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Former Jehovah’s Witnesses and others creating a warm Christian atmosphere


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PostPosted: Sat 21 Apr, 2007 3:39 pm 
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You asked for thoughts; here goes:
I was trying to explain to my daughter how we understand God, that what we understand about God is not anywhere near what all He is and that God reveals Himself to us - but we can not possibly know all of God even though He knows all of/about us. As we finished talking, this thought came to me: God is still God without us. God is still God without the Bible, church, earth, etc. for God was and is and ever will be. God is God. He needs nothing for He is the All Sufficient One. Is God still God without the Governing Body? Are His Words Truth without the interpretation of the WTS? Wouldn't any true believer have to confess that God is God without him/her/an organization; otherwise that god is more of a creation than a Creator! So why is there a need/requirement for this WTS? (I hope that made sense and please remember, I have not been a JW - I am still young at learning about this cult.)

Secondly, and this is a purely girl observation about this.......Daniela was able to question the JW when you were in the picture romantically speaking - when you were available to her. Now that you are not an option (yes, you did the right thing!); she has a bad option left - but it is still the option that she has known long and knows how to succeed there despite the pain it has given her. This option is also an all-consuming one which will help her with her heart (no time to think about anything else) and it is as familiar as a bad habit/addiction. Also, she has a most difficult option open to her - which would be to step out into the unknown, all alone and suffer much hardship and harassment from most of her circle of influence and security - to truly examine the scriptures for herself. My question is this, are there any Christians who are in her life or in her area who can be trusted to be a resource for sound-thinking and the love of God to her?

Our class and I will pray for Daniela's spirit's God-designed desire to eclipse all other desires and thoughts that she may seek after the Lord and find Him for He will be found by those who seek Him with their whole hearts. Also, that Daniela would find her significance in the LORD's estimation of her and not man's. That Daniela would know that she is not the sin that was put upon her, nor did she ask for or deserve that wrong act(s). We will pray for your heart, too.

Stand firm and do not be discouraged, my brother,
tami


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PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2007 5:02 pm 
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Grace, mercy, and peace to all of you from our Lord Jesus Christ. Many greetings from a humid Spanish classroom in Hagerstown MD!! :)

Thank you again to those of you who have been praying for Daniela. I talked to her again last night on the phone. Before I comment on what we talked about, allow me to respond to your excellent comments...

Tami -- I did encourage Daniela to seek out friendships with other Christians in her area, and she mentioned that she had met some in culinary school. (As of this summer she will be an official chef!) However, she had a lot deeper friendships with some JW girls who had been disfellowshipped and then reinstated. When they became active with the org again I think it gave her an extra push to re-join them.

I don't think her decision had to do with being (or not) a romantic item with me. She did genuine (although skewed by her indoctrination with the JWs) soul-searching and found that she felt empty without the Witnesses. The good news is that our conversation last night confirmed to me that I am still an influential person in her life and I have faith that God will water the seed that I have planted.

Mrs. R. -- Your points were excellent. I thought the same thing about her comments concerning the Lord's Prayer and how ALL Christian churches know and love that prayer, not just the JWs. All true Christians believe in forgiveness. Maybe her view of forgiveness is influenced by the fact that when she went before the council of elders they decided not to disfellowship her.

I SO want to bring these things up and debate them with her, but I am hesitant to do so from this distance. If the Lord permits I will be going to Mexico in July and we can talk more about these issues in person. I'm afraid that if I press the religion issue too hard it will be something she won't want to talk about any more. And I know that if the message of Jesus is to have any chance at all, the communication door must stay OPEN. In the past, I closed the communication door with a friend in high school by being too persistent about evangelizing and it nearly ruined the friendship. So I'm going to sit back a little and keep praying...maybe some progress can be made in July when we're talking face to face and not just through phone and email.

I will start a new post about my phone conversation with Daniela last night...

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But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death when we were of no use whatever to him. Romans 5:8, The Message


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PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2007 5:15 pm 
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OK, last night on the phone we barely talked about religion at all. I think it was for the better because we were laughing a lot and joking around...sort of a healing, rekindle-the-fun-of-the-friendship talk. It was needed because we had been sending very deep, long, and personal emails since we broke up two months ago and it was time to lighten up a little. (Plus, I had been getting a little rusty with speaking Spanish and needed a brisk conversation.)

The one thing we did talk about was when she was baptized into the JW faith as a teenager. Her younger brother was initially the one who wanted to be baptized, and since she is very close to him she also wanted to do it. However, her brother ended up backing out of being baptized because of some personal grievance one of the congregation elders had against him. The elder told the brother that he was "not spiritually ready" to undergo baptism. She decided to get baptized anyway, but did not feel spiritually prepared at the time.

I started going off a little bit about that. I said, "Who do the elders think they are to decide who is and isn't spiritually suitable for baptism??" Really, I think that's outrageous that the organization feels that it can be the arbiter of people's souls when the decision to be baptized should stay between the individual and God. (I understand that the organization also gets to decide if you are truly "repentant" of any sin that you are convicted of doing.)

Here's the part that got me. Daniela said, "now now, you're not being fair to the organization." She started saying how personal problems between members is a common problem not just in the JWs but in any religious org. Every time I try to critique the organization she seems to end up defending it. I am mystified at why she always feels the need to defend the org. It's like the front page of the Towerwatch site says...why is it that everybody else has to question their faith but JWs are not allowed to question theirs?

She is definitely deeply ingrained in their way of thinking and like I said above, I feel now is not the time to push too hard. I have NOT given up on this, though, and will continue to take any opportunity I can to lead her away from the WTS!!!

Thanks for reading everyone, and please keep praying!

Jay

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But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death when we were of no use whatever to him. Romans 5:8, The Message


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PostPosted: Thu 19 Jul, 2007 10:26 pm 
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Hello everyone,

Praise be to God -- He has graciously allowed me to make a return trip to Mexico. I will be going there this coming Monday the 23rd. While I am there I hope to minister to Daniela and find out where she is spiritually. She is about to graduate from culinary school and will be moving away from her home for the first time in her life (she's 28).

I'm asking for all of you to pray for her and pray for me as I seek to love and serve her and her family. Please pray that her eyes will be open to walking with the real Jesus and that God would give her the courage to leave the Watchtower.

I am terrified and amazed by what God has set before me. (If you're not familiar with the story you can skim the earlier posts on this thread). I can't thank you enough for your prayers!!

In Christ,

Jay

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But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death when we were of no use whatever to him. Romans 5:8, The Message


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 Post subject: Re: Hello, TowerWatch community!
PostPosted: Fri 17 Aug, 2007 10:55 pm 
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Please forgive me for bringing this back yet again, but I owe you guys an update about Daniela...

I had many opportunities to talk with Daniela at length during my visit to Mexico in late July. She is about to move to Cancún to work there as a chef...she just graduated from chef school a few days ago and is looking forward to moving away from home. She seems pretty stable in knowing what she wants to do with her life, probably more than I've ever seen her.

Spiritually, she is seeking. The wave of re-involvement with the JWs that caused us to break up in early March faded by about May, when she really started asking herself some tough questions and doing some free thinking. She is still working out what she believes in...she said she is retaining some of the beliefs the JWs taught her but not others. It's been hard for her to stand her ground with this seeking thing because she has some very close friends who are still active JWs and although she loves them knows that she's going to get a "sermon" every time she gets together with them. She is very wary of joining any organized religion right now, and that's understandable...I know many of you can identify with that.

As far as my host mom goes, we did a lot of talking but I felt like I made little "progress," if any. She is very entrenched in the JW mindset and is comfortable there. I tried to steer our discussions away from theological issues (i.e. endless Bible ping-pong that JWs always play) and tried to show her some biblical reasons I distrusted the org. I felt I had only limited success, and didn't try to force the issue or beat any dead horses. My host mom is one of the most kindhearted people I've ever met and THE most exemplary JW I've ever met, hands-down, and the relationship between her and I is still very much intact.

I had expected to talk about the WTS with my host family (using a lot of the information I learned here on Towerwatch), but I had another unexpected opportunity to talk about it with another friend, Enid. We went out one afternoon and she told me that she had started studying with the Jehovah's Witnesses but had not yet been baptized. I ended up talking a lot about the flaws of the New World Translation and how other translations such as the NIV were more reliable and un-biased, among other points. She was definitely listening. I guess there hadn't been many people who had cast doubt on getting involved with the JWs. I concluded by saying that if she was going to do the JW stuff that she do it with both eyes open.

There were a million and one other things that happened in Mexico, but this post is already pretty long. I think I hit the most important stuff. I know Daniela will continue progressing personally and spiritually once she gets situated in Cancún...may God keep guiding that process!!

Thanks for reading and praying.

Jay

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But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death when we were of no use whatever to him. Romans 5:8, The Message


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 Post subject: Re: Hello, TowerWatch community!
PostPosted: Mon 20 Aug, 2007 6:08 pm 
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Since Jay has mentioned Mexico, and specifically Cancun, I ask that we all pray for the Mexican people who are getting ready to be hit by Hurricane Dean, an extremely large and powerful category 5 hurricane. This could bring flooding and destruction to the area, which most people know for their resorts and beaches but is also home to many humble people. May the Lord keep them all safe.

Blessings,

Mrs. R

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"He saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit" - Titus 3:5


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 Post subject: Re: Hello, TowerWatch community!
PostPosted: Wed 22 Aug, 2007 4:12 pm 
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Jay, I'm just now reading your story and I'm so touched by it.

I can understand being in love with someone and trying to get them to understand to love God the way you do, my husband is an atheist. But it's nice to see that although you and Daniela were broken up, that you were still looking out for her well-being. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Daniela.

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And O the joy that floods my soul!
Something happened, and now I know,
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 Post subject: Re: Hello, TowerWatch community!
PostPosted: Wed 05 Sep, 2007 8:39 pm 
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Hello everyone,

Quick update on Daniela.

She called on Labor Day, and we talked for about an hour. Her plans to move to Cancún have been delayed about 2 months by circumstances beyond her control. In the meantime she is going to take up short-term catering jobs with a friend.

Anyway, we talked for a good amount of time about spiritual things and what she told me is very encouraging. She decided to stop reading the Watchtower-produced magazines and is studying just the Bible. She bought herself a non-New World Translation Bible and is studying it regularly. She still feels very wary of religious organizations, but she says her personal relationship with God is good (which is the most important issue anyway).

Many of you have mentioned that when you started studying the Bible minus the Watchtower magazines that was a key part of you opening your hearts to the message of Jesus Christ and leaving the org behind. I am hoping the same will be true for her!

Hasta la próxima...gracias por apoyarle en sus oraciones.
Jay

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But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death when we were of no use whatever to him. Romans 5:8, The Message


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 Post subject: Re: Hello, TowerWatch community!
PostPosted: Thu 06 Sep, 2007 6:12 pm 
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This is very encouraging news Jay! Yes, if a person is willing to read the Scriptures without their "Watchtower" glasses on, they will be able to see many things differently and in a new light (no pun intended). God is definitely doing a work in Daniela's life, and I pray she will open up and let Him in. My prayers continue with you both.

God bless,

Mrs. R

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"He saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit" - Titus 3:5


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 Post subject: Re: Hello, TowerWatch community!
PostPosted: Sun 30 Sep, 2007 9:23 pm 
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Hello everyone!

I just got an email from Daniela...I wrote a pretty long post about it but it disappeared! What she wrote was very insightful...here's the summary:

A few weeks ago, she and her family opened their home to a new exchange student from the US who is from the Church of the Brethren, a peace and community service oriented Christian denomination. She has been talking with him and he is helping her see the Lord in a new light. She is attracted to the Church of the Brethren...instead of simply preaching like the Jehovah's Witnesses, but do good works for their neighbors in need and "preach" through living lives of integrity. She feels a deep desire to reach out to those in need, a desire that the Jehovah's Witnesses never fulfilled. She feels loved by God and at peace. She no longer considers herself a Jehovah's Witness and is interested in joining a Church of the Brethren if they have one in Cancún.

Awesome! We serve a mighty God. To HIM be the glory forever and ever. Thank you all for your prayers. God has heard and answered.

Jay

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But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death when we were of no use whatever to him. Romans 5:8, The Message


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