Sunday Audio Files

Sunday Audio Files

Listen here to previous Sunday talks or download and take them with you on your phone or tablet. Rev. Pat Bessey’s follow-up messages, published with the audio files, provide additional insights and news about Unity of Greater Portland. Just click or tap on a title to reveal the audio player and message.

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The Positive Power of One Person

Sunday message by Rev. Pat Bessey

Let’s us give a loud shout out to Randall Sawyer for the many, many hours of service he gave to Unity of Greater Portland in upgrading our building. Randall worked tirelessly in organizing the wiring in our attic and cleaning up many iterations of work that has been done over the years. During this time, Eric Rosseland and Matt Purinton on many occasions supported and worked beside Randall completing certain parts of the project. In so doing, they made it possible for a team on Saturday to lay new insulation. The team included Jerr Roberts, Todd Glacy and Monty Hoskins along with Randall, Eric and Matt. Please give them a personal thank you for their service. I am sure you realize that their service will translate into lower heating and air conditioning costs going forward. THANK YOU ALL… YOU ARE THE BEST!

BibleThe talk on Sunday was titled “The Positive Power of One.”  I used the scripture from John 15:16: “You did not choose ME, but I chose YOU, and appointed you…”.  I truly believe Spirit has a plan for everyone and it is up to us to say “yes.” As I look at the history of the world, I am astonished and convinced that history clearly shows that the human race is basically moved and shaped by one solitary person who has discernment and insight to see something … to hear something … to feel something.

I shared the story of Malala Yousafzai, the 17-year-old Pakistani who won the Nobel Peace Prize this year. Malala’s story is powerful. She believed that every child should have the right to an education and when she stood up for it she was persecuted. In October of 2012 she was shot by the Taliban, who boarded the bus that was taking her home. Although she was critically wounded, she did not suffer any brain damage. She was taken to England, where she was treated and healed. She began attending school there; however, this did not stop her crusade for education. Although she has received the Nobel Peace Prize, she is still considered a target for the Taliban.

This young woman is still exemplifying the “Positive Power of One Person”…just this past week she announced that she is donating $50,000 to rebuild a school that was damaged in the recent fighting in Gaza. She is modeling for you and for me what it means to make a difference in the world. Malala, like you or me, is empowered by God and is influencing many whether directly or indirectly. You and I do the same thing; we are a center of influence… “You did not choose ME, but I chose YOU, and appointed you.”

I challenge you this week to pray for insight, to have integrity and to become involved.  Whatever you are being called to, put your heart and passion into it, and God through you will change the world

Next week join me for the Positive Power of One Question.
You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Pat

Mystic Realities

Sunday Message by Meghan Don

Meghan Don

Meghan Don

This past Sunday we were blessed by our guest speaker Meghan Don. Meghan shared with us her own journey of living, which is no different from my journey or yours. The older I become the more, I realize the truth in the phrase which we often hear: “We are all One.”

She shared a health challenge she had two years ago and that often when faced with what seems an unsurmountable problem in our life we move through various stages. She called them platforms.

The first platform is where we are pleading with God, “Please take this cup from me,” It is the Gethsemane story when Jesus was in the garden and knew what was coming and his plea was, “Please take this cup from me.” No God, not this… anything but this.

The second platform is coming into the place of acceptance. Okay it looks like this is mine to do; then “Thy will be done.”

And then the third platform is where we see the blessing in what is being presented to us. We see the joy and the suffering; it is all One!

We are heading into the home stretch of 2014. It has been an amazing year and a year of growth individually for many and for us as a community. There is a deepening of consciousness that is palpable within the community. Many have taken the opportunity to participate in one of the Silent Retreats led by Jack Seery. Our silent prayer team and prayer chaplains have been holding the prayer consciousness and praying with many of you throughout this year. Louise Flynt brought several students through a yearlong Quest class that transformed their lives. The Soulcraft class continues with a group whose lives are being transformed. We have eight students who have indicated that they are interested in the Licensed Unity Teachers path and are taking the required courses that move them in that direction. And our Youth Education program is growing in so many ways… we have a diversity of ages of children, which opens up the opportunity to serve for more adults who would love to be with our children. I read a sign recently that says…”Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children.” If you want to be around this great natural resource, please email Rev. Elizabeth.

So friends, I have just touched the tip of the iceberg in sharing what we have been up to and know that 2015 is already shaping up to be an even greater year of growth. We have many opportunities coming that we will be sharing with you and hoping that you will get on-board with us. We are taking action to bring Unity into our corner of the world…

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Pat

Jesus in Blue Jeans: Service

Sunday message by Rev. Pat Bessey based on the book Jesus in Blue Jeans

I am in great gratitude as I write for the awesome community that is Unity of Greater Portland. Over 50 showed up at our Community Meeting on Sunday. The outpouring of support for us to move forward with our mission to “reach in to reach out” was amazing. The decision was unanimous to focus our attention on outreach and a program called “The Season for Peace and Non-Violence.” A team is being formed to work with them to develop programs and activities that we as a community can participate in. Stay tuned as more will be shared moving forward.

The talk on Sunday concluded the series Jesus in Blue Jeans and it focused on Jesus as a servant king. The following story tells it all about being in service and saying “yes” to the call… even when you don’t want to. It helps us to realize that we operate from a very limited viewpoint and Spirit operates from the big picture.

bamboo gardenOnce upon a time, in the heart of an ancient Kingdom, there was a beautiful garden. And there, in the cool of the day, the Master of the garden would walk. Of all the plants of the garden, the most beautiful and most beloved was gracious and noble bamboo. Year after year, bamboo grew yet more noble and gracious, conscious of his Master’s love and watchful delight, but modest and gentle withal.

And often when the wind came to revel in the garden, Bamboo would dance and play, tossing and swaying and leaping and bowing in joyous abandon, leading the Great Dance of the garden, which most delighted the Master’s heart.

Now, one day, the Master himself drew near to contemplate his Bamboo with eyes of curious expectancy. And Bamboo, in a passion of adoration, bowed his great head to the ground in loving greeting.

The Master spoke: “Bamboo, Bamboo, I would use you.”

Bamboo flung his head to the sky in utter delight. The day of days had come, the day for which he had been made, the day to which he had been growing hour by hour, the day in which he would find his completion and his destiny.

His voice came low: “Master, I’m ready. Use me as you wish.”

“Bamboo,” The Master’s voice was grave. “I would have to take you and cut you down!”

A trembling of great horror shook Bamboo…”Cut … me… down? Me… whom you, Master, has made the most beautiful in all thy Garden… cut me down! Ah, not that. Not that. Use me for the joy, use me for the glory, oh master, but do not cut me down!”

“Beloved Bamboo,” The Master’s voice grew graver still  “If I do not cut you down, I cannot use you.”

The garden grew still. Wind held his breath. Bamboo slowly bent his proud and glorious head. There was a whisper: “Master, if you cannot use me other than to cut me down… then do your will and cut.”

“Bamboo, beloved Bamboo, I would cut your leaves and branches from you also.”

“Master, spare me. Cut me down and lay my beauty in the dust; but would you also have to take from me my leaves and branches too?”

“Bamboo, if I do not cut them away, I cannot use you.”

The Sun hid his face. A listening butterfly glided fearfully away. And Bamboo shivered in terrible expectancy, whispering low: “Master, cut away.”

“Bamboo, Bamboo, I would yet…  split you in two and cut out your heart, for if I cut not so, I cannot use you.”

Then Bamboo bowed to the ground: “Master, Master… then cut and split.”

So did the Master of the garden took Bamboo…
and cut him down…

and hacked off his branches…
and stripped off his leaves…
and split him in two…
and cut out his heart.

bambooAnd lifting him gently, the Master carried Bamboo to where there was a spring of fresh sparkling water in the midst of his dry fields. Then putting one end of the broken Bamboo in the spring and the other end into the water channel in the field, the Master gently laid down his beloved Bamboo.

And the spring sang welcome, and the clear sparkling waters raced joyously down the channel of bamboo’s torn body into the waiting fields. Then the rice was planted, and the days went by, and the shoots grew and the harvest came.

In that day Bamboo, once so glorious in his stately beauty, was yet more glorious in his brokenness and humility.

For in his beauty he was life abundant, but in his brokenness he became a channel of abundant life to his Master’s world.

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Pat

Jesus in Blue Jeans: Gratitude

Sunday message by Rev. Pat Bessey based on the book Jesus in Blue Jeans

1gratitude600w.jpg copySir John Templeton said this about gratitude: “If you’re not grateful, you’re not rich — no matter how much you have,” and the flip side is, “If you are grateful, you’re rich — no matter how little you have.”

This week the talk was focused on gratitude and we continued with Jesus in Blue Jeans. Jesus was such a magnificent manifester because he knew ultimately that God will provide. He knew that with his entire heart and soul. Jesus knew God will provide — and he always gave thanks first — before the manifestation.

Gratitude after you have received, is just good manners — but gratitude BEFORE you have received is faith. Do you have faith in God to provide your needs and your desires? Do you have enough faith to express your thanks before you receive your blessings?

Zig Ziglar, a noted motivational speaker and author, said, “The more you are thankful for what you have, the more you will have to be thankful for.”

How to develop and maintain the power of gratitude:
•    Acknowledge that God is the source of all the good things in your life.
•    Recognize the “pleasant places” in your life.
•    See this day and every day as an opportunity to be grateful.

An exercise for you to try that I will guarantee will infuse energy in your life is to find 100 things to be grateful for before you leave the house to start your day.

Gratitude takes three forms:
1.    It is a feeling in the heart.
2.    It is an expression in words.
3.    It is a giving in return.

Rev. Christopher Chenoweth said, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it, is like wrapping a present, and not giving it away.”

On another topic… I want extend a personal invitation to you to attend the Community Meeting following the service this Sunday at 12:15. I am very excited about some ideas that were generated from our meeting in June and hope you will be, too. See you there!
You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Pat

Jesus in Blue Jeans: Mountaintop Experiences

man on mountainSunday Message by Rev. LeRoy Lowell based on the book Jesus in Blue Jeans

Oh my word what an awesome time we had at the Women’s Retreat this past weekend. The theme was Relax, Renew, Reconnect and based on the evaluations that we received that was the experience for many of the women. Here is what was said: Wonderful space, great food, loved the connections with the other women of Unity. We are all women of power! This was an incredible weekend… I feel the love. This was so powerful! I loved it… see you next year!

So while many of us were retreating, Sunday morning continued to happen at Unity of Greater Portland. Thank you to the many that keep everything running and creating an atmosphere of welcoming and love.

Rev. LeRoy continued with the series Jesus in Blue Jeans. He talked about mountaintop experiences. So do you wonder why many of the great teachers and prophets in the Bible, including Jesus, go alone to the mountain? Physically, on a mountaintop we get a greater view of our surrounding, don’t we? In mind, we get a greater view of where we are in life. We get a broader perspective. We can see far-reaching possibilities. It is from that illumined place we get our bearings and a sense of direction.

The theme of God being sought and found in mountaintop is found throughout the Bible. Mountains greatly influenced the way of life and the beliefs of the ancient peoples. These people also gave certain mountains a religious significance and symbolism.

Here are some of the biblical stories we have read over the years that are considered “mountaintop” experiences.

Exodus 3:1-6
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
And Moses said, “Here I am.”

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

Exodus 24:12
The LORD said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and commands I have written for their instruction.”

1 Kings 19:11, 12
Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; 12and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.

Now in the New Testament we have examples from Jesus where he often sought out the mountains to get a broader perspective or to get clear direction.

Matthew 5:1, 2
And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying…

Matthew 17:1-3
Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.

Mark 6:46
And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray.

Unity author James Dillet Freeman talks about taking time to go to God for a Mountain Top experience in the Silence: “There… your whole being becomes a place of prayer, a holy temple set upon a hill. There God becomes a living presence.”

Mountaintop experiences can be found most definitely in the silence and in meditation. But they can also be found in activity and in doing. After the quiet, we must do something. At Unity of Greater Portland we have so many opportunities for you to take action. The Unity Kindness Revolution has service opportunities during the month for you to do acts of kindness. Check out in this week’s Heart Thought the wonderful ways in which you can make a difference in the lives of those around you.

Next Sunday join me as I share that Jesus Knew the Power of Gratitude.
You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Pat