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THE TWO PILLARS OF SHEPHERDING!       Maria #344       DO 3067       7/96
--By Maria

       1. ({\ul \i Mama:) }In the year and a half that our Love Charter has been in effect, there have been numerous advances made in many areas, such as witnessing, pioneering new countries and new ministries, the doubling of the number of Homes, much more freedom of movement and many other positive advancements. It's been wonderful to see the amount of change that has occurred in just a little over one year!
       2. Of course, not all the change has been positive. Problems have arisen, which we are trying to rectify or find solutions to, such as making sure that all of our children are receiving a proper education, meeting the needs of our single moms and large families, helping the Homes to do better financially, teaching people to be more loving with one another, etc. These are all matters that we are praying about and will continue working on.
       3. As I have mentioned before, I hear numerous reports each month, including many of the suggestions and comments which are sent in via your TRFs. I also receive a great deal of personal mail from Family members of all ages in which they share their hearts about their needs, problems and aspirations. Hearing from you helps me to better understand how you feel about things, to recognize your needs and to grasp your problems, which I can then counsel about with Peter and my teamworkers and other Family leadership, as well as bring before the Lord in prayer, asking Him for solutions that will change things for the better throughout the whole Family.
       4. In hearing all of this material over the last year and in praying about the things you've shared with me, it has become evident that one of the main problems that affects the greatest number of Homes is the lack of proper shepherding at the Home level. It seems that since the beginning of the Charter, many, if not most, of the Home teamworks have been quite hesitant to spiritually shepherd those in their Homes.
       5. This is somewhat understandable, since before the Charter so many were over-shepherded and not able to do much of anything without waiting on or having permission from their shepherds. Once the Charter went into effect, most of you wanted to toss off the shackles of over-restrictive shepherding in order to be free to make your own decisions and find your own level of service.--And I'm glad you did! I wanted you to get out there and do the job unhindered and unrestricted! It's borne wonderful fruit and I'm happy we made the changes.
       6. But, as was addressed in the "Help from Heaven" GN (GN 686, ML #3056), I have been quite concerned to see that many of you seem to have the mistaken impression that the Charter doesn't allow for any spiritual shepherding. It seems that many of you have either misinterpreted the Charter or have not read or studied it, except, of course, for the parts that outline your rights, which I understand most of you know quite well. Somehow the parts which deal with shepherding seem to be overlooked.
       7. Some Home teamworks are not spiritually shepherding the Homes because apparently they don't think they're supposed to any more. They think that according to the Charter everyone has free choice, so they shouldn't correct anyone or help them overcome their problems. Some seem to think that if they point out a problem area in someone's life that they are contravening the Charter. It seems that some Home members feel the same way.
       8. Just because we have tried to set you free to follow the Lord more according to your own faith doesn't mean that you shouldn't accept shepherding and that the teamwork should not do any shepherding. In fact, it is stated very clearly in the Charter that teamworks are supposed to shepherd. I'll list a few points from the Charter to show you what I mean:

       9. "The voting members of a Home elect the Home teamwork with the understanding that the teamwork is commissioned to manage and spiritually shepherd the Home within the authorized boundaries of this Charter" (Responsibilities of Individual Members, 1.O, pg.8).

       10. You see, that quite clearly states that teamworks are supposed to spiritually shepherd. Following is another quote which tells us what all Family leaders, including Home teamworks, are obligated to do:

       11. "All Family Officers are obligated to: Endeavor to carry out the duties of their office in a loving, prayerful and competent manner, and to the best of their ability, properly and lovingly shepherd those whom they are responsible for. Encourage individuals and Homes to live in accordance with the 'Charter of Responsibilities and Rights' and the 'Fundamental Family Rules,' and to impose appropriate and proper disciplinary action if they do not. Endeavor to answer questions and give counsel on how to solve problems by directing the inquirer to the appropriate Bible passages or WS publications that offer guidance and counsel on the matter; when needed, offer prayerful, Word-based advice" (Obligations of all Family Officers, 23A,C,D, pg.78).

       12. That sounds like spiritual shepherding to me! Doesn't it to you? Here are some quotes that speak specifically about the Home teamwork:

       13. "The Home Officers are responsible to manage, care for and shepherd the Home and its members, physically, spiritually and organizationally. Lovingly and faithfully correct and discipline individuals who fail to fulfill, or who violate or contravene the Responsibilities of Individual Members, or the 'Fundamental Family Rules,' and any agreed-upon Home Regulations, in a manner appropriate and proportionate to the offense.
       14. "The Home teamwork is responsible to shepherd the Home and to do all they can to ensure the Home members are happy, well cared-for and loved. [DELETED] Home members are expected to respect and cooperate with the Home teamwork. They must also obey the teamwork in the matters that the teamwork has been given the authority over, either by the Charter or by the Home. Please do all you can to help uphold your teamwork, as you have chosen them as your Home shepherds" (Responsibilities and Authority of Home Officers, 27B,C, pg. 89).

       15. So as you can see, the Charter is quite clear about the need for shepherding. I've only quoted parts of the Charter here; I recommend that all of you read and study your Charter on this subject. Perhaps you can make a Home project of it. The following are the pages I recommend: 77-80, 86-91.
       16. I have been quite burdened about this, and have addressed it various times in recent GNs. Peter and I brought this subject before the Lord, and He and Dad gave further counsel on this matter, which I think you'll find very helpful and encouraging. Following is my prayer and the Lord's and Dad's answers.

The Two Pillars of Shepherding--Love and the Word!
       17. ({\ul \i Mama prays:)} Lord, You know what further counsel the Family needs in the way of shepherding. You know the problems that they're having with shepherding. You know the reasons why they're not shepherding, and You have the answers for all these things.
       18. We can't just leave our Homes shepherdless and not require anything of them in a spiritual way. Help us, Jesus. Show us the answers. Show us what more we should tell the Family. We know they've appreciated it when we've clarified that we still need shepherding. They seem to appreciate that we recently highlighted the need for them to shepherd their flocks and not just let them run wild. Some said it was almost a revelation to some of them.
       19. Please help them to get the right balance--to not come down hard and heavy like they used to, but to not just totally disregard their responsibilities and completely abdicate them either. Give them the right balance, show them how to do the right thing.

       20. {\ul \i (Prophecy, Jesus speaking}:) The pendulum swings from one side to the other, but it must find its proper place in the center, with not such wide and extreme swings from the right to the left. The pendulum has swung from the extreme right to the extreme left, and now it must come back towards the center.
       21. My children have now seen that that which is at the extreme is not the most beneficial. They have had extreme shepherding, where they were so boxed in and were not able to do anything without permission; and now they have felt the opposite extreme, of being able to do everything with no one to watch over them, no one to shepherd them, no one to care for them, and they find that this is not satisfying. There needs to be a fine balance, there needs to be the hand of a shepherd leading and guiding and caring for the sheep.
       22. What does a shepherd do? He cares for the sheep. He gently leads them, but he lets them graze and find their own grass and meander over the hills. There are times when he calls them together and when he protects them, but there are times when he lets them roam within the pasture. My children must learn to shepherd properly. Shepherding does not mean keeping all the sheep penned up tightly, crowded together. But neither is it letting them roam everywhere, all the time, with no protection and care.
       23. My sheep do not want to be penned up. They do not want to be regimented. They do not want to be bound. They want to be free to serve Me, free to follow Me. But they have need of proper shepherding--shepherding that helps them maintain their health. For does not the shepherd shear the sheep? Does he not trim their hooves and bob their tails? Does he not make sure they are eating properly and that they are brought into good pasture? Does not the shepherd protect them from the attacks of the wild beasts? Do not My children need that kind of shepherding?
       24. They have rebelled against the harsh shepherds, the shepherds that kept them penned in tightly and would not let them move. In their rebellion, they have pushed off all shepherding, but I say they need proper shepherding. They need shepherding of the Spirit, shepherding of love, shepherding of care, shepherding of loving discipline. When one sheep begins to lead the other sheep astray, the shepherd must discipline that sheep, lest there be great damage and harm in their being led astray.
       25. Sheep need shepherds. Have I not called you the sheep of My pasture? Am I not the Chief Shepherd? Have I not appointed unto you shepherds to care for you? Have I not said they must watch for your souls? Have I not said to you shepherds that you are not to act as lords over God's heritage?
       26. Sheep, love your shepherds. Shepherds, love your sheep. Work together in harmony. Have I not said that when one is overtaken with a fault, that you who are spiritual should care for them in a spirit of meekness? Have I not laid down My rules of discipline? Have I not said that if one is overtaken with a fault, you should speak with him?
       27. You must shepherd in the Spirit and not in the flesh. You must shepherd their souls. You must show them those areas in which they are falling away. You must show them through love and through My Word and through example. For I wish My flock to be shepherded by loving shepherds, wise shepherds, shepherds who shepherd in the Spirit. If your shepherding is shepherding in the flesh, without love and without care, if you only push and shove, if you only demand, your sheep will not follow. But if you will lovingly shepherd, if you will shepherd in the Spirit, if you will shepherd by love so that all that you do is in love, they will follow.
       28. But you sheep must remember that love takes on many forms. Love can be gentle, love can be loving, love can be caressing. Love can be correcting, love can be disciplining, but even so, it will be loving. Even so must it be done with love and with patience, with long-suffering, with meekness and with gentleness.
       29. But the sheep who will not receive the love and the gentleness must receive the discipline, the correction. For the wayward sheep, who after much cajoling continues to lead others astray in waywardness, must be disciplined, must be corrected, and must be brought back into the fold. If it will not, this is the sheep that the shepherd will sell and will be rid of, so that it will not lead others astray.
       30. How are you shepherded? You are shepherded through My Word, for I have given you an abundance of guidance and direction so that you shall know what is right and what is wrong, what is allowable and what is not, what is of the Spirit and what is not, what is of God and what is not. I have given you the Charter that has set the boundaries, so that all will know and all will be judged fairly by the same standard. By this you shall know that which is right and that which is unacceptable, that which will keep you, the sheep of My pasture, and that which will not.
       31. I shepherd you through My voice and through conviction and through speaking to your heart, through the experiences you have, the problems you face. These are all the shepherding of My hand. I also shepherd you through your shepherds, those who are there, who see you day by day, who pray for you, who weep for you, who are concerned about you and who wish to give you counsel and guidance and help to keep you moving forward in the right path.
       32. Do not reject any of this shepherding, whether it be from My Word, whether it be from the Charter, whether it be from My voice, or whether it be from the shepherds who are there with you. All of them are needed, all of them are necessary, and none of them can be neglected. For he that neglects shepherding, he that will not receive shepherding, is he that will be led astray.
       33. But you shepherds must shepherd in the Spirit with great love, for your sheep will not follow you because of your hardness and because of your demanding. They will follow you because of your love and your care for them. So love and care. If you care as one cares for his child, you will show love, you will give instruction, you will correct in love, you will help supply their needs, and you will help them to grow in the proper way. You will feed them with the Words of God, you will feed them with the Words of David, and you will uphold these Words in your own life as an ensample unto them. For the good shepherd goes before his sheep. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The good shepherd loves his sheep.
       34. Be not as an hireling, one who cares not for the sheep but cares only for yourself, only for your power, only for your control. That is not shepherding, that is fleecing!--Fleecing in the flesh, fleecing in the spirit.
       35. Love your sheep. Love those that I have put in your care. Care for them and love them. Listen to them. Live with them. Be one with them. Have compassion upon them and care for them, as I care for you. For that is true shepherding, that is shepherding in the Spirit.
       36. Are you a true shepherd? Then love My sheep. Are you a true sheep? Then love your shepherds. Lovest thou Me? Feed My sheep. Lovest thou Me? Follow your shepherds. Lovest thou Me? Together follow Me, your Chief Shepherd, and I will lead you to green pastures, to pure, still waters, that you may benefit, that you may grow and that you may be strengthened. (End of prophecy.)
* * *

       37. ({\ul \i Prophecy,} {\ul \i Dad speaking}:) There was one thing I could never stand, and that was the shepherds taking advantage of the sheep, not really loving and caring for them, but using them for their own ends.
       38. That's why I called for the RNR, because the sheep were being hurt by the shepherds. So I set everyone free! But that had its problems too. You can see that now as well with the Charter. You can see that total control has its problems and that total freedom has its problems. They're just different problems.
       39. It's like I said about the Spirit: Some people are afraid of wildfire, so they have no fire. Some people try to so completely control the fire that it's quenched, and things become cold and lifeless. But the wildfire that has no control also does damage. So you must find the balance in the center, so that there is fire, but it is controlled enough that it does not burn down the house and burn down the fields.
       40. This is how it is with shepherding. You cannot shepherd so tightly that everyone is bound and no one is free and no one can follow the Lord. But if you have no shepherding, if you allow only wildfire, it will hurt and it will destroy. It will burn others. You have to find the proper balance, folks!
       41. There has to be some shepherding, but it has to be the right kind of shepherding. You shepherds must have conviction to do that which is right. You must uphold the standard, the Word--not a false standard, but the standard of the Word, the standard laid out in the Charter, the standard of love, based on the Word of God. People will respect you if you stand for the Word and if you show them love.
       42. These are the pillars of shepherding: keeping the standard of the Word of God, and showing love. Both of these must be there for the proper balance, to uphold the Family, to uphold your Home, for one without the other is not enough. If the pillar of love is not standing, and only the pillar of the standard of the Word is, then people become self-righteous and critical and follow the letter of the law. But if only the pillar of love is standing, then the conviction to follow the Word is weakened and no one wants to stand strong, for they fear that they will be seen to be unloving.
       43. Without the pillar of the standard of the Word of God, the love will have no backbone. The love will ooze out, but it will be weak and will not be able to uphold the Home, for there is no standard and it is not standing in conjunction with the Word. The pillar of the Word alone becomes too strong and hard, but the pillar of love alone becomes too weak, too soft. But together, they are a perfect balance.
       44. So it is with good shepherding; it needs both. There has to be the strength of the Word, the strength of the strong pillar, but it must be tempered with the love and the tenderness of the pillar of love. Like a father and a mother--the father having the strength and the stamina, and the mother having the love and the compassion--together they make good parents who raise good children. So is it with shepherding. It needs both, and one cannot do without the other, for they balance it together.
       45. You have swung from the one side, from the pillar of the standard of the Word, way to the other side, to just the pillar of love. But you need to come back to the middle where both pillars will work together, and together will be the perfect balance.
       46. So have conviction, folks! I always had conviction. I always stood up for what was right, but I also had love. I had them together.--And you must have them together. This doesn't only go for you shepherds, but also for you sheep. You too must have the conviction of the Word, and you must use the power of love. You must have them both. You must not demand of your shepherds that they only ooze out love all over you, but that they also stand strong with the conviction of the Word. You know in your heart that you need both! You know in your heart that you crave both! But you need the proper balance, and you shepherds must supply the proper balance.
       47. The Charter is there to protect from the extremes, but you must use that which is given to you, the pillar of the standard of God's Word, the strength of that pillar, as well as the pillar of love, the pillar of warmth and fire. These two must be blended together.
       48. Each one of you, each member, each disciple, each lover of God, must have a proper balance in your life, the balance of love and of the standard of the Word, together as one, if you wish to find real happiness, real strength in spirit. For this will give you the proper balance. In this proper balance you will find peace and contentment, you will find faith, you will find the happiness and the freedom and the warmth and the fire, all that you need, without the extremes. (End of prophecy.)

       49. ({\ul \i Mama:) }What beautiful, wise counsel! If you take the time to study this message from the Lord and Dad, and do your best to prayerfully put it into practice, I believe it will help improve many of the shepherding problems in your Home! It's marvelous to me how the Lord makes things so clear and easy to understand by giving us these terrific word pictures. Whenever you think and pray about how to wisely shepherd your flock, I wouldn't be surprised if the picture the Lord uses to speak to you is that of a pendulum--not one which is flying wildly to the extreme left and then the extreme right, but one which is gently swinging near the center. Or possibly you'll see in your mind's eye the two pillars of shepherding--the Word and love! Those pictures provide such effective reminders of the lessons the Lord and Dad are bringing out in these prophecies!
       50. One portion of Dad's message which especially caught my attention is where he says, "You must uphold the standard, the Word--not a false standard, but the standard of the Word, the standard laid out in the Charter, the standard of love, based on the Word of God." From what I understand, there is great incongruity in what people consider to be "upholding the standard," because in many cases, the standard seems to have become largely a matter of personal opinion or personal preference. In other words, different people just seem to determine what is "the standard" according to what they want or think is right.
       51. An unfortunate and hurtful result of this tendency is that some shepherds are demanding, pushy, legalistic and unloving with others, and yet they justify their behavior by saying they are trying to "uphold the standard." I bet some of you young people are tired of hearing about the need to "uphold the standard" if you feel that what's often asked of you is unreasonable, unnecessary, exaggerated, unloving, or not in accordance with the Word.
       52. In the above message, Dad warns about not trying to uphold a false standard. But, you ask, how do you know what is true and what is false? The key to knowing is found in the rest of Dad's instruction, where he explains that the standard to uphold is that of the Word, the Charter, and love! The standard isn't some vague set of values just floating around out there in space, so each person or Home has to try to guess at what the standard is, with some placing it much higher than others. However, unfortunately, that seems to be happening quite regularly; and for that reason, we hear reactions from people, young and old alike, who are bewildered because there is such lack of consistency in what different shepherds and Homes require or allow.
       53. Granted, there are differences of personality and no two people react exactly the same way to a given situation, so there will always be variety in different people's shepherding "styles." Also, individuals and Homes are now operating according to their own faith in many ways, so you will undoubtedly see some differences, especially in areas where there are no distinct, firmly set, "black-and-white" guidelines presented in the Charter. But in spite of these variables, there are some absolutes, some definite boundaries which represent "the standard."
       54. According to Dad's counsel above, to uphold the standard means 1) to endeavor to follow what's written in the Word and the Charter, and 2) to treat others with love! Those are the two pillars! So if you want to improve in your shepherding and people-handling skills, ask yourself if what you're doing--the counsel you're giving, the rules you're trying to uphold, the discipline you're meting out--is loving and according to the Word and the Charter. If it's not, then it's very possibly not the Lord's standard you're trying to uphold but your own false standard!
       55. The Lord explains that our Family members have rebelled against the harsh shepherds of the past who kept them penned in and wouldn't let them move; and in their rebellion, they have pushed off all shepherding. People of all ages need shepherding, but they aren't going to put up with shepherding that binds them too tightly and doesn't let them move, nor will they be willing to submit to requirements that aren't Word-based and loving. If you're trying to shepherd in the flesh--pushing, shoving and demanding--the sheep won't follow you. Our dear Family wants shepherds who shepherd in the spirit, who have love, who are following the Word, and who lead through their good example.
       56. The Lord also speaks to you who are not in a shepherding position, you who are "sheep," reminding you to love your shepherds and work together with them in harmony. He also explains that love takes on many forms--it can be gentle and caressing, or it can be correcting and disciplining. You are shepherded in several ways, not just through your earthly shepherds, but also through the Word, the Charter, the Lord's voice speaking to and convicting your heart as you pray about different experiences you have and the problems you face. Please don't reject any of the ways the Lord wants to provide you the shepherding you need!--The Word, the Charter, His Voice and your shepherds.--You need 'em all!

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