By Bible Speaks
IS YOUR HUT ON FIRE ? The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for Jehovah to rescue him, and everyday he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.
Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect himself from the elements and to store his few possessions.
One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames ????? with smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened!
Everything was lost! He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. “Jehovah, how could you do this to me?” he cried.
Early the next day he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. “How did you know I was here?” asked the weary man of his rescuers. “We saw your smoke signal,” they replied.
Moral of the story: It’s easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn’t lose heart, because Jehovah is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain, and suffering.
Remember that, the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground, it just may be a smoke signal that summons the undeserved kindness of Jehovah. - Contributed
By The Librarian
It was announced that the Devil was going out of business and that he would offer all his tools for sale to whom ever would pay the price.
On the night of the sale, they were all attractively displayed and marked with a price, even so, they were a bad looking lot:
Malice, Hatred, Envy, Deceit, Jealousy and Sensuality and all the other implements of evil were spread out.
Apart from the rest, lay a harmless looking wedge shaped tool. Much worn and priced higher than any of the others. Someone asked the Devil, "What is that?"
That is "DISCOURAGEMENT", THE DEVIL REPLIED!
"But why do you have it priced so high?", the prospective purchaser inquired.
BECAUSE SAID THE DEVIL; " It is more useful to me than any of the others. I can pry open and get inside a man's soul with it. I can do this when I can not get near him with any of the other tools I possess.. Once I get inside his mind with discouragement, I can use him in whatever way suits me best. The reason this tool is so worn, is that I can use it with nearly everyone. So, very few know that it belongs to me!
It hardly needs to be added, that the Devil's price was so high for discouragement that it was never sold. He still owns it and uses it today!
- contributed by email - Many thanks Jenni
By The Librarian
The public talk title today was, " where can you find security in this world?"
The brother giving the talk gave a very nice illustration, inspired by a true event. Psalm 91:1 states, "Anyone dwelling in the secret place of the Most High, Will procure himself lodging under the very shadow of the Almighty One." So what is that Secret place? and how can you find security there? This illustration also makes it clear as to how we should deal with each other in the christian congregation if any misunderstanding or conflicts arise.And here it is:
Imagine that you are at the kingdom hall or any other place with some brothers and sisters, and suddenly war broke out, rebels are moving all over the place with guns and knives, randomly killing everyone they saw.Now all present started to search for a place to hide, and finally found a place and all hid themselves. It was a tight, dark , cold room, not enough space for anybody to move. Then one of the brothers/sisters decides to move a bit, and steps on your foot, and that hurt you alot. WILL YOU SHOUT? Will you start complaining that its a tight, dark room and you can't stay in there? You know that rebels are all over the place searching for people, and you know what will happen if you SHOUT. Of course, if you decide not to shout, then all of you will be safe. And if you decide to shout, well you know what will happen.
Likewise, the christian congregation today serves as a "secret place" for Jehovah's people. You can be safe from the pressures of the world around you. And you might have conflicts or misunderstanding with some brothers or sisters, you might get insulted, judged. Now will you SHOUT? in another sense, will you COMPLAIN? You know that satan, the REBEL, "walks about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour someone", ( 1 Peter 5:8). If the REBEL, sees any signs of discouragement or hears any complaining, he will creep in and cause division, or may drift you away from the "SECRET PLACE". But if you keep quiet, then all will be safe.
So next time a conflict arises between you and any of your brothers or sisters, WILL YOU SHOUT ??
By The Librarian
The Scripture in Hebrews 5:14 is quite familiar to us; that mature people have their perceptive powers trained through "use". This implies constant attention to staying active with the spiritual tools and talents available to each of us. But what happens when we slow down in the application of spiritual principles and guidelines in our lives, or become lazy and unproductive?
A Spanish philosopher tells about the Roman aqueduct at Segovia, in his native Spain. It was built in 109 A.D. For eighteen hundred years, it carried cool water from the mountains to the hot and thirsty city. Nearly sixty generations of men drank from its flow.
Then came the present generation. One man said, "This aqueduct is so great a marvel that it ought to be preserved for our children as a museum piece. We shall relieve it of its centuries-long labour."
They did. They laid modern iron pipes. They gave the ancient bricks and mortar a reverent rest. And the aqueduct began to fall apart. The sun beating on the dry mortar caused it to crumble. The bricks and stone sagged and threatened to fall. What ages of service could not destroy, idleness disintegrated.
Here's another story:
The great violinist, Nicolo Paganini, willed his marvellous violin to Genoa, the city of his birth, but only on condition that the instrument never be played. It was an unfortunate condition, for it is a peculiarity of wood that as long as it is used and handled, it shows little wear. As soon as it is discarded, it begins to decay.
The exquisite, mellow-toned violin has become worm-eaten in its beautiful case, valueless except as a relic. The mouldering instrument is a reminder that a life withdrawn from all service to others loses its meaning.
Good reasons then, to carefully consider the necessary actions listed in 2 Peter 1:5-8 that when applied, will "prevent (us) from being either inactive or unfruitful regarding he accurate knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."
By The Librarian
I was watching some little kids play soccer. These kids were only five or six years old, but they were playing a real game - a serious game - two teams, complete with coaches, uniforms, and parents. I didn't know any of them, so I was able to enjoy the game without the distraction of being anxious about winning or losing - I only wished the parents and coaches could have done the same. The teams were pretty evenly matched. I will just call them Team One and Team Two.
Nobody scored in the first period. The kids were hilarious. They were clumsy and terribly inefficient, as only children can be. 🙂 They fell over their own feet, they stumbled over the ball, they kicked at the ball and missed it, but they didn't seem to care they were having fun!
In the second period, the Team One coach, pulled out what must have been his first team players and put in the scrubs; with the exception of his best player, who he left at goalie. The game took a dramatic turn. I guess winning is important even when you are five years old, because the Team Two coach left his best players in; the Team One scrubs were just no match for them.
Team Two swarmed around the little guy at goalie. He was an outstanding athlete for five, but he was no match for three or four who were equally as good. Team Two began to score. The lone goalie gave it his all. Recklessly throwing his body in front of incoming balls, trying valiantly to stop them.
Team Two scored two quick points in succession. It infuriated the young boy. He became a raging maniac - shouting, running, and diving. With all the stamina he could muster, he finally was able to cover one of the boys as he approached the goal. But, that boy kicked the ball to another boy twenty feet away, and by the time the young goalie repositioned himself, it was too late.
They scored a third goal. I soon learned who the goalie's parents were. They were nice, decentlooking people. I could tell that his dad had just come from the office, tie and all. They yelled encouragement to their son. I became totally absorbed, watching the boy on the field, and his parents on the sideline. After the third goal, the little kid changed.
He could see it was no use; he couldn't stop them. He didn't quit, but he became quietly desperate - futility was written all over his face. His father changed too. He had been urging his son to try harder - yelling advice and encouragement. But then he changed; he became anxious. He tried to say that it was okay to hang in there. He grieved for the pain his son was feeling.
After the fourth goal, I knew what was going to happen. I've seen it before. The little boy needed help so badly, and there was no help to be had. He retrieved the ball from the net and handed it to the referee - and then he cried. He just stood there while huge tears rolled down both cheeks. He went to his knees, I saw his father start onto the field.
His wife clutched his wrist and said, "Jim, don't. You'll embarrass him." But, he tore loose from her and ran onto the field. He wasn't supposed to for the game was still in progress. Suit, tie, dress shoes, and all - he charged onto the field and he picked up his son so everybody would know that this was his boy. And he hugged him and kissed him and cried with him. I have never been so proud of any man in my life. He carried him off the field, and when they got close to the sidelines I heard him say, "Scotty, I'm so proud of you. You were great out there. I want everybody to know that you are my son."
"Daddy," the boy sobbed, "I couldn't stop them. I tried, Daddy, I tried and tried and they scored on me." "Scotty, it doesn't matter how many times they score on you. You're my son, and I'm proud of you. I want you to go back out there and finish the game. I know you want to quit, but you can't. And son, you're going to get scored on again, but it doesn't matter. Go on, now."It made a difference - I could tell it did. When you're all alone, and you're getting scored on - and you can't stop them - it means a lot to know that it doesn't matter to those who love you. The little guy ran back on to the field, and they scored two more times; but it was okay.
I get scored on every day. I try so hard. I recklessly throw my body in every direction. I fume and rage. I struggle with temptation and sin with every ounce of my being - and Satan laughs. And he scores again, and the tears come, and I go to my knees; sinful, convicted, helpless.
Then my Father rushes right out on the field - right in front of the whole crowd - the whole jeering laughing world, and he picks me up. And he hugs me, and he says, "I am so proud of you. You were great out there. I want everybody to know that you are my child.
Isaiah 41:10, 13
By The Librarian
If you put a buzzard in a pen six or eight feet square and entirely open at the top, the bird, in spite of his ability to fly, will be an absolute prisoner. The reason is that a buzzard always begins a flight from the ground with a run of ten or twelve feet. Without space to run, as is his habit, he will not even attempt to fly, but will remain a prisoner for life in a small jail with no top.
The ordinary bat that flies around at night, a remarkably nimble creature in the air, cannot take off from a level place. If it is placed on the floor or flat ground, all it can do is shuffle about helplessly and, no doubt, painfully, until it reaches some slight elevation from which it can throw itself into the air. Then, at once, it takes off like a flash. A bumblebee, if dropped into an open tumbler will be there until it dies, unless it is taken out. It never sees the means of escape at the top, but persists in trying to find some way out through the sides near the bottom. It will seek a way where none exists, until it completely destroys itself. In many ways, there are lots of people like the buzzard, the bat, and the bee. They are struggling about with all their problems and frustrations, not realizing that the answer is right there above them.
The Psalmist said, "I shall raise my eyes to the mountains. From where will my help come? My help is from Jehovah (Ps 121:1, 2) Our best source of help is just above us, but we need to look up and ask.
By The Librarian
This is a true story about a little girl. There was a fire in her building in Harlem. She was up on the fourth floor at a window and the firemen couldn't get to her, so they spread out nets, and they were yelling for her to jump, but she would not listen to them. It turns out she was blind and couldn't see the net and was afraid to jump. When her father got there he called out to her to jump. Hearing her Dad's voice, she jumped and was totally relaxed. So relaxed that she not only didn't break a bone but also didn't even strain a muscle. We can compare this illustration to our relationship with our heavenly Father. We should have complete and total trust in Jehovah's instructions and just do them.
By The Librarian
A little shepherd boy was watching his sheep one Sunday morning. As he heard the bells ringing the faithful to church, he watched the people walking along the lane next to the pasture. He began to think that he, too, would like to communicate with God. "But what can I say?" he thought. He had never learned a prayer.
So on bended knee, he began to recite the alphabet - A, B, C, D, and so on to Z, repeating his "prayer" several times.
A man passing by heard the boy's voice, and stopping to look through the bushes, saw the child kneeling with folded hands and closed eyes, saying, "J, K, L, M, ..."
He interrupted the boy, asking, "What are you doing, my little friend?" The boy replied, "I was praying, sir."
Surprised, the man said, "But why are you reciting the alphabet?"
The child explained, "I don't know any prayers, sir. But I want God to take care of me and help me to care for the sheep. So, I thought if I said all I knew, He could put the letters together and spell all that I want to say and should say."
The man smiled and said, "Bless your heart. You're right - God will!"
Remember that Jesus told us to have faith like a child. When you go to God in prayer, don't worry if you don't know what to say. He can put your thoughts and feelings together and send you the answer you need, even when you don't know what you need.
By The Librarian
Ephesians 4:22, 23: "That you should put away the old personality which conforms to your former course of conduct and which is being corrupted according to his deceptive desires; but that you should be made new in the force actuating your mind."
The verb, "put away"-- in the original Greek language is called the aorist tense. It indicates an action that is taken just once or once and for all. So it must be decisively (conclusively settled) stripped off.
To help you get the sense of this lets illustrate:
When one gives you advise on how to renovate your house, an antique, or a piece of old furniture, the worst words you can hear to solve the problem is: "The only thing you can do to make it right is to strip off the paint."
Why are these hated words? Well, have you ever used paint stripper? Do you know anyone who has ever told you that they like to strip ANYTHING? No one likes it. You get it on you. It burns. Splashes on your face or gets under the glove that you are using.. gooey, slippery, sludge. So why do we do it? Why do we subject ourselves to such torture? Because it is a necessity; there is no other alternative. It is the best solution. Why?
If it is not stripped completely you risk the new coating delaminating or peeling.
We have to do the same with our old personality. If we don't get it off completely, it will eventually cause our spirituality to delaminate. It is because, the old personality "is being corrupted" as the 'b' section of Eph. 4:22 indicates. Yes, the old personality is in a continuous course of moral degradation going from bad to worse, leading to defilement and death. So you have to get it off, like clothing that has the smell of a skunk!!!!! Get it off!!! Would you keep your socks on? No, we take everything off the first chance we get.
By The Librarian
Think of a vintage vehicle that sits gleaming in a showroom or museum. Imagine the attention to detail, the thousands of hours spent in restoring it to its present condition, perhaps because someone saw it rusting away under a tree and could see its potential.
Or perhaps it is a beautiful piece of antique furniture, or a building such as the Stanley Theatre. In the latter case, Jehovah's people saw its potential, and spent many hours on its restoration.
Now, if people can do that for material things, are we prepared to put that amount of time and effort into our own spirit, to create a refined, self-sacrificing attitude in ourselves?
By The Librarian
Once there was a man who worked for a construction company. He always tried to do exactly what his employer wanted. He arrived for work on time, and never took 'extended' morning tea or lunch breaks. One day after his morning break he got up and started work, picking up a large piece of timber to take to the worksite.
Some of the workers completely ignored him.
Some of the others started to give him a hard time.
Some said, "Take it easy, come back here and sit with us. You don't need to do that now."
Others shouted, "That's no way to carry a piece of timber by yourself, you need to balance it better!"
Others thought he was just trying to impress the boss, and trying to make them look bad.
Our Pioneers, Ministerial Servants and Elders and others are trying to do what our employer, Jehovah God wants.We can ignore, discourage, criticise, or impute wrong motives. Or we can get up, reach out and help them carry the load.
By The Librarian
Hello, We recently dedicated our remodeled Kingdom Hall here in Los Angeles , and our guest speaker was Bro. Javier Hernandez from Brooklyn Bethel. Bro. Hernandez did a program in English and Spanish, which was outstanding. Then on Sunday he gave our Public Talk and then a service talk entitled "Imitate Their Faith." It highlighted the hard work of the governing body, and why we should imitate their example. Bro. Hernandez is very knowledgeable of the Governing Body, because he serves as Bro. Herd's personal secretary.
I have to relate the wonderful illustration he gave of the lazy cowbird. It is so good. Bro. Hernandez grew up in West Texas , and often saw cowbirds. These birds spend most of their time on the backs of cows eating parasites. When they spot a bird building a nest they will wait for the bird to leave and then go and lay their eggs in someone else's nest. The cowbird is lazy, so it goes back to the cow. The unsuspecting bird doesn't notice the extra eggs, and when they hatch, she begins flying off to feed them. This tires her out so that when her own eggs hatch she is too weak to feed them, and her babies end up dying.
speckled cowbird egg
Today Satan is like the cowbird. He watches us and then tries to drop eggs into our nest. They may be work, school, entertainment, recreation, or whatever, and we begin to take more care of Satan's eggs than our own spiritual needs. If we are not careful, our spirituality will die because we are too busy feeding Satan's eggs. So watch out for those deadly eggs and get them out of your nest!
What a simple practical real life illustration! Maybe you have heard it before but it was so good I had to share. Bro.Hernandez also repeatedly said we are living in the last seconds of the last days. No doubt working closely with the Governing Body, that phrase is common. It's a good reminder of our need to get and be ready.
You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.
Ps.I added the pictures for you.....
By The Librarian
What is your opinion?. Is it rats?
If a mousetrap is introduced into a mouse's environment, it will go right over to it, take the bait, and its family will jump on it too in an effort to get it loose and perhaps all will get stuck.
A rat, however, will ignore everything new in its environment until it gets used to it, and only then it will go investigate it. So to catch a rat, a trapper leaves the trap, then when the rat is used to it he baits it. By introducing the bait (something new) into its environment causes the rat to ignore it all over again, until he gets used to it.
Then the trapper sets the trap and, after waiting for the rat to "acclimatize" he catches the rat.
The point is that Satan is catching people with this method today, by getting us used to an environment that is very bad, little by little--acclimatizing us to it so we get to thinking that what's in our environment (bad entertainment, immorality, etc.) is normal, and then! He has us.
Think ? Then reflect on what we considered bad entertainment 20 or more years ago...
Reminds me of the illustration in Sunday's Watchtower (4/15/12), Maintain a Complete Heart Towards Jehovah:
Imagine that you are reading a book by the light of a 100-watt bulb, but then the bulb fails. Since you are left in the dark, you immediately notice what happened and replace the burned-out bulb with a new one. Light fills the room again. The next evening, you are reading with the help of the same lamp. However, unbeknownst to you, someone replaced the new 100-watt bulb with a 95-watt bulb. Would you notice the difference? Probably not. Andwhat if the next day someone put a 90-watt bulb in your lamp? Likely, you would still not notice it. Why not? The lamp's light is diminishing so gradually that you are not aware of it. Similarly, the influences of Satan's world may cause our zeal to diminish little by little. If that happens, it is as if Satan succeeded in reducing 100-watt heartfelt zeal for Jehovah's service to something less. If not alert, a Christian may not even notice the gradual change. —Matt. 24:42; 1 Pet. 5:8.
By The Librarian
"Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots ?
Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil " Jeremiah 13:23
You've no doubt read the old fable about the scorpion and the frog.
It illustrates how man's nature is much more devious and controlling than is his logic.
The fable says how,...
" One day a scorpion arrived at the bank of a river he wanted to cross, but there was no bridge.
He asked a frog that was sitting nearby if he would take him across the river on his back.
The frog refused and said,... " I will not, because you will sting me "
The scorpion replied,..." It would be foolish for me to sting you because then we would both drown "
The frog saw the logic in the scorpion's words, and agreed to carry the scorpion across.
But when they were halfway across the river the scorpion stung the frog.
The stunned frog asked,..." Why did you sting me, now we will both die ! "
The scorpion replied,... " Because I'm a scorpion … and that's what scorpions do "
Sad to say some people today are more concerned about being " politically correct " than they are about being " Biblically correct ",...
They change the name of sins to justify people's sinful behavior.
They do this because they are more concerned about the approval of man than they are about the approval of Jehovah God.
To Jehovah God, sin—all sin—is sin by whatever name we call it, and all sin is ultimately self-destructive regardless of how we seek to justify it.
Furthermore, God's Word reminds us that no matter how good, how noble, how educated, how refined, or how sophisticated we may be, we are all sinners.
Like the leopard that cannot change its spots neither can we change our nature.
We are not sinners because we sin, but rather, we sin because we are sinners.
That's our nature and that's why we need Jehovah God's salvation to save us from the eternal consequences of our sin—which is eternal separation from Jehovah God for all eternity.
By The Librarian
Run, Idiot, Run
Br. Jackson of the governing body concluding a talk @ LA District Convention had this neat illustration at the very end of the convention.
He said "What if you were watching a football game on TV & it was the Trojans against the Fighting Irish...& it's been a good game...and it's coming down to the last seconds and the Trojans get the ball (then he stands like a football player) and then he starts running (and he picks up his foot like he's going to take off) and you're glued to the TV-just waiting to see what will happen...and he makes it to the 30 then the 20 then the 10 yard line and he's at the one inch line...and he ..stops!
THE GUY WITH THE BALL STOPS!!! ..and he starts looking around for the game clock..and he yells, "how much time do I have left?"
And you are staring at the TV in disbelief!!! What do you do?
You yell at the TV -Run, Idiot!!!, Run!!!
...(Bro Jackson is yelling this from the stage) it was so hysterical- then he stops and says ...
That's where you are...This system is dying.
We're the event that the universe is watching.
We are at the one inch line ..and some are stopping and looking around and wondering where we are in the stream of time.
RUN!!! IDIOT!!! RUN!!! Don't look at the time...just run...run...we're almost there.
It was a very dramatic ending.
By The Librarian
Our little ones have a way.
thought this was cute.
A circuit overseer went out in service with a 7 year old boy, they went door to door. The brother asked the boy "are you ready with your door message?" The boy answered "of course I am always ready".
The boy went to the first door, knocked, and the person answered it was a man. The boy asked, "Sir do you know Superman's secret Identity...what his name is?" The man answered "of course it's Clark kent".
The CO did not know where to look, he was about to stop the 7 year old, when the boy asked "Well do you Know Gods name?"
"Of course" answered the man "Jesus".
"TSK Tsk Tsk" the boy said as he shook his head!!!
"Mister you mean to tell me you know a fictional persons name and even his secret Identity and you don't know Gods name who is real".
"But I do" answered the man "I said Jesus".
TSK TSK TSK said the boy .Good thing I came to teach you today the boy said.
The boy proceeded to turn to scripture after scripture proving Jehovah's name to the man.The man said "come in show me more".
When they finished the CO said nothing.
They went to the next door it was the CO turn he said to the home owner "Hi, do you know the name of Superman's secret Identity?
By The Librarian
A house of "Confidence" that is...
What is the first thing on a house that gets destroyed in a storm? The roof. Now let's build our house, a house of Confidence, the foundation is the Christ. What are the four walls? 1st wall is Prayer. 2nd wall is Personal Study. 3rd wall is Daily Bible Reading. 4th wall is Field Service. Now let's put on the roof. The roof is our Meeting Attendance. Now that we've built our house of Confidence, here comes the storms, storms of persecution as varied as can be. Unfortunately, the first thing to go during these storms is our meeting attendance, then once that roof is gone, then one by one our "walls" start collapsing around us, and eventually our foundation, Christ is no longer a solid basis for our house of "Confidence." How did this all happen, by not protecting our roof, our Meeting Attendance. Guard it! Cherish it! Do not neglect it!
By The Librarian
When I was a little girl, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned toast in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his toast, smile at my mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that toast and eat every bite!
When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad for burning the toast.
And I'll never forget what he said: "Baby, I love burned toast."
Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his toast burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, "Your Momma put in a hard day at work today and she's real tired. And besides - a little burnt toast never hurt anyone!"
You know, life is full of imperfect things.....and imperfect people. I'm not the best housekeeper or cook. What I've learned over the years is that learning to accept each other's faults - and choosing to celebrate each other's differences - is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.
Learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God. Because in the end, He's the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where burnt toast isn't a deal-breaker! We could extend this to any relationship in fact - as understanding is the base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife or parent-child or friendship!
"Don't put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket - keep it in your own."
By Guest Nicole
Often in the bible the God's word is compared to life giving water. How important it is that we keep taking in the water Jehovah provides and keep it in our hearts.
By Guest Nicole
Isaiah 5:20 applies greatly to today's world. Should Halloween be considered to be good or bad?
Consider just a small part of Halloween's origin: "The American Halloween tradition of Â“trick-or-treatingÂ” probably dates back to the early All SoulsÂ’ Day parades in England. During the festivities, poor citizens would beg for food and families would give them pastries called Â“soul cakesÂ” in return for their promise to pray for the familyÂ’s dead relatives. The distribution of soul cakes was encouraged by the church as a way to replace the ancient practice of leaving food and wine for roaming spirits. The practice, which was referred to as Â“going a-soulingÂ” was eventually taken up by children who would visit the houses in their neighborhood and be given ale, food, and money... "The tradition of dressing in costume for Halloween has both European and Celtic roots. Hundreds of years ago...on Halloween, when it was believed that ghosts came back to the earthly world, people thought that they would encounter ghosts if they left their homes. To avoid being recognized by these ghosts, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits. On Halloween, to keep ghosts away from their houses, people would place bowls of food outside their homes to appease the ghosts and prevent them from attempting to enter." (http://www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween)
By The Librarian
A brother, who regularly attended meetings, stopped attending for no apparent reason. After a few weeks an elder visited him. It was a very cold night, and his brother found him at home alone, sitting in front of the fireplace, where a bright, warm fire burned.
Imagining the reason for his visit, the brother invited him in, led him to a seat near the fireplace, and stood there, quiet, silent, and talked with the old man, and the old man did not even talk to him.
There was a great silence, and they watched the dance of the burning flames, which burned around the logs.
After a few minutes, the old man examined the coals that had formed and carefully separated the most incandescent of all, away from the others, and sat down again, remaining silent and still.
While the host paid attention to everything, fascinated but still. After a little while, the flame of the solitary ember disappeared, until there was a faint glow, and it went out.
In a short time, what was once a flame of heat and light, became a piece of charcoal, cold, inert and covered with ashes.
No word had been said, between the two, since the initial greeting.
Before leaving, the old man used his pen to carry the cold and useless piece of charcoal back to the fireplace.
Almost immediately he rekindled an ardent flame fueled by the heat of the other ardent embers around him. The brother who was discouraged watched, without understanding.
However, when the elder withdrew, the host told him: Thank you for your visit and beautiful lesson. Until the next meeting.
Conclusion: God's congregation is like a "fire" in a blazing flame, and the burning coals are us, while we are active in the preaching service, reading the scriptures, and attending the meetings. Since experiences, comments, and presence at meetings, embraces, concern for our well-being, make our love and desire to serve God grow even more. Matthew 24:14 and Hebrews 10: 24, 25.
However, when we stop gathering, that fire-like heat is gradually disappearing, even to the point of avoiding our brothers. And in time, we became cold, lifeless, lifeless, like a piece of coal.
Because we are not letting Jehovah speak to us through Bible reading, we do not prepare and attend meetings, just as we do not speak to Jehovah through prayer. And so, that warmth and joy that we enjoy among our brethren fades, until we become like pieces of charcoal.
In this system, we all experience difficulties, and we often feel discouraged, especially in these last days, that our enemy "Satan" walks around us, like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5: 8.
Therefore, Jehovah appointed the elders to care for "His flock." For in times of difficulty "grazing visits," to encourage us not to fall into temptation, are magisterial to heal us from "discouragement," and not to miss meetings. For Jehovah looks upon his humble servants, as "a people for his pasture," and "the sheep of his hand." Hebrews 13:17, Psalms 95: 7
By Guest Nicole
Thought this would be a fun way to explain how pride can become fatal. Jehovah's spirit can help us to get though or endure any challenge we face. It can also help us to accomplish amazing things for him in this race to the finish. However, if we allow fear or pride to cause us to rely on our own strength, we may not make it to the final leap to the end. We would even lose out on all the "points" we got along the way. Humbly relying on Jehovah's spirit to the end is the only way to win this awful game Satan has created. Proverbs 16:18 "Pride is before a crash." 1 Corinthians 10:12-"So let the one who thinks he is standing beware that he does not fall."
By Guest Nicole
This applies more to young ones, but can really apply to any one of us. In the world we live in today there are many people looking to take advantage of us by means of social media. There have been many sad stories about people who were robbed or worse because they gave away too much personal information on social media. Some may give out their information that it becomes like posting your private info on the screens in Times Square. Young ones with free and unmonitored access to smart phones and computers have at times found themselves speaking with strangers who seek to do them harm. It's so important that on our personal private accounts we are careful about who we allow to follow us and who we choose to follow. Parents should regularly monitor their children's Internet use and set rules to protect their children as well. Even those claiming to be Witnesses may not be what they seem. Proverbs 22:33-"The shrewd one sees the danger and conceals himself,But the inexperienced keep right on going and suffer the consequences."
By The Librarian
CO, Steve Elumbaugh (Georgia Circuit 15) mentioned this in one of his talks.
Jehovah and the Spider
During World War II, the persecution had been intense. Alone in the jungle, a brother could hear the soldierscoming in his direction. Scrambling for cover, he found his way up a high ridge to several small caves in the rock.Quickly he crawled inside one of the caves. Although safefor the moment, he realized that once the soldiers lookingfor him swept up the ridge, they would quickly search allthe caves and he would be killed. As he waited, he prayed, asking Jehovah, if it be your will, please protect me.Whatever your will though, I love you and trust you. Afterpraying, he lay quietly listening to the enemy begin to draw close. He saw a spider begin to build a web over the front ofhis cave. As he watched, listening to the enemy searching for him all the while, the spider layered strand after strand of web across the opening of the cave.‘Hah,’ he thought. 'What I need is a brick wall and what Jehovah has sent me is a spider web.’ As the enemy drew closer he watched from the darkness of his hideout and could see them searching one cave after another. As they came to his, he prepared himself for death. To his amazement, however, after glancing in the direction of his cave, they moved on. Suddenly, he realized that with the spider web over the entrance, his cave looked as if no one had entered for quite a while. 'Jehovah, forgive me,’ prayed the young man. 'I had forgotten that in you a spider’s web is stronger than a brick wall.’ We all face times of great trouble. When we do, it is so easy to forget what Jehovah can work in our lives, sometimes in the most surprising ways. And remember with Jehovah, a mere spider’s web can become a brick wall of protection.Via
By Bible Speaks
Preserve the Positive Spirit of the Congregation
10 "Now I urge you, brothers, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you should all speak in agreement and that there should be no divisions among you, but that you may be completely united in the same mind and in the same line of thought."
Each congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses today shows a certain spirit, or general attitude. Some congregations are known for being kind and loving. Others show great zeal in supporting the preaching work and the full-time ministry. When all of us work hard to have a good attitude, we help the congregation to remain united and to keep its good spirit.
But when individuals have a bad attitude, this may influence those in the congregation to do less in God’s service, lose zeal for the ministry, and even tolerate serious sin. (1 Corinthians 5:1; Revelation 3:15, 16)
What spirit does your congregation show? How can you help to encourage a good spirit in the congregation?
ENCOURAGE A GOOD SPIRIT IN THE CONGREGATION
When we are hospitable to our brothers and sisters, we also encourage love in the congregation. In the final chapter of his letter to the Hebrews, Paul wrote: “Let your brotherly love continue. Do not forget hospitality.” (Hebrews 13:1, 2)
Friendship and confidentiality also strengthen the love among our brothers and sisters
BE ENTHUSIASTIC IN THE MINISTRY
If we want the congregation to have a good spirit, we should have zeal, or enthusiasm, for the field service.
DO NOT COMPLAIN OR HIDE SERIOUS SIN
ENCOURAGE “THE ONENESS OF THE SPIRIT”
When we obey the instruction that Jehovah’s organization gives us from the Bible and follow the direction of the elders, we show that we are “earnestly endeavoring to observe the oneness of the spirit in the uniting bond of peace.”—Ephesians 4:3.
SOME EXPRESSIONS EXPLAINED
• Spirit of the congregation: attitude of the congregation
• Oneness of the spirit: unity
• Zeal for the ministry: enthusiasm for field service
• Murmuring: to make a habit of complaining