That’s the title of this Sunday’s early church sermon. It was actually a phrase spoken by Father William Spooner in the early part of this century. He meant to say “loving shepherd” but instead said “shoving leopard.” LOL.
I’m actually going to speak on the loving shepherd, Jesus (as witnessed in John 10), but Jonas and I have been reading “Runny Babbit” by Shel Silverstein, so when I stumbled upon Father Spooner’s mistake I thought it would be an appropriate title.
So, that’s what I’m supposed to be doing now–working on my message. But if you ever write sermons, maybe you know about “sermon block.” It’s like writer’s block, but it happens when you’re working on a message and the ideas just stop flowing–or won’t even start. I find in those times it’s best to either a) study the scripture and pray or b) goof around until you get motivated. Since it’s only Wednesday and I’m a fan of pushing deadlines, I chose “b” this afternoon. “Why, Becky, that’s very unspiritual of you.” I know. But at least it’s honest, right?
I have my intro and my outline, anyway. But I write out my messages because I’m a terrible off the cuff speaker. Seriously, when I speak in front of people and I don’t have anything written down, I say all kinds of cheesy, stupid things that don’t make sense. And I try to be funny, and let’s face it, I have a really dry sense of humor. I’m only really funny to people who “get” me. Like Katie Lorentzon who apparently sniggles when she’s reading my blog–nice one, Katie.
So anyway, that’s why I always write my messages out. One thing I have going for me, though, is that I’m a really good reader, so I’m able to read in such a way that it doesn’t always sound like I’m reading. Since God didn’t make me hysterical or a great speaker, he at least gave me good delivery.
Another thing I need to do today is come up with a children’s message for the later church service this Sunday. That’s usually easier because a) God has called me to work with children and b) I kind of cheat. Well, is it really cheating when there are websites and books full of children’s messages that are right there in cyberspace on websites created for children’s ministers to use? I don’t think so. Plus, I always add a personal touch to these pre-formed sermons. And some days I do come up with my own stuff.
So, now I’ve burst your bubble, I guess. I goof around instead of writing my sermons in a timely and spiritual fashion and I often get my childrens sermons off www.sermons4kids.com. Hooray for a God who loves me anyway 🙂
May our Shoving Leopard bless you all!