The Words of the Thompson Family
Good morning. Boy, you look good. You are looking good. All right. Let's take a seat. You're taking up my time here!
Oh, it's great to be at Lovin' Life. And for those who have 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. I'm going to 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 look for the one who wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the 99 that did not wander off. In the same way, your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost."
You may have heard the story about the farmer who hired 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, "Uh, uh?" "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 he's gone for 30 minutes, 40 minutes, 50 minutes. Finally, the farmer says to himself, "I've got to go look for this guy." So he starts walking down the lane. He comes to the first tree and Hiro jumps out and goes, "Supplise!" That's how I feel like it is today. "Supplise" that I'm here today.
I'm back here in the Manhattan Center, the world-famous place where I met Sting. You know who Sting is? Sting's a singer from my hometown, and I met him right here. We talked about all the hometown stuff -- about different places, and especially we talked about our team. From a hometown, that's what you talk about. I'm talking about true football, you know. So actually I'm not really fond of the city of Newcastle, where Sting is from. I'm from a little town outside Newcastle called Jarrow. I know. Gasp, right? "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.
And Jarrow is famous for one thing. It's the home of Saint Bede. How many of you have heard of Saint Bede? Okay. The rest of you, you need to sign up for UTS and learn who Saint Bede is. Saint Bede is the only English-born saint, and he comes from my hometown.
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, went to church every single morning at 6:00 a.m. She was a fanatic. I know in America you have Mr. Rogers, but we had Mrs. Rogers. I don't know her first name, but she was Mrs. Rogers.
When I was 10 years old she told me, "Kevy, I'm praying for you." And I thought, "What a waste of time." And she kept telling me through the years, "Kevy, I'm praying for you." 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.
In 1979 I went to Nicaragua because there was a communist revolution going on, and I thought, "That's the place to be." So I went to the communist revolution and I found out it was awful. It was a big disappointment, and I was wondering what to do next. I left Nicaragua and went to San Diego, where 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 where there was a spiritualist lady. She came up to me out of the blue and said, "Saint Bede is with you." And three or four times since then spiritual people have come to me and said, "Saint Bede is with you." Now personally I'm physically open, so I have to take their word for it. But the message of that 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 Saint Bede every morning, not the old church, the new one, the one that was built in 791. You know, the new one? So she's been praying in the church of St. Bede for me every day, a nonbeliever, and then people are telling me Saint Bede is with me.
So I'm 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.
I have a message for your 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 even care if you don't believe in God, because it doesn't matter. God believes in you.
My family was totally, utterly shocked when I joined a church. It didn't matter if it was the Unification Church or 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 told me that her daughter, my niece, had just bought a house, and this house was over 200 years old. But the daughter, my niece, didn't want to move into the house because she said it was haunted. My sister said, "You're a minister, aren't you? Can you do an exorcism?" I went, "Well, I could holy salt the place. Does that work?"
So I made some holy salt. The next morning I drive to this house, and I'm expecting my sister and her daughter and maybe one or two other people. 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, "Okay, God, it's all in your hands. I don't know what's going to happen."
So I go in and I line them up: north, south, east and west. I've got my holy salt, I'm holy salting the place, and they're following me around the rooms. You know, they're looking for something. So I gathered them back and had them make two big circles. Then I started to pray, and I got the inspiration that I should say the Kajong Mengse, Family Pledge, our creed. So I started saying Kajong Mengse, "Uri ka-jong-un, cham sa-rang-ul." The only problem is, I don't remember it! I say it every morning, but I cannot remember it.
So I started saying Korean words: "Kimchee," "ko-chu-chang," "Chung Pyung." I started saying anything. Then I started saying Japanese words: "Gam-bat-a-ney kudasai," "nato-go-han." I'm just saying anything. And people were, "Oooooh! Whooaa!" 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'm a legend in my hometown. I'm 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 û messiah, peacemakers, king of peace û lots of names. But for us, they are the True Parents, and this is the way that 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.
And what I found out about these True Parents is that they are motivated by one thing. They are motivated to liberate God. That's what keeps Father going, at over 90 years old. It's not fame and fortune. It's one thing: liberation of God. That's right.
Many times in my ignorance I have questioned in my mind what they're doing. "Why are they doing it like that? I wouldn't do it like that." But I have never questioned what the motivation is. The motivation is always clear. True Parents are coming to liberate God, and that's what they're all about.
And, you know, they're not too concerned about my comfort; they're concerned about God's comfort. Because if God is comfortable and God is in his right place, we will all be in good shape. In fact, my limited experience with True Parents is they sometimes make me uncomfortable. Has anybody experienced that?
One time Father came and did a speaking tour. He came to California, and we had a nice little event. We had some dignitaries there, like the assistant to the assistant of the mayor, and we called it more than it really was. We had some ministers. We had a nice event, and True Parents seemed happy. After the event we're going back to the hotel room, and as I get in the elevator, I'm thinking to myself, "Well, 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.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California
I'm standing in the back of the elevator, feeling pretty good about myself, and Father turns to me and says, "How's the governor?" I say, "What?" And Peter Kim says, "Father wants to know 'How's the governor of California?'" I say, "Arnold Schwarzenegger? He's fine." And then Father says, "Don't you know, you should meet the governor every week and give him spiritual guidance. You are Abel, and he's Cain." The elevator doors open up, Father walks out, and I'm standing at the back.
I realized what Father was saying: The governor should have been here. The top people of California should have been here to greet him, not the assistant of the assistant of the assistant of something or other." So Father kind of put me in my place in a very nice way that I never forgot. That's how Father is.
Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han January 23, 2012
It's difficult for us always 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. If you want to learn a language, let's suppose you're Japanese and you want to learn English. What's the best way to learn that language? You want to learn from a native speaker, somebody who speaks the language, somebody for whom it's the native tongue; you can learn the mechanics of the language from somebody else.
Many years ago in Japan, I found out, they had many people teaching English who were not English speakers. You remember that? They can teach you where the verbs go and about 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, the jokes, and the deep heart of any language. You need a native speaker.
So only a native speaker can teach us the heart and language of our True Parents. 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 the tongue you learn from your mother. So she learned from her parents. She can teach us not just what they say but what they mean. And she can teach us the deep heart behind who the True Parents are.
If you're going to learn the language, you 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. 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 the MFT, I had nine Japanese sisters on my team. I'd be driving the van, and they would say, "Captain, captain, Maca-don-aldos." "Huh?" "Maca-don-aldos." It means they want to go eat at McDonalds.
Or I was fundraising in the Deep South of America, and people would ask me, "Oh, are you just learning English?" This is the place where they say, "Ya'll," "franch frah," "apple pah." One lady brought me into her house, where there were a bunch of ladies. She said, "This young man û he's in America learning English." And 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.
I learned little snippets of heart from working with our senior pastor for a while when I was here. A couple of little examples. I wrote down 31 examples last night, so we could be here all day. No, I'll give you two examples. Remember when Father's 90th birthday happened here in this building a couple of years ago? At that time we were bringing lots of people û guests, dignitaries and lots of members were coming û and then In Jin Nim said to her staff, "Okay, what are we going to feed all the members?" And do you know what the staff said? "They're only members. We don't need to feed the members. We've never done that before."
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 was different from anything I'd heard before. Before it was, "The members will go 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 û member, guest, dignitary û it didn't matter. She had the heart of embracing everybody.
And secondly, she had the heart like that toward the second-generation, no matter what they had done, no matter where they had been. Her heart was, "Let's embrace everybody." She told me one day, "You know, our church has so many rules and regulations. It's almost like we're trying to keep people out instead of bring people in."
For me, these were different viewpoints, different way of looking at things. This is the language of the heart. This is different. 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. When Father and Mother arrived in December 1971, there were about 300 members.
In the next three years Father pulled together a national movement. He pulled together people from all the different centers. He started a speaking tour and went all over the country. By the end of the three-year period of 1971 to 1974, we emerged with a national movement. That's what Father did. And not only that, we grew as a church from 300 people to 3,000 people in that period.
So what I've seen In Jin Nim do over the last couple of years is similar. She is pulling us together as a national church, so there is no more east, west, north, south and "You're doing that and we're doing this." We're 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.
One of the first lessons I learned in the church is, "Unity is the key for victory." So In Jin Nim is pulling together a national movement that will indeed shake this nation, just as Father did in the early 1970s. So let's all get on board.
Do you think Father sometimes gets frustrated with us, that we don't understand what he's doing? I think so. I think Jesus also got frustrated. In the parable I read this morning, the parable of the lost sheep, the disciples were sitting around asking each other, "Where are you going to sit in the kingdom of heaven?" "Who'll sit here, who'll sit there?" So Jesus began to tell a few parables. Parables are stories, illustrations of a point.
Jesus told some stories, and one of them was the story of the lost sheep. It's not just a story about sheep and shepherds. It's a story about the heart of God, that 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.
I had an experience of this. Have any of you parents ever lost a child? I'm talking about for even just two minutes or five minutes. Nobody? Oh, I feel really bad now. That makes me feel even worse when I tell you this story. I have five children. My wife and I took our children to Opening Night of baseball. Why? Because they were going to have fireworks.
So we go to this baseball game, 50,000 people, everybody's jostling and trying to get in. We have five children and four adults û that means four hands. Something doesn't fit. We get to our seats and we count up û one, two, three, four. "Ahhhhhh!" My wife almost freaked. And I said, "Eh, don't worry. Four out of five's not bad." (Laughter.)
I freaked out. My child is missing among 50,000 people. I feel the emotion right now; I feel it in my body. I freaked out. My child was missing. It's a horrendous feeling. I told my wife, "You stay here with the kids and I'm going to go look." I was running around, and all I could see were these people drinking beer, eating hot dogs and having a good time. And I'm thinking, "Are you people crazy? My son is missing! What's wrong with you?" I was losing my mind.
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, so angry at everything. And he was missing for at least three minutes. It was the longest three minutes of my life.
Then I found him. He was with a security guard, an elderly man who was like an angel to me. He was talking with my son. My son was just six years old. This security guard was talking to my son, and he said to him, "I told you he would come."
He told me it's his job to look out for kids who get lost. Apparently it happens a lot. I guess there are a lot of bad parents out there. 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're crying, they're easy to find. The ones who don't know they're lost or 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."
And that's our situation. In that moment I learned the heart of God in those three minutes. The heart of God, the heart of the messiah, the heart of love. 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's nothing for me. It's all for you."
Imagine True Parents, Jesus, and God feel that all the time û all the time. Three minutes was enough for me. That's it. When Father asks us to do different missions û fundraising, witnessing, home church, tribal messiah, national messiah, boon bang wang, you name it û 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. But you've got to be willing to make yourself vulnerable, to let God experience that with 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 give everything for you. We can experience that deep unconditional love. When we do that, we will become so attractive to people. Then we cannot meet in here anymore; we will have to meet in Madison Square Garden. There will be so many people who want to come when we have that kind of love.
That unconditional love is what it's all about. How precious 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 anybody. But that you can develop that heart of love for God.
So I made four points today. I'd like to repeat them. 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. You should read her sermons over and over. The message is there. And let's unite.
Next, "God is looking for you." You are the lost sheep that God is looking for, and all you have to do is cry out and then he'll 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."
And to 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.
And, last, "We all need to practice unconditional love, over and over and over again." When we do that, we will give a big surprise to our True Parents. The surprise is that we will have become mature children and that we will actually bring the 30,000 members they've been waiting for. We can do that through Lovin' Life. We can do that this year if we really unite and apply ourselves.
So God bless you. Have a good life!
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."