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  1. Joyce Holden Biography Wikipedia Joyce Holden Clipped from Eureka Humboldt Standard, 13 Apr 1965, Tue, Page 4
  2. Benjamin Homer (Art) 1917 – 1975 Born in Meriden, Benjamin Hozer changed his name to Homer for professional reasons. His talent and love for music surfaced in his early years, and Ben Homer became a member of the Meriden Symphony at the age of 11. His composing ability blossomed early with his "Class Song – 1932" at Jefferson Junior High School. At age 15 he became a member of the American Federation of Musicians. After a stint with the Silver Rhythm King at WICC in New Haven, Homer won a scholarship to the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music. In his third year there, he was engaged by Artie Shaw to copy his arranger's scores. This led to subsequent arranging for Raymond Scott., Jack Teagarden, AI Donahue, Bob Chester, Les Brown and Paul Whiteman. "Downbeat" magazine wrote, "No band's library is complete without a Ben Homer arrangement." At age 26, he was then the youngest member ever inducted into ASCAP. Homer's best known compositions are "Shoot the Sherbet to Me Herbert,” "Joltin' Joe DiMaggio," "Mexican Hat Dance,” "Bizet Had His Day," and the all-time favorite "Sentimental Journey." He returned to the New England Conservatory of Music in 1942 to teach Modem Theory and Arranging. Ben Homer's music and arrangements live on with the resurgence of the music of the big bands – a fitting tribute to and a lasting legacy from this talented musician and composer. Probably very few Jehovah's Witnesses realize that the composer of "Sentimental Journey" became one of their own ministers in the early '50s, breaking away from quite a successful career in the music business. Then again, this could also be another aspect of this organization branching out into control of many aspects of life in America, including the insurance industry, various disaster aftermath services, and fast food chains. Ben Homer went to New York City in 1938 following studies at the New England Conservatory. In the thriving Big Apple music scene of that era he found many bandleaders hungry for appealing material, among them trombonist and singer Jack Teagarden, clarinetists Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman, and the unique bandleader and inventor Raymond Scott. Homer became a staff composer for dance band maestro Les Brown in 1940. Homer, his frequent co-writer Bud Green, and Brown comprise the colorful songwriting triumvirate credited with "Sentimental Journey," a hit for Doris Day and one of the most frequently covered songs in American history. Other titles by Homer before he became a minister hardly deserve to be as forgotten as they are, such as "Shoot the Sherbet to Me Herbert," "Joltin' Joe Di Maggio," and "Bizet Has His Day." source The song "Keep your eyes on the prize" was written by Ben Homer, a JW musical composer who also wrote the hit song "Sentimental Journey." source
  3. New layer discovered in human eye The discovery will make operations safer and simpler for patients with an injury in this layer. Scientists have discovered a previously unknown layer lurking in the human eye. The newfound body part, dubbed Dua's layer, is a skinny but tough structure measuring just 15 microns thick, where one micron is one-millionth of a meter and more than 25,000 microns equal an inch. It sits at the back of the cornea, the sensitive, transparent tissue at the very front of the human eye that helps to focus incoming light, researchers say. The feature is named for its discoverer, Harminder Dua, a professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the University of Nottingham. Dua said in a statement that the finding will not only change what ophthalmologists know about human eye anatomy, but it will also make operations safer and simpler for patients with an injury in this layer. "From a clinical perspective, there are many diseases that affect the back of the cornea, which clinicians across the world are already beginning to relate to the presence, absence or tear in this layer," Dua said in a statement. Dua and colleagues, for example, believe that a tear in the Dua layer is what causes corneal hydrops, which occurs when water from inside the eye rushes in and leads to a fluid buildup in the cornea. This phenomenon is seen in patients with keratoconus, a degenerative eye disorder that causes the cornea to take on a cone shape. Dua's layer adds to the five previously known layers of the cornea: the corneal epithelium at the very front, followed by Bowman's layer, the corneal stroma, Descemet's membrane and the corneal endothelium at the very back. Dua and colleagues found the new layer between the corneal stroma and Descemet's membrane through corneal transplants and grafts on eyes donated for research. They injected tiny air bubbles to separate the different layers of the cornea and scanned each using an electron microscope. The research was detailed in the journal Ophthalmology. LiveScience
  4. I want one!

    I wish they did stay this size!!! I googled to see how big they would get.. It's a Tibetan Mastiff - Google it you will all be shocked!
  5. Valley Township man cheats death after 75-foot tree falls where he was standing. Steve Olinick stands next to a 75-foot tree that fell suddenly on his property this week, crushing his sheds, lawn equipment, and camper. VALLEY TOWNSHIP >> What a difference a half-hour makes. On Tuesday, Steve Olinick, who lives on Lafayette Drive off Route 30 just outside of Coatesville, was working in his yard when he decided to call it quits and into the house about 6 p.m.A half-hour later, a huge, 75-foot tree fell in the exact spot Olinick was standing. “I would have been dead, no doubt about it,” Olinick said. “Look at the size of that thing,” he said, pointing to the tree.Olinick said there was no wind and no unusual weather. He was inside and he heard a loud, booming noise. “I thought an airplane crashed because the airport is close to here,” he said. “It was a loud bang, real loud.” Not as lucky was some of his property. The tree crushed several sheds, a camper, and several lawn tractors. “Those buildings are full of tools, fishing stuff and equipment, probably $30,000 worth of tools,” he said. “They are crushed.” Olinick said he is hoping his insurance company will pay for some of the cost of removal, which is likely to be several thousand dollars. “I’m just lucky,” Olinick said. “I’m a Jehovah’s Witness and I try to live a good life and be fair with everybody. But if I was out there a half-hour later, I would be dead.” source
  6. The Swedish buses that brought liberated concentration camp prisoners to Sweden. Photo: Scanpix Sweden/TT A digital archive of over 500 survivors’ testimonies from a Nazi concentration camp will be launched in the southern Swedish city of Lund later this week. The archive includes interviews with women and children who were interned at the Ravensbrück camp in northern Germany, as well as documents belonging to survivors and Nazi officials. The interviews were conducted "with the purpose of informing coming generations what had taken place," said historian Paul Rudny in the presentation of the archive. Rudny added that the methods and timing of the interviews, all taken within 18 months of the camp's liberation, meant the testimonies were "relatively rare from an international perspective, confirmed by the fact that parts of the material were used in connection with trials after the war." The 514 interviews reveal details of the slave labour, medical experiments, torture, and killing, not only in the Ravensbrück camp but also in several others, due to the fact that many prisoners were moved around between the camps. READ ALSO: The forgotten Nazi concentration camp survivors in the forests of Småland It has taken three years for researchers at Lund University to translate the interviews and put them online, and some of them are already available to read. In addition to the interviews, the archive includes other items the survivors brought with them to Sweden, including diaries, letters, and photographs, as well as some Nazi documents relating to the camp. The Ravensbrück camp was set up in 1939 for women and children prisoners, including Jews, who made up around a fifth of the total number, as well as Roma people, Jehovah’s Witnesses, prostitutes, lesbians, and political prisoners. In total 132,000 people were interned in the camp, of whom roughly 92,000 died. When the camp was liberated by Russian troops in April 1945, the Swedish government brought more than 20,000 survivors of Ravensbrück and other camps to Sweden and Denmark. A Polish lecturer at Lund's university, Zygmunt Lakocinski, volunteered as a translator for the Polish-speaking Jewish women. Together with history professor Sture Bohlin, he set up a committee to document these interviews, a project funded by the Swedish government, and Lakocinski left the archives to the university after his death in 1987. The below video shows footage of the survivors after the camp's liberation.Source(The Local.se)
  7. Five years ago, a notoriously profane protest by a female punk band, Pussy Riot, in Moscow's main cathedral sought to satirise the growing rapport between the Russian state and the Orthodox Church, most especially the close regard President Vladimir Putin and the church's spiritual leader Patriarch Kirill have for each other. At the time, this was a relatively fringe concern; most Russians had other things on their minds - such as the country's economic problems, its deteriorating relationship with the West over Syriaand the re-election of Putin to the top job after an interregnum as prime minister. But now it's back on the agenda because many of Putin's opponents believe the glowing endorsements and mutual back-slaps the Kremlin and the Orthodox Church give each other these days are contributing to ever more tightly defined social and religious conservatism, intolerant nationalism and a growing personality cult around the president. We had heard that the most obvious outward sign of this close relationship was the proliferation of religious zealotry filling the broadcast airwaves. So we set off for the offices of Tsargrad TV, close to Moscow's Red Square, to meet Alexander Dugin, editor-in-chief of Russia's most ultra-conservative Orthodox channel, which boasts the country's fastest-growing audience. "After the fall of communism, there was a great abyss ..., a void, because everything began to fall down into the black hole. All the certainties, all the truths, all the things that were taken for granted in one moment disappeared," Dugin says. With Putin's help, Dugin explained, the Russian Orthodox Church is filling this void. Indeed, the view as seen through Tsargrad TV eyes is of a Moscow skyline of countless domes and crosses, vying with hammers and sickles - a battlefield of symbols - and its clear which side is winning. The channel's owner, Kremlin-connected investment banker Konstantin Malofeev, was once dubbed God's oligarch, a title he eschews, "I'm God's servant, not God's oligarch ..." he insists perched behind a large portrait of Nicholas II. "We live now in Russia ... a delightful period, a period of triumph of Christianity." Malofeev is clear as to who is responsible. "President Putin is our leader ... given to us by God." Others insist that by moving the Orthodox Church to centre-stage in Russian affairs Putin is merely ensuring the church's support for his conservative and nationalist political agenda - a smart move given that between a half and two-thirds of all Russians identify themselves as Orthodox Christians. Leonid Simonovich-Nikshich from the Orthodox Banner Bearers, whose motto is 'Orthodoxy or Death' [Glenn Ellis/Al Jazeera] Decriminalising domestic violence Next morning, we are outside the Russian parliament, the Duma. In recent years, a raft of socially regressive legislation has merged from this building, often underpinned with backing from the Russian Orthodox Church. One of the most controversial of these laws (passed by 358 voted to two) effectively decriminalises domestic violence, which seems an odd thing for a Christian body to endorse. Nevertheless, in a statement issued after the law was passed, the church insisted that physical punishment is "an essential right." Campaigner Alena Popova is waiting for us and wastes no time letting us know what she thinks about this law. "According to this law, when you beat somebody, you can just pay a fee like a parking fine - the same sum even. It sounds crazy, but it's true," Popova says. Last year, she tells us 14,000 women in Russia died from injuries inflicted by a relationship partner - equivalent to one woman every 40 minutes. Popova has been lobbying Duma deputies to get the legislation changed but she knows it won't be an easy task - given the amount of support the law had on its passage through parliament. Laws targeting other churches and faiths That evening, we go looking for some of those on the receiving end of another recent ruling, known as the Yarovaya Law - after one of its sponsors. In essence, a set of 2016 amendments to existing "anti-terror" and "extremist" legislation, the law is notable because of the inclusion of new restrictions on evangelism and religious missionary work. According to its provisions, missionary work is defined as: "The activity of a religious association, aimed at disseminating information about its beliefs among people who are not participants (members, followers) in that religious association, with the purpose of involving these people as participants (members, followers). It is carried out directly by religious associations or by citizens and/or legal entities authorised by them, publicly, with the help of the media, the internet or other lawful means." The target of these prescriptions, said the law's detractors, are adherents of churches and faiths other than the Orthodox Church. And that's who we are meeting tonight, a group of Jehovah's Witnesses and their spokesman Mikail Panichev. We rendezvous with our go-between at an ill-lit car park in a Moscow suburb and he leads us to nearby housing block. In the lift, our guide pretends not to know us when someone else gets in. We are ushered to a flat where a dozen or so people sit around a table reading the Bible. We are warned that at any moment the FSB (state security) could appear. According to the those at the meeting, the Jehovah's Witnesses, a group once persecuted by the Nazis for their strict adherence to pacifism, have now been labelled a threat to society here, too; driven underground last April when the Russian Supreme Court seized all their property, declaring the group "extremist". Since then, there have been numerous attacks against their homes and places of worship. Most of this small group have already spent time in detention, including a girl in her teens. According to Panichev, "we run risks when we just talk to someone about the Bible … let alone about our teachings. Any conversation may raise suspicions - they will go and inform the police." Since the fall of communism, about 25,000 churches have been built or restored in Russia [Glenn Ellis/Al Jazeera] Midnight raids As our filming continued over the days that followed, it seemed to us that the rise of Russian Orthodox Church was unstoppable. Since the fall of communism, 25,000 churches have been built or restored in Russia with state backing - if not always universal public support. We went in search of one set of opponents who meet every week in a Moscow park. They told us that the land had been set aside for yet another church, which they objected to because it meant taking away a public amenity. But it's risky to openly challenge such developments as Yevegeny Lebedev discovered last November. He told us that his home and those of 11 others were stormed by masked police officers in midnight raids, "They bust in shouting, 'Down on the floor!' Somebody threw me to the floor. I was like that for 20 minutes, my kids crying." The officers were investigating a possible violation of yet another new law, which has the backing of the Orthodox Church. In this case, making it a criminal offence to "insult the feelings of religious believers". The raids were broadcast on national TV and Patriarch Kirill denounced Lebedev and his friends as "Pagans." This now routine use of law enforcement muscle to bolster the status and privileges of the Orthodox Church struck us as deeply ironic, given that only a few decades ago the communists used the same brutal measures to suppress organised religion. In those days, this maxim from the founder of the Soviet state, VI Lenin, would have been at the heart of the state's view of religion: "Religion is the opium of the people … All modern religions and churches, all and every kind of religious organisations are always considered by Marxism as the organs of bourgeois reaction, used for the protection of the exploitation and the stupefaction of the working class." Presumably, back when the Soviet Union still existed and Vladimir Putin was still a loyal KGB officer, he would have wholeheartedly endorsed such thinking as a matter of political expediency, if not personal conviction. But now he's president, he clearly takes a different view - and the Russian Orthodox Church is the beneficiary. SOURCE: AL JAZEERA (Video)
  8. Circuit Assemblies now listed

    Circuit Assemblies now listed
  9. Jehovah is compassionate and patient. However, his compassion and patience are not limitless. People must respond favorably to the Kingdom-preaching work if they are to survive when Jehovah brings an end to this wicked system of things. A sympathetic awareness of another’s suffering or adversity coupled with a desire to alleviate it. One of the Hebrew words conveying the sense of compassion is the verb cha·malʹ, which means “feel (show or have) compassion; spare.” (Ex 2:6; Mal 3:17; Jer 50:14) The Greek verb oi·kteiʹro means “show compassion,” while the noun oi·ktir·mosʹ describes the inner feeling of compassion, or tender mercy. (Ro 9:15; 12:1; 2Co 1:3; Php 2:1; Col 3:12; Heb 10:28) The Greek word splagʹkhna (intestines) may have the sense of tender compassions.—1Jo 3:17. The most outstanding example of compassion is Jehovah himself. This is well illustrated in his dealings with the Israelites. He not only keenly felt for them during their distresses in Egypt but finally rescued them out of the hands of their oppressors and lovingly cared for them in the wilderness. (Isa 63:7-9) Despite their repeated lapses into unfaithfulness when settled in the Promised Land, he again and again delivered them out of the hands of their enemies, responding to their cries for aid.—Jg 2:11-19. “The Tender Compassion of Our God” IN THE middle of the night, a baby cries. Immediately, the mother wakes up. She does not sleep as soundly as she used to—not since her baby was born. She has learned to distinguish her infant’s different types of crying. Hence, she can often tell whether her newborn needs to be fed, cuddled, or otherwise tended to. But regardless of the reason for the baby’s crying, the mother responds. Her heart cannot let her ignore the needs of her child. The compassion that a mother feels for the child of her womb is among the most tender feelings known to humans. There is, however, a feeling that is infinitely stronger—the tender compassion of our God, Jehovah. A consideration of this endearing quality can help us draw closer to Jehovah. Let us, then, discuss what compassion is and how our God manifests it. What Is Compassion? In the Bible, there is a close relationship between compassion and mercy. A number of Hebrew and Greek words convey the sense of tender compassion. Consider, for example, the Hebrew verb ra·chamʹ, which is often rendered “show mercy” or “have pity.” One reference work explains that the verb ra·chamʹ “expresses a deep and tender feeling of compassion, such as is aroused by the sight of weakness or suffering in those that are dear to us or need our help.” This Hebrew term, which Jehovah applies to himself, is related to the word for “womb” and can be described as “motherly compassion.”—Exodus 33:19; Jeremiah 33:26. The Bible uses the feelings that a mother has for her baby to teach us about the meaning of Jehovah’s compassion. At Isaiah 49:15, we read: “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should not have compassion [ra·chamʹ] on the son of her womb? Yes, they may forget, yet I will not forget you.” (The Amplified Bible) That touching description underscores the depth of Jehovah’s compassion for his people. How so? It is difficult to imagine that a mother would forget to nourish and care for her nursing child. After all, an infant is helpless; night and day a baby needs its mother’s attention and affection. Sad to say, however, maternal neglect is not unheard of, especially in these “critical times” characterized by a lack of “natural affection.” (2 Timothy 3:1, 3) “Yet,” Jehovah declares, “I will not forget you.” The tender compassion that Jehovah has for his servants is unfailing. It is immeasurably stronger than the most tender natural feeling that we can imagine—the compassion that a mother normally feels for her infant child. Little wonder that one commentator said of Isaiah 49:15: “This is one of the strongest, if not the strongest expression of God’s love in the Old Testament.” Is tender compassion a sign of weakness? Many imperfect humans have held that view. For instance, the Roman philosopher Seneca, who was a contemporary of Jesus and a leading intellectual figure in Rome, taught that “pity is a weakness of the mind.” Seneca was an advocate of Stoicism, a philosophy stressing calmness that is devoid of feeling. A wise person may help those in distress, said Seneca, but he must not allow himself to feel pity, for such a feeling would deprive him of serenity. That self-centered view of life allowed no room for heartfelt compassion. But that is not at all what Jehovah is like! In his Word, Jehovah assures us that he “is very tender in affection and compassionate.” (James 5:11, footnote) As we will see, compassion is not a weakness but a strong, vital quality. Let us examine how Jehovah, like a loving parent, manifests it. When Jehovah Showed Compassion to a Nation The compassion of Jehovah is clearly seen in the way he dealt with the nation of Israel. By the end of the 16th century B.C.E., millions of Israelites were enslaved in ancient Egypt, where they were severely oppressed. The Egyptians “kept making their life bitter with hard slavery at clay mortar and bricks.” (Exodus 1:11, 14) In their distress, the Israelites cried out to Jehovah for help. How did the God of tender compassion respond? Jehovah’s heart was touched. He said: “Unquestionably I have seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and I have heard their outcry as a result of those who drive them to work; because I well know the pains they suffer.” (Exodus 3:7) Jehovah could not see the sufferings of his people or hear their outcries without feeling for them. As we saw in Chapter 24 of this book, Jehovah is a God of empathy. And empathy—the ability to identify with the pain of others—is akin to compassion. But Jehovah did not just feel for his people; he was moved to act in their behalf. Isaiah 63:9 says: “In his love and in his compassion he himself repurchased them.” With “a strong hand,” Jehovah rescued the Israelites out of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 4:34) Thereafter, he provided them with miraculous food and delivered them into a fruitful land of their own. Jehovah’s compassion did not stop there. When settled in the Promised Land, Israel repeatedly lapsed into unfaithfulness and suffered as a result. But then the people would come to their senses and call out to Jehovah. Again and again he delivered them. Why? “Because he felt compassion for his people.”—2 Chronicles 36:15; Judges 2:11-16. Consider what happened in the days of Jephthah. Since the Israelites had turned to serving false gods, Jehovah allowed them to be oppressed by the Ammonites for 18 years. Finally, the Israelites repented. The Bible tells us: “They began to remove the foreign gods from their midst and to serve Jehovah, so that his soul became impatient because of the trouble of Israel.” (Judges 10:6-16) Once his people manifested genuine repentance, Jehovah could no longer bear to see them suffer. So the God of tender compassion empowered Jephthah to deliver the Israelites out of the hands of their enemies.—Judges 11:30-33. What do Jehovah’s dealings with the nation of Israel teach us about tender compassion? For one thing, we see that it is more than just a sympathetic awareness of the adversities that people experience. Recall the example of a mother whose compassion moves her to respond to the crying of her baby. Similarly, Jehovah is not deaf to the outcries of his people. His tender compassion moves him to relieve their suffering. In addition, the way Jehovah dealt with the Israelites teaches us that compassion is by no means a weakness, for this tender quality moved him to take strong, decisive action in behalf of his people. But does Jehovah show compassion only to his servants as a group? Jehovah’s Compassion for Individuals The Law that God gave to the nation of Israel showed his compassion for individuals. Take, for example, his concern for the poor. Jehovah knew that unforeseen circumstances might arise that could plunge an Israelite into poverty. How were poor ones to be treated? Jehovah strictly commanded the Israelites: “You must not harden your heart or be closefisted toward your poor brother. You should by all means give to him, and your heart should not be stingy in your giving to him, because on this account Jehovah your God will bless you in every deed of yours.” (Deuteronomy 15:7, 10) Jehovah further commanded that the Israelites not harvest the edges of their fields completely or pick up any leftovers. Such gleanings were for disadvantaged ones. (Leviticus 23:22; Ruth 2:2-7) When the nation observed this considerate legislation in behalf of the poor in their midst, needy individuals in Israel did not have to beg for food. Was that not a reflection of Jehovah’s tender compassion? Today, too, our loving God is deeply concerned about us as individuals. We can be sure that he is keenly aware of any suffering we may undergo. The psalmist David wrote: “The eyes of Jehovah are toward the righteous ones, and his ears are toward their cry for help. Jehovah is near to those that are broken at heart; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.” (Psalm 34:15, 18) Regarding those described by these words, one Bible commentator notes: “They are of a broken heart and a contrite spirit, that is, humbled for sin, and emptied of self; they are low in their own eyes, and have no confidence in their own merit.” Such ones may feel that Jehovah is far away and that they are too insignificant for him to care about them. But that is not the case. David’s words assure us that Jehovah does not abandon those who are “low in their own eyes.” Our compassionate God knows that at such times, we need him more than ever, and he is near. Consider an experience. A mother in the United States rushed her two-year-old son to the hospital because he was suffering from a bad case of croup. After examining the boy, the doctors informed the mother that they would have to keep him in the hospital overnight. Where did the mother spend that night? In a chair in the hospital room, right next to her son’s bed! Her little boy was sick, and she just had to be near him. Surely we can expect even more from our loving heavenly Father! After all, we are made in his image. (Genesis 1:26) The touching words of Psalm 34:18 tell us that when we are “broken at heart” or “crushed in spirit,” Jehovah, like a loving parent, “is near”—ever compassionate and ready to help. How, then, does Jehovah help us as individuals? He does not necessarily remove the cause of our suffering. But Jehovah has made abundant provisions for those who cry out to him for help. His Word, the Bible, offers practical counsel that can make a difference. In the congregation, Jehovah provides spiritually qualified overseers, who endeavor to reflect his compassion in helping fellow worshipers. (James 5:14, 15) As the “Hearer of prayer,” he gives “holy spirit to those asking him.” (Psalm 65:2; Luke 11:13) That spirit can infuse us with “power beyond what is normal” in order to endure until God’s Kingdom removes all stressful problems. (2 Corinthians 4:7) Are we not grateful for all these provisions? Let us not forget that they are expressions of Jehovah’s tender compassion. Of course, the greatest example of Jehovah’s compassion is his giving the One dearest to him as a ransom for us. It was a loving sacrifice on Jehovah’s part, and it opened the way for our salvation. Remember, that ransom provision applies to us personally. With good reason, Zechariah, the father of John the Baptizer, foretold that this provision magnified “the tender compassion of our God.”—Luke 1:78. When Jehovah Withholds Compassion Are we to imagine that Jehovah’s tender compassion is without limits? On the contrary, the Bible clearly shows that in the case of individuals who set themselves against his righteous ways, Jehovah rightly withholds compassion. (Hebrews 10:28) To see why he does so, recall the example of the nation of Israel. Although Jehovah repeatedly delivered the Israelites from their enemies, his compassion eventually reached its limit. This stubborn people practiced idolatry, even bringing their disgusting idols right into Jehovah’s temple! (Ezekiel 5:11; 8:17, 18) Further, we are told: “They were continually making jest at the messengers of the true God and despising his words and mocking at his prophets, until the rage of Jehovah came up against his people, until there was no healing.” (2 Chronicles 36:16) The Israelites reached a point where there was no longer any proper basis for compassion, and they provoked Jehovah to righteous anger. With what result? Jehovah could no longer feel compassion for his people. He proclaimed: “I shall show no compassion, nor feel any sorrow, and I shall not have the mercy to keep from bringing them to ruin.” (Jeremiah 13:14) Thus, Jerusalem and its temple were destroyed, and the Israelites were taken captive to Babylon. How tragic it is when sinful humans get so rebellious that they exhaust the limits of divine compassion!—Lamentations 2:21. What about today? Jehovah has not changed. Out of compassion, he has commissioned his Witnesses to preach the “good news of the kingdom” in all the inhabited earth. (Matthew 24:14) When righthearted people respond, Jehovah helps them to grasp the Kingdom message. (Acts 16:14) But this work will not go on forever. It would hardly be compassionate for Jehovah to allow this wicked world, with all its misery and suffering, to continue indefinitely. When divine compassion has reached its limit, Jehovah will come to execute judgment on this system of things. Even then, he will be acting out of compassion—compassion for his “holy name” and for his devoted servants. (Ezekiel 36:20-23) Jehovah will clear away wickedness and usher in a righteous new world. Regarding the wicked, Jehovah declares: “My eye will not feel sorry, neither shall I show compassion. Their way I shall certainly bring upon their own head.”—Ezekiel 9:10. Until then, Jehovah feels compassion for people, even those who face destruction. Sinful humans who are sincerely repentant can benefit from one of Jehovah’s most compassionate provisions—forgiveness. In the next chapter, we will discuss some of the beautiful word pictures in the Bible that convey the completeness of Jehovah’s forgiveness. A Father of Tender Compassion Our heavenly Father is sensitive to our suffering. He is a God of “tender compassion.” (Luke 1:78) Jesus reflected his Father’s compassion for imperfect humans. (Mark 1:40-42; 6:30-34) True Christians also endeavor to imitate their heavenly Father’s compassion. They heed the Bible’s admonition to “become kind to one another, tenderly compassionate.”—Ephesians 4:32. Reflect on the experience of a man named Felipe. One day, on his way to work, he suddenly felt a terrible pain, as if he had been stabbed in the back. He was rushed to a hospital. After an eight-hour examination, the doctors finally concluded that the inner layer of his aorta had suffered a tear. They said that he had only 25 minutes to live and that there was no point in performing surgery. Some of Felipe’s fellow worshippers were present, and their compassion moved them to spring into action. They quickly arranged for him to be transferred to another hospital, where an emergency operation was performed, and they stayed with him until the surgery was complete. Happily, Felipe survived the ordeal. Looking back on the experience, Felipe is thankful for the compassion expressed by his fellow worshippers. But Felipe is convinced that his heavenly Father was the motivating force behind their compassion. “It was as if God, like a loving father, were standing by my side to strengthen me,” says Felipe. Indeed, Jehovah often shows his compassion by moving his servants on earth to reflect that quality. “HOLY, holy, holy is Jehovah.” (Isaiah 6:3) Those inspired words indicate that Jehovah God is clean and pure to the superlative degree. ‘Does his holiness make him cold or aloof?’ you may ask. ‘Could such a holy God really care about me—a sinful, imperfect human?’ Let us examine the reassuring words that God spoke to Moses, as recorded at Exodus 3:1-10. While tending sheep one day, Moses came upon a most unusual sight—a thornbush was on fire but “was not consumed.” (Verse 2) Intrigued, he approached to investigate. By means of an angel, Jehovah spoke to Moses from the midst of the fire: “Do not come near here. Draw your sandals from off your feet, because the place where you are standing is holy ground.” (Verse 5) Just think—because the holy God was present representatively, the ground itself became holy! The holy God had a reason for drawing Moses into conversation. God said: “Unquestionably I have seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and I have heard their outcry as a result of those who drive them to work; because I well know the pains they suffer.” (Verse 7) God was not blind to the misery of his people; nor was he deaf to the voice of their pleadings. Rather, their anguish became his own. Notice that God said: “I well know the pains they suffer.” Regarding the words “I well know,” one reference work notes: “The expression implies personal feeling, tenderness, and compassion.” Jehovah’s words to Moses reveal a deeply concerned and caring God. What would God do? He did not merely look with pity or hear with compassion. He was moved to act. He purposed to deliver his people out of Egypt and to bring them “to a land flowing with milk and honey.” (Verse 8) To that end, Jehovah commissioned Moses, saying: “Bring my people . . . out of Egypt.” (Verse 10) Faithful to that commission, Moses led Israel out of Egypt in 1513 B.C.E. The Bible presents its Author and our Creator, Jehovah God, as the one who is preeminently compassionate. For example, we read: “[God] defends the rights of orphans and widows. He cares for foreigners and gives them food and clothing.” (Deuteronomy 10:18, Contemporary English Version) Jehovah God is described as “executing judgment for the defrauded ones, the One giving bread to the hungry ones.” (Psalm 146:7) Regarding disadvantaged immigrants, Jehovah decreed: “The alien resident . . . should become to you like a native of yours; and you must love him as yourself.”—Leviticus 19:34. How Can We Demonstrate Compassion? Like Jehovah, we need to be sensitive the suffering of others. Granted, there not be something practical we can do other than being a listening and consoling ear. Jehovah sets the standard in compassion through the sacrifice of his firstborn son of which we all benefit. Therefore, we can display compassion by having a self sacrificing spirit, sacrificing our time and resources to help others. Jehovah told his people of ancient times not to be stingy, and if they assisted those in need, they too would be blessed by Jehovah. We too will merit great blessings if we display compassion towards those in need. Rather than “me first” be “you first”. Acts of compassion can be large or small, from opening a door for someone to helping someone rebuild their lives after a natural disaster. If you see a window of opportunity to display compassion - then take it! Do You Demonstrate Compassion Daily?
  10. Oct 16, 2017 Sonya Khubaeva. TBILISI, DFWatch–The supreme court in the breakaway South Ossetia has ruled that Jehovah’s Witnesses is an extremist organization and banned its activities. When the ruling comes into force in a few days, Jehovah’s Witnesses members will face up to 10 years in jail for any religious activities such as assembly and distributing literature. According to Sonya Khubaeva, the de facto government’s commissioner for religious issues, the number of Jehovah’s Witnesses in South Ossetia has exceeded one thousand, or about 2% of the population. The people who spread this religion in South Ossetia have been sent from Georgia, Khubaeva adds. The prosecutor general in the de facto republic Uruzmag Jagayev launched court proceedings against Jehovah’s Witnesses in July 2017, blaming them of “propagating extremist ideas and extremist literature”. At the same time, police searched the houses and office of the organization and seized religious literature. “If the ruling is be appealed, it will enter into force in 10 days,” de facto Justice Minister Zalina Lalieva told Sputnik-Ossetia. “I think they will go underground but their activities will be supervised by the relevant authorities.” In April, Jehovah’s Witnesses was recognized as extremists by the Supreme Court of Russia, which prohibited their activities. In September, various religious groups filed a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights (ICHR) in Strasbourg, which is currently reviewing their case. source 2017 Democracy & Freedom Watch "Republic of South Ossetia"It has a population of 53,000 people who live in an area of 3,900 km2, south of the Russian Caucasus, with 30,000 living in its capital city of Tskhinvali. source Wikipedia Jehovah's Witnesses in South Ossetia were recognized as an extremist organizationThe authorities of South Ossetia became interested in the activities of the organization after reporting to the Prosecutor General's Office that at its meetings literature and extremist ideas are being propagatedTSHINVAL, Oct 11 - Sputnik, Diana Kozaeva. The Supreme Court of South Ossetia granted the suit of the Prosecutor General's Office about the ban on the activity of the religious association "Jehovah's Witnesses" and its recognition as extremist in the territory of the republic, Justice Minister Zalina Lalieva told Sputnik. Court of South Ossetia is considering a case on the prohibition of "Jehovah's Witnesses" Attorney General Uruzmag Dzhagaev sued the court in July this year, after both the investigative department of the Prosecutor General's Office received reports that literature and ideas of an extremist nature are distributed and promoted at Witness meetings. Members of the organization conducted searches, during which siloviki seized religious literature, which is included in the list of extremist materials. "The case was examined last week and within ten days it will come into force if it is not appealed against, and a register of such organizations will be maintained in the future, I believe that they will be collected in some way underground, but their activities will be monitored by the competent authorities" , - said Lalieva. The Supreme Court of Russia in April of this year recognized the international organization "Jehovah's Witnesses" as extremist and liquidated it. Читать далее:
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