Letter to the Brethren – July 8, 2022

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Dear Brethren and Friends,

My wife and I had the privilege of visiting the brethren in the San Diego area for the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread this year and to participate in person at the annual Church conference. It was a very pleasant trip and, not having visited the area since 2019 due to the Covid 19 restrictions, it reminded us of the great country that the USA has been, but now seems to be in terminal decline. Much of the same could also be said about the UK and other English-speaking nations, but it seems that every nation has been affected by the pandemic and other events around the world.

We were also privileged to be able to travel to the far-east at the end of last year to see family and, again, saw another nation troubled by the pandemic but with no social security or pension arrangements which are enjoyed by many nations in the west. They are not alone in not having a safety net when tragedy happens, but they get on with it as best they can. We can have expectations that the government will come to our rescue when disaster strikes while many other countries may appear not to have made any such provisions should crises or calamities arise in their nation. The differences are stark and show how the English-speaking nations have been blessed more than we deserve; particularly, when we see what is happening in our different countries.

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Letter to the Brethren – June 10, 2022

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Dear Members and Friends,

There are a number of sections in the Bible where God, in most cases Jesus Christ, showed His love, compassion and concern for the people He was dealing with at the time. The passages can help us understand how He treated His people during the ages and be examples for us today, since He is the same, yesterday and forever.

In the first section to be considered, we find there was a special relationship between Abraham and God. However, this relationship is not mentioned until 2 Chronicles 20:7 where we find that Abraham was a friend of God. This fact is repeated in James 2:23 where we read, “And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ And he was called the friend of God.” Of course, when Abraham believed God, this belief resulted in him comprehensively obeying God, which we can read of in Genesis 26:5.

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Letter to the Brethren – May 13, 2022

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Dear Brethren and Friends,

In this letter, we would like to report on the recent 2022 Church Conference, held on Friday, April 29th through Sunday, May 1st and conducted from Escondido, California.

We utilized “Google Meets” for those in attendance. While we did face time zone differences, Thilo and Anita Hanstein, Christoph and Monique Sperzel (from Germany), and Paul and Tine Niehoff (from Australia) were able to participate. Also, Rene and Delia Messier (from Canada) and Dave and Peggy Harris (from Colorado) joined the meetings.

Norbert and Johanna Link, Michael and Anna Link, Eric Rank, Kalon Mitchell, Margaret Adair, Rhonda Cagle and Dawn Thompson were among those in California. Also, Brian and Jill Gale had travelled from England to California for the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread and to attend the Conference.

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Letter to the Brethren – April 7, 2022

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Dear Brethren, Coworkers and Friends,

When Christ’s disciples asked Him what would be the sign of His Coming and the end of the world—this present evil age controlled and ruled by Satan the Devil—He said to be aware of religious deception, wars and rumors of wars, famine, disease epidemics and earthquakes. We have been most certainly experiencing all of them for quite a while, but Christ said when we see those events occurring with ever-increasing strength, the end is near. He called these events the beginning of sorrows (Matthew 24:8) and cautioned us that while these sorrows or labor pains will overtake this world unexpectedly, we must not be asleep, but awake (1 Thessalonians 5:3-6), redeeming the time, because these are evil days (Ephesians 5:16). But we know that in the end, the present sorrows will be replaced with unspeakable joy (John 16:21).

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Letter to the Brethren – March 3, 2022

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Dear Brethren and Friends,

Physical things, by their nature, deteriorate and break down. No matter how much we pay for a vehicle, the first thing we will have to replace are the tires, and then brakes and muffler. Eventually, the alternator will fail as well as the fuel pump, the water pump, and the air-cottoned compressor; and if we have the vehicle long enough, the last two things which will break down are the transmission and finally the motor.

Even our physical bodies break down until we die. The patriarchs who lived at times over nine hundred years eventually died. Our physical bodies are not designed to live for eternity, and most of us would not want to live forever with a physical body and its limitations.

Thankfully, as life moves forward, those who remain faithful to their calling will receive a new spiritual body which will not break down, but which will last forever. Especially for those of us who are older and are living with bodies that are breaking down, that is very good news. We will have a body that is fully productive twenty-four hours a day, and which never runs out of energy. Never feeling tired nor exhausted is really something to look forward to.

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Letter to the Brethren – February 16, 2022

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Dear Brethren and Friends,

Two years ago, we began to experience circumstances which have changed the world. Now, the Covid-19 pandemic and governmental restrictions continue to stifle the lives of most of this world’s population. Beyond the hundreds of millions of infections and the millions of deaths, daily living is no longer the “normal” of previous years. We realize of course that the figures might be inflated, as many who had been counted as having died of corona died with corona because of underlying conditions, and that lockdowns and other restrictions contributed to the death of many, as recent research confirms. In any event, the number of people who became sick and died has been staggering.

Certainly, the Church of God has suffered during this time—along with the rest of society. Deaths have occurred and several have been stricken by this infectious disease. Due to governmental lockdowns and other restrictive measures, even the ability to assemble together for weekly Sabbath services or to attend the annual Holy Days, including the Feast of Tabernacles, has been altered and made more challenging. In some areas, even attending on the Sabbath had been prohibited, and Church members had to make a choice as to whom they wanted to obey—God or man.

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Letter to the Brethren – January 20, 2022

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Dear Members and Friends,

We live in a world of changes. Ever since we were conceived, things have been changing. 

Nothing stays the same, and nothing goes back to the way it was. We live in the present moments that are happening—not in the past and not in the future. Everything is now! 

Solomon reminds us that there is nothing new under the sun. Were there computers or cars in his day? No! What he is trying to convey is that the thoughts of men, the things that are done, “new” things, “new” ideas coming into being, are all but of the same vein. 

When God stopped the building of the tower of Babel, it always interested me that He said in Genesis 11:6:  “And the LORD said, ‘Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.’” The power and ability to learn, grow and create things is something that God placed within mankind. This power has not stopped. 

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Letter to the Brethren – December 21, 2021

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Dear Co-workers and Brethren,

Coming to the end of the calendar year, many people are contemplative of the events of the past 12 months. There’s not much argument about it being an especially eventful year. Covid 19 dominates headlines daily; lockdowns and fear cause psychological damage by isolating people in their time of need; political maneuverings abound following administration changes in the US and European nations; racial tensions are magnified. Sadly, the things that stand out the most are grim.

What emerges as a theme for the year is that ideologies have become bastions that polarize the populous. Picking a side to affiliate with is an expectation in our society, while holding a balanced point of view is considered weak. Or at least, this is what our media outlets would have us believe. It is the extreme points of view, with the loudest voices that get the most attention because of their titillating, sensationalist presentations of the so-called “truth”. Of course, we observe the opposing sides present a different “truth” with equally strong rhetoric vigor. While the so-called “truth” is everywhere, the actual Truth gets no attention by the media, whatsoever.

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Letter to the Brethren – November 10, 2021

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Dear Brethren and Friends,

I have thought, for a long time, that it must take more faith to believe in the theory of evolution than in the great Creator God.

The theory of evolution challenges the idea that God is the designer of the universe and that the beauty, order and complexity of the universe is evidence of a superior supernatural being. And yet, there are those who deny the evidence before their very eyes of a creation that demands a Creator and cling on to an unprovable notion that evolution is responsible for all that we see on earth and in a hugely impressive solar system that boggles the imagination in its size and complexity.

I want to quote a short piece entitled “Swallow that one! Showing how ridiculous the theory of evolution is”:

“This false religious movement is called ‘Evolution’. It has no scientific basis, despite its claims to the contrary. It is a belief system teaching that everything came into being by chance, that billions of years ago, out of nothing, an atom, no larger than a ‘dot’ on this page, made itself. Then after millions of years it started spinning and spun so fast that it blew up. Out of this big bang the entire vast universe was formed, including the millions of Galaxies, Space and everything that exists. After further millions of years primitive life evolved from ‘Pond Scum’ and eventually into living creatures. Then by their own shoe straps they pulled themselves up, finally developing into a diversity of living things, with mankind originating from an ape-like creature millions of years ago. This is a belief system of a fool, for only a fool can believe that nothing created something.” 

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Letter to the Brethren – October 15, 2021

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Dear Members and Friends,

We have just returned from celebrating what Church of God members have been looking forward to the whole year—when we could put our everyday lives on hold and when we could worship together in peace and harmony; exactly, what the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day picture. But being able to observe these days didn’t come without its challenges, for we couldn’t celebrate them in a way we used to in times past, without restrictions and other complications we hadn’t faced before. This already started to become evident last Feast. The world as we once knew it has changed and it doesn’t appear that it will get any better or return back “to normal.”

In my message on the Last Great Day, titled “Right Now,” I mentioned that we have all witnessed a miracle this Feast. By being able to observe God’s Holy Days like we did, under various circumstances and challenges that we had to go through to even make it to the Feast, and still having had the privilege to meet together is considered a miracle. And yet there were brethren among us who weren’t able to attend the Feast due to illness.

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