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Communication Within the Family and With God

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    • By TheWorldNewsOrg
      Ever feel like your communication fails? 
    • By Bible Speaks
      Elephants’ “Sound of Silence”
      On a hot afternoon in the sprawling Amboseli National Park in Kenya, the large herd of elephants seems undisturbed by any intrusion into their habitat. 
      Yet, the air is full of “elephant talk,” ranging from low frequency rumblings to high frequency trumpets, roars, bellows, barks, and snorts. Some of the calls contain components that are below the level of human hearing and yet are so powerful that they can be heard by an elephant several miles away.
      Experts in animal behavior continue to be puzzled by the intricate ways in which elephants convey serious messages. 
      Joyce Poole has spent over 20 years studying communication concepts among African elephants. She has concluded that these huge creatures, known for their coveted tusks, exhibit feelings found in very few animals. “It is hard to watch elephants’ remarkable behavior during a family or bond group greeting ceremony [or at] the birth of a new family member . . . and not imagine that they feel very strong emotions which could be best described by words such as joy, happiness, love, feelings of friendship, exuberance, amusement, pleasure, compassion, relief, and respect,” says Poole.
      When getting together after being separated for long periods, their greetings turn to pandemonium, as members rush together with heads high and ears folded and flapping. 
      At times, an elephant will even put its trunk into another’s mouth. These greetings seem to give the elephants a deep sense of joy, as if they were saying, “Wow! It’s simply fantastic to be with you again!” 
      Such bonds renew the support network vital to their survival.
      Elephants seem to have a sense of humor too. Poole describes watching elephants draw the corners of their mouths in what she called a smile, wagging their heads in a manner suggesting amusement. 
      She once initiated a game in which the animals took part, and for 15 minutes they behaved in a totally absurd manner. Two years later, some participants seemed to “smile” at her again, perhaps remembering her involvement in the game. 
      Not only do elephants amuse each other in play but they also mimic sounds. In a research project, Poole heard a sound that was different from the normal elephant calls. On analysis, it was suggested that the elephants were imitating the noise made by trucks passing nearby. And they were apparently doing it for fun! It is as if elephants look for any excuse to get excited.
      Much has been said about the way elephants appear to mourn when calamity befalls a family member. Poole once observed a female standing guard over her stillborn baby for three days and described it this way: Her “facial expressions” seemed “similar to a grief stricken, depressed person: her head and ears hung down, the corners of her mouth were turned down.”
      Those who kill elephants for ivory do not consider the ‘psychological trauma’ of the orphans who may have witnessed the killing of their mothers. These babies spend the first few days at an animal orphanage trying to overcome their “grief.” A keeper reported having heard the orphans “scream” in the morning. Repercussions can be observed several years after the death. 
      Poole suggests that the elephants can detect the hand of man in their suffering. We look forward to the time when man and beast will live together in peace.—Isaiah 11:6-9.
      http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/102002249
      IMG_3564.MP4

    • By JAMMY
      Are elder's wives privy to info that is transferred via the electronic site for elders, either by reading it themselves or being informed of it before, or even if, it is announced to the congregation?
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    • In my “practical wisdom” mode, not my “world is going to hell in a handbasket” mode, I start my door-to-door presentation with an invitation to consider a practical verse like Matthew 6:25. “Anxiety is a huge concern today. We read about it. We experience it. I want to read you a scripture on that theme, you tell me what you think, and I am out of here. Good idea?” You can throw in a factoid or two from somewhere, like something here from the New York Times, but I usually pass. You are looking for people with whom the idea resonates, and if it doesn’t, the New York Times will not convince them that it should.  An affirmative answer to my offer will earn the householder the reading of Matthew 6:25. “On this account I [Jesus] say to you: Stop being anxious about your lives as to what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your bodies as to what you will wear. Does not life mean more than food and the body than clothing?” “That’s all I wanted to do,” I will say, “to get this notion on the table—that anxiety is something that you might hope to just “stop it.” He doesn’t say, don’t start being anxious. He assumes his listeners already are. He says ‘Stop it.’  The next move is the householder’s, and I tell him that he doesn’t have to make one. “If the subject piques interest, if you have views if you.....” and so forth. If he doesn’t (and even if he does), I will leave a tract—any of them will do—and call attention to the jw.org website and what is to be found there. If they do, then conversation might go a hundred different ways. Even so, I do not press every moment to stay. Rather, I offer every moment to leave. Even some lengthy conversations I have cut them sort, to the householder’s  protest. “Yes, you say it now,” I observe, “but after I go you will say, “Man! I wanted to get some stuff done today, and then this Bible guy showed up!” Maybe I have grown sensitive to all the concerns of those who cry over “manipulation,” and so I am determined to not even give the appearance of going there. Of course, the extremists among these ones are babies to whom introducing any idea not mainstream is “manipulation,”—they decry all “brainwashing” except for the brainwashing that is theirs—and there is not much one can do about that, but I try not to attract the charge like a magnet. I can hear Anthony Morris giving the talk now at the 2016 Regional Convention in Atlanta. I wasn’t there—I was at another convention—but the talk was streamed. “‘Stop it!’ Jesus says. Just ‘stop it!’ as though addressing a child—and that was the idea that he went on to develop, that it was a controllable emotion. It was a meaningful talk for me. Anxiety had proven to be a weakness for me —it afflicts some in the family—and when I was hit with a perfect storm of calamities, I did not blame humans like JTR does. I did worse and blamed God.  Believe me, I envy those brothers—I have met a lot of them—who say: “I’ve never worried a day in my life!” To be sure, that envy is tempered by the fact that some of these characters caused plenty of others to worry, and even when it was not so, they had other weaknesses to compensate or even more than compensate. We are all “pieces of work” in one way or another. I also know quite a few who, by choice, live very close to the wire. They have structured their lives that way. It is deliberate. They have determined to “make use of the world, but not use it to the full.” (1 Corinthians 7:31) They have decided to go light as to material things. The ideal among Jehovah’s Witnesses—which some have attained and some have not—is to acquire a skill that pays well, and then do as little of it as possible so as to have as large a share as possible in the kingdom proclamation work. I am not one of those people, either, but I sort of envy them, as the modern manifestation of Paul, who knew “how to be low on provisions and how to have an abundance. In everything and in all circumstances I have learned the secret of both how to be full and how to hunger, both how to have an abundance and how to do without.” - Philippians 4:12  These ones will crinkle a fender on their car and ask God what to do about it, since there’s no money in the budget for the mishap. What is God going to do about it? Time and again persons I know well have reported such things—they take it to God in prayer—and presently the answer presents itself in totally unanticipated ways, sometimes very unlikely ones. They thereafter attribute it to God’s spirit. Am I going to tell them that they are wrong? Why would I do that? How do I know? It is more likely—when you hear such things again and again—that they are right. I do what Mary did, with regard to different experiences: “Mary began to preserve all these sayings, drawing conclusions in her heart.” (Luke 2:19) Maybe they’ll do me some good someday, the same way they did her. Key is the confidence of 1 John 5:14: “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that no matter what we ask according to his will, he hears us.” For it to work it must be “according to his will.” It seems that it will be very hard to dictate to someone else just how holy spirit is supposed to work. Almost by definition, you cannot. It is the wind of John 3:8 that you feel but cannot see. It is the angels that the cosmonauts did not see—and so concluded from that experience that there was no God. No, it operates as it operates and is one of those “taste and see” sort of things.  
    • Twyla, Thanks always for the biweekly spiritual food. Enjoy your day and week.
    • I think I didn’t miss a thing. You are either doing something unmentionable or you are making your escape—and not a moment too soon. Besides, I just made that line up myself. If it turns out that movie plagiarized it, they’ve got a major lawsuit on their hands.
    • Does that mean Jesus got his drivers license when he was 31?
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