—MOMarch 18, 1971NO.59—LTA
© Copyrighted March 1971 by The Children of God
P.O. Box 31, London WC2E 7LX‚ England or GPO Box 3141, San Juan‚ Puerto Rico 00936
1. My dear precious Children: Greetings in Jesus' name! Praise the Lord! WE HOPE THAT YOU ARE ALL WELL AND HAPPY IN HIS SERVICE, AND THAT YOU SHOULD PROSPER AND BE IN HEALTH, EVEN AS THY SOUL PROSPERETH, and that you shall continue to be fruitful and multiply according to His commandments; and that He shall continue to feed and supply and protect you as He has promised—and I'm sure He is, and will, because you are His children and the sheep of His Pasture, the workmanship of His Hands, His own tools and instruments, designed for the building of His Kingdom, Praise the Lord!
REPORTING—IDENTIFYING REPORTS AND LETTERS.
2. BUT BEFORE WE GET INTO THIS IMPORTANT SUBJECT OF NEW COLONIES, ROAD TEAMS, PROSPECTIVE LOCATIONS‚ and particularly your questions, Hosea, regarding the East and London, and some advice to you, Josh, regarding your new moves in the West‚ as well as some GENERAL COUNSEL TO ALL OF YOU ALONG THIS LINE, may I please mention this first, lest I forget it, and perhaps it'll help you remember it, even if you get no further reading this Letter than here: It would be a great help to us, to the Lord's Work, and to the facilitating of His Business, if you would do as we have so often asked you; but like the box number, which we have gotten so little response from, until finally now after writing two pages on the subject and putting it in all caps across the middle of one page‚ so you would at least see that, if nothing else, and you finally got the point, as apparently you forget what you read as fast as you read it, unless we draw you a picture; so here goes again: WILL YOU ALL PLEASE I.D. YOUR NOTES‚ LETTERS, AND LOGS—ALL OF THEM—EVERY SCRAP OF PAPER YOU SEND US WITH YOUR PERSONAL BIBLE NAME, LOCATION, AND THE DATE OF WRITING IN THE TOP RIGHT-HAND CORNER OF AT LEAST THE FIRST PAGE OF YOUR COMMUNICATION! AND SIGN!
3. I believe this will be a great help to all of us, and all who receive your communications, not only us, to be able to tell at a glance, who it's from‚ where it's from, and when it was written! THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT, PARTICULARLY AT THIS DISTANCE, SO WE CAN QUICKLY IDENTIFY YOUR COMMUNICATION WITHOUT THUMBING THROUGH ALL THE PAGES trying to find out who wrote it‚ so we can understand better who's talking, and that it's written from whose standpoint, as well as where you were when you wrote it, and definitely when!—And in our case, IT IS ESPECIALLY HELPFUL, SO WE CAN TRY AND FIGURE OUT WHAT WAS THE LAST LETTER YOU PROBABLY HAD RECEIVED FROM US BEFORE YOU WROTE IT, which may have already answered your question, since so many of you so often fail to identify the Letter that you mention in your letter, as having received from us; so we don't even know what Letter you're talking about, or what was in it! Apparently it didn't make much impression, or you hadn't even read it yet‚ since you failed to mention the title or contents either! This is a very serious problem of communication‚ and a tremendously great hindrance to our understanding each other; so again: WILL YOU ALSO PLEASE IDENTIFY YOUR LAST LETTER FROM US BY ITS NUMBER OR TITLE, AS WELL, IF POSSIBLE, AS SOME SPECIFIC MENTION OF, AND YOUR REACTION TO, ITS CONTENTS!
4. THIS WILL GREATLY HELP US IN REPLYING TO YOU, AND YOUR GETTING A QUICK ANSWER, if you want one. But although we have told you these things many times‚ some of you are still failing to do them, particularly some of you log writers, who too often merely say in your logs, "They just read us a long Letter from MO! Wow! What a heavy Letter!" Thanks a lot—but this we already know—that they are long and heavy, because we pay the postage! But since it is sometime before we get your logs, our only way to even vaguely guess at which Letter you're referring to, is to go through the labourious and uncertain process of checking the date you wrote the comment, wondering how long your leaders kept the Letter before they read it to you, and trying to vaguely estimate how long before that we might have sent it, and try to feebly theorise about which one of a half dozen to a dozen of our Letters that you might possibly be talking about, which you might have received by that time, and might have read, and to which you might be referring! Dearly beloved, this is no way to do the Lord's Business, or waste His Time. PLEASE IDENTIFY BOTH YOUR LETTER AND OURS, AS WELL AS GIVING US YOUR REACTION OR ANSWER, PARTICULARLY YOU LEADERS WHO RECEIVE THEM, ON EACH OF ITS SPECIFIC POINTS OR QUESTIONS!
5. WE ARE TRYING TO UNDERLINE THOSE FOR YOU NOW‚ ourselves, at a great delay of speed and endangering of security, since you seem to forget them as rapidly as you read them, and when you come to answering them, can't remember what they were all about, so you ramble on in generalities, about the time of day or the weather, or nice little sweet loving and endearing eulogies, which we truly appreciate‚ but which become a little exasperating, when you're completely ignoring the subjects, questions, or problems of which we wrote you, and not giving us your reactions, answers, or actions on these things! Jesus said, "If ye love Me‚ keep My commandments!" ALL THE LOVING ENDEARMENTS MEAN NOTHING, IF YOU DON'T DO WHAT WE SAY—OR WE DON'T KNOW YOU'RE DOING IT! Thanks! We'll sure appreciate your closer attention to these matters! You write wonderful letters, and we appreciate every one of them! And thank you for all the good things you say about ours. BUT WE WOULD LIKE A FEW ANSWERS, AS WELL AS A LITTLE SPECIFIC NEWS AS TO WHAT YOU'RE DOING ABOUT OUR SUGGESTIONS! Thank you! We love you!
MAIL—HOW TO STUDY, MARK AND ANSWER.
6. Perhaps another suggestion here on HOW TO STUDY AND ANSWER OUR LETTERS will be helpful, by telling you how to handle yours; and I guess you'd CALL THIS ANOTHER CHAPTER ON THE MINISTRY OF THE MAIL‚ before we get back to new colonies:
7. FIRST OF ALL, DON'T EVEN BEGIN READING THE LETTER UNTIL YOU HAVE A NICE BRIGHT COLOURED PEN OR PENCIL IN YOUR HAND TO UNDERLINE IMPORTANT PHRASES, CIRCLE VITAL WORDS, AND CHECK THINGS TO ANSWER. Then when you are answering the Letter, you will be able to hold the copy in front of you and easily note the various items which should be mentioned. THIS WILL ALSO HELP YOU IN YOUR READING OF THE LETTER TO OTHERS‚ AND YOUR STUDY OF IT TOGETHER, SINCE THE MAJOR SUBJECTS ARE CLEARLY MARKED IN BRIGHT COLOURS! Otherwise, in a lengthy, closely-typed Letter such as ours, which is written this way to save postage‚ if you have not marked it, when you come to answering it‚ you haven't time to read it again, and you've forgotten what it was about, and the very thought of having to wade through it again to pick out its salient points discourages you utterly. So you pray and ask God to help you say something nice‚ loving, and sweet, and generally thankful, which you hope may help me to overlook the fact that YOU'RE NOT SPECIFICALLY ANSWERING EACH OF THE LETTER'S IMPORTANT POINTS!
8. I LOVE YOU, TOO—AND I'VE BEEN GUILTY OF THE SAME SOMETIMES, especially when we have so many to answer. BUT WHEN IT COMES TO THE LORD'S IMPORTANT BUSINESS, AND URGENT ITEMS WHICH SHOULD BE ATTENDED TO‚ WE MUST BE DILIGENT, AND NOT NEGLECTFUL! So please try to remember to mark our Letters as you read them, so you can quickly run through the pages, and see what needs to be answered when you're done! This will also help you with your other mail, logs, etc., because it's physically impossible to just look at a pile of mail‚ or a mass of writing on a page and remember everything in it that needs to be attended to!! GOOD MARKING IS THE SOLUTION! Praise the Lord!
9. THEN, HAVING MARKED A PIECE OF MAIL, I PUT A SYMBOL AT THE TOP OF THE FIRST PAGE SHOWING I HAVE READ IT (a circled capital R), and also an X or checkmark in bright red‚ if there is some specific question in it which must be answered, or item which merits comment.
10. NEXT, WE HAVE A SPECIAL BOX, OR TRAY‚ IN WHICH TO PUT THIS MAIL WHICH IS READY TO BE ANSWERED‚ SO IT WON'T GET MIXED UP WITH EVERYTHING ELSE, lost or misplaced, until it is attended to, and we know right where it is when we're ready to write you!
11. AFTER ANSWERING YOUR LETTER, WE MARK IT "ANS'D," WITH THE DATE OF ANSWERING, AND FILE IT in a special section for your colony‚ in case we need to refer to it again. It's just as simple as that! I think our simple little system will help you a great deal if you try it, or develop one of your own. WHATEVER YOU DO, PLEASE NOT ONLY RESPOND WITH ANOTHER LETTER‚ BUT ANSWER THE SPECIFIC QUESTIONS, COMMENT ON THE SPECIFIC SUGGESTIONS, tell us what you like or don't like, and what you intend to do about it! Thank you very much. We'll surely appreciate your help on this. This way, we'll save a lot of time and space by not having to repeat over and over the same things until they finally sink in! And we won't have to waste several lines painting a sign in all caps, spaced off in the middle of the Letter, to attract your attention, as we've had to do a few times! After nearly two months, most of you are at last using our box number! Hallelujah! God bless you! You're really sharp‚ and on the ball!
ORGANISING AND PREPARING ROAD TEAMS.
12. Now to get down to some SPECIFIC SUGGESTIONS ABOUT ORGANISING NEW COLONIES: They may even help you to get organised! Praise the Lord!
13. WHEN I RECENTLY RECOMMENDED THAT YOU BEGIN ORGANISING, TRAINING, EQUIPPING, AND PLANNING ROAD TEAMS FOR THE SUMMER, I EXPECTED IT TO BE A FAIRLY LONG, DRAWN-OUT PROCESS, PAINSTAKINGLY AND THOROUGHLY DONE, WELL-PREPARED, and particularly with the view of occupying properties that had been offered us. That's why I said to start NOW! I didn't mean for you to immediately jump into the pool before you learned how to swim‚ or had a life preserver! I ALSO CAUTIONED YOU AGAINST WEAKENING YOUR HOME BASE BY ROBBING IT OF ESSENTIAL LEADERSHIP AND STRIPPING IT OF NECESSARY PERSONNEL!—And I certainly didn't expect you to virtually disband altogether and split up for parts unknown! Any idea of such a sudden move or total evacuation was only to be prepared for in the case of some great emergency, such as a severe earthquake, etc. And I certainly didn't expect you to make any major moves along this line without further planning, consultation, and approval by all concerned, including me and your king.
14. IMAGINE MY AMAZEMENT WHEN, WITHOUT SO MUCH AS ANY PRELIMINARY ANNOUNCEMENT WHATSOEVER‚ MUCH LESS NOTIFICATION, CONSULTATION‚ OR APPROVAL, suddenly rumours began to drift in through casual remarks in the letters and logs of lesser officials, THAT L.A. HAD VIRTUALLY DISBANDED, broken up, and evacuated most of its personnel without notice! We were absolutely flabbergasted at this sudden, drastic evacuation of one of our major bases, harvest fields, training centres, HQ and focal point of such good publicity! YOU SURELY MUST HAVE MISUNDERSTOOD US, although we don't see how you could have, considering everything was down in black and white on paper, and I cautioned you specifically against just such a move, except in the case of some national emergency!
15. NOT ONLY THIS, BUT WE HAD ADVISED THAT YOU FIRST GIVE THEM THOROUGH TRAINING IN THE WAYS OF THE ROAD AND PIONEERING, which you could not possibly have done in so short a time! Besides, I CLEARLY WARNED YOU THAT THE TEAM SHOULD NOT BE OF MORE THAN A HALF DOZEN TO A DOZEN IN SIZE, on the average, except in exceptional cases of major cities for a Prophet Bus team of perhaps twice that many, about 25 at most, and that they should be sent out slowly in occasional installments after thorough preparation and instruction to definitely designated destinations mutually agreed upon by all of us! AND ON TOP OF IT ALL‚ YOU WERE NOT TO SEND OUT ANY CALIFORNIA TEAM WITHOUT PROPER EQUIPMENT TO CAMP LEGALLY IN PUBLIC CAMPGROUNDS designed for this purpose!—That they could not and should not by any means expect to camp out in public parks, beaches, downtown‚ or sleeping in the bus at the curbside on city streets or highways!—That this is against the law in California and would only bring trouble—unnecessary trouble!
16. INSTEAD, THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID WITH YOUR SAN DIEGO TEAM—and the hair raising reports we've been receiving from them, as glowing and beautiful and wonderful though they were, have been enough to give us more grey hairs, at their lack of organisation! Surely only God has taken care of them; and I might say that the police have been mighty good to them, too, and very patient under the circumstances! How you ever thought you could get away with it, I don't know—But may God have mercy on you for failing to heed our advice!—And He has, thank the Lord! BUT IT HAS CERTAINLY BEEN POOR PUBLIC RELATIONS WITH THE AUTHORITIES, AND THREATENS US WITH VERY BAD PUBLICITY in view of all God has done for us! I hope you've learned your lesson‚ and don't repeat this performance!
17. FURTHERMORE‚ WE SAID THAT IT WOULD TAKE ALL OF OUR AVAILABLE MANPOWER THAT COULD BE SPARED JUST TO OCCUPY OFFERED PLACES, WHICH SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED FIRST as to their suitability and the size and type of team needed; and not to send out any teams without a place to land‚ especially one of the size of the one you just sent to San Diego!
18. WE ALSO SAID THAT EVEN IN THE CASE OF SOME GREAT EMERGENCY OR CATASTROPHE, SOME TEAM WOULD STILL BE NEEDED IN THE L.A. AREA to help pick up the pieces and reap the harvest! Apparently, you misunderstood all of this, and were in such a hurry to get out of there that you threw caution to the wind, broke nearly all of these rules, and nearly disbanded, to our horror, and an over-size team was dumped in San Diego with no place to go! God help us! God help us to repair the damage and recoup our forces, reestablish the home base, turn this rout into a recovery, this seeming defeat into some kind of a victory! Praise the Lord!
19. DID YOU CONSULT WITH YOUR KING ABOUT IT AND LET HIM ADVISE YOU ON IT, at least get his opinion? We're bound by our word to do so‚ as long as we are working in cooperation with him. He has certainly done his part, and we certainly owe him that much, to seek his fatherly counsel. I hear he was just as shocked as I was, because you certainly didn't ask me anything about it whatsoever! I never dreamed you'd ever send out so many so soon, except in an emergency! I expected we'd be able to get a few teams on the road by Summer to try to cover the country and occupy offered bases, and knew it would take at least that long to train them well for the job. You surely misunderstood!
20. WELL, PRAISE THE LORD! WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? "All things work together for good to them that love the Lord" (Rom.8:28)—and maybe WE COULD AT LEAST LEARN SOMETHING BY OUR MISTAKES‚ AND CERTAINLY NOT REPEAT THEM! God help us, and God bless and keep us! It makes me wonder if you are really thoroughly and PRAYERFULLY STUDYING OUR LETTERS IN DETAIL!! I knew that some boo-boo was bound to come of YOUR LACK OF COMMUNICATION—and it did. Praise the Lord anyhow! Let's hope you'll be doing better from now on! I knew I should have sent Hosea out there to find out what was going on, since you weren't writing to me. I tried to get Jeth to go‚ but he didn't want to!—so it happened! Praise the Lord! Let's hope it's not too late! Imagine the impression your handful colony made on Newsweek! May the Lord be merciful to us!!—Just when we were beginning to roll! PLEASE DON'T ANYBODY MAKE ANY MORE MAJOR MOVES WITHOUT CONSULTATION WITH LEADERSHIP!
21. AND PLEASE KEEP A SIZABLE FORCE AT HOME BASE, BIG ENOUGH TO HOLD THE FORT! Thanks! Most of the other urgent matters were taken care of by our recent phone calls! So sorry for this expense, but it was an emergency. However, it seemed to be too late in either case, and we'd probably have survived without them—but let's hope they did some good! At least it was good to talk to you again and hear your sweet voices! Praise the Lord!
22. REMEMBER‚ JESUS PROVED THAT ONLY ONE LEADER IS NEEDED ON A TEAM OF A DOZEN!—And that's a big enough team to handle most situations except perhaps major invasions where you may need the 70—so you might keep at least that many on hand in L.A., in training, and ready for action‚ God willing. The harvest is ripe, but the labourers are few!
EXHORTATION TO OVERWORKING LEADERS—HEEDING WARNINGS
23. CALEB, YOU'RE DOING A GREAT JOB IN COACHELLA!—KEEP IT UP!! THANKS FOR YOUR GOOD, THOROUGH, PERSONAL REPORT! God bless you! Thanks also for your tape, Josh, which only told us what had already happened, too late to do anything about it. Praise God anyhow! Tell Faith I love her, wherever she is—Aaron, too God bless and keep you all in His Will!
24. YOU AND FAITH AND YOUR HELPERS HAVE DONE A MONUMENTAL JOB THERE IN CALIFORNIA, Josh, and it's miraculous what the Lord has accomplished through you all for the furtherance of His Kingdom in the hearts of our youth! However, I began to see some time ago, signs that you were beginning to be overburdened and showing the strain. You were apparently TRYING TO DO TOO MUCH WITH TOO LITTLE, which is why I suggested that you let Texas send someone out to help you organise your greeting and your office. I also advised you to get a room somewhere nearby where you and Faith could get a little rest. When the situation seemed to be getting out of hand‚ I even suggested that you trade places with Jeth for a while to give you a change‚ and to give him a taste of your battlefront action there, and to give him and Amos a chance to get your office and greeting organised. Quite apparently, NONE OF THESE SUGGESTIONS WERE FOLLOWED, AND YOUR TREMENDOUS NUMBERS THERE CONTINUED TO OVERTAX YOUR STAFF AND LEADERSHIP, UNTIL YOU MUST HAVE BEEN NEARLY READY TO CRACK UNDER THE STRAIN; and you and Faith were both repeatedly reported to be sick frequently. This is an obvious sign that you were overdoing. I DON'T GO MUCH FOR THE GERM THEORY ABOUT CATCHING THINGS—at least not if you're strong and in good health, getting sufficient rest, a wholesome diet, healthful exercise, and freedom from too much tension or worry. If you keep in the pink, it seems you won't even catch a cold, no matter how much of it is going around. IF YOU KEEP UP YOUR RESISTANCE‚ THE ENEMY JUST HAS TO FLEE, be he germ or otherwise; but if you abuse the temple, are intemperate in your activities, immoderate in not getting enough rest, etc., you're bound to suffer the consequence!
25. EVIDENTLY THE SITUATION WAS BECOMING SO DESPERATE‚ AND YOUR STRENGTH SO STRAINED, that the slightest suggestion of dumping some of the load there was greeted with such welcome relief THAT YOU WENT SOMEWHAT OVERBOARD ON IT, and nearly dumped the whole thing! Of course, the way to get the load of apples up the hill, and to relieve yourself of the burden, is to share the load with others; otherwise you're apt to become so exhausted that you stumble, and dump the whole load, and it all goes rolling back down the hill again. Let's hope we've caught you in time‚ before the apples are all gone, and you've conked out, Praise the Lord!
26. IT WAS CERTAINLY NOT ENTIRELY YOUR FAULT, BECAUSE THE PEOPLE I TOLD TO GO OUT THERE AND HELP YOU, FAILED TO DO SO IN TIME, and I guess my suggestion that you and Faith get a room somewhere part of the time‚ or switch with Jeth and Deb for a few days, either didn't come soon enough‚ or simply wasn't accepted. BUT IN THE LONG RUN YOU'LL USUALLY FIND THAT DEAR OLD DAD IS USUALLY RIGHT—THAT THE LORD NEARLY ALWAYS WARNS ME IN ADVANCE of impending disasters, and I try to do my best to help you forestall them—but IF YOU DON'T TAKE MY SUGGESTIONS OR DO WHAT I SAY, OR AT LEAST TRY TO DO SOMETHING ALONG THAT LINE‚ IT GIVES ME A TERRIBLE HELPLESS FEELING OVER HERE, AS I WATCH WHAT'S HAPPENING, AND TRY TO PREVENT IT, BUT CAN'T BECAUSE YOU WON'T LISTEN. It's like one of those nightmares in which you're trying to run but can't move, trying to scream, but can't make a sound, as you observe approaching danger. I screamed‚ but you didn't run! Apparently, I didn't scream loud enough, and maybe you just couldn't run. But it gives us over here a terrible feeling of helplessness, uselessness‚ and futility, when we go to all the trouble to write and warn you of all these things, and you pay so little attention. It's like the box number! I suppose, by the end of our stay here, you'll all be using it faithfully; but in the meantime, it's too late, you didn't listen, and the confusion we tried to prevent may have occurred in the loss of some of your mail! WE SCREAM, BUT YOU DON'T RUN; WE YELL, BUT YOU DON'T STOP‚ LOOK, AND LISTEN! It's a terrible feeling, as you watch helplessly, having done everything you can do, and still can't prevent what you see is going to happen!
27. I KNOW HOW THE LORD MUST FEEL WHEN HE WARNS US OVER AND OVER AGAIN, AND WE STILL DON'T HEED HIS WORD! There are some things that God cannot do, because He will not do them, because HE HAS BOUND HIMSELF WITHIN CERTAIN LIMITATIONS‚ SO AS NOT TO INTERFERE WITH YOUR POWER OF CHOICE, because you have to make the decision, and He's not going to force you to do His Will! Whosoever will may come!
28. SOMETIMES IT REMINDS ME OF THE STORY OF THE CHILDREN PLAYING IN A SMALL BOAT ON THE NIAGARA RIVER. The boat was drifting closer and closer to a warning sign called "The Point of No Return." Once past this point, the current would be too swift for them to escape it, and they would be swept over the raging cataract to the rocks below! If they had started to row their little boat toward the shore before reaching this point. they could have been saved; but although the man on the shore called as loud as he could, the children were too busy playing, and their own voices and the roar of the Falls drowned out his warning voice—and they were swept to their doom!
29. IT'S A TERRIBLE FEELING WHEN YOU SEE IT HAPPENING AND CAN'T STOP IT, BECAUSE PEOPLE WON'T LISTEN! It's like banging on the locked door of a house and yelling "Fire!"—but the people inside have the TV turned up too loud to hear you—until it's too late! It's like witnessing Salvation to the lost who won't listen‚ or a lifesaver to a drowning man is ignored by his floundering! God help us! Are you listening?
30. LIKE TEXAS, WHEN WE CEASED GETTING YOUR FULL REPORTS, AND YOU STOPPED WRITING TO US PERSONALLY, and we didn't know what was going on, or what you were planning and didn't tell us‚ we knew something was wrong, or would go wrong! WHEN YOU STOP CONFIDING IN US FOR OUR COUNSEL, DON'T TELL US YOUR TROUBLES, OR TRY TO IGNORE THEM, WHEN YOU CEASE GIVING US THE INSIDE STORY OF WHAT'S HAPPENING, FROM THE VIEWPOINT OF THE LEADER HIMSELF‚ WHEN YOU PERSONALLY STOP COMMUNICATING‚ AND GET OUT OF TOUCH WITH LEADERSHIP YOURSELF, SOMETHING IS WRONG, OR BOUND TO GO WRONG!
31. IT'S LIKE THAT STORY I'VE SO OFTEN TOLD YOU ABOUT THE CONSOLIDATED AIRCRAFT CORPORATION PLANT IN SAN DIEGO, where they had that sign on the wall facing the highway in letters about ten feet tall, and ten blocks long. "NOTHING SHORT OF RIGHT IS RIGHT"! You remember this expert machinist was given this multi-thousand dollar, elaborate and complicated new piece of machinery to operate. As the boss finished showing him how to operate it, he said "I know you're a good machinist, Joe, but don't try to fix this one yourself! It's too new and complicated. If you have any trouble, call me." But the young machinist was so smart and such an expert and had been so successful thus far, that when the trouble came, HE THOUGHT HE COULD FIX IT WITHOUT HELP!—BUT INSTEAD HE TOTALLY WRECKED IT! When the boss came storming in to see what had happened, the young man kept pleading, "But I did my best! I did the best I could! You can't blame me! I did my very best to try to fix it—but I just couldn't do it!" The boss looked him straight in the eye and said firmly, "I told you if you had any trouble, call me! YOUR VERY BEST WAS TO CALL ON ME! You've wrecked a $100,000 machine‚ and lost your job! I CAN'T HAVE A MAN WORKING FOR ME WHO WON'T OBEY ORDERS!"
KINGS: GIVING HONOUR TO, AND WORKING WITH.
32. I HOPE WE HAVEN'T WRECKED THE MACHINE—AND I CERTAINLY DON'T WANT YOU TO LOSE YOUR JOB, BECAUSE WE NEED YOU, EVERY ONE OF YOU! BUT IF WE'RE GOING TO WORK TOGETHER, YOU MUST ALL LEARN TO COOPERATE, AND TRY TO FOLLOW SUGGESTIONS‚ FATHERLY ADVICE, AND GODLY COUNSEL!! My warning voice might be right, and could save you a lot of trouble—maybe even a catastrophe! So here I go making another suggestion! From now on, if it's something major, and you can't get in touch with me soon enough to get a necessary decision‚ besides asking God and conferring with your elders, WHY DON'T YOU ASK THE KING FOR HIS ADVICE FIRST! He has had years of experience in outstanding leadership, and has many remarkable gifts of the Spirit, including discernment, knowledge‚ wisdom, faith, etc., and has proven it by what God has entrusted him with, including us and the Kingdom! Much of what I learned about leadership, and what to do in many trying situations, I learned from him! I often see myself doing things, just as I've seen him do them‚ saying things I've heard him say‚ dealing with problems, like I've watched him handle them, counselling with you, as he has counselled with me! By their fruits ye shall know them—and he's got the fruits to prove his authority, including me—and you! Whether you always like the way he does things or not is not the point! Even whether you think he's right or wrong! HE IS STILL THE BOSS, AS LONG AS YOU'RE WORKING WITH HIM, and you should confide in him about your problems, be honest with him about your difficulties, ask for his opinion on your plans‚ and let your decisions be definitely influenced by his counsel! Honour the king! Honour to whom honour is due! Honour thy father! Children obey your parents in the Lord! OBEY THEM THAT HAVE THE RULE OVER YOU! Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers‚ for there is no power but of God, and the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God, and they that resist shall receive to themselves judgement! (1Pe.2:17; Ro.13:7; Ex.20:12; Ep.6:1; He.13:17; Ro.13:1,2) For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same, for he is the minister of God to thee for good!! But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid, for he beareth not the sword in vain, for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. (Ro.13:3,4) Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. RENDER THEREFORE TO ALL THEIR DUES: tribute to whom tribute, custom to whom custom, fear to whom fear‚ honour to whom honour! HONOUR THE KING! Touch not the Lord's anointed, and do His prophet no harm, and lift not up your hand, nor your tongue, against the Lord's anointed, and speak evil of no man!! Reverence the King! For God says, by Me Kings reign, and princess rule, even all the judges of the earth. Therefore be subject to principalities and powers‚ ready to every good work, showing all meekness unto all men, whether it be to the king as supreme, or unto them that are sent by him—for so is the will of God, that with well-doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men, as free, but not using your liberty, for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God! (Ro.13:5–7; 1Pe.2:17; Ps.105:15; Pro.8:15; Tit.3:1,2; 1Pe.2:13-16) Honour all men. Fear God! HONOUR THE KING! BE SUBJECT TO YOUR MASTERS AND THEM THAT HAVE THE RULE OVER YOU IN THE LORD! (1Pe.2:17,18)
33. I EXHORT THEREFORE, THAT FIRST OF ALL, SUPPLICATIONS, PRAYERS, INTERCESSIONS‚ AND GIVING OF THANKS BE MADE FOR ALL MEN; FOR KINGS, and for all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty; for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God, our Saviour who will have all men to be saved. (1Ti.2:1-4) Amen!
34. YOU CAN BELIEVE IT OR NOT, BUT ALL OF THIS I HAVE JUST GIVEN YOU IS SCRIPTURE!—AND YOU'D BETTER BELIEVE IT—AND OBEY IT! Trust and obey, for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey—and also to be happy in the service of the King! I am happy in the service of the King. I am happy, oh so happy! I have peace and joy that nothing else can bring—in the service of the King! In the service of the King, every talent I will bring! We have peace and joy and blessing in the service of the King! This was written about the Lord, but it can certainly be applied to our earthly King as well, because it is according to God's will and His commandments! THE KING IS ORDAINED OF GOD FOR THE LORD'S SERVICE AND OUR BENEFIT, IN ORDER THAT WE MIGHT TOGETHER FURTHER GOD'S KINGDOM!
35. NOW THE LABOURER IS WORTHY OF HIS HIRE; AND MUZZLE NOT THE OX THAT TREADETH OUT THE CORN, for they which preach the Gospel shall live of the Gospel, and no King serves either God or man for naught‚ but must be served in return in the fashion‚ circumstances, and conditions as befitting a king, his noble authority and position of leadership, as well as them that are his. This is after the manner and custom of kings, according to God's Word! They are even entitled to exact tribute and service for their services, provision, and protection‚ and they are to be ministered unto as they minister. This is according to the Word and the commandments of the Lord!—regarding kings! (1Ti.5:18; 1Co.9:14; Mt.22:21; Ro.3:1-7)
36. FRED IS OUR EARTHLY KING AND IS TO BE RESPECTED, LOVED‚ HONOURED AND OBEYED AS SUCH! He is also to be served and thanked for his benign reign from which we receive much benefit, provision and protection, as well as the blessing of God! I myself have served him in this manner for many years as his prophet, and the prophet of God—but still SUBJECT TO THE KING, FAITHFUL, OBEDIENT, LOYAL‚ LOVING‚ PATIENT, AND RESPECTFUL WITH THE FEAR OF GOD FOR THE AUTHORITY WHICH HE WIELDS IN THE LORD, as God's representative and ruler and faithful steward of His Kingdom! We have not always agreed, and I have not always believed that he was right—but he's still the boss—and as long as I have worked with him, I believe that he will tell you that I have always honoured him respectfully as such‚ and recognised his authority as from the Lord, serving him, not as a man-pleaser, with eye service‚ but as unto the Lord and for the glory of God! READ YOUR BIBLE! SEE HOW MULTITUDES OF GOD'S PROPHETS SERVED FAITHFULLY UNDER MANY KINGS, both the good and the froward, because they were God's anointed, so that EVEN THE PROPHETS OF GOD WERE TO BE IN SUBMISSION TO THE AUTHORITY OF EARTHLY RULERS‚ EXCEPT IN RARE CASES WHERE IT WOULD MEAN DISOBEYING GOD! (Ep.6:6; Ge.29:39-50; Ex.5-12; 1Sa.16-31; Dan.1-6; Ac.5:27-29)
37. I HAVE SERVED UNDER FRED FOR MANY YEARS, AND I'VE ALWAYS FOUND HIM KIND‚ GENEROUS, CONSIDERATE, THOUGHTFUL, AND FRANK WITH ME—EVEN WHEN WE DISAGREED—and I am quite sure that he has never asked me to disobey the Lord; and it's even seldom that he has ever even asked me to do something which I did not want or like to do! In fact he has always trusted me in return to be the same with him, and given me a great deal of freedom of choice‚ as long as I got the job done!
38. AS FAR AS I CAN GATHER, HE IS DOING THE SAME WITH YOU—EVEN THOUGH HE MAY NOT ALWAYS AGREE WITH THE WAY YOU DO IT—He knows God, he loves you and souls‚ and he knows you're getting the job done, and he has staked his life, his ministry, and the Kingdom on us, his army! Let's not fail him, or the Lord, nor be ungrateful, nor unthankful! And I want to commend you for having done well in this respect, in most instances‚ Praise the Lord!
39. I'VE ALWAYS FOUND THE KING A MAN OF HIS WORD, more binding than a written contract and more faithful than a legal obligation, sometimes even beyond the call of duty! He did not always see it at first, but he has always come through‚ and his present cheerful willingness and extreme cooperation in backing this army has proven it—and I DO NOT BELIEVE HE'LL LET YOU DOWN! In the 20 years I have worked with him, he's always come through eventually—so be patient and open and humble and look to him for help and leadership in your problems and decisions!—For he is God's king to usward‚ and this is good and acceptable in the sight of the Lord!
40. REBUKE NOT AN ELDER, BUT EXHORT HIM AS A FATHER, AND EVEN IF HE CAN'T SEE IT YOUR WAY, HE'S STILL THE BOSS! (1Tim.5:1) It's obvious that God's prophets did not always agree with God's kings, but nevertheless‚ they honoured them, served them, and helped them all they could in order to preserve the Kingdom! If you don't always agree, discuss it with him, explain your side, pray with him about it, and I know he will try to be understanding, and try to do what's right, even if you may not always think so, so in turn, you try to abide by his decisions and his judgements and his directions!
41. As you can see, I am trying to BE PERFECTLY FRANK AND OPEN WITH HIM from my end‚ and sending him copies of all these same Letters to you that I think would interest him, and I EXPECT YOU TO BE THE SAME with him! Help him in the office, on TV, and the ranches! I have even suggested these very things to him, and have done them myself in times past! They are all for your good and the good of the Kingdom! Despise not the day of small things. (Zech.4:10) Humble thyself in the mighty hand of God, and in due time, (Ja.4:10) you'll understand the poor King's problems yourself! Honour, love and pray for him. He seeks your good, loves you, has honoured us and I'm sure, prays for you. It's God's Kingdom!
COMPOSITION OF NEW TEAMS.
42. Although we have had to take up so much space in this Letter on New Colonies with already existing emergency situations in some of the old ones, I THINK THAT ONE OF THE MOST URGENT NEEDS OF THE MOMENT‚ WITH ALL THE NEW TEAMS GOING OUT AND NEW COLONIES BEING ESTABLISHED, IS THE COMPOSITION OF THESE NEW TEAMS, as to officers‚ duties, talents, gifts‚ equipment, etc. We have generalised on this subject several times previously, referring to the exact outlines given you in Laurentide long ago, but now that we are actually doing it, we find that some of you and your new teams are woefully lacking in some members of your new bodies, and even in THE MOST BASIC OF ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT, SUCH AS EVEN ONE CAR FOR TRANSPORTATION OR EVEN ONE GUITAR FOR MUSIC OR ONE SECRETARY!
43. So, since all of you have probably long ago lost your original list in some long–forgotten notebook‚ such as I have, let's go over these items again, in view of the present need, and what present experiences are teaching us. Basically, the situation is unchanged from what the Lord revealed to us in those predictions so long ago. As to officers and personnel, the needs are still the same, no matter how small the team! THE ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL AND INDISPENSABLE OFFICERS OF EVERY SINGLE TEAM‚ NO MATTER HOW SMALL, ARE AS FOLLOWS:
THE QUALIFICATIONS AND JOB OF THE SHEPHERD.
1. THE DIRECTOR.—A term for him, to be used with the System. Actually, SCRIPTURALLY, HE IS THE SHEPHERD, APOSTLE, PROPHET‚ EVANGELIST, PASTOR, AND TEACHER OF HIS LITTLE TEAM. He really needs to be each and all of these, particularly on a small team, if he is going to be effective. HE ALSO NEEDS WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE, FAITH, AND DISCERNMENT, if possible, especially as the Leader. Others on his team can have the other gifts‚ such as miracles‚ healing, tongues‚ interpretation, etc.—also including Helps and Governments‚ which are vitally essential to the organisation of any team, as these cover administration, organisation, procuring, public relations, overseeing, work schedules‚ kitchen, cooking, washing dishes, right down to sweeping the floors! The Lord doesn't leave out anything. SOMEBODY'S GOT TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR EVERY SINGLE JOB, even in as small a team as the Austin six in a tiny apartment: Somebody still HAS TO BE THE BOSS AND SPIRITUAL LEADER TO GUIDE‚ HEAR FROM THE LORD, MAKE DECISIONS, KEEP THE UNITY‚ TEACH, COUNSEL, ADVISE, JUDGE, SUPERVISE‚ AND ORGANISE. He's also responsible to see that reports are made to his superior officers, home base, and me, and to make sure that his colony does not neglect to communicate in any way. He sees to it that the secretary keeps the log faithfully, but does not write it himself, but does write a short personal report from his viewpoint of the problems and needs in particular of his colony to attach or enclose with each mailing of the log to both me and the leaders of the other colonies. This means his personal note must be carbon copied or typed in multiple duplicates of at least one copy for all the leaders to whom you are instructed to send them, and your home base, if his secretary's typewriter can do it, including one to retain for his own records. THIS IS VITAL TO KEEP IN COMMUNICATION, UNITY, AND A CONSTANT INDICATOR OF THE EXACT STATE OF HIS COLONY, ITS PROBLEMS AND NEEDS.
THE SHEPHERD'S PERSONAL REPORT AND THE COLONY LOG.
44. THE LOG WILL TELL US OF YOUR VICTORIES AND YOUR BLESSINGS, NEW DISCIPLES, good news, major events, etc. It is not these things which usually worry us. WE WANT TO HEAR PERSONALLY FROM YOU, DEAR SHEPHERD, AS TO WHAT YOU THINK THE PROBLEMS AND NEEDS ARE, THINGS YOU THINK NEED ATTENTION, OR CHANGING‚ AND YOUR SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO DO IT.
45. I WOULD LIKE PERSONALLY ALSO FOR YOU TO INCLUDE IN THIS PERSONAL REPORT your own personal opinion of, or reaction to, or answers to‚ or comments on, my Letters and their contents; YOUR SHEPHERD'S PERSONAL REPORT SHOULD CONSIST OF NOT MORE THAN ONE TYPEWRITTEN PAGE, please, in order to concentrate on the essentials and facilitate reading and response. A report blank would be very satisfactory, to which you may wish to add some personal footnotes about any items you want to tell us. This would save a lot of duplication of time, effort, and space‚ as well as letting me know exactly what you're reporting. Don't feel that you have to fill up the whole page just to fill up space, even though nothing has happened‚ no needs and no problems. THE LESS WE HAVE TO READ THE BETTER; THE LESS YOU HAVE TO WRITE, THE BETTER FOR YOU, WHICH MEANS FEWER NEEDS AND LESS PROBLEMS. HOWEVER, DON'T HESITATE TO WRITE MORE IF NECESSARY!
46. BUT WE NEED TO GET THESE WEEKLY, IF POSSIBLE, in order to keep our information exact and up-to-date, along with a week's section of your log and any other reports; because if you wait until a whole month's log is typed up because you've gotten behind, you'll not only discover that facts and events have been forgotten, but it'll also take another month before it's all typed up and we receive it, so that by that time some of our information about your colony will be two months old, ancient history and too late to do anything about it, much less news! I want to see these reports and logs weekly from now on, if possible—and it is possible. I personally did it with the King myself for many years, without missing a week, and usually on time! You can do it if you try. If your secretary keeps a daily diary of events, as mine does‚ it will be simple for her to add a paragraph to the log for that day at the end of that day. IN OTHER WORDS: KEEP THE LOG UP DAILY! AT END OF WEEK ADD YOUR REPORT AND AIRMAIL AT ONCE!
47. Again, I say‚ Dear Shepherds and Secretaries: YOUR DAILY LOG DOES NOT HAVE TO BE AN HOUR-BY-HOUR, PLAY-BY-PLAY DESCRIPTION of every little routine move you make! I have said this before and I say it again. YOUR DAILY LOG SHOULD CONSIST OF NEWS—things which happened today which are different from yesterday, and not likely to happen again tomorrow! We know you get up in the morning, eat breakfast, have devotions, classes‚ etc., have lunch, go out witnessing, come home, have supper, go out witnessing‚ come home, have a meeting or study, and go to bed and sleep. WE ARE INTERESTED IN YOUR DAILY SCHEDULE, AND IF YOU WANT TO ATTACH A BRIEF OUTLINE OF IT to the first page of your weekly log, IT WILL SAVE YOU REPEATING IT EVERY DAY, in each day's entry, then you can just tell us the new and different things which happened that day in the daily log, without having to repeat all this routine detail about your usual daily schedule. Otherwise, it's gonna take somebody's full time just sitting there watching the clock and jotting down what minute you did what! God help us!
48. SO WHAT IS NEWS? NEW DISCIPLES, NEW WITNESSING EXPERIENCES, NEW VISITORS, new gifts or donations, new important procurements, new healings, new unusual classes or meetings, new outstanding, significant and specific, predictive prophecies—not necessarily every word—these you can keep in your own colonies' Book of Remembrance! But just give us the high points, the important points to all of us!
49. NOT EVEN EVERYTHING THAT JESUS SAID WAS WRITTEN DOWN! Otherwise, John tells us that if they had been‚ what Jesus said would have filled so many books, it would have filled the whole world! At the rate that some of you are now going on your logs, with several pages of routine schedule‚ insignificant events, and verbatim prophecies, we are well on our way to doing what the disciples didn't consider necessary to do: fill the world with our logs, instead of our doctrine! May God‚ help us!
50. SOME OF YOU NEED TO LEARN THE LESSON OF TRAIN CONDUCTOR FLANNIGAN: The first time his train had a slight accident‚ he wrote such a lengthy and expensive telegram about it, that the boss fired back, "Next time cut it short! I don't have time to read it"! So the next time, when the train was actually seriously derailed, Flannigan sent the following wire to his superintendent: "Off again, on again, gone again! Flannigan!" Or you might follow the example of the father and college-son who corresponded by telegraph, thuswise: "No mon. No fun. Your son."—To which his father replied in kind: "Too bad. How sad. Your Dad." The whole story is there on both sides, and no further words were really necessary. I can just see some of the logs I'm gonna get now—a half a line per day‚ from one extreme to the other, but at least I'd have time to read it, and get the important information! I REALISE I'M AN EXTREMIST‚ AND I'M ALWAYS TELLING YOU TO DO MUCH MORE, MUCH BETTER, MUCH WORSE, OR MUCH LESS, THAN I REALLY EXPECT YOU TO, BECAUSE I FIGURE THAT IF I SHOCK YOU WITH THE OPPOSITE EXTREME, IT MIGHT WAKE YOU UP ENOUGH TO AT LEAST COME HALF WAY! So please try to strike a happy medium between the two—not too long and not too short!
51. BUT IF YOU MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN THE TWO, I'D REALLY RATHER YOU'D WRITE A FLANNIGAN THAN A BOOK, which I may lay aside to read when I have time, which may be never! Unless it's something very unusual, or an extraordinary red-letter day in your history with major earthshaking events, I don't think it should be necessary to write more than about a paragraph, and certainly not more than half a page, on the average day's news, maybe even only a Flannigan! I can hear my little secretary's heart breaking, as she likes to read all the gossip of every little local-yokel—but I'm very sorry I'm like the old lady that lived in a shoe, and had so many children she didn't know what to do! I have too many other little local–yokels to take care of, to hear every little infinitesimal and insignificant detail of every little move in your daily average, repetitive routine!
REPORTING ON PROBLEMS AND NEEDS.
52. PLEASE DON'T LEAVE OUT THE NEW PROBLEMS, SUCH AS SERIOUS PERSONNEL DIFFICULTIES, OR EQUIPMENT AND ESSENTIAL NEEDS, OR ANY CONTACTS WITH AUTHORITIES whatsoever, good or bad! DON'T FORGET THE PERSONAL HEALTH OF YOURSELF AND YOUR FLOCK—this is vital, particularly any serious change or developments, illnesses or "accidents" or pregnancies, etc. I appreciated the good personal letters Shad wrote reporting in full Grace's recent affliction, its handling‚ and the results! I am interested in you and what happens to you that's important, including any important spiritual changes in you or any of your personnel! Some of these can be warning danger signals of possible bigger troubles to come, which we might be able to prevent, if acted on in time! I am thinking now of some of the PERSONALITY CLASHES and uncooperative behaviour which some of you have reported! Maybe these people need a change? REMEMBER, CHANGE IS ONE OF THE SEVEN BASIC NEEDS OF HUMAN HAPPINESS! VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE, and maybe they're just bored with you, your routine, their job, or the scenery! Maybe you haven't given them enough responsibility to satisfy or challenge their capabilities‚ and keep them busy. If you keep `em busy enough with other's problems‚ they won't have time to worry about their own—or maybe they need a change! Give `em a bigger job, send `em on the road! If they don't like the way you do things, put `em on their own!—Sink or swim! AND REMEMBER, SHEPHERDS‚ A GOOD LEADER STICKS TO HIS OWN JOB OF LEADERSHIP, and doesn't try to do everybody else's job in the bargain! YOUR JOB AS SHEPHERD IS TO DO ALL OF THE ABOVE THINGS WHICH NO ONE ELSE CAN DO, OR NO ONE ELSE IS SUPPOSED TO DO, and not do anything that he can get somebody else to do! THAT'S THE JOB OF LEADERSHIP: TO PUT EVERYBODY TO WORK AT A JOB THEY CAN DO‚ AND KEEP THEM WORKING, AND MAKE SURE IT'S DONE. If you try to do everything yourself, you're soon gonna break down, wear out, and lose time. You should be able to do everybody else's job if you have to, but don't do it unless you have to, in case of emergency, absence, etc.—emergencies and absences which should not occur, if you manage right! Of course, this is not always your fault‚ but shortages of personnel are frequently the fault of those higher up than you, who fail to manage right!
53. I'VE BEEN CONCERNED LATELY, FOR EXAMPLE, ABOUT HOW OUR TINIEST OUTPOST, Austin, which in a university capital city like that, it seems to me should be one of our strongest outposts, HAS TOO OFTEN APPARENTLY BEEN LEFT SHORTHANDED, sometimes with only two people, and with no transportation, and even without a guitar or musician—which is almost the unpardonable sin in our work, since music is one of our primary forms of communication with this generation!
MINIMUM REQUIRED TEAM FOR PIONEER OUTPOST!
54. BUT YOU LEFT THAT STRUGGLING LITTLE OUTPOST ALMOST MANLESS, CERTAINLY WOMANLESS‚ AND NEARLY SPEECHLESS AND MOTIONLESS. Beloved, these things ought no so to be! While at the same time you were complaining about having too many people at TSC and a water shortage! You had two good leaders in Austin, but what are two officers without an army? Why don't you keep `em supplied with manpower, and woman-power! NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A WOMAN! Even one woman in the group can be an inspiration, comfort, encouragement‚ uplift, helpmeet, as well as a good cook or secretary or musician, and especially a lovely decoration to both the home and the witnessing team!
55. SOMETIMES THESE CONDITIONS MAY OCCUR BECAUSE YOU LEADERS DO NOT TAKE A TOUGH ENOUGH STAND WITH YOUR SUPERIORS, AND DEMAND YOUR RIGHTS IN BOTH MANPOWER AND EQUIPMENT! Just tell `em: Sorry, but we can't have less than six men here! THAT'S THE MINIMUM ON ANY OUTPOST TEAM—and we've gotta have at least one car to haul `em around—And ONE SECRETARY AND ONE TYPEWRITER AND ONE GUITAR AND ONE MUSICIAN AND ONE MECHANIC, or at least amateur mechanic—at least somebody who knows the difference between a carburetor and a fuel pump!—AS WELL AS AT LEAST ONE COOK! These are just about THE BAREST ESSENTIALS FOR THE MOST MINIMUM TEAM‚ so YOU PIONEER OUTPOSTS NOW HAVE MY AUTHORITY TO INSIST ON IT—THAT THEY CAN'T LEAVE YOU WITHOUT ANY ONE OF THESE, IN BOTH MANPOWER AND EQUIPMENT! DEMAND IT!
56. THE LORD SAYS, "COMMAND THOU ME" (IS.45:11). "I WILL GIVE THEE THE DESIRES OF THINE HEART," "No good thing will He withhold from him that walketh uprightly", "And our God shall supply all your need"! (Ps.37:4; Ps.84:11; Phil.4:19) So demand it! You have the right to! You can't be expected to fight a war without an army‚ or leave any post so undermanned that it could be easily overrun by the Enemy! It's just not common sense or Scriptural, so don't let it happen again! A GOOD LEADER CANNOT JUST BE A "YES" MAN! He should be so good that he constantly threatens to take the place of his superior, which he may have to do some day—which he will have to do, as fast as we're growing!
A GOOD SHEPHERD—SPEAKING UP AND LISTENING TO COUNSEL.
57. SO A GOOD SHEPHERD SHOULD BE FULL OF IDEAS‚ SUGGESTIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS, CORRECTIONS‚ CHALLENGES, ARGUMENTS, PERSUASIONS, AND DOWNRIGHT INSISTENCE ON HIS RIGHTS UNDER THE ARTICLES OF WAR—GOD'S WORD—AND MINE! So there you are, Boys!—Go to it! Girls too! Of course‚ if you can't persuade your superior that you're right, you still have to obey, because right or wrong, he's still the boss, or you'll break the chain of cooperation, be guilty of insubordination, and threaten the whole organisational structure of the army!—But you can at least try! Blind obedience can sometimes be too blind! ANY TRULY GOOD LEADER WELCOMES QUESTIONS, SUGGESTIONS, AND EVEN CONTRARY IDEAS TO HIS OWN! He knows he needs to see all sides, and to weigh them in the balance of his judgement‚ prayerfully before the Lord, and try to agree together on a unanimous decision if possible! "And it seemed good to all of them"! Hallelujah! Most of you top leaders who have worked with me for years know that WHEN IT CAME TO MAKING ANY MAJOR DECISION‚ I HAVE NEARLY ALWAYS CALLED YOU IN, TRIED TO PRESENT ALL SIDES OF THE SITUATION, described the conditions‚ possible alternatives, probable results of each, and asked for your suggestions and comments, and what you thought we ought to do about it. Even though the Lord has usually already revealed to me the answer, I like to have the confirmation of two or three or more witnesses and your agreement! This encourages my own faith, and helps me to know that it's the Lord!
58. SHEPHERDS, WHEN YOU HAVE A PROBLEM TO HANDLE OR A DECISION TO MAKE, DON'T BE AFRAID TO CALL YOUR LEADERS TOGETHER FOR PRAYER, DISCUSSION, AND UNANIMOUS AGREEMENT! This is the way the Early Church was run, and the way any wise leader will operate! Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the Law of Christ! (Ga.6:2) I even ask my little secretary what she thinks about this or that, and she always has some good ideas! Of course, I don't always agree with her, but that's life; but then, sometimes she's right! Try it! SINCE YOU'RE THE LEADER‚ AND WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE BY GOD AND MAN, YOU MUST FINALLY DECIDE!
59. Before we go on to the DUTIES OF THE SECOND IN COMMAND, THE ASSISTANT SHEPHERD, let me not forget to commend Austin for its excellent and faithful reports, even though it was so terribly undermanned! You see, Boys, it pays to report! As the result of your immediate report directly to the top, you're getting results right now in my reaction! IF YOU CAN'T GET ACTION OUT OF ANYBODY ELSE, WRITE ME DIRECTLY—AND I'LL SEE WHAT I CAN DO, IF I AGREE WITH YOU! Mind you, now, Leaders‚ those poor boys didn't even complain! The conditions were just obvious from their reports: no manpower, no transportation‚ no secretary, no musician, etc.—But God bless `em, they did the best they could with what they had!—But don't let it happen again!
LEGAL PROBLEMS—KNOW GOD'S LAWS AND THE LAWS OF THE LAND.
60. YOU LEADERS AND OFFICERS, AS WELL AS YOUR MEN, SHOULD KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT THE LAWS, IN THE CASE OF MINORS, 10:36ers, TRESPASSERS, KIDNAPPERS, ASSAULT AND BATTERY, INVOLUNTARY IMPRISONMENT OR SERVITUDE, ETC. God's Laws pretty well cover everything: Love Him; love your neighbour (Mk.12:30‚31); if he asks for your coat, give him your vest, too; if they ask you to go a mile‚ go two (Mt.5:41); if they smite you on one cheek, turn the other (Mt.5:38-44); resist not evil, but overcome evil with good (Mt.5:39; Ro.12:21); give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee, turn not thou away (Mt.5:42); love your enemies, bless them that curse you; do good to them that hate you‚ and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you (Mt.5:44)! Nevertheless, you should also balance these Scriptures with others, as the occasion warrants, including, resist the Enemy (Ja.4:7)‚ (not by force, but with the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, for our weapons are not carnal, but mighty to the tearing down of strong-holds) (Ep.6:17; 2Co.10:4) and remember, that in the final analysis‚ if all else fails, it is better to obey God than man (Ac.5:29); but do all that you can to agree with your adversary as far as you can (Mt.5:25), before you take that final stand!
61. In resisting the Enemy, and fighting the good fight of faith (1Ti.6:12), and contending earnestly for the Faith (Jude 3), YOU SHOULD NOT ONLY KNOW THE SCRIPTURES, GOD'S LAWS, BUT ALSO AT LEAST A LITTLE SOMETHING ABOUT MAN'S LAWS IN THESE CASES. You see, even those months that I worked for the District Attorney taught me things that have been helpful since. Of course, laws vary so much—man's laws—even from day to day, that even the lawyers, police, and judges have a hard time keeping up with them, and are always having to look up the latest! But in the case of minors and their rights, these laws are usually fairly standard from state to state in the U.S. 1) School attendance is compulsory under age 16, and parental jurisdiction keeps them prisoners until 18!! However‚ as I have told you before, the police themselves have told me that they usually haven't time to pursue 17-year-olds, and will discourage the parent from doing so ! The parents may threaten you with harbouring, or contributing to the delinquency of a minor, even if you feed them one meal or keep them overnight; and in the case of truants, if you permit them on your premises during school hours. Of course, the police are usually reasonable, as they are the ministers of God‚ and in the case of slight technicalities‚ are more apt to excuse you, and even defend you, rather than have any more trouble, such as the hassle and expense of a court case; especially if you TELL `EM HONESTLY, THAT YOU DIDN'T UNDERSTAND THE SITUATION, OR YOU DIDN'T KNOW YOU WERE IN VIOLATION OF ANY LAW! The police have enough other troubles, without pushing your little ignorant case, even innocent case‚ unless the parents demand it by filing a complaint against you—and even then, if some agreement can be reached, the difficulty corrected, they usually will discourage the parents from pushing it to court, by persuading them to withdraw the charges!
BETTER TO PACIFY THAN TO HAVE LEGAL BATTLES.
62. LEGAL HASSLES CAN BE ANNOYING, DIFFICULT, TIME-CONSUMING, AND EXPENSIVE EVEN IF YOU'RE INNOCENT; so the Lord's advice above is still best, in order to avoid them entirely, no matter what your legal rights are. It's like that safety poster I told you about, where the guy was dying in the wreck, and the title said‚ "He had the right of way!"—It doesn't always pay to insist upon it!—The other guy may not know it—and you could be wrong! Besides, although relatives other than the mother or father do not usually have jurisdiction over minors unless legal guardianship has been committed to them, IF YOU SO MUCH AS LAY A FINGER ON THEM, THEY CAN CHARGE YOU WITH ASSAULT AND BATTERY, RIGHT OR WRONG, AND CAUSE YOU A BIG COURT CASE! They can even sue you for damages in civil court, or almost anything‚ if you make `em mad enough—SO THE BEST THING TO DO, IS TO TRY TO PACIFY THEM, AGREE WITH THEM; but if they won't even listen to your legal rights, watch about insisting or resisting! LET THE KID STAND UP FOR HIMSELF—DON'T YOU PHYSICALLY INTERFERE. IF HE HASN'T GOT THE GUTS TO RESIST HIMSELF, I WOULDN'T ADVISE YOU TO DO IT FOR HIM, or he may surprise you by not agreeing with you and going with `em anyhow voluntarily. You don't have to permit them on your property or through your door; and it might be well to put a lock or a chain on it, or a peep–hole through which you can converse with threatening outsiders without letting them in! AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS WORTH A POUND OF CURE. A FENCE AT THE TOP IS BETTER THAN A HOSPITAL AT THE BOTTOM. However, though even in this you may be within your rights‚ if you keep the door locked, they may call the cops, and claim imprisonment! REMEMBER, LOVE NEVER FAILS! (1CO.13:8)—AND THAT INCLUDES MAKING THEM WRITE THEIR PARENTS FREQUENTLY TO AVOID SUCH HASSLES!