December 12, 2013
December 12th, 2013
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ,
She is gone. My beautiful wife of over 36 years died just a few days ago. She had battled breast cancer for over 10 years. In the last year it got much worse. The doctors sent out the hospice personnel to give her comfort in her own home—where she wanted to be.
Sheryl was 67 years old. She helped me in the early days in building this Work from the beginning. Since we had to start afresh after leaving Worldwide after the apostasy, we had no church income, and no salaries at all. We were living off our savings. Sheryl typed out all of my early articles and booklets. She manned the phone and assisted me in greeting and encouraging new people regarding this Work. She traveled with me, encouraged me and helped me in dozens of different ways. I thank God for her and will never forget her love and help.
But now, I must go on alone to continue to proclaim the full Truth of Christ’s message to this confused world. “And yet,” as Jesus said, “I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.” Brethren, I was baptized by Herbert W. Armstrong 64 years ago this month. And I meant it. I have genuinely tried to give my life to God during those past 64 years. And so—in spite of all my human weaknesses—God has used this weak human vessel to teach more Ambassador College Bible classes than anyone else, to be the second Vice President and third man in the Worldwide Church of God for about 12 years, to be Deputy Chancellor of all three Ambassador College campuses and Director of the Ministry for that same general period of time. As most of you know, I am the only one left of the original five evangelists whom Mr. Armstrong ordained on December 20, 1952. I hope that you will forgive me for reminiscing about these things—as I have had to wake up early in the night many nights since Sheryl’s death wondering, “What has my life produced? What is ahead for me without Sheryl? What does God want me to do now?”
For the past 21 years, with Sheryl’s wonderful help, God has used us to raise up this Work of the Tomorrow’s World television program and magazine, the Living Church of God, Living University and other activities. Though very unworthy myself, I thank God that He has used me as a bond slave of Jesus Christ do to these things. But I will greatly miss the love, the encouragement and the constant help of Sheryl Meredith, my beautiful wife and companion, as I continue to “do the Work” as best I can with God’s help.
I greatly appreciate all of your prayers and support. This Work of faith is now on the cusp of a wonderful expansion beyond anything we have ever done. Many things indicate this—as you shall soon see over coming weeks. As you know, we recently went on a network airing Tomorrow’s World telecast to many of the nations comprising the former Soviet Union. It is already beginning to produce good fruits. And we are now planning to do much more on television in Europe. We recently completed an upgrade to our Tomorrow’s World television studio—which some of you may have seen a brief glimpse of during my recent live Internet presentation on December 8. The new set upgrades are truly beautiful and will make the program much brighter, colorful and impactful for those who watch. If you were not able to “tune in” to watch the live Internet presentation, you can always find the recordings of these presentations at the TomorrowsWorld.org Web site. Just click on the graphic on the home page to find the videos.
The Tomorrow’s World program recently launched in the Spanish language on a large Latin American television network called JBN. This network provides coverage to nearly every country in South and Central America, and is carried on more than 1,000 individual local stations in nearly every city throughout Latin America. Additionally, the Tomorrow’s World Web site continues to produce good fruit. The main Tomorrow’s World Web site saw more than a 20 percent increase in both unique Web traffic and also total Web traffic for the month of November, over the prior month. Development of a new, even more powerful Web site is wrapping up, and God-willing we will launch an entirely re-designed, much more technologically advanced Web site in the early part of 2014! Additionally, our social media sites are producing wonderful fruit. For example, in addition to the fact that over 20 million or more unique people may see our Facebook advertising in a single day, the readership on our actual Facebook page continues to grow. For example, in the past 30 days before writing this letter, about 1,190,000 unique people have seen one of our Tomorrow’s World Facebook posts—and again, this number does not include paid Facebook advertising on other Facebook pages, or our other Facebook pages that we maintain in English, French, Spanish and other languages.
As some of you may have seen, our Facebook page is now approaching more than 63,000 fans. Additionally, from the spring of 2013 to now, we have grown from roughly 620,000 total views on our TomorrowsWorldTV YouTube channel to more than 2.2 million views, and still growing! Equally encouraging, the average viewing duration of our programs on YouTube has nearly doubled in the past year. This is a very important statistic because this indicates increased interest by the many thousands of people that are viewing our programs on YouTube. Of course, it is God who calls and opens people’s minds—so we are very thankful for all of this increased television coverage, increased Web traffic, and the increased viewership and the increased time that people are spending watching the telecast on YouTube.
Frankly, dear brethren, as the “drums of war” begin to sound between China, Japan and South Korea because of their overlapping “air defense zones,” as a virtual genocide is continuing in Syria which will demand action, as Israel comes closer and closer to having the imperative to attack the ongoing military and atomic build up in Iran, as the massive “debt bomb” comes closer to exploding here in the United States, we in this Work of the living Christ must urgently be about our Father’s business. When we consider all eternity and our ultimate future, all our lives here on earth are very short. We must constantly ask God, from the heart: “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). Let us make each one of our lives truly “count” for something, brethren.
In Jesus’ name, I ask each one of you to “go all out” to help me and our dedicated team to reach this world with increasing power. Your tithes and offerings do make a difference. And Almighty God will bless each of you for giving generously to His Work at this critical time. Also, as many of you know, your tithes and offerings may be deductible from your taxable income for the year of 2013 if they are dated by December 31.
So, in spite of trials and tests, we will go forward with increasing power and zeal to preach the real Truth of our Creator to this very deceived world. Again, our Father in heaven will bless each of us if we do our part with true dedication and zeal.
With Christian love,
Roderick C. Meredith
P.S. Please remember that any contributions dated in December that are postmarked on or before 12/31/2013 will be counted as year 2013 donations, and may be tax-deductible in 2013, even if we receive them in January 2014. So be sure any December donation is dated and postmarked no later than December 31. If you prefer to use our online donation system found at http://www.lcg.org/donations.shtml, the cutoff for 2013 donations will be 11:59 p.m., December 31.