Speaker: Sandy Souder, February 14, 2016

Good Morning Beloved!

His name was Bubba; he was from Texas. And he needed a loan, so he walked into a bank in New York City and asked for the loan Officer. He told the loan officer that he was going to Paris for an International Redneck Festival for two weeks and and needed to borrow $5,000, and that he was not a depositor of the bank.

The bank officer told him that the bank would need some form of security for the loan, so the Redneck handed over the keys to a new Ferrari. The car was parked on the street in front of the bank.

The Redneck produced the title and everything checked out. The loan officer agreed to hold the car as collateral for the loan and apologized for having to charge 12% interest.

Later, the bank’s president and its officers all enjoyed a good laugh at the Redneck from the Texas for using a $250,000 Ferrari as collateral for a $5,000 loan. An employee of the bank then drove the Ferrari into the bank’s private underground garage and parked it.

Two weeks later, the Redneck returned, repaid the $5,000 and the interest of $23.07. The loan officer said, “Sir, we are very happy to have had your business, and this transaction has worked out very nicely, but we are a little puzzled.

While you were away, we checked you out on Dunn & Bradstreet and found that you are a distinguished alumnus from Texas A & M, a highly sophisticated investor and multi-millionaire with real estate and financial interests all over the world. What puzzles us is, why would you bother to borrow $5,000?”

The good ‘ole boy replied, “Where else in New York can I park my car for two weeks for only $23.07 and expect it to be there when I return?”

5Th Key

We’ve had quite a journey so far, as we have used David Owen Ritz’s “Keys to the Kingdom” to guide us, and sometimes, cajole us, forward on our journey.

The Keys have taken us on this journey of discovery right from the beginning. Just as in any journey we choose to take, we must make the choice to start – that would be Key #1 – Make the Commitment. I know, I know…commitment is hard. We WANT to change, but that can be difficult.

We are ALL very capable of making the changes we want. It just takes some work. And commitment means responsibility. Yes, responsibility. One of the great things about Unity Principles is we need to do it…because no one else can do it for us.

So, we have put our big person pants on and committed to move forward!

And once we have made that choice to start, we envision what the journey would be like – Key #2 – Hold the Vision. We have committed to a new adventure. We are ready for a new ‘me’ or in your case, you.

How’s that vision coming along? Know what it is you desire? Know what you need to do to get it? Cool.

Key #3 – Build a New Awareness guides us to new frontiers. With that vision, we saw new ideas, a new way to look at things in our lives. We see what we can become when we open up to those new ideas.

But to be a part of the new, we had to review where we are now and see what we are holding onto because of fear, lack of self-esteem, and such. SO Key #4 –Make Room for the New means to clean out those closets and drawers. Go through the garage and basement too, and release anything no longer serving you.

Make room for the new…in every way.

And wouldn’t you know it, but we have to clean out the mental and emotional closets too. Yes, Key #5 Let go of the Past was last weeks’ Key to work on. THAT may have been the hardest. Forgiving not only others but yourself too.

Remember: Our past will be our future unless we release it!

We must be WILLING at the very least, to start the forgiveness process.

AND, maybe even “agreeing with your adversary” from the start, thus avoiding any situations that would result in having to forgive. Remember, ‘agreeing with your adversary’ means seeing the situation with new eyes, with love and acceptance. The ‘adversary’ is our own adverse thoughts about the person or situation.

So, now we are at Key #6 – Count Your Blessings.

The Law of Attraction states: Thoughts held in mind produce after their kind. So, if you wish to have good in your life, think good thoughts. That’s what gratitude is all about. Thinking good begets good. But you don’t think good to get good just for getting good…you think good to get good to share good too.

Got that?


Gratitude is more than just an emotion. Gratitude is a lot more than just a feeling that we may – or may not – have in “reaction” to the Good we see in our life. Gratitude is part of HOW we “create” the Good we see in our life – not just a “reaction” TO it!

GRATITUDE – Is one of the most powerful – strongest – most positive energies you can bring to your life. It’s creative energy. And when you bring THAT kind of powerful, celebratory energy of Gratitude to your life – you’re really focusing your “creative” energy!

Gratitude is an action word!

Eileen Caddy says, “Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of those around you.”

In a series of studies with hundreds of participants, those who had been randomly assigned to the gratitude section reported more happiness and joy, experienced fewer symptoms of physical illness, spent more time exercising, were more optimistic and satisfied with their lives, reported increased positive affect and decreased negative affect, were more likely to offer emotional support to others, felt an increased sense of connection with others, and even slept more hours and with a better quality of sleep each night.


According to Jane Powell, one of the simplest ways to change your mood or mental outlook is to remind yourself of all the good things in your life.

Reflecting on how far you have come, what you have already accomplished, and what you have learned, can be very encouraging. Appreciating your dearest friends, your closest family members, your favorite possessions and of course yourself can bring a smile to your face.

If you need a lift or an attitude adjustment, try to appreciate and reflect on the good things. Count your blessings. It can be done anytime and anyplace.

Writer, Melody Beattie, has a great quote summing it all up: “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

It is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy

David Owen Ritz breaks it down to a very simple principle: “That which you focus and

dwell upon – with a feeling of love and gratitude – you will tend to multiply and attract.”

The things you focus your attention on … when you do that with the powerful feelings of Love and Gratitude … you will multiply and attract THAT kind of good into your life. That’s how we consciously use this power of Gratitude to “shape” our experience of life!

One of Charles Fillmore’s famous quotes is, “God’s greatest gift to man is the power of thoughts, through which he can incorporate into his consciousness the mind of God.”

The Divine wants only good for us, but we have to do our part…think good thoughts!

“What we often don’t recognize is that the failure to celebrate the abundance of life by giving thanks for it actually limits the abundance available to us. You don’t attract more good into your life by ignoring or complaining about what you already have. You attract more by focusing your creative energy on the good through the feeling and expression of gratitude.”

It’s simple – Everything responds to attention. We don’t attract GOOD into our life by

complaining! We attract it by focusing our creative energy through Gratitude! And not a

passive feeling of Gratitude, but a “dynamic” state of being in which we LIVE … a

“dynamic” energy that we bring to everything.

Think about the greatest manifester I know of, Jesus! He gave thanks BEFORE he did any of his works…the healing, the multiplying of loaves and fishes, the fishing nets over-flowing with fish! Praise and thanksgiving came BEFORE the act.

So how can we have a more gratitude filled life? David has 4 suggestions to what he calls Proactive Gratitude, or not being grateful but DOING grateful:

    1. BECOME CONSCIOUS OF THE GOOD IN YOUR LIFE … Instead of looking at the 90-95% of our lives that are just great, we focus on the 5-10% that maybe isn’t the best. If that small percentage is where we focus our attention, then THAT is where all the action is too!

What about all the good stuff that is going on? We want to become more conscious of the 90% that’s working for us.

That which you focus on with feeling of love and gratitude, will tend to multiply and attract.

So, when you go home, get 5 pieces of paper and go through the 5 areas of your life: Health – Finances – Relationships – Career & Creative Expression – and Personal & Spiritual Growth. List ALL the GOOD that you overlook. Write it down – look at it – notice it.

2. PRAISE THE GOOD IN YOUR LIFE … Praise that 90% in front of you. We often don’t ‘see’ what it right before us. Celebrate that Good. Praise is “active” appreciation and recognition. When you praise something – you lift it up – shine the light on it. Look at every little thing and say, “Wow! Life is Good!”Praise your good with your thoughts, words and deeds. Say, “Thank you God!” when good comes your way, no matter what!Your favorite shoes are on sale…thank you Divine Universe!In my case, the dogs let me sleep through the night…thank you God!And remember, Love is a verb, so show that special person in your life how much you appreciate them on this Valentine’s Day. Gratitude in action.

    1. The kids called, surprise! thank you!
    2. Got a good parking place…Thank you Spirit!
    3. Favorite shoes on sale…thank You Divine Universe!

Don’t be afraid to tell people how Good your life is! When someone asks “How are you?’ how do you respond? Maybe here is where you can say how you REALLY are! Believe IT – celebrate your good life.

Change the way you think and talk about your life – to others and to yourself.

Here’s a little trick to use in your Finances – when you write a bill do an affirmation to celebrate the fact that you have the money to pay that bill: “I give thanks for the abundance that is mine to share!” is a good affirmation to write in the memo part of the check. Or you can simply write down TYG! – Thank You God! It makes you consciously celebrate that Good! Find ways to Praise and Celebrate your Good!

3) SHARE YOUR GOOD WITH OTHERS … When you find yourself with this incredible abundance – what’s your natural reaction? To share it with everyone – to give it away. Express your gratitude by helping others. Don’t pass up an opportunity to give – don’t pass up an opportunity to serve – don’t pass up an opportunity to prosper other people! And when you give – serve – prosper other people, that’s a statement about YOUR prosperity!

David Own Ritz says: “If you help people get what they want out of life, you’ll get what you want. That’s the way spiritual law works.” Give it away, share it … for in giving it away, you get more!

4) LOOK FOR THE GOOD IN EVERY THING … Remember that 10% that we talked about earlier? In every growth opportunity in your life there are undiscovered gifts hidden within, a hidden potential for you. And the bigger the growth opportunity – the bigger the gift is! Don’t look at something that seems negative as something to hold you down or back, but rather as something that has within it the wisdom and the growth necessary to become even more abundant – more prosperous – moving you into your greatest Possibility!

When you name the negative GOOD, even though it may not look that way, you’re calling forth that greater Possibility – you’re opening your mind & heart to accept the Good that’s there!

I like to say, and I have no idea if I read or saw this somewhere – but we have a choice to ask WHAT in place of WHY when something happens. What can I do to make this better in place of why did this happen?

EMMA CURTIS HOPKINS, one of the early New Thought teachers of the late 1800’s – had a wonderful affirmation. She said when you’re going through life and there in your path there’s a big blob of “negativity” … don’t steer away – don’t look the other way – don’t pretend it’s not there – don’t complain about it. LOOK it in the eye and you say this: “This too is Good. This too is God. This too is for me. I demand to see the blessing in it!”

“This too is Good” – means it may not look like Good, but I know there’s Good in there

somewhere …” I know there’s a pony in here someplace”

“This too is God” – this came from the same Creative Power as everything else … it’s up to me to make good from it.

“This too is for me” – means I know it’s there to serve me ultimately so I’m not going

to turn it away …

“I demand to see the blessing in it” – means I’m going to call forth that Good!

This is a perfect example of PROACTIVE GRATITUDE! – It is not just being grateful – it’s DOING Gratitude.

You might want to start practicing Proactive Gratitude by making a “Gratitude List.” Or, my practice is ending my day by listing what I am grateful for from the day.

We have added a Gratitude Jar to our information table. There are slips of paper available for you to write down things, persons, happenings that you are grateful for and place them in the jar.

Sometime in the future…. we will look at them and share the gratitude again. So, spend time examining your life closely and write down the things you notice and appreciate. Place them in the gratitude jar with love and feelings of gratefulness.

We will ALL benefit from your blessings.