The Messiah Comes to Bring Living Water
March 4, 2012
Good morning. Welcome to Lovin’ Life! Happy Sunday! Happy first Sunday in March! Today is March 4th. Are you ready to march forth? You look so good today. Turn to your neighbor and say, “I love you! Welcome to Lovin’ Life! God loves you.”
Everybody, I guess you’ve got to take your seats.
Good morning. I love our senior pastor. Do you love her? I love her for many reasons, but one in particular is because she made Lovin’ Life a music ministry. Amen? A music ministry, that’s like music to my soul. In fact, it is! It’s music to my soul. So when the music stops, I feel like we should keep going. How about you?
It’s great to see Sister Gloria here, and Minister Wright. We had such an incredible time in the Lord at the Original Substance of Divine Principle (OSDP) workshops last fall and winter in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. The best part of it for me was of course the word, but the music, amen! I just want to thank the Wrights. Stand up right now. They’re part of our music ministry. Incredible. And Bishop Jesse Edwards, Rev. Levy Daugherty, Brother Keith Williams out in Los Angeles, and Brother Tim Daugherty right here in New York. God’s family came together and sang such beautiful music, which opened people’s hearts to receive the word, amen? That’s what Lovin’ Life is all about.
Water Is Life
Today I want to talk about living water. It’s amazing because Joe picked a Holy Song called “The Spring of Life” today. The chorus talks about the living waters, “going to the land where living waters flow.” That’s what this sermon is all about. That’s the great thing about gospel songs: They’re based on the word.
In fact, I want to teach you a gospel song today. This is the little blonde guitar that we use in OSDP. I bet you didn’t know I could play this thing. Now let’s give a hand to the Lovin’ Life choir. They’re going to help you out with this song, and the words are up there. We’re in the house of the Lord, so why don’t you just stand to your feet and make a joyful noise! This song is called “River of Life.”
(Singing a song)
I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me,
Makes the lame to walk and the blind to see,
Opens prison doors, sets the captive free.
I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me.
Spring up, oh Well, inside my soul.
Spring up, oh Well, and make me whole.
Spring up, oh Well, and give to me
That life abundantly.
Spring up, oh Well, inside my soul.
Spring up, oh Well, and make me whole.
Spring up, oh Well, and give to me,
That life abundantly.
That life abundantly.
That life abundantly.
That’s what I’m talking about. Thank you, choir. Thank you, brothers and sisters. Give yourselves a big hand.
Gospel songs are great because they’re based on the word of God. There are so many references in the Gospel to water, isn’t it true? Water is life. There are so many sermons about water.
Today I want to talk about the living water that comes from God through the messiah. You might want to write some of these Scriptures down. I’m going to go through them quickly. John 7:38. Jesus was at the end of the Feast of Tabernacles, on the eighth day, when the Israelites were not supposed to drink. We read in John 7:38 that Jesus stepped forth at that time and he said this: “If anyone thirsts, let him come unto me and drink. He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” Isn’t that beautiful?
John 4:13–15 is another story about Jesus. In this story, he meets a woman at the well. Have you heard this story? She happens to be a Samaritan, and it wasn’t cool for Jews to speak and have discourse or conversation with Samaritans. This was a Samaritan woman who was standing at the well of Jacob, and Jesus was thirsty. He stopped by the well and asked if she would give him a drink.
And she said, “You’re not supposed to be talking to people like me. What’s going on here?” Then Jesus talked about a different kind of water that he could offer her, water that would quench her thirst for eternity. She said, “What are you talking about? This is the water of our ancestor Jacob. How could your water be any better than Jacob’s?” But Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water from the well will be thirsty again. But whoever drinks the water that I give them will never thirst.” Amen. Indeed, Jesus said, “The water that I give them will become in them a spring of water, welling up to eternal life.”
That’s what this song is talking about: “Spring up, oh Well, inside my soul.” So not only does God want to let us drink from the living water, he wants us then to become a fountain of living water, a well that never dries up. Can you say that? “A well that never dries up.”
And the song says that I want life after all this, more abundantly. And that’s from the Scripture, John 10:10: “I have come that they may have life and that they may have it”—what? “More abundantly.” Do you want life more abundantly? Humankind has been thirsting, haven’t we? Victor, I think I need some water out here, the water of life. We’ve been thirsting.
We sing another beautiful song called “As the Deer.” Remember that one? That’s also from the Scripture, from Psalm 42, “As the deer pants for streams of water,” the Psalm says, “so my soul pants for you, O God.” My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? That’s the predicament of humanity.
Instead of drinking from that eternal fountain of life which is the messiah, connecting us to God, we’ve been drinking from stagnant pools, brothers and sisters. Stagnant, fallen waters.
God bless you. Thank you, Pastor Jaga.
In Revelation 17:15—this is the last one I’m going to give you—Scripture talks about the great harlot or prostitute that’s over the world in the last days before the messiah comes. Revelation 17:15, “Then the angel said to me”—to John, the revelator—“the waters you saw where the harlot sits are peoples, multitudes, nations and tongues.” In other words, the stagnant water of the fallen world is where the nations, the people, and all the races have been dwelling since the time of the Fall.
Who will come to pull them out of those stagnant pools? Have you ever come across a stagnant pool as you were hiking in the forest? You don’t want to get in that water. But that’s where we’ve been living. The messiah comes to bring us fresh, living water, amen. Christ Jesus and now our True Parents are the ones who bring the living water to humankind, the word of God that refreshes our spirit: and with the word, also the heart and spirit of God.
In the Bible living water stands for the Holy Spirit. Do you feel the Holy Spirit today blowing through you? I know I do. “When can I meet God?” says the Psalm. And we are blessed to know the answer: “Now, through True Parents, through the living water.” That’s what we’re going to talk about today.
The Incredible Gift of Our True Parents and Our Senior Pastor
We were with True Parents in Las Vegas recently when the Little Angels had their grand finale event after two years of touring the world, commemorating the 60-year anniversary of the Korean War. Father Moon sent his ambassadors, his holy sprit ambassadors, the Little Angels, around the world to comfort, to love, and to thank those who gave their lives for freedom in Korea. Amen. That’s twenty nations around the world. We should give them a big hand.
We were blessed to have True Parents literally at this event with us, and 3,000 people came. Most of those people had never seen our True Parents before. They had never met them personally. But this night, brothers and sisters, was such a natural witness. They saw the Little Angels. There were so many tears as those veterans felt so much of God’s love and the Holy Spirit and living water washing over them. Then as always happens, when the water starts flowing from here, there were so many tears of gratitude and joy.
People came to know True Parents through their works, through the Little Angels. That was their heart. And so at the end the whole place celebrated True Parents’ birthday together with them. It was such a beautiful, beautiful finale and we thanked God for the Little Angels.
I was also in Korea about a month ago. I lose track of the time; so many things are happening. But it was such a privilege and joy to be there with True Parents on True God’s Day, to celebrate their birthday with them, with brothers and sisters, clergy, and people from all around the world, finally giving thanks to God for the ones who have brought the living water to the world.
We were together with our international president, Rev. Dr. Hyung Jin Moon. Let’s give him a big hand. He’s a very accomplished martial artist, but he’s such a humble person that in his ministry he never mentions it. But he made the heavenly mistake of telling his father and showing his father his extraordinary martial arts power and development. So once Father saw that, he has not given Hyung Jin Nim even an ounce of rest since that time. Everywhere Father wants him to do martial arts—a mixed martial arts demonstration, even in Los Angeles and San Diego at the Little Angels performances. He is awesome.
He’s an amazing martial artist, with an amazing ministry for God. We were with him in Korea at one point, and he gave an incredible lecture. You might have seen this online. I’ve never seen a lecture like this before. He was talking about the debate between theism and atheism. He wants us to be able to win that debate, obviously. Now does God exist or not? All right. You’re sure? OK, then we won that debate.
But it was a fascinating lecture. The thing that made it so incredible was that he jogged the whole time, and—I’m not going to make you do this—he had the audience jog with him. I was right in the front row. I could not get away from it. He passed me every three seconds or so. He jogged and we jogged for a full hour, while he spoke. It was extraordinary.
And you know what happened? Nobody fell asleep in the lecture. Nobody. So if you’re feeling sleepy now—I don’t know how you could be—but you could stand up and start jogging.
And we had an extraordinary talk from Kook Jin Moon, the chairman of the Korean Foundation. Give him a big hand. He’s such a profound thinker and speaker, and he talked about the topic of a strong Korea, with a question mark. It was profound, waking us up to be reminded of the fact that we are still fighting many battles around the world. This world is not a safe place, and we have to be vigilant. We have to stand for freedom, as we always have and always will. America has a huge part to play in that. Amen.
In Jin Nim said how proud she was of our team over there, and I want to echo that. I’m proud of you. I’m proud of everyone across America who has come together, uniting with our senior pastor, with her vision to build this incredible ministry we call Lovin’ Life. So we prepared some beautiful binders to take over there that had the essence, the guts, and the heart of Lovin’ Life, and we offered them to 120 nations, our missionaries from around the world. Brothers and sisters, those binders were like water.
I felt that we were giving living water to our brothers and sisters in the desert. That’s how I felt. They soaked it up. They absorbed it. They loved it. And our task now is to help them to develop their ministry around the world. We were so blessed to be with them.
We felt like this blessing that God has given us, Lovin’ Life Ministry, is something so remarkable that we don’t even know what we have. We don’t know what we have. Maybe you do. Maybe Richard Panzer and his wife do. But most of us don’t understand the gift we’ve been given from our True Parents and from our senior pastor, Rev. In Jin Moon.
“Marching Forth on March Fourth”
As we approach the third anniversary of this profound ministry next month, I want to express all of our gratitude to Rev. In Jin Moon and her family from across America and around the world. It is a blessing, brothers and sisters—and I hesitate to use the word work because it’s not work—but we are a family and Rev. In Jin Moon has shared her family with us.
I really want to thank—he happens to be with us in the front row—Jin Sung Nim for his incredible instruction to us. I think you can hear the applause all across this nation, for pouring out his heart and soul about our True Parents and True Family. He has given us a foundation of knowledge and understanding in our hearts and made us realize that we are a family, and there’s no giving up on family. We are in this together for eternity.
And I want to thank In Jin Nim for sharing her beautiful family with us, especially her daughter, Ariana. We need to give her a big hand. She has blessed us and graced us with her beauty, with ballroom dancing, but now as she enters the media department, she’s transforming everything. She’s making a huge difference. You’ll see this in this month when the media PR strategy to popularize the blessing, which all of America can take part in, is going to happen. I thank Ariana for her great work with our news team.
And now In Jin Nim’s son Rexton has joined the ranks of CARP. So again, we don’t know what a blessing we have to be able to work with True Parents at this cosmic moment in history and work together with our senior pastor’s family.
So we’re just getting started. We’re at the tipping point. That’s why I love March 4th. That’s what today is. It’s March 4th. We’re at the tipping point. We’re going to march forth to Foundation Day and beyond, like Buzz Lightyear said. He said something like that.
Rev. In Jin Moon has opened this beautiful pulpit up to lugs like me. Sheri Reuter used to call me a schlemiel. I don’t know what that means exactly. In Jin Nim has opened the pulpit to a schlemiel like me and to our wonderful district pastors like Reverend Grodner and Reverend Thompson. She wants them all to come and share their message and their uniqueness at this pulpit. Are you ready for it? I know you miss her. I know you miss her, and I do too, and that’s good.
Her strategy is, once you see enough of us, when she comes back, you’re going to be totally grateful and blown away. Totally. I know that’s her strategy.
The Floodgates Are Open
So today we start a worldwide witnessing initiative to bring God’s family home and to give God’s family the blessing worldwide. In unity of heart with our True Parents and our international president, Rev. In Jin Moon wants us to begin today on March 4th and hold our focus until Foundation Day. She wants us to find our spiritual children and bring them to the blessing, to give them this great living water that was given to us: to give it to the world and save America. As of today, the floodgates are officially open. We have all this talk about water.
Our True Parents came to Las Vegas. Think about this. The source of living water, the True Parents of heaven and earth, the messiah anointed by Jesus, come to the city, literally, of stagnant pools and stagnant water. They come to Las Vegas, where the harlot is seated. They come to the desert and bring the living water to that place. Doesn’t it make total sense that they would go to Las Vegas: to bring the living water to the thirsting human beings in the desert? They’re bringing the word, the love, and the spirit of God, the grace of God’s love to the spiritually dying people of America.
Lovin’ Life Ministry is there with our True Parents. We’re really proud of our pastors across the nation, and I want to say how grateful we are to the clergy who are now doing OSDP workshops all across this nation. I want to give a shout-out to Rev. Michael Sykes in New Jersey, Bishop Lewis in New York, Bishop Riley, and Rev. Kennard Davis. All across America the word is going forth, and we’re so grateful to all of our pastors as we work together as a family.
Lovin’ Life Ministry is growing in Las Vegas with our great pastor there, Reverend Berg, and the new pastor, Rev. Damian Dunkley. I want to give a shout-out to Damian out there. I know he’s in Las Vegas listening right at this moment.
And you know what’s happening? Some of the great pillars of our movement, our nation, the great rocks, the living stones are starting to move out there—like Dan and Pam Stein, great pillars of our movement. And they’re coming together because True Parents are there, and there’s great work yet to be done there. Would you like to go to Las Vegas?
So we’re inviting you back during this time, this 120-day period, from March 4th to July 4th. Isn’t it amazing? You can go out there and witness and be with True Parents, give out Father’s autobiography, find fantastic spiritual children, and build Lovin’ Life Ministries right there in Las Vegas as they enter into the Rave movie theater this month. Whoa.
“God Never Had Such a Son as This”
Father Moon talks a lot about life-and-death investment, a total investment of heart, even unto our lives. That’s how he lives his life; that’s how he lives today. But the good news is that Jesus told us, “If you want to hold onto your life, you might lose it. But if you lose your life for my sake, you will gain it. You will preserve it.” That’s the way Father Moon has always lived, that’s the way our True Parents live. That’s the way we need to live.
Father Moon has walked the path of suffering. He is the pioneer of God’s word. He is the source of that living water, anointed by Jesus. Father Moon just turned 93 years of age, but you would never know it to see him, or to be with him. No one can keep up with him. My wife had an incredible blessing given to her by our senior pastor to just be in Las Vegas. My wife goes out on the boat fishing with Father Moon. She’s become an expert fisherwoman. I can’t believe it. I got out there to Las Vegas and she said, “You know what I’m going to do?” I said, “What?” “I’m going to buy a boat. All I need is $150,000 and I can buy one of those boats like Father Moon has.” She’s going for it.
All the men out there who are fishing testify to me, “Oh, your wife! She’s the only one who catches carp out there. She’s out there pulling them in.” I’m so proud of her. What an amazing blessing.
She said, “Father Moon is so sharp, so amazing. He’s cognizant of everything, every situation. He’s always thinking about people and how to treat them. He is not taking anything for granted.” My wife is out there. She caught a big fish and Father Moon said, “Young Ae (English daughter, he called her) come over here and take a picture with me.” So she’s taking a picture with Father Moon and her big fish. Then one of the brothers tries to get in the picture, and Father says, “What are you doing in the picture? You’re not her husband! Get out of the picture!” He’s just so sharp.
But he’s still just like a child. I want to read you an excerpt from his autobiography. He’s always been like this, exploring everything, never taking “No” for an answer. Don’t tell Father Moon, “No.” He hates that word. Just tell him, “Yes” and he’ll be happy. So he’s exploring Lake Mead, which has 500 miles of coastline. He’s trying to find the source of the Colorado River. Father, it’s in Wyoming. But don’t tell him that; he’ll go to Wyoming.
He investigated the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion Canyon, Sedona. He wants to know it all. And here’s why. In his autobiography there’s a chapter called “Loving Nature to Learn from It.” This is Father Moon. “My personality was such that I had to know about everything that I could see. I’d start thinking, ‘I wonder what the name of that mountain is. I wonder what’s up there.’ I had to go see for myself. While still a child, I climbed to the tops of all the mountains in a five-mile radius around our home. I went everywhere. I went beyond the mountains. That way, when I saw a mountain shining in the morning sunlight, I could have an image in my mind of what was on that mountain and I could gaze at it in comfort.
“I hated to look at places that I didn’t know with my own senses. I had to know about everything. Otherwise, my mind was so restless that I could not endure it.” That’s the kind of person he is. “When I went to the mountains, I would touch all the flowers and trees. I wasn’t satisfied just to look at them with my eyes. I had to touch the flowers and smell the flowers and even put the flowers in my mouth and chew on them. I enjoyed the fragrances, the touch and the taste so much that I would not have minded if someone told me to stick my nose in the bushes and keep it there the whole day. I love nature so much that any time I went outside I would spend the day roaming the hills and fields and forget about having to go home.”
Wow. Of course now that he’s a distinguished world leader of religion he’s forgotten about all those things. Are you kidding me? Father Moon wants to know everything about everything. That’s why when he researched the Principle and found the truth that liberated humankind. He couldn’t stop until he knew everything. Even God said, “That’s enough. No further.” Father Moon said, “Sorry, God. I’ve got to know more. I’ve got to know more. Otherwise I’ll be restless.” And God said, okay. God never had such a son like this. Thank God.
So that’s the kind of father we have, Father Moon. He’s exploring the mountains, the canyons, not taking “No” for an answer. I can’t believe the blessing that God has given my family and all of us. But my wife is just blown away. She calls me on the phone, and we just laugh. It’s just incredible to be with True Parents at this time.
Receive Blessings to Bless Others
But, you know, I think back. Why would someone like me be blessed to be here, working with our senior pastor, with True Parents, or my wife? And then I remember my own blessing back in 1982, 30 years ago this year. My wife and I were in Korea, and we were getting blessed like crazy. We got blessed by True Parents and then we were the ones who presented flowers to True Parents, and then we got to cut the cake as a Korean American couple with the True Parents. And then I got to sing a song for True Parents. It was called “Now that I’ve found you,” with Lionel, not Lionel Richie, but Lionel Chapital. And my wife and I, why are we so blessed? We’d just met each other like a week before. Why are we being so blessed?
And we realized at that time God wanted us to be a blessing and had a great mission for us. So we prayed at that time and offered our couple to God. We said, “Whatever you need, we will always be there, no matter what.” We simply prayed that prayer. And that’s a powerful prayer.
So when you receive the blessing later this month, some of you from around the country, pray that prayer: that God can use the blessing he gives you to be a blessing to millions. Amen?
Fantastic Peaks Are Molded by Water
After True Parents left last week, my wife and I snuck away and went to Zion Canyon. Have you ever been there? It’s a magnificent place. It was named by members of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, and it’s just spectacular, brothers and sisters. You have to go there. It’s such a spiritual place. When you go into the park, you see these incredible mountainous structures that have been carved by the Virgin River for millions of years, similar to the way the Colorado has carved out the Grand Canyon for 50 million years. These canyons started as slabs, and then the power of the water just carved them out to shape those slabs into amazing works and masterpieces of art.
The people who saw that canyon must have had a spiritual feeling because they named it Zion, which is the word for the City of God, for Jerusalem. In Hebrew, Zion means desert. Zion Canyon is an oasis in the desert. It’s a fantastic place, with the living water and the living stones. There’s a place called the Hall of the Patriarchs with magnificent peaks, three in a row. Guess what they named them? Not Curly, Moe, and Larry. They named them Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
As you stand before those peaks, you feel the power of God. But even those fantastic peaks, can be changed, molded, and carved by water: by water. When water freezes in the cracks of those rocks, it explodes the rocks, and great huge chunks of the mountain fall down.
We also went to a place called the Emerald Pools. These are three magnificent pools and you could see how they were carved by the water dropping for millions of years over the lip of cliffs high above them. It was truly incredible.
The great explorer and scientist named John Wesley Powell did much of the exploration of this area and the Grand Canyon. When he saw the Grand Canyon, he said this. “The Grand Canyon is the land of music. Mountains of music swell in the rivers. Hills of music billow in the creeks. Meadows of music murmur in the rills that ripple over the rock. Altogether it’s a symphony of multitudinous melodies. All this is the music of waters.” Waters. Waters.
Can you just feel it flowing over you? I need a drink. Ah.
I just love the word! Don’t you? The word of God. And the creation is the greatest teacher of all. I think in the future, though, many of those peaks will be renamed for True Parents and True Children. Or Richard Panzer Peak, something like that. The great saints of the Completed Testament Age, like all of you. Jim Gavin Gorge.
God Protected Our Families in Alabama
Last time I spoke, I gave a shout-out to everybody in the South, the wonderful southern part of our nation, the Southeast, where I spent much of my time. But I forgot my homeland: Alabama. I forgot to mention Alabama so I’m going to make up for it today. Is that okay for you guys down there in Bayou la Batre? I love Alabama. All my children were born there, and we just love it so much.
But talk about the power of water, brothers and sisters. We lived through many hurricanes down there. I wasn’t actually there when Katrina came through, but the devastation of Katrina was just unbelievable. After Katrina blew through, I went to Alabama, to Bayou la Batre, where some of the great pillars of our movement live, brothers and sisters who built our church there with our own hands. They built our school, our little school there that True Parents made. They built Master Marine, the boatbuilding business. And they built our shrimp processing business. These are great pillars of our movement like the Dungans, the Roppolis, the Wilsons, the Ladolcettas, the Finemores, and all the great families down there.
I couldn’t believe the devastation. The waves of Hurricane Katrina were 40 feet high. We own 700 acres down there. When I came down there; there were boats of all sizes in the treetops of our land. Three hundred vessels had been beached in the treetops. It was unimaginable. Along the coast, whole towns were wiped out.
But the Bible tells us in Matthew 7:24 that if you build your house on the rock, the rains may come and beat against that house, but it will not fall. It was incredible there because of all the devastation, but not one of our families’ homes were touched by Hurricane Katrina. The church and the little school we built with our own hands were fine. Nothing was touched.
I think God protected and blessed those families because they had been such a blessing to their community for so many decades. Father Moon hand-picked those people, many of you in this room maybe, to go down there and to start businesses from scratch, to build a community and a church. They’ve done that and they’re still there. And I want to thank them in Alabama. Thank you, guys.
My wife and I were blessed to be the principals of a little school called Top Garden School. It was named by our True Parents in the days when Father really loved the “Top Gun” movie, so everything was top something. Our little school was named Top Garden School. This place was so humble, just a couple of trailers. But it was spiritually the most beautiful place.
The graduates, the young children who came out of there became such wonderful young men and women, and I just bless you, wherever you are, all over this world and this country. We had such a great time there. And water was such a big part of our life because it rained all the time. And when it would rain, we have what we called the Jordan River in front of our school. It would pile up so big that we couldn’t get the kids across the river to their parents to go home, so we had to form a chain of adults and hand the children to their parents in the water. This happened all the time.
But the great blessing of this Jordan River that would come every time it rained was that from above somewhere these creatures would be washed down and we would have these fish, all kinds of fish. They would come out of nowhere, so we would grab them and put all these creatures in a freshwater aquarium we had in our school. We had also a saltwater aquarium for all of our sea stuff.
Then we had a terrarium because we caught two dozen or more different kinds of snakes. I love snakes. And because I love snakes, all the kids loved snakes. “Reverend Cotter, it’s a speckled king snake.” “Are you kidding me?! Whoa.” And we had to have it, and we had to put it in our terrarium and watch it and feed tadpoles to it and watch it gulp them down.
We were one with nature. And one time when this Jordan River came down, I remember we were down there catching the things and we came up with this creature. Nobody knew what it was. It was like a long eel with gills, but it had these tiny, tiny little feet, you know, like a Tyrannosaurus rex has this huge body with these little tiny arms. What’s he supposed to do with these? All the other dinosaurs must have thought, “Hey, here comes ol’ small arms over there. What’s he going to do with those arms?” And they’d say, “Watch out for that tail. That tail will get you, and those teeth.”
But this thing, we didn’t know what it was. And we called the paper, the Mobile Press-Register, and they came out. We found out that it was a two-toed amphiuma, which no one had ever seen. It was unique. It’s dead now. (Laughter.) It was a big story in those days.
We put on plays that were legendary. It was a natural witness to the community. We did everything: the music, the scenery, the script, the sound effects, the costumes. It was fantastic, and the whole community would come to our plays.
The Most Important Lesson
The lesson I learned the most in that time was from my second daughter, Hye-mi. It was a simple, but profound, lesson. She was in second grade. I was the principal, my wife and I. One day I just made a stupid little picture—I’m not an artist—of, you know, the kind of pictures you draw. And I put on the picture, I love you. I folded it up and put it in her lunchbox.
At lunchtime she came to my wife and me, and she was speechless. She was in tears, but these were overwhelming tears that went on for like an hour. We held her and we tried to comfort her, but she would not stop. It’s the most amazing experience we ever had. And I thought to myself, does she not know? Does she not know how much I love her, that this note would cause this kind of reaction?
So after that experience I never forgot that it’s not enough to think it or take it for granted. You have to tell the people you love, “I love you.” “I love you.” Every day. And hug them until they get it. So please do that with your spouse every day, and with your children every day, and with those that you love. So she taught me a great lesson about true love.
“You Can Get Carried Away, but Don’t Be Washed Away”
It’s a wonderful opportunity that we have coming from our True Parents and from our international president to unite with Korea and the world and to begin this witnessing initiative. This is an opportunity to witness to our faith, to bring our families, our brothers and sisters, those whom we love into this church community, to bring them to church with us every Sunday, to introduce them to this great and growing ministry. This is an opportunity to let them know True Parents, receive the living water, and become part of this family. That’s the opportunity we have.
Hyung Jin Nim has asked us all to make a list of our family and spiritual children and pray for them every day because prayer works. Amen. Pray for them every single day. Become a prayer warrior and focus during this time. The goal and priority of Lovin’ Life Ministry in 2012 is church growth, so it’s a perfect fit. As we approach the third anniversary on Easter Sunday, the whole foundation that we built until now, I feel, is for this time, for 2012, when we open the floodgates and bring America to God and True Parents. Amen.
So we are ready. We are ready across America to embrace this nation. We are the ones whom God has chosen to give out the breaking news, to give the blessing of marriage to the people. So please, expect a flash flood and don’t be overwhelmed by it. In Zion Canyon, in the narrows, sometimes without warning a flash flood can come and hikers can be killed. When a flash flood comes now, be ready for it. Don’t get washed away, but ride the wave. You can get carried away in the spirit, but don’t get washed away because this is the greatest moment in history, the time that creation has been waiting for with eager longing.
I felt even the rocks in this great temple of God were crying out, crying out for True Parents, thanking God. Mike McDevitt, who’s been with True Parents for many years, told me in Las Vegas that one time they were in Alaska fishing and a great humpback whale came right next to Father’s boat. They were all kind of freaked out. It came next to his boat, turned on its side, and waved. And its big eye was looking at Father. He said that happened so many times, you couldn’t believe it.
So we are filled with the living water, and we are the living stones. As it says in I Peter 2:5, “You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, for in the Scripture it says, ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.’”
So we are the living stones. Christ, our True Parents, are the cornerstone now of God’s kingdom. Living water is like the Holy Spirit. It’s okay to be filled with the spirit. I wish Jesse Edwards were here. He’s filled with the spirit. All he has to do is get up here and say, “Praise the Lord, everyone,” right? And everybody is, “Whoa.” They’re just filled with the spirit. We thank God for Bishop and Mrs. Edwards. They were the first pastors to pray for Lovin’ Life Ministry.
The Birth of the Pentecostal Movement
It’s time for revival across America. I was in Los Angeles, and I met our great prayer warrior out there, Rick Joswick, who’s praying with Mark Tengan and George Kazakos every day for revival in this nation. There’s a little place called Azusa Street. Have you ever heard of it? It’s in Los Angeles. It’s the birthplace of the Pentecostal movement, which is now 500-million strong across the world. That’s where it started, in a little rundown church on Azusa Street in 1906.
And so Rick Joswick is saying, “Send Bishop and Mrs. Edwards. They’re Pentecostals. They love True Parents. Send them out here, and we’re going to have another Azusa Street revival that will shake the world centering on our True Parents.” What do you think? Azusa Street. If you read about the Azusa Street revival, no one thought that this kind of thing was going to happen. But a humble pastor from Texas, an African American named William Seymour and his wife Jen came and preached in a church, and God did a great thing. People started speaking in tongues. They were filled with the spirit. And before you knew it, in 1906 hundreds and then thousands and tens of thousands of people would come to this revival that went on for seven or eight years in this little church on Azusa Street.
It became worldwide. People came from around the world, and they spoke different languages but people in the church would interpret their language to them, and it was growing and growing and growing. Of course, the papers thought it was crazy. And it was so scandalous because in 1906 at the height of Jim Crow, there were blacks and whites together in that church. It was scandalous, I tell you.
You should read the newspaper accounts. They couldn’t believe it. Blacks and whites as brothers and sisters praying together, getting slain in the sprit together, holding each other. It was scandalous, but it was the work of God. It was interracial. And you know what else? It was guided by women leaders. It’s just like True Parents’ movement today.
And the point is that it grew beyond all the skepticism and all the teachers and the Christian theologians who condemned it. That didn’t make a difference to God. Amen. God is beyond borders, beyond races, beyond any kind of barriers. And it rocked the world. They went out from that little church all over the world and started the Pentecostal revival and movement.
One of the five tenets of their faith at that time was that we are here and we are called for the soon-to-come returning Messiah. That was 1906. Father was born fourteen years later. But the worldwide Pentecostal movement that was prepared for him, for True Parents, still doesn’t know him. Don’t you think there’s a need for revival out there, brothers and sisters, to spread the good news of our True Parents, the breaking news?
We Are the Living Stones
So we have to spend all of our time witnessing, as a natural witness, a living testimony to our True Parents. I remember back in the 1980s God blessed me with a team of wonderful singers like Steve Honey in the New Hope Singers. We traveled to churches all across the South at that time and sang as a choir. I remember there was one brother named James Houston who used to sing a great old gospel tune called “Ain’t Got Time to Die.” It went like this.
(Sings the song.)
Lord, I keep so busy praising my savior,
I keep so busy praising my savior,
I keep so busy praising my savior,
I ain’t got time to die.
‘Cause I spend all of my time praising my savior,
All of my time praising my Lord.
If I don’t praise him, the rocks gonna cry out,
Glory and honor, glory and honor,
Ain’t got time to die.
That comes from the Scripture. When the disciples finally realized who Jesus was at the Mount of Olives, they were praising God, praising Jesus as the king, the Lord of glory who had come. And they were just going crazy in the spirit of the Lord, amen.
But to the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, this was a little bit much for them. They went to Jesus and said, “Rabbi, you should rebuke your disciples. Can you ask them to tone it down a little bit?” Jesus said (in Luke 19:38): “I tell you, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” The stones will cry out. Amen.
So if you keep quiet about True Parents, don’t be surprised when you get home at night if the driveway is crying out, and in that front walk that goes up to your house, the stones start crying out if you don’t cry out. So with our families, we are the living stones. We are no longer a best kept secret. We have to cry out.
“Re-Member When You Were a Member”
First Generation, this is our time. You’re not washed up, not washed away. You can get carried away. It’s 2012. It’s the 30-year anniversary of the 8,000 couples. Congratulations. It’s the 20-year anniversary of the 30,000 couples. Congratulations. Now that’s 40,000 families in America and around the world. Don’t you think if we cry out that the world can change? We have been raised up for such a time as this.
Those mountain peaks, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, God bless them, but soon they’re going to replace them with all the saints down in Alabama. Mt. Rappolli – especially the Italian names are the best. Mt. Rappolli, Mt. Rotundo, Mt. Ladolcetta, or the great Finemore family in Alabama. Instead of Mt. Rushmore, it’s going to be Mt. Finemore. And they’re going to carve pictures of Rob and Ruthie and Delia and Mikey and Elizabeth and Bella. They’ll be all up there. If they cry out.
There are so many saints, brothers and sisters, our brothers and sisters who are out there resting right now. But you know, “Once with True Parents,” what? “Always with True Parents.” Just like “Once a Marine, always a Marine.” There are thousands of our brothers and sisters sitting out there. They want to be here in church, but you need to go ask them. Our pastors need to go pastor those saints and bring them back for such a time as this. Maybe they used to be members, but now you need to re-member them. Don’t forget them. Try to remember them. You can go visit them.
Because honestly, some of them have been dis-membered. They were disrespected, maybe by you or somebody else and they’ve—you know. So you can go to them with your heart and visit their homes, take care of their families, and you can sing to them. In fact, I have a song you could sing. This is a stretch. It’s the “Remember Song.” It’s a fantastic song.
(Sings a song.)
Try to remember when you were a member
And life was sweet and oh, so mellow.
Try to remember when you were a member
And you were a tender and mellow fellow
Try to remember before it’s December
And follow, follow, follow.
Now what’s the worst that can happen? They can say, “If you promise never to sing again, I will come to church.” But they’ll feel your heart. They’ll feel the inspiration, the living water from True Parents. So reach out to them. Reach out with your heart. Don’t just do outreach. Reach out with the living water. Do the same with your own families and bring them. Bring them to Lovin’ Life. Introduce them to your blessed family and to the ministry.
Full Speed Ahead in 2012
So finally, brothers and sisters, this is the Year of the Dragon, right? Dragons are unpredictable. Dragons are dangerous. I think 2012 should be the year of living dangerously. Father is like that: life and death, putting your life on the line, total investment. The same thing should be applied to witnessing: “At the price of my life I want to save that person.”
So that means we have to live on the edge. In Zion Canyon my wife shocked me. We were way up high on a cliff and there were chains and a sign that said, “Don’t go beyond this point. Danger, danger, risk of life, life-threatening.” She went beyond the chain and was taking a picture. I said, “My wife is doing this?!” I couldn’t believe it.
Back when I was a kid there was a TV show called Lost in Space. There was a crazy, funky robot. And the robot was so paranoid about Will Robinson getting hurt that whenever there was the slightest hint of life-threatening danger, it went, “Danger, danger, Will Robinson. Danger.”
So it’s the same with witnessing. In our conscience, our heart, we want to reach out to people. But as soon as we think, “I’m going to speak to that person,” all of a sudden the robot comes, “Danger, danger, Jaga Gavin.” And then we pull back. “Whew. I almost broke out of myself. I almost witnessed to someone. Thank God.”
But I say, “Damn the robot, full speed ahead.” Amen! Go beyond. Go beyond your comfort zone and enter into the danger zone. Like the top guns. Fly into the danger zone. That’s where you find God, where we testify to the breaking news and we find the amazing spiritual children that God has prepared.
So brothers and sisters, it’s March 4th. March forth to Foundation Day from today. Today we start 120 days, from March 4th to July 4th. And I wish you all the greatest of blessings as you reach out to your spiritual children, as you are the fountains of living water, the living stones to give life to this nation. God bless you.