Introduction and Shownotes
This morning is my first Sunday as the Spiritual Leader of Unity Center of Christianity in Baltimore. I am immensely grateful to the members and their board for accepting me and giving me the opportunity to serve.
Unity ministries typically have rich mission and vision statements, and our church is no exception: “Unity Center of Christianity is committed to teaching and living the universal truth principles as taught by Jesus Christ in our everyday lives. We are a community dedicated to providing a gateway for individuals to become aware of their oneness with God.”
From what I’ve observed, the congregants and leadership of this church truly believe and live this mission and vision. Many of them have served the church for 20, 30 years or more. They are a relaxed and loving group. But there is more. The Unity Center of Christianity in Baltimore has a legacy of rich musical talent. “In the old days” numerous jazz musicians would show up, plug in and play. The best known of them was a trumpet player everyone knew as “Tanglefoot.”
What too many Unity ministries are lacking is a strategy. That brings us to a real opportunity. The church is located in Charles Village, a lovely middle class neighborhood of Baltimore, located, literally, across the street from John Hopkins University’s main campus and the Baltimore Museum of Art. Our building is a former frat house, purchased by Unity pioneers in the late 1960s, and it is situated at the corner of 29th Street and North Charles Street, a prominent Baltimore thoroughfare.
The area is alive. The Charles Village neighborhood is filled with students and coffee shops, non-profits and small businesses, interesting row house apartments and homes and many churches, community centers and social service ministries of all types. In short, it’s a prime location to open a new cultural center for people in Baltimore and the surrounding area.
Because of our location and our rich cultural and musical heritage, we anticipate that the Unity Center of Christianity can extend its ministry by hosting a series of Friday night coffeehouse events. We envision launching early next year with thoughtful speakers and lively performers. And because of our rich musical heritage, we have tentatively chosen to call our anticipated Friday night coffee house the “Tanglefoot Cafe.”
It remains to be seen if getting people in the door on Friday night will bring them back on Sunday morning. We’re going to try. At least we have a strategy, which, as I said, is missing in too many ministries.
If you’re coming our way, the church is located just off Interstate 83 going north/south and off Interstate 70 going east/west. The Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, a major hub, is about a 20 minute drive to the church. We welcome your visit.
Regardless, you may have observed that the format of this post is new. It looks like a podcast. Although it is not yet on Apple, Stitcher and the many podcast platforms, I hope to have this and future “episodes” up on the podcast platforms in a few weeks. Our content will be from the Sunday lessons and the presentations of the Tanglefoot Cafe. I hope these episodes are a blessing to you.
Sunday, October 6, 2019
Prosperity and the Twelve Powers
Lesson 1 — Posture and Poise – Strength and Order
Sunday lesson given at Unity Center of Christianity in Baltimore, October 6, 2019.
Hi Friends -
This talk is the first of a six-part series based on Catherine Ponder’s Dynamic Laws of Prosperity. But the talks will be based on a theory I’ve been harboring for several years. I have come to believe that chapters two through seven of her book reflect a particular coupling and ordering of metaphysical truths from The Twelve Powers of Man by Charles Fillmore and Christ Enthroned in Man by Cora Fillmore.
The theme of this series is based on Luke 6:19, which is about the woman who was healed by reaching out to touch the garment of Jesus. The verse reads “For power came out of him.” Power is translated from the Greek word Dynamis. Dynamis is spiritual power, often regarded as supernatural in nature. Regardless, it is something that has the power to make change in one’s life. That is why Dr. Ponder speaks of the laws of prosperity in her book as being “dynamic laws of prosperity.” And it may be why Charles Fillmore referred to our twelve spiritual faculties as the "twelve powers."
We can glean several things from Luke 6:19, from The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity and from the twelve powers, as conveyed by Charles and Cora Fillmore.
First, power of healing and prosperity is a release of energy. Luke 6:19, according to most commentators, is about Jesus sensing a release of body energy. Healing, like prosperity, is physical, not only mental and spiritual. Charles Fillmore insisted that the body is one with Spirit and soul and he never wavered on insisting that our body and affairs were to be healed and prospered. And Catherine Ponder has never wavered on insisting that it is “shockingly right ... to be prosperous.”
Second, power is not a store of sacredness. We often come to believe that more spiritual we become, the more powerful we are, that the power to heal belongs to those who are especially spiritual or religious. But descriptions of the power of prosperity and healing can appear to be particularly nonspiritual, such as when Charles Fillmore declared that “it’s a sin to be poor.” One reason for this mistaken notion about spirituality and power is because we tend to view creation in strictly spiritual terms, like the garden of Eden. But it’s often said in Unity that “creation is not complete until it is expressed.” If anything, power is not a store of sacredness, but a release of sacredness.
Third, the power came out of him—it is in humanity. Its source may be of God, but the power to heal and be prosperous comes though human beings. The Gospels are filled with accounts of healings by the disciples of Jesus. That should give us reason to look within—to our own faculties—for the source of healing and prosperity.
These three things indicate that we should be able to link the successful prosperity teachings of Catherine Ponder to the metaphysical twelve-power truths taught by Charles Fillmore. And if we can do this then we will have something priceless—a practical application and an insightful explanation of metaphysical truth that brings to us health and prosperity.
So let’s begin with two powers—Strength and Order. And let’s see how they provide for the physical quality of POSTURE and the mental and spiritual quality of POISE—a balance and ordering of life that enables us to radiate and attract that which we desire.
For Charles Fillmore, strength is an internal stillness that allows the soul to develop in ways that lead to healthy and prosperous expression of our body and affairs, which he refers to as evolution. He writes that “evolution is the result of the development of ideas in mind. What we are is the result of the evolution of our consciousness, and that consciousness is the result of seed ideas sown in our mind.”
Out of that state of inner stillness comes a natural ordering of our life, which Charles Fillmore writes about in Spiritual Law and Order, his chapter on Order in The Twelve Powers of Man. He describes that natural ordering as an “inner evolution of the soul” which he calls involution. He says that “involution always precedes evolution, that which is involved in mind evolves through matter.”
Strength and Order are linked not only by how they lead to evolution, but also by their proximity in the body. Think of how they form a center of gravity for the body, a place for the body to balance itself, to become stable and strong, to form the physical quality of posture, providing for a mental and spiritual quality of poise.
My sense is that it is posture and poise through which our body language is revealed. In other words we radiate qualities of posture and poise, which have their origin in strength and order.
According to Catherine Ponder, radiation and attraction is the basic law of prosperity. Note that, for her, it’s not “the law of attraction,” rather it’s the law of radiation and attraction. What we radiate, we attract. So radiation is the foundation for prosperity. And the point of this lesson is that it just may be that this foundation for prosperity, as explained by Catherine Ponder, begins with Charles Fillmore’s explanation of the powers of strength and order.
At our Sunday service this morning at Unity Center of Christianity in Baltimore (October 6, 2019) we have placed in the pews 25 copies of Catherine Ponder’s The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity. They were donated to the church by a well-known and very prosperous donor. They are “pew copies,” kind of like the hymnal and Bible you also find there. If you want to keep it, take it to the bookstore after the service. And bring it back next week, because we’re going to use it for this entire six-week series.
Regardless, please open your copy to chapter two, The Basic Law of Prosperity. I want to bring your attention to several things.
- How Catherine Ponder came to understand the prosperity law of radiation and attraction (p. 29).
- How the law is described in the Bible, by scientists and by Emerson (p. 29).
- Why there is still poverty in the world (p. 30).
- Why you always have something to give and how to know what it is (pp. 30-31).
- What preparation is necessary for prosperity (p. 35).
- Why we often get limited results and what to do about it (p. 36-37).
- What to do after radiating (p. 38).
- How concerned we should be about understanding the whole process (p. 39-40).
- How to begin the process of radiating and attracting (p. 40).
I want to conclude with a quotation from Catherine Ponder from a later chapter in the book. On page 234-235, under the section entitled “Emotions Are Your Go-Power.” It was this section that opened my understanding that the twelve powers may be the foundational, metaphysical basis for the dynamic laws of prosperity. Catherine Ponder writes:
“You have perhaps observed that some people seem to prosper for a period. Their business may even ‘boom,’ but suddenly the bottom drops out and they experience dire financial failure, from which they seem unable to recover. In almost every instance, if you look closely, you will discover that those people’s emotions, attitudes and way of life became scattered, thus depleting them of their previous fine ability to prosper.”
It is strength and order that prevents scattering of our emotions, attitudes and way of life. It is strength and order that enables us to not panic when trouble occurs. It is strength and order that releases our power for health, happiness, prosperity and peace. As you read The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity, know that a profound Truth underlies what Catherine Ponder has written and that the same profound Truth will work for you.
Next week we will proceed to chapter 3, The Vacuum Law of Prosperity.
Sunday, October 6, 2019