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Excerpts from

  Open Your Mind to Prosperity
Catherine Ponder

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Book Contents
This book is all about the power of positive thinking with God as the center of your daily activities. Catherine Ponder outlines simple, effective, proven means by which we can effect positive change in our lives. She discusses the power available to humans and gives the roadmap for achieving prosperity at all levels. Combining the power of God with the gifts He has given each of us, we are able to make the most of ourselves personally, professionally, financially, emotionally and spiritually. Anyone can benefit from this book.


Decked out in a fashionable pants suit, an attractive Southern California businesswoman recently said to the author:

"When I first began to use the power of prosperous thinking, I prospered so much that it startled me. Just divorced, with only a few months' income on hand, I decided to take a chance and go into business on a shoestring. I expected to make four to five thousand dollars the first year. Instead, through the use of your formula, I made almost five thousand dollars the first few months. I am now on the way to a $50,000-per-year income, and my greatest problem has been in trying not to feel guilty about being so prosperous."

A mother and daughter learned of this formula and used it when both were out of work. The daughter then won an audition to be in a production of "The Music Man." On the same day that she won the audition, her mother was given a job in the entertainment field too. "A bonus for daring to think prosperously," commented the mother. Later, the daughter appeared on national television. She has continued in show business.

Another report was this: "Our house was about to be repossessed. Our finances were in a deplorable state. Then I began applying your prosperity formula. Wonderful things began happening. We received a check in the mail for ten thousand dollars. It was an inheritance from a relative, who had passed on a few months earlier. Ordinarily these business details take months to settle. We knew this relative had left us something, but we never dreamed it would be so much."

Still another declared: "If it weren't for the power of prosperous thinking, I would be in jail with unpaid debts. Instead I am now married to a wonderful, talented, loving man. I am prosperous beyond my former wildest beliefs, and I am now writing articles and books, all of which are being published."

She explained: ."A year ago 'the law' was after me for unpaid debts, I was just out of the hospital after an operation, I had gotten fired from my job, and I was lonely with no one to love. At that time I was depressed, broke, and ill.

"Then I learned your prosperity philosophy and began using it. In short order, I got a monthly series of articles in three different magazines. I again found the man I loved. We had dated briefly several years before, then drifted apart. Suddenly everything fell in to place. Now, a few months later, I find myself the author of two books and many articles, married to the man I love, and wonderfully prosperous."



Not at all. These are simply the results of prosperous thinking.

How This Prosperity Formula Was Born

This book contains a simple formula for invoking "the power of prosperous thinking"—a formula that was twenty years in the making.

The author began searching for such a formula when she was a secretary, widowed, with a child to rear and support—alone.

As she searched the bookshelves, studied the lives of famous people, sought out the success formulas mystically given in the Bible, and took up the study of "New Thought," she began to ferret out prosperity's formula bit by bit. Then she pursued the power of prosperous thinking through two careers: first as a secretary, then as a non-denominational minister.

It was in her first ministry, after the worst recession since World War II hit this country, that the formula for prosperity began to unfold to her in orderly sequence as she began teaching prosperity classes. From the research given in those classes and the results from them, she began writing about prosperity in her books.

What This Formula Contains

In the present book, she is sharing with you her succinct formula for prosperity, which has evolved slowly over the years and which she gives in its completed form here for the first time.

There are many success courses and books available today, and they are all good. Anything that helps you to open your mind to prosperity is good.

But most of the courses and books cover only about one-fourth of the formula given in this book. They usually explain how to create your prosperity mentally first, as shown in chapters herein.

But unless you learn how to clear away the psychological blocks about prosperity, as discussed in chapter 1; unless you then learn how to cleanse your mind to make way for prosperity, as explained in chapter 2; and unless you follow this up by giving your prosperity a spiritual basis, as shown in chapter 4—just creating your prosperity mentally first is not enough. It may excite you into bringing about temporary results. Then you sink down into frustration and despair again as these results fade away, and you say to yourself, "It doesn't really work."

By learning the entire formula for prosperity as given in this book, you will find that it becomes an automatic process which you can easily invoke again and again, and you will enjoy doing so.

For instance, when your prosperity seems to slacken, you will know that you must again consciously open your mind to prosperity by reminding yourself often, "I am the rich child of a loving Father, so I dare to prosper."

Then you will return to the cleansing laws of prosperity and again form a vacuum, in both inner and outer ways. You will begin anew to create your prosperity mentally first, probably making a new list, getting fresh mental pictures and affirmations to work with daily. And you will happily use "ten, the magic number of increase" in your giving.

In due time you will probably go from ten percent to larger giving, as allowed for tax purposes, and as provided by the Mosaic law many centuries ago. This one prosperity technique alone made millionaires of many of the Bible's great people, as well as many of our modern millionaires.

As you use again and again these great laws of prosperity, you will find yourself agreeing with the author that "there's gold dust in the air."

Now, get busy—discovering how to gather this "gold dust" into your own affairs!


Open Your Mind for Prosperity

I declared war on poverty when I was still in the first grade. We lived in a poverty-stricken area of the South, and most of the children in my school had neither adequate lunches nor enough clothes.

When my mother gave me lunch money, I just gave it away. Upon learning what I was doing, she began preparing my lunches. This made me very happy. It meant I could step up my war on poverty as I broke up sandwiches and passed them out to my classmates.

Mother never was able to stop me from giving away my lunches. But when I started giving away my clothes she objected strongly. Finally she said: "We cannot afford to clothe the entire neighborhood—though we almost have this winter, thanks to you. I'm going to buy you one more coat, and you'd better not give it away."

One cold winter day I arrived home from school, obediently wearing that winter coat, but barefooted. I had just given away my shoes and socks! It was not until years later that I learned how to wage war on poverty in such a way that I did not have to giveaway my lunches, my shoes, or my socks.

A Wall Street economist recently gave his formula for a cure for poverty: "What is needed is not so much a war on poverty as an understanding of the forces that generate prosperity."

The forces that generate prosperity are mental and spiritual. In order to conduct a mental and spiritual war on poverty, the first thing you must do is open your mind to prosperity.

I came upon this great truth quite by accident. I was a minister in Birmingham, Alabama, when the worst recession since World War II hit this country.

Birmingham is an industrial city. During that recession, it was so hard hit economically that thousands of people were out of work. There were bread lines; everyone was talking depression, hard times, and lack; finally the government declared the city a disaster area, making federal aid available.

It was during that trying period that the people in my church asked me to teach a class that would point out the mental and spiritual laws of prosperity.

I soon discovered something significant. Even though the people in that class desperately needed to be prospered, most of them had the old, erroneous idea that it was sinful to be prosperous. They felt guilty about even coming to the prosperity class.

Since that time I have discovered that there is nothing unusual in this attitude. Most people with financial problems have a psychological block about prosperity. They have been taught in the past that poverty is a Christian virtue, and that to be prosperous is somehow wicked. They have been taught that anyone who is prosperous is probably a crook and therefore subject to suspicion. In any event, he is a "sinner."

How in the world can poverty be a Christian virtue, when poverty causes most of the world's problems?

It is as though the soul of man were rioting against lack in this enlightened age, because the soul intuitively knows that man is supposed to be prosperous.

You can open your mind to prosperity by giving up that ridiculous idea that poverty is a Christian virtue, when it is nothing but a common vice. Poverty is definitely a sin, not a blessing.

As Charles Fillmore has declared in his book Prosperity:

"The Father's desire for us is unlimited good, not merely the means of a meager existence. We cannot be very happy if we are poor, and nobody needs to be poor. It is a sin to be poor."

There is nothing new about this idea. A century ago a Baptist minister named Dr. Russell Conwell became very famous because of one lecture, called Acres of Diamonds, which he gave all over the United States.

Dr. Conwell made somewhere between eight million and twelve million dollars as he traveled about, over a fifty-year period, giving that one lecture—the proceeds of which he used to found Temple University in Philadelphia.

As you study his famous prosperity lecture, you discover that he was trying to break down the listener's sense of guilt about becoming prosperous: "I say you ought to be rich. You have no right to be poor. To live and not be rich is a misfortune, and it is doubly a misfortune because you could have been rich just as well as being poor."

You can open your mind to prosperity when you realize that through your study and application of the mental and spiritual laws of prosperity, you are not trying to make God give you anything. As the Bible promises, "All things are yours."

In the beginning, God created a lavish universe, and then created spiritual man and placed him in this world of abundance, giving him dominion over it.

You are only trying to open your mind to receive your heritage of abundance bequeathed you from the beginning. You can begin opening your mind to this abundance by declaring often, "I am the rich child of a loving Father, so I dare to prosper!"

There once was a businessman who had his own simple formula for opening his mind to prosperity. When people asked, "How's business?" he had a standard reply, regardless of economic conditions of the moment: "Business is wonderful, because there's gold dust in the air." It always seemed so for that man. No matter what people about him were doing or saying, he prospered. His friends would say: "I don't understand it. Everything he touches turns to gold."

In that first prosperity class in 1958, and in scores of classes I have conducted since that lime, I have observed that as soon as people realize it is spiritually right, rather than spiritually wrong, for them to be prosperous, it is as though the windows of heaven were open to them!

Recent reports from people who opened their minds to prosperity include these:

A businesswoman doubled her financial income and then happily married a man of affluence, after having been widowed for ten years. A housewife accepted this great idea, and soon learned that her husband had just inherited a large portion of the company for which he worked. Another housewife watched her husband progress from one promotion to another in his engineering job. They inherited money, bought a new home and two new cars, and after having tried for a number of years were able to adopt several children. A young college professor obtained another degree and went on to a fine job at a much larger income at a state university.

A domestic worker demonstrated a six-week trip to Europe. A teacher was transferred out of an inharmonious department in her school, to a far more congenial teaching position. One couple was able to buy a beautiful new home with no down payment. (The former owner gave them his eight thousand dollar equity!) One couple's two children both obtained college scholarships. A woman in the real-estate business got her broker's license and went into business for herself; another realtor made her first sale in a year!

Upon returning home from a prosperity lecture in Oklahoma City, a businesswoman answered her ringing telephone. It was a customer with a forty dollar sale, at 12:30 p.m. on a Sunday. The next morning she was awakened by another ringing telephone—and another sale. This was quite a change from the "hard sell" approach to which she was accustomed.

A businessman walked out of a prosperity lecture, and on the way to his car found a twenty-dollar bill. Later that week, a raise he had been trying for months to obtain for his employees came through. After opening her mind to prosperity, a young widow was able to reduce her debts by one thousand, seven hundred dollars within three days.

You can open your mind to prosperity when you realize it pays to do so, right in the face of lack and limitation.

I started writing prosperity articles a decade ago, when I was living in one room. I felt foolish writing about prosperity, telling other people how to be prosperous, when I was living in just one room. But I realized that I must do something to open my mind to prosperity in order to get out of that room. It took me three years, but when I finally moved out, I found a lovely new home. (The move could have come sooner, had I known the complete prosperity formula given in this book.)

Opening your mind to prosperity in the face of lack can have dramatic effects on your life, too. This was brought to my attention by those around me while I was writing my first book. After typing the first half of the manuscript, my secretary resigned. She explained that as she had typed the manuscript she had used the ideas in it, and her husband had been prospered so much in his sales work that she no longer needed the job!

A second secretary was then employed to type the last half of the book. Before completing it, she also resigned. She explained that her husband had been out of work when she took the job, but that he now had the finest engineering job of his life—one which would take him to another state. She felt that the ideas in the book had turned the tide.

Finally, my housekeeper resigned. She had not seen the manuscript, but I had explained the laws of prosperity to her while writing about them, chapter by chapter. As she opened her mind to prosperity, she decided to do something she had long wished to do but had never quite had the courage—become a dressmaker. She has prospered in that field of work ever since.

It was startling to lose two secretaries and a housekeeper while writing one book—just because they dared to open their minds.

You can open your mind to prosperity when you realize the true definition of the word: You are prosperous to the degree that you are experiencing peace, health, and plenty in your world.

Prosperity includes pence of mind: A businessman recently wrote, "The study of prosperity certainly does bring peace of mind. Since I took up this study, my wife has stopped griping at me, and my mother-in-law has started leaving me alone."

A young musician who attended one of my prosperity classes had been out of work for a number of months. Immediately after the class, he got the finest job of his life. Later he wrote: "I had a nice surprise from my study. I took it up because I needed a job, which I quickly got. But at the time I employed prosperous thinking, my wife and I were estranged. We have now been reconciled and are happier than ever. Prosperity certainly includes peace and harmony."

Prosperity includes health: A housewife was taken by her husband to a prosperity lecture. This woman had been in pain for twelve years from a chronic ailment which drugs could temporarily alleviate but could not cure. When the drugs wore off, the pain returned.

On the way home from the lecture that night, she realized that for the first time in twelve years she was free of pain without using drugs. That was eight years ago. The pain has never returned.

This couple has gone on to financial success also, but their main prosperity demonstration was a physical healing.

Prosperity includes financial plenty: People sometimes reflect, "Since prosperity includes peace and health, prosperity is more than money alone."

True, but what's wrong with prosperity as money?

An important way to open your mind to prosperity is deliberately to open your mind to the idea that money is spiritual, that money is a part of your spiritual heritage.

There Are Millionaires in the Bible!

It helps in opening your mind to prosperity when you realize that the great spiritual leaders of the Bible were prosperous people—many of them were literally millionaires. They seemed to know that prosperity was a spiritual blessing and poverty was a curse.

In the first book of the Bible, we find four millionaires among the great Hebrew leaders: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. The Bible vividly describes their wealth. We have often thought of Abraham as the father of the Hebrew people, which he was, but he was also a millionaire. The Scriptures declare that his substance was very great, and that the Lord "blessed (him) in all things."

When I first mentioned in a lecture that Abraham was a millionaire, a startled Texan asked, "If Abraham was a millionaire, how many oil wells did he have?"

I replied, "I don't know, but I'll find out." When I checked the Biblical description of Abraham's wealth, I could not locate a single oil well for him. But as I studied carefully the passages describing his wealth, one verse stood out: "Abraham was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold."

When I happily reported to that skeptical Texan that Abraham had been a rich cattleman, he was so impressed that he decided that the wells which Isaac (another of the Bible's early millionaires) kept digging were oil wells. Somehow there never seemed a proper time for me to explain to him that those wells of Isaac's were mere water wells, which were even more priceless than oil wells in that arid part of the world.

The Bible is a Prosperity Textbook

You can open your mind to prosperity when you realize that the Bible is the greatest prosperity textbook ever written, and begin studying it from that standpoint. The Bible is filled with stories about bread and fish. This is marvelous prosperity symbolism: The bread symbolizes the substance of the universe, which we mold and shape with our thoughts and words of prosperity. The fish symbolize ideas of increase.

The word "gold" appears more than four hundred times in the Bible. There are between three thousand and four thousand promises in the Bible, many of them literal prosperity promises.

Jesus' interest in prosperity is shown in the Lord's Prayer: "Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors." Many of Jesus' miracles were prosperity miracles, and many of His parables were prosperity parables.

When Jesus said of the rich young ruler, "How hard it will be for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom," it was because He knew that this rich man was possessed by his possessions rather than controlling them. A spiritual consciousness of prosperity gives you control over your possessions, rather than allowing your possessions to control you.
Prosperity, a Necessity for Your Growth

You can open your mind to prosperity when you realize that prosperity is a necessity for your spiritual growth, because prosperity gives you freedom to unfold spiritually.

Recently I sat next to a doctor of chiropractic at a banquet where we were both guest speakers. This man told me how much the mental and spiritual approaches to prosperity had meant to him over the years. He described how he had gone from being a struggling young doctor who had nothing, to being a happy, affluent one who now has his own clinic, a large practice, a nice home, a fine family, cars, investments, propertyeven a private plane. He said this: "I am a far better doctor, a far better husband and parent, a far better citizen today because I am prosperous. I now have time to study Truth, to unfold spiritually in a way I never had before. Everybody ought to be prosperous, because prosperity gives them freedom. Prosperity is a necessity for spiritual growth."

Prosperity Has a Spiritual Basis

You can open your mind to prosperity by following Moses' advice to the Hebrews centuries ago: "You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth."

This is the prosperity secret of the ages: God is the source of your supply. As long as you relate to the Source, you will be prosperous. It is when you turn from God as the Source and depend upon people and conditions for your prosperity that you have financial problems. People and conditions are channels of your supply, to be sure, but God is the Source. Knowing this, you do not panic if the channel changes, but know to look to God as the Source for guidance and supply: "I do not depend upon persons or conditions for my prosperity. God is the source of my prosperity and provides His own channels of supply for me now."

Many years ago, when it seemed that people and conditions controlled my good, I found this passage in Lessons in Truth helpful: "No person or thing in the universe, no chain of circumstances, can by any possibility interpose itself between you and all joy—all good. You may think that something stands between you and your heart's desire, and so live with that desire unfulfilled, but it is not true. . . . Deny it, and you will find yourself free. . . . Then you will see the good flowing (to) you, and you will see clearly that nothing can stand between you and your own."

The statements I used at that time to help free me from the belief in personality's power to withhold my good, and to help me relate to God as the Source of my supply, were these:

"I clearly see that nothing or no one can stand between me and my own!"

"I dissolve in my own mind and in the minds of all others any idea that my own can be withheld from me. That which is for my highest good now comes to me, and in my clear perception of truth I welcome it!"

"Nothing can oppose my good. No one can oppose my good. I now accomplish great things with ease."

"Refusing to criticize another's prosperity, I turn to God, ask His direction, and I am prospered."

"Love envieth not. The prospering truth now sets me free."

"My life cannot be limited. My financial income, cannot be limited. Christ in me now frees me from all limitation. I am rich in mind and manifestation now."

"The forgiving love of Jesus Christ now sets me free from all financial mistakes of the past or present. I face the future wise, free, and unafraid."

The Bible plainly shows that as long as the Hebrews recognized God as the Source of their supply and looked to Him for guidance, they prospered lavishly. It was when they turned from God and began to look to people and conditions for supply, during the time of Solomon, that the Hebrew nation divided financially and politically and went into exile.

This Attitude is Practical

Perhaps you are wondering, "But just how practical is this idea of looking to God as the Source of my supply?"

Another doctor said to me recently: "I never really prospered, though I worked hard trying, until I learned that prosperity has a spiritual basis. After I began to affirm daily that God was the Source of my supplythat I did not have to depend upon my patients or upon other people or upon economic conditions for my prosperity—I was able to build a new $100,000 clinic for my patients within eight months." He showed me pictures of his clinic, and it is truly beautiful.

This is a practical idea, that God is the Source of your prosperity and that your prosperity has a spiritual basis. When you open your mind to this freeing idea, you will begin to prosper.

You may be thinking: "Yes, but I know people who are not religious but are exceedingly prosperous. They do not recognize God as the Source of their supply."

Perhaps they are prosperous in a financial sense, but remember that true prosperity includes peace and health. What about their peace of mind and health of body?

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