September 6 2008, HQ Church, Chungpadong Seoul, Korea
You know, in order to live the blessed life it is so important to have victory, to be victorious, in our relationships. And too many people don’t pay attention to the relationships that they are in or the people that they surround themselves with, and wonder why they get stuck at a certain level of victory in their life.
The people around you will determine your level of blessing and can impact your destiny. One of the keys of living the blessed life is to make the right decisions in relationships and partnerships, and to be victorious in those relationships.
Yeon Ah Nim:
Good afternoon, brothers and sisters (“Good afternoon!”)
It is the first worship service of September and we are really blessed today to have a beautiful weather and great company with us. We are always honored to have you here in this sanctuary and for those who are joining with us via internet, we are welcoming you as well. Welcome brothers and welcome sisters.
Hyung Jin Nim:
Welcome brothers and sisters! You may notice something happened up on the front altar. We will continue to improve that. This is of course temporary but by next week it will be more complete.
Brothers and sisters, today we’re going to look at Cheon Seong Gyeong,
page 991, and here Father is talking about establishing heavenly life
through attendance. In section 2 Father says, “God is not a fantasy or
a conceptual God, nor is He an abstract God. With His leadership in our
daily life He is always with us as the master of our daily
circumstances. He does not just receive attendance but He’s living
together with us by sharing love.”
Father is in effect telling us that many times, walking in our life of
faith, we may feel like we’re alone. We may feel many times that there
is nobody around that understands us or supports us. But what he is
telling us is that God is always with us, walking with us, sharing our
circumstances, being with us through them. And He is helping us, trying
to reach in within, and to understand that we have the potential, the
strength, the character to be able to overcome circumstances, to be
able to thrive and to succeed despite our circumstances.
Here Father is really pointing us to understand that God is not an
abstract being in a different place, but here with us in our daily
lives, wishing for us, hoping for us, cheering us on, to try to be the
best that we can be.
Brothers and sisters, whenever we come out to service, it’s always so important that we remember that we are not only here to observe service, but here to participate together, to be able to pray together, to be able to offer our worship and praise, to be able to reflect on our lives, to return back to the source. It’s really a time when we can offer glory back to Heavenly Father.
So I want to invite you today, not just to observe but sing with us, pray with us. We’re going to meditate too; meditate with us. And let’s really return the glory back to God this day!
Once again, welcome! Let’s always remember to have the right mindset before we start. I always like to remind you that it’s important to always get in the right mind when we come before God. That is to see ourselves in light of God’s view, that is to see ourselves not in our own human dimension, (but) to see ourselves as precious, as valuable, as having meaning, as being able to actualize all the potential that He has given us. So let’s start with that mindset. Let’s return it to God. Let’s have a really great service.
Brothers and sisters, I invite you once again, not only to watch, but to participate together. Welcome everybody!
Yeon Ah Nim’s message:
Whenever Hoon Dok Hae gets a little long, True Parents’ grandchildren, or granddaughter, or grandsons come into the Hoon Dok Hae room, and say something very bold to True Parents, something like, “Appa! Hoon Dok Hae is getting too long. Everybody wants to have breakfast. Let’s have breakfast!” Something like that!
And then True Father does a little comment to that situation, “Ah! You know what! They actually came to capture me. Even though they are very young and very small, they are like my teachers. So if I don’t listen to them, they get mad at me for the whole week. So I think I should listen to them.” (Laughter). Something like that! He always says something cute like that.
True Father said, “If someone asks us what the purpose of our life is, and if one can answer, ‘We are here for true love’, what a great answer it is! If one can answer, ‘We are born in true love and live in true love’, how wonderful that is!”
Brothers and sisters, even though we have different circumstances, and we have our obstacles in our lives, if we can find true love in every corner of our life, just like True Father, we know that at the end of our life we are able to say that we have a victory in our life, that even God can be proud of, that even God can admire.
Brothers and sisters, we love you so much and we believe in you. Welcome to service again! Aju!
Today the story is very difficult to memorize.. I actually have to look at it!
Today we have the story of a man who called heaven’s cell phone, and this is the voice mail that he got, “Thank you for calling heaven. I am sorry, all our angels and saints are busy helping other sinners right now (laughter). However, your prayer is very important to us, and we will answer it in the order that it was received. Please stay on the line.
If you would like to speak to God, press 1 (laughter), Jesus, press 2, The Holy Spirit, press 3. If you would like to hear King David sing a psalm while you are holding, press 4. To find a loved one who has been assigned to heaven, press 5, then enter his or her social security number followed by the pound sign. If you get a negative response please hang up and try area code 666. For reservations in heaven please enter JOHN 3:16. For answers to nagging questions about dinosaurs, the age of the earth, life on other planets or where Noah’s arc is, please wait until you arrive (laughter). If you are calling after hours and need emergency assistance, please contact your local pastor.
Brothers and sisters, give it up! (Applause and laughter).
Hyung Jin Nim’s Sermon:
Brothers and sisters, today I would like to talk to you about having victory in our relationships. You know, in order to live the blessed life it is so important to have victory, to be victorious, in our relationships. And too many people don’t pay attention to the relationships that they are in or the people that they surround themselves with, and wonder why they get stuck at a certain level of victory in their life.
The people around you will determine your level of blessing and can impact your destiny. One of the keys of living the blessed life is to make the right decisions in relationships and partnerships, and to be victorious in those relationships.
You know, in the Nicomachean ethics, a work written by Aristotle, he wrote that there are three kinds of friends:
Here are friends of utility, he said. And those are friends which you need to get something from. If you bought something, an item, if you bought a stereo from a shop, you would need that friend to provide you with a stereo. That would be a friend of utility.
Then there is a friend of pleasure, as he talked about. Those people are people you hang around with. They may share a similar hobby. They’re fun to be around. These would be friends of pleasure. That’s what Aristotle said.
He then he said there are friends of the good, and those are the highest types of friends. Those are the true friends to which you can share your hearts to. Those are the friends who are like you in character, in disposition, and in purpose. It is so important whom you let into your realm of relationship. This is because whom you call your friends, especially your friends of the good, can influence you greatly, influence your personality, your character, your habits, your life and of course, in the end, your destiny. Those whom you surrounds yourself with, will have that kind of impact upon you.
And at times in our lives when we are stuck at a certain level, God may be asking us to make a new step in the right direction. We may even have to make hard decisions to change the people that we surround ourselves with, in order to move to a higher level of success and victory.
God has prepared victorious relationships for us in our lives, but in order to meet those people we may have to – in the short run – let go of toxic relationships. Those are relationships that are negative, those are relationships that bring us constantly down, that make us lose heart (belief) in our own potential, in other people’s potential.
If you are around people who are complaining, always complaining, or seeing the bad in people, always dwelling on how life is unfair or miserable, always jealous of other people, criticizing others, putting people down, you may have to graduate from these kinds of associates.
If you are around people that curse others because they are successful, curse others because they are happy or healthy, curse others because they are blessed, those people may be holding you down at a certain level of victory.
It’s so important that when you see that, you have to know that the Archangel will sometimes use people around us to stop us from fulfilling our destinies. And because he sees that we have so much potential, he is getting scared and many times will use people around us to try to influence us to not be able to reach that destiny.
It is very important that we will have the courage to be able to say, “Wait a minute. I have to fulfill the purposes that God has given me.” I have to step up and step out into the blessed life.
“But if I leave these people that I hang around with, if I leave these kinds of people, they will call me a traitor. They’ll say I betrayed them, they’ll curse me. They’ll say I’m running away, they’ll say I’m scared. If I leave these people, I won’t be able to make any new friends, I’ll be alone!” we may think. But see, God has given a mission for us to fulfill. We may hurt people’s feelings, man’s feeling, in the interim (in the meantime), but if we don’t fulfill our purpose, if we are not able to fulfill our destiny while we are here in this very short time on earth, we will not be only hurting men’s feelings, we will be hurting God’s feelings.
It is so important that we understand that we have to fullfill the destiny that God has designed us to fulfill. And we are not here to be entertainment for archangels’ insecurities. We have greater (things) in store for us. God has planned much more for our lives. He is preparing those people in our lives, if we keep our eyes open and we move forward in courage and confidence.
I heard a story about a dog that was pregnant, and she was walking across the street and was very suddenly struck by a car, and she was very badly injured. The veterinarians had to take her in. They took a scan of her belly, and the babies were still OK, but one of her legs had to be removed. And here the dog eventually had the babies. The babies were healthy, they were whole, they were totally fine, nothing wrong with them.
But the researchers and the veterinarians found something very curious that happened within about 3 weeks. When the dogs began to walk around and follow the mommy around, they noticed that the little puppies were walking around on 3 legs. They had 4 full legs but they were walking around on 3 legs.
What was happening? They unknowingly were receiving this behavior from their mother, and for the rest of their lives these dogs, these puppies, ended up walking on 3 legs, when they had 4 perfectly healthy legs.
See, it’s so important in our lives that we don’t walk around with a limp, when we’re perfectly whole – just like these puppies – when we are perfectly able to stand on 4 legs. It’s important that we don’t walk around with this limp, because of the people that we may be around. Whom you hang around will shape your outlook; they will shape your beliefs, your motivations, your goals and even your life.
Sometimes you have to watch your own family. Even though you love your family, if they’re immature and act in toxic ways, you may actually have to take time out from your family members until they’re able to mature on their own time. See, everybody has their 5% responsibilty. We see that from the Principle.
And many people are from very negative family environment, even, at times, from abusive family environments. And it’s important that, even if we are from such an environment, that we may actually have to step out of that environment completely in order to be able to take responsibility over our own life and actually move forward in the direction that supports the whole.
By staying in abusive relationships, many people don’t realize that they are approving of the abuse, and it may require us to take time out, take time away, from such relationships that are negative, to actually change that person.
When I think about this principle, I think of the story of True Father. When Father received his mission and began ministry, his family completely opposed him, “What do you know? You’re just a 16 year old boy. How can you be a world level person? You’ve never been out of North Korea! You’re crazy! You think you can move this world, create a world wide foundation?”
See, Father, deeply, profoundly, intimately loved his family. But he knew that he could not actualize his God-given mission and liberate God with these types of relationships. And he had to make an excruciatingly hard decision. What was that decision? He had to decide to move on, to start his ministry and then to begin from the zero point.
He started with no disciples, zero followers, zero believers, and he went out in faith and confidence. See, he believed that God was leading him to find more victorious relationships that would help him to liberate God and fulfill the mission that he had in his life.
He witnessed and God sent him his new family. Who was that new family? It was our first generation, those first generation brothers and sisters that surrounded True Father, that called him Father, that attended him as true father, and it’s upon those early disciples that he set the foundation to create the world-wide Unification family.
Brothers and sisters, let’s give it up for UC first generation! (applause)
See, our first generation, they were the friends that Father required. They were the people that supported him. They were the people that stepped out in faith. And in our lives, too, it is important that we, too, surround ourselves with friends of faith, that we surround ourselves with people in our community that help us, that support us, that nurture us, that empower us to be all that God has created us to be.
You know, in the Korean church we are now starting small group practices, and we’ll be continuing that, and also we’re having a small group session every Wednesday night here at the church, in order to begin to create community groups that help each other thrive, that help us fill ourselves, fill our lives, surround ourselves with the right type of victorious relationships so we can actualize and bring to fruition all that God has planned for us to do.
I heard a story, in 1995, October 17th, there were two little twins that were born, Kairi and Brielle. They were born in the Massachussets Memorial Hospital in Worcester. Each of these twins weighed about 2 pounds. They were very very small. They had to be placed each in separate incubators. But see, one of them, Brielle, was very sick. She was expected not to live. And though Kairi was putting on a very good weight and she was growing naturally and healthily, Brielle was slowly withering away. She was slowly getting sick, coughing, gasping, and her face and her skin was turning blue, etc..
See, on a particular day when nurse Gail Kasperian was looking over the intensive care unit at the hospital for the new born children, Brielle was crying intensely. And the nurse had to come over, and she tried everything. She tried to hold the baby, she tried to rock the baby. She wrapped her in a blanket. She tried to clean her nose etc… She tried to do everything, but nothing was working. Brielle just kept on crying, she was suffering inside. All the doctors could see that her body was slowly withering away.
But then the nurse remembered about a procedure in Europe, where twins are actually able to stay in the same incubator. But see, this was against Massachusetts Memorial Hospital law. So she could not do that, but because she knew that the child’s life was on the line, she took a step of faith and she put that baby in with her twin sister Kairi.
Very interestingly, when the baby Brielle was put into the incubator with Kairi, the healthier twin put her arm around the sicker baby, around Brielle. And something remarkable happened. Almost immediately the smaller baby’s heartbeat began to stabilize, her temperature rose to normal. Her blood oxygen saturation levels which were extremely and frighteningly low, became natural and soared within seconds. She began to breathe more easily and the frentic crying of the baby began to stop.
What happened? Within a couple of weeks that baby whose life was in danger was able to go out of the hospital, and when we last heard of them, they are now in elementary school and very healthy and whole.
This article actually came out. It was so famous that it ended up coming out in Life Magazine, in the Readers’ Digest. Let’s take a look at the real picture. That’s the real picture of those babies. It was because of that hug. Let’s give it up for the power (applause), the power of the right people around you, the power of relationships around you! So important!
Whom you are around can literally save your life, can literally save your life! We must make sure that we are surrounded by the people who encourage us, who can empower us, believe in us, support us to mature and grow, and challenge us – sometimes it’s not easy to be challenged – but challenge us to become better and better constantly.
It’s very toxic to be around only yes-men. If we are around those kind of people, we will not be growing in our lives. We want to surround ourselves with people that challenge us to rise to new levels of potential, not sinking to low levels of actualization, people who through honest feedback and caring honesty help us to develop our own independence to be victorious and to inspire others to live victorious lives.
See, we want to surround ourselves with people that are better than us in the things that we are trying to get better in, better than us in parenting, better than us in business, better than us in ministry, better than us in our spousal relationship etc… When we surround ourselves with these kinds of people, these people become motivation for us to improve and they inspire us to become better in all these different realms.
There’s a personal example that me and my wife try to practice. And many parents, while raising their kids, end up doing a lot of things for their kids, and totally out of love, end up do the homework for the kids, do the dishes for the kids – they won’t tell the teacher they’re doing the homework for the kids, but they do the homework for the kids – they do the dishes, bring the water, tie the shoes, open the presents. Everything is done for the kids!
And just like those emperors of the past, the child becomes not able to do things on their own, becomes more and more dependent, has no confidence to do things on their own, and becomes insecure and afraid to do even the most basic things.
One of the things that we try to practice always with our kids is to help them, but to never fully DO their work for them. For example, we were just in a pizza shop the other day and my littke daughter was trying to cut her pizza, and she was saying, “Appa, I can’t cut this pizza!” And I said, “Honey, you can cut that pizza, it’s not a problem. Appa will help you do it; I won’t do it for you, but I’ll help you do it.”
If they want us to do their homework, “See, I can’t do that, Appa!” “Yes, you can, I’ll help you do it! I won’t do it for you but I’ll help you do it.” If they want us to tie their shoes, pack their bags, open a package of snacks, even something that basic, “I can help you do it! I won’t do it for you but I’ll help you do it!”
What are we trying to do? We’re trying to give them independence in everything that they do, small things first, small victories first, that lead up to basic confidence, that lead up to basic victory, and then more and more their confidence rises, and they are able to succeed at larger things.
Just like this, we have to make sure that we are not surrounded by people who make us dependent, who make us inept, or make us lose potential and confidence in our ability, by doing everything for us. We have to be around people who challenge us to be capable, challenge us to be confident in our ability, who challenge us to step forward and know that we have the ability to succeed at anything if we’re able to put our mind to it, and if we really apply ourselves to it.
You know, brothers and sisters, when we think about these things, what can we learn today? It is so important in order to live the blessed life and to extend that to others, to make sure that we have victorious relationships. In order to live the blessed life, we must be nurturing victorious relationships. We must be surrounding ourselves with the right types of relationships that will empower us to be succesful and to allow us to fulfill the purposes that God has given us to do.
God has prepared people in our lives that will help us gain the skills to live the blessed life and empower others to live the blessed life as well. If we are around toxic people or archangels, then it is important we may actually have to step out of those environments. We may actually take time out. Even though we love the person, we may have to take time out, in order to situate and move forward.
See, God is asking us to step forward, to assess the people that we are around. Look around! Who are we with? Are they filling us with thoughts of strength, success, victory, hope, confidence in our ability, or are they sapping (taking away) our strength? When we are spending time with them, are we dead with energy? If we are looking at our relationships and we see those things when we assess, God may be asking us to step forward in faith and to find other people, other, supportive, environments that will help us to actualize the blessed life, not only for ourselves, but to extend that to others.
That’s why it’s so important in our church that we’re going to be starting the small group practices, the small group communities, where we will be able to surround ourselves with the right type of victorious people, mindsets, thoughts, so that we will be empowered to be all that God wants us to be.
It’s so important that in our lives we are not walking around with 3 legs when we have 4 legs, that we are not learning those habits because of the people or the environments that we are from. And it’s important not to be handicapped because of where we came from or whom we grew up around, but to step up and step out of those situations, so that we will be able to live the blessed life and become all that God has desired for us to become.
It is so important that in our lives we are able to achieve and always look around us. If we see people around us, whom we spend our time with, and they are better than us in many things that we are trying to become better at, then that is a fantastic sign that God is preparing those people to help lift us into greater victory, greater illumination and more peace in those realms.
Brothers and sisters, I do believe that if we pay attention to the relationships that we are in, we will find ourselves with more victory, more illumination, and we will find ourselves with more peace, and we will live that blessed life that True Parents have blessed us to live , and will be a blessing to others at the same time.
Brothers and sisters, if you receive this message, let’s give it up for God and True Parents (applause) and the babies!
Oh! and by the way, I’m sorry I have to make one more announcement, I’m sorry. For me, one of my most precious and important relationships is my relationship with my Omma, and guess what! Everybody! It’s been 11 years! Today is our anniversary.. (Applause). Give it up for Omma! (Applause) 11 years! (more applause) 11 years! I have to say, the best 11 years of my life. Omma, thank you so much and I am looking forward to every single year getting better brighter and more VIP. I want to give it up for Omma. Brothers and sisters, can we give it up? (Applause).
Thank you so much.
Final Meditation- Last sentence:
True Parents are always with us. They are always present in our hearts, and they love us forever, for eternity, with unconditional love.
Hyung Jin Nim’s Final Prayer:
Heavenly Father, our beloved True Parents, thank You so much for this day that You have blessed upon us. Father, today we feel restored and rejuvenated by Your presence here in this sanctuary, Father, in the presence of all our precious central blessed families, Father, the fruits of history which You have waited for, for 6,000 years of biblical history.
Father, we are standing in that kind of auspicious time and position. Let us truly be able to surround ourselves with, Father, the right relationships, those who fill us with faith, fill us with strength, fill us with confidence, fill us with hope in our lives.
Father, let us surround ourselves with people who become examples to us, who let us rise higher in our blessed family life, in our blessed marriage life, in our blessed relationship life, in our blessed work life. In all the things that we do, let us try to surround ourselves with the victorious children that you have created.
Father, we thank You so much for this day that You are guarding us and protecting us, that You are covering us with Your love like a shield, and Father, we pray that each one of these families here today in this sanctuary and also joining us in spirit here, Father, we pray that You may be with them, that You may protect them, that You may give them strength, and Father, that You may surround them and lead the right people to them so that they truly may live that blessed life that You have blessed them to live.
Father, we thank You. We pray that we may truly be blessings to this world, that we may truly be inspirations and examples for this world. Please, be with these families today. Please be with us here today and give us the strength as we leave and face our lives, face the new week with hope, Father, with optimism, with strength, and with perseverance.
Let us always be around the right type of people centering ourselves with faithful friends and a faith-filled community. Thank You so much. We thank You once again with an everlasting love, and a total gratitude.
In our own names as blessed central families, we pray. Aju! (Aju!)
Transcribed by: Rev. Beatrice Clyburn
Edited by: Rev. Bruno Klotz