The Words of In Jin Moon from 2011
[Cheering and singing "Happy Birthday In Jin Nim.] Good morning. You sure know how to put your senior pastor on the spot and embarrass the living bejesus out of me. But thank you.
I've been trying to convince my team at Lovin' Life and those of you who work with me at Headquarters that I have stopped celebrating my birthday. I have stopped counting since I was 21, and I've been going backwards ever since. But every year without fail these brothers and sisters won't let me forget that I'm a year younger, and hopefully wiser, so thank you very much.
Today I bring you greetings from our True Parents in Las Vegas once again. I so wanted to be a part of BCSF, the sports festival, and I've been getting reports from my kids as well as different leaders who were there. They were saying that this was an event not to be missed, that there were 400 or 500 people gathered, having a great time, engaging in healthy, competitive sports, and that everybody was coming with a great attitude, just thrilled to be there. So I very much wanted to attend, but because I could not attend, Koko on the Lovin' Life team gave me a wonderful visual on how much fun everybody had.
As your senior pastor, nothing makes me more proud to be a Unificationist than to see the beautiful faces of all these bright-eyed and bushy-tailed young men and women enjoying each other in the celebration of our community and our life, truly loving life. So it was very moving for me to hear the reports about all the different activities – not only athletics, but also the talent show, the art show, and the fashion show. Boy, they really kept you busy over there! And with the different kinds of people who came, the great athletes and the great showmanship, I was terribly happy to hear about it and also to finally get a visual on the event itself.
Mr. Fish and friend
When I think about our new CARP mascot Mr. Fish, who graced the sports festival this year, and when I look at our brothers and sisters and our blessed children's community, I have to say, "Yes, we are a little bit different." We are different in that we have been inspired by this vision of creating one family under God. We have been nurtured under the philosophy of living for the sake of others, and we truly believe that our life is a gift or an opportunity to make something wonderful of ourselves, to fulfill our destinies because we have been blessed and anointed by God to be His and Her eternal sons and daughters.
We don't take life lightly. We take it seriously in that we realize that our lives have a divine purpose and plan. But at the same time we go about it with a grateful attitude, and an attitude that's fun filled, excited, and inspired. That's what Lovin' Life Ministries is trying to do. It's trying to infuse our community with the spirit of how exciting it is to be living at the time of the breaking news when our True Parents are here. And, yes, we should celebrate our uniqueness and differences, and we should realize that to be standing, walking, and working together with our True Parents, living at the same time when they are living, is an incredible blessing for all of us.
When I think about our community and our blessed children being different, I often like to think about, "What is our purpose in life as sons and daughters of God?" Before we build a house, we have to have a blueprint. We have to know what kind of house we're going to build – whether we're going to build an apartment, a single-family house, a house for two or three families, or a mansion. We have to have an idea of what we want to build.
Likewise, I believe that when God created every one of us, he and she also had an idea, a blueprint, of what kind of son or daughter God wanted to create and to see actualized when Heavenly Father and Mother gazed into every one of us.
So we were raised as blessed children in a community that celebrated our differences, our uniqueness. I remember growing up in a family of seven brothers and seven sisters. I remember my father very much encouraging the daughters not to let the brothers beat us. In other words, there's a time to be a graceful, elegant young Asian lady, but there is also a time to get muddy and dirty, beating your brothers in a bike race.
I grew up with the mentality that my life before me is truly an oyster and there is nothing that I cannot accomplish, that I cannot fulfill or complete, as long as I have a clear vision or blueprint in my mind of what I would like to accomplish and as long as I am willing to persevere and discipline myself, to train myself to be the best that I can be. I knew there was nothing in my way.
So, yes, there were times when my brothers beat me, but yes, there were glorious moments when I beat my brothers. This took place not only in terms of sports and extracurricular activities, but also, in terms of encouragement from both my father and my mother for all the daughters to do un-Asian-ladylike things – like knowing how to ride a horse, how to shoot a bow and arrow, and how to hit a target with whatever you're holding in your hands.
These were the different ways that our parents encouraged us to get rid of all the obstacles or mental barriers that we place in our minds. When I had children of my own, I wanted to do the same thing. I started out hoping for a girl, but Heavenly Father gave me Preston. For the second one I was hoping for a girl, and then Heavenly Father and Mother gave me Rexton. The third time I really, really prayed hard. I said, "You know, I've grown up with seven brothers, I grew up like a tomboy. I really would like to go toward the pink side of the department store when I visit the children's corner. I really want a little daughter."
I did 21-day prayer conditions, and then something told me I need to do something more, so I did a 40-day prayer condition, and I did a 120-day prayer condition, asking Heavenly Father and Mother, "I want to experience not just the masculine but also the feminine. Please, please, can I be worthy of having a daughter?" And finally I got Ariana.
Then I thought, "You know, we need to try for symmetry here." I grew up in a family with seven brothers and seven sisters, so I wanted symmetry in my kids. So maybe, one more girl would make it perfect – two boys and two girls. Neither sex would feel totally alone. Then I waited for the fourth one and Heavenly Father and Mother gave me Truston. I thought, "Okay, does this mean I'll have to shoot for three boys and three girls?" So I tried one more and then Heavenly Father and Mother gave me Paxton. Then I thought, "This is way more than expected. This is enough. Let's go for quality, not quantity." So I put all my effort into raising the kids to the best of my abilities.
I must say that probably one of the most fulfilling and rewarding, but at the same time most difficult and challenging things, was being a mom, a stay-at-home mom for a good chunk of the years when my children were growing up. I remember there was a time when my parents were traveling around the world, and because we were so busy taking care of a lot of different things and at the same time I was going to school, my parents said, "Well, let us take your children and educate them for you." So they took Rexton and Ariana to Korea for their nursery and kindergarten years.
When I had the opportunity to visit them, I would spend some time and go to the school to participate in all the different activities. I remember there was one dress-up party for the school – and that was when The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, and Snow White stories were all the rage. Oriental and Korean moms don't want to raise tomboys; they want to raise elegant, sublime, quiet Asian young ladies.
So when we got to the party, I was walking in with my daughter. When we walked in, everybody was staring at us. When we walked into the room, I realized that the boys were Superman or Transformers – different robot-type of characters. Some pretended they were the Concorde or the Space Shuttle. On the other side of the room were these beautiful girls dressed up like Cinderella, Snow White, Little Mermaid – beautiful princesses and fairy godmothers, all in dresses. And I realized that the whole class, including the teacher, was staring at my daughter and me because I was very proud of what my daughter was wearing, she was very proud of what she was wearing, and we were going to have a great time.
Bat-humans and Robin
But the response that we got from the classroom was something we did not expect, because they didn't know what to do with a four-year-old girl coming as Batman. She had the full cape on, the mask, and she wasn't wearing a dress. It was Spandex. She had a glorious cape, and she was ready to party, but the girls looked at her as if she were an alien, something very different – too different to allow in their circle.
There was a moment of hesitation and awkward silence, a moment of the adults trying to figure out what to do. I said, "Well, she's from America." I said, "Ariana, why don't you greet your classmates, give them a nice Batman handshake, the boys and the girls." She was very happy, shaking everybody's hand. You could see that the girls didn't really know what to do, getting a handshake from this little girl pretending to be Batman. And the boys – when Ariana came over to them, they just shied away and stepped back, not knowing exactly what to do.
It was at moments like that when I realized, "Here is my daughter. She's four years old, and she's very different, obviously not quite fitting into this classroom and not quite fitting into the culture of what is taught at a very young age: Girls are supposed to be this way; boys are supposed to be this way." But Ariana was very free, and happy and excited about being Batman.
Even though there was an awkward moment where we transitioned into a festive atmosphere – and of course in the end everybody had a good laugh and ended up having a good time – I must say that as a mom I was extremely proud of my daughter because she had no concept, no barrier, that she could not be Batman. She was there to have fun. Her favorite play dolls were a dog and a Batman figure. She grew up in a family where people didn't make her feel that she was stranger, different or weird.
When I think about that, I am reminded and grateful that my daughter feels comfortable in her own skin, not afraid to go confidently wherever she needs to go because she's a living testament of our Heavenly Parent. She's not going to be defined in a certain way. God has a reason for why she is here, and, perhaps through her, God will teach or share with the world something new, wonderful, and exciting. I remember being terribly proud.
As senior pastor I get a lot of e-mails from brothers and sisters – a lot of congratulatory e-mails, a lot of constructive criticism e-mails, a lot of supportive e-mails, and a lot of beseeching e-mails asking for help. Just last week we had a successful 19th annual conference of the Women's Federation for World Peace with a beautiful gala. All the young men and women were dressed beautifully. The young men looked dashing, and the young ladies looked so beautiful.
The thing about our community is that we're trying to raise a new generation of young men and women who are confident in their skin, knowing who they are as eternal sons and daughters. They are not afraid to be handsome; they're not afraid to be beautiful. I am so proud when I see these young men and women enjoying a healthy brother-and-sister relationship, having a great time on the dance floor. For me I see it as great preparation for going into the professions, into their future careers.
The policy of our church and community has too often been to separate the boys and girls, to keep them almost under lock and key – so much so that many of our young people never really knew how to integrate properly into society. They were socially handicapped. But through our different projects and through activities like ballroom dancing, young men and women have a chance to practice a healthy kind of relationship that will give them some social advantage when they enter the professional market.
Of course there were a lot of congratulatory e-mails about the Women's Federation conference and gala. But there were other e-mails reminding me that when we try something new, when we try to move or push our movement forward, there are going to be a lot of different segments of the population in our community that will feel very uncomfortable. For instance, I received an e-mail in which a brother was basically chastising me for encouraging young ladies to be beautiful, to be proud of their femininity. He was commenting about how short their dresses were and how he did not like their high heels because it accentuated their legs. So he was basically getting on my case, asking me to stop it.
There was another e-mail from a brother who said women should not wear pants; women should wear only skirts because when women wear pants, it distracts all the brothers.
When I got these e-mails I realized that this is the older generation of men whom we have to help move along. They are thinking about their youth and their past, when they were distracted by high heels, short skirts, and beautiful women. They realize that they have a problem and maybe are still trying to overcome the problem in looking at a woman wearing pants because it's distracting for them.
But I would answer those brothers, "Why should we say basically that women cannot express themselves in a beautiful way for the gala?" And this was for the gala. They weren't dressed to go to church or to something else. They were dressed to go to a dance and have a good time. If young women are made to feel so repressed that the only thing they can wear to the gala is a pair of sneakers and a burka, I don't think that's going to be too inspiring for the young ladies – or to myself.
Instead of looking toward trying to confine a woman to be a certain way because it is distracting for brothers, I think it's high time in this Pacific Rim Era for the brothers to ask themselves, "How do we train ourselves so we can have a healthy relationship with our beautiful sisters?" Covering the distraction is not going to solve your problem, brothers. Putting women in sneakers and burkas is not going to solve your problem. If you cannot learn to control your own sexuality, if you cannot learn to appreciate women as beautiful masterpieces of God's creation, then you need to work on that.
So the young people of our movement are going to embrace beauty and fun in our culture. They are going to embrace a healthy competitive spirit in our culture because we are not living lives of suffering or denial. That was not God's blueprint or plan for all his and her children.
When we grow up and come together in holy matrimony through the Blessing, we are given an amazing opportunity to build an ideal family and have children of our own. In the moment we hold that child in our hands, we are going to realize that the first and the last wish we have for this child is for the child to be happy, healthy, wise, prosperous, and successful. We will wish for that child to grow to become the completed picture that Jesus was supposed to show us, if he would have had the opportunity to fulfill his mission of finding his beautiful wife and creating a beautiful family by raising beautiful children.
There is a reason why the blueprint for Lovin' Life Ministries is loving life. Jesus came to love life 2,000 years ago, but he never had that opportunity because his disciples were not there, his people were not there, and he had to suffer a lonely death on the cross. His destiny was not to live the life of a miserable and suffering servant. He was born to be the king of kings. He was born to be the true parent of all humankind.
Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han, May 15, 2011
Brothers and sisters, fast-forward 2,000 years and here we have our True Parents with us. They are here completing the final picture. They are here completing the picture that Jesus was not able to complete. In our True Parents and in our own families, we have in our lifetime the great opportunity of building these ideal families one at a time. I like to joke that building an ideal family is never a walk in the park. It's a lot of work. You have to deal with a lot of issues, obstacles, and barriers to build that ideal family. But if we can do that one family at a time, we can build a beautiful world, a harmonious world, a peaceful world, a loving world. That's what we are trying to do.
So when our True Parents come, they come to crush a lot of rocks in our lives. A lot of these rocks are preconceived notions of what a faithful and religious servant of God is supposed to be like. Yes, it's extremely important to understand the suffering life of Jesus Christ and the suffering course of our True Parents in qualifying themselves to stand as the perfected Adam and Eve and the True Parents of humankind. In order to achieve their position, True Parents have had to create the foundation for grafting all of humanity onto the heavenly lineage so we can truly call ourselves one family under God. Yes, a lot of sweat, tears, and blood were shed along the way. But that was a process. It was not an end in and of itself.
Every parent holding his or her child wants that child to be happy, to love and to be loved, and to fulfill his or her destiny. God is no different. God had a loving life waiting for Jesus. God has a loving life waiting for our True Parents, and therefore it's our responsibility to make their lives worthwhile, inspired, and truly loving so they know that their children love them.
Every child born and touched by God, our Heavenly Parent, and our True Parents is meant to love life. Every child is born to fulfill a destiny, to be confident – not arrogant – but a confident son or daughter of God. We were meant to be loving life, living testaments of God and our True Parents. That's our purpose in life; that's our blueprint.
If we think about it, brothers and sisters, especially those of us who have been handpicked to be born at this time of the breaking news when we can serve and work together with our True Parents, we realize that we were born with a special purpose and responsibility. And that responsibility is to testify to brothers and sisters all around the world about our True Parents, that God is our Heavenly Parent, and that we are his and her eternal sons and daughters who have a duty to be compassionate individuals, living for the sake of others with an altruistic lifestyle, while being internally and externally excellent sons and daughters of God.
We understand also that our life has to be a living testament of what God and our True Parents are all about. When we look at the word testify, we notice that the first four letters spell the word test. When I am, or you are, or we are, engaged at this time of the breaking news in testifying about our True Parents, it's going to require a couple of things. We are going to meet a test that will check our character, our commitment, and our courage. It's going to check whether we have what it takes to be an eternal son or daughter of God.
When you are going to school, you take the SATs in preparation for being admitted to college. The SATs are a good litmus test that gives admissions officers who are looking at recruiting you for their college a good idea what kind of student you are. If you get 800s on your SATs, obviously you are smart, and you must have worked hard. Obviously you must have been diligent in all the things that a student is responsible for in the high school years. Therefore, the admissions officer knows that you are well prepared for the next stage of your life, which is college.
For those who do not do so well, that could be an invitation for them to study another year, to review all the learning that took place in the last four years of high school so when they take the test again they can be better prepared for college and hopefully do better. But a test is a good way to get a snapshot of the quality of the person.
When you are engaged in testifying about True Parents, you may be tested in many different ways. It has not always been easy in our movement to testify about being a proud Unificationist because there was so much persecution. Some of us, like my brothers and sisters and my children and their cousins, wear the name Moon and we've got no place to go.
But a lot of the Blessed Children have different names. You might be Smith, Jackson, or Schmidt. Blessed Children have a choice to make. You are born and raised in this movement, but just as your parents in the first generation made the choice to become an eternal son or daughter of God, sooner or later in your life you have to own up to who you want to be.
You have to choose to ask yourself, "Can I wear the Moon name proudly as a member of the one family under God?" "Can I be Schmidt-Moon?" "Can I be Jackson-Moon?" "Can I be Nakai-Moon?" "Can I proudly wear my father and mother's name and be the kind of living testament that testifies to the quality of character these two people have, to the kind of a people our True Father and Mother are? Does my own life stand as a living testament to how they have lived lives of commitment, our True Mother for almost 70 years – on her next birthday, she will be 70 – and our True Father for 93 years on his next birthday.
They have never wavered. They have stood in the face of opposition in all different kinds of pressures, with our Father being thrown into prison more than six times. Our True Mother, through more than 50 years of marriage, has always been by his side, never leaving his side as his wonderful wife and support. These two people are a man and woman of commitment.
Regardless of how difficult their lives have been, they have never wavered. They have taken their responsibility as the True Parents of all humankind seriously, but with a marvelously grateful heart. They tackle every new day with the same kind of an attitude – a heart of gratitude and a determination to work a little harder, to persevere a little longer so they can make the world a better place for their children.
Another quality of our True Parents that we need to inherit if we really want to be the living testament of what our True Parents are all about is courage. Sometimes it takes courage to stand strong in our faith. One of the things that I recognized growing up in the movement is that our thinking and self-image have been affected as we've gone through the time of the wilderness – 40 years of wilderness life during which our mentality was basically a survival mentality. We've had to fight the long and hard battle of trying to establish our presence in the world, hold our communities together, and at the same time raise families, hopefully doing our best to raise inspired and decent young children.
But it has not always been easy. Sometimes it was far easier basically to go undercover and not even deal with who we are, to hide the fact that we are God's sons and daughters and we are True Parents' sons and daughters. I remember when I was studying at the divinity school where there were different colloquiums and seminars and the students could choose to take courses with our favorite professors. One of the courses I wanted to take was taught by a very famous feminist scholar. I knew that she was not too thrilled about some of the teachings of my father, and I knew that her view on our church was not 100 percent favorable.
When I was in her colloquium in the fall term, there was an opportunity for me to own up to who I was. My name is Moon, so there's always the question, "Are you related to Rev. Sun Myung Moon?" But sometimes I really didn't like that question. I just wanted to go incognito, to study, research, write papers, learn about different religions and ideas, and be free to explore and say or discuss things in the classroom without having to be a representative all the time of my faith or my parents.
I remember going through this intense struggle in my mind because whenever this thing was heaped on me – "You're the daughter of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon!" – all these questions would come my way. I would become the focal point of all these questions and discussions. Sometimes I felt like I couldn't learn, I couldn't navigate the intellectual field, asking the questions I wanted to ask, discussing the things I wanted to discuss, because everything was being heard and checked. They saw me as a living testament of my faith, whether or not I wanted it to be that way.
In the beginning when they asked, I said, "Maybe, maybe not." I kept the class guessing because I was trying to figure out how to deal with this. Colloquiums are usually four or five students. They pick the best students in a small seminar type of setting so that you have a lot of one-on-one discussions with the professor. Every time the Moon name came up, my response was, "Maybe, maybe not."
But in one class we were discussing the importance of marriage. The conversation got quite heated as we were throwing around the pros and cons of marriage: "Marriage is great because of this," a whole list; "Marriage is not good because of" dot, dot, dot. And the conversation was really heated and compelling. It was exciting. But I felt like one of the most important gifts God gives to all of humanity through our True Parents is the Blessing. It's our most valuable sacrament. I wanted to explain and share about the breaking news, and I knew that perhaps my environment would not be too conducive to my sharing, but nevertheless I did speak up. It took a tremendous amount of courage, every day telling myself, "Stop dissing courage. You should just come out and say it. You should just be blunt about who you are and tell the people the breaking news of our True Parents."
Even though the struggle up to that point was extremely intense, once I decided, "You know what, yes, my name is Moon. Yes, I want to be a quiet student doing my own thing, but I can't escape the fact that I was born to be a living testament of True Parents." Once I made up my mind to testify – to manifest that character of integrity by letting people know who I really am, by being committed to my community and my faith, by being willing to persevere through any additional persecution coming my way, and by deciding to have the courage to face my fears – I asked myself, "What's the worst thing that could happen to me? My professor could give me an F. But if my professor gives me an F, I could put up a really good fight as to why it should be an A, not an F."
Once I decided, "I am going to testify because I am a living witness of God, our Heavenly Parent, and our True Parents," it was almost as if the floodgates opened up. I felt supremely liberated. "I don't have to hide. I don't have to be undercover. I don't have to fight with myself, battle my mind, dissing courage every morning going to class. If people like it, great; if they don't, well, tough noogies. Hopefully they'll like it a little better a couple of years down the line when they think about what I would like to share with them." It was wonderfully liberating for me.
The more I became a confident person, the more people listened. Even the professor listened. I'd been reading all her work so I knew exactly where she stood. But because I was so confident in being the living testament of our True Parents, she was highly intrigued. So we ended up having more conversations and discussing things more deeply, more profoundly. As a result of my choice to testify, I left the school with a much more rewarding experience and a much more significant relationship with this teacher than I would have had if I had just kept to myself, being basically a quiet nobody in a sea of students.
I realized the power of being proud of who we are. Now there's no stopping me – and the same goes for my brothers. Lovey [Hyung Jin Moon], the spiritual heir of our movement, whenever he meets new people the first thing he does is to testify about True Parents. He knows that he's a living testament of these three incredible things called character, commitment, and courage.
Character is the quality of character in a person that is required in order to be the living testament of our True Parents. Commitment is required in order to have the strength to persevere, overcome, and finally complete the destinies our Heavenly Father and Mother set out for us when God thought about creating the blueprint for every one of us. Courage is what we need in order to look fear in the face and instead of dissing courage by hiding, buckling under, and taking the easy way out, to choose to be bold, righteous, and loving by offering the gift of our ability and willingness to testify about our True Parents. In this way, we are giving all of humanity an invitation not just to enjoy true love and true life but also to substantiate the true lineage of God and become a part of the one family under God.
The Bible says in I Peter 4:12, "Beloved, do not be amazed and bewildered by the fiery ordeal that will test what you're all about, as if it is something strange that has befallen you." Let's be proud that we are kind of strange. We are weirdly wonderful. We are unique. We are different. But we are proud eternal sons and daughters of God, each and every one of us. So, yes, there is going to be difficulty, there is going to be the fiery ordeal at one, or two, or three times in the course of our lives. But do not think of it as being strange that it is befalling us, says I Peter.
Knowing that at this time when we are here, we have been given the responsibility of being the living testament of our True Parents, we realize that we have been given a great blueprint. But just like in building a house, we may have the greatest blueprint available to humankind for the most beautiful house we could possibly imagine and we can visualize what the house is going to look like. Now we can do that in 3D graphics, so we can pretty much get a clear idea of how it's going to be by navigating through the computer.
But we know that in order to go from the blueprint to the final product of the house, there are going to be a lot of fiery ordeals that will test us, just like the fiery ordeals that will test us when we own up to the fact that it's our responsibility to testify at this time of the breaking news about the glories of our Heavenly Parent and about the need to graft onto one family under God through the Blessing that our True Parents give.
The fiery ordeals are just the process. The suffering and the difficulties that we've all shared, that we've gone through and that we will continue to go through are the fiery ordeals that will test us along the way. But the fiery ordeals are just a test; they are not the conclusion. It's not the end. It's not the completed picture of what we are supposed to be all about.
Raising a beautiful family is similar to constructing a house. We start from a blueprint, but then we raise the frame and there's a whole lot of hammering, plastering, and painting, and a whole lot of other work. But when we go through all that, we can see that it is a process we go through on our way to building a beautiful house – or a beautiful family. In this perspective we can see that the fiery ordeal is a test that will help us accomplish a life of truly loving life, of being a fulfilled man or woman of God.
When I saw the big CARP fish mascot, it reminded me of my fishing days and of my realization from spending a lot of time with my Father that not only was my mother a fantastic cook, but also my father was a fantastic cook.
I love the section in one of the chapters of my father's autobiography where he talks about what a fine knitter he was. He knitted a cap that was so fashionable. He was very much a man, and he imagined himself as a fashion designer. Can you imagine Father as a fashion designer? He knitted his own cap, and he was so proud of the fashion statement he was making because it was unique, handcrafted, and lovingly made with his own hands.
One of the things my father taught me early on was that you can tell a lot about people just by watching the way they cook, just by watching how they prepare and what is finally put upon the table. And so, just as Ariana was decidedly different running around in a Batman suit, there were moments when my father really surprised me with his approach to food. One of those moments was when I was just beginning to be a novice cook. I was the only daughter who did not get seasick when my father went deep-sea fishing, so he asked me to cook in the kitchen all the time. Before my fishing days started at age 11, I really didn't know how to cook, but then I learned on the job.
One of the things my father opened my eyes to is the possibility of playing around with different ingredients, looking at them as puzzle pieces that I could play around with to create a whole new picture. He helped me understand that although many of us can cook only if we have a cookbook, the great and fantastic chefs, who have already cooked all the recipes in a lot of cookbooks on the market, practice the true artistry of cooking by not just copying somebody's recipe but by coming up with their own awesome recipe.
When I got ready to go fishing, the kitchen sisters would tell me, "Okay, In Jin Nim, you need to prepare miso soup. This is what you need to do." And they would write out exactly what I needed to do. But my father would treat each ingredient as something unique to be highlighted, not just stuffed into a dish but something to be appreciated.
One of my moments with Father on top of New Hope was when I had brought some sandwiches and rice balls for him to eat. But Mother had sent along a delicious chocolate bar from Switzerland that had been given by brothers and sisters. So I put the chocolate on its own really nice plate and took it up to my father, along with a plate of rice balls, and of course kochujang and some kimchee and dried seaweed.
Father looked at the plate. The chocolate was meant to be dessert, but he unwrapped the chocolate and started with that. I was watching him and said, "Daddy, that's dessert." He said, "Um, hmm." He continued to have more of the neat squares that the chocolate bar was marked with. He took the whole chocolate and dipped it in kochujang. I screamed out, "Father, what are you doing?" He said, "Um, hmm." He dipped the chocolate in the hot sauce and took a bite. I was thinking in my mind, "What are you doing putting chocolate in the hot sauce?!"
He took a bite, looked at the chocolate, dipped it again in the hot sauce, and then he took another bite. I said, "Father, You're not supposed to do that." And I remember him looking at me, smiling and saying, "Says who? It's delicious."
Fast forward 20 years and I have children of my own. I'm in my kitchen developing my divine cheesecake recipes. By then I have traveled around the world, tasted different cuisines, and I have experienced the South American delicacy called molé, for which they actually grind cooked pepper and mix it into the chocolate sauce. It's a fantastic concoction that's sweet when you first bite into it, but it leaves your throat burning. It's a divine experience, and once you have it, you've got to have more.
What I had thought was extremely weird somehow 20 years later became weirdly wonderful. Remembering my Father dipping his huge Lindt chocolate bar into hot sauce, I thought, "I want to create a chocolate cheesecake, but in honor of my father I'm going to create a molé-like cheesecake that tastes like chocolate but burns like pepper.
I remembered as I was playing around with these ingredients and creating my own recipe that Father was always challenging me to think outside the box, to think outside of what we are accustomed to. Now, as our church is moving from the wilderness mentality of just surviving into the time of settlement, we must think not only about how we are going to survive but about how we are going to prosper, thrive, and start loving life. We've got to have a lot of thinking outside the box. There have got to be little girls wanting to dress up like Batman every once in a while, or beautiful young ladies who are not afraid of their own femininity, not afraid to wear high heels and do it confidently and in a healthy way. There are going to be a lot of challenges to the rocks that we were accustomed to.
Our True Father is going to take all of us to Las Vegas for a tour of the slots tournament and change the mentality of Las Vegas from a town of sin to a town of giving. He plans to give and breathe new life to different charities and organizations that are already in play and inspire others to do the same. Father is empowering our members to enjoy leisure time with our families. We have the best ski resort in Korea, and when the Winter Olympics will be held in 2018, guess where they're going to have the ski tournament? In our ski resort.
We're talking about reclaiming leisure, reclaiming the fun that Satan took away, that the history of indemnification and restoration took away from humankind. We're talking about reclaiming our lives as something we should celebrate, something we should be wild about, something for which we should not hold ourselves back.
The big banner for the sports festival was "All In." This is not the time to be wondering, "Am I? Am I not? Do I? Do I not? Should I? Should I not?" This is the time of the breaking news when we should be all in, brothers and sisters.
As a living testament, be proud that we own our game. We have in our care the blueprint that God gave us, and the only thing we need to do is to be a living testament through the fiery ordeals that will test us along the way. If we can be true to who we are, true to our divine purpose and our responsibility to be a living testament, we are going to do much better than traveling at the speed of sound. We are going to be traveling at the speed of love, and that is instantaneous. It is more powerful than anything else, and it has the ability in the process to transform ourselves, our environment, and our world.
We can do that, brothers and sisters, if we can truly be sons and daughters who fully live together with God in our lives every day and fully dedicate everything that we're about to being his and her sons and daughters, to being inspired individuals who understand the importance of the time we are living in. This is an exciting time. Let's share with the rest of the world the breaking news that our True Parents come with the incredible gift of the Blessing as an invitation to join together in one family under God, going beyond our race, color, faith, and cultural background.
So brothers and sisters, let's congratulate the BCSF once again for an awesome week, showing and exercising great sportsmanship and great attitude throughout the whole festival. This is really a time when we should say to ourselves, "I am all in because I am proud to be a Unificationist." God bless, and have a wonderful Sunday.
1: Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same thought, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,
2: so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer by human passions but by the will of God.
3: Let the time that is past suffice for doing what the Gentiles like to do, living in licentiousness, passions, drunkenness, revels, carousing, and lawless idolatry.
4: They are surprised that you do not now join them in the same wild profligacy, and they abuse you;
5: but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
6: For this is why the gospel was preached even to the dead, that though judged in the flesh like men, they might live in the spirit like God.
7: The end of all things is at hand; therefore keep sane and sober for your prayers.
8: Above all hold unfailing your love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins.
9: Practice hospitality ungrudgingly to one another.
10: As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace:
11: whoever speaks, as one who utters oracles of God; whoever renders service, as one who renders it by the strength which God supplies; in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
12: Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to prove you, as though something strange were happening to you.
13: But rejoice in so far as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
14: If you are reproached for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
15: But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or a wrongdoer, or a mischief-maker;
16: yet if one suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but under that name let him glorify God.
17: For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?
18: And "If the righteous man is scarcely saved,
where will the impious and sinner appear?"
19: Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will do right and entrust their souls to a faithful Creator.