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FSM 175 (FN 284) DO
Copyright: Aug. 1990 by Family Services, Zurich, Switzerland

(Part Two of a Two-Part Series)

Excerpts from Josiah's Reports
--More Lessons on Prayerfulness & Communion with the Lord

       1. God bless you, Mama! I love you very much! We're praying for you daily & also for the second session of the Summit '90 meetings. I know they're going to be very fruitful & meaningful for the people attending them. PTL!


       2. I've been very thankful for your counsel, guidance & correction. It's been wonderful to have your help whenever I step out of line. I just wanted to tell you that I appreciate very much that closeness. I know that I need a lot of help.
       3. One thing that I want to underline is how happy I have been for your correction & that you specifically asked the Lord what it was in my life that needed fine-tuning & special attention. Ever since the finger was put on my problem of lack of prayerfulness, & since I've been trying to work on it, I've been happier by the day! I must admit, however, that it seems to be taking me some time to change my bad HABITS. I'm only now realising how much I needed to slow down.
       4. I think one reason it took me quite a while to slow down is because I went through a period of frustration, thinking I wasn't getting anything done. My flesh was not as fulfilled & satisfied, because I wasn't going nearly as fast, & I ended up feeling a bit "lazy" not getting so much done. But, I'm seeing that now that since I'm moving slower & more prayerfully, what DOES get done is amazingly more thorough & firm. Every step is a solid step in the right direction instead of this constant nervous zig-zag of supposed efficiency & lots of accomplishments.
       5. But it's been really encouraging as I've been learning to go slower which isn't necessarily slow but more the pace I should've been following all along! I want to make it clear here that for me this is a real different mode of operation, & I'm really thankful to FINALLY be able to learn these lessons! I see that when I go slower, I give the Lord a lot more of a chance to punch through & to live through me & make decisions through me. I have been able to grab my old habits by the neck & recognise them for the detriment & trouble they can be. In a lot of ways, it isn't necessary to cope with the perspiration of trying to get rid of your bad habits, you can just let the GOOD habits come in. In other words, let the LIGHT in & the darkness will flee of itself.
6. It's a little humbling to have to confess all of this because so much of the foundation & principles of what I'm learning has been in the Word for so long. I hope it's encouraging to you to see that the Lord can change even a stubborn head like mine, especially after so many attempts. You've been marvellously patient with me. I wanted to encourage you that this recent correction & your pointing out my problem with lack of prayerfulness & not letting the Lord lead the show more, was the key to my finally learning some of the most precious lessons I've ever learned yet.
       7. I think those around me might be even more thankful for the fact that I'm learning these lessons, because it gives THEM a chance to get the ball & learn how to handle it. This reminds me of when I used to play hockey.--No one liked to play with this one guy who would keep the puck all to himself all the time. Even if he was a good player, we still didn't like it because we felt like we weren't given an opportunity to play or to learn to play.


       8. One of the biggest changes that has taken place in the way I feel is that in the past I was loaded with responsibility & I very much felt like the BOSS. Now my responsibilities are even MORE numerous, but I feel more like a SECRETARY. Now I inform the Boss through prayer of all that's happening & I get His instructions & carry them out.
       9. At most, I might feel like an executive secretary, because when you lean on the Lord & do what He expects you to do, He gives you somewhat free rein in regards to the pace of His Work, but He does appreciate knowing what you're doing & how you're going about it. I'm ashamed to confess that in the past I was feeling so big & important & so conscious of DOING things & ACCOMPLISHING things that I didn't leave Him near as much room or authority or credit as He deserves.
       10. It's embarrassing to confess this, but that's what it comes down to--unless we look to the Lord & acknowledge Him constantly, we become too "big", almost like a little god, & the Lord says He will have no other god before Him. It's HIS Work & we're merely employees--HE is the Great Shepherd & we are His under-shepherds taking care of His sheep.


       11. Maggie, MY executive secretary, & I have been getting together every morning for Word time. We read for an hour or two & then we pray for at least half an hour, & it's been wonderful! With our natural minds it looks like things are going slowly, but it sure doesn't appear so in the SPIRIT, because we spend hours & hours in meetings & in the Word & prayer.
       12. Maggie has been a real big blessing to me. We have developed a real sweet friendship & work together well. I'm really thankful for the Word time that we're having & the prayer time, which is really what the Lord is basing our whole relationship on.


       13. Recently when talking with some of my new CRO Teamworkers, the Lord led us to have a little pow-wow about the "excuses" we use for not getting in the Word. One person said, "If I get up early in the morning & get in the Word for an hour or two, then I feel like, `Okay, this is fine, I'm not taking time off WORK time to get in the WORD.' But when it's WORK time, if our devotions goes a little long, I have the impression that I'm just sitting there getting in the Word & not doing as much as I could in terms of SERVING & taking care of the sheep." Another one of our new CRO Teamworkers said, "Unless I have HELP to get in the Word & to learn to pray, I have a feeling that I'm never going to learn these lessons, because these have been long-lasting weaknesses with me over the years. If I could get a major victory over these big NWOs, it would be a big blessing."
       14. I said, "Well, what if we as Shepherds considered our time in the Word as work time? After all, it takes a fair amount of work to get in the Word. And instead of having to get up so early, since most people can't manage such an early schedule, why don't we get up at our normal time, & instead of getting back to work after half an hour or even an hour of devotions, let's all just get together & read together for a couple of hours. Then we can pray & commit everything to the Lord. That way it'll be part of our work schedule." Everyone was excited about the idea.
       15. So that's something we're going to try & do both when we're at our office & maybe even when we're at the Video Ministry, because a lot of the training & the input doesn't need to come from us personally, it can come from the Word. Since Maggie & I have Word time together anyway, we can just as easily have our Word time with our Teamworkers also, & then share any of the lessons that the Lord shows us from the Word with our Teamworkers, & thereby spread the training.


       16. As it stands now, there's a bit of a lull in the Video Ministry. Things are a bit quiet right now & since I'm used to going quite fast, I can tend to feel frustrated. Other people are perhaps feeling a bit frustrated with me also. For example, Watchman said, "That was one nice thing about Jo, he used to really get things done. Now that he's slowing down, I'm worried that we might not do as much as we used to." But for once in my life, I'm actually appreciating this slow pace quite a bit. In fact, I feel it's a lot more the way things SHOULD be.
       17. Right now we're in prayer about the new projects in the Video Ministry. The Video crew would very much like to get going & do things right away. I had to tell them, "Look, if nothing else, this is a time to really pray & ask the Lord to show us exactly the way HE wants the new Video series to be. So if all we do is really get in the Word & pray to get the instructions from the Lord, it'll save us time in the long run."
       18. So while it may appear a bit frustrating to some, I'm actually quite excited because I know that the Lord is going to punch through with the answers that we need, which will make our decisions a lot more fruitful & enduring. PTL!


       19. Our work right now in the Video Ministry reminds me of laying the foundation of a building. When you first dream up the design for a house, you can envision yourself in the living room with the hi-fi & indirect lighting. You don't really think of all the trouble & sweat & planning it will cost to bring about that finished enjoyable end product. And that's similar to what we're experiencing now.
       20. I feel like with the Video Ministry & even with the overall Work, we're re-laying a whole new foundation. Right now all we can see is a somewhat ugly foundation--unfinished, with pipes sticking out & wires here & there. In actuality we have a plan, at least the LORD does, & we're going somewhere, but it looks quite UNREFINED & we still don't know exactly what we're doing. But the time we're taking now to really pray & lay the foundation is going to pay off in the long run.
       21. It's funny that I should be the one talking about prayer & about waiting on the Lord. Right after I returned from the Summit '90 meetings, I experienced some of the same frustration that is presently in the air with the Video crew. That's when I got started with a "sprint start", making a series of quick decisions which weren't the right ones. You kindly corrected me on that in a phone message & I'm really thankful.
       22. So now I see the wisdom of the Lord in our taking the time to pray & plan things right, so that in the long run we will come up with the right set-up. Laying a good strong foundation will help the building go up a lot faster later. To continue with the building parallel, if all the fixtures aren't in their proper place, when we try to put on the finishing touches, our work will be stymied. For example, if we want to put a sink in the bathroom, if the pipes aren't coming through the floor, it's going to cost us a lot more to tear things apart again & have to go back & do the groundwork, the work that should have been done through prayer & planning & hearing from the Lord in the first place.


       23. We've been able to have a good meeting to basically plan the major moves, & it seems like everything is falling into place. We hope to have a meeting with the CRO Shepherds & the GASs soon, & we trust that things are also going to fall in place with our whole Area.
       24. This is taking us a little bit of time, a lot longer than it would've taken me in the past. I can't help but compare this to the aftermath of the JLC when we had to re-evaluate everything & pray everything through. But I recall at that time I was going way too fast, & dear Paul Papers & Isaac had to stop me in my tracks & get me to pray more.
       25. Due to these old habits I'm still overcoming, things appear to be going so slowly now, but for me personally, I have never been chided or corrected by you for going too SLOW, it's going FAST that I've been reprimanded for. Anyhow, I just pray that we'll hit a good balance.--And I know that if we don't, you'll continue to lead & guide us & I'm thankful for that. PTL!


       26. In Japan we've had so many of our key people move on to other fields, it looks like we have to put an emphasis on TRAINING in the upcoming months, to train more leaders & pillars of the Work.
       27. Here in Japan you'd think that the brethren are trained well enough so that we could just keep going with the same momentum that we have had. But I'm seeing that the overall standard on the field has gone down since we've had so many of our pillars move on to other fields, & we're going to have to get back to work at pulling our socks up before expecting such high performance as when we had many more trained personnel, many of whom have now moved on.
       28. We really need to strengthen our undershepherds, those who often carry quite a big responsibility of upholding the standard & the sample during their frequent visits to the Homes. It seems like we're going to have to first of all work on strengthening the GASs, who in turn hopefully can help strengthen the Combo Teamworks. I pray it doesn't sound like I'm murmuring or complaining that we don't have as many trained leaders in this Area as before, that really isn't what I'm trying to stress, but rather that I'm excited. I feel envisioned & challenged with this new goal of continuing to train our personnel!


       29. I'm realising that this assignment is way too big for me & too big for all of us put together. Several days ago Maggie & Mary & I spent a WHOLE MORNING in the Word & prayer. What happened was, the night before I had spent some special time with Mary to celebrate her birthday. At first I was so full of worries & cares that I couldn't even enjoy this special occasion, which was a real shame because we very rarely have time together to get away for things like this. So I told Mary, "I'll make a deal with you. I'm going to stop worrying & stop thinking about everything, if tomorrow morning we don't do anything but just stop everything & make a list of all our prayer requests & spend the morning praying." I knew that Maggie would agree as well. And we did just that & it was just wonderful!
       30. We pulled out the "Precious Promises" that I received at Summit '90. We selected about 40 or 50 promises that were more along the lines of asking & desperate prayer & not so much along the lines of protection. Then we went around in a circle, taking two prayer requests at a time & two "Precious Promises", & we committed it all to the Lord. It took us a couple of hours, & then we took some time to hear from the Lord. It was really wonderful! Both Maggie & Mary are real good prayer warriors & Word-lovers so it was a real strength & I was real thankful for them.


       31. I was telling Maggie & Mary about how I feel I'm constantly trying to get on top of the mountain of papers I have to read & the mountain of everything that there is to do. Taking time for the Word & prayer every day has really helped alleviate that feeling. At least I feel like we are working on the right things, investing our time & our effort in the right direction, rather than just beating the air, which is a lot of what I did in the past.
       32. But I was still trying to get on top of everything that there is to do. I wanted to get "caught up". I just don't like to be on the defensive against the papers & all the problems that come my way. I like to stay on top of all that. Even with all this prayer & all this Word time, I still was feeling a bit frustrated & I thought, "What's going on! Here I get as close as I can to the top of the mountain & I'm almost there, almost caught up & almost on the offensive & then I find out that--boom--I'm going too fast or I'm operating in the arm of the flesh again. So I have to slow down & then I'm no longer caught up."
       33. I got this little picture this morning while reading the "Strength & Weakness" GN by Mama. In this GN there are a few verses that really touched my heart. One is when God talked to Gideon & told him to let go of 30,000 men because people might think that he won the battle by the arm of the flesh.--When actually he was already outnumbered because his enemies were as numerous as the sands of the sea. The Lord told him to let go of 30,000 men & later on he had to come down to nothing but 300! When I read this I thought, "My goodness, he really knew how to NOT get caught up in feeling on the DEFENSIVE!"
       34. And then I recalled YOUR situation, Peter, as you explained at the Summit '90 meetings that Mama & you always have a lot to do & there are always tons of papers.--As soon as you're finished with one pile there is another pile, or two or three more piles that come in! Usually you're not even caught up with your mail by the time you're receiving even more, & the problems & piles & mountains are always there.
       35. When thinking about this, it finally dawned on me that with GOD you are in the MAJORITY! With God I can be on the OFFENSIVE! I may not take care of 15 different projects or accomplishments, but in praying about or working on the precious few that I DO take care of, they are taken care of better. And the rest of the projects or problems that I CAN'T get to will take care of themselves. In other words, the LORD will take care of them, or maybe they're just not as important. Maybe in some cases they're just a distraction or decoy of the ol' boy. I'm realising that I can only do so much. And it's a real relief. I'm actually quite thankful to learn this lesson.


       36. We read in "For God's Sake Follow God" recently how people will oftentimes put pressure on you, making you feel like they're a bit frustrated, they need some guidance, they need something to do, they need some answers. When in actuality, they just need to hear from the Lord themselves! Perhaps people also look to me so much because they feel like, "Here's a capable leader. Here is somebody that if I get close to, he is going to take me places." In looking to the man they also look to the accomplishments of the man or the "busyness" of the man & since they work with me & take part in those accomplishments it makes them feel "big" or "important". But if I am more dependent on the Lord, I believe it will cause others to look to the Lord too. So, Jesus, please help me.
       37. So, I'm just really thankful for this time that we have together every day to make a connection with the Lord. It's really working out well! I enjoy having our other Teamworkers join us in our Devotions, because I feel like the more the merrier!--It's very unifying. It's really precious, although I still do appreciate that time ALONE of real quietness also.


       38. Mary & I decided that it would be best if we spent one night together & the next night apart from each other to allow more time for the Word. She also feels like unless she gives the Lord first place, He won't bless our relationship. She has had a bit of a problem of adulation or adoration towards me & she's aware of it. Recently her bronchitis came back a bit & she was afraid that this might be why--because she was again looking more to my reactions, my comments, my compliments, my presence, rather than looking to the Lord. So I guess it's a problem that not only Mary, but most of us have to keep in check.
       39. Anyhow, we agreed that it would be better if we stayed together every other night, in order to be able to get some precious time & privacy with the Lord. Our relationship is a bit like a Teamwork with the Lord, & it seems like unless we spend the same amount of time evenly with each other, including the Lord, He feels left out & He gets hurt & then our Teamwork or relationship doesn't work that well.


       40. I was counselling some of the School Shepherds about their marriage & in the course of this counsel I said, "I used to be quite wrapped up in my relationship with Mary, especially when it first began. When I arrived in Japan from the P.I., I was quite eager to work with her & be close to her.--The relationship we shared was quite a big deal to me at that time. But now, especially since I've come back from the Summit '90 meetings, things have changed a bit. We still love each other very much, we still sleep together & all, but we make love perhaps only one time out of every three or four nights that we're together. Making love just isn't as important as it used to be, & that whole fluffy, foaming relationship is not as big to me any more, or to Mary either for that matter."
       41. Then I continued to say, "But, if we were to talk about this subject, it would probably come out that both of us feel a bit like, `Oh, what's happening to us? We're not as close & as mushy as we used to be?' But on the other hand, we're good friends, we're CLOSER friends & perhaps we just don't need as much sex as we used to."
       42. Since the Summit '90 I'm realising that personally I don't need as much sex or sexual attention as I used to. And I'm very thankful for that.--Now that we make a point of just getting in the Word & reading & praying every morning, & spending several solid hours with the Lord. There have been a few days like free days or parents' day when I didn't have a chance to make much of a connection with the Lord, & I felt so empty & so powerless. So I'm realising that I want that intimacy with the Lord, much more than a fluffy, romantic, sexual relationship.
       43. It's so feeding to have this extra time with the Lord. I wonder HOW I ever managed to go without it all this time! I'm so ashamed to say this! I don't mean that I have never had a connection with the Lord or I've never felt close to the Lord. At different times I HAVE, especially during those special moments when I was "on the bench", when I really fell in love with the Lord & His Word.


       44. I'm taking a lot of time to share these lessons with you, but they're quite precious to my heart & it may be a comfort to you to see that I'm finally getting the point. Please don't rescue me prematurely, because I realise that I've still got a ways to go in these weak areas. I don't mean to share these lessons to make you feel like I've attained, I got it, I'm all better now. I know that these weaknesses are something I'm probably going to have to KEEP working on for the rest of my life.
       45. I need your help & your prayers & correction. Please don't ever feel like I'm not going to take it or I've had enough. When you CORRECT me I know that you LOVE me! Your correction helps me very much & I'm not afraid of it. I know you correct me because you expect me to change, you trust me to do better & it makes me want to do better! Peter & Paul, I love you both as my big brothers. You've really helped me over the years, & I need your help, your correction & your training. PTL!


       46. I have received some real sweet reactions to my "Dear Teamworkers" letter about my NWOs from my new CRO Teamworkers. Reading that letter helped everybody ELSE confess their own NWOs also, & they also asked for safeguarding. So that was quite precious.
       47. My new CRO Teamworkers have observed my new pace & mode of operation & they've oftentimes mentioned that it's such a BIG CHANGE for them that I'm not pushing for anything & I'm not giving them deadlines. I don't mean to say that I don't believe in deadlines any more, but in their case, they're already trained, they're hard workers & they don't NEED to constantly be pushed. Being constantly pushed is far from being a compliment when you're already a real hard-working person.
       48. When talking about the changes they see in me they said, "NOW when you come to the office you're going slow, you're very relaxed, & you take the time to talk to us about different things & the Work. You even enjoy the children." They went on to say, "It's a funny thing, but your new way of operating makes us fear the Lord more. In the past we were more in the fear of YOU. Before, everybody braced themselves for a lot of WORK & an INTENSE SCHEDULE whenever you would come to the office, whereas now people are more conscious of their spiritual walk with the Lord when you come around."
       49. I am only now realising how much I was missing in terms of receiving things from the Lord, His little checks, His still small voice; as you can only hear this really when you're going slow enough & you're completely open to His program, which is something that I had a hard time doing in the past.


       50. As you know, I've always been a worshipper not only of accomplishment but also efficiency. So I would have a pretty packed program & schedule not only for myself but for everybody else as well, which left us very little time to hear from the Lord. It puts me to shame to have to confess these things because of the poor sample that I have been to others, but on the other hand, it's very liberating & fulfilling.
       51. In my daily work, I see the need to TONE DOWN work & accomplishment & even this special emphasis on piles of papers & all of that. I'm even trying to streamline my "efficiency" methods. I'm trying to enlist the help of others more & let THEM read the piles of papers, let THEM read the material even before me & then highlight it for me or even just bring up the points in meetings, rather than just circulate papers just for the sake of everybody having a glance at them.
       52. Now that we are trying to do things very prayerfully, in many ways it is exposing my past mode of operation because we are finding that some of our undershepherds on the field are also going quite fast, & they're not really trained, so the things that are getting done are what we would say in French "not done well, YET to be done". In other words, it's not finished, it's not done WELL enough & you can't build on it--so if you want to go further with it, you just have to tear all of that out & start all over again.


       53. At first Maggie & I were getting together every morning for two hours of Word time, but we realised that other members of the CRO Teamwork weren't getting that much Word. So we decided to have our Word time together with them. And we've made a point of reading specifically on the topics that we are praying about or discussing, so this time together is not only Word input for our own inspiration, but it's teaching us all how to get our answers from the Word.
       54. By the way, we've been using the Daily-Dex to make Word studies & it's been absolutely thrilling. We've been able to read so many different Letters that give a well-rounded, two-hour meal that is so feeding. As expected, it's also been most unifying because everybody is going by the same yardstick, the standard of the Word, & the Lord is unfolding all of the solutions to our problems right through the Word. These Word studies have been the essence & peak of this training time that we've been having together, because the Word really is the one that does the preaching.
       55. Our morning prayer has been very rewarding & fulfilling. After reading the Word, we spend about 30 minutes to an hour just praying. We've been trying the different methods of prayer requests & prayer praises such as one-word or one-sentence prayers. We've had almost a week now of trying different ways of praying, & every time the Lord has really come through with a very precious experience, which shows that we really don't have to be bound to praying in any set way.
       56. Something else that's made our time of prayer very rewarding is that since our whole CRO Teamwork is together & everybody's aware of their particular areas of the Work, our prayers have been very COMPLETE. The Word says we should cast all our cares upon Him. When we're all together doing just that, it's amazing how many burdens or fears or doubts or worries we can unload on the Lord & let HIM carry them for us. It's also a powerful concentration of faith when everybody is trusting the Lord for these minute details & problems. You just know in the end that the Lord will take care of everything while we sit at His feet & learn of Him.


       57. The meetings I've held with the CRO Teamwork have been a real big re-education for me. I've had such a problem when directing meetings of trying to come up with ALL the solutions & pushing my opinions through; but in this case, I let THEM talk & come up with their own evaluation of the problems & their own solutions, etc. In some cases, at first we didn't even know what the problems were & we had to evaluate the whole situation.
       58. I must honestly say that I just DIDN'T have all the answers, & the Lord must have set it up this way so that I'd have to let the OTHERS talk & let THEM come up with all the different possibilities. So I was basically just sitting there listening to them all & just directing the discussion.
       59. Later when we were talking about the blessing of counselling & having everyone submit their suggestions & looking at the "elephant" from all the different angles, I told my Teamworkers that I don't think I have any more solutions or any more of a revelatory plan than THEY do. If anything, the Lord just gives me the next question in the discussion.
       60. I think my Teamwork members were encouraged by the fact that no ONE person knew the answers to the problems we were discussing--not me, not Maggie, not Mary--& that the Lord was using THEM to come up with the answers to the problems. This was so encouraging to them because when they have to go out & discuss things with our undershepherds, THEY won't have to have all the answers either. THEY can just do the same thing--present the problems & let others come up with the solutions as they all look to the Lord together in prayer & counsel.


       61. I've been learning a lot recently about waiting on the Lord & how humbling it is sometimes to have to be sitting right there in front of people who perhaps EXPECT you to have the answers & you just DON'T have them. A good example of this was when we recently had a meeting with all the different GAS Teamworks. We knew the Lord wanted us to restructure the leadership of the field, but we didn't yet know which leaders should shepherd which Area. We felt that the people we had invited to the meeting were no doubt the ones that would hold these positions of leadership, but we didn't quite know just yet WHAT AREA they would be shepherding. In this case we had to tell them, "We're so sorry, we're inviting you here & we're not even sure what you all are going to end up doing, but that's why we want to really pray with you." And I'm glad that we didn't know, because the Lord had a different plan.
       62. We discussed the different options with them, which no doubt in the end has given them more conviction for where they are supposed to be, because they were in on the pow-wowing of why we need one person here & another person there. The GASs were not in on every detail of the personnel situations--we discussed that privately in our CRO Teamwork. But through the discussions that we were able to have with the GAS Teamworks, they could see the planning & reasoning behind the decisions. They saw that these decisions weren't a "big secret" & we really were desperate to find God's solutions together.


       63. As you know, we've been working on a report to you about our plans to upgrade the video equipment. It's taken us a bit of time, but we learned a real precious lesson about waiting on the Lord. Because we have learned so much about equipment during this time of research, it was really the Lord that we didn't jump the gun & say, "Well, let's just grab this machine because it's a really good one." We have found all sorts of possibilities that can upgrade our equipment even better & for an even cheaper price.
       64. This time of prayer & waiting has also done one other wonderful thing, it's made us really PRAY over all of our set-up & helped us all to be thoroughly informed of what we're working with & what we would like to have. We have thoroughly discussed & prayed through the different options.
       65. At first we were going to slap a report together & send it to you & expect YOU to do all the hard work of deciphering all this technical jargon & discerning which pieces would be best for us to purchase. But then I felt, "Wait a minute! We here are not even that sure of what we want & we really need to pray this through & not expect YOU to `hoto baroto' a revelatory answer from the Lord for us!" I realise that, aside from your being very unfamiliar with all this technical & professional LINGO, you've also got many, many OTHER things to think about, & you're quite distant from the need, compared to how we could really get together & hash it out & pray it through & weigh it & let the Lord punch through with more information & more inclinations until we feel that we've really got the Lord's mind on it.
       66. It's the waiting & waiting that kills me!--But I'm thankful to be learning about waiting on the Lord, because I'm seeing that it does take that TIME for Him to finally get our ear & punch through with the extra information or insight that we might not have had if we had gone at our own pace. So that report will be coming shortly--a much more complete, comprehensive report. TTL!
       67. I'd like to thank you for something that I don't thank you enough for, the fact that you are preparing the pubs & the material to feed God's children, & you're in constant prayer not only for all the situations worldwide but also to keep an eye towards the Lord to see where He's leading & hear His directions. I know how much work & prayer & prayerfulness it entails, & I want to thank you very much for the many sacrifices that you make for us.


       68. I recently had such a good visit with Marianne. It's always a big blessing, because aside from her being a bit of me, a part of my family, Marianne's a strong leader & a real blessing to counsel with. Perhaps she doesn't feel so at ease about telling me off if I'm out of line, but she's got a gentle Leo-like way of hinting that allows me to see the lightning without feeling the bolt. It's very much like you do things, Mama. You're very gentle & you say exactly what you need to say, but it comes almost in the form of a compliment. That's how sweet you are to us & how easy you make it for us to be good.
       69. Anyhow, I always really enjoy counselling with Marianne, & I think she also appreciates the time in fellowship & counsel & prayer. So I'll try & work it out again perhaps with the CROs & Marianne & maybe one or two people from the LIM, just to have a good word of prayer for anything & everything that's happening in the different areas of the Work. I've found that sometimes we don't really know what to pray for or even what to discuss until we get together, & then the Lord does it. So, all in all it's been a real big blessing to commune together more often, which is very unifying, PTL!


       70. Also when I visited Marianne recently I got to discuss with her our little boy, David (8 years old), who will be having a minor operation, because he's got a hernia. One of his testicles has been swollen for two or three months, & now it's starting to hurt him. We went over a number of lessons he's learning, & it boils down to his being a bit strong in his own strength, trying too hard, in other words. It looks a lot like the problems that his daddy has had to try & overcome.
       71. I got to go on a little walk with David the evening I was there visiting, & it was quite sweet. I shared with him a lot of lessons about letting the Lord do it, & how I had to overcome a lot of NWOs, & in fact am still at it. Most of his NWOs were precisely in the area of depending too much on the arm of the flesh & not looking to the Lord. I told him that even though I hadn't yet attained & made as much progress as perhaps was expected, or at least as much as I would have liked to, one way that I am now safeguarding myself is by confessing & making it obvious to people what my weaknesses are. I explained that this way they could keep an eye out for it & help me with it etc. Apparently David has also had a hard time receiving correction this past year. TTL, he HAS made a lot of progress in that area, so it's quite encouraging to see how he wants to grow. So Lord, please help him.
       72. He's my oldest son & I'm quite close to him & he looks up to me very much. That isn't necessarily always good, because he has picked up some of my weaknesses. It's rather heartbreaking to see your NWOs show up in your children. I don't mean to flagellate myself & take it too hard, because on the other hand he's going to have to live his own little life as a Christian soldier too, & there are just things that each & every one of us have to go through & learn. But since the same blood runs in his veins, chances are he's going to have to overcome a set of battles like mine. It sure made me pray for him.
       73. I've also been quite close to little Jamie, the oldest boy of Mary & John. Recently I've started to spend individual time with the children, & with him because he is having some battles right now in the JETT wing with being too pushy, too competitive, always wanting to be number one not only in sports but in class. He has been fairly talkative & argumentative, all for the purpose of winning & being number one. So I again had a chance to confess my own weaknesses & I shared some pointers with him that I believe will be a help to him.
       74. It was also an opportunity for me to explain to Jamie that his daddy, John, is presently helping with the Teen Victor Program, & that he is very thankful for it & benefiting greatly by it. I explained to Jamie that his daddy is with the Teen Victors as a teacher, & also because he is learning some lessons which are similar to those that Jamie's having to learn--about looking more to the Lord & not being afraid to show himself weak, & not trying to always excel in the flesh, but rather letting the Lord excel for him.
       75. It was quite sweet & I'm hoping to have more time like this with the children. It doesn't really take that long, sometimes just an hour every so often, & it really makes a big impression on them. I'm seeing that this INDIVIDUAL time actually bears more fruit than when you have them all together, when all you can cope with is "traffic control" or discipline just to keep the peace.


       76. Each week we have been compiling prayer requests from the GASs, Marianne, the Service Center, the LIM, the Video Ministry & ourselves. This prayer list is compiled every Friday & we have seen the Lord really answer prayer.
       77. Just a few days back, because we had so much on our prayer list--in fact, I felt our PRAYER LIST was much bigger than our "TO DO LIST"--I suggested maybe we could call on everyone at the HCS to just stop everything & pray. So we had a day of Word & prayer together, & we ended up getting a good solid eight hours of Word & prayer, & it was just absolutely wonderful! It actually changed the spirit of the School.
       78. We basically divided up all of our prayer requests into four topics--healing, protection, supply & general requests (things that didn't fit into the other categories). We also divided up the "Precious Promises" verses into those four topics. We asked the Victors to help us with that & they took a real glory in doing it. Four of us--Tim, Charity, Maggie & myself--each led one meeting of reading the Word for an hour & praying for half an hour. After each meeting we'd have a break & the next person would read on another specific topic, & then again we would pray for half an hour, claiming those promises that were specifically along the line of the topic that we touched on.


       79. It's just been amazing to see how much the Lord is the One doing it! I feel a bit stupid to have to say this, but it's just so amazing how much it's all the Lord. I don't know how I ever thought that I had anything to do with it! If anything, now I feel a bit like a lazy bum in many ways, all we do is get together in the morning & read the Word & really pray & commit all of our cares to Him, & then we walk away carefree, knowing the job is underway & in good Hands--His!
       80. I was telling the School Shepherds that last year one of the most intense moments of our days was that morning meeting at the Leadership House during which time we struggled with every situation that came up! It was a big fight every morning to try to overcome every problem that was arising. But now we're spending this time in the WORD & in PRAYER.
       81. The same amount of time we spend discussing BUSINESS we've already spent in PRAYER & it's just been amazing to see the Lord do it all. As I said, I'm ashamed to say that I ever thought that I was the one or that I had anything to do with it, because it's really beautiful to see each & every prayer getting answered one by one. And the ones that are not getting answered just yet, we have to be like the importunate woman & keep calling on the Lord, & we know that He's GOING to answer.
       82. I don't want to make it sound like we're perfect now, as we still have a lot of NWOs to overcome & things that are not quite right, but nothing that can't be overcome through the Word & prayer. PTL!


       83. Another thing I'm finding out is in regards to all the mail & paperwork that we have to go through. Before, I used to read papers & really try hard to see all of the matters of concern & kind of wrestle a solution through; whereas now I feel like we're just basically picking up all these papers & treating them as prayer requests. The next morning we meet & commit them to the Lord, & if the Lord shows us what to do about a situation, then we make a move. If not, we continue to pray & counsel about it until He does give us an answer. It's been so much more effortless, or the work has been in a sense easier to carry. Even though my responsibilities are almost twice what I had before, comparatively speaking, it seems like the load is only HALF of what it used to be.
       84. Sometimes I feel like we're not doing as much as we should be doing, so I sure hope that all that needs to be done is getting done. We're not able to attend to everything ourselves of course; & it takes a bit of faith, in fact a lot of faith to trust people more, because we can't be everywhere all the time. But I remembered what was said at the Summit '90 meetings: If you can't be there & if you can't do it YOURSELF, you're still responsible to PRAY for the people that you've assigned it to. So that's exactly what we do.


       85. We've really been praying for the Video Teamwork, who in actuality carry most of the load of the Video production since I'm not around all that much due to all my other responsibilities. I basically look at the messages that come from you all & pass on my two cents & my instructions to the Video boys. I also look at the reports we send you & I go over the pow-wow notes & over every question that they have; & between Watchman & Solomon & Chris Mountain, we've got a good Video Teamwork. It's giving them more room to flap their own wings & more room to grow. They've all been taking it quite seriously, & we've impressed upon them the need to really pray together & read the Word together. They've all testified that that has really helped them.
       86. Since I have been one of the biggest offending members in the area of not praying enough, I've tried to confess my boo-boos along this line & go a bit to the other extreme.
       87. Watchman wrote a reaction all about this new mode of praying more. It's a shame, though, that we should call it a "new" mode because it's been in the Letters for 20 years, so we shouldn't refer to it like that. But it's new here in the sense that we've all made an effort to pray more. Everything is operating much more the way it should, much less frantically than it used to be, & everyone is able to acknowledge that the Lord is the One Who is in control--we're much less at the helm simply because we've moved aside & made room for Him to navigate the ship. PTL! Hallelujah!


       88. I guess those are all the wonderful fruits of looking to the Lord & depending more on Him. I'm really thankful for you all, that you expected it of me. I often think of all that was shared with me before I left the Summit meetings, especially in regards to how I can't grow any more unless I depend more on the Lord. At this point, I'm not sure if I'm growing so much more MYSELF, but because I'm leaving more room for the Lord, I feel like the WORK is growing, & He's able to accomplish what He wants just because we give Him more room to operate. Isn't that beautiful?
       89. Again, I'm a bit ashamed to talk about this "new mode of operation" when this is what Grandpa has been teaching us for so many years & it's been in the Bible all along. We've been doing special Word studies on being still & being patient & waiting on the Lord. The Bible is just full of those subjects. It's so encouraging to see how almost everyone in the Bible had to walk out on that limb & trust the Lord utterly, & that's just the way He seems to like it.


       90. When I agreed to my lessons being published in these FSMs, for some reason I had real victory about it. Maybe, as you said, it's because I've had a little more practice as my lessons have oftentimes been used in such a manner. I want to give the Lord the credit for the change that He has brought about in my life every time. I seem to be the type of person who needs to learn by experience, & I don't seem to get my lessons unless they are spelled out a little more clearly, often in the form of a correction or specific guidance.
       91. It was rough for awhile, as you may recall, because I felt like I was so short of the goal & so short of what should be expected of a leader in the Family, but I've learned that if you can't get it right the first time around, you can always apologise & try to get it right the second or third time around--or however many times it takes.
       92. I've learned that even though this method is not as graceful as I would sometimes like it to be, it does nevertheless very much encourage OTHERS, especially those who have a number of shortcomings or who feel a little "handicapped" with physical abilities & gifts that get in the way of the spiritual.
       93. Incidentally, I read "The Handicap of Natural Ability" recently (ML#1907). I feel quite handicapped by my natural talents & drive, which I haven't always yielded to His service. I have recognised the same problem in quite a few people in the Family, but I seem to have had a worse case of this problem than most, & hopefully the lessons that the leadership at the second session of the Summit '90 may have milked from my experience will help a number of people in the Family. I pray so. I honestly don't mind going through these things & being exposed, simply because of the satisfaction I feel in knowing that it can help others.
       94. For a while I was hoping to have a better "image" & a more saintly appearance, but after a few dents in my armour, I accepted that that wasn't the way the Lord wanted to use my sample. But then I learned that the Lord can draw just about as many lessons out of our mistakes as He does out of our successes, provided we're willing to yield & accept those lessons & change accordingly.
       95. I think I'm a bit of a slow learner & I usually need to get bumped on the head a number of times before I get the point. But when I really get it, being the extremist that I am, I go way to the other side.
       96. I would like to give you & the Lord the credit for having the faith in me that I can change & for all the encouragement you give me along the way, which makes it a lot easier. I can't even take the credit for the changes that have taken place in my life, because most of the time I wasn't able to even see the need for the change myself. I had to get it knocked into my head & I had to have specific restrictions laid before me to help me abide by the resolutions that I should set for myself. The resolutions that I needed were presented to me, & I merely accepted them.
       97. I feel like, "Look, if these lessons are worth something for everybody, then praise the Lord!" Most of the time the milk has been spilled & wiped up long before the FSM articles are published. And if anything, it's just my PRIDE that gets a little hurt when the lessons finally come out, because all of a sudden the whole World knows how bad I am. But I can honestly say that I've never had a negative reaction from people who've read my confessions & lessons. If anything, people are very appreciative. That's the way I feel when I hear a confession or prayer request from others, my heart goes out to people & I admire them for wanting the victory. I see them as genuine fighters. Can you see that I'm trying to encourage myself?--Ha! Maybe when these lessons get pubbed, I'm going to need to review all these good points!


       98. Recently I read something that touched my heart & made me think about you, dear Dad & Mama for all that you all do for us to lead the way. Allow me to read it to you: "Life is a steep climb & it does the heart good to have somebody `call back' & cheerily beckon us on up the high hill. We're all climbers together & we must help one another. This mountain climbing is serious business, but glorious. It takes strength & a steady step to find the summit. The outlook widens with the altitude, & so if anyone among us has found anything worthwhile we ought to `call back'". And now a poem:

       99. If you have gone a little way ahead of me, call back,
       'Twill cheer my heart & help my feet along the stony track,
       And if perchance faith's light is dim because the oil is low,
       Your call will guide my lagging course as wearily I go.

       Call back & tell me that He went with you into the storm,
       Call back & say He kept you when the forest's roots were torn,
       That when the heavens thundered & the earthquake shook the hill,
       He bore you up & held you where the very air was still.

       Oh, friend, call back & tell me for I cannot see your face,
       They say it glows with triumph & your feet bound in the race,
       But there are mists between us & my spirit-eyes are dim,
       And I cannot see the glory though I long for word of Him.

       But if you'll say He heard you when your prayer was but a cry,
       And if you'll say He saw you through the night sin-darkened sky,
       If you have gone a little way ahead, Oh friend, call back,
       'Twill cheer my heart & help my feet along the stony track.

       100. Well, this is the way I feel about you. You've gone ahead of us so much, so far, & you keep instructing us in the way that we should go. You keep calling back to tell us of the pitfalls & what we should watch out for. I want to thank you for calling back & being way ahead up there & sacrificing as much as you do for us to show us the way. I'm really thankful because I know how much it costs. I love you very much! Thank you for all that you are to me & to all of us.
       Love, Jo
       101. We trust that through this series of Prayer FSMs, along with Mama's two Prayer GNs, that we are all learning the importance & benefits of having a closer communion with the Lord.
       102. We want to point out, however, that our goal is not for everyone to stop everything in order to stay in perpetual prayer. In most of our busy Homes it's unlikely that everyone can stop for daily one or two-hour prayer meetings, but instead will have to "pray as you go"--following the Scripture, "Pray without ceasing." (1Thes.5:17) It is important for those who have to make daily decisions which affect the lives of the Lord's sheep & His Work, to spend extra time in prayer. These leaders need to spend some hours in the Word & prayer to make sure they are getting the Lord's answers, but everyone in every Home can't necessarily do the same.
       103. Everyone should pray continuously throughout the day & over every activity they undertake, but everyone will not be able to stop all they are doing in order to pray. Dad said, "If you don't keep in touch with the Lord all the time, you're in trouble. But you don't have to be down on your hands & knees praying frantically to be heard. Prayer is something you're doing all the time, no matter what else you're doing. You can't wait until you're through doing this or that & then pray. It's like thinking on your feet!"--(ML#74:4)

By Watchman

       104. I wanted to write up a little testimony about the lesson I have been learning regarding going slower & trusting the Lord more, rather than pushing so hard in our own strength, as some of us--especially me--had been so accustomed to doing previously.
       105. When Jo returned from the Summit '90 meetings, I was very impressed by the way his entire mode of operation was so different from what it had been before. I'll have to say that I found it a bit frustrating at first, since I had always known Jo to be such a "man of ACTION" & all of a sudden things weren't moving nearly as fast as we had been used to.
       106. For example, before I used to be amazed at how fast I would get responses to questions. I used to be able to just go by Base & drop a note in Jo's box & I'd actually receive a call on the intercom from Jo within 30 minutes with the answer to my question! I'd honestly never seen anyone move that fast before &, in a way, I really liked that as it seemed to make things run efficiently & I always knew I could count on getting an answer back promptly.
       107. However, that also meant that in many cases we were really tempted to look to Man, in this case to Jo, to solve a lot of our problems & have the answers for us. So we weren't really looking to the Lord in desperate prayer for what He wanted done & learning to hear from the Lord & follow His voice. LHUs!
       108. Another big change was that I didn't see Jo nearly as much as I'd seen him before. It seemed clear that he was operating in a whole different fashion, & when I would see him there was such an emphasis on prayer. Things seemed to be moving more SLOWLY but more SOLIDLY than they had in the past. So much more emphasis was put on prayer & having an attitude of hearing from the Lord in meetings, rather than just diving into it & discussing things amongst ourselves so much. A lot of prayer was put into each & every move & topic. It reminded me a lot of the way Peter operated when he was here visiting the School.--He was constantly acknowledging the Lord in prayer in every discussion, talk & decision. PTL!
       109. Operating like this & seeing your leadership operate like this seems to do two things almost immediately: First, it really gives you a good feeling & gives you faith that the Lord is the One Who is really doing it, as you see so much of JESUS & you see the LORD being manifested a lot more. And secondly, it makes you put your eyes on the Lord more & not so much on your leader. Also, this spirit of prayerfulness is a good habit which filters down through the ranks. After being in a few meetings like that, I found myself praying much more than I had before. I began having a good word of prayer with my co-workers when discussing things etc. Now we pray about all kinds of little things that before we would have probably just discussed without really stopping to fully acknowledge the Lord.
       110. We in the Video Production Crew learned lots of very valuable lessons when the Lord just stopped us all in our tracks for several weeks at the onset of this whole new GP Video push. At first I believe it was quite a trial for most of us, since we had been used to a much faster pace before. For a number of weeks, it seemed that all we would do each day would be to have a couple of pow-wows together to discuss ideas for the show, & the rest of the time a real emphasis was put on individual Word time, including more lengthy devotions & prayer sessions in the morning. It was clear that during this period the Lord was purging a lot of us individually, bringing us to the point of total commitment in our own lives before He could trust us to take part in such an important project.
       111. It's thrilling to be involved in a ministry where so much of the Lord is manifested on a DAILY basis & so much prayer, counsel & deliberation is put into every move. It really made the Word come alive to us, especially key Letters like, "So You Want to Be a Leader?" where Dad explains in such detail how the building of the FOUNDATION is what really takes time, & so much prayer & blood, sweat & tears go into building the initial foundation, that the actual finished product is a very brief affair compared to all the work that went before.
       112. In this new GP Video series, unlike the Kiddie Viddies, we're starting from scratch, because we're having to create all the sound tracks from scratch & an entire new concept with new characters, a new format & an entirely new style. Even though we have gained a lot of experience over the last couple of years of the Video Ministry, in some areas the Lord has put us right back to the basics with this new series. We've really had to look to the Lord in prayer & counsel each step of the way in real desperation for Him to show us what to do.
113. I personally learned some big lessons about prayer & united counsel when I recently made some proposals about a new GP Video distribution system & a recommendation for upgrading our equipment for our GP production & editing. Initially, I sat down & figured it all out, putting two & two together, & I came up in both instances with what appeared on the surface to be very wise & logical solutions to some of the problems we've encountered. Then I submitted my proposals to Jo, looking forward to receiving the prompt response from him that I'd been accustomed to in the past.
       114. Actually I had turned in the proposal for a new distribution system a couple of weeks BEFORE Jo returned from the Summit '90 meetings, but somehow it got lost in the shuffle somewhere so that over six weeks passed & I STILL hadn't heard a thing about it. Then I learned that Jo had never even seen it & I started to doubt about that time, wondering, "Well, goodness! How are we EVER going to get anything done at this rate! This is so inefficient," & blah blah blah! Well, TTL, I didn't openly voice those thoughts to anyone except dear Maggie. I felt I had to share my heart with someone & she very sweetly listened & asked me to submit the proposals to Jo again.
       115. With the equipment proposal, I had put together a very good, logical-sounding explanation of what I felt we needed to get & why, but after I handed a second copy of this proposal in, I started getting many different checks that perhaps I had appraised the situation too hastily. Then the Lord started giving me some better ideas. Also, when Jo & Maggie read over my proposals, they had an uneasy feeling about some of it & began to get some of the same checks I was getting. We got together for a real good time of prayer & acknowledged the Lord & confessed to Him that we really DIDN'T know what to do & that we had to look to Him 100% for HIS solutions to all these problems. Then as we began to discuss it together, things began to come into focus much more & we all had a much better feeling about the direction we felt led.
       116. I was then asked to write another proposal, based on what we had prayed about & discussed unitedly. It took a couple of days longer to write it than we had planned, & even while writing it, many new options & ideas continued to surface. The Lord continued to give us new & better ideas. It was like a puzzle, & with more time & prayer & counsel, all the different pieces began to fit into their places & everything was coming into clearer & clearer focus.
       117. We got together for still ANOTHER prayer & counsel session, during which time the Lord helped us to fine-tune all the different ideas & sort the good from the bad, & we decided that yet another proposal should be written, based on all that the Lord had revealed up to that point.
       118. The thrilling part about all this is that in these FINAL proposals which were sent to the Folks for approval, the Lord gave us a completely NEW idea regarding the whole mastering & distribution system, which was much better than the former proposals I'd written on this subject. In other words, in retrospect, it made me so happy that my original proposal (the one that got "lost in the shuffle" weeks earlier) had never been acted upon. If we had gone ahead with that first proposal, we would now be in the uncomfortable position of having to back-track on a lot of it. Also, we would have wasted a lot of money in the process, spent a lot of unnecessary man-hours & work, as well as created a lot of confusion on the field by moving too fast with our own ideas, instead of waiting on the Lord to really punch through with what He knew was best.
       119. This experience reminded me of what Dad said way back in "Organisation II" (ML#56), that sometimes our disorganisation is God's organisation, & an ounce of REVELATION is worth a pound of PLANS. We've really been learning that the main thing is hearing from the Lord & getting it right! Incidentally, "Get it Right" (ML#1860) is another Letter that has spoken to us loudly & clearly during this time of laying the foundation of this exciting new GP Video Ministry.
       120. So we've been learning some very precious lessons on how to let the LORD do it. We've been learning to run a lot more on prayer & His inspiration & Word-power, instead of pushing so hard in our own strength & being so "busy" all the time. A lot of us in this Ministry have been very achievement-oriented & have tended to almost worship accomplishments & good works, so the Lord is now having to really turn us around in this area & get us used to a whole new mode of operation. PTL!
       121. A quote which really spoke to us was one in the Good Thots that says, "What's the use of having a lot of irons in the fire if the fire's going out?" And in some ways, that's a lot how we used to operate. We had so many activities & so much action, but not nearly as much of the LORD as we have seen lately, now that we have really put HIM in FIRST PLACE & put the emphasis on all of us getting strongly reconnected to the Source so that He can do things to suit Himself.
       122. Now that this is happening, it's really exciting to see the Lord coming through with some wonderful blessings & miracles! It's thrilling to see Him begin to lead & guide us over all this new ground & terrain. Dad has said in the past, "There's no better way than God's way! Hear ye Him!" PTL!

Copyright 1996 The Family