KEYWORDS: family, home, lord, members, program

Getting Stronger--Part 1


Preparing for the Year of Strengthening

By PeterFD/MM/FM 3515 11/04

Dear Family,

1. Mama and I love you! We pray that this GN finds you happy and on fire for Jesus! We're so proud of you for staying faithful to the Lord and the Family, and we know the Lord is blessing and rewarding you as a result. There is so much good news coming our way from you! Mama and I continue to praise our wonderful Husband for the miracles He's doing, the progress being made, the many answers to prayer, the continued increase in supply of the Family's needs, the marvelous results of the renewal, and the tremendous fruit being borne through a powerful Christmas witnessing season. We're thrilled to be in the Family, we're proud of the message the Lord's given us, we're thankful for such wonderful co-workers and mates, and we're looking forward to a tremendous new year! Praise the Lord!

2. There is a lot of information coming your way right now, we know. You're receiving a number of important GNs, and it's probably somewhat overwhelming. We pray you can find the time‚ through the power of the keys of focus, organization, and diligence‚ to really study these many GNs, as each one carries a message that you really need at this time.

3. By now you've received the renewal ending GN containing "Renewal: The Conclusion" and "Renewal: The Challenge." You should also have gotten Mama's Letter, "God's Trampolines‚" and the criteria from the CGO International Board. These are all tremendous and power-packed GNs. Also, there are the new "Shooting Straight" GNs, which are a rousing challenge, and which will help each of us to hang on to the victories won and progress made during the renewal.

4. Each one of those GNs is worthy of prayerful study and meditation. Each one contains counsel from the Lord that will greatly affect your lives, and we pray desperately that you're able, in spite of your busy schedules, to quiet your spirits sufficiently to have quality Word time daily, during which time you can study these Letters until you really understand the message and are able to begin to apply them to your lives and Homes. It's absolutely crucial that you don't let these GNs slide by with only a quick glance or a single reading‚ because‚ otherwise, you won't grasp the full counsel‚ and then, in time, you personally and your Home overall will be found wanting.

5. Besides the GNs I just listed‚ within this GN and the one that will follow it soon, Lord willing, I will be sharing with you some changes and announcements that will affect each of you. So please do take the time to tune in to this Letter and absorb this counsel, even if it seems a little complicated or tedious. As you know, we're working desperately to save our ship. We're continuing to restructure the Family even as we prepare to go into the year of strengthening, and part of that restructuring means revamping some of our present ways of doing things, and embracing new approaches‚ new programs, and new challenges. This GN will explain some of these new ideas, and we pray it's a blessing to you.

6. In order to get this counsel to you quickly, I'm going to share with you excerpts of a video that I made in August of this year for the Regional Shepherds (RSs, formerly known as COs; see LNF 291). This was made during the International VS board meetings, which as you know, Mama and I attended. (See "Mama's Visit to Central America," Post-it GN #14, available on the MO site.)

7. Usually when we're praying about major changes for the Family, we try to do so when the RSs are all together at the Summit, which allows us to all participate in the discussions, deliberations, debates, prayers, and hearing from the Lord, and all of the top leadership of the Family come away with a full understanding of all the reasons behind the changes we're making. Under such circumstances, we leave the Summit united in purpose and goals‚ and we work together to bring those goals about.

8. In this case, however, the International VS board and those of us who attended this meeting had to go about these changes a bit differently, since we couldn't wait for the next Summit to roll around. Our discussions at the IB meeting were only the first stage, and then we proposed the vision of the changes, how things will work, what the goals are‚ the reasons behind these suggestions, etc.‚ to the RSs via video, and we communicated with them in detail via e–mail‚ getting their input, questions, suggestions, etc. So this has been discussed in full with all the RSs worldwide, not only those people who participated in the International VS board meetings.

9. Here is a portion of my explanation to the RSs:

Great Strides of Progress in 2004

10. (Peter on video to RSs: ) In the course of restructuring the Family, the Lord has instructed Mama and me, in counsel with our top Family leadership, to assess every area of Family life, and to not leave any stones unturned as we seek ways to make us into the discipleship body that He wants and needs us to be. While we still have a ways to go to prevent our ship from sinking‚ with our Husband's grace, strength, and guidance, the Family is beginning to make the needed progress that is placing us firmly on the road to recovery.

11. Since the beginning of this year, the year of restructuring, we have begun to see a fundamental shift in the spirit of the Family. The lethargic, cafeteria-style application of the Word and of discipleship is fading; there is a renewed desire to grow in spirit; there is desperation in regards to being in the discipleship circle of membership; there is an increased hunger for the Word, along with a much stronger conviction and determination to live it.

12. Family members are making fundamental choices; they are deciding if they want to be disciples. Many are committing to living the discipleship life no matter what the cost, and have determined that they will make whatever changes are necessary in order to remain disciples. At the basic core of the Family‚ which is within the hearts of our Family members, foundation-stone decisions are being made. Those hearts are once again beating with dedication, with renewed fire, and with the spirit of discipleship.

13. Those who have chosen to embrace Missionary membership have also contributed to the strengthening of the Family, as it's crucial for every person to be in the place the Lord has for him or her, living according to their faith, which will bring much more happiness and peace of mind. We're very pleased with how the Missionary members are staying true to their faith and convictions, and having significant influence in the strengthening and forward progress of the Family overall.

14. It is because of these changed hearts, these right choices, this rededication in spirit, that there is hope for the Family not only to survive, but to move forward into the future the Lord has planned for us. If our precious Family members had refused to make the right spiritual decisions, if they had clung to the way things were and refused to let go of their wrong and compromised mindsets, then all of the restructuring and planned strengthening would be of no avail.

15. But Family members, with all their faults and failings, are disciples at heart. By God's grace, and through the power of prayer, the keys, and the Word, the spirit of discipleship is once again beginning to flourish.—And with it comes a new spirit of obedience, conviction, and determination. This spiritual change at the core level is what will make the restructuring a success and the strengthening of 2005 a reality.

16. We are now building on the solid foundation of dedicated disciples, and thus the changes made both now and in the future will be able to stand strong and firm, and will, by God's grace, bring the desired results. God bless you, dear Family‚ for taking up the challenge‚ for making the right decisions, and for being willing to move with God's Spirit!

17. Actually‚ the progress made thus far has been phenomenal:

18.The Restructuring GN series has gone out, which has stirred up the pot within the Family and has caused many to carefully evaluate their personal commitment to the Lord and His service.

19.The Missionary membership level has been established‚ and for the most part has taken root as we had hoped and prayed—as that of a positive level of membership with good, solid‚ on–fire Family members. Many Homes and individuals recognized that this was the place of service for them and chose to move to it voluntarily; while others, with help from the RSs and VSs, came to realize that this was the level they were best suited for‚ and are now happy with it and are adjusting to this change.

20.The Homes that were clearly more suited to Fellow membership were helped along to that category of service.

21.From all we've seen and heard, the renewal has borne wonderful fruit and is continuing to do so. Our children and teens are being tuned in to like never before, worldly influence was cut off during the months of the renewal and will continue to be greatly minimized, and the renewal pubs and "Shooting Straight" GNs are having a major impact. Our spirits are being cleansed and renewed. Praise the Lord!

22.Four of the six International boards have recently met, with the other two meeting in the near future. [By the time you read this, dear Family, all the International boards will have finished their meetings.] The board criteria and additional publications are all coming down the home stretch and will be published, Lord willing, by the end of the year or within the first quarter of 2005.

23.FD Homes are working on increasing their size to meet the new minimum requirement, and they are also being wiser in their Home's makeup, with the goal of building winning teams.

24. So we're progressing, we're moving forward. Already today the Family is much different than it was this time last year, before the Summit. We're changing, growing, and moving forward! Praise the Lord! Of course‚ there's more to do, and more areas that we're in the process of assessing and evaluating, one of which is the VS program and job.

Changes for the VS Program

25. The International VS board, some of the regional VS board chairs, and a handful of VSs met for five weeks in July and August (2004). In the months before this meeting, when praying about the content of the meeting, our Husband spoke numerous times about the VS program, the VSs, and the need to assess the shepherding needs of the Family of tomorrow.

26. He said that we needed to pray desperately for His direction and to brainstorm how the Family needs to be spiritually shepherded. He instructed us to evaluate the VS program and to look at it and other alternatives with fresh new eyes, letting go of our mindsets and being willing to make whatever changes were necessary to find the proper method of shepherding for the future.

27. The Lord led us to make some major changes in the VS program; in fact, to do away with it altogether, and to come up with a new program for the spiritual shepherding of the Family. It's a major departure from the past, one which caused us at the meeting—and will cause you and the Family at large—to let go of the hitching posts within our minds and to move out by faith to embrace a new plan, a new idea, one which we hope will help to raise up and train more people in the area of spiritual shepherding. This change not only eliminates the VS program as we know it, and puts a new program in its place, but will also make some modifications in the governance of the Homes themselves.

28. In the keynote meeting at the VS International board meeting, I read two prophecies to those in attendance. I want to share portions of them with you now for two reasons. First, so that you can see how wonderfully the Lord fulfilled His promises to guide us to the plan that He has for us, and second, because the message of letting go of our mindsets, of being willing to seek out a new plan and a new way to do things, applies to you too. This counsel will be a blessing for you if you can apply it to your Home and board meetings, or other situations in which you're discussing new ideas or trying to find solutions to problems.

29. (Jesus:) I have a wonderful and marvelous plan to reveal to you, and to bring about through you. I want to set you free in the spirit in many ways during this time. I want to help you to break out of any molds or mindsets or attitudes that have been holding you back. I want to liberate you from the restrictions or limitations you've placed on yourself or on anyone or anything. I want to "break the box and let it roll" with the new ideas and input and inspiration I have to give!

30. I want each of you to start off these sessions on the right foot‚ by being completely open to whatever I might have to show you, and whatever way I might lead. Let go of any and all preconceived ideas or plans you might have about how it "should" work and what you think should happen. Don't forget your ideas‚ and be ready and willing to present them, as needed‚ but don't be stuck on them either. These sessions will only work and bear the fruit I want them to bear if each participant is manifesting a willing and yielded spirit‚ ready and desirous to hear from Me and to learn from Me‚ and to hear and learn from others as well.

31. This is My VS board workshop, and I know what I want done during this time. I'm not asking any of you to have the big plan, or to have complete understanding. I'm just asking you to be yielded and open channels, ready and willing tools, so that I can work through you. Are you able to give that much? Are you ready to commit to that? If so‚ then I have what I need to work with, and I can take it from there. I can start sending down the ideas, the answers‚ the solutions—everything from the big picture to the small details—for it is Mine to give.

32. Whatever your personal issues or mindsets, I can help you to overcome them. Whatever obstacles, genuine or imagined, come up during your time together‚ I can help you hurdle them. Whatever complications arise, I will help you untangle them. I've called you, and I will do it through you. All I ask is that you be willing, yielded, open to however I will lead, desperate with Me, prayerful, willing to hear from Me, and willing to share what I give you. As you commit to doing these things, I will guide you step by step through the maze that this big project is. It seems monumental—and it is, by your standards—but from My perspective it is easy enough to scale, and scale it we will—together! (End of message.)

33. In the second keynote prophecy, the Lord said:

34. (Jesus:) You've all seen the need. You know how desperately the Family needs more leadership, better-trained leadership, and new leadership. The Homes desperately need strengthening, and a big part of that strengthening will come through helping the teamworks to be better trained‚ wiser, and more competent in their role.

35. Well‚ that's why we're here. It's a desperate need. The training of more leadership is crucial to the restructuring of the Family. Many of the other preparations are underway, but until you get more leadership trained at the ground level, you won't really be able to make the progress that's needed. It's like taking vitamins and treatments for the muscles and the skin and the internal organs—that's all well and good, but until the bone structure is strong and healthy‚ the body won't get far. Working on this program for training leadership is like working to strengthen the skeletal structure, which is vitally important to the health, mobility‚ control, movement‚ and usefulness of the overall body.

36. It's extremely important that each of you goes into this project willing to relinquish your own ideas, really ready to open up to Me and pull down My answers and solutions. My answers and solutions won't always be the obvious ones. They won't always be the simplest ones. They won't always come in one shot. Sometimes—many times, in fact—they will take some hashing out, some desperation on the part of several channels‚ hearing from Me‚ bringing My answers back to the table, and being willing to go back to Me again.

37. I'm depending on each of you to roll up your sleeves and get in there, and do the job professionally—and by professionally I mean without personal sensitivity, or set opinions, or caring who gets the credit‚ or who shares what ideas, or how your ideas are received, or how much adjustment or tweaking your contributions need in order to be what I need them to be. The goal is to find what works best for the Family—and by the Family, I mean 10,000-plus dedicated individuals who are working together to win this corrupt and decaying world for Me before time runs out.

38. So it's going to take all of you—and not only you, but all the spirit help and wisdom of the ages I have here available to you—to find those solutions, to come up with a workable, doable, practical plan that will affect and change every Home for the better. It can be done! I know, because I have it figured out and ready for you. (End of message.)

39. (Peter on video to RSs:) As you can imagine, we were both thrilled with the Lord's promises and challenged with the task at hand. We did our best to pull down His plan, and He did miracle after miracle, giving His answers wonderfully! The Lord instructed us that the next stage in the restructuring of the Family was for us to take a good, hard look at the VS program. Simply put, the VS program needs a revamp. While it has served a purpose over the years, it is not meeting the present needs of the Family.

40. The VSs themselves have not failed. They are some of the most sacrificial people in the Family, and have done a very good job. The existing VS program served its purpose, it had its time and place, and it could possibly continue to work as it has, helping on a small Home-by-Home scale to patch up problems, to help some individuals, and to administer discipline when needed. But there are some serious flaws in the program, both in relation to the Family as it was, and as related to the needs of the Family today and in the future. Let's take a look at those flaws:

41. —We don't have enough VSs to shoulder the huge VS load, the mandate of which has, up until now, been to perform the many duties of area officers‚ but also to essentially be the personal shepherd of every individual within the Family 18 and over. That's a lot to expect of only the 90 or so VSs worldwide.

42. —The Charter stated that VSs were to "offer advice and counsel to help [the Homes] progress spiritually‚ physically, or organizationally‚ as well as advice on the well-being of the members‚ including children." Basically this meant they were expected to get in there and help the Home in every conceivable way. They had to be knowledgeable about every aspect of the operation of the Home.

43. —On top of that, they had to play the role of the "policeman" by determining "through visitation‚ observation, and investigation, as well as discussion with Home members, whether a Home and/or individuals within the Home were fulfilling the Responsibilities of Individual Members and/or the Responsibilities of the Charter Home."—Another huge job! The load of the VSs might have been lightened somewhat with the implementation of the boards, but not to the degree needed.

44. —While the average number of CM Homes per VS is 6, there are some areas in which each VS is responsible for 13 Homes, clearly way more than one person can effectively handle.

45. —We haven't had the financial wherewithal to give them the funds to do their monumental job. We haven't had, and still don't have, the funds to help support them sufficiently so they can be free to travel, nor to pay for the amount of travel needed for them to fully do the job.

46.Many‚ if not most of them, have not received sufficient specific training. They haven't had enough regular ongoing input and training to aid them in their massive job.

47. —The job itself is extremely difficult‚ as it requires the VSs to spend the majority of their time working within a negative realm. They deal with the Homes' and individuals' problems day in and day out, year after year. Theirs is a job of putting out fires rather than keeping the fires from starting in the first place. They are in a job that requires them to constantly react to problems, either in trying to solve them or disciplining offenders, instead of working in a positive or proactive manner by investing in training others so that the problems either don't arise or can be solved at the Home level without their assistance.

48.The present VSs are in desperate need of spiritual refilling. Most of them have been pouring out for years without being sufficiently refilled, and are running on empty. They've listened to people's problems, complaints, and doubts for years on end, but there hasn't been enough time, or they haven't taken enough time, to get refilled and strengthened spiritually, and this is largely due to the fact that they also had to play such key roles in their own Homes as teamworkers, fundraisers‚ etc.

49.The VS program hasn't been updated to meet the needs of our present-day Family, thus it has outlived its usefulness. We need to remember that the current VS program was designed at the time of the implementation of the Charter, nine years ago. Things have changed and the Family's needs are very different now; therefore it's natural to take a good, hard look at the program and see how it needs to be updated and revamped, or discontinued altogether.

50. Again, I want to make it very clear that it's not that the VSs themselves have failed. They've done the best they could, they've made their mark, and there are many disciples who are still in the Family today because the VSs helped pull them through in their time of need.

51. The problem hasn't been with the VSs per se, it's been with the program itself. Too much has been expected of the VSs; too much was put on their plate; the resources to help them do the job were not sufficiently available. So, over the long term, they were fighting a losing battle. They have valiantly fought on, they have given their all, but they've been working and struggling within the structure of a disadvantaged program.

52. Unfortunately, we didn't get in there and revamp the program earlier. It was working to some extent, and even though we knew the program had its flaws, we didn't grab the bull by the horns and get in there and fix it. We may have put some patches on it over the years, but we never delved in and solved the major problems. Perhaps this is because the problems couldn't be solved within the present structure of the program and we weren't ready to build a new one. Thankfully, however‚ we are ready for that now.

53. Being a VS has been an extremely difficult job, and the VSs have, for the most part, been on their own, without sufficient training, without enough financial support, without sufficient time to recover from their battle wounds. All things considered‚ they've done a tremendous job, and our hats are off to them. They deserve as much commendation as we can possibly give them.

54. The fact that we're revamping the program that they have been an integral part of doesn't mean that they have not done a great job. In fact‚ I'd venture to say that the sacrifice, love, and loyalty of our present VSs has held the program together and made it as useful and effective as it has been. The VSs have done the best they could, but they've been working and struggling within the structure of a program that now has definite weaknesses‚ one which needs to be reassessed and restructured in order to meet the needs of the Family today. In prophecy, the Lord said:

55. (Jesus: ) I'm so proud of you VSs for all you have poured out through the years. Yours is one of the toughest jobs in the Family, for you are right out there on the front lines. You face all the same challenges that regular Family members face—that of raising children, raising funds, running Homes, witnessing‚ and surviving on sometimes tough mission fields. You do all that, and then on top of it you give even more to help shepherd the Family.

56. My hat is off to you for the job you have done. All points considered, you have done an excellent job; you have given to your own hurt. You have continued to give even when you were spent and had nothing left to give. You have done this out of love for Me and love for the Family.

57. You VSs are some of the most sacrificial people in the Family. And yours is often a thankless job. Not only do you give and give until it hurts, but then you are often the ones people complain about the most—not because you did a bad job‚ but because often people don't like being told they did something wrong. They don't like being corrected. People know they shouldn't blame the Word, and blaming Mama and Peter or the RSs doesn't seem quite right, so they blame you VSs. It's sad, because you deserve the highest commendation. You deserve the biggest rewards and greatest blessings, for you have in so many ways given to your own hurt.

58. I want you to know‚ My loves, that I give you the highest commendation, for in My book you are some of the greats! You are those who lay down your lives for the brethren, you feed My sheep, you care for My lambs. Though you may not feel like you're receiving great rewards here, trust Me, for I have great rewards laid up for you faithful, loyal, and dedicated ones. (End of message.)

59. (Peter on video to RSs:) As you can see from what the Lord has said, the VSs have done a wonderful job in serving the Family. The VS program was useful for its time, and served its purpose well, especially at the onset of the Charter, and the VSs themselves certainly did the best they could within the VS structure. We're sorry that our dear VSs had to operate so long within the present program and that their needs haven't been met fully. And now it's time to do something about it. Things can't continue as they are. Change must come now, because if it doesn't, we won't be able to meet the needs of the Family of the future.

60. When hearing that the VS program had a lot of lacks, especially in recent years, you might be tempted to feel that the VS program was generally a failure, or that we who designed the program in the Charter "got it wrong." Well, granted, it could have been better in some ways, but it was far from a failure.

61. Here is a portion of a transcript from a video that I made for the VSs, as Mama and I wanted to inform them personally, as soon as possible, of the discontinuation of the VS program. This listing shows the tremendous work that has been accomplished by the VSs, and how much we all owe them for their faithful, diligent services. Please support the VSs in prayer during this time of change, as they'll be working to strengthen their own winning teams, taking more time with the Lord to be refilled, spending more time with their children and families, etc.

Excerpt of Video to the VSs, by Peter

62. I want to list some of the major jobs and responsibilities that you, as VSs—perhaps not individually, but collectively—have taken on over the last few years. This list was compiled when the RSs attending the International VS board meeting were talking about what a major role you have played over the years in helping to keep the Family going and progressing.

63. Of course, no list can ever cover everything you've done. No one except the Lord knows of all the time‚ prayer, effort, hardship, sacrifice, and blood‚ sweat‚ and tears, you have given to the job. Neither can anyone other than the Lord know all the good you have done, the great impact you've had on individual Family members, and the Family as a whole. So this list only covers the majors. All the rest will be covered one day when you stand before the Lord and He rewards you for a job well done! At that time, we'll all understand the depth of your sacrifice and the tremendous influence you have been in the lives of so many.

*You've been the backbone of the VS visitation program, taking the pulse of the Family at the grassroots level.

*You've spent countless hours in personally counseling and encouraging individual Home members throughout the world. Because of your help‚ instruction‚ training, correction‚ and input, coupled with the Lord's personal instruction and working in individual lives, many have grown and progressed miraculously over the years.

*You investigated‚ did follow-up, and helped to prayerfully decide upon appropriate discipline for Charter infractions.

*You were the structure of the RCC‚ taking care of multitudes of Charter procedure details.

*You promoted unity in your areas by organizing city councils, fellowships, and activities.

*Collectively, you have received thousands of prophecies of instruction and encouragement for individuals and Homes.

*You have written countless letters of counsel to Homes and individuals, not to mention phone calls and personal meetings.

*You have been instrumental in getting the Family restructuring off the ground, helping individuals and Homes find their proper place of service.

*You have been samples of loving shepherds.

*You have helped with many crisis situations, being on call to assist those in need in your area.

*You have been involved in board initiatives and camps.

*You have given classes at JETT/teen meetings and planned and helped with retreats.

*You have organized seminars and activities for other age groups in the Family.

*You have gotten behind each new revolution or initiative, being promoters of the Word in your area and samples to the rest of the Family.

*You have been faithful prayer warriors for the Homes and individuals in your area.

*Many times, you were sent to do the very difficult work of dealing with problem situations.

*You were an encouragement to our younger generation, helping them, when possible, to get into good situations to receive more training and input.

*You have been a solid base of counselors to your COs, providing them with input about local conditions, circumstances, individuals, and situations.

*Many of you have raised your own finances for visitation, as well as being involved in fundraising for your own Home's needs.

*You have been pillars to the Homes you have lived in, creating solid Homes, being good Home members, participating in fundraising, childcare, shepherding of your personal Homes, etc.

*Along with all this other work, many of you are parents, which has required additional time and attention in caring for your children.

*You have done a lot of proactive work for the Family, showing board videos, WS videos, holding seminars and participating in other initiatives.

*You've been willing to receive others into your Homes to provide them with input, training, rest‚ or a break when needed.

*Before the board vision was implemented, you did much of what the boards do now‚ including organizing camps, children's activities, teen training, outreach seminars, etc. You've had to be involved in many different portfolios, providing valuable input for your areas.

*You've been the Lord's love "in shoe leather" to the Homes and individuals. You've been there when they needed you. You've loved, chided, corrected, disciplined, forgiven, comforted, prayed‚ understood, wept‚ sacrificed, and have laid down your lives daily, all because of your love for the Lord and His sheep.

64. You've been instrumental in bringing the Family through the years since the Charter‚ as well as through this initial restructuring period‚ and Mama and I are so proud of you. You are very precious and much needed in whatever future role the Lord has for you to play. We want to personally thank you and commend you for your faithfulness in your VS job. Please accept our deepest love and gratitude for your faithful service. (End of excerpt of video to the VSs.)

Text box:

65. Dear VSs, Mama and I sincerely thank you for the faithful service that you've given to the Family! I believe I can also express heartfelt love and thanks on the behalf of all Family members. Each Family member has in some way benefited from your tireless service, your prayers, your love‚ your understanding, your shepherding, and we pray that you feel this love and appreciation from all of us.

66. Yours has been a difficult job, and as the Lord said, He has "great rewards laid up for you faithful, loyal, and dedicated ones." The Lord has also given you special blessings here and now, as a result of your faithfulness in doing the VS job over the years. He's poured out anointing, wisdom, fruitfulness, satisfaction in helping your fellow Family members, supply, joy in your labors, and other spiritual and physical blessings. Many of you have benefited from closer shepherding and interaction with the RSs, as you've worked together to do the job of shepherding your national area. You've received training and counsel in shepherding others‚ in the use of prophecy, and in many matters. Those are all blessings of the spirit, and while they might not be very apparent or looked upon as "blessings" by each and every Family member, they're nevertheless spiritual blessings and rewards.—And as the Lord promised, there's much more to come!

67. A number of you have written Mama and me since you viewed the VS video. We were touched and encouraged by your reactions and your wholehearted support of this new program, even though it means a big change in your life. We admire you for embracing this change and revolution, and we were encouraged to read that many of you feel you personally gained and benefited from your time as a VS, and that you see this change as the next step toward your personal growth in your discipleship. That's the right attitude to have, and we're proud of you for continuing to lead the way in being willing to let go of the past and embrace the new. We're proud of you!

End of text box.

68. (Peter on video to RSs:) Our VSs are really good people. They're trying so hard to do the job, but the job is simply too much, the load too heavy. The Lord has showed us that we need a new shepherding vehicle, one that doesn't take so much out of the shepherds, one that is designed to lighten the load as time goes on, instead of forever increasing the load.

69. The Lord showed us that we can't just "fix" our present VS program by making modifications here and there or patching up a few problems. The present program is unfixable and it needs to be replaced. In one prophecy, the Lord said we need to come to Him with open minds and hearts, and be ready to receive His new, radical, outside-the-box, workable plan for the Family of today. We have to start anew, fresh, and with a clean slate. We have to ask Him for His updated plan for today. (End of excerpts of video to RSs.)

70. (Peter: ) So that's what we did! With lots of prayer, prophecy, meetings‚ brainstorming, discussion, deliberation, subcommittees‚ and hearing from the Lord, the Lord revealed a new plan.

71. The Lord indicated that we needed to come up with an entirely new program, the details of which we will present in the next GN(s) in this series. We did‚ however‚ want to let you know of this first big change, that of discontinuing the present–day VS program. The new program for the shepherding of the Family and the Homes is different and inspiring, and we believe you'll be happy with it.

72. We would have liked to have explained all the details relating to this new plan at once, but at the time of writing this GN we were still in the midst of counseling with the RSs and IBCs (International Board Chairs) about some of the finer points. It's too much for us to try to get the whole shebang to you in one mailing, so we'll need to take it one step at a time and explain more details as we go along.

73. In this GN, Mama and I wanted to tell you the timely information that you really need to know now, various announcements and counsel that will go into effect right away and that will have an impact on your Home.

74. There is still a lot to do to develop all the aspects of this new shepherding program‚ to produce the GNs that will explain it, to create and publish the needed training programs, and to get the program implemented within the Family. Therefore, there will be a period of transition between when the present VS program ends and the new program begins. Our present VS program needs to run throughout the rest of 2004. The VSs are very needed to help bring about the rest of the restructuring. Homes still need to be visited, they still need help, there is still much to do.

75. The overall plan calls for the present VS program to continue functioning until the end of 2004. Beginning January 2005, the VS program as it is today will officially end. Our goal is to have the new shepherding program up and running some time during the second half of 2005. At this point, it's not possible to know the exact date when the new program will be launched, since a lot depends on the preparation and finalization of the program, as well as the pubs and training materials that will be needed.

76. This means that beginning in January 2005, all present–day VSs will have a period of at least six months in which they will not be involved in any VS-type work or visitation. During the second half of 2005, once the new program is set up and operational, some of today's VSs may be asked by your RSs to pray about taking part in the new program. There will also be others, those who were not VSs previously, who will take part in the new program.

77. During the first six months of 2005, there will be a mechanism in place, a type of "temporary legislation," that will be set up to take care of disciplinary issues and any needed investigations, reclassifications, RCC duties, and the number of things that the VSs would normally take care of. There will be a Shepherding desk set up in each region that will aid the RSs who chair the VS board in their handling of these responsibilities.

78. During the first six months of 2005, we ask that you please do not turn your attention to the RSs or your RBCs, as a replacement for the personal counseling or help that you would have normally requested of the VSs, since you won't have VSs. Much like had to be done in Brazil when their board structure was temporarily disbanded, Mama and I have instructed the RSs that they are not to now also take on the role of VSs for their fields. They are not to become deeply embroiled in trying to be referees in inner-Home disputes, or in receiving and answering OHR-type letters from individuals‚ etc. The RSs have huge workloads for 2005, if the new plan for the strengthening of the Family is to be in place and carried out‚ and they can't become your new VSs.

79. What this means is that if you write your RSs or RBCs sharing your heart about personal or Home-related matters, please do not expect to receive counsel in return. They will try to acknowledge your letter, and they will pray for you, but they cannot possibly take on the role of shepherding you personally. Please do not ask to meet with your RSs or call them‚ asking them to sort out problems in your Home or city.

80. This might sound harsh and uncaring, but there is a reason for this: The Family, at both the Home level and the leadership level‚ has mindsets that need to be changed. You can't continue to be so dependent on your VSs or other outside shepherds. You have to let Home accountability take root in your Home, and that means you all being your brother's keepers‚ and your Home teamworks being willing to take responsibility to shepherd your Home members, rather than expecting the VSs or RSs to come in and do that.

81. You have the Word and a wealth of counsel and clear instruction in the GNs that outline how to form a fruitful, winning team. You have jewels at your fingertips in the pubs that cover just about every imaginable problem you could face. That will be the time to read that Word, study it deeply‚ apply it to your lives, and let the Word do the work! Look to the Word. Look to the Lord. The answers are all there.

82. And on top of that, you have the gift of prophecy; you can get on-the-spot counsel and guidance from your very own personal Shepherd, and He's always available. If you faithfully go to the Word, and to the Lord‚ and hear from Him in prophecy, even though you might miss the comfort and security of communicating with or soliciting help from your earthly shepherds, you won't lack for anything. The Lord has said that you have all you need through the Word and the spiritual gifts that He's given us as a Family, such as prophecy, to make it through this time just fine. So don't worry or fear, just claim the power of the keys of faith and thank the Lord for this time to realign your mindsets with His and to get more strongly connected to the Word.

83. In order to help with this mindset change, we will also be implementing some changes in the structure of the Home teamwork. The details of these changes will be explained in the next GN(s) in this series (coming within a few weeks, D.V.), but know that there are some good solutions that will help you to grow in Home accountability and fulfill the Lord's challenges to you.

84. After six months of really working together as a Home, and your Home teamworks doing the job they're commissioned to do, which is to shepherd the Home members, you'll be in a much better position to receive the new program that will replace the VS program and improve the structure for the shepherding of the Homes. This time during which you're "forced" to work together and help one another, and when the Home teamworks will be looking to the Word and putting forth the effort in prayer, counsel, encouragement, hearing from the Lord, etc.‚ to shepherd their Home members, will make you much stronger—both individually and as a Home.

85. If you're tempted to worry about the new program for the shepherding of the Family, please commit your fears or concerns to the Lord. Things will become clearer for you once you're informed about the whole picture. Also, please understand that the frame of mind that we had when working out this new program was as follows:

—Our present program is not working.

—We need something new when going into the year of strengthening.

—These are big changes, so of course they're going to upset the status quo and the way things have been done for almost ten years; but we ask that you just ride it out if it seems overwhelming or confusing. It will become clearer and easier.

—We can experiment, and if some things need to be changed or tweaked, if something doesn't work as well as we expected, we can change it. We don't expect that this first draft of such a major change will be perfect.

—We can have the new shepherding program in place for the last part of 2005, and Lord willing, in the first months of 2006 we can review it and see what needs to be tweaked or revamped. We're still in the business of trying to save the Family. We're at war, and we don't have the luxury of getting everything perfect before we move forward; we have to act now, decisively, and bravely, as our Husband leads. So please, dear Family, hang on to the Lord, and get ready for an exciting, fruitful ride!

Other Timely and Important Announcements

86. Now I'd like to explain some other announcements. These are important; some offer more information on general counsel that was given earlier, so please read them carefully and take note.

*Feast 2005 Timeframe

87. As you'll read in the Grapevine, the Feast this year will be held February 24 through 26, or February 25 through 27. In order to prepare for this Feast, which will be different than past Feasts, there will be a study month from January 20 to February 20. During this month, Mama and I ask that you please take time to study the board criteria and adjoining report forms for your Home for each board (for the Home reviews), all of which you will have received by then. There will be several other GNs to read during that time. Closer to the time of the study month, we'll outline clearly in the Grapevine what specific pubs are to be studied during that month, for your easy reference.

*Home Elections 2005

88. As you know, elections for Home teamworks are scheduled for February of 2005. Please wait on holding those elections until you have read the counsel about the new structure for the shepherding of the Home, which, Lord willing‚ will be coming in the next GN of this series. For the first elections of the year we would like to ask all Homes to hold your elections in March instead of February. After reading the counsel in the next GN of this series, you will likely need more time to pray about the new structure and study the GN on it. This means that you may continue with your present teamwork until you hold new elections in March, based on the new structure and guidelines. (More information on elections and confirmations coming in the next GN of this series.)

*FM/MM Moving to FD

89. We will soon be publishing what the process will be for Missionary members moving to Family discipleship. However, for the moment, individual Missionary members or Fellow members wishing to transfer to FD can apply as early as January 1, 2005, although they won't be able to actually join an FD Home before February 1. The reason for this is that it's important that both the FD Home, as well as the person who wants to become part of the FD Home, have time to thoroughly read and understand the board criteria.

90. The criteria explain in detail what is expected of FD Homes. Therefore‚ it stands to reason that the Home and the individual who seeks to join an FD Home must be aware of that information so they can make a wise and knowledgeable decision—so that the person joining knows whether or not they can make it in the FD Family, and so the Home knows if that person is going to help them form their winning team. There could be some aspects of the FD criteria that will be "deal breakers" for a Fellow or Missionary member who seeks to join an FD Home, and after reading the criteria they might decide they no longer wish to be FD.

91. For this reason, no FD Home will be able to take in any new members from among the MM or FM Family before February 1, 2005. Individuals applying to join an FD Home must also read the criteria in full and be willing to live the full FD standard.

92. Please also understand that you should not hope for those rejoining from Missionary membership to make up your six-man population in order to retain your FD status in January 2005. Additionally, Missionary members aren't voting members during their "joining period" (as was stated in the "Addendum to 'The Next Step'" in GN 1068)‚ so any Home banking on a Missionary member to make up their six–man voting member population needs to make other plans right away to receive the needed personnel‚ or the whole Home will be moved to Missionary membership come January 2005.

93. Please be encouraged that if your FD Home is reclassified for being undersized‚ you can still continue to live together communally and continue fulfilling the board criteria‚ and simply reapply for FD once you have upped your membership. So it's not a bad thing if you need to go MM for a little while until you increase your Home size, or until the Missionary members who are joining your Home become voting members.

94. MM Homes can apply for FD status in March 2005, and as mentioned above, there will be more information on this and what the procedure will be, coming soon. In brief, Homes aspiring to FD status must read the full criteria and be living the FD standard at the time they apply, which includes having six voting members over the age of 18. Upon applying for FD status‚ MM Homes must be ready to fill out the board report forms, and your Home will be evaluated to see if you qualify for FD.

95. Because the FD requirements are now tighter, and those coming into FD as their own Home must already be living the discipleship standard at the time of submitting their application, an FM Home will now need to qualify as an MM Home prior to applying to become an FD Home.

96. However, as you'll see when the procedures for FM Homes becoming MM Homes and MM Homes becoming FD Homes are published, the entire process of moving from FM to MM and then to FD could potentially be shorter than the old Charter procedure for FM Homes becoming CM Homes. In addition, FM Homes will be able to apply to become MM Homes in January 2005.

97. As mentioned above, FM individuals may still move directly to FD if they are joining an already existing Home.

*Home Size Minimum Will Be Upheld

98. As was stated in "Forward, Always Forward," the deadline for FD Homes to have six voting members over the age of 18 is your January 2005 TRF. Please understand that those six members that you report on your TRF must be actual members who live with you. They can't be people that you're waiting on to join your Home, but who haven't quite made it yet, or people who have physically left your Home and are in transit to their next Home, but you continue to have their names on your TRF. If there is any question as to whether the people you report on your TRF are actually living in your Home, your regional desk will communicate with you to verify it.

99. If you have not grown in Home size to the six voting members age 18 and over by your January TRF, please do not ask for an extension. The RSs have been instructed that they do not have the authority to give extensions. You will have had nine months to prepare for this since this news was first published in "Forward, Always Forward." If you are undersized, you will automatically qualify for Missionary membership, providing you are living up to the Missionary Member Statutes. If your membership dropped prior to your January TRF, you will not have four months to up your members, as would normally be Charter procedure. As was brought out in "The Addendum to 'The Next Step,'" to retain your FD membership you must be at a minimum of six voting members 18 years of age and above at the time of your January TRF, so you should be doing all you can now to solidify your team.

100. As a review‚ here is the counsel published in "Forward, Always Forward" nine months ago:

(Peter: ) In order to be a winning team, the Home has to be large enough to do the job. When you consider all that the Lord has said in regards to faithfully witnessing‚ winning souls, getting out Activated‚ doing follow–up‚ teaching and training new believers, caring for and educating our children, meeting the needs of our young people, building a lasting work, and being a sample of full-time discipleship, it becomes clear that you have to have a well-rounded team of people on hand to do the job. Generally, the most successful Homes today are those who have sufficient personnel on hand to do all that is required to be a fruitful Home, which means having somewhere between eight and 12 or even more adults. This gives them sufficient manpower to accomplish all the tasks that a successful Home must undertake on a regular basis.

It is our recommendation that Homes increase their size in order to have a workable, well-balanced, successful Home. Our suggestion is that you increase your Home size to over eight adults (aged 18 years and older) or whatever amount is needed to do the job. Dad felt that 12 was the best number; in your situation it may take even more. The number of people that you need in order to have a successful Home will depend on a number of factors. We are keeping the maximum Home size rule of 35 in place so as to keep Homes to a manageable level. We don't want to revert back to pre–Charter blob Home size, but we do want to find the right balance between too large and too small, and right now the Family as a whole is generally on the "too small" side.

With the restructuring of the Family based on building winning teams, Homes must have the needed manpower. While we are suggesting that you have more than eight adults, we have set the new minimum CM Home size at six voting members who are 18 years old or older. While 16- and 17-year-olds will remain voting members, they will not count toward the voting member population in regards to the minimum Home size. This minimum will ensure that CM Homes are communal Homes, which offer a better chance of nurturing discipleship and being fruitful. There would be very few, if any, Homes of six voting members over the age of 18 who are all in the same biological family, thus any former "mom and pop" single-family CM Homes will naturally become communal CM Homes. (ML #3479:111-113, GN 1067).

Two Ways to Look at Missionary Membership

101. Our new Missionary membership category has been in operation for nine months. So far‚ Mama and I have been very pleased with both the good fruit and vast potential of this level of service. While we don't have specific stats in hand yet as to how many Missionary members we presently have, we'll have that information by the beginning of 2005 and will share it with you.

102. Mama and I want to thank those of you who have cheerfully and with a positive attitude moved to Missionary membership. Thank you for accepting this new level of service for you personally. We understand that changes are difficult to make, and if you've been CM/FD for many years, adjusting your mindsets to see another place of service as the Lord's will for you can be a wrench. Mama and I, along with those in our WS units, have been desperately praying and calling on the keys of spiritual eyeglasses, increased vision, fulfillment and happiness for each of you who are now part of our MM Family. Whether you've chosen to move to the MM category of your own accord, realizing that you're best suited to that category of service, or whether your Regional Shepherds or VSs helped you to make this change in your life, we're proud of you for making this change, for holding on to the Lord, and for continuing to be a committed, dedicated, and wholehearted Family member.

103. Mama and I have heard from a number of you who have recently made the move from FD to Missionary membership. Some of you have seen very clearly the benefits of this new place of service. You're thankful that you can continue to serve the Lord, be an integral part of the Family, receive all the pubs, and at the same time have more latitude in your lifestyle, enabling you to take care of personal or other situations that you couldn't have managed well while in the FD Family. There are many benefits to being in the MM Family, and many of you are seeing those benefits and realizing that the Lord's wisdom in creating this new place of service is in essence saving and strengthening your service for Him‚ and that's a wonderful thing.

104. Others of you who have newly joined the MM category are finding the transition more difficult. Granted‚ changes are difficult on just about everyone, and even those who see the benefits and are thankful and positive about the changes the Lord has brought into their life haven't been without their struggles. That is natural, common to all, and nobody faults anyone for going through a period of adjustment or battles in moving from FD to MM. It is a change, we're not denying that. It takes some time to adjust, to settle into your new place of service‚ to get your footing, and that's not a problem. For those of you who are in that spot right now‚ please know that Mama and I are supporting you in prayer.

105. What is a problem is that some of you aren't seeing things in the proper light. Instead of putting on the Lord's spiritual eyeglasses and seeing things as He wants you to see them, you're accepting the mud-splattered glasses that the Enemy's handing you. The result of wearing the Enemy's muddy glasses is that your view becomes tainted with the Enemy's dark, dirty‚ and negative spin on things, and you lose the Lord's perspective and instead start to feel unhappy and discontent.

106. This is a serious attack of the Enemy on the Missionary membership place of service. The Enemy is trying to dump his mud, muck, and mire on this new category of Family membership before it has a chance to really get going. The Enemy is trying to cause people to fear being moved to Missionary membership, through implanting his lies that it's a bad place of service, that it's "second best," that it's a place for losers who flunked out of the FD Family. Nothing could be further from the truth. As Mama and I have said before, Missionary membership is a wonderful place of service‚ a positive place, a place of great potential fruitfulness‚ an active level of Family membership. Those are our true feelings about Missionary membership, and our hopes and goals for each Family member who joins the MM category.

107. So why are some of you looking at Missionary membership as such a bad place? Why do some of you feel it's a terrible blow to be placed in Missionary membership? I'll tell you why. It's because you've been listening to the Enemy instead of believing what the Lord and Mama and I have said about Missionary membership. I'm sorry to put it so bluntly, but that's the truth. And I'm spelling it out very clearly here because this attack of the Enemy has the potential to throw a pretty big monkey wrench into the restructuring and strengthening of the Family, and we can't let that happen.

108. Mama and I have been praying and seeking the Lord about this problem, and we got the answer very clearly, which we'll share with you here. Please ask the Lord to help you to believe what He says. These aren't just words; we aren't printing this to make those in the MM category feel better about themselves. This is the truth. So believe it! These are the Lord's words, and He doesn't lie. Mama and I believe it. And if you can't believe it, then you should probably get serious with the Lord and find out why you're having such a hard time believing what He says. Receiving and believing this counsel, and getting desperate with the Lord to break any old, erroneous mindsets you have on this topic, is a key to us becoming the Family of the future.

109. The Family of the future encompasses all levels of Family membership; it's not just about FD members. Missionary members are a vital part of the Family! So if we don't get this straightened out in our hearts and all understand how the Lord views Missionary membership, we'll in essence be tearing down what the Lord is building up through this year of restructuring and the coming year of strengthening. We know you don't want that to happen.

110. Here's the very clear message the Lord gave us about this problem, with specific instruction on how He wants those of you who are Missionary members to view your place of service, and a reminder to you FD Homes how He wants you to view and treat the Missionary members. While the Lord speaks directly to those in the MM category, you who are FD or part of any other category of Family membership also need to check your attitudes against the true measuring stick—the Word. This message is for everyone.

Empowering or Demeaning…

111. (Jesus: ) I'd like to speak to any of you who are feeling bad, left out, or somehow out of My will if you have been classified as Missionary members. There are many different reasons why you in particular may have been placed in this level of service, but whatever the reason, there is no need to feel anything but motivated and challenged.

112. It's a device of the Enemy to try to take a good situation and make you only look at the bad. You've got this great "doughnut" of this powerful level of service, one which lets you receive My instruction and counsel, yet allows the freedom to live in a place specifically suited to your needs—even if just temporarily—but all the Enemy wants to show you is the "hole" of not being FD. That take on things is counterproductive, as being MM is a positive thing! It's detrimental to look at the MM place of service as an "end of the world" or an "end of my service" type of scenario.

113. I created this level for a reason, and it isn't for quitters, the washed up, the half-hearts, or anything else that implies lack of trying or lack of success. This is an active and positive level of membership, as Mama and Peter have told you. The MM place of service is for those who want nothing more than to serve Me with all their hearts, yet have circumstances in their lives that prevent their serving Me as Family disciples. But the Enemy loves to give you these "all or nothing at all" feelings, hoping to wash out most of you altogether.

114. In many cases the things that are preventing you who are MM from being FD aren't fixable at the moment, or you would have fixed them. You're a Missionary member because something in your life was preventing you from living the FD standard for now. If that's the case, what's the best thing to do? Quit and say, "Well, I can't be FD, so I'll just be nothing at all," and go join the System? Or to say, "Well, I feel like a disciple in my heart, I want to serve the Lord, I love the Word and the message and our job of winning the world, but I just can't quite get this or that situation sorted out. But wow! Look at this, there's the MM category just for me! Cool! I can still get all the latest Word from Jesus and Mama, I can still fellowship with the Family, and at the same time I'm free to sort out the situations which were preventing me from being FD. Wow, this is perfect! Thank You, Jesus!"

115. That's the attitude of a professional Family member. That's the attitude of a triumphant, useful, and essential Missionary member. I greatly commend those of you who have taken this stance—who've looked at your place of service in a positive way, and have munched on the yummy doughnut of Missionary membership‚ praising Me for all that you have been empowered to do.

116. "Empowerment" is sometimes a cliché and an overused word in the world‚ where it's used to describe anything that makes you feel good about yourself. Well, I want to use this word in the very strictest sense—that of meaning something that gives you power, something that enables you to do more than you could have otherwise—and apply it to MM status.

117. MM status is a level of empowerment. It prevents you from quitting just because there are one or two things standing in your way, and it empowers you to live according to the Word, without having to adhere to every detail and standard that comes with FD membership. I want you to always keep the "empowerment" attitude. Say it to yourself whenever the Enemy tries to get you to belittle your place. Say, "Missionary membership is empowerment! Missionary membership enables me to do the best I can for Jesus."

118. I would never call you to do something that is outside of your ability to do‚ and then say that you're not doing your best unless you do that certain thing. So if I say‚ "You need six voting members to be an FD Home," and you have less than that number, and for whatever reason you just haven't been able to get enough people together‚ then what is your best? Is your best to do something that you can't seem to do, something that despite all your trying, just isn't coming together? Or is your best to do the most you can with what is available to you?

119. If your Home doesn't have six voting members, then you are officially unable to be an FD Home. And since I never require more of you than you can perform, that should indicate to you that being FD is not My will for you at this point in time. But if you're serious about following Me‚ which is what should define a Family member at any level, you would follow Me in the direction I lead‚ ever in search of that bull's-eye best—which for you at this time could very well be becoming a Missionary member.

120. I tell you in total truth and honesty that the vast majority of you in the MM circle are fully reaching My best for you in your lives. Don't let the Enemy lie to you and tell you anything contrary to this. Don't let him dilute My Words and say that I must have "lower expectations" for you because you couldn't "make it" as FD. Those are lies. You who are in MM are there because I see that that is the place where your "best" can be found. If circumstances change in the future and there aren't factors keeping you from FD membership, then maybe that's where My best will be found, or maybe things will continue to change and My best in your life will mean becoming a Fellow member, or joining some other level of Family service.

121. The point is that if you have the heart of a disciple‚ then your level of service will be a secondary goal to you, because your number-one priority will always be to follow Me with your whole heart and do whatever I tell you to do. Where I guide, I provide, but where I don't guide, I don't provide. So if the circumstances in your life—open and closed doors, or whatever you want to call them—have led you to the MM place of service, then praise Me and realize that you are being the best Family member you can possibly be. And on top of it all, you still get the same Word and revelations that are available to the FD Family!

122. When you get hung up on labels and levels and who's higher than whom and who's "eliter than thou," it shows that you're more caught up in a "system" than you are concerned about doing My best and performing My will. Gasp! Did I just refer to the Family categories of membership as a system? Yes, I did, because that's what it can become to you—just another trap, just another set of rules and regulations—if you allow them to take your eyes off of what you're really here to do, which is to obey Me, follow Me, and do what I tell you.

123. It's like David used to say about getting your eyes too much on him. He would say, "What if I backslide? Will you stop following Jesus then?" And I put a similar question to you: What if the Family as you know it was no more? What if in the Endtime the structure was no longer in place? What if there was nothing to define your level of membership, no leadership, no new pubs—what then? Or what if you were in prison and you weren't allowed contact with other Family members—what then? Would you freak out that, "Oh no! There goes my FD membership. I guess I'm just a Home of one now. Too bad. I might as well quit and become an outsider."

124. Listen, by the time you're in that situation, it's not going to matter very much at all if you're FD or MM or FM or AM or whatever M. What's going to matter is that you have a connection with Me in your heart, and that day by day you strive to do the most that you possibly can to obey what I show you is My perfect will for you. Do you understand? Am I getting through to you about this? It's not about your level of membership; it's about your heart.

125. Some of you say, "I don't want to be a Missionary member. I have the heart of an FD member, so can you make an exception for me even though I'm not fulfilling all the requirements to be FD?" What is the "heart of an FD member"? What in the world is that supposed to mean? Do FD members love Me more than Missionary members or others? Is hearing from Me in prophecy exclusive to FD members? Do I only answer the prayers of FD members? No, no, and no. My connection with you transcends boundaries, levels, status, prison bars, or whatever other situation you find yourself in.

126. The "heart of an FD member" is the same heart that I want all Family members to have, no matter where you are or what level of service you're in—a heart that listens to Me and wants to obey. So why would you worry and complain and want an exception from Missionary membership when you can still have that same "heart" no matter where you are‚ and all that's really different are the physical aspects of your Home situation or lifestyle? If you aren't able to meet all the requirements of being FD, even if just on a few technical points‚ then you should be a Missionary member and be happy in doing so, because that's what that category of membership was created for. It wasn't made to separate the FD members from those who have "less heart" or less of a connection with Me‚ or any other lies of the Enemy. It was made so that those who are disciples in heart but can't reach all the FD requirements can remain in a solid‚ good, positive place of service. And if that's you, accept it and be proud of it!

127. It makes Me angry to see the Enemy attacking you in this way, because he could so easily ruin this level of membership that I created to help and empower you (remember our key word!) by breaking you down with condemnation and making you feel like a second–class citizen, when in fact you are anything but! It's typical of the way he tries to reverse everything that I create to make the white seem black and the positive seem negative.

128. For the record, let Me tell you My thinking when I inspired the MM level. Briefly put, it went something like this: "Okay‚ for the Family to be the most effective that they can be, we need certain requirements for the Homes and the people in them." So I led the FD–level requirements to be created. Then I thought, "But look, there are a ton of good missionaries who will have difficulty meeting the requirements I just laid out for one reason or another. I don't want these Family members to feel left out and cut out, but those regulations must stand. Ah, here's what I'll do. I'll make another level for these brides of Mine, but a level that is without the new requirements. I'll make sure they get the same Word so that they stay just as on the ball, and I'll try to make sure they get as much help as possible, so that they can stay useful and active." And Missionary membership was born.

129. The intention was to help those of you who might otherwise have been cut out because of the increased discipleship requirements, to be able to stay on board in a place of service that's just as useful as you were before, maybe even more so, as now you won't have the worry of having to meet requirements that you just couldn't.

130. But then in typical fashion, Satan takes the tack of trying to convince you that MM was made to cut people out, to make them feel bad, to "get rid" of "undesirables." It's so much the opposite of what My plan is. I tried to make sure that as many people as possible would feel that they were an important and useful part of the Family‚ yet the Devil is telling you that I did it all to make most of you feel worthless and useless and that you might as well quit. Can you see the difference? Can you see where he's going with that reasoning and how he's trying his hardest to ruin this place of service for you and steal your joy?

131. Only you can make the difference in this struggle. Only you can decide which explanation you're going to listen to. You can see your status as empowering, which I have called it, or you can see it as demeaning, which Satan calls it. Your perception will determine your attitude which will determine your effectiveness. If you decide to continue to listen to the Enemy and see your level as a demeaning level, for you it will become so. And that perception will take a toll on your attitude, which will take a toll on your effectiveness, which will probably destroy your future in any level of this Family. Those are the facts.

132. But let's not go there. Don't let the Enemy ruin this creation of Mine! Stand strong against him and always choose the positive viewpoint. Get My mind on the matter personally and let Me show you that where you are is My personal best for you. But to do that, and to believe it, you'll have to resist comparing. You'll have to do what I said and put My will first, and the Family structure second in importance to you. You'll have to come to terms with the fact that, although a level with stricter requirements exists, it doesn't mean you're out of My will for being where you are. You'll have to understand that for many of you, My highest—meaning the very, very, very MOST that you can possibly do for Me—is to be exactly where you are, being the most awesome, revolutionary, on-fire, and zealous Missionary member you can be.

133. Whenever you get hit with comparing and discouragement, remember the "prison scenario." Just remember that and call it to mind. Think, "If I were in prison and completely outside the Family structure, having no Home or status or mailings whatsoever, would I abandon the Lord? Would I abandon my training? Or would I still do the best I could with what I had?" And then you can praise Me that you're not in prison, you're not outside the structure, you're not outside a Home, and you still get mailings, fellowship, and help in your service for Me.

134. If your heart is right, is there ever any reason to feel like you're second class? If you have the heart of a disciple‚ then you will always be the best follower of Me you can be, no matter what physical situation or level or non-level you find yourself in.

135. There is one situation‚ though‚ to which all the preceding counsel will not apply, and that is if you know that there's nothing actually keeping you from being in the FD Family except for your own lack of effort, or lack of desire to obey Me because you're afraid of the cost‚ or because you're unwilling to let go of some of your bad habits which are keeping you from fulfilling the FD requirements. If you're in that situation‚ you're going to have a hard time feeling that you're in My highest will in the MM Family, because you're probably not. MM is for those who are giving the most they can, considering their life situation. It's not for those who are trying to hide out and dodge My will and My call.

136. If you're one of these, you have two options available to you. One, you can get your heart right with Me, forsake your sins and hang-ups‚ and make the most of your time in MM by meeting the requirements for FD‚ and then join the FD Family if you qualify. Or two, you can stop hiding behind technicalities, if you're truly departed in heart, and just go do what you really want to do, which is to stop living the life of a missionary in any place in the Family and join the System.

137. But please, don't hang around in MM when you know that I'm calling you to something more, or you know that you're unwilling to give your best to the Family in any category. Those in MM are there to do their best. Right, Missionary members? You're there because MM is empowering you to give Me the most that you can give. Amen? I really don't think the MM Family will appreciate half-hearts and Jonahs dragging down their level of service and making it into something that it's not. MM is for winners and followers of Me who for one reason or another can't fulfill the FD requirements.

138. Most of you in the MM category are there for the right reasons, and are there because that's My best for you. Good for you! You're amongst the best of My faithful followers. That's what MM is all about. That's what you're there to do and that's what I want to see you doing. Do your best! Be the best! Give the most that you can give and trust Me for the rest.

139. And if in the process of doing your best and giving your best, your situation changes so that you're eligible for FD membership, then your heart will probably be in the right place too, and you can work toward moving into that category. If you're being the best MM you can be‚ chances are that you'll probably be the best FD that you can be, if your situation changes and you become eligible for that place of service. That's what it's all about—being the best you can be, depending on your circumstances.

140. Remember this above all: The heart of an FD member isn't and shouldn't be any different from the heart or dedication of a Missionary member, or of any of My true followers, no matter where they are. What's important is My will, and your willingness to listen to and obey that will, not your category, your status, your title, or what you are or aren't a part of. I judge the heart, and that's what really matters. (End of message.)

Our Husband's Promise for the Future!

141. (Peter:) In closing‚ Mama and I want to share these Words of encouragement about what is to come in the year of strengthening:

142. (Jesus:) Darling loves, these are busy days‚ trying days, and fantastic days! I know you have mixed emotions as you embark on yet another year full of change and sacrifice. Some of you wonder if you have it in you to bend and yield; you wonder if you're new–bottle enough to hang in there and be made anew yet again. Well, take hold of this promise, dear revolutionary brides‚ because it's real‚ and it's for today:

143. This is going to be the best year yet—best for each of you personally, as you put Me first and yield and obey; and best for the Family overall, as you rise to new challenges‚ and like the phoenix, leave the ashes behind and become more than you've ever been.

144. The latter end of the Family will be better than the beginning, and it will be the result of your cumulative prayers‚ obedience, desperation, and faith.

145. Don't fear, sweet darlings, because the best is yet to come! (End of message.)

146. (Peter: ) We have so much to look forward to, so please hold on. Just keep fighting, keep believing, and no matter how dark some battles look, or how difficult any day or week or month might be for you, know with assurance that things will improve and you'll make it, if you just don't quit! We have this tremendous promise from our Husband, and He doesn't lie! You can put your full trust in Him, knowing that He loves you!

147. You will be in our prayers, and we're wielding the weapon of praise for the battles‚ victories, tests‚ triumphs, personal growth, new disciples, bigger Homes, greater sample of full-time discipleship, additional and better personal and Home shepherding, growth in the boards at all levels‚ and so much more. Believe that the best is yet to come, dear mates, because you have the power of God on your side. We love you!

Love in our Miracle Man‚ Peter

Who do Missionary members report and tithe to?

From the International CGO board

We'd like to clarify something regarding Missionary members' reporting and tithing procedures. As you've read in "The Family Membership Expands" (ML #3507, GN 1096)‚ there are two options for Missionary membership. There are Missionary member Homes made up of a team of Missionary members who form their own Home—or in some cases it may be an individual who has formerly been in the FD or FM Family. And second‚ there are Missionary members who report and tithe to a Home. These are usually General and Active members who have completed the 12 Bridges and decided to become MM and report to a Home.

(Excerpt from "The Family Membership Expands," Page 8:)

The new incoming Missionary members will be similar to those live-outs and catacombers of today who have a lot of contact with the Home and who want to serve the Lord, but either aren't ready to join as full-time disciples, are unable to do so due to circumstances, or they do not feel called to this level of membership‚ and yet want to participate in active Family service. There are some logistical and reporting differences between Missionary member Homes (as outlined in the "Next Step" GN) who report and tithe directly to WS, and the new Missionary members who are attached to an existing FD or MM Family Home and report and tithe to that Home. But the spiritual standard and membership requirements will otherwise be the same.

A Regional shepherd in one area reported that many Family members in their country had somehow misunderstood some aspects of the explanation in this GN, and were of the understanding that all MMs, including those who used to be FD, needed to now join up with and report and tithe to an FD Home. However, this is not the case.

As stated in the "Missionary Member Statutes," Missionary member Homes are responsible to: "Send a monthly report of their activities and witnessing statistics, as per the instructions received from their reporting office, and tithe to World Services …" (MM Statutes 4.A.) Section 4 of the MM Statutes ("Responsibilities of Missionary Member Homes"), however, does not apply to Missionary members who are not their own Home but who report and tithe to a Home. This is stated in the addendum to the "Missionary Member Statutes," which covers the differences in requirements for those who are not their own MM Home. They are instead responsible to report and tithe monthly to the Home they are connected to.

It is possible for someone who was formerly FD (or FM) to be a Missionary member reporting to an FD Home, providing the Home votes them in and they fulfill the requirements as stated in the Missionary Member Statutes (and the addendum to the Missionary Member Statutes). However, the original intent when putting into place the new categories of Family membership was that incoming Missionary members who join our ranks and were not previously in the FD or FM Family would report and tithe to a Family Home, either FD or MM, rather than becoming their own Home. Meanwhile, those who had previously been FD (or FM) and are now MM would continue to tithe and report directly to WS, as they have been doing thus far. Only newly incoming Missionary members, who were formerly Active members and who complete the 12 Bridges, are required to report and tithe to a Home rather than directly to WS. (After a year of reporting to a Home‚ they can then apply to be their own MM Home and report directly to WS if they so choose. See "The Family Membership Expands" for more details.)

(End of file)