the previous evil dictator did. Ohh I get it he just wasn't ruthless or efficient enough at killing Iraqies
The US military and americanised Iraqies can do it much better & faster.

4:10 PM  
Blogger QuillDancer said...

Dr. John, I stumbled upon your comment at my niece's (Cindra Jo's) before I got here. I wondered how all the others were going to find that bit of the Pigeon Falls Saga.

And I haven't managed to give a sermon that lasts longer than 15 minutes, no matter how hard I try. However, I usually manage to make them laugh, cry and think-- pretty much in that order.

5:22 PM  
Anonymous sandy said...

Your timing sounds just right dr. john always keep them wanting more that's the way to success. :)

Send Mrs. Trumble on a long vacation, save White rabbit.
We have the answer Scarecrow, every village needs a jolly scarecrow. Scarecrows are animal friendly ergo rabbit and dragon will be safe. Scarecrow for mayor.

7:21 PM  
Anonymous cindra said...

Dr. John, i imagine you are pretty great to hear in person...you have a way with words.

And thanks for coming over to my blog under pressure and playing the game...that was very sweet of you! It was such a funny surprise when I found your comment/entry there! You are a silly dear.

9:18 PM  
Blogger Tina Dray said...

If your sermons where on the short side you should have include a bit about pigeon fall's it keeps us all coming back for more

3:37 AM  
Blogger ballofwool said...

Hello John

Many thanks for putting myknittedfamily on your blog and for stopping by.

Have had a few days off the blog this week due to some other things cropping up - but will be returning asap.

1:48 AM  

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