Religion,

Abraham’s Armageddon: I’m Perfect, You’re Doomed

I’m Perfect, You’re Doomed: Tales from a Jehovah’s Witness Upbringing

Kyria Abrahams was a regular columnist for Jest Magazine for several years, where she was featured alongside performers and writers from The Daily Show and Chappelle’s Show. Her humor has also been published in Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure (Harper Perennial, 2007) the THE BOOK OF ZINES: Reading From the Fringe. For two years, Kyria Abrahams was a regular columnist for Jest Magazine, where she was featured alongside performers and writers from The Daily Show and Chappelle’s Show. She has been a past performer at alternative comedy shows like Eating It and Invite them Up, as well as literary readings like How to Kick People.

As a standup comic, Comedy Central twice selected her as one of ten semi-finalists for the Boston Laugh Riots Competition. She has also been a repeat performer at alternative comedy shows like “Eating It” and “Invite them Up,” as well as literary readings like “How to Kick People”–each of them places where the likes of Jon Stewart, Janeane Garafalo, Patton Oswalt, Fred Armisen, and David Cross have appeared.  Raised in Providence, Rhode Island she now lives in Queens with an abused cat that she just knows will start to love her some day.

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Ethics, Religion

Runaway Girl: Escaping Life on the Streets, One Helping Hand at a Time

Runaway Girl: Escaping Life on the Streets, One Helping Hand at a Time, Carissa Phelps

Runaway Girl: Escaping Life on the Streets, One Helping Hand at a Time, Carissa Phelps

An astonishing story of triumph and a fierce determination to give back.

Carissa Phelps was a runner. By twelve, she had run away from home, dropped out of school, and fled blindly into the arms of a brutal pimp, who made her walk the hard streets of central California. But even when she escaped him, she could not outrun the crushing inner pain of abuse, neglect, and abandonment. With little to hope for, she expected to end up in prison, or worse.

But then her life was transformed through the unexpected kindness of a teacher and a counselor. Miraculously, by the time Carissa turned thirty, she had accomplished the unimaginable, graduating from UCLA with both a law degree and an MBA. She had left the streets behind, yet her path would eventually draw her back, this time working to help homeless and at-risk youth find their own paths to a better life.

This is Carissa’s story, the tale of a girl who lost herself and survived, against all odds, through the generosity of strangers. It is an inspiring true story about finding the courage to run toward healing and summoning the strength to light the way for others.

Author Carissa Phelps Shares Her Story of Perseverance

http://youtu.be/nYhtAWPgOt8 Continue reading

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Religion,

1914

Eternity
Loving life so much
You’d not do anything to be there

The smoke gets in your eyes
Then you want to live on earth

So what’d you do to leave
The sea of man
Would you swim to heaven?

They say there was a tree
On which they’d feed
And you wanted to get back here

But gone with a song
That made you want to sing along
From that muppet who had blue hair

You heard of a mountain
You saw it by his very hand once
Daddy warned you this would happen

He’d give anything to be here

One day, if anything they say is true
Does that mean he’ll never remember
Those things that I do?

As they measure craziness
I measure life

To thine own self be true
Only works if you believe that he’s in you

The spirit is fine,
As long as its divine?

No it’s not by proof
It’s by faith

It’s not a question
It’s an answer

Its not asking
It’s knowing

Not needing
But receiving

It’s about hope
It’s about humanity

Or spiritual hierarchy

Tell Us, When Will These Things Be?,” those who claim authority as the faithful and discreet slave say 1914.

Only it’s been proven that they are not, in fact, the faithful and discreet slave. And now I’m not quite certain — what did happen in 1914?

We know Christ didn’t come visibly. Why do I care about his coming invisibly?

Also, if the prophecy is regarding the earthly throne being vacated, then wouldn’t the fulfillment require the advent of the earthly kingdom?

The 2,520 years began in October 607 B.C.E., when Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians and the Davidic king was taken off his throne. The period ended in October 1914. At that time, “the appointed times of the nations” ended, and Jesus Christ was installed as God’s heavenly King.*Psalm 2:1-6; Daniel 7:13, 14.

I thought Christ sat down at his father’s right hand on the throne when he arrived as the resurrected firstborn of heaven?

 

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Psychology, Religion

Christian = Love

America's Most Wanted Pedophile former Watchtower's Jehovah's Witness Frederick McLean

America’s Most Wanted Pedophile former Watchtower’s Jehovah’s Witness Frederick McLean

A Pedophile’s Paradise Fredrick McLean, a former member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization, is wanted for sexual assaults on multiple children entrusted to his care over a 20 year period.

Frederick McLean, 57, was charged in San Diego Superior Court in January of 2005 of four counts of child molestation and one count of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14. Investigations into the assaults found that McLean lures his victims into trusting him, and then uses that trust to molest and manipulate his victims. Investigators have identi ed numerous victims and believe McLean may be seeking new victims. McLean has been described as being very intelligent and methodical; planning everything he does to the smallest detail. He may have over $100,000 in cash at his disposal. McLean may have changed his appearance to aid in his  ight from justice. Investigators say McLean is considered armed and dangerous.

Is Frederick McLean hiding in your spiritual paradise?
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Doctrines, Religion

Study Buddies? Watchtower says, “No”

Does ‘the faithful and discreet slave’ endorse independent groups of Witnesses who meet together to engage in Scriptural research or debate?— Matt. 24:45, 47.

No, it does not.

Thus, “the faithful and discreet slave” does not endorse any literature, meetings, or Web sites that are not produced or organized under its oversight. Continue reading

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Culture, Religion

Called to be Counter-Cultural?

He quickly learned that much of his time was spent being against something, instead of being for anything. And he’s not alone.

WHEN WE DEFINE OUR LIVES BY WHAT WE ARE AGAINST, WE END UP LIVING HORRIBLY UNCREATIVE LIVES.

It’s a celebrated virtue in many Christian circles to be known as “counter-cultural.” We are often content to place the prefix “anti-” in front of a word and believe it is a way of stating what we are for. But I wonder if, by choosing to arrange our lives around what we stand against, we are limiting who we are called to be. If we always react against culture, the very things we rise up against will become our central point of reference for morality—which means we won’t get very far.

It’s easy to define yourself by what you are against. It’s figuring out what you are for that presents a real challenge.

— Are Christians Called to be Counter-Cultural? by Relevant Magazine

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Religion

2 Thessalonians 2 and The Watchtower Quotes

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ

Evidence establishes that his foretold return, the beginning of his “presence,” occurred in 1914.

and our being gathered together to him,

In the 1930’s, it became evident that the “other sheep” were being gathered in.

we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us,

Just as anointed Christians do, alert members of the great crowd are sticking close to God’s appointed channel for dispensing spiritual food.

to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

As evidenced by the fulfillment of Bible prophecy, since 1914 we have been in “the Lord’s day.”

Let no one deceive you in any way.

True Christians today try to help individuals in the apostate organization of Christendom. Since 1919, couriers from “the Israel of God” have gone through Christendom, inviting people to share in pure worship.

For that day will not come, unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,

“One True Christian Faith—A Reality: “The Man of Lawlessness Gets Revealed” This “man of lawlessness” is none other than the clergy class that exalted itself into a ruling position over the “Christian” congregation.”

who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship,

By his lying teachings contrary to or superseding, as it were, the law of God, “the man of lawlessness” sets himself up over Jehovah God and other ‘gods,’ mighty ones of the earth, and also against God’s holy ones, true spiritual brothers of Jesus Christ.

so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.

Since he is a hypocrite, a false teacher claiming to be Christian, he “sits down in the temple of The God,” that is, what such false teachers claim to be that temple.

Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?

This “man of lawlessness” is an apostate, a false teacher, so he actually seats himself only in what he falsely claims to be that temple.

And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time.

Being “the spirit of the truth,” God’s holy spirit could never be the source of error but would protect Christ’s followers from doctrinal falsehoods.” (Compare 1Jo 2:27; 4:1-6.)

For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.

His identity would continue to be mysterious to most persons because his wickedness would be practiced under the guise and in the name of godly devotion. It would, in fact, be an apostasy from true godly devotion.

And then the lawless one will be revealed,

The destruction of “the man of lawlessness,” the clergy of Christendom, will be an unmistakable “manifestation of his presence.”

whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth

The one authorized to declare God’s judgments against the wicked and to give orders to execute them is “the Word”—God’s Chief Spokesman, Jesus Christ.

and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.

In past cases clouds represented invisible presence; but observers could “see” the meaning with their mental “eyes.” In this case the physical occurrences that are visible would cause the one looking to “see” or realize that Christ is invisibly present.

The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders,

The portents would be lying ones, however, either fraudulent on their face or deceptive as to the conclusions to which they would lead.

and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing,

Appearing to manifest God’s benevolence and blessing, they would in reality divert persons from the source and path of life.

because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

TRUTH
those raised in the truth: w02 3/1 12
remaining in the truth: w02 3/1 16

Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,

Jehovah allowed a spirit creature to become “a deceptive spirit” in the mouth of Ahab’s prophets. That is to say, this spirit creature exercised his power upon them so that they spoke, not truth, but what they themselves wanted to say and what Ahab wanted to hear from them. Though forewarned, Ahab preferred to be fooled by their lies and paid for it with his life.

in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

The reasons why people have not yet accepted the truth vary.

But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.

“Your word is truth.” How can you convince a person that what you proclaim from God’s Word is the truth?

To this he called you through our good news, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good deed and word.

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Religion, Truth

My Life in Jehovah’s Spirit-Directed Organization

“…Later, at the suggestion of a friend of the family and with the approval of the school principal, the parents decided to put the youth in a clinic for the mentally ill, thinking that psychiatric treatment would make him abandon his faith.

The clinic personnel took the boy 60 miles [100 km] away in a car and injected him with huge doses of insulin and other drugs until he lost consciousness.

Upon awakening, he was completely disoriented, did not know anyone, and suffered partial amnesia. After many studies the doctors could not find any mental disorder in him. But the clinic went ahead with the treatment.

When conscious, the boy prayed continually to Jehovah not to abandon him and begged him for the strength to endure. Jehovah did protect him, and eventually he was released from the clinic.” — Watchtower March 1, 1992

Jehovah’s Spirit-Directed Organization

Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization?

The phrase “spirit directed” occurs as many time in the scriptures as the phrase holy spirit-directed organization” occurs in the Watchtower’s literature—not once.

While the Watchtower never claims to be a “holy spirit directed organization” the literature shows 23 references to their being a “spirit-directed organization”, and the references to “God’s spirit-directed organization” are only found in the baptismal candidate questions (quoted above) used as of the 1980’s.

“Only if the individual answers in the affirmative and also understands that his dedication and baptism identify him as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization can he acceptably undergo water immersion. — What Prevents You From Getting Baptized? w89 1/15 p. 13 par. 18

So we know that the Watchtower claims to be a spirit-directed organization, but has never claimed that it was “holy spirit-directed”. 

It claims that it is God’s spirit-directed organization, yet Paul acknowledged that there are many gods both in heaven and on earth, and some people actually worship these god’s.

“There may be so-called gods both in heaven and on earth, and some people actually worship many gods and many lords. But we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we live for him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life.” — 1 Corinthians 8:5,6

Since we cannot be certain that this is an organization which is directed by holy spirit, as the Watchtower themselves has never claim to be holy spirit-directed, then we must wonder which god does this spirit-directed organization belong to?

The Watchtower is clear that it is Jehovah’s Spirit-Directed Organization. To make this point clear, the conclusion is simply that the Watchtower is not directed by holy spirit, it is directed by Jehovah’s spirit.

Serving God vs. Jehovah’s Organized People

Regarding “God’s Channel”: “Jehovah is using only one organization to accomplish his will.” Where is the scripture to back up the last assertion in the paragraph?

 

Jehovah has a people on this earth, and he expects us to serve him along with them. This brings us to the fourth requirement: We must serve Jehovah with his spirit-directed organization.

How, though, can God’s organized people be identified?

According to the standards set out in the Scriptures,

  • they have real love among themselves,
  • they have deep respect for the Bible,
  • they honor God’s name,
  • they preach about his Kingdom,
  • and they are no part of this wicked world.

(Matthew 6:9; 24:14; John 13:34, 35; 17:16, 17)

There is only one religious organization on this earth that has all these marks of true Christianity—Jehovah’s Witnesses!”

—What Does God Require of Us?
The Watchtower 1997 1/15 p. 22

 

The Watchtower sets up Jehovah with his spirit-directed organization above all other religious organizations on this earth, claiming that only Jehovah’s Witnesses have the marks of true Christianity. They claim that all other religious organizations and Christendom are  “Babylon the Great” as depicted in the book of Revelation.

Paul warned that the man of lawlessness “will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” — 2 Thessalonians 2:4

 

Certainly if Jehovah’s Witnesses feel superior to all other Christian organizations on earth, it follows Jehovah’s spirit-directed organization openly “opposes and exalts itself over everything that is called God or is worshiped”.

The Watchtower’s world headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Brooklyn, have been referred to as “Brooklyn Bethel” more than 500 times in the Watchtower literature (see WT DVDROM).

According to the Insight on the Scriptures book, “Beth’el” means “House of God”, and defines temple as “A divine habitation, sacred place or sanctuary, either physical or spiritual, that is employed for worship.”

Thus, in as many words, The Watchtower has defined itself as Jehovah’s spirit-directed organization openly “opposes and exalts itself over everything that is called God or is worshiped” and has set itself up as Bethel (God’s House or temple, his divine habitation), proclaiming itself to be God.

The Insight on the Scriptures book continues regarding the temple, “This “man of lawlessness” is an apostate, a false teacher, so he actually seats himself only in what he falsely claims to be that temple.”

The Insight on the Scriptures book concludes regarding “the man of lawlessness”, “by his lying teachings contrary to or superseding, as it were, the law of God, … he is a hypocrite, a false teacher claiming to be Christian, he “sits down in the temple of The God,” that is, what such false teachers claim to be that temple.”

The Bible pointed to the rise of Christendom’s clergy, describing them collectively as “the man of lawlessness” and “the son of destruction . . . whom the Lord Jesus will do away with . . . and bring to nothing by the manifestation of his presence.”—2 Thess. 2:3, 6-8.

According to the Watchtower, “True Christians have been separated out from the “weeds” of Christendom.” — Jehovah’s Witnesses do not consider themselves part of Christendom, but “invite others to “go up” to the exalted worship of Jehovah God.

“Apostates can present yet another threat to our spirituality.

The apostle Paul foretold that apostasy would arise among professed Christians. (Acts 20:29, 30; 2 Thessalonians 2:3)

In fulfillment of his words, after the death of the apostles, a great apostasy led to the development of Christendom.

Today, there is no great apostasy taking place among God’s people [Jehovah’s Witnesses]. Still, a few individuals have left our ranks, and some among them are bent on defaming Jehovah’s Witnesses by spreading lies and misinformation. A few work with other groups in organized resistance to pure worship. In doing so, they side with the very first apostate, Satan.

Some apostates are increasingly using various forms of mass communication, including the Internet, to spread false information about Jehovah’s Witnesses.

As a result, when sincere individuals do research on our beliefs, they may stumble across apostate propaganda.

Even some Witnesses have unwittingly exposed themselves to this harmful material.” — Watchtower 2000 5/1 pp. 8-12

The Watchtower itself warns, “If anyone who professes to serve God relies on his own ideas instead of adhering to the Bible… he becomes “mentally diseased.”

It’s about to be 100 years from 1914.

What was 1914? As far as anyone can see, literally, it was nothing.

The Watchtower—today—claims that it was the year Christ returned, invisibly, to earth and inspected Christendom finding the Watchtower as the sole ‘faithful and discreet slave’ (Matthew 24).

[Editor’s note: this teaching has changed again. They are now just “the slave” appointed and claim that they are faithful, though Christ has not returned to say so, and reward them.]

It gets complicated though, because in 1914, we believed he came invisibly in 1874, and that 1914 was to be the end of the last days.

It wasn’t until the 1930’s that the Watchtower’s new Jehovah’s Witnesses started teaching that he came in 1914 instead of 1874, although obviously he still came invisibly since no one knew he had come and gone—which begs the question, how did the appoint the faithful and discreet slave?

“It is vital that we appreciate this fact and respond to the directions of the “slave” as we would to the voice of God, because it is His provision.”— The Watchtower June 15, 1957 p.370

The Faithful Slave

Apparently there was much confusion there too, as Russell was believed to the be one and only faithful and discreet slave even after he died. But we don’t believe Russell was the slave, otherwise he’s dead and then what? It shifted over time to become a corporation under Rutherford into the form it’s taken as a “governing body” today.

Now, what about that ‘faithful and discreet slave’ versus the ‘evil slave’ parable? Well, the governing body is made up of imperfect men and that’s why we have to be ‘patient with the organization’ ‘waiting on Jehovah’.

In the 70’s while my dad was serving at Beth’el (meaning literally, ‘house of god’, in this case Jehovah) there were two relatives on the governing body, Raymond Franz and his uncle Fred Franz.

The Evil Slave

Raymond studied the scriptures while Fred ran the place. Raymond was assigned responsibility for producing “Studies in the Scriptures” and loved every minute preparing the material for publication.

However, what he learned from the scriptures disagreed with what the Watchtower taught, and still teaches today. His decision to stay true to the word of God, rather than Jehovah’s organization deemed him “the evil slave”.

Here’s where you have to stop and reason.

If none of these men were alive and present to be appointed ‘faithful’ in 1914, then how can the governing body be the faithful slave?

And if you can’t take it on a case-by-case basis man for man over time, then how can you remove one man from the body and call him evil, but the rest ‘the faithful’?

Wasn’t it Christ who was to appoint and reward his faithful slaves, and to judge the evil?

My dad is an ‘organization man’.

My dad vehemently defends the Watchtower as God’s organization.

I tried to ask him what if the Watchtower and the holy scriptures disagreed, but that didn’t end well.

Suffice to say he reflects Rutherford’s attitude when asked about correcting the name of God, since it’s not “Jehovah” as Jehovah’s Witnesses teach:

“At the Yankee Stadium, when giving his speech introducing the New World Translation, the Society’s president said: “…the translation committee has used the form ‘Jehovah’ because of its familiarity and because it preserves the four original letters [YHWH] of the Hebrew name. In God’s own time when He reveals the correct pronunciation of his holy name, we will gladly make the accurate correction.”—See The Watchtower, September 15, 1950, page 317 ¶ 14.

When I first tried to talk to my parents about Matthew 24 — its such a simple and easy to understand chapter! — my mother said she could ‘see me being an apostate‘.

I countered with my only hope—”please, explain to me when I’ll see my daddy again?”

You see, I was raised with a Catch 22. I had to be good enough as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses to obtain to eternal life in God’s kingdom on the paradise earth, where then I could see my daddy again, as he would be resurrected since he ‘died faithful’. (Never mind that we would both have to survive the attack by Satan at the end of the thousand years, where despite having died faithful, and been resurrected as a faithful one, my daddy or I might still succumb to Satan and die twice, three times if you include the ‘spiritual death’. Compare Hebrews 9:27)

I recalled growing up that he would come back some time during the thousand year reign based on “the last will be first, and the first will be last”. However, I had just finished reading the scriptures through for the very first time on my own, reading The Message version (read free on www.bible.com).

I had read Revelation 20:5 and it seemed simple, succinct, and it covered everything.

“And the rest of the dead don’t come to life until the thousand years have ended.”

My parents argued their “Reasoning from the Scriptures“, but the short of it is they do not believe the scriptures as written, they use man’s reasoning instead. (Mark 7:8)

Yet, this prophecy, the only book of scripture inspired by Christ himself, comes with a very explicit warning:

I give fair warning to all who hear
the words of the prophecy of this book:

If you add to the words of this prophecy,
God will add to your life
the disasters written in this book;

if you subtract from the words
of the book of this prophecy
,
God will subtract your part
from the Tree of Life
and the Holy City
that are written in this book.

He who testifies to all these things says it again:
“I’m on my way! I’ll be there soon!”
I shifted back to Matthew 24.

I was begging them to explain to me how it is that we contradict what Matthew 24 says so simply—all will see him!

How is it that we believed he came invisibly then???

I also pointed out that if the appointing of the slave happened in 1914, then the judging and rewarding hasn’t happened yet — thus, the slave was appointed to feed, but had not been found faithful, discreet,—or evil!

What was ‘the faithful and discreet slave’ doing calling themselves ‘faithful’ if Christ himself had not judged them so?!

Matthew 24 parallels the same events in Revelation of the four horsemen — so isn’t the first horse that looks like Christ, but is clearly depicted as different than Christ (later in Revelation) actually the anti-Christ?

Doesn’t he ride out and conquer Christians enslaving them into his kingdom, the kingdom of the false Christ: Christendom?

Isn’t that what Matthew 24 says happens, which is also attested to by the second letter to the Thessalonians who were commended for their learning, but warned not to listen to the teachings of men over that of God’s own word, or his son, the Word?

At the Watchtower’s Annual Meeting 2012 they changed the teaching.

I remind my mother that to turn “apostate” doesn’t mean to turn your back on religion or the Watchtower, it means to turn your back on God, and the one whom he sent forth: the way, the truth, the life.

“Veritas Via Vitae.”

Please know that it took great courage for me to finally find my voice: Having been silenced for years from speaking to those I thought were my ‘true’ friends and family I turned to writing.

However, living in an atheist society and surrounded by dogmatic “IRL” friends, I kept my faith to myself.

Having been taught that “there is no where else to go” because all other religions are false religions, I no longer had any spiritual association.

It never occurred to me to find out who, among my “IRL friends” were Christian. After all, back then if someone were to ask me if I were a Christian, I’d reply that I was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. (And what is that but another denomination of nominal Christians in Christendom? Ah how we love our divisive sects!)

Jessica, Lindsey, Ashley, et al, it’s hard to believe that it’s been eight years since I’ve had a hug from one of my ‘friends’.

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

It’s been eight years, we were friends before Facebook came along.

However, my family members ‘unfriend’ me as if somehow that can change the fact that we are family. Now, you get to make the choice. You guys are it. The only ones who know me of all the people listed as my ‘friends’ on Facebook. You get to choose to love me, or ‘unfriend’ me.

I do not believe the Watchtower organization is directed by holy spirit any more than any other organization on the planet. “The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one”, the scriptures say, and no where does it say that He (neither God, nor his Son) would come down and appoint any organization. Even still all that slave was to do was to feed faithfully and discreetly while waiting for the master to return.

He doesn’t urge “come out of her my people” just so you can hurry into the Kingdom Hall instead.

As far as I can tell, God’s Kingdom, nor Christ’s has come to earth yet.

So just whose Kingdom are you meeting in?

The Last Supper, Seattle, December 1, 2004

The Last Supper, Seattle, December 1, 2004

 

I woke up.

There’s a story there, it’s the reason I chose the specific example at the outset… But I can’t write everything from the past 33 years of my life in one blog post. 🙂

However, I’m going to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, with the help of my Father, his Son, and the holy spirit.

It’s going to be fun.

You know the best part? You can unfriend me, and you can still come read the stories, on my Facebook or on my blog.

I have set everything up to be public.

Thanks for reading this far if you have.

That night of the ‘Last Supper’ happened also to be my 25th birthday.

We were there to ‘celebrate’ our last night out together before my getting disfellowshipped, not to celebrate my birthday.

I’m 33 now.

“Oh, sweet thing
Zion doesn’t love you
And Babylon don’t love you
But you love everything
Oh, you saint”

When I was 30 I went to Burning Man, a week long art festival. As I stood among all those people in the desert it was hard not to think of the Israelites in the desert dancing before the burning calf.

Outside the tents, on the festival grounds
As the air began to cool, and the sun went down
My soul swooned, as I faintly heard the sound
Of you spinning “Israelites”
Into “19th Nervous Breakdown”

“Babel” by Mumford and Sons

‘Cause I know that time has numbered my days
And I’ll go along with everything you say
But I’ll ride home laughing, look at me now
The walls of my town, they come crumbling down

And my ears hear the call of my unborn sons
And I know their choices color all I’ve done
But I’ll explain it all to the watchman’s son,
I ain’t ever lived a year better spent in love

‘Cause I’ll know my weakness, know my voice
And I’ll believe in grace and choice
And I know perhaps my heart is farce,
But I’ll be born without a mask

Like the city that nurtured my greed and my pride,
I stretched my arms into the sky
I cry Babel! Babel! Look at me now
Then the walls of my town, they come crumbling down

You ask where will we stand in the winds that will howl,
As all we see will slip into the cloud
So come down from your mountain and stand where we’ve been,
You know our breath is weak and our body thin

Press my nose up, to the glass around your heart
I should’ve known I was weaker from the start,
You’ll build your walls and I will play my bloody part
To tear, tear them down,
Well I’m gonna tear, tear them down

‘Cause I know my weakness, know my voice,
And I’ll believe in grace and choice
And I know perhaps my heart is farce,
But I’ll be born without a mask

“O’ Sister” by City and Color

Oh sister
What’s wrong with your mind?
You used to be so strong and stable
My sister
What made you fall from grace?
I’m sorry that I was not there to catch you

What have the demons done?
What have the demons done?
With the luminous light that once shined from your eyes
What makes you feel so alone
Is it the whispering ghosts
That you feared the most
But the blackness in your heart
Won’t last forever
I know it’s tearing you apart
But it’s a storm you can weather

Oh sister
Those lines etched in your hands
They’re hardened and rough like a road map of sorrow
My sister
There is a sadness on your face
You’re like a motherless child who’s longing for comfort
What’s running through your veins
That’s causing you such pain?
Does it have something to do with the pills they gave to you?
What is eating at your soul?
Was it the whispering ghosts that left you out in the cold?

But the blackness in your heart
Won’t last forever
I know it’s tearing you apart
But it’s a storm you can weather

Oh sister
My sister

“Demons” by Imagine Dragon

When the days are cold
And the cards all fold
And the saints we see
Are all made of gold

When your dreams all fail
And the ones we hail
Are the worst of all
And the blood’s run stale

I want to hide the truth
I want to shelter you
But with the beast inside
There’s nowhere we can hide

No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

Curtain’s call
Is the last of all
When the lights fade out
All the sinners crawl

So they dug your grave
And the masquerade
Will come calling out
At the mess you made

Don’t want to let you down
But I am hell bound
Though this is all for you
Don’t want to hide the truth

No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

They say it’s what you make
I say it’s up to fate
It’s woven in my soul
I need to let you go

Your eyes, they shine so bright
I want to save that light
I can’t escape this now
Unless you show me how

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

I’m letting the demons out.

I’ve held the truth inside for too long.

And you know, “the truth shall set you free”.

Too bad we grew up thinking “the truth” was our religion, eh?

“God is love.”

What is Jehovah?

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Culture, Documentation, Ethics, Religion

Watchtower Documentation: “Thanks to ANONs”

700MB of documents RE the Watchtower and Jehovah’s Witnesses

We like to thank all ANONS who helped to collect, evaluate and sort this material.

Browse all files · Full Archive (bzip2, 700mb) · Added January 18, 2013

  • An interesting, mainly credible, account of an insider’s view of congregation workings over the past several decades. JW’s Brooklyn and Manhattan real estate holdings, possible fraud, Watchtower history, and their policies toward child sex abuse cases, beginning in the 1980s, are detailed. A good place to start for someone with limited knowledge of Witnesses. (PDF, 460kb)
  • Folder of documents on the “Chimera” lawsuit, a current pro se action brought in San Mateo, California involving alleged congregation fraud, money laundering, and a wide ranging RICO scheme involving bank, city, and public employees, to divest older members of the congregation from their spiritual leadership positions, and control over congregation cash. The case itself may not offer much insight, but does gives clues as to how the congregation is structured, and details some of their inner workings on maintaining bank accounts, fundraising, et cetera.
  • Some of this information about building fund schemes, touched upon here and in other Chimera case docs, may be of interest to those who are studying Scientology’s real estate transactions and fundraising schemes, as described in Lawrence Wright’s new book “Going Clear”. (PDF, 105kb)
  • Collection of material about child sex abuse allegations within the JW. Witness testimony, a large volume of info on William Bowen, who founded a Jehovah’s Witnesses survivors support group, SilentLambs, Inc, corporate docs, and lawsuit material between the congregation and Bowen, included.

There is lots of more data in the archive, including video testimony and various other court documents. Use the links  to access the full data. We like to thank all ANONS who helped to collect, evaluate and sort this material.

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Ancestry, Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Religion

We fly away…

I am emotional. I feel betrayed. I was raised in faith that the Watchtower was God’s organization. I believed that my mom and dad knew the answers that one day I’d come to learn. I just felt slow and stupid and that eventually I’d get it. I trusted. I had faith. I believed. I knew my parents were smarter than me. I had read it in the poem that hang on his bedroom wall.

I now learn that while they can’t answer me from the scriptures when will my father live again they will deny the scriptures as they are written as truth.

“And the rest of the dead do not come to life until the end of the thousand years.” — Revelation 20:5

Despite that verse, and the one which precedes it which clearly defines who will partake in the first resurrection (which is immediately followed by this verse—”And the rest of the dead do not come to life until the end of the thousand years.”) she’d say that “apparently” my father, and all other loved ones, such as my uncles and my best friend, will come to life again during the thousand year reign.

“But who will they rule over?”, she asked.

I attempt to offer the answer, it lies therein, in the next verse—
“the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog” the ones who Satan’d deceive, let alone the man on earth who would yet thus believe and come to reside, as the scriptures say, in the holy city.

My parents tell me there will be only 144,000 in heaven, you see.

And thus on the earth the great crowd should be.

I wonder and am confused, what mystery she believes? (Revelation 17:5)

The 144,000 are in heaven, yes, we agree.

The great crowd, regardless—where is it?!—where will Gog and Magog be?

My parents won’t answer, and a answer will not be.

They offer confusing theories, the efforts or effects of their personal theology.

“The dead are not dead”, he says, “don’t you see?”

Or is it that he says that they are dead, but only spiritually?

And ‘the Son of Man which every man will see’, well not, every man will “see” he’d have me believe?

The man who says he was the Son of God would ask me to believe, and he asked in the first century, “what if you would see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?” apparently now the truth that we should seek is “what if you would see the Son of Man descending to where he was before he was where it is that he still is or would still be?”

Oh, I sigh, I ask and cry, “You men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky?”

My parents would say that though they dropped their jaws, and gave good pause so the Lord would sent his angels to mark the day, that it not matter, despite the manner, they not believe “This man, who was received up into the sky will come back in the same way as he was seen going into the sky.”

No, we’d not see, it’d be seen, no not all all.

It is not green eggs, no, it is not green eggs and ham, at all.

It was not for us but for the few he’d call, those men that they’d say of that long since past long ago day, some day once before no, never, not seen, it was one day when some one said he say him, somewhere near 1919. He came invisibly, known only once he came though their inner chamber doors; yet we shouldn’t worry, as though it were a desert, no not in desert no wilderness, nor should we go seek him, no it was in Brooklyn that as a thief he broke in.

My heart is like a child’s, like a king’s it’s been broken.
I have no throne, my crown is sore and of my ego there’s not much left to be worn,
But a princess I’d be—in the kingdom of heaven—my heart still plays make believe.

I give it all, I swear I would. I understand, I’d dare I could, Paul he’d be a man after that which is me—My Dad, my mother, my sisters and my brother, my family—please take them, take them before me?! My life, my life, I’ll give it, pray, I pray, please, oh please, not them but me! My body you’ve beaten, battered and abused, my mouth you smote and my faith you moved. My fear was shattered and my soul I cared not, who knows what I know, and who needs what I’ve got?

My father, my Father, before both I bend my knee. I beseech you I pray in my scattered soul, that thing which I not know if man need, my heart has been thrashed, and my heart thus does beat. Take my shame, give me blame, or lift from below?—I can’t breath. My eyes lay but for a moment on your son, and my heart stirred, ashamed I chastised myself, for your son I am beneath.

Why make me wonder I already know. You know my mother told you so. I look good in red, that’s what she said. And you know I’ve always wished to be worthy of wearing white. Your woman of revelation, adorned in skies diamonds, my mother think I’d be better off in colored jewels. You both tease thus, it seems I must, admit the scriptures are my muse?

But in seriousness, somberness, in undertone day and night. You know it is, from child’s breath, to adult fright, I’ve read you in delight. I had faith though life not make me believe. My spirit broke, then I found myself on bended knees. I lay my head to the ground, where once long ago I was found. It against that flesh that I find myself, the dust of which I am, the dust which I deserve.

Why make me dream, drowning me in stars? Why test my heart, and send my mind so far? I have no family in heaven, my father beneath my feet sleeps. My mother’d not believe me if I told her it’s me you’d seek. She thinks its the devil, and thus shame has won, how it is that I’d tell her, it is the best that I’ve done?

What shall you do to make them believe? What is it that shall come to make the world see? I care not for my life, but he that gave his for me. How is it that you lived without him? A perfect man, your child, your seed? My father knows not of the pain of which we call my life, he never came to know that a man called me his wife. As I stood before that man, for your mother and father you must leave, that man told me that I must forget—for him you must not grieve. How jarring it is this moment to try to say where all the other words thus in poetry lay—he said it he said it he said it callously, he said ‘get over it’, and that he said it I still can’t believe.

I’m done. I’m done. I’ve said all I can say. You’ve empty my heart, and I’ll hit send and pray.

I think of my father, and then you sent Muppets and clowns my way. I adore my childhood, and my life I wouldn’t trade.

I imagine another live would be one less boring than mine. I still can’t said I would trade it to live next to the divine. The roses smell sweet when not genetically altered, and you know it is not less than often that before earth’s herbs I’ve faltered. Rosemary I rub in my palms to breath its fragrance given next to the busy street, basil I adore and roses maybe more, though my scent I still seek. Do you have smells where you dwell, or could I have herbal retreats? Is it true, I heard once you drew a vision a man knew not to seek… upon a stone he struck his head and in slumber he did sleep. Though his eyes were closed his spirit rose, in wonder it did peak. He saw the stairs, or a ladder who cares, it was heaven it did seek. Angels came and went and the night was spent and of it the scriptures do speak. I laugh and wonder, could it be a man should go asunder so he might find on the other side an elevator ride, one like no other? (Genesis 28:10-19) I know, I know, in case she should read, yes the man who first before him must proceed. That death he gave and wine we drink, in life will live and death in we will breath.

Ecclesiastes “The Teacher”

In anguish, Solomon says in his heart,

“Who knows the spirit of man,
whether it goes upward,
and the spirit of the animal,
whether it goes downward to the earth?”

Why? Why had it entered Solomon’s heart that might might “go upward” as opposed to the “downward to the earth” that he knew of the death of animals?

A Prayer by Moses, the man of God.

Why is the prayer of Moses in the psalm referring to “flying away“?

Lord, you have been our dwelling place for all generations.
Before the mountains were born,
before you had formed the earth and the world,
even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.
You turn man to destruction, saying,
“Return, you children of men.”
For a thousand years in your sight
are just like yesterday when it is past,
like a watch in the night.
You sweep them away as they sleep.
In the morning they sprout like new grass.
In the morning it sprouts and springs up.
By evening, it is withered and dry.
For we are consumed in your anger.
We are troubled in your wrath.
You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
For all our days have passed away in your wrath.
We bring our years to an end as a sigh.
The days of our years are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty years;
yet their pride is but labor and sorrow,
for it passes quickly, and we fly away.

Why is it, by the way, that you’d believe that a generation can be anything other than what the scriptures define? There are so many little studies I did in child like curiosity and learned so many little things. Check every single reference to lifetime and you’ll see, a generation is forty if a life for the mighty would eighty be. Christ died and prophesied that a generation would see, and then thus it was that less than that it came to pass and thus they came to see. Why should I though all I know who believed have thus died believed what was not taught? Is it not man who over whom man it is that injury is wrought?

I apologize. While there might be some meter or rhyme, I haven’t the slight clue how to communicate it in writ. I offer you thus what you might imagine is puss, but I hope instead you see wit.

I am a gift from God, think no more of myself from sod, of where a seed dost thus lay. However this wheat should be no more neat than in thus death it stray. For in that if it be true then thus it is that I do a seed a harvest display. I long ago since died, and each time I think it the last that I’ve cried, but as your child I’d lied, and thus I lay my heart humbly before you this day.

I, Angela Marie Niblick Benson Baxley, and of all other aliases both present and formerly, am of sound mind and judgement of body.

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” — 2 Timothy 1:7

I seek love and self-discipline, and the power to overcome weakness in speech.

But first, I shower.

Good night.

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Psychology, Religion

Pedophilia: A Letter to my Mother in Support of Candace Conti

I compiled all this because my heart ached realizing how you’d judged Candace, and her mother—whose name is Kathleen Conti—”it was her mother’s responsibility”. You judged but you did not know the facts.

Candace Conti

Candace Conti

You raised me to think of Candace as my sister. My heart goes out to my sister. Looking at her face she even reminds me of my own sisters.

I don’t know if Candace is in association with the Watchtower any more. I imagine not. It doesn’t matter, to me she is my sister. I pray for her, in hopes that her belief in our heavenly father was not tied to the Watchtower as mine was. I hope she knows that the actions of those “imperfect men” do not represent that of her Father. I hope that if they disfellowshipped her, like others I know have been for going to the authorities and/or media, that she knows that this is not her Father rebuking her, but a corporation who is protecting their ass—er—assets. Short sighted, they are concerned with man, rather than God. Continue reading

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Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Correspondence, Music, Religion

contact@aboyandhiskite.com

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Angela M. Baxley <abaxley@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Sep 13, 2013 at 5:10 PM
Subject: Re: Beautiful album, love the lyrics, and the website. Thank you!
To: A Boy and His Kite <contact@aboyandhiskite.com>
cc: darryl@smrtworld.com

Hi Dave!
Are you guys okay in Colorado??? 
I had you and Karla on my mind as I was listening to “Choir Of Young Believers” earlier.
I’d like to find out if you know of anyone who I can promote via our indie DIY (but working with really talented people including pro’s who volunteer) docu/reality show, SMRTr World.
Seeking music like yours and Karla’s which support the personality and character of the characters involved. 🙂
I have a friend who is a pro sound guy with a studio in his house. When we were kids we were both Jehovah’s Witnesses. He’s now atheist and I’m Christian and believe Jesus > Religion and worship in my home. My hope is that this project will strike someone like your album struck me.
Btw, if you could somehow be included in person, we are filming in Charlotte, NC in our home. I quit my job (was a designer at Apple) to get married, and moved to be near the kids. The guys play music and we’ll be putting together a band. We’re based in “NoDa” (a neighborhood concept which didn’t exist when I lived here growing up) “the historic arts district of Charlotte”. If you wanted to perform, I’m sure we could figure out getting you in around here?
I don’t know how to help, but before my “Apple cred” fizzles away I’d like to deliver something inspiring. If I do well, then I’ll find my next communication media project. I have a whole slew of them I would like to deliver, with only one interest in mind — the King and his Kingdom.
Let me know thoughts. I’m a successful newbie! 🙂
Agape,
Angela (and her beloved, Darryl)

 ? angela baxley

On Thu, Dec 6, 2012 at 5:55 PM, Angela Baxley <abaxley@gmail.com> wrote:

thanks for the music recommendations. i didn’t even know about that site “come and live”. very cool.

You’re still top of the list on Rdio for Heavy Rotation (based on my friends). Here’s the list of my pals who have your album on rotation. Again, stunning—all very influential in my world of designers on who tweet and love to rock. 🙂
On Nov 28, 2012, at 11:57 AM, A Boy and His Kite <contact@aboyandhiskite.com> wrote:
For sure! =) I have lots of atheist and spiritist friends in Boulder that have had their opinions and perspectives shaken up a bit knowing me and my faith in Jesus. I don’t exactly match their stereotypes. Like you I don’t really listen to much “Christian” music. I occasionally will turn the radio on to see what it’s sounding like and I’m sadly always disappointed. My little kids don’t even like it =)

Here are a few of my friends with a similar heart that I really enjoy listening to: Josh Garrels, Sleeping At Last, Andrew Belle, Son Lux, Matthew Perryman Jones, Karla Adolphe, Page CXVI and Loud Harp (my other band. you can download the record for free www.comeandlive.com).
Thanks again!
Dave
On Nov 28, 2012, at 12:04 PM, Angela M. Baxley wrote:

Wow, a really live email back! 🙂 Super cool!

 
Do you have recommendations on other artists with similar style minded lyrics and music? I don’t really like the stuff that is more typically labeled “Christian”. I can’t help but smile as I see your record, and Mumford & Sons top the “heavy rotation” on Rdio among my SF friends, who for the most part are both (a) atheists, and (b) incredibly influential to the culture of America. Apparently they don’t pay attention to the lyrics, but maybe it’ll get into their hearts all the same? 🙂
Agape,
Angela
@ang @baxley
On Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 10:58 AM, A Boy and His Kite <contact@aboyandhiskite.com> wrote:

Hi Angela,

Thank you so much for your email! I’m sorry it took me awhile to get back to you.
I’m grateful that you are enjoying the music and also listened to the words. Also, a big thanks passing on those typos =) I just fixed them.
It’s fun to hear that my music struck a chord with where you’re at and what you’ve been thinking. That’s really exciting for me to hear! My songs are my experiences and stories of the goodness and love of God that I’ve received in my life. I don’t know how to sing about anything else =)
Thanks again for taking the time to write me. I appreciate it. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!
Peace.
Dave Wilton – A Boy and His Kite
On Nov 26, 2012, at 9:08 PM, Angela M. Baxley wrote:

I’ve been looking for music that would fit what’s been on my mind lately, I put on your album (top of the new ones from the last week on Rdio) and jumped in the shower.

 
I came out to disbelief. Was I really hearing my ears correctly? 
I had silently asked for something that I would find upbuilding, spiritual, just not disappointing as my mind seems so much more aware of late…
 
Thank you!
 
I wanted to reach out also, because I believe there’s two typos in the lyrics—”to deep” should be “too”? And “burry” is written instead of “bury”?
 
I found the album by Mumford & Sons, Babel intriguing. Seems many are awakening. 
 
Angela from San Francisco
 
 
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Babylon the Great
Religion, Scriptures

Babylon, The Mother of False Religion

PLEASE NOTE, THIS IS A PERSONAL WORK IN PROGRESS!

The Kabbalah mystery religion which originated in ancient Sumer, thus putting its beginnings in the same remote epoch as the mysteries of Egypt and the Hindu Vedas. Babylon succeeded Sumer, and transmitted the teachings in turn to the Hebrews, along with many other elements of their religion, which are therefore still familiar to us today from the Book of Genesis. The word “Kabbalah” comes from a Hebrew root meaning to receive sacred teachings. Continue reading

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Papers, Religion

In Fame Only: A Historical Record of the Divine Name

Reprinted Translation from Gérard Gertoux, Un Nome eccellente

Paradox of the Anonymous Name

God’s name, which one finds about 7000 times in the Bible under the form YHWH, possesses the unique and remarkable circumstance of not having been vocalized by nearly all translators. With this name being unpronounceable under its written form YHWH, some overconfidant (or overzealous?) translators refused to confirm this paradox and preferred to vocalize it with an approximated form. Obviously, in every case the proposed vocalizations were very rigorously criticized. A review of the past twenty centuries will allow us to appreciate the reasonings which favored or opposed the vocalization of God’s name, and to understand the origin of the controversy and the paradox of a name which can be written without being able to read it aloud. Continue reading

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Yehowah Vowel Points for YHWH Aleppo Codex 3
Papers, Religion

The Name of God YeHoWaH. Its Story by Gérard Gertoux

Hebrew scholar and Gérard Gertoux, president of the Association Biblique de Recherche d’Anciens Manuscrits and author of The Name of God Y.eH.oW.aH Which Is Pronounced As It Is Written I_Eh_Ou_Ah: Its Story reveals the pronunciation of the God’s name, Yehowah, with scriptural and cultural evidence. Continue reading

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Satan and the demons continue to mislead people
Doctrines, Religion

Heaven is Full—The Hope of the Great Crowd

The Watchtower has always taught that the 144,000 are the ones to go to heaven—but most Jehovah’s Witnesses today don’t realize that Russell taught that they were all part of the “anointed” “remnant” going to heaven.

The remnant are a small portion of all the anointed followers of Christ who are pictured in heaven in Revelation.

Indeed, until 1935 when the teaching changed, the Watchtower presented the urgency for all to become one of the limited  144,000 who would go to heaven. With the message that of the doors of heaven would soon be closed, membership swelled… Continue reading

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Beulah
Doctrines, Religion

Beulah, and the name designated by the very mouth of Jehovah

Beulah There was a sister I knew named Beulah growing up. I thought it a strange name, not being acquainted with it’s meaning.

Today I crossed a street I often cross—Beulah—and wondered what my parents think of when they see the name.

Nowadays I know the significance of the name. You see, this past year I started studying the bible—not “studying the bible” like Jehovah’s Witnesses do, studying the Watchtower’s publications and their interpretation of the bible, but actually reading and studying the bible.

I found it hard to just read the bible, as in read without interpretation, the scriptures. I was raised in the Watchtower Society, and reading the New World Translation meant walking down familiar pathways where I couldn’t see the forest for the trees of interpretation.

Thus, I took to reading a different version—and then multiple versions—and when I came to something that surprised me, I’d search out to see if these words in these versions were indeed true. Continue reading

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Praise, Religion

Watchtower History of The Name Jehovah

The Divine Name in Later Times

THAT the divine name was used in early history is beyond question. But what about later times? Why have certain Bible translations omitted the name? And what is its meaning and significance to us?

THE NAME “JEHOVAH” BECOMES WIDELY KNOWN
Interestingly, Raymundus Martini, a Spanish monk of the Dominican order, first rendered the divine name as “Jehova.” This form appeared in his book Pugeo Fidei, published in 1270 C.E.—over 700 years ago.

In time, as reform movements developed both inside and outside the Catholic Church, the Bible was made available to the people in general, and the name “Jehovah” became more widely known. In 1611 C.E. the King James or Authorized Version of the Bible was published. It uses the name Jehovah four times. (Ex. 6:3; Ps. 83:18; Isa. 12:2; 26:4) Since then, the Bible has been translated many, many times. Some translations follow the example of the Authorized Version and include the divine name only a few times.

In this category is An American Translation (by Smith and Goodspeed) with a slight variation of using “Yahweh” instead of “Jehovah.” Yet, one may ask: “Why have the translators done this? If using ‘Jehovah’ or ‘Yahweh’ is wrong, why put it in at all? If right, why not be consistent and use it every time it appears in the Bible text?”

[w80 2/1 p. 11 The Divine Name in Later Times]

An Open Letter to the Catholic Monsignor

from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society

Oct. 11, 1950.

To Matthew Smith, Monsignor of the Roman Catholic Church in America,
c/o The Register, Catholic Press Soc., Inc. Denver, Colo.

Before us is a copy of The Catholic Telegraph-Register, Section Two, dated Friday, August 18, 1950, containing an article signed by you. It occupies parts of three columns in the lower left-hand corner of page one and continues on page four for two full-column lengths, and is entitled: “Listening In,” with the subheading, “Sect Rewrites Parts of Bible to Fit Beliefs.” Also before us is a copy of the identical article by you appearing in The St. Louis Register of the same date, from which fact is to be gathered that your article was published quite generally in the 32 Diocesan editions of The Register published in as many cities. Your article therefore gained nation-wide publicity.

You open and close your article with a reference to the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures, released at Yankee Stadium, Wednesday, August 2, the fourth day of the International Assembly of Jehovah’s witnesses there. During the remaining four days of which Assembly 85,850 copies of this new translation were placed with the conventioners. We being the printers who have come into possession of the publication rights of this translation, we feel the obligation of making some answer to your article. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that the general public who read your adverse article is expecting a published reply from us, and we do not want either to disappoint these or to fail in our obligation to the Most High God and his recorded Word.

Your article appears to be based entirely on what the news reporters had to say about the speeches and releases offered at the Yankee Stadium Assembly, and not upon a personal examination of the literature that was released. For instance, your remark (¶ 17): “All this will be wholly different from the perpetual earthly happiness promised by the Witnesses. Their idea, if the newspapers are correctly quoting their leaders, is closer to a Mohammedan idea than to a Christian one.”

Hearsay (“Listening In”) is a very unreliable foundation on which to make such an assertion in the public press in criticism of a group of Christians, who, though a minority, have circulated their literature around the earth in more than 90 languages in excess of half a billion copies of bound books and booklets, besides hundreds of millions of free tracts and magazines.

Your article admits that in his public address of August 6 on “Can You Live Forever in Happiness on Earth?” the Watch Tower Society’s president N. H. Knorr answered the question in the affirmative. Following his lecture 250,000 copies of his speech, in a 32-page booklet, were distributed free to all in attendance, numbers taking many copies each, so that what Mr. Knorr said was freely available in print. You, with your Catholic means of obtaining information, could easily have procured a copy of this booklet. Those who heard or read this speech know that it has no resemblance to Mohammedanism but is based wholly upon the inspired Scriptures and the modern-day fulfillments of prophecy.

You say, “The idea of a perpetual reign of the saints on earth is repulsive to the majority of Christians,” “Heaven will not be a glorified earth,” and, “It is to be hoped, therefore, that Jehovah’s Witnesses will not place all their faith in the absurdity of an earthly kingdom that will never die.” (¶¶ 15, 16, 22) In none of their speeches or publications have Jehovah’s witnesses taught that ‘heaven will be a glorified earth’; but it is you, Monsignor, and your religious system that teach that people of your faith will take their earthly bodies to heaven.
Jehovah’s witnesses, however, adhere strictly to the inspired Scriptures and believe what the apostle John says about those of the “little flock” of Christians who will go to the heavenly kingdom: “Dearly beloved, we are now the sons of God; and it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. We know, that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him: because we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:2, Douay Version) We believe with the apostle John in a distinction between heaven and earth, and we accept his vision of the future in which he says: “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth. For the first heaven and the first earth was gone, and the sea is now no more.” (Apocalypse 21:1, Douay) Certainly that new earth is to be populated with creatures of the earth, earthy, for Isaias 45:18 declares that the Lord God did not create the earth in vain: “he formed it to be inhabited.”

It is useless for you to counter with the argument that the apostle John saw only an apocalyptic vision. Not only the prophet Isaias speaks also of a new heavens and new earth (65:17; 66:22), but so does the apostle Peter. He describes the destruction of the present heavens and earth in which injustice dwells and then says: “But we look for new heavens and a new earth according to his promises, in which justice dwelleth.”—2 Peter 3:13, Douay.

In harmony with the infallible Scriptures, Jehovah’s witnesses teach that Christ’s footstep followers who overcome this world will reign with him, not in the “new earth”, but in the “new heavens”; and obedient mankind on the “new earth” will be blessed by the invisible, heavenly reign of Jesus Christ and his glorified followers, his bride. (Apocalypse 2:26-28; 3:21; 20:4-6) If this is “repulsive”, it is repulsive to the majority of professed Christians who do not accept God’s Word but who have been indoctrinated with religious traditions of men contrary to God’s Word. (Matthew 15:1-9, Douay) Your hopes, therefore, that we will not place our faith “in the absurdity of an earthly kingdom that will never die” are ill-founded and are needless. We do not hope for such a thing, but preach “the kingdom of HEAVEN” as the rightful government for all the universe. Modern events fulfilling sacred prophecy prove that this heavenly kingdom is at hand and will remove the Devil’s rule of earth; and because of this fact we can assure people of good will that they can live forever in happiness on earth under the heavenly kingdom of Christ and his glorified congregation. Then, in answer to the Lord’s prayer, God’s name will be hallowed and his will will forever be done on earth as it is done in heaven.

NO REWRITING OF PARTS OF THE BIBLE

Your article (¶ 2) states: “Newspaper accounts indicated that the ‘translation’ changed the texts to fit Witnesses’ doctrines.” Then, to make it appear that Jehovah’s witnesses are mutilating the Christian Greek Scriptures, you quote the New York Times’ report as saying: “Rejecting the idea of the Holy Trinity, the Bible society translation replaces the phrase ‘the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost,’ used frequently throughout the King James version with ‘the spirit and the water and the blood’ (1 John v. 7).”

First of all, the newspaper report errs in saying that the phrase “the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost” is used frequently throughout the King James Version. It is not so used even in the Catholic Douay Version. The one place in the Scriptures where the phrase does occur, namely, at Matthew 28:19, the New World Translation renders the verse: “Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit.” In a corresponding passage, namely, 2 Corinthians 13:14, this translation reads: “The undeserved kindness of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the sharing in the holy spirit be with all of you.”

No parts of the Bible have been rewritten in this New World Translation to fit the beliefs of Jehovah’s witnesses, as you blatantly assert. The Translation Committee did not construct its own Greek text of the Christian Scriptures. No; but on page 8 of the Foreword it notifies us that the Committee used the 1948 Macmillan Company edition of the Westcott and Hort text of 1881, besides S. C. E. Legg’s editions of Matthew and Mark, and that it also took into consideration “other texts, including that prepared by D. Eberhard Nestle and that compiled by the Spanish Jesuit scholar José María Bover and that by the other Jesuit scholar A. Merk”. Concerning the same Greek text mainly used by the Committee, E. J. Goodspeed says in his Preface in “An American Translation” (1939): “I have closely followed the Greek text of Westcott and Hort, now generally accepted. Every scholar knows its great superiority to the late and faulty Greek texts from which the early English translations from Tyndale to the Authorized Version were made.”

So the New World Translation has rewritten no part of the Greek text, not even 1 John 5:7 which is cited in your article as a place where Jehovah’s witnesses clash with the trinitarian doctrine. Does the New World Translation here replace the phrase “the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost” with the phrase “the spirit and the water and the blood”? No! How could the latter phrase be used as a replacement when it is already there in the Greek text? But it is the former phrase that is not there.

The New World Translation of 1 John 5:7, 8 reads: “For there are three witness bearers, the spirit and the water and the blood, and the three are in agreement [margin: are for the one thing].” This is a literal translation of the Greek text by the above-named Augustinus Merk, S.J., in his Novum Testamentum Graece et Latine; it is also a literal translation of the Greek text by the other Roman Catholic scholar, Joseph M. Bover, S.J., in his Novi Testamenti Biblia Graeca et Latina; as well as of Nestle’s Novum Testamentum Graece and of the Westcott and Hort Greek text. So you see that even those Jesuit scholars do not include in their Greek texts the words, “in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. And these three are one. And there are three that give testimony on earth.” (Douay) Those words are now recognized by all genuine scholars as spurious to the authentic Greek text. Your own precious Vatican Manuscript No. 1209 of the early 4th century does not contain the words, but brands them spurious.

The French Catholic Bible by Canon A. Crampon puts those words in brackets and says in the footnote: “The words put in brackets are not found in any Greek manuscript prior to the 15th century, nor in any manuscript of the Vulgate prior to the 8th.” The Catholic German translation by P. Johann Perk of 1947 puts the words in parentheses and explains in a footnote. It is true that the Jesuit scholars Merk and Bover show the words in their parallel Latin text, but, please, note this: Bover and Cantera do not include the words in their Spanish translation of 1947. Also, the words do not appear in the Latin text of the Novum Testamentum Latine by J. Wordsworth and H. J. White of 1911, and which is rendered according to St. Jerome’s edition. Their footnote says they print the Latin text without the disputed words, in harmony with the Latin manuscripts Amiatinus, Armachanus, Fuldensis, Sangermanensis, and the original Vallicellanus, these manuscripts being of the 6th to the 9th centuries. The footnote adds that the words appear in the Latin manuscripts Cavensis, the revised Vallicellanus, of the 9th century, and the Sixtine and Clementine editions of the Vulgate of the 16th century.

Please note other Roman Catholic translations that omit the words: The Spanish translation of 1948 by Nácar and Colunga; the French translation by Canon E. Osty, of 1949, and the French Catholic Bible of 1949 by the Monks of Maredsous; and the Westminster Version of the Sacred Scriptures by Rev. Cuthbert Lattey, S.J., of 1948. These read like the 1950 New World Translation.

Thus on the main text that is cited for charging Jehovah’s witnesses with rewriting parts of the Bible to fit their beliefs you are proved false. The New World Translation stands vindicated, and it will remain so against any future attacks from any quarter.

THE DIVINE NAME

The last four paragraphs of your article are grouped under the heading “Jehovah Not Correct as God’s Name”. Here you open by saying: “Something of the shallow scholarship in the sect in adopting the word Jehovah as part of its title is shown by the Catholic Biblical Encyclopedia’s treatment of this word: . . . .” And your closing paragraph says: “We fear that all the other scholarship of the Witnesses, including what they have done in their translation of the New Testament, is on the same basis as their use of the word Jehovah.”

Thank you for this opportunity to present some facts to you and to the public. We do not say that “Jehovah” is the correct pronunciation of God’s name. For that matter, neither is “Jesus” the correct pronunciation of Christ’s name. But according to the Aramaic language which Christ and his apostles spoke, his name was pronounced “Yeshu?a” (the a representing a gutteral ending). But “Jesus” is only our colloquial way of pronouncing his name, and we do not find fault with you for using it instead of Yeshu?a. However, if you call it shallow scholarship for the Committee to use the word Jehovah in the New World Translation, then you will have to admit that it is due to the shallow scholarship of the Roman Catholic clergy of the thirteenth century, for in that century the word historically appears among them.

Your quotation from the Catholic Biblical Encyclopedia says Jehovah was the incorrect pronunciation given to the Hebrew tetragrammaton JHVH in the 14th century by Porchetus de Salvaticis (1303). But let us say: The origin of the word Jehovah used to be attributed to Petrus Galatinus, a Franciscan friar, the confessor of Pope Leo X, in his De Arcanis Catholicae Veritatis, published in 1518. But the latest scholarship has proved he was not the one to introduce the pronunciation Jehovah, and neither was your aforementioned Porchetus de Salvaticis. As shown by Joseph Voisin, the learned editor of the Pugio Fidei (The Poniard of Faith) by Raymundus Martini, Jehovah had been used long before Galatinus. Even a generation before Porchetus de Salvaticis wrote his Victoria contra Judaeos (1303), the Spanish Dominican friar Raymundus Martini wrote his Pugio, about 1278, and used the name Jehovah. In fact, Porchetus took the contents of his Victoria largely from Martini’s Pugio. And Scaliger proves that Galatinus took his De Arcanis bodily from Martini’s Pugio. Galatinus did not introduce the pronunciation Jehovah, but merely defended it against those who pronounced the Hebrew tetragrammaton Jova.

In 1557 Jehovah became established in John Forster’s New Hebrew Dictionary, and Marcus Marinus admitted Jehova in his Lexicon Arca Noae of 1593. Sebastian Muenster uses the name Jehova in his text of his Latin translation of the Hebrew Scriptures (1534), and in his notes on Exodus 3:15 and 6:3 he uses the name as though it were well known. Also in 1557, in bringing out Pagninus’ Latin version of the Hebrew Scriptures, Robert Stephanus used Jehova uniformly for the Hebrew tetragrammaton. In a note on Psalm 2:1 he remarked that substituting Adonai for it was to be rejected as a Jewish superstition.

Cardinal Thomas de Vio Cajetanus in his Commentary on the Pentateuch, of 1531, regularly used Jehova. In his translation of Genesis 2:4 he has “Jehova Elohim”; and in his note on Exodus 6:3 he says: “Jehovah the God of your fathers appeared to me (Iehova Elohe patrum vestrorum visus est mihi).” To be consistent, you should call that “shallow scholarship” on the part of your cardinal, what?

But that such “shallow scholarship” is not limited to Roman Catholic clergy of the 13th to the 16th centuries, please be apprised that in an edition of the French Catholic Bible by Abbé A. Crampon of 1905 he used Jehovah in his text; this has since been amended to read “Yahweh” according to our copy of the 1939 edition. But note also the following.

You are also doubtless acquainted with the magazine The Grail, published in St. Meinrad, Indiana. Well, in the February, 1949, issue of this magazine appeared the article “Jona, God’s Problem Prophet” by Philip Dan Stack. In it we read: “Now the word of Jehovah came unto Jona the son of Amittay* [Footnote*: ‘All quotations from Sacred Scripture in this essay are from The Westminster Version of the Sacred Scripture, edited by The Rev. Cuthbert Lattey, S.J.; this accounts for the unusual spelling of certain proper names.’], saying, ‘Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and denounce it; for their wickedness is come up before me.’ (Jona 1:1-2) . . . A fine chance he, an insignificant prophet from Gath-hefer, would stand in forcing penance upon the fabulous Ninevites, who did not even know his own God’s name.” From page 54 to page 58 the name Jehovah is used 30 times, twice being spelled Jahve, and the version from which it is quoting is, mind you, the Westminster Version by a Jesuit Reverend! Was that not quite “shallow scholarship” to set before Catholic readers? Does it not make you blush to be confronted with such “shallow scholarship” on the part of Roman Catholic publications and authors in this twentieth century?

The pronunciation Jahweh, usually credited to John L. Ewald of the 18th century, goes back farther, to the 16th century. Ten years before Ewald was born (1747), Jahveh was found in Eichhorn’s Simonis, the Lexicon in most general use in Germany. F. H. Gesenius adopted the pronunciation Jahveh when Ewald was still defending Jehovah.

Why, then, does the New World Translation use the name Jehovah 237 times in its main text? Is it due to “shallow scholarship”, as you insinuate? No. In the Foreword, from page 10 to page 25, the Translation Committee explains its basis for using this name so many times. In addition to the 19 Hebrew versions, it cites versions of the “New Testament” in 38 languages besides English and Hebrew where the translators use a vernacular form of the Hebrew tetragrammaton. But in its 2nd last paragraph the Translation Committee says: “While inclining to view the pronunciation ‘Yah?weh?’ as the more correct way, we have retained the form ‘Jehovah’ because of people’s familiarity with it since the 14th century. Moreover, it preserves, equally with other forms, the four letters of the tetragrammaton JHVH.” And in its footnotea of page 36, on Matthew 1:20 where “Jehovah’s angel” appears, it says: “Jehovah’s, or, Yahweh’s.”

At the Yankee Stadium, when giving his speech introducing the New World Translation, the Society’s president said: “But, while recognizing the merits of the pronunciation ‘Yah?weh?’, the translation committee has used the form ‘Jehovah’ because of its familiarity and because it preserves the four original letters of the Hebrew name. In God’s own time when He reveals the correct pronunciation of his holy name, we will gladly make the accurate correction.”—See The Watchtower, September 15, 1950, page 317 ¶ 14.

The true scholarship behind the New World Translation will make itself known, not by the disclosure of the names of the translating committee, but by the faithfulness of the translation to the Greek text and by the reliable help it gives toward understanding God’s written revelation to men. We are not troubled, therefore, by your thrust: “Albeit the identity of the translators is being withheld at their own request—they are not likely to make much impression on either Catholic or Protestant scholars. It is no wonder that the translators wish to remain unknown.” (¶ 7)

Not praise from the scholarship of this fading world, but the true service of God and the education of the people in his Word, is what we are after. The honesty, courage and firm foundations of this translation will commend it to honest seeking hearts. Already the fact that the universally known Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society publishes this New World Translation has been more of a recommendation to lovers of God’s Word than the mere scholarship of Christendom.

We are releasing this letter for publication in The Register, in fair play, as our answer to your article. Regardless of whether any of the affiliates of The Register publish this answer in whole or not, the Watchtower magazine will gladly publish it and thus it will reach its way to the public to whom it is due.

Sincerely,
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY

Happy are you when people reproach you and persecute you and lyingly say every kind of wicked thing against you for my sake. Rejoice and leap for joy, since your reward is great in the heavens; for in that way they persecuted the prophets prior to you.—Matt. 5:11, 12, NW.

[w50 12/1 pp. 469-474 An Open Letter to the Catholic Monsignor]

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Religion,

this block of wood

Life is infinitely stranger than anything the mind could invent.
— Sir Aurthur Conan Doyle

I couldn’t invent the story of my life if I tried, it’s hard enough figuring out how to write it. Life has been non-stop and I just can’t seem to figure out how I’d ever explain it all — I imagine with the tools now I can basically rig up a wedding photo montage with music introducing the couple style experience if I could just compile all the images (curate them) and add the details like the music, atmospheric settings, etc, and if technology could only get as good as the ideal—it being fully recorded for full sensorial experience upon playback, upon editing.

Unlikely adventures require unlikely tools.” — Mr. Magorium

Continue reading

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Doctrines, Religion

The Irony

DAILY TEXT FROM THE WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY

Sunday, August 26

Do not put your trust in fallacious words.—Jer. 7:4.

Some Israelites viewed the temple as a talisman that would protect them from enemies. (Jer. 7:1-4) Earlier, Israelites viewed the ark of the covenant as a charm that would protect them in battle. (1 Sam. 4:3, 10, 11) Constantine the Great painted the Greek letters khi and rho, the first two letters of the title “Christ” in Greek, on his soldiers’ shields in hopes of protecting his soldiers in battle. And King Gustav Adolph II of Sweden, who fought in the Thirty Years’ War, is thought to have worn armor that had the name Iehova featured prominently on the collar. Some of God’s people who have been attacked by demons have found refuge in Jehovah by calling his name out loud. Still, an object that features God’s name should not be considered a talisman or used as a charm in everyday life as if it had some magical power of protection. This is not what it means to take refuge in the name of Jehovah. w11 1/15 1:14, 15

First, it’s interesting to see today’s scripture in context. It’s a warning:

Do not put YOUR trust in fallacious words,*+
saying, ‘The temple* of Jehovahthe temple of Jehovah,
the temple of Jehovah they are!’” — Jeremiah 7:4

Then there’s the irony of the name—the name “Jehovah” first arrived on the scene from Christendom in the 13th century.

Taking refuge in the name of God, or in the name of the Lord is not about the use of a name, but a statement about God’s attributes and activities. When Jesus made his father’s name manifest to his disciples, it wasn’t by use of a proper name, but it was by perfectly representing his father, doing the will and works of his father and speaking not of his own accord, but his father’s words.

Another way of putting it, is that he was “the spit and image of his father”.

Similar to how people will tell a young man that he must make a name for himself, they’re not referring to what he is called, but rather how he is known.

Do not put YOUR trust in fallacious words,*+ saying,
‘The temple* of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah,
the temple of Jehovah they are!’” — Jeremiah 7:4

The True God

This means everlasting life—that they might know you the only true God,
and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. — John 17:3, New American Standard Version

It’s not about a “name”, it’s about knowing the only true God.

I Never Knew You

Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing+ the will of my Father who is in the heavens will.+ 22 Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord,+ did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works* in your name?’+23 And yet then I will confess to them: I never knew YOU!+ Get away from me, YOU workers of lawlessness.+

The Workers of Lawlessness 

2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

However, brothers, respecting the presence*+ of our* Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him,+ we request of YOU 2 not to be quickly shaken from YOUR reason nor to be excited either through an inspired expression*+ or through a verbal message+ or through a letter+ as though from us, to the effect that the day+ of Jehovah* is here.

3 Let no one seduce YOU in any manner, because it will not come unless the apostasy*+ comes first and the man of lawlessness*+ gets revealed,+ the son of destruction.*+ 4 He is set in opposition+ and lifts himself up over everyone who is called “god” or an object of reverence, so that he sits down in the temple* of The God,* publicly showing himself to be a god.+ 5 Do YOU not remember that, while I was yet with YOU, I used to tell+ YOU these things?

6 And so now YOU know the thing+ that acts as a restraint,+ with a view to his being revealed in his own due time.+ 7 True, the mystery of this lawlessness is already at work;+ but only till he who is right now acting as a restraint* gets to be out of the way.+ 8 Then, indeed, the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus* will do away with by the spirit of his mouth+ and bring to nothing by the manifestation+ of his presence.+ 9 But the lawless one’s presence* is according to the operation*+ of Satan with every powerful work and lying signs and portents+ 10 and with every unrighteous deception*+ for those who are perishing,+ as a retribution because they did not accept the love+ of the truth that they might be saved.+11 So that is why God lets an operation of error go to them, that they may get to believing the lie,+ 12 in order that they all may be judged because they did not believe the truth+ but took pleasure* in unrighteousness.+

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Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Correspondence, Religion

ChannelC OneApart

Association

Baptized at 12 years old coming from multiple generations on my [step] dad’s sideMelvin George Baxley—and my mom and [deceased] father came in [to the truth] together, baptized at the same time arm-in-arm, literally.

Now I am a Silent Lamb. Sacrifice me.

Family all still are “JW”, but I’ve been disfellowshipped twice.

I got back “in” this year to be able to speak with family but my parents pretty much shun me because my intent was to share and research the information I had learned of late about the religion.

Left

I’ve faded, immediately after reinstatement.

I live on the west coast and the timing went well as I moved for a job right after reinstatement.

So I am a ghost now. My family is east coast.

Perspective

I believe in God—even more so than before when it was a religious thing.

I am trying to learn what the bible really says.

Dealing with shunning

Nothing makes you crazier than being ignored and feeling as though you don’t belong.

My family wasn’t strict about it near the end this time around, but our relationships will never be the same after more than 5 years of shunning.

What is your objective for the Channel C panel?

To find association among like-minded people.

Somewhat more private and probably more intellectual than the posts I’ve read on the other public forums.

I’m not into bashing as a past time—Looking for a place that’s more mature [than www.jehovahs-witness.net].

Any other information you think is pertinent or interesting?

I recently started a site (I’m in technology as a profession) : seekjehovah.org.

It’s a work in progress with the intent to be found by witnesses, not immediately repel them, and instead perhaps reach people with information I wish I would have had sooner in life.

Thank you!

On Aug 12, 2012, from “cc-questions@channelc.org”

Angela:

Based on your responses and candor (below), I think you would be an excellent contributor to the Channel C forum.

I looked at your seekjehovah.org Website and it appears excellent as well. What a genuinely Christian endeavor, appropriate for Jehovah’s Witnesses.

What would you like for a user name and a password? I will register you and look forward to your participation in the discussions.Thanks for your interest in Channel C.

Blessings,
Channel C Admin

Angela M. Baxley <abaxley@gmail.com> 8/12/12 to cc-questions

thank you. How about “oneapart”.

Rosalie the Channel C admin, and friend of Franz.

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Doctrines, Religion

The Body of Christ

DAILY TEXT FROM THE WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY

Just as the body is one but has many members, and all the members of that body, although being many, are one body, so also is the Christ.—1 Cor. 12:12.

Jehovah created mankind to be interdependent. The human race exhibits a wide variety of looks, personalities, and skills. Additionally, he endowed the first humans with godly qualities that would enable them to cooperate with each other and to depend on each other. (Gen. 1:27; 2:18) Nevertheless, the world of mankind in general is now alienated from God and has never, as a whole, been able to act in unity. (1 John 5:19) Therefore, considering that the first-century Christian congregation was composed of people as diverse as Ephesian slaves, prominent Greek women, educated Jewish men, and former idol worshippers, their unity must have seemed miraculous. (Acts 13:1; 17:4; 1 Thess. 1:9; 1 Tim. 6:1) True worship enables people to cooperate as harmoniously as the members of our own body.—1 Cor. 12:13w10 9/15 2:2, 3

When I read today’s daily text I wondered how many members of the congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide realize that the Watchtower defines the members of the congregation they refer to as limited to only the anointed.

The Watchtower teaches that Christ is the head of the congregation—but that this congregation is only comprised of 144,000 people who are anointed to go to heaven. While the bible teaches there is a special ruling class of anointed in heaven who rule the Kingdom with Christ, no where does it teach these are the only anointed or only ones in heaven. Actually Revelation tells us that the Great Crowd that no man is able to number is in heaven rendering rendering him sacred service day and night in the temple at Revelation 7:9-17.

The Watchtower elaborates on the Great Crowd in heaven.

“The Greek word (na·os’) translated “temple” in John’s vision of the great crowd is more specific. In the context of the Jerusalem temple, it usually refers to the Holy of Holies, the temple building, or the temple precincts. It is sometimes rendered “sanctuary.”—Matthew 27:5, 51; Luke 1:9, 21; John 2:20.

Members of the great crowd exercise faith in Jesus’ ransom sacrifice. They are spiritually clean, having “washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Hence, they are declared righteous with a view to becoming friends of God and of surviving the great tribulation. (James 2:23, 25) In many ways, they are like proselytes in Israel who submitted to the Law covenant and worshiped along with the Israelites.

Of course, those proselytes did not serve in the inner courtyard, where the priests performed their duties. And members of the great crowd are not in the inner courtyard of Jehovah’s great spiritual temple, which courtyard represents the condition of perfect, righteous human sonship of the members of Jehovah’s “holy priesthood” while they are on earth. (1 Peter 2:5) But as the heavenly elder said to John, the great crowd really is in the temple, not outside the temple area in a kind of spiritual Court of the Gentiles. What a privilege that is! And how it highlights the need for each one to maintain spiritual and moral purity at all times!” — w02 5/1 pp. 30-31

The Watchtower tells us, “Those with an earthly hope discern that they themselves are not anointed members of the body of Christ, nor are they in the new covenant that Jehovah made with those who will rule with Jesus Christ. Since “the cup” represents the new covenant, only those in the new covenant partake of the emblems. Those looking forward to everlasting life in human perfection on earth under the Kingdom are neither baptized into Jesus’ death nor called to rule with him in heaven. Were they to partake of the emblems, it would signify something that is not true with respect to them. Thus, they do not partake, though they do attend the Memorial as respectful observers. They are thankful for all that Jehovah has done for them by means of his Son, including the extending of forgiveness on the basis of Christ’s shed blood.

The final sealing of the relatively small number of Christians called to reign with Christ in heaven is nearing completion. Until the end of their life of sacrifice on earth, the anointed are spiritually strengthened by partaking of the Memorial emblems. They feel a bond of unity with their brothers and sisters as members of Christ’s body. Their partaking of the emblematic bread and wine reminds them of their responsibility to remain faithful until death.—2 Peter 1:10, 11.”

The Insight on the Scriptures book talks about this symbolic body of Christ.

Symbolic Usage. Jesus Christ is spoken of as the Head of “the congregation, which is his body.” (Eph 1:22, 23; Col 1:18) This Christian body of people has no divisions racially, nationally, or otherwise, Jews and people of all nations being represented in it. (Ga 3:28; Eph 2:16; 4:4) All are baptized by holy spirit into Christ and into his death. They are, therefore, all baptized into one body. (1Co 12:13) Thus all the body follows the head, dying his kind of death and receiving his kind of resurrection.—Ro 6:3-5; see BAPTISM (Baptism Into Christ Jesus, Into His Death).

The apostle Paul uses the functioning of the human body to illustrate the operation of the Christian congregation, likening the members living on earth at any particular time to a body, with Christ as the invisible Head. (Ro 12:4, 5; 1Co 12) He emphasizes the importance of the place each member occupies, the interdependency, the mutual love and care, and the accomplishment of work. God has set each one in his position in the body, and through the various operations of the holy spirit the body performs what is necessary. The Head, Jesus Christ, as liaison member, supplies the members of the body the things they need through the “joints and ligaments,” the means and arrangements for supplying spiritual nourishment as well as communication and coordination, so that “the body” is spiritually well fed and each part is informed of the task to perform.—Col 2:19; Eph 4:16.

One who is an anointed member of the Christian congregation, the body of Christ, … the temple organization, … One who is a member of the body of Christ, as well as other dedicated persons who are associated with these spiritually begotten body members…”

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Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Religion

An Apology to My Mother

Mom, I know that I’m scaring you. And I’m sorry for that.

I don’t know how to explain with words what I’m going through.

I can however share with you what I’m fascinated by, and perhaps you can judge whether or not I’m “okay”.

I’ve been studying the Bible for months now, and I’ve perservered despite the fear that what I would learn might mean that I would separated from my family. I miss you guys so much. You seem nearly as a conceptual thing to me as “daddy” is. I understand what that relationship is supposed to mean, but it’s not something I’ve experienced. Likewise, I don’t really know how to be a sister or to be a daughter, it seems so long ago that I was a part of a family. I’m not sure I ever knew how to interact like I belonged.

Here’s a night in the most recent nights of Angela:

I’m an experience designer, so know that it’s an “experience”. I’m giving you my recipe as it were. I could send you the “Notability” file for instance which recorded me and the background (music in this case) while I studied the Watchtower. You can go along as I highlight and respond, and can hear the music that I was listening to and how I interacted in my study with God.

So. First, it starts with Faith. Continue reading

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Doctrines, Religion

The Power of Holy Spirit

Daily Text from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society

You will receive power when the holy spirit arrives upon you.—Acts 1:8.

Jesus knew that his disciples in their own strength were not capable of observing all that he had commanded. Considering the scope of their preaching commission, the strength of their opponents, and the frailty of the human flesh, it was clear that they needed superhuman power. Thus, just before his ascension to heaven, Jesus assured his disciples that they would receive divine power and added: “You will be witnesses of me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the most distant part of the earth.” That promise began to have its fulfillment at Pentecost 33 C.E. when holy spirit empowered the followers of Jesus Christ to fill Jerusalem with their preaching. No opposition was able to halt it. (Acts 4:20) “All the days until the conclusion of the system of things,” Jesus’ faithful followers, including us, would be in urgent need of that same God-given strength.—Matt. 28:20w11 1/15 4:1, 2

From referenced Watchtower — w11 1/15 4:1, 2

Jesus promised his disciples that ‘they would receive power when the holy spirit arrived upon them.’ The terms “power” and “spirit” are distinct in their meaning. God’s spirit, his active force, describes energy that is projected and exerted on people or things to accomplish God’s will. Power, however, can be defined as the “ability to act or produce an effect.” It can lie dormant in someone or something until it is needed to produce a given result. Thus, holy spirit might be likened to the electric current that energizes a rechargeable battery, whereas power is more like the latent energy that is then stored in the battery. The power that Jehovah grants to his servants by means of holy spirit gives each one of us the ability to fulfill our Christian dedication and, when necessary, to resist negative forces that are exerted upon us.—Read Micah 3:8; Colossians 1:29.

Are you led by spirit?

Today’s text tells us “Jesus’ faithful followers, including us, would be in urgent need of that same God-given strength” as the “holy spirit that empowered the followers of Jesus Christ” at Pentecost 33 C.E.

Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father” for all who are led by God’s spirit, these are God’s sons. If, then, we are children, we are also heirs: joint heirs with Christ. (Matthew 6:9; Romans 8:14,17)

For all who are led by God’s spirit, these are God’s sons.+ For you did not receive a spirit of slavery causing fear+ again, but you received a spirit+ of adoption+ as sons, by which spirit we cry out:“Abba,+ Father!” The spirit+ itself bears witness+ with our spirit+ that we are God’s children.+ If, then, we are children, we are also heirs: heirs indeed of God, but joint heirs+ with Christ, provided we suffer+ together that we may also be glorified together.+ Consequently I reckon that the sufferings+ of the present season do not amount to anything in comparison with the glory+ that is going to be revealed in us. — Romans 8:14-18

Anti-Christ

Anti-Christ is translated literally “anti-anointed one”. As Christ is the Greek from the Hebrew word meaning Messiah, or “Anointed One”.

“Young children, it is the last hour,+ and, just as you have heard that antichrist is coming,+ even now there have come to be many antichrists;+ from which fact we gain the knowledge that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of our sort;+ for if they had been of our sort, they would have remained with us.+ But [they went out] that it might be shown up that not all are of our sort.+ And you have an anointing from the holy one;+ all of you have knowledge.+ I write you, not because you do not know the truth,+ but because you know it,+ and because no lie originates with the truth.+ “Who is the liar if it is not the one that denies that Jesus is the Christ?+ This is the antichrist,+ the one that denies the Father and the Son.+ Everyone that denies the Son does not have the Father either.+ He that confesses+ the Son has the Father also.+ As for you, let that which you have heard from [the] beginning remain in you.+ If that which you have heard from [the] beginning remains in you, you will also abide in union+ with the Son and in union with the Father.+ Furthermore, this is the promised thing that he himself promised us, the life everlasting.”+ — 1 John 2:18-25

“These things I write you about those who are trying to mislead you.+ And as for you, the anointing+ that you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to be teaching you;+ but, as the anointing from him is teaching you about all things,+ and is true+ and is no lie, and just as it has taught you, remain in union+ with him. So now, little children,+ remain in union+ with him, that when he is made manifest+ we may have freeness of speech+ and not be shamed away from him at his presence.*+ If you know that he is righteous,+ you gain the knowledge that everyone who practices righteousness has been born from him.”+ — 1 John 2:18-29

“Everyone that pushes ahead*+ and does not remain+ in the teaching of the Christ does not have God.+He that does remain in this teaching is the one that has both the Father and the Son.+” — 2 John 9 :9

Insight into the Anti-Christ

The Insight book defines Anti-Christ as “against (or instead of) Christ.”

We know we are living in the last days—so then, who is “anti-anointed ones” or places themselves “‘instead’ of Christ”?

Anti-Anointed Ones

For whom has God reserved the privilege of partaking at the Lord’s Evening Meal? (Matthew 25:31-40; Revelation 14:1) God has reserved that privilege for individuals he has anointed with holy spirit to be “joint heirs with Christ.” (Romans 8:14-18; 1 John 2:20) What, then, is the position of those who hope to live forever in a global paradise under Kingdom rule? (Luke 23:43; Revelation 21:3, 4Since they are not Jesus’ joint heirs with a heavenly hope, they attend the Memorial as respectful observers.—Romans 6:3-5. — Watchtower 2003 2/15 pp. 17-22

One Mediator, One Ransom

For there is one God,+ and one mediator+ between God+ and men,+ a man, Christ Jesus,+ who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all+ — 1 Timothy 2:5, 6

Instead of Christ—or God

Jesus Christ, is not the Mediator between Jehovah God and all mankind. He is the Mediator between his heavenly Father, Jehovah God, and the nation of spiritual Israel, which is limited to only 144,000 members.” —  Worldwide Security, p10 (1986)

“Let us now unmistakably identify Jehovah’s channel of communication for our day, that we may continue in his favor. … It is vital that we appreciate this fact and respond to the directions of the “slave” as we would to the voice of God, because it is His provision.” — “Overseers of Jehovah’s People”, The Watchtower 1957 6/15 p. 370 par. 7

“Therefore Jesus said again: “Most truly I say to you, I am the door+ of the sheep. All those that have come in place of me are thieves and plunderers;+ but the sheep have not listened to them.+ I am the door;+ whoever enters through me will be saved, and he will go in and out and find pasturage.”+ — John 10:7-9

“And I have other sheep,+ which are not of this fold;+ those also I must bring,* and they will listen to my voice,+ and they will become one flock, one shepherd.+ This is why the Father loves me,+ because I surrender my soul,+ in order that I may receive it again.” — John 10:16, 17

“Jesus said to him: “I am the way+ and the truth+ and the life.+ No one comes to the Father except through me.+ If you men had known me, you would have known my Father also; from this moment on you know him and have seen him.”+ — John 14:6, 7

One body+ there is, and one spirit,+ even as you were called in the one hope+ to which you were called; one Lord,+ one faith,+ one baptism;+ one God+ and Father of all [persons], who is over all and through all and in all. Now to each one of us undeserved kindness+ was given according to how the Christ measured out the free gift.”+ — Ephesians 4:4-7

For where there are two or three gathered together in my name,+ there I am in their midst.”+ — Matthew 18:20

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Candace Conti
Documentation, Religion

Anonymous : Candace Conti won against the Watchtower

On June 13 and 14, 2012, for the first time in its history, the Watchtower society (Jehovah’s Witnesses) lost a court battle about its implication in a child sex abuse case. The Californian Justice System of Alameda found the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society legally responsible and has been ordered to pay up to 2.8 million dollars in compensatory damages and as much as 21 million dollars in punitive damages to the victim, Candace Conti.

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Religion

Perspective (2012)

Angela M. Baxley
Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 3:54 PM
To: Darryl Glass

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Angela M. Baxley
Date: Thu, Mar 22, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Subject: my essay
To: Arlene Baxley

It took me nearly all night to write this. I hope that it makes sense. Please, will you read it? I’m best able to express myself in writing.

Really, though, it’s easiest to read the whole portions directly from the bible, and then come and read what I wrote.
Continue reading

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Doctrines, Religion

The Watchtower’s Christian Channel of Communication

TWELVE REQUIREMENTS FOR CHRISTIAN CHANNEL TODAY

What of Jehovah’s Christian channel of communication today? Which of the hundreds of sects and denominations of those who claim to be Christian is Jehovah’s spokesman today in the earth as his divinely appointed and organized channel of communication? The Bible indicates many specifications, all of which have to exist together to mark, beyond a shadow of doubt, the one divinely authorized channel. Following is a list of requirements to be met by such a true congregation of Christ to fit her as God’s channel today. Continue reading

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Banksy
Psychology, Religion

Tangled Fainter

On Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 11:54 AM, Angela M. Baxley wrote:

Here’s the deal. Right now, I’m not the same adorable loving resilient girl I used to be, as much as you’d wish it so.

My life is nothing like what it used to be.

There are no simple answers that you can offer and just make it better—as much as you and I would like that to be. And trust me, I would love that to be the case.

When I met you, I offended you immediately because I saw in you my father.

Perhaps it’s at that point that I should have stepped away, realizing that we have different needs for this relationship. Continue reading

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Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Correspondence, Documentation, Ethics, Religion

A wise man once said…

“This day YHWH will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down, and cut off your head; and I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that God saves not with sword and spear; for the battle is God’s, and he will give you into our hand.”

David and Goliath

Date: October 28, 2011 2:17 PM
To: Bryan Hertz <bryan.hertz@telcentris.com>

From the words of which I was raised, I learned the art of warDavid versus his Goliath. In truth I took comfort, and I read the bible day and night, in an undertone.

Singing, I sang Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah“, Springfield’s “Jesse’s Girl“, and “Forward, You Witnesses” by the Watchtower, among selections of Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline. Riddle you that.

My family went down in history fighting for First Amendment rights, and my grandfather and his friends were not only unjustly imprisoned, but also tarred and feathered for their beliefs. Baxley v. United States is my heritage and in it I revel.

I am proud of my family’s name, and that which they bestowed upon me—spiritual riches beyond any wealth found on earth.

I suppose in your calculations for settlement you likely missed a few key points. I know the value of a name, and know of truest wealth. I have no fear of man, I was raised without it.

I believe in justice and seek it through truth.

In every move, I imbue my own name while striking at yours. Every attack or move you make against me does the same. You are in a game you cannot win, you are unwitting and unwise.

Perhaps it’s unfair, the attention that I grant to this particular instance of injustice in life… Who could have known it was to be your wrong that would be the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back? But did you know, “it is easier for a camel to get through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to get into the kingdom of God“?

I imagine that’s not a concern for you, and since I have no money, it’s not of much concern to me either. 🙂

Today I am enjoying breaking my polite silence. I acquiesced to your request of almost a year ago. You wished to be friendly, you said. I waited and spent my time in thought, making plans and planning ahead.

One day, when I’m done with it, I’m willing to sell the domain name I’ve acquired, for the right price. With any luck—or whatever you’d call it—perhaps you can outwit the Google historian’s account of our brief history together. Currently the mad strategy is an amusement for me. It doesn’t take much to push “publish” on what constitutes a years worth of thought. It amuses me that it doesn’t have to make much sense, it’s riddles for others to follow when searching or researching your name.

I have to say, I do feel a tinge of regret when it comes to the damage to [redacted, VP of Stuff at Telcentris] I know that he truly (believed he) loved me, and emotional damage he endured before he entered the scene dictated much of his irrational actions. However, one night he took what wasn’t his and in a less than gentlemanly manner. Confronted with his actions he acted as a coward, denying the deed. What an uncomfortable position to be in before my boss—being held to whether or not I should report it as rape or willing—I get the feeling you knew then as I know, that however it is that I ended up beyond consent that night, by it’s very definition “it” didn’t need defined.

Your lawyer informed me, as I already knew, that in California the statue of limitations has already passed for me to make an EEOC claim. I wonder how it is you’re still confused. I’m not after your money—money can’t buy you comfort. If you ever question why it is that I have seemingly endless energy to put towards my intent, recall that day where you forced me against the wall with your words, and I tried to walk. Remember that—once—I tried to protect you.

You wouldn’t let me walk away; I imagine you regret that decision now.

Oh, and I bet you regret not giving me something to sign when I asked for it. Again, I was looking out for you and the company’s best interests above that of my own.

Silly girl.

Money can’t buy me love. It is the root of all sorts of injurious things. Yes, perhaps it can quell my wrath, but you weren’t willing to even willing to offer what is legally mine, and expected for me to sign away my right to free speech for the pittance?

It’s not in what I have to gain; it’s in everything you lose.

I don’t know if you read the Bible, but at least you might recognize the lyric “let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late“…

Continue reading

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photo, Religion

Caffeine & Lithium Drug Interactions

Here is interesting stuff… so I was using caffeine to increase getting rid of the lithium. However, at that time I didn’t know that I’d been given Clonazepam. It is counterproductive on getting rid of Clonazepam.

[Three doses of] Lithium arguably did something good for me. It released this maniac that I adore… finally I’m the “me” I was when I was younger. Self-confident and assured. Alive and thinking. Living and focused. However, it appears just a half-dose would have done it, as their repeated doses kept me awake for 10 straight days, and besides Navy Seals, I can’t find anyone else who thinks that’s cool, nor good for me.

Clonazepam on the other hand is what makes a real life psycho. Manic sprees, up and downs. Chemically induced symptoms presenting as bipolar.

I’m kicking the caffeine again in favor of being rid of Clonazepam not a day longer than the torturous six months reported half-life.

Momma, keep me safe from these goons. Why don’t they believe me when I tell them their medicine will kill me? Isn’t it right there in all their own drug interaction sheets? I marvel at the psychologist who gave me sheet after sheet of drugs she wanted to “try” on me.

Um, I was just fine before they thought they knew more than me. I am SMRT, and waaaay SMRTer than Valerie, C. Castro or that other guy who barely rates in my memory.

All they did was fuel my apathy and create a revolutionary out of the sleeper that once was busy day dreaming about love, and living forever in a paradise earth that looks a lot like La Jolla. That I blame squarely on the almighty God Jehovah, and being raised as a Jehovah’s Witness. They say religion is just a form of insanity. Perhaps that’s the only means by which I could be convicted.

Damned if I do, damned if I don’t,… if only I believed in hell anywhere besides on earth.

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Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Religion

The Pear Tree Notebook (1995-2000)

Could it be true? Do you really mean it when you say ‘I love you’? It all seems so natural… it was meant to be. Together we are, yet so far apart, is it too far to touch your heart? I never wanted to leave your arms, so close to your heart I had finally found where I belong. You held me so close I could feel your need, I could touch your fears—I could feel your pain. But, together, these fade away—I forget a time when heaven wasn’t a placve I could live, and the stars I could not reach. Could it be true by some cruel twist of life, we could never have met… Two lives meant to be together forever separated by mere chance?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/spunkygidget/16468572026/in/album-72157650338122478/

You kept me warm—did you feel my fingertip kisses on your soft skin? Curled up nxt to you I could stay forever, warm and safe in your arms. My heart was melting away—did you hear my silent whisper to be yours? Where are the words to describe how it felt to lean close to you—to breath your air of contentment? How do you describe how it feels to be so close to you no longer feel contained by anything? Everything felt so right, it was meant to be, god showered us with his blessings. Not ashamed for him to look down on our embrace, not afraid of his diapproval on our kiss. He sees everything so clear, and now he’s given that gift to me. No longer commanded by body, but thought. In control of myself so I can let go.

Do you think this will wear off? Do you think we’ll forget how it felt to be together? One minute I’m so sure you really do love me, the next my confidence shakes. But I close my eyes and I see us together. I don’t want to surrender myheart to pain. Are you sure, my love, we belong togehtrer, forever and always? I want someon to hold me close and understand, to love me endlessly.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/spunkygidget/16308646397/in/album-72157650338122478/

==

Empty : 12/5/1995 [was this Mikey to me?]

As I sit here in my empty room, I feel the tug of longing in my chest. As I lie here in my empty bed, I think of all the wrods left unspoken, and the chances I may yet have to speak them.

As I live here in my empty life, I realize it’s empty because you’re not in it.

I need your smile to keep me happy. I need your laught to keep me whole, I need your embrace to keep me warm. I need your love to keep me sane.When you are not near me I feel a void begin to form inside me. It starts as a peculiar emptiness near my heart; then it quickly swells and grows, threating to engulf me. I fight it back with thoughts of you; but it keeps returning, keeps stalking me like a lunatic bent on my destruction.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/spunkygidget/16492834261/in/album-72157650338122478/

Mikey, I want to do this right. I want to take things by the book, to make sure nothing goes wrong.I’ve never felt so confident about anything, so sure that it was meant to be. I feel like you have been sent to me from Jehovah, and you seem to think the same of me. I want to marry you, althought I’m not surethat would be good to that in the next year. It’s amazing to think that Jehovah has made a provision for us to be together and feel so complete, ofrever. Even though I feel like it’s so right it wouldn’t be smart to trust that feeling from just one day. It would be like living a dream if I was engaged to you in a year. But if we think about that now we may be disillusioning ourselves. It’s a life time decision, and if you’re right for me then I’m not scared to make it.

I guess you’re probably wondering why I’m talking about this right now. I don’t really know—maybe its just waht’s on my mind. Could I wake each morning next to yo? Mikey, I’m content like I am. I have you, you ahve me and as long as you know how I feel about you then I’m okay. I love you Mikey, but we have to be careful. The Watchtower suggest setting limits, that sounds like a good idea to me. We need to find out what we each are really like. Are you ready to love out and support yourself—and someone else? I’m gonna talk to my parents about this weekend. We need to spend some time togehtrr talking, and hanging out. I’d like to sit with you through the assembly, too.

What are you goals? What do you want to do? Where do you want to live? Do you want to have kids? Are you thikning about marriage? When? I can see myself engaged at 17, and married thereafter.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/spunkygidget/15872027214/in/album-72157650338122478/

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My Mad Man '62 Cadillac Coupe de Ville
Ancestry, Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Religion

American Blue Blood Heart Lies Bleeding

about.me/angela is @ang @baxley,
better known as @spunkygidget,
and the @divinebeeloved of @baxleyglass.

angela married darryl, @pdglass the @glasmuppet.

My grandmother is Laura Catherine Hilton, and with the Hilton name comes a little bit of American Royalty.

the mockingjay already whooping it up — she's got you with one keyword: hilton. and therein lies your problem. hello de coy said le roi brown. :)

So it turns out that my hyperthymic personality is a family trait passed through the Kennedy’s bloodline, and yes, I do mean John-John and Jackie O. They’d be cousin’s of mine. Yes, I’m steeped in ironic political blood as it were, the irony being that I was raised politically neutral as the child of two hippies turned Jehovah’s Witnesses.

here's another sideliner for the l33t: @ang is here making reference to Eisenhower, who like her, did not follow the family and stay inside the Watchtower as President. Angela intends to be president of the Watchtower, The United States of the United Americas, as well as Her Helios Majestic Righteous Highness and Judas Priestess of the Ekklesia (thereby by passing her roles taking over the EU and handling things in LON).

Meanwhile, cousin and First Lady Rosalynn Smith Carter was named “The Steel Magnolia” by the White House press corp for her Southern sweetness and tenacity, and cousin “Lemonade” Lucy Ware Webb Hayes convinced her husband, President Rutherford B. Hayes, to fight in the Union army and to oppose slavery. He later became an influential part of the abolitionist cause. Martha Jefferson was never officially named first lady, but Helen Herron Taft was known for her White House silver anniversary party. Yes, we do love to party! There was also First Lady Hoover, and Mary Scott Harrison McKee who served as first lady for her father after her momma passed away.

Family Tree

I’m also related to a few good Presidents: William Henry Harrison (1773-1841), 9th President of the United States of America, is famous for having the longest inauguration speech (maybe that’s where I got my bad habit of leaving long voicemails?) and shortest term of any president. He was the first president to die in office; he died of pneumonia only 30 days into his term. Andrew Johnson (1808-1875), the 17th President of the United States of America, after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, Vice-President Andrew Johnson assumed the Presidency. Johnson was the first president to be impeached, but was acquitted of the charges. Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901), 23rd President of the United States of America and Grandson of President William Henry Harrison, was the 23 President of the United States. During his term 6 states joined the United States and the Sherman Antitrust Act, an act which prohibited monopolies, was passed.

Then there are a slew of outlaws… John Wesley Hardin was an outlaw and gunfighter in Texas. He was reported to be the meanest man alive, once killing a man just for snoring. Most of his gunplay was a result of his short temper. Bob Dylan wrote an entire album about him. Sam Bass robbed the Union pacific gold train and took $60,000, the largest robbery of the Union Pacific to date. John Peters “Johnny” Ringo became a legend of the Old West because of his alleged involvement in the gunfight at the OK Corral and his association with the Clanton Gang. Finally, American bank robber and alleged murderer, Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd robbed so many banks in the 1930s that there was a $56,000 reward on his head.

On the geek side, Linus Pauling was an American chemist, famous for his work in applying quantum mechanics to chemistry and his campaign against above-ground nuclear testing. For his work in both of these fields he was awarded two Nobel Peace Prizes. John Browning was a firearms designer who developed a variety of weapons, cartridges, and gun mechanics. Not many people took Frank Whittle seriously when he introduced his plans to create a jet engine. As an officer in the Royal Air Force, he helped to change the face of military tactics. English inventor and engineer George Stephenson invented the steam operated locomotive. He is also called “The Father of Railways”, and the railway gauge called “The Stephenson Gauge” is named for him. William Osler has been called one of the greatest icons of modern medicine—the Father of Modern Medicine.

Personally, I’m more fond of the artists and designers in my family. Cary Grant was named the second Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute (on the 50 Greatest American Screen Legends list Cary is #2, Lillian is #17). Lillian Diana de Guiche, or Lillian Gish, is known as the “first lady of the silent screen” and starred in many silent films including The Birth of a Nation and The Scarlet Letter. Her career spanned over 75 years and countless television and film appearances. George Eastman founded the Eastman Kodak Co. and invented roll film. His invention was also a precursor for motion picture film. Edward Hopper was an American painter best remembered for his eerily realistic depictions of solitude in contemporary American life. A true clown like my grandfather, General Tom Thumb (born Charles Stratton) was taught to sing, dance, and act by circus pioneer P.T. Barnum. His small frame and many talents made him famous around the world. And last but not least in my book, I’m still struggling to find my own with good ol’ William Cuthbert Faulkner and his long, winding sentences in the Sound and the Fury, and As I Lay Dying.

Me? I just fancy myself a cognitive scientist in the style of Leonardo DaVinci, and find my peace at the seaside, like most of my infamous relatives. I happen to be a corporation in Delaware, a proud homage to my great great (really really great) grandfather George Read, who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence from Delaware, and was highly involved in the politics of the early United States. He served as a delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention, was a Continental Congressman, and later was Delaware’s representative in the U.S. Senate.

The last year of my life has been an interesting one. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, spurred on by a deep hatred for the American culture from business to politics and mass media. I was raised, as it were, in corporate America—the banker’s daughter in the shadow of Hugh McColl, and the geek’s niece (warning! hilarious video with Napoleon Dynamite) on Uncle Bill’s campus. I made a stop over in Texas working for Travelocity, and finished up my corporate stint reporting up to the C-level’s at Yahoo! (Hi, Sturino!) I’ve made men a lot of money, though I haven’t got much in the bank for myself.

I’ve been thinking about what I want to do going forward. All this education, albiet slightly left of norm, and experience…

One of my many lover’s recently told me that a quote by Bobby Kennedy (paraphrasing George Bernard Shaw) will always remind him of me.

“You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’

Thank you, Johnny, I’m honored.

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Religion,

Vic on Jobs

Just a blurb about one of our ‘brothers’ in the valley; Vic is an elder at his local Kingdom Hall, this is the “religious services” referred to in the article (below).

Steve laughed. He said, “Vic, unless the Caller ID said ‘GOD’, you should never pick up during services”.

I used to work near him, and directly with someone he deeply respects at Microsoft… and I always wondered if he knew who I was. I’m pretty sure I was just someone’s girlfriend, if he knew I existed at all. “This little light of mine…” Sometimes the person you stand next to shines brighter than you do!

In any case, I saw this post and was moved to find out that whether Jobs believe in heaven or hell—or thinks he’s just dead—at least, he took respect for worship and faith with him to the grave. Continue reading

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Doctrines, Religion

Keep Pace With Jehovah’s Organization

How do you feel when the faithful and discreet slave makes a change in the way we understand something in the Bible?

Sometimes the Governing Body, who represents the faithful and discreet slave, reviews how we understand certain truths. If these brothers decide that changes are necessary, they are not afraid to correct the way they explained some teachings in the past or to make their explanations clearer. They know that some will say bad things about the faithful and discreet slave because of these changes, but that is not the most important thing to them. The most important thing to them is that they cooperate with God’s purpose. How do you feel when the faithful and discreet slave makes a change in the way we understand something in the Bible?—Read Luke 5:39Watchtower July 15,2011 Simplified English Edition

“We need to obey the faithful and discreet slave to have Jehovah’s approval”

In modern times, there have been refinements in our understanding of certain Bible teachings. This should not trouble us; it should bolster our confidence in the faithful and discreet slave class. When representative members of the “slave” discern that our viewpoint on some point of truth needs to be clarified or corrected, they do not hold back from making the adjustment. The slave class is more interested in cooperating with God’s unfolding purpose than in shielding itself from criticism over an adjusted understanding. How do you react when an adjustment in our understanding of the Scriptures is presented?—Read Luke 5:39Watchtower July 15,2011 English

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