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Meeting Notes & etc: Week of August 31, 2022

Public speaker quoted a lot. Such as from the Orlando Sentinel:

After making an extensive study of Jehovah's Witnesses in Africa, Oxford University sociologist Bryon Wilson stated: "The Witnesses are perhaps more succesful than any other group in the speed with which they eliminate tribal discrimination among their own recruits."

3CD31915-868E-4015-A9CB-CD9A3D59D9D4“Coming up next…” the chairman said after thanking the public speaker, and he sounded like a radio announcer—which he is in real life! He introduced song 128 and in my head I played it as an echo chamber.: 128…128……128………..128. #TheHitsJustKeepOnComing

(Photo: DJ Natural Nate.jpg, Wikipedia)


WatchtowerStudy: “Hope in Jehovah”

Theme Scripture: “Hope in Jehovah; be courageous and strong of heart.”​—PS. 27:14.

Para 3: The devil’s challenge is that Jehovah’s sovereignty is some kind of sham, someone says. Another adds, He cannot force us to stop but can moke us question why we are—get us to think that God doesn;t care for us

We may not fear man but fear the uncertainty of what can happen to us. Job 1:9-12,

Para 6 appreciate the linkage: “Satan next attacked Job’s health and robbed him of his dignity.” (Job 2:6-8; 7:5)  Shoot the hero of TV and it barely slows him at all, but in real life—it’s impossible to not feel a certain ‘loss of dignity’ as health veers south.

Para 7 One sis brought up the insurance slogan ‘act of God.’ A subtle but the phrase probably shouldn’t be that way. It introduces the notion that causing calamity to innocent people is a tool in God’s toolbox when it’s not.

Para 7: you expect a parent to die. It’s devastating but you expect. With a mate it’s 50/50, devastating, but you expect it. But for a child to die—you don’t expect it. Even for the present system, you don’t expect it, yet such devastation has been endured by many.

Para 8: the satanic bits of reasoning to chip away at Job’s self-worth: guilty of various wrongdoings. (Job 22:5-9) They also tried to convince him that even if he was not an evildoer, any efforts he made to please God were of no value at all. (Job 4:18; 22:2, 3; 25:4) In effect, they were trying to make Job doubt that God loved him

Para 11: “Therefore, subject yourselves to God; but oppose the Devil, and he will flee from you. (Jas 4:7) Want to get the devil to run? Probably have to beat him up? But you don’t. ‘Opposing’ him is enough, after which he flees.

Para 12: one bro quoted another that ‘death isn’t forever. Life is.’

Para 14: One bro, “who was put in prison despite suffering from severe health problems, says: “A prison is like an X-ray, showing the inner qualities of a Christian.” Once we identify our weaknesses, we can work on correcting them.” Is this why Paul said he ‘takes pleasure in insults & mistreatment?’

Para 15: If you look at the world, they’re a little bit crazier, one bro says at life in the aftermath of the pandemic. “They did not adjust to it well,” he says as he contrasts it with those who did.

“After Jehovah had spoken these words to Job, Jehovah said to Elʹi·phaz the Teʹman·ite: “My anger burns against you and your two companions, for you have not spoken the truth about me as my servant Job has.” Well, you should do that then appears to be the lesson.


…. “He would send them to Lebʹa·non in shifts of 10,000 each month. They would spend a month in Lebʹa·non and two months at their homes; and Ad·o·niʹram was over those conscripted for forced labor.” 1 Kings 5:14

Isn’t there some policy that theocratic assignments that take a bro or sis away from a mate should last no longer than a month, for the sake of family fidelity? Is this where they get that from? For they do nothing of consequence without a biblical precedent.


…Para 15 (Wt week of Aug 15) Bomb blast at the KH. Few details but I recall the news story. This guy was a piece of work, an equal-opportunity villain who did many bad things to many people, not just JWs. Took 20 years to catch him and they caught him for something else. Operative expression is the last sentense of the paragraph: (Or Peter and Sue:) “So very early on, we asked Jehovah to help us put aside anger and resentment and get on with our life.” You have to get on with your life—can’t be consumed with anger for 20 years.


Pretty good meeting feedback about the fellow in this past week’s video on prayer who wanted to shepherd everyone but couldn’t for lack of time so got into the habit of periodically praying for persons by name. Also noted that as his health waned, his prayers improved.

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the book ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the book, 'In the Last of the Last Days: Faith in the Age of Dysfunction'

At The New System Dinner Table: Part 4–The Return of ‘Normal’

See Part 1 and Part 2) Part 3

It almost seems as though when the ‘New System Dinner Roundtable’ discussion presented at the Regional was first envisioned, the one [s?] writing it imagined the pandemic was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Recounting travails of the old system, one bro at the table recalls when the pandemic broke out “and the world turned upside down.”

It may well be the straw that hobbled the camel, but its back appears not yet broken. Is it going out too much on a limb to observe that the return of door-to-door sets some aback, as though they never anticipated that development? I had thought so myself—while witnessing in some form would continue, no doubt, wouldn’t Covid forever make people recoil as strangers approach their door? Well, maybe you could get around it by carrying a mask and offering to don it for any finicky person, I had reasoned, but there doesn’t even seem to be that concern anymore. Too soon to tell yet how many don masks and how many don’t. 

Now the work returns that many were thinking was gone for good. Fair to say that enthusiasm is mixed at best? I mean, we’re Jehovah’s Witnesses, and witnessing is what we do. Everyone knows that. But it’s not the easiest work in the world to do; everyone knows that too. That’s why I wrote up a sample presentation, to both shore up others and myself. Many thought when the pandemic turned the world upside down, it would stay turned upside down—like what Cameron said about an honest politician: when he is bought, he stays bought.

‘Make sure to listen to radio such-and-such at 10:35,’ one bro told me. Some local spokesman is going to be interviewed about the return of door-to-door. I said I would. In fact I would have liked to but it occurred to me later that I no longer have a radio; everything is streaming these days. Probably there is some fancy-pants way of streaming radio but I don’t have that set up. Of course, the cars have radios, but the one in the dog’s car doesn’t work. My wife is off in cart work with the other one.*

What I’m a little worried about is that the bro is going to lay it on thick about how loving it was to abstain from door to door so as not to kill the householder with Covid and laudably obey government guidelines but now it’s ‘been there, done that,’ in the same way that we used to explain at length our former loving provision to do letters and phone calls. He might even say how the development is ‘historic.’ Look, everyone thinks what is front and center on their plate is front and center on that of others, but it generally isn’t that way. A presentation in the school led with the householder observing she hasn’t seen Jehovah’s Witnesses door-to-door in a while, which gave the student opportunity to explain all the above. I haven’t been out yet but I suspect most people will hardly have noticed. If anyone does mention it to me, I’ll say, ‘Yeah, we didn’t do that during Covid but now we are.’ [Edit: Yikes—now I learn it is not some local bro at all but Bro Hendricks from HQ. He’ll do fine, I’m sure.] [Further edit: He did.]

The ‘pandemic that turned the world upside down’ video may yet be vindicated. I’m not assuming it’s a paper tiger. But from being turned upside down it kept turning and continues to do so. Too soon to tell just when it stops.

*Not only does the radio in the dog’s car not work, but the whole ‘entertainment system’ is gone! The reason it is gone is that the car battery began draining 9BF35A99-204F-4618-9E28-2E5BBD1AB222overnight and the auxiliary package module (I may not be saying this right) was found to be the culprit. Fix it, I told my mechanic. But he said the new module would have to be ‘programmed into the car’ and he didn’t think the dealer would tell him the code. Pull the fuse then, I said, and all kinds of things don’t work now, but nothing safety related, only convenience related. When I broke down later and took it to the dealer, tired of not being entertained by my entertainment system, surprisingly it did not cost me a million dollars but only a little more than a hundred. But I think they did no more than stick a fuse back in it, even though I told them not to do that, for in a few months the problem returned. But the dog subsequently died, so it no longer cares about if he is entertained or not. This was the same dog that if you ran over the grooved pavement separating lanes, making vibration, it would climb between the front seats and sit on my wife’s lap for reassurance. With it gone, and I do miss him, I may even give the car a thorough scrubbing and vacuuming so that it once again becomes a people car, albeit a people car minus an entertainment system.

To be continued here

******  The bookstore

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the book ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the book, 'In the Last of the Last Days: Faith in the Age of Dysfunction'