"LETTERS II"--MO February 27, 1971 NO.52--LTA
INTRODUCTION, AND PAUL'S EPISTLES
1. My dear precious children: Greetings again in Jesus' precious name! As you'll note by the title, this is the second of our epistles on the subject of the ministry of the mail. You also probably didn't notice that this is Communication No. 52, our "Fifty-second Epistle to the Americans", which may be even better, at least greater in quantity, than the production of the original Apostle Paul, and some of them may even be longer than some of his; but I'm sure not always as powerful. However, perhaps you could count this as a fulfillment of the Scripture, "Greater works than these shall ye do". We should be an improvement on the stock!
2. However, since each of mine are conveniently duplicated by the marvelous, modern invention of carbon paper, and are usually multiplied by anywhere from four to seven copies, the number of actual epistles we've sent out to you, all of you colonies, has actually run in literal total up into the hundreds; so we really are enjoying manifold multiplication by the Lord, thanks to some of these modern inventions, including the typewriter! Don't knock it--Use it!
3. Nevertheless, we still may not be doing total justice to our dear Brother Paul of the First Century A.D., because we don't know how many letters he actually wrote. He surely must have written a great many more than we actually have preserved in the New Testament, especially if he wrote to all of his friends, which he surely must have, and to all of the churches he established, which he surely should have, I am sure, therefore, that his epistles also probably ran into the hundreds to all of these dear folks and friends of the Early Church. Wow! What a job; and he had write 'em all by hand, at least some of them, according to his own words, and apparently he couldn't see too well, because he said, "Look at the large letters I have to write to you in." Maybe your translation says, "Behold, with what large characters I write unto you." The other translation was my own, like I used to do for some of you kids when you were little. I've threatened to write such a translation some day in a language even little kids can understand, the way I read and translated the Bible stories to my own little kids, with a few added attractions of dramatics to illustrate the scene, like your skirts, and like some guy wrote for the beatniks and the hippies, a copy of which Eve used to have, and could read to you some time, which I think you'd get a great kick out of. As her to--she's so sweet!
4. And the Apostle Paul also said that some of them would even have plucked out their own eyes and given them to him, if they could have, so great was their love for him, and apparently so bad was his eyesight, without the invention of modern spectacles. Don't knock it!--Use it! Maybe this was his thorn in the flesh!
HOW MO WRITES LETTERS
5. THANK GOD FOR A TYPEWRITER, CARBON PAPER, EYEGLASSES FOR US OLD FOLKS, AND THE DEAREST, SWEETEST LITTLE SCRIBE ANYONE COULD EVER HOPE TO HAVE, who works so hard and long, many hours of my long dictation at her little machine. If you think it's hard to read these Letters, you should try to have to write them! It only takes you about 10 minutes to read a page, that it takes us about an hour to write; so that First Epistle on Letters of thirteen pages should have only taken you a little over two hours to read, but it literally took us 13 hours, or a couple of days to type; so you should worry about havin' to read it! That's a snap! Read your 13 pages, and don't worry!--Some day you'll be boss and have to write 'em, and have all the worry, or be his secretary and have all the writin'! Of course, I just roll mine over on Jesus, and I don't worry either. I just start in and let it roll. We join hands and pray, ask the Lord to bless, lead, guide, strengthen, empower, and give wisdom and skill, and keep us and the typewriter--then let'er rip: and this is the awful result. And if you don't think God's doin' a miracle, some of you secretaries oughtta try it some day, taking dictation at full speed on a typewriter, to save time and transcribing, and yet to try to get all your spelling, punctuation, and interpretation right! Hallelujah! What a miracle!--and yet, in correcting that last 13 pages of thousands of words, about 700 words to the page, we only found two serious typographical errors that really needed correcting in order to make sense! We figure, as long as you can read it and understand it, we don't have correct it! Little things, like words running together, or a little misspelling, or slight typographical errors which are obvious, we don't worry about, as long as you know what we mean. We don't worry too much about the looks, either, although it hurts my dear little secretary's stenographic heart, as long as you can read it. I just insist on pluggin' along, and she tries to keep up with me--and she does, too, God bless her! I hope you can! All you have to do is read it, learn it absorb it, and do it; and, of course, that's quite a job, too. I hope you're doing it!
A GOOD SECRETARY A--Z
6. Well, I guess this is a pretty good lesson on the mail, too, because YOU CAN'T VERY WELL TAKE CARE OF YOUR MAIL WITHOUT A GOOD SECRETARY--which is one of the first requirements, as mentioned in the last Epistle; but didn't go into detail on it, but maybe I should. I oughtta know what it takes because I've had lots of 'em--and never a better one than this one; God bless her! Course, her pay is pretty high--but she's worth it! She's been fussin' about my insisting on writing this to ya, but, as any good secretary should, she's obeying--but not without some protest! But how can I tell you what a good secretary should be like, unless I tell you about her?
7. THE FIRST THING YOUR GOOD SECRETARY NEEDS IS A GOOD BOSS, A BENEVOLENT DICTATOR WHO DRIVES HER LIKE A SLAVE WHEN HE'S INSPIRED, BUT DOES EVERYTHING HE CAN DO TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR HER, WHEN HE'S NOT. Maybe I should let her take over here and tell you what she thinks about it. She's had a lot of bosses, including some big ones, lawyers, county supervisor, and public relations people--but she says I'm the best boss she ever had--so I'm gonna ask her why. Here's her answer!
8. FIRST, SHE SAYS, HE'S IN THE BEST WORK IN THE WORLD--and she's sold on that! SHE LIKES THE WORK. SHE LIKE JOB. HER HEART IS IN IT, she says. SECOND, SHE LOVES HER BOSS. She really likes and admires him, and thinks he's great, respects him for putting the Lord first; because he's loving, kind, and considerate!
9. I'm not saying this about myself now, mind ya, but I'm just quoting what she's saying, since she doesn't want me to quote her directly, and she always claims I say it better than she does. I know she can write good letters herself, and has done so in the past. Some of you don't know it, but that long letter you're using for new applicants which you mimeographed to send to them, and thought was written by me, was not written by me at all. In fact, I had very little to do with it, except to discuss the points it should cover a long time ago, when we were answering a girl's letter up in Laurentide. She wrote the whole thing herself, with only a few suggestions from me, but, of course, she says the Lord wrote it, which I'm sure He did, since she's the Lord's as well as mine. She says I shouldn't talk about her, or put her in the limelight, but that she should just let her boss come to the fore. BUT I STILL SAY THAT BEHIND EVERY GREAT MAN, THERE'S A GREAT LITTLE WOMAN WHO HELPS MAKE HIM THAT WAY, HIS HELPMEET. And I've run into many secretaries in many years in the business world who knew more about the boss' business than he did. THAT'S THEIR JOB--DETAILS! HE SHOULD ONLY HAVE TO DIRECT, ADVISE, COUNSEL, DICTATE, DECIDE, SUPERVISE, INSPIRE, AND CREATE. SHE SHOULD TAKE CARE OF ALL THE LITTLE DETAILS, HELP HIM READ THE MAIL, ORGANISE IT FOR HIM, POINT OUT THE IMPORTANT THINGS, SUGGEST WHAT HE MIGHT SAY, CALL HIS ATTENTION TO NEEDFUL ITEMS, AND CONFER WITH HIM ABOUT IT, MAKE SUGGESTIONS, BUT NOT ACTUALLY TELL HIM WHAT TO DO, OR ACT LIKES SHE'S THE BOSS. This might be good advice for some of you wives, in how to handle your husbands, as well, because the situation is very similar. Every woman you have working for you is one of your helpmeets, and her glory is in her boss. She lives for his benefit, because it's the Lord's, and she loves Jesus, and her job is his job, because his job is Jesus'--not as unto man, but as unto the Lord! Hallelujah!
TIPS FOR BOSSES WIVES
10. THEREFORE, A TIP TO YOU BOSSES' WIVES: DON'T BE JEALOUS OF HIS SECRETARY, BECAUSE, IF YOU REALLY LOVE HIM, YOU'LL BE THANKFUL FOR HER, and that she's such a help to him, and helps to make him what he is, to do what he's doing for the Lord!
11. THANK GOD FOR UNDERSTANDING WIVES. THEY CAN BE A TREMENDOUS ASSET TO YOU BOSSES; GOD BLESS 'EM--because they know the boss needs more help than they can give him, to help carry his heavy loads; so they shouldn't object to a few additional helpmeets--and the smart wives don't. That's how they keep their husbands! They understand the role of a secretary, and her absolute necessity in his business, especially the Lord's business; so if you love him, get him all the help he needs! Amen?
12. Of course, IF YOU'D RATHER KILL YOURSELF TRYING TO DO EVERYTHING, including being as assistant director, stenographer, typist, playmate, companion, public relations officer, show-piece, decoration, and everything else, just to keep your husband from having secretary, BECAUSE YOU'RE SO DAMN SUSPICIOUS AND JEALOUS OF HIM, AND DON'T TRUST HIM, MAYBE YOU OUGHTTA GET YOURSELF SOME OTHER KIND OF A HUSBAND: EITHER THAT, OR YOU'RE GOING TO WORK YOURSELF TO A FRAZZLE trying to do every job in the Colony, just to keep the women away from him. If you can't trust him any more than that, you don't love him very much; and if you don't trust his women helpers anymore than that, you don't love them enough, so you can work together in peace, and love, and harmony, and understanding and cooperation, without the green-eyed monster of jealousy, envy, pride, sensitiveness, and petty bickering, slurring, insinuating, and dirty-digging coming between you and wrecking your service for the Lord, you don't deserve to be in it. If you haven't got enough love and sacrificial service and unselfishness for the Lord's Work's Sake to call nothing your own, but everything the Lord's, even your husband, and having all things in common enough to share him with his secretary a few hours a day in their essential office together, you're not very Revolutionary, or very Early Christian, and you're certainly not going to help him get very much accomplished.
13. So even THE ATTITUDE OF YOU WIVES IS IMPORTANT TO THIS TASK OF THE MALE, I MEAN, M--A--I--L! Get me? Good for you. I love everyone of you, and I wouldn't have let you have him in the first place, if I hadn't. So let's keep sharing for Jesus! Amen?
14. SO ANOTHER THING THE MALE NEEDS, I MEAN M--A--I--L, IS NOT ONLY A GOOD BOSS AND A GOOD SECRETARY, BUT A GOOD AND UNDERSTANDING BOSS' WIFE-UTTERLY DEVOTED TO HER HUSBAND'S WORK, AND THE LORD'S SERVICE, INCLUDING HIS SECRETARY. They should be the best of friends, good sisters in the Lord. This is very important, or it could wreck all your relationships, including your relationship with the Lord! Amen.
15. MORE ABOUT SECRETARIES: MINE JUST SAID, "SHE SHOULD ENJOY HER WORK; IT SHOULD BE FUN TOGETHER!" Of course, that's exactly what most wives are afraid of--that it might be too much fun. Maybe you better memorise the thirteenth chapter of 1Corinthians...hope all things, and take no account of evil. Love suffereth long, and is kind, vaunteth not itself, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, beareth all things, believe all things, endureth all things--or maybe you'd like to make a few exceptions. Think it over. If you want him to be a successful administrator for the Lord, you may have to take a lot. Thank God I've got that kind of a wife, and that's one of the reasons for my success for the Lord. She is the most sacrificial woman I know of, and is willing to pay any price for the Lord's service, and to see me succeed in it. She is a veritable saint! I wish you knew her like I do! It would inspire your heart, and make you ashamed of yourself, like it does me. God bless her. This work would never have been possible without her, and it would do some of you wives well to take note of her shining and glorious example--one of the most beautiful saints I know! Hallelujah!
16. More on the subject of the mail--the male, too,--THE BOSS, the director, the writer, the dictator. Without him there can be no mail. HE MUST PRAY AND ASK GOD FOR WISDOM IN ANSWERING, FOR HE MUST BECOME ALL THINGS TO ALL THOSE WHO WRITE IN, AND ASK GOD FOR WISDOM FOR EXACTLY WHAT TO SAY.
WHAT SECRETARIES AND BOSSES MUST BE
17. And to add some more to the subject of secretaries, which we'll never get through with, because they ARE THE HEART AND SOUL OF THIS MINISTRY OF THE MAIL, as well as its eyes, ears, tongue, and touch, not to speak of the sense they must have, to be able to smell, or discern by their God-given sense of intuition or instinct the various needs to their baby, the mail, and their other baby, the boss, and whatever may be necessary to fulfill the needs of both; A GOOD SECRETARY KNOWS HER BOSS' MIND AND HEART AND LANGUAGE AND WAYS SO WELL, SHE CAN EVEN WRITE A LETTER FOR HIM, JUST THE WAY HE WOULD WRITE IT, like mine wrote that one you thought I wrote for the new babes. SHE HAS TO BE LIKE A PART OF HIM, AND KNOW EXACTLY WHAT HE WOULD THINK OR SAY, OR HOW HE WOULD DO IT, IF HE'S NOT THERE; BECAUSE SHE MUST MANY TIMES REPRESENT HIM TO OTHERS, BE HIS PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER, DEFEND HIM, TO PROTECT HIM, EXPLAIN HIM, AND ANSWER FOR HIM, AND TAKE ALL THE BLAME IN ORDER TO SAVE HIM; TO HELP BEAR HIS BURDENS, SHARE HIS LOADS, ENCOURAGE HIS FAITH, INSPIRE HIS CONFIDENCE AND EVEN HELP HIM TO BELIEVE IN HIMSELF, TO TRUST AND KNOW THAT GOD IS USING HIM, AND TO PROVE THIS TO HIM WHEN HE'S DOWN, EVEN WHEN HE FEELS LIKE HE'S FAILED, AND FEELS LIKE QUITTING. She is his right hand, and his girl Friday, and every other day in the week, at any hour of the day or night, whenever he needs her to get a job done. Her love for him and the Lord's Service knows no hours. She is willing to lay down her life for him, and the sheep, because he represents the Lord to her, and his work and life are hers; and he could not do without her. She is an absolute necessity, and one of the major secrets of his success as a leader, and without whom he could hardly amount to anything without her help. No leader in his right mind can say to this most important right-hand of all his members, sometimes both hands and both feet, "I have no need of thee"! THEREFORE, HE MUST REMEMBER, SINCE HE CAN'T GET ALONG WITHOUT HER, THAT HE MUST GIVE HONOUR TO THIS WEAKER VESSEL, BE CONSIDERATE AND THOUGHTFUL OF HER, AND NOT OVERWORK HER, IF HE CAN HELP IT. He must realise her limitations, as well as her capacities, that nobody is perfect, and not scream when she makes a mistake, but remember that he, too, is but clay, a bit of dust in the hands of the Lord; and he, also, would be nothing without Jesus, even as she. All have sinned and come short of the glory God. (Rom 3:23) and there is none righteous, no not one. All we like sheep, have gone astray, (Isa 53:6) and you're no exception, BROTHER, SO TAKE IT EASY ON YOUR SECRETARY, WHO IS JUST LIKE YOU, YOUR REFLECTION--AND SEE YOURSELF IN HER. She'll probably do no better than you; although in some of your cases, I hope she does; but SINCE YOU'RE HER LEADER, AND SHE'S SUPPOSED TO FOLLOW, WHATEVER GOES WRONG IS PROBABLY YOUR FAULT. Since her sun, moon, and stars set in you, she probably won't exceed your light--SO DON'T TRY TO EXPECT MORE OF HER THAN YOU DO OF YOURSELF. ALTHOUGH TO UPHOLD YOU, AND INSPIRE CONFIDENCE IN YOUR LEADERSHIP, SHE MAY TAKE THE BLAME FOR YOUR MISTAKES IN PUBLIC, PRIVATELY, SHE OF ALL PEOPLE KNOWS HOW HUMAN AND WEAK YOU ARE, AND LOVES YOU ANYWAY, AND TRIES TO EXCUSE YOU FOR YOUR FAULTS, EVEN TO YOURSELF, AND MAKE YOU FORGIVE YOURSELF, SO YOU CAN PICK UP AND GO ON.
18. She's the epitome of an angel, as well as a love-slave to the Lord's service. SHE DOES ALL THE WORK, AND GIVES YOU ALL THE GLORY, AND TAKES THE BLAME FOR ALL YOUR MISTAKES. THAT'S ONE OF THE THINGS GOOD SECRETARIES ARE FOR, TO BE A BUFFER FOR YOU--A SHOCK-ABSORBER, TO CUSHION YOU FROM THE BLOWS OF OTHERS, TO STAND THE GAFF FOR YOU WHENEVER SHE CAN, TO COVER FOR YOU: LOVE COVERETH A MULTITUDE OF SINS; HER LOVE, YOUR SINS. That's what good secretaries are made of.--Sugar and spice and everything nice, even if her boss is frogs and snails, and puppy-dog tails, like every other little boy, she loves you anyway! She admires her hero, and laughs at her little boy--and loves them both the same! How about you wives?
19. As you can see by our last item, Number 5, "Keep Accurate Accounts" that our next item should be Number 6; but you're wrong, and you haven't been keeping accurate accounts, because item 5 WAS ACTUALLY "GIFTS OR DONATIONS", AND THE "KEEP ACCURATE ACCOUNTS" ITEM SHOULD HAVE BEEN NUMBER 6; and the next one therefore, should be Number 7, so this goof simply illustrates how important it is to keep accurate accounts; but if we can't even number our paragraphs correctly, how in the world are we gonna keep books. God help us! We sure need it! Praise the Lord!
(7) READING THE MAIL.
20. Now that you've gotten it opened, gotten any gifts recorded, and kept accurate accounts, it's time to read the letters. One of the greatest men I ever knew personally, Pastor of the greatest missionary church in the world, supporting more missionaries than any other church in the world, over 500, People's Tabernacle, Toronto, Canada, a man who'd lived in our home, and we in his, and the author of some of the most revolutionary New Testament missionary doctrine, whose writings, songs, and sermons have inspired millions, Dr. Oswald J. Smith, made a VERY ADMIRABLE PRACTICE OF ANSWERING HIS MAIL EVERY MORNING, AS HE OPENED IT, THE SAME DAY THAT HE RECEIVED IT, which is probably one reason he was such a great man, a man of action, efficiency, and treasuring the value of time and his correspondence, and correspondents. IT TAKES A GREAT MAN AND A GREAT MIND AND A GREAT MANY OTHER THINGS, TO ANSWER YOUR MAIL THE SAME DAY YOU GET IT. IF YOU WANT SOMETHING DONE, ASK A BUSY MAN TO DO IT, FOR ONLY A GREAT AND BUSY MAN RECOGNISES THE IMPORTANCE OF GETTING THINGS DONE NOW--NOT TOMORROW, BUT YESTERDAY! Amen?
21. If you ANSWER YOUR MAIL AS SOON AS YOU GET IT, you won't have to go around long with that guilty conscience-wish-I'd-answered-that-letter feeling! I oughtta know: I usually have it, and it's torture, especially as much as I love you, and appreciate your wonderful letters and reports. Seems like we're just getting rid of one job, and something else comes up, and sometimes before that. But I remember that when I was in school I always did my homework the minute I got home, so I wouldn't have to worry about it anymore, and I could go out and play, with a free conscience; otherwise, even my play was ruined by the impending gloom of homework still undone. IF YOU WANNA ENJOY LIFE, PUT BUSINESS, GOD'S BUSINESS, LIKE THE MAIL, BEFORE PLEASURE, LIKE STUDYING, MEMORISING, TEACHING, WITNESSING, AND FELLOWSHIPPING; BECAUSE THE MAIL IS ONE OF YOUR MOST IMPORTANT WITNESSES, YOUR WINDOW ON THE WORLD, YOUR LIFE-LINE TO LOST SOULS, and sometimes, your own source of supply; so you better get with it and get it done, even before some of these other things. IT'S ONE OF THE MOST URGENT JOBS IN THIS BUSINESS, AND SHOULD HAVE TOP PRIORITY, SENIORITY, PARTIALITY, AND SPECIAL CONSIDERATION, ABOVE AND BEYOND THE MOST OF THE OTHER THINGS; INSTEAD OF PUTTING IT OFF UNTIL EVERYTHING ELSE IS DONE; in which case, you'll never do it, because, with apologies to the great and homey poet Edgar A. Guest, "Building a colony, well, I reckon that's fun!--Because it's a job that you never get done!" So if you're gonna wait until you have time, you'll never answer the mail--because you have to make time for it--just like anything else on your schedule: devotions, classes, meetings, meals, work and witnessing! And your secretary has got to be given time for it also, including relief from other duties.
22. THE WORK OF THE SECRETARY OF EVEN THE SMALLEST COLONY, SHOULD BE A FULL-TIME JOB, with all the logs, reports, letters, business mail, correspondence, prayer letters, answers, thanks, counselling, records, publications, and so on, and so on, and so on!
23. THE MINUTE YOU START READING THE MAIL, TAKE YOUR LITTLE HI-LITER, OR COLOURED PEN, AND UNDERLINE THE KEY WORDS OF THE MAJOR SUBJECTS OF THE LETTER AS YOU READ, as we do. Then, while the letters is still in your hand, and the dear little secretary is poised at her typewriter, literally drooling for your words of wisdom (or with her shorthand notebook on her knee), START DICTATING AN IMMEDIATE REPLY, WHILE THE FACTS ARE STILL FRESH IN YOUR MIND, THE LETTERS STILL IN YOUR HAND, WITH THE MAIN POINTS UNDERLINED, SO YOUR ANSWER CAN GO OUT THE SAME DAY. This is, as the Scripture commands, being diligent in business, (Pr.22:29) and with everything done in decency and in order (1Cor.14:40).
24. If you're one of those, like some of the rest of us, who reads your mail at 1:00 in the morning, after everyone else has gone to bed, and it's quiet and you can think, then YOUR DARLING LITTLE SECRETARY HAD BETTER BE PUT ON THE SAME SCHEDULE AS YOURS, and relieved of early rising, like you; although this isn't always good for her own personal home-life and marital relations with her dear husband, unless you're he!
25. Otherwise, YOU CAN USE A SIMPLE LITTLE SYSTEM THAT I USED TO USE WITH MY SECRETARIES, OF CODED ABBREVIATIONS WITH WHICH TO MARK THE LETTER, AND HOW TO ANSWER IT--A LIST OF WHICH ABBREVIATIONS YOU MAKE SURE THAT SHE ALSO HAS ON HER DESK, so she won't forget. Mark each letter carefully and prayerfully, with your suggested answer, coded abbreviations, comments, and the numbers of stock paragraphs to be used--a matter we'll deal with in a minute--and make sure that they are all clearly stapled or clipped together, in or with their envelopes, and stacked on top of her typewriter, with a sweet, little loving note from you to cheerfully greet her, first thing in the morning, as she enters her office; so she can immediately go to work without waiting on you to finish a conference, class, argument with your wife, love-in, snooze, or otherwise.
WHERE TO READ MAIL--UNDISTURBED
26. Of course, last but not least, and much better by far, since she may have question, problems, comments, or good suggestions that she can't deal with, or give you if you're not there in body, as much as you may be present in spirit, IS TO ARRANGE YOUR SCHEDULE SO YOU CAN BOTH WORK ON THE MAIL AT THE SAME TIME, AS YOU READ IT. One good way to do this is drive her to the post office yourself, let her pick up the mail while you wait in the car, then drive some nice romantic spot together, away from the hubbub of it all, the telephone, front-door callers, inquiring staff members, and other constant emergencies that are always in progress, whether you're there or not, and work on the mail, I said m--a--i--l, in privacy together. Just watch out she doesn't work on both at the same time, one with each hand! Of course, if you're worried about this, you can always take along your wife, or her husband, for a chaperone, but they're probably too busy working together themselves in your absence. THAT'S WHY HAVING YOUR WIFE AS A SECRETARY IS A GREAT ADVANTAGE: IT ELIMINATES A LOT OF TALK, RISK, ETC. Of course, you could have a male secretary--and years ago that wouldn't have raised an eyebrow, but in this day and age, that might cause even more talk! All I know is, YOU CANNOT THINK, CONCENTRATE, PRAY, AND HEAR THE VOICE OF GOD ON HOW TO ANSWER THE MAIL, COMPOSE THOUGHTS, DICTATE PHRASES, AND THINK ON YOUR FEET SO TO SPEAK, UNLESS YOU CAN GET ALONE WITH YOUR SECRETARY, AND AWAY FROM ALL THAT CONFUSION, NOISE, DISTURBANCES, AND INTERRUPTIONS. Take it from me. I oughtta know! I never got this much writing done before in my whole life, until I took my secretary half way around the world to get away from it all--In fact, I got very little done, almost none, because I was always right in the thick of it, in the middle of the battle, and couldn't possibly think of anything else, with five people living in a 14-foot trailer, six people in an 18-foot one, or 8 to 10 people in a 26-foot one. It wasn't possible to get far away from them, unless I went out in the car, which I consequently, made my usual office and study, and where I got some of my best work done! Of course, now, with our two-way radio, you can't even get away from it all there; so I still advise you, if you're ever gonna get that mail done, or any studying, private prayer, or other matters of concentration attended to, such as writing, sleeping, loving, or otherwise, you're gonna have to drive off to some quiet, lonesome spot under a tree, or by the sea, or on lover's lane, or on some hilltop with an inspiring view of God's glorious Creation, including your secretary.
27. A few sips of wine along can also help you to fast and pray, and keep from getting too hungry, as well as render a few other advantages, such as limbering your thoughts, loosening your tongue, and reducing your inhibitions, so you can really sock it to 'em--your writings, that is; not your secretaries!
28. You'd be surprised how much you can get done this way, without interruption or intrusion. It's very revolutionary. ONE OF THE BEST KINDS OF CLANDESTINE, UNDERGROUND, MOBILE, HIDEAWAY OFFICES IS YOUR OWN AUTOMOBILE, for getting a lot of revolutionary things done. My mother used to do it, and my dad used to do it--sometimes together, and sometimes apart. Course, it's more fun together. I used to do it, and I'm still doing it, and it's really great! I really get inspired when I'm alone with my secretary, and the Lord--inspired about my writings, that is, of course!--And all the skeptics, critical, and suspicious-minded people, long-tongue waggers and liars can go to hell as far as I'm concerned--which is probably where they're going anyway, or they wouldn't be talking like that!--Because I'm doing better work now for the Lord than I never did in my whole life; getting more accomplished for Him than I ever did before; and helping you more and taking better care of you, than I ever did before. You can't tell me it isn't God; Let the liars go to Hell. I know what I'm doing, and I know it's the Lord, and I thank God for it, and for my faithful little scribe that helps make it all possible. I wish everyone of you had one like her!--And if you pray as hard as I did for her, God can give you one. It takes a miracle; just like finding the right mate; she's gotta be made for you and your work, and the Lord's Service, and if you're both faithful and diligent, and obedient, you can't go wrong! Praise God! Hallelujah! I know it works, and I'm sold! Thank God! Why not try it?
29. There I go gettin' off on to secretaries again!--It's just one thing on top of another--and I never seem to get done with this subject, and hope I never will, she's so sweet, Praise the Lord! And God bless you for your understanding, and your wives, your husbands, and mine! God bless you all! it's a Revolution--for Jesus!
30. I'M SURE THOSE OF YOU WHO KNOW, ME AND UNDERSTAND ME, KNOW WHAT I'M talking about, and that my bark isn't as bad as my bite--and I know I like to shock you just for fun, to wake you up, and keep you awake, until this leadership meeting is over! Amen? But what I've said is really true, and you can take it or leave it or love it! Amen? Them's the facts, Ma'am--And it's only the beginning, folks; we're just beginning to roll, and you might as well start throwin' her into high gear, or she'll wind up in the rear. That has a triple meaning, so you can take it any way you want to; but some of you auto-racing fans will understand; or some of you lovers; but particularly you Revolutionaries for Jesus!
(8) CODED ABBREVIATIONS.
31. When I first started working on this kind of mail, with my secretary, Willie in Miami, and later with my secretaries, Lydia, Vashti, and Maria--and there have been others--When I first started working on these secretaries, about the mail, that is, I always got them warmed up, by getting them familiar-with a set of coded abbreviations, that is, and it helped them to really get warmed up to the mail--the m--a--i--l, that is. THESE CONSIST OF SIMPLE LITTLE ONE-OR-TWO CHARACTER ABBREVIATIONS STANDING FOR VERY COMMON TERMS THAT YOU VERY FREQUENTLY USE, such as ILY. Can you guess what it means? Well, it stands for the best phrase in the world to help your secretary get to work, and to work with a will, with all her feminine ardour and fervour. It means "I love you", and it that doesn't get her started, nothing will It works on almost all women, if you really meant it!--And you'd better, 'cause if there's anybody you're gonna have to love, it's your secretary! (Here I go again)--because, if you'll notice by the newspaper, folks seldom shoot people they don't know; mostly just their wives, husbands, secretaries, lovers, etc.; and sometimes, these are one and the same 'cause you can't get mad at somebody you don't even know, It's those closest to you that infuriate you, aggravate you, annoy you, upset you, and set you screaming, over their stupid little mistakes, when you've told 'em a thousand times. But of course, they have to live with you, too, and your damn stupidity and tyrannical rages and colossal errors, so that makes you even; so she'd better know how to write "ILY" too--not ILLY, Silly!--But "I Love You"--too! Savvy? IF EVER ANY TWO PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD NEED TO LOVE EACH OTHER, AND LEARN HOW TO PUT UP WITH EACH OTHER'S FAULTS AND FAILURES, STUPENDOUS STUPIDITY, BLINDING BLUNDERS, AND UNFAILING FORGETFULLNESS, IT'S A BOSS AND HIS SECRETARY, AS WELL AS A HUSBAND AND WIFE, AND THEIR WIVES AND HUSBANDS; SO THEY'D BETTER ALL LEARN HOW TO SAY IT. REMEMBER. "ILY" IS THE CODED ABBREVIATION FOR "I LOVE YOU"--AND IT'S ONE YOU CAN NEVER USE TOO MUCH! Begin and end every note with it, even your notes of complaint: "I Love You, Sweetheart.--but you know so-and-so...but I still love you, anyhow"--and don't ever let him forget it, especially when you're mad, or scolding each other! Remember you still love each other. If you keep saying it, you may even convince yourself, as well as her! Love begets love, and SHE'LL ONLY REFLECT what you dish out!--SO IF YOU WANT LOVE AND RESPECT KINDNESS AND CONSIDERATION, DILIGENCE AND FAITHFULNESS, AND UNTIRING SERVICE, GIVE HER THE SAME--AND SHE'LL LOVE YOU FOR IT! You see how important a secretary is? I just can't get off her: I love her so much! Hallelujah! God bless her! How would you like to be typing your own love letters! That's one of the joys of being a good secretary, although I'm getting her so rattled and confused by all this, she's making dozens of mistakes--but this just shows one of the reasons I LOVE HER: BECAUSE SHE'S NOT PERFECT, JUST LIKE ME! I never could stand perfect people, 'cause I was never able to be one, and they always give me an inferiority complex; therefore, the more mistakes my secretary makes, the more it inflates my own ego, because I know I couldn't possibly be that bad, and it gives her a feeling of helpless humility, and worshipful adoration for my blazing brilliance, so I can lord it over her with the rod, and ram the fear of God into her, while she bangs away with that rhythmic beat--of her typewriter, that is--as I'm driving the point home--and she receives these seeds of genius, as the fires of inspiration burn in orgasmic explosions of oratory! Such is the love you need for each other!
32. And, YOU BOSSES' WIVES MUST NOT LET THIS BOTHER YOU--because practice makes perfect, and the more he practices love on his secretary, the more perfect he'll be with you--and if you don't believe in, ask mine. It really works both ways, or as many ways as you want to look at it, if you get what I mean--and you'll be a better lover, too, and appreciate him a whole lot more, when you do have him around, if you have to share him a little for the Lord's Work's sake. Ask my wife, if you don't believe it! As Mrs. Billy Graham said, when asked if she wasn't jealous, with her husband gadding all over the world without her most of the time: "No, because I'd rather have a little bit of Billy, than a whole lot of somebody else"! A little competition really helps, if they know how to take it; and the same goes for you secretaries' husbands, don't you think so? IF YOU CAN'T GET THE VICTORY OVER THIS KIND OF A SITUATION, HOW ARE WE EVER GONNA OVERCOME THE WORLD? We had to get rid of a couple of husbands who were screaming because their wives wouldn't give them every minute of their time, instead of devoting so much time to the Lord's Work! How about you? ARE YOU GONNA BE ABLE TO TAKE IT? ARE YOU REALLY REVOLUTIONARY? You might be surprised at what the Lord has revealed to us along this line--and maybe you'll need it soon, if this keeps up. If you have any problems along this line, either wives of husbands, I suggest that you may have to read what the Lord showed us about certain emergency situations for the Lord's Work's Sake, and the multitude of Scriptures He gave us for it, if it's for His Glory, such as "I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me" (Phil.4:13) plus the Scriptures I've already given you from 1Cor.13, and a whole list of others He gave us at that time. Ask and ye shall receive! Nothing is impossible with God!
33. SOME SAMPLE CODED ABBREVIATIONS THAT WE USED TO USE ARE PL, for prayer letter, TK, for thank; AP, for application; R, for receipt; INFO for information; WT, warning tract; ANS, for a special answer; NOW, for urgent, right today; PICS, for picture sheet; HT, for healing tract; HEM, for my mother's book; etc. You will think of many more for the many types of letters you will have to write, or send, and the many kinds of enclosures you will include. JUST BE SURE THAT WHEN YOUR OFFICE STAFF HAS AGREED ON A SET OF ABBREVIATIONS FOR EVERYTHING YOU USE, AND EVERY OFFICE PROCEDURE REGARDING HANDLING THE MAIL, THAT YOU ARRANGE THEM ON ONE SHEET OF PAPER IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER WITH THEIR DEFINITIONS, TO BOTH REMIND YOU, THE STAFF, AND FOR THE BENEFIT OF NEW WORKERS. This greatly simplifies your whole operation.
34. In our original small-family operation, I USED TO JUST MARK THESE IN RED ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE ENVELOPE OF EACH LETTER TO INDICATE HOW I WANTED IT HANDLED, or answered; and once your secretary is used to the system, she will know pretty much what you want, and this will take care of a great deal of the mail you receive.
(9) SPECIAL ANSWERS.
35. Coding will take care of all the standard types of mail you receive, such as inquires about our work, for which you send them a simple form letter answer, and include a stock information sheet or brochure. Or if they're interested in joining, include also an application: or, if it's a donation, include a thank you letter, receipt, etc., all of which are ready on hand in printed or mimeographed form, and merely need to be enclosed with the form letter used in each case. This you will determine according to the need.
36. BUT THERE WILL BE MANY LETTERS WHICH WILL REQUIRE SPECIAL ANSWERS; questions, comments, criticisms, special inquiries, offers, donations, etc. THESE CAN BE GREATLY SPEEDED UP IN PROCESSING BY USING A SET OF SPECIALLY PREPARED STOCK PARAGRAPHS to be used in each individual case. For example, someone writes in enclosing a donation for the Work, asks for more information, how to join, what our doctrines are, and if we could use their house or farm for a team, or speak at their church or club; if we take unwed mothers, pregnant girls, school-age children, young couples with children, middle-aged folks, oldsters, or the handicapped, probation or parole cases, publicity offers, and so on.
37. IN THE EXAMPLE GIVEN, you would, of course, send them a letter of thanks, typed personally by one of your typist, from a special thank-you paragraph, and include another short paragraph of some of the very latest good news or accomplishments of your group that will encourage them for having given to your work. As to their request for more information, you will also have a short, stock sentence that your typist can copy into the letter, stating that you're enclosing the information requested, whatever that may be, or the application requested, or the school information requested, and so on, with a special type of sentence or paragraph already prepared and typed out on your sheet of form paragraphs, and numbered or lettered accordingly, so all that you have to do is include that paragraph number in your coding of the envelope, and your secretary will know exactly which one to use, and how to answer the letter, without having to personally dictate it. In fact, she will not have to personally bother with it herself, but can turn it over to any of your typists, while she does more important work, such as taking dictation, supervising, organising, etc., with a minimum of instruction in special cases. Not all paragraphs will exactly fit every single case, and she may have to show the typist how to revise it slightly in that particular instance.
38. WHAT YOU'RE TRYING TO DO BY THE USE OF STOCK PARAGRAPHS IS TO SIMPLIFY, STANDARDISE, AND STREAMLINE YOUR ANSWERING OF THE MAIL, so as to greatly cut down on the time you need to give to each piece personally.
39. MOST OF THESE STOCK PARAGRAPHS CAN BE FORMULATED BY YOU AND YOUR SECRETARY IN ADVANCE, to cover most standard cases without change, such as request for information, applications, and so on--the type of one-time request which may be answered without repetition to the same party at a later date. Your thank you and news paragraphs, however, will have to be changed frequently, such as weekly, to bring the news up-to-date, and not be saying exactly the same thing, and obvious repetition of a form, to the same donor next week. Most of the other paragraphs to be used in the cases listed above will remain unchanged, unless your policy changes.
40. I SUGGEST THAT THE LEADERS COULD AGREE TOGETHER ON HOW THESE CASES SHOULD BE ANSWERED, and let your good-writing secretary type up some suggestions for your final approval. The leaders of other colonies could also write in their suggestions on each of these cases, and how they think they should be handled, in order to formulate the final paragraph, which will be used in most cases.
41. SOME VERY SPECIAL ANSWERS, IN CERTAIN RARE AND PECULIAR CASES, WILL HAVE TO BE DICTATED PERSONALLY AND INDIVIDUALLY, such as a particular point of doctrine, some special question not covered by the paragraphs, and so on, including comments made in their letters. I used to note these briefly in red, right on the letter itself, beside the point in the question, with my answer, so the secretary could type it without dictation, which saves a lot of mine and personal attention, and can be typed as convenient.
(10) STOCK PARAGRAPHS.
42. I haven't time nor room to write you any samples, just now in this letter, since your well able to frame them yourselves as you feel led, with such a good writers as you have. But I would like to give you a few suggestions on some of these specific cases. I WOULD ALSO SUGGEST THAT ONCE THE STOCK PARAGRAPHS HAVE BEEN FRAMED, AND APPROVED, THEY BE SHARED WITH OTHER COLONIES who are receiving mail, for their use. Either this, or the smaller colonies should forward their mail to an office colony for processing, after having extracted any gifts, for their own local use. However, THE SOONER YOU LEARN TO PROCESS YOUR OWN MAIL, THE BETTER, AS YOU'RE BOUND TO GROW, AND THIS WILL HELP SHARE THE LOAD, AND EQUALISE THE RESPONSIBILITY, AS WELL AS TO HELP KEEP YOU MUCH MORE INDEPENDENT FOR SURVIVAL, AND OUR GENERAL SECURITY, SO THAT YOUR EXISTENCE AND EFFECTIVENESS WILL NOT TOTALLY DEPEND ON HEADQUARTERS. WE SHOULD BE A VOLUNTARY ASSOCIATION AND FELLOWSHIP OF INDEPENDENT AND INDIGENOUS CHRISTIAN COLONIES, like the Early Church, of one mind, one heart, and one doctrine, all speaking the same thing, cooperating together, and sharing as the need may be--one Body, with many members, each colony an individual member of the same Body, inter-dependent only in times of emergency, and for counsel, guidance, and coordination; but EACH COLONY SHOULD BE SUFFICIENTLY INDEPENDENT AS ONE INDIVIDUAL MEMBER OF THE WHOLE BODY, SO THAT IF ONE MEMBER IS STRUCK, ALTHOUGH ALL WILL SUFFER, THE WHOLE BODY WILL NOT BE DESTROYED.
43. During World War II, our own country endeavoured to do his with its vital industries, calling it diversification and dispersion, or, in one of our simple terms, scatteration, so that if one plant were hit, it would not disrupt the entire industry. In our case, we could call it COLONISATION BY AMOEBIC DIVISION, EACH CELL BEING COMPLETE IN ITSELF, YET ALL THE CELLS TOGETHER MAKING UP THE WHOLE BODY. This is the way your own body is constructed, although the cellular creation may vary somewhat, so that if one or a few cells are destroyed, it is not fatal to the whole body. The Lord uses this as an illustration of the Church, to which we should take heed!
44. YOU MUST REMEMBER, PARTICULARLY YOU LEADERS, AND ESPECIALLY IN YOUR DEALINGS WITH UNDERLINGS, AND FOLLOWERS, AND SMALLER, OR BRANCH COLONIES, THAT THE CHURCH WAS NOT INTENDED TO BE A DICTATORIAL HIERARCHY RUN ONLY BY THOSE AT THE TOP, WITHOUT QUESTION OR COUNSEL OR MUTUAL AGREEMENT, like some denominations, and some governments; but GOD'S CHILDREN WERE INTENDED TO BE A VOLUNTARY FAMILY FELLOWSHIP, COOPERATING TOGETHER IN LOVE, EACH OF HIS OWN FREE WILL, and not by coercion or force, or slave-driving tactics, such as, from what I hear, some of you sound like you may have been guilty of, which may be partially responsible for some of your personnel problems.
45. TO HAVE A FEW OCCASIONAL PERSONALITY CLASHES IS UNDERSTANDABLE, BUT LOVE NEVER FAILS, AND THESE SHOULD BE HEALED THROUGH HUMILITY, LOVE, AND THE OIL OF HIS SPIRIT--for he that is greatest among you must be servant of all, (Mt.23:11) not lording it over God's heritage (1Pet.5:13), as some kind of little Hitler, who can do no wrong. If the machinery is well oiled with the Love of the Holy Spirit, it will operate smoothly and quietly without squeaking and screeching, run faster and more efficiently, wear well and last longer, and not wear out, burn up, get hot, or explode with internal friction, which causes many breakdowns! LOVE, HUMILITY, AND PRAYER SOLVE ALL PROBLEMS! IT NEVER FAILS!
46. IF YOU'RE HAVING TO MANY PERSONNEL PROBLEMS AND CLASHES, MAYBE THE TROUBLE IS NOT WITH THEM, BUT WITH YOU! Once when I was teaching school, and flunked nearly the whole class for its failure to pass a certain course, my school superintended paid me kindly visit, and suggested, that WHEN NEARLY THE WHOLE CLASS FAILS, IT'S USUALLY THE TEACHER'S FAULT, AND NOT THAT OF THE CLASS. If you're having to constantly scold and lecture and rant and rave at your followers for disobedience and disloyalty to leadership, maybe there's something wrong with you, or you would inspire in them more loving loyalty and faithful obedience, if you were more loving with them!
47. YOU'VE SELDOM EVER HEARD ME GIVE AN ORDER, EXCEPT IN EMERGENCIES, THAT I DID NOT PUT IT IN THE FORM OF A GENTLE SUGGESTION OR QUESTION: "Don't you think we should do so-and-so, or would you like to do so-and-so; or how about doing so-and-so; or what do you think we should do about it?"--in order to always give you a choice, and make it voluntary, if possible. "Aren't you supposed to be in class?" "Isn't it time for you to do the dishes?" "Do you think you could run this errand for me?" "How do you think we should handle this situation?" WE WANT AN ARMY OF LOVING, LOYAL VOLUNTEERS--NOT DRIVEN DRAFTEES! TRY TO LEAD YOUR SHEEP, INSTEAD OF DRIVING THEM! I hope you guilty ones know who I mean, for, if I hear of much more of this, I'm going to have to get specific and name a few names. I pray you know who you are, and repent! IT TAKES A SMALL MAN, INSECURE IN HIS AUTHORITY, TO KEEP INSISTING ON RESPECT, LOYALTY, AND OBEDIENCE, INSTEAD OF INSPIRING IT VOLUNTARILY IN THEIR HEARTS BY YOUR OWN LOVING AND CONSIDERATE EXAMPLE. Are you doing unto others as you'd have them do unto you? I always try to put myself in the other fellow's shoes, and not expect anymore of him than I would expect of myself, and not ask anymore of him, than I would want him to ask of me, were our positions reversed! Try love and patience: it really works! DISCIPLES AND BABES KNOW IF YOU REALLY LOVE THEM OR NOT, and, if they know you really do--that you'll die for them, feel for them--they'll follow gladly, and die for you! Well those aren't the stock paragraphs, but they sure are needed! To be continued! Love MO.
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family}