GN 1145 FD/MM/FM
This GN should be read unitedly as a Home
Training Winning Teams, Part 2
Unity, Brotherhood, and Teamworking!
By Maria FD/MM/FM 3552 6/05
1. Welcome to another GN in the winning teams training course! The topics we're going to focus on this time are unity, brotherhood, and teamworking. These are topics that we've covered before in a number of GNs over the years, and even quite recently, but since they're especially important to our Homes being winning teams, I'm going to address them again in this training series.
2. As I explained in the intro (ML #3550, GN 1141), a number of the subjects in this series will be those that the Lord has spoken to us about before, but He wants to reinforce the principles He's taught us in the past and help us to apply the Word today in new ways at this important time in our Family history. He wants to train us to be stronger, more tightly knit Homes and teams, melded together in a true spirit of brotherhood.
3. I pray that these messages, and the suggested ideas for applying them to your lives and Homes, will be a blessing to you and a boost in helping you to reach your goal of becoming a fruitful winning team! "The Word, when applied with the full power of the keys of obedience, will revolutionize your minds, hearts, spirits, and Homes!"
Love in our Head Coach,
Unity And Brotherhood
4. Winning Homes are responsible to manifest a spirit of unity, brotherhood, and camaraderie. Unity is defined in the dictionary as "a state of being one"; "the combining or joining of separate things or entities to form one"; "harmony of opinion, interest, or feeling." Brotherhood is defined as "an organization that is united for a common purpose"; "all the members of a particular profession or trade," and is often used when referring to a true spirit of love and togetherness. Camaraderie is defined as "a feeling of close friendship and trust among a particular group of people."
5. Winning Homes strive to overcome all disunity, contentions, disagreements, and anything that would hinder the free flow of the Lord's Spirit of love and harmony. As the Charter clearly states, "[Family members] endeavor to … interact lovingly and harmoniously with all members of the Home in which they reside." Winning Homes are never content to simply eradicate disunity, but work together proactively to obtain the full power of unity--the power of God!
Pointers for Winning Homes
Create a vacuum for the Lord's Spirit through unity
6. A united Home is a strong, secure Home that can take the full power of the Lord's Spirit. A disunited Home is a weak, unreliable Home that isn't eligible for the full blessings and anointing of God.
7. (Jesus:) When I pour out My Spirit on you, I'm giving of Myself--I'm giving you My power. But if you, as My bride, let disunity in, this shoos away My Spirit. This lessens the power of My Spirit in you. I can't pour out My Spirit in as great a force when there is disunity. When you allow disunity, a measure of My Spirit is lost and you have less strength and power as a Home. This is the dynamics of My Spirit.
8. Picture your Home as a vessel, a clay pitcher. If a pitcher is sturdy, well made, and free of cracks and flaws, the master can pour wine into it and not a drop of the wine is lost. The pitcher will stay full to the brim and the wine is preserved and ready to give to those who thirst. But if the pitcher is flawed and cracked, when the master pours into it, wine is lost. Depending on the severity of the cracks, the wine either gushes forth through the cracks and is gone in a matter of seconds, or it slowly seeps out and is lost over a period of time. In either case, when the wine is needed to give drink to those who thirst, there is little or none.
9. It is similar when I pour My Spirit into your Home, as My vessel, the body of My bride. If you're not strong in unity--one in mind‚ body, and spirit--then power is lost through the cracks of disunity. When you have cracks in your vessel, this invites the Enemy to come in, and I am not able to pour out My Spirit in full measure as I want to. I am a wise investor, and I don't care to pour out My Spirit only to have it be lost or wasted.
10. Obedience to My Word and unity have drawing power. These two invite Me. My Spirit does not go where it is not wanted. I do not force Myself on anybody. And when I see that your Home is not obeying or that you have let disunity in‚ My Spirit shies away. Obedience and unity bring down My power upon you. This is a principle of My Spirit.
Know that unity is vital
11. (Mama:) In the published Word you can find out a lot about how to achieve unity, and what pitfalls bring disunity and should thus be avoided. You can read up on how to bond together as a team for the long haul despite personality differences, quirks, or other obstacles. And of course you can always hear from our Husband for specifics for your Home and situations, and for personal up-to–date counsel.
12. But even if you study all of the Word you can get your hands on, and hear from the Lord on the topic of unity for weeks on end, it's not going to help you a whole lot unless you actually have the vision of why unity is so important--for you personally and for your Home. The first step toward obtaining unity is catching the vision and knowing why you need to fight for unity.
13. You need to determine--personally and as a Home--what you stand to lose if you don't endeavor to strengthen your unity. What will be your losses? You have to be convinced of why you need unity, because then you'll be willing to do whatever it takes to achieve it.
14. (Jesus:) The first step to greater unity is to catch the vision. You must have a clear understanding of why unity is so important in the first place. You must be convinced of its absolute importance if you are to fight for it at all costs. Without the vision you will fail to do all within your power to live in unity as I ask you to.
15. So why unity? Without strong bonds of unity, you simply will not have the needed power of My Spirit to survive the days ahead. I have told you this plainly in the past, but let Me reiterate this to you now by turning your eyes to history. I often tell you to forget the past‚ to not look back, but if you can look back and learn a lesson about what to do or what not to do, then it's time well spent.
16. One of the last things I prayed when I was on Earth was that you, My disciples, would be one, even as My Father and I are one (Jn.17:11). Although I was speaking to My first 12 disciples at the time, I also spoke those words to you, upon whom the ends of the Earth would come. It was one of My last prayers, and one of top importance, because without unity, what I began when I died on the cross 2,000 years ago will not be completed through you. I died to give men eternal life, but you are My messengers of life and salvation, and only through unity can you do your job effectively and well. Only through unity will Satan be defeated and righteousness rule the Earth.
17. Look to history, My loves. It was the cohesiveness and strong unity of My true and obedient children throughout history that contributed to their growth, gave them strength and power, and as a result helped them to survive and made them overcomers. Strong unity and cooperative living is how all of My faithful people survived throughout time and My message was spread as a result.
18. It was unity that enabled Noah and his family to build the Ark. It was unity that enabled Abraham and his family to follow Me to the Promised Land by faith. It was unity that made it possible for Moses to lead six million people out of Egypt.
19. The children of Israel were united during the times when I was able to use them--such as their conquest of Jericho and the rest of the Promised land. Gideon and his band were united when they conquered the Midianites. My disciples and others in the Early Church had unity one with another, which enabled them to preach the Gospel in their day. The Christians in Rome were united and stood together, even when they were being persecuted by their enemies.
20. From the days of Israel, to My Early Church, to the days following the fall of Rome, when My loyal children stuck together and worked in unity they were protected, provided for, and My message was preached. Throughout history My people survived time and again because they were united. It was through their unity and their cooperating one with another that My Spirit was able to come down upon them in such powerful ways.
21. If you'll take a closer look at history, you will see that strong unity kept many of My children during trying, dangerous, confusing times. Unity kept My children through times of great turmoil, revolution, and war. It was under such extreme and difficult conditions that their unity kept them. Their strong unity brought down My Spirit upon them in unprecedented power and force. Because they were strong in spirit, I did great things for them. They had My power in greater measure because they sealed up the "cracks" in the body of their fellowship. They solidified their bonds of unity. They joined together and fought to stay together at all costs, and this was their strength, their survival, and their victory.
22. How much more should you‚ upon whom the ends of the Earth will come, fight for unity? Throughout history the Earth has not seen such trying times as it stands on the brink of now. Therefore how much more should you, My Endtime Bride, endeavor to forge strong bonds of unity? Your unity will be your survival. Your unity will enable My Spirit to be poured out upon you in ways you've never known. Your unity will bring the victory.
23. Call on the keys of vision and faith and they will open your eyes and help you to understand the importance of unity. Claim the keys of Heaven and you will be strengthened with bonds of love, brotherhood‚ and unity that cannot be broken. As your Home claims this key promise, as you're striving for unity and making an effort, your unity will not be broken. I don't say that it can never be broken, if you begin to stray or disobey or allow the Enemy to get in. But your unity will not be broken as you are obeying and claiming this promise.
24. (Question:) Lord, it doesn't seem like unity was always a strong point of Your people, because Your Word records the squabbles that some of them had, from Moses and the children of Israel down to the Early Church. Did You allow that to show us what not to do? Can You please explain more about this?
25. (Jesus:) It's true that there aren't that many examples of flawless unity throughout history. There are definitely many examples of strong unity, as I have brought out in this message, but then there are examples of those same people or groups of people being a bad example of unity at other times. But the times they were disunited do not nullify the testimonies of the times when they were united, when I was able to do great and powerful things through them. That's what I wish to draw your attention to.
26. When you think about all these examples--the times when I did great miracles, the times when I answered prayer‚ the times when I used My children as wonderful witnesses and samples to the world--at those times My children were united. It was when the children of Israel were united that I was able to anoint Moses to lead them out of Egypt. It was when they were united that I was able to give them the city of Jericho. It was when Abraham and his people were united that I was able to lead them. The Early Church was powerful and a great witness, and the Holy Spirit descended upon them, when they were united. There are so many examples of the good fruit of unity.
27. So, yes, you can look to My children's examples of unity as well as their dandy bad examples of disunity, because in most cases each of My children throughout history, or groups of My children, had times when they were united and times when they were disunited. But what you should learn from this is that My blessings always fell when they were united; My blessings departed when they were not. You can look at both and learn from both the good and the bad examples, but how much better it is to keep your eye on the "donut" of the good results of unity rather than the "hole" of the bad results of disunity.
28. It's the same with you, My children. The times when you have been used most mightily of Me have been the times when you have been in unity. When you have been in disunity, there have been problems, My blessings were lessened in your lives, and there were sad results. So learn from the examples in ancient history, as well as your recent history, that when you're disunited there are great losses, but when you're in unity it enables Me to work much more strongly through you. You're better witnesses, you're happier, and I'm able to use you to the full.
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Unity must be made to exist
29. (Mama:) One thing that's very important for all of us to realize is that unity doesn't just appear like magic. Although unity is a gift of the spirit, it doesn't flourish in our Homes and lives by accident. We have to be right with the Lord in order to receive it, and it's something we actually have to work at, to build, and to enhance through our actions, our prayers‚ and calling on the keys.
30. (Jesus:) Unity, like humility, faith, or other spiritual attributes, can often seem very lofty and far removed from the actuality of your life. It can seem like something that you of course want in theory, yet you don't often seem to run into practical ways to bring it about in your life and Home. It's something that, if asked, every Family member would profess to want and to be striving for, yet too often it's just hoped for rather than really gone after with a passion!
31. That makes unity a lot like faith. Faith doesn't just happen; it grows from reading the Word and stretching the faith you have by putting it into practice. Unity is a similar gift; it is divine and it can be given to you supernaturally, but in most cases I prefer that you work for it rather than Me just giving it to you out of the blue.
32. That is one of the most important attitudes for Family members to have about unity in this day of building winning team Homes: Unity is something that can be formed and molded. It can be worked at and achieved; it's not something that you hope for or wish for and which may or may not occur. It's real, and if you take steps toward it, you will profit.
33. There's a genuine cause and effect at work in unity: If you do the work, you'll get the payoff. It's an established formula.
Make unity a personal goal as well as a united one
34. (Mama:) We all know that unity is essential to the success of a Home or unit of any kind. But what we can sometimes forget is that striving for unity is a personal responsibility that rests on each Family member's shoulders.
35. I'm responsible for unity. You're responsible for unity. We're all individually responsible to uphold unity, to maintain unity, to personally desire unity, and to do our part to create it within our Homes.
36. (Jesus:) Building unity starts with realizing that you need to work at it. Although unity affects all, it has to be a personal goal as well as a team goal. It has to be something that everyone is attempting to work on in their personal life regardless of the actions of others.
37. A lot of unity comes down to just plain love, and being willing to make the personal decisions to take the humble seat, to forgive and forget, to trust, to encourage, etc. You need to know that if you are committed to doing those things, unity will grow around you, and you will be doing your part to create unity in your Home. And if everyone in the Home or team is doing likewise, you will definitely have a united Home or team.
38. I want to take the mystery out of unity, just as I have with faith. I've said very clearly that faith comes from reading the Word. Even your kids know that simple quote or concept. Likewise, personal commitments to loving, humble behavior bring on unity.
What to do when all are not united
39. (Mama:) A question you may have is what happens if you feel that you're doing everything you can to build unity in your Home, but someone else doesn't seem to be doing their part? What if you're striving to make the right kind of decisions in your life, to draw close to others, and to be courteous and loving in your interactions, but you feel that someone else in your Home isn't making that same effort and thus is sabotaging your unity?
40. (Jesus:) It's true that a situation like that can occur. Even if nine out of ten people are loving, humble‚ and preferring others, if one person is out of alignment, the Home will not truly be united. That one person can spoil it for the others, and even though the nine will probably be in unity together, division will still exist and complete unity will not be achieved, which will mean your Home will not have the full blessings attached to full unity. You'll still have a weak point that the Enemy can exploit.
41. In almost all such cases, though, it boils down to just two options: Option one is that the person is salvageable and willing at some level, even deep in their heart, to join your unity. Or option two is that they're unwilling and reprobate, a hindrance to your Home, and should be voted out at the next opportunity. And of these two options, it's usually option one that is the most common.
42. What that means is that even though you think you've done everything to bring them in and reach out to them, you probably haven't. There's probably a barrier there that you haven't overcome yet, or there are still further steps to be taken to draw in the one who is in disunity. In most cases I would expect that although the disunited one probably has lessons to learn and needs to break down some of their walls, there is still much that the majority of the Home can do; you probably haven't done everything in your power or the situation wouldn't still exist.
43. It's going to be a rare case in which every person in the Home has the right attitudes and manifests the right kind of love and outgoing concern, and yet some person is still hardened and is creating a Huddersfield of ill-will and disunity. If nine out of ten people are shining with My sacrificial love and unity, it will in almost all cases melt the barriers separating the other.
44. So if you are faced with a situation like this, don't ever say you've done all you can unless you're really sure and have asked Me, and I have told you that you have done what you could and the one out of unity is beyond hope and you'll never form a winning team with him.
45. But most likely I'll tell you that the solution lies in doing a little more than you have in the past, trying a little harder to bring that one in and somehow make them feel a part of your unity. True‚ you can't do it all--they too have to commit to strive for unity and desire it in their heart. But if the majority are united, then it is the majority that should be doing most of the reaching out, and praying, and seeking Me for the key to the heart of the separated one.
46. However, this 9-out-of-10-being-in-unity scenario is not usually the situation that's facing your Homes and teams today. It's not often that it's just one or two people bringing down the unity of the Home. Usually the things that stand in the way of unity are found in all of your hearts--in all of the little personal things that you think are too small and not that important to make concessions in, or give in‚ or sacrifice in. You all don't take seriously enough the need to have a clean heart and a clean slate with others in order for unity to flourish.
47. You think that unity is some supernatural thing that happens sometimes and doesn't happen at others. You think it's like the weather, which is controlled by Me, and sometimes I send the rain and sometimes I send the sun. But it's not like that. You can personally affect unity, and the decisions of each member decide whether or not you will have it as a Home.
Get your heart right with the Lord and others
48. (Mama:) I've talked a lot in past Letters, and specifically in the "Conviction vs. Compromise" series, about everyone involved being responsible when there is disunity and division. You can't wait for the other person, or the other Home, to come to you or to fix their attitudes before you'll fix yours. When there is disunity, everyone is in the wrong, and you need to do what you can to fix it and not wait for someone else to take the first step.
49. The solution to your Home's or area's disunity is right in your own heart. After all, where can disunity exist if not in the hearts of individuals? If each of us would fix our own complaints or resentments and mend our own disunities‚ then we would have abundant unity in our Homes and areas. That's an absolute fact.
50. (Jesus:) Unity is fairly absolute. There are shades of unity, degrees of it to an extent, but the really good, effective kind of unity is almost always an absolute: You either have it or you don't. In other words, you can't say‚ "Yes, I think we have a pretty united Home. I get along with pretty much everyone. I sometimes have this or that ongoing squabble with that person, and I don't click so well with so-and-so, but overall we're tight--we're united." That's not really unity. That means you're getting close, but you're not there yet. You don't have the full cohesion that you need.
51. It also means you're neglecting your personal responsibility to unity. You're hoping that the "overall unity" of the Home will somehow cover for the fact that you're not doing all you can. Too many people think this way. They look at the whole rather than looking at themselves. They think that they've done all they can when there is still much left undone. But as long as there is still that "so-and-so" that you aren't in harmony with, you're not achieving all the unity that you can.
52. I understand that some people mesh better than others, but too often that becomes an excuse for people to not try to build unity with those they find more of a challenge to do so with. I know that some people will never be of "one mind" with some as much as others. But unless you are consistently doing all you can to operate at the highest possible level of oneness and unity with even the more challenging people in your life, you're not doing your best, and the lacks in My blessings or the lacks in your overall unity are on your head because there is more to do that you're not doing.
53. If each person would take the steps to personally tighten up the areas that they're slacking in, then the Home overall would fix its breaches. There are no breaches in unity that are not between people. Think about that. There's no way to collectively fix disunity problems. Those things can only be mended personally. Each person has to make it right with the people on their "bad side" and get over their difficulties in communication, past problems, or whatever it is that's standing in the way of unity. Once they do that‚ the whole Home repairs itself, because you are the Home and your personal problems are the Home's problems.
54. If you want Home unity, look at yourself. If you want inter-city unity‚ look at yourself. If you want Family unity, or global unity, or universal unity‚ look at yourself. Don't worry about other people; worry about yourself. Find your own bad attitudes and root them out. Find your own prejudices or dislikes and get rid of them. Find your own "not so favorite people" and do your best to turn those people into allies and friends.
55. I know this is tough stuff. I don't have any delusions about how difficult it can be to mend interpersonal problems and to overcome long-standing disagreements, bitterness, and plain old dislike. I know that this is the tough side of unity, to take that honest look at your heart and realize that before your Home will have the blessings of full unity that it needs, it comes down to you going to that person that you least like, and in the power of the keys and with the power of love, learning to like that person that you can barely stand. That's tough, I know, but it's the key.
56. If you can do that‚ you'll have the unity that brings down the mighty blessings of God. It's an infallible formula. When each person has rooted out their personal disunity and thrown down all their personal walls, perfect love and perfect unity will rule and reign in your Homes and lives.
57. Too few put the importance on cleaning their heart that it deserves. When most of you think about unity‚ you think about what you will try not to do; you will try not to gossip, you will try not to backbite, you will try not to disagree, you will try not to speak the wrong kind of words, and so on. You think that you're doing okay as far as your unity, and that if you can just keep from messing it up by saying or doing the wrong thing, then you'll be fine.
58. When it comes to the unity of your Home, I am asking you to dig deeper than that. I am asking you to look inside your heart and see if you can say, "I have done what I could." Do you love each member with My love? How sincerely have you tried to even like each member? Have you forgiven all hurts and truly forgotten them? Are there sacrifices you are refusing to make? In answering those questions you will see whether the spirit of unity is truly perfected in you or whether you just have a form of unity, but without the power.
59. Look inside your hearts, for in them lies the power to make or break the unity of the whole body.
Know that your Home will win or lose the battle for unity together
60. (Mama:) When it comes to unity, your Home will win or lose together. It's not about the individual, or the individual couple, or personal family. It's about the Home, about the team‚ about the greater family‚ the core of disciples.
61. (Dad:) The only way to win a war is to fight together as an army, as a unit, as a team. Armies are made up of people from many walks of life, who all have different histories. They're often varying ages, they come from different faiths, they have different goals in life and different motivations or reasons for joining, or were drafted. They don't see eye to eye on everything, or even most things. They often disagree on when, how, and what the plan is. Soldiers always have people over them telling them what to do, who make mistakes, but because their officers are higher in rank, they just have to obey.
62. But they're an army, and if there's one thing they have to do, it's to fight together or the enemy will wipe them out. When they're on the battlefield, they have to trust each other with their lives. They have to get over each other's differences or personality quirks, because their lives and the tide of the battle depends on their unity.
63. We're also an army. But in our case, we're all missionaries living by faith, we all have the standard of the Word, our orders come from Jesus, and our goal is to build winning teams so we can reach the world, and to teach and train our children as disciples. We're different ages and personalities. But in addition to being an army, we're a Family, and as such the Lord not only expects us to fight together as a team, but also to love and care for each other and to do unto others as we'd want them to do to us were our roles reversed.
Move quickly to break free from division
64. (Mama:) Here are some general pointers from Dad on how to go about resolving disunity problems and nipping them in the bud. Remember that just as unity thrives and grows, so does disunity if not tended to and weeded out with the tools of love, prayer, humility, good communication, and the power of the keys.
65. (Dad:) When you face a problem with disunity--whether it's between a few people in the Home, a Home–wide issue, or an area problem-–the first step, of course, is to ask the Lord about it‚ to get His perspective, Heaven's thought power, so you can be sure you're approaching it right. Disunity hinders the Lord's blessings, so it's important to move quickly to free your Home or area from the shackles of division.
66. Regardless of who is causing the disunity or what the issues are, everyone involved is at fault, and the goal is not to find out who to blame, but for everyone involved to examine their own lives. More than figuring out who's right or discussing it and coming to a compromised agreement, unity is found when everyone is living the Word, committed to being the best disciples they can be, and striving to uphold the standard of the Family. There shouldn't be any disunity on account of what the standard is, because that's extremely clear in the Word, the Charter, and the board criteria.
67. If the disunity is between a few people in your Home, it's important to listen to those involved, to hear their sides, to pray with them. Those involved should also ask the Lord how He sees the other person or persons and strive to look at them the way the Lord does, as disciples who are giving their lives to serve Him. If the standard of the Word is being upheld and the friction is caused by personality clashes or something that isn't necessarily out of line with the Word, then those involved should hear from Him about the situation and do the humble thing and work things out.
68. If disunity is a Home-wide problem‚ then it's advisable to read on the topic of practical steps for unity. Then pray as a Home and ask the Lord what is causing the problem and how to fix it, how to bring back the unity. Ask the Lord how you can all be more loving, accepting, understanding and selfless.
69. In fact, whether you're having widespread disunity problems or not, it's a good idea to regularly study the Word on the topic of unity as a Home. There's so much published in the Word about the importance of unity and how to obtain it, as well as practical steps that you can take to overcome disunity, or nip potential problems in the bud before they become serious threats to your Home.
70. There are a number of good Letters that you'll want to review on a regular basis, but one that I'd specifically like to draw your attention to is "The Dangers of Division" (ML #3362, GN 958). If your Home is very familiar with the Word on the topic of unity, you'll be much stronger in this area and better able to expose the Enemy and preempt his attacks.
71. The steps back to unity are not easy and it will take some time to mend wounds, but through humility, confession, forgiveness, prayer and the power of the keys, the spiritual force field of protection will once again be restored and the windows of blessings will be opened to your Home again.
72. The goal is to grow spiritually, to be One Wife, to agree together as a Home on your goals, and then strive to reach them. If some or all parties aren't living the Word, aren't keeping the standard set forth in GN after GN, then they need to change, period. If it's some other issue or friction caused by different applications of the Word or ways of doing things, then those involved will need to talk and pray, search the Word, hear from the Lord, communicate with their shepherds, rise above the difficulties, do their best to act in love and humility, and fix the cause of the disunity.
73. (Mama:) It's wise for you as a Home to be clued into the Enemy's tactics. Realize that disunity is one of his favorite tools for destroying fruitful works. It's a weapon that's worked well for him through the ages, and he still uses it just as much today. So whatever you do, don't fall for his attacks. Realize that this is one of his primary tactics, and be on guard as a Home against him.
74. The question is not whether or not the Enemy will attack your Home with disunity. The questions are when, how often, and how you will weather the attacks. Will you be prepared for them? Or will you be ignorant of his devices? As a Home you've got to see disunity as the serious problem and attack of the Enemy that it is, and do whatever it takes to defeat him when he tries to deal your unity a blow.
75. Fighting for unity is an ongoing battle. It's not a battle you win once and then never have to fight again. You've got to keep fighting for unity, keep digging out any weeds of disunity that the Enemy has planted. It's a constant job; it's an ongoing job. But as long as you're aware of that‚ you'll be fine. Once you win one battle, you'll realize the Enemy is probably preparing another, and you'll be better able to defeat his efforts the next time around.
76. (Jesus:) Determine that you, as a Home‚ are going to be alert fighters. Determine that you're not going to allow the Enemy an inch when it comes to him trying to destroy your unity, because you know he'll then take a mile. Determine that you're not even going to let him get his foot in the door. Your unity is so important that you will guard it at all costs. You will fight his attempts to destroy your unity as soon as he starts sending the Selvegion into your camp.
77. Determine that your Home is going to be on the lookout, on the offensive. Make a commitment that you're not going to be easy prey for the Devil or the Selvegion. You're going to be ready to deflect their attacks whenever they come. You're going to regularly discuss how your Home can be more united. You're going to be proactive as a Home and ask Me what more you can do to build unity and inoculate yourselves against disunity.
78. Here are some ways that you can proactively fight for unity. This is just a start‚ so if you need more ideas, ask Me and I'll give you more practical tips.
* Stay right with Me personally and as a Home.
* Don't harbor negative thoughts or feelings about others in your Home. Get things out in the open. Share your heart.
* Don't gossip or talk negatively about others behind their backs; if you're having problems, go to the right people (which would usually be your Home shepherds).
* If you're feeling critical of others, or self-righteous toward someone in your Home, or have any feelings in your heart that you know are wrong, get prayer and overcome.
* Be familiar with the CS board criteria points on unity, and discuss whether or not you are living up to the standard as a Home.
* Be on guard against little problems with disunity that don't seem like they need to be fixed. Remember that it's often the little things that people don't think are important enough to take care of or work out or pray about that turn into bigger things, and with time turn into serious disunity. Remember that little things are important.
* Regularly pray together as a Home for unity. Claim the keys of unity, love, harmony, brotherhood, camaraderie‚ and togetherness.
* Fight sensitivity and comparing, because these can lead to disunity problems. When you're sensitive‚ your pride is more easily hurt, and disunity flourishes where pride is allowed to thrive. Comparing thoughts often turn into negative thoughts toward others, which leads to disunity.
* Make it a habit to ask for forgiveness. If you've made a mistake or blown it in some way, even if it was a very minor "sin," confess and ask for forgiveness. Or even if you're unsure if you made a mistake or not, and don't know if you're in the wrong or not, ask for forgiveness nevertheless. It never hurts to take the humble seat, and often defuses situations and eradicates any possibility of disunity taking root.
* Have times as a Home when you can humbly and honestly share your hearts with one another, as this strengthens ties of unity and can even help to ward off misunderstandings, because you know and understand more about how those in your Home think and feel.
* Be communicative. If you wonder about something that someone in the Home did or said, or if you heard something "through the grapevine," don't assume the negative and form bad thoughts toward the person. Talk to them‚ find out what really happened or what they really meant, and lovingly communicate about it. Doubts or questions about things that others have done or said nearly always leads to disunity of some kind, if not cleared up.
* Be on the attack against cliques forming within your Home. There will undoubtedly always be those within the Home that you feel closer to or are more intimate with, but be sure not to be exclusive. Draw others into your circle of friendship. Take the time to get to know others, and spend time with those who aren't your favorites, in order to engender sweet unity as a Home and to avoid the disunity that results from cliques forming.
* Overcome problems with disunity, and fight the thoughts of the Enemy to sweep problems under the carpet, to run away from them, or to move on to another Home, or to decide to vote someone out of the Home.
* Give your time unselfishly to others on a regular basis. For example, helping large families with their children, helping a single parent with his or her big load, offering to fill in on the schedule for someone if you notice they're extra tired, making something yummy (and that they can eat), for the PG mom in your Home, etc.
* Plan activities as a Home that promote unity and a loving bond together.
Talk About It
Optional discussion questions
• Have everyone share what personally motivates them to strive for unity. For example, "The motivation that helps me is knowing that with greater unity our Home will be a better sample to our outside members." "What motivates me is knowing how happy I feel when there's a spirit of love and unity flowing, and knowing how negatively it affects me when we're not in unity." There is no wrong answer in this discussion, because there are many reasons--Family-wide, Home-level, and personal--to fight for unity.
• Discuss personal definitions of unity. The Lord has said that we need to be in unity as Homes to be winning teams, so what exactly does "being in unity" feel like to each person?
• Have a few people in the room share a short, powerful quote from one of the preceding prophecies that spoke to them or inspired them, and if they have an explanation as to why, they can share that too.
• Discuss ways that you, as a Home, could strive for unity with a passion. What does each person feel is the definition of "fighting for unity" as opposed to merely keeping things on an even keel?
• There are lots of things you can do to not create disunity--like not gossiping, not arguing or shouting, etc. But take a few minutes to brainstorm some positive things that you can do on a daily basis to engender more unity within your Home--such as showing more affection, being more encouraging, etc. Focus on doing the positive rather than just not doing the negative.
• Discuss and share personal attitudes or bad habits that hold you back from being as unified as you can.--Not generally speaking, but something specific and personal from each person. For example, "Lethargy holds me back from being more unified with others. I'm just naturally lazy, and it's hard for me to reach out to others." Or, "I think that a false sense that 'things are okay' holds me back from doing more to be in unity with others. I feel like we're doing okay‚ and am tempted to feel that all things will continue on as good as they are, so I don't feel like I need to invest." You could then pray together for these different things that are hindrances to unity. (If you wanted to make this a more in-depth activity, everyone in the Home could pray and ask the Lord, "What personal attitudes or bad habits hold me back from fighting for unity as much as I should?" And then each person could share what the Lord showed them.)
• Talk about and share any testimonies from the past related to unity--such as a time in your life when you were so thankful for the unity and brotherhood the Family provides, and how it helped to pull you through a difficult situation; or a time when you were in disunity with someone‚ but the Lord helped you to overcome and bonded you together as one.
Optional praise ideas
• Unity in history: Think about specific men, women, or groups of people from history who overcame great odds, won battles, or were able to persevere as a result of their unity, and then praise Me for how their example has benefited you.
• Key promise praise: Open the key promise book to the unity/communal living section. Read a key promise and then praise the Lord for something that it brings to mind. Pass the book around and let everyone have a turn to do the same.
• Brotherhood praise dance: Instead of a "freeze-dance," have a "freeze-hug-dance." The idea is the same, with everyone dancing to the music. Then when the music stops, everyone gives the person they're dancing with affection--hugs and kisses--while praising the Lord for something about them. Start the music again, dance some more, then repeat the affection/praise time with someone else.
"Do" the Word
Optional practical ways to be "doers of the Word"
• Find out more about how to achieve unity, what pitfalls to avoid, and how to bond together as a team for the long haul despite personality differences, quirks‚ or other obstacles, by researching the Word and hearing from the Lord in prophecy for personal up–to-date counsel.
• In your private prayer time, ask yourself if you're striving for unity and if it's a personal conviction, regardless of what others around you do. Ask the Lord if you can really say, "I am doing all that I can to keep our Home united." Ask Him questions like: "Do I love each member with Your love? How sincerely have I tried to even like each member? Have I forgiven all hurts and truly forgotten them? Are there any sacrifices that I am refusing to make? Do I have any bad attitudes that I need to root out? Do I have any prejudices or ill feelings toward anyone that I need to get rid of?"
• If there is someone in your Home or area who fits into your "not so favorite people" category, then make a commitment to get to know that person and see if you can become a closer friend and learn to love him or her with the Lord's love.
• Assign each person in the Home a name of another person in the Home. Then each would take the time to think and pray about something special they could do for their "person." They'd then write out a little "gift coupon" detailing what they would like to do for that person that week (or however long the period you determined would be). Those coupons would then be given to the individuals entitled to them, and the coupon writer would fulfill their promise sometime during the designated time. The idea is that these coupons would be simple, yet involving some kind of personal interaction or contact. For example, "I promise to make you your coffee every day this week." Or, "I promise to help you with your baby as much as I can this week so that you can have some extra free time." Or, "I promise to give you a back massage this week."
• Everybody in the Home can be assigned to think of some time when they were having a particularly difficult time with another person--they just didn't like the person, or they were always at swords points with them, etc. But then they got the victory and grew to appreciate that person--if not liking them as a good friend, at least appreciating and respecting them. Or maybe in some instances they may have gotten to be their best friend, or they married them because they began to love them so much. Then if the Home thinks it's an excellent testimony, the person who had the experience could be assigned to write it up and send it in to WS so that the whole Family could benefit from it. When you have a real hard time with someone, it usually seems like those things can never get straightened out and you think that you could never be good friends with the person or like them that much. So when you hear a testimony of a miraculous change in someone's life, or both people's lives, where they started liking each other and enjoying each other's company, that is a very great encouragement.
• Do a Word study of some Letters that contain practical advice about unity, such as:
* "Self–righteousness-–The Great Barrier to Uniting the Generations!" (ML #3293, GN 897)
* "To My Latin Loves, No.2.--Unite and Fight!" (ML #3231b)
* "Communication Keys!" (ML #3323, GN 927-928)
* "What Is Full-time Discipleship?" (ML #3469, GN 1055-1056)
* "Forward, Always Forward!" (ML #3479:80-90, GN 1067)
* "Problems and Solutions, Parts 1-5" (ML #3069-3073, Lifelines 23)
* "New Year's Challenge for 2004" (ML #3468, GN 1054)
* "Do the Humble Thing!" (ML #3251, GN 853)
* "The Dangers of Division!" (ML #3362‚ GN 958)
• Randomly (while still ensuring that each person in your Home gets a turn) choose a "person of the week" at the start of each week period. That person would be eligible for extra hugs‚ more Word time, choosing their favorite chair to sit in during devotions, and other special perks created by the other Home members. Then at the end of the week they could be presented with a "scroll," or a piece of paper with a lot of appreciation, love notes, thank-you's‚ etc., from people in the Home. Then the next week it would be someone else's turn. The main goal would be to demonstrate how easy it is to show extra love and appreciation--to put the needs of others before your own--and also to unify the Home by loving one person in particular. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming to hear, "You need to love others more!" But if you start with one person, then for some people it becomes easier. Small steps conquer great mountains.
• Plan a special "brotherhood" communion and love feast, using the following prophecy (this would need to be prepared and planned by someone ahead of time):
79. (Jesus:) I call you now to look around the room and see the tremendous gifts that I have given to you. Each person in this room is a gift of My love to you. You are one team, one body, married in My love, and destined to fight alongside each other at this crucial time in Family history. I have ordained each of you to be here, to be part of this team, part of this brotherhood of My brides and lovers, to fill a special role in this era. You have been cleansed, you have been renewed, and you are now in the year of strengthening. You are no longer children, but fully accountable to Me as adults, as disciples.
80. Within this era there will be many new battles to fight, and these must be fought together, in unity, in love, in friendship, in trust. Each of you must take upon you My mantle of selflessness and My anointing of humility. You must bond together as never before. You must fight as a team, for this is the only way that many of the future battles will be won. You must seek to be My love to one another, and to lift up your brother when he falls. I commission you to make it your goal to learn to love others more than you love yourself.
81. If you want to be the best disciple and bride you can be, you must realize that on your own you will never reach your full potential. It's together with like-minded individuals that you will be strong, that you will be able to fulfill all that I will ask of you in this new era. Together you will be strengthened. Divided you will fall. When you are united as one, with bonds of friendship, brotherhood‚ and unity, I will be able to pour upon you a new anointing of spiritual stamina and endurance and power to fight and win.
82. By joining together, others will be able to lend you the gifts--physical and spiritual--that you lack. As you unite more fully, you will learn more what it means to be your brother's keeper, to be there for each other, to bear one another's burdens, to lay down your lives for each other, to treat others as you would like to be treated, to help each other stand strong, to make any sacrifice for the sake of one of your brothers or sisters.
83. Love, unity, and brotherhood are weapons that you can use to defeat the Enemy in your midst. They are both weapons and tools. So take up these lethal weapons of the spirit and keep them always by your side‚ ready to destroy the Enemy's attacks on your bonds with one another. Also, use them as tools to strengthen your defenses, to build bridges, to help another who is downtrodden, and to support your mates when they are weak.
84. As you partake of the bread, think of this unity that I speak of. Think of what you can do to build love, unity, and brotherhood--and ask Me to speak more to you about it in the days to come.
85. As you partake of the wine‚ My blood shed for you‚ think of My great love and how you can strive to bring more of that all-encompassing love into your life. How can you open your heart and life more to others? How can you truly live the Law of Love more in every way? How can you live the One Wife vision more in spirit? Will you be remembered for your selfishness or your lack of love? Or will you be known by your love as I was known by My love?
86. There is great power in unity and love! And I am the only One strong enough to help you to implement and live these supernatural powers in your life. They are weapons of the spirit you will need in the days to come‚ so accept My enhancement of them now, as you read this simple commitment to Me and to each other:
87. (A pledge to say to each other:) I pray that I will be a true friend, a fellow disciple that you can depend on, who will help to bear your burdens, whatever they may be. Through the power of the keys of brotherhood, unity, and love, I commit to loving you, supporting you, and doing whatever I can to help you to stand strong in the days to come.
The Selvegion: Lure people to put self first, oppose unity, and encourage selfish living, self–interest, discord, dissension, strife, and all that divides.
Deactivation demon of division: Seeks to neutralize the Family‚ to deactivate us through our sins and waywardness, and fans the fires of division.
The Salvay: Spirit beings of salvation who counter the evil Selvegion.
The spiritual Cathars: Ordained to help us use the weapon of brotherhood.
Aphrodite: Goddess of love.
Activation angels: Powerful angels who defeat the Deactivation demons. Their power is unprecedented and unchallenged, save by that of the archangels.
A sparrow began to build a lovely home. First she took small twigs and sticks, bent and twisted them together to anchor her home to the larger branch on which it sat. She then gathered larger twigs and sticks to form a nest, shaping each one to intertwine with the next and complete the circle.
Then she gathered soft and comfortable materials and placed them gently in the nest‚ feeling every corner tenderly with her feet to make sure that nothing would cause discomfort to the young she was to place in the nest. At last the nest was almost done; now all it needed was the young lives to fill it with joy and cheer.
The lovely nest of your Home is built one twig of love and kindness at a time, intertwining each member with another so tightly that a strong and secure nest is formed. The balm of unity coats the nest, covering all the faults and imperfections so that the nest can be a comfortable and cozy place for all to live and rest, and for new disciples to hatch and grow.
Hot Key: Listening ear
88. (Jesus:) Call on the key of a listening ear, and it will help you tune in to and understand what your brethren are trying to communicate to you. This key is important if you find you have a problem tuning in to what others tell you and understanding what they are trying to say. It will help you to focus, concentrate, and will keep your mind from wandering. The Enemy would like to bring disunity and discontentment through miscommunications, but this important key will help you to focus and have a clear understanding of what is being said.
89. (Prayer:) Dear Husband, we desperately need Your power to fill our Home to overflowing with Your Spirit of unity, brotherhood, camaraderie, and friendship. We are Your team, we're Your disciples, we're Your Bride, and we need You to bind us together with the superglue of Your love. We want to be one. We desire to be a close-knit One Wife family. We are counting on You to make us into the winning team that You need us to be.
90. We rebuke the Selvegion in the power of the keys! We destroy their influence in our Home, and ask You to keep them far from our Home. We rebuke Pride and any other demons who fight our unity. Surround our Home with the Salvay so that the Selvegion can't even get their feet in the door. Encase us with a bubble of Your protective love, so that nothing can penetrate the power of our unity and togetherness.
91. We don't just want to eradicate disunity, Jesus; we want the power of unity to thrive within our midst, so that we can feel it strongly, and so that others can see it as well. We want those who enter our Home to feel the warmth of our love, to know that we are tightly connected, and to be drawn by the power. We want our Home to be a manifestation of Your love, so fill us to overflowing.
92. Help each of us to do our part, so that You can do what we can't do. Help us to strive for unity, to do all that we can to contribute to unity, to love our teammates with Your love, to forgive, to sacrifice when necessary, and to rid ourselves of any bad habits, attitudes, and mindsets that might be hindering us. Help us to do whatever it takes so that You can pour down the power of unity upon us in full measure.
93. We praise You for the miracle it is that we can live communally and serve You together. We praise You that we are experiencing things that those in the world can only dream of. We thank You that despite our own weaknesses, shortcomings, inabilities, and human nature, You can use us, and transform us, and make us vessels of Your love! We want Your power, Jesus! We want Your love. Pour it on!
(Note: This article is just for fun, in order to put some skin on the principles throughout this section in a humorous way. It should not be interpreted as WS policy or the Word of God.)
The history of brotherhood in the Family
By Kevin, WS
If there's anything that's kept the Family going all these years (besides Jesus, the Word, and coffee, of course), it's been unity and brotherhood.
I'm going to take some time now to analyze the history of brotherhood in the Family, decade by decade, and since I read lots of Ladybird books when I was a kid, I'm obviously the most qualified person in the Family to do this. Let's get started.
Brotherhood in the '60s
I've read enough testimonies, talked to enough former hippies, seen enough photos, watched enough really bad quality videos, and played with enough vintage Lego to know that the '60s was an exciting time in the Family. It was the birth of our new nation, and brotherhood was just as important as doughnuts, if not more so.
Not enough: Honestly, saying there was not enough unity and brotherhood during the beginning stages of the Family is like those extremely large hang glider-like collars that were in fashion back then--a little ridiculous. My impression was that Dad did a great job helping to keep their little team together during those early days. Okay‚ maybe there was an occasional argument about who got to use the communal Ipod (which back then was so large it had wheels and was pulled along like the rest of the trailers), or over who got to marry the new guy named "Elihu Wordhunk," but I'd have to guess they probably did well in the brotherhood department.
A little too much: I suppose on a rainy day it might have felt a little claustrophobic for 20 people to have devotions in a 14-foot trailer--especially when Aaron tried to get everyone gypsy dancing to the song "I'm a Stranger on an Alien Planet."
Just right: The small group of wild, woolly (in a scratchy, sackcloth sort of way) hippies loving one another and winning the world for Jesus is proof the Family was conceived in unity and brotherhood, and credit goes to Dad for making that happen (and for asking Aaron to calm down a little).
Brotherhood in the '70s
Okay, now we're getting to the decade I'm personally familiar with. I have many fond memories of this action-packed era, most of which are drinking a bottle, having my diaper changed, drinking a bottle, having my diaper changed, and drinking my bottle while having my diaper changed. I'm sure I would have protested against the war in Vietnam if I'd had the time, but I was too busy with bottles and diapers to notice. Truly a life of bliss.
Not enough: The "not enough" period of the '70s would probably have to be just after the RNR, when all the shepherds in the Family had been asked by Dad to "step away from the sheepfold," and the Family was scattered abroad. A lot of shepherds found the RNR to be a huge relief, but there were a small cadre of shepherds who had grown used to wearing mink coats, heavy gold chains, and meticulously white pants that were not really in their happy place.
A little too much: My understanding is that during the mid-'70s colonies started to become so populous people would have to scratch their ear in shifts. Sticking a porta-potty in the hallway provided only temporary relief for the one bathroom predicament. But thankfully, Dad recognized the problem and helped the Family to decentralize. Suddenly‚ dishwashing could be considered more of a daily task than a career opportunity.
Just right: During those 10 years the Family grew exponentially, both in terms of population (as we already discussed), and in terms of spiritual growth. Dad helped us to understand and greatly benefit from the Law of Love and the many benefits it introduced, such as freedom of the spirit, stronger love between us, the Family's sense of uniqueness, and lots of little kids like me running around with really bad haircuts. Truly a life of bliss.
Brotherhood in the '80s
Before I start on this decade, let me make it very clear that I'll be avoiding jokes about hair that has been styled by a power generator, leg warmers that were never really so hot, rock bands that look like a collection of upside-down mops on a stage, and music that sounded more like a mutant alien robot with whooping cough. Instead, we're going to talk about a period of time when, believe it or not, I had a whole lot of fun.
Not enough: Going mobile was probably one of the best things for the Family at the time, because it taught us to go by our own faith. Then again, some Family members spent a long time on their own, with very little fellowship. Some mobile teams attempted to organize an "area fellowship" by provisioning the use of a large hall, lots of food‚ a P.A. system, hundreds of complimentary leg warmers (oops‚ sorry), and a 400-gallon tank of filtered water. But it just wasn't the same with only two adults and three young children.
A little too much: Yeah, so some of those combos got to be a bit crowded.
Just right: I know a lot of us young people can sit around talking about "the woeful combo days, where after getting one demerit from Uncle Jabez for 'probably thinking about something bad,' we had to wash diapers for 7 hours straight while listening to 'MO's Favorite Choruses' on headphones." Obviously some of our stories are much more interesting when exaggerated, but we did get demerits and had to do a whole lot of JJT. However, I also remember some amazingly exciting Word classes, intense basketball games, elaborate special activities and a lot of friends. And by "a lot" I mean you slept in the same room with about 65 of them, and we ate beans a lot. But who cares, because as a teen I was never lonely. I had too many friends‚ and we were too darn busy trying to figure out how to secretly listen to the Bible Album on our walkman while teaching the kids math dots in a convincing way.
Brotherhood in the '90s
The '90s was apparently full of a lot of stuff. But I don't really remember too well because I spent most of that decade in Romania standing in a bread line that was so long those at the end found themselves in a neighboring country. I'd wait for about 1,453 hours to order enough bread for our Home's breakfast, and when I finally got to the front of the line I'd say, "I'll take 532 loaves of bread, please." Then, for some reason the people behind me would get all mad, pick me up and toss me to the back of the line, and it would start all over again. But I passed out a lot of posters while waiting, so it was pretty fruitful. Here's what else happened ...
Not enough: The Love Charter was one of the most important happenings of the '90s, and really helped a lot of us learn how to spread our wings of faith. However, the trick in implementing the Love Charter was to emphasize the "Love" part rather than "Chartering" a plane to "Me Me Island" (where consequently there is no tourism whatsoever) or exercising the Right of Mobility a day before our dish slot came around.
A little too much: Okay, so let's talk about too much brotherhood in the '90s ... let me see ... (cricket noise) ... (another cricket noise). Oh, I know: Persecution! Wasn't it a little "too much" to be stuck in a jail cell with your entire Home? Then again, it actually served to unite the Family, so... (cricket noise).
Just right: So I guess I'll use persecution for the "just right" section. Sure‚ it was more than a bummer to be dragged out of bed at 4:00 in the morning by policemen who were so heavily armed they had to be lifted in to Family yards with a wheel-mounted hydraulic crane. Yes, it was a bummer that they didn't at least sing the reveille song with a guitar and violin before yanking people out of their beds. Yes‚ the raids were a confusing mess because they were perpetrated by apostates with brains the size of a watermelon seed. However, not only were we thoroughly vindicated, but through the incarcerations‚ media storms, and protesting, the Family became stronger and more united. We also got really, really good at making picket signs.
Brotherhood in the new millennium
Over the last 30 years or so the Family has learned an awful lot. We've learned that love, brotherhood, and witnessing are generally more important than inside shoes, noise monitors, or the perfect angle of a fan in an elaborate dishwashing setup. We've learned to shepherd in love. We've learned that we need each other, just not multitudes of us all under the same roof with a single toilet.
And now as we venture into the new millennium, I see a bright future ahead of us. All the changes the Lord is bringing, such as the board vision, the recent restructuring, and more persecution by apostates who are so grumpy they must make angry faces at themselves in the mirror every morning, will only serve to tighten our bonds of brotherhood. This is going to be key to our survival as a Family, and bring much happiness to Family members like you, me, Elihu Wordhunk, his five wives and 28 children. Truly a life of bliss.
[Pithy Proverbs for this section:]
Start unity with "U" and the rest will follow.
Unity is like love. God can give it, but you need to let it grow in your heart.
If you can't trust each other, who's left?
Ask yourself what's worth more: a loving bond with your brothers and sisters and the blessings of God, or your opinions, pet peeves, and grudges.
You climb the ladder of unity by walking up the rungs of love.
Unity only comes if you're truly acting as one unit, like a tight fist with brass knuckles holding it together, making a deadly weapon. If you're a thumb sticking out, you're asking for it.
The strength of your bond of unity and trust will be directly related to your strength and preparedness in the days to come.
Unity is the result of united investments.
Nurture your unity. It is one of the primary magnets that draws My children in the world into My fold.
Unity is godliness. There wouldn't be a Trinity without unity.
[End of Pithy Proverbs]
94. (Mama:) Winning Homes are actively working toward becoming better in the skill of teamworking. They realize that their whole Home is a team that needs to work together to get the job done--it's not just up to the Home shepherds or the Home managers, or any particular Home members with extra drive.
95. "Teamwork" is defined in the dictionary as "a cooperative effort by a group or team." So winning Home members know that anybody they live and work with closely is their team, and they've got to make it a strong team.
96. A successful Home requires team effort. Everyone is working together in order for success to be achieved. Everyone in the Home has different jobs and ministries, but all are responsible to work together effectively--not just to survive, but to thrive as a team.
Pointers for Winning Homes
Accept that your Home is a team and you are a part of it
97. Your Home is a team, and together you're all responsible to make sure you're winners. It's not up to the Home shepherds to ensure your success as a Home. It's not up to the Home managers, or even the coaches. It's up to you--each and every one of you. You're a team. You're working together to get a very important job done for Jesus. You're teamworking so that you'll be an effective Home that will serve Him well.
98. So, dear Family, don't just rely on the Steering Council of your Home to move you forward‚ to be the driving force that helps your Home to be a winning team. You're all in it together. They have their responsibilities and jobs; you have yours. But together--working together--with each person pulling their share of the load, you will have all the manpower that you need to be winners.
99. (Jesus:) In the past, the shepherds or teamworkers of a Home were known as "the teamwork." However, one major reason I have led you to do away with this term in favor of the "Steering Council"--which consists of the Home shepherds and Home managers--is that I want to emphasize that you as a Home are, in actuality, the "team" working together for the success of your Home. That's right, every single adult member is now officially responsible for your Home. And while the Steering Council has been put in place to organize and lead you, it's very important that you realize that your Home is your Home, and it will not succeed without proper teamwork.
100. So congratulations on your "promotion"--you're each more responsible than ever to work together as a team. With the changes within the Family and the emphasis on Home accountability, every single one of you adults has been "promoted" from a normal‚ average Home member to a valuable team player; you are each personally responsible to do your part to be a winning team. Your Steering Council will be there to lead you and keep you organized, but don't think for a minute that they are any more responsible for the success of your Home than the other adult Home members.
101. It's not the responsibility of the Steering Council to force any changes on the Home. If changes are merely handed down from above, then you'll lose the significant benefits to unity that are gained from making united decisions, from being an effective team that works together well.
102. Your Home's Steering Council has a job to do and certain responsibilities. But one of their main responsibilities is to pump people power, and as much as possible encourage your Home to decide how to make progress. Their job is to facilitate your Home working together as a well-functioning, advancing, united team.
Bonding is crucial to effective teamworking
103. (Mama:) It takes a lot of love and a concerted effort for a Home comprising a number of different individuals of different ages, from different backgrounds, and with different skills, likes and dislikes, and ways of operating and thinking, to work well together as a team. You need to learn to love each other--not just in the general sense of the word, but personally love those you live with.
104. You need to bond together and get to know one another on an intimate and spiritual level. You need to be friends. Then, if you truly love those you live with, you're much more willing to do the hard work of making your Home flourish as a winning team. You're also much more apt to overlook faults, failings, idiosyncrasies, and oddities, and work out any problems with love, prayer, and humility.
105. (Jesus:) As a team‚ as a Home, you need to not only make the right decisions together and work in unity, but you should be actively working to improve and enhance your relationship. You should try to do something every week as a Home to draw closer and learn to know and love one another on a more personal level. I'm not just talking about having the mandatory devotions or Home Council meetings; I'm talking about making a special effort to draw closer in both big and small ways.
106. Here are some examples:
1) Regularly take time to love Me intimately together.
2) Don't just read the Word together; discuss it too sometimes‚ both on a Home level and on a personal level. It's very beneficial to learn how the Word is working in the lives of fellow Home members.
3) Pray for one another publicly, and make sure this is a regular occurrence. The ideal is that people feel they can ask for personal prayer at almost any meeting. You might have to save the heavy or longer prayer requests for a specific meeting, but there are so many other less intense spiritual, physical, and work-related issues to pray for. Praying together for spiritual requests, such as more of a love for the Word‚ against discouragement, etc., is particularly unifying.
4) Practice the sexual aspect of the Law of Love.
5) Regularly laugh and have fun together, perhaps over a relaxing dinner. If it's difficult to do this due to your schedule or setup, then you might need to take a little time to organize and schedule it. Put the kids to bed and plan a later dinner with dim lights, perhaps with a little wine.
6) Occasionally organize your devotions in smaller groups.
7) Take a little vacation time together as a Home. Plan meals, outings, and activities that everyone can take part in.
8) Take time to appreciate each other in public. This could be before a Home Council meeting or devotions, or you could get together some evening for this purpose.
107. Do you get the picture? If you've gotten the point by now, then you should realize that bonding is a crucial part of being an effective team, and thus a winning team. You can't assume it will happen naturally over a period of time, nor can you get the idea that having the bare minimum of meetings will take care of this for you. It's also not safe to presume that you will develop these bonds simply by working together regularly. Working together is important, to be sure, but you still need times to grow together spiritually, to share your heart, to love, to laugh, and to develop a bond of brotherhood between you.
108. Just remember that the goal is not perfection. I'm not expecting that one day you'll be so close that you'll never argue or have personality problems. Try to think of this relationship as marital or that of a kinship. These types of relationships always come with difficulties and personality clashes, but they also usually involve a deep love for one another that helps the people involved through the difficult times. When the bond is close, then there will be an abundance of forgiveness, mercy, humility, and the ability to let love cover a multitude of sins. That's the goal for the team of your Home.
Enhance your communications
109. (Mama:) In order to be an effective team, good communication is essential. Loving communication erases the lines dividing you from others, replacing them with an encompassing circle of warmth and camaraderie.
110. (Jesus:) Communication is also integral to success as a team, as a Home. You need to be constantly progressing in this area in an active‚ consistent, effortful way. You must spend time together discovering the weak points in your communication so you can overcome them systematically. For example:
1) If most of your meetings are run and controlled by a few outspoken individuals‚ then you might want to take some practical steps, such as suggesting these individuals agree to make a special effort to keep quiet for a couple of meetings. Or you may discover a system for leading your meetings that will give everyone equal say.
2) If your united meetings often involve heated discussion or hurt feelings, then this in itself is a topic you should address together. You need a practical solution, such as assigning someone to be the "thermometer," who is responsible to cut in when he or she feels the heat level of the discussion is rising.
3) If you find that most people have a difficult time discussing spiritual matters or receiving public prophecies, then maybe you need a few extra meetings to help strengthen these communication muscles.
4) If you recognize your Home is too work-oriented in conversation and takes little time to laugh and have fun together, then agree to make a special effort to organize an extra time of fun and relaxation to encourage some enjoyable, fun-filled, and maybe humorous conversations.
5) Perhaps there are a lot of "fillers" in your prayers and discussions, such as "umm," "so," "like," "you know," or "Lord" between every other sentence. If so, then it might not be a bad idea to make a push to somehow remind one another.
111. What you need to do is learn to recognize the problems and then find a solution as soon as possible. Put effort into enhancing your communications, and your Home will become a happier, more unified, and efficient unit.
112. But let Me add one small but important caution: While you do want to work on the above–mentioned issues, you must beware of getting into an unnecessary works trip. Be faithful to pray about how to go about making these changes. If‚ for example, someone is sharing their heart with the Home and asking for prayer, that's not the time to correct them for their speech habits. You also want to avoid spending so much time on these practical communication aspects that you overlook other more important spiritual matters, or end up with so many programs and pushes that Home members become weary, confused, or overburdened.
113. It's important to find the right balance and to pace yourselves. There's no need to try and make progress on every problem simultaneously or to try to keep up with nearby Homes. The important thing is that you are taking some united steps to strive for excellence at the pace appropriate to your Home.
Employ the tools of trust and acceptance
114. (Mama:) It takes time for a Home to become a winning team and to really gel as a unit. It will take time for you to begin to move, act, and think as one. And when you're shooting for a goal as important as building a winning team, you can be sure that there will be some trials and difficulties along the way.
115. Also, just because everyone in your Home has the same ultimate goal in mind--that you all want your Home to be the best it can be--it doesn't mean you're always going to see eye to eye on the details. You will have different ideas, visions, methods, opinions, burdens, and ways of going about things, and if you're not careful, this can lead to friction.
116. As a team you've got to do what you can to ensure that everyone's different ideas and burdens dovetail to reach the same ultimate goal, and you've got to realize that those very differences are what make it possible for you to reach your goal. If you could do it on your own, if you had all of the ideas on your own, the Lord wouldn't have made you a team and asked you to teamwork to fulfill His plan.
117. (Jesus:) The secret to teamworking and the smooth running of your Home is in learning to accept and even appreciate and count on those differences as the very thing that will form your Home into the team that I need it to be. A lot of it has to do with trust and acceptance. Trust‚ because you need to trust that I've handpicked each of you and put you together‚ and have ordained that the teamwork of your Home is what it is. And acceptance means accepting the fact that you are not created the same, and that you're each specifically designed to think differently, act differently, and have different approaches to solving problems and making progress.
118. When you can employ those two tools, trust and acceptance, they can keep your team from slipping into disunity on account of the differences of opinion that will undoubtedly arise. When you can be thankful for the varying styles, personalities, approaches to problem-solving, and methods of conduct, and when you can realize that I've put each of you in the Home for a specific reason‚ then you will be free to move forward unhindered by personality conflicts, because you'll be looking for the good. Instead of getting hung up on how different you are, you'll be looking more toward what each individual is contributing toward the teamwork of your Home as a whole.
119. What you might see as a weakness in one of your teammates is perhaps put there to temper the rest of you. You know how it is when you're making a good sauce of some kind–-like spaghetti sauce? Sometimes you put in things that are opposites and don't complement each other at all, like the acidic tomatoes on one hand, and then sweet sugar on the other. Although you would have to admit that their approaches to flavor are totally different--one is savory and tart, the other sweet--they are combined by the chef because of their effect on one another. The sugar isn't overbearing, but it is added if the tomatoes are a bit too acidic and are overpowering the sauce.
120. Smart chefs know when to add each ingredient in order to temper the others, and this is how I have worked with your Home. If you can look at your Home with that vision in mind a bit more--not at how different you are, but at how you could be complementing each other, how each person is enhanced by the differences of the other people--then you'll be able to work together more effectively as a team.
121. But as I said, you have to trust Me above all. Otherwise you'll be wondering how on earth you're ever going to make it work with these "crazy people" you're stuck with. But you can have My assurance that sooner or later you're going to adjust and they're not going to seem quite so "crazy" anymore, and then you'll have the faith to stick it out.
122. That reassurance often has to be personal, as in My direct words to you in prophecy, explaining things about your particular situation. In fact, it's a good thing to hear from Me about even if you're not having major personality conflicts. Even if everything is going pretty smoothly, it's still interesting and beneficial to ask Me how I see your team: why I've given each one the strengths and weaknesses that they have, how you all complement one another, and how you can best work to maximize each other's strengths and minimize each other's weaknesses.
Stick it out through the tough times
123. (Mama:) Don't let the Enemy kid you into thinking that your Home can be a strong team together from one day to the next, because then you'll be discouraged when it doesn't turn out that way. Becoming a strong team, learning to appreciate and work with one another's strengths and weaknesses, building sweet fellowship and love together, all of this takes time. Building a winning team takes time.
124. As a Family‚ we haven't been as used to working together in teamwork with others over the last years. Since the Charter, many of you have been living in single-family Homes, and you haven't had to work at honing your skills of teamworking. Many of you have grown independent, so it will take time to adjust to working together with a larger team again. So don't expect perfect results immediately. Be patient, because building a good, united team takes time.
125. Don't be surprised or disheartened when the Enemy tries to defeat your attempts to build a strong team, a unified Home, because he'll do whatever he can in an attempt to stop you from working together as a well-oiled, harmonious team. Of course he's going to fight, because he knows what a defeat it will be for him once you are the winning team you're aiming to be. He knows you'll be more effective, better witnessers, a more powerful sample to the world, and a real defeat to his agenda.
126. (Jesus:) There will be times when, even though you're all doing your parts to build an effective team, you'll still feel like, "This just isn't working." Sometimes you will feel like the teamwork of your Home is almost more disunited than united and that you just don't seem to be getting anywhere. At that point you need to fight all the harder to hang on, because I promise you that things will always improve if you hang on. It's pretty much to be expected that the Enemy will fight hard against a strong team in the making. You can take those adjustment battles as a good sign, but you can't surrender or give up.
127. It takes prayer, humility, patience, love, honesty‚ and real stick-to-itiveness, what David called "the guts to see it through!" I'm sure you've seen, or will yet see, that the Enemy fights love and unity almost more than anything else at the outset of people beginning to work together as a new team. That's because for him, it's strategically much easier to cause problems when the group is not as united. I'm talking about a Home, a work group, a marriage, or anything new that is bound and destined to bear fruit for My glory.
128. It's a common tactic of the Enemy to attack things in their fledgling state. He attacks new believers with doubts about their salvation. He attacks people about the New Wine and revelations of the spirit before they're fully set in their hearts. He attacks provisioners and missionaries with lacks of faith. He attacks the sick and weak with feelings of hopelessness right during or just after they've taken a stand of faith for healing. It's much easier to snuff something out before it gets started, which explains the real fight that it can be to begin to work well together as a Home.
129. But the greater the battle, the greater the victory can be. So I want to see real determination from each of you winning Homes to want to stick it out through the hard parts in order to be able to experience the sweet taste of victory. What is victory, you ask? Is it a perfectly united team where there are never conflicts? Is it a Home that functions as a collective brain, a hive mind, where each one thinks the same thing? No, that's not the victory I have in mind.
130. What I call victory for your Home working in teamwork is when each member realizes that they're different‚ but acknowledges and fully accepts that their individual differences make them stronger as a team. Victory is when you accept each one's uniqueness and no longer try to make everyone else exactly like you, but build on each other's unique strengths, and uphold one another's unique weaknesses or areas in which they are less gifted.
131. That will require My supernatural love, and some pretty supernatural faith from each of you to hold on through the bumpy ride of initial adjustment and not to blow one another away or build walls‚ hang labels, or stereotype one another before you've fully let My love blend you together and open your eyes to how each one is needed and how you wouldn't be able to do the job quite the same without one another.
132. It might sound a bit like I'm making too many excuses for personal weaknesses, and there are definitely times when someone's opinions or attitudes aren't of Me, and aren't contributing positively to the team you're building, and in those cases they should naturally work to improve. This isn't a license for people not to try to improve in their weak areas. I'm only pleading with you to stick it out through the time when you're adjusting to each other's styles of operating, styles of presentation, personal methods of problem-solving, and even each other's personal visions and goals for the direction you think the Home should go.
Be a prayerful teamworker
133. (Mama:) If you want to be sure that your ideas or contributions to the team are worthwhile, ask the Lord. This will not only help you to hit the mark more and please our Husband more, but it will also give others in the Home more confidence in you.
134. Of course, just because you've heard from the Lord about whether or not your ideas or contributions have merit doesn't mean that you don't still need to work in counsel and teamwork. The initial prophecy or counsel from the Lord you receive is just the first step. You might have one piece of the puzzle, and there might be a whole lot of other factors or ideas that you're not even considering.
135. The Lord seldom ever gives one person a complete idea or plan; He prefers to work in teamwork. He likes to see you, as a team, working together to discover the best solutions. He doesn't like for one person to be the "know it all" and to have all of the answers. He likes everyone to collaborate, and that's usually how He works.
136. So even if the Lord confirms that you proceed with your idea or contribution, don't forcefully shine your green light of prophecy and expect everybody to do exactly what you think or go with your idea without discussing it or tweaking it. Be prayerful and let others know that you do pray about things, but don't be so confident that what you got from the Lord is going to be the complete answer, the all-in-all.
137. Prayerful team players know that they need the counsel of others, the input of others, in addition to the things the Lord shows them personally. They have a good balance. They hear from the Lord‚ but they're also very open to suggestions--and even completely new ideas--in order to reach the best decision.
138. (Jesus:) The more you lean on Me, and the more you hear from Me and make it clear to others that you've done so, the more confidence it will give others that you're not just pushing your own programs, but that you are being prayerful and taking things to Me and getting My viewpoint.
139. The more all of you are known to take the problems to Me, the more it will increase faith in each of you that you're maybe not just stuck with a bunch of "wackos" after all, but that I've put you with people that are prayerful, that go slow, that are thoughtful, and that are doing their best to find My solutions, not to push their personal programs.
140. Leaning on Me, specifically through hearing from Me, goes a long way toward gaining others' trust and acceptance, which are keys to effective, united teamworking as a Home.
Begin with a clean slate
141. (Mama:) Regardless of whether you've been working together as a Home/team for some time, or whether you're a brand-new team and you're just starting out, it's helpful to start afresh with a clean slate. This is easier to do in some ways if you're a new team, because familiarity hasn't had a chance to sprout up‚ and you haven't had time to develop negative thoughts or feelings toward those on your team. You're new to working together, so chances are that resentments and hurt feelings haven't been plenteous within your "history." But still, you've got to make the decision as a new team to guard your unity, and work hard to make your team work. Don't let any negative or unity-destroying patterns begin to form.
142. If you're a team that's been together for some time, chances are that there's a bit of "baggage" to get rid of and "dirty laundry" to clean. You will undoubtedly have some obstacles to overcome, familiarity to get rid of‚ faults to confess, negative mindsets about others to get rid of, etc.‚ and it might take you time, effort‚ and hard work to wipe the slate of your Home clean. But please do, because you need to be willing to overcome anything in the past that held you back from being a tightknit team. Ask the Lord to give you a new start, so that your team can start off on the right foot.
143. If you're a new team, ask for His strength and power and determination not to let any bad ruts or attitudes into your Home. If you're an older team, then ask for just as much of His strength and power and determination to rid your Home of any bad ruts and attitudes you've gotten into over the years. If you want to be a bonded team, fitly joined together, a Home that is united and working together, then you can be, with our Husband's help and power. It doesn't matter whether you're a new team or an older team‚ the same immunization power is available to you--to keep you from the Enemy's horrible disease of division.
144. (Jesus:) Whether you're an old team or a new team, there are obstacles to overcome. When you're new to the team, you have to work hard to get to know one another, to learn to trust one another, to have faith in one another, to grow to see one another's strengths and weaknesses. When you're an older team you have to work hard to not be lazy and familiar, and to not allow situations in the past to cause you to be distrustful. You've got to continually remind yourself to see Me and My Spirit in your co-workers and to look past their faults and failings of the flesh.
145. Many people have the utopian idea that a good and successful winning team means a "perfect team." Well, I'll pop that balloon right now and tell you that winning teams are made up of humans--humans who fail, humans who make mistakes, humans who are different than you are, humans who have odd quirks and idiosyncrasies, humans who act unlovingly, rashly, or selfishly at times. But winning teams work through these difficulties; they rise above them. They see that each person in the Home is like an important piece to the puzzle, and working together they provide a clear picture to the world of what living for Me is like.
146. So if you're looking for the "perfect" team or the "perfect" people to live with, trust Me when I say you're never going to find that team or those people. You've got to make do with what you have. You've got to make your team of imperfect humans work somehow. You've got to be humble enough, loving enough, and patient enough to let Me smooth out everyone's rough edges, oil the parts of your machine, and help you to work together as a strong team for Me. Don't give up before I've had a chance to "tweak" your team and to add the final touches. And certainly don't give up when the machine of your team needs a little maintenance and fine-tuning and fixing from time to time. That's just life.
147. So make your team work. Stick to those that I've put you under the same roof with, and learn to get along. Learn to play the part I want you to play, and then learn to appreciate the parts others play. Do whatever it takes to start off on the right foot and stay on the right foot. Work through the hard times to reach the good times. Do whatever it takes to be a team fitly joined together, oiled by the power of My Spirit.
Talk About It
Optional discussion questions
• Talk about qualities--for example, good communication--that are important in a winning team, and why you feel those qualities are so important. Or as a variation of this, go around the room and answer the following question: "Generally speaking, what do you feel are the two most important qualities a person should have or work on acquiring to become a good part of a winning team?"
• Talk about a quality‚ gift, or personality trait that you feel contributes to a winning team--preferably a quality, gift, or personality trait that you don't have.
• Do you have unrealistic expectations when it comes to forming a winning team? If so, what are your unrealistic expectations? For example, if you think that your Home is going to be perfect, with no problems or personality clashes, that's an unrealistic expectation. If you think that your Home is going to be in unity with little or no effort on your part, that's an unrealistic expectation. If you think you won't have to make any sacrifices for the sake of unity, that's another unrealistic expectation.
• Discuss some of the benefits of working together as a team. What are some things in your Home that you could never do if you didn't live communally and work together as a "teamwork"? Compare what your Home accomplishes with the measly little bit you might accomplish if you were on your own trying to serve the Lord.
• Is there something in the Home--either a ministry, or a physical area of the Home or yard--that you could all work together as a team to improve? If so‚ discuss how.
Optional praise ideas
• Teamworking in history and nature: Think about and praise the Lord for examples of "teamworking," either in the realm of the spirit, in history, or in nature. For example: Tola and Tor; the Wright brothers, who worked together to invent their flying machines; hydrogen and oxygen that together create water, etc.
• J.O.Y. with a twist: Go around and have everybody praise the Lord for some quality or aspect of your teamworking or winning team Home that He directly provides or blesses you with. For example, the supply of all of your needs so that you can focus on your job of winning the world together. This is the "J" for Jesus. Then go around and everyone praises the Lord for a quality or some way that the person next to them contributes to their Home or their lives. This is "O" for others. And finally each person praises the Lord for something you contribute toward your winning team or good interactions. This is humbling and good for you. Or you could praise the Lord for something He's helping you learn toward this end. This is "U," for you.
• Praise sonnet: Go around in a circle, with each person adding a line of a song to the praise. If some of the lines were from songs about unity, brotherhood, teamworking, etc.‚ this would be nice (although you might need to give everyone a few minutes to think of a song to use a line from). For example, the first person praises, "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for the brethren to dwell together in unity." And the next person praises, "Melted as one, weak and strong, younger and older–-we will rise above." These phrases can be spoken or sung, but the goal is to use interesting lines from songs with wording that is more poetic and unusual to string together a praise to the Lord.
"Do" the Word
Optional practical ways to be "doers of the Word"
• Decide together as a Home on a project that you can teamwork together on, a project or activity that you can all contribute to. The idea is to work on something fun together, in order to see your teammates shine, and then be able to enjoy the thrill of accomplishing something together. Don't be limited to these ideas, but here are some suggestions to get you started:
o Make a special dinner, with each person contributing something toward it (e.g., a different person making each dish, someone doing the table setup and decorations, others planning activities to do around the table, etc.).
o Create a new witnessing album together, with each person using their gifts to enhance the project (e.g., one person could pray about and map out the basic plan, another person could take photos, someone could do the writing, another person could lay it out, someone else could find some quotes or anecdotes to include, and if you have an artist they could contribute some artwork, etc.).
o Have a united devotions that everyone contributes something toward (e.g., someone plans the songs‚ someone else plans the praise time‚ another plans the prayer, a few others plan the reading material‚ and someone else plans a drink or snack to go along with it).
o Put a jigsaw puzzle together in teamwork.
o Tackle a gardening project together, such as making a vegetable garden, with everyone working side by side (e.g., someone doing the research for the project, someone praying about the details, someone provisioning the seeds and gardening equipment, someone weeding and tilling the ground, someone planting, someone being responsible to water it, etc.).
• Use a whiteboard, chalkboard, or even a large sheet of paper (or a few sheets taped together) posted on a wall, to highlight the contributions of individuals within the Home--big or little. Then whenever anyone sees someone in the Home doing something to contribute to your "team," they would write it up for all to see. For example, "Shelly has contributed to our winning team today by so sweetly teaching the children." Or "Joe has contributed to our winning team today by cleaning the bathroom. Having a clean bathroom makes life so much happier." Be sure that everyone is highlighted for something special, because everyone in the Home helps to make it what it is--a winning team. (Depending on how big your whiteboard/blackboard/paper on the wall is, you might be able to easily fill it up in one day.)
• Do one of the activities listed in paragraph 106.
A man set off on a journey with a donkey and a parrot. It was to be a long journey along an unknown path. The man packed the belongings needed for the journey and placed the heavy burden upon his back. There was no precise path to follow, so the donkey was sent off to seek a path. The man trudged laboriously down the path with his heavy burden, the scorching sun seeming to enhance the load on his back.
By nightfall the travelers had made little progress. The donkey with his poor sense of direction had led them in circles; the parrot, who had been sent to find supper, had found little more than worms; and the man was weary with exhaustion. The three argued that the others were incompetent in their tasks.
On the third day, the travelers were in a rage‚ determining that they would disband the following day, for in each one's eyes, the other lacked so greatly.
A traveler came across their camp, and hearing the discussion, offered some advice. "A thought has crossed my mind," he said. "Perhaps you have not built on each others' attributes and worked as a team. A donkey is a beast of burden, and can travel with ease with a heavy load. Perhaps he should carry the load for you.
"A bird's-eye view can help scout out a path to your destination. Why not send the parrot ahead?
"And you, friend," he said to the man, "rather than carrying such a load, would you not be able to provide more adequate meals?"
The man, parrot, and donkey contemplated the traveler's advice and determined to sleep on the ideas. In the morning, they agreed to give it a try‚ and each took up their new roles. It was with relative ease that they continued on their journey, quickly traversing the distance to their destination.
They determined from then on to always travel in this way, for when each contributed toward their effort in the way they knew best, the journey was made easier.
Hot Key: Collaboration
148. (Jesus:) The key of collaboration will aid your Home in being an efficient winning team. It will help you to work harmoniously together, in strong teamwork, in order to achieve the goals you're reaching for. It contains extra power to ensure your united efforts are a success. It can also be turned into a powerful missile to destroy the Enemy's attempts to hinder your team and defeat My work.
149. (Prayer:) We praise You, dear Jesus, for making our Home a strong team for You. We are so thankful that we're not just any old team of people haphazardly thrown together, but that You've actually handpicked us and chosen us to work together for Your glory. We are so thankful that You're in control and knew exactly what You were doing when You brought us all together. You do all things well.
150. We praise You for the differences we have--the different personalities, the different gifts and talents, the different ideas and preferences, the different backgrounds and experience we all have--because all of this combines to make a well-balanced team. If we were all the same and thought the same and operated the same, then we'd have a pretty boring Home and wouldn't be able to accomplish as much. So we praise You for the variety, which we know is a key to our success as a winning Home.
151. We need Your miracle-working power, sweet Husband! Without You we're nothing, and can't even do much on our own, much less work together harmoniously as a team. We're each a part of Your machine to do an important job for You, so we need the oil of Your Spirit to help us to work together smoothly and effectively. Help us to learn to relish working together in harmony, without friction or disunity. We call on the keys of humility, love‚ and collaboration, and we activate the Salvay to aid us in the spirit.
152. You're our powerful Lord and Lover, the Creator of harmony and teamworking, and we're depending on You to teach us how to be a winning team that will bear lasting fruit for Your Kingdom. We can't do it on our own, Jesus, so please be our Coach. As we do our part, please do what we can't do. Teach us and train us so that we can learn what it means to truly work together as a team and learn to complement and support one another. Teach us how to be winners, Jesus--together!
[Pithy Proverbs for this section:]
Teamworking is like a centipede. Work together and you can speed on your way no matter how many legs you have. Don't work together and you'll only impede.
Friendship is like the tackle of a ship's mast. It holds it up in the rough seas, decorates it for parades, and makes the whole assembly stronger.
Difficulties are doorways to greater teamworking. Without them you'd be staring at a blank wall.
Teamwork is like salt. The food may be edible without it, but when added, it makes it tasty and enjoyable.
It takes a united "crew" to sail your Home's "ship."
The Home that works together wins together.
Cliques are like doorstops keeping the doors open to the Selvegion. Love is like the grease on the hinges, making the door swing shut the instant the Selvegion get near.
Making your Home a winning Home is like building a house; one brick must be laid on another, patted down, and squared to those around it before another can be laid on top of it.
Teamworking is like a symphony. It takes time to write and practice to perform, but the orchestra depends on it for its livelihood.
Great people know how to work well with others.
[End of Pithy Proverbs]
Copyright © 2005 by The Family International. Art by Zeb.