Godspace 2012 in review

Thank you for making this year the best ever on Godspace. The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

About 55,000 tourists visit Liechtenstein every year. This blog was viewed about 260,000 times in 2012. If it were Liechtenstein, it would take about 5 years for that many people to see it. Your blog had more visits than a small country in Europe!

Click here to see the complete report.

And if you would like to help make 2013 even better please consider a small donation to Mustard Seed Associates so that we can upgrade the blog,  get rid of the distracting ads, expand the circle of writers and publish new prayer and liturgical resources.
  MSA is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible.

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As the New Year Dawns – A New Year’s Prayer for 2013

As the new year dawns

God as this new year dawns,

May we take time to see the newness you are giving birth to.

May we not be blinded by the darkness that consumes our world.

Or consumed by the fear that paralyzes our actions.

May we remember,

That out of winter’s darkness you bring forth light,

That out of winter’s death you give birth to new life.

May we remember,

That which has been dormant will spring to life,

That which has been pruned will sprout new strength.

May we remember,

You are the light by which we see,

You are the fountain that gives us life.

God as this new year emerges,

May we give birth to that which honours you,

May we bring to life that which allows your goodness to shine,

May we give fresh expression to your eternal world,

And in the depths of our hearts may we cry,

Your kingdom come,

Your will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven.

Amen

 

Which Seed Catalogues Can I Trust?

Catalogues galore

Catalogues galore

I mentioned yesterday that the seed catalogues have started to arrive. This is a great time to curl up by the fire and drool over all those wonderful photos in the seed catalogues that in your saner moments you know won’t grow in your climate zone but which you just can’t resist when it is too cold to grow anything. This year I have done some research on who owns our seed companies and which we can trust to have organic non GM seed.

I always like to buy from those companies that specialize in heritage and organic seed like:

Seed Savers Exchange

Bountiful Gardens

Peaceful Valley Farm Supply 

or those that are based in the local Washington area

Territorial Seeds

Raintree Nursery

I also cannot resist a couple of big company catalogues like the English classic  Thompson and Morgan and Park Seeds which have products I can’t seem to find anywhere else.

Unfortunately I discovered recently that many of my favourite companies are owned by Monsanto or Mars.

Seeds of Change – I love their seeds but someone told me recently that they are owned by MARS  incorporated, one of the largest food conglomerates in the world. So though Seeds of Change itself provides ethical seed, non GM products, its parent company has a different philosophy. As Tim Stanton who alerted me to this commented: They present themselves as a warm, inviting, environmentally conscious company, but Seeds of Change has a money-hungry corporate core.  Tim goes on to say:

Even though Seeds of Change signed the safe seeds pledge (pledging to not sell genetically modified seed), Mars. Inc. spent almost 400k to defeat Prop 37 (which would have required the simple labeling of GM food so PEOPLE could make informed choices). Seeds of Change had been a New Mexico based company since the beginning (since it started out small and independent) but Mars uprooted it from original place of operations in New Mexico and moved it to Los Angeles, leaving almost their entire faithful New Mexico crew jobless. They even abandoned their warehouse cats in the process –

So if you want to get away from any seed company that is associated with Monsanto, here is a very helpful list that documents some of the companies owned by Monsanto who may be using GM food. Unfortunately I notice some of my other favourites (including ones listed above) are on the list. It also contains a list of those that sell safe seed even though they have not signed the safe seed pledge.

So you may also want to check out this link to where you can research seed companies that have signed the Safe Seed Pledge,

I would love to hear your comments on this. How do we decide which seeds to use? Should we be concerned about who owns the seed companies?

Time to Plan Your Garden

Time to plan the garden OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If you are like me, and you live in the Northern Hemisphere, now that Christmas is over, you are probably dying to get out into the garden even though here is snow on the ground.  And the seed catalogues that start arriving the moment the Christmas frenzy is over certainly don’t help. So if you can’t get outside (or even if you can but just don’t want to go sloshing through the rain and mud, here are a couple of websites that you might like to check out to at least to give you the feel of being outside.  They are great planning tools.

BBC’s Virtual Garden – it has a fun 3D function on the site and is free

Kitchen Garden Planner – part of the gardener’s supply website which is one of my favourite places to look for seed starter supplies and self watering pots.  This is also free.

Better Homes and gardens also has this free planner – not so helpful for vegetables though.

Plangarden.com This website has some great hints for gardening on it.  The garden design function costs $20/year

I really like the look of this garden planner  that Mother Earth provides. It does cost $25/year after the first month’s free trial (which I am about to try) but it looks far better than the rather limited free versions above and I am always ready to pay for good advice.

Light for the Journey Prayers for Christmas

Over the last few days there have been some beautiful prayers posted on the Light for the Journey Facebook page. I have also added the last of the Advent prayers which have not been posted yet. Enjoy

Shout for Joy God thank you for your radiant star - Bonnie Harr

The light of the Christmas star to you.
The warmth of home and hearth to you.
The cheer and goodwill of friends to you.
The hope of childlike heart to you.
The joy of a thousand angels to you.
The love of the Son and God’s peace to you.
— Irish Blessing

Transformation - Bonnie Harr Thank you for scripture fulfilled - John Birch My soul maginifies the Lord - John Birch

 

Rejoice Rejoice, Christ our Saviour is come.001 Christmas prayer.001

 

 

You call us to be messengers
announcing the news
that your kingdom is here;
not in some faraway place
or heavenly space, but here
where we live and breathe
in the presence of Christ our King.
Here, where the sick are healed
and broken lives made whole,
Here, where your children serve
and love is shared with all.
Here, where you rule in power
and sin cannot control.
Here, where your people meet
responding to your call.
You call us to be messengers
announcing the news
that your kingdom is here
just waiting to be found!

(www.faithandworship.com)

This Advent-time
we remember Mary and Joseph,
giving thanks for their faithfulness,
courage and obedience,
stepping out into the unknown
in the strength of your Spirit,
playing their part
in the fulfilment of your plan
to bring your prodigal people
home again.
We pray that their example
might be the pattern of our lives,
that when your gentle whisper
breaks through the clamour of this world
and into our small corner,
we might be ready to listen,
and having listened, to act.

(www.faithandworship.com)

This Advent-time
we remember Mary and Joseph,
giving thanks for their faithfulness,
courage and obedience,
stepping out into the unknown
in the strength of your Spirit,
playing their part
in the fulfilment of your plan
to bring your prodigal people
home again.
We pray that their example
might be the pattern of our lives,
that when your gentle whisper
breaks through the clamour of this world
and into our small corner,
we might be ready to listen,
and having listened, to act.

(www.faithandworship.com)

 

On the Second Day of Christmas….

12 Days of Christmas Xavier Romero-Frias via wikimedia

12 Days of Christmas Xavier Romero-Frias via wikimedia

Christmas day has come and gone but the 12 days of Christmas are still very much with us. This extended season is a great season for people of Christian faith to really focus in on the meaning of the season. I have talked about this in previous years and you might like to check out some of these posts:

Christmas is Over or Is it? 

The Wait is Over What Did I Get?

More Christmas Prayers

Today, however as the scriptures of the day from the Book of Common prayer celebrate the death of Stephen, the first Christian martyr, I am reminded of the incredible risk of following Jesus with our whole hearts.  And in a couple of days we will celebrate the slaughter of the innocents in Bethlehem, which we already reflected on following the massacre in Newtown.

Perhaps part of the reason we love to sit back with a sigh of relief after Christmas day is because we don’t really want to face the consequences of a committed faith. We want following Jesus to be all about love and peace and personal happiness. None of this persecution and martyrdom stuff. None of this “turn from your selfish ways and take up your cross” stuff. None of this “love others as you love yourself” stuff.

Part of what has been birthed in me this Christmas time is a new desire to let go of the confining trappings of adult life with its pressures to conform, to consume and to fit in, where there is no time for awe and wonder. Instead I want to try to grab hold of the childlike expression of faith that finds delight in every little thing around me. As I move through Christmas 2012, I want to slow down and take time to glory in God’s resurrection created world which came into being through the life of the One whose birth we celebrate at this season.

Let Us Wait As Children Wait – the Entire Series.

Aboriginal Christmas - unknown artist

Aboriginal Christmas – unknown artist

In case you missed some posts, here is the complete list of the contributions to the series Let Us Wait As Children Wait. Enjoy

Advent, Children, Justice, Wonder and Humility by Steve Wickham

Lessons From a Nomadic Childhood by Lynne Baab

Let Us Wait As Children Wait by Jon Stevens

Too Old And Decrepit To Bless – by Anne Townsend

Waiting on the Trail an Advent Reflection by Jill Aylard Young

Let Us Wait As Children Wait An Advent Reflection by Coe Hutchison

Everything Will Happen, Just Slow Down and Wait an Advent Reflection by Bonnie Harr

Always Winter and Never Christmas An Advent Reflection by Travis Mamone

Simple Faith – An Advent Reflection by Paula Mitchell

Shhhh…Here He Comes an Advent Reflection by Margaret Magi Trotman

Waiting When There is No Hope An Advent Reflection by Christine Sine

Wading Through Hot Chocolate and Cloudy Skies an Advent Reflection by Kim Balke

An Advent Prayer for those Grieving in Connecticut by Bonnie Harr

Why Being a Child is Admitting We Don’t Know it All An Advent Reflection by james Prescott.

Waiting with Ants an Advent Reflection by Jim Fisher

The Slaughter of the Innocents – Advent Reflections on the Massacre in CT

I Can Hardly Wait for Christmas But I’ll Try – An Advent Reflection by John Leech

This Will Be A Sign For You An Advent Reflection by David Perry

Celebrating Advent with A Birth and A Death by Edith Yoder.

Gifts of Light and Love a Christmas Poem by Heather Jephcott

Advent is Over – What Have You Learnt?

And the prayers that have been posted during the Advent season

A Prayer for the First Sunday of Advent by John Birch

A Celtic Advent – The Creative Breath by John Birch

A Celtic Liturgy for Week 2 of Advent by John Birch

A Celtic Advent Liturgy for the Third Week of Advent by John Birch

A Celtic Liturgy for the Fourth Week of Advent by John Birch

Prayers for Advent from Light For the Journey

Prayers for the Journey – Advent prayers for the week

Christmas Prayers for 2012