Church of God News
Positive News of the Churches of God
Just the Facts, Just the Facts
While testing my DVD player in my new computer, I decided to play “Dragnet” starring Jack Webb as Sergeant Joe Friday. During the investigation of a case, he told the witness “just the facts.” He only wanted the basic facts to assist in his case, so he could come to an accurate conclusion to the case. But do we, as Christians, use only facts when we research topics in the Bible, such as who and what is God? At times, we add our opinions or speculations and not facts. The Bible has something to say on this topic.
In I Thessalonians 5:21, Paul wrote, “Prove [test] all things; hold fast that which is good.”
One example of earlier Christians carrying out this command is recorded in Acts 17:11, “These [people in Berea] were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”
In II Timothy 3:16-17, Paul told Timothy that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
In Isaiah 28:10, we learn “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.”
Also in II Timothy 2:15, Paul again told Timothy, “Study [be diligent] to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” We are to handle the Word of God correctly, in both examination and presentation.
In verses 14 and 16 of this chapter, Paul explains why we should accurately divide the Word of Truth by stating, “…they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers…but shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.”
When one engages in word battles, wordy controversies, and quibbling words, it has no profit to either the one doing it or the hearer, and can be very harmful to both. This quarreling of doctrines and ideas can only increase ungodly behavior, divisions, and attitudes.
Even Paul’s epistles can be misunderstood as Peter wrote in II Peter 3:16, “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction.”
We are to be diligent in our study of God’s Word, and use facts that are present in the Bible and general knowledge such as history. We are to be aware of our thoughts that are only speculations or theories.
So next time you do a Bible study, remember the saying “just the facts” and your understanding of the topic that you are studying will be more complete and accurate.
— by Doyle J. Carter
Korah, Uzza, and the Rock Island Line
Korah of the tribe of Levi and his co-conspirators Dathan, Abiram, and one of the sons of Reuben gathered two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, and confronted Moses and Aaron. They challenged their authority to lead Israel saying, “…Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD?” Numbers 16:3.
What a masterful thing to say. They were able to appeal to the vanity of the “wannabees,” those who desired power and authority equal to Moses and Aaron; and, at the same time, not relinquish one bit of their own influence. Here we have the sin of presumption and its evil twin, arrogance, blatantly displayed.
Moses’ reaction is recorded in Verse 4 “And when Moses heard it, he fell upon his face.”
Is the working of pretenders, usurpers, false prophets, and deceivers subtler today, or are we less able to discern? Either way, the problem must be squarely faced. Paul addressed the persistent problem in his day thus: I Corinthians 4:1-9 “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God. And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. For who maketh thee to differ from another? And what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you. For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.”
This directive is truly important. I would highly recommend an in-depth study of these verses, because it is said that Paul’s writings are hard to understand.
What would happen if we had a Moses, or a Paul, or a Jeremiah in the Church today? Would the modern day Korahs persist in their prideful positions? Would their followers “see the light” and escape as many did when Korah and company were swallowed by the earth? Numbers 16:34 “And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also.”
Now we come to the disturbing story of Uzzah being smitten for touching the ark.
II Samuel 6:6-7 “And when they came to Nachon’s threshing floor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.”
David was distraught, as we are, at this well-intentioned act to protect the Ark from damage. There are many lessons here, but one that may escape us is that the Ark was the protective container of the law. Even the Levites had strict regulations regarding its protection and administration. It would appear that Uzza’s intentions were good, but no one was allowed to touch it (or tamper with it), not to gain power, for gain, out of pride, and not even for good intentions. God is perfectly capable of protecting (interpreting) His property or specifically appointing person(s) to have limited powers. He didn’t need Uzzah and He doesn’t need you or I. If there are any questions, go back and read the account of Korah.
The Rock Island Line
There was a song written many years ago, when the railroads were mighty, that makes a great parallel and a very good lesson.
“The Rock Island Line is a mighty good road.
The Rock Island Line is the road to ride.
The Rock Island Line is a mighty good road.
And if you want to ride it
Got to ride it like you find it
Get your ticket at the station
On The Rock Island Line.”
If you get a ticket to ride, that doesn’t give you the throttle, make you a switchman, brakeman, or conductor. You don’t even get to throw a little coal on the fire.
Is that any way to run a railroad? You bet it is.
Is that any way to run a religion? I think so.
A train recently crashed in Japan. Presumably, the engineer was a very young and inexperienced lad who had taken a curve too fast trying to make up thirty seconds he was behind schedule.
Everybody wants to be an engineer.
— by Steven J. Kieler
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Blessings in Disguise
Each hard thing in our lives is a blessing in disguise
For they are only trials, and they can only make us wise.
This morning as I was singing an old, old gospel song
I felt the spirit of my God — I knew I wasn’t alone.
God’s presence was there, and it was completely all around
He lifted my weary spirit, and sweet peace I joyfully found.
Sometimes my pain and sickness bring me to my knees
But in good times or bad times I must always try to please.
The One who holds the future — the One who holds today
The One who lifts my spirits high each time I kneel to pray.
So I must turn discouragement into courage for the day
And trust in God, for He is true, and pull from Satan’s sway.
Sometimes I often wonder, “Why Lord, tell me why?”
And then He gently whispers, “They’re blessings in disguise!”
— by Santa Fe Parton
Christopher Hitchens, the British writer who has fallen in love with American neoconservatives, recently said this about people of faith: “I can’t stand anyone who believes in God, who invokes the divinity, or who is a person of faith. I mean, that, to me, is a horrible, repulsive thing.”
Well, it doesn’t really matter what the old-left, born-again neoconservatives think. I cite the quotation, from a radio interview in the United Kingdom, to set the stage for the point that atheism and Darwinism are matters of faith, not scientific fact. They are rationalizations for another form of secular faith: materialism.
It is impossible to prove there is no God, just as it has so far been impossible to prove that life began as a single cell in some primordial pond. If either of these beliefs was just a matter of reason and science, then the people who hold it would feel no hostility against those who disagree with them. But, as my example shows, they are hostile to people who disagree with them.
The atheist-Darwinist-materialist acts exactly like the religious zealots he professes to scorn. He is evangelical, dogmatic, and tends to view people who disagree with him as either idiots or enemies. It seems that humans are incapable of living without faith. They just have different gods.
Intelligent design is a far more plausible theory than the belief that life in all its incredible profusion and complexity is a mere accident. There is no fossil evidence of any species ever becoming another species. What the fossil records show is exactly what mankind has seen since we learned to write: Some species die out. Some don’t. Occasionally, some genetic mutation will cause a slight change in some life form, but never to the extent of creating a new form of life. The fact that one occasionally sees an albino squirrel does not mean that all of squirreldom will become white.
The war between materialists and people of faith has gone on for millennia. It is going on today. There are very important philosophical differences between the two camps. The materialist believes he has no responsibility to take care of others. That’s why Darwinism and its survival-of-the-fittest claim were seized upon by the materialists as a perfect rationalization of their selfishness. People of faith, however, feel a God-given responsibility to help their fellow human beings.
Every tyranny has been materialistic, though some tyrannies are frequently disguised with a false altruistic covering. As we have seen in communist countries both past and present, the reality contradicts theory. The reality is rule by an oligarchy that enslaves the population. As George Orwell so perceptively saw, everybody is equal, but some are more equal than others. In the Soviet Union, the aristocracy was replaced by the Communist Party leadership, and the top communist acted with the same absolutism as the czars of old. The communist czars, however, were a million times more murderous than the old czars.
Today, the selfish materialists have trotted out another god — the free market. The market, these people claim, if left free will always make rational economic decisions. Once again, reality contradicts theory. Unregulated capitalism will make the rich extremely rich and the poor extremely poor. “Rational” and “moral” are two different and unrelated things. In the unregulated early days of capitalism, industrialism created hellish conditions for the workingmen and women. The capitalist, unless constrained by religious faith or, in the absence of that, government regulation, can be as ruthless and brutal as any commissar. It may be rational to close a factory in America and move it to a country where desperate people will work for pennies, but it darn sure isn’t moral.
Keep in mind the bet as expressed by the French genius Blaise Pascal: If you bet there is no God and you win, you win nothing, but if you lose, you lose everything. If you bet there is a God and you win, you win everything, and if you lose, you lose nothing. Rationally speaking, God is the best bet.
I prefer to live in a country of people of faith rather than in a country of people like Christopher Hitchens. People who claim there is no God intend to play God themselves, with us as their subjects.
— by Charley Reese
© C. King Features Syndicate
A Bit of History …
The Year 1905
This will boggle your mind. I know it did mine!
The year is 1905. One hundred years ago. What a difference a century makes!
Here are some of the U.S. statistics for the Year 1905:
The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47 years.
Only 14 percent of the homes in the U.S. had a bathtub.
Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars.
There were only 8,000 cars in the U.S., and only 144 miles of paved roads.
The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee each were more heavily populated than California.
With a mere 1.4 million people, California was only the 21st most populous state in the Union.
The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower!
The average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents per hour.
The average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
A competent accountant could expect to earn $2,000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
More than 95 percent of all births in the U.S. took place at home.
Ninety percent of all U.S. doctors had no college education.
Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as “substandard.”
Sugar cost four cents a pound.
Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.
Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.
Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.
Five leading causes of death in the U.S. were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
4. Heart disease
The American flag had only 45 stars.
Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Alaska hadn’t been admitted to the Union yet.
The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was only 30!!!
Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and ice tea hadn’t been invented yet.
There was no Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.
Two out of every 10 U.S. adults couldn’t read or write.
Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores. Back then pharmacist said, “Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health.” (Shocking!)
Eighteen percent of households in the U.S. had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.
There were about 230 reported murders in the entire U.S.
And with the Internet speed today, information can be relayed in a matter of seconds. Try to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years. It staggers the mind.
Did You Know…
Money isn’t made out of paper; it’s made out of cotton.
The 57 on Heinz ketchup bottle represents the varieties of pickles the company once had.
The dot over the letter ‘i’ is called a “tittle.”
Blessed Are the Pure in Heart
God doesn’t look on a person’s television image when He decides who are pure in heart. In fact, those who appear to be doing God’s will may be a long way from Him.
“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God,” Matthew 5:8.
As Jesus looked down the mountain where He was teaching His disciples, He saw among the multitude at the bottom many who were pure in heart. These were people who were downtrodden by the self-righteous Pharisees and the Roman government, yet whose lives were filled with seeking God’s will. They weren’t particularly special: indeed they were likely men and women in the autumn of their years, wrinkled with the cares of their age, who prayed daily for the Messiah to come and relieve them and their families of their plight.
As Jesus looked down, perhaps the disciples did too. Did Peter, the impetuous, assume Rabbi Jacobs was among the pure in heart? Did Andrew think Jesus might be speaking of the tall and handsome Mr. Levinson? Perhaps some of the disciples even thought Jesus was speaking of themselves.
When God sent Samuel to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the next king over Israel, Samuel looked at Eliab and said, “This one is surely God’s choice. He’s tall. He’s strong. He’s handsome. Just the kind of person the people will look for in a king.”
“But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart,” I Samuel 16:7. Today God might say, “Don’t look at his television image.”
God sees into the heart — the mind — of you and me and knows what we think. I’m sure He finds many people who appear to be doing God’s will, but whose hearts are far from Him. Isaiah spoke of them when he prophesied, “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near Me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor Me, but have removed their heart far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the precept of men,” Isaiah 29:13. (Politicians, who haven’t darkened a Church door for years, suddenly become “life-long members” of this or that prestigious Church at election time. That is respect toward God as taught by the advice of their human advisors.)
Jesus upheld Isaiah’s prophecy when the Scribes and Pharisees challenged Him about His disciples. Jesus said, “Howbeit in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do,” Mark 7:7-8.
Here were the Pharisees, considered to be the most righteous men in the land, being told their hearts were far from God. If Jesus were here today, one might wonder what He would say of the televangelists who claim to be ministers of God, but whose prayers seem predicated on the size of the individual’s offering.
You needn’t look far to find a little widow lady whose heart is right with God, who believes this or that tele-ministry is God’s work, and supports it with a check every time the minister pleads, “Please don’t let this work go off the air.” She may be deceived but her heart is pure.
How can you know whether your heart is pure? The psalmist, David, gives us a clue. He wrote, “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully,” Psalm 24:3-4.
If your hands are clean of taking bribes, or doing ungodly things; if you haven’t put the emptiness of the world ahead of the things of God; if your word can be trusted at all times; then you are likely among those of whom Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”
— by Leslie A. Turvey
© Used by permission
James Robert “Bob” Worthen
James Robert Worthen was a member of the Worldwide Church of God for the past 53 years, and served as a deacon for over 30 years. Pallbearers were Mark, Wynn, and Wesley Worthen, Michael Wilson, James Ellis, and Harold Roe. Visitation was from 6 to 8 P.M. on Saturday, July 2, 2005 at the Croley Funeral Home in Gladewater, TX.
Recently I flew over to Perth in Western Australia (the distance between Brisbane and Perth is greater than Moscow to London!).
I had a great time with my folks, sister, nieces and great-nephew and great-nieces.
I must say that I am very impressed with Perth as a city — so clean, well planned, fantastic private and public transport network, so much to do and see — and the posh areas are really posh compared to some others I have seen.
While there, I received several invitations to visit the Living Church of God (they have 30-40 in attendance). The UCG has about 10 I am told. At LCG services I met people whom I have known since 1977/78 and others since the early 1990s. Services, the fellowship and the video sermon by Dr. Meredith were fantastic. Toward the end of his sermon, Dr. Meredith lamented that lording it over is still going on and gave some examples.
Private fellowship on several occasions with the LCG brethren reminded me of the good old days when members were genuinely interested in God's Word and were eager to discuss it.
All-in-all, it was a very successful trip.
— Regards, Craig White
I am forwarding some photos of the children in our home. You see the picture of Kavidas who is less than four years old. The scars on his face have a sad story. He lost both his parents and his custody was given to his relatives. The man, who reluctantly took Kavidas, thought he was a sign of misfortune, and because of him the parents died. Well, it’s quiet illogical to blame the child’s birth for the death of parents.
In India, these things are prevailing, and they blame it on karma. Karma is the destiny maker given to mankind, which is a Hindu philosophy. Down through the ages, karma was corrupted, and unwanted yokes and burdens were added to suit greed and the powerful. These unwanted burdens should not hurt the child. That is where we came into the picture, and helped this child.
You see the scar marks on Kavidas face are quite distinct on this poor little child. His relative who is an alcoholic dragged him on the floor. When he came to our home, the wound had not been treated. We gave him all the attention we could. He had lots of nightmares and urinating in the night. He is recovering and now he needs your prayers and love. Please pray for our work too. I would give further case studies of children in the near future. Please pray that our temporary living area gets some shape.
— by M. R. Hubert
5 Budda Street
Madras 600024 India
The time you depart and the time you arrive are so inextricable bound. I know you despise me reminding you thus. I guess I’m an obstinate hound.
But even a puppy’s aware of the fact that time rarely ever stands still, and trying to speed to recover the time doesn’t work even going downhill.
So don’t put your faith in clocks that deceive, or warp drive of Scotty’s design. Just five minutes sooner departing the house you’ll find you can get there on time.
— by John Girdley, Fort Dodge, IA
The P-word has been in the news lately.
You know, that one word. The one that makes certain folks — especially those who work in the national media and in Hollywood — squirm. Many of them would be more comfortable broadcasting all seven of George Carlin’s “Seven Words You Can’t Say on Television” than broadcasting one news story, television program, or feature film in which the word “prayer” is used in something other than a punch line.
And yet, during the past week we’ve seen that word a lot in stories about an 11-year boy who was lost in the mountains during a Scouting encampment. We heard about the prayers that were being offered in his behalf during the four days he was lost, and we heard about the prayers that were answered when he was found.
“People say that the heavens are closed and that God no longer answers prayers,” the boy’s mother said shortly after a tearful reunion with her son. “We are here to unequivocally tell you that the heavens are not closed, prayers are answered and children come home.”
Hear that sound? That’s the sound of serious squirming in newsrooms and Hollywood.
Of course, I squirmed a little when I heard her say that, too — but not because I’m at all uncomfortable with her message. Like more than 70 percent of Americans, I believe. Prayer is part of my daily life, and I’ve seen answers to prayer that would make your knees bend. But as she made the statement, my mind went immediately to the family of another Scout who was lost in the same mountains last year — and never found. They are praying people, too, and they have spent hours on their knees pleading with God in behalf of their lost boy. Why was one set of prayers answered so extraordinarily, while the other prayers have, so far, been met with silence?
I don’t pretend to know why. God alone knows, and so far, He’s not telling.
But I’m in awe of the response to this year’s miracle by the family of last year’s tragedy. The father was one of the first to volunteer to help with the search for this year’s lost Scout. His expertise in organizing and conducting mountain searches, gained after a year of bitter experience, was invaluable to the process of searching and finding. And this year’s family expressed profound appreciation for the emotional support last year’s family offered throughout the anxious hours, helping them to cope with feelings and emotions only they could understand.
Other than this year’s family, no one was more joyful at the happy outcome than last year’s family. They celebrated the miracle with bittersweet tears of joyful sorrow. Then they dried their tears, rolled up their sleeves, and prepared to resume their search for their still-lost son.
Praying all the while.
How do you maintain such faith under such dire circumstances? Another question for which I have no answer. Clearly, faith isn’t for wimps. It isn’t like science, with definitive answers and predictable absolutes. There is no such thing as The First Law of Thermofaith, holding that for every act of prayerful faith there is an equal and opposite positive reaction. It doesn’t work that way. If it did, we wouldn’t need faith, would we? We could just pray and get whatever we want. And we all know what happens to children who get everything they want, don’t we? Who wants to live in a world with a bunch of spiritually spoiled brats?
When it comes right down to it, faith is about bending our will to God’s, trusting that His eternal perspective is infinitely superior to our limited, mortal view. Building and maintaining faith isn’t easy — it never has been. That’s why it’s so inspiring when we see how others flex their faith and speak openly and publicly about stuff like — you know — the p-word. Even if it makes some powerful people squirm.
— by Joseph Walker
© Creators Syndicate
Letter to the Editor…
Shalom Friends, Thank you for the most welcome newsletter. It will make good reading — to catch up on our very rich past. We are a small group of Nazarene Israelites living here in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. A large percentage of our members come from the WWCoG and its offshoots. We are very thankful to Mr. H.W. Armstrong for teaching us about the Human Potential so many years ago. We still believe in YHWH’s plan of Salvation for all mankind as taught to us by Mr. Armstrong. Kindly keep in touch, and most of all keep doing “the work” like we are.
The expression heebie jeebies, for a feeling of nervousness, fright or worry, is believed to have been coined by cartoonist Billie DeBeck (1890 to 1942) although its basis is unknown. One guess is that it’s a perversion of the creeps. More likely it’s based on the name of a dance called the Heebie-Jeebies that was popular in the 1920s and that was inspired by a song of the same name. The dance is American Indian in ancestry and represents the incantations made by Red Indian witch doctors before a sacrifice.
Establishing the Children…
In ancient times, long before Jesus was born as a baby and walked on the earth, there was a great nation of people, whom God highly favored. He called them “His People” and He made a covenant with them. If they would keep His laws and commandments, He would take care of all their needs, heal them, prosper their lands and flocks, and keep them safe from all their enemies. (Exodus 15:26, 19:1-8; Leviticus 26:46).
This nation was composed of descendants of a man named Jacob. Later God changed Jacob’s name to “Israel” and his descendants were called Israelites, (Genesis 35:10). Israel had twelve sons and they multiplied, became very numerous and grew into a large nation.
Yet while they were still a small family, a severe famine went through their land. They went into Egypt to seek food and stayed there. As the years went by, and they multiplied even more, the Egyptians became fearful that they would become too powerful. Egypt made slaves of the Israelites, and they were no longer free people.
The Israelites were in bondage to the Egyptians about 430 years, (Exodus 12:40). During that time, they were severely afflicted and beaten down by their masters. Finally they remembered God and started crying out to Him for deliverance. God heard their cries, and chose a man named Moses to deliver them.
Through many miracles of God, Moses finally led the Israelites out of Egypt. At last after so many long years, Israel was free of their Egyptian masters and free to worship God, as He wanted them to do! God made His covenant with them, and the people said they would do all that God wanted them to do, (Exodus 19:5, and Exodus 24:7). God told them how He would bless them for keeping all His laws, but also told them that if they didn’t keep them, there would be curses, (Deuteronomy 28). God gave Israel His Commandments on two tablets of stone (Exodus 20) along with other laws. He commanded that Israel was to keep certain holy days during the year, along with the weekly Sabbath of rest.
As Israel wandered in the wilderness, they began sinning against God’s laws and would no longer listen to Moses. God kept them in the wilderness forty years until that sinning generation had all died. Their children were finally brought forth into the Promised Land, a land blessed by God and full of good things for them, (Joshua 1).
God told Israel to plant crops in the Promised Land, and after these crops were harvested in the fall of the year, they were to observe and celebrate a festival called the Feast of Ingathering, which was to last for seven days. During this time they were to make temporary dwellings from branches, and live in them for those days. This was to remind Israel of the time they were in the wilderness and dwelt in tents. Another name for this festival is the Feast of Booths. Eventually this festival was called the Feast of Tabernacles (meaning temporary dwellings).
This was a time for thanksgiving for all God had done for them; for delivering them out of slavery, for the abundant land and crops, and for the peace and security they had in the land. All Israel went to a place that God had chose and rejoiced before God at the Feast of Tabernacles every year, (Deuteronomy 16:13-15; and Leviticus 23:34-43). The law of God was to be read before Israel during this time so that they might hear and learn to fear God, and carefully observe all the words of the law. “And that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear the Lord your God…” Deuteronomy 31:13.
(God commanded that this festival is to be observed and celebrated forever. Each year in the fall of the year God’s people are still commanded to leave their homes, and go to a chosen place where they will stay in temporary dwellings. We are to use this time to worship and honor God, rejoice before Him and thank Him for everything He has done for us. We are to enjoy all the good things of life during this time including our family, friends, food and fun. Rejoice!)
Feast of Tabernacles Activities:
Thirty days before the Feast, have each child make 30 links from construction paper and glue them together into a chain. Each day allow the child to take away one of the links from the chain. When they take away the last one, it will be time for the Feast.
Draw a box and glue a picture of you and your family in the box. Or draw a picture of you and your family enjoying the feast.
Make a feast scrapbook. Collect things you see at the feast and glue them onto construction paper. (Example: a colorful leaf, restaurant napkin, Feast brochure, and Feast pictures) Write in the scrapbook the location of the Feast, the year, and how you traveled to the Feast (plane, car, bus, etc.)
Make a list of all the words you can think of that comes from the word “Tabernacles.”
Make a feast fan. Trace a large circle pattern onto poster board and cut out circle. Glue and tape a craft stick on one side of the fan. Write the “Feast of Tabernacles” on one side of the fan. Color, or glue animal pictures on the other side of the fan.
Draw a picture of a tent. Draw a flag on the top of the tent. Write “Feast of Tabernacles” inside the flag. Draw stick people beside the tent to represent how many people there are in your family.
Write down the letters of the word “feast” in a column starting with the letter “f”. Then write down some words beginning with that letter which helps describes the feast. (Example: f = fun, family; e = exciting, enjoyable; a = autumn, adventures; s = special, services; t = trip, treats)
Have a scavenger hunt at the Feast. List items that can be found at the Feast such as safety pins, tissue, brush, mirror, etc.
Collect names/addresses/phone and email numbers of new friends you meet at the Feast and be sure to keep in touch.
Make someone happy at the Feast. Example: Make a Feast card and give to an older person. Talk to someone who is by his or her self. Give out stickers to other children. Ask your parents to invite someone to share a meal with your family. Think of other ways you can make someone happy including your own family members.
“A life without love is like a year without summer. Make sure your children have love in their life.”
— by Shelby Faith
Tillie the Teapot
Tillie the teapot and Jimmy the mouse
Live in a cupboard in a creaky old house.
Tillie was sad and cried quite a lot
For once she was a beautiful and most elegant pot.
Once she served tea, day after day
And then she was broken and they put her away.
She felt so alone and useless you see
She had no one to serve and no one to please.
The family she loved, they just moved away
And Tillie was left in a corner to stay.
So down came her tears, one after another
Her little heart broke right there in that cupboard.
But one day she heard a knock at her door
And found Jimmy, the mouse, who was hungry and poor.
She offered him tea, though she leaked quite a lot
And gave him some cookies that someone forgot.
Jimmy was grateful for all that she gave
And they became best friends that very same day.
Now each day they laugh and each day they play
For it’s so good to be needed and loved in this way.
— by: Santa Fe Parton
For Children Everywhere
A Sunday school teacher asked her class why Joseph and Mary took Jesus with them to Jerusalem. A small child replied: “They couldn’t get a baby sitter.”
A little girl, dressed in her Sunday best, was running as fast as she could, trying not to be late for Bible class. As she ran she prayed, “Dear Lord, please don’t let me be late! Dear Lord, please don’t let me be late!” While she was running and praying, she tripped on a curb and fell, getting her clothes dirty and tearing her dress. She got up, brushed herself off, and started running again. As she ran she once again began to pray, “Dear Lord, please don’t let me be late...But please don’t shove me either!”
At Sunday school they were teaching how God created everything, including human beings. Little Johnny seemed especially intent when they told him how Eve was created out of one of Adam’s ribs. Later in the week his mother noticed him lying down as though he were ill, and said, “Johnny, what is the matter?” Little Johnny responded, “I have pain in my side. I think I’m going to have a wife.”
Are today’s young people just plain lazy? Some, maybe; but there’s something else behind the stereotype.
My ministry for God brings me into contact with many young people. Ther speling is teribul.
This is not just normal teenage slanguage — that will wear off in time — but the spelling of common English words. Here’s an example:
“Welll i slept in till liek 1 beacause i was so tired…i am waiting for my londery to get done…i need to have soemthign to wear tomarrow….” Other desecrations of the language include adn (and), kidna nervoiuse (kind of nervous), and tryign (trying).
A school teacher in our town said she sees this in her students’ work and, in response to my query whether it improves as they progress to higher grades, she replied “No. It gets worse, because kids are too lazy to try hard enough.” I’m not too sure I fully agree.
Although our electronic age may have dissolved our young peoples’ brains, there’s a more important reason our kids can’t spell.
Grandparents, like me, remember the days of The 3 Rs: Readin’, and Ritin’, and ‘Rithmetic. Students read aloud from such literary favorites as Gulliver’s Travels, Anne of Green Gables, and the poetry anthology New Horizons.
Writing was compulsory. We wrote essays, and old Needlenose carefully checked our spelling. Corrections were hand written a hundred times.
We also used our finest penmanship. Helen Roberts made us write one letter — t, for instance — over and over and over until it was immaculate. She strolled through the aisles chanting, “Quality, not quantity. Quality, not quantity.” She wanted us to take time to develop the best penmanship possible.
Then came ‘Rithmetic. No calculators back then. We multiplied long numbers using pencil and paper; then verified our answers by dividing the same way. Only when we reached grade twelve could we use a mechanical device, called a slide rule, for our calculations.
No, our youth aren’t lazy; just unmotivated. And it’s their parents’ generation who’s to blame, at least in part.
The great depression brought financial disaster. Men lined up for whatever work became available, and they accepted it, even if it was only for a day or two. They were motivated.
The Second World War ended the depression, and young lads went abroad to fight for our freedom. They were motivated.
The war ended, and women who composed the work force while their men were overseas, liked the freedom of being out of the house. New timesaving gadgets flooded the market, making it possible for them to continue working, and still do the household tasks. They were motivated, but no longer by need, but by self-satisfaction.
Their daughters realized they had a vital place in the work world, and we now wonder how we ever got along without them.
Many sons, however, discovered it was easier to stay home and let the motivated workers pay their way. They call it welfare, but is it really in the welfare of our nations to sit unmotivated in front of the television and swill beer?
The lack of motivation has rubbed off on our youth, and they see their parents’ easy way out. One way it shows up is in their spelling.
(By the way, not everyone on welfare is unmotivated, and not all kids follow their unmotivated parents’ lead.)
So where does the lack of motivation come in? Unmotivated people don’t recognize God’s purpose for them. Not one of us was put here to sit and do nothing. We all have an important contribution to give to this world, and if any individual doesn’t make that contribution every day, the world is worse off for it.
My young friends, I challenge you to take a pen and paper — don’t use the computer — and write a few short paragraphs defining who you are, what you want to be, and how you’re going to get there. This will help determine your purpose in life.
Then, once it’s defined, do everything in your power to bring it about. You’ll be surprised how wonderfully exciting a purpose-filled life can really be.
— by Leslie A. Turvey
© Used by permission
Jesus Christ the Good Shepherd
Many Christians do not seem to understand the level of commitment that Jesus Christ has toward them, and are very complacent toward the sacrifice that He made during the crucifixion, not realizing that He is very committed to our lives and success in salvation. Jesus Christ is like a good shepherd who guards us in life and helps us to develop to be more like Him. Let’s see what Jesus Christ said about His level of commitment toward us.
In John 10, Jesus expresses His position on this matter in a parable.
In John 10: 11-18, Jesus said, “I am the Good Shepherd; the Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd… seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth; and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep…I am the good shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine. …I lay down My life for the sheep…therefore doth My Father love me, because I lay down My life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of My Father.”
Many interesting facts can be derived from these words spoken by Jesus Christ.
Jesus compares Himself to a good shepherd. This is interesting because the profession of a shepherd was very common during that day, and can easily be researched in general Bible study aids.
In general, a shepherd was employed to feed, guard, and tend to the general needs of the flock. He would have carried a sling shot and/or staff to protect himself and his flock. Sometimes, the shepherd would carry a flute to entertain himself and keep the flock content. He even knew all their names and the sheep would know his voice since they knew that they were safe with him.
In His parable, Jesus informs us that He is not a hireling who will flee at the first sign of danger, but rather He would have laid down His life for us.
He also informs us that no man can take His life, but He laid down His own life voluntarily at the crucifixion for us. He did it of His own free will.
In Matthew 26:53, Jesus was quoted at the garden before His arrest, “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to the Father, and He shall presently give Me more then twelve legions of angels?” A Roman legion varied in numbers from 3000 to 6000.
In John 3:16, it states that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
So as a good shepherd to His flock, Jesus Christ allowed Himself to be a sacrifice for us so that He can offer us everlasting life and He did this action of His own free will, not by force.
By this action, it allowed Him to watch and assist us in this life as we go through our many trials. He provides for us during our times of need and provides us safety when we need it during the most difficult times of our lives.
It would worth your time to mediate on this topic and to study it in-depth so that you may understand it more completely. It would benefit your spiritual life greatly.
— by Doyle J. Carter
The benefits of circumcision are many. Besides being a daily sign that a man is under God’s covenant, there are physical benefits. Women whose husbands are uncircumcised run increased risk of cervical cancer. In a recent study (Wall Street Journal, July 5, 2005) French and South African researchers found that male circumcision cuts the risk of contracting AIDS through intercourse with infected women by 70%. The findings were so dramatic that they halted the study nine months before it would have been completed, on the grounds that it would be immoral to proceed when the results were so compelling. More than thirty previous studies have suggested a relationship between circumcision and lower rates of HIV infection. In Kenya, for example, HIV prevalence is much higher among the uncircumcised Luo tribe, than among the circumcised Kikuyu. Rather than acting against HIV itself, circumcision may help prevent other sexually transmitted diseases that are known to facilitate the acquisition of HIV.
Circumcision is not a matter of spiritual salvation, but it is inherently a good law of health. Father (the Creator) knows best. But, try to convince a Hispanic or other Gentile male in the Church of God that he should be circumcised, and you may well face a wall of opposition and disdain. When are we going to understand that God’s ways are for our wellbeing? We need to stop thinking like uncircumcised Gentiles, and submit to the Eternal’s laws, which are holy, just, and good.
— by Richard C. Nickels
A teacher in New York decided to honor each of her seniors in High School by telling them the difference each of them had made. She called each student to the front of the class, one at a time. First, she told each of them how they had made a difference to her, and to the class. Then she presented each of them with a blue ribbon, imprinted with gold letters, which read, “Who I Am Makes a Difference.”
Afterwards, the teacher decided to do a class project, to see what kind of impact recognition would have on a Community. She gave each of the students three more blue ribbons, and instructed them to go out and spread this acknowledgment ceremony. Then they were to follow up on the results, see who honored whom, and report back to the class in about a week.
One of the boys in the class went to a junior executive in a nearby Company, and honored him for helping him with his career planning.
He gave him a blue ribbon, and put it on his shirt. Then he gave him two extra ribbons and said, “We’re doing a class project on recognition, and we’d like for you to go out, find somebody to honor, give them a blue ribbon, then give them the extra blue ribbon so they can acknowledge a third person, to keep this acknowledgment ceremony going.”
“Then please report back to me and tell me what happened.”
Later that day, the junior executive went in to see his boss, who had been noted, by the way, as being kind of a grouchy fellow. He sat his boss down and he told him that he deeply admired him for being a creative genius.
The boss seemed very surprised. The junior executive asked him if he would accept the gift of the blue ribbon, and would he give him permission to put it on him. His surprised boss said, “Well, sure.”
The junior executive took the blue ribbon and placed it right on his boss’s jacket, above his heart. As he gave him the last extra ribbon, he said, “Would you take this extra ribbon, and pass it on by honoring somebody else. The young boy who first gave me the ribbons is doing a project in school, and we want to keep this recognition ceremony going and find out how it affects people.”
That night, the boss came home to his 14-year-old son, and sat him down.
He said, “The most incredible thing happened to me today. I was in my office, and one of the junior executives came in and told me he admired me, and gave me a blue ribbon for being a creative genius.
“Imagine! He thinks I’m a creative genius! Then he put this blue ribbon that says, ‘Who I Am Makes a Difference,’ on my jacket above my heart. He gave me an extra ribbon and asked me to find somebody else to honor.
“As I was driving home tonight, I started thinking about whom I would honor with this ribbon, and I thought about you. I want to honor you.
“My days are really hectic and when I come home, I don’t pay a lot of attention to you. Sometimes I scream at you for not getting good enough grades in school, and for your bedroom being a mess. But somehow tonight, I just wanted to sit here and, well, just let you know that you do make a difference to me. Besides your mother, you are the most important person in my life. You’re a great kid, and I love you!”
The startled boy started to sob and sob and he couldn’t stop crying.
His whole body shook. He looked up at his father and said through his tears, “Dad, earlier tonight I sat in my room and wrote a letter to you and Mom, explaining why I had to run away, and I asked you to forgive me. I was going to leave tonight after you were asleep. I just didn’t think that you cared at all. The letter is upstairs. I don’t think I need it after all.”
His father walked upstairs and found a heartfelt letter full of anguish and pain. The boss went back to work a changed man. He was no longer a grouch, but made sure to let all of his employees know that they made a difference. The junior executive helped several other young people with career planning, and never forgot to let them know that they made a difference in his life — one being the boss’ son. And the young boy and his classmates learned a valuable lesson, “Who you are DOES make a difference.”
Tell the people you know and love that they make a difference in your life. Don’t wait.
— by author unknown
Skid Marks Disease
[al·lop·a·thy: noun; A method of treating disease with remedies that produce effects different from those caused by the disease itself.]
Welcome to the town of Allopath. There once was a town called Allopath. It had many people, streets, and cars; but due to budget limitations, there were no stop signs or traffic lights anywhere in Allopath.
Not surprisingly, traffic accidents were common. Cars would crash into each other at nearly every intersection. But business was booming for the auto repair shops and local hospitals, which dominated the economy of Allopath.
As the population of Allopath grew, traffic accidents increased to an alarming level. Out of desperation, the city council hired Doctor West, a doctor of the Motor Division (M.D.) to find a solution.
Dr. West spent days examining traffic accidents. He carried an assortment of technical gear — microscopes, chemical analysis equipment, lab gear — and put them all to work as part of his investigation. The townspeople of Allopath watched on with great curiosity while Dr. West went about his work, meticulously documenting and analyzing each traffic accident, and they awaited his final report with great interest.
After weeks of investigation, Dr. West called the people of Allopath to a town meeting for the release of his report. There, in front of the city council and most of the residents of Allopath, he announced his findings: “Traffic accidents are caused by skid marks.”
As Dr. West explained, he found and documented a near-100% correlation between traffic accidents and skid marks. “Wherever we find these cars colliding,” he explained, “we also find these skid marks.”
The town had “Skid Marks Disease,” the doctor explained, and the answer to the town’s epidemic of traffic accidents would, “...require nothing more than treating Skid Marks Disease by making the streets skid-proof,” Dr. West exclaimed, to great applause from the townspeople.
The city paid Dr. West his consulting fee, then asked the good doctor to propose a method for treating this Skid Marks Disease. As chance would have it, Dr. West had recently been on a trip to Hawaii paid for by a chemical company that manufactured roadaceuticals: special chemicals used to treat roads for situations just like this one. He recommended a particular chemical coating to the city council: teflon.
“We can treat this Skid Marks Disease by coating the roads with teflon,” Dr. West explained. “The streets will then be skid-proof, and all the traffic accidents will cease!” He went on to describe the physical properties of teflon and how its near-frictionless coating would deter nearly all vehicle skids.
The city council heartily agreed with Dr. West, and they issued new public bonds to raise the money required to buy enough teflon to coat all the city’s streets. Within weeks, the streets were completely coated, and the skid marks all but disappeared.
The city council paid Dr. West another consulting fee and thanked him for his expertise. The problem of traffic accidents in Allopath was solved, they thought. Although the cure was expensive, they were convinced it was worth it.
But things weren’t well in Allopath. Traffic accidents quadrupled. Hospital beds were overflowing with injured residents. Auto repair businesses were booming so much that most of the city council members decided to either open their own car repair shops or invest in existing ones.
Week after week, more and more residents of Allopath were injured, and their cars were repeatedly damaged. Money piled into the pockets of the car repair shops, hospitals, tow-truck companies and car parts retailers.
The town economic advisor, observing this sharp increase in economic activity, announced that Allopath was booming. Its economy was healthier than ever, and Allopath could look forward to a great year of economic prosperity!
There were jobs to be had at the car repair shops. There were more nurses needed at the hospital. “Help wanted” signs appeared all over town at the paramedic station, the tow truck shops, and the auto glass businesses. Unemployment dropped to near zero.
But the traffic accidents continued to increase. And yet there were no skid marks.
The city council was baffled. They thought they had solved this problem. Skid Marks Disease had been eradicated by the Teflon treatment. Why were traffic accidents still happening?
They called a town meeting to discuss the problem, and following a short discussion of the problem, an old hermit, who lived in the forest just outside of Allopath, addressed the townspeople. “There is no such thing as Skid Marks Disease,” he explained. “This disease was invented by the roadaceuticals company to sell you teflon coatings.”
The townspeople were horrified to hear such a statement. They knew Skid Marks Disease existed. The doctor had told them so. How could this hermit, who had no Motor Division (M.D.) degree, dare tell them otherwise? How could he question their collective town wisdom in such a way?
“This is a simple problem,” the hermit continued. “All we need to do is build stop signs and traffic lights. Then the traffic accidents will cease.”
Without pause, one city council member remarked, “But how can we afford stop signs? We’ve spent all our money on teflon treatments!”
The townspeople agreed. They had no money to buy stop signs.
Another council member added, “And how can we stop anyway? The streets are all coated with teflon. If we build stop signs, we’ll waste all the money we’ve spent on teflon!”
The townspeople agreed, again. What use were stop signs if they couldn’t stop their cars anyway?
The hermit replied, “But the stop signs will eliminate the need for teflon. People will be able to stop their cars, and accidents will cease. The solution is simple.”
But what might happen if stop signs actually worked, the townspeople wondered? How would it affect the booming economy of Allopath?
Realizing the consequences, a burly old man who owned a local repair shop jumped to his feet and said, “If we build these stop signs, and traffic accidents go down, I’ll have to fire most of my workers!”
It was at that moment that most of the townspeople realized there own jobs were at stake. If stop signs were built, nearly everyone would be unemployed. They all had jobs in emergency response services, car repair shops, hospitals and teflon coating maintenance. Some were now sales representatives of the roadaceuticals company. Others were importers of glass, tires, steel and other parts for cars. A few clever people were making a fortune selling wheelchairs and crutches to accident victims.
One enterprising young gentleman started a scientific journal that published research papers describing all the different kind of Skid Marks Diseases that had been observed and documented. Another person, a fitness enthusiast, organized an annual run to raise funds to find the cure for Skid Marks Disease. It was a popular event, and all the townspeople participated as best they could: jogging, walking, or just pushing themselves along in their wheelchairs. One way or another, nearly everyone in Allopath was economically tied to Skid Marks Disease.
Out of fear of losing this economic prosperity, the townspeople voted to create a new public safety agency: the Frequent Drivers Association (FDA). This FDA would be responsible for approving or rejecting all signage, technology and chemical coatings related to the town’s roads.
The FDA’s board members were chosen from among the business leaders of the community: the owner of the car shop, the owner of the ambulance company, and of course, Dr. West.
Soon after its inception, the FDA announced that Skid Marks Disease was, indeed, very real, as it had been carefully documented by a doctor and recently published in the town Skid Marks Disease journal. Since there were no studies whatsoever showing stop signs to be effective for reducing traffic accidents, the FDA announced that stop signs were to be outlawed, and that any person attempting to sell stop signs would be charged with fraud and locked up in the town jail.
This pleased the townspeople of Allopath. With the FDA, they knew their jobs were safe. They could go on living their lives of economic prosperity, with secure jobs, knowing that the FDA would outlaw any attempt to take away their livelihood. They still had a lot of traffic accidents, but at least their jobs were secure.
And so life continued in Allopath for a short while, at least. As traffic accidents continued at a devastating rate, more and more residents of Allopath were injured or killed. Many were left bed-ridden, unable to work, due to their injuries.
In time, the population dwindled. The once-booming town of Allopath eventually became little more than a ghost town. The hospital closed its doors, the FDA was disbanded, and the Skid Marks Disease journal stopped printing.
The few residents remaining eventually realized nothing good had come of Skid Marks Disease, the teflon coatings and the FDA. No one was any better off, as all the town’s money had been spent on the disease: the teflon coatings, car parts and emergency services. No one was any healthier, or happier, or longer-lived. Most, in fact, had lost their entire families to Skid Marks Disease.
And the hermit? He continued to live just outside of town, at the end of a winding country road, where he lived a simple life with no cars, no roads, no teflon coatings and no FDA. He outlived every single resident of Allopath. He gardened, took long walks through the forest, and gathered roots, leaves and berries to feed himself. In his spare time, he constructed stop signs, waiting for the next population to come along, and hoping they might listen to an old hermit with a crazy idea: — that prevention is the answer, not the treatment of symptoms.
— by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger.
Tulsa Fellowship Choir
Visits Church of God Seventh Day
On July 16 of 2005, the Fellowship Choir preformed for the Church of God Seventh Day at the request of Pastor Jerry Morgan.
The theme of their program was the stages of a Christian’s life. The first song was entitled “Blessed and Happy” which reflected the discovery of God in a man’s life, and how happy he is when he gets to this state.
The second was “Turn My Face From My Sins” which Ray Kurr, director of the Choir, used King David as an example of repenting of sin.
The third song was “Be Thou My Vision” in which Christ is our example of how to be obedient to God our Father.
The fourth was entitled “Trust” which shows us to put our trust in God.
The fifth and sixth songs were “Seek Ye The Lord,” and “Seek Ye First The Kingdom” showing us that we should seek God with all our heart, and His Kingdom as our future hope for mankind.
The seventh and eighth songs were “He Is Exalted” and “Hosanna” reflecting that we should praise God for his mercy and greatness in our lives. He is a great God with love toward us.
The ninth song was “If The Lord Was Not On Our Side” reflecting that with God on our side, no problem or trial is too difficult. He is our strength and shield in life.
And the tenth song was “Soon And Very Soon” reflecting that Christ will come back one day, and bring us to our full purpose in this life.
The program lasted 45 minutes and the entire group was inspired by the music and message that was presented.
— by Doyle J. Carter
Steve Kieler, Fort Dodge, IA had the pleasure of baptizing his son Glenn Kieler of Cedar Rapids, IA on August 10th. Also, on that afternoon, Glenn and his wife, Karin finalized the adoption of two children, Marcy 12, and Mike 10. Marcy and Mike join the other children in the family — Carol 15, Dawn 14, and Stephen 14. Glenn is a Cedar Rapids police officer and Karin has turned in her resignation to the corporate world to raise their family.
The Living Church of God has begun to try an ad in Reader’s Digest. LCG’s Davy Crockett writes, “We are excited to report that the first telephone calls from the Reader’s Digest advertisement are already coming in. The story of how this idea of the ad came to reality is interesting. Mr. Meredith has wanted to advertise in the Reader’s Digest for some time. To do so had been beyond our budget. We decided to run a test advertisement in a major market for the Reader’s Digest and chose the Dallas/Fort Worth edition with 170,000 subscribers. When the artwork and copy for the ad were done, we called Reader’s Digest to work out the details. The lady with whom we had been dealing was on vacation, so our call was put through to her supervisor or manager. He agreed to check the details and to call us back. When he called back, he said, ‘I have something which may be of interest to you. The August issue of the Mature Edition of the Reader’s Digest, which goes out to 4.5 million subscribers nationwide, is finished and ready for printing, but we have a slot for a full page ad.’ The space was offered to us for 31% of the usual rate. We quickly accepted the offer. And, to our surprise, when we got the bill it was for $8,100 less than the amount quoted. Since we booked the ad directly, they gave us credit for an agent’s commission. After the bill was paid, we received an e-mail letting us know that the August edition of the Reader’s Digest is the 1,000th edition of the magazine and a big promotion would be made for the issue, which should increase our response. We anticipate that millions of people will see our advertisement and that tens of thousands of people will request the booklet on Revelation The Mystery Unveiled and also become subscribers to the Tomorrow’s World magazine.”
On August 11th, LCG’s Wayne Pyle reported, “Superstation WGN passed a major milestone this past week when we received our 200,000th response from WGN’s TV viewers. Last week’s response brought the total reply-count from WGN, since January 31, 1999, to 200,319. These replies came from 106,351 respondents, and we are happy to see so many of them making repeat calls and asking for additional literature. Over the past six years WGN has been very productive for the Church. So far, 162 individuals have been baptized after coming in contact with the Church through WGN. And many more are attending Church services and are headed towards baptism. To date, for those whose first contact with the Church was through WGN, one out of every 656 viewers has now been baptized. This is a very encouraging ratio. This week our agency negotiated a new contract with a local Charlotte-area TV station, WHKY-TV. We will be able to air the Tomorrow’s World program in prime time—at 7:30 pm on Monday nights — starting September 26. This Friday night, August 12, at 10:00 pm Pacific Time, also prime time, we will begin airing nationwide on the Inspiration Network (INSP) that reaches 22 million cable-TV households. A week later, on Sunday, August 21, we will begin airing the Tomorrow’s World telecast in South Africa, on the Community Service Network reaching six million households.”
LCG’s Steve Stiffler reported, “The Tomorrow’s World website continues to see an increase in daily traffic. The number of visitors since May is up 70%! Our Web advertising program is in high gear, exposing our literature to more people than ever. During the month of August our advertisements have been seen over 3.1 million times. Year-to-date, this number jumps to over 21 million! Over the past few weeks we have added several new Study Topics to the www.lcg.org site, which continue to be a popular item for people to review. We are now starting to work on the www.cogl.org Member Resources website and, once this area is done, we will then start to work on assisting our international websites. Regardless of time or day, through the Internet we have the potential to reach over 900 MILLION people!”
From Canada, LCG’s Gerald Weston reported, “We see two trends taking place here in Canada: one positive, the other not so positive. God is certainly blessing us financially, as July income was up 35% over last year, bringing our year to date total over last year to 28.5%. At the same time, we are in great need of more manpower. The four eastern provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland/Labrador are without a resident minister. We also can use another minister out west and we need help with the increasing workload in Ontario. Your prayers of thanks for the financial blessings God has given us and your prayers for God to provide adequate laborers will be much appreciated.”
Living Youth Camp
Regarding Living Youth Camp, LCG’s summer camp for teens, Richard Ames wrote, “My wife Kathryn and I enjoyed our recent visit to the Living Youth Camp in Pickford, Michigan. We were very impressed with the facility, organization and administration, and the educational and positive environment of the camp. Approximately 190 attended the camp, including 100 campers, 20 high school workers and 70 adult staff and family. Activities included canoeing, flag football, frisbee-football, archery, dance, media (including a daily video news presentation), speech, Christian living, and life skills (including plumbing for the boys, sewing for girls and health principles for all). The sewing class even presented my wife and me with a gift of polka-dotted pajamas — a sample of their sewing project. From the all-campus “morning motivation” to “evening reflection,” God’s way of life was practiced and emphasized. What a wonderful opportunity for our youth to enjoy a more pure culture, experience positive peer interaction, and learn Christian character to cope in today’s challenging world! Several remarked that they were enjoying a “Feast-like” atmosphere. We especially appreciate the many adult volunteers who sacrificed two weeks from their work and vacation to serve the youth of God’s Church.
— by Robert Thiel
Live a Life That Matters
Ready or not, someday it will all come to an end. There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days. All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else. Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance. Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear. So too your hopes, ambitions, plans, and to-do lists will expire. The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away. It won’t matter where you came from, or on what side of the tracks you lived, at the end. It won’t matter whether you where beautiful or brilliant. Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant. So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?
What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built;
Not what you got, but how you gave.
What will matter is not your success, but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.
What will matter is not your competence, but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.
What will matter are not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you.
What will matter is how long you will be remembered, but by whom and for what.
Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident. It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice. Choose to live a life that matters.
— author unknown
Tulsa Fellowship Group
The TFG had a visit on August 6th from Dan Cafourek of northwest Arkansas.
The sermon was on Matthew 10:1-16 which covered the instruction of Christ to the disciples when they first went, out and the many points that can be learned from these Scriptures.
A point being made that in a small Church environment, an individual can be more productive then in a very large Church. With fewer individuals there are more opportunities to serve in various functions.
The congregation enjoyed and learned much from the sermon.
After service, everyone stayed for a few hours of fellowship.
— by Doyle J. Carter
Do you think coupons save money? Studies have shown that frequent coupon users have higher grocery bills than those who shop without them — as much as 84% higher. Coupon shoppers tend to overlook equally good alternative brands that cost less than the name item, with or without the discount.
My Heavenly Father Sings
Do you hear the wind whistling through the trees?
That’s my Heavenly Father singing about me.
I have done nothing to cause this sort of elation.
He is singing simply because I am His creation.
There is nothing I can do or nothing I can say
To make Him love me more than He does today.
Even with my flaws, I am a child of the King.
Just because I’m His, my Heavenly Father sings.
— by Erin Shelgren
Feast of Tabernacles
October 18, thru 25, 2005
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