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LESSONS OF LOVE!        2/95

--By Mama            Maria #257   DO 2975

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                Personal Time with Matthew

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                Learning to Practice What I'd Preached!

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

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

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

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

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

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

                Loving the Individual!

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

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

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

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

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

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

                Not a Servant, but a Friend!

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

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

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

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

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

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

                The Danger of "Labeling"!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                A Week of Lessons!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family