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January 6, 2017

Well, my dear Heartdwellers...I pray for all of you to have wisdom, docility and humility that is necessary for a minister of the Gospel. I have told you earlier in messages that the Lord trains His prophets and ministers through breakings and trials to work a deeper level of humility into our souls, as well ascending the mountain with Him.

Not all are fortunate enough to have a spiritual parent, but for those of you who are, please don't ever take them for granted or look down on them. If God has put one soul in your life who can guide you, you are a very blessed individual and it's because you have a high calling that He sends those more mature in the Lord to caretake your souls. Tonight, the Lord gave me a parable for just such situations, and asked me to share it with you.

The Parable of the Gold Miner.

There once was a man who had mined gold for 40 years and he knew the mountains and mine shafts like the back of his hand - better than anyone else in the territory. He was an old salt, seasoned in his ways, quiet for the most part and wise to the lure of gold and where it can take a man. He'd made his fortune alright, but preferred a quiet, retired life to the partying and carrying on in the bars in town.

He had invested in some hotels and land in the town, and managed things with great fairness.

Now, his nephew (his brother's son) was a geology major and he came from San Francisco, on fire with gold rush fever. He was a precocious young man who had studied geology in the University and was very accomplished with a doctorate. But he heard how his uncle had struck it rich in the gold country and all he wanted was wealth to add to his academic accomplishments. So, he showed up in the bustling town of Sacramento, eager to try his hand at mining in the Sierra Nevadas.

Taking his accumulated earnings and loans from his father, he invested in supplies and equipment and soon began blasting and tunneling into the Sierra Nevada mountains, searching for that vein that would bring him a fortune. One day, his uncle paid him a visit and was taken on a tour of the mine shafts.

The old man was eager to encourage his nephew, who had made remarkable progress in pressing into the areas where gold bearing ore was most likely to be found. As they descended further into the shaft, the uncle began to notice that the buttresses were not solid enough to hold the tremendous weight of the ground above. Furthermore, he saw signs of a water table seeping into the tunnel that made a left fork from the main shaft. There had been traces of gold ore picked out of the walls of that tunnel that held much promise of a larger deposit further ahead.

He remained quiet for most of the tour, until the young man finally pressed him for his opinion. "Well! What do you think? Doesn't it look promising? Haven't I made remarkable progress?"

The old man cleared his throat nervously as he gathered the right words. "Oh, it looks promising all right. You've made some amazing progress in the few short months you've been here and you're onto a vein all right."

Yet the reserve in the old man's voice made him nervous, "But...? There's something wrong? We've bought the choicest lumber for the buttresses. And we are discovering signs of gold up ahead. What could be wrong?"

"Well," he hesitated. "For the most part, yes, it looks good. But I'm concerned that last 50 feet before the fork, looks, well... pretty skimpy. You need bigger timbers in there. I wouldn't go any further 'til you shore it up. And that's not all. That tunnel to the left spells trouble. Moisture on the walls tells me you're headed smack into the water table. If you breach that wall, you and all your men will be instantly killed. The problem is, there's no telling where that water table is or at what depth.But it's there all right. Just look at the sweat on those walls."

Just then one of the miners came running towards the men, "We've struck it rich!!! We've found the vein, it's getting bigger. We found it!" He danced around, threw his hat in the air and shouted "WooHoo!!! We found that vein - we're getting' closer!"

The nephew asked, "Where?"

"In that left fork, Boss, just like you said. In that left fork, and it's a honey of a load of gold. It's gonna be a big one, make you rich beyond all tell'n!"

The young man looked at the old miner with a sense of 'I told you so!' on his face. "We're almost there." he said to his elder. "We're going to strike it big, just a few more feet, we can't stop here!"

But his uncle was quiet. This was his brother's son, a precocious man; confident, outspoken and self-assured. He remembered, back when he first came to the gold fields, another miner very much like him. Business man. But that man was not so lucky. He died when his tunnel caved in 269 feet down. They never did recover his body. That man, too, had been in a big hurry and skimped on timbers to shore up the shafts.

Now his nephew was headed for certain disaster, but there was no way to get through to him. He had gold fever and couldn't see anything but dollar signs. The uncle remained quiet.

"Don't you see? We can't stop now. Just a few more feet to get to the motherlode."

"Oh, I see alright. I see that you're going to break through the water table and be crushed and trapped in that watery grave. Don't do it, son. Don't do it. It's too risky."

Well, they parted company and the old uncle returned to Sacramento to his hotel businesses. A week later, some miners came in badly shaken, and went straight to the bar and ordered doubles - drinking it down just as fast as they could pour them.

"What's going on with you men? Did you see a ghost?"

They answered, "Didn't you hear? That young man from San Francisco that had a big education and was so bright and sure he'd strike it rich? He went plum through to the water table and drowned when them tunnels caved in on him beneath the water pressure. We tried to tell him. We quit that outfit because we knew trouble was coming and we weren't about to lose our lives down there."

The old man started sobbing, "That was my nephew. I tried to tell him, I tried. But he was just too smart for an old man with no education, like me. He was just too smart, wouldn't listen. Oh, I tried alright. I tried to tell him something weren't right about that sweat on the walls. Now I have to be the one to tell my brother - his son is gone. He's dead."

So, what is the moral to this story? Well, it seems obvious that the moral is: Pay Attention to those who have more experience in an area than you do. Because they're looking at you, and they can look ahead and see when trouble is coming.

There's not a whole lot of difference between gold fever and God fever. Once we've caught the spirit, once the Lord starts loading us with gifts and we begin to see mountains move - it's exciting. We want more. We don't want to stop. But sometimes the Lord sends people ahead of us, to warn us that there's trouble up ahead. I just pray that we'll listen. Pay attention and try to be humble, docile and consider things that maybe make no sense to you now, but looking back on the position of that person in your life, it's important to listen. And never take for granted, when the Lord sends someone your way to help you. Don't take it for granted. Pray that the Lord gives you a humble and docile spirit. And that you listen to good, sound council. And not spurn people because they look less intelligent or less gifted than you. I made that mistake once in my marriage and I paid dearly for it.

So, for all of us, let's keep an eye on that pride and be docile with those the Lord sends to help you. I'm not talking about authority figures pushing you down and giving you a hard time. I'm talking about people that love and care for you and have wisdom from above and experience. And can see where you are headed for a problem.

Love you all, Heartdwellers! Thank you so much for contributing to our ministry. You've really helped us stay afloat and take care of the things that we have, the needs that we have. And we've been able to help some of the very poor families with their electric bills this month. They were on the verge of having their electricity cut off.

We've got a big snowstorm headed this way and today we were able to get some wood for some families that had no firewood at all. Probably 8 or 9 families in all. And now they have firewood before this storm hits. It's really important. It breaks your heart sometimes, to hear how these families are living. They're burning sagebrush to stay warm. They have little children and no running water. It's rough! Really rough out there.

But thanks be to God, because of your generosity, we were able to buy firewood for the most needy families out on the mesa. We really appreciate your support, it keeps us going smoothly, running smoothly and take care of those around us. And that's what the Lord has called us to do.

The Lord bless you all, Heartdwellers.