Healthy Edible Flowers – Wonderful Addition to a Salad

Borage flowers

Borage flowers - great in salads

It is probably obvious that I am enjoying the garden at the moment.  We finally seem to have hit summer – while the rest of the country has been sweltering we have been having one of the coldest summers on record.  Anyhow the greens in the garden are wonderful and I just picked one of the biggest cauliflowers ever.  Looking for some colour to add to my salads too so thought that you would enjoy this video about edible flowers

Growing an Autumn Garden – Its Time to Start

Hard to believe it but it is time to start your autumn vegetables. In fact it may already be too late to direct seed some vegetables so a trip to the nursery may also be required. I just watched this helpful video

Prayers for the Journey

Here is my weekly round up of facebook prayers

In this time of budget crisis

Be with all those who face cutbacks

Care for the vulnerable

Provide for the destitute

Fill those who are hungry with good things

___________________________________

God in this time of budget crisis

Be with those who make decisions

Speak through those who are wise

Silence those who are foolish

Help them decide with justice in mind

______________________________________

Praying in the midst of the budget crisis today:

God who offers abundance and plenty where we expect scarcity,

Provide for all those who are hungry and in need of food today.

God who lives amongst us, hear our prayer

______________________________________

Sit still in the presence of God
Look back with gratitude
Look forward with anticipation
trust in the One for whom all things are possible

_________________________________________

God we are like parched ground waiting for the rain to fall

We lift our faces in reverence looking for your touch

We lift our hands in praise with prayers rising from our lips

We lift our hearts in hope, faith rising within us

We are content to wait each day for your refreshment

____________________________________________

God we sit in the contentment of this moment

Knowing it holds all we need to find you

We sit with still hearts and welcome everything it offers

And be at peace, experience freedom, enter your rest

______________________________________________

Good time of brainstorming and listening to God today at our MSA retreat:

Small beginnings, hidden things, mustard seeds,

Planted in a place of darkness

May we seek and water them, nurturing into growth

A tree that the birds of the air come and nest in

_________________________________________________

Mustard Seed Associates staff retreat today & tomorrow. Starting with this prayer:

God we gather in this quiet place

To hear the prayers you have placed in our hearts

We come willing to listen to the silence

Alert and attentive to your voice speaking within us.

______________________________________________________

God help us today to embrace experience and not stuff

To hold onto you and not possessions

To rest in the presence of the living God

And see we need nothing else but you

______________________________________________________

Thinking of those killed in Norway this morning:

God today we mourn with those who mourn

Our hearts ache with those whose loved ones were killed

God have mercy on them

In the midst of despair may they find hope

In the midst of grief may the find your love

__________________________________________

Couldn’t resist this second prayer today:

God of a thousand names, Merciful, compassionate, faithful

God of infinite love, righteous, holy, trustworthy

God who provides in unexpected ways

You are beyond imagining and we praise you

___________________________________________

Budget Crisis/ Prayer Vigil

Budget Cris // Prayer Vigil

Budget Cris // Prayer Vigil

Yesterday I was asked by Holly Hight at Bread for the World to contribute a prayer for their Budget Crisis Prayer Vigil on Twitter and Facebook.  I don’t usually like to get involved in political issues but as I thought about it this morning I realized that it was too important for me not to.  It is also too important to restrict to a single prayer and so I have decided to write several Light for the Journey prayers throughout the day as I pause in my daily work to pray for this very grim situation.

As an Australian who has only recently become an American citizen I struggle with all that is going on.  The political posturing, the seeming indifference of the impact on both the poor and the middle class amazes me.  The lack of respect towards the president and some of the racial overtones to the vitriol that is flying also appalls me.

Do they realize I wonder that this has the potential to plunge not just this country’s economy but the whole global economy into a far worse recession than the one we are just coming out of?   And I can tell you that if that happens it will not be the crazy politicians who refuse to listen to reason that will suffer.  It is the poor and the vulnerable and more and more the middle class as well.   I have already posted 2 prayers this morning and will continue to do so throughout the day.

Bread for the World will live tweet the event using the hashtag #circleofprotection: http://www.twitter.com/bread4theworld So you might like to follow along there.  Here are my 2 prayers so far (which I forgot to add the hashtag to.)  If you like you can also add prayers to this post that I will make sure are reposted on twitter.  Blessings

God in this time of budget crisis
Be with those who make decisions
Speak through those who are wise
Silence those who are foolish
Help them decide with justice in mind

_________________________________________

God who offers abundance and plenty where we expect scarcity,
Provide for all those who are hungry and in need of food today.
God who lives amongst us, hear our prayer

________________________________________________

A tribute to John Stott.

Many of you have probably already heard that John Stott died yesterday

The Reverend John Stott, who died on July 27 aged 90, was one of the most influential clergymen of the 20th century; indeed in 2005 Time magazine declared him to be one of the 100 most influential people in the world.  read the Telegraph report here

He was certainly one of the most influential people in my life, helping me to expand and deepen my understanding of faith.  I first read his works in my early 20s and continued to find his writing challenging and provocative throughout my life.  I well remember one time he spoke here in Seattle saying –

The answers we get depend on the questions we ask… reading the bible in new contexts and new cultures should always challenge us to ask new questions and find new fresh answers from the bible.

John was probably one of the first people who challenged me to think outside the box of traditional conservative Christian faith.  His perspectives and understanding have always encouraged and guided me.  he will be sorely missed by many of us

Catalysts for God-Inspired Change in a Turbulent World – We Can Make the World A Better Place

We can make the world a better place

Shouting Jubilee and Shalom

The MSA team has just completed two very successful but draining days of planning.  We have talked a lot about Jubilee and our desire to enable followers of Christ to dream new dreams and reimagine how to live and serve God in a changing world with the wonderful shalom future of God in mind.  It seems such an appropriate time to do this as the US government moves relentlessly towards a precipice that could put the whole world wide economy in jeopardy.

How do we live in these challenging times, remaining faithful to God’s call to bring freedom and liberation for all who are oppressed and marginalized?  It is easy to feel overwhelmed not just by the chaos of our times but by the magnitude of the problems around us – climate change, rising joblessness, economic chaos, droughts, floods, starvation, sex trafficking, massacres in Norway – the horrors confront us at every turn and we want to disengage.

Becoming world changers does not start with becoming crusaders.  In fact it is my experience that if we start there we often end up with a worse problem than we started with.

Becoming world changers begins in the place of prayer – not just intercessory prayer where we lift the heartache of our world before God but contemplative prayer where sit in the presence of God sensing God’s heartache and reaching in to the compassion and love that resides only in God’s deepest heart.  Without this we will never sustain ourselves or others sufficiently to respond to the challenging and horrific needs that fill our world.  Our ability to enter into the reality of God’s new world of abundance and wholeness for all only comes when we have given voice to the deep pain and anguish in our hearts.  It is our screams of horror, our tears of anguished repentance and our deep heart centred compassion towards those who have suffered that makes it possible for us to respond and reach out to strangers as though they were our closest friends.

 

However we will never become world changers if we spend all our lives sitting in a quiet secluded place weeping for the world.  Contemplation requires active engagement.  It frees our hearts and our minds to look beyond ourselves and our own desires and infuse all our actions with love and compassion.  It enables us to lay down our own self centred lives and desires for personal significance so that we can be truly open to the spirit of God acting in and through us.

In all that we face in our turbulent, dysfunctional world at the present time we need to remember that though we feel we have lost control, God has not.  We don’t need to ask why but rather what can I do in order to bring glimpses of God’s new world into being?  What is God already doing and how can I become a part of it?

Often the moves of God that are transforming our world really do appear as hidden mustard seeds planted in dark places.  And often they sprout and grow before we even realize that something has changed.  So look around you today and see where God is at work.  Join in and together we can transform our world.

Sit in the contentment of the moment – Pray with us

This morning I wrote this prayer during my morning meditations.

God we sit in the contentment of this moment,
Knowing it holds all we need to find you,
We sit with still hearts and quiet minds to welcome everything it offers,
May we be at peace, experience freedom and enter your rest.

it seemed like a great sentiment to start the day with especially as we are on retreat with the MSA team.  It was a way to help me focus.  But it wasn’t long before my equilibrium fragmented.  Someone blew a fuse that disconnected the internet and panic, panic we couldn’t figure it out at first.  Now I am back on line but the contentment of the moment that I had experienced earlier in the morning has definitely gone.  How to regain that I was wondering.  Our team meets again in 20 minutes and I feel the need to be centered and attentive to God.

In moments like this it is always easy to get stressed out (at least for me) but I realize too that it is more important than anything to sit quietly in the presence of God and just rest in the stillness of the moment – so guess what – the start of our retreat this morning will be some quiet moments of reflection and centering all our hearts on God

We would appreciate your prayers at this time.  We are brainstorming about the next 2 -3 years and we need God’s wisdom and discernment as we move forward.