Greetings from Charlotte,

We have had a number of exciting developments this week. This morning, Mr. Meredith approved moving to prime time (9:30 p.m. on Sunday evening) on the Vision television network in Canada. This is the first time this opportunity has been available to us! Please pray that this move will be beneficial and result in many new people contacting the Work of God. So far this month the income has shown about a 3% increase over last year—for which we are very thankful. Mr. Meredith has been writing this week and plans to tape the Last Great Day 2009 sermon tomorrow. We have also been working on some innovative approaches for future Tomorrow’s World Bible Lectures. My wife and I had a very positive and encouraging visit with the Ft. Lauderdale congregation last Sabbath. Mr. and Mrs. Crockett left today for a visit to the Seattle, Washington and Alaska congregations. Dr. Scott Winnail is currently in Trinidad and will be in Guyana for the Sabbath before coming back home on Monday.
This Sunday, July 26, Mr. Rick Stafford will be presenting a Tomorrow’s World Bible Lecture in Van Buren, Arkansas (Fort Smith area). More than 500 subscribers have been invited to attend his presentation titled, “What Is Ahead for the USA? How You Can Be Prepared!” Your prayers for a successful event are appreciated. Next week, Mr. Rod King will be visiting Headquarters to record new Tomorrow’s World television programs and to attend a Living University Board meeting on August 5.
Church Administration
Australasian Update
Mr. Bruce Tyler reports: “Thursday [July 16], we held the first meetings of our local Regional Ministerial Conference at our Regional Office in Clarendon. We have nine men and their wives in attendance, including Mr. and Mrs. Penman from New Zealand. It was a very successful day and we will continue the meeting tomorrow, Friday [July 17], and then again on Sunday before most will leave for home early next week. Next Thursday [July 23], Dayrell Tanner and I leave for a week of visiting in the Philippines before heading off to Malaysia, Thailand and, finally, Indonesia. Malaysia and Indonesia are predominately Islamic, while Thailand is Buddhist. We would appreciate your prayers for our safety during the three weeks while we visit our ministers and members in these areas. We hope also we may be able to visit Mr. Peter Devis and our members in Papua New Guinea sometime before the Feast.
Philippines Update
Mr. Gideon Benitez, Mindanao Area Pastor, reports: The families affected by the rice Tungro virus in the Maranding congregation would like to express their gratitude for the disaster relief fund afforded by the brethren around the world.
Spanish Update
New Radio Station in Chile: After not airing the radio program for several months in Santiago, Chile, this month we restarted transmitting it on the radio station 105.3 FM on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. We are offering our listeners the Spanish Bible Study Course, Tomorrow’s World magazine and booklets. We are excited about this door that has opened up to us again in South America.
Music Weekend in Columbia
Returning by popular demand, the Columbia, Missouri congregation is hosting the Second Annual LCG Music Weekend and Campout over Labor Day weekend, from September 4 through September 7.  Whereas last year focused on Bluegrass music, this year we are opening up the stage to a variety of styles, including singer-songwriters in the Church!  Everyone is invited. Amateur musicians, as well as those just learning, are encouraged to bring their own instruments for playing in the campground and around the campfires.  We will have a Bible Study and Sabbath services under the big tent and stage performances on Sunday.  As last year, we have reserved camping space for everyone at the Kan-do Kampground in Montgomery City.
More information will soon be forthcoming concerning costs, applications for stage time, and camping and housing information.  But mark your calendars now.  We are looking forward to an even bigger weekend than last year!—Wallace Smith
Internet Update: Twitter test a success
We are happy to report that our Twitter test was a huge success.  Three months ago we began posting updates regarding online content, as well as short bursts of news from the Church Web effort and other news of the Work.  Now Twitter is among the top 20 sources of traffic to the LCG website.  Almost 40% of the people coming to the website through Twitter are coming to our website for the very first time
Twitter is a real-time social messaging utility that has rapidly grown in popularity to become one of the top 50 most popular websites in the world.  Maintaining a presence on Twitter provides the Church with yet another method of reaching the world with the message of the coming tribulation and the good news of the soon-coming return of Jesus Christ to establish the Kingdom of God.  You may follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/lcginfo.  We look forward to seeing you online!—J. Charles Ogwyn
Foundations of Friendship: We all want to have friends, yet sometimes we lack the skills to achieve this goal. The Bible provides important guidelines for building real friendships. Solomon advised that to have friends we must be friendly (Proverbs 18:24), we must treat people with kindness and have pure motives (Proverbs 22:11), and be supportive of others in their time of need (Proverbs 17:17). True friends will tell you the truth and offer wise counsel; they will not use flattery or spread gossip (Proverbs 27:6, 9, 14, 17). Real friends are gracious, hospitable and concerned about the needs of other people (Acts 27:3). True friendship involves being willing to make personal sacrifices for others who have needs—Jesus Christ was willing to lay down His life for people He called His friends (John 15:13). He said we can become His friends—if we will follow His instructions and His example (John 15:14-15). This is how Abraham became a friend of God—by believing and obeying God (James 2:23). As Christians, let’s strive to become kind, caring and friendly people.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail     
News and Prophecy—July 23, 2009
Pope Reasserts Primacy of Catholic Church. Pope Benedict XVI has again asserted the universal primacy of the Roman Catholic Church in a document stating his position that Orthodox churches were defective and other Christian denominations were not true churches (AP, July 10, 2009). The document echoes statements made by Benedict that set off a firestorm of criticism when he was the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In the current document, Benedict asserts that Jesus established “only one church” on this earth, and that other communities cannot be properly called “churches” because they do not have apostolic succession—the ability to trace their bishops back to Christ’s original apostles—a claim that is disputed by facts and scholars. Pope Benedict also states that the major defect of Orthodox churches is that they do not recognize the primacy of the pope. His actions to revive the ancient Tridentine mass has upset many Jews because it includes a prayer for the conversion of the Jews (StarTribune.com, July 10, 2009). While commentators recognize the pope is restating standard Catholic teaching, few seem to realize that the Bible speaks of a religious organization with doctrinal ties to ancient pagan Babylon that views itself as the one true church (Isaiah 47) and that this church will play a prominent role on the world stage at the end of the age (Revelation 17).   
High Places Brought Low. Around the globe, luxury hotels are powerful icons of American power and wealth. Last Friday, two American-based luxury hotels were bombed in the business district of Jakarta, Indonesia. The blasts erupted in the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels. Authorities suspect suicide bombers in these bloody acts that initially killed nine people and wounded fifty (AP, July 17, 2009). Long ago, God warned that due to the sins of the Israelite-descended nations, “I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars, and cast your carcasses on the lifeless forms of your idols: and My soul shall abhor you” (Leviticus 26:30). Today, luxury hotels are literally “high places” that often tower above urban landscapes. They are visible symbols of wealth and opulence that are frequently located in nations and among peoples who live in real poverty. These towering luxury hotels are constant reminders of what many do not have and what a small number of affluent people are able to enjoy. It is encouraging to know that Jesus Christ in going to return to this earth and establish a Kingdom of peace and justice for all mankind (Isaiah 9:6-7). He will bless and bring abundance to the nations that choose to obey Him (Isaiah 60:1-12). Do you see the need and are you earnestly praying for that day—“Thy Kingdom come”?
Episcopal Leaders Reject Scripture. The recent vote by leaders of the Episcopal Church in the United States to allow people in same-sex “marriage” to be appointed to all orders of its ministry has been called by a conservative Episcopalian bishop a “unilateral departure from the Christian faith and practice” (OneNewsNow, July 17, 2009). Dr. Kendall Harmon asserts that the “new theology” of the Episcopal Church is “leading young people astray” and is “causing confusion about the nature of marriage.” Other clerics note the rejection of biblical teachings against homosexuality is causing an exodus from that church. Long ago, Jeremiah warned, “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture” (Jeremiah 23:1). We are seeing these words come to pass today!—Scott Winnail and Syd Attenborough     

COGwriter 2009

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