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2019 Annual Meeting wishes

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ComfortMyPeople -
TrueTomHarley -

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12 minutes ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

the 17 times I have been in the "little back room

Did any of those result in a disfellowshipping? I only ask, because if they didn't, then you must have been right all along 😀

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On 9/29/2019 at 6:45 AM, TrueTomHarley said:

rhinoceros at the zoo that stomped over that child, as though that, too, was a sign of the last days, and get everyone going again.

Some are even more direct. One brother mentioned a tragedy where 3 children got accidentally run over by a woman driver, and said it IS the sign of the last days. (He was being serious).

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I have never been disfellowshipped for wearing a beard, but I have been disallowed  being able to Witness with the other Brothers, and sent home!

That broke my heart and I have permanent heartbreak over THAT one.

ONE congregation I was in, in Pennsylvania, near Amish country, accepted me with my beard, and gave me a letter of recommendation to work on the Bethel Construction, in Lima Peru, which I did all at my own expense.

At the AIRPORT in Miami, waiting to the Peruvian Aircraft from Fawcett Airlines to go to Lima, Peru, three Elders "jumped me", and tried to get me to shave off my beard.

I refused.  There was nothing they could do, because I had my letter of recommendation in my pocket from my home congregation.  They did try to isolate me from any after work social functions, and were in some cases successful.

I came up behind two elders, sitting on a pile of bricks at the construction site, as they said, facing the other way " ... there must be some way we can get Rook off this project !"

I stuck my head between them, with my brown beaver felt cowboy hat and said "Hi, Brothers!"

That was fun!

I was never disfellowshipped for wearing a beard, although it irritated the pure hell out of them that they could not do it, the whole time I was there.

However, Donald Burt, the Branch Overseer, asked me to stay at Bethel as part of the Bethel Family, but I had already made a commitment for a job back in the USA.

I returned ..... with my beard.

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3 hours ago, Matthew9969 said:

If I was still in I would ask them to bring back the hoagies and pudding cups.

I did oversee the food line for a time. One of the prepackaged items was “a pasta salad.”

Way back then, without any inkling as to what I would be doing today, I used to refer to them as “apostasy salads.”

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Even the ability to attend a foreign or international assembly can be used as a showy display of one's means of life.  People are borrowing heavily in order to attend these assemblies.  

I agree  with the suggestion that they can be linked up and we get some of them in our Kingdom Halls. We already do that for some of the "Zone"  Representative visits.

Agree with most of the points about pioneering.  After being around for a good few decades I am convinced that these ones feel they are better than others.  The culture around it produces these superior feelings. They forget about the real meaning of what Jesus said about the widow's might. It takes real sacrifice and coordination to get out for even a few hours,  and only God and Jesus can see that, like how he saw the widow's efforts.  I go out because I love the people, and no one has to tell me to go out, or to make a return visit.  Comfort was very brave to write out these things, but if it is God's will, it will change but not all at once.  Keep working, watching and praying.

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2 hours ago, Melinda Mills said:

The culture around it produces these superior feelings. They forget about the real meaning of what Jesus said about the widow's mite. 

It can happen. But there is constant counsel for it not to happen—continual counsel that pioneers not exalt themselves about others. Some do—I have seen it—but most do not. And sometimes merely acknowledging that one has taken the Nazarite vow comes across to others as acting superior, even though that is neither the intention nor motive. Some things are a matter of perception.

I don’t like everything about it. But there is the old saw about “going out in service just enough to hate it.” I think the intent is to help publishers get over that hump.

2 hours ago, Melinda Mills said:

.  I go out because I love the people, and no one has to tell me to go

Yes, but you are (forgive me) old, like I am. Your motto is as true for the young as it is for the old, but there are more distractions for them that would sap their will to do what they know is a good idea. The pioneer arrangement addresses that. I don’t see why people couldn’t have objected to the Nazarite vow—Jehovah instituted it nonetheless—just as much as the pioneer program modeled after it. 

There is also the very tangible benefit of offering people a career in sacred service. It roughly correlates with how, in the regular sense, people can have a job or a career. The two terms overlap, but the first carries the flavor of being not a person’s true interest—rather it is something that he does, watching the time-clock all the while, because he knows it has to be done. He often does not like it. The second term carries the flavor of something the person truly identifies with—something that defines him as a person—something that he does like and chose in preference to other activities. 

Primarily, I note with some discouragement how “hours” do not necessarily correlate with “people.” Someone once put down those who harp on JWs “counting hours instead of people.” The hours ARE people, he countered. They should be. They often are. But sometimes they are just hours. “Are you counting your time or making your time count?” is another old saw that obviously nudges in the right direction, but the fact that it exists indicates that hours can become a goal in themselves if allowed.

I would be happy if the concept of hours was looked at anew.  I know myself. If I were to regular pioneer, I know that I would not be engaging in the ministry at what I consider the most productive times—evenings, Sundays—because you cannot get enough hours that way. I would feel the pressure—and probably yield to it—of putting in long stretches of time where you can get lots of hours, but not necessarily people, and then being too tired to go out during more productive times.

There is nothing like contacting people in the evening. The day is done. They are winding down. They are no more enthused about seeing you approach as they would be during the day, but the chemistry is different. With matters of the day put to bed, for better or worse, they are more inclined to take a few moments to chat.

In fact, coming back to the distinction between “job” and “career,” maybe that identifies a basic incongruity. Pioneering is a “career,” and yet counting time suggests a timeclock—a stratagem more in keeping with a “job.” When you have a career, you are largely unconcerned with the time-clock. If you tally up your hours, you find that they are numerous, but you never think about tallying up your hours, for it is you career, not your job.

(I am getting carried away here, because I am writing what will most likely become a post somewhere)

”Counting time,” a completely separate concept from pioneering—or at least it would be nice if it were made that way—leads to curious notions of being “on-duty” and “off-duty.” You are either witnessing or you are not. In contrast, recall the video of the school-age girl who determined from day one in the new school year that she would be very open about being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, rather than being “outed” by it at an awkward time. From that first day onward, everything she does becomes a witness, and yet she would never count her time for it. Classmates began approaching her with their problems, she said.

I have a Twitter profile that should be commonplace, and yet to my dismay I find that it is unique.  I mix Witness and non-Witness concerns and activities so thoroughly that it would be hard to draw a line between when I am witnessing and when I am not. I wouldn’t know how to do it, and so I do not try. The typical JW online profile is incredible for its ineffectiveness. “Hi. I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Do you have a question about the origin of the cross? Ask me.” Does anyone have such a question about the cross? No. Irreligious people don’t care and religious people don’t wonder about it. At most, the brother or sister finds someone to argue with. And yet he may be counting his time, both in posting, and responding, hopefully not in waiting for a reply. The whole concept of counting time introduces so many screwy offshoots that sometime I wish we would just chuck it.

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