December 6th, 2018
Greetings from Charlotte,
Mr. Millich and I conducted a mini-conference for 84 elders, deacons, their wives, and deaconesses in Joplin, Missouri last weekend. We reviewed some of the material covered in the November Council of Elders meetings and discussed how best to handle difficult situations that arise in serving our members. Area pastors also updated us on how things are going in their areas. Mr. Gene Hilgenberg and Joplin members hosted the event. Mr. Hilgenberg’s mother, a member since 1959, broke her hip on the eve of the conference, and his brother, also a member, had heart bypass surgery this morning (Thursday). Please remember them both in your prayers. Mr. and Mrs. Martin Fannin want to thank all the brethren for the cards, messages, phone calls, and especially their prayers, during his illness. They have been a great source of encouragement! Although his condition has improved, he would appreciate continued prayers for a complete recovery. Mr. Rod McNair held Tomorrow’s World Presentations in Helena and Great Falls, Montana. This is a relatively rural area and, between the two presentations, there were 15 guests (a higher than average 4.4 percent response) and 49 members in attendance. Dr. Jeffrey Fall will give follow-up presentations this weekend. This week’s telecast is offering a new booklet, Evolution and Creation: What Both Sides Miss. A copy will automatically be sent to all Church households, so there is no need for you to request the item from the telecast. You will also notice that this is the first telecast of a new season, with an introduction displaying new music and graphics.—Gerald Weston
LCG Webcast Live Stream of Sabbath Services and Bible Study from Charlotte Family Weekend—Repeat Announcement
LCG congregations and members are welcome to join us online for the Charlotte Family Weekend Friday night Bible Study on December 21, and for Sabbath services on December 22. The Friday night Bible study will begin at 7:30 p.m. (EST) and Sabbath services will begin at 1:00 p.m. (EST). To join, please go to www.lcgwebcast.org, and under “Stream Site” select “Charlotte Family Weekend.” Enter the password, your name (or congregation name), and the number of people viewing (for attendance purposes). Please note: this Internet broadcast is for LCG membership, and you can find the password at your “MyLCG” account. (Just go to www.cogl.org and click on the “MyLCG” link.)
Charlotte Family Weekend Update
We again welcome out-of-town guests to participate in the choir. There will be a rehearsal from 5:30 to 6:15 on Friday afternoon, December 21, for those who would like to be part of the choir. For music and more information, just contact Mr. Jonathan McNair at [email protected].
If you play a musical instrument and would like to participate, that would be great also. We’ll have a rehearsal for musicians after the Bible Study on December 21. Contact Mr. Marcus McCullough at [email protected] for more information.
Team registration is open for basketball, volleyball, and Family Games! To register, go to charlottelcg.org/cfw (not an official LCG website). Basketball teams can have from 6–12 players. Volleyball teams should have 6–10 players and need to be co-ed, with at least two women playing on the court at all times.
Deadlines for registration:
- The deadline for hotel reservations at the $99/night rate at the Renaissance has been extended to Monday, December 10.
- Activity registration will close on Monday, December 17.
- Team registration will close on Monday, December 17.
Schedule: Some of the events for the weekend include:
- Bible Study (Friday evening)
- Sabbath Service
- Elegant Dinner Dance
- Family Games and Sports Day (Sunday)
- Educational Seminars: Parenting, Teens, Singles, Mature Singles (Monday)
- Bowling (Monday afternoon)
- Dressy Casual Dance, Themed: “Our International Family” (Monday evening)
- Departure (Tuesday)
Kansas City Family Weekend—Housing Reservations Deadline Is Thursday
The Kansas City congregation is ready to welcome you to the 2018 Kansas City Family Weekend from Friday, December 28, through Sunday, December 30. Our guest speaker will be Mr. Jonathan McNair. We will have many opportunities to learn more of God’s word, to fellowship, and to enjoy being with family and brethren. Please register at kclcg.org (not an official LCG website) to let us know you are coming and to sign up for the catered BBQ brisket meal.
The deadline for making reservations at the Embassy Suites is this Thursday, December 13. The costs have been reduced to $109/night, and breakfast and evening snacks and drinks are completely covered for all members in the room. Having more than two adults per room may incur a slightly higher rate. Details about making reservations can be found on the Weekend website under “Housing,” and the password to access the page is “security.”
We’d love to see your artwork or craftsmanship! If you’re planning to bring one of your projects to display, please sign up under our “Art Show” link so we can make room.
If you’ve already registered for the Sunday Activities, you’re not done yet! Click “Sunday Activities” and choose the activity you signed up for. Then build your team using the handy team-building form. Create a team and select a team captain. Then add your teammates from there. As you build your teams for the Contest of Christians, remember, it’s for all ages and a variety of skills—not just young or athletic or quick, but also for quick-witted, artistic, musical, and regular folks of all ages. For basketball or volleyball, we’ll let you decide how athletic or quick or quick-witted you want your teammates to be.
We look forward to seeing you there!—Mike Keesee
“Living Education Charlotte” Applications Now Being Accepted—Repeat Announcement
We are now accepting applications for the 2019–2020 “Living Education Charlotte” program. Seven young men and seven young women will be accepted, as we begin the second year. This is a focused experience, emphasizing the building blocks of a Godly, Christian life. Students learn in the classroom with other young adults, guided by our faculty. They also learn through our “Work-Study” program, working alongside Headquarters staff in various capacities. A major part of the experience is the interaction with other students as they study together, work together, and socialize together, building friendships that will last a lifetime. If you are a young adult at least 18 years of age, and have a passion to learn more about God’s way of life with others who share the same goals and values, then apply now. For more information, go to lcgeducation.org.
Living Youth Program
Living Youth Friday Evening Study
The online Friday evening Teen Bible Study, December 14, will cover Matthew 19–20, and will be given by Mr. Sheldon Monson. Join us at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The chatroom will open 30 minutes prior to the beginning of the study.
To join the study, just visit www.livingyouth.org, and follow the links to “Friday Evening Bible Study.” We are utilizing a new streaming provider this year, so you must access the Bible Study through the links from the Living Youth website. This also means that e-mail alerts are no longer being sent when we go live. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected]. For those who are unable to make it to the study, archives of previous Living Youth Bible Studies, including last evening’s covering Matthew 18 and introducing chapter 19, can also be found on the Living Youth website.—Josh Penman
Living Youth Program Pictorials—Repeat Announcement
We have just completed mailing the 2017 pictorial albums to pastors for distribution. If you or someone from your family attended an LYP camp last year, your household will receive a copy shortly, if you have not already.
We have a limited number of additional copies of the pictorials from 2014 through 2017. If you are interested in receiving a copy, please contact [email protected].—Josh Penman
Be Thankful for the Truth: The Sabbath is a good time to reflect on an important question, Are you thankful for the Truth? It is easy to take the Truth for granted if you are a long-time member or if you have grown up in the Church. Yet, Jesus said that no one can come to a real understanding of the Truth unless they are called and their minds have been opened to see the big picture (John 6:44, 65). The capacity to understand the plan of God, the purpose of life, Bible prophecy and the true way of life is a gift that God is making available to only a few people at this time (1 Corinthians 1:26–27). The Scriptures state these precious truths are a mystery to most people in the world (1 Corinthians 2:7–8) because Satan—the god of this age—has blinded their eyes (2 Corinthians 4:3–4). Jesus said it is an incredible privilege to be given an understanding of the Truth (Matthew 13:10–17). Paul said that to be called out of darkness into the light of the Truth is something to be extremely thankful for. Before you are tempted to be drawn away by some “new” teaching, take time to reflect on and thank God for the Truth that He has allowed you to understand.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—December 6, 2018
A Coming European Empire? After years of independent comments by EU leaders calling for a European Army, and following “pressure” from U.S. President Donald Trump for Europe to increase defense spending, European leaders now appear ready to act. According to the EU Observer, “German chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday backed the idea of creating a ‘real, true’ army for the European Union,” supporting an earlier call by Emmanuel Macron of France. She “also called for a European security council with a rotating presidency of each EU member state, ‘where decisions can be made more rapidly’” (November 13, 2018). President Trump has derided the plan, calling for Europe to pour more money into NATO, instead.
Only days before Merkel’s speech, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire stated in an interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt that Europe should become a “peaceful empire,” explaining “I am using this phrase because, in tomorrow’s world, it’s going to be all about power… technological power, economic, financial, monetary, cultural power—all will be decisive. Europe cannot be shy any longer about using its power” (November 11, 2018). Currently, Germany is preparing to increase its number of active troops to over 200,000 by 2025 (Deutsche Welle, November 26, 2018).
While the idea of a coming European empire may seem far-fetched in today’s world, from a biblical perspective this is not a new idea. Bible prophecy has long predicted the rise of a European “beast” power with links to the ancient Roman Empire just prior to the return of Jesus Christ (Daniel 2:40–45; 7:23–27; Revelation 17; Hosea 11). The Bible also indicates this European beast power will be German-led (Isaiah 10:5–11) and will invade the Holy Land and take control of Jerusalem (Daniel 11:40–43). When and how this short-lived empire will progress remains to be seen. For more insights into this coming European empire, be sure to read “Resurgent Germany: A Fourth Reich?”
Scotland Leads LGBTI Bandwagon: “Scotland will become the first country in the world to embed the teaching of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex rights in the school curriculum” (The Guardian, November 9, 2018). “State schools will be required to teach pupils about the history of LGBTI equalities and movements, as well as tackling homophobia and transphobia and exploring LGBTI identity…. There will be no exemptions or opt-outs [for parents] to the policy.” Wales may follow closely on the heels of Scotland’s landmark decision.
Across the pond in America, “A physical education teacher in Florida was punished for refusing to oversee a biologically female middle schooler who identifies as male potentially get undressed in the boys’ locker room. The school, stunningly, allowed the female student to have access to the boys’ locker room without so much as informing the male students who would be sharing the locker room with the girl or the students’ parents” (Daily Wire, November 14, 2018).
These increasingly radical actions are taking place weekly in schools across the globe—all in the name of freedom and equality. Such actions would have been unheard of and seemingly impossible even five years ago, yet today, school districts and even national governments are “jumping on the bandwagon”—in spite of the concerns of parents and mental health professionals. Many centuries ago, the prophet Isaiah warned the sinful nation of Judah, “Why should you be stricken again? You will revolt more and more [against the laws of God]. The whole head is sick…. From the sole of the foot even to the head” (Isaiah 1:5–6). He also warned, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20). Few realize that these ancient warnings are still applicable today and that we are simply repeating the mistakes of history. For more insight into the consequences of the moral corruption that is occurring today, read “The Anglosphere’s Sobering Future.”—Scott Winnail, John Strain, Francine Prater, Deborah Lincoln-Strange, and Chris Sookdeo