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    • By The Librarian
      A little shepherd boy was watching his sheep one Sunday morning. As he heard the bells ringing the faithful to church, he watched the people walking along the lane next to the pasture. He began to think that he, too, would like to communicate with God. "But what can I say?" he thought. He had never learned a prayer. 

      So on bended knee, he began to recite the alphabet - A, B, C, D, and so on to Z, repeating his "prayer" several times.

      A man passing by heard the boy's voice, and stopping to look through the bushes, saw the child kneeling with folded hands and closed eyes, saying, "J, K, L, M, ..."

      He interrupted the boy, asking, "What are you doing, my little friend?" The boy replied, "I was praying, sir."

      Surprised, the man said, "But why are you reciting the alphabet?"

      The child explained, "I don't know any prayers, sir. But I want God to take care of me and help me to care for the sheep. So, I thought if I said all I knew, He could put the letters together and spell all that I want to say and should say."

      The man smiled and said, "Bless your heart. You're right - God will!"

      Remember that Jesus told us to have faith like a child. When you go to God in prayer, don't worry if you don't know what to say. He can put your thoughts and feelings together and send you the answer you need, even when you don't know what you need.

      contributed
    • By Jack Ryan
      in honor of @TrueTomHarley 😄
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      Since the Society does NOT recognize Civil Divorces if there is no adultery, and considers a couple to STILL BE MARRIED ... if a man and wife get divorced civilly ONLY ( perhaps for some economic reason, like bankruptcy, or estate management .... or they cannot stand each other more than a few hours a week .. (health reasons (?)) ... and they still shack up (friends, with benefits..) does the Society sanction these ones in any way?
      ( For those in Rio Linda ... "friends with benefits" means friends that have sex ...) ....
       
    • Guest Nicole
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Being widowed, divorced or never married increases the risk of heart disease.
      Being married may reduce the risk of heart disease and cardiovascular death, a review of studies has found.
      Researchers pooled data on more than two million participants in 34 studies carried out in the United States, Britain, Japan, Russia, Sweden, Spain, Greece and eight other countries.
      They found that compared with married people, those who were unmarried — whether never married, widowed or divorced — were 42 percent more likely to have some form of cardiovascular disease and 16 percent more likely to have coronary heart disease. The unmarried also had a 43 percent increased likelihood of coronary heart disease death and a 55 percent increased risk for death from stroke. Stroke risk was increased for the unmarried and divorced, but not for the widowed.
      Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/29/well/marriage-heart-married-divorced-single.html?rref=collection/sectioncollection/well
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      A 32 year old Bethelite at Warwick, NY  was walking along a sidewalk at Bethel, going to the cafeteria for the evening meal,  and as he walked along, was in deep prayer to Jehovah God.
       He said, "Jehovah, you have promised to give me the desires of my heart. That's what I am asking you for right now. Please give me a confirmation that you will reward my faith and service to you.”
       Suddenly the sky clouded up over his head and God in a booming voice spoke to him. "I have searched your heart and determined it to be pure. The last time I granted someone the desires of his heart request .... it was to my servant Solomon.”
       “ He didn't disappoint me with his request for wisdom.”
       “ I think I can trust that you won't disappoint me either. Because you have been faithful to me in all ways, I will grant you the desires of your heart."
       The Brother sat and thought about it for a while and said, "I've always wanted to have a deep understanding of the Bible, and I have really tried, but I have forsaken a good education, and taken a vow of poverty and cannot afford a car or the classes I need to become an Engineer when my service here at  Bethel is up …. could you help me afford a car, and a stipend so I can go to school, and learn to provide for myself and my future family as I get old?"
       The Lord laughed and said, "That's impossible! Think of the logistics of that! I would have to start creating again to make you a car, and money to use, and get you into a college without any background that would make sense for what you would be learning!”
       “ … Your request is very materialistic, a little disappointing. I could do it, but it's hard for me to justify your craving for worldly things. Take a little more time and think of another request ….  a  request you think would honor and glorify Me as well."
       The Brother  thought about it for a long while and tried to think of a really good request.
       Finally, he said, “Oh God, please hear my request.  I was Baptized when I was eight years old, and paid attention all my life, taking notes, reading the Bible, and meditation … but I just cannot understand the “Overlapping Generations” thing.  I can’t see how Jesus or the Apostles or any disciples in the Early Church ever understood that, when Jesus was speaking. Can you help me to understand the “Overlapping Generations” Doctrine?”
       “I want to know what all the other Brothers and Sisters know, what  they feel inside and what they're thinking ...I want to know how to be as truly happy as they are, knowing these deep things about You ....That's the wish that I want, Jehovah … my hearts desire."
        … after a few minutes, God said, "How about a Corvette and a full scholarship to Stanford University?"
       
    • By Jack Ryan
      There was a man who said, "I never knew what happiness was until I got married...and then it was too late!"

      Love is one long sweet dream, and marriage is the alarm clock.

      They say when a man holds a woman's hand before marriage, it is love; after marriage, it is self-defense.

      When a newly married man looks happy, we know why. But when a ten-year married man looks happy, we wonder why.

      There was this lover who said that he would go through hell for her. They got married, and now he is going through hell.

      A Code of Honor: Never approach a friend's girlfriend or wife with mischief as your goal. There are just too many women in the world to justify that sort of dishonorable behavior. Unless she's really attractive. -- Bruce Friedman

      A coward is a hero with a wife, kids, and a mortgage. -- Marvin Kitman

      A gentleman is one who never swears at his wife while ladies are present.

      A husband is living proof that a wife can take a joke.

      A husband is what's left of the lover after the nerve has been extracted. 

      Marriage is like a mousetrap. Those on the outside are trying to get in. Those on the inside are trying to get out.

      Marriage is low down, but you spend the rest of your life paying for it.

      Marriage is the process of finding out what kind of man your wife would have preferred.

      Marriage is the sole cause of divorce.

      Marriage means commitment. Of course, so does insanity.

      Marriage still confers one very special privilege - only a married person can get divorced.

      Marriage: A ceremony in which rings are put on the finger of the lady and around the hands and feet of the man.

      Marriage: the only sport in which the trapped animal has to buy the license.

      Marriages are made in heaven and consummated on Earth.
    • By Srecko Sostar
      This is real controversy. But just one among many that came from Watchtower GB spiritual food table. JW living in "spiritual paradise" under rules like this one. :(( 
      Questions from readers - WT magazine January 1 1972
      Do homosexual acts on the part of a married
      person constitute a Scriptural ground for
      divorce, freeing the innocent mate to remarry?
      —U.S.A.
      Homosexuality is definitely condemned in the Bible as something that will prevent individuals from gaining God’s approval. (1 Cor. 6:9, 10)
      However, whether an innocent mate would Scripturally be able to remarry after procuring a legal divorce from a mate guilty of homosexual
      acts must be determined on the basis of what the Bible says respecting divorce and remarriage.
      In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus Christ said: “Everyone divorcing his wife, except on account of fornication, makes her a subject for
      adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery." (Matt. 5:32) On a later occasion he told the Pharisees: “Whoever divorces
      his wife, except on the ground of fornication, and marries another commits adultery." —Matt. 19:9.
      Thus “fornication" is seen to be the only ground for divorce that frees the innocent mate to remarry. The Greek word for fornication is porneia.
      It can refer to illicit sexual relations between either married or unmarried persons. The ancient Greeks, in rare instances, may have understood
      this term to denote acts other than illicit sexual intercourse between a man and a woman. But the sense in which Jesus used the word porneia at Matthew 5:32 and 19:9
      must be ascertained from the context.
      It should be noted that in Matthew chapters 5 and 19 “fornication" is used in the restricted sense of marital unfaithfulness, or illicit relations with another person not one’s marriage mate. Just before bringing up the matter of divorce in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ pointed out that “everyone [married] that keeps on looking at a woman so as to have a passion for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matt. 5:28)
      Consequently, when he afterward alluded to a woman’s committing fornication, his listeners would have understood this in its relative sense, namely, as signifying a married woman’s prostitution or adultery.
      The context of Matthew chapter 19 confirms this conclusion. On the basis of the Hebrew Scriptures, Jesus pointed out that a man and his wife became “one flesh,” and then added: “What God has yoked together let no man put apart.” (Matt. 19:5, 6) Now, in homosexual acts the sex organs are used in an unnatural way, in a way for which they were never purposed. Two persons of the same sex are not complements of each other, as Adam and Eve were. They could never become “one flesh”־ in order to procreate. It might be added, in the case of human copulation with a beast, two different kinds of flesh are involved.
      Wrote the apostle Paul: “Not all flesh is the same flesh, but there is one of mankind, and there is another flesh of cattle, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish.1— ״ Cor. 15:39. While both homosexuality and bestiality are disgusting perversions, in the case of neither one is the marriage tie broken. It is broken only by acts that make an individual “one flesh” with a person of the opposite sex other than his or her legal marriage mate.
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      HereÂ’s what they are:
      1. Be together for the right reasons
      DonÂ’t ever be with someone because someone else pressured you to. I got married the first time because I was raised Catholic and thatÂ’s what you were supposed to do. Wrong. I got married the second time because I was miserable and lonely and thought having a loving wife would fix everything for me. Also wrong. Took me three tries to figure out what should have been obvious from the beginning, the only reason you should ever be with the person youÂ’re with is because you simply love being around them. It really is that simple.
      – Greg
      Before we even get into what you should do in your relationship, letÂ’s start with what not to do.
      When I sent out my request to readers for advice, I added a caveat that turned out to be illuminating. I asked people who were on their second or third (or fourth) marriages what they did wrong. Where did they mess up?
      By far, the most common answer was “being with the person for the wrong reasons.”
      Some of these wrong reasons included:
      Pressure from friends and family Feeling like a “loser” because they were single and settling for the first person that came along Being together for image—because the relationship looked good on paper (or in photos), not because the two people actually admired each other Being young and naive and hopelessly in love and thinking that love would solve everything As we’ll see throughout the rest of this article, everything that makes a relationship “work” (and by work, I mean that it is happy and sustainable for both people involved) requires a genuine, deep-level admiration for each other. Without that mutual admiration, everything else will unravel.
      The other “wrong” reason to enter into a relationship is, like Greg said, to “fix” yourself. This desire to use the love of someone else to soothe your own emotional problems inevitably leads to codependence, an unhealthy and damaging dynamic between two people where they tacitly agree to use each other’s love as a distraction from their own self-loathing. We’ll get more into codependence later in this article, but for now, it’s useful to point out that love, itself, is neutral. It is something that can be both healthy or unhealthy, helpful or harmful, depending on why and how you love someone else and are loved by someone else. By itself, love is never enough to sustain a relationship.
      Read more: https://qz.com/884448/every-successful-relationship-is-successful-for-the-same-exact-reasons/
    • By Jack Ryan
      There was a man who said, "I never knew what happiness was until I got married...and then it was too late!"

      Love is one long sweet dream, and marriage is the alarm clock.

      They say when a man holds a woman's hand before marriage, it is love; after marriage, it is self-defense.

      When a newly married man looks happy, we know why. But when a ten-year married man looks happy, we wonder why.

      There was this lover who said that he would go through hell for her. They got married, and now he is going through hell.

      A Code of Honor: Never approach a friend's girlfriend or wife with mischief as your goal. There are just too many women in the world to justify that sort of dishonorable behavior. Unless she's really attractive. -- Bruce Friedman

      A coward is a hero with a wife, kids, and a mortgage. -- Marvin Kitman

      A gentleman is one who never swears at his wife while ladies are present.

      A husband is living proof that a wife can take a joke.

      A husband is what's left of the lover after the nerve has been extracted. -Marriage quotes2// Marriage is like a mousetrap. Those on the outside are trying to get in. Those on the inside are trying to get out.

      Marriage is low down, but you spend the rest of your life paying for it.

      Marriage is the process of finding out what kind of man your wife would have preferred.

      Marriage is the sole cause of divorce.

      Marriage means commitment. Of course, so does insanity.

      Marriage still confers one very special privilege - only a married person can get divorced.

      Marriage: A ceremony in which rings are put on the finger of the lady and around the hands and feet of the man.

      Marriage: the only sport in which the trapped animal has to buy the license.

      Marriages are made in heaven and consummated on Earth.
    • Guest Nicole
    • By Bible Speaks
      "There exists the one speaking thoughtlessly as with the stabs of a sword, but the tongue of the wise ones is a healing."—Prov. 12:18. 2015/8/19
    • By TheWorldNewsOrg
      via Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. World News
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      (Eph 5:21-30) An aerialist catapults from his swinging trapeze and folds into a human ball as he somersaults through the air. He snaps out of the spin and extends his arms toward his partner, confident she will be there to catch him. However, his partner is mad at him and unwilling to support him. She refuses to play her role in this very important part of the act. The result is a failed performance, a shocked audience and an injured aerialist. This illustrates the effort required from both husband and wife in a marriage. It takes two to make the marriage a success. However, if one mate refuses to play their God given role as set out in the Bible, the result can be disastrous. We should never let petty differences, or disagreements keep us from doing what God requires of us as a husband or as a wife. This becomes even more important when there is an audience, such as kids, in the home. The way the mother treats the father or vise versa can have a huge effect on them. It could even influence what type of husband or wife they will be in the future. If each member applies the counsel found in the Bible and works together, the "show" can be a success.
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Cancer Does Not Stop Local Jehovah's Witness Couple

      Leslie and Jim Donigan attend the Jehovah's Witnesses conference today at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence, Missouri. (Mike Sherry | Flatland)
      At happy moments, Jim and Leslie Donigan often find themselves dancing to “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars,” the Andy Williams hit that has been their song since they first met at a pizza joint in Mission, Kansas, decades ago.
      One of those dance-worthy occasions took place late last year, at the end of a long medical journey. The memory remains strong, even though they have hit a recent bump in the road.
      As Jehovah’s Witnesses, they plan to attend the Midwest convention that runs today through Sunday at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence, Missouri. Organizers believe few attendees embody this year’s theme, “Don’t Give Up,” more than the Donigans, who are both 71 years old and live in Kansas City. About 5,000 people are expected to attend, said Craig Cochran, the convention’s media services coordinator.
      The ability to be part of a global experience of faith is important to the Donigans, as they once again face medical uncertainty. “It’s like a spiritual family reunion,” Jim said.
      A website for the religion says there are more than 8.3 million Jehovah’s Witnesses in 240 countries. According to the Pew Research Center, fewer than 1 percent of American adults are Jehovah’s Witnesses.

      “Don’t Give Up” is the them of this year’s Jehovah’s Witness conference. (Mike Sherry | Flatland)
      Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in God, who is called Jehovah.  As Christians, they believe in heaven and salvation, but they do not believe in hell or eternal suffering.
      Witnesses, as followers are called, believe the Bible to be the inspired word of God. However, they recognize some parts are symbolic and do not believe all parts of the Bible are to be understood literally.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses also do not believe in blood transfusions, based upon their reading of passages in both the Old and New testaments. They cite Genesis 9:4, for example, where God says, “Only flesh with its soul — its blood — you must not eat.”
      No ‘Cowards in the Foxhole’
      On Oct. 1, 2004, Leslie fainted. That was abnormal for her, a runner who lives a healthy lifestyle.
      Doctors could not pinpoint a cause, and later that month they understood why: They found a gastrointestinal stromal tumor, a rare cancer that leaves no blood marker. The tumor was growing on a section of the small intestine and was also threatening her pancreas.
      The belief about blood transfusions was an obvious complication when it came to surgery.
      So, the Donigans worked through a Jehovah’s Witnesses group in Brooklyn to find Dr. Marvin Romsdahl, a surgeon at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, who performed a modified version of a common surgery to remove pancreatic tumors. The modified version did not require a transfusion.
      The night before the surgery, the anesthesiologist backed out because of the risks of doing surgery without blood transfusions. “That’s good,” Jim told Romsdahl. “We don’t need any cowards in the foxhole.”
      The surgery lasted 13.5 hours, but it was successful.
      Yet further treatment included a prescription for the chemotherapy pill Gleevec. The cost of the therapy, which Leslie said at the time cost $2,500 per month, brought them to the breaking point, even after using Social Security and Medicare.
      “It’s always been more than we could swallow,” Jim said, “and progressively over time, it took everything.”
      More bad news hit in 2008, when Jim lost his banking job during the recession. They had to sell the house they had built nearly four decades before, the same house where they had raised their three children.
      But in one sliver of good news, a neighbor approached them during their garage sale and told them he would buy another house for sale on the block and then rent it to them.
      Things began to look up, as Jim found another job, Leslie qualified for a hardship program that allowed her to take Gleevec for free, and then got off the medication altogether when her cancer went into remission.
      The cancer returned, however, and Leslie must remain on Gleevec for the rest of her life. Now, Gleevec costs $13,000 per month, she said.
      Another Test
      In April 2016, the family was tested again, when Jim started having shortness of breath.
      Their first thought was a heart problem, but the first diagnosis was multiple myeloma, a form of incurable blood cancer. A second opinion was different, but not any better: a form of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which causes tumors to grow in the lymphatic system.
      A PET scan revealed 100 tumors, and Jim started his own costly round of chemotherapy.

      The Donigans vist with their son, Joel, and his wife, Carrie, at the conference. (Mike Sherry | Flatland)
       
      His lymphatic system failed during treatment, causing fluid buildup around his stomach and lungs. Jim suffered malnutrition when draining the fluid removed electrolytes and proteins.
      By October, doctors gave him two months to live. Leslie got it in writing.
      Yet as he sat in the hospital, saying his goodbyes, Jim had a thought: “Why couldn’t we take those fluids from my stomach and put them back into my heart, where they need to be?”
      The question sparked an idea for one of Jim’s doctors, who inserted a shunt normally used to treat cirrhosis. Within two weeks, the fluid buildup was gone.
      On Dec. 27, when he was home filing paperwork, Jim came across the letter telling him he only had two months to live. He did the math, and then they had an “I ain’t dead yet party.”
      At the party, Jim sipped his first glass of wine in a year, and the couple danced once again to their favorite song. The luster remained up until this week, when an infection flared up around the shunt, and the fear of cancer returned.
      This most recent medical challenge has shown Jim and Leslie how important their faith is in preparing them for the troubles that can lie ahead. The convention, and especially its theme, is coming at just the right time to help guide them through this newest trial, Leslie said.
      “No one is shielded from the human experience,” Leslie said. “But personally, we find it better to be prepared to keep these types of relapses in their proper perspective.”
      — Catherine Wheeler is a multimedia intern for Flatland. She is a graduate student studying journalism at the University of Missouri, Columbia. Catherine has a bachelor’s degree in English-Writing from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. She currently lives in Kansas City. You can reach her at cwheeler@kcpt.org

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Friday's parliamentary vote in Berlin to recognize the right of same-sex couples to wed was a long-awaited victory for German liberals. But the vote was a defeat for the woman who seemed to have emerged as one of the country's most popular icons of liberalism: German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
      She welcomed over 1 million refugees, abandoned nuclear energy over safety fears and has urged President Trump to respect human rights.
      On Friday, however, Merkel voted against same-sex marriage, despite having paved the way to its recognition only days earlier.
      The anti-marriage-equality party line of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) had long prevented the law from being passed. But on Monday, the German chancellor cleared the way for the issue to win approval in the German Parliament by allowing lawmakers to choose according to their personal convictions after being pressured into a vote by the Social Democratic Party. “I would like to steer the discussion more toward the situation that it will be a question of conscience instead of me forcing something through by means of a majority vote,” Merkel said earlier this week.
      Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/06/30/why-angela-merkel-known-for-embracing-liberal-values-voted-against-same-sex-marriage/?utm_term=.b6ce6745071c
    • By Bible Speaks
      The marriage bond is strengthened when each partner behaves as a lesser one.
      ?????
      "Let us pursue the things making for peace and the things that are upbuilding to one another."—Rom. 14:19.

    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      A Jehovah's Witness was attacked by her husband who feared she was going to cancel Christmas, a court has heard.
      Jason Mortimore struck his wife Rachael in the face three times with a magazine before burning her Bible and other religious documents in a garden incinerator.
      Mortimore, 46, admitted racially aggravated assault and criminal damage at Exeter magistrates court yesterday (TUES). He was fined a total of £666 but the court did not impose a restraining order on him.
      The court heard that the couple had been married for 12 years and have three children. 
      In November Mortimore saw that his wife, who "has returned to her faith of Jehovah Witness", had thrown away some Christmas brochures and he assumed she was not going to celebrate the festivities.
      Before she could explain he hit her with a magazine around the face, prosecutor Warjinder Sadeghi said.
      A few days later they had a row and she woke up to find him burning her Bible and other religious documents in a garden incinerator.
      Mortimore also dumped other religious leaflets in their recycling bin.
      He denied the offences in police interview but said their relationship was under strain and he did not want their children to be influenced by her religion.
      Peter Seigne, defending, said his client had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

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    • Guest Nicole
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
    • Guest Nicole
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      How long should a couple date before marriage?
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Harry P. Ryan and Kathelene R. (Everly) Ryan recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at a celebration sponsored by family and friends held at Running Deer Golf Club in Pittsgrove. They were married on Feb. 11, 1967 at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Millville.
      The couple have two sons, Bruce Ryan, married to Candace Comegys Ryan, and Neill Ryan, married to Deanne Pierce Ryan. They also have four grandchildren, Sydney Ryan, Sabrina Ryan, Tre’ Smith and Evan Smith.

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    • By Bible Speaks
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. "Rejoice in the hope. Endure under tribulation. Persevere in prayer."
      (Romans 12:12) NWT
      jw.org
      IMG_3478.MP4


    • By Bible Speaks
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. "Rejoice in the hope. Endure under tribulation. Persevere in prayer."
      (Romans 12:12) NWT
      jw.org
      IMG_5154.MOV

    • By Bible Speaks
      "This is at last bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh."
      (Gen. 2:23)

    • By Bible Speaks
      14 "For this reason I bend my knees to the Father, 15  to whom every family in heaven and on earth owes its name."
      (Ephesians 3:14,15)
      jw.org

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