Greetings from Charlotte, 

The beautiful blossoms of spring are beginning to burst forth here in Charlotte. However, political, economic and weather-related storm clouds continue to gather on the global horizon. This week Dr. Meredith is putting the finishing touches on a new booklet. Mr. Ames has been working on a script for another television program. I have been catching up in various issues after being away and was able to do another Living University lecture. Mr. Meredith’s latest co-worker letter was mailed yesterday.  Numerous ministers around the country are reporting an increase in visit requests—which is very encouraging. Earlier this month, Mr. Phil West from Kansas City was hired as a ministerial trainee in the ministerial training program under Mr. Rand Millich.  

Living University 

Camp Leadership Course (PE 236) 

Next week is your last opportunity to enroll in the Living University course entitled PE 236 Camp Leadership. Class begins on March 19 and ends in mid-May. Taught by Area Pastor Sheldon Monson, this two-semester-hour course will consist of sixteen 50-minute lectures (two per week), plus assigned homework and exams. The class will discuss techniques of camp counseling and leadership, camp safety, legal considerations, activities, camp goals and objectives, program planning, character building, and the like. If you are involved, or wish to be involved, in camp leadership, this class is a must. We encourage counselors, assistant counselors, and college and high school staff members to enroll now. 

Church Administration 

United Kingdom Update 

Mr. Rod King writes: I heard from Mr. Ray Cradock, our media agent in the U.K., that an opportunity to speak live on the Gospel Channel has materialised. This channel airs the Tomorrow’s World telecast across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, and has viewers in Iran and Ethiopia. I will travel to Reyjkavik in Iceland in early April to be interviewed and speak for two hours, live. Now I am nervous! But really, what an opportunity and I know that with your prayers and concern God will help me. 

South Africa Update 

Here are excerpts from a report written by Mr. Christo Botha concerning the Afrikaans Tomorrow’s World magazine:  “Just a write-up to explain how we go about to produce the Afrikaans version of the Tomorrow’s World magazine here in South Africa, called the Wêreld van Môre-tydskrif. As soon as we receive a new TW-magazine, I divide it into seven main articles to be translated into Afrikaans. This includes Dr. RCM’s personal message, the cover article, three feature articles, questions and answers as well as the “Prophecy Comes Alive” article. We use six voluntary translators to do both the translating and the editing of the articles. Depending on how busy a translator/editor is, he/she would receive sometimes more or sometimes fewer translations and edits to do… 

“The printer receives a PDF copy of the magazine and prints 3,000 (Mar-Apr 2008) magazines (this figure is being adjusted for each copy with the increase of our Afrikaans readers during the previous 2 months). The MS-Word documents together with the PDF copy then go to the web-master who is responsible to put it on our Afrikaans web page, www.wvm.co.za. We are happy to note that we receive a lot of compliments from our Afrikaans readers for the Afrikaans magazine.” 

Living Youth Camp Adventure Team 2008—Bridger-Teton National Forest

Applications are now available at the LYC website http://lyc.lcg.org for campers. This youth program is designed to challenge and strengthen our youth.  This year we are planning a 40-mile, six-day, world-class backpacking trip in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. The adventure continues in Jackson, Wyoming, with whitewater rafting down the Snake River (Lewis & Clark River Expeditions) and rock-climbing (Guided Service). We will conclude the experience on Thursday evening, August 14th with a special steak dinner and stage show at the Bar J Chuckwagon.

The cost will be $350 per person. Those who are 16-20 years of age are eligible to apply. You will need to supply your own backpack, zero-degree sleeping bag, hiking boots and personal items.  Tents, cooking gear, water filters and food will be supplied.

If accepted, you will be required to organize your own transportation to and from this camp. Plan to arrive on Wednesday, August 6, for a 6:00 p.m. dinner and orientation meeting in Pinedale, Wyoming. Plan to depart on Friday morning, August 15. We recommend flying into Jackson (for those who are planning on traveling by air). We will be providing rides to and from the airport. Please note that all staff positions have been filled.—Sheldon Monson 

Bluegrass Weekend Festival 

The Columbia, Missouri congregation plans on hosting the First Annual Living Church of God Bluegrass Festival this year over Labor Day weekend, August 30 through September 1.  We know that it is still a few months down the road, but we figure that announcing it now will help people to begin planning. 

The event will be all weekend, including a Bible Study and Sabbath services at the campgrounds, and it is open to the entire Church.  More information—including location, costs, and how to register—will be forthcoming in the days and weeks ahead.  We look forward to seeing everyone there for some serious pickin’ and grinnin’!—Wallace Smith 

Feast of Tabernacles 2008 

The United States and Canada Feast of Tabernacles sites in 2008 will be: 

USA:                                                               CANADA:

Branson, Missouri                                             Lethbridge, Alberta

New Braunfels, Texas                                       Orford, Quebec

Newport, Oregon                                             Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Prescott, Arizona

Sunset Beach, North Carolina

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Online registration for United States and Canadian sites will begin on May 4.  Watch for more information in The World Ahead and on the MyLCG website, www.cogl.org.  

Northeast USA Feast site: Some of our members have asked, “Will we have a site for the upper east coast?” The answer is, “Yes!” Our members are invited to come to Mt. Orford, Quebec, Canada, located just across the border from Vermont. This year, we have a different venue which can seat up to 500 people. It is located near the town of Magog, as the French say “Village Magog,” a small city nestled in a beautiful valley which makes a lovely setting for the Feast.  The French flavor of the area is charming with small restaurants, shops and pastoral scenery. 

Mr. Gerald Weston advises that most of the Church services will be in English, with translation provided for the few sermons in French. He also states that there is ample housing in the area at reasonable prices. The United States dollar is now on a par with the Canadian dollar, so the exchange rate should not be a problem.  More details will be forthcoming soon. Feastgoers from the USA will need a passport to enter Canada.  We hope that many of our members in the USA will enjoy going to Mt. Orford for the Feast of Tabernacles this year.—Davy Crockett

International Registration 

Early online registration for selected international Feast sites will begin on Sunday, March 16, at 12:00 noon (EDT).  Please wait to make housing arrangements until your transfer request has been approved (you will be notified by e-mail).  If you have any questions or special needs, please write to festival@lcg.org. International site descriptions are posted on the MyLCG website, www.cogl.org. Last week we featured the site description of Evian, France. This week, the featured site description is Llangollen, North Wales, United Kingdom.  

United Kingdom—Llangollen, North Wales 

This year’s Feast site in the United Kingdom will be at Llangollen in North Wales, close to the English border at Chester. It is also not far from Llandudno, where we have held Feasts in the past.  We have negotiated a price of £50 (British pounds) per room per night (bed-and-breakfast) in two hotels: The Bryn Howel Hotel and The Chainbridge Hotel. This will mean that a couple (or single person) can have their housing expense covered for £450 (nine nights). The two hotels also have other rooms available at higher prices. Be sure to mention you are with the Living Church of God convention to receive the special rate.  The Bryn Howel Hotel, set on three acres of landscaped grounds, is where Feast services will be held, in a 200-seat auditorium. Its sister hotel, The Chainbridge Hotel, is about four miles away.  It is set in a scenic location right on the edge of the Dee River. Both will honor the special rate if you identify yourself as a Living Church of God member. The other hotel in the group is the Wild Pheasant, on the other side of town. It has regular bookings, so it will not be able to offer the same special rates.

There are many things to do in Llangollen. It has a famous canal and aqueduct built by Thomas Telford.  There is also a steam train and there are canal barge rides. Snowdonia is not far away and neither is Caernarvon Castle, where Prince Charles was invested in 1969.  The medieval city of Chester is about 15 miles away.  

A list of “self-catering” (non-bed-and-breakfast) accommodations close to the centre of Llangollen (for those without transportation, there will be buses to the meeting hall from the town centre) will be posted at the MyLCG section of www.cogl.org. For more information, you may contact the Llangollen Tourist Information Centre at +44 (01) 978-860828, and Visit Wales at +44 (08) 70-121-1251.  You may also find the following websites helpful: www.visitwales.co.uk; www.llangollen.org.uk; www.bedandbreakfastsguide.com.  For general travel information, you may call +44 (08) 71-200-22-33 or visit the website: www.traveline.info.  For rail travel information, call +44 (08) 71-48-49-50, or visit the website: www.nationalrail.co.uk.  If you are applying to the U.K. Feast site from overseas, please contact Mr. Jim Bennett for more information, at bennettbunch2000@hotmail.com.


Take Time to Think:  The pace of life today continues to quicken. Daily commutes, deadlines, e-mails, cell phones, text messages, video games, iPods and headsets bombard us with information that can totally occupy our minds and thoughts.  Daniel warned that at the end of the age “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase” (Daniel 12:4).  Jesus also warned that “the cares of this world” could “choke the word” and cause us to miss out on the Kingdom of God (Matthew 13:22).  As the Spring Holy Days approach, it is good to remember that one of the biggest challenges Christians face is the battle for what goes on in our minds—what we think about—which then determines our actions.  Solomon wrote, as a person “thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).  David observed that a wicked person is proud, does not seek God and “God is in none of his thoughts” (Psalm 10:4).  Yet, David was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22) because he meditated on God’s law daily (Psalm 119:97).  In Psalm 23 we read that God allowed David to “lie down in green pastures… beside the still waters.”  Such places are conducive to thinking and reflecting on the handiwork of God and His plan and purpose for our lives.  If we want to grow and be prepared for the coming Kingdom of God, we need to take time to think and meditate on the word of God.  Read a Psalm every morning or evening, and meditate on the subjects mentioned in Philippians 4:8.  We can develop the mind of God—if we think on these things. 

Have a profitable Sabbath,

Douglas S. Winnail

News and Prophecy—March 13, 2008 

France and Germany: More at Odds Than Ever! France and Germany are on an ever-increasing path of division. A June economic summit between the two nations was recently cancelled, leading many to question, “Why?” Germany is apparently not happy with France’s ambitious efforts to create and lead a “Mediterranean Union” without the assistance of Germany. Germany is wary that such a union, formed “outside the EU,” might act to destabilize the current fragile nature of the EU. France also just completed its first-ever “war games” with the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia—unbeknownst to most of the world’s press corps. One geopolitical think-tank predicts that competition between France and Germany will grow fiercer as France takes over the EU presidency in July (Stratfor.com and DEBKA.com, February 25, 2008). God predicted that the union of ten kings in Europe, known as the Beast (Daniel 2:33, 41, also Revelation 17), would be a group of nations that “adhere” together loosely—like iron and clay. Prophecy indicates that this Beast power will take many Israelite-descended nations into captivity. History and Scripture indicate that France IS an Israelite nation. Will France be “part of” the final ten nations of the Beast, or will it go into captivity too? Time will tell. We need to watch these dynamic events in Europe.

A Vestigial Organ? The appendix is an organ that evolutionists have viewed as an unnecessary part of the body. Removal of the organ is a common practice in the western world.  However, recent research sheds new light on why God created the appendix. Duke University scientists discovered that the appendix is designed to help the body handle and manage bacteria in the gut. It also manufactures “good bacteria”—playing a significant role in keeping us healthy (MSNBC.msn.com, October 5, 2007). Scientists are just now discovering the answers to “why an appendix?”—answers that God knew when He designed the human body. Human nature tends to dismiss items, concepts, and even body organs, as unimportant or “no longer useful,” if we do not understand their purpose. Yet, 3,000 years ago, David asked, “What is man that You are mindful of him?” (Psalm 8:4). David concluded, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works” (Psalm 139:14). David demonstrated his teachability and “faith” in what he could not see and understand (Psalm 119:27)—unlike many today who deny a purpose until and unless they can first demonstrate it. It is exciting to watch modern research substantiate the validity of Scripture and a God-ordained creation.     

Global Demand for Food Crops Is Skyrocketing. Grain and food commodity prices are increasing because of high energy costs, the shift to bio-fuel production, droughts, and the increased global demand for breads and cereals. Developing nations are growing at the rapid rate of 7% per year, and as they become richer, “everyone wants to eat like an American.” U.S. agricultural exports should increase by a record 23% this year, to more than $100 billion. Last year, wheat prices nearly tripled worldwide, while consumer prices for bread increased by about 50%. Other crops are also more expensive, including sunflower seeds, soybeans and canola—all major sources of cooking oil. Grain prices are forecasted to continue rising for well over a decade, while some suggest that to raise adequate amounts for everyone, we would “need another two or three globes to grow it all” (New York Times, March 8, 2008). Rising food prices are expected to lead to more starvation and anarchy in developing nations, while wealthy nations want to hold onto bio-fuel goals that suppress food availability (International Herald Tribune, March 6, 2008). God warned of hyperinflation and scarcity at the end of the age, especially related to grains and oil. “A quart of wheat for a denarius [day’s wages], and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and the wine” (Revelation 6:6). Will we see food grown in the U.S. “bread basket” sold abroad because it is more profitable, instead of being consumed at home? Long ago, God warned, “A nation whom you have not known shall eat the fruit of your land and the produce of your labor…” (Deuteronomy 28:33). This is sobering food for thought.—Scott Winnail

COGwriter 2008

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