November 7th, 2019
Greetings from Charlotte,
We just concluded a series of Council of Elders meetings here in Charlotte, with Directors coming from around the world. Mr. Mario Hernandez gave a sobering report on the sudden unrest in much of South America, as people are rising up against their ruling classes. It seems that the whole world is entering a time of transition, with angry people everywhere. Council members also reported on the increasing hostility in the Israelite nations toward Biblical values. However, reports regarding the Feast and the Church were very positive. It was encouraging to hear from several men that former Worldwide members are discovering us and “coming home,” so to speak. Regional Directors also reported, with one exception, that Feast offerings were up, more than 10 percent in some areas. Overall, Living Church of God Feast of Tabernacles attendance in 2019 was 11,060—a 4.7 percent increase over 2018 and the first time in our 27-year history to go over the 11,000 mark. This year, we sponsored the Feast in 61 locations in 37 countries. Following the Council, Mr. Peter Nathan spoke at a Living Education assembly about our Work in Africa, where he has worked off and on for 46 years. He explained how faithful individuals and groups in several countries want to be a part of us. He described some in an East African country as being in a “time warp,” hanging on to the Truth in isolation for decades. These are people who were left behind in the breakup of Worldwide, who faithfully keep the Sabbath and Holy Days. They are not looking for financial help. They have known the Truth and have lived it for decades, but recognize their need to be fed spiritually.—Gerald Weston
2019 Charlotte Family Weekend
We are getting excited about the fellowship, spiritual food, seminars, sports, and other activities at this year’s Charlotte Family Weekend! It will run from Wednesday, December 25 (arrival day) through Sunday, December 29 (departure day). Activity registration will begin in about a week, but now is the time to begin making hotel reservations. To see a detailed schedule of activities and access a link to receive the Church’s discounted rate of $99/night at the Renaissance Charlotte Suites Hotel, visit the cogl.org website, log into MyLCG, and click the link for the Charlotte Family Weekend. Hotel reservations must be made by December 4 in order to receive the discounted rate.
Living Youth Program
Online Teen Bible Study Next Friday Evening
The Friday evening online Teen Bible Studies are scheduled to resume next Friday, November 15. The Bible Study will pick up where we left off in the spring, with Mark 7, and will be given by Mr. Sheldon Monson. Join us at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
To join the study, visit https://live.livingyouth.org, and sign in with either your MyLCG or LYP camp registration credentials. 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, or if you want to catch up on earlier studies, recordings of Living Youth Bible Studies back to 2013 can be found on the Living Youth Programs Live archive page at https://live.livingyouth.org/archive/.—Josh Penman
Certified Lifeguard Needed at the Latin American Living Youth Camp in Mexico
We are in need of a lifeguard to serve at the Latin American Living Youth Camp to be held in the city of San Luis Potosí in Mexico from December 15–22. If you are a certified lifeguard and would like to join us, please e-mail Mr. Cristian Orrego at [email protected] by Friday, November 15.
What Does God Require? What is God looking for in those He calls? What has God always looked for? God instructed Abraham, “walk before Me and be blameless” (Genesis 17:1)—and Abraham was blessed for keeping God’s commandments (Genesis 26:5). God told the Israelites that He wanted them to fear Him, love Him, walk in all His ways, and keep His commandments (Deuteronomy 10:12–13). Solomon wrote that God looks for kindness in people (Proverbs 19:22), and Isaiah states that God looks for a humble and repentant spirit in people who “tremble at My word” (Isaiah 66:2). Micah reveals that God requires us “to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly” before Him (Micah 6:8). Jesus continued this same theme, urging His disciples to “be perfect [become spiritually mature and blameless], just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Jesus also taught His disciples, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). The commandments of God show us how to love God and how to love our neighbor (Matthew 22:37–40). The book of Revelation reveals that at the end of the age, God’s people will still “keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17)—because that is what God requires, and this is the way to a better life!
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—November 7, 2019
What Connects Britain, Israel, and the United States? In September, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Luxembourg to discuss Brexit strategy with his European counterparts. While there, he cancelled a press conference in order to avoid the jeers of an angry crowd. Luxembourg’s prime minister carried on the press conference anyway, with Johnson’s chair left empty, in a clear attempt to discredit Johnson (The Guardian, September 17, 2019). In response to the fiasco, U.S. Ambassador to the UK, Woody Johnson, publicly showed support for the British Prime Minister and Brexit, commenting, “We stand with the people of the UK and we always will” (The Telegraph, September 17, 2019).
In the last few years, the United States has also shown a great deal of support for the nation of Israel and the Israeli president. While many nations frequently stand in public opposition to Israel, the U.S. now has a new embassy in Jerusalem and has made many other public overtures in support of the beleaguered nation. Israeli news sources have even stated that “Trump is a friend of Zion.” (New York Times, May 13, 2018).
Why have the United States, Britain, and Israel possessed such consistently close ties over the years? Is this just a coincidence, or is there more to the story? The Bible reveals the details and the reasons that these three nations have a special relationship—despite the criticism they receive from the rest of the world. History and the Bible indicate these three nations are really “brothers”—who not only have fulfilled important prophecies of the past, but also will stand at the center of numerous end-time prophecies that will be fulfilled in the days ahead. To learn more about coming world events that involve these nations, be sure to watch “America and Britain—A Special Relationship.”
Talking to Children Helps Them Learn: Many are aware that reading to young children helps their brains develop. A host of recent research studies have further highlighted the positive impact that conversation with young children has on their learning and brain development (BBC, October 1, 2019). It is not enough for children just to hear conversation occurring around them, and it is not the number of words they hear that matters most. Rather, it is conversation with their caregivers, involving the child’s participation, that makes an impact. Children whose parents (and/or other caregivers) involve them the most develop much stronger verbal skills—giving them a great advantage over children who are not regularly involved in such conversations.
In today’s fast-paced society, some parents spend as little as 15 minutes a day interacting with their children, placing their sons and daughters under the burden of a great learning disadvantage. God makes it clear that His earnest desire is for “the hearts of the fathers” to be turned to their children (Malachi 4:6). He also directed parents to talk throughout the day with their children about God and His way of life (Deuteronomy 6:7). Such directives clearly emphasize how important such instruction is to our Creator. But, with this new understanding of the developmental significance of conversation between parents and children, we see that obeying God’s commands may have an even greater impact than we might have imagined. Parents who take the time to really talk with their children have the opportunity not only to pass on God’s teachings, but also to help their children’s minds and communication skills develop—providing a great blessing to them in the long run! To gain more valuable tools for raising godly and well-developed children, read or listen to Successful Parenting: God’s Way.—Scott Winnail, John Meakin, and Francine Prater