August 19, 2010

Greetings from Charlotte,
We have a number of very encouraging items to report this week. On Monday, Living University began its fourth year of operation with more than 200 students enrolled in classes for the fall semester. This is the highest enrollment we have had to date—with about 70% from the USA and about 30% from international areas. The Work’s income has continued to run about 4% above last year, for which we are very thankful.  Mr. Meredith held a number of meetings. Mr. Rod King taped two new Tomorrow’s World television programs—“What Is the Beast?” and “Seven Proofs God Exists”—before flying back to the UK on Thursday evening, and Mr. Hernandez will be visiting congregations in Mexico this weekend. Last Sabbath Mr. and Mrs. Ames visited our new congregation in Braselton, Georgia. Forty-seven visitors attended the Tomorrow’s World Special Presentations I made in Edmond and Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday and Sunday. I also enjoyed the opportunity to visit with many of the members in these congregations. Mr. Martin Fannin reports that 48 visitors attended the follow-up TW presentation he made in Knoxville, Tennessee—this was about 70% of the number of visitors for the first presentation—which is very encouraging ! (See report below). This coming weekend, Mr. Gene Hilgenberg will do follow-up TWSPs in Oklahoma entitled “Where Is God’s Church Today?” Your prayers are appreciated for all these presentations.
Church Administration
A member in Spain, Mr. German Nistal, wrote to us this week about God’s healing intervention in his life. More than one and a half years ago, he had a medical emergency and, as he was being transported in an ambulance, he asked the person accompanying him to contact the Church for an anointed cloth. He later found out that he had a serious heart condition that required a high risk surgery. The doctors said he could expect only a few months to live without the surgery, which he refused to undergo. Now, 18 months later, our member realizes that what saved him was having requested the anointed cloth. Last month he was personally anointed by Mr. Hernandez during his ministerial visit to Spain, and Mr. Nistal reports feeling much better. He wrote, “I believe that if God has brought this sickness upon me is to correct me and to try my faith. If He heals me, it will be for His glory, for by His stripes we are healed (1 Peter 2:24; Isaiah 53:5). And, if it is not His will [to heal me], what matters is that, when my time to “sleep” comes, I be watching and ready so that at Christ’s return I can be in the first resurrection and reign with Him for a thousand years and then for all eternity.”
Knoxville Follow-up Tomorrow’s World Special Presentation
Despite the sweltering Southern heat, the Gospel message was preached on the Sabbath of August 14 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Forty-eight visitors joined 33 members to attend a Tomorrow’s World Special Presentation.  The message was given by Pastor Martin Fannin, titled “The Return of Jesus Christ.”  Forty of the 48 visitors were returning after attending a TWSP the previous Sabbath where they had heard an insightful message presented by Evangelist Douglas S. Winnail titled “What’s Ahead for America.”  Dr. Winnail’s presentation laid a good foundation for the follow-up presentation.  The fruit was evident as some expressed the desire to begin attending weekly Sabbath services.  The Tomorrow’s World Special Presentations provide a direct opportunity to preach the Gospel message to prospective members.  Please continue to pray for the success of these events as we strive to finish the end-time Work.—Marc Nicholson
Spanish Update
Mr. George Schaubeck, from Costa Rica, who coordinates the mailing of the Spanish-language magazine, reported this week that the Church recently obtained a postage permit in that country which will allow us to mail the magazine without the need to affix stamps on each magazine. This significant development, although seemingly small, will save us valuable time in the mailing of our magazine El Mundo de Mañana (Tomorrow’s World)!
New Zealand Update
Mr. Kinnear Penman reports: [The Tomorrow’s World program] “You Can Understand Prophecy" has just set a record for number of responses here in New Zealand. So far we have had 355 calls (118 of them from first-time callers.)  This clearly beats the previous record of 319. Actually, to say we had 355 calls is not quite accurate. We did not count the high number of duplicate calls from people who phoned two, three and even four times to make sure we got the voicemail message. We are delighted.
Finance Department
Attention U.S. Ministers, Elders and Deacons (Repeat Announcement): In preparing for the Feast of Tabernacles, the Finance Department requests that you please submit October hall rental vouchers by September 8, 2010. Thank you for your help.
Feast of Tabernacles 2010
Panama City, Florida
Cruises: Attention all those who will be attending Panama City for God’s Feast of Tabernacles!  We are expecting to completely fill both of our cruises, so if you plan to participate in either the Dolphin Watch Cruise or the Shell Island Cruise, please purchase your tickets now to guarantee your place.  Also, the Senior Citizens Luncheon will be held on Friday, September 24, the second day of the Feast.  Those who want to attend must pre-pay for these tickets, since we must give the vendor a headcount 72 hours in advance.  It would be very helpful if as many brethren as possible would pre-pay for their tickets to all the activities.  We will hold Sabbath services in Panama City on the Sabbath after the Feast, October 2; please notify the site coordinator Jack Lowe at if you plan to stay over.
Activity Tickets: We are nearing the September 1 deadline for those wishing to purchase tickets in advance for the various activities at Panama City. To avoid having to wait in long lines to buy tickets at the site, we urge those who have not yet sent in their order form (found on the Internet either at or ) to mail in your order before the deadline. Orders received after September 1 will still be filled, but not mailed; they may be picked up at the Festival Business Office.

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon CDs (Repeat Announcement)
Reminder:  If you will be unable to attend the Feast this year, please ask your pastor to send in your name to receive a set of the Feast sermon CDs.  Note:  Feast sermons will also be uploaded (one per day) during the Feast at, for those who have Internet access.
Services Before and After the Feast of Tabernacles (Repeat Announcement)
We will also be putting together a list of where Atonement services, and weekly Sabbath services after the Feast, will be conducted so, if you are travelling to and from the Feast, you will know where you can attend while on the road.  When we put this list together, we will post it on the MyLCG website (  Festival Coordinators are also determining whether or not they will have Sabbath services following the Feast at or near their Feast site—please contact your Festival Coordinator for more information.
Speaking Schedules (Repeat Announcement)
United States and Canada speaking schedules for the Feast of Tabernacles have now been sent.  Most international speaking schedules have also been sent.  If you are on the speaking schedule, please begin preparing now for your assignment(s), placing special emphasis on giving meat in due season (2 Timothy 4:2), specifically on the Good News of the return and wonderful reign of Jesus Christ on earth!  Sermonette and sermon speakers: please submit the title(s) of your message(s) to your festival coordinator by September 1
Transforming Faith: The Apostle Paul urged New Testament Christians, “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:1-2). The word “transformed” comes from the Greek word metamorphoo which means a complete and total change—as when a caterpillar undergoes a metamorphosis into a butterfly! Jesus told potential Christians that they must repent (Gr. metanoeo) which involves learning to think differently and turn with sorrow from a past course of action when we realize it is wrong (Mark 1:14-15). As we regularly study and meditate on the word of God and ask God to help us change, we will develop more of the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5). As we make conscious decisions to think, talk and act as Jesus would—as we crucify the old self—Jesus Christ will be able to live His life in us (Galatians 2:20). This is the transforming faith that enables us to come out of the darkness of this age and become lights to the world (Ephesians 5:8-10).
Have a joyous Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail 
News and Prophecy—August 19, 2010
In U.S., New EU Ambassador Overshadows British. A London newspaper reports that Joao Vale de Almeida, the new EU ambassador to the U.S., has informed American officials that he should be regarded as “first point of contact for transatlantic discussions” regarding foreign policy and security issues because he is now “leading the show” among European representatives in Washington (The Daily Telegraph, August 12, 2010). Mr. Vale de Almeida occupies a post in the new EU diplomatic corps established by the Lisbon Treaty, and he states that “I am the first new type of ambassador for the European Union anywhere in the world.” In addition to the new EU ambassador claiming to speak for Britain and other European nations to Britain’s most important ally (the U.S.), some politicians are also suggesting that “the EU should take the place of countries like Britain and France at international bodies including the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund.” Concerned British officials see the new ambassador’s statements as evidence of Britain’s waning influence and “proof that the EU diplomatic service is usurping the powers “of nation states.” These new EU representatives confirm what Bible prophecies have long foretold: that, as a result of God’s people turning away from Him, God would “break the pride of your power” (Leviticus 26:19), God’s people would be displaced on the world stage by other nations (Deuteronomy 28:43-45) and, at the end of the age, many nations of Europe would surrender their sovereignty to a Beast power that will arise on the continent just before the return of Jesus Christ (Revelation 17:12-13). We appear to be watching these ancient prophecies coming true today!

Mistaken Assumptions About Democracy. Thomas Jefferson penned one of the great assumptions underlying modern democracies, “Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government”—yet this assumption appears to be highly suspect. The Boston Globe (July 11, 2010) reports a number of recent studies that found, “when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their ways.” This is because “we often base our opinions on our beliefs… [and] our beliefs can dictate the facts we chose to accept.” Another reason we reject some factual information is that it is often difficult and threatening to admit that we are wrong. Another study revealed, “the political ignorance of the American voter is one of the best documented data in political science” and that “misinformed people often have some of the strongest political opinions.” In fact, “the ones who were the most confident they were right were by and large the ones who knew the least about a topic.” Researchers conducting these studies see the assumption—that more information will ensure that people will change their minds—as “a potentially formidable problem” in a democratic system. In light of this research, it should come as no surprise that when Jesus Christ returns to set up the Kingdom of God, He will not come with more facts and pleasant words, but “with a strong hand” (Isaiah 40:10; Revelation 11:15-18).—Jim and Sue Bennett, Rodger Bardo, Douglas Winnail  

COGwriter 2010

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