August 22nd, 2019
Greetings from Charlotte,
Carol and I returned from a trip to New England, where we had a Tomorrow’s World Presentation in Auburn, Massachusetts, and a Regional Ministerial Conference at Mount Snow, Vermont. Attendance at the TWP was lower than expected, but several individuals expressed sincere interest in attending Sabbath services. Time will tell if they follow through. Mr. Jonathan McNair conducted a TWP in Etowah, Tennessee, and Mr. Stuart Wachowicz conducted one in Halifax, Nova Scotia. There will be several initial presentations and several follow-ups this weekend. On-site Living Education students are beginning to serve in various capacities here at the Charlotte Headquarters. A couple of them have special skills that are badly needed in, for example, Information Technologies and the Work of God in the French language. Others are filling in gaps in support areas. Festival planning is going full-steam ahead, as time is closing in.—Gerald Weston
U.S. Requests for Feast Sermon CDs
Attention U.S. 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 for these requests is September 18. (All requests for international recipients should already have been sent in.) 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.
We continue to provide weekly Children’s Lessons on our lcgeducation.org website. These weekly lessons are prepared in three levels. Level 1 is intended for ages 6–7, Level 2 is for ages 8–9, and Level 3 is for children ages 10–11. The lesson material can be printed out or viewed online. An important key to recognize, however, is that the lessons are prepared as a tool for parents. There is a brief introductory summary of the Bible reading for each lesson, followed by four or five questions that can be discussed with your child, and a suggested memory scripture. The format of the lessons is intentionally designed to help parents fulfill the mandate given to us in Deuteronomy 6:7, in which we are commanded to teach God’s ways to our children. If you haven’t taken advantage of the lessons and you have young children, it would be well worth your time to give them a look.—Jonathan McNair
Feast of Tabernacles
Williamsburg, Virginia, Feast Site
If you plan to attend the Feast of Tabernacles in Williamsburg, please check the Feast microsite and note a couple of changes/additions. The Singles Activity is now posted, and there are changes to the Family Day Activity. Also, please let us know if you plan to attend the Day of Atonement or the Sabbath of October 12 in Washington, DC, or if you plan to attend the Sabbath service after the Feast (October 12) in Williamsburg. We need those counts so we can plan accordingly. Finally, if you plan to come to the pre-Feast sightseeing activities that have been organized, we also need you to check those boxes. Pre-Feast activities include: Red Bus Tour of DC’s major attractions on Thursday, October 10; and the Bible Museum in the morning and Mount Vernon in the afternoon of Friday, October 11.—Sheldon Monson, Festival Site Coordinator
Boerne, Texas, Feast Site
Reminder for those attending the Feast in Boerne, Texas, this year: Activity payments are needed at least two weeks in advance of the event. It is ideal to submit your payment when you sign up for an activity, if possible, in order that our caterers can have an accurate count for planning purposes. Please help us out by not waiting until the deadline to make your payments. For those who do not have Internet access or a computer, your Festival Advisor can help you with this. Credit card payments are preferred, but if you want to pay by check, make checks payable to the Living Church of God, and mail them to Mr. Raymond Garcia, 9706 Valley Ranch Pkwy W., Irving, TX 75063. Be sure to include what activities are being paid for, and please do not send cash through the mail. Looking forward to seeing y’all at the Feast!—Gary Stein, Festival Site Coordinator
Activity Registration Now Live!—Repeat Announcement
As a reminder, Feast of Tabernacles activity registration is now open. How do you register (and pay) for activities? Simply go online to the lcg.org website, click on “Feast of Tabernacles,” and follow the links. 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 Checks Finalized
The Festival assistance requests have been finalized, and we will now start sending the Festival assistance checks out. Pastors, please note: You will receive a notification via e-mail for each person in your pastorate(s) who requested assistance, with the amount that was approved (or disapproved).
Feast Speaking Schedules
The second batch of speaking schedules has been approved and is being sent out. Please note: If you are scheduled to give a sermonette or sermon at the Feast, please send your Festival Coordinator the title of your message no later than September 9.
Living Youth Program
South Africa Teen Camp 2019
We are excited to announce that this year’s South African Teen Camp is open for registration. We will again use the Jubaweni camp facilities in Limpopo, South Africa (www.jubaweni.co.za). The camp is situated on a large game farm and surrounded by unspoilt nature, activity courses, and authentic bushveld sports fields. Camp will officially start on Saturday evening, 21 December, and all activities will end on Tuesday morning, 31 December 2019. Staff will arrive on Thursday, 19 December. There will be a Sabbath service at camp on the Saturdays of 21 and 28 December. Some of the camp activities will include daily Christian Living classes, softball, volleyball, netball, soccer, an obstacle course, a team-building course, evening ultimate frisbee, swimming, water polo, dance, arts and crafts, a game drive, and much more!
The camp is open to teens aged 12–18 and staff from age 19 and older and the cost is R2550 ($180) per person. If you would like to attend the camp or be part of the staff, please contact Mr. Lawdi Ferreira ([email protected]) to get a Camper or Staff application form.
Adventure Camp Photo Contest Winners!
The 2019 Adventure Camp photo contest winners have been chosen! The female winner is Abigail Jolteus (15 years old). The male winner is Brandon Spencer (18 years old). Congratulations to Abigail and Brandon! They will each receive a $100 gift card to Dick’s Sporting Goods, which they may find useful for camp next year. We send a big thanks to all the campers who submitted beautiful and creative photos. Take a look at all the awesome photos on the Living Youth Program’s Facebook page!—Mike Kreyer
The Most Important Quality: Most of God’s people understand the importance of keeping the commandments, the Sabbath and the health laws. They also understand the importance of God’s government, tithing, faith, and watching for the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Yet, sometimes in our zeal to obey the laws of God, we can overlook something else that is even more important—the need to develop and exercise Godly Love. We are told in the Scriptures that without Godly Love, all these other things will amount to nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1–3). Here the biblical word for love (agape) refers to an unselfish, outgoing concern for others. In 1 Corinthians 13, the Apostle Paul states that Godly Love is patient and kind, it does not envy, and is not proud or rude. Godly Love does not seek its own way; it is calm and not easily provoked, nor does it jump to conclusions, or assign motives, or sit in judgment of others. Instead, Godly Love is gracious and forgiving. It is positive and focuses on what is right and true. It never fails or falters. Godly Love is the most important fruit of God’s Holy Spirit that we must nourish and cultivate if we hope to become like our Father and our Elder Brother Jesus Christ. God is love (1 John 4:8, 16), and we have been created and called to become like Him (1 John 3:1–3). Let’s make that our goal. Let’s ask God to help us learn to love Him and learn to love others as He does, so we can develop this most important quality—of Godly Love.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—August 22, 2019
New Archaeological Support for the Bible: While critics persist in their efforts to discredit the historical accuracy of the Bible—claiming it is just a book of fables and stories—archaeology continues to reinforce the historicity of the Bible. “Archaeologists excavating on Mount Zion in Jerusalem have uncovered evidence of the Babylonian conquest of the city, appearing to confirm a Biblical account of its destruction” (CNN, August 12, 2019).
Archaeologists have unearthed a gold earring and arrowheads among debris—items not usually found together in dig sites. CNN reports that Shimon Gibson from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte told them that “the recovery of the rare piece of jewelry is the first time that archaeologists have uncovered signs of the ‘elites,’ appearing to confirm Biblical descriptions of Jerusalem’s wealth prior to the conquest in 587–586 BC,” noting that “jewelry is a rare find at conflict sites as warriors would normally loot it and melt it down.” According to Gibson, the find is a “clear indication of the wealth of the inhabitants of the city at the time of the siege.”
The Bible records the destruction of Jerusalem under Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar—an event that has been described in the pages of the Bible for thousands of years (see 2 Kings 25 and Jeremiah 39 and 52). As history and science advance, the accuracy of the biblical text continues to be confirmed. Jesus Christ declared that God’s word is truth (John 17:17), and the Apostle Paul wrote that evil men would try to “suppress” that truth (Romans 1:18). However, the discoveries of archaeology and other sciences also leave mankind without excuse (cf. Romans 1:20). For more insight into the accuracy of the Bible, read or listen to our solidly documented booklet The Bible: Fact or Fiction?
More Extreme Murderous Acts: ISIS utilized modern media technology to widely publicize video and images of mass beheadings. Today, we have mass shootings in the U.S., bombings in peaceful, public places in the Middle East, and multiple shootings and stabbings of random civilians in Europe. And now, violent Mexican cartels have escalated their terror to a new level—hanging the dead bodies of their victims in public locations. Historically, Mexico’s cartels have fought over territory and drugs. Recently they have expanded their violence into different areas of the Mexican economy.
As The Guardian reported on August 8, 2019, authorities on the cartels confirm that “this week’s slaughter was clearly intended to intimidate rival criminal groups, the families of their members, as well as Mexican authorities.” Mexico’s new president has vowed to fight and beat these drug cartels, but so far to no avail. In the first six months of 2019 there were over 17,000 murders in Mexico, rivaling last year’s record-setting numbers.
The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 1 about the state of societies that choose to reject Him and seek after unrighteousness. Verse 26 notes that God gives these people over to “vile passions.” Ultimately these individuals become “unloving,” or as the King James Version translates the word, “lacking natural affection” (v. 31). The apostle also warned that “in the last days perilous times will come” as society becomes filled with self-centered, unloving, and brutal people (2 Timothy 3:1–4). Sadly, as we look around the globe today, we see an increasing number of people who clearly demonstrate their lack of “natural affection” toward other human beings. Thankfully, Jesus Christ promises to return in the future to restore not only peace among nations, but also love toward one another—a trait clearly lacking in our decadent and decaying societies. To learn more about an encouraging future in which murder is a thing of the past, view our telecast “What Is the Greatest Love?”—Scott Winnail, Francine Prater, Marc Arseneault, and Chris Sookdeo