Greetings from Charlotte,
Summer here in the northern hemisphere seems to be rapidly slipping away and the fall Holy Days are just around the corner! Here in Charlotte, Dr. Meredith has been writing and holding meetings. Mr. Ames has recorded a special message for the Houston, Texas congregation that will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this weekend as the Global-Living Church of God. Last weekend, I was able to visit congregations in Braselton and Atlanta, Georgia. The Living Youth Camp (for teens) in Ohio and the Family Camp for pre-teens in West Virginia both got off to a good start this week. Mr. Ciesielka reports that the News & Prophecy e-zine that is posted on the Internet every Friday now has a circulation approaching 20,000—which is very encouraging! This is the same N&P that is attached to The World Ahead every week. It will arrive on your computer every Friday if you subscribe. This coming Saturday, Dr. Jeff Fall and Mr. Harold Way will make back-to-back Tomorrow’s World presentations in Concord, California (near San Francisco), entitled “The Gathering Storm” and “God Promises—You Can Be Protected!” Your prayers for these presentations are important and are much appreciated. Living University classes will begin soon—on August 14. I would encourage as many as possible to enroll in these informative and practical classes (see announcement below). Remember that senior citizens are eligible to audit one class each semester for free. Please pray that God will continue to guide and bless His work and that He will remember His children who are in need.—DSW
Living Youth Program
Living Youth Camp is in full swing with 281 enthusiastic campers and staff in attendance in a beautiful camp setting in Delaware, Ohio. Our days begin with joyful “Morning Motivation,” a hearty breakfast in the dining hall and spiritually filling Christian Living classes. After a full day of activities including canoeing, field sports, dance and speech classes, we end the day with an uplifting and peaceful hymn-sing during “Evening Reflection.”
New videos and photos are being posted daily on the LYC Facebook site. We are also very pleased to be able to announce that we will be streaming the camp talent show LIVE on Thursday evening, 7:15-9:15 p.m. Eastern time on our Living Youth Web site, www.livingyouth.org. Please join us Thursday evening, 7:15-9:15 Eastern, on www.livingyouth.org for this special night of talent and entertainment!—Josh Penman, Sheldon Monson and Jason Fritts
Feast of Tabernacles
Feast of Tabernacles Speaking Schedules—Repeat Announcement
The Festival Office is currently putting the final touches to the speaking schedules for this year’s Feast. Opening Night is only a little more than six weeks away! Speakers should start receiving the schedules by the end of next week. 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 firstname.lastname@example.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
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 email@example.com.—Jerry Ruddlesden
Living University—Registration for 1st (Fall) Semester
Living University classes begin in just 11 days, on August 14. Those planning to take an LU class should register now and order the necessary textbooks. 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. The following are brief descriptions of several courses being offered next semester. A complete listing of “2013 Fall Semester Courses” (Spring in the Southern hemisphere) can 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 704-708-2294.
THL 342 – Christian Marriage and Family. This course is an excellent tool for those considering marriage, engaged couples, those recently married, and even for those married for years. It reviews a host of topics related to marriage and family, including: dating, preparation for marriage, successful home and family life, the adolescent, young married adult, family management, and contemporary problems in marriage and family life.
EDUC 345 – Early Childhood Education in the Church. This course is ideal for those wanting to become parents at some point, those who are parents, or grandparents. It deals with the influence of Christian family relationships on child development. Emphasis is placed on basic principles and skills for parent effectiveness, the developing nature and needs of children, and how they learn. It reviews major areas of child growth and development and effective Christian parenting.
THL 412 – Epistles of Paul I. This course, the first of two, focuses on the Apostle Paul’s life and writings including the background, message, purposes and theme of each of his epistles. Emphasis is on Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, and Galatians. Note that THL 136 is a prerequisite for this course.
THL 478 – Lands of the Bible. This course is a study tour which combines travel with lectures and readings on the archaeology, culture and geography of the Bible Lands, to provide students with a rich, on-site learning experience. It is available only to those attending the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem this year. This is a Pass/Fail course.
Wisdom with Words: We live in an age when people are encouraged to “say whatever you think” whether in personal conversations or on the Internet—and everyone has an opinion to express! However, the Bible offers very different advice. Long ago, Solomon observed that “a fool’s voice is known by his many words” (Ecclesiastes 5:3), and “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19). We are also told that “A prudent man conceals [is reluctant to display] knowledge, but the heart of fools proclaims foolishness” (Proverbs 12:23), and “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles” (Proverbs 21:23). I once had an English teacher who was fond of saying, “Make sure you engage the brain before you put your mouth in gear” which is the same advice we find in Proverbs 16:23, “The heart [the mind] of the wise teaches his mouth and adds learning to his lips.” In order to speak wise words and avoid troubles, we need to remember the admonition of King David who wrote, “The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of justice” because “The law of his God is in his heart” (Psalm 37:30-31). The book of James offers this advice: “be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20). This is sound advice about wisdom with words.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—August 1, 2013
Israel Rejects EU Border Mandate: The European Commission recently decided to refuse funding for Israeli projects in settlements beyond its 1967 borders and to place labels on settlement-made products to enable Europeans to boycott these items (EU Observer, July 16, 2013). However, Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu sees the EU mandates as a threat to national sovereignty: “I will not let anybody harm Israelis living in Judea and Samaria, the Golan and Jerusalem… We will not accept any external dictates regarding borders” (ibid.). The efforts by a European power to dictate terms in Israel were anticipated long ago in Bible prophecies. Bible prophecies reveal that at the time of the end, “Gentile” armies of a European Beast will surround and take control of Jerusalem (Luke 21:20-24)—possibly in an attempt to “bring peace” to the region. The current attempts by the EU to dictate terms in Israel could ultimately lead to Gentile armies of the Beast moving into the Holy Land and controlling its borders. For more on this topic, review our free booklet, The Middle East in Prophecy.
Proud of Sin: A year after British Prime Minister Cameron promised to legalize homosexual marriage by 2015, he touted Britain as “the best place to be gay, lesbian or transgender anywhere in Europe” (Telegraph, July 24, 2013). Mr. Cameron proudly stated that he is “probably the only Conservative Prime Minister who’s taken this step” and that “he wanted to ‘export’ same sex marriage around the world so other countries could follow suit” (ibid.). He also wants his gay marriage bill-writing team to assist other nations in writing legislation to legalize homosexual marriage (ibid.). However, the Bible clearly identifies homosexuality as sin (Leviticus 18:22; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10) and it clearly defines marriage between “one man and one woman” (Genesis 2:24). Prophecies also warn of end-time leaders “who call evil good, and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20) and openly flaunt their sinful behavior (Isaiah 3:9). While God loves all people (even sinners), He commands us to “flee sexual immorality”—which includes homosexuality (1 Corinthians 6:18). We need to remember that “God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7). There will be serious consequences for nations and leaders who act contrary to God’s laws (Jeremiah 2:17-19; 23:32). For more on the future of nations who export sin, read The United State and Great Britain in Prophecy.
Babies Without Daddies and Society’s Demise: According to British statistics, by 2016, most babies born in the U.K. will be born “out of wedlock”—typically to homes without fathers (Telegraph, July 10, 2013). This number grew from 11 percent in 1979 to 47.5 percent in 2012. Government ministers are proposing tax breaks for married families with children to encourage people to get married and avoid serious consequences to children—“In families where parents break up children do less well at school, are more likely to suffer mental health problems and are more likely to have substance abuse problems” (ibid.). Studies also show that out of wedlock birth rates doubled in many countries between 1980-2009 (Family Life Culture Watch). Sadly, the nations with the highest out-of-wedlock birth rates are mostly Israelite-descended nations (ibid.). Out of wedlock births have skyrocketed in western nations as people have rejected God’s instructions about marriage (see Ephesians 5 and 6). However, God warns, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge… because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children” (Hosea 4:6). Bible prophecies reveal that when Jesus Christ returns, He will restore the family to its God-intended role (Malachi 4:4-6). For more information on this vital topic, read our article “Marriage and Family: Vital Institutions in Crisis.”—Scott Winnail, Ron Ramsingh, and Deborah Lincoln-Strange