The Words of the Yakawich Family
II Timothy 4:1-8
"I charge thee therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ who shall judge the quick and the dead at this appearing and his kingdom. Preach the word, be instant in season, out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears. And they shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things endure afflictions do the work of an evangelist and make full proof of the ministry. For I am now ready to be offered and the time of my departure is at hand I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, and I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord the righteous judge shall give me at that day and not to me only but unto all them also that love his appearing."
One of our local members asked me recently, "How do I witness to people about our church?" It was such a great question that it caused me to reflect, pray and seek deeper answers. After all, to witness is to give life. And when we give life to our community, we give life to ourselves and those around us.
What is to be a witness? I feel it is very simple.
A. To love God with all your heart, mind and soul.
B. To love your neighbor as yourself.
When we do these two things energy, an aura, a sense of well being surrounds us, our actions and how we address life around us is impacted.
I have been thinking about True Fathers words on witnessing. It is reflected in the words of St. Paul who dedicated his life to witness to mankind about Jesus and Heavenly Father. In Timothy 4, he speaks of the challenges and the blessings of witnessing your faith. There will be many who will need to hear the word of God. Drugs, alcohol, divorce, pornography, lying, stealing, cheating, adultery, and many other ways people will turn to fables of their faith. How is our country today? As for each of us, there is the question? The question will always remain… have we fought a good fight? Have we kept the faith? Do we deserve the crown of righteousness? Therefore, we all may not be pastors, or ministers or bishops. Yet, we all can be evangelists as St. Paul states…to share the gospel, the word.
I wanted to share a few ideas that may help you in being a witness…fighting the good fight.
A. Be of Good Courage
B. Use the tools you have at hand
C. Just Do It
D. Be creative and think outside the box
E. Follow up
These are simple but I feel very effective truths. Recently Father Moon spoke to our members about going back into the community, into the grassroots and shares your faith with others. I feel for me this not only a mandate but is so rewarding, life giving and life saving. He gave directions that we should be out witnessing.
Act 1:8 states to witness is a mandate plus a great blessing:
"But you shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and you shall be witness unto the men both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
Be of good courage is therefore be of an optimistic mind. What is of good courage? To be confident, to be consistent, to be credible are some examples. What is the opposite? To be fearful, to be ashamed, shy and lacking in confidence.
When the world seems to be facing so many difficult situations, we can still be optimistic. One ACLC missionary at our last prayer vigil stated that what we think and what our vision is does have an impact on our life. If we are positive thinkers, we can see life more optimistically, and then the world will be influenced by our attitude. If we are negative and pessimistic, people will sense this and respond accordingly.
Of course, this witness should always be centered on True Love. In his July 8th Proclamation, our founder explained:
Ultimately, the problems afflicting humanity can only be resolved through the worldview of One Family under God, in other words, the ideology based on true love, which my wife and I, the True Parents, have learned from Heaven and have championed and taught throughout our lives. This is the only way for humankind to find the path toward peace and happiness.
I know going into my businesses whistling and with good cheer, people sincerely and dearly react. They are so happy to see me. I believe it is not me but as Jesus said in St Matthew 10:18-20, "And you shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what you shall speaker for it shall be given you in that same hour what you shall speak. For it is not you that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaks in you." It is the spirit that goes before us.
Why should we allow the worries of life to bother us? Heavenly Father said to me recently, "Live your life and do your mission as if all is healed, all is well with your family, your friends, your community, nation and world." It was very profound. You see no matter what President Obama is doing or Gov. Schweitzer is doing or what Chad or Paul or Clint is doing, I have my own portion of responsibility. Is my cup half full or half empty? With the attitude I bring into witnessing will bear the fruit. The bottom line is we will still need to do our portion of responsibility no matter what.
These worries, these external factors are the real culprit in our life of faith. We must be very much aware of the THINGS. These things are those factors that we use as excuses not to be a witness. It could be what is going on with President Obama or our Mayor; it could be what is going on with our church, business, family or self. These things can become (but should not be) the obstacles, barriers, reasons why we do not simply be a witness to others about the love of God.
Our founder expressed in his words during July 8th that we.."have the responsibility to liberate families, tribes, peoples, nations and the world from the realm of hell." He mentions that Foundation Day will be January 13th, 2013. We have a lot of work to do.
Secondly, you have the tools to use. They may not be all the tools but look at what you have.
1. The Bible, The Divine Principle, the Word, the doctrine of our faith
2. Our own special value: Cosmic, Unique, Divine
3. Invite friends to church on Sunday
4. Hand out your Church Card, witnessing card, business card
5. Work with your spouse, family, pastor and elders
6. Invite contacts to your special events and programs
7. Visit people in their neighborhood, home, church or other location
8. Join other groups, volunteer, serve
9. Write, call, correspond...
Thirdly, just do it. We get so bogged down in wondering what others are doing. We need to see what am I doing? When God calls me to reach out, I just need to act. And act responsibility. This is where the Things can really get into the way. They stop us from just doing what we need to be doing. In short, we are all called to love God and others in developing One Family Under God. Our spiritual and physical family is beyond race, color, culture and creed.
As our founder so clearly explains, "Without spiritual children, the completion of the Providence as well as self-salvation is impossible." AND "You should protect and raise up your spiritual children with responsibility." And "To make man is more difficult than to make money."
"If you sow the seed, at some time in the future it will surely sprout." Finally our founder states, "Your problems can only be completely solved by the perfect God. Therefore, mobilize God by doing what God wants to do the most (witnessing)."
Fourth, we should be creative. Father Moon has always shared how we need to think outside the box. Last week honoring parents and Grandma Martin was thinking outside the box. We can get so stuck in our old ways and forget that God has given us unique abilities and opportunities.
We know stories of Jesus being creative. Think of the multiplication of the fishes and the loaves. Jesus knew what he was doing. He moved the hearts of the people to give. He was thinking outside the box.
We know our founder; Father Moon would go into villages and bake sweet potatoes for the people. He would find ways to serve the poor and work with those less fortunate, he would eat less and give the extra to others as way to witness. We have such a great role model to follow.
Finally, we need to follow up. Now that we have distributed our goal of over 430 books, what are the results? This has been a labor of love in following up with our friends. We must always think of the next step.
I may have shared with you about the Holy Wine Ceremony and Blessing I did last month at the Carbon and Stillwater County Tavern Owners Association. With the help of the local staff, I was able to pour over 250 cups of Holy Wine to offer a prayer and toast at the opening ceremony. It has been a tradition that the association has invited me to do. I have done this before and shared this with Mother Moon. She was very inspired. Yet, she said so wisely, you must follow up with these people.
So now with this book distribution project, I have been handing these out to all my contacts including my business owners. Last night one commented to me in front of his friends, "Mike, thank you for the book about Father Moon." And a former bar owner who always would give me a hard time about Father Moon last night was so gracious to receive this book.
Again, our founder, Father Moon has great confidence in this book.
"Ladies and gentlemen, last year, my memoirs, As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen, an honest, candid account of my life, were published. Through this book I have clearly shown where you can find God's will for humankind and the path that we, as God's children, should follow. My life has been a typical model of the saying, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again." I have as much faith in this book as in the Hoon Dok textbooks and teaching materials I have mentioned. For this reason, I recommend it to you, believing that it will show you how to lead your lives according to true principles. It does not subtract or add anything to the ninety years of my life, which I have led under Heaven's decree. I pray you will carefully read this articulation of true love and find great inspiration."
Our local events have become annual events. Why? One reason is to follow up and keep witnessing alive. These are not easy things to do and credit goes to all the hard work, dedication and support of our community members. Here, we build trust, credibility and personal confidence to be a greater asset and a substantial witness in and to our community.
Witnessing is not easy. It is not easy for me. Yet, when the world seems to be coming down upon us with so many heavy things, our family and friends face such crisis in their lives, witnessing is that invisible wall of protection. It can give us energy and zest for life through our spiritual family and the many we come into contact each day.
Don't we all need greater spiritual power right now? Don't you each wish to feel the living God more? Well as Father Moon said, doing what God wants us to do creates much hope and much happiness. This dynamic give and take action allows our hearts to grow, vitality and spiritual elements to expand and greater joy in our lives.
Reiterating, Act 1:8 states to witness is a mandate plus a great blessing: "But you shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and you shall be witness unto the men both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth". Now go on and be that amazing Halogen Light on your own mountain top!
Have a Great Month Ahead!