Greetings from Charlotte,
This has been a week as no other for the United States, with worldwide implications. Those living elsewhere may not know what was at risk and are shocked that Americans elected Donald Trump to be the next President. What was at stake was the appointment of Supreme Court Justices, a failed economy with a 20 trillion dollar debt, people opening their mail to find Obamacare bills doubling and tripling, the prospect of an open border policy that would cause America to cease to be a country, corruption on a frightening scale, the threat of a clamp-down on religious freedom, abortion in the 8th and 9th months, the promotion of lifestyles contrary to the Bible, and a media in bed with one party and the prospect of further loss of free speech. While all this was looming over the country with a Clinton victory, Mr. Trump has his own problems. Rarely has there been a better example of having to choose between the lesser of two evils, but we do not know what God has in mind and that is why we do not take part in politics. Only He knows exactly where we are in end-time events and who is needed in office at a particular time. That is why our role is to pray for God’s will to be done and to pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:2). It appears from a policy perspective in light of the outcome that we may have a few more years of freedom to preach the Gospel. However, unforeseen events can change this picture overnight. It is going to be interesting to watch. Meanwhile, Dr. Meredith finished the semi-annual letter this week and I recorded a Tomorrow’s World program titled: “Humanity’s Moral Meltdown.”—GEW
2016 Charlotte Family Weekend
Mark your calendars and start making plans now to attend the 2016 Charlotte Family Weekend! The theme for this year’s event is “Family Now and Forever.” Registration will be open in the next couple of weeks, but updates on activities will be posted on the Charlotte Family Weekend Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/
LcgCharlotteWinterWeekend/? fref=nf. The host hotel will once again be the Renaissance Charlotte Suites. Room rates this year are $98 per room which includes a buffet breakfast for two—discounted breakfast coupons for additional occupants may be purchased upon check-in. Reservations may be made by calling the hotel directly at (704) 357-1414 or by using the link provided on the Facebook page. Activities will begin at the hotel on Thursday evening, December 22, with a 1950s sock hop themed dance – so slick back your hair, put on your poodle skirts and come join us for a fun evening of music and dancing. Friday morning there will be a number of targeted seminars followed by a fun afternoon activity. Friday night there will be a Bible Study for everyone given by Mr. Gerald Weston. We plan to again livestream over the Internet Dr. Meredith’s sermon at the Saturdayafternoon Church service. Saturday night there will be a semi-formal dinner/dance for all ages. Sunday, December 25, we will have the increasingly popular Sports Day with basketball and volleyball tournaments, free play, kids’ activities and games and lots of free food! Sunday night we will wrap things up at the hotel with a Games Night. Last year we had over 800 people join us for the events and we hope that this year even more of you will attend. So grab your dance shoes and your tennis shoes and come join us for an exciting weekend of physical and spiritual rejuvenation!—Jim Meredith
Kansas City Family Weekend, December 30 – January 1—Repeat Announcement
The Kansas City Family Weekend is seven weeks away: Friday, December 30, through Sunday, January 1. Get a jump on preparations by registering and making housing plans. To register, simply visit our local Kansas City Web site at kclcg.org (not an official LCG Web site), then click on the link for the KC Family Weekend. From there, click anything that remotely resembles the word “Register” and follow the instructions.
All events on Friday and Saturday will be at the KCI Airport Embassy Suites. All suites have a microwave and mini-fridge, separate bedroom and living room area, and can accommodate four to six people. All registered guests receive a full breakfast buffet and bonus free participation in a manager’s reception of appetizers and drinks in the early evenings. Enjoy fellowshipping in the spacious foyer that features a waterfall, fountains, and foliage. All this can be had for just $109 for two adults and up to four children. Rates will increase by $10 for each additional adult (18 and up). Please visit the Web site or our Facebook page for more details on how to contact the hotel and get the special rate. Limited housing with brethren is also available, so please register early.
The weekend will once again include Bible Studies Friday night and Saturday morning, afternoon Sabbath services, catered dinner, evening entertainment and dance. The brisket dinner costs $20 for adults, and a $10 children’s meal of chicken fingers is also available. We’ll cover the rest if you have more than four children (12 and under) in your family.
On Sunday, we’ll kick off the day with our Family Games Challenge, then continue with sports and leisure activities for all ages, including basketball and volleyball tournaments, Gaga Ball, backyard games, and children’s games. We also have a volleyball workshop and children’s basketball skills workshop (dads are encouraged to attend).
Please visit our Facebook page at facebook.com/lcgkcweekend (not an official LCG Facebook page) or our Web site at kclcg.org (not an official LCG Web site). Parts of the site are password-protected and the secret password is “security” (all lowercase). We look forward to seeing you soon!—Michael Keesee
Feast of Tabernacles Photos—Repeat Announcement
Thank you to all those who shared their Feast of Tabernacles pictures by using the #LCGFOT2016 hashtag. It was very inspiring to see these many uplifting photos from Feast sites all around the world. If you would like to see these photos taken by various LCG Feast-goers, just search for the #LCGFOT2016 hashtag, or click the banner at the top of the LCG.org Web site!—Wyatt Ciesielka
Feast of Tabernacles
Housing Not Refunded in Hilton Head?—Repeat Announcement
We would like to know how many brethren have not been able to obtain a refund from their housing in Hilton Head. If you had arranged to go to Hilton Head Island for the Feast, had booked private housing, and were not refunded your housing deposit when the Feast site was moved, we would like to hear from you. If the private owner did not refund your money but offered to let you use the payment toward a future booking (i.e., next year), let us know that—that would be valuable information for us as well. Please send a note briefly describing your situation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank You to All Who Filled Out a Festival Survey
Thank you to everyone who filled out a Festival survey, either a paper version or filling one out online. Every entry is read, and your comments are valuable! The Festival Survey is still available at fotsurvey.lcg.org.
Living Youth Program
Friday Evening Online Teen Bible Study
The online Teen Bible Study on Friday evening, November 18, will be on “The Plain Truth About God’s Holy Sabbath.” This is Lesson 24 of the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course. If you haven’t had the opportunity to join us for one of the online Bible Studies, we encourage you to do so. It is a wonderful way to start the Sabbath day.
The Bible Study runs from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. (Eastern time) and the chat room will be open for a half hour before and after the study. You can find instructions for joining the Bible Study and also access it 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 “Why Christians Should Keep God’s Holy Days!,” can also be found on the Living Youth Web site.—Sheldon Monson
Living University – Registration for Second Semester
Registration for second semester classes starts Monday, November 14! The spring semester will begin on Wednesday, January 11. You may register for the spring semester (fall in the southern hemisphere) anytime between now and January 10. Those who have never taken a Living University course will need to enroll in the University first, and then register for your selected course. This semester, along with many of our traditionally offered spring classes, we will be offering two completely new courses. Watch for these in the weeks to come. The following are brief descriptions of several courses being offered next semester. A complete listing of second semester courses can also be viewed on the Living University Web site under the link “Spring 2017 Class Schedule.” 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 or questions, please contact Mrs. Michelle Broussard at email@example.com or 704-708-2294.
THL 110B – Tomorrow’s World Bible Study Course. This is the second in a two-semester course that serves as an introduction to the Bible, its message, and its implications for successful Christian living. First semester topics focused on the Scriptures, the nature of God, biblical prophecy and God’s plan for humankind. Second semester topics focus on practical Christian living and the building of living faith. This course will help students demonstrate a basic understanding of biblical concepts regarding history, theology, prophecy and Christian life. This course is offered without a tuition charge. Students pay only the $35 USD technology fee. THL 110A is a prerequisite for this class.
THL 136 – Acts and the Writings of Paul. This class focuses on the book of Acts of the Apostles and deals with Paul’s life, times, and writings. In this class Dr. Meredith’s lectures focus on the background, purpose, message, and themes of Paul’s letters; his personal life and character; his companions; and the chronology of the apostle’s life. Emphasis is placed on the theology of his writings and the issues that Paul dealt with in apostolic times. This class is a prerequisite for the Epistles of Paul, General Epistles and other upper-level classes.
BUS 112 – Introduction to Business. This course deals with major aspects of business including management, marketing, accounting, information processing and finance. The class will emphasize real business personalities and situations. Students will learn to understand business concepts as a foundation for studying other business subjects. This class can be used as a business elective and is also required for the Business Minor.
The Real Good News! In a world filled with problems and crises, many people are looking for a “messiah”—a strong leader who will bring real solutions to the myriad of problems facing mankind. Elections and changes in leadership can bring hope to some and disappointment to others, but it is often the case that when leaders change, the problems remain. However, the really good news that is largely ignored in our modern secular world is the return of Jesus Christ, who is referred to in the Scriptures as “the Savior of the world” (John 4:42; 1 John 4:14). Jesus told His disciples He would “come again” and they would be with Him at that future time (John 14:1-3). The real Messiah, Jesus Christ, will return to this earth as “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:16). He and His saints will rule over the nations of the earth (Revelation 5:10; 11:15-18), and they will show the world the way to peace and justice (Isaiah 9:6-7). That is the really exciting news that the peoples of this world need to hear!
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—November 10, 2016
U.S. Election and God’s Plan: Billions of people around the world woke up or stayed up to learn that Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States. While speculation abounds about what might happen next on the geopolitical scene, the world does not realize that God has a plan and that He “removes kings and raises up kings” (Daniel 2:21), and “the Most High rules in the kingdom of men” and “gives it to whomever He will” (Daniel 4:17). Today, we must not lose sight of the fact that God is guiding world affairs to accomplish His ultimate purpose—the salvation of mankind (cf. Isaiah 46:9-10). A Christian’s primary focus is not to solve all of this world’s problems, but to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). The Apostle Paul advised Christians to pray for “all who are in authority, that we [the Church] may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence” (1 Timothy 2:2). He also admonished Christians to “be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God” (Romans 13:1). “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise,” and He will accomplish His plan (2 Peter 3:9). God allows certain leaders to emerge at specific times in history to help fulfill His ultimate purpose for mankind and to prepare for the return of Jesus Christ to this earth. This is the good news which ultimately gives us “a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). To learn more about this absolutely awesome topic, read our booklet, Prophecy Fulfilled: God’s Hand in World Affairs.
Priest Sees Earthquakes as God’s Punishment: Speaking of Italy’s recent earthquakes, Italian Catholic priest “Giovanni Cavalcoli told a radio audience that the two earthquakes were a punishment for sins, ‘such as civil unions,’ which were officially recognized in Italy beginning in May. The priest’s remarks drew a sharp rebuke from the Vatican. Archbishop Angelo Becciu, the deputy Secretary of State, said that Father Cavalcoli’s ‘offensive statements’ reflected an image of a ‘capricious and vengeful God.’ The Vatican official remarked: ‘That is a pagan vision, not a Christian one.’ Undaunted, Father Cavalcoli said that Vatican officials should ‘go over their catechism’” (Catholic World News, November 7, 2016). Certainly God is not capricious like the gods of other religions, such as Greek and Roman paganism. However, the God of the Bible—who will not be “mocked”—states, “whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7). While the recent earthquakes in Italy may or may not be God’s direct punishment, the time is coming when God will punish mankind for their sins and outright rejection of Him. Prophecies in the book of Revelation reveal that God will bring massive earthquakes on the entire earth in order to literally “shake” mankind into recognizing that He alone is the true God (Revelation 6:12-17; 16:17-21). God is loving and merciful, but He is also a jealous God (Ezekiel 39:25-29) who wants mankind to learn important lessons. For more insight into the true nature of our great God, be sure to read or listen to The Real God: Proofs and Promises.
Smoking Can Change Your DNA! “The devastating impact of cigarette smoke on the body’s DNA has been laid bare by the first comprehensive study into the damage tobacco inflicts on human cells. People who smoke a pack of cigarettes each day for a year develop on average 150 extra mutations in every lung cell, and nearly 100 more mutations than usual in each cell of the voice box, researchers found. More still build up in the mouth, bladder, liver and other organs” (The Guardian, November 3, 2016). “More than 70 of the 7,000 chemicals found in tobacco smoke are known to cause cancer. Some damage DNA directly, but others ramp up mutations in more subtle ways, often by disrupting the way cells function. The more mutations a cell acquires, the more likely it is to turn cancerous… ‘If you smoke even a little bit you’ll erode the genetic material of most of the cells in your body.’ Smoking is the most preventable cause of cancer in the world and accounts for more than 1 in 4 UK cancer deaths” (ibid.). The Apostle Paul taught that our bodies are “the temple of the Holy Spirit… therefore glorify God in your body and in your Spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Anything we do that destroys this temple is sinful and not pleasing to God! For more on this important subject, be sure to read our publication, “The Curse of Tobacco.”—Scott Winnail, Justin Ridgeway and Francine Prater