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Overcoming the Generation Gap! Maria #415 CM/FM 3161 12/97
Please note: Any references to sexual sharing in this GN are to be applied only according to designated age guidelines as stipulated in the Charter.
Table of Contents
Negative Mindsets and Attitudes 3
Mama Knows What's Going On! 4
Appreciation for Our Older Generation 5
Appreciation for Our Young People! 5
Young People Are Different!--So Let'm Be Different! 6
Change Is Needed on Both Sides 6
The Story of Our Home! 8
It Does Relate to You! 9
Getting on Board with the New Moves of the Spirit! 9
Feeling Left Out or Comparing Battles 10
June 1995: Our First New Young Arrival! 12
May 1996: Three More New Young People! 14
Three-month Celebration! 17
End of 1996: Still Growing!--Three More Newcomers 19
What Do the Young People Do? 19
The Secrets of Unity! 20
This Greater Unity Is for You! 21
The Nature of Youth! 23
Our Young People Had to Yield, Grow and Change! 24
The Older Generation Had to Be Willing to Move Over! 27
Working Side by Side!--There's No Unemployment in Our Kingdom! 29
The Secret of Success! 31
One Step Closer to Heaven! 31
To my dear, wonderful Family,
1. God bless you! I love you! Unity is what we need, and our unity is what the Enemy is attacking! As has already been pointed out, lack of unity is one of the most serious problems that we are facing at this time. It's a problem that we all must take seriously and go on the attack together to fight! We need to gain great victories over this stronghold of the Evil One.
2.Plenty has been published on the subject of unity, not only in the earlier Letters that Dad wrote, but also in some of the important messages that the Lord and Dad have given in the last two years. During some of Peter's travels this past year, he also was led of the Lord to emphasize the need for unity and to expose this very serious attack of the Enemy.
3.Here is how one CRO described the situation in his area: "I've been very concerned about the disunity which seems to be so prevalent in many of our Homes. We receive a regular flow of mail from members in serious disunity, who are just not able to get along. It's very disheartening to read so many negative reports and to see Homes splintering, breaking down, and folding up. When we visit the field, disunity is one of the major problems we encounter. It bogs Homes down and even paralyzes the work of some. It really is sad to see Family members so critical of each other, suspicious, carrying grudges and unable to communicate and work out their differences in a loving manner."
4.An SGA CRO commented: "We seem to be getting further away from each other, and more and more couples are living on their own with their children. Now it's so easy to pick up and leave when you don't like something or somebody. It seems to me that before the Charter, everyone knew unity was a requirement and we fought for it. There was no excuse for not getting along, so everyone tried to persevere and do their best to stick together. Now that people feel they have the freedom to air their dislike for others and they aren't 'forced' to get along, lack of unity creeps in and seems to spread all over, to the point that you begin to question, 'Will it ruin us?'"
5.(Mama:) How sad! This lack of unity is completely unacceptable, and we need to get down to serious business with the Lord and make some headway to overcome it! God help us!
6.This problem is manifested in many different ways and to varying degrees. Of course, not every Home or area is riddled with disunity, thank the Lord, but unfortunately, many are. There is a lack of unity within Homes--different Home members or teamworkers don't get along with each other. There is division between the Homes within the same city or area. There is a lack of unity in marriages and private families. There is a lack of unity between JETTs or teens and the older young people. There is often disunity between young nationals and the Family-born young people. There is a lack of unity among those of the same generation, and there is a very serious lack of unity between the first generation and the second generation.
7.The Lord said that the lack of the unity between the two generations, what is commonly referred to as the generation gap, is the most serious attack on our unity. This is what I want to talk about in this Letter. I'll be addressing some of the challenges that both you older generation and you young people face. But I want to make it clear right from the beginning that I'm not pointing the finger at any particular age group, because there are lessons to be learned on both sides, and there's adjusting and yielding that needs to be done in both age groups.
8.Also, please realize that I know that every Home is different, and there are many varied situations. When I say "you of the first generation do such-and-such" or "you young people are this or that way," I realize that not every single adult does the same things, and not every young person behaves or reacts the same way. But for the sake of simplicity, I will comment on the situation in the Family generally, and it will be up to you to wisely apply this counsel and see which shoes fit. We need to get to the bottom of this problem, and to do that, you all need to be willing to see and accept the strengths and limitations of those of the other generation, and also the areas in which you personally might need to change.
Negative Mindsets and Attitudes on the Part of Each Generation
9.Right now there's conflict in many of our Homes between the two generations. In many cases, parents and their children are pitted against each other, or against other parents and their children. Also, parents and the young people who care for their children have conflicts over discipline, time off and missed activities, or they simply have different standards, leading to resentment and communication breakdowns. It is also a frequent problem that the shepherds don't relate well to the young people in their Home. Many young people are restless and feel confused, boxed in, and that the adults just don't understand them. The end result is that in those Homes both generations have become frustrated.
10.Unfortunately, some very negative mindsets and attitudes have taken hold in the Family in both generations. Many of you FGAs have gotten quite fed up with those of the younger generation. You have concentrated on their weaknesses, not their strengths. You have seen their problems of today, which loom so high to you, instead of their potential for the future, which you have lost sight of. You have let the weaknesses of some of a lack of dedication, disrespect for their elders, and lack of interest in the Word and the new weapons of the Spirit eat away at your faith in the younger generation and their calling and potential. This negative point of view has caused you to lose faith in the sincerity of our young people.
11.Many of you have come to the conclusion that you just don't get along with young people, you can't get along with them, and you never will. So in essence, what you have done is you've stopped trying. You've abdicated your responsibilities as shepherds and examples, and you've pretty much let the young people go their own way. You haven't wanted to help them learn their lessons the easy way, through your experience, and through loving, kind shepherding and showing them the way. Instead you've often left them to fend for themselves. You figure if they're going to be that rebellious and cantankerous and hard to get along with, well, you'll just let them stew in their own juice and learn through bitter experience.
12. Of course, there's the other extreme reaction as well, which is fairly common too, where you adults are on the kids' cases all the time, trying to dictate their every move, breathing down their necks, picking on every little thing they do wrong, nagging them, treating them like children, etc. This also doesn't bring about the results desired, but only serves to alienate the young people more and drive a bigger wedge between you.
13.Now I certainly don't put all the blame on the neglects or wrong attitudes of the older generation. You young people are not angels either; you have your faults and some have adopted ungodly attitudes as well. Sad to say, in some Homes I think it's pretty much the "in" thing, the accepted and even the expected behavior and attitude, to not get along with the first generation, to not enjoy their company, and to find little pleasure in working together with them.
14.Instead of seeing the good and all that you young people could gain from the older adults' experience and the lessons that they have learned through so many years of serving the Lord, you have let the Enemy cloud your focus and put a negative spin on your view of the older generation. The result is that you have overemphasized the older generation's mistakes and failures of the past and present, and you have let petty disagreements and personality differences come between you and them to such a great degree that now, in many cases, you can hardly stand to even be in the same room together! Or if it hasn't gotten that bad, your relationship still isn't what it should be because you've gotten to the point where you can't agree on anything, and you find yourselves in the midst of almost constant conflict or bickering.
15.Often there are so many bitter feelings on both sides, and such ill will between the two generations, that you have resigned yourselves to more or less just tolerating each other. You figure it's better to endure sort of a cold war than it is to suffer the hot war of constant disagreements and clashes. Some of you young people put up with the older generation and endure being around them when you have to, but then you have no qualms about talking negatively about them behind their backs, or showing them disrespect and disregarding their counsel and their opinions. And some of you older adults have reached the point of burnout with the young people. You no longer have the patience you need. You blow up and get angry easily. You get pushy, demanding and forceful, which drives the young people further away. In many cases you are downright baffled about what to do, to the point that you've quit even trying to be understanding of their ideas, opinions, desires or problems.
16.This is a very sad and disappointing situation. But even more than that, it's a very dangerous situation. Because as the Lord knows, and as those of us who are in a position to step back and view the overall big picture can see, it's the Lord's perfect, beautiful plan to have two generations within the Family at this point in time. The two generations are very different, but if given the opportunity and if both choose to yield to the Spirit completely, the Lord can use even the differences in these two age groups to make the Family stronger and more productive than ever before.
17.Each of the two generations has something very unique, very special, and very powerful to contribute to the Family. Both are certainly needed if the Family is to continue to be a strong force for the truth. It's foolish--in fact, it's ridiculous--for either you adults or you young people to think that you're self-sufficient, or that you can go on to be what the Lord wants you to be on your own without fully availing yourself of the strength, power, gifts and talents that both generations bring to the Family.
Mama Knows What's Going On!
18.Some of you might still think that I don't know what's going on, and right now in the back of your mind you might even be saying, "Oh, yeah, sure. It's easy for you to talk about unity between the generations, Mama, but you don't know the adults in my Home," or "You don't know the kids in my Home. Certainly you couldn't expect me to get along with or even begin to understand them!" But believe me, even if you have to take it by faith, I know a lot more about what's going on than you think I do.
19.Not only have I heard in detail the reports and comments of our field leaders, but I've received many personal letters from both first and second generation Family members as well. The Lord has also spoken in prophecy numerous times over this last year about the problem of the generation gap and the extreme importance of us all working together and being molded together in heart, mind, and spirit--not just enduring and tolerating and being willing to put up with each other, but really working together in love.
Appreciation for Our Older Generation
20.I can see so clearly the strengths of the older generation and what they have to offer--even though they're weaker in the physical, and in some cases they battle afflictions, they're tired, and they don't have the strength and endurance that they had in their younger years. Yes, in some cases they have developed bad habits, they might be in ruts, and they might seem to you young people to be quite unbendable, immovable, and just downright old bottles! But I know their hearts, and I know and see all they've been through, all they've sacrificed, the difficulties they've endured, the sacrifices they've made to continue on in the Family as voices for the truth, while they raised you, their children.
21.They struggled with finances and pioneering and being missionaries with one hand, while they tried to raise you and supply your needs and teach you both scholastically and spiritually with the other. And in many cases, the older generation continues with these very taxing, strenuous responsibilities and schedules, as many still have large families of small children and they continue their witnessing ministries. Believe me, that's not an easy job, as some of you young people who are now married and are starting to have children of your own can understand.
22.Our older generation is like delicious, full-bodied, strong, vintage wine. The lessons they've learned and the experience they've had and the wisdom they've gained just through holding on and continuing to serve the Lord, come what may, no matter how difficult the circumstances, carves out for these older veterans a special place of honor in the Lord's eyes. (See ML #3128:111-120, GN 739.)
23.You young people might feel that you're pretty smart, pretty talented, and pretty well-trained by now, and many of you are! I don't argue with that. But I do not agree with some of you who feel that you don't need the older generation, that you can make it on your own, that you've grown up now, and you no longer need these old bottles holding you back, cramping your style, and bringing you down.
24. Possibly you're viewing large families or older first generation Family members as "dead weight," who require more care, finances and organization than they're worth. Maybe you feel that life would be much simpler, easier and more fun if you didn't have so many little kids running around your Homes. Maybe you're criticizing the first generation because they are now older and weaker physically and have more afflictions.If you are having problems with a generation gap in your Home or life, ask yourself honestly if that's how you feel.
Appreciation for Our Young People!
25.On the other hand, to give you young people the recognition and appreciation that you deserve, I want to make it clear that there are examples of young people working well with the first generation. There are young people who are standing strong for the truth, standing up against negative peer pressure and being willing to go against the current of the accepted way to be the testimony for the Word and the Lord that He wants you to be. I have also seen many of you take on big responsibilities and handle them very maturely.
26.I've seen and heard of many of you who are willing to buckle under and work hard for the Lord and the Family. You're serious-minded. You have really dedicated your life 100 percent to the Lord, the Family, Dad, me and Peter, and I know that you are as loyal and as sold-out as any of the older generation. You have proven yourself in my book, and I trust you and know that you would lay down your life for me, your brethren, or the lost, if need be.
27.I understand that life in the Family is sometimes difficult. Communal living brings with it some restrictions, and things don't always happen as quickly as you would like, which of course is very frustrating for you. I know that sometimes those of the older generation are very hard for you to understand. They seem inflexible, overpowering, domineering, and you feel like they just don't give you enough space to flap your wings and to do what you want to do--or what you feel the Lord is leading you to do.
28.I know the Lord has put in your heart a desire for change, action, responsibility and challenges. You have an almost uncontrollable desire to do something different, to be your own person, to make a name for yourself. You don't want to just walk in the footsteps of someone else; you want to break new ground. Sometimes it's hard for you to understand or discern between this God-given desire to do something new, which is right and healthy, and the need for you to work together with your elders and benefit from their experience, counsel and wisdom.
Young People Are Different!--So Let'm Be Different!
29.Now you of the older generation could make it easier on the young people by taking a little more time with them to try to understand what goes on inside their hearts and minds, and by not being so quick to judge or jump to conclusions--many of which, unfortunately, are often negative conclusions or unfair, biased judgments. If you would try to be more prayerful and led of the Spirit when working and living with the younger generation, then I think the Lord would help you have a better balance to know when you need to give them a break, to cut them a little slack, and to give them some room to just be young people, to experiment, to break free a little bit. He can also help you know when you need to rein them in a little, or give them a little counsel or correction or a check--to give them the shepherding that they need.
30.You have to realize, adults, that the young people are different. The Lord has made them different than you. They want to be different and they need to be different. And we of the older generation in the Family need their youthful enthusiasm and new ideas and the infusion of life, strength, and change that comes from the new blood of the new generation. We need their strength and their radical ways of looking at things. It's good for us when they express their sincere questions and challenge the way things are done. It makes us check our hearts and policies, see and make necessary changes and improvements, and it keeps us from sinking into the horrible abyss of compromise and the apathetic status quo.
31.Some of you adults are going to have to just lighten up, back off a little, and let the young people breathe! Let them be young people. Let them be themselves. Let them be different, as long as what they're doing is not contrary to the Word or the Charter, or endangering or negatively affecting either themselves or others or your work for the Lord in some way. (If you shepherds have a hard time applying the counsel in the Word or the Charter, and discerning whether something the young people are doing or want to do is okay, you or they could ask the Lord. I'm sure He would be happy to give you in prophecy the specific detailed guidelines, confirmations and instruction that you need, which will fit your particular situation.)
Change Is Needed on Both Sides
32.I want to be fair in my assessment of the situation. I'm switching back and forth, sometimes addressing you older adults directly and other times you young people. I don't want either of you to think I'm picking on you, or that I am favoring either generation. Change is needed on both sides. One of our SGA CROs expressed this need very well when she wrote the following:
33. "There are many ways of thinking and acting on both sides that need to blend, and sacrifices and forsake-alls are needed on the young people's side as well as the first generation's side if we are to have unity.
34. "Young people are not the easiest people in the world for older folks to love and get along with. However, young people often look at the older folks the same way. The young people have been through quite a bit in their relations with older people, and sadly, a good number of them have gotten kind of bitter toward older people, or have a large measure of distrust. Many of the first generation members feel the same way toward the young people.
35. "There are quite a number of situations where the first and second generation look at each other quite contemptuously, as there's been a lot of hurt on both sides. Each of the generations has been 'burned' by the other, and because of this, it's just going to take an extra lot of love, patience, faith, understanding and time to grow together.
36. "There is very obvious fault on both sides, and because of this, there are many young people who say they don't even like the older folks and say they find no pleasure in their company. Likewise, there are older folks who say they don't like the young people who do not behave themselves the way they would like them to, and therefore they exclude the young people from their company. There's quite a lot of mistrust on both sides and not much willingness to give."
37.(Mama:) Sometimes when problems go on for a long time, you lose faith that things will ever change. If you're a young person and you haven't gotten along with your shepherds or your parents for a long time, it's pretty easy to come to the conclusion that it's impossible, that you'll never understand the first generation, you'll never enjoy being with them or like working with them. So you pretty much decide that the best thing to do is just avoid adults at all costs; it's easier, simpler, and you'll avoid a lot of arguments that way. You figure you'll just go your own way and save yourself and others all the hassle, all the bickering, and all the frustration that comes with trying to understand each other.
38.It's possible that the thoughts that have been going through your head are something like this: "I know the adults are well-meaning. They try hard, but they just don't understand! They're living in a different world. They can't relate to me! They don't even remember what it's like to be young! If they did, they sure wouldn't be hassling me so much or getting on my case constantly. It's driving me nuts and I just want to be left alone!"
39.I can understand your feeling that way sometimes, but it's a shame when you do, because I think you miss a lot of opportunities where your much-needed talents, energy and ideas could be used, which would help your Home run more smoothly and be more fruitful. You'd probably grow a lot more, too. I think even your ministry training suffers, because you can't benefit from the opportunities that would come your way if you were working more in unity with the first generation.
40.Also, you miss out on one side of life that could bring you a special kind of joy, friendship, and fulfillment. Of course, being with older adults probably won't ever be like working with or hanging around with your friends that are your age. But you can't expect the older generation to be exactly the same as you or your friends. They're different! After all, most of them are at least twice your age--ha! But you do have a lot in common if you'd just try to see it and build on those common interests. I think you'd find out that the adults can be a lot more cool and a lot more fun and a lot bigger support and help in your life than you realize!
41.Now looking at it from the point of view of the older generation: A similar scenario has probably happened with many of you--you've sort of cut yourself off from the younger generation. You know you're not good at communicating with young people. You feel that they don't like you and you don't naturally get along with them. It's not even that enjoyable for you to be around them. You feel awkward, clumsy, and self-conscious.
42.So after a while, after making a few feeble efforts to reach out to them to try to be friends or to try to offer counsel or understanding, you just figure, "Well, hey, forget it! It's not worth it. I'm just not a young people type of person. I never was a very good teen shepherd. I hardly even get along with my own teens that well. So I'll just stick to my knittin' and I won't get involved. I'll just do what I can do, the things that I'm good at, and let somebody else work with the young people. Sure, I know that they need help, they need direction, support, friendship, and I can see a lot of areas where they're kind of floundering, but it just doesn't work for me to talk to them or to get involved."
43.But when you adults adopt that attitude, the very sad result is that then all the precious lessons that you've learned, the hard-fought battles you've won, the experience you've had and the wisdom the Lord has given you as a result go to waste--when actually, it's part of the Lord's plan. It's His solution to the needs of the young people for you to share with them all that precious wealth of knowledge and experience you have stored up.
44.And you know what? You may find some wonderful friends and co-workers in the younger generation! They'll rejuvenate you, help you to regain some of your old spark, and they're just fun to be with! But if you don't reach out, give them your time, try to understand them and communicate with them, and give the Lord a chance to work in your life, you'll miss all those blessings!
45.I know how easy it is, no matter what your age, young or old, to slowly, gradually settle down, to where you end up just accepting problems and letting them go on and on. You coexist with things that you know aren't right, just because you've lost faith and you've given up the fight, or because you don't know what to do to change things or how to change things--especially if it means you personally have to change or get needed victories, which look pretty difficult or even hopeless. Sometimes you feel you just don't have it in you. You've tried, but it just hasn't worked, and now you're tired and weary with it all, and you've pretty much just given up.
46.I think that's what's happened with both you older adults and you young people when it comes to the generation gap. You've gotten used to the disagreements, the tension, the lack of joy in your relationship, so that now you don't even realize that the Enemy has come in and driven a strong, hard wedge between you. You think, "Oh, that's just the way it is. It's to be expected. It's natural." And that would probably be true if all you had to depend on was the natural man. But it's not impossible to be united and have a loving enjoyable relationship between you when you have God and His love.
The Story of Our Home!
47.Just to show you that it is possible, I want to tell you a story--an exciting, happy, true story! I want to tell you about what has happened in our Home over the last two years. As you know, we've been bringing in young people from various parts of the world, all with different ministries, backgrounds and training. I'm sure you've been curious to know how it's gone between the older generation, most of whom had been in WS for a long time, and these young newcomers. You're probably interested to know more details about how it works in our Home, and in this GN I want to tell you about that!
48.This is a true story that has a happy ending, because the two generations in our Home have learned to not only work well together, but to even enjoy each other--to be friends, companions, co-workers, and in some cases even lovers. Sure, it required some desperate prayer and change on both sides, and there were lessons learned on both sides. It wasn't a victory that was just plopped in our laps without our having to fight for it or work for it. But you will see as you read this testimony that the key was that each person, regardless of their age, regardless of whether they were old-timers or new arrivals, made a commitment and yielded to the Lord and were willing to make the changes they needed to make, and they weren't just expecting the other guy to change.
It Does Relate to You!
49.The Devil's going to try to get you to reject this example and this powerful testimony, because he doesn't want you to think that this sort of unity and love is possible, especially not in your Home. He knows that if you will believe that it can work in one Home, that will give you faith to know that it can work in other Homes as well, and he doesn't want you to have that faith! He wants you to continue on doubting, struggling and rejecting this message. He wants you to continue on in disunity, resentment, lack of understanding, bitterness, and in thinking that lasting change is an impossibility. So before you read any further, you'll need to go on the attack and refuse to listen to the lies of the Enemy.
50.One of the main things the Devil is going to be whispering in your ear, which you'll have to rebuke, is, "Oh, this doesn't relate to me. Mama's Home is different. They don't have to struggle with the same battles that I do, such a heavy load of fundraising or childcare, and they don't have so many demands on their time and lots of unexpected emergencies."
51.It's true that the situation in my and Peter's Home is different in some ways. We don't have exactly the same sort of responsibilities or daily activities that you all have. But as I already covered in the "Problems and Solutions" series, we have other battles and other responsibilities that you don't have. And in some cases, I think the members of our Home are subject to some very vicious attacks of the Enemy, and particularly heavy spiritual battles that you might not be subject to, simply because they are in our Home, working on the Word, and the Enemy does everything he can and uses whatever he can to try to stop them.
Getting on Board with the New Moves of the Spirit!
52.But I'll tell you one thing about our Home that you'll have to consider to see if it possibly is different than your situation, and that is that all of our Home members, regardless of their age or ministry, are on board with the new moves of the Spirit. Each one wants to move forward to obey the Lord and is trying to do whatever is necessary to keep growing and progressing. Not just our WS veterans of the older generation, but the young people in our Home as well, are committed to the "Loving Jesus" revelation, the Law of Love, hearing from the Lord in prophecy, being faithful with daily praise times and trying to develop more of a consistent faithful attitude of praise, and sharing their hearts in open, honest communication.
53.Each person has shown an openness to loving the Lord intimately and has a desire to know Him more personally in that way. Of course, some have grown more quickly and others much more slowly in this, but no one doubts or has rejected the "Loving Jesus" revelation. The older members of our Home already had a strong foundation in the Law of Love and sharing, but the young newcomers have grown considerably in this, and are now much less selfish and partial in their loving. All of our Home members have really taken steps of faith to exercise their gifts of prophecy. They have been willing to stretch their faith to hear from the Lord both for themselves and others. Each one has been open to receiving counsel and shepherding.
54.Earlier in this Letter, I talked about some of the changes that you older adults or you young people might need to make in order to have better communication or understanding of each other. But those changes are minor compared to the need for each of you to be committed to the New Wine and the new moves of the Spirit. That commitment is certainly the foundation and one of the main keys to being united. The deepest, longest-lasting, most cherished unity of the Spirit comes when everyone involved is drinking in, believing, and doing their best to live the truth of the Word.
55.I'm not trying to pretend that the situation or circumstances in my Home are exactly like those in your Home, because we all know that they're not; there are some differences in the physical realm. But I don't think those physical differences really matter very much. Because while we may have different battles, there's no question that we all have our battles. And while we may have to make different types of sacrifices, we all have our sacrifices that the Lord requires of us, just as we have different blessings or different privileges. So I don't think the differences in the physical realm make much difference or in any way negate the example that I'm going to put forth in telling you the story of our Home. But what does certainly make a very big difference is if there are major differences between your Home and mine in the spirit.
56.I've told you about the dedication and yieldedness and commitment of those in my Home, and if you don't have that to a fairly large degree in your Home--if some of you are trying to do your best to believe, receive and live the New Wine, whereas others are holding back or even disregarding or rejecting the New Wine--then that certainly is a very big difference in our circumstances and it's something that you need to start to work on right away, so you can get this straightened out as soon as possible. No matter how much you try to get unified through having united activities, or learning how to communicate and relate to each other better, if you're not united in spirit around the Word and the new direction the Lord is leading, then your unity can only go so far; it will be very limited.
57. You personally might not be strong in every single one of the new moves of the Spirit. You might struggle more with one than others, but at least if you're trying to progress, if you've received the Word by faith and you're doing the best you can, then the Lord will count that as righteousness in His eyes. He will honor that and bless you. When I say that the members of my Home are committed to the new moves of the Spirit and the new weapons, that doesn't mean they've reached a level of perfection. In fact, some of them still battle somewhat with some of those things too, but they are believing, accepting, and yielding, which also means they're growing.
58. Another thing you'll need to consider is whether everyone in your Home is trying their best to live according to the guidelines and boundaries set in the Love Charter. This is a major weak point with many of our Homes and with some of you young people in particular, it seems. If all of you--young and old--would follow the Charter to the best of your ability, carefully and fully fulfilling your responsibilities under the Charter, and not just try to see how much you can get away with, then it would be much easier for you to have the unity that you need.
59.If you want all that the Lord has, the total blessing that He wants to give you through full unity, then all of you, regardless of your age, ministry, marital status, or your personality quirks, strengths and weaknesses, need to do all you can to get on board 100 percent for the Lord! And that means seeking the Lord, searching your heart, and making some commitments to change to reach the goals of 1998 and overcome the roadblocks to unity.
60.You might think these various weaknesses and problems that we term "the roadblocks to unity" are not so closely related to your lack of unity. In fact, you may not even see the connection at all, but it all works together. If some of you have a sort of cafeteria-style obedience, it's certainly going to be difficult for those who are sold out to the Lord and the Family--whether in your own Home or other Homes--to work in unity with you, or to feel a deep camaraderie and oneness of heart with you.
Feeling Left Out or Comparing Battles
61.One last thing before I go on to the testimony of our Home. As you read this GN, you might be tempted to feel left out because you don't have the opportunity to come to our Home, or to receive the shepherding and training you desire in your present situation. You might feel very unimportant because you're busy every day in a small Home doing a hidden ministry that doesn't seem to be very glorious or very special.
62.Well, you're not alone.One of the young people in our Home, shortly after arriving, commented:
63. "When I used to live in a Home on a far-flung field, it was very discouraging when anything came out about young people in different positions of leadership, etc. Being in a place like I was, you feel like nobody in the world even knows you exist (and I'm sure that's what it's like in a lot of countries), and you feel like the last person in the world who would have heard your name would be you, Mama.
64. "Sometimes I wondered if there was any use in following the Lord closely or being 'spiritual' and 'upholding the standard,' because there was never anyone around who would even know I was there. So what was the point? I felt like I wasn't good enough for the Lord to use me in what seemed to me to be a 'special' or 'important' way--such as going to WS or the Summit or being a VS or working in a CRO Office.
65. "I know that we don't base our decisions on whether anyone knows about us or whether we get any credit, because Jesus sees all of the sacrifices we make, and He always rewards us for them. It's just a very real battle, and something that I've personally experienced. It was really difficult when I heard about these 'honored' people, and then I wondered where I went wrong. And the same probably goes for others if they feel they're 'just taking care of kids all day' or 'just working hard in the kitchen all week.'
66. "Now that the Lord's brought me here, I see that it's not that anyone is any more important than anyone else. They're people just like me with similar problems and trials, yet the Lord has called them to work behind the scenes and they do this with joy. But there is that attitude in some places, that some people are more special or important than others, at least where I've been. It's probably because individuals in the field Homes often feel left out or out of the spotlight, as they feel that their ministry isn't real showy or glamorous.
67. "I think there are a lot of young people out there that are just as dedicated and love the Lord just as much as the young people here, or those in positions of leadership.And they're often responsible for a lot where they are, even if they're not big leaders or don't get a lot of recognition or appreciation. Of course, not everyone is called to a place of leadership, and leaders or people in WS aren't supposed to be any different or more important than anyone else. But there is a difference in people's minds, and I guess the Enemy uses it to get you discouraged and looking at yourself instead of the Lord."
68.(Mama:) I know this is a very real battle and I can understand it. It's easy to sometimes feel like you're out of touch and forgotten. But please try to resist the temptation to compare with the few who have come to our Home. (If you find you have an ongoing battle of comparing with those who live in our Home or with those who have other opportunities that you envy, such as going to the Summit, you might want to reread the message I included in "Mama's News and Views Part 3" [ML #3053:25-53, GN 682]. Also, "Prophecies on Leadership" [ML #3052, GN 681] has very good counsel, encouragement, and explanation if you're having comparing battles with people who have ministries that may seem to be more important, exciting, or glorious than yours.)
69.By using the example of our Home, I'm not trying to elevate or honor just a few young people. The reality of the situation is that I need to use these examples as a springboard to give this important message. I'm relating our experience here to put a personal face on these very important lessons from the Lord, which can be pretty nebulous if not related to an example from everyday life--someone's life!
70. Our Home is made up of people--whether first generation adults or young people--who are very much like you. Therefore what has happened here is a picture of what can happen in your Home, too. So I pray that as you read this Letter, you'll understand more clearly that this message is for you! Each of you is important to the Lord and to Peter and me, and you play a crucial part in making this new move of the Spirit a success!
71.As you read this testimony of our Home, the different events that have taken place and the lessons that were learned by both generations, remember that the generation gap is a serious roadblock to unity that we must overcome if we are to be the strong, fighting, overcoming, Endtime army that the Lord wants us to be!
72.Also, please remember that you probably won't be able to do things exactly like our Home does them. We don't expect you to. I've included quite a few details about how things work in our Home and what the young people do, etc., because I felt you'd find that information interesting. But I don't expect you to try to operate your Home exactly the same way. As I said before, try to apply the spiritual principles, and if the shoe fits, wear it. But remember, even if something applies to you, you might need a "shoe" of a slightly different size or style to fit your particular situation. So I urge you to prayerfully adapt what you read in this testimony rather than try to follow every detail. Be Spirit-led! Thanks!
June 1995: Our First New Young Arrival!
73.As you may recall, the first second generation person that we received in our Home, besides David and Techi, was Francis, who arrived shortly after Techi had moved to another WS unit. Francis had been in another WS pubs unit for a year when he accepted the invitation to come and join our Home. (He arrived only a month before he left with Amy [Ana] and David to visit the Homes in Russia.)
74.We were so very thankful to have him, as we were in great need of more personnel. Before long he became a valuable part of our Home, stepping into assisting Peter, Gary and me in the realm of Family business and administration, along with Matthew. (He began this ministry before Gary moved to the GPU, and is still involved in it.) There were also times when I worked closely with Francis on various projects, such as going over the words that were submitted for approval for the FTT songs and working on preparing the first Celestial Interviews book and other pubs.
75.Although Francis is one of the older SGAs in the Family and he had already spent a few years working behind the scenes in the NACRO office and other WS units before coming to our Home, he was still able to provide Peter and me with a lot of fresh input and help us see things more from a young person's point of view.
76.Also, between the time he worked in the NACRO office and the time he came to WS, he spent nearly 5 years on the field. There he had the opportunity to live and work in Russia, as well as travel with several of the European CROs in Western Europe. Those experiences gave him fresh insight and understanding of some of the needs of the field. We took into consideration and prayed about the suggestions, comments and reactions that he readily shared, as well as those shared by other young people in WS. Through working with Francis, we became more convinced than ever of the value of listening to and working closely with young people.
77.Of course, these lessons were not unique to Peter and me and our Home. Our other WS units were also learning the same things, as there are some very dedicated young people in the other units as well, some of whom have been in WS for many years and have grown into dependable, mature, faithful co-workers, helpers and shepherds.
78.By telling you the story of our Home and by highlighting the young people who have come to our Home over the last two or three years, I don't in any way want to minimize the wonderful contributions that the young people in our other WS units have made to the Lord's work and the production of His Words.
79.There are some pillars in WS from the second generation, such as Bethy, Korie, Kristy (of Zeb at FC) and others, who made commitments in their lives to live behind the scenes when they were young teens. Techi has also been a blessing in one of our WS pubs units, as well as in her visit to our Home. And as you know, David was a key part of our Home until he was 20 years old, at which time he decided to go to the mission field of Russia. In April of 1997 he and his girlfriend Nicole (Elixir) came to visit our Home, and they have remained here and become an integral part of our staff.
80.Over the last two years, over 20 new second generation members have joined our WS pubs units (including our Home). This is very admirable, and I greatly respect the dedication of all these young people and the sacrifices they have made, and continue to make, to serve the Lord behind the scenes.
81.So while telling you this story about our Home, I wish I could give equal time and attention to all the young people in WS--both those who have been around for many years and those who recently took up the challenge and accepted the invitation to live and work behind the scenes. I could go on and on about the wonderful blessing that they have been in each of our units. Our young people have also been a tremendous blessing in our CRO offices and area Service Homes, as well as carrying very heavy loads and responsibilities as VSs and ABMs. And that's just to name a few of their ministries.
82.Our second generation laborers are becoming a crucial, integral part of our worldwide missionary work, whether in more obvious leadership ministries or in the ministries of witnessing, childcare or Home care, which are sometimes more hidden but are of equal importance to the continuation and progress of our work. I would like to be able to tell the Family in detail about the wonderful work you teens, YAs and SGAs have done worldwide! But because time and space are limited, I must limit myself--at least in this particular GN--to telling you the story of what has happened in our Home.
83.Now, where was I? Oh yes, I had just told you about Francis and the big blessing and help that he was, and how happy we were to have him join our Home. Because of the tremendous amount of work that we have to do and the many, many pubs that there are to produce, we were still in desperate need of more personnel. The Lord was pouring out His Words so abundantly! Peter was traveling much of the time, and considering the many other complex and important production units and ministries that needed to be overseen, and the many things that we needed to counsel and pray about, it was obvious that Peter and I and our team needed more help.
84.Dad had already counseled the CROs about the need to train new young leaders and bring the young people closer. In a Heavenly message, he said:
85.Now is the day of the youth, and you need to pull some of them in! You need their help, and they need your help. And all of our youth need to see that their generation, their peers, are moving into places of major responsibility.
86.So don't be afraid, but bring them in and use them. They're young! They're vibrant! They're alive! And they're moldable! You can help them. You can train them. You can pour into them. You can lead them to the Word. You can pray with them. You can teach them. You can answer their questions. You can be a good sample to them.
87.You CROs are all doing a wonderful job, but don't miss this opportunity. Don't do the one and leave the other undone. For if you constantly carry the load on your own and you don't bring these in to help carry it, then you will only have to continue to carry it on your own. Teach them, and in time they can help to carry the load with you. And in time they can carry the load for you! (End of excerpt from Dad's message.)
88.Of course, this message wasn't just for the CROs. Likewise it was time for us to look to the younger generation for the personnel that we so desperately needed. Bringing in young people, especially directly to our Home from the field without trying them out in another WS unit, was a very big step of faith. But when we prayed and asked the Lord about each one, He made it clear that it was His will and that He would not only protect our security, but also use these young people to bring a new spark of inspiration to our Home. He said their fresh ideas and the "new blood" of the younger generation would be much more valuable than we had anticipated at that time. The Lord certainly knew what He was doing, and His promises have come to pass! We've seen once again that it pays to trust the Lord and to follow Him.
May 1996: Three More New Young People!
89. Shortly after Summit '96, three more young people joined our Home--first Rebecca (Katie), and then one week later, Jenna and Yvonna. Coming to WS, especially to our Home, was a very big change for each of these young women. It was a huge adjustment for them, and I must say, it was not easy. They really battled during those first months. This was understandable, because it was like the end of one life and the beginning of another. They'd had to forsake loved ones, families, and friends--which was one of their biggest battles, as they had previously had close ties with many people. Due to our Home's need for greater security, they were not able to continue the frequent close phone and e-mail communication with friends and family that some of them were accustomed to.
90.Also, it was a big change for them to leave their previous ministries and many of the freedoms that they were used to enjoying in their former witnessing Homes on the field to livein the confines of a WS unit, which somewhat restricts your everyday movements. Due to security, people here can't just hop in the car and take off and go witnessing or have fellowship with other Family Homes. While we do enjoy various kinds of outings, we go out much less than most Family missionaries are used to.
91.I think it was also difficult for the girls that there were only four young people--Francis and the three girls--for the first four months that they were here. They had come from situations where they were used to being around a lot more young people and having a lot more change, action and fellowship in their lives.
92.They also experienced, to varying degrees, closer shepherding in our Home than they'd had before, and they weren't used to being completely open and honest with their shepherds. It took them a while to trust that Gabe and Amy would handle their hearts with care, love, and confidentiality, even when they really, and I mean really, said what they felt!
93.Also, it took a while (a few weeks or months) for each one to get plugged into her new ministry and to find her niche where she could be most used and challenged, and in that interim period of adjustment they felt frustrated and unchallenged. They sometimes wondered if they would ever be completely happy or fulfilled again.
94.The Enemy fought them bitterly, trying to discourage them, telling them that they didn't fit in and that they weren't cut out for WS. They also had some preconceived ideas, or better said, some anti-WS attitudes that they needed to come to grips with and get over, such as their former labels of WS personnel and the thoughts in the back of their minds that WS personnel were slightly weird, robotlike folks who were maybe a little too yielded. (Thank the Lord, before too long they found out that WS people are unique individuals with varying personalities, gifts, talents, likes and dislikes, just like all of you on the field.)
95. To further emphasize this point, I thought you might enjoy reading some comments from an SGA that were written just weeks after her arrival in WS. These comments are slightly off the main subject of this Letter, but they are very interesting, as she describes the preconceived ideas that she'd had for most of her life about WS, and how those ideas were changed upon arriving in WS. She says:
96. While on my journey to the WS Home I went to, I felt like I would be passing from one life into a totally new, foreign and unfamiliar world. It almost felt like I was dying, as I had no idea where I was going or who I would be living with or what kind of place it would be! It was a very unusual feeling, and being a young and freedom-loving person, accepting to move to WS was a step of faith, to say the least. I had a number of less-than-pleasant concepts of WS people and WS in general. Although I've only been here for 14 days, the memory of those concepts is fast fading as they were immediately replaced by the pleasant reality of the way it really is. But while I still remember what they were, I'll put them down here.
97. Before: I figured thatWS people were intelligent, perhaps, but with intelligence limited only to their field of work. I thought they were quiet, reclusive types who hardly interacted with their co-workers, had no sense of fun, and were generally unaware of the Family situation, other than hearing a little from the top leaders. (The WS stereotype.)
98. Now: I see that people working here are intelligent, warm individuals. Although the work keeps everyone at their desk almost full-time during the day, mealtimes and evening activities are often filled with lively conversation, opinions expressed, a relaxed and enjoyable air. Each Home member is very aware of the latest prayer needs of the Family, as several prayer request updates (from the CROs) are sent around on the computer network daily and prayed for unitedly at mealtimes. News and other current events are kept up with, through news or documentary showings at lunch or dinner. There are a variety of personalities. When WS people work, they really work, and when they play, they really play.
99. Before: I thought WS people were very "spiritual" (with a negative connotation). Their personal standards were higher than the average person.
100. Now: The WS people I have met are very normal in the sense that they don't tout their spirituality. Most of them do hear from the Lord daily as it's a part of their job in one way or another, but it's done in private and is not a big deal. Just like any other Family member or Christian, for that matter, I assume they have a prayer life and relationship with the Lord, but it's not a big public matter and is just a natural part of life.
101. Before: The way people in WS operate must be very rigid, tightly controlled and dictated by the undoubtedly numerous WS traditions and rules, with little room for change.
102. Now: I don't know how WS used to be, but it definitely seems to be a new day, where WS people are open to anything the Lord might tell them, whether it fits into the "way we always do it" or not. I have been surprised myself at certain things they are now doing here that the Lord gave them the go-ahead to do, such as ministering spiritually to friends and contacts. This was rather surprising to me, since this Home is a very selah WS unit.
103. There isn't a status quo to be upset. A lot is left up to the individual's personal initiative as far as the way one wants to work and organize his schedule. The shepherds are very open to new things.
104. There are security and other guidelines, but they are not so black and white as to allow no freedom of movement. Of course security is a concern, but prayerfulness is emphasized rather than rigidity to a set of rules.
105. Before: WS personnel didn't make much effort to keep up their personal appearance. Cobwebs were definitely growing on them.
106. Now: I've found that most everyone puts effort into looking and smelling nice, especially for meals and any time we're all gathered together. People are attractive here. The older women (who are lovely) definitely put something into their appearance, which is very nice. People are in general well groomed. Everyone is very active in pursuing different forms of recreation for get-out and all are quite physically fit. (End of comments from SGA new arrival to WS.)
107.Now, after that little sideline, I'll go back to my story about the adjustment period of Rebecca, Yvonna and Jenna.
108.I recently asked Rebecca, Jenna and Yvonna why they feel they battled so much in the beginning. Along with the points I mentioned earlier, some of their other answers were: "I wasn't 100 percent yielded to what the Lord was doing in my life." "I felt unneeded or incapable." "I was rebellious to the security restrictions." "I was sensitive and worried about what my shepherds thought of me." "I had lost my previous anointing, so I felt I was floundering." "I felt unyielded to even tiny corrections." "I hadn't completely forsaken my own plans." "I had comparing battles." "I had bad attitudes of criticalness toward things that were coming out in the Word." "I wondered if I would be here permanently, which didn't look at all appealing to me at that time."
109.While each of these young women had been used to working with leadership in some wayand doing at least part-time secretarial work, it took a lot to get used to the situation in our Home where most of the day and much of the time in the evening people sit quietly at their desks, working on their pubs or other projects. Our Home is much more low-key than what they were used to. They were used to having lots of other active young people buzzing around and popping into their rooms throughout the day. So even though these girls may have been somewhat used to being at their desk during the day, it was not without frequent distraction and diversion. Whereas those who do office work in our Home don't have that much personal contact with each other during work hours. Also, the members of our Home who are responsible for staff duties, such as the kitchen or handyman work or the personal care of Peter and me, go about their duties with little interaction with the office and pubs people, other than at meals or some united activities in the evenings, as well as free days.
110.I think it's accurate to say that our Home is very quiet during the day, primarily so people can concentrate on their office work. But also, now that many of our Home members have grown in the use of their gift of prophecy, at various times throughout the day there are teams or individuals having prayer and prophecy time, which also necessitates that the Home be kept fairly quiet. Also, while those in our Home do have united activities and watch movies regularly, and there are also dances during which everyone cuts loose and has a lot of fun, activities are not scheduled that often and there are no outreach pushes on the weekends, or any time for that matter. So this was a quiet lifestyle by comparison, and it was a very big change for them.
111.So you can see why it was such a big adjustment for these new arrivals, and I can understand completely why it was so difficult. Not only were the circumstances quite difficult to adjust to, but of course the Enemy was fighting them as hard as he could. He was trying to get them to quit, because he knew what a great blessing they would be in our Home and to the entire Family. So he tried to do everything he could to disillusion them or distract them or get them to throw in the towel before they even got started.
112.God bless our dear Home shepherds, Gabe and Amy, who spent many hours counseling with and praying for each of the girls during the first two or three months after their arrival. As they got more plugged into the work and started to see the need more and started to learn new ministries and feel more needed, they were a lot happier, and they started to believe that there really was a light at the end of the tunnel. (By the way, I want to clarify about how Gabe and Amy spent hours counseling the girls. They required much more shepherding in the beginning, but now they're learning to shepherd themselves more by going to the Lord and hearing from Him in prophecy. It's a good thing, too, because Gabe and Amy couldn't possibly have kept up that pace of such intense personal shepherding of the girls later when we received more newcomers who also needed personal attention.)
113.By explaining to you these various battles that Rebecca, Jenna and Yvonna experienced upon joining our Home, I hope you don't get the idea that living in WS is such a horrible experience and something to be avoided at all costs! Ha! Actually, it's quite exciting and challenging, and for those who are called to WS, it's a place of tremendous fulfillment. I believe if you were to ask Rebecca, Jenna or Yvonna now, they would agree with me.
114.In fact, after I said this, I decided to ask them this question, and here are their responses:
Yvonna: "Knowing that the Lord has called me to WS, with the added inspiration of working on pubs that will benefit the entire Family, is tremendously fulfilling."
Jenna: "Yes! It's true! If you are called to WS, once you find your niche, then doing pubs work and seeing your labors help get the Word to the Family is extremely fulfilling. It's comparable to burning free witnessing; you know that you're doing what you're supposed to, and that you're helping to win souls!" (Note: Of course all our WS personnel are vitally needed, whether they work on pubs or are involved in cooking, handyman, business, childcare or other ministries. Whatever they do, they're winning souls, because they're making it possible for others to do so.)
115. Our young people are doing very well, but I wanted you to understand the battles that they were up against because it helps you to appreciate the commitments and the progress they've made. After Yvonna, Rebecca and Jenna had been in our Home for three months, we had a little party to celebrate their stick-to-itiveness, victories, and the fact that they were overcoming the attacks of the Enemy which had been so strong. They had proven themselves to be real fighters and we were so proud of them, so Gabe and Amy organized a celebration, a little Home get-together one evening at dinner time.
116.Just as something different, instead of having a regular dinner, they served banana splits for dinner! (A first!--And by the way, this was all a surprise to the girls.) As everyone enjoyed their yummy ice cream delights, they had an informal little pow-wow or talk time in which Peter and other members of our Home, the older generation, shared how the girls had made our Home a better and happier place. It was a sweet time of appreciation as the older generation spoke from their hearts, commending the girls for the positive impact they'd had, not only on our Home, but on their personal lives as well.
117. The girls were very touched by this open display of love and appreciation, although they felt somewhat uncomfortable being in the spotlight. Here are some of the main points mentioned by the staff, some of which were brought up repeatedly.
--Because the girls sacrificed to communicate very honestly and openly, they brought fresh, new reactions to things and insights into how many of our young people on the field view our pubs, their peers, adults, shepherds, etc.
--Our new Home members helped us older WS workers to understand and to stay in close touch with the field Homes and what they're going through.
--The Lord has given the girls the gift of prophecy and they have used their gifts for the benefit of the Family, us here, each other and themselves individually.
--Our Home has been a lot more fun and lively since Jenna, Yvonna and Rebecca came.
--The young people inspired me with new enthusiasm, dedication, joy of the Lord and new life. They've sure helped me not to be an old bottle and have drawn me closer to all the young people in the Family.
--Yvonna, Rebecca and Jenna have had a change of mindset in certain directions since they first arrived, but their being here has also caused us of the older generation to have a change of mindset in different ways.
--It's been very interesting to see how young people in the Family think differently than the first generation. The young people's experiences and outlooks are very different. To hear from the girls on various key issues is refreshing and needed. It made me realize how much I don't know about our young people, and that's also been a big help.
--The girls have cheerful spirits. The first months were very difficult for them, but they were cheerful about it and real fighters. That has spoken to me a lot and is something that I need to do more myself.
--As an older woman in the Home, I had a lot of fears and jealousy regarding younger women. As a married woman, I felt so jealous and threatened by young women that I didn't even want to consider them coming to our Home. I would just freak out when I'd think about it. I was in bad shape. But the wonderful thing about having Yvonna, Rebecca and Jenna come is that I have learned, by God's grace, that I can be friends and co-workers and sisters with them, and be close and enjoy them. I can't tell you what a world of difference it has made in my life. Through their love and encouragement and friendship, by God's grace, I've been able to find a deliverance from that fear that gripped me. Before, it was like the young women in our Family were a faceless threat, and it was just horrible. But I didn't know what to do about it. I just couldn't get over it, even though I knew it was wrong. The girls' sweetness, love and dedication, and their love for the Lord, Mama, Dad and Peter made it so different for me. So from a personal point of view, it's been a wonderful thing.
--I don't know if we would have been able to get the Grapevine up and running without the girls' help. I don't see how we could have done it. So the Family owes the Grapevine to them!
--Also, they went over the covers for the Christmas CD. It was enlightening to sit with young people who had been out there distributing tools recently, to get their point of view.
--They're very friendly. Sometimes when you're an older guy you sort of feel like, "What do they think of me?" They put me at ease, and I didn't worry about that so much.
--I think the Lord knew that I personally, and our Home, needed youth to keep growing and not stagnate, to keep alive and fresh and changing! Otherwise we'd become a bunch of old geezers! You get up and you go to your desk early in the morning to work, you come out for lunch, go back to work, come out for dinner, go back to work. Having them here has been such a help for me personally. It's super!
--We have had more dance nights and more fun activities; we have lots more music playing in the kitchen. It's great!
--They work hard. They have the initiative and energy to tackle some big household jobs, like revamping the laundry room, making curtains, reupholstering the furniture that needed it, etc. They just get right in there and do it.
--The SGAs coming resparked my desire to personally count the cost. Am I being a new bottle for the Lord every day? What is a new bottle? What is an old bottle? What is being dedicated? What is sacrificing? (End of staff comments.)
118. Next, after that warm personal talk time, Peter read prophecies that we had received for the girls from the Lord, Dad, and the Austin teens. We had asked the Lord if He had anything to say about how much they had grown, and how they had held on and fought and won such big victories. We had seen it in their lives. The Lord was growing them up and maturing them and teaching them so much, so quickly. They were riding the wave and letting the Lord work in them as they flowed with the direction of His will. We knew He was so proud of them and so thankful for them, so for this little celebration we asked the Lord to give them something special that would encourage them, that would be a sign of His love to them. He gave beautiful words of commendation that were an encouragement to the girls.
End of 1996: Still Growing!--Three More Newcomers
119. In the last four months of 1996 we received three more young people--Louise, Darren and Rusty. This brought our total of second generation Home members up to seven. These three young people seemed to move into the WS lifestyle and their new responsibilities much more easily--probably for several reasons. Number one, they weren't coming directly from the excitement and high inspiration level of the Summit--which was the case for Rebecca, Jenna, and Yvonna--which is a very tough act to follow. Also, one of them had worked in a CRO office for several years, and the other had spent some time in an office as well. And I don't hesitate to admit that we had made various changes in our Home and in our way of operating to make it easier for the young people to feel welcome and at home. Also, the fact that there were already some other young people here probably made the adjustment easier.
120.As I mentioned earlier, it took a while for each of these young people to grow into their ministries and to find the work that they were best suited for. Something that usually happens when somebody comes to WS, and which is always a test, is that they almost always come from a situation where they have been very busy and have had responsibility and have felt very needed. Then they hear about the great need in WS and how much work there is to do, but when they finally arrive, it takes them a while to get plugged into work. This happens because it takes time for us to get to know them and find what specific work they'd be best suited for, and in the course of doing that we often give them an opportunity to help out in various ministries, jobs or pubs, etc. Also, because everybody is so busy it's difficult to even find the time to pass on the work to the new arrivals and to teach and train them and oversee them in their new ministries, which often require specialized training, especially pubs work.
121.Newcomers often battle in the first few weeks, feeling frustrated and wondering if they'll ever be needed or used or busy again. But we always tell them to just hang in there and have patience, because before long they'll probably be busier than they've ever been in their lives. And I think we've almost always found that to be true! That's definitely the case with these dear young people! Now each one has become such a valuable, integral part of our work, and each fills such an important ministry and position in our Home, that I honestly don't see how we could possibly do without them!
What Do the Young People Do?
122. I know you're probably wondering what the young people work on, so maybe I'll just give you a list here of some of the many responsibilities that are carried by these young people:
* The production and layout of the Grapevine.
* The production and editing of the WND.
* The production and layout of the Heaven's Library series.
* Editing and proofreading of FSMs and other pubs.
* Proofreading GNs.
* Traveling with Peter.
* Executive secretarial work.
* Helping with the proofreading, production and layout of some of the books that were published during 1997, including To Jesus--With Love I and II, From Jesus--With Love I and II, Junior Lifelines, the Junior Daily Breads (1-3), two FSM books, the Victory in Babylon book, the Kidz mag book, the Power and Protection book, and the Word Topics book.
* The ministry of prayer and prophecy.
* Secretarial work, transcribing prophecies, computer maintenance, kitchen work, handyman, shopping and driving.
* Communication with other WS units and CRO offices.
* Helping with Family business and administration.
* Writing to Family members upon my request to pass on personal prophecies.
* Working on a Family songbook.
And the list goes on and on and on!
123.We found our dear YAs and SGAs to be extremely capable, responsible and serious-minded. We've been very pleased with their work. They have not only been a tremendous blessing in their ministries, but also in our personal lives, as they truly have brought new life and spark to our Home. They're bright and full of new ideas. They get so excited about each new move of the Spirit, and their enthusiasm is contagious. Even our Home recreational activities--dances, game nights, inspirations, fellowships, various activities and outings--have become much more lively and unpredictable, and just downright more fun!
124.I want to reassure all you young people who are reading this Letter that while it did take some adjusting on the parts of these YAs and SGAs who joined our Home, and they did have to learn to live under the more restricted conditions of WS, that doesn't at all mean that they have lost their individuality or that they have gotten "old" in spirit. They're still free-spirited and radical, and that's one of the things we love the most about them!
125.Of course, we didn't expect them to stop being young people. We older folks didn't want to make them like us; we wanted them to be themselves! But we wanted to be molded and melted together with them as one team, one Family, one loving happy union.
The Secrets of Unity!
126. We went through so many precious experiences together which drew us close in spirit. Although our times of fellowship and recreation were very enjoyable, what really united us was our work together for the Lord. As we accepted each other and worked together, and as we grew to admire each other and see each other's gifts and talents, we became very united.
127.As the young people grew into their anointing and took on greater responsibilities, we of the first generation began to see them as the well-trained, well-prepared, mature, dependable soldiers they are. And as the young people understood more clearly all that the older ones had been through, they learned to appreciate the sacrifices they had made to live behind the scenes for so many years. They also began to recognize the wisdom of the older ones. As a result, our second generation members became more open, more appreciative of the older adults, and gained greater respect for them. The young people had to make a choice to become united with the older adults. They had to also make a commitment to enter into a closer relationship with them.
128.When we look back and try to analyze how it all happened, and think, "What was it that brought us together, that gave us such unity and love for one another?" I'd have to say that it was not any one thing, but it was a combination of many things. It was our working together for the Lord and our learning to respect others by seeing the load and responsibility they were willing to carry for the Lord and the Family. It was our sharing experiences in the Spirit together--praying together, hearing from the Lord together, following the movements of the Spirit together. It was our loving the Lord together intimately, our sharing sexually together (with those of age), our enjoying our times of get-out, recreation and fellowship together. It was our willingness to be honest and to open our hearts to each other.
129.All of these things worked together, and as time passed, we found that our love for each other grew. Our need for one another and our dependence on one another became so much more apparent, and the idea of two generations, the younger and the older, became less and less important. We were all becoming one--One Wife--as we lived together, worked together, loved together, prayed together, obeyed together and stepped out by faith together.
130.You just can't help but love and respect someone more when you see them make difficult choices and humble themselves to follow the Lord and obey. For example, we learned to appreciate each other more when we saw the willingness of the others to do the humble thing and obey in such things as receiving stories from the spirit world after the Lord gave the revelation published in "Spirit Stories!--Parts 1 and 2." (See GNs 733 and 737.) It also caused us to respect one another when we would see each other striving to exercise our gifts of prophecy, both personally and in public meetings. And we couldn't help but love each other more when we'd see our loved ones humble themselves to ask for public united prayer when they needed help to overcome their weaknesses or battles with such things as jealousy, pride, sensitivity, negative thinking, unyieldedness, etc.
131.It was also a big step when the young adults (21 and over), decided to begin having dates with the older generation. The wonderful intimacy and heart-to-heart communication that came about as a result of the sexual sharing was precious, and I'm convinced that it had a lot to do with bringing about the great unity and oneness that we now experience. In addition, the close interaction, fellowship and heart-sharing brought about as a natural result of our sexual sharing has helped both young and old make it over the hurdles as we grow closer in love.
This Greater Unity Is for You!
132. My concern is that upon reading this testimony of Peter's and my Home, you might feel like it doesn't quite relate to you, that you could never do this, that the two generations in your Home could never be melted and molded together like this. So I asked the Lord if He could explain what it was that brought about this wonderful unity and love that we experience between the young and the old, and whether you can have it, too, and if so, how. Following is the message He gave, which can also be applied to all of us and our relationships with each other, no matter what age we are or what Home we live in:
133.(Jesus speaking:) Great is the union of the children of David in the house of the king and queen! Such great blessings, such great unity, such great love! But all this is a work of My Spirit, a gift that I have freely given to these, My loved ones, as a reward for their yieldedness, humility and desire to please Me.
134.Each one has had to make a choice--many choices--to become the new creature that I would that he or she be. This remaking of a man requires leaving the old behind and wholeheartedly receiving the new. It requires great honesty and a willingness to communicate heart to heart. It requires stick-to-itiveness and not getting discouraged when things don't always go well. It requires great faith that what I have promised, I am able to perform. It requires great yieldedness and taking the step to say, "Not my will, O Lord, but Thine be done!" It requires surrender, as you trust others with your heart. It requires a daily forsaking of your besetting sins of selfishness, pride, jealousy, or comparing. It requires drinking in the New Wine and being filled to overflowing with My Spirit.
135.You may think, "Oh, such great requirements! This is far above me. I could never attain to such perfection!" And in this you speak the truth, for you are mere weak human beings, full of faults and frailties, easily led astray by your own thoughts, lust, and selfishness. But I can give you, and I desire to give you, My perfect love which passes understanding and supersedes all your natural inclinations and limitations. This is a union that cannot be wrought in the arm of the flesh, for it requires the supernatural working of My Spirit. The foundation of such a union is My love, and the instructions, guidelines and safeguards for such a union are found in My Word.
136.So you do not need to worry or fear that you can't make it,that it's too much for you, that you just don't have what it takes.Because don't you see?--It's not in you! The power, grace, strength and love you need is not in you, but I can give it to you, and I will give it to you, if you'll only look to Me in desperate prayer and step out by faith in obedience and yieldedness to do what I have asked you to do, to the best of your ability.
137.(Mama:) I hope that's a relief to you, my dear Family, to realize that you don't have to do it. You can't do it! But the Lord can! As you read on, I think you will be encouraged to see that those of us in my Home have our problems, too--lots of them! We're certainly not perfect! But what the Lord's done for us, He can do for you!
138. (Message from Jesus continues:) I look at the precious ones in the house of the king and queen, and I see that they are men and women of both generations just like you. They have their battles, weaknesses, temptations, besetting sins, NWOs. They have their bad days and their moments of unyieldedness. They have their personality clashes. Everything doesn't always run perfectly smoothly in the house of the king and queen, because I have chosen weak men and women to do My bidding. These are not strong in themselves, nor abundantly gifted with gifts, talents and skills that are so extraordinary that each is head and shoulders above his brethren. But I have called these--My weak ones--out from among their brethren, and I have made of them an example.--Not of their own power and their own strength, gifts and abilities, but of My power and the strength of weakness and the power of yieldedness and the reward of prayer and obedience.
139.(Mama:) You may think that we're all spiritual giants and perfect people handlers that can't relate to you, but that's not true! You'd probably be surprised if you were to come to our Home. You'd find a lot of ordinary Family members. They are sweet and loving, but they're not brilliant super geniuses or anything like that! Those in my Home are somewhat specialized in a certain ministry, which for the most part is pubs work or the gift of helps, but they're not exceptional in all areas. In fact, many are rather shy and would probably have a very difficult time doing what you do! Some of them probably compare themselves negatively to you on the field in many ways!
140.And our Home doesn't always run like clockwork. You should ask Gabe and Amy!--They could tell you that there are many difficulties and lots of problems to sort out. Like the Lord brings out in the above prophecy, sometimes there are misunderstandings in our Home; people get upset or sensitive. People sometimes get miffed at one another. The communication isn't always flowing. There are some "rubs" between the two generations, or between those of the same generation. Those in my Home have their besetting sins, their weaknesses. They make mistakes, they get discouraged, they aren't always perfect examples of love and consideration. The older adults in our Home aren't perfect, and neither are the young people. In fact, we're all very imperfect! We all have our problems, but the point to remember is that the Lord, in His mercy, has helped us and used us in spite of our imperfections.
141.You might say to yourself, "Oh come on, Mama! How can you say that the people in your Home are 'ordinary Family members' who are not smarter or more gifted or better people handlers than the people in my Home? They've lived with you and Dad and Peter! They've been trained by you! They've had so many advantages that we don't have! Your Home has got to be different!"
142.I don't argue that those of my Home have seen good, loving samples in their leaders and co-workers. And it is true that we are blessed to be working with others who are very dedicated and who want to do their best for the Lord. So I must admit that if your Home is weighed down with a majority of people who are extremely selfish, independent and doubting the Word, then there will be a difference; it will be more difficult for you, that's for sure! If many of the people in your Home are off doing their own thing, or if most of you are not striving to be united, to read the Word, to go witnessing, to keep a good standard for the training of the children, then your Home probably is pretty different than mine. I am truly sorry about that.
143.In the preceding prophecy when the Lord says, "I look at the precious ones in the house of the king and queen, and I see that they are men and women of both generations just like you," He is making a comparison between you, my dear ones on the field, who are yielded and doing your best, and the dear ones in my Home, who are also yielded and doing their best. The point He is making is that if we're all obedient, believing and receiving the Word, and stepping out by faith to live the New Wine; if we're trying, if we're determined and committed to make things work between the two generations, then He can make up for our limitations and handicaps. He can then bless us and use us all to our full capacity, and make it so it won't make much difference to us where we live or what our physical circumstances are. If we're trying to learn to communicate with each other and get along with one another, then the Lord will come through for us all, whether here in my Home, or in a big busy Service Home, or in a small pioneer Home in a far-flung missionary field! What matters is not the particular circumstances of our Homes, but our spirits. That's what the Lord looks at.
144.I wanted to make sure I was seeing this correctly, so I asked the Lord for a confirmation. I think His answer will be a very big encouragement to you, if you're willing to believe it!
145.(Jesus speaking:) The greatest training comes not from being face to face with the king or queen, but from Me, via the Word. You don't have to have lived with or even met or seen My king and queen to know their spirits, to see their love, to feel their concern. You don't have to be in their Home to partake of their tender shepherding. It's all right there in the Word. You can have it, too--all of you! The Letters the king and queen send you are their personal love letters to you. It's as if you were in their presence hearing them speak to you and you alone. So it's up to you how much of the training, example and advantage of knowing the king and queen you receive, absorb and benefit from.
146.If you want to grow in love, unity and strength in the Spirit, if you want to be a new bottle, fresh, happy and free, then look to their samples. Look into their faces, as you see them reflected in the printed Word. It's there for you. And if you seek with open hearts, with faith, and you put into practice what you read, you will be amazed at the change it will bring about in your personal lives, your relationships with others, your marriages and your Homes. Everyone can know the king and queen. They have made their lives open books for you. But it's up to you to read that book with open, willing hearts. If you do, you'll have what you need. (End of message from Jesus.)
The Nature of Youth!
147.(Mama:)Next the Lord gives some interesting insight into the nature of young people and why they are the way they are. So for any of you of the older generation who are a little confused or at a loss as to how to get along with those of the second generation, this next portion of the Lord's message might be a help, or even a revelation!
148.(Jesus speaking:) I'm so proud of these of the younger generation in the house of the king and queen, because they have been willing to become new creatures in My hand. They are full of youth and zeal and enthusiasm. They are unique in their reactions and likes and dislikes. They have a zest for life and a desire for change. They like to break out of ruts and do things new ways. They're looking to the future, always looking for new horizons, new challenges, new adventure. This is the nature that I have put in the heart of My young ones, to always want something new and to seek change and to look to the future, so that they might be the new blood that brings constant renewal of life to My revolution, to the children of David.
149.Sometimes it's hard for you older ones to understand the young people. They seem extreme or so prone to exaggerate or overreact. They're so easily excited, and their feelings, emotions and ups and downs in life are sometimes so difficult to harness and control or understand. So if you find yourself baffled and at wits' end and not knowing how to help the young people through their growing pains, don't worry or get frustrated or think you've done something wrong. Just realize and constantly remind yourself that these extreme emotions, desires, and reactions are part of the nature of youth that I have placed in their hearts, and that I use it to bring about change, and to help keep the children of David from cooling down and solidifying and dying, as have the churches.
150.(Mama:) That's pretty interesting, isn't it! So the next time the young people in your Home are riding the proverbial emotional roller coaster, or if they're moody or getting all bent out of shape about something, or they're weeping about something that doesn't seem like such a big deal to you, remind yourself of these words from the Lord. Young people are different from us older folks, and that's the way the Lord wants it! He made them that way! And we should thank the Lord for the differences, because that's one of the ways the Lord keeps us all young and changing and alive!
151.Maybe that helps you young people understand yourselves and your own reactions and inner struggles better. But I also want to clarify that this counsel doesn't mean that everything you do, think and believe is right, and you can just let your natural man go unchecked. Check out these next paragraphs. The Lord's talking about the specific ways the young people in our Home changed as they yielded to His Spirit and became the kind of disciples He wanted them to be, but this instruction is for you, too!
Our Young People Had to Yield, Grow and Change!
152.(Message from Jesus continues:) But this is not license for those of the younger generation to do as they please or to think what they will without restraint or instruction from their elders. Once again, I turn your eyes to the example of the young ones in the house of the queen and king, for they have found fulfillment and happiness because they have opened themselves up to their shepherds and co-workers and have been willing to receive their counsel, and also the counsel of the New Wine and the Words that I speak to them on a regular basis through their personal channels, their intimate link with Me.
153.They have been willing to receive correction and been willing to hold on even when things seemed pretty hopeless from their point of view. They have been willing to give those of the older generation the benefit of the doubt, and have not been deceived by their first impressions or by the Enemy when he tried to get them to look critically at those of the older generation.
154.These YAs and SGAs have proven themselves worthy of great honor. They have taken the low seat, so I have been able to lift them up to places of great responsibility and trust. They have listened, they have received, they have learned, and they have obeyed. They have been willing to humble themselves before the king and queen, their shepherds, the older generation and their peers, and this humility has been the key that has opened the door for great riches of My Spirit and great reward for their labors.
155.They were willing to enlarge the borders of their tent, going beyond the fellowship of just other young people and their little clique. And as they took the step of faith to reach out to those of the older generation round about them, they soon discovered to their surprise and to their great pleasure that they could enjoy the fellowship of the older ones, that it could be fun and feeding, and it broadened their horizons. They were able to talk about different things that didn't usually come up in their conversations with their friends, and they were able to benefit from the experience and consequent wisdom of their older co-workers and companions. Soon they began to seek out the fellowship and companionship of those of the older generation and to look forward to it, just as they did to their times with their friends of their own generation.
156.Listening, communicating and heart-sharing all became a pleasure. Lesson-sharing and sexual sharing became easier as well. It was not something that they felt obligated to do. It became natural. Of course, to reach this place took time, and it took building trust and relationships, and learning to feel free to share their hearts with one another. But it would not have been possible had not these young warriors taken the first important steps of humbling themselves and being open and receptive and desirous of this new move of My Spirit.
157.Had they not had humility, a vacuum to learn, and open-mindedness, then I would not have been able to work in their hearts, and I would not have been able to perform such a miracle of My Spirit. They took the first steps, they did what they could do, and I did the rest. And great, I say, is their reward! I am so proud of them, and for this reason, I can lift up those whom I have called to the house of the king and queen as an example, as proof that My Word works. They demonstrate that the vision I put before you this day is possible, in spite of your own weaknesses, faults and frailties, because this is a union built first and foremost on My love. (End of message from Jesus.)
158.(Mama:) I admit that this long list of the ways our dear YAs and SGAs yielded and grew may look like a pretty tall order. It's truly miraculous! I think maybe the first reaction of you young people and adults might be to think we've got some "goodie-goodie" types here, but you can rest assured that our young clan here are pretty bold, strong characters! But their love for the Lord, Peter and me, and you, dear Family, has motivated them to become what the Lord wants them to be. Why don't you read back over the above six paragraphs and see if the Lord is speaking to you about any of these things, any ways that you might need to yield, grow and change?
159.When one of our SGA CROs read an unfinalized version of this GN she commented, "Perhaps the Lord would have something additional to say to the young people to help them understand the nature of the first generation more. The prophecy about the nature of youth so perfectly expresses, with such wonderful insight from the Lord, how the first generation can learn to understand, love and accept the second generation as they are. Personally, I think that if there was a message from the Lord on the other side of the coin to help the young people understand and therefore appreciate the first generation more, it would be very helpful."
160.I thought that was a great idea, and when we brought this request before the Lord He had the following very interesting message to give:
161. (Jesus speaking:) It is the nature of those who are older to be more cautious, to move more slowly, more prayerfully, to count the cost. This is a natural outgrowth of having responsibility--being responsible for children, bills, deadlines--and having to deal with the repercussions, either good or bad, of the decisions made. It's not that young people have not also been responsible. They too have had to care for children, pay bills, and meet deadlines, but they have not had to do so as much, nor for such a long period of time. So they lack the experience of carrying heavy responsibilities over the long term.
162. People who are young live more in the moment; they don't always see the future or the big picture. They only see the immediate circumstances, what's happening at that moment. They have more of a tendency to be completely engrossed in what is happening right then--either the pleasure and the excitement, or the battle and the sadness they feel. Whereas older people have learned to put things more in perspective, therefore they usually are not so impulsive and their emotions do not swing so wildly from one side to the other.
163.They're usually willing to give things time, to see how situations develop, and they're not often so easily affected by disappointment or a change of plans or something that doesn't necessarily go as they had hoped. They have learned through experience that things seem to have a way of balancing themselves out. They have found that if they are asked to make a sacrifice in one area, with time I will bless them and I will more than make up for it. Therefore those of the older generation are usually less affected by day-to-day events, and it's easier for them to keep the long-term vision.
164.Many of the older generation have also raised many children, and this has caused them to be naturally more sacrificial and less self-centered. Through years of having to forsake their free time, their sleep, their personal preferences, their hobbies, sports, and daily desires, they have developed a better perspective on what lasts, and they have seen that even though they have had to make those sacrifices, it has been well worth it. They have also usually experienced more revolutions, more hardships, and more persecution--all of which has caused them to have a deeper, stronger faith.
165.But because of their many years of serving Me, their much sacrificing, and the enormous number of tests and trials that they have endured, they have also become battle-weary in many cases. They're tired of the fight, tired of the lack of predictability in their lives, the lack of constancy. Many of the older generation, as they move toward the sunset years, desire things to be a little more settled down, a little more secure. Many have more physical afflictions or weaknesses; they don't sleep as well and find it difficult to get the exercise they need, so they lack the physical strength that they once had. Of course, this is a disappointment and a battle to many, but is something that they must accept.
166.As they see their physical strength and the beauty of their outward appearance waning, many suffer periods of discouragement or depression, because they know that they are not as well equipped in the physical in these later years as they were in their youth. So those of the older generation long to be appreciated and needed and looked up to for the things of the spirit, because they know that the riches of the spirit do not fade away. They want to be teachers; they want to be able to pour out; they want to be understood and needed and loved. They don't want to compete with the younger generation, and they don't want to be young again themselves, for they are thankful that they have passed through those difficult years. They do, however, long for a place of growth where they, too, can feel challenged. Being able to invest in the riches of the spirit, being able to share the lessons they've learned and the experience they've had with others is the key to joy for those of the older generation.
167.You who are young might see those who are older as inflexible and crotchety, as conservative and unchanging. You don't like the way they seem to put a damper in the spirit on new ideas or projects by wanting to fully consider all sides of the investment of time, money and personnel. So many of the older ones' ways are difficult for you to understand, and you see them as weaknesses. But remember that that is the nature of those who are older--to be more cautious, more careful, more prayerful, to move more slowly, and to make sure that each step is a sure step and a fruitful step. (End of message from Jesus.)
168.(Mama:)I hope that helps you young people to understand the adults better. It serves as a good reminder to all of us to be more sympathetic to and appreciative of those of the first generation. Praise the Lord!
The Older Generation Had to Be Willing to Move Over!
169.I'm not naďve; I know these changes will take time and be difficult for some. There's a very big generation gap in some places, where there are strong undercurrents of pride, bitterness, resentment, criticism, defiance, rebellion, and other negative attitudes that drive the younger generation apart from the older. But it doesn't have to be that way. You can be the first one to step out, to strive for better unity without looking back to see if anyone else is going to follow. Jesus is saying to you, "What is that to thee? Follow Me!" Will you do it for Jesus? For me? For each other?
170.Of course, it takes change, understanding and a united effort on the side of both the older and the younger generations. Over the last two years, the older ones in our Home have gone through their share of revolutions, too, as the Lord explains in this next prophecy.
171.(Jesus speaking:) The older adults in the house of the king and queen have also been tested, tried and purged, as they stepped forth to partake of this greater unity. They, too, have had their breakings and have been asked by Me to make many changes in their lives. It was not easy for these faithful older veterans to move over and make way for these young, fresh, talented newcomers. Of course, in many ways those of the older generation were set in their ways. They had a certain way of doing things which worked well and they were comfortable with it, but they had to learn to be flexible and to be willing to try new things. They couldn't hold on to their old way of doing things, but they, too, had to be willing to humble themselves and yield and receive from their younger co-workers.
172.But their greatest test was being willing to move over and to share the load wholeheartedly with these young ones, and to trust, if not in their capability, gifts, talents and training, then to at least trust in the anointing that I would place upon these young ones to be able to do the job that they were called to do. For My plan would not have come to completion, and My vision would not have been fulfilled had these of the older generation not been willing to move over and to trust into the care of these younger ones a large portion of their work and responsibility.
173.They didn't just expect these younger ones to serve them and to do the "little jobs" without authority or decision-making power, but after a time of training and testing, major projects and great responsibility were placed into the hands of these young ones. They felt the weight of the responsibility on their shoulders and they knew it was up to them to be prayerful and to seek Me diligently, consistently and desperately.
174.If these young ones had come in and were only given a little work here or there, or a little responsibility here or there, it would not have helped to lighten the load of these precious older ones who had for so long carried the whole load. Now with the work growing and expanding with so many new projects, and the Word being poured forth so abundantly, it had become virtually impossible for the older ones to keep up with it, and it was becoming a tremendous stress and strain for them physically and spiritually. But had they not been willing to move over and to share the spotlight and the honor and the glory with these younger ones, then My plan would have been defeated. Had they tried to hold on to all of their major projects and work, had they tried to do it all themselves while just meting out a little here and there to these young ones, there would have been nothing but frustration on all sides--with the older ones tenaciously trying to guard their place, and the younger ones eagerly trying to find their place.
175.So much of the success and happiness of this union is due to the willingness of those of the older generation to move over, and their readiness to admit that they couldn't do it all. Of course, this was not easy, and they had the temptation to compare or to feel jealous or even to feel intimidated by the very bright, talented young people, who in many ways seemed much stronger and more capable for the job. But these, My precious older brides, were willing to trust Me and to believe My Word. They were willing to step aside and to allow these young newcomers to share the load. They took them under their wing and taught and trained them and prepared them for this day, now, when they are able to carry great responsibilities, and they have become key pillars in the house of the king and queen.
176.Those of the older generation also had to break down the walls of their clique, for they had been together for many years and were very comfortable with one another and knew each other well. So of course it took much more effort, prayer, love and consideration to get to know and become close to these new Home members who they had never met before, and who had such varied backgrounds, and who had experienced such different upbringings and ministries. They were fresh from the field and they had much important, needed input; they had much to share about the viewpoints of the young people and the conditions of the field. Had these older ones not been open and receptive and hungry to hear this input, then much would have been lost. It would have been easy for those of the older generation to close themselves off to the opinions, suggestions and comments of these young ones, for many times they were presented strongly, even harshly and offensively. But these faithful ones, My long-time laborers in WS, were willing to take it, because they wanted to yield and to become one with these, My new brides.
177.I am so proud of My veteran soldiers for their yieldedness and receptivity, for their willingness to take the low seat, to listen, to try to understand and to make many, many changes--not only in their mode of operation or their work habits, or even the projects that they worked on, but also in their personal lives, their likes and dislikes, and their ways of interacting with others.
178.These precious older men and women prayed desperate prayers. They came before Me in tears, asking Me to help them to be what they needed to be. They didn't want to stand in the way of what I was doing. They didn't want to be old bottles. And for this reason I was able to work mightily in their lives. They sought Me diligently through the written Word, they came before Me to hear from Me in prophecy, and I spoke to them and led them and strengthened them step by step.
179.So now the testimony of this happy union is largely due to the yieldedness of these, My strong older soldiers. They yielded, they said yes, they let go of the past and embraced the future. They were willing to walk down new paths that were unfamiliar to them, without even necessarily knowing the destination. They were willing to put their hand in Mine and trust that I would be more to them than a light and better than a known way. And now you see the great reward that I have given them for their labors and their yieldedness and their submission to My will!
180.(Mama:) As you can see, the older members of our Home had much to overcome. It hasn't been easy for them either. The key is that they didn't want to fail the Lord or stand in the way of what He was doing, so they were willing to just take a deep breath and move forward, by faith, with the wild wind of the Lord's Spirit!
181.I know many of them were nervous. They feared that the young people might not like them. They wondered if they'd lose their ministry that was so precious to them. They felt rather inferior and jealous or threatened. But they didn't let that stop them. They took a risk, not knowing the future, and they moved over. They knew they couldn't possibly do it all, and they didn't pretend that they could! They tried to welcome the young people with open arms, even if they had to do so by faith in the beginning. And the Lord rewarded them and it wasn't long before they realized that their fears were unfounded, and soon they were happier than ever! Some of the older Home members took on new ministries and responsibilities, and others continued on in the same ministry, but in all cases they worked side by side with the young people. The Lord also opened up entirely new ministries for the young people, such as the Grapevine and Heaven's Library, new books and other jobs, creating an even greater workload!
182. The older generation learned to take the sometimes exaggerated comments or slight criticisms of the young people without making a big deal about such things. They had to learn to adapt and to not overreact to some of the young people's responses or reactions, or likes and dislikes. Sometimes it's just not worth making an issue of something if it's not really important.
183. But the young people also had to tolerate things that the adults did that weren't particularly their cup of tea. One of the young people in our Home said, "We of the second generation went along with some things the adults did just for the sake of unity. I know that doesn't sound too good, but I can think of several things that I thought were strange or quirky, or still do--just adult things that young people don't particularly care for--but I went along with them. So it works both ways. Each generation has to give the other the benefit of the doubt and not react too heavily or get freaked out about things. However, young people aren't generally known for their tolerance of the older generation, and if they aren't, then you're never going to have strong unity. It's not bad to just tolerate some things; you don't have to make a fuss about everything that you dislike about a person or situation, or that isn't right up your alley." (End of comment from a young person.)
184. To become unified, you'll just have to realize, as this SGA brought out, that it requires a lot of bending, give and take, and learning to just tolerate some differences, if they aren't that important and aren't contrary to the Word or don't contravene the Charter.
Working Side by Side!--There's No Unemployment in Our Kingdom!
185.When you older Family members think of "moving over" for the younger generation, that may not be very attractive or appealing to you, because you may equate moving over with being left behind, or with having nothing to do or no longer being needed. I think this is a natural reaction, one which many of you are probably feeling already. But I want to explain that to move over for your new teamworkers, companions, friends and co-workers of the younger generation should not mean that you lose your place or are left behind, while they go on growing leaps and bounds without you. The point is for the older and younger to work together side by side. The ideal or the goal is that when you move over, you make room for the younger ones to stand beside you, to work with you, to share the load and the burdens, to carry the responsibility, so that together we can do more and bear more fruit for the Lord.
186.One of the keys to the younger ones being happy and challenged is for you older ones to be willing to delegate greater responsibility to them, and with that responsibility, greater decision-making authority. Yes, it's true that in the beginning, as those of the second generation move into places of greater responsibility, they will need a time of training and a time of closer oversight. But the end that we are all seeking is that with time, as quickly as possible, the young ones will be able to carry the load, make the decisions with prayer and counsel, and lighten the load of the older generation. The older ones are overburdened and feeling the stress and strain of too much to do and too much responsibility--not to mention the discouragement that comes when you know that some things, people or ministries are being neglected because you're too busy or too tired to take care of everything that needs to be done.
187.We have a wealth of manpower, talent, strength, enthusiasm, determination and fresh ideas at our fingertips in the younger generation! Please ask the Lord to help you to see that there is so very much that we have to do that no matter how much training the younger ones get, no matter how much is delegated to them, there will still be plenty for everyone to do--plenty of important work! Our most important ministries of witnessing, follow-up, childcare, training of the JETTs and teens, Consider the Poor ministries, and shepherding and Home care are so complex and time-consuming that there is certainly no unemployment in our Kingdom, thank the Lord!
188.We are not like earthly governments or companies that are downsizing, letting go of their older employees and replacing them with the younger, fresher, stronger, new college graduates. The Lord knows, and Peter and I know, and I hope all of you know, that you of the older generation have so much to offer in the way of experience, wisdom, faith and understanding, that we couldn't possibly do without you!
189.So you shouldn't feel threatened by the talent, drive, and initiative of the young people. Unlike the older employees of System companies who have to compete with young college graduates who are often trained in areas that the older ones not only know little about but even feel intimidated by, the training of our adults doesn't grow old or get outdated, because your training is mainly in the Spirit. As you continue to be moldable and yielded and to receive the New Wine, your years of experience and faith and your deep lessons of the Spirit and of living for the Lord become even more valuable, and something which should be much sought after by our younger generation. And, of course, there's plenty of work for all, so there's no unemployment in the Family. Praise the Lord!
190.So please, YAs and SGAs, when you see the first generation adults moving over to make a place for you to stand side by side with them, I hope you will realize that this is a step of faith and a sacrifice for them. But they are willing to do it by faith, trusting the Lord, because they know that you are the future of the Family, and that only as we work together can we accomplish the Lord's will. They need you, but you also need them. We need each other.
191.Let's not look at this move of the Spirit with the impression that some will move forward and others will move back, that some will go on to promotion, to greater fruitfulness, to more recognition and authority, while others are left behind or forgotten or are no longer as needed. Let's look at this greater unity with the understanding that you of the younger generation are now stepping up to take your place beside the older veterans of the first generation who are tried and proven, strong, faithful, valiant warriors!
192.Also, YAs and SGAs, please give those of the first generation the respect that is their due, and honor them as your elders in the Lord. You might have different gifts and talents, and you probably are stronger physically and perhaps have the aptitude to learn certain things more quickly than your older co-workers. But these of the first generation have many precious gifts that can only be learned through time, testing and experience. They have endured, they have fought the good fight, and they have stuck through thick and thin! They have been broken and have fallen time and again, and yet they continue to get up and fight on!
193.I would venture to say that for the most part, those of the older generation see their need for you young ones more than you see your need for them. So you'll have to put forth a special effort and ask the Lord to give you great understanding, patience, and a hunger and vacuum to learn. I promise you that the more respectful you are, the more you love, honor and appreciate your older teamworkers and co-workers, the more willing they will be to relinquish some of their responsibility and authority into your hands, the more willing they will be to trust you, and the more willing they will be to see you grow and mature and take on more and more responsibility.
194.So remember, when the older generation "moves over" for those of the second generation, that means you stand side by side as you seek the Lord in prayer together, hear from Him in prophecy together, witness together, love together, win victories together, sacrifice together, fight the Enemy together, overcome together, and win the world for Jesus together!
The Secret of Success!
195.(Message from Jesus continues:) All of this, My precious Family, is a work of My Spirit, and it is not out of your reach. You may feel that this example is not relatable to you. You may feel that the members of the Home of the king and queen are more spiritual than you are, that they're better, more talented, smarter, more yielded, etc. You of the older generation may feel that surely their young people must be different or somehow easier to work with, more adaptable and moldable. You of the younger generation may feel that the older ones in Mama's Home must know more about how to relate to the younger generation and how to become one. But these in the house of the king and queen had many of the same problems to overcome with their personality clashes, the needing to learn to communicate, their feeling uncomfortable or awkward at first, and their having to trust Me for their place of service. They are weak in themselves. They too have their insecurities, their NWOs, their problems that kept coming up. But they tried to go on the attack to progress, learn and grow. [And they continue to fight to improve in their weak areas.] So the secret to their success was not in themselves, but it was in their coming to Me, depending on Me and yielding to Me.
196.They wanted their union to succeed. They desired with all their hearts to make it work. Each made a commitment, so they were willing to work through the rough spots and to hang on and trust Me for the victories. Believe Me, the joy and intimacy they now enjoy was not just dropped in their laps without their having to work for it, pray for it, and desire it with all their hearts.
197.I want you to know and believe, My precious Family, that if this closer relationship between the two generations works in the house of the king and queen, it can also work for you! This is a testimony of the miracle-working power of My Spirit. This is the proof of the strength of My love. It is yours for the asking. It is yours to be received by faith.
198.If you do your part, I will do My part. Come to Me in desperate prayer and ask Me for the yieldedness; ask Me to change your hearts. Search My Word for the answers you need. Hear from Me in prophecy for the specific personal instruction and encouragement that you desire. Step out to communicate, to humble yourselves, to share your lives with one another, to share sexually. Share not only the load of the work that I have given you to do, but also the authority, the responsibility and the decision-making power. Enjoy My Word together and the wonders of My Spirit through united prayer, prophecy and putting the New Wine into practice. Take the low seat and serve one another in love. Great will be your reward, My precious brides! (End of message from Jesus.)
One Step Closer to Heaven!
199.(Mama:) I hope that you don't feel worried, burdened, flustered, or discouraged in any way as you're coming to the end of this GN. I understand that this move of the Spirit to have more unity not only between the two generations but between those of the same generation might take some getting used to. But I also know that as you throw yourself on the Lord and cast all your cares on Him, He'll wash away any fears and concerns, and He'll give you that supernatural anointing of faith that will make everything much easier.
200.The sweet unity in our Home is made in Heaven. But you know what? Your unity is made in Heaven as well--but perhaps you just haven't yet had the opportunity to invest the time and attention and love into it to make it flourish. And flourish it will, if you have the right foundation--His love and Word, prayer and humility, and a great desire to please Him and do His will. I know He's not going to let you down, and by God's grace you're not going to let Him or each other down.
201.This is the beginning of a bright and wonderful future! This is the first step of an exciting journey. We've only just begun!
202.If you've been feeling tired, weary, battle-worn, discouraged, shell-shocked from the attacks of the Enemy, and if you're wondering how you can make yet another major revolution in your life, then I want to encourage you to see this not as another burden, but as the answer to your prayers. You don't have to do it alone; you have many wonderful co-workers, friends, companions and fellow servants of the Lord who love you and want to help you--those of both the older and the younger generations! We're in this together, and we're going to make it together.
203.This is a foretaste of Heaven, beloved. Listen to what Dad said to our Home, but which also applies to you:
204.(Dad speaking:) What the Lord has done over the past couple of years, and what I've been helping you do in leading and guiding you, is trying to help you all to become more like those in Heaven, more like we are over Here. What He's done in showing you how to love Him intimately, how you're His beautiful, wonderful Bride--that's a little taste of Heaven. All the beautiful things that He's been pouring out--His Words, His seeds in such abundance--are helping you to know Him more, to see things more as He sees them, to be closer to Him, and through that, be closer to Heaven and have your eyes more on the goal. And this greater unity is just one more thing that He's done to bring you closer to Heaven, because this is how it is over Here. This is one step closer. And that's what it can be--a little bit of Heaven right here.
205.He wants to show the whole Family, but He has to start somewhere, so He's starting there with you, Mama and Peter, and all you willing volunteers. We're really proud of you! Just follow step by step, and we'll show you and help you each step of the way. It's going to be a wonderful, wonderful blessing to many. It's going to help pull you through the days ahead. You're going to really need it. So do what you can now, the things that the Lord shows you--the little yieldings, the little meltings together, the little things you can do to draw closer together--and it's going to bear wonderful, wonderful fruit! I love you! (End of message from Dad.)
206. (Mama:) Thank you, dear precious Family, for fighting! Please, no matter how many obstacles you have to confront, or how many seemingly insurmountable mountains you face, don't give up! We must fight with all our might to become a tightly knit, happy, united body. We must overcome the generation gap, which doesn't have to be inevitable or unavoidable or just the natural course of events between adults and young people--at least not for us, because we have the Lord! We have the greatest power in the universe on our side. All we have to do is tap in to it!
207.Jesus can help us overcome. He can do it! We just have to want it with all our hearts. Please, dear beloved Family, won't you fight together to overcome this inroad of the Enemy--the generation gap?! Our future as His strong Endtime army depends on us winning this victory! It might take some time, and I know there will be setbacks, tests, battles and times when you feel like quitting. But just remember the Lord's promises that when we come to the end of ourselves, when we have nothing left, then He has a chance to show His mighty power through us and lead us on to be the conquering heroes that He wants us to be!
208.Peter and I and those in our Home are united with each other as One Wife in the Lord, but we're also united in spirit with you, dear Family. We love you and need you. We're so thankful and privileged to call you our Family, and we'll stand with you and fight by your side in sickness and in health, in poverty and in plenty, in times of peace and in times of persecution. We'll take the good with the bad, and hang on to the Lord with you, till death do us part! But even then we won't be apart, for we'll finally be united as one in that great, terrific Marriage Supper of the Lamb, when we'll finally know what it means to truly be One Wife, wholly and completely united as one with our wonderful Lover and Husband, Jesus. Praise the Lord!
209.I love you, my precious loves in the Lord!
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family