“Keep on, then, seeking first the Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you.
A very appropriate scripture since it’s the theme of the upcoming District Convention
CityWest Conference & Event Centre
This month I’m taking part in a world-wide campaign letting people know about the wonderful website, JW.ORG. It features many thought-provoking answers to ” life’s big questions” as the promotional leaflet shown below says.
As well as getting help in finding where those answers are in the Bible, you can listen to/read the Bible online in up-to-date, modern English. There are videos if you’re a visual learner, dramatic Bible readings if you like to listen, special items for children and young adults, songs, full length movies of Bible events – and that’s just scratching the surface. If English is not your first language, there’s a choice of 680 languages, including many sign languages.
Why not pop over for a visit now and have a look around? There’s a section on the bottom right where you can request a free Bible study at a time and place that suits you. And you can watch a 3.5 minute video “Why study the Bible?” while you’re there :-)
If studying online suits you better, I’m available. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a study via Skype, Gmail Chat or Google Hangout, or to arrange just a chat and a demonstration if you’d prefer to get an idea of what it’s all about first. I don’t usually use the video feature on Skype or Hangout. It makes for a smoother connection and no need to worry about a bad-hair day! There’s no charge, no obligation and I don’t bite. Promise!
Today’s card is made using juno Petrichor…
I’m too late to submit it to the Sketch Challenge but I already had that great feather in my kit so I couldn’t resist using the sketch anyway!
The above cluster and the full size pennant which coordinate with juno Petrichor are included in the card download.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Cor 13:7
This card was made using juno Fioritura
…and this card sketch from Freshly Made Sketches
District Convention Ireland 2014
This year’s District Convention in Ireland takes place the weekend of Aug 22-24
Venue: CityWest Conference & Event Centre
Saggart, Co. Dublin
You can download a pdf of the above Invitation for a closer look HERE - No Invitation is need for access. Everyone is welcome. You can also read and/or download the complete Program Schedule. Find it by typing “convention” into the Search box on the top right of the home page at JW.ORG and it should be the first result displayed. You can also watch a video about our conventions HERE and HERE . There are lots of other videos about conventions from previous years as well if you’re curious about what happens there.
If English isn’t your first language, you can click on the box that says “English” at the extreme top right and select from 680 languages! (including many Sign Languages)
If you’re visiting our convention for the first time and can only come for part of the weekend, it might be helpful to look at the program and decide which talks/dramas you really don’t want to miss. For myself, I don’t want to miss a single minute of all three days!
Jehovah your God will bless all your produce and all that you do,
and you will become nothing but joyful.
Nothing but JOYFUL. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? It’s what God intended for us in the beginning, and what he intends to restore for us in our very near future by means of his Kingdom and through the Ransom of his Son.
In my last post I talked about free will and perfect freedom. What throws this into sharp relief for me is to think about the physical laws that we are subject to. No one feels deprived of freedom because of not being able to throw themselves off the top of the house without consequences. Gravity is not an oppression, it’s part of how Jehovah designed the workings of his physical universe. It works for our benefit, because we are designed to work that way.
The same holds true for the way we are designed in a spiritual fashion. By following Jehovah’s spiritual laws, we benefit ourselves. It’s not an oppression, it’s what will make us – and everyone around us – the happiest. When we do things Jehovah’s way, our rights and freedoms don’t violate the rights and freedoms of others. And even more importantly, it allows us to be close to our Heavenly Father, who wants us to be nothing but joyful. He tells us how, through the pages of his word, the Bible.
If our first parents had used their free will to choose to remain within Jehovah’s perfect laws, we would all be living in a paradise filled with a loving, united, perfect human family right now. Thanks to the great love of Jehovah God and his Son Jesus Christ, we have the opportunity to become citizens of his Kingdom, and have the hope of a perfect future.
Find out how by visiting JW.ORG
This card has been made with juno Fioritura
…and this card sketch from Mojo Monday
The Flower Dancer is included in the card download.
1 Thessalonians 5:17
Another very important issue connected with why God allows suffering is free will. Jehovah made many wonderful animals with the ability to do amazing things based on their inbuilt instinct. He also made many with intelligence and even reasoning abilities. But when it came to creating mankind, he made them in his image (Genesis 1:26,27) with special mental and emotional qualities, a key part of which is our free will. We have the faculty of freedom of choice.
Do you value that? How would you feel if someone else dictated how and where you live, what you can eat and drink, what you may do and say? People everywhere value freedom – because we are made in God’s image.
“Where the spirit of Jehovah is, there is freedom.” (2 Corinthians 3:17)
Along with the gift of free will, God gave us the ability to think and reason on matters, to weigh things up and make decisions, to know right from wrong.
“But solid food belongs to mature people, to those who through use have their powers of discernment trained to distinguish both right and wrong.” (Hebrews 5:14)
But imagine what total freedom would be like. The classic example is a busy city with no traffic laws, where everybody could drive in any direction and at any speed. How well would that work? Would you be happy to be driving in those conditions, or to know that your children were? Unlimited freedom equals anarchy equals less freedom for all. It sounds like a paradox but we see the truth of that in even the smallest ways in our own lives. Where there are good guidelines, people experience the most freedom. There have to be laws to provide this. As the city with no traffic laws shows, perfect freedom is not total freedom.
So whose guidelines, whose laws are we designed to obey? Whose laws are best? In my next post I’ll cover this and how it relates back to Adam and Eve. Or you can go HERE to read more about this topic – The Wonderful Gift of Free Will, from the “Does God Care About Us?” brochure on JW.ORG.
This card has been made with juno Amoruccio
The Hydrangea Journalling Mat and the full-sized, 6in Hydrangea png are included in the card download.
Love is patient.
1 Corinthians 13:2
Love is patient. (or long-suffering, footnote) God is love. (1 John 4:8) Therefore, God is patient. That is one of the reasons why much time has gone by in the out working of the issues raised in the Garden of Eden. A reason for which we personally should be very grateful. Why?
Jehovah is not slow concerning his promise, as some people consider slowness, but he is patient with you because he does not desire anyone to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
God’s patience has given us the opportunity to learn the truth and to choose to use our free will to love and serve him, firmly taking his side in the issue of Universal Sovereignty.
This card has been made with juno Amoruccio
Free Digital Kit
For this is what Jehovah says:
“Here I am extending to her peace just like a river…
As a mother comforts her son, So I will keep comforting you.
Isaiah 66:12, 13
Jehovah – the God of Peace and Comfort. Is any reason good enough for his permission of wickedness for so long? You may not think so – if you have suffered greatly. You may not think so – if you watch the news. But think of this: Would you criticize a parent who allows their child to undergo surgery, even though it’s painful? What would you say to a parent who refused the needed surgery because they wanted to spare the child any pain? Would you consider them more loving for doing that?
Jehovah, our loving Heavenly Father, sees more and understands more than we do. Like the parent, he hasn’t caused the problem. (See the last three posts for the 3 Reasons how we can know that from the Bible.) But issues have been raised that need to be settled before all God’s intelligent creation, human and angelic.
The finest illustration explaining this that I’ve come across in 25 years of intense Bible study is in the publication, “What Does the Bible Really Teach”, Chapter 11, Page 109, sub-heading “A Vital Issue is Raised”, from paragraph 10 onwards. You can read/listen to this HERE on JW.ORG.
11 minutes of your time may help you to find an answer to this question that so many people ask, but often don’t wait to hear a reply.
This card is made using juno Amoruccio,
a Free Digital Kit
which I’ll be posting in the next few minutes on Juno’s Place.
…and using this week’s card challenge at Daring Cardmakers
Theme: Out On The Water
The Journalling Mat above which coordinates with juno Amoruccio
is included in the card download.
The Rock, perfect is his activity, For all his ways are justice.
A God of faithfulness who is never unjust;
Righteous and upright is he.
In the last few posts I talked about the 3 reasons how we know that God is never to blame for the bad things that happen. In fact the Bible says that when his people were going through distress, “it was distressing to him.” (Isaiah 63:9) Isn’t it comforting to know that God feels for us when we suffer?
So he must have a good reason, as our Creator in command of vast power, for allowing bad things to happen when he has the means to stop them.
The beginning of the answer to that is at the beginning of the Bible. Many people are very familiar with the story of Adam and Eve and the forbidden fruit, but it’s always a good idea to read the account directly from the scriptures. You’ll find Genesis Chapter 3 HERE. Have a look at verses 1-5.
Did you notice that Satan called God a liar and called into question the righteousness of his rule over mankind? This challenge would take time to answer.
To illustrate, if someone made a false claim against you, what would you do? If it was something straightforward, like “I’m stronger than you”, it’s easy to come up with a quick test to see who’s right. But what if it’s “I’m more honest than you”? How would you go about settling that challenge? You would need to let enough time pass by for others to observe the two of you and see who really is more honest.
Satan didn’t claim to be stronger than God – who could very quickly prove him wrong. But he did claim to be more honest than God, saying in effect, “God is lying to you, but I’m telling you the truth.” And so, time is needed for it to become clear who is right.
I made this card using juno Chocolat Extras,
Free Digital Kit.
First I made a template in Photoshop to adapt the Sketch to my 5x7in (128×178 mm) Card size.
Then I played around with some of the layered borders from Extras to echo the curve of the circle.
The circle itself is made with one of the papers from the main juno Chocolat free kit.