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Shepherding Our Children and Young People! Maria #439 CM/FM 3191 4/98

--New Weapons for a New Day!--By Maria

(For all adults, YAs and teens. Excerpts may be read with younger children at your discretion.)

(Note at foot of page 1:)

Note: Throughout this Letter, the word "weapons" or the term "new weapons" refers to the spiritual ones of prayer and prophecy, praise, and loving Jesus intimately, not carnal weapons. (See 2Cor.10:4-6.)

Dear precious Family,

1. God bless you! Here is another GN full of beautiful messages from the Lord on the subject of shepherding our children. The Lord continues to pour out the answers and the solutions that we need. Now all we have to do is put them into practice! I know that's often easier said than done, and like Dad has always taught us, anything that's worth something usually costs something. But I think most of you will agree that the situation is fairly desperate, and thus you will be willing to try whatever it is the Lord is showing you that you need to do in order to bring about the victory.

2.Recently Peter and I were praying about why things have gotten so desperate in this area of our children and young people, as well as in other areas. The Lord said that one reason He'd allowed it, among many other reasons He gave, was that before we weren't ready to receive the answers and the solutions. Maybe some of you thought that using the new spiritual weapons wasn't really necessary, or that you'd gotten along okay without them thus far. It was a little too humbling for your pride, or a little too much of a fight in the spirit, and you didn't really see the need. But now, because you've experienced the difficulties and the heavy spiritual battles we are faced with, you're more desperate for the victory and are willing to do what He's asking of us all in order to make the progress He knows we need to make.--Progress which He knows is imperative, not only to improve the present situation in our Homes, but even more so to prepare for the days ahead!

3.Don't be discouraged, dear Family, if you feel you've lagged behind in some of these areas and now feel that you have too far to go to catch up, or that the situation is so bad that it cannot be reversed. That's not the way the Lord sees it! He's laying out clear solutions for victory--and He wouldn't be doing that if He didn't think you could win! So strap on your armor, and let's fight together! Praise the Lord! The Lord called 1998 the "Year of the Bottom Line," and He's serious about the need for everyone to get on board before it's too late! Yet He's making it as easy as possible for us all to be good by giving us clear and practical examples of how to apply His Words to our daily lives in many of these recent Letters.

4.Many of our children and young people have been the victims of serious spiritual attacks and are suffering from heavy battles--some very subtle--through which the Enemy is trying to snuff out their very service for the Lord. Some of our kids have been fighting and are now becoming weary, and others have given up fighting altogether or have been seriously wounded and need to recover.

5.It's time to rally together to help them, dear Family, because the fight is not nearly over yet! In this GN the Lord gives some very good counsel and calls on you to pick up the new weapons He has given you to help fight this battle with and for our young people. Just because you're not a teen shepherd, childcare worker or parent doesn't mean that this doesn't apply to you. If you read on, you'll see that the Lord is calling on all of us--and He needs your help! Please pray as you read through this that you can apply it to your life and situation and be strengthened--not only for your own sake, but for the sake of our kids who need you desperately! It's also full of good counsel for your personal prayer life and relationship with the Lord, even if you don't have kids right now, so don't skip this Letter!

6.Peter and I are fighting by your side in prayer, and are doing all we can to seek the Lord for His solutions and any further ways we can help. But as the Lord brings out, He's asking each of you to become personally connected so that He can send you the tailor-made counsel He knows you need! Thank You Jesus!

7.I hope you young people who are reading this don't automatically tune out, feeling that because we're talking about you or your peers, this is not for you, or that we're belittling you through publishing these things. I'm sorry, but some of your brothers and sisters are in bad shape, and if we want to keep them for the Lord and His service, we've got to do something about it!

8.This is a challenge to each of you, as well, to use these new weapons the Lord has given to you and thereby become a pillar and a strength to others, a vessel mightily used of the Lord, rather than someone who has to be cared for.--Not that there's anything wrong with being shepherded. Please don't get me wrong! We all need it, and we all get shepherding in one form or another! But some of you have the capability of taking on a lot more responsibility, and we need you to do it!

9.Even if you just start by taking responsibility for yourself and your actions, making sure they are in line with the way the Lord is leading and keeping up with the new ways He's showing, that's a tremendous help and strength in itself. So please, dear folks, take this to heart as well. The message is for you, too, and we need your help to turn this situation around. Praise the Lord! I love you!

10.Okay, I'll turn the floor over to Dad, who responded with the following message when we asked him how we can best help our young people who are struggling and having problems.

The Personal Solution for Our Children's Personal Problems!

11.(Dad speaking:) Praise the Lord, folks, it's a new day! That expression probably brings up some mixed emotions in your minds and hearts, because on the one hand you know that the Lord is leading us to greener pastures, getting us ready for what's ahead, and it's all very exciting and challenging. At the same time, it means a tough climb, new battles, and a whole new ball game that we're all still getting adjusted to and learning to flow with. The kids feel it too, and every one of them at some time or another wants to "feel their oats," push the line, and see how far they can make it stretch. The Lord put that in them, and it's part of growing up and maturing, learning where the boundaries are and how to handle them, where to stop, and what the rules of the road are, so to speak.

12.How to communicate better with our kids is a big subject, because as you've seen, a lot of the old ways that we used to do things have changed--the old methods we used and the standards we used to go by. For one thing, the kids' needs have changed. Their expectation level has also changed, and the spiritual warfare has changed. All of this puts new pressure on both the kids and you parents, and it takes some adjustment to learn how to cope with it.

13.Realizing that it's happening all over, that everyone is having to make these changes and that the Lord also has the solutions is a big key for you parents, because many of you are pretty much at the bottom of the pile with all the pressure on top, and you aren't coping too well. You feel like you're the only ones, that you've failed miserably because your kids are going through the things they are, and you don't see much light at the end of the tunnel. You don't see the methods that you've used for years working, and you feel useless and hopeless because of that.

14.The kids are surrounded by System influence, whether it's through their time out witnessing, their contact with outsiders, System music, videos and movies, advertisements everywhere you look, or what have you. Many of them have friends or brothers and sisters who have left the Family, and in many cases that's another pull on them. There's no way to keep them from all those things all the time, and the kids seem to be so interested in them, and have so little interest in the Word by comparison.

15.You're frustrated, and many of you are at the end of your rope. Of course, that doesn't help your relations with the kids any, because the kids are naturally rebellious and find it hard to cope peaceably under your jurisdiction when you feel so strongly about these detrimental System attitudes and influences, and about the importance of the Word. The older kids are affecting the younger ones negatively, and so the age of being "corrupted" and having these strong bad attitudes is getting younger and younger.

16.The picture looks pretty bleak, doesn't it? Can you guess what the solution is? What has the Lord been harping on the most this past year? What has He been trying to get through to everyone about, bringing it up time and again in every possible way?

17.That's right, the importance of hearing from Him!--The absolute necessity of taking time to hear from Him fresh, through His living, current, tailored-for-your-particular-situation, loving and life-giving Word! You aren't going to survive without it, Beloved. I think you're starting to see that more and more, and are realizing that you must cling desperately to the promise that the Lord has all the answers. Yet you don't see how He could give a solution for something so big and overwhelming as the problem you have. Ha! What little faith we have sometimes; it's almost funny. Yet the Lord stoops down to kiss away your tears and slowly gives you the keys to the situation, showing you once again that if He created the universe and planned eternity, He can also solve your little problem, no matter how huge it looks to you at the moment.

18.The answer is just that simple--it's learning to ask the Lord about each of the kids and how to best help them. Sure, there are solutions the Lord wants to give which are going to help all the kids in some way. We've given you some of these in recent Letters, and will have more in the future.But for each of you parents who are having a hard time communicating with your kids right now, feeling frustrated and at the end of your rope, hearing from the Lord is the personal solution that is available to you.

19.As you take time with the Lord, He will not only give you the solutions that will help and encourage the kids, but He will comfort your hearts, relieve the pressure, and give you faith. You need it! Many of you are so discouraged about your kids that you feel your whole life of service to the Lord is worthless. Your kids are all you have to show for it right now, and they are doing so poorly that you feel you must have gotten off the track in a big way, and maybe you should just quit.

20.It's a very strong inside attack, and the only solution that will help each of you is learning to go to the Lord for your answers, and to keep going back to Him. The Lord doesn't give you the whole victory in one shot. He wants you to learn to persevere, and to keep coming back every day to ask Him what to do next.

21.This crisis could also turn out to be one of the greatest victories, if through it each of you parents learn the lesson of coming to the Lord like He wants you to. That is something so valuable that the Lord considers it worth any price! He's not going to solve all the problems that you and your Home are facing in one shot or with one answer, because He wants you to learn to come to Him yourself again and again for the solutions for your situation.

22.This is the foundation for progress and victory. You're each going to have to pass this grade of learning to seek the Lord and take the time with Him that He's asking you to.

23.The days are coming when each of you will be in a unique situation, hearing from the Lord for your very life. You're going to be dependent upon the Lord for your very life. Those days are coming quickly, and to get you ready the Lord is taking away some of the props that you so often lean upon--the way things used to be done, the new direction and counsel from your shepherds, the solutions that others have found, etc.

24.Sure, all of those things are good, and the Lord uses them to bring about great victories and to keep you on the right track. But in the days of Tribulation when those means of support aren't available, you are going to have to be directly connected to the Lord yourself and exercised in the practice of hearing from Him and obeying implicitly. Your lives are going to depend on it! So, like any good general or Commander in Chief, the Lord is preparing you, His army, right now. He's using anything He can to get you desperate, and He's not allowing many of the old solutions to work. Each situation is unique and varied, and He's doing it that way to get you to the point where you have to ask Him what to do about it.

25.Do you get the point? We've given you a lot of counsel about kids in past Letters, and will have more in the future. But the most important thing that the Lord wants to get across to each of you parents, Family members and young people is that you need to learn to come before Him with your questions. He will answer! He will give the solutions!

26.Some of them might only be short-term solutions, things that work for a few days or a week or with one child, but that's because He wants you to continue coming back to Him, to ask Him again, to get more specific, to learn to obey what He gives you, to exercise your faith and obedience. It's as simple as that! Praise the Lord!

27.He's going to give you the victory as you come before Him. That's a promise! Every one of our children belongs to the Lord first and foremost. They're His; He loves them more than you ever could, and He's in control. Praise the Lord? (End of message from Dad.)

28.(Mama:) Amen! Thank you, Dad! Thank You Jesus for Your wonderful promises!

How to Defend Yourselves and Your Children

29.Following is a beautiful message from Jesus--a real plea to you--to use the weapons He's made available to you, so that you can have the strength to fight and win this battle for our children!

30.(Jesus speaking:) My heart goes out to you, dear ones, for I see your struggle. I see the battles that you go through, and I am moved with compassion for you. I see the way the Enemy has been let in, in many cases, and you, My children, are often defenseless because you have not taken up the new weapons of prophecy, of loving Me, and praising Me. And so the Enemy has come in and has been able to affect the lives of My precious children and young people.

31.The Enemy goes about as a roaring lion,seeking whom he may devour, and he will not hesitate to devour if there is a chink in the armor, if there is an opening for him to get in, an open door. This is his goal, as I've said before--to destroy the young ones within My Family and to destroy their usefulness.

32.This is why I've created the new weapons. The new weapons are for you to defend yourselves. If you do not use these weapons, you will not have the defense you need to counteract the Devil's attacks, for they are strong and powerful! I have given him the liberty to attack in this way, but I've also given you the strength to fight back, if you will but use the weapons that I have provided for you.

33.I am bound by My Word. There's only so much I can do for you if you are not obeying My Words, if you're not tapping into My power and listening to Me, and if you are not using the new weapons. I am not limited in helping you, but you limit yourselves because you do not obey and follow My Words closely.

34.Oh, how I weep for these, My children, who have let the Enemy come in and destroy the strongholds of their faith! Oh, how My heart goes out to them! I cry, and I pray for them that their faith fail not, that when they are converted they may strengthen their brethren.

35.I say to you, My dear ones, that if you will but obey My Words and step out and put into practice all that I have been giving through the New Wine, you will find the answers to the problems that your kids are facing, for it is all in My Word. My Word is a reservoir of answers, of jewels, of tips. If you will only open the faucet, I will pour out to you in abundance, and give you the answers that you desire.

36.But if you are like the tree that has decided to cut its sap off, and if you decide that you can bear fruit without the sap, without the life-giving flow of My Words and without using the instruction I have given you, your fruits will perish. The fruit that you now have on your branches will fall to the ground and wither and die. You as a tree will not last long either, and eventually you will have to be chopped down.

37.Please do not cut off the flow of the sap that I have been giving you so faithfully in abundance! You must cultivate your fruit and let the sap move out toward the branches that need to be strengthened.

38.Much depends on the tree trunk--you--and whether you are absorbing the sap from your roots. These roots are deeply grounded in My Word from your many years of service, and the many years that you have been listening to My Words. If your sap is flowing well within the trunk, then it is your responsibility to help that sap get to the branches and to the fruit that is on the branches.

39.I use this parallel so that you can be reminded of the importance of My Word, and the importance of not cutting the flow, and of obeying what I have been giving in the New Wine, in the publications, and in prophecy. I see your hearts and I see your frame, and I know that you are dust. I know of the many battles that you go through, and the many tests that you experience on the field of battle. I know what it is like to see your child being tossed to and fro by the Enemy's wiles, the Enemy's confusion, and the Enemy's destruction, as he rants and runs about as a lion devouring those he can get.

40.I say to you who must watch after your children's souls, take up the sword and cut the Enemy to the heart! For it is not the responsibility of these children to defend themselves. It is your commission to reach out and grab your sword and cut the Evil One to the heart. Protect your little lambs! Fight for your little lambs!

41.If any of you were a shepherd of a fold of sheep, and you saw a lion coming to grab one of your little lambs, wouldn't you step out and fight that lion and kill him if you had the means to do so? But you say, "We are weak. We cannot kill the lion, for we have not the strength!" Yes, I know, and that is because you have not the weapons, for you have not yet picked them up. If you had the weapons you would have the strength.

42.My weapons will give you the strength to wipe out the lion when he comes to attack your little ones! As you raise My standard against his attacks, he will be set back on his heels and will flee! This does not mean that none of your sheep will ever go astray, but it does mean that your fold will be safe and secure from the onslaughts of the lion.

43. So I insist that you take up this challenge to fight for your children! It is your duty to Me, as parents, to lay down your lives in order to give them the Godly heritage that I have ordained that they have. As you bring in all the tithes to the storehouse--giving Me the first fruits of your time, giving Me the best of the little strength you have left in you, giving Me first priority in your own lives--prove Me now if I will not open the windows of Heaven and give you all that you need--the answers, the strength, the solutions, the miracles which you cannot do--in such abundance that there will not be room enough to hold it! You will never regret having put Me and My children first!

44.Start today, dear parents! My New Wine was created to be the banner for you to look to and follow. Begin today to seek Me with your whole heart, to bring your cares before Me, to love Me with all that is in you--and see Me use your obedience as a powerful weapon against the Evil One! Begin to obey what I show you, and step by step I will show you more! I love you! (End of message from Jesus.)

Time Spent in Prayer and Desperation Is Never Wasted!

45.(Mama:) Next is some very good shepherding counsel that Dad gave while in the process of commenting on a particular situation that we had asked him about. Dad explains more of the battle that our young people fight, and again stresses the importance of coming to the Lord and seeking Him for the answers. The Lord knows our kids and what will help them the best. He can tell you when to discipline and when to have mercy, and what the balance is or what your particular young person needs. He understands them, and wants to answer the cries of their heart--but He has no hands but yours. The only way you're going to be able to be an effective shepherd or friend, support, encouragement and help to our kids is through looking to the Lord and asking Him for counsel and direction for your individual situation. Thank the Lord, He has all the answers!

46.(Dad speaking:) What our folks need to determine is the difference between willful, malicious, deceptive behavior--or even violent, hurtful, harmful behavior--and just being bad to get attention, which may be a genuine need in some cases. Some of these kids will test you to the limit; but you've got to pray and let the Lord lead, and seek Him constantly about how to deal with these problems. You want to execute sentence on any evil work quickly, as the Word says--take action speedily so they don't set their heart to continue on in their wrongdoing!

47.Our young people are really gettin' hit from all sides, and the Enemy's playin' hardball. What seems like willful and rebellious nature to us is often a symptom of a deeper struggle; they're engaged in heavy combat and are under the Enemy's attacks. Often their mind is not fully made up yet, and they haven't necessarily made a full decision to harden their heart to the Lord, but some of them are playing with fire.

48.It's up to the shepherds to try and help put those fires out if possible. The shepherds and parents need to fight back with desperate prayer. This is something they're gonna have to pray about and decide. They're gonna have to hear from the Lord in each situation and see where He's leading'm. You've gotta judge each case on its own, Honey, and it's gonna take more than a one-time prayer, so they might as well resign themselves to this fact. It's not always gonna be a cut-and-dried thing, because a lot depends on people's reactions and what choices they make all along the way. It's just plain hard work to pull some folks through, Honey, and our folks need to realize this. The Devil is on an all-out attack and it's gonna take strong faith, fight and determination to see some of these kids through!

49.Look at all the time and effort that we've put into our own kids, as well as some of the others in our Home! This is pretty much the bottom line, Honey, and something the parents and shepherds and caretakers are gonna have to hear from the Lord about on a case-by-case basis. It takes prayer, real desperation, and hearing from the Lord on what to do. You can't put God in a box and group all these kids together, because each is different and needs to be judged on his own.

50.It's difficult; that's why parents and shepherds need to get desperate for solutions daily, not just once. Time spent in prayer and desperation is never gonna be wasted! Even in these difficult situations where it seems to be a long hard haul, folks will learn precious lessons through it and be the better for it in the end. They'll grow because of it. The Lord is wise, and He's gonna take full advantage of each and every circumstance to teach the Family valuable lessons and grow folks up. So even when our people have problems, or if they have a problem child or young person in their midst, they can be happy about it on one hand, because the Lord will use it. He'll get full mileage out of it as long as they're prayin' and lookin' to Him and staying tuned in to what He's trying to show them even out of their problems.

A Lot Depends on the Individual!

51.There're so many factors involved in each situation with these teens who have problems--all the background, and the decisions and choices they make along the way, not just once, but every day. The answer to what you should do with these rascals doesn't depend on any one person. A lot depends on the individual involved and what choices they're gonna make, how they respond to discipline, and so on. A lot depends on the faith and trust of the caretakers and shepherds and what the Lord's doing in their lives too. Lots of factors enter in to each equation. When you've got a problem person like this, our folks need to be prayin' like a house afire--not only desperately seeking the Lord for His direction on what to do, but for the individual in question. You need to be prayin' for their deliverance one way or the other.

52.Take all the facts, all the circumstances, and put'm on the scale and see which way it tips. If the young person insists on yielding to negative influences, if they will not respond in a positive manner in some way, if they do not at least make some type of progress--even if it seems small at first--if you don't see some hope, some glimmer of light, then I would say pray and ask the Lord what's the next step.

53.Get the Lord's leading in each individual case. Keep prayin' for'm, even if you have to pray'm out of your midst! Pray for solutions on where to send'm. Pray'm through to victory or pray'm out if that's what the Lord shows you--one or the other. You can't have a rotten apple hanging around spoiling the whole barrel, but only the Lord can make it clear and reveal to you where their heart's at. Love and prayer solve all problems!

54.The only way to know what method is best is to ask the Lord. Each case has gotta be determined on an individual basis, because each case is different. It's gonna take some hard-core prayer to know exactly where these kids can best get the rehabilitation they need.

55.It's a very delicate matter to know what each one needs and when, and that's why our folks have got to pray! They've got to seek the Lord and His direction through prophecy in each case--not just once, but over and over and over to see what He wants done! You can't go on yesterday's instructions and we can't simply make a blanket policy here. The Lord allows some of these situations to see how much those involved with these kids are willing to use the new weapons and fight. It's sharpening their prayer life, and they're having to broaden their faith and grow in love, compassion, wisdom and discernment--and in hearing from Him in prophecy.

56.The Lord can overcome all this, Honey, and He's greater than all the hurt and all the mistakes and the whole kit and caboodle! That's why these kids need to be handled in desperate fighting prayer most of all--prevailing prayer, importunate prayer! Pray'm through! Pray through the solutions on a case by case basis!

57.So much depends on the personal choices and decisions of the individual--on what they decide and what they're gonna do with each challenge and each opportunity that's set before them.--If they're gonna knuckle under and let the Lord work in their heart; if they're gonna respond to the discipline and the rules when they're laid down, and if they're gonna receive the love that the Lord is trying to give through their shepherds and loved ones around them.

Knowing When and How to Discipline

58.But all this takes time. It will take desperate prayer, unconditional love and faith and determination to see'm through--and a strong hand and firm discipline if necessary, which is a part of love. You might also see some setbacks along the way. The kids will have days of some progress and days of some setbacks. Look at some of our adults--it's taken them literally years to come around.

59.Young people need sympathy and understanding, unconditional love and prayer. The parents and shepherds need to pray and ask God for wisdom as to when to give what. Discipline is love. That's one thing you never could accuse me of--that I couldn't control my kids, even when they were teenagers. My kids loved me as well as feared me, just like we do with God--we love Him as well as fear Him.

60.In many of these cases the kids are putting the shepherds to the test. They're playing the Devil's advocate in some ways, to see if the shepherds are gonna practice what they preach. They've seen a lot of double standards, so they're putting you to the test to see what's up, what you're gonna do. It's a combination of many things.

61.The kids are testing things out, which is normal and natural at this age. So this needs to be considered and this is why you have to pray. If they play around too long, harboring doubts, for example, if it gets to the point of no return, they might have to learn the hard way.

62.The Devil's right in there fightin' long and hard and furiously to defeat our kids. Only with the Lord's divine intervention are you gonna know what to do and when to do it; when to apply loving discipline and a firm hand and when to give love and understanding and bend a little; when to apply the rod of correction and when to pick'm up and hold'm tight in your arms, or when to do both.

63.I'm not talking here about tolerating any foolish behavior and certainly not any harmful shenanigans that will cause hurt to others. This is why the shepherds have to pray every day to know when and how to apply the discipline the Lord wants.

64.If the young people resist what the Lord is trying to do in their lives today, if they insist on yielding to the Devil and if they're gonna be bad boys and girls, they might have to go out from among us and learn their lessons the hard way!

65.This is what the shepherds need to decide and why they have to keep praying. Only the Lord knows the heart of these kids, and through prayer He's able to show you shepherds and parents what's needed and when--when to hold on and when to let go. Pray for wisdom and discernment.

66.The Lord wants to salvage our kids, and He'll do so one way or the other. One way is the easy way, relatively speaking, where they learn their lessons in the Family. The other is the hard way, the way of the transgressor, where they leave to learn their lessons in the school of hard knocks. Hopefully a large measure of love and prayer and a firm guiding hand is what's gonna help pull'm through; but if after a sufficient amount of time they're not showing some signs of hope, some signs of improvement or some effort, even if small, of wanting to change, then maybe it's time to let'm go out and try something else, if they're of age. Again, you've got to judge each case on its own. [Editor: See also "How to Keep Our Teens," ML #3154, GN 760.]

The Lord Looks at How You Handle Needy Situations Today!

67.Now let's consider a little bit different situation for a minute. What can people do if they're in a Home with some of these young folks who are having a hard time, and their parents are somewhere else? A lot of our folks around the world will be tempted to feel like some of these problem cases have just been dumped in their lap, and now they have to sort out all the problems. With all the moving and changing in the Family right now, some folks may feel like they've been left to pick up the pieces of someone else's mistakes. They feel that they weren't responsible for the mistakes of the past and lack of discipline in years gone by. They've tried to help this young person, but they feel like enough is enough.

68.In some ways, I don't blame them for feeling that way, but the Lord sees things differently. He wants us all to be our brother's keeper. Folks may feel like they're having to pay for someone else's mistakes, but that's not necessarily how the Lord sees it. He will reward folks for what they do today to help. The Lord's looking at today, right now, and whatever any of our parents or shepherds do to help these kids make it, He's going to more than repay!

69.If you happen to get a difficult person plopped in your lap or you find yourself in a difficult situation that you feel wasn't your fault, and you think maybe someone else should take care of that person or that situation, try to fight thinking that way! The Lord's looking at what you're gonna do about it right now. If you're left to pick up the pieces from someone else's mistakes, the Lord will use it in your life, you can be sure of that. If He has allowed you to be put in such a situation, He has a reason. He might want you to take up the challenge and do your part to help, and if you do, He's gonna bless you for it. You never lose by giving!

70.That's what life is all about. Life is made up of needy situations, and the Lord is watching to see what everyone does about them. He's looking to see if you'll simply pass by the poor man on the road to Jericho, or if you'll see the need and do something about it. He's looking at today and the needy ones that are crossing your path today, and if you're gonna stoop to do something about it! (End of message from Dad.)

There's a Key for Each Child!

71.(Mama:) Now here is another message which I think you'll find very encouraging. The Lord gave this wonderful answer when we brought before Him the question:What if all the training that we, as parents, have poured into our children has gone out the door because of System input--movies, backslidden brothers or sisters, or other negative influences? What should we do now?

72.(Jesus speaking:) My precious ones, My Word never returns void, for it will accomplish the purpose whereunto I have sent it, and return again to Me fruitful and unchanging, even as I have sent it forth. So do not worry for your children, if you have given them the Word.

73. Of course, there is much to be done, but the solution is the same--My Word, giving them My Word lovingly, gently, in an appealing form, giving it to them faithfully, consistently, as much as you can.

74.You ask, "But how do we know what to use as an appealing form? They do not like to sit and read; they'd rather watch videos. They do not like to have classes; they'd rather play video games. They do not want to listen to the Word on tape; they'd rather hear System music. So whenever we insist that they do, they consider it a punishment. How do we give it to them in an appealing form?"

75.That is where you must seek Me, for each child has a key. For each child there is a key which will turn and help to open his heart. It is My Spirit that must do the work. It is ultimately My Spirit which will open their heart and make them receptive and help them receive that which they are given, but you must seek Me for the key.

76.For some children the key will be in the form of skits, animated presentations, fun and exciting activities having to do with the Word which will catch their interest. For others it will be the appeal of knowledge and intrigue, quizzes, questions, who can find it first, giving them studies to research, questions to answer, and letting them find the answers themselves.

77.For yet others it will be in the form of seeing Bible prophecy fulfilled, studying and seeing how My Word has been fulfilled, researching interesting details and proving My Word, stone upon stone, brick upon brick, continuing to build their foundation.

78.For each child it will be something different, but I can give you the key for each one. So come before Me and seek Me as to how to best give the Word to your children, and I will help it to catch their interest. Then you must pray desperately to keep that interest and to continue finding new ways to present the Word, so that it is alive, moving and living, rather than boring and something they consider a punishment.

79. Though you may sometimes have a group of children for a class or for Word time, you can still challenge each one individually or speak to each one individually during that time. Or you may be able to present things in such a way that it will spark the interest and turn the key of some children one day and of other children on another day. Variety is the spice of life, and they will be happy with the change, the stimulation, the excitement of new things, or even of old things presented in a new way!

80.You worry that all the good training you have invested in them, all that you have poured into them these many years, is suddenly thrown out the door through the influence of peers who have made the wrong choices, or through the influence of movies, System music, or other outside influences. Yes, it can seem so. It can seem that they have thrown everything away very quickly, and that the Enemy has succeeded in tearing down the foundation that you have tried so hard to build for so many years. But, My children, I say that this is not so.

81.For if you have laid a foundation of My Word, a foundation according to the guidelines I have laid out for you, that foundation is secure and built to last. My promise is true: Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart therefrom. Though he may depart for a little while, as My prophet David told you, yet in the end he will come back to the foundation, which is sure and steadfast, immovable, always there in his heart.

82.But if your children are in the stage of "departing for a little while," do not just let them go, trusting they will come back again of their own accord. For while that may be so, it could be years down the line. Much damage could be done in that time, not only in the way of painful experiences for them, but also in the way of many more souls which they were meant to reach not being reached.

83.So do all you can to give them the Word. Do all you can to pour the Word into them and to help them give the Word to others--whether it be to their peers, to those they witness to, to their younger brothers and sisters--however you can encourage them to get the Word in and out. That will be their salvation.

84.By seeing My Word work not only in their own lives but in the lives of others, they will realize that it is a powerful force, that it is living, that it is not dead words on a page or ancient writings of man, but it is My Spirit and it works miracles! So pray to find their key, and then proceed day by day to give them the Word, even if you do not see the results immediately.

85.If these outside influences are continuing to pull them further and further away from My Word, show them this clearly. Present it to them lovingly and ask them to make the choice. Hear from Me with them, read My Word together, and find the answers therein.

86.Do not curb and restrict all their activities, for they will feel rebellious. But show them how certain activities are bringing forth bad fruit, not only in their lives, but in the lives of their younger brothers and sisters; in the lives of those they should be ministering to; and ultimately in the lives of the souls which they should be saving, but whom they're not going to reach as they should because of their sample.

87.My dear parents and shepherds, this is not a one-step solution. There are many steps, day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment, following Me, seeking Me and continuing to give the Word even when it looks like it's failing, even when it looks like it is not accomplishing the purpose. You have My promise that My Word never returns void!

88.That is their foundation, sure and steadfast, which will remain through all eternity. Like the helmet, My Word is never given in vain. It is there to stay, even though they may close their conscience off to it, put it from their minds, and rebel in their hearts. Yet is My foundation firmly there, and one day they will come back to it and find it sure and steadfast.

89.So continue to give it to them day by day, brick by brick. Continue to build, and continue to check with Me, the Master Foreman. Use the tools that I have given you; hear from Me so that you can know by faith that you are proceeding correctly in each situation.

90.Then do not be discouraged, My dear ones. Do not be weary from your many days of work. Rest each night and commit all to Me, and the next morning as you wake, pray for faith to continue.

91.It is in My hands to work the miracles. These children are Mine. They are Mine more than yours, and I love them and care for them and will keep them forever. Not one Word shall fail of all the things which I have promised you, and once again these children will return unto Me and unto you and will accomplish the destiny for which I created them. Only be faithful now to build brick upon brick, stone upon stone, so that their foundation will be sure and steadfast. (End of message from Jesus.)

92.(Mama:) Praise the Lord! Thank You Jesus for Your wonderful promises that we can claim and stand on! Even if it seems at the moment that the foundation has been destroyed, or our children are not making the right decisions, help us to hang on by faith to these wonderful promises You've given, and know that You're going to do the miracle. Help us to do our part, to really pray and seek You for them. Then, when we've done all we can do, we leave it in Your hands to do the miracle. Thank You Jesus!

Pointers on the New Weapons!

93.This last message is a down-to-earth explanation from Jesus about how He's designed the new weapons to be a help and strength to us in every area of our lives, and how they can help us so much in our shepherding of our children and young people. He explains that though it may be extra work at first, or seem more intense or difficult because we're just learning how to use them, in the long run it will be much more effective, and will lighten our load considerably.

94.Like the Lord has said, the solutions are all there in His Word--both the written Word as well as His living Word, which He's pouring out fresh to anyone who comes to receive it!

95.I'm praying for each of you, that as you rediscover the power the Lord has given into our hands through His Word and these new weapons, you will be thrilled and inspired to see the Lord's promises fulfilled! I know it will make your burdens lighter, and that you and your children will be happier and more fruitful, effective witnesses! I'm proud of those of you who are taking up the challenge, and I know the Lord is very proud of you as well!

96. (Jesus speaking:) My precious children, these new weapons I have given you are intended to make your jobs easier. They are designed to help you carry your burdens more easily, to make your loads lighter, your work quicker, and your lives less stressful. They are to help you in every aspect of your life. Although there is an adjustment period where you are learning to use them and they seem indeed to be more work, more pressure, more to do, that is only for a time, during which you are becoming exercised in their use.

97.Once you make them a part of your daily life and learn to use them, you will become more comfortable with them, and they will become such a part of you that you would not think of going anywhere or doing anything without them. During these times of difficulty when it seems such a burden to try and use them all, and you forget sometimes, look forward to the promise I have given you of how much they will help you, how comfortable you will be with them once you become exercised and proficient in their use.

98.Even so, in your care of the children, begin now to use the new weapons, knowing that though it takes more time now, in the long run it will save time. There is no way around having to spend and invest more time now--not only with the children themselves, but in learning how to use the new weapons in their care. I will go through the new weapons step by step and give you some pointers on some of the most useful ones in your care of the children.

99.Praise. This weapon is still not used enough by My children. It is rightly said that in praise is found the victory. In your care of the children, it is easy to become frustrated and impatient. It is easy to become discouraged when you do not see the progress being made that you would like, or when you are tired and weary of the battle, or when the Enemy attacks in full with sickness or accidents, serious behavioral problems, or unhappiness in the children. At these times, praise is the weapon to use--not only yourself, but with the children as well.

100.For praise chases away the doubts and clouds of the Enemy. Praise lifts the burden of discouragement and condemnation. As you glorify Me and praise Me for the victories by faith, I am able to work miracles--not only in your circumstances, but also in your heart and in the hearts of your children. During your times of praise, your channel is also open to Me to receive My encouragement, My instruction, My ideas and fresh inspiration.

101.Praising Me brings down My blessings, and makes the mountains which the Enemy would put in your path melt away. Yes, there are mountains to climb, and there are battles to fight. But the Enemy is a liar and a bluffer. Many times the mountains are much smaller than he would make them appear, and it is through praising Me that you see them clearly and are given the faith and strength to climb them.

102.Another is prayer--not only stopping to hear from Me fresh, but also taking the time to commit to Me the burdens, the problems, the cares, the needs, the ideas and goals, the desires of your heart and of your children's hearts. As you pour out your heart to Me, I am able to work in these situations, change the things which you cannot change, and work the miracles which you need.

103.Many times you bring your heart to Me and say, "Lord, please help me." But I also like it when you pour out to Me fully, putting into words the specifics that you need, the trials that you have, and committing each of My dear little ones unto Me. In these times I am able to give you greater understanding. For as you pray for each child and list their specific needs, problems, heartaches and desires, you also gain a greater understanding of them and of how to help fill their needs. I am able to give you ideas, to speak to your heart, and to make you better equipped to handle the many little situations that come up throughout the day.

104.All of this takes time. You think it is so much easier to just ask for My blessing on the entire day rather than spending 20 minutes in prayer before Me, committing to Me each child, each need, each burden of your heart--and I know that you cannot do that all the time. But it is one of the weapons that I have given you--that of committing all to Me in prayer and pouring out your heart to Me.

105.It not only enables Me to give you specific and powerful answers to prayer, but also allows Me to work in your heart during our times together, and to give you more understanding and the gifts and love that you need to do the job. So do not neglect this powerful weapon of prayer--specific, faithful, regular times of prayer and communion with Me. I love to hear your heart, My dear ones. I love to hear and answer the yearnings and desires that you give Me.

106.This also affects the children. For as they see you pouring out your heart to Me, it will become a habit with them as well. And the more they commit to Me, and the more I answer and they see My promises fulfilled, the more their faith will grow and be strengthened for greater things. So do not miss the opportunity to strengthen them in this way, by faithfully committing all to Me.

107.Then, of course, there is the great and powerful weapon of hearing from Me fresh. This is My prize that I have given to you, and it is one of the greatest gifts I could bestow upon you to make your job easier. It is a gift certificate which never expires, has no cash limit, and is redeemable anywhere at any time! It is the gift of hearing My Words on any subject you desire, at any time, with anyone and in any place. My children, cherish this gift!

108.This also takes time. It takes effort to put all other things aside and hear from Me. It also takes faith and love, and you must do it out of obedience. But after a time you will no longer do it only out of obedience or out of duty, but it will become an integral part of your daily life. This is how I wish for it to be--so much a part of you that you do not think of doing anything without it. I so love you and long to be a part of you, My precious loves!

109.The uses for this weapon are unlimited. I can instruct you about the reasons the children are behaving the way they are, their motives, the root of the problem, and the solution. I can give you special words for them which will turn their key and inspire them. I can tell you what to teach, how to present it, and what they need most at this time. I can show you what would be the most fun for them on their birthday or other special occasions, or what would be the greatest reward for their good behavior. I can point out the good things that you can commend them for, and show you what the weaknesses are that you need to work on next. I can comfort and encourage you when you are weary and discouraged, and give you patience and faith when you have none left.

110.Not only this, but I also long to speak to each of My children and teach them how I fulfill My Words! I will give them promises, and will fulfill those promises to strengthen their faith. I will give them personal Words of love and encouragement, and will help solve their little problems and trials. There is nothing that I will not tell you or help you with, if you only ask Me. Again, I wish for you to use this gift much more, for it will lighten your load and give you faith.

111.Many times you come to Me and I give you part of an answer. I give you only part because I know you must come back to Me again in order to receive the strength to carry out the full answer. Yet you go off and seek to solve the whole problem with that one piece of the puzzle, then come back frustrated because you were not able to solve it. The solution is to continue coming back to Me. In your care of the children, something that I tell you will work for a while, but then you must come back and ask whether you should continue with it, or whether it is time to try something else, and I will tell you and show you. In all of this, I can be your teamworker, your helper, your eyes when you do not see, and your ears when you do not hear. I will be your understanding when the situation is unclear, and your solution when there is a problem. But you must learn to continue coming back to Me.

112.The area of loving Me will also help you in your care of the children, for the more you are full of Me and including Me in every area of your life, the more this will overflow onto them, and they will feel the difference in your patience, in your understanding, in your wisdom, in your interactions with them and others.

113.The New Wine is another weapon which I continually give you. As I pour out to you, so you should seek Me if there is something that I want you to do to pass it on to the children. This is something that I can also use in their lives to keep them revoluting, fresh, alive, and excited in My Spirit. So seek Me for ways to apply it to them and give it to them, and use the publications made for them in a bigger way in their lives. Teach them the principle of putting My Word first--that when New Wine is given, it is given because I wanted to give it to you. It was not given by chance, and didn't just arrive by coincidence at this time, but it is what I want you to major on and work on now. This will inspire them and give them something to look forward to, and as they learn to put My Word first and emphasize it, they will also see My blessings fall, and this will give them even more happiness.

114.My loves, I have given you so much! It is all there at your disposal--all you must do is use it. Remember My promises, that though it may seem to be more work now, in the long run it will pay off and bring forth great fruit, and in so doing it will make your loads lighter and your jobs easier. I love you, My children, and give unto you the Kingdom--all that you need, want or desire. Come and take it; it is yours for the asking! I love you! (End of message from Jesus.)

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family