January 17, 2008

Greetings from Charlotte, 

This week, Mr. Meredith finished a co-worker letter that is now in the mail, and he and Mr. Ames also recorded television programs. Mr. Apartian recorded his weekly French sermon today in defiance of Charlotte’s first wintery weather! Dr. Germano was here for several days to record lectures and take care of university business. On Wednesday, we started classes for the second semester of Living University with a 10 percent increase in enrollment over the first semester and with students enrolled from 24 countries around the world.  Many have commented on how much they appreciate the opportunity to take the classes that are being offered. This Sabbath a number of speakers will be traveling: Mr. Apartian will be in Asheboro, Mr. Crockett in Anderson, Mr. Ogwyn in Raleigh, Mr. Ehman in Statesville, and I will be in Chattanooga for a combined service. Next week, I will leave for an extended trip to Australia, the Philippines, South Africa and Belgium to do a series of conferences—your prayers are appreciated for all those traveling to do God’s Work.     

Church Administration 

According to Mr. Wayne Pyle’s latest report, Fourteen Signs Announcing Christ’s Return is the number one most-requested booklet through the television program, with more than 100,000 requests. The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy booklet is the second most-requested, with more than 73,000 requests since it was first offered in April 1999.  

Church of God Member in Namibia Protected from Plane Crash 

A member of God’s Church in South Africa reported that “a longtime member of the Church in Windhoek, Namibia, was at work when a light plane crashed into his front gate, swung into the neighbor’s house, killing the pilot and five passengers. A tree blocked the plane from crashing into his garage and vehicle. His wife had been just about to go to their car in their garage to fetch him from work, late on Friday afternoon 11 January, when the light aircraft crashed.” What a divine protection of this family!  

Spanish Update 

New Radio Station in Mexico: Last Saturday, January 12, the Spanish Work began airing the radio program on a trial basis on Radio Latina 105.3 FM—a station based in Cuautla, Morelos. This station can also be heard in some communities of the central Mexican states of Hidalgo, Puebla, Guerrero, Estado de Mexico, Oaxaca, and in Mexico City. We received six responses to the first broadcast, giving us a cost per response of US$3, approximately.  


Yesterday, Mr. Meredith and Mr. Ames taped new Tomorrow’s World television programs. Mr. Meredith recorded program #328 titled, “What is Your Real Goal? It will air in May and offer the booklet Your Ultimate Destiny. Mr. Ames recorded program #329 titled, “Turning Stress into Success,” which will also air in May and offer the compact disc Seven Laws of Success, Vital Keys to Happiness and Peace of Mind Through Prayer. 

Finance Department 

Income in 2007 

We are happy to report that the final figure for our increase in regular income for the year 2007 was 6%. This is 0.5% more than we budgeted for the year! When special offerings and restricted donations are factored in, the figure will be slightly higher. This increase was made possible by the dedication of our faithful members and other contributors. We are very thankful to God for His blessings, and we also want to express our heartfelt gratitude to all our members for their generous support.—Davy Crockett 

Contribution Receipts 

On Thursday, January 17, our Mail Processing Department finished mailing 9,182 Annual Contribution Receipts for 2007 by first class mail.—Jerry Ruddlesden 

Mail Processing 

Mail Tracking Program 

Would you like to provide a valuable service to the Work? You can do so by participating in the Mail Tracking Program utilized by our Mail Processing Department. The mail service in the USA is generally good, with some notable exceptions in various parts of the country.  By tracking the mail to determine delivery times, we can bring problem areas to the attention of the United States Postal Service asking that it improve its service in such areas. 

We are also asking Church Pastors to appoint a mail monitor in each congregation whose responsibility will be to log on to the MyLCG web site, click on the Mail Tracking button, and enter the date mail from Headquarters was received. Anyone receiving literature can do this, but we especially want the mail monitors to perform this task. It is a small thing, but it can make a big difference in our service to those receiving our literature.—Gaylyn Bonjour 

Legal Affairs 

U.S. Religious Freedom Day 

Yesterday was Religious Freedom Day in the United States. The day commemorates the passage of the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom on January 16, 1786. There was an event held in Richmond, Virginia, celebrating the 222nd anniversary of the passage of Thomas Jefferson’s precursor to the religious freedom guarantees in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution—of which the Church of God has certainly been a beneficiary.  

At this time, we should be thankful for the wonderful freedom we enjoy (a freedom our brethren in past ages were violently denied). Thomas Jefferson succeeded in bringing about this nation’s first religious freedom bill 222 years ago. Today, the struggle continues and those involved need our prayerful support (1 Timothy 2:1-3).—Tom Turner 


Do You Love God’s Law? We live at a time when many professing Christians believe that the laws of God are a burden, that they are out of date or that they are simply unnecessary.  Such ideas overlook the fact that God gave His laws to the nation of Israel so that it could be a light to the world (Deuteronomy 4:1-10). These negative ideas also overlook the fact that David spoke of his love and delight in God’s law (Psalm 119:16, 97, 127) and that David asked God, “open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law” (Psalm 119:18).  Many New Testament Christians also overlook the words of the Apostle Paul, who said that the laws of God are “holy and just and good.” He also said, “I delight in the law of God” (Romans 7:12, 22).  What modern critics of the laws of God fail to realize is that they are part of a prophesied end-time apostasy of Israelite peoples who would “rebel” against the laws of God (Hosea 8:1).  God warned end-time Israel, “I have written for him the great things of My law, but they were considered a strange thing” (Hosea 8:12).  Many professing Christians will be surprised when Jesus returns and places David on a throne to rule the nation of Israel in the kingdom of God (Hosea 3:5).  David (and the resurrected saints) will then teach the laws of God to the entire world (Isaiah 2:2-4).  That is the exciting future for those who love the laws of God!        

Have a profitable Sabbath,

Douglas S. Winnail 

News and Prophecy—January 17, 2008 

How Will “Enemies” Take Over U.S. Land? In 1987, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury James Baker commented on the World Bank’s debt, “No longer will the World Bank carry this debt unsecured. The only assets we have to collateralize are Federal Lands and National Parks” in the countries that defaulted on loans from the World Bank.  Could his words become a prophecy that actually comes to roost on the U.S.?  Today, nearly 25 percent of U.S. land is owned or operated by the U.S. government. With an increasing national debt and foreign nations “carrying” more and more of the U.S. debt, and with the U.S. dollar in decline, might other nations make the same observation as Mr. Baker did twenty years ago? (Newswithviews.com, January 7, 2008). Today, China owns about one trillion U.S. dollars—this is about 70 percent of China’s foreign currency holdings. At this time, China is unlikely to begin “cashing out” on the dollar, because it will hurt its own economy. But what happens if the dollar is of little value? How might China decide to redeem its investments (TheAtlantic.com, January-February 2008)? One year ago, foreign nations held 52 percent of the U.S. national debt (USAToday.com, December 1, 2006). What if other nations decide to cash in their dollars? God warns that the “borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7). God also warns, “A nation whom you have not known shall eat the fruit of your land and the produce of your labor, and you shall be only oppressed and crushed continually” (Deuteronomy 28:33). Economics could provide a means for foreign or enemy nations to gain control of U.S. land and produce.  

Food: The Next Global Crisis? A worldwide food emergency is coming that will overshadow the bank credit squeeze, high oil prices and fears of climate change. Canada’s Financial Post (January 7, 2008) quoted Donald Coxe, global portfolio strategist at BMO Financial Group, who warned of impending food shortages: “It’s not a matter of if, but when… it’s going to hit this year hard.” Food prices are increasing as demand outstrips supply to satisfy the biofuels industry and meet the desires of the growing middle classes in China and India. In 2007 alone, raw food prices rose by an average of 22 percent. Russia and China, which in past years exported much farm produce, are now conserving crops to feed their own populations. “Those who have food are going to have a big edge,” Coxe said, urging farmers to increase corn production to match U.S. production levels of 200 bushels per acre, up from the current world average of 30. That can be done, Coxe said, “with more fertilizer, with genetically modified seeds and with advanced machinery and technology.” Observers note that Coxe’s recommendations could not be implemented in time to increase yields before catastrophic food shortages overwhelm the world’s poorer nations. How close are we to the time when, “A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine” (Revelation 6:6, KJV)? 

New Zealand’s Promiscuity: Growing in Worldwide Fame. According to a recent global sex survey of 26 nations, New Zealand women have, on average, just over 20 sex partners in their lifetime. This is much higher than the world average of just over seven. New Zealand is the only nation where women are more promiscuous than men. Austrians topped the male list, with nearly 30 partners each, while the global average is just over thirteen (SydneyMorningHerald.com, October 13, 2007). Meanwhile, New Zealand may be a world leader in prostitution, too—supporting a prostitution policy that gives the sex trade protections under the law. God clearly condemns sexual relations outside of marriage. God also condemns the Israelite-descended nations for their amoral and promiscuous behaviors (Ezekiel 8:6; 16:29, 37-38), pointing out how these sinning people “assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses” (Jeremiah 5:7). It is tragic that the nations that “lead the world” in promiscuity are descendants of the very nations God chose to be an example to the world as God’s “righteous” people.—Don Davis, Joe Brown, Scott Winnail

COGwriter 2008

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