June 21, 2008, HQ Church, Seoul, Korea
I do believe it is to understand that the truth of life is unfortunately that we will have obstacles in our lives. We will encounter difficulties in our lives. But we must not live in fear because of those obstacles. None of those obstacles are there in order to take (something) away from us. They are there to build us up. God is preparing us for a new victory that He is planning for us.
Yeon Ah Nim:
Good afternoon brothers and sisters. Today we have a wonderful and glorious day outside. It could be summer today but you chose and made an effort to come to church, so today we’re extra proud of you (laughing). And I don’t know if you remember that Kook Jin Nim said that God is an accountant. So I’m sure that He’s counting all those good things that we have done. So today I’m sure we’re all getting A+, do you believe that? (applauding). We’re always honored and happy to have you all here in this sanctuary. And for those who are joining with us via internet, we’re also welcoming you as well. Brothers and Sisters may God and True Parents always bless you and your family, AJU!!
Hyung Jin Nim:
Brothers and Sisters I’d like to share with you today from Cheon Seong Gyeong, page 1040, where Father said, “You must research into the philosophy of ‘a living person.’ You should always be thinking how you can guide a person to me or yourselves. You should think of ways to draw people near to you. There is only one way for this task and I know that method. It is the spirit of serving others.”
Father really gives us insight on how to be a truly attractive person. When we think about love attraction,(we have to know that) what we give out is what we will see coming back to us. Father is leading us to understanding that when we lend out a hand, when we put out ourselves to help another person, then that help comes back to us, then we become people who are truly attractive. And attraction is not only physical. Father here is talking about a mind set, a heart set, how our spirit is.
And when we have that kind of spirit, we’ll be there for others. When times are tough, we can be there. When somebody needs a shoulder to cry we’ll be there and be their friends. When we have the spirit of serving, really living for others, that will come back to us. Then our life becomes brighter, becomes more attractive. It becomes more glorious.
Brothers and sisters every time we come to service we would like to always remind you to see yourself as God sees you. God always remembers that. It’s so easy to live life and fall into thinking like this, “I can’t do this anymore, I’m really inadequate. Or that guy is much better than me. She has better personality than me, there’s no way I can’t …” It’s so easy to fall into that kind of mind set. We have to make sure that we are strong in our minds and our bodies, that in our minds we’re always guarding that safe sanctuary where God is dwelling within us.
Brothers and sisters when we see ourselves it’s always important that you see ourselves with that higher perspective, “I have value, I am important. I will be victorious in my life.These are the things that God promised me.”
When we start seeing ourselves in that way, we start changing the way we relate to our life, relate to our circumstances and then we’ll become stronger internally. We become able to overcome things more readily.
Brothers and sisters it’s always a joy to see you here. Let’s always remember: Whatever the circumstances, whatever the situations, whatever the obstacles, always remember who you are. You are the precious child of almighty God. He created this entire universe for us. That’s how precious we are.
It’s very important to remember, brothers and sisters, that when you’re here, I’d like to invite you not only to observe service or observe worship but really participate. We are not only here to be observer; we are really here to participate, really let God know how great He is. When you shout His name you’re starting the momentum for the new week. It’s a Saturday but it’s a new week for us. Start with that momentum, in that right positive action way. When you start pushing the new week in this way, then the things in your life can go more positively. You’ll be able to have the strength to overcome those things that are coming against you and to get through this next wonderful week.
Brothers and sisters, today we really must have that spirit and let’s really give our hearts to True Parents and God. Let’s give them everything.
When you do that, I do believe that next week will be the best week yet (so far). We will see more victory, more illumination and more peace next week.
Brothers and sisters once again welcome and we hope we can have a wonderful service. It’s always a family atmosphere in here and we love to be with you guys. Let’s have a great service today. Welcome!
Hyung Jin Nim’s Interesting Story:
Before we begin, we like to start with something a little interesting. I heard a story about this priest, and he was very busy with an appointment. He was trying to find a parking spot. He couldn’t find one, and he circled the block over 10 times. He said, “I can’t do anything about this, I have to park in a no parking zone.” So he went and parked his car, and he put a note in his windshield, just in case a police officer may come by. He wrote the note, “Officer, please understand, I’m a priest, and I’m late for an appointment. I need to be here, I need to park here for just a little while. I’ll be right back.” Then in quotation marks he wrote, “Forgive us our trespasses.” He had his appointment, he came out the building, and he noticed that on his car was a ticket. “Oh come on, I thought this police officer would be a God-fearing man, a man of faith.” He looked at the little note and at what the police officer wrote, “I’ve been on this block for 10 years and if I don’t give you a ticket, I’ll get fired! ‘Lead us not into temptation’!” (Laughter)
TRUE PARENTS PLEDGE:
These are my True Parents, the eternal king and queen of peace and liberator of God’s Heart. They have saved me from my past, blessed my future and they give true love, forgiveness and happiness today, and I choose to receive it. My heart is awake, my mind is open wide and from this moment I change forever. In my name, Aju.
Hyung Jin Nim’s sermon:
Today I want to talk to you about “Being one with the truth”. If we are truly to live the blessed life, it is so important that we are one with the truth. That means that we are able to see things for what they are (as they really are) without the bias (prejudice) or the fear that usually accompanies our perspective. The truth is that in our lives, whether we like it or not, we will inevitably encounter obstacles, we will inevitably encounter difficulties and challenges that will come our way. But whenever we encounter such things, whether they be in the shape of situations, circumstances or even archangels, it is essential to know that we can overcome these obstacles.
With every breath we breathe out life, we also breathe in life with every inhalation. According to science every three years we have an entirely new set of organs, skin and even bones. God is giving us totally new armor every three years. The fact that we will inevitably have difficulty should not make us live in fear in our lives. It’s something that should do the opposite for us, it should be something that gives us bravery, (should give us) gratitude for being alive and courage to live to be our best; (it should give us) the courage to be our best during this miracle of life, (it should give us) the gratitude to have family, friends, a church community, (give us the gratitude) to be alive at this historic age, to be a brave blessing to as many people as we can bless.
(Someone might say,) “If we are going to have these hardships, if one day I’m going to pass, I might as well just live for today.” Yes, but when we pass, we have to meet our Maker, we’ll have to stand on our own. We have to judge ourselves, as Father taught, but not on our own criteria but on His criteria. “But if I get cancer, if I have some disease, I might as well give up, not fight it, because it’s inevitable that I’ll find obstacles, it’s inevitable that I’ll have challenges in my life.”
But see, it doesn’t work that way (we cannot say that). Because our life is so short, we have to do our utmost to become all that God has created us to be. We have to actualize our 5%. He never created us to give ourselves up when times get tough. He created us to be a blessing, to be persevering, to be able to overcome any challenge that comes our way.
I heard a story about a sheep in a well. It is a story about an old sheep that fell by mistake into a well. It was very old, and the farmer finally found it; it was making noise and screaming. He tried to get it out, but he couldn’t. He decided, “The lamb is old anyway, it will pass away soon, and we have to close down this well anyway, so we might as well just cover the hole up and close it down.” The shepherd gathered some of his friends, they gathered around and they started shoveling dirt into the well. At first the lamb cried and screamed, but then all of a sudden it became completely silent. The shepherd was so perplexed (surprised). How did this happen, why was this lamb all of a sudden quiet? He looked in while his friends were shoveling, and what was happening? Every time a whole load of dirt came onto that lamb, it just shook it off and took a step up. As more dirt came down, it shook it off and took a step up. As they shoveled in another heave of dirt, he just shook it off and took the step up. Soon after a little while, that lamb was able to come up, bit by bit, step by step, and was eventually totally set free.
Too many people in life live without the courage to overcome difficulty. Life inevitably throws dirt at you when you are coming at it(facing it), working your best, trying to be your best, to be all that God created you to be. It’s so important that we don’t take the victim mentality, where we receive this dirt and just let it bury us, let it just cover us, let it stunt (stop) our growth, let it take away our destiny, let it steal our joy. It’s so important that whenever we start having thoughts in our mind like, “Oh, I’ll never be able to overcome this, I’ll never get out of debt, and this promotion … I never get blessed. I’m never going to be victorious,” (it is so important) that we start shaking that off and taking a step up in our lives. We have to start changing the rhetoric inside(the way we
think); we have to start saying, “I’ll forever understand this situation, I’ll forever be out of debt, God said that I will live free,that I’ll forever be increased and promoted, God said He loves me, I’ll forever be victorious, God said I’m a VIP.”
When I think of such a thing, of really overcoming that obstacle, I think of the story of Moses and Joshua. When Joshua and Moses were at Refadim, the Alamachites, which was one of the tribes that were against the Israelites, all of a sudden attacked them. Moses instructed Joshua to battle them. He said, “Joshua go forth and battle them.” Their numbers were huge, their strength was completely intimidating, and Joshua was totally scared. When he faced off with (when he saw) this huge swarm (army), he literally fell to fear. Moses said, “I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.” While they fought, whenever Moses lifted his staff, Joshua became victorious. Whenever Moses put down his hands, becoming tired, then the Amalachites would win. With the help of Aaron and Hur, Moses had to keep his hands up, with the staff of God up high. Eventually the Israelites were victorious.
But it was so easy for Joshua to doubt Moses. Joshua could have said in his mind, as soon as he got the order, “Moses what are you talking about? You are sending me to my death, while you run safely to a mountain top and hold up a stick? Give me a break (Leave me alone)!” He could have been totally sarcastic about the situation, “Moses, you’re crazy! I could be so much better off with you (up the mountain)! I don’t like your leadership, etc.” He could go on blaming Moses, focusing on how unfair it was, that the situation was not good for him. But Joshua, he shook off those doubts, he shook off those fears, he took a step up. He believed in himself, he knew that God would help him through this battle. So he faced the Amalachites. He was still scared and he was still a little doubting, but he kept on shaking that off in his heart and he faced them with courage. God helped him and he was victorious in that situation.
When I think of the story about the sheep and about Moses, I also think of the story of Father in 2003. A lot of members don’t know this, but Father was in the hospital in NY, for major health complications. He doesn’t like to talk about that, I may actually get in trouble for mentioning this. He doesn’t like to talk about it, he didn’t even mention it, he always said, “I don’t’ want the members to worry for me.” Reality is, in 2003 Father was 83 years old, Korean age 84 years old, and the doctors doubted that he was going to make it through this situation. He had constant blood tests. I remember visiting him in the hospital. He had always blood tests, extreme surgeries, etc. He had to constantly be monitored very closely.
I remember him on the hospital bed. It was in the morning, we had to gather for HDH. Father in the hospital bed was calling Mother and all the leaders to come in and do HDH, to do worship, to pray together, to read God’s words together, to then again do his spiritual practice. At this instant I knew that Father had absolutely no fear. Everyone else around him was thinking, “My God, what’s going to happen? We don’t know. We want to hope for the best.” Father, in his mind, had no doubt; he had totally no fear. He didn’t give up in the face of that obstacle, even at the age of 84. I witnessed (watched) him; I saw for myself that he made a miraculous recovery. He came back home and I remember he had to start walking again, just slowly learning how to walk like a child, he had to learn the basic things all over again at the age of 84, after building a world wide movement, etc.
How much stress he could have felt, how much burden he could have felt, how much doubt he could have felt, “My God, if something doesn’t happen right, what’s going to happen to this movement, what’s going to happen to the foundation I built?” So many things could have mustered up (created) fear in his heart. I remember, every day, day in and day out, we gathered at home, at East Garden, for HDH with Father. It was a very close meeting. It was just family members, just True Family, and some few leaders. Father was very quiet about this(his situation). He never spoke about it. He never said, “I’m so sick, why can’t you take care of me better?” He continued to live his spiritual life.
It was at that time that I remember: I saw Father, I saw him praying one day when he was in the hospital, he was just closing his eyes and in intense prayer. You could see his mouth moving, he was in intense prayer. When I saw that – at that time I had a shaved head and I was doing my own spiritual practice, etc. – I truly bowed down before him. Before me I saw a huge spiritual giant. I saw him there, even in the face of death, with no fear, praying for the world, praying for the nations, praying for the families that he had blessed. When I saw that, he completely won my heart over. It was during that time, during that very intense situation where I had the opportunity to be with Father very closely, and it was during those times that I took a lot of pictures of Father.
I had not studied photography intensely, but at that time, I really felt compelled to take moments of Father’s life. I had to capture these moments; they are so precious. I don’t know when I will be able to experience them again. It was during that time that I was able to take those pictures and publish the moment as a tribute to his undefeatable spirit. I remember doing that and I remember how annoying it must have been (for Father). We were outside and he’s trying to exercise, and here I was with this huge camera, about three inches from his face, taking pictures and not only one or two, I’m talking about hundreds of pictures.
I’m taking pictures of his hands, his fingers, his nose, his ears, his cheek. Father would say, “What is this boy doing? I know that his brothers and sisters said he was crazy but now I really understand what they’re talking about.” I remember him just enduring that situation, even in this time of recovery. He wasn’t well yet; he wasn’t at his best; he wasn’t over this obstacle, he was still in it. Yet here I am (taking pictures), and when I look back on it in retrospect, I do feel apologetic about it. I do feel in one sense in my heart, “My God, it must have been very difficult for Father,” but in another sense I feel so grateful, because he allowed me to do that, he allowed me to come so close to him. He allowed the closeness to be expressed within each one of those pictures. In the face of death at 83/84 years old, Father was able to shake it off and take a step up.
Some of us may be in a difficult situation right now. You may be struggling financially; you may be in a bitter relationship, or you may be even battling for your health like True Father was in 2003. You may not see a way to overcome this, and you may absolutely see that your future may be completely dark. It’s so important while we are walking in this valley of the shadows, even if you’re going through some kind of seemingly insurmountable circumstance, to keep walking that course, shake that doubt off, shake that fear off, keep walking, keep taking one step at a time. God will bring you up, He’ll step you up to the next light, the next avenue, the next path that He has prepared for you – just like with Father – even if we don’t see the way out of the circumstance. Surely Father didn’t (see a way out), he was right near death, literally on the line of going to spirit world, and doctors were totally doubting, “Father is not going to make it through!” All of us were in fear, all of us were so scared for Father, but Father was unshakable in his courage, he was unshakable in his bravery, he was able to step forth and continue to show us that we have to have faith in our future.
If we can learn anything today, brothers and sisters, I do believe it is to understand that the truth of life is unfortunately that we will have obstacles in our lives. We will encounter difficulties in our lives. But we must not live in fear because of those obstacles. None of those obstacles are there in order to take (something) away from us. They are there to build us up. God is preparing us for a new victory that He is planning for us.
When we encounter them (obstacles), we have to know what it takes to overcome, (we have to know) that we have what it takes to surpass these obstacles, that no obstacle is greater than the potential that God has placed in us. When you hear your mind, your inside voice, saying, “You are never going to make it through it, never going to get any better; it only gets worse, it’s only downhill from here, you’ve reached the good part, and now you got to wait for the bad part,” whenever you hear this in your mind, you have to say, “No I shake that right off, I’m going to shake that dirt right off, and I’m going to take a step up.” Whenever another heave of dirt comes down, say, “I’m going to shake that off, and I take a step up.”
We will be like that lamb in that story. We will be the lamb that God has sent to this world. We will be the lamb that will shine light, that will illuminate, that will bring victory into His realm. It’s so important that when we look at our lives, that we will not fall into that defeat mentality, that limited mindset that says, “I have no possible way, I have no future, the future is dark for me.” We have to start changing that mindset immediately, whenever we hear that, we have to start to switch that off, shake that off, step right up. You have to declare, “I’m alive, I will not live as a victim in my life, my future is bright, I am strong, persevering, brave. I shake it off, take a step up.” Brothers and sisters, if we do this I believe we will find more Victory, more Illumination and more Peace in our lives everyday and truly will live that blessed life that True Parents have blessed us to live.
If you can accept this message, brothers and sisters, let’s give True Parents one big round of applause.
Transcribed by: Pamela Stein
Edited by: Rev. Bruno Klotz