November 16th, 2017
Greetings from Charlotte,
Last Sabbath I visited our congregation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Mr. Phil Sena and I conducted a Tomorrow's World Presentation in Morgantown, West Virginia with 24 members and 24 guests on Sunday. Mr. Sena followed up Wednesday evening with a Bible Study on the subject of the Sabbath. As a result, we plan to start a new congregation. Please see announcement below. Mr. Mark Sandor attended the TWP and informed me that we have five individuals attending in Charleston as a result of the TWP held there in August. I also wrote a member letter that you should receive soon, giving an update on new educational initiatives for the Church, as we are moving very quickly regarding this. Living University resources will be used in what we see as a comprehensive approach to serve all members.— Gerald E. Weston
LCG Webcast Live Stream of Sabbath Services and Bible Study from Charlotte Family Weekend
LCG congregations and members are welcome to join us "online" for the Charlotte Family Weekend Friday night Bible Study on December 22, and Sabbath services on December 23. The Friday night Bible study will begin at 7:30 p.m. (Eastern time) and Sabbath services will begin at 2:00 p.m. (EST). To join, please go to www.lcgwebcast.org, and under "Stream Site" select "Charlotte Family Weekend 2017." 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 click on the "MyLCG" link.)
New Congregation Starting in Morgantown, West Virginia
Thank you for your prayers for the success of Sunday's Morgantown Tomorrow's World Presentation! Mr. Weston did a great job of presenting "In Defense of God" for the first part, then we shared a question-and-answer period after a break. Attendance at a follow-up Bible Study on Wednesday evening included nine visitors, most of whom said they intend to attend services. The turn-out was encouraging for a mid-week Bible Study. Because of the interest of these visitors, and the number of current members in this area, I am pleased to announce that Morgantown will become a congregation in December. In addition, the Charleston, West Virginia and the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania congregations may both see new attendees as a result of the TWP. I ask you to continue to ask for God's blessing, to establish Morgantown as a new congregation.—Phil Sena
Charlotte Family Weekend—Registration Is Now Open!
Online registration for this special 25th Anniversary celebration is now open. To register, log on to your MyLCG page through www.cogl.org/mylcg.shtml, and then just click the "Registration" button in the Charlotte Family Weekend box on the right side of the page. You must register and pay for all activities and meals by December 17. Basketball and volleyball team registration is open too, and will also close on December 17—so get your team together now! We request that everyone pay for the activities and meals using the online payment system through PayPal. This saves us a lot of extra time and effort compared to manually processing checks and reconciling them to registrations. If you are unable to pay online we will accept checks, but they mustbe postmarked no later than December 13.
All of the times and places for the weekend events are also posted on the My LCG page—just click the "Overview and Schedule" button.
If anyone is interested in participating in the special music at Sabbath services, please contact Mr. Marcus McCullough ([email protected]) and let him know what part you sing or what instrument you play, and the experience you have, so that he can send you the music to practice.
If any out-of-town guests are looking for housing with church brethren in the Charlotte area, please contact Mr. Louis Crespo at [email protected] or call him at 704-516-5728. If you are looking for someone to share a room with at the Renaissance Hotel, feel free to post a message on the Charlotte Family Weekend Facebook page (a public page). More updates will continue to be posted on the Facebook page, so check it regularly—and "Share" it with your friends.
Kansas City Family Weekend
We are ready to welcome you once again to the Kansas City Family Weekend, from Friday, December 29 through Sunday, December 31. This year's Saturday night dinner and dance theme is "Ambassadors From Around the World." We invite you to dress like an ambassador from the country of your choice (gentlemen, in most countries this means a suit and tie). Remember, you'll be representing that country at its best, so nothing improper or immodest. Dress in something a real ambassador might wear to a special event for the United Nations... or that you might wear before the King of kings, Jesus Christ.
As in years past, we have an Art Show where you can share your talents with us. This is not limited to just paintings and drawings! We've had wood carvings, quilting, origami, poetry—you name it. If you have a talent in the arts, crafts, or creative writing, we'd love to see it. Sign up on the KC Weekend website under the menu item: Art Show Signup.
The website link can be found at kclcg.org (not an official LCG website), where all information about the weekend is available, including registration. Information about housing and locations is behind a password, which is security.
Please register for the weekend and select events for each family member (Family Games, gaga ball, the volleyball tournament, basketball, etc.) then start building your teams for the Sunday activities. Remember, our Family Games aren't just for the young or athletic or quick—yes, you'll need them, too—but also for wise, quick-witted, artistic, musical, and regular folks of all ages. We look forward to seeing you there!
Fourth Annual Colorado Winter Weekend
Mark your calendars! Coming up February 9-12 is the Fourth Annual Colorado Winter Weekend. Events include Friday evening Bible Study, Sabbath services, and a Sabbath Bible Study, with a special guest minister! There will be plenty of other activities for all ages, including nature walks, visit to the local hot springs, snowshoeing, snow skiing, snowboarding and other winter recreational sports.
For those interested in group housing, cost is estimated $150-200 per person (private rooms will be priced differently). Please note that the more guests we have, the lower the housing rate will be per person. So help us get the word out! Note that a refundable $100.00 deposit, payable via a PayPal link, is required to secure your reservation.
Food costs per person for the entire weekend will be in addition to the cost of housing and will be determined once we know how many people will be attending. For budgeting purposes, expect the cost to be around $50 per person.
Registration is now open for this year's Winter Weekend. Please visit our website at www.cowinterweekend.wordpress.com (not an official LCG website) and remember to register before December 20 to secure a spot in our group rental. For more details (including password to the registration website), please contact Ms. Krista Keefe at (515) 778-6716 or Mr. Shawn McMillin at (720) 879-4804.
Living Youth Program
Friday Evening Online Teen Bible Study
The online Teen Bible Study on Friday evening, November 24, will be on "Mystery of the Kingdom of God, Part 1," based on chapter 7 of Mystery of the Ages. The Bible Study runs from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. Eastern time, and the chat room will be open for a half hour before and after the study. To join the study, go to www.livingyouth.org. For those who are unable to make it to the study, archives of previous Living Youth Bible Studies, including last evening's on "The Mystery of the Church, Part 3," can also be found on the Living Youth website.—Sheldon Monson
Registration for Second/Spring Semester Is Now Open
Registration for the spring semester began on Monday, November 13! The spring semester will begin on Wednesday, January 10. Students may register for the spring semester (fall in the Southern Hemisphere) anytime between now and January 10. Those who have never taken a Living University course will need to enroll in the University first, and then register for your selected course(s). The following are brief descriptions of several courses being offered next semester. A complete listing of second semester courses can also be viewed on the Living University website under the link "Spring 2018 Class Schedule." To make application to Living University, to register for courses, and to find out more, please visit the www.livinguniv.com website. For additional information or questions, please contact Mrs. Michelle Broussard at 704-708-2294 or [email protected].
THL 110B – Tomorrow's World Bible Study Course. This is the second in a two-semester course that serves as an introduction to the Bible, its message, and its implications for successful Christian living. First semester topics focused on the Scriptures, the nature of God, biblical prophecy and God's plan for humankind. Second semester topics focus on practical Christian living and the building of living faith. This course will help students demonstrate a basic understanding of biblical concepts regarding history, theology, prophecy and the Christian life. This course is offered without a tuition charge. Students pay only the technology fee. THL 110A is a prerequisite for this class.
THL 136 – Acts and the Writings of Paul. This class focuses on the book of The Acts of the Apostles and deals with Paul's life, times, and writings. In this class Dr. Meredith's lectures focus on the background, purpose, message, and themes of Paul's letters; his personal life and character; his companions; and the chronology of the apostle's life. Emphasis is placed on the theology of his writings and the issues that Paul dealt with in apostolic times.
COMM 265 – Advanced Public Speaking. This course will assist speakers in the development of greater speaking skills and provide advanced practical experience in the preparation, delivery, and evaluation of public discourse. This class will be a helpful tool for those in Spokesman and Graduate Clubs. Speakers will focus on the theoretical principles of public speaking and also practice these important skills. This performance-centered class includes presentations, selected readings, examinations and classroom exercises on a more advanced level.
Beware of False Teachers! The Bible contains numerous warnings about scoffers and false teachers who will attack God's Church and God's people—especially as we approach the end of the age (2 Peter 3:3). Jesus warned that false teachers would come in "sheep's clothing" (smooth talking, congenial, appearing to be spiritual), but inwardly are "ravenous wolves" who seek to divide and devour the flock of God—yet their fruits will become obvious in time (Matthew 7:15-17). Jesus also warned that at the end of the age, "many" will come in His name (claiming to be ministers of God—or experts on spiritual things) and will deceive many (Matthew 24:5, 11, 24). The Apostle Paul warned that false teachers guided by a "different spirit" would even masquerade as "apostles of Christ" as they mislead people and function as instruments in the hands of Satan (2 Corinthians 11:1-15). Peter warned that false teachers will use deceptive words to promote their own divisive ideas and destructive heresies—speaking evil of the truth and even attacking the Church of God (2 Peter 2:1-3). These self-proclaimed authorities will speak lies (John 8:44), spread rumors (Proverbs 11:13) and dig up dirt (Proverbs 16:27) to accuse and discredit God's Church and His people (Revelation 12:9-10). It should be no surprise that these prophesied events are happening today. Let's remember these biblical warnings and ask God for the spiritual discernment to recognize false teachers (2 Timothy 1:6-7)—because we will all be tested in this crucial area of life.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—November 16, 2017
German Army Plans for EU Breakup: According to a secret federal government policy document leaked to the German publication Der Spiegel, the German Defense Ministry has rehearsed six different scenarios they believe could play out in Europe in the next 23 years (Telegraph, November 6, 2017; The Guardian, November 6, 2017). One scenario is the unrest and disorder that would occur if more nations follow Britain out of the EU. Another possible scenario would be Eastern European nations leaving the EU and returning to the former Soviet bloc. In either scenario, the current 28-member EU could decrease in size significantly. Bible prophecies have long foretold the emergence of a European beast power at the end of the age, composed of ten kings who hand their power over to a central figure (see Revelation 17). This document indicates that German military planners also see a much smaller EU as a real possibility. It is no coincidence that we are witnessing global activities moving in a direction that could fulfill ancient prophecies. The God of the Bible clearly states that only He can predict the future and make it come to pass (Isaiah 46:8-11). To learn more about coming events in Europe, read or listen to The Beast of Revelation.
South Sudan: A Window into Bible Prophecy. A tragedy is underway in the world's youngest country, South Sudan. Years of warfare have brought crop destruction, starvation and resulting hyperinflation—a rise in food prices by over 280% since last year (Deutsche Welle, November 6, 2017). Food shortages have affected 4.8 million of the nation's 12 million people. Forecasts indicate that more than a million children could be malnourished in 2018, and nearly 300,000 will be at "heightened risk of death" from a tragic situation that is totally man-made. The South Sudanese need God's help—and they also need righteous government! Bible prophecy reveals that in the years just before the return of Jesus Christ, war, famine, hyperinflation and subsequent death will occur on a scale affecting not millions, but billions of people (Revelation 6:1-8)! Sadly, but predictably, it is the selfish lust for power and "desires for pleasure" that results in wars, fights, and their disastrous aftermath (James 4:1). However, the good news—the Gospel—is that the "Savior of the world" (John 4:42) is going to return and establish His caring and righteous government on this earth, and war and famine will become a thing of the past (Isaiah 11:9). This world is in tremendous need of right government and the blessings that it will bring. For more insights into a world without war and famine, read or listen to "The End of War?"
Ancient Trees Confound Evolutionists: Scientists working in northwest China have examined ancient tree fossils and discovered that trees "that grew more than 300 million years ago had a far more complex structure than their counterparts today… The earliest trees had an astonishingly intricate anatomy for reasons scientists do not understand" (The Independent, October 23, 2017). According to one University of Cardiff researcher, "There is no other tree that I know of in the history of the Earth that has ever done anything as complicated as this. The tree simultaneously ripped its skeleton apart and collapsed under its own weight while staying alive and growing upwards and outwards to become the dominant plant of its day." These new research findings fly in the face of most evolution-based expectations, in which organisms often develop from simple to complex. However, the Bible offers another perspective. The Bible states that it is God, not evolution and random chance, who created both the heavens and the earth. This same God is fully capable of changing the design of His creation over time for reasons only He may understand. Time and the discoveries of science continue to provide evidence that confounds man's attempts to explain creation without a Creator—such as the theory of evolution. For more insights into the limitations of evolutionary theory, be sure to watch "Three Dangerous Lies of Evolution."—Scott Winnail, Chris Sookdeo, Francine Prater, and Ryan Foster