Greetings from Charlotte,

It is very encouraging to hear that ministers around the U.S., Canada and other places are reporting an increasing number of new contacts and new visitors to services. When times become difficult, people begin to look for answers and for reasons for the problems they see. Most of the religions of this world simply do not have convincing answers—yet, God has revealed many of the answers and reasons to His Church. This week, Mr. Meredith and Mr. Ames have both taped new television programs. Mr. Meredith’s telecast, titled “2010 in Prophecy,” offers the booklet Prophecy Fulfilled. Mr. Ames’ program, titled “The Missing Message,” offers the booklet The Holy Days: God’s Master Plan.  Dr. Germano and I have also taped lectures for Living University classes. Mr. Wayne Pyle reports that this was the first week since we started on the two new networks, ION and CW Plus, that we broke the 4,000-response mark—which is good to hear! This weekend, I will be in Long Island, New York for services and to conduct a mini-conference for the leaders in the Northeast. Mr. and Mrs. Crockett will be in Arkansas—hopefully, they will remember to return to Charlotte!
Church Administration
Subscriber Healed from Feet Problems
The Regional Office in Canadaconveys an encouraging note from a subscriber, relating how she was healed from problems with her feet after requesting an anointed cloth. She wrote, “Many thanks for the letter containing the anointed cloth and your prayers for my healing… I spent so much money on my feet at foot specialists and doctors.  This problem was with me for many years.  Now when I step on the floor and walk on my feet, I ask myself, ‘Is this for real?’  Yes it is real.”
Los Angeles Wildfires
Mr. Darrell Lovelady reports: Los Angeles County is experiencing its largest fire in more than 100 years.  It has burned an area over 200 square miles and as of Thursday, September 3, is only 35% contained.  God’s people have been spared from any damage or harm.  Most communities in the area are now safe; however, it is expected to be weeks before the fire is completely under control.  The following is part of a message my wife sent to someone last Tuesday, September 1, regarding conditions during the worst part of the fire:
“….We are still in our home.  We have to run the air conditioner to be able to breathe and not feel like we are smokers.  I see large ash falling everywhere… Since Thursday, we have seen fire on the San Gabriel Mountains behind our home. Saturday, a mandatory evacuation was declared four blocks north of us. Last night (Monday) and this morning the fire looks worse.  We are hearing the constant drone of helicopters overhead as they fight the fire.  We have our suitcases packed, computers in the van, along with our important papers, boxes of pictures, etc. ready to go just in case we receive the call to evacuate. Jim and Susan Meredith were in a similar situation earlier in the week.  They have not had to evacuate either; however, just north of them everyone was told to get out. I just pray we will all be safe and the long term effects of breathing in the smoke won’t be a problem, especially for the kids. We have curtailed any outside activities. The smoke is thickest in the morning.  By the afternoon, the wind seems to shift and clear the valley to some degree....”  
We are very thankful for God’s protection in this situation.  We also appreciate everyone’s prayers and concern.
Successful Tomorrow’s World Lecture Presented in Dublin
Irish Elder Henry Cooper reports that “The Dublin, Ireland congregation is truly rejoicing at the success of a Bible lecture delivered there by Regional Pastor Rod King on the Sabbath of August 29. Some 880 invitations were sent out to the current TW mailing list. Fifty-three guests, representing a response rate of 6%, joined 21 brethren from both Northern and Southern Ireland to hear Mr. King speak on Ireland’s very rich history from a biblical perspective, and on what lies ahead. The Irish people have a particularly lively interest in their nation’s past. Asked if there was interest in having a follow-up, about 75% of the audience responded positively.”
Mr. Rod King adds, “What surprised us was how far some of the attendees travelled. A man from Galway said to me that two and a half hours was not that far to travel.  Others travelled from County Kerry some four hours to the west.  Our lone member from Donegal also came three and a half hours.  People from Cork travelled the same distance. The subject, ‘What Is Ahead for Ireland?’ gave me plenty of scope to tie in some fascinating historical facts from books that I have acquired over the last 25 years.  It was great to be able to introduce the Firbolgs, Tuatha de Danaan and the Milesians as well as the hope of Dan in Genesis 49:18, ‘I have waited for your salvation, O LORD.’ Henry Cooper will be back next Sabbath to speak about ‘Conditions Leading Up to Christ’s Return’ and I will return on September 12 for a third lecture on ‘What is a True Christian?’”
Successful Tomorrow’s World Lectures Held in Lagos
Dr. Oladele Akin-Ogundeji, our deacon in Nigeria, presented a series of Bible lectures in Lagos from August 28 to 30. He reports: “…our Father in heaven blessed the Public Bible Lectures held in the locality where we meet for worship services in Lagos. The lectures were promoted through a banner displayed on the wall of the meeting place and about 120 handbills were distributed in the area. The sitting capacity was 10 and we expected about seven people. We had five people in attendance from the locality. These were people who never heard about the true Gospel nor knew about any of our publications. We covered issues on ‘What Really Is Salvation?’ They were all surprised about what they were hearing us say, but could not refute the truth they read over and over in the scriptures used. They asked some questions which reflected their current, albeit erroneous, beliefs; they were answered with revealing scriptures. We hope to hold the next series of lectures in December.”
Chicago Tomorrow’s World Presentations Begin to Produce Fruit
Mr. Phil West Reports: We had six visitors for the first Sabbath after the lectures in Chicago.  They were very enthusiastic and stayed until we were forced to leave the hall!  It was truly inspiring for me and for the brethren.  There very well could be more coming in the future, as I expected at least two other ladies to attend that did not show up last Sabbath.
Jamaica Update
Mr. Las Fraser reports: In July, three ladies from the Kingston congregation were baptized into the Body of Christ, and last Sunday one man, also from the Kingston congregation, was baptized…. On August 29, we had combined Sabbath services in Kingston with 92 in attendance—the highest in a few years. After services, we had a covered-dish meal and, after the meal, Mr. Palmer and I conducted Living Leadership Course Lesson #17, with 78 in attendance.
Feast of Tabernacles 2009
CDs for Those Unable to Attend/Greeting Cards 
Attention USA Pastors: We are sending you next week the “Unable to Attend” list for the United States (those who will be receiving the Festival sermon CDs), so you can check the list and make any corrections or additions, as needed.  Please note: This will also be the list we make available to our coordinators to build a list of greeting cards to send to those unable to attend; the cards will be displayed at each Information Table at the Feast.
Material for Information Tables
In addition to other items of local interest at your Feast site, our Information Tables this year should have other materials to distribute, such as:  Living University materials, “TomorrowsWorld.org” bumper stickers, and Feast of Tabernacles coloring books for the kids! These items, and others, are being sent to the Festival Coordinators for distribution at the Feast.
Branson, Missouri
Housing: For those who may not have made housing reservations in Branson for the Feast, the Thousand Hills Golf and Conference Resort, a very nice property which has an ample supply of condominiums and cabins at competitive prices, welcomes our attendees and solicits our business.  When calling for reservations, please identify yourself as being with the Living Church of God to obtain the group rate. The resort’s contact information is:
Thousand Hills Golf Resort (condos and cabins)
Price range (per night): $76 to $270 (+ tax)
Office address: 245 S Wildwood Dr., Branson, MO 65616
Website: www.thousandhills.com
Reservations: 877-262-0430 (mention “Living Church of God”)
Distance to the meeting hall: less than 1 mile (0.9 mi)
Sunset Beach
Pre-payment for Activities:  We are asking all brethren attending the Feast in Sunset Beach to please pre-pay for the “paid” activities.  You can find a complete list of planned activities, prices, and the downloadable payment form on the MyLCG section of the www.cogl.org website (under the “Sunset Beach” information).  The deadline to submit checks and payment forms is September 15, 2009.  Please make checks payable to “Sunset Beach Festival Activity Fund,” and send your check with the filled-out form to:  Living Church of God, Attn: Dorothy McNair, 2301 Crown Centre Dr., Charlotte, NC 28227.  Note: Some have asked if tickets for activities can still be purchased at the Feast.  Tickets may be purchased on-site, if space is available.  But seats on the cruises and the 1st Day Luncheon are going fast; so, if you are interested in attending these events, act now!  If you don’t have Internet access, please consult your Festival Advisor.
Piano Players (Repeat): We would like to know of any additional pianists attending the Feast in Sunset Beach.  If you are a pianist and would be willing to play for hymns, special music, or accompanying the chorale, please contact Mr. Rick Thomas at 305-725-3314 or at rthomas@npesystems.com.
Spanish or Sign Language Translation:  We would like to know of those who will need Spanish or Sign Language translation at the Feast this year in Sunset Beach.  If you will need these services, please contact Mr. Rod McNair at rmcnair@lcg.org.
Holy Day Offering Envelopes (USA)
By now, all members in the USA should have received a set of green Holy Day offering envelopes with the member’s name, address and Personal Identification Number (PIN) printed on them. Please use these preprinted envelopes for Holy Day offerings.  By doing this you will save the Work money and facilitate processing. If you have not yet received Holy Day envelopes, please contact us at donations@lcg.org or jruddlesden@lcg.org, or call 704-844-1970 and we will mail you a set of preprinted envelopes.
As you plan for the Holy Days and consider your offerings, please remember that the Holy Day offerings make up about 20% of the total income of the Work, which makes them a vital part of the resources needed to accomplish the mission we have been given to do.—Davy Crockett
Loose Bricks or Big Picture? Many who come into contact with the Church of God and the Work of God are excited to learn the Truth for the first time! Others who return are grateful to reconnect with the Truth. Unfortunately, some who are part of the Church become disgruntled and begin to compile lists of what they think are problems in the Church—misspoken words in a sermon, interpersonal issues, editorial oversights, supposed doctrinal changes, policies they do not understand or do not agree with, etc. As a result, some conclude, “This cannot be God’s Church because of all these problems!” However, we need to remember that Satan is the “accuser of our brethren” (Revelation 12:10), and he will try to spread doubts and discord wherever he can (Galatians 5:20). If we get upset and critical we can become unsuspecting instruments in Satan’s hands. We must be alert to this possibility (1 Peter 5:8-9). We need to remember that David, Samuel, Peter and Paul had their shortcomings, yet God used these imperfect human beings to do His Work. Before we get critical, we need to recognize the fact that the Gospel of the Kingdom and salvation through Jesus Christ is being preached around the world through Tomorrow’s World television program, magazine and the Internet. Millions are being warned about sobering events that are just ahead. Lives are being changed. Thousands are being prepared to rule with Jesus Christ. This is the BIG PICTURE we need to keep in mind—instead of focusing on loose bricks!
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—September 3, 2009
Other “gods” before God. For two more weeks, the remains and ornate coffin of Catholic Saint Terese of Lisieux will travel through England as worshipers flock from near and far to view it, touch its enclosure and offer up prayers to the “saint.” Although this former nun died one hundred years ago at age 24, some call her one of the “best-loved saints of the 20th century.” St. Terese’s remains have traveled the world and been viewed, adored, worshipped and prayed to by Catholic faithful in more than 40 nations. According to some, her remains have even restored sight to the blind. Approximately two million turned out to see St. Terese’s remains when they were in Ireland (The Independent, August 23, 2009). Yet, the first Commandment of the Ten is “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3). Yet a world-church of more than a billion people teaches its adherents to pray to the dead. God warns that, at the end of the age, a powerful individual, influenced and/or possessed by Satan himself, will come on the scene with “power, signs and lying wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:9). This “lawless one” will actually make himself out to be God! Could Satan also use the bones of the dead to draw additional attention to a world-church and its religion—and also allow signs to be done through touching the relics of the dead? We should not be surprised if “miracles” like this begin to occur in the near future!
Will Nothing Be Impossible? A team of U.S. scientists from the Venter Institute in Maryland recently built its own DNA code for a “new” organism and apparently transmitted the DNA code into a living organism, according to the journal Science. In essence, the team embedded the genetic material for a new, never-before-existing, bacterium into a host yeast cell and the cell and DNA survived. Scientists now predict “synthetic life could be created by the end of the year… The aim of the research is to make new microbes that can perform useful jobs, such as to produce biofuels, clean up toxic waste, and soak up carbon. But there are worries that man-made organisms could escape the laboratory and harm the environment, or rogue scientists could exploit the technology to create new kinds of deadly bacteria” (Telegraph, August 21, 2009). DNA is the central “computer code” for all life on the planet. It is the most complex information storage system known to man. Man is now learning to reprogram DNA to get desired results, and apparently implant that DNA into host organisms. The potential for this technology is exciting, earth-shattering and sobering. This new technology puts us at the cusp of awesome, yet terrifying advances. God’s reason for confusing the languages at Babel was to prevent man from doing anything “that they propose to do” (Genesis 11:6-7). Are we coming to the point where man will accomplish anything, unless the days are cut short (Matthew 24:22)? 

Irresponsible Stewardship. The South Gyre is an area of the Pacific Ocean 1,000 miles (1600 km) off the coast of California where oceanic currents and winds converge and deposit surface materials. This is also the location of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch—a “sprawling mass of garbage-littered water… where most of the plastic looks like snowy confetti against the deep blue of the north Pacific Ocean.” Researchers are unsure of the exact impact on ocean life, but some estimate that plastic rubbish is responsible for the death of at least 100,000 sea creatures annually. Thankfully, plastics are biodegradable. However, in breaking down, they give off toxins to the surrounding environment (AP, August 28, 2009). When God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden, He charged them with being responsible stewards of His creation—to tend and keep the garden (Genesis 2:15). Human beings have failed in this responsibility and hence the whole creation is groaning for a time when it will be delivered from this bondage to human sins (Romans 8:19-22). We need to be concerned and cry out on behalf of humanity and creation, “...Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20).—Scott Winnail, Ellis Noll and Sue Bennett

COGwriter 2009

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