"LETTERS III--MO March 3, 1971 NO.53
TESTIMONY ABOUT JEREMIAH AND HIS COLONY
1. My dear precious children: Greetings in Jesus 'Dear Name! Thank you so much for your recent and plentiful communications from each colony--even little Merkle, each of which we devour with great anticipation, interest, and concern. I was especially concerned about Merkle, because of what I had warned you about that area--but it seems that God is even able to do the impossible, and, at last report, they are not only surviving, but prospering, with a number of Salvations, new friends, and even good newspaper publicity! What a miracle! Since we were short of copies of our last two Letters, anyhow, I instructed my dear little secretary not even to send Jeremiah one, since I figured that he and his fellow suicide squad would probably not last that long; and also, as a matter f security at such a small P.O. But despite my dire forebodings, it seems they are still holding on, and that Jeremiah and his comrades are doing a great job of becoming all things to all men, and "using it"! God bless them! As radical as Jeremiah is, he's about the last one I would have picked for such an area: but that just shows you how he has grown since he first joined the team as a fifteen-year-old little rascal of a juvenile delinquent, truant, Peck's bad boy, and typically sassy and rebellious young teenager, whom I ordered to pack his bag and leave because of his impudence! Shad said, "If he goes, I go," so I said, "O.K., you both go!", and then we all cried and prayed and loved and made up; but not before Jeremiah said, "I'm not going": if I go, you'll have to throw me out; I'm determined to serve the Lord"--or at least this was the general gist of what he said! And thought to myself, "How can this little recalcitrant rascal be so damn stubborn?" "He doesn't want to obey, but still he refuses to quit! What's with him, anyhow?" Well, the Lord was with him, so I jest couldn't bring myself to throw him out. So after some sulking around, there they showed up at the dinner table again, looking a little sheepish, because they were sheep and not goats, and we all made up and loved each other more than ever. Let no man despise thy youth! I often thought he'd never make it--but when he had the humility to come and apologise, even with the attitude, "I don't think you're right, but you're still the boss", I knew he had something in him; and when he took the stand he did about witnessing in school, even if they threw him out, I began to believe that maybe he had what it takes!--And he did, and he's still with us, and now one of our most faithful leaders.
2. I don't know if he can still sing only when he's in the mood, which used to exasperate me no end when we were at the Club and needed a musician, while he insisted on being outside witnessing, but anyhow, he sure seems to be in the mood for teaching nowadays, and doing an excellent job of it, as well as inspiring leadership and wise public relations, according to the glowing report we just received from them, by I don't-know-whom, since they failed to sign it, as so often instructed. I know I'm a prophet, and the Lord tells me a lot of things, but I still don't understand why you expect to have to bother the Lord, with all He has to do, to find out who wrote your log! WILL YOU SECRETARIES PLEASE SIGN EVERYTHING YOU WRITE, AS WELL AS DATE IT, INCLUDING EVERYBODY ELSE WHO SENDS US ANYTHING WHATSOEVER! DATE IT AND SIGN YOUR NAME! We should even give the Devil his due, and especially you dear hard-working secretaries. And don't hand me that humility bit, because EVEN THE APOSTLE PAUL, THE WRITERS OF THE GOSPELS, AND NEARLY ALL THE OTHER WRITERS OF THE BIBLE, SIGNED THEIRS TO THEIR HANDIWORK, even if the Lord did inspire it! Let's put it this way: maybe we not only want to give you the credit, but also the blame, for anything we don't think is so inspired. Maybe that's what you're afraid of! But if I wouldn't eliminate Jeremiah, as bad as he was, I'm certainly not gonna throw you out over some little mistake in your log! There was one thing I always knew about Jeremiah: he really meant business for the Lord, and was determined to make it despite his faults--and I knew it by the way he read his Bible, knew the Word, memorised Scripture, sang and witnessed. Only when he got to preaching, I thought he'd never quit! He's almost as bad as I am!--Maybe that's why he's doing such a good job. I hope this doesn't go to your head, Jerry, or God'll stick a pin in your balloon with some stupid little mistake--but we'll all still love you, like we do all of you, and couldn't possibly throw you out, when you're my own son or daughter!
3. Well, Hallelujah! Just as my little secretary predicted, if I got started on any personal replies, we'd never get around to the subject--but I can't help it: I love you as well as the mail, my children, as much as the Work, and so does the Lord! So there! What are you gonna do about it? I'm sorry, but I can't help it! I LOVE YOU, TOO! KEEP REMINDING EACH OTHER OF THAT, AND MAYBE YOU'LL MAKE IT LIKE JEREMIAH! At least I hope so! Are you still there, Jerry? God bless you--so we'll send a copy of this one, now that we have hopes that you're still there--unless you're already disbanded, and gone back to TSC, because of my lack of faith! Please forgive me! I just really didn't think it could be done, without great danger in that area--and certainly not with much success! APPARENTLY, I WAS WRONG AGAIN--WHICH IS NOT UNUSUAL--AND THE QUICKER YOU LEADERS LEARN TO CONFESS YOUR MISTAKES, THE MORE OTHERS WILL TRUST AND LOVE YOU--AND THE MORE THE LORD WILL USE YOU! AMEN?
4. Thank you, Texas, for this Merkle report, as well as the other logs, reports, and personal letters just received, some of them so old you must have been cleaning out your cupboards-but nevertheless, we enjoy them, and need them for the record. Since we just got them last night, we haven't finished reading them all yet, but they look very interesting. I see you're still getting quite a response from the NBC show, and this is amazing, since documentaries are not usually so popular. The public usually prefers fiction, rather than fact, maybe because the actors act their fiction as though it were fact--while the commentators preach their fact, as though it were fiction. I guess some people still can't believe what they saw on our show: it's just too good to be true and they'd rather believe the worst. Thank God for the few hungry hearts who took it to heart, and wanna know the truth! May God help us to give it to them--which is one of the reasons for this series on letters, the "Ministry of the Mail"! Praise the Lord! We're gonna give you some definite suggestions on these answers, we hope, in this edition!
REPORTING CORRECTION AND COMMENDATION
5. But I'd like to commend you as well, for the good work you are already doing. Our French host gave us an old Greek saying this morning, which we don't want to live up to: it went about like this: Folks always applaud when you make a mistake, but seldom when you're right!" We can't ignore your mistakes, and it's my job to help you correct them, with the Lord's help, but we don't want to forget to applaud when you do well. God bless you! You're all doing much better, particularly Texas, except California, who have left a gap of about a month in their recent logs--but maybe we can blame it on the earthquake, or Ruth's illness--but we can't because REGARDLESS OF THE EMERGENCY, OR ILLNESS, OR ANY FAILURE OF PERSONNEL, LEADERSHIP SHOULD ALWAYS INSERT A SUBSTITUTE, IF THE RESPONSIBLE PARTIES FAIL TO DO SO. This is what happened in Texas: don't let it happen to you, California! We are still eagerly awaiting any report from California whatsoever, about the earthquake; damages, effects, reactions, and the King's reaction, along with pictures, news clippings, etc.!--BUT WE HAVE YET TO RECEIVE ANY OF THIS FROM L.A., AND THE ONLY NEWS ON THIS SCORE HAS BEEN INDIRECT THROUGH OTHER COLONIES! IN FACT, IT SEEMS THAT the smaller colonies have been better at giving us detailed inside information, even about events in the larger colonies, through some of their personal reports and letters--and we frequently "accidentally" hear some item of very important news indirectly, through them first! But they, supposing, of course, that we have already heard, usually barely mention it, so we don't get all the details, which we should be getting directly from you!
6. We realise, California, that YOU'RE A BATTLE FRONT COLONY, EMBROILED IN MUCH MORE ACTIVITY AND FRONT-LINE CONFRONTATION THAN MOST--BUT THIS IS STILL NO EXCUSE FOR YOUR FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE DETAILS OF IMPORTANT NEWS. You have done better lately, but not good enough--AND WE WANT TO KNOW ALL THE FACTS, particularly regarding Faith's case, and its results and repercussions, as well as the earthquake, the progress of your outpost, YOUR SPECIFIC REACTIONS TO OUR SUGGESTIONS, AND WHAT YOU INTEND TO DO ABOUT THEM. Just telling me, "That was a heavy Letter" tells me nothing, not even if you thought it was good or bad, or whether you agreed with it or not--And what I say to you, I say to all: BE SPECIFIC! IDENTIFY WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT! Just saying, "That last Letter was really something" doesn't mean a thing. Of course, it was something--I oughtta know! I wrote it and mailed it to you, and I thank God you got it and read it! But I don't know which Letter, or what item you're talking about, or what it was you like or didn't like, or exactly what you mean to do about it!
7. So while we're on the subject of letters, WILL YOU KINDLY REMEMBER, IN YOUR LETTERS TO ME, WHEN COMMENTING ABOUT MY LETTERS TO YOU, TO SPECIFY EXACTLY WHAT LETTER YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT, ITS TITLE, OR DATE, OR THE PARTICULAR SUBJECT YOU'RE REFERRING TO, such as babies, babes, wives, security, literature, teams, phone calls, visitors, new colonies, or the box number--our box number, which Cincy is still not using, even though it's on the return address of all our envelopes--and apparently the rest of you thought you were supposed to use both "Poste Restante" and the box number--which only further confuses the post office! Please, please, address your letters to us only at the box number. Thank you very much! Our address also should not be common knowledge to any, but the director of the colony, his wife, secretary, and most trusted mailman--the one who mails your letters for you, who should only be one of your top leaders, and not just some ordinary errand boy! It's too important!
8. Some of you may have also misunderstood me about babies, which may have hurt your feelings--but I merely advised you against having them, if possible, at such downtown, or front-line colonies, where there is so much action and danger, such as L.A. and Cincy! Texas is ideal, and even your smaller, rural, or more residential colonies, retreats, recuperation centres, rest havens, or remote underground HQ's are more acceptable for children, if the burden is not already too heavy for the mother and staff. However, I still think Texas is best for training. Amen?
NEWSPAPER ARTICLES--CORRECTION AND SHARING
9. Also, some of you have not sent us the newspaper or magazine article mentioned in your logs or letters! I'm particularly interested in this last one on Merkle! What happened, Texas? I don't think we ever got your Stevenville article on the grade school, either, Texas! and when people say they saw you in the paper, why don't you ask them what paper, what city, which issue, and approximately what page or section, or location on the page, so you can write that newspaper for copies, AS IT'S IMPORTANT TO KNOW WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT US, AND TO PROTEST IF THEY LIE! SLIGHT AND UNIMPORTANT ERRORS IN THEIR FACTS ARE NOT NECESSARY TO CORRECT; ONLY IF THEY MALIGN, SLANDER, LIBEL, OR DEFAME. THESE ARE LEGAL OFFENCES, WHICH THEY SHOULD BE HAPPY TO CORRECT, IF YOU WRITE THEM A NICE LETTER. Thank God, we haven't had much of this, very little critical, mostly praise. This is miraculous! God is good!
KEEPING A MAIL LOG
10. Are you also making sure to share copies of your logs and important news and information of your colony with each of the other colonies by regular mailings, and KEEPING A RECORD OF SUCH CORRESPONDENCE BY NAME, NUMBER, OR SUBJECT, DATE MAILED, TYPE OF ITEM, AND SO ON, AS WE DO. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT, THAT WE SHARE WITH OTHERS BOTH OUR VICTORIES AND PROBLEMS, FOR THEIR PRAISE OR PRAYER.
11. WHILE ON THE SUBJECT OF SHARING YOUR NEWS WITH OTHERS, DON'T FORGET TO GET ENOUGH COPIES OF NEWSPAPER ARTICLES TO SEND ONE TO EACH OF THE OTHER COLONIES, OR MAKE REPRINTS OF SAME FOR THIS PURPOSE; AND INCIDENTALLY, we could use some, if they're good and complimentary, for sharing with others here, along with your new brochures or picture sheets, testimony sheets, plus a couple more copies of "hems".
MINISTRY OF LITERATURE AND MUSIC
12. Which reminds me that YOU SHOULD BY ALL MEANS BE GETTING WRITTEN TESTIMONIALS FROM PARENTS AND FRIENDS, PARTICULARLY AUTHORITIES, IF POSSIBLE, COMMENDING OUR WORK, for use with same. You'll find this a great help, and so would we, in dealing with the system, both there and abroad, particularly in opening new colonies; and road teams should be well-supplied with these to use for good impressions. One thing, however, we don't wanna share, is copies of some of our classes with antagonistic parents! They could only be getting them from the students, so who's doing it? Better find out, and put a stop to it NOW! Also, leaders should not be so careless with their notebooks as to leave them lying around where babes can get a hold of them. The damage may be irretrievable next time! How're you coming with songbooks? Haven't seen one yet! You've got some terrific talent amongst your artists! Use it! WE SHOULD HAVE A MINISTRY OF THE ILLUSTRATED WORD, AS WELL AS PRINTED! KIDS GO FOR COMICS! I know: I was one--and this would make an entire ministry in itself, even with smaller children. Maybe somebody'll get the burden, and you leaders will give 'em time to work on it. WE'RE SADLY NEGLECTING THE MINISTRY OF LITERATURE--A NEEDY FIELD WITH UNLIMITED POSSIBILITIES AND MIRACULOUS DUPLICATION OF OUR MINISTRY AND MESSAGE: "Greater works than these shall ye do"! Use it! ALSO TAPES AND RECORDS DESIGNED FOR KIDS! Maybe the king could help you with these: he's got lots of experience in this field, and used to get discs printed for as little as three for a dollar, 12-inch size! Lots of kids don't have tape-recorders, but nearly all of 'em have record players! Maybe it's vice versa now in rich America! In these YOU NEED MORE CLEAR-CUT SOLOS BY OUR TOP SINGERS, SO THEY CAN UNDERSTAND THE WORDS, NOT JUST ENJOY THE MUSIC! We played that TV song tape for a lobby-full last night but it got a little boring, because with mass group singing it's almost impossible to understand the words clearly. If you even had somebody solo the verses, but group the choruses if you want to, it would be better--and we need such a tape right now, which we could play publicly; but not too hot for systemites! Thanks!
13. We've now reached our limit on the number of carbon copies we can make of my Letters to you, barely sufficient for our present major colonies and their leaders. Yet some of these, if not all, should be duplicated for other colonies, and perhaps all leaders, to study at their leisure. Yet this would be too monumental a task for mimeographing, to type so many stencils for your already-over-worked secretaries. What about lithoing these originals as is, regardless of plate costs. TIME IS MORE VALUABLE THAN MONEY--AND THE KING'S BUSINESS REQUIRETH HASTE; FOR THE TIME IS SHORT. Or, what about putting your photocopiers to work, to furnish copies to the limited number of top leaders. This way they could GET A COPY IN THEIR HAND IMMEDIATELY TO STUDY THESE IMPORTANT ITEMS! OTHERWISE YOU CANNOT POSSIBLY BE SURE THAT THEY GET EVERYTHING, AND REMEMBER IT, JUST BY READING IT TO THEM! THIS IS URGENT!
14. IF YOU HAVE TOO MANY PERSONALITY CLASHES WITH SOME OF YOUR PERSONNEL, and you just can't get along with them, and it's bringing too much friction, and it drags everybody down, WHY NOT TRANSFER THEM TO SOME OTHER COLONY WHERE THEY'D LIKE TO GO, WITH WHOM THEY COULD WORK BETTER, OR MAYBE YOU OUGHTTA MOVE! I THINK ALL OF OUR FOLKS SHOULD HAVE EXPERIENCE IN ALL COLONIES! What do you think? Answer today! GBY! ILY!
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family}