June 23, 2011

Greetings from Charlotte,

The world is certainly a dynamic place today—with economic and political uncertainty in Europe, turmoil in the Middle East and across North Africa, the United States and Britain facing major financial crises, volcanoes spewing ash in Siberia and Chile, earthquakes shaking New Zealand, and major flooding in China and Central North America, while wildfires burn in other areas. Jesus linked these very events to the end of the age, yet most major news sources ignore any connection to Bible prophecies. However, a major part of our mission as God’s Church is to explain the prophetic significance of these events and show that we are living in very sobering times!

Here in Charlotte, we are still processing responses from Mr. Meredith’s latest semi-annual letter that was mailed to more than 310,000 subscribers, offering the DVD “The Antichrist and Spirit Wars.” Mr. Meredith is in the midst of taping segments for this year’s “Behind the Work” film that will be shown at the Feast of Tabernacles. Mr. Wayne Pyle reports that responses to the Tomorrow’s World television program have grown at an annualized rate of 16.5% each year for the last 12 years—which is very encouraging! Last Sabbath, 21 new people attended the Tomorrow’s World Special Presentation that I conducted in Austin, Texas. In Mexico City, 64 visitors attended TWSPs given by Mr. Mario Hernandez—and several thousand connected to hear his presentation via the internet (see below)! The month of July will be busy with pre-teen camps in Missouri and Texas and a Living Youth Adventure Program in Maine. Mr. Mario Hernandez will travel to Europe and Mr. Ames will give TWSPs in Chicago and Milwaukee. Next Tuesday, I will head to New Zealand and Australia to give TWSPs in Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth before heading on to South Africa and then back to Charlotte. Your prayers for all these efforts to serve God’s people and preach the Gospel will be much appreciated!—DSW

*Please read the announcement that Feast volunteer and activity registration begins this Sunday.

Church Administration
Tomorrow’s World Special Presentation in Austin

Greetings from warm and windy Austin, Texas where 21 hardy guests braved a record 105-degree day to attend last Sabbath’s Tomorrow’s World Special Presentation. Dr. Douglas Winnail flew in from Headquarters as guest presenter to deliver a very informative lecture on “What’s Ahead for America.” Thirty-six dedicated brethren hosted Austin's second TWSP (including two baptized members that began attending after Austin’s first presentation in 2008). Snacks and air conditioning were provided for a well-informed group of guests that eagerly sought additional Church literature. This week’s follow-up presentation will be conducted by South Texas Area Pastor Phil Sena, who will discuss “Where Is God’s Church Today?”—John Robinson

Spanish Update: Mexico City Presentations

Mr. Mario Hernandez was in Mexico City from June 9 through 20. On the Day of Pentecost, June 12, he presented to the public a live one-hour radio program about God’s Plan as revealed through the Holy Days. The congregation in Mexico City, as well as other brethren in Spanish-speaking countries, listened to the message as well via the radio station’s website. During his program, Mr. Hernandez invited listeners to request by phone an invitation to his Special Presentations the following Sabbath and Sunday, June 18 and 19. A total of 375 invitations were sent (325 by mail and 50 by e-mail). Sixty-four “new people” attended Mr. Hernandez’s two-part presentation, “ALove Story Written in Seven Chapters,” which elaborated on the theme of God’s Master Plan. In addition, 2,500 people on Saturday, and 3,500 on Sunday, connected to the live stream of these presentations via Justin TV and phone calls are still coming in requesting an audio recording of the presentations!

Caribbean Update

Mr. and Mrs. Fitzroy Greeman visited Guyana from June 3 to 7. On the Sabbath of June 4, 24 members were in attendance for services in Georgetown. Mr. Greeman gave two split sermons to the congregation, as well as lesson 20 of the Living Leadership Course. The following day, Mr. and Mrs. Greeman, accompanied by six other members, left Georgetown for a visit to two Amerindian villages, Aratak Village and Santa Mission, where a Feast activity is being planned.

Prayer Request: Sergio Carvajal

Our elder serving in Chile, Mr. Sergio Carvajal, has been suffering from diabetes for many years and, in the last few months, developed a foot infection that persists and is not healing. The tissue in his foot is now necrotic and he has constant pain. The doctors now fear the worst (possible amputation). Your fervent prayers for God’s powerful intervention for Mr. Carvajal’s health are appreciated.

God Protects His People: Attempted Robbery Account

On the Sabbath of June 11, God’s protection was evident for His people in Pensacola, Florida. The local congregation came out of Sabbath services to find that the establishment where they meet had experienced an attempted robbery. The robber entered the premises, held a gun to the head of the desk clerk, and afterwards ran off on foot. When brethren came out of the meeting hall, they found the parking lot full of police cars and the front lobby full of policemen interviewing the clerk. Many of the brethren there commented on how God had shielded and protected them by not allowing them to come out of the hall earlier. Thankfully no one was injured. It is wonderful to have God’s protection for His people during these troublesome times.—Joseph Brown

Omaha Flood

We have had several inquiries about flood waters in and around Omaha, Nebraska. There are two nuclear plants nearby on the Missouri River. The Fort Calhoun plant is situated 20 minutes north of Omaha. It is in cold shutdown due to refueling. Two “unusual events” have been declared—one due to the rising flood, and the other due to a fire. The Cooper plant to the south has also declared an “unusual event” due to the flooding. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is closely monitoring both plants. Although they are on the lowest level of alert, there are several inspectors at Fort Calhoun providing around the clock updates.

Senators from both Iowa and Nebraska have met with FEMA regarding flood insurance. Gavins Point Dam in southeast South Dakota is set to release 160,000 cubic feet of water per second. Residents in part of North Omaha have been told to prepare to evacuate, along with some of the residents of Council Bluffs, Iowa (across the river from Omaha), and Carter Lake, Iowa. We have just been told that one-third of the area of Paradise Lakes, near Bellevue, NE, has been evacuated. Today 660 were evacuated from Hamburg, a town in southwest Iowa near the Missouri and Nebraska state lines. Plattsmouth, Nebraska is trying to protect its water treatment plant, while portable toilets have been set up.

There are nine mobile pumping units keeping the road passable from downtown Omaha to the city airport. Eppley Airport is narrowly escaping closure. Many interstates, highways, and roads have already been closed and it appears that it will become more difficult to travel in the coming days. At this point, the brethren and their property all are safe. Prayers to our God for their continued safety are much appreciated.—Brian Pomicter

Feast of Tabernacles 2011
Festival (Second Tithe) Assistance Requests—U.S. Only (Repeat Announcement)

Attention U.S. Pastors: The deadline to submit Festival Assistance Request forms to the Church Administration Department is Friday, 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).

Feast Activity and Volunteer Registration this Sunday!

This is it! Activity and Volunteer Registration will begin this Sunday, June 26 at 12:00 noon Eastern Daylight Time. All brethren planning to attend the Feast of Tabernacles at LCG Feast sites in 2011 are encouraged to go back on the MyLCG website (www.cogl.org) on June 26 to sign up for activities and volunteer opportunities. This greatly helps the coordinators as they plan for the Feast. Festival Advisors are asked to assist those who do not have computers or Internet access. If you have any questions, please contact the Festival Office at festival@lcg.org.

Human Resources
Employment Opportunities: please review and announce the following job descriptions and openings.
Record Specialist
Record Specialist in Record Information Services. Candidate must be familiar with data entry and general office procedures. Duties include entering a variety of standard and/or complex coded or un-coded business and statistical source data into the computer; taking orders over the phone and routing office calls; reading, coding and routing mail. Job requires a high school diploma with 2-5 years of experience in the field or in a related area.

Anyone interested in this position in the Record Information Services Department should send a résumé to: Living Church of God, Human Resources Department, attention: Suzanne Pyle, PO Box 3810, Charlotte, NC 28227. Fax: 704-844-1973; e-mail: hr@lcg.org.

Secretary/Clerk (Repeat Announcement)
The Office of Legal Affairs and Risk Management is looking for someone to provide secretarial and clerical support in a very busy administrative office. Duties include: research; organize, maintain and archive files, working-copy binders, and unique information databases; schedule and/or track events, deadlines and required filings (for multiple organizational entities); interface with and assist field personnel; track contractual agreements, and other documents; assembling and analyzing information or data; produce correspondence and otherwise relieve the administrative assistant and the administrator of minor to moderately complex administrative and business detail by performing a variety of tasks. Ideal candidate is very organized and detail-oriented; able to work under pressure with moderate supervision, has good communication skills and is familiar with standard business concepts, practices, and procedures within a particular field, which could include: Business Management, Law, Banking, Insurance, Nonprofit Management, Property Management or Contract Administration. This is a position of trust and has a high level of confidentiality and discretion involved. An ideal applicant has a college degree and/or equivalent work experience (a minimum high school diploma with 2-4 years of secretarial or administrative assistant experience in a field will be considered). Experience as a secretary or clerk would be helpful, but is not required.

Résumés / CVs may be sent to Human Resources via e-mail at hr@lcg.org, or by fax to 704-844-1973.

Heads Up Podcast: “America’s Power Declines: Why?”
This week’s Heads Up podcast is titled “America’s Power Declines: Why?” with special guest Dr. Roderick C. Meredith. Download or listen at www.headsupshow.org. Heads Up is a weekly digital show that provides fresh perspectives and provocative answers to the underlying causes behind today’s news headlines, along with exciting and insightful commentary.

Thankful for the Truth? The Sabbath is a good time to reflect on an important question: Are you thankful for the Truth? If you are a long-time member or if you grew up in the Church, it is easy to take the Truth for granted! Yet, Jesus said that no one can come to a real understanding of the Truth unless they are called and their minds have been opened (John 6:44). The capacity to understand the plan of God, the purpose of life and the true way of life is a gift that God is making available to only a few at this time (1 Corinthians 1:26-27). These precious truths are a mystery to the world (1 Corinthians 2:7-8) because Satan—“the god of this age”—has blinded the eyes of most people (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). Jesus stressed that it is a great privilege to be given an understanding of the Truth (Matthew 13:10-17). The Apostle Paul said that to be called out of darkness into the light of the Truth is something for which we should be extremely thankful (Ephesians 5:8-20). Paul also mentions that when people reject or let go of truth that can be understood, they then embrace faulty ideas generated by human reason—and that brings serious consequences (Romans 1:18-32). Let’s never forget to be thankful for the opportunity to understand the Truth of God that “endures to all generations” (Psalm 100:1-5).

Have a profitable Sabbath,

Douglas S. Winnail

News and Prophecy—June 23, 2011

Allies Moving Away! “Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov and Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov are spending two days in Paris shortly after Moscow and Paris signed a deal for Russia to purchase two French Mistral-class amphibious assault ships.” This follows a deal where Germany has agreed to build a military training center in Russia, to train Russian troops. According to a recent report, “The Russian officials’ visit is a chance to very publicly emphasize the Mistral deal [worth $1.7 billion], a boon for the Kremlin that wants to signal the rest of Europe that it has a strong security relationship with France (part of its ongoing campaign to unsettle the Central Europeans and make them doubt the commitment of their West European NATO allies)” (Stratfor, June 21, 2011). Bible prophecy indicates that Russia will ultimately join an Asian coalition that will come against a European Beast power (Daniel 11:44-45; Revelation 16:12-16). However, prior to that event, this European power will bring a type of “peace” and economic prosperity to the earth—for a short time (Revelation 18:9-15). The actions of Russia, France and Germany appear to be severing a long-time European reliance on the United States and the West. Bible prophecies clearly state that as America and Britain (Israelite peoples) turn away from God, their former allies would begin to move away from them and eventually turn against them (Jeremiah 4:30; Ezekiel 23:5, 9, 22).We appear to be watching these ancient prophecies being fulfilled right in front of our eyes today!

Floods and Wildfires. The United States is experiencing disasters of biblical “extremes.” Much of the central U.S. is under water, as the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers and many of their tributaries overflow their banks and levees. Levees have been blown up and flood gates opened, flooding tens of thousands of acres of farmland and hundreds of homes, in order to spare larger towns “down river.” All this prompted one Army Corps of Engineers spokesman to comment, There’s never been a flood of this magnitude on the upper Mississippi” (USA Today, May 5, 2011). If record snow packs in the Rocky and Cascade Mountains melt too rapidly there could be additional devastating flooding. Meanwhile, 52 “major” wildfires are burning across the U.S. So far in 2011, more than 32,000 wildfires of various sizes have burned more than 7,000 square miles—an area larger than the state of Connecticut. This is about three million acres more than last year. Forecasts call for continued major drought conditions in western Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma, and eastern New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona (Reuters, June 22, 2011). Long ago God warned the rebellious Israelites, “I also withheld rain from you, when there were still three months to the harvest. I made it rain on one city, I withheld rain from another city. One part was rained upon, and where it did not rain the part withered… Yet you have not returned to Me” (Amos 4:7-8). Regrettably, this is exactly what is happening today, in a nation that is turning away from God and His ways!

The Oceans In Trouble. According to scientists at the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), “The health of the oceans is deteriorating far more rapidly than expected… they predict that marine life could be on the brink of mass extinction” (The Times, June 21, 2011). While scientists have been witnessing drop-offs in species population sizes for years, current numbers are far more extensive than originally understood. “The report warned that damage to marine life would harm its [the ocean’s] ability to support humans, and that entire ecosystems, such as coral reefs, could be lost in a generation.” The Bible reveals that God intended mankind to be wise and loving stewards of His creation (Genesis 2:15). Biblical guidelines are intended to “preserve” plant and animal species—for example, female birds were to be preserved to bear future generations (Deuteronomy 22:6-7). Today’s greed-driven fishing policies foster “over-fishing” that pushes species to the brink of extinction. The decline of one species then impacts other species. The sad story is that when we disrupt ecosystems and violate the natural laws that God has designed, there are serious consequences! The Bible reveals that Jesus Christ is going to return and put an end to the exploitation and destruction of God’s creation (Revelation 11:17-18; Romans 8:18-22). The ecosystems of this earth will be restored as a result of righteous government in the coming Kingdom of God (see Isaiah 35).—James Bennett and Scott Winnail

COGwriter 2011

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