Blessings from Baltimore!

 

 

The Lord is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation.
The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous;
The right hand of the Lord does valiantly. (Psalm 118:114-115)

Joyful shouting. I did a lot of that over my two week vacation to Maryland in April. I spent Resurrection Sunday with some dear friends who are also former Jehovah’s Witnesses. We CELEBRATED the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, our freedom in Him, and just being the wacky, unique individuals He created us to be.

Earlier in the week we caroused several thrift stores and flea markets in search of the perfect hat for a friend. At one sale I had opportunity to speak with one of Jehovah’s Witnesses behind a literature cart. She invited me to their annual Memorial explaining it as a day set aside to commemorate Jesus’ death. I agreed with her on it’s importance and expressed my own appreciation for what Jesus’ death means to me. Then I asked her, “so at this service you have in which you celebrate His death, do you also celebrate His resurrection or do you have a separate service for that?”

And she actually said,
“OH, WE DON’T CELEBRATE HIS RESURRECTION.”

How sad. Not only do they reject the body and blood of Christ at their Memorial service, but they also go forth in their ministry boldly proclaiming there is no reason to celebrate His resurrection. Just what part of this is Christian? Continue reading “Blessings from Baltimore!”

Worldwide Prayer for Jehovah’s Witnesses on April 11, 2017

 

On April 11, 2017, Jehovah’s Witnesses will celebrate their annual Memorial in Kingdom Halls worldwide.

“We want to pray for Jehovah’s Witnesses, that their eyes might be opened and come to the Lord Jesus this Memorial. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16). As some may know, the majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to partake of the bread and wine.

However, Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no eternal life in you.” (John 6:53) Let’s also pray for those who have left and are seeking for the Lord still! Pray that they will come to know and experience God’s grace and love and mercy and come to Christ. Such a hard and long road, with all the WT teachings so ingrained.

Please spread the word about this event! We will begin our prayers on April 11th at 3 pm Mountain time and will continue until the Memorial is over.”

Continue reading “Worldwide Prayer for Jehovah’s Witnesses on April 11, 2017”

The Power of a Praying Husband

Last month I shared an article called No One Is Born a Prayer Warrior. This month I have some encouraging news about one man’s journey in learning to pray for his wife. This is one of the FASTEST turn-arounds I’ve ever had the privilege of watching because what I am about to share happened within less than 3 weeks. Continue reading “The Power of a Praying Husband”

No One Is Born A Prayer Warrior

I once heard a story about some tourists traveling through a little village. They had gone to the sites on the tour map indicating where famous people were born or landmark events happened. They were unfamiliar with this place so they asked one of the locals, “were any great men born in this village?” The local resident replied, “no, only babies.” Continue reading “No One Is Born A Prayer Warrior”

Discovering a Twist in Translation

 

…”But what about John 1:1?”

This was the question Sara and her sister posed to the Jehovah’s Witnesses  sitting across the table from them. The JW’s had attempted to convince them that Jesus was not God. According to the rendering of John 1:1 in the Watchtower’s own version of the Bible called The New World Translation (NWT), Jesus is “a god” but not “the God.” Then the JW’s introduced the Strong’s Concordance to these two sisters and endeavored to prove that the article “a” was permissible in the verse.

That was over 13 years ago. One of these sisters followed the advice given by those JW’s to be like a Beroean and “carefully examine the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11 NWT) avoiding the snare of Watchtower indoctrination, but the other one became a disciple of the Watchtower organization. Continue reading “Discovering a Twist in Translation”

Leave the group, lose your beliefs?

Our ancestors understood that hunting, gathering, and building huts was easier within the tribe than doing it alone. When enemies approach, there’s also more security within a group than standing alone. And the survival of any group is dependent on some agreed upon structure. Therefore, groups often organize and unify under a belief system, deity, or common ideal. So religious ideals throughout history can be appreciated as a necessary force to unite a group of people for survival, but history’s pages are also full of examples that when groups gather in the name of their god, horrendous things can happen. As I was discussing this with a gentleman in a class I’m taking on “the history of religious intolerance,” he posed this question:

When the need for the group ends, does the need for the belief system also?

Continue reading “Leave the group, lose your beliefs?”

Don’t Take GRACE Lightly!

Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. (Jude 3-4)

I recently received a letter from a person who considers it a sin if we don’t keep the Sabbath on Saturday. We have exchanged letters through the years because she had questions about their neighbor who is one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. She had told me they attend church on Saturday and asked what I understood about that. Continue reading “Don’t Take GRACE Lightly!”

Dangerous Prayers

Yes God hears our prayers. Pretty dangerous huh?

Last month I shared an article titled Pray Without Ceasing which was basically an invitation for our Prayer Meetup coupled with a desire that God would build up that ministry. I have felt for some time that we need a whole lot more prayer in our outreach to Jehovah’s Witnesses since the websites and Facebook groups are already FLOODED with enough discussion. I have posted encouragement to pray plenty of times on the message board of our Prayer Meetup group, but when no one is logging on to it, the message goes unread. So I began emailing encouragement to our members instead. This proved to be valuable. Just prior to our monthly prayer meeting, I shared a personal experience along with a reminder about the upcoming September prayer service. I hope my experience along with the comments I received encourage you also to pray some dangerous prayers. Continue reading “Dangerous Prayers”

Pray Without Ceasing

I’m new to this site and from what I have seen so far I think this is fantastic! The power of prayer should never be under estimated. I am very excited to be able to talk with others who have been delivered. I pray that all our loved ones who are still involved with the Witnesses will see Christ in us through our example, I pray that we are equipped by the Holy Spirit to live as Christ lived.” — Craig

Are you a Christian who has a loved one involved in a cult or false religion? Are any of your family members caught up in a pseudo-christian belief system, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormons? We have a particular prayer focus for people struggling with issues in coming out of these groups and also provide a prayer covering for those who minister to them. Continue reading “Pray Without Ceasing”

XJW Fest 2016: A Sense of Community

WHAT IS COMMUNITY?

Community

noun, often attributive com·mu·ni·ty \kə-ˈmyü-nə-tē\

: a group of people who live in the same area (such as a city, town, or neighborhood)
: a group of people who have the same interests, religion, race, etc.
: a group of nations

Source: Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary

Within family, neighborhood, school, work, and organizations, we gain community. Likewise, with a divorce, relocation, or job change we suffer loss of a once familiar community. Imagine several losses at once. For many who have had to walk away from the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses, their losses include their family and social group, and may also include a change in occupation and adjusting to a new location as well. This is a significant loss of community.

The human heart desires community, yet it’s common for those hurt within one group to hesitate seeking another lest they get hurt again. To compound this, the Watchtower has inculcated fear into the hearts of it’s members to hinder their quest for help from counselors, clergy, ex-members, or friendly neighbors just trying to get to know them. Healing can not begin without some community. Continue reading “XJW Fest 2016: A Sense of Community”

When the Church Wounds You

Visit any Facebook group for Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses or our Worldwide Meetup group, and you’ll see stories of a lot of wounded people. Many of them don’t even desire to step into a church and for those of us who do, there’s a lot of hurdles to overcome. And sadly, some of us have been wounded in the church as well as the Kingdom Hall.

Recently I shared an experience with those groups and it obviously hit a nerve based on the many comments I received. I’m thankful that the Lord chose to address this particular topic as I walked my dog and asked Him to speak into my life. Here is what He led me to write…. Continue reading “When the Church Wounds You”

The Ministry of Music

May seemed to be a month full of discussion about worship music on our Meetup for ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses. I called to mind my 1984 edition of Kingdom Melodies, the songbook Jehovah’s Witnesses use at their meetings.

I mentioned the picture of bearded (gasp!) men singing with mouths wide open giving praise to Jehovah. Their arms outstretched and opened as well. I asked the group sarcastically “did anyone ever praise God that way while at the Kingdom Hall???”

Music and worship is an often overlooked topic. When we leave the Watchtower, it’s not just the difference in doctrinal matters that we notice. It’s startling to see the difference in worship music and styles upon taking that first brave step into a church. In fact, I didn’t even know what worship was when I first began attending. Continue reading “The Ministry of Music”

Making Money the Watchtower Way!

There’s thousands of pyramid schemes and I’ve been approached by a few friends involved in these “businesses” and warned them — even pointing to articles and stories of ex-schemers on the Internet, yet that same ignorance exists in them that is in the cults. They simply don’t want to hear it. They found something that makes them happy and consider my “evidence” as faulty and assume I just want to kill their joy. Sigh. Continue reading “Making Money the Watchtower Way!”

Springtime Harvest, A Time To Rejoice!

I love to share encouraging news like this. It’s another example of how God is the one making seeds grow that others have watered. Living in the Midwest, I’m familiar with spring time planting and an autumn harvest. But that’s life in the natural. In the kingdom of God, anything is possible, even a springtime harvest! Continue reading “Springtime Harvest, A Time To Rejoice!”

The Philosophy of Popcorn

As with all on line discussion groups for ex Jehovah’s Witnesses, a variety of views about God and religion can stir up strong emotions. We encourage members in our Meetup to be honest about their doubts and to share what they’ve been led to explore in matters of faith without fear of being reprimanded. That means ALL views are welcome. Continue reading “The Philosophy of Popcorn”

God Does The Work For Us

Too many Christmas goodies and late evenings had me off schedule and extending my morning coffee ’til noon in my pajamas. With my husband taking extra days off from work and a few trips tossed in, I struggled to remember what day it was. Perhaps you can relate to the holiday vacation slump? So December was winding down with a prayer for renewed energy since I personally felt like a sloth. But on the last Tuesday of 2015, a morning phone call turned into an entire day of connections and encouragement. Just the energy I needed. Continue reading “God Does The Work For Us”

An Ex-JW’s Most Memorable Christmas

“I would love to correspond with other ex Jehovah’s Witnesses. I think it is great to have like minded people to come together and voice their opinions and to share with people who understand.”

That was a statement included in Ruth’s profile when she joined our worldwide support group in November of 2010. She had been one of Jehovah’s Witnesses for 36 years leaving behind six brothers and sisters still in the organization. Though she has been out now for over 20 years, Ruth echoes the words of many who were raised under the Watchtower rules in saying, Continue reading “An Ex-JW’s Most Memorable Christmas”

Truth Takes a Licking and Keeps On Ticking

Sometimes when people come out of the Watchtower, their fear is that they will be expected by others to discredit ALL of it. But that’s not honest nor honoring of their decision at the time they accepted a free home Bible study from one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

I can honestly say I have some very good memories of my time spent as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and know I am a better person for it. Even though from this side of things I can call it a toxic cult, in reference to their own conversion to the Watchtower, I understand why some former members cling to it in their confusion claiming “the truth saved my life.” Continue reading “Truth Takes a Licking and Keeps On Ticking”