- 6 cups Apples,Peeled & Diced
- 1 cups brown or raw Sugar
- ½ cup Oil
- 1 cup Walnuts,Chopped
- 2 Eggs,Beaten
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla
- 2 cups whole wheat Flour
- 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons Baking Soda
- ½ cup Yoghurt
God of the Bountiful – A Harvest Prayer
Thanks to my recent health problems I have had to make some major changes to my diet and start a proper exercise regime. For me, proper exercise means running – it was a passion for much of my twenties and early thirties, but somehow marriage and fatherhood squeezed the time for such practices – until I realised it was one of the only ways I could lose weight and help bring my diabetes under control. Read the entire article here
Every year, we devote one issue of the MSA ezine, the Seed Sampler to the happenings at MSA. The other issues are all about what other people are doing to address the urgent challenges of our times.
Some great stuff has been happening here: a fantastic Celtic Prayer Retreat, hands-on gardening workshops, putting an East coast intern to work, planning a monastic village on Camano Island, the development of a Rule of Life, and the list goes on. This Seed Sampler reports on most of these events and brings you up to speed on the lives of our board members and staff. There is also a list at the end of every MSA resource you might want to know about—books, articles, curriculums, mp3s, videos, etc.My contribution is A Year in the Life of MSA. As I worked on this I was amazed at how much our small team of 5 people plus numerous volunteers have accomplished in the last year.
When I wrote our annual MSA update a year ago, I wrote about the discernment process that we had embarked on to reimagine MSA more as a network of communities and individuals with a common purpose rather than as a program-based organization. We have now completed the work on the MSA rule of life and developed a foundational document that explains the MSAvision, goals, and pillars as well as the discernment process we continue to use for decision-making. Read the article hereBecause we are such a small team we are always looking for volunteers to help not just here in Seattle at the Mustard Seed office but in researching, writing for the Seed Sampler and dare I mention it in financially supporting our efforts. Much of what we do can be done from anywhere in the world. So check out the different ways that you can be involved If you are just learning about MSA I suggest that you at least sign up for the Seed Sampler (its free) and discover some of the ways that your mustard seed can make a difference in God's world
In studying the Psalms for a seminary class, I was once again struck with the vivid and often vitriolic character of the imprecatory laments (mournful petitions). The petitions can be shockingly horrifying (e.g. Psalm 109 and Psalm 137). In these songs, the Hebrew people ask God to vindicate them by triumphing over their enemies in often graphic and disturbing ways. On the face of it, one wonders how anyone had the “nerve” to articulate such seemingly vindictive thoughts to God, let alone allow such words to be recorded. But the laments have an essential and marvelous function: by offering them up to God, we have the capacity to see our odious meditations and desperate thoughts transformed into something acceptable (Ps. 19:14), and because we are able to express our feelings toward The Counselor, we are provided with an alternative to outwardly expressing them through either words or actions toward our enemies. As we ventilate our feelings and process them through the filters provided by the Holy Spirit, he searches, tries, sees, and leads us (Psalm 139:23-24) toward healing. Practicing lament is not often though of as a productive or acceptable way of processing our thoughts and feelings, but I would suggest that it is a powerfully effective spiritual practice and an essential component of spiritual formation. Moreover, it is a way to truly step forward in faith and trust toward God, for we are trusting Him with our most filthy ugliness in the knowledge that He will love us nonetheless. Here are some examples of modern day laments: Here's one by Barlow Girl. It's very beautiful, and touching. Here is an entire album of laments by Michael Card and a page at Calvin Institute for Worship's website about lament and Card's work (both written and recorded) on lament for worship. Finally, I have to include this a haunting 'cover' of "On the Willows" (from Godspell) it is so agonally beautiful… Grace and Peace~ Tracy
the oppression of women worldwide is the human rights cause of our time. And their liberation could help solve many of the world's problems, from poverty to child mortality to terrorism.... "Women hold up half the sky,' in the words of a Chinese saying, yet hat's mostly an aspiration: in a large slice of the world, girls are uneducated and women marginalized, and its not an accident that those same countries are disproportionately mired in poverty and riven by fundamentalism and chaos. Read the entire article hereAs a Christian woman I feel huge responsibility to be a part of God's solution to this overwhelming challenge. It was part of the stimulus I needed to read the Bible through the eyes of women rather than men, to see the liberation that Christ brought and that we too are challenged to bring. It is part of what continues to motivate me to speak out against injustice towards women, the sex trade, mass rapes that occur in war and the patriarchal ways that we interpret the Bible. It is the main reason that I am still so sensitive to even the little ways that women are discriminated against in our society. Let me finish with one of the scriptures that I find most compelling in this regard.
It is for freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not let yourselves (or others) be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.... You my brothers and sisters were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature, rather serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: Love your neighbour as yourself. (Galatians 5: 1, 13, 14.)
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