Sunday, 21 December 2014

Can you float on your back?

I know that may sound like an odd question to ask in a need greater blog site but hear me out.

The past couple of months since coming home from our trip, Bethel Visits and the International Convention I must say I have struggled with getting back into a routine after 3 months away. For me I didnt really know where I belonged. I felt there was so many things to do and see in Jehovah's organisation at this time of the end, that quite frankly I became overwhelmed. 

Dont get me wrong, I was zealous but when we got bacl there was so much "noise" or problems going and I was under major attack!   I started to second guess myself. Could I continue to pioneer? Why does Jehovah need me? Should I take it easier? 

The scripture in Deuteronomy 30:11 “Now this commandment that I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it beyond your reach... "
Reminded me also of the text found in 1 Corinithians about being tempted beyond we can bear, which then posed the next question - whats my limit? and does it matter what my limit is? 

Interestingly I came across this Watchtower that we studied in June. The simlified version stated the following: 

"Beg Jehovah for his support, having faith that he will help you. Tell him your fears and worries. After all, it is Jehovah who gave you this assignment, and you can be sure that he will help you to succeed. How? In the same ways that he helped Moses. First, Jehovah promises: “I will fortify you, yes, I will help you, I will really hold on to you with my right hand of righteousness.” (Isaiah 41:10) Second, he reminds you that you cantrust his promises: “I have spoken, and I will bring it about. I have purposed it, and I will also carry it out.” (Isaiah 46:11) Third, Jehovah gives you “the power beyond what is normal” to succeed in your assignment. (2 Corinthians 4:7) Fourth, to help you endure in your assignment, our caring Father gives you a worldwide brotherhood of true worshippers who “keep encouraging one another and building one another up.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11) When Jehovah gives you what you need to succeed in your assignments, your faith in him will become stronger. As a result, you will value the assignments you receive more than anything the world could offer you."

So what does all of this have to do with being able to float on your back? Well Only two things are really need to float - water and you. You also need a measure of faith when you first start to learn to float. The water may splash your face a few times you may even get nervous and start to sink. But then suddenly you lay back close your eyes and relax knowing you are doing everything right and then you realise you are floating! The feeling is amazing! 

Floating on your back is alot like trusting Jehovah, its scary when you first start out and you could have a few false starts and sink. But do not give up! Jehovah will ensure you do not sink, and that is an amazing feeling, when you let go and leave it up to him!

So here I am still pioneering and loving it with ever so much zeal and determination to continue in this grand privilege! I will share some of these wonderful experiences in my next post!

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

The Biggest Preaching Campaign The World Has Seen

This is my son Axel - He is 8 years old and in his words ... "I love talking to people about JW.ORG it makes me feel joyful... it makes my heart feel funny"

That just about sums up how we all felt after this past month - I can hardly believe the month of August is over! Did everyone have a great time??? Just to give you the heads up the Quinns Rock cong had 69 pioneer (including 9 regulars)!!!

Wow well we hit our holiday running arriving into the US on the 29th of July. We had a few days to recover from jet lag and adjust to the stiffling humidity and then got into the swing of things.

We're in the South and they do things a little differently here. Firstly each publisher / pioneer is given a map which they sign in and out and it's their responsibilty to cover it. So when you go to the group you get assigned into to car lots and then it's up to you where you go.  Hendersonville Tn is a mixture of both rural and city so depending on how hot it was it determined whether you were walking or driving!
Check out our territory!

Yep they are wild turkeys - on the left side!
We are in the bible belt now!
Lots of famous country singers live here!
In addition maps were done not according to blocks but to streets so you would complete both sides of the street for instance (which could contain 7 blocks ) and then you would do the next street and so on. In relation to the tracts we were instructed to leave them in the door but under no circumstances do you put them in the mail box - the complete opposite back home! It took awhile to get used to the new way but we had a wonderful month!

Nothing like celebrating the last saturday of the campaign month with donuts!
We also managed to help out the Franklin Congregation, they have over 500 maps and it roughly takes them 2.5 years to complete their territory. They often have congregations come in to assist and are on the needs list if you are thinking of moving where the need is great!

Public Witnessing Franklin Tn - outside a historic church!
We have met so many wonderful faithful brothers and sisters and have had some lovely experiences including meeting "Charlie" who pictured below has Lou Gehrigs disease, and was auxillary pioneering last month. Two weeks into the month he was told he had only 6 months to live - what an inspiration and a faithful bother!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Highlights of the Pioneer School

So finally, after a few weeks of processing the all the wonderfull information from the recent pioneer school I thought I'd give you some of my highlights, here are a few one liners I enjoyed:
  • View trials as training- what can I learn from the experience, what is Jehovah teaching me?
  • Principles are timeless and form the basis for laws 
  • Humility - our advancement is seen, not by assignment but by what we do with it. Phil 2:5-8
  • Never rush ahead of theocratic direction even if we may be in the right - Jesus was a perfect example of humility and obedience of theocratic order Jude 9
  • Of all the people living on the earth, only those exclusively devoted to Jehovah have his holy spirit which is more powerful than Satan's spirit.
  • Jehovah takes pleasure in those who trust in him and he becomes whatever is necessary to bless and protect his people. Zeph 3:12,13
  • Jehovah blesses effort not good intentions!

There was so much more, but I would hate to give away any spoilers away for you who have not yet done the school, but in conclusion I would sum up the whole experience and what I have truly apreciated is found in 3 words at 1 John 4.... God is Love. From the opening addresses to the teaching commitee to the instructors, fellow pioneers, to the love shown to me and of course the FOOD  has helped me to see 1 Cor 13:1-13 in action. All thanks go to Jehovah and his son Jesus for this wonderful opportunity. Now to apply and continue benefiting!!

It's all about the food right?
Trust me to be near the food!

My long time friend Julie!
Our Pioneer Class!

Two sisters in our cong organised a Pioneer Party after it finished which was super special!

Future Pioneer
And of course the cake!!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Let the Power of God’s Word Keep Transforming You

This is going to be a short post. It's the night before school starts (PIONEER School that is) and I need to make sure my bag is packed, clothes are ready and I need to get a good nights sleep but before I do I just have to give you the re cap of yesterdays assembly.

I had the privlage of being interviewd by the Bethel Representative Bro Darren Janes during his concluding talk - "Let the Power of God’s Word Keep Transforming You".  I think I did ok, I havent even seen the video that Shannon took of it. Anyway Most of you have had your SAD so I dont think I'm spoiling anything so here are the 4 questions asked and my responses.

How would you describe your life before learning God’s Word?

I grew up in a divided home My father was a strict Catholic who was very proud man and very opposed, my mum had been in active for most of my adolecent and teenage years.  After experiencing a number of tumoultous events during my life I became very angry and rebelious and moved out of home at 18. I soon fell into a life of drugs and partying . 

I trusted know one. If any one was your friend it was beacuse you had money or drugs. Then one night I sat down and felt destitute I prayed to Jehovah and begged that if he was real, to help as I had no idea how to get out of where I was.

A few nights later 2 sister’s engaged in evening witnessing, knocked on my door, it was their last door for the evening. I explained my situation and I they read a scripture and a bible study was started. 

As you gained greater knowledge of God’s Word, what bible teaching or verse had an impact on you?

One of the scriptures they read was Proverbs 3:5,6 . It appealed because my life was in confusion, I wanted a way out. Jehovah was promising to make my paths straight. 

A few years later I experienced more heartache when my husband left us when my youngest was 6 months old. The feelings of mistrust, anger and resentment came back I was hosptialized after suffering post traumatic stress disorder and severe deppression. I was left disalussioned again and left the truth,.

I had almost given up hope. I felt I was never going to good enough for Jehovah. 
I analysed that scripture Proverbs 3:5,6  - Trust was missing - but how do you learn to trust? 
I knew I couldnt lean on my own understanding. 

What changes did you make as a result of being stired by that bible verse?

There have been many times I have read and reread that scripture - To remind my self that no matter what experience I have had or what I have been through never to think “ I can go this one alone” 

Around the time the video ‘Good News To Every Nation, Tribe, and Tongue that the CO showed us I started reassing my goals with the thought of pioneering as this had been a goal I had when I was first baptized.

From any persons standpoint there was no way I could pioneer. And no one would hold it against me, after all I had my responsibilities as a wife and mother of 4, health issues and my mum with early stages of alzheimers - Impossible! 

I knew I had trust but it has a limit right? - Wrong I found there is no limit to how much we can trust Jehovah.  I was viewing it in a fleshly sense not from Jehovah’s stand point another words I was leaning on my own understanding.
I re read that scripture this time with another scripture Luke 18:27 
The things impossible with men are possible with God.”
It made me realise whatever I faced whether perceived or real NOTHING is impossible for Jehovah, especially if it is in line with his will as stated in Mathew 6:33,34

That was the answer to my prayers. After auxillary pioneering for 6 months I took the plunge and started regular pioneering in September 2013.

What blessing have you experienced as a result?

I have found the more I trust Jehovah the more he pleasantly surprises me. I find myself thanking him more often than asking, and when I do its for guidance BEFORE making a decision.

I also enjoy being continually taught by Jehovah, I feel I started pioneering to teach others but I have found that Jehovah is the one finishing my training and teaching me

In addition I enjoy a happy family life, our 2 eldest sons are baptized with one taking up the fulltime service too.

Although I do still suffer from depression and mood swings from time to time, I find it no longer debilitates me as it once did. If fact pioneering has made a much happier and peaceful person.
I also have the privlage of attending pioneer school next week! YAY!!!

                 Being interviewed by Bethel Representative Bro Darren Janes

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Definition of busy

The definition for busy is - having a great deal to do.

This is the only way to describe life this past month - I always thought I was busy before I started pioneering but it is amazing how much more you can actually pack in a day!

But things are just a little out of control...So About 3 weeks ago I got my pioneer book to study... Just to give you an idea it takes me about 1.5 - 2hrs per chapter... Yep .....but I am loving it!

Here's a typical study session!

In addtion it's our SAD this weekend and I have the privliage of being interviewed by the Bethel representative's talk - “Let the Power of God’s Word Keep Transforming You”...Yep.... I'm freaking out about that one!

And of course next week is our Pioneer School!

The following week is re coup from the school and get back into the swing of thing before packing... Yep... We are going on a 3 month trip to the states at the end of the month! 

We plan to spend the special campaign month in Shannon's parents cong in Nashville then mid September plan to stay in a cabin in Cape Cod and visit NYC and Bethel before returning back into Melbourne for our International Convention in October. ... Yep ... busy few months

In the mean time we've been busy making gifts with kids for the convention the past of couple of nights and the kids have had a ball and all excited to hand them out to new little friends!

Don't think anyone will steal my luggage with these tags! 

                      These packs will go into the white printed bag with Caleb and Sophia on them
                      thats picture up the top!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

“A Blessing Until There Is No More Want”

What a wonderful few weeks this has been. Last week we played host for the DO and CO. This will be the last time we will have a DO as he will now go back on circuit work in the new service year. 

It was so nice to be out in the field with such expereinced ones, Our D.O David Martin and his wife Robyn have had 44yrs and 28years respectively in the full time work and it was lovely to hear their experiences. It was also great to take them out on calls - one which I'll relate.

So I met this woman last month, who is Chinese but speak english well. I called back on her the week before and she said that she had been waiting for me to come back. I apologised and explained I had not been well because of my wisdom tooth ect. I proceeded to show her the video "why study the bible" (this was my second call on her) After watching the video she explained that she finds the bible difficult to understand and had been to church but was not satisfied with what they were teaching. I then offered to come back the following week with the book "what does the bible teach" and I would help her understand. We worked out that thursday would be a good day around 11am.

Fast forward to last thursday it was a miserable morning with wind and rain but we still managed to do first call work. We had been working with the CO's wife and DO's wife and we decided to do calls after lunch.

We got to my call at 1.30pm and there was my return visit , saying she had been waiting for me since 11am!!! HUGE EMBARASSMENT (especially when you have the CO's wife with you lol)  I apologised profusely and she invited us in! 

Let me just add I have NEVER been invited in on the 3rd call. 

So as I stood stunned Leanne leans over to me and says, I'm praying for ya and then lets me do all the talking. Well let me just say, I didnt have to worry about a thing, although a little nervous I took the book straight out and proceeded to read the opening pages, As we discussed and looked up scriptures, she read paragraphs and opened up,  it felt like Jehovah was taking over and it was amazing!

So after demonstrating how to prepare for the study and re assuring her that I would be there next Thursday at 11am, we left. Needless to say my cheeks were so sore from smiling that whole afternoon! 

That was blessing number 1

Friday morning I went out in service then we had our pioneer meeting. It's title was maintaining your joy. This is the first time I have ever attended one and it was a true blessing to be taught by Jehovah. In aaddition to have Joel attend with me and and be used in a part was also sureal.

That was blessing number 2

Then Saturday and Sunday was our circuit assembly. Again so full of wonderful insights. Joel had the privliage of doing apart and there is something about seeing your son or daughter not only making a dedication to Jehovah but then being used by him. 

In addition, remember the experience with the principle and the JW.ORG mags and Axels teacher playing the video for the kids in class? Well I had been asked by the CO for the updated events and he evidently gave it to the DO and he used it in the Public Talk on sunday! What was more heart warming was when Axel was listening and then realises he's talking about him and taps me with big eyes as wide as saucers and say's "hey that's me he's talking about!' 

Moments like those assure you that no fancy car, exotic holiday, big shot job could ever replace that feeling of being useful to Jehovah.

That was blessing number 3

Here's some photo's from the weekend!

Joel and I at the pioneer meeting
Shan and I at the assembly

Our Assembly Hall

My little pioneer in the making AXEL

Kyle Mum and Joel

The Boys x

Friday, 18 April 2014

A time to rest...

I'm sitting here writing this post in pain. On wednesday I had one of my wisdom tooth out and I'm still feeling very poorly. It's school holidays again and I've been helping mum organise her house, we did a major clean out yesterday and I think I over did it so if this post seems a little disjointed... its the pain killers lol!

Needless to say the past couple of weeks have been exciting! Two weeks ago my husband surprised me at the last minute and sent me to Melbourne to visit my best friend Blanche. We lived in Melbourne for 10 years and so it was fantastic spending 5 days with Blanche, shopping, eating, witnessing and we even managed a meeting! I was trying to explain how it felt being back and to me it's like when you go to your parents house... The first thing I do is open the fridge and see whats in it. I may not be hungry its just familiar and comforting. Thats how it felt. Familiar and Comforting.

Our memorial talk was really lovely, it focused on all the blessing Jesus sacrifice will allow us to enjoy in the new system. One interesting point the Brother made was this could be our last memorial.. He reasoned that the only reason why we observe the memorial is for those 144,000, but once they are sealed, we will not have to do it. I had never thought of it that way before. It would be very strange not observing the memorial, but if they tribulation occurs during that time it may be a possibility.

My study Candy and her husband Lester came which I was very excitied about and we had in total 206 in attendance. I was a little sad as every year I have a family photo but because Shannon and Joel were on carpark duties for the first one and Kyle went to his Congs memorial we didnt end up getting one... Oh well I'll have to get a family snap next month for our assembly!

So here are some pics from my little trip away to my favorite city in the world - so exciting to hear all the plans for the up coming International Convention thats going to be held in Melbourne in October. Let me know if you are going to be there!

Flinders St Station

Lunar Park St Kilda

Just chilling on the grass and I took this pic of the old roller coaster at Lunar Park

Why everyone comes to Acland St St Kilda - for the CAKE SHOPS!!!

Dinner at a a Japanese restaurant in China Town in the City.

My friend Blanche and I

Rural Witnessing 

Rural Witnessing - Memorial Campaign 2014