22 July 2010

Greetings from Charlotte, 

We have more very encouraging news to report this week!  More than 120 visitors attended last weekend’s follow-up Tomorrow’s World Special Presentations (TWSPs)—50 in Dallas, Texas; 54 in Trinidad; and 20 in Roanoke, Virginia (see reports below).  More than 6,000 calls have been received for last weekend’s Tomorrow’s World program by Mr. Wallace Smith titled “Seven Signs of the Antichrist,” which offered the booklet Who or What Is the Antichrist?  We have also been notified that Mr. Ames’ Tomorrow’s World telecast titled “You Can Understand Prophecy” has received an award (see below).  Mr. Rod McNair reports that Church attendance in both the USA and International areas for June was 9-10% higher than a year ago.  Mr. Ruddlesden also reports that the year-to-date income is running just ahead of the projected income—for which we are very thankful.  This week Mr. Meredith has been writing and holding a number of meetings.  Dr. Scott Winnail has retuned to Charlotte after very positive visits to congregations in Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad.  Mr. Sheldon Monson reports that the Adventure Program backpacking trip in the Rocky Mountain National Park went very well—the excitement included braving a sudden snowstorm and close-up views of elk in the wild!  This weekend I will be heading south to conduct TWSPs in Thomasville, Georgia and Lake City, Florida.  We greatly appreciate the efforts that local congregations are making to organize and support the TWSPs.  Please continue to pray that God will bless these efforts to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. 

Church Administration 

Dallas Tomorrow’s World Follow-up Special Presentation   

Mr. Gary Stein reports: We had a total attendance of 120 for Mr. Dan Hall’s follow-up Special Presentation in Dallas last Sabbath.  There were 50 Tomorrow’s World subscribers, including 20 first-time attendees.  Mr. Hall delivered a powerful message regarding “Where Is the Church that Jesus Christ Built?” and talked about the characteristics that make up the real Church of God.  Many commented on how friendly and welcoming the members were and that they planned to attend next Sabbath!  Afterwards, guests stayed and enjoyed refreshments and fellowship for another two hours, obviously excited about hearing the Truth and identity of the real Church of God—what a great day!  

Roanoke Follow-up Tomorrow’s World Special Presentation 

Mr. Paul Shumway reports: We had 20 guests and 30 members for a total of 50 in attendance.  Thirteen of the guests attended the first presentation and seven came for the first time.  Three men drove three hours to attend!  We announced Sabbath services at 10:00 a.m. at the same location.  Three or four said they planned to come. Others said they might… fifteen members are planning to attend. I want to add the comments that Mr. Sam Shrader sent me: “What a wonderful day!  Twenty guests were present... Most listened intently and followed along in their Bibles as the characteristics of God’s true Church were expounded.  The message was received with much interest and excitement... Several expressed an interest in attending services this Sabbath!  The 30 brethren present were once again encouraged by witnessing God’s Spirit at work!”   

Trinidad Follow-up Tomorrow’s World Special Presentation  

Dr. Scott Winnail reports: The trip to Trinidad was a profitable and blessed one by God. Last Sabbath was excellent and we continued with Mr. Ames’ trend of setting records in that we had a “new” record attendance of 110 for services. The follow-up Special Presentation also went very well. We had 54 “new” attendees—that is “non-members.” By a show of hands, I would guess that more than 50% of these were at Mr. Ames’ presentation on Sunday, July 11. In addition, we had 87 members present—for a total of 143 total attendees. A number of us had conversations with individuals who have a sincere interest in at least visiting us on a future Sabbath. We also may have some who may return to our fellowship after these presentations. God willing, He will spiritually protect these individuals as they attempt to further align their lives with Him. 

Blessing of Children Miracle 

Mr. Paul Shumway reports: This week we saw a powerful demonstration of the results of the “Blessing of Little Children.”  Our daughter, Tammy Loy, took her children swimming.  Kaylen (almost two) recently learned to go down the seven-foot waterslide by herself.  Tammy was standing next to the slide and watching as her daughter reached the top.  Suddenly, Kaylen slipped and fell toward the concrete deck seven feet below.  Mommy saw her baby fall in slow motion.  As she reached out to catch her, to her dismay, she saw Kaylen slowly slip between her hands and land face down on the concrete.  Horrified, with a sick feeling in the pit of her stomach, she was afraid to pick her daughter up and face the damage.  Dutifully, she did so.  Kaylen cried for a short time, but didn’t appear to be seriously hurt.  Except for a miniscule spot of blood in her mouth, there was no damage—no broken teeth, no broken nose, no cut lip, no concussion, no scratches, bruises or anything!  Within a short time, Kaylen was back to the slide—this time holding Mommy’s hand!  There was no doubt that those present had just witnessed a divine miracle! 

London Church Picnic 

Mr. Rick Stafford reports: On Sunday, July 18, the combined London congregations enjoyed their first annual summer picnic. Members and guests rejoiced as the families played, ate and fellowshipped for five hours in London’s  beautiful Waterloo Park. Friendly competition included a giant jump rope contest (record 65 jumps!), bean bag horse shoes, volleyball and badminton. Everyone was so enthusiastic that the London congregation is already planning to sponsor another picnic at the end of the summer. 

Visit to Peru 

In late June, Puerto Rican elder Raúl Colón visited congregations in Peru. He met with brethren in Lima on the evening of June 24, before baptizing Mr. Rafael Pareja in the Rimac River the following morning and heading to Cerro de Pasco with four other members to conduct Sabbath services on June 25. Sixty members were in attendance, including children. Some had traveled from Lima, Huancayo, Tactayoc and Ambo to hear the good news that Mr. Colón delivered through an inspiring sermon. After services, the brethren enjoyed a meal together and in the evening Mr. Colón performed the wedding of Josmel Palma and Esther Bravo. The celebration had 450 guests and it lasted until 5:00 in the morning! On Sunday, Mr. Colón visited with brethren from Ambo, Huancayo and Tactayoc until noon, before returning to Lima. On June 28, Mr. Colón flew back to Puerto Rico.  

Columbia Third Annual Music Weekend (Repeat Announcement) 

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 

Living University 

Fall Semester 2010 Registration 

As we prepare for the Fall semester of Living University, here is a highlight of two more courses being offered. We encourage you to take the opportunity to develop even more spiritual understanding by taking one of the many courses offered by LU this Fall. This week we are highlighting THL 421—History of Christianity I and THL 427—Working with Christian Youth. For more information and to register for classes, please visit us online at www.livinguniv.com or call Dr. Scott Winnail at 704-708-2292. 

THL 421—History of Christianity I  

This course deals with the history of professing Christianity from the first century to the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation. Focus will be placed on the growth and development of professing Christianity during the early centuries in the Mediterranean World as well as its expansion into Europe and the East.  

THL 427—Working with Christian Youth
This course deals with developing, organizing, and coordinating Church youth programs. Emphasis is on the development of Christian values in youth and adolescents. Additional focus will be placed on understanding how to effectively work with, encourage, and motivate the youth.

Living Youth Camp 

Teen Camp 2010—Pennsylvania 

We are in the final preparations for Living Youth Camp 2010.  All campers, parents and staff: please review your packing lists and make sure that you have submitted all your paperwork.  We will be having an overnight “adventure hike.”  It would be useful to bring a day pack along for that trip.  For other packing reminders and information on “all things camp,” go to www.livingyouth.org today. See you soon!—Jonathan McNair  

Adventure Program 2010—Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado 

Twenty-eight campers and staff members participated in the Rocky Mountain National Park Adventure Program July 6-15, 2010.  We spent five days in the backcountry, including a day of rest, complete with Sabbath Services.  We began this challenging 40-mile backpacking trip at Bear Lake Trailhead (9,475 ft).  From there, we climbed the steep ascent up and over the top of Flattop Mountain Trail (12,324 ft) before dropping down the other side on our way to Grand Lake (8,540 ft).  Once we arrived at Grand Lake, it was time to circle around and hike back across the park, and up and over the steep pass once again, before descending back down to Bear Lake.  The adventure included hiking in a snowstorm at 12,000 feet; hail, rain, thunder, lightning, and sunshine.  We viewed and photographed several moose, herds of elk, fox, marmots, and rainbow trout.  The clear mountain streams, waterfalls, and cascades were spectacular!  The final two days of camp included fabulous weather for whitewater rafting, and the 29-mile mountain biking trip down trail ridge road.  We thank God for His protection and for giving us strength to accomplish this tough and demanding adventure! Campers and staff:  We would appreciate having digital copies of your photographs to post on the youth website.  Please send your photographs to smonson@lcg.org. Stay tuned for next adventure!—Sheldon Monson 

Feast of Tabernacles 2010 

Coordinators Meeting 

The Festival Office, in conjunction with the IT department, conducted a successful Web meeting on Wednesday, July 21, with coordinators from around the world.  CAD Director, Dr. Douglas Winnail, opened the meeting reminding the coordinators to focus on the meaning of the Feast as they make preparations.  Budget policies and deadlines were also discussed, as well as ideas on how to use the Feast to teach parents to guide and educate their children.  The coordinators also reviewed policies in the Festival Coordinators manual, discussing specific situations and how to handle them effectively.  It was exciting and inspiring to see 18 coordinators from six different countries—the United States, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Trinidad and  Tobago, Canada, and Australia—see and hear each other through the Internet, though states, countries, and even (in some cases) oceans apart! 

Speaking Schedules 

Feast of Tabernacles speaking schedules were reviewed last Thursday morning by Dr. Roderick C. Meredith for final edits and approval.  After we make the final last-minute edits, we should be able to send the speaking schedules to those concerned.  

Panama City, Florida 

For brethren attending the Feast of Tabernacles in Panama City: the activity ticket order form is now online!  Send in your order soon, because some activities have limited space available. To order your tickets, follow the instructions on the form, and then mail it along with the appropriate payment. Please note that if you have Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer, you can fill in the form online and it will automatically calculate your ticket costs.  If you prefer, you may fill in the form by hand after printing it.  The Panama City activity ticket order form can be found online on the Festival Registration area on www.cogl.org or on the LCG Atlanta website at www.lcg-atl.com/PanamaCity_Tickets.pdf (not an official Church website).   

Branson, Missouri 

Festival Music Help: Our expected attendance in Branson has grown to 600 people, but we do not have many volunteers for musical service!  We still need volunteers to serve as Choir Director, Children’s Choir Director, and piano players.  Also, if anyone is interested in performing special music, joining the Festival chorale, or serving musically at one of our luncheons, please contact us, as well.  Contact the Branson Festival Coordinator, Wallace Smith, at wsmith@lcg.org or at 513-898-9601.—Wallace Smith 


I am happy to announce that Mr. Richard Ames’ Tomorrow’s World telecast titled, “You Can Understand Prophecy,” has been awarded the Aurora Platinum Best of Show / Competition Award from the 2010 Aurora Film & Television Awards. This is the highest award that the Aurora Awards presents. In fact, according to the numbers from the Aurora Awards, only a very small percentage of the entries received are judged, and awarded at the Platinum level. Congratulations to the presenters of the Tomorrow’s World Television Program—Dr. Meredith, Mr. Ames, Mr. Wallace Smith and Mr. Rod King on their Platinum Aurora win! While we are not doing the Work for human awards, it’s nice to have an independent, professional panel of judges working in the film and television industry, gauge the overall impact and quality of our telecast. The judging committee actually made notes complimenting the effectiveness of the program, calling it “excellent” three times. We know that any excellence with the telecast comes from He who is The Most Excellent—God!  We know that God is guiding His Work through correct government, and the tremendous leadership He has chosen—under Jesus Christ and Dr. Meredith. Time is short brethren, and the time is now—let’s fully surrender to God and His will, and let’s finish the Work while it’s still day!—Thomas Baca II 


The Importance of Wisdom:  Solomon wrote that of all the things we gain in this life, “wisdom is the principal thing” (Proverbs 4:7).  The Bible reveals that wisdom “is more precious than rubies” because it leads to real happiness and a long and honorable life (Proverbs 3:13-16).  Jesus Christ applied this instruction as He grew to manhood, because we are told in the Scriptures that as He grew up, He “increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52).  The Apostle Paul urged Christians to use wisdom when dealing with other people (Colossians 4:5-6).  While we can learn lessons from the school of hard knocks, there really is a better way to learn!  The key to gaining wisdom is to learn to fear God and live by every word of God (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10).  We are instructed in the Scriptures to ask God for wisdom (James 1:5-7), to seek wisdom by studying His word daily (Deuteronomy 4:1-10; 2 Timothy 3:15) and listen to older and wiser people (Proverbs 10:1; 15:7; 18:15; 22:17).  If we follow these instructions, we will become more like Jesus Christ and our wise and loving Father in heaven (Romans 16:27). 

Have a profitable Sabbath,

Douglas S. Winnail

News and Prophecy—July 22, 2010

Britain Returning Home.  Britain currently maintains 140 embassies and “high commissions” in nations and principalities throughout the globe. Although many of Britain’s former colonies have been sovereign nations for decades, Britain has maintained prime real estate in these nations through tiny tracts of land that are technically “British soil”–in the form of embassies and high commissions. Faced with mounting deficits, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office may need to cut its budget by up to 40% over the next four years. Thus, many of Britain’s embassies or high commissions will be either paired down or completely closed, greatly reducing Britain’s international presence. Consulates are vital for securing trade and investments and also for protecting British citizens around the globe. But, under new EU regulations, many of these historically sovereign responsibilities are being handed over to Brussels. Plans are also being made to sell or lease many of these embassies and residences (Times, July 15, 2010). Britain once claimed that the sun never set on her empire, and embassies have kept that claim still partially alive. However with their close and sale, Bible prophecies continue to be fulfilled.  God blessed the descendants of Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) who became a fruitful vine whose branches trailed over the wall and whose influence spread around the world (Genesis 49:22). We are now witnessing the sobering removal of this influence, as “high places” and “high commissions” are lost—because the Israelite nations have turned their back on God and His commandments (Leviticus 26:14-30). 

China Oil Spill.  Oil began spilling into the Yellow Sea late last week due to a burst oil pipeline in the port city of Dalian, China. Initial reports estimated the flow to contain 400,000 gallons—considerably smaller than the BP situation in the Gulf of Mexico, but large enough to prompt scientists to suggest major environmental implications. Experts now appear uncertain about the actual amount of oil spilled. Dozens of oil skimmers have worked to clean up the oil. Hundreds of fishing vessels have also been armed with straw mats to absorb the oil. Some eyewitnesses described the oil slick as “…half-solid and half liquid and is as sticky as asphalt” (Associated Press, July 21, 2010). Although China’s spill is far smaller than the on-going Gulf oil spill, it still harms God’s creation. Photos from the spill punctuate the Apostle Paul’s observation regarding the current state of the suffering creation “…because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now” (Romans 8:20-23). Mankind continues to demonstrate poor stewardship and lack of respect for the creation over which God gave us dominion in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 1:28). God speed the day when Christ and His saints will rule the earth and usher in a time of righteous government that truly cares for the creation as God intended from the start.

Egyptian Water Wars Continue.  For some time, nations with expanding populations that border the Nile River have wrestled over rights to its life-giving waters. Until recently, Egypt has threatened military action against the upstream nations of Sudan and Ethiopia if they attempt to reduce the flow of water coming to Egypt.  Recently, Egypt took this so-called “nuclear option” off the table and stated they want to work with other nations to reach agreement, offering aid in order to cool tensions. Egypt is also trying to work with Sudan in order to capture more water that the two nations are currently losing due to faulty systems (Al-Ahram Weekly Online, July 8-14, 2010). However, Bible prophecies describe Egypt’s water supply from the Nile River being cut off. Isaiah foretold, “the river will be wasted and dried up… And everything sown by the River will wither, be driven away and be no more. The fishermen also will morn…” (Isaiah 19:4-10). This event could occur due to drought, but as we are seeing, God may use other nations to punish Egypt at the end of the age.—Scott Winnail, Jim and Sue Bennett