January 24th, 2019
Greetings from Charlotte,
The Mail Processing Department mailed out nearly 5,600 of our new Evolution and Creation booklets this week. Members will receive it automatically. As many of you know, WGN out of Chicago was our “flagship” station for many years. Their network went through a number of changes several years ago and the cost per response increased to a point where we dropped it. However, they are rebuilding their network and we are going back on this national network at 6:00 a.m. Eastern time, beginning February 2. Another piece of good news is that our Internet Department will be rolling out a significantly updated website. The lcg.org and cogl.org sites are being combined into a single lcg.org site. It is more user-friendly for mobile devices and much easier for our Internet Department to maintain, saving many hours of work each month. We hope you enjoy the new look and new features. It is still a work in progress, but you can begin accessing it in the next few days. The transitions for Television and the Internet Departments are now in place. From now on, please contact Mr. Michael DeSimone ([email protected]) if you have comments or questions regarding television, and Mr. Daniel Guidry ([email protected]) for comments or questions regarding the Internet. I’m scheduled to be in south Florida this weekend for a mini-conference.—Gerald Weston
Passover 2019—Repeat Announcement
Important Notice to All Pastors: In 2019, the Passover Service will be observed on Thursday evening, April 18. Please let us know as soon as possible if any of the congregations you serve will need additional Passover Service supplies (bread trays and/or wine trays or glasses) or a copy of the Passover Service recording and letter instructions (available in English, French, and Spanish). To ensure timely delivery and to save on shipping costs, we need this information before February 19 for international congregations and by March 19 for U.S. congregations.
Also, please let us know of any scattered members who are unable to keep the Passover with a congregation and who need to receive the Passover Service recording and letter instructions for observing it at home. International requests should be received before February 19 and U.S. requests before March 19. Please direct your requests to the Church Administration Department at [email protected] as soon as possible.
This week, we began Unit 4 of “The Life, Teachings and Ministry of Jesus Christ.” This is the final unit for this class, covering the chapters in the gospels that relate the events of Christ’s last Passover with His disciples and His crucifixion and resurrection. Mr. Weston recorded three segments for these classes, to add to the video recordings from Dr. Meredith, completing our lessons. If you haven’t taken advantage of the course, you are welcome to get involved. There is no time limit for any of the units, and you can even just enroll in this current unit if you wish. Each unit is a stand-alone series of lessons on a different segment of the gospels. Just go to lcgeducation.org to access the program.
We are still accepting applications for the 2019–2020 school year for Living Education-Charlotte. As we begin the second semester with our current students, they are continuing their efforts to study and learn more about Godly basics for life. In addition, they are building friendships with other young people that will last a lifetime. If you or someone you know would be interested in this one-year program, building a foundation for life, please direct them to lcgeducation.org for more information and a link to register. One year can make a big difference!
Living Education Spring Holy Day Weekend
In Exodus 13, God instructed the Israelites to remember their escape from Egypt year after year. They were commanded to remind their children of the miraculous intervention that God had shown them as He brought them out of Egypt. We recognize that God has shown us the same mercy and kindness. Each year, we observe the Days of Unleavened Bread and recount the same lessons. But are the lessons lost as we try to squeeze our observance of God’s Passover and Holy Days into our normal routine? By getting away from the hustle and bustle and gathering with our brethren for three full days as we begin the Spring Holy Day season, we give added weight to these special days. We’ll focus on fellowshipping, learning, and worshiping God together. This program is open for all ages, young and old! Families and singles are all welcome!
Registration opens on January 31, and will remain open until we are at capacity. For more information (and to register beginning January 31), go to livingeducationfamily.weebly.com (not an official Living Church of God website).—Jonathan McNair
Feast of Tabernacles
International Feast Sites in 2019—Repeat Announcement
We are pleased to announce the international Feast sites that have been confirmed for 2019 and that will be open to international transfers. Some venues have not been finalized yet, so the country is listed but not the town:
- Argentina: (Armando Orrego, [email protected])
- Australia: Port Macquarie, New South Wales (Anthony Mew, [email protected])
- Australia: Warrnambool, Victoria (Martin Montgomery, [email protected])
- Barbados: Pebble Beach (Paul Shumway, [email protected])
- Canada: Gimli, Manitoba (Marc Arseneault, [email protected])
- Canada: Penticton, British Columbia (Barry Walker, [email protected])
- Colombia: La Tebaida, Quindío (Antonio Mora, [email protected])
- Costa Rica: Punta Leona (George Schaubeck, [email protected])
- France: Carry-le-Rouet (Rees Ellis, [email protected])
- Guatemala: Tecpan, Chimaltenango (Gabriel Ortega, [email protected])
- Guyana: Georgetown (Paul Shumway, [email protected])
- India: Goa (Rajan Moses, [email protected])
- Jamaica: Montego Bay (Lascelles Fraser, [email protected])
- Malaysia: Penang (Rajan Moses, [email protected])
- Martinique: (Wilner Pierre, [email protected]; Etienne Duval, [email protected])
- Mexico: San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato (Cristian Orrego, [email protected])
- New Zealand: Taupo (Paul Kearns, [email protected])
- Philippines: Baguio (Joseph Gonzales, [email protected])
- South Africa: Port Shepstone, KwaZulu-Natal (Lawdi Ferreira, [email protected])
- South Africa: Stillbaai, Western Cape (Christo Botha, [email protected])
- Tobago: Lowlands (Damian Weekes, [email protected])
- United Kingdom: Harrogate, England (Simon Roberts, [email protected])
Other international sites will be announced later as they are confirmed. Stay tuned to The World Ahead for more information about the Feast of Tabernacles 2019!
Living Youth Program
Living Youth Friday Evening Bible Study
The online Friday evening Teen Bible Study on February 1 will cover Matthew 25:1 through 26:16, and will be given by Mr. Sheldon Monson. Join us at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The chatroom will be open 30 minutes prior to the beginning of the study.
To join, just visit livingyouth.org, and follow the links to “Friday Evening Bible Study.” 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 24:21–51, can be found on the Living Youth website.—Josh Penman
What Motivates You? In our world today, many people are motivated by a personal quest for a position, power, prestige, pleasure or a paycheck—and failure to be acknowledged or acclaimed is hard for some to deal with. Sometimes this attitude even spills over into the Church and local congregations when individuals jostle for positions and seek to be noticed or be given positions and responsibilities. However, Jesus sternly admonished the religious leaders of His day against seeking prominent positions and relishing public recognition (Matthew 23:6–7). In place of these self-seeking motives, Jesus emphasized to His disciples the importance of genuine humble service, “whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant” (Matthew 20:26). The Apostles Paul and Peter also warned against seeking offices in the Church for personal aggrandizement, and instead, they urged Christians to be examples to others by serving with humility (1 Timothy 6:5; 1 Peter 5:2–6). As we strive to come out of this world, we need to understand that when we eliminate selfish motives and develop a genuine desire to serve others as Jesus Christ did, then God can use us to be more effective instruments in His hands (Philippians 2:3–12).
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—January 24, 2019
Europe and the Pre-Trump Relationship: A recent BBC article laments the changing relationship between the United States, Britain, and the rest of Europe (January 14, 2019). The author reflects nostalgically on the former close ties between the U.S. and Europe—a relationship that grew closer under American presidents following the Cold War. In the author’s view, and that of many Europeans, the Trump administration has forever changed this prized relationship: “Those four or eight years that Donald Trump is president will have changed the relationship and changed the U.S. role in the world, so it will be different.”
“With Europe embroiled in its Brexit difficulties, which leave so many questions unanswered, its leaders also find themselves scrambling to work out what it might mean if these old ties with the United States continue to unravel.” Based on recent comments by President Trump related to trade with Europe, many Europeans are also questioning whether the continent’s relationship with America is becoming adversarial.
The mutual respect and trust between the U.S. and Europe, forged through two world wars and a Cold War, appear to be rapidly fading. Bible prophecy predicts this will occur at the end of the age. The Bible warns that prior to Christ’s return, many of the Israelite-descended nations (America, Britain, the British-descended peoples, and many others) will see their former allies (“lovers”) become enemies who will forget, despise, and turn on their former Israelite friends (Jeremiah 4:30; 30:14) as God punishes His chosen people for rejecting His ways. To better understand how end-time events will impact Europe and Israelite nations, read or listen to The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy.
Screen Time Harms Children’s Health! The Telegraph reports that research continues to document the hazards of children spending time in front of electronic screens. In a review of 80 published studies, “the World Cancer Research Fund [WCRF] found increasing exposure to smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles in childhood is driving long-term weight gain—identified as one of the key causes of cancer” (November 7, 2018). In fact, obesity in childhood leads to adult obesity. Excess weight has been found to put individuals at risk for 12 different types of cancer. “As well as being linked to lower levels of physical activity, [screen time] appears to dull satiety levels, leading to ‘passive overconsumption’ of snacks—often junk foods, which are often marketed via the same devices.”
Research shows that children average eight hours a day staring at screens. The Telegraph notes that “research by King’s College London found that every hour a day playing computer games raises the risk of short-sightedness by three per cent, an effect dubbed ‘digital myopia.’” Kings College faculty member Chris Hammond warned that working “close-up” with screens and spending so much time indoors was causing harm both to children’s eyesight and their overall physical health: “I think our concept in myopia is clearly that close work is a risk factor, and outdoor activity is protective.”
God designed childhood as a time of exploration and learning. Young children have abundant energy and a need to play and spend time outdoors. Mounting research continues to support the truth that spending time in God’s creation protects against many diseases and health-related problems. Yet society today is increasingly structured to keep children (and adults) inside, sedentary, and constantly focused on electronic screens. God plans to send Jesus Christ back to earth to establish a world in which the streets “shall be full of boys and girls” playing outside among their neighbors (Zechariah 8:4–5), not stuck behind screens. And King David viewed God’s creation as one of his teachers (Psalm 8:3–6; Psalm 121). To learn more about the wise use of our multiplying electronic devices, read “The Two Faces of Technology.”—Scott Winnail and Francine Prater