Greetings from Charlotte, 

While heavy snow and freezing temperatures have settled over much of the northern United States and Canada, and deadly riots have broken out after a disputed election in Kenya (East Africa), we are very grateful for the peaceful gathering and fine turnout at the 15th Anniversary activities held here in Charlotte last weekend. Five hundred and five people attended Sabbath services to see a video presentation on the history of the Work and hear Mr. Meredith’s sermon on how God has led His Church through the centuries. More than 100 attended the Marriage Seminar on Friday afternoon, and more than 80 attended the Singles Seminar on Sunday.  This week has been one of catching up on numerous matters as we plan for 2008. Please keep in your prayers our scattered brethren around the world who are facing serious challenges. 

Living University 

Living University classes begin January 16. Next week is the time to apply for open learning classes. To apply, visit the university website at www.livinguniv.com and select “Apply Now for Enrollment in the Open Learning Program.” You will be asked a few basic questions to establish your file. By e-mail, you will receive a login ID and password and given instruction on how to complete registration. If you are a returning student, use your current login ID and password to sign in and make your course selection.—Michael Germano 

Church Administration 

Personal Correspondence 

According to Mr. Gary Ehman, our Personal Correspondence Department Manager, we set a record high in 2007 for the number of personal correspondence items processed: 5,197, of which 3,561 were e-mails (also a record high). Mr. Ehman reported, “Hard mail was only seven short of tying the record from 2006. This averages out to 433 pieces of correspondence per month or 24 per day, for the 216 work days involved. We set new monthly records in January, February, April, May, July, October and December.”    

Prayer Requests 

Your prayers are requested on behalf of Mr. Anastacio Catamco, our local elder serving in San Fernando, Bukidon, Philippines. He was recently admitted to a hospital in Cagayan de Oro, suffering from kidney problems, among other health issues. He is recovering at his daughter’s home, but still needs our prayers.  

We also request prayers for Mrs. Maria Lovell, a member of our Canadian Regional Office staff, who broke both her wrists in a skating accident.  

Violence in Kenya 

According to Mr. Rod King, “as far as we know, our members are all safe” from the unrest and violence that is afflicting Kenya after last week’s presidential election. “The main conflict is between the Kikuyu and Luo tribes, which are the dominant tribes in the country.” 

Visit to Guyana’s Hinterlands 

From December 7 through December 19, Paul Shumway and Fitzroy Greeman visited Georgetown and the Hinterlands in Guyana. There were 24 in attendance for Sabbath services in Georgetown on December 8, with one “new” person present who has started attending as a result of the Tomorrow’s World radio program. Commenting on their visit to the interior of Guyana, Mr. Shumway reported, “God really blessed our trip to the Hinterlands… We headed across the savannah towards Awarewaunau… We crossed rivers and gullies, driving where most cars would never venture to go. With no electricity, we set up by flashlight in our rooms in the newly constructed community center—a real blessing! We held a Bible study on Thursday morning with 16 present. By the time we ended it in the evening, 40 were present! 

“We had to cancel a Bible study on Friday morning to be able to make the trip to Aishalton. The 10-12 members in Aishalton walk to Awarewaunau for the Feast of Tabernacles. Twenty-six attended the afternoon Bible study. On Sabbath, to our surprise, 76 came for services. Some walked four-and-a-half hours. We conducted a blessing of little children ceremony for 26 children.  

“On Sunday, we finished counseling three individuals for baptism and walked a couple of miles to a pond deep enough to baptize in. This was a deeply moving trip.  We were happily surprised to see the number of individuals God is working with in that part of the world—more than 70 in Awarewaunau, Guyana, and another 30 or so in Brazil.” 

Spanish Update 

Mr. Mario Hernandez flew to Mexico City on Sunday, December 23.  With the help of Mr. Ortega, he recorded the 8th lesson of the Living Leadership Course. From Mexico City, they drove to Queretaro, where they visited with brethren and recorded a Bible study on the book of Joel. On Wednesday, December 26, they drove to San Luis Potosi to visit our only member in that town, and on Friday they drove four hours to Guadalajara to spend the Sabbath with our brethren there. There were 16 in attendance—an all-time record for the Living Church of God in Guadalajara. 

Fifteenth Anniversary Celebration—in Port Dickson, Malaysia! 

Living Church of God members in Malaysia also celebrated the 15th Anniversary of the Global-Living Work in the seaside resort town of Port Dickson on the weekend of December 29-30, 2007. A member from Singapore traveled to Malaysia to join them in the festivities.  

Vanuatu Living Youth Camp 

Mr. Kinnear Penman reports: The first-ever camp for youths of the Living Church of God in Vanuatu was recently held in Orap. Nineteen youths living on the island of Malekula came to Orap for a four-day camp, December 18-21. The young people were accommodated in housing local members have been building during regular weekly working-bees. This housing is also available for visitors who will be made very welcome during the Feast of Tabernacles. Any overseas families who would like to attend, please contact Kinnear Penman in New Zealand at kpenman@lcg.org.   


Are You Easily Entreated?  The Apostle James describes a Christian using God’s Spirit as “easy to be entreated” (KJV) or “willing to yield to reason” (Amplified) or “reasonable” (ASV—James 3:17).  Such a person will not be so convinced that his or her own opinions or actions are right that advice and counsel from others is ignored. Solomon made a similar observation that “the way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise” (Proverbs 12:15).  Solomon also repeatedly stressed the value of being receptive to counsel (Proverbs 19:20, 27; 22:17) and time and again warned of the serious consequences that result from ignoring advice (Proverbs 28:26; 29:1).  A truly humble and converted Christian will not overestimate the value of his or her own opinions or actions, but will have a teachable attitude (like David’s in Psalm 25:4) that is open to instruction, suggestions and correction. Real Christians are easily entreated! 

Have a profitable Sabbath,

Douglas S. Winnail  

News and Prophecy—January 3, 2008 

China and India: More Military Cooperation. Last week, the world’s two most populous nations conducted a joint military exercise in the name of “anti-terrorism.” Both nations have been working toward mutually beneficial ends since 2006. The Chinese foreign minister commented that “the military training was intended to enhance mutual understanding and trust and strengthen bilateral exchanges in the field of anti-terrorism, deter the ‘three evil forces’ of terrorism, separatism and extremism, and promote the development of the bilateral strategic partnership.” Chinese and Indian officials plan to continue military activities to bring the two nations closer (ChinaView.cn, December 25, 2007).  Joint military exercises between these two nations are important, given a couple of different factors. First, the combined population of these nations is about 2.5 billion—nearly 40 percent of the entire population of the earth. Second, prophetically, God tells of a time, just prior to the return of Christ, when a 200 million-man army will descend on Jerusalem from the east, and destroy an entire third of mankind (Daniel 11:44-45; Revelation 9:13-21). As we consider a joint military force of India and China, it would be very easy for these two nations to field a joint army of 200 million men. The final configuration of the armies from the east is likely yet to be established, but it is also likely that we are seeing the foundations of such a confederation being laid right now. 

Global Food Stocks Are Dangerously Low. “In an ‘unforeseen and unprecedented’ shift, the world food supply is dwindling rapidly and food prices are soaring to historic levels, the top food and agriculture official of the United Nations warned….” The UN’s food price index rose by 40 percent this year, up from 11 percent in 2006. Global corn stores are down to an eight-week reserve, the lowest since 1980. Wheat prices have risen 52 percent since last year. “We’re concerned that we are facing the perfect storm for the world’s hungry,” Josette Sheeran, executive director of the World Food Program, said in a telephone interview. She said that her agency’s food procurement costs had gone up 50 percent in the past 5 years and that some poor people are being “priced out of the food market.” Food prices are rising due to increasing cost of fuel used to ship food, the use of some foods for biofuel, and global weather events and shifts that are drastically affecting crop growth” (International Herald Tribune, December 17, 2007). Some of the signs of the end of the age are famines and pestilences (Luke 21:11). Revelation 6:5-6 identifies a “black horse,” representing a time of severe famine and super-inflation of the price of food products—especially wheat and barley. It appears that the world’s food supply is moving dangerously close to this prophesied time. 

What Doctors Don’t Want to Admit. A December 4, 2007, article by Reuters’ Health and Science Editor, Maggie Fox, exposed the widespread incompetence and shocking lack of ethics in the medical profession. Forty-six percent of physicians surveyed admitted that they knew about colleagues’ mistakes but did not report them to authorities. As far back as 2000, the United States Institute of Medicine reported that 98,000 patients across the U.S. die in hospitals each year because of medical errors. Dr. James Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of the Federation of State Medical Boards, says little can be done to rehabilitate physicians who are “struggling to be competent.” Understaffed and under-funded medical boards, Thompson warns, cannot aggressively pursue error-prone doctors. “There are state medical boards that don’t even have their own teams of investigators,” Thompson notes. Boards cannot act against an incompetent doctor unless complaints are received. Doctors are the people most likely to recognize when a medical mistake has been made; if they will not report errors, patients suffer. Author Janet Lynn Mitchell documented this phenomenon in her recent book, Taking a Stand, in which she tells how her doctor’s mistakes ruined years of her life, and she witnessed how doctors covered up for one another to protect themselves against lawsuits. God warns of the results of covering up for others’ mistakes: “A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who speaks lies will not escape” (Proverbs 19:5).—Don Davis, Scott Winnail

 COGwriter 2006

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