The Words of the Francis Family
1. Good morning brothers and sisters, Buenos Diaz, Ohio Goziamas, Guten Morgan, Ha bari ya ASubuhe, Anyang ha shimnika. It's wonderful to be here in New York with you and to have this chance to speak to all of you across the nation. This is an amazing pulpit to be standing in. I wish to give thanks to our senior pastor Rev. In Jin Moon for this tremendous ministry that is taking America by storm. The Lovin' Life Worship team and Sonic Cult is truly Da Bomb.
2. Let me take a little time to introduce myself. Although my name is officially Randall Francis, I usually go by Randy. Together with my wife Kumiko we are the district pastor couple in District 1, which inclewds Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia.
3. I'd like to give greetings to all of the worship locations in District 1 which inclewds our Norfolk Virginia community led by Pastors Akria and Yoko Ota, along with Rev. Levy and Claire Daugherty. The Richmond Virginia community led by Fr. Bayo and Ayano Adrein. Our Northern Virginia community near Washington, DC Co-led by pastor Judie and Roland Lejeune and Ernest and Keiko Patton. Our Maryland community is led by Pastor Matthew and Marianne Goldberg. And in our nation's capital, our Washington DC church community is led by pastor Zagery and Fumi Oliver who are working on a plan to restore our National Church which is celebrating 35 years this December. Our hope is to turn it into a great learning center as it towers over the city standing like a beacon of hope bridging the gap in a very political town. I love you all and love working together with you as a great harmonized team as we are building Lovin' Life Ministries in District One.
4. Last year, our Senior Pastor suggested our Northern Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia communities worship together, in a unified worship service each week. We are a big group of 400 to 500 regular attendees so it was a challenge. But we are doing it. I was standing one day on the entrance patio of our worship location at New Hope Academy, talking with one young adult and all around us were a bunch of little kids 2-4 year olds. All of sudden he said hey where did these kids come from??? Those are your nieces and nephews our 3rd generation. All he could say is Wow That is cool!
5. I would also like to give a special greeting to all the worship team coordinators and staff around the country that help produce the Lovin' Life Ministries worship services in over 100 locations. YOU ARE AMAZING and YOU ARE WHAT MAKES Lovin' Life Possible and Productive.
6. I am sure that in every church location around the country they can use more volunteer help and increased contributions to grow the ministry. Our creative team in the DC metro area is led by Kaeleigh and David Moffitt, The Lovin' Life Ministries Band is guided by Jin Soon Stephens, all the setup, A/V and hospitality teams, the greeters and ushers and the Sunday school teachers really do a great job. And they are initiating new things each week. Good fruits are ripening. So as pastor Jaga might say, Keep those tithes and offerings coming.
7. Most of our team members and a lot of young adults come here monthly to NY to check out Lovin' Life Ministries Live and are now totally down with duplicating what happens here on a scale that fits our areas. We would like to offer a special Thank you to the national team for welcoming them each month. Our young people are lovin' it. I'm lovin' it WE ARE ALL LOVIN' LIFE!
8. When our senior pastor asked the district Pastors to prepare to each give a sermon, I said to my wife, I will either be first as District One or last as the youngest of the Americans. Then my elder sister in Maryland, Susan Fefferman, told me a story of how she always tries to volunteer to go first for things like this to get it completed. But, during one of the training programs at UTS, our seminary in Barrytown, she kept neglecting to volunteer to go early during a Divine Principle teaching competition. Then it came to the last day and it was her turn. The seminary president, Dr. David S C Kim gave her the topic "The suffering Heart of God". Just as she was preparing to begin in Walks the Founders, Rev. and Mrs. Moon, Our True Parents. I guess somebody must have wanted her to challenge herself in preparation for her eventual pioneer mission to Iran. She did live up to the task and she has encouraged me as well.
9. Also I remember our senior pastor's daughter Ariana saying how much harder giving the sermon was with a week's notice instead of a few days. Now I can really relate, as I've had several months to think about it and rewritten my sermon nearly every night on my prayer walks.
10. Today being Pentecost Sunday, which falls 50 days after Jesus' resurrection on Easter and also, in the Old Testament, it commemorates 50 days after the Exodus when the Israelites came to Mt Sinai and God called Moses to receive the 10 Commandments. I would like to congratulate the recent UTS Graduates. You picked a great weekend to receive your degrees and may the Holy Spirit continue to work with you and through you.
11. Finally, since this Monday is Memorial Day in America let us acknowledge that it is much more than just the beginning of summer or last days of school. It is a day of remembrance of those who gave their lives in service to our country. I would also like to be sure we remember all our fellow Unificationist who have gone ahead of us while in service to the cause of establishing God's Kingdom. From what I have researched there are over 600 known Unificationist and close associates that have lived their lives in God's service who have passed on, including many from True Parents' own family.
12. In Honor to the late veterans, those still on the front lines including many of our young Unificationist, and all the brothers and sisters who have passed on while investing there whole hearts into attending God and True Parents. Let's have a moment of prayer in remembrance for them. Amen, Thank you.
13. My topic today will cover Honoring Our Tradition, Practical Application of Divine Principle in Our Daily Life and Having Fun while Sharing God's Love with One Another.
In Jin Moon – October 16, 2011
14. I would like to share some of our senior pastor's words that inspired me from 2009.
Our life is really a Gift from Our Heavenly Parent and it is an opportunity to create beauty, to experience love and to really leave something behind that's truly beautiful. And if we come together as a community to realize how special each and every one of us is, then the world is our oyster brothers and sisters, and we are going to reap many many great blessings and harvests.
15. We have to remember this and believe it is true and work at it. WE ARE EACH very special people.
16. Let me give you a little of my background. I was born in Washington DC you could say I'm a graduate of Georgetown University Hospital (that is). My dad who was a WWII Tanks veteran started a pipe laying Construction Company in metro DC. So, as I was growing up I was playing with both the little Tonka trucks and later also learned to operate the real 50 ton digging Machines. I remember riding for hours alongside my dad and his workers and then worked myself preparing the land and underground pipes for many of the communities that our members around DC now live in.
17. My dad was from Missouri, the "Show Me State" which of course is a landlocked state. And my Mother was from the hill country of Pennsylvania. But for some reason they loved the water and eventually bought a 30 foot Chesapeake Bay built boat. As a family we lived on that boat every weekend. We would go out on Friday night, fish as late as possible and then pull into cove, throw out the anchor, eat dinner and watch the stars go by as we fell asleep, rocking with the waves and waking with the first light to do it all again.
18. We did this every weekend for years. Like many people in America we considered ourselves Christians but really only went to church maybe Christmas and Easter and perhaps prayed over Thanksgiving dinner.
19. But through watching my parents as they interacted together, seeing their integrity and hard work I learned a lot. I think I kind of internalized a sense of spirituality and responsibility. We caught some big fish too. The biggest I remember was a 54 inch striped bass. Wow, was my Dad proud of that fish. Though I grew up in the Washington, DC area I adopted the Waterman lifestyle with a hillbilly influence from Music I listened to like the program Stained Grass Bluegrass.
20. Interestingly along the way I had several encounters with members of Unification Church but I didn't really know it until I thought back later about it.
21. We lived right outside of Washington, DC in New Carrollton, Maryland. And I can remember seeing these neatly dressed young people in parking lots with beautiful single carnations. My dad even bought some for my mom. As I grew older and went down the ocean to Ocean City I also donated to a missionary on the boardwalk and I still have that Yosemite Sam cartoon pin. One evening during dinner at our home I answered the door and convinced my Mom to donate for beautiful plum purple colored candle in a Brandy Snifter. Maybe some of you remember carrying those heavy things around. I still have that candle too.
22. I believe all of those little conditions helped lead me somehow into this ministry. Of course the biggest one was going to the God bless America Festival September 18th 1976 at the Washington Monument. I guess I'm kind of a testament to how advertising works. I was invited by the cutting edge TV ads, created by our brother Gil Rouschuni. Exclaiming "The Greatest Fireworks show on Earth".
23. I got there to the monument grounds nearing dusk and remember the huge crowd made up of all kinds of people. I was a white kid from the suburbs and had never really seen such an incredibly interracial international gathering. I was surprised by it. My friends and I dragged our cooler near a tree at the top of the hill by the Washington Monument to settle down. What I remember about that time is there was a very impassioned speaker speaking very fast in a foreign language down on the stage. I tried to focus on what he was saying through the translator but there was a group of radical looking individuals with red armbands, headbands and flags, with the hammer and sickle on it. They were making a little ruckus and eventually the Park police escorted them away.
24. My friends and I just sat there enjoying the environment with all the cheering and patriotic music then as night came we lay on the grass watching an incredible 45 minute fireworks show that WAS the greatest we had ever seen. 25. I recall what Dr. Joseph Lowery said about Pres. Obama's large inauguration during the ACLC convocation centered on True Parents 90th Birthday "With such a large crowd, I sure would've liked to have taken up an offering." Maybe the organizers of the God Bless America Festival wished they had done that too. They also needed a better way to register all who came to "Meet Us At The Monument". Since I just came and went.
26. But, Somehow God was working, preparing ways for me to hear the Breaking News and meet True Parents. As our senior pastor said she learned from Dr. Lowery "God was working a mysterious way" I didn't join that night or even really think about what it was the impassioned speaker Rev. Sun Myung Moon was saying. But I did learn his name through the media. I also remember being very impressed by the Interracial, international audience. Then a year later at my brother's wedding as I hung around with his best men, who were devoted Christians, we were approached by a Unification Church member who was fundraising for the Bay Area church at a stoplight. I watched as they persecuted him and I was a little put off by their attitude and perplexed by it as it did not seem very Christ like.
27. By this time, at age 22, I was a cross between a Jesus Freak, a head banger and a Hillbilly. With my shoulder length hair and hippie type of attitude with just a little bit of a religious bent which came from a deep experience I had at Easter Time. I attended a Maundy Thursday Foot washing ceremony which is a recreation of Jesus' act in the upper room done at the Last Supper. It was in the College Park Church of the Brethren where I washed the feet of an Ethiopian man and really felt an intense heart of joy and relief of his suffering through this act of serving. It began a change in me.
28. Around this same time a co-worker and friend of my dad named Boots who was also an old military man was the welder on our jobsites and he worked often on my excavation machine. At lunch time he would turn on his truck radio to a Christian station so we could all hear it. I got hooked on a program called Unshackled a radio theater program of testimonies of people getting saved from miserable life situations. I believe it is still being aired today out of Chicago. I could really relate with some of those stories.
29. Later in June of 1979 some of my friends were introduced to the principle by Jonathan Diamond and Luis Patino. Those of you here in NY know Mike Diamond a budding Ballroom Dancer. Well his dad is a very persistent guy and I am glad he didn't let my spiritual mother Camille Lloyd go without her hearing the entire principle in one sitting over night. After that intense one on one style presentation she came to explain the fall of man to me on a napkin after an Aerosmith Concert.
30. I immediately knew it was true it was so logical. Camille asked for some money to pay her 7-day workshop fee. So I helped her out. I guess that was another good condition made.
31. It so happened that earlier that morning I had had a show down prayer pleading with God to deliver me from the ways of the world that I was following. My Language had become vulgar with swear words and the drinking and lewd thoughts were really getting to me. That day I heard the simple explanation of the Fall I had asked God early in the morning to bring me some way to change.
32. "I just want to change" I cried out.
33. While she was gone to the workshop, she asked some people to call to invite me to dinner. Maybe some of you have tried to do that? Well it works, especially if you are persistent. Laura Taylor Hiyashi was tasked with the job of getting me there. She called a lot and finally I said I'd come but, because I was busy Water Skiing on the south river in Edgewater MD I couldn't make it. But I actually called in by payphone, Remember Those things, 2 times I told them I was sorry I couldn't make it.. Then victory came on the third try, as True Parents say and I finally made it to dinner. Of course I then stayed for the weekend then the rest is history. During that weekend at our Upshur St House which is one of the first properties our church owned in America, I had an encounter with Jesus.
34. I stayed in a small bedroom in what I came to know as part of True Parents living quarters and the adjoining room was the prayer room. All night people entered the prayer room and were praying for me I could hear everything. I was amazed at their concern and intensity. Sometime before dawn, in a dream, I heard knocking at the door and I jumped up and opened it and it was Jesus standing there with a smile on His face saying "Glad you have found a good home."
35. I went on later that day to study Divine Principle by video and the person who was taking care of me and watching with me fell asleep so I just lay down on the floor and slept. Remember I had very little sleep the night before because people were praying so loud for me.
36. Now fast forward a bit. In June of 1982 we heard of an upcoming Holy Blessing of Marriage to be held July 1st here in NY. Everyone was talking about the matching. Many of you may have seen the play or movie Fiddler on the Roof. That was what I knew about a match maker. Now we have match dot com but actually our True Parents are really the King and Queen of match making. Wow what whirl winds those times are, trying to prepare my heart to receive God's daughter who was prepared for me. Trying to be ready and open for anyone.
37. Then on June 25th after having to sit and watch for the entire morning after a lunch break we noticed a new group of Japanese ladies sitting tearfully in the room. They had just come off the airplane. True Father had us guys stand up as he went down the line. I was standing a few rows back from the front then all of a sudden he reached through the line and garbed my arm and pulled me out from three rows deep. True Father then had Kumiko stand up and asked her how old she was then asked me. He then brought us together and said in English "Take Care of Her She is Very Smart." I have been learning every day how true that statement is. Also, it was Kumiko's third attempt at a matching so again remember "Victory comes on the third try."
38. I would like to share a quote from Rev. Sun Myung Moon from a speech titled The Way of the Ocean from August 28th, 1986 – Morning Garden Gloucester, MA How does true love begin? Does it begin among brothers or friends? The origin of true love comes from God. Therefore, the fundamental and basic relationship of mankind is to be united with God. God and man. However, when you say mankind, you mean both men and women. The most dynamic relationship happens between men and women. When that relationship is centered upon God, that is the trinity of true love. God, man and woman. This is the basic and most essential relationship which fulfills all of mankind's needs.
39. I won't go into our entire story but we have been blessed with 4 great sons. As Kumiko would say "Oh Boy". The youngest is graduating High school next week. Whew! Through True Parents Blessing we are learning more and more about how the flow of culture and God's providence are working in Mysterious Ways. Moving from East to West merging our cultures as we try to create the trinity of True Love with God at the center. It has broken down many barriers. I call it the Waterman meets the Way of Tea. 40. I really feel that we both learned a heart of attendance from our parents, ancestors and cultures. And that God brought us together for the sake of cross cultural harmony and peace between nations. The waterman's creed is to keep harmony with people and nature, respecting all things and to live a good life never disturbing other people or their property. Definitely never messing with someone else's boats or fishing gear.
41. Chado or "The Way of Tea" is very similar. It was established in 16th century by Grand Tea Master Rikyu who explained that the essence of the "Way of Tea" is the "Heart of Peace" and condensed his insight and teaching of the Way of Tea into a representation by four Chinese characters Wa-Kei-Sei-Jyaku: Wa -- Harmony Kei -- Respect Sei -- Purity Jyaku -- Tranquility Wa is the state of harmony and beauty that only creates a feeling of goodness. Kei is the attitude of respect for all things. This is not only a sincere respect for human beings, but for the sanctity of nature and all material objects. Sei is purification. The pure heart without flaw makes a person honest, truthful and sincere. In the tea ceremony, there are several movements made by the master in the process of preparing and serving the tea which symbolize the purification of the heart. Jyaku is the level of enlightenment when you are in oneness with the universal principle. At this stage there is only tranquility in one's heart. 42. Sounds like a good place be Right! It makes me want to find a good tea house and sample all they have over and over. Probably healthier than a Chesapeake Bay Crab Cake.
Hyung Jin Moon – December 23, 2011
43. I know that our International president Rev. Hyung Jin Moon loves visiting members' homes and sharing a cup of tea and hearing their stories. This really creates a special unity with True Children and 1st Gen. Also our Senior Pastor In Jin Nim really moved my heart when she invited all the district pastors up to her family area on July 4th 2009 Wow 3 years ago. To see how see is raising her kids and how we worked together cooking and serving and dancing on the roof top. We were like one big family.
44. Now I realize it is normal everyday type life for the True Family. For me It was mind opening. I had been so stuck in the bunker mentality for so long waiting for the bomb shells to go off around me. It was extremely refreshing to see such a natural Loving of Life. Then came super bowl parties, holiday and graduation parties. What have we become a Party Church!!! Then I Thought Why Not!! I would join that church.
45. I have to admit the galas one after another were getting to me but then after talking with Rev. David Rendel, who by the way is doing a fantastic job as Gen Operations Director. After pouring all my stuff out, one day it finally sunk in. The purpose of Life is Joy. So Now every day I'm Shuffling, Shuffling. Some of you know what I mean by that.
46. Kumiko told me she never dreamed she would be doing the tea ceremony in America. As a teen, she studied for hours and hours on her knees, learning every move. There are nearly 200 detailed procedures for preparing and serving a single bowl of tea. That really cultivates a heart of attendance. Now she is so happy to be able to share it as her hobby as a tea master during the UPF programs in DC showing the diplomatic corps "The Way to Peace through the "Way of Tea."
47. As our senior Pastor has been encouraging us We should use our talents and hobbies to bring Our Heavenly Parent's love to people in real and concrete ways. Doing this both Honors our traditions from the past, and applies the Principle into daily life practice, and we have fun doing it and grow our ministry as well.
48. My final point is about growing our ministry Many places in the bible God is calling for us to be Shepherds and care for his people. Jesus even called Himself the good Shepherd. [John: 10:14] So, as I heard one pastor Don Gettys mention, why didn't He choose shepherds as the future leaders of His church just like God did in the Old Testament? Why Fishermen and not Shepherds?
49. In Matthew 4:18-22. And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.
50. In order to grow the church, just like now for us, Jesus needed people who went out daily to catch the fish not only to herd and care for the flocks but to seek out the new schools. Fishermen go out in all kinds of weather or they don't eat. Fishermen are involved in the task of fishing every day. God needs many fishers and only a few shepherds.
51. I like what Paul Harvey stated "we are not supposed to only be keepers of the aquarium." All of us are called to be fishers of men and women. Whether we sit at a desk job, are a homemaker, a student a truck driver or Tea Master, we can cast our nets and allow our Heavenly Parent to send His children towards us. Like our senior pastor said in her Mother's Day sermon. Let's Celebrate Life and multiply and mentor Children of Peace.
52. As a conclusion today I want to express deep congratulations to all the graduates celebrating this spring semester. I would like to show you a video of one of these graduates Heung Kook Stephens known as HK who was selected to give the student's speech to the spring 2012 graduating class of UMD at the Comcast Center to over 10,000 students and family. He was introduced by the Universities President Wallace Loh who you will see at the end was very moved.
53. Heungkook Graduated from the University of Maryland College Park with a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering with a GPA of 4.0 He served in Peru with Engineers without borders. Amazingly, while doing this he is also one of our great youth ministry team leaders in Maryland.
a) Pres., distinguished guests and most of all fellow graduates, welcome. I would like to share something about passion – and then tell a story that means a lot to me.
b) Compassion for me is the motivation for our hearts to be moved to action. I believe compassion is necessary for a successful life and career.
c) However, compassion is a difficult thing to master. Just like our minds, Our hearts need time and effort to mature. I believe we need to develop both our technical skills and develop, what I call, our heartistic skills. We need to grow a mind that can help others, but also grow a heart that truly wants to help others.
d) A few years ago I traveled with the university's chapter of Engineers without Borders to implement a water purification system in a Peruvian mountain village called Konpone. It was a great opportunity to get real engineering experience and, add to my resume. However I did not expect that it would become an opportunity to develop those heartistic skills.
e) One day a group of us were walking down a road in the village when a young boy came riding by on his bike. We greeted each other, "Ola, Buenos dias!" And he biked around the corner. A moment later we saw the boy again, this time standing next to his bike which appeared to be broken. He called us over and we saw that the chain had just fallen off. While fixing it we learned that his name was Ronaldo. After we put the chain back on Ronaldo said, "Gracias!" And rode off again.
f) A few days later we were doing a large excavation in the village. We invited the community to help out with shovels and picks. I was working hard to do my share when a little kid kept running around me making obnoxious noises. I looked up and saw that it was Renaldo. He was playing around while the rest of us were working. During a break I decided to have some fun with Ronaldo. For those who know me I am really into hip-hop and I love to breakdance. So, during lunch I try to teach Renaldo how to Beep-Box along with some dance moves. You guys know Beep-Box right? (he gave a demonstration). Ronaldo, he was actually pretty good. So we entertained ourselves dancing to our own beep-boxing.
g) On our last day in Konpone, we were waiting for a bus to pick us up when I saw a little figure running towards us. Of course, it was none other than Ronaldo. I could not believe how cool this kid was. Just for fun I put my stuff down and I started break dancing my way towards him. He copied every one of my moves as he was running, even the handstands. When we finally met up I gave him a big hug.
h) I told him we were leaving and he responded with a sad face. I tried in my best Spanish to tell him that I would miss him too. Then the bus came and I had to go. As we drove away I looked back and thought, "Ronaldo is such an awesome kid. I hope he grows up to be an amazing person." Then it dawned on me how terrible it would be if he got sick from drinking contaminated water. What if he wasn't able to go to school or provide for his family because he was ill. It would break my heart.
i) It's those kinds of experiences that keep things in perspective for me and some of the reasons why I want to always do my best. Ronaldo and so many other people like him deserve the best.
j) I believe in the infinite potential of everyone. We can all be great, scholars, professionals, or even just as individuals. But, to make a big impact we will need capable minds and compassionate hearts. We need both, because, just knowing something does not always help someone. And good intentions alone do not do much either.
k) I want to congratulate everyone here on reaching a huge milestone and – I want to encourage all of us to continue developing our technical skills so that we can overcome the challenges to whatever we are motivated to do. But, let us also continue developing our heartistic skills, growing our hearts so that we are motivated to use our expertise to offer the best.
l) Why is this important? Because, what people need more than anything else is to big knowledge to and valued in a way that shows they are worth our whole effort. Only after developing those heartistic skills will we be able to find greater success. But, by then, our success won't really be the point anyway. m) Thank you!
54. Remember HK's words we all have Infinite Potential But we need to have both Capable Minds and Compassionate Hearts. And Like both president Loh and our senior pastor In Jin Nim stated let's remember we are Truly Blessed and whether we have a degree or not we can be a blessing to all through our compassionate Hearts.
1: Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
2: And he fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was hungry.
3: And the tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread."
4: But he answered, "It is written, `Man shall not live by
but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'"
5: Then the devil took him to the holy city, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple,
6: and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw
yourself down; for it is written, `He will give his angels charge of
and `On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.'"
7: Jesus said to him, "Again it is written, `You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'"
8: Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them;
9: and he said to him, "All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me."
10: Then Jesus said to him, "Begone, Satan! for it is
written, `You shall worship the Lord your God
and him only shall you serve.'"
11: Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and ministered to him.
12: Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee;
13: and leaving Nazareth he went and dwelt in Caper'na-um by the sea, in the territory of Zeb'ulun and Naph'tali,
14: that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
15: "The land of Zeb'ulun and the land of Naph'tali,
toward the sea, across the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles --
16: the people who sat in darkness
have seen a great light,
and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death
light has dawned."
17: From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
18: As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.
19: And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."
20: Immediately they left their nets and followed him.
21: And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zeb'edee and John his brother, in the boat with Zeb'edee their father, mending their nets, and he called them.
22: Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.
23: And he went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people.
24: So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them.
25: And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decap'olis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.
1: "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber;
2: but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
3: To him the gatekeeper opens; the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
4: When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
5: A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers."
6: This figure Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
7: So Jesus again said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
8: All who came before me are thieves and robbers; but the sheep did not heed them.
9: I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
10: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
11: I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
12: He who is a hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.
13: He flees because he is a hireling and cares nothing for the sheep.
14: I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me,
15: as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16: And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd.
17: For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again.
18: No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again; this charge I have received from my Father."
19: There was again a division among the Jews because of these words.
20: Many of them said, "He has a demon, and he is mad; why listen to him?"
21: Others said, "These are not the sayings of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?"
22: It was the feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem;
23: it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon.
24: So the Jews gathered round him and said to him, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
25: Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness to me;
26: but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep.
27: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me;
28: and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.
29: My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.
30: I and the Father are one."
31: The Jews took up stones again to stone him.
32: Jesus answered them, "I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of these do you stone me?"
33: The Jews answered him, "It is not for a good work that we stone you but for blasphemy; because you, being a man, make yourself God."
34: Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law, `I said, you are gods'?
35: If he called them gods to whom the word of God came (and scripture cannot be broken),
36: do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, `You are blaspheming,' because I said, `I am the Son of God'?
37: If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me;
38: but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father."
39: Again they tried to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.
40: He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John at first baptized, and there he remained.
41: And many came to him; and they said, "John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true."
42: And many believed in him there.