October 14, 2010

Greetings from Charlotte,

Reports from the Feast continue to come in with many commenting that this was one of the most spiritual and inspiring Feasts ever!  Attendance figures indicate that well over 8,000 brethren attended the Feast this year at 45 locations around the world.  This week, Mr. Meredith held meetings and is writing a co-worker letter that should be mailed early next week.  Mr. Apartian has been released from the hospital and his pneumonia has cleared up.  He is currently undergoing physical therapy and is doing better.  Living University classes have resumed after the Feast break and we are preparing to announce classes for the Spring Semester.  Mr. Gerald Weston is conducting five Tomorrow’s World Special Presentations this week and two more next week in the Ontario Province in Canada.  Mr. Roland Lecocq will conduct a TWSP this coming Sabbath in Geneva, Switzerland, and I will be in Louisiana next weekend to conduct TWSPs in Lafayette and Baton Rouge.  Please keep these presentations in your prayers. 

Church Administration 

Little Rock, Arkansas Family Weekend 

The Little Rock congregation invites you to our annual “Family Weekend” planned for January 14-16, 2011 (Martin Luther King Day weekend).  Events will begin with a Friday evening Bible Study on January 14.  After Sabbath services, we will enjoy a theme meal and a costume dance followed by a Sunday brunch and more fellowship.  Events will be at the Church meeting hall in Sherwood and some local housing will be available.  Additional details will be announced and posted at www.lcgarkansas.com (not an official Church website) soon.  Please e-mail Wyatt Ciesielka at wciesielka@lcg.org or RSVP with any questions. 

Upstate South Carolina Spring Holy Day Weekend  

The Anderson, South Carolina congregation is pleased to announce that we will be hosting the fourth annual Upstate South Carolina Spring Holy Day Weekend from Friday, April 22, 2011 to Monday, April 25, 2011.  Current planned events include: a Friday evening Bible Study; regular Sabbath services on Saturday afternoon; a banquet and dance Saturday night;  a 5K race, softball game, and picnic on Sunday; and two services on Monday, the Last Day of Unleavened Bread.  Services and the dinner/dance will be held at the premier convention hotel in downtown Greenville, the Hyatt Regency where we have secured excellent room rates and meal prices. Details about the event will be posted online at: www.lcg-anderson.org (not an official Church website). Registration will begin in early January 2011. For further information, contact Manuel Burdette at 864-638-7719 or by e-mail at mhburdette@gmail.com. We look forward to seeing you in Greenville for the best Spring Weekend ever! 


Goals for the Coming Year:  In the book of Proverbs, Solomon advised, “Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established.  Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your foot from evil” (Proverbs 4:26).  As we return from the Feast, inspired by the sermons and fellowship, it is a good time to think about setting goals for the coming year.  What changes would you like to make or do you need to make to improve your relationship with God or your family or other individuals?  What can you do to improve your physical or spiritual health?  What can you do to serve God and others more effectively?  How can you prepare now for the Kingdom of God?  The Apostle Paul urged Christians to “walk circumspectly [carefully, diligently]” and make the most of the time at your disposal (Ephesians 5:15-16).  Peter exhorted his audience to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).  What books can you read, what classes can you take, what topics can you study in the Bible, and what experiences can you arrange that will help you grow and prepare for the Kingdom of God?  Set some worthwhile goals for the coming year so that you can grow to be a truly profitable servant of God! 

Have a wonderful Sabbath,

Douglas S. Winnail

News and Prophecy—October 14, 2010 

Church of England’s Easter Egg Plan. In an attempt to put Christ back into Easter, the Church of England plans to sell chocolate Easter eggs that mention Christ on the packaging. Church leaders hope the packaging will remind people of the alleged connection between Christ and Easter and promote the “real” meaning of Easter.  A news article acknowledges, “the exchange of eggs at Easter has its roots in pagan ceremonies celebrating renewal, the custom was adopted by Christians, symbolizing not only new life but also the boulder that sealed Christ’s tomb” (Times online, October 1, 2010). Yet, this same article fails to state that the Church of England has neglected the warnings of the LORD Jesus Christ about blending pagan practices with the worship of God. The Bible clearly states that we should not learn the ways pagans worship their gods and then worship God in the same manner (Deuteronomy 12:30-31), and that we should not worship the sun rising to the east (Ezekiel 8:16)—a clear reference to the origins of the Easter Sunrise Service. It is worth asking, “Is this newest venture by the Church of England to publicize Christ, something God would truly be pleased with, or are the Shepherds of Israel using it to further lead people astray?” (see Ezekiel 34).    

Squeezing Out the U.S.?  Last Autumn, a British newspaper reported, “In the most profound financial change in recent Middle East history, Gulf Arabs are planning—along with China, Russia, Japan and France—to end dollar dealings for oil, moving instead to a basket of currencies including the Japanese yen and Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new, unified currency planned for nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council, including Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar. Secret meetings have already been held by finance ministers and central bank governors in Russia, China, Japan and Brazil to work on the scheme, which will mean that oil will no longer be priced in dollars.” One Chinese banking source also predicted the Russian ruble would be brought into the “basket” of currencies in the future too. The deadline for converting completely away from the dollar is now eight years away—2018. Obviously missing from those “secret” financial meetings were the bulk of European nations—including Germany and Britain (Independent, October 6, 2010). Little has been run in the popular press since, but this past summer China detached itself from the bilateral exchange rate with the U.S. dollar, instead choosing to compare itself to a “basket” of other currencies. One reason was to deflect attention away from the U.S. dollar (Reuters, July 22, 2010). Nations of the world are increasingly concerned about the U.S. dollar and spiraling U.S. sovereign debt. The U.S. debt is also acting to polarize nations and even drive some nations together—for example the gulf nations. The Bible makes clear that debt can move one from a position of leadership to one of being a servant (Proverbs 22:7). We appear to be watching this global power-shift occur.  

Tornados in Arizona?  Tornados are most common in the American mid-west—in an area known as “tornado alley.” Yet, last week, four tornados touched down in the mountains of northern Arizona, bringing the destructive power of 100-mile-per-hour winds. Normally, Arizona averages four tornados per year. “‘The hammering that northern Arizona is getting right now is exceptional,’ said National Weather Service meteorologist Ken Waters in Phoenix. ‘It’s not uncommon this time of year to have one or two tornado reports or a warning, but this is quite an outbreak’” (Associated Press, October 7, 2010). This severe weather is not the beginning of the end, but appears to be in keeping with unusual “severe weather” events that are happening with increasing frequency around the globe. As prophecy marches on, God will allow powerful events to impact the world—like earthquakes and famines (see Matthew 24:7-8) and alternating rains and drought (Amos 4:7). These will be just the beginning, as God gains the attention of the nations so they can choose to repent.—Adrian Kaefer, Sue Bennett and Scott Winnail