May 25th, 2023
Greetings from Charlotte,
Mr. and Mrs. Weston have been at the National Religious Broadcasters annual convention in Orlando, Florida, this week, with Mr. Wallace Smith, Mr. Mike DeSimone, Mr. Dexter Wakefield, and their wives. Mr. Stuart Wachowicz and Mr. Michael Heykoop from Canada have been there as well. Friday, May 26, is the Living Education graduation after a successful year of growth and learning for the students. Responses to the semi-annual letter offering the new booklet Understanding Bible Prophecy, written by Mr. Richard Ames, have been coming in this week. And Mr. Rob Tyler has written and recorded his narration of this year’s “Behind the Work” film, focusing on the Asia-Pacific Region. Of course, Pentecost is this Sunday, May 28. Mr. Weston and Mr. Mario Hernandez will be in El Salvador for the Holy Day, Mr. Cristian Orrego will be in Mexico City, and Dr. Douglas Winnail will be in Kansas City. Please pray for them and other ministers traveling, and all our brethren, for a fulfilling and meaningful Pentecost.—Rod McNair
Tomorrow’s World Presentations
Last weekend we held three successful Tomorrow’s World Presentations: one initial presentation in Texarkana, Arkansas; and both an initial and a follow-up presentation in Anchorage, Alaska. We had a combined total of 31 guests. In Anchorage, the initial TWP was held on the Sabbath, May 20, and the follow-up was held the following day, Sunday, May 21. The initial presentation drew a total of 13 guests with five guests returning the following day for the follow-up presentation. This weekend we have three follow-up presentations scheduled. Thank you all for your prayers and support for the Tomorrow’s World Presentations around the world.
Living for Tomorrow
Our June 2–4 L4T at Blowing Rock, North Carolina, is at maximum capacity! That’s great for those who are coming, but not for those who missed the registration deadline. However, if you’d like to be put on the waiting list in case spaces become available in the next few days, just contact Mr. Jonathan McNair. The deadline for payment for the weekend for those who have registered is Monday, May 29.
Feast of Tabernacles
2023 Feast Service Needed
The Feast site in St. Augustine needs pianists to play hymns at the Feast. If you are able to help fill this need and would be willing to transfer to St. Augustine for the Feast, please contact the Festival Coordinator, Mr. James Sweat at [email protected].
Offertory Announcement—To be Read During the Offertory
Please use this or a similar announcement for the Holy Day offering.
Today is one of the seven annual Holy Days on which the Church of God takes up an offering. On God’s Holy Days, we are commanded not to come before Him empty‐handed (Deuteronomy 16:16). For those who prefer to give their offering online, please go to donations.lcg.org. Click on “Type of Donation,” then choose “Holy Day Offering.” A Holy Day drop-down menu will appear, and there you can select the applicable Holy Day.
To give your offering in an envelope, please use the green, pre-addressed offering envelopes sent from Headquarters. Using these envelopes greatly speeds up the counting and receipting process, which in turn saves valuable time and money.
If you have not received a set of the green offering envelopes or forgot to bring them, the ushers have blank envelopes for you to use. It is important that you clearly print your name, address, zip code and 11‐digit PIN (Personal Identification Number that appears on your Church literature) on these blank envelopes in the space provided.
If you need an offering envelope, please hold up your hand and one of the ushers will bring one to you.
Importance of Perseverance: Perseverance is a vital law of success. It is defined as tenacity, remaining steadfast under pressure, and continuing on a chosen course in spite of difficulties and opposition. Solomon wrote, “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small” (Proverbs 24:10). Jesus taught, “he who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10:22; 24:13). The Apostle John recorded, “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world…. Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown” (Revelation 3:10–11). Winston Churchill emphasized another aspect of perseverance when he urged his countrymen during the dark days of World War II, Never, never, never give in! We also need to remember the biblical promise that when trials come, God will make a way to get through the trials, when we look to Him and do our part (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
News and Prophecy—May 25, 2023
Deaths from Hunger in Africa! While many people around the globe go to bed content, 40 million in East Africa are experiencing severe hunger (The Telegraph, May 17, 2023). This is 60 percent more people than last year. By July, experts believe one person in East Africa will die from hunger every 28 seconds.
The weather has not been kind. Five consecutive failed rainy seasons have devastated regions in Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia, while, conversely, South Sudan has seen a fifth season of severe flooding. As violence increases in Sudan, another 2.5 million people are expected to become acutely food insecure. Meanwhile, 6,000 people are fleeing the country daily—putting additional strain on surrounding nations. In addition, the World Food Programme has cut its food rations to several desperate nations. Critics blame the West for failing to support needy countries, and some nations are cutting financial support as conditions worsen. Changing climate and war-induced famine are also blamed for the East African hunger crisis.
Today many world leaders “feed themselves” but fail to look out for the people they are supposed to serve. In this world of get, many people look out only for themselves and neglect their neighbors. Thankfully, Jesus Christ is going to return and stop the self-centered ways of this Satan-inspired world and will bring seasons of plenty for all. This will be a time when everyone has his own vine and fig tree (Micah 4:4), and harvests last into the planting season (Amos 9:13). As tragedies occur around the globe, we can pray earnestly that God will hasten the return of the Savior of mankind! For more hopeful insights, be sure to read “Fear Not the Third Horseman.”
Borrower Is Servant to the Lender: Many poor nations are deeply indebted to other, far richer nations. A recent Associated Press study of the twelve nations most indebted to China noted that “paying back that debt is consuming an ever-greater amount of the tax revenue needed to keep schools open, provide electricity and pay for food and fuel. And it’s draining foreign currency reserves these countries use to pay interest on those loans, leaving some with just months before that money is gone” (Fortune, May 18, 2023). Of the nations studied, most were devoting more than a third of their revenues to paying off foreign debt. Zambia and Sri Lanka have already defaulted and cannot even pay interest on major construction projects.
“In Pakistan, millions of textile workers have been laid off because the country has too much foreign debt and can’t afford to keep the electricity on and machines running.” In Kenya, the government skipped paying civil servants in order to pay foreign loans. A chief finance advisor tweeted, “Salaries or default? Take your pick.” These financial strains are impacting lives and families.
The sobering reality is that no one knows what will happen in the aftermath of national defaults. What does a lender do when the borrower cannot pay back debt? Will foreign lenders be lenient and forgiving or will they demand something tangible in exchange for money owed? The Bible has long warned, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7). As more nations—including major Western nations—default on loans, international relations and national resources will become frighteningly unstable, causing the world to suddenly look very different. Yet, Bible prophecies reveal there is a better future beyond the trials of the present, when peace and prosperity will be available for all. In fact, God has a financial system already devised that will completely forgive debts on a regular cycle! To learn more about coming global instability, be sure to read or listen to Armageddon and Beyond!—Scott Winnail, Francine Prater, and Matthew Ellison