“Immediate Abundance” ~ by Tom Taffel Emergence International Conference – Philadelphia October

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A friend was a little short on cash, and so, one day he asked God…."What does a thousand years mean to you?" God replied, "A thousand years is but a moment."  Then my friend asked: "What does a thousand dollars mean to you?" God replied, "But a penny."  Delighted with God’s answer, my friend asked, "Could I have a thousand dollars?"  To which God replied,  "Certainly … in a moment.

Is it going to take a thousand years or a moment to realize our full worth?  To claim your inheritance now, all you need to do is remove the mental barriers you’ve built obstructing God’s riches from coming into your life.  That’s your only task.  Pull down the walls and remove the barriers which are blocking your abundance.  The barriers you’ve erected are no more permanent than the clouds that block the sun.  Remove these temporary obstacles and the sunshine comes through – effortlessly and immediately.  The question is: “Are the channels open for God’s abundance to reach us — and –are our thoughts where they can be reached by divine Mind?  

So what are some of the most common barriers blocking our abundance?

I’m not worthy
I’m not a financial wizard
I’m not prepared to handle great abundance
I’m too young or too old to become really rich
I’m not so bad off compared, to my friends

So how do you self-identify?    Do you self-identify as the child of God, because how you self-identify will determine your state of abundance.  As the child of God, you come under God’s law — which is:  
“I am all.”  

God is the great “I Am.”  So what am I?  Well, mortal mind would claim that I am poor ~ I am insolvent ~ I am fallible ~ I am impoverished ~ and the number one … “I AM” is:  I am what I do.  (Just for the fun of it, ask someone…”What are you”?….and you may get an answer such as: “I’m a boy” –  “I’m a student”  – “I’m a lawyer,” or I’m an American.    Seldom will you hear, “I’m a child of God.”

The real “I AM” is God, the all knowing, all wise, all loving and Eternal.  We are the son’s and daughters of the great “I Am”…and this scientific statement of our being makes us worthy, whole and complete.  So what am I?  I am perfect — and as I perfectly see myself — so shall others see me.

Have you seen the bumper sticker: The shortest sentence is: “I am.”  The longest sentence is: “I do.”

Do you believe with complete conviction: “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need”?  If so, the next logical question would be:  How much do we really need?  All we really need is the assurance that all our needs will always be met. 

So what do we need most?  Mrs. Eddy tells us:  “What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds.” S&H 4:3-5.  What a beautiful definition of the word “grace.”  Grace isn’t what we need,  —  it’s what we need most. 

So let’s talk about “grace” for a moment.

”Give us this day, our daily bread”  
…. From the present edition of S&H…Mrs. Eddy’s spiritual expansion of The Lord’s Prayer reads:
“Give us grace for today, feed the famished affections.”

From the first edition of S&H… 
“Give us this day our daily bread”
The spiritual signification of the Lord’s Prayer read:
“Give us the understanding of God.” 

So grace is the understanding of God. That’s what we need most to understand our natural state of abundance:  the understanding of God.  Grace is God’s gentle, quiet, peaceful, reassurance.  It was Jesus’ expression of grace, and graciousness, which enabled him to remain non-reactive to fear, aggression, hate and death.  

II Corinthians 9:8 “ And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”  They say:  “A rich man’s needs are a poor man’s luxuries”?  Have you ever noticed how our needs rise to the level of our available resources?  The more we have, the more we want.  I need, needs so little.  I want, want’s so much.  And yet, all we really need and should really want — are: Life, Truth and Love.  So here’s the all-important question:  Are we really grateful for Life, Truth and Love? 

Mrs. Eddy tells us on page 3 of “Science and Health:”  If we are ungrateful for Life, Truth, and Love, and yet return thanks to God for all blessings, we are insincere and incur the sharp censure our Master pronounces on hypocrites.”  So ask yourself — are you truly grateful for Life, Truth and Love — or — are you insincere?

Gratitude 

They say  “a thankless man is a joyless man” and in our hymnal we sing, “Our gratitude is riches, complaint is poverty.”

So let me ask you…..what are you thankful for … when things are dark, dreary and glum — when you can’t find anything to be grateful for?  Well — you can always start, by being grateful for hot water!  Remember, bread and water can so easily be turned into toast and tea.
Do you express your gratitude before or after a healing?  Jesus expressed gratitude before the healing. He said:  “Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always:” John 11: 41-42.  
Expressing gratitude before the healing — unites our expectation of good with Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving is the purest quality of thought — epitomizing our holy companionship with God.  We need to “cultivate” our gratitude.  Don’t wait for the evidence to change before you give thanks — instead, give thanks until the false testimony gives way to Truth and Love.  Thanksgiving isn’t just an American holiday; it’s our continual feast of Life, Truth and Love
Let me give you an example from my own experience:      
As group leaders on a tour of the great Peterhof Palace, just outside of St. Petersburg, Bill and I were shocked to find we were missing three of our passengers. Midst thousands of tourists visiting the palace…I asked Bill to hold a good thought as I sprinted up hill to the palace– a jog I will never forget.    Fear, worry, doubt and a false sense of responsibility tried to drown out my calm trust that God was all — and in control.  The din of mortal mind’s noisy chatter claiming: carelessness, blame, and liability, thundered through my head with each uphill stride, drowning out that still small voice of God. I knew I had to control my thinking and replace the noise and agitation of mortal mind with the assurance and the peace of God.
Instinctively, I knew these lost passengers were God’s responsibility…not my responsibility.  But I was completely consumed with fear, resentment (re-sent-ment) which meant I was actually going backwards.  With no taxis at the palace, and being a great distance from the ship, I agonized over how they would get back to the ship, and then, pass through Russian security without their Russian visas?  

Mrs. Eddy’s poem, “Feed My Sheep” begins with these comforting words: “Shepherd, show me how to go O’er the hillside steep, How to gather, how to sow,- How to feed Thy sheep:  I will listen for Thy voice, Lest my footsteps stray; I will follow and rejoice All the rugged way.”

While running up hill, I attempted to listen for divine guidance. I was trying to follow where I was being led to go, but how was I to rejoice before I found my three “lost sheep”?  And that was the problem.  I was using gratitude as leverage; as a reward for a good result.  Gratitude is not dessert — the conclusion to a Christian Science treatment.    We begin our prayer by gratefully acknowledging God as All, as our ever present Father-Mother and thanking God for His unconditional love.  Before Lazarus had been healed, Jesus thanked God: “Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always:” John 11: 41-42.

Our Father-Mother God is unconditional Love, whether or not we acknowledge this fact with audible or silent thanks.  He loves us, even if we don’t thank Him on a regular basis.  Gratitude is something we need to express for our own benefit — because it enables us to see that all good comes from God, is indestructible and incapable of being lost or diminished.

Well…I arrived at the grand palace where I expected to find my three “lost sheep” just waiting for me — but all I could see were thousands upon thousands of tourists.  I asked for guidance: “Father, show me what I need to see.” But all I could see were throngs of strangers –standing in my way.  I was still anxious and worried, filled with fear and doubt. 

It was getting terribly late and I had to return to the group. I had no choice but to turn over my personal sense of responsibility to God.  It’s not our responsibility, but our response to God’s ability that gives us the power and confidence to step aside and leave the problem in His hands.  I was now ready to place these three lost passengers in His hands and began my long jog back down to the lower gardens … when suddenly, an angel voice said: “Stop and turn around!” And there they were! 
  
“I will listen for Thy voice, Lest my footsteps stray; I will follow and rejoice All the rugged way” took on a whole new meaning.

‘Listening’ requires a quiet, receptive, willingness to be guided. 
‘Following’ requires trust and confidence. It is letting God direct us in ways we cannot always understand or anticipate. 
‘Rejoicing’ is a wonderful way to begin every prayer.  It establishes our certainty of healing and always leads us where we need to go.  Love never takes us half way, it takes us all the way.  Every right idea carries with it, everything necessary to complete that right idea.

You are right where you need to be…doing exactly what you need to be doing, right here, right now.  Establishing your right place is not getting somewhere else, but appreciating where you are — here and now.  

So, do you value appreciation or do you appreciate value?…(That’s like asking the question:  “Do you love me because you need me or do you need me because you love me”?  So, do you value appreciation or do you appreciate value?

Now Let’s Talk About MONEY 

Does this sound familiar?  “Leaning on the sustaining Infinite with loving trust, the trials of to-day are brief, and to-morrow is big with blessings.”  Mary Baker Glover, 1875 Edition of Science and Health. 
Do you trust God or do you trust money?  “In God We Trust.”  In God we transact our business — because only the business of good is going on.  In Him we live, and move, and have unlimited access to unfailing abundance.  In Him we have stability and a stable, uninterrupted source of supply.
What is money?  It’s just a symbol….little green strips of paper and small metal disks.  Money has no intrinsic value of its own.  It’s not wealth, it only represents wealth.  A pile of money, if inaccessible, is valueless.  Buried treasure has potential, but until it’s discovered, it has no value.  Without activity and purpose, money is worthless.  If you don’t give power to money, it can’t hold any power over you.  The same amount of money, spent wisely, has a very different result than money spent foolishly.

Our wealth isn’t determined by our intelligence — so much as by how intelligently we use our intelligence.  The Mind that is God is the Mind of man which is why we don’t live in anticipation of good.  God gives us countless opportunities to express Him — and then He gives us the ability to achieve all the good we need.  

A financially struggling college student asked for divine guidance one day and was led to write these three words in her check book register:  “Principle Operates Unspent.”  She understood the inexhaustible resources of Principle. 

And so, do you love money?  

The Bible tells us that it is not money, but the love of money which is the root of all evil. Mrs. Eddy tells us:  (MY 270:24) “What we love determines what we are.”

Now, we all know that money can’t buy happiness — but somehow crying in a Porsche is better than crying in a Volkswagon.  A million dollars wont make a person happy!  Consider a man with 23 million dollars. Do you really think he’s any happier than a man with 22 million dollars?  

Chance and change result in loss and lack.  I bought a $3.75 hot dog from a street vendor once, (well, it was a long time ago), and I gave him a five dollar bill. When I asked him about my change, he told me: “Change comes from within.”

When you see lack, you have chosen to enter into the very dream of scarcity you’ve created – in essence, a projection of your own illusion of limitation.  The idea that God could love someone more than another is as impossible as entering into another person’s dream; as impossible as the sun shining selectively on just one person and not another or the rays of sunlight competing with one another.  There are no Displaced, Misplaced or Replaced ideas of God.  

But what about the lottery?  The Lottery is a means of redistributing cash on a haphazard basis of chance.  Many must loose, so that a few may win.  God does not take good from one person and redistribute it to another. That’s why God doesn’t give out winning lottery numbers.  God does not ask us to sacrifice anything … except limitation and false beliefs.  God never takes away our good nor does He give us that which we are not ready to receive.

Mrs. Eddy wrote: “Experience teaches us that we do not always receive the blessings we ask for in prayer.  There is some mis-apprehension of the source and means of all goodness and blessedness, or we should certainly receive that for which we ask. That which we desire and for which we ask, it is not always best for us to receive.  In this case, infinite Love will not grant the request.” S&H 10:22-31.  And a few pages further on:  “…God knows our need before we tell Him or our fellow-beings about it.  If we cherish the desire honestly and silently and humbly, God will bless it, and we shall incur less risk of overwhelming our real wishes with a torrent of words.” S&H 13:12-19.    Then she wrote:  “Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts.” S&H 261:4-7

Spirit can not supply matter because it has no matter to give.  Spirit always gives us the spiritual understanding, the intelligence, the power, the joy and the love we need to demonstrate spiritual supply through unlimited opportunity.  Unlimited opportunity belongs to us — every day.

“God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies.  Never ask for tomorrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment.  That’s Miscellaneous Writings 307.1-5.

The term “Love Currency” was “coined” decades ago by Roy Garrett Watson.  Isn’t that a beautiful concept? “Love Currency.” Treasure it and make it your own.    

Mr. Watson spoke passionately about the parable of the thee servants … who were given their talents — found in St. Matthew 25: 14-28.  To the two servants who had taken their talents and increased them, the master said …to the first servant; “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”  And to the second servant, (almost verbatim): “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”  This was so important, the master repeated it twice.

Mrs. Eddy asks: “Are we really grateful for the good already received?  Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more.” S&H 3:22.  So let’s try to energize our abundance with joy…because it’s joy that oils the wheels of success.  Abundance isn’t our goal, it’s our starting point.  

What would happen if you elevated your wants up to the level of your needs?  For example:

I want perfect health.  I need a clearer concept of my uncompromised perfection.
I want money.            I need a more abundant concept of supply. 
I want a lover.            I need a more abundant concept of right companionship. 
I want success.          I need a more abundant concept of completeness.
I want power.              I need to express more peace and joy.
I want a house.          I need a more abundant concept of home ~ (“Harmony Of Mind Expressed”).

So, let’s stop, and think outside the box for a moment and reverse human reasoning and logic and shift the paradigm?

If you believe that substance is material, you will be bound by the all the laws of matter.  Matter is temporary, destructible, subject to age, decay, inflation, deflation and corruption.  “Spirit, [on the other hand], is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal”  S&H 46812-13.    If you need physical proof from the five physical senses – before you can believe – if you must see, feel, hear, taste and smell something for it to be real, let me remind you about radio waves which you cannot see, feel, hear, taste or smell with the five physical senses.  Radio waves are real and present, and are intangible to the five physical senses.  We are taught that only what we can see is real, but, I’d like to challenge you to look deep – look beyond the surface and see what lies beyond the surface of things.

Are you familiar with this book: “The Magic Eye,” one of the best selling books of the 90’s, the book that explores the world of deep vision?  This book is filled with totally hidden 3-D images in the form of disordered, chaotic, meaningless patterns, but when you change your focus and look beyond the surface of the page with a different focal point, these photos burst into beautiful three dimensional images.  Although it takes training, patience and persistence as you learn to change your focus and look past the surface image, the hidden, invisible, exciting “3-D” image comes into focus.

Like these “3-D” images, true abundance is just beyond our mortal vision or focal point.  Unlike matter, abundance is spiritual.  It’s an attitude, a buoyant state of thought, supported by a loving God who wants the best for each of us.  Like the “3-D” images, it not a surface thing.  Abundance lies deep in our understanding of the inexhaustible nature of supply.  Mrs. Eddy said it best:  S&H 129:22  “We must look deep into realism instead of accepting only the outward sense of things.” “Mortals must look beyond fading, finite forms, if they would gain the true sense of things.” S&H 264:7.  

”What thou see’st, thou be’st.”  So what are you seeing?  (Seeing is the same as understanding….as when you say:  “I see” – which means – I understand.)  

Our universe is limited by what we see.  With closed eyes, we can expand our thinking beyond the limitations of material boundaries.

Let me invite you to close your eyes for a just moment…..

Can you see through your closed eyes your meekness as the source of your strength?  Can you see your humility as the source of your might?  From your innocence can you see your purity?  From stillness your activity. From calmness — peace.  From gentleness — power. From honesty — strength.  From grace — purpose.  From love — fearlessness.  From lawfulness — authority.  From peace comes freedom. And from justice emerges righteous government.

Can you see the potential of the blank page?  
Can you see the abundance of Principle?
The infinitude of Light
The warmth of Love
The resources of Mind
The beauty of Soul
The untiring dance of Life
The vigor of Spirit
The laws of Truth
The unlimited opportunities of Freedom
And the gentle might of God.

Please open your eyes…

“Security” 

If you can lose it, you never really possessed it, because you can never be separated from good.  

In Matthew (6:20), we read:  “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.”  And in Luke 12: 13-23.  “And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me.”    “And he said unto them: Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”  And then Jesus told the parable of the rich man who built great barns in which to store his harvest… “And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou has much goods laid up for many years;  take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.  But God said unto him,  Thou fool, this night … [the economy shall fail due to sub-prime loans, greed on Wall Street]  …  (oops…sorry, wrong story) …. “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast
provided…  “So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
Spirit is secure.  Matter is never secure.  Security is found in God, not in social security, financial security or investment security.  If you think of financial security as an accumulation of matter…remember, it only takes one good fire and puff, your accumulated wealth can go up in a cloud of smoke as when the world’s financial markets took a downward turn.  So, are you using your investments to establish your present financial security, — your nest egg for the future?  
Man is not matter and supply is not material.  Man is not animated matter and matter is not spiritual.  When we see that "all is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation…." (Science and Health, p. 468), there is no room for matter, no lack of matter, and no depreciation of matter.  God’s spiritual ideas are indestructible and not subject to market conditions.  There can be no material business because only the business of heaven is going on.  The world of finance isn’t out there – somewhere — it’s in our consciousness.  It’s not governed by external forces, but by Divine Mind.  So, if we cannot always do what we like — we can like what we do.  

SUPPLY and  DEMAND  <<>>  (Not Demand and Supply)

Why do you suppose we have the “Law of Supply and Demand” rather than the “The Law of Demand and Supply”?  Because supply naturally comes first.  Supply coexists with demand.  There is always the right solution for every problem and the correct resource to meet every need.  Think of the law of supply and demand as the desire to possess, combined with ability to pay, or, the law of opportunity.

What does God demand of us?  The textbook tells us:  "Divine Mind rightly demands man’s entire obedience, affection, and strength." S&H 183.  Divine Mind demands your entire obedience, your entire affection, and your entire strength.

You determine your own experience.    You determine your goals and achievements — and what you determine is what you will receive.  So let’s make the most of every moment!  In MIS:230, 6  Mrs. Eddy states: “If one would be successful in the future, let him make the most of the present” 

You are the world through which you walk … and you are writing your own script.  Have you written a rich or a poor script for yourself.  You can always re-write your script.  Eric Fromm described the state of being in love as the ability to give without the need for reciprocation. 
Mrs. Eddy says, "Giving does not impoverish us in the service of our Maker, neither does withholding enrich us."  S&H 79: 31-32.  Our love for God — is expressed — in our service to mankind
Hymn 182 reads:
For we must share, if we would keep 
That blessing from above;
They cease to have who cease to give:
Such is the law of Love.”    

Remember, a closed hand can neither give nor receive, but an open hand can both give and receive.  There’s a big difference between using — and using up, between giving — and giving away.  When we give non-material “things” such as ideas, love, affection, and prayer, we keep that which we give.  When we give material things, we are simply shifting matter from one person to another.
As we go forth, let’s live lives of gratitude. 
I’d like to leave you with this wonderful poem by Patricia Topper Hyatt

"….Love Reflected in Love"  

Because I’m God’s reflection,
I have what I express,
I possess what I reflect.

Because I’m God’s reflection,
It is in giving love that I feel loved –
I have the love I give.

It’s in giving joy to others that I have joy in myself
It’s in giving of myself that I enjoy myself.

Because I give, I have.
Because I have, I give.