Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Blessing for Today

Dear Urban Abbey Members and Friends:    Below is a poem from Steve Garnaas-Holmes this past week.  I ran across it again this morning as I was working through some e-mail.   As I read it again, I felt warmed and well loved by the Holy, Steadfast, Divine, and Delightful One.   This reminds me once again to open my eyes and see God’s WONDERFUL creation around me.   Though it’s overcast and the sun isn’t out (yet), there is a peacefulness in the seeming gloom that invites reflection.   This is another very blessed day….my task for today is to keep awake to each moment of it, look for that odd happening,  and meet each of you as we join together in God’s eternal present as the day unfolds.

 Shalom and blessings, George

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

Today may the good earth hold you
with the unfailing love of the Steadfast One.

May the sun illumine you
with the loving wisdom of the Holy One.

May the air fill you
with the Spirit of Life.

May the human family surround you
with the Divine Presence.

May birds remind you
of the joy of the Delightful One.

Today may some thing gracious happen
to speak to your heart.

Today may something odd happen
that awakens you.

Deep Blessings,

Pastor Steve
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Dear Urban Abbey Members and Friends:

Steve Garnaas-Holmes meditation for today struck me on several different levels. First, the Holy One gives us SO many blessings each day. Our God is extravagant in showering us with good things – people to help us along our path, food, health, beauty…

Second, the Holy One gives all this manna (grace) with virtually no strings attached—God asks only ONE thing of us: that we open our hands, hearts, and selves to receive these blessings given. This second part can be real stumbling block for some of us—I know it is for me. As many of you are aware, I had surgery this past week (Sep 6) to remove a cancer from my body. The surgeons and nursing staff were very skilled…the surgery went perfectly, I am recovering quickly and have a good prognosis for the future. The hard part now comes in accepting the help, lovingly given, by spouse, family and friends. I am not back to 100%, but I feel well and want to do more. In the midst of this I need to realize that, just as in opening one’s self to receive the good gifts God gives, it is important to open one’s self to receive the ministry and blessing of others. I am not good at this; in fact, I get irritated with those who are trying to be generous to me.

So, Steve’s message to me this day is to be aware of this shortcoming and to work at accepting the help & hospitality of others with a more loving heart. What does this meditation hold for you this day? I invite you to share your thoughts and insights to enrich our Community.

Shalom and many blessings, George

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron “You have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death." Then the Holy One said to Moses, "I will rain down bread from heaven for you.” … In the morning thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, "What is it?" For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, "It is the bread the Holy One has given you to eat.” The people of Israel called the bread manna. —Exodus 16. 2-4, 13-15

We sigh as we sit hungrily in our tents, amidst fields of manna. We never seem to recognize it at first, and even when we do it's a mystery. (“Manna” is Hebrew for “What's that?”) But God provides for us grace we haven't earned, a harvest we never planted, blessing that comes from the heart of God.

Every day is manna. Each breath is a feast of life, granted by the hand of mystery, full of infinite blessing, offered for us to have abundant life. Every moment is a gift, overflowing from God's grace, connecting us with God, inviting us to digest that grace, to take it in and make it a part of ourselves. You can't analyze it, understand it, or make sense of it; you can hardly describe it, or even name it. “What's-it?” may have to do. All you can do is receive it, take it in, and live on it.

Every moment is manna. It looks unremarkable or even unidentifiable, but it's God's grace. Today, look for the manna. Take what you need.

Weather Report:

A low-pressure system of extravagance
will rain blessing upon us,
coming out of a direction we never suspect.
Despite partially clouded awareness,
low-lying hearts may be inundated with gratitude.
Expect flash floods of grace today and tomorrow,
with drifts of blessing reaching two feet—or two hands.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light