Journal Entry from September 19, 2002:
Four year old Winston cried and cried for one more bedtime story. I hugged him and explained that he needed to focus on what he had gotten and not what he had not gotten. Floyd had threatened a spanking if Winston didn’t be quiet. Floyd had to be at work at 4 AM.
I told Winston, “I let you watch Hey Arnold after House of Mouse went off, which is when you were supposed to go to bed. Then, after you chose to watch TV instead of reading stories, I let you watch TV and I read stories. I even read 3 extra stories! When you cry like this it makes me think you’re ungrateful and don’t appreciate what you did get. Now say ‘Mama, thank you for the 3 extra stories.’”
He said it weakly. I was trying to quiet him while he was holding up one finger and kept stating “I only wanted one more.”
As I was finishing putting Zoe in bed, Winston called to me, “Ma, thank you for reading me stories.” A couple of minutes later, “Ma. I love you.” Our son has a heart for God. He is a tender soul.
This is the lesson that Arthur was teaching us on another level. We must keep our focus on what Yehovah has already done for us and not let the things we want Him to do to have prominence.
Another “Message within the Message” dealt with the Master of our destiny. Here is an example.
I decided I was going to be a medical records librarian. I was attracted to the field because the average annual salary in the late sixties was a huge amount, $10,000.00. I had worked in our family doctor’s office for two summers in Detroit. The summer after my junior year in college, I worked in Hutzel Hospital in the medical records department. My job was to read and quality check the medical records of discharged or deceased patients.
As I worked there, I began to realize that it was a hierarchical community all unto its own. The doctors were at the top of the hierarchy while interns like me were on the bottom. This made my job quite difficult because I had to hunt down doctors and nurses to get them to complete the missing information in the charts. My supervisor did not help the situation; she had a sour disposition and was quite critical. Dealing with her was minor compared to the main source of my frustration: being in an oppressive atmosphere of sickness and feeling like I was in a hermetically sealed building with a myriad of winding halls. I would cry when I got to my Grandma’s house a night; I dreaded the thought of going back. However, I needed the money for school, so I would grin and bear it.
My senior year, I changed my major to psychology and graduated with only having to go to summer school to make up the needed credits.
Now I realize, had I enquired of Yehovah, my path would have been different. I was chasing mammon to get to my destiny. Our Elohim would have revealed my entrepreneurial skills. However, Praise Yehovah, He even uses our mistakes to train us in the way He has planned for us.
Summary of the Teaching
Arthur opened the Feast of Unleavened Bread Celebration by letting us know that Yehovah gave each of us an entrepreneurial skill just like He gave the Israelites a way to prosper when they were freed from the Egyptians. Arthur challenges us when he asks if the Master of the Universe is really the Master of our days. Listen as Arthur expounds on the advantages of being your own boss, such as taking the time off for the Feasts and Sabbath.
After a poignant prayer, Arthur leaned into the camera and exclaimed, “The AUDACITY of man to think that we can take something from God!” We are all guilty when we take our lives in our own hands (insert 😉 we act like we are the Master of our own destiny. This was a refreshing approach to Malachi. Malachi is most often dealt with in terms of tithes and offerings. Listen as Arthur explains how we have hijacked and taken our lives hostage.
We minimize the blessings of the Almighty when we put more emphasis on what we want Yehovah to do than what He has already done for us. When we do not control our thoughts, little things will have a tendency to steal our joy. We can help ourselves be in right standing with Yehovah by learning from the mistakes of the Israelites. Arthur stresses that our attitude is connected with what is truly in our hearts and that Yehovah sees our hearts even when we go through the motions of the commandments.
Continuing with the theme of having a righteous attitude and spirit, Arthur launched into a discourse on how we should love our sisters and brothers. One of the easiest ways to sow discord is through gossip. When you gossip, you involve other people in the situation and share information that they should not know. Listen to our Apostles’ Biblical instructions on how to reach reconciliation with your fellow believer.
Buzz on the Teaching
I was touched when Arthur gave an example of how it feels when you are being rejected by a spouse. The loving touches are not there, the conversation has all but dried up. I have been in that place and it hurts. Then Arthur went on to say that Yehovah sees us when our time with Him dwindles down, our prayer time is decreased and our love has grown cold and the joy is gone. Do we do that to our Creator who loves us more than anyone else could? I want Yehovah to know that my mind, heart and actions are aligned to please Him. I will be thankful for all the things, large and small, that Yehovah does for me and rehearse those events when the blues want to overtake me with ungratefulness.
Floyd shared with me that he believes that the Saints hold back on ministering to others because they are stymied by looking at their own imperfections. The righteous thing to do when we walk out our faith, is to speak as the Holy Spirit directs and realize that none of us has reached perfection. Yehovah can use us just as we are. We just have to be willing.
My Sister Saint from Texas said she was struck by the example that Arthur gave of our prayer time dwindling from one hour to 45 minutes to… 15 minutes …to just saying a few words of prayer while chewing with food between our teeth. She said that we don’t realize this is happening until we actually reflect on what has happened. Arthur’s example was a wake-up call to check ourselves. No one else may see it or know it, but the Father sees it.
Sister Saint heartily agreed with Arthur that we need to be constantly mindful of our conversations because they are being recorded and we will be held accountable. There is no doubt that God is not mocked, whatever we sow, we shall reap! Our words are seeds that will produce a harvest. Once we realize this and live accordingly, we should not be surprised at the harvests we reap.
Until next time… Blessings to You and Yours,