Sisters' Meeting, 2nd session
In determining what kind of meeting we will have, one barometer is just how much you want to indulge and hang back. That is always going to be the problem. No one wants to be out front.
.Sisters pointed out -- this especially applies to: (ten sisters named)
These meetings aren't to "give you direction"-- your conscience tells you right and wrong. Any progress we are going to make has to be in overcoming the real problem, or it isn't real progress. Most aren't lambs or teenagers anymore. We must face the real problems of life.
The sisters need "Break up the fallow ground."
Characteristics of the more advanced wrong sisters:
Not wanting to face the real problems of life, trying to kid themselves and wanting some way to entertain themselves; dragging their speech for every last ounce of attention; wailing and pitying play act; staring into space like there's something really heavy going on inside, because they wish there was, but there isn't; mouth hanging open; always hiding; really leeching, and continuing to for a long time; pushy; put on the front of being a Christian when you know you're not.
Consider the improvement among the brothers. Remember, the sisters are next. That sounds good, but remember - the more that a real way for them to have a real life emerged, the more they were required. The price was that a lot of them left. They refused it, and what they have now is terrible compared to what they could have. The sisters are next. There are those that just don't want to be healed. It costs you your pride, and giving up your ways. Do you know of any sisters that have left and are what you consider to be successful?
There's hardly any unity among the sisters, quite similar to the situation with the brothers about the time the business started. It's because of what's inside you. It's not really because of a lack of a means. There is plenty of means available. There are those that are not in this situation at all, for instance, -------. All of you must become free of this situation. It's time to come to grips with your life, just existing isn't enough, and the majority are ready to admit it, though some will go on trying and continuing this way.
There are genuine sisters and false sisters, just like there are genuine brothers and false brothers.
What do sisters respect and not respect amongst themselves? It 's something you'll never talk to each other about. If ---------- were sitting at 128 as she is right now, she wouldn't be respected. Because back at that time, just like little children, you respected nothing. You were into having fun, but you were not respecting anything as sisters. And even now as sisters you aren't respecting anything - that's why -------- can do her number among you. There is no unity among you. It's written, "You will be judged before many women." - that is held to be a horrible thing but the trips don't fear it, because the sisters haven't agreed as to how their sisterhood ought to be in a united and real way. In fact, you only hide it.
Most sisters who leave have and will be deceitful about it. (examples given, names omitted)
When a woman really gives herself she can't take herself back. Paul speaks about widows and how they violate their first pledge. You all made a pledge to Jesus, and when you see someone living in a way other than with regard to that pledge- when you see a woman living that way physically toward her husband - you can't respect her. (---------- was given as an example to this point). What women respect between themselves does center in faithfulness to Jesus. When a woman is really faithful, she has joy, given a right husband (Jesus and the church reflect this). It's different with the sister than with the brothers, but there has to be the fellowship among those sisters who love Jesus. And then there's the grouches. You're one or the other.
'When you see the trips doing their numbers for a long time, you figure you ought to try it, too. And life becomes just a matter of seeing how much you can get away with. It's sin. You ought to fight together to overcome it. But to fight, you must break some "rules." The grouches are sending out the signals that they don't want Christian fellowship, but human fellowship.--- and you don't insist on a Christian fellowship, thereby you get broken down. Your fellowship isn't with respect to His promises and your conscience, but you just go round and round. That's got to change. If Jesus tarries, you may have to go on to be 25 and 40 and 50 years old. What are you doing about it? You're not taking life seriously.
The sisters need a clearer sight of their purpose and an honest commitment to it.
When a woman hopes in marriage and indulges it, she gets herself a puppet. Jesus said "you did not choose me but I chose you!" But when you do the choosing, that is all you're going to get, ever.
You all know the real issues but you don't fellowship in them.
You're getting older and your fellowship has got to get deeper or it isn't going to last. The fight to stay faithful is a lot deeper than you are acting, and all many of you are doing is marking time till the day that you backslide.
The devil is the destroyer, what feels good is getting away with destroying something, bringing it down. That's what those sisters especially taking advantage are indulging, breaking your fellowship down - it's happening through them. They've set up rules to that end, and if you break those rules and insist on Christian fellowship, they will wail real loud and might even threaten to leave! But, if you're good (that is ,let them have their way in destroying fellowship) they might stay for awhile)- and your fellowship is in terms of worrying about them.
If your faith really is in Jesus, even if you don't understand all these numbers, and don't know what to do about them specifically - the wrong spirit has to go away when faced with faith in Jesus. That's what the sisters have to unite in. Most of you would get mad if there was a nucleus of sisters saying, "we have to only hope in Jesus, our fellowship must be in Jesus, and get rid of everything else."
Talk to sisters in a way such as "You're nothing but a sinner saved by grace, and we wish you'd fellowship with us in that", "Do you want your life to say that Jesus is alive or dead?" There's a judgment coming for liars, and you won't get any points for pity then. You'll have to be responsible then."
There are beginners, intermediates, and experts in this pattern of joyless self-indulgence. There is only one other way to be - the totally wild woman mocking Jesus. If you're not a Christian woman you will be one of those.
Part of you want to just exist, some of you want to accomplish something. There are those who just want to drip along, not having to bend or change, taking advantage, being able to deceive others into giving them their way, and whose purpose in life is destroying fellowship. And there are those who realize their problem, and look at older women, more wisely realizing that you're going to be that way soon and want to get ready.
From the very beginning everyone has a chance. If someone says they don't want a chance they don't deserve pity.
You aren't united and able to speak to wayward sisters with any authority. You don't have the respect because you haven't been living accordingly yourselves, unitedly. They know they can squirm around you.
It is unpleasant to have to honestly talk about Jesus and the wrong things you're doing. But Ecc. 8:3 "Do not delay when the matter is unpleasant". The "grouches" always pause before saying anything.
The purpose of the sisters fellowship
Our purpose must be for new sisters, married , older, unmarried; this must be the purpose of the fellowship of all the sisters. When two of you meet this is what you unite in (or else you're playing games). It's got to be something you'll respect, and it's got to be the way a woman is supposed to be. It must continue to be meaningful to you years from now on. Our purpose as the fellowship of the sisters is DEVOTION TO JESUS AND THE BROTHERS (brethren, brotherhood - collectively, the fellowship of the brothers). This opens up the way you're going to be in a real and definite way. It's based on the fellowship (brothers being right brothers, therefore being a help to you and devotion to them increases your devotion to Jesus. The brothers, in a sense, are the fellowship, you aren't. You are meant to be helpers, "rendering service to the brethren." You know how ineffective you are of yourselves, you ought to be working through the brothers. As they are working, a lot more that becomes more meaningful. The brothers have to be worthy of that devotion. It has overtones of marriage, but very definitely includes those who aren't.
As such, fellowship among the sisters isn't mentioned in the New Testament. So justification for having such a thing must be the thrust of scripture since you can't point to singular verses. A woman becoming like Jesus is also a difficult concept. The issue is aimed at "in Christ there is neither male nor female." There's nowhere in scripture that Jesus is telling a woman to become like Him.
The brothers must be more responsible with this outlook, and they must be rightly leading as a group. That's what has got to grow up among us. This purpose is for you as a fellowship, not you as an individual sisters. This purpose corresponds to your work as a fellowship.
The brothers are in fact better off in that the sisters have been around, than they would be otherwise, because of our just plain helping in physical ways. For instance, having jobs. A few women went around with Jesus, ministering to His needs, Mt. 27: 55. Eve was made to be a helper (Gen. 2:16) ; PRO 31. Women aren't pictured as helping the men at war, but in physical ways. This does not mean you are only physical - but this is the aspect the Bible deals with most.
The devotion has to get deeper and realer with respect to what's real. Sisters not uniting in this purpose are not right women., but are trips, selfish. Women ought to be devoted and helping. Devotion to Jesus is the more important, nevertheless the means for that, the means that God has presented to do that is through the brothers. This is the means you find fulfillment in and in which you can honorably unite:
You should have been raised physically with this understanding. But there's almost nothing f rom your background that's of use. It's like starting from scratch.
You'll respect each other to the degree to which you're helping the brothers fulfill their calling.
Sisters' Meeting, 3rd session
The nature of this meeting was a firm warning to those sisters who are knowingly or not, set on poisoning themselves., those who are doing the dark selfish numbers, and are influencing the fellowship of sisters away from devotion to Jesus.
As the majority of the sisters become more and more devoted to Jesus, it will become clearer those who aren't. Presently in our sisters' fellowship, the majority of sisters aren't clearly living as Christians, there is not enough difference between the majority and those who aren't devoted to make a distinction. We must become greatly devoted, as a fellowship, and the 'grouches' must face the fact that they are destroying themselves, that life will be miserable for them if they continue the same, and they must be given no room to hide among the rest.
From now on we must note those not striving for unity, and warn them that they are on the way to backsliding at that point. The following is a list of 24 sisters noted to whom this warning especially applies. These are those who are generally pushier in their indulgence, and with some degree of hard-heartedness.
NOTE:The names of 24 sisters were displayed here. We have redacted the names to prevent further harm to these sisters.
In dealing with these sisters, simply tell them what you see (ie. "it seems like you aren't pressing to be in fellowship with us in Jesus, you seem very unhappy") and then yourself go back to work at what is right. Just mention what you observe, don't let them drag you into trying to prove it.
Part of the way they operate is described by Prov. 30:11 , "the leech ... give me give me, they cry." Another thing to look for is the game-"everything's alright" they say in their words and with their looks-when you-they both know it isn't. Beware of goofiness, especially goofiness over gross sin. It's poison.
Expect a radical change out of these 24 sisters (and others perhaps overlooked). Always deal with them with respect to the fellowship of all the sisters, not just "you versus them" as an individual. They want nothing to do with Jesus, our purpose, or anything.
Always put things back on them, deal with them in such a way that calls for some reaction on their part with respect to what is right so that the wrong they are doing will be all the more apparent.
The only thing you can do is tell them the truth-they want no part of it. Offer them fellowship in right things. There is no fulfillment in the numbers they are doing.
If they say (or insinuate) "be nice to me or I'll leave" -instead of pitying that number we should reply "if you're that determined to destroy yourself, why don't you leave?" Increasingly our church is becoming more responsible, with a better and better future. If they don't want to be with us, we can't beg them.
A woman who is not devoted is automatically self-indulgent.
On the other hand, there are those sisters who are devoted, for instance the sisters council:
NOTE: The names of these 16 sisters were redacted from this document to prevent further harm.
(some of these sisters should not be on the council. It should be even more clearly those who are devoted, and offer a right example to the majority)
The sisters collectively need 1) more of a sight of how to be and why, coming from the Bible, 2) something specific to work at, and 3) real commitment to it.
The end of this meeting was sisters calling off various verses about the way women should be. The following are some of the points touched on.
Consider the way God dealt with Sarah. Both Sarah in Genesis, and Job's wife in Job 2:9 , both laughed, that is didn't trust God. Both did wrong. But coming from very different places. It's not a question of their foolishness, both did something foolish, but where they were coming from was very different.
Mary and Martha are two others to consider. Both were devoted to Jesus.
One verse we especially looked at was Prov 11:16. "A gracious woman gets honor." Women aren't supposed to be 'honored'. Whatever gracious means there, it's wrong. In other languages or translations, the word gracious is likely to mean something like 'charming' or some such concept Here a right woman is compared to a wrong man. A gracious woman "gets honor" by maneuvering, with the front she puts forth. The right woman of Pro 31 is praised for her works. 'Gracious' has no real place in Prov 31, though devotion does. (Her graceful charms are deadly.)
To learn about how a woman should be, we can work backwards from our understanding of the spiritual and figurative woman.
A woman is presented as serving (Mary-the handmaiden). Women must be honest,, kind, serious, and sensible.
Sisters' Meeting, 5th session
For sisters, fellowshipping with Jesus partly means putting sisters
such as (names omitted) and others- putting them in front of you and looking
at them. You must begin by facing the facts that there is no hope outside
of Jesus. You need to put the results right in front of you of those who
are looking for meaning outside of Jesus--and admit that you are likely
to be there soon. Fellowshipping with Jesus begins by facing the facts,
admitting the real problem facing you, shaking it and getting out of it.
Jesus wants you to be fulfilled and useful.
There is no hope in you and in your ways. ( "in" you, not "for" you) You are only one inch away from those you see indulging their ways. Begin by facing your hopelessness of yourselves.
These sisters are not even responsibly serving their own best interests, let alone the interests of others.
God has overcome the devil, the war really is won--but it's only enough to give you an opportunity. You must put out positive effort yourself. It is like being on a see-saw, with great weights on both ends, (God and the devil), and your free-will is a tiny little weight wavering in the middle--you could easily tip the see-saw either way. God doesn't force you to go to Him. But all you've got to do is mark time long enough and for sure you've lost.
The sisters aren't realizing the hope there is in praying to Jesus. At these meetings, too much you're either seeking entertainment, or hoping to hide in the woodwork and thereby bring the fellowship down. Once the attitude is right--we must finally unite in some real work.
We must collectively reflect the fact that there is only hope in Jesus. When there is an actual framework among us, and a large group of sisters really striving, then the others will have no place to hide. The more progress that is made, the guiltier the dark ones will be.
The sisters presently especially leeching: (names omitted)
They all, one by one, take you an a tour of all your numbers, then leave you where you started and walk away laughing.
The name of the game is just hiding in doing your own thing at your own expense.
The rest of the meeting was no longer the warning to those indulging, but how those willing to work can be making progress.
The brothers are making more progress as a fellowship than the sisters-- therefore, we ought to be helping them.
There are various works the sisters should be doing: 1) Soliciting, 2) Cleaning Machines, 3) Office work, business & Church, 4) Writing works, and manor ones. 5) Nursery, 6) New York Center, 7) breakfast for the brothers, etc.
We must start by having organizers-(three sisters named)-- to gather accurate statistics, that every sister is known and some facts about her, and categorized. in various ways.
Sisters should be categorized according to what they should and need to be doing, and partly according to what they want to be doing. ....who wants to do what? who is willing to work together? who is available what hours? who is motivated to do what, or especially talented at what?
Also, sisters should be categorized as: 1) encouraging, 2) able to help, 3)needing help, 4) hospital case and 5) trips.
Also---categories according to their employment status and categorized as married, single, or separated.
Jobs diminishing will change the basic categorization.
When sisters meet together, we should be concerned with how the work is going. You can't be Song of Solomon without Prov. 31 (or vice versa) -
These smaller categories will take away the chance for those to hide who want to.
There really is hope, as long as there is determination on our part and indolence doesn't set in.
Sisters' Meeting, 6th Session
The way Stewart should be toward the sisters, and all the brothers should learn to be, is the way God and Jesus dealt with sisters in the Bible, as shown by true interpretation. And as sisters, we must become more and more the way the right, women of the Bible were. There is no difference. The sisters ought to unite in promising to look to Sarah and finding out more what it means to look to her, and how that is our only hope.
There is a dangerous thing--you want-to do your own thing, and you can get away with it and not have to come to the light. But after awhile it costs you far more, you pay far worse a price than if you had just come to the light. All sisters: whenever you see another sister doing something wrong--you should openly point to it, then drop it (don't get dragged round and round or try to prove it), and expect the other person to do something about it. If every sister did this every time there was something wrong, there would be no place left to hide.
It's different when we are all together at sisters meetings than it is during the week. We must develop a trust for each other-- a growing sense that all week we're all really united in looking to be with Jesus. We should be able to look at each other with a sense of "that sister is really striving to keep out of the flesh".
The fellowship of the sisters is broken down by selfish wailing. That must be overcome as you strive together to help someone else. When indulging these selfish numbers, a sister will leave more quickly than a brother doing the same numbers, because the result is being alone, and a sister has no stability in herself. The only reason you would go into hiding is because you were doing female numbers which you were ashamed of.
There is no hope for you--indulging hoping in a relationship and centering your life in it. Either you win and get a puppet, or, with a right brother, you're only frustrated because you don't get anywhere. Either way you're miserable.
There is momentum going among the sisters now, the fellowship between us is growing. How can that be increased? Even in the fellowship of the sisters, "your builders will outstrip your destroyers."
The main point of this meeting was preparation for the big meeting. Devotion to Jesus and the brothers should be more apparent at the big meetings than ever--in that the big meetings are meant to encourage the younger brothers and sisters.
We divided into categories in which the sisters could be especially helpful:(names omitted)
1) Registration 2) Food 3) Nursery 4) Communion 5) Baptism 6) Medical 7) Sleeping 8 8) Restrooms 9) Information 10) Greeting & Seating 11) Lamb sister meetings
Sisters'Meeting, 7th session
This was a very relaxed meeting compared to others. There was a much
better spirit as a result of the big meeting. Part of the meeting was spent
discussing things such as Haiti, the business, etc.
The sisters and the business:
The sisters uniting to work with the brothers, is motivating and immediately gratifying, and of real value. The brothers set a goal of reaching $50,000 this coming week. We should do everything possible to help them in their goal.
Soliciting: How many sisters should be together? Basically the sisters should be spread among the teams, one sister with every team of a couple brothers. Bunches of sisters is no good.
Those sisters still holding f ull-time jobs that are most eager to quit, and in spare time have shown themselves most helpful in soliciting, and especially those in the categories of encouraging and able to help---these should be the first to quit their jobs.
Those sisters in the lower, categories should especially work on cleaning machines. It is a means for them to be restored. (hospital and trips)
You have to respect your fellowship, just as the brothers in the business do. If a sister is just doing trips or walking all over you, and you let it go, you're selling out on the younger sisters.
You are not brothers and are not expected to be like brothers, but you ought to be as driving and as energetic, and you can be a real help. (Prov. 31)
How many sisters have left since the first sisters meeting? If those left because they don't want to be genuinely united with the sisters, then those remaining ought to make it really worthwhile.
Six really "hospital" cases remain among the sisters: (names omitted)
Organization among the sisters was stressed this meeting. (Three sisters) had gone through the questionnaires turned in so far. The results in, terms of categories were: 26 Encouraging sisters, 32 Able to help, 37 Need help, 30 Holding out and 7 Trips and Drags.
The organizers are to look for means whereby all the sisters can get to know each other. (i.e. "the welcome wagon").
Another job for the organizers is finding out what sisters don't have jobs in the world, but are without control and just drifting or running all over the others. Everyone must have a definite approved schedule. If you don't have one-- "it feels good in the morning but hurts at night". (how I hated discipline). Women shouldn't be drifting, that's even more true for women than men, and for a young woman it spells death. This scheduling of our time is a forerunner of the matriculation process we will have when the school is established. Everyone's day will be programmed ahead of time. The sisters should fellowship with each other about what they do all day, and the ways they just hide instead of go to the work.
An attitude has developed among some of the older sisters who have 'learned the ropes' of "I despise the fellowship of the sisters." (---- is an example of this). This attitude is really going, to hurt them when our school starts, because we will be on a training schedule, everything will be timed and done in fellowship.
-------- and -------- are examples of sisters that are really talented, could do a great deal of good, but they are coasting in their persons. They have trained themselves into this wrong attitude and wrong way of dealing. Our training center won't allow a sister to get trained into that. There will be forces on you greater than you can overcome, which is hopeful for the young sisters, but what about the brittle ones? Our training center must be set up in order to untrain them from their ways. But what happens to the obstinate ones?
The sisters holding out will be trying hard to have no facial expression. They are trying to hide their persons and to be neutral in everything.
From now on, if a sister has any kind of a relationship with a brother, and she starts doing any kind of number in her ' non-person' way, just say "Cindy" (or whatever her name is) ... "Pete"(or whatever his name is). Their number will stop. There is no joy for a woman in doing the female numbers of trying to work a man over.
Around 25 years old, a common pattern is the lazy giving up, and being ashamed of it, and putting up the front to hide it.
A new category for the sisters should be the "Nobody loves me" category. It's a subdivision of "nobody suffers like I suffer". They are awarded with a copy of Donald's picture 'Prayer changes gloomy faces.'
When sisters get together, even more needed than with the brothers, you need to get a look at Jesus (read the Bible together), because you forget so easily. It's hard for sisters to fellowship with each other . It's harder to make them enter into fellowship with each other, and hardest of all for them to make themselves fellowship with each other. The real things that are true for you will be just as true for the next 1,000. The wrong spirit keeps trying to get you to build a house on a wrong foundation so that later generations can't live in it.
Sisters' Meeting, 7/13/77
First we went into some figurative studies about the way sisters should be. Right women are compared to pure water scripturally; that is water which is collected in a cistern on its way from the mountains to the sea. As it travels to the sea, it picks up the sin from the earth which lies polluted, and it ends up in the sea, full of weariness. But if it is collected before it makes that journey, it is pure. Pure has to do with being chaste.
The patriarchs always (?) met their wives at wells with flocks of sheep. And they went on long journeys to their wives, (and Cain went to the land of Nod). Jesus was on a journey when he met the women at the well also.
Cities and women are also related, heavenly Jerusalem is our mother, men blossom forth from the cities, etc.
Marriage is a profound mystery, Christ and the church. Only a teacher would understand this and therefore be able to work backwards from it and see how a physical woman should be.
Then, by way of reminder, we stressed how when sisters meet together our purpose is devotion to Jesus and the brothers. But being what we are, we turn that into just devotion to the brothers. We must remember---Jesus must come first! We realize this and agree, it is our weakness and indulgence which keeps us from this. Our fellowship must be in the death and resurrection and Second Coming, of Jesus. This is the only thing that will continue to be meaning and hope for us.
Left to your own devices, you'll just put on a front while you're getting dragged into hoping in this life. You have to keep investing in hoping in being with Jesus, fellowshipping in Calvary, otherwise you are just coasting. Sisters have no spirit, need spirit desperately. Jesus promises to give us His Holy Spirit. But if we coast, we just use up the spirit we do have and are left as flat water.
Right now we are in between, not just kids, but not mature forty-year-olds either. When we are forty, we will clearly see that meaning is only in Jesus. Till then we must sow to the spirit, not be destroying ourselves.
The brothers need a sense of working with Jesus. The sisters especially need a sense of pleasing Jesus in order to have meaning.
The way sisters operate can be compared to water again. It takes the path of least resistance, and takes the shape of its container. Unless a lot of effort is put out to keep you in a certain place, you drip away. It's not that you push and resist that much, just lots of dripping. If you're not struggling to be with Jesus now, the devil will use that later to get you further from Jesus.
Sisters seek fulfillment, that includes some combination of security, interest, stability, happiness and lack of fear (especially fear of the future). It seems to be a long way from seeking these things to every moment insisting that you be looking to Jesus. You don't realize that it's only in Him that you will find fulfillment. Sin working through your flesh gets you to stray from your shepherd.
Focusing on Jesus is the only way you will continue to have spirit in your life. You tend to hope in what's here--the spirit in a physical man, but that's not enough.
Remember that in your search for a purposeful and interesting life that ten years from now you will change very much. What interests you now will be very different then. But Jesus remains the same and your need for Him only increases. We must be as the woman pressing through the crowd to be with Jesus
Whenever you meet together as sisters you should remind each other that fellowship in Calvary overcomes the flesh, as Jesus demonstrated in overcoming death. (Though "life-long bondage to the fear of death" doesn't mean that much to you now, it will later).
Everything you do and say ought to be connected to one of the three--Calvary, the resurrection, or the soon Second Coming of Jesus. You are so overwhelmed by your situation today, that you lose sight of reality. That's got to change.
One of the processes whereby we drift further from Jesus--you don't act as though Jesus could come back any moment, so you feel guilty. But when you see you're holding out on Jesus, that makes you ashamed to go to Jesus for help. So your iniquity makes a separation between you and your God.
When a woman gives herself to a man, it's extremely hard to take herself back, it's tearing away. We have made our first pledge to Jesus and mustn't violate it. We must return to our first love, and lay aside every weight, and focus on the death and resurrection and soon coming of our Lord.
Sisters' Meeting, 9th session,
lst Older Sisters Session (25 and older)
Stewart began by asking the sisters their opinion of who among them
do they consider to be as happy and confident as Gayle. None answered.
And then explained how you would like to tell yourself it's because of
their marriage-but it's not. You'd think that in order to justify your
own hoping in marriage. The flesh will even give credit to flesh if it
must--to avoid the truth. But what you really want is spirit--and spirit
only comes from Jesus. You want to look for it in a physical man. But in
fact, married or not, spirit only comes from Jesus. In your wailing you
say that "Jesus has made a way for Gayle to have spirit, not for you."
You would have spirit too, if you are genuinely trusting Jesus. But that
involves things like being genuinely honest, which most aren't.
You must far more clearly and openly put in front of you that meaning and interest only comes through Jesus. Gayle is only an example of that put in front of you. (Two sisters named) are also examples of this--in very different situations. You all could be. You sell yourselves down the river-making excuses not to encourage each others faith in Jesus. And you badly need to encourage the younger sisters. All of you ought to be guardians.
There are a lot of things you need to genuinely face and talk about. A sign of maturity is to be able to openly face real problems and situations, with genuine concern. The nature of these meetings should be "coming to grips" with these things.
You don't believe each other because of guilt on your own part. You see the others not fighting the things you know you ought to be, so there is an under-the- counter agreement between you both not to fight together. But you can't respect yourself unless you give yourself. You have to be devoted. You're half hoping to hide in the woodwork and half realizing there's no chance it will work.
The Bible study on the way women should be is really for the older, sisters. You would appreciate it. It would be interesting for the younger, sisters but it's needful for you.
What you need most is to fellowship in fighting the fight of the faith. That should be the point of these meetings. You must motivate each other to get up out of the flesh and consciously center your life in Jesus' will--not your own. Gladly do the will of your Lord. You should directly speak to each other accordingly-- fellowship in putting your faith in Jesus out front and the flesh behind you. Otherwise you are playing games. You've heard, you've learned the facts. None of you ever made vows to each other. There is no force on you. If you did make vows and perform them, the others would see you as fulfilled, and you would have strength to help the younger sisters. You badly need to be hoping in the resurrection and eagerly looking to Jesus coming, and to be a right example of a Christian woman. You must examine your faith and commitment to fighting the fight of the faith when you're together. The real issue is hiding from the cross. There's no sense fiddling while Rome burns.
You need to be able to be proud of what you are doing. You have to know you are giving a right example--encouraging the older sisters and giving hope to the younger.
The desire to wail is so strong!
A woman will try to deceive herself--to have indulgence today and forget about tomorrow.
You must always be doing something constructive, not wasting. There should be profit from all that you do.
Consider your relationship with Jesus. If a husband is nothing but good to his wife, yet she goes away from him--that is a kind of adultery. And then hoping in physical marriage is 'doting on the Assyrians.'
Each of you might say that through Stewart some good has come into your life. You should see that as a shadow,a mere drop in the bucket, of what comes through Jesus!
A common maneuver-though you've learned the ropes and know all the tricks, you want to be treated like 18 years old. But you can't be! But you can't be! You have to be closer to Jesus.
If you were really bothered by starving brothers and sisters in Haiti, you wouldn't be this way. If you were even concerned for the 18 year old sisters, who are so desperate they'll grasp at anything--you wouldn't be this way. You can't just go on in your cell with your marvelous fantasy. Jesus has enabled you to help others. You try salving your conscience and saying "I helped so and so", "I did something. " But you must obey Jesus and obey His call.
You trust yourself and your maneuvering instead of Jesus--and have no peace and calm.
You don't feel wanted by Jesus. You've lost sight of being wanted because you don't see it in others.
You do give the younger sisters a certain stability--but presently it's in an unhappy way. You must fellowship in encouraging others in order to please Jesus. Forgetting what lies behind, we press onward toward the upward call...
Sisters' Meeting, 9th session
Ist Younger Sisters Session (age 16-19)
There are approximately 47 younger sisters, around 27 of which are 18 and under. All of the sisters between 16 and 18 are very similar, and a certain natural unity exists--though surfacely some may appear very different. Them really is a unity. Because of the forces on you there is a real similarity between you. This needs to be built upon.
There is a very flighty thing about the younger sisters. You can roll along with kid bubbles for a good while--but you won't be 18 forever, (though it may seem that way), and the bubbles will fall away. You've got to be trained, and get ready for when you will be an older sister.
Younger sisters especially need direction. You are more open and it's easier to deal with you, as a group you rebel much less. You need to be anchored into Jesus and our fellowship. Drifting in any form has got to go.
You must keep your purpose in front of you--to give glory to God, and as a fellowship to be devoted to Jesus and the brothers.
At younger sisters meetings, you should be bringing up things that bother you.
All of you have good desires pretty much, so we can go to training right away. We need to establish rules for you. And guardians are an important issue. The 19 year old sisters need better, more understanding guardians. The 18 and under are so desperate, any of the sisters can be a lot of help.
The most encouraging thing you can do for each other is to do all that you can to bring others closer to Jesus. "Let your light so shine." But there's a temptation to hold back.
Witnessing is really important for the younger sisters. Your whole life should be witnessing--every possible opportunity, not just appointed times.
Working in the business is good training for you.
We must talk about what fellowship in Jesus is for 18 year-old-sisters saved an average of 1 1/2 years. It includes things like being determined to be faithful to what you do see now. Leaving doorways open to what you will be becoming in the future. Fellowship in your own experience, what Jesus has done for you--that is valuable.
The younger sisters must learn the right ways to forget about your upbringing so far--if you were not raised in the fear and knowledge of Jesus, then you were raised all wrong. Most of what you are right now is that background, it's a very heavy influence on you. You must learn to switch over to your heavenly Father and Mother.
The devil wants you to be overwhelmed by immediate circumstances, forgetting that you will change. Right training has a lot to do with remembering the future, looking ahead, understanding your problem, and walking accordingly.
Every meeting, a few of the more encouraging older sisters should come so you can see hope in their example of overcoming the things that trouble you now.
The kinder sisters are the more encouraging among you. Younger sisters do need peace! You should study what the Bible shows about real peace.
More and more you should see Jesus as interesting and hopeful and realize that the devil's voice is deceptive. The devil would have you think that being a Christian is boring. But it isn't true. Go to Jesus and stay with Him!
Sisters' Meeting, 9th Session
We have had 8 general sisters meetings now, all of which have very much been aimed down the 'middle of the road'--that is, trying to deal in a way that the 18 year-olds and 28 year-olds can both benefit from. You need to be getting real direction now and to have right forces on you pushing you to do the direction. Fellowship among those who are most similar to you would be a real help. Age similarities are a big factor, though not the only one.
We began this meeting by designating categories by age. The categories and approximate number in each are as follows:
18 yrs. and under- 34
19 & 20 yrs. old- 50
21 & 22 yrs. old- 37
23 & 24 yrs. old- 25
25 yrs. old over-- 23
In each group, the common denominator is the flesh. But the way the flesh works is widely different between the 18 yr. old and 25 yr. olds.
The next part of our meeting, we identified some of the characteristics that especially pertained to each age group.
19 & 20 -- This is the age when you start seeing responsibility a little, you get a little glimpse of what's in the future, what's waiting for you, and you start to dislike it. Here begin the kid wailing numbers-- "it just isn't fair." You're only half aware of how silly "sugar & spice & everything nice" is, but you'll still just smile it away.
21 & 22 -- This age is the beginning of withdrawal. You start looking for another way. You've learned the tricks a lot. "Eve" has particular significance to this age bracket. You start to consciously realize things a lot more. And a rising percentage are married (a little less than half?) so marriage becomes an immediate issue to you--since you are involved in it. You are getting harder to bend, getting set in your ways. You resist in trickier ways. Time for change is running out.
23 & 24 -- Hiding and indulging are more problems. It becomes hard to enter into fellowship. You realize "all the others are as deceitful as me" and don't trust them. You clearly see the others are up to the same things as you are. Yet you also are all the more able to help others if you have a mind to and fight to overcome the problems. You must realize that the future is either going to be difficult, or miserable. You have a choice. Misery will come very easily, but it's a real work to have only difficulty. You begin to get resentful over the way life is, and you try every way there is to avoid responsibility. You must be centrally concerned with the answer-a real and genuine following Jesus. You mustn't avoid him. Yet you look so hard for human answers, to no avail.
You see your need for Jesus as desperate, yet you are ashamed of what you see. And it will get a lot worse--till if you are not trained in helping others by the time you're 34--you'll be 'slapping others in the face'. It's very hard to bend at all anymore. "Surely there must be some life in this world for you". Looking to Jesus as your hope must rise! You are seeing your sin more clearly. You've learned how to keep others away. Routines become attractive to hide in. You hate what you see ahead of you and are openly hitting out at everything. Able to calmly walk away from fellowship Either now or even earlier, fellowship means less and less and being alone means more. The word 'womanhood' enters in. And the things that 'move' you change.
25 & over -- No longer do you hate what you see ahead of you--you PANIC at it, over things that never used to bother you. And you are willing to settle for drudgery to avoid the fight. You're going to sleep, self-deceit, even hoping in physical sleep.You look to yourself more, yet your own ways lead you further and further away.
There is a real stability, one way or another. Shame over DOL things is a factor. You don't want to give yourselves to help others. You resist paying the price to be bread for 18 year olds. You don't really do hard-hearted get away from me numbers, but that's what is waiting ahead of you. You must decide to 'turn around' and expose yourself to help younger sisters. Verses mean more to you when you're older. When you hear 18 years-olds bubbling about "Their present suffering isn't worthy to be compared"--you don't really fellowship with the older sisters about it, but you benignly smile to yourself.
There is a real requirement on you to help the younger sisters--or else you'll really be miserable. Stop kicking against the goads. All that's left after misery is to get hard. Hard, nasty things are already entering in. You can hide behind a pushier front. You have a certain momentum going. It's easier to deceive others. Yet you have a great opportunity to help and real fulfillment is available.
Each of these points are just aimed generalities. There is no exact point where every sister begins each of these stages.
A value of these categories is that everyone, including those in the centers, can see whole groups admitting what happens, so it isn't just 'Stewart says' anymore.
In the future, those that are 25 and over will have been saved an average of 7-8 years instead of 3-4 years, and their training will be doubly better. They will be learning through your mistakes. A real mother wants it better for her children.
When lambs 25 and over get saved now, it's hopeless for them out in the centers. This fellowship is necessary for them--whether they live here or not. No one else can help them.
At sisters meetings from now on, we'll break up into age groups, and older, more encouraging sisters in the category above will help their younger sisters. They can be a real help because you can see them as having overcome things that you are now faced with and troubled by. An example of overcoming our common problems is really of value.
Those in your own age group really know you, so you will get caught more. This categorization will be as a handle over you.
"No temptation has overtaken you such as is not common to all" There are simply different rates and timing. This categorization will show many patterns.