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Africa is Slowly Creating a New Ocean


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    • By admin
      Within that terrifyingly tiny space is contained every single human being who was alive at the time.
      Think of it as the most epic selfie ever taken.
      Sagan’s monologue about the photograph—given at Cornell University in 1994—is poetic, hopeful, even a bit mocking at times:
      "We succeeded in taking that picture, and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.
      The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.
      Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity—in all this vastness—there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. It’s been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."
    • By Witness
      And they sing a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, for you were slaughtered and with your blood you bought people for God out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10  and you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God, and they are to rule as kingsHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  over the earth.”Rev 5:9,10 - NWT
      As a JW, this sounded accurate to me, since it fit the supporting doctrine that the “144,000” will rule strictly from heaven – “over” the earth...not within its vicinity, but from the spiritual realm.  What I have since learned about this scripture and Christ’s truth regarding where the anointed will be “ruling” from, has been an important turning point for me.
      Notice how the organization’s own Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures breaks down vs. 10:
      “and you made them to the God of us kingdom and priests and they are reigning upon the earth”
      Here are a few other examples:
      “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”  Scripture4all.org
      “…they will reign upon the earth”.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
      It is very rare to find a Bible translation using the phrase “over the earth” in this scripture. The organization’s latest pictorial depiction of the 144,000 kings/priests ruling in heaven was of a vast array of emerald green thrones where men appearing identical to one another and to Christ, gazed over the earth as Christ’s “co-rulers”.  I wonder what the anointed JW women feel about a female’s apparent transition into a man, who are clones of each other.  This teaching sounds ridiculous to me today.  However, since the role of JW women is repeatedly slighted, should we expect any acknowledgement of the anointed being both male and female?  I could be in error, but I haven’t seen any photos of women partaking in the magazines.
       There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  Gal 3:28
      To be one in Christ does not mean the faithful sealed anointed take on the same physical appearance as Christ. All of the members of a fleshly body are distinctly different in appearance; working separately yet collectively, with the unified goal to allow the body to work efficiently.  It is the same in the Body of Christ. 1 Cor 12:15-20  All are given various gifts, and all are individuals with individual personalities. They have abilities reflecting the gift they receive.
       Paul described it this way:
      There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.  1 Cor 12:4-6
      If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 1 Cor 12:19,20
      Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized byone Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. 1 Cor 12:12-14
      15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.  Eph 4:11-16
      The 144,000 are the Bride of Christ under the New Covenant “woman”/promise.   (2 Cor 11:2; Eph 5:29-32; Gal 4:26) It is curious that the WT's leaders rarely go into detail about this.  When I recall their latest illustration described above, I don’t believe the artist had the idea of “bride” in mind. I could only sense an aura of steely authority, without the needed compassion and love that Jesus exhibited and taught his disciples to nurture within themselves. (Isa 42:3; Matt 14:14; John 13:34,35; 1 John 4: 17; Heb 4:15)
      Just as a bride and groom are not identical to each other, neither is Christ’s Bride of many members; either to Christ, or to one another, as the illustration erroneously shows. (1 Cor 12:29,30; Eph 4:11-13)  Marriage partners compliment and support each other in love.  It is the same with the Body of Christ, being united in one Spirit that imparts love, faith and knowledge of Christ and the Father.
      The organization’s leaders are unable to perceive this spiritual unity, since they have rejected the Spirit of Christ, in exchange for the spirit of Satan.  (John 15:4-7;1 Cor 6:15-17; 2 Cor 11:3; 2 Pet 1:10; Rev 2:4; 8:10;13:11)
      Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  1 Cor 2:12-14
       In order to “rule on the earth”, God’s priests must be on the earth.  If we can shed the false belief that once the 144,000 are sealed in “heaven” they will remain there, we are then able to grasp how such “heavenly” angel/messenger/priests will be found ruling, teaching, and helping God’s future children on the earth.  (Mal 2:7; 1 Pet 2:5,9; Heb 1:14; Rev 5:9,10)  
      We can comprehend God’s “new creation” as having two “births”; one by fleshly parents through Adam and Eve, (Gen 2:7) and one by spiritual parents.  (John 3:3,5; 1 Cor 15:50; John 15:45; 20:22; Gal 4:26)
      Once Jesus was resurrected, he appeared many times to his disciples in the flesh; and just as easily, disappeared into the spirit realm.   His example set the precedence of what it means to be a “new creation”.  (Mark 16:12; John 21:14; 1 Cor 15:3-8) 
      By combining this event with Pearl Doxsey's help from her article, “Who are the gods?”, we can visualize the 144,000 “angels” present not only in the spirit realm, but on earth as well:
      The sons of God ("gods") inherit the promises given to Abraham. What promises are these?
      "I will make you very fruitful (John 15:8) I will make nations of you (Rev 5:9,10), and kings will come from you (Rev 20:4; 1:5; 3:21; 19:16,15; 2:26,27)".

      “Jacob had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 
      There above it stood the Lord, and he said: "I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying 
      (Ps 37:29; Heb 2:5,16; Gal 3:29; Heb 11:8-10; 13:14; Rev 21:2; Heb 12:22,23; Luke 10:20) (Gen.17:6). 
      Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring (Rev 22:2). I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go (Matt 28:20), and I will bring you back to this land (Rev 21:7). 

      I will not leave you (John 14:18) until I have done what I have promised you (John 16:22). 
      Jacob was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place (Heb 12:22,23,28)! This is none other than the house of God (1 Cor 3:9,16; Isa 56:7; Eph 2:19,10); this is the gate of heaven (Rev 11:6; Matt 16:19; Rev 3:12; John 10:9; 2 Cor 5:20)." (Gen.28:12-15,17)

      "Jesus added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open (Luke 24:32; Rev 2:17; Matt 13:11; Rev 4:1; 1:1) 
      (John 3:12; 1 Cor 2:12,13; Col 3:2), and the angels of God ascending and descending (Heb 12:22; Eph 2:6; Rev 3:21) "on* (Greek--*"in service to") the Son of Man.” (John 1:51)
      The "angels" (Lit. Greek, "messengers" – Isa 43:10,21; 1 Pet 2:9; Mal 2:7; Acts 1:8) referred to here, could not have served before the time of Christ (John 3:13)
      Jesus specifically said that they are in service on "the Son of Man" (1 Cor 4:1). 
      The "Son of Man" is Jesus in the flesh (John 1:14). Therefore, these angels serve Christ, after his coming down from heaven. 
      To be a messenger of Christ ("ambassador") who harbors God's spirit of life within...
      who has been made new (Rom 12:2; 8:11) as a part of God's new creation (2 Cor 5:17) by means of incorruptible seed, the Word of God (1 Pet 1:23; Luke 8:11)...
      …who has been reborn as a Son of the Most High (John 3:3,5; Rom 8:16,17,19,28-30)...
      who has been made an immovable pillar in the eternal heavenly Temple of God (Rev 3:12; Prov 9:1; Jer 1:18)...
      ...is a "god" (Ps 82:6; Rom 8:14; 1 Cor 8:5). 
      I do hope readers here find this information to be a personal turning point as it was for me, in learning that both Christ and the 144,000 kings and priests/ Bride of Christ, will have access to heaven as well as on earth, and living among God’s future children in the Kingdom.
      “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matt 5:14
       Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. Rev 21:1-3
       “But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” Rev 21:22
      And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. 4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. 5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. Rev 22:3-5
      Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 1 Cor 3:16
      Pearl Doxsey: (type in her name and the title of the article in the search bar. The link should appear)
      “End of the New Covenant”
      “Those not anointed – what benefit now?”
      “The Holy City”
       

       
       
       
      And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says,
      “Let all God’s angels worship him.” (Heb.1:6)
      "Jesus will again, be brought into the world. At that time, the totality of his angels/messengers, will worship him... and be in service to, the Son of Man."  Pearl Doxsey
    • By TheWorldNewsOrg
      Evidently the North pole is heading fast toward Siberia....
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      WASHINGTON (AP) — Earth’s protective ozone layer is finally healing from damage caused by aerosol sprays and coolants, a new United Nations report said.
      The ozone layer had been thinning since the late 1970s. Scientists raised the alarm and ozone-depleting chemicals were phased out worldwide.
      As a result, the upper ozone layer above the Northern Hemisphere should be completely repaired in the 2030s and the gaping Antarctic ozone hole should disappear in the 2060s, according to a scientific assessment released Monday at a conference in Quito, Ecuador. The Southern Hemisphere lags a bit and its ozone layer should be healed by mid-century.
      Read more: https://www.apnews.com/835094e7af61414981259ed69dbb185e
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Global warming is said to be bringing temperatures last seen during an interglacial era, when sea level was 6-9 meters (20-30ft) higher than today
       A coal-fired power station. ‘Massive CO2 extraction’ costing trillions is needed in order to avoid runaway temperature rises, says a new paper. Photograph: Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images
       
      The global temperature has increased to a level not seen for 115,000 years, requiring daunting technological advances that will cost the coming generations hundreds of trillions of dollars, according to the scientist widely credited with bringing climate change to the public’s attention.
      A new paper submitted by James Hansen, a former senior Nasa climate scientist, and 11 other experts states that the 2016 temperature is likely to be 1.25C above pre-industrial times, following a warming trend where the world has heated up at a rate of 0.18C per decade over the past 45 years.
      This rate of warming is bringing Earth in line with temperatures last seen in the Eemian period, an interglacial era ending 115,000 years ago when there was much less ice and the sea level was 6-9 meters (20-30ft) higher than today.
      In order to meet targets set at last year’s Paris climate accord to avoid runaway climate change, “massive CO2 extraction” costing an eye-watering $104tn to $570tn will be required over the coming century with “large risks and uncertain feasibility” as to its success, the paper states.
      “There’s a misconception that we’ve begun to address the climate problem,” said Hansen, who brought climate change into the public arena through his testimony to the US congress in the 1980s. “This misapprehension is based on the Paris climate deal where governments clapped themselves on the back but when you look at the science it doesn’t compute, it’s not true.
      “Even with optimistic assumptions (future emissions reduction) will cost hundreds of trillions of dollars. It’s potentially putting young people in charge of a situation that is beyond their control. It’s not clear they will be able to take such actions.”
      The paper, submitted as a discussion paper to the Earth System Dynamics journal, is a departure from the usual scientific process as it has yet to be peer reviewed and has been launched to support a legal case waged by a group of young people against the US government.
      Last year, 21 youths aged between 8 and 19 years old filed a constitutional lawsuit against the Obama administration for failing to do enough to slow climate change. Hansen and his granddaughter are parties to legal challenge, which was filed in Oregon and asserts that the government has violated young people’s rights to life, liberty and property.
      Hansen, who has become increasingly outspoken on climate change since retiring from Nasa in 2013, said he recognized some scientists might object to publicizing the paper so soon but that “we are running out of time on this climate issue.”
      The courts need to step in to force governments to act on climate change because they are largely free of the corrupting influence of special interests, Hansen said. He repeated his call for a global tax to be placed upon carbon emissions and said that fossil fuel companies should be forced to pay for emissions extraction in the same way the tobacco industry has been sued over the health impact of cigarettes.
      “The science is crystal clear, we have to phase out emissions over the next few decades,” Hansen said. “That won’t happen without substantial actions by Congress and the executive branch and that’s not happening so we need the courts to apply pressure, as they did with civil rights.”
      Several recent studies have cast doubt over whether the world will stay with an aspirational target set in Paris of a 1.5C limit on the average global temperature rise. This guardrail, and even the 2C limit agreed by 195 nations, appears dependent on as-yet undeveloped technology that would remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
      Under this scenario, huge emissions cuts would be supplemented by a widespread conversion to biofuels that would be burned for energy. The emissions from this energy would then be buried underground. Some sort of futuristic technology that sucks CO2 directly from the atmosphere may also be required.
      Hansen said this is a “dubious” proposition because it requires a vast change in land use at a time where a growing global population will require more food. There are also major doubts whether technology to capture CO2 and lock it underground, often touted as a panacea by the fossil fuel industry, will be developed in time to help avoid the dangerous sea level rise, drought, heatwaves and disease spurred by warming temperatures.
      Last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that carbon dioxide levels will not drop below the symbolic 400 parts per million (ppm) mark in our lifetimes – the highest concentration of CO2 since the Pliocene era 3m years ago.
      The environment of this time, where sea levels were around 65ft higher than today and trees were able to grow near the north pole due to a lack of ice, is a “bellwether for what future climate might be like,” according to Bruce Bauer, a scientist with NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.
      Michael Mann, a prominent climatologist at Penn State University, agreed that CO2 removal will be required if the world was to avoid 1.5C warming although the 2C limit “could likely be achieved without negative emissions, but it would require urgent action, as I have argued myself is necessary.”.
      Mann added that Hansen’s paper is “interesting” but tackles a huge range of topics and is unconventional in its use as a tool to support a legal case.
      “Along with the paper being publicized prior to peer review, this will certainly raise eyebrows about whether or not this breaches the firewall many feel should exist wherein policy agenda should not influence the way that science is done,” Mann told the Guardian via email.

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    • By The Librarian
      Is this ancient book accurate?

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., is now home to some of Ethiopia’s most important religious manuscripts after they were recently donated to the university by Chicago-based collectors Gerald and Barbara Weiner. The couple gave out the handmade leather manuscripts with the hope of allowing Ethiopians in the U.S. to use them for prayers and study, according to Catholic News Agency.
      Dr. Aaron M. Butts, a professor of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literature at the university, put up a statement saying the collection “provides unparalleled primary sources for the study of Eastern Christianity.”
      What’s In the Collection?
      In total, the collection is comprised of 125 Christian manuscripts, including liturgical books, hagiographies, psalters, and 215 Islamic manuscripts, including the Quran and commentaries on Quran.

      According to the Catholic News Agency, it’s the largest collection of Ethiopian Islamic manuscripts outside of Ethiopia.
      More than 600 manuscripts were handmade using hides from calves, sheep, and goats, and are estimated to date back to the 18th and 19th century.
      In the collection, there are over 350 “magic” scrolls, which are traditional Christian prayer talismans, and each was handwritten by a “debtera,” or a cleric in the Ethiopian church, and includes the name of the person it was written for.
      Pieces of the manuscripts were worn around the neck for purposes of helping people with different kinds of ailments, including headaches, painful menstruation, and complicated childbirth.
      Butts suggests that some of these scrolls, which were predominantly worn by women, may have been passed down through many generations, mainly from mother to daughter.
      He added that the prayer jewels haven’t been studied much due to the personal nature of their use.
      Washington, D.C., hosts one of the largest Ethiopian communities outside Ethiopia, and has several Ethiopian Orthodox and Catholic churches and cultural centers, making it the best location to donate the manuscripts.
      Ethiopian Religion
      Ethiopia is predominantly a Christian country, with the majority of Christians belonging to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.
      However, there are other small religious communities in the country, including Muslims, Judaists, and Pagans. There is also a minority section of Christians who are Roman Catholics or Protestants.
      Many Ethiopians still use the prayer scrolls for protection and healing. They are often inscribed with prayers, spells, and charms to offer protection to their specific owner.
      The text on these “magic” scrolls is often derived from the bible, which is why the majority of churches in the country tolerate despite their connection to magic.

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    • Guest Kurt
    • Guest Kurt
      By Guest Kurt
      2017-05-02
       
      FULL-TIME devotees of the Jehovah's Witnesses Christian congregation in Namibia are entitled to the same social security protection as other employees in the country, a Windhoek Labour Court judgement confirmed last week.
      The judgement was delivered in a case in which the legal employment status of members of the Worldwide Order of Special Full-Time Servants of Jehovah's Witnesses was in dispute.

      In the judgement, acting judge Petrus Unengu ruled that members of that religious order fall within the definition of an “employee” in the Labour Act and the Social Security Act, and as a result the Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses of Namibia should be regarded as an employer in terms of the Social Security Act.

      The congregation lodged an appeal to the Labour Court after the Social Security Commission decided in March last year that the congregation, which wanted to be de-registered as an employer, was an employer in terms of the Social Security Act.

      De-registration would mean that members of the Worldwide Order of Special Full-Time Servants of Jehovah's Witnesses working for the Namibian congregation would not have to be registered with the Social Security Commission and would then also not be entitled to social security benefits like maternity and sick leave payments.

      The congregation's argument was that members of the order, who perform religious work in furtherance of their faith, had chosen a lifestyle rather than assumed work or a job when they joined the order.

      Acting judge Unengu noted in his judgement that although the congregation and members of the order did not sign written employment contracts with each other, members of the order completed application forms to become a member in order to serve the church in a full-time capacity.

      Once accepted as a member, they are also required to take a vow of obedience and poverty, which is taken to be an indication that they are prepared to live a modest lifestyle and to perform any tasks assigned to them by the order. Members of the order are also required to abstain from outside employment.

      Acting judge Unengu further noted that members of the order had fixed hours of service from Mondays to Fridays and received a monthly allowance of about N$940.

      The congregation previously registered itself with the SSC as an employer and failed to show to the court why it now no longer considered itself an employer as per the Social Security Act, acting judge Unengu said.

      He added that he agreed with the SSC's argument that the congregation was trying to evade its obligations under the law. The court could not allow the congregation's employees to be unprotected in the event that they, for instance, fell ill or became pregnant, he stated.

      The congregation “cannot pick and choose which laws should apply to them and which not”, he remarked.

      Senior counsel Theo Frank, assisted by Adolf Denk, represented the congregation when the matter was argued in February. The SSC was represented by Norman Tjombe.

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    • By Queen Esther
      Johannesburg, South-Africa  -  special  preaching  in the  underground....
      Brothers  from  committee,  a  link  to  the  hospitals,  by  a  Congress  and  for  Anästhesiologie.     CLINICAL  STRATEGIES !
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      From Ugandan camp to Lowell, a Congolese family starts again

      HARDSHIP, AND HOPE: Sendegeya Bayavuge joins his family, newly arrived from Africa, on the porch of their apartment in Lowell. With him, from left, are Dusenge Tuyishime, 14, Maria Uwimana, 16, Nyirakabanza Muhawenimana, 20, Sarah Nyiramana Bayavuge, 6, their mother, Vanisi Uzamukunda, 43, and Lea Nyiramahoro, 11. See a slide show at lowellsun.com. (SUN / JOHN LOVE)
      LOWELL -- The Congolese family's home in Lowell is sparsely decorated, a sign of their recent arrival.
      There's no art on the walls, no photos of smiling faces, no toys cluttering the floors. However, there is furniture and food and the basic necessities for a fresh start in the United States.
      The family of seven -- father Sendegeya Bayavuge, 52, mother Vanisi Uzamukunda, 43, and five children ages 6-20 -- arrived in early February with help from a resettlement agency. The family had spent the past two decades at a Ugandan refugee camp after fleeing violent unrest in their native Democratic Republic of Congo, a country located in Central Africa.
      "I see America as good and I can live in America," said Sendegeya through an
      interpreter on a recent Monday afternoon, his hands clasped together as he sat in the corner of the living room. "I see here they have security. The way I was (living in Uganda), I was always in fear ... with security, I find everything good."
      Maria Uwimana, 16, sat on a carpet beside her father in the family's second-floor apartment. Three of her siblings, sisters Nyirakabanza Muhawenimana, 20, and Lea Nyiramahoro, 11, and brother Dusenge Tuyishime, 14, sat across the room on a worn, cream-colored couch. The family's "princess," 6-year-old Sarah Nyiramana Bayavuge, nestled onto her mother's lap.
      The family was spared in late January from President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration, which in part suspended the refugee admissions program for 120 days. Vanisi recalled hearing about the order as she waited with her family in a hotel for their flight to the United States.
      "He said he don't want the guests. We lost the hope to come," Vanisi said through the interpreter. "After the situation changed and we came here, we were happy.
      "I'm really grateful that they were not immediately impacted by the proposed suspension of the resettlement program," said Cheryl Hamilton, director of the Lowell site of the International Institute of New England, the agency assigned to resettle the family in partnership with the State Department.
      A refugee is someone who has fled from his or her country and cannot return due to fears of persecution based on religion, race, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular group and, according to the State Department. Since 1975 the U.S. has welcomed over 3 million refugees from all over the world. The city of Lowell has received 508 Iraqis, 220 Somalis, 31 Syrians, and 7 Sudanese during the 10-year period from 2007 through January 2017, according to federal data analyzed by the Associated Press.
      Hamilton said about half of her staff's cases are refugees from the Congo since the U.S. government committed to accepting 25,000 of them across the country. According to 2009-2013 data on Massachusetts refugee arrivals from the Massachusetts Office for Refugees and Immigrants, 25 percent of 11,155 refugees admitted in the state hailed from the Congo.
      Journey to a new life
      It took over 24 hours for Sendegeya, Vanisi and their family to arrive in Lowell. They first stopped in Manchester, N.H. before being brought by resettlement workers to the light yellow multi-family house they now call home.
      "In the beginning, we had a fear to fly because it was our first time to go on the airplane," Sendegeya said.
      daughters, Maria Uwimana, 16. (SUN / JOHN LOVE)
      "After that, we realized we are with other people."
      He and Vanisi are bracing for the long road ahead. The children are still waiting to be enrolled in school, and the family as a whole is still struggling with having left their eldest child behind in Uganda. They don't have immediate family here and don't speak English. The language barrier, both parents admit, is a big obstacle they hope to overcome so they can have a better chance at finding jobs to support their family. Back in Uganda, Sendegeya worked as a farmer.
      "I think that anybody moving into a new community, you're having to rebuild your entire social network and, with that, obviously being less familiar with employment opportunities or navigating transportation," Hamilton said. "Essentially, you are rebuilding every area of your life."
      The United States allocates $925 per individual for the first three months in the country, according to Hamilton. Like with other refugee families the International Institute of New England helps resettle, Sendegeya and Vanisi's family will have access to integration services for the first year and be eligible to come back to the organization for employment services for up to a year and benefit from citizenship services for five years. Hamilton said her staff also offers other programs, such as after-school homework help.
      "Obviously, the federal financial assistance is lean and it's remarkable the resiliency and the ability of families to navigate and overcome these challenges," Hamilton said.
      Vanisi said her greatest fear involves protecting her children. Recently, while the children played outside, the mother said a neighbor warned them to be quiet and threatened to call the police.
      "We saw our neighbor just coming to give us a warning without saying 'Good morning' or 'Welcome,'" Vanisi recalled. "It was just a warning -- 'Kids, shut up!'"
      The incident was traumatic for Vanisi, who said her family now spends most of their time inside their home.
      "In Uganda, it's different because in Uganda you can play and dance," she said. "Not that kind of warning."
      There have been tiny victories through the murkiness. The family found a market with familiar foods and established a friendship with fellow Jehovah's Witnesses in nearby Chelmsford. Twice a week, members of the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses pick up the family for meetings.
      The four daughters later walked up a flight of stairs to proudly show off their rooms -- Nyirakabanza and Maria in one, and Lea and Sarah in the other. Both rooms are bare except for neatly made twin-sized beds. In Lea and Sarah's closet, there are clothes and several pairs of shoes. The family's only son, Dusenge, has his own room. He remained quiet for the duration of the family's interview and smiled shyly when asked about his thoughts on his new home.
      "Right now, what I like and what I have desired, I have found it," he said through the interpreter, his hands fiddling with a pale pink throw. "Everything is OK for me."
      Ask the eldest, Nyirakabanza and Maria, what they dream of becoming someday and their eyes light up. Both said they hope to become nurses to help others.
      "I'm happy here, but not yet," Nyirakabanza said, later clarifying that she is still sorting out her feelings about the family's new life in America. "I will be happy and confirm the happiness when I see my achievement. My goal is to go to school to continue my education -- to become someone self-sufficient. If I achieve that, I will be very very happy."

      SWEET HOME: Sarah Nyiramana Bayavuge, 6, and her sister Lea Nyiramahoro, 11, in their new bedroom. The family was spared in late January from President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration. (SUN / JOHN LOVE)
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    • Guest Kurt
      By Guest Kurt
      Paynesville — The Jehovah Witnesses Congregation in Liberia has denied reports in the public that they have condemned the voters registration exercise.
      In an interview with FrontPage Africa on Wednesday, March 1, 2017, Thomas Nyain, communications officer, of the Jehovah Witnesses Congregation in Liberia said at no time did the organization condemn the exercise since it began.
      "We teach the Bible and we encourage people to apply Bible principles to better their lives," he said.
      "We don't get involved in political activities so anybody that who say that witnesses in Liberia condemned the voters registration exercise, then I don't know where do they get their information from, because I speak for Jehovah witnesses in Liberia and since I don't utter these words, it means that I am not aware of such information. The witnesses in Liberia have a central media outlet, and I am the one that speak for them.
          According to Thomas Nyain the information is misleading and far from the truth, something he described as fabrication to mark the image of his noble institution.
      He said one of the major challenges being faced by the organization is reaching the gospel out to Liberians in the remotest part of the country.
      "One of our major challenges is to get to the deeper part of Liberia, where people haven't heard anything about the Bible, not sitting and worrying about fabrication from people who are not aware of activities. We will be happy if everyone in Liberia accepts the truth about the Bible through our teaching.
      He called on every Liberian to take interest in reading their biblical materials that have been translated in the various dialects.

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    • By Bible Speaks
      Jehovah asked Job on his creation wonders, like the snow? Where does it come from? Where are his storehouses of snow and hail for war? Do you know?                                              
      38 Then Jehovah answered Job out of the windstorm:                      
      2 “Who is this who is obscuring my counsel And speaking without knowledge?
      3 Brace yourself, please, like a man; I will question you, and you inform me."
      4 Where were you when I founded the earth?"
      Tell me, if you think you understand?"
      22 "Have you entered the storehouses of the snow,
      Or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,".             
      23 Which I have reserved for the time of distress,
      For the day of battle and war?"
      (Job 38:1-4,22,23) jw.org
      IMG_7604.mov
       

    • By The Librarian
      Jehovah’s Witnesses in Nairobi, Kenya at a recent convention
      I’m pretty sure the white guys use these clothes in daily life as well. It’s not just to play dress up at a convention.
      At our next convention in New England I plan to go dressed up as a Pilgrim who literally just walked off the Mayflower. ;-)
      Why is it we only play dress up in other countries?  Shouldn’t someone in New York show up dressed like George Washington?
      It’s only fair to all of us in the USA.
      just sayin’ ;-)
      Update: I just found some photos of other actual Kenyans attending the assembly in their normal suits.
      I think that the 1958 Yankee stadium convention was different because people came to NY dressed in their normal public attire from around the world.
      Now New Yorkers go around the world dressing up in folkloric attire.
      So… the morale of the story is…..
      Wear whatever clothing you want nowadays. ;-)


      Via
    • By Bible Speaks
      FEAR OF NUCLEAR WAR NOW COULD MEAN DESTRUCTION OF THE EARTH AND ALL LIFE? Will these nations on the horizon fulfill their efforts to destroy all life?
      Does God care? What now? 
       Human efforts at unity—no matter how sincere—have proved futile. This comes as no surprise to Bible students, for God’s Word says: “It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.” (Jeremiah 10:23) 
      The Bible also candidly states: “There exists a way that is upright before a man, but the ways of death are the end of it afterward.” (Proverbs 16:25) 
      Human governments can go only so far in achieving unity. Still, we are not left without hope.
      The Source of True Unity
      The Bible contains God’s promise that the world will be unified but not by man’s efforts. The Creator, who purposed that mankind would live in peace worldwide, will accomplish what man cannot. To some, all of that might seem far-fetched. 
      Yet, God’s purpose from the very beginning has been for mankind to live in peace and harmony.
      Many scriptures in the Bible give evidence that bringing the human race into a unified condition is still God’s purpose. Consider just a few examples:
      • “Come, you people, behold the activities of Jehovah, how he has set astonishing events on the earth. He is making wars to cease to the extremity of the earth. The bow he breaks apart and does cut the spear in pieces; the wagons he burns in the fire.”—PSALM 46:8, 9.
      • “They will not do any harm or cause any ruin in all my holy mountain; because the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters are covering the very sea.”—ISAIAH 11:9.
      • “He will actually swallow up death forever, and the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will certainly wipe the tears from all faces. And the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for Jehovah himself has spoken it.”—ISAIAH 25:8.
      • “There are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell.”—2 PETER 3:13.
      • “[God] will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”—REVELATION 21:4.
      These promises are reliable. Why? Because as the Creator, Jehovah God has the power and the ability to bring unity to mankind. (Luke 18:27) 
      He also has the desire to do so. In fact, the Bible calls it God’s “good pleasure . . . to gather all things together again in the Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth.”—Ephesians 1:8-10.
      God’s promise of “a new earth” in which “righteousness is to dwell” is not mere wishful thinking. (2 Peter 3:13) 
      Regarding what he promised, Jehovah God states: “It will not return to me without results, but it will certainly do that in which I have delighted, and it will have certain success in that for which I have sent it.”—Isaiah 55:11.
      #jworg #jehovahgod 

    • By The Librarian
      Nigeria, Africa. Greetings. 

    • By Bible Speaks
      38 JOB 
      "Then Jehovah answered Job out of the windstorm:
       2 “Who is this who is obscuring my counsel
      And speaking without knowledge?
       3 Brace yourself, please, like a man; I will question you, and you inform me.
       4 Where were you when I founded the earth?
      Tell me, if you think you understand.
       5 Who set its measurements, in case you know,
      Or who stretched a measuring line across it?
       6 Into what were its pedestals sunk,
      Or who laid its cornerstone,
       7 When the morning stars joyfully cried out together, And all the sons of God began shouting in applause?
       8 And who barricaded the sea behind doors
      When it burst out from the womb,
       9 When I clothed it with clouds And wrapped it in thick gloom,
      10 When I established my limit for it And put its bars and doors in place,
      11 And I said, ‘You may come this far, and no farther;
      Here is where your proud waves will stop’?
      12 Have you ever commanded the morning Or made the dawn know its place,
      13 To take hold of the ends of the earth And to shake the wicked out of it?
      14 It is transformed like clay under a seal, And its features stand out like those of a garment.
      15 But the light of the wicked is held back from them,
      And their uplifted arm is broken.
      16 Have you gone down to the sources of the sea
      Or explored the deep waters?
      17 Have the gates of death been revealed to you, Or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
      18 Have you understood the vast expanse of the earth?
      Tell me, if you know all of this.
      19 In which direction does the light reside?
      And where is the place of darkness,
      20 That you should take it to its territory
      And understand the paths to its home?
      21 Do you know this because you were already born
      And the number of your years is great?
      22 Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, Or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,
      23 Which I have reserved for the time of distress,
      For the day of battle and war?
      24 From what direction is light dispersed,
      And from where does the east wind blow on the earth?
      25 Who has cut a channel for the flood
      And made a path for the thunderous storm cloud,
      26 To make it rain where no man lives, On the wilderness where there are no humans,
      27 To satisfy devastated wastelands
      And cause the grass to sprout?
      28 Does the rain have a father, Or who fathered the dewdrops?
      29 From whose womb did the ice emerge,
      And who gave birth to the frost of heaven
      30 When the waters are covered as if with stone,
      And the surface of the deep waters is frozen solid?
      31 Can you tie the ropes of the Kiʹmah constellation Or untie the cords of the Keʹsil constellation?
      32 Can you lead out a constellation in its season Or guide the Ash constellation along with its sons?
      33 Do you know the laws governing the heavens, Or can you impose their authority on the earth?
      34 Can you raise your voice to the clouds
      To cause a flood of water to cover you?
      35 Can you send out lightning bolts?
      Will they come and say to you, ‘Here we are!’
      36 Who put wisdom within the clouds
      Or gave understanding to the sky phenomenon?
      37 Who is wise enough to count the clouds,
      Or who can tip over the water jars of heaven
      38 When the dust pours into a mass
      And the clods of earth stick together?
      39 Can you hunt prey for a lion
      Or satisfy the appetites of young lions
      40 When they crouch in their lairs Or lie in ambush in their dens?
      41 Who prepares food for the raven
      When its young cry to God for help
      And wander about because there is nothing to eat?

    • By Bible Speaks
      THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT GOD WILL DO AMAZING THINGS ON THE EARTH.
      People will no longer feel pain, grow old, or die.—Revelation 21:4
      “The lame will leap like the deer.”—Isaiah 35:6
      “The eyes of the blind will be opened.”—Isaiah 35:5
      The dead will be brought back to life.—John 5:28, 29
      No one will get sick.—Isaiah 33:24
      Everyone on earth will have plenty to eat.—Psalm 72:16.                          The Bible does more than that. It tells us what we need to know in order to be truly happy and enjoy life right now. Think for a moment about the things that make you worry. These may include money or family matters, bad health, or the death of someone you love. The Bible can help you to cope with these problems, and it can comfort you by answering such questions as these:
      Why do we suffer?
      How can we cope with our problems?
      Can our family be happy?
      What happens to us when we die?
      Will we ever see our dead loved ones again?
      Why can we be confident that God will do everything that he has promised? Go to JW.Org to learn these answers. 

    • By The Librarian
      meeting for field service in Ghana Africameeting for field service in Ghana Africa
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Robert Fleming comes from a long line of Sault Jehovah's Witnesses

      Robert Fleming travels the deserts, jungles, savannahs, and waters of West Africa hoping people will see what he sees in the Bible.
      Fleming is a Sault born-and-raised fourth generation Jehovah’s Witness who left the area when he was 24 and came back for the first time in 20 years last week to visit family and attend a regional annual conference of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
      In an interview with SooToday Fleming talked a bit about his family’s history and about his life preaching in West Africa.
      Fleming’s great grandfather John Fleming came from Scotland to the Sault in the early 1900s and when the Spanish flu hit the area he got a job at the cemetery on Fourth Line.
      One day he was literally standing body-deep in a grave he’d just dug out when a Jehovah’s Witness approached him and commented, “you know, that’s hell you’re standing in."
      John Fleming was puzzled and, after through conversation learned about how Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe in an afterlife in the same way other Christians might imagine it and other interpretations the group has of the Bible. 
      This meeting led to a full-blown conversion and three generations later John Fleming’s descendants are still practicing Jehovah’s Witnesses.
      “My earliest memories are me going door to door as a kingdom preacher,” said Robert Fleming who after his father, grandfather, and great grandfather is continuing the tradition.
      “Third Line, Carpin Beach Road, Leighs Bay Road. I don’t know if the old-timers are still there or if I’d even remember them. I was very young,” said Robert Fleming.
      Fleming left the Sault in 1985 to preach in Quebec and in 1995 he went to the Jehovah’s Witnesses Missionary School in Paterson, NY.
      After five months of training there Fleming flew to West Africa where for the last 20 years he’s been preaching for Jehovah out of Douala, Cameroon, which at 3 million people is the country’s largest city.
      “I was nervous to go, boy oh boy. I was there one week and I was checking out the price of airplane tickets to go back. Is that too honest?”
      Fleming said that Cameroon is not only immensely diverse geographically — it's often called “Africa in miniature” — but also culturally as the country has roughly 200 tribes and dialects and a range of religions that include indigenous beliefs and assorted versions of Christianity and Islam.
      “There’s a hundred times more religions than Canada. Every neighbourhood has its own church because they want to worship God how they think God should be worshipped,” he said.
      Fleming said Cameroonians are incredibly religious people and that the Christians among them will often carry a Bible around on their phones and regularly consult it.
      Fleming said the more traditional African religions that he’s encountered don’t talk about “God” or “gods” so much as they talk about “forces of nature” but that these forces seem to be roughly equivalent to the idea of “gods”.
      Most Africans, regardless of their professed religion he said, continue to follow a tradition of ancestry worship, where they believe that their dead relatives are still influencing the world and helping or harming their living descendants based on how pleased they feel.
      “They’ll put out salt or palm oil, things like that, to appease, say, their dead grandfather and if something bad happens in the family they might say it’s their grandfather that has done it to them. The Bamelike Tribe in the west of Cameroon, after the grandfather has been dead for a year, will actually dig up the skull and they’ll have a small alter in the home and when they have to make big decisions they’ll consulate with him.”
      In his time there, Fleming has travelled by canoe and bush-bike to get to remote tribes in the jungle, like a tribe of pygmies living in grass huts, or to secluded islands off the coast of the continent, but he never goes more than a days journey.
      Fleming said Jehovah’s Witnesses have been in Cameroon since the late 1930s and even though they were banned from 1970 until 1993, largely for not participating in local government because it is against their faith, even tribes like the pygmies are quite familiar with his group when they arrive.
      As a preacher, Fleming said he follows the standard Jehovah’s witness preaching technique of basically asking people what they think about a topic, then introducing what the Bible teaches about that topic, and then hopefully getting a person out to a bible study group where they can learn more and potentially feel compelled to join the faith.
      But unlike other Christian religions, he said, to be a Jehovah’s Witness a person cannot partially follow their old faith, and in the case of Cameroon, that means locals have to leave their ancestry worship behind — something which can be difficult for many when, like Christmas here, it's not just a religious practice but also a social one.
      “When we do preach to them and they read the Bible and realize ‘Hey my grandfather is just sleeping’ that means they have to leave these traditions that obviously contradict what the scriptures say, to serve Jehovah.”
      Fleming said that when he arrived in 1996 there were about 20,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses in the country and that now there are about 40,000.
      He said many people in Cameroon see the positives of the faith, the health benefits it tends to lead to like stopping smoking or reducing AIDS, and actually approach his group to set up Jehovah’s Witnesses centres, or ‘kingdom halls’, in their community.
      “Many people in Cameroon make the change. I wouldn’t have stayed there for 20 years if we weren’t having wonderful success,” he said.

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    • By Bible Speaks
      REGIONAL CONVENTION IN CAMEROON, AFRICA   ASAMBLEA REGIONAL EN CAMERUN, AFRICA
    • By The Librarian
      Madagascar Branch Dedication  



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    • 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.
      · 2 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      RAPPEL DE JEHOVAH
       
      Aleph
      Parfait est mon chemin 
      Marche dans la voix de Dieu
      Cherche moi de tout ton coeur
      Garde mon témoignage, tu seras heureux.
      Oppose toi au mal
      Marche dans la voix de Dieu
      Observe ma volonté
      L'abîme de la honte tu ne connaîtras
      Mes justes lois 
      Instruit ton coeur en ma droiture.
      Aime moi de tout ton coeur,
      de toute ton esprit, de toute ton âme et de toute ta force vitale. (Souffle de vie)
      Je te rendrai grâce
      Laisse toi entièrement
      à ce que je te dis 
      D'OBSERVER
      TELLE DOIT ÊTRE TA VOLONTÉ
      Beth
      Écoute ma parole
      Garde pur ton chemin
      telle un enfant de Dieu.
      Ne t'écarte point de mes commandements
      Cherche moi de tout ton coeur
      Ne point faillir en toi
      La promesse que je t'ai dis 
      D'OBSERVER
      De tout ton coeur 
      Apprend ma volonté
      Béni seras -tu.
      Le jugement de ta bouche 
      Soit toute énuméré de mes lèvres.
      Que toutes richesses
      Jubiles
      Dans les témoignages de ma parole
      Regarde mon chemin que je t'ai donné 
      Médite sur mes préceptes
      N'oublie pas ma lois
      tes délices
      Tu les trouveras en fesant ma volonté
      Gimel
      Observe ma parole
      tu vivras
      Sois bon envers autrui
      Merveille est ma voie
      Regarde
      Ouvre tes yeux
      Ne cache point mes commandements
      Car un étranger de la terre tu seras
      En tout temps suit mon jugement
      Si tu le désires
      Que mes yeux se tourne vers toi.
      Reste et guide ta vie sur mes normes divine.
      Car t'en égarer tu seras maudit.
      Les suivres te rendront parfait
      Garde mon témoignage
      ainsi
      Tu ne connaîtras le mépris
      Médite sur ma volonté
      Ne parle jamais contre moi
      Tu deviendras un homme parfait.
      Mes conseilles met les dans ton coeur
      De tout mon témoignage
      Tu vivras tout les trésors de la vie.
      Dalèt
      Vivifie toi en moi 
      Car ton âme est collé à la poussière
      Apprend mon adage
      Énumère ma loi
      Je te répondrai
      Médite sur mes desseins
      Tu comprendras mes préceptes
      Relève toi en ma droiture
      Ton âme ne connaîtra le chagrin
      Grâce à ma loi 
      Tu te détourneras de la voie du mensonge
      Conforme est ma loi 
      choisi la voie de JEHOVAH. (YHWH)
      Guide tes actions vers ma justice
      Immerge toi dans ma connaissance 
      Élargi ton coeur et marche dans la voie 
      De mes commandements

      Heureux ceux qui garde le chemin,
      la voie de mon salut.
      Enseigne toi, La voie de l'univers celle de ma sainte Parole.
      Observe de tout ton coeur
      Garde en toi 
      Tu comprendras, là ton cheminement
      Guide toi au chemin de ma parole
      Ne guide ton coeur vers le gain de ce système de choses.
      Fléchis ton coeur et vivifie toi en mon royaume.
      De ma parole
      Libère tes yeux de l'illusion
      Craint le Dieu Très Haut
      Tiens tes promesses telle un fidèle serviteur
      Que mes lois soit le bienvenu en toi 
      ainsi
      Tu seras libéré de toutes insultes
      Vivifie toi! Dans ma justice
      Béni seras tu!
      Désirs mes préceptes
      Telle doit être ta volonté
      zayin
      Garde les promesses qui viennent de ton coeur
      Ton salut est en mon dessin
      Amour du Dieu Très Haut
      Garde ma parole
      Aucune riposte et insulte est ma Parole.
      Espère en ma promesse et en mon royaume
      Guide ta bouche vers la parole de la vérité.
      Toujour et à jamais
      Sans relâche
      Médite sur ma parole que Je t'ai donné
      Cherche mes préceptes
      Engage ta démarche dans ton coeur
      J'élargirai ta vie
      Ne sois acerbe en ma parole
      Quelle devienne un délice à ton palais.
      Médite en ma volonté
      Aime mon commandement
      Ouvre les mains, Je te bénirai
      TAV
      Fonde ton espoir en ma volonté
      Deviens mon serviteur
      Rappelle toi de ma parole
      Vivifie toi !En ma Sagesse
      Je te délivrerai de ceux qui ton outragé
      Reste sur la voie de ma loi
      Console toi par la prière et la méditation venant de tout ton être.
      Ma parole te soutiendra dans les moments difficiles de ta vie.
      Reste dans le chemin que je t'ai donné.
      Que ta colère garde l'amour en ma volonté
      Je te délivrerai de ton impureté.
      Préserve le coeur d'enfant que je t'ai donné
      Sois ferme dans ton coeur
      Louange mon Nom pour toujour.
      Observe ma loi dans tout l'univers de ton être
      De cette volonté, ton âme s'illumineras
      Dans la nuit
      Je me souviendrai de ton nom.
      Garde en toi mes préceptes et souviens toi de mon Nom.
      Elle sera ta délivrance éternelle.
      AINSI TU CONNAÎTRAS MA PROMESSE DE VIVRE POUR TOUJOUR, AU PARADIS.
      Amen
      YHWH (JEHOVAH)
      Erico

      · 0 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)

      · 2 replies
    • T Naidoo  »  T.B. (Twyla)

      Please email me the  Pure worship scripture via email tennyson@capemedia.co.za please I still have a problemdownloading the info. 
      Thank you
      Tennyson Naidoo
      · 1 reply
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