I Dwelled In A Spiritual Paradise For the Weekend
Thousands Attended the "Safeguard Your Heart" District Convention
A Weekend that Touched the Heart
It was gratifying to see my family gathered in our vehicle Friday morning, July 20th, 2012 on the way to our District Convention. My husband, put the car in reverse as we backed out of our driveway. Suddenly on the radio, there was a discussion of the horrific shooting in Aurora, Colorado. I reached for the radio to increase its volume. Terror seized my heart we listened to the grotesque details. Twelve were dead and more than fifty injured, in this random act of violence. There was a certain quite that filled our car as each of us listened intently. A few minutes later, we arrived to pick up my inlaws. The tragedy was mentioned briefly but we knew that it was best to keep each victim and their families in our prayers. Now it was vital that we arrive safely in order to enhance ourselves spiritually. Upon arrival at the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton, New Jersey, thousands were in attendance already. People of all ages, races, cultures and religious backgrounds mingled peacefully together. After hearing about such a horrific tragedy, this environment immediately transferred me into a spiritual paradise that I knew would uplifting and encouraging. The program opened with an endearing prayer to Jehovah God with an overture of thanks that Jesus was sent as a ransom sacrifice for the blessings of all mankind. Friday morning started out with a series of Bible-based talks that were like an aromatic, source of healing for our hearts.
Friday's Program Focused on "Safeguarding Your Heart!"
The first speaker developed his talk around the discussion of our figurative heart which "refers to our whole inner person with all our thoughts, intentions, qualities, feelings and emotions." As imperfect individuals, "our heart is inclined to do what is bad," based on Proverbs 4:23. The point that captivated my attention was how treacherous the heart is based on Jeremiah 17:9 which says, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" (The Scofield Reference Bible) Through the use of appropriate illustrations, the heart was described as "a criminal that wants to get out and do what is wrong." My thoughts slowly drifted toward the heart of James Holmes, as he took the lives of so many innocent people. What type of demonic, deceitful treachery, evolved within his heart? If this murderer had safeguarded his heart and fed it with the thoughts of our Heavenly Father Jehovah; rather than allow his heart to be deceived by Satan to go out purchase weapons, kill and cause major injury to others. I prayed for the restoration of my heart and mind, to prevent the thoughts of this horrific act not to interfere with where I needed to focus my attention. I now had to prepare and focus my heart on what was being lovingly served to me, in order to share these vital points with others. We are surrounded by enemies and demonic forces that want to harm, kill and destroy us. The pursuit of spiritual things based on God's word increases our strength so that we can grow and be there for each other doing these critical times. Friday's platform was an affirmation of spiritual necessities that would help prepare me for the battle that we all have in this wicked system of things.
Saturday's Program Motivated the Heart
About five thirty Saturday morning, I woke up praying for the victims in Colorado and their families. Once I had completed my personal privilege to talk with my Heavenly Father in prayer, I started to watch Piers Morgan on CNN. The names of victims were presented during interviews with family members. The youngest victim killed in this tragedy was a six-year-old girl. The oldest man killed was fifty-two. Information was also presented regarding how "Seven months ago the city of Aurora was named one of the safest cities in America." Now it will forever resonate under this dark cloud of mass murder and destruction. Tom Mai, a concerned resident stated what he thought the problem was. "There is too much violence in movies and video games," he said. The issue of gun control was also addressed with opposing views where one man stated, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." A feeling of depression enveloped me. I knew it was time to get ready so that we could return to our spiritual paradise. Saturday was another day of scriptural rejuvenation, with plenty of hugs, tears and pure joy. The program's focus was based on Matthew 12:34, "Out of the Abundance of the Heart the Mouth Speaks." Our Grand Creator understands that we are dust as Psalms 103:14 explains. Jehovah takes all of this into consideration through the wonderful provision of his son Jesus Christ, who grants us salvation based on his sacrifice. Individuals at this convention followed in the footsteps of our Lord and savior by getting baptized just as Jesus did. This was described as a "public demonstration of your love for Jehovah." Baptism is supposed to deepen your relationship with Almighty God. It was also described as, "the beginning of your life and relationship with God," where you can view him as your father and friend. We would never want to isolate ourselves from our Heavenly Father, which could bring about destruction through demonic thoughts and actions. If we subject ourselves to Jehovah, we will receive his protection and the Devil will flee from us.
Information concerning encouragement for our families, especially our young people was also the focus of Saturday's program where a talk was given entitled, Inculcate God's Word in Little Ones. Our Creator's love was exemplified by such statements that focused on how "little hearts are shared property. Children are the property of Jehovah God." He loves and knows each of us from the time our hearts begin to beat, while we are within the womb of our mother. A video was presented for young ones to take home with them entitled, Become Jehovah's Friend. Darlena, a mother of three was thrilled to see the response of her children, "who loved it" and has watched the video at least three times. This tool along with numerous scripturally based points for the advancement of all in attendance was the culmination of Saturday's program which also concluded with a loving prayer.
"Serve Jehovah With a Complete Heart" was the focus of Sunday's Program
My heart was aflutter as I woke up and began to thank Jehovah for the spiritual feast, we had received. The finale of my family's spiritual paradise for this convention had arrived. It was bitter and sweet upon my arrival but with great anticipation, I looked forward to what spiritual gems had been prepared for us. Consumed with a source of pride to once again be within a group of over six thousand people of all races, cultures, and ages where not one fight or dispute that I was aware of occurred. Even a ninety-year-old sister who misplaced her pocketbook, discovered that it had been brought to the lost and found department without any of its contents missing. The spiritual teachings we received from our Heavenly Father, along with willing imperfect participants who wanted to be taught by God, created the epitome of a spiritual paradise. Amazing examples were shared with us concerning faithful servants such as Hannah, who was falsely accused by Eli of being drunk as she prayed in the temple. This courageous woman demonstrated dignity, integrity, and respect which caused her to receive a wonderful blessing from Jehovah. (1 Samuel 1:18) The faithful apostle Peter made a mistake by rejecting Jesus when identified as one of his followers. Other faithful servants such as Jonah, Martha, and Abigail, helped us to see how although they were imperfect and made mistakes, these individuals did not give up but asked God for forgiveness as they continued to serve their Heavenly Father, who is ready to forgive. (Proverbs 24:16) We can imitate their faith because the God we serve is kind and merciful. (Psalms 86:15)
In the afternoon we gathered as a family for lunch. After the break, a modern-day drama was presented entitled, What Is True Love? Such points were revealed as, "True love is about sharing and giving." We were admonished to love our mates. "In real life, happy marriages grow out of real friendships. True happiness is like true love, it can't be faked." At the end of this powerful drama, a song was introduced based on Matthew 19:6 which states, "...what God has yoked together let no man put apart." A speaker summarized the events of this drama as he explained, how true love also comes from Jehovah. If both marriage mates have a genuine love for Almighty God, they can make it through good and bad times together. The final talk on Sunday afternoon was very appropriate for the times we are living in. It was entitled, Never Let Your Heart Become Terrified. With so much violence in the world today, we could constantly focus on the horror of such incidents like Aurora, Colorado causing us to be terrified daily. The speaker judiciously used faithful Daniel as an example that we can imitate. In the Bible book of Daniel 6:16-23, this faithful servant was thrown into a pit of lions. Although Daniel faced this deadly situation, he was not terrified but relied on Jehovah for deliverance. "If we face situations, do not focus on the trial but look ahead of the trial. Keep your eyes looking straight forward to what is in the future." With our thoughts focused this way, we will direct our attention to the time Jesus taught us to pray concerning God's will done here "on earth as it is in heaven." Strong faith in God, prayer, and courage, can help each of us survive these critical times. To enhance our faith, a DVD was offered entitled, Walk By Faith Not By Sight. We were admonished to share this powerful tool with our family, neighbors, and friends. The joyous information was also shared that we had thirty-one new brothers and sister who were baptized on Saturday. Thunderous applauds rang throughout the stadium. How thankful we were to have been fed the past three days spiritually, at Jehovah's loving, gracious table.
The murder of twelve innocent people and the injury of more than fifty is terrifying. But we must remember that Jehovah God protected his people in the past and he still protects them today as a group although they endure tribulations as well. Eventually, this wicked system will be done away with just as the information from my three-day spiritual paradise brought out. We must place complete confidence in our Heavenly Father just as Jesus did while here on earth. His fine example of faith along with numerous other servants within the Bible should help sustain us through these last days as we await God's glorious promise of a better life in the future, where there will be no violent people that will cause us to be terrified. Sickness and death will be done away with forever. What thrilling prospects we have for the future, all thanks to Jehovah and his precious son Jesus Christ. To receive any information that revolves around this spiritual paradise go www.jw.org
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© 2012 Claudette Coleman Carter