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FSM 326       CM/FM       Lessons of Life and Love

Copyright © 1998 by The Family--2/98.

Spiritual Realities!
       In August of 1996, Paloma of Amos passed on to the Other Side after a car accident. She and Amos had been involved in a very fruitful "consider the poor" project in Brazil for some years, and their project and her Homegoing were the subject of FSM 301.
       Dear Amos has written some beautiful letters since then, telling of the changes in his life and blessings Jesus gave him as he desperately sought the Lord after his wife went to Heaven. The SACRO brethren sent him prophecies they had received from Jesus and Paloma shortly after her Homegoing, and the first letter below is his answer to the SACRO brethren. With his permission, we're printing these letters, as we pray that they will be a blessing and help to those of you who might also go through extremely trying times.

From Amos, Brazil, 11/96:
Dear Family,
       God bless you! Thank you so much for your sweet and uplifting letter. It really touched my heart that you not only wrote us, but also went the extra step to hear from both the Lord and Paloma. To be honest, it was very strange to receive words from the Other Side from someone I know so well. It became so much more personal and close, but at the same time a real test of faith.
       I felt it was a real privilege and a strong comfort to know that our dear mommy is here with us and helping in more ways now than ever. I was given the most precious gift that anyone in my situation could ask for -- to hear words from my loved one from behind the veil. I have read the prophecy you received from Jesus several times, and it is so feeding, a tower of strength to me, mainly because it applies specifically to me personally and reveals my heart.
       Another special encouragement the Lord gave me was a picture of Paloma that I saw in a flash. I was sleeping and I saw Paloma standing on some stairs in a Roman-style building with big pillars. Everything seemed so shiny, like gold, and her long hair blew in the soft wind. She was smiling and so happy to see me. I saw her only from the waist up, as if in a photo. She looked so good and fresh. A feeling of great joy and love--kind of supernatural feelings--took hold of me. I was there and I was going to hug her, when I woke up.
       I felt sad when I woke up, because what I felt was so great, warm and vibrant, and here I was back in this world, gray by comparison. This experience was like Paul wrote in second Corinthians: "I don't know whether I was in my body or out of my body," (see 2Cor.12:2), but I'm certain I got a touch of a Heavenly sensation.
       I know the prayers of my dear Family and friends have protected the kids and me from total despair. It is amazing how the Lord gives you grace when you need it. Of course, the feelings are there, but they are at a distance. It has been like walking on thin air with a deep abyss underneath, keeping my eyes on the Lord and the wonderful truth that Dad and Mama have shown through all these years -- the reality of the real life and the spiritual world. In this time of my greatest need I have experienced that God is a living God and His Word is all true.
       I have been among those who have been following afar off concerning the New Wine and prophecies. I had a little bit of doubt in my heart, and thought that the Family was getting into something weird. I just skimmed through the newest Letters with all those prophecies. I felt they didn't say much, and thought Mama's comments were far more interesting. I was quite skeptical, and that kept me from entering in.
       Something that always has stuck with me, though, is what Dad said -- that too many give up just before the victory. I felt like Mama and the Family are 110% dependent on the Lord and for sure He wouldn't let them down by leading them astray. Besides that, who am I to judge?
       I guess the Lord knew my heart and He has kept me through thick and thin. Today I'm so thankful that I held on. The truth of the Word has been my lifesaver and has helped to keep my head above the water. I owe so much to Dad and Mama. Of course it is all Jesus, but He used those two to set the table for us and dish it out in a manner that I could eat it.
       After Paloma's Homegoing, I was terribly busy. There were so many things concerning the work here that needed attention, as well as all the legalities about the death and the funeral and so on. Thank God that a very good friend of mine came from Norway and helped me through the first two crucial weeks. When he left and things quieted down a little bit, I felt such a strong inclination to read the Letters about Heaven, the Austin Letters, etc., and they spoke directly to me.
       Now I really feel inspired from reading the prophecies! They are in simple language for all to understand, but at the same time they are very deep and vivid pictures that are like keys, unlocking things of the Spirit. Even the prophecies in the Bible have become so much more alive. I can't describe how happy I am about these Words that have become more valuable than silver and gold to me. I certainly have a deeper understanding today of what King David wrote in many of his Psalms concerning the value of God's Words. I also understand so well what Doubting Thomas said in the prophecy (see ML #3041:73-78, GN 670), "The key to faith is the desire to believe."
       I was put into a situation where no natural reasoning could give me answers. I had to throw myself on the mercies of God and trust Him to tell me why it had happened. I had to trust that God is in control and that later I would understand.
       There have been many battles to fight. It is a great comfort to know that so many are praying for us. But there are times I feel so alone without fellowship of those who are like-minded and like-hearted. Living independently, I have chosen my freedom in a way, but is that real freedom? I feel I have traded my freedom for the security of fellowship. I miss the peace of heart and mind; I miss the excitement, the joy, the fellowship and the security of knowing I'm doing the right thing. I know that true freedom and perfect peace will only be found in God's perfect will. I have experienced and tasted the high calling of God, but in a way have chosen my best and not God's.
       Then at times I get under condemnation and think that I'm too bad and God doesn't have time for me. It was very important and uplifting for me to read that for sure God not only loves me, but that His love is unconditional and He only sees the positive in each of us and overlooks the negative if we're trying our best to please Him. Thank You, Jesus!
       Also what Christina (Austin) said was so comforting to read: "What matters when you get Up Here is how much love you have and how much faith you have, and whether you love the Word and you love Jesus and try to do the best you can; that's what matters" (ML #3010:10, GN 646).
       Of course I miss the person who has been so close to me for years, but like the song goes, "I think about Heaven and I smile." It really helps. To look back still hurts. The more "Heavenly minded" I am or the less I look back, the easier it gets. One verse from Matthew 24 has become so real: "Heaven and Earth shall pass away, but My Words shall never pass away." In a moment like this, you feel Heaven and Earth have passed away, and the Word is the only reality and the only thing to cling to.
       The kids miss Mommy too. They pray for her, and in a way they are more Heavenly minded than I am. Even Christopher, at 8 years old, told his class that he is not afraid to die anymore, for then he will go to see his mommy. The kids have been such a strength to me these weeks, and have showered me with love. I have been reading to them about Heaven, as they also are curious about what Mommy's new country is like. Flower, 18 years old, came from Norway, bringing her sweet baby Angelica with her, to be with us for two months.
       Even though times like this are not easy, still I have felt that the Lord turns our deepest, darkest experiences into blessings. It is here I have found the most precious jewels that I believe will be a landmark for the rest of my life. In a way I wish things could have been different, but I also am very thankful for this new day in my life, with renewed faith in the Lord and His Word. So I guess the bottom line is to trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not to my own reasoning or understanding.
       I love you. Heartfelt hugs and kisses from us all, Amos

* * *

       (From a letter to Mama and Peter:) There have been many major victories in my spiritual life. For years I have been following afar off and in a kind of "older brother" spirit -- a real old bottle! I lived in a "no man's land" between the System and the Family. I was in a state of shallowness and took it for granted that the Lord was with me and protecting me. I can now clearly see how blind I have been, how dumb and stupid.
       During these last three months, I feel I have gone through the washing machine and the spin dryer. It has been the most difficult time in my whole life, but this wringing of my life has brought back my first love for Jesus. It has renewed my life and put me on the road to victory. It has brought back peace to my soul, given life to my faith, kindled the fire within me to feel inspired and to look forward with expectation and a solid trust in God and His Word. I have come to the same point as when I got saved and said to the Lord: "Here I am. Use me!"
       Even though it has been costly, no doubt it is worth it, but I never wish to repeat such a traumatic experience. God help me to have a healthy fear of Him and never stray so far away again! I must thank the ones that have sacrificed and hung on in the Family all these years. Even though at times you might not have felt that great, at least you stuck and showed me an example. I understand why these faithful ones should be rewarded above all. They went through it, they stuck and they have made the Family what it is today. Thank you, and thank You, Jesus.
       Today as I was listening to some of our beautiful music tapes, I got to thinking how everything falls into line when you get back on track. Earlier I had some doubts about Grandpa as a prophet, the Words of David, the prophecies, and the Endtime. The doubts were there lingering in the back of my mind, but I didn't take a stand really. I just kind of drifted along to see if these thoughts were right or not. I can see now how real the spiritual world is.
       Since I started to want to believe and dedicate myself and forsake myself, everything seems to be falling into line. I didn't have to force myself to believe these things; my faith was just restored. Now I'm thrilled by the prophecies and the Words of David, and am proud to feel I'm back in the Family in spirit. I certainly see myself as a prodigal son and am happy to be back in the house of David again.
       I have been reading the mailings faithfully, even the older ones. Before I had problems with the New Wine, but now I love to read those prophecies. They are so amazing and full of little bits of information that are like keys to unlock secrets. I love you, Queen Maria and King Peter and my Family, from the depths of my heart.

* * *

       (From another letter, written 2/97:) It is amazing what a difference the Spirit of God makes. After getting back on track, things run more smoothly. The problems are more or less the same, but how they get solved is very different. The other day I had a meeting with the office staff here. (Editor's note: Amos is referring to the staff of the center he and Paloma established for their work with street children. Please see FSM 301, "Angel of the Street Children Goes to Heaven.") They had a lot of problems working together and I felt I was to blame, as I haven't been on top of the situation. There have been so many emergencies to attend to, and I have also invested a lot more time in prayer and reading the Word the past four months.
       Before the meeting, I spent time praying and reading excerpts from "How to Love" and got full of the subject. It was a real battle to put forth the first sentence by saying "I'm sorry," but after that things just flowed. I'm far from an eloquent speaker, but what was said that day moved their hearts and we all cried and hugged each other, and I felt we found common ground and the foundation for better communication was laid. Now everybody shows a lot more inspiration and devotion in their work. Thank You, Jesus! I feel that that investment of time with the Lord really pays off, as it solves problems in a way that you know just has to be the Lord.
       My children have also benefited from my closer walk with Jesus. I've had more conviction when correcting them and have more of a positive attitude with them.
       Another way that investing time with Jesus pays off is that it makes life so exciting. Earlier I often felt bored and would try to kill time watching TV or listening to music, but now I feel this spirit of excitement moving in me and I desire more to seek the Lord in prayer and in the Word. It is so true what the Lord said in "Bridging the Gap," that when we draw closer to the Lord, "in time you will draw away from the pleasures and delicacies of the System. You will become more dropped out -- My ecclesia, My called-out ones" (ML #3068:87, GN 696).

* * *

       (Excerpts of a letter to Mama and Peter, 5/97)
Dear Mama,
       Some time before Paloma's accident, I had begun praying and honestly desiring a change in my life. The Lord lets us get away with a lot for a while, and then He starts tightening the screws. I was missing and longing for the excitement that the Spirit gives--that feeling which thrills us, that anointing that gives faith and trust for today, and looks into the future with expectancy.
       On the night before Paloma's Homegoing, we managed for the first time in two years to sit down together alone. She was tired and the pain in her body had increased over the years (Editor's note: Paloma suffered chronic pain and serious headaches for eight years). We were talking about changes in running the project, and she had battles over the new plans. The project had become her baby, and she didn't like the idea of delegating too much responsibility. But she also said she felt it was time for me to take over.
       Paloma was the leader of the project, the engine running it, and I was the man behind the scenes, trying to keep things together. When she was gone, a big part of the project was gone.
       I'm not the leader type, and when I was pushed into a leadership position, I didn't know what to do. I didn't feel I had the charisma and the anointing to be a front figure. Basically I'm a shy person and have little self-confidence. It must have been the Lord's supernatural power that helped me to strengthen the administration to be able to secure the project.
       The first three weeks after her Homegoing were devoted to these tasks. I'm amazed how the Lord gave me supernatural power and strength when I needed it the most. What great love Jesus has toward us, even when we are off the track! When I first read that Jesus' love toward us was unconditional, it was a revelation to me and a great liberation.
       After a couple of busy weeks, the hunger and curiosity grew within me to want to know more about Heaven, and I started to dig into the Austin Letters. When I started to read with a believing will, they started to speak to me, and I began to wake up spiritually. As I drank in the New Wine, my faith grew to heights I have never reached before. This was the first time in years, maybe since I joined the Family, that I said to Jesus. "Here I am! Do with me as You please! I'm willing to do anything for You."
       Both you and Peter are an excellent example of that. When the cookies are put on a lower shelf, it is both feeding and strengthening for other feeble beings like myself, and I feel we are on common ground. I think it is a great victory and liberation that I can look on myself as less important and Jesus as all-important, and pray that He increases and I decrease.
       It was a painful experience to have Paloma, who was so close to me, leave me in the physical sense. Mama, it touches my heart that you and your Home thought about me and the children, and prayed for us -- even more, that you took the time to hear from Paloma. It was one of the most precious gifts you could ever have given us.
       I want to thank you, Mama, for everything. Without you and the Family I wouldn't have made it. You have opened up Heaven for us and led us to know Jesus in a new and exciting way -- without limits! You have made our lives so exciting, above our wildest dreams. We are the most blessed people that have ever, ever lived.
       I'll share here some Words from Jesus that really spoke to me: "When you feel weak and incapable and insufficient in yourself, as you lie stripped of all earthly strength, this is My gift of weakness, that you may find My strength. When you say that you want to love Me above all else, and desire Me as your most intimate spouse, think it not strange that I grant you the gift of loneliness, for with this gift you become My intimate bride, with all other distractions aside. When you find yourself in seemingly impossible situations and the tasks before you appear too big, too hard for human hands, this is when I give you My gift of faith, My gift of divine power" (From Jesus with Love, 16).
       The Lord has granted me the gift of loneliness. I live on a quiet farm out of town, and the closest Family Home is 600 kilometers away. God bless them! -- Even though we don't see each other too often, we stay in touch. The first weeks after Paloma was gone, I dreaded the quiet weekends, but once I began to get into the Word I learned to appreciate the stillness. I learned to love the Lord and desire Him, and He is changing my life. Now I look forward to these precious quiet moments.
       I was left with four kids and a big project that was not fully organized yet, and had almost thirty workers to administrate. I felt pressure on all sides. When I look back, I'm amazed at how the Lord took care of me, the project and my kids. It is a miracle that cannot be explained. The Lord brought such peace and faith to my heart that everything was going to work out.
       During the first months, I took time to pray and read the Word and learn to hear from the Lord. I had to leave the rest of my duties with the Lord, and He has guided me and brought me up onto the mountain where I can see things clearly. He has put people in my path that want to help with the project, and who have the experience that I lack.
       This is the first time in my life that I have managed to trust the Lord fully for the outcome. To be able to fully trust the Lord brings such peace and is such a liberation! I don't have to worry about being somebody other than myself. I also find it much easier to be honest when I look at myself as less important. As these spiritual realities began to dawn on me, I began to see in depth and understand Dad's sample and his Words much more.
              Love, Amos.

Steps in Loving Jesus
From Daniel Arrow (25, of Sarah, son of Phil and Shiloh), Russia:
Dear Mama and Peter,
       God bless you! Here is a little testimony about the "Loving Jesus" revelation. I must admit that when I first read the Letter, I was in a state of shock! My reaction was, "Well, thank God we don't have to do this!" For the next few months I tried to go on as normal, but I really noticed a decline in the quality of my prayer life. Through all this, I want to make clear that it wasn't that I didn't believe what the Lord was saying; it was just that the physical aspect was too hard for me.
       I started to get more desperate as I realized that others were passing me by, and worse yet, I knew that there's no standing still - I was either going forward or backwards. I think one key that I missed was I kept wanting to understand so that I could participate, whereas the Lord was very clear about doing it by faith, and said that the understanding would come afterwards.
       Finally while on a long train trip alone, I got desperate with the Lord, and asked Him to help me to accept it by faith only. I started to tip-toe out on the water, and found it to be as solid as a rock. Pretty soon I felt like I wasn't just walking on the water, I was running and jumping on it! I had a very special time loving the Lord and fellowshipping with Him.
       I still didn't understand it and had to fight some more battles along those lines, but the Lord kept His part of the bargain, I feel, by allowing me to see the Summit videos. Peter's explanation made everything click and all of a sudden loving Jesus turned from a burden and almost a trial into a wonderful blessing! I want to say that I'm behind you 100%, and that even though it was initially difficult for me, I am thankful that you had the faith to send it out to the Family. We need it! ILYSM! Keep it coming!
       Much love in Jesus, Daniel Arrow

A poem from Jesus, received by Happy (formerly Simon Peter)

       My love is like a mighty river,
       Deep, unending, wide.
       It's bursting forth to flood your hearts
       And set you free inside.

       But you must remove the obstacles,
       The rocks of fear and pride,
       Your selfishness and shyness --
       Whatever may divide,

       Or stop you loving others,
       Or let them love you too.
       I need you as My vessel
       To make their dreams come true.

       Consider not the consequence,
       Or what they'll think of you.
       Think only of their need for love
       And to My Word be true.

       Fear not! I'll guide your loving,
       Direct you from Above.
       You'll bear the fruit which I desire;
       You'll wash the world with love!

       So let My love pour through you
       In bountiful supply,
       To slake the thirst of others,
       And lift their spirits high.

       The great volcano of My love
       Is ready now to blow!
       Be a channel of My love,
       And let the lava flow!

It Pays to Take Time with Jesus!
From Pavel, Moldova:
       The Summit '96 videos made loving the Lord become clearer to me and much more practical. I always thought "Oh, we need to do so much, so much! There's no time!" But I began to see that if we take the time for Him, the Lord really will do it. - He will accomplish what needs to be done!
       When we were closing down our Home, I needed to help get transportation for someone to move their things to another city. I didn't have any idea how to go about it, but what was fresh in my mind was that I needed to spend time with the Lord, loving Him, praising Him, being in the Word and having fellowship with Him. So I tried to do it every day and emphasize that in my life, rather than just spending all my time running around to transport companies, knocking at their doors, and asking if they could take us. And as it turned out, the Lord did it!
       It happened like this: I couldn't get around too much, the weather was very rainy, plus I didn't have the phone numbers of any transport companies to call. But one day I just stopped some taxi drivers and other people to ask if they knew of anything. Someone told me to go to a certain part of town, so I headed there. On my way, I saw a man approaching. I got a check about him, but I didn't really understand it, so I just continued on my way and forgot about him.
       But along the way somebody asked me the time. I stopped to tell him and then asked him if he knew of any transport company around there. He said no. Just then I turned back and saw the same man who I'd gotten the check about before. He was starting to get into his car, and that time I obeyed the Lord's check and started to talk with him.
       I told him what we were looking for -- a transport company that could take us to Bucharest. He replied, "You know, I go to Bucharest about twice a week. I can take your stuff there."
       It was a miracle for me how the Lord did it! I'd had peace in my heart taking time at home with the Lord, in the Word and praying. I had had faith that the Lord would do it, and then I did go out looking. But it was really amazing for me to see this example of how the Lord can do miracles in any situation, and how He did bless my obeying the vision to spend more time with Him.
       This happened right after we had received the "Open for Love" tape -- so beautiful! We were listening to it over and over. It was fresh in my mind that what counts the most is taking time with the Lord, and then we'll have the strength to be loving with others, and to listen to Him when He's leading us and giving us checks on how to go about things. Sometimes I fall back and forget that it's the Lord Who's doing the work through us. But I'm learning, and that's why we are together--to learn, to love each other, and to love the Lord more. Thank You, Jesus!

Begone, You Ugly Creatures!
From Meekness, Middle East:
       A funny illustration came to me while reading the GNs about overcoming doubts. Our Home has a swimming pool which was a big blessing to the children and all of us throughout the summer. However as cooler weather set in and our finances were very tight, we neglected keeping up with its care, particularly as we had run out of the needed chemicals.
       The water got dirtier and dirtier and within ten days the situation was nothing short of disgusting. The pool water looked black, bugs and leaves covered the surface, and ugly squirmy worms had appeared by the thousands. Not a very pretty sight indeed!
       As funds came in, we discussed as a Home the most appropriate solution for our pool. It was mentioned that in spite of appearances, the condition of our pool was not hopeless but could still be salvaged. This country experiences water shortages, so emptying the pool and refilling it would not only be very expensive, but a poor sample to the community.
       After checking with a specialist, we decided to pour a large dose of chemicals into the pool. It was a shock treatment for a desperate situation, and to be honest I was amazed by the results. Overnight the water cleared up and all the creatures died. It was an almost incredible transformation! It had been a little hard for me to believe beforehand that it could be done, but I saw it and it really worked! Praise the Lord!
       This happened just a few days before I read Mama's beautiful and encouraging comments in "Problems and Solutions," parts 1 and 2. I thought it applied especially where she says, "You have to be washed thoroughly with massive doses of the Word." I believe a change can happen in our hearts, no matter how impossible the situation may seem.

A Sober but Loving Vision!
From Jemima, Poland:
       A while back I was visiting a sweet couple in another town, whom I hadn't seen in a long time. Once during prayer with them I saw a strange vision; it was strange because it was a little sad and I was expecting something positive. I saw the edge of a forest, with a cross positioned near the road, and gray swirling mist surrounding the area. A voice which I was sure belonged to Jesus said, "This is something I prevented from happening to one of you." Then there were three white flowers growing from the ground in front of the cross, each of them growing at a different speed.
       I didn't tell this vision to my friends, first of all because it was sad and secondly because I thought maybe it was just my imagination.
       Two days later I was late for my train and they offered to take me by car to another station 50 km from there. On the way we were involved in a serious accident. We found ourselves at the edge of a forest with the same climate as in the vision. The car was completely destroyed, but Jesus miraculously saved us.
       Everyone was wondering why we were still alive. They also said that if someone had been sitting in the front passenger seat, this person wouldn't have survived the crash. At the beginning of our trip, my friend sat there, but then she moved to the back seat beside me.
       I think the three flowers meant the three of us, growing and learning our spiritual lessons at different speeds, and they symbolized new life, as this event had a big influence on us. The village where our accident took place is called "The Cross."
       Now I know it pays to spend time listening to the Lord. If I hadn't, I would have missed this beautiful experience, which gave me greater faith in Jesus' protection. Thank You, Jesus!
       Love, Jemima

A Little Tract Goes a Long Way

From Samuel Meek (20), USA:
       I was at a laundromat with Fé (of Andrew and Mercy) and we were about half finished when a lady approached me who was apparently homeless and obviously quite discouraged. She asked if I had any spare change. I apologized and said no, as I only had enough for the laundry. She then asked Fé, who found that she had some change left. She gave it to her and apologized that it wasn't more.
       As the lady walked away, Fé regretted that we didn't have any tracts to give her. I remembered that I had one, so we went after her and gave it to her. After five or ten minutes, the lady returned with a huge smile on her face and thanked us dramatically for the tract. Fé apologized again that we were not able to give her more, as we simply did not have it to give.
       The lady then handed her the handful of change she had collected, saying, "If you need change, then take mine! You've made my day!" Fé thanked her and returned her gift, saying that we had enough, we just hadn't had extra. The lady told us again how happy the tract had made her and thanked us again before leaving.

Just One Look [DELETED]
From Davida, Moldova:
       I used to be very sad because it was so hard for me to imagine Jesus being close to me. I felt He was so far away from me, and I wished I could imagine Him close. I felt so bad that I didn't have real faith to believe that at any moment He was right there with me.
       As I was praying about this, for a few seconds I closed my eyes--and guess what happened? The Lord allowed me to see Him as I had never imagined or thought about Him before. He was looking right at me. I could see in His eyes so much care and love and mercy--all of that together. He didn't say anything, but from the way He was looking at me I had the impression that He said: "You see, I am here and I care for you." So much love!
       My stomach felt like it did the first time I fell in love with somebody. Suddenly I felt this warmth in my body that made me fall in love with Him like never before. Before this happened, I could say that I love Him because He is my Savior, because He loves me, because He does so many things for me and helps me so much, because He is my friend and I can talk to Him about everything. But now I can say that I love Him like a lover, madly in love with Him.
       He was so handsome! His ponytail made Him look so cool! I was looking at His face, His eyes, His hair, and I forgot to look at how He was dressed. In a few seconds He made me crazy about Him. Then I opened my eyes and didn't see Him anymore. At first I thought it had been my imagination, but the love I felt for Him was still there and the assurance that He is always close to me was still so strong.
       Then when we got "The Birthday Party Vision" GN (ML#3142, GN 751) and I saw the picture on the first page, Jesus with a ponytail, I exclaimed with happiness, "This is Him! I saw Him! I had a vision of Him like that!" Thank You Jesus! He was the One! He got me ready for the greatest vision of Heaven! Beautiful!
       Thank the Lord that He lets us see so much of Heaven! So if you want to love and be loved by a cool guy, just take Jesus!

[EDITED: "End"]

Copyright (c) 1997 by The Family