November 21st, 2019
Greetings from Charlotte,
This past Wednesday, we held an online Ministerial Conference with ministers from around the world. Mr. Ames focused on the growth of the Work and Dr. Winnail and I spoke about our responsibility as ministers to care for the members.
Mr. Gabriel Bais’ company provides lip-syncing of our Tomorrow’s World programs into Spanish, and I received this very encouraging note from him this week. More than one program has surpassed the million-view mark on YouTube, but Mr. Richard Ames’ program “Who Changed the Sabbath to Sunday?” has over 507,000 views in just over four months, and has produced more than 6,200 new subscribers to our Spanish YouTube channel. This is most exciting, considering the subject. Kudos to Mr. Ames, Mr. Bais, and all the television staff who worked on this program.
This week, Mr. Alex Heykoop and his wife Rachael moved from Canada to Charlotte, where he will be working in television editing.—Gerald Weston
Activity Registration Has Begun! Registration for the 2019 Charlotte Family Weekend activities and meals has now begun! This year’s special family weekend promises to once again be exciting, fulfilling, and a wonderful encouragement in the middle of the winter. It will run from Wednesday, December 25 (arrival day) through Sunday, December 29 (departure day). Brethren can now register for activities and meals, as well as make hotel reservations. To see a detailed weekend schedule, access a link to receive the Church’s discounted rate of $99/night at the Renaissance Charlotte Suites Hotel, and to register for events and meals, 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.
Who are the Waldensians? How are they connected to the true Church of God? How is it that there is a Waldensian community in Valdese, North Carolina, in 2019? Living Education–Charlotte students learned the answers to these questions as they took a day trip this past week to a small community not far from Charlotte. This is the type of experience that cements an appreciation for the legacy we hold dear as members of the Body of Christ—and it’s especially important for our young adults, who are becoming the next generation of pillars in His Church. By the way, enjoying a sunny fall day in the Smoky Mountains isn’t a bad way to start the week, either!—Jonathan McNair
Living Youth Program
Living Youth Friday Evening Bible Study
The online Friday evening Teen Bible Study on November 29 will cover Mark 10 and 11, 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, recordings of previous Living Youth Bible Studies, including last evening’s on Mark 9, can be found on the Living Youth Programs Live archive page at https://live.livingyouth.org/archive/.—Josh Penman
The Value of Counsel: The Bible reveals that one of the most important keys to a successful and abundant life is seeking and listening to wise counsel—but ignoring counsel brings serious and avoidable problems. King David recorded, “Blessed [to be envied] is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly… but his delight is in the law of the Lord” (Psalm 1:1–2). David also wrote, “You will guide me with Your counsel… it is good for me to draw near to God” (Psalm 73:24, 28). Solomon observed that “a wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke” (Proverbs 13:1), and “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise” (Proverbs 12:15). The Bible also notes the benefit of seeking advice from more than one source: “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14). The God we worship is a loving Father who has recorded a treasure chest of wise advice and counsel in His word, to guide us in the decisions we must make in this life. Our challenge is to draw out that information and apply it so we can have happier and more abundant lives (Proverbs 20:5).
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—November 21, 2019
Even More Fires! In California, wildfires continue to burn and destroy homes and property. Hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes as strong winds and dry conditions fan fires to ever greater intensities. Planned blackouts, designed to reduce the risk of fire due to faulty electrical equipment, have also put millions of people in the dark.
At the same time, wildfires are also raging in Australia, spawned by ongoing drought and high winds in the region (BBC, November 10, 2019). In New South Wales, hundreds of homes have burned and thousands have been evacuated as the risk of fire reaches “catastrophic” levels. Although the fire season in Australia is just beginning, fires so far this year have burned three times more land area than in all of last year’s fire season (CNN, November 12, 2019). The Minister for Police and Emergency Services in New South Wales has noted, “This is a very real emerging disaster which we need to take on and consider as being something that this state may not have ever seen before.” New South Wales is Australia’s most populated state, with Australia’s most populated metropolitan area, Sydney.
The Bible warns that at the end of the age, many modern Israelite nations will experience droughts in one place and floods in another (Amos 4:7). The Scriptures also warn that because of their national sins—rejecting the laws of God—the drought will make their heavens like “bronze” and their land will turn to “powder and dust” (Deuteronomy 28:15, 23–24). God places these prophecies in the Bible to warn those nations about the importance of obeying His laws and the need to return to His way—a way that leads to peace, happiness, and true abundance. For more insights into this vital and timely topic, be sure to read Acts of God: Why Natural Disasters?
Macron Makes Waves in Europe: Since French President Emmanuel Macron came to power as a Eurocentric change agent, he has passionately advocated for a stronger Europe and consistently pushed for greater centralization of European power. A Deutsche Welle article stated that Mr. Macron commented in a recent interview on how “US leadership caused the ‘brain death’ of NATO” (November 10, 2019). In Germany, both Chancellor Merkel and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas have publicly disagreed with Mr. Macron and are in support of a continuing and strong NATO.
However, Mr. Macron’s comments and his efforts to advance a European superstate are pushing the Europeans to be less dependent on the United States and to view the European Union as a world leader (Financial Times, November 10, 2019). While these actions are not embraced by all Europeans, Mr. Macron’s comments and style are intended to bring about a response from his counterparts (European Council on Foreign Relations, November 8, 2019).
It is both interesting and significant that the two world leaders putting the greatest pressure on Europe to centralize, militarize, and become more of a unified force are U.S. President Trump and French President Macron. Both of these leaders are from what the Bible shows to be Israelite-descended nations. Bible prophecy reveals that, at the end of the age, God will use a German-led European “beast” power (biblical Assyria, Isaiah 10:5–6) to punish these backsliding nations of Israelite descent! To learn more about the prophetic future of these nations, be sure to read “Why Is Germany Rising?”—Scott Winnail and Francine Prater