Dear Brethren and co-workers in Christ:
School is out for the Summer in California, so both our two younger sons are with us (David is always with us, but is home more during the Summer, and Brian is out of the university he attends during the Summer). During the year, Brian puts together the Bible News Prophecy videos for us as well as works on other video and internet projects.While I have never publicized it before, I personally have a presence on Facebook. In the past, headlines and links from news articles published at the Church of God News page at the COGwriter website used to also post at my Facebook page. Well, this has not worked properly for about a year and a half, but since Brian has been home he was able to fix that.
It used to be that we got a fair amount of views at the COGwriter.com website from Facebook. It will likely take time to build back up, but we are optimistic that this will be another basically no-cost way to reach people with more of our message.
In addition to the usual work, I have been looking over proposals related to the Feast of Tabernacles’ site for the USA, and working on magazine and additional final phase of the work issues.
Received a report from Google regarding the internet results for May 2014. Between the Google campaign and our various websites, we reached over 3,000,000 computers last month.
If time and funding allow, at some point, I would like to increase the budget for Google, but we need to be cautious financially. The financial needs related to hunger, shelter, church halls, literature, and feeding the flock in Africa are high and affect what is available to spend. I pray about this and strive to have the proper type of balance.
That being said, we have one of the most effective and most cost-effective internet campaigns and this does allow us to reach more for much less than what others tend to do.
In terms of worldwide internet popularity, as measured by Alexa.com, Brian Thiel told me that we appear to be about the third most popular within groups claiming to be Church of God-this is even better than the last time I personally looked into that. We truly are reaching people all over the world via the internet.
2014 Feast of Tabernacles in Florida
If you are interested in attending the Feast of Tabernacles with the Continuing Church of God in Florida this year (which is our only expected USA site), please email me: email@example.com. Also, let me know your preference between Orlando or Panama City.
We have been in contact with the visitors’ centers for each of the cities. We have not finalized an agreement for any meeting place yet, so we still have a little time.
We also expect one site in New Zealand, a video site in the Philippines, and at least one site in Kenya. Details on the sites are in the oft updated article Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2014.
World News Events
Iraq has been in the news a lot, so this week’s suggested sermonette touches on that and Iraq’s role in the future (see Iraq, the King of the South, Armageddon, and Prophecy).
Although the USA and the Europeans have made various threats against Russia related to Ukraine, they have not stopped Russia from putting more troops on the border (see Biden warns Russia it faces ‘costs’ if it does not assist with Ukraine, but Russia amasses troops). It is also likely that Iraq has so much of the USA’s attention that Russia now feels that the USA is even less likely to cause serious military interference with its plans. Russia wants a large Eurasian Union and wants as much of Ukraine in it that it can get. But Russia is also willing to wait when it feels that can be advantageous.
Financial issues are also facing the USA. There are economic considerations which have reduced the worry about inflation by certain of its key leaders (see Federal Reserve’s Yellen on inflation level, but what is ahead?). Yet, ultimately, the USA will be hit with such massive inflation that its dollar will be worth no more than the paper it is often printed on.
Spanish Language News Articles
Here are links to many recent news items we posted translated into the Spanish language:
Fasting appears to boost longevity
Ayunar parece aumentar la longevidad
http://www.cdlidd.es/ayunar-parece-aumentar-la-longevidad/USA creating thought and speech crimes: A prelude to the ‘famine of the word’?
EE.UU. creando crímenes de pensamiento y de palabra: ¿Un preludio al ‘hambre de la palabra’?
http://www.cdlidd.es/ee-uu-creando-crimenes-de-pensamiento-y-de-palabra-un-preludio-al-hambre-de-la-palabra/Christians and Smoking
Los cristianos y el fumar
http://www.cdlidd.es/los-cristianos-y-el-fumar/HWA: Contact with God and the 7th Law of Success
HWA: Contacto con Dios y la 7a. ley del éxito
http://www.cdlidd.es/hwa-contacto-con-dios-y-la-7a-ley-del-exito/Jews claim that they have been improperly blocked from visiting the ‘tomb of David’ since the Pope’s visit to Mt. Zion
Los judíos dicen que han sido inapropiadamente impedidos de visitar la ‘tumba de David’ desde la visita del Papa al Monte Sion
http://www.cdlidd.es/los-judios-dicen-que-han-sido-inapropiadamente-impedidos-de-visitar-la-tumba-de-david-desde-la-visita-del-papa-al-monte-sion/Kansas wheat prices expected to shock the world!
Precios del trigo en Kansas se espera que impacten al mundo!
http://www.cdlidd.es/precio-del-trigo-en-kansas-se-espera-que-impacte-al-mundo/Germany\s Merkel and UK\s Cameron differ on next European Commission President
Merkel de Alemania y Cameron del Reino Unido difieren sobre próximo Presidente de la Comisión Europea
http://www.cdlidd.es/merkel-de-alemania-y-cameron-del-reino-unido-difieren-sobre-proximo-presidente-de-la-comision-europea/Massive solar flares: A destructive force for the Apocalypse?
Masivas llamaradas solares: ¿Una fuerza destructiva para el Apocalipsis?
http://www.cdlidd.es/masivas-llamaradas-solares-una-destructiva-fuerza-para-el-apocalipsis/Iran and some in Germany to celebrate the birthday of the Imam Mahdi
Irán y algunos en Alemania a celebrar el nacimiento del Imán Mahdi
http://www.cdlidd.es/iran-y-algunos-en-alemania-a-celebrar-el-nacimiento-del-iman-mahdi/What the ‘Lady of Fatima’ Allegedly Said on June 13th
Lo que la ‘Señora de Fátima’ supuestamente dijo en junio 13
http://www.cdlidd.es/lo-que-la-senora-de-fatima-supuestamente-dijo-en-junio-13/Iraq plunging into chaos
Irak hundiéndose en el caos
http://www.cdlidd.es/irak-hundiendose-en-el-caos/Iraqis volunteer to fight, while Iran pledges its support
Voluntarios iraquíes a combatir, mientras Irán promete su apoyo
http://www.cdlidd.es/3547/FT: Ready or not, a new Middle East is taking place before our eyes
FT: ‘Listo o no, un nuevo Medio Oriente está tomando lugar ante nuestros ojos’
We are getting a lot of news and prophecy posts out in both English and Spanish.
Suggested Sabbath Service
Here is our suggested format for Sabbath services this week:
- 2-3 hymns (our songbook, The Bible Hymnal, contains the materials from the 1974 Bible Hymnal from the old WCG with new covers, plus ten additional hymns; there is also some Choral Accompaniment online).
- Opening prayer.
- Sermonette, which for most will be a recorded one: Iraq, Armageddon, & Prophecy. A related written item would be: Iraq, the King of the South, Armageddon, and Prophecy. Other sermonettes are also available at the Bible News Prophecy channel.
- Announcements (if any; though for many it will be this letter) and one hymn.
- Sermon, which for most will be a recorded one. The one suggested for this week is Baptism: What is it and how should it be done? A related written article would be Baptism, the Early Church, and the Continuing Church. Other sermons are also available at the ContinuingCOG channel.
- Final hymn.
- Closing prayer.
Note: If you have a slow internet connection, you can watch these by starting the video, then below it (and towards the right) look for an outline of a gear–if you click on that, it will allow the YouTube video to be played with lower video quality, but at least it will not stop often–you can select a quality as low as 144p.
If your internet connection is still too slow (as my home one is) and/or you prefer audio messages to audio-visuals ones, go to the YouTube link for the message, click on SHOW MORE related to the description. You will then see something that says, “Download MP3.” Below that is a link to an MP3 file. Most computers (and even some cellular telephones) will allow MP3 files to be downloaded and played. So, this is an option we have made available (but we are also looking into ways to improve that as well)–and, of course, we have written article options that we list each week.
Here is something from the Apostle Paul:
19 For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”
20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God — and righteousness and sanctification and redemption — 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:19-31)
As a person who does have a lot of formal and informal education, I long ago learned that just because someone has credentials or is considered wise by the world does not mean that no the difference between truth and error or good and evil.
Brethren, appreciate your calling and if you are to glory, “glory in the Lord.”
Bob Thiel, Pastor and Overseer
Continuing Church of God