Blessed Integrity

March 7th, 2009, HQ Church, Seoul Korea

In order to live the blessed life, living with integrity and living to be who you say you are is not only an important thing, it is essential to the blessed life. In our lives there are many chances to compromise our integrity for a short term gain or a short term benefit. But if we truly are to live the blessed life and inherit the true love of God, then keeping our integrity is our greatest long term asset. Shortening the gap between who we are and who we show the world we are is one of the keys to living a truly honest and blessed life.

Welcome Remarks:

Yeon Ah Nim’:

Good afternoon, brothers and sisters, it is really great to be back at church where we can pray and worship together to our Heavenly Father, together with all of you. We are always feeling great joy to have all of you here in this sanctuary. And for those of you who are joining us through the Internet, we also want to welcome you as well. Welcome brothers, and welcome sisters.

Hyung Jin Nim:

Welcome brothers and sisters, it’s good to be back. Last week True Parents asked us at the very last moment – actually we were on our way to church – to come to Seokcho. And so, we went up and had a couple of days of Divine Principle lecture, and now we are back.

And we are going to start with Cheon Seong Gyeong today. We are going to start with page 573: “Who is to be the owner in your home? One who lives one’s entire life for the sake of the whole family will be the central figure representing God and the parents. One who has a hundred friends and lives for their sake during one’s lifetime will earn the respect of those hundred people, and will be their center. So any owner who lives for the sake of others will be the eternal owner.”

One of the really great and profound things of this statement is that when we think about who really the center of our home is, we can really find that (the answer) in Father’s words: It is the person that is truly giving and that is embodying the heart of true love. The person that truly lives for the sake of that family naturally becomes the center of that home, naturally becomes the center of that friendship, etc.

In our lives, too, it’s so important that we understand that it doesn’t come based on authority or position. It comes based on how we behave, how we act, and through that action we become the center.

Brothers and sisters, it’s so important that whenever we start service we remember the beauty and the value of each and every one of us. It’s so important that we start seeing ourselves in the light of God’s eyes. God is believing and seeing ourselves as we would be if we truly reach our potential to be an awesome person as God has designed. When we start doing that (seeing ourselves from God’s viewpoint), then we start filling ourselves with hope and start moving in the right direction towards that purpose and design.

Brothers and sisters, once again welcome to service. It’s always important that during service we will return joy and glory to God and inherit His True Love so that we will be able to spread goodness and blessings. Brothers and sisters, let’s do that today. Once again, welcome to the service.

Yeon Ah Nim’s Message:

As my husband mentioned that last week we were at Seokcho where True Father was giving the original Divine Principle lecture. True Father ordered all the True Family members and all the top leaders to attend this workshop. And at the last Saturday right before we were about to go to Seoul to have a service, he asked us to stay and attend the workshop. So if you might have wondered where we were last service, we were at Seokcho. Thank you for understanding.

The workshop was really great and once again I realized how deep the Divine Principle is. And I’m truly grateful for True Parents by letting us have this wonderful time. When I think about it, I was born into this movement and I heard and learned the Divine Principle. I felt that I know the Divine Principle. But actually I did not know as much as I thought I know. I realized that I did not really make Divine Principle my own. In the end we all have five percent of responsibility that we have to fulfill, and nobody can really do this for us. So we have to really build our own merit and we really have to take ownership to become such a really great member, great filial pity sons and daughters to Heavenly Father and True Parents.

Brothers and sisters, today like everyday it’s the day that we have to make a fresh new start, so let’s do our best. Aju!

Meditation:

Brothers and sisters, we always begin with unifying our mind, body and breath; let’s take a little time for our mind and body. Let’s begin with our body. Hand down towards the earth, bring in the Universal Prime Energy through the soles of our feet, towards our heart, as we breathe out, let’s reach our hands towards the Heavens, and stretch our faith today, and let’s receive what God wants to give to us today. He wants to give us new peace, new hope. He wants to give us a new spirit today. Breathing in, as we pass our beating hearts, breathing out, down towards the earth. Let’s breathe in that Universal Prime Energy, the earth’s energy, breathing in, towards our heart, and let’s go towards Heaven now, hands, stretch them, stretch our faith. Let’s receive God’s love today, His compassion, His wisdom, His insight; breathing in, and as we pass our beating hearts, let’s breathe out.

I invite you now to be seated, and let’s sit up at the front of our pews. Let us keep our backs straight, so that we enter into our first visualization and mediation practice.

Let us close our eyes and now visualize, not this sanctuary, but a beautiful field that we are walking in. It’s noontime, and the sun is up, the sky is blue, beautiful cotton clouds floating through the sky. We can notice in the middle of the field a beautiful cherry blossom tree. Let’s walk to that tree. Let’s feel the spring breeze, the fragrance of the beautiful violets, and the roses, and the beautiful flowers. And I invite you to pay attention to the trunk of that tree. Really notice that it’s very large, almost 5 meters in diameter, very large, a very thick trunk. It reaches towards the sky. As we look up towards the sky, we can see its beautiful branches stretching out in all directions. We can see the beautiful, fluffy cherry blossoms, in their brilliant pinks. We can see that beautiful pink color of the blossoms contrasting with the beautiful blue azure sky. As we notice the beauty of this place, and as the spring breeze blows, we will see the beautiful petals, the soft petals of the cherry blossoms gently snow upon the earth.

Let us see that beautiful scene, and gently close our eyes in the image as well, breathing in new life, and in our hearts let us say, “I am alive.” As we breathe out, in our hearts, let us say, “Thank You.” Once again, as we breathe in new life, “I am alive,” and as we breathe out deeply, in our hearts, let us say, “Thank You.” As you breathe in a new season of hope in our life, breathing in, “I am alive,” as you breathe out, in our hearts, let us simply say, “Thank You.”

Let us always remember that the seasons are changing, and now we are experiencing the change of season. It is now our time, our season for the new spring. It is the new spring in our life. Let us be bold and confident in meeting that new spring. Let us also be compassionate and humble while meeting that new spring, and new era. Let us realize that always God and True Parents are with us. That they are wishing for us to truly live out the blessed life that we are blessed to live, that entails inheriting the true nature of God and being that great blessing that we are destined to be to the entire world.

Let’s gather our hearts in prayer.

Opening Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You so much for this day that You have blessed upon us. Lord, we are so thankful that we can be in Your presence today, that we can be basking in Your warmth, Your heart. Father, we thank You, and we lift our hands up to You. We want to glorify You, and give You praise today, Father. We want to encourage You and give You hope, Father. Father, please look down upon us and smile. Father, be happy, be glad this day.We are grateful to be alive today, and Father, we know our lives are filled with incredible potential. Father, we pray that we may actualize our potential this year, 2009, and that in this year we will come to higher levels of victory, higher levels of illumination, and higher levels of peace, and, Father, that we will truly inherit Your level of true love, and be that great blessing that You have destined us to be.

Thank You so much. We pray this together, all together, with all blessed families here and around the world joining us, in our own names, as blessed family members, Aju.

Interesting Story (Hyung Jin Nim):

I heard a story about an archeologist, and he was digging in the Negev desert in Israel, and he came upon a casket containing a mummy; a very rare occurrence in Israel. And after examining it, he called Abe, the curator of the Israeli museum in Jerusalem, and he said, “Abe, do you know what, I’ve just discovered a 3,000 year old mummy of a man who died by a heart attack. The excited scientist told him that. And Abe said, “Well, I don’t know about that. Bring him in, and we’ll check it out.” A week later, the amazed curator called the archeologist [and said], “I don’t know how you did it, you are absolutely right about both, the mummy’s age, and the cause of death. How in the world did you know that this guy died by a heart attack?” The archeologist said, “Oh that was easy. There was a piece of paper in his hand that said, ‘I bet $10,000 on Goliath.’”

True Parents’ Declaration:

These are my True Parents, the eternal Kind and Queen of Peace, and Liberator of God’s heart. They have saved me from my past; they have blessed my future; and they give me true love, forgiveness and happiness today, and I choose to receive it. My mind is awake, my heart is opened wide, and from this moment, I change forever. In my name, Aju.

Main Sermon:

Thank you, please be seated. I bet on David, by the way. Brothers and sisters, today we’d like to talk to you about Blessed Integrity.

In order to live the blessed life, living with integrity and living to be who you say you are is not only an important thing, it is essential to the blessed life. In our lives there are many chances to compromise our integrity for a short term gain or a short term benefit. But if we truly are to live the blessed life and inherit the true love of God, then keeping our integrity is our greatest long term asset. Shortening the gap between who we are and who we show the world we are is one of the keys to living a truly honest and blessed life.

Let’s take a look at some of these world scriptures today.

Let’s look at Christianity, Ephesians 4:25:

“Putting away falsehood, let everyone speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.”

Let’s take a look at Buddhism today, Dhammapada 408: “He who utters instructive true words, him I call a Brahman.” Here that means like a saint.

Confucianism, let’s look at the Analects, 1:4. Master Tseng said, “Everyday I examine myself [with the question], ‘Have I always been true to my word? ‘ ”

And let’s look at Islam today, Quran 16:91: “Fulfill the covenant of God once you have pledged it, and do not break any oaths once they have been sworn to.” Again, we see the importance of living a life of honesty, keeping our promises, etc.

Let’s look at True Father’s words today. Let’s read them together: “You must be honest. If you are hiding things inside and are not straightforward then you cannot develop. But an honest person will make progress. This is because the Universe will back that person up. Wherever he goes, the Universe will support him. Regardless of East or West, past, present or future, to someone who is honest, everyone will become friends.”

In the 1980s researchers at Cleveland State University discovered something very interesting about honesty. They conducted an experiment by creating two fictitious job candidates, David and John. The candidates were identical. They had identical resumes, and the letters of reference were the same. The only difference was that John’s letter included this sentence, “Sometimes I can be difficult to get along with.” That was in John’s resume.

They showed the resumes to a number of personnel directors. And which candidate did the personnel directors overwhelmingly prefer? They chose overwhelmingly, the “difficult to get along with” John. Researchers concluded that the objective and honest criticism of himself made his words even more believable and honest. He was the one that was chosen over the other guy who never said anything honest or negative about himself.

Another researcher at Stanford University, named Jim Collins, wrote a best selling book, From Good to Great; and he researched with a team one of the top organizations of the world. And he found in researching these organizations and their leaders that it is actually more important to “get the right people on the bus, before you want to know where to take the bus.”

Usually many people will do the opposite. They will want to first of all put out their direction and their goal of where the bus will go, and then gather the people who will be required to fulfill that task. But he said that all the top organizations in the world did it the opposite way.

When people are on the bus because of where it is going, then if you suddenly have to change direction 7 or 10 miles down the road, they will leave your bus. But when they are on the bus because of who is on the bus, then, even though there’s a change in plan or direction, the team still stays alive. And the team is self-motivated to help each other succeed.

Being honest and having integrity is one of the most important keys for having capable and talented people willing to work with you. When people respect and believe in you, they are “on the bus”, not necessarily because where it is going, but because YOU are there, because of your integrity, because it motivates them to become better people. Then these people are not only those people who like being with you when times are good there on the mountain top, but they stick with you through the down times when you are walking through the valley. They are people who not only like to enjoy the feast with you. They are also willing to burden your burdens (to shoulder your burdens) and help you reach your victory.

In the Biblical tradition we see the story of Daniel in the 3rd year of King Jahoiakim, [when] King Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon, came into Jerusalem because he had an overwhelming desire to grow his Babylonian Kingdom. He destroyed Jerusalem and he took it over, and he ordered his chief official, Asphanas, to gather the best and the brightest of the Jews to be taught the language, the literature, and the ways of Babylon. They were to be given a seat at the King’s table. And after 3 years, they were to enter into serving the King. And Daniel was one of those chosen individuals.

One day the King had a dream of a huge tree; and that tree grew and grew, and it bore roots and it was spreading all over world. But then in the dream, an angel came and told that the tree needed to be cut down, and the fruits needed to be scattered across the world. Then one man was condemned to live in the forest as an animal and a beast for 7 years, “so that all may know of God.”

The King who knew that Daniel could read and interpret dreams well, asked him about this dream. At the danger of his life Daniel said to the King, “You are the mightiest King, but you are nothing compared to God.”

He explained that the tree was the kingdom of Babylon, growing and spreading, but that it will be put to an end, just like all kingdoms come to an end. “For 7 years you will live as a beast, and until you accept that God is mightier than you and you serve him, you will live as a beast.”

A year went by, and nothing happened. Then suddenly on one morning the King literally went insane. He went crazy. He ran out into the forest living like an animal, his hair growing out like eagle feathers, and his nails were like bird claws, and he “ate grass like a cow.”

7 years passed, and finally he accepted God, and he realized that Daniel was right. You see, Daniel’s faithfulness and his integrity, even though he could have been killed, is what changed the King. You see, sticking to what he believed, being proud of it, and not cowering because of pressure, is what Daniel did.

At one point, he was even thrown into a lion’s den, because of that confidence; but God delivered (protected) him at that time. And as Unificationists we should also be proud of who we are, and our tradition and make sure that we are the kind of people that are trying to shorten the gap between who we say we are and who we really are.

Of course there are no perfect people, but we should make sure that we are trying to concentrate on shortening that gap. The smaller the gap, the more real and honest we will be, and that is attractive. People want to be around real and honest people, around good people who have integrity, who have that kind of honest goodness.

When it was Father’s 90th birthday, this last time around, we were in Korea, we did Father’s banquet, the second one in Chungpyung Hall. And there was a massive room, filled with many VIPs that have been at many of our events. And Kook Jin Nim thought about it, he reflected, “What would Father truly enjoy the most on his 90th birthday?”

And he told the VIPs, “Many of you have attended our banquets, you have eaten from our tables and shared your stories, you have enjoyed our celebration, but a real family member not only enjoys the good times together, but they also share each other’s burdens and responsibilities. That is the determining factor between who is a real family member and who is in it for the benefits and for the ride.”

And he challenged them on that day. He looked at them and said, “Be real family members this day, make that decision, believe in True Parents, invest in the Unification Church family; that would be the greatest gift to True Parents on their 90th birthday.”

Let’s give it up for God and True Parents.

You know, we were in Seokcho this time. Father called us in and we stayed for a couple of days, spending time with Parents, and also participating in the Original Divine Principle lectures, and Father was having a very strenuous schedule, sometimes speaking for 10 hours a day. On Monday he spoke for 10 hours, 5 hours in the morning, and then again 5 hours at night, until 1:00 at night. That was very exciting, until 1:00am!

And as we waited, I thought about the many decisions that Father is juggling in his mind, big decisions. But as we were waiting and participating in these things, I thought about the Hoonsanims, those people who have graduated from ministry and are on a monastic, professional religious path. And they are giving Cheong Song here at the church, everyday, 10 hours a day, training, training, from 10:30 in the morning all the way until night time.

And I felt so grateful when I was there at Seokcho. My spirit was down sometimes, as it was heavy at times. But we felt so grateful that somebody was at the church, somebody was training and praying, somebody was paying devotion and accumulating merit for True Parents at this very difficult time.

I returned on Tuesday, and on Wednesday at our 10:00 am training session we did Danbury training, and that’s where we experienced what Father did everyday while he was unjustly incarcerated at Danbury Prison. He cleaned the toilets and the urinals of the criminals every single day. While we were there in the men’s room – check it out, it is very clean – while we were scrubbing the urinals in the men’s room, suddenly a man walks and barges in on us. He had these baggy army clothes on, and this long, straggly beard, and he had a pony tail, and I looked at him. At first I was kind of shocked, I didn’t know who he was, and I looked at him [and realized] I had met this man, just a couple of months ago, and he was actually a famous potter in Korea. Our Bohaejangnim, our vice president here, introduced me to him a couple of months ago, and (now) he was so shocked. He saw the Hoonsanims and myself with our pink rubber gloves up to here, scrubbing the urinals, and said, “You are the Unification International President, what are you doing scrubbing those urinals?”

I told him, “How did you come by, I didn’t know you were here.” I told him “We’re just doing Danbury Training right now. It’s not spring cleaning, don’t be mistaken, it is Danbury training. We are doing a spiritual monastery training. We are trying to cultivate like Father the servant of servant’s heart. We’re far from it but we’re trying it all the time, that’s how we training.”

Every morning when I meet the Hoonsanims at the base of the mountain 2:30 in the morning, they inspire me so much. When I look at them they’re inspired, they’re training so hard, really trying to train themselves to be who they are. They wrap up their winter clothes, freezing today. They’re freezing, they’re smiling, they’re in the 60’s, remember? They are in the 60’s and sent to the mountain to offer the training, to pray for the Unification Movement, God and True Parents. And then also they do the Danbury training.

Sometimes I feel terrible because they’re 60 years old men, and some women are training as well. They’re scrubbing the toilet and the urinals. I see them training, and they inspire me. They really encourage me to remind us that we’re not alone, that these people are the people that we are constantly training, trying to be better and better.

And sometimes I feel so inspired by their willingness, to endure this kind of hardship, this seemingly debasing training, really humbling training. It gives me so much energy to move on. It really encourages me and challenges me to be the best as can be.

The next day I came to Kook Hyung and I told him,” Kook Hyung, you know what? We’re doing Danbury training nowadays and its really great. It’s getting cleaner everyday and we’re doing that in our 10 o’clock training slot.” And I said, “Kook Hyung, I’ll give you a little background. When I was in high school I was a terrible student and I used to blame the teachers for not liking me, ‘ The teachers don’t like me and they religiously discriminate and that’s why I’m always getting D’s.’ And you would tell me (at that time), ‘ No, no, you’re not honest with yourself. Your papers stink, and that’s why you’re getting D’s. If you keep this up all you’re going to be janitor. ‘ ” He said that with a loving heart. And now I told him about the Danbury training and I said, “Kook Hyung, you know what? I have graduated from Harvard, I may be the International President but I am a janitor as well.” Brothers and sisters, give it up for God and True Parents!

Brothers and sisters, what can we learn today? In order to live the blessed life, living with integrity is not only important, it’s absolutely necessary. Neither people nor God will ever want to help those who just talk to talk. They have a word for that. It is called a fraud. There are no perfect people in the world of course, but living to shorten the gap between who we say we are and who we are is an essential practice. Living with honesty, keeping your word, practicing relentlessly to live by the principle of goodness, this is integrity.

And as we’re going now into the growth stage of Cheon Buk Goong in a few months, this integrity is going to be essential for us as a community, especially for those in ministerial, monastic and church affiliated positions. As we move and progress and now get to the national stage where the nation is now going to look upon us, if we live this kind of victory, this kind of integrity and we are truly trained, keep training, keep becoming better and better each and everyday, I do believe we will find ourselves with more victory, more Illumination and more Peace and will live that blessed life and inherit the True Love of God. Let’s give it up for God and True Parents.

Final Prayer:

Heavenly Father thank You for this day that You have created just for us, Father. Father we thank You that You have given us this time here in this sanctuary. Father, we thank You that You fresh our mind. Father, you gave us the time to reflect about ourselves, to look back into ourselves, to cultivate our strength and illuminate the weaknesses that we may see. Father, we pray that You may give us that kind of wisdom and insight today. Father, we pray that You may give us that kind of strength and confidence today. Father, we pray that as we leave this sanctuary that we may go forward into that world with more hope, Father, and with a stronger spirit, Father, with overcoming power knowing that in 2009 we can overcome the challenges that are in front of us, and that we will become stronger and better because of that. Father, we thank You in advance for all the victories that You are preparing for us, and we truly wish and desire that we may come into those blessings. Thank You, Father, for preparing so many things and, Father, we pray that today we may truly see our honesty and integrity as our most precious assets that we may guard and, Father, cultivate so that truly we can bridge the gap between what we say who we are and who we really are. Father, let us always work on that, become better and better each day, just little bit is fine. But, Father, we pray that each day we will have more victory, more illumination and more peace and live that blessed life inheriting Your true love and being that blessed. Thank You so much. We pray all these things in gratitude and in everlasting love in our own names as blessed true family together here as one family, AJU!

Transcribed by:Annie (Mary) Hapeman

Edited by: REv. Bruno Klotz

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