Church of God News

Positive News of the Churches of God

September 2003, No. 8



In This Issue…


Holland Report | L.C.G. Report | Birth of a Song | What Are We to Inherit | Invisible Mission Field | True Tales to Live By | Nigeria News | News from S.E. Asia | Christian Conversion | Youth | Penned from Prison | Book Review “True Tales” | Book Alert! | Service Feature: Close to You, Inc.


You Shall Have No Other Gods Before Me


God gave a series of commandments to the people of Israel, and to us, to define our relationship with Him and with our fellow man. This will take you through one of the ten.

Gary Gotbucks was getting out of his BMW when a truck roared by, taking the door completely off the car. As Gary ranted and raved about it, a bystander said: “You rich kids disgust me. You’re so wrapped up in your material things that you haven’t noticed your left arm has been torn off.” “Oh, no,” screamed Gary. “Where is my Rolex?”

For several generations, Egyptian taskmasters, whose gods were animals, insects, and rivers, enslaved the ancient Israelites. Had they lived today, their gods would likely be BMWs, Rolexes, and other indicators of so-called success.

I knew a man who drove a Rolls Royce, had trousers with the RR symbol in gold thread on the legs, and wore a two-inch high tie tack (a diamond-studded dollar sign). I won­­der what his god was.

The book of Exodus describes a series of plagues that God rained down on the Egyptians. Most people believe they were sent to force the Pharaoh to free the Israelites, but in each case we’re told Pharaoh’s heart was hardened as God said it would be, Exodus 7:3. The Egyptians’ gods became plagues to them: the water became unusable, verse 20, frogs were everywhere, verse 6, the earth generated lice, verse 17, flies swarmed into the houses, verse 24, and so on. God brought the plagues to show Pharaoh and the Israelites who the true God was, and to show His power over the gods of the Egyptians, Exodus 9:16.

Eventually the Israelites were not just let go, they were sent out of Egypt, Exodus 12:31-33. But God knew they needed laws to govern their lives. The only law they knew was “Work faster!” imposed by the painful sting of the lash on their backs, so God gave them Ten Commandments, the first four of which dealt with their relationship with Him, and the last six which dealt with their relationship with each other. Jesus described them as love God, and love your neighbor as yourself, Matthew 22:37-39.

Until recently, the Israelites had known only gods whichthey learned, were power­less at the hand of the God who was now leading them. The first commandment He gave them was, “You shall have no other gods before me,” Exodus 20:3; Deuteronomy 5:7.

Can you imagine what life would be like if everyone obeyed this one commandment? Deuteronomy 28:1-14 tells us we would have blessings in the city and the field; enjoyment of our children, and great increase of crops and cattle; safety and protection as we come and go; plenty to eat, and plenty to store; rain in proper amounts in the proper seasons; and a promise we would be God’s showcase nation to the world.

But what do we do as a nation? We put our BMWs, our Rolexes, and our diamond-studded jewelry ahead of God. Our task­masters make sure we work three shifts, seven days a week, so we can pay for all ofour expensive toys we just can’t do without. And where does it get us? We’re always on the edge of war. There are annual crop failures. We’re not safe anywhere. And terrorists, who don’t care a whit about the eternal creator God, fly aircraft into the towers devoted to our greatest national god: the almighty dollar.

How can we know if we have other gods before our God in heaven? A simple test is this: If there is anything in your life that prevents you from obeying God with all your heart, it is a god to you. And no matter how you try to justify it, it is a god before the eternal God.

And God spoke all these words saying: “You shall have no other gods before me,” Exodus 20:1, 3.

 —by Leslie A. Turvey


Guest Editorial…


Who Gets Hurt?


When a brother or sister in your assembly (or in your denomination) ‘hits the headlines’ for what is perceived as misbehavior, who suffers? Worse, what if it is someone of high profile: the elder, pastor, or an evangelist?

Certainly, there ought to be an exercise with­­in the assembly of some form of dis­cipline. That’s Biblical. Many Christians today avoid discipline by not embedding themselves in a particular assem­bly. They are wanderers! But the exercise of internal discipline doesn’t stop the embar­rassment, and shame that can linger for years.

The pain touches all the brethren per­sonally. The public spiritual activity of the assembly is hindered. The offending brother’s family, too, is hurt by adverse media pub­licity. The misbehavior and the sin, even if repent­ed, are indelibly stamped on the indivi­dual by brethren, and by those outside the Church, and are ever after hindering any ministry he pursues.

But these are not the worst effects. For the Church of God is the Body of Christ. And our Savior is smeared with the same filth. It is His name that is dragged in the dirt. Each member of that Body, and especially its leadership, represents Him. So, how does God deal with those who defile His name, andHis character, by their behavior?

God does not overlook the defilement of His holy name. Ancient Israel, exiled from God’s Land because of sin, continue to besmirch the Lord’s name in all the nations among whom they are dispersed, Ezekiel 36:20-23. They face, as a result, a time of distress (Jacob’s Trouble), Jeremiah 30:5-8.

All Christians sin, and when we become aware of it, we must repent. Wrote John: “If we confess our sins He is so faithful and just as to forgive us our sins,” I John 1:9. The sacrifice of Jesus can cover just about any sin once there is true repentance. But that’s not where God’s part ends. The apostle continues “. . . and to cleanse us from all unrighteous­ness.” 

As with ancient Israel, a process of cleansing begins for the repentant Christian, I Corinthians 5:1-5. Our merciful and loving Father corrects us, but always within the bounds of what we can endure, I Corinthians 10:13.

— by James McBride, England



Sabbath Developments in Holland


In the last newsletter (Endtime Issues #100), I reported the fascinating story of the Dutch translation and publication of my dis­sertation From Sabbath to Sunday (Van Sjab­bat naar Zondag). Providentially, the Holy Spirit impressed several people to translate, edit, and publish the book. In the process, all of them became Sabbath-keepers. You will enjoy the pictures and reading this incredible story at:

Since posting the report of my recent visit to Holland, I have received several newspaper articles about the interest for a rediscovery of the Sabbath by an increasing number of evangelical Churches in Holland. Due to the importance of this development, I will quote extensively from a major article, graciously translated by Gottfried Oosterwal, Ph.D., a native of Holland, and a retired professor from Andrews University Theological Sem­inary.

On July 5, 2003, an article appeared in the section of Religion and Philosophy of the Dutch newspaper TROUW. The article, titled Keeping the Sabbath Rather than Sunday, reports: “The Living Water Fellowship in the city of Assen made that leap to keeping the Sabbath. This fellowship is one of the tens of Evangelical Churches which are mov­ing their services from Sunday to Saturday.” This Church in the city of Assen has been keeping the Sabbath since May.  ‘This did not happen overnight,’ says their leader Wim Breedveld. It all began two years ago. We studied the Biblical teachings about the Sabbath, and organized a Friday evening celebration of the Sabbath with a communal meal. Eventually this turned into “real Sab­bath keeping”with a worship service on Sat­urday.’

“Not all members participated in this transition. Breedveld says: ‘One pays a price. But on the other hand, it also attracts people.’  He sees this development as a ‘restoration of God’s Will.’ And, he knows of at least five other Evangelical congregations which will shortly become Sabbath-keepers.”

It is significant that some evangelical leaders in Holland are acknowledging that the change from Sabbath to Sunday in early Christianity was motivated more by hate for the Jews than love for Jesus Christ. This im­portant point is documented in my disserta­tion From Sabbath to Sunday, where I show how the anti-Jewish and anti-Sabbath legislation promulgated by Emperor Hadrian in A.D. 135 led many gentile Chris­tians to follow the leadership of the Bishop of Rome in changing the Sabbath to Sunday. The intent was to show to the Roman au­thorities the Christian separation from the Jews and identification with the rhythms and customs of the Romans.

The rest of the article is a “must” read. I will quote it extensively. “In Evangelical Hol­land there is a transition going on from Sunday keeping to Sabbath keeping. Kees Neeterson, editor in chief of Charisma (Journal for Evangelical Holland), highly recommends in his journal, the book From Sabbath to Sunday by Samuele Bacchiocchi. The book shows that Saturday was largely replaced by Sunday by the fourth century A.D. According to Bacchiocchi, the Roman Catholic Church is largely responsible for this change. On the basis of pagan influences such as sun-worship and anti-Jewish sentiments, the Roman Catholic Church made Sunday the official day of rest of Christianity.

“Last month, Bacchiocchi’s book was published into Dutch. Anyone who reads this book will be ‘a changed person, because he will understand the issue better,’ Neeterson says. He is the publisher of the Dutch edition of Van Sjabbat Naar Zondag. The book helps believers understand that Sunday is a human institution that militates against the will of God.

“Neeterson, now a Sabbath keeper, expects that the book will ‘sow discord’ among the faithful Bible believing Evan­gelicals, and ‘will open their eyes.’ He sees in the Neth­erlands a clear development in the Churches that are now making the transition from Sunday to Sabbath. In the words of Nee­terson: ‘This development has turned into a cascade.’

“Presently there are about 30,000 believ­ers keeping the Sabbath in our country of the Netherlands. The most prominent are the Seventh-day Adventists, Seventh-day Bap­tists, Messianic Jews, and Jews. Recently, an in-creasing number of Evangelicals have be-come Sabbath keepers.

“‘It is a liberating experience to follow God’s commandment,’ says Bert Wouy­dwijk, leader of the Shalom Church in the city of Dordrecht, an Evangelical Church which has been keeping the Sabbath since 2000. Woudwijk is in constant contact with other Evangelical Churches interested in beginning to keep the Sabbath. Says Woud­wijk: ‘About 25 percent of the independent Evangelical Churches will soon keep the Sabbath.’

“Questions about Sabbath keeping are alive not only in evangelical circles, but also across a whole spectrum of Churches. The subject is being discussed in the Reformed and Christian Reformed Churches, in ‘Samen-op-Weg kring’ (On-the-way-together circles), and among Roman-Catholics.”

The article cites two inspiring testimonies. The first is from Loes Breimer, a mother of four teenagers who are very enthusiastic about Sabbath keeping, especially Friday evening with singing and eating of the special bread she bakes. The article says: “Breimer really enjoys the Sabbath. To her, the Sabbath really marks the week. ‘The Sabbath creates space for God and strengthens my rela­tionship with Him.’”

The second testimony is from Pastor Wim Breedveld of Assen. The article says: “He experienced a new freedom after the transi­tion from Sunday to Sabbath. ‘It is a liberation to follow God’s own instructions, rather than human traditions.’”

— by Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi

Endtime Issues No. 101


(The book, “From Sabbath to Sunday,” can be ordered from Giving & Sharing for $15. We have distributed this book since it came out in the late 1970s.)




LCG News and Updates


The Living Church of God reports that its year-to-date income is up 8.4%. It also reported that its U.S. Sabbath attendance is up 4-6% over last year, and that attendance is up even more in inter­national areas.

LCG’s youth camps have been in session, with two pre-teen camps completed. LCG has a total of seven youth camps planned for this year (not counting possible winter camps).

LCG’s Dibar Apartian reported: “Recent­ly, the official Church Web sites recorded their first visit from the small West African nation of Benin. This brings to 174 the num­ber of countries who have visited official Living Church of God Web sites. So far in 2003, and Web sites have recorded more than 107,000 unique visitors, who have viewed more than 890,000 pages in more than 350,000 visitor sessions, played or downloaded more than 212,000 audio and video files, and downloaded more than 55,000 PDF files (mostly booklets and magazines). So far in 2003, visitors to these sites have submitted more than 16,000 online literature request forms requesting printed material, asking for more than 40,000 booklets, 6,800 sub­scriptions to Tomorrow’s World magazine, and 5,900 subscriptions to the Bible Study Course.

— by Robert Thiel




Living Church of God

Gerald Weston reports the following about LCG’s July-August 2003 teen camp. “From an administrative point of view it was definitely one of our best camps, if not the very best. At first, it looked as though we would be short on campers, but by the time camp arrived, we had 105 campers, 23 high school staff, and 34 young adults. We also had a number of older adults and smaller children, which brought the total in camp to 188. One thing that stands out in my mind is that a lot of parents in the Church are doing a wonderful job in raising their children. We simply could not have the kind of camp we have if it were not for the daily efforts of loving parents who have diligently worked with their children. When complimenting one parent on the job he has done, he responded that he believes example is the key. Young people respond positively when they see Mom and Dad consistently living what they preach. There is more to it than this, but example certainly has to be at the very top of the list on how to raise godly children.”

He also reported our first ever Living 4 Tomorrow was held at Trout Lake, Michigan, July 15-20.  Sixteen men and four­teen women pioneered this new program. All seemed to have a wonderful time, and a number reported that it was more than they expected. Four classes were held each day on topics relating to dating, marriage, child–rearing, and the purpose of our calling. Many are already anticipating the next session of Living 4 Tomorrow.”  Living 4 Tomorrow was directed primarily towards young singles in LCG.

While Rod and Carl McNair were in the Philippines, they had some unexpected ex­citement as Carl McNair reports: “Greetings from Rod and all in Manila. Rod and I have had a very productive visit thus far. We have had good meetings with the office staff and with the Church in Manila (120 Sabbath attendance) and in Tacloban (61) for a Bible study Sunday morning.

“The ‘koudeta’ (a.k.a. coup d’état) created a bit of a stir. The loca­tion where the coup was staged was across the street from our hotel at the shopping mall/hotel complex in Makati. The coup was launched at 1:00 a.m. Sunday morning, and we arose at 2:00 to prepare for departure to the airport for travel to Tacloban. We learned of the business across the street as we were departing the hotel. We had no problem get­ting to the airport as our cab driver took a back route and avoided the roadblocks. The coup ended Sunday night and we had no difficulty returning to Manila early Monday morning. All of the brethren send their love and prayers to Headquarters and our brethren in America and around the world. In spite of the current economic hardships in the Phil­ippines, they are forging ahead in growth. Give our love to all.”

Finally, Dibar Apartian reports, “The Head­quarters construction crew is progressing on the new TV studio, which is due for completion on Wednesday, August 20. Mr. Meredith has scheduled television taping sessions for August 27-28 and September 10, during which a total of 12 programs will be taped. Because of delays in studio construc­tion, we are planning the new season to begin November 9. We appreciate your prayers for the successful completion of the studio and for an inspiring, effective new television season.”              

—  by Robert Thiel


Responsibilities gravitate to the person who can shoulder them.

    by Elbert Hubbard


Story: Guess the Composer…


The Birth of the Song “Precious Lord, Take My Hand”


Back in 1932, I was 32 years old and a fairly new husband. My wife, Nettie, and I were living in a little apartment on Chicago’s Southside. One hot August afternoon, I had to go to St. Louis, where I was to be the featured soloist at a large revival meeting.

I didn’t want to go. Nettie was in the last month of pregnancy with our first child. But a lot of people were expecting me in St. Louis. I kissed Nettie good-bye, clattered downstairs to our Model A and, in a fresh Lake Michigan breeze, chugged out of Chi­cago on Route 66.

However, outside the city, I discovered that in my anxiety of leaving, I had forgotten my music case. I wheeled around and headed back. I found Nettie sleeping peacefully. I hesitated by her bed; something was strongly telling me to stay. But eager to get on my way, and not wanting to disturb Nettie, I shrugged off the feeling and quietly slipped out of the room with my music.

The next night, in the steaming St. Louis heat, the crowd called on me to sing again and again. When I finally sat down, a messenger boy ran up with a Western Union telegram. I ripped open the envelope.

Pasted on the yellow sheet were the words: YOUR WIFE JUST DIED.

People were happily singing and clapping around me, but I could hardly keep from crying out. I rushed to a phone and called home. All I could hear on the other end was “Nettie is dead. Nettie is dead.”

When I got back, I learned that Nettie had given birth to a boy. I swung between grief and joy. Yet that night, the baby died. I buried Nettie and our little boy together, in the same casket. Then I fell apart.

For days I closeted myself. I felt that God had done me an injustice. I didn’t want to serve Him any more or write gospel songs. I just wanted to go back to that jazz world I once knew so well. But then, as I hunched alone in that dark apartment those first sad days, I thought back to the afternoon I went to St. Louis. Something kept telling me to stay with Nettie.

Was that something God? Oh, if I had paid more attention to Him that day, I would have stayed and been with Nettie when she died. From that moment on I vowed to listen more closely to Him. But, still, I was lost in grief.

Everyone was kind to me, especially a friend, Professor Fry, who seemed to know what I needed. On the following Saturday evening, he took me up to Malone’s Poro College, a neighborhood music school. It was quiet and the late evening sun crept through the curtained windows. I sat down at the piano, and my hands began to browse over the keys. Something happened to me then. I felt at peace. I felt as though I could reach out and touch God. I found myself playing a melody, once into my head, it just seemed to fall into place:

“Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on, let me stand! I am tired, I am weak, I am worn, Through the storm, through the night lead me on to the light, Take my hand, pre­cious Lord, Lead me home.”

As the Lord gave me these words and melody, He also healed my spirit. I learned that when we are in our deepest grief, when we feel farthest from God, this is when He is closest, and when we are most open to His restoring power.

And, so, I go on living for God willingly and joyfully, until that day comes when He will take me and gently lead me home.

— by Tommy Dorsey


What Are We to Inherit?


Paul writes in Romans 8:15, 17: “For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but have received the Spirit of adoption [can be translated as Sonship], whereby we cry, Abba, Father . . . and if chil­dren, then heirs [heir means sharer by lots or an inheritor]: heirs of God, and joint-heirs, [meaning heir together or heir with] with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be glorified together.” These verses tell us that we are to be the heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. Let’s see what more the Bible tells us about this topic.

Again Paul expresses this idea in Gal­atians 4:5-7 which states: “To redeem them (the people who are in the world) that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons . . . Wherefore you are no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” The point that I wish to express here is that through Christ, and only Him, can we have the adoption as a son and heir.

Hebrews 1:2 says: “Has in these last days spoken unto us by a Son [Christ], whom He appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds.”

In Halley’s Bible Handbook, 1985, page 648, on Hebrews 1:1-4, he writes: “This opening sentence is one of the most magni­ficent passages in the Bible . . . Jesus [is identified by] His deity, His Ineffable Glory, Creator, Preserver and Heir of the Universe.” One identifier, as this commen­tary points out, is that Christ is the Heir of the universe.

In light of this fact from the Bible, it would be good to review some basic facts about the universe around us to understand the scope of what we may inherit with Christ.

Our galaxy is one of 1,500 known and named galaxies that exist, and recent research indicates that there may be millions of gal­axies in our universe. Galaxies are classified using Edwin Hubble’s scheme describing spiral, barred spiral, elliptical, peculiar, and irregular shapes.

   Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is believed to have about one trillion or onethousand billion stars. That is our galaxy alone, not to mention the other 1,500 known and the possible million others galaxies that may exist in the universe.

    We could go one step farther in this concept. If at least 10% of the stars in the universe have a solar system with many plan­ets, can you image the number of possible worlds that can be out there? That is a lot of real estate to inherit.

Above is a picture that NASA has on its Web site that shows only a very small number of galaxies in a small corner of our space. That is only a part of what is promised to us by God, if we overcome in this life, and follow the Path that is set for us by God in His Word.

Is it worth it to you to endure this world for this promise? I think it is, and we have even more to look forward to one day, if we become sons of God.

 — by Doyle J. Carter



Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than for the U.S. Treasury.



Brain Teaser


Eighty percent of Kindergartners solved this riddle, but only 5% of Stanford graduates figured it out! Can you answer the following question?

1. The word has seven letters.

2. Preceded God.

3. Greater than God.

4. More Evil than the devil.

5. All poor people have it.

6. Wealthy people need it.

7. If you eat it, you will die.

Did you figure it out? Try hard before looking at the answers.

Did you get it yet? Give up? Brace yourself for the answer on page 8.




Invisible Mission Field


If almost three million people had never heard the Gospel, would you say that the Church had neglected them?

That is what has happened to the 510 tribes of Native Americans. Of the more than three million Native Americans in the United States, an estimated 93% are not evangelized.

Where is this “invisible mission field?” About 37% of Native Americans live in our cities. However, most have strong ties to the reservation.

The Native American population in Amer­­ica is exploding. The last census reveals a nearly 40% growth rate compared to 6% for Afro-Americans and 13% for whites. They’re also a youthful group with over 40% under 20 years of age.

Youth especially have such a tremendous need for the Gospel message. A recent uni­versity study of Native Americans revealed serious problems of: suicide (4 times greater than the national average), alcoholism (1 in 4 is an alcoholic by age 17), drug abuse, school drop-out rates (less than 50% graduate from high school and only 3% ever earn a college degree), unemployment (up to 90% on the reservation are unemployed), and poverty (half live below the poverty level).

—The Rez Connection

PO Box 2020

Pine Ridge, SD 57770



True Tales to Live By…


A Good Investment


When I was a teacher in a high school in Manchester, NH, I was particularly interested in encouraging my students and the boys ina boy’s club to memorize inspiring quotations from the pens of the world’s great writers.

My students would have been bored with the idea of memorizing quotations from Shakes­peare and other famous writers, but I devised a plan where they would be awarded a beautiful six-inch tall plated pilot wheel to entice them to memorize the quotations. A former Governor of New Hampshire, Huntley Spaulding, donated $3,300 to pay for the pilot wheels.

It amazed me how my students were so enthusiastic about memorizing those quo­tations. I had printed a small book containing one hundred quotations from which they memorized them.

I shall always remember an experience I had one day. I called at the home of one of my students. The mother gave me a friendly greeting. “My boy has had the reputation of being a tough guy,” she said, “always getting into trouble. Now listen to him! He is quoting from Shakespeare and the Bible. I often hear him reciting these sayings at night.” She was amazed.

A few minutes ago, I met a long time friend, Vera Groot, in Manson. She reminded me of how I visited the first grade class of one of her daughters. I urged them to memorize some of the quotations I had collected. She said one of her daughters after all those years remembers the words of a Chinese proverb, “Patience is power; with time and patience the mulberry leaf becomes silk.”

Occasionally, I stop to think about the number of True Tales in my column. Marion says there are over 1,600 in a thirty-two year period.  I wonder where they could all come from. I’m sure the good Lord has inspired me to meet the people I could write about in my column.

Sometimes I am at a bit of a loss for a subject to write about. Recently, I got an idea. Why not, now and then, select one of those inspiring quotations and develop a story from it. I am thinking today of a quotation from the author, Kirkham. It reads, “Many men have well invested their money; few have made a good investment of themselves.”

A housewife picks up her telephone and calls a friend, or several friends who are seriously ill. Is she making a good investment of herself?

A friend of ours recently was near death in a hospital but miraculously recovered. He is planning to continue his calls with his wife on Sundays at a Correctional Facility to help them adjust themselves to civilian life after they have been released from confinement. Is he making a good investment of himself?

I am thinking of family members here in Fort Dodge, Iowa who, after the heartbreak­ing experience of losing their teenage daughter to leukemia, one day decided to adopt seven homeless children who were desperately in need of help. These children are so lovable and friendly. They often inquire of my health after my recent hospital­ization.

How many examples could we give of people I have met who really “in­vest of them–selves.” One need not be fa­mous or weal-thy to live a life that is a blessing to those whom they meet.

— by Skip Westphal


(Be sure to read the book review on True Tales to Live By on page 16.)


 Answer to Brain Teaser on page 6


NOTHING! NOTHING has 7 letters.

NOTHING preceded God.

NOTHING is greater than God.

NOTHING is more Evil than the devil.

All poor people have NOTHING.

Wealthy people need NOTHING.

If you eat NOTHING, you will die.



The easiest person to deceive is oneself.

— by Edward Bulwer-Lytton


A Few Instructions for Life


1. When you say, “I love you,” mean it.

2. When you say, “I’m sorry,”look the person in the eye.

3. Never laugh at anyone’s dreams.

4. When someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, smile and ask, “Why do you want to know?”

5. Call your mom.

6. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

7. Take one day at a time.

8. Remember the three R’s: respect for self; respect for others; and responsibility for all your actions.

9. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

10. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

11. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice. (I will add, except if call is from a telemarketer.)

12. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, his/her conversational skills will be as important as any other.

13. Spend some time alone.

14. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.

15. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

16. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll get to enjoy it a second time.

17. A loving atmosphere in your home is so important. Do all you can to create a tranquil harmonious home.

18. In disagreements with loved ones, deal with the current situation.  Don’t bring up the past.

19. Talk less; listen more.

20. Pray. There’s immeasurable power in it.

— by Dwayne Savaya




Nigeria News


The Church of God (7th Day) in Imo State in the Eastern heartland of Nigeria held a three-day evangelical crusade at Mgbidi in Oru West of Imo State (30th January through Feb. 2, 2003).

This new evangelical team known and called Imo State Zonal Evangelical Team (ISZET), an arm of Evangelism Ministry, was inaugurated in October 2002. It was formed to support the Headquarters National Evan­gelical Team (NET) in evangelizing some local areas, which may not necessarily require the attention of the National Team which often involves huge expenses the local areas might not be able to cope with.

The Team has gone through two cities in Imo State and they are: Okporo and Mgbidi respectively. It is trying to arrange for another outreach very soon before the Feast of Taber­nacles in October, 2003.

A brother at the little city of Iheoma in Orlu LGA has requested the team to visit his home where there is no Church existing. The Team has approved it and will probably be there on September 17, 2003.

Imo State of Nigeria is fertile for winning souls, this revelation was made manifest in our last evangelical work where people were enthusiastic about the gospel of the Kingdom and were demanding our tracts with interest. Imo State is predominantly Catholic who adopt the anti-Christian slogan: “Don’t read books that are not Catholic.” For them to ac­cept our tracts is an achievement on the part of the evangelical team. I am therefore ap­peal­ing to brethren overseas to assist us here with tracts and Bibles.

At the inauguration of this team, Evangelist John Okoroezi was chosen as the overseer. He is one of the anointed Evan­gelists in the Church of God in Nigeria. The Team’s Secretary is sister Onyinye Ubochi, a young graduate who is doing her youth serv­ice in Katsina State now.

Meanwhile, the Team has thirteen Evan­gelists (both men and women) from six local Churches. The local Churches are: Okporo, Egwe, Mbano, Mgbidi, Awo-Omamma, and Owerri. Registration is open for any local Church in Imo and other neighboring states.

We expect more Churches will soon join the crusades to win souls for Christ.

Pray for the success and achievement of the set goal of this team.

— by Jude Adindu Anyanwu




From Another Bible Teacher On the Other Side of the World


For all of you who don’t know, I am and have been working at Legacy Institute for the last eight months. Legacy is a Bible boarding school designed to teach leadership and self-sustaining skills to people who are unable to pay for these educational “privileges” that so many of us take for granted. It is geared toward Christian hill tribe people who wish to study the Bible, English, computers, music, agriculture, health/hygiene, and sports; and are willing (in exchange for the opportunity to live here and learn for free) to volunteer their time after the education period.

The school is located in the ‘suburb’ area of Chiang Mai,Thailand at the foothill of the mountains. It is in a small community that offers almost everything one would find in a western community (i.e. food, clothing, trans­portation, local school, etc.), without the hectic chaos of the city, yet it still has a ‘chaos’ of its own, at least to my western mind.

The reason I am writing this is to seek out individuals who are willing and wanting to be a part of this school, and do something more with their lives than just work a 9-5 job, paying off credit cards, and fulfilling a rou­tine, run-of-the-mill life. I am here because I wanted to do something more with my life. I am taking the opportunity to travel and fully experience cultures and societies completely foreign to the one in which I was raised. I’m here because I was blessed to have been born in a country where I was able to receive a decent education, afford all my needs, and plenty of my wants, and I want to share that with others who are not so luckily placed on the totem pole of life. “Freely you have received, freely give” comes to mind. My expectations of this school were way off from what I met when I started and what I still meet every day.

I believe that the Bible is the Word of God and that it is the most important thing you can

teach anyone and help them understand, especially when they come looking for it. There is a need and desire here, and that is the purpose of this school: to provide a place for people in SE Asia to learn the Truth concern­ing God. We are also trying to help the people who come here to learn to be true leaders in their own societies and cultures.  One way of doing that is to educate them in areas that will help them obtain jobs to provide for them­selves and their families so that they will no longer be dependant upon charities (thus the English, computer, health/hygiene, and agri­culture). Music is incor­porated because music is as old as language. It adds beauty and en­joy­ment to life, and it provokes cognitive thought.  Sports are a fun way to stay healthy, learn teamwork, and get dirty and sweaty for at least an hour in the day, and provide for a refreshing break from the drone of the class­room setting.

The school is not only about academics and theology, but how to have a balanced, healthy lifestyle and be educated in a broad spectrum of issues. I think it’s safe to say that there is no other school like it. Its cause is truly a noble one worthy of support by any Christian with a charitable attitude, willing to sacrifice themselves to measures beyond believed possible, in order to serve and aid other fellow Christians who wish to improve themselves.

There is a desperate need for teachers (no official qualifications necessary) for the next school year. It is increasingly difficult to find people of the character I just described who are willing to donate a year of their lives for such a cause. Most are unable to leave their present circumstances in exchange for form­idable challenges that build character and, in the end, hopefully, make you a better person. I have battled with the idea of maintaining my position here, but I cannot continue a life of charity for in this situation, I too am a charity case; and, after teaching here, I also realize the importance of returning to my own ed­ucation.

For about one year, you would be asked to work harder than you probably ever have in your life and do things you would have never dreamed. You will sacrifice your time, friv­olous pleasures, and humble yourself in ways you thought you already were. You will learn more in one year here than you could in 100 years of any classroom education. If you commit to the year, no exceptions, you will not be the same person. This is an opportunity to serve and to gain knowledge and experience unattainable anywhere else, in your life or this world.

On a personal level, more so anyway, I would never have come here knowing what I do now (I think), but I wouldn’t trade this for anything. I’ve learned more about myself, life, God, and everything between in the last eight months than in the entire previous 21 years of my life. This is not for everyone. If you can’t hack life where you are, then keep trying. This isn’t a way to change things that you don’t like about yourself nor is it likely to bring you satisfaction or fill any void you may have. You will be here to serve other people and they have plenty of their own problems that you will have to deal with.

  However, if you’re tired of redundancy in your present existence and don’t like the path on which you’re traveling, if you can accept challenge beyond measure and would like to experience the unimaginable or even describable, then write me back and ask for more information.

If you’re looking for fun, you’ll find hard work. If it’s adventure you want, that’s guar­anteed; but it won’t be the one you expect. Whatever reality you’re used to is non-existent here. It’s hard, really hard; but when life is easy (like it is for too many) you lose track of what’s important about living (like so many do), and you get weak, soft, and end up disappointed and depressed, not liking what you’ve become.

If you are not committed to the un-avoidable commitments in life (family, college, God, etc.), believe the Bible is the true Word of God, that it should be taught to all people, and want to help set an example of how to live it, then you’ve been presented with a way to do just that. I believe in what I’m doing here. I believe in this school and I want to see it succeed. I feel that it is pleasing to God and blessed by Him, so I’m asking for others who are willing to pick up where I must leave off. You don’t have to fill my shoes, just replace them. If you, or anyone you know, are interested, contact me ASAP. Time does not stand still. Regardless of your interest please pass this message along. I will be more than happy to answer any questions you have. This is no candy-coated adver­tisement and I will be more blunt and to the point with any further inquiries.

Some good stuff: I love Thailand, Thai food, and Thai people. I’ve been to Australia, New Zealand, Cambodia, Laos, and Malaysia. Before I leave I hope to go to Nepal and Burma as well. The Bible has come to life. I’ve made great friends and have done more than I ever would have believed — good things. I have stories that will last a lifetime that will bring laughter, anger, tears, and fond mem­ories. It’s endless really. I love and respect my family now beyond duty, to true compassion and understanding.

— by Bonnie Turner

Legacy Institute Volunteer

Southeast Asia


(For more information, contact Legacy Institute, Leon Sexton, PO Box 7, Dundee, OH 44624; E-mail:; Web site:




Christian Conversion


I have an abiding faith. It’s the undercurrent of my life. I was fortunate to be raised in a strong Christian home. A lot of people may disagree with me, but I think it’s a disservice to Christians to say you have to have a dramatic conversion. When you are raised in a Christian home, and taught to walk with the Lord when you were young, your conversion experience isn’t necessarily like that. But it’s just as valid. As a Christian, I hope I can lead the kind of life that makes others look at me and say: “What’s missing in my life that she has?” That’s a greater testi­mony then anything I can say.

— by Marilyn Quayle



The two great words of antiquity are behold and beware. Behold the possibilities and beware the temptations.

 —by Jim Rohn




A Child’s Bill of Rights


My son came home from school one day, with a silly grin on his face. He thought he was smarter than me and his Mom, and he could put me in my place.

He said: “Guess what I learned in Civics Two, that’s taught by Mr. Wright. Its about the laws of the land, today. It’s called The Children’s Bill Of Rights.

“It says: That I don’t have to clean my room. I don’t even have to cut my hair. Nobody can tell me what I can eat, or choose the clothes I wear.

“It said: Freedom of speech is my constitutional guarantee, and it’s my choice of what I read, or what I watch on T.V. I have the freedom of religion, and regardless of what you say, I don’t have to ask your God for help. I don’t even have to pray.

“It said: I can wear an earring in my ear, and if I want to, I can pierce my nose. It’s my choice if I so desire, to tattoo Satan’s numbers across my toes.

“Hey, if ever again you try to spank me, I will charge you with the crime, and I can back up all my charges, with the marks on my behind.”

Then he said: “Don’t ever touch my body again. This body of mine is for me to use, and not for your hugs and kisses and stuff. That’s just manipulation and a form of child abuse.”

He continued with: “And stop trying to fill my head with morals, like your mama did to you. Things like that are called mind control, and that’s illegal too!

“Mom, I have these children’s rights, you can’t do a thing to me, I can call the children’s services, better known as C.S.D.”

Okay, my turn!

My very first impression was, to toss this boy right out the door, but here was a chance to teach him a lesson, for once and for ever more.

I took my time and mulled it over, but something like this I couldn’t let go. This kid of mine didn’t realize that he was messing with a pro!

The next day we went shopping, very much to his dismay. I didn’t buy him 501s or shirts designed by Bombay.

I had called and talked to the C.S.D. They said that they didn’t really care, if I bought him Wal-Mart shoes, or a pair of Nike Airs.

And then: I canceled his appointment for his drivers license, so he could test his driving skills, I’d probably be dead by now for sure, if only looks could kill!

I said: “By-the-way, I don’t have time to stop and eat, or pick up stuff for you to munch. I think you should follow C.S.D.’s advice, and make yourself a big sack lunch.

“So, you say what? That you’re not hungry, that you can wait till dinnertime? Well, I am fixing liver and onions, ‘cause that’s a favorite dish of mine.

“Can we stop to get a movie, so you can watch on the VCR? No!  I sold what was your T.V., and bought four new tires for my car. I also rented out your room. Sorry, you really don’t need a bed.  All I really have to do for you, is put a roof over your head.

“As long as I have to buy your clothes, and the food that you must eat, the money I gave you off and on, is going to buy me something neat.

“No more eating after we shop, no more joking along the way. Son, I too have a Bill of Rights  that goes into effect today.

“What’s the matter, why are you crying? What are you doing down on your knees? Why are you asking God to help you, instead of C.S.D.?”

— Author Unknown




The Mirror of Friendship


On her frequent trips on foot to Temuco, an old Araucanian Indian woman used always to bring my mother a few partridge eggs or a handful of berries. My mother spoke no Araucanian beyond the greeting “Mai'mai,” and the old woman knew no Spanish; but she drank tea and ate cake with many an appreciative giggle.

We girls stared fascinated at her layers of colorful hand-woven clothing, her copper bracelets and coin necklaces, and we vied with each other in trying to memorize the singsong phrase she always spoke on rising to leave.

At last we learned the words by heart and repeated them to the missionary, who translated them for us. They have stayed in my mind as the nicest compliment ever uttered: “I shall come again, for I like myself when Im near you.”

— by Elizabeth Mauske




Victorious Though Persecuted


The battle is on. Did you know that?

It’s true! No good we set out to do will go unopposed. All around us exist adversaries, most of whom we cannot see, who will do all they can to resist us personally and impede any good our hearts determine to accomplish. These enemies will attack and undermine. They will try to discourage, distract, and dissuade us. They will not give up easily, refusing to give in just because one tactic fails.

Did you know that?

It’s true! Yet so many Christians seem caught by surprise at the opposition, having neither expected it nor planned for it. They allow distractions to draw them away from their rightful endeavors. They permit dis­couragement to lead them to giving up the noble project. They let down their guard and too late discover they have been lured into an ambush. Being spiritually and mentally un­prepared, they quit before they finish, they fail before they succeed, and they lose before they win.

Did you know that?

It’s true! So what are we going to do about it? Remember the importance of the task.

When Nehemiah’s enemies tried to lure him into a trap where they could bring mis­chief upon him, he began his response to their invitation by saying, “I am doing a great work,” Nehemiah 6:3. To that he added, “Why should the work cease?” He put his assigned task above anything else. He knew it was an important job. He also knew it was his duty, which meant that he was important to the success of the project. So he refused to consider giving in to the opposition of dis­traction. “I cannot come down . . . to you.” Nehemiah would not leave his work for something of less importance and of suspect character. We must learn from that. When any type of opposition comes, we need to remember the importance of the good task which God has given us, to maintain personal integrity.

When guile and enticement failed, the enemies of Nehemiah assaulted his personal character. They attributed to him ungodly motives, purposes, and tactics. Then, having attacked his integrity, they pretended to be on his side, saying: “Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together,” Nehemiah 6:7. Because Nehemiah had carefully guarded his integrity and character, he saw through their plan. He not only knew that the accusations were false, he also knew that everyone else knew them for the fabrications they were. Since he had kept his heart right, he did not have to worry about his reputation. Can we learn from that as well? Beware of giving the enemy solid ground from which to attack us! We must keep a careful guard over our own character and integrity in all things. It is never right to allow wrong, no matter how small the issue. How foolish to breach our own in­tegrity, especially with something “little!” Recognize human weakness and divine pow­er.

Nehemiah did not deny that “they all made us afraid,” Nehemiah 6:8. He knew that as a result of that it was entirely possible that he and his crew would grow weary and quit before the work was done. So he turned again to the One who had given him the assignment in the first place: “Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands,” Nehemiah 6:9. May we reject cocky self-assurance and indepen­dence, as they will certainly guarantee our failure!

— by Mark Roth

© Christian Light Publications

permission to publish




The term “the whole 9 yards” came from WWII fighter pilots in the South Pacific. When arming their airplanes on the ground, the .50 caliber machine gun ammo belts measured exactly 27 feet, before being loaded into the fuselage. If the pilots fired all their ammo at a target, it got “the whole 9 yards.”


The percentage of Africa that is wilderness is 28%. The percentage of North America that is wilderness is 38%.






































































Word Pool

















1.         Solomon was known for his ________.

5.         Worship of God took place in _________.

8.         A lamb is meek and __________.





2.         Rachel was Leah’s ________.

3.         Christ came to ______ for our sins.

4.         An angel did ______ to the virgin Mary.

6.         You must enter the city through the ______.

7.         If you don’t have _____, you don’t have anything.








Find the words in the grid. Words can go horizontally, vertically,

and diagonally in all eight directions.




G    N    I      W    O    L     B    S     V    R     S

N    T     A    L     T     L     P     S     H    E     T

I      K    D    A    W    A    H    R     L     U    E

R     T     R     I      R     T     B    C     A    R     P

E     C     E     R     O    O    A    B     C     Y    M

F     I      S     O    T     N    A    E     M    H    U

F     L     B     M    R     E     T     A    T     S     R 

O    F     H    E     S     M    T     S     S     G    T

M    F     B     M    C     E     R    T     A    N    O

V    A    O    A    E     N    A    U    E     U    E

T     N    L     D    J      T     S     A    F     T     S


        TRUMPETS                    BLOWING

        OFFERING                     TABERNACLES

        MEMORIAL                   FAST                                              FEAST                            ATONEMENT

        BOOTHS                 AFFLICT





















Penned from Prison…


The Parable of the Mule


The farmer’s mule remembered all the cold clear water he used to drink out of the old well on the south side of the house. But many years had gone by, and the farmer no longer drew water from the well anymore, because he had a new water well dug to sup­ply his home.

The mule looked into the old well and thought he could see some water near the bottom, and believed he just had to stretch his neck a little farther into the well and he would be rewarded with a cold drink. But he fell into the well when he bent over too far.

The farmer heard the mule braying from the old well and went to investigate. After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with his old mule, but could not see how he could get the mule out of the old well. He did not want him to suffer or die a slow death. He called his family together and told them what had happened, that the poor old mule must have broken his legs in the fall. The farmer could not stand to let him suffer, so he enlisted his family members help to haul dirt to the old well, and fill it like he should have done so many years ago, and thus put the old mule out of his misery by burying him.

Naturally, the old mule became hysterical when the farmer and his family started to shovel dirt into the well. He was still alive and not ready to be buried, so every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back, he would just shake it off and step on it to pack it down, and this he did shovel load after shovel load. He shook it off and stepped up, shook it off and stepped up, and so on, and so on. No matter how painful the blows or distressing the situation seemed, the old mule encouraged himself, fought down the panic, and just kept right on shaking it off and stepping up.

You’re right. It was not long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantlyover the wall of the well and was greeted with hugs from the farmer’s children. He even got a cold drink of water from the farmer himself.

Yes, what was sent to bury him turned into a blessing, and it’s all due to the manner in which he handled his troubles. So, my friends,  let  the  wisdom  of the old mule lead


you in the troubles and adversities of your life. Yes, when they seem to overwhelm you, and bury you alive, just shake it off and step up. Your blessing is sure to come.

— by Bruce Wayne Houser #460890


Book Review…


True Tales to Live By

By Clarence (Skip) Westphal


This is neither a great theological book nor even a religious one. However, it has great merit. It is the collection of many stories of a man with wide and varied experiences. Skip has given permission to reprint an article from time to time. One is included in this issue. We would recommend this book for two main reasons:

Now here’s a fascinating story about the author: Skip has written seven books, twenty magazine articles, and over a thousand news­paper stories. He has traveled in over sixty countries. He has held jobs as a lumberjack in Maine, a sailor on a freighter, a horseman for Ringling Brothers circus, a teacher in New Hampshire, and a farmer in Iowa.

He was chased by a Rhino in Tanzania, and bitten by a poisonous snake.

He attributes his success to the Lord’s guidance in all his undertakings. And, oh, did I mention? Skip is ninety-eight years old and is working on another book.


A Word from the Author


“The search for buried treasure has always been an exciting adventure. Millions of dol­lars have been found at the bottom of the Caribbean Sea, recovered from ships that have been sunk by pirates, or lost during storms.

“This kind of treasure is only available to those involved in searching for it. There is another treasure that does not consist of gold coins, and precious stones. I have found it in the inspiring stories of men and women I have met in my travels in sixty countries around the world. These people have shared with me over 1700 inspiring stories. I have put togeth­er over one hundred twenty of my favorites in this book.

“It is my hope that the readers of these stories will not just read them, then put them on the shelf to gather dust, but will look for opportunities to share them with others.”


Additional Comment


A few months ago we were able to hear two storytellers from Humboldt, IA weave their stories. Some were humorous, some sad, and some exciting. Seek out the opportunity, not only for yourself, but also for your children, to hear some wonderful narratives. This book is the printed version of many beautiful and engrossing folk stories.

You may order this book for $11.16 plus postage through Giving & Sharing’s link with  Go to:, and click on the link to Amazon to order the book sent directly to you from

— by Steven and Suzanne Kieler


Book Alert!

Conversations with God and Conversations with God for Teens


Parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, please pay special attention, not only to what your kids watch on TV, see in movie theaters, and the music they listen to, but also be alert regarding the books they read.

Two particular books, Conversations with God and Conversations with God for Teens, written by Neale Donald Walsch sound harm­less enough by their titles alone. These books have been on the New York Times best-seller list for a number of weeks. These publications make truth of the state­ment: “Don’t judge a book by its cover/title.”

The author purports to answer various questions from kids using the “voice of God.” However, the “answers” that he gives are not Biblically based, and, in fact, go against the very infallible Word of God.

For instance (and I paraphrase), when a girl asks the question: “Why am I a lesbian?” His answer is that she was born that way because of genetics, just as you were born right-handed, with blue eyes, etc. Then he tells her to go out and “celebrate” her differ­ences.

Another girl poses the question: “I am living with my boyfriend. My parents say that I should marry him because I am living in sin. Should I marry him?” His reply is: “Who are you sinning against? Not me, because you have done nothing wrong.”

Another question asks about God’s for­giveness of sin. His reply is: “I do not forgive anyone because there is nothing to forgive. There is no such thing as right or wrong, and that is what I have been trying to tell every­one. I do not judge people. People have chosen to judge one another, and this is wrong because the rule is ‘Judge not lest ye be judged’.”

And the list goes on. Not only are these books the false doctrine of devils, but in some instances even quote (in error) the Word of God. These books (and others like it) are being sold to school children through The Scholastic Book Club, and we need to be aware of what is being fed to our children. Our children are under attack, so I pray that you be sober and vigilant about teaching your kids the true Word of God, and guarding their exposure to worldly media because our adver­sary, the devil, “roams about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour,” I Peter 5:8. And how many of us know that lions usually hunt for the slowest, weakest, and youngest of its prey? Pass this on to every believer you know. God bless.

— by James Dobson, Ph.D.

Service Feature…


Funnel of Love (Yahoo Group)


Have you ever felt hurt or alone and wish­ed there was someone to talk to who truly cared about you in your trials and tribu­lations? The Internet has opened up new ways for people to make and maintain caring friendships; friendships where people can lift one another up even if they live continents apart.

Kenny Kitzke never formed an Internet group before. But he has been on many forums, and groups where doctrine was often the main focus. So much so that people would become argumentative, be chided, and even be removed from the group if they did not hold the same beliefs as the group moderator.

Kenny decided to establish a Yahoo Group named the Funnel of Love where one’s theology, doctrinal beliefs, or personal agen­das would take a second seat to expressing love to one another.

Kenny invited a number of brothers and sis­ters in Christ who shared many of his per­sonal beliefs learned while members of the Worldwide Church of God. Most no longer belong to any formal religious organization. Many are rather isolated, finding few local people to fellowship with on a weekly basis.

There are people from several continents adding some interesting cultural aspects. Bear in mind, however, the Funnel of Love is an open assembly, and there are no restrictions as to beliefs in order to post. But, anyone who speaks without a humble spirit, grounded in love, will probably get a post from Kenny reminding them of the purpose and decorum of the Funnel.

The group has never exceeded twenty members. That tends to keep the posts down in volume so as not to be a hassle to read, and allows everyone to get to know all the others on a personal basis. Some have met one another maybe at the Feast of Tabernacles, but many only know one another through Funnel correspondence and Yahoo Profiles.

The newest member, who frequents many forums, has praised the Funnel, its topics, format, and most of all, the caring people who are members and disciples of Christ, willing to listen and share their experience and wisdom. Topics are varied, and help can be prayerful or more physical, dealing with common pro­blems in body, mind, or spirit.

If any of you would like to join the Funnel of Love, you’re welcome to E-mail Kenny at: and he will add you to the group. You can lurk, unsub­scribe, or become an active participant when­ever you feel moved to offer, or need to receive, some love. If you are subscribed to Yahoo, and have a password, you can also visit the Funnel by going to:

Join the Funnelers and FEEL the love.

— by Kenny Kitzke

Service Feature…


Close to You, Inc.

Close to You, Inc. is a unique nonprofit organization that is currently working in El Salvador, Central America. It is not unique in the work it does, because there are literally thousands of nonprofit organizations all over the world that are helping people in underdeveloped countries. Close to You, Inc. is unique because it was founded by people just like you, Sabbath-keepers that want to make a difference. Its founders and board of directors had no prior experience in running an organization when they incorporated Close to You, Inc. in March of 2002. They don’t even have a lawyer working for them. A lot of prayer and research helped them to fill out the right forms, write the correct documents, and even to receive IRS tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3) organization. Without any fundrais­ing experience, they have managed to raise over $13,000 in monetary donations in the last year, with very little advertising. So, who are these people and what are they trying to accomplish? You may even be wondering how you can help. We hope you are.

Roberto and Barbara Parada are a typical young Church of God couple living in a less than normal location. Barbara is a U.S. citizen and Roberto is a native of El Salvador. They met at a Feast of Tabernacles site in Guatemala and married two years later. Faced with the choice of living in the wealthy United States with many job opportunities or living in El Salvador where the unem­ployment rate in their Church is as high as 50% because of the Sabbath and the average monthly salary is only $200, they chose to stay in El Salvador where they thought they could make a difference. Roberto’s dream is to open a nonprofit school where the children in the congregation he grew up in can attend for free, and not have to worry about choosing between the Sabbath and their education. Barbara’s dream is to open a home for child­ren and provide a true home and family for the abandoned, abused, and neglected child­ren that she sees every day on the streets of El Salvador. They combined these dreams into the goals of Close to You, Inc. when they founded the organization soon after marrying.

While El Salvador has a thriving economy based on the dollar and has a good trade relationship with the U.S., it is by no means considered as a developed nation. Devastating earthquakes often wrack the country causing suffering, unemployment, and death. As re­cent­ly as 1992, El Salvador was trapped in a violent civil war that prevented the normal functioning of all of the country’s institutions and killed thousands of innocent people. Nothing suffered as much as the educational system.

Over the last decade, the Ministry of Education (MINED) has made significant pro­gress in improving access to education, developing modern curricula, instituting new teaching strategies and testing systems, and decentralizing the educational system of El Salvador. Despite the reforms, the quality of education in the classroom is not improving rapidly, nor is the quality of teacher training. As a result of the earthquakes of 2001, sub­stantial amounts of national and donor funds were redirected to rebuild damaged and destroyed schools, reducing funds available for key educational improvement.

El Salvador has hundreds of private schools, each supported by private or reli­gious funding. Schools are a business, and not all seek to provide better education for their students. Close to You, Inc. wants to set a better standard for private schools in El Salvador. Their main goal is to open a nonprofit pre-K through grade 12 school that will be free to the children of their Church, and income-based for all other students. They plan to offer standardized testing at all grade levels and curriculums based on Texas Education Agency standards. They want to provide teachers with as many teaching aids as they are able, and while MINED does not require career development, they intend to require their teachers to continue their higher edu­cation in order to better serve their students.

With competitive tuition rates and tuition based on parents’ income, Close to You hopes to provide quality education to students from many different socioeconomic backgrounds. Their educational goals include an emphasis on reading and grammar, computer skills, and English as a second language. They hope to give their students the skills they need to survive in a job market that is constantly changing due to technological advances.

To meet their educational goals, they need the following: a large supply of teaching aids and resources; a large computer center with new-model equipment; a large library with a diversity of good quality reading material; teachers that are well-trained and are con­stantly provided with professional develop­ment resources.

Because schools are a business in El Salvador, the Paradas fully expect that the Close to You school with be self-supporting and that it will even bring in enough funds to support other projects, such as a Home for Children and the Special Needs projects that they continually sponsor. Another of the goals of Close to You is to supply jobs for many Sabbath-keeping adults and young people. The school will provide many job opportun­ities that don’t require work on the Sabbath.

Many Sabbath-keepers have already be­come involved in the work of Close to You. Besides individual donors, several Church con­­gregations have taken the initiative to hold fundraisers for our projects. United Church of God Congregations in Oklahoma raised mon­ey to purchase a water tank for one of the special needs families. Members in Tampa, Florida provided funding for the school sup­ply project. Churches in Houston and Los Angeles have been selling coffee from El Salvador (the best fundraiser to date), and to date have sold more than 200 pounds.

Close to You, Inc. is excited by the prospect of alleviating the abject poverty that afflicts the lives of so many Salvadoran child­ren and adults; but doing so is not easy. If  we are ever to be able to assist these children and adults to obtain the most basic opportunities that are taken for granted in the developed world, we will need the help of others.

We are asking you to join us in changing lives. If you are interested in helping us to open a nonprofit school in El Salvador, there are many ways. We have a financial goal of $70,000 to open the school in January of 2004. We also have a list of specific items that we need donated to equip classrooms, offices, a library, and computer rooms. The items we most urgently need are computers and books. We are selling organic high-grown Salvadoran coffee as a fundraiser, purchased from a poor farmer in our Church.

All donations are tax deductible and receipts will be issued for all donations. We urge you to visit our Web site at ( for more informa­tion about our projects and goals, or to print a brochure or information booklet. Our main office is located at: 3316 Alberta Drive, Gillette, Wyoming 82718. Our phone number is (307) 686-5191. Our E-mail address is: We now accept donations and coffee purchases by credit card on our Web site. Get involved in changing Sabbath-keepers’ lives! Contact us now.

— by Barbara Parada

Close to You, Inc.


Salt and Eggs


An article from Washington in our local new­spaper stated that we should use less salt.

I subscribe to a health magazine, and here is the story on salt and on eggs:

“For many people, salt is perfectly fine, provided it’s the right kind of salt. It’s not sodium intake per se that aggravates high blood pressure. Rather, it’s an excess of sodium in relation to potassium.

“In its natural form, straight from the sea, salt contains the proper balance of sodium and potassium. During the refining process, salt companies strip the natural sea salt of potas­sium, magnesium, and a whole host of other trace minerals. Then they sell those minerals to vitamin companies, who sell it back to you in the form of nutritional supplements.

“Buy natural sea salt. Not only will you be getting the proper sodium/potassium bal­ance, but you’ll be getting magnesium, cal­cium, and up to 79 other trace minerals.

“Several recent studies prove that eating eggs does not increase cholesterol levels.

“The myth that eggs raise your cholesterol comes  from  studies  done  over  50 years agoby the Cereal Institute. Those early studies used dried egg yolk powder, not whole eggs. And dried egg yolk powder, a form of oxi­dized cholesterol, is murder on your arteries.

“Eggs are one of nature’s perfect foods, loaded with vitamins, minerals, amino acids and phospholipids.”

— by Wilbur Woock

Fort Dodge, IA


Feast of Tabernacles, Oct 11-18, 2003


Lake Texoma, OK

            Contact: Steve Kieler



            San Antonio, TX

            Contact: Julian Cruz




Lake of the Ozarks, MO

            Contact: Duke Schneider




            Mountain View, AR

            Contact: Wayne Holmes

866-821-9380 or 870-251-2431


Rancho Santa Barbara, California
In the Santa Ynez Mountains

Contact: David Antion           

            Reservations at:

800-638-8882 or 805-688-1000


Third Sabbath Telephone Services


Larry Walker is the scheduled speaker on September 23, 2003.  At 9 Pacific, 10 Mountain, 11 Central, 12 Eastern, dial 918-222-7158.  Then press 0566# to join the conference call.

Future speakers: October 18, Richard C. Nickels; November 15, Steve Kieler.