June 3rd, 2021
Greetings from Charlotte,
We are heading into summer in the Northern Hemisphere and it looks to be shaping up to be a hot one. Here in the United States, we hear of police officers assaulted on nearly a daily basis, and some cities are seeing mass resignations among their law enforcement personnel. Thugs knock passersby unconscious for no reason at all other than whim or race. We see pictures of small children in the deserts of the Southwest U.S., abandoned by parents or human traffickers, such as the five-year-old left crying and begging not to be left alone in the middle of the night. Pipelines and ferry boat lines have been shut down, and the largest meat processing company in the world was recently hacked in a cyberattack affecting Australia, the United States, Canada, and who knows what other countries. All this and more point to a long hot summer in more ways than one. Now is no time to slumber and become complacent. Please remember those among us who are going through severe trials, as some are.—Gerald Weston
Tomorrow’s World Presentations
After a hiatus for most of 2020, the first five months of 2021 saw a gradual ramping up of Tomorrow’s World Presentations by the Living Church of God. In “campaigns” in ten different cities, 373 subscribers have attended, in person or online. What is most encouraging, however, is that out of the six cities where we had in-person events—Williamsburg, Virginia; Fayetteville, North Carolina; Tauranga, New Zealand; Kansas City, Missouri; Greensboro, North Carolina; and, Knoxville, Tennessee—we now have a total of 14 new attendees. While the overall total is small, we are encouraged by this positive trend.
Feast of Tabernacles
If you are still undecided about which United States Feast site to attend, consider one of the following. These Feast sites still have unmet needs in specific areas:
- Natchez, Mississippi (Piano)
- San Diego, California (Piano, Special Music)
- New Bern, North Carolina (Ushering)
- Pigeon Forge, Tennessee (Piano, Special Music)
Living Youth Program
Camps Registration Status
- Texas Teen Camp
All Teen Camp registration is closed. Please send your transportation details and camper medical forms to Mrs. Jenny Penman at [email protected] if you have not already done so.
- Texas Preteen Camp
The last day for campers to register for the Texas Preteen Camp is Sunday, June 13. We are no longer accepting staff for this camp.
- Missouri Preteen Camp
The last day for campers to register for the Missouri Preteen Camp is Sunday, June 13. We may be able to accept more staff up until this time, but it will be on a case-by-case basis.
- West Virginia Preteen Camp
The last day for campers to register for the West Virginia Preteen Camp is July 1. We are no longer accepting staff for this camp.
Texas Teen Camp: Talent Show and Camp Choir
Campers, share your talents at this year’s Texas Teen Camp Talent Show! We’re looking forward to an evening of entertainment provided by campers for the whole Camp to enjoy. Selections should reflect godly values of wholesome, positive, and uplifting entertainment in words, music, or recitations, avoiding worldly themes or messages. If you’d like to participate, please fill out the form in your MyLCG account (Login to MyLCG) by June 30 (the form takes about seven minutes to complete). Note: All participants must submit a form in order to be considered for the Talent Show. If you have questions, please contact Mr. Rod McNair at [email protected].
We’re also planning to have a Camp choir! Whether you are going to be a camper or a staff member, if you would like to participate in choir at Camp, please fill out the following form (Login to MyLCG) by June 30 (this form only takes about a minute to complete). If you have questions, please contact Mr. Jonathan McNair at [email protected].
Life’s Biggest Choice: Today, everyone is urged to do their own thing—whatever seems right in their own eyes (see Judges 21:25). However, the Bible gives us very different instructions. God gave Adam and Eve a choice between two ways of life (pictured by two trees—Genesis 2:16–17). Moses instructed the Israelites to choose between good and evil, blessings and curses, and ways that lead to life or death (Deuteronomy 30:15–19). Joshua challenged the Israelites to choose to obey either God or the gods of this world (Joshua 24:15–16). David described the results of these two different ways of life in Psalm 1. Jesus urged His disciples to enter the narrow gate that leads to life and avoid the wide gate that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13–14). Today, we each have the same choice to make about how we are going to live our lives. This is one of the biggest choices that you will ever make. The Bible urges us to choose life by obeying God.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—June 3, 2021
Need for Right and Effective Government: Look around the globe and you can pick your flavor of government. Yet can any form of human government protect us from the faults of human nature? Deutsche Welle reports that the democratic nation of Mexico has struggled for decades under corrupt government and the oppressive tyranny of rival drug cartels linked to the murder of 85,000 civilians and candidates for elected office in just the last three years (May 27, 2021). These problems appear to be unstoppable.
The drug lords do not care about people or their nation—they care only about making money and eliminating anyone seen as a possible obstruction to their goals. Thus, lawlessness and terror reign, and thousands die. Again according to Deutsche Welle, political candidates sometimes even provoke violence against their opponents. Many criminals know they won’t be prosecuted: Mexico has a 98 percent impunity rate for murders—that is the rate at which these crimes are unreported or ignored by officials—due to “the incompetence of law enforcement agencies” or a “lack of political will.” When criminals know there is effectively no penalty for breaking the law, why should they stop? Sadly, such woes are not unique to Mexico. Many nations around the globe face similar challenges.
Bible prophecy indicates that as we approach the end of the age, terrible times will come and people will be “lovers of money… unloving… without self-control… brutal, despisers of good… lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1–5). Even in the democracies of the twenty-first century, peace and safety are increasingly elusive. What will it take to bring true and lasting peace to the earth? Why can’t mankind find the key? The good news is that right and effective government is coming—along with real peace! But it will not look like the governments man has created. To learn more about the only effective way to govern, be sure to read our commentary “Self-Rule.”
The Killer We Ignore: As of this writing, more than 3.7 million COVID-19-related deaths have been officially reported worldwide since the pandemic began. This virus has held the world hostage for over a year. But, do you know what legal, deadly, disease-causing agent killed nearly 8 million people in 2019 and could kill just as many this year? If you guessed cigarettes, you are right! In 2019, over 1.1 billion people were smokers, and that number increased by 150 million (equal to almost half the population of the United States) in just nine years.
Cigarette smoking plagues people across the age spectrum and among all races and nationalities. The majority of smokers (89 percent) start smoking by age 25. After that, few seem interested in starting this deadly habit. This May, the Guardian reported that two-thirds of global smokers live in just ten nations: China, India, Indonesia, the U.S., Russia, Bangladesh, Japan, Turkey, Vietnam, and the Philippines. In fact, one in three tobacco smokers—more than 340 million people—live in China. Smoking is a killer: 80 to 90 percent of lung cancer deaths in the U.S. are linked to smoking (CDC.gov).
Cigarettes are a unique product that, even when used as directed, will likely kill two-thirds of their users. Cigarettes are scientifically designed to addict smokers, turning them into clients for life. Cigarettes make the vast majority of smokers sick, and increase the risk of death from other diseases as well. The Bible instructs us to take care of our bodies because our bodies are not our own (1 Corinthians 6:19). In fact, the Scriptures state, “you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (v. 20). Not only are cigarettes deadly, they are also a substance that many turn to for an artificial sense of peace, stress relief, and security. Unwittingly, many make cigarettes their savior—in effect, breaking the first commandment. Sadly, in our societies today, this deadly habit that destroys our God-given bodies is accepted as normal and an individual right. For more insight into this topic, be sure to read “Why Do We Get High?”—Scott Winnail, Don Davis, and Deborah Lincoln-Strange