When Someone Gets It…

My little Firecracker. What can I say—she’s a Firecracker!

Daughter number two, she has questioned my beliefs to the point where I really wasn’t sure she would ever be a Witness. I really thought I lost her for a while.

But slowly, bit by bit, her questions were answered. Firecracker didn’t come to the meetings or assemblies for about two years in her early teens, and even skipped the Memorial one year. I was heart broken, but fully accepted her rejection of what I believed. I prayed about it a lot, but resigned it into Jehovah’s hands. I couldn’t do anything to make her believe the Bible. But somehow, in ways I can’t even explain, she did a full 180.

Firecracker is in her final months of high school & recently got baptized and is conducting a study with a Muslim classmate & engaging in rich conversations with her teachers on all topics. She’s pretty fearless which for a kid that is shy by nature & has had major anxiety is shocking. When other kids her age are out doing who knows what, she is studying, in the ministry, being a great daughter that I’m deeply proud to call mine.

Her Language Arts teacher recently discovered (he’s Irish, & Protestant) the true origins of St. Patrick’s Day, due to his own historical reading. He boldly informed the class of this origin & expresses how appalled he was that all his life he thought he’d been celebrating his Irish heritage but is now shocked—he’s been celebrating the massacre of those who did not conform to ‘Christianity.’ He recognized that if this supposed Saint were alive today they’d be found guilty of numerous crimes, not given a day of all their own. Funny how it takes some people a little learning to understand why others will not run with the pack.

Anyways, my Firecracker then decided to boldly go where few go, and asked him if, after knowing what he knows, he will continue to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. She described his face to be both confused & embarrassed.

Ya. I know. It’s not easy Mr. Lewis. It’s what we all experience when we know what is right but it is against family & friends & traditions. It is so hard. It’s terrible. You feel like you are betraying those you love, to not just go along with it. I mean, is the celebration today really that bad even tho its origins are so terrible? Well. Ya. They are. And your gut tells you so. If you silence the voice of the crowd, you can hear your own conscience. It’s truthfully brutal. Stepping away from man made tradition into what you know to be right takes a strength that is excruciating at times. You can appear to lack warmth for those who still participate because they misunderstand. What you try to offer as explanation or consolation that it is not to offend them, is little soothe to their bruised feelings.

But my guess is, Mr. Lewis, quite by accident just uncovered the tip of the iceberg. He’s going to discover, if he allows it, that the bulk of everything he’s ever been taught in church or had passed down via family traditions is steeped in massacre & false teachings. It’s beyond comprehension how much lie & filth is in main stream religions. People are starved to know the truth about God, the future, the past—and religion, for centuries, has been a cesspool of deceit & money making with anyone who attempted to translate the Bible in to modern day languages or enlighten the population to the lies of clergy being, at times, burnt at the stake for it, or imprisoned, or beaten, or whatever form of torture the day called for. Heretics is what they’ve all been called, but from my studies, those people throughout history who attempted to teach & translate should be applauded as heroes.

But now you can’t hide the filth of the past. You can’t hide in a state of ignorance. Now, people have access to historical information easily. They don’t need encyclopedias on their shelves to learn. They can follow the trail of lies & misinformation, they can discover the origins of celebrations & see for themselves, there really is a wide road & a narrow road. That narrow road, it’s not the easy one or the one the bulk of humanity chooses to travel. It’s painful to step off the road most taken. It can be lonely. It can be scary. It makes you question who you are, if you’re right, if you’re deceived now, since you were before. It takes digging & searching to know things & believe things that others will call you crazy for believing in.

Yep. Firecracker just happens to be a bold preacher & teacher in her own right now, and is able to ask questions in a way that motivates the heart. Good job Firecracker. I know Jehovah sees both your honest heart & your zeal. I have a feeling Mr. Lewis won’t be so keen to celebrate St. Patrick’s day anymore. But there is huge joy in finding there is both happiness & fulfillment in discovering truth, despite its challenges. Maybe Firecracker will be a help to show him, it’s okay. You can survive believing something different & looked down upon. You can survive & gain the joy of knowing answers to your questions after feeling lost or deceived all that time. It is an amazing freedom.

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What Cold Days But Warm Hearts Look Like…

So, it’s a rare thing that most of our Service group gets a picture together, but here we are. My oldest is the only publisher missing I believe.

Sunday service is always really good. Most of us have at very least doorstep Bible studies. My best progressive call is with a woman about my age, military family & so sweet. Four kids, all nearly grown and when I was done our little study this week, I offered her the Watchtower on the greatest gift & asked her what gift she was most thankful for. Her reply was sincere— that her whole family would be home for Christmas, her eldest is in basic training in Ontario. I can only imagine the trepidation she feels knowing he will be serving in the military soon.

Our hall now has Hindi North associating with our congregation, which actually address four Indian languages, & Arabic is with one of the other congregations in the hall.

I have found, most people in our territory have become far more receptive to wanting to know what the Bible teaches recently. Everyone seems to have found this. People seem to enjoy hearing good news & having their questions about world conditions & what the Bible gives as a hope for the future answered. Despite the cold yesterday, we had great conversations with all the people we got home. Everyone. How great is that?!

The spiritual food being provided in huge amounts—that is proof of God’s true organization at work on earth. Combine it with the unity & love of our brotherhood regardless of racial, national or lingual background—I am so thankful to be a part of this global preaching work alongside the brothers & sisters.

A Jehovah’s Witness, a Muslim & a Catholic walk into…

A Jehovah’s Witness, a Muslim & a Catholic walk into a dental office. This is a true story. 

I am the Witness. The dental assistant was the Catholic, & the dentist is the Muslim, and it’s Halloween. 

Being at the dentist on Halloween of course brings up the topic of candy & celebration. 

“Nope. We don’t celebrate Halloween.”

“What?! No demonic celebrations for you?” laughs the dentist. 

“Nope. We are Jehovah’s Witnesses. So, we kind of abstain from satanic celebrations.”

I know Muslims. They ‘don’t celebrate Halloween’ but they also don’t not celebrate Halloween. It all depends on how Muslim they are. 

The Catholic, European in origin, with a thick Polish accent, as well, does not celebrate ‘Halloween’ but does certainly celebrate All Soul’s Day on November 1st. 

Well, as the conversation continues, they are surprised to both learn that Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in an after life. At least not one that is similar to their beliefs. 

It was a nice little conversation between people of three different faiths & in the end, I felt it had made a small dent in the misunderstandings & lies of Christendom & that someone Muslim could see Witnesses refuse to water satanic teachings into Biblical ones. 

What Is The Condition of the Dead? The Bible is clear & concise on what happpens at Death & what hope lies ahead for those who have died. Yet another beautiful video for teaching those who are humble, honest & hungry for spiritual food. 

“Men will be…fierce…”

Many things during these last days weigh us all down. There are the things we resign ourselves to–natural disasters, illness, things that feel we can have no effect on their existence & the toll they demand. 

But the shootings–they’re a true devastation of a different sort. They are slowly eroding belief in the goodness of fellow man. There is a coldness in their wake. That one individual can create so much heartbreak, so much terror. 

I think that people handle these news reports in one of two ways. They either ostrich or they glare at it as they would an eclipse, dangerously agonizing over it. There feels to me there is no in between. You must either feel it, or you must numb yourself, no doubt for self preservation, and move onward. 

Most people in the wake of terror, get up & plod on. Their day does not change. They sleep, they rise, they work, they eat–rinse, repeat. This is a coping mechanism. One we all must mask ourselves with. 

Hearing yet again, the political rhetoric, the story (& for some of us, the agonizing emotional envisioning of the final moments of mothers & children, their horror inside terror) of life shot out & bled from people who did not deserve it, the conspiracy theories & the grief, the scramble to explain the whys–it’s all a heavy toll on the heart. 

To rise & greet the sunlight & snow, so far away & yet feel anything can happen anywhere at any moment that could violently end your world, it’s heavy. 

Today’s day’s text was as always well timed: 

“Throw all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.”

–1 Peter 5:7

I can see how so many would buck belief in God in a world filled with so much hate & violence. But God doesn’t rule the world. He doesn’t steal us up to heaven because he needed another angel. That song “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” comes to mind & it makes me gag. I can’t imagine being raised with this satanic notion that God rules the world in its current state & how angry I would be with Him. I would reasonably draw the conclusion that the god of this world is cruel & unfeeling. What a cunning tactic the god of this world is using. 

“We know that we originate with God, but the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.”

–1 John 5:19

2 Timothy 3:1-5 describes the people of the last days as being ungodly, selfish, fierce.  Sadly but expectedly this is true. Anyone who can murder the innocent is truly fierce, lacking natural affection for others. 

My heart is so so sad at the news of another mass shooting. This world is truly filled with darkness. May Jehovah give the humble & meek, hope & light. I adore this song linked below. The orchestral is moving enough on its own but add the choral & it feels like warm spring sunshine after the long winter dark, refreshing, soaking down to the division of spirit & soul.

Light In A Darkened World

Psalms 12-14

Today’s daily reading for my schedule is Psalms 12-14. Wow! Well timed. 

There are so many little gems in this reading. It bolsters faith in Jehovah acting on behalf of the righteous. It shows the way we can feel, asking, “how long, O Jehovah, will you forget me? Forever?” Then it shows Jehovah takes note of each of us individually, noting “the foolish one says in his heart: “There is no Jehovah, ” ” pointing out that Jehovah is looking for those seeking him & that he will become a refuge for them, and stating that Jehovah is with the generation of the righteous. 

A short but worthwhile reading for sure. 

In the Aftermath…Care & Love

One thing I am incredibly proud of is how Jehovah’s organization truly tries its best to show love & support to each other. 

This latest information on the relief work in Mexico, the United States & Puerto Rico is so heart warming. To know that there is real help getting to people through our organization is such a relief. I saw it here with both the southern Alberta floods & the Ft McMurray wildfire, so I have full confidence our spiritual family is being well taken care of & showing love for neighbour whenever possible. The extend of damage in all these locations is staggering, and I pray Jehovah will bless all the efforts of those there. 

In the Wee Hours…

So, I have completed three weeks of daily Bible reading having missed and needed to catch up, just twice. So far, I’ve read 67 chapters of the Bible not including the weekly bible reading. My goal was DAILY Bible reading, and tho it can get tricky to find time, more than once, the wee hours of the night seem quite available to be used for quiet prayful reading. 

So far, the hardest reading has been in Joshua when the lists of kings & nations conquered by the Israelites after they crossed the Jordan. I did make an effort to notice the accent markers and mentally pronounce every nation & city & individual properly. 

The biggest surprise has been how cohesive the scriptures are; why, I’m not sure. I guess because I’m rotating themes I didn’t expect to always feel the Bible’s cohesion of its main theme, God’s Kingdom, as easily. But I was wrong. Whether reading in Joshua or Isaiah or Romans, there is the feeling of climactic nearness of God’s Kingdom. Each psalm or prophecy or recorded event feels so inner-connected despite the centuries of time that lie between them. Even tonight as I read from Romans 5&6 about sin, baptism, righteousness in the human sense, it was so connected to our human laments & the poetry of Job from earlier in the week; to Jesus teachings recorded in Matthew, to the haughtiness of the Canaanite rulers destroyed by God in Joshua. Everything fits so well together helping the reader understand better how God seems to view us, others, the large picture. It’s helping me get to know Him, if through very imperfect eyes, better, bit by bit. 

There are so many scriptures I’ve read & pondered, sometimes for the beauty of their phrasing, sometimes because I needed to cross reference everything available, sometimes for the hard impact they have, sometimes because they feel new & unnoticed previously to me. I actually love when that happens, that a scripture I know I’ve read before, suddenly has a new light to it. 

I think because I’m not stuck to chronological order, but still reading sizable chunks & rotating back to each book every seven days, it changes the perspective of the reading. It allows you to not tire of it. 

Anyways, caught up for now. And later today, two of my daughters get baptized. I’ll be recommmending they read Romans 5&6. Great perspective on this very important step they’ve made in their lives. 

I’m a happy & proud mom today. 

September: Always A Highlight

First off—September’s Broadcast—truly encouraging. How does every month have things so spot on for my family? Truly always surprises me tho I should not be anymore. August’s Broadcast was such an encouragement to us since we have so many young women in our household. September features the Ft McMurray wildfire. The convention six weeks later was ours. These brothers & sisters are part of our circuit, and this coming weekend we have our Circuit Assembly this weekend. 

And, my two oldest daughters, ages 17 & 18 are getting baptized. My third daughter was just approved as an unbaptized publisher & they’re all doing very well. The two oldest had requested to be baptized at the summer convention, but the brothers felt they should wait. They’ve continued to progress & so, a month & a half later, they are. 

Some people think the mission of Witnesses is to just rack up numbers & baptize as many as possible like some assembly line. Not so. It takes much personal commitment & hard work to reach baptism. Our elder body is very cautious concerning approval for being a publisher or baptism. They want to know you are motivated by love for Jehovah, and know you fully understand dedicating your life to Jehovah. Both my daughters dedicated their lives to Jehovah in personal prayers some time ago. But this next step of publicly symbolizing that dedication & the public identification of being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, more than ever, is one not to be taken lightly. When in some parts of the world it is actually illegal to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, to teach, or to even read the Bible or sing songs or worship in any other way, the brothers want to make sure you know what you’re committing to, and that it is heartfelt. 

Often we hear lies in the media about who we are, what we believe, why we believe it, what our motives are…it’s disgusting. Yet somehow, more and more people keep being drawn to Jehovah in these difficult times. I truly believe people know this world cannot continue as it is & something big has to happen & that humans are making a big monstrous mess of things. If they take a look, they will see & know, there is a creator, he does care, and the time when he will step in, is getting very very close. 

So above & beyond the beautiful autumn colours, the breath taking September skies, the wonderful crisp to the air, September is especially this year, of particular note. Truly a lovely month.