August 15th, 2019
Greetings from Charlotte,
Mr. Cristian Orrego lives in Charlotte, but pastors congregations in Mexico City and Guatemala. He returned this week from profitable visits in both locations. Our congregation in Mexico City is among our fastest growing. Mr. Etienne Duval gave a Tomorrow’s World Presentation last Wednesday in Matoury, French Guiana, at which there were 35 visitors and four members. Several follow-up presentations are scheduled for this weekend, and initial TWPs are scheduled to be given in Halifax, Nova Scotia, by Canadian Regional Director Stuart Wachowicz; and Etowah, Tennessee, by Mr. Jonathan McNair. Carol and I are scheduled to fly to Providence, Rhode Island, on Friday and I’m to give a TWP in Auburn, Massachusetts. Mr. Adam West and I are then to hold a Northeastern Regional Conference for ministers on Sunday and Monday. Dr. Douglas Winnail started a six-day road trip to visit ministers in several Eastern States. He will be speaking to our congregations in Indianapolis and Knox, Indiana, this Sabbath.—Gerald Weston
2019 Charlotte Family Weekend—Must Read Where Applicable—Repeat Announcement
We are looking forward to the 2019 Charlotte Family Weekend to be held on December 25–29. A firm contract for the facility was signed April 30, 2019, and we have been proceeding according to plan. Apparently, some heard that we had cancelled the weekend, but that rumor was mistaken. In the future, if anyone has a concern about an issue like this, rather than passing along and spreading an unfounded rumor, the proper procedure is to contact your pastor for the correct information. It should also be noted that we are open to ideas and input from individuals, but we must not get caught up in movements and the pressure tactics of social media that are so common today.—Gerald Weston
International Deadline for Requests for Feast Sermon CDs—Repeat Announcement
Attention Pastors: The deadline to submit requests for Feast sermons for Spanish and English international recipients is this coming Monday, August 19. (Requests for French international recipients should already have been sent in.) 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.) For recipients in the U.S. (any language), the deadline is September 18. Note: Feast sermons in English will be uploaded (one per day) during the Feast at www.lcg.org for those who have Internet access. French sermons will be uploaded to www.eglisedieuvivant.org and Spanish sermons to youtube.com/IDVsermones.
This week was filled with activity as our new Living Education students arrived and began to learn more about what the next nine months will hold for them. Their three-day orientation program began on Monday with a trip to the Smoky Mountains, where they braved the icy waters of the Watauga River in a whitewater rafting adventure. On Tuesday, before returning to Charlotte, they learned about the importance of education in the history of the Church of God, how to navigate the academic challenges for the coming year, and the principles that will guide them for the months ahead. On Wednesday, they were welcomed by Dr. Douglas Winnail, Mr. Richard Ames, and Mr. Weston in a special forum where they were given more guidance, challenging them to make the most of the opportunity. For lunch, the headquarters staff gathered to meet and greet them, welcoming them to their new home. The rest of the day was spent learning more about their work-study program, becoming more familiar with the library, and taking a complete tour of the Headquarters facility. We’re so pleased to have these young people here to learn and also contribute their efforts to the Work.—Jonathan McNair
Children’s Lessons Art Contest
As announced last week, we are looking for artists of all ages whose work could be featured in our Special Edition Children’s Lessons for the fall Holy Days. Submit your artwork relating to the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, the Feast of Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day. Artwork can depict symbols, Church traditions, characters, or biblical scenes relating to these fall Holy Days. Of course, the second commandment must be kept in mind, and we don’t want artwork with depicted images of God, Jesus Christ, or heavenly creatures. We are especially interested in cartoon-style work, although we will accept any suitable style to use with our Special Edition Children’s Lessons publication, “God’s Fall Festivals: A Study Guide for Parents Teaching their Children God’s Way.” For more information, just go to www.lcgeducation.org/fall-holy-days-art-contest.
Feast of Tabernacles
Activity Registration Now Live!
Good news! Activity registration is now open! What this means is that Living Church of God attendees and guests may now sign up for activities at the Feast. How? Simply go online to the lcg.org website, click on “Feast of Tabernacles,” and follow the links. You will also find information on how to pay for activities. To pay for activities, please read and follow carefully the written instructions provided by your Festival Site Coordinator (and, of course, never send cash in the mail).—Rod McNair
Feast Assistance Requests Are Being Processed
The Festival assistance requests are being processed, and we hope to send out notices early next week. Please note: for your information, as we begin to send out Festival assistance checks, pastors will receive an e-mail notice of the assistance approvals and disapprovals.
God Guides History: We live in a world where prominent voices claim that God does not exist, that no one can accurately predict the future, and that human beings must determine the future for themselves. However, the facts are just the opposite! Isaiah 46:9–11 clearly states that only God can predict the future and bring it to pass. Daniel told King Nebuchadnezzar that there is a God in heaven, and that “World events are under His control. He removes kings and sets others on their thrones” (Daniel 2:21, Living Bible)—that God actually determines how and when specific world events will take place (also see The Expositor’s Bible Commentary). After Daniel explained a vision of the future to Nebuchadnezzar, he told the king, “The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure” (Daniel 2:45). The Bible is a unique book that contains hundreds of specific prophecies recorded thousands of years ago, predicting events that are making news today. Amos 3:7 states that God will reveal His intentions to His servants the prophets—because God guides the course of history, and He wants that message understood and delivered by His Church today (Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; 2 Peter 1:19–21). This is why the Living Church of God does not neglect prophecy.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—August 15, 2019
Brexit Could Be Unstoppable! Britain’s new prime minister, Boris Johnson, and his team are working furiously to fulfill his election promise—bring about Brexit by the end of October (The Telegraph, August 3, 2019)! Johnson’s most senior aid has stated that Brexit is now unstoppable even if it is accomplished with no deal in place—regardless of any future actions made by the British parliament.
Johnson ran on the platform that he would lead Britain out of the EU, and he appears to be vigorously working toward that end. At the same time, EU officials appear to be unconcerned and are holding fast to their previous Brexit agreement. The British government recently allocated over one billion pounds to prepare for a “no deal” Brexit, and Mr. Johnson has angered both the Scots and the Irish with his actions.
While the EU is concerned about Brexit’s potential impacts on Europe—financial and otherwise—if there is no deal in place, they are also leery of giving in to Britain’s demands. The full impact on Europe of a no-deal Brexit is the subject of much speculation and concern, though it is clear to many that failure to establish an agreement concerning the UK’s exit would greatly anger other European governments. End-time Bible prophecies indicate that the emergence of a German-led European “beast” power will have terrible consequences for many Israelite-descended nations that have turned away from God—bringing on them the “time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:5–7; cf. Matthew 24:21). Could Brexit be one of the actions that will trigger the fulfillment of these ancient Bible prophecies? To learn more about the surprising future of Britain and Europe, read or listen to The Beast of Revelation: Myth, Metaphor or Soon-Coming Reality?
The Power of Walking: Neuroscientist Shane O’Mara recently published his latest book In Praise of Walking (The Guardian, July 28, 2019). In the book, he delves into the most current brain research and what it has to say about the impact of exercise and walking on the brain and memory. In an interview, Dr. O’Mara noted, “Our sensory systems work at their best when they’re moving about the world.” More specifically, “It turns out that the brain systems that support learning, memory and cognition are the same ones that are [negatively] affected by stress and depression.” Regular physical activity helps reduce stress and depression.
Recent research shows that learning and memory are positively impacted by specific brain waves that are boosted by walking and exercising. Physical exercise also increases chemicals in the brain that help it make new connections. These chemicals increase “resilience to ageing, and damage caused by trauma or infection.”
The Bible affirms that there is benefit to exercise in this life (1 Timothy 4:8). Of course, Jesus Christ and His apostles traveled by foot all over the Holy Land during Christ’s ministry and were no strangers to physical exercise. God designed the body with physical needs, and the more that science learns, the more important we realize exercise is—not only to the body, but also to the brain! For more advice on healthful living, read “Bible Principles of Health.”—Scott Winnail, John Meakin, and Francine Prater