December 12th, 2019
Greetings from Charlotte,
Mr. Cristian Orrego reported this week that 30 of our 34 booklets are now translated into Portuguese, and the last four are in the editorial process. Portuguese is the official language of Brazil, Portugal, and several other nations. We began airing the Tomorrow’s World telecast on WUCW Minneapolis on Sunday, December 1, at 7:30 a.m. We are now less than two weeks away from the Charlotte Family Weekend. If you want to register, please do so immediately, as the deadline is this coming Tuesday, December 17. Youth Director and pastor Mr. Sheldon Monson was in Charlotte this past Tuesday to give a forum for on-site Living Education students and to touch base with headquarters personnel. Dr. Winnail left Thursday to visit ministers and members in South Carolina and Florida. By the time you read this, we should know who will serve as British Prime Minister for the time going forward and to oversee what happens with Brexit.—Gerald Weston
LCG Webcast Live Stream of Sabbath Services on December 28
LCG congregations and members are welcome to join us “online” for the Charlotte Family Weekend Sabbath Service on December 28. Sabbath services will begin at 1:30 p.m. (EST). To join, please go to www.lcgwebcast.org, and under “Stream Site,” select “Charlotte Family Weekend” (listed under “Local Congregations”). Enter the password, your name (or congregation name) and the number of people viewing (for attendance purposes). Please note, this Internet broadcast is for LCG membership and you can find the password at your MyLCG account. (Just go to www.cogl.org and log in at the MyLCG link.) Note: The password won’t be posted until Monday, December 23. You will not find it before then.
Charlotte Family Weekend, December 25–29: Please register for Activities and Meals NOW!
We are now less than two weeks away from the start of the Charlotte Family Weekend. Brethren should now register for activities and meals—even if you already booked a hotel room. Those arriving at the hotel on Wednesday should consider eating at the hotel buffet for dinner, since this will be Christmas night and most restaurants in the area will be closed. To see a detailed schedule of activities as well as to register for events and meals, visit the cogl.org website, log into MyLCG, and click the link in the Charlotte Family Weekend section. The Deadline for registering for all activities and meals (including the Dinner and Dance) is Tuesday, December 17.
Basketball and Volleyball Team Registration: Those planning to register teams for Basketball and Volleyball games on Thursday, December 26, should do so immediately at the cogl.org website. Click the “Sports Registration” tab. Registration deadline is Tuesday, December 17.
Novelty Olympics: We would like everyone to join in the Novelty Olympics on Thursday, December 26! Please come to participate or just come to watch! The Olympics will consist of relay races, trivia, and team-building games. If any of the games are too strenuous for you, you can still play by having a teammate substitute for you. Participants should wear modest athletic wear and tennis shoes. Teams should have 12 to 20 players, with a minimum of three preteens (ages 7–12), three teens (ages 13–17), three adults (ages 18–59), and three seniors (age 60+). Participants can sign up as an individual looking for a team, as a partial team, or as a full team. Click the “Novelty Olympics” link in the registration section to sign up. If you are participating, please arrive by 9:00 a.m. We are looking forward to seeing everyone there! Let the games begin!
Meals: For those taking advantage of the buffet lunches and dinners available at the weekend, and the dinner for the Dinner/Dance, you must register and pay for these activities by December 17. No payments will be taken on site. If you are sending a check to pay for these meals, your check must be postmarked by December 17.
HQ Tours During Charlotte Family Weekend
The only day the office will be open for tours of Headquarters during the Charlotte Family Weekend will be Wednesday, December 25. We would like to get an idea of the level of interest in a tour on Wednesday, December 25. If you are coming to the weekend and would like to have a tour of the HQ office on this day, please e-mail us to let us know ([email protected]).
General Ministerial Conference Registration
Plans are moving forward for the General Ministerial Conference to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, March 16–18, 2020. All pastors, elders, wives, and ministerial widows who are planning to come should fill out the General Ministerial Conference Registration online form that will be e-mailed to you soon. Deadline to submit the form is January 12, 2020.
Living Education Trip to Israel—Preregistration Is Underway
Last summer, a group of Living Education students pioneered a new program in Israel. Along with group leader Mr. Joe Ross and his family, and Mr. Wallace Smith and his wife, students had the opportunity to tour sites like Caesarea, Mount Carmel, Dan, Capernaum, the Sea of Galilee, Masada, and, of course, Jerusalem! They also spent a week on a dig—an archaeological dig at Biblical Libnah, an Iron-Age site in the Valley of Elah, where David fought Goliath!
This summer, we’ll be expanding the program to include members beyond the Living Education–Charlotte students. To learn more about the requirements and details, just go to lcgeducation.org. Preregistration is underway!—Jonathan McNair
Living Youth Program
Living Youth Friday Evening Bible Study
The online Friday evening Teen Bible Study on December 20 will cover Mark 15 and 16, completing the book of Mark. It will be given by Mr. Sheldon Monson. Join us at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The chat room will be open for a half-hour before and after the Bible Study.
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 13:24 through chapter 14, can be found on the Living Youth Programs Live archive page at https://live.livingyouth.org/archive/. Note: There will be no online Teen Bible Study on Friday, December 27, because of the Charlotte Family Weekend. The Bible Studies will resume on Friday, January 3.
Latin American Youth Camp
The Latin American Living Youth Camp will be held in San Luis Potosí, México next week. It will last eight days, starting on Sunday, December 15 and ending on Sunday, December 22. This year, we expect to have 40 campers from several different countries, including Chile, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Guatemala, and Mexico. In addition to classes and sports activities, we plan a visit to the Tamul waterfalls, a natural paradise in the heart of México. We will provide highlights about camp upon our return.—Cristian Orrego
Study God’s Word: The Bible records that God is looking for individuals who “tremble” at His word (Isaiah 66:2). Jesus taught that we are to live “by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). He also warned of men who would set aside the commandments of God and teach “as doctrines the commandments [ideas, traditions, teachings] of men” (Mark 7:5–13). This is why the Apostle Paul stressed that we must diligently study the Scriptures so that we can rightly divide (correctly understand and apply) the word of truth and avoid being deceived by false teachers and misguided ideas (2 Timothy 2:15). In a world where people have very different ideas about what to believe, we need to know what the Bible really says, in order to avoid being misled. Jesus plainly said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31–32).
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—December 12, 2019
Church Contract Terminated Over “Hate Speech” Allegation: After more than a year of meeting in a municipal building in Toronto, Christ’s Forgiveness Ministries (CFM) was recently sent a termination notice informing them that they could no longer meet in the facility—effective immediately (LifeSiteNews, November 21, 2019). The e-mail from the building’s manager explained that CFM was “in violation of the City’s Hate Activity policy.” The notice also informed the church that they could no longer book meeting space in any city-run facility.
The pastor of CFM has a history of provocative action in Toronto, but it would be hard to call such action “hateful.” Yet, society is rapidly moving in a direction where truths of the Bible and biblical morality are automatically attacked for being offensive and are viewed as “hate speech”—even if they are spoken in love. While Psalm 52 concerns a specific situation in the life of King David, it also speaks of the evil inherent in the heart of mankind under the sway of Satan: “You love evil more than good, lying rather than speaking righteousness” (Psalm 52:3). Sadly, this condition is increasingly visible in our anti-Christian societies today, and it resembles attitudes that the prophet Isaiah foretold would appear in Israelite nations in the last days, when people would say, “Do not prophesy to us right things; speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits” (Isaiah 30:10).
What many do not realize today is that there is an evil force in the world, Satan the devil, who is referred to in Scripture as a liar (John 8:44) and “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4) and who has deceived the world into believing that the Bible is full of hate speech (Revelation 12:9)—a lie that prevents humanity from seeing the benefits of God’s loving and abundant way of life (John 10:10; 14:6). To learn more about what the future holds for mankind, read or listen to The World Ahead: What Will It Be Like?
Florida’s Citrus Crop Drop: Florida produces 70 percent of the United States’ supply of citrus—it is the world’s largest producer of grapefruit and, behind Brazil, the second-largest producer of orange juice. Florida produces 90 percent of the United States’ orange juice in most seasons. Citrus and its related industries produce roughly $9 billion in revenue for the state of Florida annually.
But in recent years, Florida citrus farmers have found themselves “almost powerless” in their fight against an insect-spread bacterial infection that prevents citrus fruit from ripening (AFP, November 30, 2019). “Compared to the 2003-2004 season, Florida’s orange production will be down by 80 percent this season,” with grapefruit being the most affected crop. So far, there are no cures for the citrus disease, and the few preventative measures available are very expensive. Researchers are also working with genetic modification, but effective alternatives are likely years away.
Students of prophecy know that God warned the Israelite people that if they turned away from Him and despised His laws, “your land shall not yield its produce, nor shall the trees of the land yield their fruit” (Leviticus 26:20). The dramatic decline in Florida’s citrus crop may be a foretaste of what lies ahead as the end of the age approaches. Thankfully, Bible prophecies also reveal that the return of Jesus Christ will bring a time of prosperity and plenty, when the earth will once again bear fruit abundantly (cf. Amos 9:13–15). For more insights on this encouraging topic, read “A Time of Restoring.”—Scott Winnail, Anthony Stroud, and Francine Prater