21 July 2011

Greetings from Charlotte,

It is good to be back home in Charlotte! The trip to New Zealand, Australia and South Africa was very profitable. The response to the Tomorrow’s World Special Presentations was beyond our expectations and the attendance for most of the follow-up presentations has been encouraging. It was also very inspiring to see and experience the warmth and dedication of our leaders and members in the countries “down under”—yet it was also sobering to hear the concerns of members and visitors about the uncertain conditions that these nations face looming on the horizon. Here in Charlotte, Mr. Meredith held a number of meetings this week and he taped his Opening Night message for the Feast of Tabernacles. Mr. Ames has written a powerful and informative co-worker letter that was mailed this week to subscribers. Mr. Wayne Pyle expects 5,400 responses to Mr. Ames’ program “End-Time Prophetic Events,” offering Revelation: The Mystery Unveiled! Mr. Jim Meredith is now at Headquarters to fulfill his new duties in the Festival Office and as Mr. Roderick Meredith’s personal assistant.Mr. Hernandez is in Switzerland and will be preaching in Geneva this Sabbath. Mr. and Mrs. Rod McNair will be attending the annual Family Weekend for the Wyoming congregations. Mr. and Mrs. Ames will be visiting congregations in the Atlanta, Georgia area this weekend, and I will be in Louisville, Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio for two more Tomorrow’s World Special Presentations. Your prayers for these activities will be appreciated.—DSW

Church Administration
Update on Mr. Sergio Carvajal

We have received the following update from Mr. Sergio Carvajal, Jr.: “My father had a very difficult week. He was scheduled to be transferred to ICU; thanks to God’s intervention, his liver started functioning and the pneumonia started leaving his body, but sometimes he has trouble breathing and needs oxygen. The doctor told us that… one part of his heart is not functioning and that he started to have arrhythmia. Doctors are working on this also. The rest of his problems: high glycemia, high blood pressure, kidney problems and the diabetic foot wound are being treated. We still have a long way to go, but we have prayed to God for help, especially for my father and my mother, to help them with all the treatments and the wound in his foot. The three hospitals he has been to have told us that he needs his right foot amputated.”

Tomorrow’s World Special Presentations

Chicago and Milwaukee: In Chicago on July 16, 55 enthusiastic members greeted 35 visitors, 27 of whom had heard Mr. Ames’ message the week before. Many guests nodded in agreement during the presentation explaining, “Where Is God’s Church Today?” Just as last week, many guests stayed long after to visit with members. We are very excited by the number of guests who mentioned sincere interest in attending weekly services! Please pray that these enthusiastic prospective members follow through on this magnificent opportunity and join with us in this great Work.

We had nine visitors in Milwaukee on July 17, every one of them having attended Mr. Ames’ presentation the week before. We had one guest who attended the weekly service in between the presentations and there are some others who we are hopeful will attend weekly with us. Overall, the presentations succeeded in providing a powerful witness to those attending as well as providing a spiritual boost for all the brethren. I would like to publicly thank all the brethren who served tirelessly to make the presentation such a success!—Phil West
Adelaide, Australia: Adelaide had 23 visitors and 57 members for the follow-up presentation on July 16, which gave us a total of 80 in attendance. There was only one visitor who didn’t attend the first lecture, that I’m aware of. I’m not sure how many will come this Sabbath but do anticipate half a dozen at least—time will tell. —Robert Tyler
Perth, Australia: I am pleased to report that we had a very successful follow-up presentation at 2:00 p.m. last Sabbath, July 16. We had 38 “new” people and 37 of our own congregation attend. Most of the new people stayed on and enjoyed a chat after the follow-up presentation, and many of them asked questions about doctrine and the Church over a cup of tea. We were able to invite some to Church, and organize visits with others. It was a very successful afternoon, and exciting for the brethren to see the extent of interest that is obviously in and around Perth. We look forward to wonderful growth in the future.—Mal Jennings
Melbourne, Australia: Mr. Michael Gill reports that in spite of having their coldest winter in many years, 30 visitors and 58 members attended the follow-up Tomorrow’s World Special Presentation in Melbourne, for a total of 88 people. All the visitors were returning guests from the first presentation.

Personal Hymnals: One Week Left! (Repeat Announcement)

Personal hymnal orders are due by July 31. If you would like to order a personal hymnal, please go to the website: http://hymnals.lcg.org. The cost per hymnal is $11, including shipping. If you don’t have Internet access, please contact your Festival Advisor, who can download a paper form for you to fill out and mail in directly. Personal hymnal orders must be received by July 31.
Brethren from International areas—if you would like to order a personal hymnal, please contact your Regional Office for specific instructions in your area.

Living Youth Camp

Our Living Youth Camp for our teens in the Church is fast approaching. We anticipate having a full program, with more than 90 excited campers and staff! In order to help answer any questions about camp, and give an overview of what to expect, an “Online Parents Meeting” is scheduled for Sunday evening, July 24, at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. For the meeting location and login information, go to our Youth Website (www.livingyouth.org). If you, as a parent of a camper, have any questions in mind ahead of time, please send an e-mail to Mr. Jonathan McNair at jmcnair@lcg.org. In addition, there will be an important “Online Staff Meeting” at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday evening, July 24. All LYC staff should make every effort to attend this meeting, which will be held in the same online meeting room as the parents meeting. Again, refer to the Living Youth Website for more information. See you there!—Jonathan McNair

Feast of Tabernacles 2011
Feast Registration: One Week Left! (Repeat Announcement)
All brethren: Please sign up for Feast of Tabernacles activities and volunteer services by July 31.This is important so that Festival Coordinators can adequately plan for the activities at each Feast site. If you are having difficulty registering, please see your Festival Advisor. Please contact your Festival Coordinator for information regarding payment of activities. If you haven’t already signed up, please log on to MyLCG (www.cogl.org) and sign up for the activities of your choice. Thank you!


Heads Up Podcast: “Tomorrow’s World: Behind the Scenes”
This week’s Heads Up podcast is titled “Tomorrow’s World: Behind the Scenes,” with special guest Mr. Wallace Smith. Download or listen at www.headsupshow.org.


Watch and Be Ready! Today, we live in a mentally overwhelming world where a multitude of distractions compete for our attention. Television, computers, e-mails, iPods, jangling music, jobs and family concerns constantly pull our minds in different directions. Yet, the Scriptures warn that Christians must be alert and watch for the convergence of events that will mark the end of this age and the imminent return of Jesus Christ. The admonitions to be alert and watch appear more than a dozen times in the New Testament (see Matthew 24:42-44; 25:13; Mark 13:33-37; Luke 21:34-36; Acts 20:31; 1 Thessalonians 5:6). The events making news today—droughts, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, spreading violence, wars—converging at the same time that we see the revival of a political power in Europe with definitive links to the ancient Roman Empire and promoted by an ecumenical-minded Roman Church, should be sobering to anyone with a knowledge of Bible prophecy. These developments should motivate us all to grow spiritually and prepare for roles we have been called to fill in the coming Kingdom of God. We also need to remember Jesus’ warning that if we do not watch, we will not be ready for His return (Revelation 3:3). However, Jesus also promised “Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching …Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Luke 12:37-40).

Have a profitable Sabbath,

Douglas S. Winnail

News and Prophecy—July 21, 2011

Religious Confusion in Canada. For three years, Muslim prayer services have taken place in a Toronto public school during school hours—catering to the student majority who are Muslim. Because of the press generated by the situation, an examination of Ottawa schools recently revealed that about a dozen public schools also allow Muslim prayer services during the school day. When questioned about the issue, school officials claimed, “As a public school board, we have a responsibility and an obligation to accommodate faith needs.” Yet at the same time, these school boards have banned recitation of the Lord’s Prayer because it “indoctrinates” children with one religious view. When religious leeway in public schools is granted to Muslims, but denied to Christians and Jews, this causes great consternation. Still others are concerned because secularism is not being practiced, thus schools are failing to reinforce the notion that they are “godless shrines of learning” (National Post, July 5 and 12, 2011; Ottawa Sun, July 16, 2011). Like the United States, Canada was founded on biblical principles. Yet, over the years the nation has drifted away from God. Today, the once-God-fearing Canadian society is giving greater privileges to unbiblical and pagan religions. Long ago, God prophesied this would happen, “Has a nation changed its gods, which are not gods? But My people have changed their Glory for what does not profit…you have forsaken the Lord your God” (Jeremiah 2:11-19). “…Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, learn to do good” (Isaiah 1:16-17). This is one more sign that the end of the age is approaching.
Hezbollah Gains More Power in Lebanon. Amid the congratulatory speeches in Israel last week, surrounding the fifth anniversary of Israel’s second Lebanon War, Lebanon received delivery of advanced ballistic missiles from Syria. These missiles have the range to reach Israel, Jordan, and parts of Turkey. (DEBKA, July 20, 2011). Earlier this week, Hezbollah-supported Shiite Major General Abbas Ibrahim, was confirmed in the post of Lebanon’s General Security Director. This very powerful and extremely sensitive position will afford Hezbollah unprecedented access to high levels of security in Lebanon (The Daily Star [Lebanon], July 20, 2011). At least one conservative news source views these events as occurring almost unbeknownst to the Israeli military leadership (DEBKA, July 20, 2011). None of Israel’s Arab neighbors are pleased that Israel controls Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. Bible prophecies indicate that the nations surrounding Jerusalem will eventually besiege the city and that half of the city will go into captivity (Zechariah 14:1-2). Jesus also warned of a time when Jerusalem would be surrounded by Gentile armies and eventually “trodden under foot” by them (Luke 21:20-21). We are witnessing events now that will eventually lead up to this frightening time of the end of this age. For more information on this eye-opening subject, review our booklet on The Middle East in Prophecy.
New Sexually-Transmitted Superbug. One of the most common sexually-transmitted diseases, gonorrhea, has once again morphed into a more powerful foe. Reuters soberly reports, “The new strain of the sexually transmitted disease—called H041—cannot be killed by any currently recommended treatments for gonorrhea, leaving doctors with no other option than to try medicines so far untested against the disease.” The new strain was identified in Japan—where most new gonorrhea strains are discovered. One infectious disease expert predicts that it should become globally transmissible in the next 10-20 years. Sexually-transmitted diseases usually spread from Japan, to South-East Asia, to Africa, and then to the rest of the world. Treatable sexually-transmitted diseases like gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia account for over 300 million cases annually—roughly equivalent to the entire population of the United States (Reuters, July 11, 2011). Thousands of years ago God set forth a code of conduct that, if followed, would completely prevent sexually-transmitted diseases. That code of conduct is the Ten Commandments—which prohibits adultery (Exodus 20) and the related sin of fornication (1 Corinthians 6:18-20). When sexual relationships are confined within godly, monogamous marriages, the risk of such infections dips to virtually zero! These biblical principles are actually the real key to eradicating these dangerous infectious diseases. For more information on this important topic, see our free booklet, The Ten Commandments.—Charles Moore, John Meakin, James Ginn and Scott Winnail