Church of God News
Positive News of the Churches of God
New Church Newspaper Begins | Article Submission Instructions | Red White and Blue, by Loy Baker | Area Church News starts | COG7 Ministerial Training | Book Review: Because There was no Shepherd | Establishing the Children | Answered Prayers | Vision | COG Resources
A new publication could not be justified if it were merely to create competition or duplicate other’s efforts. There is already too much out there to read! Agreed, and much of it is very good. We are taking a new approach. Our focus will be on the church, what we need to get our act together, and how to get it. Who are we, and what are our responsibilities. Short articles are requested that will lead us to the Kingdom of God.
A. We hope to become the central location for publishing church events. This will allow others to concentrate more on doing what they do best: evangelism, doctrine, etc. and reduce duplication. We are optimistic about the church and see many great things being done.
B. There is an obvious and urgent need to edify and unify the church. It’s a tall order and may generate a lot of flack from the nay-sayers; but we must do something different or we will keep getting the same results: church division and decline. We hope to employ some basic scriptural principles. Many have professed this novel approach and then tweaked the scripture to support their own idea or agenda. Our guiding scriptures are basic and have a logical progression.
1. (Ephesians 4:11-12) “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”
This presumes that there are those appointed to oversee, lead and guide.
A. When irresponsible persons “reign.” (A frequent problem.)
B. When all authority is rejected. (Resulting in anarchy and confusion.)
2. (Hebrews 10:24) “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.”
Once responsible “leaders” are established and recognized, the duty of the saints comes into play. Provoke is better rendered “stimulate”; we’ve had enough “provoking.”
3. (Hebrews 10:25) “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
This tells us how, by (#3870) parakaleo, to aid comfort and encourage. That’s the same root as for parakletos, the function of the Holy Spirit. How much of that have you seen in the church of late?
4. (Ephesians 4:3) “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
This is probably our greatest challenge. It doesn’t say keep the unity… it says endeavor; try to keep it. Frenchman Georges Clemmenceau mused that “It is much easier to make war than peace”
Each of these scriptures needs meditation, prayer, and application. We’re just at the starting gate. — by Steven J. Kieler
A Bit of History…
On December 20, 1952, four young men and one older man were ordained as evangelists by Herbert W. Armstrong: his son, Richard David Armstrong (died 1958), Raymond C. Cole (died, 2001), Herman L. Hoeh, Roderick C. Meredith, and his uncle, Dr. C. Paul Meredith (deceased). Of these, only Roderick C. Meredith is still active in the ministry, heading the Living Church of God (LCG).
Other early Church elders were ordained as follows: Basil Wolverton, August 3, 1942; James F. Friddle, Jr., January 28, 1956; Marion McNair, Raymond F. McNair, June, 1953; Dean Blackwell, C. Wayne Cole, George Meeker, and Burk McNair, January 22, 1955; Garner Ted Armstrong, Norman A. Smith, and Alton B. Billingsley, January 19, 1957; Richard Prince, Jr., March 23, 1957; David Jon Hill, April 18, 1957; Gerald Waterhouse (died 2002), September 20, 1957; Carlton Smith, and Kenneth Swisher, October 6, 1957. Of these, Burk McNair, Garner Ted Armstrong, Alton B. Billingsley, and Raymond F. McNair, are still active in ministerial work.
Your local church news articles are welcome.
Thanks for helping us, by formatting your file with these specifications:
Please submit all articles in Microsoft Word format. If you have a different word processor, File Save As to Word format. Send articles as an attachment to your E-mail; do not place them in the body of the E-mail. E-mail articles to: firstname.lastname@example.org. If your article is not in electronic format, mail to: Steve Kieler, 2193 Sheker Drive, Fort Dodge, IA 50501-8707, phone: 515-576-5743.
Use Times New Roman 12-point font.
Do not put blank lines between paragraphs. Do not tab paragraphs and do not put spaces to indent paragraphs (indenting using your ruler line takes care of that).
If you have section headings, center and bold face them.
Generally, do not use ALL CAPS.
If your article has scripture references, bold and spell them out, and use Roman numerals for books, e.g., I Corinthians 15:1, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel,” rather than 1 Cor 15:1. A common mistake is to place the comma or period after the ending quote mark, rather than as it should be, before the quote mark. In the example above, notice it is gospel,” and not gospel”,
Greek and Hebrew words should be italicized, e.g., parakletos.
At the end of the article Put your name, and if you wish, your E-mail address, with an emdash, a space, and your name. In Word, you make an emdash by holding down the Ctrl and Alt keys, and press the minus key on the 10-key pad. Example:
— by Your Name
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We, the 9th infantry division, arrived shortly after D-Day on the Normandy Beach. We were part of a force who secured Cherbourg and the Peninsula so portable docks could be put in place to bring in much needed supplies. We were returned to the St. Georges d’ Elle and where we were told our division would spearhead the battle to break out of the beach and to hedge rows for the entire American forces…to be led by the 1st squad (my squad) 1st platoon, Company F, the 47th regiment. Progress was made the 1st and 2nd day…we lost half the platoon to so- called friendly fire the 3rd day. Hitler dispatched an elite panzer division or more, that arrived July 11, reported from the air to be more than 4 miles long. Our company had three Sherman tanks. At the end of the light of day we, the Americans, had not a tank that had not been hit. Thinking since now at the waters edge they (the Germans) had a Dunkirk trap they stopped to rest…for they had come a long way before the battle started. Sherman tanks were unloaded at Cherbourg under the cover of darkness and came down to the beaches where it had all begun and we held our ground. The casualties exceeded any that had ever occurred before…for the time frame of 3 or 4 days. I was wounded twice and hospitalized four times…the first person to receive penicillin…massive gangrene in my back. I was eleven days getting to a general hospital in England. By late December of that year, I was back in action in Soultz, France, still haunted by the lead panzer tank that took me out first of all. I came to…out of a coma…one time on the hospital ship and saw hundreds of burned tanker boys. I can still see them and hear them crying…If only I could tell you what a price so many times that has been paid for our freedom.
I love you America. — by Loy Baker
(Loy fought with the First, then the Seventh and Third armies. He attends with the Church of God, the Ozarks,
PO Box 4133 GSS, Springfield, MO 65808.)
If you can Lord,
Make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to console,
To be understood, as to understand,
To be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned
It is in dying that we are born to eternal
life. — author unknown
This last Saturday 30th November, a group of culture-seeking, fun-loving people (Karen, Tania and Murray, Craig), went to see a show called “Best of British” at the Sydney Opera House.
This cultural event had a mix of easy listening and rousing songs to suit all tastes. The audience could join in on some and did so with tremendous enthusiasm.
The show commenced with ‘God save the Queen’ followed by ‘Advance Australia Fair’ (the national anthem which was an ode to the British Empire). Other great patriotic songs of the Empire included were sung including ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ and British naval tunes — ‘Rule Britannia’, ‘Drunken Sailor’, and others. These were presented with large ensemble of trumpets, cellos, violas, violins, horns, harp, timbrel, drums, and three choirs.
Among the songwriters were Coates, Elgar, Handel, as well as Irish, Scottish and Welsh talents.
Before the event started we enjoyed a cafe-restaurant meal together on the concourse next to the Opera House and watched the wonderful scenery around the Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, and Circular Quay as the sun was descending upon the horizon casting its long yellow rays around about us.
If anyone would like to join in on future events to enjoy Sydney’s cultural and fun offerings please feel free to come along. Let us know if you would like to receive future invitations so that you too can join in when time allows you.
— by Murray Webb (and Craig White)
The Philadelphia Trumpet, published ten times a year since 1990, by the Philadelphia Church of God (PCG), is a full-color magazine that emphasizes world news in the light of Bible prophecy, with a circulation of over 350,000 copies. In the November, 2002, issue, PCG leader Gerald Flurry warned readers to continue to watch Germany’s Edmund Stoiber, who narrowly lost an election contest to Gerhard Schroder. The PCG publishes a free booklet, “Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.”
In an article, “America vs. Iraq,” Joel Hilliker states that Iran, not Iraq, is probably the king of the South, and that “The U.S. won’t be the victor in its present war on terrorism. Europe will!”
Zrinka Peters, in “Quality of Life,” urges readers to exercise, avoid fast food, sugar, and white flour, and to eat a balanced diet with pure water. Man is what he eats; 90-95 percent of all sickness and disease comes from faulty diet.
Flurry’s television program, “The Key of David,” is on WGN Sundays at 8:00 AM Eastern Time, as well as other outlets.
— by Richard C. Nickels
Heartland Church of God Enters Local Fair Parade
Tonganoxie, Kansas. On August 14, 2002, the Heartland Church of God par–ticipated in the Leavenworth County Fair parade. Members of the church constructed a replica of the Historic Reno Church (including the old bell tower), where they meet in Tonganoxie, out of cardboard, tape, spray paint, and pastel colors representing the stained-glass windows. Large signs on the church read: “A Heartland Church of God meets at historic Reno Church each Saturday at 11 A.M.” As John Monahan pulled the float with his Ford Pickup through the winding parade route, the children of the church rode on the float, and threw candy to the numerous bystanders. Other members of the church passed out 3 x 5 cards containing the meeting time and location of Bible study and Sabbath services, and quotations from Exodus 20:10, Luke 4:16, and Hebrews 4:9.
The church members decided to enter the float in the fair parade to be a witness for God’s Sabbath and to inform the local community about Sabbath services. They were pleasantly surprised to learn that the float placed second in open competition with a $125 award, and a write-up in the local newspaper. More importantly, the church hopes that much good seed was planted and that the Lord of the harvest will reap the fruit from this outreach in His time. — by David Miller
LCG Council of Elders Meeting Adds to Fundamental Beliefs
The Living Church of God (LCG) held its latest Council of Elders meeting in San Diego, CA, from November 11th through 14th. The meeting covered media updates, the planned move from San Diego to Charlotte (NC), ministerial moves, regional area reports, and additions to LCG’s Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs.
LCG’s Council of Elders (COE) consists of Richard Ames, Dibar Apartian, Charles Bryce, Don Davis, Jeff Fall, Lambert Greer; Mario Hernandez, Carl McNair, Roderick C. Meredith, John Ogwyn, Gerald Weston, Doug Winnail.
Dr. Meredith (presiding evangelist of LCG) reported:
“Tomorrow’s World subscription list is up 44% over a year ago, even though we have implemented subscription renewals that eliminated thousands of uninterested subscribers. We have reached 1.7 million with literature since the beginning of Living Church of God in 1999. In 118 countries people have received literature. In 159 countries people have responded to our Web site offerings. We are on 146 TV stations — a potential of 69 million households may receive our program, 3.4 million have viewed the program, according to ratings information: 127 TV stations in the USA; 19 TV stations in international areas; 18 Radio stations are airing the program.”
Richard Ames announced that Don Davis and others “are now proceeding to prepare the building for our needs and construction of a TV studio. We are excited about the relocation and we expect to move in early March 2003.” LCG plans to be completely out of its San Diego (CA) buildings during the Spring of 2003. LCG’s new mailing addresses for business mail will be. PO Box3810 Charlotte, NC 28227-8010, and for television/subscriber mail, PO Box 3800Charlotte, NC 28227-8000.
Due to the Headquarters move to North Carolina, a number of ministerial moves will also be made next February and March. Charles Bryce will move from Kansas City to Charlotte, N.C. to assume the office of Director of Church Administration, first Sabbath in Charlotte on March 9, 2003; Rand Millich to Kansas City (March 2, 2003); Randy Kobernat to Kansas City (March 2, 2003); Carl Ponder to begin ministerial training January 1, 2003, in Atlanta, GA, with the associated churches & video groups, February 23, 2003; Larry Solomon will complete ministerial training and be reassigned by the end of February 2003; Phil Sena will complete ministerial training and be reassigned by the end of February 2003.
Carl McNair will be remaining in the San Diego area for 1-3 years (he then wishes to move back to Montana), and will function as the regional director for the Western US (including Alaska and Hawaii).
European regional director Doug Winnail reported that a recent ad campaign in the U.K. for the booklet, Fourteen Signs Announcing Christ’s Return,produced 2,800 responses. Dr. Winnail commented that the Catholic Church seems to wish to influence what can be said about itself, to the point that portions of our message may be stifled.
Canadian regional director Gerald Weston reported on the major growth that LCG has been experiencing in Canada: church attendance for 2002 has increased over 2001 by 16%, and income is up 25%. The Canadian government seems to be curtailing various aspects of free speech, and that this could affect our ability to proclaim certain doctrines over the airwaves there.
Meanwhile, in Australia, from Sunday afternoon, 10th November, until the following Wednesday morning, ministers from the Asia/Pacific Region met in Bateman’s Bay, New South Wales with Regional Director, Bruce Tyler. Those able to attend were Rajan Moses (Malaysia), Ken MacLeod (Perth, Australia), Kinnear Penman (New Zealand), Rod King (Melbourne, Australia) and Michael Gill (Canberra, Australia). Also present was Rob Tyler who is employed in the Brisbane office.
LCG has a longer Official Statement of Beliefs than most of the other COG’s. Modifications were proposed and accepted in the sections WHO AND WHAT IS GOD?, THE GOSPEL, and MANKIND’S ORIGIN, INCREDIBLE POTENTIAL AND ULTIMATE DESTINY. Two points were added, regarding doctrines held since the days of the Radio Church of God: CHURCH HISTORY and SEPARATION FROM THE WORLD.
The complete text of the LCG Statement of Beliefs is at www.cogl.org/beliefs.htm.
The two new added points are:
1. “CHURCH HISTORY The Living Church of God traces its history from the Apostolic Church in the Book of Acts (the Ephesian era) to the present. The message to the seven Churches in Revelation 2 and 3 successively shows the history of the true Church from that time forward. These seven Churches describe succeeding eras, or ages, of God’s Church. We believe that the Philadelphia era began in the 1930s and that we are a continuation of that Philadelphia era.
2. “SEPARATION FROM THE WORLD The Bible teaches that Satan the devil has deceived the whole world (Revelation 12:9), that God’s people need to be separate from the world’s systems (John 15:19; Revelation 18:4). This separation means that those called of God live a different way of life and that we are in a real sense Ambassadors of God’s government (Ephesians 6:20; I Peter 2:9-10). Thus historically, the Church of God has taught its members not to participate in secular juries or worldly politics.”
— by Robert J. Thiel
If the elevator of success is broken, take the stairs. — author unknown
On November 9, 2002, a new member was added to the family of God, when Howard Miller was baptized by Don Pickett, a Church of God minister in Independence, Missouri. Mr. Miller attends the Heartland Church of God in Tonganoxie, Kansas.
Special Sabbath in Council Bluffs, Iowa
The Omaha, NE church was pleased to be participants in the wedding of Keith Mackey and Natalie Andrews, both of Tulsa, OK. They exchanged vows at 3:00 P.M., December 14, 2002 at the Settle Inn, with many relatives and friends in attendance. The ceremony was blessed by special vocal music by some of the members of the Tulsa Choir and a duet by Keith and Natalie. It was a wonderful way to end the Sabbath. Services were held that morning at 10:30 at the Settle Inn, with messages by Chet Felton and Steve Kieler. The couple will be residing at 1648 E. 45th Plaza, Tulsa, OK 74105.
Left to right, Drinda Smith, Pam Kurr, Natalie Mackey, Keith Mackey, Ray Kurr, and Paul Sefcik.— by Suzanne Kieler
For over fifty years, the Church of God (Seventh Day) has been committed to training for its pastors and ministers.
Beginning in 1951, Midwest Bible College in Stanberry, Missouri helped to prepare dozens of leaders for the Church. In 1976, the school moved to Denver, Colorado. It continued to provide classroom and practical instruction for prospective pastors for another 25 years until its closing in 2001.
In 2002, the Church’s General Conference has been in the process of re-structuring its training, using the working title “Ministries Training System.” The new System will provide direction and academic coursework to both men and women who wish to prepare themselves for effective service in the gospel.
The first phase of Ministries Training is to “take training to the people.” Regional campuses are currently being established in local areas where several interested students and at least one qualified instructor are available. As of December, 2002, the Regional Campus in Houston, Texas is already operational (in both English and Spanish language), and others are expected to open next year (Marion, Oregon; Lodi, California; Denver, Colorado; Dallas, Texas; Silver Springs, Maryland, etc.).
Second, the System plans to operate a Ministries Training Institute, offering guidance and mentoring to the Church’s youth who are enrolled in other colleges and universities. The purposes are to encourage them to include coursework that would enhance their service to the Church as a part of their chosen degree program, and to keep them connected with a local congregation and the national Church.
Finally, the System envisions re-opening a Central Campus sometime in the future. The Central Campus would provide a theological study and resource center for the Church, as well as offering advanced-level courses likely not available at a Regional Campus. The Church of God (Seventh Day) values higher education, seeing it as one of the elements necessary for providing a professional ministry. — by Calvin Burrell, Director of Ministries Training System, General Conference of the Church of God (Seventh Day); Denver, Colorado
Each year, brethren from afar join Wyoming LCG brethren for the annual Saratoga Family Weekend, in Saratoga, WY, between Laramie and Rawlins. The Rivera Lodge is reserved for the weekend of June 13-15, 2003. The Wyoming brethren get together for this summer retreat of worship, fellowship, fun and relaxation.
Friday evening Bible Study starts off the weekend with news of the work, headquarters updates, and a personal appearance from one of God’s leading ministers. Sabbath brunch starts the Sabbath day around 10 AM, fresh coffee, pastries, and other delicious entrées that we all share. Then church services at 2:30 PM followed by a Wyoming steak cookout. It’s a wonderful way to spend the Sabbath. Sunday is the recreation day, with trips to the Saratoga museum, fishing down at the lake or on the river, or a trip to beautiful Lake Marie right below Medicine Bow Peak. We’ve been doing this get together for the last several years, and it is an annual highlight to all who have joined us in years past.
Plan now on joining us! — by Ben Whitfield
PS: Call the Rivera Lodge in Saratoga, Wyoming, for reservations, 307-325-5651. The lodge is located on the river at 104 E. Saratoga Street, just 2 blocks up from Bridge Street. Camping is available at the lake, or nearby Deer Haven Trailer Park.
With help from Giving & Sharing donors, the Church building in Kenya is progressing. The modest structure is up with a roof, but there is need for more funds to finish the walls and floor. Our representative in Kenya, Andrew Koech, has been a Church of God, Seventh Day, Elder since 1996. He has spread the gospel in many regions of Kenya and Tanzania. Donations for the “Kenya Church Building Project” are gratefully accepted by Giving & Sharing, PO Box 100, Neck City, MO 64849.
The past few years a sweet little girl named Tori has been attending our church occasionally with her Grandmother. Virtually every time she comes she has been the only child there, but that hasn’t kept her from having a good time. Everyone has come to know and love her.
Our church has Bible study every Sabbath from 11:30 until 12:30 and worship service from 1:00 until about 2:30. When Tori comes I have Sabbath school with her during the adult Bible study. We try to do a Bible lesson and project during that time and I have her show it to her Grandmother then lay it on our display table for everyone to see.
Last summer Tori came regularly for a couple of months. Her Grandmother bought her a CD entitled “We Sing Bible Songs” so I bought one too. During our lessons we would also sing. She was thrilled to speak into our church microphone and she liked singing so well that I managed to get her to sing special music a couple of times.
I always have a more enjoyable time when Tori comes to church. She makes church a happier place with her energy, enthusiasm, and childish wonder. One day after services, she ran up to me in the hallway and said very excitedly, “Mr. Mike, Mr. Mike, guess what? I sat through the whole service and didn’t play with my toys.” I was stunned! She always sat with her Grandmother who brought toys for her to play with during services and she was never discouraged from playing with them. She had decided on her own to stop playing and wanted to do what the adults were doing. I congratulated her and gave her a big hug! Then I told her when my wife was a little girl in church she would look up each scripture the speaker was quoting and write them down in a note book. Tori said her Grandmother did that too. I was very pleased the next Sabbath as Tori wanted to sit between my wife and me and wanted us to help her find scriptures. Tori is very valuable to our little church.
I hope I have encouraged Grandparents to bring their grandchildren to church. Our Father and Jesus love to see little ones in Church. Jesus says in Mark 10:13-16, “Suffer the little children to come unto me.” Wonderful things can happen when our children and grandchildren see God through our eyes.
The Church of God of the Ozarks, meets every Sabbath at 2434 East Battlefield, Springfield, MO., 1:00 PM.
— by Mike Anderson
Deacon Arnold Mendez, Sr. delivers two programs, Noah’s Ark Seminar (NAS) and Early Man Seminar (EMS). For time and directions, please call him at 361-855-8480, or E-mail email@example.com.
For his current speaking schedule, see http://www.amendez.com/html/schedule.htm.
— by Arnold Mendez
Because There Was No Shepherd, by Brian Knowles, Wild Olive Publications, Monrovia, California, 2000, 128 pp. Available for $9 from Giving & Sharing, 3316 Alberta Drive, Gillette, WY 82718.
Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of professing Christians throughout the Western world, constitute an army of walking wounded. They are turned off with church politics, compromised and compromising ministers, doctrinal conflicts, cults of personality, and the stress of endless organizational upheavals. Sadly disillusioned, some have left, or are considering abandoning their Christian faith. It wasn’t persecution that caused this sorry condition, but “friendly fire” from within.
Brian Knowles wrote, Because There Was No Shepherd to minister to these walking wounded. For fifteen years, Knowles served as an employee of the Worldwide Church of God, and was a manager of its media department. Upon leaving the organization, Knowles, in bitterness and anger, turned to atheism, then agnosticism, humanism, scientific materialism, and even dabbled in the New Age. Now, he is a recovering religion-a-holic. He has been there and done that, and he has some very cogent advice for those in the same boat.
Why is it that most churches concentrate on obtaining new converts, “preaching the gospel to the world,” but ignore the quiet exodus out the back door of the church? It is because of this: “For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because there was no shepherd,” Zechariah 10:2. Some self-destructive shepherds scatter their own flocks.
“Exit interviews” reveal some surprising reasons why so many people leave Christian churches. Perhaps the top reason would shock and embarrass most pastors: “Boredom with sermons and church services.” Doctrinal disagreement is a major reason as well. However, many of the reasons are directly related to shepherds who do not shepherd their flocks: abuse of ministerial authority, sexual improprieties by the leadership, financial corruption in the leadership, personal injustices, focus on human leaders instead of on Christ, domineering personalities who want to run everyone’s lives, etc. But, church pastors are not all bad shepherds.
How can you avoid the deadly trap of the root of bitterness and despair? Those who have been hurt by other Christians need to get over unforgiveness, and avail themselves of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. There is no perfect church, because there are no perfect people. Nevertheless, we need positive fellowship with others, spiritual mentors, and this book provides some practical suggestions how to avoid destructive church relationships, and find positive ones. Knowles notes, “In the years ahead, it will be increasingly important to build relationships with other Christians based on common spiritual de–nominators, than to seek commonality in doctrinal unity. . . . This is not the time to focus energy on our sectarian differences and petty squabbles about leadership and doctrinal nuances. At very fundamental levels, we must become ‘one body’.”
Knowles gives an “Appendix For Ministers Only,” which supports those men called to the toughest, least appreciated, job in the world, that of a minister of the Gospel.
Brian Knowles’ stormy career has been a spiritual journey. In 1973, when I knew him, we both worked for the Worldwide Church of God in Pasadena, California, where his liberal sermons earned him the nickname, “Know-less.” Even today, he is not sure if the Sabbath is for Gentiles as well as for Israelites. I find such ideas indefensible. However, some of my best friends are liberals, who often grasp the substance of Truth more than superficial Pharisaical “conservatives” who practice only what their religious leader tells them to do. Right doctrine should eventually result from a right attitude, a right relationship, with God.
Knowles’ book, Because There Was No Shepherd, may be just the ticket to redeem innumerable thousands who have been turned off, disillusioned, with Sabbath-keepers playing church. You can rebuild your one-on-one relationship with God. Brian sagely notes, “whether or not one remains a Christian after leaving a fellowship is determined by the kind of friends they retain, or pick.”
Get this book. Read it. Follow its advice. Give it those who have left the Church. Help others to find the Good Shepherd, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
— by Richard C. Nickels
This section of the newsletter is devoted to helping parents and teachers establish the youth of the church in God’s Ways. We hope to give you stimulating and educational articles, ideas, and activities to help you teach and train children about God and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Over the past several years, the Churches of God have divided and splintered over and over again. Our children may have suffered as much or more than we adults. In many cases, they have had to give up their friends, start over again with another church group, meet new young people, go to a group where there are no children their own age, etc. They don’t always understand why these changes were made and why they can’t fellowship with their past friends. They may become depressed and lose interest in attending church. They need special attention at these times.
We have noticed that some churches have happy, attentive, and active young people attending with them. These church groups seem to focus on the family and have good educational programs and social activities for the children, including a Sabbath School program. Their goal is not to supplant the parents in teaching and training their children, but to be supportive in helping parents in that role.
We are making that our goal too. We hope to offer helpful articles, ideas and suggestions, etc. along these lines that you may be able to use at home or in a church group. In our next newsletter, we will include an article on how to start a Sabbath School program. We also will have a list of resources to help you in your teaching and training of your children.
In this newsletter, we have included a couple of Children’s Bible Activity Sheets published by Communication Resources, Inc., which can be copied and used for a class or individual children. For the older children in your group, we have included an activity which is set up like a scavenger hunt, but you will use the bible and concordance.
Please get in touch with us if you have articles, ideas and/or activities that you are willing to share with other parents and teachers. Help us in helping you “establish the children” that are among us, and may God bless all our efforts and especially bless our young people.
Send any comments to: Shelby Faith, PO Box 183, High Ridge, MO 63049, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make up a list of items in the Bible, such as birds, gnats, camels, trees, fruit, etc., and challenge the kids to find out where these items are located. (A Bible and concordance will be needed.) You can divide the kids into teams or let each child work on their own. Set a time limit and let them go. There are other things to look for in the Bible such as people, places, words, etc. The child or team that finishes first may be awarded a special recognition or gift, but all those participating and finishing this challenge should be rewarded in some way. Have Fun!
— by Shelby Faith
Sample activity pages for children, “Noah and the Great Flood,” are available via postal mail from: Shelby Faith, PO Box 183, High Ridge, MO 63049. For over 600 activity pages for children, see www.bibleactivities.com.
Sniper’s Arrest Is the Answer to Truck Drivers’ Prayers
(Thanks to Ian Hufton and Rosy Halley for the following from “Visions of Hope.”)
A truck driver who is just five runs away from retirement had a prayer meeting last week with 50 other drivers, just 20 miles from the spot where the arrest took place. The drivers met to pray that the sniper would be caught. “We knew the prayer was going to be answered. One time or another. That’s the way we believe.”
Driver Ron Lantz left Wilmington, Delaware last night and pulled into the rest area at Myersville and spotted the suspects’ car immediately. When he mentioned it to another driver on his radio the man asked, “What are we going to do?” “I said I’m going to call 9-1-1. So I called.” The 15 minute wait was a long one, Lantz admitted, and during the wait, the drivers worked together to block the exit to the rest stop.
Does Lantz want to be called a hero? “I just want people to think what I did is what I should have done. I am no hero at this, no hero whatsoever. I don’t even want to be [thought] of as a hero.” said Lantz.
— The Presidential Prayer Team Weekly Update
Fred Porter Shares His Answered Prayer
Fred Porter, minister of the Hot Springs Arkansas Church tells it like this:
“My uncle and I have a somewhat strained relationship since I came into the Church. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor two months ago. They told him that he had between one and three months to live. They ran several tests on him to make sure of their diagnosis. He had his granddaughter record all the songs he wanted for the funeral and was in the process of telling everyone ‘goodbye’. He sent word that he wanted to see me before something happened.
We went to see him and we had a good visit both being careful not to bring up church subjects. I didn’t ask if he wanted me to pray for him at that time; I guess I was a coward. We left without any prayer and wondering if we would see him again. It bothered me all week that he didn’t ask me to pray for him. The next Friday, he started to bleed internally. They rushed him to the hospital and gave him 4 units of blood. He continued to bleed through Saturday.
On Sunday, my wife, Jean, and I went to the hospital to see him. We
visited awhile and were ready to go and I just had to ask if he
wanted me to lay hands on him and pray for his healing. He started crying and asked if I would pray for him. I asked God that he might be healed for a witness to him and that his healing might be done so that God’s Glory might be shown.
After the prayer I told my uncle that God had stopped the bleeding and
was working on his brain tumor. He looked at me like I was crazy. I again
reaffirmed that he had now been healed and he should give God all the glory.
The next day, they ran test on him and told him that his bleeding had stopped and they could see where it had been bleeding and that it should not have stopped, but it did. They sent him to Memphis to the radiation hospital to get pinpoint radiation on his tumor, to slow the growth as much as possible. They did an MRI the next day and were amazed. There was no tumor there! The next day was Thanksgiving. Isn’t our God Great? I thought your readers might be uplifted by hearing that God still does miracles — if we believe!
— by Fred Porter
“Where [there is] no vision, the people perish...” (Proverbs 29:18).
The King James word “perish” is from the Hebrew word para, which means “let loose” or “go wild” or “go naked.” Where there is no vision the people cast off restraint. Where there is no vision, there is no standard for conduct. When there is no standard for conduct, the natural propensity is to “go wild,” or put off restraints.
There was a blind man who became, in a sense, a metaphor for vision. There was an incident in which Christ encountered a man who had been blind from birth (John 9). Christ said, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (verse 5). Christ drew an analogy between the spiritual vision available through him and the physical vision also available through him by healing the man (verses 6-7). What happened to the man afterward is a comedy to say the least. The neighbors found it hard to believe that the man blind from birth was now seeing (verse 8). Some doubted, thinking he might be a different man who looks like him; he had to announce to them: “I am [he]” (verse 9). Then he came in contact with the religious leaders (the Pharisees). He told them what happened. They too thought he could not have been healed. After all, they reasoned, Jesus could not have healed him because Jesus is a sinner who broke the Sabbath by healing the man on the Sabbath (verse 16). In their book of rules it was a sin to heal someone on the Sabbath. However there is no such rule in the entirety of the Bible.
Healing can take place any day of the week. The Sabbath is not profaned by healing a man. These religious leaders had an anti-supernaturalistic bias, as do many today. They didn’t believe miracles really happened. They called the parents to confirm the story (verses 18-20).
The parents, knowing the religious leaders were spoiling for a fight, say of their son, “...He is of age; ask him” (verse 23). So the religious leaders, not wanting to believe him, began arguing with the man. How were your eyes opened, hey asked? (verse 26). His reply is interesting: “...I have told you already and you did not hear. Wherefore would you hear it again? Will you also be his disciples?” (verse 27).
At the end of the argument, the religious leaders throw the man out (Verse 34). Jesus finds the man and gives him some spiritual sight and insight as well (Verses 35-39). “...For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind” (Verse 39). The religious leaders heard him and asked, “...Are we blind also?” (Verse 40). Christ replied: “...If you were blind, you should have no sin: but now you say, We see; therefore your sin remains” (Verse 41).
The reason the man was blind was that the works of God should be made manifest in him (John 9:3). Notice the sequence of events. The man is healed. He is able to see for the first time in his life. Isn’t the same true of a person who truly accepts Christ and begins to see (spiritually) for the first time?
By the same token, some will not even recognize the new person. They think it must be someone else. New Christians are excited by the new vision they have received. Ironically, it is the religious leaders who will try to throw a wet blanket on the idea that the person has received sight, insight, or healing. Their attitude is: “You didn’t get it from us. So it must be of no value.”
This is exactly what the Pharisees projected, although many of them knew better. And like the religious leaders of that day, many of the religious leaders of this day will gladly throw you out of their assembly if you appear to have obtained vision.
“Where [there is] no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps the law, happy [is] he” (Proverbs 29:18).
“The people, which sat in darkness saw great light...” (Matthew 4:16).
— by Wily Elder
Christian Man In Camouflage
Christian man in camouflage
Blending in the crowd
Yearning for acceptance
Afraid to talk too loud
Wants to share the hope within
Wants to talk of God
Doesn’t like the ridicule
Fears to be called odd.
Christian man in camouflage
Looking for respect
Wants to have the praise of men
And share as God’s Elect
Wants to have the admiration
Of the world of men
Steps around the issues that
The Father names as sin.
Christian man in camouflage
Motives quite complex
Wants acceptance in this world
And also in the next
Doesn’t understand the world’s
Enmity with God
Though a sinner saved he wears
A “decent man” façade.
Christian man in camouflage
It’s time to make a choice
Do you listen to the world
Or do you hear His voice?
Do you stand for righteousness,
Or what the world desires?
The answer that you give
Is the reward you will acquire.
— by John Girdley, Fort Dodge, IA
From the latest WN ... (Wilderness News)
Call for Unity
by Elder Aaron (brother of Moses)
The Elders of Israel have come together with a new position on our worship observance. In short, we respect and affirm each others personal choices on our worship observance, encouraging all people to love one another as God commanded, and not to condemn one another over use of days as Moses instructed. The elders believes that people are free from bondage to not worship the GOLDEN CALF or to celebrate and worship the GOLDEN CALF, always keeping in mind that whatsoever is not of faith is of sin. This change in the former position of the Elders, which condemned all worship of the GOLDEN CALF, is based on what the Elders believe to be a clearer understanding of scriptural teaching.
The Elders have always held the Scriptures in the highest regard. Our father Abraham celebrated with the angel of God with good tidings of great joy by eating a calf. Recognizing that it was appropriate for the angels to rejoice with a calf, the Elders believe it is certainly in keeping with the message of Scripture for the children of Israel to do so. The Elders have not, however, set any particular day aside for expressing thanks for the GOLDEN CALF. Since most set the traditional date on which to do this, our members are free to choose this date as well.
Some members may also desire to meet together for a celebration of the GOLDEN CALF. Such a meeting would be entirely optional, of course. Members may choose to hold it in their own tents, or in some cases, Elders may arrange an open place for a praise and worship service of thanksgiving, with joyous naked dancing and a lively orgy.
Brethren, it is important that all our members respect one another’s views on this subject and not judge one another, following Moses’ instruction. Neither those who worship the GOLDEN CALF on the traditional date, nor those who don’t, are more righteous or more evil than the other. Many Israelites avoid the GOLDEN CALF celebration for conscience’ sake because of the ancient pagan customs associated with it. There is no sin in their abstinence. Other members devote a traditional date celebration to worship and thanksgiving to God for the GOLDEN CALF. There is also no sin in their celebration. We can all learn to say, “Those who observe the day, observe it in honor of the Lord .... Why do you pass judgment on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment of God.”
Love motivates many of the children of Israel who choose not to worship the GOLDEN CALF. They also love God and their families. Their discomfort with the GOLDEN CALF worship is based on their desire to avoid taking part in something that defiles their conscience.
Can we respect one another’s views on this, and follow God’s command that we love one another? I believe we can.
The Elders no longer teach that worshipping the GOLDEN CALF is a sin. The decision whether to worship the GOLDEN CALF, and if worshipping it, how to worship it, is a personal matter. Some Israelites celebrate the GOLDEN CALF with their clothes on, while some celebrate it without their clothes on. Some avoid it altogether. The Elders teach that Israelites who worship the GOLDEN CALF and those who do not should seek to honor God. If Israelites choose to worship the GOLDEN CALF with their families, we encourage them to make God the center of their celebration.
May God grant us peace and UNITY as we live together in his grace and obedience.
Aaron (brother of Moses)
P.S.: If anyone knows the whereabouts of my brother please come to my tent.
— submitted by Craig White
Efficiency is concerned with doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things. — Peter F. Drucker
The following abbreviations are sometimes used in Church of God News:
CG7 Church of God (Seventh Day)
LCG Living Church of God
PCG Philadelphia Church of God
UCG United Church of God
For addresses, telephone numbers, websites, and E-mail addresses of these and other groups, please obtain a copy of the Directory of Sabbath-Observing Groups, $15 postpaid, from: Giving & Sharing, PO Box 100, Neck City, MO 64849.
All services are free or non-profit unless noted. Contact organization for information.
Sabbath Singles Connection
PO Box 647
Biggs, CA 95917
Helpline (advice from volunteers)
2193 Sheker Drive
Fort Dodge, IA 50501
Giving & Sharing (newsletter; materials at cost)
PO Box 100
Neck City, MO 64849
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3316 Alberta Drive
Gillette, WY 82718
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2193 Sheker Drive
Fort Dodge, IA 50501
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PO Box 581
Granville, OH 43023
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PO Box 484 (newsletter)
Joplin, MO 64802
“Prayer Lines” (Internet prayer request service)
4502 Skyline Drive
Chandler, TX 75758
Companion Bible Project
Accepting typists to create electronic bible
For info contact Erik at:
The Church could use employment, legal advisory for prisoners (esp. California), and central home schooling services. Contact: Steve.Kieler@giveshare.org.