June 27th, 2019
Greetings from Charlotte,
Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Weston were at the Saratoga Family Weekend last weekend (see report below), and this Sabbath will be visiting the Spokane, Washington congregation. Mr. Wallace Smith reports that the Living Education trip to the archeological dig in Israel is going well (see report below). We had 125 visitors (new and repeat) that attended the Tomorrow’s World presentations and follow-ups this past weekend in the USA, Canada, and Zambia.
Please note the two Feast of Tabernacles announcements and deadlines below for Festival Assistance and Feast sermons for shut-ins. Please be praying for the success of all of our LYP programs—the summer camp season for the USA kicks off this Sunday with the Missouri Pre-Teen Camp!—Rod McNair
Saratoga Family Weekend
Seventy-eight brethren came from all points of the compass to be together for the 22nd Annual Saratoga Family Weekend. Originally started with a visit from the Presiding Evangelist Dr. Roderick Meredith 22 years ago on one of his trips to the Western U.S., we were treated with another visit from the current Presiding Evangelist, Mr. Gerald Weston.
Friday evening started the weekend off with Mrs. Whitfield’s world-famous Antelope Chili and a Bible Study by Mr. Weston on the weaknesses of the theory of evolution and effective tools for systematic Bible Study. With cool nights and fresh air, our weekend in Saratoga continued with a delicious Sabbath brunch, afternoon services on “Who We Are” by Mr. Arnie Lalum, a sermon on “Three Aspects of Attitude” by Mr. Weston, and a rousing “Final Exam” with Mr. Shawn McMillin Saturday evening. After Sabbath services the fellowship continued with an old west steak dinner.
Sunday morning breakfast was followed by Mr. Weston’s workshop on effective preaching of the Gospel message to the world, along with principles of leadership and the writings of Paul with his letter to the Ephesians. Mr. Weston showed us how challenging it is to spread the Gospel to the world with so many different countries, age groups, and ideas.
Expressions of thanks and gratefulness go out to everyone who helped make another very successful Saratoga Family Weekend possible. We checked out of our hotel rooms, said our good-byes, cleaned up the hall for the next activities, and made plans for next year. We hope to see everyone back again as the Work continues.—Ben Whitfield, Area Pastor for Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah.
Israel Dig & Tour 2019—Update
Our two-and-a-half-week adventure in Israel is drawing to a close after one more Sabbath in Jerusalem, and the Living Education students have had a very positive experience. From visiting numerous historic sites—including many around Galilee, the City of David, and the Judean Wilderness—to participating in an archaeological dig working to uncover the biblical city of Libnah, the experience has been simultaneously inspiring, educational, and full of hard work! In addition to full coverage in the Living Church News, we plan to post pictures and multiple videos to the Living Education website shortly after we return, so stay tuned.— Wallace Smith
Feast of Tabernacles
Festival (Second Tithe) Assistance Requests—U.S. Only
Attention U.S. Pastors: The deadline to submit Festival Assistance Request forms to the Church Administration Department is Monday, July 15. All forms should be properly completed by the members requesting second tithe assistance to attend the Feast this year. Then, the Area Pastors should write their recommendations/comments on the forms before submitting them to CAD. Festival Assistance Request forms are available to ministers on the MyLCG Web site (www.cogl.org).—Festival Office
Feast of Tabernacles Sermons
Attention Pastors: Please send the Church Administration Department at [email protected] the names of those in your congregation(s) who will be unable to attend the Feast, who do not have access to Feast sermons online, and who wish to receive a set of the Feast of Tabernacles sermons on CD. (Sermons are available in English, French or Spanish.) The deadline to submit these requests is July 22 for French international recipients and August 19 for all other international recipients. For recipients in the U.S. (any language), the deadline is September 18. Note: Feast sermons will also be uploaded (one per day) during the Feast at www.lcg.org, for those who have Internet access. The French sermons will be uploaded to www.eglisedieuvivant.org and the Spanish to youtube.com/IDVsermones.
Living Youth Program
Teen Camp 2019—Bring your Adventure Camp shirts
If you are a camper or a member of the Staff that has ever been on an Adventure Trip—bring your Adventure Camp Shirt to camp. On Friday, July 12 (the first Friday during Teen Camp) you may wear your Adventure Camp shirt for the day! You earned it.—Sheldon Monson
Teen Camp 2019—Open to Visitors
Friday night Bible Studies and Sabbath Services on both Sabbaths during camp (July 12–13; July 19–20) are open to visitors. However, all visitors must check-in at the office upon arrival and check-out at departure. Light refreshments will be provided for all guests, but we will not be able to accommodate guests for dinner on any of these occasions due to cost and space.—Sheldon Monson
Introducing Living Youth Programs Live—Repeat Announcement
We’re pleased to be able to announce the launch of Living Youth Programs’ new live streaming home at https://live.livingyouth.org. This is where we’ll be broadcasting Christian Living Classes, Sabbath Services, and the Talent Show from Texas Teen Camp. To access the streams, you’ll need to sign in with your MyLCG or LYP Camp registration credentials. It’s also where we’ll be streaming future online Friday evening Bible Studies, which are scheduled to resume in November.
Also available at the same site is the archive of LYP broadcasts from the last five years, including the Teen Camp activities that were streamed, as well as Mr. Monson’s online Friday evening Bible Studies going back to 2013.
We hope you will join us for the studies from camp! The first study will begin at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time on July 9. To be sure you can access the studies, sign in to the site sometime between now and then and watch one of the archived recordings. If you have any difficulties accessing the site, please let us know at [email protected], and we’ll be happy to help!—Josh Penman
Reasons to Rejoice: The Scriptures emphasize the importance of rejoicing! The Sabbath is a special time to rejoice—a time to reflect on the blessings that God has given to us (Isaiah 58:13–14). The Apostle Paul urged Christians to “rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4). James states that we should rejoice even when trials come along (James 1:1–3). One of the fruits of God’s Spirit is joy (Galatians 5:22). One key that enables us to rejoice—even during trials—is to remember that we can “rejoice in hope” (Romans 12:12). We need to remember the hope of our calling to be in the coming Kingdom of God, the hope of eternal life, and the hope we have for the forgiveness of our sins. We need to remember that God promises to bring us through the trials that we face (1 Corinthians 10:13) and He promises that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). As we observe the Sabbath, let’s remember these reasons that God has given us to rejoice.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—June 27, 2019
U.S. Launches Cyber-Attack on Iran: In response to Iran’s downing of an American surveillance drone in international waters, the United States launched a cyber-attack on Iranian weapons systems, including their missiles and rockets (The Guardian, June 22, 2019). The attack had apparently been planned for weeks and was first conceived in response to the suspected Iranian attack of two international oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz.
The cyber-attack is also viewed as a response to ongoing cyber-attacks on U.S. targets, including federal agencies, by Iran and its proxies. Since the downing of the drone, many have worried that a “hot war” between the U.S. and Iran could erupt, and as rhetoric between American and Iranian officials continues to escalate, concerns that a real armed conflict could break out have grown. Iran has warned that if a hot war begins, it could engulf the entire Middle East (Times of Israel, June 22, 2019). At the time of this writing, the U.S. and Russia are planning to meet in Israel to discuss the Iranian situation and Russia has vowed to protect Iran’s interests (Times of Israel, June 22, 2019).
While the increasing friction between the U.S., Iran, and other nations of the Middle East is troublesome, it should not be surprising. Bible prophecy warns that as the end of the age approaches, tensions in this region will continue to increase! The tensions will eventually lead to the emergence of what the Bible calls “the king of the south.” This military and political entity will attempt to unify many Islamic Arab nations and will clash with a coming “king of the north” (Daniel 11:40–44). The Middle East will be the center of many world-changing events in the years to come. For more insights into the coming king of the south and the future of the Middle East, be sure to read or listen to The Middle East in Prophecy.
Forgive and Become Healthier! Jesus Christ instructed His disciples, “Forgive, and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37). He also warned, “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses” (Mark 11:26). But does following Jesus’ advice only impact us spiritually?
Modern scientific studies are demonstrating that there are physical health benefits to those who follow Christ’s advice and make the choice to forgive: “The science shows that forgiving others is related to general physical health” (Psychology Today, April 11, 2019). More importantly, research is beginning to show that those who forgive can actually begin to change their health for the better—improving the function of their heart or even decreasing their pain! These modern scientific studies demonstrate that anxiety (which can be caused by a lack of forgiveness) actually leads to depression—something King Solomon wrote about nearly three thousand years ago, “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good [kind] word makes it glad” (Proverbs 12:25).
When Jesus gave the command to forgive, He was sharing a powerful spiritual principle about a way of life He was trying to encourage His followers to adopt. However, modern science is coming to understand that following this principle also has real physical health benefits—something God, of course, has known all along. To learn about more blessings inherent in the act of forgiveness, be sure to read “The Benefits of Forgiveness.”—Scott Winnail and Francine Prater