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MAMA'S MEMOS!--No.2 Maria #381 DO/TS 3120 3/97

Subject: Flexibility in designated times for Affection Time (Praise Time) and change in status as a Fundamental Family Rule

--By Maria

1. Several of you have written to Peter and me recently, asking whether it's necessary to abide by the scheduled praise times at 10:00, 12:00 and 5:00, or whether it could be more flexible.

2.We brought this before the Lord and asked Him if He wanted us to give each Home the freedom to choose their own times, having praise time whenever it's most convenient in their situation, or whether we should all continue to try to stick to the established times. Following is what the Lord said in answer to our question:

3. (Jesus speaking:) Praise Me, praise Me, all My little children, for in your praises dwells My life, My Spirit, My joy and My love! I do not say that you have to praise Me, just as I do not say that you have to receive My Salvation; I present it to you as My gift of love because I love you. Just as I want you to be saved, so that you may live by My side all the days of your life and be with Me forever in Heaven, so I want to receive your praises, so that I may receive your love, your affection, your appreciation and your gratitude, to fill My heart and My need, so I may give you the blessings of My Spirit. These blessings of My Spirit are greater than you understand, and they far outweigh any sacrifice on your part.

4.Think it not a sacrifice and think it not inconvenient and a burden. Think it not a weariness or yet one more rule, one more bondage. Think it not something that is meant to cramp your freedom, or your style, or your schedule, or your work for Me, or your ministry. My children, you can do nothing without Me and My Spirit and My power, and the few minutes that you spend in praise unto Me is time well spent. For this is your training period, to learn to give Me the praise and love and affection that I need, so that in the days to come you will do so freely, without a schedule. Just as you teach your children to do certain things that you know are good for them at certain times--you persuade and you coax and you lovingly lead and guide them and show them that it is good for them, so that when they grow older they are able to do it on their own--so do I teach you.

5. My dear precious children, look not on this as a burden, that you have to praise Me three times a day, at 10:00 and 12:00 and 5:00. Think not, "Oh, what a weariness," because you need to take care of the baby, you need to do the dishes, you need to make a phone call, you need to work on your computer, you need to catch a train or a bus, and you need to go out witnessing. I understand that you have much to do, and it is because you have so much to do that I teach you and train you in the importance of keeping your eyes turned upward, focused on Me, keeping your heart lifted in praise unto Me, and living your life in subjection to My loving Spirit. Otherwise all that you have to do will drag you down until you have no spirit and no life left in your good works and your service unto Me.

6.Therefore, listen to My voice and the call of My Spirit, for what I desire is the love of your heart! If you do not praise Me at 10 o'clock, but you praise Me at 10:30 or 11:00 with a full and loving and grateful heart, I am well pleased and I rejoice! And I give unto you My blessing and My love; I shower you in return with My love.

7.You must see, My children, that it is not the letter of the law or the arm of the flesh that is needed, but it is the spirit of love, in willingness and obedience. Those who give unto Me out of love, sacrificially and willingly, although they may not always give it unto Me exactly at the three specified times, are able to receive My blessing and My anointing. For they are giving unto Me of their best and choosing to please Me above all else.

8.So give, that I may give unto you in return! I have brought this praise time before My Family and designed it according to My purpose, to teach and train you, that we may be drawn closer together and develop a strong bond. I use this time to help you turn to Me and to spend those few minutes--whether you are alone or you are united with someone--loving Me and praising Me, so I can teach you to receive My love, My peace, My inspiration, My faith and My blessing.

9.So suck and draw on My power and receive the gifts of My Spirit, that you may be strengthened and led into the new days ahead. For you will have great need, and will look back at this training time and time spent learning to praise Me three times a day with real gratitude and thankfulness, and you will lean upon it in the days ahead.

10.It is only the Enemy who wishes to distract you and cause you to turn away from Me. He's casting his fiery doubts and darts straight into the heart of your praises. So turn your eyes and your heart and your lips toward Me, that we may remain one and be strengthened and bonded together by love! (End of message from Jesus.)

11.(Mama:) What a beautiful message! Jesus loves, wants and needs our praises. They are so special to Him, and also bring about wonderful results for us! As we show the Lord our love, affection, appreciation and gratitude, He gives us the blessings of His Spirit, which far outweigh any sacrifice on our part. By asking us to praise Him three specific times a day, the Lord is training us for the days ahead. The goal is for us to become so accustomed to stopping for a little affection time with Jesus, a few minutes in the temple, that we will learn to do it regularly and frequently, even if it were not scheduled. He's building a good habit in us, one that He knows we need!

12.The Lord doesn't want us to give Him this praise time begrudgingly, or to look at it as a big burden and a problem in our schedules when we're already so busy. He knows that, because we're so busy, if we don't stop to praise Him and get refreshed by His Spirit, we'll just wear out! So there's a real purpose to the praise times! The Lord's not asking this of us just to test us or to complicate our lives. He knows it's really needed, it's good for us, and He has a good reason for it!

13.But the Lord is allowing flexibility. He said, "What I desire is the love of your heart! If you do not praise Me at 10 o'clock, but you praise Me at 10:30 or 11:00 with a full and loving and grateful heart, I am well pleased and I rejoice!" He also explained that He doesn't want the letter of the law. He doesn't want you to have your praise times just because you feel obligated and forced, but He wants you to give Him your time and praise out of love, in willingness and obedience. He says, "Those who give unto Me out of love, sacrificially and willingly, although they may not always give it unto Me exactly at the three specified times, are able to receive My blessing and My anointing. For they are giving unto Me of their best and choosing to please Me above all else."

14.The Lord indicated above that if you are not able to follow the suggested praise times of 10:00, 12:00 and 5:00 for some reason, He is allowing you leeway. If you have to alter the praise time schedule sometimes--either occasionally or on a more permanent basis--if the reason for making this change is because you want to give your best to Jesus and you want to please Him above all else, then the Lord will bless it, and you will still reap the benefits He promises for being faithful with your praise times.

15.Peter and I wanted to be sure we were interpreting the above message correctly, so we asked the Lord to confirm that as a Home you can vote on when to have your daily praise times--that not only do you have flexibility to vary the times in case you miss a praise time, for example, but as a Home you can actually change the designated times on a permanent or semi-permanent basis. We also asked the Lord if He wanted praise time to continue to be a Fundamental Family Rule. Here is the Lord's message in response to these questions:

16. (Jesus speaking:) The best way is the love way. You may have to put the bit and bridle on a horse to teach him to do what you want him to do and what he needs to do to be a good horse and serve his master. You make him wear the bit and bridle out of love, so that you can instruct him, and you can work together as a good team. If you do so with love and gentleness and lots of rewards and commendation and praise, soon he understands what you want, and is happy to do it for you.

17.He is happy to go where you want him to go, and come when you want him to come, and he does so out of love for his master, who he knows loves him. Thus, you can soon remove the bit and bridle and allow him to have freedom, with you at the reins. Then he carries you proudly and is proud to serve you, because he knows you are a good, kind and loving master.

18.So it is with My precious children. You have taught them how to wear the bit and bridle of praise time in order to show them what I wanted them to do and how to do it, and how to please Me and give Me the love that I desire. They have been obedient, willing children, and have offered up their kisses of praise to Me and done that which I desired. They have not complained or kicked or chafed at the bridle, but have accepted it cheerfully and willingly, that they might learn how to best serve their Master and make Me happy. I am so happy with how My children have learned and how they have been willing to stop three times a day as we've asked them to, just to tell Me how much they love Me and how thankful they are.

19.My wonderful, precious, yielded children! They have passed the test, they have learned well, they have progressed, and they are now ready to have the bit and bridle removed. For they now know the way. They now feel whenever I tug on their reins; they know exactly what I want them to do and which way to go. They know that I need to hear their words of praise, and they're willing to give Me praise from their heart.

20.The strict rule was for a period of time, to help them to learn to stop and talk to Me. It was to help them to learn the importance of taking time to praise Me. It was important at the time that everyone realize the spiritual significance of connecting with Me through praise.

21.But now that they have learned well, they need not be bound by a strict rule. For I want to make their service on the field as missionaries as easy as possible, because I know they carry many responsibilities and duties, and they take care of many things and do their best to reach the lost. So I do not wish to bind them to a rule that is no longer necessary.

22.Praising Me during praise times is just as important a responsibility as their other responsibilities--their responsibilities of prayer, of witnessing, of upholding the standard and the other many responsibilities that they have. Their responsibility of praise is just as important.

23.Now that they've learned the importance of it and to carry it out of love for Me, you may let them decide on a Home-to-Home basis how to structure their praise times. If some Homes find it does not work well to adhere to the 10:00, 12:00 and 5:00 times each day, let them know that they can change those times to something else that will best suit their needs. For I do not love a 10:00 praise time more than praise at another time. The time itself is not important. What is important is the sweet words of your lips and the fact that you stop what you are doing and talk to Me, because you know I want you to. You're willing to consider it important enough to Me that you will faithfully remember to do it, and give Me the sweet praises of your lips.

24.It must be done out of love, for true, sincere praise comes from a thankful heart. That is the praise that I desire, the one that is a special sacrifice of love to Me and comes before Me as a beautiful spirit of love. That is what I need and what I want, and if My children cannot give it to Me freely because they love Me, I will not force them. I have instructed and guided and taught them and given them a time period where they have been able to learn through regular practice every day, regular structured practice of praising Me, so that now they should be able to stand on their own and offer their praises to Me without it being a Fundamental Family Rule.

25.For I see the heart, and I see that there are lots of times when My children praise Me in their heart, more than at just 10:00, 12:00 and 5:00. There are many times that are not on the schedule when they whisper words of praise to Me in their heart and with their lips. That is My desire, that the praises would flow not just three times a day, but many times a day. Whenever they feel it, let their lips speak it. (End of message from Jesus.)

26. (Mama:) The Lord made it very clear that, if needed, as a Home you can vote and decide on rescheduling your praise times to the three times a day that are most convenient for you. He also confirmed that it is no longer necessary for praise time to be a Fundamental Family Rule.

27.The Lord commended you, dear ones, saying you have passed the test of the strict rule, and now it can be removed. Now you understand the Lord's desire for your praise, and you're willing to give it to Him willingly, from your heart. It's so sweet of the Lord to explain that He understands how very busy you are and He wants to make it as easy as possible for you, so He will not bind you to a rule that is now unnecessary.

28.Please note, however, that He also reminds you that your responsibility to praise Him is just as important as your many other responsibilities. So please do your best to keep up this good habit. Regardless of when you as a Home choose to have your daily praise times, if you're faithful to do so, to stop everything and come before the Lord out of love for Him, you'll bring Him such joy and He will bless you as a result! Praise the Lord! God bless you!

Love, Mama

29. P.S.: If you have other questions about praise time, you may find the "Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Affection Time with Jesus" helpful. See pages 17-19 of GN 650.

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