Weekly Update

December 30th, 2021

Greetings from Charlotte,

Many of us are saddened by the death of longtime minister Mr. Dwain (Doc) Crisman. Health issues kept him side-lined for the last several years, but members in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, area will certainly miss him. On the other side of the world, Veronica Meakin, wife of our U.K. office manager, gave birth to twins, expanding their family to four young ones under the age of three-and-a-half. Jamie and Veronica will certainly need our prayers to handle this challenge!

Over the last COVID-strained year we held 74 Tomorrow’s World presentations in the U.S. and internationally, reaching 749 guests. This is about half of what might be expected during non-COVID years. The French language telecast Sept signes identifiant l’Antéchrist has received nearly 885,000 views.

We learned that a new Tomorrow’s World subscriber became interested after picking up a copy of the magazine in a Post Office trash can. A number of glowing reports came in regarding Family Weekends held in Texas, Kansas City, Charlotte, and elsewhere last week. Carol and I are scheduled to be in Delavan, Wisconsin, for a young adult activity this weekend.—Gerald Weston

Church Administration

Death of Mr. Dwain “Doc” Crisman

We are saddened to report that Mr. “Doc” Crisman died on December 23. Mr. Crisman was baptized in 1963, faithfully served in God’s Church for more than 50 years, and was ordained an Elder in 2006. He was a pillar in the Dallas, Texas, congregation for many years and will be greatly missed. Please keep the whole family in your prayers, especially his wife, Mrs. Wanda Crisman.

Prayer Request: Mr. Felipe Casing

Please remember Mr. Felipe Casing, longtime elder in the Philippines, in your prayers. He has been dealing with a variety of health problems, some of which have resisted treatment and medication. Severe recurring pain from his right hip down to the sole of his foot interferes with movement and functioning, and is especially a problem when he is speaking on Sabbaths. Please pray for his healing as God thinks best, as well as relief, mercy, and guidance through this trial.

January 22 Church-Wide Fast Sabbath Services Livestreamed at 2:00 p.m. EST (USA)

As announced in last week’s World Ahead, we will have a Church-wide fast on the Sabbath of January 22, 2022. The entire Sabbath Service in Charlotte will be livestreamed (including hymns, prayers, announcements, sermonette, and sermon) and will begin at 2:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time (USA). Pastors, please make arrangements for your congregations to view the streamed service from Charlotte if at all possible. For congregations where the time difference makes this impractical, or for those needing Spanish or French translation, the recorded and translated services will be available at a later time.

Fifteen Years of Tomorrow’s World Presentations

The Living Church of God has put a considerable investment in Tomorrow’s World Presentations over the last 15 years. Since 2006, 1,179,050 invitations have been mailed, inviting subscribers to 1,248 TWPs in 425 cities around the world. These messages have involved 121 ordained LCG ministers speaking to 30,701 guests. Hundreds of these guests have begun to attend Sabbath Services during that time.

As we start another year of Tomorrow’s World Presentations, please continue to pray for God’s blessing on this important aspect of the Work, in bringing live, in-person messages to prospective members who desperately need the hope that the Truth provides!

Kuala Lumpur Congregation Celebrates Its 29th Anniversary

Last Sabbath, the Kuala Lumpur congregation and a few members from the Johor Bahru congregation celebrated the 29th anniversary of the Global-Living Church of God in Malaysia. About 36 brethren met for Sabbath services, and Pastor Rajan Moses gave an inspiring sermon on “Ready to Meet Your God.” After sunset and an opening prayer, all enjoyed a delicious BBQ dinner prepared by Mr. and Mrs. Jerry John. Mr. Ronald Moses reported that the evening of children’s games, a Bible quiz, and family games, hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Jason Babu was “full of fun, members fellowshipping with one another. The following day, we had Nasi Lemak (Malaysia National Breakfast) and followed by pool activities.” Children and adults played with water balloons and water polo while some senior members enjoyed fresh coconut and the beautiful green landscape. Lunch concluded the activities. Mr. Ronald Moses, son of Mr. Rajan Moses, concluded, “Overall we had a wonderful time with one another and this made us stronger in unity and love.”

Family Weekend Reports

Many thanks to all who served and participated—and sacrificed—to make last week’s Family Weekends successful! The following are reports from three of them, those held in Montgomery, Alabama; Mineola, Texas; and Charlotte, North Carolina. Other reports will follow next week.

The Family Weekend in Montgomery, Alabama, was a success! Eighty-nine brethren attended Sabbath Services, including those online or on the telephone. Our guest speaker, Mr. Dexter Wakefield, gave a Friday evening Bible Study as well as a Sabbath sermon titled “War: What Is it Good For?” Saturday evening, 57 members attended the activities, including dinner and karaoke. Sunday activities involved various games for young and old, including a sack race, a shoe race, and a “saran wrap” contest with prizes. We all enjoyed a weekend of fellowshipping, games, and much eating together as a family. Some complained about a little muscle soreness later, but we survived!

The Texas Winter Family Weekend at Hidden Pines venue in Mineola was a total success. There were 207 in attendance for Sabbath Services, which was followed by a delicious fajitas dinner, talent/fun show, and dance. Sunday morning, 165 attended the Bible Study, which was followed by a first-class brunch and more fellowship and fun. The weather was perfect, and we had plenty of outdoor space for touch football and for young and old to fellowship in peace and safety. The messages were outstanding, the food and fellowship were exceptional, and all had a delightful time. The goal of the Weekend was to recapture family foundational values, and these were reinforced and cemented during this very worthy and successful Texas Family Weekend!

The Charlotte Family Weekend proved to be a very special occasion for our Church family. The Sabbath service attendance of 263 included about sixty visitors from nearby congregations. Mr. Gerald Weston gave the sermon and the service was streamed to 11 surrounding congregations. The Sabbath service was followed by an outstanding chili dinner and lots of fellowship. After sunset, the evening concluded with a very entertaining talent show which featured four mystery performers in our own production of “The Masked Singers.” Few in the audience were able to guess who the performers were but we had a lot of fun trying. Sunday activities at a local sports facility, enjoyed by 243 participants, included silent auctions for baked goods and various arts and crafts, carnival games, group games, volleyball, children’s games/activities, and a lunch of freshly grilled hamburgers and hotdogs. With activities designed for participation by brethren of all ages, the very young and old(er) alike, we enjoyed a true family weekend.

Living Education

With the end of one Roman calendar year and the beginning of another, now is a good time to start a “Read the Bible in a Year” program. There are a number of ways to go through the Bible in a systematic way. To check out some suggestions and resources, just go to lcgeducation.org and click on our latest post.—Jonathan McNair


Plan to Grow: The Scriptures reveal we are to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18), and to receive rewards in the Kingdom, we must all be overcomers (Revelation 2 and 3). But growing and overcoming requires a plan and persistence. In Matthew 5, 6, and 7, Jesus lists qualities He desires in His disciples: humility, compassion, mercy, a desire to learn God’s way, and the ability to be a peacemaker. Paul lists the spiritual fruits that God wants to see in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22–25). Peter lists courage, knowledge, perseverance, godliness, kindness and love—unselfish outgoing concern (2 Peter 1:5–7). Write out this list and then begin to focus on a single item each week so you can develop these important qualities. Plan to grow and make the effort to be a real overcomer!  

Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail

News and Prophecy—December 30, 2021

Myanmar Military Killings: A Need for Righteous Government! How badly does this world need the return of Jesus Christ? Many reading this news item live comfortably and in relative peace. However, we need to consider the living conditions of our fellow men and women around the globe. The BBC recently completed an investigation in Myanmar, which experienced another military coup last February. According to the investigation, “The Myanmar military carried out a series of mass killings of civilians in July that resulted in the deaths of at least 40 men” (BBC, December 20, 2021).

Those who survived or witnessed the killings told of men being rounded up and killed. Those executed were apparently brutally tortured first, in some cases for hours. “It is clear from the visual evidence and testimony gathered by the BBC that men were specifically targeted, fitting with a pattern observed across Myanmar in recent months of male villagers facing collective punishment for clashes between the People’s Defence Forces and the military.” Families of the victims insist their husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons were not involved in uprisings by the paramilitary groups seeking a return to democracy.

Myanmar is just one example where goals of government leaders appear to supersede the welfare of the people they rule over. Such barbarism, apparently condoned at the highest levels, is a powerful example of why Jesus Christ needs to return to bring peace and justice to the whole world (Isaiah 9:6–7). Bible prophecy clearly indicates the time is coming when swords will be turned into plowshares—and it will happen (Isaiah 2:4)! This is why we need to pray, “Thy kingdom come” (Matthew 6:10). To learn more about this future time, read “Swords into Plowshares.”

Weather Extremes Should Be Expected: Weather patterns around the globe in 2021 seemed incredibly severe, and at the same time, confusing. In fact, the contrast has even surprised some scientists who have seen severe flooding in places like China, across Asia, and in European mountain villages (The Conversation, December 21, 2021), while at the same time, intensifying droughts plagued Canada, Greece, Australia, and the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

In the United States, “something in particular stood out: a sharp national precipitation divide, with one side of the country too wet, the other too dry.” In the east, storm after storm inundated the region causing destructive flooding, yet in the western U.S., almost the entire region is in drought and many towns have burned. Western Canada was hit by catastrophic flooding. And then we saw unprecedented and highly destructive tornados that recently tore through central parts of America.

What is going on with the weather? How can one area of a nation crumble under drought while another area drowns with torrential rain and flooding?

News reports and weather forecasts seldom look to the Bible for reasons behind weather-related events. However, what is happening today is what we would expect to see as we approach the end of the age—especially in Israelite-descended nations. The prophets warned that when those nations turn from God, “disaster will come upon disaster” (see Ezekiel 7:1–26; Jeremiah 18:7–8). Because of national sins, God said He will bring rain and destructive mildew on one city and drought and famine on another (Amos 4:6–9)—just as we are beginning to see today. God does exist, and He does determine what happens within and among nations (Job 12:23). Many end-time prophecies foretell not only more severe weather ahead, but other serious trials—especially for those nations descended from ancient Israel. To discover insights you will not find on the Weather Channel, read our insightful booklet Acts of God: Why Natural Disasters?Scott Winnail and Francine Prater