.....the following is a run down of some of more interesting things that will be on the program this year:
Symposium: Directed by God's Spirit in Our Ministry - Speaking the Word of God with Boldness
During this part, there was a sister who was interviewed for "extreme shyness" and how she over came it.
First thing I said was "if she is so shy, why the hell is she in front of 5000 people????"
Skillfully Weilding the Sword of the Spirit
Part of the same symposium, the next talk had a great illustration, but they applied it to apostates. (ROFL)
The illustration: A critic of a play was misquoted by the theater as saying "Go and see this play!", when in reality, he had said "If you like trivialities and boredom, go and see this play!"
He was totally taken out of context (much like what the organization does). But the speaker said that is what apostates do to the society.
The speaker followed this up with a demonstration on how to reason with a study "using only the scriptures".
The brother in the demonstration then used one scripture, a paragraph from the Reasoning book, and a couple sentences from the Watchtower.
I was amazed that the speaker then followed up on how skillfully he used "only the scriptures" to prove his point.
Bible Writers Borne Along by Holy Spirit
Speaker noted that the Bible is never wrong, anything wrong done by bOrg was because of imperfect men.
He said: You never hear some one say "I followed the Bible's advice and that was a disaster".
Notice he did not say that about the society's writings.
He followed it up with "The Bible is the only book to survive attempts to destroy it."
I don't know if I believe that. I think there have been a couple books in history that have survived attacks.
Symposium: Empowered by Holy Spirit
The speaker made an interesting finger pointing statement: "If you could kick the backside of the person responsible for each of your problems. You wouldn't be able to sit for a month."
Nothing like saying, "you bring it on yourself brothers".
To Resist Harmful Peer Pressure
Here they had a soliloquy of a teen struggling with himself over whether he should turn in his friend for wrongdoing.
He ends up turning in the friend.
The speaker then asked all in the audience to turn in problems to the elders, asking the audience, "Will you be as faithful as that brother?"
Further, he said "Your friends will be glad to get the problem off their chest!"
Sow With a View to the Spirit
This talk informed us that there was an increase of 1106 congregations in the world.
Then mentions that there is less than an average of 3 elders per congregation worldwide.
The speaker hit hard for brothers to pray for the desire to achieve this responsibility.
Do Not Be Grieving God's Holy Spirit
The speaker hits hard that we have to follow the guidance of the elders as they are directly appointed by Holy Spirit.
If they do not qualify, the Holy Spirit will take care of them in due time.
(this hurts worse for the organization when you think of elders that have been reappointed after molestation claims).
Keep yourselves in God's Love
New release with the same title as the talk.
Sometime after showing the book the speaker was listing some of the qualities of the book.
He said it will move readers to ask "why do I follow Jehovah?"
Then he said, "Most of those who leave the organization, leave because of conduct, not doctrine."
(that is news to me...)
SundaySymposium: Cultivate the Fruitage of the Spirit - Joy
Speaker said "there is no where else in the world where you can find different races getting along together."
(I really tried not to laugh, really I tried)
He also said that you can't find another people who are "nothing but joyful".
(apparently joy and depression go hand in hand)
A gem that I found out in this talk was, "you need to rely on Jehovah and the Organization to be taught goodness."
(Jehovah alone can't teach you??)
Wow they hit hard on education, entertainment, and work.
Those that focused on those things in the drama were portrayed as apostates, and loose women.
Loyally Serving with Jehovah's Spirit Directed Organization
Last Talk of the Weekend
"Keep in God's Love" to be used as second book when studying with others, and will be studied as a congregation in Feb 2009.
3 Reasons why JWs are the true religion:
1) Tremendous Witness work (100+ years and worldwide)
- one witness wrote into a newspaper claiming that JWs are the only ones who care, they even work on environmental issues.
2) Emphasis placed on right conduct
3) Love among themselves
Speaker mentioned that they would be persecuted - bad reports, apostates, divided households. (Jehovah's Witnesses love it when they are persecuted.)