WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91123
HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG
President and Pastor
June 20, 1977
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ:
I think our people rarely send "greeting cards" on various set occasions -- like holiday greetings, birthday greetings, "getwell" cards to sick friends, Mother's Day greetings, etc., etc. Many stores carry large assortments of such cards.
I did receive such cards of marriage congratulations on the occasion of my recent marriage after being left alone for ten years. They came by the thousands, besides other thousands of personally written letters of congratulations from all over the world, including high government officials. Many, if not most of the cards contained handwritten additional words expressing not only best wishes, but LOVE AND AFFECTION -- special added expressions of WARMTH.
And I have just received a special "Father's Day" greeting card which I would like to quote -- not the printed part, but the handwritten message added. It said: "Happy Father's Day to the father of Garner Ted and the spiritual leader and father of all of us in God's Church today. Blessings and much love from one of your widow children."
A couple days ago I had a nice long chat in my office with Mr. Richard Rice, head of our Mail Receiving Department. His department opens and reads the vast volume of mail that we receive daily.
Mr. Rice said "Mr. Armstrong, you, of course, can't read all of the great volume of letters that come in daily, although we do get to you those specially marked 'PERSONAL.' But we who do read these letters want you to know how much this flow of letters from all our brethren and co-workers express how deeply they all do LOVE YOU. I do want you to know how much we in my department are IMPRESSED with the real deepness of the love the brethren and co-workers have in their hearts for you."
Brethren -- "my little children in the Lord" -- do you know WHY we LOVE GOD? It's because He first loved us, and called us to become His own begotten children, to become His BORN children in the resurrection. It's because He gave us His Holy Spirit, which actually IS the LOVE OF GOD -- that is, GOD'S OWN LOVE given to us and placed within us. It is not a human love. It is a love that only God has, and can give to and actually put within us.
If you love me, as these thousands of letters reflect, it's because God has given you HIS LOVE, and you not only love God, by returning His own love to Him, but you also find that you have enough of His love to share some of it with me. Also, I think that you love me because you recognize that same LOVE OF GOD -- His Holy Spirit -- is also in me.
And so I want all of you to know HOW MUCH and HOW DEEPLY I LOVE YOU.
I love you because you are God's own begotten children -- and because you are standing so FAITHFULLY and generously back of me in GOD'S WORK even to the point of real sacrifice.
Jesus says, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
LOVE is OUTflowing, not INcoming.
GOD IS LOVE! God's LAW is LOVE and LOVE is the fulfilling (filling up full) of the law.
I like to explain the way of this world as "GET" and the way of God as "GIVE." Love is GIVING. It is giving to GOD and to MAN. It is GIVING God love with all your mind, heart and soul -- giving God obedience, reverence, adoration, gratitude, and worship, etc., etc., etc. To neighbor -- that is fellowman -- it is giving, helping, cooperating, sharing, giving brotherly love, kindness, patience, etc., etc., etc. "GIVE" and "GET" travel in opposite directions.
Love is sacrificing. When you make a real sacrifice to send in money for the Work, you are showing LOVE to God, to His Work, and to me. And we know that HE LOVES US.
What is more, we know that VERY SOON, now, God will send KING JESUS CHRIST to earth to ESTABLISH THE KINGDOM OF GOD, to restore the GOVERNMENT OF GOD (which already is restored in HIS CHURCH and will then expand to include the WHOLE WORLD).
A young lady engaged to be married is filled with joyful ANTICIPATION. Looking forward to her wedding gives her exuberant happiness.
My children in Christ, God's Church is to be married to Christ. Are we looking forward to that in JOYFUL ANTICIPATION? Just think! What we have to look forward to -- a world at peace -- no more wars -- no more violence -- no more locks on doors or keys to carry around -- no more pain, sorrow or suffering -- no more of this world's "GET" -- no more discontent, unhappiness, fears and worries.
So, let us live in JOYFUL ANTICIPATION. Let us keep in our minds the things that God has prepared for us who LOVE HIM.
I have been saying lately that we must preach a lot less about the evils of Satan's world TODAY, and a lot MORE about THE WONDERFUL WORLD TOMORROW. And, by the way, one of the things I want to get to personally, is to update our booklet written by Garner Ted and myself on THE WONDERFUL WORLD TOMORROW -- WHAT IT WILL BE LIKE. I want that new edition offered repeatedly to all PLAIN TRUTH readers.
Another thing I want to do as soon as I can get at it is to get out a totally NEW revised edition of the Bible CORRESPON- DENCE COURSE and plug it as hard as we can to get it into the hands of millions. Still another thing that I can't seem to find time for, but I want to get done as soon as I can, is to finish writing VOLUME II of my AUTOBIOGRAPHY.
I don't know whether you have noticed, but I have been doing a GREAT DEAL more writing lately than I have for the past several years with articles to write for The PLAIN TRUTH, the WORLDWIDE NEWS, the ministers' BULLETIN, these monthly co-worker letters, etc., etc., besides the packed tight schedule of speaking -- not only in our own churches, but to groups like the Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis, Lions Clubs, etc., etc., and to large audiences in capi- tol cities around the whole world, so, it is a pretty hard schedule for one who is "39 going on 38" (I've changed it, you will notice, from "37 going on 36"). So PLEASE BE PATIENT WITH ME. I will try to get to these things as soon as I can.
Garner Ted is up at Orr, Minnesota, getting this year's summer camp for high school age young people underway and he, too, has a very rigorous schedule to keep up.
So many of you have written me how much you LOVE me and are so loyally back of me, that I wanted you to know that LOVE is a TWO-WAY STREET. And my heart is brimful of LOVE for YOU. And let's thank GOD for His superabundant LOVE for US ALL, and how He showers on us all the blessings within the heavenly sphere.
I repeat my URGENT request in my last letter that you continue to PRAY as you have never prayed before, for the growth of this Work and that God will lay it heavily on the hearts of new co-workers to come in and join with us in financing God's Work. Some who are not able to send more than the "widow's two mites" can, by your urgent and believing PRAYERS, cause others who are able, to send in UNCOUNTED THOUSANDS. You have no idea what real, heartrending, earnest, believing and continuous PRAYER can do, until you REALLY DO IT!
Good-bye for now, my beloved children in the Lord.
With deepest love, in Jesus' name,
Herbert W. Armstrong
P.S. I forgot to tell you that Mr. Rice also gave me the good news that new co-workers are now being added, new members are being baptized, the number of requests from non-members for visits from our ministers is increasing. GOD'S WORK IS GROWING. Let's get it growing even faster and greater -- by our PRAYERS!