from Jedran - Monday, June 07, 2004
accessed 2935 times
Warning: This GN is rated EC
By Maria Maria #678 FD/MM/FM 3490 4/04
1. By now you've gotten more of a picture of what the renewal holds for us, including the beautiful promises from our Husband of all He is going to bring about in our lives and Homes. You're probably also starting to get more of an idea of the lifestyle changes that you'll be making over the next months and what it will mean for you personally, and you probably have some questions about some of the fine details of the guidelines of the renewal period.
2. We compiled all the questions that we've received from you so far, as well as a few others the Lord showed us that some of you might have, and received His answers on them. These aren't intended to be a form of "legislating righteousness," but are rather to give you more of the Lord's mind on these matters, so that you can prayerfully apply His counsel in the way it was intended.
3. Each person will be affected differently by the renewal and these guidelines. Something might be a significant sacrifice for you, but hardly mean anything to another person. But the Lord knows what things are real sacrifices for you, and when you're willing to make them, those are the things He blesses you for even more abundantly. So if something's a really big sacrifice, you can comfort yourself that the Lord knows exactly how you feel, and He's preparing a reward so big and wonderful that it will far outweigh the difficulty. We all know the way the Lord works: If something the Lord asks is hard for you and you do it anyway, our fair and loving Husband gives you all the more credit for it! As the Lord told someone in our Home a while ago: "When I pay you back to the point where you don't feel that you've made a sacrifice, that's where it has only reached one percent of your reward. My promise is to repay a hundredfold, so there's much, much, much more yet to come! I love to spoil My brides, those who give Me everything."
4. It wasn't possible, of course, to think of every single question that could arise regarding what is or isn't okay to do during the renewal. So if something comes up that isn't covered specifically, please take it to the Lord, and counsel with your shepherds. If you're looking for loopholes, you'll find there are plenty, because the Lord hasn't tried to lay down the law in every tiny area. But in praying about and deciding whether or not to do something, please remember the spirit of the renewal and the Lord's intent in giving us this time. It's not to deprive us, but it's to cleanse and strengthen us. If you really want to be cleansed and strengthened as much as possible, I think it will be easy to discern what things the Lord would want you to do or want you to avoid.
5. How much we get out of this renewal period is up to each of us personally. If you try to weasel out from under the guidelines or make this time more "comfortable" or easy to get through by hanging on to the things you want to do, you're sacrificing something far greater--the cleansing and strengthening of your spirit--and you could also be weakening your Home and the Family overall. So keep that in mind when bringing any specific questions before the Lord.
6. I pray that these guidelines and answers are a blessing to you. And if you have further questions, just ask--the Lord, that is! And counsel with your Home and shepherds if necessary.
7. I love you, and Peter and I and our WS Homes will be "being renewed" along with you! We're all in it together! "Through the keys of the kingdom, every mountain is scalable, every goal is reachable, and every miracle is possible!"
What about visiting relatives during the renewal period?
8. Q: If we visit System relatives during the renewal and they want to put on the TV or take the kids to a movie, etc., what can we do? Are there exceptions for that type of thing, so that we don't offend them?
9. A: (Jesus:) While it's true that in some rare cases it would be impossible to fully uphold the standard of the renewal without seriously offending your relatives, in most cases it wouldn't be that difficult, and would actually be quite a good testimony. You will need to seek Me as to what explanation to give and what would be wisest in your situation, and I will lovingly lead you.
10. Your explanation wouldn't necessarily need to be linked to the worldwide Family and the time of renewal, unless your relatives are quite far along spiritually and have a pretty good understanding of the Family and the way things work. In most cases, you could simply explain that you've decided within your personal family (or your missionary community home, depending on how much your relatives understand and what I show you to explain to them) to go for a period of time in which you don't watch any movies or television, or play any computer games, for example.
11. There have been many testimonies in the news of other homeschoolers, or Christians, or even just concerned parents, who have done this for periods of time, or even permanently, and found wonderful benefits for their lives and their families. You could make it a witness, telling them that the entertainment industry brings so many wrong values and attitudes into the home that you have decided not to watch any TV or movies for six months, and that doing so has afforded you so much more quality time together, time to really pour into the kids and be a family.
12. Television and movies would probably be the biggest thing you'd need to explain, or the thing that would come up most frequently if you're visiting relatives. You don't need to feel like you have to incorporate all aspects of the renewal guidelines in your explanation. For example, if they just want to take the kids to a movie, you don't necessarily have to bring up computer games and music too. I can help you know how far to go in your explanation, how to be best prepared for any questions they ask, and what presentation will help your relatives to understand and benefit from the testimony that it can be to them of conviction and love for your children.
13. In many cases I will probably show you to keep it as a personal explanation, something you have decided to do for your and your children's sake for this time. And in most cases, people will respect that. Or in some cases I might even lead you to schedule your visit at another time if your relatives won't be able to understand and accept your decisions. There will be very few instances where it would be necessary to compromise.
14. In most cases, depending on what I lead you to do, you will find far greater benefits and satisfaction and blessing through putting forth the effort to be prayerful, seeking Me about what to do, presenting your convictions lovingly and humbly, and abiding by the guidelines I have given for the renewal. If, when you pray about your particular circumstances or relatives, I show you that it would be very unwise in a certain situation and that you should make an exception, then you can proceed as you feel led. But in most cases, there will be no need to compromise, and I can give you a good explanation that your relatives will not only be able to understand and accept, but that will be a witness and a testimony and bear good fruit.
What about news?
15. Q: We're forsaking TV watching during the renewal period, but what about watching the news, or reading the news in the newspaper, or getting it online? In Brazil, they were allowed to watch 30 minutes of news each day or read the newspaper for 30 minutes, but not the sports news, either on TV or in the paper. Will it be the same during the renewal period?
16. A: (Jesus:) It's important to keep up with what's going on around you--either in your local area or the world at large. But this can be done easily without it becoming a huge distraction. There should be no more than 30 minutes of news viewed or read each day. In fact, I'd even suggest that Homes consider nominating a few people to keep up with the news and keep the others in the Home abreast so that it doesn't take up everyone's time. Or it could be done on a rotational basis, changing weekly.
17. Another option that would lessen the muck that you have to wade through is the news that's compiled and posted on the MO site each day, and that you can subscribe to, having it sent to you via e-mail. If you go with that option, you should still reserve part of your 30-minute limit for keeping up with what's happening in your local area, or someone in your Home should be. It's something that each Home can pray about and decide on, according to what works best.
18. Also remember that whatever way you choose to keep up with the news --online, newspaper, or TV--that doesn't include the sports news, entertainment news, or "news spinoffs" of nonessentials, which are part of the worldly input you should be avoiding during this time.
What about sports?
19. Q: During the renewal we clearly aren't allowed to watch TV or sports on TV. But are live sports (like going to a live match) allowed? Could we have a clarification on this matter?
20. A: (Jesus:) Sports have become as big an addiction and timewaster for some people in the Family as have other forms of worldly entertainment. And just like other forms of worldly input, I'm asking you to forsake sports for a time--and by this I mean watching it on TV, listening to it on the radio, reading about it in newspapers or magazines, and going to watch live games.
21. And if you're a real sports fanatic and playing sports personally has even become too big a deal in your life, you should pray about forsaking that as well. If you have an addiction to sports, this is probably going to be one of the hardest parts of the renewal period for you, but do it for Me. Let Me cleanse you; let Me put things in perspective for you once again. If something is out of proportion in your life, I need to put it back in its rightful place.
22. On the other hand, if kept in perspective and in the spirit, sports can be a fun time of fellowship and relaxation and even unity when participated in together. Playing a soccer game all together as a Home, for example, can be a fun way to spend part of a free-day afternoon. Going for bike rides or hikes or learning a new sport can give you fun times of recreation, besides providing exercise and fellowship.
23. So I'm not banning sports. I'm just asking you to keep it in perspective. And if you're someone who's addicted to a sport or to the competition, to the point that it hinders your unity with others, or it comes before your time with Me, or is just too big a deal in your life in general, then you might want to consider toning it way down or forsaking it altogether.
24. Q: What about playing sports with Active members, friends, or those who aren't in the Family?
25. A: (Jesus:) Each case must be judged on its own merits. For example, you might hold an area fellowship and include Active members, and have a big soccer game. Or you might be witnessing to some kids in the park and playing with them regularly. As long as these situations are bearing good fruit, the games are kept in a good spirit, and you're bringing in a witness and your Christian sample isn't being lost in the competition, then it's fine to continue these within reason. I wouldn't want them to become a big deal or something that you do real often, because I'd like you to spend the majority of your fellowship and play time with your mates and loved ones right in your own Home and area, building bonds of love and ties of unity and camaraderie. But I won't forbid you to ever play with people outside the Family, as long as you keep it in perspective, as long as your heart is right with Me, and as long as you are a good testimony and witness above all, even in your games.
What about instrumental music?
26. Q: System music is not allowed during the renewal. But what about instrumental music? And what about the old hymns and instrumentals of those hymns? Also, some children are enrolled in dance or music classes, where System music is played and taught. Should they stop taking those during the renewal?
27. A: (Jesus:) I ask you to avoid System instrumental music during this time, mainly because some of you have spoiled your music taste buds and don't even know what's good for your spirit anymore. You need time to step back, even from instrumental music, and let your taste buds heal. If at any time during the renewal period you feel like you really need to use System instrumental music, this must be confirmed with Me officially in prophecy and there would need to be a good reason for it. Wanting to use System instrumental music for a dance night or a date, for example, wouldn't be a good enough reason. It would be a very, very rare exception for Me to give you permission to use it during this time--such as if you had to conduct a System wedding ceremony and had to use a piece of System instrumental music, or something of that nature that was really unavoidable.
28. The Christian hymns of old and the instrumentals of those hymns are fine. I draw a line of distinction between those hymns that have stood the test of time and were written by saints of old who knew what it meant to live for Me, and the modern Christian music that in most cases is written by people who have chosen to compromise for the sake of fame, rather than truly live for Me. So while old hymns and instrumentals of those hymns are fine and glorify Me, I am not opening the door to other Christian music of today, which in many cases falls far short of the mark of dedication and purity of spirit that I'm expecting of you, My disciples.
29. Dance classes and music classes are also questionable, not solely because of the music, but because the very nature of the classes could be either worldly and System input, or they could be godly and something I allow--depending on the teacher, the other students, the degree of freedom and conviction your children have to witness, and other factors. That is something I will leave with the parents to make the call on, in counsel with Me and their Home. But I ask you to seriously reconsider whether they're contributing to the spirit of the renewal or taking away from it.
What about System music in outreach?
30. Q: We use System songs a lot in our music ministry. We use Family music too, and we give a good witness with every show. But we use System songs as the icebreaker, and often people will specifically request them. It's also a part of our appeal and what people pay for initially. Is it okay to continue to use System songs in our performances during the renewal period?
31. A: (Jesus:) The fast of System input is a method for you, My children, to leave the ways of the world behind and to be drawn closer to Me. It is a means for you to set aside the worldly entertainment that many of you tend to default to, and to instead draw your inspiration from Me, and from fellowship with your brothers and sisters.
32. In a situation such as the one described, you can see that there is a line of separation between your personal lives and what you take into your spirit, and your witnessing ministry and your times of giving out to others. If your heart is right and your focus is right in your witnessing ministry, if you are using it to get out the Word in the form of the Activated mags and books, if you are winning souls, if you are reaching the rich, if you are following up on the hungry, then you are fulfilling the major pillars that make up a fruitful witness, and therefore "by their fruits ye shall know them." The use of System songs in your performances is acceptable if it is a means to a greater end and a way to walk through open doors, both as far as the actual performances and as far as finding a way into people's hearts and lives.
33. Having said that, it is important that you maintain a healthy balance--and this should be the case not only during the renewal period but all the time. Yet I choose to use this renewal period as a time for you to focus on this matter more closely, and to evaluate each part of your life and witness, and see what areas you could improve in. Using System songs is helpful in some cases, but how much do you have to do it compared to how much you are doing it? Maybe you should pray about heightening the percentage of Family songs you sing and using fewer meaningless System songs.
34. There's something else to keep in mind that is probably obvious to most, but in case it isn't, I will clarify it: It is fine to use your existing repertoire of System-written songs and to draw from these in your performances during the renewal period. It would not, however, be acceptable to be listening to the radio or CDs of System artists for the purpose of learning more or new songs to add to this repertoire during the renewal. This would be going beyond the boundaries I have set for this time, one of which is "not listening to System music." Performing it as part of your witness is very different from listening to it on your own time and in your own Home. Even if you're doing it with good intentions, it could be a bad example to your children or new disciples, if they see or hear of Family musicians and performers listening to System music in their spare time; so this action would not be wise.
35. It really comes down to attitude, motivation, and circumstances. Therefore, this matter of the inclusion of System songs in your performances is one that you must pray about in each situation and receive specific counsel from Me for each group of performers, and even for each specific show.
36. My overall general guidelines are:
37. * It is acceptable to use some System songs in your performances, in cases where it is either specifically requested or where it is clearly a needed part of your "breaking the ice" or getting your foot in the door.
38. * It should be a means to a greater end, and your witnessing ministry that includes singing of System songs should also include Family songs, a salvation message, testimony to your Family membership, and presentation of My words in the form of Family publications--whether during the show or in your follow-up among the audience afterwards.
39. * You should try to use as much Family music as you can and as little System music, perhaps modifying your existing ratio if you have leaned toward using as much System music as you are "comfortable" with, when that might not be quite the right standard or balance.
40. * Pray and hear from Me about your performing and witnessing ministries --about your overall plan and approach, as well as about each specific show. I will show you how much or how little to include the use of System songs, and what the proper balance is.
41. * Let Me help you reevaluate things and show you where there's room for improvement.
What about Internet browsing?
42. Q: One of the guidelines of the renewal is no Internet browsing, except for business purposes. What is the definition of "Internet browsing"--pointless browsing? Does that mean going online for research is not allowed? Or would that be considered business?
43. A: (Jesus:) By "business" I mean things such as legal business, banking, checking e-mail accounts, travel info and reservations, research (if I confirm in prophecy that it's necessary), educational use by teachers and parents, etc. Uses that fall outside these guidelines, that are more in the category of pleasure than business or "want to" rather than "need to" are not allowed.
How about shopping?
44. Q: What about shopping for things online?
45. A: (Jesus:) I'm not going to close the door on all online shopping completely, because there may be times when something is really needed for the sake of the work, and the best place to get it would be online. But I will say that many of you have become addicted to your gadgets, addicted in the sense of "keeping up with the latest," and always trying to find new and better deals. For you, it will be a tremendous blessing to completely stop looking for deals online. You'll have some withdrawals, but you'll make it through, and when this six months is over, things will be in a much better perspective. So if something comes up that is a legitimate need, that can't wait until after the six months without hindering the work, and your shepherds agree, and I show you that online is the best place to look, then you may proceed.
46. Q: What about shopping in general? Some people seem to be addicted to going to the mall and window shopping, for example.
47. A: (Jesus:) For many of you, materialism has crept into your life in ways you don't even realize. The spirit of the renewal is a time of cleansing, coming apart from the ways and things of the world, and letting Me renew your perspective. Shopping is something that is necessary in some cases, but in other cases it has become too big an issue and has polluted your spirit with a desire for the things of the world. Some of you have developed a compulsion to buy or acquire new things. If that's you, it would do you good to have a complete break from that, if possible.
48. During this time of renewal, come to Me about your needs and ask Me what is the best way to get them. Ask Me about the amount of time you spend out in the world looking at and for things, and see if it's something that you should cut down on during this time. I know your spirit and your needs, and if you're open to Me, I'll give you good counsel and a good balance. I'll help you abide by the spirit of the renewal. Going to malls, for example, where you're surrounded by so much of the world, probably wouldn't be a good use of your free time. Going to some sort of open-air market or sale, in another example, might be a fun outing and excursion where you have opportunities to witness, and under the right conditions might be something I give you the go-ahead on. In each situation and instance I'll give you the counsel I know you need, if you're really open and yielded to Me.
What about selling things?
49. Q: What about selling things? I'm not referring to selling our Family tools, but to more personal ventures, such as selling in an online auction. There's also the case when a Home might need to sell their car, for example.
50. A: (Jesus:) A lot depends on how urgent the need is, and whether or not I give you My go-ahead to invest the time during the renewal. You should counsel with Me and then with your shepherds. There will be times when it's very necessary and even urgent to engage in some sort of sale or commerce, whether online or in person. There will be other times when it could and should wait. And especially if you're someone who has become addicted to buying and selling, or materialism has become too much a part of your attitudes and mindset and life, you should try to avoid it completely during the renewal period, so that the cleansing in your life and heart will be complete.
What about chatting online (Internet messaging)?
51. Q: Will chatting online with Family friends be permitted? Will going to Family-created and maintained bulletin groups be disallowed during the renewal period?
52. A: (Jesus:) Chatting should not be encouraged during this time because it has become a source of gossip and idle timewasting for so many. But I will not close this door completely. Homes can decide upon united guidelines, and the Home teamworks should monitor this area and do something if it seems to be getting out of hand or not bearing good fruit. FD and MM individuals should be open to shepherding concerning their chatting, and will be expected to yield to and respect any Home rules established regarding chatting. Chatting should be judged according to the fruit it is bearing, which includes both spiritual fruit as well as the time it is taking. And because so often individuals can't clearly see the fruit, they need the help of others.
53. After Home guidelines are established, each individual is responsible to keep his or her chatting or any other sort of online communication to a good spiritual standard. By this I mean making sure that their communications are uplifting, godly, positive, edifying, Spirit-filled, and a help to both themselves and the person(s) they're chatting with. This is something that only the individual will know (unless there is obvious bad fruit), and I will hold them accountable. Please use wisdom and moderation, and do not let it become a distraction or timewaster. The goal during the renewal is to spend more time with Me, and more time in fruitful, meaningful fellowship with your mates and co-workers. In some cases, occasional chatting would help to accomplish this goal. In other cases, it would take away from it. That's why I said it must be judged by its fruits.
What about e-mail?
54. Q: What about personal e-mail during the renewal? We know that things do come in online for the Home and are needed, and we can't abdicate our responsibility to friends, sheep, and family during this time, but what about the other more unnecessary stuff? Is there a limit?
55. A: (Jesus:) You do need to check your e-mail; it's unavoidable, and in some cases very important. However, during the renewal I ask everyone to keep a watch on the amount of time they spend communicating via e-mail, and the nature of their communications. When sending mail, ask yourself: "Is this necessary? Is this uplifting? Am I promoting the Lord and the way His Spirit is moving in the Family at this time? Am I building up or tearing down? Am I using my time and that of the person I'm communicating with wisely, or am I wasting it?"
56. Don't just send an e-mail for the sake of sending an e-mail. Make sure that in some way it's going to be beneficial to the person who will receive it. Share the Word, talk about the things of the spirit, write about your lessons, share a key promise and testify to key miracles in your life, and promote what I'm doing in the Family and in your life through your communications, and then it will be time well spent. If your communications are just full of pointless fluff or timewasting stuff, forget it!
What about educational computer games?
57. Q: What about educational computer games for the children? A sad thing that I've seen happen with our kids is that they get so into the entertainment-only computer games that they start staying away from educational games. But there are some very good math, language arts, geography, and typing games that the kids could play. I wonder if parents could use these educational games with their kids during the renewal period--not just during school times, but during relaxation times as well.
58. A: (Jesus:) Educational computer games can be played in moderation by children OC age and under (up to age 11), but no entertainment-only computer games. However, since many children have grown used to an unhealthy amount of computer game playing time, it would hardly benefit them if you simply substitute the educational computer games for the non-educational ones. Many children need to cut back on their computer game time, period. So even though they will be allowed to play educational computer games, because there are benefits to them, this should be a minor part of their lives during the renewal period. That's something you might want to discuss and agree on together as a Home--how much time your children will spend on these educational computer games.
59. Also, it's important that the educational computer games are truly educational in their entirety, and not mainly entertainment with a few educational tidbits thrown in. JETTs and junior teens may continue to use educational programs as part of their schooling as needed, but not games. I want to help My precious JETTs and junior teens gain a more healthy balance in their lives through this time, and a complete break from computer games is necessary in order to achieve that, just as all the rest of you are taking a complete break from watching sports, novel reading, movies, System music, and recreational Internet browsing.
What about non-fiction books, either for children or adults?
60. Q: We aren't going to be reading any novels during the renewal, but what about non-fiction books?
61. A: (Jesus:) There are some non-fiction books that would be helpful to you or to your children during the renewal. However, there are others that would be a distraction, or at the very least, take time away from other activities that would be more important for you to be investing your time in. I will give a few examples so that you understand the intent of this guideline, and can prayerfully seek Me about any needs or questions that come up in your particular situation.
62. I will place the non-fiction books into two general categories:
1) Books that teach a skill that you're working on learning.
2) Books that are designed for recreation, self-improvement, Christian books, etc.
63. I'm recommending that during the renewal, part of the extra time you have could be spent on learning a new skill, or helping to teach someone else a skill. Especially for the young people, this will be a worthwhile investment of time, and in some cases, books would help to accomplish this. For example, getting a book on massage, or electrical work, or gardening, would be a way for them to get valuable input and help them learn the technicalities of whatever skill they are learning.
64. Books that I would not consider worth your while during this time are self-improvement books; Christian books that might seem interesting or may even be good for other Christians, but are not the meat of the Word and are not designed for you, My revolutionary children of David; books that are non-fiction but border on novels, etc. The material from System sources that has been condensed or sifted through and published in your Family pubs is an exception to this, and you may read that, if it's applicable and part of what I show you to read. [Note: For example, "Raise 'em Right," "Marvelous Marriage," "How to Love/How to Get Things Done," Christian Digests, and similar material which has been sifted or condensed to make it as helpful or inspirational as possible to the Family. There are also a variety of book summaries on the MO site that may be inspiring or helpful and informative, with My confirmation on each.]
65. For the most part, I would not give you permission to read a book for relaxation, because during the period of the renewal I want you to spend your relaxation times with Me, with your mates and children and co-workers, and also at times on acquiring skills that could further your service for Me or your relationship with Me. So taking time to read a System book, no matter how interesting or even edifying and not harmful, isn't part of My plan for this time, and will take away from what I want to accomplish in your lives.
66. As with all other questions about the renewal and how to best spend your time and benefit from this priceless opportunity, when in doubt, ask Me, and be willing to accept My counsel, knowing that I know best. You can also counsel with your Home teamwork and shepherds, if you feel the need. But the general mindset shouldn't be to get away with as much as possible or find loopholes, but rather to stay within the guidelines I've given you and fully benefit from this time in every way.
What about board games?
67. Q: What kind of board games will we and our kids be allowed to play during the renewal period? Can we play the System's board games, or only Family ones?
68. A: (Jesus:) There are a lot of System board games that are good, wholesome, edifying, and even educational. These I will give you permission to use in moderation. But there are also some System board games that aren't uplifting, so these should be avoided. If you're in doubt, if you're unsure, ask Me.
69. It would be best if My children pray about each game they play, before playing it. If they have a weakness with competition, then they should play the System board games or card games that don't lend themselves to such intense competition. All of these games should be played in love, to increase fellowship. And My children of all ages need to be open to setting these games aside if they aren't able to play them in love, preferring one another.
70. Board games and even other united games that aren't Family-produced or Bible-based--such as some card games, etc.--can be uplifting, fun, unifying, relaxing, and recreational. They can engender unity and provide good platforms for uplifting, fun fellowship. Just remember to keep them in their proper place. Don't go overboard with them, or allow this to be your only form of fellowship; play in moderation, and I will bless you.
71. Another idea for keeping this in moderation is that you could rotate through various games and play different ones. Sometimes if you really like one particular game and want to play it over and over, it can become more of a competition or an obsession and less like loving fellowship. So if you're playing more often than once a week for various reasons--maybe it's something that your teens like to do in the evenings, and the other bases of time with Me, other forms of fellowship, learning skills, etc., are all being covered sufficiently--then you could consider playing different games more frequently, rather than playing the same one repeatedly, and it might have a better effect. Again, the key is in asking Me, watching the fruit it bears, and asking Me to help you fulfill the spirit of the guidelines, rather than the jot and tittle.
72. (Mama:) While we're on the subject of board games, I'd like to make a plug for our excellent Family-created board games! We have quite a few that are really fun to play with the children, and we even have a couple that are geared for older audiences and which you adults might find challenging too--or at least good review! There are several that have come out just in the past few years that, if you haven't played them much, you could probably learn a lot from them, and have a lot of fun doing so! (Check out a listing on the MO site of games and suggested ages.)
73. So even though the Lord has given permission to use edifying System board games, please remember to keep them in their rightful place and don't use them to the neglect of the tailor-made games the Lord has given us. When you play the Family board games, not only are they fun and fellowship and educational for the children (and you too, at times!), but they also promote the Word. When you play these games, the added benefit is that you're thinking about the Word while you're having fun. The renewal period is a time of cleansing and strengthening, so if we can get in more Word and think about the Word even when we're having fun, it's going to benefit us tremendously.
74. We'll also be publishing along with this GN, or shortly afterwards, some compiled activity ideas that don't revolve around worldly input. This list of possible activities isn't comprehensive or huge, but we pray it will be a blessing to you and a helpful guide or springboard for you when planning Home activities, fellowships, and get-togethers during the renewal period.
What about documentaries, movies, etc.?
75. Q: Are there any exceptions to the "no movies" and "no TV" rule--aside from 30 minutes of news--during the renewal? What about documentaries? Are there any videos that are allowed? What about Bible movies?
76. A: (Jesus:) Yes, there are certain videos that will be allowed. Teens and children may watch educational videos and/or documentaries if they are helpful and edifying and you receive My confirmation. Parents and teachers may watch them with their kids, but these educational videos or documentaries are not intended to be something that others gather around to watch as well, just because they're interesting.
77. Younger children may watch videos like "Kiddie Viddies," "Treasure Attics," "The Luvvets," "Life With Grandpa," and "Cherub Wings." Any Family videos are also allowed, such as "Family Fun," "Praise Time" videos, "GAP" videos, etc.
78. Another option for a united viewing activity could be "The Acts of the Revolution" and the "Garden of Eden" videos.
79. Everyone may watch the inspirational Bible and missionary movies on the list (see page 12) that are appropriate for your age, if you hear from Me specifically before viewing them --although even these should not be seen over and over again.
80. I consider these movies fine to show in your Homes, but I want to clarify that My intent is not to simply replace the movies you've been used to watching with movies that are more inspiring or count less toward worldly input. The main idea is to spend a lot more time with your children and teens, spend time with each other in loving fellowship, and spend time with Me. Those are the priorities. These movies are fine to watch occasionally, as long as you realize that I'm not giving you this variety of choices in order that you can replace all your movie nights with classic movies. That's not the idea.
81. There are so many other things I want you to do, which, although they require more work, planning, effort, or giving, will be so much more rewarding and satisfying in the long run. These movies aren't harmful, and they won't tear down what I'm trying to do with the renewal. They are feeding and inspiring for your spirits, and in moderation, I'm happy to let you view them. But movies, no matter how inspiring, do take time, and spending your time with Me and with your children and with others is one of the most important aspects of the renewal. So keep things in perspective, and enjoy these movies in moderation.
82. (Mama:) Following is a listing of the movies that the Lord has confirmed would be acceptable to watch during the renewal--if you decide to watch movies. You may find it more uniting and fulfilling to hold other activities instead, whether in your Home or between Homes. But if you do watch movies, the idea isn't to simply replace your regular movie nights with these shows. You should pray and receive a confirmation from the Lord before watching any of them--or before you show any to your children. You should specifically ask the Lord if and when you should view any of these films, and how often.
83. You'll notice that there are a few animated films in the list below. However, please don't default to showing these over and over to your kids. While they're good, they do have foolish parts, which if seen too often, will not bear good fruit in your children's lives.
Abraham (Richard Harris, 1994, rated for MCs)
Ben Hur (Charlton Heston, 1959, rated for JETTs)
Bible, The (John Huston, 1966, rated for OCs)
Brother Sun, Sister Moon (Graham Faulkner, 1973, rated for OCs)
Fourth Wiseman, The (Martin Sheen, 1985, rated for OCs)
Gospel According to Mark, The (Alex McGowan, rated for All)
Gospel of John, The (Henry Ian Cusick, 2003, rated for OCs)
Inn of the Sixth Happiness (Ingrid Bergman, 1958, rated for OCs)
Jacob (Matthew Modine, 1994, rated for YCs)
Jeremiah (Patrick Dempsey, 1998, rated for JETTs)
Jesus (Brian Deacon, 1979, rated for All)
Jesus (Jeremy Sisto, 1999, rated for OCs)
Jesus of Nazareth (Robert Powell, 1976, rated for YCs)
Joan of Arc (Ingrid Bergman, 1948, rated for JETTs; L. Sobieski, 1999, rated for JETTs)
Joseph (Paul Mercurio, 1995, rated for All)
Joseph: King of Dreams (Animated, 2000, rated for MCs)
Keys of the Kingdom (Gregory Peck, 1944, rated for YCs)
King of Kings (Jeffrey Hunter, 1961, rated for All)
Last Days of Pompeii (Ernest Borgnine, 1984, rated for JETTs)
Man of La Mancha, The (Peter O'Toole, 1972, rated for OCs)
Miracle Maker, The (Animated, 2000, rated for MCs)
Passion of the Christ, The (James Caviezel, 2004, rated for junior teens)
Peter and Paul (Anthony Hopkins, 1981, rated for OCs)
Prince of Egypt, The (Animated, 1998, rated for MCs)
Quo Vadis (Peter Ustinov, 1951, rated for JETTs)
Robe, The (Richard Burton, 1953, rated for OCs)
Solomon (Ben Cross, 1997, rated for JETTs)
St. John in Exile (Dean Jones, rated for OCs)
Story of Jesus for Children, The (Brian Deacon, 1999, rated for OCs)
Ten Commandments, The (Charlton Heston, 1956, rated for YCs)
Visual Bible: The Book of Acts (Dean Jones, 1994, rated for MCs)
84. Q: What about Veggie Tales and the Christian Classic cartoon videos?
85. A: (Jesus:) While it's not that these videos are so harmful in themselves if shown once in a while, in many Homes and families they have become babysitters for the children, and the kids need a break from them. They need to learn to enjoy simple story time and flannelgraphs and skits a lot more. They need to learn to relax in fun playtime with each other, rather than being plopped in front of a video. And I want the parents and teachers and everyone in the Home to spend a lot more quality time with the children. If I opened the door to using all of these during the renewal, not only would they overshadow and seem so much more appealing than the Family videos you have at your disposal, but they would also be used more often than I intend as babysitting or entertainment, and the change that I want to bring about would not be as complete.
86. Q: Are exercise videos okay?
87. A: (Jesus:) One of the ways each of you will benefit most from the renewal period is if you go into it with an openness and desire for change, and don't continue with anything just because "it's the way we've always done it," or because "it's still allowed, so it must be okay." There may be times that I have something better I want to show you, and this time of renewal is a perfect time to reevaluate each part of your life and ask Me for a willingness to see where there's room for improvement.
88. Exercise seems like a small part of your life, and something that's necessary to have a routine for if you're going to be faithful with it. That's true. But why not check in with Me to see if I have any adjustments in that routine? It's fine to continue to use exercise videos if that's what I show you to do, but be open to Me. Maybe I'll show you a way to make your exercise time even more fun and interesting, adding variety or fellowship or prayer vigil, or maybe I'll give you ideas on how to make it more perfectly suited to your body's needs. Don't allow any part of your life to remain stagnant and closed off to the fresh winds of change and My Spirit.
Take note: Regarding sex during the renewal
89. (Mama:) Don't worry, we're not going to discourage or prohibit sex during the renewal! In fact, having dates and sharing the Lord's love with each other in this way is probably going to be on the increase in some situations, because, after making sure the children and JETTs and junior teens are getting what they need, there may be some extra time to draw from. And that's wonderful. Thank the Lord for the freedom and understanding He's given us of His beautiful Law of Love!
90. This is just a little reminder to please stay within the guidelines of the Law of Love, stay within the boundaries the Lord has given you personally in regards to "go for the gold," and please, stay within the Charter guidelines for your age range! I was especially burdened to remind you that the penalty for sex out of age range is in almost all instances full excommunication. Excommunication means you must move out of the Home and you are no longer a part of the Family on any level. I know it's severe, and Peter goes into the reasons behind it in the GN "Charter Amendments 2003" (GN 1033).
91. But the point is, if you are in any way unclear on what age range you are allowed to engage in sexual activity with, please look it up and read it carefully, and stick to it. Remember that ignorance of the law is no excuse--nor is lapse of memory. The COs will have no choice but to excommunicate those who step outside the specified age grouping outlined in GN 1033. Family members young or old will not be able to use the defense that they hadn't read the Amendments GN carefully and were therefore unaware of the rules. They will still have to be excommunicated in order to protect the Family's community life and uphold the standard of obedience. So please be aware of the guidelines for your age group and don't let yourself slip, because the consequences are severe.
92. Having said that, please enjoy yourselves within the godly boundaries the Lord has set for us. Have fun, be loving, prayerful and wise, include our Husband as often as you can in your recreation with others, ask Him to help you be willing to unselfishly give and stretch a little more than you're used to, and this time will be a blessing to you and to all those the Lord touches through you with His love.
93. We're not listing in this GN all of the activity ideas and positive things that you can do in place of these things that you've been used to doing, but a few people in WS have been working very hard to compile lists of activity ideas, games, talk-time questions, receiving new stories from Heaven for your children, and more. All of these ideas and lists and new materials will either be posted on the MO site or sent to you in your regular mailings. So while it might be difficult to just read about the things that the Lord is curtailing or asking us to abstain from during this time, He's also giving us a lot to take its place--we just haven't gotten it all to you yet. If you have more ideas or tips on what works for you, please send them in, and we might be able to post them or share them with the Family.
94. Peter and I love you very much, and I'm claiming the keys of change, faith, praise, and rising above for you! "You will feel the power of the keys--steady and confident, strong and unbeatable--as you praise Me and let your voice glorify Me. Whenever you feel discouraged or worried, bring on the power of the keys through your words of faith and praise. They rush to those who honor Me and glorify My Name."
I will give the keys of fire and the heat of revolution to all those who call upon them in earnest humility and desperation.
Radical change is at your doorstep the moment you ask for it in the power of the keys.
Those who seek Me--their spirits weak, their minds humble, holding nothing but the power of the keys in their hands--will receive instantaneous, miraculous change in their lives, spirits, and Homes.
When tempted by the allure of the world, crush Satan's attack through the overpowering force of the keys. Destroy him, bind him, and drive him out! Be renewed!
Have you lost hope for change? Has it been this way for years? Do you feel you can't go on another day? Call on the keys of rejuvenation and change, and they will work miracles in your life.
The spark of the Revolution has never left you; it will be reignited through calling on the power of the keys.
I want to give you power, miracles, insight, spirit trips, visions, and the supernatural. Claim these things by standing firmly on the keys, refusing to be dissuaded.
Why are you weary? Call on the keys, which infuse new life into tired and aching flesh, revive even the most parched of souls, and cause lilies to spring up out of the most despondent lives.
The keys are alive and will bring action, movement, and change. They will inspire, revolute, break down walls, change deeply entrenched bad habits and mindsets. Use them to unlock all you need--and more.
Death to lethargy, death to complacency, death to disobedience through the keys!
Forsake the world, come out from among them and be separate. Hold high the keys of revolution, and demand that they stir you up into My fireball of the spirit.
If you're bound, call on the keys of liberty and be freed from the ways of the world.
Stand fast on the keys, which have made you free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
The key of change that I will activate in your life will renew faith, increase vision, and bring strength to My Family such as you have never known before.
Uphold My standard and win battles this day by claiming My keys of fight, vision, and faith. There is no stopping you when you stand on this power.
You can find freedom through choosing Me, your Lover, as opposed to the Evil One and his machinations. This vile thief has sought to steal many of you from My side, but you can loose the bonds that bind you through wielding the keys of destiny.
The keys of strength stand ready to be used at your beck and call, and are activated when you petition Me in full faith.
Claim the keys of channeling during this important time when I wish to give you instruction more clearly than ever before. The Enemy will attempt to confuse your mind and interfere with storms of static. But when you claim the keys of a clear and precise channel, I will waylay all the imps and confound all the devices he can muster against you.
By claiming the keys of strength, you will receive strength for your spirit, body, and mind. My power will flow through your veins and through the channels in your mind, and your spirit will exercise its right to loose the forces of Heaven in your time of need.
Far from the reaches of the eyes of men do My key craft stand ready. They await your call, and once you have petitioned their help, the crews on board will sally forth* and supply every need--spiritual or physical defense, supply, vision, anointing, and faith. (*To rush out or leap forth suddenly; to issue suddenly from a defensive or besieged position to attack an enemy.)
The key craft carry a supply of keys that are tailor-made for you personally and for your Home, and upon your request they will hover above you and unleash a torrent of My key power to refresh and renew you.
Claim the keys of commitment as your own, and nothing will dampen your fire of service, snuff out your flame of joy, or hinder you from walking the path of My will.
New and previously unknown gifts of the Spirit will flood into your life, heart, and spirit this year, in proportion to your obedience and desperation in claiming the keys of discipleship.
If you depend on the keys with all of your heart, you can depend on Me to show you My power in full force and give you My strength in full measure.
You are weak, but My keys are strong and able in every situation!
Give Me permission to work in your life by calling on the keys of yieldedness, and I promise that I will make you into a better vessel--more beautiful, useful, and closely linked to Me.
The power of the keys will lift you up when you feel low, encourage you when you feel weak, strengthen you when you are weary of the fight, and give you the courage to face any battle and war through to victory.
The keys of foresight and heavenly vision will make the difficult decisions easier to make, the hard roads smoother to walk, and the high mountains quicker to scale.
Give your heart to Me with the keys of full possession, and your life will be in the most capable hands there ever was or ever will be.
Walk into the future with hope, courage, and anticipation, as the keys of destiny and obedience lead you, and you will see everything in your life improve for the better.
The keys' power in your life will never fade, as long as you keep the current strong through calling on them.
Your world will be linked with Mine, your mind will be melded with Mine, and your heart will be joined with Mine, as you call on the keys of full possession.
The keys are your personal aids--to win victories, conquer new territory, defeat the Enemy, and walk the road of the future with Me.
Because I love you so dearly, so completely, so passionately, I have given you the keys, which represent My most awesome power--power to protect, keep, lead, guide, comfort, encourage, deliver, change, renew, refresh, inspire and uplift you.
With the force and power of the keys of obedience, there is nothing you will be unable to do for Me or for others.
The key of discipleship can be called upon when you feel your faith slipping. If you're unsure whether you have what it takes, call on the key of discipleship and it will blow upon the embers of your faith, igniting the fires of revolution.
The keys can give you faith to handle anything! Anything that seems insurmountable, impossible, or unbearable can be whittled down to size and made surmountable, possible, and bearable, through the power of the keys.
Copyright 2004 by The Family
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