Tweeting the Meeting: Week of October 11, 2021

Public Talk today: “Jehovah is a Secure Height for this People”…“We’re living in the midst of an unpredicted an unpredictable pandemic,” the speaker says as part of his intro.

This is the talk that considers Psalm 94 verse by verse. “O god of vengeance shine forth, repay to the haughty what they deserve,” (vs 2) and there is a reference to a particular atrocity in Russia—they all get play on jw.org, where they are picked up by others. None are done in a corner.

“How long will the wicked, O Jehovah, How long will the wicked continue to exult? They babble and speak arrogantly…They crush your people, O Jehovah, And oppress your inheritance. …They say: “Jah does not see; The God of Jacob does not take notice of it.” (3-7)

“The One who made the ear, can he not hear? The One who formed the eye, can he not see? The One correcting the nations, can he not reprove? He is the One who imparts knowledge to people! Jehovah knows the thoughts of men, That they are but a mere breath. (9-11)

“For Jehovah will not forsake his people, Nor will he abandon his inheritance.  For judgment will once again be righteous, And all the upright in heart will follow it.” (14-15)

“When I said: ‘My foot is slipping,’ Your loyal love, O Jehovah, kept supporting me. When anxieties overwhelmed me, You comforted and soothed me.” (18-19) “The point is that Jehovah’s greater than our hearts,” the speaker says.

“Can a throne of corruption be allied with you while it is framing trouble in the name of the law? They make vicious attacks on the righteous one…..But Jehovah will become a secure refuge for me, My God … will make their wicked deeds come back upon them. (21-23)

 

Today’s #WatchtowerStudy: “Strengthen Your Faith in the Creator”….Theme scripture: “Faith is . . . the evident demonstration of realities that are not seen.”​

Para 3: “….To help us, this article will discuss (1) why many do not believe in a Creator, (2) how you can build your faith in Jehovah, your Creator, and (3) how you can keep that faith strong.”

Para 4: “Some people think that having faith means believing in something without proof. But according to the Bible, that is not real faith.”(Read Hebrews 11:1 ….. [but] is based on convincing evidence. (Heb. 11:3) What convinces one may not convince another. Don’t worry about it.

With but some prep, you can turn that parade of ascending thugs around and march them right back into the slime from which they came—or even another slime.

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Para 7: We live in a world of division, where the majority team gets the ball and tries to run the opposition off the road, as though it did not exist. Examine the opp, though, and you may come to think it makes more sense. Such can be said of creation.

Para 11 It is such a good series, ‘Was it designed?’ …Just try examining the intricate feats and behaviors of living things and insist they came about haphazardly. Just try it….https://www.jw.org/en/bible-teachings/science/was-it-designed/

I love this statement from https://www.jw.org/en/library/books/origin-of-life-5-questions/  “Similarly, if scientists ever did construct a cell, they would accomplish something truly amazing —but would they prove that the cell could be made by accident? If anything, they would prove the very opposite, would they not?

Joe contrasts the wisdom of created things with gadgets he has purchased. ‘What kind of an idiot would design this?’ he says….then adds, ‘and what kind of an idiot would purchase it.’

Para 20: “At that time Jesus said in response: “I publicly praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intellectual ones and have revealed them to young children.” Just how does he do that?

Joshua 10-11, the assigned Bible passage for this week’s #midweek meeting.

Great hailstones from the sky, each like a huge spike virus….“In fact, more died from the hail than from the sword of the Israelites.” Jos 10:11.  Well, THAT part is true.

Hmm. “Or he can let the movement of the earth and the moon remain undisturbed while refracting the rays from the sun and the moon in such a way that the light from these two luminaries continues to shine.” Hadn’t thought of that. (Jos 10:13)

What is this Book of Jashar that nobody needs to know about? ….“the Book of the Upright or the Book of the Just Man,” per the literal meaning, says Wikipedia. A collection of writings of the time.

“There has never been a day like that one, either before it or after it, when Jehovah listened to the voice of a man, for Jehovah was fighting for Israel.” Jos 10:14. The student from Myanmar drew this reading & conveyed real urgency & nailed all the unpronouncible words.

Huh. Once again, “she mentioned to her roommate how she had tried to invite her student…” It’s not her roommate, it’s her Mom. But I’ve heard others say roommate, too. Could I be wrong? #IDontThinkSo [Alas, I am]

“Those seeking Jehovah will lack nothing good.” Psalm 34:10…As a year text, I like it.

“The coronavirus is not the worst trial to strike out at all mankind and it wont be the last. We can expect things to deterioute even further as these last days march on till their end,” says Bro Lett.

“The circuit overseer sometimes gives strong counsel to the elders” as he leaves, said one sis. It reminds me of long ago when Andy left & I said is this like that meeting when weeping breaks out because they will see his face no more? (Acts 20:38) …1/2

“Well, if any tears are shed,” he said, “it won’t be for that reason.”…2/2

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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of October 2, 2021

Midweek Meeting: Assigned Bible reading: Joshua 8-9

Did that yo-yo bro really take from the Gideon account that it’s okay to lie to elders because maybe they won’t check with God and then it will be all okay? (Joshua 9:14)

The apple drops in Newton’s hand. It’s okay, the universal symbol that points to him. But it didn’t really happen. Word is that Isaac made up that story “to dispose of stupid persons.” (Yo, Isaac, how’d ya ever think of THAT?) 

 

Weekend Meeting, Public Talk title: Can Love Conquer Hatred? It is the CO talk. “Wouldn’t we expect a book from God to answer questions like that?” he says.

Genesis 1:27, let us make in our image, ability to love, peaceful, joyful, ‘when we look at them we should be able to see ourselves in them.’

Jesus to religious leaders of his day: “you are from your father the devil & wsh to do his desires, truth is not in him, speaks the lie according to his own disposition.” They look like their father, so there is a choice—who will we look like?

“You heard that it was said: ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ (Matt 5:43) The first part was said at Lev 19:18, “you must love your fellow man as yourself.” The 2nd part is nowhere said in scripture, but became a traditional assumption, a human flip side of the first.

“However, I say to you: Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those who persecute you,” says Jesus. (Matt 5:44) It is an example of love conquering hatred, “gives them a chance to change.”

Matt 5:38. ‘Eye for eye, but I say do not resist the one who is wicked, but turn the other cheek,’ slap represents an insult, it is not a physical attack from which you should not defend

1 John 3:8, Jesus laying down life is beginning of his breaking up the works of the devil—the wrecking ball of love through the devils system of hatred, one swoop of ball does not eliminate structure, it has to go back and forth.

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Those of religion who are “stalking God” of whom Jesus would say, “I do not know you.”…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 7:22-23) 2/2

 

Para 3: #watchtowerstudy Proverbs 13:11 applied to a new setting, that of spiritual wealth: “Wealth quickly gained will dwindle, but the wealth of the one who gathers it little by little will increase.” First use of it this way that I am aware of.

Para 4: ditto for Proverbs 4:18,  “the path of the righteous is like the bright morning light that grows brighter and brighter until full daylight.” Here applied to personal spiritual growth, not just organizational growth.

Mama of the Wt conductor, an LDC bro, just commented, visiting via Zoom from across the country. Now I know why this fellow is so on the ball.

Para 11: God telling Habakkuk (2:3) to hold his horses—it comes when it comes. …“For the vision is yet for its appointed time, And it is rushing toward its end, and it will not lie. Even if it should delay, keep in expectation of it! For it will without fail come true.”

Para 12: not emphasized here, but a bro recently linked endurance with preaching, e.g. “The one who has endured to the end will be saved,” AND “this good news of the kingdom will be preached…” Matt 24:13-14

And he will rise up to show you mercy. For Jehovah is a God of justice. Happy are all those keeping in expectation of him.

 

The CO in concluding remarks spoke of Isa 30:21, the voice behind you saying ‘this is the way, walk in it’ and how it was a singular you, not a broadcast YOU, and how it would stabilize one who ‘walked to the right or the left.’ And how people identify with what they do so when they cannot do what they “start to wonder, ‘what’s my value?’”

And how as a boy, he became seasick on a boat trip (and felt as horrible as he ever had in his life.) The captain noticed and told him to focus on the distant lighthouse and nothing else, “the one thing that does not change,” and when he did so, he began to feel better. He then applied that to older ones feeling upheaval in their lives. Focus on the one thing that does not change, the ‘voice saying this is the way.’

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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of September 27, 2021

The #publictalk for this morning: Christian Separateness from the World—Why Beneficial.

On politics, the speaker mentioned how Christians are “surrounded by persons who support a system they don’t respect” & whereas they endeavor to respect a system they don’t support.

Citing James 1:27, “Look after orphans and widows, and keep oneself without spot from world,” he spoke of ones spinning their wheels like car stuck in mud, & how close do you get?

 

Watchtower Study for Today: ‘Cherish Your Place in Jehovah’s Family’

Theme verse: “You made him a little lower than angels, and you crowned him with glory and splendor.”​—PS. 8:5,

“A little lower than the angels” (Ps 8:5) is how God made humans. Free will like them. How many will think humans closer to the animal kingdom than angels?

One sis comments on the 2nd portion of vs 5 (the one of ‘a little lower than the angels): “and you crowned him with glory and splendor” as a given, not something ones have to establish their own, for it is part of the package. They need only to live up to it.

On Para 5 (Made in God’s image) one bro commented on how when the teacher said his daughter “was kind to other children” it did more for him than if he had learned of straight A’s

Para 6: “He honored humans by giving them “dominion over” all his marvelous works on earth. (Ps. 8:6)”  I wonder if that’s why cruelty to an animal arouses such emotion, equal to or even above to a human? It so goes against our commission.

Para 7: one bro cites Prov 27:11–“Be wise, my son, and make my heart rejoice, So that I can make a reply to him who taunts me,” and is moved that humans have power to affect God’s feelings.

Para 10: “Jehovah gave his most precious Son so that we can once again become members of His family,” one sis commented on how at an adoption agency you similarly get to choose who will adopt.

It is a good investment of time, the Watchtower study. An hour of participatory discussion on how to live, with Bible principles underpinning all. For lack of knowing ‘how to live’ much misery stems

Para 14: “In brotherly love have tender affection for one another. In showing honor to one another, take the lead.” It kind of implies we should be trying to outdo one another in this area, one sis observes.

One bro cited that verse “In brotherly love have tender affection for one another. In showing honor to one another, take the lead.” (Romans 12:10) as what drew him into the faith, the observation of how people treated one another.

Para 16: On the power of good examples & bad examples, one bro (the speaker) recommends getting around that by simply focusing on Jesus’ example.

On Para 17: “Trust in Jehovah instead of in material things,” one bro comments on how having the dough to afford “many things” does not mean having the time to service them all. Cites the rich young ruler, holding many things, who turned down Jesus on that account.(mark 10:17-22)

#Midweek meeting Bible passage to consider: Joshua 6-7

As it turns out, we are Zooming in tonight from out of town—a very brief stop-off in Pittsburgh. Bummed that the aviary was closed—their eagle had escaped. ‘How does closing the aviary help?’ I asked an employee.  It allows them to be minimally staffed. Most of them are out searching for the eagle.

And lookee the sign we spotted on a sightseeing round. Look who spoke at Carnegie back in the day.Alas, the lighting isn’t so hot.

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Jehovah wants to preserve the cleanness of the congregation, the speaker says, because Jehovah is a clean God, a holy God.

Grain found in Jericho, evidence that it’s siege was short? (Otherwise they would have eaten it) I didn’t know that.

First by tribe, then by family, then by household, and you know who is starting to sweat it. Joshua 7:!4

We’ve all been there so we all know where you’re coming from, says the chairman to the one who spoke of stubbing a toe for want of light in the corridor. Psalm 119:105

Be honest. How many of those study tips did you know on JWLibrary?

That is one sneaky looking Aiken with slimy conniving family to match.

‘Half of their sons were speaking Ashʹdod·ite and half spoke the language of the different peoples, but none of them knew how to speak the language of the Jews’ (Nehemiah 13:24) is not a great record, considering that they were all Jews

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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of September 20, 2021

#Publictalk for this morning is entitled, ‘The Only Cure for Sick Mankind.’ An out of town speaker.

The speaker tells of how widespread mental illness is today. “I know I’m crazy,” he says, “and Tim [the one who invited him]—he’s crazy too.”

“In New York,” the speaker says (he is a Bethel speaker) “we had a program called ‘Midnight Basketball.’ The idea was that youngsters would be running up and down the court till late at night and then would be too tired to mug you next day.”

He tells of some who say there must be bad to appreciate good & that’s why there is bad. “I want to tell you this morning that that makes absolutely no sense at all,” he adds.

The content of this talk is the explanation of evil & suffering—why God permits it. Here is the fan illustration—pull the plug and the blades slow until coming to a full stop. Have this health problem or that? “You can thank Adam for it,” the speaker says.

This speaker, in the special talk that was yesterday, spoke of the “lie within the question” at Genesis 3:1. Today he speaks of how his conduct will determine “what Jehovah becomes” in his own case.

Can you imagine never having a senior moment? the speaker says, or  always remembering where you put things.

Yesterday he spoke of how the “and things like these” of Galatians 5:21 probably made us the most trouble. He illustrated it with counsel from this doctor how he ought not eat any more chocolate cake “and things like these.”

 

#Watchtower STUDY ARTICLE entitled: Rejoice in Your Own Progress!

Theme scripture: “Let each one . . . have cause for rejoicing in regard to himself alone, and not in comparison with the other person.”​—GAL. 6:4.  SONG 34 Walking in Integrity

About twice the normal attendance today. Visitors joining in on account of the visitor. Does it look like I’ll be able to shoehorn a comment in today?

“Children have a tendency to do that anyway,” says one sis about comparing ourselves to others, so it’s important that parents not inadvertently add to the pressure, but defuse it.

Para 8: Against all counsel, I compared my wife, “you’re not touchy like so and so, you’re not absent-minded like…, you don’t burn meals like….” Get me out of the doghouse should I ever get in there, that remark will.

It is a good point regarding Jesus that “I will never drive away the one who comes to me.” John 6:37

“(for each one knows his own plague and his own pain) when they spread out their hands toward this house,” says 2 Chronicles 6:29 “then may you hear from the heavens, your dwelling place, and may you forgive; and reward each one according to all his ways, for you know his heart

 

#Midweekmeeting: Joshua 1-3 is the assigned Bible reading for this meeting.

Song #65: Move Ahead. That is the song you would sing, I guess, if yo were crossing the Jordan.

“the waters of the Jordan flowing from upstream will be halted and they will stand still like a dam.” Wouldn’t that mean for those downstream the flow would taper off rather than shut off suddenly like a faucet.? (Jos 3:13)

One sis said how submitting to circumcision just after crossing the Jordan, before engaging the enemy, might seem like “bad timing.” (Jos 5:2) Well, I guess it might.

“I could listen to you read all day long” says the chairman, commending a student talk.

“You don’t suppose he’s got a little workshop up there, do you, building things one at a time?”

“Her real issue is getting to know someone she cannot see. Maybe that is the best place to begin….What creation really says about Jehovah, versus what evolution obscures.”

“One of the hardest things we had to do was find a home for our dog. We eventually found her one with a beautiful family.”  Yes. We are that “beautiful family” adopting the dog of some need-greater’s They’re not getting it back either. #winwin #Ramipo

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The opposite of being in a high mountain like Isa 2:2 is to be in a low one, a catch basin that accumulates all sorts of runoff. The returnees times for catching runoff was ending, exchanging it for standards from on high.

Back in those ancient times, you couldn’t have a wall without the question arising, ‘who is that wall to keep out?’ You could not have a gate without the question arising, ‘who is qualified to go in?’

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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of September 13, 2021

Should I razz the speaker today, the one who follows me here on Twitter? And say he is one whose wife kept a hidden box in which there was 3 eggs and $6000? …..1/2

When he found out each time he gave a bad talk, she added an egg to the box, his chest puffed out. “40 years a speaker and only 3 bad talks!” he said.

Then he found the $6000 was all the money she had made over the years selling eggs……2/2

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Title of the public talk is Gaining Comfort in all Our Tribulations

His chosen song is #44: ‘A prayer of the lowly one.’ I like how in the refrain each line ascends the scales, until the final line returns to the starting place. (Do musicians have a better description of this?)

The speaker says how the root word of ‘comfort’ from 2 Corinthians can also be rendered ‘encouragement.’ I know this is true, for when I wrote ‘Don’t Know Why We Persecute’ & used that verse, I found translations were divided about 50/50 over that word choice.

Elijah mocks the prophets of Baal with “some of the best sarcasm in the Bible,” says the Bible.…‘Yo, call out louder! Maybe he’s in there taking a dump!’ 1 Kings 18:27 [my words, not his]

WatchtowerStudy article for today: Avoid Stirring Up Competition​—Promote Peace“.  Theme scripture: Let us not become egotistical, stirring up competition with one another, envying one another.”​—GAL. 5:26.    Song 101: Working Together in Unity

Huh. Something I have not seen before. The Watchtower conductor displays in smaller picture, with Zoom text above that his bandwidth is low.

One sis comments on paragraph 3 with “Is my self-worth tied up with what others think of me?”

Para 4: and if we insist on comparing ourselves with others, it’s probably worth reflecting on 1 Corinthians 1:26 that none of use are really hot stuff….”not many wise in a fleshly way, not many powerful, not many of noble birth, but God chose the foolish things…1/3

of the world to put the wise men to shame; and God chose the weak things of the world to put the strong things to shame; and God chose the insignificant things of the world and the things looked down on, the things that are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, ….2/3

so that no one might boast in the sight of God,” is how it is put….3/3

Para 7: Isn’t the “negative qualities of egotism and envy could be likened to impurities contaminating the fuel that powers an aircraft”illustration (which I’ve not heard before) inspired by the scripture that accompanies it, Proverbs 16:18, about pride before the crash?

Para 8: Never does their fail to be at least one quality in which the other person is better than you. Find that quality and hone in on it. It is the secret of Philippians 2:3

One sis (who does have children) comments on how to be involuntarily childless “is hard enough on a woman,” but then to be taunted over it… 1 Samuel 1:6

Para 16: For example, there is no record that he took offense when Aquila and Priscilla “explained the way of God more accurately to him.”​ acts 18:24-28   Sure. Good point. A lot of “eloquent” men will take offense at correction.

One bro puts words in the mouth of Apollos in that pic of he speaking with Paul. ‘He’s not saying that,’ I tell my wife.

One bro talks of how small stitches are preferable to large ones. You would want that in a surgery, he says. They look better, too.

After the meeting, the speaker who was dogsitting, said how mortified he was at the dogs loudly lapping up water. I hadn’t noticed that.

 

The assigned Bible reading for the #midweekmeeting is Joshua 1-2. Starting any new book there is always an overview of what’s ahead.

My service buddy, the one who says to me (and I to him) “Try not to screw up this door like you did the last one” is standing for the opening song, but has not adjusted his laptop. All we see on Zoom is a torso.

“Be courageous and strong. Do not be struck with terror or fear, for Jehovah your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9) is a theme that I think will reverberate tonight.

Mercifully, the reader for Joshua 2:1 does not pronounce the city of Shittim so it sounds like you-know-what.

The chairman just told the teen reading the first talk that he is an excellent reader (he is) and that we can all learn from him (we can.) He even interjects on the youngster’s appearance that “you look so good”—as though commenting on threads.

And to think as a high schooler (before my Witness days) the prospect of a standup book report would strike terror in me. If deferred one day for lack of time, it just meant it was sure to come tomorrow

“Hard to think someone wouldn’t be interested in listening to you talk,” he tells another young sis after she completes the RV talk.

Whoa. The third talk, a bro taking it on short notice, begins with him telling his HH of a verse that will “blow your mind.” Job 26:7 about the earth “suspended upon nothing.” Not bad for3500 years ago, when people thought things, even stars, had to be attached to something….1/2

I mean, if it claims to be the Word of God, it can’t just parrot the stupid stuff commonly believed back then—stupid to us, though not to wise men of the day……2/2

Huh. Didn’t do the part on the schedule about conscience. Did the GB #7 update instead.

Look, the temple Ezekiel saw wouldn’t fit on Mt Moriah—too big, and Mt Moriah isn’t above all other hills—there are higher ones surrounding it. And no river is going to flow from the Most Holy bringing the Dead Sea to life—not in any literal temple.

“describe the temple to the house of Israel, so that they will feel ashamed because of their errors, and they should study its plan.” Ezekiel 43:10

Show the plans of my house and someone might feel ashamed if it calls for 2x8s and they typically use 2x4s.

What is it about “the carcasses of their kings” defiling God’s holy name, not to mention their “spiritual prostitution” that appeals to me as a description? (Ezekiel 43:7)

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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of September 6, 2021

Weekend Meeting Title of the public talk today is ‘The Kingdom of God is Near.’

 

The speaker today is that retired police office, highly respected, that if you are cleaning your gun on private property that JWs have rented and he in security asks nicely you to leave and you don’t because you “have rights” you soon find yourself surrounded by cop cars.

When the speaker read of “a noise from heaven, just like that of a rushing, stiff breeze,” (Acts 2:2) why did I hear it as a Russian stiff breeze? [‘sounds like a mixed drink,’ someone says afterwards]

The GB serves as “ambassadors substituting for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us. As substitutes for Christ, we beg: “Become reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20) They announce kingdom, tell benefits of, and tell requirements of.

“Have the governments of the world succeeded in bringing peace to the world? No,” says the speaker. “Have they failed miserably? Yes,” he continues. JWs appeal to those who don’t equivocate.

The speaker is in 3-piece suit and there is no question of the lower third replaced by jeans. Probably his shoes are shined. He is too respectful for it to be otherwise. He is a balm in the congregation who is quick to come to people’s aid.

“As we drive down the highway mile after mile, our windshield gets dirty. We have to clean it from time to time,” says the speaker, referring to things that would deprive people of clear spiritual vision.

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STUDY ARTICLE 27. ‘Imitate Jehovah’s Endurance’ from the July 2021 Study Watchtower considered toda….theme scripture: “By your endurance you will preserve your lives.”​—LUKE 21:19….SONG 114 “Exercise Patience”

“For look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be called to mind, Nor will they come up into the heart.” Isaiah 65:17

The sister just commented who when the home improvement salesperson wants to speak, not just to the husband, but also the wife, says “I don’t do that.”

A verse advancing the novel notion that Jehovah is an example of endurance: “What, then, if God had the will to demonstrate his wrath and to make his power known, and he tolerated with much patience vessels of wrath made fit for destruction?” (Romans 9:22) ….1/2

So it’s not easy for him. He doesn’t have it made in the shade after all….2/2

Man, I hate when your have your hand up and the conductor asks an additional question then calls on you. #Eggonyourface

So God can beat the snot out of any challenger, but that will only prove his power, not that he is right. It might even suggest he is wrong to act so immediately. No, he has to let time play out.

We always best remember the study guide is use when we were studying. #Truthbook

One bro comments how in a war, both sides are apt to claim God is with them. Yeah. Just once I would like to see a war in which one side or the other says “We are the bad guys.” [‘do you realize you are saying you’d like to see a war?’ one sis says afterwards]

Though not in the lesson, one sis mentioned Psalm 116:15  “Costly in the eyes of Jehovah Is the death of his loyal ones.”  It was the favorite verse of a sis whose husband had died and then she did later.

On mistreatment of the animal kingdom, the sis who is a veterinarian has something to say. I guess I should have foreseen that.

Someday an overhead comet will reverse roles and leave animals in charge. When that happens—we’re in trouble. #Payback.

Ah. Good. The bro who is not in good health and was away for a time just read a scripture.

 

 

 

 

Closing out the book of Deuteronomy tonight. Final two chapters, 33 & 34. Who knew that Jeshurun was another name—an affectionate one—for Israel? #midweekmeeting

 

“He buried him in the valley in the land of Moʹab, opposite Beth-peʹor, and nobody knows where his grave is down to this day.” Deuteronomy 34:6

 

“For what possible reason did Jehovah not reveal Moses’ burial place?”

 

So it wouldn’t become a tourist trap.

 

The key to the Bible reading, Deuteronomy 33:1-18, is to break it down according to who is being addressed. There is the setup, then remarks to Reuben, then more to Levi, then a little to Benjamin, then much to Joseph. I know this is key because the reading was assigned me…1/2

 

on short notice and I had to figure it out….2/2

 

When a young teen came 2the door home alone, I engaged him in brief chat, maybe 5 min.Taking my leave, his mom pull up the drive. Introducing myself briefly, I said I had asked her youngster a question or two & he had answered intelligently. “You should be proud of him,” I said.

 

When pre-meeting chat turned 2 timeshare salespeople, I told how mine had been a former NYPD detective. What a perfect 2nd career 4a detective, having to read people, I laughed. “You don’t think I’m reading you right now?” he says. I do, I told him, that’s what makes it so funny!

 

Was that an unheard gasp I heard at encourage to cover a lesson per week in the new guide?

 

“Why should you show this video to new students?”

 

So they hear the 1 lessen per week goal and know that you’re doing it wrong if you squeeze out every point for 5 weeks.

 

Heavenly things in Paul’s temple vision, not Ezekiel’s. Sacrifices outlined for many in Ezekiel’s temple, not needed at all in Paul’s, since Christ sacrificed “once for all time.” Almost makes you wonder that they could have been mixed up to begin with.

 

With 6 centuries to go of following the Mosaic law, it’s not time to put the cart before the horse, detailing how the future one works, lest people forget about the present one.

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Tweeting the Meeting: August 30, 2021

“Meeting the Test of Christian Loyalty” is the title of the public talk this morning. A local speaker.

The speaker quotes Psalm 103:12. “As far off as the sunrise is from the sunset, So far off from us he has put our transgressions.” Turns out that this verse was in my son’s first Bible reading. I can still see him gesturing the distance with both hands.

“Simon, Simon, look! Satan has demanded to have all of you to sift you as wheat. “ (Luke 22:31) Sobering.

“I will act with discretion and blamelessness” says Psalm 101:2, but when I asked my wife, “What verse was that?” she answered with the call digits of a nearby radio station. She did not sing the jingo, however—WARM 101.3

Concluding verse is Psalm 18:25. “With someone loyal you act in loyalty; With the blameless man you deal blamelessly.”

“God is . . . giving you both the desire and the power to act.”​—Phil. 2:13.   Theme verse of today’s WatchtowerStudy, with application to the Christian ministry.

Ha. Here is the Zoom Watchtower reader reading from an cushy chair at home and I have sat in that chair before during meetings for field service.

Two verses the Witness faith takes very seriously, someone says. Matt 10:7  “As you go, preach, saying: ‘The Kingdom of the heavens has drawn near’”  and Luke 8:1. “he traveled from city to city…village to village, preaching and declaring the good news of the Kingdom of God.”

Para 8: A comment from one bro on how overcoming doctrine is not what it once was, since few have any. More emphasis instead on principles of living that lead to happiness. One sis likens it to “coming home.”

Does the guide “Enjoy Life Forever” reflect a view that people are like sheep without a shepherd, and they know it? Is that why matters of doctrine come much later than what we are used to and matters of drawing close to God and his worshippers much sooner?

Para 11: “Jesus taught Nicodemus at night, which was a time that Nicodemus preferred.”​—John 3:1, 2.   [because he was chicken. Or was he discreet? Why create a sandstorm when you don’t have to?]

Para 11: “consider one of the lessons we have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. We have discovered that we can conduct effective Bible studies electronically”…..They’re easier that way, too

Para 14: “Remember that people’s circumstances can change quickly in this turbulent world.” Sounds crazy, but can 5 years ago be considered the good ol days? Before pandemic, before non-stop crazy weather, floods, fires, before unhinged hostility in politics that began with 2016 election.

Midweek Meeting, week of August 30, 2021. Assigned Bible reading: Deuteronomy 31-32

“Just as an eagle stirs up its nest, Hovers over its fledglings, Spreading out its wings, taking them, Carrying them on its pinions, Jehovah alone kept leading him.” (Deuteronomy 32:11)  The speaker flaps his arms to illustrate this. #midweekmeeting

Someone said—no, not me, and also not at the meeting—that an eagle had one more pinion than did another type of bird. The difference between them, therefore, was “a matter of a pinion.”

Some themes don’t change. Moses: “If you have been so rebellious against Jehovah while I am still alive with you, then how much more so will you be after my death! (Deuteronomy 31:27)….1/2

Paul: “True, the mystery of this lawlessness is already at work, but only until the one who is right now acting as a restraint is out of the way.”….2 Thessalonians 2:7….2/2

“Be courageous and strong. Do not be afraid or struck with terror before them, for Jehovah your God is the one marching with you. He will neither desert you nor abandon you,” says Moses to the Israelites (Deuteronomy 31:6)

As an invitation to read a verse, get HH’s thoughts, then leave, I would sometimes choose James 1:13: “When under trial, let no one say: ‘I am being tried by God.’ For with evil things God cannot be tried, nor does he himself try anyone.”….1/2

The reason I chose this scripture, I would say, is that some people think he DOES do evil…..2/2

My wife’s virtual householder was surly, as she had been asked to be. She was “so done” with religion, “so done” with websites where you have to enter passwords—“so done” with all of it.

“And your timing was very good,” says the bro who is attentive to such things. “Just checking to see if the other group is with us yet. Hmm. Maybe we’ll give them a couple more minutes.”   What does that say as to their timing?

“Remember those who are taking the lead among you, who have spoken the word of God to you, and as you contemplate how their conduct turns out, imitate their faith.” (Hebrews 13:7)  At time of writing, that would have included James, put to death by Herod ending a life of faith.

Bro Sullivan on the running board fending off attackers of Rutherford. Reminds me of a bro long deceased who with others [surprisingly, per the words of his grandson] “used to stack them up like cordwood.”

Entering the room behind the Zoom bro presiding is his 4-year old, in pajamas with flopping doggie ear hat, intent on getting his attention. He must see her behind him on screen and cannot suppress a broad smile.

Imagine. A full 1/5 of the book of Ezekiel is his vision of the temple. Almost irresistible to connect it with Paul’s discussion of the temple, but this is being rethought “to the relief of those who studied the old Ezekiel book,” one older sis says, for it was quite complex.

Bros carrying on about how they struggled to grasp all the parallels. Now they don’t have to. Was it therefore “a waste of time?” If so, there are plenty of worse ways to waste it. What’s wrong with rummaging around in the word of God?

Paul wrote: “Now is not the time to speak of these things in detail.” (Heb. 9:4, 5)    If it wasn’t then, it isn’t now.

 

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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of August 23, 2021

Weekend Meeting: How Love and Faith Conquer the World’ is the title of the public talk. An out of town speaker.

Jesus could have healed that leper from miles away, the speaker says. He could have said (snapping fingers “you’re good to go,” instead of touching someone whom no one had touched in a very long time.

Now about a bro in [then] Communist Hungary. Baptized in river (1942) after his release from prison. Sentenced to 11 more years for neutral stand, but shipped to Hitler camp prior to commencement. Another prison sentence upon camp release by Hungarian govt.

Now an appeal to 1 John 5:3-4 “For this is what the love of God means, that we observe his commandments; and yet his commandments are not burdensome, because everything that has been born fr God conquers the world. And this is the conquest that has conquered the world, our faith.

“We should not use the strength Jehovah gives us to pay back evil for evil,” the above bro from Hungary says, explaining why he several times took a pass at retaliating at those who oppressed him.

 

Watchtower Study: Title article: Do Not Stumble ‘These Little Ones.’  Theme scripture: “Do not despise one of these little ones.”​—MATT. 18:10. “Remember to unmute if called to comment,” the conductor reminds, as well as the 30-second goal. He (and I) likes that goal.

The need-greater from Myanmar says the 30-second comment goal is so many can participate (of course) but it is also for us, that we can learn to be concise, as Jesus way. Say a lot in few words. Not a little in many words

I think it is the overhead circular globe light reflecting off the conductor’s glasses. Almost makes him look like some superhero with special powers, but it’s just my good ol chum.

In a sense, all Witnesses are “little ones” on b/c of: 1 Cor 1:26 “For you see his calling of you, brothers, that there are not many wise in a fleshly way, not many powerful, not many of noble birth, but God chose the foolish things of the world to put the wise men to shame”..1/2

It is why comtemporary history contains scant mention of early Christianity. The doings of the commoners never rank to highly in the official histories…..2/2

Para 7: If you’re occasionally offended, that says something about the one who triggers it. If you’re frequently offended, that says something about you.

Para 8: Discussion of the theme of ‘who is the greatest?’ called to mind a certain online character who took all of two seconds to append Dr. before his name when he had been awarded a PhD.

“Sorry for not having a Ph.D. in whatever baloney* you have your Ph.D. in,” one tweeter apologizes.    *not his actual word.

Para 12: When his “fellow slaves saw what had happened, they became greatly distressed.” There might be some settings in which people would say, “Ah, well, it’s not my problem,” but the congregation is not one of them. Good reason for ‘warring’ bros not to war.

One bro, always the source of good comments, mentions the frequent expression: “He owes me an apology,” whereas in the congregation, the phrase to emphasize is: “I owe him forgiveness.”

 

Midweek Meeting, Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 29-30

Deuteronomy 30:11 “Now this commandment that I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it beyond your reach.”  It is the theme of the #midweekmeeting tonight, expanded in the #1 talk and reinforced with the video “Imitate, not the cowards, but the courageous.”

“It is not in the heavens, so that you have to say, ‘Who will ascend to the heavens and get it for us…Nor is it on the other side of the sea, so that you have to say, ‘Who will cross over to the other side of the sea and get it for us…1/2

For the word is very near you, in your own mouth and in your own heart, so that you may do it.” (Deuteronomy 30:12-14)  It starts by coming right to your door. Don’t even have to go to college for it. What could be easier?…2/2

Deuteronomy 30:4 “Even if your people are dispersed to the extremity of the heavens, from there Jehovah your God will gather you and bring you back.” Another theme of the meeting, reinforced with recent studies of the Ezekiel book.

Bonnie spoke of “positive peer pressure” of Imitate, not the cowards, but the courageous. Each segment ends with someone overhearing, who takes his/her own stand in the next segment.

I had not noticed the connection before: Ezekiel 37:27 “My tent will be with them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” and Revelation 7:15 “…and the One seated on the throne will spread his tent over them.  Rev 21:3 “The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples.”

Someone commented on the congregation meeting photo how the children are not separated into another room, but listen and learn with the of the congregation. No #SundaySchool

 

 

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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of August 16, 2021

Weekend Meeting: Watchtower only, streamed convention Day 3 PM to follow. “You Can Escape from Satan’s Snares” June 2021 Wt, Pride and greed are the focus.

Para 1: The woman in the picture has been shopping, “she has her hands full, but she passes a display of purses and thinks maybe she needs another one,” Bonnie says with a smile.

Imagine this guy—chewing out the priest the way he does: “But Uz·ziʹah became enraged while in his hand there was a censer for burning incense, and, during his rage against the priests, leprosy itself flashed up in his forehead…” 2 Chronicles 26:19

Para 10 made me think of ‘An Important Reminder,’ on coping with anxiety & the part where a resurrected Uriah will have to get over how the guy that killed him went on to great honors, maybe even (he a Hittite) reading racism into it.… …1/2

Long ago I played this for a church-going relative, temporarily eaten up by anxiety, thinking it would help. “Can’t this bro say ‘God’ even once?” I thought? “Does it have to be God’s name every single time?” something I never would have thought were it just myself….2/2

Para 11: There is benefit in counting blessings:  “New Bible students are encouraged to think of one specific blessing and to thank Jehovah for it. If a person does that every day for a week, it will mean that he has prayed about seven different topics.  (1 Thess. 5:18)

Only Son of Thunder John slams Judas for motive over the perfumed oil; neither Luke nor Matthew mention it: “He said this, though, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief and had the money box and used to carry off the monies put in it” (John 12:6)

Midweek Meeting:

Deuteronomy 27-28. Bad curses for doing bad (27: 15-26), followed by good blessings for doing good (28:1-14), followed by really bad curses for doing REALLY bad. (28:15 to end)

Sort of a rally, with the people divided into two groups by tribe—the group proclaiming blessings standing on mountain terrain that looked as though blessed, the group telling of curses standing on contrasting terrain that looked as though cursed. (Deut 27:12)

“It has been suggested that the blessings were read toward Mount Gerizim because of its greater beauty and fertility in contrast with rocky, largely barren Mount Ebal…The Law was read aloud “in front of all the congregation of Israel……2/3

This vast throng could hear the words from positions in front of either mountain. This was probably due, at least in part, to the excellent acoustics of the area. “ (Insight on the Scriptures) …3/3

So these Pharisees and scribes asked him: “Why do your disciples not observe the tradition of the men of former times, but they eat their meal with defiled hands?” He said to them: “Isaiah aptly prophesied about you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honor me with ….1/2

their lips, but their hearts are far removed from me. It is in vain that they keep worshipping me, for they teach commands of men as doctrines.’ You let go of the commandment of God and cling to the tradition of men.”…(mark 7:5-8) 2/2

One Zoom sis who I didn’t think would have a cat walking on her table had a cat walking on her table

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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of August 2, 2021

Weekend Meeting:

Yikes! In pre-meeting chit chat, the visiting speaker’s wife mentioned how as a child she had beaten up one of our cong members! “Good thing I changed,” she said, as she apologized.

The public speaker’s theme is ‘Good News in a Violent World..’ He can be forgiven if he dwells a bit longer than others would on violence, for he lives in what has been called the (per capita) murder city center of the country.

Accordingly, he begins with a recent local example of 16 shot at a house party. You’ve got to admit, that’s a lot.

Proverbs 4:14-17 “Into the path of the wicked ones do not enter….

For they do not sleep unless they do badness, and their sleep has been snatched away unless they cause someone to stumble.”

Let no one say the Bible does not to sarcasm & hyperbole.

What can we discern from all the reports of violence? the speaker says. Good news. ‘Thank you,’ my wife says, for he had been drawing the topic out. On the other hand, there is no end of material to draw on.

He speaks of the trauma of a person when their spouse unexpectedly dies and it is poignant for him because years ago his wife unexpectedly died

Watchtower Para 4: on tips for a long trip, those need-greaters home from Myanmar mentioned how easy travel to a distant city here is & how quickly the time flies. ‘Are you comfortable back there?’ their US friends ask….1/3

‘We are riding in the back seat of a BMW sedan. Of course we are comfortable. Do you have any idea where we have been?’…2/3

We don’t have a spring sticking in our back or a chicken sitting on our lap or a sack of vegetables poking us in the side or…’ the list went on and on….3/3

Para 6: In asking a viewpoint question, there is no right or wrong answer, one sis says. Another bro adds that viewpoint questions don’t need an immediate answer.

Wt Para 7: “Be careful not to compare your student with someone else by saying, ‘If he can do it, you can do it too.’” Times change. We get refined. That was the trademark expression of a certain CO from 40 years back, who even offered it in several permutations.

Para 8: “according to the glorious good news of the happy God, with which I was entrusted.” (1 Tim 1:11) I like ‘happy’ vs the more common ‘blessed’ in most translations. Of COURSE he is ‘blessed.’ He’s God. Who is going to ‘bless’ him? …1/2

That’s just pious for the sake of being pious. Happy’s better. (Footnote to self to research that root word)…2/2

Isa 47:18—“If only you would pay attention to my commandments! Then your peace would become just like a river And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”  Many verses work better for rural people attuned to nature. …1/2

It reminds me of a circuit overseer who illustrated industriousness and harmony by saying ‘kicking mules don’t work’ and ‘working mules don’t kick.’ Wildly popular in the country, but then he got to the city where nobody knew what a mule was….2/2

Mark 10:29 Jesus said: “Truly I say to you, no one has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for my sake and for the sake of the good news who will not get 100 times more now in this period of time—houses, brothers, sisters, ….1/2

mothers, children, and fields, with persecutions—and in the coming system of things, everlasting life.”

Worth noting for Christians who get a lot of kickback on the home front. It has happened that new ones have been excluded from their own family—often the storm blows over but not always….2/2

One sis commented on how opposition, when faced, often quells once people see the believer is serious about it. Maybe there is something to it, they say, and may look there themselves. It was true of my father-in-law. Fiercely resisted, he came to be a figure of much respect.

You could almost like the personal home Bible study to the merging lane onto the expressway, the expressway being the congregation meetings. It’s not going to run forever and everyone on the expressway makes minor adjustment to ease that one’s path on.

“Would that be Sis Harley?” the conductor asked.

“No, Tom didn’t put his hand down,” my wife threw me under the bus, as I  shrugged and grinned in the background.

Some discussion in after meeting chit chat on how cong members often become the go-to members in time of crisis for the extended family. Not surprising, since they are trained to be people-persons and are not unhinged at the prospect of dying….1/2

Nobody wants to die. It’s inconvenient and it makes people feel bad, but other than that, it holds no terror for JWs, whereas many people in general can hardly bring themselves even to speak of it….2/2

 

Midweek Meeting: Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 22-23

Animal-friendly laws in Deuteronomy : You must not plow with a bull and a donkey together.” (too rough on the weaker animal) Deut 22:10, also, vs 4 and 6, though 6 is a mixed bag. #MidweekMeeting Assigned Bible reading: Deuteronomy 22-23.

The speaker just made the point of Paul’s application. ‘Do not become unevenly yoked with an unbeliever.’ 2 Corinthians 6:14. updating Deut 22:10. A source of avoidable conflict,

“…Then you should return it to him.That is what you should do with his donkey, with his clothing, and with anything that your brother has lost and you have found. You must not ignore it.”  (Deut 22:1-3) …1/3

they dropped from the back pocket of the stylish shorts my wife bought me that I no longer wear on that account. Even in Canada, when I lost my wallet (from after paying a taxi) and had to cross over to the US without it…2/3

(an endeavor that is NOT hassle-free), someone phoned later to say they had found it. But when I asked about the money inside it he said, “What money.” No matter. I was glad to get it back…..3/3

“If a man is found lying down with a woman who is the wife of another man, both of them must die together, the man who lay down with the woman as well as the woman.” Deut 22:22, This may be why, on a recent trip to the Batavia NY city museum,…1/2

we learned that its foremost citizen laid in wait to catch his wife cheating on him, surprised them both, shoved the man and he fell down the stairs and died. The prosecutors thought they had an open-and-shut case, but the jury would not convict him….2/2

“You must not hate an Egyptian, for you became a foreign resident in his country.” Deut 23:7, —even though some of that time was in slavery! Thou it was good times before that. A good verse as to what it is good to reminisce on.

“A peg should be part of your equipment. When you squat outside, you should dig a hole with it and then cover your excrement.” Deut 23:13, Wisdom ahead of its time, I think this is called. …1/2

And to think in the Middle Ages, people were flinging pots of you-know-what out the window and into the street. Wonder why there were so many plagues then?….2/2

“You should not hand over a slave to his master when he escapes from his master and comes to you. He may dwell among you in whatever place he chooses in one of your cities, wherever he likes. You must not mistreat him.” Deut 23:15….1/2 A good verse to keep in mind…1/2

for those zealots who condemn the Bible because it did not outlaw slavery, but instead regulated it. If Jehovah corrected every human injustice the moment it manifested itself, there wouldn’t be anything left, for the system is inherently unjust and is in need of replacement2/2

“If you enter your neighbor’s vineyard, you may eat enough grapes to satisfy your appetite, but you should not put any in your container. “If you go into your neighbor’s field of standing grain, you may pluck the ripe ears with your hand, but you should not put a sickle to …1/2

your neighbor’s grain.” Deut 23:24. This reminds me of the hoboes of decades past who would steal you blind —“and every lock that ain’t locked when no one’s around”—but only enough for their immediate needs….2/2

I remember reading some historian saying that it was the Jews of America were the ones who first introduced the idea of public assistance based upon verses like this one.

The Jade and Nita video. Nita pronounces ‘Isaiah’ the British way, with two long ‘i’s.

The reader of the old Bible reading cassettes pronounced it that way, too. As School overseer, I told everyone that we were saying it wrong. (but corrected matters the next week)

Only once did I kill an animal. Chums in school were going squirrel hunting  & invited me, giving me a shotgun. High, high up in a tree I spotted one and fired. It fell dead at my feet. ‘What did I do that for?’ I thought. I never hunted again, as I had never hunted before.

Ooh ooh! When Mike came into the truth he became an unbearable fanatic and would plague Keith night and day that he should get rid of everything, even his dog! to pioneer. Finally, Keith latched onto Proverbs 12:10 in self-preservation: “The righteous one takes care of his domestic animals.”….1/2

Mike was perhaps the very reason for the saying among JWs that “new ones should be locked up for sixth months until their zeal is tempered by common sense.”…..2/2

“Now the servants of the king of Syria said to him: “Their God is a God of mountains. That is why they overpowered us. But if we fight against them on level land, we will overpower them.” 1 Kings 20:23 (quoted for the local needs part) Turns out that Jehovah was pretty good in the flatlands, too.

Did the conductor really call on his father with “Dad-man?”

I once counseled.a student against saying “a Jehovah’s Witness” for I think obvious reasons, but was afterwards corrected by the DO who said there was nothing wrong with it. I still think I was right, but its not the hill I am willing to die on. ….1/2

Language changes. I say it myself now…..2/2

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