November 30th, 2017
Greetings from Charlotte,
There are two Tomorrow's World Presents scheduled for Sunday, December 3. Mr. Richard Ames is to be in Douglasville, Georgia and I'm to be in Columbia, South Carolina. Based on pre-registration, we may very well have "standing room only" in both locations. We have meetings scheduled this coming week to map out plans for an educational program for our ministry, members, and the youth of the Church. Your prayers regarding this program, along with the upcoming TWPs, are greatly appreciated. I recorded a new telecast this week titled "What Is the Greatest Love?" And we viewed Mr. Wallace Smith's new program where he addressed the subject of the popular "Rapture" doctrine. Most of our websites are seeing very encouraging increases over last year. For example, in terms of sessions or visits to the website, the English language Tomorrow's World site is up 12 percent, French up 41 percent, German up 17 percent, Russian up 47 percent, and the Dutch up 123 percent. While overall encouraging, we know we have a long way to go.—Gerald Weston
Charlotte Family Weekend—Please Register Now!
Online registration for this special 25th Anniversary celebration is now open. To register, log on to your MyLCG page through www.cogl.org/mylcg.shtml and then just click the "Registration" button in the Charlotte Family Weekend box on the right side of the page. You must register and pay for all activities and meals by December 17. Basketball and volleyball team registration is now open too, and will also close on December 17. Due to the shortened time for tournament play, we will have to limit the number of teams to a maximum of eight—once we have that many signed up, we will have to close registration. There is currently only one team spot open for volleyball.
We request that everyone pay for the activities and meals using the online payment system through PayPal. This saves us a lot of extra time and effort in manually processing checks and reconciling them to registrations. If you are unable to pay online we will accept checks, but they must be postmarked no later than December 13.
All of the times and places for the weekend events are also posted on the MyLCG page—just click the "Overview and Schedule" button.
If any out of town guests are looking for housing with Church brethren in the Charlotte area, please contact Mr. Louis Crespo at [email protected] or call him at 704-516-5728. If you are looking for someone to share a room with at the Renaissance Hotel, or would like to play on a basketball or volleyball team, feel free to post a message on the Charlotte Family Weekend Facebook page (a public page). More updates will continue to be posted on the Facebook page, so check it regularly—and "Share" it with your friends.
Kansas City Family Weekend
The Kansas City Family Weekend is just a month away and some important deadlines are approaching. The deadline for reserving a hotel room at the Embassy Suites is December 14. Each suite can house up to six people for $109/night + tax. These suites include a full hot breakfast in the morning and a selection of snacks and drinks in the evening for everyone in the room. Housing details can be found on the website at kclcg.org (not an official LCG website). The super-secret password is security.
The Saturday evening brisket dinner is priced at $22/plate, and children's chicken fingers meals are $10 or $12, depending on your child's age. Our theme for the Saturday evening dance and fun show is "Ambassadors from Around the World." Come dressed as though you were appearing before important heads of state as a representative of the country of your choice. Look up pictures of how the various national representatives dress up to meet at the UN, or find formal wear in the style of the country you choose. We have a memorable night prepared for you!
If you have creative talent, please sign up for a space at our art show. We'd love to see your drawings, paintings, photography, calligraphy, woodworking, poetry, knitting and quilting. Just click "Art Show Signup" on the website and reserve your spot.
Sunday's activities include our popular family games, sports tournaments, gaga ball, yard, and card games. Please begin forming your teams and have the most computer-savvy of the bunch sign up your team on our Sunday Activities page. We'll even have games and story time for the youngest among us. The Family Weekend is "all-inclusive," meaning we want all ages to fellowship, dine, laugh, dance and play together. So register to join us this year! See you soon!
Upstate South Carolina Spring Holy Day Weekend: March 30–April 1
The Anderson, South Carolina, congregation is pleased to announce that the Upstate South Carolina Spring Holy Day Weekend is scheduled for March 30–April 1. Weekend events and registration information will be announced in January.
Living Youth Program
Friday Evening Online Teen Bible Study
The online Teen Bible Study on Friday evening, December 8, will be an "Introduction to the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ." 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. To join the study, go to www.livingyouth.org. For those who are unable to make it to the study, archives of previous Living Youth Bible Studies, including last evening's on "The Mystery of the Kingdom of God, Part 2," can also be found on the Living Youth website.—Sheldon Monson
Registration for Second/Spring Semester
Registration for the spring semester is now underway! The spring semester will begin on Wednesday, January 10. Students may register for the spring semester (fall in the Southern Hemisphere) anytime between now and January 9. Those who have never taken a Living University course will need to enroll in the University first, and then register for your selected course(s). A complete listing of second semester courses can also be viewed on the Living University website under the link "Spring 2018 Class Schedule." To make application to Living University, to register for courses, and to find out more, please visit the www.livinguniv.com website. For additional information or questions, please contact Mrs. Michelle Broussard at 704-708-2294 or [email protected].
THL 320 – Introduction to Church History. The literal prophecies in Revelation 2-3 were fulfilled in their own time as churches in Asia Minor, but they also have important prophetic meaning, fulfilled over the course of nearly 2,000 years as successive eras in Church history. Overlooked by historians far too long, these two chapters provide a general outline of Church history from the birth of the Church in 31 CE to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ at the end of the Age. In this sense, Revelation 2-3 constitute a prophetic history of the Church of God with an important message for the people of God in every century. Topics for this course include the development of the Church through each of its seven distinct eras.
THL 327 – Working with Christian Youth. This course deals with developing, organizing, and coordinating Church youth programs. In this course we emphasize the development of Christian values in youth and adolescents. Topics covered include preventing and dealing with addictions, motivating youth, working with boys, working with girls, developing friendships, dating, and issues that parents must consider when raising their teenage children. By the end of the semester, students should be able to organize and coordinate a youth program in a local congregation. Those working with youth currently or in the future (including parents) can greatly benefit from this class.
THL 345 – Christian Men. This course examines God's expectations for true Christian men. It deals with Christian men as husbands, fathers and masculine leaders of the family and society. Topics include the purposes God made men for, being a loving leader and head of a family and key areas in which Christian men are challenged to mature and excel. This class is a must for any man wishing to develop his true God-given potential as a Christian man. It is also helpful for those married to and even raising Christian men (ladies).
The Value of Hope: Having a hope for the future—something positive to look forward to—is a vital aspect of life. Many have understood, and may have experienced, that life without hope is empty. The Bible states, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick" (Proverbs 13:12). But what is the real hope in life for a Christian? King David wrote, "You are my hope, O Lord GOD" and "I hope in Your word" (Psalm 71:5; 119:147). The Apostle Paul said under cross-examination before a Roman governor, "I have hope in God… I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets," including the promise of a resurrection and eternal life that he would receive at the return of Jesus Christ (Acts 24:14-15; Titus 1:2; 2:13). We are urged as Christians "to lay hold of the hope set before us" (Hebrews 6:18) and to "purify ourselves" so we can become "children of God" (1 John 3:1-3) and to be "ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear" (1 Peter 3:15). We need to be motivated by that same hope today.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—November 30, 2017
Saudi Arabia on the Rise? Recently, Saudi Arabia summoned Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to Riyadh where he was apparently ordered to follow the peace plan being written up by the Trump administration (The Times, November 14, 2017). Earlier, Lebanon's prime minister was apparently summoned to Saudi Arabia—a move he claims he made to avoid an assassination plot (New York Times, November 22, 2017). While in Riyadh, he said he would resign as prime minister, something many believe occurred under pressure from the Saudi crown prince. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have strengthened ties with Germany through the acquisition of German military hardware (Deutsche Welle, November 14, 2017). Riyadh has also threatened military action against Iran as of late (CNBC, November 22, 2017). Bible prophecies warn of the rise of a "king of the south" at the end of the age (Daniel 11:40-45). The Arab world lacks a core nation to rally around, and a number of national leaders have attempted to fill that void. It will be interesting to watch the growing power and political motivations of Saudi Arabia and its relationship with Egypt and Germany in light of these ancient Bible prophecies. For more insights into the future of the Middle East, read or listen to The Middle East in Prophecy.
A Guttenberg Comeback? Just prior to the recent German elections, former German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg spoke at a rally in Bavaria, where 1,000 people came to support him (Financial Times, September 1, 2017). Guttenberg resigned from his government post seven years ago due to a plagiarism scandal and moved to New York, where he has continued to speak out on European affairs and the need for stronger leadership in the EU. However, many Germans want him back and see him as their future Chancellor. One policy analysist observed, "He is a charismatic politician in a political landscape not overloaded with charisma," while onlookers at his rally described him as "brilliant," "captivating," and "the savior of us all." Chancellor Angela Merkel reports she is "in good contact" with zu Guttenberg—one of her ardent supporters. Other leading German politicians have mapped different ways for him to return to the top of German politics. Where Guttenberg's future will lead is uncertain. However, Bible prophecy reveals that an end-time charismatic individual will lead a German-led European power called the "beast" at the time of Christ's return. This leader will work with a powerful religious figure to influence ten European leaders to give their power to this "beast" (see Revelation 17). While there have been a number of charismatic figures who have come and gone in Europe, someone is going to fill this prophesied role. It is worth keeping an eye on this charismatic and ambitious politician still backed by many of Germany's elite. For more on the future of Germany and Europe, read "Resurgent Germany: A Fourth Reich?"
Armyworm Invasion Threatens African Crops: The fall armyworm is now present in 38 African nations, including the Cape Verde Islands (Deutsche Welle, November 24, 2017). The worms are extremely destructive and feed on over 80 plant species, including the all-important staple crop of maize (corn). Experts fear that half of Africa's agricultural crops could be destroyed by the blight in years to come—wiping out billions of dollars in income for mostly small farms. The implications of this devastating infestation include job loss, financial ruin and starvation! However, the time is coming when the returning Jesus Christ will bring about a restoration of the environment and destructive infestations will end (see Isaiah 35; Amos 9:13-15). To learn more about the good news that lies ahead, read or listen to The World Ahead: What Will It Be Like?—Scott Winnail and Francine Prater