Greetings from Charlotte,
Mr. and Mrs. Meredith are traveling to the western part of the USA visiting congregations and family. Mr. and Mrs. Rod King are in South Africa conducting meetings with the ministry and visiting congregations there. Mr. King will then fly to Tanzania and Kenya for congregation visits and a Board meeting before returning to the UK. Here in Charlotte we are working on finalizing plans for the 2007 Feast of Tabernacles. We are also working on several other projects, including a Pastoral Training Program that we hope to have ready soon after the Spring Holy Days.
Mr. Gary Ehman reports: “Linda and I have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and concern from all of you. The cards, letters, telephone calls, and your prayers, especially, are deeply appreciated and again remind us of the true Philadelphian spirit we are building through Christ’s love in us. The [heart] attack happened shortly after returning home from work, Wednesday evening, January 17. Mr. Richard Ames seemed to appear out of nowhere as EMTs were taking me from my living room. The emergency crew halted and he anointed me, while they looked on. God’s intervention in my recovery was noted shortly after my trip to the hospital, EKGs showed ‘significant damage’ early on, caused by an occluded branch of the right-side coronary artery. The next morning the doctor said there was only ‘some moderate’ damage. The following morning prior to discharge he said there was ‘little, if any damage.’ Again, thank you, my brothers and sisters.”
Last Sabbath, January 20, Mr. Bob League conducted a public lecture in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Mr. James Sweat reports on the success of this lecture: “We had 33 new people attend the Lecture with many saying they will be back next week for the follow-up. Some indicated their interest to attend Church services. It was also interesting that most of these people were familiar with Mr. Armstrong and had listened to him on the radio. One lady was surprised to find out that there is a local congregation in Chattanooga. Another person, upon entering and being handed an information brochure that we printed for the lecture, wanted to know where he could send his tithes! All of our members were excited about the potential growth to God’s Work here, locally, and were especially thankful for this opportunity to serve.”
In Manhattan, Mr. Jonathan McNair conducted a public Bible study last Sabbath, with a follow-up Bible study on Sunday. He reports: “On the Sabbath, we had 71 people in attendance, which is a new record attendance for our Metro New York congregation. Of those in attendance, 12 were new attendees. On Sunday, at the follow-up Bible study, we had 41 people in attendance, with 12 new attendees again—half of whom had not come the previous day. Including both days, 17 new people attended a service with us. It was interesting to note that a number of the new attendees were former WCG members who have been looking for where the truth was continuing to be taught. After coming to our services, they asked if they could begin to attend with our congregation regularly. That highlights another encouraging point—of the people who came to our Bible studies on Sabbath and Sunday, more than a third expressed interest in attending regular services with us.
Living Leadership Course
Mr. Rick Stafford reports on the progress of the Living Leadership Course in his area: “I have now completed the first Living Leadership Course lesson in three of my five congregations. The enthusiasm and positive feedback have been unanimous and most encouraging! (I think this will be the tool for really promoting growth and fellowship. I am receiving comments like. ‘We are really glad to be here.’) In Russellville, during the Living Leadership Course, everyone spoke at least once and the room was buzzing with enthusiasm after the meeting. Comments included, ‘This is exactly what the Church has been needing.’”
On Sunday, January 14, we began transmitting the Spanish radio broadcast El Mundo de Mañana, presented by Mr. Mario Hernandez, on the Mexican radio station XENR 1140 AM based in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. This 50,000-watt radio station covers all of Mexico and reportedly can also be heard in some parts of the United States and South America. The program will be aired on Saturdays from 4:00 to 5:00 a.m., and on Sundays from 11:00 to 11:30 a.m. We are grateful to God for this new open door to reach the Spanish-speaking world.
Mr. Bruce Tyler reports: “Mr. Dayrell Tanner and I will be in the Philippines for a small conference with all the Philippine ministers in Cagayan de Oro, Mindanao. We will also conduct the required Annual General Meeting in Manila for the Church as well. Mr. Kinnear Penman is planning a trip to visit the members and prospective members in Papua New Guinea around the middle of February. He, too, along with Mr. Peter Devis, our PNG elder, would appreciate your prayers for their safe travels in this difficult part of our region.”
News from the Philippines
Mr. Felipe Casing reports: “After three successive bombings that killed several people and wounded many, the residents are now weary and fearful when will be the next bomb drop and where. According to some sources, bomb targeted areas in the list are Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Pagadian and other places. Travel advisory from the U.S., Canada and Australia cautioned their people over travelling to Mindanao. Much corruption and killings are not halted, though some were caught and jailed. But with money they are released on bail. And more can our jails contain the surged of those arrested. Now it is election campaign and we expect crimes and killings on enemies as well as on innocent people.”
Mr. Paul Shumway reports: “My wife and I arrived in Trinidad on Thursday, January 11 in time for me to attend the Spokesman Club meeting with Mr. Greeman. There were 14 in attendance, including two guests. It was encouraging to see the camaraderie and leadership exhibited. On Friday morning the Greemans joined us on a flight to Georgetown, Guyana. We had a record attendance of 38 on the Sabbath, January 13, with six first-time attendees!”
The latest issue of the Living Church News was mailed last week. To more accurately document and monitor the delivery times that we receive from the U.S. Postal Service, we have developed an online delivery reporting program. This will allow us to more consistently report delivery delays to the USPS so they can work to resolve them, and it will also allow us to predict delivery times for our mailings much more accurately. This will be especially useful as we try to ensure that time-sensitive mailings actually arrive in a timely manner. For our new reporting program to work, we need your help. When you receive the January-February 2007 LCN, and all future Church-wide mailings, please log in to the members (MyLCG) section of the Church website (www.cogl.org), where you can select the piece of mail you have just received and enter the date when you received it. This will be a great help to as we are trying to improve the timely delivery of our literature and other Church mailings.
Real Christians Grow: Jesus encouraged His disciples to “bear much fruit” (John 15:8). Peter urged believers, “add to your faith virtue [courage and determination], to virtue knowledge” (II Peter 1:5). He told Christians to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (II Peter 3:18). Paul warned that, “we should not longer be children, tossed to and fro… with every wind of doctrine… but… grow up in all things unto Him who is the head—Christ” (Ephesians 4:14-15). Paul already had extensive religious training, yet he continued his religious education after his conversion by looking to senior teachers in the faith for guidance (Galatians 1:13-19). Apollos grew on the job as a preacher by listening to more experienced teachers (Acts 18:24-28). As Christians, we must continue to grow so that God can use us to us to reach the world of today. Now is not the time to be looking backward, or to try to turn the clock back. We are in a different era. The people we must reach today have a different mindset and different values and perspectives than the audiences of the 1950s and 1960s. Jesus and the apostles spoke to the people of their day. Mr. Armstrong spoke to the people of his era. We must reach people of our time with a message that is powerful and relevant (I Corinthians 9:19-23). This involves learning and growing and determining the most effective methods to use today!
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
NEWS AND PROPHECY—January 25, 2007
“Friends of the EU Constitution” Gather in Madrid. This Saturday, representatives from EU member states that have already ratified the Constitution will gather in Spain to discuss options for moving the Constitution process forward. Also invited are the Catholic nations of Ireland and Portugal. They will discuss whether these nations will need to ratify the Constitution again, or whether only those nations that did not ratify it in 2004 will need to do so. Critics fear that only EU “leaders” will be involved in future constitutional talks and that EU citizens will be left out (euobserver.com, January 24, 2007). While the EU currently is made up of 28 member nations, Brussels (like France and Germany) periodically speaks of a “core of nations” in Europe moving forward ahead of the rest “even if other countries—notably the UK—do not want to participate in further integration” (euobserver.com, January 12, 2007). The German Interior Minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, recently mentioned that Germany preferred to work with the six biggest member states in the EU (Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the UK and Poland) in order to speed up decision-making. He also praised Poland for representing the so-called Visegrad nations—Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovokia (Ibid). The meeting in Madrid could further promote the idea of a smaller core of nations leading Europe. We need to watch the actions of nations that will bring about the final revival of the Holy Roman Empire—the Beast that has been a focal point of prophecy for nearly 2,000 years (see Revelation 17).
Chinese and Japanese Military Cooperation. Following the “upgrading” of Japan’s Defense Agency to a Defense Ministry, Japan and China are now discussing joint military exercises. China is considering the possibility of Japanese war ships entering Chinese harbors—for the first time since World War II. These actions are significant in that they represent the two most powerful military powers in Asia working together (Financial Times, January 22, 2007). In addition, China has the capability to field the largest army the world has ever seen. Bible prophecy has long predicted the appearance of a military power “north and east” of Jerusalem. This 200 million-man military juggernaut is prophesied to attack and overrun the king of the North just prior to the return of Christ (Daniel 11:44-45, Revelation 9:13-21).
London Needs a Pied Piper. In 1665, fleas from a horde of infected black rats spread deadly bubonic plague across London. King Charles II and his court, along with thousands of commoners, fled to the countryside in hope of escaping the Black Death, but only helped to spread the infection. In a four-month period, over 31,000 people died in England’s capital. Today, it is brown rats that are multiplying at an alarming rate, and their droppings are causing a marked rise in salmonella poisonings and other fatal diseases. Brown rats are growing fat and numerous on discarded fast-food waste and other edible litter that has increased more than 400% around Britain. A new strain of poison-resistant super-rat has appeared, with enamel-coated teeth stronger than industrial diamonds, that are able to gnaw through metal traps and even concrete (The Leader-Post [Canada], September 11, 2006). Will London, New York and other cities of the earth suffer again from rat-borne plagues? The Bible states that God’s future judgments on Jerusalem [and probably other cities] will include “the sword and famine and wild beasts and pestilence—to cut off man and beast from it?’” (Ezekiel 14:21). It is also ironic that this modern plague of rodents is growing strong on the excess (garbage) of a “rich” nation that has been blessed because of promises God made to the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.—Don Davis, Dan Bennett, Scott Winnail
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