Home Children of God Publications New Year's Prayers and Goals--From Mama's Staff!

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(Intro from Mama:)

1. My dear Family, I would like to share something very special with you! I'd like to allow you a peek, not only into our Home, but into the lives and hearts of some of our dear staff members who have willingly agreed to share them with you.

2.Shortly after New Year's, Gabe and Amy held a meeting with the members of our Home, in which different ones, on a volunteer basis, shared a prayer request, their goals, or portions of the personal prophecy they had received for the coming year. Some shared them at that time with everyone, and others wrote theirs up later to be shared with you.

3.Although it was difficult for some of them to feel "on the spot," sharing their intimate feelings, thoughts,weaknesses and prayer requests with the body, I think everyone who did found that by doing so, they were not only "doing the humble thing" and thereby receiving the Lord's blessings, but they gained an incredible amount of support in the form of prayer, understanding, and help from the other members of the Home.

4.This meeting and the things which were shared later were such a blessing to us and our Home in helping us to get to know one another better and being able to feed from the wonderful Words the Lord had spoken to each one personally. It was also a special time of intimate fellowship with each other and our wonderful Husband. They were so helpful to us that we decided to share them with you too! We pray that they will be a blessing to you, and that you will not only be encouraged as you see that the members of our Home are just like you--with similar weaknesses, battles, trials, and victories they're fighting for--but that you'll also be strengthened by their personal messages from the Lord and the experiences and lessons that they share. We pray also that this sample of love and honesty will encourage you to humbly and honestly share your hearts with each other as well.

5.I love each of you, and pray you will have another wonderful year in His service as you learn and grow together, and become more and more what He wants you to be. May the Lord bless and strengthen you, and keep you close to Him always!

With much love, Mama

(The lighting was soft, and our living room furniture was pulled into a cozy circle. Each person had a small glass of wine for the occasion. We opened the meeting by listening to a couple of songs from the "Embrace" tape. Then Gabe prayed for our time together.)

6.(Gabe:) Thank You Jesus! How is everyone? I can start, and then we can go on to Amy, to give you all a chance to warm up. Actually, we have a list of names, in order, of each person who said they had something to share, so you won't be surprised when it's your turn. Does that make you feel better? (Adjusts reading light.) Is that in anyone's eyes? We wanted to have soft lighting, so when it's your turn to share yours, you might have to come over here so that you can have better light to read by. But that's better than having the overhead light on, isn't it?

7.Okay, thank You, Lord! The main thing the Lord said to me in my personal New Year's message was:

8. "With each new circumstance, each new bend in the path, these are opportunities to get My specific instruction and direction as to what I want you to do. Along the road or the path there will be forks, there will be choices, there will be decisions to make, and you must stop and acknowledge Me and ask Me. For both will seem to lead to the same destination, but one will be the path of My perfect will, and another will be My will, but of lesser blessings and anointing. This is why at each fork in the road you must acknowledge Me."

9.(Gabe:) This is something the Lord continues to tell us--that we need to hear from Him in every situation.

10.(Message from Jesus continues:) For yes, this year is a year of challenges, obstacles and hurdles that will make you strong. If you stop at each obstacle or hurdle and acknowledge Me, asking Me to help you over the obstacle, over the hurdle, I will give you specific guidance. You'll have a tendency to say, "I've been over this hurdle before. I've overcome this obstacle," but as you attempt to hurdle it, you'll see that it is a new one, and that's why it's important that you acknowledge Me each step of the way. (End of message from Jesus.)

11.(Gabe:) Another thing the Lord said about my personal life was:

12."Worry not about the areas that you fall short in, for I look not at these. I have given all My children many ways that they can please Me--through praising, through singing, through loving, through prophesying, through absorbing My Word and living and applying it--and all these ways give you strength for the battles. Although you don't have time nor energy to do every one each day, you must continue to fight and strive to use each weapon and to be familiar with each weapon, so that you can wield it whenever you need it, depending on the circumstance, condition, or surroundings you're in. Although I understand if you cannot do them all each day, yet the more you do them, the more you make Me happy!"

13. (Gabe:) Sometimes I get a little lazy in hearing from the Lord, in my praise time, or in loving Jesus. Sometimes I get a little discouraged because there's so much to do and I feel I can't do everything--I can't keep up with all the Word I want to read, I can't memorize like I used to, I can't review like I used to, I can't keep up with all the pubs and all the new weapons. So sometimes I get a little discouraged and a little lazy and don't feel like doing anything. The Lord is saying I don't have to worry about all the areas I fall short in, but my prayer request is that I'll continue to strive and to fight to use the new weapons and do what He wants me to do, so that I'm familiar with the weapons that He's given us to use.

14.(Message from Jesus continues:) So don't be condemned if you feel you don't praise Me enough, you don't exercise your gift of prophecy enough, or you don't get in the Word enough. But strive to use these gifts, these weapons that I've given you, that you might have the strength that you need to overcome each obstacle, and that you might have the strength and anointing to continue in the path that I have chosen for you. (End of message from Jesus.)

15. (Gabe:) Besides my personal prayer for the New Year that I just shared, I'd like to share my prayer for our Home and staff. One of my prayers is that we as a Home can grow closer together and be more united. Not that everybody would lose their own individual personality and unique gifts and talents, but that although we're many members, we can be one body.

16.One way I'd like to see our Home become more united is through individuals being more honest and open with the body about battles they go through. Something I've noticed is that with the number of new additions to our staff, people are a little more reserved and not so open and honest with everybody about the things they go through. Of course, there are some personal battles that people go through that are not necessary to share with the whole body. But if we want to be one in spirit, we'll want to share as much as we can and be as honest and open as possible with each other in order to receive the support and prayer that we need.

17.In years past when we had a very small staff, we were a lot more open with each other. As the years went by, we got to know each other well and people weren't so fearful to ask for prayer for the areas that they battled in. Dad himself was a beautiful sample of coming and asking for united prayer for his drinking, and we laid hands on him and prayed for him, and the Lord delivered him and he didn't drink in his final years. Mama came also and asked for prayer against jealousy, as everybody knows. Peter asked for united prayer against jealousy and discouragement. He really battled at times, and he asked for prayer on a regular basis.

18.Linda asked for prayer after getting the "You Are Your Own Worst Enemy" talk. One of the handymen asked for prayer against different mistakes and being stubborn with Dad. I asked for prayer against severe jealousy battles. Amy asked for prayer against her jealousy battles. And the list goes on of things that we would ask for prayer for. Of course, everybody knew that they were rotters themselves, so they'd be very encouraging and say, "Oh, yes, I remember when that happened to me." This openness, which the Enemy always says is going to make people think less of you, actually brought us closer together.

19.In the past, when we would gather together for announcements and prayer requests or united prayer meetings, there seemed to be more unity, or at least people felt freer to express their feelings honestly with each other. But as the make-up of our Home has changed, I've noticed that even some of the old-timers who were previously very open are becoming more reserved. I think it is natural to not be as honest and open with those who you're not familiar with, because you don't know how they're going to react, but we need to fight this tendency to close up and not share our hearts.

20.Thank the Lord, we have progressed in this area in recent months, as different ones have requested united prayer. People have recently had prayer against discouragement, jealousy, sensitivity, negative thinking, loneliness, comparing, the Enemy's thoughts, fear and pride.

21.But I'd like to pray we can be more united, so that when the time comes for certain of our members to move on, they'll have the experience under their belt of knowing what can be done, and what is possible when they pray and seek to apply the Word in this area of sharing things honestly and humbly, and requesting united prayer and help. I know that it's going to require doing the humble thing in many cases.

22.I pray that we can learn to be more honest and open and not so fearful or worried about asking for united prayer for spiritual battles that we contend with. Don't worry, I'll be the first to ask for united prayer!

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23.(Amy:) The beginning of this year has been a very special time for me, because the Lord is letting me go through some intense personal battles. I think when you're shepherding, you often get so busy with others' problems, you don't really have much time for your own. But it seems the Lord wants me to be thoroughly refreshed in how it feels to be overwhelmed and discouraged and feel like quitting, to remember what jealousy feels like and all the rest of those types of battles, so that I can really and truly relate to the lessons that a lot of you here are going through--not only from the past lessons that the Lord has led me through, but from fresh, present-day experience. As you'll hear in the prophecy I'm about to read parts of, the Lord has a plan. And although it sounds like I'll continue to have battles during this coming year, He's given beautiful promises of help and victory, thank the Lord!

24.Maybe it will encourage some of you others to hear that you're not the only ones to expect to get some battles in the future, and we can fight together and help each other out when the going gets tough. I've always wanted to be a fighter, although I can't say I've loved the fight, but it does get more and more challenging as victories are won. This year I'd truly like to face the battles with a fighting spirit, using the wonderful new weapons the Lord has given us. We're so blessed in knowing how to fight, so maybe that's why the Lord isn't holding back but is telling us that it will be a fight, so we can jump right in and use our weapons--even practice ahead of time with them--so that when the tests come, it will be natural to use them and thus win the battles.

25.The message the Lord gave me speaks for itself, so I'll just read it:

26. (Jesus speaking:) Soft and tender is how I would have you to be in this coming year. And what can I use to accomplish My purpose? It must needs be sorrow and tribulation, which will keep you ever soft, ever fresh, ever drawing from the living fountains of My water that I send to refresh and renew you. It's the water of My Spirit that will wash you, that will create within you a clean heart each day. I will send it. I will pour it forth. It's not something that you will have to do. So don't listen to these words with a sinking heart, but let your heart be lifted with the thought that I will do it for you, My love. I, your Husband, will care for you; I will tenderly lead you along.

27.You'll be as the fresh earth, moist and brown, rich and full of nutrients, so that the plants planted therein will grow strong and healthy and bear much fruit. I must keep your earth moist with your tears, warm with the joy you receive from your intimate moments with Me. I will keep the earth from hardening in any way so that My waters can flow freely into you, that I might be able, through your yielded, warm and moist earth, to nourish the plants that I plant within your earth.

28.The more yielded you are, the softer and more receptive you are, the better I will use you, nourishing those within your realm. So fear not for the sorrows, the tests, and the battles, for they are to accomplish the purpose of keeping you ever soft and tender. It's easier this way--that you are broken daily, tested regularly--for then it doesn't take much for Me to keep the ground cultivated, nourished, and used. If you didn't have the constant tending, then your ground would harden and get crusty, and it would be far more difficult both for you and for Me. It would be difficult for you, for it would be much harder for My waters to penetrate you, to quicken your soil, and to bring forth life from it. And it would be more difficult for Me, for it would hinder My communion with you, and I would have difficulty penetrating the hard crust which would form.

29.So although this doesn't sound like a pleasant way to look ahead, in truth it is the easier way. It's the most rewarding, the most fruitful, and most beautiful. I will send the refreshing rain, the warmth of the sun, and in due season you'll bring forth much fruit! And in time of harvest, the sorrow of the past will all but be forgotten.

30.So be not weary in the battle, for the battles will not be greater than you're able to bear. I promise you, they will be My battles! I will fight for you and you will have your peace, if you but hold on to it. Your part is the holding on; Mine is the fighting and winning the battle for you.

31.So take heart and cheer up, for the way ahead is not all dark clouds and sorrows, but it is greatly blessed with deeper joys, greater love, and beauties that you will never regret having to fight for. I prepare this year for you and I go before you to keep you in your ways. I will lead you and guide you as you place each foot down.

32.Possess this year by faith! Possess the victories, the joys, the blessings, the rewards, the love and the happiness that lies ahead as you yield your earth to My tending. I will set your feet upon a rock that you slip not, nor stumble. Although the way is rocky and rough at times, it will never be more than you can bear, for I will bear you up in My strong arms and carry you when the going gets rough. Let not your heart be troubled. I speak to you of victories and joys, not defeats. Though there will be rough times, they will be no more than you can bear.

33.I have caused your heart to break and for you to feel like there is no more strength within you to go on,that you might enter this year ahead empty, with nothing in your hands--that you might step forward into My calling with no will of your own, ready to be filled by My strength, My love, and My leading. I know you've grown weary and you feel there's nothing left to give, no fight left in you; the way ahead looms so long, and even now I tell you of the sorrows to come. But when you feel this way, I will be able to have complete control, full sway in your life.

34.Fear not the ruggedness of the way, nor the terrain, for it will be easier than you anticipate. If your hand is in Mine, the way will be smooth and you'll hardly feel the bumps or the rocks. It's only when My children stray and wander off on their own that they have accidents and are injured or scratched and bruised. But those who stay close and let Me lead and help are kept in My loving care, free from harm.

35.So will it be with you, My love. I will not suffer you to be harmed, but will instead pour forth grace and love as you cling to Me in each time of need. Be not dismayed, neither be afraid. What I have promised, I will also perform, that you might continue to be one of the mighty warriors of David and of Maria, and that you might go on and face the foe and return victorious once again at the close of the year. So don't seek to avoid this purging, this testing, but possess the victories, for they're already in My hand, just waiting for you to grasp them and hold on to them. Just believe that I am able to do this, and you will have them.

36.Oh, My little love, although I give you a glimpse ahead, I have not told you the half of what there will be in rewards, in joy, and in refreshing within the year to come--such happy memories that you will look back upon! Just keep holding on! Keep fighting by coming to Me and asking Me to take on the battles for you, and you'll come forth with a shine on your armor that you've not yet seen.

37.Though now for a season you're heavy through manifold temptations, don't worry, for this season must pass, and you will pass through many other seasons--seasons of great reward, seasons of great joy, and seasons of great, great love. I love you, My little one, and will be with you always, each step of this year and in the years to come--forever, My love. (End of message from Jesus.)

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38.(James [FGA]:) This past year was very different for me, because I was gone almost half of the year. I went on the trip to Thailand and Japan with Peter and Rebecca, and then I helped out in another WS unit for a few months. Now I realize that the Lord allowed me to go through those changes because I needed them. He knew that I was getting into a rut, so in His mercy He put me in different circumstances--as sometimes it's so much easier to grow and learn things when you're in a completely new and different situation.

39.In praying about this New Year, the Lord showed me that I need to fight against complacency. It's so easy for me to be complacent about things and not grow or be challenged. Last year the Lord made it easier for me because I was doing new and different things, but this year I feel that the Lord wants me to take more initiative on my own, to learn and grow and not become spiritually lazy. I'll read a couple of paragraphs from the message the Lord gave me.

40.(Jesus speaking:) This year I challenge you to draw nigh to Me,to draw closer to My heart through My Words, and through seeking and desiring Me. In order to do this, you must discipline yourself and not allow yourself to become so busy with the business at hand, with a little here and a little there, and then the day passes and you look back and realize that you spent little time with Me. I wish for this year to be different--that you start off by spending time with Me, and you allow My Words to sink deep into your heart, causing you to bear fruit, helping your faith to grow, and drawing you close to Me.

41.You know not what the future holds, but I do. You'll not have the spiritual strength for what is ahead unless you spiritually build yourself up now and discipline yourself and are faithful to exercise, so that you'll be in shape and be ready to be called upon when you're needed. Don't allow yourself to become spiritually flabby and out of shape, for then you'll not be able to fulfill the role; you'll not have the strength to do the job. You must be spiritually fit, and the only way to be that way is to work on it daily, to spiritually exercise daily so that you may be a vessel fit and ready for the Master's use.

42.Stir yourself up this coming year! Take one day at a time and look at each new day as a fresh, new challenge. Look forward with eager anticipation to what I have for you that day. For My Spirit is a moving Spirit; it's never dull or stagnant. Don't look on each new day as business as usual, but look at it as a new challenge, with new horizons and new things to do--and they will be if you will move with Me and My Spirit. (End of message from Jesus.)

43.(James:) I want to share a few paragraphs from one more prophecy which was another very good lesson for me. This has to do with the lesson we learned when the thief broke into our vehicle and stole a few things. (Note: In December, James and a few others were on a trip and parked their vehicle in a city parking lot for a few hours. When they returned, they found that a thief had broken in and stolen a video camera and a few other items.)

44.After parking the vehicle, I closed the window on the driver's side, but I don't think it clicked into place. If it doesn't click, then it's not closed properly, and that's probably how the thief got in. I was in a hurry and I didn't take the time to make sure everything was securely locked. I'm very sorry about that--as now we're missing the camera and a few other items. When I prayed about it, Dad said:

45.(Dad speaking:) Son, you know me, and you know the way I've operated throughout the years, how I've been so careful to make it impossible for accidents to happen. Perhaps at times you thought I was too extreme, but I think now you're understanding the wisdom of being that way, and how you just can't have any unguarded moments or allow any opening for the Enemy to get in--because if you do, he will!

46.This is a lesson the Lord wants you to learn: to be more careful about things, to be more prayerful, to be more diligent in details, and to not allow yourself to get in a hurry.

47.This has been a good lesson for you all, to help sober you up, and help you to realize that you can't become complacent or be lulled into a false sense of security, but that you have to do your part and be diligent and prayerful, to have your guard up so the Enemy can't find any way to enter in. So don't look on this incident as a defeat, because if you learn your lesson, it's not, and it will keep you from further problems this coming year.

48.What we're mainly concerned about is you learning the lesson! Those material items don't have any value up Here, but they do there where you're at. So that's why the Lord allowed it to happen, so that you could feel the loss and learn the lesson. But don't worry about it, Son. Concentrate on the lesson, not on the loss. That loss is gain in the Lord's eyes, because what the Lord is concerned about is progress--that you learn from it, and grow, and keep going forward! (End of excerpts of message from Dad.)

49.(James:) Those prophecies were very encouraging to me, thank the Lord! That about sums up my prayer requests. I love you!

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50. (Darren [SGA]:) It's now been over a year since I joined Mama and Peter's staff, and I can honestly say that it's been the single most memorable year of my life, for a lot of reasons. First of all, just coming here was very special, a privilege I never dared hope for, a dream I never thought would come true. But it did, and here I am, unworthy as I feel, sort of into the groove of everyday life, but still thrilled to see the Lord's Words in action every day. I think more than anything else, the greatest impression and the biggest change for me has been learning to take that time with the Lord, to get still, to hear His voice, and to receive His counsel and help--both for myself and my work, and for others. All in all, I guess I've just been growing more aware of the things of the spirit every day.

51.This has also affected my personal life. Hearing from the Lord and seeing the spirit world in action has left me with a very clear sense of exactly Who is in charge, and Who is running things! And when you see that He has ruled the past, and He will rule the future, then we may as well let Him rule the present too--and in fact, that is what we should strive for, to let Him rule the present, our present, by coming before Him daily to ask what He would have us do! So that is my prayer for the year ahead, that I can learn to include the Lord more in my everyday life. Here are some excerpts of a prophecy the Lord gave me:

52.(Jesus speaking:) Be still, and take the time to absorb the water of My Word, that it may soften you, and that you may stay soft so that I can mold you into the vessel that I need you to be. For I am constantly molding you, fitting you first for this purpose, and then for that, and then modifying you to be able to also accomplish yet another purpose. But for each of these moldings, each of these changes, each of these crushings and remakings, you have to come before Me again, soft and yielded and malleable, that I may make you into the tool that I need for the task at hand. So you must stay close to Me, filled with the water of My Word, and yielded under the kneading of My touch, willing to forsake the lumps--those besetting sins that can clog your heart.

53.In order for you to operate under the full anointing of My power, you have to give Me your full heart, time, and cooperation. If you only give Me part of your time, then I can only give you a part of that anointing. And when I say to give Me all of your time, I don't mean that you have to spend 24 hours a day in prayer, reading, or meditation. I mean that you come before Me for your time, that you seek Me for your day, that in everything you do, you take the time to stop and acknowledge Me, even in a short prayer or praise, so that you'll know that I'm right there with you, and that I wish to be included in all that you do.

54.You simply can't go very far in the spirit, or even in the physical, without that spiritual boost, that spiritual energy that comes from taking time in the Word, and tuning in to the things of the spirit. (End of excerpts of message from Jesus.)

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55.(A female FGA staff member:) I'm really thankful for this chance to share my New Year's prayer request and commitment. Even though I'm nervous to be in front of everybody and it's kind of awesome, I look forward to making my personal commitment, because I know the Lord is going to bless it. Whenever we get together like this to pray unitedly for personal prayer requests, it helps me to have more conviction to work on my weak areas. When I confess mine and ask for prayer, it gives me more faith that the Lord will do it, because you've all prayed for me.

56.I was pretty sure that one of the things the Lord would tell me that He wanted me to work on was my interaction with people, because of a few things that happened throughout the year. And He did! When I prayed and asked Him about my commitments for this year, one of the things He said was, "I am able to grant you the understanding of how to speak with people and interact wisely. I am able to give you a brand-new spirit, and new eyes with which to look at those around you, through the fresh, new eyes of love, compassion and understanding."

57.It was encouraging that the Lord said that to me, because I don't consider myself much of a people-handler type of person, so I really needed that promise! I had a few major misunderstandings with people this past year--not just the little daily kinds of misunderstandings when you get bugged at things people say or do, and vice versa. Not that little misunderstandings are good or we should take them for granted, but we don't usually consider them a big problem because we expect to have some personality differences and just human nature types of situations that take love and patience and understanding and prayer.

58.But I've had a problem with blowing up sometimes, letting off steam, arguing, and just getting too emotional about situations or problems that come along. I want to work it out right then and there, and in trying to do so, I just get too pushy, argumentative, and out of the spirit. It's really bad when that happens, because everybody feels bad! And then not only do I need to start all over again and apologize and do things the right way, with the right loving approach, but I really go through condemnation about my failure and lack of love and wisdom. I would like to ask the Lord to help me learn how to interact well with people, to not get so impatient, but to be more prayerful, loving, and considerate of other people's feelings.

59.My other prayer request is that I will stay stirred up and yielded in the spirit in every area of my life--in my ministry, in my relationships with people, in my dates and everything. Not that my dates aren't exciting--I think they're very exciting! I thought that, if I said this, my date partners might think they're not exciting enough, but that's not what I mean. I feel like I'm the one getting in a rut because I haven't been reaching out to others as much as I know I should and want to, especially to the younger men, because of my fears and pride. I was afraid that they wouldn't find me attractive compared to the younger women, or that we wouldn't have anything in common to talk about and share, or that they'd think it was boring to be with me. The more I thought like that, the less I wanted to reach out and have a date!

60.I'm very comfortable with my regular, long-time date partners who I know really well, and it's just been hard for me to step out and do something new and share with new people, even though I know I should and I want to. I love them and I'm very thankful for them, and I actually really want to have that closeness and unity of spirit. So I'd like to ask for prayer to break out of my ruts, and against the fears and lies of the Enemy and his attempts to hinder our unity and love.

61.Last of all, I know it's only the Word that can give me the inspiration and enthusiasm and conviction to keep me stirred up and fighting! So I want to pray that I'll keep hungering and thirsting after the New Wine and applying it in my life, so that I'll stay alive in the spirit and willing to follow the Lord closely wherever He leads.

* * *

62. (Rusty [SGA]:) When I was praying about the New Year, the Lord told me that it would be a trying year, and that I'd have a lot of battles--but that I'd also win great victories! Needless to say, the Lord is faithful to fulfill His Word! I'd say that He even started early, ha! The battles I've had recently have made me really get desperate, which is one of the main areas that the Lord said He wants me to work on. Here are a few of the things that Dad said to me about this year. They're encouraging as well as challenging:

63. "Son, the Lord has been preparing you for this for some time now. He has so many precious lessons that He wants you to learn. You'll make so much progress this year, mainly because time is short. This will be the happiest and the most trying year of your life, because the lessons that you've been needing to learn and get down pat you will have to do this year.

64. "I know that you love a good fight--especially when you know that you'll win! Let me tell you, there's nothing more exciting than being in the Lord's will! But you can be sure, now that you're going over the top, all hell's gonna break loose! You have to be on guard and pray like a house afire, 'cause that's the only thing that'll keep you faithful.

65. "As part of the Lord's special forces [the Family], you have to not only do the regular training, but you have to take even more time with the Lordso that you're highly trained. Knowing how to use the weapons isn't enough--you have to be a crack shot, a marksman! So train, because the Endtime Olympics are happening and you want to be at your peak performance!" (End of excerpt of message from Dad.)

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66. (Rose [FGA]:) When asking the Lord for any specific lessons that He has for me this coming year, He spoke to me about two main areas--spending more time with Him, and faithfulness in my service to Him and Mama and Peter. The Lord gave me a couple of different prophecies about these subjects, and I wanted to share parts with you. The first one is about spending time with the Lord. I tend to get so busy in my work and service, but here's something the Lord told me:

67.(Jesus speaking:) Come to Me daily. Open up your heart and life to Me--your innermost being--and I will fill you. For the way you'll be a blessing, both to Me and to others, is through taking time with Me. This is how I can orchestrate all the many details of your day, by your coming into My temple, laying your all on the altar, and letting Me pick up your burden and lead and guide you. As you give Me your heart, so will I take it and melt it and mold it into that which I want it to be.

68.This is how you'll grow--by spending time with Me, loving Me, and putting Me first. It doesn't have to be long; it can be any time, but cultivate it and make it a habit. I have so much to give you--so many gifts, treasures, fresh inspiration from Heaven! But the only way to get it is to spend time with Me. So won't you come before Me each day?

69.Then I can lead you in your life with others, and you'll know how to interact, how to love others, how to relate. This is the secret. The answers are there for you in the temple of My love. Don't miss any opportunity! As you strive to find a moment with Me, so will I make the time and show you the opportunities. You can't live without it! Together we will win victories and climb higher mountains. Just look to Me and be filled! I love you more than you know, and long for you to take this precious time. Come to Me! I'm waiting for you! (End of message from Jesus.)

70.(Rose:) As I care for Mama and Peter, the Lord has often emphasized the importance of faithfulness, as I have many details to attend to. Here's something that He told me about faithfulness in my service:

71.(Jesus speaking:) This is your calling--to stay faithful! One thing is required in a servant, that she is faithful--and that's what I am requiring of you. You've learned many lessons on faithfulness throughout the years, and there are more to come. So take up the torch and be willing to give--give of yourself and your desires and look to the needs of My queen and king, and the needs of others around you. As you take each step in being faithful and ministering, you will see the next step. There's always more--more steps to take, more lessons to learn, more to do. But I look at each step, at each action, each thought, and I know how much to give you.

72.Let this year be a year of learning more on how to be faithful in My service, how to take care of the responsibilities that I've given you, of learning how to take each detail, each care to Me, and letting Me teach you, help you, and work through you.

73.Each year there are more lessons to learn. I have much to show you, much to teach you, and all that I require is that you be faithful to follow My slightest bidding. You know not how to serve, how to love, how to be faithful, unless you follow closely by My side. As you draw near to Me, stay close by My side and stay faithful to Me, this will be the secret to being faithful in your service; this is how we will make progress each day, you and I. (End of message from Jesus.)

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74.(Misty:) To express my prayer and goals for the New Year, I'd like to share a few paragraphs of a message the Lord gave me in prophecy. He says it much better than I can, and He knows what I need more than I do. Praise the Lord!

75.(Jesus speaking:) If you would find complete happiness and satisfaction, if you would find the fulfillment that you so desire, remember your first love--Me, the Word, your queen, and your work of helping the queen publish the Word. This is as a deep well of great happiness, and you can dip into it freely, for it is a well that never runs dry.

76.I would that your motto for this year would be, "None of these things move me." I would that the cares of this world and the cares of this life be dim, as nothing, in comparison with your love for Me and the Word and your queen. Put your hand in Mine, lean heavily on Me, and have Me and the work at hand constantly before your face. Let not your heart be troubled and be not distracted with the things of life that are temporal, but seek to fill your life, your time, your thoughts, your everything, with the true, eternal values of My Spirit and My Kingdom!

77.Do not despise this precious place, but hold on to it with all your might, cherishing your crown and recognizing it for the great treasure that it is. Remember that the things of this life, earthly relationships and cares, and the things that can so easily drag you down and distort your vision, are of so little importance and little worth when compared with the things of eternity--My Word, the love that you give to others, and your service to the queen and others.

78.Seek to be Heavenly minded. Fight to be Heavenly minded. Work to be Heavenly minded. Let Me rewire you and give you new habits and a new outlook so that you might be constantly aware of My Spirit, constantly feeling My presence, constantly looking to Me, constantly wanting to please Me and have Me in first place in your life. Fall so deeply in love with Me that all other relationships and desires will be subordinate to this great love that you have for Me, your Heavenly Husband.

79.I promise you that I will not fail you. I will give you all that you need. Though you feel that the task before you is daunting, and you feel so weak and small in yourself, it is in this very weakness and smallness that you will find your strength and anointing and joy such as you have never known; because it will compel you--yea, even force you--to draw closer to My bosom. Continue to trust Me, My beloved. For have not I led and guided you to a place of great joy and satisfaction? This I will continue to do; this is My promise to you, My pledge to you. I love you, My precious one. (End of message from Jesus.)

80.(Misty:) As most of you here know, I have had problems over the past two years with jealousy and possessiveness. The Lord has helped me in these areas and given me a great victory--glory to the Lord! But I'd like to be completely free from these battles, where I can truly say, "None of these things move me." I pray that I can be fully yielded, and instead of having any reservations or fears of the future in the back of my mind, I want to rejoice in the freedom of the Law of Love. I want to love it and really be happy about it. I want to "go for it" completely, so that both my mate and I can be available channels of the Lord's love for others.

81.As you know, Mama is constantly thinking about the Lord, the needs of others and the Family, and seeing things from a Heavenly perspective. I'd like to be more like that. As the Lord instructs me in the above message, I want to seek to be Heavenly minded, fight to be Heavenly minded, and work to be Heavenly minded. I want to let the Lord rewire me and give me new habits and a new outlook so that I can be more constantly aware of His Spirit and presence. Also, I pray I will fall so deeply in love with Jesus that all other relationships and desires will be subordinate to the love that I have for Him, my Heavenly Husband.

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82. (SGA staff member:) I received one of those wonderful "battle" prophecies, which I'd like to read excerpts of to you. As many of you know, the past several months I've battled negative thinking quite heavily. It's not like it's anything new for me--I've battled it all my life--but I guess the heat has been turned up a little higher since coming to WS. Now the Lord's told me that my increased battles are just a foretaste of the next year, ha! I'd like to read you what He said.

83.(Jesus speaking:) So now you've tasted what the battles are like. It's a little like being in a fancy restaurant. You look at the menu, but you don't recognize the various dishes on the list. So you ask for the chef's recommendation, and he suggests something. But just before he brings it and lays it before you, he brings you a small taste of what he has prepared, to make sure that you still want it.

84.So now I've given you a taste of some of what I'm preparing for you this next year, and you still have a choice. Even though I, as the Chef, have put a lot into preparing these next dishes for you, I won't force you to eat them. They may taste new to you, and you may need to develop more of an appetite for them. But you can trust Me, the Master Chef, that I know each ingredient that's gone in. I have personally put each ingredient into what I've prepared for you, and measured them out in exact measurements. I didn't add anything that wasn't absolutely necessary for this feast that I've prepared especially for you.

85.But taste and see that the Lord is good! As you tasted what I had prepared, you took it into your body, you assimilated it, and you found that although it took a little while to get used to the taste and the texture, once your body had received it, it was strengthening and renewing. But now I, the Chef, stand before you, saying, "Do you accept it? Do you still want it? Do you still want what I've prepared?" It's totally up to you.

86. I know you realize that the "taste" you had represents the battles you've fought over the past several months,and I have more battles for you. But you must not fear them. Learn to see what I have prepared as I see it--as valuable, priceless preparation and strengthening for what I have planned for you in the future. The battles are not bad. They're not to be dreaded or feared. Just as the verse says that "every good and perfect gift comes down from above," I want you to reverse that and know that every gift that comes from above is perfect and good!

87.I know it's difficult sometimes. You wish you could order something on the menu that you're used to, something that titillates your taste buds and gives you only pleasure. What I served to you in the past, I designed to give you pleasure, and I designed also to strengthen you. But now you're ready for more. You're ready for new tastes. You can handle more experiences.

88.Also remember that in order to run the race that I've set before you, you must strengthen yourself with the right spiritual foods and the right spiritual vitamins. If I were going to require less of you, what you take into your spiritual body would not be as important. But know that I'm preparing special food for you, special experiences over this next year, special battles and special tests--things that I would not require of you if I did not wish to use you so much.

89.It's like a parent with their child. An indulgent parent may give their child whatever sweets and junk food it may desire and crave and beg for. But truly loving parents will often override their children's whims, simply because they know that healthy food will strengthen their child and grow them into the person they would have them to be. So don't bemoan the fact that I'm telling you of more battles and greater tests in this next year. Try to see it for what it is--a special gift from your loving, caring Father to His dear daughter. (End of message from Jesus.)

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90. (Matthew:) Here's a little excerpt of a message that the Lord gave me. I'll follow it by sharing my prayer to the Lord for the New Year.

91.(Jesus speaking:) As I've been showing you, love and unity are the most important things. For where there is love and unity, there is happiness, success, and fruitfulness. (End of excerpt of message from Jesus.)

92.(Matthew:) Lord, my prayer and my goal for this year is that I would be more sensitive to others and have an outgoing concern for their needs; that I could take the time with people to love them and understand them and try to help them, to work to be unified with them and help them in any way I can.

93.I pray sincerely, Lord, that You'll make me more sensitive to others around me--their needs, their heartaches, their longings, their desires--and that I'll be able to help them with Your love, Your Spirit, and Your Word.

94.Also, Lord, I pray that You'll help me to seek You more desperately and use my gift of prophecy in my everyday work and activities; that I'll come to You for answers to my questions, my battles, my heartaches, for everything; that I won't try to get answers through my own wisdom, former experience, or any other way; that I'll ask You fresh every day, at every turn, for every need, and for every question.

95.I know I haven't done as well as I need to in these two areas in the past, Lord, so this is my sincere prayer--that You'll help me to really grow and fight for victories in these areas, so that I can be more of a blessing to others and to the Family. Thank You so much, Lord! I love You, my sweet Lover.

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96.(Louise [SGA]:) As many of you know, one of my lifelong battles has been with comparing and negative thinking. I've gone through various ups and downs, and since coming here, things have happened in my life that have accentuated and intensified these battles. I've had united prayer against these weaknesses, and have gotten some victories and made some progress, which I'm very thankful for. But when we read the "Bottom Line" prophecy the other night, the Lord spoke to me through that, and it spurred me on to really reach out and take hold of some solid victories.

97.I prayed and asked the Lord to show me in what ways I should be yielding more, and I got a prophecy which I feel was a big breakthrough in my life--or at least the first step to one. I won't read it all, because it's very long, but He gave me some very helpful counsel and showed me that basically I need a whole new outlook on life--a positive outlook, one of faith and trust in Him.

98.So my prayer for the New Year is to learn to be content--to truly accept, and even be thankful for the way the Lord made me, the situation He's put me in, the things He's given me, and the battles He's allowing me to go through. I want to learn to look at life and all that comes along with it from the positive side instead of the negative side; to learn to see things through the Lord's eyes, the way He sees them, and to let go of my own carnal reasoning and analyzing.

99.I want the Lord to rewire me from the mindset I have,the way I see things and think they should be or wish they could be, and be set free from the negative slant through which I tend to see everything. There's a verse that I would like to claim, which the Lord mentioned in my prophecy, and that is: "Godliness with contentment is great gain" (1Tim.6:6). Here are some excerpts of what the Lord told me:

100.(Jesus speaking:) You must learn to accept the fact that I don't compare you with anyone, and that you can't accurately compare yourself with anyone. For only I know the heart and mind of each man and woman, and I temper their blessings, their gifts, as well as their afflictions, battles, and tests, in perfect proportion. All that I do is fair and just. All My ways are perfect and pure--although they be far above your understanding, or a far distance from your sense of fairness, justice and balance.

101.My love, if you would know what is the next step that I wish for you to take, it would be to accept and believe in this simple truth, and to remind yourself of it over and over and yet over again. You know this in your heart, yet you've held on to your own reasoning, and there is a weed of comparing, jealousy, envy and bitterness, that is deeply rooted in this belief that others have more, that I have dealt better with them than with you, and that you've been somehow discriminated against or set at an unfair advantage for life.

102.This is not so, My love. I have beautifully gifted and blessed you, and if you can only learn to thank Me for it and to accept that I have done all things well--including making you the way I have and giving you the things I have--then you'll have taken a major step. Yet I know that this is a hard thing to learn and accept, for it goes against your very nature, against the fiber of your being, the basic workings of your mind and the basic premise from which you view life.

103.My love, Godliness with contentment is great gain. It's hard to fight against both the Devil and Me. I know you've wanted to yield to Me and to accept all that I'm doing, yet this has been the basic struggle for you--this simple trust and acceptance, this simple acknowledging that, "Yes, Lord, You're right. I believe that You're doing the right thing. I believe that You've made me this way because this is what pleases You, and because it's even what will bring me happiness and fulfillment. I accept that all You do is fair and just, even though it may look like some others are more blessed, or that they have it better somehow, or that if I only had the chance they had, the gifts they had, or the looks they had, everything would be better--or at least some things would be better--and therefore I'd be able to handle things better and be happier.

104."By Your grace I will no longer look at things in this light. I will rebuke the Enemy when he tempts me to compare anything about myself with others. I will rebuke the Enemy when he tells me that You or others haven't been fair to me, and that You, my shepherds, friends or loved ones, favor others and give them preferential treatment. I will rebuke the Devil's lies about myself--even though I think they're true and I believe them so much, and they've become such a part of me.

105."I'll rebuke him when he makes me think about my looks and my body and become discouraged about them. I'll rebuke him when he tells me how others have such nicer personalities and are so much more fun to be around, and that they're more liked, more loved, and more appreciated than I am. I'll rebuke him when he tells me how bad I have it, how rough I have it. I'll rebuke him when he tells me that I've been dealt a raw deal in love, and that if the Lord really loved me He would give me somebody to be all mine, and would have probably done so already."

106.My love, as you repeat these attacks on the Enemy, and as you remain strong and steadfast in your resolve to believe Me and to shut the door on him, you'll begin to see great progress. There will still be battles, but the cloud of gloom, defeat, sorrow and sadness, fear and dread that daily looms over you will at long last lift. You'll then be ready to go on to new things, new phases of life, love, work, ministry, play, sharing, interactions with others, and understanding of the things of My Spirit. (End of excerpt from Jesus.)

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107.(Nicole [YA]:) As everyone knows, the Lord in His wonderful love opened the door for David and I to come here for a visit. As you can imagine, it was a very big surprise for me, and what I didn't know was that the Lord had even more surprises in store for us once we got here. The trip was planned and set; it would only be for a couple of months, and then David and I would happily make our way back home. Sad to say, I had my own plans about the way I thought things should be, and how when this trip was over I'd do the things I'd planned for. As you can see, my whole attitude was wrong, because the Lord had something more in store for us here.

108.There have been many lessons along the way,but the main one that comes to mind--and it's one that I finally learned toward the end of the year--is that happiness comes from within, and not from your circumstances. You see, I tend to be the kind of person who relies on my surroundings for my happiness, and I've always had the attitude that if I wasn't happy where I was, I just needed to move. I always looked for greener pastures.

109.So when the invitation came for a visit to Mama's house, I thought, "Wow, this is my chance to get out of the mess I'm in!"--Because at the time I was going through a number of battles in the Home I was in, and I just wanted to get away. But I soon found out that the unhappiness was coming from inside.

110.You may think, "What's her problem? I mean, I'd probably be happy at Mama's house!" And you know, I thought the same thing. I finally came to realize that what my shepherds had always told me was true: It doesn't matter where you are or what you're doing, if you're not yielded to the Lord's will in your life, you can live in the ideal situation and have everything you've always wanted to have to make you happy, but nothing will do. Sure, you may have your little highs, but you'll soon find out that as fast as they went up, they'll come right back down.

111.I learned that it's really only the Lord that can give true happiness and fulfillment in whatever you do. Happiness is really a gift of His love for our yieldedness to Him and willingness to do what He's asked of us. It was only when I really said yes, not knowing what the Lord had in store, that I finally started to "feel" happy. I can't say that I don't have trials and battles now, but they always seem to be a lot easier to bear when I just yield to what the Lord wants.

112.So it was after about seven months of constant battles with negative thinking, unyieldedness, resentment, comparing and not being willing to just let go of the things I was holding inside, that I finally asked for prayer--first from my shepherds, but then Mama suggested that it might be good if I came before the whole Home and asked for united prayer. I am so thankful I did, because it really was a miracle! Things I thought I would always have to battle with were just suddenly gone! All I needed to do was let go. Jesus was always there with His hands outstretched, just waiting for me to lay my load on Him.

113.I wanted to come here tonight and testify of the Lord's love and the victory that came from yielding. It pays to yield! Thank you all for praying for me. I know it's all thanks to the Lord and your prayers that I was able to get the victory.

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114.(David:) At the start of the New Year, Nicole and I prayed for the Lord to confirm if it was still His will for us to be here, and also to tell us anything else that He wanted to say. The Lord and Dad spoke to us, and here are excerpts of what they had to say:

115.(Jesus speaking:) The spirit quickeneth, the flesh can do nothing. Only with My power can you have the strength to carry on. Only with My power can you meet the challenges that are ahead of you. There will be many roads to take, and many choices and decisions to make. You'll have to follow Me each step of the way. You'll have to come to Me and seek Me desperately to know the answers.

116.I'm proud of you for the progress you've made so far. I'm proud of your yieldedness and your desire to do My will. I've seen your hearts. I look back to when you first came, and I see that you've made so much progress. I'm pleased to see that this time spent here in Mama's Home was not in vain. You've been able to grasp, understand, and learn so much of what I have for you here. One day you'll be able to look back and thank Me with all your hearts for everything you went through here, even though it wasn't always easy. You'll understand one day, and you'll be thankful that you've learned those lessons already, because they'll be of use to you in the future.

117.Please treasure the times and moments that you still have here. Please take them as if they were your last. Please treasure them as if they'd never come again, for they're gifts that I'm giving to you with My hands outstretched, just waiting for you to take them. Some of these gifts you'll not be able to open now; others you can open now and enjoy; others you'll be able to save and open later. Oh, the gifts of the Spirit are so wonderful! They're so beautiful and they never run out. Treasure each one and value each one as a priceless gift. I love you! (End of excerpt of message from Jesus.)

118.(Dad speaking:) Well, praise the Lord, kids! The Lord promised you earlier that He would lead and guide you and show you each step of the way, and He hasn't failed to do that. He's continued to tell you the same thing--just to take one step at a time. You're in the place where the Lord wants you. You're learning lots of things and you're being a blessing. Even though at times you may doubt that what you're doing here is accomplishing much, the Lord knows, and you'll know some day when you're able to see all that was accomplished by your being here.

119.So don't leave school before the bell rings! Just trust the Lord, because He has His perfect plan in everything that happens, and when the time comes, He'll show you clearly that it's your time to move on. So until then, you'd be wise to just yield to what He wants you to do while you're here, and continue to be a blessing by being yielded and willing to do whatever needs to be done.

120.Remember, you have to live in the Word these days more than ever. As things grow darker and the battles get more intense, you need more ammunition to fight the Enemy, and you need even greater spiritual reserves. So don't neglect that time with the Lord, because your spiritual life depends on it!

121.Just keep doing the best you can and keep trusting the Lord, because your life is in His hands and He'll continue to lead and guide you as you yield to Him. (End of message from Dad.)

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122.(Rebecca:) I'm very thankful for this past year and all that the Lord has helped me with, and that He was able to use me in spite of myself. One of my prayers for this New Year is that I can continue to make progress in my weak areas, and that I can do the humble thing. Actually, Dad summarized the areas I need to work on beautifully in the following message which I'll share with you. Please pray for me that I can really progress in these areas, because I really want to gain greater victories and continue to grow.

123.(Dad speaking:) Honey, you've come a long way and I'm proud of you! You've been a blessing to Mama and Peter, to your loved ones here and to the entire Family. You've made it through some tough spots, through personal tests and trials, and you're living to tell about it! Praise the Lord! The Lord is teaching you to be a fighter, Honey, which is really what life's all about! You gotta keep on fighting, keep on climbing, and don't quit! You gotta keep on gaining greater victories every day, keep on making progress until you reach the end of that road. When you stop making progress, that's when you lose your usefulness to the Lord and others--so don't let it happen to you!

124.You've been around long enough now to learn that once you gain a victory in one area, once you fight and win one battle, then the Lord's gonna want to give you bigger and greater challenges! Once you've made it over one hurdle, He knows He can trust you with more. Now this is nothing to fear, so don't let it scare you. You oughtta really look forward to it, because it's the Lord's intolerable compliment. It's His way of keeping you soft and humble--and if you don't stay soft and humble, He will never be able to continue using you like He wants to.

125.When you're tempted to get all down in the dumps and discouraged about yourself, remember, the Lord is not lookin' at all your problems, faults, failings and shortcomings and judging you by those! Goodness, if He judged us by our weaknesses and shortcomings and incapabilities, who would He have left?

126.What the Lord sees is your willingness to want to gain victories! Your willingness to be made willing is one of the greatest assets you can have. Your willingness to work on your weak areas and your problem areas is what's important to the Lord, so you've just gotta keep it up. You've gotta keep on making progress, and you do that by doing the humble thing! The best way you can counteract your pride is by doing the humble thing! Keep on confessing your faults, keep on asking for prayer and getting the help you need from those around you who love you.

127.When that ol' independence crops up, you gotta keep on yielding to others, even when you don't feel like it. Keep on fightin' that sensitivity by running to the Word, by running to the Lord and asking Him for some promise to hold on to when it strikes. Keep on asking for prayer for all these weak areas! Keep on doin' the humble thing, and this will be one of your greatest protections against getting lifted up in pride, to which you're prone.

128.Because of your ministry and the job the Lord has given you to do, you can't help being tempted with pride. But you can guard against it and gain good victories over it by staying humble--and the way to stay humble is to continue doing the humble thing every day! Remember, you'll never be able to do the humble thing in the big matters if you're not willing to do the humble thing in all the little ways throughout the day! When those little tests come along, when little opportunities arise to do the humble thing, if you can pass those tests, then when the bigger tests come along, you'll have the strength to make it over those hurdles as well! So don't be afraid to face those tests head on! Face them full of faith, because that's the only way you're gonna win!

129.So the best way to be humble is to make it a practice to do the humble thing in all the little ways throughout the day! A pretty good rule of thumb is, if it hurts your pride, then go ahead and do it!

130.When you're tempted to think that just because you happen to know some things that others don't know, that you're just a little bit better than others; when you're tempted to feel sensitive and hurt unnecessarily; if your attitude begins to get a little bit haughty, or you start to act a little bit snippety or know-it-all with others; when you start to slip up in these areas by your actions or little comments here and there--one of the best things you can do to nip it in the bud is to apologize and ask for prayer. I know it's humbling, Honey, but this is good for you. Doing the humble thing works wonders to keep us right where the Lord wants us to be--and that is on the humble seat. I've always told the Family this from the very beginning, and it still holds true today--and that is when you start to fall down in some of these areas it helps to remember what a hell of a mess you are yourself.

131.You've come a long way and made a lot of progress in these areas of sensitivity, independence and pride--so keep it up. Let it be a year when you can climb to even higher heights, scale higher mountains and really forge ahead and make progress! Let it be a year of doing the humble thing!

132.You don't have to worry when these tests come your way, Honey, because He wants to use them to strengthen you. You can thank the Lord for all the little tests and trials that come your way, because if you didn't have them, how would you be able to progress in the areas that you still need to grow in?

133.So cheer up, Honey! I'm real proud of you, and most of all I'm thankful for your willingness to be made willing! Just keep doin' the humble thing, okay? This year ahead will be a wonderful year of growth and progress as you keep on gaining greater victories day by day. And you're gonna see it will be worth it all--because He has lots of thrills in store for you as you keep on fighting, keep on climbing and don't quit! Hallelujah! I love you! XXXXXXX! Seven kisses from your Grandpa. (End of message from Dad.)

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134. (Francis:) In the message the Lord gave me for the New Year, He said:

135. (Jesus speaking:) For you, the year of the bottom line means the year of continuing to yield to the calling that I've given you. It's the year of yielding to My will, of forsaking your own and doing Mine. I know that you have secret hopes and desires of what you'd like to do and the ministries you'd like to have, the times you feel like you want to go out and pioneer instead of being hidden away in the mine. Those desires will not go away, for I use them to teach you to yield to My will despite those desires. Otherwise, it would be too easy to yield, and there would be no test. But know that this is the calling to which I have called you, and you are in the center of My will.

136.It's also the year of being loving, of truly laying down your life in love for others--for your loved ones here in the Home, and for the Family as a whole. Take time to be loving. Don't be so busy and preoccupied with the affairs of this life and the burdens and the cares, or even busy with things that you enjoy doing and that are a source of relaxation to you, that you don't have time to spend with others in sweet fellowship. Go out of your way to spend time with those who you don't usually spend time with. Take time to talk to them, to become better friends, to encourage them in whatever way you can. Take time to understand how others feel, to empathize with them, to pray for them, to hear from Me for them, to comfort them.

137.I've been teaching you to be a wise leader, but I'm also teaching you to be a loving shepherd. And this takes time, for it's easier to lead than to shepherd. To be a good and wise leader takes a good connection with Me; it takes My wisdom and the gifts and anointing that I have given you. To be a good and loving shepherd takes a broken heart--a heart that overflows with love, that takes time with others, that lays down its life, and that allows itself to be eaten that others may gain strength. Read what I said through your Father David in "Prayer for Love and Mercy," and make that your calling for this year.

138.Remember in all that I give you to do that it is not of yourself, but it is only Me. I am He Who does all things, and Who gives strength. You are nothing without Me, and the minute you start thinking that it's you, you will fall. So stay close to Me in humility. Humble yourself before others. Humble yourself before those in the Home. Confess your faults. Ask for prayer when you need it. Humble yourself before your queen and open your heart to her when you're burdened and heavy laden. Admit your mistakes to her, as this will help keep you humble. (End of message from Jesus.)

139.(Francis:) I guess the prophecy pretty much sums up my prayer requests for this New Year. One is to be yielded to the calling that the Lord has given me. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't like my job or being here--I'm very thankful and feel very privileged to be able to assist Mama and Peter in some way. But I also love pioneering, witnessing and visitation, and it's hard sometimes to be tucked away. I don't know what the year will bring, but I want to pray that I can do whatever comes my way with my whole heart.

140.Most of my work centers around interacting with papers or with people via message or mail, not face to face. I have a weakness with not being a very good people-handler, and I'd like the Lord to help me learn in that area, especially along the lines of being more understanding, a better listener, more open to the ideas and opinions of others, and less sure of myself or strong in my presentation. It's good to be efficient, but it can also be intimidating for others if I don't have a humble spirit. And humility, as the Lord pointed out, is another one of my weak areas which I need the Lord's help in. He's been chipping away at my pride, but I'm still pretty proud, Lord help me.

141.Linked with humility is the need to show myself weak in front of others, and to go out of my way to confess my shortcomings and weaknesses so that they'll know that it's only Jesus. I tend to be a rather closed person and I don't open up that much or show how I'm really feeling, even when I'm going through battles. Sometimes it's good to be able to grin and bear it, but in my case, I need to be more open about my battles so others can see that I have battles too, and that I'm weak, and it's only Jesus. That will help keep me humble, and will be an encouragement to others, instead of making them feel inferior or that I'm better or stronger than they are.

142.I could also learn more from others, both my shepherds and my peers, if I shared my heart more and asked for counsel, instead of just always trying to sort things out myself. I'd like to ask for prayer that I can communicate more. So, as you can see, I have a long ways to go!

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143. (Jenna [SGA]:) I'd like to share part of the message the Lord gave me for the coming year, which also explains my prayer request and what areas I'd like to strive to improve in:

144. (Jesus speaking:) I would show you an easier road this year, a smoother path, a less tiring climb. But in order to possess these blessings, you must be willing to be fitted with My new spiritual gear. You must allow Me to fashion you and mold you and set you upon the path of My choosing. You must agree to walk in the direction that I would have you walk in--to stop when I say stop, to go when I say go, and rest when it is time to rest.

145. You have been tired and weary this past year because you have not always chosen to obey immediately. You have not been quick to hear, quick to believe, quick to yield, quick to do the right thing. You have yielded and followed, but in some cases you have delayed, which has made the climb harder and your journey fraught with worry and care. I wish to relieve you of these worries and cares this coming year.

146. (Jenna:) These "worries and cares" that the Lord talks about in large part are the unhappiness or dissatisfaction that I felt when I was not flowing with the Lord's Spirit,or was holding back in some area of my life. When the Lord talks about my lack of obedience, it's not that I didn't want to obey, but rather that I was practicing delayed obedience. I was, in many cases, resistant to obeying and yielding right off the bat. I wasn't convinced of the Lord's will, and wasn't jumping in the deep end of the pool, but rather just sticking my toes in, or wading around. The intentions and motivation of my heart weren't bad; I sincerely wanted to obey and yield to the Lord. But my lack of yielding and obeying immediately, and not having a more put-your-whole-heart-into-whatever-the-Lord-is-asking-of-you-as-soon-as-possible attitude or frame of mind caused me these "worries and cares," because I was partially resistant to the Lord moving in my life, and I didn't want to keep up with His pace. I preferred to go at my own.

147. The next part of the prophecy explains what I have to do to enact this "instant obedience," and the reasons why it's so important:

148. (Message from Jesus continues:) Your part is to determine to obey My will and voice implicitly and immediately. You must be quick to jump at My command, and not hesitate. For he who hesitates is lost in the new realm of My Spirit. As things move along faster and faster, there is less time in between the new moves of My Spirit, and you cannot simply rock along and decide to go at your own leisurely pace.

149. You must move with My Spirit. You must follow My plan, My agenda, My direction. You cannot bounce back and forth between your own will and My will. You must firmly commit and attach yourself to hearing My voice and choosing to do that which I say without delay. These actions bring down the blessings of My Spirit. Though the mountain which you climb may appear to be steep and rugged--and it is--yet the climb can be made easier and the journey pleasant by My Spirit.

150. There is much that I wish to give you and to show you, but I can only fill an open and empty vessel. Therefore, open yourself to Me, that I may fill you again and again, and keep you overflowing with the good treasures of My Spirit and My love, joy and happiness, which I wish to bestow upon you in great measure in your personal life. Trust and triumph! This is the secret to the coming year! (End of message from Jesus.)

151. (Jenna:) So that's my prayer--to stay very close to the new moves of the Spirit, and learn to practice instant obedience, so that I can trust the Lord and triumph in this coming year!

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152.(Keana:) I want to ask for prayer against bitterness. Bitterness is a really strong word, and I probably wouldn't normally put it like that. But I know that in order to get a victory we have to call a spade a spade, so to speak. I guess the main thing for me has been not being able to accept the decision I made and not being able to forgive myself for having Trevor.

153.I've tried pretty hard not to consciously blame the Lord, because although I know He could've stopped me from having Trevor, we all know that He hardly ever works that way, and I don't expect God to always protect me from myself.

154.Anyway, someone got this really interesting message from the Lord for me, and the Lord is basically saying that I need to realize and accept His will in the matter; that it wasn't just something that He didn't prevent, but something that He really wanted to happen. Okay, I'll read some excerpts from that now.

155.(Jesus speaking:) Where does bitterness come from? Why does one person have bitterness about things, and the next person, who might even appear to have more reasons or circumstances to be bitter about, not have bitterness? It comes from not accepting something that I've done in your life, or not accepting something that I've allowed to happen in your life, or not accepting even your own choices in life, which ultimately I allowed you to make.

156.Why is it that you see the man in the wheelchair or the woman with a handicapped child, and instead of their life being clouded and soured with bitterness, they're happy, giving, and loving? It's because they've accepted not only what I've done in their life, but also who they are. And who they are includes everything that's happened in their life, all the things that worked together to make them into who they are--the lessons they've learned, the mistakes they've made, the choices they've made, their experiences, all of it, the good and the bad. They accept that I love them, and they accept that they can not only be happy with their circumstances, but can even help others.

157.You might feel that your bitterness and resentment is not directed toward Me because you think it was your mistake in the first place, your fault, or your misjudgment of the situation that is the source of your bitterness. You might reason that I gave you a choice, so you feel it's your fault, you're the one to blame, and you continue to take out your frustrations on yourself by harboring this bitterness.

158.You not only have to accept the choice you made at the time, and stop punishing yourself for what you today think was the wrong choice, but you have to accept that I, the great God of the universe, Who has all power, allowed it to happen. I could have changed your mind for you. I could have intervened in some way and easily arranged a change in circumstances. I could have caused events to happen to help you make a different choice, because I know all things and I am all-powerful. (End of excerpts of message from Jesus.)

159.(Keana:) So I'd like to ask for prayer to accept what the Lord said about accepting His will. Another aspect which I'd like to ask for prayer for, and this is a real classic, is against bitterness about the way the Lord created me mentally and physically. If I'm not going to love myself, I need to at least accept that how I am is the Lord's will and not my just deserts for wronging God in a past life--ha! (Everybody laughing!) Anyway, if I could get over these things it would free up my energies to move on to some more interesting things to occupy my mind full-time. (People chuckling.)

160.Also, please pray for me to have faith to believe that "with God all things are possible." I'd like to claim the verse, "If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself" (2Tim.2:13).

161. (Gabe:) Okay, praise the Lord! Let's have prayer for Keana, and then maybe we can take a little time to hear from the Lord and see what He has to say. (Amy prays for Keana and for our time of hearing from the Lord.)

Messages from the Lord for Keana!

162.(Jesus speaking:) Behold My beautiful daughter of David, and behold the great deliverance and the great doors of freedom that I open unto her this day! For through your yieldedness, your humility, and your throwing yourself upon Me and calling out to Me for My help, in admitting your need for Me and in turning and facing these giants of fear and doubt and depression that have been weighing upon you, I now give you the key through this prayer, through this coming before Me, that will unlock the doors and take you into a new world of victory and freedom that you've not experienced before!

163.Now you open yourself up to receive greater things from Me--deeper truths, deeper understanding, greater love. I'll be able to pour upon you such peace. It'll still be a battle, and there will still be wars to fight, but you have this special key, this special power in your hand, this added weapon that you can use to zap the Enemy!

164.I greatly honor your faith and your taking this step of faith. Though you may not see it immediately, you'll come to see that it has wrought great things in your life and opened the door to things of My Spirit that even in your wildest dreams you would not have believed could happen to you! (End of message from Jesus.)

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165.(Jesus speaking:) You're clearing out your closet. There's old junk and clothes and boxes full of things in there that leave no space for the new gifts that I want to give you. But now you're clearing out your closet, and I'm so happy that you're taking this step of faith.

166.There are the garments of self-degradation, self-recrimination, self-condemnation and depression; these all have to go, and you realize it. It's easy to stack up things, but once in a while you just have to do some spring cleaning, and clean everything out. And you're not doing it for no reason either, because I've promised you that as you make space for Me, I'll more than repay what you're getting rid of. It might have sentimental value, it might be kind of comfortable and dear, just because you're used to these various possessions, but you won't be disappointed with My gifts and what I'm replacing them with.

167.Sometimes you pick up an old item in your closet, from the very back. You look at it and it brings back memories, and it's comfortable to keep it in the back of the closet. But I'm asking you to let it go now. It's time to make a clean sweep. Put them in the garbage bags, knot up the top, and put it out to be taken away. And before you know it, I'll be at your door with the things you've always wanted but never even knew that you wanted.

168.Some of My gifts might take getting used to. You might say, "This is not like the garment I used to have" or "that reminds me of that treasure I once had but had to get rid of." But as you use them and discover what an asset they are in your life, you'll remember your old things less and less, as My love and the treasures of new love and excitement and challenge and change fill your life to overflowing.

169.Thanks for making this room in your life for Me--you'll never regret it! You can let Me be your Interior Decorator now. Your new life might be kind of unrecognizable, but once you get used to it, I think you'll like My designs, My colors, and My plans. They're so much more positive and bright and uplifting. They'll help you look toward the future with optimism and faith, rather than depression and despair. So thanks for giving Me that privilege. There are great things ahead for us, and this is only the beginning! (End of message from Jesus.)

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170.(Jesus speaking:) You are precious in My sight and much beloved of Me. Though you think negatively about yourself at times, or you think yourself to be bad, yet I see the good. I see the diamond. I see how it sparkles and shines when it gets in the light. And, oh, how I wish for you to be in the light, that you might shine and sparkle for Me, to encourage and inspire others. When you sparkle and shine, it has a great effect on others; it really encourages them and inspires them.

171.To make you shine I have to cut a little here, polish a little there--even as every diamond, when it comes out of the earth, needs to be cut and polished in order to shine. But I do so in love. It's all a part of My plan, all a part of My purpose to make you into that precious jewel. I know you don't see yourself as such, for you just consider yourself an ordinary rock, unpleasant to look at--and that is how many diamonds do at first appear when they're extracted from the earth. Yet I see beyond that! I see the possibilities! I see how much you can shine with My light!

172.I've already begun the cutting process and the polishing, and already through the rock you can see parts that reflect the light and that give a beautiful glow. It's so beautiful!

173.I've heard your words that you have poured forth before Me tonight in humility and yieldedness. I know that this is a big step for you, and not an easy thing to do. I will honor your request and fulfill that which you've asked for. I'll keep My Word and My promises that I've made to you, so hold onto them. Think not that they're but words, for I say that they are spirit and they are life. (End of message from Jesus.)

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174.(Jesus speaking:) Confess your faults one to another; pray one for another that you may be healed. This night is the beginning of a new life for you, because you've obeyed and you've stripped off the outer garments.

175.You had a sore, a cut that you kept covered with a bandage, which I wanted to heal. Now you've removed the bandage, which allows My light and My air to begin the healing of your sore. Now begins the healing process through continued exposure to the light of My love, the droplets of water of My Word, and the fresh air of My Spirit to heal your wound.

176. Although the healing process takes time, nevertheless My healing is sure. Through this healing you'll be stronger--a stronger soldier for Me. Let not the Enemy tempt you to cover up the wound with a bandaid or a bandage, but continue to leave it exposed so that My healing power can perform the miracle in your life.

177.Thank you, My dear one, for taking the step of faith in obedience to My Word and removing the bandage, to allow My healing to be performed. (End of message from Jesus.)

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178.(Gabe prays:) Lord, we thank You for Keana and her humility, her honesty, and her openness. Thank You for the keys that You gave through the Words that You gave. We pray that You'll fill her with a spirit of faith and trust and positiveness. We ask that You will renew a right spirit within her, and create in her a clean heart now.

179.Thank You so much for her faith, her belief in Your Words and Your promises, and we pray that You will honor her for her step of faith in coming tonight and asking for prayer. We know that You allow these battles in our lives to make us soldiers, to teach us to be better fighters, to learn to recognize the attacks of the Enemy, and to use the weapons of the Word to fight against them. So we pray that You'll continue to help her to have faith not to get discouraged when the Enemy does try to attack her. We know she has the victory and she possesses it by faith, so help her to continue to fight to hold on to You and Your promises, in Jesus' name!

A Letter from David

(From David, written later to you, dear Family:)

Dear Family,

180.As you know from "The Road to Commitment" (ML #3064, GN 692), during the time that I was in Hungary and in the former Soviet Union, I was in a very poor spiritual state. My continued unyieldedness to the Lord and His will had led me further and further away from the path of dedication and service that He wanted me to take. As Proverbs 14:14 says, "The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways." Well, that's exactly what happened to me. I was so full of my own doubts, unyieldedness and rebelliousness, that the Lord had to let me go my own way until I learned for myself that the way of the transgressor is very hard.

181.As Peter pointed out in the Letter "The Choice Is Yours" (DB 10, or Lifelines 19), even though you may think that you can play around and indulge in your unyieldedness and rebelliousness, there comes a time when you realize that you want to get back on track, but it's not as easy as it used to be because of the hold that the Devil has on your life through bad attitudes and disobedience. So since the time that I realized how wrong I'd been and what a bad sample I'd been to those around me or who knew of my behavior, it's been a long, hard road back to the place of yieldedness and submission where the Lord wanted me to be.

182.Because of my pride, it took so long for me to see that I was wrong and headed in the wrong direction. During that time, I know I stumbled and hurt a lot of people, and for that I'm truly sorry. So I want to apologize to you, my dear Family, for my unloving and bad actions. I pray that at least you were able to see by my dandy bad example the dangers of pride and unyieldedness. Please forgive me and know that I never again want to be a stumbling block that's used by the Enemy to hurt people's faith.

183.I've seen that "the road to commitment" is one that I will be on till the day I die, because to be any place where you're truly serving the Lord requires a daily death to self. But because of that death, the Lord is able to live and work through us and use us for His glory. I know I'm nothing in myself, and I'm just thankful that the Lord is able to use me at all. It's just because of the Lord's love and mercy. Like Paul said, "The life that I now live, I live by the grace of the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Gal.2:20). I love you all, and am so blessed to be part of our wonderful Family!

Love, David

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family