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HELP FROM HEAVEN!--ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS!--By Maria Maria #337 DO 30566/96
--Counsel on parenting, respect, sports, TV and movies, the Endtime Olympics, and what to do when everything goes wrong!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Respect and the Charter! 2
Fathers Desperately Needed! 6
Take Time to Love, Respect and Understand Your Children! 11
Jesus' Basketball Team! 13
Cautions on TV and Movie Watching 16
Dad Knows, Sees and Cares! 20
What Is That in Thy Hand--And What Are You Doing with It for Jesus? 21
Encouragement to Hang On! 26
The Endtime Olympics! 29
College Student Becomes Father of 5! 34
My dear Family,
1. I love you so much! In this GN I'm passing on some very important, sobering messages from the Lord and Dad! I realize that you still have questions about the Charter, and that there are many things you are puzzled about--things that don't seem to be going very well in your Home or area, bad samples you have seen that have stumbled you, and problems that seem to just keep going on and on with no solutions in sight. I believe this GN will help shed some light on what's wrong and where you should go from here.
2. As you know, Peter and I spend much of our time seeking the Lord for answers to the major problems that our worldwide Family is facing. Thank the Lord that when we have questions, we can always get help from Heaven. That's something that's constantly available to everybody. You can depend on it, it's always there--help from Heaven! You too can get answers to your questions and direction concerning the problems that affect your local Homes or your personal lives by calling on Jesus, hearing from Him, getting prophecies, getting His Words, getting His help from Heaven. Hallelujah! That's why I chose to call this GN "Help From Heaven--Answers to Your Questions," because I want to remind you that when you need help, when you need answers, call on Heaven, call on Jesus. Get His help from Heaven!
3. I hope this will be something that will stick in your mind. Help from Heaven!--That's where your help is, that's where your solutions are, that's where your answers are. If you keep pulling down those answers, that help from Heaven, you'll never go astray! You'll have everything you need if you keep looking to Jesus, keep getting your answers from Him, and keep getting your help from Heaven. Praise the Lord!
4. But before we begin, I'd like to explain something else. As you read this GN, some of you may feel that you're being singled out, or that I don't understand your situation, or that I'm not hearing the whole story or seeing the full picture. Please understand that what the Lord, Dad and I say in this GN in regards to various problems that are occurring does not necessarily reflect the behavior of every single Family member. This is a case of "if the shoe fits, wear it." But if it doesn't fit, if you don't feel that you're guilty of the problems that are being addressed, then don't get upset and critical or feel like you're being unjustly accused, but rather just count it as a good warning and reminder of what the standard is and should be.
5. Please give me a chance to present the full message, because I believe you'll see, as you go along, that Dad talks to both you younger and older generations, and in the end I think you'll agree that the message is pretty well-rounded. In fact, I think you'll find these prophecies to be very interesting, as the Lord and Dad talk about such things as your rights under the Charter, how to get along with your parents (or your kids), sports (particularly basketball), television and movies, what to do if you feel you can't take another step, how to handle failure, and the "Endtime Olympics!"
6. I also recommend that you adults read portions of this GN to your children, as you feel led, because there are subjects covered that they need to hear and that will be of particular interest to them.
Respect and the Charter!
7. A problem that appears to be coming up repeatedly in our Homes since the implementation of the Love Charter is that of children and young people being disrespectful to their parents and the other adults in the Home. We have heard of many instances of this, but I want you to read what one YA wrote to me, as I think her personal observations explain the problem very well. She said:
8. "I am very thankful for the Charter and know that a lot of the changes were really needed and for the better, but I think some of the younger teens and JETTs are taking it to the extreme. I have two younger teen brothers and one JETT brother, and it seems they think that the Charter liberated them from obeying their parents. Any time Mom tries to tell them something, they talk back with 'Did you vote on that?' Or, 'You can't tell me that. This is the Charter.'
9. "I don't think they realize how much they are hurting our parents with their disrespect. A lot of times they treat our parents like dirt, like Mom and Dad have no say over what they do or don't do. It's like they think they're equal with the adults now. I'm not the most respectful person, but I know I never got away with treating my parents the way my younger brothers do. I try to explain to them that even in the System you've got to obey your parents and they can basically rule your life till you're 18, yet here my little 12-year-old brother treats Mom like she's nobody. Sometimes I walk into her room and she's crying because she's going through it so bad about them or something that one of them said to her.
10. "Anyway, I was just wondering if you could write something in a Letter about how no matter what, you have got to obey and respect your parents, and that we kids are not 'liberated' from that. I don't think it's only my personal family going through this, so it might help some other people."
11. (Mama:) On this same subject, this dear YA's mother wrote:
12. "The boys do get some victories and do better at times, but they seem to fall back into it again. The disagreements aren't over major decisions, but rather when asking them to do something to help out, or when making a suggestion or correction that is more along the line of training. Generally our relationship with them is good, and we discuss and pray together about major decisions, but it is true that it has been much more difficult to correct them.--And this is true not only of our teens, but also others in the Home. The older ones also seem to be more sure of themselves and not so open to the fact that maybe they need some help. My daughter does make mistakes, and I often talk to her, but she's very open and receptive and very respectful. I think that's one reason that her brothers' attitudes bother her a lot."
13. (Mama:) I'm so sorry to hear of this going on in our Homes. People arguing, talking back, sassing, hurting others, and not being open to counsel puts a terrible damper on the loving atmosphere that I'm sure you all desire to have in your Homes. When that kind of behavior is going on, the Lord can't allow His Spirit of love and unity to fall on you as you'd like. That is a big loss, too, because instead of the peaceful, happy, loving atmosphere that you could have and want to have in your Home, you instead have to contend with resentment, coldness, hurt feelings, and feeling distant, uneasy or awkward around each other. Then you start looking at one another critically, and you hold things against one another. That gives way to a lot more battles and problems--kids feeling misunderstood, pent-up and angry, and adults feeling inadequate, discouraged and frustrated. What a shame!
14. This is not the first time I've heard of this lack of respect from you younger ones for your parents and the other adults. This seems to be a fairly widespread problem, so I asked someone in my Home to pray about this, and the Lord had Dad speak. He has something important to say to both you kids and you adults!
15. (Dad speaking:) What in the world is going on?! How can people get so far off the track? It's really sad! It's pitiful to see young kids treating their parents with such disrespect. I never would have put up with it! Children are expected to obey their parents, to respect and love them, to listen to them and take heed to their counsel.
16. JETTs and teens in the Family are still minors, and they're still expected to obey their parents whether they like it or not! Whether they agree with their parents' counsel or not, they are still under their shepherding, and they are expected to humble themselves and accept their parents' instruction and obey them.
17. What is this, anyhow?--A free-for-all?! The Charter was never designed nor intended to "liberate" children from their parents' shepherding. The Charter was written to set you free to obey the Lord, to follow Him according to your own faith. It is not an open door for disrespect, insolence, pride and lack of obedience.
18. These kids don't know the Charter and neither do their parents. They need to study the Charter and understand the spirit of it. It's a Love Charter, and the only way it can bring forth the fruit that the Lord wants it to bring forth is if it's put into practice in love and humility, with everybody choosing to serve one another in love: children serving their parents in love, parents serving their children in love, shepherds serving their flocks in love, and the flocks serving their shepherds in love.
19. The Charter doesn't give you the right to do your own thing, to sass back, or to be disrespectful. The Charter doesn't give you kids the right to wreak havoc in your Home and to be a bad sample to the younger children. The Charter doesn't give you kids the right to hurt people--to hurt your parents, to hurt their credibility, their sample, their feelings. And the Charter doesn't give you adults the right to blow off your responsibilities as parents and shepherds and samples to those who are younger. You are still responsible to shepherd and care for your sheep. You are still responsible to speak the truth and give the counsel and correction that is needed. You are still responsible to lead your children and your sheep in the way that they should go.
20. Of course, the Home members counsel together and make decisions together and vote, but the One Who still has ultimate authority and Who should be ruling all your lives and your decisions is the Lord! The Charter does not give you the right to disregard the Lord's commandments. You are still required to obey your parents, obey the Word, and obey the Lord. This is still an army and we are still at war, and you are still expected to obey your shepherds, and most of all your Top Officer--the Lord--as well as me and Mama and Peter through the Letters!
21. The Charter was never intended to make things so loose and so unstructured in our Homes that nobody could tell anybody what to do, nobody could give any counsel, nobody could give any instruction, because everybody feels they are "following their own leadings according to the Charter." What about all the guidance in the Word? What about all the Letters that Mama and I have written?
22. Under the Charter, as a DO member you're expected to live and obey the Fundamental Family beliefs that are outlined in the Letters. So you'd better get down to business with the Lord and get down to studying the Word, studying the Letters, and forsake this foolishness! Because if you want to be in this Family, you're still expected to obey, to yield, to receive correction and counsel, to work in unity with others, to show respect to your parents and elders, and to live a disciplined life as a soldier for Jesus.
23. This isn't a party! This isn't a do-your-own-thing church! This is a Revolution, an army, and we're on the attack against the Enemy! So you'd better straighten up before your Home and your whole sample is a reproach to the cause. You parents had better get your house in order and get your kids under control, because if you can't rule your own house, how can you possibly rule the house of the Lord? How can you shepherd a whole Home if you can't even get your own JETTs and teens in order? How can you expect your flock to respect you if your own kids won't respect you and obey you?
24. This is cause for great concern, because that kind of disobedience and disrespect and talking back will just grow and grow until it will completely defeat your testimony, your sample, and your work for the Lord. And that kind of bad behavior will filter down to the younger children as well, and before long you'll have an even bigger problem on your hands. So you'd better get this situation straightened out, and now!
25. You parents ought to know by now that kids are always testing you. They're always trying to see what the boundaries are, to see how far they can go, especially in these days after the Charter. So you'd better get together for some good communication, prayer and heart-sharing, and set some clear guidelines and boundaries so the young people know what is expected of them, and they realize that their parents are still their parents, the adults are still their elders, the shepherds are still their shepherds, and they're expected to show due respect!
26. I don't want to hear any more reports of this kind of behavior in our Homes. This is very disappointing and this is very dangerous! Kids left to themselves will bring their mother and their father to shame (Pro.29:15). If you don't get in there and straighten this situation out, you'll have hell to pay! So you'd better really pray about it! Seek the Lord, get desperate, and find a solution!
27. The Lord can do it, He has the answer. Some Homes live in beautiful harmony and unity, and it's a marvelous example. Children, teens and parents work together hand-in-hand and find real joy in their labors and real happiness in their lives together. So I know it can work! I know the Lord has the answer. You just have to get desperate and find it, work for it, and really desire it. But if you don't see the need, if you don't recognize that this is a desperate, dangerous situation, if you don't get down on your prayer bones and cry out to the Lord and seek Him for an answer, then He won't be able to give it. He won't be able to bring the victory, and you and your little ones will just go farther and farther astray.
28. So you'd better get back on track while you can and while you can still salvage your kids for the Lord's service. Because the Devil seeks to get into the hearts and minds and spirits of our kids. He'll do anything to weaken them, and it often starts with little seeds of disrespect and pride and unyieldedness and worldliness. And if you don't nip it in the bud when they're young and yielded and pliable and at the age of decision, it will be much more difficult, if not impossible, in the future.
29. You parents had better get on the ball, and I mean today! Recognize your responsibility before the Lord for these precious treasures that He has given you--your own children. Because no matter how successful your Home is, financially or with your outreach or provisioning or "consider the poor" ministries or follow-up, if you're failing your own kids, you are failing the Lord.
30. All of the kids are your kids! Whether they be of your own flesh and blood, or somebody else's, or some single mother's, they're still your kids. So get in there and roll up your sleeves and fight for them and do your job as shepherds, as parents and elders, and defeat this attack of the Enemy on our kids! (End of prophecy.)
31. (Mama:) If you find you're having this type of problem in your Home, please take Dad's advice and do something today to find a solution. Don't put it off. You adults might think these problems with your kids are not very important amidst everything else that's happening in your Home, the other emergencies, needs, activities, etc. But such problems won't solve themselves. They won't just disappear if you ignore them. To the contrary, Dad warns that they will grow and spread and filter down to the younger kids, and pretty soon you'll have a lot bigger mess on your hands!--And possibly a major defeat of your testimony, sample and work for the Lord!
32. So please take care of these problems today by doing what Dad said to do: Recognize that a change is needed; cry out to the Lord in prayer; get together for some loving communication, heart-sharing and prayer; agree together on clear guidelines and boundaries; get desperate with the Lord to find a solution, and then work for it and desire it!
33. I feel the need to remind you adults that I am not talking about harsh, unloving, extreme discipline. I do not want you to overreact. While you should do all you can to keep the standard in the Letters and the Charter, and of course you need to have certain rules that you enforce, at the same time you need to be understanding and realize that some problems you'll encounter are just normal teen problems resulting from the very difficult period that adolescence is, especially the preteen and early teen years, as Dad brought out in the Letters.
34. Many of you adults were not very understanding of this before the Charter, but hopefully we've made progress in that area. For this reason, I'm asking that you be very prayerful and loving in the way you react to Dad's counsel, and yes, tighten up where you need to, but in your attempt to "lay down the law," don't revert to the way things were before the Charter. Please try to use wisdom and don't go too far one way or the other. Don't be too lenient or too strict! "A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight!" (Pro.11:1).
35. When praying about how to lovingly and wisely discipline your children, please review and follow the instruction given in the Charter, which says, "Child discipline in the Family is governed by the rules published in the 'Family Discipline Guidelines,' ML #2919, GN 591." (The Charter, Fundamental Family Rules, 5A, page 124.) That GN is the cornerstone regarding child discipline, so please study it and abide by the rules and guidelines therein. Like we've said before, and Dad has often said in the past, the answers are in the Letters. But you need to study them, which means rereading them in many cases, to find what you need and become "a workman that doesn't need to be ashamed," one who "rightly divides the Word of Truth" (2Tim.2:15).
36. You kids also need to take heed to what Dad said, and realize that the Enemy is fighting you! Dad explained that the Devil is seeking to get into your hearts, minds and spirits. He'll do anything he can to weaken you, and it often starts with little seeds of disrespect, pride, unyieldedness and worldliness. When you're young and pliable, your character is being formed, and if you don't fight these weaknesses and bad attitudes now, but instead let them become a part of your personality and automatic reactions, then it will be much more difficult for you to get victories over these NWOs in the future. So it's better to work on forsaking your bad habits of sassing and talking back and your disrespectful, smart-aleck attitudes now, while it's easier, before it becomes ingrained in your spirit with time. It's your choice, but if you're smart, you'll follow Dad's wise advice today!
37. Dad makes it clear that you young people who are still minors are expected to respect, honor and obey your parents and elders. The Charter doesn't give you the right to do otherwise! You teens and children should still try your best to get along with your parents, to understand them, work with them, and be a blessing in your Home, just as you did before the implementation of the Love Charter. And you adults can't abdicate your responsibilities as shepherds, teachers, guides and role models for the younger generation.
38. This isn't the first time I've addressed this problem. I suggest both you young people and you adults reread "Loving Shepherding and Interaction--Charter Style!" (ML #3018, GN 661), where I talk at length about shepherding, young people's freedoms, and the two generations learning to understand each other.
39. You'll notice that in the above prophecy Dad says, "These kids don't know the Charter and neither do their parents." Peter and I have concluded, based on the reports we read from both the CROs and the Homes, that a major part of the problem of not implementing the Charter correctly stems from either not fully understanding the Charter or not recalling accurately what it says. Sometimes you may think you know what the Charter says, but what's happening in many cases is that you're not remembering it or applying it correctly. You're missing important details because you're either going by what you vaguely remember it says, or you're taking someone else's word for it, without double-checking in the Charter itself. So unfortunately, some of your decisions, freedoms, rights, procedures, etc., that are supposedly based on the Charter may be far from what they should be!
40. I realize that it's not easy to get a full grasp of every aspect of the Charter. It is a complicated and lengthy document, and sometimes you parents don't have the time to do the necessary research to find the answers to every question that comes up, or to double-check the "demands" brought up by your kids. My suggestion to you would be the next time your kids argue that they should be allowed to do something because they say "it's my right under the Charter," that you have them research their point and show you exactly where it says that in the Charter! The next time your kids say, "You can't tell me that, this is the Charter," you can ask them to back up their arguments with specifics from the Charter. This should help to cut down on anyone using the Charter to justify behavior that is not recommended.
41. Sorry, kids, but if you're going to use the Charter to support your actions, then you're going to have to be able to prove your point with actual "chapter and verse" quotations from the Charter itself. You can't use the Charter as a "weapon" to simply get your own way, or as a license to be disrespectful or disobedient to your parents or elders!
42. Even after you have researched the facts of the Charter, the specifics, then you also need to learn to apply it in love. As Dad says in the above message, "[You need to] understand the spirit of the Charter. It's a Love Charter, and the only way it can bring forth the fruit that the Lord wants it to bring forth is if it's put into practice in love and humility, with everybody choosing to serve one another in love. … The One Who still has ultimate authority and Who should be ruling all your lives and your decisions is the Lord!"
Fathers Desperately Needed!
43. Recently Dad spoke again on the need to lovingly care for and discipline our children when I had someone pray about what could be done to help one of our single mothers whose OC children were becoming very unruly. This woman is wonderfully dedicated and a tremendous asset to her Home, but her children were becoming a serious problem. Finally, we received a report outlining the dilemma in detail and asking for help. The situation was getting pretty desperate! Dad gave the following advice:
44. (Prophecy, Dad speaking:) I think by the time it gets to the point where a report has to be sent to you, it's a pretty serious situation. You know how our people are--they're sort of timid sometimes. They want to give it the benefit of the doubt and try again, hoping maybe the situation will resolve itself. They want to be sure they give it enough time. They're afraid of being too harsh or too strict or coming off too heavy, and meanwhile the problem just gets worse. They seem to go from one extreme to the other--from giving too much discipline to not giving enough and being too lenient. So I think someone is going to have to step in there and make some decisions and get firm with these kids and lay down the law a little bit. Because if you don't, you'll not only have OC terrors, but those OC terrors will soon be teen terrors!
45. Our poor, poor mommies just can't raise these kids all by themselves sometimes, especially when you have very talented kids who are very strong-willed, very smart, very intelligent, full-of-energy powerhouses! They're going to need an extra strong hand to help keep them on the right track, or you're really going to have problems on your hands. We might not have enough men to go around, so some of the men are going to have to double up as daddies for some of these kids and give them the father image they need, the strong hand and the discipline needed to keep some of these fiery ones in line.
46. When my kids were growing up, I wasn't home all the time. I was on the road a lot, and Mother Eve took care of the kids. But when I was home, we had discipline, and the kids were respectful, and they said "Yes, Sir" and "Yes, Ma'am!" They wouldn't think of sassing me, talking back, or being disrespectful. And when I threatened to give discipline, they knew I meant it!
47. I wasn't hard on them or harsh. We had lots of fun and we had freedom in the spirit and I was very loving, but there were also rules. And when the rules were broken, there were punishments! I enforced the rules so that there were absolutes, and the kids knew what was right and what was wrong. They knew that if they did what was wrong and I found out about it, then there would be a punishment. They knew crime didn't pay.
48. This is how you teach truth to your children. This is how your kids learn the truth. Because if you pour into them the Word and the Bible, but you have no discipline and no absolutes, no rules or right and wrong in your lives, then it tears down the truth that they read about in the Word and that they hear about, and they're confused. You just have anarchy, and it makes the Word of God of none effect.
49. They need discipline as young children, to teach them that God's Word is true. If they read in the Bible that "the way of transgressors is hard" (Pro.13:15), but they don't see the consequences of their own transgressions in the discipline that they receive, then they will mock the truth, they will mock the Word, and they will mock our way of life.
50. So this is a very important foundation in the life of our kids--to give and enforce the discipline laid down in the Word, the discipline laid down in the Letters and the Love Charter, and the discipline that fathers should make sure that the children in the Family are receiving.
51. Just as you women want a man to love you, and this helps you to understand how the Lord loves you, so the children must have a father image in their lives, so they'll understand how the Lord is with them, how they need to respect Him and love Him and be yielded to Him, and obey Him and fear Him as their Heavenly Father. They'll understand that He is a loving Father, but at the same time He has rules and He expects us to obey Him, submit to Him, and respect Him.
52. They need these father images to, as you would say, put "skin" on the Lord, to put skin and flesh on Him, so the Lord isn't just something abstract to them. By having a daddy, they can better relate to and understand the Lord; He becomes more real to them.
53. You're going to have to find our loving, indulgent mothers who may be a little bit lax on the discipline, some strong men, strong in spirit, who have a firm hand, who are not afraid to stand up to some of these kids and not let them get away with things, or you're going to lose them. They're going to wreak havoc, and after they're done wreaking their havoc, you're going to lose them. They'll turn into rotten apples and they'll spoil others.
54. So get some men on the job! They've certainly been on the job making these babies, and now they need to get back on the job disciplining them, because these hard-to-manage kids, when channeled in the right direction, are going to be real powerhouses! When we let them loose on the Enemy, brother, he'd better watch out! Love, Dad. (End of prophecy.)
55. (Mama:) In this message, Dad emphasizes the need to care for all of the children as "our children." Also in the previous prophecy Dad says, "All of the kids are your kids! Whether they be of your own flesh and blood, or somebody else's, or some single mother's, they're still your kids." Again and again the Lord and Dad bring up the point that our single moms need dads for their kids!
56. Sometimes I wonder if we in the Family grasp how much a faithful, loving father figure can do to help turn around a problem child. Have you ever witnessed firsthand the tremendous positive influence that just one caring person can have on a rebellious, hard-to-handle child? Do you realize that even one person who really goes to work to help a child--by caring, listening, being interested, making himself available, showing unconditional love--can make a huge difference? Or do you just shake your head in despair and think, "Hey, that kid is too far gone. He's a 'rotten apple'! Nothing can help him. No amount of time, shepherding, love, prayer or attention will be able to salvage him. So forget it!"
57. Recently I received a personal letter where someone was telling me of his childhood experiences before he joined the Family. He was a juvenile delinquent when he was a preteen and teen, and I was greatly impressed with the dramatic change that came about in his life when his father began spending more time with him. Here's this person's story:
58. "From the age of 8 to 14 I was a very bad boy, a juvenile delinquent. My father was never around. He would leave at 3:00 in the afternoon to go to work and come home at 3:00 in the morning. When I got up in the morning he was asleep, and when I got home from school he was gone to work, so I rarely saw him, except for a few minutes on Sundays. My mother loved me but she had no conviction about discipline, so I pretty much was on my own from the age of 8.
59. "I got into lots of trouble. I was a thief. I stole everything I needed or wanted, including cigarettes, candy, food, money. I broke into schools. I broke into churches to steal offerings. I was doing very poorly in school, always getting spanked and disciplined. I was a very big discouragement to my teachers and parents. To put it bluntly, I was incorrigible.
60. "This went on until I turned 14, at which time I got caught stealing some money and was going to be sent to a reform school because I had been in so much trouble over the years. At that point, my father got furious with me and beat me. He didn't use his fists, but he threw me up against the wall and beat me really bad for a long while with his open hands, hitting me all around my face, neck, ears and back, which scared me; but that didn't have much lasting effect because I was used to fighting and getting beat up for years.
61. "But after this beating, my father must have been shocked at his behavior. He either prayed or somehow he came to the realization that it wasn't all my fault. I was just a boy. He saw that the fault had largely been with him for not being a father to me. Then he re-evaluated his entire life and decided that he was going to help me.
62. "From that point on he stopped working at night and got a daytime job at much reduced pay. He started being with me every day. When I would come home from school he was there. He would ask me about my school work. He started to help me and was interested in how I was doing in school. We joined a men and boys club, and instead of me hanging out at the dingy pool hall all the time, he took me to this beautiful recreational center and he and I played pool, handball and basketball together. He started doing all the things with me that I liked to do. He bought me a season ticket at the golf course and took me golfing three or four times a week. We were together all the time.
63. "It changed my life. Then I started getting A's and B's in school, and I was on the honor roll. I made new friends who were studious and didn't get in trouble, instead of running around with the pool hall gang, which also changed my life considerably.
64. "When my father started to take a much greater interest in my life and showed me a lot more love and understanding, I became a different person. Before, I was so tough on the outside that it never would have appeared that that was what I needed, but on the inside I was crying out for love, attention, companionship. I ended up graduating from high school with honors.
65. "Love was the key. Not only love, but time was very, very important to me. The reason I got in so much trouble when I was young was because I didn't think anyone really cared about me. I didn't think anyone was interested in me; no one was taking any time with me, so I just became a bad boy."
66. (Mama:) When praying about and reflecting on this testimony, I felt convicted and saddened to think that in our Family we often minimize or ignore or just plain don't understand the power that a father or a father figure can have in the life of a child. My heart aches to think that some of our own dear children could feel that no one is interested in them, or cares about them, or has the time or desire to be with them. It makes me cry to think about any of our children getting lost in the crowd and, like the above testimony, deciding to become "bad kids," because they figure it doesn't matter anyway.
67. Please, men, won't you just stop and look around you? Is there some child or some children in your Home who need your love, time and attention? Are there children around you who are desperate to feel that someone cares, that they're special to someone? I'll bet there are! Maybe it's that OC boy who has been driving you nuts because he's so wild, disobedient, and obnoxious! Or maybe it's the reticent JETT girl who doesn't cause much trouble, but who you've also noticed doesn't laugh much or talk much or enter in much. Or maybe it's the four little children of a single mother who are adorable, cute, funny and precious, but who also have their mother wrapped around their little fingers, so they not only run wild around the Home but completely wear her out as well!
68. Does that sound familiar? Are there some kids in your Home like that? Well, you can make a difference! That's right, you, just one man, can make a difference. You probably don't have the opportunity to join a fancy club of some sort like the father and son did in the above testimony, but that doesn't matter. That's not necessary! There are plenty of things you can do with a needy child or young person--and the most precious thing you can give them is your time!
69. Won't you please take some child or children under your wing and give them what they need, which is someone to talk to and pray with, someone to be with during their free time, someone who they feel special to, someone who can show them the way and give them direction, correction and fatherly advice? Every child needs to know that someone admires them, has faith in them, likes them, enjoys their company, and looks forward to being with them. We all need someone who we know is happy to see us each day, someone who will pray for us and feel for us when we're deeply disappointed, someone who will hold on to us when we're about to lose hope, someone who will laugh with us when our dreams come true, or help us to keep trying even if we have lost courage.
70. Will you be that person for one or some of our dear children? You can be Jesus for a child. What a privilege, what an honor! Your love, concern, discipline and friendship can make a world of difference!
71. You often hear in the news and documentaries of people--teachers, pastors, police, etc.--who have helped bring about a big change in young people's lives, even the worst of delinquents, because they gave them their time. A recent news spot I heard featured a woman named Suzanne Pachera who has opened a home for troubled kids--runaways, castoffs, prostitutes, gang members--those who fall between the cracks of the System. Her home is called "The House of Hope" in Fresno, California. In the interview she said, "The children that I serve are the most unwanted children, the rejects of the nation." When the interviewer asked some of the kids what they were doing before they came to the home they said, "Taking drugs. Fighting a lot. Pimping girls. Shooting people for fun, for money."
72. When talking about the kids, Suzanne said, "They've lost all hope. They've lost trust in adults. We adults are too busy. We don't listen any more. No one has time for the children any more." When asked what the children need, she responded, "These guys? It's a very simple formula. You know what these kids really need?--Motherly love. They want role models. They want people who will be honest with them. They want someone to discipline them. They want someone who can teach them responsibility, consequences. Someone to hold them, hug them. I don't give up on them. If you teach them to give up easily, they'll give up."
73. One of the older teen boys hugged this woman and said, "She's my mom. Not by blood, but in a sense, she's still my mom. She takes care of me." When the kids were asked what change had come about in their lives as a result of this woman, the meanest-looking kid, the one who used to shoot people for fun, said, "Look inside of us. We've got hope. We've got dreams. We care too. Now I want to go to college."
74. Suzanne's closing message to parents was: "Love your children. Don't give up on them. Love them till it hurts. That's what love is all about--loving unconditionally, till it hurts!"
75. This woman is making a difference! Just one caring person is changing the lives of those kids! I feel our Homes sometimes lose sight of the power of one individual, because you depend too much on the Family as a whole, the institution, the organization in our big multi-family Homes, the shepherding/parenting mechanism, so you as individuals don't feel the need to take responsibility for the children as you should. What a pity! If people in the System can give their lives for kids off the streets, children of strangers, and become parents, friends and counselors to them, then we, by God's grace, should certainly have the love and compassion necessary to care for our own!
76. If they can go to such lengths to save their children, certainly we ought to be able to do the same, and how much more motivation should we have for doing it! Sure, you've got oodles of kids and you can blame it on the fact that you don't have enough time to spend on each one, but still the handicaps of those in the System are far greater!--And when they have enough gumption and conviction to know that their kids need them and go to their rescue, our Family really doesn't have any excuses for not doing the same.
77. But to do that, you can't have a fly-by-night, here-today-gone-tomorrow attitude. You need to make personal, long-term commitments to our children and young people, and be willing to stay with them as their father or father figure long enough to build bonds, supply their needs in a deep way, and bring about some real change. This counsel applies to women too, of course, but now I'm talking specifically to you men, since one of the greatest needs we have is that of fathers and father figures--especially for our single mothers!
78. Of course, one big excuse is going to be that we have so many kids, how can you tune in so much to one, because if you do that, you're neglecting the others. But there have got to be some answers, and as has been brought out before in Letters like "How to Have a Happy Home," you adults are just going to have to tune in to the kids as you go. Whatever activities you adults have to do, you're going to have to incorporate the young people and take them on as partners, co-workers, helpers, etc.
79. Every adult has something that they can give to a child, as was also brought out in that Letter. You can teach them to read, teach them a special game; teach them a vocational skill, like handyman, cooking, computer, sewing; take them places with you, and all kinds of things. You may have to rotate, but if you're willing to sacrifice for them, you can make that needed difference in their lives! Dad brought out this very point in a recent message in which he said:
80. (Prophecy, Dad speaking:) The most wonderful blessing in my life was all our children, wasn't it, Mama? It was all our children--giving them everything that we had, teaching them everything that we knew.
81. If you want to have fun in life, live with some children. They draw the best out of you! You can't just pass them by. They are brand-new models, they need everything that you've got. Do you want to have fun witnessing?--Witness with children. Do you want to feel like you've really accomplished something for the day?--Teach the kids. Do you want to feel loved? Do you want to feel like somebody loves you more than you've ever been loved?--Take a child into your life--one, or two, or three! I never had so much love as when I took in all of you. You were my life and my song.
82. Jesus blessed me with so much joy, so much beauty, so much fulfillment, seeing you carry on where I couldn't go; seeing you take the steps that I couldn't take any more. But you never would have been able to do it if I hadn't given you everything I had. I gave till there was nothing left in the bottle, not one little drop left. Jesus knew there wasn't anything left for me to do, so He brought me Here, and now I can do everything and more. And I'm still working with kids! You should see all the kids around me. It's my greatest joy, giving them all Jesus.
83. If you want to live your life for Jesus, it's a life of giving, teaching, pouring out, praying for, loving, showing concern, nurturing, feeling, comforting, praying, caring. How anybody could ever pass by little children, I just don't understand. I just don't understand how anyone could pass by those beautiful mothers with their need for love and encouragement and support.
84. Don't! Let's not turn them away, folks. Let's not shut them out of our doors. They're part of the Family. This is the Family. What is a family if there are no kids?
85. You're my kids and I gave you everything. Now you've got kids and you've got to give them your all, every one of you, whether they are your kid brother or your children. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. "Suffer little children to come unto Me and forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven."
86. You'll be rewarded one day when you see the Kingdom carrying on in our precious kids. Just teach them to witness, teach them to love Jesus. Keep life simple, don't let it get so complicated. Keep it simple, so you've got time for all they need. I kept my life simple. If my life had been cluttered with so much of the world and distractions, I wouldn't have had time to think about your needs. Keep your eyes on Jesus, keep it simple.
87. Let these breakings, these needs, bring you closer to Him. Yield, keep being faithful one day at a time, one step at a time, one child at a time, one parent at a time, one brother at a time, one mother at a time; and we'll all shout the victory together in the end. It will be worth it all!
88. There's a great payoff, so don't give up now! The race isn't won yet, but we are getting closer all the time. He's all your strength, all your glory, and He loves you and I love you. You are my kids and I'm still concerned about you, still teaching you, still training you, still giving my all for you. I love you! (End of prophecy.)
89. (Mama:) Please, men, won't you give your all to help our dear mothers who are struggling!? If you're not willing or available to be their full-time mate and a permanent daddy for their children, then please at least accept the role of being a father figure to their children! They need you! Please do it for them!--And for the Lord! And for me!
Take Time to Love, Respect and Understand Your Children!
90. Sometimes we need to "lay down the law" with children, as Dad mentions earlier. As he so aptly brings out, there is certainly a very big need for discipline, rules, absolutes, punishment when justly merited, etc. On the other hand, Dad recently gave another message, which I think complements the above prophecy and brings out another very important aspect of raising children--the need to show them love, understanding and tolerance; the need to put yourself in children's shoes so you can try to see things from their point of view. It's so very sad when adults don't show children enough love and respect, or when they discipline them unjustifiably. I want to share with you the following letter from a dear 10-year-old and the message to her from Dad, because I think it illustrates this point well.
91. "Dearest sweet Mama Maria, I really love you. God bless you. Thank you for all the loving training you've given me from the Letters. You are very sweet to me. We pray for you every day and are hoping that you are getting better.
92. "I'm going through some trials in my life now, like I'm always getting corrected about this and that and the other. Like one example--this morning we were having devotions and I was told to get something, so I went and did that. Then I went back upstairs and was told to do something else, so I went and did it. Then I went for devotions and Uncle So-and-so said, 'J., come here.' He asked me what I had been doing, so I explained to him, and he corrected me, and I missed my cupcake. It was like, 'Yes Sir.'
93. "Maybe the Lord is trying to slow me down and show me something. Like now I have a very bad cold. Or maybe the adults are being too strict on us. I don't know. But anyway, I will keep going for God no matter what happens and keep on witnessing and winning souls for His Kingdom.
94. "I love you lots. I will keep praying for you, and keep on keeping on. Much love and prayers, J.
95. "P.S. Love you lots, and once again thank you!"
96. (Mama:) Isn't it so sad that it seems this child was doing what she was told, what she thought was right, but was met with so little understanding? She tries to be good, and yet it seems to her that it doesn't pay; she gets corrected and misses her cupcake. I was so burdened by this little plea that I asked someone to pray and get some encouragement for her. Grandpa spoke so lovingly to this dear child:
97. (Grandpa speaking:) Dear J., my little birdie! You've been like a little birdie that has flown and landed on Mama's shoulder and chirped in her ear. You're such a cute little birdie! Yes, she understands. She's sorry about your cupcake, and she understands how hard it is to grow up. She's happy when you come and chirp in her ear, so she can hear all about it, so she knows what the little birdies are doing and what your tests and trials are, because she loves you little birdies.
98. All you little children are her special little pets, her pet birdies. She likes to have you close to her, sitting on her shoulder. It makes her happy knowing that you're so close by. She never wants you to be so far away that she can't hear you chirping and singing. Even if it's a sad tune, she wants to know exactly how you're doing.
99. But don't get too down and discouraged, no matter what happens. No matter what tests come your way, just be a happy birdie and sing. Whether it's sunny or it's rainy or it's cold or it's dark, make music in song to the Lord. Okay?
100. Thank you for being such a good little birdie even though that was quite a test. Just keep going for Jesus! Keep eating those grains of corn of the Word to help you grow and make you strong, and some day you'll be a great big mama bird! Okay?
101. I love you! You're one of my little birdies too, and I hope you like this nice little chat we had. Love, Your Grandpa Birdie. (End of prophecy.)
102. (Mama:) Dad spoke so sweetly and lovingly to this little child, giving her the encouragement she needed to help her resist getting down and discouraged about what seemed to her to be a very unfair situation. Being corrected and missing her cupcake was a test for her, because regardless of whether she was right or wrong in the particular instance she relates, from her point of view she felt misunderstood and like her explanation was not believed or respected.
103. I think all of us with any kind of good memories could think of scores and scores of times when we felt our parents disciplined us unjustifiably, and other adults did so as well. It's just a universal problem that occurs between adults and children. I think most of the time it comes because of a lack of respect, a lack of understanding, a lack of being willing to take the time to resolve situations and to hear the children out. But it is very, very sad, and there are probably untold millions of children who suffer because their respect and love for their adult caregivers has decreased because of repeated incidents like this.
104. They just feel so misunderstood and unloved. How else does it make them feel besides that? Even adults who are misunderstood by other adults know what it feels like. You just feel like, what's the use of trying to explain, anyway, if people won't even believe you. It's very sad not to be believed by someone. Not only do they not respect you, but they don't believe you, they don't understand, and all of that adds up in a person's mind--child or adult--as a lack of love.
105. I think I would rather risk not disciplining at all in a given situation than disciplining unjustifiably. In other words, if I didn't know for sure if a child was at fault and there was no way I could find out, I'd just think it would be better not to discipline for that particular offense.
106. We so often don't see more than one side of the story and we are very prone to make wrong judgments, either misinterpreting a situation and jumping to conclusions that the child is not telling the truth, or blaming the wrong child in situations involving multiple children. That's why so often teachers in classes just discipline the entire class when they can't find out who specifically is at fault. Well, that's pretty unfair, too, but you can certainly understand why they do it.
107. It just takes so much longer to sit down and hear from all sides and get into the whole situation to find out the answers, and to teach by your example. But if you are not going to do that, you shouldn't just lash out and assume that the child's explanation is wrong, or that he is not telling the truth. For the most part, the Lord hasn't made us mind readers, and we shouldn't try to be something we're not by jumping to conclusions. If all else fails, and it's a serious situation, we can ask the Lord and have Him speak in prophecy to explain the situation.
108. Dear ones, please listen to your children and young people. Give them the benefit of the doubt, respect them and make it easy for them to be honest, and show them the Lord's Love. If Dad and I can take the time to hear the cries of our little children and try to understand them, then you can too!
Jesus' Basketball Team!
109. Speaking of hearing from young ones, I want to share with you another letter I received, this time from a 14-year-old. I'm really proud of this dear teen girl. She seems to be very serious-minded about her service for the Lord, and she asks a very good question about watching sports on television--basketball, to be more specific. I'll let you read excerpts of her letter, and you can judge for yourself if this scenario sounds familiar.
110. "Dearest Mama, I love you so much. I've been reading and rereading your Letters to us, and since the Personal Letter GNs, I've had more courage to write you, especially about some questions I've been wondering about lately. I hope you'll be able to answer them for me.
111. "First, I'd like to explain here that we live in an English-speaking country. I think the pull of worldliness is much stronger on us than in other countries, since most everything is in English--the blaring music, television, etc. I'm not sure, but this is just my personal experience, maybe it's not the same with everybody.
112. "A question I had was about sports, because basketball seems to be a major thing here. Now, maybe someone might think, 'Well, you're a girl, so of course you're not into basketball as much as the boys.' Of course, it's natural that the boys are more into sports usually. But actually, I really enjoy playing basketball at the park every day during get-out, and I tend to get into the game quite a bit too.
113. "But the question is, how far can we go when it comes to watching the basketball games on television? Because we watch it quite a bit here, even the adults. Whenever the news says that there'll be games that night, the first thing that comes up when wondering what to do for activity is, 'Let's watch a game on TV!'
114. "When I first came here, I just couldn't understand what was so 'heavy' about watching a game on TV, and I was so against it, openly voicing my complaints to the point where I was told to shut up. (I realize now my attitude wasn't so good either, and I was coming across a bit strong. I should've kept my mouth shut probably.) (Mama: Well, Honey, it's good you spoke up, but you probably could have presented your views better. The solution is not to just "keep your mouth shut" but to try to share your ideas meekly and humbly, which helps people to be more receptive to what you're saying.) Gradually, I got to know the different teams, memorized most of their names, and it wasn't such a bother to watch the games with everyone else. I've learned to just control my tongue and can usually sit through the first two quarters of a game. (Actually, I draw, write letters, or read something at the same time, so I won't get too bored!) Sometimes it's interesting when some guy does a slam-dunk or a major foul, half-court shot, or something like that.
115. "Recently, I've felt quite burdened about this, because it's become such a major issue. (I think it's only fair to explain here that another reason the boys watch it is also because the company that one of the teams is representing has helped us with provisions before.) However, I don't think it's so necessary to watch the games almost every other day, is it? I just don't know the policy, so I'd like to be more clear about it, if it's the right standard, or not.
116. "I guess I also don't think it's so good when it becomes one of the major topics for daily conversations. For example, one day, one of our catacombers came over, and the teen that was with him just talked non-stop about the basketball games. It kind of embarrassed me that we weren't sharing something more worthwhile than sports with our sheep. Instead of witnessing, this teen was talking about sports and all the major events, and so on.
117. "I'm glad I can write you about this, Mama, as it's been on my heart for some time. It's a bit hard for me to share what I feel with the other kids, I guess because there's a majority of boys and because the adult men are also into watching TV sports. Some of the adult women here have mentioned that it's not good, and I agree, especially when the OCs start getting into it too.
118. "Please tell me, Mama, if I'm coming out too strong with my personal opinions. But this has been on my mind quite a bit lately, it's nice to get it off. Much love, your daughter."
119. (Mama:) Thank you, sweet girl, for taking the time to write me with your questions. As I mentioned in a previous GN (ML #3018:50, GN 661), Dad used to watch occasional sports games on television with David and Techi, and they enjoyed themselves very much, so there's nothing wrong with watching a basketball game or other sports show on TV every so often. However, like you brought up, it's not good to take it to extremes and spend too much time doing so, when we've got so much important work to do for the Lord.
120. I figured a lot of people may have the same question you did, so I asked the Lord if He could please clarify for us the right balance when it comes to watching sports on television. You'll be thrilled to know that He had Dad speak, who gave a very fitting message that I think you and the others in your Home will get a big kick out of, as well as find the answers that you're looking for! Praise the Lord!
121. (Dad speaking:) The Lord said, "Come out from among them and be ye separate" (2Cor.6:17). Hey, whose team are you on, anyway?--The worldly teams, or God's team? You know, there's nothing wrong with sports in itself. It's good for exercise, recreation, getting your mind off your work and taking a break. Even if you watch it on TV every now and then, there's no harm done. I even watched it with the kids every once in a while. But like everything, it has its time and place, when it's edifying and when it's not edifying, when it's helpful and when it's harmful. But for goodness sakes, don't be talking about sports when you should be witnessing or winning souls or getting in the Word! You're just throwing the ball away and giving it to the Enemy! And if you do that, you're losing the game.
122. This whole thing is a game of you against the Enemy, and he's out for keeps! He's trying to score while you're sleeping, and he's running circles around some of you who don't even know which end of the court you're on! If some of you adults can't call the shots, or don't care so much about the game, whether you're winning or letting the Devil score points, you need to get out of the game and let some of the kids play, who are trying to get a few goals in there. It's hard enough trying to get past the Enemy and get a shot in there without you fouling things up too.
123. How do you know who the best players are on a team? It's those who love to play and faithfully show up for practice the most. Those who eat, live and breathe the game, who are serious and dedicated, like this dear girl. Well, the Lord said a little child shall lead them. It certainly is true of some of our teens, who are more spiritually minded than some of the adults who are not really serious about the game any more--the game of winning souls, witnessing and living the Word.
124. If you adults are not that great at playing the game, sometimes what is even more important than your skills is the influence that you have. You may be a crummy player, but your moral support and your sample can be just as important as how well you can shoot or dribble or run. So if you can't get in there to shoot any more, at least be a good coach. Like on any team, if the coaches aren't good samples for their players and don't know how to encourage them and give them pep talks, but instead are off getting drunk or off doing something else or don't show up for practice, what good are they to the team? And many of you adults who can't get out on the playing field or keep up with it any more, please, at least be good samples. Please be true to the game and faithful to the cause.
125. Besides, you can have much more effect training a whole team of players than you could if you were out there on the field yourself playing. So please, adults, don't let these young ones down. Please be the sample that they need so you don't lead them astray. There's not much playing time left till the game will be over. It's really going to come down to the wire, and every one of you is needed. So give it your best shot! Okay? And let's get some slam dunks in there--for Jesus! Praise the Lord! Just don't give your points away to the Enemy! Make every shot count, every pass.
126. And if you like to talk about basketball or sports, it doesn't take much to somehow relate it to the Lord, or make a parallel or parable out of it. Talk about sports if you want, just bring the Lord into it. You can bring the Lord into any situation or any topic. There's nothing wrong with that; just don't leave Him out of it. That's a good rule to go by: If you leave the Lord out of it, that's how you know you're out of it! Okay?
127. So get into it, and get on with it before the buzzer blows and the game is over and the scores are added up. I'm Here watching, keeping track and helping to keep score, and I'm watching you play. Praise the Lord! I love you! Your old coach, Grandpa. (End of prophecy.)
128. (Mama:) Isn't that a terrific message for all you sports lovers? Thank you, Dad, for again making the point so easy to understand and receive. Come on, all you coaches and team players!--Let's win the game for Jesus!--And we'll have a great time while doing it! Praise the Lord!
Cautions on TV and Movie Watching
129. I wish I could say that watching sports on television was the only problem we have heard of along those lines. But unfortunately, especially now with the Charter in full swing, it seems that many Homes have gone to the extreme with watching too much TV and movies, or partaking of other System input. One of the CROs reported:
130. "Since there are no specific rules about how many hours can be spent and what can be watched on TV, many people have taken this as a license to just get 'glued to the tube.' The sad thing is that our children are also being inundated with many of the lies of the System through the hours that they spend watching movies or whatever the Home is watching.
131. "I've noticed that some of the habits, mannerisms, attitudes or ways of doing things of many of our young adults obviously come from what they have seen in the movies. Many times also while talking to them about subjects like world events, medical and technological research, etc., I find myself having to defend what the Letters say about certain subjects, as our young people, and many adults too for that matter, talk with real authority about these things, contradicting what Dad has said. When investigating where they got their information, it always seems to go back to either the TV news, TV programs, or even newspapers, as many have now gone to the extreme of reading the newspaper from cover to cover.
132. "Now that some connect to the Internet, I feel that unless this is properly shepherded, it could cause some damage in that more people might start doing their own 'investigations,' and swallow the System explanations and reasoning hook, line and sinker, and thereby come to the wrong conclusions which are contrary to the Word, the Truth! That's why I feel it's so important to keep the proper balance in how to use television, movies, and the Internet, but not to abuse them."
133. (Mama:) Because we've received numerous reports that television viewing and movie watching has gotten out of control, I asked the Lord to speak on this subject, to help us get a better balance. Here are some excerpts of the message He gave:
134. (Jesus speaking:) Behold, what a mighty tree!--This tree that stands tall and spreads out her branches to cover the Earth. Though this tree is used to transmit much good, much inspiration, and even helpful knowledge of My ways and My wonderful world, it also transmits much corruption, deception, deceit and lies. Therefore you must look to Me and discern and seek My answers, My wisdom and My guidance. For much propaganda goes out into the world in this final hour, and you must pray and discern and walk in wisdom, choosing the good and rejecting the evil.
135. There is much evil transmitted on the airwaves through this box [TV]. For the prince of the air controls and prospers this industry, and he knows that his time is short. Take a look. Ask yourselves who is behind the industry? Who is behind many of the programs, the films, the movies? What is their purpose and what is their plan? You must weigh them in the balances, through prayer and supplication, seeking Me, looking to Me, that you might discern what is good and what is evil. For just as all that glitters is not gold, so all that seems right and fine and proper and correct is not the truth and is not what it seems.
136. Satan's lies often come in nice packages--not only soothing to the ears, that you might hear and believe, but appealing to the sight, that you might see and want, as he tugs and pulls, playing on the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. He uses the blend of images and sounds, pleasing to the eye, melodic to the ear, and sends them out to go round and round the world--to the big cities, to the rural areas, to the four corners of the Earth, deceiving, setting traps, washing the brains and the minds, corrupting the hearts of men who are ignorant of his devices.
137. Yes, it's true that I am also able to use such means as television to spread My message, to propagate, to evangelize, to win souls to My Kingdom. But you must remember that Satan is now in his heyday, walking about deceiving those who do not discern. This is the modern-day Tree of Knowledge, and knowledge wears two faces--that which is good, which is from My hand, and that which is evil, from the hand of Satan. It is both, and you must choose, receiving the good and rejecting the evil.
138. It is a serious and sober matter to indulge, to immerse yourself, to take in television and movies. It is not for babes and those weak in faith to discern by themselves without the loving hand and guidance of their shepherds.
139. Oh, but you say, "Surely television is but an innocent tool, for everyone owns a TV!" Clever, clever subtleties! Everyone watches television! Yes, and are not the masses deceived? Are not the masses able to be controlled? Do not the vast robotic masses easily accept without question the latest, the newest, the "in" thing, the conveniences of modern technology? Are not the masses being set up and prepared to receive the Mark of the Beast? Have I not said that if it were possible, even My very elect would be deceived? But to you, My children, it is given to discern the signs of the times.
140. Satan is running loose! He rants and he raves and he seeks to destroy those who would be the greatest threat to his kingdom. I pray for you that you can stand strong and resist the temptations that he sets before you. For these reasons I long to love you and woo you and hold you close in My arms, that you might be full and satisfied and find strength that you know not of for these Last Days. Beware of the decoys! Beware of the red herrings! Beware of the masses of information and the images, the sights and the sounds that are designed to woo you away from My highest and My best.
141. Are you seeking knowledge? Seek the wisdom that is from Above. For this reason I am pouring it on! The floodgates are open and I pour and pour and pour out again and again and again the Words of wisdom and the Words of Truth, that you might find strength and power as you discern the signs of the times. You have but to ask, receive and believe! Listen! Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation! Do you long for pretty sights and sounds? Tune in to My visions, and ecstasies poured out without measure to those who would seek!
142. Take heed that you do not sacrifice your children, your young people, to the gods of Moloch--the god of education! Is not this box an educating device? Do you not learn many things by this modern-day god of Moloch--some good and some bad? You must walk in wisdom, pray, and proceed with great caution and great prayerfulness when using this device, and do not give your children free rein without discretion. Do not turn them loose to be burned by this god, but rather protect them, lead them and guide them in all truth, helping them to discern the right from wrong.
143. Use this tool for the little good it is able to transmit, but pray and seek Me daily, hourly, throughout the day, to know what is worth watching and what is worth rejecting, remembering that you are as sheep in the midst of wolves. Forget not that this is the day of wolves, and the wolf is set at liberty, seeking to devour all in his path.
144. Think not that this caution applies only to babes, to the younger generation who have little experience, who need help and guidance in knowing how to discern. For I caution you all, young and old, to walk in wisdom, pray without ceasing, and strike a balance in these matters. As you watch, answer not a matter before you hear it--in this case, before you hear from Me.
145. In your times of viewing you must stay in constant prayer and communion with Me, seeking Me, asking for My protection, for My guidance to know what is really the truth and what way it really is. Be not quick with your mouth to say, "Yes, yes, this is the truth!" Be not quick with your comments, but seek Me for confirmation. Weigh up all matters against the measurement, the standard of My Word, and discern. For only in My Word--My old Word and My new Word--lies the real truth. If it is not according to My Word, set it aside and do not wallow in it.
146. Use this tool of the TV, of videos, of documentaries to avail yourself of the good they contain. For I do use these tools to get out My message. I do use these tools as a means of information, that you may stay informed and updated and aware of how the Enemy is marshaling his forces, that you may see how he is moving and working. I also use these as a means to break your hearts for this lost and lonely and needy world, as you witness and watch and see the horrors that are come upon the Earth, as you see and partake of others' lives, that you may get a burden, that you may pray for them, that you may let your heart break for them. I use this as a means of communication, and even as a means of relaxation and relief from an intense and tiring day's or week's work. Yet in all things through prayer and supplication, I ask you to seek Me constantly as you pass your viewing hours.
147. Let not the pendulum swing too far to the right or too far to the left. And think not that the Love Charter gives license to run wild, wallowing in the ways of the world, with free access to worldly programs and the filth and propaganda of Satan. Open your eyes! Look on My Word, and the Words of your father David, and live! For has not David spoken in depth on this subject? Has he not laid down guidelines in detail on what to feed on and how to view? Has he not cautioned you along these lines? Research and review the Words of your father on this vast subject.
148. And I say unto you of the older generation, you cannot expect of your younger ones any more than you yourself are living. If you desire that your teens and young people be not totally consumed with attitudes and images they see in the movies, check your own hearts. How much time and thought and conversation do you indulge in viewing television and watching movies? Do you long to look at the sports broadcasts? Do you spend unnecessary hours in front of the box? How many entertainment films do you seek to watch, and what is your idea of entertainment? Check your own hearts and beware. For Satan asks that he may have you all, that he might sift you as wheat. This is the day of the wolf, and he is seeking his next meal! Take heed that it be not you! (End of prophecy.)
149. (Mama:) Besides television, documentaries and movies being a means to get out His message, which the Lord mentioned several times, He also enumerated a list of the other benefits, such as: You can stay informed and updated on world events; you see the difficulties the people of the world endure, which breaks your heart for the lost; you partake of others' lives and experiences, which gives you a burden to pray for them; and it's a means of relaxation and relief from your busy work schedule. So there are five very good reasons why television and movies can be beneficial.
150. This prophecy also gives some valuable guidelines, and although these ideas aren't brand-new, it's good to have them repeated, as it seems many of you may need the reminders. As the Lord mentioned above, Dad has already spoken fairly extensively in the Letters on the subject of good video viewing, so you may want to read some of those earlier Letters. But for the time being I'll repeat for you here, in point form, the main tips the Lord provides in the above prophecy for happy fruitful viewing:
151. --Pray, discern, choose the good and avoid the evil.
152. --Remember that not all that glitters is gold, and not all that seems right, fine, proper and correct is the truth, or necessarily what it seems.
153. --Watch out for the pretty packaging of Satan's lies, as he uses the blend of images and sounds, pleasing to the eye and melodic to the ear, to corrupt and set traps for the people who are ignorant of his devices.
154. --Remember, the robotic masses are being set up to receive the Mark of the Beast, but you know better! You can discern the signs of the times and resist his brainwashing!
155. --Take time loving Jesus, so you'll have the strength to resist the temptations of the Devil.
156. --If it's knowledge you want, take advantage of the flood of truth the Lord is pouring out in our publications!
157. --If you're looking for far-out sights and sounds, tune in to the thrills of the spirit world! His radical Words, eye-opening revelations, unique word pictures and far-out visions will really send you!
158. --Parents, don't let your children view television without direction, supervision and guidance, helping them to discern the truth, and the right from the wrong.
159. --Both young and old need to be prayerful and find a good balance in viewing.
160. --Don't just drink in what the television says like the poor blind people of the world do, but be wary, be on guard, check what is said with the Word, and seek the Lord for confirmations.
161. --Research and study the Letters for more counsel on television and movie viewing.
162. --Adults, set a good example for the young people.
(For more words from the Lord on this subject, please see also the prophecies on the Internet in "Mama's News and Views!--Part Three!" ML #3053:91-135, GN 682.)
163. Each Home is responsible to establish the details of their own video and TV viewing policies, according to the guidelines outlined in the Charter, which say:
164. "Members should also 'resist the Devil' (James 4:7) by actively striving to minimize the ungodly and unedifying influences in our lives. These ungodly and unedifying influences could be anything that pulls us away from the Lord or pollutes our spirit, mind or heart with 'junk food' of the spirit and hinders our connection with God. This would include the reading of unedifying or ungodly material, or the watching of unedifying videos, movies or TV, or listening to ungodly music.
165. "Undoubtedly our day-to-day work and outreach will put us in positions where we might come in contact with ungodly and unedifying influences, but we should attempt to minimize them by not intentionally inflicting upon ourselves those things that we know to be ungodly or unedifying.
166. "It is recommended that members select movies they view from the Movie Lists published by World Services and follow the advice as to the selection of the film, the age group for which the film is suggested, and the appropriateness of the film for the target audience. It is not recommended that you watch a movie that is not on the list, but it's not forbidden.
167. "If you feel that a movie (or portions of it) is suitable for an age group younger than the suggested rating, you may show it to them, provided you have previewed the movie, and counseled about its suitability with a responsible adult." (The Charter, Responsibilities of Individual Members, 1A; Home Life Rules, 9K, pages 1, 133.)
168. (Mama:) Here are some interesting observations from a Family member who recently visited a Home in the U.S. which had adopted a very low standard in video viewing, among other things. This person reports:
169. "The last couple of days of our trip, we visited a Family Home in order to take care of some business and to see sweet friends. Of the whole trip and all of the visits with relatives, seeing so much System when visiting the various tourist spots, amusement parks, etc., those few hours at the Family Home had the biggest influence on the kids, but sad to say, it was not so positive. A couple of the boys teased our son because at our Home we 'still only watch recommended movies,' and they proceeded to show him their library of 'Batman' and other unedifying videos.
170. "The kids in this Home were generally very different from what my older kids were used to. I really don't want to be self-righteous about it, as I don't live there and can't say I'd be any better in the given situation. Also, our Home isn't perfect either. Since I was already a bit drained from the trip, when I saw that Home's state, I actually began to wonder if our Home is indeed too strict! From what we gathered from what those kids said, our Home is an exception and we live in a 'bubble,' and according to them, we're just not 'with it.'
171. "It was all a bit of a shock, because the impression given was that 'everyone else' is like that, and it really had me wondering. It seemed sort of like the old war tactic they used to use, making you think that everyone else had already surrendered, and your battalion is one of the last left, so you might as well give in too. After we arrived back home, I discussed this with the shepherds here and we pow-wowed it with the kids, and we of course realized that we aren't the 'only ones left.'
172. (Mama:) What movies or television programs you watch is your decision, but remember, the Lord will hold you accountable for your actions. If there are several Homes in your city or area, you may be faced with some comparing battles or peer pressure, if other Homes watch more or different movies or television programs than you do. You kids might even feel that your Home is really "uncool" compared to everyone else, if your viewing is more restricted. But take my word for it, it will pay off if you stick to your guns, don't water down your convictions, and avoid getting sucked into watching junk on TV or video!
Dad Knows, Sees and Cares!
173. In this GN the Lord, Dad and I have been talking about matters that may seem rather personal to you, such as how you raise your kids, the standard of discipline you adopt, what you watch on television, the relationship you kids have with your parents, etc. It may be difficult for some of you to receive this counsel if you think I'm overreacting or I'm misinformed. Maybe some of you think, "Oh, Mama is getting bent out of shape over nothing. She reads one little letter or report from someone and gets all uptight and reproves us all over what just one or two people said!"
174. As I've told you before, I spend a lot of my time listening to reports, letters and reactions from the CROs and the Homes. I believe I have a fairly realistic picture of what's happening in the Family because I'm one of the few people, along with Peter, Gary, Matthew and a few others in WS, who have the opportunity to hear reports, personal comments, reactions, observations and heartcries from all the CRO areas, and from our people of all ages. Also, people often tell me what they haven't been able to tell anyone else. So I have a lot more input about the state of the Family than you probably realize.
175. Also, I believe the Lord supernaturally helps me to see things the way He sees them, because I spend hours each day listening to His point of view via the prophecies that not only Peter or those in my Home and other WS units receive, but also those that are received in many other Homes around the world.
176. But if you still feel dubious about my judgment of Family affairs, I want to reassure you that you can be sure Dad's not overreacting. He's not misinformed. He's not judging matters based on reports or personal letters--he's visiting, seeing, and observing firsthand, as was brought out in the testimony of Dad's visit to the children of Nicolas and Daniela that was published in "News and Views!--Part Three." (See ML #3053:2-24.) Dad recently commented again about his intimate contact with you dear Family members, saying:
177. "I do visit, and I come when you call me. I know each of you, my dear precious Family. I hear your prayers and am just as near and real as that picture of me that many of you have beside your bed. I am there smiling at you, looking at you, watching you. Any time you need strength or help you can call on me, or on the vast multitudes of spirit helpers at your side, and we can help you to see things as they really are, so that the things of Earth do not weigh you down, but you can be Heavenly minded on the fresh, green mountain slopes, viewing the valley below passing before your eyes like a movie. Or we can take you up into the Heavenlies to see the beauties that are There, to lift your spirit and give you answers for your problems. For we do sing, and there is music, and these glories are present all around you and with you! If you need special encouragement, it's there for you." (End of prophecy excerpt.)
178. (Mama:) Wow, isn't that wonderful!? Dad is so close to you, and he knows each of you better than you realize! He sees your situation and understands what you're going through, and is ready to help you if you need him! Thank You Jesus! And thank you Dad!
179. I thought that little word from Dad would encourage you, and would also help you to receive the following talk from him more easily. When I was working on this GN, I realized that the messages we had received up until this point had touched on some important issues, but I felt that the Lord might have more to give, to round out the message. So I had someone pray and ask the Lord if He would have Dad speak to give anything else that we may need to hear, regarding the relations between you young people and adults and your adherence to the Charter.
180. I didn't want any one age group to feel that you were getting more than your share of the blame, when there is obviously some fault on all sides. I knew you young people wouldn't take too kindly to having your lack of respect or conviction pointed out, if you can turn around and look at the adults and see that some of them are perhaps as guilty, or in some cases much more so, of not living the Family standard or being the samples they should be!
181. I asked if Dad could give a talk that would be general enough to cover the whole spectrum of points that needed to be addressed, but yet specific enough that you'd be able to relate to it personally. That's a tall order, but we deal with the supernatural. Our God is a God of miracles! The Lord answered my prayers, as Dad gave one of his A to Z talks!
182. You'll see as you read this message below that Dad gives some strong correction. I'm convinced that this message is what is needed and Dad knows what he's talking about, but I also want to remind you that Dad and I know that the members of our dear Family are, for the most part, dedicated, hard-working missionaries and you are doing your best to obey and uphold the standard, even if you do fall short and need some prodding and correction sometimes. We also realize that while individual Family members may be guilty of some of these various offenses that Dad addresses, probably no one person is guilty of all of them. Some may be guilty of one point, others of another. But Dad is giving this correction "scatter-shot" style to those who do need it and who are guilty of one or several of these offenses. He's covering all the various points where you may need help.
183. If you feel you're being unfairly judged and you're not guilty of some or most of these points, you may very well not be, and perhaps those points are not for you. But there may be other points that Dad mentions that you are falling short in and that you should apply. So each of you should check your heart to see whether you are living up to the standard in each of the points Dad talks about, and if you're not, then you should pay close attention to what Dad is saying and do all you can to get back to the standard.
What Is That in Thy Hand?--And What Are You Doing with It for Jesus?
184. (Prophecy, Dad speaking:) For years and years and years I've been talking about the importance of our children. "What Is That in Thy Hand?", "God's Gift Is God's Work," "Real Mothers," "The School Vision," "Guard Your Children," Letter after Letter after Letter! Throughout the history of the Revolution, when I was there with you, I was constantly reminding you in Letter after Letter about the importance of our children, about shepherding teens and young people. If you'd just go back to the Word, you'd see that I never stopped emphasizing the importance of our children, the importance of teaching them, training them, pouring into them, giving them the Word of God, and inspiring them by your good sample.
185. How long is it going to take you folks to realize that just because you have your Charter, that doesn't mean you can throw away or disregard or ignore all the past teachings from Mama and me. Those Letters still stand, and I expect you to read them, believe them, live them, and do your best to follow.
186. I gave you those Letters because the Lord had shown me how important our children are. He had shown me that they were one of our most important ministries, and that if we failed with our children it would be a great failure. He showed me that our children are the hope of the future. They're the leaders of the Endtime Army. They are going to be the great prophets and the ones speaking the Word in the Endtime. The Lord showed me this, and I believed Him! So I was constantly reminding you, teaching you, and repeating over and over and over about the importance of our children.
187. If you know the Word at all, if you've been reading the Letters over the years, I don't see how you could possibly have missed that important message! I was just drumming it into you time and time again, about the importance of our children and what precious gifts they are from God's hand. Don't you see that God has blessed you with those children and entrusted them into your care, and that He expects you to be faithful?
188. I don't care how poor you are, how much you're struggling, or how difficult your mission field is, you can still be a good sample to the children! You can still be a sample of loving the Lord, of giving your whole heart, mind and body to Him, of wanting to serve Him and please Him above everything else.
189. That's the crux of the matter. That's what makes a good Christian sample, when you show that you love the Lord more than anything. You want to please Him. You seek His will, and you're willing to forsake your personal desires, your personal agenda. You're willing to forsake all to follow Jesus, to please Him. You want more than anything to hear His Word. That's your greatest pleasure--to hear His Word and to please Him. That's what it is to be a good Christian sample, not only to your children, but to those people you witness to and everybody who sees you, your own brothers and sisters, the other Family members you live with. It's not very difficult to know how to be a good sample if you'll just use that as your measuring stick.
190. Are you loving the Lord more than anything else? Are you trying to please Him and obey Him more than anything else? Are you forsaking your own ways and thoughts and plans and burdens and pleasures in order to please the Lord, saying, "Not my will but Thine be done"? Are you seeking Him first? Are you loving Him the most? Are you turning your back on the ways of the world to embrace the ways of the Kingdom of God?
191. Come on, you guys, you old folks, you parents, you shepherds, you adults! Surely you know by now what the Lord expects of you, what kind of sample He expects you to be to your children and to each other!
192. You've been delivered from "forced obedience" by the Charter. You don't have heavy-handed shepherds standing over you "beating you" into submission and making you obey and toe the mark and do the things you should do. Don't you understand that now the Lord is testing you? He wants to see what you'll do for Him and what you'll be for Him of your own free will.
193. Now you get up every day and you make your own choices of how to spend your time, what to read, what to do, what to talk about, how you are going to train your children, how you are going to minister to your contacts, how faithful you're going to be with witnessing. The Lord is watching and He wants to see who are the faithful ones. He wants to see who are the ones that are going to seek Him and His Kingdom first, even if they don't have anybody making them, but they do it out of a desire to please Him because they love Him.
194. Is that you? Are you one of the faithful ones? Are you one of the shepherds? Are you one of the samples? Or are you going your own way and doing your own thing and becoming polluted and weakened by the inroads of the Enemy and the ways of the world?
195. (Mama:) You'll notice in the above paragraphs that Dad makes it clear that he's not just talking to the older generation. He says, "Come on, you guys, you old folks, you parents, you shepherds, you adults!" What he's saying also applies to any of you young people who are parents or shepherds to anyone. In fact, Dad goes on to talk about how you've been freed by the Charter to make your own decisions. So most of this message would probably apply to you YAs as well, and some of it could apply to even you who are senior teens and younger. Please keep that in mind as you prayerfully continue reading.
196. (Prophecy continues:) What do you think it does to your children when they read one thing in the Word, but they see something completely different in you and in your lifestyle and in your sample? What do you think they think when they read in the Word, the Letters, and the Bible about the importance of witnessing, how the most important thing in life is to win souls and serve Jesus and get out the message? And yet they look at you and they see your lives are undisciplined, unscheduled, you're not redeeming the time, and you seem to have no desire for souls. You're so-called "burned out" on witnessing, on getting out the tools, so you lounge around and waste time with foolishness. What do you think your children think? What effect does that have on their lives? What effect does that have on their faith in the Word, the Bible and the Letters?
197. What do you think your children think when they read in the Bible and the Letters that the most important thing is love--to love the Lord and to love each other, to bear one another's burdens, to lay down your life for others, to serve one another in love, to think about the needs of others, to lift each other up, to be kind and considerate, to give to one another, to share your worldly goods, to share your abundance, to share your time. That's what they read in the Word is the most important thing, and yet what do you think they think when they look at you and they see your unloving acts, your bickering, your talking about each other behind each other's backs, your speaking critically about your brethren, your nagging your husband or your wife, your being selfish about your provisioning or your contacts or the funds in your Home, your not working in unity with the other Homes in your city? In some cases you're not even on speaking terms with each other, much less opening your arms to one another in love and humility, and seeking to preserve unity and resist the Enemy and his desire to divide and conquer.
198. Don't you think this kind of behavior affects your children? Don't you realize that they're watching you? They hear what you say, they see how you act, they feel those "bad vibes" of the division, the criticalness, the lack of love. Of course your children can see it and sense it, and it undermines their faith in the Lord's Love and His Word!
199. Even your littlest children can sense when there is something wrong in the spirit. But because they love you and they respect you and they look up to you as their parents, they don't blame you, but they blame the Lord, they blame the Word, and they blame the Family.
200. What do you think your kids think when they read in the Bible and the Letters to resist worldly influences, to be dropped out, to forsake all, to take up your cross daily and follow Him, to be not yoked together with unbelievers, to come out from among them and be separate, to use the System but not be used by it, to resist the Devil and his evil ways, to reject Babylon and all of her delicacies? And yet they see in you, their parents, a sample of just the opposite! You're opening your hearts and minds and eyes and drinking in all the evils of the System through bad television programs, bad and violent movies, ungodly music, time-wasting books and games, unedifying conversations, too much drinking, watching hour after hour of sports.
201. Don't you think that sends a signal to your kids that it's okay for them to do the same thing?--To listen to all the demonic rock music they want to, to play senseless video games, to go out and hang around the malls and waste time, to watch the wrong kind of movies and television, and generally partake of the System in any way they want to.
202. Don't you think it dulls their senses when they see that you do such things? How can they have conviction to resist when they see that you have no fear of the Lord, you're not dropped out, you're not separate, you're becoming one in all the wrong ways. And through this, the Enemy has an inroad for his propaganda, his evil thoughts and wrong attitudes, his false standard of morality, his wrong morals, his backward way of looking at things, his evil attacks on faith.
203. What do you think your kids think when they read in the Bible and the Letters that we are living in the Endtime: "Redeem the time, for the days are evil! Prepare ye the way of the Lord! Raise your voice as a warning prophet! Preach the Word to every creature and to all nations, for you are living in the Last Days!" And yet they look at you, their parents, and the other adult samples, and they see you lounging around wasting time, not pressing in to get out the message or warn the people or follow up on your sheep, not pressing in to memorize the Word and study the Bible and the Letters about the Endtime!
204. They don't see you seeking the Lord desperately, stirring up your spirit to follow closely, learning to exercise the gift of prophecy, hearing from the Lord fresh every day, making sure your Home is fruitful and financially sound, and making progress with regular supporters and "consider the poor" ministries and good relations with the neighbors and the city fathers. All of this is preparation for the future. But what do you think your kids think if they see that you have no regard for these things, that you are living each day as it comes, just loping along being lazy and wasting time?
205. It's really pitiful! It's so sad! I can hardly do the subject justice! I feel like screaming! I feel like weeping! I feel like shaking you and saying, "Wake up! Don't you see what you're doing to your kids? Don't you see the effect that your bad sample is having on them? Don't you realize that they're in their formative years, and what you pour into them and what you make them now when they're young is what they'll be all their lives, except by a miracle of God?!"
206. You have an opportunity to do something great for the Lord through your children by being faithful and diligent, by working hard to be the right kind of sample. Will the Lord say to you when He sees the returns on His investment, "Well done, My good and faithful servant"? Or will you be ashamed?
207. Boy, I'll tell you, you'll rue the day that you were unfaithful with your kids when you go to be with the Lord! You'll lament with great lamenting, more than I can even express to you, if you are not faithful with your kids, if you are not the sample that you should be, if you don't love them like you should, and train them and teach them and lead them in the way that they should go. You'll be so sorry.
208. I don't care what your circumstances are, or what your situation is, you can always be a good example to your children! You can be an example of faith, an example of loving the Lord, an example of putting Him first. There's no excuse for not being a Christian sample! I don't care what your limitations or your difficulties are, or if you've fallen on hard times--you can still be a good sample! Even if you're going through a rough time, a time of testing, even if you're short on funds or you're pioneering--no matter what you're doing, you can always be a testimony of loving the Lord and others, and having faith in His Word.
209. If you are this kind of sample even during trying times, your children will see it and they will respect you for it. They'll know you're the real thing, you've got what it takes. They'll see your sincerity and your dedication, and it will shine more brightly in their eyes than any of the difficulties that they may be experiencing.
210. (Mama:) In the following paragraphs Dad is talking about you young people and how many of you are not living up to what you know to be the Truth. So while you may feel that Dad is speaking mainly to the adults in this prophecy, you can see that the Lord is not very pleased with some of you, either. Therefore, where the shoe fits in this prophecy, you should put it on. And certainly for you older young people, the Lord holds you very responsible, as well.
211. (Prophecy continues:) I know you parents and adults are having a hard time with some of your kids. They've gotten wild, they've gotten disrespectful. Some of them have gone off the deep end since the Love Charter. They're trying their wings a little bit, they're testing the waters, and they, too, are not being the sample to their younger brothers or sisters, or to each other, that they should be. They, too, are failing the Lord in many ways by not living up to the Lord and their training and their conviction and what they know to be the truth. And in many ways the Lord is not very pleased with them either.
212. But your kids' bad behavior or their lack of respect or their going off on a tangent is no excuse for you parents to not live up to your convictions and to not be the kind of sample that you should be. You are still the parents and they are still the kids. The Lord holds you responsible.
213. You can't expect to get your kids under control by laying down some heavy rules or beating them over the head with the law. Your yelling and screaming and nagging them is not going to do it. You have to inspire their respect through your sample. You have to show them that you're willing to practice what you preach. You have to prove to them that you believe the Word by being willing to live it yourself. If you want them to love the Lord and to serve Him, then you have to be willing to do the same.
214. As much as you hate to admit it or realize it, kids follow in the footsteps of their father and mother and the other adult samples. Rarely are young kids more obedient or loving than their parents. Rarely are young kids more dedicated to the Lord than their parents. Like the Bible says, "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them" (Mat.7:20). Those kids are your fruit. They are you. They are a mirror of you--your attitudes, your training, your sample.
215. Sure, in some cases you parents have done your very, very best. You have been faithful and loyal to the Lord, you have served Him obediently and done your best, and in some cases your kids, when they got older, still made the wrong decisions and they went the wrong way. In that case, you're not to blame, because every child has a free will and he makes his own decisions. But for you parents who are not doing your best and not being the samples you should be, not laying down your lives for others and not training your kids, not expecting them to uphold the standard, in that case, if your kids go astray, the Lord will hold you responsible as well. Of course, they will be to blame too, because as I said, each child has a free will. Each child makes his own choices. But you parents help pave the way for your children's choices by the training you give them and by your personal sample.
216. (Mama:) Please note that Dad says above that you young people will also be to blame if you go astray. You have to be responsible to the Lord yourselves, and of course you can't get off the hook just because some older adults are being a bad sample and aren't doing what they should. The Lord is going to hold you both responsible if you don't do the right things. He expects you older young people to live up to your convictions, regardless of any poor example you might see in some older adults.
217. (Prophecy continues:) I know the Family needed some time after the Love Charter to burn free, to test the boundaries. I knew that there would be a time of recklessness, when the obedience of many would decline. Mama and Peter expected that as well. So it wasn't any big surprise when things went a little haywire for a while after the Love Charter was implemented. But you've had enough time for your free living, for being independent, for doing your own thing. You've had enough time of relaxation and lack of control.
218. The army has been undisciplined long enough, and now you need to buckle down and get back to some serious business serving the Lord! You've burned free without many restrictions for long enough. Now it's time to get back to work, back to serving the Lord, witnessing full-time, and by all means, training your children!
219. (Mama:) Lest this be taken to the extreme, I would like to clarify here that just because Dad and I are saying that it's time to "buckle down" and have more discipline in the ranks, that does not mean we want things to go back to the way that they were before the Charter, with tight control by leadership, people being unable to operate according to their individual faith and leading of the Lord, and overly strict discipline of adults, young people and children. The Charter is still in place and will remain in place, and we don't have plans to change these things.
220. However, while the Charter does grant certain rights--which will continue to remain rights--it also outlines responsibilities which you must live up to if you are to enjoy those rights. These responsibilities include much of what has been covered in this GN, including reading and obeying the Letters, being a Christian sample, and resisting ungodly influences. I suggest you go back and read The Responsibilities of Individual Members, pages 1-10 of the Charter, to review what these responsibilities include.
221. (Prophecy continues:) Check your hearts, check your lifestyle, check how you spend your time. Check how obedient you are to the Word, and see what kind of sample you are being to your kids. When they look at you, do they see Jesus?--Or what do they see? Are you leading them through your sample?--Or are you merely preaching them hollow sermons? Are you helping them to understand and know God's Love by your own example of love?--Or are they doubting God's Love for them because they don't see it in you? Are you teaching them to hunger after the Word, have faith in the New Wine, and desire to hear from the Lord?--Or are they skeptical and indifferent and doubting because of your sample, your lack of interest, your lack of faithfully feeding from the Word and putting it into practice?
222. Think about these things and ask yourselves these questions, because if you don't discipline yourselves, the Lord will. If you don't judge yourselves, the Lord will. He has placed in your hands His most precious possession, His children. He has given them to you to care for and love and teach and train as He would have you to do. If you fail in that job, it will break His heart.
223. The Lord is counting on you. He is depending on you. He gave you those children because He knew that you could do it, that He could trust you with them, if you only will. He will supply your every need, and give you anything to make it easier for you to teach and train your children, if you only will. He will lead you beside the still waters and to the green pastures and help you to teach your children to follow Him step by step, if you only will. He will give you a sweet, loving, unified relationship with each other so that you can be an example of His Love to others, to your children, if you only will. He will teach you to love Him intimately so that you will have a desire to put Him first above all things, so that you can teach your children how to have Him as their First Love, if you only will.
224. So I again ask you the same question that I asked you more than 20 years ago: What is that in thy hand? And what are you doing with it for Jesus? God help you to be faithful, because if you are, your rewards will be greater than you could possibly imagine! But if you're not, you'll be so, so sorry. The choice is yours. Love, mad, sad, desperate Dad. (End of prophecy.)
Encouragement to Hang On!
225. (Mama:) Dear ones, I know you're going to take to heart what Dad says, and do your best to improve your sample by starting to work on the things he mentions. We're thankful that you are taking this correction well, and we know that you can do it, if you'll look to the Lord and cry out desperately for His help. We're expecting it of you and know you won't fail the Lord or our children!
226. I pray that you don't feel discouraged after receiving such strong correction from the Lord and Dad. My heart goes out to those of you who are battling, possibly just barely hanging on. This is a time of testing, and maybe you feel you're on your last leg, with hardly the strength to take one more step. And now to be faced with your failures and how you've gotten off track in some ways might be almost more than you can bear. I'm so sorry.
227. I prayed for you and cried out to the Lord for you, and He reminded me of a very special message Dad gave a few months back for a YA who felt a lot like you may be feeling now. I want to include in this GN her letter and the wonderful words of encouragement we received for her. You young people may be able to relate to this dear YA's story, and if so, then please realize the talk Dad gave her is for you too. I believe you'll also find in this prophecy the explanation you've been seeking about why you have been going through such intense battles.
From M. (18):
228. "Dear Mama, I just want to write and open my heart to you. There are so many things I need to tell you, ask your forgiveness for and ask you to pray for.
229. "The past year has been such a struggle for me. So many times I felt I just couldn't make it one step further. It seemed I was being attacked from all sides and just didn't have the strength to resist the onslaughts of the Enemy.
230. "To make a long story short, I could say that somewhere along the way I opened the door to the doubts and lies of the Devil, and they came in with such force that I was nearly overcome; and since then it's been a never-ending battle. (I know one of the reasons the Lord let this happen was to humble me, because before this I was so strong, and of course, self-righteous.)
231. "The situations I've been in lately haven't been the easiest; in fact, they've been quite the opposite. I was in a teen/YA Home in Eastern Europe for a little over a year. It was a very fun Home, and we had a pretty high inspiration level. I'm very thankful for my time in this Home as it gave me a chance to enjoy my teen years with others my age. I also received a lot of training and learned a lot through my different experiences there.
232. "However, the thing that made this Home different was the frustration we teens felt at the fact that just about everything we tried resulted in failure. When we opened the Home, we really had the vision to take it places, but it just never took off. I've never tried so many things in one Home as I did there: personal witnessing, postering, club meetings, CTP, show troupes, reaching the top, follow-up, tool distribution, provisioning, busking, restaurant singing, you name it! These are just the things I personally tried, not to mention what all the others tried. I'm sure the Lord had a good reason for allowing these ministries to go the way they did and things He wanted to teach me through the failures, but it was very discouraging.
233. "When that Home closed, I came with my family and a few teens to Western Europe with the vision of raising funds for a few months and going on to various mission fields. Well, nothing turned out the way we expected it to, and if I thought Eastern Europe was difficult, this was going from the frying pan to the fire!
234. "This summer seemed so dark I sometimes wondered if the sun would ever come out again. It seemed I spent half the time blinking back the tears. I felt I had totally lost my spunk and youth, like the light had gone off inside. The letter 'Let Jesus Bear the Weight' really helped me and gave me the strength to fight on a little longer. The thing that really got me was that I so desperately wanted to be in the Family. My dream was to find a field where I could burn free witnessing; to find fulfillment in witnessing and serving Jesus; to get married and raise the kids I hoped to have as missionaries, like I was raised. But I wondered how long I could endure this struggle and if there really was a place for me in the Family.
235. "I came very close to giving up a few times. In fact, I wonder what kept me. I know it was just the Lord and it is His mercy. 'Whither shall I go from His Spirit. … For though I descend into the depths of Hell, Thou art there with me.'
236. "This was the first time I'd lived with my parents in a long time. Sometimes I'd look at them and wonder if I could ever have the strength to do what they've done. I looked at my dad, who's been in the Family 23 years and has basically nothing to his name--no great accomplishments, hardly anything but his family, and of course, the Family. He's been through so much, so many breakings and humiliations, and I know there have been times when he's felt like giving up, but he loves Jesus so much! When he prays it's like Jesus is right there beside him. When he talks about Him, his whole face lights up. He really knows Him! My mom too; actually, just about all the adults! I look at them and I wonder if I could ever be like them. I can barely make it through my childish battles, and I know it costs a lot to be like them, and I can't help but wonder if I have the strength to pay that price.
237. "Just a few days ago I went through the most heart-breaking experience of my life. It looked like finally after all these months of battling, the victory was just about here. For a long time I had been wanting to go to the States and I had everything--clearance, a Home to receive me, ticket and funds--but when I went to the embassy, due to a missing paper, they denied me the visa. I was so crushed! It was like losing an arm and a leg.
238. "That same day someone who I was very close to (the one thing that kept me from falling apart) was unexpectedly called away. There went my other arm and leg! My heart shattered into so many pieces, I didn't think it could ever be put back together again. I felt like I was finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, but it turned out to be the headlights of an express train coming right for me.
239. "The Lord and I had quite a struggle that night. At first I was so angry and tempted to get bitter. Then it finally dawned on me that there must be something the Lord wanted to teach me through all of this. I realized that I hadn't completely yielded and signed a blank sheet of paper. There were still things in my life I wasn't willing to let go of and completely trust Him for. It was so difficult for me to yield. I was afraid the Lord would ask of me everything I didn't want to do, but I finally yielded and said yes to Jesus.
240. "I felt much better after that, with everything in the Lord's hands. I guess this is as close as I can get to 'going for the gold' in my situation. It still takes a lot of faith for me to trust the Lord and a daily commitment to leave my all on the altar, but I don't really have much choice. I just have to believe that as weak and faithless as I am, He will abide faithful, and someday, somehow, He'll bring me up out of the miry clay, set my feet on a rock, establish all my goings and put a song in my heart.
241. "Recently my best friend, who I'd lived with for the past year and a half, left the Family. I was surprised, as she was doing quite well. She just went to visit her parents and the pull was too strong. I went to visit her, and I was very glad I did, because it completely cured me from wanting any part of the System. I saw the emptiness and futile living, not to mention the extreme boredom. It was not for me. Even my friend wants to come back as she sees it's not for her either.
242. "I know the Family is the only place for me. I want my life to mean something and I know I could never live just for my house, car or family. At the same time, I want to find happiness, fulfillment, and most of all, peace. I so much want to be free from the depression and fear that seem to follow me. Maybe the Lord has kept me in these more trying situations because He wants me to get the victory here, since anyone can be happy when everything is hunky dory. I don't want to be a fair weather friend, but if that's the case, I hope I can learn these things quickly. I know there are others whose battles are a lot more difficult than mine, but all I can offer them are my prayers and sincere admiration, because my comparatively small battles almost wipe me out.
243. "I know it's truly the Lord's mercy that I am not consumed, that He's held onto me in spite of all my problems. I just pray that I can regain my long-lost childlike faith to totally and unconditionally believe His promises, especially that He is Love and has a plan for my life regardless of what I may feel.
244. "My faith is like the caterpillar squeezing its way through the cocoon, struggling to believe, but I know that one day it will burst into the butterfly, having proved God's promises again. I don't know if I've made sense with this letter, I've jumped around so much. I wish I could tell you this face to face, but I know the Lord knows my heart, the good and the bad, and you're so close to Him, I'm not worried. Just please pray for me that my faith fail not. I seem to have so little faith it disgusts me, but I know if I cling to His Word, He'll pull me through.
245. "Mama, I'm so sorry that during this time when you're counting on us young people so much I've basically let you down by making room in my mind for all the doubts and shit of the Devil. I do pray that I will become the type of soldier you and Grandpa will be proud of. Please pray my life will be free from all these doubts and confusion, and that I will be cleansed. I love you so much, Mama, and Peter too. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for loving us so much! I'm praying for you! Love always, M."
246. (Mama:) Here is the beautiful message from Dad for this dear one--and for all of you:
247. (Dad speaking:) Hello, Sweetheart! Well, I guess this is what you would call the making of a woman, and you're not alone. At this particular time in the Family the Lord is making you young people into men and women of God, and it's not an easy process. Like the question that was once asked, "Why aren't there more great men and women of God?" And you know the answer to that one: It's because He can't break them fast enough!
248. That's the price, that's the cost, as you're finding out. As you look at your parents you begin to realize what it has cost them--the breakings that they have been through, the humblings and the sacrifice, as they have signed the blank sheet of paper and vowed in their heart, like David, "I will not give unto the Lord of that which has cost me nothing!"
249. You become a man or a woman when you come to the point where you realize that it's only Jesus, that without Him you cannot make it, that there is no one else to go to but Jesus, and that you have no strength or goodness except for what He gives. You look at your parents with admiration, knowing that they have also passed through these trials and these Jordans, but still they have trusted through the tribulations and have not given up, and they have come through as precious gold.
250. Their reward for this forsaking is that they know the Lord personally and intimately. They walk and they talk with Him as if He is there by their side, and He is! These are the sinning saints, and it has cost them a lifetime of service.
251. But your time is short, for the time is short, and your breakings and lessons must be accomplished much sooner! You don't have a whole lifetime to learn the same lessons. There is much dross and impurities of pride and unbrokenness and willfulness and unyieldedness in the young years that are eventually burned out through purgings, testings and fiery trials.
252. So think it not strange concerning the fiery trials, as though some strange thing came upon you, but understand that it's the Lord working in your life to quicken these lessons, to make you moldable and yielded and humble and useful, to hasten the process so that you also will have that closeness, that desperation with the Lord, so that He can mightily use you in soon-coming events. Unless you are broken you will not have this closeness to His voice, the dependency on Him, the total yieldedness that it will take to fight the battles.
253. So don't be discouraged by the tests and the trials, but hold on! He is making you into the pure gold that will pass through the fires and come out full of faith and trust, as the woman of God that you want to be!--Love, Dad (End of prophecy.)
The Endtime Olympics!
254. (Mama:) This dear YA mentioned how her Home in Eastern Europe had tried so hard but they were met with repeated failure, which was so difficult for her to understand. Maybe you feel the same, if after you've worked so hard and done all you can, you don't see the fruit you had hoped for. In fact, you might feel like you've failed quite miserably.
255. Just a few weeks ago, I heard from a Home on a difficult pioneer field that had really been struggling. They had suffered what seemed to them to be some major setbacks and losses. I felt so burdened for these dear ones that I wrote them a letter, and passed on some very special Words from the Lord for them. If you feel you can't reach the standard, that you're not making progress, that you have too many battles, that you're just not good enough, please hear first what I said and then what the Lord said to these dear soldiers who had been having serious problems, but who wanted to do better.
256. The following prophecy from Jesus is given for those who are trying their best to serve Him and uphold the standard, but who have failed in their attempts. In other words, their hearts are generally in the right place. However, if your hearts are not right with the Lord, and you're deliberately disobeying or sloughing off your responsibilities, then if the Lord were to speak concerning your situation, He might not be so excusing of your failures, but He might take a more firm approach with you, and give you a little spank to help you get back in line! Now, on to my letter to this Home:
257. We love you so much! You are very precious to us. We know that you must be feeling very discouraged right now, feeling as though you have failed, feeling like everything has fallen apart, feeling you've disappointed the Lord, the Family, us, and each other.
258. You members of the teamwork probably feel like you failed, and that you should've been able to help the members of your Home more. I can only imagine the deep sense of frustration and confusion and isolation and despair that you may be experiencing. In fact, I felt so sad for you and so burdened, and wanted to encourage you so much! I knew my words would fall far short of what the Lord could tell you directly, so I asked Him to speak to you and show you how He views your situation.
259. As you will see below, He looks at things very differently than the way they may appear on the surface. I'm sure what He says will be a surprise to you, but a very welcome and wonderful one! So be encouraged, my dear ones. You're not alone, and you haven't failed!
260. We can't tell you how thankful we are that you're providing a light in the darkness of that needy city, on such a desperately hungry field. You may feel small and insignificant, and like your light is very tiny, but remember what Dad said: Even a tiny light shines very brightly in a great darkness! Please know that each one of your acts of love--each prayer, each piece of lit distributed, each smile, each word, is very important to Jesus, and He loves you for helping to get His message to His hungry, lost sheep. We love you so much too, and admire you for your perseverance and dedication in a very tough situation! You're real soldiers, and you've been given medals of honor which you'll receive before all when you get to Heaven.
261. So keep going! Don't give up! You're doing great! Much love, Mama
262. (Prophecy, Jesus speaking:) No greater love has any man or woman than this, that they lay down their lives for the sheep! How I am pleased with the great sacrifices of My faithful frontline soldiers! These who have been willing to go, to try, to make the attempt with little or no help. These who sacrifice day after day, through thick and thin, rain or shine! Through the rough times and the tough times, in the cold of the night and the gray of the day. These who have obeyed My call and who fight on with little or no supplies, with sparse food and no heat, through extreme difficulty and almost impossible conditions! Great is their reward in Heaven, for with such sacrifices I am well pleased. And great is the love of these for Me, to endure such hardness as good soldiers in My Endtime Army.
263. Think not that this Home has failed, for they are My shiner Home, My precious ones in whom I delight! Great shall be their reward! For they have ventured out, they have made the attempt, they have dared to make it, or die trying, and they do gain. They gain in precious lessons, they gain in experience, and they gain in My blessings for obedience to My call. For I judge not by outward appearance, and success in My sight is not as man sees. For those who are truly successful are those who at least try, as these have, My brave pioneers on the front lines!
264. These are My honored ones, who do learn and grow through their mistakes. These will be all the better for trying, all the better for the experiences which I have brought them through. For the best lessons learned are those that come in the face of seeming mistakes, or seeming failure. But look again, for this is not a fall downward, but upward--up to the heights of greater victory, greater faith, and greater experience!
265. Be not discouraged, My frontline shepherds, but lift up your eyes, look into My face and know that I am upholding you with the strength of My mighty arm! I have never left your side, and I will not leave your side. And as I promised, I will see you through. I am right by your side to help in time of trouble, in time of despair, in the time of this sifting, of this testing, of this growing.
266. For this time is as growing pains. And just as a child learns through trial and error, by venturing out and attempting to walk on his own, so do you learn and you grow--first as you crawl on your hands and knees, then as you begin to hold on to the furniture and the things around you, as you pull yourself up to a standing position. Then as you go on to venture out little by little, a step at a time, wobbly at first, taking one step, then two, then three, and then four, and before you know it, you're walking on your own! Then on to run! And I am as your proud parent, cheering you on as you learn and you grow!
267. You, My precious frontline shepherds of My lost sheep, are My star pupils in training! Fear not and be not discouraged, for I will coach you through this. This is not the little league, but all-star training! You have tried out and you've made the team, and training season begins! You've joined the club of the all-star trainees!
268. This is training season for the biggest game on Earth--the Endtime Olympics! It is hard work and is going to take real dedication and some personal sacrifices on your part. It won't always seem easy. You will have to go through long, hard hours of toil and sweat. You'll have a rigorous schedule and little time for fun and folly. You'll experience lots of aches and pains as you get those muscles into shape, and there is always the possibility there will be a few casualties along the way, in the way of sprains and broken bones. You'll have to cut the junk food out of your diets and only take in the good, nourishing food of My Word if you want to stay in shape and have the needed strength to run the race. Unneeded bodily weight gain will only bog you down and hinder you from winning the race. You'll have to work hard and long to win the gold, but the thrill and the excitement and the payoff is worth it!
269. The training is long and hard and you'll be tempted to quit from time to time when the going gets rough. It will be an endurance test! It will take patience and faith and unquestioning obedience to My coaching commands. Strict obedience to the coach in training is what will win that medal when we go on to the big game! Team effort and unity will be imperative. It's hard work and there will be some who might drop out--those who can't make the grade. The Olympics is not child's play--only the best fight through and win. For those of you who make it, you cannot be discouraged when others drop out. You will have to be convinced in your own minds and hearts that the all-stars is for you.
270. It is hard work, and you will be tested, but that will be the time to fight all the harder! You have got to have the guts and determination to see it through if you want to fight on and win that medal! But if you keep looking to Me for the signals, I will see you through this. I will pour into you and prepare you and train you and teach you everything I know, as you look to Me for your cues and for direction.
271. I have been in the business since the beginning of time and have a perfect track record. Not one of My students has ever lost a race for lack of coaching. Only those who gave up the race of their own accord lost out; only those who were weary in well-doing and got their eyes off Me and off My signals and off My promises. But this is the winning team, and if you want to make it, you will, because I will not and I cannot fail you. As long as your will is on My side, I will carry you through and we will be the invincible team!
272. So keep up the fight when you're hardest hit.--It's when things seem tough that you must not quit! I'm proud to have you on My team! I've been keeping My eye on you for some time now, and I sent My scouts around to seek you out. You've been handpicked for the games, and it's good training for the upcoming Olympics! You are My prize pupils!
273. Don't get down just because you hit a few hard knocks--that's the time to fight on and win! Get in there now and pull up your socks and let's run the race! Just keep looking to Me for the coaching, for the signals, for the strategy. Come on, all-stars! Listen up now, and let's go over the next plays. Okay now, let's go! Fight, team, fight! Remember, you are on the winning team and you cannot lose! (End of prophecy.)
274. (Mama:) God bless you, my dearest precious Family! I love you so very much! Keep going for Jesus! He's on our side and we're gonna win this war!
Much love, Mama
Reactions to "Help from Heaven!--Answers to Your Questions!"
(In the following paragraphs, a YA and SGA who recently joined Mama's Home share their thoughts and feelings about this GN. Because these young people had recently come from the field, where they had lived in various Homes and participated in the same ministries that most young people are involved in, she wanted to know if, in their opinion, this GN addresses some of the problems that many of our Homes today are facing.)
From Yvonna (YA):
There used to be a time when taking care of children was the "hip" thing to do; everybody wanted to be in childcare. There was a big push on pouring into the children, and in our Home everything revolved around them.--We took them out witnessing, our schedule was based on their needs, and everybody was very aware of them. Recently, however, we seem to have lost that special touch we used to have, and it shows.
Generally speaking, our children seem to be a lot more unruly and obstreperous these days, and I believe it's because we don't spend nearly as much time pouring into them as we used to. Children thrive on simple affection. Just to have one of those giant people walking around the house kneel down to their level, look them in the eyes, and say "good morning" or give them a hug, means so much to them. I remember very clearly from my childhood the many times that my parents spent talking with me, reviewing with me, helping me fold my laundry, telling stories, reading with me, etc. Of course, we did a lot of other things together as well, but the thing that meant the most to me and showed me that they loved me and really cared was their giving me their time, because time means love to children.
In one of the previous Homes I was in, making the rotating devotions schedule for the children was one of the most difficult things to do. It seemed like many folks in the Home didn't want to have to spend that time with the children, and it would break my heart when they'd just let them play while they'd sit there reading to themselves, or the classic thing was to set the kids in front of a video. As a result, the children would be rowdy when we'd return from the united devotions and we'd have to start almost from scratch to get them quiet enough to hear us. But the saddest thing about this is that it was such a waste of precious time! The people who were caring for the children during devotions could have used that time to feed, encourage and teach them. They could have prayed for a real "connection" with the kids so they could pour into them the things they desperately need--the Word, love, inspiration, enthusiasm, the vision. But instead, many just "put in their time," doing the very minimum that was required of them, hardly being more than babysitters in some cases. It's very sad!
The children look up to the men so much, including our young men, the YAs. They see them throughout the day and want to be just like them "when they grow up"--drivers, handymen, musicians, witnessers--and they try to copy them as well. It would make such a difference in the children's lives if the men would take a child or two and show them a little about what they do or let them watch them, or better yet, teach them a little about what they do.
It's so true that we don't really take the time to understand our children or to put ourselves in their place. If we think back, we can all probably remember times when we were young when we were trying to do the right thing, trying to follow instructions, and we'd end up getting in trouble for it; and you felt so helpless and entirely at the mercy of your caregivers. Sometimes I think we forget that we used to be children too. We forget the need for attention and respect, loving firmness and discipline, which is love.
One of the things that I really admire about my dad is that he always took the time to find out the whole story before disciplining us kids when we were young. Of course, we sometimes all had a slightly different story to tell, but he took time to listen, and he never disciplined us out of anger or based on what he assumed the situation to be. If he wasn't sure, he didn't discipline us; and because of that, I always thought of him as a very fair and loving, yet strict, father.
One thing about not showing enough attention to our children is that if they feel they can't reach out to us and have their needs met by the adults, they therefore form a very close bond with their peers, other children. Then, as they grow up and become preteens and teenagers, a wall subtly starts growing up between them and the adults, and so begins the generation gap which we are trying so hard to break down. I believe a lack of attention when children are young feeds resentment and lack of communication when they're older, because they close themselves off a little and try to brush off the hurt they feel.
Although I was very thankful for the Charter, I went through battles initially thinking that it had caused a lot more problems than it solved, that we weren't mature enough as a Family to follow the responsibilities and thus be eligible for the rights. I realize now that I felt that way because I was looking at it with a very limited perspective. I was aware of a number of people going to the extreme. People were not only taking the Charter to the limit, but there was disunity between Homes, and some were voting about every little thing and getting so up in arms about it.
I did realize later, however, how big a blessing the Charter is, and now I am very thankful for it. It is helping us go to the Lord and be more mature in our decision-making and not be so dependent on our immediate shepherds for everything. As was intended, the Charter is giving everyone a chance to serve the Lord according to their own dedication and faith. Now I see that it's bringing about the desired fruit, even if it took a while for things to settle down. Praise the Lord!
I got so much out of this GN, and I believe it's going to be an answer to prayer for a lot of people and a needed shake-up for others. I think it's great!
From Katie (SGA):
From what I've seen in the various Homes I've visited, the letter from the teen and her mom is so very typical of the problems with lack of respect that so many of our Homes and families are experiencing; very sad, but very true! I think Dad gave one of the main keys in paragraph 27 where he talks about realizing that it is a desperate situation and we need to get down to business with the Lord about it. It really is a state of emergency in some of our Homes right now, where so much of the Lord's work is hindered, the sample is spoiled, and some things are basically at a standstill because of the seriousness of the situation with our children; and the saddest part is that in some cases no one is doing anything about it! Lord help us!
The part about all of us caring for our children and particularly for the children of our single moms is so needed. Thank you, Dad!
Mama, I appreciate the way you gave the correction, lovingly and fairly, taking all sides into consideration. It's obvious that you have prayed about and weighed up these various problems and their solutions in great desperation, not judging quickly or rashly, but going to the Lord about all sides, which was convicting and made the points very clear and solid. I think it will make the parts where you remind all of us to do the same in our situations, not reverting back to the "pre-Charter" style of shepherding, really stand out.
Mama, it's my desperate prayer that this GN can be received and heeded, as it has so many solutions that our families need so very desperately! I was praying last night and had such a strong burden on my heart to pray for the young people who will be receiving these very heavy Letters, which could be lifesavers for them. It just has to be a work of the Lord's Spirit to help them to open their hearts and let the light in. I know you know that some are having a very difficult time receiving the Word right now, especially prophecy; it's just such a battle. But you know that if they would just give it a chance and "take one step for Jesus" and receive even a little bit by faith, the Lord would so quickly "take two steps for them" to help get them over the hurdle. It would be such a victory, as then they would have the solutions and the answers they are looking for so desperately.
When I was battling with believing prophecy I was so confused, as hearing from the Lord in this way just didn't seem to make sense to me, and it really bothered me. The first steps of just believing by faith were really very difficult for me, I guess because the Enemy knows that prophecy is so vital to our very life now and will be even more so in the days to come. After I started receiving the Word by faith, then I was blessed with seeing the Lord fulfill His Word, and I began to understand it better. Anyway, there are so many answers in this GN that I am desperately praying the Lord will help some of our young people, who are still struggling as I did, to have a breakthrough and be able to receive this counsel which is so very essential.
Where Dad talks about spending time with our kids, he emphasizes the importance of keeping your life simple and not trying to do too much. Because our kids are "always with us," so to speak, it appears to me that they can easily take second priority when a new factor enters the equation, and in a field Home that can be every day! Keeping things simple and considering us kids to be their main ministry is how I know my parents managed to survive with all of us. Of course, life in our Homes is a lot more complicated these days and we are involved in many different things, but I think that's part of the problem, too. Whereas if we try to keep things a little simpler, it might be easier to give our children the care they need. (Mama: You may feel that this suggestion about the need to keep things simpler and less complicated in our Homes is an oversimplification of the problem. In some ways, that may be true. But on the other hand, the Letter "What Is That in Thy Hand" still applies, and if families or Homes would use their children as their major ministry, things would be a lot simpler and the Lord would bless them a lot more. In the cases that we have heard of that people have done this, it has borne wonderful fruit. They're being very successful and their children are at the same time getting so much poured into them.)
I love you, Mama! Thank you for pouring out the New Wine so faithfully, and making it understandable and relatable for all of us! It's just beautiful! I'm so thankful for it!
College Student Becomes Father of Five!
(Maria:) Below is the story of a 25-year-old Christian man who was willing to give up everything that was dear to him, not knowing if he'd ever get it back, to be the father to five kids, ages 4 to 12. This young man had his whole life ahead of him--his freedom, his plans to marry, the pursuit of his career with the promise of a high-paying job, etc. But when he saw the needs of five troubled children, God spoke to his heart. The older boys were not just rambunctious, ill-behaved JETTs, but they were already becoming incorrigibles, and headed toward an almost inevitable life of gangs, drugs and crime on the streets. This man, and the woman he loved, made what looked like a tremendous sacrifice, but the Lord blessed them and gave them back much more. Read on to see the miracles the Lord did, and how this love paid off in every way, and so quickly!
DALLAS (AP) -- When 12-year-old Gabriel won third place for his tornado-in-a-bottle science project, Eugene Helm IV jumped to his feet and erupted in joy.
The four other children roared, too. Then, wanting to be part of the action, 11-year-old Randy looked at Eugene and blurted, "I'm almost finished with my science project!"
Just months before, Gabriel--a bully at school who wore gang-style clothes--would laugh out loud when handed back a failed assignment. But here he was on stage, gripping a trophy and basking in the applause, while Eugene beamed from the audience.
"You could see me, acting like a proud father," Eugene said, shaking his head incredulously.
In fact, Eugene is not the father of these five children--three boys and twin girls. He is their uncle.
And therein lies a very unusual Father's Day story--the story of how Eugene Helm IV became an instant father, putting aside his own dreams to embrace five children whose lives had been too harsh to harbor dreams.
Just a year ago, Eugene was a 25-year-old college student in Chicago, thinking of little else than organic chemistry, his job as a pharmacy assistant at a drugstore and his fiancee, Taneen.
His mother's death last July changed all that: It left homeless the five grandchildren she had been raising.
Quite honestly, Eugene hadn't given the youngsters much thought. He had come to Dallas to bury his mother and be on his way. He figured the kids--boys aged 7, 11 and 12, and 4-year-old twin girls--would be farmed out to relatives or foster care.
No one could blame him for going back to Chicago. He was a college student pursuing a career as a pharmacist and looking forward to a $60,000 salary. And there was his girlfriend. The week before his mother died, Taneen had mapped out their future--and that included three kids, tops.
Eugene would be out of his mind to even consider becoming a dad to the kids. And, besides, they didn't expect him to stay. Relatives had told them "Mr. Preppy" was leaving.
Even at their young ages, they were used to that. The boys' mother had died and the girls' mother had been in and out of jail on drug charges. Eugene didn't even know who the children's fathers were.
But when he looked into their innocent faces, he saw his sisters. If he walked away, he worried the children would end up just like them--dead or addicted.
He toured the west Dallas housing projects where the twins were staying, and found the buildings soul-deadeningly grim. A relative who volunteered to take the boys never showed to pick them up. And Eugene got the feeling that some of the relatives just wanted the kids for their welfare benefits. Others, he knew, were drug abusers.
"What do I do? What do I do?" Eugene asked himself. "I've got a good job, school ..."
Not to mention a bus ticket back to Chicago.
But when he saw the bleak future facing his nieces and nephews, he couldn't so easily turn his back.
He called his father and told him he was considering dropping out of college to raise the five kids.
"Your mom would be proud," his father said quietly.
He scrapped the bus ticket and moved into his mother's apartment with the kids and his sister, who had been out of jail since the funeral but was tethered to the courts by an electronic monitoring device on her ankle.
Life had been so hard on these children. The boys had been at the deathbeds of their mother, who died of tuberculosis, and their grandmother, who died after an asthma attack.
Gabriel and Randy, the oldest, were tough guys, bullies at school. They wore their pants slung low around their hips and baseball caps cocked at an angle. At the tender age of 7, Chris wanted to be just like them. Eugene knew they'd be in gangs for sure, if he didn't do something.
Darnisha and LaEunice, the twins, had been shuttled among relatives as their mother went in and out of prison. Once, they barely escaped a fire when a Molotov cocktail was thrown into their grandmother's apartment by drug dealers looking for their mother. Another time, they told Eugene, they had watched their mother stab their father.
"It wasn't about me anymore," Eugene said. "It took a lot of humility ... to search inside to find strength and ask God, 'Is this really what You want me to do?'"
Three months later, Eugene and the kids were evicted from the apartment when they couldn't pay back rent.
His sister, Kim, quickly qualified to move into an apartment for ex-convicts and their families run by Exodus, a private, nonprofit organization. Since Eugene was neither husband nor father, he couldn't stay with them. He had a job at a fast-food restaurant that earned him enough to buy a $500 car at an auction, so he lived out of that for a few weeks.
But when Kim started having trouble raising the kids and couldn't get them to school on time, Exodus asked Eugene to move in and help. Then came another blow: Within a week, Kim failed a random drug test and was kicked out.
Exodus administrators offered to find foster homes for the children, but again, Eugene said no. They were his responsibility. Exodus director Debbie Rouse was so impressed that she invited him to stay.
But what did Eugene know about raising kids? The closest he had come was volunteering to help with a church youth program. And here he was fixing up the girls' hair, helping the boys with homework and taking them all to church on Sundays.
"I can do this," he told himself.
He got a new job across town as a pharmacy assistant at a drugstore but, within weeks, his car was stolen. So he started taking the bus--four of them each way.
That meant rising at 4:30 A.M., waking the boys, then the girls, picking up around the apartment and sitting down for morning prayer. They'd be out of the house by 7 A.M.--the boys on the way to school, the girls to a Head Start program, and Eugene on his two-hour bus ride to get to work by 9 A.M.
He missed Taneen terribly, but couldn't bear to call her. Their conversation the week before his mother died rang in his ears. "We have no kids," she had told him. "We can do so much together."
What would he say to her? "I have five kids, no money and I'm living in a housing project for ex-cons ... will you still marry me?" He couldn't ask that of her.
Instead, he concentrated on the children; they needed love, religion and self-esteem. After homework and dinner, he read them bedtime stories. Eugene remembered a chant from his youth and taught it to the children: "Good, better, best, never let it rest, 'til the good get better and the better get best."
After the girls gradually became more sociable in the Head Start program, teachers asked Eugene for his secret. The boys started doing better in school and made the honor roll. Gabriel took home that science fair trophy.
But amid the rewards, Eugene was still overwhelmed by the sheer chaos of parenting. Just one example: He had to take unpaid time off when the girls got sick with chicken pox and when they had dentist appointments.
It was November when Taneen finally tracked Eugene down. She had tried calling him at Exodus, but her messages never reached him.
Finally, she got a list of the chain of drugstores Eugene worked for and started at the top. On the fourth try, she found him.
"Eugene!" she squealed into the phone. "I'm going to kill you!" she quickly added, but she soon softened.
She didn't care about the five kids or the apartment for ex-cons. She wanted to be with the man she loved and respected now more than ever, the man who took her to church on their first date and proposed after midnight Mass at Christmas two years earlier.
"I love you," she told him. "I don't care."
She bought a bus ticket and asked God to bless the trip.
When she met the children, she fell in love. Gabriel and Randy insisted on accompanying her on a walk to the store.
"You're not from here," they said. "We have to protect you."
They were meant to be a family, Taneen thought. She and Eugene set a July wedding date. They would just put their other goals and dreams on hold. For now, their priority was on raising these children in a warm, loving home.
In the meantime, The Dallas Morning News heard of Eugene's dedication and wrote a front-page story about him. Within days, thousands of letters, checks and offers of cars poured into Exodus, care of Eugene Helm.
More than $80,000 stacked up, including $5,000 from Black Entertainment Television.
"There's been a stereotype of the black man of always being on drugs and all the other things," said Curtis Symonds, BET executive vice president of sales and marketing. "This is the kind of uplifting story that there are role models out there that are doing the right thing."
Eugene and Taneen moved their wedding date up and were married in April. He is taking the summer off so his new wife and family can get to know each other. Already, the kids are calling Taneen "momma-auntie"; they call Eugene "unkie" or "dad."
Eugene hopes to go back to school soon and Taneen wants to complete her teaching degree.
In the meantime, the family of seven has moved out of Exodus and into a modest two-bedroom apartment. They have turned a sun room into a bedroom for the girls, who are enrolling in dance classes, and bought bunk beds for the boys, who are registered for basketball camp.
Eugene feels blessed.
"God allowed me to be with the woman I love dearly," he said, "and to give these kids a better life."
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family