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--The Importance of Showing Love!

Maria #267 DO 2986

1. Peter is years ahead of me when it comes to leading meetings! I usually declined to get involved in meetings before and let Dad lead them all, but Peter and others have been bravely leading meetings for years, and they don't have any problem with it. Thank the Lord! See, if you yield to the Lord from the beginning, then it becomes easier as you do it; so I'm trying to yield now by coming here tonight.

2. Thank You Jesus! Bless our fellowship together, Jesus. Be with us and help us to feel Thy Spirit. We want to be able to feel You and Your Spirit and Your love and to hear what You have to say to us.

3. Time is so short and we have so much to do and the world needs You so much! Help us, Lord, to draw closer to You so that we can help draw them closer to You. Bless this time and strengthen each one who may be tired or even a little embattled; help us to find Your peace and rest and comfort. Bless our musicians, Peter and David, and our inspiration, in Jesus' name. Amen. (Family sings:)

I want more of You, Lord,

More and more and more!

I want more of You, Lord,

Than I ever had before.

I want more of Your great love,

Rich and full and free.

I want more of You, Lord,

So I'll give You more of me!

4. Why do we want more of Jesus? (Fam: So there will be less of us.) And why do we want there to be less of us? (Fam: Because we get in the way.) And what do we get in the way of? (Fam: Of the Lord shining through.) Right! What does the song say, I want more of what? (Fam: Your great love!) So the whole object of us decreasing so that the Lord can increase is what? (Fam: So people can see Jesus, who is love.) Right, exactly!

5. Lord help us to really think about what these songs say and what they mean. I'm not criticizing you for not thinking about the songs--I'm just as guilty! But I thought I'd do the right thing tonight and try to tune in to what they really say, and that way we can get a lot more out of them. I think we all know we're supposed to have more of Jesus, but why do we want more of Jesus? So we can be used as vessels of His love to pour forth on others. As we decrease, He can increase, and the less there is of us, the more His light shines through. (Family sings:)

All to Thee, Lord, I surrender,

All to Thee I freely give.

I will ever love and trust Thee,

In Thy presence daily live.

I surrender all, I surrender all,

All to Thee, my precious Savior,

I surrender all.

All to Thee, Lord, I surrender,

Humbly at Thy feet I bow,

Worldly pleasures all forsaken,

Take me, Jesus, take me now.

I surrender all, I surrender all,

All to Thee, my precious Savior,

I surrender all.

All to Thee, Lord, I surrender,

Make me, Savior, wholly Thine.

Let me feel Thy Holy Spirit,

Truly know that Thou art mine.

I surrender all, I surrender all,

All to Thee, my precious Savior,

I surrender all.

All to Thee, Lord, I surrender,

Lord, I give myself to Thee.

Fill me with Thy love and power

Help me share Thy love so free.

I surrender all, I surrender all,

All to Thee, my precious Savior,

I surrender all.

6. Why do we surrender all to the Lord? (Fam: So that He can use us and make us what He wants us to be.) (Peter: So He can fill us with His Spirit.) And what's the Holy Spirit for? (Fam: To give us power to witness and to show His love to others.) Yes.

7. The church system doesn't quite go all the way and they're rather secluded in their blessings. They want the Holy Spirit power but they don't want it for the main reason the Lord gave it--to witness His love to others. In fact, in this song we just sang, the original words said, "Fill me with Thy love and power, let Thy blessing fall on me." But we changed this to say, "Fill me with Thy love and power, help me share Thy love so free," to make it clear what our Lord gives us that love and power for. We unfortunately tend to follow in the footsteps of the church system unless we work to make the Lord's love a reality in our lives. We have to be careful about criticizing others when we've so often been guilty of the same.--Not reaching the lost as we should have been. Help us to surrender ourselves to You, Lord, to accomplish the purpose of Your love in our lives.

8. (Peter: We've only sung this next song once or twice before. Mama sang it once for us, "Open My Eyes, that I May See.") Thank you for learning it so I don't have to sing a solo again! (Everyone sings from a printed copy of the words:)

Open my eyes, that I may see

Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;

Place in my hands the wonderful key

That shall unclasp, and set me free.

Silently now I wait for Thee,

Ready, my God, Thy will to see;

Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit Divine!

Open my ears, that I may hear

Voices of truth Thou sendest clear;

And while the wave-notes fall on my ear,

Ev'rything false will disappear.

Silently now I wait for Thee,

Ready, my God, Thy will to see;

Open my ears, illumine me, Spirit Divine!

Open my mouth, and let me bear

Gladly the warm truth everywhere;

Open my heart, and let me prepare

Love with Thy children thus to share.

Silently now I wait for Thee,

Ready, my God, Thy will to see;

Open my mouth, illumine me, Spirit Divine!

Open my mind, that I may read

More of Thy love in word and deed;

What shall I fear while yet Thou dost lead?

Only for light from Thee I plead.

Silently now I wait for Thee,

Ready, my God, Thy will to see;

Open my mind, illumine me, Spirit Divine!

Open my eyes, that I may see

Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;

Place in my hands the wonderful key

That shall unclasp, and set me free.

Silently now I wait for Thee,

Ready, my God, Thy will to see;

Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit Divine!

9. That's one of my favorite songs! I've adopted it as my theme song because it expresses all my deepest prayers. Thank You Lord! Thank You Jesus! Now, how would you like to sing, "His Name is Wonderful"? However, since we're trying to sing as many of these songs as possible directly to the Lord, as a personal prayer, let's sing it "Your name" instead of "His name." (Everyone sings:)

Your name is wonderful,

Your name is wonderful,

Your name is wonderful,

Jesus, my Lord.

You are the mighty King,

Master of everything,

Your name is wonderful,

Jesus, my Lord.

You're the great Shepherd,

The Rock of all Ages,

Almighty God are You!

I'll bow down before You,

Love and adore You,

Your name is wonderful,

Jesus, my Lord.

10. Does anybody know "My Desire"? It's just a short chorus. (Everyone sings:)

My desire, to be like You, Lord,

My desire, to be like You.

Your Spirit fills me,

Your love o'erwhelms me,

And helps me, Lord, to be like You.


11. I guess these are appropriate songs to sing at the beginning of a new year. That's what we want the most, that's why we're here, to be like Jesus and to help others be like Him. But others can't be like Him if we don't help to show them how and set the sample; that's the Lord's plan. Like Saint Paul said, "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ" (1Cor.11:1). And unfortunately, if we don't follow Him as we should, others don't follow as closely as they should, and the Lord is going to hold us partially responsible.

12. Who knows "Search Me, O God?" I had someone look for it in my little hymn book but they couldn't find it. I think I only know the first verse, but I'll try to sing it for you. I'm surprised I never taught you this one. Okay, help me, Lord, to remember the words. This is also my prayer. (Mama sings:)

Search me, O God, and know my heart today.

Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray.

See if there be unloving ways in me,

Cleanse me from all my pride and set me free.


13. Many of our "unloving ways" are caused by our sin of pride, so that is what the Lord is trying to work on, to get rid of our pride and help us to be humble so we can be truly loving. The Lord won't be able to make us really loving until we've been willing to be humbled before Him and others. It's not so hard to humble yourself before the Lord, because nobody has to know about it, but being humble before others is the hard one!--Ha!

14. Does anyone have any other songs that the Lord has laid on your heart to sing tonight? I don't mind prolonging the singing because then I don't have to talk right away!--Ha! I may have the wrong motive, but at least I'm confessing my sins by telling you about it, ha!

15. You know, you can have the wrong motive about something, but if you confess it and tell people about it, then it's not quite as bad and the Lord can help you get the victory. So if you're having a hard time fighting something and getting the victory, the next step is to tell somebody about it. Confessing our sins is a good step in the right direction of helping us to get over them, because then we have the help of others and we have their prayers; we've also made a commitment to fight it by coming out and confessing it. But if you hide it, then you may try to get away with doing it again.

The Decision-Making Process!

16. Well, as you know, we asked you all to prepare a prayer for the New Year, something that you particularly wanted the Lord to do in your life; that was our first request. I had prayed about it and nothing else came to me that would be suitable--besides my doing all the talking--and I wanted to make sure we all talked, ha! But our dear shepherd Gabe was talking to me about it and he brought up a potential problem with that.

17. (Gabe: Every year each of us generally prays a prayer for yieldedness and for the Lord to change us in certain areas, and sometimes it gets into self-analyzing or introspection, and it's very easy to get on a negative channel thinking about how bad we are. It can get quite discouraging, because maybe you prayed the same prayer last year and the year before and the year before that, and you think, "Well, I'll pray it one more time and maybe this year I'll change as much as I'm hoping.") How many people felt like that? (Fam: I did!) Confirmation!

18. Well, your loving shepherd, Gabe, who is touched with the feelings of your infirmities, knows better about these things than I do, because I haven't been through as many of these sessions as he has. As we talked about it and prayed about it, the Lord led us to say, "Then why don't we just broaden it and let the Lord lead everyone to just share whatever's on their heart and not be boxed in to praying for their NWOs. They can just speak from their heart--a lesson, a testimony, a verse, a poem, a prayer for the Family, or anything at all that they feel led to give."

19. So did you like that idea better? I don't want you to say yes if you don't like it. (Everybody says yes.) I hope that made you feel good and was a blessing. The lesson I got out of it was how very thankful I am that Gabe and I had counseled together and that he had brought up his reservations about something which I hadn't seen or realized.--Primarily because I'm not used to attending meetings like this and I hadn't put myself in your place and thought how it would be for you, and how you might be discouraged about those things. So I was real thankful that we got a chance to talk about it and that he voiced his hesitations and that we were able to change plans.

20. You know, an initial decision doesn't have to be hard and fast. Just because you prayed about something and you think you got an answer from the Lord is no reason to not be open to counseling with others and hearing out their ideas and rethinking it and repraying about it. Maybe you did hear from the Lord; that was the first step, and that's good. But maybe the Lord wants to take you through the whole process and show you a better or fuller answer. If I'd prayed and the Lord had said, "Have everybody just say what's on their heart," how would I have learned this lesson? How would I have realized that this other option of praying against your NWOs would not have been so good? I wouldn't have even thought about it and it wouldn't even have been part of the discussion or part of the subject.

21. We mistakenly think that whatever we initially get from the Lord has to be the complete and final decision. But the Lord usually gives us a certain amount of time in the decision-making process. He usually doesn't say, "Okay, make the decision today and it's final. Make the right decision today, and if it's wrong, you missed it, you lost it, the opportunity is gone." He usually gives us a long enough period of time to make the decision, and to keep seeking Him about it, and then perhaps change it, or confirm it. We may even change it again and confirm it again. That's all part of the Lord's plan and that's the way we learn things, which is what He wants us to do.

22. I used to think, "Lord, I can't afford to be wrong! I'm Your mouthpiece and I have to speak Your words, I have to be right about what I tell people. But I know I make a lot of mistakes and I know I'm wrong a lot of times, so what's the answer?" This was a dilemma, a great conflict for me.--Until the Lord finally got through to me and showed me that I have a period of time where I can be wrong. I know that sounds funny, but I do!

23. I have this period of time when I can make an initial decision, which may be quite different from the final one, but then as I keep seeking the Lord about it and counseling with others, I finally get to the point where I'm ready to make the final decision, and put it in print for the Family, and that's when I need to be right.--Maybe not perfect, because there are always a lot of things that aren't as well rounded as they should be, but I basically need to be on the right track.

24. So you see, I can have that period of time, before we publish the decisions, where what I say isn't necessarily going to be completely right. But during this time my initial decisions and ideas are confined and restricted to just a small number of people, my teamwork and counselors. And that's the way the Lord plans it, that if I say something wrong or make a wrong decision, we can resolve things within the confines of the small group where it doesn't adversely affect everyone. I have a period of time when I can correct it in the multitude of counselors. After all, I'm human, so of course I'm not always going to be right. How could I not be wrong once in awhile? Nobody's perfect except the Lord, and we all make mistakes. I'm wrong sometimes in my initial thinking until the Lord works on me more and gets me to see things more clearly through further prayer and my counseling with others.

25. The Lord has said over and over that we're a body and each member is needed! We need to bear each other's burdens, help each other, love each other, work together and break down the walls of partition. How often does the Lord show you something through someone else? I'm sure you're very aware of that and ready to admit it.

26. But for me it's a little harder to learn that lesson because I feel like I'm supposed to hear directly from the Lord and get the initial idea from the Lord. But the Lord's been impressing upon me of late--and for a long time, of course, with our teamwork and with all that the Lord's been doing--that I don't even have to have the initial idea! Some people might say, "That's being led by people or by circumstances." Well, the Lord works that way, that's all there is to it, and we'd better just get it out of our minds that He doesn't work that way. Here's an example:

The Story Behind "Mama's Christmas Message!"

27. Our FUN editor was about to put out the FUN before Christmas and he wrote me and said, "Mama, would you like to do a little Christmas message to go in the FUN?" I said, "Oh, no, I don't think so. Why do I have to have a Christmas message? I'm not sentimental!--Ha! And anyway, every day is Christmas for us, so why do we have to publish a special Christmas message? The Family has all their Christmas pubs and Christmas tapes every year, I don't think we have to put out a special message every year." Often Dad would receive a Christmas message, but that wouldn't usually come out until the next year. So I thought, "No, I don't like this idea, and I definitely don't like the idea of `writing on demand' and having to dictate something that I don't even have a burden for." In case you didn't know it, I can be very rebellious and stubborn! Lord forgive me.

28. So I didn't like the idea, and besides, even if I was able to eke out one or two sentences, that wouldn't be enough. I always feel that I've got to do a thorough job if I'm going to do any job. But I thought about it for a few days and I knew that our FUN editor was right. It didn't take too long for me to be convinced that the Lord wanted me to do it, but I still kept fighting it because it seemed so difficult!

29. Those of you who can just sit down and quickly and effortlessly write something probably don't understand what it's like, that it's a big deal for me! If I have to write even three or four paragraphs of something on demand that I don't really have the burden for and I don't know what I'm going to say, to me it's a very big deal, and it's as hard as doing some huge and very lengthy writing project! It takes the same kind of victory for me to get over the obstacle.

30. So even after I'd decided that I was supposed to do it, I still thought about it for a long time. I thought, "What will I say?" I didn't have any idea what to say! I just knew that it needed to have something to do with Christmas, that's about as far as I got. Then when I saw that my deadline was getting close, I put the tape recorder in my hand and got all settled down on my bed, and there I lay for about an hour just trying to think of the first sentence--praying but not really getting anything.

31. It was a very difficult thing for me to do, but I knew I had to do it. By that time I really knew the Lord wanted me to do it and I knew I would have to and that I couldn't fail the Lord. I didn't mind telling our editor I didn't want to do it, because I knew he would understand and it wouldn't be a big deal for him. But I couldn't say no to the Lord, because I knew I was supposed to do it. So I made a couple of starts and stops and it took awhile, but then the Lord really came through and gave it to me! (Fam: It was beautiful!) You saw how short it was, but for me it was a very difficult thing to do. (See "Mama's Christmas Message to You!", ML #2948, pg.15 of this GN.)

We All Need Each Other and We're All Important to the Lord!

32. So all that to say that if our dear FUN editor hadn't made that request, I wouldn't have even considered writing a Christmas message. The Lord used him to virtually tell me what I was supposed to do. The Lord could've laid that burden on my heart and given it to me, but He didn't! Why didn't He? (Peter: He wanted somebody else to get the idea.) Yes, He didn't even give it to my teamworkers here, but He gave it to an editor in one of our pubs units.

33. It just shows how the Lord can use whoever He chooses to show you what His will is and to give you the ideas that He has for you. He's trying to show us that we all need each other and we're all part of the same body and He's working through all of us collectively--that nobody has all the ideas or can make all the decisions. Of course, because we're an organization and a movement, we have to have some kind of structure, and therefore somebody has got to be in the driver's seat, so to speak, as far as having the title of boss or leader. But more and more the Lord is showing us that we all are needed, we all have a very vital role to play, and He's not going to give it to just me or to Peter or anyone else here, but He's giving it to all of us.

34. The Lord is showing that He's using everyone! It's such a big job and such a monumental task that I couldn't possibly get all the ideas or make all the decisions or give all the things that come from the Lord, it's impossible! So the Lord's trying to show everyone else, and me too, that I don't have to carry a greater responsibility than He's putting on my shoulders. I don't have to set myself up and say, "Okay, I'm the one that's supposed to control things and make all the decisions!" He's not requiring that of me, and I don't need to feel guilty that I'm not doing it. I'm so glad that the leaders at the Summit could handle all the things they did. Look how much they took care of! How could I have ever begun to do it? How could just I and my little teamwork here have done a tenth of what was accomplished at the Summit meeting?

35. It's a huge job and we have to all work together as a team. We do have to have a structure, we do have to have over-shepherds and under-shepherds and on down the line. But we're just in our position because we have a job to do, not because we're more important than anybody else. We have more authority, but we're not more important in the sense of personal worth. The only importance we have is because of the Lord's anointing. Do you see the distinction? We're your superiors but we're not superior; we're not better than you are. And the Lord doesn't speak through us exclusively. Sometimes the Lord shows you and others things that I don't get at all, and I say, "Wow! That's right! I didn't get that."

36. The reason I'm telling you all of this is just to show that if I had thought I was so good and important and I got the right thing from the Lord and there wasn't any question about it--"I heard from the Lord and that's it"--then we wouldn't have come up with this much better way of doing things tonight! I had to be willing and humble enough to accept what Gabe was saying--and please, I'm not saying I'm always so humble, because I'm not--but in this case I passed the test, thank the Lord. And because I counseled with someone else, the Lord was able to work and to come up with a much better decision than if I had just made it on my own because I prayed and thought it must be the right thing because I received it.

37. So that's a little lesson on the importance of humility and the importance of counseling with others. (Fam: And if you, as the leader of this whole movement, are willing to listen to others and to prayerfully weigh out the suggestions of others, how much more should all of our Home shepherds be willing to give up the full responsibility of making decisions for the Home; because now with the Charter taking effect it's going to have to be a Home decision, a simple majority or a two-thirds majority, as the case may be.) Yes, it's very true, and it's a little difficult to realize when you've been in that position so long and you thought you were doing the right thing and you've been the ones making all the decisions, that other people can be just as in tune with the Lord as you are.

Hindrances to Showing Love!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Affection Comes from the Heart!

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

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

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

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

The Importance of Showing Love in a Physical Way!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mama's Apology and Confession!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Conservative Upbringing!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shepherding Tip: Be Open and Understanding!

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

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

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

It's Time to Change!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Antidotes for Pride!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heart by Heart!

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

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

My Public Commitment!

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

98. I could go on and on with a lot of other things I was going to tell you about, but it's getting late. I had wanted Peter to share something and the rest of you to contribute also.--Not that you all have to give something, that's not the point, but if you want to give something, I don't want to deprive you of that. But maybe we could do it another night. Maybe this is enough food for thought for one night. At least I got my confession out and I've been honest. I could be more honest, but we just don't have time, ha! See, that's why I am making a public commitment, so you can help safeguard me.

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

With Humility Comes a Change of Attitude Towards People!

100. Okay, thank You, Jesus! I think that's all I have. It's been a very enjoyable evening, and thank you very much for your help. All your participation was a real blessing.

101. And surprise, surprise, another big change is that I've been counseling a lot more with Gabe about personal matters, situations in the Home, and so forth. He's been a wonderful counselor. When I finally got down off my high horse and started to be a little more humble, I realized what a jewel he is and what you all knew all the time! Well, I've always loved Gabe and I've always worked well with him, but only on a business level. He was our Home's businessman. But now that the Lord has helped me to be more humble--and I'm not saying I'm humble out of pride, I'm just telling you the truth about the way the Lord has really humbled me recently--it's just amazing that along with humility comes a complete change in your attitudes toward people. I appreciate Gabe much much more. I appreciate you all much more. I appreciate Gabe as a counselor, so for me that's a big change.

102. I guess it came with yielding to the Lord, with Dad working on me and knowing that I needed to make some changes in my attitudes. So it's amazing what miracles the Lord can do when you yield and when He can get through to your heart and get you realizing that you're really proud and you don't want to be like that any more; and when you desperately ask the Lord to help, He does. I don't even know if I really desperately asked the Lord to help me.--I think Dad was desperately asking the Lord to help me, that's more like it! I can't even take credit for being so desperate about it. So praise the Lord!

103. The Lord has been working on me in lots of things in lots of ways, but I don't have time to tell you everything right now. (Peter: See, Mama? I told you you wouldn't run out of words!--Ha!) (Everyone laughing.) Thank You Jesus! Could someone close in prayer, please?

Closing Prayer!

104. (Fam: We thank You so much for Mama and her yieldedness to You to come tonight and honestly share these lessons. We pray that You will use the things that she shared to work on our hearts, Lord, to help us to be more honest and humble and open to Your will in our lives, and that they will be a blessing to our whole Family around the world. And we thank You for Dad who has helped so much to engineer these different things.

105. (We pray, Lord, that You'll continue to work and to have Your way with the Family, to make the changes that need to be made, or whatever You want done. We know that You want more love in the Family, so we pray that that purpose is accomplished in whatever way is necessary.

106. (We thank You so much for Mama's willingness, her humility, and her honesty to share these things with us tonight. We pray that You'll give her the desires of her heart with the things that she wants--more love and more humility and more honesty. We thank You for how she has delighted herself in You by having this meeting.

107. (Give us all good rest tonight. We commit the night unto You. Thank You for the wonderful Family which just seems to get better every day and every year. We thank You for a new year to serve You and live for You. We dedicate it to You, Jesus. Help us to be what You want us to be as an individual, as a Home, and as a Family, to really surrender all this year. We never know what You're going to do, but we know it is going to be a very exciting, fruitful and wonderful year, and we thank You for that. Do keep us close to You and dependent on You, showing love as You showed us, in Jesus' name. Thank You Lord! We love You!)

108. Praise the Lord! And thank You, Jesus, for stopping me on time so these poor people can go to bed. He's got to stop us as well as start us! That's a pretty important point, too.--Not just to get us started and rolling, but to know when to stop is pretty important as well. Okay, you're dismissed! God bless you. I love you! Thanks for loving me!

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family