KEYWORDS: people, things, generation, young people, way, something

Communication Keys!

Karen Zerby

Practical Tips for Unity, Part 2

By MariaMaria #554 CM/FM 3323 5/00

Dear Family,

1. I love you very much. In this Letter I want to share with you some of the messages the Lord has given us on the subject of communication, specifically how to have better communication between the generations.

2. Communication is so important because it's the medium through which we connect with others. The Lord knows our hearts; He can see what we're like, communication or no communication. But everyone else has to pretty much go by our communications with them. In essence, the way we communicate with someone is what we are to them; it's what they know us to be like. If you don't put much effort into your communications with others, the words you speak or the way you say them or how you present things, or you don't consider it very important, chances are that you don't get along very well with some people, that you're not able to be real united, and thus you're not able to have the Lord's blessings to the extent He'd like to give them to you. That's why communication is very important—because it directly affects your unity and the way others feel toward you, and thus your fruitfulness and happiness and every area of your life!

3. Some people are "natural communicators"; other people have a harder time with it. But no matter what level you're at in your communication skills, there's something in this Letter that will benefit you, if you act on it! So as you're reading this, please pray and ask the Lord to speak to you personally about how you can change, and then do something about it! Don't get up and walk away from this reading unchanged. Put the Lord on the spot! Ask Him to change you and give Him your full cooperation by putting this counsel into practice, and He will!

4. In this Letter we're mainly addressing com­muni­cation between FGAs and our young people who are beginning to take on positions of responsibility. This begins around the ­junior teen age for most, although some JETTs fall into this category as well. There is a short message from the Lord on JETTs and their needs later in this Letter. For more on the subject of relating to your JETTs and learning to communicate better with them‚ see: "Loving Shepherd­ing and Interaction—Charter Style," ML #3018, Lifelines 22; "Help from Heaven," ML #3056:90-108, 184-224‚ Lifelines 23; "Call to the Rescue, Part 1-2," ML #3114-15‚ Lifelines 24; "Help Is on the Way," ML #3116‚ Lifelines 24; "Shepherding Our Children and Young People," ML #3191‚ GN 796.

5. We can't address every aspect of the very large subject of communication‚ but here are some of the main factors to take into consider­ation when reading this material and praying about how you and the others in your Home can improve in your communi­cations:

*6. Portions of this letter are directed to different age groups. At times the Lord, or Dad or I‚ address the FGAs, the SGAs, or the senior or junior teens. There are also times when it talks about the FGAs to the young people, or vice versa. We could have split up this counsel and put each age group's material in a separate GN, but we chose to leave it all together so that everyone can benefit from this counsel—because a lot of it applies to all of us, regardless of which age group it's particularly directed to. I hope it isn't embarrassing for some of you teens or young people to have your weaknesses pointed out in front of everyone. If it is, just remember, the adults get it too! It's good to be able to discuss and receive this counsel together. It's ­humbling for everyone, but it's worth it!

*7. The problems that you of the first generation experience when communicating with our junior teens are probably some of the greatest. That's understandable, as it's a very difficult age for them to go through‚ and it's a very difficult age to parent, even if they're trying to be good kids and want to be in the Family. It becomes all the more difficult if some aren't sure they want to be in the Family, but are still in the process of making their commitments to be­come full-time disciples. They aren't chil­dren; they're growing into adulthood, but are still far from it. You can't treat them the same way you would an SGA, or even a 16-year-old, but at the same time, treating them as children is counterproductive (as I'm sure you've all found). Knowing how to treat them, how to teach them responsibility and gradually begin to give them more trust and freedom is a real art. Later in this Letter there is a very good message from Jesus with tips on relating to this age group.

*8. In the case of senior teens, although they are voting members, they don't necessarily all carry the same re­sponsi­bility as our adult members. They also haven't yet signed the Charter ­Member contract and thus are not held to the same responsibility in their behavior and commitment. Those of our young people in the senior teen age group will need to be judged individually as to how much "equality" and trust they're given, depending on their spiritual maturity and commitment. When we asked the Lord how they should be approached, He said that it should be determined on a case-by-case basis. ­Seniors, if you want more respect and trust from the adults, then you will need to show yourself trustworthy and worthy of respect. I believe most of you will want to do this!

*9. There is a need for you FGAs to show more trust in and respect for some of our older young people—our YAs and SGAs. I realize that some of you have lived with the same young people for years and have known them since they were OCs or JETTs. In such cases, it takes a definite mental switch to stop feeling like you have to be re­sponsible for them every minute, aware of what they're doing or how they're doing it. In short, you need to change your mentality from looking at them as children and start treating them as you would any other adult in the Home, regardless of how they behave. If they fail to uphold their Charter and Home responsibilities, then they should be treated as adults and held to their responsibilities or disciplined according to the guidelines in the Charter.

*10. This Letter is geared toward those situa­tions where everyone is basically on board and wants to progress. As I said in the first GN in this series, the foundation for unity between the generations is having a united goal—which in the Family is living for Jesus and winning the world for Him. (See ML #3293:15-16, GN 897.) If your Home is not united on the basics, or your adults or young people are not committed to being in the Family in the first place, these tips and counsel from the Lord probably won't do you much good. You'll need to go back to the S2K Letters and find out where you stand as a Home. Once you're all com­mitted to the basics as stated in the CM contract (or the provisional CM contract for seniors), then this GN will help you fine–tune your communication skills and hopefully learn to understand each other better and work together as a tighter team.

11. I understand that there will be situations where the juniors or even seniors in your Home are not fully committed. We asked the Lord what can be done in those situations to improve communication, or how much of this you can apply if that's the case in your Home. He said:

12. Of course, in situations where all the young people are committed to living for Me‚ even if not yet of age to sign the contract, the fruits will be greater and more immediate because those of all ages are seeking to apply the Word to their lives and striving to live it. In Homes where these young ones are less committed‚ it will be more of a fight, but those Homes can still have a large measure of victory and things can improve greatly if those who are "of age" take this counsel, apply it, and strive to live it.

13. Those involved in situations where the young people are not yet committed should seek Me for more specific counsel for their particular situation and how to apply the counsel that I have given here. I have victories for each Home‚ regardless of their situation, if they come to Me and are willing to put My counsel into effect. (End of message from Jesus)

*14. Not everyone of the first generation has a gift for working with or getting along with young people. I mention this because I don't want you of the second generation getting critical or expecting too much of the first generation. Some just "have it" when it comes to young people; they understand or relate to them easily and enjoy being around them and working with them. Others of the first generation just don't, and can barely maintain a civil relationship. That doesn't mean that those of you who don't feel you "have it" should resign yourselves to remaining that way—because everyone can do better, and the Lord can change anyone! But you don't have to feel like I or the young people in your Home are expecting you to become an overnight expert, because it comes more naturally for some people than others.

*15. If you are one of those of the first generation who loves being around young people and feels comfortable around them, then I implore you to seriously pray and ask the Lord if you're doing all that you can to fill the huge shepherding need that exists for our young people. You YAs and SGAs are also some of the prime candidates for this, having just been there yourself and understanding what our young people feel and go through. Anyone who has a gift for working with our young people should take it as part of your responsibility to use the gifts that the Lord has given you along those lines, and go out of your way to communicate with the young people in your Home and area and see what more you can do to help and strengthen them. This is very important. If you have this gift, you're needed to help fill a desperate need.

16. Before getting into the practical mess­ages the Lord gave about communication, there are a couple of "big picture" type messages which the Lord gave that I hope will clarify what goal we're shooting for in closing the generation gap, and what part we each play in making that happen.

Realistically‚ What Are the Fruits

That We Can Expect as a Result

Of Obeying This Counsel?

17. (Question: ) Some adults just don't enjoy being with young people, and in a Home where there are only a couple of those kind of adults, and the young people feel frustrated and don't exactly make it easy for the adults either, what can they all set as a realistic goal and victory to strive for? We need a realistic answer, taking into consideration that some adults just don't enjoy or work well with young people, and some young people don't enjoy adults either.

18. (Jesus speaking:) The magnitude of the blessings of My Spirit and the fruit that you will benefit from in your Home will be determined by the intensity and wholeheartedness of each individual's decision to put this counsel into effect.

nRealistically, what you can do

19. —Make a decision that you personally will wholeheartedly do your part to put this counsel into practice in order to make your Home a happy Home.

20. —Determine that you will strive for unity, even at the cost of your own personal preferences or the way you like to do things or think they should be done, even at the cost of your pride or reputation amongst your peers, even at the cost of what you think will be your personal happiness. You will find, however, that your happiness will return a hundred­fold as I pour out My blessings!

21. —Endeavor to have good communication with the others in your Home, old or young, whether you're a "people person" or not.

22. —Commit yourself to doing the humble thing, even when it means taking the lower seat with someone you really dislike, or who rubs you the wrong way, or who doesn't understand you.

nRealistically, what can you expect?

23. —Even if your Home is united, things won't be perfect. There'll still be misunderstandings, miscommunication, and problems. But that shouldn't deter you or stop you from reaching for the goal of greater unity, and as a result, allowing Me to bless you with bountiful fruit.

24. —People won't become perfect over­night, and some will be harder for you to get along with than others. Some young people are harder to handle than others, and some FGAs don't relate so well to young people. Everyone makes mistakes and has problems, and you'll need to learn to forgive and forget, accepting the fact that others have faults and failings and bad moments and bad days‚ just as you do.

25. —You can expect some fruit when you put this counsel into practice, even if not all are participating in making the merging of the generations happen and living My Word in this area of their lives. The bare minimum of fruit that you can expect is that there will be at least a reasonable amount of communication between Home members, so that there will be no strife and discord. There may still be disagreements at times, but they will not prevent your being able to live and work together.

26. —But if you're doing the maximum, with each person wholeheartedly attempting to obey My Word and My counsel in unity with the Home, then even though problems will still come up, you'll see the miracles that I have promised.

27. —You won't have to just barely survive living with one another, but you'll be able to enjoy each other more and the closeness that Family life provides. It will become a blessing rather than a burden.

28. —You'll appreciate each other's differ­ences, but overlook each other's faults.

29. —You'll love each other for the uniqueness that I've given you, and respect one another for the high calling that I've given each of you as My Endtime disciples.

nIf … then

30. —If each person is willing to let Me shape their life, like a piece of a puzzle … then all within a Home will fit together and join together in perfect harmony and love.

31. —If all of the young people and FGAs in your Home are determined to do their part to bring about greater unity and oneness between the generations … then you will discover that all things are possible.

32. —If each person is willing to make the changes that I'm asking … then I can bring about changes that you thought impossible, in the lives and hearts of young and old!

33. —If there are Homes that are not striving at all to live My counsel, to apply My instruction, to bridge the generation gap … then they will not be able to expect My blessings on this area of their lives.

34. —If the FGAs feel that they are too old, too stuck in a rut to change, that the situation is too hopeless and the young people are too beyond control to have any sort of relationship or communication, much less enjoyment and unity together, and choose not to give it their best shot … then they will not get to enjoy the sweetness of victory.

35. —If the young people feel that they are right, that the FGAs are too behind the times for them, that they just can't and won't get along, and they choose not to give it their best shot … then they will also not experience the freedom, joy and happiness that unity and oneness brings.

nWhat if not everyone is
"taking the course"?

36. —If only a handful in your Home are determined to make it happen … then your Home will not be able to receive the full blessings of My Spirit, and the manifestations and rewards of how beautiful deep unity can be. (However, I will still bless your Home because of the faith and obedience of those who are following My Word and putting it into practice. But your Home as a whole will not be able to benefit of the fruit as fully as you would if all were pulling together in unity, doing their part so that I may fulfill all of My promises.)

37. —Your Home won't be able to receive as many of My blessings as will be bestowed upon the Homes who are joined tightly together, heart fused with heart (which is possible when all of the members of the Home are yielding to Me and obeying My counsel).

38. —If you personally are doing all you can, you will receive My blessings in full in other areas of your life for your obedience, even though I may not be able to fully bless your Home with the greatest fruits of unity, because of the disunity and disobedience of some.

nGo for the advanced course!

39. —In order to receive the best results and the greatest blessings, all within your Home must be committed to helping love and unity and oneness prevail. If all of the members of your Home are doing their part, yielding and obeying, following My Word and this counsel to yield‚ to build unity, to break down walls of division, to change in areas that need to be changed‚ to give and take, then you can expect great miracles, great blessings, great rewards, great fruit. You can expect wonderful things‚ because you'll be yielding your all to Me in this area, and I'll be able to bless you as bountifully and richly as I wish to. It won't all happen overnight, but you will definitely see the reward for your labors, the benefits of your drawing close to each other, and the wonderful fruits of My Spirit in your lives and Home.

40. —You who are following closely‚ who are giving it your all, can expect to:

• get along together for the majority of the time

• communicate well

• enjoy each other's company often

• have fun together

• work well in ministries together

• become friends

• and even enjoy doing things from time to time that are fun for the other generation that you don't particularly normally enjoy.

41. —If all are doing their part‚ and you are following My Word closely and explicitly‚ then you can expect great things. This is not unrealistic! It's wonderful‚ but true. My ability to fulfill this promise has already been proven by some Homes around the world.

nThis can actually happen

42.All things are possible; anyone can change!

• You can change long-standing habits.

• You can change the way that you've looked at other people or the other generation as a whole for years.

• You can change the way you act.

• You can change your attitude.

• You can change anything about yourself that you want to change, if you'll just ask Me to help you. I'm a "change" specialist.

• I can take anything that you give Me and make it better.

• You can shoot for the stars and make your goals what you want them to be.

nIn conclusion

43. Don't just resign yourself to the way you've always been, or the way you think you should be, or the way your Home has been. I'm offering you something better—and I promise that things will be better, if you obey and follow where I'm leading.

44. There are great, great blessings in store for those who apply My Word to their lives and live it to the best of their ability. There are enormous rewards and beautiful fruits in store for those who take this ball of counsel from Me and run with it. (End of message from Jesus.)

What Causes the Generation Gap?

45. (Mama:) The generation gap: what causes it? What attitudes should both older and younger have in order to get rid of it? What are things like when it's nonexistent?

46. There are many variations in how the generation gap is manifested‚ but it all comes down to a lack of understanding or acceptance, which is then manifested in division and discord. The generation gap is more than a mere difference of opinion or differences in likes or preferences. These things can and will occur amongst any group of people, of any age. People are unique individuals, with particular likes and dislikes, needs, wants and personalities. There's plenty of room for that, and there can still be unity and acceptance in spite of that.

47. Differences in personal make-up and preferences between the older or younger generation do not make a generation gap. You can be very different from someone but still be tolerant, understanding, respectful, and even very close.

48. When you have the attitude of a lack of tolerance or understanding, or unwillingness to be accepting and respectful on either or both sides, any issues that come up are difficult or impossible to resolve, because each side starts from the premise that the other generation is wrong, hopeless, or just doesn't understand.

49. Each time an incident occurs that generates mistrust‚ misunderstanding, or resent­ment‚ it's like someone on each side is taking a shovel and digging into the ground beneath them, removing a little more of the rocks and ground that once joined the "lands" of the two generations. The soil is then worn away little by little until they've created a chasm that can seem impossible to bridge.

50. At other times there's an "automatic" generation gap that seems to be created almost instantly, without a lot of bad experiences or unpleasant interactions having paved the way—at least among that particular group of people. Sometimes this is a result of peer group conform­ity on the part of the young people. Or sometimes it's caused by adults who simply don't know what to do and thereby innocently or ignorantly do just the things that make the young people react negatively and throw up an immediate wall. Or sometimes it's a habit built from a previous situation where there was a great deal of intergenerational difficulty. Or sometimes it's caused by self-righteousness or spiritual problems on the part of either the adults or the young people or both—which makes it very difficult to get close and appreciate one another. Other times it can be a combination of these and other factors.

51. There are a variety of ways in which a generation gap is created‚ but it all comes down to a lack of understanding‚ lack of acceptance, and jumping to conclusions or overgeneralizing. It happens frequently‚ on both sides. It's not impossible to overcome, but it requires a lot of work and a lot of getting rid of old mindsets.

52. When there is not a generation gap, there may still be contrary opinions—even big ones—between those of different generations who live or work together. The difference, however, is that these people have determined that they can work together and can resolve issues and can be open-minded about accepting things from those of another generation. They are accepting of each other as individuals‚ and realize that while‚ in their eyes, those on the other side of the generation line may make mistakes and have a few quirks and foibles, they also have much that can be admired and appreciated, and problems and differences can be worked out or worked around. When this attitude of accept­ance and mutual appreciation exists, there may still be differences or minor struggles between the generations, but there is no generation gap dividing them and keeping them from working in unity.

What's the Goal—

Complete Equality?

53. (Question:) In order for there not to be a generation gap, do people of both generations need to be completely equal? If someone of the older generation oversees or shepherds or corrects someone of the younger generation, does that signify a generation gap? Or what if it's the other way around, and there's a YA or SGA team­worker, for example‚ overseeing or shepherd­ing an FGA?

54. Young people do need training, but should they automatically defer to adults? Do young people just need to yield and not consider it part of the "generation gap," but rather as the godly way of looking at things? And if that's the case, then when should adults yield to young people?

55. Obviously, at different ages you relate in different ways. Disciplining a little child for misbehavior doesn't signify a generation gap—but if you treat a 16-year-old like a child, that would seem to fall under the category of having a "generation gap" mindset. Then again, the maturity level of our senior teens varies with the individual. There are those who are responsible and carry a full load, who it seems would be worthy of respect that you'd give a co-worker. And that certainly applies to our SGAs and YAs. But if a senior teen is not responsible, but instead acts like a child, then naturally they wouldn't receive the same "equality."

56. (Please keep in mind, dear Family, that when we asked the Lord this question, we were asking about situations where everyone involved is on board in spirit and has made the commitment to serve the Lord. If that's not the case, and those of either the first or second generation are not on board or are not fully committed to living for Jesus, then the answer would likely be very different.)

57. (Jesus speaking:) This is a question with so many facets and angles! The bottom line from My perspective, to paraphrase something I inspired Paul to say, is that "there is no FGA or SGA in Christ Jesus." In My sight, there really isn't anyone that is better or more highly esteemed because of anything they are or have done.

58. Whether someone is male or female, white or brown or black, old or young, doesn't really have to have any significance. Anyone can be just as inspired, just as Spirit-led, just as mature, just as dedicated, just as trusted. A young person can shepherd someone older and there can be very good unity and communication between them, with no hard feelings. A young person can also submit to the shepherd­ing of an older person with no resentment or hard feelings. That seems a bit more natural, although it's not always that much easier.

59. Young people go through a stage in their teen years when it's just natural to resent authority. Some people never grow out of it! It's hard to yield and submit to other people, no matter what age they are. But if you happen to have a chip on your shoulder toward the other generation, that definitely makes things harder.

60. I have set nature in its course and ordained that the older generation would teach and train the younger. All fathers and mothers are responsible to teach, shepherd, train and discipline their children; that is their God-given commission and responsibility. There's no "generation gap" about it; it's the way it's meant to be. In the Family, where you co–op and teamwork, it is therefore the responsibility of every mature adult to help train and shepherd the children and teenagers. This is their duty to Me, and to the young people. It is to the young people's advantage that they receive training‚ input‚ and shepherding.

61. Nevertheless, it's important during the teenage years and the transition into adulthood that respect is given along with shepherding. There comes a time when‚ while young people should still respect their elders, they should also be treated on a more equal level. That time is generally when they become of age and begin to carry more of an adult load. This does not mean that the adults are no longer their elders‚ but it means that they should step out of "parent­ing" mode somewhat‚ if they want to avoid helping to create in the young people's hearts a generation gap or fostering a feeling of being ­babied or not trusted.

62. Stepping out of parenting mode requires prayer, asking Me to help you change your attitudes‚ and then making an about-face in your thoughts and the way you think about the young person in question. Resolve to change any negative attitudes of criticism, self-righteousness, resentment or distrust quickly, because you'll hold them back and discourage them if you don't make a conscious effort to change. Young people change quickly as they grow, and your attitudes must change quickly as well to keep up with them. Naturally, some changes take longer than others. Just as it takes years for a young person to grow into maturity, it may take years for you to change some of your mindsets toward them and to grow into greater maturity yourself.

63. Then you have the question of what equality means. What is equality? If equality means everyone treating everyone else the same‚ there is no such thing, for people are not the same and do not respond in the same way. FGAs differ among them­selves, as do SGAs; FGAs, SGAs and those younger have differences between them­selves as well.

64. A lack of equality between two people doesn't mean that one is superior to the other or better in some way. It simply means that people are different and have different ministries, different gifts, different responsi­bilities, and fill different roles. There is a great diversity of gifts, talents, personalities and opinions in the body of My church, and all are necessary to make it well-rounded. Each part of the body has its role and there should be no comparing.

65. Whether or not you differ in age, position, rank or talents, you can still be equal in terms of respecting each other and taking each other seriously. There are always going to be overseers and shepherds, and I have ordained it that way for many reasons. One reason is to teach people basic submission and humility—how to receive things from others and yield to them. Learning this vital lesson of humility and submission develops character, and is a necess­ary lesson and skill in any circle of life. It's especially important in the Family, in order to progress and grow in spirit the way I want you to.

66. I do want youth to respect their elders, and in many cases, out of simple kindness and courtesy, the youth should defer to the older in matters of personal opinion and preference. Of course, if the older are wise, they will respect the wishes of the younger and yield to them as well. But those who are older will always have some seniority by virtue of being older.

67. This doesn't necessarily mean that those who are older are to have the last say or run the show, by any means. If there's a teamwork with members from both generations‚ or if two people of different generations with no title are working together, the older person is not automatically in charge, nor do they have the final say. Decisions should be made in counsel, and most of all confirmed with Me. Depending on the particular arrangement, there may well be cases where the young person will be the overseer or shepherd or where they will be equal‚ and there will be other cases where the older person is designated to give the final call.

68. Each case will be different‚ and there isn't a rule across the board. Nevertheless, seniority in the form of respect—for all that they have learned, done, and gone through—should be given to older members on such a team. If the youth are wise‚ they will want to learn from what the older have to give, and they will listen. They will also treat their elders with kindness and respect, realizing that this is the way to gain respect.

69. By the same token‚ if the older adults are wise, they will treat the younger adults and young people with kindness and respect, knowing that this will increase their chances of being heeded and understood and of their advice being taken seriously. (End of message from Jesus)

70. (Mama:) In applying all this good practical counsel that the Lord is giving, you must remember that good communication, respect, and unity between the generations is something that has to start in your heart first. If you're not willing to humble yourself and admit that you've probably been in the wrong in at least 50% of the difficulties that have come up between you and someone else, then trying to put these practical tips into practice is probably not going to do you much good. You have to first of all really want to do better—and you have to want it enough that you're willing to change personally, not just want the other person to change.

71. At the same time, once you've prayed and asked the Lord to help you really want the changes and be willing to make them, then you should begin right away to endeavor to use these tips that the Lord is giving. It's not hypocritical to try to word things lovingly‚ and it's not phony to say things even more respectfully or more humbly than you feel. It's part of love, and the more you make the effort, the more it will become a part of you, and you will change and become a better communicator. And the end result is that you will be blessed with greater unity!

72. First you have to sincerely desire the changes in your heart, but then you have to make the effort to act as if you're changing‚ even if you don't really feel that you are. The Lord will bless your humility and your sincere efforts, and He'll give the love, grace, wisdom, humility, and all that is needed to make your personal transformation a reality!

General Counsel

On Communication

73. Here is some general counsel the Lord gave for both generations on how to better com­municate and relate to one another.

74. (Jesus speaking:) Communi­cation is a key in bridging the gap between people. The Enemy loves to foster division in people's minds and perceptions. Words are real things, and the things you say, and even the way you say them, can make or break any relationship.

75. We could talk about the gap between generations, but when you boil it down, it's ­really a gap between individuals. Just as no two snowflakes are ever alike, so no two individuals are ever alike. Each one of you is a unique and special creation of My hand, complete with your own unique set of reactions, emotions, thoughts and perceptions of the world and specifically the people around you. And that's where the generation gap has to be bridged—on that individual basis.

76. Haven't you young people found that there are certain adults of the first generation that you get along with better than others? What makes the difference? What makes the difference in any relation­ship between people you get along with and people that you don't? There's a whole range of things that determines this, but the foundation of any successful relationship between two individuals is their understanding of each other, the knowledge that each has something in common with the other‚ a purpose‚ reaction, perception, experience, or even thought or dream or hope or emotion that the person shares with another‚ and on which, or from which, they can build their relationship, their camaraderie, their friendship.

77. So when striving to develop such a friend­ship, such a tie‚ such a relationship with any person who may seem distant or unap­proach­able, the key is to seek for those things you have in common and to avoid the kinds of comments or observations that highlight differences. (End of message from Jesus.)

78. (Jesus speaking: ) The secret to good communication‚ whether it's between the gen­era­tions, the sexes‚ or any two people, is humility. It takes real humility to be able to communicate with others—to express your feelings clearly and in the right way, and even more importantly, to be able to understand the other person's feelings and viewpoints and why they feel the way they do.

79. Young people automatically tend to think that older folks won't understand them. In many cases that's true, but it's not necessarily just because they're older. Even between people of the same generation, there can be major differences of opinion and difficulties in understanding each other.

80. For instance, say there are four people in a room—an older male, an older female, a younger male and a younger female. Most likely the feelings and opinions voiced by these four people about any given subject will not necess­arily be divided along generational lines. Perhaps the two males will agree with each other and the two women will agree. Or perhaps three of the four will have the same opinion, while one of the group will see things differently. Or maybe there will even be four completely different opinions and points of view. And if you bring more people into the room‚ you'll very likely end up with that many more opinions. On the other hand, there's a chance that a subject will arise on which everyone will agree, only to have something else come up moments later about which those same people will all feel differently.

81. Once you realize that it's not necess­arily a generational thing—that those from the older generation aren't automatically on the other side of the fence, but that it's just a question of different tastes, personalities, feelings, and past experiences—communicating with them can become a lot easier.

82. Whether you're young or old, male or female, you shouldn't put the doorknob too high in expecting others to automatically be able to understand your point of view or how you feel about things, much less to agree with you. If you do, you'll often be disappointed and run the risk of becoming alienated from others—­either because of being hurt from feeling that you're not understood, or from resentment and self-righteousness toward those who fail to measure up to the unrealistic standards that you've placed upon them.

83. Of course, love and patience are import­ant keys, along with humility. Whenever you're feeling frustrated because someone from the other genera­tion doesn't agree with you or because they appear to not be able to relate to you and to how you feel about things, don't automatically cut yourself off from them or ­label them and think that because they're older they'll never be able to understand or agree on things. That's not the way it is.

84. Everyone is different, and most people tend to see things a bit differently and from a different perspective. That's the way I intended for things to be. Everyone has a different personality and set of character traits, as well as a different back­ground and experiences. If I had intended for there to be only one opinion—yours--then I would have done things differently. But in My wisdom, I arranged differences—differences of opinion and different ways of looking at things. I knew that this would require lots of humility, patience, and working together to come to agreement about things, and that this would help My children to grow in wisdom and in love. (End of message from Jesus.)

To the FGAs—To Say or Not To Say?

That Is the Question!

85. (Mama:) We asked the Lord to give us some ideas of things that we FGAs could say or not say to better relate to young people rather than appearing patronizing.

86. (Jesus speaking: ) The key to connecting with any individual—young person or not—is to start with subjects that they are interested in. To find out what they're interested in‚ you have to watch‚ you have to listen, you have to take the humble seat‚ in a way. And that gives you a chance not only to find out what kinds of things interest them and what common ground you have together, but it also gives Me a chance to highlight their strong points, and helps you to see them as a precious individual—one who has needs, just like you, who needs love and encouragement and friendship, just like you. Because everyone does. No matter how "together" they seem to be outwardly‚ if you really watch and listen, you'll begin to see that they have needs too‚ and you'll begin to understand them and love them. So the first key is to watch and listen, and to show personal interest.

87. Secondly, once you find something that you have in common‚ or something that you've had experience in that they're interested in, take care not to come across as a "know-it-all" in that field. Even if you do have a lot of experience in that area, there's undoubtedly a lot that you don't know, too.

88. It's the nature of youth to want to explore, learn, and experience. They feel frustrated and stifled if someone seems to think that they know all there is to know about a subject, and wants to force that knowledge on them. They want to be able to learn for themselves. And, while there is a lot that they can learn from your experience and from the experi­ence of others, they'll learn better if it's presented gently and you allow them to take it; you don't try to cram it down their throat, so to speak.

89. Making it clear that you know your experience is limited, or that there is a lot more that you don't know‚ will right away make them more open to hearing what you have to say, and more interested. If they feel that you think you're always right, they won't give much credibility to your counsel, advice or information, and will seek out someone who's more open to exploring various options, or who seems more "open-minded."

90. One of the main attributes that will help you in relating to young people is to stay open—open to their ideas and viewpoints on things, open to what I will tell you about them, open to discussing opinions contrary to your own, open to doing new things and trying new ways. If you're not open, they'll tend to regard you as someone who lives in the past—in the way things used to be.

91. Young people are not often very interested in the past. They often have yet to realize that there is much that they can learn from the past. I created the nature of youth to want to move forward to the things of the future.

92. So staying open and being willing to discuss, innovate, pioneer, move forward, and go on to new things will help you greatly in relating to the younger generation. They won't feel stifled or threatened; they'll be willing to listen to the wisdom of experience if they realize that you're not stuck on always doing things your way.

93. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you constantly lace your conversations or mentions of your own experiences with warnings about the dangers of getting sucked into the System, the young person might not respond so well. They've heard those things before, they're aware of those things, and unless the young person is seriously doubting his or her place in the Family, this is not something they need to be constantly reminded of. In most cases, the young people are aware of this. They have desired a better country, a better career‚ one with Heavenly rewards and a future greater than anything this world could ever offer them. That's why they're still in the Family‚ serving Me. That's why you left what you were doing and why you are still here.

94. Perhaps you, as an FGA‚ have a teenage son and you feel your connection with him is slipping. Whether he's in your Home or elsewhere, he's not communicating like he used to. He's not sharing his heart and his experiences and trials like he did in the past, or he does, but you're having a hard time understanding his trials. Why not ask another young person in your Home what their experiences were like growing up in the Family‚ and whether they ever encountered the kinds of trials or tests your child is experiencing? You may be surprised at what you learn, even about how your own child sees you, and you'd be on the road to a greater under­standing not only of your child, but other young people as well.

95. That's something everybody loves to talk about—themselves! And if you show an interest‚ you might find that young people suddenly become very talkative. Once they're talking, don't interrupt them—especially not to get into long explanations of how different it was for you when you were their age—unless they ask you to, or ask if what you went through was similar or identical to the kinds of feelings, the joys or frustrations, that they're expressing. Again, the key is to capitalize on the things you've shared that you have in common, and avoid highlighting the contrasts or differences, at least while you're trying to connect with each other.

96. It's easy for young people to forget that there's no new thing under the sun, and in this day and age when trends and styles come and go so quickly, the things of the past are often looked down on by the young people. So if you start speaking of how you liked those days so much better than today, comparing the past and its bygone pleasures with life in the present‚ don't be surprised if the young person suddenly goes silent and they look at you blankly as if they're waiting for you to change the subject. You have to speak to them about the things and times they relate to, and the best way to learn to do that is to listen to them.

97. You have to learn to relate to your young people in a new way—in their way, in the way of their generation, and not they in yours. All must look forward to the new times that the world is entering and the new ways that I'm leading you. I've put it within the young to naturally desire change; it's part of their given nature. But whether old or young, those who are new bottles in spirit will flow with My spirit of change. Those who are old bottles—including those of the young who cease to move forward—will settle down and try to cling nostalgically to the happier and simpler days of the past.

98. This is not to say that the past is useless. I've used your past and history, and the past and history of the world‚ to prepare it and you for these times. There's much that the younger generation can learn and benefit from when it comes to the lessons learned and experi­ence gained in all that time. But it has to come to them in a way that is fresh, in a way that applies to how they look at and see the world around them for today, and the future ahead of them, rather than merely in the conditions under which you gained those experiences. The way to find out how they see things is to take the time to listen to them and to make the effort to understand them.

99. Then, as you discover portions of your life and personal experiences that relate to theirs and share them, they will gradually become interested in your story as well. So as you talk and share your life stories, you will both eventually come around to perhaps the greatest factor you have in common—your desire to move ahead with Me, to follow Me and My Word‚ to be a part of this, My revolutionary Family and Endtime Army.

100. Unity will grow as those of the younger generation begin to see the disciples of My Word and calling in those of the older generation. Unity will grow as those of the older generation begin to see the younger generation as disciples equally as serious about following Me and giving their lives to Me, having experienced tests and forsake-alls and sacrifices and adjustments of their own—which, in perspective, are no less difficult than those the older generation have endured. Then the gap will be mended, the unity will grow, and you will find strength in the purpose that has bound all your hearts together as one—a single generation, the last gen­era­tion, My Family. (End of message from Jesus.)

Keep It Cool!

Don't Overreact!

101. (Mama:) Something that is common to almost all young people is that they can be extreme. The Lord made you that way—it's a part of youth! Learning to accept that young people are naturally like that and learning to adjust accordingly and work around it is a real key for those of us of the older generation. We asked the Lord for a message for us of the first generation about how to react to things that young people say, when sometimes they're prone to exaggerate or just need to let off steam about something.

102. Of course, that's not to say that all extreme statements by young people are exaggerations. There are times when they're dead serious and should be taken that way. But knowing when to take young people with a grain of salt and when to take them 100% seriously is a fine art, and one well worth learning! To know the difference, you've got to ask the Lord.

103. (Jesus speaking:) It's a fact of life: Young people like to exaggerate. They like to give the shock treatment. They're testing their boundaries, they're finding out what their peers think about things, and they're exploring the world around them. Sometimes they don't have much wisdom.

104. It's important to lighten up when you're listening to young people talk. Remind yourself mentally not to respond too quickly to anything they say. If it's a direct question being asked of you that needs an answer, shoot up a prayer and ask Me how you should answer wisely. Or suggest that you could both come before Me to receive My answers.

105. Young people will often say something controversial just to see what kind of reaction they will get. They can say some pretty wild things‚ too! But if you can remember to count to ten before saying anything, if you can remember to smile and remind yourself that they are My children and I'm in control, it will help you to hold your tongue.

106. Yes‚ hold your tongue. They have a keen sense of what they perceive to be fair from their perspective—although that's easy to forget when they bring up something really out­rageous. If there are younger people around, children and JETTs, then you might have to say something, just so the children and JETTs don't think you're accepting or condoning what they've said. But even then, do it prayerfully and gently.

107. I know it's difficult not to be drawn into debate at times like these, but it's so‚ so important that you don't allow yourself to become annoyed or personally frustrated or challenged, and don't let anger drive you.

108. My young people are seekers. They're seeking the truth. They're seeking to know the answers to the thousands of questions that flood their minds. I have the answers to each of their questions‚ and you can encourage them to seek My Word for answers, or to come to Me for My Word in prophecy, because I'm eager to teach them. If they're not confident with their gift of prophecy, you can even offer to come to Me for them, to ask Me about something for them that they're interested in or wondering about.

109. Young people can be very emotional too‚ and when they're letting off steam, remember that they don't actually want to hear a bunch of advice. It's medicinal just to get things out sometimes, and to have your quiet support and perhaps the offer of a prayer. Then later, or even right there on the spot‚ you could get some­thing encouraging from Me for them.

110. If you really want to help My young people to stay on the right path—and I'm talking to you who are their peers now as well, for even you are sometimes alarmed by the things that those your own age say—your best tool is My voice of prophecy. Come to Me with an open heart, realizing that I have so much more wisdom than you could ever have.

111. Sometimes I'll simply give you something that will comfort and reassure you that you don't need to say anything or overreact in any way. I can even explain what the person meant‚ or what they're going through, so that you won't worry about it and you'll be re­assured that I'm taking care of things. Sometimes I'll speak to you about the need to pray desperately and fervently, and will explain to you some of what is going on behind the scenes so that you can pray with greater understanding and desperation. Sometimes I'll actually give you something on the issue that you can in humility share with the other person. I don't judge people for asking questions if they're willing to receive the answers.

112. If you can pray desperately to stay calm during the outbursts of youth, this will re­assure them. It will reassure them that you're trusting Me for them, and that you're not angry with them for having questions. You can also be confident that if you exercise self-discipline on the minor issues, then when a truly serious issue arises, one which could harm others or My work, your prayerful comments will be taken seriously. They will respect you for speaking up, for they will remember your example of staying calm and not overreacting at other times when the subject was not so serious.

113. Even so, don't take it as license to let your own words pour forth, for often it's best to be brief in your response, then come and ask Me how you should further respond and what you should say. There are times when people cross the line, when they actually challenge core principles, that, if left unanswered and unchallenged, can grow into doubts that cause disunity and break down the infrastructure of strength that I've built through My Word. That's why it's important to ask Me, so that you'll know when to let it pass and when something more should be said or when it should be followed up on.

114. These are difficult and challenging re­quire­­ments‚ I know, but I will give you wisdom as you desperately seek Me. (End of mess­age from Jesus.)

115. (Mama:) I'll just give a little word to you young people here, while we're on the subject of letting off steam. The Lord doesn't condemn anyone for questions, but He does ask you to seek for the wisdom to know when to voice your questions or frustrations, and who to voice them to. Spare your younger brothers and sisters from your controversial questions or statements, because they need a solid foundation in the Word before they enter their own phase of seeking and searching, as you have.

116. Pray for and find someone who you can let off steam to and get prayer from when you need it, someone who has wisdom and who will not overreact. Then also be open to coming to the Lord with your questions and feelings, either on your own or with someone else, so that they don't remain questions that can grow into doubts and dissatis­faction. That way the Lord can turn them into answers, and help you grow to understand the deep things of the spirit and His wisdom.

What Can I Do, as an FGA, to Make

It Easier for Young People to

Communicate with Me?

117. (Dad speaking:) If you show a lot of love and outgoing concern for the young people‚ and if you are willing to communicate with them—not just about things that you have to communicate about‚ but even about things in your own personal life‚ or things that show love and trust in them—in the end you will have made it easier for young people to communicate with you.

118. You may know this already‚ but when young people feel that they're looked down on, or they feel that the adults don't like them, or that you dread being around them, or if there's a double standard in the Home, then they have a difficult time freely communicating with adults, much less opening up and pouring out the ­secrets of their hearts. But if you'll treat them as your friends‚ as fellows in the same ship, and if you show them that you like them and that you love them and are thankful for them‚ for their fellowship, for the load that they pull and all that they do, then you open the door to smoother and easier communications with them; because then they feel like you will try to understand where they're coming from. They will, in turn, trust you more and want to communicate with you more. As you would a friend of your own age‚ you must cultivate friendships and genuine trust, and this doesn't happen without a little give and take on both sides. You can start by doing your part.

119. It's also very important to remember that once a young person begins to communicate with you, you must treat what they tell you with utmost care and prayer, or it is unlikely that you will be let into their confidence so soon again. (End of message from Dad.)

Explain, Explain,

But Don't Overexplain!

What's the Balance?

120. (Mama:) There's a fine line between giving a young person helpful explanations and training in how to do something and over­explain­ing to where they feel that it's insulting to their intelligence. Of course, young people often feel that they know more than they do—or they're eager to prove how much they know‚ which makes it difficult for them to receive any kind of instruction or counsel on how to do something. That's something that is in their court to learn to accept and learn from. But as FGAs, how can we learn the balance, how to tactfully explain and train where necessary, but yet not overexplain?

121. (Dad speaking:) We've always promoted the clinical method—learning by observing and then by doing. Some things require instruction. They involve something mechanical or something that specifically has to be done a certain way or used a certain way. But if that's not the case, don't drone on about it. You'd be amazed at how much room there is for new ideas and new ways to do things! If they want to try something new and you're not sure about it, ask the Lord about it, or encourage them to ask the Lord, or ask Him together! Put yourself in the younger one's shoes. The teacher might have to be consulted if there is a difficulty that can't be worked out, and the younger person needs to be open to that. But it shouldn't have to entail a big long lecture. I can see some of you looking at each other and saying, "Look who's talking about long lectures!" Ha! Well, I think most of you liked my lectures, so I guess I was the great exception. The problem is, some of the young folks are getting turned off by your lectures.

122. What's the best teacher?—Experience! What are the things you remember well?—The things you learned from experience. So don't overexplain things‚ but let the younger ones learn and experience for themselves. It teaches them a whole lot more than all your lecturing. Of course‚ experience is also the hardest teacher. Some things are pretty painful to learn by experience, and in those cases‚ it's part of your job to try and help them see how to avoid the difficulty.

123. Strike a balance. You have to tell them enough to get started, but overexplaining something is just going to take the joy out of the task. Learning to do something on your own, especially if it means experimenting a bit, can be a tremendously rewarding process. If you have it all explained to you by some well-meaning adult, then the joy can become drudgery. Whatever initiative they have will also be stifled.

124. What it boils down to is for all sides to pray that they will develop a sincere love and respect for each other, that even when the other side is "difficult" to endure—the young people don't want to listen, or the adults overexplain something very simple—you will have the grace to handle it. You know‚ it isn't life's easy days that make you into a better person‚ but it's the tough days, how you handle them and the resulting victories, that do. (End of message from Dad.)

125. (Mama:) The subject of giving and accepting training, how much autonomy to give a young person once they've been trained to do a job, and how to become more trusted as a young person, will be covered, Lord willing, in another part of this series.

Continued in GN 928

from GN 927

The Needs of JETTs

126. (Jesus speaking: ) Adolescence is an age of decision, an age of revelation, an age of growth. As the world is changing, and children are reaching physical maturity earlier‚ this age has become all the more difficult to go through. The needs of the JETTs in the Family are many and varied. Some are still enjoying their childhood, and relate with child­like faith and trust. ­Others have already hit the turbulent stage of teenhood, which is very difficult to go through.

127. If you are the parent of a JETT, or have a JETT in your Home, please seek Me as to how to best relate to them, encourage them in their growth and help them with the decisions they are being faced with. They need lots of love, encouragement and attention. They need help in learning how to build a connection with Me, and in many cases, because they have not yet reached the point of commitment, they need consistent help in getting their Word time and building their spiritual foundation. In many cases they need "spoon feeding" and personalized application of the Word. They often need help in learning how to communicate, and someone who is very open and a good listener to hear them out and encourage them to share their feelings. They require lots of patience, because it's a turbulent stage, and they often don't know how to handle all the intense emotions and new experiences that they're dealing with.

128. These things—helping them continue to build a foundation of faith, coupled with lots of love, support, encouragement and attention, as well as a firm guiding hand—help to combat the many negative feelings and varied emotions they often experience, and will help to prepare them for the decisions and commitments they will be faced with. The best way to know how to give them all these things, in the proper balance and in the way that will be best received by them, is to ask Me. (End of message from Jesus)

It's Hard Being a Junior Teen!

Put Yourself in Their Shoes

129. (Mama:) Dear junior teens, we love you and need you! As you'll see in this mess­age, the Lord understands that you're going through a difficult age, and oddly enough, even though it's an age that each of us went through, it's easy to forget what it's like. Thus the Lord needed to remind us a little bit, so that we can better relate to you. Maybe it will help you, too, to realize that you're not alone in the struggle, and that it does eventually get easier! Please don't be critical of your parents or others in your Home if they don't always do all these things the Lord is suggesting, or don't do them right away. Changes take time, so please don't take this as a license to be uncooperative. If you see something that needs changing, pray for it—and hang on, and try to do your part. Okay? I love you!

130. (Jesus speaking:) It's hard to be a junior teen! Understanding that is one of the greatest keys in learning to communicate with them successfully. If I asked any of you parents, FGAs, or even SGAs, if you would switch places with them—knowing that you wouldn't retain any of your hard-earned knowledge from the life you've already lived, or any of the faith and peace that experience has given you, or any of the perspective that you have now, having seen how things work—I bet you wouldn't want to do it. Remember that when you're communicating with them.

131. It's a difficult age. It's an age when they're expected to grow a lot. It's an age that brings them out of childhood, and they suddenly realize that certain things are not how they thought they were. That's very unsettling. It's an age where they start desiring greater independence, yet aren't capable of handling it wisely a lot of the time. It's an age where, because they're learning so much, it's easy for them to think they know everything, and it's hard to be told that that isn't really the case.

132. I'll give you some tips for relating to junior teens.

  1. Try to make your communications fun and enjoyable for them. If they know that every time you want to talk to them it's because they're in trouble, they're naturally going to dread it. Of course‚ you can't always talk about light-hearted things, but not everything has to be sober and serious ­either. Talk about things that they like to talk about. Adapt to their style of communicating.
  2. One of their main goals in life at this age is, take a guess … to have fun! They want to do fun things. They don't want to do things that they don't consider fun. Understand this about them, don't blame them for it, and work around it. Space things out—one thing that they consider boring or not fun, and then something that's fun. Teach them how to make it a policy in their life to do the unpleasant job first. For example, first they do the schoolwork in the workbooks that they dread, then they do their schoolwork that can be done on the computer. First they fulfill their household responsibility for the day‚ then they write an e-mail to their friend. Understand their need for fun‚ for newness‚ for adventure. If you help them to find it, they won't have to try and get it behind your back or without your permission.
  3. Have few rules, and hold to them. Junior teens often test the limits set for them to see how much they can get away with. Discuss the rules with them, choose the ones that are important‚ and then stick to them.
  4. Try to provide them with fellowship—­either with peers, or with people that they enjoy being with and have fun with.
  5. Try to give them time away from "mom and dad" and the familiarity that so easily sets in at this age by letting them spend time with other adults or young people who are responsible and will help to shepherd and teach them. If there's some­thing that they're just not learning with you, you'd be amazed how easily they can sometimes learn it from someone else whom they love and respect. Not that they no longer love you as their parents, but ­often they need to hear things from others in order to realize how true they are. Familiarity is common‚ and it prevents their receiving things from you like they always have up until this point. Eventually they grow out of it‚ and come to realize what great parents you were and how much you taught them. Like Mark Twain's famous quote, "When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21‚ I was astonished at how much he'd learned in 7 years."
  6. Don't get sensitive and don't take things personally. Be mature enough to hear what they have to say, thank them for being honest, and then express your feelings calmly, lovingly, in a balanced way. Often it's better to hear them out and explain how you feel later—after you've had a chance to ask Me about it and what your feelings should be.
  7. Help them learn the things they want to learn and realize the dreams and aspirations that they have. If they feel fulfilled and have a goal that they're reaching for that inspires and interests them, they will be more willing to adhere to the behavioral standard that has been set down and more willing to help with the duties that you expect them to fulfill.
  8. They're changing physically as well as emotionally and intellectually. They need good healthy food, lots of rest and sleep, and vigorous and enjoyable exercise. When these needs are met, they will be calmer, happier, and easier to communicate with.
  9. Each one is different. Each one has different needs. Ask Me about each one individually and regularly. I will keep you updated as to what their current needs are, and how you can best meet those needs, and you will all be happier for it. (End of message from Jesus.)

The Beginning Stages of Adulthood

—Our Senior Teens!

133. (Mama:) In regards to our senior teens and how much "equality" they're given, the Lord said that it needs to be judged on an individual basis. Here's more counsel from Him on the subject.

134. (Jesus speaking:) As your teens grow and become seniors, they enter the beginning stages of adulthood and their needs change. These are some of their main needs as a group:

*135. Fellowship with people they enjoy being with. Many times this is with ­others their age or other young people, but they can also find camaraderie and enjoyment in relations with those of the first generation, if those of the first generation are wise and humble and willing to adapt in order to fill the need.

*136. Role models to look up to. If they don't find them within the realm of those serving Me, they'll look for them in the world—those who are going places and doing things.

*137. A strong sense of direction and pur­pose. If they're bored or unchallenged, they'll look for excitement in free-time activities‚ and will likely get into trouble. But if they're challenged in their work and have the opportunity to take part in a ministry which motivates them and causes them to reach ever higher, they'll find great satisfaction and joy in it, and will not be as drawn to the fringe activities that they seek when they're bored.

*138. To feel needed, appreciated, and under­stood for who they are. Each person has special gifts and talents given them by Me. If you're the parent or shepherd of a senior teen, one of your highest priorities should be helping them to develop the gifts that I've given them and teaching them to use them for My glory.

*139. And as with each of My children‚ even if they don't realize it‚ they have a compelling need to build a strong relationship with Me. They have a vacuum in their heart that begins to grow at this age. If it's not filled by Me‚ they'll seek for other ways to fill it. But I have created it to be filled by Me. Any­thing you can do to encourage them in their relation­ship with Me, to help them build a foundation of My Word, will be an investment in eternity that will not return void.

140. If these needs are filled, you can expect that your seniors will be much happier. They'll be easier to communicate with‚ and will be better communicators themselves. There's a great range of maturity and depth when it comes to the senior teens. The senior teen years I have ordained to be a time of growth. Some rush into this time and love the feeling of growing up, and embrace the lessons and re­sponsibility that I'm nudging them toward. Others hold back, wanting to enjoy their youth for as long as poss­ible, not realizing that the way to truly enjoy their youth is by giving their life to Me and watching to see the wonderful things that I give them in return.

141. That's why I say that each one must be judged on an individual basis. Those who are hungry for My Word‚ who do their best to fulfill their responsibilities, and who strive to abide by the rules, should be given great respect and appreciation, and should be treated as the adults that they are becoming. Those who do not—who shirk responsi­bility and break rules, who seek imma­turity rather than maturity and desire fun and games rather than adulthood—will need more prodding, more rules, and guidelines to keep them on the straight and narrow. Just as you relate to senior teens who are striving to become adults as adults, you can relate to these senior teens who wish less maturity in accord­ance with their maturity.

142. Everyone who works with senior teens must pray and ask Me to help them make the switch that is needed and be aware of their needs, for it is a time of change and decision‚ a time when disciples are made. During these years you can either baby them, for they all have their immature moments, or you can ask Me to show you what they're becoming and then treat them as such, and expect more from them. Your actions and attitudes toward them play a great role in how quickly they grow and what they become. (End of message from Jesus.)

143. (Mama:) Senior teens, that puts the ball mainly in your court as to how you will be treated, and what amount of "equality" and responsibility you're given. If you're just "biding your time" in the CM Family and only trying to get away with as much "fun" as you can, then you can't expect that you'll be given much freedom or trust. But if you're doing all you can to fulfill your responsibilities as a Charter Member and working alongside the others in your Home toward a united goal, then you'll be given the trust and respect you desire as a mature and committed young person. It's up to you.

144. I'm sorry that in times past some of you haven't felt challenged or needed. Peter and I are praying for solutions, and we pray that in your Home you'll be able to find the solutions needed so that your needs can be met and you can be happy and fulfilled in your service for Jesus! We need you and appreciate those of you who are on the cutting edge in the spirit and in sync! We couldn't do without you!

Our "Kids" Grow Up!

Making the Mental Switch!

145. Our SGAs and YAs are adults, and while in some situations they carry a tremendous amount of responsibility and are treated with the respect and equality that you give a co-worker, in other situations they're still treated as children, which is under­standably very frustrating for them. If you've lived with a young person since their childhood or early teen years, it's easy to continue relating to them in that way, if you don't make a conscious effort to adjust your mindset and way of relating to them. In fact, all of you FGAs need to be careful about relating to young people as if they were children. Many of you have had large families over the years, so it's almost become habitual for you to relate to young people as a parent rather than to them being your peers.

146. We need our young people to go on to fill the roles the Lord has created for them—roles as leaders, pioneers‚ shepherds—taking initiative and leading the way in the things the Lord is asking of them. This won't happen unless you FGAs who work with them begin to treat them as adults and give them equality, respect, and trust, and show faith in the anointing the Lord has promised them. By the same token, if they don't toe the line with the Charter Member standard, they shouldn't be "babied," but rather should be disciplined according to the Charter, as adults.

147. This next message addresses one aspect of that "mental switch" that is needed when relating to our SGAs and YAs, and that is in the area of asking them questions—about what they're up to, or about how they handle their ministry, etc. Of course, everyone needs shep­herd­ing, and our SGAs and YAs are no exception. But the way the shepherding is given is what makes the difference. If you come across as though you're checking up on a child, they're understandably going to resent that. And if it carries on for a long period of time, eventually some of them will probably give up on trying to be responsible, figuring that you don't trust them anyway.

148. I reiterate here that this counsel was given in regards to SGAs and YAs. This does not mean that your approach to your senior teens or rascally younger ones should be the same, by any means. As I said earlier, because our senior teens have not yet signed the full Charter membership contract and thus are not held to the same account­ability for their behavior, they need to be judged on an individual ­basis regarding the equality or trust that is given to them. Those who are very mature would receive a great deal of trust and those who are immature would receive trust and responsi­bility based on their actions and attitudes. And junior teens, of course, are in a class all their own, and still very much need the hands-on style of shepherding to help give them their foundation of right and wrong and what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. But because YAs and SGAs are adults, they need to be treated as adults. Even if they don't act like adults, they're still held to the responsibilities of adults according to the Charter, and should be treated accordingly.

149. We asked the Lord: How can FGAs ask SGAs and YAs questions about their activities or projects without coming across like they feel they need to know what's going on, or that they're so worried or concerned or have to be informed of every detail? How can we (as FGAs) learn to come across more like friends, interested in one another's activities and lives‚ but not like the all–seeing ogre eye?

150. (Dad speaking:) This is something that you have to pray and ask the Lord to change in your heart and mind. Because it's the spirit of your words that comes through and makes young people feel like an FGA is being nosy or is so untrusting of what they're doing. This can be a real beef of those young people who have become adults and in many cases carry equal responsibility and load in the Home, to have FGAs snooping over their shoulders or trying to be discreetly inquisitive about their whereabouts or doings.

151. I know this is a hard switchover for many FGAs to make, because you're used to these SGAs and YAs being your children‚ and when they were younger you had to be up on their whereabouts at all times, aware of what they were doing, and being a good parent by keeping them busy and out of trouble. But those days are over. They're in a different bracket now and your mentality toward them has to change.

152. You'll have to ask the Lord to help you see them through new eyes. It's something that needs adjusting as the young people grow up. It's something that is well worth working on if you want to have amicable relations with the young people in your Home and area.

153. Young adults appreciate an FGA who is casual enough to not always demand to know what's going on. They appreciate it when the questions you ask them don't come across like, "I want to know and I expect to be told." This is a point that's a bit hard to explain, because there is a balance, and that can be hard to find. If they're being a problem‚ then they should be treated just as you'd treat an adult who's being a problem—you wouldn't let them get away with it just because they're an adult. Basically, you just have to see them as adults and treat them that way. Once they've become SGAs, you have to pretty much commit them to the Lord and treat them as you would any other adult in the Home.

154. The ideal—and you'll have to pray and ask the Lord how you can make it to this point step by step in your own situation—is to build mutual trust with young people around you. Be open with them and expect them to be open with you. If you trust them by taking them into your confidence, and make it clear that you expect the same of them‚ I think you'll find that you'll reap pretty good results. But if you expect them to be honest with you on a one-way street, they'll probably resent it.

155. That doesn't mean that those of you who are responsible for shepherding should be afraid to ask questions when you need to. But they should be asked in the same way you would ask a fellow adult, rather than in a condescending manner. If you pray and ask the Lord to change your mindset, it will make all the difference in how you come across when you do need to ask them questions or find out what's going on.

156. If they're here for the Lord and are on board, they know they need shepherding. It may not always be easy for them to come ask for it, but if you make it easy for them‚ they'll be more apt to come to you for counsel and help, and at least let you know what they're doing and how they're doing. You can do your part by not reacting strongly to the things they say, by ­gently expecting them to hear from the Lord about every­thing, depending on them to uphold the standard and still helping to coordinate or provide them with things they enjoy doing. Show them how they can serve the Lord and toe the line while still having fun and doing things that young people like to do. Once you have this line of communication or trust established, then you don't have to worry so much about them.

157. It might help you change your mentality and come across as less inquisitive or overly concerned in spirit if you ask the Lord to help you trust Him a little more for the young people's care and spiritual well-being. Realize that when it comes right down to it‚ they're young men and women now, and they can and will make their own choices, pretty much no matter what you do. It certainly doesn't help to lord your shepherding or oversight over them, because that tends to make them more ­rebellious, withdrawn and closed. They need shepherd­ing, yes! But shepherd them as adults, not as children. You can't force them to make the right decisions, and you can't oversee them every second of the day—and you're not supposed to! They're accountable before the Lord, and if they don't toe the line, then they can be reclassified, just like any other adult. It's as simple as that!

158. Commit them to the Lord! That will take the load off of you, and perhaps help you to not come across so overly concerned, worried, or "parental" when you talk with them and interact with them. Ask the Lord to help you to look at them as fellow adults. Be respectful of them and don't talk to them in a way that you wouldn't talk to another adult your own age. That would bring about a big change right there, and the young people would appreciate that a whole lot.

159. Those are a few tips on how to avoid that pit that adults and young people often fall into. Tiny leaks sink great ships, and simple things can cause unity to crumble‚ so it's worth doing what you can to avoid these things, to get over them and to try to relate to others in the best way possible. I love you! (End of mess­age from Dad.)

160. (Mama:) Dad sure knows what he's talking about. He was a success at building the Family with young people—us—who at the time were the same age as our YAs and SGAs are today. Dad made us all toe the line, but he never treated us like children. He took us into his confidence as adults, and we were expected to carry heavy loads and adult responsibility. He taught us. It's not that he didn't train us, instruct us, or tell us when we were wrong—but he didn't make us feel dumb or like he didn't trust us. When he would first start teaching us about something, he was right there with every detail. But then it was hands off, and he expected us to carry on without a lot of his looking over our shoulder. He certainly never looked down on us or treated us in a condescending way, even though we were pretty dumb and ignorant and in need of training in many areas. He had faith in us, and in many cases I think it was that faith that helped people to rise to their potential and go on to be useful for the Lord.

161. There's more good counsel from Dad and the Lord on training in ministries and turning over responsibilities in the next part of this series. Don't miss it!

Is it Really Possible to Completely

Understand Another Person—

Especially One from

The Opposite Generation?

162. I've heard many times from young people that one of the things that's frustrating for them is hearing adults say, "I understand exactly what you feel. When I was your age …" Then they expect the young person to do just what they did and achieve the same results. Many young people feel, and rightly so, that things are very different now. For one thing, they've had a completely different life than any of us from the first generation had when we were growing up. Their perspective on things is largely different, their battles are different, and they face different challenges. The world is different, the climate of the day is different, their reference points are different. Yes, some things are the same, but there's also much that's not.

163. We asked the Lord: Can those of the older generation honestly say that they "under­stand" what our younger generation goes through? Or is it impossible for them, because it's just been too long since they lived that phase of their life and felt anything like the way young people do now? What about the mindset that many young people have that the adults just can't understand them, and the fact that they think they do signifies real ignorance?

164. (Jesus speaking: ) No one can ever claim to understand exactly how another person feels or thinks. Yet there are often things that another individual truly does understand—at least enough to relate well and be of help or encourage­ment.

165. You don't have to understand exactly how someone else feels in order to help them. Sometimes people mistakenly get this idea that they have to and then try so hard to relate to others by saying, "I understand," that it can come across as insincere. Young people have a hard time believing that those who are 10, 20, 30 or 40 years older than them can really understand how they feel about specific things, or even in general about being young.

166. Some people have better memories than others, and some folks can remember what they felt like 10, 15, 20 or 40 years ago, but such a person is rare. Sure, you remember bits and pieces and certain events, and sometimes something will happen or someone will say something that triggers your memory and you'll recall a distinct feeling or set of feelings that would relate to a young person now. However‚ people do not generally go around all day thinking of how someone else must feel, putting themselves in their shoes, or remembering how things felt when they were the age of the other person.

167. There are also many differences in the world and even in the Family that have taken place over the decades. An FGA may remember very well what they felt like at 16, but when they were 16, the world was very different from the way it is now. Therefore a 16-year-old now has a whole new set of battles‚ questions, trials, fears, concerns, and problems. It is similar, yes, but much is also different.

168. When relating to young people and wanting to show your sympathy, the best thing for you FGAs to do if you want to be understanding and make yourself relatable is to be specific. Young people dislike generalizations—and with good reason, because if you look at it logically, it's often hard to accept.

169. If someone says, "I understand exactly how you feel," or "I remember what it's like to be young‚" a young person's natural reaction is to think, "You couldn't understand me" or "You couldn't really remember." However, if a young person is having a battle with something specific such as feeling left out by their peers‚ for example, and you had similar experiences‚ they will believe that you understand if you say something like‚ "I remember when I was 16 and kids at high school teased me about something, and it was such a big deal for me. I'm so sorry about what you're going through; it must be rough."

170. Another key to being understanding and able to use your experiences to relate to someone is to be open and aware of the fact that no two people feel exactly the same, and thus you must really have a desire to listen and learn what the other person is feeling. If you automatically assume that you understand, chances are you won't understand fully. But if you stop and really listen to the other person, try to put yourself in their shoes, and ask honest and sincere questions, chances are that you will eventually understand much better‚ and will be able to relate to what they're going through more fully than if at the beginning you assumed you understood.

171. If you want to truly understand, you have to be open-minded, realizing that of course you don't understand exactly what is in another person's mind and heart, because you're all different. Yet you try to empathize, to put yourself in their shoes, and when you can, to remember a similar situation that relates at least somewhat and that can help you understand how they might be feeling.

172. When you combine these two principles, you'll be able to help them either find comfort in knowing that you care, or in some cases, help them receive correction or instruction from you, knowing that you do understand, that you have experienced something similar enough that you can relate to them on a level that fosters good communication. (End of mess­age from Jesus.)

More Tips from the One
Who Knows It All!

(Here are more compiled tips from our wonder­ful Husband on the subject of communication:)

nTips for the first generation

173.The younger generation doesn't want to feel smothered or mothered; they crave independ­ence and like to feel they have a say in things. When you, as an FGA, do things to give them the say they want, to make them feel like they have some leeway, some room to operate according to their faith and like you're not analyzing or criticizing their every move, it'll go a long way in making those of the second generation feel your respect and approval.

174. If someone from the second generation has a suggestion about something, endeavor to have a positive reaction and show interest and agreement—even if you think that it's not a good idea and won't work for some reason. Sincerely consider it. You could bring it before Me together and ask for My counsel. Don't just brush it aside. If you, as an FGA, auto­matically give the impression that you know better and "that's a sweet suggestion, but it's not the right one," then of course the young person is going to feel like what they say isn't of any worth to you.

175. You would do well to remember that I'm anointing the second generation. I'm working through them with new ideas in a new way, and it's going to be to your benefit and the benefit of the work to listen to them and give their ideas a try.

176.In order to communicate better with a young person, watch and see how they com­municate or enjoy communicating. Maybe you as an FGA don't enjoy writing notes much, but you notice that this young person in your Home who you've been having difficulty communicating with is really into writing notes—to their friends, receiving mail, etc. Try writing a note the next time you have something to communicate, and see if they like that better. If you, as their FGA co-worker, do some "people watching," you can learn how they operate, how they like to communicate. You can also ask Me about them. I'll give you special tips that will make all the difference in the world. This isn't to say that this applies to all SGAs or that all SGAs prefer things one certain way, because some don't.

177.Some of the second generation feel that some FGAs have a tendency to overinstruct, to overteach, making them feel like they're being talked down to. When this happens, it makes it hard for them to be open and receive what's being said. You as an FGA can make it much easier for your second-generation co–worker to receive your comments if you realize that they're intelligent, thinking people‚ and you don't necessarily have to hit the point so hard or so often that they feel like they're being treated like an inferior.

nTips for the second generation

178.Try to receive the counsel and sugges­tions of the FGAs, because they have ex­perience. And because of their experience, they know things that you don't. They've learned through years of trial and error, so it's a good idea to listen, no matter how much you dislike their presentation.

179. —If you don't agree with what they're saying and you have another idea that you think would work better, first listen to their idea and then offer your suggestion.

180.If you have a tendency to treat certain FGAs as if they're really out-of-touch old bottles who don't know what's happening, you've probably found that it elicits the effect from them of being turned off and not open to your ideas and comments. It pays to communicate with FGAs—or anyone, for that matter—in an amiable and respectful manner.

181. —You need to realize that you don't know that much in comparison with all there is to know. I know that flies in the face of all youthful reasoning, but it's an unfortunate fact of life.

182. —Don't be afraid to ask for help if you get in a tough spot. It's not only a good exercise in humility, but you can get some good advice while you're at it, and it makes the adult who you ask feel needed and appreciated. I know it's a bit hard on the old pride to go ask, and sometimes get a con­descending lecture, but that's a heaven of a lot better than making a mistake that could hurt others or cause a loss. Besides, it's good for your humility, and thus it's good for unity—and you can learn something new while you're at it!

183. —When you're young, it's easy to be absorbed with and consumed by your own ideas. I know; I was young once too. You're so full of life and energy that you fail to realize that you've got a lot to learn. It's a common "ailment" for the young to think they know it all and forget that there's still much out there to learn and a lot that they don't know. Remember that there's always something to learn from everyone, no matter who they are. You can even learn something from a child. Everyone has something to offer, and it's good to cultivate the attitude that you don't necessarily know it all and there's something that this person can offer you. Being open to learn from others also helps you to be more open to learn from Me, and thus a better channel and more receptive to what I want to tell you.

184. —A key to better communication is the willingness to take the first step. Sometimes FGAs—and others too—are afraid to take the first step because they feel that they aren't as "cool" as you are and that they'll come across with all their ideas in the wrong way and that you'll think they're real nerdy or boring. This is a concern everyone faces to some degree‚ and it makes them hold back or not want to communicate. If there's someone in your Home, young or old, that you don't communicate with much or that you've avoided communicating with, try to take that first step. Just say "hi" some morning and see their face light up as you've opened up your world to theirs. If you aren't sure how to initiate a conversation or friendly contact with them, ask Me.

185. —When someone comes to you and tries to initiate a conversation, maybe they aren't so confident in what they're going to say, so it's important to really listen to them in order to make it easy for them. Don't attack them or beat them down or be hostile right from the start, because that's not going to help at all. Take time to listen, to hear them out‚ and keep your mouth shut until they've had a chance to voice their opinions and how they see things.

nTips for both generations

186. —The two generations are very different, and the things that you do in your interactions with each other will really make a difference in helping your working relationship go more smoothly.

187. —When someone feels that what they have to say isn't being counted as important, it blocks communication and a smooth working relationship.

188. —It really pays to give the other generation the benefit of the doubt, to go out of your way to be interested—genuinely interested. Don't just do it for show or because I'm asking you to, but really put aside your own ideas and all your experience and listen to them, learn from them, and receive their ideas and suggestions.

189. —If both generations are aware of the need to listen to each other‚ as well as to ask Me for the answers, and not come across like‚ "I'm the one who knows what's best here," then your communi­cations and working relationship will go much smoother.

190. —It's sometimes better to be agreeable at the moment, even if you think the idea or viewpoint is totally wrong‚ for the sake of improving your unity and for the sake of showing the other generation that you're willing to work well together and be friends and good co-workers. Sometimes the job might take a little longer or not get done quite the way you thought it might if you did things your way, but at least you won't have the problem of disunity and lack of good communication. As long as you have good unity flowing, that will lead to the work getting done better in the long run. Remember that it's not hypocritical to yield when you feel like doing otherwise, or smile when you feel like scowling. Learning to cheerfully accommodate another person's wishes and work together takes some getting used to, and there are times you just have to "bite the bullet" and do it. But it's worth it in the long run, and eventually it gets easier and becomes the good habit of being willing to do things the way the other person wants to do them, and above all seek Me together for the best way to do it for the good of the work.

191. —Both generations can learn a lot about each other by paying attention to how the other operates. Try some "people watching" and notice the things the other generation does. Try to learn what makes them tick. Ask Me for further insight, and you'll be amazed at the helpful things I can show you.

192. —Once you've noticed various details about the other generation and how they like to do things‚ try to accommodate their needs. Ask Me about it and I'll show you and speak to you with specifics about how you can work together better, communicate better, and how you can make it easy for each other to get along well.

193. —No one likes to be talked to in a conde­scending way, and if you have a tendency to do that to the other generation, then it's a very good thing to work on and overcome. Ask for united prayer. Your communications and relationship will improve one hundred percent if those of the other generation feel like you're talking to them as equals, and that they're being treated with respect for who they are and for the Lord's gifts and anointing upon them.

194. —Never yell. If things are getting so heated that you have to raise your voice to be heard, or if you're so worked up that you vent your feelings by raising your voice, then it's time to call a timeout on the conversation, stop and pray, and ask Me where to go from there. It's very damaging to a relationship to yell at someone, or even to raise your voice in anger or frustration. The tone of your voice and the words that are said can echo in their mind for hours or days, and often longer. The tone of your voice when you speak is very important. You can com­municate anger, distrust, suspicion, resentful­ness and other negative emotions without ever raising your voice. If you feel you're losing control of your emotions or your presentation, stop, pray, and possibly come back to the subject later, after you've cooled down and had a chance to get My perspective on things.

195. —How do you communicate with someone in a way that shows them respect and approval and helps them to feel open and receptive to what you're saying? If you want to make a point, something that you feel is important to get across, sometimes a good way to go about it is to ask their opinion on the matter. Explain the problem or the point and ask them what they think about it, what they think can be done. Put it in a way that you're asking them for their counsel and advice instead of giving them your advice. This goes a long way because it helps the other generation feel like they have a say, that you're interested in what they say and you respect what they offer.

196. —Have a positive outlook toward the opposite generation that you work with. Don't automatically assume that you don't like working together, you don't like this or that about them, but instead go on the attack to be positive and uplifting. Speak faith and positive things about them to yourself and to others. Comment on their good points and think about the good things. Ask Me to show you in prophecy how you can appreciate this person more, or what some of the special things are about them that I love and appreciate. If you're always dwelling on the negative and each other's problems and human weaknesses, that'll really bring you down and make it much more difficult to see Me in each other.

197. —When things come up in your working relationship that you need to make a decision about, pray about it together. Have prayer and prophecy and hear from Me together about it. That way both generations feel that they're being included in the decision-making process and that things aren't just passing them by or getting railroaded through.

198. —Give each other equal opportunity and responsibilities in hearing from Me about matters. I speak to both generations‚ and it's important for Me to have a say through both generations.

199. —Resist the temptation to go ahead and take care of something or make the decision on your own without counseling with your co–worker of the other generation when you know it's necessary.

200. —Make the effort to touch base often, to counsel together‚ to let those of the other generation know what you're thinking about doing, and get their opinion and feedback. Even if things take more time to get done, it'll be done better and with more unity if you teamwork and counsel and take time to pray together.

201. —Enjoy each other and have some fun together. You might not enjoy doing exactly the same things, but it will help your unity and closeness if you make the effort to do fun things to­gether, to enjoy each other, relax together, and appreciate each other.

202. —Have an evening of appreciation for the opposite generation where you present them with a list of all the things about them that you admire, appreciate‚ and are thankful for.

203. —Most important of all, pray and ask Me about your personal situation‚ about the people you work and live with, and I will show you specifically what you can do to improve your interactions and unity. I will speak to you and lead and guide you step by step and help you to have a better, more united and loving relationship.

204. —Stop and take the time to share a moment with someone. You have to take time if you want to get to know people. Relationships of any kind take time to grow and develop‚ and only by time invested in them can you learn what they need and can you go about adding that element to it.

205. —Any friendship, teamworking venture, or relationship of any kind needs time invested to grow. That's just one of the rules of life. Don't be afraid to invest time in getting to know people and learn from them—you won't regret the results.

206. —If you're not sure what you could do with someone of the opposite generation that would be fun for them, make an arrangement where you'll "host" the first get-together and plan something, and that they'll "host" the second get–together and plan something. Perhaps the FGA plans the first one and takes the young person out to watch the sunset. The young person plans the second one, and teaches the FGA how to play a computer game, for example.

207. —Look at each interaction as a chance to grow, to change, and to enhance your ­character. Remember that everyone can add something to your life, and if you're interested in building a strong and healthy personality, you'll do well to hear what others are saying and accept the fact that they know something you don't. That will help to break down any walls that have been built up between you and­ ­others. Look at each ­per­son as being able to contribute something to your life, be it great or small‚ and be willing to learn.

208. —Openness is a big key to communi­cation. If you're closed to suggestions, to comments, to correction, or guidance, then it makes it very difficult for those who would like to help you or to get closer to you to do so because they feel pushed away by your opinions and your attitudes. But if you open up and say, "Yes, tell me, I want to know," then they feel much more at ease telling you the things that are on their hearts, and they won't feel like a wall is constantly being thrown up between you ­every time they try to communicate with you.

209. —Many people are willing to talk, but if you're wise you will learn to listen. This is one of the greatest causes for lack of communication—people don't really listen. It's one-sided, meaning one person is talking but the other isn't really listening. Don't say anything—just listen and be interested in what the other person is saying. Don't brush them off or dismiss what they have to say. Don't cut one another off before they've been able to say all that they wanted to. That's disconcerting and it makes it more difficult for the other person to listen to you, because they feel that their views weren't important to you, so why should yours be import­ant to them. Listen. Open your ears and your heart to what they have to say and really hear them out before you decide to answer. This will greatly enhance your communi­cation skills. Listening is a very big key, and one that, if learned well, will solve a lot of problems with misunderstandings, miscommunications, and mess-ups in your relations with each other.

210. —Life is one great big common pot of experiences. Everyone has had a different ex­peri­ence and can bring it to the big melting pot of My love, and if you're open to learning something new, you can walk away from that pot ­every day with some new treasure—acquired by being open to accepting something new.

211. Both generations can learn so much from the other because everyone has something to offer, no matter who they are, what their personality is like, or where they're from. Every­one can contribute to My big common pot so that others can learn and grow and progress in their lives for Me and in their personal character-building skills.

212. This takes time. If you never take the time to talk to someone, you'll never be able to find out just what they have to offer. Picture yourself in a huge fair. There are hundreds of booths, each containing salesmen and women, all selling a product. But how are you going to know what they're selling unless you give them a moment to explain their product to you? You could walk through that entire fair and leave without one bit of information simply because you didn't stop to listen to anyone. Wouldn't that be a shame?

What Can I as a Young Person Do

To Make It Easier for the Adults

To Communicate with Me?

213. (Jesus speaking:) Whether you believe it or not, your parents and others of the older generation do have a lot of knowledge and under­standing about things—understanding which they've gained through the course of their lives and their many different opportunities and experiences, both good and bad. You may think that you know your personal situation better than they do, and that there's no way they could possibly be understanding enough or cool enough to be able to relate to what you're feeling.

214. But the truth is, if you'll be patient with them and prayerfully open your heart to them, it's probably much easier for those of the older generation to relate to you and understand where you're coming from about things than it is for you to understand their point of view, simply because you haven't yet had the opportunities that they've had, and are therefore lacking in much of the maturity and knowledge that comes only with time and experience.

215. So don't automatically assume that older folks won't understand you. Remember that very few people, regardless of age, will auto­matically be able to relate to you and understand your feelings unless you take the time to communicate with them properly and in the right spirit. There are plenty of first generation folks who are more than willing to do their part to break down any walls that have been built up and to reach out to you. In fact, they're desperate to know how to go about it, but because of some of the difficulties that have come up in the past, many are lacking in confidence. I know that you've often felt labeled by the adults. But believe it or not, many of them feel labeled‚ too—by young people—and they've allowed themselves to believe that they don't have what it takes to be able to make a connection.

216. If you find yourself feeling frustrated with the older folks because of their apparent lack of tolerance and understanding‚ why not ask yourself these questions:

217. Can I honestly say that I've done my best to try to understand how they feel and why they feel they way they do?

218. Am I being patient with them, giving them a fair chance to understand my feelings, or am I already convinced that there's no use even trying to communicate with them?

219. Have I been completely open with them and shared my feelings in the spirit of meekness?

220. Am I being tolerant of them‚ or have I labeled them, even subconsciously perhaps, as being old fogies?

221. Am I being humble and yielded‚ or proud and resistant?

222. Some of you may be wondering why you should be expected to understand them when it seems to you that they're the ones who are totally lacking in understanding and em­pathy for you and your point of view.

223. Well, it takes humility and understanding on all sides for there to be any real connection and communication between people. I do expect the older folks to be patient and understanding, humble and nonjudgmental in the ways that they relate to you and other young people—and I've told them many times and in many ways over the years. But right now I'm talking to you, because there are lots of things that you can do to make things easier on everybody—including yourself. You need the input and help that the first generation has to offer, so it's to your own advantage to learn how to react to them in ways that will help them have the faith to be able to communicate with you freely.

224. Probably the most important thing that you can do when trying to communicate with your parents‚ elders‚ and guardians is to always take the low seat and to have a submissive and humble attitude. This will require a lot of humility on your part, but it's to your advantage. If you'll accept that this is what I'm asking of you and yield to it, you'll be much happier in every way and your communi­cations and dealings with the older generation will go much smoother.

225. Pride is the great hinderer. It kills good communications. So ask Me to help you to be humble and to take the low seat—no matter who it is you're communicating with. Admit to yourself and try to always remember that you don't know everything, and that your opinion about things might not be the right one. You could very well be looking at things in the wrong way.

226. Along with humility and yieldedness‚ you must also try to be patient. Patience takes faith—faith that I'm the One Who's in control of your life. If you ask Me to bless your dealings with others and have faith that I'm going to help you, you can be sure that I'll always answer and help things to go the way they're supposed to go and help your communi­cations to be smooth.

227. Don't worry. I know that it's a little hard for young people to have patience. I understand that. For instance, you want things to move quickly, and you want to be able to do things on the spur of the moment, without having to take a lot of time to talk about it or give it much thought. You don't necessarily want to have to go to all the trouble of reasoning things out and looking at the possible consequences and long-term effects of what it is you want to do. You just want to do it—period! But the older you get, the more you'll realize that everything you do has consequences. Everything you do will come back to you in one way or another, either for good or bad. Therefore, it's much better to go slow, to think things out, and to communicate and counsel before rushing into them.

228. As hard as this may be for you to do, for your own sake, please try to be willing to go a little slower. Remember, speed kills. It takes time to communicate and to talk things out in order to make sure that what you're doing and where you're going are really the best thing for you—not only for your future, but for here and now.

229. Don't look on those of the older generation as being the enemy. They're not. They're there for you, giving of themselves and sacrificing in many ways in order for you to be able to have the very best life possible. If you feel that your parents or shepherds or someone who's older than you isn't listening to what you have to say‚ don't freak out and get upset; just slow down. Remember to take the low seat and trust Me that I am able to sort things out. Stay meek and give them a chance to explain themselves. Then take a deep breath and think about what it is they're trying to tell you. If you don't understand it or agree with it, bring it to Me‚ and I'll help sort things out. Let them know what you're thinking in a calm and full-of-faith manner.

230. When your parents or others of the older generation give you advice or instruction, don't shut yourself off or reject it just because you don't like the way it sounds. They're not trying to control your lives or to stop you from having fun. They're doing what I've put them there to do. They're your safeguards. You need them, and you need to listen to them. You may not agree with them and they might not be right every time, but you should be humble enough and patient enough to at least listen to what they have to say and to seriously consider it.

231. If you're bothered by some FGAs' presentation of something‚ or specific ways in which they talk to you that make you feel put down or treated like a child, it would be good for you to lovingly communicate that to them. One of the ways that can be easiest for them to receive that kind of communication is via a written note. That gives you a chance to pray about how you want to say it and word it tactfully, and it gives them a chance to think and pray about it and see if there's some way that they could change or say things differently. They'll probably appreciate your help in knowing how to communicate with you and with young people in general. Even if there's no other way that they can say that certain thing or change in that instance that bothered you, the communication always helps, and you're usually able to come to a better understanding of one another through it, if you go about it wisely and humbly.

232. Having good communication with those who are older than you, and who are doing their best to live for Me, can only be good for you—never bad. So it's to your benefit to do whatever you can to strive for this goal.

233. If you truly desire to have good com­munication with those of the other generation, here are some key points to keep in mind:

234. Admit to yourself that there are a lot of things that the older folks have had more experience with than you have.

235. Maintain a humble spirit and don't allow your pride to get in the way and stop you from listening and talking with your parents or others of the older generation.

236. Keep your mind and heart open to them and to what they have to say.

237. Be patient with them and do your best to avoid labeling them or their points of view.

238. Remember that in communicating how you say something is almost as important as what you say. So it's import­ant to be gentle and considerate in expressing yourself if you hope to get the desired results.

239. If you do these things, then I'll be able to bless you and to pour the oil of My Spirit upon your communications with them in ways that will both surprise you and bring you many benefits.

240. Ask Me to help you by giving you the love, faith‚ patience‚ yieldedness and humility that you need, and I promise to help make your dealings and communications with the older generation a blessing for you in every way. (End of message from Jesus)

Giving Correction to an FGA

—How To Do It Tactfully

And Maturely

241. (Mama:) There are plenty of ­situations where you young people are responsible for a project or area of responsibility‚ and there are times when you're responsible to oversee those of the first generation, and even at times mete out correction or give instruction. There are also situations when you get a check that some­thing's not right, and in those cases the Lord expects you to speak up, as your brother's keeper, even if you're not the one in charge, so to speak.

242. It's very important that you learn to handle those types of situations wisely and prayerfully. If you put yourself in the shoes of the FGAs, you'll understand that it's not easy to take correction from someone half your age, who, from the perspective of an FGA, doesn't have nearly as much experience in many areas. Our FGAs do very well, for the most part, which shows maturity and humility on their part, God bless them.

243. We asked the Lord for some tips for you young people who are learning to handle these types of situations, about how you can maturely and lovingly mention things to the FGAs when you notice something that isn't right or according to the Word—how you can do it in a way that makes it as easy as possible for an FGA to be corrected by someone much younger than themselves.

244. (Jesus speaking: ) Love, humility, and prayer—and communication—solve all problems. The reason many FGAs have a hard time receiving correction from those younger than them is because of their pride, but there are many things that you can do to make correction easier to accept.

245. First, if you come across with a cocky, know-it-all attitude, that's a sure turnoff. That'll just put them off and they'll hardly even hear the rest of what you're saying. So to start with, come to Me and ask Me for a spirit of desperation and humility. Ask that this correction would hurt you to give it, rather than help you "put so-and-so in their place." If you feel like they really deserve to be corrected or that you're happy you get to tell them, it's the wrong time to approach someone. You'd better stop and pray for Me to change that attitude first before you even mention anything to that person.

246. Secondly, ask Me exactly what to say. You can always get My advice on something like this. If it's just a little thing, all you have to do is stop for one or two minutes before you go and talk to the person, and ask Me how you should present something. If it's a bigger deal, you should take even more time to hear from Me and get all the details and specifics that I can give you. I'm more than able to give you the right words and the humility you need to correctly present the problem and correct the situation.

247. Next, pray about the timing. Correcting someone at the end of the day when they're tired or worn out from a long day with the kids or on outreach is a bad time, because they're physically drained and this makes it difficult for their spirit to be open to what I want to show them. It also means they may go to bed on a negative note, giving them bad sleep or a difficult night. So be sure to ask Me what the best time is to approach someone, and be considerate of their physical needs as well. Remember that just because you feel young and energetic doesn't mean that they do too. Their bodies are tired and need more rest and care than yours, since you're young. Bearing this in mind will help you to be more considerate of their needs and it'll help greatly.

248. The spirit of humility is the best way to approach someone—be they FGA, SGA, or child. It really doesn't matter what age they are, if you come in all proud and like "I've really got things going here and you don't know anything," then it's going to go wrong from the first word. Instead, humbly bring out your point and say, "I know I'm probably guilty of much more, and I hesitate to tell you this because you've been doing such a good job," or "You're such a big blessing in the Home that I really don't want to have to tell you this, but I know that it's what the Lord is asking of me—that's the only reason I'm telling you this. I'm not any better and I've got tons of mistakes myself. I probably drive you crazy with all my quirks. Thanks for being willing to put up with me."

249. You can even get a prophecy to present them with before you actually bring out your point—a prophecy of encouragement or com­mend­­ation for how well they're doing, or what a big help they are in the Home with the kids or in the kitchen or whatever their ministry is. This will help to set the stage and help remind them that I love them and I'm proud of them, and the only reason I'm giving them this little bit of correction is because I want them to be able to do even better and be happier. I'm doing it in love‚ and you should too.

250. Then there's respect. Remember that even though you might be the Home shepherd‚ the deacon of some ministry‚ or the overseer of whatever area has been entrusted into your care, they're older and have lived much longer and have gathered a large amount of experience that you haven't. You should respect them for that, as well as for the years they've spent serving Me. You should remember that even though I've sent you to deliver this correction, it doesn't in any way discount the many, many things that they've done for Me—the years they've ­invested in My service‚ the sacrifices they've made, all the things they've had to give up in order to do My will. Remember that and remember your place, but don't let that stop you from delivering the message that I've asked you to give them.

251. I used many young people in times of old. Look at Jeremiah, Daniel, David, Timothy and others. But remember that they also respected their peers and their elders. I gave them much counsel in My Word on how to present My will in a way that would not be condescending or hurtful. Bear that counsel and their examples in mind when you go to correct someone. The spirit of humility and meekness is the key. Nothing will work better, I can assure you.

252. And be sure to tell the person, young or old, how much you appreciate them personally—what they mean to you, how you respect them for all they've been through, how they've offered good advice in meetings, etc. Remember that they've probably helped you in a tight spot, and you should tell them how you appreciate it. When they feel that you love them and that they're important to you‚ it'll be much easier to accept the correction that you have to give them. (End of message from Jesus)

Learning to Accommodate


253. (Mama: ) This next message is a very good one about learning to accept the needs of the other generation and work to meet those needs. It's directed to you young people, but there are very good tips for those of the first generation as well.

254. (Jesus speaking:) It's so difficult to walk a mile in the other generation's shoes. It's hard work, but it's not impossible! If you want the FGAs to see your perspective, it's important for you to remember that you have to actively show that you're trying to see their perspective.

255. FGAs and SGAs have different needs, and what one generation sees as an essential need might seem like nothing more than foolishness or frivolity to the other generation. So when you discuss things, and the issue at hand is going to interfere with the supply of one or the other's needs—whether it's the FGAs' need for tranquility and quiet or the SGAs' need for frequent excitement, change and activity—it's better to avoid trying to prove that one is right and the other is wrong. Rather, approach it from the viewpoint of, "We really feel we need this, but we understand that you have needs too, and we sincerely want to try to accommodate those needs."

256. The very best thing to do, even before you enter into a discussion that you know could get difficult, is to come to Me. Or, if something's already come up and you've discussed it but have reached a stalemate‚ stop your conversation and gently suggest that you each take the problem to the Lord. Then I will help you to understand the needs and the perspective of the other generation and soften your heart, as you realize that their needs don't have to threaten your needs, but that I have the solution for every­thing.

257. I long to give understanding to you, My young people. It's important to realize that My first generation are generally very hard workers, that they've raised large families and are used to putting their personal desires on the back burner. They're used to sacrifice. It's important that you remind yourself of their dedication and loyalty to Me and to the Family, and remember that I wish for you to seek to emulate these characteristics. At the same time, cultivating a respect and admiration for how much they've given will help you to be more forgiving of the particular characteristics that sometimes come with growing older. They might seem to you to have a little less patience than they should sometimes, or to be picky about trivial things, or to be particular about wanting things to be a certain way.

258. I promise that if your priorities are in the right place, if you desire to please Me and to serve Me above all, and your personal desires don't take first place in your heart and mind, then I can be the bridge between you and the first generation. I can fill in those spaces, those places where it seems impossible for the one to understand the other.

259. I promise that if you're as the goat on the path who laid down for the other goat to pass over, then I will work things out. If you listen openly to what the first generation members have to say and then actively seek to accommodate their needs—whatever it is that they need to be happy—then I will bless you. I will touch their hearts, and as you hear from Me, I will show both of you the perfect balance. For you're all My brides, and I wish to fill all your needs. I don't have to rob Peter to pay Paul. I always have a compromise solution for you both. Each party may have to give a little, sacrifice a little, but these acts of love are what will bring you closer together.

260. If the issue is difficult‚ don't just engage in a battle of wills, talking until the less stubborn party backs down in resignation. This will not encourage unity. Rather, when you have a difficult topic‚ ask Me to explain the needs of both sides‚ how I see the situation, and what My solution is. There are times when I will show you that the issue is not such a big deal‚ and that you can maneuver around the obstacles. At other times I will bring things more clearly into focus and give you My solutions.

261. In order to begin to trust each other, you first have to learn to trust Me. I have your best interests at heart. I understand your needs, and I will fill them in My perfect time.

262. It's the nature of youth to be selfish and self-centered—not just your generation, but every generation—and if you, My precious young people‚ can remember this, it will help you to check yourselves. Ask yourselves questions. "This will make us young people happy, but are we doing our best to make sure each of the older generation doesn't feel left out or forgotten or overlooked?" "Are we caring for our brothers and sisters, regardless of age, as Jesus would want us to?"

263. Adults don't actually ask for much. You'd be surprised. When you show them that you love them and that you're trying to understand them, and that you respect that they have legitimate needs, just as you have‚ and you give those needs as much importance as you give your own, you'll be surprised how accommodating the first generation can be.

264. They just want to be loved and respected. They don't want you to despise them for being different, and when you give them a little deference and a little consideration‚ be assured that you'll be showing them My love.

265. They not only have unique needs, but they have unique battles too. It's scary to get older, to begin having more health problems, to have to be more careful not to break bones or pull muscles. It's discouraging to lose that youthful look, or to feel that no longer do people look at you and appreciate you like they once did. It's lonesome sometimes, because children grow up and leave home, or mates separate or leave the Family, or their parents and relatives begin to die.

266. Remember, My wonderful young people, that you are also aging. I know you don't like to think of it‚ but let it remind you to treat others as you would like to be treated. Let Me make your hearts tender toward your co-workers. Let Me give you a look into their hearts, to see those twinges of awkward­ness or embarrass­ment, those silent tears in the night, or those worri­some thoughts.

267. You are young and beautiful and strong and energetic, and now as you rise up to take your place in the ranks, My veteran soldiers need to know that you love them despite the fact that they don't have quite as much energy as you. They need to know that you respect the years they've put in as a soldier in My army. They need to know that you still consider them an active part of My army as well, for they are. It's not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit.

268. As people get older, they often develop certain needs or habits that may seem odd or even overly particular to others. Some things are simply unavoidable needs, like the need for quiet, or the need for certain comforts due to ill health. Just regard those habits and those needs as opportunities to show the first generation the love and respect I would have you show them. Assume that each one has special needs, and ask them what those needs are, so that you can help to show the love I would show these ones who have given so many years of their lives to Me.

269. Then be assured that as you pour out, I and the first generation will pour in. As you fill their needs and see that they're comfortable in body and spirit, I'll inspire them to do what they can to fill your needs. Does that sound like a good exchange? It's like the vision of the dining table where each one was feeding the other with long spoons. If you try to attend to your own needs, you'll just make a mess. But as you tend to the needs of others so they will be happy, they will have their love cups filled and will be better equipped to tend to and accommodate your needs. (End of message from Jesus.)


270. (Mama:) And here's a little homework from our Heavenly Teacher.

271. (Jesus speaking:) Now I want you to do a little exercise to help these various points that were covered in this GN sink in. You can decide as a Home how you want to do it. Each person individually could make a list of what they would like to change in as a result of this GN, which could be a list of four or five specific things, like "Wait until someone is finished speaking to me before interrupting or presenting the other side," or "Share my heart more about personal things and be more honest with the young people in my Home." You could post those lists, or you could exchange them with someone of the opposite generation to be prayer partners for each other, or you could read them unitedly and have prayer, and then each person could attempt to work through one point on their list each week.

272. Make a conscious effort to put into practice the first one or two principles on your list. Then, once you've found that you're using those more frequently and with greater ease, go on to one or two more. It's not going to be an overnight transformation, but if you're sincere about making the changes needed and you work toward that goal, I will reward you with steady progress, and before long you will have improved your communications and interaction with those of the other generation tremendously!

273. Or your Home could do it as a united activity. You could make a list of things that the FGAs can work on and a list of things that the young people can work on. Keep the lists fairly short, and equal in length—maybe 5-10 points each. Those lists can then be posted, and each week you can choose one or two to work on and make those your united push for that week. If you're really going to make it work‚ you'll need to remind each other of those points during the week or when things come up‚ pray for them when you have devotions together, put up little signs‚ and even have a little committee that comes up with ways to remind people and make it fun, a united push!

274. If you do this, you will see tremendous progress! You could even choose a quote about communication to post around in the bathrooms‚ or memorize one together. You could read up on communication for one morning a week during your devotions time together.

275. Another idea is to ask questions of the other generation. You could do this either as a group, in a cozy setting all together, or you could do it one on one or in smaller groups. Here are a few questions you could ask each other‚ to help get things going.

276. What do you appreciate most in a conversation? Or, what do you consider are the qualities of a good conversation? (For example‚ that the person looks at me, that they wait till I've finished talking before giving their side‚ that they acknowledge that they may be wrong, that we finish the topic we're talking about, etc.)

277. What can I do to make it easier for you to communicate with me?

278. Are there times when I'm intimi­dating or come across like I think my plan is best, no matter what others have to say? (Note: This might best be discussed one on one, in as loving a manner as possible.)

279. Tell me one of the main things that I do that bothers you. (Hot tip: Begin by telling the person one of the main things that you appreciate about them personally before answering this question.)

280. If you want people to be honest with you, pray that you will be able to listen to the answers to these questions without being defensive or getting upset or trying to point the finger. Ask Me for a miracle! Ask Me to help you listen, and then, with a smile‚ respond, "Please tell me more! Thank you so much for being honest with me."

281. Remember that even if what the person says is very different from how you feel, that's the way you come across to them. That's why it's so good to know how other people perceive your words and actions—because ­often it's very different than the way you intend for things to come across. After you've heard what someone else thinks, then you can humbly explain how you feel or what your intention was in doing or saying a certain thing. That will help you both to understand each other better, and it will help you to have a clearer picture of what it looks like to someone else when you do or say a certain thing.

282. Being able to take honest opinions or communication, even when it feels like criticism, without getting sensitive or trying to "get back" at the other person with a cutting remark, is a key to good communication. I can help you, if you really desire My help!

283. Try these homework assignments, and then go on to ask Me for more that you can do to strengthen your particular Home and relation­ships. Whatever you do, don't let this opportunity for growth pass you by! Become a better communicator! It's one of the most valuable things you can learn, and it's a skill that you're going to be using for all eternity! So get with it! Amen? (End of message from Jesus.)

Quotes in boxes throughout:

Developing communication skills and learning to be a better communicator is something you'll be doing for the rest of your life, both here and throughout eternity.

Being open and willing to learn is one of the top tips to becoming a good communicator!

If you look at each exchange with someone else as an opportunity to gain valuable insight or information, instead of just a way to get your point across, others will feel comfortable communicating with you.

There's so much to be shared between individuals, young and old, that will never be shared until one of you opens up and begins to let your worlds merge by communicating.

(End of file.)