The Last Thanksgiving from John Morton

I attended the Thanksgiving dinner at Prana along with many others including John-Roger. The entertainment included several contributions from those present, some younger and let’s say some deeper, all in the way of a warm family gathering to share the love and appreciation for one another.

I became aware of what I call the “last thanksgiving.” I saw the last thanksgiving as a first Thanksgiving blessing in the Spirit before the incarnation of each Soul into the world. From that view, we could see how every experience in the psychic-material existence always contributes. It was like seeing the original cornucopia as an unlimited source of the harvest coming from the Divine. There was complete understanding that all works toward good, ever greater good, becoming complete good. The view was like seeing across a magnificent lush landscape full of natural diversity as though every living thing was in full bloom and beautifully vibrant. This is our true home.

The simple meaning of this view was to realize that even though the world would appear as lacking and disturbed, including our own reflection, in truth, an eternal living truth, we are always welcome in our original home. And just because we forget, no matter how long we forget, we can always remember our home whenever we choose. Part of the way to remember our home is to give thanks—even in the simple words “thank you,” which is a prayer that takes us home again. So every time we notice something good, our thanks become a prayer that takes us home again. The more we give thanks, the more we connect to the outpouring of greater good coming from our home and “God shedding His grace upon thee.”

I also realized that when others notice something good and share that with me, I often respond with, “Thank you,” which may sound as though I’m taking credit as the creator. God wants us to acknowledge ourselves as co-creators, and so we are encouraged to be thankful and acknowledge the grace present whenever we notice something is good. Once we give thanks for all, then we are in the first and last thanksgiving, the one that includes all and is everlasting.

Baruch Bashan

Gratitude by John Morton

       Begin the day by getting yourself in a consciousness of gratitude. There is a reason God is bringing a challenge to you. You can ask inside, “Help me to understand, Lord. What is it I am to learn?” Some days you just have to do the best you can. So say, “Thank you, Lord,” and choose to handle the situation as best you can with what you know and the conditions present.

       As you start the day, first surround and fill yourself with Light and love. You can do this as a prayer to God, an invocation of the Light, or through your creative imagination. Then, extend the Light into your day as you see yourself moving forward in the world. During the day, remember that the Light goes before you and prepares the way. All the things that come forward in your day, expected or unexpected, wanted or unwanted, are part of that Light action which is always present within you.

Baruch Bashan

A Blessing within a Blessing

When I first became a minister in MSIA, I was shortly unemployed right after it.  During this challenging time for me I volunteered to minister in the oncology ward of Botsford Hospital in Farmington Hills, Michigan. 

Working in accord with the pastoral department, I was given free rein on the wards.  Most of the patients were suffering from serious cancers and cancer related disorders (these were mostly AIDS patients with Karposi’s sarcoma, but even then they were isolated from other patients).   I went to the hospital at all different kinds of times. Morning, afternoon, evening or weekends.  That way my presence wouldn’t be expected and I could attune myself to whatever Spirit directed to do.

I met truly wonderful souls.  I recall one feverish man saying to me, “I knew you would come.”  It brought tears to my eyes for whoever I was to that man at that moment it was perfect for him.  Another was a woman who refused to die when the doctors told her family she would die.  She told me from under her blankets, out of which she refused to come, “make them go away.  I am not dying.”  She waited four months and died on Valentine’s Day.  She never came out from under those covers, either. 

 In my capacity as both minister and hospice volunteer I learned many things.  One, I learned that women, at least on the inside, are often stronger than men and face death with a great dignity and often with humor.  One woman named Marie, who had grown up in the logging towns of Northern Michigan and was a lumber worker herself, was dying of lung cancer.  She never complained.  Not once.  And every time I talked to her she would tell what a great life she had had.  “I smoked, I drank, I danced…what more could you ask for?” she said.  I was, to say the least, blown away.

But the woman who I remember the most was a corpulent black woman in her late 30’s.  When I entered her room I noted she was being fed iv’s from four tubes.  One in each thigh and one in each arm.  Her “sisters” were like angels tending to her every need.  Not one sour face existed among them.  No tears, just praises to Jesus.  I went to the woman and saw a radiant beautiful face.  She looked at me as I took her hand and said, “It is a blessing, it is all a blessing.”  I could hardly hold back the tears welling up from my throat and coming into my eyes.  She squeezed my hand and I asked her if there was anything I could do for her.  She squeezed back and said, “No, Jesus sent me these angels and He is my Savior.”

Well, that did it.  My heart burst open (as it is now even in writing this) and I felt as if I were in the presence of a spiritual giant.  It was I who was being blessed as well.  I stood in awe and walked away silently holding and calling in the Light (something I did for all the patients, as well as planting Light Columns in the rooms).

I came back the next day and found she had died.  The nurses praised her and said she never stopped smiling, right  up to the end.

As I stood reflecting on her, I realized I was shown something unique.  I had seen surrender, complete surrender and trust.  It is not something that has come easily to me, though I work towards it more and more.  Surrender.  Contemplate it.  To give over to God completely and in loving.  To not know fear, anxiety or dread, but to stand in our own heart and really let go and let God.  To feel the threads of negativity we hold just shred out of us and dissolve before us as a veil being lifted till we see Jesus standing there before us.

Whenever I reflect on this event, I experience as the blessing that keeps giving because she gave me the blessing within the blessing: surrender.

In Loving Light,

John Kadela, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA

A Thank You for “You Are the Blessings”

Dear Tom,

I would not be worthy if I let another day go by and not tell you how much I love having and reading: You Are The Blessings” that you sent to me. I guess that I was waiting to write you and thank you when I finished the book. But, now I realize that I will never be finished with it due to reading and re-reading it! It is now on my bed stand and I read it again and again. All pages in the book are wonderful for me and I especially enjoy Mystical Traveler and Peace and Serving. Spirit is a very important part for me (The Holy Ghost). Trust God. He doesn’t always answer our prayers immediately, but, he hears all of our prayers. (I know this to be true.) I try to live as though He is with me at all times. Always living to be in the world but not of it. Pardon the personal testimony in this thank you note. I just felt the urge to also tell you that I pray a lot, always thanking Him for my Blessings before I ask for what I want, need or desire. I also ask Him to keep my loved ones free of all harm.

Thank you and with love in His eyes,

Shirley