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‘We must continue to dream big’: an open letter from Serena Williams


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Serena Williams

The Guardian November 29, 2016 

To all incredible women who strive for excellence,

When I was growing up, I had a dream. I’m sure you did, too. My dream wasn’t like that of an average kid, my dream was to be the best tennis player in the world. Not the best “female” tennis player in the world.

I was fortunate to have a family that supported my dream and encouraged me to follow it. I learned not to be afraid. I learned how important it is to fight for a dream and, most importantly, to dream big. My fight began when I was three and I haven’t taken a break since.

But as we know, too often women are not supported enough or are discouraged from choosing their path. I hope together we can change that. For me, it was a question of resilience. What others marked as flaws or disadvantages about myself – my race, my gender – I embraced as fuel for my success. I never let anything or anyone define me or my potential. I controlled my future.

So when the subject of equal pay comes up, it frustrates me because I know firsthand that I, like you, have done the same work and made the same sacrifices as our male counterparts. I would never want my daughter to be paid less than my son for the same work. Nor would you.

As we know, women have to break down many barriers on the road to success. One of those barriers is the way we are constantly reminded we are not men, as if it is a flaw. People call me one of the “world’s greatest female athletes”. Do they say LeBron is one of the world’s best male athletes? Is Tiger? Federer? Why not? They are certainly not female. We should never let this go unchallenged. We should always be judged by our achievements, not by our gender.

For everything I’ve achieved in my life, I am profoundly grateful to have experienced the highs and lows that come with success. It is my hope that my story, and yours, will inspire all young women out there to push for greatness and follow their dreams with steadfast resilience. We must continue to dream big, and in doing so, we empower the next generation of women to be just as bold in their pursuits.

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      Well as a result, both of them were cursed. In Genesis chapter 3 verse 16 it tells us the curse upon one woman.  Some women; do you know what they think the curse is that they have to live with?  They think its subjection, because it’s one of the hardest things for them to do.
      But I want you to notice what it says in verse 16: “To the woman he said “I shall greatly increase the pain for your pregnancy.  In birth pangs you will bring forth children, your craving will be for your husband and he will dominate you.”  See subjection wasn’t the curse. If she remained in subjection she’d never get into trouble. The curse was domination; and some do suffer under that today.  
      Of course the curse on Adam was no less harmful to him. The bible says that he’d have to scrape the dirt of ground to make a living.  He had to work so hard to eke out a living that that’s all he did all day long.  The ground was cursed and he could only get a little bit of food at a time for him and his children.
      The bible says God cursed the ground to stall wickedness. He was so busy just trying to eat, to live; that they had no time to do anything that was bad. It was only after the flood that the ground’s curse was lifted.  They had a miserable life, both of them, due to being unfaithful and lacking spirituality.
      Well I think we can be very happy that there are women that have exceeded their original mother, Eve.  We have excellent examples of women who are truly spiritual women.  We can think of the women who survived the flood. How many were there? How many women survived the flood? Pam ---[Pam from the audience answers:] “Four” --- That’s right. Can you picture them carrying signs lobbying to try and get on that ark? No, they were allowed on that ark because they were faithful.  Some complain that we don’t know the names of those women, but we know the names of the men. How come men are given better priority than women are?
      Well, we didn’t know the name of the son of God for 4,000 years.  He didn’t complain about that. When it was time for us to know who he was, we did. Well naturally, when those women come back in the resurrection, we’ll know their names too, and what a privilege it well be to meet them.
      The point that is important to establish here is that these women were not preserved simply to be breeders, to continue the human race. They were preserved because they were spiritual women, and Jehovah will never forget them, and he will bring them back.  Maybe one day, if we’re spiritual, we will have the privilege of being with them. 
      When we talk about spiritual women we can’t leave out Sarah, because she is really a celebrated woman in the bible.  She was strikingly beautiful.  You haven’t seen beauty as what Sarah had. I don’t think you ever will until the new system.  You know, Sarah, when men would see her, they would just long for her companionship.  They craved her.  They just couldn’t get their eyes off of her.  And these were prominent men. 
      When Abraham and Sarah left Ur they were going through Egypt. Pharaoh wanted her, and entertained her, courted her.  Now here’s the man that had tens maybe millions of women at his disposal, and yet it was Sarah that he wanted.  He just couldn’t get her out of his mind until Jehovah struck him with the plague, and then he lost everything that he felt for her and told them to please get out because he didn’t want to suffer anymore. 
      Do you know how old Sarah was at that time?  66.  There’s not many woman that age that really would pull that kind of attraction would they.  And sometime later Abimelech, who was a king of an area, he too wanted her.  He was very aggressive.  Jehovah had to interfere again with the plague. You see Sarah, though she was very beautiful, never allowed men to make her an object of their sexual fantasies. And he just longed for her until Jehovah struck him with the plague.  But do you know how old Sarah was at that time? About 89.  So when I say you haven’t seen beauty like Sarah, now you know why.
      And even though Sarah was so beautiful, and obviously very strict in her discipline and the way she carried herself, what did she call her husband? Mary --- [Mary from the audience answers:] “Lord” --- That’s right. It doesn’t mean that she used that verbally. We don’t know if she called him lord verbally, but she did deeply respect him in her heart.
      Does that mean that Sarah and Abraham always got along and she was like a little cocker spaniel always panting at his every breath?  Well, we know that they had their ups and downs in their marriage just like anyone else does.  It’s an interesting account recorded for us in the book of Genesis chapter 21, where Abraham and Sarah came into a deep conflict in their marriage.
      Sarah kept noticing something that Abraham didnÂ’t notice. She noticed that HagarÂ’s son, (and Hagar was AbrahamÂ’s concubine, maid servant, or secondary wife,) was poking fun at Isaac, and this wasnÂ’t simply teasing because Paul, in Galatians, equates it with persecution. That means that IsaacÂ’s life may have been threatened, you see, by Ishmael.
      So it was a very serious thing, and Sarah wanted Ishmael and Hagar dismissed from the house and to be sent off.  Well, Abraham was a loving man, and he just couldn’t see doing this.  Well in verse 12 of that chapter it says God said to Abraham, “Don’t let anything that Sarah keeps saying to you be displeasing to you about the boy and about your slave girl.  Listen to her voice, because it is by means of Isaac that what will be called your seed, will be.”  
      Well Jehovah told Abraham that he had to listen to Sarah, that she was right, that her perception was beyond Abraham’s at that point to appreciate that.  You see, Sarah’s wasn’t acting like a jealous woman who was in competition with this other woman and wanted her out of the house at this point.  We have to remember that Sarah was a spiritual woman.  She was especially concerned about the seed because the seed of promise was the means of deliverance for mankind, and it was extremely important that that seed be protected and guarded. 
      Sarah had the utmost concern for that seed.  She was the one that suggested that Abraham have relations with Hagar.  She was the one that suggested that with Hagar.  It wasn’t Hagar’s idea, it wasn’t even Abraham’s idea, but when she was barren for so long, she said: “Abraham, the seed comes through you, so please make sure that you find a woman who can bear a son, that will eventually make this line possible. “ So she was a spiritual person. Was not jealous. Was not a catty woman. But when she saw the seed was endangered, well she took action, and Jehovah told Abraham to listen to her.
      Well I think it’s obvious by this account that you can see that Sarah was not simply a child bearer, a housekeeper. She was a vital link in the outworking of Gods purpose.  This woman, Sarah, is used to represent Jehovah’s entire heavenly organization. Now that’s an honor given to one solitary sister in the bible.  Jehovah used her, and He loves her, and will forever remember her, because she was spiritual.  A spiritual woman is the only kind of woman Jehovah can deeply love.
      There’s another interesting example in 2nd Kings, maybe you’ll remember this. This too is an unnamed woman, though I think we’re gonna really delight if we have the privilege to meet her. In 2nd Kings chapter 4. She lived in Shunem, and I want you to notice where her spirituality was reflected. 
      In verse 8 of chapter 4, it says: “It came about one day that Elisha, when passing along to Shunem, where there was a prominent woman, and she began to constrain him to eat bread. It came about that as often as he would pass by he would turn aside there to eat bread. At length she said to her husband: “Here now I well know that it is a holy man of God that is passing by us constantly.  Please, let us make a little roof chamber on the wall and put there for him a couch and a table and a chair and lamp stand, and it must occur that whenever he comes into us, he can turn aside there.” 
      That’s interesting isn’t it?  What’d you learn from that account?  Elisha was a profit who traveled in a circuit.  Maybe any woman would be satisfied if she simply entertained this profit each time he passed by, but you see, she was really a spiritual woman, and she told her husband that she would appreciate it very much if they could build an addition on to their house and furnish that addition, so that when he came by he would have a place to stay.
      Why did she suggest that?  Because she recognized that this was a holy man of God.  Now how many people, how many women, would be willing to sacrifice some good clothes, perhaps a little vacation, maybe a better car, just to build an addition onto their house for one solitary profit who was a man of God?  
      It took sacrifice. She was a spiritual woman, see, and her husband recognized that, so he built the addition onto his home.  A lesson for our husbands is; do we listen to our wives, when we examine this woman of Shunem or Sarah, do we recognize that we’re working for the same goals? Do we feel our wives aren’t as mentally keen as we are?  Or do we really recognize they’re God’s given gifts, just like Abraham did, and just like this husband of this woman of Shunem did? 
      When women were submissive to Jehovah’s arrangements, when they were submissive to them, and weren’t running ahead of Jehovah’s arrangements, Jehovah used them gloriously.  It’s so obvious in the bible. Women were used as prophets in the bible. Can you remember one prophetess in the bible? --- Yes, that was in the Christian Greek scriptures, thank you. --- Yes that’s true too, we’re gonna talk about her. And another famous one in the Hebrew scriptures, Deborah, that comes to my mind too.  In Judges 5:7 she is spoken of as mother of Israel. How do you like that? A very prominent position. But do you know why?  Because she was submissive to Jehovah’s arrangements.  She didn’t run ahead. She cooperated, and as a result of that, Jehovah really was able to use her, and exult her, and not humble her and bring her down to size. It’s good for us to reflect on these spiritual women in the bible.
      You know what else is important? Is for sisters to know how they should view themselves.  And you know who can help us with that? It’s Jesus Christ.  His view of you sisters can help any sister to know how to view herself. And believe me, when Jesus came to the earth he had a real hard time dealing with this because in the first century, woman, according to the bible, it was just a terrible thing to happen to be born a woman.
      A woman, according to Talmud, was lower than a pig.  Imagine that. And you weren’t even allowed to have a pig in your yard. As a matter of fact there’s a prayer in the Talmud, it says: “Thank you God, that you didn’t create me a slave, an animal, a pig, or a woman.” Imagine that.
       Well how did Jesus treat women?  There’s an interesting point mentioned. Let’s reflect on it in the book of Luke chapter 11, see what we can learn from this together. In Luke Chapter 11 and verses 27 and 28 it says: “Now as he was saying these things a certain woman out of the crowd raised her voice and said to him “Happy is the womb that carried you and the breasts that you sucked.”  But he said “No, rather, happy are those hearing the word of God and keeping it.” 
      Those are pretty strong words aren’t they? Jesus was trying to get across a point to all women, including all Christian women today.  Because this woman was just saying that because she felt that Mary must have been really proud that she had the privilege of giving birth to the second most important person in the universe, who happens to turn out to be the Messiah.  Whose breasts he sucked and who she raised. [She] says: ‘Your mother must be so proud of you, must be so happy’ and Jesus could have said ‘yeah mom is kind of happy with the way things turned out’, but he didn’t. He wouldn’t give room for that thought.  He said “Happy are those who hear the word of God and keep it.” 
      So the most important thing for women is not their children. It is not the most important thing to either have children, or to raise them. It’s your spirituality that’s the most important thing.  It’s your relationship with God. 
      In Luke chapter 10 verse 39, Jesus gives another perspective to women to think about.  You remember the story about Martha and Mary?  And Martha was really running around. If Jesus was coming to your home I think you would make a fuss too.  Don’t tell me you’d cook the same thing you would cook for your husband, because I wouldn’t believe it.  If the son of God was visiting your home, you would really be up in an uproar.  Everyone would know what you were doing and where you were and you would be just flying around the kingdom hall, you know, just trying to figure out what you were going to prepare for the son of God, and you know it.  So, you can be sympathetic with Martha at this point.
      In verse 40 it says: “Martha, on the other hand, was distracted attending to many duties, so she came near and said: ‘Lord does it not matter to you that my sister has left me alone to attend to things?  Tell her therefore to join in helping me.’”  Martha was positive that Jesus would support her in her effort to illicit some help from her sister.  In answer the lord said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and disturbed about many things. A few things though are needed, or just one, for her part Mary chose the good portion and it will not be taken away from her. 
      Now Jesus wasn’t belittling housework any more than he was belittling having children, but it’s not the most important thing. And some sisters, they love their homes, and they love their children, and they center their lives around them, to the sacrifice of their spirituality, and it shows.  And that’s what Jesus was telling us.  That housework, our homes, the beauty of our homes, our children…, it’s important, but it’s not [more] important than our relationship with God. Again, its’ what you are as a spiritual person. Please don’t neglect that.  Don’t put yourself down by putting things ahead of your spirituality.
      Jesus elevated women. He helped them to appreciate that they weren’t simply breeders or housekeepers, or they’re simply to enhance another man’s life.  And we know that Jesus got this elevated view from Jehovah.  We can be very thankful that in the Christian congregation we have sisters that really appreciate the role of a woman, as a sister and as a wife.  In 1st Peter 3:5, it refers to women as being holy, and that expression is not to be taken lightly. Jehovah sees both men and women as dedicated, thinking individuals. 
      Now it’s’ true that men were given heavier responsibilities, but both were endowed with the four powerful attributes of love, justice, wisdom and power.  In those qualities, women are in no way inferior to men, at least in their potential to develop those qualities, and I wanna prove that to you. 
      Turn with me to 2nd Corinthians chapter 3 verse 18.  And I want you to notice the second word in that verse. It says: “and all of us, while we with unveiled faces reflect like mirrors the glory of Jehovah, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, exactly as done by Jehovah the Spirit.”
      Did you notice that second word? “ALL”. Men and women reflect, or can reflect, the glory of Jehovah.  And what proves that they can do it to his satisfaction is that Jehovah chooses women just as he chooses men to be part of the 144,000, which is the highest honor in the universe.
      So never feel that you are just a housecleaner or child bearer, or that you are here simply to enhance another man’s life.  God has a high loving regard for a spiritual woman. That’s the only kind of woman he can really draw close to. The aid book made an interesting comment, it said: “your relationship to Jehovah as a woman is just as important as any man’s relationship is with him.”
      Well I think thatÂ’s really encouraging to review some of those thoughts, and it helps us to appreciate the high position and the honor that Jehovah gives to our sisters, and that should make a sister really feel good, recognizing she has a long lineage of faithful sisters to copy in their spirituality and their example. When a sister recognizes how much credit Jehovah gives to her, donÂ’t you think that enables her to also absorb the counsel that Jehovah gives to sisters that he does.
      As we mentioned, one of the most difficult challenges of the 20th century Christian woman is to be in subjection; to be in subjection to her husband, whether he is a believer or a un-believer. And most importantly, to show subjection right here to the congregation and to its arrangement. 
      Now do we do that, and what encouragement does Jehovah give to us?  Lets’ talk about being in subjection to a husband. I’d like you to turn to 1st Peter chapter 3.  See what you think about this. 1st Peter chapter 3 and verse 5. I’ve read it so many times but I think I only noticed this point after the 100th reading. It says, “For so, too, formerly the holy women who were hoping in God, used to adorn themselves,” now notice how, “subjecting themselves to their own husbands.” 
      Now subjection isn’t easy, but what does the bible call it? It said it’s your adornment. That’s what makes you feminine.  That’s what makes a women look beautiful in Jehovah’s eyes  is her subjection, so when she loses her submissiveness she’s losing the garment that makes her look pretty in Jehovah’s eyes.  
      Now naturally it’s gonna be a lot harder for a woman to be in subjection where the man does not take the lead. There’s no question that a man who takes his responsibilities seriously, really draws out of a woman her most feminine qualities, doesn’t he.  But if a man is not masculine, does that give an excuse for a woman not to be feminine? 
      In 1st Corinthians 11 verse 3, it set out very clearly the order that God felt we would be the happiest.  We use this scripture to disprove the trinity but that’s not why it was written. It says: “I want you to know that the head of every man is the Christ, in turn the head of the woman is the man, and in turn the head of the Christ is God.”
      Now we know some women in the world feel it’s disparaging for a women to be in subjection to her husband.  But if it’s disparaging for a women to be in subjection to her husband, then that means it would also be disparaging for a man to be in subjection to the Christ, and it would have to be disparaging for Christ to be in subjection to God. 
      Well we say that’s ridiculous. It only makes sense that Christ be in subjection to God.  And it certainly makes sense to most women that men should be in subjection to Christ.  Well if those two points make sense then doesn’t it make sense that a woman really is going to be happiest when she’s in subjection to her husband?
      In 1st Peter chapter 3 verse 4, Jehovah specifically defines the attitude of subjection. See what you think of it. It’s not easy, but Jehovah is painting a picture of what he would really like to see in a woman.  In verse 4 it says: “let it be the secret person of the heart in the incorruptible apparel of the quiet and mild spirit, which is of great value in the eyes of God.” 
      Quiet and mild. That’s hard sometimes isn’t it?  But you can see that that’s the feminine quality that some women are afraid to show, because they feel they are going to get hurt if they are.  Well sometimes we do get hurt, and Jesus was hurt too.  Jehovah’s been hurt too.  And He has a very quiet and mild spirit also. If he was a real angry, nasty personality we know we’d all be dead a long time ago. Probably wouldn’t even be here.  Quiet and mild. It doesn’t prevent us from expressing ourselves, it just tells us how to do it in a feminine way and that’s our adornment. That’s what makes a woman look beautiful in Jehovah’s eyes. It’s of great value in Jehovah’s eyes, even if it may not be in the eyes of your own mate.
      You know sometimes we have single sisters that are looking for brothers in the truth, and you know that if you are looking for a spiritual brother, do you know what kind of sister he is looking for? A spiritual sister. And you know, generally, a brother who’s looking for a sister to marry in the truth, do you know what they ask themselves?  They wonder if she’s a happy person. If she’s openhearted and generous. If she’s friendly, mild tempered, sympathetic, humble, grateful, kind and maybe most important: self forgetful. Very rarely does a brother ask what can she do. They just want to know, what can she BE.
      Of course, to please does not mean an unconditional surrender of one’s self.  That’s not the definition of it. It means giving the good of ourselves to others. It means creating an atmosphere of cheerfulness in the home, which is, in part, the responsibility of a woman.  And that’s not simply a talent, and it’s not simply with those who have a lot of energy. It’s for any woman who wants to be a spiritual woman; a spiritual sister.  And that’s the only kind of woman that Jehovah can deeply love and be close to. 
      Of course, some sisters are married to unbelieving mates, and that sure doesn’t make it any easier. If there’s opposition to the truth, discouragement, even non support, if Jehovah loves a spiritual woman, how can she maintain her spirituality?  Well in the AID book under woman, I don’t know if you sisters have ever read that, but it might be a good idea.  It applies to you and I think you’d find the subject fascinating.  I only read it recently and maybe you’d enjoy reading it too. 
      It’s in the AID book under woman. So you can write that down along with all your scriptures.  And they gave a very interesting example of a woman who was married to an unbelieving mate.  And I never thought of it, it was Abigail.  She was married to Nabal. The bible says he was a good for nothing man.  If the bible says that, that means it was Gods opinion of him. That means he must have been really no good. He was a disgusting despicable character. Few people are spoken of with more contempt than Nabal was.  
      And the account that they reflect on is when David was asking Nabal for some provisions, and David was the anointed of Jehovah. The woman of Shunem recognized that she should build an apartment on her house to house a holy man of God. Nabal wouldnÂ’t even give him anything to eat. Believe me, David was angry. He deserved it.
      Abigail was a spiritual woman. She recognized that he was the anointed of God. She would not follow her husband in this course. Sure it was his decision, but he was wrong. And so she took a stand on this spiritual course and she gave David lots of provisions, secretly, without her husband knowing.
      The next day she did tell him, and when she told him, the bible says that his heart became as hard as stone.  It seems that he was affected by some paralysis, and the bible goes on later to say that Jehovah killed him within the week, so you know he wasn’t a very good person. But she remained in subjection to him until it came to Jehovah’s law, and then she took her stand.  And she was rewarded wasn’t she?  She fell in love with a real spiritual person. 
      Let me read this to you. It was in the Aid book under woman, it says: “the primary duty in Israel of all women was to have children.” Does that make sense?  It shouldn’t.  “The primary duty in Israel of all women was to clean house? …to work? …to please her husband?”  No.  “The primary duty in Israel for all women was to please Jehovah in true worship.”  That’s what came first.
      If that comes first in your life, whether you have a husband in the truth or out of the truth, that certainly will help each sister to remain spiritual so that she can remain in Jehovah’s love.  Of course whether a sister is married to a believing or an unbelieving mate, she must show subjection to the congregation and to its arrangements.  
      Some of the strongest words in the bible directed to our sisters are in 1st Corinthians 14.  I think it would be good for us to examine it.  I tried to find the strongest expressions that were used and I thought it’d be good for us to analyze it, just so we can understand it, because these words offend the ears of those who are not very spiritual.  
      1st Corinthians 14.  Notice what it says in verse 34. “As in all the congregations of the holy ones, let the women keep silent in the congregations, for it is not permitted for them to speak, but let them be in subjection, even as the law says.  If then, they want to learn something, let them question their own husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in a congregation.” 
      Now that’s strong isn’t it?  What does it mean?  Does it mean that women can’t say anything in the congregation?  It couldn’t mean that.  In the first century women spoke in tongues, women prophesied, and they gave fine comments just like you sisters do here in the congregation.  Let me read to you what it says about this verse in the Qualified to be Ministers book.  It says: “Sisters should not try to give counsel to dedicated brothers. On this matter they have to be in silence.  They must not argue or contradict brothers in the congregation or give instruction.  If they want to learn something they may ask their husband at home. If unmarried ask a mature brother. But they should not be asking merely to bring out a point of correction to get the brothers or their husbands to correct the servant. No. Paul says, they may ask if they themselves want to learn something.” See, that’s what is said there. 
      Does that help to set the spirit of things in our mind right?  Or does it rule out asking questions.  It certainly doesn’t rule out trying to get a better understanding of a situation.  The thing that’s ruled out is the asking of questions in an argumentative way, challenging, or debating. That shows a lack of submission to Jehovah’s arrangements, and sometimes the way we say something, is where Jehovah feels we’ve lost our adornment, not the fact that we say something.  And then if we say something and we don’t get an answer that we like, what’s going to be our attitude after that?  Are we still gonna  complain about something, or murmur about it, or wonder when it’s going to be changed or fixed?  You see, if we go too far, then the bible says we’re acting disgracefully.
      Now, it doesn’t rule out commenting at meetings. Believe me; you sisters add depth, perception, warmth, and feeling to the truth, and we need you for that.  And while a sister is not permitted to exercise that kind of authority in the congregation from the platform, a sister can teach. She can teach younger sisters. She can teach her own children. And our sisters do a tremendous job of teaching hundreds of people out in the field service. 
      You know, even Priscilla, with Aquila, helped Apollos out spiritually in Acts 18:26.  If you ever feel a little frustrated about the way things are going in the congregation, you can talk to a brother about it, and just try to understand as best you can what’s happening, and then leave it alone not to badger the point, belabor it, or make it an issue.  And if you feel sometimes that you have to make it an issue, ‘there has to be something done about this…’, ‘we’ve gotta get this straightened out…’.  A good example to think about, that might help to temper our approach, is the one of Miriam. 
      If you turn to the book of Numbers, this is an interesting account, Miriam was a prophetess.  I was impressed to read in Micah 6:4 that when Jehovah says he delivered the nation of Israel he says; “I used Moses, Aaron and Miriam.”  Imagine that, she got mentioned with the two men.  That she was used to deliver the nation of Israel. 
      Evidently she conveyed inspired messages to Israel. Jehovah spoke to her, as he spoke to Moses. She was older than Moses too you know.  She was his older sister. She was the one that diapered him after she got him back from Pharaoh’s daughter, so she really, in many ways, even suffered more than Moses did, because Moses was out in Median for 40 years, while she was trying to make bricks without straw.  She had a harder life and she felt since she was a prophetess, inspired by God, her words are written in the bible, that she should have more of a say about how things are run in Israel.  You see, she reasons in Numbers verse 2 of chapter 12: “They kept saying: “Is it by Moses alone that Jehovah has spoken?  Is it not by us also that he has spoken?”  And Jehovah was listening.”
      What was Jehovah’s response to this? Well notice in verse 10, it says: “the cloud turned away from over the tent, and, look!  Miriam was struck with leprosy as white as snow.  Then Aaron turned toward Miriam, and, look! She was struck with leprosy.”  Terrible. Her skin was falling off her body.  Do you know why Jehovah struck her with leprosy?  It was to show her how unattractive she looked out of place.  
      Moses and Aaron, they wanted Miriam to be made well. Jehovah said: “No. She’s offended me.”  Now some sisters sometime feel, “Oh I would never do what Miriam did. Boy. That was terrible. I would have recognized that Moses was the head. Oh I would have never run ahead of Moses, he was a good man.  I’m not that kind of person. I wouldn’t be caught in that situation.  Look brother, what I see is real. It needs to be said. Miriam was wrong. What she saw was inaccurate. What I see is accurate.”
      What if you do see something that you feel is not right and you feel something needs to be done.  What position should a sister take in the congregation?  Let’s reflect on one more spiritual sister that can help us.  It’s in the book of Luke chapter 2.  This is Anna, and you know something, like Miriam she too was a prophetess.  In Luke chapter 2 verse 36, we read about Anna. It tells us that she was a widow. She was only married for 7 years, so she was a widow for most of her life because at this point she was 84 years old, but notice in verse 37, it says she was never missing from the temple, she rendering sacred service night and day, with fastings and supplications. And in that very hour she came near and began returning thanks to God and speaking about the child to all those waiting for Jerusalem’s deliverance.
      Why was Anna supplicating and fasting?  You know why? Because she was a smart sister.  She was a spiritual woman, and she knew that temple was so corrupt, and so disgusting, and so far away from Jehovah’s worship, that she was at that temple every day praying that one day Jehovah would straighten out this mess.
      It doesn’t say she went around bad mouthing the elders or bad mouthing the religious leaders. It doesn’t say that she stayed away from that temple, because it was obviously corrupt and no good. She was there, she supported Jehovah’s arrangement, and she prayed [and] supplicated to Jehovah that someday it would be right.  And you know what? She had the privilege of seeing the messiah, and when she saw that babe she said, “Now I know things will be right” 
      She had faith, and as we spoke about previously, faith helped her to be modest because she was no longer frustrated, she knew that Jehovah would straighten everything out in his own due time.  She never lived to see it. She died before the messiah died himself.  She was a spiritual woman though. Jehovah will never forget her. He deeply loved her.  Maybe we will have a chance to meet her, and to really get to know her.
      Jehovah loves a spiritual woman. Do you know what question we need to ask after that, is how lovable are you? How spiritual are you? Are you in subjection to the congregation and to its arrangements, and to your husband?  Are you really putting spiritual things first in your life? It’s got top priority.
      If you are, you’re truly working toward being a good spiritual woman, and certainly a fine example for all of us as brothers.  If your husband isn’t in the truth. If your husband doesn’t pray with you. If you are a spiritual woman; that will never stop you from praying fervently.  If your husband doesn’t go out in service that often; that won’t prevent you from being whole souled in service.  If your husband doesn’t go to meetings; that will never keep you home.  If your husband doesn’t study with you; that won’t keep you from being good students of the bible.
      You see, that’s a spiritual woman. And you know something? We need spiritual women.  Really, the truth is, we need each other.  And to close our discussion I’d like you to turn to 1st Corinthians chapter 11. Paul wraps up our feelings and our thoughts so beautifully. All of us, let’s turn to 1 Corinthians chapter 11 and verse 11 and 12. Notice the wording.: ‘Besides, in connection with the Lord, neither is woman without man nor man without woman.  For just as the woman is out of the man, so also the man is through the woman: but all things are out of God.”
      Well it was nice to be able to share that information with you and I hope that you really found it encouraging and helpful.
       
      Milovsky Robert - Jehovah Loves a Spiritual Woman - excellent talk.mp3
    • By Jack Ryan
      Regarding a change to a song title, the study article on page 7 paragraph 17 of November 2017 Watchtower explained, “The change of the title “Guard Your Heart” to “We Guard Our Hearts” was most considerate. Why? In the audience at our meetings, assemblies, and conventions are many new ones, interested ones, young ones, and sisters who by singing the words would be put in the awkward position of telling others what to do. So the title and the lyrics were modified.”
    • By TheWorldNewsOrg
      'Why we should put women on pedestals'
       
       
    • Guest Kurt
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      The differences in men and women even extend to the way our brains are built.
      In the largest study yet on sex differences in the physical makeup of the human brain, researchers from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland have shown that men and women do, in fact, have different brain structures and sizes. Women tend to have thicker cortices, which are associated with intelligence, whereas men’s brains tend to be bigger overall. Although these differences can’t prove that men and women behave differently, they could shed light on why some medications work better in men better than women, and vice versa.
      Researchers looked at the brains of over 5,200 participants older than 40, roughly half men and half women. This group was part of the larger UK Biobank study, which is in the midst of collecting health data on over 500,000 individuals. For this particular study, patients lay down in a structural magnetic resonance imaging. These MRIs are able to parse out different types of brain tissues, like the neurons and the connections between them, which can give scientists a picture of the various brain regions.
      They found that on average, men’s brains were larger. But women’s brains had larger subregions of the cortex—the cortical subregions are discrete parts of this particular brain section associated with memory, sensory input, learning, and making choices. Additionally, there was a lot of variation in the sizes of different brain regions in men; women’s brains tended to be more similar to each other. The research, which hasn’t yet been peer-reviewed, was published in BioArXiv earlier this month.
      These findings aren’t brand new. But most neuroscience studies to date only looked at a sample size of a few hundred participants. The thousands of brains here validate a lot of previous work. The fact that men’s brains had more differences among them “fits with a lot of other evidence that seems to point toward males being more variable physically and mentally,” Stuart Ritchie, a psychologist and lead author of the paper, told Science. Similarly, it wasn’t surprising to find that women tended to have thicker cortices over all based on previous findings (paywall).
      The differences between men and women’s brains were small enough that it’d be impossible for scientists to determine a person’s sex by looking at his or her brain alone. Brain size and composition are characteristics kind of like nose shape: they depend on a lot of different genetic factors, and can take on countless different forms. And although a lot of men have larger noses (and brains) than women, that’s not always the case.
      And it’s important to consider that different brain sizes and regions don’t necessarily translate to actual behavioral differences, like intelligence. “Our manuscript is just about describing the differences, and we can’t say anything about the causes of those differences,” Ritchie told New York Magazine. Different environmental and social factors play a huge role in determining the ways we think and interact with each other.
      Ritchie is confident, though, that understanding the structural variability can help determine why certain diseases affect men and women differently. Understanding variations in brain structure can help develop better, sex-specific treatments for them.
      https://qz.com/956839/men-and-womens-brains-are-shaped-differently-according-to-the-biggest-brain-study-yet/
    • Guest Kurt
      By Guest Kurt
      February 1, 2017
      On Saturday, January 27, there was no maddening rush at the White House to reach Serena Williams, like in 1999, when she won the first of her 23 Grand Slam titles in Flushing Meadows. Or as it was when she won her third Wimbledon, a few months into 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ’s first term. The din of Serena’s feat, now officially the most decorated player in the Open era, died out in the bustle of America’s latest, and loudest, president’s “extreme vetting” immigration diktat. Yet, the symbolism of Serena’s triumph couldn’t be more relevant. At a time when “America First” rings louder than ever, the greatest of its sporting icons, across genders, is an African-American woman, a Jehovah’s Witness from the wrong side of Los Angeles, where she had lost her eldest sister in a gang shootout, and the daughter of a father who was shooed off a tennis court by affluent whites. Even after she broke into the circuit, Williams has had to confront racism and racist stereotypes — from officials, commentators and even her adversaries.
      While it’s overreaching to imagine that her storied success would trigger a revolution in race relations in the US, it’s fair to assume that America’s greatest sporting specimen of the 21st century is an antithesis to its president’s vision for his country. She may not allay the sudden cynicism or the morbid fear of the discriminated and marginalised in the US — sport as a cure to societal dysfunction is grossly hyperbolic — but she stands as an indelible symbol of hope, or an escape. In a metaphorical way, with the mighty swings of her racquet, she’s penning as scathing a verse as Maya Angelou. It won’t seem out of place, if Serena were to recite Angelou’s Still I Rise (in fact, there’s Serena’s rendition of the poem on YouTube).
      Concurrently, any interpretation of Serena’s greatness shouldn’t be constricted to her context. These are mere embellishments in her grand narrative. Serena, as a player in isolation, is a worthy premise for weaving enough eulogies. Maybe she is not celebrated as much outside her country because her feats have come to a stage where her winning spree is taken for granted.
      Such has been the nature of her hegemony that often the rare opponent who beats her ends up being more glorified, ranging from one-season wonders like Samantha Stosur, to more recent peers like Angelique Kerber. There hasn’t been much of a rivalry to speak of, expect the brief but fiery rancour with Maria Sharapova or the more passionless exchanges with her sister Venus.
      Or, as some would say, there were no two equally gifted players playing at the same time. Earlier, it was a case of several similarly endowed players, outstripped by a force superior in craft, more athletic in build, more ruthless in execution of plans. Think of Sharapova, Justine Henin-Hardenne, Kim Clijsters, Dinara Safina or Amelie Mauresmo — the draw was far more competitive. And Serena, despite hitting the wrong side of her 30s, isn’t showing signs of fatigue or adieu.
      Or as some would nitpick, her game is graceless (sometimes with racist undertones). But there is a brutal beauty to her game — those booming serves and guillotine groundstrokes are a vindication — like in boxing. There’s a powerful symmetry to her movements. Then there is the spontaneous thrill of her athleticism.
      To put it simply, there has been no better player than Serena in the 21st century, or arguably ever in the history of tennis. That she happens to be the greatest American sporting icon in the Trump era is a mere coincidence, or perhaps, a bit of satire by the fates.

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Venus y Serena Williams, en una imagen de 1998. REUTERS
       
      30/01/2017 12:28
      Los macarras de las bandas de Compton, un barrio marginal de Los Angeles, se acercaban asombrados por el sonido de los golpes. Cristales rotos sembraban el fondo de la pista. De pronto, un periodista asomó la nariz entre la alambrada. Venus, con 10 años, estaba machacando sin piedad a Serena, 15 meses más joven. Pero necesitaba ir al baño. Richard, el padre, aceptó de mala gana y la hermana mayor, entre carcajadas, abandonó acrobáticamente el rectángulo, con las manos sobre el cemento y las piernas en alto. El reportero se acercó a la oreja de Richard entre susurros.
      -- Creo que tienes a la próxima Michael Jordan.
      -- No, aquí juegan las dos próximas Michael Jordan.
      Richard Williams, por entonces, era un ex jardinero que sabía de tenis lo que le habían enseñado algunos cursos adquiridos por correspondencia. A su modo, pasional y contradictorio, manejaba a dos hijas prodigio. Le gustaba alardear ante los ejecutivos de Reebok y Wilson y los hacía esperar al teléfono. Su esposa Oracene, en cambio, actuaba de un modo más afectuoso. Llevaba a las niñas al cine y a la playa, aunque también les exigía buenas notas en el colegio. «Durante las pausas de los entrenamientos sólo se escuchaba "Mamá esto o mamá lo otro"». Así lo recuerda Dave Rineberg en My seven years as hitting coach for the Williams sisters (Frederick Fell Publishers, 2003) un libro donde desgrana con todo detalle la evolución de las campeonas. Entre 1992 y 1999, el técnico lidió con los delirios de grandeza de Richard. También con sus prejuicios raciales, con sus continuas provocaciones a los blancos, fueran rivales, amigos o periodistas. «Acercaos, no os haremos daño», exclamaba entre bambalinas. Las niñas, ajenas a tantas excentricidades, cumplían uno a uno los plazos hacia la cima.
      En octubre de 1994, Venus debutó como profesional en el torneo de Oakland. Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario, vigente campeona de Roland Garros y US Open, aguardaba en segunda ronda. Aquella niña, con sus desmesuradas zapatillas y sus trenzas de plástico al viento, masacró a la española desde el inicio (6-3, 3-1). Sin embargo, de repente, simplemente desapareció, hasta entregar los 11 juegos siguientes. Rineberg ofrece en el libro su explicación de los hechos. «Una semana antes de viajar a Oakland, Richard y Oracene liberaron de todo trabajo a las chicas. Las llevaron a una reunión de los testigos de Jehová y a dos parques de atracciones». ¿Quién dice ahora que esa brutal exigencia y ese peculiar paternalismo no dieron resultado? ¿Qué padres no repetirían su método?
      El sábado, la final entre hermanas en Melbourne decantó el 23º título de Grand Slam para Serena, récord histórico en la Era Open. Esa bestia insaciable, ahora que me acuerdo, se estrenó en el Open de Australia, con una derrota ante Venus (7-6, 6-1) y otra en dobles mixtos (7-6, 6-2). Formaba pareja con el ídolo local, un chaval rubio de 17 años, llamado Lleyton Hewitt. Tras caer en primer ronda, Serena fue clara en su veredicto: «Podría ganar a este tipo. Su tenis es espantoso. Será la última vez que juegue con él. Ni siquiera podía mantener su servicio».

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    • By Bible Speaks
      11 "Jehovah gives the command;
      The women proclaiming 
      the good news are a large army." (Psalm 68:11)
             jw.org
    • By Bible Speaks
      11 "Jehovah gives the command;
      The women proclaiming 
      the good news are a large army." (Psalm 68:11)
             jw.org
      IMG_2364.MOV

    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Manbij women have been ripping off their burqas and burning them, smoking cigarettes, while men cut off their beards, all while rejoicing at their newly obtained freedom after the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) drove jihadists from the Syrian city.
       
       
    • By Jack Ryan
      Learning how to twerk with Serena Williams
       
       




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    • Eric Ouellet

      Que vos prières soit préparées comme une encens apaisante pour Jéhovah

      Chez les Israélites, l’offrande d’encens était un symbole approprié pour désigner les prières que Dieu entend. C’est pourquoi le psalmiste David a chanté à Jéhovah : 

      “ Que ma prière soit préparée comme l’encens devant toi. ”
      — Psaume 141 : 2
      JÉHOVAH DIEU a chargé son prophète Moïse de préparer un encens sacré à l’usage du culte qui lui était rendu dans le tabernacle d’Israël. Il a donné lui-même la formule de ce mélange composé de quatre ingrédients aromatiques qui dégageaient une bonne odeur. — Exode 30:34-38.
      L’alliance de la Loi dans laquelle la nation d’Israël avait été admise prévoyait de faire brûler quotidiennement de l’encens (Exode 30:7, 8). Ce geste avait-il une signification particulière ? Oui. En témoignent ces paroles du psalmiste : “ Que ma prière soit préparée comme l’encens devant toi [Jéhovah Dieu], l’élévation de mes paumes comme l’offrande de grain du soir. ” (Psaume 141:2). De plus, dans le livre de la Révélation, l’apôtre Jean dit de ceux qui se tiennent autour du trône céleste de Dieu qu’ils ont des bols d’or pleins d’encens. “ Et, précise le récit inspiré, l’encens représente les prières des saints. ” (Révélation 5:8). Il apparaît donc que la combustion d’encens odorant symbolise les prières agréées que les serviteurs de Jéhovah offrent jour et nuit. — 1 Thessaloniciens 3:10 ; Hébreux 5:7
      Pour que Dieu agrée nos prières, nous devons le prier au nom de Jésus Christ (Jean 16:23, 24). Au demeurant, comment pouvons-nous améliorer la qualité de nos prières ? L’examen de quelques exemples pris dans les Écritures devrait nous aider à préparer nos prières comme l’encens devant Jéhovah. — Proverbes 15:8.
      Prions avec foi
      Si nous voulons que nos prières montent vers Dieu comme un encens de bonne odeur, il nous faut les lui offrir avec foi (Hébreux 11:6). Lorsque des anciens ont affaire à une personne spirituellement malade qui réagit bien à leurs conseils bibliques, ‘ leur prière de foi rétablit celui qui est souffrant ’. (Jacques 5:15.) Notre Père céleste prend plaisir à voir quelqu’un le prier avec foi et étudier consciencieusement sa Parole. Un psalmiste qui manifestait cet excellent état d’esprit a écrit : “ Je lèverai mes paumes vers tes commandements que j’ai aimés, et je veux m’intéresser à tes prescriptions. Enseigne-moi la bonté, le bon sens et la connaissance, car j’ai exercé la foi en tes commandements. ” (Psaume 119:48, 66). ‘ Étendons nos paumes ’ en priant avec humilité et exerçons la foi en observant les commandements de Dieu.
      La prière un lien véritable à la sagesse divine
      Supposons que nous manquions de sagesse pour surmonter une épreuve ; par exemple, nous pourrions ne pas être convaincus qu’une certaine prophétie soit déjà en train de se réaliser. Plutôt que de laisser cette incertitude nous déstabiliser spirituellement, prions pour recevoir de la sagesse (Galates 5:7, 8 ; Jacques 1:5-8). N’escomptons pas cependant que Dieu nous réponde d’une manière spectaculaire, mais démontrons la sincérité de nos prières en faisant ce qu’il attend de tous ses serviteurs : qu’ils bâtissent leur foi en étudiant les Écritures à l’aide des publications fournies par l’intermédiaire de “ l’esclave fidèle et avisé ”. (Matthieu 24:45-47 ; Josué 1:7, 8.) Nous avons besoin également d’augmenter notre connaissance en prenant part régulièrement aux réunions du peuple de Dieu. — Hébreux 10:24, 25.
      Certains chrétiens semblent avoir perdu de vue que nous sommes à un stade avancé du “ temps de la fin ”. (Daniel 12:4.) C’est ce que révèlent l’orientation qu’ils donnent à leur vie et leurs centres d’intérêt. Il convient de prier pour que ces chrétiens ravivent ou affermissent leur foi dans les preuves que fournit la Bible que la présence du Christ a commencé en 1914 et que, ayant été intronisé au ciel par Jéhovah cette année-là, il règne depuis lors au milieu de ses ennemis (Psaume 110:1, 2 ; Matthieu 24:3). Nous devrions tous être bien conscients du fait que des événements annoncés, tels que la destruction de la fausse religion (“ Babylone la Grande ”), l’attaque satanique de Gog de Magog contre les serviteurs de Jéhovah et l’intervention salvatrice de Dieu le Tout-Puissant lors de la guerre d’Har-Maguédôn, peuvent survenir avec une rapidité saisissante et s’enchaîner sur une période relativement courte (Révélation 16:14, 16 ; 18:1-5 ; Ézékiel 38:18-23). Aussi, prions Dieu de nous aider à rester spirituellement éveillés. Puissions-nous tous prier avec conviction pour que le nom de Jéhovah soit sanctifié, pour que son Royaume vienne et pour que sa volonté se fasse sur la terre comme elle est faite au ciel ! Puissions-nous aussi continuer à exercer la foi et à démontrer par des actes la sincérité de nos prières (Matthieu 6:9, 10) ! Que tous ceux qui aiment Jéhovah puissent vraiment chercher d’abord le Royaume et Sa justice, et participer le plus possible à la prédication de la bonne nouvelle avant que vienne la fin ! — Matthieu 6:33 ; 24:14.
      Louons et remercions Jéhovah
      Une manière importante de ‘ préparer nos prières comme l’encens ’ consiste à louer et à remercier Dieu du fond de notre cœur. Le roi David a prononcé une prière de ce genre quand lui et le peuple d’Israël ont fait des contributions pour la construction du temple de Jéhovah. Il s’est exprimé ainsi : “ Béni sois-tu, ô Jéhovah le Dieu d’Israël notre père, depuis des temps indéfinis et pour des temps indéfinis. À toi, ô Jéhovah, sont la grandeur, la puissance, la beauté, la supériorité et la dignité ; car tout, dans les cieux et sur la terre, est à toi. À toi est le royaume, ô Jéhovah, Celui qui t’élève aussi en chef au-dessus de tout. La richesse et la gloire sont grâce à toi, et tu domines tout ; dans ta main il y a force et puissance, et dans ta main est le pouvoir de rendre grand et de donner de la vigueur à tous. Et maintenant, ô notre Dieu, nous te remercions et nous louons ton nom magnifique. ” — 1 Chroniques 29:10-13.
      Quelles splendides expressions de louange et de reconnaissance ! Même si nos prières ne sont pas aussi éloquentes, elles peuvent témoigner de la même sincérité. Les actions de grâces et les louanges abondent dans le livre des Psaumes. Les Psaumes 148, 149 et 150, en particulier, louent Dieu en des termes particulièrement choisis. La gratitude envers Dieu imprègne également de nombreux psaumes. “ J’ai demandé une chose à Jéhovah, a chanté David, — c’est ce que je chercherai : Que j’habite dans la maison de Jéhovah tous les jours de ma vie, pour contempler le charme de Jéhovah et pour regarder avec admiration son temple. ” (Psaume 27:4). Agissons en harmonie avec de telles prières en participant avec zèle à toutes les activités des “ foules rassemblées ” par Jéhovah (Psaume 26:12). Ajoutons à cela la méditation quotidienne de sa Parole, et nous aurons quantité de raisons de louer et de remercier sincèrement Jéhovah.
      Recherchons humblement l’aide de Jéhovah
      Nous avons l’assurance que Jéhovah entend les appels à l’aide de ses Témoins qui le servent d’un cœur entier (Isaïe 43:10-12). C’est ce qu’illustre un épisode de la vie d’Asa, qui a été roi de Juda pendant 41 ans (977-937 av. n. è.). Après dix premières années de règne marquées par la paix, le pays a été envahi par une armée de un million d’hommes conduite par Zérah l’Éthiopien. Bien qu’infiniment moins nombreux, Asa et ses hommes sont sortis à la rencontre de l’ennemi. Cependant, avant de livrer bataille, Asa a prononcé une prière fervente, dans laquelle il a exprimé sa confiance dans le pouvoir salvateur de Jéhovah. Implorant son aide, il a dit : “ Sur toi nous nous appuyons et c’est en ton nom que nous sommes venus contre cette foule. Ô Jéhovah, tu es notre Dieu. Que le mortel ne conserve pas de vigueur contre toi. ” En conséquence, Jéhovah a sauvé Juda à cause de son grand nom ; il a donné aux Israélites une victoire totale (2 Chroniques 14:1-15). Qu’il nous délivre de l’épreuve ou qu’il nous donne la force de l’endurer, il est hors de doute que Dieu entend nos appels à l’aide.
      Soyons certains que Jéhovah entend tout autant nos requêtes lorsque nous ne savons pas comment agir dans une certaine situation critique. C’est ce qu’a pu vérifier le roi de Juda Yehoshaphat, dont les 25 ans de règne ont commencé en 936 avant notre ère. Quand Juda s’est trouvé menacé par les armées coalisées de Moab, d’Ammôn et de la région montagneuse de Séïr, Yehoshaphat a fait cette supplication : “ Ô notre Dieu, n’exécuteras-tu pas le jugement sur eux ? Car en nous il n’y a pas de force devant cette foule nombreuse qui vient contre nous ; et nous, nous ne savons que faire, mais nos yeux sont tournés vers toi. ” Jéhovah a répondu à cette prière humble : il a combattu en faveur de Juda en semant la confusion dans les rangs des ennemis de sorte que ceux-ci se sont entretués. À la suite de cela, la crainte a saisi les nations d’alentour, et Juda a connu la paix (2 Chroniques 20:1-30). Lorsque nous manquons de la sagesse nécessaire pour résoudre une grave difficulté, reconnaissons, comme Yehoshaphat : ‘ Nous ne savons que faire, mais nos yeux sont tournés vers toi, Jéhovah. ’ L’esprit saint peut nous rappeler alors à la mémoire des pensées bibliques qui nous donneront la solution, à moins que l’aide divine ne revête une forme qui dépasse l’entendement humain. — Romains 8:26, 27.
       Avant de recevoir l’aide de Dieu, peut-être nous faudra-t-il persévérer dans la prière. Nehémia a mené deuil, a pleuré, jeûné et prié pendant des jours à propos de la muraille en ruine de Jérusalem et de la situation pitoyable des habitants de Juda (Nehémia 1:1-11). Ses prières sont manifestement montées vers Dieu comme un encens de bonne odeur. Devant la mine abattue de Nehémia, le roi perse Artaxerxès lui a un jour demandé : “ Que cherches-tu donc à obtenir ? ” “ Aussitôt, raconte Nehémia, je priai le Dieu des cieux. ” Cette requête courte et silencieuse a été exaucée : Nehémia a reçu l’autorisation d’accomplir ce qui lui tenait à cœur : se rendre à Jérusalem pour y rebâtir la muraille. — Nehémia 2:1-8.
      Jésus nous apprend à prier
      De toutes les prières qui ont été conservées dans les Écritures, il en est une particulièrement instructive ; c’est la prière modèle, que Jésus Christ a présentée comme un encens de bonne odeur. Voici ce que nous lisons dans l’Évangile de Luc : “ Un [des] disciples [de Jésus] lui dit : ‘ Seigneur, apprends-nous à prier, comme Jean aussi l’a appris à ses disciples. ’ Alors il leur dit : ‘ Quand vous priez, dites : “ Père, que ton nom soit sanctifié. Que ton royaume vienne. Donne-nous notre pain pour le jour selon les besoins du jour. Et pardonne-nous nos péchés, car nous-mêmes aussi nous pardonnons à tous ceux qui nous doivent ; et ne nous fais pas entrer en tentation. ” ’ ” (Luc 11:1-4 ; Matthieu 6:9-13). Cette prière n’était pas destinée à être récitée, mais plutôt à donner une indication de ce pour quoi il faut prier. 
       “ Père, que ton nom soit sanctifié. ” Jéhovah accorde à ceux qui le servent et lui sont voués le privilège spécial de l’appeler Père. Comme des enfants qui confient tout à un père qu’ils savent miséricordieux, nous devrions prendre régulièrement le temps d’adresser à Dieu des prières empreintes de dignité et de vénération (Psaume 103:13, 14). Nos prières devraient traduire l’intérêt que nous portons à la sanctification de son nom, que nous aspirons à voir lavé de tout l’opprobre dont il a été couvert. Oui, nous voulons que le nom de Jéhovah soit mis à part et tenu pour saint, ou sacré. — Psaumes 5:11 ; 63:3, 4 ; 148:12, 13 ; Ézékiel 38:23.
      “ Que ton royaume vienne. ”
      “ Que ton royaume vienne. ” Le Royaume représente la domination que Jéhovah exerce par l’intermédiaire du gouvernement céleste messianique qu’il a confié à son Fils, Jésus, et aux “ saints ” qui lui sont associés (Daniel 7:13, 14, 18, 27 ; Révélation 20:6). Bientôt, ce Royaume ‘ viendra ’ contre tous ceux sur la terre qui s’opposent à la souveraineté divine et il les fera disparaître (Daniel 2:44). Après cela, la volonté de Jéhovah sera faite sur la terre, comme elle l’est au ciel (Matthieu 6:10). Quelle joie ce sera pour toutes les créatures qui servent fidèlement le Souverain de l’univers !
       “ Donne-nous notre pain pour le jour selon les besoins du jour. ” En demandant à Jéhovah la nourriture “ pour le jour ”, nous montrons que nous ne cherchons pas à avoir abondance de biens, mais seulement de quoi satisfaire nos besoins quotidiens. Tout en comptant sur Dieu, nous travaillons et mettons à profit les moyens à notre disposition pour nous procurer la nourriture et les autres choses nécessaires à la vie (2 Thessaloniciens 3:7-10). Nous devrions évidemment remercier notre Bienfaiteur céleste, car c’est grâce à son amour, à sa sagesse et à sa puissance que nous avons tout cela. — Actes 14:15-17
       “ Pardonne-nous nos péchés, car nous-mêmes aussi nous pardonnons à tous ceux qui nous doivent. ” Étant donné que nous sommes imparfaits et pécheurs, il nous est impossible de nous conformer absolument aux normes parfaites de Jéhovah. Nous avons donc besoin de le prier de nous accorder son pardon en vertu du sacrifice rédempteur de Jésus. Mais pour que ‘ Celui qui entend la prière ’ applique le mérite de ce sacrifice à nos péchés, il nous faut également nous repentir et accepter toute discipline qu’il juge bon de nous administrer (Psaume 65:2 ; Romains 5:8 ; 6:23 ; Hébreux 12:4-11). Enfin, nous ne pouvons nous attendre à ce que Dieu nous pardonne que si nous “ avons remis à nos débiteurs ”, c’est-à-dire à ceux qui ont péché contre nous. — Matthieu 6:12, 14, 15.
       “ Ne nous fais pas entrer en tentation. ” Quand la Bible dit que Jéhovah fait telle ou telle chose, c’est parfois simplement pour dire qu’il permet qu’elle se produise (Ruth 1:20, 21). Ce n’est pas lui qui nous tente pour nous faire pécher (Jacques 1:13). Les tentations de commettre le mal viennent du Diable, de notre chair imparfaite et du monde. Satan est le Tentateur qui essaie par ses manœuvres de nous faire pécher contre Dieu (Matthieu 4:3 ; 1 Thessaloniciens 3:5). Lorsque nous prions Dieu de ‘ ne pas nous faire entrer en tentation ’, nous lui demandons en fait de ne pas permettre que nous cédions si nous sommes tentés de lui désobéir. Il peut nous indiquer la voie à suivre pour ne pas succomber ni nous laisser vaincre par Satan, le “ méchant ”. — Matthieu 6:13 ; 1 Corinthiens 10:13.
      Agissons en harmonie avec nos prières
      Comment pouvons-nous agir en harmonie avec les prières dans lesquelles nous demandons à être heureux en mariage et dans notre vie de famille?
      La prière modèle de Jésus aborde les points principaux, mais il y a toutes sortes de choses qui peuvent faire l’objet de nos prières. Ce peut être, par exemple, le désir d’être heureux en mariage ; ou bien celui de rester pur jusqu’au jour des noces. Dans ce cas, prions pour avoir de la maîtrise de soi. Mais soyons également conséquents avec nos prières en rejetant les lectures et les divertissements impurs. Soyons déterminés aussi à ‘ nous marier seulement dans le Seigneur ’. (1 Corinthiens 7:39 ; Deutéronome 7:3, 4.) Une fois mariés, ne nous contentons pas de prier pour être heureux : appliquons les conseils venant de Dieu. Si nous avons des enfants, aspirons-nous à les voir devenir de fidèles serviteurs de Jéhovah ? Alors, tout en priant dans ce sens, faisons tout notre possible pour leur inculquer les vérités divines en étudiant la Bible avec eux et en les emmenant régulièrement aux réunions chrétiennes. — Deutéronome 6:5-9 ; 31:12 ; Proverbes 22:6.
      Prions-nous pour que Dieu bénisse notre ministère ? Agissons en harmonie avec ces prières en participant de façon significative à la prédication du Royaume. Si nous prions pour avoir des occasions d’aider les autres à emprunter le chemin de la vie éternelle, ayons soin de bien prendre note des personnes qui manifestent de l’intérêt et soyons prêts à adapter notre programme pour y inclure des études bibliques. Enfin, si nous poursuivons l’objectif de devenir pionniers afin de prendre part à l’œuvre d’évangélisation à plein temps, allons dans le sens de nos prières en augmentant notre participation au ministère et en prêchant avec des pionniers. Nous montrerons ainsi que nous agissons en harmonie avec nos prières.
      Si nous servons Jéhovah fidèlement, nous pouvons être certains qu’il répondra aux prières conformes à sa volonté que nous lui adresserons (1 Jean 5:14, 15).. Faisant une comparaison avec l’odeur agréable de l’encens que les prêtres offraient dans le temple, la Parole de Dieu nous donne cette assurance : “ La prière des hommes droits est pour lui un plaisir. ” — Proverbes 15:8.
       

      · 0 replies
    • folens  »  Eric Ouellet

      Hello Eric, as tu déjà préparé le sujet des joyaux du 10 novembre concernant le but des sacrifices et offrandes, sachant que nous devons d'abord présenter le livre du Lévitique. Comment être concis?
      Le but des sacrifices et des offrandes.dot la Mer Morte.pps
      · 1 reply
    • Emma Rose

      Would a kind soul please help me with how to reply using the quote more than once.
      · 5 replies
    • Dee Gordon  »  T.B. (Twyla)

      HI TWYLA...DEE GORDON HERE.  WOULD LIKE  TO CHANGE MY EMAIL ADDRESS YOU SEND MY MEETING WORKBOOK TO.  I DON'T USE FACEBOOK BUT WOULD LIKE TO CONTINUE TO RECEIVE THE WORKBOOK INFO AND WATCHTOWER NOTES PLEASE . THIS ONE STILL RUNNING YOU HAVE ME SIGNED UP FOR...JUST THAT IT WOULD BE MORE CONVENIENT AT THIS TIME.
      · 3 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      Apprenons à craindre Jéhovah
      “ La crainte de Jéhovah est le début de la sagesse. ” — PROVERBES 9:10.

      IL FUT un temps où dire de quelqu’un craignait Dieu était un compliment. Beaucoup jugent aujourd’hui désuète et illogique l’idée de craindre Dieu. " Pourquoi craindre Dieu s’il est amour?" s’étonnent-ils. C’est que la crainte est à leurs yeux un sentiment forcément négatif, voire paralysant. Or, la crainte de Dieu, la vraie, est bien autre chose que de la peur et, comme nous allons le voir, elle ne se résume pas à un sentiment.
       La Bible présente la crainte de Dieu sous un jour positif (Isaïe 11:3). Craindre Dieu, c’est éprouver envers lui un profond respect et désirer vivement ne pas lui déplaire (Psaume 115:11). C’est aussi accepter ses normes morales et s’y conformer strictement, appliquer dans notre vie ses critères du bien et du mal. Un ouvrage de référence indique que cette crainte salutaire exprime “ un rapport à Dieu, une disposition d’esprit dominante, qui incite à se conduire avec sagesse et à rejeter le mal sous toutes ses formes ”. La Bible dit d’ailleurs que “ la crainte de Jéhovah est le début de la sagesse ”. — Proverbes 9:10.
      La crainte de Dieu influe sur de nombreux domaines de l’existence. Outre la sagesse, elle favorise la joie, la paix, la prospérité, la longévité, l’espoir, la confiance (Psaume 2:11 ; Proverbes 1:7 ; 10:27 ; 14:26 ; 22:4 ; 23:17, 18 ; Actes 9:31). Elle est étroitement liée à la foi et à l’amour. Pour tout dire, elle touche tous les aspects de nos relations avec Dieu et avec les humains (Deutéronome 10:12 ; Job 6:14 ; Hébreux 11:7). Craindre Dieu, enfin, c’est avoir la ferme conviction que notre Père céleste se soucie de nous personnellement et qu’il est disposé à pardonner nos transgressions (Psaume 130:4). Il n’y a donc qu’aux pécheurs non repentants que Dieu devrait inspirer de la terreur. — Hébreux 10:26-31.
      APPRENONS À CRAINDRE DIEU
      Puisqu’il est indispensable de le craindre pour prendre de sages décisions et recevoir ses bénédictions, comment "apprendre à craindre Jéhovah"
      dans le bon sens du terme (Deutéronome 17:19) ? De nombreux exemples d’hommes et de femmes qui craignaient Dieu ont été consignés dans les Écritures “ pour notre instruction ”. (Romains 15:4.) Intéressons-nous à la vie de l’un de ces personnages, le roi David.
      Saül, le premier roi d’Israël, avait la crainte du peuple, mais pas la crainte de Dieu. Cela lui a valu d’être rejeté par Jéhovah (1 Samuel 15:24-26). David, lui, était un homme qui craignait vraiment Dieu ; sa vie et son intimité avec Jéhovah en témoignent. Les nombreuses nuits à la belle étoile qu’il avait passées dans sa jeunesse à faire paître les moutons de son père l’avaient certainement aidé à comprendre ce qu’est la crainte de Jéhovah (1 Samuel 16:11). De l’immense univers, il n’avait contemplé qu’une infime partie, mais cela lui avait suffi pour saisir l’essentiel : Dieu mérite respect et adoration. “ Quand je vois tes cieux, les œuvres de tes doigts, la lune et les étoiles que tu as préparées, écrira-t-il plus tard, qu’est-ce que le mortel pour que tu penses à lui, et le fils de l’homme tiré du sol pour que tu t’occupes de lui ? ” — Psaume 8:3, 4.
      Il était normal que David soit impressionné quand il comparait sa petitesse à l’immensité des cieux étoilés. Mais, loin de l’effrayer, cette connaissance le portait à louer Jéhovah. “ Les cieux proclament la gloire de Dieu, a-t-il écrit ; et l’œuvre de ses mains, l’étendue l’annonce. ” (Psaume 19:1). Ce profond respect le rapprochait de Jéhovah ; il lui donnait envie d’apprendre ses voies parfaites et de les suivre. Percevez-vous les sentiments qui l’habitaient quand il chantait ce psaume : “ Tu es grand et tu fais des choses prodigieuses ; tu es Dieu, toi seul. Instruis-moi de ta voie, ô Jéhovah ! Je marcherai dans ta vérité. Unifie mon cœur pour craindre ton nom. ” — Psaume 86:10, 11.
      Quand les Philistins ont envahi le pays d’Israël, leur champion, Goliath, a provoqué les Israélites du haut de ses trois mètres. " Envoyez donc quelqu’un m’affronter en combat singulier ! les narguait-il. S’il me bat, nous serons vos serviteurs. " (1 Samuel 17:4-10). Saül et toute son armée étaient terrifiés. Mais pas David. S’il devait craindre quelqu’un, c’était Jéhovah, et non un homme, si fort soit-il. “ Je viens vers toi avec le nom de Jéhovah des armées, a-t-il lancé à Goliath. [...] Et toute cette assemblée saura que ce n’est ni par l’épée ni par la lance que Jéhovah sauve réellement, car à Jéhovah appartient la bataille. ” Grâce à Jéhovah, une fronde et une pierre ont suffi à David pour abattre le géant. — 1 Samuel 17:45-47.
      Il peut arriver que nous nous trouvions devant des obstacles ou des ennemis aussi intimidants que ceux qu’a dû affronter David. Que faire alors ? Imiter David et d’autres fidèles du passé en s’armant de la crainte de Dieu. La crainte de Dieu l’emporte sur la crainte de l’homme. À ses compatriotes en butte à l’opposition, le fidèle Nehémia a adressé cette exhortation : “ N’ayez pas peur à cause d’eux. Souvenez-vous de Jéhovah le Grand et le Redoutable. ” (Nehémia 4:14). C’est parce qu’ils avaient son soutien que David, Nehémia et d’autres ont réussi à faire ce que Jéhovah attendait d’eux. Nous le pourrons également si nous craignons Dieu.
      Après celle sur Goliath, Jéhovah a accordé d’autres victoires à David. Jaloux, Saül a tenté de tuer le jeune homme, d’abord dans un geste de colère, puis par des moyens détournés, enfin en mobilisant toute une armée contre lui. Même si David avait reçu l’assurance qu’il serait roi, pendant des années il a dû fuir, se battre, et attendre le moment fixé par Jéhovah. Dans toutes ces situations, il ne s’est jamais départi de sa crainte du vrai Dieu. — 1 Samuel 18:9, 11, 17 ; 24:2.
      À un moment donné, David s’est réfugié auprès d’Akish, le roi de Gath, ville philistine d’où était originaire Goliath (1 Samuel 21:10-15). Les serviteurs d’Akish l’ont dénoncé comme ennemi. Comment a-t-il réagi à cette situation périlleuse ? Il s’est confié à Jéhovah de tout son cœur (Psaume 56:1-4, 11-13). Il s’est finalement sorti du guêpier en simulant la démence, mais il était bien conscient de devoir son salut à Jéhovah, qui avait béni son stratagème. David a prouvé qu’il craignait vraiment Dieu en plaçant toute sa confiance en lui. — Psaume 34:4-6, 9-11.
      À l’exemple de David, nous montrerons que nous craignons Dieu en ayant confiance en sa promesse de nous aider dans les épreuves. “ Roule ta voie sur Jéhovah, compte sur lui, et c’est lui qui agira ”, a affirmé David (Psaume 37:5). Cela ne veut pas dire qu’il faut mettre nos problèmes entre les mains de Jéhovah sans rien faire d’autre qu’attendre son intervention. David ne s’est pas contenté de prier et de voir venir. Il a cherché une solution à son problème en utilisant les capacités physiques et intellectuelles dont Jéhovah l’avait doté. Pour autant, il ne pensait pas que ses efforts d’humain suffiraient. Cette façon de voir devrait aussi être la nôtre. Faisons tout ce qui est en notre pouvoir, puis laissons Jéhovah se charger du reste. Cela étant, il est fréquent que nous ne puissions rien faire d’autre que compter sur Jéhovah. C’est là que la crainte de Dieu revêt un caractère très personnel. Combien est réconfortante cette réflexion de David : “ L’intimité avec Jéhovah appartient à ceux qui le craignent. ” — Psaume 25:14.
      Il s’agit donc de ne pas banaliser nos prières et nos relations avec Dieu. Lorsque nous nous ‘ avançons ’ vers Jéhovah, nous devons “ croire qu’il est, et qu’il devient celui qui récompense ceux qui le cherchent réellement ”. (Hébreux 11:6 ; Jacques 1:5-8.) Et quand il vient à notre aide, il nous faut, conformément au conseil de l’apôtre Paul, ‘ nous montrer reconnaissants ’. (Colossiens 3:15, 17.) Ne ressemblons jamais à ceux dont un chrétien oint expérimenté a dit : “ Ils prennent Dieu pour une sorte de garçon de café. Ils aimeraient qu’il réponde à un claquement de doigts dès qu’ils ont besoin de quelque chose, et qu’il disparaisse dès qu’ils ont eu ce qu’ils voulaient. ” Où est leur crainte de Dieu ?
      Le fait que Jéhovah l’ait secouru a augmenté la confiance et la crainte que David éprouvait envers lui (Psaume 31:22-24). Trois fois, cependant, David a mis notablement sa crainte de Dieu entre parenthèses, ce qui a eu des conséquences tragiques. La première fois, c’est quand il a décidé de faire transporter l’arche de l’alliance à Jérusalem sur un chariot, et non sur les épaules des Lévites comme le prescrivait la Loi. Ouzza, qui conduisait le chariot, a saisi l’Arche pour l’empêcher de tomber. Dieu l’a fait mourir sur le champ pour cet “ acte d’irrévérence ”. Certes, Ouzza avait commis un péché grave, mais c’est bien David qui, pour n’avoir pas respecté la Loi divine, était responsable de ce drame. Craindre Dieu suppose que l’on fasse les choses comme lui l’entend. — 2 Samuel 6:2-9 ; Nombres 4:15 ; 7:9.
      Une autre fois, sous l’impulsion de Satan, David a procédé au dénombrement des hommes de guerre en Israël (1 Chroniques 21:1). Là encore, il a cessé momentanément de craindre Dieu, ce qui a coûté la vie à 70 000 de ses compatriotes. Bien qu’il se soit repenti devant Jéhovah, lui et le peuple ont beaucoup souffert en la circonstance. — 2 Samuel 24:1-16
      C’est aussi parce qu’il avait oublié sa crainte de Dieu que David a couché avec Bath-Shéba, la femme d’Ouriya. David savait qu’il était mal, non seulement de commettre l’adultère, mais aussi de désirer la femme d’un autre (Exode 20:14, 17). Tout a commencé quand il a aperçu Bath-Shéba qui se baignait. La crainte de Dieu lui commandait de détourner son regard immédiatement et de maîtriser ses pensées. Mais il a manifestement ‘ continué à regarder ’, si bien que la passion l’a emporté sur sa crainte de Dieu (Matthieu 5:28 ; 2 Samuel 11:1-4). David a oublié que Jéhovah devait être présent dans tous les domaines de sa vie. — Psaume 139:1-7.
      De son adultère avec Bath-Shéba est né un fils. Peu après, Jéhovah a envoyé le prophète Nathân dénoncer le péché de David. Retrouvant la crainte de Dieu en même temps que la raison, celui-ci s’est repenti. Il a supplié Jéhovah de ne pas le rejeter et de ne pas lui retirer son esprit saint (Psaume 51:7, 11). Jéhovah lui a pardonné et a atténué le châtiment, mais il ne lui a pas épargné toutes les conséquences de ses actes. Le fils de David est mort ; les malheurs se sont succédé dans sa famille. Quel prix à payer pour avoir momentanément fait abstraction de la crainte de Dieu ! — 2 Samuel 12:10-14 ; 13:10-14 ; 15:14.
      Aujourd’hui de même, ne pas craindre Dieu dans le domaine de la moralité peut avoir des conséquences graves et durables. Imaginez la douleur de cette jeune femme qui découvre que son mari chrétien l’a trompée lors d’un déplacement professionnel à l’étranger. Choquée, anéantie par le chagrin, elle enfouit son visage dans ses mains et pleure toutes les larmes de son corps. Combien de temps faudra-t-il au mari infidèle pour regagner la confiance et le respect de sa femme ? Des situations aussi pénibles peuvent être évitées grâce à la crainte de Dieu. — 1 Corinthiens 6:18.
      Satan détruit les valeurs morales de la société humaine les unes après les autres, et il cherche particulièrement à corrompre les vrais chrétiens. Pour ce faire, il exploite le chemin le plus direct vers le cœur et l’esprit : nos sens, avec une prédilection pour l’ouïe et la vue (Éphésiens 4:17-19). Comment réagissez-vous quand, involontairement, vous vous trouvez exposé à des images ou à des paroles obscènes, ou encore en présence d’individus immoraux ?
      Voyez le cas d’André. Cet ancien et père de famille est médecin dans un pays d’Europe. Quand il était de garde de nuit à l’hôpital, des collègues féminines avaient pris l’habitude d’épingler sur son oreiller des mots doux ornés de petits cœurs pour l’inviter à coucher avec elles. André s’interdisait résolument d’accorder la moindre pensée à ces avances. Mieux, pour se soustraire à cet environnement malsain, il a changé d’établissement. Sa crainte de Dieu s’est révélée sage et lui a valu des bénédictions, puisqu’il effectue aujourd’hui une partie de ses activités au siège des Témoins de Jéhovah de son pays.
      Troquer nos précieuses relations avec Jéhovah contre quelque chose auquel nous n’avons pas droit : voilà où nous risquons d’en arriver en cultivant de mauvaises pensées (Jacques 1:14, 15). Si nous craignons Jéhovah, en revanche, nous nous tiendrons éloignés — et même nous nous écarterons délibérément — des gens, des lieux, des activités ou des divertissements qui pourraient nous faire baisser notre garde (Proverbes 22:3). Quel que soit l’inconvénient ou le sacrifice que cela implique, il n’est rien à côté de la perte de la faveur divine (Matthieu 5:29, 30). La crainte de Dieu nous commande de ne jamais nous exposer intentionnellement à quoi que ce soit d’immoral — à commencer par la pornographie sous toutes ses formes —, mais aussi de faire en sorte que nos yeux “ passent sans s’arrêter à la vue de ce qui n’est que néant ”. Soyons convaincus que Jéhovah, alors, nous ‘ gardera en vie ’ et nous donnera tout ce dont nous avons réellement besoin. — Psaume 84:11 ; 119:37.
       Assurément, c’est toujours faire preuve de sagesse que de laisser la crainte de Dieu dicter nos actions. C’est aussi la source du vrai bonheur (Psaume 34:9)

      · 3 replies
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