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Jesus, Our Good Shepherd!       Maria #364       DO/TS 3113       10/96
--More Solutions to the Problems You Face!--By Maria

Dear Family,
       1. You're wonderful! I love each of you so very much! You are in our daily prayers! I admire your fighting spirit and your determination to keep going no matter what! It's not easy living the sacrificial life of a missionary, but you're doing it! God bless you! Great is your reward in Heaven!
       2. Speaking of it not being easy to serve Jesus full-time, I have a few questions to ask you about how it's going for you. These questions are representative of some of the battles which those who have written me have expressed. If you can relate to any of the points I mention below, if these questions depict what's on your heart, then I think you'll find in this GN the key to what you want and need.

               Are you discouraged and do you feel like quitting?

               Do you feel you're not getting the help you need?

               Do you wish there were more shepherds? Do you feel there aren't enough people willing to take that responsibility?

               Do you wonder who can answer the many questions you have and help you bear the things that are so heavy on your heart?

               Do you feel forgotten sometimes, like there's no one to pour into you, no shepherd who knows you, who keeps in touch with you?

               Do you feel that even though the Word has been your solace, it's sometimes difficult to have only the Word and no shepherding, no one to share your heart with?

               Do you battle loneliness and the feeling of being left behind or forgotten?

               Do you feel there is no one for you to talk to? No one you feel you can run to for counsel?

               Does it seem like you're just going through the motions sometimes?

               Is it difficult for you to cope with being on a rugged pioneer field, or living in crowded conditions?

               Is communal living frustrating and irritating for you?

               Are you tired of being on the battlefront and having to pull others along who don't seem to be headed in the same direction?

               Do you have questions about the "new day of love" in regards to shepherding and handling difficult people? Do you feel a little cheated, because you have been the one trying so hard and working extra hard, but it seems to you that the problem cases receive the most time and attention from your shepherds, and folks like you who are giving it everything you've got are sort of overlooked and lost in the crowd?

               Are you the only one who seems to care very much or get involved? Consequently, do you feel you just can't keep it up, that you're too tired to keep giving it your best shot?

               Have you lost the joy of the Lord?

               Is your job too big and are there too many people who are discouraged and full of all kinds of burdens?

               Do you need someone who you can be close to, someone who is in touch with what you're doing and understands how things are seen from your angle?

               Since many YAs and SGAs have begun getting more input and training in the last several years, do you feel that many of the adults have been left to fend for themselves? Do you think some adults are quite lost and desperate for some attention and shepherding too?

               Do you find yourself trying to eke out enough strength and faith to wake up each morning and face the day?

       3. If you can relate to some of the above questions, if they express your sentiments and the battles you're experiencing, then the marvelous counsel from the Lord and Dad in this GN will be especially meaningful for you.
       4. We recently received a personal letter from Keiko, who has been in Russia for a little over a year, where she has been on a Home teamwork. (Note: You all know Keiko from the "New Worlds to Discover" video. Her name at that time was Jennifer. God bless her for being willing to have her name printed in this GN.) She poured her heart out to Peter and me about the various battles she has had, some of which I included in the points listed above.
       5. As we all know, Russia isn't an easy or a comfortable field. The Homes are often overcrowded, with lots of people packed into small apartments. Life in general is a daily struggle, and Keiko shared that it was easy to get frustrated with people and the situation to where you were at wits' end, which is what happened to her. She felt very burdened, sad, frustrated, discouraged, and like she was just going through the motions.
       6. Keiko's letter was quite detailed, a real heartcry. I knew the Lord had solutions for her, words of encouragement and instruction that would help to lighten her heavy burdens and give her the peace and inspiration she was seeking. But besides answering Keiko's questions and easing her personal burden, the Lord did even more!
       7. Because He knows we can't publish specific answers to every single question or problem that each person has, He sometimes gives counsel for one person that is much more than just the answer to their individual heartcry. Often the Lord uses one person's situation and the questions they bring up to give a message that is for many others as well, which is what He did when we prayed for dear, sweet Keiko. The Lord and Dad poured forth abundantly with marvelous messages that are obviously intended to be answers that we can all apply to the many problems we face each day. Praise the Lord! He's so efficient and so eager to give each of us what we need!
       8. Before we go on, there is one thing that I want to explain. Keiko shared her heart about her personal situation according to her point of view. I am aware, of course, that she doesn't necessarily see all sides of the situation. By summarizing Keiko's feelings and sympathizing with her, I'm not intending to shed a bad light on any of you dear ones who live or work with her. I know that if any of you were to write me, you'd probably have a slightly different way of looking at your Home situation. So if you happen to see things differently than Keiko does, I pray you won't feel hurt or misunderstood. Please rest assured that I'm not criticizing any of you or "taking sides." I'm only trying to understand her thoughts and feelings as she expressed them to me.
       9. Along these same lines, I hope you'll understand that, while the following messages from the Lord and Dad were originally given for Keiko personally, they are also for the edification of many others. The Lord and Dad are not necessarily critiquing one individual situation; they're putting forth general principles that are intended to be applied to a very wide range of circumstances and situations that come up in our many Homes worldwide. Keiko's comments and questions were a springboard that was used to bring out lessons we all need.
       10. Below is the letter I wrote to Keiko, followed by the tremendous messages the Lord and Dad gave for her, and for all of us!

Mama's Letter to Keiko
       11. Dear Keiko, You poor thing, Honey! I read your letter and I really cried! I felt so bad for you!--And the others too! It broke my heart to hear of your desperation! I wish I could be there to put my arms around you and show you how much we love you, and to comfort you and encourage your faith.
       12. The Lord sees all that you have spent. He has seen all your sacrifices, all your disappointments, all your frustrations, and He will repay! You've fought a good fight and you've kept the faith, and the Lord is proud of you.
       13. I can certainly understand how you can feel like you've really come to the end of your rope. You feel like you are in a swirling wave and you don't know which way is up. You can't see any rhyme or reason, purpose or plan in what's going on. It all seems so hopeless, so bad, and sad. The first thing I wanted to do after reading your letter was to run to Jesus and see what He had to say to you. I knew He was going to tell you some very special things.
       14. I know you will be encouraged to read in the message below that our precious Lover feels your heartache deeply. He sees every frustration and understands the burdens you bear and He promises to carry you. Our wonderful, all-wise and all-loving Husband wants to directly guide you from above, and He has commissioned many forces of Heaven to stand by your side! His hands are reaching out to you. Turn to Him now as He draws you near. Rest in His strong arms and listen as He whispers in your ear and gives you the solutions to some of these problems that seem so insurmountable.
       15. When Jesus gave this message for you, it was a whopper! He's trying to do everything He can to help you know that He's right there and that He's standing by, ready to do all in His power for you--and that's a lot of power! The Lord spoke at length to you in an unusually full demonstration of His concern. And then, on top of that, the next day Dad came along too with another beautiful message for you! The Lord is just pouring His blessings on!
       16. In fact, Keiko, after I heard all that the Lord and Dad said, I thought how wonderful it would be if we could share these messages with others who are going through similar things, since a lot of our folks, as you pointed out, are experiencing some pretty heavy battles right now. While Dad is talking very specifically to you, he is also giving encouragement to others at the same time when he says, "I am your shepherd and I'm still going strong! And I'm especially zeroing in on all of you who are out there with little or no visitation. I can visit you each and every day!"
       17. In His message to you, the Lord talks about how you have gone through a lot of these things so that you will be able to comfort others. We're sure it will be an encouragement to you to know that the Lord will be able to do that right away as we share this wonderful counsel with our Family, which I'm sure will comfort others with the same comfort that has been given to you.
       18. Keiko, when I realized what a tremendous message the Lord had given for the entire Family, I had the question of whether we should use your name within these prophecies or take your name out and leave it more general. When I brought this before the Lord, Dad gave a very beautiful and clear answer, which I'd like to share with you.

              19. {\b \i (Dad speaking:)} Sometimes if the people who have been well-known are willing to have their name and their lessons published, it can have a very good effect, if what they are sharing shows the good fruits of yieldedness and hanging on to the Lord and shticking no matter what. This is a very good testimony and really serves as a good role model to her age group and to her peers, because everyone has problems and everyone goes through their times of testing and sifting.
       20. One of the reasons the Lord allows certain personalities in the Family to be highlighted is because He also allows them to go through some of these testings, so that He can use them as good samples. Maybe that will encourage her to know that the Lord is pleased that she is pulling through and hanging on by faith, and He's proud of her. It's just what our kids need to see! (End of prophecy.)

       21. {\b \i (Mama:) }Isn't it encouraging how the Lord wants to use your testimony of hanging on by faith to be a help to others who are also going through times of testing? However, dear Keiko, if you would prefer that we not use your name within the prophecies, please let us know and we'll take it out. Also, we won't use your actual letter to us, but will generally summarize the main battles you expressed by way of an introduction to the prophecies. But if we could use your name within the prophecies, it will make the lessons much more relatable. (Editor's note: Keiko agreed to let us publish this GN using her name.)
       22. Dear Keiko, please don't ever think that we are far from you. We fight by your side in fervent prayer, making intercession for you and holding up your arms in battle. Keep holding tight to Jesus! I'm proud of you for taking up the challenge He has set before you. He'll lead you through each test, step by step. Keep your eyes on the goal! Things will get easier, believe it or not. We are going to win the war, and we're going to see some of the fruits of those victories right here on Earth, not having to wait for them all until we get to Heaven. Much love, Mama

Personal Shepherding from Jesus!
       23. {\b \i (Jesus speaking:)} My darling Keiko, My beautiful, adorable bride, in whom I am well pleased. Hush now, hush. Shhhh! Hush. Come here and lie by My side, and hush now. Rest your head here, on My strong chest. Lie here beside Me, and bid Me feel the warmth of your body. Bid Me delight to the tingle of your touch.
       24. My sweet Keiko, how I have cherished these times we have had, the times when you have torn yourself away from the maddening crowd to lie here and receive My whispers in your ear. How I long for more! How I want more, for I love you, My lovely bride.
       25. Please, My precious darling, won't you give Me more? Please come, that we may revel here, in My secret place. Come, for I have many secrets to whisper in your ear, and for this reason I have bestowed upon you this priceless gift--the gift of hearing My Words. Do you not enjoy them? Have they not brought sweet relief from the worries and cares that tumble about you?
       26. This is but a wee drop in an ocean of love and wisdom, comfort and strength and guidance that I would give you if you would only come, receive, and lean on Me. I have so much more to tell you! Wonderful Words, beautiful Words, encouraging Words, strengthening Words, comforting Words, marvelous Words, secret Words, wondrous Words, glorious Words, magic Words, life-giving Words, guiding Words, enlightening Words, wonderful, wonderful Words--especially for you, My love. Words that will strengthen, Words that will lead you, Words that will carry you. Words for your rising up. Words to help you make it through the day. Words for your lying down. Words that will give you power for the hour. Words that you may give out to others, that you may heal their hurts, and soothe their ruffled nerves. Words that I long to give, that will never leave your side. Wonderful, glorious, magic Words that will never fail. Words that will come alive! Words that will revive you! Words that will fill and thrill you! Words that will change hearts.
       27. Come, allow Me to wipe away every tear, to whisk away every dark cloud that would cast darkness around you. Come, rest here by My side, and I will whisk them all away--every dark cloud of frustration, discouragement and fear. Allow Me to whisk them all away! Whooooosh! Away with them all! You've only to come, and come, and come again and again and again, and I will whisk them all away! In coming to Me, you will be comforted, for I do work and I am able to fulfill your every longing, your every desire.
       28. You have had glimpses, you have experienced these times when you did not have it in you to face another problem. You felt so down you could not bear to look into another's eyes, but you could only fly away to your bed and look to Me. But know that when you stopped, when you looked to Me and heard My whispers, those times are but a very, very small glimpse into what I would give you, if you will only continue on now and rest in Me. For I long to hold you and guide you, to caress you and comfort you completely, fully, without restraint and in full measure. This, My beloved love, is more than any earthly love or shepherd is able to give.
       29. For I am the Good Shepherd and I shepherd My sheep. For you, My lovely one, I am your Good Shepherd. I take you up into My capable arms and I shepherd you like no other. For you, so great a love of Mine, and many others like you in My great Family of Love, it is a time for direct, personal shepherding. This task I reserve for Myself, that I may prepare you and fashion you for the days ahead, when you will need to have this direct, clear channel, this direct hotline to Me.
       30. If you would but come and lie here in My arms, be still, and learn of Me, you will come to know Me in a way that will far surpass your wildest expectations! For I long to give you direct, personal contact. Fear not, but only come lie here in My arms and learn of Me. For this reason I do permit and I do allow these tests. I do allow them only in My infinite love, that you may cast your burdens on Me and come to know My full strength, My full capacity.
       31. Know that this time is necessary to bring you into full stature, that I might anoint and use you in mightier ways in the soon-coming days ahead. For now your eyes are clouded, and you are not able to fully see how great a way you have come. But I see, and I do allow this time for a purpose. Look to Me, therefore, and look not down at the waves, at the muddy waters that would blur your vision. For with blurred vision you are unable to see My purpose and My plan. With blurred vision you are unable to take a stand and tap in to My direct guidance and leading that I would bestow upon you.
       32. For I would use these days, this time of receiving My personal shepherding, that you may learn and grow and lean on Me in greater measure, in personal, intimate contact, that you may be prepared for the days ahead. For you have received much from the hands of My earthly representatives; yea, even in ways that you do not fully realize. I would that now you be still and tap in. Tap in to Me and My power, that I may pour out in greater ways than ever before.
       33. Fear not, My lovely one, for this is from My hand, to accomplish a purpose in your life. When you feel weak and weary and cast down under so great and heavy a weight, that is the time to come, to fly to My arms and be still.
       34. I know, I see, I love, and I long to comfort you! I long to direct you--personally, directly, supernaturally, just as My Father did for Me. I know what you feel like, precious Keiko, for I too felt very much the same, when I first launched out on My Own, with no earthly shepherds. When I launched out in the days of My earthly ministry, I had no earthly shepherds to look to. My Father above and My earthly parents had poured into Me. They had prepared Me, and the time came when I was to move on to a new phase of My life. It was during those days that I grew into full stature and full usefulness.
       35. I can sympathize with you, for I know what it is like to feel as if you are the only one pulling the load, the only one who cares, the only one willing to take on responsibility, to lift the standard, to hold high the torch--the light of the truth. There were many times that I felt those around Me did not care, that they did not listen, or were not willing to take correction. I too felt the burden and the strain and the loneliness of leadership, of shepherding; but it was in those times I learned to lean on My Father, to draw strength from Him, and I found faith to carry on.
       36. I, too, passed many long and lonely hours and was tempted by Satan time and again, wondering if it was really worth it all. When My poor bungling babes, and even My most trusted veterans, seemed aloof, irresponsible, distant, and not pulling the load, this was a test for Me. I was a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief--sometimes being tempted to wonder if they would ever catch on. I was tempted many times with an overwhelming feeling of "What is the use?" But this compelled Me to look up, to lean heavily on My Father above.
       37. On My great mission, I too faced extreme, difficult conditions. Not only were My disciples and I living in very close quarters, but many times the extreme discomforts of living outdoors much of the time took a heavy toll on us physically. While living on the road, we often faced the uncertainty of not knowing where we would lay our heads at night, and this was difficult.
       38. It was a fight and took concentrated effort on My part to find a place of quiet and rest where the crowds could not molest. Everywhere I walked, everywhere I went, I was in demand. I was in the limelight of the crowds who expected Me to pour out, or I had to fight off scoffers, scorners and those who would seek to do Me harm. This often was draining, and I was sometimes tempted to fall under the weight of it all. I lived in extreme conditions on every side. I felt the pressure in the confines of My close fellowship with the 12, and from the multitudes to whom we ministered.
       39. I faced many, many long lonely hours, and I longed to have that direct, face-to-face, personal contact with My Father above. I longed for those days of Heaven I once knew, where I was protected within Our bubble of counsel and fellowship, and where I had always received direct, loving oversight. I even came to the point, in a lonely moment, when I felt so forsaken and I was tempted, asking My Father, "Why have You forsaken Me?" Yes, I know. I understand the burdens, the weights that you feel on your tiny shoulders. For I too felt the pressures and the burdens and the loneliness of leadership.
       40. But fear not, My child, for it was through all these testings, it was through this precious time that I grew into full stature. It was through all these experiences and times of loneliness, when I was tempted to despair, that My direct link to Heaven was established. It was during this time that I was put to the test, that I was able to lean wholly on My Father above, and in leaning, find My strength. It was in those lonely, dark hours that I found in all My leaning that His strength was enough to see Me through.
       41. It was out of what seemed like deep, dark experiences that I discovered the power I had at My fingertips, and not only at My fingertips, but within Me. It was through these trying times that I grew to learn that all this was necessary to make Me into what I needed to be. For had I not passed through these testings--had any of the circumstances been different--I would not have been so desperate to call on My Father. I never would have learned what He was able to do through Me, through My frail fleshly state. I learned that in My flesh I could do nothing, but in the power of the Spirit, through these deep experiences and trying times, as I called on My Father, I was able to avail Myself of His full power.
       42. I became flesh that I might fight for you, that I might understand you, that I might be your Intercessor, that I might be your Good Shepherd. And all that you are passing through, I will use to make you into the good shepherdess that I want and need you to be, if you will only look to Me.
       43. I am your Good Shepherd, and I go before you now, that you may look to Me. Look to My sample, partake of My comfort, and find relief. Know that for this I do give you My precious gift of hearing My Words. For this I do whisper in your ear, and I do speak to your heart. For this I do long to give you more and more and more, if you would only reach out, receive, and rest here on My gentle breast.
       44. For as My Father led Me, carried Me, and worked through Me during My time on Earth, so will I carry you. Know that I do allow this time. I do put you in this precise Home, in this location, and I do use these circumstances to bring about a greater purpose in your life, that you may learn to know Me in a new and different way than you have in the past.
       45. Fret not. Fear not. For this is a time of passing [EDITED: "through the Jordan"], therefore only hold on to Me. For as you walk on, as you look to Me, and allow Me to carry you across the Jordan of these trying days, I will bring you into a time of refreshing and fulfillment such as you have never known before.
       46. For as My Father was with Me, so am I with you. Therefore fear not. Learn of Me, for in My time of launching out, during those precious years, I learned to avail Myself to the full of My Father's close shepherding. Those times, those trials, those temptations that passed My way served only to drive Me into a greater seeking, a closer communication with My Father than I had ever known.
       47. It was through all this--through My testing, and being thrust out on My Own--that I grew and I overcame. It was during this precious time that I received direct, personal guidance from My Father's hand. I received direct, pure, and personal guidance, direct shepherding from Above. And this is what I long to give you, My love--direct personal contact, leading, guidance, and comfort from My very hand, from My very heart, that you may grow and mature and be comforted directly by Me--that you may receive My direct leading and counsel every minute of the day. For just as My Father could see the full range, the full picture, so do I. I know and I see and I am able to guide you like no other. I see every angle, not only from an earthly perspective, but from the Heavenly.
       48. I put My earthly shepherds in strategic places, and I anoint them for their tasks, and from them you have received for many years. But know that there is a time and a purpose to every thing under Heaven. This is the season when I would that many of you receive this direct shepherding from My hand, for this will be imperative in the days ahead. I long to be your medium [EDITED: "mediator"]. I long to answer every question, to solve every problem, to soothe every trouble, worry, or heartache.
       49. Fear not that this is not enough, for I say unto you, as you walk on in faith, as you grow and reach out to Me, you will soon discover that My love, My shepherding, is more than enough. To every thing there is a season, and as you look to Me, I will bring My earthly shepherds around in due time, in due season. Know that you will have both--a time of direct shepherding from My hand, and a time of counsel and love and shepherding from the hand of My appointed ones on Earth.
       50. Know that I also commission My servant David to stand by Me in this task. He has come to the Kingdom for such a time as this, that he might be directly involved in hands-on shepherding of His children. I have granted the desire of David's heart, that he may be directly involved, leading, counseling, guiding his children. For this I do allow My David to shepherd you in a direct way as never before.
       51. Listen not to the lies of Satan, who would have you believe that you have not a link, that you lack that special touch. For I say that even now your queen fights for you. She listens to you, and pleads for you before My throne. For the ears of the queen are open to your cry and she fights for you in prayer and in counsel and pleading at My throne. Your Queen Maria bids Me that you may be comforted, that you may receive counsel and guidance and strength from My hand. She listens and she sends up her prayers. She calls on her warriors of prayer to uphold you in your time of need.
       52. Therefore say not the battle is long and the fight so fierce that you cannot carry on. For these are with you day after day and night after night--fighting, pleading, and helping you to carry the load. Think not that you fight the battle grim in darkness all alone, for your queen pleads for you. She calls out the troops for you, to stand by you and uphold you at My throne of grace. Know that these arm themselves with My shield of faith, and My Spirit's sword, and they fight for you.
       53. Think not 'tis fantasy, for great and mighty are the prayers of My Queen Maria and her mighty Amazon warriors of faith, and her mighty Brunhelds and Vikings of war. For these are they who are linked to you with strong cords of love. These are they who shorten the cord as they hear your distant cries. They listen, and they come when you call, for My Spirit draws you nigh. These are they in the house of My queen who fight and plead and sacrifice for you. These are they, mighty men and women of My King David and Queen Maria and King Peter, who stand at their side, fighting, making intercession, that you may stand strong and not be weary in battle.
       54. Therefore fret not that you fight the battle all alone, for many are the forces of David that stand by you. Many are their effectual fervent prayers that release the forces of Heaven on your behalf if you but call.
       55. Therefore tap in! Send up your calls! Meet Me in the secret place, and see if I will not supply your every need. For I promise, as you continue to tap in, as you continue to look solely to Me, I will be your Shepherd when no other can be found. Know that I allow these times of feeling lost and alone and forsaken that you may come into My arms. Therefore fear not, My lovely one! Fear not! Only hold tight to My hand. Lie safe and secure in My arms. See if I will not carry you on to a place of victory, light and power that you have never known until this time.
       56. All things are in My hand, and I do all things with a purpose and a plan. Know that I will not give you one thing more than I know you are able to bear. When you feel weak and burdened with the strain of it all, that is the time to come away. Fly to Me and I will carry you through. Look to Me, for it is I that will have the strength in you. You do not have to carry the burden all alone. You do not have to bear the weights--only cast them on Me. Cast them on Me. Lay them down at My feet and I will sustain you. For this reason I allow you to think that the burdens are heavy, that you may come. Come here to My secret place, and I will give you the solutions that will make the mountains melt away.
       57. Hush now. Shhhhhh! Hush now, My sweet love! Don't you cry. Only believe, only rest. Shhhhh! Everything is all right now; you are in My arms. I promise I will not let anything harm you. I promise I will not allow anything to alarm you. I am a power bigger than all that Satan would cast in your way to weigh you down, therefore hush. Shhhhhh! That's it. It's all right now. You are here in My arms.
       58. Come, let us love. Allow Me to share with you My secrets. Allow Me to fill you with My seeds of power. Allow Me to thrill you, and fill you, and carry you through. Hush! Shhhhhhh! Just rest now. Don't move! Just rest right here in My arms. This is where I love to hold you. This is where I long for you to be. Don't leave My side now. I need to have you right here, close to Me. (End of prophecy.)

       59. {\b \i (Mama:)} What a marvelous message from our Good Shepherd to all of you, my dear Family! Doesn't it make it much easier to know why the Lord is allowing you to pass through some rough times right now?
       60. It always helps me to know that whatever affliction, test or sacrifice I'm enduring is for a purpose. I find great comfort in reminding myself that the Lord has a plan, some greater end, and if I'll just keep trusting, He will be able to perfect that plan. I think it's so sweet of the Lord how He doesn't usually leave us in the dark about what He's doing. He doesn't just expect us to take it completely by blind faith alone, with no vision or explanation or encouragement. When we ask, He is happy to answer our questions and give us a good "explain explain," because He knows it helps us to feel loved, to have more faith, and to be patient while He works in our lives.
       61. As you can see, the Lord was more than happy to tell us in detail why He is allowing this time of testing for so many of you. The main reason is so you'll run to Him and be able to find all the treasures of His secret place in sweet communion with Him. He wants you to reach out to Him, and let Him give you His personal Words of direction, encouragement, instruction, and reassurance. Just think, the Lord Himself wants to be your personal Shepherd. And when you feel alone, when you need a shoulder to cry on, someone to understand, a word of sympathy and encouragement, He is always available! I can hardly get over how thrilling this is! What a terrific answer! What a wonderful solution!
       62. You may be tempted to think, "Well, this won't help our lack of finances, or our sick children, or our kids who are on the verge of backsliding. How can Jesus being my shepherd help me solve the disorganization in my Home, or bring unity between the Homes in our city? Prophecy is all well and good, but it doesn't bring with it any concrete solutions." If you're thinking those thoughts, you've got it wrong, folks. Because we're not just talking about prophecy in the sense that some people think of it--as pretty words that give momentary comfort but that don't really do much for you! We're talking about being able to receive Jesus' personalized instruction for any situation that comes up! We're talking about taking your problems, questions, and even your bummers and great big tangled messes to Him, and letting Him give you not only the comfort you need, but also the specific workable solutions you need as well.
       63. When you hear from the Lord and do what He says, it works! Jesus knows what you're going through and He's well able to tell you more than just pretty sermonettes that will temporarily lift your burdens. He can and wants to give you what you need--answers to your questions, direction when you don't know what to do, comfort when you feel like you can't go on, courage to be a witness when you're afraid, solutions to personnel conflicts that seem beyond repair, the encouragement you need to do His will when you're struggling with a difficult decision, and the supernatural strength that comes only when you lean on Him and find His strength.
       64. All of this and more is at your disposal if you'll just take your problems, trials, needs and questions to Jesus! Many of you have been exercising your gift of prophecy, but He has more to tell you--much, much more! He says that what you've received so far is a wee drop in the ocean of love, wisdom, comfort, strength and guidance that He would give you, if you'd just ask!
       65. In her letter to me, dear Keiko wrote, "The Lord's given me a gift of prophecy, and over the last year I've been using it a lot. So when things are really hard and I'm too depressed to even talk, I'll just lie in bed or go somewhere, and usually the Lord will give me some beautiful, encouraging words. It's my salvation." Apparently she has been using her gift quite a lot for her personal encouragement, but the Lord said to her, "I have so much more to tell you!"
       66. She's had some glimpses of this personal shepherding from the Lord in her times of hearing from Him, hearing His comforting Words, but nothing like what He would give her if she would come to Him all the time. In other words, He would like to speak to her daily, throughout the day, with His comfort and guidance, just like someone who is with you all day long, who you are constantly going to for counsel. The Lord loves these times of talking and counseling with you, and He longs for them. It's not just something you need to do out of duty, but He treasures these times and looks forward to them.
       67. Jesus promises much more than any earthly shepherd or co-worker would be able to give. He is so generous. He wants to pour it on thick! He wants to give His Words that are especially for you, just you! How could you resist?! I know I can't. I love to hear from the Lord! Even as much as I hear His wonderful, personal, specific Words that are especially for me, He never runs out! He just keeps thrilling me again and again with new revelations; fresh illustrations and word pictures; increasingly tender and passionate intimate love words; specific detailed instruction, and more! It just flows and flows and flows, and is as abundant as the ocean! Why settle for just a little "wee drop" when you can dive in and swim and revel in the refreshing, delicious water of His Word for you personally!
       68. So if you want to pour out your heart to someone, if you need a walkie-talkie, if you feel swamped with all you have to do, or frustrated that things aren't working out as you had hoped, Jesus, your Good Shepherd, the One Who knows you better than anyone, is waiting for you. Just go to Him. And the really great thing is, He understands all sides of the story. He won't misunderstand or jump to conclusions. He sees every angle, and not just from the earthly perspective, but the Heavenly perspective. So how could we ask for more!?
       69. But if you want to benefit from all this, it's not enough to come once in a while to hear from Him--He wants you to come again and again and again! You can have as much "personal time" with Him as you wish! He doesn't have to try to fit you into His schedule while He juggles a whole bunch of other people and emergencies. He's always immediately available! He can bring sweet relief from the worries and cares that tumble about you. This is a special privilege that is far greater than having an earthly shepherd to shepherd you. It's tremendous!
       70. The Lord has chosen to shepherd many of you Himself in preparation for the days ahead, when you'll need a direct, clear channel, a hotline to Him! This is a precious gift that He wants to give you, but He knows it takes some practice and experience to hone this gift, to fine-tune it and learn how to use it. If you weren't in a desperate situation right now, the Lord knows you might not naturally feel compelled to put forth the effort to call out to Him and learn to hear from Him in prophecy. So in His wisdom, He creates the circumstances that will "force" you to run to Him and learn to communicate with Him intimately.
       71. You can't avail yourself of His power while you're looking down at the waves and at the muddy water that blurs your vision. But if you look at Jesus and tap into His power, it will result in a wonderful change in your whole way of looking at things and your feelings about things.
       72. Jesus tells you how it was when He was on Earth. He knows what it's like to bear such burdens, and He understands how difficult it is when you feel you're all alone. He experienced the loneliness and burden of leadership. The Enemy tempted Him and He wondered if it was worth it all. When His disciples were sensitive to correction, didn't pay attention, were irresponsible, sluffed off and didn't press in like they should have, He was tempted with an overwhelming feeling of, "What's the use?" He was "thrust out on His Own" without the direct shepherding that He had previously enjoyed in His Heavenly bubble of fellowship and counsel, much like you may feel is happening to you since the implementation of the Charter.
       73. Jesus had to endure crowded, difficult, uncomfortable living conditions. In fact, He was on the road most of the time, having to provision and find places to stay, or else sleep outside. He didn't enjoy the pleasure and relief of being able to come back to home base to rest and relax and eat nice food and have recreation. He didn't have a special place where He could retreat for quiet time. He was always in demand. And not only did He have to continually minister to the hungry sheep, He also had to fight off scoffers, goats, and those who tried to hassle Him and make His life miserable! By the end of each day He was tired and drained. That's why He can understand what you're going through, and He can sympathize. (For more from Jesus on His testimony of how He felt while here on Earth, see Summit '96 Letters!--Part 6, coming soon.)
       74. But all of these difficulties forced the Lord to look up to His Father and call out for help. Jesus says that it was in those dark, lonely hours that He found His strength and that He established (strengthened) His connection with Heaven. He found out that leaning on His Heavenly Father was enough to pull Him through, and He knew then that He had power for anything. He had to learn what God was able to do for Him through the desperation, through extreme circumstances, because it takes an impossible situation for God to do a miracle. Jesus explains that had the circumstances been different, had He been in an easier situation, He would not have been so desperate to call on His Father, and He would not have grown into full stature and usefulness.
       75. You might not realize it, but you're going through a learning experience similar to that of Jesus as you pass through the difficulties, trials, battles and hard conditions that you're facing. All this is making you into the good shepherds and shepherdesses that Jesus wants you to be. The Lord says that He put you in this precise Home at this precise time. It's not just haphazard, hit and miss, but He planned it for you.
       76. He's teaching you to know Him in a new and different way than you have in the past. These very difficult circumstances won't last forever, and He'll bring you out into a time of peace and plenty.
       77. This is a time when Jesus is shepherding many of us personally, and He longs to show us that He is enough. He is more than enough. You can trust Him with your heart, your future, your decisions. He will never fail you or lead you astray.
       78. He says, however, that He will also give you times of shepherding by human shepherds, who are still vitally needed. He'll also give us shepherding by Dad from the Heavenlies, who He has commissioned to continue shepherding us, but now in a much more personal way. The Lord has given Dad his heart's desire, and now he can be directly involved with your lives and Homes, giving you the guidance, instruction and encouragement that you need, if you'll be open to his whispers and have faith in what he tells you.
       79. I think it's quite phenomenal how the Lord has led us step by step. First, after Dad's Homegoing, He helped us to begin to hear from Him and Dad more regularly. You learned to have faith in Peter as the Lord's channel, His faucet. Then you learned to accept others as His receivers as well. Gradually, with time, you have become more accustomed to hearing from the Lord in prophecy concerning your Home's decisions, needs and problems. And now you're going to be learning to let the Lord speak to you as an individual more personally.
       80. While working on this GN, I received a report from one of the VSs in Russia who was recently visiting Homes in some very secluded areas, mostly along the Trans-Siberian Railroad. I thought her comments would be of interest to you. She said:

       81. "The Lord has done some big miracles in some of the young people's lives here. It's just incredible to see some of the most impossible situations turned into such wonderful victories. For example, there was a young person who was not doing well at all spiritually when she came to Russia. She only came to give it a last chance, to see if the Family was the place for her to be. For a while she had a difficult time and we heard quite a few discouraging reports about how things were going for her. However, since then the Lord has worked in her life, and on this visit for almost two hours she was telling me about the prophecies that she has received from Dad this last month, as well as the tremendous answers that she has received straight from Jesus. (It's important to note that she didn't believe in prophecies before that!) It's just amazing to see how much she is in love with Jesus. You wouldn't believe she's the same person.
       82. "In another situation, two young people told me about how their lives have changed and how they have fallen in love with Jesus. They used to mock prophecies, and were planning to leave the Family to make 'big money' and travel around the world, but now they are so flipped out about Jesus, the Word, and the power of prophecy that you would never guess you are talking to the same people you knew a few months ago.
       83. "They both received a beautiful gift of prophecy, and the Lord and Dad answered a lot of the questions that they both had. It's quite a testimony to others. There are tons of wonderful testimonies in the Homes here of how Jesus truly is the best Shepherd of all."

       84. {\b \i (Mama:)} Isn't this a marvelous confirmation of what the Lord is showing us in this message? It's tremendous! Praise the Lord! I pray that you'll accept this precious gift from the Lord of His personal shepherding for you and find that it is the answer that you've been looking for. In all your tests and trials, remind yourself that the Lord won't give you one thing more than you're able to bear. In fact, He'll bring you into a greater place of power as you continue to grow and avail yourselves of His strength. Peter and I and those in our household pray for you and love you.
* * *

       Dad's Message to Keiko--And All of Us!
       85. ({\b \i Dad speaking:)} One, two, three, the Devil's after me! Four, five, six, he's always throwing sticks! Seven, eight, nine, he misses all the time! Hallelujah, hallelujah, we're free! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Can you sing it with me?
       86. Sweet Keiko, I love you. I love to see you sing, and dance too. Sometimes I just zoom in and watch some of those clips of you singing. It's real easy now, 'cause all I've gotta do is just think it, and zap!--It appears right before me! In fact, I was just watching you singing a medley--a beautiful medley the Lord put together for me of you singing. I had a burden to hear you and see you sing, and the Lord zoomed in and sent me over some scenes of you singing when you were about 7, 8, 9, 10 years old, and then later, as a teen. You sure were a cute kid, so darling. And now--ahem! You sure are a beauty! Boy, you sure are a trooper, Honey. Gorgeous! You are just gorgeous! I love you!
       87. Now I don't want you to fret yourself, sweet Keiko. I'm here to cheer you up, Honey. I can certainly relate to you and understand how you feel about so many of these things. I look at you and I see myself when I used to get hit with bouts of discouragement. Boy, I got hit with it something terrible. I don't think anyone really realizes how hard I got hit with it, except my dear Maria. God bless her heart! Mama knows, because she's the one that prayed me right through it all. Lord help me. What really did help me, though, was when I finally realized that the Lord was allowing me to go through such heavy battles with discouragement for a reason. It was so I could turn around and encourage others--comfort others with the same comfort that the Lord gave me.
       88. So here I am to cheer you up! And one of the best ways I can think of offhand to do that is to sing a song! Sing the clouds away! Guess what? My mother has been standing right here next to me and we've been having sing-along time. We've been helping you, Honey, and all our Family, to sing your clouds away, so don't you fret. Sing the clouds away! Night will turn to day, if you sing and sing and sing and sing the clouds away! It still works! Just try it. It doesn't matter where you are, how hard it seems, or how rough the circumstances may be--if you will sing and sing and sing, the clouds will blow right away! Poof! All gone! It sounds so simple, I know, but this is a real good start. Just sing the clouds away!
       89. Honey, I know it's hard to see this right now, and I feel for you. I know you certainly don't feel like this time of testing and trial is doing you much good, but believe me, if you just hold on and hang in there, you'll never be sorry. Just turn it around and punch that ol' punk right in the nose! Just take that first step! Punch him out with a song! Sing, shout, praise the Lord! Slam the door shut right in his face and cut his nose off! Don't let him get you down with all these discouragements and lies that everything is all black and dark and bleak, that nothing is working out right, and everything is falling apart. Tommyrot! That's all it is! The Devil's lies are a bunch of tommyrot!
       90. Things are not falling apart! They're falling in place, Honey! This time is only for a moment, and things are lining up the way the Lord knows is best. If you just can hang in there--one more breath, one more hour, one more day--you're gonna see victory and you're gonna be so glad you held on. We see it differently up Here, because the Lord is using this time to make you stronger.
       91. Now don't be tempted to think that if this is the way the Lord has of making you stronger, that it's just not worth it, and maybe you could do without it! Ha! No, that's not the right way to look at it. Of course, I'm not saying you would look at it that way, but just in case. Some people do, you know. But that's the farthest thing from the truth. Honey, the Lord promised that He would never leave you nor forsake you, and He wants to use this time to draw you closer to Him. Whenever things seem dark and gloomy and stormy, that is the time to retreat into your own heart [EDITED: "in communion with the Lord"]. That's when the Lord is able to punch through and see you on to victory.
       92. Honey, I hardly think anyone could get hit with discouragement as bad as I did, and if He pulled me through, you know He's going to pull you through too. So that oughta cheer you up! If I can make it, you can too!
       93. To make this real simple, why don't we just take a minute and play the glad game? I think I told the Family this already, but folks up Here in Heaven play the glad game every day. It's so refreshing! I sure would like to see the Family do it more. It's amazing how good for the soul it is! Should we try it? Just take a look around! You see all these problems, but why don't we see if we can take that lemon and make lemonade out of it, okay?
       94. Now, tough living conditions--that's one problem. Well, just think. Isn't it a blessing you don't have to live out in a stable like the Lord did? Isn't it a blessing you have a roof over your head when so many people in the world are living on the streets?
       95. You see all the disadvantages of living in such close and cramped quarters, but why don't we take a minute and see the advantages it has? For one thing, you have to get it together when you live close like that. It really makes you get desperate with the Lord, and that is good. That's real good! It certainly forces you to be united. You might not feel so united, but it's coming, Honey! The unity is coming.
       96. These close quarters you're living under remind me a little of life in the Ark. Living in that camper all those years--that was close quarters! We learned a lot of lessons from living close like that--valuable lessons on learning how to give and take and prefer one another, love one another, and so on. It sure did force me to have to teach and train the kids, that's for sure. I understand that you see it as a difficult and desperate situation, especially if you've been used to a different lifestyle and standard of living. But, Honey, it is causing you to have to seek the Lord and get desperate for His answers, and anything that helps accomplish that purpose is good. At this point in time, the Lord needs for you and all our folks to get desperate with Him. He needs you, and if He was not using this situation you are in right now, He would use something else to get you desperate.
       97. Desperate times are coming upon the whole world, Honey. You can be thankful that He has chosen to prepare you right now, because when the whole world is going haywire, you're going to be prepared! You're going to have that strong connection with the Lord! You're going to be able to lead the multitudes. Honey, difficult living conditions are coming upon the Earth, and those who don't know the Lord, or who haven't stayed close to the Lord and aren't in close contact with Him and His spirit helpers are going to have a rough time of it.
       98. It's not always so easy to see, I know, but you've just gotta keep leaning on Jesus. He has a purpose in all you are going through right now. If it wasn't this situation, the Lord would send something else your way to accomplish that purpose, because He needs you, and He is growing you and moving you into a position of greater responsibility.
       99. Cheer up! Nothing lasts forever--especially in our Family! The Lord takes us through different phases in our life, to teach and train and guide us in the way He wants us to go at that time, and then He always moves us on to something else. So just keep holding on!
       100. I'm proud of you, Honey, for mustering up the faith to write to Mama. Look what is happening as a result of that! Mama loves to hear from the Family. She loves to know how things are going and what is going on. She is always seeking answers, God bless her, and here I am to talk to you! Praise the Lord! So all this is good, Honey.
       101. Now, did you ever think of this: that under the circumstances in which you live, maybe the Lord wants you to use this time to really take those folks under your wing, the ones that you live cheek to cheek with? Maybe you feel like some of those folks are being difficult and they're not pulling their weight or helping to carry the load, and maybe they aren't. I certainly don't want to give any pats on the back to people who have demonstrated bad behavior.
       102. But if you'll just love the sinner and hate the sin, and try to remind yourself of the Romans 8:28 in each and every situation, I think you'll begin to see that the Lord wants to use these situations, even people's faults and failures and shortcomings and all, to teach you priceless lessons.--Lessons on patience, lessons on unconditional love, lessons on looking to the Lord, leaning on the Lord, and seeking the Lord for answers on how to deal with each situation, with each person.
       103. The Lord wants to use all this to round out your training, Honey. I know it seems hard, but believe me, this time is valuable on-the-job training. It is driving you into the presence of the Lord, so you can know Him in a way you've never known before.
       104. Did you ever stop to think that maybe the Lord is trying to use different folks to teach you and others valuable lessons on love? Love loves the unlovely, and it also loves the unruly! This is unconditional love, Honey, believe it or not. So I think if you can just look at it this way, it might help you. Remember, Honey, these folks with faults and all, they still love Jesus. It might seem like many folks have a long ways to go, and perhaps some do, but for the most part, everyone is here because they love Jesus. Faults and all, they love Jesus just like you. When I got down and out and discouraged--not only with myself, but with others--it always helped me greatly to remember what a terrible mess I was myself. Prayer for love and mercy--that was a monumental lesson in my life.
       105. Try to look at all these things that would drag you down and consider this: What does all this gloom and doom do? Well, it's a drag, for one thing! It can discourage you and pull you right off the wall, which is what the Enemy is trying to do. But looking at it through the glasses of Romans 8:28 and through the glasses of faith, what are all these discouragements and problems accomplishing? What is the reason why the Lord is allowing all this to happen?
       106. Are you ready for this? The first and the foremost reason is to drive you closer to Him, closer to His arms, and to my arms too! To drive you into the world of the Spirit. He's trying to bring the whole Family closer to the world of the Spirit.
       107. Have you noticed that in many ways the trials and testings have been greater since the time of my graduation? Did you ever think about that, or ever wonder about that? Do you want to know why? It's true that it's because time is getting short, and we are coming closer and closer to the final hour. That's true! Yes, the Lord is purging the ranks now. He is purifying His Endtime army, making the Family strong, to lead the world in the soon-coming dark days ahead that will cover the Earth.
       108. But what's another reason the Lord has turned up the heat in these last couple years since my Homegoing? Is it just to make life rough on you? Is it because the Family is falling apart? Is it because you've lost your earthly leader and eventually things are going to slowly crumble and come to a halt? No way! You can be sure that nothing could be farther from the truth than that! This work is of God, and no man can stand against it!
       109. Besides purifying and making the Family strong in these last hours, one reason why the Lord is allowing the heat to get turned up is because He knows that with me Here on this side, the Family is better able to handle these battles! Desperate situations are going to come upon the whole Earth, ready or not! But the Lord in His love and wisdom is allowing the Family to go through it now! He is preparing you now.
       110. The Family is ready for it, ready to make these advancements, because I am on this side now and I'm able to help see you through with direction and guidance! I'm better able to lead you and shepherd you from Here. It's because the Lord knows you're able to get the shepherding you need from this side now! I'm still shepherding the Family, Honey.
       111. Whenever you feel lost and lonely and like you are way out there--if the Lord has put any of you in a situation like that--just remember you don't have to feel that way any more, because that's when I'll be your direct overseer! If the CROs or the VSs can't get around fast enough to help out, you can rest assured you're not going to be left out of the loop. All you gotta do is call! Tap in, and I'll be whispering in your ear! I'm still knocking out these MO missives, and I'll talk to you directly in your ear whenever you need it!
       112. You can even feel me loving you and holding you, right there at your side! Mmmm! I just love to love you! I'll turn your knobs and give you a squeeze and all the encouragement you want and need! With this new body I've got, I can finally give you all the loving you want! Ha, ha!
       113. Honey, this is the day of the Spirit, and the Lord wants to lead you directly by His Spirit. He is allowing us helpers to shepherd you as well. You have the power of the spirit world right in your tiny hands! I'm your shepherd and I'm still going strong! And I'm especially zeroing in on all of you who are out there with little or no visitation. I can visit you each and every day! I'm not limited by land or sea, or difficulties with travel, or even the weakness of the flesh. Like the Lord, my "do not disturb" sign is never up either.
       114. Oh, it's so wonderful! My heart's desire is finally fulfilled to be able to visit all the Homes and see the Family and help out wherever I can. God bless our dear CROs and VSs--they are really trying hard to do all they can to shepherd and help the Family. But it's a monumental job. The job is too big. It's humongous! But don't worry, Honey, because the Lord is making provision.
       115. In the meantime, for those of you who are out there pioneering, the Lord is going to use this time to give you direct supervision from His hand! So the best thing you can do is make time to listen to the whispers and you'll see. In these times of storm, if you'll just sit tight and listen, you're going to hear things that will make the mountains melt away.
       116. Don't worry and fret about these guys who are making life difficult for you and others. The Lord and we helpers will take care of them, and they'll learn. They are learning. Trust God's Spirit to shepherd them too, by committing them to the Lord in prayer. Your prayers can do mighty things. If you feel frustrated and don't know how to handle people or situations, just take it to the Lord in prayer.
       117. You can't always fit a square peg into a round hole, but through your prayers the Lord is able to get big victories. Pray for the difficult ones. Trust the Lord's Spirit to work in their hearts, and He will. And the Lord will be faithful to show you what to do for them too. Even if folks have to learn from terrible mistakes they make, the Lord is able to help them. They'll learn, and you'll learn too. You'll all learn valuable lessons on patience, humility, and love. You'll all learn about what to do and what not to do.
       118. You are learning a lot, Honey. If anything, you're learning the most important lesson of all--that if you want sweet relief from all the burdens and strains and stress of the day, to just retreat into the secret place. Just like you said, that has been your only salvation sometimes. It is, Honey, it is! So keep it up. Things are going to get brighter, you'll see. Rest in the Lord and do good. Whatever you do, don't fret your pretty little head because of those who seem to prosper in their way, while getting away with wrongdoing. Honey, the Lord is in control and all things are working together for good, and He deals with each one in love, according to what they need.
       119. One thing you can be sure of, though: Our God is a just God! He is an all-seeing eye Who beholds the wrongdoing and the good, and every man will be rewarded according to what he knows and how he acts. We are all accountable, Honey, and will be rewarded accordingly. The Lord is going to take care of every situation, every little detail, and the best thing you can do is pray for these situations. Pray for people that the Lord will work in their hearts. Keep praying and keep trusting God.
       120. Pray for your loved ones too. I know it's difficult to see the ones we love faint and get weary, but the Lord is able to encourage them and keep them too, so pray. The Lord is able to take better care of them than you can. He is able to do things you can't do, so uphold them in your prayers. When they see you praying and trusting the Lord and taking all your burdens and problems to Him, this will make a difference, Honey. The Lord will use all this to get through to your loved ones and the folks around you. This is the best sample you can give them!
       121. The best thing you can do is to keep going! Keep your eyes ahead! Set your face like a flint, and march on. Don't think that people don't listen! They are doing more than listening; they are closely watching your sample! So just keep marching forward. The best sample is to fight on in the face of despair!
       122. This is the best thing you can do for them--be a sample of taking it all to Jesus! This will speak louder than any words. You won't just be feeding them a meal that way. You won't just be giving them a fish to satisfy their hunger temporarily. You will be teaching them how to fish. So pray, listen to the whispers, get that sweet communion time with the Lord. When you get His answers, when you receive this direct, personal shepherding from the Lord and from me too, you will find that everything is going to work out A-OK!
       123. Don't you fret, Honey! The outlook may not seem easy right at this moment, but the uplook is great! Don't forget, this time is only for a little while. It's a testing time, and it's going to pass, just as long as you stay faithful and hold on. You're gonna be mightily used in the soon-coming days ahead, if you keep fighting, keep winning, keep socking that ol' Devil back and keep punching him in the nose! Sock it to him!
       124. There's just a little while longer to work out with these weights you have on right now. If you will just keep taking that time in the secret place, and keep that connection strong and that link strong with us on this side, pretty soon you're gonna be able to take those weights off. You'll keep running the race, only you'll be flying! These few little weights are helping to build your muscles now, so that when you take them off you're gonna fly! It's going to be so beautiful! All of you are gonna fly with effortless ease right across that goal line in this final race!
       125. So don't get discouraged with the workout you're having to endure now. You'll be glad you are training with weights now, because it's gonna make the difference in those final laps. Then you're going to fly across the goal line. This training with weights now, this working out you're having to endure, is going to pay off! It's going to make the difference as you fly across that goal line and take the gold! Keep working out, Honey; it's worth it all! You'll never ever be sorry you trusted Jesus.
       126. I love you! Keep tuning in and listening! I'm right here to shepherd you. See you in your prayers! I have lots in store for you. We're gonna have lots of fun! Are you ready? XXXXXXX! Your Dad. (End of prophecy.)

       127. {\b \i (Mama:)} Thank you, Sweetheart, for those wonderful words for Keiko and all of us! You're such a fighter! Even when the Devil tried so desperately at times to get you down with discouragement, you never gave up. You always kept fighting, and the Lord brought you through to victory every time! Thanks for teaching us how to do the same! I love you so!

Our Battles Are for a Purpose!
       128. In this message, Dad also explains that the battles, tests and trials you're having are for a purpose--to drive you closer to Jesus. The Lord is using this time to make you stronger. If it wasn't this particular situation, then the Lord would send something else your way to accomplish that purpose, because He needs you, and He wants you to grow up and mature, so He can move you into a position of greater responsibility. Desperate times are coming upon the whole world. So even though it's not easy, you can be thankful that He has chosen you to prepare right now, because when the whole world is going haywire, you're going to be prepared!
       129. Let's not lose sight of how we're to be prepared. Suffering hardship or enduring hardness is not the end in itself; it's only a means to an end. The goal is for us to be closer to the Lord, and to know how to stay in constant, intimate communication with Him and His spirit helpers so we can better serve Him and do His will. That's the ultimate purpose of our days of preparation.

The Benefits of Singing!
       130. In the above message, Dad talks about the benefits of singing. Singing has always been an important part of our praise to the Lord. He loves it! It really turns Him on. The other day I asked the Lord how I could make my devotions more meaningful, and one of the things He mentioned was about singing. He said:
       131. "Come into My courts with praise and into My gates with thanksgiving. I love it when you sing to Me! These are times of wonderful fellowship, and they are feeding for you as well as for Me. I love to sing and praise. Sing with Me and praise with Me. Singing to Me is loving Me. Singing to Me gives Me great joy and excitement." Although I was already singing at times during my devotions, He indicated that He would like me to do so more, and I'm sure He'd be happy with your increased singing as well!
       132. In a prophecy which the Lord gave for one of our SGAs, He said: "Sing, sing, sing praises in My Name! Raise the roof in jubilation!--And I will meet you there to embrace you! For I wish you to embark on a new journey in your life, a journey to bring you closer to Me than ever before."
       133. Not only will your singing bring you closer to the Lord, but as Dad says, it's a great way to shoo away any cloudy attacks from the Enemy that are threatening to darken your day. When you're feeling down, if you'll just start to sing, even though at first you may not feel like it, before long you'll be much more in the victory! It really works, as I'm sure you've all experienced at one time or another!
       134. One of my secretaries told me the other day that she had gotten out of the habit of singing, whereas she used to sing all the time. When she started to sing much more again, as she used to, it was a great help to her. So please don't be too proud to sing and sing and sing and sing those clouds away!

Playing the Glad Game!
       135. Dad's suggestion to play the glad game is terrific! I always have liked that game, and I play it frequently! Knowing that the folks in Heaven play it daily makes it even more appealing. There's nothing like comparing yourself favorably to someone else who's worse off than you are to help you feel better. Dad comes up with some really good glad game points for the subject of cramped living quarters.
       136. Why don't you take some time when you can to count your blessings on some other subjects close to home, such as your parents or brothers and sisters, your ministry, your financial situation, communal living, your loneliness, the things you dislike about yourself, etc. Like Dad says, making lemonade out of your lemon is good for the soul. You'll have a hard time feeling bad when you realize that there are lots of people who are struggling much more than you are!
       137. In the above message, when Dad said, "folks up Here in Heaven play the glad game every day," you may have wondered why the people in Heaven would need to play the glad game! We can understand why we here on Earth would need to compare ourselves favorably for our encouragement, but why would the folks in Heaven need to compare anything with anything? I thought that would be a fairly common question, so I asked the Lord if He could explain this a bit more. I think you'll be fascinated with His answer!

       138. {\b \i (Jesus speaking:)} You on Earth can use the glad game to encourage yourselves in areas where you are better off than another, and to remind yourselves of the blessings and gifts which I have given you. This all serves to give you faith and hope that everything will work out and that I am in control. It helps you to keep your eyes on Me and not look down at the difficulties and circumstances, to not look down at the waves and start to sink.
       139. You wonder why anyone in Heaven would need or want to play the glad game, because isn't everything in Heaven perfect and there is no sadness or sorrow or pain or tears? So why would they have to make themselves happy by comparing themselves with someone worse off? But the people here in Heaven, all the people, are continuing to learn and progress and develop in certain ways and areas. Things Here do not remain still but are constantly moving, and so are the people also constantly progressing and developing and attaining in what they learn. So they continue to play the glad game, not so much to make themselves happy--because they are already completely happy and totally fulfilled--but their participation in the glad game is an act of praise unto Me.
       140. They have developed a way of playing the glad game which gives Me the honor and the glory, and they use it as a means of praising Me and giving Me thanks and glorifying My Name. That is why it is a blessing to them and a blessing to Me. They talk about all the ways that I have made them happy, and they speak of the blessings I have given them. They honor and extol My Name for the joys and treasures in their lives, for the love and fulfillment and the gifts of My Spirit which I have given unto them. They raise their arms in praise as they talk about all their blessings in order to honor and glorify My Name.
       141. They want to praise Me and show their love to Me at every opportunity, and they never tire of whispering their words of love and loyalty and dedication and thankfulness to Me. The words of praise are always in their heart and they want to have them on their lips, that I may be honored. (End of prophecy excerpts.)

       142. {\b \i (Mama:) }What a good explanation! It shows how it pays to bring your questions to the Lord. He never tires of our asking, and for that matter, neither does Dad. Dad also spoke after the Lord gave the above message. As usual, he was very encouraging, saying, "That was a very good question. You were right. I didn't make that very clear. I should have taken the time to explain it more clearly, because it's an obvious question that anyone would have. So God bless you for asking about it and getting a clarification." Okay, now let's get back to discussing the prophecy Dad gave for Keiko.

Tips for Interacting with Others!
       143. If you're having problems with some of the folks you live with or have to try to shepherd, Dad's counsel to Keiko can help you. He explains that you're getting on-the-job training for some really precious lessons of love that the Lord wants to teach you. Following are some specific tips from Dad that I believe will greatly improve your interactions with others:

               Love the sinner, hate the sin.

               See the Romans 8:28 in each and every situation.

               Love the unlovely and the unruly.

               Love unconditionally.

               Remember, for the most part, everyone is here because they love Jesus. Faults and all, they love Jesus just like you do.

               Remind yourself of what a terrible mess you are.

               Pray for others, and trust the Lord to work in their hearts.

               When you feel frustrated, take it to the Lord in prayer.

               Be a good sample of praying, trusting, and taking all your problems to Jesus.

               Keep going!

       144. Of course, let me remind you again, we all have lots of faults and failings, and we all need lots of love, mercy and understanding! It's not like Keiko was the one perfect one in her Home and everyone else was in need of getting straightened out. She has her faults, too, I'm sure. But the point we need to see is that the Lord used her questions to me to provide an avenue through which Dad could give us these good general principles that we can all apply to our relationships with each other.

Take Time to Hear from Heaven!
       145. We learn some fascinating new information in this message from Dad. If it has seemed to you that the battles and trials have been more intense since Dad went to be with the Lord, now you know that that's not your imagination! It's true! But we also learn the reasons why. Dad explains that because time is getting short, the Lord is purging the ranks. He's purifying us, His Endtime army, because He needs to make us strong, so we'll be prepared for what is to come.
       146. The Lord knows that He can turn up the fire of our battles, which will help us learn the lessons we need, and that we'll be able to make it because we can get the shepherding we need from Dad, who can lead us even better from Heaven than when he was with us on Earth. Dad can visit you whenever you need him, and as many can testify, he's certainly happy to speak to you with his whispers! He speaks to me every day, and he's such a blessing! Also, we receive prophecies from around the world that include message after message from Dad, which shows that many of you are already receiving his direct shepherding from Heaven.
       147. Dear ones, please take the time to hear from the Lord and Dad regularly! It will make life so much easier for you! It's a wise investment of your time, strength and attention. You'll get a huge return on very little expenditure of energy. Do it today! Jesus, Dad and all Heaven are waiting to give you what you want and need!
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       You Have the Gift!
       148. Even after hearing this wonderful, encouraging news, I know there are some of you who are not going to be so happy. In fact, some of you might feel quite discouraged. I'm talking about those of you who feel you don't have the gift of prophecy. You're probably feeling very left out and saying, "Woe is me! How can I partake of this wonderful blessing when I don't have the gift?" A YA wrote me not long ago, saying:

       149. "I've had some pretty big battles about not being able to get prophecies, and I get hit a lot with little battles about not being so 'spiritual.' I really just want to do what the Lord wants me to do, but I have had some real trials about not being able to hear from Him like I'd like to, or get direct things from Him like some people do. When I heard that you, Mama, don't get big prophecies it was really encouraging for me. Also, I know it says in the Word that we're not supposed to compare ourselves with others, but sometimes I wonder if there's something I'm doing wrong, or something I'm missing. I really feel I'm doing all I can to love the Lord and put Him first in my life. It's just been a little hard for me to feel a part of all this when I've felt I can't really hear from Him."

       150. {\b \i (Mama:)} When we prayed for this precious girl, the Lord gave a message that I think will be a great blessing for all of you who battle in this way:

       151. {\b \i (Jesus speaking:)} Here, take it! It's yours! Reach out! You have the gift--it's sitting in your lap. You already have the gift. I have already offered it to you. You just have to open it. Pull the ribbon! Loose the strings! Take the wrapping off from around the box. Peel away the paper and open the lid. You have the gift! It is yours! It is there! All you have to do is open it!
       152. Open your mouth. I have put streams of living water within you--new streams, fresh streams, clear streams, sparkling streams! It is already there, it is already trickling, seeping in and seeping through. It is a spring springing up inside of you--the whispers that you hear, the ideas that you get, the impressions that you have, the checks to obey--streams of My living waters!
       153. Open up your ears and open up your mouth if you want them to gush forth, for they are there. Open the tap. Open your mouth. The tap is your mouth. Open your mouth and let go! Do not hold back. Do not fear. Fear is the dam that holds back the waters of My Word that are in you.
       154. I have placed within each person a spring of bubbling living waters! The stream is more active in some than in others. In some it gushes forth loudly with the sound of rushing water. In others it is a small stream that trickles along, running quietly. And in others it is water that is only seeping through the ground. Nevertheless, it is still a spring.
       155. But you can open up your springs so that the water comes forth freely. For some it will take time, because it is like a treasure hidden in the earth. The earth must soften and fall away so that the waters may pour forth and bubble freely. But the more you desire to hear My Words, the more the earth that covers the spring will fall away, that the water may shoot forth freely!
       156. Not all springs are created the same, but a stream of My channel is in each person. Some are large, and I have created them so--like rivers and waterfalls! But they are no better than the small, tiny creeks. I have created all My vessels in love and I love them all the same, and no one vessel is more important to Me than another. I love the tiny spring the same as the big waterfall. The size of your spring does not affect My love for you.
       157. To some it comes easier than to others. Those of you who have a difficult time must persevere, as did Jacob, who wrestled and was blessed. Take hold of Me and do not let go, and I will reward you with My seeds. As Jacob wrestled and would not let go until he was blessed, even so if you struggle and if you wrestle, I will not send you away empty. If you do not let go, I will give you My streams of living seeds!
       158. For from Me flow rivers of living seeds, and those that suck shall receive. I wish to give these seeds to every one of My children. He that comes unto Me and is open shall not go away empty, for I am potent! I give to everyone that asks and I turn not away. You must just have faith to believe, faith to receive, faith to speak My seeds! For if you ask for Words, I will not give you stones.
       159. As you speak, the water will come forth, even if it is only a drop, one drop at a time. So do not fear, but have faith. Many have heard My whispers but have not recognized that these are My whispers. The stream is already flowing, already springing forth, but you recognize it not, thinking that it is your own voice, your own mind. Just open your mouth and speak! Have faith! Rebuke fear and let the seeds come forth.
       160. My sweet one, you have My love. You have My seeds and they have been speaking to you. I have created you with a beautiful spring. Let it come forth! Let it flow out of your mouth! Let that which is in your heart come out your mouth, for it is My voice, My stream of love that speaks to you. Have faith! Open your mouth and let My Words come forth, for they are already in your heart. You have an underground stream and you must open your mouth to let it surface, to let it spring forth, to let it flow freely. Tap into it and let it flow! Be not afraid, just flow. (End of prophecy.)

       161. {\b \i (Mama:)} I love you, my most precious Family, and I pray that these Words will set you free to let go and receive the fresh manna from Heaven that the Lord wants to give you in the form of His living Word! Let Him speak to you, whether it's through His whispers, impressions, ideas and checks in your heart, or through His audible voice of prophecy! Let Him be for you all that He wants to be! He is your Lover, your Husband, and your constant, loving, available Good Shepherd! God bless and keep you! Much love, Mama.
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       Keiko's Reaction
       162. P.S. Below is Keiko's reaction to the prophecies that were sent to her. As you read her response, I want to draw your attention to a very important point, and that is that she says many of her questions have been answered by the recent GNs. This is not to minimize the personal shepherding that the Lord wants to give you through His living Words of prophecy, but it's a good reminder that He also shepherds each of you through His written Word. The New Wine provides you with specific guidance and counsel, so please don't neglect that very important way of hearing from the Lord and finding His will! Thanks!

       163. (From Keiko:) Dear Mama, I love you dearly! Thank you for showing me how much you, Dad and the Lord love and care for me and for everyone in this Family. Your personal answer to my letter was very comforting and brought so many tears of joy and relief. I also want to thank that someone who was willing to take their time to receive such life-renewing Words from Jesus and Dad for me.
       164. I won't mind if you choose to leave my name in the prophecies. I was thinking that it may be rather uncomfortable on my pride when it comes out, but so be it. Above and beyond that, it is an honor. I feel I don't deserve to have Jesus and Dad reach out to me and give such wonderful encouragement. The prophecies are like an instruction manual on "how to stay in the victory at all times." I certainly agree it is something that would be beneficial to many at this time.
       165. I just finished studying the latest two GNs, "Problems and Solutions" Parts 1 and 2, and they were so right-on for me. I thought these were it--the answers to my heartcries, and I didn't expect anything more, especially not from you personally. I almost regretted having written you, because here these GNs were giving so many answers and outlining many of the basic things I had written you about. I thought, "Oh no, I am just being another burden on Mama's heart when I could've waited and gotten these answers in the GNs and not said anything." But I was overwhelmed by your sweet response and am now thankful that I wrote, because these unexpected messages from Dad and the Lord have topped it all for me. I've fallen in love with Jesus and Dad all over again!
       166. One little point I thought was significant was when Dad said that he'd watched a compilation of me singing and witnessing over the years since I was small. I remember at seven, eight, and nine years old, while singing or postering, I used to pretend, "Right now Grandpa is watching me, so I'm going to show him that I'm giving it my best." Maybe those were the clippings he saw. I hope so.
       167. There were, of course, a host of other things in the prophecies which were like life-savers, but for brevity's sake I won't list them all. But just so you know, everything was perfect, everything was clear, everything was for me. TYJ!
       168. So, Mama, thank you again and again. The mist is lifting, the way is becoming clearer and even brighter! I feel like I was dead and am alive again, was lost and now am found. You are truly our shepherdess and intercessor, and I love and trust you more than ever. Love and thanks, Keiko

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family