April 19th, 2018
Greetings from Charlotte,
Mr. Richard Ames gave a Tomorrow's World Presentation in Troy, Alabama in early February, where 43 guests came to hear him speak. This past weekend, Mr. Anthony Stroud gave a follow-up to that presentation, but moved it down the road to Dothan, Alabama where 45 guests and ten members showed up. These presentations are notoriously unpredictable, and the size of the turnout in Dothan was a big surprise. A number of guests are very enthusiastic about starting a congregation there, so Mr. Stroud is looking into that possibility. Presentations were also given by Mr. Adam West in Kettering, U.K. and Mr. Rand Millich in Springfield, Illinois. I will be traveling to Bluefield, West Virginia this Sabbath for services and a TWP. Other presentations and follow-ups will be in Manchester, U.K.; Columbia, South Carolina; and Springfield, Illinois.
Our Legal, Information Technology, and Internet Departments are busy getting ready for changes in procedures taking place in the European Union. There are major changes, and fines are stiff for organizations not in compliance, so it is very important that we bring all our database operations and Internet sites up-to-date on this major project.—Gerald Weston
The Second Passover this year is on Sunday, April 29, which means that it will be observed on Saturday evening, April 28.
Introducing Tomorrow's World Answers
We are pleased to introduce a new project called Tomorrow's World Answers: simple, yet frequently asked Bible questions are answered in three-minute videos. These videos are being added at the end of the Canadian-produced version of the Tomorrow's World telecast. New programs produced here in Canada are shorter by three minutes to accommodate the new segment. The videos are also available on the Tomorrow's World YouTube channel, or simply type "twanswers" into a search engine. Current videos answer the questions: "Is the Kingdom of God Within You?," "Does the Bible Forbid Alcohol?" and "Did Paul Do Away With the Law?" Your prayers for the success of this project are greatly appreciated.—Michael Heykoop
Canadian Family Civic Weekend August 3–6
Come join brethren from across Canada and the U.S. for this year's Canadian Family Civic Weekend, August 3–6. We plan to take a trip back in time to see knights on horseback, break bread together at brunch and the picnic, and throughout the whole weekend, learn God's way through Bible Studies and a seminar.
Please visit lcgontario.org/cfcw (not an official LCG website) for more information, including cost and accommodations, and to register.—Timothy Dranov
Charlotte BRiC Singles Weekend (Memorial Day Weekend)—Repeat Announcement
All singles are invited to Charlotte, North Carolina, for the BRiC (Building Relationships in Christ) Weekend on May 25–28! This weekend will give singles of all ages an opportunity to fellowship, hear inspiring messages, and enjoy fun-filled activities. If you are interested or plan to attend, please visit our webpage at charlottelcg.org/bric (password bric) (not an official LCG website) to see the schedule of events and to register. If you have any questions regarding accommodations, housing with local brethren, or details concerning the weekend, please contact Mr. Jacob Hall ([email protected]) for more information.
One of the most common questions asked about our on-site program in Charlotte is this: "Why should a young man take a year out of his life to come to Charlotte to study the Bible? That won't help me get a job." This is a good question. For a young man, whether just leaving high school or in the young adult years, his focus should be primarily on acquiring skills, knowledge, and experience. Without these three elements, he won't be able to lead and provide for a wife and a family. But here's a challenge to you as a young man: Don't get so caught up in the rush to make a living that you forget the importance of learning how to live. This is what makes Living Education unique. Your local community college, the university you'd like to attend, or the apprenticeship you're applying for will not teach you how to live. We will. Give us one year and we'll give you a foundation for a lifetime. What about young women? We'll address the benefits of Living Education for you next week!—Jonathan McNair
Feast of Tabernacles
Festival Registration Underway
Do you want to show brotherly love to your fellow brethren? Here's a great way—Register! Even if you are attending your assigned site, you need to register. Procrastinating on registering for your assigned site means that some fellow brethren will remain on the transfer waiting list while they wait to find out if there is space available at your site. So, please, show love—register!
Festival registration is now underway, with almost 4,000 members and guests registered. Do your part: register today!
Congregational Assignments for the Feast of Tabernacles, USA—Repeat Announcement
To find out what Feast site your local congregation is assigned to, please consult the following list. You may request to transfer to a site other than your assigned site. Please do not make housing reservations until you have registered and have been approved for your choice of site.
La Quinta, California
California: Banning, Concord, Eureka, Fresno, Garden Grove, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego
Nevada: Las Vegas, Reno
Arizona: Phoenix, Prescott Valley, Tucson
Colorado: Colorado Springs, Denver, Grand Junction
New Mexico: Albuquerque, Santa Fe
Wyoming: Casper, Saratoga, Thermopolis, Wheatland
Panama City, Florida
Alabama: Athens, Birmingham, Montgomery
Florida: Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Lake City, Ocala, Pensacola, Tampa
Georgia: Columbus, Thomasville
Louisiana: Baton Rouge, Ferriday, Lafayette, Monroe, New Orleans
Mississippi: Columbus, Jackson, Laurel, Ocean Springs
Puerto Rico: San Juan
Alaska: Anchorage, Homer
Indiana: Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Knox, Terre Haute
Kentucky: Berea, Louisville
Michigan: Kalamazoo, Lansing, Traverse City
Ohio: Akron, Cincinnati, Columbus, Lima
West Virginia: Bluefield, Charleston, Morgantown
Tennessee: Chattanooga, Clarksville, Crossville, Etowah, Knoxville, Nashville
Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
Arkansas: Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Little Rock, Russellville
Iowa: Des Moines, Dubuque, Keokuk
Kansas: Chanute, Wichita
Missouri: Columbia, Joplin, Kansas City, Rolla, St. Joseph, St. Louis, Springfield
Nebraska: Lincoln, Omaha
Oklahoma: Oklahoma City, Tulsa
Montana: Great Falls, Helena
Oregon: Myrtle Creek, Portland
Washington: Richland, Seattle/Tacoma, Tonasket
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Georgia: Atlanta, Augusta, Blairsville, Braselton, Macon
North Carolina: Asheville, Charlotte, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Jacksonville, Raleigh, Statesville, Sylva
South Carolina: Anderson, Walterboro
Virginia: Bristol, Norfolk, Richmond, Williamsburg, Winchester
Marble Falls, Texas
Texas: Abilene, Amarillo, Austin, Beaumont, Big Sandy, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Houston, Lufkin, Midland, San Antonio, Temple, The Valley
Mount Snow, Vermont
District of Columbia: Washington
Maryland: Baltimore, Salisbury
New Hampshire: Tilton
New Jersey: Hammonton, Rahway
New York: Albany, Binghamton, Corning, New York City, Plainview, Rochester, Syracuse
Pennsylvania: Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Tannersville
Rhode Island: Providence
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Illinois: Chicago, Joliet, Peoria, Springfield
Minnesota: Duluth, Minneapolis
North Dakota: Bismarck
Wisconsin: Appleton, Merrill, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Dells
Living Youth Program
Texas Teen Camp Staff Applications Deadlines
All LCG employees (whether at Headquarters or in the field) who plan to go to the Teen Camp in Texas need to apply by Sunday, April 29. All other staff applications must be in by April 30. Any staff applications after those dates will only be accepted as space allows, and no staff applications will be accepted after May 8.
Staff assignments for the Texas Teen Camp will be posted on May 8.—Sheldon Monson
The Dynamics of Friendship: In our modern "wired" world, many people feel disconnected and lonely. Yet the Bible has practical advice to offer. The Scriptures reveal that if we want to have friends, we must learn to be friendly, and that true friends are supportive during difficult times (Proverbs 17:17; 18:24). Are we friendly, and do we look for ways to lend support to others? Friends are people we can confide in and share important thoughts and concerns with (John 15:15). Real friends may not always agree with us, and sometimes they will tell us things about ourselves and our plans and actions that we need to hear, but may not want to hear (Proverbs 27:6, 17). Are we receptive listeners and do we care enough to make thoughtful comments to others we care about? The Bible also cautions us to choose our friends carefully, because we are influenced by the company we keep (Proverbs 12:26). Abraham chose to be a friend of God by choosing to obey God (James 2:23; Genesis 12:4). Abraham also understood that friendship with the world and its ways would alienate him from God (cf. James 4:4). As Christians, let's use these guidelines to build and strengthen real and lasting friendships.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—April 19, 2018
War with Russia and Its Allies? Tensions are rising with the accusation that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's army again used chemical weapons in contravention of the Geneva Convention (U.S. News & World Report, April 10, 2018). The U.S., the U.K. and France threatened retaliation with missiles, which many experts fear could escalate the conflict in the region (Al Jazeera, April 10, 2018). In response, "Russia's ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin has said that his country would respond to any U.S. missiles fired at neighbouring Syria by shooting them down and targeting their launch sites," as Russia vows to protect its own troops (Al Jazeera, April 11, 2018).
America and its allies did fire missiles into Syria on Saturday, hitting three targets believed to be used for chemical weapons (BBC, April 14, 2018). In response to the missile strikes, Russian officials labeled the attack "treacherous and insane" and a "clear and present danger to world peace" (NPR, April 14, 2018).
Where will this all lead? Will the West wind up in a war with Russia? Jesus Christ warned that "wars and rumors of wars" would be one of the signs of the approaching end of the age (Matthew 24:6)—yet there will be more to come (see Fourteen Signs Announcing Christ's Return). As we see the threat of wider conflicts spreading around the globe, it is worth remembering that Bible prophecies reveal there is a time of world peace coming in the future. For more on this incredible and largely unexpected future, read or listen to Armageddon and Beyond.
Collapse of France's Bird Population: In the last 15 years, France's bird population has fallen by over 30 percent (The Guardian, March 20, 2018). The numbers of some bird species have dropped by two-thirds! Researchers believe the primary reason for the die-off "is the intensive use of pesticides on vast tracts of monoculture crops, especially wheat and corn." The birds are not being poisoned. Instead, "the insects on which they depend for food have disappeared." Findings from across Europe demonstrate "flying insects have declined by 80%, and bird populations has dropped by more than [400 million] in 30 years." Researchers highlight additional factors in the bird die-off: "Shrinking woodlands, the absence of the once common practice of letting fields lie fallow and especially rapidly expanding expanses of mono-crops have each played a role."
Birds are a critical part of every ecosystem. They were designed by God, not only for human enjoyment, but also to assist with pollination and seed distribution, to keep insect and rodent populations in check, to serve as food for other animals, and even to boost the mental health of humans (The Telegraph, January 10, 2018). God created all creatures and noted that the creation was "good" (Genesis 1:21, 25). And God gave mankind dominion (v. 28) and the responsibility of taking care of His creation (cf. Genesis 2:15).
Sadly, today mankind puts more focus on "self" and greed than on being a good steward of creation. God warned that at the end of the age, many different traumatic events would impact the earth because of mankind's rejection of God and His laws. The prophet Hosea foretold a time when, due to human actions, "the land will mourn; and everyone who dwells there will waste away with the beasts of the field and the birds of the air; even the fish of the sea will be taken away" (Hosea 4:1-3). The rapid decline of the bird populations throughout France and Europe is only a foretaste of the destruction that God said will eventually take place unless people learn to live by His physical and spiritual laws. To learn more about what God has in store for the future of the creatures on this earth, read "How Will the Earth Be Restored?"—Scott Winnail, Chris Sookdeo and Francine Prater