Thank you all so much for your replies and welcomes. It was really so heartwarming and I appreciate it so much. Thank you to to those who alas shared their stories and the parts of my story they could relate to - that really helped me. And for those who offered any advice - thank you, I am listening.
@wizzstick - no, I don't see any change in general. That is why I felt so alone.The only thing I see is that our congregation hasn't changed in size in decades. We have only had one baptism (from the field that is, I'm not counting born-ins) in the last decade. We only maintain numbers because people move in and out.
@smiddy - nice to meet fellow Aussies, look forward to talking more
@stuckinarut2 - thank you, yes I hope it helps the lurkers, I have been one for months until this post. And yes I have checked out jwfacts, its a great resource.
@zeb - its very interesting to search the word "evidently" in the Watchtower library, you'll be amazed at how many time it has been used just since 2000! Especially when you consider that it is just a smokescreen for the you don't actually have nay evidence. It's like when countries call themselves "the peoples democratic...." to disguise the fact they are dictatorships! Example: "The people's democratic republic of North Korea," which is neither a democracy or a republic.... hehehe
@tor1500 - thank you for your helpful perspective, much appreciated
@careful - indeed, its symbolic for me of how people of every generation have interpreted the sign a applying to themselves. It shows that the sign is too vague and virtually useless as a tool to identify any time period. Its no better than a horoscope. Its like 2 Tim 3:1-5. The question always asked is: "do you see these things happening now?" but that is the wrong question. The question should be: "Has there ever been time when these things weren't happening?"
@vanderhoven7 - not really, I have not ruled out the possibility of a supernatural deity, I'm open minded about it, but critical analysis of the Bible leads me to the strong conclusion that it is not of divine origin, the same critical analysis that led me to believe the same of the GB. I would need some pretty amazing evidence that would stand up to critical scrutiny to go back to believing in a personal God.
@Ding - I read the Finished Mystery because I wanted to see for myself what "light" we had in 1919 when we were supposedly selected by Jesus. Of course all we had was darkness! This led me into further research on our origins, tracing the Millerite and adventist movements and their influence on Russell etc.
@Blondie - enjoy reading your posts
@flipper - thanks, have certainly done that! As well as Bonnie's book.
@fredpilltwice - like your username too. Love the matrix. I actually asked my brother would he like the blue pill or red pill to save if I could talk to him. At the moment he prefers to live in the Matrix, but I think he is curious.
@giordano - thanks for your thoughts and perspectives, much appreciated
@Still Totally ADD - yes, what took us so long! Just shows how effective indoctrination is if done from an early age
@yoko N - thank you for sharing further afield, I hope it helps the Japanese brothers.
@EdenOne - appreciate your thoughts
@darknight757 - thank you, yes I will.
@Gorbatchov - well done. I would like to go back and get the education I missed, but not sure I have the energy and drive to do it now, we'll see....
@James Jack - I'm sure you will be hearing more from me on that front...