December 13th, 2018
Greetings from Charlotte,
Dr. Douglas Winnail is visiting congregations in Florida. Mr. Cristian Orrego returned from his trip to Mexico City, where he is the pastor, and reports steady growth in the congregation. Mr. Michael DeSimone held a Charlotte Family Weekend department heads meeting to make sure everything is in place for that upcoming event. Fourteen on-site Living Education students completed their first semester final exams and are looking forward to a well-earned break before their second and final semester in Charlotte. The December co-worker letter, written by Mr. Ames, was mailed this week to more than 12,000 members and co-workers in the U.S. Mr. and Mrs. Jim and Susan Meredith are getting settled in Knoxville, and their move there came at a good time, as Susan’s father, Mr. Martin Fannin is recovering from pneumonia. His progress has been slow but steady. Your prayers for all those you know who are suffering afflictions are greatly appreciated.—Gerald Weston
Church Facts and Figures
From time to time, it may be encouraging to know some basic facts and figures about the Church. Here are a few:
The Living Church of God currently has 393 congregations in 57 countries around the world. We also have scattered members in 29 additional countries, who, without a regular congregation in their country, yet are our brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. Please remember to pray for these scattered brethren! So far in 2018, we have had over 160 baptisms, for which we are also grateful. Our average weekly attendance at Sabbath services in 2018 is running just over 9,000. Our high attendance figure for the Feast of Tabernacles was over 10,500. Thank God for the dedicated, faithful brethren we have all over the world, and continue to ask Him to add to our little flock, to help us get the Gospel message to all the world.—Church Administration Department
LCG Webcast Live Stream of Sabbath Services and Bible Study from Charlotte Family Weekend—Additional Information
LCG congregations and members are welcome to join us online for the Charlotte Family Weekend Friday night Bible Study on December 21, and for the Sabbath service on December 22. The Friday night Bible Study will begin at 7:30 p.m. (EST) and the Sabbath service will begin at 1:00 p.m. (EST). Note to technical crews: For testing purposes, the stream will be “live” beginning 30 minutes before the start of the Bible Study or Sabbath service. 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.)
Final Call! Charlotte Family Weekend Update
Deadlines for registration:
- Activity registration will close on Monday, December 17.
- Team registration will close on Monday, December 17.
- Basketball: We need three more teams! If you’ve been thinking about it, go ahead and do it! Even if you don’t have a team, you can still register to let us know you want to play.
- Volleyball: We need one more team! Even if you don’t have a team, you can still register to let us know you want to play.
- Family Games: Register yourself, your family, or an entire team.
Choir: 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.
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
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.
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
We have now completed our first semester of Living Education–Charlotte. Fourteen students have successfully completed their classes. The class line-up for this semester was “Christian Living,” “The Life, Teachings and Ministry of Jesus Christ,” “Old Testament Survey,” “Introduction to the Fundamental Doctrines,” and “Christian Communication.” They’ve also had a full schedule of regular activities, including Spokesman Club for the men, Women’s Club for the ladies, weekly Assemblies given by a variety of guest speakers, and a weekend trip to historic Charleston, South Carolina. To the parents, family and congregations supporting these students—thank you! Your encouragement for your sons and daughters has produced good fruit in the lives of these young people!—Jonathan McNair
Living Youth Program
Online Living Youth Friday Evening Studies Cancelled for Next Two Weeks
There will not be an online Friday evening Teen Bible Study on December 21 or 28, because of the Charlotte and Kansas City Family Weekends. However, archives of previous Living Youth Bible Studies, including last evening’s covering Matthew 19–20, can be found on the Living Youth website. The next online Friday evening Teen Bible Study will be on Friday, January 4.
Perseverance—A Vital Quality: Perseverance is one of the laws of success! The word is defined as tenacity, remaining steadfast under pressure, and the determination to continue along a chosen path in spite of difficulties and opposition. The Scriptures repeatedly emphasize the importance of this vital quality. Solomon wrote, “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small” (Proverbs 24:10). Jesus stressed, “he who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10:22; 24:13). The Parable of the Sower explains the consequences to those who compromise in the face of temptations, or who become distracted and discouraged when confronted by difficulties (Mathew 13:18-22). The Apostle Paul warned, “let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9). The Apostle John offers the same advice and encouragement to the Philadelphia Era of the Church: “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world… Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown” (Revelation 3:10-11). When trials or temptations come our way, let’s remember this important advice—to persevere, and never, never, never quit!
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas W. Winnail
News and Prophecy—December 13, 2018
Anger in France—Riots in Paris: Demonstrations over higher fuel taxes have resulted in riots in Paris (Deutsche Welle, December 3, 2018). Demonstrations have spread all over France, with hundreds of thousands participating. Protestors, known as “yellow vests,” have broadened their protests to include social issues like minimum wage, educational reforms, and calls for President Macron to resign (BBC, December 4, 2018).
In Paris, 240 fires were set two weeks ago in six buildings and more than 100 vehicles (Al Jazeera, December 4, 2018). Graffiti was spray painted on buildings and the famed Arc de Triomphe was damaged. Small businesses in Paris were burned and vandalized, while ambulance drivers went on strike. Students from more than 100 public high schools have protested over educational reforms. In the words of one reporter, “Paris breathes an air of revolution these days.” Last Tuesday, Macron’s government announced the suspension of planned fuel tax hikes in January, in an effort to stem the violence and anger (The Local, December 4, 2018). Many protestors are angry with what they view as the French elite ruling the country for its own gain while the average Frenchman struggles financially.
Protests and civil unrest tend to erupt in societies where inequity exists and the masses perceive their leaders do not care about them. The “Arab Spring” of 2011 is a powerful example of this phenomenon. In the Bible, King Solomon observed, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when a wicked man rules, the people groan” (Proverbs 29:2). However, the Bible also reveals the solution to these growing problems. To learn how real peace will come to this earth, be sure to read “The Way to Peace: The Missing Dimension.”
The “Insect Apocalypse”: The title of a recent New York Times Magazine article read like a stark announcement: “The Insect Apocalypse Is Here” (November 27, 2018). The article describes the devastating loss of insect populations around the globe in recent decades. According to research cited in the article, Monarch butterfly populations in the U.S. have declined by 90 percent in the last 20 years. The rusty-patched bumblebee has declined by 87 percent during the same period. In Germany, the numbers of flying insects in protected nature preserves, where they should be abundant, dropped by 75 percent in 27 years. Examples like this are frighteningly numerous.
Also sobering are the sizeable declines in bird populations that rely on insect populations for food. For example, “eight in 10 partridges gone from French farmlands; 50 and 80 percent drops, respectively, for nightingales and turtledoves.” And when we look at other species, we also see major declines. For example, “the world’s largest king penguin colony shrank by 88 percent in 35 years… [and] more than 97 percent of the bluefin tuna that once lived in the ocean are gone.”
Bible prophecy indicates that major environmental and ecological events will impact the earth as we approach the end of this age. Major world famines will also impact human life (Revelation 6:5–8). The drastic declines in insect populations—which could have a devastating impact on crop pollination—could contribute to the famines prophesied in the Bible. Although ecological disasters will impact our planet’s future, the Bible also explains how the return of Jesus Christ will bring about the restoration of ecosystems that have been destroyed! For more insights into how this global restoration will occur, read or listen to The World Ahead: What Will It Be Like?—Scott Winnail, Francine Prater, and William Williams