July 1st, 2021
Greetings from Charlotte,
We were saddened to hear of the death of Mr. Thomas Tial Hoe, our longtime minister in Burma. He was baptized in 1975 and remained faithful to God and His way of life all the way to the end. His leadership in Burma, especially during a time of civil unrest, will be greatly missed. We held a livestream Ministerial Conference on Wednesday where we updated ministers on progress of the Work and answered a number of questions that have come up in recent days. Several of us here in Charlotte are planning to travel next week to Texas for the Teen summer camp. Western Regional Director Dr. Jeffrey Fall and his wife Barbara will be spending the 4th of July weekend in Ohio with family, where they will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Congratulations to them both and to their four children and grandchildren.—Gerald Weston
U.S. Festival (Second Tithe) Assistance Requests—Repeat Announcement
Attention U.S. Pastors: The deadline to submit Festival Assistance Request forms to the Church Administration Department is Thursday, July 15. All forms should be properly completed by the members requesting second tithe assistance to attend the Feast this year. Then, the Area Pastors should write their recommendations/comments on the forms before submitting them to CAD. The forms are available to ministers on the MyLCG website (www.cogl.org).—Festival Office
For the Feast of Tabernacles 2021, we are hosting a brand-new virtual choir in which our members from all around the world can participate. The piece we are performing this year is an arrangement of the hymn “God Is Our Refuge.” We hope it will be a recognizable and inspiring piece that will glorify God and be enjoyable and inspiring for the brethren during the Feast. All those who are interested in participating, please visit the “Virtual Worldwide Chorus” webpage (https://www.lcgeducation.org/virtual-worldwide-chorus/) on the Living Education website. There you will find the full score available for download. You will also find instructions for recording and submitting your files. Practice tracks are coming soon and will be posted in the same location. We hope you will join us this year and be part of this unifying and inspirational experience!—Jonathan McNair
Are You Teachable? The Scriptures reveal that one of the important qualities of character that God is looking for in Christians and in future leaders in the Kingdom of God is teachability—the desire and willingness to listen and learn and be molded by God. Abraham was teachable and responsive to God’s instructions (Genesis 12:1–4). Moses was a very capable leader, yet he was also humble and teachable (Numbers 12:3). David’s attitude comes through in Psalm 119:33, when he writes, “Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes.” Solomon recognized his own human inadequacies when he asked God for wisdom and an “understanding heart” so he could learn to rule God’s people wisely (1 Kings 3:9). When Jesus said the meek and the poor in spirit will be blessed, He was referring to their teachability and their willingness to learn and grow (Matthew 5:3, 5). However, the Bible also warns that if we harden our hearts to instruction and correction, we will reap serious consequences (Proverbs 8:32–36; 28:14). We’ve been called to reign with Jesus Christ in the Kingdom of God—and being teachable is one of the keys to attaining that reward.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—July 1, 2021
Russia and Britain Clash! Sky News reports Russian claims to have “chased” a British Royal Navy destroyer out of contested Crimean waters, in contrast to claims by Britain that the ship, HMS Defender, was simply “conducting innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters in accordance with international law” (June 24, 2021). Britain has played naval defense for years, but the destroyer suggests the nation is not against taking a more aggressive posture.
In reaction to the movement of the British destroyer, the Russian Defense Ministry claims to have fired warning shots and dropped bombs in front of the destroyer—actions the British navy denies. If Russia did indeed fire on or near the British vessel, it would be the first such military encounter between the two nations since 1919 (Economist, June 24, 2021).
Last week, while the French and German heads of state pushed for a public meeting with Vladimir Putin, European Union leadership “adopted a hardline stance toward Russia” (Politico, June 24, 2021). “Rather than floating the idea of a high-level summit meeting, the leaders called on the European Commission and the EU’s foreign policy chief to develop ‘concrete options including conditionalities and leverages’ for further cooperation with Russia in various policy areas.”
As EU nations and Britain continue to push back against Russia, where will this lead? Will it lead to war, or might something else come from further confrontation? To learn more about Russia’s future, be sure to read our insightful article “What’s Ahead for Russia?”
Exercise Helps to Honor God: If we are to honor God in all that we do (Colossians 3:17, 23), how might physical exercise help honor Him? The Apostle Paul wrote that the body is the “temple” of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). In fact, contrary to popular sentiment, he emphasized that our bodies are “not our own,” but instead belong to God. So, it would stand to reason that as we take good care of God’s temple—our body—we honor God. And regular physical exercise is one of the most powerful ways to take care of our bodies!
In the last two decades, an avalanche of research has poured forth demonstrating, in ever-greater detail, how powerful exercise is in improving mood and emotions, managing weight, strengthening the immune system, reducing inflammation, and even changing brain structures for the better (The Conversation, February 25, 2021). Physical exercise and simply moving the body regularly is one of the most powerful tools at our disposal for promoting health, preventing disease, and improving our mental outlook. God created us so that virtually everyone has access to this remarkable and effective tool. Exercise, to whatever extent one can incorporate it into his or her life, is one of the most helpful tools at our disposal for taking care of and even improving our body—the temple of God’s Holy Spirit.
Life is made up of choices, and many in our sedentary society choose not to take time to exercise. As a result, they miss out on many benefits. However, you can choose to make time for regular physical activity and not only enjoy the healthful results, but also honor God by taking care of His “temple.” To learn more about the benefits of physical activity and how to improve your exercise habits, be sure to read chapter three of our free booklet, Biblical Principles of Health.—Scott Winnail, Marc Arseneault, and Francine Prater