KEYWORDS: home, areas, keys, family, power, steps

Getting Stronger—Part 3


GN 1132 FD/MM/FM

Encouragement on Your First Home Review

By Maria FD/MM/FM 3543 4/05

Dearest Family,

1. Congratulations! You've finished your first Home review! Was it a good reality check? Was it what you expected? Did you find it helpful and enlightening? Were you encouraged with your results, or did you feel a bit overwhelmed at how much more there is to do? If you have any comments you'd like to share, please write us, as we're interested in hearing your perspective on how it went, and if there's anything that could be adjusted or clarified in future Home reviews to make them more helpful for you. [Note: Comments can be e–mailed to: Thanks!]

2. We've said this a lot lately, but Peter and I are so proud of you for rising to the occasion with all the change and restructuring our Husband has brought our way. You're doing well! Your Lover is proud of you too. He's thrilled and excited with the stage your Home is at right now, because you're at a stage where you see more clearly what areas you need to do better in, and He's ready and waiting to help you with them!

Perfect time for progress!

3. Now that you've filled out the Home review questionnaire for all six pillars, it's a perfect time to pray about and determine how you're going to bring up your scores in the areas you had to give less than satisfactory answers in, so you'll be making progress toward the FD standard by the October review.

4. I know you've been working hard already to implement the criteria, and seeing how many areas still need improvement is probably a bit overwhelming. That's nothing to feel bad about. I would venture to say that every FD Home in the world is probably in those same shoes at this moment. You're desperate, because the mountain of progress is very large in some cases, and you know you need to scale it.

5. This is all part of the year of strengthening. As Peter said in "Wartime!—Becoming an Offensive Army," this is the year of strengthening, not the year of being strong. In order to be strengthened, you have to train‚ you have to work out, you have to go further than you've been used to going. The steps you'll need to take in order to get your Home to the place where it is fulfilling the important aspects of the criteria and is a winning team are going to be a spiritual and physical workout! But that's a good thing. That's to be expected. That's why the Lord gave us a special anointing of endurance and vigilance this year—because He knew we would need it!


Every challenge to change is your helper; it moves you to depend on the keys. Nothing is too hard if you call on the keys. The secret to change is calling on the keys.

[End of box]

The Art of Dependence

6. The Lord has poured out some wonderful counsel about where to go from here, and how to go about making the changes you need to make in your Home in order to fulfill the criteria. In all of this, He doesn't want you to resort to outdated tactics—also known as working in the arm of the flesh, self-righteousness, pushing in your own strength, etc. He wants you to practice and hone the art of dependence on Him. He wants you to throw yourself on Him fully‚ and learn to use your spiritual weapons to get you over the mountains and obstacles. He wants you to become tightly knit as teams—a true "greater marriage" for Him.

7. The obstacles and challenges you face as a Home can divide you if you're going about things the wrong way. You can get worked up about one another's faults and weaknesses and lacks, point the finger of blame, and try to push through the changes you feel should be made in a self–righteous way. Or you can humble yourselves before one another, get desperate with our Husband for His miracle–working power, seek Him together for solutions, rejoice together in the victories, encourage one another in the strengths you each possess, and build on them.

8. I know you each want to be dedicated disciples, and together be a winning team, a united bride for our Husband. You wouldn't still be in the FD Family if you weren't willing to work hard, make sacrifices‚ and go the distance. So look around you now with appreciation at your brothers and sisters and mates who have stuck it out for Jesus, and know that you can make this work together! Peter and I are praying desperately for you. Our wonderful Husband is right there to help you, and you have all of your spiritual weapons at your side. So we know you can do it!

9. A good Letter to review at this time with some very encouraging counsel from our Husband would be "The Art of Dependence" (ML #3537‚ GN 1128). Another good Letter that you'll probably find appropriate and strengthening is "Faith for the Future" (ML #3487, GN 1081).


Through the keys of determination you can do it, make it, lift the load, go the distance, uphold the standard, and accept and use your anointing, for the power is not yours, but rather the awesome, world–changing, never-ending, all-encompassing power of the keys.

[End of box]

The purpose for it all

10. (Jesus:) What is the purpose or the end goal behind all the hard work that's involved in becoming a sample of full-time discipleship? It's so I can use you even more effectively to win the world for Me. Your sample of discipleship will attract many, and bring in those who will eventually join you, and help you to get the job done for Me.

11. The ultimate purpose is to preach the Gospel in all the world, for a witness unto all nations, so that the End can come! That's why you're working so hard. Hold that out in front of you! Picture the thousands upon thousands, even millions of souls who will be won to Me through your witness over the coming years. Those souls will be lining up further than the eye can see when you get to Heaven, to thank you for the sacrifices you made that made it possible for them to be reached and won to Me.

12. The battles you're fighting right now seem mundane in comparison‚ but they're all related; you have to fight these so that you're ready to fight others later. And eventually all those battles together make up the war won for Me. The victory that I'm looking for is the entire Earth being reached with My love and your witness and testimony. That's the big picture! (End of message.)

How the Lord sees your lacks

13. (Mama:) Following is a message from our Husband with encouragement and instruction on where to go from here. Now that you've assessed all six board pillars and how your Home is measuring up to the FD standard, you no doubt have your work cut out for you. As the Lord sees it, that's a very good thing—excellent‚ in fact! Listen to His perspective, and let it encourage and motivate you. He has a lot of faith in each one of us!

14. (Jesus:) Thank you for having the courage to look reality in the face and honestly evaluate yourselves and your Home. That takes a lot of guts, because often your natural self wants to do everything but face the truth and get a peek at which areas you perhaps aren't acing yet. I know the Devil would have liked to discourage you from being truthful and grading yourselves honestly, so I'm proud of you for resisting his attacks and for accurately depicting the truth in your questionnaire answers.

15. The good thing about this is how much you're going to be able to profit now. I'm really going to be able to help those who want the help, and by putting the areas you've been weak in down on "paper," you've confessed your need‚ and in a sense asked for My help, and you're going to receive it. You've given Me permission to work in your lives and Homes, and you who are honest in your assessment of yourselves and know that you're not yet all you could be—but with My help you're going to make it—are going to be the ones receiving the most help and miracles from Me.

16. Let's face it, when you know how far you've got to go, you're a lot more open to My help and input, as well as any input of the boards, and more desperate to find the answers in the wealth of Word you have at your fingertips.

17. So although the Enemy would of course want to use this opportunity to get you to focus on the "hole" of all that you're not yet achieving top marks in‚ I want you to resist him fully by focusing on My power, which is limitless, and the wealth of instruction you have at your disposal. I want you to remind yourselves of all the spirit world power and help that is released to you because of your honesty in evaluating your lacks as well as your strengths.

18. After all, it's the Home that covers its sins that won't prosper. These points on the questionnaires that you weren't able to rank your Home as highly in may not necessarily have been "sins," but they are areas in which you can do better. And just as with sins, you're much better off when you confess them and admit to Me, yourselves, and to your leadership that you need help. I don't condemn you for any of the lacks; rather, I'm thrilled and excited that you now know the task ahead of you and are going to be involving Me highly in helping to get you up to snuff.

19. It's like what I said about those who are whole not needing a physician, but rather those who are sick (Mat.9:12). Now that you know that you're not "whole" in all areas—after all, who is—I'm excited that you're going to need Me as your Physician to help you improve. To Me that's not a bad thing; it's a very good thing, and I'm really looking forward to working together with you on the areas you're lacking in.

20. Those areas that you weren't able to give your Home a good grade in are like the lost sheep or the lost coin that I spoke of in the Bible (Luke 15:3-10). I am highly interested in helping you to fix those kinds of situations‚ to seek and to save that which is lost, rather than only dwelling on what is already accomplished well. Don't get Me wrong, I am super proud of you for all that your Home is achieving and doing well in, and I am blessing you for your obedience in those areas. I am also excited that you now know what areas you're not doing so well in‚ so that together we can make lots of progress.

21. Knowing your weaknesses, shortcomings, limitations, whatever you want to call them—those things allow Me room to work in your life. Confessing that you don't have it all figured out gives Me room to supply what only I can supply in the way of My assistance and answers. Simply put, anything in your life that shows your inadequacy and creates a vacuum for My power and help I see as a very, very good thing. Because as you've been learning, dependence on Me is one of the most important aspects of the days to come.

22. So I'd much rather have you knowing how far you still have to go and therefore being desperate and dependent on Me as a result, than dwelling in a false sense of security, thinking that you've arrived, missing the mark‚ and subsequently becoming less aware of your need for Me. That's why I'm excited about the progress still to be made—and in My opinion, you should be too. You should be able to rejoice that you're going to get more quality specific coaching from Me as a result of your honesty and openness in admitting your shortcomings.

If you do your part, I'll do the "heavy lifting."

23. Admitting your lacks is an incredibly important first step, and I'm very glad that you've taken it. But I'm not going to stop there by any means. Now's My chance to prove to you what I can do. There's a lot in My court now, and relatively little in yours.

24. By the time the next review period rolls around, you're going to want to have progressed in these areas. And as long as you consent to progressing, put your whole hearts behind it, and agree to play by My rules, I'll do the heavy lifting and the hard work of making the changes in your hearts and lives and creating opportunities for you to progress—even going so far as to alter physical circumstances, schedules, and other constraints so that what you weren't able to do before, you will be able to achieve now.

25. But I will be counting on you to do your part by wanting the changes and being willing to get things rolling. I'm counting on you to start by rolling away the stone, which in this case would practically mean to get started on your weak areas and to take some action toward improving. Whether it be to hold some Feast-workshop style meetings, or assign prophecy questions to Home members, or whatever course of action you decide to take, you should do something right now, today‚ that will assist you in getting closer to making those weak areas strong again.

Don't give in to discouragement!—Watch out for Apotheon!

26. The worst thing you could do is to get discouraged about your weak areas and let the Enemy cast a cloak of hopelessness and negativity over them all so that you won't even want to try to make things different. He'll be there for sure, trying to convince you that it can't be done, you can't change, it's too hard.

27. Watch out for Apotheon and his weights of despair. Part of his whole operation is to try to make you content with how things are in the hope that you'll lose sight of how good they could be. The beginning of any project is a dangerous time‚ because that's usually the hardest part—getting started. So keep a close watch out for the Enemy and for Apotheon, because they will try to attack, especially if you have a lot of areas you need to improve in, which could seem like a very daunting task.


(Jesus:) The Enemy is limited and disadvantaged, because no matter how hard he works, no matter how much he invests in his evil forces, his power will never even come close to My power in you. But if he can get you busy with other things, or stop you from obeying My Words, or make you lazy and lethargic in your preparations, or cause you to think that you've already won, so there's no reason to fight so hard anymore, and even weaken you further, then he knows he might have a chance.

The Devil's only chance of victory is in getting you to forget that you're in wartime. He only stands a chance if he can get you to invest your energies and focus your attention on things other than getting stronger in this coming year. If he can distract or delay you, he has a chance, because you won't have My full power and strength (ML #3521:107, 108, GN 1112).

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Don't put off opportunities for change and progress!

28. The second worst thing you could do is to be like the man in the Bible who knew what he had to do, but he just didn't. You could be having the right attitude about it, all stirred up and raring to go‚ raring to fix the problems and make the changes, but for whatever reason, you put it off. Maybe you'd think, "Five months is a long time, and we have more important things to do right now than working to fix these weak areas. We'll just do this and that thing first, and then closer to the next review period we'll make some of these changes."

29. That too is a recipe for failure. If you put it off, or can be persuaded to postpone this work on account of other more "timely" things, you can bet your boots that the Enemy will make sure that your life is never free from "timely" things in order to keep you from getting to these things upon which your future discipleship could hinge.

30. So whether out of discouragement‚ laziness, procrastination, or obstacles, you must not put off getting started on these things. You must take immediate action to get things in motion that will help your Home to improve in the areas you were unacceptably sub–par in.

31. There's no time like the present, no time like now‚ and the longer you wait, the harder it will become! You'll lose the impetus that you need to push the changes through.

32. So there is definitely work that needs to be done that is in your court to do, but I promise you it is little compared to how much more I will do for you. It's going to be "take one step for Jesus and I'll make a mile leap for you!" That's My promise. I'm 100% behind the venture of strengthening and improving the Family and helping you all to become what you hope to be—better disciples and Homes for Me. There is no reason that I would withhold My power of change and improvement from those who are sincere in wanting it, and who are taking the steps to do their part.

I want to see you make it!

33. The best way to go about making any changes is to come to Me. Dependence on Me is the key. Get Me involved from the beginning and keep Me involved all the way through. Ask Me how to go about changing. Tell Me what areas you came up short in and ask Me for My recommendations as to how you can improve.

34. I can give you focused counsel on not only what needs to be done, but how to do it. For example, I can tell you whether something is more of a shepherding issue that needs to be handled on a person-to-person level; or I can tell you whether it's a Home issue, something that should be addressed in a united way, such as in a Home meeting, and if so, how and what to discuss first and so on.

35. Just remember that I want to help, I want to see you make it, and so there is no counsel or details that I'll withhold from you. It's practically a given that if you want to make it‚ you can.

36. This program of strengthening isn't one of those worldly programs like those in the army that are designed to get rid of weaker members. If you are willing to work hard and want to progress, I'll do whatever it takes to ensure that you make it. I'll work with you after hours, give you private tutoring, special attention‚ better resources, whatever you need, because I want to see you come through victorious.

37. I'm not seeking perfection from your Home, but I do want to help you live close enough to the standard of the Word that your Home can be all that I want it to be. If you think you're blessed now, wait until you see how much more I have in store for you once you're really living the Word fully! That's when the blessings start to really rain down and the fruit that remains comes pouring in. I want to do these things for you, and this year of strengthening—and especially the Home-specific strengthening that will come about through the Home review questionnaires—is a big part of what will enable Me to do and give and bless.

38. I'm up for it! I'm ready to work, and what I want to see from you right now is two things: That you're hopeful—that you know that it can be done and you're resisting any voices which tell you the opposite; and that you're determined—that you have the motivation to not just talk about change, or dream about it, think about it, or wish for it, but are determined enough to put some elbow grease into achieving your goals and make them realities.

39. If you can bring those two qualities to the table—hopefulness and determination—I'll bring the rest. That's a promise, and those with faith enough to take Me up on it will experience tremendous results beyond their dreams. (End of message.)


40. (Mama:) We asked the Lord about His requirement here that we be "hopeful." In the world today, the word "hope" has sometimes taken on the connotation of being something desired but not necessarily expected‚ something you wish were to come to pass but which may or may not happen. Whereas the way the Lord has used hope in the Bible and other places is a much more definite expectation, almost akin to faith—where you never give up believing that the answer is on its way. We asked the Lord if He wanted us to change "hope" in this message to be "faith" or something more definite. And He said instead that He wants to redefine the word "hope" for us, to mean an attitude of trust and faith, a more positive expectation of good. So the Lord is saying here that He expects us to have a positive, expectant, trusting, full-of-faith attitude—He wants us to have hope! Praise the Lord!

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Decide what you're going to put priority on

41. (Mama:) Now that we've established that there's lots of room for progress and that the Lord sees it as a really good thing, it's time to discuss some practical ways you can go about starting to make this progress. These are just ideas, and you can take them or leave them as the Lord shows you. But the point is to do something about your Home's weak areas. Continuing on with business as usual is not going to improve things.

42. Strengthening in the physical doesn't come about without vigorous exercise, cutting junk food out of your diet, eating and living well, and making the necessary sacrifices to do so. It's the same with spiritual strengthening. It doesn't just happen automatically—there's good hard work and some sacrifice involved. So you can expect that‚ but know it will be worth it.

43. First of all, you won't be able to improve all of your weak areas at once. You will need to choose your battles. One way to determine what the priorities are is to look at the higher-value questions or criteria points, which are noted in some of the board criteria, and see which of those you had to answer unsatisfactorily to. CGO's and PR's higher-value questions, and JT's higher-value criteria points‚ are listed at the end of this GN for your easy reference. The FED and CP questions all carry approximately equal value, so they are not noted here. You may or may not hear from the CS board concerning any specific points your Home should focus on‚ but in the meantime, I suggest that you review the major aspects of the sample of full-time discipleship that your FD Home should be to the world, and see how you're faring in those areas. You should be able to easily see which of the six main clauses of the CS board criteria your Home is weakest in, and put your efforts toward those.

44. Back to the CGO, JT and PR criteria questions/points: Higher-value means that those questions or criteria points are considered priority and therefore count for more in your overall score. For example, in the CGO questionnaire, the question, "Are you hearing from the Lord for or with those you minister to?" is not a high-value question. If you answer only "Occasionally" or "Hardly ever" on that one, it's probably not going to affect your overall score in the CGO pillar that much. Whereas if you have to answer a question marked with an asterisk with a sub-par answer, such as, "How often are you offering Activated readership‚ if available in your language ... to those you witness to…?" that will probably have a bigger impact on your score in the CGO criteria. (Generally speaking, in a multiple-choice question‚ the bottom two answers are considered sub-par.) That is a higher-value question, and considered important to fulfilling the overall standard of the Word in the CGO pillar. (That's not to say that the questions without asterisks are not important—they are, and you should be doing them if you want to have a fruitful, Word–based, well-rounded missionary work. If you have a sub-par answer or a "no" on many of those, your Home may get a failing grade in CGO.)

45. So a good first place to look for where to start is at the higher-value questions or criteria points‚ and see which of those you had to give less than satisfactory answers in. Those areas would be some of the most important to improve in before the next Home review. For the CS, FED and CP boards, you'll want to look at the points you answered unsatisfactorily in, and decide which of those are priority to work on first. Then, once you have come up with a list of those "priority questions" that need improvement in each board, you'll need to sit down together as a Home and pray about which one(s) to start on first and how to go about it. If there are quite a few priority areas that need improvement, you won't be able to work on them all at once. But you might be able to work on a couple or a few at once, if different people take on the responsibility of helping the Home to progress in the ways the Lord shows you and that you agree on together. And if you are generally low in one board's criteria overall, then that too would be indicative of your need to focus on the questions from that board that you were particularly weak in, as compared to another board that you overall did well in‚ but had only a couple of low answers to questions.

46. Following are some tips from our faithful Husband to get you started. Please ask Him for more information if you have questions—or if you need additional ideas or solutions. He's got lots of them, and as you "ask and seek and knock‚" He'll give you what is perfect for your needs.

Steady steps forward will result in lasting progress

47. (Jesus:) It doesn't matter how many weak areas your Home has, or even how weak those weak areas are. Through the power of the keys, you can progress and become stronger in any given area. Just as obstacles are for overcoming, so are weaknesses created for strengthening.

48. The most important thing for you to do right now is to focus on Me and the keys, not the problems. I know it would be easy to become discouraged‚ looking at the list of weak areas that need improvement. The temptation when you're discouraged would be to try to correct the problems quickly. That could result in hasty decisions and actions that don't last in the long run. The idea here, after looking over which questions you are going to focus on first, is not to try to completely perfect yourselves in those areas of weaknesses, but to take steps toward improvement.

49. There's a difference between arriving at the finish line and making progress toward that goal. After your first Home review results, the next step will not be "arrival at the finish line," but rather, more consistent and effective steps toward that goal. So don't worry or fret yourself over your weaknesses. Yes‚ your Home does have weak areas. Yes, you will need to improve in those areas by the next review. But the key word here is "improve," not necessarily "arrive."

50. There are very simple and practical steps your Home can take in order to make more progress in your areas of weakness. Don't try to pile on so many big steps and actions of improvement that it becomes more than you can do, because this won't bring you to the goal any quicker. Focus on smaller, more doable steps, steps that your Home can begin to take consistently and efficiently‚ thus bringing your level of progress and strengthening higher on the scale. It's better to do a few things and do them well than to try to take on so much and do them in a half-baked fashion. So let's focus on the steps your Home can take.

Practical tips for progress

* 51. Study the criteria, checklists, and how-to aids as a Home. Focus on the areas that you know are weaknesses in your Home. Then discuss them as a Home. Pray about them together, or assign Home members to hear from Me about them.

52. From there you can set realistic goals for your Home, and by this I mean realistic steps of improvement that you all agree to work on. Post those goals or steps somewhere where you will be reminded of them, and they won't just be forgotten. Set deadlines for those steps, and monitor to see if you're making those deadlines.

* 53. Make a detailed prayer list that includes those goals you've agreed on, and any miracles or needs you have in order to reach those goals. For example, say you lack some or all of the books that your children need for next year's schooling. You need to raise $500 in order to order these school books and have them arrive on time. On your prayer list you could include your petition for My supply, you could include asking for fruitfulness and My blessing on the way you're planning to raise those funds (such as through an outreach method, or saving from your existing budget, the sale of some equipment, asking your kings and supporters, or whatever your plan is)‚ and you could also pray for the books to arrive safely and be put to good use. If those three requests are met, you will have reached your goal in that criteria point—so pray them through, one by one.

54. Make it a point to commit those requests to Me regularly, in your personal prayer vigils, and in your united ones. You could even consider swapping lists with another Home in your area and praying for each other. You could send your list to your national board so that they can be praying for you too. Prayer changes things, and is one of the most powerful weapons in your arsenal! Remember‚ you are My bride, and when you are pleasing Me‚ there is nothing I won't do for you.

* 55. Set monthly goals. Break down the goals you want to reach into how many steps you'll need to take to get there, and decide what is doable in a month.

56. Brainstorm ideas for how you can improve in your weak areas, confirm your plans with Me, and then break those plans down into practical steps that can be accomplished one at a time.

57. Then each month make sure that whatever you have decided and agreed on is actually being lived and put into practice during that month. Your criteria monitors can help with this if you decide as a Home to ask them to fulfill this responsibility, and they can remind your Home regularly of the goals you're shooting for that month, and what your push is—what you are focusing on in both your prayers and your actions.

58. If you've decided to give the kids more schooling hours, or to free up another adult to school one of the age groups, then make sure that this is really happening on a consistent basis throughout the month.

59. By the time that month is over, you can discuss additional steps of improvement you want to take for the next month. Perhaps next month you want to also take the step of going on educational outings with the kids‚ as well as upgrading their classroom to make it a more conducive study environment. Once you've decided on what your priorities will be, and designated people to see these steps through, then put your whole heart behind making this happen through the month. Each step you take should be in addition to the steps you agreed to take the month before—unless I show you differently, of course.

60. So that's another practical way you can begin improving in your weak areas, by setting goals on a month-by–month basis. Then by the end of these next four or five months, even if you didn't completely reach the desired goal in each of those weak areas, at least you will have progressed. You're turning those weak areas into strengths by determining to do better and then working toward each goal. You may not completely "arrive," but you will be improving, and that's the point.

* 61. If your Home has quite a few weak areas—for example, weak areas in almost every pillar—then perhaps you will want to take the approach of dividing into committees that will pray about possible solutions. This is an idea that would work better in larger Homes, but even in a six-man Home you could have three committees of two people each, or two committees of three people, if I show you to try the committee plan. Then your Home could get together and have each committee share the ideas or counsel I gave on those topics, and you could unitedly discuss, pray, and formulate your next course of action based on what I've shown you.

62. Throughout the next four or five months, those committees could continue to check in with Me on how things are going in those areas and whether or not you're progressing as I need you to. That's just another way you can choose to work on your weak areas.

* 63. You could designate a few united devotion times to study the Word on your weak areas. It would be best if someone(s) planned the devotions ahead of time and compiled the material on the subject, so that it's as feeding and inspiring as possible. It's always motivating to read the Word on issues or weaknesses you're faced with. It's convicting, but it's also encouraging. After reading My Word you're filled with a sense of "it can be done!"

64. My Word doesn't leave you feeling incapable or beyond hope. My Word challenges you, but it also gives you the faith and encouragement you need to keep going and fighting for victories, even when it's difficult. So doing a few Word studies on your weak areas is also a practical step you can take to improve.

* 65. Share the load! Get as many people involved as possible. Give the responsibility of praying about solutions or formulating ideas or carrying out responsibilities to those who have a burden and can see it through. This will likely be your criteria monitors, along with other Home members as they're available. Trust people, and they will prove themselves responsible. The more shoulders you have bearing the load, the lighter the load will be. Don't forget to include My strong shoulders in that equation. Commit your needs and requests to Me as often as possible.

* 66. Pray for faith and a "can be done" spirit. Take on the attitude of winners! When you meet to discuss the ways you can improve, it's important that you don't go into this time with defeatist attitudes. Instead, visualize the victory in your mind. Visualize how your Home would be if you had completely reached your goal in those weak areas. Then discuss the steps it would require in order for you to reach that place.

67. After you've mapped out the "road to the goal" in simple steps, focus on taking the first step toward it, and then the next, and the next. Believe that you can do it, you can do better in those areas, you can be strengthened in that weakness‚ your Home can get better grades by the time of the next review. Think the miracle, believe it is possible, and according to your faith it will be done unto you.

* 68. Chart out a program for success, and commit to celebrating each victory with praise to Me and appreciation for your mates and co-workers. If your Home was praying for school books for the children, celebrate when they arrive! If you're working to up your Activated stats and make Activated a more integral part of your outreach, then when you reach your goal—or even make solid improvement—celebrate! Praising Me builds faith and will help you to have the strength to keep progressing. Appreciation and encouragement for one another will help you continue to bond as a winning team. It's worth it to take the time to celebrate and praise together.

69. If you believe you can improve, then you will be more eager to take the steps required for improvement, which ensures that you truly will improve!

70. Faith and praise and positive thinking are powerful forces. Focus your mind on the positive, on My power and the power of the keys, and as you think about what I can do‚ you won't be bothered with what you can't do. I will help you to improve. I'll walk you through the steps. I'll give you the power and faith you need to take those steps.

71. So don't worry, there is a great victory ahead! You can reach the end of these four or five months considerably strengthened in your weak areas. A weak area is the ground where true strength can take root. Don't give up! You're making it! You are growing! You are improving. Keep having faith and you will keep gaining ground. (End of message.)


(Jesus: ) The key to victory is active obedience, active strengthening, active yielding, and actively using the new weapons! The key is to ensure your mindset is one of vigilance, so that you invest all of your energies and resources into this year of strengthening. You're not strong now, but you will grow stronger as you do the things I'm asking of you (ML #3521:109‚ GN 1112).

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A note about help from the boards

72. (Mama: ) This first Home review was your placement test. We hope it will give you and your regional boards an idea of where you stand in fulfilling the criteria in each of the six pillars.

73. Some of your regional board chairs may contact your Home with suggestions or assignments or questions or offers to help‚ if you scored low in their particular pillar. It's completely up to you what you do with their offers to help. But they are there to help you, so their suggestions might well benefit your Home.

74. On the other hand, please don't wait for offers of help from your boards, because the bottom line is that you are accountable as a Home for your Home standard. You can't depend on someone to come along and save you if your Home is sinking in fulfilling the standard of the Word in one of the pillars. You as a Home will need to get desperate with the Lord, plan your attack, and then go for it.

75. If one or more of the boards are able to offer help‚ that's great. But it's up to you to put forth the effort to improve in the areas you're weak in. If the boards are not able to get involved with your Home, that is no excuse for your not progressing in any pillar, because you have the criteria and the how–to aid checklists. So you need to take responsibility for your Home, and even if you don't have outside help, study the material at your disposal.

A note on the scoring and how your Home was graded

76. Sometime before the next Home review (October), you will receive a full explanation of how your questionnaires will be processed and scored in future Home reviews, but here is the brief.

77. Your initial score is automatically generated by computer, based on the value each question was assigned by the international boards and the answers you gave to each of the questions on the Home review questionnaire. This score only takes into account the exact answers; it does not factor in the explanations, because it is generated automatically. This computer-generated score is the score you will receive on this first review, since this review is only a "placement test" and there isn't currently time to implement the full review process.

78. In future reviews‚ however, the RBCs and RSs within your region will be involved, and will take into consideration extenuating circumstances or explanations that you've written in the "comment" sections on your questionnaires. The review board will also look at whether you graded yourselves accurately, or if you were too harsh or too lenient on yourselves in certain answers. All this will be taken into account in determining your final score.

79. For this first Home review, however, the grade that you receive back will be exactly what is generated by the computer, according to the answers you give.

80. I'm explaining this because your computer-generated grade might be higher or lower than it would be if the review board also reviewed your questionnaire and explanations. But remember that this first review is only a placement test. It does not determine your discipleship status. It's only to give you an idea of which areas you'll need to work on—which you will be able to see clearly as soon as you finish filling out the questionnaire and see which points you had to answer that your Home is below par in. You won't have to wait to get your grades back to know that; in fact, I highly recommend that you don't wait for your grades‚ as they will not reach you till July 1, and by that time you will have only three months before the next Home review rolls around.

81. The October review will be called a "mid-term review," and will help you to see how much you have progressed and which areas you need to continue to fight to improve in. The review in April 2006 will be the first binding Home review, and at that time a failing grade could mean losing your FD status. So you have 10 months to continue progressing and getting those low scores up to snuff! Praise the Lord!

In closing

82. We have some big challenges ahead of us, but even the challenges are accomplishing the Lord's purpose of making us strong.

83. Peter and I know you can do it, dear Family. We know you can because the Lord has assured us over and over that these challenges are our helpers, these changes are good for us, this strengthening is accomplishing His purpose. He is going to do the miracles as we obey.

84. In closing, I'll include some new key promises for you on the topic of answers and solutions and progress, which are good ones to claim at the beginning of your Home meetings as you discuss and decide on practical steps toward progress. You might even want to pick one or two to memorize as a Home. Hold the Lord to His promises! We've come this far by faith!

Love in our awesome Husband and Miracle Worker, Mama

I want to make things simple. I want to give practical solutions. I will do this through My keys of enlightenment. As you claim them and use them, you will see the most seemingly complex issues clarified and simplified before your very eyes.

You are faced with a big job and not much time to do it in; but remember, the God who created the whole universe in six days is here with you to help you, and all My power is available to you through the keys!

Call on the keys of 5D vision and you will see things in ways you have not seen them before. The new perspective and heavenly "angle" will be the key to solutions that are marvelous to behold.

Take up the keys of newness. When you claim My power through these keys, they will make all things new. They will renew and refresh you. They will wipe away any vestiges of the old ways that are hindering you and will make your path clear.

The bond of love and communication and the strength of teamwork will make this endeavor possible; and the key of unity will make all of these things possible.

According to your belief in the keys, so will be the power you derive from them. Ask the keys to increase your faith, and they will.

No solution is too hard for the wonder-working power of the keys. Call on the keys of insight and you will see clearly.

There are no impossibilities with the keys, no problem too big or complicated for them. Focus and let the keys lead your thoughts.

If I have asked it of you, then I have provided the power‚ strength, wisdom, and all that you need to complete the task by calling on the keys.

The keys of empathy will put you in the place of another. Call on the keys of empathy and you will have the compassion to understand the needs of others.

Don't settle for the old way—claim the keys for the new. The keys of openness bring living ideas to your minds. Don't be content with anything else!

The keys of foresight break down old mindsets and free you from the past. Call on their power to see the situation at hand in a new light, through My eyes, and with the inspiration to tackle today's problems with today's solutions.

Forget the past and the way things have always been done. Call on the keys of 5D vision, and then you will be ready to receive from Me, and the result will be the solutions and ideas that you need.

Take up the undefeatable weapon of praise, wield it with joy and determination, and you will see through confusion and discouragement to find solutions‚ and great will be your reward!

No matter how complicated, hopeless, and riddled with unsolvable problems something seems to be, with the power of the keys of praise and vision you will find solutions, if you don't give up.

I can give solutions to big problems just as easily as small problems, through the power of the keys of revelation.

You will walk through this sea of problems to the promised land of solutions‚ victory, and forward progress‚ as you claim the keys of stepping out by faith.

Summon your spirit helpers and a key craft to hover above you, protecting you from the discouragement of the Enemy and his "it-can't-be-done" vibes. The keys of power obliterate any problem.

Working in the arm of the flesh to solve the problems will get you nowhere; call on the keys of yieldedness for the anointing and liberty of My Spirit to bring new ideas, new ways to do things, and a new and fresh anointing on you each day.

Break down barriers with the keys of bulldozing. The keys are the ultimate weapon in destroying the blockages of the Devil. Call on their power to destroy every work of Satan and demolish all his roadblocks.

Whatever you need, no matter how big or small, important or seemingly insignificant, can be provided through the supply line of the keys of the Kingdom. All you have to do is request their delivery through the keys of immediate access, and answers are instantly sent on their way to you.

To every problem the keys bring the solution, to every question the keys bring the answer, to every difficult situation the keys open previously locked doors. The keys open new avenues for My power to flow through. Even though it might not have worked in the past, today you have the keys, and they bring solutions!

You've got the power to request whatever you need. Just send the keys of direct delivery to get the answers from Me. The answers are waiting; the keys are the delivery boys. All you have to do is send them to fetch the answers you need, and just like a bellboy, they'll run to acquire whatever you ask for.

There is a solution for every problem and a way to get over every obstacle. It might be something completely radical, unorthodox, and unusual—but as you claim the keys of receptivity‚ you will be open to the new and won't miss those fresh and inspired answers.

You know that faith without works is dead, and theory without application is dead. When you claim My keys of transformation, they will help you transform spiritual theory into practical action.

The Lord's keynote to 2005, from "Getting Stronger, Part 2":

(Jesus: ) No two years are ever the same. I am a moving, changing God. I am never still, never stagnant, never stuck in a rut, never confined to a mold. If there's anything you should be praising and thanking Me for right now‚ it's that My nature is one of change, of revolution. It is one of My greatest desires, My loves, that you not only accept this part of My personality and makeup, but that you actually desire it‚ love it‚ and thrill to the changes My Spirit brings into your life, your Home, and to the Family as a whole.

Throughout the year to come, the year of strengthening, you will see this side of Me more than ever before. I am not going to hide the facts. I will challenge you; I will require more of you. I will get you moving in the spirit. I will shake up the apple cart. All of this is necessary in order for the strengthening to occur. It's like you can't expect to get strong in the physical and build up physical muscles if you're not willing to work out‚ to push yourself, and to change your lifestyle in order to accommodate your new workout regimen.

In the physical realm you don't get strong by sitting still, by being lethargic‚ or by going on with business as usual. You have to put forth the effort, you have to make your body work hard, and you have to challenge yourself. If you don't have the willpower yourself, you need someone to help you. You need some kind of motivation and some action in order to get strong. It's the same in the spiritual realm. You can't continue to go on with business as usual, even after all of the tremendous progress of 2004. You have to keep moving, keep overcoming lethargy, keep stretching your faith, keep accepting change and welcoming the new.

My loves, you must welcome all that I have planned for you this coming year, because it's all part of the strengthening process. You, as a Family‚ have just started to build better spiritual habits. You've made good progress, and I'm pleased with your successes in the spirit thus far. But you still have a ways to go, and that's what this year of strengthening is for. You are stronger, because you have been through the year of restructuring and renewal and all that it brought into your lives. But you're not as strong as you need to be. There is more progress to be made, more spiritual muscles you need to build, and more training for Me to pass on to you.

For the year of 2004, you needed a special anointing of yieldedness to accept what I was bringing into each of your lives, especially during the renewal. I poured this upon you, and you who have made it through the year of restructuring and have come out better for it are those who accepted the anointing of yieldedness and allowed Me to work in your life. Sometimes you didn't even know what I was doing, or why. You had to take so much by faith. But aren't you happy you did? Don't you feel better now—spiritually speaking—than you did 12 months ago? You may not feel like you're ready to run a marathon, but don't you feel like you're in a better position to be strengthened spiritually, to start toning and defining your spiritual muscles, to get more training and input?

You've also sealed off a lot of the Enemy's inroads into your lives through various avenues. So he will no longer be allowed into your Homes and lives to counteract the steps of good progress you make, as he has done in the past. That means that during the year of strengthening he won't be allowed to destroy the work I'm accomplishing, if you continue to remain on guard against his inroads. You won't be covering the same ground spiritually. You'll actually be getting stronger. You'll actually be getting toned spiritually. You'll actually be seeing the results of your obedience‚ sacrifices, and efforts to make spiritual progress.

For the year of 2005 I am going to pour upon you a special anointing of endurance and vigilance. The anointing of endurance will help you to "endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ," knowing that the end results of whatever challenges you face are going to be to your benefit. Again, it's similar to getting strengthened in the physical; you must endure some pain in order to gain. You have to put forth the effort of training and lifting the weights, which isn't always fun, in order to get the results you're looking for.

The anointing of vigilance will help you to continue to guard your spirits from the inroads of the Enemy—so that you can cut him off at the pass and not allow him entrance into your lives and Homes. If he is allowed entrance, if he is allowed to distract and hinder‚ then the work of strengthening will be slower, and progress will be longer in coming. However, if you accept the anointing of vigilance of spirit, and remain on guard against the Enemy's attacks in all forms, then you will have an advantage in the spirit. Progress will be faster, victories will be more easily won, and the spiritual strengthening process will be sped along.

To be a winner this year, you must make a conscious decision to embrace every change I decide to bring your way—whether to you personally, to your Home, or to the Family as a whole. This is not a year of choosing at every turn whether or not you want to accept My will in your life, of choosing whether to flow with My plan and program or whether to be resistant, and certainly not of feeling you can do this without too many negative consequences as a result. If you want to keep up with the program, if you want to be spiritually strengthened‚ then there really aren't that many choices. You either choose My will or you don't. You either flow with My plan and program or you don't. And choosing the "don't" isn't really an option, at least not if you are hoping to be strengthened along with the rest of the Family!

So why don't you just make everything easier for yourself, Me, and everyone around you, by making the decision now that you are going to put forth the effort of a believing‚ accepting, flowing spirit. Choose to look at every change, every new endeavor, every revolution, as something to be excited about, to embrace, and to praise Me for.

Fight desperately against cafeteria-style obedience slipping into the Family again, by making a commitment to give every new change and revolution your whole heart, to fight for a believing, positive, full–of-faith spirit. I don't mean that you're never going to be tested—but when you're tested, remember these words I'm giving you here and now.

2005 is the year to say yes to Me! It's not the year to say, "Maybe." Or, "Just a second, Lord!" Or‚ "Could You just give me a bit more time to get used to this idea?" Or, "Well, maybe I'll take some steps in the direction You're leading somewhere down the road." Say yes to Me. Jump in with both feet when I ask something of you—even if it's difficult. Take the offensive in the spirit by having a believing attitude, starting right now, today‚ as you read this GN. Believe you can be strengthened! Believe that everything I'm bringing into your life—and into the Family—is to enable you to grow and be strengthened. Believe you can do all things through Me, your strength.

I'm not saying you're not going to have battles. I'm not saying you're not going to be tempted to say no to My will. You will be tempted, you will be tried, and some choices will be difficult ones. But when you're faced with a choice, remember that the only choices that move you forward, that strengthen you, are the choices you make for Me, the choices you make to yield to My will, the choices you make to progress spiritually‚ the choices you make to be a doer of My Word. The choices you make to wait, or to yield partially, are the choices that will set you back a bit; such choices won't strengthen you. And too many of such choices will, in time, weaken you and render you unable to perform My plan for you.

Remember that 2005 is the year of strengthening. That means that strengthening your spirit, strengthening your Homes, and strengthening the whole work of the Family is the goal. And if that's the goal, then everything you do, every decision you make, should be something that's going to contribute to that goal. Decisions to hold back will limit Me and will weaken you, not strengthen you. Decisions to move forward, to obey when I call, to rise to new challenges, will empower Me to work on your behalf and will strengthen you spiritually.

As I said, I am giving you a special anointing for this year—the anointing of endurance and the anointing of vigilance—to enable you to have the power you need to hold on‚ to fight‚ to become stronger warriors in the spirit. You can do all that I will ask of you‚ because you will have My anointing. If at any point you feel too weak, or unable, that's a sign that you aren't accessing My anointing to the full.

I never ask you to do anything that I haven't provided the power and spiritual anointing for, knowing full well the challenges and the obstacles that await you. To do so would be like sending a soldier into battle without a weapon, or asking a sailor to go to sea without a ship. I'm much smarter than that. I never ask anything of you, My brides, unless I know there is a 100% chance of success with My power aiding you. (End of message.) (ML #3518:270-285, GN 1109).


Following are the higher-value questions/criteria points from the CGO, PR, and JT Home review questionnaires, for your easy reference.

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1.a* Distributing the Activated magazine, if available in your local language. How often do your Home's members distribute Activated?

1.b* Distributing other Family publications and products. How often do your Home's members distribute Family publications and products other than Activated?


2.a* Personal witnessing, including being an "instant witness." How often do your Home members engage in some form of personal witnessing?

2.b* Soul-winning. How often are you offering salvation to those you meet, in a manner corresponding to your field?

(If you are in a country where you can't have an open Christian witness, as specified by your Regional Council‚ answer this question to correspond to how often you are personally witnessing to people with the goal of eventually bringing them to salvation.)


3.a* Signing/re-subscribing people to the Activated magazine, if available in your country. How often are you offering Activated readership (whether via a subscription from the desk or a personal delivery program) to those you witness to, especially to those you lead to the Lord?


4.a* Are you regularly teaching the 12 Foundation Stones and/or the 12 Bridges courses, or are you consistently working toward bringing your flock to that level?

4.d Does your Home have Active members? [Note: This is not a priority question, but the one that follows it and is connected‚ is. So this first half of the question is included in the priority list for information only.]

4.d.i* Generally speaking‚ how often are you personally feeding and/or shepherding each of your Home's Active members, whether in person, meetings, or via phone/email/mail?

(Only answer this question if you answered "Yes" to question 4.d:)

4.e Does your Home have Missionary members? [Note: This is not a priority question, but the one that follows it and is connected, is. So this first half of the question is included in the priority list for information only.]

4.e.i* Are your Home's Missionary members receiving faithful feeding and shepherding?

4.g* "Reach the rich": How often are you investing time and effort to reach and follow up on the professional, upper/middle class in your city/area‚ the labor leaders who can support, protect and/or work with you?


6.c* How often are you teaching the meat of the Word in your witnessing and follow-up as appropriate and as defined in the CGO criteria GN (see GN 1099, pages 30-33)?

6.e* Are you introducing your friends, contacts, and supporters to the Family and our teachings at an appropriate time?


7.a* Are all your eligible voting Home members meeting the Charter-required minimum of 2 hours per week, or 8 hours per month, of quality witnessing hours outside the Home?

If not "every month" please explain why.


(These first two are highest in priority:)

1) When engaging in witnessing, follow-up, or CTP work‚ are you open about your membership in the Family?

2) Are you open about your membership in the Family when fundraising, provisioning, or making appeals?

(These next five are lower in priority than the two above, but still carry more value than the rest of the questions:)

3) If you operate and/or are involved in a legal entity such as a not-for–profit or for-profit, NGO‚ or co–work with other organizations, are your Home members open about their relationship with the Family?

4) Do your appeals for funds or goods accurately represent how you intend to use them?

5) Are donated goods and/or monies used for the purposes for which they were requested?

7) If you operate and/or are involved in a legal entity such as a not-for-profit or for-profit, NGO, or co-work with other organizations, do you fulfill the necessary legal obligations and accounting requirements?

8) If any members of your Home receive government benefits‚ are they satisfying the requirements?


Following are the JT high-scoring criteria points. If you had to give unsatisfactory answers to one or more of the questions listed under these points (see the Home review questionnaire), that would be an indication that your Home is weak in what is considered a priority point in the JT pillar, and you would want to focus on these first.


Family discipleship Homes should:

*1. Have a voting member 18 years or older be a JETT/teen counselor who represents the JETTs and teens, and is tuning in to their shepherding, oversight and needs.

The JETT/teen counselor works under the oversight of the body of Home shepherds, who are ultimately responsible for the spiritual shepherding of the Home and all its members. The JETT/teen counselor should also counsel and work together with the JETTs and teens' parents, the Home managers, and the Home in matters relating to the JETTs and teens.

If there are JETTs or teens in the Home with nonresident parents, the parents should be kept informed on a regular basis, by the JETT/teen counselor or the Home shepherds, of their JETT or teen's physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being.

*2. Have a well-balanced schedule for the JETTs and teens that includes all aspects of Home life: spiritual training, academics, witnessing, Home duties, vocational training, physical education, fun and relaxation in order to help them be challenged and happy in the Family.

*3. Lovingly shepherd their JETTs and teens using the Word, prayer, wise counsel, and hearing from the Lord in prophecy. Allot personal talk time and/or open forums so the JETTs and teens can express their needs‚ questions and concerns.

*4. Invest time in their JETTs and teens so that their physical, emotional and spiritual needs are met. Homes should be aware of and help to develop the interests, talents and skills of their JETTs and teens‚ and strive to help them be happy, inspired, self-motivated, fulfilled and challenged—the goal being that they are not bored and neglected.

*6. Shepherd their JETTs and teens in minimizing and resisting ungodly and worldly influences in conjunction with the counsel and guidelines given in the Word and the Charter, and be in agreement as a Home on these matters.

*7. Ensure that parents/guardians or shepherds have prayerfully read and explained the Provisional Family disciple contract with those turning 16 and that the teen has made a decision, within three months of turning 16, as to whether they will sign the Provisional Family disciple contract.

A.If the 16- and 17-year-olds have signed the Provisional Family disciple contract, the Home must fulfill its responsibility to shepherd its senior teens and ensure that the senior teens abide by the guidelines therein.

B.If those turning 16 decide not to sign the Provisional Family disciple contract‚ then the parents must take the necessary steps regarding the teen's future outside the FD Family as per the guidelines in the Provisional Family disciple contract.

*8. Be diligent to know the state of their JETTs and teens. When spiritual or behavioral problems are discovered, the Home should take steps to remedy the situation and help their JETTs and teens overcome through the Word‚ prayer, hearing from the Lord, shepherding‚ appropriate discipline, personal time‚ and seeking counsel when necessary.


Family discipleship Homes should:

*1. Teach their JETTs and teens to live in accordance with the discipleship standard in the Word and the "Responsibilities of Individual Members" as outlined in the Charter. The Home is responsible to instill in their JETTs and teens character-building qualities such as love for the Lord and the Word, respect, honesty, godly speech, responsibility, personal accountability‚ stewardship‚ faithfulness, diligence, obedience, gratitude, etc.


Family discipleship Homes should:

*2. Ensure that all members uphold, and those that are designated (the JETTs or junior teens' parents, guardians or shepherds), enforce the Word-based disciplinary guidelines that have been agreed upon by the Home in accordance with the Charter.


Family discipleship Homes should:

*3. Discuss, develop, implement and regularly maintain a Word program designed to inspire in the JETTs and teens a hunger for the Word.

Along with reading the New Wine, new pubs for their age group, and following the JT Word Course, this Word program could include such things as (but isn't limited to): songs, skits, active participation, research, note-taking, united times of hearing from Jesus, quizzes, games, animated presentations, movie clips, CVC courses and much more, with the purpose of making their Word time as alive, exciting, and applicable as possible.

*4. Strive to teach their JETTs and teens the use of the new weapons as presented in the Family publications. The weapons of praise, prayer, hearing from the Lord, use of the keys, working with spirit helpers and building a personal relationship with Jesus, are all vital aspects of the spiritual training of our JETTs and teens.


Family discipleship Homes should:

*1. Train their JETTs and teens in well-rounded missionary work. Provide sufficient opportunity for them to actively participate in and contribute to the various aspects of the Home's witnessing ministries; i.e.: outreach and personal witnessing, soul winning, Activated, follow-up, Bible classes‚ reaching the rich and labor leaders, tool distribution, performing, CTPs, provisioning, road trips, etc.