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FSM 292       DO/TS
Now that He's Gone!

{\b © Copyrighted May 1996 by The Family, Zurich, Switzerland}

       Now that He's Gone!       1
       I Have Faith for Others, Because He Had the Faith for Me!       3
       Spiritual Blindness and the Veil       6
       The Blind Elephant!       7
       From Faithy to the Worldwide Family       8
       An Apology from Josiah       9
       Spirit of the New Day       15
       Victories over Accomplishments Mode!       16
       Loving the Lord More       17
       Strength in Loving Each Other More       17
       Getting to Know Mama Better!       19
       Thank God for King Peter!       20
       Praise Time!       21
       Praise Time with Kids!       22
       Happiness in the Lord!       23
       Married or Unmarried!       23
       A Mother's Prayer       24

Now that He's Gone!
Thoughts on the Present Changes in the Family

From Dad's son Jondy (formerly Hosea), Pacific:
       Certain old basic Letters have been coming to mind, and as I have read over them, it is as though they were written by Dad for us right now! It has amazed me how timely they are and how they have the answers in detail for what we are facing in our current situations in the Family. Some of the ones that I've read along this line are:
       "I Gotta Split, Parts 1 and 2" (DB4, pgs.73 and 76)
       "For God's Sake, Follow God!" (DB4, pg.35)
       "The Temple Prophecy" (DB4, pg.43)
       "Love Never Fails!" (DB4, pg.63)
       "Baby the Babes!" (DB4, pg.47)
       "Quality or Quantity?" (DB4, pg.54)
       "So You Want to Be a Leader?" (DB4, pg.80)
       I see these Letters in a whole new light, now that Dad is in the Spirit world. They have been fulfilled in his going away that he might send the Comforter to us, to reveal the Lord's Word more fully to us. Now, as he was telling us then, it is truly up to us to look to the Spirit to bring these Words to life in our own lives and to have the connection with Jesus that Dad had. So often he told us that we needed to have that same connection, and that we would need it even more after he was gone. Now is the time when we must seek to fulfill his vision by carrying on as he was preparing us to do all along.
       Hopefully we can each find the role that Jesus wants us to play. There seem to be certain keys to finding this role and having that direct connection. One of the first is to be receiving the Truth "new" and "old," in every way, in all areas of our lives. It seems that any rejection of the Truth (the Word or something the Lord is doing in our lives) in any way, on any issue, or in any area causes a block in our connection with the Lord. It hinders Him from being able to get through to us directly, even when we so desperately need it. The Lord seems to want us to be at the point where we are willing to receive anything or to do anything before He is willing to really speak to us as directly as we need.
       It seems that He is constantly trying to get us out of the way so that He can work through us more freely and effectively. Our "self" -- natural reasoning, our own thoughts and ideas of what is right and wrong, our pride and self image, wanting to do it in our own strength, or for our own glory -- these are all things that hinder Him from working in our lives as much as He would like.
       Most of what He gets done through me is in spite of me, not because of me; I'm seeing this more and more. The times when I feel the most inadequate and unable to do anything or help anyone -- those seem to be the times when He has been able to work through me the most and when I've been able to be a blessing to others. So many of Aaron's quotes seem to sum this up: "When you think you can do it, you already blew it," and "It's not in me, it's only in Him." When I look back to times in my life when I thought I was doing so well and being so used, now I know that others saw a lot more of me than Jesus.
       As I go back and read the basic Letters, I'm seeing these principles stand out more than ever. Dad said, "Only after I'm gone can you truly appreciate my spirit and the meaning of it all. [DELETED] The flesh is too much with us! It gets in the way. We'll never know full reality until we are fully in the realm of the Spirit! [DELETED] Now I know if you really meant business, or whether you were just in love with me -- whether you were merely a member of the cult of the personality of the man or spiritual body of Christ! Whether you were part of my body or His Body! With me gone, we find out who you really love the most! Those who follow the man go back when the man is gone. But those who follow the Spirit will go on forever! [DELETED] Now we have to grow up and do it by His power and show that we are really His and if He is truly ours, in spirit and in truth. ..." ("I Gotta Split, Part 2," DB4, pg.78, par.13,15,17).
       Mama and Peter have undoubtedly made this contact in the Spirit and are carrying right on with Dad's anointing just as we know that he would want them to, fulfilling his word and his vision. This to me is proof of their true love for Dad and their anointing in carrying his mantle. They are truly following the Spirit and the Word which Dad shared. Those who were just following the man will stop after the man is gone. Those who are following in spirit and in truth will carry on no matter if their leader is gone -- as in wartime, when a soldier will keep fighting even if the standard bearer is killed. A faithful soldier won't let the banner fall to the ground and he won't quit fighting, no matter who dies or who quits around him. Losses will only make him more determined to carry on the battle, so those who have gone before will not have died in vain.
       Are our works of man or of God? Is each one of us carrying on by the strength of man in the flesh or by the strength of God in the Spirit? Could one of the purposes of all this be to bring the Truth to life in our lives individually? Those who carry on are the true believers and followers. I see this fulfillment in Mama and Peter; I know that Dad is carrying on and speaking through them, as well as others. He'd do it through the rocks or a donkey if he had to, to get his truth out! How much easier is it for us to believe that he is speaking through these that he and the Lord personally chose and trained for years.
       What if some of Jesus' followers and disciples had been unwilling to see and accept that He was now speaking through Peter or Paul with power and authority? What if they had missed Jesus so much that they just wanted to wait until He came back or reappeared in the flesh? If they had felt that way, they would have been left behind. The Jews themselves entered not in because of unbelief. Only those Jews who took it by faith and carried on, following Jesus' disciples after He was gone, received the promise and their birthright. Those who carried on are the ones that made history and changed the world in spite of their faults, mistakes, and differences.
       Much of my life I've been useful as a dandy bad example. Yet today I'm so happy for it. Dad often used himself as a bad example too, so I didn't feel so bad. In whatever way that I can, I just want to continue to be useful. I feel that I'm always starting over again -- so often in fact that it even helps me feel young! I'm certainly glad that Dad and the Lord never let me run out of chances to start over or I would have never made it this far. I know that I still have a long way to go.
       Now I'm less concerned with getting there, and just happy to still be on the way. I'm less concerned with what I'm going to turn out to be and more with letting Him use me as He sees fit and make me into what He needs me to be right now. Now it's not what I can teach others that is important, but what He is trying to teach me. If He can just get me to listen to Him and to those around me, then I can learn what He has for me.

I Have Faith for Others, Because He Had the Faith for Me!
       At different times in years past, Ruthie and I came to the point of giving up on each other, but the Lord has always brought us through and restored us and our love and ability to help one another. It just takes a miracle of the Spirit of God for this to happen. Having faith for another person doesn't happen in the natural by itself, or through self-effort.
       Dad had a supernatural gift for this, but I just didn't know how to tap into this special source of faith for others. But now at least I recognize that I have to seek God for something supernatural in terms of love, faith, mercy and patience. I used to think that I had the ability in myself to manifest the qualities needed to help others, but more and more I see that there are times when only the Lord can give us the unlimited supply of love, grace and understanding that is needed.
       We are kind of like a battery: we can have a certain amount of these qualities within ourselves, but they can be easily used up and then we're just naturally dead. We have to be recharged by plugging directly into the Source to get the fruits of His Spirit. This never-ending supply is only possible if we maintain a direct connection to the Lord, and it mustn't be hindered by blockages in our channel caused by selfishness, pride, self confidence, self-righteousness, etc.
       Having faith in His supernatural spiritual power, and being able to tap into it is such an essential aspect of our lives. It's something Dad has been trying to teach us about from the very beginning of the Family. It is clearly manifested in prophesying, which is an act of making that connection by faith, and drawing from the Lord what He has for us and wants to give us.
       It can also be similar to our receiving a special anointing of love or mercy or faith for someone that is far beyond what comes naturally.
       This extra special love is what the Lord can give us. The Bible says "God commendeth His Love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom.5:8). "He loves the unlovely and casts a veil over countless sins." His Love never fails! -- But ours often does. He doesn't see the sins so apparent in someone needing help, He sees the soul. He sees what they can be with a touch of His power and Love. It is one thing to talk about this power and this Love; it is another thing to be able to tap into it in unlimited supply, direct from the Source -- Jesus.
       I have seen the Lord bring changes like this in some people. The first one that comes to mind is myself! The Lord had the faith, Love and power to redeem me when I and others had run out of faith. If He could do it for me, then I know that He can do it through me for others. That may sound funny, but sometimes the ones that we have the hardest time having the faith and love for are those who are the closest to us and we know the best, like our mates, children and even ourselves.
       We often get discouraged with those who are closest to us, but have more faith for a change in total strangers. Maybe one reason for this is that we know we have to have supernatural love, faith, and power to help the lost. But sometimes we just depend on our own natural love and strength for those close to us. It took no less than a miracle for the Lord to deliver me and change some spiritual problems in my life, than it does for Him to change and deliver a drug addict or an alcoholic.
       Knowing the mercy that the Lord has shown to me for my faults and failures has helped me to have more mercy and faith for others. I know that failures can become successes in the end -- if you never give up. Mama never gave up on me over the things I went through -- great battles of my mind, problems with bitterness and resentment -- bitterness and resentment which I felt was justified, and so I tenaciously held on to them. There was also jealousy and resentment over what others had, that I now recognize I was envious of.
       But the Lord allowed all those things to happen to me. Only when He led me apart from the things I loved most -- my wife, my children, my lands, my ministry -- could He test and prove my love for Him, my dedication to the work, and my loyalty to Him. And most of all He showed me that without all of that, it was still worth it to go on for Jesus and not quit, not give up, because in the end He would bring a good result out of it all. I would say, "Well, if things don't get better within two weeks, then I'm going AWOL." That's how I felt.
       Nevertheless, when those things did get better, it didn't solve the problem in my heart. A change in circumstances didn't take the resentment away, didn't take away the bitterness, didn't resolve it. During those times I went through tremendous battles in my mind -- battles about what was fair and not fair, whether this was right or that was right, was I guilty of this, was I not guilty of that. And on and on it went.
       Finally, the Lord led me to read the Book of Job, and as I read I began to identify with all Job's arguments about himself and his justifications about these same type of things. "If I could only have my day in court. If the whole story were only known. If I could only express it all, then I could be justified."
       Everybody was trying to help me see something that I wasn't seeing. They were trying to show me what the problem was, but I couldn't see it. I needed to accept by faith what others were saying: that I had this resentment, that I was self-righteous, that I was holding on to bitterness in my heart. On the surface, at least to a degree, I wanted to see it, I wanted to understand it, I wanted to resolve the situation, but I wasn't getting it. I didn't get the point.
       I fasted and prayed for ten days, and had people praying for me. Yet I never shed a tear. I wasn't desperate. I wasn't moved. I was hard. I felt I was right. I still saw myself as being right, that certain things were being done to me that were wrong. I was reading the Word from morning to night every day! I wanted prayer and was happy to have prayer so that I could be delivered from bitterness and from resentment. But it still didn't get to the root of my problem. When they hit on self-righteousness, though, they began getting closer to the root. The other problems I had were simply the result of my self-righteousness! I was still holding on to my own righteousness, just like Job.
       But I sincerely wanted to know and see where I was wrong, and slowly this desire became stronger and stronger. When I read in "The Secret" where Dad said to Mama, "If Timothy could just see that he was wrong in only one thing, it would be such a victory for him. It would help him so much. It would be a step in the right direction for him." Then I began to have a desire to want to see where I was wrong, no matter what.
       During the time I was yielding to the Enemy and going through horrendous mind battles, I couldn't forgive, I couldn't forget. I knew that my resentment about some of these different things was holding me back. I had major prayer against bitterness and resentment three times within a year and a half. Still, these battles in my mind would come back again. So what was the answer for me? Nobody could get through to me. They said I was such a hard case, and I must have been.
       I was lying on my bed one day and the Lord said in as clear a voice as I'd ever heard, "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned" (1Cor.2:14). At the same moment, a picture of Job flashed in my mind -- Job sitting on a pile of ashes. I felt quite the same as him. When I heard that verse and I saw that picture I knew that what God had done to Job was not wrong. There was nothing unfair in what He had done to Job.
       At that moment God set me free. I saw that what He was putting me through and all that had happened to me was not bad!
       There was nothing to forgive and nothing to forget, but it was all good! It had all happened to help me in the long run. It was just as though I had been sitting on one side of a table with all my evidence stacked up to defend my case, but when I got up and I walked around and I sat down on the other side of the table, I could see why I was wrong. It was because I was looking at things in the natural, in the carnal mind. I was looking at things the opposite of the way God saw them, and I was wrong!
       Now a foundation principle in my life is to want to see when I am wrong. I can still be so sure about how I see things, and I come on with strong conviction. But when somebody sits me down, looks me in the eye (like Ruthie) and says, "You are coming on too strong. You're looking at this the wrong way." Then, Lord helping me, I want to see it, I want to grasp it. I can accept that I could be wrong. It's not devastating. I feel like, "Wow! The Lord has set me free again. This is another victory in my life -- to see where I can be wrong!" To me that is very valuable. It is something that I don't want to lose.
       I have recently been able to use these victories in my life as I talked to different people who have been through heavy things in their lives, folks who had left the Family because they felt they were right. They felt that others had wronged them, and they'd held on to that bitterness. They hadn't gotten the victory over it.
       But it got through to them though, when I told them my story, which was similar to theirs. I shared how now I wanted to see where I was wrong and I wanted the Lord to set me free. I told them how I'd cried out to the Lord with all my heart for Him to help me to see things His way. And that He had delivered me and set me free and changed my life. It brought tears to their eyes. People asked me to pray for them right then, to pray they'd be delivered and set free.
       It's so important to see God's hand in our lives, that it is God Who allows things to happen, that it's nothing we can blame people for. It really doesn't have that much to do with people. They are only a tool or a channel for something that the Lord allows, so that He can bring good out of it all, a lesson, and a greater victory in our lives.

Spiritual Blindness and the Veil
       A key, fitting, but rather deep passage that you may find interesting is 2 Corinthians chapter 3. A significant point here is that many Jews couldn't even hear or understand the words of Moses, because their minds were blinded and a veil was over their hearts. But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart (2Cor.3:14-15). This blindness and veil remained, hindering them hearing and believing the Words of Jesus and also those of Paul. (See Jn.9:40-41.)
       In this same way, many Christians are unable to see and accept new truths from God, or through the prophets He sends. I experienced this blindness and veil on my heart towards certain things the Lord and others were trying to help me see about myself and what the Lord wanted to do in my life. I was very much like Job: unable to see his major sin of self-righteousness, while seeing his good points and trying so hard to defend himself. Finally only God could get through to Job by a direct encounter.
       That encounter with God opened Job's eyes, and he saw immediately that only God was righteous and all that He had done to him was not bad, wrong or unfair, but a part of His plan, done for a purpose, in love, with hope of better days ahead. Wow! In one moment, Job abandoned the opinions and stand that he had been arguing for throughout almost the whole Book! He suddenly had his blinders removed and could see clearly in the light of God and His Truth.
       I don't fully comprehend this spiritual blindness and this veil, but I know that I had it and it happened to me. And I certainly knew the moment that He took it away, when I could say, "Once I was blind, but now I see." It certainly stands out as a milestone in my life and walk with the Lord. After that I did a study about this blindness and veil in the Bible and the Letters, looking for examples and clues to understanding it. I wanted to know how and why it happened, and how it was removed.
       There are certainly plenty of examples and evidence of it in the Word. Here are just a few Bible references on the subject:
       It seems that blindness and self-righteousness are often mentioned together: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them (Mat.13:15). (See also Mat.13:13-17 and Mat.23.)
       In Rom.10:1-3, it mentions establishing their own righteousness as one of the causes of Israel's blindness: Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
       Paul goes on to warn believers about this blindness in Eph.4:17,18, and mentions how our understanding can become darkened: This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.
       Eph.4:20-32 is a very helpful section and contains the solution: And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and [DELETED] put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (Eph.4:23-24).

The Blind Elephant!
       One funny picture and allegory that I got about myself at the time was that I was a "blind elephant." In this picture, everyone could see what I was -- except myself! I could neither see, feel, nor accept that I was an elephant. Over the years, many others tried to tell me about myself and described many things to me, but to me, they didn't seem to fit together and even sounded contradictory. I had been born blind, so all descriptions were to no avail.
       One person described me as having big feet that stepped on other people's toes and trampled over other people's hard work. Another person described me as a big wall that got in the way and blocked things. Another described me as a dominant creature that led others astray and down the wrong paths or just straight into the woods or into water over their heads.
       Another said that I had a long nose that I stuck in the wrong places and caused problems for others. The fact that I had a tail like a rope didn't cause much of a problem, except when I tried to reach back and scratch it and in the process knocked down things, like other people's trees and houses. Then there was the problem that I had of parking my bottom wherever I felt like it, and this squashed things and sometimes people.
       Also, whenever I got fired up about something and would get to running around, I'd do a lot of damage and it seemed like nobody could stop me! Many people were afraid of me, especially when I would trumpet; while others were just plain mad, fed up, or discouraged about what to do about me. One bad habit that I had was of keeping people up and running around at all hours, as I had no concept of day and night. I dumped people off who tried to ride and guide me, and hurt people who tried to help me.
       The list could go on and on, but I couldn't see any of this and all efforts to describe me to myself failed. Everyone became desperate about me and finally I even became desperate about myself. Then one day, by a miracle my eyes were opened and suddenly I could see and understand everything that others had been trying to tell me about myself and all the harm that I'd caused. It was a difference of night and day, and my outlook on everything immediately changed.
       And so it is with me now. By God's grace, I'm much easier to live with and a lot more useful, as long as I don't go around with my eyes closed. Isn't that a funny story?--But it was really true about me. I wonder how many other blind elephants there are running around? Now when I start to do any of these things, someone can remind me of the "blind elephant" that I used to be, and that helps to wake me up and I see that I've been walking around with my eyes closed.
       It seems that we have the hardest time seeing our own faults and weaknesses! As Dad said, "Be honest with yourself! Confess to yourself continually what a fool you are, how stupid you are, how dumb you are, how slow you are, how selfish you are, how inconsiderate you are, and how hopeless you are without God! Give Him all the glory for anything good about you, and yourself all the blame for anything bad. ... 'What hast thou that thou hast not received?' (1Cor.4:7). 'Every good and every perfect gift cometh down from above' (Jam.1:17). Give God all the glory! Remind yourself that you're nothing without Him! Even make fun of yourself! Make a joke of it! Get a kick out of how ridiculous you are and what silly things you do" (ML #49, DB4, pg.120, par.5). Here are the references to some more quotes I found on the subject, all in DB4: pg.121, par.6-9; pg.103, par.6-7; pg.89-96, especially par.10.
       God bless you! I love you! Love, Jondy


From Faithy to the Worldwide Family

{\ul \i Editor's note}: Following is a letter from dear Faithy, explaining her recent decision to become a TS member, and thereby step aside from the more rigorous requirements of DO status in order to have some time to rest and be on her own, free from other responsibilities. Faithy has played a very important and integral part in the history of our Family, and over the years has been a sample to all of us of a faithful witness, pioneer and evangelist! A number of us would probably not be serving the Lord today if it had not been for her faithfulness to preach the Gospel come what may, and encourage and inspire us to do likewise. God bless her!
       The last few years have been both exciting and trying times for Faithy. She was instrumental in helping to pioneer Siberia and Far-Eastern Russia, establishing a fruitful Family work, as well as making many contacts for a successful humanitarian aid mission there. However, this difficult mission also put a lot of strain on her physically, and she has since repeatedly battled with sickness. To add to that were Dad's graduation, which was understandably difficult for her, and the task of writing a book about her life and experiences with Dad, which is in the works. This past year she has also been working long and hard on trying to get further aid to Siberia, which has been a tremendous challenge.
       All these factors, combined with some difficulties in adjusting to the Charter and maintaining the standard expected of a DO Family member, have led Faithy to the conclusion that she should take some time in a TS situation in which she can go at her own pace physically and spiritually.
       Faithy, like all our TSers, continues to be an integral part of our Family. We respect and admire her as such, and appreciate her desire to continue serving the Lord as a TSer. Please keep her in your prayers, as she continues to work with other DO and TS members in witnessing and "consider the poor" ministries, that the Lord will continue to bless her witnessing with much fruit.

Dear Family,
       God bless you all! I love you! This is a little letter to explain to you that recently I have stepped into TS status and am presently on somewhat of a sabbatical in the US, my first in 28 years! I have taken this temporary step in the hopes that once I regain my physical and spiritual strength, I will be ready and able to return to my beloved mission field in Siberia, and to work with our precious Family to continue the great task of harvesting souls before the storm.
       In the meantime, however, I am still very active in helping with the humanitarian aid effort to Siberia, and also may have some open doors to help with the relief effort in Bosnia this summer. Please pray for this, as this was one of Dad's last prayers.
       We have such a wonderful Family, and I'm so proud of you, and thankful for these 28 years together, in which we have been able to reach the ends of the Earth with the Gospel, as the Lord said we would! TYJ! And hopefully our greatest years, and even greater ministry, are still ahead! We're not finished yet, although sometimes we may feel that we are, being either wounded in battle, or just plain tired, sick or discouraged. But as John Paul Jones said, "We haven't even begun to fight!" Hallelujah! "Be not weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not." Praise the Lord!
       On a more personal note, I would like to apologize to any that I may have offended due to my recent physical and spiritual battles, sickness and weaknesses (bouts with depression and alcoholism). "In my flesh dwelleth no good thing," and certainly it's only Jesus if I can continue to love and win the lost for Him, which is still my heart's desire and main goal in life. I cling to the promise that "His strength is made perfect in (my) weakness!" The sin of which I've been the most guilty during this trying time was doubting and not fully trusting the Lord, that He truly is in control, not only of my life, but my ministry, and the Family, and the future. But while I was somewhat faithless, He remained faithful, and has miraculously kept me, and taught me lessons of love that I've not had the opportunity to learn before this experience.
       I am so thankful for all the wonderful things that the Lord is doing in my life, and the lessons of love that He continues to patiently pour out to make of me a better vessel. Please keep me in your prayers, that having somewhat stepped aside from the front-line battle, I can hear from the Lord, be replenished, renewed in spirit, and healed in mind and body, which will enable me to go on to the even greater task that lies ahead, and even greater victories, as we near the End! Thank the Lord! May we continue to forge ahead together in the main job that the Lord has given this Family through our dear Dad, and that is to preach this Gospel of the Kingdom, for a witness unto all nations, so that the End may come and Jesus may return and take us Home.
       I will pray for all of you as well, who are so important in the fulfilling of this task. And most of all, that we will continue to let the Love of Christ constrain us, to seek and to save that which is lost! GBAKYACTMYAB!!
       Love, Faithy


An Apology from Josiah
"There is so much more of Him now, whereas before there was way too much of me."

Dear Family,
       As you are probably aware, at last year's Summit meetings the Lord made it clear through prophecy that He was calling some of us former Family leaders to step down from our leadership responsibilities. He referred to us as being in need of retooling. (See ML #2978, GN 623.) He also gave some specific prophecies about me personally, saying that it was again time for me to learn some lessons that He had been wanting to teach me for a long time, but that I had been unable to learn at the pace I was going in my leadership position.
       At the time, I did not really understand what "retooling" meant or what it was going to entail, but I did know that the Lord knew what He was talking about, as down inside it was obvious to me that there was something missing in my life, and that I was missing the mark in many areas of my discipleship.

To Set the Record Straight
       Some of you whom I was closest to may have noticed some discrepancies from the expected and accepted standard in my mode of operation and overall sample, and while you may have had questions about me, you may not have wanted to give it much thought or did not feel you should condemn me, even in your heart. You may have seen things in my behavior that were not according to the Word and the sample we have been given in the Letters, and the Enemy may have even used it to cause you to doubt or not be able to trust the Lord and your anointed leadership as much as you should. So this is one of the main reasons why I want to rectify the things that were wrong, because I know that these things can hurt people's faith and walk with the Lord and even bring doubt, worry and confusion into their minds.
       The Lord knew that I could have done much better in many areas, because I knew to do better. He has given me enough training over the years and has exposed me to some of the best samples in the Family. He knew that I should have been more prayerful, and that my overall demeanor and deportment should have reflected more on-guardedness and fear of the Lord.
       While I did fall short, I don't want to imply that everything I did was a bad sample, or rob the Lord of the credit for the good that He did do through me. But I'd like to make it clear that if at any time I was a help or a positive influence or sample to anyone, it was only the Lord, and my "reasonable service." Thank the Lord that even when we're not doing well, He can still manage to get some good out of us, but it certainly wasn't anything of my own doing.

I Was Taking the Burden (and the Glory!) Myself
       At first, when trying to figure out what went wrong, I tried to place the blame on the conditions and the problems that we were facing as a field and the pressure I was under. But the Lord said in "Let Jesus Bear the Weight" (ML #2987, GN 629), that problems would not cease even in this "new day," but that what makes the difference is how we face the difficulties when they come up. In my case, I just proudly loaded them on as yet another weight to carry in my own strength. I was trying so hard to get everything done, putting in long hours with little Word. My attitude was: "We need to go, go, go!" I was not casting my burdens on Him, but rather had again defaulted to depending on the arm of the flesh.
       One of the main things that I think the Lord was displeased with was that I tried to take the burden of all there was to do upon my own shoulders, and especially desired the glory and the credit for myself, which ultimately caused people to look too much to me. Because of that, the Lord could not bless me and He could not let me carry on -- as I had become a distraction and a hindrance from people really seeing the Lord do the work. I had gotten out of tune, like an instrument in an orchestra; and when that happens, that instrument has to be pulled aside for tuning. It can't carry on, otherwise the whole orchestra sounds out of tune. I was operating in the wrong spirit. I made the same mistake as Saul made: I was not giving the glory to the Lord, and I, too, had to be moved out of the way.

The Need to Love and Listen to the Lord More, Instead of Just Working Away
       When I first arrived in Europe in 1992, I was proud of all that I had been and done previously, and I acted as if I had a few feathers in my cap. I was self-assured, and not nearly as dependent on the Lord as I should have been. God knows that I really love the field, and that I like to work. The more work there is to do and the bigger the "mess" there is to clean up, the more of a challenge it is for me. It's a bit like it says in the poem "First Place" -- I loved to be out there working, but the Lord wanted me to stop and learn to love Him more and get more of my counsel and guidance from Him.
       I was not taking enough time with the Lord to really love Him and to speak to Him and to let Him speak to me, and consequently I was not getting my directions from Him as much as I should. That, as we all know, is not the way to operate in the Lord's work, and especially not for someone who was in a position of responsibility such as I was. On top of that, people who operate on their own like that are not easy to teamwork with, and I know that at times I made things quite difficult for the others I was supposed to be working with.

Big Lessons as a Little Person in a WS Home
       Because of this need for retooling in my life, the Lord made a way for me to go to a WS unit after Summit '95. There I was to have no leadership responsibility at all, but just learn to be a normal Home member. Most people would not consider going to a WS unit a disciplinary action, but in my case it was a very long and difficult year to go through, as I needed to learn to go from the top to the bottom. I became just a normal Home member. In fact, I had about the least amount of responsibility of anyone in the Home. It was very much like being a babe.
       It amazed me how much I began to learn as a little person. If you ever think that because you are a "little" person, you don't have the opportunities to learn "big" lessons, I can testify that that is simply not so.
       When I first went to the unit, I thought I was going to get long talks and reprimands about all the things that I had done wrong in the past. But on the contrary, although my shepherds corrected me when necessary, everybody was sweet and understanding and concerned about me. Because the Lord had my full attention, seeing that I did not have any big responsibilities to keep me from all He wanted me to learn, it has been so much easier for Him to get through to me without the "2 by 4 approach" that I would have otherwise needed. The Lord just kept showing me all the "stop signs" that I missed.
       Every day, it seemed there was something substantial that the Lord pointed out to me about what was not right in my former mode of operation. The lessons that came my way didn't come in glamorous ways, but rather through blow-its, mistakes and blunders. The Lord, in order to do a full overhaul on me, completely lifted any former anointing so I and everyone else could see how nothing I am without Him. That is how He has taught me some of my biggest lessons -- by showing me that I can't do anything without Him, except make lots of mistakes.
       Even though I hardly had any responsibility, I was having a hard time handling the little I had without making some pretty big mistakes. But the Lord was allowing it to teach me what I needed to learn. Since I had disobeyed a lot of these little rules for a long time, the Lord had to rebuild things from the ground up to show me how they are all so important and so needed. He had to tighten up all the loose screws and bolts on my engine so that it could be rebuilt in such a way that it can be dependable again.

Discipline for Past Problems
       I have also had to be disciplined for the problems I manifested while in Europe. Contrary to what some may have thought, I didn't get off scot-free. The Charter is very clear that there are to be no double standards as far as applying the rules therein, and any of us who are not faithful to uphold the standard are to be disciplined accordingly, regardless of our position or rank. -- The rules are for all, and there are no exceptions made for those who are leaders.
       My offenses took place before the Charter, but I was nonetheless relieved of all my responsibilities, and my year-long retooling program was in some ways comparable to partial excommunication under the Charter.
       This is something that I very much admire about our shepherds -- how they don't consider Family leaders exempt from obeying the rules. Dad did not let anybody get away with disobeying, and neither do Mama and Peter and Gary.
       Actually, when I was first demoted and arrived in my new WS Home, I did not do well for the first few months. When I got there, I was still quite cocky and self-assured. Because I was only doing so-so, a few months after my arrival, Mama and Peter asked the Lord to show them what the key to my problems was, and the Lord gave them the prophecy on removing the make-up and the cover-ups that was later published in GN 672, "Prophecies on Pride and Humility." When I received that prophecy, it was very convicting, as all of it was so true. While it was a lot to swallow in one sitting, it helped me tremendously, as I could finally understand not only the root of my problems, but why it was necessary that I be made into a different tool. Hearing all that the Lord had to say about my weaknesses made things so much clearer to me, and freed me from a lot of struggling and trying to figure things out in my own carnal mind.

My Pride Explained in the Prophecies
       The prophecy clearly spells out that the root of my problem is pride. Because of my pride and wanting to look good in the sight of man, even though I was having quite a few problems in my former situation, it was too difficult for me to admit defeat. In looking back, I can see that I secretly wanted the glory and the credit for helping to turn the field around. As you can expect, such an attitude displeased the Lord and He had to lift His anointing from me. As it says in the prophecy, "Instead of becoming humble and seeking Me, he tried in his own strength and his own might and his own character and his own personality to carry the load of God. But it was not possible; thus he {\ul \i felt the weight} and he felt the burdens and he could {\ul \i not carry them}."
       This passage made it clear to me that it was because of pride that I felt the load so heavy. I was not giving it to the Lord, and because of pride, I could not ask for help.

Weakness from Going to the Wrong Places for Help Instead of to My Shepherds
       But there is another more specific reason why I wasn't able to ask for help, and it was because I had "turned to the inspiration of the flesh--the wine and the joy and the inspiration and the feeling of lightness that it brought." This had been difficult for me to confess. As you may know, I have needed and received a fair amount of correction in the past. And while I had tried hard to change, I knew that in many respects, I still had the same weaknesses, and still had quite a ways to go, but I did not want to ask for help for fear of exposure.
       Although I was greatly helped through the many corrections that I've received in the past, because it came at the expense of public exposure, and because I very much wanted people to think well of me, I stopped being completely open and honest with Mama and Peter and their teamworkers about my temptations, shortcomings and disobedience to the Family rules. I wanted to "look good." I think I was ashamed that I had not made as much progress as many of my peers, who had gotten lasting victories over many of the things that they had been corrected for in the past.
       I wanted to appear like I, too, had changed. In some ways I had changed, and the Lord had helped me to win some victories, but I didn't want to bring up that I was still battling with some of the same things that I had been corrected for in the past. But what I didn't realize is that when I stopped confessing my mistakes and being very honest with my shepherds, I no longer could avail myself of the help that I'd received from them in the past. Since I was not being open about everything that I was battling with, no one knew what was really going on inside of me. Consequently neither my teamworkers, nor Mama and her teamworkers, could provide the help and safeguarding that I so desperately needed.
       The shame and condemnation that I was carrying over all my weaknesses and sins, and the fact that I had not made as much progress as expected in those weak areas of my life, did not make confessing any easier. At this late date, I am seeing that the Enemy truly had me trapped by convincing me to stop being honest, as I was then on my own. I began facing increasingly difficult battles, both in my personal life as well as with my workload. Because I was not confessing, I was not progressing. "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper" (Pro.28:13).

My Standard Was Affected byPleasing Man Instead of the Lord
       I also began excusing others for their weaknesses, shortcomings and disobedience, because I knew that I myself was much more guilty than they were. I was trying to please man rather than the Lord.
       I have proven to be pretty weak when it comes to the "temptations of flesh," and I have felt quite ashamed in the past of those carnal weaknesses. I was disobeying the Family drinking guidelines by drinking more than I should in one sitting and more often than I should as well. And I was taking other liberties, which bordered on or were in outright disobedience to Family guidelines or rules.
       To give an example of how far gone I was, one night I got arrested by the police for drunk driving, but when reporting the incident to those at our Home, I made light of it and tried to deflect the blame, as I did not want people around me to notice the seriousness of the incident.
       Another problem was that I put too much emphasis on talking about sex to and around our young people. Now there's nothing wrong with talking about sex, and Dad and Mama have done so plenty in the Letters, but in my case, it was the attitude that was wrong. It was not always in the spirit of helping them to share the Lord's Love with each other, but my comments on sexual freedom made me look like a "new bottle" and "free," while making other leaders look more "old-fashioned" or "reserved." This wasn't my intention, but because I was trying to draw people to myself, it was one of the harmful results. The problem with something like that is that it can cause division between the sheep as to which leader is more "free" or "liberal," and results in the same problem the Early Church faced with some folks saying "I am of Paul" and "I am of Cephas," etc. (1Cor.1:12).
       The kind of freedom that I was promoting was very appealing to many young people, and it drew a lot of attention as well as adulation to me and my style of leadership. But the Lord pointed out my problem along these lines when He said, "When he is in {\ul \i My} Spirit, his charm and personality can draw others unto Me. But when he walks in the arm of the {\ul \i flesh}, he tries to draw them unto {\ul \i himself}, thinking that he is drawing them unto Me. He does not know that he draws them unto himself, and does not know of the {\ul \i damage} that he does in drawing them unto himself ... in getting others to look at man rather than at Me."
       Because I appeared to be more radical and more "free" than the other shepherds or parents, many of the young people began to look to me and prefer following my kind of freedom, which was a lot more loose and less defined and less restrictive than that of the other shepherds, who were actually trying their best to obey the Word. Also, I was feeding off of the admiration and even adulation of those working with or under me. I was so eager for people to think well of me that I became a real man-pleaser. To come to this realization was quite shocking to me, because I don't particularly like man-pleasers. But, much like Absalom, I tried to make the people happy so they would think well of me.

More on the Importance of Portraying the Lord's Spirit and Not My Own
       I didn't realize the anointing was lifted from me. The Bible says about Saul: "He wist not that the Spirit had departed from him." In fact, I was pretty deluded into thinking that my sample was bringing forth good fruits. But like it says in the prophecy: "The things of the Spirit bring forth good fruits; they minister love and encouragement, peace and understanding. But when you do the things of the Spirit in the flesh, they bring forth {\ul \i confusion} and {\ul \i contention} and others do not understand." I know that this is true because of the double standard that it brings in. I know that because of my man-pleasing spirit I became partial, and that caused some people who did not feel included by me to feel like the Lord might not love them, or that they may not be as special to Him as others.
       Also, I am seeing now that it was because of pride that I did not think much of disobeying in the "little things," as I felt it was more important to focus my priorities and energy on the bigger issues, such as trying to turn the field of Europe more towards the Lord's goal and vision. However, to the Lord, it was more important that I just be loyal to the Word and that I follow closely, rather than trying to reach all these big goals and accomplish all these great things without portraying the Lord's Spirit in humility, simplicity and obedience. In this prophecy that was given for me, it also says, "Before honor is humility, and without humility there can be no honor. For I cannot trust the man that is full of himself and is seeking the praise of man. I can only trust those who seek to give all glory unto Me."

Recommitting My Life to Him
       I am so thankful that the Lord took time to turn over all the stones this last year, so that I could get all the lessons that He had for me to learn. I oftentimes felt like He brought my whole life before me to let me see all those that I hurt and offended, and that was one of the most painful experiences I ever went through. It has been, of course, quite humbling to realize that I had once again failed in pretty much the same areas as I had many times in the past. Failure always hurts, especially when it has to be publicly acknowledged. However, what hurts a lot more is to see traces of my bad sample in others' training, and the ramifications of my misbehavior and how it has affected people's faith in the Lord or their appointed leadership. The painful experience of seeing others going astray because of my wrong-doings is much worse than being personally humiliated. And at this point, I would much rather have the hurt of the humiliation and failure, if it will help set the record straight.
       I have claimed His forgiveness and mercy for all of this, and I want to apologize from the bottom of my heart to all who have witnessed my bad sample and ask you to please forgive me. I pray that the Lord will help you understand the error of my ways and that you will be able to live the Charter in full faith in His Word. I pray that you will follow the good sample that we get from the Word as close as you possibly can.
       The Lord has helped me to peel off a lot of my former fronts, and the more I do, the happier I am. I am very thankful for all the lessons that He has been teaching me through these many pitfalls and failures. I spent most of this last year on the anvil, and when I was not on the anvil, the heat was on to prepare me for more time on the anvil. I hope that I have yielded as much as I should in order to be retooled into what He wants me to be. I have recommitted my life to Him, and most of all I have made Him my greatest Lover and Friend. I have also set aside drinking alcohol for over a year now, and I am so thankful for this big change in my life.
       I have asked the Lord to give me a new heart, and in fact to make me a totally new man so that I may reflect His light and His Love. I want to please the Lord, and with all that is within me, I don't ever again want to disobey as I did, nor draw others to myself or reflect a dependence on the arm of the flesh. I now desire to be transparent, so that the Lord -- and only the Lord -- will shine through me.

Honored to Be Trusted with Retooling!
       So I am not sad about this retooling. I am very glad! It is always a little more difficult to thank the Lord when we abase than when we abound, but I have learned to thank Him for breakings and battles when He knows I need them and so chooses to serve them to me. Thank God for those rainy days! That is when plants grow the most -- not when it is so sunny and so hot that they wilt and become almost lifeless (like I was).
       Actually I feel honored that the Lord trusted me enough to retool me, and not dispose of me. One of the brothers that I worked closely with in the past once told me when he was feeling a little stagnant spiritually, "You know, I am getting a bit concerned that I have not been going through battles in a long time, and I have not received correction in a while. I hope that it is not because the Lord thinks that I have come as far as I will go for Him, or that He thinks that I can't sacrifice more or surrender more to Him. Maybe He thinks that I won't love Him more, and that is why He can't trust me with more growth."
       I always thought that that was quite a sweet attitude to have. Most of us, when we see the battles or a breaking come around again, our first reaction is usually: "Oh no! I don't know if I can take this!" or "Why am I getting this now when I was doing pretty good?"
       But from having been through a few big breakings in the past, I know that I have always come out of those difficult patches with a greater love and a more intimate relationship with the Lord, much more dependence on Him, and with a more fervent prayer life. I feel nothing short of privileged to have had this time to get retooled and to learn from my mistakes, but most of all from His loving care and guidance.
       He has not forsaken me! He has been with me and closer to me than ever before. And He speaks to me in so many small ways and through virtually everything, so much so that sometimes I am afraid that these days of closeness with the Lord will end. Sometimes I feel I can't even trust myself to be dependent on Him on my own, and I would prefer that He keeps me there at His feet always. I am afraid that if He had me get up and go again, I would return to the same pace and the same attitude of independence and arrogance, and forget all that He taught me while in the quietude and the stillness of His presence.
       I don't want to lose that connection and close relationship with Him. I feel like Job -- I may have lost everything, but what I have gained in return makes it worth it all. It is worth all that I am able to have now in Him, even though I have had to forsake my responsibilities, position and "image" in order to get this. I was willing, because there is so much more of Him now, whereas before there was way too much of me.
       It's amazing that when we are willing to see things the way the Lord sees them, it not only makes sense but it is always rewarding, and it always has a happy ending. Because the way the Lord does things is always much better than the way we are able to see them in our carnal minds. I thank the Lord that He has given me this opportunity to change. Actually, I feel honored that He should think that I could still grow and change to make the next grade.
       Please pray for me that I will continue to say yes to Jesus and that I will let Him take first place in my heart and life.
       Love, Josiah


Spirit of the New Day
Lessons from Our Worldwide Family!

       The Lord is bringing us into a wonderful new era, a new wave of love. Mama and Peter have shared many beautiful testimonies of their own personal discoveries and lessons. You may be wondering what these lessons mean to you, and how you can apply them in your daily life, your personal relationships, and your work for the Lord. In the following articles, we would like to share comments and reactions to this new day from Family members. It's wonderful to see how the Lord is changing us all, and bringing us down the road in the new life of love He's giving us together.
       "Wonder not and worry not, 'How can I fit in this new wave of love? How can I be more loving? I'm so incapable, so unable!' That is good, you must feel like this. But worry not, fear not, for I will give you all that you need. All you need to do is say {\ul \i yes}! All you need to do is say, 'I want Your Love, Jesus. I want to be more like You.' All you need is to put your will on My side, and I will fill you to overflowing, and I will use you in a new and greater way" (ML #2989:128, GN 630).


Victories over the "Accomplishments" Mode!

From Paul (Pethuel), Brazil:
       One big lesson for us has been to go more to the Lord in prayer, with praise and thanksgiving. We had slipped into a mechanical type of service due to the pressure of the situation (the team was working on fixing up a house), and resorted to the arm of the flesh at a time when we needed Holy Spirit power more than ever! That's a common problem, I know, as the carnal mind is enmity with God. But in my own personal life, I traced the problem to a bit of resentment that the Lord wasn't sending more specific instruction at this time, so I wasn't catching the spirit of what the Lord is doing in the Family, as stated so clearly in the "Love Story" GNs.
       I was making a surface judgment of the Letters, thinking, "I don't want to hear about 'Mama's Love Story' right now, I need some answers," and resorted to older MLs to get the instruction that I felt applied more to the situation. I hate to have to admit this, as I wish I had been a shining example of faithfulness to Mama, her anointing and faith that the Lord was still guiding the Family. Although I wasn't doubting what the Lord was doing or saying, I wasn't paying attention and I was missing the whole point. Sorry!
       But the happy ending of the story is that the Lord finally got through to me personally when I read "Looking unto Jesus," and the Lord convicted me about the New Wine. I saw how we were just working in the arm of the flesh, which resulted in us being tired, not feeling like having united inspiration and prayer, the whole ball of wax! It's a vicious cycle and the only way out was up! So as we started spending more time with Him, the inspiration began pouring in and things began to move again. Everybody started being happier, and things started looking brighter.
       But this lesson is right there in the Letters; Dad said it for years, and Mama is so faithfully sharing her lessons. I think that I had problems identifying with Mama's lessons because I felt that she is on such a higher level -- Peter too! But the Lord made it clear that this is not the case; we can apply these lessons to our own situations and we need to, and that is why He had the "Love Story" pubbed! So that shot down my arguments!
       The reason I'm sharing this is because I'm sure that it may be happening to a lot of people, especially to older ones who are more accustomed to Dad's specific anointing, the Lord speaking through dreams, etc., and the change does require a little getting used to. Going to the Lord often for instruction is a step of faith, but it is a new day! It's the way the Lord is requiring us to work in order to partake of His blessings of personal guidance for each Home's situation, to meet the needs of the sheep, maintain the Charter and have the supply He has promised. Plus we got so much extra added inspiration and fire from spending time in intimate fellowship with Him. Thank You Jesus!


From Alfred, Norway:
       It is reassuring to know that we have leadership in the Family that is so yielded to the Lord, wanting to follow Him wherever He leads and willing to stop and listen to find out what He's saying, where He's moving and where He wants us to go. For the Family to benefit the most, Mama and Peter have followed in dear Dad's footsteps and paid the cost of going public with mistakes and shortcomings, proving themselves worthy of the great responsibility and honor of leading God's Endtime Army! With Dad in Heaven and pulling for us in the Spirit, all that is required is that we be yielded and take the time to get our signals straight from Headquarters where the Lord and Dad have everything under perfect control.
       I can easily apply Mama's lessons on showing more love and affection and not just being busy with my job for the Lord. I am reaching the conclusion (better late than never!) that my job isn't a matter of doing this or that for the Lord or for the Family or even for the unsaved, but the important thing is not what I do but what I am and how I am. Of course, the Lord's business has to go on and many things have to be taken care of, but this is a secondary thing -- like effects resulting from a cause. This "accomplishment syndrome" (or works trip, which is what it amounts to) had to come to an end, by God's grace!
       I won't get into all the negative effects of being in the accomplishment mode, but suffice it to say that it has not been conducive to fostering the Lord's Spirit in my life. Instead it's given me excuses for not taking the time to show real love to my brothers and sisters. I have not felt so challenged in a long time as I feel now. All I want to do is move on to new horizons, both spiritually and physically.


Loving the Lord More

From Victory, India:
       Recently I have been learning a lot along the lines of putting Jesus first in my life and strengthening my relationship with Him. So these Letters are a real confirmation from the Lord that my connection with Him is the most important thing. It makes me want to love the Lord more and I'm looking forward to the time that I can spend with Him, especially at night and in the early morning. I feel like I am joining the Family all over again, where my dedication and my desire to serve Jesus above all has been renewed and my fulfillment in reading the Word is greater then ever before. I am so thankful for dear Mama and Peter and the good sample they are of putting the Lord first in their relationship and helping us to do likewise. It is beautiful to fall in love with Jesus again.


Strength in Loving Each Other More

From Abner T., Thailand:
       I have been very impressed with the glimpse into the way that Peter and Mama think and the way that they live and operate. The way that they live and what their feelings are about different things, their dedication and loyalty to the Lord, their sense of commitment, obligation and responsibility to the sheep -- all these are very marvelous and we are blessed to have this insight.
       Through this whole series it seems that something that is a constant is the feeling of love; in everything they do they are putting love for the Lord, the sheep and each other above their own personal interests and desires. I think that in many situations our level of love and concern for others is still not as strong as it should be and in some ways I feel that the Lord could really bless us more individually and as Homes or areas if we were faithful to stay closer to that vision of having more love for one another. I could definitely stand a little more of this attitude in my personal life.
       Another point which has been very striking to me is how Mama and Peter are always praying and acknowledging the Lord about different things. I don't think that this means they are "in a cloud" or anything like that. Quite to the contrary, I believe that they are very practical people when it comes to serving the Lord and leading this Family. But it just seems that they have really brought the Lord into their working relationship and He is there with them and as a result I guess you could say He is a part of their teamwork. Because of this they are able to do the job of leading the Family because they are able to get the Lord's mind on things, from being in such close communication with Him.


From Peter and Lily (TS), England:
       It is breathtaking how the Lord is bringing a new revolution to the Family. Everything that Mama says in the Love Feast Letters is very convicting, as it is indeed not Mama, but most of us who are exceedingly guilty of being Martha's instead of Mary's. We are seeing how short we fall when it comes to showing enough love to those around us, especially the children. All too often we fail to extend enough patience, mercy, understanding and willingness to spend time with those who need comforting, in our damnable hastiness to serve the Lord. I believe that our only hope of making progress in all of the above is to cry out to the Lord to give us more of a broken heart -- for not only the lost but for all our precious brothers, sisters, and children as well.
       One victory is that we are getting together more as a Home for singing, praising and hearing from the Lord together, letting Him lead more and He has been bringing many solutions to what we had thought were impossible situations. We are seeing it's so important to communicate, to clear up misunderstandings and hurt feelings, to listen to one another, but even more importantly, to pray. We are also learning it's so important to pray about important or controversial issues. We need to make sure we are getting the Lord's mind, as His ways are so often not our ways nor His thoughts our thoughts.


From Marie F., Kazakhstan:
       Reading the recent GNs, I felt a warmth, like a rain of love that was all-encompassing, making me peaceful and happy and very excited in the Spirit. It's hard to explain, but it radiated a deep spiritual communication from the Lord being passed on to us through the humility and honesty of dear Peter and Mama. I feel like we are entering a new realm as a Family. We have always known and believed in the Law of Love, but we are about to learn how to truly live it to the full, learning to lay down our lives for one another and go beyond our personal wishes and desires to embrace the greater vision the Lord has for each one of us. I'm starting to see so many ways I can give of myself more and love others more.


From Jon C. (of Candle), Japan:
       I feel I don't give enough of the Lord's Love to those around me, and "Mama's Love Story" series is a real sample in this area. Practicing real love is the only way for the Family to survive, as the rigid leadership structure is gone and each Family disciple is free to pursue their life in the Lord, within certain limits, as the Lord shows them. In reality, this means that there is a lot of personal adjustment to be made physically but especially spiritually, as the rigidity that has kept people in their place of fruitfulness has been replaced with personal interpretation of the Lord's will in each one's life. We struggle with new tests of selfishness and self-will, versus real giving and personal yieldedness before the Lord.
       I feel with my whole heart that in the ten years I've been in the Family, the Love Charter is the most wonderful thing that has happened. In fact, this is the only way the Family could be set up to weather and survive the coming storm. The wonderful way the Lord is leading and guiding behind the scenes is so much clearer in our lives, but it all hinges on how much we yield to the Lord, and how much love we share with each other here on Earth. This is why Mama's Letters are so convicting because they highlight my own weaknesses in this area. I believe they are a rallying call for the whole Family to melt and blend together, and serve one another in real love.
       Without this love, the Charter is of none effect. I am really thankful to Mama for her unshakable sample, a standard of love raised for me to follow along a path to green pastures during the coming darkness.


From Lily, Thailand:
       The GN with the April first prophecies ("A New Day of Love!" ML #3011, GN 648) was like a bright light in the darkness. -- The depth of love the Lord wants us to show one another! For many years, we have measured our love for the Lord and dedication by our ability to "forsake all," to "bite the bullet," and to carry on despite the trials. But now the Lord is saying our love for Him is being measured by how much love we show to one another -- not by our standard of training or how talented we are, but by our love for others. It's so beautiful, it seems to me so much more reachable. In some ways the doorknob is higher, but in some ways it's lower, making more room for mistakes, forgiveness, trust in the Lord and in one another.
       It was so comforting to me to see how much the Lord loves each one of us and how He is there all the time. It's been teaching me so much about letting Him work in various situations and getting out of the way myself. For years I felt so "responsible" for the situations I was shepherding, that I had to "shepherd" them, etc., and of course I still do to a certain extent. But I am seeing more now how my role is to encourage and inspire, help point people to the Word and sometimes counsel, but not carry the burden any more, just pray for the Lord to do it. It takes a lot more faith, but the Lord gets a lot more credit for it.


From Lynn Clear, Bolivia:
       I've been studying "A New Day of Love" over and over, and am finding that this Letter has miracle-working power in my life. Nearly every day, I start falling into my old routines of thinking unloving thoughts, and have to run back to this Letter to let its Words re-wash my mind. As I do it, I am finding that these Words do have power to transform my heart and fill it with love.


Getting to Know Mama Better!

From Tim, Switzerland:
       In reading Mama and Peter's lessons of love, what amazes me the most is their openness, humanness and down-to-earth, no-holds-barred style that is very unlike what I have seen in the average Home. I am not used to being so open and honest in front of people. But I can see that this is really the future and what needs to happen in order to prepare us for the times ahead. Thank You Jesus!


From Ezequias and Heidi (TS), Brazil:
       The most impressive thing is to see how close Dad is, how active and inspired he still is. Nothing can stop this Family, not even death! Another impressive thing is Mama's honesty. I don't think I've ever seen anyone as honest and humble as she is. Worldly leaders are always exalting themselves and giving a false image of themselves, but our queen is completely the opposite! This makes us love, admire and follow her more faithfully. Her love for her people is beyond understanding, and fulfills the purpose for which God has sent her, making us debtors! We are indebted to the Lord. It's a debt of eternal love which we'll never be able to pay back! Thank God for Maria! I'm in love with her! Peter, please take good care of her!


From Crystal, Thailand:
       The thing that is really striking is that Mama is not just telling us what to do, or how to yield and how to get the Lord's blessing and how to love, but she is actually being a sample of it. In her confessions of major shortcomings and failings over the years, she has made it easy for us to confess our mistakes and our sins, too. When I read her confessions about arguing with Dad, I kind of relaxed and felt that, "Wow, even Mama was like that." I always felt that she was pretty perfect, but her confessions put the doorknob much lower and made me not feel so bad or condemned about myself. I saw that she has a true shepherd's heart and doesn't just point which way to go, but she will go there first and lead the way and show us the Lord's mercy. To realize that the Lord really does love me just the way I am, with my faults and shortcomings, and that He loves me as a Lover -- this has been a revelation to me.


Thank God for King Peter!

From Tender, Malaysia:
       After reading about it, I was thinking and praying if it was difficult for me to accept Peter being called a king. The answer is a wholehearted no! His faithful service through the years, his sample of honest confessions, humbling himself, telling on himself about his jealousy battles, his battles with his physical body -- all this makes him so "human" and approachable and well fit to help with the leading and guiding of the Family. I know and can trust it will not be a proud king we will have, but a humble, loving and loyal one, supporting and loving our precious Queen Maria.


From Leah, Malaysia:
       I somehow had always related to Peter as being a pretty business-oriented person, but now I see how spiritual he is in a very beautiful way. It is a real sample to me what real leadership is: to be in tune with the Lord, and most of all really in love with Jesus. It is super convicting for me and I really want to strive to have that kind of deep and dedicated relationship with the Lord.
       Having met Peter a couple of times, I clearly remember his strong sample of simplicity, humility, and my feeling very comfortable around him. I especially loved his words of dedication, as they totally summed up what my prayer would be if I were to be able to express my heart. He said it all better than I ever could. I couldn't imagine a better, more worthy king, outside of dear Dad, praise the Lord!


From Neal, in a WS Home:
       You said in your talks, Mama, how surprised and somewhat resistant you were when the Lord and Dad indicated that you and Peter should be a mated couple now. Well, to me, you and Peter now being mated isn't surprising at all!
       It seems to me that it was always Dad's plan for you and Peter to be together after he was gone. Dad was perhaps more specific about this in the "Carry the Crown" (ML #2993) talk than he had been before in published Letters, but still, there have been so many times in different Letters over the years where Dad has indicated that he was preparing Peter to be your companion once he was gone. So, it seemed natural to me that Dad was now putting you two together.
       It's my feeling that since the vast majority of the Family are like me and only know you and Dad and Peter through the Letters, I don't feel that this will come as such a surprise to most. I guess the "King Peter" wasn't such a surprise to me either. My first reaction was that it is pretty heavy, but especially after reading the prophecies you got when asking the Lord about this, it was quite easy for me to accept. The Lord said, "So what if I call this one 'king'? I could have called him 'dog'! Or 'beggar'! I have called him a faucet. I have called him a knight. What is in a name?" The Lord also said that it was a test and something we had to take by faith. To me this explains it well and doesn't make it hard to take.
       I joined the Family in my thirties, and at that age there were many things that were deeply ingrained in my thinking that were contrary to the Family's beliefs. So there were many things in the Letters that I just had to accept totally by faith, and try not to analyze in any way. Because if I would analyze them, then about the only thing I had to base my thinking on was opinions that were totally contrary to our beliefs.
       For example, I had been taught evolution for over 20 years, and never questioned it at all. My church even taught that evolution was true; they said it was just what God used to make the Earth. So when I joined the Family and read Letters like "Whose Fool Are You?", I can't say that I could instantly take everything that was said and then analyze it and go over it all and still accept it 100%. I couldn't analyze a Letter like that, because almost every principle that I had to use in my analysis was contrary to it! So I would just have to accept it by faith and say "Yes, I believe it," but try not to analyze it.
       This has been less and less the case as the years go by and I got all of that old stuff washed out -- the thought patterns that weren't the way the Lord looks at things. I guess we all have to accept things by faith, but perhaps it's a little easier for me to just accept something like "King Peter" that is totally new to me, because I've had to do that with a lot of things. I've always found that after a while, the thing that I accepted by faith a while back just seems so natural now. After I've accepted it and lived with it and put it into practice, the thing that was once "new," then just seems obviously right and normal.


Praise Time!

From Dust, DF Home, Thailand:
       A friend who has known us for about two years is a former drug addict who has had quite a miraculous deliverance. He really loves the Lord and the Word and is faithful to witness. He was very excited to hear about praise time, and has been faithful to have his praise times each day. He didn't see us for a month or so, though, and this was apparently a time of decision for him. He was out of fellowship with the Family, but he said, "No matter what I did, I just could not stop my praise times! Every day at 10:00, 12:00 and 5:00, it was like a bell would go off, as if the Lord was calling me. Every time I had my praise times, it made me think of the Family and the Word and the Lord and it kept me from all the temptations that came. In fact, it strengthened my conviction that that's where I needed to be -- with the Family and serving the Lord!"
       This prompted him to come back into fellowship again and to be faithful to read the Word. Now he has his own little flock of former drug addicts and people he's known through the years. He's been able to help some of them come off drugs, praying with them and reading the Word with them and trying to encourage them. One of his friends, who is actually going blind from the effects of drugs, called the other day to let us know that he's also practicing the praise time habit and it's helping him to fight and feel much stronger and more confident in the Lord.
       What a beautiful testimony of the power of praise and how blessings do come down when we praise, TYJ!

From Marie (TS), England:
       It was strengthening to read a confirmation from the Lord about what it is "to fight" concerning long-term afflictions. I can heartily agree with this quote, "So if you must fight, fight to stay close to Me, fight to trust Me, fight to have faith in Me and in My Words and in My promises" ("Mama's Love Story, Part 2," ML #2993:97, GN 636). This is so true.
       I have had constant pain in my body for one-and-a-half years, and from the beginning I felt I would have to endure it a long time until the Lord saw fit to deliver me. At first when I was told to fight, I got it all wrong and started fighting, trying to overcome the pains and keep going. I soon found out that it was in vain. What gave me strength was to be more of a conqueror by being a good loser and praising God in my affliction. It has given me wings. It has helped me to believe the impossible. Maybe some people might see it as a hindrance, but I don't. It has helped me to reach far beyond what I ever dreamed of. I see it as a way for the Lord to manifest Himself in bigger ways than before, to get all the glory.
       Of course there are times when I get very discouraged about all the things I cannot do, but somehow I even see that as a blessing according to Romans 8:28. I know the Lord is using it; He can do anything but fail!



From Jane, Ruth and Margie, Uruguay:
       Praise time has become a favorite moment for some of the children, one they eagerly await. Sometimes the little ones ask if we can stop to praise the Lord at other times during the day! They'll pick up anything they can pretend is a guitar and begin singing and praising the Lord with all their hearts. One four-year-old's reaction was so sweet. He said, "Since we began to praise the Lord more, He blesses us more!" Thank You Lord for this beautiful new praise revolution! It really brings a precious spirit of unity and love for the Lord in the Home.

From Eden, Brazil:
       Ten in the morning is just about my busiest time of the day. Now I sit down and praise the Lord with the kids, and after that, things go smoothly! When I first heard about it, I thought, "Oh no! How am I going to do it!" But it's nice and relaxing!

From Ben and Lily, Brazil:
       The praise times have been such a blessing not only to our JETTs, teens and adults, but to our children too. We have someone faithfully ring the bell for praise times and as soon as the kids (3 years and up) hear the bell, they start praising the Lord, singing praise, even on their own. It's so thrilling to see our 3- and 4-year-olds stop their play to begin to sing and praise the Lord, even in the midst of watching their favorite videos. The babies get really excited when we praise and sing songs with them too.
       Here are some ideas that worked for our children:

       --Have a theme on what to praise the Lord for each time.
       --For the little ones, take turns jumping as they praise the Lord.
       --One teacher prepared a large piece of paper, and she drew things on it that the kids would like to praise the Lord for.
       --Sing songs of praise (this is really the main thing that really holds their attention).
       --Quote together praise poems or verses that they've memorized.
       --Most of the adults in our Home testified that this praise time has been a real help to them, as it safeguards them from thinking negatively. It helps the ones going through trials to be in the victory and helps them have more thankful hearts. Thank You Jesus!


From Kristia, Thailand:
       I'm excited how the Lord is showing us how this is a new day and we don't have to get locked into mundane routines, but should seek to "serve the Lord with gladness" in devotions, prayer life, Word time and praise times. I was inspired to read of the various ideas implemented by Mama's staff to have more praise and take the initiative to change by scheduling praise times. It's so true how we don't usually get things done unless they're scheduled. We're such creatures of habit!
       Since I've been quarantined with my newborn these last weeks, I've had more of a chance to jump in on praising the Lord without wondering what anyone thinks (as sometimes it's hard to break out of your old man and the way you think others see you) and just burn free to follow the Lord's inspiration. It's been very fruitful for me, in keeping my heart and mind on the positive channel of praise as I think of ways I can praise Him more. After reading this GN and as I rocked the baby to sleep, the Lord gave me a paraphrase of the chorus "I Want More of Jesus." So, here's a simple rendition that we can call, "I Want to Praise You More":

       I want to praise You, Jesus,
       More and more and more!
       I want to praise You, Jesus,
       More than I ever did before!
       I'll praise You for Your Love and power
       I'll praise You every hour!
       Let me love You, Jesus,
       Let me praise You ever more!


Happiness in the Lord!

From James, Pakistan:
       The GN about fun and foolishness, ("Mama's Love Story, Part 7," ML #3002, GN 642) reminded me of when I first joined the Family and how the joy of the Lord was very predominant in the Home. I guess after growing up and becoming more responsible, I sort of quenched this spirit and lost it. I feel quite liberated after reading this Letter and seeing how the Lord hasn't changed! He still wants His happy Holy Spirit to flow through each one of us. I feel this is the start of a new happiness revolution and dear Mama and Peter are carrying on where Dad left off. I feel we need to show this happiness more to those out in the world as things get worse for the poor people trapped out there. We can show them that it's still possible to be happy. God bless Mama and Peter for being so honest and sharing the funny things they do together in their room.


Married or Unmarried!

From Marie (of Matthew), Kazakhstan:
       When Matthew and I got together, having both been through various heartbreaks and unfruitful relationships, and having leaned on the verse Matthew 6:33 during our single years, one of the first things we did was mutually remind each other that we were "married to Jesus first of all"! We both took the marriage relationship the Lord was giving us as a special cherry on the cake and had a fear of the Lord about keeping Him in first place.
       We were both also quite jealous of our personal relationship with Jesus, and though we did spend some time reading the Word together and praying together, hearing from the Lord together, we both felt that it was important that we also respected our private times with the Lord, that it was part of putting Jesus first in our marriage.
       I'm not saying that any of this was wrong, as it was the way the Lord was leading us and I believe the Lord blessed our efforts to put Him first. But what I'm trying to say is that in this GN, Mama and Peter are bringing out a whole new perspective, a whole new way of looking at things in married life which never dawned on us before. It's like a whole new revelation which we never even knew existed!
       We decided to read this GN together while in bed on our Word day and to just talk about it honestly and how to apply it to our lives. It made me realize how much pride I still had, as it was not so easy to talk about these things with my husband whom I've been married to for 15 years! We both realized how in trying to put the Lord first and keeping our personal relationships with Jesus, we were actually quite proud and quite bound.
       I don't know how to express it, but it's been like we have been jealously guarding our relationship with Jesus, but have missed a whole spectrum of really enjoying Jesus together to the full. Mama and Peter's sample show how free they are, and how pleased the Lord is that they both love and enjoy Him together, truly like a three-fold cord. In our marriage, we are realizing how somehow we have missed that -- unitedly enjoying Jesus to the full. It's deepening our united relationship with Jesus.
       Just like the GN said, it is causing a revolution in our marriage as we are starting to praise the Lord together first thing in the morning and last thing at night, singing more together. We are starting to read the Word together more and hearing from the Lord in prophecy together a lot more. In other words, we are learning to be less proud and talk more together about intimate aspects of our relationship with the Lord.
       We still have a long way to go in being completely set free and uninhibited in this area, but it is such a sweet beautiful victory -- a revival in our marriage and in our united relationship with Jesus. Thank you so much, dear Mama and Peter for being such an example and for having the humility to share all these intimate things with us. It is so, so helpful and very exciting. It just makes us want to love Jesus, our mates and others more and more!

From Anna, Taiwan:
       Now that I'm single, my whole life has been changed quite dramatically. I can truly say that "all things work together for good" and I'm thankful for the opportunity to be able to give the Lord my whole heart, mind and attention. It feels so wonderful to be able to spend precious time with Him.
       I was encouraged by Mama's comments about being single. God has ordained that at this time I need to be single and get my relationship with Him in the right perspective. Sometimes I battle loneliness, but the Lord always sees me through and gives me enough to do to keep me out of trouble. Ha! One thing that I can now see is the wonderful fruit of yieldedness. There's a supernatural thing that happens when you yield to the Lord and just say "Yes, whatever!" You feel a kind of peace inside -- truly the "peace that passes all understanding" (Ph.4:7). God even gave me the grace to see my former husband re-mated and happy. Thank You Jesus! His ways are truly not our ways.


A Mother's Prayer

       Help me, oh Lord,
       Lead my children to Thee,
       To be a light of love to them,
       As Thou wouldst have me be.

       To guide them gently
       Each step of the way,
       And show them Your Love
       In all I do and say.

       Love is the important thing
       They need to find in me --
       The comfort for their sorrows
       And the pain they feel and see.

       So please, dear Lord,
       Make me what I should be --
       A loving light in darkness
       That can guide them all to Thee.

       -- Grace (TS, mother of eight), Norway


Copyright 1996 The Family