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A YEAR OF GROWTH--A NEW YEAR'S MESSAGE!--By Maria             DO 302612/95

Maria #308

                1. As Dad always taught us, the end of one year and the beginning of the next is a good time to look back on the accomplishments and victories, as well as the mistakes of the old year, and to look forward with determination to do our best to make the new year an even better and more fruitful one! By now you have probably had your New Year's candlelight services, with each of you praising the Lord for the great things He has done over the past year for you individually and our Family as a whole. You probably desperately sought the Lord as to what He wants to accomplish in your life in this coming year, and you have prayed your New Year's prayer accordingly.

                2. We all need to have a vision of what the Lord wants for us, something that will motivate us to keep going even when the going gets tough. Besides the direction the Lord has given you personally through His still, small voice speaking to your heart, He has also been giving much through His printed Word.

                3. In this GN, we are presenting even more of the Lord's wonderful counsel to help you prepare for the days ahead. We will start out with an "official" New Year's message given personally to us in His Own Words by Jesus Himself, our wonderful Savior, King, Shepherd, Teacher, Counselor, Lover and Friend.

                4. When we realized that we still needed to fill a few pages in this GN, we wanted to make sure we used the valuable space wisely and gave you what the Lord considered most important. So we asked Him to speak to us, and following are His beautiful Words of hope and wisdom for the coming days.

New Year's Prophecy!

                5. (Jesus speaking:) I have brought you through this year, a year of change, much change!--A year of testings, a year of growth. So you now enter into a new year, a year when I will consolidate the gains that have been made, a year in which I will strengthen My children, a year in which I will prepare them in spirit for that which is ahead.

                6.I have much to give unto you, My children, because of your faithfulness and your love and your willingness to receive at My hand. I am well pleased with the progress that has been made over the past year, the spiritual progress in your lives. I am well pleased that you come unto Me and praise Me, that you give Me time to speak, that you have opened your hearts and your ears unto My voice, that you have drunk deeply of the wine that I have poured forth unto you, and that you have learned to enjoy its taste. This has been a year of struggle for many, and there is but a little more struggle ahead in spirit. But hold fast, I say, hold fast to that crown! Let no man take it from you!

                7. I bring you to great and effectual doors which I open unto you by the power of My Spirit. Go through these doors in faith, that you may receive My blessings. For I pour forth unto you that which is new, that which is strong, that which is refreshing! I pour forth unto you strong drink, strong meat, that you may grow and be strengthened thereby. This strengthening is all part of the preparation that I give you as I strengthen you for the days ahead, for I will pour unto you New Wine and new methods. I will open up new doors!

                8. I will reveal unto you new truths. I will answer your prayers. I will draw you nigh unto Me. I will anoint you to preach the Gospel more than ever before! For this is the time to sow the seed. This is the time to reach the lost. This is the time to build your work. I give you this time to be strengthened--strengthened in spirit, strengthened in outreach, strengthened in love one for another, strengthened in unity and harmony.

                9. So be as My faithful servant Noah, who in the time of his preparation built his ark. Build your ark in spirit by drawing nigh unto Me, by taking in and absorbing the wonderful New Wine that I pour forth unto you, by building your work, by witnessing and reaching out, by following up, by feeding, and by going to the places where I call you to go to begin the works that I call you to do.

                10. For this is the year to get where you're going, that I may use you to the fullest, that you may grow and be strengthened, and that you may plant your seeds so that you may in time reap your harvest. This will be a year of growth--growth in spirit, growth in outreach, and growth in drawing nigh unto Me.

                11. So hold fast to your crown! Be immovable, unwavering, full of faith, trusting, that you may partake of the growth that is ahead and the strengthening and the empowerment of My Spirit. Ride the wave of My Word and know that it will land you on the beach of My will! Do not be afraid of the size of the wave or the power of the wave, or the speed at which it takes you. Know that I am there with you and will uphold you, and that as you ride this wave, you ride the wave of My will, and it takes you to the destination that I choose. (End of prophecy.)

                12. What response can we possibly give to such a beautiful message, except to say thank You to the One Who makes our wonderful lives possible, with all their blessings in the form of changes, challenges and exciting opportunities for service and the supply of all our needs and even desires! All praise and honor and glory to the One Who, in His unfathomable greatness, rules the world in wisdom and righteousness, yet in His marvelous Love cares for us as if we were the only ones in this universe, speaking to us, listening to us, touching us with such compassion, tenderness and mercy. Like the old song goes, "What mercy, what love and what grace!"

                13. Amongst all the precious gifts from His hand that He has given us this year, the one that stands out the most to me is the very personal way in which the Lord has been showing His Love for each one of us. It's such a wonderful blessing to realize that He is so personally involved in the tiniest details of our lives, and that He is constantly trying to do everything He can to make each one of us happy and to feel His Love, as He pointed out so well in "I Love You!--Just You!" (ML #2985, GN 627).

1995--A Year of Changes!

                14. The Lord describes last year, 1995, as a year of changes, of testing, of growth, of blessings. First of all, one of the biggest changes was getting used to not having Dad here with us in the physical, but rather in the Spirit, as we began to hear from him in prophecy on a regular basis from the spirit world. At the beginning of last year, the Charter was initiated! And what a big change it has brought in our lives! More choices, more freedoms, more responsibilities, more challenges, more travel, smaller Homes, less leadership, less regimentation.

                15. And then there was our new king!--Not to replace our David, but to help him--and me--with the big job that the Lord has given us! Add to this the big changes in the Letters--not only some of the radical things the Lord has been giving, but in the way they've been given--through prophecy!

                16. Not only has He been giving you much guidance in the form of prophecy in His printed Word, but He has been encouraging each of you personally to put on the "new garment of prophecy," in order to hear from Him individually and together for your local situations.

                17. Another big change was that we had no major persecution last year; in fact, several of our court cases were brought to a close. In Argentina our victory was officially proclaimed, as well as in Melbourne, Australia. In the British case, everyone was still actively fighting until October 19th when the Lord turned the whole thing around and shocked the opposition with our clear-cut victory! This was an opportunity for the public to hear Dad speaking to them from the spirit world in "An Answer to Him that Asketh," which they seemed to accept and even be thankful for (ML #3016, GN 653). The truth is out now!--That the founder of the Family is more alive in spirit than ever and has received new power and anointing to carry on with the big job of leading the Family from the spirit world!

                18. Another big event that caused a Family-wide shake-up and soul searching was having our Austin teens go to be with the Lord. Hearing from these precious ones helped us to feel much closer to Heaven and the world of the Spirit, as they helped us to understand God's purpose in taking them. It also made each of us more acutely aware that our time is always at hand and that each day could be our last, and as such, we should strive to love the Lord and others to the best of our ability every day.

                19. We saw God do great miracles as we all united in prayer for the parents and our other young people who had been involved. We gained major insight into condemnation by hearing personally from Saint Paul and Peter, and were greatly moved by the sample of our folks uniting together to help those who were involved, giving of themselves to help others in need, which inspired us all and reaffirmed the beauty of our Family. This big event with all of its implications has strengthened us all in spirit.

                20. We saw miracles happen with Jesse's healing, as the Lord literally brought him back from the dead to where he was able to appear whole and filled with the Spirit before a grand jury in Austin, which refused to send him to trial on charges that could have carried a 60-year prison sentence! In prophecy the Lord promised deliverance if we would pray, and Jesse was cleared--another wonderful miracle in this whole miraculous sequence of events! Our other injured young people are healed as well. Praise God for His Love and mercy, and your prayers!

                21. Other events of this last year which brought about changes in our Homes and lives include the implementation of the Christian Light Educational course in many of our Homes with our children; a major exodus from Western Europe to hungrier and more receptive fields; and an effort being made to include our TS Family more by sharing more pubs with them and trying to break down former barriers, and promote more love, understanding and cooperation between them and the DO Family. We also began reaching out to multitudes of former members with the reconciliation ministry.

                22. There was a positive book published about us in the U.S., Sex, Slander and Salvation, a compilation of chapters from academics and theologians who have thoroughly studied us.

                23. This last year also brought about the Family's Web site on the Internet, which we hope will help to inform more people about the Family. In the first month it was operational, people logged in to our Web site "Word library" from Australia to Zimbabwe, including Brazil, Canada, Iceland, Thailand and the USA!

                24. The senior teens were surprised with an unexpected change in their lives when they were given the right and responsibility of sex at the age of 16, a blessing which the Lord has been using in their lives to draw them closer to each other and to Him, and also to bear some precious little babies for His Kingdom. God bless all of you wonderful parents, both new and old, for your willingness to bear and raise the Lord's precious children. Great is your reward in this life and the next!

                25. Some of you young singles, and even couples, seem to feel that if you have children you are going to be sidelined or will become "has-beens." Well, I've got news for you! Recently in prophecy Grandpa once again made it very clear that, far from hindering you young people from being good leaders, having children enhances your role as a leader. He said, "It's so important that these young leaders have children so that their peers can see that life and usefulness and challenge does not end when you get married and have children. That is not the end of a career, it just enhances your career!--And makes you more valuable for the Kingdom, more gifted and more understanding. It will truly be a testimony to the Family that you do believe that God's gift is God's work, that the fruit of the womb is His reward, and that it doesn't hinder you in your service, but it is a blessing!"

                26. Grandpa also said that the major requirements for young leadership today are to receive the New Wine, be loyal to Family leadership, live the Law of Love, and have children.

                27. Some of the other changes which occurred last year were not entirely new but they definitely increased in intensity, were greatly emphasized and took on much more importance. For example, loving more. The pubs overwhelmingly majored on: 1.) Our loving Jesus more and realizing the many ways in which He is loving us; 2.) Loving others: our mates and partners, our children, our single moms, our teens, etc.; 3.) Loving the lost.

                28. We also saw more praise, more pioneering, more reconciliation, more consider the poor and needy, and more interaction with members of the public who were interested in getting to know us better, including some who have been seriously studying us and writing about us. We also saw a significant change in the public's acceptance of our right to live our lives according to our religious convictions. The Lord couldn't have expressed it better when He said that last year was a year of change.

1995--Testing, Growth and Blessings!

                29. He also said that last year had been a year of testing and a year of growth. Many of the changes that we went through were also tests--tests of your faith, your loyalty, your obedience, your yieldedness! But because you've hung on and continued to forge ahead by faith, it has brought about the growth that the Lord was talking about. I'm sure in looking back you can see how much progress was made in your life as a result of all that has transpired in the past year.

                30. Not only was 1995 a year of changes, of testing and of growth, but it was a year full of blessings, those listed above, as well as many others which you can each personally point to in your own lives. Even the tests--many of them personal heartaches, afflictions, burdens, etc.--have been blessings in disguise which have brought you much closer to Him.

1996--A Year to Consolidate Our Gains!

                31. Although there was certainly nothing mundane nor boring about 1995, the Lord promises that 1996 will be even more exciting! And listen to what Dad says!: "This is only the beginning! So hold on to your hats, folks! Get out your new bottles, 'cause I'm pouring forth the New Wine and I'm looking for new bottles, those who will be able to receive it and rejoice in it!"

                32. The Lord says that this year, 1996, He will consolidate the gains of last year, He will strengthen you and He will help you prepare for what's ahead. As you read further in this GN, He will explain in more detail how you can prepare!

                33. It's encouraging to see that He is pleased with all the progress that you have made during this last year, pleased with your learning to love and praise Him more, pleased with your listening to Him, and pleased that you've drunk deeply of the New Wine He has poured out to us.

                34. Now He will help you to consolidate these gains and to strengthen and to secure and make them firm, as you continue to put them into practice. He promises to give you more because you have shown faith in Him and given Him love and been willing to receive from Him.

                35. He is going to bring you to "great and effectual doors," which He will open for you. As you enter them, you will receive great blessings in the form of strong, refreshing Word--strong meat, strong drink--that will help you to grow and will strengthen you. If you will accept these as His blessings, they will be accompanied with the supply of all of your needs, and new anointing. All of this will strengthen you and prepare you for what is ahead.

The New Wine Is a Blessing, Not a Burden!

                36. Even though many of you have struggled this past year and there is still some struggle ahead, the Lord encourages you to hang on and not give up your crown! If you have had any problems in accepting the New Wine over the last year, you may feel a little worried about what is to come in the future. You may not look forward to what the Lord calls "strong meat" and "strong drink." You may see it as a great burden and something that makes it very difficult for you.

                37. The Lord, however, does not mean His New Wine to be a burden. Far from it, He is giving it to help you, to make it easier for you! It is in His Love for you that He is pouring out His new revelations, because they are His blessings. They will help you, not hurt you.

                38. If you can just take that first step of yielding, things will become easier. If you'll start looking at these revelations and changes as all part of God's normal course of events--all part of the way God is--moving, changing, revoluting--then you will be more easily able to accept and understand that, in order to get where He's going and take us there with Him, He must initiate these changes in our lives. He must do it for our growth, our protection, even our reaching the world!

1996--Growth in Spirit, Growth in Outreach, and Growth in Coming Closer to Him!

                39. The Lord emphasizes that this year of 1996 is a time to sow the seed and to reach the lost and to build your work, a time to decide what He is calling you to do and then to get there and do it! He said this is a time to be strengthened in Spirit; in other words, strengthened in your personal walk with the Lord, strengthened in your love for the lost, and strengthened in your love for each other.

                40. He likens this time of preparation and strengthening that you will be experiencing to Noah building the Ark. He says you can best build your ark as protection against the flood of evil to come by drawing closer to Him, by receiving and accepting the New Wine that He is pouring out to you, and by building a fruitful ministry to the lost.

                41. If 1995 was a year of growth, 1996 will bring about even greater growth! He says that 1996 will be a year of growth in the Spirit, growth in outreach, and growth in coming closer to Him. He encourages you to ride the wave of His Word, to hang on no matter how big the waves, or how powerful or how swift. If you'll hang on to Him, He'll hold you up, because this is the wave of His will. There's nothing to fear, because the wave of His Word and His will is going to take you safely to the destination that He has planned for you.

Showers of Blessings to Come!

                42. Besides the new Word that the Lord has promised to give us through the GNs and FSMs and Hope mags, He has many more blessings that He wants to shower you with throughout this year ahead. Some of these blessings will, by God's grace, include new GP tools in the form of new "Treasure Attics," "Countdown to Armageddon" (the Endtime video), and GP audio tapes, as well as books for GP distribution. Our studios are also working hard on recording songs for those very important teen music tapes, and the video studios are preparing Dad's very special "Garden of Eden" videos, so you will be able to see Dad in action! Also in the works are more Word pubs for the younger children, the CVC program for teens and up, new Daily Breads, new MO Letter volumes and the Family lit library on CD-ROM for computer.

                43. Please pray for all of these projects, as they take a huge amount of work to get them completed and into your hands. Pray for those in the audio and video studios, our WS publications teams, our WS computer team, our Family Care pubs team, your CROs, NPCs, PPCs and everyone else involved in getting these materials to you. All of this requires a great deal of finances as well, so please continue to tithe faithfully, and pray that the Lord will supply financial windfalls so that we can afford to get all of this material to you.

                44. We love you, each one, and are proud of your progress. If you've had a bit of a "low spell" this year, don't worry! Just get up and try again! As Dad always says, "The future is as bright as the promises of God!" and all you have to do to please the Lord is to do your best.

                He knows, He loves, He cares.

                Nothing His Truth can dim.

                He gives the very best to those

                Who leave the choice with Him!

                Much love and prayers,


Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family