KEYWORDS: time, lord, feast, prayer, home, word

Family Birthday Feast of 1999!, The

Karen Zerby

By MariaMaria #470 FM #3225 12/98

Dear Family,

1. God bless you all! This past year certainly has been monumental in the way the Lord has abundantly poured out to us His marvelous Word! As we once again approach our Family Birthday Feast time, we can look back and thank the Lord, not only for the abundant Word He's given us, but for all the great things He has done for us in 1998. He's wonderfully provided, protected, and taken our Family worldwide through many new and exciting doors, into new ministries and new fields‚ as well as individually helped us gain personal spiritual victories and bear much fruit for Him and His Kingdom.

2. With the wealth of milestone pubs, counsel, direction and guidance that the Lord has lavished on us this past year, you might be wondering what more our wonderful Husband could possibly have in mind or what surprises He might have for our Feast time. We were wondering the same thing, so we asked the Lord what type of plan or program we should present to you for the Birthday Feast of 1999. In order not to steal the Lord's thunder, I'll share with you some excerpts of the message He gave:

A Time of Retreat, Word,

Prayer and Fellowship

3. (Jesus speaking: ) Let the Family Birthday Feast of 1999 be a time of retreat, to relax‚ refresh, renew, review‚ refuel, re-vision, and revel in the beauties and the deep truths of My Word. I would have the upcoming Feast be a time to take stock, a time to study My Words‚ and to hear fresh from Me both on an individual basis as well as together with loved ones and teammates, according to the need.

4. My Family worldwide works hard and long and must constantly strive to find the necessary time to stop and rest and take time in retreat with Me. So I would declare this Family Feast of 1999 a time to officially take leave of the front-line battle and make the most of these days in having personal time with Me.

5. Make time both unitedly and individually to go over the blueprints and instruction I have poured out these many months, whether on the subject of hearing from Me, or on ­honesty, gossip and criticism, doubts, jealousy, bitterness, spiritual health and the need for quiet time, the need for united desperate prayer, the need for unity‚ or other needed areas. Whatever subjects the Homes and individuals feel they need to be strengthened in, let them avail themselves of this golden opportunity to take time out and be refreshed.

6. In order to find strength to carry them through future days‚ My Family must have this renewal, this shot in the arm of My guiding Word. I give My children this time to strengthen their foundation that they may continue on in word and in deed.

7. By so doing, I would also have My Family take time to fellowship and enjoy each other. Let their days be filled with reading‚ prayer, review, filling up on My Words, and their nights spent in sweet times of fellowship, relaxing together, praising Me, enjoying Me and each other in sweet fellowship of My Spirit, and giving testimony of the great things I have done in their lives.

8. Let this be a time for My Family to stop, to unite, to review together, to rally together, to love Me together, to hear from Me together, and also to hear from Me individually and receive personal direction in an atmosphere of quiet, confidence, faith and brotherhood. (End of mess­age from Jesus.)

9. (Mama:) Isn't that wonderful of our ­loving Husband to provide you‚ dear Family, with this time to relax and be refreshed, and to read and commune with Him both privately and with each other, so that you can be refilled and restrengthened! Praise the Lord!

Pay Special Attention to Studying

The Goals for 1998, Law of Love

GN and Milestone Letters!

10. Within the Lord's plan for tanking up on the Word, He explained that He wanted you to concentrate on reviewing the "Goals for 1998" and the "Law of Love" GN, as well as what He termed "the milestone missives" that were published this last year.

11. Based on counsel the Lord gave us, the main goals for the Birthday Feast of 1999 are: To stop and relax; to pray and hear from the Lord, both privately and as a Home; to study the milestone Letters that have been published over the past year (see reading list included in this GN), paying special attention to review "Goals for 1998" as well as the "Law of Love" GN, and to have sweet fellowship with one another.

Goals for 1998

—A Two-year Plan!

12. You might wonder why the Lord would put so much emphasis on the goals of 1998 when it's already 1999. In another message, when we asked the Lord for further instruction about our Feast time, He said that the "Goals for 1998" were meant to be a two-year plan‚ and that we should continue to review these goals and press toward this mark. He said: "Continue to review the plans that I have already laid before you‚ for the visions and goals for 1998 are sufficient for a two-year plan." I was very happy to hear that. I imagine you are too, as we still have a fair bit of work to do to fulfill all those very important 18 goals!

Basic Outline for

The 1999 Feast Days

13. I asked the Lord for more specifics as to exactly how we should organize the Birthday Feast days in order for everyone to benefit as much as possible. We asked for any suggestions or direction the Lord might have, such as a specific reading list, or how He wanted our Homes to divide their time between united reading and private reading, between rest time, prayer time and so on. He had the following wonderful counsel to give‚ after which Dad added a P.S. as well.

14. (Jesus speaking: ) Thank you, My precious queen, for consulting with Me on every detail, for in so doing, you leave yourself open to the best of all solutions. This is what makes you strong, My darling queen—this utter dependency on Me and My Words, on My counsel and My instruction for every area of your life and all that concerns your children.

15. I have asked that this year's Feast time be spent in rest, relaxation, refilling and re-tanking; in studying over the wealth of instruction I have poured out to you these many months. This can be accomplished by keeping a simple basic plan, which I will outline as follows:

16. During these Feast days, let the mornings be spent in united prayer and study. Dedicate the afternoons to individual private prayer‚ Word time and study. Then set aside a time in the evenings after dinner for a united Home activity, to fellowship with Me and each other. After this, all Home members can wind down once more to have some individual time with Me before bed.

17. Let this be your basic plan, and I will round out this rough outline as follows: Each Home can gather on the mornings of the 15th‚ 16th and 17th for a time of united prayer and devotion, unitedly reading and studying the Word.

18. Since it will not be possible to read through all of these pubs in full, in order to glean and choose which portions of these pubs are most necessary for each Home to study together, each Home can appoint a planning committee‚ a team of people who can pray and organize these times of united devotion and study. As each committee comes before Me in prayer, I will speak to them and indicate what is most needed for each Home on a case by case basis. I will lead each committee as to what to read together from these publications, for this may vary from Home to Home, according to the needs of the individuals.

19. As the Home members pray and the committees come before Me in prayer and ask Me for direction, I will lead them on what their Home needs to read and review together. I will lead each of them to a plan that is tailor-made for their own situation. I will give them abundant instruction down to the tiniest detail, such as how long they should sleep in, how to organize their morning Word time hours, what balance they need between prayer and praise and reading‚ what prayer methods to use, who to choose to be the readers, how to sit and arrange the room, how to slot the reading time and how long to make the breaks in-between, how they can get the most out of their united study time, and so on. I will make every detail clear and indicate explicitly the best plan for each Home, as they look to Me for direction on these matters.

20. I want these Feast days to be days for not only reading and filling up on My Words, but also for resting in body. Therefore in most cases I will lead the Homes to arrange to sleep in a while longer than their normal schedule affords.

21. Throughout these days, as has been the usual tradition for the Family Feast, meals can be kept simple so that everyone will be able to more easily dedicate this time to prayer, the Word, hearing from Me, and to rest and refilling.

22. The time of reading and united study in the morning could be three hours in length, with a break taken midway. The morning study period can be followed by a simple lunch.

23. The afternoon hours should be used to dedicate approximately another three hours to individual rest, prayer‚ reading‚ study, and hearing from Me personally in prophecy. Though I mark this time for individual study, a portion of this time may be used for individuals to team up, to join with a reading partner, or to form small study groups, if they feel so led of Me and would like to read on the same subject with another. Some may need the time alone in prayer and study, while others may need and benefit more from teaming up with a partner‚ so this can be left open for all to seek Me about and personally decide.

24. Apart from the goal of spending three hours in Word, rest and prayer‚ it is important to allot an hour for get-out, exercise, and fresh air. The organization of these afternoon hours will vary from Home to Home. As long as everyone gets individual Word study and prayer, and their get-out, the actual timing and logistics can be adjusted according to your situation.

25. During these times of private prayer and reading, each individual should diligently seek Me as to what they personally need to feed on, and what areas in their lives they need to concentrate on strengthening at this time. I will give you below a list which you can pray about and from which you can choose appropriate reading material, according to what I show you is the greatest need in your life. This list includes milestone missives that I have poured out these past months.

26. It is wise that each one prayerfully seek Me for leading as to what they need to read and study during their private study times, for this time of feeding and refilling is of utmost import­ance for the strengthening and renewal of all My Family. As they call I will answer, and lead them to choose what is most needed for each one, personally, on an individual basis.

Reading List:

• "Goals for 1998!" (GN 765)

• "Living the Lord's Law of Love" (GN 804)

• "The Weakness Revolution—How You Can Make it!" (GNs 819-821)

• "How to Recognize and Get Rid of Bitter­ness!" (GN 775)

• "Hearing from the Lord Step by Step" (GN 754)

• "The Spiritual Health Revolution" (GN 789)

• "Quiet Time—Your Lifesaver" (GN 788)

• "Freedom Through United Prayer" (GN 776)

• "Defeating Jealousy" (GN 817)

• "The Blessings of Loneliness" (GN 818)

27. In the evening after dinner, dishes, and clean-up, I ask that the Family slot another portion of time to be spent with each other and Me, a time of fellowship and praise and joy, a time of uniting, a time to enjoy Me and each other in united fellowship. After this, everyone can wind down before bed, spending a few moments of individual time with Me, for I delight in these quiet personal times with each of My children, these special intimate times between each of My brides and Me, in the quietness of My bed­chamber.

28. I have given you this basic plan. The fine-tuning and details I will leave up to each Home to organize. As they seek Me on these matters, according to their situation and their need, I will guide.

29. However, during the evening gathering on the night of the 17th, I have planned a special activity for all. This time I have allotted to pour out to My Family, to each Home, in a very special way. On this night, I have handpicked a selection of My Own special Word ­jewels that I will shower down upon each Home, if they will gather together before Me in quietness and confidence, listening and hearing from Me in prophecy. On this night, let each Home ask Me for specific‚ downright, outright revelations for their Homes—for direction‚ for their situation, their ministries, their pioneer efforts, for anything they wish to unitedly bring before Me. I will answer and pour out in great abundance.

30. Let this gathering commence with singing and praise to Me for all the good works I have done toward the children of David. Take advantage of this time also as an opportunity for any Home members who feel so led to come before the body with any prayer requests they may have. Use this time to pray for one another, to pray for victories and progress in moving forward. Let anyone who is in need of united desperate prayer in any particular area avail themselves of this time. (Note: The Lord also said that if the evening meeting was going long, you could save some or all of the personal prayer requests for another night later in the week. Please do avail yourselves of this opportunity, though‚ to ask for prayer—even if you have to do it a few nights later for lack of time.)

31. As My children call out to Me, I will answer, and I will do great and mighty things on their behalf. Therefore reserve this night of the 17th for specific prayer requests, followed by a time of getting quiet and hearing from Me unitedly as a Home, and I will pour out like never before.

32. On the 18th, in dedication to your ­Father David, and in honor of his faithfulness to Me and to you, his beloved children, for these many years‚ I declare this a full day for rest, relaxation and fun! Try to get a little more sleep and rest in the morning. Enjoy a delicious breakfast. Some may want to plan an outing for the whole Home or for anyone who wants to join in, or plan a special get-out, or simply have a nice relaxing day at home to loll around and enjoy each other and the beauties of My creation. Enjoy the time to go slow, to play, to relax. As the Homes seek Me, I will lead and guide in each case and help them plan the activities of this day.

33. Then wind up this free day with a Birthday Feast celebration. Join together in loving Me and in honoring your Father David by doing the thing that would make us both happy: Have a happy birthday love feast in our honor! Love one another as I have loved you, and as your Father David taught you and still teaches you through his words of wisdom and instruction. Wind up this day in festivity, fun, fellowship and sweet loving together‚ feasting, singing if you like, dancing, hugging‚ and showing a large measure of love to each other! (End of message from Jesus.)

Begin the Feast Celebration with

Prayer, Praise and Communion

34. (Dad speaking:) Praise the Lord! God bless every single one of you‚ my dear faithful Family members. I love you all! Thank You‚ Lord, for giving the Family this wonderful plan and these guidelines for their Feast days this year. This is wonderful, isn't it, to have the Lord's direction like this? Hallelujah! Praise You Lord!

35. Well, folks, the reason I'm here is because I wanted to add a P.S. to the Lord's outline above. He asked me if I had any further suggestions or additions to offer for your Feast-time activities this year, so I'd like to suggest the following:

36. I think it would be a good idea to start off the Feast days by having a special prayer and praise meeting. How about it? Whaddaya say we give honor to Whom honor is due—and that's to the Lord! After all‚ this is His work, this is His plan‚ the Family is His doing, it's His ­vision, and we owe everything to Him! So why don't we praise and thank Him for all His blessings and care, provision‚ safekeeping and helping us to prosper all these years!

37. This can be a time to really love and honor the Lord. Come before Him and ask Him to bless your Feast days; ask Him to help you to get the most out of this very special time that He's providing for each of you.

38. Whenever you're embarking on an important mission, whenever you're launching out into a new field or any new project or challenge, it's always a good time to stop, unite together, acknowledge the Lord‚ ask Him for His help, and dedicate the venture to Him. It's a good time to dedicate yourselves to praise and prayer, and one of the best ways you can do this is by having communion.

39. So I'd like to suggest that on the first day of the Family Feast, on the morning of the 15th, you dedicate the first hour and a half of your meeting to praise and prayer, breaking the bread and passing the wine, and asking for the Lord's blessing and benediction during these Birthday Feast days. Communion is not just for healing—it's also so you can ask for and receive the Lord's help, no matter what your need. Whenever you need the Lord's help, whenever you have a big task before you and you feel incapable or you don't know what to do, that's a good time to unite your hearts together. Break the bread and pass the wine and call on the Lord for His leading and guidance.

40. Call on the Lord and ask Him for His help and understanding and hunger as you read and study His Word. Ask Him to open your eyes‚ so that each of you can behold wonderful things out of His law. Ask Him to give you a receptive heart, to help you to know what needs to change in your life, or what doesn't need to change‚ and most of all to know the difference. Okay? Praise Him for His many blessings and all He has done for you! The children can participate too, and it will serve as a unifying start for the whole Home.

41. In addition, during this first praise and prayer meeting and time of communion, I'd like to include a few worldwide prayer requests (see below). I really appreciate your prayers; they kept me going all those years I was there with you, and they're keeping Mama and Peter and the entire Family going today!

42. You're wonderful! I'm proud of you all! We're marching on strong like never before‚ and as long as you keep on praising and praying and holding on to the Lord's hand and letting Him hold on to you‚ you can't lose. We've got the unbeatable combination—your prayers and faith and the Lord's might and strength! Praise the Lord! Hallelujah!

43. Happy Birthday Feast days! I'll be right there with you all, praising and thanking the Lord for each and every one of you, my faithful, happy children! I love you!—Dad. (End of mess­age from Dad.)

Dad's Prayer Requests

For the Morning Meeting

Of February 15th:

• Mama and Peter's strength, wisdom, health, protection and guidance.

• WS pubs units and workers—good health, anointing, against attacks of the Enemy, secur­ity, safety.

• Abundant finances for the whole Family‚ and for WS pubs projects.

• To reach all our goals as outlined in our two–year plan, "Goals for 1998" (GN 765).

• Greater unity in the Family, and greater love, humility and prayerfulness as we do our best to live the Law of Love and the One Wife vision.

• For each and every Family member to be strengthened and draw closer to Jesus in these days of preparation.

A Special Message to Read

From Jesus!

44. (Mama:) It sure pays to ask the Lord for His specific direction‚ doesn't it? Thank You, Lord and Dad, for this wonderful plan and program. Thank you for making our job so easy. So there you have it, dear Family—the Lord and Dad's plan for the Family Birthday Feast of 1999.

45. There's also a new message that Jesus has given especially for this Feast time. He's shared a bit more of His personal testimony with us! Isn't it exciting to hear about the things that He experienced while on Earth, and to find out more details of exactly what happened? We're so blessed!

46. This message from Jesus, entitled "A Feast-time Token of Love!" is included later in this GN. I'd like to ask, however‚ that you please don't read it until the evening of the 17th, which is when the Lord indicated it should be read. Here is a short message from Him about this gift:

47. (Jesus speaking:) This special message that I've given for you, My children, is a token of love from Me to you. It's a special time of communication when I share My heart and life with you—My life on Earth, a time about which there are many things that are not recorded. I would like you to read it before you have your victory celebration day [February 18th], for this is part of the victory—that I will return soon to reclaim My Own‚ and that the time is drawing ever shorter. You can read this message during your last evening meeting together on the 17th. Then you will be able to incorporate into your united prayer time the request and plea which I give at the end of My message‚ which admonishes you to prepare, for the time is short. (End of message from Jesus)

Care of the Children and

Flexibility in Scheduling

48. (Mama: ) We certainly wouldn't want to exclude our precious children from this wonder­ful time of feasting on the Lord's Words. Since the younger children won't be participating much in the meetings of united reading during this Birthday Feast—with the exception of the first praise and prayer meeting on the morning of the 15th, and the first part of the evening meeting on the 17th—our dear Family Care team has prepared a number of new pubs and some activity materials for the children. God bless them! We know these materials will be a big blessing to the children, and to you parents and helpers who will be caring for them during this time.

49. We realize, of course, that most of our Family Homes have quite a number of children, and few adults. With the Lord's proposed goal of spending three hours of united Word time in the morning as well as another three hours of personal Word and prayer time in the afternoon, you're probably wondering how you're going to possibly fit this in or schedule it.

50. I had the same question, so I took it to the Lord to see what He would have to say about it, or if He would want to lessen the amount of hours. Due to these pressing responsibilities of caring for the children and keeping the home fires burning, the Lord has allowed flexibility in your Word and prayer time for those who have such responsibilities, as He explains in this next message:

51. (Jesus speaking: ) Although the six hours a day of Word time is the ideal and the goal and will be feasible in some Homes without children, or without many small children, in most Homes it will not be altogether reasonable. But I always set the standard and goal high, for some will make it and the others can try their best. This point can be given some flexibility. I leave the three–hour morning goal and the three-hour afternoon goal in place, for many will be able to make it; but those who cannot make it can just do the best that they are able. (End of message from Jesus.)

52. (Mama:) The six hours of Word and time spent with Him during the first two days of the Feast is the goal that He would like us all to reach. But the Lord understands that it won't be possible for everyone to attain that goal. Neither I nor the Lord want you to feel press­ured. This Feast Celebration should be a time of rest and rejuvenation. So if you're very busy with your many children, please do what you can to have extra rest and quiet time, within your own circumstances.

53. But please note that the Lord did say in the above message that many Homes will be able to make that goal, so if you can make it, please do all you can to be faithful with your time and get that precious time in the Word and prayer!

54. Each Home situation is different‚ which is why the Lord said that each Home should come to Him before the Feast days begin, to seek His direction and guidance. Even if you feel that taking three hours of quiet Word and prayer time in the afternoon is an impossibility, please get the Lord's mind on it. He can give solutions and practical ideas that will, at the very least, afford each person in the Home some quiet time alone with Him each afternoon, even if it's not three hours.

A Message for Those Who

Care for the Children

55. Those of you who sacrificially and lovingly care for the children are stacking up big blessings in Heaven. You might feel that you're missing out on some of the moving of the Spirit during this Feast, if you're having to spend quite a bit of time caring for the children or helping in other areas. I was concerned about some of you feeling this way, so I asked the Lord if there was anything we could do about it or if He had any counsel. He gave a very encouraging message, along with some promises that those of you who care for the children can claim during this Feast time.

56. (Jesus speaking:) My dear ones who faith­fully care for the children—thank you for your sacrifices and labors of love. I see all that you pour out to the little ones‚ and I say to you that what you have done to the least of these, you have also done unto Me. I will reward you mightily.

57. I understand that you cannot put aside the care of your children during this time. And though you set up rotational schedules and try to free each one to have some quiet time with Me and in My Word, still, I know that some of you will not be able to have a full six hours of Word time daily, for the needs of the little ones are great. I know that you would love to spend this time of quiet in My arms. So I say to you that I will give you a double portion of infilling during the times we spend together, and I will give you great joy and blessings for your willing­ness to care for My little children. I love you! (End of message from Jesus.)

58. (Mama: ) Praise the Lord! "Whatsoever you spend, He will repay!" And in this case‚ He'll give you a double portion during the times you are able to spend in the Word and prayer, so that you won't miss out on anything. Isn't our Husband wonderful?

59. So you who are busy with the children during this Feast can claim this promise, given especially for you! The Lord says it's not something that He gives to just anyone, because ­usually He's bound to giving us the benefits of the time we give Him—and if we don't take that time with Him, He can't give us the benefits of it. But He says that this is a special dispensation of grace, because He knows that you need to be with the kids during this time, and He doesn't want you to miss out on this opportunity of the moving of the Spirit. So claim it and believe it! Even if you don't feel any different after your time with the Lord, if you've given Him all you've got during the times you're able to spend with Him, He's given you a double portion of infilling and the benefits! Praise the Lord!

A Slightly Different Schedule for

The Afternoon of February 17th

60. As stated earlier, on February 17th a three-hour meeting is scheduled in the morning, as well as what will probably be a fairly long meeting at night. During this night meeting you will have a time of praise, read the special mess­age from the Lord‚ have personal prayer requests, and then hear from the Lord in prophecy unitedly. Judging from what the Lord said ­earlier, it appears He has a lot to pour out in prophecy‚ so you should allow a fair bit of time for that.

61. I was concerned that it might be too much for one day if with these two united meetings you also had three hours of Word and prayer in the afternoon. I asked the Lord if He might want to cut back a little on the afternoon schedule, maybe allowing a little more time for rest, so you will be fresher for the evening meeting. Here is His answer.

62. (Jesus speaking:) Yes, I don't wish for My children to be so tired and wearied at the end of the day through much studying and concentrating that it becomes hard for them to pull down My seeds and to receive My Words for them. This is one of the most important times of the entire Feast, for I will have special messages of encouragement, direction, and specific counsel for them.

63. So it would be good to lighten the schedule of the afternoon of the 17th, because the evening meeting will be longer and this should be accounted for. My children can have a regular time of quiet time, resting, napping if they wish, and some Word time or time spent with Me. But it does not have to be for the space of three hours or even two. It would be good if each person spends an hour with Me in quiet time, but it doesn't have to be spent only reading, but can be listening to songs of love and devotion, having prayer vigil, reading praise kisses or other inspiring Words.

64. This afternoon would also be a good time for those who have been able to have much Word in the two previous afternoons to free those who have had less—by taking the children, cooking dinner, and doing any other things that need to be done. This way those who are tired and spent, the mothers and the childcare helpers and any others who have filled in during the other days, can have some quiet time to rest and be refreshed. (End of message from Jesus.)

65. (Mama: ) Those who are on the Feast planning committee for your Home should be sure to take this change of schedule and these very good suggestions from the Lord into consideration when planning the afternoon of February 17th.

The JETTs and Junior Teens

66. On the first day of the Family Feast‚ February 15th, the JETTs and junior teens should attend the united morning meeting. (Children can also attend, as you feel led.) But if the Letters you read unitedly on the 16th and 17th are designated for senior teens and up, the JETTs and junior teens will not be able to attend those two meetings.

67. When asking the Lord if He had something else in mind for you JETTs and junior teens during this time, He asked if you would be willing to step in and help with the children and other Home duties‚ in order to free some of the other senior teens, YAs, SGAs and adults to attend these meetings. Would you mind helping out in this way, dear JETTs and junior teens? I know that you probably look forward to being included in the Family Birthday Feast as well, and you usually are somewhat. But, in the case of these two meetings, since this reading ma­terial may not be for your age group‚ it would be a tremendous blessing to your Home if you would be willing to help by caring for the children and helping with Home duties so others can partake of the reading. So if you don't mind, the teamwork and Feast planning committee for your Home will probably schedule you JETTs and junior teens to help on childcare or cooking on the mornings of February 16th and 17th.

68. You'll need to get Word time as well during these Feast days, studying the "Goals for 1998" GN and the other milestone pubs that are designated for you to read, of which there are many. The ideal would be if you could help with the children part-time in the morning and have some Word time as well, or help with the children throughout the entire morning, and have a longer stretch of Word in the afternoon. It might be helpful if you JETTs and junior teens were to form some study groups, in counsel with your parents or shepherds, and of course, anyone else who would like to could attend these study groups‚ which I'm sure will be full of the Spirit and feeding!

69. FC has prepared a simple reading list to suggest what MLKs the children can read‚ or that can be read with them, for their Feast Word time. (New coloring pages and activities will also give the children fun things to do!) FC has also prepared a reading list of HTKs for you JETTs and junior teens to read during these Feast days. Both the TK reading lists, the coloring pages and the new activities are based on the "Goals for 1998" GN, so all ages will be "feasting" on the same Word themes.

Pre-Feast Planning

And Preparations

70. Form a planning committee of volunteers: In order to make these Birthday Feast days as meaningful and refreshing as the Lord means for them to be, a fair bit of planning and prayer will be necessary. Since there are no new GNs to be read during the Feast days‚ each Home will need to hear from the Lord and prayerfully decide what material from "Goals for 1998" and the "Law of Love" GN or other Letters is going to be read each morn­ing at your united meetings. This can be done by a committee of volunteers. I suggest at least one Home teamworker be a part of the Feast planning committee to help coordinate all the details. It goes without saying, of course‚ that the committee should hear from the Lord in prophecy about what the emphasis should be for those meetings, or what aspects of the various GNs should be read.

71. Prepare reading material in advance: If your Home members are hoping to read the key paragraphs of the various GNs on the reading list during the afternoon slot of quiet time, then it might be worthwhile to have someone(s) prayerfully go through these GNs on the reading list and choose the key portions, which can then be listed on a whiteboard or bulletin board for folks to refer to. This would save everyone's time in skimming through these various Letters on their own and trying to decide what portions to read. (Of course, some might choose to read some Letters in their entirety, which is great too.)

72. For example, say that when you receive prophecies about how to organize your Home's Birthday Feast the Lord says that an area you all need to be strengthened in is hearing from Him in prophecy. You might want to consider giving someone "Hearing From the Lord Step by Step" to read through and prayerfully mark and select the key portions. Then your Home members could read the selected portions on their own.

73. If your Home wants to select key portions from the "milestone pubs" on the reading list to be made available for Home members' personal Word time, this will also require some thought and planning, as there are quite a number of GNs that the Lord listed, and some of them are quite long.

74. Hear from the Lord about the details of His plan for your Home: The Lord indicated in prophecy that each Home should hear from Him about the details of their Feast plan two weeks before the Feast days begin. That means that you would then have two weeks to prepare the reading material and fine-tune your schedule. Referring to receiving your Home's personalized plan from the Lord two weeks prior to the Feast, He said: "This will give the team picking the reading materials sufficient time to read through the pubs and to cull the jewels for all."

The Reading List Is Flexible

75. You might have a question about the milestone reading list which the Lord outlined in an earlier prophecy‚ whether all the reading during the Feast days (united and private) should only be taken from that list or whether you can include other Letters. We asked the Lord this question, and here is His answer:

76. (Jesus speaking: ) I will speak to the heart of each person individually and I will lead each one in a slightly different path. I have given this reading list because most will find these topics helpful and applicable to things which I am speaking to them about. So most will read from this list. But if I put it in someone's heart to read something that is not on this list, then they should feel free to do so, prayerfully. What each one reads is very important, so each person should pray and hear from Me as to how I am leading them. (End of message from Jesus.)

77. (Mama: ) So you don't have to feel bound by the reading list on page 12 of this GN, if the Lord has put on your heart something else to read. But I want to remind you to please be sure to ask the Lord personally before you begin your Feast reading, to show you what areas you should major on during your private reading times. If you have this personal prayer time and hear from the Lord at least a few days before the Feast begins, you'll be better prepared, more organized‚ and be able to redeem the time more fully.

Ideas for Evening Activities

78. I thought it might be helpful to include a few ideas which the Lord gave in prophecy that can be used for the evening slot of fellowship on the 15th and 16th. This time is meant to be a time of praise, prayer, inspiration, and communion with the Lord and each other. Since ­every Home situation is different and what might work well for one Home might not work for another, please go to the Lord to confirm your plans, and also to get fresh ideas from Him. Depending on what evening activities you choose, the children (or perhaps the older ones) may be able to join in as well.

—Have united prayer and praise time using "game type" methods of prayer and praise. Experiment with some new ways to pray‚ using ideas that have been shared in the pubs or by thinking up your own.

—Have inspiration. All those who can play the guitar or other instruments can take turns leading a song.

—Enjoy "Loving Jesus" time by candlelight. Each person can bring a favorite "To Jesus with Love" page to read, or you can pass the book and pick as you go. Read these love words to Jesus aloud, alternating with playing songs from the "Loving Jesus" tapes. You can also add in spontaneous praises and prayers of thankfulness as the Spirit leads. (Please make sure the songs and excerpts of "To Jesus with Love" are age appropriate if your JETTs or children attend this meeting.)

79. You don't have to limit yourself to the above-mentioned activities. But since the purpose of these two evenings of united fellowship is to be together‚ loving Jesus and each other in a fun and inspiring setting, please be sure that whatever activity you choose reflects this. This is a special time that our wonderful Lover has requested, so please include Him and glorify Him in whatever you do.

80. I'd also like to ask, dear Family, if during these few Feast days you would please not watch any System movies. I understand that when you feel you have some "free time" at the end of a good day of Word and prayer, you might find it enjoyable to watch some edifying movie. But I wondered if this would really be the best use of your time‚ and when I asked the Lord about it, He said that He wants you to use these days to rest, be refilled, and enjoy Him and each other in sweet fellowship with as few distractions as possible. He indicated that to not watch any movies would enable you to take more complete advantage of this time.

81. Likewise in your time of get-out and exercise, be moderate with the time you take for get-out. You can do whatever you regularly do on a daily basis for get-out, but save any special or lengthy get–out activities for the 18th, the Birthday celebration, okay? Thanks.

82. Thank you‚ dear ones, for putting aside all the other pressing matters you have on hand and for willingly dedicating these Feast Celebration days to the Lord. I know that the time you spend soaking in His wonderful Words will be tremendously refreshing. It will uplift your spirits and give you renewed courage and strength to continue the fight. We love you and will be praying right along with you during these days of prayer‚ rest, relaxation, and refilling on His Word.

Love, Mama

Outline of Birthday Feast
Schedule and Preparations

February 1: On or around this date your Feast prep committee should have prayed and heard from the Lord regarding what areas He wants you as a Home to review and become strengthened in during your united reading.

February 1-14: During these two weeks, the various GNs that the Lord listed in the reading list, as well as any other Letters that the Lord indicated your Home should study, can be read through by those who will be marking the key portions. The Home teamwork should also hear from the Lord about how to best organize the scheduling of the Feast days, childcare and cooking schedules, etc., so that this can be worked out well in advance of the Feast days.

February 15:

First half of morning united meeting (children in attendance): Prayer and praise meeting. Have a time of inspiration, singing, loving the Lord and thanking Him for all His blessings. Com­mit the Feast days ahead to the Lord. Avail yourself of the Lord's help in order to benefit most from this time. Have communion. Pray for the world­wide prayer requests from Dad, listed ­below:

• Mama and Peter's strength, wisdom, health‚ protection and guidance.

• WS pubs units and workers—good health, anointing, against attacks of the Enemy, secur­ity, safety.

• Abundant finances for the whole Family, and for WS pubs projects.

• To reach all our goals as outlined in our two-year plan, "Goals for 1998" (GN 765).

• Greater unity in the Family, and greater love, humility and prayerfulness as we do our best to live the Law of Love and the One Wife vision.

• For each and every Family member to be strengthened and drawn closer to Jesus in these days of preparation.

Second half of morning united meeting: United Word time, studying "Goals for 1998." (Morning meeting is approximately three hours, including a break.)

Afternoon: Private Word and prayer time. (Three hours is the goal.) One hour of get-out.

Evening (children in attendance as you feel led): An hour or an hour and a-half spent in united fellowship, having inspiration, "Loving Jesus" time, a prayer/praise meeting, or other such unifying activity.

February 16:

Morning united meeting: United Word time, studying excerpts of the Letters you've chosen. (Morning meeting is approximately three hours, including a break.)

Afternoon: Private Word and prayer time. (Three hours is the goal.) One hour of get–out.

Evening (children in attendance as you feel led): An hour or an hour-and-a-half spent in united fellowship, having inspiration, "Loving Jesus" time, a prayer/praise meeting, or other such unifying activity.

February 17:

Morning united meeting: United Word time, studying excerpts of the Letters you've chosen. (Morning meeting is approximately three hours, including a break.)

Afternoon: Private Word and prayer time. One hour of get-out. Extra rest. One hour of time with the Lord—prayer, praise, meditation, Word, etc.

Evening (children in attendance as you feel led): Reading of the special message from the Lord, found later in this GN. United singing and praise, followed by an opportunity for any Home members to ask for united personal prayer. (This prayer time can be continued on another night or nights during the week, if necessary.) Prayer time. Please include in your prayer time the points the Lord brings up in His special Feast message. Then get quiet and receive the special jewels the Lord has prepared for your Home. Ask the Lord for revelations and guidance on any subject that your Home needs.

February 18:

Happy Birthday, Family! Rest, relax, and have fun! Plan simple outings, picnics, or games and recreation at home. Enjoy a birthday celebration—feasting, singing, dancing, hugging—sometime during the day or evening!

Suggested 1999 Birthday Feast

Reading List:

• "Goals for 1998!" (GN 765)

• "Living the Lord's Law of Love" (GN 804)

• "The Weakness Revolution—How You Can Make It!" (GNs 819–821)

• "How to Recognize and Get Rid of Bitterness!" (GN 775)

• "Hearing from the Lord Step by Step!" (GN 754)

• "The Spiritual Health Revolution!" (GN 789)

• "Quiet Time—Your Lifesaver!" (GN 788)

• "Freedom Through United Prayer!" (GN 776)

• "Defeating Jealousy!" (GN 817)

• "The Blessings of Loneliness" (GN 818)

Summary of Other Points
Related to the Feast:

—Appoint a committee to plan the Feast Celebration—one or two teamworkers and other volunteers.

—Your planning committee of volunteers hears from the Lord about His plan for your Home for the united reading‚ what the emphasis should be.

—The Home teamwork should plan in advance the scheduling of the Feast days.

—Keep meals simple.

—Try to get some extra sleep during these Feast Celebration days, either in the mornings or at naptime.

—Try to get one hour of get-out and fresh air each day.

—Individuals should pray and hear from the Lord about what to concentrate on reading during their private study time. This should be done prior to the Feast.

—The suggested reading list is not hard and fast. If the Lord lays another Letter on your heart to read, you are free to do so.

—Those of you who spend time with the children will receive a double portion from the Lord during the times you are able to spend in the Word and prayer.

—The timing of the afternoon schedule for the 15th and 16th is flexible. The three hours of Word and time spent with the Lord during the afternoons of those days is the goal. If you are not able to make that goal because of the pressing need of caring for your children or other unavoidable Home duties, do the best you can.

—The afternoon of the 17th should be a time for extra rest, as much as possible, as well as taking one hour of devotional time with the Lord. During this time‚ if it's possible, we know the Lord would bless those of you who've had more time in the Word during the previous two days if you could relieve the parents or childcare helpers so they could get some extra rest or Word and prayer time.

—Try to be well rested for the prayer and prophecy meeting on the night of February 17‚ as the Lord said that's one of the most important events of the Feast and He promises to pour out abundantly!