MacGyver Magic by Cindy Todd

Today’s post in the series Return to Our Senses in Lent is written by Cindy Todd social entrepreneur, Mustard Seed Village co-ordinator and facilitator for our upcoming workshop Igniting the Divine Spark


MacGyver Paperclip

MacGyver…now there was a creative guy! Not sure how many of you recall the show, way back in the late 80’s early 90’s.

MacGyver was some kind of secret government agent guy who was incredibly creative at problem solving.

He could make a sound barrier to ward off the bad guys and in the video I’m including today, stops a bomb in the nick of time with a paper clip.


The phrase “doing a MacGyver” has become synonymous with innovative problem solving.

I hate to brag, but I did my own MacGyver thing a few years ago. Back in the day, I drove a big tall conversion van. I was at Miami airport with the Operation Mary team getting ready to head to Ukraine. Unfortunately, I took the wrong parking garage entrance and while I was okay height wise to get in, I wasn’t okay to navigate through. Almost, but not quite.

You know the horseshoes and hand grenades story, close wasn’t going to cut it. Departure time was coming close, there was a line of cars behind me…honking, tapping, being generally impatient and so, I put my best MacGyver thinking cap on and figured out a solution…I hopped out of the van and let about 25% of the air out of each tire. It worked! Wasn’t I proud…

And while I’ve never gotten into that type of situation precisely before, when I found myself unemployed and my family sinking financially a few years ago, I had to get creative again. First for us, and now for other struggling families. As Snohomish Soap Company grows, we can work and partner with a whole lot more women. Now I’m working on scaling…developing the model…and stepping out and making it happen.

This type of model, this idea of doing well by doing good isn’t new, although its definitely emerging as a respected, powerful business philosophy.

Creativity is at the heart of it and a much more cohesive business/life/community model is the result.

For the first time, our friends over at the Inhabit Conference will be hosting the Inhabit Enterprise Challenge, a forum and competition for a few of these new types of businesses to present to the attendees.

Get inspired! Get Creative! Get connected to other Parish changemakers in your community…

A good place to get those creative thoughts bubbling might be at our “Igniting the Divine Spark” workshop.

Igniting the Divine Spark

Igniting the Divine Spark

VR.spark.glowMarch 16th in Seattle


The Spirituality of Soap

Cindy's soap

Looking forward to the spirituality and soap seminar with Cindy Todd

For months now I have been trying to convince Cindy Todd the founder of Snohomish Soap Company and MSA team member that she needs to hold a workshop on spirituality and soap here at the Mustard Seed House.  And now it is happening.  I am so excited.  I love Cindy’s soap and a great idea for inexpensive gifts, but more than that I love her attitude to business formation too which I kno she will share more about so hope that you can join us.

Its going to be a good day!  Come to Mustard Seed House October 29th 11am – 2pm to learn about the spirituality of soapmaking and share your own “clean” stories about how God can use unexpected things to help us learn more about him.  Hint:  Its all about process and transformation…

In this hands-on workshop, Cindy Todd, MSA team member and owner of the Snohomish Soap Company, will teach hot and cold process soapmaking, use of color and fragrance, plus…you’ll leave with your own bar or two. Everything you’ll need is included in the $40 fee.

Prepare for a home made holiday with a couple of bars to take home!

Tea, coffee, and snacks provided.


Liturgy for Celtic Retreat #2

Celtic retreat

Celtic retreat

This is the second part of the liturgy for the Celtic retreat today

Building Together 

Regathering song – All Creatures of Our God and King

Introduction to Lectio Divina

God as we read your word and meditate on your promises,

Grant that we may hear afresh the hope of your salvation ,

And respond to the wonder of your forgiveness,

Not just for ourselves but for all who need rest and release.

May we walk forward without fear into your ways Oh God,
And enter with assurance and trust into the love of Christ.
May we greet all that happens expected and unanticipated,
And walk with humility into God’s grace and peace.

Have mercy on us God almighty.

Immeasurable God, patient God, incorruptible God,

God of infinite love.

Immortal God, eternal God, perfect God.

Merciful God, wonderful God.

God who provides in unexpected ways 

Who abides in the heavens above,

Have mercy on us

Come close this day to the God who loves you without measure,
Open your eyes to see the One who sustains all life,
Open your ears to hear the One who calls you by name,
Open your life to respond to the One who fills all your deepest longings.

Love and justice meet, mercy and grace abound,

God we hear your trumpet sound,

In this time of Jubilee and new beginnings,

Rest from all striving and release from all captivity.

Song – Micah 6:8 – He has shown thee O man what is Good

He has shown thee O man what is good,

And what doth the Lord require of thee,

But to do justly, and to love mercy,

And to walk humbly with thy God.

Time of Guided scripture meditation

Isaiah 61: 1-3  Good News for the Oppressed

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,

for the Lord has anointed me

to bring good news to the poor.

He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted

and to proclaim that captives will be released

and prisoners will be freed.

He has sent me to tell those who mourn

that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,

and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.

To all who mourn in Israel,

he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,

a joyous blessing instead of mourning,

festive praise instead of despair.

In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks

that the Lord has planted for his own glory.

Time for Meditation – Lectio Divina

Luke 12:22-26; 31-34

Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?…. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need. “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.  “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be

Time for Meditation – Lectio Divina

God may we wait in patience and hope for what is emerging

In our lives, in our world and through our faith,

May we be willing to walk on paths unknown, 

That you have marked out with loving care.

May we wait in trust and not fear for your new world, 

For the justice and peace and freedom that has been promised,

For those things hoped for and not yet seen.

Knowing that the future is in God’s hands,

May we wait for the release and rest of God’s Jubilee

Song – In the Lord I’ll be every thankful

Gardening With God in 2010

Spring is sprouting here in the Pacific NW and though it may be a little slow in other parts of the US it is definitely on the way which means that those of us who are avid gardeners are ready to get out and start planting.  And the numbers of those who are planting has definitely grown since last year.  An estimated 9 million people planted backyard vegetable gardens for the first time in 2009 and probably even more will do so in 2010.

Here at the Mustard Seed House we are starting to prepare for the Spirituality of Gardening seminar April 24th.  This was so popular last year that we ended up holding 2 day long seminars.  So if you are interested please sign up early so that we can plan ahead.  We are already planning extra day long seminars in Lynden WA on May 22nd and Hood River Oregon (date to be announced).  As well as that we expect to conduct evening seminars in other locations around the Pacific NW.

Community and backyard gardening has been one of the major responses to our turbulent times but most people do not know how to relate their garden experiences to their faith.    Yet there is no better place to connect to God and the story of God than in the garden.  In this workshop, we will discuss the wonderful ways that God and God’s story are revealed through the rhythms of planting, growing, and harvesting in the garden. Spiritual insights, practical suggestions for backyard gardening and time for reflection will all enrich and deepen our faith as we explore new ways to connect to the God we love.

Each participant will receive a copy of To Garden With God – Spiritual Insights from the Garden and other helpful resources for organic gardening in the Pacific Northwest.  Next year I hope to conduct seminars in other parts of the country too so if you are interested let me know.