Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart
MSA Imaginings August 2012
Look back with gratitude,
Look forward with anticipation,
In all things give thanks.
Giving thanks, living in gratitude for the rich and abundant blessings of God, being content to sit, enjoy and absorb what God has provided now, in this moment, is indeed the pathway to God. I am very aware of that this week as I work on the programme for our 21st Annual Celtic retreat. Our theme this year is thanksgiving and gratitude. There is still time to join us as we give thanks together for God’s many blessings.
In preparation, this week our MSA team expressed our gratitude for the wonder of God’s provision, unexpected generosity and abundant blessings. It is easy for us to get caught up in concerns for the provisions we still hope for, but as we named our current blessings we were overwhelmed with thankfulness and a sense of the overflowing cup that God has given us. As Andy Wade commented:
God’s narrow path is a wide open way of blessing and joy — a narrow path surrounded by amazing abundance, fruit hanging down; only narrow because it is filled with so much abundance.
Thanks For Abundant Contributors to our Blogs
The MSA blog is expanding with thought-provoking contributions from many sources.
- Our intern, Chris Holcomb from Purdue University, has contributed a challenging series on What Do People Need. He has conducted a number of experiments on simple living that have inspired me to consider again the choices I make and their effect on the lives of others.
- Andy Wade has also added some provocative posts including The Story of Change.
- And don’t miss this latest interview, Kingdom Thoughts with Tom Sine by Work of the People.
- At Godspace I continue to host the series Lord Teach Us to Pray. Contributions continue to arrive from Australia, Malaysia, the UK, Canada and the US. Check out the posts so far here.
Thanks for Abundant Development at the Mustard Seed Village
We continue to move forward at the Mustard Seed Village. A couple of weeks ago, we held a watershed meeting on the land with our architect David Vandervort, Dennis Todd who has volunteered to head up the first construction phase of the pole barn classroom, and a team of construction workers who will help erect the poles and pour the concrete slab. It is obvious that the building will not be completed before our 21st Annual Celtic retreat but we will mark this breaking of ground and first stage of construction with a dedication and thanksgiving ceremony.
Cindy Todd continues to form exciting connections in the Stanwood/Camano area. This week she met with people from the Snohomish Conservation District who are interested in co-sponsoring workshops on sustainability and conservation on our land. The enthusiasm and supportiveness in the local community for the development of this eco-village project is both astounding and humbling for us.
Thanks for Abundant Opportunities to Collaborate
This next month our cup overflows with good things. Tom and I will contribute our favourite tomato recipes for International Justice Mission’s Recipe For Change campaign for slave free tomatoes. I first became aware of this issue after I listened to an interview with Barry Estabrook, the author of Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit. Tomatoes are big business, but it looks as though little about the growing of tomatoes in Florida should make them appetizing to us. Its not just the lack of taste or the huge amount of chemicals (more than eight times what is used in California) that is the concern – it is the slavery that goes into their production. Read more and join us in this important campaign
We also look forward to participating in the upcoming festivals
Tom and I, as well as our summer intern Chris Holcomb and new team members Ryan and Jessica Reemhoff, will attend the Creative World Festival in Mission B.C. August 10-12
At Wild Goose West August 31 – September 2 Tom and I will be joined by Andy Wade and Cindy Todd who will do double duty, also manning a booth for Snohomish Soap Company. We will again share booth space with Brian “Wolt” Wolters and the Overflow Project, Please let us know if you plan to attend as we would love to meet you.
Thanks for Your Prayers and Support
We appreciate your continued prayers
- For Cindy Todd as she expands our networks in the Camano/Stanwood area
- For David Vandervort, Dennis Todd and our construction team as we begin the building of our first structure at the Mustard Seed Village
- For Forrest Inslee and Ryan and Jessica Weemhoff as they develop the CCSP/Cascadia program and recruit students for our first class September 2013
- For Andy Wade as he continues to shape and develop the MSAimagine website
- For Tom and me as we write and speak, encouraging individuals and churches to reimagine how to follow Christ effectively in our rapidly changing world
God has entrusted so much into our care and we are grateful for your continued encouragement, support and prayers as we move forward.