The Words of the Thompson Family

Lovin' Life Sermon Notes, February 19, 2012

Kevin Thompson

1. Good morning! Take a seat; you're taking up my time here.

2. It's great to be at Lovin' Life! And for those who asked me, there are no teleprompters – In Jin Nim speaks without notes. As for me I've got lots of notes. You don't want me up here with no notes. You don't know what would happen.

3. I will start with a Bible reading, is that okay? The parable of the lost sheep, Matthew 18 - "If a man owns 100 sheep and one of them wanders off, will he not leave the 99 and go look for the one who wandered off? And if he finds it I tell you the truth, he is happier for that one sheep than for the 99 who did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost."

4. You may have heard the story about the farmer who had a Japanese laborer? They were out in the field and the farmer said, Hiro (that was his name) I need some supplies. Go get me some supplies. And Hiro said, "What?" "I need some supplies. I can't keep working without any supplies. Go get me some supplies." So Hiro takes off down the road and is gone for 30 minutes, 40 minutes, 50 minutes – finally the farmer says, "I've got to go look for this guy!" And so he starts walking down the street, down the lane, and he comes to the first tree – and Hiro jumps out from behind the tree and shouts, "suplise!" This is how I feel today – suplise! I'm here.

5. And so I'm back here at the Manhattan Center, the world famous place where … I met Sting here. Do you know who Sting is? Sting is a singer from my hometown. I met him right here and we talked about all the hometown stuff. We talked about different places and especially we talked about our team – from the hometown. You know, I'm talking about true football. Actually I'm not really from the city of Newcastle, where Sting is from. I'm from a little town outside, called Jarrow.

Saint Bede

6. I know many of you gasp, "He's from Jarrow." Many people wish they were from Jarrow. Some people even lie about it, but I am from Jarrow. I really am. Jarrow is famous for one thing, it's the home of St. Bede. How many of you have heard of St. Bede? The rest of you need to sign up to go to UTS and find out who St Bede is. St Bede is the only English born saint, and he comes from my hometown.

7. I grew up in a totally nonreligious family. I never, ever went to church. Not once, before I met the Unification Church. But my next door neighbor, her name was Mrs. Rogers. I know in America you have Mr. Rogers. We had Mrs. Rogers. I don't know her first name, but Mrs. Rogers, she went to church every single morning at 6 AM. She was a fanatic. When I was 10 years old she told me, "Kevee (because that's what they called me) I'm praying for you." And I thought, "What a waste of time." And she kept telling me through the years, "Kevee, I'm praying for you."

8. So I can't imagine how frustrated she was when I grew up to be an atheistic communist. And I thought, "Prayers don't work, obviously." I was a communist. I left my home in England. I went to Nicaragua in 1979 because there was a communist revolution going on. And I thought that's the place to be. And so I went to the communist revolution and I found out that it was awful. It was a big disappointment.

9. And I was wondering what to do next. I left Nicaragua and I went to San Diego and there I met my spiritual father, Walter Frank. I joined the Unification Church. After I was in the church for about three or four months I went to a Christian church – and there was this spiritual lady there and she came up to me out of the blue and she said, "Saint Bede is with you." And three or four times since then spiritual people have come to me and said, "St. Bede is with you." Personally, I am physically open. And so, I take their word for it.

10. The message of this is – parents, never stop praying for your children. I'm here because of the prayers of Mrs. Rogers. I don't have any merit personally, but actually she prayed in the church of St. Bede every morning. Not the old church – the new one, the one that was built in 791. She's praying in the church of St. Bede for me every day, a nonbeliever -- and then people are telling me St. Bede is with me.

11. And so, I am telling you parents, I don't care how far your children are wandering, I don't care how hopeless it looks – do not stop praying for your children. And I have a message for you kids out there – you might as well give up now. If you've got somebody praying for you, it's a lost cause. You might as well give up. And I don't care if you don't believe in God. Because, it doesn't matter – God believes in you.

12. My family was totally, utterly shocked when I joined a church. It didn't matter Unification Church, any church. That I joined a church was shocking. That was a big shock. The second one was, that I would marry somebody who was not from Jarrow. My brothers and sisters married somebody from our neighborhood. I married somebody from Japan. You can't get further away from Jarrow than Japan. One time when I went home to visit, my sister said her daughter (my niece) had just bought a house and this house was over 200 years old. But my niece didn't want to move into the house because she said it was haunted. And she said, "You're a minister aren't you? Can you do an exorcism?" Well, I said, "I could holy salt the place."

13. So, I made some holy salt, and the next morning I drive to this house, and I'm expecting my sister and my niece and maybe one or two other people – and there were over 30 people there. People had taken the day off work to see the exorcism. "Oh my God, what am I going to do?!" So, "God, it's all in your hands." And I don't know what's going to happen. And so I lined them up, north, south, east, and west – and I've got my holy salt and I am holy salting the place, and they're following me around the room – and they're looking for something! I gathered them back and we made two big circles and then I started to pray.

14. And I started to pray and I got the inspiration I should say Kajung Mengsae, Family Pledge, our creed. So I started saying kajung Mengsae, uri kajung un cham sarang – the only problem is, I don't remember it. I say it every morning, but I can't remember it. And so I started saying Korean words, kimchi, Kochi Chang. And then I started saying Japanese words – kurusa, nado kohan. I could say anything. And they were astonished. They thought I was speaking in tongues. And I concluded the prayer with, "all the spirits in here get out, in the name of True Parents." And you know what all the people did. They did just what you did, they clapped. I am a legend in my hometown.

15. I am the most unreligious person I know, and I'm a pastor. And, I joined not just any church, I joined the church of the living True Parents. True Parents get called many wonderful names – Messiah, Peacemaker, King of peace – lots of names. But for us they are the True Parents. And this is the way I deal with that – true, I think, is not the right word. It's original. They are the original parents. So I always translate it in my mind, Original Parents. Jesus was the true son of God, the Original Son of God. True Parents are the Original Parents of God. True love is original love, God's love. True football is original football.

16. And what I found out about these True Parents is – they are motivated by one thing. They are motivated to liberate God. That is what keeps them going, and over 90 years old. It's not fame and fortune. It's one thing, liberation of God. That's right! And many times in my ignorance I questioned in my mind what they are doing. Why are they doing it like that? I wouldn't do it like that? But I never question what is the motivation. The motivation is always clear. True Parents are coming to liberate God. And that's what they are all about.

17. They are not too concerned about my comfort. They are concerned about God's comfort. Because if God is comfortable, if God is in his right place, we will all be in good shape. In fact, my limited experience with True Parents is that they sometimes make me uncomfortable. Anybody experience that?

18. One time Father came on a speaking tour to California and we had a nice little event. We had some dignitaries there – like the assistant of the assistant of the mayor. We called it more than it really was. And we had some ministers and we had a nice event and True Parents seemed happy. And after the event we were going back to the hotel room. I got into the elevator and I'm thinking to myself, "that was pretty good." And maybe Father might say, "good job. You did a good job." I'm thinking like that. Bad thoughts. Not good. And so I'm standing in the back of the elevator, feeling pretty good about myself. And Father turns to me and he says, "how is the governor?" And I said, "What?" And Peter Kim said, "Father wants to know how the governor of California is." And I said, "Arnold Schwarzenegger?! He is fine." And father said, "don't you know you should meet the governor every week and give him spiritual guidance. You are Abel and he is Cain." The elevator doors opened up, Father walked out, and I'm standing at the back like this (shocked). And I realized what father was saying was, the governor should be here. The top people of California should be here to greet him. Not the assistant of the assistant of the assistant of something-or-other. So father put me in my place in a very nice way that I never forgot. And that's how father is.

19. It's difficult for us all to understand Father, even if you speak Korean it's still difficult to understand Father. Is it not? It's difficult to understand heavenly ways and heavenly language.

20. If you want to learn the language – let's suppose you are Japanese and you want to learn English. What's the best way to learn that language? From a native speaker, somebody who speaks the language, somebody for whom it's their native tongue. You can learn the mechanics of the language from somebody else. Many years ago in Japan I heard they had many people teaching English who were not English speakers. Do you remember this? They can teach you where the verbs go and adjectives and commas and all that good stuff, the mechanics, but they cannot teach you the preciseness of the language. They cannot teach you the idioms and the jokes and the deep heart of any language. You need a native speaker. Right?

21. Only a native speaker can teach us the heart and language of our True Parents. Right? So the native speaker that we have is our Senior Pastor. It's her native language. I'm not talking about Korean. It's her mother tongue. It's what she grew up with. Her mother tongue means that tongue you learn from your mother. She learned it from her parents. So she can teach as not just what they said but what they mean. And she can teach as the deep heart behind who the True Parents are. So if you're going to learn the language you're going to need that native speaker. That's the preciousness of having a true child who has the same DNA and can give us the native language – that's the preciousness for us.

22. So don't resist. We should not resist this native speaker. You know what it's like when somebody resists you? It's very difficult. Many years ago when I was on MFT I had nine Japanese sisters on my team. I'd be driving the van and they would go, "Kaptane, Kaptane, Maketdelnados." It means they want to go to McDonald's.

23. I was fund-raising in the deep South of America and people would ask me, "oh, are you just learning English?" This is the place where they say, "(with a southern accent) you-aaalll, French fryyyy, aaaapple piiiiiie." This one lady, she brought me into her house with a bunch of ladies there and she said, "This young man is in America learning English." I said, "Lady, I speak the Queen's English!" That's how it must be for In Jin Nim sometimes, when people try to tell her what True Parents are about. It's ridiculous. I speak the Queen's English. In Jin Nim speaks the King and Queen's English. Not English, sorry.

24. I learned little snippets of heart from working with our Senior Pastor for a while, when I was here. A couple of examples. I wrote down 31 examples last night. So we could be here all day. No, I will give you two examples.

Sun Myung Moon and Hyung Jin Moon January 24, 2012

25. One is – remember when Father's 90th birthday happened here in this building a couple years ago. At that time we were bringing lots of people, guests, dignitaries, and a lot of people were coming, and In Jin Nim said to the staff, "what are we going to feed all the members?" And you know what the staff said? "They're only members. We don't need to feed the members. We've never done that before." And she said, "That's ridiculous. That's wrong. People are coming from a long distance early in the morning – we have to feed everybody." And I realized that's different than anything I've heard before. Before it was, "The members will find something to eat. We'll take care of the dignitaries." But In Jin Nim wanted us to have the heart to embrace everybody who came. It didn't matter. Members, guests, dignitaries – it didn't matter. She had the heart to embrace everybody.

26. And secondly, she had the heart like that, toward second-generation. No matter what they had done, no matter where they'd been – her heart was, "let's embrace everybody." She told me one day, "Our church has so many rules and regulations, it's almost like we're trying to keep people out, instead of bringing people in." For me these were different viewpoints, different ways of looking at things. This is the language of the heart. This is different.

In Jin Moon November 6, 2011

27. And I also saw In Jin Nim's desire to follow in her father's footsteps. When Father came to America in 1971 there was a movement here, but it was kind of fractured. There was an East Coast and West Coast, mostly. And never the two shall meet. And there were about 300 members when Father arrived in December of 1971. In the next three years Father pulled together a national movement. He pulled together people from all these different centers and he started a speaking tour and he went all over the country and by the end of the three-year period of '71 to '74 we emerged with a national movement. That's what Father did. And not only that, we grew as a church from 300 people to 3000 people, in that period.

28. So what I've seen In Jin Nim do over the last couple of years – she is pulling us together as a national church. North, East, West, South, you're doing that, you're doing this – (now) we are all one church doing the same thing. And when we really get that together we will explode with growth. We will just boom, because it's irresistible.

29. One of the first lessons I learned in the church is, "unity's the key for victory." Right? So, In Jin Nim is pulling together a national movement that will indeed shake this nation just as Father did in the early 70s. So let's all get on board.

30. Do you think Father sometimes gets frustrated with us when we don't understand what he's doing. I think so. I think Jesus also got frustrated. In the parable that I read this morning, the parable of the lost sheep, you know the disciples were sitting around asking each other, "Where are you going to sit in the Kingdom of Heaven? Who will sit here and who will sit there?" And so Jesus began to tell a few parables. Parables are stories, illustrations of a point. So Jesus told some stories and one of the stories was the story of the lost sheep. And it's not just a story about sheep and shepherds, it's a story about the heart of God. But God's heart is the parental heart longing for his children. God's heart is like that, longing for the ones who are distant and looking for them like crazy.

31. I had an experience of this. Any of you parents ever lost a child? I'm talking about for two minutes or five minutes. Nobody? Oh, I feel really bad now. I have five children. My wife and I took our children to opening night of baseball. Why? Because they were going to have fireworks. As we go to this baseball game – 50,000 people, everybody's jostling trying to get in. Five children, two adults – means four hands – something doesn't fit. We get to our seats and we count up – 1, 2, 3, 4. Oh, someone's missing. My wife's almost freaked. And I said, "oh, don't worry. 4 out of 5 is not bad. We'll just make another one tonight. (laughter)" no I didn't. I'm not that dumb. I freaked out. My child is missing amongst 50,000 people. I feel the emotion right now. I feel it in my body. I freaked out. "My child is missing!" Horrendous feeling! It's a horrendous feeling. I told my wife, "You stay here with the kids and I'm going to go look." And I was running around and all I could see were these people drinking beer and eating hot dogs and having a good time and I was thinking, "Are you people crazy? My son is missing! What's wrong with you?!" I was losing my mind. But do you know what I mostly thought? I thought, "My son is going to think we don't love him." He's going to think, "My parents don't love me." That's what I thought. I was so upset and so angry – at everything. And he was missing for at least three minutes. And it was the longest three minutes of my life.

32. And then I found him. He was with a security guard. This elderly man who was like an angel to me. He's talking with my son, (My son was six years old) is talking to my son, "I told you he would come." And I asked this man – he told me it's his job to look out for kids who get lost. It must happen a lot. There are a lot of bad parents. I asked him, "How did you find him?" He said, "It was easy. He was crying. The ones that don't cry are the difficult ones. If they are crying, very easy to find. The ones who don't know they are lost, who don't care that they're lost, and don't show any emotion – it's almost impossible to find them. The ones who cry, it's easy."

33. And that's our situation. In that moment I learned the heart to God, in those three minutes. The heart of God, the heart of the Messiah, the heart of love is – I would have willingly given up my life for my son. Absolutely! It went through my mind, "God if you can take my life and save his, do it." That is the heart of the Messiah, is it not? That's the heart of Jesus on the cross. That's the heart of True Parents going through seven deaths and resurrections. That is the heart of God, the unconditional love of God. "There is nothing for me, it's all for you."

34. Imagine, True Parents, Jesus, God, they feel that all the time. All the time! Three minutes was enough for me, that's it! But you know, when Father asks us to do different missions – fundraising, witnessing, home church, Tribal Messiah, National Messiah, Boom Bong Wong, you name it – when he gives us these missions, it's not a church growth strategy, it's a heart growth strategy. It's to grow my heart. To become Christ-like. To become a person who really understands the heart of God. So when we do our mission, if we do it right, it will bring us to the heart of God. It will expand us. It's beautiful!

35. You've got to be willing to make yourself vulnerable, to let God experience within you. It's very, very powerful. For Father, "live for the sake of others" is not a slogan – it's a way of life. That's where you develop your heart. To live for the sake of others means, I'd give everything for you.

36. We can experience that deep unconditional love. When we do that we will become so attractive to people. We can't meet here anymore, we'll have to meet at Madison Square Garden because so many people want to come when we have that kind of love. That unconditional love is what it's all about. How pressures to experience that. I hope and pray that today you can experience such a thing. Not losing your children, I don't wish that on anyone. But that you can develop that heart of love for God.

37. So I made four points today. I would like to repeat. First of all let's learn the language of heart from a native speaker, our Senior Pastor. Let's learn about God's love and True Parents' message through our Senior Pastor. We should read her sermons over and over. The message is there. And let's unite.

38. And God is looking for you. You are the lost sheep God is looking for. And all you have to do is cry out and then he will find you. If you don't cry out he cannot find you. So put yourself in a position to let God know, "I'm here! I'm here God! Come to me!"

39. And you parents, never stop praying for your children. Never, ever stop praying for your children. I don't care where they are or what they've done, they are God's precious children and you need to pray constantly for them.

40. And we need to all practice unconditional love over and over and over again. When we do this we will give a big "suplise" to our True Parents. The "suplis" is that we have become mature children. The "suplise" is, that we will actually bring 30,000 members that they've been waiting for. We can do that through Lovin' Life. We can do it this year if we really unite and we really apply ourselves.

41. So God bless you. Have a good life!


Matthew, chapter 18

1: At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"

2: And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them,

3: and said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

4: Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

5: "Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me;

6: but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

7: "Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the man by whom the temptation comes!

8: And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire.

9: And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.

10: "See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.

12: What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?

13: And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray.

14: So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

15: "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.

16: But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses.

17: If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

18: Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

19: Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.

20: For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them."

21: Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?"

22: Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.

23: "Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants.

24: When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents;

25: and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made.

26: So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, `Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.'

27: And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.

28: But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat he said, `Pay what you owe.'

29: So his fellow servant fell down and besought him, `Have patience with me, and I will pay you.'

30: He refused and went and put him in prison till he should pay the debt.

31: When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place.

32: Then his lord summoned him and said to him, `You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me;

33: and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?'

34: And in anger his lord delivered him to the jailers, till he should pay all his debt.

35: So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart."  

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