Church of God News
Positive News of the Churches of God
Have You Been Bamboozled?
The minister said it, so it must be true. But what if he’s been bamboozled, and is passing the bamboozle on to you?
It happens every day. Someone sends an article to his mailing list, and it gets forwarded and forwarded and forwarded.
Recently I received an item titled “Right On, Andy Rooney.” It began, “Andy Rooney said on 60 Minutes a few weeks back” and documented what Mr. Rooney is supposed to have said about girls not being allowed into the Boy Scouts, opinions on homosexuality, the United Negro College Fund being discriminatory, and so on.
The report claims Mr. Rooney said, “If you want to be an American citizen you should have to speak English,” and “I don’t think, just because you were not born in this country, you are qualified for any special loan programs…so you can open a hotel, coffee shop, trinket store, or any other business.”
The person who sent this to me would likely say he knows it’s true because a trusted Christian sent it to him. But we’re commanded — it’s not just a suggestion — to prove all things (I Thessalonians 5:21). The Berean congregation did this, rather than simply believing that Paul wouldn’t mislead them (Acts 17:10-11).
It’s a simple matter to verify nearly anything today. A simple Google search of “Andy Rooney” will tell you what you need to know about his supposed tirade. If you want to try it, scroll down to “Urban Legends Reference Pages: Politics (Andy Rooney).” You will discover that Snopes — an Internet research group — checked the transcripts of Andy Rooney’s “60 Minutes” pieces from the last ten years, and nothing like this item turned up.
Snopes’ information includes a denial by Andy Rooney saying, “About a year ago, I became aware of a more serious theft of my name and it is so hurtful to my reputation that it calls for legal action against the thief.”
God has something to say about such thievery. He commands His people, “Thou shalt not steal,” (Exodus 20:15; Deuteronomy 5:19). Anyone passing on such stories is as guilty of theft of a person’s reputation, as the one who composed the lie.
The one who forwards such stories also disobeys God’s command, “Thou shalt not bear false witness,” Verse 16 and 20.
“Well,” you say, “I believed it was true because a fellow Christian sent it to me.” But the fellow Christian was obviously bamboozled.
A respected educator is recorded as saying, “One of the saddest lessons of history is this, if we’ve been bamboozled long enough we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding the truth: the bamboozle has captured us. It is simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. It is sometimes easier to reject strong evidence than to admit we’ve been wrong.”
The gentleman’s statement refers, not only to the world in general, but to what you’ve been taught through your Church and its ministry. Do you say, “I believe it because our minister said it?” The following three questions provide an opportunity to decide whether you have been bamboozled:
(1) Is a soul immortal (I Corinthians 15:52-53)? (2) Is King David, or any of your loved ones, at home with the Lord in heaven (John 3:13; Acts 2:29, 34)? (3) Where did Jesus say they are (John 5:28-29)?
Have you been spiritually bamboozled? Reply to this article (email@example.com) and write “Send a Bible Challenge” in the subject line. There’re thirty questions, like the above, to show what the Bible — not religious bamboozle — says.
— by Leslie A. Turvey
© Used by permission, firstname.lastname@example.org
From the editor…
It’s the Economy, Stupid
This mantra was adopted by James Carville during Bill Clinton’s era as a reminder that the economy should be the central focus for their election campaign.
People and organizations often have trouble focusing on their mission. Distractions can divert attention to other issues that may or may not be relevant or important. Procrastination, laziness, pride, and self-centeredness, can be other impediments.
As we observe and rail against the errors and evils in our lives and in the world around us, our inclination is to think of solutions. If we could only:
§ Get tougher prisoner sentencing.
§ Get more money for education.
§ Elect the right man.
§ Put more troops in Iraq.
§ Enact a law.
§ Lower taxes.
§ Overhaul the justice system.
§ Reign in corporate greed.
However, the remedies to which we are drawn are “worldly” solutions.
Have we ever tried to look at things through God’s eyes? Have we ever wondered how He looks at things and what His solution would be? After all, we’ve had six thousand years to figure things out our way and the record of success is pretty dismal.
I challenge you to look at each of the worldly solutions above and ask yourself, how would God resolve each problem. How many scriptures can you find that offer Godly solutions to these and other evils? Caution: be sure you examine the problem to find the root cause.
Solution: God might say, “It’s the Kingdom, stupid.” Maybe He wouldn’t use the word stupid, (but then again maybe He would). He did say: “…My Kingdom is not of this world: if My Kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my Kingdom not from hence,” John 18:36.
That word “fight” does not necessarily mean to do battle, or to resort to fisticuffs. We are admonished here not to struggle, strive, or be entangled in worldly (read that: political) problems or their solutions.
And what do we do? We “fight” to elect worldly people or worldly panaceas to resolve our largely self-imposed problems.
We need to redirect our outlook on our calling and purpose. It is to learn to be administrators in the Kingdom of God utilizing HIS righteous laws and mercy.
Isaiah 30:19-21, “For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: He will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when He shall hear it, He will answer thee. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.”
Perhaps the voice in their ears will be yours. Are you preparing to answer them according to God’s Word and not with worldly wisdom?
— by Steven J. Kieler
Lessons from the Wisconsin Shootings
Positive lessons can sometimes be gleaned from the most tragic circumstances.
The horrific shootings of March 12, 2005, during a Living Church of God Sabbath Service in Wisconsin shook America. A longtime Church of God member took seven innocent lives, then killed himself. This was perhaps the single most terrible incident to occur among the Churches of God. Yet in all this tragedy, there are some lessons that can benefit us all.
Terry Ratzmann, the mass murderer, took his own life. A man who knew him very well told me that Terry had been an example of generosity and kindness. He would go out of his way to help others, even giving money anonymously to the poor. What then caused him to commit such a heinous act?
Some say that he was upset at a video sermon a couple of weeks prior to his shooting rampage, and that he walked out of services. That is possible. I hope soon to listen to the alleged sermon, and evaluate it for myself.
But the more likely cause of Ratzmann’s heinous acts was that he was “under the influence” of something that completely changed his behavior. It was reported that he had been depressed lately, and had taken anti-depression drugs. Here is lesson #1. It is said that one of the Columbine High School shooters had taken anti-depression drugs. According to news reports, the recent high school shooter who killed others and then took his own life at Red Lake, Minnesota, had taken anti-depression drugs. Reports on side effects of anti-depression drugs indicate that they can cause violent behavior, even suicide. The European Union has warned against an anti-depression drug. Of course, not everybody who takes these drugs gets such evil side effects. But, are such drugs worth the risk?
Listen to drug advertisements on television, and you will hear a host of side effects. A side effect of one popular drug is lymphoma, a virulent form of cancer. We need to learn the lesson that man-made drugs may help one malady and cause even worse diseases. Drugs in general are not the road to health. Drug companies sometimes violate the “Hippocratic Oath,” which says, “physician, do no harm.” Natural health and God’s divine healing are the foundation of the Christian perspective on health.
Another lesson from the Wisconsin Church shooting is the necessity for the Church of God to learn humility. Sometimes, we think we are so much better than others. But, when God withdraws His protection and allows us to suffer such horrific events, it should make us stop and ask, “why?” Pastor Don Haney of the Living Church of God in Medford, Oregon, wrote a soul-searching general letter dealing with this need for humility. He believes that his own Church could and should be more humble, and not put down other Church of God groups. We need to renew our zeal for following God, and reform even our Sabbath observance. You may read his letter on the Giving & Sharing Web site, at www.giveshare.org/open-letter .html. It was one of the most heart-felt messages I have ever read. Sadly, as a result, he was disfellowshipped from the Living Church of God for his comments. Nevertheless what he says is valid.
On the other side of the religious fence, some are going to use this horrible tragedy as another excuse to attack our beliefs and label us as cultic. One ex-Church of God person said, “How sad that it has come to this before we see that the spirit of Armstrongism is not of God.” If you know of such a person who feels this way, I suggest getting away from them as quickly as possible. God resists the proud who look down on others. He brings them to judgment. The Wisconsin shootings should lead us ALL to humble repentance before the Almighty.
Finally, a lesson from the Wisconsin shootings is that we should take up the cross and reach out to those in the fringes of life, even in our own Church fellowship. Terry Ratzmann knew he was going to lose his job. He battled depression. We all need to take note of brethren in mental and emotional need, as well as physical need, and do what we can to be a friend. It is easy to hob-nob with the rich and powerful, but it is more needful to help the lonely, depressed, and poor brethren.
May the eight lives lost in Wisconsin not be in vain!
— by Richard C. Nickels
3316 Alberta Drive
Gillette, WY 82718
Living Church of God
The Shooting, Media, and a Fast
The shootings in Brookfield, Wisconsin during Sabbath services on March, 12 2005 killed eight people, including the shooter. To the best of my knowledge, there were no further causalities beyond the original eight and all others injured are recovering.
Here is one of the more recent updates from the Gregorys, one of the families most affected by the shooting, “First, we would like to extend our deepest gratitude for the outpouring of love and concern not only for our family but the entire Milwaukee congregation. We’ve received letters of support from all over the world and have been strengthened by the prayers and consideration of the brethren. My mom, Marjean, is making a speedy recovery, as her health and spirits continue to improve. One of her nurses commented that she has never enjoyed having a patient more. Although my mom enjoyed the nurse’s help and company, she was more than ready to leave. Since being released, we’ve been staying at the Diekmeier house, which is a second home to us. The Diekmeier family would also like to thank the brethren for their love and support during this time. Mr. Millich, in last week’s sermon, quoted I Corinthians 12:26, “And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it.” We know this scripture has been exemplified in the body of Christ, and we look forward to rejoicing again, and the ultimate fulfillment, at Christ’s return, when we can see our loved ones again, rejoicing for all eternity. Your continued thoughts and prayers are appreciated, as we work through this tragedy together.”
R. C. Meredith
R. C. Meredith called for a Church-wide fast on April 9, 2005. Part of the reasons for the fast, according to him, included, “Each spring or summer, as you know, we have traditionally called a fast for the Living Church of God. But this shocking occurrence in Milwaukee gives us an even greater reason to seek God with all our hearts. When the Apostle Paul was struck blind by God, he immediately fasted for three days (Acts 9:9). He obviously wanted to understand. So even though we know that God did not cause — but rather allowed — this tragedy to occur, we do sincerely want to understand any lesson or lessons that God wants us to learn. But I do now officially call this fast and ask that all of us join together in beseeching God for true understanding, and for His mercy, and for His guidance in the months and years ahead. Certainly, as I have said publicly many times, I make many personal mistakes. I want to constantly examine myself and repent of those mistakes! I pray that all of us will try to do this on a regular basis, and truly draw close to God as we should. I hope that all of us can examine ourselves before this coming Passover in a positive way, not in a manner of “accusing” one another, but sincerely coming before God to ask, personally, for His correction and His guidance.”
Mr. Meredith reported, “A number of our ministers worked almost constantly during waking hours, trying to handle the situation relating to the media, to our own members, and especially to those directly affected there in the Milwaukee area. This outstanding service was certainly rendered by Charles Bryce, Rand Millich, Glen Gilchrist, Sheldon Monson, and here at Headquarters by Mr. Davy Crockett. Also, many of our leading employees worked overtime and gave of themselves in this effort including Tom Turner, Bill Bowmer, Josh Beattie, and others. In addition, Bryce, Apartian, Ames, and I have received dozens of encouraging and supportive phone calls, e-mails, cards, and letters from many of you ministers around the world. Thank you, so much. I would like to share with you part of an especially encouraging letter from Mr. Stuart Wachowicz, our Elder in Edmonton, Canada. He writes: “Only in the past two weeks, I have had several calls from people in ‘other’ groups, who have told me that after reading Living’s literature, or hearing sermons on the Web, or listening to the program on television, they recognized that you are teaching the truth of the Bible, just as it was in the days of Mr. Armstrong. The Living Church of God is preaching the Gospel, it is growing in all areas, it is doing the Work, and God is blessing it. No wonder Satan is so desperate and brings these repeated attacks. Please be assured that the brethren here, and I am sure around the world, are solidly behind you and the administration of God’s Church. We are very grateful for your courage and leadership, as well as the loyal and zealous leadership of those around you, and the fine leadership and encouragement we have been receiving from Mr. Weston here in Canada. We do pray for you regularly. There will undoubtedly be difficult times ahead. Despite the challenges and inevitable attempts by Satan to thwart the Work, please know that with God’s help, we in God’s Church will echo through our actions the words of Winston Churchill, spoken in an hour of great danger and trial, when no one gave England a chance: ‘We shall not fail or falter; we shall not weaken or tire. Neither the sudden shock of battle nor the long-drawn trials of vigilance and exertion will wear us down.’ Thank you again for your willingness to allow God to use you in directing the ‘spear point’ of God’s Work today. All of us need to keep on praying fervently for the survivors and their loved ones in the Milwaukee area. Also, we need to ask our heavenly Father to show us every single lesson we may need to learn from this tragedy and help us draw ever closer to Him and to His will in our lives.”
Richard Ames wrote this about the shooting and some of the media coverage, “When tragedy hits a region, a nation, a school, or a Church, we all tend to ask the natural question, ‘Why?’ When a disaster produces death and injury, are we moved to act compasssionately to help in practical and spiritual ways? ... Once we have given our hearts to help, the question may still linger, ‘Why?’ In cases such as airplane crashes and industrial accidents, expert investigators examine evidence to determine the cause. Was it human error or failed machinery parts? … Religious people, familiar with Bible history, understand that God has used pagan nations to punish His own people for their disobedience, rebellion, and apostasy. Thus, some may be quick to judge, as in the case of the patriarch Job, that this so-called good person, or group of persons, must have done some evil to bring about such ‘punishment.’ In the case of the Brookfield tragedy, the police had a responsibility to determine the immediate cause. Some of the media quickly attempted to invent or find ‘sinister’ practices of the Church. The police concluded that Church practices and sermons were not the cause, but that the killer himself was the cause. Even so, some critics, within and without the Church of God, have tried to blame the Church. Church members have been quick to discern where the media have been in great error, misrepresenting the doctrines, practices, and history of the Church, and getting many facts wrong in their rush to report quickly. Yet even some who wisely see the error of the media’s rush to judgment have themselves rushed to judgment regarding the reason for the Brookfield tragedy. Some assume that the Brookfield tragedy is a specific sign that the Church is receiving correction for specific infractions, though the critics disagree among themselves as to what those infractions are. One problem with most of these criticisms is their dogmatism and absolutism. Each critic is totally convinced that his or her identification of a specific cause is absolute. Such an approach is, to say the least, arrogant, and fails to understand the breadth and depth of God’s approach to human suffering. There may be many reasons for a tragedy, none of which can be identified by any single person.... There are reasons for tragedy and suffering. And there is not just one axiom that states: ‘The only reason bad things happen to people is that they deserve it or their church deserves it.’ Yet that is the false premise employed by many critics. Can those critics allow the possibility that bad things do happen to good people? Do they understand what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount? ‘Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you, Matthew 5:11-12. The faith chapter of the Bible reveals an amazing contrast between Christians who are blessed with great miracles and gifts, and Christians who suffer. Read very carefully Hebrews 11:32-40. Notice that both groups are faithful. God does not ascribe blame to those who suffered, and then commend those who were blessed with escape. What does He say? ‘And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us’ Hebrews 11:39-40. Did God blame the Church, their families, or the community for the tragic deaths of the Hebrews 11 faithful? No, He did not. This should give pause to the absolutists, dogmatists, and self-appointed critics. They are warned not to practice one-upmanship with God! Those who are moved to criticize should first of all examine themselves! As Jesus said, ‘Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye meet, it shall be measured to you again’ Matthew 7:1-2. The Brookfield tragedy teaches us to have compassion and love toward our brethren. Local members have testified that not only have the brethren in the Church of God around the world shown mercy, love, and compassion, but so have local community and government officials. This event also encourages us to mourn, to examine ourselves, and to humble ourselves. Thus the Church will fast as a body on April 9, 2005. At the same time, Christ is opening new doors for the gospel to be preached. He is the judge, not self-appointed critics. He has corrected the Church and will correct the Church. He uses His faithful servants and saints to go forward in faith to do His Work and His will.”
— submitted by Robert Thiel
As a nation, we are drifting away from the basic Biblical principles our nation was founded on. We are removing from our schools and public life various moral principles, which are defined by the Bible. Some individuals even feel that it does not matter what we do as long as it does not hurt someone else. In fact, there are many self-help, and alternative religious ideas in bookstores around this country that teach that we, not God or a Higher Power, are the source that determines what is right and wrong.
In Hosea 4:6, it states, “My people are destroyed [cut off] for the lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee…seeing thou hast forgotten the Law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.”
In verse 1, Hosea records, “Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel: for the Lord hath a controversy [i.e. lawsuit in other translations] with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.”
Matthew Henry’s Commentary, volume 4 of a 6 volume set, copyright 1991, pages 894-5, comments, “…They are charged with national omissions of the most important duties: there is no truth nor mercy, neither justice nor charity…. The generality of the people seemed to have no sense at all of the thing called honesty; they made no conscience of what they said and did, though ever so contrary to the truth and injurious to their neighbor. Much less had they any sense of mercy, or any obligation they were under to pity and help the poor.”
To continue in Hosea 4:2, it states, “By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood [i.e. one murder follows another, leaving a trail of blood].”
Continuing in Matthew Henry’s Commentary: “…Swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, against the third, sixth, eighth, seventh commandment, were to be found in all corners of the land, and among all orders and degrees of men among them. The corruption was universal; what good people there were among them were either lost or hid, or they hid themselves…. When they break out thus blood touches blood, that is, abundance of murders are committed in all parts of the country, and as it were, in constant series and successions.”
Even though Hosea was speaking to the Israel of his time, we are following the same path that ancient Israel went on during that time period.
One example is the stone memorial with the Ten Commandments being removed from the courthouse in Alabama. No one had any issue with this stone memorial until just a few years ago.
It is a fact that many individuals in this country want religion completely removed from every facet of our public life such as removing “In God we Trust” from the coins, dollars, and national anthem.
Our courts already removed prayer and Bibles from our public schools many decades ago.
Another example is the form of entertainment that we allow our children to see such as various video games, and TV shows that portray violence, death, and destruction as a common and acceptable fact of life.
The evening news gives us our daily dose of murders, violence, and other crimes that are going on around this country, and we watch as if it is a normal part of life. We do not ponder whether these influences are positive or negative.
We are traveling down the same path that ancient Israel did during Hosea’s time. We are removing God and His principles from our general education system and public buildings and denying our country’s foundation, which was based on Biblical principles.
These actions of removing God and His principles from our nation will cause us to suffer a lack of knowledge of right and wrong which will lead us to our destruction as a nation. It is a fact of history that as a nation’s morals decline, the country declines as a whole to the point that it ceases to exist.
I strongly encourage our nation’s leaders and every citizen to return to the principles of the Bible and to focus on God as our source of moral guidance.
— by Doyle Carter
Mother taught me…
My mother taught me:
§ To appreciate a job well done.
“If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.”
“You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”
§ About time travel.
“If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!”
“Because I said so, that’s why.”
§ More logic.
“If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with me.”
“Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”
“Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.”
§ About the science of osmosis.
“Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”
§ About contortionism.
“Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!”
§ About stamina.
“You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”
§ About weather.
“This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.”
§ About hypocrisy.
“If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times. Don’t exaggerate!”
Not Sparing the Flock
When the sun set on the 23rd of March 2001, I kept my first Sabbath. As I kneeled in “total defeat,” I knew that I was dead. I had the hardest time saying a prayer due to my crying. I couldn’t catch my breath, and the tears flowed. The pain in my heart was more then I could bear. The Almighty God had drafted me.
Since that day, I’ve come to learn about you, the Church of God. I’ve also come to learn that God says in the last days, Satan will successfully derail the vast majority of His elect.
When I unknowingly surrendered that night, almost exactly 3 ½ years ago today, I made and entered into a covenant with God. I promised that if He would teach me His truth, I would give it to anyone that wanted it. Today, I understand that what God gave me was intended for His flock. The world does not love the truth, so the message must be for you and me.
I am not one sent, nor am I a preacher. I am not even begotten. Yet, until I am, God patiently keeps me; and as I continue to hold fast, and keep the traditions I have been taught, I am assured to be in the inner court, and to be in the place of safety. However, even I know that a large majority turn from the traditions they were taught, neglecting so great a salvation. I, even I, can see this. It has already taken place.
Do these words seem harsh? Really? I don’t understand why. Don’t you study God’s Word? Don’t you in humble, surrendered love, rightly divide the Word of God? If you did, then my words would not seem harsh at all. But on the contrary, my tears are in them for you. Can you see, let alone feel the pain I feel for you? It is because I love you (agape), that I give this warning. Yet, it’s not mine, it’s God’s.
“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the Church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after My departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears,” Acts 20:28-31.
In the context of the great falling away, meditate on the following Scriptures:
John: 10:27 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
John: 10:16 “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”
Consider! Since the WCG fell, many folds emerged; but only one could [by Scripture] be where the Lamb is. For the body of Christ [is not divided]. That is why He has many other sheep, [lost] not of His fold, but still His; only they became lulled by Satan. He will bring them back into His fold, and they will again hear His voice, and there shall be one Shepherd again.
Remember what you were taught, and where it came from, and who it came by. Remember the day of small things.
“…our friend…sleepeth,” John 11:11. “…Take ye away the stone…,” John 11:39. “…come forth.” John 11:43. “…Loose him and let him go,” John 11:44.
The time is short, and the great tribulation is nearly upon us. Are you watching? Can you discern the signs of the times? The flock has not been spared. Turn, turn; why will you die?
“Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye [have been] taught…” II Thessalonians 2:15.
“Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no [man] take thy crown,” Revelation 3:11.
You, not another, must prove all things. Return to your first love and do the first works. God is pleading with you.
Remember and return to the wife of your youth
— by Billy C. Blanton #750531
1098 FM 2037
Ft. Stockton, TX 79735
Herewith I forward the photos taken during our program on the launch of micro enterprises for the women brethren affected by the tsunami. This would enable these sisters to become self-reliant and earn some income which would make them stable and the community stronger. The activities which they would engage in are fixing food like iddli, dosas with some Indian curry and chutney.
Let me explain what iddli is. This is an Indian snack pure white in color after being cooked. It is made out of rice flour, baked and served with some spicy Indian curry and chutney (which is a mixture of coconut mustard and chili sauce). The dosa has a rice flour base, looks like a thin flat pancake, served with mashed potatoes, Indian curry, and chutney. Sometimes on the dosa they place an egg bulls eye which tastes wonderful. On some dosas they top it with onions and tomatoes. Some of the women are starting small kiosks selling biscuits, Indian chocolates, soaps, and other things. These are small businesses that will provide some help for them and their family members.
When things progress, I will take some photos at the point of business and forward the same to you. We request your prayers and support. Thanks and regards. Love,
— by M. R. Hubert
Madras 600024 India
Serious Bible students mark their Bibles. That is why the Church of God, for years, has recommended Wide Margin Bibles, in which the reader can write personal notes and explanations. Likewise, college students routinely mark their textbooks, as it helps them retain the subject material.
Unfortunately, some Church of God groups, such as the Living Church of God, and the United Church of God, have in recent years recommended the New King James Version. Supposedly, the NKJV is easier to understand than the old KJV. That is not true, as studies have shown that the NKJV’s reading level is one grade higher than the authorized KJV. Scripture memorization becomes more difficult when you sing in one version (KJV) and read a different version (NKJV). The NKJV corrects some of the KJV errors, only to introduce additional errors of its own. Unless one takes the time to carefully correlate the NKJV with the original language editions (Interlinear Bible), he will be unknowingly swallowing translation errors.
The sole purpose of the NKJV was NOT to make the beautiful language of the KJV more understandable. The main purpose of the translation is to make money for the copyright holder. In order to obtain a copyright, they had to change the KJV in enough places. Had the modern translators’ overall purpose been to make the Bible more understandable, they wouldn’t have changed the KJV where it is perfectly clear, and they would not have copyrighted the end product.
If you use the NKJV as your main study Bible, you have created for yourself a severe handicap. Several of the essential Bible Study tools are not available in the NKJV. There is no Englishman’s Hebrew, or Englishman’s Greek, Concordance for the NKJV. I have not found an Electronic Bible in the NKJV. And, over the years, the Wide Margin NKJV frequently goes out of print, only to come back into print for a short while. Currently, it is again out of print. On the other hand, all these essential Bible Study Tools are available for the original KJV.
Publishers are not in business for their health. If there were a market for NKJV Bible Study Tools, they would publish them, and sell many copies. However, it seems that those who use the NKJV are not very interested in studying their Bibles.
As Francis Schaeffer said, “It is strange that the more the Bible is translated, the less it is read!”
I plan to stick with the King James Version. It is the best English translation available, and the easiest to understand. Prisoners with no other book have learned to read using the KJV. I have identified many of its translation errors. All of the essential Bible Study Tools are available for the KJV. I have memorized many verses in the King James English. I even know what side of the page they are located in my Oxford Wide Margin KJV Bible.
Let us suppose that every so often, computer makers changed the location of certain keys on their computer keyboards. How productive do you think users would be? Yet that is what translators have done with the myriad of modern translations.
We don’t need a new translation. We need a new heart, submissive to the word of God, which is the foundation of knowledge.
— by Richard C. Nickels
Note: For more information, please see, “King James Version Errors” (item 024), “Basic Bible Study Tools,” how to use Bible Helps (item 018), and “KJV Companion” archaic words defined (item 042) available free. Also, Our Authorized Bible Vindicated, by B.G. Wilkinson, 258 pp., $7 plus postage (item B045). Write: Giving & Sharing, PO Box 100, Neck City, MO 64849.
Our brother, John Trescott, died Sabbath Day, March 5, 2005. He was born December 4, 1929 in New York. He spent ten years in the Air Force and worked and lived in Pasadena, CA. and was ordained in 1981. The funeral services were held at the Smith Funeral Home, Anadarko, OK, on Sunday March 13th at 1:00 P.M. He is survived by his wife, Reta. Their address is 900 W. Alabama Ave. Anadarko, OK, 73005
The way I see it, you’ve got to have three things in order for a trip to the movie theater to be completely successful. The first is popcorn with extra butter; the second is something cold and fizzy to drink.
Oh, and it also helps if you’ve got a decent movie to watch, too.
Which is why I was standing in line at the snack bar during a recent foray into filmdom. I was running a few mathematical equations in my mind, trying to calculate how much money you’d have to make before you could look at the prices at a movie theater snack bar without wincing, when I heard something behind me that made me cringe “!@#&*,”, one teenaged boy said to another. “And then we !@#&* and !@#&*,” or words to that effect.
I might not have said anything if the episode had ended right there. But it didn’t. The conversation continued, and was headed in a direction I really didn’t want to go — especially if they were going to drag me along unwillingly. So I turned around, “Excuse me, guys,” I said, kindly but firmly, “but some of us would just as soon not hear that kind of language.”
Since I was more than twice as old — and twice as big — as either of them, I assumed that would be the end of it. Oh, they might glare at me or mutter something to save face in front of all the attention that was suddenly focused upon them. Or they might throw popcorn at me during the movie — I was prepared to deal with something like that. But I wasn’t prepared to have one of the kids lunge at me, spewing linguistic venom and violent threats while his buddy held him back.
Thankfully, the theater manager was in the lobby, and he grabbed the boys and hauled them out of the theater — to the accompaniment of mild applause from those of us standing in line.
I ordered our popcorn and soda and returned to my seat more than a little shaken. The two boys weren’t especially frightening — even together they looked like they’d have a hard time fighting through a thickness of jello. But I was troubled by the reaction to what I had said. I can still see the anger in their eyes. Only it wasn’t anger, really — it was more like hate.
And that’s what bothered me. Those boys didn’t have any reason to hate me. Maybe I embarrassed them a little. And maybe they didn’t like me asking then to tone it down. But that kid wanted a piece of me. He wanted to hurt me. He wanted me dead. At least, that’s what he said.
Where did that come from? I’m afraid it comes from living in a world in which belligerence isn’t just an attitude — it’s almost a way of life. You hear it in popular music. You watch it on TV. You read it in magazines. And you see it in the movies (in between bites of popcorn, of course.)
But while the media probably helps perpetuate the attitude, I’m not sure it is responsible for creating it. That, I’m afraid, is our fault. So many of us look for differences between people when it’s just as easy — and usually much more interesting — to search for similarities.
We demand tolerance for our own eccentricities, but are quick to condemn the idiosyncrasies of others. And forgiveness is a virtue to be cherished — as long as it isn’t our ox that is being gored.
When our kids see that attitude in people they respect, they tend to emulate it. That’s why adults need to start acting like adults. It isn’t enough to tell young people to respect others. We’ve got to show them how to get along despite our deepest differences.
Our lives need to be an enthusiastic endorsement of tolerance and love. Otherwise, we may be condemning the next generation to a desolate future of bitterness and belligerence. And that won’t be a pretty sight to see.
With or without the popcorn.
— by Joseph Walker
© Creators Syndicate
An English professor wrote the words “A woman without her man is nothing” on the blackboard and directed the students to punctuate it correctly.
Punctuation is everything!
A Nation of Broken Children
In January’s issue, I mentioned that there are so many broken children in our nation today, and most of us know of children who are broken, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. A broken child is one who does not function as a normal child. By that I mean they don’t see childhood as a happy innocent time, but a time of depression, resentment, or anger, sometimes acting out destructively toward themselves and others, lonely, lacking love and attention, and so on and so on.
Recently we had a family reunion and it turned out to be a shock lesson for most of those in attendance. We had rented a hall for this occasion and were having a great time enjoying seeing everyone. Everything was fine until we were cleaning up and checking around to make sure lights were off and doors were locked. I went to check the bathroom and was stunned to find small wooden sticks floating in the toilets. Someone had deliberately done this to stop up the plumbing. Further checking around the hall disclosed more damage. There was lip gloss on all the door knobs, profanity written on windows, pictures were off the walls, flower arrangements were destroyed and mail in the office mail slots had been torn open and thrown in the waste basket.
It didn’t take long to find the guilty parties. One 14 year-old admitted to using the lip-gloss and implicated another 16 year-old for the rest of the damage. It was hard to understand why a couple of our teens would want to be so destructive. We shouldn’t have been surprised! The 16 year-old had been in treatment for bi-polar disorder and was on medication (which she didn’t take all the time). In the past she had slashed her arms and had numerous scars up and down her arms. She also was caught sneaking out of her bedroom window at night to meet men she had found on the Internet. The 14 year-old had not been in much trouble before, but she seemed to make wrong choices and would follow others who showed her attention. On this day, the older teen told her to do certain damaging things, just for fun!
The history of these two girls is not pretty, nor pleasant. The older teen was born out of wedlock and raised by her grandparents. Her mother was young when she got pregnant and the young girl never knew her father. Her mother basically rejected taking care of her and her grandparents took up the responsibility. From the time she was very young she seemed withdrawn, surly, and never smiled. She was a beautiful child but she masked her feelings and hardly communicated with anyone. The 14 year-old was also born out of wedlock and her father was never around. She lives with her mother and her mother’s boyfriend
Do you think these situations are unusual and won’t happen in your family? Look around your own group, Church, or organization. Many times at services or Church functions there are young people who don’t represent the way our youth should look, act, or behave. They are immodestly dressed, talk loud, and are rude. Where are their parents? Why do their parents allow them to be at a Church function barely dressed? Where is the respect these young people should be exhibiting? Haven’t they been taught good manners? Your children have grown up in the Church and you have taught them well all their life. I personally know families in the Church of God that have similar problems going on in their family. In too many families, the children have gone off the deep end and as adults, are leading shameful lives. You probably know of a family who is in a similar situation. Their son or daughter has a child or children born out of wedlock, grandparents are forced to raise these children, and the father of the children is nowhere to be seen. Or if he is around he doesn’t support the children and usually can’t hold a decent job himself. The mother also may not work and is not concerned with the welfare of her children, so who raises these children? Sometimes it’s the grandparents or other members of the family who bear this burden while the adult child seems to get off scot-free, neither supporting their children, caring for them, or bearing any responsibility toward the children they brought into the world. (Once in awhile you will hear of a child who had to overcome a painful childhood and has become an excellent and moral adult in spite of their past, but they are not the norm.) In many instances, children are raising children, which doesn’t benefit either one. As far as our nation is concerned, this is truly the greatest problem we have in dealing with family relationships. A lot of these troubled families depend on government aid to help them raise their children, and all this amounts to a heavy burden for weary taxpayers to bear.
Why are our children broken and why can’t we fix them? As I wrote last time, this world is not kind or nice and in a lot of cases the world is raising our children. Do your children watch endless hours of television, spend too much time on the Internet, listen to a lot of sickening deafening music, bend to peer pressure, go the way of the world to their own destruction? (Read Proverbs 30:11-14 which begins, “There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother….”) Do you know who your children’s friends are, what their values are and who do they look to when they need answers? Do you guide them in every aspect of their lives, physically, emotionally and spiritually as they are growing up into adulthood? Do you set the proper example for them, teach them about God at every opportunity, spend time with them, listen to them, steer them away from wrong influences? (Deuteronomy 6:6-7 reads, “Ánd these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart; And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”) Do you pray for your children daily asking God to guide them, protect them and help them in making their choices?
If you are doing all these things, your children have a good chance of growing into good moral adults and are a blessing to you, not causing you shame. (Proverbs 29:15, “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. Verse 17, “Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.”) However, sometimes there are other factors that come into play even if the parents are doing everything right. Many families are divorced, have blended families, or may be a single parent working all the time and have no time for the children. Guess who is raising them — the world! Well-intentioned parents can raise bad children. Parents can have several children all who have grown into good moral responsible adults, but sometimes there’s that one child that doesn’t respond to good parenting and does his own thing, causing much heartache for the family.
What is the way of the world? “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents…,” II Timothy 3:2. Is it any wonder that our children are sick, some broken beyond repair? The 16 year old I told you about earlier is doomed to a miserable world, will never be able to hold a job or take any responsibility for her actions, but she still may have children and continue the damaging and vicious cycle that she has been in all her life. She has no conscience, not able to decipher good or evil, and will have to be on medication just to function and take care of her necessities. There are many levels of bi-polar disorders, and unfortunately she is warped and broken almost beyond repair. Of course, God can heal this sick child if it’s His will. The grandparents seem to be godly people and have tried to raise her properly. They have failed despite all their efforts. Are they responsible? Is the child responsible? Just who is responsible?
Our children are not to blame for the world they live in — the world we created for them. Certainly they are responsible for their actions and they will reap the consequences, whether good or bad. God holds us, their parents, responsible! Even if you don’t have children, you still have a responsibility towards children. In Malachi 4:4-6, God says that the hearts of the fathers are to be turned to the children and that the hearts of the children to their fathers or utter destruction will come upon the earth. Do you think God means what He says in this scripture? The Church rightly understands its commission to go forth into all the world, teaching and baptizing all who will come (Matthew 28:19-20), and to prepare a people before Christ’s return. However, I believe that God will hold us just as responsible if we don’t fulfill our commission to at least make the effort to heal and repair our broken children, the children of this world we live in.
Hear this commission in Malachi. God charges everyone with this responsibility. Make the effort. Reach out to our little ones — teens and young adults. Talk with them and listen to them; set the right example for them; care for them; love them; enjoy them; pray for them. In Matthew 18:3 Jesus said “…Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” In Mark 10:15 Jesus said, “…Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.” I’m not just talking about when you are at Church but anytime you can help a child find his or her way, do so. Don’t try to take the parents’ responsibilities on yourself, but be there for the children. Parents, you too have heard the commission. Do your part for your children, save them while you can so that the world doesn’t destroy them. With God’s help, it’s possible. (Matthew 19:26 says “…but with God all things are possible.”) To all you parents who have made every effort to turn your children toward God’s ways, don’t give up! God doesn’t give up on us but works continuously with us to bring us along the path that we should go. Our children are a reflection of us, so make sure your light shines through them; and if it does, your children will be a blessing to you. May God bless our children and heal the broken ones that need repair.
— by Shelby Faith
The Drug Problem in America
The other day, someone at a store in our town read that a methamphetamine lab had been found in an old farmhouse in the adjoining county and he asked me a rhetorical question, ‘‘Why didn’t we have a drug problem when you and I were growing up?’’
I replied. I had a drug problem when I was young. I was drug to Church on Sunday morning. I was drug to Church for weddings and funerals. I was drug to family reunions and community socials no matter the weather. I was drug by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults. I was also drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie, brought home a bad report card, did not speak with respect, spoke ill of the teacher or the preacher, or if I didn’t put forth my best effort in everything that was asked of me.
I was drug to the kitchen sink to have my mouth washed out with soap if I uttered a profane four-letter word. I was drug out to pull weeds in mom’s garden and flower-beds and cockleburs out of dad’s fields. I was drug to the homes of family, friends, and neighbors to help out some poor soul who had no one to mow the yard, repair the clothesline, or chop some firewood; and if my mother had ever known that I took a single dime as a tip for this kindness, she would have drug me back to the woodshed.
Those drugs are still in my veins; and they affect my behavior in everything I do, say, and think. They are stronger than cocaine, crack, or heroin; and, if today’s children had this kind of drug problem, America would be a better place.
— author unknown
A first grade teacher collected well known proverbs. She had twenty-five students in her class, and she presented each child in her class the first half of a proverb and asked them to come up with the remainder of the proverb. It’s hard to believe these were actually done by first graders. Their insight may surprise you.
1. Don’t change horses ... until they stop running.
2. Strike while the ... bug is close.
3. It’s always darkest before ... Daylight Saving Time.
4. Never underestimate the power of ... termites.
5. You can lead a horse to water but ... how?
6. Don’t bite the hand that ... looks dirty.
7. No news ... impossible.
8. A miss is as good as a ... Mr.
9. You can’t teach an old dog new ... math.
10. If you lie down with dogs, you’ll ... stink in the morning.
11. Love all, trust ... me.
12. The pen is mightier than the ... pigs.
13. An idle mind is ... the best way to relax.
14. Where there’s smoke there’s ... pollution.
15. Happy the bride who ... gets all the presents.
16. A penny saved is ... not much.
17. Two’s company, three’s ... the Musketeers.
18. Don’t put off until tomorrow what ... you put on to go to bed.
19. Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and ... you have to blow your nose.
20. There are none so blind as ... Stevie Wonder.
21. Children should be seen and not ... spanked or grounded.
22. If at first you don’t succeed ... get new batteries.
23. You get out of something only what you ... see in the picture on the box.
24. When the blind lead the blind ... get out of the way.
JESUS –THE LIGHT Youth Bible
Study: Ages 8-12 Look up the
scriptures below and fill in the blanks. Then Jesus spoke to them again saying, “I am
the ___________of the world.” (John 8:12) “You are the
_________ of the world.” (Matthew 5:14) “Let your light so ___________ before men,
that they may see your _________ works and glorify our Father in
Heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) In the space below draw
pictures of objects that give light such as sun, light bulb, firefly: Lesson: Jesus said He was the light of
the world and He said we are also to be lights to the world. How can we be
lights to the world? By doing good works. In the space below write some
good works you can do to show your light to others. _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________
JESUS –THE LIGHT
Youth Bible Study: Ages 8-12
Look up the scriptures below and fill in the blanks.
Then Jesus spoke to them again saying, “I am the ___________of the world.” (John 8:12)
“You are the _________ of the world.” (Matthew 5:14)
“Let your light so ___________ before men, that they may see your _________ works and glorify our Father in Heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
In the space below draw pictures of objects that give light such as sun, light bulb, firefly:
Jesus said He was the light of the world and He said we are also to be lights to the world. How can we be lights to the world? By doing good works. In the space below write some good works you can do to show your light to others.
Celebrating weddings, anniversaries, graduations from school, promotions, baptisms or other significant accomplishments and events are some of the most joyous occasions in our lives. Such activities are planned with great anticipation as we share our happiness with others. We discuss what the future will hold and what will come next. We come away from these events even more motivated to continue “onward and upward.” It is also a time to reflect back on the blessings we have received, thanking God and friends for their help along the way.
This spring, we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the United Church of God! There has been a lot of hard work accomplished in order to reach this point and there is much to be grateful for.
I find it motivational to look back to where we started and compare it to where we are today. We give God the glory and honor for the many blessings we have received and acknowledge that our strength comes only through obedience to Him in following the lead of the Holy Spirit. The Bible encourages us to “know the state of your flocks,” (Proverbs 27:23), and that applies spiritually as well. Perhaps considering our past will help us to know how we need to move forward. Below are some facts and figures about the last 10 years for us to consider:
In 1995 the first Holy Day we observed as an organization was the Feast of Pentecost with a U.S. attendance of 11,726. That same year, we had 27 Feast of Tabernacles sites around the world, and approximately 17,458 in attendance. In 2004 we had 55 Feast sites and 20,487 in attendance.
In 1995 we started with two publications — New Beginnings (which became United News) and The Good News magazine. Currently we have six regular periodicals (Good News, United News, World News and Prophecy, Vertical Thought, Virtual Christian Magazine, and Ministerial Quarterly), 31 booklet titles, 21 reprint articles, a sermon tape program, six official Web sites and various other publications.
In 1995 we had just over 400 elders serving the brethren. In 2005 we have almost 450. Currently we have approximately 92 pastors, associate pastors and assistant pastors serving 217 congregations in the United States. We have approximately 45 other employed ministers serving more than 150 congregations, video groups and Bible study groups in countries outside the United States. (Accurate figures for 1995 are unavailable, since ministers and congregations joined United on a consistent basis throughout the last half of the year.)
Starting from nothing, in cramped rented office space in Arcadia, California, we now own the building that houses our home office in Cincinnati, with administrative, media and mailing operations. It is also the home for the Ambassador Bible Center and the Cincinnati East congregation. There is room for growth, and we have needed to take advantage of that already. We are now in our sixth year of offering a postsecondary, seven-month intensive program in the study of the Bible at the Ambassador Bible Center. So far, approximately 200 students have been provided a thorough foundation in the Bible, better equipping them to serve in congregations and in the work of the Church. In addition, hundreds of brethren have participated in ABC samplers and mini-samplers across the United States and in other countries. We anticipate ABC continuing to have a positive impact!
United sponsors two cable-access television programs that are locally produced by elders and brethren — Tomorrow and Good News Television. Also, Good News Radio is a third vehicle by which the gospel goes onto the airwaves. Once the new media center is finished, our capabilities in these areas will be enhanced.
Thousands of young people (as well as adult staff) have participated in our youth camp program, which now includes eight summer and winter teen camps, and seven regional preteen camps in the United States, plus several more internationally. Additionally, there are dozens of local and regional activities every year.
We have much to be thankful for collectively and individually. We also have room for growth before we reach the “unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect [full-grown] man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ,” Ephesians 4:13. Let us give diligent attention to where we have been and to where we need to go. As ancient Israel and New Testament Christians have done throughout the centuries, let us rededicate ourselves to God the Father, following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.
In Christ’s service,
United Church of God
Crystal star snow falling through the air
Lands in Crystal’s hair.
Crystal running, laughing, rolling
Playing in the crystal snow.
The crystal sun’s shinning crystal bright.
The crystal stars in the crystal night.
The crystal heaven and the crystal earth.
The Crystal Lord and the Crystal birth.
The world after the Lord returns
will be like this.
Wonderful, no sin, no sadness, only gladness.
— by Stephen Kieler
Cedar Rapids , IA
We are excited to report the grand opening of the “Close to You American School” in El Salvador! Morning classes with daycare available in the afternoon started for children ages 18 months to seven years on January 17, 2005. We currently have 46 students enrolled and we expect to accept up to 55 this year. We are renting a large house in Santa Tecla, a suburb of San Salvador.
We are proud to announce that not only were we able to open the facility, but we expect to be almost completely financially self-supporting due to charging the majority of our students a modest monthly tuition, as is the norm for private schools in EI Salvador. We have two students, Stanley (a 3 year-old boy), and Jimena (a 6 year-old girl), who are attending tuition-free. Six students are receiving a discount.
We were able to purchase a new All-in-One ink jet printer and three new Dell desktop computers to get our students started. We also purchased a used gas stove, a new microwave, and a new small refrigerator for our kitchen to prepare snacks for our students and lunches for our daycare children. We were required to put in electrified razor wire, and an electric alarm system, to protect the equipment stored in the house (the school is on a busy street with a reputation for crime). We have contracted four teachers to cover six grade levels, and one teacher’s assistant. The teachers also help out with the daily cleaning.
Now that the school is operating, our needs have changed. We have been told that we are the largest early childhood educational facility in the area, and we expect to grow next year.
Other projects completed in 2004 include the purchase of eyeglasses for three senior citizens that live in poor areas on a volcano, and the annual purchase of school supplies for grade and high school age children (to date, over 30 students have received supplies and/or help with book purchases and tuition payments).
We thank you for your continued belief in and support of our projects. You can follow the progress of our students throughout the year at (www.closetoyouinc.org).
If you would like to make a donation, please send it to 3316 Alberta Drive, Gillette, WY 82718. You may contact us at 307-686-5191 or E-mail email@example.com.
— by Barbara Parada
Close to You, Inc.
A police recruit was asked during the exam, “What would you do if you had to arrest your own mother?” He said, “Call for backup.”
The Way It Was…
There is No Crime in Clare
Clare, a town in Iowa which has always had the reputation as one of the roughest in the county, is really one in the most moral, and according to the claim of Supervisor P. M. Cain, who hails from the little city on the northwest, it can show a record that cannot be approached in virtue by any other city of the county in any particular. With regard to the matter, he said to a Messenger representative: “They can say what they will about Clare, but nevertheless that town can show a record that cannot be approached in the way of morality and absence of crime. It is a fact that there never has been a Clare man incarcerated in the county jail. It is also a fact that there has never been a serious crime committed within the borders of the town. There is not one name from Clare on the list of the county poor and there is not another town of its size in the county that can show a temperance society with as large a membership as is held in the Clare Temperance League, which has 150 names on its roll book.
“There are three saloons in the town, I will admit, and that looks bad for a city the size of Clare. But it must be taken into consideration that there are two dry counties that come to Clare for their liquid refreshments, and it is these people who really give the greater part of the support to the liquor business. There is Pocahontas, which is a temperance county, on the west, and on the north, Humboldt. The people from these counties come to Clare with their tongues hanging out, and when they do get filled up, they are a bad lot.
“Of course, there are a lot of people in Clare who take their liquidations pretty regularly, but when you come right down to the facts of the case, there is less of rowdyism in Clare than in many of the cities of the county that bear a better reputation. And it is a fact that there is actually no real crime. There is no doubt of the fact, too, that there is a tendency in the city toward a reform, and there is less of the ordinary rowdyism now than there was a year or two ago. The town is improving in moral tone all the time which cannot be said of many of the other places of the county.”
— by Carol Foltz
Since the shooting, [see Church News page 4] LCG’s Wayne Pyle reported, “In recent weeks, the lcg.org Web site has been receiving about 3,000 visitor sessions each weekend. Well, this past weekend the Web site logged more than 48,000 visitor sessions — 16 times above normal! Typically, weekend visitors view about 10,000 pages, but this past weekend the count jumped to more than 284,000 pages! Our inquisitive visitors downloaded more than 16,000 copies of the Church’s Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs. In total, visitors downloaded 12.6 gigabytes of material from the site this past weekend, compared to the typical 8 gigabytes that are downloaded. We also experienced a 78 percent increase in visits to our tomorrowsworld.org site. While the increases in our Web activity are especially encouraging, although perhaps fleeting, there are other growth statistics in this Work that are quite substantial. Our Tomorrow’s World subscriber circulation around the world has now passed 256,000, which is 33 percent above a year ago. Our Tomorrow’s World television program in the United States and Canada is really booming. So far, for the year-to-date, our response counts from TV viewers are up 55 percent over a year ago. First-time callers among TV viewers, who request the Church’s literature, audiotapes, CDs, Bible Study Course lessons and so forth, are up 71 percent over last year. Church membership on our master file is up 4.9 percent this year. The number of co-workers who voluntarily support this Work has risen 17 percent this year compared to a year ago. Tens of thousands of TV viewers and Tomorrow’s World magazine subscribers are reaching out to the Living Church of God to get spiritual guidance and make sense out of a confused world. In less than three months more than 100,000 booklets, audiotapes, CDs and other Christian-living materials have been requested and mailed around the world. More literature was sent out in the past two and a half months than everything we mailed during our first 20 months six years ago. Our most recent semiannual subscriber letter generated more than 28,000 requests for our brand new booklet, The Ten Commandments. We believe enormous good is being produced by the Living Church of God, and the results are significant, especially for all the many lives that have been so greatly benefited. As Jesus commanded His disciples in Matthew 10:8: “Freely ye have received, freely give.” The Living Church of God is a work of love, albeit a work in progress, but progress indeed! We are now poised for one of the greatest leaps ever for the Church of God. Beginning April 4, we plan to begin airing the Tomorrow’s World television program daily on the Inspiration Network’s two international satellites, Eurobird and Hotbird 6. These satellites reach the entire continent of Europe, the United Kingdom, northern Africa and the Middle East. Stay tuned!”
LCG’s new Bible Hymnal arrived at my house in early April. It looks like the original purple hymnal that our video group has used for the past 9 plus years, which is the same 1974 hymnal we used in WCG. The additional Hymns seem to be ones that HWA had the Young Ambassadors sing.
The hymnal is hard cover and has a picture of the Charlotte, North Carolina headquarters building of the Living Church of God. LCG is pleased to now have its own hymnal as its congregations have used a combination of old Worldwide Church of God (WCG) hymnals and loose sheets for years. Since we are not part of WCG, having our own hymnal will be less likely to confuse visitors, since our previous hymnals suggest that we are part of WCG (as they say Worldwide Church of God in large letters on the outside cover). Members of most other Church of God fellowships would find the songs in the new LCG hymnal quite familiar.
— submitted by Robert Thiel
The hardest years in life are those between ten and seventy.
— by Helen Hayes (at 73)
Every time I close the door on reality it comes in through the windows.
— by Jennifer Unlimited
The Heartland Church of God in Tonganoxie, KS, hosted a seminar event on Saturday, March 19th, 2005. The guest speaker was Steven Kieler of Fort Dodge, Iowa. Steven and his wife, Suzanne, were featured guests at dinner the evening before at a local restaurant in Leavenworth. Also attending dinner were Keith and Natalie Mackey of Tulsa, OK, and twelve members of the Heartland Church of God.
The Sabbath program drew approximately 70 people from the community as well as other Sabbath-keeping groups. Of those 70, about 25% were not Sabbath-keepers. Mr. Kieler’s seminar was entitled “Where Are We in Prophecy?”
For special music, Natalie Mackey sang “Jerusalem” and The Heartland Children’s Choir sang “Give Thanks” while being accompanied by guitar, clarinet, and trombone. Guests were invited to stay for finger foods and fellowship after the program, and Mr. Kieler led an informal Bible study. Many of the questions and comments were offered by those who are not currently Sabbath-keepers.
It was a joyous day, and we offer all praise and thankfulness to God for allowing this opportunity to witness in His name.
— by Cliff and Tina Packard
To the Editor…
We are a would-be home Church. We’ve tried to get people to attend a home Bible study with little to no results. Home Church is the Bible pattern and it is the only way the Church at large, worldwide, will survive the coming tribulation. There are many, many other people scattered across the globe like us. Maybe we can be of encouragement to others. So you may publish this letter if you want. The name of our Church is simply, Jesus People Assembly. Pray for us. We meet Friday evenings at 7:00 P.M. and Jesus meets with us according to Mathew 18:20.
— by Al and Cathy Van Dyk
PO Box 1035, Bella Vista, CA 96008
Cancer — Basic Facts
Most cancers are preventable!
New research is confirming that the small choices we make each day have an important impact on our cancer risk. Sixty to seventh percent of all cancer cases have been directly linked to our daily dietary and lifestyle habits.
Simple Steps to Prevent Cancer:
1. Choose plant-based foods. Vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains contain natural substances that help our bodies destroy carcinogens before they cause cancer. Every time you reach for an apple, you hare helping your body protect itself from cancer.
2. Fruits and vegetables are the most important part of a plant-based diet. If the only change people made was to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, cancer rates could drop as much as 20 percent.
3. Maintain a healthy weight and be physically active.
4. Drink alcohol only in moderation, if at all. “Moderation” means that women should have no more than one drink a day, and men should have no more than two drinks a day.
5. Select foods low in fat and salt. Choose moderate amounts of monounsaturated fats such as olive oil.
6. Prepare and store food safely. When cooking meats, poultry, and fish, it’s best to use lower heat options like baking, poaching, stewing, and roasting. Cooking on an open flame at high temperatures causes cancer-promoting substances called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) to form on the surface of meats. In addition, when fat drips into the fire, the smoke and flames that rise up onto the food leave behind carcinogenic substances called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Marinating meats can prevent this formation of HCAs by as much as 90 percent. Precook meats in the oven and finish up on the grill, avoid “flare-ups,” keep juices from dripping into the fire, and choose lean meats when grilling.
— These guidelines come from the landmark research report, Food, Nutrition, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective, published in 1997 by the American Institute of Cancer Research. This report is an analysis of over 4,500 studies on diet and cancer prevention, the most comprehensive report ever done on this topic.
Spiritual Truth by R. Stedman…
The battle to “overcome” is found in the mirror. There is no physical or external enemy on this earth that can prevent your spiritual growth. Your only true enemies are the ignorance, licentiousness, and arrogance that arise from inside you.
His true sacrifice was not the cross. His true sacrifice was taking on the sins of all men and by doing so, for the first time, He was separated from His Father. This was a pain far greater than any crucifixion ever imagined.
“Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life.” “Surely” denotes a fact as certain as it is comforting. Too good to be true? No. God is much too good not to be true.
The battle for spiritual maturity is the war that no one wants to fight, for this is the cross, and from the suffering of the cross, most people draw back. As the death of self looms into view, even the valiant shriek and run.
The fold of everlasting life is refined in an inferno of earthly evil. You cannot blow this fire out. And if you could, you would extinguish your own chance for spiritual perfection.
It is far easier to accuse a man of visible evil, than to kill the disguised carnality in your own heart.
Feast of Tabernacles
October 18, thru 25, 2005
Lake Texoma, OK
Contact: Steve Kieler