Greetings from Charlotte,
All but a few staff members have returned to Charlotte from trips to visit family over the Thanksgiving weekend. Mr. and Mrs. Meredith arrived back in Charlotte from a short trip to the UK and Belgium. Mr. and Mrs. Paul Shumway visited the office for several days on their way back to Florida. Mr. Rod King is on a trip to Tanzania for several days. Mr. Ames is working on a new booklet on prophecy, and we have a deadline on Monday for the March-April Tomorrow’s World. Mr. and Mrs. Keith Walden have moved back to Austin to be closer to family members. They are asking for urgent prayers on behalf of Mr. Walden as he is in considerable pain after the trip from Albuquerque.
Next Wednesday, Mr. Ames, Mr. Apartian and I will be visiting the UCG office in Cincinnati. About a year ago, when two representatives from UCG visited our office in Charlotte, they invited us to make a return visit. We found the visit last year was helpful to maintain lines of communication when issues arise of mutual concern.
Mr. Winston Gosse would like to thank God’s people for their prayers on his behalf during the last few months. Three Fridays ago, just before the Sabbath, he received a call from his doctor who stated, “It’s good news: the latest scan shows no signs of cancer.” There is no doubt that God intervened. Again, Mr. Gosse thanks all the brethren for their prayers, many calls and letters of encouragement.
Fifteenth Anniversary Weekend: Online Registration
Take note: If you are planning to participate in the 15th Anniversary celebration in Charlotte, please take a moment to complete the on-line registration. This registration replaces the hand count that was taken earlier to gauge attendance. You may register inside of the MyLCG area of the www.cogl.org website. An accurate count of how many people will be participating in each of the weekend’s activities is essential as we plan for this special occasion. If you do not have Web access, please obtain assistance from someone in your congregation who can do it for you. Payment can be made online at the “donations” button on the MyLCG site. Important: In the “donation designation” box write “anniversary events.”
You will not receive a donation receipt for these payments since they are for goods and services. Payment can also be made by conventional check made out to Living Church of God and mailed to 2301 Crown Centre Drive, Charlotte, NC 28227. Remember to write on the check “anniversary events.”
Marriage Seminar: The number of seats available for the marriage seminar has been increased. If you attempted to register for the event and got a message that it was “full,” you may now go back and register.—Davy Crockett
Northeast Young Adults Ski Weekend
We are taking final registrants for the Northeast Young Adults Ski Weekend! Take advantage of this opportunity to build bonds of friendship with other young adults, learn more about God’s way of life and simply have a great time! This year’s location is Ludlow, Vermont, located minutes away from Okemo Mountain, one of the top ski areas in the Northeast. If you love to ski, this is the place to be. If you just enjoy being around other young adults, then you are welcome as well! Arrival is on Friday afternoon/evening, December 21. Departure is on Wednesday, December 26. The program will begin with a relaxing Sabbath brunch in the morning and services in the afternoon. After the Sabbath, you may want to relax in our private lodge or walk through the quaint town of Ludlow. On Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, we will have lectures in the morning, and skiing and fun in the afternoon! The evenings will be open for more social activities. The lectures will be provided by Mr. Gerald Weston, Mr. Jonathan McNair, and other guest lecturers. Topics will be announced later. The closest airport is Albany, New York. If you fly into Albany, we will be able to provide transportation to Ludlow. The cost for accommodations, on-site meals, and lift tickets is $300. If you don’t plan to ski, the cost is $250. Register now—space is limited. To register, go to www.formdesk.com/mcnair/form1. For questions and more information, contact Jonathan McNair at firstname.lastname@example.org.
United Kingdom and Africa Update
Mr. Rod King sent us the following report after from London, before leaving for Tanzania: “On the same day that I get to Dar [es Salaam], Mr. Pieter van der Byl from South Africa will meet with a man in Zambia who has been talking with us for some time. Another person will also join him in Lusaka to talk. We are receiving a number of enquiries from many countries in Africa, but we have to take things carefully, as we could find ourselves stretched by the limits of funds and manpower that we are able to commit to that great continent. Thankfully, we have capable men in South Africa who are able to help… Here in the U.K. we will be going on a new station soon, called Love World. It approached us and has given us free air-time. This new venue will help, since we lost Inspiration Network here some months ago and our responses dropped from 300 per week to about 50.
The civil situation in the South American country of Bolivia became increasingly delicate this week. A proposed constitutional reform has stirred protests from those who oppose this government initiative. Your prayers are requested for our few members living in Bolivia, since situations like these can turn violent.
Internet Update: Online BSC Now in 80 Countries
The list of countries where students have enrolled in the online version of the Tomorrow’s World Bible Study Course continues to grow. Mexico, Romania, and the United Arab Emirates are the most recent countries that we have added to this list. We now have online BSC students in 80 different countries. Students from outside of the United States account for one out of every three students enrolled in the online version of the BSC.—J. Charles Ogwyn
Christians Must Be Adaptable: The Apostle Paul states, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content. I know how to be abased and I know how to abound” (Philippians 4:11-13). His secret in being able to adjust and adapt to different circumstances was trusting in God. He knew that “all things work together for good to those who love God” (Romans 8:28). Paul also illustrated his adaptability. He states, “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). He went into synagogues and reasoned with the Jews out of the Scriptures (Acts 17:2). In Athens, he used an inscription on a pagan religious statue “TO THE UNKNOWN GOD” as a launching pad for his message about the true God, and he even quoted passages from pagan poets and philosophers to illustrate points and make a connection with certain audiences (Acts 17:23, 28). Paul obviously knew that “one size” does not fit everyone or every occasion. As Christians, we, too, must be versatile and adjust our attitudes and our approach when circumstances change and when we are dealing with different people. We must use wisdom and look to God for guidance as we strive to fulfill our mission of preaching the gospel and be examples who will enlighten, edify and inspire others (Romans 15:1-2).
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—November 29, 2007
One Step Closer to Reunification. The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches recently met to begin healing their 950-year breach, and drafted a joint document which recognizes the primacy of the Pope. Some speculate that a future unification of the two churches could result in a weakening of the Pope’s position and even affect his “infallibility.” The Russian Orthodox Church did not attend due to an ongoing disagreement with the Eastern Orthodox Church (The Times, November 16, 2007). Concurrently, Iran’s interactions with the Vatican have strengthened. Iran currently holds the second-largest diplomatic core of envoys to the Vatican of any nation on earth. They talk regularly with Vatican officials. Some Vatican and Iranian “insiders” think Iran may ask for Vatican help if the U.S. moves closer to invading Iran (YahooNews.com, November 27, 2007). As time and prophecy move forward, we see a strengthening of ties between the Vatican and Middle Eastern nations. God prophesied of a time when a treaty would be signed that will powerfully impact the Holy Land and that permits temple sacrifices by the Jews (Daniel 9:27). This could also involve an agreement between the world’s three monotheistic religions: Islam, Judaism and “Christianity.” Current events in the Middle East appear to be paving the way for such a treaty.
European “Core” Talked About Again. On November 7, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Junker again raised the prospect of European nations becoming just “part members” of the EU. Mr. Junker said he believed that “the EU should develop a core of EU countries,” and that “the EU is heading towards a crash if it does not develop this way.” The idea of a European Core, a two-speed Europe, a multi-speed Europe, or a concentric Europe is not new. The new EU reform treaty (or “revised constitution”), “contains the means for pro-integration states to move ahead” of the other nations, provided there are a minimum of nine states involved (EU Observer, November 7, 2007). A recent poll by the European Council on Foreign Relations revealed that “more than one-third of respondents” view an increased EU power as “a central element needed to develop a better world,” and that they prefer the “soft power” of Europe rather than the military might of the United States Study authors noted that, “It is striking that a continent with a military budget second only to the United States, and the biggest number of peace-keeping forces serving in the world seems to be perceived as a non-military power” (EU Observer, October 25, 2007). As the EU’s power and prestige grows, so does their prophesied role in end-time world affairs. God prophesied of an end-time power of not nine, but ten nations (Revelation 17). Ultimately, this powerful “beast” will have authority over “every tribe, tongue, and nation” (Revelation 13:7-8).
Prophecy and the Epidemic of Obesity. According to British figures, more than 22 percent of Britons are clinically obese (The Times, October 30, 2007). In the U.S., obesity rates rose from about 15% of the adult population in 1980 to about 34 percent today, and the numbers continue to climb (www.cdc.gov, November 28, 2007). A whopping 66 percent of U.S. adults are overweight. U.S. children are getting fatter too (globalhealth.duke.edu, November 8, 2007). The U.S. and Britain are not unique in the increasing size and ill health of their citizens. Worldwide, there are more than one billion overweight and more than 300 million obese adults (www.who.int, November 28, 2007). Most nations report large increases in obesity rates, including Canada, Australia, and other Israelite-descended nations. Most nations in Western Europe have experienced a two- to three-fold increase in obesity rates in the past 30 years. Obesity is on the rise thanks to fast foods, pre-packaged foods, and increasingly sedentary lifestyles due to technological advances (including TV and video games). God prophesied that as the nations of Israel had eaten and grown fat, they would depart from Him (Deuteronomy 31:20). “…You grew fat, you grew thick, you are obese! Then he forsook God who made him, and scornfully esteemed the Rock of his salvation” (Deuteronomy 32:15).—Ellis Noll, Daniel Bennett, Scott Winnail
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