Returning to your safe Haven

September 13, 2008, HQ Church, Seoul, Korea

In order to live the blessed life we need to make use of the safe havens. We need to build communities that have safe havens. It’s one of the lessons that I wish we can learn today, that our community, our fellowship, the home that we live in, our children, our spouse, that these relationships give us the power to succeed, that they are able to give us the strength and courage that we need, the confidence, to become truly successful in our lives.

Welcoming Remarks

Yeon Ah Nim:

Good afternoon brothers and sisters!

Today we have a beautiful afternoon and I hope, that in this beautiful Chuseok Holiday you are having a wonderful time together with your family members, brothers and sisters and people around you. We are deeply honored to have you here in this sanctuary and for those who are joining via internet we are also welcoming you as well. Welcome brothers and welcome sisters.

Hyung Jin Nim:

Welcome brothers and sisters today. I want to share with you from Cheong Song Kyong, page 547. Father says here: “Among all the good things on this earth there is nothing more precious than connecting to your original heart.

We must keep in mind that those who experience your love will have
no regrets, even if they forget about all the things of this world”.

Father here is talking about the existence of human beings in the physical and spiritual world. He is reminding us of

How valuable we are in terms of God’s light, in terms of God’s
perspective. See, God has created us to be the medium between these two
worlds and that kind of position is such a profound position. And
Father here is telling us that connecting back to our original mind,
(to) the thing that speaks with God’s love, goodness, clarity, peace of
mind etc., that connecting back to that very important source is really
such an important task in our lives. Brothers and Sisters, we want to
welcome you to this Chuseok Holiday. It’s Chuseok – Harvest Holiday!
It’s very good to see you, I didn’t think you would make it today. But
it’s good to see you all today, it really is.

Remember, we invite you not only to see our service, to observe our
service, but let’s participate in the service. We are going to have
prayer and meditation, we are going to have singing and sharing as
well. So, let us be participants today and I want to welcome you once
again. Let’s have a really wonderful service and return it back to God
and True Parents.

Yeon Ah Nim’ Message:

Once I heard about one of our Korean sisters about Chuseok Holiday. She said that she has six siblings and all of her siblings joined our movement and got blessed with Japanese wives and Japanese husbands. So, whenever this big holiday comes she visits her parents’ house with her siblings and she feels like, “Am I in Korea or in Japan?” because everyone around her speaks Japanese. Her nieces, her nephews, all speak Japanese and even her siblings can speak Japanese so well. So she sometimes feels like she is out of place. But she said that at the same time she feels that this is a part of the blessing – this is the peace making process that True Parents really want us to live, that we can practice in our lives.

So, when we think about it, I’m sure that everyone who has accepted international marriage feels that this is their mission in their life. True Parents expand our horizon and make our worldview deeper by showing us the value of family beyond our race and nationality. So, in this Chuseok Holiday, we want to say thank you to True Parents for blessing us and making us central blessed families. Aju!

Hyung Jin Nim’s prayer:

Heavenly Father, True Parents!

Thank You for this day that You have blessed upon us. We are standing here at the beautiful turn of Your new season. We are expecting new seasons in our lives today, new seasons of change, new seasons of abundance, of growth, of maturity, of success and victory.

Father, these beautiful seasons and the transformations that You bring in our lives! Let us offer the glory back to You and True Parents. Heavenly Father, we are here together as blessed central families and we are here connected with all our families across this world, giving You glory and offering our thanks and gratitude for this day. Heavenly Father, we pray that today at the start of this new beautiful autumn season, we will, in these next months, as this season moves and moves into the next season, find ourselves with more blessing and more victory, more illumination and peace, that we will be able to give to others the blessings that we are receiving from You. Let us be a blessing to this world.

Thank You so much for all the things that You are doing for us. We pray that Your heavenly hand of protection and Your heavenly hand of blessing may be with each and every of the families that are here today and (with) those who are joining with us from across the ocean via internet.

Father, please be with our Unification families, give them strength, lift them up and let them believe in the people that You have created them to become. Thank You so much for all that You have done. We pray that today we may have a great service where we can offer You victory and joy and our brightness, and may You truly feel happiness this day.

Thank You so much once again! We offer our thanks with an everlasting love and deep gratitude. We pray these things in True Parents’ name, in True Families’ name and with all blessed families together in our blessed central families’ name together. Aju!

Interesting Story:

First I’d like to start with something a little interesting. We don’t have God’s voicemail today but something else. (Laughter) I heard an interesting story about a little son whose dad was a minister. And the dad was really flustered one day. He was trying to come up with a sermon topic, just pulling out his hair and just couldn’t get it. He was crossing things out, writing and scribbling things on his paper. And so the son was watching the scene and all of a sudden he asked his dad: “Hey daddy, how do you come up with your sermon topics?” The dad was very flustered at the moment, he said: “Son, you know,God gives me them. God tells me what to say.” And then the son looked at daddy and said: “Then daddy, why are you crossing out God’s ideas?” (Laughter)

Main Sermon:

Brothers and sisters, today I would like to talk to you about `Returning to your Safe Haven’. In order to live the blessed life it is so important that at times we must return to our safe havens. Life is full of challenges, obstacles, battles and even, at times, fear, and in order to overcome these obstacles we must be able to return to our refuge, a place that is safe, a safe haven where we can rest and recuperate.

Now remember, this might not always be a physical location, it CAN be, but it may not ALWAYS be such thing. But returning to such a safe haven is not only good for our physical healing but (for our) emotional, psychological and spiritual healing as well.

In the biblical tradition God is very commonly referred to as `Our Refuge’, as the Israelite people’s refuge. (It is) the place where we go back when times are so difficult, when we are being persecuted, when we are in suffering, when we are going through obstacles and times of change and challenge.

When we feel rejected or negative about ourselves, (when we feel) depressed, sad and discouraged about our lives, when we are feeling despair sinking its roots into our hearts, (when we feel) hopelessness in our lives, then it is so important that we return to the safety of knowing that God loves us, that He believes in us, that He has a plan for us, that He has a vision for our lives. God’s love is unconditional in our lives. No matter how much we may believe that our life is over, or what other people may say, God wants to help us regain our strength, our courage, our confidence, our selfesteem and enthusiasm for our lives, and even He wants to give us our dreams back. God helps us to get back on track and get back into our lives, and so, at times, we will have to return to God as our refuge, the safe haven that gives us strength to start for another day.

This may actually make you feel safe the next time that you are flying in an airplane, but did you know that when you are flying in an airplane, let’s say you are flying from Seoul, Korea, to New York, JFK, did you know that the airplane that you ride on while you are flying thousands and thousands of meters above the earth, is actually 99 per cent (of time) off course? Did you know that? Yes, the airplane is actually 99 per cent off course due to turbulence, weather and mechanics. The airplane is off course almost all of the time. That’s why an airplane needs a pilot, it needs a navigation system, an autopilot system. Whenever the plane is off just a degree the pilot will readjust or the system will help readjust to get it back on its course. I

It’s the same kind of principal with bicycles if you know how to ride a bicycle. I’m assuming that all of you know how to ride a bicycle. When you are about to fall to your left you have to readjust constantly and so it’s almost like you are constantly off balance, you are constantly catching yourself. It’s the same kind of principal.

Life is the same way. When you get off balance, off course, it’s so important to readjust. The longer we wait for readjustment, the harder it is to get back on track. And as soon as we find ourselves saying: “I can’t do this. I can’t make my way through this difficulty. I can’t see my way through the storm. The vision of my future is dark to me, I can’t see it,” or “I’ll never be healthy; I’ll never see myself in good health again. I’m battling some sickness, I’m battling a difficult relationship, I don’t see a better day in my future” (then) we have to regain our balance very quickly. We can’t let these thoughts start sinking and putting roots down in our hearts. We have to say: “I’m a child of God. God is on my side and He promises that I will make it through these obstacles, that I will find blessing and that I will actualize my destiny. God says that His children will prosper and that His children will not perish at the archangel’s hand. God loves me, He protects me, He believes in me and He has given me a mission to accomplish.”

We want to surround ourselves with people who speak victory in our lives, into our ears and into our hearts. We want to surround ourselves with people that become a safe haven for us, a refuge, a place where we can come back from the storm, where they can empower us, encourage us to be the best people that we are supposed to become.

In the third (paragraph of the) Family Pledge Father talks about the Four Great Realms of Heart. They are the Great Realms of the Heart of a parent, the Great Realm of the spouse, the Great Realm of the sibling and the Great Realm of a child. True Parents teach that at times your wife may actually be like your mother and your wife may be like your sister, at times your wife may be like your child. At times a husband may be like a father, a brother, a child, to his wife.

As blessed central families we need to be able to experience these realms of heart, particular in our spousal relationships. Personally, in my life, when I really feel beaten up, when I feel really torn up by the world, when I had a really rough day and I’m about to collapse and fall into depression, and I come back home and I tell my wife about it then she’ll console me, she will comfort me, she’ll give me a hug and say: “Appa (daddy), it’s going to be okay. You’re doing a great job. I’m proud of you.”

This kind of encouragement, even though it’s so small, it doesn’t take a lot of time. It maybe takes a minute of your time, but it gives me so much strength. When she is exhausted with the kids or with work then I try to comfort her. I try to listen to her words. I try to allow her to speak, so I can try to encourage her as well.

And we found that these little supports that we give each other have helped us to become more emotionally restored, mature and spiritually strong for each other. They give us strength for the next day to go out with courage and confidence. Our spousal relationship is one of the most important places, where we come back for refuge, where we come back from the world, and where we return back to our home. That safe haven is one of the most profound safe havens and it is so important that we are strong in our spousal relationships.

I heard about a TV program where husbands, very lovingly, sent beautiful messages with their hand phone to their wives, while they were at work. They messaged things like: “Honey, I miss you. Honey, I want to see you and get back and hug you. I love you. I can’t wait to see you.” They sent their wives beautiful comments like that. So the TV crew was there, recording their phones and they were so curious at what kind of messages the wives would send back to their husbands, probably messages like: “Thank you, honey. I love you too. I miss you and want to see you too.”

But what happened when those messages came back, what were they saying? They came back messaging things like: “Are you crazy? What are you, a baby? Disgusting!” These kinds of messages came back to the husbands. These husbands, of course, were grown up men but if they are in that kind of environment, then we have to make sure that we are not that kind of spouse if we want a blessed marriage. If we want an unsupportive marriage and want to be unhappy in our relationships then messaging these kinds of statements will be absolutely great. But if not, then it’s so important that we are able to support each other more, maybe a little “Thank you”, “I miss you, too”, maybe, ” I love you”, something like that, something that can express and return the giving and receiving process.

In the 1950s, Harry Harlow, a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin, conducted a series of very famous experiments on Rhesus monkeys. He wanted to see what effect love and emotional security had on psychological development. He had one group of monkeys raised by a wire mash surrogate mommy with a very scary, cold, mechanical face. And another group of monkeys were raised by another surrogate mommy, covered with terry cloth, a very soft kind of cloth, with a very happy and cute face. (showing pictures of the experiment). In this experiment the baby monkey spent up to 23 hours on the happy, soft mommy and only less than an hour on the wire, mechanical mommy. The only reason why he went to the wire mommy was that the wire mommy provided him with milk. So he only went for his basic survival needs to get the milk and then he immediately ran back to the soft, happy face mommy.

We will see what kind of reactions the monkeys showed when they were frightened. They put in strange items, like loud objects and teddy bears beating on drums. The monkeys that were raised by the soft cloth mommies would immediately jump on their mommy when they were frightened. They rubbed against them and eventually were able to calm down. They used their mommies as a psychological base of operation that allowed them to be playful and inquisitive (curious) after the initial fright.

But what happened to the group of monkeys that was raised without a soft, surrogate mommy? In contrast, monkeys that were raised by a wire mommy did not retreat to their mother when they were scared. Instead, they threw themselves to the floor. They clutched themselves, they rocked back and forth and they screamed in terror. Harlow noted that these activities closely resembled the behaviors of autistic and deprived children, frequently observed in institutions, as well as pathological behavior of adults, confined to mental institutions.

He also did another separate experiment, where he had the wire monkey giving milk and the cloth mommy was just simply standing right next to it. At first the monkey would go to the wire mommy to get the milk but then later on, he would actually keep his feet on the cloth mommy and would lean his head over to get the milk. In other words he didn’t want to be with this mechanical mommy at all. He wanted to be with the softer, more nurturing type of mommy.

Let us remember that this terry cloth mommy didn’t do anything, just sat there the whole day on the same place. It was stationary; it didn’t even provide the monkey with milk. But it was always there for the baby, to hold and to retreat to. When scared, it could run to it.

It is so important in our lives that we learn to be and surround ourselves with people who can show us this kind of God’s love and support. Because we are made in God’s image we, too, have the potential to be somebody else’s safe haven. If we are a parent or a spouse, we have to make sure that we are not like the cold, mechanical wire mash monkey. Remember, just standing there with a cold stare can damage your child, or even your husband, just like that monkey. Be like the terry cloth mommy. We need to learn how to be like the terry cloth mommy to each other. Where we are able to smile at each other, express our emotions, thank each other, and show gratitude. Be that kind of safe haven that provides emotional security and strength.

If we learn to unconditionally love and support each other, we will be a source of strength, a source of God’s love, in this world. And remember, the little supports, the little encouragements that we give one another, those are the big strengths that are coming to people’s lives. Those are the big things that we need in our lives to stay afloat, when we are hitting (coming across) turbulences, big waves, big challenges and obstacles. It’s so important that we have those kinds of people around us who are supporting us, giving us that safe haven that we are able to return back to.

Whenever we go to Japan we usually have a very wonderful practice with our Japanese brothers and sisters. During service time we have a time where husbands and wives come together and they learn to embrace each other. You may not know that but in Asia there is not a lot of embracing going on between husband and wife, in public at least. So, we do a very interesting exercise with the blessed families there. We have them do the 8 step hug that True Father does with True Mother. Before he did his 88th anniversary marriage ceremony True Father bowed to True Mother, he held her hands; he held her eyes, meaning he gazed into her eyes. A lot of husbands forget to gaze into their wives’ eyes to give them the emotional feeling of love and affection. And then Father hugged her: “Omma (Mommy)!” And then again, as they separated, he gazed into her eyes and held her hands and bowed again. We do this simple practice and while we are embracing we say a prayer for another out loud. So the husband is praying out loud for his wife and the wife prays out loud for her husband.

We have seen people break down in that atmosphere. We have seen the whole room filled with crying and weeping. It’s so rare that we hear our spouses praying for us, wishing for us, thanking God that we are in their lives. And it’s so rare that we are able to express that in a way that is consoling, that becomes an encouragement and a safe haven.

I have seen this practice in Japan with the blessed central families and I have seen that it has made an emotional impact on those people’s lives. But I also doubted it. I honestly doubted it, “What kind of an impact is it really going to make? Is it really going to help people open up and understand each other a little more?”

I was once in an airport, on the way to Japan, and we were waiting to get to the ticket line and one Japanese fellow spotted me from quite a distance, came running up to me, with three or four of his friends, and he asked me: “Are you Hyung Jin Nim?” I said: “Yes, I’m going to Japan”, and we exchanged some very nice hellos. And then he said: “I have one request that I would like you to fulfill.” And I said: “Okay, Sir. I don’t really know you but you can ask me. Ok, go ahead! I don’t know if I can do it.” And so he said: “Can you give me a hug?” (Laughter). This is a Japanese brother! So I gave him a hug there in the airport. We prayed for him in the airport. And what we were realizing, my God! We just go to Japan, we just try to help the brothers and sisters there, try to help them to express themselves a little more between each other, trying to pray for each other.

And at times we believed that this isn’t really making an impact. But then I saw this man come up to me. Japanese men are usually very reserved; they don’t cross those boundaries if they don’t know you. He came up to me asking me for a hug and I was really amazed thinking, “Maybe it is making an impact, at least on one person it is!” I felt encouraged.

It’s so important that in our lives and communities we have that safe haven that we can return to. We cannot always burden our family. Let us help each other in our community. Here at the HQ church, just about two weeks ago, we started home groups, small group practices, where our brothers and sisters can come together in faith, where we can help build each other up, build our confidence in one another, build our self esteem, build our dreams, find our dreams back, where we can see that our community deals with very similar issues that we are dealing and struggling with, that we are overcoming and being victorious in, where we can absorb faith and fellowship, victory and support, maturity and sharing.

In the home group communities we see God working miracles, small miracles, in those small communities of 5 to 10 people that come together in faith and fellowship, in encouragement of one another.

Right now we are going to be taking in registration of those who want to become hosts for those who seek and help impact people’s lives, help people actualize the vision that God has for them, help them to become all that God has destined for them to become.

Every week we are going to provide the home groups with a video, where we give them support and exercises. It’s as easy as popping in a video and then following along, doing the practices, doing the exercises and doing the discussion practices. The home group community is really meant to be that safe haven that we cannot receive in a larger worship service. But we are able to come together in smaller groups where we can give each other encouragement, hope, faith, friendship, fellowship and support; where we can truly learn to live for the sake of the other.

In order to live the blessed life we need to make use of the safe havens. We need to build communities that have safe havens. It’s one of the lessons that I wish we can learn today, that our community, our fellowship, the home that we live in, our children, our spouse, that these relationships give us the power to succeed, that they are able to give us the strength and courage that we need, the confidence, to become truly successful in our lives.

Let us remember that in our hearts God and True Parents, the number one safe haven in our lives, truly give us solidity, our value, our identity, our purpose, our mission in our lives. That haven gives us the ability to give blessings to others, (gives us) the root practice (basic foundation) in our hearts that allow us to expand that parental love to the rest of the world.

Let us remember the Four Great Realms of Heart that teach us to expand our view of the realms of love, of what a husband, a wife, a child is. At times the child can be the father, or the spouse can be the mother.

Our community is also our safe haven, especially our home group communities. I really encourage every one of us to start learning about the home group practices that we are going to start. We are going to offer those classes every week. On Wednesday at 7:00 we are going to have home group training so that we are able to support each other in smaller but stronger units.

Let’s not be one of those very mechanical, wire mash unificationists. Let us learn to be the mature, loving ones that can support the unification; the ones that can go beyond themselves and truly let our community shine. Be proud of that. Be proud of seeing other people in our community shine.

If we do that I truly believe that we will find ourselves rooted in our safe havens, that we will be able to move forward with confidence and we will find ourselves with more victory, more illumination and more peace. And we will receive that blessed life that True Parents have blessed us to live, being a blessing to the world. Brothers and sisters, let’s give it up for God and True Parents!

Transcribed by: Regina Shin

Edited by: Rev. Bruno Klotz

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