The Words of In Jin Moon from 2011
Good morning, brothers and sisters. How is everyone? It's good to see you once again. It's so good to be back in the States. We just returned from a trip to Malaysia and Korea, and every time I go abroad it's so wonderful to meet brothers and sisters whom we have not seen for a long time. I realized again how richly blessed we are to have our True Parents here with us so often. The Malaysian members were so warm and welcoming.
I got to see for the first time what the actual fruit mangosteen looks like. For those of you who have heard about Vemma, James is a walking advertisement for Vemma products. It has transformed his life. Earlier this year he was diagnosed as a candidate for a heart attack in the next five years, so he took it to heart, totally changed his diet, and started taking Vemma religiously. Just a couple of weeks ago he got all his test results back, and they revealed that his health is as good as a 17-year-old's. He has gone from being somebody who was looking toward a short life to somebody who is now like a teenager. He feels as if he's gotten a new life, literally. He's been talking and sharing with everybody about Vemma and the miracle of mangosteen, and what it does for the body.
When I saw the fruit, I was expecting it would be much bigger, but it's actually very tiny and an exotic-looking thing. This reminded me that our Heavenly Parent has prepared so many wonderful fruits that have yet to be harvested and understood, but that may one day cure a lot of ailments we suffer from day to day. As part of the Lovin' Life philosophy in which we come together to enjoy and celebrate life and each other, I very much want to encourage holistic living in the sense that we treat our bodies as temples of God and as an amazing gift that allows us to experience true love, true life, and true lineage in our lifetime. Therefore, we need to take care of ourselves, not just emotionally and spiritually, but also physically as well.
When we were in Malaysia, the parliament welcomed all of us with open arms. Many of the parliamentarians had just come back from a trip to Japan, representing their country's deep concern about religious freedom and some of the travesties taking place in Japan with regard to the faith-breaking issue. As you know, we have been fighting a long battle against the government of Japan, which has failed to guarantee the dignity of our Japanese members to be able to exercise the religious freedom guaranteed by the Japanese constitution. Our members are not being allowed the basic right of deciding for themselves how they want to exercise their faith, who they want to believe in, and how they want to live the rest of their lives. If they choose to be Unificationists, they should be able to do so without fear of being abducted.
But during the last 30 years more than 4,300 of our Japanese brothers and sisters have been abducted and abused – not just physically but also sexually and emotionally. So we as a movement have put our foot down, saying, "Enough is enough," and we want the government of Japan to respond to our pleas for our brothers and sisters to be able to exercise their constitutional right as citizens of Japan to freely choose their own religion.
We've been so grateful to the Malaysian government because many of its parliamentary members have traveled to Japan to encourage the Japanese government to end this religious persecution of Unification Church members. Some Malaysian parliamentarians will also be coming to the United States shortly, and we will be hosting them. They will be traveling with us to Capitol Hill to ask our representatives and senators what is being done about the religious persecution taking place in Japan.
As a country that represents the Islamic tradition – the state religion is Islam – Malaysia's initiative in sending these parliamentarians to travel to Japan and the United States in defense of our religious freedom is a wonderful thing. I truly thank the Malaysian government and parliamentary members who welcomed all of us with such a lovely heart and a great embrace. I thank them for all they're doing. To have them as our friends in this fight for religious freedom is extremely inspiring. It spurs us to continue the good fight until we can see an end to the religious persecution in Japan.
These parliamentarians, and also Ambassadors for Peace and other good friends, have been cultivated over the years by different leaders and continental directors who have been responsible for Malaysia. But in particular Reverend Yu, who was sent to Malaysia 15 years ago by our True Father, has truly taken his mission to heart. He said to me, "I am Korean by birth, but in terms of loving the country, I feel I am Malaysian." He has taken good care of these relationships over the years and represented our True Parents in the best way. He has spoken about and shared the breaking news of who our True Parents are to all these politicians and Ambassadors for Peace whom we've come to know over the years.
When we went there to meet all these distinguished men and women, it felt as if we were visiting a family we had not seen for a long time. They were so warm, enthusiastic, and inspired about the work that our True Parents and our movement are doing. In speaking to some of these great men and women, I said, when I hear the word Malaysia, I am reminded that mal in Korean means "speech." It's as if Malaysia has a great responsibility to speak the truth of who our True Parents are, to share in the breaking news of what an amazing time it is to live with our True Parents, and to encourage everybody around the world to work together.
Malaysia is the third-largest economic power in Southeast Asia and is engaged in an ongoing modernization effort. I encouraged the dignitaries and our dear friends to bear in mind that Malaysia, with its God-given duty to speak the truth and share the breaking news of our True Parents, must be sure that its internal or spiritual growth goes hand in hand with its rapid modernization.
Petronas Twin Towers and downtown Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Malaysians are proud of the Petronas Twin Towers, which are among the largest buildings in the world and symbolize Malaysia's great modernization. The city of Kuala Lumpur is indeed beautiful. But again, if the external growth does not coincide with internal growth, then sooner or later modernization is going to leave the good men and women of Malaysia in a spiritual void, which will not be good for the future of the country.
Malaysia can play a pivotal role in Southeast Asia if it develops and maintains its internal core of understanding. This is something that all the members there should think about. They were very receptive to hearing from their good friends of the United States to see how we can help each other to become one family under God.
When I was talking to some of the leaders, I shared a few thoughts about the geography of Malaysia, which is divided into east and west with two parts that look like hands cradling the South China Sea. It's almost as if this country is waiting to receive the good heavenly fortune that awaits it, ready to receive, harvest, and partake of the breaking news of our True Parents.
It's a very long return flight from Kuala Lumpur to Seoul, and then from Seoul to JFK, so I was able to spend some time reflecting on the beauty and significance of the trip and what an amazing time we're living in. I was thinking about the different brothers and sisters I met there and wondering what I could share with you when I came back to the States. So many remarkable things are taking place around the world and in every different country. Sometimes we may lose sight because we're so close to all the exciting things that are taking place that we don't have a bird's-eye view of who we are, what we are doing, and how we will be remembered as crucial men and women making history together with our True Parents.
Sometimes we get bogged down in the difficulties of daily life, and I am no exception. There is a lot of pressure here at Headquarters and that is in addition to the pressure of trying to build an ideal family – dealing with all the issues that arise vis-à-vis a spouse, children, in-laws, relatives, siblings, and the larger True Family. Sometimes life gets extremely difficult. Sometimes I wake up in the morning wondering, can I go on another day? Is this day going to be worth it?
Sometimes things become so difficult and burdensome that I just don't want to get out of bed, and I don't want to take that first step to start a new day. I know that I'm not alone in this. I always want to remember my five children who are so cute and lovely as that cherubic bunch of angelic little souls that they were when they were two or three. But they grow up – they have ideas and opinions, which is wonderful. But often trying to guide them in the proper way, trying to be there for them is not the easiest thing in the world.
Sometimes I think it's much easier to be a teacher in the classroom than to be a father or mother at home. A lot of parents may feel this way. Even though you're doing great work professionally in your particular job or career, if the family is not healthy, it weighs in and around you, giving you the ominous feeling of being slowly squashed to death.
I've prayed about this quite often. I've sought guidance from our Heavenly Parent and from True Parents, from Cheon Seong Gyeong and all the different books that our True Father has prepared for our families. But you are never really quite prepared to be a parent until you have children.
A sister from outside the US who came up to me the other day was going through an extremely difficult family situation. She has been blessed and married for many years. She is Western, and her husband is Japanese. She said, "Ever since I was a little girl what I wanted the most was to be a great mom. I really wanted to be there for my kids." She came from an abusive background, raised by her aunt and uncle. She did not really know who her parents were until she was well into her teens; she thought her aunt and uncle were her parents until she found out later in life that her biological parents were different people. Her aunt and uncle tried their best, but her uncle was very much a perfectionist taskmaster; she could never be good enough. When she sought emotional support from her aunt, the aunt was nowhere to be found because the aunt herself could not deal with her own problems. The aunt could not be a supportive mother figure for this sister.
When this sister heard the Divine Principle and understood the importance of building ideal families to experience the Four Position Foundation, she was totally transformed. She became a member, looked forward to receiving the beautiful Blessing and to building an ideal family. She said that in the beginning things were not always easy but she always had hope, and her husband was a wonderful Japanese brother so they seemed to be doing all right.
But then over the years, she said, they drifted apart. The husband became more engrossed in his work. He was never home for the children or his wife. The wife grew very distant, not knowing what to do with all the pressure of raising her children. She said to me that one of the most shocking things in life is that you may be ready for bad things to happen to you in the process of building an ideal family, but you're never quite ready for bad things to happen to your kids. I certainly agree that we as parents are never really prepared for anything bad to happen to our kids.
She said, "I was never prepared for my kids rebelling, for my kids going off and doing things that are antithetical to our beliefs." She said, "I was not ready as a mother to deal with all these problems." But on top of that, probably the most crushing thing in her life was to realize that her husband was sexually abusing their daughter. She said, "In a movement like this, where we are thinking about ideal families, we tend to put blinders around our faces, wanting to think well of everybody. Even though we see signs, we are literally in denial."
She said, "Something was not right, but I was in denial that something like this could take place in our movement or to me, let alone my daughter." She said, "When I first found out, I wanted to die. I wanted to kill my husband. I wanted to kill my daughter. I wanted to kill everybody and kill myself. But then," she said, "I realized that God did not put me on this earth so that I would end my life this way. There must be a reason why I have been given this responsibility of tackling such an incredibly difficult situation. I don't know if I can quite make it through, but I need to talk to you and ask for guidance. I need to seek guidance."
I held this sister's hand and said, "You are not alone in dealing with a lot of the issues that we as parents never really thought we should prepare ourselves for. The world is ugly, and we're trying to build something beautiful out of such a world. If you research back into your husband's past, you're going to realize that not everything was beautiful. He probably has a lot in his closet that he has yet to work out. You probably have a lot of skeletons in the closet that you have yet to work out."
We are in the process of trying to build something beautiful together. While we're doing that, yes, we're going to have bumps in the road. Yes, we're going to be faced with incredible difficulties and obstacles. But that is why we as a movement need to wake up and realize that our dream and desire to establish an ideal are amazingly wonderful. At the same time we need to do that with our eyes open in that we have to be cognizant of where we come from – especially of what kind of family we come from.
When we come together to build our family, we have to be honest with ourselves and our spouse in sharing the family history that is naturally going to affect the future family that we will create together with our spouse. We have to keep our eyes open to recognize things that may not be well prepared for – things like physical abuse or sexual abuse, which can take place in any setting. Just because we are a religious movement does not mean things like this don't take place. They take place everywhere.
When I started Lovin' Life, a lot of parents asked me, "Where is the Sunday School? Why did we get rid of Sunday School?" My answer was that we as parents in a movement like ours have a tendency to trust whomever and leave our kids in their hands, expecting them to raise our kids, but we must be responsible for our own children.
When we go to church, we need to go to church as a family. We need to worship together and we need to recognize that in some other churches' children have been molested in Sunday School. We need to be cognizant of the fact that we as parents need to safeguard our children. We need to come together as a community and talk about the ugly things that we don't want to talk about. We need to cleanse the air and make everybody aware of the problems, not remain in denial. We want to make sure that our own Sunday School teachers have integrity. Ideally they should be married; the best would be a couple teaching. Step by step, let's build the kind of community that is safe for our children.
And safe also means that we as a community must be cognizant that not all families in the process of building an ideal family are ideal. We need to work on the relationship between husband and wife because, if it is not good, if it is not working out, then the difficulties will naturally be transferred to the children. If the father is sexually abusing the daughter, it may be because the father doesn't have a good, dynamic, thriving relationship with the mother.
We as a movement need to talk about these things. We need to address them so that as we move forward in building an ideal family, nation, world, and cosmos, we are taking care of these problems. We need to stare them squarely in the face and talk about them. People who need help should seek it. We grow together and learn from our mistakes. When we grow in wisdom, we can start to build a stronger and safer environment for our children.
When this poor sister was sharing her heart and the predicament of her family, I could see that she wanted to give up on life. I shared with her a story I heard a long time ago, which has been a great source of strength when I had to deal with difficult things in my life. It's a simple story, but if you think about it and listen to it with an open heart and mind, it's profound.
The story goes something like this. There once lived a man who sold his wares in the bazaar in his area. He had a dear donkey that he loved. This donkey was the way he brought his wares to the market. His beloved donkey stayed with him for many years. Even though the donkey was an animal, he was almost like a brother to this old man. Even though the man and the donkey both grew older, the donkey was always there as a faithful companion to him.
One day the man stopped at a well on his way to the bazaar. The donkey was extremely thirsty. In looking to satisfy its thirst, the donkey realized he couldn't get to the water in the well standing on all four legs. He saw a plank leaning against the well, so he slowly walked up the plank, hoping to look into the well and see some water he could drink. But the donkey slipped and fell into the well.
The man was faced with the dilemma of getting his donkey out of the well. He thought of different ways, but all the ideas he tried were unsuccessful. The man basically gave up because he was old and the donkey was old. The old man thought, "Perhaps this was meant to be. Perhaps my donkey was meant to fall into the well and die there." But then he thought, "Before I allow myself to come to that conclusion, let me try one more thing."
He forced his weary limbs over to the bazaar, brought back a couple of friends, and together with them discussed how to get the donkey out of this deep well. It was so deep that they couldn't even see the donkey when they looked inside. After much conversation the men decided they didn't have any way to get the donkey out.
So they decided maybe this was meant to be and they should just let the donkey die. They said, "Why don't we help the donkey die by throwing dirt in the well to suffocate him so he doesn't sit there for days until he dies." The old man thought maybe this would be doing the donkey a favor, helping him to die faster, so the men each got a shovel and started throwing dirt into the well. When the first shovelful of dirt fell in, they could hear the donkey braying at the bottom of the well because he was being hit with dirt and didn't know what was going on. That went on for quite some time.
But after a while these men could not hear a thing, no sound at all. They thought, "Well, perhaps the donkey has died." But they said, "Let's just make sure he is buried." They kept on dumping shovelfuls of dirt until they felt satisfied that the deed was done. Then they said, "Let's get a fire to hold over the well and see if we can see anything down there."
When they held the light over the well, they saw something they did not expect to see – they saw the donkey standing on a pile of dirt. They realized that the dirt they were throwing one shovel at a time at the donkey was something the donkey did not allow to weigh him down. Every time they threw a shovel of dirt, the donkey simply shook it off, and the accumulating dirt became a platform on which the donkey would stand before the next shovelful hit him.
This ingenious donkey used the dirt, which was meant to bury him alive, as a means to get himself out of the well. When these gentlemen looked into the well, they saw the happy face of the donkey that had come up on the dirt that they threw at him in order to kill him.
These gentlemen were very amazed and realized that the donkey had taught them an extremely valuable lesson. The donkey had taught them a can-do attitude, even in the face of what seemed to be an impossible situation. They thought that since the donkey had fallen into the well and it was impossible to get him out, that he would die. But the donkey was not ready to die. He was trying to figure out a method of getting himself out, using whatever he could, being creative with the very thing that was meant to suffocate him.
This story reminds me very much of Philippians 4:13, where Paul is saying, "I can do anything; I can do all things through Jesus Christ. It is through Jesus Christ that I am strengthened." The Bible is saying that it doesn't matter what we are faced with in life, as long as we believe in Jesus Christ, as long as we believe in God and True Parents, as long as we have a can-do attitude, a belief that we can do anything through Jesus Christ. It is the very difficulty or obstacle that plagues our path that will strengthen us.
If you think about the story of the donkey, you realize a couple of things. You realize that, number one, this donkey was not going to give up. He was not going to succumb to all these issues that arose from personal problems. This donkey had a major personal problem: he was stuck in a well with no friends to help him. The friends were actually helping him to die. If you don't call that a major personal problem, I don't know what it is. I totally identify with the donkey.
But also the donkey was not looking for an instant fix. We in our modern-day world, where we are inundated with all the superficialities of commercialized living, are so accustomed to instant ramen, instant dinners, instead of a nice, home-cooked meal. We expect instant relief. If we're sick, we say, "Get me an antibiotic; get me fixed," not realizing that if we take too many of them we will not be able to overcome some serious illness in the future. We're always looking for instant fixes. If we've got a family problem, it's "Let's throw the children at the Sunday School teacher. Let the church educate our children. Let the church fix our problem." We want an instant solution to all our problems all the time.
But the interesting thing about the donkey is that he was not looking for an instant solution. He was taking things one at a time, one shovelful at a time, creating a foundation on which he could stand in preparation for being hit by the next shovelful of dirt. He was successful at getting himself out of the well, out of this horrible situation. He was successful in turning his life around, being the master of his own universe, being the agent of change, taking something that was dire and did not bode well and making it into an opportunity.
The donkey was successful because he used the difficulty and the obstacle in his life as a stepping-stone. He used each shovelful of dirt as another step on which he could rise, grow, and literally pull himself up from the depths of the well to safety.
If you think about it, another thing this donkey did was to refuse to be buried. He absolutely refused to allow his personal problems to overtake and plague him to the point of being buried alive. What the donkey did was simply shake them off. When we are confronted with overwhelming difficulty, odds, and obstacles, we have to make the crucial decision to do something about it. We need to decide to tell ourselves that we're going to shake off our problems, face them squarely, and deal with them in our journey of building an ideal family. "Ideal family" implies that we've got a lot of dealing to do with all the different issues that are going to pop up now and again.
Sooner or later we're going to be hit with an extreme situation that we feel is a life-or-death crisis, such as finding that your husband is a sexual predator of your daughter. But instead of letting that bury you alive, letting it totally crush you so you are no good to anybody, you need to decide to be the agent of change regardless of what comes your way. We start deciding to be that agent of change by making sure we shake off the shovelful of dirt that is meant to bury us, each and every day. The donkey simply shook it off. Not only did he shake it off, he used the very thing that was meant to kill him as a firm foundation to stand on so he could pull himself up and create new opportunities.
What the donkey did, which is extremely important, was not only to use his difficulties as stepping-stones, to refuse to let his difficulties bury him, but also to figure out what he was going to do about it. The donkey was highly creative. That's where tapping into our divinity comes into play. We are not just walking and breathing bodies; we are divine human beings, divine sons and daughters of God. We have within us an infinite reservoir of hope, love, and forgiveness. We need to tap into this at those times when the going gets overwhelmingly difficult so we can find the strength to be creative, exercise our divinity and transform our ugly world into something beautiful.
The donkey was highly creative in facing an apparently impossible and hopeless situation in which he was basically sentenced to die. He used the very thing that was meant to suffocate him as something to strengthen him and bring him closer to survival. He used the life-threatening shovelfuls of dirt to bring him closer to seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, to bring him out of his predicament.
When we feel like the whole world has just destroyed us and we have nothing left, we need to find the strength within to tap into the reservoir of our own divinity and decide to be creative. We need to commit to living and continuing to grow, thrive, and learn from our experiences, which we can share with others. Perhaps we can help others who are dealing with the same fate. I am sure that once this ingenious donkey got out, he shared with all his other donkey friends, "Next time you fall into the well, this is what you need to do."
In extremely difficult situations I've often asked myself, why do these things happen to me? Why am I put in this overwhelmingly difficult situation? I really had no desire to be senior pastor in my life. But as I grew through all the difficulties that were thrown in my direction, I realized perhaps I had to go through them in order to be the ears for a lot of brothers and sisters who share similar situations. Perhaps it is my course to be the kind of person who understands their suffering and can still be in the position to say, "If I can do it, you can do it. We can do it together."
This donkey story should be an example of great hope in that, yes, what happened to the sister I mentioned earlier is unbelievably tragic in one sense. But perhaps God knows that she has the strength to take her family through this. Perhaps she can find the strength to help her husband seek help and get therapy. Perhaps this mother can have the strength to help her daughter through this bitterly difficult process and be the kind of mother that is going to change her daughter's life for the better.
When we think about our lives and all the things we experience en route to building an ideal family, we realize that it's a process. It's a journey. There's a lot of good, but also there's a lot of bad. There's a lot of happy, but there's also a lot of sad. There's a lot of laughter, but there are a lot of tears as well. We as a community can be respecting each other in truly wanting to build this great community of ideal families that can be the cornerstone of each society and our one world.
Sometimes we're thinking, "There are so many things that we're dealing with, but I still haven't found what I'm looking for." But perhaps we're so busy looking for things that we don't realize maybe the solution lies in our hands. Maybe the solution lies with me, like the way the donkey realized, "I can start looking and continue looking for ways to get myself out of this predicament." I can sit here saying, "I still haven't found what I'm looking for." But if the donkey didn't own his own situation, take charge of his life, and realize that he was the very thing that was going to get him out of that situation, the donkey would have been a dead donkey.
Likewise, we have to realize that in every difficult situation we can be the kind of people who either give or receive. We can be the kind of people who sit waiting to receive a solution, or we can be the kind of people who look within ourselves, realize that we are divine creatures, and decide that we are going to change our lives and our families. Instead of waiting for everybody else to solve our problems, we can start solving our problems, one step at a time.
It is extremely important that we as a movement are dealing with our family problems. Nobody likes to deal with family problems. It is one of the most painful and difficult things to deal with as human beings. We have different workshops, places like Chung Pyung where we can go for 40 days and not have to think about our families. We send our children off to camp and do not think about them. We're constantly sending each other to various places that are supposed to solve our problems, but we are running away from our problems, not really dealing with them.
When we are struggling and we choose to no longer be in denial and to talk about some of the things that have taken place and are taking place, we need to realize that a major part of the difficulties in being an ideal family is being a parent. Nobody gave parents a manual on parenting. Being thrust into the position of parent without having any parenting manual is certainly an opportunity for all of us to learn and grow, so we can more fully experience the heart of God.
Just as God experienced losing his and her children, just as God experienced watching his and her children kill themselves, rape and pillage, hate each other, speak badly of each other, so too we as parents, in our desire to understand the heart of God, might be placed in these situations where difficulties such as the one that this sister is dealing with might arise. But when we find ourselves in that situation, we can think about the story of the donkey and think about who we are. We are not meant to be failures. God did not create us to be failures in life. God put us here for a reason.
This sister said to me, "Either I kill my husband or I go off on an indefinite holiday." We want to run away from our problems. But when we have that feeling we have to realize that what we are experiencing and dealing with are the best of times and the worst of times, as Charles Dickens said. That's what makes us human. If we can have the strength to learn, persevere, and overcome, believing in Jesus, going through the difficulties, obstacles, and impossibilities that life puts in our path, we will be that much strengthened. The odds, the suffering, and the obstacles will strengthen me and they will strengthen you.
Brothers and sisters, as each family tackles its own problems and difficulties, we as a community should be cognizant that we are all a work in progress and we all need to be supportive of each other. Give each family the space and the means to work out its problems. Instead of finger-pointing, saying this happened because of such and such and listing all the reasons why such and such happened, we should be the kind of community that tries to be there for people going through difficult times. Sooner or later, you and I are going to go through difficult times, too. When we are going through difficult times, do we want our community pointing fingers at us? Judging us? If we don't want that then we should not do that to our brothers and sisters.
As we move forward in building healthier and stronger families and communities, let us do so with this amazing feeling of inspiration in that we are working toward something wonderfully beautiful. In the meantime, there might be situations where things might not be so beautiful. In fact, things might be downright ugly. But we need to see it for what it is. We should not be in denial. We should not sweep it under the rug as if nothing happened. We need to treat what has gone wrong, learn from it, and be like that donkey, refusing to give up, refusing to allow personal problems to bury us, refusing instant solutions and understanding that life is a course, that every success always hinges on hard work, lots of sweat and tears and a lot of prayer.
As I continue to say my prayers for this sister and her family, I'm hoping that we as a movement can be the kind of movement that cares, that is supportive, and that can continue to be creative in this process of building one family under God.
Brothers and sisters, as I took the long flight back home from Malaysia, I realized that God and our True Parents are like the control towers at the airport. They are the ones directing our flights in and out of the airport. We can be that majestic 747 or Airbus, or whatever, that can take ourselves on incredible journeys in life. When we take off from the airport we have a clear destination – we know where we're taking off from and we know where we would like to go. But it is the control tower that guides us through the process and brings us home.
Regardless of how far we might fly, sooner or later we all need to come down. It doesn't matter how fast we go, how brilliantly we fly, how we fly. It doesn't matter if we're a Concorde or a prop plane or a shuttle – sooner or later we all must land. In other words, we all must come home. And what brings us home, brothers and sisters? It's God and our True Parents. They are our control tower and we have to understand very clearly that no airport can have two or three control towers. There must be only one.
We must understand that we as the eternal sons and daughters wanting to build ideal families have to be absolutely united with the signals and guidance that the control tower is sending us, and as a movement not be confused by the other static in the air. When we're coming home, when we're about to land and are receiving two conflicting signals, that does not bode well for the coming-home process. We have to have a clear channel to God and our True Parents.
When we are totally united, sooner or later, regardless of how long or brilliant, or difficult, or turbulent the flight, they will always see us home.
Brothers and sisters, please go knowing that you are in good hands. Regardless of how difficult life or every day might be, please be inspired in the dream of one family under God. Please know that every difficulty and obstacle is an invitation for us to be creative by seeing our difficulties as stepping-stones that give us the opportunity to shake them off so they don't bury us alive and the platform on which we can exercise the divinity within and find the strength within to change our lives and our world.
God bless, and have a wonderful Sunday. Thank you.
1: Therefore, my brethren, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
2: I entreat Eu-o'dia and I entreat Syn'tyche to agree in the Lord.
3: And I ask you also, true yokefellow, help these women, for they have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
4: Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.
5: Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand.
6: Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
7: And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8: Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
9: What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you.
10: I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me; you were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity.
11: Not that I complain of want; for I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content.
12: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want.
13: I can do all things in him who strengthens me.
14: Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.
15: And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedo'nia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving except you only;
16: for even in Thessaloni'ca you sent me help once and again.
17: Not that I seek the gift; but I seek the fruit which increases to your credit.
18: I have received full payment, and more; I am filled, having received from Epaphrodi'tus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.
19: And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
20: To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
21: Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you.
22: All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar's household.
23: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.