Charlotte Announcemnts – 10 August 2013

Greetings from Charlotte,
 
While many view August as a time for vacations, world events and Bible prophecy continue to march ahead. Europe is still struggling with its economic problems that could eventually bring major changes in the EU, and Germany will hold elections in September. The Arab world continues to seethe in ferment that will eventually give rise to a King of the South. China’s economy is contracting, but its military is growing. Russia is increasingly at odds with Europe and America—and the Israelite nations continue down the toboggan slide of moral decline. Here in Charlotte, Dr. Meredith has been writing and holding meetings. The Family Camp in West Virginia was a very positive event (see below); the Teen Camp in Ohio is going very well. Last weekend 62 visitors attended the Tomorrow’s World Presentation in Concord, California (San Francisco Bay area). Next weekend, Mr. Wallace Smith will make a TWP in the St. Louis area. Living University classes will begin next week and the Fall Holy Days are just around the corner. Let’s continue to pray that God will watch over His people and bless His work.—DSW 
 
 
Church Administration
 
San Francisco Bay Area, California, Tomorrow’s World Presentation
 
The Concord, California, congregation hosted a Tomorrow’s World Presentation on August 3. An attentive and excited audience of 93 (62 guests and 31 members) were in attendance. Dr. Jeffrey Fall, Regional Pastor, gave an eye-opening presentation entitled, “The Gathering Storm.” He painted a very vivid picture of the ascension and demise of ancient Israel and parallels to this present society. Following a brief intermission, Area Pastor Harold Way addressed the subject of “God Promises—You Can Be Protected!” The audience was reminded that there are blessings for choosing life and punishment for choosing death. God’s Plan includes protection and blessings for those who choose life. Most of the visitors remained long after the presentations to enjoy refreshments, fellowship and ask questions. Several guests expressed a desire to attend weekly Sabbath services while some asked for visits and counsel.—Harold Way
 
 
Television Department
 
Russian telecast already producing results! 
 
The Russian language Tomorrow’s World telecast and Russian Web site are already producing results, including literature requests and contacts from throughout Russia, Kazakhstan, and other Russian speaking nations!  Additionally, MarketWatch just ran a press release about this recent major satellite television expansion!  Read the exciting press release, and see how God continues to open major new doors for His Church to preach the Gospel all around the world. The link to read the MarketWatch article is:  http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tomorrows-world-tv-program-now-airs-in-russia-2013-08-07.—Wyatt Ciesielka, Television Department
 
 
Living Youth Programs
 
West Virginia Family Pre-Teen Camp
 
Twenty-seven campers and 30 parents/staff members just completed a fabulous week at the LYC Camp in Princeton, West Virginia. It was truly inspiring to see God’s powerful hand in the program—the unseasonably gorgeous weather, the wonderful teamwork and unity and the bountiful growth displayed in our youths and parents. Highlights included a barbecue with homemade ice cream and sing-a-long at the amphitheater in the woods; the delicious, wholesome food; novelty Olympics; final banquet and fun show; and the camper all-stars and Team Challenge on the final day. The new Team Building class was a huge success as well as our regular classes of Canoeing, Archery, Guitar, Life Lessons, Line Dance and Camp Improvement. (When the camp custodians came to clean up after camp, they commented that we were the cleanest camp of the summer—they didn’t have to do a thing!) 
 
One verse of Psalm 23 was covered each day in Christian Living Class and special bookmarks were awarded to each individual who could recite Psalm 23 by the end of camp. Most of the campers and over half of the parents/grandparents/staff received the award! Even one four-year-old mini camper could successfully recite the entire psalm by the end of camp! Most agreed that this was our best year yet and we look forward to next year. Our Good Shepherd was certainly kind to us in pouring out His blessings in such abundance!—Paul Shumway
 
 
Feast of Tabernacles 2013
 
Feast of Tabernacles Speaking Schedules Sent!
 
The last remaining speaking schedules are being sent out for this year’s Feast of Tabernacles. Opening Night is only a little more than five weeks away!  Contact the Festival Office if you have any questions.  Thank you to all of our speakers for their service to God’s people at this year’s Feast!
 
 
Feast of Tabernacles Sermon CDs—Repeat Announcement
 
Attention Pastors: Please send Mrs. Dorothy McNair, at cad@lcg.org, the names of those in your congregation(s) who will be unable to attend the Feast and who will need to receive the Feast of Tabernacles sermons on CD. The deadline to submit these requests is August 15 for international recipients, and August 30 for recipients in the U.S. Note:  Feast sermons will also be uploaded (one per day) during the Feast at www.lcg.org, for those who have Internet access.
 
 
Tithe of the Second Tithe—Repeat Announcement
 
For those who are able to contribute a tithe of their second tithe to help defray the expenses involved in conducting the annual Holy Days, including the Feast of Tabernacles, it would be greatly appreciated if this contribution could be sent at this time (if it has not already been sent). The tithe of the second tithe is used to help brethren with limited funds attend the Feast of Tabernacles, as well as to pay for hall rentals and other administrative costs associated with the annual Holy Days.—Jerry Ruddlesden
 
 
International Travel
 
When planning international travel, whether for the Feast of Tabernacles or at other times of the year, it is wise to learn about safety risks and steps you can take to minimize them. We suggest you check for travel advisories for each country you are visiting. (Keep in mind that sometimes travel warnings only apply to a section of a country. Please read the advisory in full and pay attention to the date the warning was issued.) The U.S. State Department posts current travel warnings on their Web site at http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_1764.html.
 
U.S. citizens may want to register their itinerary with the U.S. embassies in each country they are visiting. (Web sites of U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions may be found at http://www.usembassy.gov.) U.S. citizens may also want to sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, at http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/registration/registration_4789.html. This is a free online service that helps the State Department contact you in case of an emergency while you are traveling.  
 
Traveling internationally is a wonderful learning opportunity and can be done safely!—Sue Meredith, Travel Department
 
 
Finance Department
 
Hall Rentals (U.S.): October hall rental vouchers should be faxed to Accounting at 704-841-1922 or mailed (Attn: Accounts Payable) by September 1 to ensure processing before the Feast of Tabernacles.
 
Reimbursements (U.S.): Please note that our last scheduled day to print reimbursement checks will be Thursday, September 12. We will not be able to print any checks again until Thursday, October 3. Any invoices we receive before September 10 will be paid before the break. Any invoices we receive after September 10 will not be able to be paid until October 3. If you have any questions about specific invoices or payments, please contact Haley Ridgeway in Accounts Payable at 704-844-1960 ext. 2236 or send e-mail to accounting@lcg.org.—Jerry Ruddlesden
 
 
Living University
 
Living University – Classes Start Wednesday!
 
We are excited to announce that Living University classes will begin this coming Wednesday, August 14. Those planning to take an LU class should register now and order the necessary text books. For those who have never taken a Living University course, you will need to enroll in the University first, and then register for your selected course. A complete listing of “2013 Fall Semester Courses” (Spring in the Southern hemisphere) can also be viewed on the Living University Web site. To make application to Living University, to register for courses, and to find out more, please visit the www.livinguniv.com Web site. For additional information, please contact Mrs. Michelle Broussard at mbroussard@livinguniv.com or 704-708-2294.
 
 
Comments
 
 
Redeeming the Time: The Apostle Paul urged brethren in Ephesus to consider God’s will and live purposefully, making the most of every opportunity to grow to become more like Jesus Christ—“because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16). The Ephesians lived in a bustling port city that was the home of the great pagan temple of Diana. The city was filled with temptations to distract and disorient individuals striving to live a Christian life. Jesus also warned believers against being sidetracked from spiritual goals by the “cares of this world”—the pursuit of money, material things, romance and fame (Matthew 13:22). These strong admonitions are still important today. As Christians living in the “latter days,” we have a commission to warn this world of a coming judgment and preach the gospel of the coming Kingdom of God (Matthew 24) and to prepare to reign on earth as kings and priests and teachers with Jesus Christ (Revelation 5:10). This is why we are urged to “come out” of this increasingly evil world (Revelation 18:4) and to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). As the world hurtles towards the climax of this age, let’s stay focused on our mission and make the most of the incredible opportunity we have to prepare for what lies ahead, and not be pulled off course by the temptations of this world.
 
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
 
 
News and ProphecyAugust 8, 2013
 
Gibraltar: More Sabre Rattling.  Tensions are escalating between Gibraltar, Spain and the U.K. over the future of this key piece of real estate. The U.K. has controlled Gibraltar for 300 years under the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht (Daily Mail, July 29, 2013), and as recently as 2002, Gibraltar residents rejected a return to Spanish rule (ibid.). However, the Spanish recently began searching all cars leaving Gibraltar, causing six-hour traffic jams, and restricting movement of many Spanish citizens who work and/or live in Gibraltar (ibid.). Spain’s Prime Minister also threatened to close Gibraltar airspace and impose an entrance and exit fee of €50 to and from the peninsula—an action that would breach EU rules of freedom of movement (Deutsche Welle, August 5, 2013). Referring to the Spanish threats, Gibraltar’s non-British chief minister stated these words “are more reminiscent of the type of statement you would hear from North Korea than from an EU partner” (ibid.). Bible prophecies have long warned the relationship between nations of the final Beast power would be like “iron and clay” (Daniel 2:41-44). Prophecies also indicate that Israelite-descended nations like Britain will not be part of the final Beast power, but will be taken into captivity by it (Isaiah 5:9, 13-15; Jeremiah 30:3-15)! While God promised the descendants of Abraham and Jacob would be given possession of the “gate of their enemies” if they obeyed (Genesis 22:17; 24:60), those gates will eventually be lost as a result of disobedience (Deuteronomy 28:47-57). Gibraltar is one of two sea gates remaining in Israelite hands, but it may soon go! For more on this topic, read our informative article, “Sea Gates in Peril.
 
Papal Permissiveness for Homosexuality?  Returning from his World Youth Day visit to Brazil, where he was treated like a rock star (The Telegraph, July 27, 2013), Pope Francis held a press conference where he “reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church’s position that homosexual acts were sinful, but homosexual orientation was not” (BBC, July 29, 2013). “Pope Benedict XVI signed a document in 2005 that said men with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be priests. But Pope Francis said gay clergymen should be forgiven and their sins forgotten” (ibid.). Cardinal Timothy Dolan later clarified the Catholic teaching, “Homosexuality is not a sin, homosexual acts are” (Catholic World News, July 31, 2013).  The new pope’s open rejection of papal excess has brought him great acclaim among the Catholic masses, especially in developing nations. Yet he appears more like a charismatic political figure speaking words to please various constituencies, rather than holding true to Scriptures that state that homosexuality is an evil practice and an abomination to God (Leviticus 18:22). Bible prophecies warn that an end-time individual will speak “pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to changes times and law” (Daniel 7:25). This is the religious “woman” (church) which will ride and direct the coming Beast (see Revelation 17). For more about the end-time Antichrist, be sure to watch our telecast on “Seven Signs of the Antichrist.”
 
Athletes and Drugs: A Sign of the Times.  Thirteen players from Major League Baseball were recently charged with violating anti-doping regulations. This is “the biggest single-day drug action in the sport’s history” (New York Times, August 5, 2013). Among these was Alex Rodriguez, once considered among the best players in the game. “Rodriguez… admitted that he had used steroids from 2001 to 2003” but denied using them after that year—he is planning to appeal his conviction (ibid.). Doping has become more common in professional sports as athletes seek a competitive edge against their opponents in a desire to win at all costs. In Turkey, 31 athletes were recently suspended on two-year bans for drug use (NBC Sports, August 5, 2013). Sadly, when athletes promote drug use, they negatively influence young people who view them as role models. They are simply accepting the Satanic deception that drug use is a magic potion for success. Bible prophecies indicate that just before the return of Jesus Christ, human societies will be permeated by “sorceries” (pharmakeia),  including “drugs” (Revelation 9:21)—which is what we are seeing today. For more information on this vital subject see our booklet, Fourteen Signs Announcing Christ’s Return.—Scott Winnail, Adrian Käfer, VG Lardé, Deborah Lincoln-Strange, Justin Ridgeway