Warm Days, Friends and Gratitude

by Christine Sine
Screenshot 2023 10 09 at 11.37.37 AM

by Christine Sine

It’s been quite a weekend. A beautiful splash of warm sunny days before the onset of more wintery weather encouraged me to get outside and enjoy God’s beautiful creation. On Sunday I had the opportunity to preach at our church, giving a sneak preview of my content for the Seasons of Gratitude retreat next Saturday. We also did an animal blessing using Elaine Breckenridge’s wonderful blessing. If you have not used it yet, consider doing so this week. Our pets and service animals bring so much to our lives that this needs to be acknowledged and celebrated.

After that we headed north to Warm Beach, not far from Camano Island. We started with a delightful visit with good friend Graham Kerr, and heard the delightful story of how in the early days his wife Trina thought that he was very boring presenter. With the help of some rather ribald British friends she encouraged him to lighten up and add some humour. It was this that really began his career as the Galloping Gourmet. From there we drove to a Circlewood event and heard the latest updates on the Circlewood Village project on Camano Island as well as what is happening on their blog The Ecological Disciple and their podcast Earthkeepers. I am so impressed with how they have taken the vision Tom and I had for the land and are both developing and expanding it. If you have not yet checked out what they are doing, I suggest you visit the Circlewood website.

Unfortunately this has all been against the backdrop of the war between Israel and Palestine and the earthquake in Afghanistan. May God have mercy on all who have lost loved ones and property and bring quick resolution to the conflict.

Last week we launched our Season of Gratitude theme on Godspace. Some of you may feel however that I immediately diverged from that theme in my Meditation Monday: Blessed, Grateful or Just Privileged?  “So today I sit and look at the many blessings of my life and think “What of these things really come from a hidden sense of entitlement?” Am I “blessed” because God loves me, or am I blessed because as a white woman, the comforts I enjoy have been taken from the First people of this land and also from the First Australians?” One of the things I am grateful for this year is my growing knowledge of the atrocities that were done to indigenous people in many parts of the world and the implications it has for my lifestyle. For me gratitude often begins in hard places like this. As Dorothy Butler Bass says,

“Gratitude is not only the emotional response to random experiences, but even in the darkest times of life, gratitude waits to be seen, recognized and acted upon more thoughtfully and with a sense of purpose. Gratitude is a feeling, but it is also more than that. And it is much more than a spiritual technique to achieve peace of mind or prosperity. Gratitude is a habit of awareness that reshapes our self-understanding and the moral choices we make in the world.” (Grateful 60) Gratitude waits to be seen and to reshape our understanding of ourselves and of our world. Such an important concept for us to think about. I hope that you will join us on Saturday at our Seasons of Gratitude retreat when we will explore this in more depth.

Lilly Lewin looked at gratitude a little differently, and inspired us with her Freerange Friday: Cup of Gratitude. Inspired by her suggestion I decided to use a different cup for my morning tea for the next couple of months, a very special cup – a Shelley fine bone china cup I rarely use. Perhaps, after you read her post you too would like to choose a special cup or mug for your morning tea or coffee.

It was a delight on Thursday to read Hilary Horn’s post Rediscovering the Joy of Thanksgiving In Western Cultures As a Follower of Jesus. Hilary used to live in our upstairs apartment with her husband and 2 children. She is now a certified coach and debriefer and has also produced some impressive resources which are available through her Etsy store.

In Rodney Marsh’s post Walking and Birds he comments : “Animals in general, and birds in particular, are often, I believe, ‘messengers of hope’. Over the years, I have had many bereaved people tell me of an unexpected angelic avian visitor (angel = messenger) bringing them comfort, hope and peace following the death of a loved one.” I agree. I too have found them to be both messengers and ministers of hope.

May the gifts of God fill your life with joy this week.
And bring you gratitude and true blessing.
May you hear the voice of almighty God as it resounds through the heavens.
May you seek to proclaim our Creator’s ways throughout the earth.
God’s Word has never been silent.
God’s ways are rooted in justice and peace.
God’s path is lined with compassion and love.
May you journey through life this week
By the light of the Eternal One’s face,
And live always as followers of Christ.

Christine Sine

Join Christine Sine on October 14 or watch the recording later. October and November, the season between Canadian Thanksgiving and American Thanksgiving, is gratitude season on Godspacelight. Christine Sine will encourage you to enter into the practice of gratitude in this  interactive retreat that will help us enter this season of gratitude with joy and delight in our hearts.


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