Greetings from Charlotte,
Mr. Cristian Orrego gave us a report on his recent trip with Mr. Mario Hernandez to Spain and Portugal, where they visited members and GOTOs in eight different cities. It is very encouraging to see growing interest in that part of the world. It is interesting to note that all the new contacts in Spain are immigrants to that country and not native Spaniards. We are seeing this in other locations as well. Mr. and Mrs. Simon Roberts took their annual trip through Scandinavia and met a GOTO living there who is from the Philippines. In a recent managers meeting, Adrian Kaefer brought us this interesting and encouraging news from Germany: “In April a few people (30-35) figured out that 3 days and 3 nights don’t fit into the Good Friday–Easter Sunday tradition, and they did an organic Google search to find out whether
the resurrection was possibly on Easter Monday…. They clicked on our article ‘The Resurrection was not on Easter Sunday’ and it seems like they shared this knowledge quite a bit, because we had a surge in visitors at that time, and this article alone was viewed about 6,000 times. Maybe an idea to cover in a future program on that topic?” Last weekend, 57 visitors attended Tomorrow’s World Presentations and follow-ups in Europe, New Zealand and the United States. Five TWPs and follow-ups are planned for this weekend. This week saw the beginning of the Texas Teen Camp.—Gerald Weston
20th Annual Saratoga Family Weekend, July 20–22—Repeat Announcement
Don’t forget to plan for the 20th Annual Saratoga Family Weekend, July 20–22. Our meetings will again be held at the Riviera Lodge, 104 E. Saratoga Ave., Saratoga, Wyoming. Mary-Pat’s world famous Antelope Chili will start things off at 5:30 p.m. on Friday. Mr. Ray Clore will give a special PowerPoint presentation on “Jerusalem” for the Friday evening Bible Study at 7:30. Dr. Douglas Winnail will be our special guest speaker for the Sabbath sermon and Saturday evening presentations on “The Missing Years and the Spread of the Gospel—Legends of Jesus in England.” On Sunday morning, Dr. Winnail will continue with two programs on “Keys for Personal Growth” and “Challenges and Qualities of Christian Leadership.” Sunday afternoon will be free time for families, area sightseeing and safe travel home. Please RSVP to Mr. Ben Whitfield (307-321-1555 or e-mail BWhitfield@lcg.org).
Rooms at the Riviera Lodge where we will meet are booked for that weekend. Some additional available housing is listed below. Be sure to book your rooms right away, because summer is a popular time in Saratoga. There are also a few online listings for homes and rooms, plus you may find accommodations through airbnb and VRBO.
Sage & Sand – 888-860-8339. Under new management. Recently painted. Discount for early booking. Rooms have refrigerator and microwave. Some kitchenettes available. Other options are: Hacienda – 307-326-5751; Copperline Lodge – 403-885-5611; Hotel Wolf – 307-326-5525; Saratoga Hot Springs Resort – 307-326-5261; Hood House Bed & Breakfast – 307-326-8901; and Platte River Cottages – 307-321-1658. Camp sites (with or without electricity) may be found at: Campground at Saratoga Lake – Saratoga Lake Campground.
Congratulations to the students who have been accepted into our Living Education–Charlotte program! We have accepted 11 students, with two more finalizing arrangements for acceptance. This small band of intrepid learners will be our first group to respond to the challenge of this nine-month training program that is being offered as we begin a new chapter in strengthening our young adults as pillars in the Church of God. Orientation begins on August 13, with an introduction to the program, their work responsibilities at our Headquarters facility, their housing accommodations, and each other! It will also include a special opportunity to attend a welcome dinner hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Weston. Classes will begin on August 15. If you know one of our new students, congratulate them on taking on this new challenge!
Feast of Tabernacles
Feast of Tabernacles Sermons
Attention Pastors: Please send the Church Administration Department at firstname.lastname@example.org the names of those in your congregation(s) who will be unable to attend the Feast, who do not have Internet access to Feast sermons online, and who wish to receive a set of the Feast of Tabernacles sermons on CD. (Sermons are available in English, French or Spanish.) The deadline to submit these requests is July 27 for international recipients and August 17 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. The French sermons will be uploaded to www.eglisedieuvivant.org.
If You Need Festival Assistance—U.S. Only
This coming Monday, July 16, is the deadline to submit U.S. Festival Assistance Request forms to CAD. If you will need Festival tithe assistance, please see your pastor. Festival Assistance Request forms are available to ministers on the MyLCG Web site (cogl.org).
2019 Greece Feast of Tabernacles
Pre-registration for the 2019 Feast site in Greece will be open only until July 29. We need to make firm commitments to hotels soon, so if you want to be included, please pre-register at https://goo.gl/forms/ZRWhNjtw2ECMQezQ2. Instructions are on the webpage. This link is also available on the MyLCG page of our cogl.org website. Although we are still in the process of working out exact details of what the tour will involve, rest assured it will be educational and inspirational! Festival attendees will remain in the same location during the Feast, but will be able from that location to tour historical sites in and around Athens and Corinth. An optional pre-Feast tour to Thessaloniki, Philippi and Veria (Berea) will be available, as well as an optional post-Feast tour that includes Crete. If seeing this part of the world, where the Apostle Paul and other biblical figures traveled, is on your bucket list, then sign up now to have the opportunity to be on this tour.
Living Youth Program
LYP Teen Camp Streaming
We are livestreaming the Christian Living classes from LYP Teen Camp once again! The stream begins at 10 a.m. Eastern time, and the class itself around 10:15. We’d love to have you join us. The theme for the studies this year is “Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them” (Matthew 7:12).
You can access the studies at livestream.com/livingyouth. For more information, check the Living Youth website at livingyouth.org or the Living Youth Facebook page. You’ll need the livestream password, which is the same one used to access the Friday evening Bible Studies. If you don’t know the password, you can get it by logging in to MyLCG and reading the post there, or by e-mailing us at email@example.com.
LYP Camp Photos
If you haven’t been checking, take a look at our Living Youth website and Facebook pages. We’ve been posting photos from the Teen camp and there are also photos from the two earlier Preteen Camps! It’s an excellent opportunity for you to see what the camp experience is like, and be a part of the Youth program, even if you’re not attending.
LYP Texas Camp Contact Information
The Texas Teen Camp runs from July 8 to July 22, and the Preteen Camp is from July 22 to July 27. Mail or care packages for someone at either of these camps may be sent to:
Attn: [person to receive mail or package]
C/O: Camp Lone Star
Athens, TX 75752
To contact the camp office, you may phone 704-708-2281 or text 704-741-3636 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lights in a Dark World: According to the Scripture, God desires His people to be lights and examples to a world enveloped in darkness. God told Abraham to obey His commandments and walk before Him and be blameless (Genesis 17:1; 26:5). Moses records that God gave the Israelites His laws to set them apart from other nations so they could be examples to the world (Deuteronomy 4:1-9)—and they were instructed to teach these concepts and ideas to their children. The Old Testament makes it clear that God’s people were to live moral lives, avoid profanity, avoid sexual perversions and even refrain from getting tattoos or dressing like the opposite sex (Exodus 20; Leviticus 18:22; 19:28; Deuteronomy 22:5). In the New Testament, Jesus told His disciples to be lights to the world and live not only by the letter of God’s law, but also by the spirit of the law (Matthew 5:13-30). In addition to living moral lives, the Apostle Paul even advised Christians to wear their hair in a manner that is appropriate for a man or a woman (1 Corinthians 11:14-16) and that men and women should dress in modest and appropriate apparel. This would especially be true for Sabbath services (1 Timothy 2:9-10). While some want to dismiss these New Testament guidelines as “rules and regulations” that are irrelevant today, these instructions were preserved in the Bible for us, to set God’s people apart from Satan’s societies so they can truly be lights to this world—not just spiritually, but also physically. As we see the standards of conduct and dress continue to decline, these biblical guidelines will become increasingly noticeable as Christians function as “lights” in a darkened world.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—July 12, 2018
Religious Discrimination in Europe: “Times are getting more difficult for members of minority religions across Europe as nationalism, security fears and anti-immigrant movements gain ground” (Double Helix, June 27, 2018). Harassment is “aimed mostly at Muslims and Jews, although other faiths—including some Christian groups in a few places—also faced discrimination.” Nations like Belgium, Denmark, Holland and France have all moved to limit the expression of Muslim beliefs and practices. Italy’s new government has suggested that only Italians be allowed to live in Italy and that non-Italians should be deported. The migration issue in Europe is dividing nations, and some think the issue could destroy the EU (The Guardian, June 28, 2018). As European political parties revive nationalistic agendas, the marginalization of non-Catholic religious groups promises to increase.
For decades the Catholic Church has encouraged secular Europeans to return to their religious roots—Catholicism. We are beginning to see greater pressures to comply with this directive, in the form of non-Catholic groups being persecuted and attacked. In light of Europe’s history and also Bible prophecy, this comes as no surprise. Bible prophecy reveals that a universal “mother” church will rise once again over her harlot daughters (see Revelation 17:3–6). According to these scriptures, this church and its leader are prophesied to “ride” or provide guidance and direction to a coming military and political power in Europe known as the “beast” (v. 7), and they will forcefully promote the acceptance and worship of this coming “beast” (Revelation 13:11–18).
Today, developments in Europe appear to be setting the stage for the empowerment of this great universal church that in past centuries did not tolerate those who were not part of her belief system. To better understand where the emerging religious discrimination in Europe will lead, be sure to watch “Seven Signs of the Beast.”
Australia Culls Herds to Cope with Drought! Southeast Australia has experienced drought-like conditions for years. Yet, worsening conditions are now forcing ranchers to cull their herds because it is becoming too expensive to feed them (The Guardian, June 9, 2018). As usable pasture land shrinks, one rancher observed, “We’re killing a cow and a calf at this late stage of pregnancy. The drought is so widespread there’s just no options left for stock producers to put them anywhere. That’s why it’s so heartbreaking.”
Although this drought is not the “worst ever,” it has been ongoing for about seven years and is intensifying. Soil moisture levels are extremely low and may prevent winter planting in several areas of the nation. This will have far-reaching ramifications.
Not only are famine and drought apocalyptic events (Revelation 6:5–6), the Bible also links famine and drought with prophesied punishment on backsliding Israelite-descended nations. As a result of disobedience, God warned Israel through Moses, “I will break the pride of your power; I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze” (Leviticus 26:19), and “The LORD will change the rain of your land to powder and dust” (Deuteronomy 28:24). As we look around the globe, many extreme weather conditions are impacting Israelite-descended nations, like Australia, that have drifted away from God. However, the Bible not only states that punishments come when God is rejected, but blessings will also come when God is obeyed! To learn more about this covenant of “blessing and cursing,” be sure to listen to or read our historically insightful booklet The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy.—Scott Winnail and Francine Prater