January 3, 2009 , HQ Church, Chungpadong, Seoul Korea
But brothers and sisters, if we’re going to do what God is meaning for us to do in our lives, we must learn how to have the courage to make a stand at times. Making a stand requires self respect, it requires self esteem, it requires confidence in who God made you to be and it requires you to believe in your potential when you look at yourself and see your future.
Yeon Ah Nim:
Good afternoon brothers and sisters! (Good afternoon!)
It is really great to see you all at this sanctuary in 2009. Should we give a round of applause for 2009? (Applauding). The year of 2009 has come.
True Father gave us the New Year Motto for 2009 and it goes like this, “The Era of Proclaiming the Victory of the Authority of Absolute Sexual Ethics, True Love, True Life and True Lineage in the Realm of the Cosmic Sabbath of the Parents of Heaven and Earth.” After True Father finished writing this, even he himself said, “Ah! This year’s motto is a little bit long!” (Laughter) So if you felt that way, don’t feel discouraged, don’t feel bad. But we know that there is a profound meaning behind what True Father has taught throughout his entire life.
During God’s Day, in his speech, True Father emphasized the importance of the value of True Father. He said, “True Father is the source of true lineage and love throughout all generations.” And also True Father once again asked us to keep absolute love, fidelity and purity as blessed families.
Brothers and sisters, I hope that this year our blessed families will have a profound year with Heavenly Father’s protection and grace and True Parents’ love and blessing. AJU!
Hyung Jin Nim:
Welcome brothers and sisters. Brothers and Sisters, it’s 2009! Oh my God! (Applause) We’re ready for 2009! We sent up 2008 with the shouts of victory and we’re starting again with the accolades of God in 2009.
Brothers and sisters, I want to start with Cheon Seong Gyeong, page 589, “Which of the two would you prefer to devote your entire lives to: Private matters or public matters? Both are devoted to some purpose. Those who stand up at the risk of their lives to devote their lives for the public good will become great people. A new history will be created by a group of people like this.”
Brothers and sisters, in this new year let us always remember that we are not walking alone, that we are walking together. Brothers and sisters, that in this year of 2009, of this incredible year, proclaiming the victory of the Cosmic Sabbath, True Father and True Mother have given us the blessing to be received this year. And that in 2009, even though we may have obstacles and challenges, still we will find great promises that will come to fruition. We’ll find great things that come to pass. We will see great hopes that not only are nourished but that come into reality.
Brothers and sisters, we always have to keep our minds up on the positive, so to speak. Always remember the goodness of God, meditate on the goodness of God, especially and even more so when times are rough, especially when times are challenging. Remember “whoopology”, remember that from last week, right? “Whoopology”, where we are learning that even in the midst of trouble, what scares the enemy even more, what confuses him is when you just start praising God even more. I’m not going to do some hallelujahs today but you heard hallelujahs last week.
But, brothers and sisters, we have to remember that, in our lives in 2009, when we have those struggles, instead of falling into despair and oblivion, we’re going to say, “Wait a minute! I’m not going down there. I’m going to sing the praises of God, I’m going to sing ‘hallelujah’, I’m going to say, ‘God is good’. I’m going to tell Him that, and I’m going to praise Him, tell Him that I still trust Him and I still lean on Him and that I believe that He still wants me to reach (actualize) His promises.” We have to be in that attitude of faith. If we do that, brothers and sisters, that’s our faith in action and that’s going to propel us to actualize our God given destinies.
Brothers and sisters, once again welcome to our service. We always want to remind you to see ourselves – especially when we are here- from the owner’s eyes, that are God’s eyes. Let us see ourselves from the highest perspective and that is to see ourselves as victorious people, as historical people, people who have meaning and who will give meaning to this world. If we start seeing ourselves that way we’ll not only start believing it, we will start trying to act in that way, and in that manner we will start actualizing what God is waiting for us to do.
Brothers and sisters, let’s remember today, in this year 2009, let’s start it off with an excitement, an enthusiasm and a hope that this year will be our best year yet. We’re going to send those praises up today. As we send those praises up what happens? What comes down? Those blessings come showering down. There’re going to start giving us power in our next week. There’re going to give us power to overcome that obstacle, that circumstance, that archangel that’s in your way. You’re going to have the power, the compassion, the enthusiasm to get over in spirit, in love and in life.
Brothers and sisters, welcome once again to our Saturday service. We welcome you all from all around the world. And once again, let’s start the new year off with that kind of praise.Thanks once again! Welcome!
Hyung Jin Nim’s Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank You for this day that You have prepared, Father. We’re gathered here, hearts open wide, in this wonderful sanctuary in the fatherland of Korea. Father we are here where the spirituality and the tears of thousands of years have planted roots, Father. And now there is the joy that You can feel and see Your children around this world, Father, bringing new light and new life to this world. Father, how much happiness You must feel! Father, we pray that You may be in this place today. Father, we pray that we may do our part, that we may meditate on Your goodness, we may meditate on Your strength, we may meditate on Your blessings, meditate on Your hope, and Father, that we may know that You are always in our lives.
Heavenly Father, we pray that You may bless each and every one of the families here today, joining us from across the world. We pray that You may be with each and every single nation, Father, from South America to Japan, to Africa, to Russia, from all those nations, Father. Please, bless this day.
As we send up the praises and worship, Father, as we send up our prayers today, we pray that those prayers can spread out across the globe and those prayers can be showered upon all men and women in all those nations, Father. Father, we pray that today we may make a new determination in 2009, that we may make a stand, Father, that truly we may be able to live our lives with faith, with hope, with expectancy, knowing that You have amazing things and plans for us to accomplish. Father, we know that You are never giving up on us, that You always believe in us, that You always have a way, where we can see no way. Father, we pray that truly in 2009 we may reach our full potential, that we may have our best year and, Father, that this year we may give You all the glory and return it to You.
Heavenly Father, please feel joy today, please be encouraged today because we’re starting 2009 with the spirit of victory, we’re starting 2009 with the spirit of overcoming power, and we’re starting 2009 with the great hope that You have given to us.
Thank You once again. We pray this in all the Blessed Central Families’ names together here as one, AJU!
We always like to begin with something a little, a little interesting.
I heard a Christm
as story. I heard of an event that happened on Christmas. It was a day after Christmas at a church in New York, and Pastor Mike was looking at the Nativity scene. That is the scene of the Baby Jesus outside. And Pastor Mike noticed that Baby Jesus was missing, the figure was missing. It was gone. Immediately Pastor Mike ran towards the church to call the police. “It’s an emergency! The Baby Jesus is gone!”
But as he was about to do so, he saw little Jimmy with a red wagon and in the wagon was the statue of Baby Jesus. Pastor Mike walked up to Jimmy. He said, “Jimmy, where did you get that little Jesus?” Jimmy replied, “I got him from the church.” “And why did you take him from the church?” And with a sheepish smile Jimmy said, “Well about a week before Christmas I prayed to little Lord Jesus. I told him, if he would bring me a red wagon I’d give him a ride in it. And that’s what I’m doing; I’m giving him a ride around the block.”
Brothers and sisters, give it up for God and True Parents! (Applause)
Brothers and sisters, today I’d like to talk to you about “Making your Stand in 2009.” You know, in order to live the blessed life, we have to make a stand in our life. At some point we have to make a stand in our life, and too many people live life not committing to anything and just trying to fit in to the status quo. But brothers and sisters, if we’re going to do what God is meaning for us to do in our lives, we must learn how to have the courage to make a stand at times. Making a stand requires self respect, it requires self esteem, it requires confidence in who God made you to be and it requires you to believe in your potential when you look at yourself and see your future.
Let’s take a look into some of these World Scriptures today. Let’s look at Exodus 14:13. Let’s read all together, “Moses answered the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.”
Notice that, brothers and sisters, here the Egyptians are not just people that live in Egypt. There could be circumstances into our lives, there could be things that we believe are handicaps in our lives. And what does the Bible say? It says, “Stand firm and you will see the deliverance today” and that the problems you see today, you will never see again. That’s what the word promises us. When we learn how to have the courage to make a stand, we have and we channel an amazing power.
Let’s look at Islam today. Let’s look at Qu’ran, Al-Baqara, the second surah, 286th verse. Let’s read it together, “Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden greater that we have strength to bear. Blot out our sins, and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. Thou art our protector. Help us against those who stand against faith.” What is this saying? “Stand firm in your faith, give us the strength. Believe that God has given us the strength that we can overcome the burdens in our lives.”
Let’s us look at Buddhism today. This is the Dhammapada 9:121. Let’s read together, “Do not think lightly of evil that not the least consequence will come of it. A whole water pot will fill up from dripping drops of water. A fool fills himself with evil, just a little at a time.” We have to stand strong in our lives, against these kinds of negative thoughts, negative habits, negative directions in our lives. We have to make a stand in our lives to have strength, to move forward into our God given destinies.
Let’s look at True Father’s words today, Blessing and Ideal Family, page 409. Let’s read it together, “You should have a new determination in your heart. You should make a new determination and have your mind and body united. You should be filled with faith. How happy God would be if you became perfected men and women who could receive God’s love.”
You see, in 2009, brothers and sisters, we have to make a stand. We have to say, “You know what? I have enough! I’m not going to take anymore of those obstacles. I’m not going to let them beat me down anymore. I’m not going to let those circumstances control my life. I’m not going to let that person or my co-worker steal my joy anymore. I’m going to make a stand now. I’m going to draw the line in the sand. So now I’m going to move into a greater love, a greater blessing that God is preparing for me.”
In 2Sam 23:11, David was here. He was on the battlefield at Pas Dammim. He was fighting the Philistines at that time. And David here was only with a couple of men and there were hundreds and thousands of Philistines. The army was so great. It was one of the greatest armies at that time, so powerful, so intimidating. They’d scream with a huge shout and all of David’s men would feel fear. But there were the mighty three, the people that stood with David. Those people, Joseb-Basshebeth, Eleazar and Shammah, they stood with David on that day and they’re known as the three mighty men. By making a stand, the Bible says, that 800 plus Philistines of the enemy were defeated by just three of those men. Three of those men took a stand in their faith, they took a stand for the king, they took a stand for God and they were victorious beyond their comprehension, beyond what they could ever imagine.
We have to understand that this principle applies to our lives, too, brothers and sisters. When we make the stand in our lives, when we stand firm in what we believe and who we are in our God given potential, when we don’t let anybody take away our dreams, take away our desires that God has placed in us, take away our potentials, when we stand firm in the confidence that God has given us what we need to overcome every obstacle, every circumstance, every illness, every single situation that may come into our path, then we have to know that with that strength we will go forward and win victoriously. We will stand firm and be victorious just like these three mighty men. And just like they did, if we stand for the king, if we stand for God in our lives, if we are loyal to Him in our life, if we are loyal and obey His commands, if we model ourselves after what He has taught, then the pride and victory of that king showers upon us, then we become more victorious than we could ever possibly imagine.
In the Buddha’s tradition there is the legend of Sudhana. He is the main protagonist in the Avatamsaka Sutra, that is the flower garland sutra, or the Hawaiian garland sutra. In this legend it says that Sudhana was a disfigured boy, totally disabled. He was from India. He was very interested in studying the Dharma or the Buddhist teachings. When he heard there was a great teacher on the rocky island of Putor he quickly journeyed to learn. And as he arrived on that island he managed to find the Bodhisattva Guan Yin, that is the Bodhisattva of compassion in this tradition. Despite his tremendous severe disability, Guan Yin had a discussion with him and she was testing his resolve. She decided, “I’m going to test whether or not he really wishes to learn, wishes to be free, wishes to have the blessing of heaven.”
And so she conjured up the illusion of 3 sword wielding pirates, and these pirates came and attacked this teacher Guan Yin. They started attacking. They came running up the hill and they came to attack her but then the Bodhisattva Guan Yin jumped off the cliff. She jumped off into the ocean and then those illusional pirates also jumped off. When Sudhana saw that, he was so shocked and he said, “My God, my teacher!” So he ran after her. He was disfigured and disabled, so he was calling towards her. And he managed to get up this hill and he actually leaped over the cliff. He leaped over the edge with that kind of desire to want to help, that kind of loyalty to want to help his teacher.
He fell down, plummetting down the cliff but the legend says that the Bodhisattva Guan Yin held him in mid air, brought him down safely to the ground and told him, “Stand up and walk!” And as she said that to him, he immediately stood up and began to walk. He found out
that he could walk normally and that he was no longer crippled.
See, Sudhana stood up against his fear. He stood up against illusions; he stood up to protect his teacher, he stood up for his faith. When Guan Yin asked him to stand and walk, he did so and his walking was proof that he could take a stand against his circumstances, he could take a stand against his fear of heights, he could take a stand against his disability or his disfigurement, he could take a stand against his problems or his opposition, he could take a stand against people that were trying to murder his teacher.
The legend says, that he passed the pond and he looked down and he saw his reflection. What did he notice? He noticed that he had no disfigurement on him. That disfigurement was an illusion. He realized that it was in his heart. He realized that he was controlled by the fear, controlled by the many, many people who had said, “You are disfigured, you can’t do anything. You’re never going to amount to much”. He had started believing that, and he realized that he was never free from those thoughts, free from those curses. But once he realized that through standing firm, standing for something, standing to protect his teacher, standing to be loyal and be a person of integrity, he realized that all these illusions melted away.
Brothers and sisters, it’s the same in our life. We have to know that when we don’t stand up to our fears, our circumstances, our disabilities, when we let those things scare us out of our God given potential, we are like the disfigured Sudhana. But when we believe in ourselves, when we say “Hey! Wait a minute! God has given me a promise to fulfill, He’s given me great dreams and those dreams give me the talents to fulfill them,” then we know we can make a difference and then we are like the wise, the enlightened, the healthy Sudhana that we see in this legend.
You see, right now, brothers and sisters, it’s the same with our church. UC now is making a stand. We’re making a stand; we’re saying, “We’re not going to disappear.” Tell your neighbor, “We’re not going to disappear”, come on, tell your neighbor, “We’re not going to disappear!”(Audience is doing it) There we go!
You see, when we came first to church, when we first came to minister here in Mapo Church, we had a sign on the church. It said, “Culture of Heart Center or Family Movement Center!” But you know what? We realized we have to make a stand, we have to be proud that we are the Unification tradition, we are Unificationists. We’re not just doing a Culture of Heart Center or we’re not just doing a Family Movement Center. We are Unification Movement. We’re Unification tradition, we have a tradition, we are a religious tradition. And we have to have pride in that tradition.
When we were at Mapo Church, two ladies, two guests came in, came into the church because they saw the sign “Family Movement Center” and they thought maybe, “Oh! OK maybe we can learn about how to improve our family life or whatever. This might be a government sponsored organization or whatever.” They came in and found out that it was the Unification Church! And then they immediately left. They left!
Why did they leave? See, by not being upfront about who we were, they felt deceived, that we’re using some kind of ploy to get them into the church. We’re not proud; we’re hiding who we are. We’re not sharing who we are upfront, we’re not saying, “I am from the Unification Church and this is what we believe and I’m proud of it.” We’re not saying that. We’re hiding behind a veil. And so what happened? These people just walked out. They said, “Ooh! I feel deceived. I don’t want to get into this.”
You know, brothers and sisters, we really believe that it is time to resurrect our pride again. It is time to rediscover our faith, it is time to rediscover the tradition, what no other tradition has ever done in the course of humankind. We are the most successful religious tradition while the founder is alive. Give it up for UC. Come on (Applause). Our attitude should be like this, “I respect who I am and I respect my tradition, that’s mine! That’s not anybody else’s, that’s mine! And if you don’t respect it that’s your choice but you don’t bother me because I’m going to keep growing in it. And I’m going to keep putting those roots down and I’m going to keep passing it down to my children.” We have to be proud in who we are, brothers and sisters.
And I see this. I see it’s happening. I see it; I feel it in the churches. I feel it; even the second generation are making a stand. They decide, “Do you know what! Enough is enough. I’m sick and tired of hiding my UC identity! I am tired of being persecuted, having my children be persecuted at school. I’m tired of it! I’m tired of bending the pressure of negative people; I’m tired of it! I don’t want that anymore. I’m going to stand for who I am. I’m going to fight the good fight of faith. I am a Unificationist.”
You see, every week that we are out here, and we’re giving joy and glory to God, what are we saying? We’re saying, “We’re not disappearing.” We’re making a stand every week that we’re out here. When we we are sending those praises up, when we’re singing the glory to God, we’re saying, “UC is here to stay!” Let’s say it to your neighbor, “UC is here to stay!” Tell your neighbor. (Doing it!).
You see, every week when we do that, we’re telling the enemy, “You can’t scare us, you can’t oppress us. You can’t get rid of us. You may want to. You may want to mock us; you may try to laugh at us. You may try to say, we are going to melt away into oblivion, but we’re not going to listen to that. Thank you very much. We’re going to be proud of who we are and we’re joyous. We are happy about who we are.”
And brothers and sisters, when we show that kind of confidence, when we show that kind of power, when we show that kind of strength from the inside, then something happens to people when they see that. People will say, “Hey! Wait a minute, these people have something I don’t. These people have more confidence I ever assumed. Wow! These people! I thought UC was dead. I thought the church was dying.” But what do they see? Now they see the resurrection of the UC! Brothers and sisters, let’s give it up for UC all around the world. Let’s give it up for them. (Applause) Those are our brothers and sisters all around the world.
But so many people may say, “But if I take a stand, people will make fun of me, they’re going to mock me. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be difficult in my life!” Brothers and sisters, don’t ever let insecure people try to scare you out of your destiny, out of your amazing potential. Don’t be a doormat to some insecure person! Your destiny is not to be a doormat so that insecure people can feel confident about themselves. That is not why God put you on this earth. He put you here to do something great. He put you here with those dreams to do something amazing. He put you on this earth to make a difference and that’s we’re going to stand for.
“See, but what if I stand, what if I fall down, if I am going to fail? If I stand up everybody will be able to see me, I’ll be so nervous. I may fall, I may not be able to do what I stood up to do.” But brothers and sisters, just understand this: By the fact of you standing, you are already becoming more victorious than yesterday. By the fact of you just rising and saying, “I’m going to take a stand. I’m no longer going to be a doormat to that co-worker. I’m no longer going to be a doormat to that person who feels insure about himself. I’m not going to be a doormat to that situation anymore. I’m not going to let the enemy laugh at me anymore.”
When we make that kind of stand, brothers and sisters, we’re already becoming stronger, we’re already changing our mentality, we’re taking off that grave clothes and putting on the victory cloth. And we’re saying, ” You know what? In this year 2009, in all my life, I’m going to see God’s blessings today and forever. I will walk through the shadows of th
e valley of death with confidence but I will see my promise because God said that He would fulfill them for me.” When we have that kind of confidence then we move forward with strength and victory. That is inspiring, brothers and sisters!
Think about it, in True Father’s life, when you look at his life we can see him taking a stand for what he believes. All the time he stands up for what he believes. He takes a stand even in the midst of tremendous opposition. When True Father was imprisoned in the North Korean communist camp, he took a stand for God. He said, “You may not believe in God. You may be a country that defies God saying, ‘He doesn’t exist, He’s unnecessary, religion is useless, it’s a poison.’ You may be those kinds of people but I’m going to fight for God. I’m going to fight for religious freedom.” He took that stand. He was imprisoned in that kind of communist nation but he took that stand at the cost of his life.
When he was left for dead, when he was blooded and beaten, thrown naked unto the snow after torture, he took a stand for God, never giving up, never giving in to evil, never giving in so that the enemy can win. When he was thrown into Heungnam concentration camp, he was in despair, total misery but he took a stand. He took a stand for compassion, he shared his food with his inmates, he gave them compassion when they had no hope. He raised away their despair and gave them something to live for, a purpose that they were able to connect to.
When he was unfairly thrown in Danbury prison, he took a stand for religious freedom. Did you know that when Father was in Danbury prison, every day he volunteered to clean the toilet and the urinals? He volunteered to be the best prisoner on the block. “I was persecuted and I was put into prison but I’m going to stand up for religious freedom. Even though I was unjustly persecuted, I’m going to go to the lowest area. I’m going to clean the urinals; I’m going to be the best prisoner.” What happened? Those guards, they ended up respecting him. They ended up saying, “You know, that Rev. Moon is a real deal. He’s no fake.”
When the 11 ton helicopter fell from the sky in 2008, when it was incinerated in the ashes and exploded in the fire inferno, what did Father do with all those 11 passengers, including my 2 kids? What did they do? They stood up. They stood up from the ashes. They were resurrected! Brothers and sisters, let’s give it up for God and True Parents! They did the real resurrection. (Applauding).
See, we’re talking about that today. We’re talking about making a stand in our life. We’re talking about believing in something, connecting ourselves to a larger purpose. We’re talking about being confident in our life. We’re talking about being proud of who God made us to be.
Brothers and sisters, in 2009 let’s know that we will have to make a stand at points. There will be times when there will be obstacles. There will be archangels that come in your path, tell you you can’t do it, tell you it’s only going to get worse, tell you you’re going to fail even more, tell you you’re not going to be able to achieve that goal, you’re too idealistic, you’re totally unrealistic, you are not thinking realistically, etc. You’re going to hear all these kinds of things. You’ll going to have opposition. You’re going to have circumstances in your life that are going to try to convince you that you’re not going to make it, that you’re not going to be able to reach God’s promise.
But let us know that we have to make a stand in our lives. When the fears try to come and try to steal our joy, we have to make a stand, saying, “You know what? In 2009 I’m not going to let you steal my joy. You stole my joy too many times last year. I will not let you steal my joy this time. 2009 is going to be victory for me, victory for my family, victory for my community, victory for my church.” See, we’ve got to be like this.
“But the economy may get worse, our situation may get bad!” You turn on KBS, turn on CNN, it’s all gloom and doom, despair and misery. “It’s going to be worse and worse.” Brothers and sisters, if you keep listening to that, you will start believing every single ounce of it.
Brothers and sisters, you’ve got to have strength in yourself. You’ve got to say, “You know what? Even though that may be the case I’m still going to praise God through this season. I know that this may be a cold winter but I know that spring is around the corner. I’m going to keep believing, set my eyes on faith, set my eyes on the blooming of spring, set my eyes on the beautiful flowers that are going to come in that beautiful garden and I’m going to move through this winter with faith. I’m going to move through this winter with strength. I’m going to make a stand for myself and my family.”
Brothers and sisters, we’ve got to have that kind of strength. When we may be tempted to fall into fear of failure, fear of destruction, fear of other people, when other people try to get you down, we have to make a stand this year, brothers and sisters. God is on our side. And I heard it like this, “When God is on your side, you are the majority.” Brothers and sisters, let’s tell the person next to you, “God is on my side.” Tell that person! Let’s proclaim it! (All say it)
See, brothers and sisters, let’s realize that we may be mocked, we maybe taunted, “These Unificationists, they are crazy, they’re trying to go to the world stage. They think that with their little religion they’re trying to go to the world stage, trying to create a World Temple. They’re trying to get world attention.” You know, when we hear things like that we’ve got to say, “I’m making a stand! In 2009 I’m making a stand!”
We’re proud of who we are. We have a great tradition. We’re the most successful religion in all of history while the founder is alive. There is no religion that has succeeded this much and we are proud of who we are. We’re not going to be proud one thousand years later when everything’s good. We’re proud of who we are despite the opposition. We’re proud of who we are despite of our circumstance. We’re proud of who we are despite of where we are at this time in history. But we know that it’s going to get better. We know we’re going to have victory. We know we’re going to have illumination, we know we’re going to have peace. Hallelujah! Oh my God! Oh my goodness!!! (Applause) We know we’re not going to disappear. Tell your neighbor, “I’m not disappearing!” Tell your neighbor, “I’m not going to disappear!” (They do) Oh my goodness!
Brothers and sisters, let’s remember, when the enemy tries to scare you this year, when he tries to bring out the worst in you, when he tries to make you doubt your family, doubt your children, doubt your circumstances, doubt your finances, you tell him, “No, no, no honey! Not this year! 2009 I’m going to be victorious. 2009 I’m going to bring greater glory to God!”
If you accept this message, let’s give it up for God and True Parents, brothers and sisters. (Applause) If we live like that we will find ourselves with more victory, more illumination and more peace and we will live that blessed life, being a greater blessing to this world.
Transcribed by: Nina Rosario
Edited by: Rev. Bruno Klotz