September 18, 2023

Sunday Service on September 17, 2023

Triangle Family Church Sunday Service on September 17, 2023

Musical Offering


  • Joseph, sold as a slave, accepted his circumstances and became a prime minister of Egypt.
  • The blind man's condition was used to display God's mighty works through Jesus.
  • Acceptance is not a sign of weakness but a recognition of reality without protest.
  • Acceptance is emphasized in Buddhism and the Serenity Prayer.
  • Acceptance and forgiveness are essential for mental well-being.
  • Acceptance reduces negative emotions and increases resilience and gratitude.
  • Dopamine-driven behavior in young people can be balanced with acceptance and selflessness. 

I'd like to talk about  acceptance today. Acceptance is one of lessons we can learn from one of my favorite Sunday school Bible study Joseph, one of Jacob's 12 sons. Joseph was sold to Egypt by his brothers as slave but ended up becoming a prime minister of Egypt. Accepting his status as a slave Joseph simply went to work for his master. When he was put into prison by false accusation again he accepted the circumstance and worked hard. Acceptance helped Joseph for God to display his mighty works in Joseph. 

Let's read Bible. This is from John chapter 9. 
As Jesus walked along, he saw a man who was blind from birth. Jesus’ disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned so that he was born blind, this man or his parents?”
Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents. This happened so that God’s mighty works might be displayed in him. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 

After he said this, he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and smeared the mud on the man’s eyes. Jesus said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam”. So the man went away and washed. When he returned, he could see.

what is acceptance? Acceptance in human psychology is a person's assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) that has already occurred without attempting to change it or protest it. 

Is acceptance a form of weakness or pushover?
I think the answer is no. But some people may think the answer is yes. One more important component for life of faith is forgiveness. Acceptance and forgiveness are often regard as form of weakness. Today I would like to focus on acceptance. We feel happy when the people around around us and the environment move according to our desire and everything is going in a favorable direction. In reality, however, we walk through many obstacles that make us feel frustrated and wonder "Why are these things happening?”

How do we normally react when we face unpleasant situations? 
Accept Or resist, avoid, try to change them?
We tend to think that what favors us is good and what does not favor us is bad. So we normally resist, avoid, or try to change the unpleasant situations.

Acceptance is more like Buddhist concept. Let us learn some Buddhist teachings regarding to acceptance. Buddhism teaches there are four universal sufferings.  
Birth, Sickness, Aging, and Death, which are out of our control.

It teaches that there are some meanings in sufferings and the path leading to the end of sufferings.

If we see situations only from our own perspective; right or wrong, gain or loss, winning or losing, we cannot see the whole picture of situations.

Jōdo Shinshū also known as Shin Buddhism or True Pure Land Buddhism teaches to recite “Namu Amida Butsu”.

It means that I completely trust Amida Buddha.
Acceptance with faith in higher being makes us see things from different perspective. 

Next, let us see the acceptance from psychotherapy and neuroscience view points.
There is psychotherapy emphasizing acceptance. It is called acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). ACT is a type of psychotherapy that helps people cope with negative thoughts, feelings, and situations by accepting them rather than trying to change or avoid them. 

ACT is based on the idea that the ability to adapt to changing circumstances and emotions is essential for mental well-being.

The importance of acceptance has long been recognized in the Serenity Prayer.

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Acceptance can help us focus on the positive aspects of our life, and appreciate what we have and what we can do.

Some of the benefits of acceptance are:

It reduces the amount of negative emotions that we experience, such as anger, sadness, fear, or guilt.
It increases our resilience and ability to bounce back from setbacks and challenges, as we learn from our mistakes and focus on what we can control.
It enhances our gratitude and appreciation for what we have, rather than dwelling on what we lack.

When positive thoughts are generated, the brain produces serotonin, creating a feeling of well-being. When serotonin levels are normal, one feels happy, calmer, less anxious, more focused and more emotionally stable.

Lastly I'd like to conclude with a message to Young audience. There is a group of hormones called “Happy Hormones that are responsible for producing positive emotions and feelings of happiness in the body.

Serotonin is one of four “Happy Hormones” and is the foundation. I can say Serotonin is for First Blessing; body and mind unity. Oxytocin is for Second Blessing. It's called love hormone. Dopamine and endorphin are for Third Blessing. Dopamine is released when a person engages in pleasurable activities and can lead to addiction.

High levels of dopamine can lead to competitive, aggressive, and impulsive behavior. It can also cause anxiety, trouble sleeping, and stress.
I think young people in general have a lot of dopamine in their brain. No wonder why young people have impulsive behavior. I think Adam and Eve also had dopamine before fall. Young people seek academic achievement career or look for their eternal partner, spouse. They do by dopamine type of approach which is how to make me feel good motivated rewarded. It focuses on myself. I would like to introduce a story of Monkey King, which illustrates young people’s characteristic and lessons for them.  

The Monkey King is best known as one of the main characters in the 16th-century Chinese novel “Journey to the West”. 

The Monkey King possessed many abilities but made a lot of troubles.
Monkey King was arrogant. He thought he knew everything, he could do anything, he did not need higher being like Buddha. Doesn’t it sound like young people’s characteristics? I was like that when I went to college. Luckily, I found True Parents and my place. Buddha knew the Monkey King had a special mission. So Buddha let the Monkey King do what he wants to do first and then let him realize his place.

One day, Buddha challenged the Monkey King if he can escape from his palm. 
The Monkey King accepted the challenge. He leaped and flied all the way to the edge of the universe. Seeing nothing there but five towering pillars, he believed that he had reached the ends of the universe. To prove his trail, he marked a pillar with a phrase declaring himself the Great Sage Equal to Heaven. He then leaped back and returned to Buddha's palm to claim his victory in winning the challenge. Then he found that the five "pillars" were fingers of the Buddha's hand.

Later, the Monkey King helped Tang dynasty Buddhist monk to travel to India to obtain Buddhist holy scriptures.

This society teaches young people dopamine type of approach; Focus on myself.

True Parents teaches the opposite approach; serotonin type - Have faith in God, Focus on others.

Manage oneself before managing the universe.
Purify the motivation to selfless.
Devote the utmost effort, wait for the outcome, and accept the outcome as God's works.

These are lessons I learn from True Parents Words and experiences of fundraising. When I did fundraising, I set a goal like how businesses do. Make this much money today. If I focused on the number, it did not work well. I got more rejection. On the other hand, if I focused on the purpose, which was serving the people in the assigned area, it went well. The fundraising was a training to reflect and purify my motivation. The attitude: “Devote the utmost effort, wait for the outcome, and accept the outcome as God's works” can apply to many situations in our life.

During fundraising we received many many rejections and at that time we appreciated those who bought our products and we did not like those who rejected us. But looking back the time and reflecting, which one helped us to grow up? It is those who rejected us because they made us reflect our motivation. When we see that way, we can feel appreciation even those who rejected us. This is conclusion. Accept that we are in God’s hands. 
Dopamine type of approach focusing on oneself makes us blind to see God’s mighty works.
Acceptance helps us see God’s mighty works.
Purify our motivation and find the place for “Journey to Cheon Il Guk”.

Let us pray. Dear Heavenly Parent, thank you for this time to gather here and and worship Heavenly parent and have the moment we reflect ourselves and and try to connect you Heavenly parent. All of us are in your hand. But many times we try to escape and ignore your love. Especially young people, they have so much abilities, ambitions and confidence to themselves. They may feel they don't need any help from Heavenly Parent. But Heavenly Parent we will find a place when we accept we are in your hand. We will find a right place in our life. Heavenly Parent, let us find our place. We are in the journey to Cheon Il Guk. True Mother is leading us. Heavenly Parent, let us do our best to contribute to journey to Cheon Il Guk. Thank you Heavenly Parent. I would like to report everything in the name of brothers and sisters gathered here.

No comments:

Post a Comment