Tweeting the Meeting: Week of January 17, 2022

You gotta hand it to the bros. Working hard as they do to spin gold regarding worship, morals, organization, and even family from those last chapters of Judges. If there were Nobel prizes awarded for religious instruction…. #midweekmeeting

Another point on Judges 20:16– “In this army were 700 chosen men who were left-handed. Every one of these men could sling a stone to within a hairbreadth and would not miss. …Literally it is they “would not sin” and illustrates the meaning of sin—missing the mark.

Why do I think of the All in the Family episode in which the Meathead quotes some horrific Bible account, Gloria exclaims “That’s terrible!” and Archie corrects her with: “That’s beautiful—it’s in the Bible!”   ?

I recall the explanation that the Bible is a record of history, covering when humans obeyed God, disobeyed him, and simply lived their lives separately, ignoring or unaware of him. …1/2

Judges closes: “In those days there was no king in Israel. Each one was doing what was right in his own eyes.” I guess….2/2

It’s just a function of camera lens, angle, and chairs, I know—but it looks as though the father-son ‘Bible study’ takes place in the cockpit of a plane.

The third paragraph calls to mind that CO of long ago, confronted by a dogmatist who asserted every WORD of the Bible was literally true—asking him if he had his hip boots ready for strolling through that promised land “flowing with milk and honey.”

 

“There is a river the streams of which make the city of God rejoice…”Ps 46:4

Also the healing & deepening waters of Ezekiel bringing life to the Dead Sea.

And the Zech 14:2 “living waters” flowing from the city of Jerusalem …1/2

And the deepening river waters of Revelation 22:1-2, emanating from the throne, bringing life to everything on the banks.

And Jesus—source of “living waters” …An oft-used illustration….2/2

 

The #publictalk begins with quotes from Sagan’s A Pale Blue Dot. It is so eloquent that—Yes! Our library has a copy—I will check it out.…Voyager 1, just before leaving the solar system, snapped a pic of what was left behind—just a ‘pale blue dot’ not even a pixel.

Speaker discusses at length ‘two critters’—the saltwater crocodile and South African katydid. 46616BFE-69C4-4BEE-8551-F9DE0B06BD66Much taken with a Bristol U “that devotes its time to investigation of biological science.” ‘Invisible qualities clearly seen from the world’s creation onward,’ he develops the thought.

Speaker points out that the ‘inexcusable’ of Rom 1:20 derives from a word that was a legal term for when a person is unable to present any evidence in his defense. I didn’t know that: ‘invisible qualities ..clearly seen…perceived by the things made…so that they are inexcusable’

 

#watchtowerstudy Newly Married Couples​—Build Your Life Around Serving Jehovah“Jehovah is my strength . . . In him my heart trusts.”​—PS. 28:7.SONG 131 “What God Has Yoked Together”

Para 4: Money, in-laws and children the most frequent source of marital conflicts, one bro observes from some book he read somewhere or other.

Para 9. A look at how Isaiah and wife (the prophetess) set fine example as a couple in worshipping God. All well and good, as long as you stay away from naming your kid Mahershalalhashbaz.’  Poor kid.

(with one notable exception, it turns out)

Para 12: Turns out we know a couple roughly in the position of Russell & Elizabeth in Micronesia. Chased out of the country by a government turned unstable, they say the most common question they are asked is, What did you do with your stuff? They keep their footprint light….1/2

When locals offered to sell their remaining stuff, they related the thought, ‘Yeah, right—I’m going to ask you, who have nothing, to sell our stuff and send me the dough! Sell or use it yourself in the event we don’t come back.’…2/2

“I apologize, friends, I’m not doing very well with the pictures today,” the #Watchtower conductor says. Pur Lower his pay!

An aside on a certain one’s unyielding untechsavviness. Stop it Tommy Stop it! Take another sip of your coffee offscreen and keep your mouth shut!

Para 14: ‘He chose wisely.’ [Peter, of his decision to accompany Jesus]. Why do I think of that Indiana Jones movie with the same statement from which a former co-worker said she first learned that God’s name is Jehovah?

Para 16: “Whose advice can young couples seek when assessing their goals in life?” the question says.…‘Tom Harley,’ my wife does an aside—I think a reference to how she imagines I don’t shut up. (crazy woman)

 

My bookstore page:

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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of January 10, 2022

#midweekmeeting Pumping up for the Bible reading this week, Judges 17-19. Sigh—the sooner we leave behind Judges the better. 

Checking the schedule now to see who is the bro who gets stuck putting lipstick on this one. Look, it’s ancient, crazy different customs and underpinnings. I get it. Underlying value there somewhere, I am sure. I just like when other people are assigned to find it, not me.

Only relatively recently did I learn what a ‘wifebeater shirt’ is. (No, not from experience, nor do I wear them) My goodness, what a loser is that guy in the picture! Yes, she should have stayed where she was. I admit that counsel is being laid on with a trowel…1/2

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Still, I know someone in roughly those circumstances….2/2

My spiritual gem from Judges 19 is that I will not be begging my son-in-law to stay with me, as the fellow there repeatedly does (vs 4, 6. 9) The standing joke is that my son-in-law exists to clean out my fridge, just as I cleaned out the fridges of others long ago.

The proper answer to that householder who says he recently found work IS NOT, “Great. Can I borrow five dollars?”

The Dead Sea Scrolls predates the Masoretic text and includes 5 instances of God’s name that the latter work does not. Got it. Good work. But the footnote makes it not entirely clear the rationale for Judges 19:18, “restored as a result of further study of ancient manuscripts.”

I dunno. How much ‘local needs’ can you cover in five minutes? I know one bro who takes five minutes just to unmute himself. Our bro covered quite a bit, though. (I think he went overtime)

I told that elder I love to tease that, while I would be scared to deliver a hard-hitting message of doom, maybe I could overcome my fears if I had some practice. Therefore, would he mind if I was the one to announce when he was to give the public talk?

Even today it fits as Jesus foretold, “people will become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth,” (Luke 21:25-27) contrasted with others who see it but reach different conclusions (vs 28), but it becomes more so in time.

 

Today’s #publictalk is entitled ‘How to Cultivate Peace in an Angry World.’

He begins with the story of a lynching—the kind of thing you would expect from an angry world

‘First you will evict the ruinous tenants from your home. Then you will let it out to better ones.’ The speaker uses this well-worn but always a favorite illustration in telling how God will cleanse the earth.

“When we want to cultivate a garden, is it something that just comes together on its own?” the speaker says, as he displays a photo of (I presume) his own meticulously manicured vegetable garden. The same effort must go into ‘cultivating peace’

Break the cycle of violence. Upper rising star, in elite military unit, bro and 2 sisters killed, he knew where the village will, waiting for a train.

‘Who Really Rules the World?’ The speaker displays a photo of that tract handed to someone at the train station, traveling to exact deadly violence upon someone who had done him wrong—and he abandoned that course.

Is this #publicspeaker bro in real estate? He illustrates (and contrasts) the ransom with a ‘short sale.’ Yes, there is ‘forgiveness’ but it is not unconditional. You’ll pay taxes on the forgiven amount & your credit will be ruined.

2 Cor 4:4-5 weapons powerful for overturning reasonings. God’s Holy Spirit can overcome strongly entrenched things. Ask Jehovah God to replace thoughts of anger with compassion and peace, Eph 4:25, be made new in dominant mental attitude.

“Sharing the Bible’s upbuilding message was far more refreshing than sharing in demonstrations and (a frequent result) riots,” the speaker quotes a bro from Timor, and then goes on to comment s on the horrendous suffering inflicted on some & how to overcome.

Seriously—if I leave the scene, our Zoom screen dramatically darkens. I my wife leaves the scene, the same thing happens. Only if we are both onscreen is the lighting bright. No idea why, and no—I don’t read any metaphysical divine approval of marriage into it. But its strange.

 

#WatchtowerStudy is entitled “Continue Showing Loyal Love to One Another.  “Deal with one another in loyal love and mercy.”​—ZECH. 7:9 is the theme verse

The conductor says of the Watchtower Study, that it fits in exactly with our Public Talk. Fair game. It did. Planning or happy coincidence? Never have I heard (tho I would sometimes say it for a laugh) ‘for a change, this study has nothing whatsoever to do with the public talk.’

Let us leave untouched (for now) how today BOTH the Watchtower conductor and the reader, a father-son combo, are ‘the elder[s] I love to tease’—two guys not wound up too tight with fantastic senses of humor.

Para 6- on loyalty to an employer. One bro comments on Kodak, once the area’s premiere employer. Many bros worked there their entire lives (some would say ‘Jehovah provides’). Company commanded intense loyalty—though it went belly-up.

Para 9: Alas!—Naomi figured God had it in for her: “The hand of Jehovah has turned against me….The Almighty has made life very bitter for me…..It is Jehovah who opposed me and the Almighty who caused me calamity.”​—Ruth 1:13, 20, 21.10.

Para 11: “Speak consolingly to those who are depressed, support the weak, be patient toward all.”​—1 Thess. 5:14.

Ha! The conductor (the bro I love to tease) indulged his occasional quirk of asking a ‘bonus question’—and it was the very next printed question!

Para 18: “Jehovah made me return empty-handed.” With those words, Naomi did not even acknowledge the support of Ruth, who was standing next to her. How painful that must have been for Ruth!” ….1/2

Yes, She’d suffered huge loss, but didn’t really have ‘nothing’ & it must have pained Ruth to be dismissed as ‘nothing.’ She hung in there nonetheless, helping a loved one to regain emotional & spiritual balance…..2/2

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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of January 3, 2022

Samson’s choice of women was his ‘Achilles heel,’ the #midweekmeeting speaker says. ‘Terrible terrible choices’…’how could he be so dumb?’ The theme from that lead-off talk: ‘Betrayal—How Contemptible.’…1/2 #midweekmeeting

He did not say ‘fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me’ but he said as much in other words. …Delilah nagged Samson until he revealed his secret….2/2

Lug those city gates for 37 miles? The bro covering the review picks a town 37 miles from our #KingdomHall for illustration.

‘Zeroing in on the flaws of others may distract us from who the real enemy is,’ one sis says.

It’s one thing for Delilah to say ‘the Phillistines are upon you!’ three times but Samson never actually sees them because they are waiting in the wings than for him to chase them off three times, yet still tell his secret….1/2

I mean, that is some kind of stupid, and Judges 16 doesn’t actually say they fell upon him three times, only that he was told they were….2/2

And what about that old joke I once read in Mad Magazine: Samson gives final performance—brings down the house….Did young Johnny really used to bring in Mad Magazine encased in the Watchtower? Nonetheless, he grew up to be a fine bro.

One sis phrases her ‘Initial Call’ talk that ‘the Bible is a book of promises made and promises kept, as she introduces the video ‘Why Study the Bible.’   

Next is introduction to the video, ‘The Bible Saved Our Marriage.’ Worth doing whenever possible.  ‘We couldn’t communicate without it being an argument,’ the sis recalls. ‘It took a long time before things got better.’

God taking wheels off the chariots—I love that image at Exodus 14:25

“The apostle Paul expressed our conviction with these inspired words: “If God is for us, who will be against us?”​—Rom. 8:31.

A lasting image at Zechariah 2:8–‘Whoever touches you touches the pupil of my eye.’   ‘Something gets in your eye—you don’t wait a couple hours to deal with it,’ one bro says.

PETER: “Jehovah’s day will come as a thief, . . . and earth and the works in it will be exposed.”​—2 Pet. 3:10.    I like the expression ‘will be exposed.’ It is exposed now as not having a clue on anything. Will be exposed as utterly powerless.

The chairman reads off next week’s assignments, and then: “oh—sorry. I think I have it one week off—give everyone heart failure.”

So many times in history have villains gone down by turning on each other.   “I will call for a sword against him on all my mountains,’ declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. ‘Every man’s sword will be against his own brother” (Ezekiel 38:21). Can foreglimmerings not be seen today?

 

#Publictalk today is Do You have the Evangleizing Spirit?

The speaker today is a descendant of that great drywall family empire. I don’t think he is himself though. Let it never be said that the JW membership doesn’t include scads of builders—which does come in handy sometimes…1/2

I think it has always been that way. 2 timothy 2:15,   Do your it utmost as….a “workman” with nothing to be ashamed of. Christianity is at its core a ‘blue collar religion’ and branches out from there, never dishonoring its roots…2/2

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“If storm approaching, the speaker says, how many times does news report it?” Are you kidding me? It’s the only thing TV news is good at—reporting weather. That and shootings on an endless repeat loop. #IfItBleedsItLeads

 

#WatchtowerStudy: “What Does Jehovah’s Loyal Love Mean to You?”   theme scripture: “[Jehovah’s] loyal love endures forever.”​—PS. 136:1

Ha! That toddler chooses to REALLY SQUAWK while his mom is giving a comment. In a panic, his dad reaches for the mute button but them remembers his wife is speaking!

Para 4: “That description [loyal love] is mentioned six more times in the Bible. (Num. 14:18; Neh. 9:17; Ps. 86:15; 103:8; Joel 2:13; Jonah 4:2)”

What I notice is how often occasions arose that if he DIDN’T have loyal love he might have said, ‘Alright! I’m done! I’m outta here!’

Para 9: “Know that Jehovah will treat his loyal one in a special way; Jehovah will hear when I call to him.” Ps 4:3   Love the unworded music video for this one. I recall inviting a certain unknowing return visit to write a screenplay for it.

https://www.jw.org/en/library/videos/#en/mediaitems/VODBibleTeachings/pub-jwbcov_201605_11_VIDEO

Para 10: “The refrain [of Ps 136] “for his loyal love endures forever” assures us that God’s love for his people is not fickle.”   Yes. A repeating refrain would do that, wouldn’t it? Repeated 26 times!…1/2

There must be hundreds of songs from my childhood I used to hear on the radio. Few of them can I recall word for word. Yet none of them have I forgotten the refrain…..2/2

Para 12 reminds me of an Isaac Bashevis Singer short story of a Jewish priest so merciful that he could not bring himself to kill the sacrificial animals. Town life ground to a halt. Finally someone told him he didn’t have to be more merciful than God.

Para 13: “As far off as the sunrise is from the sunset, so far off from us he has put our transgressions.” (Ps. 103:11, 12).  This is my son’s first Bible reading, deliverer eons ago. I can still see him working on the obvious gestures called for.

Para 17: “The prophet Jeremiah stated: “It is because of Jehovah’s loyal love that we have not come to our finish, for his mercies never end.” (Lam. 3:22)”

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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of December 27, 2021

#Publictalk: Why Fear the True God?  Everything is vanity—“has no lasting value” is Solomon’s conclusion of ordinary life, Eccles 12:13-14,

“The conclusion of the matter, everything having been heard, is: Fear the true God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole obligation of man.  For the true God will judge every deed, including every hidden thing, as to whether it is good or bad.” Eccles 12:13-14

“The words of the wise are like oxgoads….like…embedded nails…As for anything besides these,…be warned: To the making of many books there is no end, and much devotion to them is wearisome to the flesh.” Eccles 12:10….Surely this doesn’t mean MY books, which have many nails.

I well know that some are doing secret sin here on Zoom, sipping coffee. Would they do it at the Kingdom Hall? Well, maybe not SECRET sin, for they do it onscreen. It is only me who does it offscreen, like a whale sounding. One student was troubled by this. She may have a point…1/2

“Do you not have houses for eating and drinking?” says Paul. Yeah, and I’m in it. But I still begin to feel she has a point. Formal pants will be next….2/2

 

Do Not Give Up! is title of #watchtowerstudy

Theme verse: “Let us not give up in doing what is fine.”​—GAL. 6:9

Para 5: “Further, opposers may temporarily succeed in interfering with our efforts to carry out our ministry in the usual way.” (1 Cor. 16:9; 10)

Yeah. Especially if they are spiked opposers.

Para 6: the ‘work’ remembered, (Heb. 6:10) , ‘your labor’ not in vain (1 Cor 15:58), independent of results.

Para 11: God said: “You must go into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.” (Gen. 6:18)

No instructions for building guest rooms.

There you go sir. You’re room is #143, just down the hall past the hippo quarters.”  Nope. Noah didn’t have to say it. #NoGuestRoomsOnTheArk

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Huh. One sis relates how she was the teen sent to the door to get rid of the Witnesses & how she read the materials offered, they made sense to her, and she eventually become one

Para 14: Imagine that sis persevering in 1940s tough Quebec. “Over time, I was arrested 15 times. When we went out in field service, we made sure to carry our toothbrush and comb with us in case we had to spend the night in jail.”

Para 16: Yikes. The guys that dealt with the baggage:

“However, every bad and worthless man among those who had gone with David said: “Since they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we recovered…” (1 Samuel 30:22) Overruled, you #badandworthless men.

 

Not exactly a good start to this week’s #midweekmeeting’s Bible reading is it?

“Again the Israelites did what was bad in Jehovah’s eyes…”.  (Judges 13:1)

Frequent references to Samson this week due to our Bible reading. The dog, also named Samson, looks up quizzically from time to time. Our Samson is not the one who pushes apart the pillars. Our Samson pees on them.

The Philistines were the bad boys of the Hebrew Scriptures, says one bro,

 

These guys apparently do riddles like people today do Wheel of Fortune.…“Out of the eater came something to eat, And out of the strong came something sweet.” (Judges 14:14)

Often looking into ancient culture reveals something that reads weird as all get out actually did happen back in the day.

Ha! Here is Jade thinking that meditation is ‘ooommmmmm.’ Not no more.

One local sis framed how some feel: ‘It’s not a cake until you mix the ingredients.’

Is the bro wearing a tie that suggests great rage is flaring up?

 

‘I’ve always wondered how these two came together—Abigail and Nabel,’ one bro says.

 

‘Who would want to make God angry?’ one sis says. ‘Not me.’

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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of December 20, 2021

How to Conquer Evil with Good was the title of the #publictalk. Strange how not too long after I heard it I encountered someone who I wish had heard it as well, for he was about 2 embark on a (nonviolent) Rambo mission to avenge some wrongs that is likely to get him steamrollered

The speaker considers words translated as ‘evil’ and how they allow for God himself to do evil, in the sense of ‘bringing calamity’ upon ones deserving of it.

Rom 12:21 -  Do not let yourself be conquered by evil but keep conquering with good. Of course, this is the theme scripture of the talk.

“Never again will I curse the ground ‘call down evil upon’ inclination of teh heart of man is bad from his youth up.” (Gen 8:21) So much for the ‘man is natural good’ philosophy of moderns. It is enough that they have the capacity of good, being made in God’s image.

The speaker now veers into material on how to survive in a dangerous neighborhood. https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1995601?q=Survive+in+a+dangerous+neighborhood&p=doc

“Don’t you pray to God to forgive your mistakes every day? I know I do,” says the speaker. Yeah. Who doesn’t regret some things they have done in the past?

The speaker quotes Proverb 28:20 on how “the one hastening to get rich will not remain innocent.” as he speaks of ‘sharklike’ business practices and pits we can dig for ourselves.

 

#WatchtowerStudy today is ‘Hold Fast to the Truth With Strong Conviction.’   Theme scripture is: “Make sure of all things; hold fast to what is fine.”​—1 THESS. 5:21

Para 3: Since there are all those verses that all there is about God will never be known, Psalm 40:5, Ecclesiastes 3:11, Isaiah 55:9, Romans 11:33) it’s not a little silly to take a pass on him based upon, ‘We don’t know everything?’…1/3

Eccles 3:11. “He has even put eternity in their heart [yeah, we’ll need all that time and them some]; yet mankind will never find out the work that the true God has made from start to finish.”…2/3

Isaiah 55:9: “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Is he meant to learn from us, or are we meant to learn from him?…3/3

The bro in the all-purpose room with the washing machine and slop sink behind him is the reader today.

Para 5: The sis who has come into her own with Zoom just commented on how can be make an image to God since what could one possibly compare to him?

Para 7: Unusual bit of sarcasm here of unnamed ‘superstar’ preachers. ‘Some individuals hang on to their every word. It is hard to imagine that these churchgoers could be more excited if Jesus himself were to appear to them!’ Maybe that guy with the jet who insists …1/2

the Lord says he needs yet one more is an example…..2/2

Para 10: a very strange situation commented upon: “Today many religious leaders have done everything in their power to conceal the fact that God has a personal name.” Why would that be?

Para 12: Acknowledgment that ‘God’s people today do not claim to have perfect or complete knowledge of the truth. At times, they have made mistakes in doctrinal matters and in organizational direction.’ Contrasted with church denominations making changes …1/2

that call to my mind Mark Smith’s [Secular Faith] remark that most Christians have more in common with atheists than that do with their own denominations of a century past. [he does not disapprove of this] …2/2

Para 15: Key is to produce worship structure that “mirrors the arrangement established by the apostles in the first century.” It took me a long time to realize that much of the religious world does not think this a virtue, but considers that religion should ‘evolve.’

Para 16: Love this verse & how it runs so contrary to how Jesus is often presented—as so mild and wimpy that it’s almost impossible to get him riled”

Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom….1/2

Many will say to me in that day: ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?’And then I will declare to them: ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!’ Matt 7:21-23…2/2

And to think that ages ago, at my wedding reception, my Dad said to my uncle, “come on, let’s for outside for a break. These people are so nice I can’t stand it.”

 

This #midweekmeeting point makes perfect sense to me from Judges 10:11. I mean, how long are you going to be a soft touch? “Jehovah said to the Israelites: “Did I not save you from Egypt and from the Amʹor·ites, the Ammonites, the Philistines, the Sidonians, Amalek, and Midian…1/3

When you cried out to me, I saved you out of their hand. But you abandoned me and served other gods. That is why I will not save you again. Go to the gods whom you have chosen and call for help. Let them save you in your time of distress.” …2/3

Nonetheless, he does cave and does it one more time. Let no one say he won’t help a guy out….3/3

Save us! they say to Jephthah & he says ‘Buzz off!’ but then relents.(Judges 11:6).   What an odd parallel with Judges 10:11, where they ask the same of God and he responds the same way. Good thing we don’t do antitypes these days.

They would say to him, “Please say Shibʹbo·leth.” But he would say, “Sibʹbo·leth,” as he was unable to say the word correctly. Then they would seize him and slay him at the fords of the Jordan. (Jug 12:6) Hmm. I used to say to Tom Irregardless, ‘Please say regardless.’ …1/2

But he was unable to say the word correctly and would say irregardless. I never said he should be slain for that, though….2/2

There’s more than meets the eye with numbers in Judges. 30 sons who rode on 30 donkeys, [with] 30 cities (10:4). 30 sons and 30 daughters…and he brought in 30 women to marry his sons (12:9) 40 sons and 30 grandsons who rode on 70 donkeys (12:14)…1/2

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I mean, who has stats like these. Symbolism at work, methinks. And what of these 6 things that God hates that miraculously becomes 7? (Prov 6:16)…2/2

Pure Worship para 18: There’s at least two dozen Bible verses that directly state real Christianity is hated by the world. The Gog scenario is like a red flag before the bull. No one has to get behind the bull and push.

Hm. Apparently a vote next week on changing the midweek mtg night. It matters not to me. I won’t make a choice. But back when I was working eves, it was a move that had huge repercussions & I was always a little nettled when some would choose just on a whim.

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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of December 13, 2021

Guitar leaning on the wall behind the speaker turns pre-meeting chit-chat to jazz. Turns out someone in his congregation is well known in the jazz world & our local aficionado knows him well. #publictalk

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Speaker today is from the Pacific coast, and here we are in the east. How can that be? Ah—it is the congregation that one of our bros relocated to. On any heavy subject, defense lawyers, will look at previous cases before the judge to see how he rolls—let us do that with Jehovah, the speaker says.

Speaker takes a crack at the ‘probably’ clause of Zephaniah 2:3. Recalls his high school math teacher saying, ‘if you’ve learned these formulas’ you probably will pass the test tomorrow.

And the sea gave up the dead in it? (Rev 20:13) It is the resurrection. The dead were judged out of those things written in the scrolls according to their deeds. (Vs 12) What deeds? During one’s lifetime? No: “the one who has dies has been acquitted of his sins.” Romans 6:7….1/2

The “scroll of life” opened? —most likely new laws to be given in new system & how we interact with them will determine future. Such is the 1000 yr “judgment day.”…2/2

#watchtowerstudy  “We Serve the God Who Is “Rich in Mercy” (Oct 2021 WT) Theme verse: “Jehovah is good to all, and his mercy is evident in all his works.”​—PS. 145:9.

What do you call that sort of inspirational climbing the scales the way ‘A Prayer of the Lowly One Does? does? Maybe the speaker who has a guitar leaning on the wall in his background.will know the answer to that one,

Para 5:  Not a better passage of God’s historical mercy than Ps 78. From 37 on: “they were not faithful to his covenant.But he was merciful; He would forgive their error … often held back his anger Instead of stirring up all his wrath…he remembered that they were flesh…”

A wind that blows past and does not return.How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness And made him feel hurt in the desert!Again and again they put God to the test, And they grieved the Holy One of Israel.They did not remember his power, The day that he rescued them from the adversary,  Ps 78

Huh! From that Ps 78 passage of mercy is (vs 39), “A wind that blows past and does not return.” Is this where Jesus quotes in answering Nicodemas?   (John 3:8) “The wind blows where it wants to, and you hear the sound of it, …2/3

but you do not know where it comes from and where it is going.” Not sure. Shelve it for a future look….3/3

“Not punishing…it’s just the way it is” says one sis regarding the quarantine that must be done in these days when people catch COVID-19

Present COVID reality makes a lot of these quarantine analogies resonate.

Para 12:  “For I am with you,” declares Jehovah, “to save you. But I will make an extermination among all the nations to which I scattered you; However, you I will not exterminate. I will discipline you to the proper degree, And I will by no means leave you unpunished.” (Jer 30:11)

Para 13: “For what do I have to do with judging those outside? Do you not judge those inside,  while God judges those outside? “Remove the wicked person from among yourselves.” (1 cor 5:12)”

Good to know the fellow did eventually return.

Para 14: Upon return it is: ‘Paul told the elders that he did not want “to be too harsh.” He directed them: “Kindly forgive and comfort him….so that he may not be overwhelmed by excessive sadness.” 2 Corinthians 2:5-8, 11.

Para 16: “Whoever stops up his ear to the cry of the lowly one Will himself call and not be answered.” Prov 21:13

Para 19 New way to look at Nathan & David. “The rich man [who stole a sheep from the poor man] deserves to die!” David thunders. Well, he didn’t deserve to DIE, the Law made provision for such crimes. But David’s harsh judgment was rhetorically turned upon himself. (2 Sam 12: 1-6

Para 21: 2 sides of coin in Jas 1:27. Mercy to orphans & widows and Keep self without spot from world. Can only extend help when in position of safety oneself….“form of worship that is clean and undefiled …is this: to look after orphans and widows…keep without spot fr world.”

 

#Midweekmeeting: “Till his last breath he lacked humility,” the bro says about the fellow who couldn’t abide others knowing that a woman had killed him. #midweekmeeting, (Judges 9:54) abimilech

“When he spoke this way they calmed down,” says a bro highlighting the benefit of speaking peaceably (Judges 8:3)

So the OPIs work closely with the PIDs. Got it. And I can still recall Sam Herd grumbling about acronyms. Good PIDs, though, in Italy, Rwanda, and those that monitor Russia.

Get that cat off your fridge, Bonzo.

Those “restored from the people,” vs 8, & the thought repeated, “regathered from the nations” — is the Ezekiel 38:8-12 target for Gog of Magog.

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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of December 6, 2021

PublicTalk: Real Peace and Security—When?

The speaker displays a photo of a crazy leaning house. Would you put your family in there? he asks. His talk: “Real Peace and Security—When?”

Nations declare “peace” after a war, yet the hatred, jealousy, suspicion that triggered war is still there, peace a facade,

How Satan has led mankind: has persuaded majority of mankind to believe it is human governments that will bring peace

Satan dominates and his influence will prevent human efforts to ever bring peace and security, Rev12:12, great anger of devil, short period of time

Daniel 2: stone to crush the image, vs44,  “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed. And this kingdom will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it alone will stand forever,

“As to political fulfillment, its wise to wait and see what develops on the world scene”

God’s people living unprotected by walls and gates, a golden opportunity for Satan to attack, nations that just destroyed religion will now turn on Jehovah’s people. Ezekiel 38

Satan hurled into abyss after he witnesses destruction of all that is his, just like Pharoah does down in Red Sea.

Isa 65:21-22, “They will build houses and live in them, And they will plant vineyards and eat their fruitage. They will not build for someone else to inhabit, Nor will they plant for others to eat. … And the work of their hands my chosen ones will enjoy to the full.” Love this one.

#WatchtowerStudy, What Is True Repentance?   Theme verse: “I have come to call . . . sinners to repentance.”​—LUKE 5:32.

Oddly and separately, i have been going through Moby Dick again. Is this going to mess me up, getting the two Ahabs mixed up?

Para 5-6: When the first prophet rebukes Ahab, he softens, humbles himself, and that is noted: 1 Kings 21:29.   It is fleeting. He hardens, His words of the second prophet, “I hate him.”

“So we really don’t have a whole lot on our chalkboard for Ahab, do we?” the WT conductor sums up.

“Remember Manasseh,” gruff Joe said as the rest of the body went on to consider a certain returning one’s course of repentance.

Para 12-13: The conductor’s doing the chalkboard thing again with Manasseh, and its stacking up differently than it did with Ahab—Manasseh, who went on to undo what he could of how he had hashed up things.

Thank you, Jeff Bezos. (or whoever) AI translating converts Manasseh into NASA.   #WeHaveIgnition

Para 13–That’s not a bad illustration, is it? Asked for baked goods, get handed an egg, and will you be satisfied with the explanation that, after all an egg IS an ingredient of baked goods?

This is a good handling of the material by the WT conductor, who brings out the chalkboard illustration again.. Did you know that his Dad was drafted into the NFL? (and wouldn’t let his young children watch the sport on TV on account of the violence)

Yikes! As the sis comments, her cat enters into the screen, CLOSER TO THE CAMERA THAN SHE IS! It looks like a dinosaur! 648A37EF-2900-4264-A992-6B575A9B4B8A

Review item: The repentant prodigal didn’t make assumptions. “Make me like one of your hired men,” he said. Turns out that all was restored and then some, but he didn’t assume it.

Rats. Wife and I on separate connections. One or the other must mute sound when either comments & we forgot to do that. I hate when that happens-appens-appens-appens.

 

#MidweekMeeting ‘Go with the strength you have,’ the speaker quotes Judges 7:14 as he pulls lessons from Gideon. Imagine. 300 rout many thousands (who go down in ‘friendly fire.’) #midweekmeeting

One sis takes from Judges 6:37 (request the fleece stays dry and the ground is wet, then vice versa) that it is okay to pray to God for clarity.

Huh. The sis who said she was going to steal my illustration just did!

…That the Bible is the owner’s manual for the product that is us. But I told her not to worry. It is not copyrighted, nor even very original.

Where would I be if I did not have faith that I would see Jehovah’s goodness in the land of the living?   Ps 27:13

‘The disorder we see in the world is proof positive that God is not with them.’ Hard to disagree with that one.

Red sky in morning, sailors take warning. Red sky at night, sailors delight. Green sky?

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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of November 22, 2021

Public Talk:

Speaker is from the neighboring congregation. ‘Why Christians Must be Different?’ is the topic. He starts with pic of a chameleon, which changes skin color based on, temp, light, emotion—then goes on to how majority instinct of people is to blend in.

He brings out how Peter fell to peer pressure, though he wasn’t young or inexperienced. Don’t think peer pressure is something just kids to watch out for.

He closes with the same chameleon illustration he began with…..1/2

When situation we are in gets hotter, intensity of light is spotlighted, or when we feel our own emotional state start to change because of fear of man, may we a show a courageous or different spirit. True Christians must be different ….2/2

 

Song 3 to open today’s #watchtowerstudy

“But at times this life’s anxieties
are the cause of fears within,
And the hope that burned so brightly
has suddenly grown dim.”
…So Jehovah, please instill in us
a heart that won’t forget,
For you’ve always been our comfort…1/2

when troubled times we’ve met.
And these thoughts that lift and strengthen us
can revive that dying flame,
For they fill our hearts with courage
to speak about your name.”….2/2

Para 1: If approaching the high and mighty, we give choice to words so as not to offend, one bro says, because “they expect that”—words to reinforce that they are above you. Then he contrasts with God’s invitation to call him ‘our father.’

That elder I love to tease is wearing a tie today that effectively says: HELLO!!! PLEASE TO MEETCHA!!!!!

What if you feel caught in a pinch point of the potter’s wheel, one bro said in the spirit of Par 7. God is using imperfect people to relate to other imperfect people because that’s all he has at the present time.

Par 10: “We love, because he first loved us.” 1 john 4:19.   Never will it be God saying, “Wow! Look what Bob is doing? I think I’ll do the same!” Always it will be the reverse.

Make a comment—bask in the glory of own wonderful wisdom (and forget to lower hand)….Get called on again unprepared. Say something stupid.

A comment on what you see here? the conductor asks about the pic. Well, the bro has his blue hand up.

Par 16: “Studying this article…explained that being willing to forgive

others does not mean that you approve of their wrong behavior or minimize the damage it causes. But forgiving does mean letting go of resentment for such wrongs and maintaining your own peace.”…1/2

Yeah. If you don’t forgive it will mess with you more than with the other person….2/2

God knows how to put the ‘fun’ in dysfunctional, the conductor quips.

Para 19: Who are your brothers?” the judge asked suddenly. The bro answered with Matthew 12:50: “Whoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven, that one is my brother and sister and mother.”

The bro just answered who has moved back to his childhood home of Texas. A family with an oil background, when working with him in service & driving past a gas station, I would exclaim, “Look! Texas tea!”

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(Photo: Wikipedia Commons)

Sigh…the time has come again. There sure are some weird accounts in Judges. #midweekmeeting

I well remember a speaker telling how Ehud delivered “a very pointed message” and my buddy cracking up over it. (Judges 3:21)…1/2

To say nothing of how Adonibezek turned philosophical in his old age. Minus great toes and thumbs, he reflected on how he had detoed and dethumbed 70 kings, and took it as payback. (Judges 1:7)…2/2

“All that generation were gathered to their ancestors, and another generation arose after them that did not know Jehovah or what he had done for Israel” judges 2:10…Not so easy to pass things on to the kiddies as you might think.

Well, Neeta is stressed too. Going around thinking it all rests on her shoulders and she’s messing it up? Call that not stress? Works better when she applies 1 Corinthians 3:6…“I planted, A·polʹlos watered, but God kept making it grow.”

I’m all fired up! one bro said to my favorite circuit overseer, who retired long ago and maintained circuit overseer hours until he died. His reply was not to be fired up—‘you’ll burn up. Better to be aglow with the spirit.’

Antitype is like one of those Russian dolls that you open and there’s another one inside. Only in this case, the one inside is the greater. It’s a drama that stands all by itself. But an even greater one waits in the wings.

Even when not scripturally indicated, we have said antitype. Now we just say ‘This reminds me of that.’ That way no one can say it didn’t.

Many times I’ve heard the chairman call on a hand only to hear it is a residual hand. But not till tonight have I heard him say ‘Is that a residual hand?’ and be answered, ‘No. It’s a real hand’ before commenting.

Four bad things logged: “The error of the house of Israel and Judah is very, very great. The land is filled with bloodshed, and the city is full of corruption. For they say, ‘Jehovah has left the land, and Jehovah is not seeing.’ (Ezekiel 9:9) …1/2

Five if you count the two verys….2/2

The elder I love to tease conducted a part and he is so bad that the whole congregation began to cry. This bro follows me on Twitter so I try to make it worth his while.

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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of November 15, 2021

The publicspeaker today presents ‘How can youth find success and happiness?’ He was born in S America and spoke of visiting his grandpa high up in the mountains, in a house of clay and rocks, where a book caught his attention that spoke of a river clear as crystal.

Proverbs 13:20, who to have as companions in journey? One working with wise will become wise, ones dealing with stupid will fare badly, Friends over time do have a profound influence on us.

He is explaining ‘the bloom of youth’ (1 Corinthians 7:36) very well, & and how that messes with 1 Thess 4:4-5, where God says its good to get control of ones own body and emotions: …1/2

“Each one of you should know how to control his own body in holiness and honor,  not with greedy, uncontrolled sexual passion like the nations have that do not know God.”…2/2

The speaker is explaining dating and issues facing youth very well. “I can see what Maryann saw in him,” my wife says, as we have known her for a long time.

“I will shake all the nations, and the precious things of all the nations will come in.”​—HAG. 2:7. I remember one bro pointing out that for this scripture to make any sense there must be some “in” for these precious things to come into. #watchtowerstudy…1/2

“and I will fill this house with glory,’ says Jehovah of armies,” says the very next phrase….2/2

Huh! The framed artwork displayed in the Watchtower reader’s room, behind & off to the side of he and wife, reads ‘kindness matters.’ He is known that that quality.

There is apparently an overhead round fluorescent lamp above the Watchtower conductor, which reflects in his glasses depending upon how he moves his head, and gives the impression on specs within specs.

Para 6: disunity everywhere, but there is one thing on which nations are united (I’ve used the point in service before): …The kings of the earth take their stand…gather together as one Against Jehovah and against his anointed one [and] say: “Let us tear off their shackles! Ps 2

Even the suggestion that the “kings of the earth” might one day need to submit to a higher authority is like “shackles” and “ropes” to them, one bro points out. Ps 2

When the child came to the door alone—12 years old or so—I kept very brief and left something to give to her mom. ‘I would have witnessed to her,’ ivonne just arrived from Ecuador said. That’s because she was accustomed to mature children, per https://www.jw.org/en/library/videos/#en/mediaitems/VODIntExpTransformations/pub-jwb_202004_4_VIDEO

Para 13: “Because the wealth of the sea will be directed to you; The resources of the nations will come to you.” Isa 60:5….This is how it works with God’s people, I am convinced, as “precious things” bring their individual gifts and talents to the altar.

Para 15: “The political systems of this world will demand our worship and will persecute those who refuse to support them. (Rev. 13:12, 15)” The systems are not necessarily nation vs nation, but can also be populists vs globalists.

Yes, and what of that full-of-himself bro (um—is that me?) who takes his bow after each comment, repeating it to himself, and forgets to put his hand down so he is called on unprepared?

Para 18: “Now the expression “yet once more” indicates the removal of the things that are shaken, things that have been made, in order that the things not shaken may remain.” …1/2

Is this a reference to the ‘precious things already having “come in” so what remains can have the daylights shaken out of it?…2/2

There are some issues that are black and white, but on all issues that are not, do the kind thing, the CO said. Kindness matters.

 

No #midweekmeeting has begun like ours. “Good evening, friends. We welcome, etc, etc, then follows a long pause—so long like you suspect technical glitch.…Then, “Okay. So Alexa has interrupted our meeting….and he continues. …1/2

He must have set her off somehow. That’ll be the day I have that woman in my house….2/2

“Now look! I am about to die,”and that elder who I love to tease tells how those words will invariably make people sit up and take notice. (Jos 23:14)

“Look! This stone will serve as a witness against us, because it has heard everything Jehovah said to us, and it will serve as a witness against you, so that you may not deny your God.” (Jos 24:27)….1/2

I mean, it didn’t really ‘hear’ anything, but they did commemorate some events meant to have lasting significance that way…..2/2

The householder who has been coached to be surly is certainly doing a good job. It reminds me of when I did a demonstration, coached the householder to be grouchy, and he was so much so that I lost my train of thought.

That one sis is dressed in white with a white head covering that sits so far back on her head that you only see a sliver and it looks like a nimbus.

The last thing we say is important, the chairman says, usually because it is the first thing people remember.…This is all the more reason to speak concisely and not say many words at all.

That older sis who once was a schoolteacher has a teen for her householder and must be reliving her glory days, even checking on the Goal and the end and assigning “homework.”…The girl is answering nicely and in a real class would get an ‘A’

That workplace video didn’t resonate at all in our family because whenever my wife would bring up me at her workplace her workmates would all swoon with envy.

 

I’ll jog your memories on things covered a few months ago, the conductor says.…It’s a challenge to jog our memories on what happened five minutes ago.

They were saying, ‘Jehovah has left the land, and Jehovah is not seeing.’—remarkable, since they WERE the elders of the land. (Ezekiel 9:9)

The one bro said (in effect) that there is a difference between sighing and groaning, and bellyaching and complaining.

The two new ministerial servants both had parts in tonight’s meeting. They done good.

Yikes! Here I am tweeting the meeting and the video kid is checked by parents for texting during the meeting, and I am doing just the same thing only with tweets! One character unexpectedly started acting up & I ended up unfollowing him. It could have waited, I suppose.

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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of November 8, 2021

For the longest time I was the only Tom in the Kingdom Hall, but that is no longer true. Consequently, in pre-meeting Zoom chit-chat, the other Tom said he now has to check before he responds to a greeting by name. Yeah—Him and me both.

Think that’s bad? Joe said, you know how many people are named Joe? Yeah, but at least he can take comfort that there is the expression ‘a good joe,’ whereas the is no corresponding expression ‘a good tom.’ Except at Thanksgiving, one sis chimes in.

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The publicspeaker today is the one known to sprinkle Beatles references in his talks, even to the extent of invoking a ‘good ol days’ scenario. He takes care, though, not to run afoul of Ecclesiastes 7:10….1/2

“Do not say, “Why were the former days better than these?” for it is not out of wisdom that you ask this.”….His talk today: ‘What Kind of Name are You Making with God?’….2/2

“Draw close to God and he will draw close to you,” the speaker cites James 4:8, adding, “it’s a process.”

Yikes! In speaking of challenges, a reference made to ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ Tevye who addresses God with, ‘I know we’re the chosen people. But couldn’t you choose someone else sometimes?’ …1/2

“For this is what the love of God means, that we observe his commandments; and yet his commandments are not burdensome.” (1 Jn 5:3) “In many ways God is kinder to us than we are to ourselves,” the speaker says, “and far more perceptive.”….2/2

The speaker used to be a salesperson (I didn’t know that). His uncle would say, ‘When you get up to come to work each morning, do you wait for every light to turn green before you start?’

He has one of those crazy multi-syllabled last names that nobody should have which is close to that of the Wt conductor and he mentions how he two are mixed up in his opening remarks, “Yeah—the first names too,” add the chairman. Ted and Todd—I guess so.

Watchtower Para 3: Sometimes when I get up a head of steam telling how things ought to be, I detect eyes glazing over, and I say, “Yeah—he just thinks I’m an old geezer.” It’s a good check. ….1/2

You can guide the younger, but only if you don’t bowl them over or lose sight that ‘the scene of this world is changing.”….2/2

Para 6: “Similarly, a modest person knows when it is time to “change to a lower gear” so that he can continue to be active and productive in Jehovah’s service.” The topic is how to best adjust as one ages.

Para 7: here is Barzillai, turning down an assignment because he was too old. (80) ‘why should I be a burden to you?’ he says to David. (2 Samuel 19:35)

Why do I think of Bro Herd, always quipping, playing the ‘grumpy old man’ card to the hilt, who says he would like to retire, “but they won’t let me.” He does get to sit, however.

Para 11: I laughed aloud (Zoom-muted, fortunately, but others were too) at the elderly sis who commented on the challenge of letting go as we get older and begin to decline “soon after 40.”

HA! “How about the Smith family?” the conductor calls on someone, and as that one answers with Zoom box filling the screen, a decorative plaque on the wall actually says “The Smith family.”

The speaker who makes frequent references to the Beatles (though he didn’t today) and people tease him about it signed off of post-meeting Zoom chit-chat with, “I hope I passed the audition.”

No, it is not new or anything, but the speaker still gets a mild smile by mentioning our favorite exercise, ‘jumping to conclusions’ as he considers the altar spat of Joshua 22. #midweekmeeting. Chapters 20-22 this week.

Oh, by the way, did I mention (I didn’t do TweetingtheMeeting that week) the bro reinstated after being out for—what? 20-30 years?  (His prior remark had been ‘It’s time to come home.’)

That frequent line in any cop show—“I DID hate him but I didn’t kill him—maybe that wouldn’t fly in a city of refuge scenario where

“he killed his fellow man accidentally and he did not previously hate him” was a criteria. (Joshua 20:5)…1/2

Underscores that one ought not to have unresolved grudges lying around lest an accident not be interpreted that way…..2/2

Of course, somebody mentions that old standby Jos 21;45 during the gems portion: “Not a promise failed out of all the good promises that Jehovah had made to the house of Israel; all of them came true.”

Sung ‘We Must Have Faith’—midway song. Formerly ‘We Must Have the Faith,’ it once had a very distinctive beat, now much muted but still there. When it would begin, my two-year-old’s eyes would light up as she exclaimed, “It’s Dah dah dah dah DAH!”

Three days of the Regional attempted sum-up in 15 minutes. Of course, it can’t be done.

The elderly sis, once a schoolteacher, points out how the sins of omission of BtG, though not so graphic, are far more pervasive.

Uh oh. Just announced my favorite (retired) CO died, tho I knew it a few hours ago. An intelligent and empathetic man, he outlived his wife by ten years, and he is the ONLY person I mention by actual name during his lifetime in ‘Tom Irregardless and Me.’ …1/2

Everyone else is renamed, if not made up….2/2

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