January 31, 2008

Greetings from Charlotte! 

Early this week we received the following report from Dr. Doug Winnail about the regional ministerial conference he conducted in Australia, “We have had two days of very positive meetings at the regional conference here in Clarendon, where the office is located—a beautiful little village in the hills near Adelaide. We had 19 elders, deacons and their wives in attendance. At the end of the conference everyone had an opportunity to view some of the lectures on the Living University website.  Weather has been beautiful and the fellowship has been warm.”  

After the successful meetings in Adelaide, Dr. Winnail and Mr. Dayrell Tanner went to Manila on Tuesday. They are presently conducting a ministerial conference there, which will continue tomorrow, for the Philippine ministry. After spending the Sabbath and Sunday with the brethren in Manila, Dr. Winnail will then be flying to Johannesburg via Hong Kong on Monday. It’s nice to be young(er)!  Should we should add to his title, “World Traveler”?    

Church Administration 

Follow-Up Public Lecture in Fairfax, Virginia 

The second Public Lecture in Fairfax, Virginia, conducted last Sabbath by Mr. Ray Clore was even more successful than the first. There were 57 in attendance, including ten subscribers. Mr. Clore reported, “Once again, both new people and current members were so happy to fellowship together… four new persons with a Church of God background were really excited to meet up with us…. They said they would be coming to our next Bible lecture on February 2 in Jessup, Maryland.” 

Kenya Update 

The escalating ethnic strife and violence in Kenya is a sharp reminder of how desperately this world needs God’s Kingdom. We are grateful that our members in that troubled Eastern African nation have been protected from the turmoil. This week, via Mr. Rod King we received the following news from Mr. Simon Muthama, our deacon in Kenya: “Sabbath services in Embu went well. We were 12 brethren in attendance and one new lady. The situation in Kenya is yet to be known. More killings along Nairobi’s Nakuru highway are just bad news. More than one hundred people have been killed between Friday and yesterday [January 28].” 


Great News! We are happy to announce that Mr. Rod King’s television program this week set a new response-record for his programs—with over 3,000 responses. Both guest presenters, Mr. Rod King and Mr. Wallace Smith, have now entered the realm of 3,000-plus programs in North America. Last week we aired Mr. King’s program #311, “Fifty Years of European Union: What Next?” It offered The Beast of Revelation booklet. From Thursday through Sunday, we received 2,509 phone calls at our call-centers in Canada and the United States. We are expecting the final count for the week to be about 3,300.­­—Wayne Pyle


We read in Ecclesiastes 9:10, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might.” This exhortation is repeated in many ways throughout the Bible. In fact, God tells us to seek Him diligently (Deuteronomy 4:29; 1 Chronicles 28:9; 2 Chronicles 15:2; Psalm 119:2; Jeremiah 29:13). In his letters, Mr. Meredith regularly exhorts us to be zealous in our duties and in our spiritual growth. We ministers, in our sermons, also exhort the brethren to labor zealously. Have you ever searched the meaning of the word zeal? Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines zeal as, “Eagerness and ardent interest in pursuit of something.” The opposite of zeal is sluggishness, apathy, laziness or stupor.  

We in God’s Church are pursuing a magnificent goal: The Kingdom of God. We must pursue it with all our might, with all our hearts—diligently. Paul wrote in Hebrews 6:11, “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end.” Zeal is indispensible in the pursuit of our ultimate goal. We further read, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).  

Remember what the Apostle Paul wrote in his final letter to Timothy, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Victory is assured for us, if we are filled with zeal and diligence, without hesitating or looking back.  

Have a wonderful Sabbath,

Dibar Apartian 

News and Prophecy—January 31, 2008 

A Europe Without Borders Is Now a Reality! European citizens can now travel anywhere within a 24-nation area without border checks or passport control. Nine new nations were recently added to the 15-nation borderless “Schengen” zone and include mostly Baltic nations like Estonia, Hungary, Latvia and Poland. European President Manuel Barroso recently commented, “Together we have overcome border controls as man-made obstacles to peace, freedom, and unity in Europe.” Austrian chancellor Guesenbaur stated, “…Free borders in a free Europe: who would have dared to even dream of that in 1985 [when the Iron Curtain still stood].” Nearly every nation in western and eastern Europe now belongs to the borderless zone, including Switzerland which will join this year. The UK and Ireland appear to be among the very few who will elect to “stay out of the zone.” Chancellor Guesenbaur commented, “[the zone] is not about criminality, it is not about insecurity or fear. It is a bigger zone of peace, security, and stability” (EUObserver.com, December 21, 2007).  Although a great “historical” achievement, this borderless zone of “peace, security and stability” is little more than an illusion. God warns that man’s attempts at peace are crooked and will fail (Isaiah 59:8). 

Worldwide Water Crisis! Nations should make the problem of serious water shortages a top global priority in 2008, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon warned January 2008 World Economic Forum attendees. Associated Press writer Edith Lederer reported on January 24 that Ban now fears conflicts over dwindling water supplies are imminent. “Too often, where we need water we find guns instead,” the Secretary-General said. “Population growth will make the problem worse. So will climate change. As the global economy grows, so will its thirst. Many more conflicts are just over the horizon.” Ban pointed to a recent report showing that 46 countries, with a combined population of 2.7 billion, “are at high risk of violent conflict.” The fighting in Darfur is drought-related. Low water supplies are causing hardship in Somalia, Chad, Israel, the Palestinian territories, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Haiti, Colombia and Kazakhstan. Ban’s call for global action received strong support from several top business executives. “Water is today’s issue. It is the oil of this century, not a question,” observed Andrew Liveris, CEO of Dow Chemical. “Time is still on our side but time is running out, just like water is running out,” said Nestlé CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmanthe. “For I called for a drought on the land and the mountains, on the grain and the new wine and the oil, on whatever the ground brings forth, on men and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands” (Haggai 1:11). 

Drought’s Impact on Electricity. The U.S. operates 104 nuclear power plants, 25% of which are located in severe drought areas, primarily in the southeastern United States Nuclear power requires vast amounts of water to cool steam used to make electricity. Water is called the “Achilles’ heel of nuclear power,” and U.S. power officials note that the water situation is reaching a “crisis level.”  As lake and river levels fall, power plant water intake pipes are unable to draw in adequate cooling water. As water temperatures rise, water is too warm to be used for cooling, or is too hot to return to the environment—all reasons for nuclear power plant shutdowns. When plants shut down, electricity is bought on the “open market” for up to ten times the usual amount—greatly increasing consumer electric bills. During “high demand” times, customers can experience blackouts or brownouts (Comcast.net, January 23, 2008). Prophecies in Leviticus 26 talk not only about future severe drought and famine, but also of highways being desolate. Amos 7:9 mentions desolate “high places.” What would happen to grocery stores and industry if there were no power for a week or more? Severe drought can greatly aid the fulfillment of these prophecies.—Don Davis, Dan Bennett, Ellis Noll, Scott Winnail

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