"LETTERS I"--MO February 24, 1971 NO.51--DO
Copyrighted February, 1971 by The Children of God
P.O. Box 31, London WC2E 7LX, England or GPO Box 3141, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936
IMPORTANCE OF THE MINISTRY OF THE MAIL
1. Dear Top leaders and secretaries of colonies : My dearly beloved children Greetings in Jesus' Precious Name! I addressed this letter particularly to those named above because IT HAS TO DO PRIMARILY WITH THE MAIL MINISTRY, and those mentioned above are at present handling the bulk of this burden in Texas where we have the facilities, equipment, and personnel for it! But I'M SURE THAT IT'S GOING TO AFFECT ALL OF YOU, THE MORE WE GROW AND THE WIDER OUR MINISTRY BECOMES KNOWN, FOR MORE AND MORE PEOPLE WILL BE WRITING IN MAKING ENQUIRIES, APPLICATIONS, comments, criticisms, donations, appeals for help, questions of doctrine, personal problems, and so on! THE MINISTRY OF THE MAIL IS NOT TO BE UNDERESTIMATED! It has become one of the largest ministries of some groups and Christian leaders in recent years, and is linked very tightly with the publications ministry as well! ALL IN ALL, IT IS THE MINISTRY OF THE WRITTEN WORD, and where would we be today without it, without the first five Books of Moses, without the Chronicles of History in God's Word, without the Psalms of David, the recorded prophecies of the Old Testament and the New, without the record of the Gospels and Acts, and even more explicitly to the point of this particular subject of letters, what would we have done without the Epistles of the Apostles which are preserved for us in the New Testament by the thoughtfulness of themselves, their scribes, secretaries, helpers, students and followers, to be handed on down to us even to this day, continuing a perpetual ministry to the millions of God's Children throughout the ages! I dare say that none of these ever realised how important these writings were to become in the years and generations of those to follow! I dare say that Paul could not possibly have comprehended the total extent of the ministry of even one of his Epistles at the time he was actually writing it! He was simply writing letters of inspiration, comfort, encouragement, doctrine, admonition, exhortation, direction, etc., to personal friends and groups of believers with whom he was acquainted, or had ministered to in the past, including those he himself had won to the Lord, the churches he had personally organised, as well as their converts and other churches which had sprung up as a result of their ministry--the atomic chain reaction explosion of the Gospel!
2. I AM PERSUADED THAT WE OUR SELVES ARE IN THE INFANT STAGES OF SUCH A POPULATION EXPLOSION, AS WAS THE EARLY CHURCH IN THE TIME OF THE APOSTLES, AND IF WE DO NOT WORK NOW TO MAKE PREPARATION FOR HANDLING THE EXTENT OF ITS EFFECTS ON US AND OTHERS, we are going to be caught short, weighed in the balances and found wanting, our ministry lagging far behind the crying need! This, of course, is always the case, for the harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; but let me warn you not to say unto yourselves that there are yet four months and then cometh the harvest, but I implore you to right at this very moment...(strong weeping and tongues) (Jesus, Jesus, Jesus) "to LIFT UP YOUR EYES AND BEHOLD THE FIELDS ALREADY WHITE UNTO HARVEST; BUT WHERE ARE THE LABOURERS, and who will go for us, and is it nothing to all ye that pass by? Go now, for now is the day of Salvation, repent ye for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, and now are these words fulfilled in your ears; for, behold we are here, now, at this very day. We have come to preach the Gospel to the poor, to open the eyes of the blind, and loose them that are bound!" Hallelujah, Thank you Jesus. And to preach the acceptable year of the Lord, Today, this year, harden not your hearts as in the Provocation; today if you will hear His voice, tomorrow may be too late; it's later than you think, we are already behind! (Mt.9:37; Jn.4:35; Is.6:8; Lam.1:12; 2Cor.6:2; Mt.3:2; Is.61:1,2; He 3:7,8) I DON'T BELIEVE WE HAVE BEGUN TO SCRATCH THE SURFACE OF THE POSSIBILITIES OF THIS MINISTRY--they're as limitless as the Kingdom of God, as boundless as the needs of mankind! We cannot possibly minister to them all personally. This is no more possible for us than it was for Jesus when He was here in the flesh, or for Paul, or the other Apostles, prophets, and men and women of God throughout all time! THERE HAS TO BE A WAY TO MULTIPLY OUR SELVES MANYFOLD. THERE ARE NEVER ENOUGH LABOURERS, NEVER ENOUGH PEOPLE WHO REALLY WANT TO WORK IN THE HARVEST, SO WE MUST DUPLICATE AND MULTIPLY OURSELVES, AND PROPAGATE, not only through personal disciples and those reached through personal contact, but also through every other means and media at our disposal, not only the far-flung publicity of what others write and say about us, such as newspapers, radio, magazine articles, television, word-of-mouth, and so on, BUT ALSO THROUGH THE MIGHTY AND MASSIVE MINISTRY OF THE PRINTED WORD--A MEANS AT OUR OWN DISPOSAL AND UNDER OUR OWN CONTROL!--SUCH AS THE WORDS OF GOD IN THE BIBLE IN PUBLICATIONS CONTAINING HIS TRUTH AS WE SEE IT, explanatory brochures and pamphlets regarding our history, ministry and purpose, designed to make it simple and clear to the outsider, understandable even to the Systemite!
3. WE NEED PAMPHLETS, OR EVEN BOOKLETS, OF OUR LESSONS AND TEACHINGS SIMPLIFIED, boiled down to the core, outlines, prophetic interpretations, inspirational discourses on special subjects, songbooks, prophecies, fresh periodicals, tracts, and a multitude of other material, which will be necessary to meet the needs of millions!
4. NOT THE LEAST OF THESE PRINTED MINISTRIES IS GOING TO BE THAT OF THE MAIL--that of letters to friends, donors, parents, enquirers, applicants, and many others to whom we can minister by mail.
GOOD EXAMPLES OF USING THE MAIL MINISTRY
5. NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE MINISTRY OF LETTERS! Consider the Epistles of the Apostles, and the billions to whom they have ministered, since they were first written with such humble beginnings! We don't have that much time left, which means we must work even harder and faster than they, to reach our own generation, and get the job done before Jesus comes!
6. CONSIDER EVEN OUR OWN PRESENT MINISTRY TO YOU, WITH OUR LETTERS, WHICH HAVE BROADENED OUR OWN PERSONAL MINISTRY FAR BEYOND WHAT IT WAS WHEN WE WERE WITH YOU, AND NOW ALL OF YOU ARE ABLE TO BENEFIT BY IT; WHEREAS IT WAS FORMERLY LIMITED TO THE PRIVILEGED FEW TO WHOM I WAS PERSONALLY PRESENT!
7. What small minds we have--what limited comprehension--what a finite conception we have of the almost unlimited possibilities of even this one ministry--the ministry of the epistles, letters, and personal mail!
8. I MIGHT GIVE YOU A LITTLE OF OUR OWN PERSONAL HISTORY ALONG THIS LINE, TO SHOW YOU HOW IMPORTANT A MAIL MINISTRY CAN BE! My skeptical uncle once said, after receiving one of our own pitifully mimeographed personal prayer letters, in the early days of our tiny family's ministry, "Form letters are a disease: Nina (my own mother) caught it from father, and now her son has caught it from her!" Apparently he didn't like to get them because he was so backslidden, and they got him under conviction; but if you want to call it a disease, its one of the best diseases that you, as a Christian, could possibly have, because it can vastly multiply your ministry far beyond the limited horizon of your bodily presence, and even your immediate generation!
9. CONSIDER AGAIN THE EPISTLES OF THE APOSTLES, and how they've been duplicated by the billions over nearly 2,000 years, by means of printing-- therefore "form letters" if you please--but look at the ministry they have had, and WHAT WOULD WE HAVE DONE WITHOUT THEM IN THE "FORM LETTER" OF THE BIBLE, GOD'S LOVE LETTER "FORM LETTER" TO US! What a "form letter"--and how wonderful it is that we have gotten to know the Author through His Form letters to us, for faith cometh by hearing and reading the Word of God, and even your word, your testimony, your witness, your letter, containing the Words of God, to a friend, relative, or interested party!
10. THE PERSONAL EPISTLES OF THE EARLY CHURCH FATHERS, TEACHERS, LEADERS AND REFORMERS may not be familiar to you personally today, as they are to many theologians and students of church history and doctrine, but each in their day helped to explain and perpetuate and preserve the truth, for their own followers, the Children of God of their time, and without them, they could have been lost and wandering as sheep having no Shepherd, without the guidance of their leaders in their day, much of which had to be by letters, the personal-messenger mail of their day, which HELPED TO EXTEND THEIR MINISTRY FAR BEYOND THEIR PHYSICAL PRESENCE, AND REACH MULTITUDES THAT THEY COULD NOT HAVE REACHED OTHERWISE!
11. I remember hearing a missionary friend of mine tell how an underground church in a Gospel-forbidden country would meet secretly night after night, in a darkened cellar, to copy by hand by the light of a candle a few pages from the Bible, to be distributed amongst other underground Christian groups in their own areas each week; for the Word of God was precious unto them, and there was a famine for the Word of God! How important was every scrap of paper of the duplication of this Message!
12. MY OWN GRANDFATHER, AND MY FATHER AND MOTHER, CONDUCTED MUCH OF THEIR MINISTRY BY MAIL. They could not possibly reach personally all of those who wrote to them for help and counsel in any other way than by letter! Thank God for the postal service! You have no idea how valuable it is, and we don't appreciate it until we're without it! A little while ago, our own nations's business threatened to grind to a halt, through even just a brief strike of the postal employees in a few major cities! As an old friend of mine used to say, "You never miss the blessing until the blessing's gone", and we are at this very moment hindered from going to a certain major city, where we need to open a new colony, because its postal service has been brought to a complete halt by a strike of the postmen! OUR PRESENT MINISTRY WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE WITHOUT THE USE OF THE MAILS, AND WE CANNOT AFFORD TO BE ANYWHERE WHERE WE CANNOT KEEP IN TOUCH WITH YOU BY POST! Neither telephone nor cablegram would be sufficient, and would be far too expensive! People in that country are at present having to hire private messengers and messenger services to carry their missives where needed, at much higher rates! Thank God for the postal service; we could hardly live without it!--And the ministry of some men of God has been almost entirely dependent upon the mails, such as many radio and TV ministries with which you are familiar, as well as magazine and prayer-letter ministries, and other publication ministries, whose mailing lists run into the hundreds of thousands, and without this ministry of the mails, their ministry could not possibly continue to exist, as even their major support comes to them by this means! MAIL IS IMPORTANT! THE NATION'S BUSINESS DEPENDS ON THE MAILS--THE WORLD'S BUSINESS DEPENDS ON THE MAILS, AND GOD'S BUSINESS DEPENDS LARGELY ON THE MAILS, AND THE MAIL! WE COULD HARDLY LIVE WITHOUT IT! THANK GOD FOR IT! USE IT!
THE STORY OF TOMMY
13. I'M REMINDED OF A LITTLE STORY I HEARD ABOUT TOMMY, as a small boy! Tommy was a little crippled newsboy, whose mangled body lay almost helpless on a pitiful pallet by the third story window of an old rickety tenement on a busy street of a large Eastern city! He'd asked a newsboy friend of his to bring him the book about a man who went about everywhere doing good! The little lad searched and searched for this unnamed book for his crippled friend, until one book dealer finally recognised that he must be talking about the Bible, and the story of Jesus! The tiny lad scraped together what few pennies he had, and the kindly bookseller gave him a copy of the New Testament, which he rushed back to Tom on his third-floor pallet! They began to read it together, till TOMMY WAS SAVED THROUGH THE WORD THAT HE READ IN THE BOOK, and he, too, wanted to do good, like the Man in the Book--but he was crippled, and could not even leave the little one-room apartment of his old aunt with whom he lived! But he prayed and asked God to help him, and the Lord showed him a plan! HE BEGAN TO SCRIBBLE LABORIOUSLY, HELPFUL VERSES FROM THE BIBLE ON TINY SCRAPS OF PAPER, WHICH HE WOULD THEN DROP OUT OF HIS THIRD-FLOOR WINDOW TO FLUTTER TO THE BUSY STREET BELOW! Passers-by would see them fluttering down, and curiously pick them up to see what they were, only to read the words of a Man who went around everywhere doing good--Christ Jesus! Many were helped, encouraged, comforted, and even saved, through this simple little ministry of this little lad and his Bible and tiny window!
14. ONE DAY A WEALTHY BUSINESSMAN WAS WONDERFULLY SAVED THROUGH READING ONE OF THESE LITTLE VERSES. After finding Christ, he returned to the spot where he had found the tiny scrap of paper that had led him to the Lord, seeking some key as to how it got there! Suddenly he noticed another little bit of paper fluttering down to the sidewalk from above; and a poor, tired, old woman stooped painfully to pick it up, and he watched her countenance brighten as she read it--and there seemed to be new strength in her step, as she journeyed on!
15. THE BUSINESSMAN NOW, TRANSFIXED TO THE SPOT, kept his eyes glued upward, determined to find the source! He had to wait a long time, for it took poor little, crippled Tommy many painful minutes to scrawl even one verse on one of those bits of paper! Suddenly the businessman's eyes were riveted to a certain window, as he saw a thin, little, scrawny hand reaching outward to drop a like piece of paper, as the ones he had seen before, and the one that had brought a whole new life to him! He carefully noted the location of the window, dashed up the stairs of the dirty tenement, and finally found the little one-room hovel of tiny Tom, the sidewalk missionary!
16. HE AND TOM IMMEDIATELY BECAME FAST FRIENDS, and he brought Tom all the help and medical attention that he could, and FINALLY INVITED TOM TO COME LIVE WITH HIM IN HIS PALATIAL MANSION IN THE SUBURBS!
17. THIS IS A TRUE STORY AND I WISH I COULD REMEMBER THE MAN'S NAME, but as I recall, he was a hat manufacturer in the city of Philadelphia! But much to his surprise, Tom answered, "I'll have to ask my friend about it "--meaning Jesus! The next day the businessman returned, eagerly awaiting Tom's reply! Oddly enough, Tom asked him some strange questions: "Where did you say your home is?" "Oh", said the businessman, "It's far out in the country on a large and beautiful estate: you'll have a beautiful room all your own, and servants to care for you, delicious meals, a good bed, every comfort and attention, and anything your heart desires; and my wife and I will love you dearly, and rear you as our own son." Hesitantly TOM QUERIED AGAIN, "ARE THERE ANY FOLKS THAT WOULD PASS UNDER MY WINDOW?" Surprised, and somewhat baffled, again the businessman replied, saying, "Why, uh, no, only an occasional servant, and perhaps the gardener! You don't understand, Tom, this is a gorgeous estate, way out in the country, far from the busy noise of the city, and the tumult of people! You'll have quiet there, and be able to rest, and read, and do all you want--away from all this filth and smoke and noise and busy throngs."
18. AFTER A LONG AND THOUGHTFUL SILENCE, Tom's face looked very sad, for he hated to hurt his new-found friend; but finally he said quietly, but firmly, with tears in his eyes, "I'm sorry Mr. So-And-So, but you see, I COULDN'T LIVE ANYWHERE WHERE PEOPLE DON'T PASS UNDER MY WINDOW."
19. I BELIEVE THIS SIMPLE LITTLE TRUE-LIFE STORY WAS A TURNING POINT IN MY OWN LIFE as a little lad, for, when I heard it told me by my own mother, of this man whom she knew personally, I DETERMINED THEN AND THERE, THAT BY THE GRACE OF GOD IN MY OWN LIFE, I WOULD ALWAYS TRY NEVER TO LIVE ANYWHERE THAT PEOPLE COULD NOT PASS UNDER THE WINDOW OF THE MINISTRY OF GOD'S LOVE IN MY OWN LIFE! "I COULD NEVER LIVE ANYWHERE THAT PEOPLE DON'T PASS UNDER MY WINDOW!" COULD YOU? Having once met the man who went about everywhere doing good to those who passed under the window of His life, including me, how could I ever live selfishly again, where people could not pass under my window, and received the same! "Freely ye have received, also freely give" (Mt.10:8) ... and "unto whom much hath been given, of the same shall much be required"! (Lu.12:48) ARE YOU LIVING WHERE PEOPLE CAN PASS UNDER YOUR WINDOW? ARE YOU MINISTERING TO THOSE WHO DO? Such is the ministry of the mail! There are people passing under our window out there! Are they going to receive what they need?
20. HERE'S THE TRUE LIFE STORY OF SOMEONE so ignorant, so helpless, and so isolated, you might never have thought they could have had any ministry at all, and would seemingly have had every excuse for not ministering to others, but rather needed to be ministered unto; BUT LOVE FOUND A WAY! Someone is passing under your window right now! Has your love found a way to help them? HAS HIS LOVE SHOWED YOU HOW YOU CAN HELP THEM? HE WILL, IF YOU WANT TO, NO MATTER WHAT THE CONDITIONS, OR YOUR LIMITATIONS--for God has a window, too, and He has promised that, if we obey Him, and open the windows of our lives upon others, He "will open the windows of Heaven, and pour out such a blessing, there will not be room enough to hold it." (Mal.3:10) PTL!
POURING OUT--WITNESSING BY MAIL
21. ARE YOU READY? ARE WE READY? He has begun to pour! Where are we going to put it all? How are we going to pour out fast enough, so He can pour more in! THAT'S THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN STAY FRESH AND FULL, IS TO KEEP OVERFLOWING ON OTHERS, AS HE POURS IN! OTHERWISE, WHAT LITTLE YOU HAVE WILL DRY UP AND BLOW AWAY, AND THERE WON'T EVER BE ENOUGH LEFT FOR YOU, like the dead churches of today--empty, dead, and dry, with nothing left to give, not even life in themselves, because they failed to pour out when they had it! MAY GOD FORBID THAT WE SHOULD FAIL IN CEASING, LIKEWISE, TO POUR OUT UPON OTHERS SUFFICIENT FOR THEIR NEEDS, OR GOD WILL STOP POURING UPON US these marvelous blessings of His Spirit, these glories of His incomparable Kingdom, these overflowing surpluses of His abundant supply, these thrilling new disciples, these glowing new opportunities, these glorious open doors, and all that He is offering us, everywhere we are needed!
22. WE DARE NOT LOOK AROUND AND ASK, "CAN WE SPARE THEM?" "CAN WE SPARE IT?" What will we do when they're gone?" "How will we carry on?" DON'T WORRY GOD WILL CONTINUE TO POUR IN MUCH MORE THAN YOU'RE ABLE TO HOLD, and THE ONLY WAY TO KEEP THE BLESSINGS FLOWING, IS TO KEEP THEM POURING OUT AS FAST AS YOU CAN! Otherwise you'll become a dead sea, stinking, and unable to sustain life, a cesspool of iniquity, because you have no outlet, no overflow, no ministry! But if you will continue to overflow, God will continue to overflow upon you, and keep the waters of His blessings, His Spirit, and our ministry, fresh and alive, and out of our innermost parts shall flow forth rivers of living water, as God pours in, and we pour out! (Jn.7:38)
23. ARE WE BEING FAITHFUL IN ALL THE WINDOWS OF OUR MINISTRY, AND IN THIS CASE, THE MINISTRY OF THE MAIL? Are we feeding His sheep, are we giving them green pastures, still waters, and the sunshine of His love through the windows of His Word, and our words to them--this window of the mail? We dare not fail them! We must give them what they need! How are we to do it? What can we do more than we are now doing? We can pour out more! We can give more! We can write more! We can answer more! We can send more--And God will send us more--in blessing, fruitfulness, ministration, support, helpers, labourers, and new disciples for His Kingdom! We cannot stop! THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS STANDING STILL! WE'RE EITHER GOING AHEAD OR FALLING BEHIND! We must keep going! We must go even faster! We must pour out even more, as we work the works of Him that hath sent us, while it is yet day, 'ere the night comes, when no man can work! (Jn.9:4) Redeem the time, for the days are evil! (Eph.5:16) Pour more, witness more, send more, mail more--And God Himself, will do more, more than we ever dreamed!
24. MY GRANDFATHER STARTED WITH A FEW CIRCULAR LETTERS, which grew to 16 books that circled the globe, and influenced the lives of thousands! My mother and father started with a tiny little paper, till their ministry grew to books, and broadcasts, and a mail ministry around the world! MY OWN LITTLE FAMILY STARTED WITH A FEW CARBON COPIES TO PERSONAL FRIENDS AND RELATIVES, THEN 200 SLOPPY COPIES ON A TINY, BEAT-UP MIMEOGRAPH SOMEBODY GAVE US, that I typed and turned with my own hand and mailed to friends and acquaintances we had met in our travels across the country! THIS GREW TO A MAILING LIST, WHICH HAD BECOME OUR SOLE SUPPORT BY the time we first met some of you, and helped to start this ministry; and many of these same dear old friends are still faithfully supporting you, and some have even offered their homes for new colonies! If we selfishly withhold, it will tend to poverty, but "he that scattereth abroad, it increaseth"! (Pro.11:24) YOU CAN'T OUTGIVE GOD! Bernard MacFadden, an old friend of mine, who owned the Deauxville, a luxury hotel on Miami Beach, and the famous Physical Culture Magazine, once gave away five million dollars, just to show he couldn't lose by giving; and he made it again, many times over! David Livingstone, the wealthy-British missionary, who pioneered the jungles of Africa, and died there on his knees, said, "I never made a sacrifice." He could never outgive God; Although he gave his life, he'll reap Eternal Life and dividends of immortal souls, thousands saved forever! How can we outgive God?
25. BUT IT'S GOING TO COST SOMETHING! As King David once said, "I will not give unto the Lord of that which hath cost me nothing!" (2Sam.24:24) You have to give something; you have to pour out; you have to live by a window; and you have to be faithful--And, in this case, that window is the mail! YOU HAVE TO PUT SOMETHING INTO IT, TO GET SOMETHING OUT OF IT! YOU HAVE TO GIVE TO GET; POUR TO RECEIVE; SOW TO REAP; INVEST TO PROFIT; DIE TO LIVE; BURY TO RESURRECT!--JUST AS YOU DO IN ANY WITNESSING!
HOW TO BEGIN YOUR LOCAL COLONY MAIL MINISTRY
26. SINCE OUR MAIN CONCERN IN THIS ISSUE IS THE MINISTRY OF THE MAIL, one of our most important windows on the world, we're going to try to deal explicitly and in detail with its needs, procedures, opportunities, and possiblities, as much as we can in this limited space, and by this means.
27. I AM NO EXPERT IN THE FIELD, and I have had only limited experience in it, compared to some, like Jethro, whose business was for years handling just such a ministry for the very large and active mailing list of one of the nation's leading Gospel ministries, under an outstanding leader in the field, our own King Abraham, which has developed into a highly organised, extremely efficient, and superbly equipped office, with a large mailing ministry. I'm sure that Jethro could tell you more about how to handle such a large operation, on a much larger scale than our present one, and to which proportions ours could easily grow, and beyond, if the Lord tarries.
28. BUT I'M MORE INTERESTED IN ATTEMPTING TO FORMULATE A FEW BASIC RULES OF PROCEDURE FOR YOUR PRESENT, MUCH SMALLER OPERATIONS IN EACH OF YOUR INDIVIDUAL COLONIES, SOME SO SMALL AS TO HAVE ONLY ONE TYPIST, ONE TYPEWRITER, AND MAYBE ONE WRITER, BECAUSE EACH OF YOU ARE BOUND TO GET SOME VOLUME OF MAIL AS A RESULT OF YOUR WITNESSING, disciples, their contacts, relatives and friends, local and national publicity, and for various other reasons! I am talking now about correspondence with the general public, on the outside--not our inter office communications, with its already heavy burden of departmental reports, logs, classes, publications, records, and so on! The outside mail is going to be the exceedingly abundantly above all the we could ask or think that we are presently able to handle, but we're going to have to do it, like it or not, whether we think we're able or not, God's got to help us, because it's a massive ministry in itself!
29. ALL BUT THE SMALLEST COLONIES WILL PROBABLY HAVE TO HAVE AT LEAST ONE SECRETARY ENGAGED ENTIRELY IN THIS MINISTRY ALONE, very soon, if not already, ONE WHO CAN EITHER TAKE DICTATION IN SHORTHAND, OR ON THE TYPEWRITER, AND AT LEAST TYPE OUT FORM LETTERS, OR PREFORMULATED ANSWERS WITH STOCK PARAGRAPHS, TO MEET SPECIFIC NEEDS! These can be framed by the local director, working with other leadership, with the help of his secretaries; or perhaps, even better yet, they should be decided upon by those with experience at the home base and passed on to you for your use--as well as being used by them there, that we may all speak the same thing in handling various types of mail!
30. THIS INCLUDES A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT CATEGORIES, for which I'm going to try to make specific suggestions! But let's begin at the very beginning, now that you have your secretary, her office, desk and typewriter, and file, ready for the Lord's business! Let's begin with the mailman; no, let's begin even earlier than that, with your local address: (We're going to number these steps in decency and order):
(1) GETTING A POST OFFICE BOX
31. RENT A BOX AT THE POST OFFICE in the name of your local colony--THIS IS THE SIMPLEST, EASIEST, QUICKEST, AND SAFEST WAY TO GET YOUR MAIL, regardless of your local address. For years, we kept the same box number, regardless of how we personally moved around, so that our correspondence would not be confused by frequent changes of address, which are so common in the Lord's service! Even while on the road, we kept this box number, and had our mail forwarded from it, from place to place! It was the only sure way of getting our mail and making sure our correspondents did not forget our address. It also helped as a matter of security where necessary, to keep our actual local residential address a private matter, known only to the chosen few who were working with us, or truly interested friends, disciples, etc. A post office box number acts as a buffer between you and the system, and even your enemies, so they don't always know where to get their hands on you at a moment's notice, and to your surprise! It also sifts out unwelcome correspondents, visitors, and unnecessary callers, and the like, who must write first your box to find out what they want to know! This post office box number is also a prestige address, since the local post office will not rent it to you unless they know, and verify, by means of the local postman, that you have another, local, legitimate, residential, or business address, and are, what they consider therefore, a reliable and reputable local resident or concern! YOU WILL BE ASKED TO FILL OUT A FORM AT THE POST OFFICE UPON APPLYING FOR SUCH A BOX, GIVING EITHER YOUR INDIVIDUAL PERSONAL NAME, OR THE NAME OF YOUR LOCAL ORGANISATION, and one or two or three of its local responsible officers, together with a few of the names of those you would be expecting to get mail therein! This is usually a mere formality to assure some legitimacy, and usually is not investigated further than having the local postman, on the route of your street address, check there to see if you really live there or are doing business there, so you only need to give a few names, perhaps both legal names and Bible names so you could even give as high as, for example, six names for three people, and these should be the only people getting mail there, anyhow--only the top officials and officers of the local colony, besides mail addressed to the name of the local colony! All others, including subordinate staff members, students, and new disciples, should receive their mail only at their actual, local, residential address--not in your post office box! None but the top officers and the organisation should receive mail at the box! This is not only for your own protection and security of leadership, but also to limit the quantity of mail received therein! The cost of such a box varies with the size, and is payable by the quarter, every three calendar months in advance, or any fraction thereof. Such a cost for an average, small, letterbox also varies with the size of the city, but let me tell you, it's worth it! It saves many hassles with changes of address, confrontations with the public, officials, bill collectors, enemies, crackpots, general nuisances, etc. It also buys you time in which to give your answers to same, without a sudden unexpected surprise face-to-face confrontation on the front porch at a moment's notice, with you stammering and stuttering, and wondering what to say! Therefore, THIS BOX NUMBER IS USED AS YOUR ONLY PUBLICLY-KNOWN ADDRESS ON SUCH ITEMS AS BUSINESS CARDS, CHECKS, radio, TV, or newspaper--magazine announcements (if possible), and ALL ITEMS OF PUBLICITY, LITERATURE, ETC., so that if they want to know anything further, they can write to the box, and it will be processed in due season, in all decency and in order, being diligent in business! THE ONLY POSSIBLE EXCEPTION TO THIS RULE, MIGHT BE PERSONAL INVITATIONS GIVEN BY PERSONAL WITNESSES, or on special handbills distributed only to a pre- selected, carefully chosen, highly-trusted clientele, SUCH AS THOSE TO WHOM YOU PERSONALLY WITNESS, WIN TO THE LORD, AND FEEL YOU CAN TRUST TO INVITE TO YOUR HOME BASE FOR FURTHER FELLOWSHIP AND INSTRUCTION! And even here, it would be better and safer to have these individuals write down your meeting or residence address themselves, or write it down for them, as each individual case warrants, rather than to have promiscuous literature fall into the wrong hands! If your place of meeting is open to the general public, and you wish it to be known to all, but is not your place of residence, this is different; but if it is also your residence, this could be dangerous!
32. BE SURE THAT WHEN YOU APPLY FOR A BOX, remember it will take two or three days for the local postman to verify your residence address, before your application is granted, at which time you should request to see, if possible, a list of the available box numbers, in order to choose a simple and easy one to remember, for both you and your correspondents, either a small number, usually already taken by others and hard to get, such as 1..2..3..4, etc., or a consecutive number, such as Box 1234, or a repetitive number, such as Box 111, Box 222 Box 333, inasmuch as possible; because even in such a simple box number as ours here, although two of the three figures are the same, one is different, and you can't remember which is the different one--at least in the case of the only colony who has been thoughtful enough to use it at all, so far! Again, God bless Kentucky!
33. NOW YOU HAVE YOUR BOX NUMBER, have put it on your checks, literature, business-mail, advertising, etc., and you're ready for business--God's business!
(2) YOUR COLONY MAILMAN
34. THE NEXT ITEM ON THE AGENDA IS YOUR MAILMAN, I mean your colony's own personal mailman-the one who carries the key to the box, and goes to the post office to pick up your highly personal, classified, important and valuable mail, which no one else should even touch, except your colony's top leaders, such as the Director and/or his wife, and/or the Assistant Director and/or his wife, and, at the very least, and only in the most trusted cases, your top secretary and/or business manager, or both! If you, the Director, cannot either you or your wife personally pick up the mail, have at least two of your most trusted personnel pick it up together, placing it in a sealed mailbag or container, so that none of its is accidentally dropped or lost, strayed or stolen, and each piece is accounted for. Personally, I never trusted anyone but myself, not even my wife, or my secretary, to pick up the mail at the box! However, if you have one who can be trusted, it would save you personal face- to-face confrontations, and becoming personally known by sight, to postal and federal government officials, in cases where you have to pick up packages or registered mail, etc., even postage due mail, at the box window! So in recent days, to tighten our security and protect our leadership, I have been sending my own personal secretary and/or wife to the box for the mail! Either that, or you can bring home these special notices, or to your wife in the car, and let her take them in to pick up these special pieces of mail which have to be gotten from the clerk at the window, of which you will receive many such notices in your box--so that you personally, the top leadership, will remain unknown and unseen as much as possible at the government post office!
MORE ON POST OFFICE BOX
35. THIS IS ONE THING THAT AGGRAVATED US about your failure to remember our box number! It called so much attention to us personally, and our interesting volume of mail, making it go through many extra inquisitive hands, causing extra trouble!
36. ONE MORE ADVANTAGE OF A POST OFFICE BOX, and I worked in the post office, and I know, is that your mail is the first to be put up, at all hours of the day or night, because your box is right there within firing distance of the sorting clerks, and box mail always goes up first, except for special delivery mail, and even this latter will never be delivered at night; whereas box mail is put in your box by a night clerk, even in the wee hours of the morning, which means, one last, but not least advantage, that in most post offices, the box section is open and available to its box holder at any hour of the day or night--and you, therefore, can also pick it up there at such odd hours, as not to be too conspicuous, and whenever convenient for you, and when the least number of observers are apt to be on duty, if at all.
37. AND, OH YES, TRY TO GET A KEY BOX, if possible, not a combination! You're too apt to forget it, get confused, and take too long to open the box, and the longer you stand there twiddling with the knob, the more conspicuous you are! You will have to pay a deposit for each key, and they usually give you two keys, and it's certainly not wise to have more than this floating around! You know you have one key, and you should always know exactly where the other one is at all times, and neither key should ever be in any less safe place than your own personal pants pocket, kept under your pillow at night, or your wife's purse, kept by her side at all times! If, in case of any dire emergency, you should ever have to let either of these keys out of your personal possession, even temporarily for emergency pickup (which you should not!), be sure you get it back immediately with the return mail in your hand without delay! THAT BOX IS ONE OF YOUR LIFELINES, WHICH COULD BE SEVERED BY AN ENEMY! If at any time a key is lost, take the remaining key immediately to the post office, and request that they change the lock on your box on the spot while you wait, and exchange the remaining key for two new keys to the new lock on your same box, which they will usually do immediately! Whatever you do, try not to change boxes if you can help it! This will only add to the confusion! You will, of course, have to pay an additional deposit for the extra key, to replace the one you lost! Such is life! Don't let it happen to you! I never lost a mailbox key, but it seems the people I loaned them to almost always did! God save the box!--and key!
TRANSPORTATION OF MAIL
38. TRANSPORTATION OF MAIL FROM THE BOX TO YOUR OFFICE should therefore be done only by you, or the one supposed to pick it up! It should not be left carelessly lying around during transit, such as on a front seat of an automobile where a thief might be tempted to break a window to steal what looks valuable! Lock it in the glove compartment of your car or trunk, or hide it under the seat, or carry it in your hand, "crying wee, wee, wee, all the way home--or better yet, don't advertise the fact that you're carrying the mail at all! Hide it in your pocket, or sneak in the back door with it! The less you let others know about the Lord's private business, the better!!
RECEIVING MAIL IN SMALL RURAL COLONIES
39. (IN REFERENCE TO P.O. BOXES): SMALL REMOTE COLONIES IN REMOTE RURAL AREAS far removed from the usual scene of battlefront witnessing and large populations, and a little more inaccessible to the general public, and not every Tom, Dick, and Harry can drop in on you at a moment's notice, but have to drive a long way and want to see you very badly, and also, where it's rather difficult, and sometimes even impossible for you to drive a long way into town to get your mail, and where a box number in such a small community would be of very little advantage anyhow, if any, as everybody knows everybody's business, and has lots of time to study interesting pieces of mail anyway, a box number might be more of a hindrance than a help, as well as just an additional expense, even a nuisance; so there are always exceptions to most of the rules we give you, even some of God's rules. We are recommending boxes primarily for the larger, busier colonies in Metropolitan areas which are apt to receive a fairly large volume of mail, or even move occasionally from address to address in the same city, and to make their business a little less known and their leadership a little more inaccessible to the larger general public surrounding them nearby, and where the multitude of postal clerks of a large downtown post office, handling millions of pieces of mail are not as apt to take a personal interest in your particular mail, as would the local postman on the neighborhood beat, who sees you and knows where you live everyday and what you're doing, and is more apt to be curious about you than necessary! It's impossible to avoid this in a small community or rural area, but it can be virtually eliminated by a box number in your big city colonies. Each situation must be judged on its own merits.
PIONEERING RURAL OUTPOSTS, AND HOUSING--NOT ALL DOORS ARE OF THE LORD
40. AND, INCIDENTALLY, WHILE ON THE SUBJECT OF SMALL RURAL COLONIES OR OUTPOSTS, if I may digress for a moment from the subject of the mail, I would like to mention something that I am considerably concerned about. I think we're all convinced and familiar with the fact, that a small team staked out in a remote conservative rural area is apt to draw more attention of the ultra-conservative, overly-curious, and inclined to be antagonistic, local populous than even the large team in the large liberal city! Small town and rural folk are notoriously clannish, narrow- minded, ultra-conservative, anti-youth, anti-change, pro-traditional, churchy, and inclined to resist, dislike, and even fight anything they don't understand, particularly outsiders! This is especially true in an ultra-ultra-conservative area such as West Texas, particularly around Abilene, where we've already met with considerable opposition, and, who though curious about us, have not really received us or responded to our message. Look out Merkle!! Even Kentucky, the East, and North rural areas are apt to be more lenient and tolerant!--The West Coast also. We need to go northeast and big cities, TSC covers that area already.
41. I HATE TO INTERRUPT THIS MAIL THEME WITH AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT SUBJECT, but I'm horribly burdened about you having misunderstood my suggestion to immediately take advantage of every open door and offered places--NOT ALL DOORS ARE OF THE LORD. SOME OF THEM CAN BE TRICKS OF THE DEVIL, decoys, blind alleys, red herrings, sidetracks, and downright disasters! Again, I say, THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS TO EVERY RULE, AND THERE WILL BE PLACES OFFERED WHICH SHOULD NOT BE OCCUPIED, and could even be suicidal, such as in an area like Merkle--and you must have been awfully desperate to get rid of some people, to send 'em to a place like that. Someone mentioned it to me on the phone, and I was a little shocked, surprised, and uncertain about it at the time, because I knew absolutely nothing of the circumstances and had no time to pray about it, so weakly replied that you knew the conditions better than I, and would have to do as the Lord led you. PLEASE, DON'T ASK ME TO MAKE MAJOR DECISIONS ON A SPLIT- SECOND NOTICE OVER TRANS-ATLANTIC LONG-DISTANCE TELEPHONE, when it's even hard to hear what you're saying, and we don't always get it clear! WRITE ME ABOUT IT AND GIVE ME ALL THE DETAILS, AND TIME TO PRAY, IF YOU WANT MY ADVICE. HASTE MAKES WASTE! LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP! Squeeze, don't jerk! God's seldom in that big a hurry! FIRST, MAKE SURE YOU'RE RIGHT, THEN GO AHEAD!
42. I FELT HESITANT ABOUT THAT MERKLE MOVE the minute I heard about it on the phone, but he that judges a matter before he heareth it, is a fool (Pro.18:13), and I don't like to make snap judgements, unless I get a sudden direct revelation from the Lord, and He only does this in cases of emergency, when we couldn't possibly get it any other way! Most of the time, God uses your good common sense, and the Gifts of the Spirit that He's already given you, such as wisdom, knowledge, etc., rather than some direct, spectacular, miraculous, supernatural revelation!
43. THE MORE I HEAR ABOUT MERKLE, the more concerned I'm becoming! In the first place, this is not the direction we need to expand, and it is in entirely the wrong kind of community, and, besides, TSC's witness has thoroughly covered this area! The only possible good reason I can see for your sending them there was an overflow housing problem, and that's not good enough! Housing is not our major concern! We're not in the business just to house people; not just to find some place, even any place, to put them. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these other things shall be added unto you (Mt. 6:33),--including housing. Don't put the cart before the horse, like the churches have done! First they build the house, then look for the people and it has resulted in a multitude of empty buildings, and a vast waste of money and personnel. To put such a leading radical as Jeremiah with a tiny team in a lonely outpost in the midst of such hostile, militantly ultra-conservative, cowboy territory, as West Texas, is almost like sticking a handful of Indians in a camp of cowboy settlers! Besides, the talents of such top leaders as Jeremiah, in the musical field, will be almost lost in such a lonely outpost! You've just shipped out your Director of Music, who ought to be organising and training your musicians, working with the publishers of the songbook, and inspiring the vast multitudes of new babes at TSC. Top leadership talent has got to be kept where the greatest need is! Sticking Jeremiah in Merkle was like burying him. Only a city like him, set on a hill, cannot be hid for long anywhere, and out there, they're apt to bury him in more ways than one! Were you trying to start a war in West Texas? If so, Jeremiah's a good man for the job, only it's apt to result in his last stand, rather then Custer's! Besides, you're supposed to put married couples in charge of these small teams; and as far as I know, he's not married yet, but if he is, I'd hate to see him buried on his honeymoon. I know we have more boys than girls, but that's no way to even the score. But I hope to tell you how to do it before I get done. TSC needs Jeremiah as much for music as it needs Joab for teaching.
44. APPARENTLY I CAN NO LONGER GENERALISE IN MY SUGGESTIONS, but must be specific. JUST BECAUSE A PLACE IS OFFERED US, DOES NOT MEAN WE HAVE TO OCCUPY IT, IF IT MAY MEAN THE ANIHILATION OF ITS CREW, OR, TO SAY THE LEAST, A WASTE OF TALENT AND MANPOWER. The purpose of sending out new teams in the first place, is to get them where they're needed, where there's a ripe harvest field, and a receptive response. I'm not particularly fond of rural outposts, just because they're offered us, unless they are strategically located, not too far from major witnessing areas, needy areas, liberal, lenient, and tolerant areas, areas full of open-minded youth, the disillusioned generation, ready and hungry for the Answer; and I dare say, you won't find many of these around Merkle. It was even difficult in Ky., but Kentucky was the base and springboard which resulted in establishing Ohio, and even itself has been found to be a fairly fruitful area, not as close-minded and as hostile as you're going to find those rural West Texan cowboys!
45. THE ONLY OTHER POSSIBLE EXCUSE FOR A RURAL REMOTE OUT-POST MIGHT BE THOUGHT TO BE FOR SOME KIND OF RETREAT, OR HIDE-AWAY, FOR A SECLUDED REST FOR WEARY LEADERSHIP; but actually in such locations, you're more conspicuous and subject to more nosy curiosity of inquisitive local-yokels who have nothing else to do but be nosey, than you would be, lost in the crowd of the big city so they don't even make very good retreats. Note Kentucky! They're not retreating, but advancing and making news! But they're in a much better area for it than Merkle. I would say that perhaps a place like Merkle might be used as a retreat or resthouse for an inconspicuous leadership couple or two, or maybe even three, if you can spare that many, strictly on an undercover vacation, prayer retreat, summit conference, and so on; but certainly not a team of a dozen hippie-like youth, much less 30. May God spare us from a massacre! And even a few leadership couples on a weekend retreat would be hard to hide in a place like Merkle. I don't even like the name! It's too closed to "murder" and Texas is notorious for its violence, with the highest rate of the same of any state in the nation! If we had not occupied TSC by night, so to speak, en masse, en force, in a very familiar, well-protected, easily-defensible, and fairly friendly area of former personal long-time neighbours who knew us well, we might not have gotten away with it. As it was, it took many miracles of God to spare us--but don't tempt Him, like jumping in front of a stampede of violent Texas cattlemen, if you can possibly help it! Lets use our heads! When I said occupy every place, I didn't mean No-man's land, or strictly unfriendly enemy territory; even Jesus didn't--until He was ready to die, and that had to be for a pretty good reason, and He avoided it as long as He could in order to finish His ministry! Let's not push it!
46. I BELIEVE THAT PERHAPS THE SMALL RURAL PLACES OFFERED, IF THEY ARE IN ADVANTAGEOUS AREAS IN THE DIRECTION WE WANT TO GO, OR NOT TOO FAR FROM WHERE WE WANT TO BE, COULD BE USED AT LEAST AS TEMPORARY BASES BY SMALL, DISCREET AND HARMLESS LOOKING TEAMS, as a temporary scouting location aiming for bigger game, as we did in Ky.
47. KENTUCKY, HOWEVER, EVEN DID THE IMPOSSIBLE, and made the hidden-hideout a fruitful field! They did everything contrary to natural expectation there, lived on miracles, and God did the impossible, just to show what could be done, even in a difficult situation. However, I'm inclined to believe that Merkle is nearly untenable, except possibly, as I've indicated, and I would even be concerned about such a small retreat, even for a few, in such hostile, and unlikely territory. Selah!
48. WHEN I SAID OCCUPY ALL OFFERED PLACES NOW, I MEANT, OF COURSE, ONLY THOSE WHERE YOU WANT AND NEED TO GO FOR SOME BETTER PURPOSE THAN JUST HOUSING! Let's not get that desperate just for a place to live. Let's ship our teams somewhere where they'll be more useful, particularly top talent like Jeremiah, who should be kept at home base where the strongest leadership is needed most. Think it over! For God's sake, don't drag out a whole radical crew to someplace like the Ohio farm leadership hideout, or invade the West Virginia mountains with an army, or you're apt to get shot by some of those mountaineers, who don't even hesitate to shoot the Feds, when the stills are running, or each other, at the slightest provocation. Use your heads. LET'S TRY TO STICK TO THE KIND OF TERRITORY WHERE WE USUALLY THRIVE, LIBERAL LAND, YOUTH COUNTRY, THE BIG CITY AFFLUENT SOCIETY. WHERE THE KIDS HAVE ALREADY HAD IT, AND KNOW IT DOESN'T SATISFY--not West Texas, or the South, where they haven't made it yet, but still think it will make 'em happy when they do. In fact, most of these kids are just waiting for a chance to get away from their rigidly restricted homelife, and their dead ghost-towns, to sample life in the big city, like the Prodigal Son! You wouldn't have gotten to first base with him before he left home! He wouldn't have listened to you until his money and friends were gone and hadn't made him happy, and he'd landed in the swinepit at the end of the road. Then he knew he needed help. These kids on the farms never had it so good, but they don't know it. You've got to wait till they find it out. City kids sometimes find it out even before they leave home, like some of you, because they're right where it's at, and have already found out that's not where it's at! But these rural kids are still dreaming they'll find it somewhere else, and won't believe it till they try. I don't think our greatest success has been with the farm boys, but Kentucky is proving that it's not altogether impossible; but maybe that's because their farm boys are close enough to big cities where they've already tried it!
SUGGESTIONS ON LOCATING HOUSING FOR NEW COLONIES
49. LET'S PARTICULARLY TRY TO GET PLACES, OLD HOUSES AND AREAS WHERE THEY DON'T CARE if there's a bunch of dilapidated looking vehicles sitting on the lawn, or a trailer parked out back, or even out front, like we did in Miami, where we kept it for two years to house a student, without ever being bothered once about it by the Zoning Commission, the Building Code, the Sanitary Department, the Fire Department, or the City Beautification Club; because we were in such a rundown, nearly Negro neighbourhood, that nobody even cared, much less complained!
50. BUT THE MINUTE WE MOVED TO A THREE-STORY, FRENCH-COLONIAL MANSION in swank Beacon Manor on the exclusive South-side, next door to the Sheriff on one side, a high school principal on the other, and leading city councilman across the street, we are in trouble. And it didn't take many loud prayer meetings, trailers in the yard, multitudes of kids running in and out, and all kinds of strange-looking characters hanging around, to persuade the local elite to rise up in arms to run us out by every ordinance in the book. Even our old sixteen-room ramshackle, three-story rundown boarding house in the dog-eared inner-city business block to which we moved late, was left alone, until we started fighting City Hall and the Board of Education over an illegal text-book on Evolution--but that did it! In one week five investigators came, and in two months the place was torn down to the parking lot!
51. I guess the mail does have something to do with your address, so maybe it's just as well we deal with THIS SUBJECT OF LOCATIONS while we're on it. I don't believe they'll ever let you get away with using the Women's Club for wall-to-wall hippies--at least not for long, not overnite. Only for meetings, classes, music, etc.--and probably not even that, if the hard-hats can help it There are all kinds of city restrictions on what a property can be used for, how it can be used, when it can be used, and by how many, and for what. There are zoning restrictions, building codes, use permits, fire and safety regulations, healh laws, and almost an unlimited number of local ordinances regulating exactly how you can turn around and which way you can spit! And they can pull any one of them on you if they want to: in fact, they can throw a whole bookful of them at you if they get mad enough, and they will seldom ever let a club building be used for an overnight residence; and sometimes, they'll even prohibit eating in it, unless you comply with all the usual health laws restricting how and where you cook the food, in what kind of utensils, and how you wash them, and in what kind of water, under constant inspection, harassment, and licensing procedures. We've been through this thing before. We lost a 50,000 dollar building in New York City because they wouldn't even let anybody sleep in it overnight, as it was zoned only for a social club. Of course, they didn't bother us there until the local Catholic administration was stirred up by the religious fervour of the church, because we were getting so many of their people converted. They let us run a long time until then, but then they socked it to us, and we lost the building. Maybe what we accomplished while there was worth it, but the cost was pretty high, and the difficulties quite a hassle!
52. I'm hoping now, by specific advice from these experiences to try to help you avoid the same difficulties: wasted time, costly moves, and unnecessary hassles with the neighbours and the Romans. THE EASIEST THING TO GET AWAY WITH, WE'VE FOUND BY MANY EXPERIENCES, IS AN OLD HOUSE IN A RUNDOWN NEIGHBOURHOOD WHERE NOBODY CARES WHAT YOU DO, how many you've got sleeping in it, how many cars are parked on the lawn, or how loud you yell--they're doing the same, so nobody bother to complain, much less the cops--unless you cause some trouble--a place like Cincy, or even L.A.!
53. BUT DON'T TRY IT IN A NICE NEIGHBOURHOOD FILLED WITH A LOT OF "NICE" PEOPLE, and a bunch of "nice" laws that are sure to be used to keep you from it as soon as you start a stir, unless you plan to be only briefly temporary. DON'T GET TIED DOWN, PARTICULARLY IN SUCH A PLACE, WITH OWNERSHIP, OR LONG-TERM HEAVY LEASES, OR A LOT OF HIGH RENT THAT'S GONNA BE HARD TO RAISE, HARD TO USE, AND HARD TO DUMP! Just camp out, and remain as mobile as possible, with as little invested as possible, so it won't be hard to leave. DON'T LET YOUR ROOTS GROW DOWN TOO DEEP, SO IT WILL TEAR YOUR HEART OUT WHEN YOU HAVE TO PULL UP STAKES!
54. Just before they tore our house down in Miami, we had spent a thousand dollars on repairs! Ha! IT'S SO HARD TO BUILD, BUT MIGHTY EASY TO TEAR DOWN! DON'T GET STUCK WITH SOMETHING YOU CAN'T GET RID OF, OR THAT WILL COST YOU MORE THAN IT'S WORTH, when you do. Camp out! Stay mobile! Be ready to move at a moment's notice. Don't get too tied up, or tied down, or you're apt to get run out anytime. They can pull laws on you if they want to. They can make you move out in 24 hours if you're a so-called "threat to public health and safety"! If they don't like us, all they have to do is say we are, and nobody's going to stop them! Or they can even say you're conducting a business in a residential neighborhood, and close you down immediately! I'm not trying to scare you, just advise you to have good sense, AND DON'T START BUILDING A TOWER THAT YOU CAN'T FINISH. FIRST SIT DOWN AND COUNT THE COST--OR YOU'LL START A WAR YOU CAN'T WIN. (Lu.14:28-32) That was Jesus' advice. BE SURE IT'S RIGHT AND GO AHEAD--THE RIGHT PLACE, THE RIGHT TIME, THE RIGHT PEOPLE--GOD'S WILL! HE WILL LEAD, IF YOU'LL FOLLOW. DON'T RUN OFF ON YOUR OWN, JUST BECAUSE IT LOOKS GOOD TO YOU. Keep in line His blessings, and don't push 'em too hard! But He may even make exceptions to these rules.--Just be sure it is!
55. THERE ARE AN INFINITE VARIETY OF OPENINGS THAT GOD IS MAKING FOR US, BUT JUST BE SURE YOURS IS GOD'S and not some trick of the Enemy to get you down off the wall where he can tear you to pieces! (Neh.6:3) Don't waste time on one of his decoys, or traps! You can even scatter your team in the private homes of friends, if you have to, and let them foot the bill, pay the rent, and feed you, not to speak of all those utilities, one of our biggest expenses--if the Lord so leads. But just be sure you have some place to meet for classes and meetings, even in one or more of the homes for your own fellowship and the instruction of babes. This is not the best setup, but it could be a temporary fill in between your campsite and the local park and a place of your own. This is what Jesus advised in Matthew 10 and elsewhere: INQUIRE IN IT WHO IS WORTHY AND THERE ABIDE TILL YE GO THENCE--maybe to your own place; but He also said not to go from house to house; that is, ONCE YOU'VE MOVED INTO THE LITTLE WIDOW'S PLACE BECAUSE SHE WAS THE ONLY ONE WILLING TO TAKE YOU WHEN YOU FIRST ARRIVED, DON'T MOVE OUT AFTERWARD to the Pharisee's suburban palace, when you get popular, and he decides to invite you for fame, or you'll offend and hurt! I learned this bitter personal experience in evangelistic work, like Jesus said!
56. I believed Kentucky and Ohio are one of our best examples of how to do it with a small team. Go in or near the area you want to work in, camp out temporarily, even on a piece of rural property that may have been offered you, or in the local campground, till you can locate a placed in town. This will probably come through friends or contacts there, as it did in Cincy. Then at least part of the team move in with the friends, until they move out and give you the whole place, like Cincy, or you find one of your own, and use this as a base, not only to reach the surrounding area, but as a stepping-stone to the next major area you want to invade, liked the East Coast. Or, Santa Barbara with a small team becomes not only a local outpost but a stepping-stone to the next territory, such as San Francisco, and San Francisco to Seattle, and so on. Or, TSC to Dallas, and North-ward; or TSC to Austin, to Houston, etc. Just be sure you go as God guides, 'cause He knows where the pickin's best--just the right time in just the right place. Pray! Follow Jesus! He'll show you! Praise the Lord; He never fails! IF YOU GO IN YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING, LIKE AI, YOU MAY FALL FLAT ON YOUR FACE or get slaughtered, like Israel did when she ran ahead of God in Joshua's own wisdom, instead of depending utterly on the Lord's direction.(Jos.7:1-5)
57. YOU BETTER MEMORISE THAT SEVEN POINT LESSON ON HOW TO FIND THE WILL OF GOD, IN CASE YOU DON'T ALREADY KNOW IT. There are some very good practical pointers there, to which you would do well to take heed; not only the inexperienced, but also veterans like General Joshua, who thought by that time he knew how to do it without waiting on God's direction, and he really goofed! You can read it in the Book of Joshua!
58. We can't really do this subject justice here, but we shall try to deal with it later, because we started out on the mail, an emergency situation, and got onto Merkle, another emergency situation; but we'll deal a good bit with the modus operandi of road teams as we explain how to answer some of these invitations. So it all ties in together. Anyhow, I hope you're learning something!
COLONIES (4) OPENING THE MAIL
59. OPENING THE MAIL. THIS SHOULD BE DONE ONLY IN PRIVACY BY THE DIRECTOR AND HIS WIFE AND/OR ASSISTANT DIRECTOR AND/OR THE DIRECTOR'S MOST TRUSTED PRIVATE SECRETARY. Do not open it while standing in the post office, or waiting in the market for your shopping wife, while you scatter checks and confidential information around on the counter or floor, and lose something important, or have somebody read it over your shoulder. If you must read it while waiting, do so in the car with no others present than those mentioned above. Some of the worst mistakes some men of God that I know ever made, was to let every Tom, Dick, and Harry, or some little office chick, open all his confidential mail, and know all his classified business, and spread it to the general public, including an exaggeration of his financial condition, complaints and criticisms of enemies, or just generally distorted gossip. Sometimes a half truth can be more dangerous than none at all, and one of your own co-worker's distortions can be more damaging, because they're supposed to know, than the slander of outside enemies, who couldn't be expected to know inside facts.
60. WATCH OUT ABOUT THESE GUYS who come visiting for half an hour, and go out and write a book about us. They can always say, "I was there, so I know," when they know nothing at all; and the same goes for part-time disciples who go back. The world will believe whatever they say, especially if it's bad, because that's what they wanna believe, and they can claim to prove it just because they were there, even if only momentarily. Don't let babes in on confidential information. They might not intentionally, but possibly, quite accidentally, let is slip out to the wrong people at the wrong time or place. Even Jesus said He had a lot of things to tell, that they weren't yet able to bear, and He spoke in parables to deliberately conceal the truth from the those who wouldn't have received or believed it anyhow, but only use it against Him, as they did, in some cases. (Jn.16:12; Lu.8:10)
61. SO THE DIRECTOR OF A SMALL TEAM SHOULD OPEN THE MAIL ALONE, OR WITH HIS WIFE--AND MAYBE YOU CAN'T EVEN TRUST YOUR WIFE! WOMEN LOVE TO TALK, God bless 'em, and in a multitude of words there lacketh not sin (Pro.10:19) and sometimes, no little inside information, which they just can't keep, it's so juicy, even though it might hurt if it got into the wrong hands via some foolish babe. Maybe you can trust your Assistant Director or secretary or business manager or general flunky, even more than your wife. If so, do it, and let the wife do other things where her big mouth can't do so much damage. That's more trust than fiction. She doesn't mean to--it just spills out. Some people's mouths are like the bunghole on a barrel. The minute they open their mouths, everything in their head runs out: they don't even know it.
62. OR, DIRECTOR'S WIFE, IT JUST MAY BE YOUR DIRECTOR-HUSBAND IS THAT WAY, SO YOU MAY HAVE TO ACT AS HIS PRIVATE CONFIDENTIAL SECRETARY if you've got more business sense than he has, and open the mail yourself, so he won't know too much about what's going on, and spill the beans while he's teaching, although we shouldn't have any directors like that--but it's possible. It's happened: that big mouth can get you if you don't watch out. Some people know so little, they like to tell everything they know; and since that doesn't take very long, they make up a few. IT ONLY TAKES A YEAR OR TWO TO LEARN HOW TO TALK, BUT ALL THE REST OF YOUR LIFE TO LEARN HOW TO KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. KEEP IT SHUT ABOUT BUSINESS AND CONFIDENTIAL MAIL, BECAUSE IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW YOU EXPLAIN IT, SOME NUT WILL MISUNDERSTAND OR MISINTERPRET. FOR EXAMPLE WHEN IT COMES TO FINANCES, NO MATTER WHAT YOUR INCOME, SOME GUYS WILL KNOW IT'S NOT ENOUGH, AND OTHER GUYS WILL BE SURE IT'S TOO MUCH. IT'S ALL A MATTER OF RELATIVITY, AND WHETHER THEY'RE LOOKING UP OR DOWN, IN OR OUT--SO JUST SHUT UP!
(5) GIFTS OR DONATIONS
63. GIFTS OR DONATIONS. Most of what you receive in the mail will not be lovely checks, and colourful bills with pretty pictures on them, sad to say. Oh, you'll get lots of bills, alright, but mostly the kind you have to pay--and that's part of the job. But WHAT GIFTS YOU DO RECIEVE MUST BE HANDLED VERY WISELY!
64. IN FACT, THE FIRST THING YOU NEED TO DO, AS SOON AS YOU GET YOUR BOX NUMBER, IS TO GO OPEN A CHECKING ACCOUNT, NOT IN YOUR NAME, BUT IN THE NAME OF YOUR ORGANISATION, WITH YOU AND YOUR WIFE, AND ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OR SECRETARY AS LOCAL OFFICERS. You tell the bank that you're the Director of a local non-profit, charitable religious group called so-and-so, (you don't have to explain any more than that, unless they ask you) and you wish to open an account in the name of your organisation. They'll take down the information and give you usually three little cards to take home with you, so you can have a meeting of your officers, you, your wife, secretary, business manager, or Assistant Director, and choose up sides--who you're going to put down up the card as President, Vice President, and secretary or treasurer. According to the card forms used, these may or may not have to be signed by these officers, as long as the officers are named; but you will usually be asked to give the place and date of the meeting; and whoever's going to sign the checks, such as you and/or your wife and/or your Assistant Director and/or your secretary will have to sign the form as signatories for the account, the only ones allowed to write checks on it. YOU CAN MAKE THIS SO THAT YOU MUST BOTH SIGN TOGETHER, OR COUNTERSIGN, TO PREVENT ONE PERSON FROM SPENDING ANYTHING HE SHOULDN'T, OR RUNNING OFF WITH THE MONEY WITHOUT SOMEBODY ELSE OKAYING IT.
65. FOR YOUR OWN PROTECTION, IT'S BETTER FOR YOU NOT TO HANDLE THE MONEY AT ALL IF YOU CAN HELP IT, IF YOU HAVE AN ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, WIFE, BUSINESS MANAGER, OR SECRETARY THAT CAN HANDLE IT FOR YOU. This takes you off the hook,and you can say, "I only work here", if any financial problems arise, or criticisms are voiced. They can work under your direct supervision, and you can hang on to all the checks yourself, if necessary, and only let them sign them, if you want to, or you can turn the whole works over to them, if you can trust them. But WHATEVER YOU DO, YOU TOP LEADERS TRY TO KEEP YOURSELF OUT OF THE FINANCIAL AND BUSINESS END AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, FOR YOUR OWN PROTECTION, AND THE PROTECTION OF GOD'S WORK. DON'T TEND TABLES IF YOU CAN HELP IT. The apostles or elders should let the deacons do it. APOSTLES AND ELDERS SHOULD DIRECT THE SPIRITUAL AFFAIRS, AND LET THE DEACONS HANDLE THE MATERIAL, IF POSSIBLE. It's not always possible, until God sends you a good man, but when He does, let 'em do it.
66. AS YOU OPEN THE MAIL, IF THERE IS A GIFT OR CHECK IN IT, be sure to make a notation of its amount on the letter inside, or the outside of the envelope, whichever is easiest, according to your own office practices, so that your secretary will be sure to send them a receipt with a letter of thanks immediately. These receipts should be nicely printed up in the name of the organisation if possible, but you can use a book of receipts bought at the dime store if you have to, and stamp them with your colony's official stamp, even the rubber stamp with your colony's name and post office box on it will do, to make it as official-looking as possible to be acceptable by the IRS boys for the sake of your poor donors' income tax deductions. Even if you're not officially incorporated, chartered, or recognised in your state at all, if you make it look good enough, they may pass it; but for God's sake, do not use the words "income tax deductible" on any of your literature, letters, receipts, or otherwise, unless you really are officially approved and listed as such in IRS records, because if you're not, and they don't allow your receipt for your donor's deductions, he can sue you for the consequences. But as long as you don't claim it's income tax deductible, and just say you are sending them an official receipt for their donation, inclosing it to the donor, that is, with a letter of thanks, he will probably be impressed--and if it looks good enough, and may even impress the tax man enough, so as not to look it up. And you haven't promised anything except God's blessing, and everybody's happy. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT, AS YOU DON'T WANT TO PROMISE SOMETHING YOU CAN'T DELIVER, and you probably can't deliver a guarantee of tax deductibility, if you're a little fly-by-night road team hanging on by your fingernails, camping in the county park, and having your meetings on the grass under the trees, even with a box number!
67. BUT EVEN IF YOU'RE CAMPING OUT, a box number on your letters, literature and receipts certainly looks better than the local tin-can tourist camp-ground. You can even use your friend's home address for a residency reference, if he'll vouch for you when the mailman comes, in order to get a box number; but even his address might not look too good on your literature, and could cause him a lot of reaction if there's any trouble--like when they couldn't find Paul, they attacked the house of Jason where he'd been staying, and fined him instead.
68. Anyway, if you've gotten this far as a temporary headquarters, with a box number getting mail, open a checking account in the name of your organisation, whatever it is, as instructed above, and use it for depositing checks and paying the bills, most banks will not even charge for this service for a religious organisation, but you will have to pay for having the checks printed with your organisation's name on them. This is also somewhat of a status symbol to impress the System with your legitimacy and prestige. Use it!
(6) KEEP ACCURATE ACCOUNTS
69. KEEP ACCURATE ACCOUNTS of every penny that comes in,, especially, by check, and of all expenditures, including all the receipts you can collect, itemised, naming the thing you paid or bought, both in your books and on the receipt, and save them diligently, protect them prayerfully, and hope you won't ever have to use them in any legal or financial or tax hassles, but they could come in mighty handy if you had to, to prove where the money came from and what it was spent for. Incidentally, gifts and donations are not supposed to be taxable, and according to the tax instructions, do not even have to be reported as income, so you should be in the clear on that score; but in case anybody ever tries to make you prove it, you'd better have those records and receipts of who and where the money came from, for what, and where it went, for your own protection. And an accurate check record,if kept in detail and complete, showing both deposits with the names of the donors as well as all items of expenditure, could be a great asset if they should ever hassle you.
70. THIS IS ANOTHER REASON WHY EACH UNIT, EACH COLONY, EACH TEAM, SHOULD WORK COMPLETELY INDEPENDENTLY FINANCIALLY, IF POSSIBLE, SO THAT ITS FINANCES AND BUSINESS HAVE AS LITTLE TO DO WITH THE OTHERS AS POSSIBLE, so that if anyone has any problems, it won't reflect on the rest, and they can't be held responsible. This is also why all vehicles and properties and bank accounts should be held strictly, each in your own names of your own individual organisation, INDEPENDENT OF THE OTHERS, IN EVERY WAY EXCEPT SPIRITUALLY, OR IN CASES OF EMERGENCY OCCASIONALLY IN TIME OF NEED. THIS IS SO THAT YOU MAY NOT ONLY LEARN TO BE UTTERLY DEPENDENT ON THE LORD, STAND ON YOUR OWN TWO FEET BY FAITH, AND TRUST GOD TO SUPPLY ALL YOUR NEEDS ACCORDING TO HIS RICHES IN GLORY, BUT ALSO TO PROTECT THE WHOLE BODY FROM BEING KILLED BY AN ATTACK ON ONE MEMBER. This is very revolutionary, as most groups insist on some kind of financial bondage to the denomination, so that no unit can break away with any property of money, and the big wigs can get their cut. But WE JUST DON'T DO IT THAT WAY. ALL OF YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN, INDEPENDENT EXCEPT IN FELLOWSHIP, VISION, LIKE-MINDEDNESS, SPEAKING THE SAME THING, AND CALLING, AS WELL AS MODES OF OPERATION, LIKE THE EARLY CHURCH, BUT NO LEGAL OR FINANCIAL TIES THAT COULD BIND OR CHOKE THE WHOLE!
GOD'S FREE TRIP! HEAVENLY ORGANISATION
71. THIS FANTASTIC SETUP, FOR NOT ONLY OUR WEAPONS ARE NOT CARNAL, BUT SPIRITUAL, (2COR.10:4) BUT SO IS OUR PERSONAL AND ORGANISATIONAL ASSOCIATION; so they'll not be able to blame any one of you for the sins of the other--strike you, and fell your brother with you--but every man shall give an account of himself, and owe no man anything save to love him. (Ro.14:12; 13:8) WE WILL HELP EACH OTHER AS NEEDED, BUT THIS IS STRICTLY VOLUNTARY, NOT AN ORGANISATIONAL COMPULSION. Each of you is on his own, of the Lord's own, just as your leaders must trust God for their needs. Nobody gets paid. All any of us get is our room and board, and such other needs as the Lord supplies. I love it that way, because there's no limit to what God can supply, it's better than a salary, and God knows exactly what you need, and every colony's and individual's needs can vary with the situation, and God is not limited in supplying whatever's necessary, Praise God! Hallelujah! I've lived this way most of my life, and He's never failed once. He never makes a mistake. He never gives me too much or too little. I'VE NEVER SAVED ANYTHING, BUT I'VE NEVER RUN SHORT. I DON'T OWN ANYTHING, BUT I HAVE EVERYTHING I NEED, AND THE SAME SHOULD BE true of you. Why have the responsibilities and headaches of ownership, along with its legal problems, when all you need to do is Use It! let the other guy own it and worry about it! Let's us just Use It! "This world is not my home: I'm just a-passin' through." Let him keep it, as long as I can use it! Hallelujah! What freedom! You own nothing, and nothing owns you--but the Lord! Praise God! What glorious liberty from the bondage of things. That guy in the Bible who wanted to build more barns to hold all the junk he didn't want to share with others couldn't take it with him. (Lu.12:16-21) His biggest problem was the barniness of his own soul. YOU GOTTA GET THE THINGS OUT OF YOU, AS WELL AS GET YOU OUT OF THE THINGS, OR THEY BECOME PART OF YOU, AND YOU GET BARNEY TOO. THE ONLY THINGS YOU CAN TAKE WITH YOU ARE THE SOULS YOU WIN FOR THE LORD;--and those you'll enjoy for all eternity, immortal, indestructible, imperishable, everlasting! Isn't that great? That's the most, Man! That's the Eternal Trip! We're Free!...Free!...Free! Free at last, and everything we've got is free: free Salvation, free room and board, free labour, and free love, free happiness, free spirits! Freedom is our business--and it's free! Hallelujah! More later!
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family}