24 February 2011

Greetings form Charlotte, 

Political upheavals continue to rumble across Muslim North Africa and now Libya has erupted into open revolt against four decades of dictatorship.  In the south Pacific, a major earthquake has shaken Christchurch, New Zealand.  World events are certainly moving in a direction that Bible prophecy has long foretold.  Here in Charlotte, Mr. Meredith has been conducting a number of meetings this week and preparing for the TWSP to be held in Charlotte in March 6. Mr. Rod McNair and his staff have been gearing up for the Feast of Tabernacles registration that is scheduled to begin this coming Sunday.  We have also finalized arrangements for a new Feast site in Santa Maria, California to replace the site in Sonora, California (see announcement below).   Mr. Ames, Mr. Wayne Pyle and Mr. Rod King will be attending the National Religious Broadcasters meetings next week in Nashville, Tennessee.  Mr. Pyle reports that Mr. King’s Tomorrow’s World telecast last weekend entitled “What Is the Beast?” drew more than 5,200 responses.  Mr. King has returned from a profitable visit to several African countries and reports that 85 visitors attended a Tomorrow’s World Special Presentation in Durban, South Africa last weekend.  We had 46 visitors attend the TWSPs in Walterboro, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia.  Mr. Bill Whitaker will make follow-up presentations this coming weekend in Walterboro and Savannah. Please keep these efforts to preach the gospel in your prayers.—DSW      

Church Administration 


Following is an encouraging announcement submitted by Area Pastor Wyatt Ciesielka concerning a divine healing of a member in the Little Rock congregation: “I would like to share our story of God’s miraculous intervention and healing. My husband, Michael, went to the emergency room with chest pains the day before the Night to Be Much Observed, March 2010.  The doctors ruled out a heart attack and determined he was having a gallbladder attack.  The tests all showed that his gallbladder was full of ‘sludge’ and would eventually have to be removed.  Our local elder, David Stiffler, came and anointed him and within a few hours, his pains went away and we were able to make it to dinner for our first Night to Be Much Observed with God’s Church!  

“In January of this year, Michael was back in the emergency room early in the morning with another, severe gallbladder attack.  He was in a lot of pain and was very sick.  The emergency room x-rays showed that the gallbladder was almost entirely full of sludge again and needed to come out immediately, so he was scheduled for emergency surgery for the next day.  Our local minister, Wyatt Ciesielka, came and anointed him that morning. Within a few hours of the anointing, Michael had to have an abdominal CT scan to prepare for his surgery.  When I arrived the next morning, the surgeon told us that to their surprise the CT scan showed his gallbladder was clear and that there was no reason for Michael to have surgery!  All the other tests also came back with no gallbladder disease! The only thing they found was scar tissue on his liver. We appreciate God’s mercy, and all of the love and prayers from all the brethren.  We give thanks and praise to our Father who heals!”—Rachel Bretz 

New Zealand Earthquake 

Last September Christchurch suffered a 7.1 magnitude earthquake. This caused serious and extensive damage to buildings and infrastructure. Thankfully, there were no deaths. Since then, there have been thousands of aftershocks many of which could be plainly felt. Our members were uninjured and their property suffered relatively minor damage. 

Yesterday’s quake, though nominally weaker at 6.3 magnitude, was felt much more powerfully because it was closer to the surface and nearer to the center of Christchurch.  There was very severe damage to buildings already weakened by the first quake and by the many aftershocks. Yesterday’s quake hit suddenly, at full force; without the usual preceding noises or rumbles which give people a second or two to prepare.  Many buildings have completely collapsed in the city center and, because they tended to be the older buildings constructed of masonry, many people have been killed by that masonry striking or actually burying them. A more modern building had several floors pancake together and there are still living people and bodies buried within it. The Prime Minister, John Key, has said, “I don’t think we can go past the fact that we may well be witnessing New Zealand's darkest day.” Present worst-case estimates are that there could be as many as 300 dead. 

I am glad to report that all the members I have been able to contact are well and uninjured. There is one lady I have been unable to phone because the phone system in her suburb is out of action. If she was at home during the quake she is most likely also uninjured and safe. I will continue trying to contact her…. Overall, the people of Christchurch have suffered severely by this latest quake.  But God’s people have been blessed—receiving protection of their persons. We do give thanks to our merciful Father for this.—Kinnear Penman 

Visit to Peru 

Mr. Mario Hernandez visited brethren and congregations in Peru from January 27 through February 7. On the Sabbath of January 29, brethren from Huancayo, Tactayoc and Huanuco met in Cerro de Pasco for services, with 47 in attendance. Mr. Hurtado, local Peruvian member, wrote, “They were very attentive to the message and after services were finished, many stayed until late in the evening for ministerial counseling.” The following day, Mr. Hernandez traveled to Tactayoc, where he visited new prospective members and baptized Raquel Atencio in the cold waters of the Rancas River.  He then traveled on a curvy highway, passing by valleys full of colorful flowers and houses built up on the hillsides, to arrive at our 2011 Peruvian Feast site in Oxapampa, a village developed by Austrian and German settlers in the late 1800s.    

During this trip, Mr. Hernandez also visited brethren in Arequipa, where he conducted a Bible Study on the “Way of Righteousness.” He then visited Lima from Friday, February 4, through Monday, February 7. There, he visited brethren, conducting several counseling session and spoke on the Sabbath, with 31 in attendance, on the topic of “Watching.”  Mr. Hurtado wrote, “We are very thankful to be doing the Work in the end times. We are thankful for Mr. Hernandez’s visit and also for everyone else who does God’s Work.”  

Feast of Tabernacles 2011 

Festival Site Registration 

Festival Site Registration begins Sunday, February 27, 12:00 p.m. (noon) Eastern Standard Time (USA).  At that time, all brethren are invited to register online (www.cogl.org) for the Feast site of your choice.  Even if you are going to your assigned site, we ask everyone to register online, so we can know how many attendees will be attending each site.  Most brethren transferring should know soon after registration if their transfer request is approved (you will be notified via email).  If you have any questions, please see your Pastor or local congregation Festival Advisor (brethren outside the United States, contact your Regional Office for questions or other instructions).  If you have any problems registering on Sunday, send an email to festival@lcg.org

Making Housing Reservations 

Please wait to make housing reservations until you have registered for your site online on Sunday, February 27, and your transfer request (if transferring) has been approved.  Host hotels have been notified that attendees will be contacting them on Sunday, February 27 to make housing reservations.  They should be ready (staffed and open) to take the calls.  But some new hotels will be hosting the Feast for the first time, and are still learning our system.  If you experience problems getting through to a hotel or making housing reservations, please be patient with the hotel staff—a kind demeanor and word of encouragement can do wonders! 

New Site—Santa Maria, California 

Due to an unforeseen difficulty in our plans with our previous California site, we regrettably are having to move to another venue.  But as one door closes, another is opening!  We are moving the venue to the town of Santa Maria, California, not far from the beautiful central California coast.  Festival meetings will be held at the historic Santa Maria Inn, which will also provide very comfortable accommodations.  Santa Maria Inn has accommodated us with greatly reduced rates and has family-friendly surroundings with a heated pool, spa, beautiful landscaping, restaurant and pub.  Nearby attractions include Pismo Beach, the quaint Danish tourist village of Solvang, and world-famous Hearst Castle.  Possible activities brethren may want to take advantage of in this area are winery tours, ATV rentals on coastal sand dunes, hiking trails and horseback riding.  A full write-up about this site is available on the MyLCG website (www.cogl.org). 

Spanish Interpreters Needed 

Several Spanish Feast sites (Mexico and Peru) are in need of Spanish-English interpreters this year. If you have the ability to translate simultaneously between these two languages and would like to volunteer in this capacity at one of these sites, please contact Madeleine Lincoln-Strange at mlincoln@lcg.org or by phone at 704-844-1970. 


Are You Teachable?  The Scriptures reveal that one of the important qualities of character that God is looking for in Christians and in future leaders in the Kingdom of God is teachability—the desire and willingness to listen and learn and be molded by God.  Abraham was teachable and responsive to God’s instructions (Genesis 12:1-4).  Moses was a very capable leader, yet he was humble and teachable (Numbers 12:3).  David’s attitude comes through in Psalm 119:33 when he writes, “Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes.”  Solomon recognized his human inadequacies when he asked God for wisdom and an “understanding heart” so he could learn to rule God’s people wisely (1 Kings 3:9).  When Jesus said the meek and the poor in spirit will be blessed, He was emphasizing their teachability and their willingness to learn and grow (Matthew 5:3-5).  The Scriptures also make it plain that when we harden our hearts to God’s instruction, we will reap serious consequences (Proverbs 28:14).  We have been called to reign with Jesus Christ in the Kingdom of God, and being teachable is one of the keys to attaining that reward. 

Have a profitable Sabbath,

Douglas S. Winnail

News and Prophecy—February 24, 2011 

Germany Buying the New York Stock Exchange.  In 2007, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) bought the European Stock operator Euronext. Now, Deutsche Börse, the German Stock market, is in “advanced talks” to purchase the NYSE. This deal will require approval by both the United States government and the European Union. NYSE Euronext’s markets include stock exchanges in the U.S., Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam. A merger with the Deutsche Börse will create the world’s largest stock exchange. The combined group would initially have dual headquarters in New York and Frankfurt (www.thelocal.de, February 9, 2011; Times, February 16, 2011; CNNmoney.com, February 15, 2011). If the deal goes through, Frankfurt will replace London as the world’s “financial center” (Times, February 9, 2011) and give Germany controlling ownership in the stock exchanges in three other European nations and the U.S. It is worth noting that Bible prophecies reveal that the Beast-dominated religious system (Revelation 17 and 18) will also be an economic system that will, for a time, make the nations of the earth rich!  God warned through Ezekiel that the Israelite-descended nations will one day be delivered into the hand of the Assyrians/Germans (Ezekiel 23:1-10). German control of the New York Stock Exchange, could lead to the fulfillment of these ancient prophecies. For more information on this subject request or download our free booklet, The Beast of Revelation.   

Increasing Arab Unrest with the West.  Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi recently urged Palestinian refugees to “capitalize on the wave of popular revolts in the Middle East by massing peacefully on the borders of Israel until it gives in to their demands… Gaddafi also issued a call to Muslim countries to join forces against Western powers. He said the world was divided into white, denoting the United States, Europe and their allies, and green for the Muslim world” (Reuters Africa, February 13, 2011). Gaddafi’s calls for Arab action are being heard. Last week (February 16), two Iranian military ships passed through the Suez Canal en route to Syria—apparently aiming to put pressure on Israel. This is the first time that an Iranian war ship has been allowed to pass from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean (DEBKA.com, February 16, 2011). Bible prophecies indicate that Jerusalem and “Judah” will be a “cup of trembling unto all the people round about” (Zechariah 12:2), and that Israel’s enemies would attempt to cut her off from being a nation (Psalm 83:1-4).  The Scriptures also warn that all the “lovers” or allies of the Israelite-descended nations will turn on them and become their enemies (Jeremiah 30:14; Ezekiel 23:9 and 22).  Events developing in the Middle East are certainly moving in the direction these prophecies have long indicated!   

Earthquake in New Zealand.  On February 22, a magnitude 6.3 quake struck the densely populated city of Christchurch, on the south island. The quake hit this city of 350,000 people at 1 p.m. in the middle of a business day, and was the second major quake in five months. Buildings in the central business district were toppled, including the spire of the city’s landmark stone cathedral. Reports from the scene describe, “Sidewalks and roads were cracked and split, while thousands of dazed, screaming and crying residents wandered through the streets as sirens and car alarms blared.”  Prime Minister John Key commented, “It is just a scene of utter devastation…We may well be witnessing New Zealand’s darkest day” (Associated Press, February 22 and 23, 2011). As of Wednesday evening, 75 people were proclaimed dead with nearly 300 still missing. Disaster analysts estimate that the total cost of the earthquake could reach $12 billion—making it one of New Zealand’s most expensive natural disasters.  Long ago, Jesus foretold that one of the signs of the end of the age and His imminent return would be “earthquakes in various places” (Matthew 24:3-7; Mark 13:8). As the end of the age draws near, we will see more frequent and more powerful earthquakes around world. For more information on this sobering topic, read our free booklet, Who Controls the Weather?—Daniel Bennett, VG Lardé, Sue Bennett, Deborah Lincoln-Strange and Scott Winnail