Greetings from Charlotte,
This week certainly illustrates the contrasting conditions of human beings around the world. As many Americans sit down to turkey dinners to celebrate Thanksgiving, desperate fighting rages around the starving inhabitants of Mosul in Iraq and hundreds are still digging out from the devastation left by recent earthquakes in Italy and New Zealand. This world needs the strong hand of Jesus Christ to return and set up the Kingdom of God on this earth. Here in Charlotte, Dr. Meredith’s semi-annual letter is currently being mailed out to some 400,000 Tomorrow’s World subscribers. Please pray that it will have a powerful impact on all who read it. This week, both Mr. Ames and Mr. Wallace Smith taped new Tomorrow’s Worldtelevision programs. Last weekend, I was in Richmond, Virginia to conduct an Area Leadership Conference with Mr. Lambert Greer and Mr. Sheldon Monson. This weekend, Mr. Weston will conduct services in Des Moines, Iowa and then travel to Toronto where he will join Mr. Wachowicz and me for a Canadian Ministerial Conference early next week. Your prayers for God’s people and for God’s Work are needed and appreciated.—DSW
2016 Charlotte Family Weekend—Registration Now Open
Mark your calendars and make your plans now to attend the 2016 Charlotte Family Weekend! The theme for this year’s event is “Family Now and Forever.” Registration is open and you can access it on your My LCG page of the www.cogl.orgWeb site. Updates on activities will be posted on https://www.facebook.com/
LcgCharlotteWinterWeekend/? fref=nf, the Charlotte Family Weekend Facebook page. This is a public page, so you don’t need a Facebook account to view it. 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 1950’s 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. We have a new activity this year for Friday afternoon—bowling! We have done a complete buyout of a bowling alley near the Renaissance, allowing us two full hours of unlimited bowling. The venue also has great food and drinks available, so even if you don’t want to bowl, feel free to join us for lots of good food and fellowship. 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 2:00 p.m. (EST) Saturday 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 through January 1—Repeat Announcement
The Kansas City Family Weekend is getting closer! All Friday and Saturday events will be at the KCI Airport Embassy Suites and the deadline for getting a suite at the excellent rate they have given us is December 10. Please visit our local Kansas City Web site at kclcg.org (not an official LCG Web site) for more details on how to contact the hotel and get the special rate. You can also sign up on the Web site to stay with brethren, but space is limited so register early. Detailed information, registration, housing details, and activities sign-up are all available on our Web site, at the link for the KC Family Weekend. You can also sign up to display your artwork, poetry, quilting or other creative endeavors in a special area so all of us can appreciate your talents. The secret password for housing and other information on the site is “security” (all lowercase).
The weekend will once again include Bible Studies Friday night and Saturday morning, afternoon Sabbath services, catered dinner, evening entertainment and dance. On Sunday, we’ll kick off the day with Family Games, where a dozen or more teams of 15-20 people will answer trivia questions, run relays and test their ability to synergize. From there, we’ll 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 kids’ basketball skills workshop (dads are encouraged to attend).
Please visit our Facebook page at Facebook.com/lcgkcweekend or our Web site at kclcg.org (not official LCG sites). We look forward to seeing you soon!
Roku Channel Update—Repeat Announcement
Each week, we place the Tomorrow’s World telecast and Webcasts on our Roku channel, and we run occasional advertising campaigns to promote the channel to new people. This has produced some very positive growth over the years. For example, our Roku channel has now been installed more than 66,250 times and we average more than 105 average viewers daily, with an average viewing time of more than 32 minutes per account! In 2015 and 2016, our Roku channel has created many hundreds of new subscribers and donors, and it seems to be “trending positively” as far as reaching an increasing number of people, even as compared to many of our stronger traditional television stations. Your prayers for this and all of our media efforts are much appreciated as we do our best to reach the whole world with the true Gospel!—Wyatt Ciesielka
Living Youth Program
Friday Evening Online Teen Bible Study
The online Teen Bible Study on Friday evening, December 2, will be on “Passover—The Beginning of God’s Master Plan.” This is Lesson 25 of the Ambassador College BibleCorrespondence 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 can also be found on the Living Youth Web site.—Sheldon Monson
Living University: Registration for Second Semester
Registration for second semester classes is now underway! 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 a completely newcourse. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 704-708-2294.
THL 226 – Christian Leadership. This very practical course deals with the principles of Christian leadership and service. Topics include foundations of leadership, leadership skills, challenges facing leaders and case studies of great leaders of the Bible and secular history. Students will learn about important leadership principles that are applicable in a variety of settings, and view them through the lens of the Bible.
PHED 236 – Christian Camp Leadership. This course will prepare students for service as a camp counselor, activity director, or member of the staff. It focuses on techniques of Christian camp counseling and leadership, program development, and camp safety. Students will gain knowledge of the various philosophies, administration, and programming of Christian camps. This course is highly recommended bothfor those who already serve at our Church summer camps (pre-teen, teen, and adventure) and for those who plan to serve at our summer camps (U.S. and international) in the future. The course is developed and delivered by the Church’s Director of Living Youth Programs, Sheldon Monson. This class is offered every second year.
ENGL 112 – Argument-Based Literary Research. This course, the second in a series of two, introduces research techniques, documentation styles, and argumentative strategies. Emphasis is placed on analyzing data and incorporating research findings into documented argumentative essays and research projects. Students will learn to summarize, paraphrase, interpret, and synthesize information from primary and secondary sources using standard research format and style. This course is required for the LU diplomas and also bachelor and associate degrees. This class is offered every second year.
What Are You Thankful For? Today, we live in a world where many people are obsessed with getting their rights—getting what they feel they are entitled to or what someone else owes them! Yet the Scriptures emphasize the importance of being thankful for what God provides for us (Psalm 95:2; 100:4). The Apostle Paul encouraged Christians to develop the attitude of “giving thanks always for all things to God” (Ephesians 5:20)—for the gift of salvation (2 Corinthians 9:15), for our part in God’s Work (1 Timothy 1:12) and for those whom God calls to His Truth (Romans 1:8). Paul mentions that prayerful requests should be made with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6). James states that we should even be grateful for trials that help us grow (James 1:2-4). However, Paul warns that unthankfulness—especially for the opportunity to know the true God and His Truth—is an aspect of unrighteousness (Romans 1:18-21). When was the last time you took time to sit down and make a list of what you have to be thankful for—and then expressed that thanks directly to your Creator? This Sabbath would be a good time to make that list!
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—November 23, 2016
Kings of the East Gathering? President Duterte of the Philippines recently stated that “if China and Russia decide to create a new world order, he would be the first to join them and leave the U.N.” (Wall Street Journal, November 17, 2016). “President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey should not be ‘fixated’ on joining the EU and has reiterated the idea of joining Russia and China in a Eurasian security group” called the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) (The Saudi Gazette, November 21, 2016). This loose security and economic bloc is “led by Russia and China. Other members are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan” (ibid.). Turkey’s declaration was met with optimism by Russian and Chinese officials in hopes that Turkey will move in that direction (Daily Sabah, November 21, 2016). India and Pakistan are also formally joining the SCO at its next summit and are expected to play key roles in the “military cooperation between the member states” which “involves intelligence sharing, counter-terrorism operations in Central Asia and joint work against cyber terrorism, among other things. It is seen by some as a counterweight to the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)” (Deutsche Welle, November 22, 2016). Bible prophecies have long foretold the emergence of an end-time Asiatic superpower capable of producing a huge army that will ultimately fight against a European beast power stationed in Jerusalem (Daniel 11:44; Revelation 9:13-17). The SCO could contribute to the formation of this prophesied eastern superpower. To learn more about Asia’s challenge to the West, read our article “Is This China’s Century?”
Where Are the Men? In spite of positive job growth in the U.S., “the percentage of working-age Americans in the labor force remains stuck near its lowest level since the late 1970s. Although retiring baby boomers are the main reason, there’s another troubling factor that experts predict won’t be solved by stronger economic growth. Too many men in their prime don’t have a job and aren’t even looking for one. Experts trying to figure out the reasons are probing the roles of criminal background checks, painkillers and even video games. In all, about 7 million men ages 25 to 54 are neither employed nor ‘available for work,’ putting them outside the labor force. Their growing numbers worry and puzzle economists. A little more than half of the men reported they were ill or disabled, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. About 14% are going to school. And about 20% said they were either retired or handling home responsibilities” (Los Angeles Times, November 21, 2016). Scripture warns of a time when men of the Israelite-descended nations will not lead as God intended (Ephesians 5:23-33; 1 Timothy 5:8), but will become “lovers of pleasure,” and a time when “women [will] rule over them” (2 Timothy 3:1-4; Isaiah 3:12). For decades, women have risen in the U.S. workplace and men have exited (The Atlantic, July/August 2010). This trend will continue as society departs further from traditional Judeo-Christian values. Thankfully, Christ will restore a better way at His return! For a preview of this future, read “Fatherless Families?”
Students Attack Teachers: Deutsche Welle reports, “Spitting, hitting, shoving: Physical aggression is an everyday occurrence in schools. But a new study by the German teachers’ union shows that it is on the rise—and is even increasingly directed at teachers” (November 14, 2016). According to the article, “A 14-year-old boy chokes his male teacher with a shoelace. A mother beats up her child’s female teacher. A 15-year-old attacks four teachers with his fists. Each of these incidents ended in German courts last year—but started in school. And they are not isolated events… The physical or verbal aggression and lack of respect often already come from the parents and guardians… and are frequently manifested in the presence of their children” (ibid.). Isaiah predicted that, at the end of the age, “The child will be insolent toward the elder… children are their oppressors” (Isaiah 3:5, 12). We are seeing the results of professing “Christian” societies that have failed to follow biblical advice to “Train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6) and to teach children to respect their parents and elders (Ephesians 6:1-4). God instructed parents to teach their children right from wrong and respectful behavior toward leaders (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). When parents despise those in authority and fail to teach respect for authority, the result is a generation of violent and disrespectful children. For more insight into how to raise happy and respectful children, see our informative booklet Successful Parenting: God’s Way.—Scott Winnail, Justin Ridgeway, and Francine Prater