Greetings from Charlotte,
This Saturday and Sunday, we will hold three Tomorrow’s World Special Presentations. Mr. Meredith will speak in Dallas, Texas; Mr. Ames will speak in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad; and I will make a presentation in the Roanoke, Virginia area. This week, Mr. Sheldon Monson and his staff are leading a backpacking trip out of Estes Park, Colorado, for Living Church of God young people participating in the Rocky Mountain Adventure Program. Your prayers for the success of these activities will be greatly appreciated. Mr. Wayne Pyle reports that Mr. Ames’ Tomorrow’s World television program, titled “Teach Me to Pray,” is expected to generate about 4,600 responses. Last weekend, my wife and I visited the congregation in Akron, Ohio and also attended the 50th Reunion of my high school graduating class. It was good to reconnect with men and women that I had not seen in decades and to listen to the experiences and lessons that many have learned over the span of 50 years. Mr. and Mrs. Crockett also returned safely after a visit with congregations and family in the “Promised Land” of Arkansas! Please remember that requests for Second Tithe assistance for the Feast are due in Charlotte by July 15.
Columbia Third Annual Music Weekend
The Columbia, Missouri, congregation invites you to attend its third Annual Music Weekend from Friday, September 3, through Monday, September 6. We will have a Bible Study, Sabbath Services, and lots of music and singing; so come on out and camp or, if you prefer to stay at a nearby motel, they are available also. We also invite any singers and musicians who would like to participate. The costs remain the same as last year, very reasonable for the whole weekend. Please register by August 1, at our website www.eastmissourilcg.org
(not an official Church website), where you can also find more details on the weekend.—Bill Oswald
Rocky Mountain Saratoga Family Weekend
The 12th annual Rocky Mountain Saratoga Family Weekend held on June 25-27 was a big success. Forty-five area brethren and guests had a wonderful time worshiping God and fellowshipping on the banks of the North Platte River in beautiful Saratoga, Wyoming. Delightful partly cloudy skies with temperatures in the mid 70s to low 80s greeted everyone with light Wyoming breezes. It was a magnificent weekend!
Friday evening, June 25 opened the 12th annual weekend. First, we were all invited to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Pete and Jen Maskell for a delicious Friday evening supper before heading over to the Bible Study on “Leadership Secrets from the Bible,” by Mr. Ben Whitfield. Then, Sabbath morning greeted everyone with fresh brewed coffee and a delicious brunch of all the good things one would expect. Mr. Bardo gave the sermon on “Leadership.” He followed up the sermon with three additional workshops on Service, Education and Leadership, on Saturday evening and Sunday morning... but not before we had a wonderful “steak and fish fry” out on the deck of the Riviera Lodge, with Chef Api doing the honors. Saturday evening we all sat around the tables and learned again the leadership skills so necessary in our lives, in the Church and in the workplace... not to mention in our own families and with our friends.
Some said it was perhaps the best Saratoga Family weekend that they had attended. Family, friends, young and old alike, had a wonderful time in Saratoga. Mark your calendars for next year at this same time—late June or early July—for another Rocky Mountain Saratoga Family weekend.—Ben Whitfield
Fall Semester 2010 Registration
Registration for Living University courses is now underway for the Fall semester. Each week as we approach the start of classes, we plan to highlight a couple of LU courses for your benefit. This week we will highlight THL 320 and 332. To register and for more information, go online to www.livinguniv.com
or call Dr. Scott Winnail at 704-708-2292, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
THL 320 – Introduction to Church History
In this intriguing course, Dr. Michael Germano traces the history of the Church of God from apostolic times to the present day. Topics include the development of the Church through each of its seven distinct eras.
THL 332 – The Biblical Text
In this fascinating course, Mr. Richard Ames deals with the authority, inspiration, canonization, literary unity, and textual criticism of the biblical text. Emphasis is on Bible translations, versions, textual analysis, exegesis, and research. If you want a better understanding of the reasons why the Bible is the inspired word of God, you should definitely take this course.
Living Youth Camp
Essay Contest Finals
We have the final results of our first Annual Living Youth Essay contest! Thirty teens participated in our Essay Contest this year, answering the question, “Why do you believe God exists?” The results are: First Place, Olivia Tyler (Australia); Second Place, Courtney Flowers; and Third Place, Ashley Forrestier. Congratulations to them for winning scholarships to the Living Youth Camp for their efforts! Thanks to all the participants for the work put into this Essay Contest. Our judging process involved a team of ministers and Church staff, who selected the top six essays. These essays were then read by Dr. Winnail, Dr. Germano, Mr. Crockett, and Mr. Richard Ames for the final place selection. The judges found it very difficult to select from many excellent essays, mentioning many times how pleased they were that our young people were able to defend their faith in God so well. Good job to all!—Jonathan McNair
Missouri Pre-Teen Camp
For one full week, June 20-27, more than 100 campers and staff enjoyed an abundance of fun activities, good food, and godly instruction at the Missouri LYC Pre-Teen Camp, just north of St. Louis! Our theme this year was “Choose to be Different!” and all of our activities and classes were geared toward helping communicate that idea. Mr. Jonathan McNair, Director of the Church’s youth programs, was with us for the first half of camp, which was a real treat for everyone, and Regional Pastor Rand Millich visited as well, to give a split sermon at Sabbath Services.
2010 will certainly be noted as a special year in Missouri, with many new challenges! We were told on Day One that the lake we use for canoeing was closed for water quality testing. Then, it became quickly apparent there was a case of strep throat and the stomach flu just waiting to spread through the camp. But, resourcefulness and God’s Ways saved the day! Concerning the lake, our instructors, Mr. and Mrs. Arseneault, quickly crafted a remarkable Challenge Class to replace canoeing, and applying God's Laws of quarantine and care quickly prevented the sickness from spreading.
As a result, our 48 eight-to-twelve-year-old campers had a remarkable time, and many were very sad to leave. As one family wrote us, speaking of the four campers they were taking home, “they were still on their little cloud nine on the way back, singing camp songs, laughing, sharing memories and looking forward to next year!” Many thanks to our Great God and to His people for their efforts and prayers given in service to the families of God’s Church!—Wallace Smith
Feast of Tabernacles 2010
Festival (Second Tithe) Assistance Requests—USA Only (Repeat Announcement)
Attention USA Pastors: The deadline to submit Festival Assistance Request forms to the Church Administration Department is Tuesday, July 15. All forms should be properly completed by the members requesting second tithe assistance to attend the Feast this year. Then, the Area Pastors should write their recommendations/comments on the forms before submitting them to CAD. Festival Assistance Request
forms are available to ministers on the MyLCG website (www.cogl.org
Handwriting on the Wall! On July 4, the United States, currently the most powerful nation in the world, celebrated 234 years of independence. The following day, on Monday, July 5, British-born Harvard professor and economic historian Niall Ferguson opened the 2010 Aspen Ideas Festival with a stark warning that the American “empire” could suddenly collapse—possibly within the next two years—due to the country’s rising debt! Citing historical examples, Ferguson pointed out that economic debt can lead to a loss of military power and global respect—which he saw firsthand on a recent trip to China—where China’s leaders were not interested in being lectured by Americans about economics or democracy. He noted that the recent financial crisis “has accelerated a fundamental shift in the balance of power with the U.S. shedding power and China absorbing it.” A number of factors are coming together—tax cuts, two wars, the financial recession, the resulting federal stimulus and bailout programs, and the growth of entitlement programs—that spell trouble for America in the days ahead. This is what Bible prophecies have long foretold. When nations forget God and turn away from His laws there will be serious consequences unless they repent (see Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 28). The Scriptures, the Church of God and prominent historians have been warning for decades about the direction that America and other Israelite nations have been going—yet, those warnings have gone unheeded. Hopefully, we can learn from this and make the changes in our lives we need to make—before it is too late!
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—July 8, 2010
Brussels to Control British Purse Strings? Senior European leaders predict that the British Prime Minister will not keep his promise to prevent Brussels from controlling his nation’s finances. “Belgian negotiators are convinced that Mr. Cameron’s hard line opposition to giving up more sovereignty to the EU, a pledge written into his coalition government’s agreement, will be sacrificed in the interests of pragmatism.” A senior Belgian diplomat conceded, “There is a question of sovereignty if the role of the European Commission in economic government is reinforced… EU officials have warned British diplomats that the Lisbon Treaty means it will have to compromise on sovereignty because Britain does not have veto for either the budget scrutiny or financial market supervision measures.” To prevent intervention from Brussels, Britain has contemplated instituting a new special tax to meet European-wide taxation needs, instead of allowing the EU to spend from national treasuries. However Belgium, holder of the current EU rotating presidency, is against such a move (Telegraph, June 29, 2010). As Britain and other EU nations face a forced centralization of their economic affairs, it is sobering to recall God’s warning to ancient Israel, which is still applicable to the Israelite-descended nations today. God warned that because of Israel’s rejection of Him, a far-away nation with an unfamiliar language, would bring down Israel’s high fortifications in which they trust (Deuteronomy 28:49-52). What high fortifications are higher than those of the banking and financial sectors? For England, where London has been a global financial center, few actions could be more humbling than for a non-English-speaking nation to control its economy and the pound sterling. We are living in sobering times.
Calling Evil Good. According to the British paper Daily Mail, “Prime Minister David Cameron will give his backing to an openly gay cleric who wants to become a bishop in a move that could threaten to split the Church of England. Dr Jeffrey John, the Dean of St Albans, is on the shortlist to be the next Bishop of Southwark. But his candidacy could spark a civil war between the liberal and conservative wings of the Church of England.” African archbishops who are more conservative predict that this move by Cameron could tear apart the Anglican Church. Once Mr. Cameron supports Dr. John, the Queen will then be required to approve him (Mail Online, July 4, 2010). Long ago, God prophesied against Israel, “You have wearied the LORD with your words… In that you say, ‘Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and He delights in them’” (Malachi 2:17). Mr. Cameron is just one of many leaders of Israelite-descended nations who have joined the ground-swell of opinion in support of making national leaders out of what God clearly calls sinners. It is sad to realize that our actions as nations truly “weary” the great God of Heaven. God speed the day when the righteous will rule and our national actions will once again bring joy to our Father in Heaven.
Christ Probably Did not Die on a Cross. In a recent dissertation study at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, pastor Gunnar Samuelsson spent 400 pages describing the “Crucifixion in Antiquity.” His findings bear out what God’s Church has known and taught for decades—that Jesus Christ likely did not die on a “t-shaped” cross. As a devout evangelical preacher and believer in the “power of the Cross,” what Samuelsson discovered shocked him! In his in-depth research, he could find no clear references to the t-shaped cross. Samuelsson noted in an ABC News interview that “…for generations people have misinterpreted and mistranslated the Greek word ‘stauros’ [translated cross in most Bibles] to mean crucifix, when really the term just means a suspension device, which might have been anything such as a ‘pole or tree trunk’” (www.whas11.com, July 2, 2010). Although the information presented by Samuelsson has been known by scholars and God’s Church for decades, it is interesting to see it highlighted in the media. Satan, in his craftiness, has deceived people into believing and even worshiping the crucifix—rubbing likenesses of it, kneeling before it and even making it into religious jewelry. Sadly, not only do many people bow before an image, which God forbids (Deuteronomy 5:8), the crucifix is probably not even an accurate portrayal of the instrument of Christ’s death.—Scott Winnail, James and Sue Bennett
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