Greetings from Charlotte! 

Dr. Doug Winnail is successfully continuing his world tour. From South Africa, he wrote, “Mr. and Mrs. King and Simon Muthama arrived in Johannesburg yesterday morning. We drove to Harrismith yesterday afternoon and toured the office. We held a board meeting for the Kenya corporation this morning (Thursday) and will drive back to Johannesburg this afternoon.  We will hold board meetings for the South African corporation on Friday morning and then conduct the South African Regional Conference on Sunday and Monday. Weather here is beautiful and the scenery in this region is quite spectacular.”  

Next Tuesday, Dr. Winnail will fly to Europe and we expect him to be back in Charlotte the week of February 17. On Tuesday, Mr. Davy Crockett and Mr. Rod McNair left for Florida to attend the Religious Conference Management Association (RCMA) meetings to assist the Festival Department’s activities. They will also be visiting Florida congregations this Sabbath.   

From the Presiding Evangelist 

Dear fellow servants of Christ, 

I just returned Tuesday evening from an excellent trip to Florida. I had a fine dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Dexter Wakefield—our local Elder in Ft Lauderdale—and some of his family Friday night. They are very dedicated people and have served the area very well for years. Then, on the Sabbath, we had about 70 enthusiastic brethren attend our Ft Lauderdale church to hear me preach. However, I did not announce it ahead of time or make any “big deal” out of it. So it was not a major visit with others coming in. After church, we had a “potluck” and I was able to sit and visit with Mr. and Mrs. Paul Shumway and their family who had driven over from Tampa for the services in Ft Lauderdale. It was enjoyable to hear from him. He continues to serve enthusiastically and loyally and has won the respect of the brethren.  

Then I was able to spend a couple of days mostly relaxing and enjoying a visit with my son, Michael, and his wife, Triessa, and their children. It was good to be there in their lovely home and to see the beautiful area. Mike showed me around to a lot of interesting places. So it was good to get away for a few days and to experience the unusual wealth and beauty of the Boca Raton area. It is always good for us to “get out” from Headquarters to see the different church areas and get to know the brethren and leading people in each area.  

Arriving back here in Charlotte, I was happy to see the continuing unity and loyalty of our office staff. We are blessed with a very fine “crew”—and I thank God for this. The Work’s income is holding just a little below budget, but we have had some very large “special offerings”—that is, offerings above $20,000 each which we put in a special category and do not count into the daily percentages. If these offerings were counted this year, it would put our averages quite a bit above the projected daily income!  

Many of you may have heard that we put on a special “trial” broadcast of Tomorrow’s World on the Black Entertainment Network this past Sunday. It turned out very well considering that our program was aired at 2:30 am Eastern Time. A total of 549 phone calls came in, for an overall cost per response under $12. This is very good, and I am considering the possibility of going on BET regularly if we can afford it. Since the BET reaches 84 million households it is reaching a huge number of Americans—mostly from a different demographic reached by most of our stations. So it should be very beneficial if we are able to go on this station. I would like to receive any suggestions any of you have, and I hope you will all join me in praying fervently that God will give us some more extra special offerings to make this possible! I feel that if Mr. Armstrong were alive he would probably want to go through this really big “door” in order to reach more of God’s people with the message of the Kingdom of God. 

So please pray about this matter! And keep up the good work in serving God’s people wherever you are. Again, I hope you will concentrate on getting out to visit more “GoTos” as soon as you are able—constantly bringing new people to the Church so we can help them, teach them and help them prepare for the Kingdom of God. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. And I appreciate your love, your friendship and your loyalty very, very much.   

Your brother in Christ,

Roderick C. Meredith 

Church Administration 

Devastating Tornadoes in Southern United States 

On Tuesday, a string of powerful and deadly tornadoes occurred across southern states in the U.S.A. More than 55 people were killed, hundreds were injured, and many more lost their homes and had their properties destroyed in what was the worst episode of tornadoes in the United States since 1988.  

Our Area Pastors in the affected regions—Messrs. Rick Stafford, Bob League, Daniel Hall, and Rod Reynolds—all have reported that none of our members were personally affected by this natural disaster. Mr. Dan Hall wrote, “In Lindale and in Bullard, Texas, we suffered a substantial hail storm.  The size of the hailstones was quarter to silver dollar size and they blanketed our front and back yard. There has been damage to some homes south of Tyler, yet, not affecting any of our brethren.” Mr. William “Tex” Malone, one of our local elders in Tennessee assisting Mr. League, reported, “We have had no reported bodily injury or property damage to any of our brethren in the Nashville, Chattanooga, Crossville, Tennessee; or Athens, Alabama areas. We are very thankful to our God for His watching over us and for His protection! We have truly experienced a fulfillment of Psalm 91:1-2!”  

Baltimore Public Lecture 

Area Pastor Ken Frank reports on his public lecture held last Sabbath: “Even a roadblock could not keep 16 new people from attending a public Bible lecture for the city of Baltimore, Maryland, on the Sabbath of February 2. A truck had struck a power pole knocking down the lines across the road leading to our meeting hall. As a result, the police closed that end of the road. But with a crew of map-making brethren, an alternate route was speedily drawn and distributed to people at the point of blockage. And come they did! The love and warmth of our brethren kept the new folks around after the lecture ‘Can We Trust The Bible?’ supported with a PowerPoint presentation for 85 people total. A literature table and refreshments added to the team effort to preach the Gospel in this unique setting. A number of the new people said they will return to our follow-up Church service next Sabbath.”  

South Africa Update 

In his January 2008 administrative report, Mr. Christo Botha, South Africa office manager, provided us the following information: Our total number of subscribers to the Tomorrow’s World magazine currently stands at 7,326; our Bible Study Course subscription list stands at 851; our co-worker list stands at 174; and our donor list at 36. During the past 12 months, a total of 21,465 literature items were downloaded, read, printed or ordered from the Afrikaans website www.wvm.co.za

Mr. Botha also wrote, “During the past 15 months, we received 1,035 new and 599 repeat TV responses from the TW telecast on the Community Service Network (CSN) here in South Africa. That represents an average of 22 new and 13 follow-up TV responses per program. The cost per response for all responses is $19.09 and $30.14 per new response.” 


Internet Update: Milestones Reached

January was a very exciting month on our websites. Last month we reached two important milestones! In January, we crossed the million mark with 1,077,864 pages read online in one month. We also passed the hundred thousand mark with 100,862 people visiting our primary U.S. websites within one month. The previous record for the number of people visiting our websites was 88,244 and was set this past November. Our reach and impact through the Internet continues to grow as God opens doors of opportunity for us and guides us forward.—J. Charles Ogwyn 


All human beings on earth have 24 hours a day to accomplish their tasks—none have less, none have more. Some do remarkably well in the use of their time; others complain that there aren’t enough hours in the day to do what is required. Where lies the difference between these two groups? What is the secret of those who get things done? The answer is found in using time wisely. Not making the best of your time is tantamount to wasting it. God tells us to, “Walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16). As we all know, there are different ways of misusing or wasting time. One of them is being distracted—not thinking of what we are doing while we are doing it. In Proverbs 4:25 we read, “Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you.” Concentration is the key. We must concentrate on the task at hand—think of what we do as we do it. Daydreaming is wasting time. Letting your mind wander is also wasting time. Once I told a friend, “A penny for your thoughts.” The response was, “Why waste your penny?”  

A well-known adage says that if you have an important task to delegate, give it to someone who is already very busy. The job will get done. This is food for thought. Christ said, “If you know these things, blessed [happy] are you if you do them” (John 13:17). 

Have a wonderfully restful Sabbath,

Dibar Apartian 

News and Prophecy—February 7, 2008 

China Hobbled by Disastrous Winter Storms. Millions in China are suffering through ferocious winter storms, the likes of which the nation has not seen in 50 years. Power blackouts and dwindling water supplies are affecting residents of 160 cities and counties in central China, as trees and power poles collapse under the weight of ice and snow.  Four million residents of Chenzhou city in Hunan province have gone for a week without water and electricity. Reuters correspondent John Ruwitch quoted a local hotel worker’s comment, “It is a complete mess. We are hungry and cold” (February 1, 2008).  State television reports that Chenzhou’s gasoline reserves will last only another week and that rice supplies will run out in five days. China’s government has mobilized 450,000 troops to help expedite relief efforts and clear ice-covered roads. Weather-related accidents have already claimed 60 lives. Food prices are surging as staples such as cooking oil and rice become more scarce. Fuel and candle prices have increased four-fold in Guizhou province, which is seeing the highest upsurge in inflation in more than a decade. Thirsty Chinese have been draining fire engines to obtain rationed drinking water. Amidst these difficulties, Hunan, Guizhou and Jiangxi are all expecting new storms during the next 10 days. Job knew that God controls the weather: “From the chamber of the south comes the whirlwind, and cold from the scattering winds of the north.  By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen” (Job 37:9-10). 

There Is Danger in Greatness. In the 16th century, England’s tiny fleet of small ships fought the mighty Spanish Armada to a standstill in the English Channel. Iran today understands what the Spanish learned then—having the biggest ships in the wrong waters can be a handicap. Last December, five Iranian speedboats conducted a dry-run attack against three U.S. ships entering the Persian Gulf, coming within 200 yards of the U.S. vessels. One might expect that a powerful U.S. ship could defeat tiny speedboats as easily as we swat mosquitoes. But have you ever tried to swat five of the pests at once without being bitten? The February 2008 issue of Global Changes & Opportunities Report describes that in U.S. Navy war games modeling this scenario, the Navy lost every simulated battle, even when parameters were changed to favor the Americans. Attackers using speedboats penetrated the Navy’s defenses so well that, in one engagement, the Navy lost 16 ships—including an aircraft carrier! “The sheer numbers involved overloaded their ability, both mentally and electronically, to handle the attack. The whole thing was over in five, maybe ten, minutes,” according to Lt. General Van Ripper, commander of the Navy war game exercise. If the Iranian speedboats had attacked in earnest last December, armed with modern naval weaponry supplied by China, the U.S. ships would have been “sitting ducks” in the narrow Strait of Hormuz, and the pride of America’s power would once again have been deeply wounded (Leviticus 26:19). 

We Evolved from Fish? According to new research by Dr. Neil Shubin of Chicago University, analysis of a “350 million year-old fish indicates it had a finger-like bone structure.” Some scientists now believe fins evolved from fingers. Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, stated, “This evidence is what we would expect as evolutionists, but it would be extremely embarrassing for a creationist.” Dr. Shubin continues: “Looking back through billions of years, everything innovative or apparently unique in the history of life is really just old stuff that has been recycled, recombined, repurposed or otherwise modified for new uses. This is the story of every part of us” (The Sunday Times, January 20, 2008).  Shubin also stated, “our veins meander inefficiently, our knees give out easily under the weight of bodies they were not designed to support and our brains are clumsy upgrades from earlier models. ‘Turning a fish into a human is like turning a Beetle into a hot rod….As a species, we are actually kind of jury-rigged’” (Newsweek, January 28, 2008). Many scientists “conveniently” ignore the argument that a common Creator would use “common elements that are proven to work,” in the creation of different creatures. Dr. Shubin’s comments also “fly in the face of” David’s adoration of the Creator, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are your works…” (Psalm 139:14). As Genesis 1 clearly states, we ARE made after the “God-kind,” not after the “animal kind.”—Don Davis and Scott Winnail

COGwriter 2008

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