The Words of the Toffey Family
Good Afternoon everyone!
I'd like to welcome you to our Saturday Service and I know you're just disappointed because the young, handsome, vibrant and spiritual powerful man is not standing here. But the mind is a powerful thing, so I'm going to ask you to close your eyes (Laughing) Come on! Close your eyes and I want you to just imagine that when you open your eyes you will see a young and handsome man by the name of Hyung Jin Nim standing here. OK, now open your eyes. Did it work? (Laughing) Well, I'm sorry. But, fortunately I'm here, so please, stay with us.
I'd like to start by reading a passage from the Cheon Seong Gyeong. It comes from page 332 and Father has the following to say,
"What kind of taste would God like most? If God has a sense of smell, what kind of smell would He like most? If He can hear, what would He like to hear, and if He can feel, what would He like to feel? There is only one thing God likes, and that is love. Nothing other than love can focus God's five senses and fill Him with joy. If God is looking for an absolute partner of love, what would He choose? We can conclude that it will surely be a human being. This is why we say that among all things of the creation human beings have the highest value."
And as Hyung Jin Nim's always likes to remind us, when you come to service, come to give, don't simply be a receiver but be a giver. Today we want to bring the highest joy to our Creator, God, our Heavenly Father our Heavenly Mother.
So today please sing with all your heart! Do you want to jump up and dance? Stamp your feet? Clap your hands and dance? That's OK! Isn't it fun that when the camera spins, you can see yourself up here? Is it not fun? I noticed some of you hide yourself. Or some of you might think of "Oh, my gosh!" But please enjoy our service today and let's return all our joy and all our gratitude to our God.
Our Heavenly Father! We have so much to be thankful, for even in midst of difficulties, struggles, You are there, loving us, embracing us. Father, we thank You for all that You have given to us. We want to become the true sons and daughters that You believe in. We want to become those sons and daughters that You can look upon and say, "This is my son, this is my daughter, by whom I am well pleased." We know that this will give You the greatest joy and will give us the greatest joy.
As we have entered this New Year 2009, we want to strengthen our new determinations. If those determinations are not yet firmly determined or decided we want to do it in the days ahead to really renew ourselves, to recommit ourselves to You, to those around us, to Your ideal, to believe in whom we are, that we are true sons and daughters, and when we forget that we know that it will give you pain and suffering.
Heavenly Father we're so grateful for Your love and guidance. Strengthen every person here and all those watching us via internet. May your love and grace shower upon them, so that they absolutely will feel your love regardless of their situation, that even if we feel unworthy to receive your love that we can shed tears, that we can repent deeply and then can receive Your love and be renewed, be empowered, re-empowered, to start the new week with You.
We thank You and we most humbly offer and report all of these to You in all of our brothers and sister's name throughout the world... Amen. AJU!
And today I have an interesting story for you. Actually it's not a joke, but it was a story I found extremely fascinating. In England, there were people that studied a convent, a group of nuns, over a period of 35 years. 35 years! And the reason they chose that group was because their diets were the same, their daily practices were the same, everything externally was the same.
They divided the group of nuns into 2 separate groups. They identified one group as "grumpy nuns", and the other group as "happy nuns". This is very true. And they found out that the group of happy nuns lived on average 9 years longer than the grumpy nuns, or the unhappy nuns.
Now isn't that amazing! We look at all the things that we can do in order to live longer. But actually changing our hearts and changing our outlooks can have a more dramatic effect. Nothing can have a greater effect than changing our hearts and our attitudes.
So if you want to live long and prosper, change from being a grumpy nun and become a happy nun!!
So, Happy New year to everyone! (Happy New year!) Do you realize this is only the second Saturday of 2009? How fast did last year go for you? I have the feeling that it is going to happen to this year also. Before you know we will be saying, "Happy God's Day 2010."
But actually last week we had a really wonderful way of starting out the new year with Hyung Jin Nim giving a powerful message called, “The power of grace". I don't know about you but I was really moved by that sermon, where we could start our new year thinking about God's unconditional love for us, God's grace towards us and how much God has really blessed us. These are extremely powerful thoughts for us to keep with us as we go through this coming year.
But now the party is a little bit over right? Christmas is finished! God's day is finished. We are in the new year and it's cold outside. But looking forward towards the year that's ahead of us, what kind of year are you going to have? What lies ahead? What kind of year are you going to have?
If we want to find out what kind of year it will be we can listen to CNN, BBC, and other places and get the economic forecast which is doom and gloom, political forecast, which also tends to be doom and gloom, weather forecast -- well you know, we got global warming or is it global cooling going on, we don't know but -- it's doom and gloom. But really the question is, what kind of year YOU are going to have.
Now when you think of the year ahead are you visualizing what Hyung Jin Nim called your best year yet? Is this what you are visualizing in the year ahead? Or you just see another year of trials, tribulations and difficulties? I will get through but it's going to be tough and it's going to be difficult. I'll get through it, but barely, because I will do it!
What are you thinking when you look at the year ahead?
This is vitally important actually because whatever you are thinking you are probably right. If you think it's going to be a great year, a fantastic year, a stupendous year, it probably will be a very good year for you. If you think it's going to be a tough year, difficult, that can happen, too, and probably will, if that's what you are thinking, if that's what you are experiencing. If you think you're just going to survive, you'll survive.
We are very fortunate. Because of the clarity of Divine Principle, we can know that actually our thoughts and ideas are so important because in the beginning was the word and the word was made reality. Everything begins with a concept before it becomes physically manifested, and our internal character gets expressed in an external form. This is fundamental Divine Principle and it really works. These are laws that I am not making up. Just like physical laws, if you try to cheat physical laws, like go off a cliff, it's not going to work. So, anyway, we need to understand very clearly that our thinking process is very important.
God created us as His children, and so therefore it's really important for us to see how much we are also very much like God. We create like God, we think like God and we experience life very similar to God. It's easy to see the creative process when you talk to musicians, artists, creative people. They create things that look like themselves.
So we are in the process now of creating 2009 for ourselves. Our thoughts tend to become self-fulfilling prophecies. We have underlying thoughts, underlying beliefs that we don't really examine, sometimes, too often. They are the kinds of thoughts that come to us through growing up, the things that our parents said to us, the things our friends said to us, acquaintances, things that the world tends to say to you, as you're growing up, their underlying messages. The outcome of our life tends to be from those fundamental thoughts and beliefs.
So what is the world telling you about you? "Well, you can't win, you can't make it, you can't be better than anybody else! You can't drive a car that's bigger and shiner and newer than anybody else! Who do you think you are? You have your lot in life and you must fulfill that lot in life."
That tends to be the underlying thought process that the world is going to tell you about yourself, and we tend to believe that. Actually it's fairly easy to believe. That's the easy belief: Because we are in a sinful world, we know that we are sinners, we fall short of God's grace, you are not good, you don't have potential and you'll just get by. These thoughts are actually very deeply engrained in us. If we really examine ourselves, what are we thinking?
But the good news is, "What is God's viewpoint of YOU?" What does God think of you? Hyung Jin Nim always starts his service asking us to see ourselves from God's viewpoint. This is so important, because actually God has the proper perspective of who we are and what our potentials are. It's the highest and truest perspective that we can have. It's so important, it's truly our starting point.
So what is God's viewpoint of you? Why did God create YOU? Why did God create me? And the reason is? (Love) See I knew you knew that! So what's the true reason? (Love) Ah, come on! All together now: "Love"
But actually in a very real sense, before the world existed, before mankind existed, God was fundamentally lonely, and God wanted to have an object, or as I like to say, God wanted a companion. God really wanted to have companions. What's a companion? What kind of companion do you want to have? You actually want to have companions around you, friends around you, people around you that understand you, that you can share with, that you can share thoughts and feelings with, that you can share ideas and concepts with.
Now, it's nice to have dogs as a companion, but they don't make an ideal companion because they don't understand you, and the reason they don't is because their intellectual and heartistic foundation is on a dog level. But what we really want are those people around us that we can share ourselves completely with. You don't want an inferior being as your primary companion.
So God was lonely and therefore God created YOU! So what kind of potential did God give you? What kind of character and heart and spirit did God give you? It's limitless as God is limitless. That's the kind of potential that you actually have. God created you as His children and we are created in His image, and if God is limitless, you, too, have limitless potential in your own life. You are limitless beings.
This is actually Divine Principle 101, principle of creation. Why is it so hard for us to believe really that we are created in God's image, and that we are created as His children? We truly do need to see ourselves from God's viewpoint. This is a fundamental point that we need to begin to get our arms around and really understand.
Now, you might not be that mighty oak tree, that huge tree that gives off nuts and is life for a lot of beings around you. But the potential for that is within you. Now, you might be a seed at this point and time, but your potential is within that seed and that seed has been put in us by God. We have a potential far greater than that original seed of what we are now. From a little seed becomes a big tree, a mighty tree.
But I know we're thinking, "But I am a sinner, and I fall short of really what I should be. I'm no good. I'm not really like God. How can I even think that I am like God."
I have a couple of questions for you. Have you been reborn? How many of you feel like you've had rebirth in your life? At some point in your life really found true rebirth? How many of you really find rebirth at least once a year? How about once a day?
But really, we have received a new start, rebirth, and we have received God's forgiveness for our failures in the past, and also we've been truly blessed by God, by True Parents, in our lives. So therefore who are you to deny the fact that you are the sons and daughters of God and whom God accepts as His children? You are God's children.
The significance and importance of the rebirth is that we can start again. Maybe we started as this little seed and started growing off to the wrong side. But now because we know Divine Principle, because we can know God clearly, we can grow true and grow strong and take our proper positions as God's sons and daughters.
We tend to be stuck in our old ideas. But you know, God does not look at you as a sinner. This is an important point. God does not look at you as a sinner. Because God is principled and sin is unprincipled, God can't even really see that which is unprincipled, because it's outside of God's realm.
I want to tell you a story about my mother. Before I had my first rebirth and joined the Unification Movement, my life was going the wrong way. Very clearly I was going the wrong way! My attitude, my heart, my spirit, my clothes (Laughs), were all a manifestation of this wrong direction that my life was going. And then I joined the Unification Movement after finding that God really does love me, and that I am a child of God. So I changed 180 degrees from going that direction to going a good and healthy direction.
My mother did not see a change in me at all, not a single iota. She asked me, "Why are you joining this movement?" I told my mother, "Well, it has changed my life completely", and my mother could not see it. Why couldn't my mother see the dramatic change that happened in my life when I really met God? Because that original nature that was within me was the only thing that my mother really recognized. She only saw the potential in me. She only saw her good little son.
You know, even mothers of people in prison, their mothers still think that their son is a good boy even though he killed 6 or 7 people. Why does that happen? It's because the mothers only see the potential, the true nature that preexists within that child, even though he may have gone astray. But you do have universal potential. You do have tremendous potential.
So the big question is, "What is your potential? What is your potential, your personal potential?" I don't know. I'm sorry. But I do know that God knows what your true potential is. And that also deep in your own heart, if you start looking and searching down in the deepest parts of your own heart, you'll find a potential there that is tremendous, cosmic and eternal. And we are all different. If you look around at the people around you, not only are we from different countries, and have different colors of skin, but also our dreams and passions and those things that drive us forward are all different.
I will tell you that God's vision for you is much bigger than your own vision for you. God really believes in the potential that God has put in you and God should know, because God is God. But also you have potential that is far beyond even what you are willing to admit to yourself. You have cosmic potential. Each and everyone of us has that cosmic potential because we are created by God. And God wants us to accomplish that potential, to achieve our utmost.
So you are probably wondering how this ties in with today's topic. What's today's topic? Oh! "Cosmic explosion!" Thank you. At this time in human history we really need to become a movement that nurtures and supports that internal divine potential that lies within each and everyone of us. Each and everyone of us has potential and we need to support each other, to help each other fulfill that potential.
Therefore we need to change the way that not only we see ourselves but also support each other and see each other from God's viewpoint, and see that potential that lies within them. We need to support each other. So therefore I'm going to ask you to turn to your neighbor, give them a high five and tell them, "You are God's child" (You are God's child). Tell them, "You have great potential" (You have great potential) and tell them, "You are amazing" (You are amazing). Aju! (Applause)
Now there used to be a time in our movement when those people who went off into a tangent were thought to be heretical. Those people thought, "I want to go THERE. I want to accomplish THIS". It was thought as you were leaving the central fold of what was happening.
But actually I think that the whole movement has began to change in that each and everyone of us has to take that potential within us and see that star up there that's calling to you. Whether you're supposed to be an artist, a musician, a writer, a politician, a business person, a preacher, a doctor, no matter what it is, really see that star that's uniquely calling you and go for it with all your heart and all your spirit and all your mind. Go for that one little star.
And because we are all unique individuals, we're going to go from this one point where we are all together, off in all these different directions. Just like an explosion where you've got that potential in that stick of dynamite and someone lights a fuse and it goes "boom", like that. But we can have a cosmic explosion. We really can, if we become that kind of community that understands and appreciates each other and helps each other fulfill their potential. Of course we have to get down to that center point where we're taking the horizontal and the vertical and making a central point for our life. But that's only the beginning point.
So we have to follow our dreams and our visions with all the passion and enthusiasm. You know what the word enthusiasm means, right? In God's spirit! We do things with enthusiasm and excitement, because we feel God's spirit with us. We have to do those things that have not been done before, and accomplish things that might be seemingly impossible. But together with God many things can happen.
Look at True Father! He started up in a little tiny village in North Korea. I live next to North Korea. I know. Actually I live within about 2 miles from North Korea. There's nothing there! There wasn't then and there isn't now. And this man from this little country, and a little village and a small family, he had the audacity to think that he could change the world. God and one person becomes a majority actually.
We need to take that same kind of thought process with us, that we have a potential and that we have a destiny that's calling us. You might think, "Well, look, I'm only me, I don't have much influence." But believe it or not, you have a tremendous amount of influence, even as you're sitting here right now. There are people at work, people at school, people that you meet at the coffee shops or whatever. These are people that actually you can have control over. If they can see the spark of life, the enthusiasm, the strength and the determination that you have, they'll also want to have it.
So it's going to be really this congregation where we can come together and love and take care of each other, and support each other and believe in each other, and push each other forward to new heights.
So one more time, I'd really like you to turn to one of your neighbors. Give them a high five, and tell them, "I believe in you" (I believe in you). Turn to the other person and say, "I believe in you" (I believe in you)
The world might say that you can't win, or we can't win, we can't really become what it is that we are destined to become, but the real reality is that as a community we can really begin to make this happen. We can have a cosmic explosion. With the real potential, even a part of the potential that is in this room right here right now, and across the internet, all over the world, we can have an influence over the world in a very short time.
We're talking about building a temple here, but each and every one of you has to become a temple, a great temple, that is a place where people will find refuge. Each and every one of you has to become that perfected temple. So therefore we need to reaffirm each other, believe in each other, and no one can perform your portion of responsibility but you. You are unique and loved by God. God really believes in you, really believes in you. The question isn't anymore, "Do you believe in God?" The question is, "Can I really believe in me the way God believes in me?"
So we need a cosmic explosion of enthusiastic people, filling this world with God's love and joy. So what kind of year are you going to have? What kind of year are you going to MAKE it? Because actually you are going to decide whether this is going to be a great year or not for yourself. So let us make this a great year and bring back joy to God, True Parents and our brothers and sisters around the world. Do I hear an "Aju!" (Aju! Applause)