November 8th, 2018
Greetings from Charlotte,
We finished a very inspiring series of meetings this week with the Council of Elders. The genuine dedication, unity, and friendship among the members is greatly appreciated. Over the years, I have come to value the advice given to us in Scripture regarding receiving a multitude of counsel (Proverbs 15:22). There truly is safety in doing so, as Proverbs 11:14 reveals. We so often hear of members coming up with different doctrines, fancying themselves as Bible scholars. By the time they come to the ministry, they are so convinced of their own rightness that nothing will persuade them otherwise. The issues raised are almost always peripheral, or doctrines contrary to our longstanding understanding. The Church's Council of Elders often discusses subjects that may appear simple on the surface, but are frequently more complex than first thought. It is through thoughtful and prayerful discussion with the Bible as the foundation that 15 or more men, who have been in the ministry for decades, are able to come to a sound biblical understanding.
Telecast responses are up the last two weeks, and we are adding a few new stations. One is WNAB Nashville, which should begin airing on Sunday, January 6, at 8:00 a.m. Your prayers are requested for Mr. Martin Fannin, who is in hospital with pneumonia, and Mr. Ed Breaux' wife Connie, who is hospitalized with blood clots in her lungs.—Gerald Weston
Plan for the Charlotte Family Weekend
We're getting excited about the fellowship, spiritual meat, seminars, sports, and other activities at this year's Charlotte Family Weekend! It will be from Friday, December 21 (arrival day) through Tuesday, December 25 (departure day). Activity registration will begin Friday, November 16, but now is the time to make reservations and get your housing set up (see below).
To see a detailed schedule of activities and access a link to receive the Church's discounted rate of $99/night at the Renaissance Hotel, just go to charlottelcg.org/cfw (not an official LCG website). Hotel reservations must be made by November 30 in order to receive the discount. You can also go to our Facebook page for updates: facebook.com/LCGCharlotte (not an official LCG page).
Kansas City Family Weekend, December 28–30, Registration Open—Repeat Announcement
The Kansas City Family Weekend is coming up in two months, starting Friday evening, December 28, and running through Sunday afternoon, December 30. Registration is now open! Just visit kclcg.org (not an official LCG website) to get started. When you register, you can select your meal options, including the smoked brisket dinner at $24.50/person, or a children's chicken finger meal that is $10 or $13/child, depending on the child's age. You can also sign up for the Sunday events you and your family want to participate in, including the newly named "Contest of the Christians," gaga ball, volleyball, basketball, etc.
This year's Saturday night theme is "The Bible Comes Alive!" The theme will run throughout dinner, the evening entertainment, and the dance. We invite you to add a biblical element to your formalwear. What do we mean by that? Be creative! You could wear a "pearl of great price," perhaps, or a crown that you're very protective of. You could dress in fine linen (righteous deeds), or write out God's Law and wear it over your heart.
As in years past, we have an Art Show for you to 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 arts or crafts or in creative writing, we'd love for you to share it. Sign up on the KC Weekend website (not an official LCG website) under the menu item "Art Show Signup."
All information about the weekend is available on that website, including registration. The password to access the information about housing and venues is "security." We look forward to seeing you there!—Mike Keesee
How To Use Children's Bible Lessons
If you are a parent, have you ever wondered, "How do I teach my child the Bible? Where do I start? Where can I go for help?" That's where the Children's Bible Lessons come in! Each lesson is specifically written for you to sit down with your child and read together and talk about an important lesson in the Bible. Our suggestion would be to do this with your child Friday night, or Saturday morning, when you have a little more time than on a weekday. (Of course, you can do this any evening, as well!) Read the opening segment with them, point out the scriptures that are highlighted, and turn to them and read them together. Ask your child the discussion questions provided. Don't just lecture at them. Get them talking! Ask them questions. See what they are thinking. If you have not done this before, it might feel a little unnatural at first. But after a few lessons, you'll get the hang of it. The main thing? God has given you—as the parent—the responsibility to be your child's primary teacher about the Bible (Deuteronomy 6:7). And we are here to help you!
Check out the second lessons being posted this week:
Level 1: Lesson 2 "The Re-Creation: Days 1 and 2"
Level 2: Lesson 2 "Where Did God Come From?"
Level 3: Lesson 2 "How Can I Know that God Exists?"
For more information and to access the lessons, go to www.lcgeducation.org.
Living Youth Program
Living Youth Friday Evening Study
The online Friday evening Teen Bible Study next Friday, November 16, will cover Matthew 13:34 to the end of the chapter, and will be given by Mr. Sheldon Monson. Join us at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The chatroom will open thirty minutes prior to the beginning of the study.
To join the study, just visit www.livingyouth.org, and follow the links to "Friday Evening Bible Study." We'll be utilizing a new streaming provider this year, so please be sure to check the links from the Living Youth website to join the study. This also means that e-mail alerts will no longer be sent when we go live. 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, archives of previous Living Youth Bible Studies, including last evening's covering Matthew 13:1-33, can also be found on the Living Youth website.—Joshua Penman
LYP South Africa Teen Camp, 22 December 2018–1 January 2019—Repeat Announcement
This year's South African Living Youth 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, 22 December, and all activities will end on Tuesday morning, 1 January 2019. There will be a Sabbath service at camp on Saturday 22 and on 29 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 youth aged 12–18 and staff from age 19 and older, and the cost is R2350 ($180) per person. If you would like to attend the camp or be part of the staff, please contact Mr. Lawdi Ferreira at [email protected] to obtain a camper or staff application form.
Humility—Key to Unity: King David wrote, "How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" (Psalm 133:1). The Apostle Paul urged Christians to "walk worthy" of your calling "with all lowliness and gentleness… endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:1-3). Paul also stated that the work of the ministry is to edify the body (build up the Church) "till we all come to the unity of the faith" (Ephesians 4:12-13), and he urged the contentious Corinthians to be "perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment" (1 Corinthians 1:10). The Scriptures reveal that pride is an underlying cause of contentions that work against unity (Proverbs 13:10), and pride can lead to a person's downfall (Proverbs 16:18). Promoting our own ideas and insisting on our own way can create dissentions, division and strife (James 4:1). However, humility will eventually bring a person honor (Proverbs 15:33; 29:23) and also promote peace and unity (James 3:17-18). Just as Jesus Christ humbled Himself and followed His Father's instructions (Philippians 2:5-9), we, too, must be subject to God and to government inside and outside the Church (Romans 13:1-2). As we learn to practice true Godly humility and treat each other with genuine love and respect (Romans 12:10-18), we will generate more unity within the body of Christ.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—November 8, 2018
Merkel to Step Down: Due to "plummeting polls, an unpopular and ineffective coalition, dire performances in recent state elections and increasingly acrimonious in-fighting among her centre-right alliance," Angela Merkel agreed to step down in 2021, at the end of her current term, after 13 years as Germany's chancellor (The Guardian, November 3, 2018). Next month she will begin her exit from high-profile German politics by releasing control of the political party she has led for 18 years, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). Once dubbed "the most powerful woman in the world," Merkel has also been the de facto leader of Europe for many years—the one looked to for consensus-building—and has been a stabilizing influence, both for her country and for the European Union. While her critics claim that she has pandered too much to public opinion and has shown little vision, the high public opinion of Mrs. Merkel has waned since her 2015 "open borders" decision concerning refugees.
Currently, there is no clear front-runner to take Chancellor Merkel's post in 2021—or sooner, for that matter. With populism and nationalism on the rise, many Europeans are concerned that her departure could create a power vacuum in Germany and Europe. Some view France's Emmanuel Macron as the "default" European leader, even though his popularity at home is somewhat tenuous. Others have fatalistically referred to Mr. Macron as "the last one with a strong mandate and an instinct for the right thing"—yet, many fear he is too weak to really affect Europe's future (New York Times, October 30, 2018).
The next person or persons to lead Germany and Europe could play very important roles in determining the course of European history. Bible prophecy reveals that a strong man will ultimately take the helm in Europe and will lead a European "beast" power, making a powerful impact on the world—economically, politically, militarily, and religiously (Revelation 13; 17). For more on this coming leader, be sure to read or listen to The Beast of Revelation: Myth, Metaphor or Soon-Coming Reality?
The Power of Servant Leadership: Many companies are turning away from a leadership model based on "charm and charisma"—thanks to the realization that effective leaders tend to have more humility. As the Wall Street Journal recently reported, "Humility is a core quality of leaders who inspire close teamwork, rapid learning and high performance in their teams.… Humble people tend to be aware of their own weaknesses, eager to improve themselves, appreciative of others' strengths and focused on goals beyond their own self-interest" (October 9, 2018). According to Dr. Ryne Sherman, the chief science officer of a company that designs workplace personality tests, "Most of the thinking suggests leaders should be charismatic, attention-seeking and persuasive.… Yet such leaders tend to ruin their companies because they take on more than they can handle, are overconfident and don't listen to feedback from others." Dr. Sherman also observed, "Humble leaders can also be highly competitive and ambitious. But they tend to avoid the spotlight and give credit to their teams… They also ask for help and listen to feedback from others, setting an example that causes subordinates to do the same."
Few today realize these findings actually reaffirm age-old advice found in the Bible that emphasizes the importance of humility. Both Solomon and Jesus mention that service with humility will bring honor (Proverbs 29:23; Matthew 23:11–12). Jesus Christ, who taught and lived a life of "servant leadership" (Matthew 20:20–28), also stated that the "meek" (those who are humble and teachable) will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). The Bible is filled with directives that focus on the importance of humility, meekness and other related character traits (see Galatians 5:22–23). While "servant leadership" may be a "buzz phrase" among corporations, it is a biblical characteristic of truly godly leaders. For more on this fascinating and very practical topic, be sure to read or listen to "What Is Servant Leadership?"—Scott Winnail, Francine Prater, and Deborah Lincoln-Strange