The Words of In Jin Moon from 2012
Good morning. Everyone must have had some breakfast this morning. Let me wish a happy Father's Day to all the fathers in the audience.
This day has a deep meaning for me because my journey in terms of my relationship with my father has been a long and blessed one. When I got up today I thought about some of those special moments that I have had with my father -- and I know that many of you in the audience have had special moments with your father, too.
Having returned from Japan to celebrate the Commencement Gala with our kids, I was reminded again just how awesome our movement is. I realized that despite all those years in the wilderness when we've suffered, we've cried, and we've shed our blood, sweat, and tears together, something beautiful has come out of it. Beautiful children came out of it, and through them we see the promise of a brilliant future.
When I saw their beautiful faces at the gala and some of them again performing here this morning, I realized that we really do have a lot to look forward to. As long as we continue on this path of coming together as one family of God, one community of God, supporting, encouraging and empowering each other, there's nothing that we cannot accomplish.
This most recent experience sustains in me a powerful sense that there is always something exciting around the corner. That's the reason why I love being a mom -- because every brand-new day brings another sweet surprise. The surprise may be good or bad or somewhere in between, but it will be a surprise. We grow together from going through those experiences, and we realize that we can finally truly understand the heart of God as a parent when we come to experience life together with our family. Honoring the First-Generation as Heroes
Having just returned from Japan where, as the mother nation she has carried the weight of the financial responsibility when it came to the providence, I realized that so many brothers and sisters in Japan are tired and burdened with so much responsibility and expectation placed upon them. Through the youth concert series, I have wanted to highlight what's truly beautiful in our Japanese families despite their life of suffering, hardship, denial, and misery: that they have somehow managed to give birth to and raised these beautiful children who embody the promise of extreme good fortune in the future for our movement.
These kids are precious, and they are each a unique and different handiwork of God. When we see them perform in a choir as magnificent as the choir that we saw here, we realize that they tap into the spirit of something profound, moving, and beautiful that inspires all of us to want to be better. So highlighting the beauty of those Japanese children, I felt, is the greatest gift as a wonderful reminder of why we do what we do, why we continue to walk the path, why we continue to struggle to overcome hardships and grow together as a family. We do this because we have something worthwhile, something worth investing in: It is our future, the future of Japan.
This time when I went there -- after having a 12-year history of running these youth concerts for world peace -- I wanted to share what we do here at Lovin' Life and share the breaking news with our brothers and sisters. Our members in the Eve nation for such a long time thought that they just had to be in the position of a sacrificial mother for the rest of their lives, for all of eternity. The words indemnity and restoration seem to be the most prominent words in their minds. So, "Do whatever needs to be done to indemnify, restore, and fulfill the providence," has been their motto. This has been their mantra for the last 40 to 50 years.
But as we come out of the Wilderness Era and look toward the Era of Settlement, we need to start thinking about building the ideal families, the communities, and the societies that we've been talking about and teaching other people about. To do this, we need to have a shift in our mental understanding, our perspective or our opinions of how life should be.
In Japan we shared wonderful video clips of our beautiful kids in the United States being energized, enthusiastic and inspired by their faith, being proud of being an Unificationist, and having dreams and goals -- seeing life as an opportunity to leave something beautiful behind. When these tired Japanese members saw pictures or video clips of our kids, they were so inspired, and they realized, "Yes, we've suffered but," as I encouraged them to think, "our suffering has not been in vain." They realized that they have been laying down the basement foundation for a beautiful house to be built.
Therefore, the second- and further generations coming after need to be immensely grateful to those first-generation who have gone through a life of sacrifice and accomplished something unprecedented in the context of history. Unlike the disciples of Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago who left him stranded and crucified on the cross, none of you, none of our first-generation brothers and sisters who still walk the path with our True Parents left or abandoned them. These first-generation brothers and sisters accomplished the awesome task of protecting the messiah and our True Parents. On that foundation, we can share the breaking news with the rest of the world today as, together with our True Parents, we come out of the Era of the Wilderness and look forward to an Era of Settlement.
That transition could be made because of the foundation laid by the first-generation. Therefore we need to honor them as the great heroes that they are because they accomplished something that the disciples of Jesus could not do 2,000 years ago.
However, we shouldn't just stand and pat ourselves on the back for having done something amazing. We need to move forward. We need to go on. We need to continue transitioning and work on substantiating the promise of the Era of Settlement. As we do this great work, we need to remember that in the Time of the Wilderness, everything was mission-oriented, everything was very fast -- almost like a blitzkrieg. You go in for the mission; you come out; you do the event and you come out; you go on to the next one. It was one mission after another. We had no time to settle down. We had no time to raise families. We had no time to think about ourselves.
But in this Time of Settlement, we are actually preparing a harvest. Our children are like seeds germinating and growing to produce beautiful flowers and delicious fruits. But anyone who has ever planted seeds or done a bit of gardening, realizes that no matter how much or how quickly we want that seed to sprout, the sprouting has its own time frame. In order to reap a huge harvest come fall, we have to go through the seasonal cycles including the winter months in preparation for the spring, when we plant the seeds and then watch the plants grow through the summer. We realize that there's a time and place for different things.
In order to reap the harvest, we have to slow down. We can't be blitzkrieg units like we were in the Time of the Wilderness. We have to slow down. In order to progress faster in terms of providence, in essence, we need to do the reverse: We need to slow down. We need to start appreciating life. We need to start taking root. We need to start building families. We need to start appreciating each other and the time given to all of us.
Life is so much more than just a mission-oriented work. Instead of what we thought, and what the Japanese nation of brothers and sisters thought, that a meaningful and valuable life was to be a life of indemnity, restoration and suffering, we need in the Era of Settlement to substantiate the breaking news. And we can only do that in a healthy, prosperous, and successful way if we really start loving life.
We have to re-haul everything that we thought a meaningful and valuable life should be; or perhaps we need to re-think all the things that we took for granted. We need to re-brand. We need to re-educate ourselves to understand that this is a different time.
I had the great fortune of being able to congratulate all the graduates who joined us at the Commencement Gala. I spoke to them about how, as we transition from the Time of the Wilderness to the Time of Settlement, the question that we need to be asking ourselves as young people and as graduates is the big question that I often ask myself. We need to ask ourselves as we transition, progress, and move forward: "Is the world changing us, or are we the ones changing the world?"
One thing I recognize through being a mother of child prodigies is that when you try to perfect, your art, such as when I was practicing with my children for their piano competitions, the key to playing faster is not to tense up. It's not to become more rigid; it's not to become so intensified that you're not relaxed. The secret to playing faster or to being more natural on the piano and being better able to play those fantastic arpeggios at lightning speed is to relax.
The center and the core need to be absolutely clear. You've already conditioned yourself through practice as to what notes you're going to play. But in order to truly be that master artist who expresses divine language in a beautiful way, all the limbs -- the elbows, the wrists, and the fingers -- need to be supremely relaxed. When you touch a pianist's hand while it's playing lighting-speed arpeggios or scales, you notice that it's amazingly fluid. It's very, very relaxed.
As we move toward the Age of Settlement, all that rigidity or that army mission mentality -- in which everything is so controlled, intense, and focused -- needs to give way to a more natural, slower, or more relaxed way of living so that, when we need to, we can move even faster, like the way we move on the piano.
And it's no different for a racecar driver. One of my friends who is a famous race car driver told me, "The faster you drive, the more you have to sit in your seat, the more the body has to be relaxed. Of course, your brain and your mental faculties are at an edge. They're focused, alert and looking at everything, but the body itself is incredibly relaxed and fluid in order to accommodate the high speed."
In our movement, I think that a lot of people who have been used to a very controlling command-obey kind of a relationship don't know what to do with this Lovin' Life mentality in which everything seems a little bit too relaxed for comfort. "What? We're not separating boys and girls anymore? Worse than that, we're actually encouraging them to have healthy relationships?" "What? You're not telling them about the three-foot rule that a boy and a girl cannot sit within three feet of each other?" "What? They're creating frames on the ballroom dance floor? They're actually touching?" "Oh my goodness, what is the world coming to?"
"What is happening to our church? It's so relaxed. What happened to that clear command-obey central-station type of a relationship? Everything seems a little bit too natural. Faith is not supposed to be natural. Being a divine son and a daughter of God is not supposed to be natural; it's supposed to be miserable. It's supposed to be a life of suffering. What the heck is going on at Lovin' Life?"
But if we cannot be natural and relaxed in what we believe, if we cannot be a confident, relaxed Unificationist who is infectiously inspiring, then the natural witnessing that I've talked about often cannot take place. Having been a teacher for many years, I know that the most effective way to teach is when students feel like they're in a natural environment.
When you're trying to cram something down their throats, when you're trying to constantly ply them with facts and figures, nothing goes in. But when you start telling them a story that has facts, figures, and information woven in, they're all ears; they start to listen. In the context of hearing a good story, they retain more of the facts and figures that I try to teach.
I realized that in order to get their attention, it has to be interactive, it has to be exciting, and it has to be something that's fun. Learning needs to be fun, so at Lovin' Life we're not afraid to have fun. Look at these kids. They are having a great time, but they're also working hard -- and look how awesome they are. They work hard, but they also play hard and stay on the path. And before they knew it, they turned around and said, "Omigod, we won the Gold Medal at the choir competition." "Omigod, I know what I want to do with my life." "Omigod, I haven't really given my passions much thought, but now I have. Now I have a clear goal and a clear focus."
Our kids are better positioned than we parents in terms of knowing what they want and knowing that they don't need to ask, "Is the world going to change us or are we changing the world?" They know the answer. "We are going to change the world; we are going to be that agent of change."
In Japan I met a lot of the blessed children, who are heavily burdened by the weight of the suffering of the first-generation. They see their parents, who have given up everything for the sake of providence. Here in America we have an understanding that tithing is 10 percent and a higher percent if you can afford it, but in Japan they've been tithing 120, even 200 percent. And the children coming up the ladder watching their parents literally wither away living this miserable life basically are saying, "No, I don't want this. I don't want to be a part of this community."
As they say this, they are not realizing that what they saw was the Time of the Wilderness, and right now we are in the transition phase of turning the corner and looking toward ushering in the Era of Settlement. It's during this transition time that we've lost a lot of blessed children because we were so mission-oriented and so focused on what needed to be accomplished that we didn't take the time to take root and think about how we are going to prepare for this amazing harvest. We didn't give much thought to what kind of parents we were going to be: How we were going to raise our children and prepare them so they won't be changed by the world but rather they will be the change in the world. We haven't thought much about it.
So a lot of the second-generation in Japan -- and also Korea and here in the United States -- have dealt with and struggled with "This world that I've come to hate." I hear this all the time from many of the young people, "I hate my life." "I don't love my life; I hate my life." "I don't love the world; I hate the world." "My life has not been good to me. The world has not been good to me. The world has been fiendishly cruel and unkind. The world is horribly ugly. It's not beautiful. I hate the world."
But in our community with its foremost philosophy being "living for the sake of others," we are supposed to love others; we are supposed to love life and to be in service to others. If our young people are focused not on loving the world but on claiming or articulating their hatred for the world, we as a community need to help draw them out of this way of viewing the world.
A lot of people, I believe, think of the word hate as being the opposite of love. But if you really think about it, hate is not the opposite of love. The opposite of love is selfishness. When you hate something, you are hating something, but it's really about you. "The world was unjust to me." "The world was unkind to me." "The world is not beautiful, it is ugly to me." "The world is cruel to me." When we hate the world, basically we're saying "It's not we who are going to change the world, but it is the world changing us. It is the world causing us to hate. It is the world causing us to be selfish."
But if we are to live a life of altruism, living for the sake of others, we have to start with ourselves. It's very difficult to love another human being if you don't love yourself. If you go take care of yourself so that you're living, thriving and prospering, and in so doing live your life in gratitude, then you can be extremely inspired to help other people.
We see that when young people feel like the world does not understand them and therefore they're going to hate it, in essence what they're doing is practicing selfishness in their lives. They're not thinking, "I need to be the change. I need to be the agent of change, so regardless of how my life is, beautiful or not, it's really up to me. I can become that secret, loving ingredient that changes the world."
For these young people who are in the throes of hating the world or hating my life, hating my family, it's all about me, myself, and I. They are going through what I call degging it. Let me explain what I mean by degging it. There are a couple of things that children do when they feel like they hate the world.
Number One, they become extremely disillusioned about everything around them. They become disillusioned about themselves, their family, their friends, their world, their school, and everything. Everything is wrong. Everything out there is flooding these people's psyches, these people's worlds, and they are drowning in disillusionment because they have no focus. It's really not clear as to why they're often depressed or disillusioned. It's an amalgamation of a lot of factors. They often can't pinpoint exactly what it is that is affecting them, but nonetheless they are often busy hating the world, or exercising what I call the selfishness of the disillusioned.
Number Two, you see in children who hate the world is escape. A lot of young men and women escape to fantasy world, a virtual world. When you play these video games you can often create your own identity, your own reality, so that suddenly instead of being an unknown X or a Y or a Z in a sea of people, you can be some awesome new character. And then, unlike the real world, where you feel totally outweighed by everything in your life, in these virtual worlds, you can be almost like God. You create everything. You control everything. You become the master of the universe.
When young people are going through a difficult adolescence in the teenage years, when we are so vulnerable to being insecure about who we are and what we want to be, these kinds of virtual worlds create a safe haven for a lot of young people because it's a world that they can control as masters of the universe. A lot of young people don't just escape into virtual realities; many times they escape into what we consider the spiritual life.
This world of daily life in which we live can be so ugly, cruel, and unjust that it's just awful, but the other world or the spiritual world seems like a world of peace, where everything is beautiful, where things are not ugly, where you feel like you can control your life because it's a perfect world that is waiting for us.
A lot of young people have this constant temptation to escape their realities into the virtual world or the spiritual realm. So we, being a movement that emphasizes the importance of the spiritual world, must not forget also to emphasize the importance of the physical world and doing the work that needs to be done in the physical world because sometimes the spirit world is too attractive. "Why wait?" "Why suffer it out?" "Why struggle?" "Why not just leave?" "Why not take my own life, be my own master of the universe and escape to the other world?" This can be a constant temptation.
Young people are dealing not only with disillusionment and a desire to escape, but also they are often dealing with an urgent need for finality in their life. They want a solution; they want an answer; and feeling like they're being responsible, they may just suddenly decide to, Number Three, give up. They may decide they don't want to do it anymore.
Sun Myung Moon holds In Jin Moon, Hak Ja Han holds Hyo Jin Moon and Won Pok Choi with Ye Jin Moon
But we can gain some perspective when we look at our True Father's life, since today is Father's Day, and ask ourselves, "What was Father thinking when he asked himself the question 'Is it the world that is changing you or me or us, or is it you, me or us that is going to change the world?'" When we look at our True Father's life in which he has endured extreme, severe, incredibly difficult persecution -- six times being thrown in prison -- and so much misunderstanding and accusation, we have to acknowledge that this is a man who legitimately could have a right to hate the world, a reason not to love the world.
I'm sure Father has felt the feelings of disillusionment and wanting to escape sometimes. We all do. I'm sure he may have felt that he wants to give up. After all, he is human. The great thing about the messiah being human and not some kind of a super-alien who never experiences these feelings is that when we look at our True Father's example and realize that because he's a man, he can feel disillusionment, he can feel a desire to escape, and he can feel a desire to give up, but he is not disillusioned. He doesn't let disillusionment get him. He remains focused instead of being disillusioned.
This man might want to escape into perhaps the virtual reality or even the spirit world, but he is committed to the work at hand. He is committed to the work of substantiating something that God longed for in this reality, even though I'm sure he must have wanted to give up many times. All of us do. I've wanted to give up. Life is too difficult. The spirit world looks much more attractive. The virtual world looks much more attractive. The work at hand is ponderously difficult. You want to give up.
But what does Father do? Instead of giving up, he laughs. He relaxes. He takes three breaths. He relaxes and gears up to deal with building an ideal family. When you look at Father's example, you see that this is a man who could hate the world, who could live a life of utmost selfishness, saying, "I deserve to feel this way. I deserve to be negative. I deserve to criticize everybody around me day in and day out." But he doesn't. He remains focused.
Father remains committed in his relaxed, natural manner. He's such a natural man. It does not matter whether you put him in front of a president or a homeless person. He is himself. He is natural. There's nothing artificial about him. He will always wear his polyester 1970s, what I call Saturday Night Live-type, shirts in front of both presidents and homeless people. Of course, my mother thinks it's ghastly, and she wants him to be up on the fashion plate. But this is a man for whom it really doesn't matter what he's wearing. He is his own person. He is that natural self, that relaxed person. That's why we all love him.
If I were to ask a first-generation, "Why did you join this church? Why was my father such an attractive leader for you or a father figure for you," I think a lot of them would say that they never knew you could laugh so much at church, or even joke or have fun about love. There were all these stories that True Father gave. One of the required things that you have to do when you're home schooling your kids is sex education. I told the superintendent in Lexington, "Well, you don't need to worry about that because in our church we're very open. Starting with their grandfather, we talk openly about these things so they're pretty well versed in that. You don't have to worry about it."
In that sense, we are an extremely relaxed community. It's a very different type of a service than a Catholic mass, isn't it? We're not standing up, singing Hail Mary's, and having everything be so serious. One of the things about Father is that he's laughing all the time, he's singing all the time, and now he's dancing all the time. So even just by looking at the man, "Whoops, he laughs; he dances: he sings." Isn't that what we do at Lovin' Life Ministries?
In a way, we are carrying on the best of the tradition. In terms of moving forward, yes, a lot of old habits are falling by the wayside, but that does not mean that all hell is going to break loose and it's going to be chaos. There is an extremely clear center and a core, our spiritual core. But in terms of our movement as human beings, we need to be more natural.
I don't know about you, but I remember when I was growing up there was a certain kind of a physicality that you had to carry around if you wanted to be respectful toward somebody. You couldn't look at a leader. You all had to listen like this [with head bowed]. And the limbs, or the way we moved, was very subject and object, Four Position Foundation.
Back then, our movement was full of Americans but they were all speaking Kenglish, or Jenglish. What happened to good English? There was this almost military-like way of speaking in short, cut sentences. No--full-- sentences. No--cadence--in--a--language, no--intonation. It was like, we--have--to--move, we--have--mission. We--must--fulfill. Providential--duty.
I don't know about you, but that's really not inspiring to me. I want to be able to talk to my Heavenly Parent. I don't want to pray to my Heavenly Parent, "This--mission, this--week, this--much, but--not--that--much." I don't want to talk like that. I want to say, "Father, Mother, can I report to you how my day was?" And I want to be able to converse with God in the same way I would love to converse with my parents. I think most parents want their children to converse in that way. Do we really want to raise kids to say, "Mom, today--I--finished--7--day--course--of--my--homework, but--next--month--I--am--going--to--work--on--Cain--versus--Abel, struggle--over--Cain--versus--Abel. And--I'm--going--to--make--sure--I--am--not--Cained--out. I'm--going--to--make--sure--I--control--my--Isaac." Why do we have to do that?
Why can't we be natural? Why can't we be relaxed and proud of who we are? "Hey, I'm an Unificationist and I don't have to speak like that to prove that I am religious, to prove that I am faithful." If you're really faithful and religious, you don't have to prove it. Just be yourself, be ourselves, because that's what every parent wants from a child, and that's what God wants from all of us.
As we move forward asking ourselves, "Are we going to be the kind of people who are changed by the world, or are we going to be the kind of people who change the world," we realize that we may have to re-think a lot of the things that we have taken for granted -- like, for instance, living for the sake of others that we understood in the time of the wilderness as dying for the sake of others, as suffering for the sake of others. This is a time when we each need to express our distinct selves.
A musical example helps to make this point. You may know that I have a thing about Russian music. Rachmaninoff was a brilliant Russian composer who happens to be one of my favorites. He wrote a piece called "Rhapsody on the Theme of Paganini." It's a beautiful piece in which he chose a certain melodic phrase or a theme that he played around with and expressed in 24 different ways, or 24 variations. But the crËme de la crËme of all the 24 variations is Variation 18, a beautiful melody that "sings" to you so once you hear it you cannot forget it. Rachmaninoff wrote in andante contabile. That means slowly, like singing.
This piece, for a pianist, is a supremely challenging one because how do you express musically 24 variations or 24 facets of your feelings or your expression? So this piece is often required for international competitions. Anybody can be like a Terminator on a piano with no mistakes. But what you want to hear is musicality. You want to hear that divine language flowing through the fingers of the artist.
So this piece in particular is extremely difficult because you have to play 24 variations in 24 different ways. You cannot play each variation in the same way, so you have to be an extremely adept or capable artist, even a master artist, to fully express yourself in this piece. What I call the soaring melodic line or the memorable melody that comes from Variation 18 emerges because Rachmaninoff does something remarkable with the theme he has been playing around with. He reverses the theme. He reverses it and slows it down to the level at which you can actually sing the harmony. So he takes the original theme, reverses it, and slows it down.
In essence, what we are trying to do here at Lovin' Life Ministries is be that memorable, indelible melodic line that will travel through time. We're taking the original theme -- everything good that our True Parents have brought to our organization, our community, and our lives -- but in essence we're playing around with it and reversing it.
So we're taking a lot of what the Japanese brothers and sisters thought, that their life was necessarily one of indemnity restoration, denial, suffering, and misery, and we're reversing it to say that is really not their purpose, that is not the reason God created us. That life is something we had to go through in order to dig the basement floor, but God wants all of us to build something beautiful.
How do you build something beautiful from the original theme that Rachmaninoff came up with? You slow it down; you sing that melody, and then it turns into the melody that one Hollywood producer put in his film called Somewhere in Time. It's one of those romantic classics. I don't know why, but Koreans seem to love it, so it seems like I see it every time I get on KAL to go to Korea -- and I have to go back on Monday. This kind of a romantic, otherworldly tale is something that's just so beautiful to a lot of people, and it uses Variation 18 from "Rhapsody on the Theme of Paganini" by Rachmaninoff.
Somewhere in Time
The movie Somewhere in Time is about a young, bright, successful playwright named Richard Collier who happens to come across a picture of a beautiful woman, falls madly in love with her, and travels back in time to be with her. Pretty romantic, huh? Yeah. It got me. I see it over and over again.
He travels back in time to meet her and be with her. But he realizes that he can't stay in that reality because one of the things that he brought with him was a coin from the modern day. When he flips the coin and realizes that it's dated 1970-something, he is dragged back -- actually forward -- in time to his current reality that he no longer wants to be a part of. It's a tragic love story in that he takes his own life because he wants to be with his beloved.
The movie is dealing with the notion of something beautiful that cannot be had here and therefore either we need to die or we want something else in order to experience something like it. But what our True Parents with the breaking news are saying and sharing with us is, "Look, we as a movement have gone through the time of the wilderness, when, yes, it was difficult. It was a life of suffering. It was miserable digging a trench-like basement floor all those years. But we don't have to be otherworldly to try to build something beautiful."
In fact, we can do it in our lifetime, as long as we remain focused and committed to our realities, like our True Father, and as long as we remain relaxed and natural in dealing with all that we have to deal with to build ideal families. If we follow our True Father's example, we don't have to be otherworldly to have or experience loving life. We can actually create it for ourselves, starting with ourselves.
So, let's ask ourselves again, "Are we going to be the kind of people who are changed by the world?" Are we going to be people who are constantly tempted, not knowing what we want out of life? "Well, my friends are taking drugs, so I'm going to take drugs." "My friends are partying, so I'm going to party." "My friends are just taking off and not doing anything with their lives, so that's what I'm going to do." Are we going to be that kind of people?
Or are we going to make something of our lives, starting with ourselves, because we realize all of us are agents of change? We are all divine sons and daughters of God who were put on earth to change our world. That's the most exciting thing about it: that the world is waiting for us to change it in a good way, waiting for us to guide it in a good way. The world is waiting for us to share in the breaking news in a wonderful way so we can build a family of God, so that we can really be brothers and sisters and not just talk about it.
When the Bible, in Romans 12:2 says, "Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed," it carries an implicit understanding that transformation requires growth. When we are conformed to something, there's a sense that we have been changed, but then again we're kind of stuck, we're kind of petrified.
But being a divine son or daughter of God, we need to be continually growing, continually experiencing, and continually learning. We need to be our own transformation. We need to work on ourselves -- to work on not being disillusioned, not always wanting to escape, and not always giving up. We need to focus and commit to the reality and responsibility at hand, and to be relaxed in dealing with the different issues that come up.
When God gave us this life, God promised us several things. The Bible tells us in Ezekiel 11:19, "I will give them one heart. And I will put a new spirit in them. I will take out the stony heart from their flesh and give them a new heart in the flesh."
Ezekiel was a great prophet who was sharing the prophetic message about God's unending, unwavering, and unbreakable covenant with his children. The name Ezekiel means "strong for God." The whole book is about being strong for God with its insistence on this extremely strong bond that the people have with God.
He was preaching and sharing this prophetic message against the pagan culture. He wasn't escaping or giving up, but smack in the midst of all the idolatry and sin of his community, he was preaching about the unending, unbreakable, unwavering covenant that God has with his children.
When God says, "I will give them one heart," God is promising to give God's children a new heart, or a unified heart. When God says, "I want to put a new spirit in them," God is telling us that he wants these people to be infused with an inspired spirit, the spirit of loving life and the heart of a unified family. That's what God was promising.
God was also saying, "I want to take out the stony heart of the flesh," meaning the stone-like heart, the heart that cannot pump anymore because it's hardened so much that it can no longer beat; it can no longer feel or be inspired. God wants to remove that hardened heart, diseased with disillusionment, a desire to escape and a desire to give up, and he wants to give us a new heart, or one heart, a unified heart, that is infused with the enthusiastic spirit of being grateful and truly loving life.
God wants this to be the new heart in the flesh, meaning God wants the heart that is responsive, that will be sensitive enough to the touch of God to be in every one of us. A lot of us in many different ways have been hardened by the world and by our experiences of the past in the movement. Many of us have wasted our time being critical and accusatory, and being not the most positive people in the midst of our community.
But God is saying, "I want to take those stony, hardened hearts out because they are not deserving of my children and me. You, my children, deserve a unified heart that is infused with the new spirit." And this is what Lovin' Life is all about. It's about taking out the hardened, stony heart that doesn't beat any more, that is not excited any more, that doesn't feel any more, that is just numb to life, and doesn't feel enthusiastic or hopeful about the future because it doesn't know what to expect.
What we were trying to do here at Lovin' Life is to say, "Life is exciting. Your heart is worth beating. We need to feel and love our children, because they're our future. We cannot be numb to our families. We cannot be numb to our kids, because they are going to be the future of our world." And instead of just basically saying, "Oh, there is nothing I can do," God is saying, "I'm going to put a new heart in you and a new spirit, so do something about it. Be responsive."
So, let's be responsive, sensitive, and loving. Instead of hating -- which is about me, myself, and I -- we are here to practice loving. We are here to practice uplifting, supporting, and caring about each other because life is tough enough as it is. We don't need to make it any tougher on each other.
We need to create a new culture of heart, a heart of a unified family. And how do we do that? Not by being disillusioned, wanting to escape, and wanting to give up. We do that by deciding to change the world, deciding to change ourselves, and saying "We are going to be focused; we're going to be committed; and we're going to be naturally beautiful children of God dealing with all the issues and challenges of building ideal families."
On this beautiful Father's Day, what greater gift is there than to thank our Heavenly Father and Mother? "Thank you for our lives. Thank you for giving us each other. Thank you for this wonderfully supportive community. Thank you for introducing this culture of heart to all of us. It's beautiful, the future is beautiful, and we are going to live our lives being beautiful, empowered, divine, eternal sons and daughters of God.
So, Brothers and Sisters, and to all in America, "Is the world going to change us, or are we going to change the world?" Yes. Thank you. God bless.
1: I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
2: Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
3: For by the grace given to me I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned him.
4: For as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function,
5: so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
6: Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;
7: if service, in our serving; he who teaches, in his teaching;
8: he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
9: Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good;
10: love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor.
11: Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord.
12: Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
13: Contribute to the needs of the saints, practice hospitality.
14: Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
15: Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
16: Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; never be conceited.
17: Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.
18: If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all.
19: Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord."
20: No, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head."
21: Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
1: The Spirit lifted me up, and brought me to the east gate of the house of the LORD, which faces east. And behold, at the door of the gateway there were twenty-five men; and I saw among them Ja-azani'ah the son of Azzur, and Pelati'ah the son of Benai'ah, princes of the people.
2: And he said to me, "Son of man, these are the men who devise iniquity and who give wicked counsel in this city;
3: who say, `The time is not near to build houses; this city is the caldron, and we are the flesh.'
4: Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy, O son of man."
5: And the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and he said to me, "Say, Thus says the LORD: So you think, O house of Israel; for I know the things that come into your mind.
6: You have multiplied your slain in this city, and have filled its streets with the slain.
7: Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Your slain whom you have laid in the midst of it, they are the flesh, and this city is the caldron; but you shall be brought forth out of the midst of it.
8: You have feared the sword; and I will bring the sword upon you, says the Lord GOD.
9: And I will bring you forth out of the midst of it, and give you into the hands of foreigners, and execute judgments upon you.
10: You shall fall by the sword; I will judge you at the border of Israel; and you shall know that I am the LORD.
11: This city shall not be your caldron, nor shall you be the flesh in the midst of it; I will judge you at the border of Israel;
12: and you shall know that I am the LORD; for you have not walked in my statutes, nor executed my ordinances, but have acted according to the ordinances of the nations that are round about you."
13: And it came to pass, while I was prophesying, that Pelati'ah the son of Benai'ah died. Then I fell down upon my face, and cried with a loud voice, and said, "Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel?"
14: And the word of the LORD came to me:
15: "Son of man, your brethren, even your brethren, your fellow exiles, the whole house of Israel, all of them, are those of whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, `They have gone far from the LORD; to us this land is given for a possession.'
16: Therefore say, `Thus says the Lord GOD: Though I removed them far off among the nations, and though I scattered them among the countries, yet I have been a sanctuary to them for a while in the countries where they have gone.'
17: Therefore say, `Thus says the Lord GOD: I will gather you from the peoples, and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.'
18: And when they come there, they will remove from it all its detestable things and all its abominations.
19: And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them; I will take the stony heart out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh,
20: that they may walk in my statutes and keep my ordinances and obey them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
21: But as for those whose heart goes after their detestable things and their abominations, I will requite their deeds upon their own heads, says the Lord GOD."
22: Then the cherubim lifted up their wings, with the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them.
23: And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city.
24: And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me in the vision by the Spirit of God into Chalde'a, to the exiles. Then the vision that I had seen went up from me.
25: And I told the exiles all the things that the LORD had showed me.