‘Mother, I Thank You’ and Other Poems

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Paul Hermanby Paul Herman

Author’s note: Here are three of my poems. The first is about the preciousness and grace of mother’s love. The second, about the central person or savior that brings God’s love to us and awakens that love for others in us. The third is about the parental heart — our parental heart reaching out for all God’s lost children.

Mother, I Thank You

Mother, I thank you

For the wind isn’t hollow

And the air isn’t dry

And the world isn’t over

And I didn’t die

A gentle breeze blows and tears fill the sky with your heart of compassion

My God am I…

To live with you present in the depths of my soul

Thank you dear mother, my one and my all

 

Mother, I thank you

’Cause you can’t turn away

When you know that I’m hurting yet I’ve nothing to say

For the mistakes that I’ve made and the pain that I caused

Still my life didn’t end

It just paused…

 

And yes, I can feel you deep in my soul

In a land that is barren

In a land that is old

The sadness arises

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‘Sleepless in Jerusalem’ and Other Poems

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Howell-7By Lloyd Howell

Note: The following poems originally appeared in the 2010 issue of the Journal of Unification Studies.

Sleepless in Jerusalem

for M, a Jewish friend

Behold, he who keeps Israel will
neither slumber nor sleep. Ps. 121:4

Visiting your ancestral homeland for the first time,
you say that you had the best sleep
of your life –
the kind that only babies have!

I know what you mean but I pray
that you wake quickly
to the facts across town;
where the lines are being redrawn
and homes declared illegal
by bureaucratic fiat
to be bulldozed, without compensation.

Occupants,
no, I mean families;
to be exact, non-Jewish families,
removed by armed soldiers
following faceless orders from above
to soon stand, teeth gnashing,
in utter despair
amid unrecognizable rubble
children screaming, crying
their toys crushed,
their world gone,
now exposed to life’s inequities
at all too young an age.

Wake up!
There on the other side of town
enemies are being made;
yea, mass produced –
a house goes down,
a wall goes up
cutting off the ‘Arabs’ from you
and each other and jobs.
Soon you both will be totally
estranged from each other.

Wake up –
there on the other side [of town]
someone
is having a nightmare,
someone’s
arm is reaching out
as they are being pulled under by a tide of hate!

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The Doctrine of Continuing Revelation

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By Michael Mickler

Mickler full-sizeThe Unification movement affirms a doctrine of continuing revelation. But this is a difficult doctrine for any religious tradition to uphold.

The reason is simple. Revelation changes or at least upsets everything and almost everybody.

This is certainly the case for founders of religious traditions. The Hebrew prophets were stoned. Jesus was crucified. Mohammad was ridiculed and driven from the city of Mecca. Joseph Smith was assassinated. Sun Myung Moon endured torture and imprisonment.

In short, “Thus saith the Lord” is a life-threatening proclamation.

This is true not only for founders of religious traditions but also for their followers. Those claiming continuing revelation typically earn such titles as heretic, apostate, deceiver, witch, sorcerer, blasphemer, false prophet, liar, cult leader, and Antichrist.

In fighting off new claims, religious traditions generally follow two strategies.

This first is to close off revelation.

Christianity is a case-in-point. The early Church was a maelstrom of competing points of view, self-proclaimed prophets and founders of new sects. Christians agreed that Jesus had overcome death and in one way or another incarnated the living God. They disagreed about almost everything else: strategies of outreach, leadership, worship, church discipline, Jesus’ divine and human nature, and whether they should pray for or condemn Rome.

In this context, a plethora of individuals and groups arose who claimed continuing revelation. Some attracted broad followings. All were eventually branded heretics and many of their “revelations” claimed to supersede Jesus and his teachings. Among the more notorious were:

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K-Dramas and the Global Reach of Korean Popular Culture

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By Mark P. Barry

Mark Barry Photo 2Unificationists were among the first binge-watchers in the world. Well before our era of watching multiple episodes of a previously aired TV show, many of us became consumed with enjoying Korean historical dramas (saeguks) at night. A lot of us started with DVDs of episodes of Jumong (whose lead actor met with Reverend Moon in 2007), and followed it up with Hur Jun, Jewel in the Palace or the modern romance, Winter Sonata (filmed at the Yongpyong ski resort). Amazingly, compared to binge-watchers of American television, we enjoyed it all even despite having to read subtitles since K-dramas are in the Korean language. These dramas typically were 20, 50, even 80 or more episodes long (many “seasons” of a U.S. drama are just 13 episodes).

For many Unificationists, our enjoyment of a steady diet of Korean historical dramas began six to eight years ago. If we couldn’t borrow the discs, sometimes we could find a show streamed — often in several 10 minute segments — from various transient websites. Real enthusiasts would learn how to download, through peer-to-peer sharing, “torrents” of episodes of dramas we wanted from fans who uploaded them for other fans. Ad hoc groups of English-speaking Koreans would create often high-quality subtitles for the original episodes so that non-Koreans could understand what was being said.

For Unificationists, above all, the reason to watch episode upon episode of Korean historical dramas was because of the heart expressed in the ways people cared for one other. It seemed that especially in Korea’s traditional culture, we could see a more idealized form of how people could relate. These drama episodes certainly had good guys and bad guys, and plenty of demonstrations of utmost loyalty and filial piety, but they also had real heart – the kind we would be hard-pressed to find on American television.

The irony is this mini-phenomenon among Unificationists, Western and Japanese, foreshadowed the growing phenomenon of the popularity of K-dramas not just throughout Asia but globally, including the United States.

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Our Information-Rich Universe Points to Intelligent Design

Double Helix

by Jonathan Wells

Bioinformation SymposiumI commend Jim Stephens for undertaking his “101 Proofs for God” project, and he’s right to target evolutionary theory and mention intelligent design (ID).

As Cornell biologist William Provine said in 1998, “Evolution is the greatest engine of atheism” (quoted in Witham, Where Darwin Meets the Bible, p. 23). Schools teach our children that materialistic Science is the best judge of truth, and Science says that evolution is a fact. By implication, God is certainly unnecessary and probably nonexistent. This attitude dominates academia from kindergarten to the doctoral level.

Of course, evolution can mean many things, some of which are uncontroversial — such as minor changes within existing species. In the 1930s, evolutionary biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky called such minor changes “microevolution;” he used “macroevolution” to refer to the origin of new species, organs and body plans. According to Charles Darwin’s theory, all living things are descendants of one or a few common ancestors that have been modified by unguided processes such as variations and natural selection. Thus — theoretically — over millions of years microevolution has produced macroevolution (including the origin of human beings) without the need for design or purpose.

But Darwin did not know the mechanism of heredity or the origin of novel variations, so his theory was incomplete. After 1900, Mendelian genetics seemed to remedy the first deficiency, and after 1953, DNA mutations seemed to remedy the second. The resulting Modern Synthesis combined Darwin’s theory with the idea that organismal development is controlled by a genetic program written in DNA sequences, and that DNA mutations can change genetic programs to generate raw materials for evolution. According to molecular biologist Jacques Monod, “with that, and the understanding of the random physical basis of mutation that molecular biology has also provided, the mechanism of Darwinism is at last securely founded. And man has to understand that he is a mere accident” (quoted in Judson, Eighth Day of Creation, p. 217).

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The Glue-Like Nature of Evil: How Can an Innocent Girl Torture Hitler in Hell Without Being There Herself?

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By Larry Moffitt

Larry_Moffitt_edited-1This topic is central to human happiness. A couple of “givens” obvious to you, but which I have to insist upon when speaking to my glitterati ca­fé society friends, is that when people die they don’t just go poof. They still exist in some form. Their conscious spirit lives on some­where else. Some take their earthly baggage, and the worry lines on their faces with them, while others are able to put the past behind and start over.

The image of people sitting around on clouds, playing harps, is as clichéd as cops in donut shops, and I don’t expect to see that there. I think people have assignments and real work to do in the spirit world. They roll up their ectoplasmic sleeves and start taking names.

One of the most interesting dead people I know is Adolf Hitler, the pos­t­er child for evil, a man so wicked that today it’s against the law in Ger­many and Austria to have Hitler as a family name. They re­tired his jer­sey, so to speak.

I had read an article written by a man, Dr. Lee, who had died and was ap­par­ent­ly communicating via an earthly medium with some re­cog­niz­ed ability. He had been a scholar in his earthly life and had a general rep­u­ta­tion of being truthful and trustworthy. In his messages from be­yond, he said he had been assigned to visit all kinds of peo­ple and talk with them about their lives, what they did right and wrong, etc., and then report back to us, the so-called “living.”

I acknowledge that some people (but surely not you, gentle reader) don’t believe in the existence of a spirit world, and therefore don’t buy in­to the notion that spiritual communication is anything but bogus. Oth­ers believe everything.

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Blogging about 101 Proofs for God

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By Jim Stephens

Jim Stephens_edited-1Three years ago I was sitting in bed praying. I had been thinking a lot about what I was going to do with the rest of my life. I was 62 and thinking 30 more years was about all there was left at the most.

The thought occurred to me to pray something like this: “Heavenly Father, I know your situation is pretty tough up there because things are so messed up down here. I’ve only got about 20 good years left that I might be able to help You. What can I personally do for you with the time I’ve got left?”

The answer came in a pretty clear understanding: “My children don’t know me. Even the ones who believe in me don’t really know Me. They have no defense against the attacks of the atheists, scientists, and evolutionists who claim science and truth are on their side. It is an all-out war for the minds and hearts of my children.”

I could feel there was vast loneliness, sadness and frustration in God’s heart with this situation.

“Proofs for God” were needed. Most believers, when confronted by atheists, had very shallow proofs for God and typically could only think of a few.

I felt like God wanted me to help with this situation. So I decided to write “101 Proofs For God for the Common Man.”

Each proof would be short so anyone could read it in two or three minutes. I would cover all kinds of topics from logical proofs to serious scientific explanations and the latest research. I would avoid heavy theological and philosophical proofs. I’d write proofs that even middle-schoolers could understand. I would do the research on the latest discoveries and summarize it for their easy understanding.

I chose to post each proof as I wrote it on Blogspot. Later, I created a website that contains the full list of them. My goal is to finish #75 by the end of the year and get to #101 by the end of 2015. Then I want to turn it into a book.

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Lessons from Reverend Moon’s New Culture Strategy

ICUS XV Washington 1986

By Glenn Strait

“Do you think you can create a new culture of peace by sitting down?”

– Sun Myung Moon

Glenn_Strait_edited-1From 1972-92, Reverend Moon invested huge resources in creating new culture. During this same period, he also invested vast resources in defeating international communism, while he simultaneously conducted major evangelical outreach efforts and established a global footprint of his movement.

The foundation for each of these components was a system of thought — Unification Thought, Victory Over Communism, and Divine Principle, respectively. My focus is Rev. Moon’s strategy for creating new culture.

In strategizing with God about how to usher in God’s ideal, peaceful and happy world, he determined his grand strategy would include a component focused on creating new culture undergirded by a new and comprehensive ideological framework built on the foundation of Divine Principle itself. Working directly with Dr. Sang Hun Lee, Rev. Moon elaborated upon Divine Principle to create Unification Thought to serve as that ideological framework.

My windows onto Rev. Moon’s new culture strategy were, from 1972-85, working on the core secretariat of the annual International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences (ICUS), and, from 1985-2004, as editor for natural sciences of The World & I monthly magazine.

Rev. Moon’s strategy had originally intended The World & I to be the vehicle for spreading new culture, as the magazine published articles written by academics and other prominent people inspired by Unification Thought. These authors were to have gained that inspiration in Unification Thought through their participation in ICUS and other conferences spun from it. One of my objectives on the editorial staff of the magazine was to assure that this pool of prepared authors became writers for the magazine.

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Charting a Family Course Through Stormy Seas

3 Gen Family

By John Clark

JohnClarkThere is a lot of turmoil these days, both in our church and the world at large. It is a time of tremendous change. No one can confidently predict where we will be in five or ten years. To be a good ancestor, we should take responsibility for making a lineage tradition that will help guide our descendants through turbulent times and good times. Each of our descendants should feel a personal identity as part of a blessing lineage working to make true love foundations on the earth. This is what I want to accomplish as a first generation Unification Church member.

We have long preached world peace through ideal families, but what exactly does our ideal family look like? Are we known for creating such families or merely for organizing conferences that promote them? Are we better at making great families or at sacrificing our families? Our children would be best qualified to answer that last question. We need to be a movement that creates great families.

The world at large is also facing many problems. Economic crises and war threaten our future. It is easy to get depressed by the trend of current events. We need to demonstrate a strong way to survive and prosper through difficult times.

We should seek to distill our faith in practice so it is an undeniable truth in our children’s consciences. One of the great ethics of our faith is the true love lineage. We should give our children many happy, unforgettable family experiences when they are young so they will naturally want to seek happiness by continuing the same family tradition with their own children. True love lineage has a strong identity and responsibility for all family members.

Many of our youth programs would benefit by using true love lineage as the basis of their curriculum, rather than a general schedule of Divine Principle lectures. Long boring lectures probably drive most young minds away from the church and captivate only a small percentage of the children’s imaginations. If they are excited from the workshop, they can read a certain number of pages in Divine Principle every day the rest of the year as homework.

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