Thursday, August 21, 2008

This past weekend, I went to the convention in Corpus Christi, Texas. It was, of course, wonderful. Along with the abundance of rich spiritual food, the association of the brothers was very delightful. The peak attendance was a bit more than 5 thousand of our brothers and friends. There were some amazing speakers, like brother J. Oranday, who reminded us to be valiant and have courage when preaching. A sister was interviewed and what helped her to overcome her shyness and to be more confident were two things, prayer and preparation.

Brother A. Sánchez spoke about the power of God’s Word and how we should use it. He mentioned that it is our “sword”, but we shouldn’t use it to threaten or knock down. It should be used primarily to defend Jehovah, and to comfort and encourage others. In addition, we should always look at the context of the verses we are considering to apply them correctly.

Brother H. González talked about Daniel, and how he never broke up his routine of his worship to Jehovah, even when the Law prohibited it. He then asked: What sacrifices are we willing to make to serve Jehovah. Kinda reminds us of Hosea, as we are studying in the bookstudy.

Brother M. Donner (I think that was his name) discussed how we listen and read. To not only be hearers, but doers. He then quoted from The Watchtower from 1977 (I didn’t get the rest of the reference) that mentions that if we read something in the Bible and don’t understand it, and yet skip it without trying to understand it, we are then disrespecting Jehovah. On this point, reminds me of a suggestion my good friend J. Arambula made. As one is reading and comes across people, places, objects or whatever, the Insight book is there waiting for us. That way, what we read can be truly understood. He also mentioned the importance of meditating. For one minute of reading, we should dedicate one minute to meditate on what we read.

He read 1 Corinthians 6:9 that states how unjust people will not inherit God’s kingdom. He then reasoned that we obviously will avoid such things as homosexuality, but what about what we watch? “Do we laugh at it, or do we find it disgusting and repulsive?” he asked.

By this time, something was brought to my attention by a fellow brother. This little girl in front of us had a notebook that had interesting pre-printed stuff on it. It had spaces where the child could write in the scriptures that were cited, and how many times Jehovah and Jesus’ name were mentioned. I remember during The Watchtower study when I was a wee lad, the brother would say in the beginning that by the end, he will ask how many times Jehovah and Jesus’ names were mentioned as well as a word that part of the main theme of the study. It’s a good way to keep the kiddies busy listening not playing with action figures. Take this picture for example. This was taken on Sunday. Yes, I should’ve been paying attention to the speaker and not on my neighbor’s toys, but I couldn’t resist. Unlike the aforementioned theocratic child with her notebook, here was a Daredevil action figure (the movie version).

You can’t see it too well. It was taken by a camera phone. So, at the time, the child was not being entertained by it, since he wasn’t there. But he had the multi-poseable figurine at the convention, nonetheless.

ANYWAY, it was not time for the baptism talk. Brother W. Lopez, the circuit overseer that I used to have gave the talk. As we know, the talk is not only for the candidates to get baptized, but also for all of us, to reflect on our own dedication and if we are fulfilling our promise to Jehovah. He gave this interesting illustration about a bed. To get to sleep, one may toss and turn until he/she finds that sweet spot and comfortable position that will knock you out. That is precisely what we don’t want to do in the spiritual sense. We don’t want to get in a comfortable state and stay there, because what will happen? We will fall asleep spiritually.

Brother (didn’t get his name) mentioned that we should keep pace with Jehovah’s organization. That reminds me of a talk given by brother D. Splane, member of the Governing Body. He also touched that point and said that we sometimes say “the Society’s publications”. But as we have noticed, the articles haven’t said that for some time. Because the Society is a legal entity. The publications come from, not a legal entity, but from the “faithful and discreet slave”. The Society doesn’t write the information, the “slave class” does. There is also the Memorial. It’s more for the Spanish-speaking brothers. In English, it’s just “Memorial”. In Spanish, it used to be called “Memorial”, but it has been changed to “Conmemoración” some years ago. There is also the famous “siervo de circuito” (circuit overseer). The term “siervo de circuito” was adopted in 1948, but around 1993 it was changed to “superintendente de circuito”. Yeah, they are details, not necessary for eternal life, but it’s all about keeping pace with Jehovah’s organization, not being left behind it.

The drama was awesome, as usual. The brothers and sisters involved did a wonderful job and the message was clear with many lessons to apply to all of us. I almost miss the days where they would turn off the lights for the drama. Almost.

Then there are the new publications! Wow. For the one presented on Saturday, the brother made a fine point. He mentioned how one of the main reasons why brothers and sisters leave Jehovah, is not because of a doctrine. It’s clear how we can’t have idols, or celebrate pagan holidays. Rather it is because of conduct and attitude. And this book targets those things to help us maintain in Jehovah’s love. And isn’t that so? It has direct counsel for everyone, so we can stay on the right path and not be misled by the world and what it offers.

Well, those were just some of the main points on Saturday. I hope it wasn’t too much and I hope that it benefits in some way. If there are points you would like to share about the convention, please feel free to leave a comment. You are so welcome to do so.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

This past weekend, I returned home to visit my family and as I was passing through Boerne, I was listening to NPR. They sometimes give the most interesting stories.

A report was given on "Text Walking". An ER doctor was interviewed and she mentioned that the first patients she took care of were victims of 'text walking'. The first victim, or better said, the delinquent, was a young woman in her early 20’s. She was on her way to who knows where and she was texting while walking. Apparently, she was so involved in it that she missed the end of the sidewalk, fell to the street onto an oncoming car. The man driving the car (who was on the phone, by the way) saw her, and then swerved to end up hitting a lamppost. Nothing serious happened to them, but pretty embarrassing nonetheless. So, as we can see, there are two parties involved in these accidents: ‘text-walking-victims’ (TWV’s) caused by ‘text-walking-delinquents’ (TWD’s).

A TWD up to no-good

It looks like a pretty serious thing, because in Indiana or Illinois, (I can’t remember which) a law was passed and fines of about $25 are now, or going to be issued to TWD’s. The reported asked the doctor what she thought about that, if it sounded a bit silly that a health type emergency had to be called to take care of this problem. The doc answered that she agreed with it, because this was not an isolated incident and that about once a week, she receives TWV’s and sometimes the TWD’s. So, the question is: have you ever been a TWV or a TWD? I admit I have been a TWD. :(

The reporter lady asked the doc lady how people could avoid these silly accidents. Her response ASTOUNDED me. She said: when you are going to text, you should stop, get out of the way, and send your text. How clever!

This guy should have done just that.

Even though these steps are not complicated, we sometimes do the opposite, thinking that nothing will happen. The same goes for ‘text driving’. Time magazine has the details: Time?

“A new survey found that 18% of cell phone users type text messages while driving, despite mounting evidence that it leads to accidents and fatalities. Nearly 600 young people have joined a Facebook group called “I Text Message People While Driving And I Haven’t Crashed Yet!””

How interesting is that? So, let’s be careful on the road, on the sidewalk, and in life.


You know, you’re one of Jehovah’s Witnesses if…

If you know when Nisan 14 of the Jewish calendar lands in the Gregorian calendar from year to year, and yet you commonly forget your own birthday.

Have a great day!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Hello to all you wonderful people! I has been so long since I wrote on this blog. I don't know what happened that I had to change the site address. And I haven't written because I simply haven't had any time to do it. I'm gonna try to keep up with it to let known what has been going on during the past year and how I'm doing now.

Things have been going great here in Sonora, Texas. The congregation is going well, the brothers have continually been taking care of me. You may or may not remember that I was living with a brother when I first moved here. To jog your memory, go here.

But now, I'm living in a small house that I'm renting. I've been there for a few months. I will try to get some pictures to show my "pad" or my "crib". :)

Right now, I'm back in San Anto, visiting my family. I came for my grandparents, actually. They celebrated their 33rd anniversary. I got to hang with some friends, not all, unfortunately. There are simply not enough hours in the day. I got to visit the congregation I used to attend to. It was really nice to see all the brothers and sisters that I haven't seen in a long time. It reminded me of how much I miss all of them.

But tomorrow, I have to get back to the real world! Tomorrow, we have the congregation book study and, as we all know, we will be starting another book, "Live with Jehovah's Day in Mind". Just the title alone is intriguing. But how did the Revelation book go for you?

Sure, it was filled with prophecies, dates, beasties, colors, numbers, and all sorts of things. It was really interesting. It was, as a brother put it, deep. Another brother, a D.O., gave me and others an article of The Watchtower to help keep in mind the whole picture of that wonderful book we finished studying. Here is the reference: (in English) w83 5/1 p.29-31 'A Searching Look at Revelation'; (or in Spanish) w83 15/8 p. 29-31 'Una mirada escrutadora a Revelación'. We just want to remember that, even though some of us didn't fully understand everything in the book of Revelation, we did and do appreciate Jehovah revealing the significance of this book to us. And what we want to take from it, among other things, is how it is a privilege to be a witness of Jehovah, having this information, and we have seen how Jehovah fulfills his will, one way or another. It truly was a wonderful book.

And now we begin with another wonderful book. A brother had made a bookmark for this one, including the study schedule. If you don't already have one and would like one, you can leave a comment with your email address and I will email you the bookmark on Word documents. Only I will be able to see these comments. So don't worry, no one will get your email addresses.

This is what it looks like:

For the Spanish-speaking brothuhs

For the English-speaking brothuhs

(FYI, the actual files I will send you look better than these.)

Well, that is if for now. If anyone would like to ask any questions, please make a comment or send me an email.

Have a great week!