KEYWORDS: time, appointment, people, hour, station, business

Shooting Straight, Part 15--Letter Links: Be Punctual

April 25, 2005

(ML #3540, GN 1130)

FD/MM/FM March 2005

The Laws of Moses

ML #155:9- 12, DB 5

9. ON BEING DILIGENT STEWARDS: THIS INCLUDES KEEPING YOUR WORD ABOUT APPOINTMENTS! Don't DISappoint people! Keep calendar reminders! Be there! Be particularly scrupulous about keeping dates with the news media, for these are very busy men & their time is valuable, & when they're interested enough to grant you some of their precious time, it's an insult for you to ignore it or carelessly forget it or even be late! Worst of all, it is a terrible lack of consideration‚ which is a manifest evidence of a lack of love, which is supposed to be our greatest attribute & which is one of the main reasons they come to see us‚ because of our love. But if we do not show enough love toward them to even be concerned about keeping a date with them on time, it will certainly greatly disappoint them & disillusion them in the good things they hope to hear about us & prove about us, if they're favorable; & will only confirm the doubts of those who are unfavorable & is more than likely to make the average newsman furious at you for having wasted his time, & mad enough to write a critical story about you! At the very least, as has happened in some cases‚ they will report the other side's version & then say at the close of their article that you could not be contacted or failed to show up for an arranged interview! This looks & sounds like you are afraid to show, that you're ashamed to show & that you are therefore obviously guilty of the enemy's charges, which the reporter has recounted in his article.

10. DON'T YOU DARE TO MISS AN APPOINTMENT WITH THE NEWS MEDIA, OFFICIALS, KINGS OR SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS, OR YOU HAVE FAILED GOD & missed an appointment with Him! In the fifteen years that I dealt with business executives such as station managers & program directors in the radio & television field, I was never late nor missed an appointment for an interview more than two or three times in all those years, & even in those cases it was only because of some dire & unavoidable impossibility, in which cases, as soon as I knew I was not going to be able to make it on time, I immediately phoned the man to apologize & explain, so he could save his time & I could keep his good will & obtain a later appointment, if possible. Otherwise‚ you have defeated God's whole purpose in making you a witness & undoubtedly prejudiced someone against you & turned them from a definite or potential friend into a very likely enemy.

11. BE THERE, & ON TIME!—OR PHONE THEM IMMEDIATELY AS SOON AS YOU KNOW YOU CAN'T MAKE IT & apologize with a very good reason & try to postpone the appointment to some other time! And remember, a vehicle breakdown is not a good reason—you can walk, hitchhike or catch a cab if you have to, as I have had to do many times in order to make it! Neither is forgetting a good excuse!—That is the worst of all reasons! It shows you didn't think it was important enough to remember or jot it down somewhere so you couldn't possibly forget. Neither is some other business which you think is more important a good excuse to a man who has laid aside all of HIS other important business to talk to YOU! It's as good as slapping him in the face & saying, "My business is more important than your business!" I'm sure, of course, that YOU think so, but I'm not at all sure he will agree with you & forgive you for wasting his precious time, & he will certainly no longer have faith in your word nor your witness!

12. WHEN YOU HAVE PROMISED TO MEET SOMEONE AT A CERTAIN TIME‚ YOU HAVE IN EFFECT VOWED A VOW‚ WHICH GOD'S WORD SAYS YOU MUST KEEP or suffer the consequences. As a Child of God, there could scarcely be anything more important than keeping your word to others, or else you're a liar, a cheat, a thief & a false witness! You have stolen the most precious thing any man can have outside of his soul—his time!—And worst of all, you have destroyed his confidence in us & our Message! Some of you seem to think it's System to be bound by time, schedules, appointments etc. Let me tell you, Brother, the day that time shall be no more is not yet with us!—And yes‚ you are still under its bondage when it comes to dealing with the System & outsiders who live by it! Don't waste their time or yours!


ML #212:1- 3‚ DB 5

1. Keeping appointments with System kings is very important! When I was traveling on T.V. business all those years, if I had an appointment the next day in another town, I would get to that town the night before & allow several hours to get to my appointment in the morning. The cab might break down, so I'd have to allow for that & leave plenty of time.

2. One of our biggest failures seems to be consideration for other people, especially our KINGS! Important people in UNGODLY BUSINESSES WON'T WAIT! If you see you can't make it to the appointment on time, you should PHONE WAY AHEAD & apologize & at least try to keep the king as a friend. TIME IS MONEY, they feel. TELL SOMEBODY TO REMIND YOU of your appointment! WRITE IT IN YOUR BOOK, SET THE ALARM CLOCK!

3. If I had to take a cab‚ I would always call the company & ask how long it would take, then I would ALLOW DOUBLE TIME FOR GETTING THERE. I always tried to arrive one half hour to an hour early! I tried to show them I cared about their time. YOU'RE the beggar & not THEM! These important business people feel that IF YOU'LL LIE TO THEM ABOUT KEEPING AN APPOINTMENT, YOU'LL LIE TO THEM ABOUT YOUR PRODUCT! As a businessman I have even HITCHHIKED when I couldn't get a cab!

Is It Too Late

ML #1203:71- 85, Vol.12

71. SO DON'T EVER BE SO SLOW & SO LATE THAT YOU DON'T PLAN AHEAD & that you have to rush & hustle & bustle & hurry until you travel dangerously. It just doesn't pay to get in too big a hurry! It just doesn't pay to rush. Haste makes waste! Squeeze, don't jerk! Look before you leap & read all the rest of the Letters I've written on the subject, & that's pretty good sound advice & I advise you to follow it!

72. SO GOD BLESS YOU & HELP YOU TO PLAN AHEAD SO THAT YOU DON'T GET UP TOO LATE‚ you don't sleep too late or you don't finish your meals too late to get off to your plane or train or even ship & miss the boat! That was a tragic occurrence in the old days when boats were the chief form of long distance transportation to other parts of the World & they didn't run very frequently. From some remote tropical resort you might have to wait weeks or even months for another boat!

73. SO WHEN YOU MISSED THE BOAT, BOY, YOU REALLY MISSED IT‚ LET ME TELL YOU!—And you might have to stay there a long time! So if you miss one of those boats, you have really missed it & you are really stuck & in a pickle or a dilemma or in the coconut juice or whatever you want to call it!

74. SO FOR GOD'S SAKE & YOUR SAKE, FAMILY, PLEASE TRY TO PLAN AHEAD & plan to leave not just on time but much much earlier than would even be normally necessary to make sure, in case there are any delays or unexpected stalls such as our cab stalling & transportation difficult to get. Maybe you'll find it's difficult to get a cab at that hour if you haven't planned ahead & made an appointment for a cab to pick you up at a certain time.

75. OFTEN IF WE HAD TO TAKE A CAB SOMEWHERE WE PHONED INTO THE COMPANY A DAY AHEAD or hours ahead & made an appointment for a certain time for the taxi to be there. That's a very wise thing if you have to be in town or at an airport or train station at a certain time & you have to go by taxi. You'd better not wait to the last minute to call one or they might all be busy. You'd better call hours in advance & make a reservation for that time.

76. USUALLY THE TAXIS GET THERE RIGHT ON TIME OR EVEN EARLY, & if they're early they're willing to wait for you without any extra charge & you'll have plenty of time to have them help you load your luggage & have a nice comfortable easy leisurely drive to the airport or the station or the pier so to be sure you get there, not on time‚ but way ahead of time so you'll feel relaxed & not pressured & under great tension & hurried & worried as to whether you're going to be able to make it or not!

77. FOR GOD'S SAKE, FOLKS, DON'T GET IN SUCH A HURRY THAT YOU REALLY MAKE A MESS OF THINGS! Squeeze don't jerk or you may miss the mark all together that you were trying to hit, & that's a sin! I've found that since your early Chain leaders were perpetually late & never left on time, they were never even on time! They were always late because they always started late & then they rushed & drove like mad at the last minute & nearly killed themselves getting there & often missed their train or plane as a result just because of their poor planning & laziness in getting up or poor planning ahead to eat a meal well ahead of time in order to have plenty of time to get there.

78. THERE'S REALLY NO EXCUSE FOR BEING LATE, unless there's really some major emergency or car breakdown or whatever. But in all my years of meeting television station executives in set appointments at a certain time I think I was only late one or two times in 15 years because I always planned way ahead & planned to get there from a half–an-hour to an hour ahead.

79. I FIGURED IF THE TAXI GOT A FLAT OR SOMETHING HE'D HAVE TIME TO CHANGE WHEELS & GO ON & I'd still get there on time. Or if something went haywire with the bus & it conked out or something there'd be time for them to send another bus to pick up the passengers & I'd still get to my destination on time. So I always planned ahead & I planned to leave early & go early & get there even before everybody else & that way often made sure I got a good seat as well. I'd be first in line!

80. I'D OFTEN ARRIVE AT THE GREYHOUND BUS STATION HALF-AN-HOUR OR AN HOUR OR MORE BEFORE THE BUS LEFT & find that the bus hadn't even arrived yet! But I would stand in the bus bay on the waiting platform right by the gate that was going to open where the bus was going to come in & I'd set my luggage down there & sit on it, put my overcoat on top of it & sit on that comfortable little stool, first in line ready to get on the bus & choose my own seat to my own comfort! Trains too.

81. MANY TRAINS YOU CAN'T RESERVE YOUR SEAT & YOU HAVE TO TAKE WHAT YOU CAN GET, & if you're late, you may not get any!

82. SO FOR GOD'S SAKE & YOUR SAKE & YOUR FAMILY'S SAKE & THE WORK'S SAKE & your friends' sake & the people who are planning to meet you at the other end, don't be one of these last-minute Christians‚ these Johnny-Come-Lately's who are always leaving late & always in a big hurry & always getting there at the last minute or too late & don't give yourself enough time & leeway & a cushion of half-an-hour to an hour or two to be sure you get there in oodles of time to check your luggage, check in‚ get your tickets stamped, etc., & your boarding pass & even first in line at the door or the gate so you don't have to be far behind a long line of other passengers whom you have to crawl along behind carrying your heavy carry-ons & then try to push past them while they're trying to get settled in their seat to find your seat & bumping everybody with your luggage & having a hard time squeezing through!

84. [Give] yourself a good hour to get to the airport. You say, "Well, it only takes half-an-hour to get there." Well, how to do you know? There might be a traffic jam, accident blocking traffic, flat tire‚ engine conk-out or something. You might have to grab another cab or whatever & lose half-an-hour or an hour. So plan ahead & give yourself much more time than you normally would need in case there's any kind of emergency or delay or stoppage or slowdown or whatever so that you're not caught short & found to be late.

85. REMEMBER THE FIVE FOOLISH VIRGINS WHO WENT TO SLEEP & OVERSLEPT? And when they said, "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh!" they woke & discovered they weren't ready! They had to rush around & get things together & get some more oil for their lamps & by the time they finally got their baggage together & rushed to catch the Rapture it had already left on a rush to the door or the gate of the Bridegroom's Chamber & found that it had already been closed & they were left outside! (Mt.25:1-13)

The Love of Christ Constraineth You

ML #2098:49, Vol.16

49. FOR GOD'S SAKE, WHATEVER YOU DO, LEARN HOW TO KEEP APPOINTMENTS! Don't waste other people's time as well as your own. If you make an appointment, it is like a vow, keep it to your own hurt, but get smart & try not to make hurtful appointments! (Psa.15:4) Give yourself plenty of time. Don't go rushing up there at the last minute. I never saw the like of people who were time-wasters, vow-breakers‚ appointment–failures & transportation-missers like the Chain! They seemed to think that the whole World ought to wait on them & they shouldn't have to wait for anybody. They were always coming late, always leaving late, always late. They made it a policy to be late! That was their set policy, to be late.

Honor the King

ML #2383:9- 21, 27- 36, Lifelines 18

9. (A Family member's watch beeper goes off:) You're about five minutes fast. I always set my clocks five minutes fast, mostly for the sake of other people in the Family!—Also for the sake of when I want to do something. There's really no such thing as being too early for most things, but you can really lose if you're too late!

10. When I was in business, interviewing television officials at different stations, anything from program directors to the managers or whoever they were, they're important men‚ very busy men, so I made it a point to always get there one-half-hour early! Nobody's going to be offended if you get there early.—Unless it's a housewife & she doesn't have the house cleaned yet or something.

11. The TV station managers usually have very comfortable waiting rooms, so I brought along the newspaper, & if he wasn't available yet I just sat down & read the paper. I got all relaxed & rested before it was my time to meet with him. And I would always report immediately to the receptionist & say to her‚ "I know I'm early, so you don't need to bother him, but if you want to let him know I'm here—just in case it might be more convenient for him to see me earlier—you could let him know I'm here, at least." And very often it just happened to be convenient for him to see me right then.

12. She'd call & ask & he'd often say, "Oh, come on in right now", & I'd walk in, & sometimes he then had more time & was more relaxed & could chat. Whereas I never ever—& I still don't—plan on being at an important appointment just in time! You're really taking a big risk, a big chance, because if any little thing happens, you're going to be late!

13. The Chain made it a general policy to always be late, always be half-an-hour to an hour late! Even when Mama & I were flying into Rome to go to Emanuele's place in Zoagli for the first time, ... we wound up waiting for the dear Duke & Duchess for one solid hour! I finally told Mama, "That's as long as I'm going to wait, I'm not going to miss that plane from the domestic airport to Genoa, we'll catch the plane anyhow!" We had almost a whole truckload of baggage on that trip, & I said, "Come on, we'll go catch a taxi!" —And I pushed the luggage trolley out to the taxis myself, & the taxi man & I loaded it all up, & Mama & I climbed in & I told him in my very poor Italian to take us to the domestic airport! We only had about an hour left to catch the flight to Genoa.

14. We got there around half-an-hour later & we unloaded our own baggage with the help of the taxi driver, God bless him, & then we loaded it up on a trolley & we checked in. I had phoned for a reservation but I hadn't paid for it yet, so I got my money changed, bought tickets, checked in‚ got the baggage in, all the hard work done, & we were finally sitting there exhausted in the waiting room at the terminal just 15 minutes before it was time to board the plane. In fact, they were just calling us to board the plane when Emanuele & Rachel came walking into the airport!

15. They were supposed to have met us at the international airport when we landed, to help us & to drive us to the domestic airport! But unfortunately, their car had just been stolen! He'd parked it out on some unfamiliar street overnight, if you can imagine doing such a crazy thing in Italy!

16. Dear Emanuele was having to eat his own words, because the first time he ever really got offended at me was when I said in some Letter that Italy is a nation of thieves! That didn't quite rub him the right way. Well, now he knows! He lost his brand new Mercedes-Benz. He thought he'd parked it on a nice street, nice people, rich section, surely there wouldn't be any robbers there. Well, that's where the robbers go. They don't go to the poor sections to steal cars, they steal them from the rich!

17. I had given them advance notice that, "We will be there at the Rome International Airport at such-&-such time, & even if we're late, you be there ahead of time!—I've heard about your reputation!" We had specifically told them that on the phone, "You be there ahead of time! I'm not going to wait around for you!" Well, I was lenient, I gave them a whole hour before we left. And the domestic airline was just announcing our departure & we were getting up to board when the two of them walked in!

18. I was so angry with them I wouldn't even speak to them! I said to Mama, "I'm going to get up & board our flight!—If you want to talk to them, all right, but I'm not even going to speak to them! I'm going to teach them a lesson they'll never forget!" I wouldn't even talk to them. I don't know what Mama said to them, but she more or less related what had happened, how we had waited & then had to handle all of our own baggage & our own transportation & our own money-changing & ticket-buying & checking in, everything! All the work was done, which I had expected to have a native to take care of in the native language like them.

19. They were at least two hours late! Finally all I said to them was, "What the Hell is wrong with you guys, anyhow?! I thought you came here & took a motel room near the airport like I told you so you'd be sure & be there in the morning & wouldn't have to worry about driving from some far-away place!" He said, "Well, we did, only we slept in!—It was the first time we'd been alone for some time." I think what they were probably doing was making love or something, which I don't blame them for, but not when they're supposed to be meeting me!—Two hours late!

20. They finally were smart enough to figure that we had probably already transferred & gone to the domestic airport. So they rushed in just as our plane was loading. That's all I said to them. I just walked off into the boarding line & told Mama, "Come on, let's go!" She stayed a few moments or so & explained to them what happened & why I was so angry.—And I don't think Rachel & Emanuele ever were late to any appointment with me again!

21. So if you ever need to learn a leadership lesson, it's this: Don't ever be late! You're a dandy bad example when you're late, & your people will do just as you do, as all their people did!—Always late, never on time, & always rushing around at the last minute, driving like mad & risking their lives to try to get there—late! They couldn't be on time, they were never early, just always late! That's a terrible way to manage your time.

27. So the moral of the story is don't be late! When I was going to those TV stations, I figured that these guys are important men, they're very busy men, & if they give me any time at all I can be thankful for it!—So I'd better not muff it, I'd better not take a chance on losing it.—What if the taxi had a flat on the way or ran out of gas or something? So I'd always try to have at least a half-an-hour cushion so I could thumb a ride or catch some other taxi or do something, or the driver would have time to change the tire so I could get there on time!

28. So don't ever be late! You don't have to be late! It's not necessary to be late.—Provided you always plan to get there early! I've found sometimes those men appreciated the fact that I was sitting there waiting for them when they came in. Sometimes they came in from lunch or outdoors or something.


29. I remember one man I was really early for one time!—We were traveling together, all six of us‚ in a station wagon which we had converted into a camper by buying what was known as a station wagon porch, a kind of a tent whereby with the tailgate down & the other thing up‚ you put this tent around the rear end‚ so we were able to sleep in the back end while we put the four kids in the front, on the seats etc. So we would camp out in campgrounds for the night. Although I had to go to appointments for television, I wanted to take the Family along for the summer.

30. So this particular morning—I guess this isn't really a necessary story, but speaking about being early, campers, of course, get up early! When we got up in the morning, I'd be in my old rough & rugged camping clothes to fix the open fire so we could cook breakfast etc. This nice little camping ground we were in this time had a small playground for kids, so I thought that would be a good place to park the kids. The children were still small, some of them were anyhow, Faithy was about six then.

31. So here we were all tousled & a mess, getting out of that camper bright & early in the morning. You had to stand behind the car doors to get dressed & try not to be seen, because you couldn't stand up inside the station wagon. After breakfast, when all the dirty work was over, I would change into my nice suit & tie, everything neat & businesslike, ready to meet with important TV executives & officials. So while I was getting redressed & having to change clothes right there, virtually in public, trying to stay behind the door, there was this man & his little girl who apparently came to the park there early that morning.

32. It was about 7 o'clock in the morning. We had just finished breakfast & I was changing into my good suit, & little Faithy & Ho went over to swing & play in the playground & there was this man & his little girl, they were swinging there. Faithy came back & said, "Oh, Daddy, I met the nicest man, he has the cutest little girl & we were swinging together!" They were having fun over there. The man was naturally looking around to see where these little kids came from in this rather lonesome park so early in the morning, & he saw us over at the station wagon getting dressed etc.

33. So I finished getting all well-dressed, kissed the family goodbye & said, "You guys can stay here now & play"—they had a picnic table & everything they needed there—"and I'll be back after my appointment this morning." So I drove off to my appointment at the TV station, got out & adjusted my tie, combed my hair & made sure I looked like an important executive myself. Salesmen should really be up to snuff, representing an important corporation etc., & I was representing Fred's Gospel TV show. So I went in & reported to the receptionist & went over & sat down to read the paper.

34. Pretty soon this man walked in & he sort of looked at me & then he went to the receptionist & she told him that I was the man who had the appointment with him. So he walked over & shook my hand, smiled & said, "Haven't we met before?" I said, "No, no, I don't think so, I've never been here before!" Well, he said, "Somehow you look rather familiar." Ha! Remember now, I'd only seen him at a distance earlier. I think he was trying to be kind, hoping that maybe I would get the point. But finally he got right down to it & said‚ "Weren't you camping over in such-&-such a park this morning?"—Here I was trying to look important‚ yet he'd seen my family of six camping out in a station wagon! Ha!—I was caught in the act!

35. So that was the earliest I ever met one of those executives! I was really on time that time!

36. I don't know why the Lord let me talk about being late, but now you know how I feel about that. I just can hardly forgive people who are late! All the years you've known me, I think I've lived up to that. I always want to start early.

Charter Responsibilities

ML #3197:128, 132- 133, GN 803

128. (Peter:) Sadly, there have been numerous reports of Family members who are not faithful to fulfill their obligations to others in matters such as taking care of necessary legal paperwork, diligently attending to business matters which they have agreed to take care of and that other brethren are depending on them for, etc.

132. This part about fulfilling your obligations not only applies to your interaction with Family members but non-Family members as well. It means being on time for business appointments, diligently taking care of matters that you are required to by law, or that your friends and contacts are waiting on you for, such as getting certain paperwork done on time, etc. If you're not faithful to fulfill your part of the bargain when dealing with the System, and especially with your friends and contacts‚ you're apt to offend and lose them, as has happened too many times!

133. Again quoting from "Kings": "One of our biggest failings seems to be consideration for other people‚ especially our kings! ဦ A friend lost is usually an enemy gained! There's no worse enemy than a former friend! Even if they don't fight against us, still they're a witness against us because they went back. Because you hurt them, they'll never have the same confidence in you again" (ML #212:2,10).

Redeem the Time

#9‚ 11‚ 53- 54, 68- 71, Thots 2

9. You may delay, but time will not.—Benjamin Franklin

11. Edwin Forrest bluntly exclaimed to an actor who was late for rehearsal, "Sir, you are late. You have taken from these ladies & gentlemen that which Almighty God Himself could not restore to them—their time!"

53. Victor Hugo always supervised himself by a little pad of notes. He kept the pad beside him night & day.

54. Beethoven was never without a planning pad; it was almost the only systematic thing about his life.

68. Young Harry Heinz‚ of Pittsburgh, carried a pocket pad as he peddled his homemade horseradish. His ideas, his orders to himself, were jotted down as he went & organized later in the day. This planning was the backbone of his self-supervision; it enabled him to build up the food-packing business which became famous under the slogan, "57 Varieties". He had jotted that slogan down while riding on a New York City elevated train.

69. A canal toll-collector in Dayton knew the use of planning too. He even kept a pad beside his bed. This young fellow, John H. Patterson, was one of the "gettingest-done" men of all time. He called his sheaf of notes "Things to Do Today." He built up the gigantic National Cash Register Company from scratch.

70. Leonardo da Vinci started the note-pad habit in his youth & kept it up through his old age. He carried his pad in his belt.

71. Bismarck used blank sheets & kept them between the leaves of his prayer book.