Midweek Faith Lift
Prosperity of the Heart
Todd Davis, Guest Speaker
June 19th, 2022
Good morning, loved ones, and welcome to Unity Church of Ames! How’s it goin, eh?
My name is Todd Davis and I am Rev Deb’s husband. Deb attended the Unity Convention in Overland Park, Kansas and is now in St. Louis, visiting her sister. Thank you all very much for joining me, and it is an honor to be here this morning. It is fantastic to “see” your beautiful faces & spirits.
Happy Juneteenth, everybody! This day is also known as Emancipation Day, Jubilee Day, Freedom Day, and Black Independence Day. June 19th, 1865 was the day that slaves were finally freed in the state of Texas and the 13th Amendment was ratified in December of 1865, outlawing all forms of slavery. Needless to say, I am overjoyed that we as the United States of America can now claim and celebrate this day as a federal holiday! Woo hoo! My only question is, what took so long!?”
Also, Happy Father’s Day to all dads, fathers, step-dads, foster fathers and older brothers who took care or are currently taking care of younger siblings, as well as grandfathers who are raising children. So, Happy Father’s Day to all of you!
I chose the topic of “Prosperity of the Heart” because it is an area that I am passionate about. I’ve had a very long journey with prosperity and what it means to me.
When I was in my 20’s, I was a severe under-earner and I turned to Unity for solace for affirming prosperity. Unfortunately, at the time, the Unity teachings did not really help. This was because of Unity’s approach to prosperity in the 1990’s and because of my own limited understanding of what prosperity truly was. I had tunnel vision and I did not embrace the holistic scope of true prosperity. I was mostly focused on money. (or the lack thereof) Both myself and Unity have come a long way since the 1990’s.
At the time, I believed that to attain “Prosperity” meant to say affirmations hundreds of times each day, (take billfold and say, “Money, money, money! Manifest thyself here and now and in rich abundance!”). I won the Iowa Lottery the next day. Just kidding! I also thought it meant to do creative visualizations and do treasure mapping, which is where you cut out pictures of what you would like to manifest, glue them on a poster board, and put affirmations under each one of them. These activities did not really seem to help me, and I felt stuck for years. I blamed and berated myself on a regular basis for doing it “wrong”. Those beliefs were banging around the inside of my cranium. They would bang to the left, then to the right. LOL!
What I came to realize is that the financial aspect of prosperity is probably around 10% of the whole picture. I had thought it was 100%. This would be like visiting San Diego and claiming that you have seen and know everything about the entire state of California.
I also realized that my origins of lack had little to do with money. What I lacked was belief and self-respect. I used to believe that I was not very intelligent or capable, so I worked in jobs that were low-paying and boring, making about 11 cents an hour. I took several IQ tests when I was 38 years old, and I realized that I am an intelligent man. I landed my first salaried position three weeks later. Other contributing factors were my own lack of forgiveness towards others and the fact that my father went through bankruptcy three times and never had enough money. Once in Detroit. Once in Indianola, and once in Ottumwa. There were other contributing factors as well.
In 2011, I searched online for a holistic financial counselor, and I found one in Santa Fe, New Mexico! Her name is Joan Sotkin and she has helped me tremendously in the last decade. She is now 83 years old, and she began exploring this field in 1976. I am incredibly blessed to have found Joan. There are several statements and affirmations that Joan has said to me on several occasions. I will share a few with you
It is never about the money, it’s about people.
There is nothing wrong with you.
You are not doing anything wrong.
You draw certain things into your life for you to learn. This is great!
We can slowly work on our thoughts and feelings habits.
We do not have self-defeating behaviors. We have self-protective behaviors.
So, what does Jesus have to say about all of this??
30 For all the nations of the world seek these things; and your Creator knows that you need them. 31 Instead, seek their[d] kingdom, and these things shall be yours as well.
32 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s (Creator’s) good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give alms; provide yourselves with purses that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
So, where is the kingdom? It’s not in the sky, or in Nebraska, or Siberia. It’s not even on a tropical island in the Caribbean. The kingdom is within your heart, where God and love reside. Your treasure is your heart and is the seat of spiritual prosperity. It has taken me a long time to realize this as I am preaching to the choir.
So, what is NOT prosperity?
-Endless rote affirmations
-Visualizations of superficial goals or specific outcomes
-Treasure mapping of mostly material wants and wishes
-Giving exactly 10% of your earnings to the church with the expectation of having everything you want in return. Tithing and giving is not a transaction. It is a participation of celebration.
-Getting ahead where anybody or the environment may be harmed
-Owning a very expensive car & discovering that it needs constant repairs.
Eating high-class cuisine that may cause long-term health issues
Having a lot of money but feeling numb and devoid of emotion.
Visiting an exotic country and not exploring the local culture.
Artificial positivity (My life is perfect!) to hide pain or as spiritual bypassing.
I’ve heard several people say, “Well just think positive thoughts.” Or, “If you can conceive it, you can receive it.” Or, “Completely change your life with your thoughts.” If only it were that easy! To me, it makes sense to come up higher and say, “Live a fulfilling and empowered life & have fun.”
So, what is prosperity? Please remember that I am sharing my own experience and does not necessarily reflect everyone’s journey.
Having scores of people with whom you love, not just like, but truly love
Knowing that you are loved by many, and especially God
Having the resources to follow your passions. Notice that it is plural.
Taking a restorative hike in nature.
Giving and receiving love from your pet
Not worrying about your current financial state – a BIG one!
Having a nice dinner with a loved one while watching a beautiful sunset
Laughing with and telling jokes to friends
Donating to causes that aid the citizens of Ukraine
Learning more about Juneteenth, increasing your appreciation for it.
Remembering great times in your past
Listening to a friend or loved one’s story or concerns
Exploring off the beaten path
Meeting new people at a conference and spending the day with them
Planting flowers, trees and other plants
Being mindful of the needs of the earth
And above all, prayer, and thanksgiving
I truly believe that prosperity comes from your heart and not your head. Instead of changing your thoughts, change and heal your heart with kindness, charity, consideration, love and forgiveness. The thoughts will follow. It’s amazing what will open up in your life with an open heart. This all sounds rosy, easy & cheerful, right? The truth is that it is hard work and can be a struggle at times, but it is very well worth it.
I would like to read a passage from the book of Joel. I will restore the years the Locusts have eaten.
24 “The threshing floors shall be full of grain,
the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
25 I will restore to you the years
which the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
my great army, which I sent among you.
26 “You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has dealt wondrously with you.
What this passage tells me is that when you start with prayer and meditation, and you are willing to do the hard work at looking at all of your relationships, including with yourself and God, positive things are bound to follow. Maybe not when you would like, but they will happen.
Jim Rosemergy – A well known Unity Minister
Humanity has only scratched the surface of prosperous living. Now is the time to dig deeper, not for precious metals, but for the treasure that is within us.
The work ethic used to work. It served past generations well. They made the ends meet. “Work hard and you’ll get ahead.”
Effort alone prospered many families, but not anymore. People who once prospered are now homeless. More and more children are living below the poverty level. Industries that once supported successive generations are shutting down.
Throughout most of the twentieth century, one person in the household worked and provided for the needs of the family. Now both husband and wife often work to ensure a basic standard of living.
In election years, the incumbent politicians used to be able to prop up the economy so it looked good by election day, but there are times when it seems they are not able to perform the magic anymore.
This is not the time to redouble our efforts and to do what we have always done a little better. The old methods will not work. We are being called to a new way of life. Pause….
In closing, I would like to say that I am incredibly prosperous because I am loved and I love many, many people. I think about my family, which I just attended an awesome family reunion in Tennessee. I love many from Unity Church of Ames, lifelong friends from Ottumwa, my HelmsBriscoe associates and hotel partners. And most of all, The Rev Deb and God.
I would like to read a short passage from the book of Psalms 37:11
But the meek shall possess the land and delight themselves in abundant prosperity.
Thank you all so much for joining us today!
With deep gratitude from your life partner who has prospered because of your love and presence…..
Blessings on the Path,
Rev. Deb and Todd