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Sunday Message for November 19, 2017

RICH IN IDEAS, RICH IN LIFE

This month we are focusing on Charles Fillmore's classic book, Prosperity, which examines abundant living as a way of life. We are examining how to create abundant living as a way of life!

And, here is an interesting tidbit that you might not realize about this book. It was originally published in 1936. What was happening in America in 1936? Yes, the great depression was in full swing. Here is a guy writing a book to teach people how to have a prosperity consciousness when the entire country is deeply steeped in lack consciousness! He sure had his work cut out for him, but clearly he was undaunted!

I think having the historical perspective makes this passage even more meaningful: "The spiritual substance from which comes all visible wealth 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."a

Realizing when that was written gives so much more power to words that are already so very, very powerful.

RICH

Today we are going to explore this concept: Rich in Ideas; Rich in Life - and we will, but there is something else I am feeling called to do this morning. I am very aware that it has been one year since we had a very divisive election and, a year later, we still have a country divided.

And whichever side of that fence you fall on - and we are definitely not here to debate the sides -- I think it is accurate to say that some emotional healing still needs to take place all the way around. So that needs to happen today as well.

This is actually related to our topic, because we cannot be filled with rich ideas and experience a rich life if we are clogged up emotionally. It just can't happen. Being emotionally clogged is like a dam around our hearts holding back the mighty Living Waters of God's inspiration and ideas, clarity and creativity. And those waters will be held back until the dam is broken through.

Not only do blocked emotions act like a dam holding back the flow of inspiration and ideas, clarity and creativity from being expressed through us, blocked emotions are also like a solid brick wall around us, keeping the abundant flow of good from reaching us.

Now, I don't think any of us want that, do we? Do we?! So, then it is part of our deep, high and holy spiritual work to clear those blocks. We absolutely must do it.

In The Science of Mind, Ernest Holmes wrote: "It (meaning God) is ready to fill everything, because it is Infinite. So, it is not a question of Its willingness, nor of Its ability. It is entirely a question of our own receptivity."b

We are not receptive if we are emotionally blocked. Plain and simple.

And, yet, we can't spiritually bypass our emotions either. You know what spiritual bypass is? We love to do it in New Thought circles. Something is hurtful or upsetting or bothering us and we immediately say . . .
* "It's all God, so it's all good."
* "Divine Right Order is taking place."
* "We are all One."
* "God's Goodness is at the center of all things."

And those things are absolutely totally 100% true. In fact, they are spiritual Truth!

But, if immediately we go to them without acknowledging and truly feeling whatever we are feeling, then the unacknowledged, unfelt feelings are stuffed and actually become the building blocks of the dam within us and the wall around us.

Let me say that again because it is VERY important. Without acknowledging and truly feeling whatever we are feeling, the unacknowledged, unfelt feelings are stuffed and actually become the building blocks of the dam within us and the wall around us. We have to feel the feelings to heal the hurt to open ourselves up to experience rich ideas and a rich life!

But, of course, if we just stay feeling the feelings, we also build the dam and the brick wall. So the key is to feel the feelings, but don't take up residence in them. I once heard it said: "Yea, though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, keep going; don't stop and build a condo."

So, I ask a very important and pointed question this morning, which does not require a verbal answer, but please answer it HONESTY in your heart. Have you either spiritually bypassed your feelings about the 2016 election and what has occurred in our nation and our world since then; or have you built a condo of upset and resentment, fear and blaming and taken up residence?

If you have spiritually bypassed your feelings, please do what you need to do to feel whatever feelings you are having! Do not verbally beat up those closest to you. Speak to someone who can hold space for you while you have your hissy fit; see your Prayer Chaplain, beat a pillow with a tennis racket. Whatever it takes, and then, then, open yourself up to the possibility of forgiveness. That's where the healing begins.

Or if you are living in the condo of resentment, upset, fear, etc., could today be the day that you let the healing begin?

Remember, once again - blocked emotions act like a dam holding back the flow of rich inspiration and ideas, clarity and creation and they are also like a solid brick wall around us, keeping the abundant flow of good from reaching us.

To help tear down the dam and the wall, I want to offer up this morning a powerful prayer of forgiveness. It is the Buddhist Prayer of Forgiveness that I invite you to be with this morning. Be with it if you have anything going on inside around our political, global, environmental situation; or, if you are clear there, anywhere else in your life where you think there is a block.

Close your eyes, go to your heart, and be with these words as I slowly recite them:
"If I have harmed anyone . . . in any way . . . either knowingly or unknowingly . . . through my own confusions, . . . I ask their forgiveness.
"If anyone has harmed me . . . in any way . . . either knowingly or unknowingly . . . through their own confusions, . . . I forgive them.
"And if there is a situation . . . I am not yet ready to forgive, . . . I forgive myself for that.
"For all the ways that I harm myself, . . . negate, doubt, belittle myself, . . .judge or be unkind to myself through my confusions, . . . .I forgive myself.

Take a deep breath, settle into your heart more deeply as you allow these words to be embodied in you as I say them one more time.
"If I have harmed anyone . . . in any way . . . either knowingly or unknowingly . . . through my own confusions, . . . I ask their forgiveness.
"If anyone has harmed me . . . in any way . . . either knowingly or unknowingly . . . through their own confusions, . . . I forgive them.
"And if there is a situation . . . I am not yet ready to forgive, . . . I forgive myself for that.
"For all the ways that I harm myself, . . . negate, doubt, belittle myself, . . .judge or be unkind to myself through my confusions, . . . .I forgive myself.

Take a couple of deep breaths and bring your attention back into this room. Open your eyes when you are ready.

My friends, by doing that, you have just created a beautiful space for ideas, inspiration, clarity and creativity to flow. Good job.

And let's widen them even more by looking at a profound passage from Prosperity. It's rather long, but very rich, so bear with me:

"We are sometimes asked whether we advocate the accumulation of riches. No. The accumulation of riches . . . is futile unless it is the outgrowth of a rich consciousness. We advocate the accumulation rather of rich ideas, ideas that are useful, constructive and of service to the well-being of all humankind. The outer manifestation of riches may follow or it may not, but the supply for every need will be forthcoming because the person of rich ideas has confidence in an all-providing power that never fails. He [or she] may not have an extra dollar, but the ideas have merit and he [or she ) has confidence, a combination that cannot fail to attract the money to carry him forward. This is true riches, not an accumulation of money, but access to an inexhaustible resource that can be drawn on at any time to meet any righteous demand. When a person has a rich consciousness there is no necessity for laying up gold or accumulating stocks and bonds or other property to ensure future supply. Such a one may be most generous with his wealth without fear of depletion, because his rich ideas will keep him in constant touch with abundance."c

That last line is so very powerful: "Such a one (meaning the one who has a rich consciousness) may be most generous with his wealth without fear of depletion, because his rich ideas will keep him in constant touch with abundance."

I love the idea that ideas are God's first currency. And that is what Fillmore is speaking about here in this passage. Our rich ideas, which are ever available, will always lead to whatever financial abundance we could need.

So, say after me: "My rich ideas create rich results!"

Your rich ideas may bring you to a job, to a relationship, to a project, to a new way to pitch your product, to a new product, to an invention. Did you know that many inventions that changed the way we do things came out of the great depression? Here are just a few:

Jacob Schick drew up designs for the world's first electric dry razor after he was fed up of lathering up to shave in the freezing cold since he had no heat in his home. By 1929, his razors were on the shelves. This is how the company we know today as 'Schick' came about.

The car radio was invented by Paul and Joseph Galvin who needed new revenue after the financial crash. Designs were drawn in 1930 and by 1933, Ford was manufacturing cars to include radios. Later on, the brothers changed their name from Galvin Manufacturers to a company you might have heard of . . . Motorola.

Here's a really important invention!! Chocolate chip cookies evolved in 1933 after Ruth Wakefield couldn't get any bakers chocolate to bake chocolate cookies. So, she decided to cut up a chocolate bar and put it in her cookie dough instead, resulting in chocolate chips. Soon, Nestle bought her recipe and the rest, as they say, is history!

After J.F. Cantrell noticed that only wealthy people and those that had electricity available could use powered washing machines, he opened the world's first Laundromat. In 1934, he charged people by the hour to use his four washing machines.

Finally, the game of Monopoly was invented in 1935 after Charles Darrow decided to give people something to be entertained with after all the sadness the depression caused.

Yes, rich ideas definitely create rich results!

I love the way Elizabeth Gilbert in her book Big Magic shares how inspired ideas function. It's a fascinating twist which we talked about in May of 2016, but it bears repeating today!

She suggests that we think about ideas as energetic life forms floating around in the ethers. Think of it this way: God, expressing as Creativity, is an infinite number of formless ideas floating around. At this point, the ideas have no material body but, in Gilbert's viewpoint, they are driven by a single impulse: to be made manifest in our physical world.

The trick for many of these formless ideas is that the only way they can be made manifest in our world is through collaboration with a human partner.

Therefore, ideas spend eternity swirling around us, searching for available and willing human partners. When an idea thinks it has found somebody who might be able to bring it into the world - say one of us - it will pay us a visit. It will try to get our attention.

Chances are fairly good that we won't notice. Perhaps we are so consumed by our own dramas, anxieties, distractions, insecurities and duties that we aren't receptive to inspiration.

We might miss the signal because we're doing really important things, you know like watching TV or brooding over how angry we are at somebody or pondering our failures and mistakes. Or other equally important activities that occupy our time and head space.

The idea will try to wave us down (perhaps for a few moments, perhaps for a few month, perhaps for a few years), but when it finally realizes we aren't open to being enchanted by its inspiration, it will leave us and move on to someone else.

"But sometimes [Gilbert writes], there comes a moment when you're open and relaxed enough to actually receive something. Your defenses might slacken and your anxieties might ease, and then magic can slip through. The idea, sensing your openness, will start to do its work on you. It will send the universal physical and emotional signals of inspiration (the chills up the arms, the hair standing up on the back of the neck, the nervous stomach, the buzzy thoughts, that feeling of falling in love). And then, in a quiet moment, it will ask, 'Do you want to work with me?'"d

Has anyone ever had that experience?

At this point, you, of course, have two options for how to respond.

The simplest answer, often the easiest answer and sometimes the right answer for you is just to say "no." Then you're off the hook. The idea will eventually go away and you don't need to bother with it. It may not be the right time for you; it may not really be the idea for you.

Gilbert writes: "I have many times been approached by ideas that I know are not right for me, and I've politely said to them: 'I'm honored by your visitation, but I'm not your girl. May I respectfully suggest that you call upon, say Barbara Kingsolver?' (I always try to use my most gracious manners when sending an idea away, you don't want word getting around the universe that you're difficult to work with.) Whatever your response, though, do be sympathetic to the poor idea. Remember: All it wants is to be realized. It's trying its best. It seriously has to knock on every door it can."e

So you might say "no" and that's perfectly fine. When you say "no," nothing happens at all with you and the idea moves on to someone else.

But here's something really important to get. Have any of you ever had an idea, decided for whatever reason not to pursue it and then seen that same idea brought into form by someone else and you think, "Hey, they stole my idea!"

Well, we don't ever get to think that again because, we, my friends, were not open to accumulating it and so it found someone who was!

No blame or guilt here, just complete personal responsibility, which is an important aspect of our New Thought teachings, isn't it?

So we have the choice to say "no" and let the idea go elsewhere.

Then again sometimes rich ideas - ideas for expressing the greater life - land on us and we receive the universal physical and emotional signals of inspiration -- the chills up the arms, the hair standing up on the back of the neck, the nervous stomach, the buzzy thoughts - and we just might say "yes."

What then? Well, we can approach it with fear of can I do this? Am I good enough? Will it work? If we entertain them, we won't bring forth this rich idea into form!

Or we can embrace the inspiration, be entirely mesmerized by the idea, roll our sleeves up and get to work! That is what Fillmore is telling us to do when he wrote in the passage I read earlier: "We advocate the accumulation . . . of rich ideas, ideas that are useful, constructive and of service to the well-being of all humankind."

So, I have a challenge for you this morning.

First, if you want to be a person upon whom the rich ideas floating in the ethers will land, if you want to become an inviting receptacle, then do your forgiveness work. We did some this morning, but perhaps there is more to be done.

And then, when those ideas land, don't ignore them. At least give them some good consideration. And don't let fear stop you from catching them and acting upon them.

Ernest Holmes in Creative Mind and Success gave us some great wisdom when he wrote: "When we feel that we do have the right leading; when that something inside us tells us that we are lead; then, no matter what it appears like, we must follow it up. Something beyond our intelligence is doing the thing through us and we must do nothing to contradict it. Great men are the ones who get a vision and then go to work to make it come true never looking to one side, but with one-pointedness and calm determination, stick to the thing until it is accomplished."f

Whatever idea you have, my friends, . . . big or small . . go for it! This is how you deal in the currency of ideas and how supply for your every need will be forthcoming. It is because you have become a person rich in ideas and rich in life!



aCharles Fillmore Prosperity p. 13
bErnest Holmes The Science of Mind, p. 37
cCharles Fillmore Prosperity p. 89
dElizabeth Gilbert book Big Magic p 36
eElizabeth Gilbert book Big Magic p. 37
fErnest Holmes Creative Mind and Success p. 67



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