Charlotte Announcements – 19 October 2013

Greetings from Charlotte,
While the United States Congress’ argument over the budget nearly shut down the government, a major earthquake (magnitude 7.1) devastated two islands in the central Philippines, killing at least 161 people and destroying thousands of buildings (thankfully, we have no members that were injured or suffered damage—see announcement below). In Europe, smoldering discontent with the EU could bring major changes to a continent that is also struggling with the effects of a financial crisis. Here in Charlotte, Dr. Meredith completed a co-worker letter that was mailed out to over 12,000 recipients. We are also working on plans for future Tomorrow’s World Presentations and next year’s Behind the Work film. Mr. Wyatt Ciesielka is in the U.K. for talks about the Internetand other matters. Mr. Hernandez’s first telecast on the new Spanish-language station that covers Central and South America aired this week. Last weekend, Mr. Sheldon Monson and I conducted a very positive Regional Conference in Winchester, VA.  This weekend, my wife and I will be in Pawtucket, RI for a congregational visit and other activities. Please keep Mrs. Meredith, and others who are facing serious trials, in your prayers.—DSW
Church Administration
Brethren Protected During Earthquake in the Philippines
Mr. Basilio Osillos and Mr. Felipe Casing report that all our members are safe from harm to persons or property by the severe earthquake in the Visayas region of the Philippines this week. The 7.1 magnitude earthquake destroyed or damaged malls, hotels, historic churches, bridges and roads and electricity was lost in the affected areas. It was felt with frightening strength in the homes of the brethren in the area but they were spared both injury and property damage.
2013 Charlotte Winter Weekend—Repeat Announcement
The Charlotte congregation will be hosting our annual family winter weekend event in December. Activities for all ages are being planned. Arrival will be Friday, December 20 and departure will be Tuesday, December 24. Bible Studies, Sabbath services, a dinner-dance and seminars will once again be held at the Renaissance Charlotte Suites Hotel. This upscale all-suite hotel was very popular with everyone who attended last year and is an excellent value. A special group rate of $92, which includes breakfast, has been negotiated at this hotel. We are once again going to be having a sports day with basketball and volleyball tournaments on Sunday, so start getting your teams together now. We will also have free-play courts, organized children’s games, and top it all off with a tasty lunch. On Monday morning there will be seminars for teens, singles, and married couples, followed by singles and youth activities in the afternoon. Visit our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/LcgCharlotteWinterWeekend, for more information and updates. Registration for the weekend should be open in the next couple of weeks. Pleasestart planning now to join us for a weekend of spiritual rejuvenation, fun, food and fellowship!—Jim Meredith
Internet Operations
Russian-Speakers Wanted—Repeat Announcement
Recently, God opened a huge door for us to preach the Gospel over Russian satellite to the entire Northern Hemisphere.  Inquiries have been coming in, not only from Russia, but also from Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and even from the United Kingdom and the United States!  To better handle the increasing response, we would like any LCG members who speak and write Russian and who may be interested in assisting us in Russian to contact Wyatt Ciesielka at wciesielka@lcg.org.—Wyatt Ciesielka
 
 
Living Youth Programs
Online Teen Bible Study—Friday Evening
The online Teen Bible study Friday evening, October 25, will be on “What Does the Bible Say About Speaking in Tongues?” and will be presented by Mr. Sheldon Monson. If you haven’t had the opportunity to join us for the online Bible studies yet, I encourage you to do so. It is a wonderful way to start the Sabbath Day.
The chat room is open at 7:30 p.m. (EDT) and the Bible study runs from 8:00-9:00 p.m. You can access this Bible study at livingyouth.org. We hope as many of our youth as possible will join us for this wonderful opportunity for godly fellowship and learning. For those of you who are unable to make it to the study, archives of previous Living Youth Bible studies, including last evening’s on “What Is the Unpardonable Sin?,” can be found on the Living Youth Web site.—Sheldon Monson
Feast of Tabernacles
2014 Israel Feast of Tabernacles Tour
The Feast of Tabernacles in Israel this year was an outstanding success and everyone who went thoroughly enjoyed it. In spite of the conflict in Syria before the Feast, God opened the doors for us to “go up to Jerusalem” to keep the Feast in the place where He had placed His name. We had a very full schedule each day, but were able to see and do many interesting things. From a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee to walking through the water in Hezekiah’s tunnel, to walking on the Temple Mount and standing on the Mount of Olives, the brethren were inspired and uplifted as the Bible came to life. Pictures of this year’s tour may be viewed on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/fotisrael2013. If you have ever wanted to visit the Holy Land, the 2014 Feast of Tabernacles is your opportunity for a trip of a lifetime. There is still room for more people on this tour. If you are interested in attending, please sign up now. Registration is still open on the My LCG page of the www.cogl.org Web site, but will be closing soon.—Jim Meredith
 
Living University
Call for On-Site Study Applications (U.S. only at this time): For those seeking a unique and exciting learning opportunity, Living University is now seeking applicants for on-site students to study full-time in Charlotte, beginning in the Fall semester of 2014. We hope to have several new male and female students with us beginning in August 2014! Applications can be initiated online through the university Web site. Additional details and requirements can also be found online, as can a rough estimate of costs associated with on-site study. We will have housing available for on-site students this Fall. With our on-site students, we are also looking for individuals who might have skills they can use to contribute to the Work or university, through part-time work study. We have work study opportunities available in several areas. If you are interested in on-site LU study and have questions, please contact us. At this time we can only accept on-site students from the U.S. Our hope is to expand this opportunity to international students in future years. Students interested should plan to have their applications completed and submitted by February 2014. Those with no previous college should submit college entrance test scores (ACT or SAT) along with other application materials and should plan to take that examination this Fall. You can find out more about these exams through a local High School guidance office or local community college or university testing service. If you have questions about on-site study or to find out more, please call or e-mail Dr. Scott Winnail at 704-708-2292 or swinnail@livinguniv.com.
Comments
Do You Love God’s Law? We live at a time when many professing Christians believe that the laws of God are a burden or are out of date or are simply unnecessary! Such ideas overlook the fact that God gave His laws to the nation of Israel so it could be a light and an example to the world (Deuteronomy 4:1-10). Negative ideas about the laws of God ignore the fact that David spoke of his love and delight in God’s laws (Psalm 119:16, 97, 127) and that David asked God to “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law” (Psalm 119:18). Many professing Christians also overlook Paul’s words that “the law is holy, and the commandment [is] just and good” and “I delight in the law of God” (Romans 7:12, 22). What many fail to recognize is that negative attitudes towards the law of God are part of a prophesied end-time apostasy by Israelite peoples who would “rebel” against the laws of God (Hosea 8:1). God warned end-time Israel, “I have written for him the great things of My law, but they were considered a strange thing” (Hosea 8:12). Many professing Christians will be surprised when Jesus Christ returns and places David and the saints—who loved God’s law—on thrones to teach His laws to the entire world (see Hosea 3:5; Isaiah 2:2-4; 30:20-21). This is the exciting future for those who love the laws of God!
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—October 17, 2013
China’s Ambitions and Prophecy: World events are pointing China towards the Middle East and the fulfillment of ancient Bible prophecies. As an emerging power with global connections, China’s future is linked to transport routes. More than 80 percent of China’s trade exports and energy imports—including vital shipments of Middle East oil—travel by sea lanes policed by U.S. naval forces (Stratfor.com, September 27, 2013). However, as the U.S. reduces its dependency on Middle East oil, it may also reduce its military forces in the region, causing China to move its own military forces into the region to protect sea routes vital to its national interests (Wall Street Journal, October 11, 2013). Since these sea lanes are vulnerable to interruption, China is also seeking to develop overland transport corridors to Europe and the Middle East along the fabled Silk Road through Central Asia. Overland railways—the Iron Silk Road—could serve as “possible lifelines for arms, munitions and energy” (Stratfor.com, September 30, 2013). Bible prophecies reveal that just before Christ’s return, a huge army from the east will move into the Middle East to engage a European Beast Power at Armageddon (modern Megiddo—see Daniel 11:40-44; Revelation 9:14-18; 16:12-16). Current events appear to be moving an ambitious China in this prophesied direction. For more information on these potentially significant events, read our booklet, Revelation: The Mystery Unveiled!
Will France Exit the EU?  In France, there is a growing frustration and distrust of the EU (The Connexion, January 1, 2011). A recent local election elevated the profile of the Front National party—a party “committed to withdrawal from the euro, the restoration of French franc, and the complete destruction of monetary union” (Telegraph, October 14, 2013). The party favors what some are calling a “Frexit” (an exit of France) from the EU. Although the Front National won only a local run-off election, a recent poll found that it is now the most popular political party in France (ibid.). While France may not leave the EU in the immediate future, the Front National’s win highlights changing political winds in France and the growing unrest with the Brussels-centered EU. Some experts suggest this recent local election win is just the “tip of the iceberg” (ibid.). For decades the Church of God has understood that the end-time European Beast power will be ten kings or nations who give their power to that Beast (see Revelation 17). Bible prophecies indicate that most Israelite-descended nations will be overcome by that Beast and not be part of it (Ezekiel 23:9, 22-27; Hosea 11:5-7; Amos 5:3). It will be interesting to see what France will do. For more on these powerful end-time events, be sure to watch our telecast on “End-Time Prophetic Events.”
Islam Clashes with Judeo-Christians:  Attacks against professing Christians are rising as instability in the Middle East increases. “A pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up outside a 130-year-old Anglican church in Pakistan after Sunday Mass, killing at least 78 people in the deadliest attack on Christians….” (Reuters, September 22, 2013). Many Christians are fleeing from Muslim nations. “In 1948 there were about 135,000 Jews in Iraq. Today less than 10 Jews remain… Since 2003, more than half of Iraq’s Christian population of 800,000 has fled… In 1948, there were some 100,000 Jews in Egypt. Today there are less than 50. Since late 2010, Egypt’s Coptic Christian community—8,000,000 strong—has been under assault—tens of thousands have fled” (Fox News, September 24, 2013). Muslim attackers blame Coptic Christians for the ousting of Mohamed Morsi, while Egyptian security forces use Christians as scapegoats (YNET News, October 13, 2013). Recently, “A Malaysian court ruled… that a Christian newspaper may not use the word “Allah” to refer to God, a landmark decision… that has fanned religious tension” (Reuters, October 14, 2013). Bible prophecy has long warned of a future war between an Islamic-led king of the South and a Catholic European king of the North (Daniel 11:40). The increasing attacks by Islamists against Judeo-Christians could soon reach a breaking point. For more information read “Islam: At War with Christianity?”—Scott Winnail, John Meakin and Justin Ridgeway