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Sunday Message for August 13, 2017

A PROSPERITY TREASURE HUNT

Summer is the perfect time to pull out our favorite reading as well as to explore books we haven't yet read. Often this is done on vacation as we escape into daring adventures, steamy romances or juicy mysteries with lots of plot twists and turns.

This month at Unity in Castro Valley, we are taking highlights from four different books that are on my summer reading list. And while these books won't be adventure, romance or mystery novels, they will definitely be adventurous, they will help us connect with deep love and we just may experience a twist or turn along the way.

Last week our book was Thrive, a New York Times #1 best seller written by media mogul Arianna Huffington, and we looked at the Four Qualities of a [Redefined] Successful Life.

Who remembers what they are?
* Well Being - in all areas of your life, but particularly your spiritual well being.
* Wisdom - the deepest wisdom is knowing that connection and love are what we are all looking for and realizing that all of life is unfolding for our highest good
* Wonder - at all of life, including who we are!
* Giving - which sets up within us a sense of overflow and abundance

An interesting little side note to all of this. Huffington has stepped down as editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post to start a new company, Thrive Global, which launched in November 2016 to provide content and training seminars on wellness. It looks like she's serious about this and I am eager to see where she goes with it!

This week's summer read is Prosperity, written in 1936 by Unity co-founder Charles Fillmore. This book is one of my absolute favorites for living inside a prosperity consciousness. And I have to tell you, trying to pull out just a few ideas from it for today proved to be almost impossible! I would love to do an entire month on it if you would like. What do you think?!

It is rich, rich, rich in amazing spiritual ideas, the first of which is this important one: "We are not studying prosperity to become rich but to bring out those characteristics that are fundamental to prosperity. We must learn to develop the faculty that will bring prosperity and the character that is not spoiled by prosperity."a

And before we go any further in our prosperity treasure hunt, I want to make sure you all know the two things money is good for. Lean in because you are really going to want to get this:
1) Money gives you the freedom to share your love, your gifts, your talents and your time with the world in ways that bring you joy and fulfillment.
2) It gives you the ability to give back financially, and make a positive difference in the lives of others.

Let me say those again:
The two things money is good for are:
1) It gives you the freedom to share your love, your gifts, your talents and your time with the world in ways that bring you joy and fulfillment- whatever that looks like for you!
2) It gives you the ability to give back financially, and make a positive difference in the lives of others.

Said a different way, money directly supports two of the hallmarks of Thriving - your Well Being and Giving! That's what it's good for!

So, let's go on a treasure hunt now through Prosperity by Charles Fillmore to cull some of the most brilliant gems found in this New Thought classic. Today is going to be a bit interactive, if you want to play - remember I promised a little adventure during this series. Well, here it is!

In your program, there is a Prosperity Treasure Map. Take it out right now.

See where it says, "You Are Here" at the bottom. That's where you will start, and you'll take a journey upward to find some amazing prosperity gems in quotes I share from this book.

You'll see that some of the letters have been filled in already to give you a jumpstart, but you've got to be paying attention to the quotes I'm sharing to fill in the rest of the letters.

For those who reach the top and get all 8 phrases, you are winners. But the real reward is that you will have some pretty cool prosperity reminders for you to keep! Sound good? Then, let the Treasure Hunt begin!

PROSPERITY

In Prosperity, Fillmore writes: "The spiritual substance from which comes all visible wealth is never depleted. [Let me say that again with extra emphasis: "spiritual substance is never depleted"!] It is right with you all the time and responds to your faith in it and your demands on it. It is not affected by our ignorant talk of hard times, though WE are affected because our thoughts and words govern our demonstration. Pour your living words of faith into the omnipresent substance and you will be prospered though all the banks in the world close their doors."b

The key to what he just said, and a key to our abundance consciousness, is this idea: Spiritual substance is never depleted.

And why is that? Because it is Infinite. And no matter how much is used or taken from that which is Infinite, there is still an Infinite amount left over.

Now that's a big concept and possibly hard to wrap our minds around, so what is more tangible that we could we more easily grasp?

How about ideas? How about music? How about air?

In fact, Fillmore writes in Prosperity: "There is no scarcity of the air you breathe. There is plenty of air to breathe, in fact, all you will ever need, but if you close your lungs and refuse to breathe, you will not get it and may suffocate for lack of air. When you recognize the presence of abundance of air and open your lungs to breathe it deeply, you get a larger inspiration. This is exactly what you should do with your mind in regard to substance. There is an all-sufficiency of all things, just as there is an all-sufficiency of air. [Remember, there is plenty of air to breathe!] The only lack is our own lack of appropriation."c

I love the section of the quote that I shared before: It [meaning the infinite substance] is not affected by our ignorant talk of hard times, though WE are affected because our thoughts and words govern our demonstration. Pour your living words of faith into the omnipresent substance and you will be prospered though all the banks in the world close their doors."

The question is what words are you pouring into the omnipresent substance? Are we pouring words of what we want or what we don't want? Consciously make a decision to say only what you do want.

In This Thing Called You, Holmes, says: "Let no words come forth from your lips that you don't want to have come back into your life."d (paraphrased)

Think of your words like a boomerang! Can you identify some words you say that you really don't want to have come back to you? Just turn them around to the positive.

Here's what will happen when you consciously, deliberately and continually think and say what you really want - you become a magnet to it and you will pull yourself to it and it to you because that is how the Law works!

But we sometimes can get discouraged when things don't happen as fast as we would like, can't we?! I've done that, and I love these words of encouragement from Fillmore: "If your prosperity does not become manifest as soon as you pray and affirm God as your substance, your supply and your support, refuse to give up."e

Refuse to give up!

This is what I have learned. Things are working in the unseen. The challenge is, you can't see what's happening in the unseen! But that doesn't mean things aren't happening, because they are.

Did you know that if you were to plant bamboo seeds, you wouldn't see a thing above ground for about three years. You'd probably think nothing was happening and that your effort had gone to waste. You might even give up and quit watering it.

But is nothing happening? Absolutely not. Nothing is definitely NOT happening. A lot is happening. It is establishing a strong, deep root structure so that when the growth period happens, which is phenomenal, it's ready.

Because once a shoot peaks through the ground, it can grow up to 4 feet in a 24-hour period. In 3 months it can shoot up to as high as 70 feet in the air.

And the same is happening for us when it appears nothing is happening. Roots are being laid, things are being lined up in the invisible, so (and I quote Fillmore again): . . . "refuse to give up!"

And keep taking whatever steps are yours to take. Fillmore tells us: "No one ever fully sees the steps that he must take in reaching a certain end."f

But we must take the next step, whatever it is, knowing that the next one will be revealed in the right and perfect time!

Scripture tells us: "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.."g

That doesn't say a floodlight illuminating the entire path; rather, it implies a light for the next step.

As you are taking your steps, here is an amazing affirmation to use from Prosperity: "I have faith in the substance of God working in and through me to increase and bring abundance into my world."h

Or we could shorten it to: "I have faith in the substance of God."

Let's do that together! "I have faith in the substance of God."

Let's pause for a moment and touch in. How are you doing with your Treasure Map? You could have found 5 gems by now, leaving 3 more to be discovered.

What are they, starting with the first?
1. Spiritual substance is never depleted
2. There is plenty of air to breathe
3. Refuse to give up
4. No one ever fully sees the steps
5. I have faith in the substance of God.

We're going to get to the final gems found in this book, but there are so, so, so many more!!

These are around one theme, which is an entire chapter, but I'm going to share the crux of it: "The great promise of prosperity is that if we seek God and His righteousness first, then all shall be added unto us. One of the most practical and sensible ways of seeking God's kingdom first is . . . to put God first in finances. (from p. 141) . . . When we put God first in our finances, not only in thought but in every act, by releasing our first fruits (a tenth part of our increase or income) to the Lord, our faith in omnipresent supply becomes a hundred fold stronger and we prosper accordingly. Obeying this law gives us an inner knowing that we are building our finances on a sure foundation that will not fail us."i (from p. 138)

Put God first in finances!

This is through that high and holy act of tithing - leaving 10% of our good with the source of all of it by supporting organizations or individuals who have reminded us of who we are, who have spiritually enriched our lives and whose work in the world we want to see flourish and grow. This is how we: Put God first in finances.

Fillmore suggests that when we, as he says "obey this law," we are building our finances on a sure foundation that will not fail us. Jesus promises us that!

Fillmore writes: "[When] Jesus said, 'Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over,'j he was not merely making a promise, but stating a law that never fails to function. So inexhaustible is the bounty of the Giver of all good that to him who has eyes to see it and faith to receive it, God is an unfailing source of supply."k

Now that's a promise -- God is an unfailing source of supply - I can sink my teeth into. And if you would like to as well, I have an offer for you. Actually, it's a challenge.

I would like to make a 90-Day Tithing Challenge.
If you would like to accept this challenge, and you fully and consistently participate in the Challenge, and at the end you do not feel you received blessings (however you chose to define blessings) you will receive your money back - 100% with no questions asked.

Would you be willing to Tithe (10% of gross income) to Unity of Castro Valley for the next ninety days?
Would you be willing to pray for abundant blessings to be experienced in your life and in the life of UCCV?
And would you be willing to engage in other spiritual practices that support your growth and expansion?

If so, then fill out the Ninety-Day Tithing Challenge form and put it in the offering basket.
You will be given
* Support
* A Money back guarantee and
* Goodies and surprises along the way

I want to leave you with some final words of advice from Fillmore contained in what is our last gem: "Do not take anyone's word for it, but try . . . [this] for yourself. The other fellow's realization of substance will not guarantee your supply. You must become conscious of it for yourself. Identify yourself with substance until you make it yours; it will change your finances, destroy your fears, stop your worries and you will soon begin to rejoice in the ever-present bounty of God."l

Affirmation: I rejoice in the ever-present bounty of God.

So let's see how we did with the Treasure Map. Tell me what they are, starting from the bottom with the first one:
1. Spiritual substance is never depleted
2. There is plenty of air to breathe
3. Refuse to give up
4. No one ever fully sees the steps
5. I have faith in the substance of God
6. Put God first in finances
7. God is an unfailing source of supply
8. I rejoice in the ever-present bounty of God

And so it is.



aProsperity, Charles Fillmore p. 161
bProsperity, Charles Fillmore p. 13
cProsperity, Charles Fillmore p. 15
dThis Thing Called You, Ernest Holmes
eThis Thing Called You, Ernest Holmes p. 34
fThis Thing Called You, Ernest Holmes p. 37
gPsalm 119:105
hProsperity, Charles Fillmore p. 50
iProsperity, Charles Fillmore p. 138 and 141
jLuke 6:38
kProsperity, Charles Fillmore p. 144
lProsperity, Charles Fillmore p. 24



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