KEYWORDS: lord, time, love, things, people, others

Shooting Straight, Part 5--Letter Links: Accomplishments and Work Are Not How the Lord Judges Success

August 9, 2004

(ML #3503, GN 1091)

FD/MM/FM July 2004

The Greatest of These Is Love

ML #1371:10-14, DB 1

10. GOD ONLY USES MELTED OR BROKEN PEOPLE, BROKEN LIVES, BROKEN HEARTS‚ BECAUSE ONLY A MELTED OR BROKEN HEART GIVES YOU LOVE & COMPASSION FOR OTHERS! Only yieldedness can give you humility. Unless God is able to melt or break your spirit, you can never be useful to the Lord! If you have a proud & a haughty spirit, a selfish spirit, a spirit which is unyielding & unbending & unsurrendered‚ you can never be used by the Lord!—But He does use hearts melted in love

11. IF YOU SHOW A REAL LOVE FOR PEOPLE‚ YOU WON'T HAVE A HARD TIME WINNING FRIENDS with real love, winning the lost who need love! Love begets love! And did you know that Wisdom is Love?—Because God is Wisdom, but He's also Love! And what is the greatest commandment?—To love God! What is the next greatest?—To love thy neighbor as thyself! He said that's like unto the first one. (Mt.22:37-39)

12. "AND THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE!" (1Co.13:13) Love was above all the gifts outlined in 1Co.13, greater than any gift—because God is Love! If the baptism of the Holy Spirit is anything, it is a baptism of love! It doesn't matter whether you "speak with the tongues of men & angels, if you have not love, you become as sounding brass & a tinkling cymbal." (1Co.13.1) "Though you understand all mysteries & all prophecies & have faith to remove mountains, if you don't have love you're nothing!" (1Co.13:2)

13. "AND THOUGH YOU HAVE A GREAT SPIRIT OF SACRIFICE"—you have forsaken all to follow Jesus—"& have not love‚ it profiteth you nothing!" (1Co.13:3) If you did it in vain glory, self-glory, to brag about it, & you didn't do it because you love lost souls & want to see'm won to Christ, it profits you nothing!

14. "ABOVE ALL‚ HAVE FERVENT LOVE ONE TOWARD ANOTHER!" (1Pe.4:8) "Love one another!" (Jn.15:12) In Jesus' last message to His disciples at the Last Supper, what did He tell'm? He talked about Love, that Love was the most important thing! (See Jn.13:1-17.) So have love! PTL! TYJ! ILY!—Do you?

Lessons of Love

ML #2975, Lifelines 22

1. (Mama:) After Dad went to be with the Lord I threw myself wholeheartedly into my work, more than ever before. With Dad gone, I had nobody to be responsible for‚ nothing else to do but work. My teamwork left to attend Summit '95 and were gone for about two months, so I had a lot of time to myself to both work and pray. I was very satisfied with all the hours I was able to put into doing both.

2. I worked almost from the time I woke up until the time I went to bed. I listened to work tapes during my get-out as I exercised in my room. I worked during my meals, which I ate privately since I'm on a different schedule from the Home and because I need to stay in a darkened room due to my eyes being so sensitive to light. I counseled only briefly during the day with Gabe, who is responsible to shepherd the staff in our Home‚ and the rest of the time was taken up by my work, and of course prayer.

3. I was having a wonderful time in fellowship with the Lord and with Dad in the spirit, and with those who I heard from via reports and letters. I was just having a great time and I was loving it. I was almost proud of myself for being able to get so much accomplished, although I probably wouldn't have expressed it quite that way!—Ha!

4. Then the time for my teamworkers to return was drawing near. There was a newer member of our staff, Matthew, who had been helping with some of the paperwork while they were gone and with whom I had been communicating instructions via tape, and occasionally by intercom. I had tried to dictate any work notes on tape as much as possible because I knew that communications via the intercom would require lengthier discussions covering more than just the bare bones of the matter. I would have to spend more time instructing him and discussing situations if I used the intercom, and I was determined not to be distracted from my work by people in our Home, or sidetracked into anything but what I had to do for you, the worldwide Family. I was streamlining my work and making sure things ran efficiently and that everything was moving along as quickly as possible.

5. However‚ the Lord started to get through to me that even though I might not consider it the best use of my time, any time I could spend talking to Matthew would be very important to him. So I relented a bit and decided that it wouldn't take that much more time to talk to him on the intercom. I figured that even though it would take more of my time, it would mean the secretaries wouldn't have to type everything that I wanted to say to him, so collectively it would take about the same amount of time. Plus, if it was going to help train him, then that was what I should do.

6. So I began talking with him more extensively by intercom for a few days. A week before my teamworkers were to arrive home, the Lord spoke even more strongly to me. He said, "Here you have this man on your staff that you've never had any in-depth personal contact with, who doesn't really know you personally and who you don't know. This is your last chance to give him any concentrated face-to-face training, to talk to him and to teach him and to hear from him, because when your teamworkers get home from the Summit, there will be many other demands on your time."

7. My, oh my, what a fuss I put up! I said, "Lord, I have too much to do! I do not want to get involved with any shepherding or training. What I'm doing in communicating with the WS units and the worldwide Family is far more important than taking hours of my very precious time to pour into this individual. Please, Lord, You know how much I have to do and how little time I have to do it in, and how physically weak I am and how big my workload is and how it takes all of my time and strength. So please don't make me get sidetracked."

8. I felt very strongly about it, as though if I opened the door for this personal contact I was going to really get off the track and be quite distracted and diverted from my main job. Not only would time spent with Matthew take time away from my other work‚ but it could possibly lead to an emotional link, which could easily lead to sexual feelings, and to act on those feelings would take even more time and could distract me from other matters.

9. I kept telling the Lord, "You know I'm trying to do Your work and I think it's very important that I stick to it, because‚ for one, I don't have the time, and number two, I can't balance both. When I do get into talking with people and fellowshipping with them, I like it, and it's too much of a distraction for me because it's easier than having to work on all these difficult written communications. My pubs work is quite hard for me and demands concentration and really getting ahold of You. So if I open the door for involvement with people and taking time with them‚ it's going to really unbalance me."

10. I argued with the Lord, "Look what happened in Tenerife when we were FFing—our ministry to the entire world suffered." It's just too hard to pour into people and try to come back to your paperwork and do it also. People are more of a pull and they're more enjoyable to be with. You get more personal satisfaction, more immediate gratification from people. You can see the reward for your labors much more quickly by their positive reaction than you can when you're communicating by mail. So it's very easy to get tripped off into this personal people ministry and to neglect the "paperwork," or "long distance ministry."

11. I was very concerned that this was perhaps the Enemy's way of getting me distracted, even though, on the other hand, I did see the advantages of taking this time to pour into Matthew, and I saw the obvious need. Nevertheless, I wavered and felt that maybe it wasn't the Lord, after all, who was trying to lay this burden on my heart. Maybe it was a trip-off of the Enemy to distract me and take up my time and even open the door to spending more personal time with everyone else in my Home to the neglect of you, the worldwide Family. I didn't see how the Lord could possibly want me to neglect you folks on the field‚ thousands of you, just to tune in to one staff member.

Personal Time with Matthew

12. However, after much personal prayer, and also counseling with Gabe, our staff shepherd, I came to the conclusion that it was definitely the Lord's will. So I very reluctantly invited Matthew to my room for some discussion. During my first two sessions with him I gave him a prolonged lecture on how important my worldwide work was and how I was spending this time training him at great sacrifice to the worldwide work. I virtually told him that he was distracting me from the Lord's work, and in a very obvious way told him that I was afraid it could result in the Devil's trip–off for me. I pointed out that the hours that I was now prepared to spend with him were very precious and he should regard this time very highly; that I was going to do it because I thought it was necessary, but that I was very concerned about sacrificing my time.

13. Furthermore, I told him in no uncertain terms, "I do not want to get at all involved emotionally, because that is one of the worst trip-offs and dangers. So please help me by keeping your mind on the spiritual. Keep your heart with all diligence and behave yourself, and help me to be good as well. We are only going to have a week of this and then we're done. Once my teamwork returns I am not going to be able to spend any more time with you after that. This is my last chance."

14. I prayed desperately, both privately and together with him, that we could fully redeem the time and get the spiritual lessons that the Lord wanted us to, and not get sidetracked any further than I was already doing just by having to spend the time with him.

15. The worst thing about all of this was that I didn't even realize how arrogant I was being by so strongly implying that everything else was much more important than he was, and by definitely insinuating that he might be a tool of the Enemy to get me tripped off! I sounded so sure of myself and so certain of the Lord's will‚ so "righteous." If he hadn't loved me so much and so greatly appreciated the time I was spending with him, my attitude could have made him feel quite "small," and rather belittled and demeaned. Yet here I thought I was being so loving just to let him avail himself of my very important time. In fact, while I talked to him I even "condescended" to hold his hand.

16. During the next few days I tried to be very loving and warm. The things I was saying to him were quite blunt and I wanted to soften the blow. I tried to be extremely open about my own weaknesses and frailties. As a result of the open and honest exchange, the physical contact of holding hands, the evening sessions in my dimly lit office/bedroom‚ and considering the fact that Matthew had been in the Family for years and had always loved me as his queen, plus the fact that the Lord was trying to get me to really put my heart into this training, I experienced the emotional distraction that I had so feared and had fought and prayed so much against.

17. At first I felt very guilty about it and I couldn't see how the Lord could have let this happen when I had been so desperate to not allow it. Finally the Lord got through to me and said, "Just relax, don't be fearful. It's part of the job. It's the price you must pay for love, and what you are feeling is My love that you must give him from Me."

18. I remembered in FFing so often I had felt the strong emotional feelings of love which the Lord used to give me the burden for the individuals. The Lord spoke to me and said, "You're My love to him. Don't withhold it. I want to reward his faith and love for Me."

Learning to Practice What I'd Preached!

19. During that week I began to see that this time had been much more for the purpose of teaching me lessons than even for training someone else. The Lord started zeroing in on me and exposing some places where I was not on target in my thinking. Finally He managed to convince me that this all-encompassing involvement with my worldwide work needed to be stopped long enough to get involved with a real live person, to do some "hands on" shepherding.—Pardon the pun.

20. In other words, the Lord showed me that I needed to get myself out of the "laboratory" for awhile, and start living His love. He wanted me to not only preach it, but to practice it. The worldwide work is very important, but how can I preach love to others unless I practice it myself? Now He was providing an opportunity even in my tiny confined situation to come in contact with a real live person and have to put into practice everything that I had been preaching to the Family. He was trying to teach me that even though there are thousands of you on the field who need me, if there is one "in my hand" that needs help‚ I must let you "nine thousand, nine hundred ninety-nine" wait and go to rescue the one whose bleating I can hear.

21. The whole Family everywhere may need help, but where does it start? It starts right where I can see the need, right where I am. If I don't love the brother who I have right here in front of me, how can I love you many brothers and sisters whom I cannot see?

22. The Lord spoke to me and said, "You're acting just like those who say, 'Please don't make me go witnessing, as I have too important a job. I sit behind my desk and do very important secretarial work and I can't take the time to go out looking for people to share God's love with.' Or 'I'm an important leader and very involved in this crucial administration, so please don't bother me with witnessing. There's too much at stake and I've got too much to do for the Family to keep it operating smoothly, so I can't be bothered by stopping to witness to someone.'"

23. The Lord showed me that if I had been one of those on the road to Jericho I probably would have let the poor man remain—naked, wounded and dying—until someone else came to help him, because I had too many important things to take care of. My attitude was, "After all, there were a lot of people waiting for me in Jericho that I had to communicate with, very important matters of state that I had to get involved with."

24. I was saying, "Please, Lord, don't upset my schedule and my plan that is working so well and so efficiently. I've got it all down now and I'm really making progress, so don't let me get behind, and please don't distract me with people and with emotions. I don't want to get personally involved in anybody's life and care about their heart or their feelings. I'd rather not think about them, and that way I don't have to be obligated. I don't even want to know about them, because then I'll have to do something about it. I'll have to comfort‚ I'll have to encourage, I'll have to care‚ and that takes too much time and effort. I far prefer to tell others how to do it, like I did in the Libby GN and the Single Moms Letter and the Teens Leaving Letter and quite a few others!"

Loving the Individual!

25. In addition to the Lord dealing with me about my wrong attitude, He had many other lessons to teach me in this short time. Because of the intensity of what He was teaching me, it seemed like a long time; however, a week was actually a very short time in which to pack so many lessons. In addition to showing me that He wanted me to stop my set schedule and take some time to be face-to-face with a real-life situation in order to learn in practice and not just in theory, the Lord also wanted to emphasize to me the importance of the individual and how the Lord wins hearts one by one.

26. He also wanted to show me that my attitude had not been right, and that even though my ministry to you, the worldwide Family, was extremely important, it was not so important that I could not stop and care for the individual. Dad never failed to do this. No matter how much paperwork he may have had, he was never too busy for us, his little family, his little Home‚ right where he was. He was never too busy to show love and affection, nor to witness, whether it was to us or to those he met while out. And from those "hands on" experiences, he was able to gain valuable lessons that he would in turn share with you, our worldwide Family.

27. In fact, most of what he shared with you came from his personal experiences with us and those around us. He virtually was willing to set aside the whole worldwide work to have us share love with some total strangers, and cease his whole ministry as a shepherd to the Family in order to spend hour after hour talking to and loving little "nobody" waiters in clubs and hotels in Tenerife.

28. Through the many years that Dad was with us, he would always put the individual first. If someone had problems in our Home he would get involved, and from that involvement usually came a wonderful lesson that could be passed on to everyone.

29. Dad's training of you through the Letters came mostly from personal experience‚ his personal involvement, not from theory. His personal involvement came first, and from that involvement came the wonderful lessons he shared. Only because of his personal involvement was the Word so powerful. Because he put love first, we have been able to share the lessons he learned.

30. So those many hours sitting around, talking, fellowshipping and sharing and loving in Tenerife were to be the experiences that made the Family the unique movement that it is today. Those hours spent truly caring for the individual in showing them God's love‚ those many hours which sometimes seemed fruitless and such a waste of time in comparison to the thousands of Family members waiting to hear from us and waiting to be ministered to—those were the hours that resulted in souls eternally won, as well as far-reaching repercussions for the Family and for the world. These experiences and lessons catapulted us to worldwide fame and enabled us to preach God's message of the freedom in love which He has given us.

Not a Servant, but a Friend!

31. There were a lot of lessons I learned that week—mostly things about myself that I didn't like, things that showed me how far short of the mark I was falling. I thought I had been doing pretty well in the love department. After all, hadn't I been admonishing the entire Family that they needed to have love and telling them how to show it? The Lord showed me that I didn't know as much as I thought I knew, and that I didn't love as much as I thought I loved, and that I wasn't as righteous as I thought I was, and that I wasn't as humble as I thought I was!—Ha! I got so exposed that week just by being put in a situation where I had to interact with someone else, where I had to shepherd them and teach them and be confronted by their problems. What it did was to show up mine!

32. While I was preaching at dear Matthew about some of his weaknesses, the Lord began to remind me of my own. There is nothing wrong with correcting someone, but when you forget your own shortcomings and have gotten to feeling that you are better than others, you can get pretty hard in the spirit and your standard can be your own standard and not God's standard. Or when you are going against the Lord's will, you can get pretty self-righteous without realizing it. I was going down that road, but fortunately I was praying desperately for the Lord's guidance and He was able to finally get through to me. While I was praying, I heard Dad say: "Don't put the doorknob too high, my love!—Don't put it higher than the Lord does! I didn't do it with you‚ don't you be that way with others!"

33. Also I became aware that, for all my honesty and sharing my weaknesses, in the back of my mind I had a rather condescending attitude toward Matthew. The Lord gave me a verse which I thought He gave to show Matthew how sweet the Lord was being to him in giving him this time with me.—Ha! The Lord said, "I have not called you a servant, but a friend!" Afterwards I realized that this was also an admonition to me, that the Lord was trying to instruct me on how I should look at Matthew—not as a servant‚ or as an inferior, but as a friend! I was not superior, just because I was his superior, his over-shepherd.

34. I thought that simply by my communicating so honestly and openly that I was fulfilling the Scripture the Lord had given. I thought that I was treating Matthew as a friend. However, in the back of my mind I was still very much the superior teacher with the inferior student who didn't know anything and had to be trained.

35. As I pondered these things, I realized that what the Lord was saying was that if He had not called me a servant but He had called me His friend—which was what He was saying to me—the obvious implication was that I was to look upon Matthew as a friend, not just someone who was working for me. If Jesus would actually stoop to call me His friend, there was absolutely no excuse for me to do otherwise with those who lived with me and loved me. The Lord was virtually saying, "Take Matthew into your fellowship and stop this condescending, supercilious attitude."

36. As so often is the case, I didn't realize that this attitude was in my heart until the Lord brought it to light. I had interpreted that verse entirely differently. I was exuding a superiority in the spirit, a self–righteous, condescending attitude, and the Lord started showing me by putting into my heart a prayer for Matthew: "Help me not to hurt him." I didn't think I was hurting him, but I had a check in the spirit that made me pray about what the Lord wanted to show me.

The Danger of "Labeling"!

37. The Lord not only dealt with me about my self-righteousness but also about some of my judgments of people that were not righteous judgments. They were not righteous, because I had not gotten down to business and asked the Lord about them, but instead had based them on things that I had heard about Matthew in the past. In spite of the fact that Matthew obviously had come a long way, still, in the back of my mind, some of those past sins had followed him and my attitude toward him was a little "tainted" by my remembrance of what had been problems in the past.

38. He had a reputation for being a bit over-indulgent in the things of the flesh. But just because a person likes the comforts of the flesh and has strong fleshly appetites does not necessarily mean he is not spiritual. Look at the way the Lord made Dad. He very much enjoyed the sensations of the flesh, but he kept the spiritual things in first place. The Lord just doesn't want us to put more emphasis on the physical things than we should, at the expense of the spiritual. Thinking that to be spiritual precludes the idea of any kind of fleshly appetites is a doctrine of devils emanating from the Devil via the church system.

39. So that was another reason why I saw that the Lord had to stop me and make me have personal contact with Matthew, so that I could see what he was really like. Even then I had to desperately ask the Lord to show me how I was supposed to look at him, how I was supposed to see him. Should I judge on what I heard him saying‚ which was very precious and showed depth and dedication? Should I judge him on some of the weaknesses that I knew he had in his daily life? Should I judge him on his past record and reputation?

40. It was a dilemma for me because some of his present weaknesses seemed to be connected with the problems he'd had in the past. But what I heard him saying seemed to override those small slip-ups in the daily course of events. What he said showed depth and conviction and loyalty and love for Jesus and for others. And getting to know him helped me to see this whole other side, which I wasn't aware of before.

41. For example, I had heard from Gabe that Matthew sometimes said things to others which were a bit unloving. In getting to know Matthew better‚ I realize that the reason for this is not that Matthew is unloving, it's just that he needs to learn more about how to practically apply love in his daily interactions with others. People can have a loving heart and a love for people, as does Matthew, but it doesn't always translate into their day-to–day actions.

42. Some people need help learning how to put their love into action. They need to realize that when they talk to people or ask them to do things, that they can either do so in a way that is curt or blunt, or in a way that is loving. Two people can ask someone the same question, but one can make the person feel bad about it and the other can make the person feel happy. So in Matthew's case I discovered that he does love people, he just needs help in his practical application of love.

43. I became quite desperate to know how I was supposed to see him. I wanted to know what the Lord thought of him. It seemed too confusing for me to try to figure out. The Lord was giving me checks that in the back of my mind I was tipping the scale on the negative side. Because I had already made a subconscious judgment of him‚ what we commonly call "labeling," I got very desperate to know what my attitude should be. I said, "Lord, You've got to help me to see what the truth is. I can't teach or instruct him unless I really know where he stands, so I can help him in what he needs." I said, "Please give me something. Please give me a verse or just something to help me to know."

44. The Lord answered me in a little prophecy which was one of the few that I have gotten. The first thing He said was, "This My son has seen the light and the error of his ways." In other words, he had seen where he had been wrong in the past, and he had repented. The Lord went on to issue a rebuke to me: "Beware that thou call not unclean what I have cleansed; call not sinful that which I have made holy."

45. I would venture to say that when we label people with a certain problem, more often than not, we still think of them in this way long after they have gotten great victories and have been delivered from the problems. Christ, by His cleansing, has made them a new creature‚ but we are still calling them "unclean." It's very easy to do if you have known them in the past, and then go your separate ways and don't partake with them in the succeeding changes that they have gone through. Or perhaps you live with them but don't take the time to hear their heart and look carefully at their progress. Needless to say, I was very convicted for misjudging this dear man. Not only had I misjudged him, but because of my misjudgment I had made statements to him that had hurt him, for which I needed to apologize.

46. The Lord drove home four very major points to me through this: 1. The hurtfulness of labeling. 2. The importance of not jumping to conclusions or blindly accepting what you hear, or even think you know about the past, either years in the past or a week in the past. 3. The importance of fully listening to the individual and finding out firsthand where he stands; how he sees things now, as well as the things he has gone through in the past. 4. Most important of all, the importance of asking the Lord what He thinks and how He sees the person.

47. My attitude was so far off that at one point I even questioned Matthew's spirituality and his strong faith. Whew! No wonder the Lord had to come out so strongly and give me such a strong rebuke, saying, "Beware, lest thou call him unclean whom I have cleansed."

48. All this sounds very bad!—And it was!—In the spirit! These things which had seemed small things to me and which I had not even realized, and which might seem small to others, were very big to the Lord. He knew that if I got off track‚ and if I did not give the right sound of the trumpet, it could be very serious. Judgment in the house of God had to begin with me.

49. However, in spite of all of this that the Lord was showing me, on the surface we were having a very good exchange and good communication and a very sweet time of fellowship as well. I don't believe that for the most part Matthew felt any bad "vibes" or would have thought of questioning my treatment of him, but it was my underlying attitude deep down inside that the Lord was dealing with and which He wanted to get straightened out. And the only way He could get it straightened out was to get me desperate to ask Him about it.

50. One of the most important things that a leader needs to do is to get the proper balance in things.—But how do we do it? Hearing from the person himself and hearing all sides of the story are both very good starters. However, these are not enough. The major way that we find the right balance and that we discern accurately is through asking the Lord and seeking Him desperately for the truth.

A Week of Lessons!

51. "Oh, the lessons I did learn the week my staff member sat with me!": Number one, the Lord wanted me to get back in touch with people‚ being confronted with real face-to-face shepherding. Number two, He wanted to straighten out my attitudes, and also to emphasize the importance to me of keeping in touch with the heart. Number three, the Lord was dealing with my lack of love. I was so into my service when He wanted my love. He wanted me to show love to Him by showing it to His loved one.

52. Number four, He wanted to work on my self-righteousness and my "high standard"—which wasn't the Lord's standard—thinking that everyone had to come up to where I thought they needed to be before they could pass the test. Dad so clearly spoke and said, "Don't put the doorknob too high, my love!"

53. Number five, it was wonderful practice in honesty, sharing my own heart and my own failings, and being willing to be humbled, which I finally realized that I needed.

54. Number six, it was a vitally important lesson for me to be reminded again of the importance of staying desperately close to the Lord and seeking His counsel in every situation. Every day I had to beseech the Lord for what should come next‚ and what lessons the Lord wanted us to learn next, and what He wanted me to see. I was lost without desperately crying out to the Lord to know His understanding of the situation.

55. Number seven, I saw firsthand the danger of "labeling" people and not seeing them as God sees them. Brethren, I fear that this has happened on innumerable occasions in the Family, on a greater magnitude than I even care to think of. We must cry out desperately to the Lord to forgive us for this misjudgment of people which discourages them and hurts them and has caused many of them to give up in despair and hopelessness. If we, their shepherds, don't understand them and we are looking down on them and misjudging them, it is a serious matter indeed. If we have no hope for them, how can they have hope for themselves? Or if we even question their dedication, how can they have confidence that the Lord can use them?

56. Matthew made me a little tape after one of our times together and he said, "Mama‚ I just want to share my heart to help you understand me." However, I heard the Lord paraphrasing this letter to me like this: "Mama, you've not understood me. You've misjudged me and you've hurt me because you haven't seen what was in my heart. Now please let me explain." Fortunately, before I got this taped letter the Lord had already been dealing with me and He had gotten through to me‚ but this was a sad confirmation of how I had failed because I had not previously asked the Lord for the answer.

57. Number eight‚ I again learned the importance of pouring oil on the wounds after a correction, by manifesting my love and forgiveness in a physical way. Many people feel devastated after corrections‚ even those corrections that are delivered very lovingly. Almost the only thing that can counteract the sting of those words is a loving touch, a hug, a kiss, something tangible that will almost never fail to reassure and make them feel secure. Something that says, "I forgive you and I still love you. It's not that big a deal, don't worry about it. It's all over and done with. Now you can go on and we'll forget it."

58. Number nine, the Lord was wanting me to realize that in correcting others, we must not lose sight of the fact that we ourselves are often guilty of the very same things, and if not of the same things, probably others much worse. While we have to correct people regardless of how bad we are ourselves, we must not forget that we are bad. That's the only way we can have compassion upon those we are correcting. If we feel we are so good and they are the bad ones, our attitude becomes very self-righteous and very critical, very unloving.

59. Number ten, I was reminded again that even though on the surface something that someone has done may seem very bad, we must make very sure we look at the circumstances. We must look at the person's motives. We must look at his heart and not judge just by the outward appearance of the act itself. When I prayed, the Lord showed me that some of Matthew's little problems were not matters of the heart and the spirit; instead, they were just wrong reactions from old habits. Years of independence in the System‚ having his own way and doing his own thing, wild rebelliousness and a very undisciplined life, followed by quite a few years of being a leader in the Family with little immediate supervision, was not the kind of influence that could easily be erased even after many years in the Family. The Catholics say, "Give me a child until he is seven and we'll have him forever." Well, in this case, the Devil had this man for many more years than that, but thank the Lord he couldn't keep him.

60. Nevertheless, his influence was quite strong, so that even after years with a clean heart and a renewed spirit and a strong love for the Lord and dedication to His work‚ these things showed up sometimes in the form of unguarded remarks and actions. My "trainee" is very yielded and very repentant when he makes these mistakes, and feels very bad about them. I had to assure him that it was not such a major thing after all, because it was not intentional and his motivation was not wrong, but it was a situation where those old ways of thinking and acting come out when not guarded by a prayerful spirit.

61. My beloved brethren, when we attempt to judge a person's sins we'd better look at their motives‚ look at their spirit, look at their love for the Lord and their dedication to His work, lest we judge them too harshly. Two people may make the same mistake; for one it may be very serious because of their attitude in heart and spirit, whereas for another it may just be a blunder of the mind and should not be dealt with so seriously.

62. That's why it helps to know a person, to be able to hear from them, to communicate with them, to know their background, to know what they've gone through over the years to get to the place where they are now. We can have much more love and sympathy for people when we see the many difficult experiences that they have been through, the tests that they have passed and the battles that they have won to get to the point where they are now.

63. Often all we see is the very long distance they have to go, but we fail to see the much greater distance that they have come already. This is what the Lord looks at, and we need to start looking at it too, if we are going to do things His way and see things with His eyes and love with His love.

64. Number 11, the Lord again confirmed to me the importance of prayer, of praying every step of the way. Not just asking for wisdom once, but asking for it repeatedly as every new factor came up. To be willing to change from moment to moment as the Lord leads. We cannot just adjust our balance button once, at the beginning‚ when we are starting our interaction with someone, but we have to be constantly readjusting it according to the need, constantly putting each new factor on the scales and weighing it individually.

65. Number 12, another reminder the Lord gave me was the importance of counsel‚ of teamwork. Each step of the way I counseled with Gabe, I talked and prayed with him about Matthew and my interaction with him. It helped to have a prayer partner and someone who could offer advice.

66. As you can see, what I had considered a "waste" of time and had fought so much against was one of the most valuable times that I could have had. While I thought I was stopping to "train" someone, the Lord was stopping to train me—or at least retrain me—and emphasize to me some very important points.

67. My, the mileage the Lord got out of that one week—and the many lessons He taught me! I don't know all that He taught my "trainee," but if it was half as much as He taught me‚ the Lord really got His money's worth! When He finally got through to me and was able to slow me down and virtually stop me‚ He was able to tell me things that He could not have told me any other way. He had to fight quite a battle with me to get me to yield, but thank the Lord I finally did, and as a result can share these important lessons with you, my precious ones.

68. As always, the most important lesson was love, that we must have His love for each other or we fail in the job He has given us to do. We fail Him, we fail others, and we fail ourselves. If we don't see things through the eyes of love, then we don't see them accurately, but only with distortions and misinterpretations. The only way we can have that love is to ask the Lord for His wisdom and His compassion. We must ask Him how He wants us to see things, how He sees that person. And only then can we be sure that we are seeing things clearly.

69. Through all of these lessons I've learned a great deal about myself and my failings. In sharing these with you‚ you can see that I have many lessons to learn!—You're not the only ones! Everyone fails sometimes, even your leaders‚ and sometimes we fail in much bigger ways than you do. This, however, should not make you bitter nor disillusioned, but instead should draw you closer to the Lord. He lets us fail sometimes so that you can see that only the Lord never fails.—That you can't pin your hopes on any human being, but that you can only be perfectly secure in the Lord.

Mama's New Year's Talk

ML #2986:38-99, Lifelines 22

Hindrances to Showing Love!

38. Tell me, what things hinder us from showing love to others? (Techi: Pride.) Thank you, Techi. Good for you, Honey. What else? (Fam: Being too busy.) Yes. (Fam: Worrying about what other people think of you.) Right. (Fam: Fear of failure—that you'll not do it the right way or when they need it.) That's good. Anything else?

39. (Fam: Not enough faith.) Not enough faith‚ okay—why? (Fam: You just feel like you don't have that much to give, it's not really going to be that important to others‚ so you don't have the faith that the Lord's love through you is enough.) That's right. (Fam: Having the wrong priorities or a lack of priorities.) Maybe that has to do with thinking you're too busy, right? (Fam: Sometimes thinking too much about yourself and not thinking enough about others.) Yes, selfishness and not tuning in to others or realizing they have needs. Very good. Anything else?

40. (Fam: Very similar to selfishness is being insensitive to someone else's need.) Yes, that's a form of selfishness.—Just being oblivious to the fact that there even is a need. (Fam: Also possibly past hang-ups or the way we were raised. Without the Lord it's not natural to be loving, it's natural to be unloving.) Yes. (Fam: Just downright laziness.) That's part of selfishness too. Anything else?

41. (Fam: One great enemy to showing love can be the passage of time and familiarity. When a new babe joins a Home or a new Home member comes, we go out of our way to show them a lot of love because they don't know you love them unless you show them. But as the years pass‚ you take it for granted that others know you love them.) That's true, it's an insensitivity—not tuning into people, not thinking it's important, and also not wanting to take the time.

42. (Fam: Sometimes you just have to learn how. I didn't know anything about love until I joined the Family, and I learned how to love in little practical ways through watching my shepherds and other people. I didn't even know how to hug anybody! Love manifested from the leadership works its way down to the bottom.) That's true.

43. (Fam: Jealousy is another factor. If you know someone's going to be jealous, then you back off from showing love to others, because you know it's going to make the other person jealous.) Right. What else? (Fam: This probably goes along with pride, but sometimes you get in a habit and you behave a certain way with people, and it's hard to change it even though you want to.) I think that's due to pride more than anything else. You want to do something, but your pride holds you back. Any others?

44. (Fam: If you're used to getting all the answers all the time, it could make you bossy and not as loving as you should be in your interactions with others.) Yes, like a type of self-righteousness.

45. (Fam: If you spend quiet time with the Lord, He puts love in your heart. But when you miss your quiet time and your Word time, then you don't have that same love.) Exactly. If you don't tune in to the Lord and if you are not in touch with Him, you become hardened and self-righteous, because then you're going by your standard instead of the Lord's standard. And our standard is not really a very loving one. That's why we need to keep in such close touch with the Lord‚ to keep us soft and on the right track and in tune with His Word and what He says about things.

46. We can very quickly forget what the Word says and forget the way the Lord wants us to be and get very hard and self-righteous and just go off on our own way, thinking we are right. That's the sad thing about it. If we are not constantly conscious of what the Lord's rightness is through abiding in the Word and prayer, we'll think we are right, and that's a counterfeit. And the Lord will allow us to be deceived by the Enemy into thinking we are doing the right thing.

47. Because we know the Word so well‚ we know more or less what the standard should be and we are trying to follow it, so we are not going to get too far off and we are going to be pretty much right in what we do. But if we're not exactly on course, we're not right. If we are not in constant touch with the Lord, constantly asking Him about things‚ then we just start to think more and more that our own way is the right way and we must be doing pretty well; and the Lord allows us to think that, and we become very hard and self-righteous. It's a natural consequence of not tuning in to Him and not taking enough time with Him.

48. Can you think of any other things that keep us from showing love to each other? (Fam: Could bitterness enter in?) Yes, and how would that be? (Fam: If you're bitter about something someone did to you and you haven't gotten over it, you probably won't make an effort to love that person.) Yes, because the love has to start with your repentance. You can't show them love in action until you start to love in your own heart through asking them to forgive you‚ and asking the Lord to forgive you, and getting rid of that barrier to love. And again, you've got to really keep in touch with the Lord for that. We've got to start first with our relationship with the Lord and base everything on that. Anybody else?

49. (Fam: If you're critical of someone, you've got to overcome that before you can actually show them love.) Yes, it's something in your own heart and you have to ask the Lord's forgiveness.—And if you've been vocal in your criticism of them‚ either to others or to them personally, you have to ask their forgiveness, too.—That is the start of showing them love. But it has to start there, because if you're trying to do all the right things but you don't have your heart straightened out, that's not good. And that reminds me of something else.

Affection Comes from the Heart!

50. I've written some Letters on the need for affection. I was especially burdened about it because I knew if it was a problem for me, it must be a problem for a lot of other people in the Family too. So I wrote those Letters and we published an FSM and a Christian Digest on it (see GN 552, FSM 241 and CD 10), and it was all very important and very good. I kept praying and trying to be more affectionate, but I never did get a complete victory. I never really got the spirit of it. I said, "Lord, I keep trying and I keep praying‚ but I just can't seem to practice what I preach. I need to preach it, there's no question about that. I know it's the right thing to do and a very big need, but why can't I put it into practice? I really want to, Lord."

51. The funny thing was, that a lot of times I just forgot! I told the Lord, "I've prayed about this and I shouldn't be forgetting all the time and not even realizing it or not even having it come to my mind. It's a terrible thing to have to admit." I just couldn't figure out what was wrong. Until finally I realized the other day that it was because I didn't really have my priorities right. Instead of my mind being focused on sharing love with others, it was too much concentrated on other things which I considered more important, my paperwork.

52. Affection is an outgrowth, a result of love in your heart that overflows and makes you want to look for ways that you can pour it on to others. But I needed to have a real change of heart in order to be reminded of what the Lord considered most important. It's like what you said about being critical—if you are critical of someone‚ it's very difficult to show them love. There's a barrier there and you've got to get the main problem taken care of first.

53. It's not just a matter of going through the motions. We can try to make it a habit, but it is really tough if it isn't in your heart. "Out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaketh" (Luk. 6:45), and out of the fullness of the heart your actions speak also. So we'd better start letting the Lord look at our hearts and work on what the problem has been. At the same time we can keep on trying to do it just because we know we're supposed to, because that's better than nothing; but in order to do it with all our hearts and to keep up the momentum, it's got to be in our hearts and not just an exterior thing.

The Importance of Showing Love in a Physical Way!

54. What would you say about me, Peter? Would you please describe me? (Peter: I would describe you as someone who is super dedicated to the Lord and His work‚ and who doesn't want anything to get in the way of that or hinder that.) Do you think I've been loving to everybody? (Peter: I think you've been loving.) Does everybody think I've been loving to them? (Fam: Yes!)

55. I said to one of you the other day, "I'm sorry I haven't been very loving." And you said, "You've been loving, Mama. You've been affectionate, you hug us and you give us kisses." So I'm not saying that I haven't been loving‚ because I agree, I have been loving and I've loved you. My spirit has been loving, my manner has been loving. I've been concerned for you and considerate of you, but I've lacked in giving you sufficient affection and taking enough personal time with you. I've hugged you when expected in our traditionally accepted manner, but certainly nowhere near the amount of affection I should have given you, or as warmly and lovingly.

56. Now, do you think that a frequent show of affection which comes from the heart is important? Be honest, please. (Everyone agrees that it's important.) All right, why is it important? (Fam: Because it's a physical sign of the Lord's love, and that physical love in action is reassuring.) (Peter: It's one important way of demonstrating your love, and it lets others know that you do love them; it reassures them and reinforces it. You can love people in many other ways‚ which you certainly have done‚ but physical affection, as you pointed out, is important too.)

57. (Fam: If you see somebody else being loving, it makes you feel good about them and it motivates you to want to be loving too.) Yes‚ that's right. (Fam: It makes the other person feel lovable if you give them love.) Right, that's good. This is very good! See, you can really help me and we can get a lot more things together than on our own.

58. So does everyone agree that I've been loving in my words and in my consideration of your feelings and your comfort, but without enough physical show of affection? (Everybody agreed.) (Fam: Perhaps it's like when I recently apologized to someone for not being more loving, and the person I was talking to replied, "I always thought of you as being very loving, but you're just not a gusher." A lot of it does have to do with your personality, and some people come by it easier than others; but that doesn't excuse those who don't come by it easily. You still have an obligation or responsibility to the Lord. And this may be stating the obvious, but if love is so important that it begets love and we'll be known that we are His disciples by love, then obviously the Enemy is going to fight it. I think sometimes we fail to recognize the Devil's devices in holding us back from expressing that love in a physical way.)

59. In saying you were just not a gusher, he was giving you the benefit of the doubt, probably because we usually think being a gusher is going over too far to one side. But which is better?—To not do anything, or to be a gusher? When it comes to affection, I'd say that generally speaking it's better to have too much than not enough.

60. We had to deal with that in FFing, and as you know, a lot of people went overboard and got sidetracked. But what if we hadn't had FFing? That was the thing the Lord used to make us the Family we are today! Some people did go overboard in their affection‚ but what would have been worse?—Not doing it at all or going overboard in it? Like Dad always said, if you are going to have any fire at all, you are probably going to have some wild fire. But we need the fire, so let's trust the Lord to deal with the wild fire.

Mama's Apology and Confession!

61. Okay, getting back to me: Obviously I've been loving in spirit to you, and the Lord has even said that and has held me up as an example of being a loving person.—Which I know is just because I've been so close to Dad and I've experienced it more and I understand it perhaps a little better than a lot of Family members. People have got to have a role model—somebody who is a little ahead of them‚ at least, that they can look up to. That doesn't mean I've by any means attained or that I'm that great, but at least I have a bit of a head start.

62. Why do we have teachers? We look up to the teachers even though in some cases they may not know too much more than we do. But because they know at least a little more, we can follow them and learn from them. So just because the Lord holds me up as an example‚ that doesn't mean that I am so advanced in spiritual principles and in my love for others that I'm so much further along than you are. But the Lord has to have someone in the flesh that people can look up to and follow. It was Dad before, and he was a superb example in every area. I fall very far short of that, but I'm thankful that the Lord has been able to get through to me to some extent and use me in certain ways to show others how to operate.

63. But sad to say, with you folks here that I work so closely with, I've failed very badly for quite a few years because I haven't been showing you enough love in a physical way. I'm not going to get condemned about it, but I do feel bad because I've been that way for a long time. Maybe it would be good to go into the reasons I've been that way, because going into the reasons helps us to learn from them.

64. We don't like to do too much analyzing and critiquing and introspection, but we have to do some because that is the way the Lord teaches us things. But as I've said before, then we have to get the point and go on and do what we are supposed to do and not get hung up with getting too into ourselves and too worried about what we didn't do.

65. So this primarily concerns all of you here. It's not the Family out there that has had to live with my lack of affection for so many years‚ so they don't really have a problem with that. I'm so thankful that Dad was a good sample and that you followed his sample more than mine. That's one reason I didn't worry too much about it, because the influence and impact of his show of affection on a daily basis was so strong. Most of you have been very affectionate toward each other. You've shown it and expressed it and you've followed Dad's very loving sample. So even though I knew I was sadly lacking, I was very thankful that you were getting a good sample from Dad. Maybe you were influenced adversely by me to a certain extent, and I'm very sorry for that, but I think for the most part because you had more contact with Dad and he had more contact with you, it rather restricted my bad influence along that line.

66. That was also one of my excuses for not spending more personal time with you: I thought, "Well, Dad spends time with everyone and gives everyone a lot of love, so I don't have to. He's showing the good example, so I can just stay in my room and do my work for the worldwide Family and not get involved." That wasn't the best solution, but it worked rather well until now, when Dad is no longer here.

67. My next excuse was, "Everybody here already has so much love and they feel loved and they've felt loved for years, so why do I have to stop my work? I'm too busy! My work is very important, and being with people takes too much time." It takes a lot of time, right? Does everybody agree? (Fam: Yes!) So I thought, "My work is so important and I have to make a choice between showing love to the people here versus the thousands out there that I need to show love to." I can't love the whole Family in the same way, of course‚ and it's not a question of giving them physical affection or of spending personal time with them in the flesh. But I felt that in loving you here that way I was taking away from the time I could be loving them through the Words.

68. If I had given you that explanation without making this apology first, you probably would have agreed and said‚ "Yes‚ we understand, and that's true." Wouldn't you have said that? Matthew did say that. I said, "Look, I feel like the time I spend with you is taking away from the time I should be spending with the worldwide Family. There are so many people out there that need me, I've got to keep going." And he said, "Yes‚ that's right." I had a very good argument—only it turned out to be my argument and not the Lord's.

69. So my first excuse was, "I don't have to, Dad is going to do it."—Laziness! Then my next excuse was, "I'm too busy! I have too many people out there to take care of, and the people here are already well taken care of. Some of our poor people out there are barely hanging on by the skin of their teeth, so how can I take time for the people here? After all, Gabe is a wonderful shepherd and he shows them lots of love‚ and everybody else is loving to everybody else, so why do I even have to get involved?" I didn't want to take the time.

70. Another reason I had was that out of respect for Dad, his being our king and much older, and my wanting to make it very clear to him that my time and attention were his, I didn't feel that I should have the same standard of affection that Dad did. I didn't feel like, "Well, Dad makes love to all the women, so I should make love to all the men." I wasn't comfortable with that and I didn't think it was the right thing to do, even though Dad would have voiced no disagreement with it and he would have been a very cheerful giver, as he was throughout the FFing days and the many other times when I was with others. So perhaps this reason was one of my stronger ones‚ and one of my better motives. I felt that that was a fairly valid reason, whereas the other reasons that I felt were valid at the time, I have since found out that they weren't. But even that reason shouldn't have kept me from showing simple affection to all of you frequently throughout the day when I saw you.—Daily consistent affection apart from having sex, which is much more the point. The Lord would check me about my lack of affection‚ but because I kept rejecting His checks, I finally just accepted that this was the way things were going to be, and it didn't bother me too much.

My Conservative Upbringing!

71. What are some of the other reasons we don't show love to others? I want to see which ones fit me! (Fam: One reason for not showing affection is because of your background and upbringing.) Yes, some people are just naturally affectionate because they've been brought up that way. You'd be surprised how much your 18 to twenty-some years in the System affects you for years to come. It affects some people more than others, and some people have an easier time changing than others. But the key to doing what the Lord wants you to do is yielding.

72. I was brought up in a very conservative, evangelically Christian way—no dancing‚ no physical contact. My parents would hug us if they were saying good night or we were leaving to go somewhere, but there was no real affection other than that. Sad to say, I've been a lot like my parents were as far as that goes. My parents were very loving and really loved the Lord‚ loved us kids and did everything they could for us‚ but they weren't affectionate.

73. So that System influence for so many years is a very great influence, and the only way you can get over it is by real prayer, first of all, and working at it, and most of all, the proper attitude of heart and the yieldedness to want to do it!

74. So I had a very conservative upbringing. We never talked about anything sexual‚ never even took off our clothes in front of each other. We weren't real affectionate at all. We couldn't dance together. What would you say is the problem there? What would you call that as an NWO in my home as I grew up with my parents, who were very conservative? (Fam: Pride. Being bound. Shyness. Not being open and honest. Inhibition. Afraid of wild fire. Fear of man.)

75. (Fam: I'd say it made God's love seem very selective, or like you're only getting a small slice of what He is offering.) That's right. We could broaden it out to the whole church system, or to any of us when we act the same way. (Fam: It's being set apart and shielded.) And what is the root of that? (Fam: Feeling you're better than others.) And what is that? (Fam: Self-righteousness.) Yes‚ and what else? (Fam: Being bound.) Well, what's that? (Fam: Pride!) Good, we're finally getting around to it! In thinking and praying about it, I think that it definitely is pride.

76. Why is it pride? Take my parents, for example—and maybe some of you were in the same kind of situation, because it's fairly common, especially in Christian families. Of course, they don't look on it as pride at all!—They look on it as fulfilling God's laws‚ a righteousness that they are trying to fulfill. (Fam: Maybe they feel they're better than others because they can keep their body in subjection.) (Fam: Dad said showing love and affection is very humbling.) Yes, and why is it humbling? (Fam: Because you have to expose yourself, your inner feelings, your weaknesses, and even your physical body.)

77. (Fam: There are probably other hang-ups that enter in too. For example, if you're being affectionate with members of the opposite sex in your Home, you might wonder what your mate or children or other people will think.) Yes, right. (Fam: Maybe there's also a lack of real yieldedness to the Lord. If you're not yielded, the love of Christ won't shine through you.) Yes‚ that's true. However, we can overcome all these other problems with yielding to what we know is the Lord's will. If we know He wants us to love each other and we just yield to His will, He'll help us to do it, regardless of what our personal hang-ups may be or family influences have been.

Shepherding Tip: Be Open and Understanding!

78. This is a good point to remember as leaders and shepherds, that things aren't quite so simple as they may seem. When we are shepherding or counseling someone‚ we need to realize that more often than not there are quite a few factors coming into play; it's not usually just one. There is probably a predominant one, a major one, but when people give you their so-called "excuses," they may not really be excuses‚ they may be very good reasons they had for doing what they did.

79. People do things for various reasons, and they're not all out of the wrong motives and they're not all bad. Take me, for example: One of the reasons I gave for not showing more affection was a good, fairly valid reason (out of respect for Dad). Another one I thought was a very valid reason, but it wasn't (too busy with the Words). And the other, the Lord checked me about it, and I knew it was a bad reason (laziness).

80. So when counseling people, you have to be open and realize that there are often more factors involved than the one you are zeroing in on. Maybe you're just zeroing in on the pride, but there may be other things that enter in‚ and you have to take them into account. If someone is trying to tell you why they did a certain thing, don't just say‚ "Oh‚ you're just using that as an excuse, that's just a justification."—Try to understand, and you may learn a lot.

It's Time to Change!

81. So some of that pride definitely stems from my background, but that doesn't mean that I shouldn't have overcome it a long time ago. Just the same, we have to be conscious that sometimes things are very long-standing with people. I should have overcome it, but I wasn't yielded and I didn't work hard enough on it because I wasn't forced to. I had an excuse: Dad was doing it‚ so I didn't have to. I had a good reason, so I just didn't work on it, and therefore I didn't overcome it.

82. But with Dad gone, I thought to myself, "Well‚ what are you going to do about it now? You know the Lord wants you to be more like Him, so what are you going to do? Don't you think you had better start trying to be a little more like Dad, too? Are you going to do it or aren't you? The days of your excuses God winked at, but those days are over. Now He expects you to change. You've got to start exerting yourself a little more! You've got to be less selfish. You've got to be less proud. You've got to be less busy."

83. I didn't come to that conclusion until just a little while ago, but these are all the things that I'm sure were in the equation, and probably one of the reasons why Dad wanted to go, and one of the things that he thought he could accomplish in leaving. Since I am playing a major role in the leadership of the Family‚ obviously he knew that I needed to have some fine-tuning and some readjustment, some "retooling." The Lord used that word in a prophecy recently. Do you know what "retooling" means? (Fam: It's when a factory is producing one product, and they just adjust the equipment to produce another product.—But still using the same building, the same workers and the same management. Or in some cases it might mean to replace or revitalize the worn-out parts of a tool or machine.) Good word!

84. So the Lord knew that it was important for me to get straightened out and to have my attitudes corrected and changed and to get on the right track. Obviously I have had a lot of influence on the Family, and I haven't yet gotten around to figuring out what of my influence has been bad.—I hope not too much of it was. I'm praying about that one and I'll let you know if I find out.

85. One thing I really missed it on was putting all the responsibility on Dad and saying, "Dad is going to take care of everything. I don't really have to get desperate with the Lord about the direction of the Family because Dad will do it. Dad will get the revelations. I don't have to take that responsibility." But you see, in the last few years, though Dad was the head and he did get revelations, he was not as involved in the immediate goings on of the Family as I was. I knew much more of the details of what was going on than Dad did, and I should have also been desperately seeking the Lord and not just leaving it to Dad.

86. So I just buried myself in pubs and paperwork and decided to give Dad all the responsibility. I just thought, "Well, Dad is here and everything is okay and he can do it." That's what I always did with Dad‚ I always hid behind him. I said, "Well, I'm not going to go to meetings because Dad is the public speaker and Dad can do it so much better! I don't need to be affectionate because Dad is so affectionate. He spends a lot of time talking with the men, as well as being with the women, so I don't have to do that. Dad is going to take care of the Family, and everything is fine. He'll get the revelations and I don't have to get so involved."

87. So I did my little bit and I left the big responsibility to Dad‚ and the Lord let me get away with it because Dad was doing a good job. But now with Dad gone I have to face reality and face the fact that things have changed, and I can't be selfish and go my own way any more. I can't do my own thing and be irresponsible, and I've got to take care of my problems. Maybe you don't even see them, and maybe even I don't see them all, but they're still very major to the Lord because anything that I have wrong in my heart or in my attitude, even the least little bit, will eventually show up down the line somewhere in quite a big way.

88. If I don't get my little wrong attitudes corrected—wrong ways of doing things‚ selfishnesses, pride, whatever—I am jeopardizing not only myself and my relationship with the Lord, but I am jeopardizing the whole Family. It's very serious‚ and that's why the Lord decided He is going to have to work on me. And that's probably one of the reasons why Dad thought it was better to leave, so I would get serious with the Lord.—And Dad and He have now been helping me do it! So thank the Lord! I've got to say that the Lord has given me some good victories. Just sitting here being so honest is a victory in itself!

Antidotes for Pride!

89. Oh, that reminds me of something else! What is the best antidote for pride? (Fam: Humility.) And how is it manifested? Honesty is one manifestation of it, right?—Being willing to be exposed, to be vulnerable, and it's a very good exercise in humility. It's very uncomfortable, too!—Ha!

90. The thing about all of you is that you've been honest so many times, it's easy for you now! You've gone through this so often in working on your NWOs and giving your confessions that you've really gotten "on a roll," so to speak, and you don't have such a problem with it any more; you're so used to it. (Fam: I think you're giving us too much credit!) Well, I'm talking comparatively speaking. I know it's difficult every time‚ I understand that; but just think how difficult it would be if you hadn't done it over and over. But I know it's hard every time we do it because the Devil fights us. Even if you've made it a good habit to honestly confess your sins, it's still a fight because of the spiritual attacks of the Enemy trying to get you not to do it.

91. So we're talking about what things help us to be humble and to overcome our pride. Honesty. Confession. To admit you're wrong. To admit that you have a need. Confessing your faults one to another is admitting that you have a need for the Lord, at least, for His forgiveness, and also for others' forgiveness. And you have a need to what else? (Fam: To allow yourself to be put in a vulnerable position.) What kind of a position would a vulnerable position be? (Fam: It's an uncomfortable position if you have been used to being private or not opening up so much.) And what sort of position does that put you in? (Fam: Level, equal.) Exactly! If you are proud and used to feeling superior, it is very difficult and very uncomfortable to put yourself on the same level with others.

92. I never consciously thought this about myself, I really didn't. I never thought, "Well, I'm better than other people." I never put it into words and I never consciously thought that at all; but obviously the Lord has shown me that I have a lot of pride, and that's really what my attitude was, that I felt better than others. I hate to admit this because it's self-righteousness‚ and when you wake up to that fact it's quite devastating, especially when you didn't even realize that you had such a problem! It was subconscious, but it was there, and it obviously was one of the things that kept me from showing more affection to people. Of all the reasons we've given about why it is hard to show affection, that is a major reason, and there were these other ones‚ too, like being too busy.

93. I really thought I was right in the one about being too busy! I thought I knew what the Lord wanted and I was supposed to just keep my mind on the work for the worldwide Family and not deviate from that. I really thought I was right about that, but the Lord had to stop me and show me that I wasn't right about it. It was a rather rude awakening that I could be so certain of something that I would preach it to everybody, and then realize that I was completely off on that and the Lord wanted me to stop and learn to put some of my preaching about affection into practice!—To get out of my laboratory and see what the whole purpose of all this is, anyway!—To stop and talk more to a real flesh-and–blood person and just see what people are going through and what they are like. (See "Lessons of Love," ML #2975, GN 622.)

94. I had learned this all before and I knew it in theory, but we have to constantly be reminded. We don't learn lessons once and that's the end of it. We have to keep in touch or we forget our lessons.—That's why a lot of times we have to keep learning them over and over. We get so discouraged, thinking, "Oh‚ I have to learn the same lesson over again. I thought I already got the victory over that." You may learn a lesson, but if you don't keep progressing in it, then you can lose it. The old saying, "Use it or lose it," is very true. So no wonder we have to sometimes relearn these lessons and have them re-emphasized to us.

Heart by Heart!

95. The Lord wanted me to stop and see what the whole purpose of all of this is! What are we doing all of this for? Why am I writing all of these Letters? I am writing them to show that the individual is important. I need to love everybody, but it's not everybody I start with, it's you I start with, one person. It's heart by heart. Change the world one heart at a time. You do it one at a time.

96. What is "loving everybody?" Let's get it down to where we can understand it. How do you put loving everybody into practice? What is that? You have to start with a person.—And you have to get in touch and in contact and communication with that person. So the Lord really stopped me, and I know Dad has been trying to help me, and I think he's doing a good job.

My Public Commitment!

97. This is my confession. This is my public commitment. So if I want to go back on any of these things, I can't! Pride was the biggest problem, but I think the Lord has helped me now and given me a big change. I even feel it. For a person that doesn't feel too much, I even feel this. On top of knowing it by faith, I feel a change‚ and I think the Lord has helped me in a lot of ways. He's working on my self-righteousness and my pride and has been helping me to be more open, more affectionate, and a lot of other things.

99. I appreciate all your prayers. Please do continue to pray for me, because I really need to hear from the Lord clearly—it's imperative that I do. I need to get all the pollutants out and get straightened out so I can start off with a clean slate and with the right attitudes and motivations. Thank You Lord!

Mama's Love Story, Part 1

ML #2992:75-84, Lifelines 22

How the Works and Accomplishment Mode Spread Down Through the Ranks!

75. That was one place where I was really off track for so long, with my busyness and being so devoted to my work, and not realizing that I needed to love people more—those who were right here beside me. And this has influenced our leadership too, because I pushed the same thing down on Peter and Gary. Gary, would you like to tell how it influenced the leadership? (Gary: Well, I don't feel that my bad sample was caused by you.) (Peter: Yes‚ we were pretty guilty.) But if I had said, "Look we're going to stop‚" you would have stopped too. Whatever I did would have been reflected in you and passed down.

76. (Gary: Dad's philosophy in life was "when it's time to work I'll work, and when it's time to play I'll play‚" and he had set times when he just knocked off. Whereas I guess we collectively didn't knock off so much, we just continued to work. Then there were legitimate situations that arose, like persecution, for example, that required hands-on counseling, intense work, phone messages, reading reports day in and day out, week after week after week. But it seemed even when the situation would lift, we continued on at the same pace, and when the next emergency hit, we intensified our work even more. It just accelerated, so that if we thought we were busy last year, when we compared it with this year we weren't busy at all, because we'd doubled our pace!

77. (And I know that we imparted that to all the CROs around the world through our communications with them‚ through our following every detail of what they were involved in, to the point that we would ask for more details, which generated their writing more reports, which meant others then had to work twice as hard to get those details and reports for us. They thought we must really be interested, so they kept sending in the details, which translated into hundreds of thousands of pages of reports—which they dictated, their secretaries typed and sent‚ and we read, which kept us even busier. And the cycle continued!

78. (It was also passed down through the ranks with the CROs getting all of the NASs busy generating all of their reports to the CROs. So then the NASs were busy, and the NASs got their Homes busy, and leadership's job became mainly reading and writing reports! Meanwhile, we would say, "Be sure to get out there and visit your Homes. You've got to do this and you've got to do that."—Until it got to the point where everybody, including us, was in a tailspin of wondering why we were so busy all the time, but there seemed no way out.)

79. (Mama:) But there was a way out! The Lord showed us later that if we had slowed down, if we had just let Him take care of things‚ no matter how much of an emergency we thought we had, if we had really prayed more, slowed down and given the problems to the Lord, the Lord would have taken care of them and we wouldn't have had to do so much. Obviously‚ when the Lord knocks you out with sickness and you can't do it, the world goes on. And I found out that if the Lord takes you out of a situation, everything still keeps going. I'm hardly doing any of the things I was doing before, and the world still goes on without me! The Family is still functioning and everybody is doing great! You find out that you're not indispensable after all. The more we look to the Lord, the more we pray about situations, the more we let the Lord handle it, the less we have to do with things.

80. Meanwhile‚ at the Summit Meeting the Lord was telling the CROs, "Look, you guys, you need to stop! You need to take time for Me, and you need to get out there with the people. You're too involved in all of this business and the arm of the flesh‚ trying to do it in your own strength.—Trying to be deacons instead of shepherds and teachers." He was telling them in no uncertain terms that they needed to stop and they needed to get out more and love people‚ and they needed to love Him most of all and take time with Him. And I was reading the prophecies they were getting and I was saying, "Yes, yes‚ that's right, that's true!"

81. Poor Silas really got it for that! The Lord said he needed to get out of his rut of just being so office and paperwork-oriented, and he needed to go out and fellowship and enter into the hearts and the homes of his people. And it finally started dawning on me one day, "Now wait a minute, why does Silas have this problem, anyway? Why do our CROs have these problems?" And it finally clicked: "Well, Mama, you've got the problem, you are the problem!—That's why they have these problems! It's the natural tendency of many of our leaders and people to be that way‚ and they'll be that way unless you stop them, but if you had been doing what you should have, you could have influenced them to do the right thing and they would have done differently. If you had slowed them down, if you had shown them the right way to do things‚ if you had taken time to love people personally and given them that personal example, they would be doing it too."

82. Our top leadership are good followers! That's why they're such good leaders, they're good followers. They're yielded, they're obedient, they do what we ask them to do and they follow our example. And if I had been doing what I was supposed to be doing, and had by my sample shown them that, they would be doing the same thing. So all of a sudden I came to this horrible realization that it wasn't just Silas' fault, or Sharon's fault or any of the leaders' fault‚ but it was my fault, and I was the culprit!—The main one!

83. Well, at least the Lord gave me the grace to confess it. It wasn't a deliberate thing, but it was a pretty serious blunder which has caused our poor leadership a lot of undue strain‚ and it has certainly gone down through the ranks and gotten them into this "works and accomplishment mode" where they haven't been able to spend time with the Lord like they should and they haven't been able to shepherd their people like they should. So that is a very major thing that has been a problem for me, which as I say, I didn't even realize because I had resisted the truth for so long, and resisted what the Lord was trying to do even with my eyes years ago.

84. (Fam: It's actually considered a disease in the world if you're an over–achiever. It can really affect you, and they actually treat people for it.) Well, the Lord said it's an addiction. (Family: It's called being a workaholic!) (Gary: On a secular plane, a lot of those kind of people are more career–oriented rather than family-oriented; they feed on stress, and it's just as addictive as cocaine.)

Prophecies on Leadership

ML #3052:40-58, Lifelines 23

40. (Prophecy, Dad speaking:) Well, kids, things certainly are different Here than they are there! And like I said before, we're all busy Here and it's wonderful! There's such a good balance between doing the things that we have to do, and enjoying all that there is Here for us. It's really wonderful! It's marvelous!

41. Everyone Here is so special‚ we're so special to the Lord. Everyone doesn't have exactly the same reward‚ that's true. For some were more faithful, some were more obedient, some were more yielded. Some served the Lord, some didn't; they just knew the Lord. But each one is truly content and happy. They see the Lord's mercy and love for them. They also know that He is so just and so true, and that the reward which they received is just what it should be.

42. But we keep growing Here‚ we keep progressing! So even those who didn't always make the grade there have great opportunities Here—opportunities to grow and to keep going forward! But, oh, you wouldn't believe how content everyone is—such great contentment and happiness!

43. You'd be surprised to see how much importance the Lord places on your yieldedness and your faithfulness. He doesn't judge you by your great accomplishments‚ because He knows that those accomplishments occurred because He was working through you anyway! He judges you by your love for Him and others, and your obedience and faithfulness to Him and His Word. And like He said, He judges you by what you did, by you, not by what someone else did. As He said, "He that is faithful in that which is least‚ is faithful also in much." When you are faithful to those things which are least, to Him it is much.

44. When you let Him have full sway in your life, it is worth great honor Here! And when He has full sway, He doesn't always bring you to some great height, He just brings you to where He wants to bring you. Then He sees if you will be obedient and faithful there. That's why He says, "Well done‚ thou good and faithful servant: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord!" And, oh, the joy that you enter into Here!—The joy of knowing His Love in fullness and completeness! The joy you have in seeing that all that faithfulness, all those yieldings pay off in His reward and in the glory that He gives!

45. And, oh, there is great glory for some Here who seemed to do nothing there! They were unknown and unsung, but they were judged righteous and faithful because they did His bidding. So be faithful. Be diligent. Be yielded. But above all‚ be loving, and great will be your reward when you get Here. Great will be your reward. I'll say it again, great will be your reward! (End of prophecy.)

46. (Mama:) Thank You, Jesus and Dad, for such a beautiful and clear answer! It's so comforting to know that the Lord doesn't compare us with others‚ but that He loves each of us individually and judges us individually as well. It's so encouraging to see how He sees things: that the important things are our faithfulness, obedience and yieldedness‚ which result in our loving Him and loving others.

Don't Fall into the Comparison Trap!

47. There are some key points in these prophecies that can change your whole outlook and cause you to be happier and more fulfilled. One of the major ones is that the Lord doesn't judge us by our accomplishments. He can't, because they're not our accomplishments!—They're His! Instead, He judges us by our faithfulness and the love in our hearts!—Our love for Him, our love for each other‚ our love for the lost! The Lord has said so much recently about faithfulness and yieldedness and love. He's been emphasizing these qualities over and over again. He's trying to get these points implanted in our hearts so that we will have the right spiritual priorities in our lives.

48. The Lord also comes out very strongly against comparison, one of the activities most devastating to our spiritual lives and one which drastically saps our spiritual strength. The Lord does not compare. He is not judging you by your job or your position. He doesn't love one person more because they have a "glorious" ministry, and love another less because they have a "little" job! His love for you doesn't have anything to do with what ministry you have. He loves you because you are you, and it doesn't have anything to do with your accomplishments, your ministry, or the way other people look at you. He loves you because you're you, because He created you to be a pleasure to Him, and He looks at your love and faithfulness, not your accomplishments. He doesn't compare you with others.—And for the record, neither do I‚ nor Peter, nor your WS leadership!

49. So if the Lord doesn't compare us with each other, then why should we do it? Why keep falling into this trap of the Devil? Take a stand against it! Now that you know that the Lord doesn't compare you with anyone else, you have no legitimate reason for comparing! Now that you know you don't have to compete with others for the Lord's Love or favor, and now that you know that someone who seems to accomplish more than you isn't going to get rewarded more because of it, you can stop comparing!

50. So many of you have these trials—and it really is a deadly tool of the Devil to weaken you and make you ineffective! You feel others are more talented than you are, more used, more handsome or beautiful, better shepherds‚ better witnessers, better teachers, stronger, exercise their gifts better.—The list goes on and on! I hope what the Lord said here will help you to get a lasting victory in this area. I hope you will believe Him, that all of that doesn't matter.

51. Perhaps someone is more talented, more used, more everything, but to God it doesn't matter! He judges you by what you do with the talents He's given you, not the talents that He's given to someone else! He loves you!—And if you love Him and others and you're doing your best to yield to Him and be faithful in what He's asked you to do, that's all that counts. So stop comparing yourself to others!—Because He isn't! Stop being jealous or envious! It'll get you nowhere—except into the pit of self-pity where the Devil is trying to drag you!

52. Of course‚ we realize that you're not just concerned about the Lord's opinion and whether He's comparing you with others. You're also concerned about the opinions of your peers. You worry about how you'll fare if they compare you with others. Or else you compare yourself with others, which often leads to discontentment and even serious discouragement. That's why the Lord warns us not to look at what another has in the way of blessings, position, talents, etc.—In other words, not to be jealous of them. It's really a dead-end street which will just drag you down.

53. The only way out of comparing—or envy—battles is to be thankful for what the Lord has given you, trying to be content in whatever state you're in‚ knowing that He is doing all He can to make you happy and use you to the full. The only way you'll find lasting joy and true satisfaction is to put your whole heart into what He wants you to do, and not spend your time wishing you were somebody else, somewhere else, doing something else.

54. When Dad was with us on Earth he repeatedly emphasized the point—which he again brought out in the above prophecy—that the Lord will reward us for our love for others, our obedience and our faithfulness, and that all our faithfulness in whatever sphere He places us will pay off with great rewards! The following quotes from the Letters are very applicable:

55. "When the day of rewards comes around at the great Judgment Seat of Christ in Heaven, and we get our crowns and our stars, we're going to see some of the littlest people that we never heard of and never saw and never even realized existed, come up to get some of the greatest crowns!—Because they were little folks who were behind the scenes, almost unseen and unknown‚ who did the humblest jobs, the humblest ministrations to make the ministry of the others possible.

56. "A lot of those nobodies who are slaving away behind the scenes scrubbing floors and doing dishes and cooking and having babies and teaching the children and helping financially, litnessing and provisioning and all the rest, the mechanics who take care of the cars, and the technicians who run the machines, a lot of them are not getting much reward now. ... But I'll tell you, God knows, God sees, and 'thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly‚' and great shall be thy reward! (Mat.6:4,18). One of these days the whole world and all Heaven and all Earth and all Hell are going to know who you are, and what you did, and how much you sacrificed, and how hard you worked‚ and how little thanks you got and how little appreciation, and then the Lord's going to show'm and tell'm!" ("Little People‚" ML #974:2,13,14.)

57. "I think some of the little people who do the most unseen jobs are perhaps going to get rewarded the most one of these days. They're the ones who are going to step out and get the medals and the rewards and the crowns, and for the first time really get what is coming to them, and the whole universe is going to know!

58. "'Well, who is that? Never heard of them!' 'Don't you know? This is one of the typists who made the ministry possible!’ 'Typist?' Dum-ta-dum–ta-dum! Out step some others: 'Who are they? Never heard of them!' 'Why, these are the cooks!' Dum-ta-dum-ta-dum. 'Who in the world are those‚ that motley crew?' 'Those are the ones who washed the dishes, swept the floor, mowed the lawn, raked the leaves and kept the books!' Praise the Lord?" ("Run the Race!" ML #1374:10-11.)

Cast Your Cares on Him

ML #3242:70–77, GN 844

70. (Jesus speaking:) Burnout is very dangerous. Most people don't realize how dangerous it is. They relate burnout to feeling tired at the end of the day or not wanting to take on one more task. Although that's part of it‚ burnout is deeper than that, and often creeps up unexpectedly.

71. It's a spiritual thing—the Enemy is constantly fighting, and when you run only on "spiritual adrenaline," the high of accomplishments or the fulfillment of being in My service, the inspiration of your brethren or even just the pressing needs which you help to fill which spur you on, you put yourself in grave danger of burning out. For though you do not notice it, little by little you are becoming spiritually exhausted, because you are not taking time to refill and refuel. You are running on a "high," but when you hit a low, you have no reserves‚ no strength, and you basically crash.

72. It can be triggered by anything—but when it happens, you have no strength to get up and try again. You even lose the desire to read My Word or hear from Me, and so you often get more and more run-down and battle-weary. When you are in this weakened state, the cure is the Word—time with Me and time resting and seeing My perspective on things. If you don't take it, you begin to see things as the Enemy would have you see them. You become vulnerable to his doubts and negative thoughts, and thus he is able to destroy your service for Me.

73. It is different than feeling tired or simply working too much. Even if you're working more than you should, if you're faithful in taking time with Me, you won't burn out easily. The danger comes when you're not taking time with Me‚ but you still feel fine. That's a sign that you're starting to run on "fumes" rather than fuel, and it's very bad for your engine. It's a good sign if you miss your time with Me and really feel it—that shows you're in the habit of taking it and you know you need it. But if you find that your Word time is slipping‚ your time in the temple is being eaten up by other things and you're not missing it, you're not desperately craving it, but you actually feel fine without it—that should set off alarm bells in your heart, and the first thing you should do is stop and take time with Me, whether you feel like it or not!

74. Yes, there are times when a certain project needs to be done, when the needs are pressing, and I give you extra strength to make it through without taking as much time with Me as usual. But even during those times‚ there is a danger that you will start to become accustomed to taking less time with Me, riding more on the anointing than on desperation and quiet times of My instructions.

75. So even during those times you must be careful, and as soon as they are over, you should take more time with Me to catch up on what you weren't able to have. Your attitude shouldn't be that things have gone fine and that I just helped you not to need time with Me. You should realize that while I did help you and give you strength, if you're going to be able to continue, you have to get back to the good habit of spending the needed daily time with Me.

76. It's like I put a mantle of protection over you during times when you're really not able to have as much time as normal, and you're desperate for My help. Then, when those times are finished, you have to build up your resistance again by taking even more time to be strengthened and refilled. The fact that it's humbling for some people to take extra time with Me is also good, especially after they've had a big mission or been anointed in some busy project. It helps remind them that it's only Me, as well as protecting them from the danger of burnout.

77. The important thing to remember about burnout is that it often creeps up very suddenly. You can be feeling fine, then all of a sudden hit bottom when the inspiration gives way, because you've been using up your spiritual stores and not replenishing them. The way to prevent it is on a daily basis‚ taking time with Me and letting Me give you the spiritual cushion of faith that you need. (End of message from Jesus.)

Action Through Prayer, Part 2

ML #3325:13-17, 82-86, GN 930

13. (Jesus speaking:) There are many things in the spirit that seem to be mysteries to you‚ when in reality they're very simple. It doesn't seem to make a lot of physical sense to say that if you spend twice as long on your knees, in prayer, doing absolutely nothing but presenting your spirit before Me in humility and subjection, that you will actually accomplish more than if you spent that same time rushing about feverishly attending to the many things that you have to do.

14. It all depends on what sort of accomplishments you're looking for. Yes, you might not get out the door quite that fast. You may have to cut back on some of that business you were hoping to attend to. But look at it from a broader perspective—what work are you trying to accomplish? Is it just to survive another day? Is it just to get some food on the table and your rent covered? Or are you trying to change the world, one heart at a time‚ one day at a time, to stand up against the forces of evil that would doom the souls of the world to damnation and spiritual slavery? That's the work that you cannot accomplish without My help and strength.

15. Let Me tell you something about that little exchange between Luther and Melanchthon you hear told so often: Melanchthon knew they had a lot of things to do that day. Luther knew this as well. Luther also knew Melanchthon was making a perfectly logical suggestion to cut their prayer time in half so they'd have more time to get to all the little things that had to be done that day. But Luther was not looking at everything that had to be done that day. He was looking further. He was looking beyond the immediate physical matters, at the mission and purpose for which I had placed him on Earth. He knew that when times got so busy‚ it was easy to forget where his focus really should be. So he knew that he had to spend more time in prayer, not less—not so that he could do everything that had to get done that day, but so that he could make sure that what he was doing was what I wanted him to be doing.

16. He knew that one thing done right, in My time, in My way, by My will, was a greater accomplishment than tending to one hundred pressing tasks that surrounded him. He knew he could not let the immediate distract his focus from those things that were eternal. And look where it got him! Look what a mighty warrior and follower of My Spirit he became, changing the face of the world and history for centuries to follow!

17. I have called you, My children‚ to a task no less daunting than Luther's, so it behooves you to spend more time in prayer, on your knees, seeking My will, imploring Me to work on your behalf—to keep your mind on the bigger picture‚ the greater works that I would accomplish through you, through your Homes, through your ministries‚ through those you come in contact with on a regular basis—not just the tasks of your everyday survival, but the works of the spirit in the hearts and minds of men. These are the works that mean the most to Me. These are the accomplishments for which you must strive. This is what you will do better in—accomplishing My will with greater accuracy and faster results—through taking the time to go slow, and making sure you're doing exactly what I want you to be doing. (End of message from Jesus.)

The Best Thing You Can Do For Others

82. (Dad speaking: ) The Lord allows problems in life—difficult situations, spiritual battles—and one of the main reasons is to teach people to pray. He wants you to come to the end of your rope, to come to the end of all your ideas of what you can do to solve the situation, and realize that He's the One Who's going to do it and pray for His power to work.

83. He leaves a lot up to you, and if there's something you can do and something He shows you to do to help the situation, that's good and you need to do that. You need to talk with people, counsel with people, receive messages from the Lord‚ study the Word on the subject, encourage people to ask for united prayer—you need to do all that you can. But in the end, the thing that will help more than anything, and without which all your labors are incomplete, is prayer. Pray for Him to work. Pray for Him to move and do the work in the spirit.

84. He's the only One Who can change hearts and minds, and He's the only One Who can bring people to the point where they're ready to make spiritual changes. The best thing you can do to help people and help situations is to pray for them. Really pray for them. You can't do the miracle, but the Lord can, and your prayers move His hand and make things happen in the spirit. It not only helps to set things up for the miracle to happen, but gives you peace of mind that you've done the best thing you could possibly do. When you commit things to the Lord in prayer, then you can just trust that whatever happens is in His hands and under His control.

85. People don't fully realize how important prayer is, and especially if they're very work-oriented people, accomplishment-oriented people, it's all the harder for them to just pray and not always be doing something in the physical. You have to understand that only God can work in the spirit to change things, to change people‚ change situations, and the best thing you can do to help God and help others is to pray for them. He expects you to pray, and if you're not praying‚ often He has to wait before He can do the big miracles, because He wants you to pray and keep on praying.

86. Prayer is a very mysterious spiritual phenomenon and it's impossible to fully understand how the Lord chooses to work, how He chooses to answer prayer, why some prayers are answered quicker than others, why He does an obvious miracle in one situation and not in another. You can't expect to know everything about God's business, but you can trust that your prayers have an effect, and a very big one. Just the fact that you obey and pray brings down His blessings. (End of message from Dad)

Leadership Lessons, Part 2

ML #3385, GN 982

1. (Mama:) In this GN I'll share with you some of the messages that the Lord gave for the COs at Summit 2001, and some of the lessons that Peter and I shared with them, about unrealistic expectations and how to avoid overextending themselves. The Lord showed us to publish them because they apply to each and every Family member in some way. Granted, not every sentence or example will fit your situation, but please benefit from them as much as you can.

2. The Lord has shown us that things are not going to get any less busy! After all, we're in the era of action, the era of greater works, and with the current vision of expanding to meet the needs of the many sheep the Lord is bringing and will bring to our folds, each of you will probably find your lives becoming increasingly busy with that added responsibility. Shepherding brings a new dimension to life—your time is no longer your own, and someone always needs you! So, even if you don't think you need these lessons now, you'll probably need them in the future. These are very important principles which affect not only your happiness and fruitfulness for the Lord, but also the example that you set for your flock, which in turn affects their personal happiness and future fruitfulness‚ and the cycle continues.

3. Each one of you is precious to us. We need and depend on you, so please pace yourselves. Do what the Lord shows you to do, and then leave the rest to the Lord. Take the time to ask the Lord the various questions I asked the COs to pray about (at the end of this GN). Take the time to receive that special personal shepherding in your own life, and I think you'll find it will make a great difference to your personal happiness and fruitfulness overall. I love you!

Be Filled with My Joy!

(Jesus sings:)

11. I'm bubbling, I'm bubbling‚

I'm bubbling in My soul!

I'm singing‚ I'm laughing,

I have to make it told!

I'm so very happy,

You cannot keep Me quiet!

I'm bubbling, bubbling, bubbling, bubbling, bubbling deep inside!

12. Ha, ha, ha! You're probably wondering why I would include this little adaptation of a simple childlike chorus in a leadership meeting. Well, I'll tell you why … it's because I'm very serious about how I feel about you, and that little song expresses it very well. I'm bubbling deep inside because I'm so happy, pleased, proud‚ delighted, glad, in love with, thrilled, inspired and excited about you and all you've done and how you've grown‚ My wonderful brides, that I just can't keep it quiet! It's bubbling right up inside, and I just had to sing it out!

13. Another reason I sang that song is—and this is very important for you, so listen up—I want to set you at ease right from the start. I don't want you to be fearful or remorseful. I don't want you to be nervous. I don't want you to be thinking about your failures. I don't want you to be feeling you have to do everything just right. I don't want you to be fretting or fearing failure. I don't want you to be feeling disappointed in yourself or your performance. I don't want you to feel guilty because you haven't lived up to your unrealistic expectations. I don't want you to feel like you have to push yourselves so hard. I don't want you to be looking at your lacks, because I'm not. I want to wipe all that away from the beginning so that you can have peace, knowing all is well.

14. I want you to put that all aside now, and I want you to be filled with My joy, and that will be your strength. I want you to be convinced of My love‚ and of Mama and Peter's love for you. I want you to believe they understand your problems as I do, and love and pray for you. I am very proud of you, as are Mama and Peter. We've seen how you've grown and progressed, and we want to tell you how happy we are with you. We understand your limitations and the difficulties you face with your Home situations, lack of support staff, your many children, physical afflictions, and the list goes on. You have all those battles to fight and more. We understand, so there's nothing to worry about.

15. I want to take away your feelings of inferiority and your feelings that you haven't achieved all you think has been expected of you. Sometimes your expectations are unrealistic and cause you to overextend yourselves, and then you feel guilty that you didn't make the grade. I want to wipe all those negative feelings away. In My book you've made the grade over and over again! I want to wipe away these fears and worries and give you peace.

16. You're all just at the place I want you to be. You've grown and are growing and will continue to grow. Mama and Peter are proud of you too. No one is in trouble; you've all done a monumental job. There may be a few tweaks here and there that need to be taken care of, but it's nothing to fear. All is well. All is going according to My plan, so take on My joy.

17. As the scripture says, "The joy of the Lord is your strength!" And so it shall be unto you. If you believe that and claim it, I promise that My joy will be your strength. You can hold on to that promise. That can be your motto from this day forth‚ because if you have fear and worry, that's debilitating, and you won't benefit from [what I bring into your life and want to give you]. Any nervousness, fear, or worry quenches the flow of My Spirit in your lives and dampens your personal happiness. So relax. Trust Me, and trust Mama and Peter. We love you and we want to make your job easier.

18. Now, let My joy bubble up in you! Let it be your strength! Rejoice in your victories. Rejoice in the battles. Rejoice in the blessings. Rejoice in the triumphs. Rejoice in the changes. Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice! Stop looking at all your shortcomings and seeming defeats. Serving Me is supposed to be joyous! I know it's not always fun, and there's a lot of pain and suffering along the way‚ but there should always be a joy bubbling in your heart.

19. Remember, My joy is your strength. That joy comes from Me and My Spirit, not all your good works—although I am pleased with your works. I know your sacrifices and I'm pleased with them too, but nothing pleases Me more than your love for Me and others.

20. Remember that all the goals and objectives I put before you are just that—goals. They're something to keep you going and moving forward, to stretch your faith. But the thing that is most important is your love for Me and others.

Text box:

21. (Jesus speaking:) These goals I'm speaking of here are all the things that I've asked of you‚ that I've put before you and told you to shoot for. Now, besides those goals, there are some things that I've told you cannot be neglected. The first and foremost of these is your time with Me. So please don't brush that off as a goal which is nice to shoot for, but that I don't expect you to hit. In the case of your time with Me, it is something sacred. I do expect it of you and I know that it is possible, because I will make a way if you ask Me to do so. (End of message from Jesus)

End of text box.

22. These things have I spoken and sung to you, that My joy might be in you, and that your joy might be full. So let your joy bubble up! Don't refrain; go ahead and sing it!

23. I'm bubbling‚ I'm bubbling,

I'm bubbling in my soul!

I'm singing and laughing

Since Jesus made me whole!

Folks don't understand it,

I can't keep it quiet,

It's bubbling, bubbling, bubbling, bubbling, bubbling deep inside!

24. How's that for an icebreaker and bottle breaker? I love you, My precious brides. Any seeming defeats or lacks will all be resolved in My good time, but now is not the time to be dwelling on them. Now is the time to fill your hearts with joy and to know that I am well pleased, and Mama and Peter are too! (End of message from Jesus.)

Unrealistic Expectations

27. (Dad speaking: ) My, oh my! Isn't this just like the Enemy to place this ploy of unrealistic expectations—the playmate of discouragement—upon your shoulders, dear ones! If you could see from my vantage point how greatly loved you are, how greatly used you are‚ and how much you shine with the Lord's success, you would never again worry, or fear, or be tempted to feel you're in some way failing to meet the grade, or failing the Lord‚ Mama and Peter, or the flock.

28. Now, when I talk about you shining with the Lord's success here, I'm not talking about being perfect and being something or somebody who attains in every single goal or area of your spiritual life and ministry, because no one does. The Lord's idea of success is what? It's all in the simple verse, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." That's the Lord's idea of success—being faithful in the calling and ministry He's given you to do. And that's why you all shine so brightly—because you've all been found faithful in the high calling you've been given. You've held on and you've remained true to your calling—many of you for years and years. You've given your hearts and lives in love, dedication, loyalty‚ and service to your Husband, king and queen, and nation‚ so you're all shining successes!

29. Even if you feel you haven't grown much over the last year and haven't reached some goal to your personal satisfaction, or you're battling with your own lacks or human limitations—don't worry about it, because no one expects you to be perfect, and that's not what's important!

30. For one thing, even if you may think you haven't grown much, I can guarantee you have! Anybody who has faithfully held on and remained true and loyal to the Lord, the Word, and His cause over the last year or so has grown, even if you don't see any outward manifestations or signs of it yourself.

31. What is important is that all of you have fought, and held on‚ and continue to hold on! You've remained faithful and true! We're proud of you—each of you! What you've accomplished in simply remaining true to your calling and ministry is monumental! In some cases you've had major obstacles and hurdles to overcome. You've had a lack of personnel and support staff; you've had afflictions to battle with; you've had difficult situations in your Homes to contend with; and on top of it, you've had your own sets of personal battles and difficulties.

32. So believe me, no one is pointing the finger at you and condemning you or judging you! Far from it! To the contrary, we all applaud you‚ and I know Mama and Peter certainly applaud you, as they know what you're up against every day. They have only the utmost love, respect, appreciation and admiration for you. Yes‚ they depend on you, they lean on you, but that doesn't mean they place unrealistic expectations upon you‚ or expect more of you than is humanly possible. In fact, I've seen their amazement at what you're able to accomplish and get done considering the hurdles you face every day. We're all amazed at your perseverance, your stamina, and your steadfastness in getting through each day despite these things.

33. So if any one of you is falling under the cloud of unrealistic expectations, let this talk lay that device of the Enemy to rest. Unrealistic expectations hinder you from experiencing the liberating freedom of being yourself, of trusting in the Lord's unconditional love enough that you have the freedom to relax and be yourself and let the Lord work through you. False expectation is constantly waving the whip over your head, making you feel you have to push and drive yourself more and more—do more, be more, attain, attain, attain!

34. That's the Enemy's whip, because his end goal is to wear you down and cause you to buckle under this false and debilitating weight, which unfortunately many place on their shoulders of their own accord through self-imposed expectations. Granted‚ it often stems from the pure motive of wanting to please the Lord and be all that the Lord wants you to be, but allowing yourself to fall into the trap of trying to attain through carrying the boulder of false expectations up the mountain will kill you! Eventually you'll collapse under the cumbersome weight; you'll fold and burn out.

35. You have the guarantee of the Lord's unconditional love, and He doesn't place any rock of unrealistic expectations on His Bride's shoulders as she climbs the mountain. In fact, His love is so wonderful, so complete, so beyond human comprehension that He will pick her up in His arms and tenderly carry her up the mountain Himself if need be.

36. So don't let the Enemy use this device of false expectations against you, okay? You have to fight this, because it stops you from fully resting in the Lord. It destroys your happiness, your peace, and your rest of heart and mind. Without this weight, you have true freedom, and when you have this peace, this rest, then the Spirit can fall upon you more completely, more fully. You become like that little diamond of dust that sparkles and shines with His light! You're not struggling or trying to be anything more than what He helps you to be by His grace. You're set free to love Him just as you are, and then He in turn is set free to more fully work and shine through you! It works both ways.

37. And like the second part of the verse, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord"—when you have that peace and trust and faith, knowing that you're pleasing the Lord simply through loving Him and remaining faithful and true to Him‚ then that true, full joy enters you which the Lord is talking about here. You can relax and have the true freedom and joy of His Spirit! (End of message from Dad.)

Jewels from Mama and Peter

38. (Peter: ) The curse of unrealistic expectations is very real, isn't it? I would guess probably everybody struggles with it at some time or another, or often, or every day. The feeling of, "I'm not getting enough done‚" or "I'm not loving the Lord enough," or "I'm not being loving enough to people; I should be out there doing more." As Dad said, it really takes away from the freedom of the spirit and it causes you not to be yourself.

39. I was talking with somebody the other day and said, "Look, you're just you. The Lord loves you. He loves that you love Him, and He loves that you serve Him‚ and He loves that you do things for Him and others. But the main reason He loves you is because you're His creation. He made you the way you are and He loves you just the way you are."

40. Of course we want to progress, we want to do better, we want to love Him more and be more attuned to Him and all of those things—and that's good. But we have to remember that He doesn't love us because we work so hard. He loves us simply because He loves us, and He made you the way you are.

41. (Peter: ) When you're in a position of responsibility you have to realize that sometimes you need a break. You can't always be there all the time for every person and every situation. If you feel that you should be or that you have to, you're going to constantly be pushing and trying to answer every question, answer every e–mail, fix everything, and you'll burn out, because it's just impossible to do it. You're not expected to do it.

42. The other day someone said to me, "Well, I just shut off my computer and I didn't look at it all day." He was saying it as though that was really bad—like‚ "I was really failing because I shut my computer off and I didn't look at any of my phone messages. I didn't answer anybody's problems for a whole 24 hours." I thought, "You probably ought to do that more often!"

43. As leaders, we get to where we have so much coming at us constantly—people's problems, phone messages‚ etc. On one hand, e-mail has been a super blessing; on the other hand, it's a curse. Remember when we didn't have e-mail, when we wrote letters and mailed them? Someone wrote you with a problem, so by the time you heard about the problem it was already about a month old. And by the time he got some sort of answer back, it was another month, and you can be pretty sure the Lord took care of it in the meantime.

44. But now it's like‚ "Wow, we've got to do it now, we've got to do it today!" Then there's that condemnation of, "We're not answering fast enough." Or‚ "My God, someone had a problem today and we didn't get them the answer today." Of course we want to help the Family all we can, as quickly as we can. But can't we also trust the Lord in some of these things and not condemn ourselves for being inefficient?

45. We need to slow it down. We need to not feel that we can answer everything and do everything, because those are really unrealistic expectations. To think that you're going to have the solutions‚ or that you can comfort every person—it's impossible. Each person has to learn to get comfort and answers from the Lord for themselves. We actually hinder the Lord in some ways when we try to get in there and do so much, achieve so much, and hurry so much. The motivation is pure. It's not like anybody is trying to do this because they want to show everybody how they have all the answers. It's motivated by love. But it's unrealistic to think you can do that.

46. Even the Lord had to get away; He couldn't do it all the time either. So turn it off sometimes and don't worry about it. Don't turn it off and then worry about how you're failing! You can't do it all! No one can! Commit it to the Lord‚ ask Him what's most important to do, and then trust the rest to Him in prayer!

47. (Mama:) We're not meant to do it all. Peter pointed out that it's unrealistic to think that we can answer everybody. That's one unrealistic expectation. Each of you need to find out what unrealistic expectations you have in your life. There are things that may be unrealistic, or they may not be. Maybe the Lord wants you to do one thing but leave others undone. Maybe you have unrealistic expectations in one area of your life, but the Lord does expect more of you in another area.

48. So you each need to check yourself. Pray and ask the Lord: "Where am I raising my expectations too high or thinking that You are expecting too much of me? What do I think You expect of me‚ and what am I actually expecting of myself and imposing on myself?" You need to ask the Lord about it. Otherwise‚ how are you going to know what you're supposed to attain to and what you're not?

49. So ask the Lord! Don't delay. Do it today. Find out, so you can work on getting rid of the weights that are causing you all this worry and concern and inability to trust and relax in the Lord.

50. (Peter:) When you're asking the Lord about your unrealistic expectations, you could also ask Him what He thinks about areas that you feel you're a failure in. The Lord wants us to be humble. He doesn't want us going around saying, "Wow, we're so great; we do so good. I'm doing such a great job," because that's not healthy in the spirit. But on the other hand, He doesn't want us to walk around feeling like complete failures.

51. Some of the things the Lord tells us to do are goals—they're something to shoot for, to aim for. He doesn't expect that we're going to hit those 100% all the time. "Ask Me Everything" is like "Pray without ceasing." How many of you‚ all day long, pray without ceasing? If you take that literally as "pray without ceasing," then we're all super failures. But I'm sure the Lord didn't put that in the Bible to make every Christian feel like a total failure in their spiritual life because they sometimes think of something other than a prayer.

52. You can't have unrealistic expectations for yourself. You have to realize that sometimes these things the Lord gives us are goals and standards‚ to get us to reach and grow that way. But just because we don't hit it and go beyond it doesn't mean that we're totally failing.

53. We could be walking around all the time feeling like, "I'm a total failure in my spiritual life because I don't pray without ceasing, I don't ask the Lord about every single thing." But when you compare it to where you were maybe two years ago, you're praying and hearing from the Lord and asking the Lord things a gazillion times more than you used to. That's huge progress! Like the Lord said, everyone's progressed. We want to keep going and moving forward, but sometimes we need to look back and say, "Look how far we've come‚" and make it relative to where we've been, not to where we still have to go.

54. The key is that you've got to ask the Lord about things. He can show you if you're truly not loving enough, or truly not spiritual enough‚ and then you can really work on those things. But if you would think about the areas that you believe you're failing in or have failed in or really aren't doing well in, and ask the Lord for His perspective on them, He would be able to give you a more true perspective of where you're at. It would help lift that cloud, and also give you a clearer vision of what you really should be working on, without being distracted by the Enemy's condemnation hanging over every area of your life.

55. (Mama:) Just remember the quote that sums up this lesson: "The Lord doesn't look at how far you have to go; He looks at how far you've come." So why are you looking at it any differently than the Lord looks at it? Why do we do that when we know that the Lord loves us unconditionally? We should pray to get our thinking in line with the way the Lord looks at things‚ and we'll feel a lot less guilty, a lot less remorseful, and a lot less like failures if we believe what the Lord tells us.

56. That's the crux of the matter—believing what the Lord said. Faith comes from the Word, reading the Word, believing it—fighting to believe it. When the Enemy is coming in with his lies, you've got to really fight to believe the Lord; it doesn't just come naturally. Sometimes it's a real fight, but if you choose to believe it, then your thinking becomes the Lord's thinking, and then you don't have these problems anymore. It's a fight sometimes, but it is possible.

57. (Peter:) It's like what Dad said about fear in the Letter "Attack!" (ML #171). He said you've got to face your fears and see which ones are real and which ones are just of the Enemy, and then you can deal with the real fears. It's the same thing with our failures. Stop and think about it. What are the things that really discourage you long-term about yourself or the things that you haven't done? Ask the Lord about those things, because they might simply be unrealistic expectations. If you're not reaching those self-imposed goals, it makes you feel as though you failed; but maybe the Lord isn't asking you to do all those things.

58. Take it a step further. If the Lord isn't asking you to do all these things‚ and you're trying to do them, then maybe He's not even going to give you the grace to do them because He doesn't really want you to do them. He knows it's too much for you to do. So you need to get ahold of the Lord about your feelings of failure and the things that discourage you‚ and ask Him, "In what areas of my life am I expecting too much of myself?" Or‚ "In what areas am I allowing other people to expect too much of me?"

59. If you can sort that out, then you can have the freedom just to be yourself, and you can let the Lord work through you to the limit that He wants to work through you. If you're not trying to do all these things that He's not really asking you to do, but that you're asking yourself to do or you're letting other people ask you to do, then you'll just be working on achieving the realistic expectations that the Lord has. His bar of those expectations might be quite a bit lower. There might not be so many things that He asks of you, because He understands your weaknesses and He makes room for them.

60. (Peter: ) We don't look at you as failures. I mean, you might have to receive some correction from time to time, and you might need "tweaking" in a few things, but we admire you so much because we understand that it's really difficult to be a CO, or a VS, or to be on a Home teamwork. It's really difficult just to be in the Family, because you're not only living your life and struggling with the regular obstacles of life, but you've got the Enemy fighting you all the time. There are things to overcome and lessons to learn, and it's not easy. It's a huge undertaking, a huge job that you do‚ and we're so thankful.

61. (Mama:) Here's what you're supposed to do: Just do the best you can each day. Commit to the Lord what you can't get done, and if you're doing your best, going to the Word and seeking the Lord for His counsel and guidance and then obeying what you read or hear, you're doing all you can. As Jesus said of the woman of old, "She hath done what she could" (Mk.14:8). Do what you can, and that's all you can do. Pretty simple, isn't it?

62. (Peter: ) Please accept the commendation and love from the Lord. Read it over again and take those words as truth, because that's how He feels about you. Maybe you don't feel that way about yourself, and you still have some of that failure hangover, but He doesn't look at it that way and neither do we. We admire you and we need you, and the Lord really needs you too.

What Does It Mean To Be "Overextended"?

63. (Mama:) We asked the Lord, "Is operating in the arm of the flesh and overextending yourself the same thing? If not, what's the difference?"

64. (Jesus speaking:) Operating in the arm of the flesh is a symptom of self-righteousness. You think that you can do it without Me‚ or mostly on your own with very little help from Me. Not very many people think that consciously, but it's the natural state of man to be independent and to drift away from the ways of My Spirit. It's a supernatural thing when you can overcome that and learn to operate more in the spirit. So it's a constant fight for My children‚ to continually remind themselves that I'm the One Who has to do the work. And when you are in that frame of mind and are desperate with Me, you won't overextend yourself.

65. In that way you could say that overextending yourself is part of operating in the arm of the flesh. Not everyone who operates in the arm of the flesh overextends themselves—some are very good at pacing themselves and delegating to others, but they're still working in the flesh rather than the spirit. But overextending yourself is always a sign of operating in the flesh, because you're not depending on Me enough. You're thinking that you have to do it all, or do more than I expect of you. You're not in tune with Me; you're not casting the load on Me. I want to help My children realize more clearly how dangerous it is when they overextend themselves. It's a direct symptom of self-righteousness and operating in the arm of the flesh.

66. Even when you're doing it with good motives—just trying to help someone, or fill the needs you see in front of you—if you're overextending yourself to the point that it cuts into your time with Me or your rest time, the "down time" that I made you to need, then yes, it is a symptom of self-righteousness and operating in the arm of the flesh. It's usually not that you consciously think that you're being so good and can do without Me, but it's the inborn nature of man to try to do things on his own.

67. It takes a supernatural miracle, and desperation, to know that you can't do it yourself, that you really need Me in everything. And when you are remembering this and putting Me first‚ you won't overextend yourself. You will be seeking Me, and you will be stopping for breaks and time to refill with Me. And with the very rare exception that you miss your regular quiet time that day, you will have come to Me about it, and I will have given you special permission, because I know that it's a very important part of your day and that you'll make up for it. That's the difference.

68. When you push to get so much done—even when you're pushing with good motives and intentions‚ and sincerely laying down your life for your brethren and trying to help My work get done—it's still operating in the arm of the flesh‚ because you think that you can somehow do it by pushing yourself, instead of obeying My laws of the spirit and taking your time with Me, and getting the rest that I know you need.

69. Does that make sense? Can you understand what I'm saying? I'm not condemning you for this—I know that by and large it's your noble motives that make you push yourself to the point of being overextended. It's the old principle of the harvest being always plenteous and the laborers being few. But you still need Me, the Lord of the harvest, to do the miracles that you can't do, and even to coordinate the labor that you can do. You still need your food and water of the spirit to be able to keep going. And when you try to do without it, when you overextend yourself, it's a symptom of going in the flesh rather than in the spirit. (End of message from Jesus.)

Are You Overextended?

70. (Question: ) How can you recognize when you've overextended yourself and are operating in the arm of the flesh?

(Jesus speaking:)

71. • Do you feel stressed, strained, or worried?

72. • Do the problems or troubles of those in your area [or your Home] burden your heart and keep you up at night thinking about them?

73. • Do you find yourself constantly tired and lacking inspiration?

74. • Do you feel that taking quiet time to relax and catch up on needed rest is time wasted, or at least time that could be better spent in something else or in your work?

75. • Do you worry about whether people will understand or be critical of you when you take time off, put your "do not disturb" sign out, or take time with Me?

76. • Do you put Me first every morning, or do you jump right into the day, feeling that you have so much to do and accomplish that you can't take sufficient time for Word and prayer, or feeling that if you spend time in the Word, it's going to cut into your work time and you won't be able to get as much done that day?

77. • Do you spend time loving Me intimately each day, or do you allow it to be crowded out of your thoughts by a multitude of business and other things?

78. • Do you praise Me consistently throughout the day‚ or are you overly burdened and worried? Is your first reaction a praise, or do you feel burdened instead, as if each new straw could be the one that broke the camel's back?

79. • Do you feel like your work and life are overwhelming, and that you have no time to yourself, or no time to get ahold of your life?

80. • Is your marriage/relationship suffering because you're too busy to take time with your mate, loved ones or children?

81. • When someone asks you for counsel or a question, do you take it upon yourself to solve their problem in person, or do you take it to Me in prayer and have faith that I can speak to them‚ or that I can give you something that you can pass on to them from Me?

82. • Is your daily Word time an irrevocable time of communion with Me? Or does it sometimes get shortened or missed altogether?

83. • Do you regularly let united devotions or time spent sharing the Word with someone else take the place of quality personal feeding from Me?

84. • If something unexpected comes up during the day, do you write off your time with Me, your get-out, your quiet time or other personal time, figuring that the unexpected event "took its place‚" and therefore you'll have to skip one of those things?

85. • Is it difficult for you to take daily time with Me? When you do, does your mind continue to race and be filled with thoughts of the day and all that there is to do?

86. • Do you find yourself making excuses about why you're not able to get everything done, or apologizing to others for not getting to this or that, assuring them that you will just as soon as possible? Then do you try to do double-duty in areas that you've fallen down in, even though that means cutting out our time together, or missing out on something else vital to your happiness and health?

87. • Do you skimp on your body's personal needs—get-out, fresh air, relaxation, sufficient sleep‚ dietary needs, enjoyment and entertainment, because you feel you have too much work to do, so you can't take time for those things?

88. • Do you often feel like you have to do everything yourself, and that you can't delegate because you can't trust others to do the job; or feel that if others do the job, it won't be done right, so you prefer to do it all yourself?

89. If these points sound like you, then you are overextended, dear one. They are symptoms. They can sometimes be symptoms of something else—for example, unyieldedness, or pride, or lack of time in the bed of love with Me. But they are often symptoms of overextending yourself, which is in essence operating in the arm of the flesh. Check yourself, and ask Me, are you giving too much, pushing too hard? If so, you need to reassess your life and service for Me. It's not My will that you crack up and fall apart under the strain. I want to make things easy for you, to lighten your load and help carry your burdens. Of course, the load will always be there, your labor for Me, and it will seem heavy to some extent‚ as there is so much to do and you carry so much responsibility‚ but I will make it light. I will make it easy and able to be borne.

90. So much stress is wrong, and even though you have good intentions, they won't safeguard you or keep you from burnout and eventual destruction of your spiritual and physical strength and stamina. So please realize that for the most part, almost without exception, if you're under constant stress, you're taking on too much and not letting enough of Me in. Just accept that by faith, and then let Me help you and begin to change your life.

91. Each of you should pray to see what your personal danger signs are. This is an area that you need to be aware of and diligently fight against, for working in the arm of the flesh by overextending yourself can totally destroy your usefulness to Me. I have given you so much in the way of instruction and knowledge in how to use the ways of the spirit, how to operate in the spirit, how to use the gifts of the spirit and the new weapons to accomplish My purpose there on Earth. So when you neglect these things in favor of pushing in your own strength‚ your fruitfulness is much less, in some cases almost none, compared to what I could do or would like to do with that situation. I can only fully use those who are humble and yielded to My Spirit. I can only fully use those who realize that they have no strength of their own, and that if they try to do things in the arm of the flesh they will fail. I can only fully use those who lean and depend completely on Me. (End of message from Jesus.)

92. (Mama: ) If those questions described you, please take the time to ask the Lord what needs to be adjusted in your life. For each of you, because your personal situations vary, the Lord's counsel will probably be different. But He loves you and needs you, and doesn't want you to burn out, so I guarantee that He'll have some workable solutions for you!

93. Please take the time to ask Him for them. This counsel won't do you any good unless you follow through on it, and the first step to following through is to ask the Lord what needs to change. Then counsel with your mate‚ your Home, or your co-workers so that together you can make the necessary adjustments or changes. If you think it's not possible, that there's nothing that can possibly give in your schedule or that can be left undone on your to-do list, please ask the Lord! He'll show you. He does have a solution!

The Job Is Too Big for You!

94. The Lord explains clearly in this next prophecy that the minute we think we have to accomplish everything that our job entails, we're overextending ourselves--because the job is and will always be too big for us! The mistake is in thinking that we have to do it. Of course‚ there are things we have to do, but the way to know what we have to do and what we should take to the Lord in prayer and leave at that, is to ask Him.

95. (Jesus speaking:) This has been the struggle from the very beginning: flesh versus spirit. This was the choice that Cain and Abel faced‚ the cause of the controversy between them, and this same struggle between flesh and spirit continues to this very day.

96. The reason the Enemy fights so hard is because he knows that this is a way that he can easily get in. It's already man's natural tendency to be strong and to lean on his own strength and logic, and seeing that you are in bodies of flesh, it's hard for many to differentiate between strength of flesh and strength of spirit.

97. I have blessed many of you with a strong mind and intellect, and when you're yielded to My Spirit, then I can use your natural strengths to help accomplish My will. I've given many of you gifts in the natural—organizational talents and abilities, as well as drive and initiative—and when coupled with My Spirit, you can be powerful and useful tools in My hand.

98. But you must let My Spirit have full sway. Pray without ceasing, always looking to Me and letting Me lead and guide you in everything you say and do. If not, if you go ahead and do things in your own strength and wisdom, then I can't fully bless you. You will have complications, difficulties‚ things will take much longer than you expected, and you'll find yourself becoming discouraged, tired, and lacking in My Spirit and strength.

99. I can't bless you and help you as much as I would like if you're running around and doing things in the arm of the flesh, outside of My protection and blessing. You have to spend time with Me. You have to be in constant communication with Me and let My Spirit empower and anoint you. Your job is too big and the responsibility is too great to even think that you can do things on your own, and if and when you try‚ you are automatically overextended. It all comes down to the wrong mindset of thinking you have to do it. You don't have to do it; I have to do it! But because there's so much work to be done‚ it's hard for some to realize when they're starting to cross over and do things in the arm of the flesh by overextending themselves, rather than relying on Me and My timetable, My direction, and My Spirit.

100. How many times have I shown you and told you that by spending time with Me‚ I will help your work to progress even more quickly, and give you the solutions and answers? When you're taking your time with Me faithfully, I'm able to help you keep things in perspective‚ and you're not as easily pressured and tempted to overextend yourself. I'm also able to bring the solutions through prayer, much quicker than you could ever bring them about, if you could bring them about at all. I will do the work for you if you'll let Me. So if you really want to accomplish a lot and make a lot of progress and avoid the pit of overextending yourself, the secret is to take the necessary time with Me. The dynamics of the spirit are such that you can accomplish much, much more if you spend time with Me.

101. Delegating is another secret to success. It's manifesting faith in My plan and in others‚ and it keeps your self-righteousness in check so you won't be as tempted to try to do it all yourself, and thus overextend yourself. You can't do it all. You must learn to trust that I am in control and that it's My work and I will do it. The answer here is simple: You need to come to Me in prayer and ask Me. Ask Me if you should be doing this, or if you should delegate it to others, and I'll show you what to do. If I tell you to delegate it to others, then you can give them some advice and instruction, but then pray and commit it to Me and trust that they'll take care of it. They may not do it exactly the way you would do it, as each person has a different style; but if they're prayerful, then I will anoint them to do it and it will be taken care of.

102. I am the very source of strength and inspiration‚ and when you partake of My Spirit, then you are partakers of My unlimited supply.

103. I have need of you, My loves, so give yourselves totally to Me so that I can anoint you and use you as My vessels. (End of message from Jesus.)

104. (Jesus speaking:) At times it's hard for My brides to trust Me for all that there is to do. In their great love for Me, they often try too hard in their own strength to do the work of the spirit. For the most part their motives are pure, as they sincerely desire to be a blessing and to tend diligently to the affairs of the Kingdom. They want to do a good job for Me. They want to take care of the sheep and the many details that come across their plate.

105. The one thing that they must realize is that except the Lord build the city‚ they that build it do so in vain. It's better to do a little with My Spirit than much in the arm of the flesh; it's quality and not quantity. These precious ones must realize that their time with Me in the Word and the bed of love is as important as their physical rest and eating to strengthen their bodies. Just as you need to have the right amount of food and rest in the physical, so do you in the spiritual.

106. There's always more to do than can possibly be done in any given day, but I ask you again, is it better to do a few things well, or many things in a half-baked fashion? The answer is obvious.

107. At times My brides might have to skimp some on their Word time or prayer time in unusual circumstances, but this should be the exception rather than the rule. If they feel that they don't have the time to be with Me, if they feel that tending to the affairs of the Kingdom is more important than spending their time with Me‚ then this is a sure sign that they're starting to overextend themselves, losing a sense of their priorities, and are beginning to operate in the flesh.

108. When they lose the joys of living for Me and being able to enjoy the simple things of life—a walk, a talk, a moment of fellowship with one of their precious mates—this too can be a sign of overdoing. If they start to feel that their jobs and responsibilities are more of a chore and a burden than a joy, then this too can be a sign that they're taking too much upon themselves and not truly casting their burdens and cares on Me.

109. People should enjoy their jobs. They should like the place of service that I've chosen for them. I know at times the things that I ask My precious brides to do are not always their first choice, but as they yield to Me and truly trust in Me and give their lives and hearts to Me‚ I give them the grace and the joy that comes from giving all to Me. They are then able to have peace and satisfaction in what I've asked them to do.

110. In order to do their best for Me, they must take the time that they need with Me. So much depends on these precious ones, and I need them to be in tune with Me and abiding in My Spirit. Shepherds need to be the well-oiled gears of the intricate machinery of My Family of the Endtime. They need to be as the jewels upon which the movements of the clock hinge. They need to be in place and well-oiled and honed in the proper fashion to fit their place of service, so that the other parts of the mechanism can move freely and with a minimum of friction.

111. You ask why My brides tend to work so hard in their own strength? In their sincere desire to be faithful stewards of what I have entrusted into their care, they start to think that they have to do it, that they're the ones who are responsible for all these affairs of the Kingdom. Well‚ in some ways they're right—they are responsible—but how they handle that responsibility is the key to success or failure.

112. Do they let that responsibility drive them to Me in a greater degree of desperation than ever before? Does it cause them to seek Me more diligently than in the past? Does it help them to be convinced of their total inability to do anything in the proper fashion without My Spirit? Are they convinced anew of their need for Me and My help in every way, or do they think that their anointing will carry them through?

113. While I do give an anointing with many gifts and talents to My precious brides, this anointing is a living thing that must be fed and nourished by My Spirit Look at it like this: The anointing is your basic package or program that you're given to fulfill any given task, but these basics need to be enhanced and updated as time goes on to accommodate the changing needs of any calling or ministry. You need to log on and download the latest version with all its enhancements so that your anointing won't just do the basic job, but will do it in an outstanding fashion, and will be able to adapt to the changing demands of any job or challenge.

114. At times‚ My brides try to ride along for too long on their basic anointing without getting the latest upgrades. The problem is that as time goes on, the demands of the calling and ministry can change, and without the latest upgrades‚ My brides won't be able to function properly and in the most efficient fashion.

115. With so much to do, it can be easy to lose sight of the proper way to go about things. It can be easy to feel that others are expecting a certain level of performance from them. They need to forget any preconceived ideas of what or who they are and what they need to be for Me. They need to realize that they're nothing without My Spirit, and to strive first and foremost to be what I want them to be—not what they feel they need to be for the sample's sake or for the standard's sake. They want to be good samples of loving shepherds who are diligent with all that they do, but they must not set an artificial standard of what they consider to be right or appropriate. They need to seek Me in humility and desperation so that they will be what I want them to be—a sample of My love and power.

116. At times My precious brides take too much upon themselves out of pride‚ as they want to prove to others that they can do it, that they have their act together. Well, I don't have a problem with anyone having their act together, but it's important that it's My act and not their own. Other times they need to have more faith to trust that I can anoint others to do the jobs that need to be done. The goal is not to load down a few people with more than they can possibly do, but rather to spread out the responsibilities on more shoulders in order to raise up others who can diligently care for the affairs of the Kingdom.

117. I know that it seems that there are never enough people to give more responsibility to, but sometimes it's a matter of having the faith and trust to give a job to someone else and to take the time and have the patience to train them. It takes faith to trust that others are going to get desperate and seek Me. It takes effort and time to pray for others that they will learn whatever lessons I have for them. It takes patience and faith to take the time to instruct and teach those in your care. (End of message from Jesus.)

Obliterate Obstacon

ML #3434:35-39‚ GN 1017

35. (Jesus speaking:) Obstacon … is cunning, wise, and crafty. He is clever, sly as a fox, devious and misleading. He uses his many charms to obstruct your way, and he is clever and sharp as a fox.

36. Beware of his strategies, for they are many. He offers that which is pleasing to the eye, appealing and logical to the carnal mind, satisfying to the heart of flesh. He seeks to seduce you with good things, good intentions, offers that are attractive‚ that look good; yet though good they may be, they are not the best. He tempts with good things, but not the best things, for they keep you from absorbing and applying My Words.

37. That is the significance of the many necklaces of costume jewelry that cover this evil one's chest. He offers good things, of some worth, but not the "real deal," not the greatest treasures that can never be taken from you. He tries to get you distracted with your own accomplishments and looking good in the eyes of others through your supposed efficiency and great works of the flesh. But these are nothing compared with what is accomplished through My Spirit when you depend on and obey My Word. What I can do through you is as precious jewels compared to the cut glass and tin of your own works, the distractions of even good things or pretty things or things that make you look good in the eyes of others, but that take the place of or usurp My Word!

38. The obstacles in this evil one's bag are many—some obvious to those who know My ways, others not so obvious. Obstacon is sly as a fox! He is slick and swift to adapt, to change his strategy at a moment's notice.

39. But this one is also a fool‚ for he thinks he can outwit My children through his craft and charms. His power is no match for the keys. His power is nothing to Me. He is no match for those who live in My Word, who depend on Me, who hold the keys before his face and call his bluff. (End of message from Jesus.)


#341, 388, 398

FJWL 1:341

(Dad:) You'd be surprised to see how much importance the Lord places on your yieldedness and your faithfulness. He doesn't judge you by your great accomplishments, because He knows that those accomplishments occurred because He was working through you anyway! He judges you by your love for Him and others, and your obedience and faithfulness to Him and His Word. He judges you by what you did‚ by you‚ not by what someone else did. As He said, "He that is faithful in that which is least‚ is faithful also in much." When you are faithful in those things which are least, to Him it is much.

When you let Him have full sway in your life, it is worth great honor Here! And when He has full sway, He doesn't always bring you to some great height, He just brings you to where He wants to bring you. Then He sees if you will be obedient and faithful there. That's why He says‚ "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord!" And, oh, the joy that you enter into Here!—The joy of knowing His love in fullness and completeness! The joy you have in seeing that all that faithfulness‚ all those yieldings pay off in His reward and in the glory that He gives!

Oh, there is great glory for some Here who seemed to do nothing there! They were unknown and unsung, but they were judged righteous and faithful because they did His bidding. So be faithful. Be diligent. Be yielded. But above all, be loving, and great will be your reward when you get Here. Great will be your reward. I'll say it again: Great will be your reward! (ML #3052).

FJWL 1:388

You feel discouraged because you feel like you haven't accomplished that much, that you've spent all these years serving Me, and you haven't got that much to show for it. But I look at things so differently. I see many wonderful accomplishments! I see your beautiful children who shine and sparkle! You've given your life raising them, and that is an important accomplishment! That means a lot to Me! In the eyes of man you may seem to be somewhat of a failure. You have no great legacy to leave behind, no great works that you have done—just simple, faithful plodding, daily taking care of your children, trying to witness and tell others about Me.

So it is with each of My Family members. I look upon their faithfulness to follow Me, to follow My Words, to witness‚ to do what they can, to take care of their children and raise them in the right way, to tell others about Me, to be a sample of My love. This is what I'm asking for. This is the greatest accomplishment!

I do not seek for great accomplishments in the flesh. I have not called My people because they are great and mighty. I have called them because they are faithful—faithful to follow Me daily‚ to give their lives for Me. This is the case even with My great ones from the Bible, such as Paul. You read of his great exploits and the many mighty works that he did. But in between those times were a lot of years of just faithful plodding‚ faithful witnessing, faithfully doing what he could, with no seemingly great accomplishments.

Those are the years that count the most. Those are the times that are most valuable in My sight, because you just keep going, and you give your all. Thank you for giving your all. That means more to Me than you could ever know. Don't worry about your accomplishments—I'm not keeping score! I look at your heart, your desire to love Me, your desire to love the lost, your desire to love the children that I've given you, and your desire to love your brothers and sisters. That's what counts in My sight.

FJWL 1:398

I look at your faithfulness, not at your accomplishments. Look at My prophet Jeremiah. How much did he accomplish? He gave the message, but not many people listened to him. They threw him in prison, and he had a lot of hard times with very few results. But he was faithful. He was faithful to give the message and to do what I called him to do, so I rewarded him greatly. That's why he's one of My great saints of all time.

And so it is with you. I'm not counting up your accomplishments and how many great things you've done, but I'm counting the days that you've been faithful.—Every day that you got up and took care of those kids and you tried to raise them in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord; every day that you went out to tell others about Me‚ to witness as best and as long as you could. I know that you feel it wasn't much, but I understand the many other burdens and pressures of taking care of a Home, raising support‚ and raising your children. You've done what you could.

Take the example of the widow who gave her mite to the temple. It wasn't much—very little compared to others who gave of their abundance—but in My eyes it was just as great a gift. In fact, it was a greater gift‚ because she had given her all. So it is with you. To you it seems like but a mite, but a small thing. You look at others and compare; you see the great things they have done, and you feel like your gift is so small. But to Me, your gift is greater, because it is all that you have. You gave your all, and for that‚ a great reward is stored up for you in Heaven!


1John 4:7-12,16‚20-21

7Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

8He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

9In this was manifested the love of God toward us‚ because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

10Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

11Beloved, if God so loved us‚ we ought also to love one another.

12No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

16God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

20If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

21And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

End of File