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prescription for strange times

Breathing-Fragile-Life choice Joan Winifred

Seek Jehovah . . . Seek righteousnessseek meekness. Probably you may be concealed in the day of Jehovah’s anger.”​—ZEPHANIAH 2:3.

Seek meekness?!

The third point made at Zephaniah 2:3 is that if we want to be hidden in the day of Jehovah’s anger, we must “seek meekness.” Each day, we rub shoulders with men, women, and young people who are anything but meek. To them, being mild-tempered is a flaw. Submissiveness is considered a serious weakness. They are demanding, selfish, and opinionated, believing that their personal “rights” and preferences must be accommodated at all costs. How sad it would be if some of those attitudes were to rub off on us! This is the time to “seek meekness.” How? By being submissive to God, humbly accepting his discipline and conforming to his will.

It’s a strength to be self-controlled and not ruled by rage (nor petty selfishness).

ZEPHANIAH began his prophetic work at a critical time in Judah’s history. The spiritual condition of the nation was at a low ebb. Instead of putting their trust in Jehovah, the people were looking to pagan priests and astrologers for guidance. Baal worship, with its fertility rites, was rampant in the land. The civil leaders​—the princes, the nobles, and the judges—​were oppressing the very ones they were supposed to protect. (Zephaniah 1:9; 3:3) No wonder Jehovah decided to ‘stretch out his hand’ against Judah and Jerusalem in order to destroy them!​—Zephaniah 1:4.

Could some individuals really be spared in the day of Jehovah’s anger? Yes, provided that they met the three conditions outlined at Zephaniah 2:2, 3. As we read these verses, let us take special note of these requirements. Zephaniah wrote: “Before the statute gives birth to anything, before the day has passed by just like chaff, before there comes upon you people the burning anger of Jehovah, before there comes upon you the day of Jehovah’s anger, seek Jehovah, all you meek ones of the earth, who have practiced His own judicial decision. Seek righteousness, seek meekness. Probably you may be concealed in the day of Jehovah’s anger.”

The Bible warns and Jesus spoke/warned of a Great Tribulation sequeing Armageddon.

Analyze and think about …ancient and modern history seems to have two thick concurrent threads throughout…one thread written by people pleasers…those who fear fellow-humans more and who follow fellow-humans to heinous acts and commit atrocity, violence, disaster, destruction and death. And another thread of humans who fear God/(conscience) more and who follow God of love and make/made better/positive choices resulting in better/healthier outcomes…less, reduced, and even eliminated needless pain, suffering, effectuating positive-healthy change for the short-medium-long term.

Seeking Yahweh/Jehovah? and how…

Israel was a dedicated nation, but in Zephaniah’s day the people of Judah were not living up to that dedication. As a result, the nation was eventually cast off. ‘Seeking Jehovah’ today involves developing and maintaining a warm personal relationship with him in association with his earthly organization. It means getting to know how God views matters and being attentive to his feelings. We seek Jehovah when we carefully study his Word, meditate upon it, and apply its counsel in life. As we also seek Jehovah’s guidance in fervent prayer and follow the leading of his holy spirit, our relationship with him deepens and we are impelled to serve him ‘with all our heart, soul, and vital force.’​—Deuteronomy 6:5; Galatians 5:22-25; Philippians 4:6, 7; Revelation 4:11.

Seeking righteousness? and how…

The second requirement mentioned at Zephaniah 2:3 is to “seek righteousness.” Most of us made important changes so that we could qualify for Christian baptism, but we must continue to uphold God’s righteous standards throughout our life. Some who started out well in this respect have allowed themselves to be sullied by the world. It is not easy to seek righteousness, for we are surrounded by people who view sexual immorality, lying, and other sins as normal. Yet, a strong desire to please Jehovah can overpower any tendency to seek the world’s approval by trying to blend in with it. Judah lost God’s favor because of mimicking her ungodly neighboring nations. Instead of imitating the world, then, let us be “imitators of God,” cultivating “the new personality which was created according to God’s will in true righteousness and loyalty.”​—Ephesians 4:24; 5:1.

Yes, i believe it is possible for all of us to cultivate a “new” personality aka work on positive traits i.e. courage and to be freely forgiving (aka put up with Others and not always insist on own way aka pursue peace), and be less selfish and show more agape-love to ALL HUMANS! 🙂 i got my weak spots; probably more obvious to Others than myself–that i need to work on.😉

Probably??…meaning:

Notice that Zephaniah 2:3 says: “Probably you may be concealed in the day of Jehovah’s anger.” Why is the word “probably” used when addressing the “meek ones of the earth”? Well, those meek ones had taken positive steps, but there was no room for self-confidence. They had not come to the end of their life course in faithfulness. It was conceivable that some of them might fall into sin. The same is true of us. Jesus said: “He that has endured to the end is the one that will be saved.” (Matthew 24:13) Yes, salvation in the day of Jehovah’s anger depends upon our continuing to do what is right in his eyes. Is that your firm resolve?

4/10/19 @ 2:11 p.m.

reference excerpted past readings: Seek Jehovah Before the Day of His Anger w 01]

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garbage dump

caregiving choice conscientious-ness Joan Winifred never giving up! Transformations

Today is Thursday. (You’re a Regular Reader🙂, eh?;))

Any “regular reader” realizes…reasons for this topic: garbage dump. In my neighborhood…it’s trash day.

I try my best to recycle/reuse…which can be time consuming when organizing/cleaning. It’s not some mindless, arbitrary, random act for me. I carefully/thoughtfully…consider/examine an item/whatever…it’s usage potential and expiration date/options…aka can this item be of use to someone else?, etc., can this thing be retooled?…and/or place it in the appropriate hand or bin after use.

My preference is to recycle v. throw…give v. keep…(share/care) when reasonable. Consume with conscience. I trash pick too…;) meaning i examine my family’s trash to be sure no recyclable is being thrown out by mistake or on lazy-purpose!

If i discover a recycable in the trash, i take it out and put it in the appropriate bin.

(my bin is over-flowing and just got in from out front and the wind toppled the bin over and stuff spilled out…turned out to be a useful occurrence because it forced me to re-stuff and find something to keep the bin better closed…and i happened upon another piece of plastic to go. (Happened twice–windy.))

i am such a weirdo!!…it makes me feel good/happy…to reuse and recycle and not over-consume and destroy. I get a giddy-grin when i hear the trash truck driving down my street and stopping at my house! -lol🙂

I LOVE ORGANIZATION…and garbage/recycle day is part of my process. And I am my Mother’s daughter in this area of life. She was the plant lady, kitty-cat lady, avid-reader, avid-recycler, constantly cleaning, etc. (Much more domestically skilled than me…)

Recycling obsession?…legitimate concern…sorta drives my family…(Hubby) frustration!…i check the trash, usually, somewhat sneakily–lol–when no one is looking…(she’s a trash spy, ha, ha, he, he–no mission “difficult” for me!:) joking.) so as not to offend family members who feel it’s sorta a waste of time/energy…because they think the trash collectors dump everything in the same spot regardless…and don’t sort stuff appropriately…so, why bother.

Everything ends up the same place? (not my mentality)

NOPE! …every road does not end at the dump…or does it??

world-wide-(web)…dump?…internet? digital dump?…it seems a lot of unsightly stuff ends up on-line, huh?!

All types of junk? ideas, etc. : healthy, unhealthy, sick…stinky trash, refuse, offal awful…garbage dumped on-line…(and off)

that’s why sorting and being selective i find useful and important.

3/28/19 @ 2:28 p.m.

it’s a personal decision..what we determine to be trash or not. What to take out and what to keep.  (I respect Others’ have choices.)  And trash management/appropriate disposal is a choice more or less important to some of us humans.

I encourage moderation, care giving, generosity, recycling and not trashing the Earth (or people).

Care-giving and taking-care of Earth & Each Other as Fellow-Breathing-Life is not “mission impossible!” 🙂

 

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trying (to be good)

art choice Joan Winifred positive qualities

Goal–Goodness

“The good man reaps the reward of his dealings.” (Proverb 14:14)

When we are good toward others, they are more likely to treat us well in return. (Prov. 14:22) Even if others do not, our persisting in good deeds may soften their disposition and melt their hardness.​—Rom. 12:20, ftn.

tiny? hands…large results of “finger” painting;)

We need not imagine that practicing good requires grand gestures or dramatic sacrifices. To illustrate: Do you think of an artist painting a portrait with only one or two brushstrokes? Rather, he may use many brushstrokes to create his painting. Similarly, our goodness can be seen in many helpful acts.

The Bible urges us to be “prepared” and “ready” to render good. (2 Tim. 2:21; Titus 3:1) Being alert to the circumstances of others, we may see ways to please our neighbor “for his good, to build him up.” (Rom. 15:2) That may involve sharing something we have. (Prov. 3:27) We might invite someone over for a simple meal or for upbuilding association. If we know someone is sick, we can send him a card, visit him, or call him. Yes, we may identify many opportunities to say “what is good for building up as the need may be, to impart what is beneficial to the hearers.”​—Eph. 4:29.
[excerpted: Goodness How Can You Cultivate It? W March 2019]

life as good art–worthwhile goal
3/4/19 @ 7:33 p.m.

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vessels

appreciation choice God Joan Winifred sovereignty spiritual food transformation trust Truth

Pottery: vessels & The Great Potter Yahweh…

3 Describing Jehovah’s authority over individuals and nations in an illustrative way, Isaiah 64:8 states: “O Jehovah, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are our Potter; and all of us are the work of your hand.” A potter has full authority to mold the clay into the type of vessel he wants to make. The clay has no control over the matter. So it is with man and God. The man cannot rightly dispute with God any more than the clay can with the potter whose hands are giving it a form.​—Read Jeremiah 18:1-6.

A potter can make any sort of vessel he is capable of making from a lump of clay. Does Jehovah arbitrarily mold people or nations, making some good and others bad? The Bible’s answer is no. Jehovah has given mankind a very precious gift​—the gift of free will. He does not exercise his sovereign authority in a way that nullifies his gift. Humans must choose to be molded by the Creator, Jehovah.​—Read Jeremiah 18:7-10.

What if humans stubbornly refuse to be molded by the Great Potter? How, then, does he exercise his divine authority? Think about what happens to the clay if it becomes unsuited for the intended purpose. Why, the potter can make another type of vessel out of it or simply discard it! When the clay is useless, though, generally the potter is at fault. This is never the case with our Potter. (Deut. 32:4) When a person does not yield to Jehovah’s molding, the fault always lies with that person. Jehovah exercises his potterlike authority over humans by adjusting his dealings with them depending on their response to his molding. Those who respond properly are fashioned in a beneficial way. For example, anointed Christians are “vessels of mercy” who have been molded into ‘vessels for an honorable use.’ On the other hand, those who stubbornly oppose God end up as “vessels of wrath made fit for destruction.”​—Rom. 9:19-23.

[excerpted reading: Let Jehovah’s Discipline Mold You w 2013]

Questions for Self-Reflection:

who is molding me?

man?

God?

do i accept Divine Counsel?

 

2/26/19@1:39 p.m.

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