Greetings from Charlotte,
This has been a busy and productive week here in Charlotte after the disruptive effects of the snow and ice early last week! Mr. Meredith has conducted meetings and taped a new Tomorrow’s World program today, titled “How to Watch World Events!” offering The Power of Prophecy DVD. Mr. Ames is off to Tampa and Fort Lauderdale, Florida for the first Tomorrow’s World Special Presentations of 2011 this weekend—the preregistration figures indicate considerable interest! Mr. Mario Hernandez and Dr. Scott Winnail have returned after very encouraging visits to Mexico and Trinidad, respectively. Mr. Rod McNair and Mr. Crockett conducted a productive Internet meeting on Wednesday with Festival Coordinators located in different parts of the world. Mr. Wayne Pyle reports that Mr. Ames’ TW broadcast last weekend, “Will Prophecy Fail?” should draw more than 3,700 responses. Mr. Charles Ogwyn reports that our Internet e-mail subscriptions increased from 40% to 69% for the year primarily as the result of offering the new E-zine News and Prophecy in the fourth quarter of 2010. If you have not yet subscribed for your personal copy of News and Prophecy to be mailed directly to your e-mail account every Friday morning, you can do so at www.TomorrowsWorld.org (click on the “News & Prophecy E-zine” banner). Living University classes are off to a good start for the Spring Semester with a total enrollment of about 140 students from around the world. We are very thankful for the growth opportunities that God is providing and for the unity and camaraderie that we have at this time.—DSW
Joplin Annual President’s Day Weekend
The Joplin brethren would be pleased to have you join us for our Annual President’s Day Weekend, February 19-20. This year we have chosen a “Trip Around the World” theme for our weekend. We invite all to participate in our International Night by representing a country with décor, costumes and authentic food. Awards will be given for best booth Saturday evening. Dance will follow the dinner. Sunday will be our Third Annual Amazing Race. To register and for more information, visit our website lcgjoplin.org (not an official Church website).
Little Rock Family Weekend
The Little Rock “Alpine Ski Vacation” Family Weekend held January 14-16 was a wonderful success with a record 203 brethren and guests in attendance. Events began with a Friday night Bible Study followed by Sabbath services, a delicious spaghetti dinner with an assortment of delicious cheesecake and then our annual costume dance. The festivities concluded with a Sunday morning pancake and eggs breakfast followed by more games and fellowship.
One of our goals was to provide organic food as much as possible, and God answered our prayers by providing really good deals on various organic ingredients that we were able to use for our dinner and for our breakfast. The local brethren did a great job hosting our guests, and the visiting, unity and warmth amongst all of the brethren was very evident. We thank God for really blessing our annual “Family Weekend.”—Wyatt Ciesielka
Feast of Tabernacles 2011
Two-Phase Registration in 2011!
We are happy to announce the Feast registration dates for 2011! An important change in the system this year is that registration will be accomplished in two phases. Please read the following announcement carefully, in its entirety (this announcement will be posted on the MyLCG website, for reference):
Phase 1: Site Registration—Sunday, February 27: On Sunday, February 27, brethren in all USA and all International congregations will be asked to register for the choice of site. Upon approval, you will then be able to make travel and housing arrangements. At any point after February 27, you may go back online to change your site registration, if you decide to go to a different site. Because of space limitations, some sites will be accepting more transfers than others. We hope having site registration this early will help you all, as you make your festival housing and travel plans.
Phase 2: Activity and Volunteer Registration—Sunday, June 26: The second phase will begin no later than Sunday, June 26. By this date, all activity and volunteer information will be posted on the MyLCG website. Beginning on Sunday, June 26, all brethren are asked to come back to the MyLCG registration website (www.cogl.org) to sign up for your choice of activities and volunteer opportunities. The purpose for having this second phase of registration is to give our coordinators time to have complete activity and volunteer information available on the website.
Full site write-ups for all USA Feast sites are being posted on the MyLCG website (www.cogl.org). International site write-ups are in the process of being edited and will be posted soon. If you need help finding out festival information, please see your Festival Advisor or check with your local Pastor.—Festival Office
Living Youth Programs
Live On-Line Bible Study
Our Living Youth On-Line Bible Study is now in full swing, airing every Sunday evening at 7:30 p.m. EST This is a first-ever program for our teens, with a live, interactive format. Mr. Jonathan McNair is taking our young people on a step-by-step tour of the Bible, beginning with God’s creation of the heavens and the earth! The Bible Study room opens 30 minutes before the study, and stays open 30 minutes after the study concludes, providing our teens a place to chat, get better acquainted with old friends, and meet new friends as well! Parents are welcome to visit the Bible Study. Just go to our newly updated youth website, www.livingyouth.org, for more details about how to listen to (and participate in) our live On-Line Youth Bible Study.
Preparation for summer camp is in full gear. This week, Mr. and Mrs. Sheldon Monson, Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Smith, and Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan McNair will be attending the American Camp Association Regional Conference in Syracuse, New York. The ACA conference provides a wealth of information for those overseeing camp operations, and will benefit our team as they work to provide a better camp experience for our young people. For LYC summer camps, the target date for registration for staff and campers is set for January 30. Here are a few details:
Living Youth Camp (Teens)
Location: Camp Lazarus, Delaware, Ohio (Near Columbus, Ohio).
Dates: Arrival on Sunday, July 31; departure on Sunday, August 14.
Living Youth Pre-Teen Camp—Missouri
Location: Cuivre River State Park, Troy, MO (near St. Louis, Missouri).
Dates:Sunday, June 26 through Sunday, July 3, 2011.
Living Youth Pre-Teen Camp—Texas
Location: Fort Parker State Park, Mexia, Texas (80 miles south of Dallas).
Dates:Sunday, July 3 through Friday, July 8.
Adventure Program: To be announced.
For details, and more information about any of our youth programs, go to www.livingyouth.org.
Internet Update: French Website Sets New Records
Mr. V.G. Lardé reports that our French website, www.mondedemain.org, is now starting its 11th year of existence. From January 2001 to December 2010, we have recorded more that 1.5 million sessions for nearly 4.5 million pages viewed. Considering that about 70% of our visitors are new, we can estimate that the Le Monde de Demain website has reached nearly 730,000 French-speaking homes in 10 years. More than 1.8 million items have been downloaded in ten years—1.3 million articles, 258,000 booklets, 200,000 radio broadcasts, 53,000 sermons and 16,000 commentaries. People from 199 different countries have visited the Le Monde de Demain website during the past 10 years. It is exciting indeed to see how God has blessed and multiplied our efforts to deliver His message through the Internet.—J. Charles Ogwyn
Sobering Signs of the Times: I am currently teaching a Living University class in Old Testament Survey, and I have been struck by the sobering parallels between significant events mentioned in Scripture and the times in which we are living. In Genesis 18 and 19, God sent two angels to warn Lot and his family that the cities where they lived—Sodom and Gomorrah—were to be destroyed because of their wicked and perverted ways. Homosexuality is given as the reason. The citizens of these cities—including Lot and his family—had forgotten why God had destroyed almost the entire human race only 400 years before (Genesis 6-7). Lot’s family enjoyed the abundance of the area (Genesis 13:10-13) and had grown so accustomed to and tolerant of what was going on around them that they were reluctant to leave. Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt because she looked back longingly at what she was leaving behind. As we see our modern societies going the way of Sodom again—approving and promoting homosexual activities, same-sex marriages, etc.—we need to remember that these Old Testament examples were recorded for our admonition today (1 Corinthians 10:1-13). The Apostle Paul urged Christians to “come out” of this world and its perverted ways (2 Corinthians 6:17-18)—because God’s judgment on our modern societies is coming! We need to wake up and recognize the significance of what is happening around us and earnestly pray “Thy Kingdom come.”
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—January 20, 2011
Dangerous Modern Myths. Every age has had its mistaken ideas. Dr. David Aikman, journalist and historian, describes five myths (popular, but false ideas, fables, lies) that are damaging western societies! The idea that “all religions are basically the same” is simply not true. Christians believe Jesus was the Son of God and rose from the dead. Jews and Muslims don’t believe that, nor do Hindus or Buddhists. Today, some claim that more people died in religious wars than any other kind of wars—again the facts do not agree. Others are told that living together is good preparation for marriage—yet studies show that cohabiting before marriage leads to a higher rate of divorce! Another myth is that homosexuals are born that way, yet “no scientist has ever discovered a gay gene.” Some today claim that same-sex marriages are healthy alternatives to heterosexual marriages, yet studies show that “the life expectancy of partnered gay men” 20 years shorter than married heterosexuals (onenewsnow.com, January 18, 2011). Biblical prophets foresaw the time when the Israelite nations would turn away from God and make “lies our refuge” (Isaiah 28:15; 59:3-4), and the “shepherds of Israel” would “cause My people to err by their lies” (Jeremiah 23:32). The Apostle Paul warned that “in the last days” people would “turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Timothy 3:1-5; 4:3-4). We are watching these prophecies coming true today!
Arab World Erupts! The popular uprising in Tunisia—sparked by the flaming suicide of an educated but frustrated young man—that brought down a corrupt and oppressive autocratic regime “may have repercussions far beyond the tiny North African state” (stratfor.com, January 14, 2011). Within days, similar protests and riots broke out in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan and Mauritania (euobserver.com, January 17, 2011). The simmering resentment across the Arab world is the result of years of oppressive government aggravated by the global financial crisis, economic recession, lack of opportunities and now rising food prices. Egypt, with the largest population in the Arab world (80 million), an aging president and an uncertain political succession is, “the most vulnerable in all of North Africa and the Middle East.” Many Arab countries are now looking to Turkey with its Islamist-rooted government as the model of the future. The prophet Daniel predicted that, “At the time of the end” (the end of the age) a “king of the South” (south of Jerusalem) would arise and attack a “king of the North” (Daniel 11:40-43). The countries mentioned in the prophecies that are linked with the king of the South—Egypt, Lybia, Ethiopia—are part of the Arab world. The uprising in Tunisia that is echoing through the region indicates that a “major shift” is underway that coincides with ancient Bible prophecies!
EU—An Instrument of Peace? Sensing a growing suspicion of Brussels, EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy has defended the European Union as the “fatherland of peace” (euobserver.com, January 17, 2011). Mr. Van Rompuy told university students in Poland, “The union’s force of attraction accelerated the collapse of Communism and the end of the Cold War… [and that] Europe is the best guarantee for peace.” He urged his listeners to resist “euro-scepticism” and look to the “negotiating rooms” in Brussels as the source of peace. Bible prophecies indicate that end-time leaders will talk of peace and search for peace (Jeremiah 6:14; 8:11, 15), but that human beings do not know the way to peace (Isaiah 59:8). The Scriptures clearly state that Jesus Christ will bring peace to the earth at His return (Isaiah 9:6-7), and He will teach the world that the true way to peace comes from following the laws of God (Psalm 119:165).—Deborah Lincoln-Strange, Douglas Winnail