Tweeting the Meeting: Week of July 19, 2021

Weekend Meeting:

Another lightning round Watchtower (May 2021) on account of the Saturday AM Regional coming up  Study article is “Maintain a Positive Attitude Toward Your Ministry“ Theme vs: Sow your seed . . . and do not let your hand rest.”​—ECCL. 11:6.

Is there an 800-lb gorilla in the room? A discussion of the ministry, attitudes toward, obstacles encountered, and techniques suggested, when most of them are off the table during Covid times. Looking toward the future, I guess?

Another fishing comment from the sister who loves to fish and you would never know it from her overall demeanor.

Para 7: With regard to evening witnessing, “householders may be more relaxed and ready to talk during those times.”   I’ve always found this to be true. There is a distinct difference in ‘day is done’ atmosphere from ‘day is just cranking up,’ much more relaxed.

I like the summary of Para 11: Some :do not believe in God because they see so much suffering in the world.”

Some “reject the Bible because they see the hypocrisy of religious leaders who claim to live by that book. “.  1/2

“Others are preoccupied with their jobs, families, or personal problems, and they fail to see how the Bible can help them.

The article is on various ways to meet such viewpoints….2/2

Hm. One of those items in the picture would require me to step out of my comfort zone, and I’m not necessarily comfortable even IN my comfort zone.

I’m not huge on inferring from bumper stickers but sometimes they tell it all. Like the car with “born right the first time.” [doesn’t like religion] and “There are death squads in America. They’re called insurance companies.” [has been through some tough times.]

I get the simplification, easier to comprehend and all. But I can miss the imagery of the more literal translation:

“As iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens his friend.”   vs:   “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens the face of his companion.”  (Proverb 27:17)….1/2

Who sharpens the face of his companion these days? But I still like it….2/2

Para 14: “Then we discussed how we might respond differently if we faced that situation again.”

I miss working with my familiar old pal John, who would say to me, and I to him: “Try not to mess this one up the way you did the last door.”

Para 17: I do like this John 7:5 verse about how Jesus’ own family at one time “were, in fact, not exercising faith in him.”

And don’t get me started on the time they’d thought he’d gone off his rocker:  “But when his relatives heard about it, they went out to lay hold of him…1/2

for they were saying: “He has gone out of his mind.”  (Mark 3:21)…2/2

And now it’s off to Day 2 (AM session) of the Powerful by Faith summer convention, streamable by anyone at jw.org.

 

Midweek Meeting: Assigned Bible Chapters: Deuteronomy 16-18

You must not pervert justice, show partiality, or accept a bribe, for the bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and distorts the words of the righteous.  (Deut 16:19)

The blinding effect of money calls to mind two saying, the common exhortation to “follow the money” as a means…1/3

getting to the bottom of things. (‘Who benefits’ is often synonymous with ‘who made it happen) ….2/3

The second is that famous quote from Upton Sinclair: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”…..3/3

The bro giving the Treasures talk is a retired police officer. He is speaking on the Deuteronomy themes of impartiality, establishing the facts, and getting help for difficult cases. I wonder if his cop background comes in handy in those type meetings….1/2

Whoa! No sooner had I thunk the thought and he said how in his former job (he didn’t say what it was) investigations were handled in a way that way ‘speedy,’ and it was upon becoming a Witness that he learned a ‘more thorough way of handling investigations.”   2/2

I happen to know in the congregation he first attended, he, a very humble man, was put to use carrying mics & so forth, & nobody thought to tell him that carrying a gun disqualifies him from special privileges. …3/4

‘Was it hard for you to accept? I asked, since police are the good guys. He said it was not. Besides, he was about to retire anyway….4/4

..the due right of the priests from the people: Whoever makes a sacrifice, whether a bull or a sheep, is to give the shoulder, the jaws, and the stomach to the priest.  (Deut 18:3)

Those in Bethel also benefit from voluntary donations. Why, just yesterday I sent a stomach to one

“When he takes his seat on the throne of his kingdom, he must write for himself in a book a copy of this Law, taken from the one kept by the Levitical priests.” (Deut 17:18) Take heart, you children. Even a king had homework. …1/2

“Your homework for over the weekend, typewritten and double-spaced, King Solomon, is to write out the entire Book of the Law. And pay attention to the part about not taking many wives.”….( Deut 17:17) 2/2

James 1:13 is one of the verses I like when just offering to read a verse, “get your response and then I’m gone.”

“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 verse,” I will say, “is that some people think he DOES try people with evil.”…2/2

To the online bro, assigned the 5-minute talk, who asked me for pointers, I said: “Swat the podium hard to illustrate firm discipline. Take something disposable with you and heave it away to illustrate last-ditch-measure-expulsion.  (NOT)  :)” Teach him not to do THAT again.

Why do I like so much the video of the elderly Jamaican sis who has pioneered her entire life come what may?

Like an Ezekiel 33:7 watchman of old, I too would fearlessly sound due warning through the years and thus no doubt saved hundreds, helping them prepare: “That elder I love to tease is giving the public talk today! Brace yourselves!”

“for then there will be great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning until now, no, nor will occur again.” (Matt 24:21)

Lee used to tell me that in his territory, people’s response to this would be, “Wow! What channel is it on?”

Para 4: “Similarly, Jehovah appointed watchmen, not because he wanted to terrorize the Israelites with messages of doom, but because he cared for his people and wanted to save lives.”

If you want messages of doom, you watch the evening news….1/2

And someone described reading the Drudge Report to reading the Book of Revelation…..2/2

Para 7: “None of the sins he committed will be held against him.” (Ezek. 33:14-16) for the one who turns away from them. But

Those neighbor kings knew Solomon had a wife problem when he would come to summits and they’d have to rent 32 Holiday Inns to accommodate them all.

Actually, huge harems was commonplace among foreign kings of that place and time.

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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of July 12, 2021

Weekend Meeting:

Bob gives the public talk today, his theme: “What marks the Bible as authentic.” He opens with items that you might test to see whether they are authentic, a photo of a diamond and a 20 dollar bill….1/2

I have heard him give this talk live, not just over Zoom. He left his $20 on the speaker stand during setup, the chairman took it to lost and found, and Bob later said that “he literally stole my illustration.”…2/2

There are different marks of authenticity regarding a $20 bill, he says, about 8, having to do with ink, borders, color, etc. Then he goes into what marks the Bible as authentic.

Commenting on Isaiah 13, that Babylon will never be rebuilt, the speaker tells of a Saddam Hussein plan to restore it, including a rebuild of the Tower of Babel. Came to nothing, it did, even Saddam. I am told that the ruins of Babylon today is a site for edgy concert partying.

“Thank you for getting up early and giving us that fine talk,” the chairman says. He DID get up early, Zooming from the West coast to us in the East. He was originally from out area.

STUDY ARTICLE today is “Nothing Can Make the Righteous Stumble,” from May 2021 Watchtower. Theme scripture: “Abundant peace belongs to those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.”​—PS. 119:165….1/2

“We’re happy we do not have to move along at such a fast clip as the last two weeks,” the Wt conductor says (due to the Convention streaming) We sure are—Whoa! that moves fast….2/2

Para 1: “a writer once stated: “If there were another ‘Jesus’ among us today who would say things the way the original Jesus said . . . , would we reject him today the way we did two thousand years ago? . . . The answer has generally been: Yes, we would.” …1/2

the way Mark Twain cynically put this is: “There has only been one Christian. They caught and killed him—early.”…2/2

Para 3: “They asked his disciples: “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” To this, Jesus replied: “Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but those who are ill do. I have come to call, not righteous people, but sinners2repentance.”​—Luke 5:29-32….1/2

Para 6 “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.”…How is he able to do this? Why? All Witnesses know this.

Last week a sis told how she left a study publication with an educated co-worker, who handed it back, saying “it’s too simple.” It has to be complicated with these characters, and in that way they end up blinding themselves….2/2

To charges that JWs “insulted” other faiths and should therefore be banned, one scholar for the Russian Orthodox Church, Andrey Kuraev, commented that Jesus also “insulted” them, using some of the same verses of para 7 & 8

Para 10: Yes, of course. If the soul is immortal, as almost all faiths except JWs teach, then the resurrection teaching becomes irrelevant. You can raise from the dead that which has not died.

I was surprised at reading certain scholars, Ehrman is one, Luke Johnson is another, explaining the resurrection teaching as “damage control” to recover from the “embarrassing” fact of Christ’s death, thereby indicating they were clueless as to a central tenet of the Bible.

Re para 13, there was a bro who famously worked up a long talk detailing all the illegalities of Jesus’ trial. Christians today will be reminded of all the doings in Russia.

 

Sigh…one bro commented, not on how he was brought up as a Roman Catholic, but as a ‘Roamin Around Catholic.’ This is the bro who likes to joke.

“Your internet connection is unstable,” my screen tells me. Tell me about it.

 

Midweek Meeting:  Assigned Bible chapters: Deuteronomy 13-15

Western social net systems came about because of Jews carrying their attitudes of compassion & responsibility toward their poor ( Deuteronomy 14) into wherever they settled, I recall reading in some account of American history, I forget by who.

Totally new to me when I looked into the Bible was the Mosaic law that ones who became so poor as to sell themselves into slavery would be freed on the 7th year, with a gift!

Debts canceled on the seventh year, too, at least debts for non-business matters.

It must be when they stoned Stephen outside the Sanhedrin (Acts 7) they figured & justified they were acting according to direction of Deuteronomy 13:6-10

and it must become a heap of ruins to time indefinite. It should never be rebuilt.  (Duet 13:16)

To be sure, if a city is never rebuilt, its destruction is a permanent reminder to why it was destroyed. If it is rebuilt, people forget.

I wonder if this De 14:21 didn’t have spillover elsewhere into other areas of humane treatment of animals:

“You must not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.” Intuitively wrong, it seems.

Though I am reminded of a Bashevis Singer short story in which a 19th-century Jewish settlement in Poland is paralyzed because the priest (rabbi?) cannot bring himself to sacrifice animals. He just loves them too much; he is too kind and gentle. ….1/2

Finally one settler tells him that it’s fine to be merciful, but he doesn’t have to be more merciful than God. …2/2

How many will be surprised at the description (1 Jn 5:21) that “the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one?”

Same as at Luke 4:6,  John 12:31, Rev 12: 9

Imagine! Bringing your own chair to the Regional Convention as in those Congo videos. Let no one say that Westerners are not spoiled.

I am consistently told that only in the developing world can people reason appreciate verses like “Give us today our bread for this day” (Matt 6:11) for it IS commonly a daily matter there.

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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of July 5, 2021

Weekend Meeting

Another lightning fast Watchtower—no paragraphs read—streamed convention coming up afterwards. “Will You Stumble Because of Jesus?” May 2021 Wt, Theme scripture: “Happy is the one who finds no cause for stumbling in me.”​—MATT. 11:6.

Raised my hand for the first paragraph, no way will I be called on, I told my wife, because there will be stiff competition, and sure enough I wasn’t.

If I didn’t know better, I’d say I wrote para 1 myself. Yes, the Bible teachings did seem crystal clear. Yes, I did think it would be an easy matter to tell others. Yes, I was surprised at how relatively few cared.

Imagine. The chief priests and Pharisees feel threatened by ones putting faith in Jesus after resurrecting Lazarus—‘the Romans will come and take our place and position’—so the plot to kill Jesus AND Lazarus. John 11:47, 48, 53; 12:9-11.

Para 7–one sis commented on how some have thought JWs an ‘American religion,’ I recall when Ed was not able to convince a householder that he was a Witness. “That’s an Italian religion!” the fellow objected, so many there were of Italian background in the faith in that locality.

Para 15–that elder I love to tease gave his answer for when someone asked him, How was your 4th of July? “Well, we made it to the 5th.” Another bro says he is chastised by his workmates for not participating in BLM, tho he has worked with them forever.

‘Yes, you can have your religion, but we need to do something NOW’ is the response of so many, said one bro. Even most discussion of religion today is in order to bend it to some immediate application of politics.

Para 19–someone gave that illustration of you hire the babysitter to care for your kids, then return to see the kids neglected as she (or he) is up on a ladder painting the ceiling.

Meeting ended with ‘Make the Truth Your Own,’ the song they had to rewrite because of that final blast of a high note that everyone except one sis tailed off as it approached, leaving it all to her, & she would mangle it.

That convention video on how bones heal reminded me of Leon, in a horrible skiing accident & so they temporarily removed half his skull (to allow for swelling). ….1/2

Before it was replaced he visited the hair salon to ask if he could have a haircut at half price since plainly, he had “only half a head.” The receptionist did the only thing she could possibly do—she panicked, and ran to ask a superior….2/2

 

Midweek Meeting: Bible reading: Deuteronomy 11-12

 

Plenty is lost from one generation to the next, even forgotten by the original generation:

“You must love Jehovah your God and always keep your obligation to him and his statutes (Deuteronomy 11:1)…..,

“I am addressing you, not your sons who have not known …1/3

or seen the discipline of Jehovah your God, his greatness, his signs and his deeds that he did in Egypt to Pharaoh. (2-3)…They did not see (5)…Your own eyes have seen (7)…

[Therefore,] “Teach them to your children, speaking about them ….2/3

when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road and when you lie down and when you get up.” (19)

20 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates,  21 so that you and your sons may live long in the land…(20)…3/3

Many years ago someone taking to heart these verses of idolatry dumped a huge statue of…of…I don’t want to say because people are crazy…off a bridge into the Genesee River. It’s still there, most likely

Why does this read like, “Okay, we may be partying now, but this is going to END!?”“You must not do as we are doing here today, with everyone doing whatever is right in his own eyes,  because you have not yet come into the resting-place and the inheritance …. “ Deut 12:8

I also remember Bro Park (for better or worse) telling a certain condescending fellow that his mezuzah was on the wrong side of the door.…“Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates…” (Deut 11:20)

One sis referred to that article on how the newcomer Israelites might reasonably seek out farming tips from the people of the land, who of course, would lay great stress on pleasing the native gods.

Tell me if this doesn’t reflect a God who wants things done “decently and by arrangement:”  “You should offer your burnt offerings only in the place that Jehovah chooses in one of your tribal territories, and there you should do everything I am commanding you.” Deuteronomy 12:14

 

“Okay, where should we start?”

“You’re the neat freak. You tell me.”

“Interesting video” the conductor said, after watching the both of them sort through laundry, sniffing to tell clean from dirty.

 

Ha! To a family member (his dad) who apologized for his “residual hand” the conductor put him at ease, remarking that “punishment will be dished out later.”

 

Bones left out for 200 years would indeed be “very dry.”

 

Study Bible, Ezekiel 37:11

Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Here they are saying, ‘Our bones are dry, and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.’

The weeds overrunning the wheat of is key to understanding so since Jesus’ death.

“While men were sleeping, his enemy came and oversowed weeds in among the wheat and left….Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the harvest season, ….1/2

I will tell the reapers: First collect the weeds and bind them in bundles to burn them up; then gather the wheat into my storehouse.’”  (Matt 13:25-30)…..2/2

One sis goes into detail on the nature of “very dry bones’—so much detail that I begin to think she would make a good coroner.

Something here I like about the tenacity of God’s doings…at the mere SCENT of water….“If it is cut down, it will sprout again, And its twigs will continue to grow. If its root grows old in the ground And its stump dies in the soil, at the scent of water it will sprout….1/2

And it will produce branches like a new plant.  (Job 14:7-9)….2/2

There is a time to ‘live and stand on your feet.’…“So I prophesied just as he commanded me, and breath came into them, and they began to live and to stand on their feet, an extremely large army.” (Ezekiel 37:10)

Hard to fathom how for centuries the Bible was deliberately kept in long-dead languages and thus out of the hands of the common people, and that early efforts to translate into English & others was vigorously persecuted, even to death.

In the early 80s, we attended a gathering at Rochester Blue Cross Arena to see snippets from the 1914 “Photo-Drama of Creation,” revolutionary for its time, then being restored from more-or-less neglected Bethel archives. (they’re not much for living in the past there)…1/2

One snippet looped repeatedly of animals loading towards the ark. Motion picture was so new then that it was realized no one would object, maybe not even notice. The method has died, except when TV news wants to bludgeon us endlessly with some atrocity endlessly…2/2

I listened closely to the list of specific skills needed at Bethel. ‘Spinning yarns’ and ‘telling tall tales’ were not among them.

…..

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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of June 28, 2021

Weekend Meeting:

Only the Watchtower today, and an abbreviated one at that, since the streamed Friday AM session of the Regional Convention follows, available online on the website.

The study article is from the April 2021 Wt: STUDY ARTICLE 17, “Jehovah Treasures You“—   Jehovah takes pleasure in his people.”​—PS. 149:4.…SONG 108 God’s Loyal Love

 

The ‘God as a loving father’ model works best if you actually had a loving actual father. If you didn’t, the template doesn’t quite fit and a person can struggle with closeness.

“If you become discouraged in the day of distress, Your strength will be meager.” (Proverbs 24:10)

“Ask Jehovah to help you replace those “disquieting thoughts” with ‘the peace of God that will guard your heart and your mental powers.’” (Ps. 139:23; ftn.; Phil. 4:6, 7)….I like the gist that you don’t panic if you try Phil and find it doesn’t work.

It’s shocking how fast these studies move when they skip reading the paragraphs.

OH NO! Someone is on to me that if I casually put a hand before my face it is to make an aside that I don’t want everyone to hear!

“Can you imagine how Paul would have felt on meeting a young Christian whose parents had been executed with his approval?” Para 11. ….Isn’t that a beaut of a thought?

I will not make the joke here, no I will not—one must behave oneself—about the guy whose psychiatrist said he didn’t have a inferiority complex at all but was just a realist.

When you’re drowning & someone throws a lifeline, the fellow who wants you to drown will try to cut the lifeline. All the better for the Devil when he can get you to cut it yourself, since if you spot HIM trying to cut, you will counteract it. (The lifeline in his case is knowledge of Jehovah’s love.)

Okay, on to Day 1 of the convention, streamed at jw.org.  Starts with the music that (per me) you are not allowed to skip.

 

Midweek Meeting: Bible reading: Deuteronomy 9-10.

 

Meeting begins with the talk: “What Is Jehovah Your God Asking of You?” based on Deut 10:12: Now, O Israel, what is Jehovah your God asking of you? …1/2

Only this: to fear Jehovah your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve Jehovah your God with all your heart and all your soul:…2/2

 

Ah. Another fine reason not to get cocky: “Know, then, that it is not because of your righteousness that Jehovah your God is giving you this good land to take possession of, because you are an obstinate people.” (Deut 9:6)…You guys are a bunch of losers, he all but says.

Imagine: Moses held the future of everyone in his hand. “For I was terrified because of Jehovah’s great anger against you, in that he was ready to annihilate you. However, Jehovah listened to me that time also.” ….1/2

because he ‘came out of himself.’ Any argument goes better when we can frame it bigger than ourselves.   2/2

If you think about someone higher than yourself, you do better: “Otherwise the people of the land from which you brought us may say: ‘Jehovah was unable to bring them into the land he promised them, and b/c he hated them, he brought them out to put them to death in the wilderness

A Bible reading from the bro who has been my chum since many many years ago I spoke with his parents (this is tricky) on the verse ‘parents lay up for the children, not children for the parents..

The 2nd student talk, using Gen 1:28, “Be fruitful and become many, fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens,”recalled for me ….1/2

many years ago a bro who kept reversing them—the fish of the heavens and the birds of the sea!”….2/2

“to Jehovah your God belong the heavens, even the heavens of the heavens” (Deut 10:14)….I’m not really sure what the heavens of the heavens is. Any takers? Probably it’s one of those Hebrew idioms like the 6 things God hates that he one-ups to seven.

 

Council directed to the young on not abusing video games. Effective?

Maybe I should not admit it, but I’ve never played one (except for the very early ping pong ones) Before my time.

Several appreciative comments, but none from the youths that might reasonably PLAY video games. (does a 4-year-old count?)

One comment on video games from the bro who (not everyone knows this) as a young boy, his dad played pro football (yes, NFL) and would not let his sons watch it.

Council directed to the young to “think past the drink.” Effective? (No, I will not say drinking is before my time, like video games. In fact, I recall shocking drinking and driving scenes, once routine, but universally condemned today.)

 

The bro who is a retired cop commented how a drunk driving conviction might cost you $20K or more, mostly due to sky-high insurance adjusted premiums.

That wiseacre bro corned everyone with the observation that the dry bones brought to life might have been the “original Grateful Dead.” However, the conductor is of a different ethnicity and I’m not sure he got it—or maybe he just winced & passed on.…..

 

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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of June 21, 2021

Weekend Meeting: 

Before meeting begins with the #publictalk, “What God’s Kingdom is Doing For Us?” there is Zoom chitchat about air conditioning. Abnormally hot lately with the northern US warmer than the southern US—even Miami, which is saying something.

I used to know all the speakers. But a younger generation has come along, and increasingly, there appear ones I do not know. #jehovahswitnesses weekendmeeting

“A multitude of people are a king’s majesty, But a ruler without subjects is ruined.” (Prov 14:28)…Gots to have subjects if you would be a king.

“The #law of Jehovah is perfect, restoring strength. The reminder of Jehovah is trustworthy, making the inexperienced one wise.” (Psalm 19:7)

After a certain heavy statement, the speaker appeared to pause for thought. but in reality the zoom feed had frozen, then dropped, & we had to re-enter

 

STUDY ARTICLE 16 Continue Appreciating the Ransom“The Son of man came . . . to give his life as a ransom in exchange for many.”​—MARK 10:45.

 

Without the ‘life for life’ provision of the ransom, Jesus death makes no sense. It becomes:

‘Why did Jesus die?’

‘Because he loves us.’

Fine as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go too far. Heartfelt, but makes little sense. One must understand the ransom.

The analogy is not drawn in the lesson,  but sis Upthere used that comparison of how you would have to pay a literal ransom to a literal kidnapper if you want to see your loved ones again.

That incredibly boring brother (who follows these posts) is the reader today. His black cat is in the background looking out the window, not paying any attention at all.

The scholars of of religion (glad I’m not under their influence) present the resurrection teaching as “damage control.” Death as a despised criminal? How are you going to get around that?

Not to be lost sight of is:   “Since he himself has suffered when being put to the test, he is able to come to the aid of those who are being put to the test.” (Heb 2:18)

The bro who is in the hospital just Zoomed in with a comment. When he has video on (which he doesn’t just now) you can see he is in hospital garb.

One Witness on record has stated—a staggering statement—that he would not have trade his Holocaust experience for anything, as it gave him opportunity to show Satan a liar, in his words:…1/2

“Skin for skin…for a change, stretch out your hand and strike his bone and flesh, and he will surely curse you to your very face.” (Job 2:5)….2/2

“In his late 90’s, [John] was apparently considered to be such a threat to the Roman Empire that he was imprisoned on the isle of [Siberia. Um, I mean] Patmos. His crime? “Speaking about God and bearing witness concerning Jesus.” Para 9

Ha! On not abusing the ransom forgiveness clause, I thought of heavyweight fighter Jack Johnson, fined $100 on the spot for speeding. He gave the cop $200 because he was going to speed on the way home, too. My great uncle fought that guy:

Not a bad strategy, is it? “I think that it is important to mention the ransom each day in my prayers and to thank Jehovah for it,” says an 83-year-old sister named Joanna” and reflect on it bails us out each day from this ‘faux pas’ or that. Para 14

Ah. A reference in para 16 to teaching others about the ransom:

“Sis, you have a marvelous imagination!” the conductor said after one sis gave a marvelously imaginative comment.

From para 17: “Because of the ransom, Jehovah’s original purpose for the earth will be fulfilled. The entire planet will become a paradise.”    seems a good point to emphasize.

Of course, it is not for me to identify private persons online. But the name of our speaker was exactly the name of a certain tradesperson you might call to the house, especially if the toilet is acting up.…No, it is not Bro Rotorooter.

 

Midweek Meeting, Assigned Bible reading: Deuteronomy 7-8

“So he humbled you and let you go hungry and fed you with the manna.”

(Deut 8:3) They went hungry first, which leaves a deep impression, and when the manna came along, it was a very poor substitute for some, per Exodus 16:3

Again, the appeal not to be ungrateful (or proud): “When you eat and are satisfied and you build fine houses and dwell in them, … do not let your heart become proud and cause you to forget Jehovah your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. (Deut 8:12-14)

Well, he DID give them 400 years to get their act together, is the thrust of Genesis 15:16….”the error of the Amʹor·ites has not yet reached its full measure.”

Two succeeding speakers from the same family. The conductor likes that family so much that he married another one of them.

“Let’s watch this month’s video” the bro said by way of introduction. The brevity seemed to surprise the tech attendant, for there was some delay before it appeared, as the bro deadpanned into the camera.

“How shameful,” says MS, “that the [Russian] authorities are attacking our elderly ones” who are, nonetheless, not fearful & determined to remain faithful.

I didn’t even notice that lion in the tree in that pic that almost doesn’t look like one of ours until someone commented on it.“

I will rid the land of vicious wild beasts, so that they may dwell securely in the wilderness and sleep in the forests.”​—Ezek. 34:25.

Does he say “Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in Paradise” or “truly I tell you, today you will be….”? Since the Greek has no punctuation, context must decide it. Jesus himself was dead for three days, so the 2nd rendering doesn’t work. (Luke 23:43)

I just didn’t want to say “Sorry, residual hand” because there had been a few of those, so I quick said something relevant when unexpectedly called upon.….…..

 

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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of June 14, 2021

Weekend Meeting

The visiting #publictalk speaker is from the South Rome (no, not THAT Rome) congregation, the chum since 5th grade of the former COBE, says the former COBE: “Gaining Comfort in all Our Tribulations” the theme of the talk.

He cites rising anxiety, depression rates, increase of mass shootings—they’re quite frequent now. It is what you would do to open a talk with the theme Gaining Comfort in all our Tribulations. Quick reference to 2 Tim 3:1–critical times hard to deal with

Now a reference to Paul’s thorn in the flesh that was not going away because “my undeserved kindness is sufficient for you; for [my] power is being made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor 12:9) with follow up on how we today can cope with thorns.

Now a reference to mental health issues and how they are not visible but as or more serious that certain ailments that ARE visible. The speaker speaks from the heart on account of a family member to does have such problems.

 

Watchtower Study: STUDY ARTICLE is from the April 2021 magazine, entitled: Learning From Jesus’ Final Words“

Theme scripture: This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved. Listen to him.”​—MATT. 17:5.

“I realize that being forgiving does not mean that I condone offenses or allow others to take advantage of me. It just means that I choose to let go of resentment.” (Ps. 37:8) … we are choosing not to let negative experiences make us bitter.​—Eph. 4:31, 32. (Para 4)

“Well, He’s not unforgiving to THAT extent, one can say of God, since he’s still making his sun shine on the ne’er do wells (Matt 5:45)—who are we to force it to set. It only hurts US to not forgive—almost doesn’t matter the the offender deserves it or not.

Ha! The bro who started the meeting outside outside is now inside. It gets hot on that deck doesn’t it, Sammy?

‘Moving right along’ the conductor says as verrrryyyy mild response to the bro who is given to expound—or is that my imagination?

He was fully human and needed to die so as to “taste death for everyone.” —Heb. 2:9, one sis cites the point, also the no-protective-hedge of Job 1:10, tho the paragraph gives possible reasons for Matt 27:46, acknowledging ‘the Bible does not say.’

On the paragraph of ‘making needs known,’ one teary comment of someone with unexpected and severe needs who did make them known and is overwhelmed with emotion at the response.

It is a pithy enough lesson from Jesus words (I am thirsty) to repeat: “It is not a sign of weakness to ask for help” since we are to each carry his own load but to share each other’s burdens.

“We need to let people know when we need help,” one sis says, “so that they can have the privilege of giving help.” People can be too stoic.

 

Weekday Meeting. Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 5-6

 

Of course, the featured theme tonight will be ‘Teach your Children,’ on Account of Deut 6:6-7. “These words that I am commanding you today must be on your heart,  and you must inculcate them in your sons and speak of them when you sit in your house …1/2

and when you walk on the road and when you lie down and when you get up.”

“Of course, you need not incessantly “lecture” your children about Bible truths,” the workbook says….2/2

Ha! Whenever I start a story about ANYTHING these days, my grown kids say, “Dad, you’ve told that story a hundred times!” They’re just trying to get my goat. It can’t be THAT many….3/3

When Jehovah your God brings you into the land … full of all sorts of good things that you did not work for … and you have eaten and become satisfied, be careful not to forget Jehovah, who brought you … out of the house of slavery. (Deut 6:11-12)…..Beware the trap of ingratitude

 

On teaching by example, my grown daughter gave me the highest complement. “Dad, you never talked about prejudice. It is just in how you were, never treating anyone any different.” Woe to any childhood suburban chum who said anything prejudicial. …1/2

They’d pick it up usually from school, but our daughter did homeschool. “Careful not to offend her, she’s touchy” they would say. “Forget ME—what about Jehovah!?” she recalls it now…..2/2

“Display Unfailing Love in Your Family” is the video played. Three home-from-the-meeting trainwreck scenarios, followed by three let’s-try-that-over-again scenarios, all examples of applying 1) Eph 5:28-29 (husbands),  2) Eph 5:33 (wives), 3: Deut 6:6-7 (parents)

(Yes, but what about the game-winning score the fellow missed?)

Doesn’t trinity make God someone unknowable? Doesn’t hellfire make him someone you wouldn’t want to know? Unscriptural doctrines carted to the curb by JWs 100 years ago.

In that paragraph about unity—there is a convention photo—an enormous gathering. I wonder when we will see those again?

It reminds me of some local church group whose advertised draw—signs are posted here & there—is that you can come in sweatpants. I dunno, is that what you really want to be known for as your #1 draw?

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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of June 7, 2021

Weekend Meeting:

The Public talk today is entitled “Follow the way to life,” the visiting speaker from Texas, via Zoom. (Will he talk with a Texas twang?)

So God said ‘control your temper’—a calm heart is better for you health, the speaker points out, citing Proverbs 14:30.

“A calm heart is the life of the fleshly organism, but jealousy is rottenness to the bones.”

“All the days of the afflicted one are bad; but the one that is good at heart [has] a feast constantly.” (Proverbs 15:15) thus the speaker says, try to look at the glass as half full rather than half empty & you will be happier.

On money, “can you think of any better investment portfolio than a righteous standing with Jehovah God?” says the speaker from Texas (Yes—with a twang, but you get used to it)

Now the speaker gets into sexual moral things and tells about “what matters to God.”

He says he can go to WingsoverRoch, a fav restaurant, put their used cooking oil in his car, and it will probably drive fine—for a while.

The speaker contrasts one course with another, holding out one hand and then another, and the hands are HUGE because they are right in the Zoom camera.

Although the speaker is Zooming from Texas, he keeps using local references. How does he do that?

 

Today’s Watchtower Study is taken from the April 2021 issue and is entitled “Follow His Steps Closely” the theme scripture, “Christ suffered for you, leaving a model for you to follow his steps closely.”​—1 PET. 2:21

Setting the tone for the #watchtowerstudy is the statement: Let us consider three questions about following his footsteps​—what? why? and how?”

“We’re going to have to move on, but thank you for the hands, keep them coming,” the conductor says.

That analytical bro tells of how at the workplace one may follow/decipher instructions, and each instruction is called a “step.” Each one is distinct. Not hard to see the applicability to a #watchtowerstudy on following he footsteps of Christ.

One sis tells of her childhood with her cousins and how “if you were crossing your legs, they would be crossing their legs,” because they loved to imitate.

I like the phrasing of John 8:29.  “And the One who sent me is with me; he did not abandon me to myself, because I always do the things pleasing to him.” Even Jesus does not want to be abandoned to himself!

“Sometimes one Gospel writer includes a meaningful detail that another leaves out.” They are like four different newspapers covering the same story. When the story is worth reading, you hunt down all four.

Just now that bro who comments from outdoors did so with a new touch—he and his wife are shielded from the sun by an umbrella. How much you want to bet that he later tells me he “had it made in the shade?”

“Use your imagination to see, hear, and feel what was happening. [of the gospel accounts] paragraph 13

No that does NOT mean you envision stuffing that troublesome bro’s head through the eye of a needle!

“Earlier, some of them questioned his authority. Others tried to corner him with challenging questions,” says para 16

One sis described Mark 11 and 12 as Jesus “having a bad day in service.” Another noted how “the religious leaders were trying to make it hard for him that day.”

Few things are worse than when the bro screws up the sound and you hear a line of two of some unsuspecting bro singing solo! That calamity just visited us all.

 

Weekday Meeting:

Either a certain bro & sis is atypically outside with the brick wall of their home as a backdrop—or they are in a police lineup. #midweekmeeting,

Whoa! D & K are back, visiting from the other congregation, and the artwork behind them is the photo of the solar eclipse this morning! It was a 78% blackout.

Not to worry. It is not a violation of Deut 4:19. “And when you raise your eyes to the heavens and see the sun and the moon and the stars….do not get seduced and bow down to them and serve them.” (I don’t think)

Ah, good. They made a fine appreciative comment on Deut 4:7. “For what great nation has gods as near to it as Jehovah our God is to us whenever we call on him?” Or are they just trying to deflect from their eclipse-worship?

The one bro opens his talk on enthusiasm with the observation that home team advantage has been likened to having an extra player. Makes sense, I guess, but I have never heard it. (It sure didn’t help our home team any last game I attended.)

It is a good line, isn’t it, of Nita’s mom: “if anyone’s enthusiasm is contagious, it’s yours.”

Almost as good as Nita’s answer to Jade apologizing for her crazy questions: “No, it’s good. It means you’re a deep thinker.”

Ah. there it is. Those aren’t bad opening questions for a Bible study, are they?…“How did life begin? Why are we here? Why do innocent people suffer? What happens when a person dies? If everyone wants peace, why is there so much war? What will happen to the earth in the future?”

A talk based on 1 Corinthians 9:26, “Therefore, the way I am running is not uncertainly; the way I am directing my blows is so as not to be striking the air”

“a certain Macedonian man was standing and entreating him and saying: “Step over into Macedonia and help us.” …as soon as [Paul] had seen the vision, we sought to go forth into Macedonia, ….1/2

drawing the conclusion that God had summoned us to declare the good news to them.” I guess the long and short of it is that sometimes the cat has got the tongue of that Macedonian fellow. Only go where he calls, not where he doesn’t…..2/2

That sis whose husband I took to the baseball game—because he’s a baseball nut, but he can’t get around like he used to, but he does fine once he’s on his scooter—just commented.

Can’t go wrong when you can say the words of Joshua, can you?  “Not one word out of all the good promises that Jehovah your God has spoken to you has failed. They have all come true for you. Not one word of them has failed.” (Josh. 23:14)

Both with Babylon and Babylon the Great, completely unanticipated events resulted in the release of those trusting in God.

It was a great meeting except for that brother—the worst speaker in the circuit, if not the world —(who follows these tweets) totally butchering the last part.  Hi, bro!  :)

Grumble grumble. So much for my assignment to the PigLatin group.

 

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Tweeting the Meeting: week of May 31, 2021

Weekend Meeting:

The speaker today is subbing for the one scheduled. He is the bro that, when he & I worked with the fledgling Vietnamese group long ago , would approach me speaking with the same cadence of one native-born. #publictalk

[He approached me like that after the meeting, too, right over Zoom. It’s sort of an inside joke, only played out before all.]

It is one of those public talks on whether religion overall and historically has been a force for peace.

Ah. Another reference to a passage recently cited, accompanied with a “and I hope you kept your place—I didn’t” Yikes! He just got muted himself somehow. Upon reconnecting—“Okay, where’d I leave off?” Now that’s maintaining poise in the face of distraction.

Any religion teaching human philosophy rather than Jehovah’s thinking—can it really meet our spiritual needs?

This is the bro that during his working life was an accountant, I think for the state. He gets more lively and engrossing by the year.

Now he is citing a few newspaper accounts of various Regional Conventions, reporters who observe that racial enmities is not a problem for the Witnesses.

Watchtower Study:

Another ‘Suit of Armor’ Watchtower, the image taken Ephesians 6:13-15, entitled “Jehovah Will Protect You​—How?”(The Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the wicked one.)​—2 Thess. 3:3. There is always that one that need be considered.

“Others, who do not believe in God, persecute us because we do not fit into this world’s mold.”...This might cover the relatively recent #anticult” movement, that objects not so much to brainwashing, but to brainwashing that is not theirs.

With regard to Satan as “father of the lie” (John 8:44) AND the one “misleading the entire inhabited earth,” do we really imagine (of course, this not in the article, which leaves such things to the individual) that the only lies operating are the ones we have uncovered. ...1/2

A healthy skepticism of human promises is always in order....2/2

The sis who is a vet just commented on the suit of armor. The only suit of armor that can be had at her place is a dog collar.

“And if that does not work, he will try to bully us into going against Jehovah’s standards.” Nobody likes a bully. (para 6)

One bro likened God’s standards—are they restrictive?—to the standard trans of a car, that demands more involvement. The conductor (who drives a standard) offers as an aside that standards are more fun, anyway.

“For this is what the love of God means, that we observe his commandments; and yet his commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3)

That offbeat brother who recently commented from his back yard, the worst speaker in the whole circuit (some say the whole world), who has taken to following my tweets, thus seriously compromising my freeness of speech, hasn’t commented yet today. Let’s see if he’s tuned in today. :)

[He was.]

“For although we had first suffered and been insolently treated in Philippi, as you know, we mustered up boldness by means of our God to tell you the good news of God in the face of much opposition.” (1 Th2:2 It just goes without saying that the good news will trigger opposition.

“Just as a literal helmet protects a soldier’s head, the hope of salvation protects our thinking ability. In what way? That hope keeps us focused on God’s promises and helps us to see problems in the right perspective.” (para 10)

Reminds me of a driver I know who, if looking in a certain direction, the car veers ever so slightly in that direction, much to the discomfort of the passengers.

The 3-year-old child of one couple has a Zoom screen in her own name! It’s the family room renamed, I think.

That point on preparing for meetings. I recall one newcomer commenting on how the nature of the meetings was that one COULD prepare for them, so different from any other service he had ever attended. If makes it far more of a Bible study, and far less of just a ‘religious experience.’

One friend apologized that her raised hand was residual, not lowered from a prior comment, to which the conductor replied, “oh, dear.” It is as close to confession as we get in the JW tradition.

Hmm. David took off his complete suit of armor and lived to tell about it—in fact, he wouldn’t put it on. Though, it was hardly tailor-made for him, was it? 3 or 4 times his size, I think.

Weekday Meeting:

Deuteronomy means ‘2nd law.’ It is a restatement of the Law, also an explanation of it. Weekly Bible reading of the #midweekmeetings has turned the page from Numbers to Deuteronomy.

That diagram of the Israelite encampment reminded me powerfully of the many Regional Convention floor plans on the floor of the arena, whilst I gaze down from the surrounding seats.

In the midst of provisions for impartial judges is the direction, “You must not become intimidated by men.” Deut 1:17

Does Deut 1:42 illustrate the principle: The best way to get someone to do something is to tell him he can’t?

“But Jehovah said to me, ‘Tell them: “You must not go up and fight, for I will not be with you. If you do, you will be defeated by your enemies.”’

An eleven-day journey that took 38 years! One sis mentioned how we can make wrong decisions at wrong times that have comparable bad knock-you-off-the-path results.

Someone who has worked on Kingdom Hall builds likened Moses’ speech to post construction meetings, in which is reviewed what went right, what went wrong, near misses, what to repeat, etc.

Someone else likened the Israelites wandering to us wandering through Zoom! but pretty soon will there be direction to resume another path?

I wasn’t counting, but were there 10-12 comments? Good job of the one conducting. The more comments time allows, the better.

Man, that was a good reading from the Asian brother with a hard-to-pronounce name, and there are some who murder it.

Far in the backdrop of the sis speaking is a child’s plastic basketball hoop, and the child is big enough now that it can’t possibly be a challenge.

A friend of ours who is of survivalist bent proposed all manner of go-bag improvements, even a solar charger for the devices, & one all-purpose tool, rather than 5 loose and bulky ones.

The trick for the longest time was to find someone who likes us enough that we could crash there in time of disaster or chaos.

Only behave in a manner worthy of the good news about the Christ, so that whether I come and see you or I am absent, I may hear about you and learn that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one soul, striving side by side for the faith of the good news, ...1/2

and in no way being frightened by your opponents. (Philippians 1:27-28)...2/2

No, you do not have room to include a skateboard in your go-bag!

Now there is coordination—the very situation of the wheat awaiting the harvest time collection parallels the ones separated from visible Christian structure during disaster, war, persecution, or insurrection. Matt 13:24-30

Hmm. Summing up, one bro described the negative talk of the ten unfaithful spies as “loose lips sink ships.”

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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of May 24, 2021

Weekend Meeting:

Public Talk:

The public speaker’s theme is “Rescue from World Distress.” Though he doesn’t stay on the topic, the first thing he mentions is Covid and the chaos it was wrought. Just prior to the meeting I was reading the same:

Just a quick day-dreaming (during the public talk! (no refection on the speaker, who is good)) about the racial makeup of our congregation. Of 25 Zoom boxes, 11 are black friends, 13 white, 1 Hispanic. Will I do the 2nd page or pay attention?

Now the speaker notes in how in many languages literature can be found on jw.org (1032!) and asks: “how many of them can you speak?” for the purpose of getting a feel for “the size of the project.”

“If we have stains in our robes, now’s is the time to wipe them out,” he says, a reference to Revelation 7:9 & 14

It’s the backup #Watchtower conductor today, who never fails to mention the goal of making comments 30 seconds or less.

The trouble with too many long-winded comments, is that it discourages others who would also like to take part. Allow it enough, and pretty soon they don’t bother trying.

Another Watchtower study stuffed with verses on enduring hatred. There’s plenty of them, as anyone who reads a Bible knows. You don’t think the bros in Russia/elsewhere know all these scriptures?

The Watchtower reader today is that bro who was heir to an oil tycoon. When I would work with him in service, if passing a gas station, I might say: “Look, Sam! Texas tea!”

“Then people will hand you over to tribulation and will kill you, and you will be hated by all the nations on account of my name.” Matthew 24:9

I’ve always enjoyed pointing out that when Jesus says the meek will inherit the earth, he is quoting from the OT: Just a little while longer, and the wicked will be no more; You will look ... & they will not be there. But the meek will possess the earth.Ps 37:10-11

2 steps. 1) They are puzzled. 2)They figure out what to do about it. “They are puzzled that you do not continue running with them in the same decadent course of debauchery, so they speak abusively of you.” 1 peter 4:4

I like the more literal rendering of 1 Peter 4:4 “Because you do not continue running with them in this course to the same low sink of debauchery, they are puzzled and go on speaking abusively of you” better. ...1/2

It permits me the witticism of them saying: “Water’s fine here in the low sink! Who are you to judge?”....2/2

In answer Peter and the other apostles said: “We must obey God as ruler rather than men. (Acts 5:29)

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)

This is a beaut. How Jesus’ own family thought he was nuts: “But when his relatives heard about it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying: ‘He has gone out of his mind.’” Mark 3:21

The conductor just said, “oh, look at the hands. You’re making life difficult for me.” Better than the opposite.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life nor angels nor governments nor things now here nor things to come nor powers nor height nor depth nor any other creation will be able to separate us from God’s love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38

The sister who is a retired teacher just commented, and AI closed captioning understood her diction perfectly. She’d like that....(Heaven help it if it messed up on her)

Ha. Another elder sis read a verse, but stopped short: “No one has greater love than this,” she said, “that one should surrender his life...” After a pause, the conductor added: “....um....in behalf of his friends.”

“Jesus told his followers to love their enemies. (Matt. 5:44, 45) Is that easy to do? By no means! But it is possible with the help of God’s holy spirit. The fruitage of God’s spirit includes love as well as patience, kindness, mildness, and self-control.” (Gal. 5:22, 23)

Para 15 reminds me of Delia, whose fiercely opposed husband left her, though they had three kids. Yet years later when he got cancer, she took him in and cared for him till his death. (Nobody could cook like Delia)

“Return evil for evil to no one. ... If possible, as far as it depends on you, be peaceable with all men. Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but yield place to the wrath; for it is written: ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay,’ says Jehovah.” Romans 12:17-19

Anyone reading the verse for the first time will think it is divine vengeance —“if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by doing this you will heap fiery coals on his head,” but it is actually a reference to how a ...1/2

hard attitude can be softened. (Romans 12:20)...2/2

“There are so many verses saying Christians will be hated that if we weren’t you would have to wonder why,” someone said.

If, due to my sloppy conducting, we ran up against time limits, I would always blame the bros for “writing too many paragraphs.”

Weekday Meeting:

Six cities of refuge—not a concept well-known today—established for anyone who unintentionally takes a life. Leave the city of refuge before death of the high priest, and he’s toast should the wronged relative encounter him.

Don’t you love the application? The modern-day city of refuge that benefits those condemned through sin. Splendid talk. Few bros I respect more than the one who gave it.

It is with the cities of refuge that God says how many, & even on this side of the Jordan and that, but otherwise gives no specifics, leaving it up to the Israelites themselves. ...1/2

Sort of how he leads people today—direction, but not thumbs-on control of every little thing. (Numbers 35) Unified, but not uniform....2/2

I suppose that point is even true with regard to Numbers 36:6. “the daughters of Zelophehad ... may marry whomever they wish. However, they should marry someone from a family of the tribe of their father [so that] No inheritance of the Israelites should circulate from tribe to tribe

Grumble grumble—the bro milked that first question of Gems to such an extent that he had room for only two comments afterwards. Why did he do that? It is not as though there was such a stampede to answer that 1rst question.

That sister whose brother got married over the weekend is back and is a householder. “It’s time he settled down,” she says. (He’s 41) “He found a good woman,” a Russian woman, “who will keep him in line.”

The chairman this evening is a retired cop, friendly enough with the chief of police to have attended his housewarming. I would not be surprised if that former chief’s star is rising, in light of recent developments with the local mayoral scandal.

Wise parental discipline so that the children grow up like fruitful and productive trees. Trust me on this—my children always saw it this way. They’d cut off the circulation, so tightly did they hug my legs.

 

It is true that when they leave off the Christian course, they don’t always go rabble-rousing. (Nor do they all become COs upon return) Or even recall youth with nothing but fondness. But it happens often enough that it still makes a valid video.

 

“The people throng to those places, making offerings and singing hymns to such deities as Marduk.” Why can I only think of that cartoon Great Dane, Marmaduke?

“Many psalms celebrate Zion’s triumphs over Jehovah’s enemies. Perhaps the Babylonians love to mock those psalms in particular..” (ps 137:1) I’d never thought of this....1/2

“Um....excuse me. Back up and sing that line again, would you? Once again? What’s that line? Whoa, that’s a good one! Didn’t turn out that way, did it?” Oh, yeah—they must have had a field day with it....2/2

“Other psalms, though, speak about the Babylonians themselves. One, for example, says: ‘They have turned Jerusalem into a heap of ruins. . . . Those around us ridicule and jeer us.’”​—Ps. 79:1, 3, 4.4....1/3

Hmm. If they wanted me to sing a song about Babylonian victory, I might “sing” this one from Isaiah 39:7: “And some of your own sons to whom you will become father will be taken ...2/3

and will become court officials in the palace of the king of Babylon.’” and after that happens, I’m coming back for you to kick butt....3/3

“Years later, the apostle Paul was inspired to issue a similar warning: ‘I know that after my going away oppressive wolves will enter in among you and will not treat the flock with tenderness, and from among you yourselves men will rise and speak twisted things to ....1/2

draw away the disciples after themselves.’”​—Acts 20:29, 30. Many times I have reasoned that since he went away long ago, would this not have started long ago, and doesn’t it account for the many divisions of faith today?...2/2

A tech-savvy bro gave a brief concluding tutorial on how to use the new Zoom close captioning feature if desired.

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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of May 17, 2021

Weekend Meeting:

Whose values do you cherish? Is the title of the public talk, the speaker from North Carolina—only possible via Zoom.

He says the talk will focus not on things like ‘will we pay for what we buy at WalMart?’ Of course we will, its what Christians do. He will look at questions like ‘should money be the sole priority in our lives?’ like in 1 Timothy 6:9 #determinedtoberich

Jesus didn’t choose Matthew to carry the money box, said the speaker, whom you would think would be qualified. He chose Judas, well-thought of at the time, apparently, but...

Outside the picture window, the starlings are squabbling over the high-priced bird seed meant for the goldfinches.

Beautiful day today. While preparing the lesson outdoors, a blue jay flew under the gazebo, saw me, I could almost hear it say, ‘Yikes!’ turned around mid-air, and flew away.

“But really, you can put the Bible’s doctrine in the first ten pages of the Bible,” the speaker says, “so what’s the rest of it about?” and he goes on to stress the importance of building a relationship with God.

Always liked this verse the speaker just cited: Do not be loving either the world or the things in the world....everything in the world—the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the showy display of one’s means of life—does not originate with the Father, ...1/2

but originates with the world [which is] passing away and so is its desire, but he that does the will of God remains forever. 1 John 2:15...2/2

 

From the song: “Your laws are clear and perfect,

your judgments ever true.

Your principles guide us in all that we do.”

I think the most common misspelling (not made here) is to spell the word ‘judgement’, not dropping the e.

 

Watchtower Study

That comment from my father-in-law, “humans have let me down, but Jehovah never has,” fits here in paragraph 1 better than in the context I put it before.

Scriptural examples of this coming up in the study today re David (who made his own problems) &Paul

“So if any one of you is lacking in wisdom, let him keep asking God, for he gives generously to all and without reproaching, and it will be given him.” Jas 1:5. I mean, how could it possibly hurt?

“Hmm. He has a chain on this arm—and I don’t. Bummer if I did. How would I carry on...” you can almost hear the sis imagining the scene she looks upon.

Probably the closer you live to a river or sea the more you would resonate with Isa 46:18: “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.”

The reader is murmuring to his wife, not realizing he is Zoom live.

Paragraphs on Absalom. Did I really say on someone else page: ‘your comments are all good and valid, but there is no one here that will listen to you. If only you were on MY page....’

“With the account in mind, tell Jehovah how you are feeling about the way you have been mistreated. (Ps. 6:6-9) Be specific.”....‘That rotten kid of mine is trying to usurp my throne!’

Betraying trust in order to gain authority is the oldest trick in the book. Isn’t that what the angel who became Satan did with God?

Matt 18:15-17 is a great passage, worthy of emphasis, but is it shoe-horned in here, since the first thing David did was to skedaddle? Or do I miss something?

“You know this, that all the men in the province of Asia have turned away from me, including Phy·gelʹus and Her·mogʹe·nes.” 1 Tim 1:15.  ALL of them is a lot. Serious running out on Paul in his time of need, not being repeated today, at least not on that scale. ....1/2

Seems that all thing written aforetime ARE for our benefit and are being taken that way.....2/2

The tendency to become ‘ashamed’ of the good news, but some who held firm: “This is why I am also suffering these things, but I am not ashamed....May the Lord grant mercy to the household of On·e·siphʹo·rus, for he often refreshed me, ...1/2

and he did not become ashamed of my prison chains.....(1 Tim 1:12, 16)....2/2

Notice how the Christian organization fortifies ones for persecution. Granted, it is not that hard to do, since there are so many scriptures that all but guarantee it for ones who would follow Christ. All that must be done is cite and apply them.

Our #Zoom link froze during the song and I had to keep repeating the last two words until it came back, like a record skipping. #jehovahswitnesses

In after-meeting interview the speaker mentioned those who say they can’t wait for “things to get back to normal.” Will they? Or will “normal’ be only in the new system? A resolved pandemic will just lead to a new version of abnormal.

 

Weekday Meeting: (Numbers 33-34)

Drive all the inhabitants out of the land.

Modern day society also has its idols,

Video games, some of the games are harmful, military uses to desensitize, what do we watch on TV?,

Commenting on Numbers 33:55, the speaker mentioned how “we are trying to drive away the pollutants of our hearts” and if we don’t do that, “they will indeed harass you on the land in which you will be dwelling.” #midweekmeeting

“We may have land assigned to us on the other side of Armageddon and not be able to pick and choose where we want,” one sis said. Tell me about it. There will probably be dorms at first.

The student speaker slowed right down with the cities Ataroth, Aroer,  Atrothshophan, Jazer, Jogbehah, Bethnimrah, and Bethharan, but he nailed them all. Just a little bobble with the first, not serious. (Numbers 32:34)...1/2

His reward was to have a go at still more names: Heshʹbon, E·le·aʹleh, Kir·i·a·thaʹim, Neʹbo, and Baʹal-meʹon—he got all those right, too. Good reading, and it wasn’t easy for him....2/2

“When parents have a genetic defect, what happens?”

“Usually the kid gets it.”

“So when Adam sinned, it was like a genetic defect passed along to his children.”

“Ohhhhhhh—I get it.” (from the video)

 

Someone said how we used to use that “lame analogy” of the dented cake pan. I love that analogy. Bake a cake in a dented cake pan and it turn out dented each time. Someone else raised his hand to defend it, too.

They’ll have to pry that dented cake pan out of my cold dead fingers.

(Someone afterwards mentioned how Jade would have had her “light-bulb moment” a split second sooner with the dented cake pan analogy.

 

Another reference to the modern idols to contend with, counterparts of “all their stone figures, and all their images of molten metal ...and all their sacred high places.” (Numbers 33:52)

I recall Bart Ehrman telling how babies sacrificed to idols was certainly an example of fanatical worshipper give his god his best. It is something that Jehovah never would even have thought of. (Jeremiah 7:31)

Again the Regional Convention is virtual this year, on more venues—Apple, Fire, Roku. Invitation digital also. It’s been a while since I actually went to anyone’s door.

One couple is in their back yard, and whenever they comment, you can hear birds chirping.

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)