October 29, 2009

Greetings from Charlotte,

We are finally seeing sunshine here in Charlotte after some heavy rain and several days of cloudy weather.  As we listen to the sobering news about the demise of America, Britain and other Israelite countries and the growing problems faced by many peoples around the world, it is becoming more and more obvious that storm clouds are gathering that will mark the end of this age.  Here in Charlotte, Mr. Meredith is writing a semi-annual letter and preparing for several telecasts.  Mr. and Mrs. Ames had a successful trip to New England, and my trip to Minneapolis for services and a Tomorrow’s World Bible lecture was most encouraging (see report below).  Mr. Sheldon Monson will be conducting a follow-up Bible lecture this Sunday—and your prayers will be appreciated. 

Mr. Meredith has approved the appointment of Mr. Jonathan McNair to lead the Living Youth Program.  He will succeed Mr. Gerald Weston, who has asked to retire from that position so he can concentrate on his duties as the Canadian Regional Director.  Mr. and Mrs. Weston have served the young people of the Church for 25 years. We are very appreciative of their dedicated and outstanding service.  Mr. McNair will be assisted in his new responsibilities by Mr. Sheldon Monson.

Mr. Dibar Apartian recorded a new sermon for the French-speaking congregations this morning. Mr. and Mrs. Jack Lowe are visiting from Atlanta as part of the ministerial Headquarters visiting program. This morning, Living University on-site students attended a leadership seminar in Charlotte, which featured as main speakers former First Lady Laura Bush, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and former New York City Mayor Rudy Guliani.  

Church Administration

Tomorrow’s World Bible Lecture in Minneapolis

Dr. Douglas Winnail traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to present on Sunday, October 25 a Tomorrow’s World Bible Lecture titled “What’s Ahead for America?” Prior to the lecture, 2,066 invitations were mailed out from Headquarters.  We received a total of 51 responses from new people who registered to attend.  As a result, the auditorium was packed with 130 people, 85 of whom were new visitors!  Many commented that they would be back this coming Sunday for the follow-up lecture.  Several voiced interest in attending regular Sabbath services.  The experience was very inspiring and we pray that God will continue to draw new people to the Truth.—Sheldon Monson

Philippines Update

Mr. Dayrell Tanner reports: I have just spoken to Mr. Osillos regarding how the brethren are coping in the Luzon area after the severe typhoons and flooding. He reports that approximately 11 families in the metro-Manila area were directly affected by the flooding there, some to a greater degree than others. Disaster relief funds have been distributed to most of these brethren for their immediate needs, but there will be a need for some additional assistance for some of them to repair their homes, motor vehicles, and damaged household goods. In one case, one of the brethren had his “Sari-Sari Store” (corner store) and all his stock, including 15 liquid gas tanks, completely washed away by the raging waters. This store is the major source of income for him. However, all the immediate needs of the brethren in metro-Manila have been covered, and they are getting back to the business of picking themselves up, and getting on with their lives. The brethren are so thankful for the fast response from the Church in sending assistance for them to quickly cover their basic needs, and get back on their feet.

Mr. Osillos will be travelling to Northern Luzon next week with Deacon Tito dela Cruz to assess the needs of the brethren there, who were seriously affected by the last typhoon that ripped through their areas…. This will require a lengthy journey by bus… he will be passing by his beloved city of the pines, Baguio City, where the Feast in Luzon was held, and this time, I hope, clear blue skies will greet him. The brethren in Mindanao were not affected by the typhoons, and their Feast was one in which they enjoyed pleasant sunny weather. We have a dedicated ministry, and dedicated brethren in the Philippines, who are used to hardship in their everyday lives, and as such they are very resilient, able to bounce back after setbacks. But they cry with great fervor, “Thy Kingdom Come!”….  Mr. Tyler and I will be going over there sometime in early December to follow up on the disaster relief, to complete work on new office arrangements, to visit the ministry in the Mindanao area and to plan ahead for next year’s Feast sites.

Additional report by elder Jes Puzon: Here is good news after the Feast of Tabernacles 2009 flood in Baguio City! Noah’s first act after surviving the Flood was to express thanks to God by offering a sacrifice (Genesis 8:20). And God was pleased. Similarly, Living Church of God brethren (around 54 of us) who were riding  the “Genesis” bus in the morning of Tuesday, October 13, 2009 would like to offer God “the sacrifice of praise” (Hebrews 13:15) and “the sacrifice of  thanksgiving” (Psalm 116:17). The “Genesis” bus we were riding was the first bus to be allowed to pass through the landslide road-cut at Taloy, Marcos highway, when going down from Baguio after the recent FOT 2009 flood (we were the first bus allowed to pass through, since our bus name was Genesis). God’s timing was perfect—our scheduled trip at 5:00 a.m. was delayed for an hour, since the bus dispatcher was still taking a shower and then he found out that the door at his office was locked with the door key left inside.  Due to that delay, the brethren no longer had to go through the trouble of walking through the road-cut at Taloy with the heavy load of suitcases. We rejoice in what God has done (the brethren in the bus applauded for joy after our bus was allowed to pass through!) and glorify Him with Thanksgiving (Psalm 69:30-31).  We hope to always please our God!


Living University

Now accepting applications for on-site study for the 2010-2011 academic year (U.S. residents only at this time): Living University is now accepting applications for on-site study in Charlotte for the 2010-2011 academic year. Classes will begin in August 2010. If you are a young adult of college and university age, strongly consider this one-of-a-kind God-centered program for your higher education. For those of “non-traditional age” who are interested in attending LU onsite, this may also be a good opportunity for you. LU also accepts home school students with the appropriate credentials. You may access the application and other related materials on the LU website, at www.livinguniv.com. On the home page, simply click on Making Application for instructions and further information. The website contains estimated costs as well as materials that are necessary to complete the application process. Note that the application deadline for on-site study in Charlotte is February 15, 2010. You will be notified of your admittance by April 1, 2010. For those wishing to attend the on-site program who do not have previous college, you will need to take your college entrance exam (SAT or ACT) and have your test scores sent to Living University well before the application deadline. Applicants should plan to sit for their ACT or SAT exam in November or December of this year, at a local junior college or university. More details on these exams can be found on the LU website. If you have additional questions, please call Dr. Scott Winnail at 704-844-1966, option 7, or email him at swinnail@livinguniv.com.

For all others interested in taking Living University classes next semester, classes will next begin in mid-January. Registration will begin for the next semester on November 16. A listing of “Spring Semester” courses (Spring in the northern hemisphere), can be viewed on the Living University website under the link “2010 Spring Schedule.”


Skills that Promote Teamwork:  Members of successful organizations (families, teams, churches and businesses) develop the necessary skills to function together smoothly to accomplish goals.  These skills can be identified and learned.  As Christians, we must develop these same skills—and many are clearly biblical.  Effective team players are sensitive to the feelings of others and avoid saying or doing things that offend others (Matthew 18:7; 1 Corinthians 10:23).  They are forgiving and overlook slights and insults because they have learned not to be easily offended (Proverbs 10:12; 17:9; 1 Corinthians 13:5).  Team players do not sit in judgment of other people—accusing, criticizing and digging up and spreading evil things about others—instead, they make sure their own lives are in order (Matthew 7:1-5; James 4:11).  Team players are peacemakers (Matthew 5:9) who are able to promote harmony and work smoothly with others (James 4:17).  They deal with people gently, respectfully and patiently and are willing to listen (James 1:19).  Team players do not promote themselves at the expense of others (Matthew 20:20-24).  Effective team players appreciate that a team is made up of individuals with different talents and abilities who make unique contributions to the team (1 Corinthians 12:12), and that the main priority is to work together smoothly to achieve a goal while showing love to one another (Ephesians 4:16).  In short, good team players have learned to love their neighbors—as Jesus instructed.  Are you developing these skills?

Have a profitable Sabbath,

Douglas S. Winnail


News and Prophecy—October 29, 2009

Yemen: Social Unrest and Water.  Yemen could become first nation to run out of water”, reads one headline. “Water available across Yemen amounts to 100 to 200 cubic metres per person per year, far below the international water poverty line of 1,000 cubic metres.” Not only is Yemen in a long-term drought, but production of a local drug crop—qat—has led to the consumption of 40% of the nation’s water supply. Currently, some towns only receive running water once every 45 days. On other days, people purchase water from water trucks. Some families now spend up to half their income for water. Experts predict that if the water problems are not handled soon, they “will see people encroaching on big cities, the formation of slums, a rise in crime, venereal disease, violence, even fanaticism” (The Times, October 21, 2009). Different nations around the globe have traditionally experienced severe drought. However, Yemen is the first nation which is predicted to possibly “run out” of water—perhaps in the next 10-15 years, if current practices continue. The Bible warns of increased famine and pestilence at the end of the age (Matthew 24:7; Revelation 6:5-8). It also warns that breaking God’s laws results in nations being cursed (see Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 28). In this case, people are also turning to a drug for relief from difficulties, rather than the Creator. As people put other gods, and even substances, before the one true God, He is not quick to relieve their sufferings.

U.S. Is a Declining Empire.  According to noted Harvard University history professor Niall Ferguson, “The U.S. is an empire in decline… People have predicted the end of America in the past and been wrong... But let’s face it: If you’re trying to borrow $9 trillion to save your financial system... and already half your public debt held by foreigners, it’s not really the conduct of rising empires, is it?” (YahooNews.com, October 20, 2009). “Putting a finer point on it, Ferguson says America today is comparable to Britain circa 1900: a dominant empire underestimating the rise of a new power. In Britain’s case back then it was Germany; in America’s case today, it’s China” (ibid). Ferguson further noted that an opposing nation does not need to be “equal” with but just large enough to pose a strategic threat. Although China will not have a navy on par with the U.S. any time soon, they just need to be large enough to pose a threat, in order to gain sizable credibility on the world scene. The 20th century has been called America’s Century. However, nearly a decade into the 21st century, America is in decline—morally and economically. Analysts around the globe recognize this trend. God promised to bless the Israelite-descended nations as long as they obeyed Him. However, if they chose to disobey, their world leadership role would be removed (Deuteronomy 28:43-48). China is just one of the “rising stars” on the world scene, while the U.S. and other Israelite-descended nations continue to tumble from their once-powerful world positions.

Evolutionists “Jump the Gun”… Again!  Last May, evolutionary scientists touted a new fossil skeleton as “This will be the one pictured in the textbooks for the next hundred years.” The claims were that the “primate” skeleton, named Ida, dated back some 47 million years and provided evidence for the connection between primates, apes, monkeys, humans and other mammals. Sir David Attenborough even narrated a BBC documentary on the astounding find, and stated “This little creature is going to show us our connection with the rest of all the mammals; with cows and sheep, and elephants and anteaters” (Guardian.uk.co, May 19, 2009). A new detailed analysis of the skeleton confirmed what a number of experts originally thought: Ida is not a primate of the apes and monkeys classification! In fact, Ida is a never-seen-before, cat-sized primate, more closely related to lemurs. She is not remotely connected with apes, monkeys or humans (see Nature, Associated Press, October 21, 2009). Genesis states that God created the heavens and earth and that animals were created after their own kind. Scientists have not proven that complex life evolved from simpler life forms or that one complex life form evolved from another. Since the Bible is indeed true, the hunt for the “missing link” will continue to be a futile search for missing evidence—the truths of God will continue to be “uncovered” and revealed (Luke 12:2).—Scott Winnail, James Ginn and Sue Bennett

COGwriter, 2009

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