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. 

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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. 

When Disaster Strikes

I remember seeing this when it first came out. To know & see how when disaster strikes the brothers & sisters are always quick to respond is so heartwarming. We’ve seen it here when there were floods in southern Alberta & during the beast of a fire in Fort McMurray. 

Coincidentally, Awake! No.5 When Disaster Strikes—Steps That Can Save Lives, which is now available, is about what to do before, during & after disasters to help save your life & the lives of others. Considering Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katia, & an earthquake of the century, all within a few days of each other in the north-western hemisphere, not to mention that the wildfire map of southern Alberta & BC is aglow like never before, I think this is fitting.  These events seem to be becoming everyday news, even in areas that had once been considered fairly free of natural disasters they have become quite common. In recent years smoke haze & poor air quality from fires in this region of Canada are as common as a blue sky days during the summers. This is not how it used to be. The more we can prepare, the more chance we have of surviving these events. 

To feel any source of joy, freedom from fear, peace or hope, at this point in these turbulent times is a great blessing. 

I’m happy to see that the organization is well informed about the well being of our spiritual family in the regions hit by Harvey, Irma & the Mexican earthquake this week. I’m sure whatever damage done will be repaired as quickly as possible. As to those who died, namely in Mexico, may Jehovah comfort their families & friends. 

As with the sister who was attacked & killed in Finland in that recent terror attack, the brothers & sisters in Venezuela who are weathering absolutely terrifying unrest, the friends in the Central African Republic, those effected by typhoon Hato, the earthquake in Italy, the mudslides in Nepal & Sierra Leone, those who lost homes in the fire in Davao City Philippines—and our dear ones in Russia being persecuted for their clean & pure worship, they’ve all been in our prayers both at the hall & in private. 

The Watchtower study this past weekend said to not underestimate the power of our prayers on behalf of those who are going through a difficult time. I would hope, if I were facing something traumatic others would remember to speak to God about me, so I’m trying hard to keep these ones in my thoughts & prayers, even tho I’ve never met them. 

These truly are critical times, hard to deal with. 

How the Day’s Text Tied to My Daily Bible Reading

“He will crush your head.—Gen. 3:15.

When Jesus was born, Satan knew that this newborn child would grow up to become the promised Messiah. Would Satan reason that taking the life of a baby was going too far? Satan has no noble code of ethics. And with regard to the child Jesus, Satan did not hesitate to act. How? King Herod was greatly upset when astrologers inquired about “the one born king of the Jews,” and he was determined to kill him. (Matt. 2:1-3, 13) To make sure that the job was done, he ordered the execution of all boys two years of age and younger who were living in Bethlehem and its districts. (Matt. 2:13-18) Jesus escaped death in that unimaginable slaughter, but what does this tell us about our enemy Satan? It is evident that the Devil places no value on human life. He certainly does not have a soft spot for children. Satan truly is “a roaring lion.” (1 Pet. 5:8) Never underestimate his vicious disposition! w15 5/15 1:10, 12, 13”

I love when this happens, everything ties together wonderfully. My daily reading today was Matthew 1,2 so that some of these verses are mentioned in the supplemental information added into today’s text worked well. Also, that it ties back to this original prophecy in Genesis about how Jesus would crush the head of the serpent (Satan) despite his attempts to foil this original plan demonstrates the harmony of the Bible as well as the theme of God’s Kingdom. 

It also is a sobering reminder that Satan has no emotional weakness concerning children. Time & again he has ruthlessly & relentlessly targeted children. It is hard to imagine, because if you are a good person, you see the innocence & vulnerability of children & your nature is to fiercely protect them. But, time & again, we see wickedness has permeated everything at this point in time, and many wicked people target children more & more, and, children themselves at times, are truly wicked. 

In a world that glamourizes wickedness & evil things this isn’t really surprising anymore. Just saddening, and a good reason to fiercely protect our young ones. 

Read God’s Word the Bible Daily

So, how’s this going? So far—SO GOOD! 

It’s only a few days in, I know. But already I have come to love my time alone with Jehovah’s word each day. Seriously, I love the thematic reading schedule. I look forward to starting next week’s rotation because there are parts I am literally excited to get back to. I am taking time to watch the videos entitled “An Introduction to…” just to be reminded again of the Bible book writer, their timeline, the book highlights, the geography of the book’s location. Tho we have relatively recently read much of this in our scheduled weekly readings, I find, with the weekly readings, the purpose is different, so I have gotten different things out of those readings. This schedule, I’m really truly reading for just myself. I’m listening to it with a different ear, one that is seeking out what Jehovah is saying to me with this. I know we are supposed to do that with our weekly reading too, but perhaps because I do that while doing meeting prep, it is a little too hurried, or maybe because we have all the highlighted points & scriptures & a general theme to the evening’s material, I focus mostly on just those things, sometimes finding a point that’s off topic & wondering if it’s worth sharing. Anyways, the point is, my daily Bible reading is really just for me & the things I feel, think, worry about, am preparing for, with my life in mind, my family in mind, including my spiritual family. 

So far I’ve completed all the scheduled reading for this week: The Law: Genesis 1-3; History: Joshua 1-5; Psalms: Psalms 1,2; Poetry: Job 1,2; Prophecy: Isaiah 1-6. Out of these I surprised myself & today’s reading, Isaiah 1-6, has been my favourite so far. It is the prophetic judgement warning against Judah, written in poetic format, with rich detail & scathing words. It feels like just yesterday we covered this in our weekly reading, yet I loved it & still found it fresh to read. 

Each day I’m making detailed notes for myself in a little journal, writing down thoughts & recording scriptures in handwriting I want to memorize; highlighting the scriptures I want to memorize on my jw app tagged “memorization” along with underlining them in my hard copy study bible. I’m also highlighting scriptures I just find inspiring & beautiful or powerful. Today’s reading, read in ‘an undertone’ was inspiring & just a delicious read. You really get the sense of Jehovah’s strength & justice from the imagery. This is why the New World Translation is so amazing to read—this is how The American Standard reads at Isaiah 5:18-24:

“18 Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of falsehood, and sin as it were with a cart rope; 19 that say, Let him make speed, let him hasten his work, that we may see it; and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it! 20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! 22 Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink; 23 that justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! 24 Therefore as the tongue of fire devoureth the stubble, and as the dry grass sinketh down in the flame, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust; because they have rejected the law of Jehovah of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.”

This is how The New World Translation reads: 

“18 Woe to those who drag along their guilt with ropes of deception And their sin with wagon cords; 19 Those who say: “Let Him speed up his work; Let it come quickly that we may see it. Let the purpose of the Holy One of Israel take place That we may know it!” 20 Woe to those who say that good is bad and bad is good, Those who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness, Those who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe to those wise in their own eyes And discreet in their own sight! 22 Woe to those who are mighty in drinking wine And to the men who are masters at mixing alcoholic drinks 23 Those who acquit the wicked for a bribe And who deny justice to the righteous! 24 Therefore, just as the tongue of fire consumes the stubble And dry grass shrivels in the flames, Their very roots will rot, And their blossoms will scatter like powder, Because they rejected the law of Jehovah of armies And disrespected the word of the Holy One of Israel.”

See how easily the New World Translation reads. The meaning is exactly the same but the English is so current a child can understand what is being read. I honestly can’t imagine the amount of time it would take for an average young person to understand even the American Standard (one of the other ‘modern’ English translations) reading of that scripture. The King James is even murkier. It feels to me, the bucking by religious leaders to translate into modern English is no different than when they burned, for heresy, those early translators taking the Bible from Latin to English—they hate that people can read and get the sense of it without them. They want the Bible to seem bulky & clouded & difficult. Then, no one will read what it actually says, and they can keep lying, stealing & acting like gods & pretend to be so wise & all-knowing when the knowledge within the Bible, from God to humans, is free for the taking. You do not need a degree or years at a theological school or to earn a title to understand it & know the true God. 

I am so thankful for pure worship & this organization for giving me a Bible I can read & understand. I’m thankful they encourage you to look for yourself at other translations, even easily providing them for you, to consult & see, that this translation says the same thing, but in clear, modern English. 

In Russia last month, the New World Translation was banned. It is illegal for someone just like me to sit and read this bible, be it on my phone, tablet or in paper format. 

Well, “woe to those who say what is good is bad”! Or shall I quote it via King James? 

” Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

Or perhaps, in Russian? 

“Горе тем, кто называет добро злом и зло добром, кто выдаёт тьму за свет и свет за тьму, горькое за сладкое и сладкое за горькое!”

I love reading Jehovah’s word the Bible & I know he will strengthen & embolden the friends in Russia to keep going until the wicked one’s roots rot & they scatter like powder. Jehovah’s enemies always end up the same way—humbled, one way or another. 

With all this in mind, new tag on here, “biblical texts & quotes” for the ones I particularity like or want to attempt to memorize. 

And perhaps, I’ll share them in Russian, because, you never know that someone who needs them might not just find them at the right time.