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  1. 2 points
    I think we can learn something from everything that happens to us. And those things that happen make us who we are now. If different experiences had happened, then we would be a bit different. My life [and probably everyone else's] has diverged wildly from where I thought it would be at any given point on my "plan." That said, I think I'm ideally placed where I am now to reach out and help others. I like that. I'm happy with that. I don't think that divergence (or indeed the plan) was ever part of God's "plan" but he helps me through the difficulties and problems, and helps me find purpose wherever I am. Generally, I feel fulfilled and a valued member of my community/ies. Having said that, I'd still have liked the loving husband, the several kids, the nice house and dogs and cats and whatever. But. Well. I have the house and the cats. And good friends who love and help me. I would have liked the career I studied hard for over many years (but I still get to use a lot of what I'd learned). I am content to know the peace of God in my heart. That counts for a lot.
  2. 1 point
    When I was young I was never much into fowl, although I do enjoy their presence today. Seems I remember a fair amount of birds at and around the Way Nash though - accounting for Winter at which time that Central Ohio area sort of just...dies, or so it seemed to me the years I was there. There's a little of the "winter wonderland" feel but for the most part it's about as much fun as a runny nose, all chunky brown and wet. Don't know what birds like that. Spring though, seemed like there were plenty of birds around, and then summer - well, by that time the summer rains were coming so I'd assume the bird count might reflect the weather. Remember too that the Wierwilles were always banging around that 147 or so acres digging or moving or painting or building something so birds might have not found it all that inviting. There were always some birds around the "big Top" tent - pigeons? I guess they'd qualify as a bird although not my favorite.
  3. 1 point
    I've thought about that idea a good bit. I wish I could say that I knew from the start that it wasn't the only way God might want things done. But I didn't. I've also pondered the reasons and factors that led me to be open to Wierwille and his ministry. For me, having been born into a Catholic family was one. Then having Christian believers I knew (and others I hadn't known before) witness to me gave me food for thought... and certainly if I knew then what I know now... well, I can relate to your musing that you wouldn't have done it for as long. But I am thankful that I left when I did. Taking it a step further, my experience in twi is a large part of what made me who I am today. I will hit the magic Medicare age very soon (this month). I'm glad I won't be repeating some of the mistakes I made in my youth.
  4. 1 point
    Thanks, I started with a line and from there it kinda rolled. Genetics and environment.....seed, soil and care. Remember how in the Way's teaching there were no "accidents"? Everything was a result of our believing, at least from our "positions in Christ" as "believers"? An accident is defined as "an event that happens by chance or that is without apparent or deliberate cause." I think the word "chance" is the money shot there - as if something just "happens" that we by "our believing" were not able to have control over. In Way terms we were ALWAYS able to believe God for HIs promises in the Word and in so doing we were always able to receive God's will in living action and form. It's all a semantic card trick though - I'm positive Dr. Wierwille knew that "accidents" aren't really ever possible as pure "chance" by definition but that they only live and function in our own world's of understanding and perspectives. In other words, there's ALWAYS a cause or reason for everything in life but it's only when something happens outside of the expected or "normal" path and range of possibilities that it is an "accident" and at that time, call it by whatever name or label we wish, it is what it is....and if it's completely unexpected and was something neither we nor anyone else planned for at that time and place, then it's an "accident". But it can't be without cause. Two things I see a lot of in the Bible's history are serendipity (the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way) and gestalt (an organized whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts), two non biblical words that describe what I'm thinking. Again, "chance" being something entering my field of vision unexpectedly but not without cause. Gestalt covers the ability mankind has to "fill in the blanks" as it were, in a list of factors, allowing for perceptual organization. We look for pattern, structure which in turn produces meaning. The Bible covers how man can see God through His creation, and that God has declared Himself in it and through it. Similar kind of thing. Wayfer teaching was based on silos, like silo'd thinking. In the Bible mankind makes their plans, good or bad, but God's design is at work and is ultimately served. To the average Pastor or Priestess struggling on their next sermon or where to get more donations, serendipity's gonna bite 'em in the ass before they see it coming - and when lightning strikes the conditions of it's presence announce it's coming, but only if we're paying attention. So, yeah. Like the phrase "everything happens for a reason" - sure, but the reason may not be that it's part of the Big Guy's Plan, it may just be because I did something really stupid. Or something really smart. I think the idea of you joining the Way being a susceptibility to joining a cult is possible, buuuuut my guess would be it's not solely that. I never felt I joined a "cult', although I certainly had a year or two where I deliberately extended VPW a range of authority and accountability over what I did to allow for me to learn what I wanted to learn. But I always knew he was kinda living his own dream there in Ohio, and that while he had his own motives that weren't exclusively self centered he was definitely working in his own interests.....in other words I knew from Day One that what we were doing there wasn't the only way it could be or even should be done, rather it was the way he decided he wanted to do it and that now I in turn decided to participate in and contribute to. A lot of the earlier vision he'd discussed went south, and perhaps he'd never had any intention of doing some of the things he talked about but clearly the direction he went in was creating it's own set of dominoes, causes and effects, that would push the Way forward on it's own path - one that was very much of his own making. I was young, "if i knew then what I know now", I might do the same thing but I wouldn't do it for as long.
  5. 1 point
    Amber Scorah is a writer and speaker. She has quite a story, including that of her 3 month old child dying in day care. After cutting ties with the JW she saw how she was shunned, thought of "as dead", and was on the road to finding what she felt to be a better way of living. -She says it was embarrassing to "realize that (she'd) been wrong" her whole life. -the premise was flawed and "therefore the answers" were "meaningless". -that we're "wired" to go along with "the group". -how her religious beliefs were essentially a set of one-size-answers beliefs, giving the answers to everything about life, and that in her case those trusted beliefs were proven wrong, "more true than they actually are" as she states it. -Her call to action at the end - consider what life might be life if we stepped outside the norms of our social and religious circles and saw life from other perspectives. So lots of good ideas there. I think she was intellectually honest about her points, at least in this presentation. She doesn't create a bias out of her personal experience here and declare by fiat that all religious faiths or beliefs are wrong and need to be challenged. I'd say her real point is that because people are born into the families, geographies and societies that they are the decisions they make are strongly influenced by what amounts to a limited or prejudiced range of selections or possibilities. I'd agree with that, on face value as well as her conclusion that there is a value to trying to see out and beyond from where we are at the moment. She also saw that the basic human needs - the who, what, where, when and why's of life - can be understood by different people in different ways with the end result that the outcomes are usable, "good", for them. Where I take that is that there are "truths" to life that are consistent and can be consistency known and learned by anyone anywhere regardless of their "faith" or specific religions. When I share or speak on the topic of salvation something I emphasize is that God can be seen from many perspectives - He sent His Logos, Jesus Christ and in Him we can see God, in the flesh. "What would Jesus do?" is really "what would God do?". So while there are billions of people and individual journeys, Christianity believes there is one thing that is the truest expression of God's intents and purposes. What I see that does in a lot of Christian religious thought is create a nearly impossible point of access, a tiny door that a billion people are trying to all get through and that logically we can't all access, so the standard interpretation of Matthew 7:13 and 14 is used to support that idea that the "truth" is a slender slice of reality that most won't accept. In reality if God wants "all (of us) to be saved" then the path to God though Jesus can't be impossibly difficult or even reduced to something most of us won't be able to travel. Ted Ferrel had his song with the line "there are many roads....that lead to to Chicago......but if you "wanna go to Heaven", there is "only one way". If the Church, "the body of Christ" is what Ephesians says it is, there are as many travelers and parts to it as there are people that believe, all using "only one way"........so it is a different way to understand Christianity for some I guess. Men and women want to say "my way or the highway, because this way is God's Way"........a completely horrifically wrong way to view God's plan of Jesus Christ. I enjoyed the video Rocky, and that thoughts it sparked.
  6. 1 point
    I was at an open meeting in the auditorium in '86, before the fall, and Craig was yelling that we should quit reading newspapers. He literally said "I'll tell you what to think ".
  7. 1 point
    We were in residence in early 1993 (family division of the horror that was WC). During that time there was an incident where a helicopter carrying U.S. military was shot down and survivors tortured and their bodies dragged through the streets of Mogadishu(?) And hanged from bridges. I knew nothing about it until the motion picture "Black Hawk Down" was released. What offends me about all the silence is that prayer is a powerful weapon and we should have been praying for these situations. As I recall the 9/11 attacks were minimized as well.
  8. 1 point
    I have no idea if The Way took any deliberate measures to discourage bird populations. The Way liked to keep everything manicured and trimmed neatly. That's not really inviting to birds. They like weeds and overgrowth that can provide shelter and food. Just the opinion of a guy whose yard isn't exactly the envy of the neighborhood.
  9. 1 point
    I forget which comedian explained the stages of drinking and drunkenness at a bar. Early stages had the person keeping track of how much sleep they could get before work tomorrow morning, and arguing against artificial turf in stadiums and so on. Later stages had him arguing for artificial turf, and later deciding that he might as well stay up all night before work, since he was still up. He staggered out of the bar, and was struck by the sunlight- smashing into him like God's Flashlight. He got home, and said a prayer. "Lord, if you get me through this, I'll never go out drinking again..."- say it with me guys- "...AS LONG AS I LIVE"- and some of us add the coda at the end- "...and this time, I MEAN it." Ok, we have twi leaders who consented to the corruption, reaped its benefits, turned a blind eye to suffering, and so on. They left twi one day, then started up their own WHOLESOME ministry- and a few years later, the legalism started, the rules came down, the doctrine was locked, discussion and dissent were banned, and the money was solicited. Then the next set of leaders did the exact same steps. Then the NEXT set of leaders did the exact same steps. As did the NEXT set of leaders. But this time, now the CURRENT leaders who jumped ship, THESE are going to get it RIGHT and do the right thing and NOT make their own money-making venture, because these will succeed where all the others failed before them. Which poster's signature was "The lessons repeat until they are learned"?
  10. 1 point
    Not only not Halloween. Also, not All Saints' Day (1 November) or All Souls' Day (2 November). Both of these are significant in church calendars. But we can commemorate "Uncle Harry Day" (the anniv of Harry's birthday) and make a big deal of that.
  11. 1 point
    I lean more in that direction than to dispensationalism, since I think it works on paper. I haven't done a lot of research on it, and it hasn't come up except in discussions here. So, it's not exactly a high priority. I've more important issues I'm currently neglecting. :) As I see it, God's told different people what He expects of them, and what He offers them in return. (Jesus told a parable about this, IIRC.) We see different people co-existing, with different expectations, Call those covenants if you want, or don't. I think they're more relevant as subsets of a discussion of Final Judgement, but we're not having that discussion in this thread.
  12. 1 point
    You may have a point. But it may also be a distinction without a difference. I'm not going to argue your semantics (or mine). But does the expression , "God was able to use that error in judgment for profit..." fail to take in, or consider the wisdom that comes from experience? (See Romans 5) 1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. And might "gained access by faith into this grace wherein we now stand," presuppose that we have to abstain from making errors in judgment in order to benefit from that access into grace? Nevertheless, what you posed suggests an intriguing quandary and/or paradox.
  13. 1 point
    I was ready to disagree with you, but I think we got to the exact same answer by the end- that God works with us DESPITE, that God plans DESPITE (despite our disobedience, despite our bad decisions, despite the bad decisions of others....) That can LOOK like God wanted us in that place, but it's not quite the same, even if he blesses us there and meets us there.
  14. 1 point
    Me too, but it's still an experience I'd rather have done without. And especially the years of condemnation and despair afterwards (the lost years). I do feel robbed, of those "lost years."
  15. 1 point
    Birds of a feather flock together.......people of similar interests, background, ideas or characteristics will often congregate or hang out with each other, people who have similar ideas or values tend to stick together. Mrs. Wierwille's book chronicles the men and women who were instrumental in vp's learning and development. At the E. Stanley Jones Ashram (retreat) in North Carolina 1944....young wierwille and nearly 200 others present. [p.48] Rufus Moseley was a main speaker at this retreat.....and became a mentor, visiting vpw on two different occasions. [p. 52] Inspired by Perry Hayden's teachings on agriculture and tithing.....wierwille firmly held to the doctrine of the tithe. [p. 55] Glenn Clark and his Camp Farthest Out....utilizing the great outdoors to encourage peace, love, prayer and tranquility. [p. 56] E. W. Kenyon....he was fixated on "Study to shew thyself approved unto God...." His great work and writings inspired vpw. [.76] Foreign Missions in Honduras 1951.....Bertha Scheidt was a devoted, tireless worker in many educational programs. [p.77] At "The Divine Healing Convention" in Tulsa 1951, wierwille was instructed to seek out the man J. E. Stiles. [p. 78-80] According to this book, Rev. Stiles was able to answer all of wierwille's perplexing questions and to help him receive into manifestation holy spirit. This marked a turning point in vpw's quest of the holy spirit field and solidified his emboldened stance that he was unable to find answers in colleges and universitites, in churches and classrooms or mission fields. The churches were unable to fulfill his need. Starr Daily was a guest speaker......in and out of prison in his younger years, and published Love Can Open Prison Doors. [p. 82] Albert Cliffe was zealous over "the law of believing." He was instrumental in promoting Let Go and Let God. [p.94] .......* Mrs. W. puts Cliffe on page 94 (out of chronological order -- January 4-8, 1953). .......Why? It put more distance (in the book) from connecting Leonard's Feb 1953 class to Wierwille's Oct 1953 class. B. G. Leonard, whom vp met in Tulsa 1951......ministered healing over the phone to Mary Wierwille and she was healed. [p.87,88] Leonard's class "The Gifts of the Spirit" was the foundational cornerstone and rock.....and vpw made it his own. [p. 90,91] .....Picture of vpw in Leonard's February 1953 class. [p.90] .....Picture of Dotsie and Don in Leonard's June/July 1953 class [p.91] THEN......page 99, "In October 1953, Dr. Wierwille taught the first Power for Abundant Living class, which was held in the basement of St. Peter's Church. The first two classes were called "Receiving the Holy Spirit Today." The name was then changed to the broader title that fit better with the entire scope of what the class covers. Also, "Power for Abundant Living" would have a greater and broader appeal to people, especially to those not from religious backgrounds." .................p. 100, "The people who had been part of B. G. Leonard's class on 'The Gifts of the Spirit' were considered graduates and not included in the rosters of Dr. Wierwille's classes." Translation: Wierwille's class WAS LEONARD'S CLASS. The two carloads of people who attended the June/July 1953 class and were not included in the rosters of new students of this October 1953 class. They were already grads......and did not pay the registration fee (imo). Also, the name of the class was changed. Marketing strategy and distancing it further from Leonard's work. Page 101, 102.......Dr. E. E. Higgins attended vpw's class and she was the person who introduced wierwille to the great and influential works of an Englishman named E. W. Bullinger (1837-1913). She gave wierwille his first Companion Bible and a copy of Bullinger's How to Enjoy the Bible. The dots connect. Wierwille claimed to have intricate inroads into the holy spirit field. Yet, in all my years (corps, staff and clergy).......I never saw wierwille operate any of the revelation or power manifestations. Not once. In conclusion, to me.......Mrs. W's book documents how wierwille was a searching opportunist, looking for a niche like all the other renegade preachers, itinerants and guest speakers who traveled the circuit thru the late 1930s - 1960s. Birds of a feather flock together.......and wierwille found his shtick in compiling, plagiarizing and marketing the works of E. Stanley Jones (Abundant Living - 1942), to Leonard's foundational class (1953), to E. W. Bullinger's research work (Companion Bible and How to Enjoy the Bible). Unwittingly, this book reveals a paradigm that debunks the myths and mystique of victor paul wierwille.
  16. 1 point
    I'll offer a few of my own thoughts, and they can be taken or left, of course. I find that I understand God more as I spend more time as a parent. Keep an eye out, educate, instruct, warn- then watch as you're ignored and someone pays the consequences of ignoring. If there is a God, and if there is a Transcendent God, then His perspective is more long-term than my here-and-now perspective. Any veteran chess player can understand that thinking long-term is a key to winning consistently at chess. A chess master can think dozens of moves in advance. A Transcendent God could think millions of moves in advance, and incorporate "insignificant" events into later events a century later, a millenium later. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, and was thrown into jail as a slave for a crime he never committed, but for which he was wrongfully accused. This covered years of his life. Joseph later saw it and said that they meant it to him for evil, but God meant it for good, to save many people. (Joseph's time in prison led to him becoming Pharaohs Chief Executive Officer, which led to him saving much of Egypt and Israel, as well as others.) He never claimed God put him in prison or slavery, but he thought God meant all of that for good. I think he was correct in thinking that. So, even years in a life with no seeming guidance or blessings may be part of a bigger picture, and leading up to something major.
  17. 1 point
    I believe that in each step of my life, I have been exactly where God wanted me to be. To experience something, to learn something, or maybe to help someone else.
  18. 1 point
    I remember Halloween parties where we had to go as biblical characters. (of course) Once I taped sticks and leaves and orange and yellow streams of crepe paper and went as the Burning Bush.
  19. 1 point
    The biggest disagreement I have with the theology of "Dispensationalism" is the notion that the dispensation of grace will end at some point in the future which then triggers a return to the law administration. There is no exegetical justification for this viewpoint. There is no indication from the New Testament that the dispensation of grace mentioned by Paul will have an end. . Eph. 3:6 : This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. That is the dispensation of grace in a nutshell. The gentiles inclusion in the new covenant will have no ending and will proceed into eternity. Isaiah 65:25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together...the wolf being a symbol of the gentiles and the lamb a symbol of Israelites. Darby, Bullinger etc. have added a lot of conjecture to a simple idea.
  20. 1 point
    For the benefit of those playing at home who want to know what it said without clicking blindly on a link... This Daily Mail link's headline was "Mobster claims he helped Poison Pope John Paul I with cyanide and threatened to kill Pope John Paul II because they both tried to expose a billion dollar stock fraud scam involving cardinals and gangsters in Vatican City." The links I got for that headline, including the msn link and a direct link for the Daily Mail, were: https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/mobster-claims-he-helped-poison-pope-john-paul-i-with-cyanide-and-threatened-to-kill-pope-john-paul-ii-because-they-both-tried-to-expose-a-billion-dollar-stock-fraud-scam-involving-cardinals-and-gangsters-in-vatican-city/ar-AAJ4dhr https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7591789/Mobster-claimed-helped-POISON-Pope-John-Paul-cyanide-stock-fraud-scam.html https://www.heraldsun.com.au/truecrimeaustralia/meet-the-mobster-who-claims-he-helped-whack-pope-john-paul-i-over-stock-fraud/news-story/be68fbd5bff2476b4399a4a2014867f2?nk=db0a493f7ac49f435cb741434597e606-1571628731 The Daily Mail's site included this: Anthony Raimondi, 68, claims he helped kill John Paul I in 1978 because the pope threatened to expose a billion dollar stock fraud scam The scam took place at the Vatican bank, where criminal cardinals and mobsters allegedly sold fake stock certificates to American companies like Coca-Cola Raimondi was recruited by his cousin Paul Marcinkus to help silence the Pope before he exposed the illegal dealings Raimondi reportedly stood watch as his cousin drugged the John Paul's tea with Valium and force fed the sleeping pope cyanide Mobsters and cardinals also threatened to kill John Paul II for the same reason, but let him live after agreeing to keep the scam a secret The revelations are in Raimondi's new book 'When the Bullet Hits the Bone' "A mobster from the Colombo mafia family claims he helped poison Pope John Paul I with cyanide 33 days into his reign to stop the pontiff from exposing a billion dollar stock fraud scam. " " Raimondi dismisses those who question his story or say it closely resembles 'The Godfather III.' 'It was a terrible movie. To tell you the truth I don’t really remember it,' Raimondi told The Post. 'What I said in the book I stand by till the day I die. If they take [the pope’s body] and do any type of testing, they will still find traces of the poison in his system.' " It includes a link to the NY Post. https://nypost.com/2019/10/19/meet-the-mobster-who-claims-he-helped-whack-pope-john-paul-i-over-stock-fraud/ "Meet the mobster who claims he helped whack Pope John Paul I over stock fraud." I see no reason to take this claim seriously at this time. It's true he's making that claim, and it's helping to sell his book. Any death of anyone famous has claims of foul play attached to it. JP I died rather suddenly, and it's easy to find conspiracy theories whenever that happens. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_John_Paul_I_conspiracy_theories
  21. 1 point
    In case anyone cares, Mike (a poster who all but worshipped vpw) claimed that AFTER that teaching, vpw's "REAL" last teaching was "The Joy of Service." The "the Joy of Service Transcript" has been posted here twice (posted by dmiller, reposted by me) and can be found if anyone cares enough. It was a verbose COMMERCIAL for twi. BTW, anyone who wants a quick summary of the main points of that entire transcript, it's simple. I said it before: "Serving people is important for Christians. Therefore, master all three levels of PFAL and serve them that. There are no answers outside the Way Ministry." (The end,) My initial response to it was that this was the closing remarks of a man with an overinflated sense of his organization, and an underinflated sense of all Christians outside that organization.

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