Inside United: Realtime

Exciting News & Updates from UCGIA

Podcast 007: Scott Ashley and the Good News Magazine

December 25, 2013

We’re happy to introduce the seventh Inside United Podcast by the United Church of God.

In this episode President Victor Kubik is joined by Scott Ashley, managing editor of The Good News  magazine, to discuss topics in upcoming issues of the magazine and featured articles.

Peter Eddington—Media and Communications Services

December 25, 2013 Posted by | Good News Magazine, Media and Communications | , , , , | 1 Comment

Record-breaking Quarter at UCG.ORG

October 9, 2013

We are very pleased to report that our website traffic at www.ucg.org continues to climb very favorably. The 2013 July-September quarter resulted in the highest number of unique website visitors in our history: more than 1.4 million. Please note that this is not the total number of visits, but the number of unique visitors. Many of these people visited multiple, multiple times throughout the same time period.

As a result, we are on track to log 5.5 million unique visitors for the 2013 calendar year. Please see the following chart that illustrates our website visitor growth over the past eight years. The final quarter of 2013 is a conservative estimate based on the average number of visitors for the first three quarters. It may actually be higher if the positive trend continues and if previous years’ Q4 are any indication.

UCG.ORG Unique Visitors

Please continue to pray for God’s blessing upon the United Church of God’s diligent effort to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God around the world with increasing reach and effectiveness. Also, please ask God that our Good News magazine readers and our Beyond Today television viewers will be inspired and feel compelled by the gospel message to become more involved in the work of God’s Church—as donors and coworkers, but especially as newly converted Christians part of Jesus Christ’s flock in this end-time Work.

We are presently in the middle of a further redesign of our website to gain the most opportunity from mobile Internet technology—especially for our readers and viewers who use smart phones and tablets (like the iPad). Our dedicated team of website professionals are hard at work on this new update. I’m sure they would appreciate your prayers to God on their behalf as well.

Peter Eddington—Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services

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October 9, 2013 Posted by | Beyond Today, Good News Magazine, Media and Communications, UCGIA on the Web | , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Marriage is in the headlines—and for all the wrong reasons!

July 2, 2013

gn13jaMarriage has been in the news a lot lately, as it should be. In two decisions last week, the U.S. Supreme Court essentially tossed out the definition of marriage as it’s been understood and practiced for centuries, including long before the United States existed as a nation.

In one decision the court declared unconstitutional the core of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, in which the U.S. Congress defined marriage as being between one man and one woman. As one analyst described the absurdity of the situation, the U.S. Congress now can, will and does write laws about marriage, but it can no longer define what marriage is or what it means!

In a second decision, the court concluded that citizens of California—who by popular vote had approved marriage as being between one man and one woman—had voted incorrectly and had no legal standing to object when a judge overruled the voters and declared that homosexuals could marry there after all.

By the reasoning of the Supreme Court, if marriage cannot be defined as being between one man and one woman, then it can be whatever people choose it to be—man and man, woman and woman, brother and sister, parent and child, one man and two women, two men and one woman, two men and two women, or any other combination enough people can convince others is their “right.”

And make no mistake, already people are advocating for these and other combinations to be legalized as their right—and the Supreme Court ruling eliminates grounds for disallowing these kinds of relationships as marriages.

These are merely the latest in a long string of assaults on marriage, but they are likely the most far-reaching to date.

Why do we see marriage under attack as we do?

Marriage is the building block of families. Families are the building blocks of communities. Communities are the building blocks of societies. And societies are the building blocks of civilizations. Once those building blocks start to crumble, everything starts to fall apart—which is exactly what we’re seeing around us today.

What’s behind the assault on marriage, and why? What can you do to reverse the trend and strengthen your own marriage? You need to read the latest issue of The Good News, especially the articles Five Keys to a Happy Marriage and The Ultimate Purpose of Marriage to understand why marriage is important and why God gave us this wonderful gift!

Scott Ashley—Managing editor

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PS—Never has it been more important for you and your family to understand where the world is headed and why. You need to understand the crucial biblical perspective you’ll find only in The Good News. Download or read the July-August issue today!

July 2, 2013 Posted by | Good News Magazine, Media and Communications | , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Next GN Magazine: Abortion and God’s Purpose for Human Life

April 22, 2013

gn13mjRecently a New York judge tossed out any restriction on the age a person has to be to purchase, without a prescription, a “morning-after pill” to terminate a pregnancy.

Prior to his ruling a woman had to be at least 17 to legally get the drug. If his ruling stands, a girl as young as 12 or 13—or her male partner—can buy a pill that will cause her body to spontaneously abort her “problem,” ending that unborn life.

This follows on the heels of a 2012 decision by the New York Department of Education to make morning-after pills available to schoolgirls as young as 14 without parental consent.

Ironically, if that same 14-year-old were to go her school nurse to get an aspirin for a headache, the nurse would have to get parental permission to do so. But courtesy of this education department, children can be given abortion-inducing drugs without their parents ever knowing.

What a horrifying message to send to girls who are little more than children themselves—that destroying an unborn human life is of such little consequence, or none at all.

What does it say about a society when, on the grounds of protecting citizens’ health, a city bans the sale of sweetened drinks larger than 16 ounces (a third larger than the most common size), but it allows, and even pays for, abortion-inducing drugs for its schoolchildren?

In what kind of twisted universe does that make sense?

This is the kind of blind and perverse reasoning we see when a people and their leaders increasingly turn their backs on God. As our Creator, He gave us an instruction manual in the form of His Word, the Bible. But rejecting its revelation for how we should live and what makes for a peaceful, purposeful, well-ordered society, we’ve increasingly decided to create our own rules and ignore the lessons of history—bringing curses on ourselves in the process.

But you don’t have to go that way. You can learn from God’s Word the awesome purpose of human life, and why abortion is so wrong in His sight. You can know why you are here and why you were born, as described in the cover article of the latest issue of the United Church of God’s Good News magazine, arriving in your mailbox shortly.

We hope you’ll carefully read the articles in this issue to learn about the future God has in store for you. Understanding that, you’ll then understand how God views one of the most divisive and controversial issues affecting our society today—that of abortion.

Scott Ashley
Managing editor

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PS—To really understand where the world is headed and why, you need to understand what’s going on from a biblical perspective. Get the real story you won’t read anywhere else. Download or read the May-June issue today!

May 1, 2013 Posted by | Good News Magazine, Media and Communications | , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

The Arab Spring That Wasn’t

March 5, 2013

Setting the Stage for Bible Prophecy

gn13jaIt’s not often that we can witness the world changing before our eyes—and even less so when it changes in a way that may be setting the stage for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.

For more than a year our news headlines have been chronicling the so-called “Arab Spring”—a supposed flowering of democracy in Mideast nations long ruled by dictators. Western journalists, commentators and politicians hailed the popular uprisings that ousted such leaders in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen.

But the Western media have overwhelmingly overlooked the two most important factors in this movement that’s transforming the region before our eyes.

The first key factor they’ve overlooked is what’s filling the vacuum left by the ouster of these strongmen. Most of those driven from power—or struggling to hold on—are secular nationalists motivated by personal and national interests. But it’s increasingly evident that they are being replaced primarily by religious fanatics determined to set up Islamic theocracies.

They’re essentially following in the footsteps of Osama bin Laden, whose ultimate goal was to see the establishment of a worldwide Islamic superpower, transcending national borders, comprised of all Muslim believers. But because so many of our Western media and political leaders don’t understand the teachings of Islam, they are blind to the significance of these world-transforming developments.

The second key factor they’ve overlooked is how these developments relate to Bible prophecy. Scripture reveals that at the time of the end, a new leader from the Arab world will light the match that ignites a new world war, setting in motion a devastating chain of events that will lead directly to Armageddon and the second coming of Jesus Christ.

This is why the subtitle of The Good News is “a Magazine of Understanding.” We at the United Church of God analyze the world from the perspective of the Bible and Bible prophecy, helping you understand where major world events and trends are ultimately heading. And no region is more important to understand than the Middle East, where so much is foretold to happen in the coming years.

You need to understand what’s going on as revealed in the articles Winter Advisory: The Arab Spring That Wasn’t,” “Will the World See a New Caliphate?and “Israel: A Nation in Constant Peril,” all in the latest issue of The Good News, arriving in your mailbox soon.

Scott Ashley
Managing editor, The Good News

PS—The world is being reshaped before our eyes. You need to understand the real story that you won’t read anywhere else. Download or read the March-April issue today!

Ashley_Scott

March 5, 2013 Posted by | Good News Magazine, Media and Communications | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

UPDATE: Good News Print Advertising 2012-2013

January 9, 2013

In August we reported that between July 2012 and March 2013 the United Church of God would mail Good News subscription advertisements to 13.2 million households in the United States at a cost of under 2¢ each. We are fully on track to accomplish this goal.

To date we have mailed 6.1 million advertisements to households in all 50 states. Subscriber reaction is fully on target with 25,913 cards and electronic responses having been received and processed so far. Each new reader is being sent a subscription to The Good News and one or more of our foundational booklets.the-middle-east-in-bible-prophecy_0 copy

Of the ten booklets currently being offered the following are the top five most requested so far:

  1. Heaven and Hell: What Does the Bible Really Teach?
  2. How to Understand the Bible
  3. Are We Living in the Time of the End?
  4. The Book of Revelation Unveiled
  5. The Middle East in Bible Prophecy

Thank you so much for your steady support and careful prayers as the Church continues its global mission to preach the gospel (Mark 16:15).

John LaBissoniere—Print Advertising Manager, Media and Communications Services

January 9, 2013 Posted by | Good News Magazine, Media and Communications | , , | 3 Comments

How Did We Get Into This Mess?

January 3, 2013

I suppose I should be happy that America’s leaders have averted the “fiscal cliff” originally slated to hit Jan. 1. At least that’s what I’m told I should feel.gn13jf

For some reason I don’t feel much like celebrating when the last-minute deal struck by congress to supposedly help put the nation’s financial house in order will in reality add about $4 trillion to the federal deficit over the next decade—and will add $41 in taxes for every $1 cut in spending.

So how did we get into this mess?

Consider a few facts:

  • The U.S. government is like a family with a $21,700 annual income spending $38,200 a year, with $16,500 of that put on credit cards—when the family already owes $142,710 on those credit cards!
  • The U.S. government currently borrows 40 percent of all that it spends. That means it borrows and spends $10.4 billion each day, $433 million per hour, $7.2 million per minute, and $120,370 per second! (And this isn’t all that it spends—merely what it borrows to spend.)
  • For four consecutive years the federal government has amassed a trillion-dollar deficit. It took the United States 200 years to accumulate its first trillion dollars in debt. Now it takes about 10 months!
  • We have already spent the money that will be paid in taxes by the next generation of Americans, and more—stealing wealth from them to maintain our standard of living through massive borrowing.
  • Each American’s share of federal government debt is about $45,000—and expected to grow to almost $75,000 by 2020, only seven years away.
  • Shocking as these figures are, they in fact vastly underestimate the scope of the problem. When we factor in unfunded liabilities—the amount needed to fully fund government promises for Social Security, Medicare, military and government employee pensions and health care, the real debt load then jumps to five to ten times the $16 trillion current deficit! And that doesn’t even include similar unfunded liabilities for the 50 individual states and hundreds of American towns and cities.

The fact is, America has already run off the fiscal cliff. The real question is, how long until we hit bottom?

But again, how did we get into this mess?

You need to understand the answer. You may be surprised to learn that it was foretold several thousand years ago in the pages of your Bible!

You need to understand what’s prophesied to happen to America, and much of the rest of the Western world. More importantly, you need to understand why.

That’s why we call The Good News “a Magazine of Understanding.” We want to help you make sense of this world that’s rapidly changing around us. And the keys to understanding that are found in the Bible.

We hope you’ll carefully read the articles in this next issue, which is dedicated to the crucial question of “Where Does America Go From Here?” You need to know! Your issue should be arriving in your mailbox any day now (if it hasn’t already). Or you can preview and download it here.

Either way, you need this crucial information!

Scott Ashley—Managing editor, The Good News

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January 3, 2013 Posted by | Good News Magazine, Media and Communications | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Does Marriage Matter?

November 7, 2012

Marriage is the building block of families. Families are the building blocks of communities. Communities are the building blocks of society. When marriages and families break down, so do communities and ultimately society and civilization as a whole. We’ve seen this pattern before, and we’re witnessing it again as this bedrock of society increasingly crumbles.

Consider the costs when marriage is debased and discarded. A landmark 2008 study titled The Taxpayer Costs of Divorce and Unwed Childbearing concluded that breakdown of the family costs U.S. taxpayers a minimum of at least $112 billion each year, or more than $1 trillion in a decade.

That figure includes major costs for “higher rates of crime, drug abuse, education failure, chronic illness, child abuse, domestic violence, and poverty . . . more welfare expenditure; increased remedial and special education expenses . . . increased Medicaid and Medicare costs; [and] increasingly expensive and harsh crime-control measures,” among other things.

The National Fatherhood Initiative website cites a number of studies showing that:

  • “Children in father-absent homes are almost four times more likely to be poor.”
  • Children born to single mothers show higher levels of aggressive behavior than children born to married mothers.”
  • “Infant mortality rates are 1.8 times higher for infants of unmarried mothers than for married mothers.”
  • “A 2002 Department of Justice survey of 7,000 inmates revealed that 39 percent of jail inmates lived in mother-only households.”
  • “There is significantly more drug use among children who do not live with their mother and father.”
  • “A poor parental bond with one’s father was highly predictive of depression, a well-known predictor of alcohol abuse and related problems for both females and males.”
  • “Youth who have experienced divorce, separation, or a nonunion birth have significantly higher levels of behavioral problems in school than do youth who have always lived with both biological parents.”

These depressing findings make it all the more disturbing that different groups, movements and even political parties wish to redefine marriage and family. Do fruits like the sad conclusions stated above not demonstrate the folly of tampering with an institution the Creator of human beings designed?

As Jesus Christ Himself said: “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:4-6; quoting Genesis 1:27; 2:24).

This is how God designed marriage. As we show in the articles in the November-December issue of The Good News, now available online or arriving in your mailbox soon, when we reject or redefine this pattern, we reap the tragic consequences. Never let yourself be lulled into thinking that marriage doesn’t matter!

Warm regards,

Scott Ashley—Managing editor, The Good News

November 7, 2012 Posted by | Good News Magazine, Media and Communications | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Print Advertising to Reach 13.2 Million Households in 2012-2013

August 2, 2012

We are very pleased to report that between July 2012 and March 2013 the United Church of God will mail Good News subscription advertisements to 13,200,000 households in the United States at a cost of under 2¢ each. This household quantity nearly doubles the 7,800,000 we reached during the previous fiscal year.

Through this card pack mailing effort we expect to add nearly 65,000 new readers at about $3.00 each. Potential subscribers will be offered a one-year subscription to The Good News and at least one or more of the following ten booklets:

During the past six fiscal years (June 2006 through June 2012) the United Church of God has reached 78.5 million households through print media campaigns. These annual efforts have included the use of card packs, co-op mailers, sampling programs, magazine inserts, package inserts and brochure take-one programs.

As always, we greatly appreciate your prayers for God’s blessings on the Church’s efforts to publish and broadcast the Gospel throughout the world.

John LaBissoniere—Print Advertising Manager, Media and Communications Services

August 2, 2012 Posted by | Good News Magazine, Media and Communications, Uncategorized | , , , , | 5 Comments

What Makes a True Leader?

July 3, 2012

Almost 30 centuries ago one of history’s greatest thinkers brilliantly summarized the results of good and bad leadership. “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice,” he wrote, “but when a wicked man rules, the people groan.”

Perhaps you recognize King Solomon’s words from Proverbs 29:2. But even if you don’t, you certainly know that when it comes to leadership, more people are groaning than rejoicing.

Look around you. How many of our great problems are, at their root, the result of bad leadership?

Consider the economic crisis that threatens the future of the United States and Europe. What’s behind it? At its root, for years political leaders have given away government handouts to those who would vote for them—to the point that they are borrowing trillions of dollars to keep the game going lest someone point out that our apparent prosperity is merely a mirage and everything comes crashing down.

Meanwhile we keep building up debt at a frantic pace. It’s to the point that several American cities are now faced with declaring bankruptcy because, unlike national governments, they can’t create more money out of thin air and no one is willing or unwise enough to loan them more money that can never realistically be repaid.

What about the wars that plague our planet? At their core, wars are inherently selfish—leaders desire to take what doesn’t belong to them (or take back what someone previously took from them), and they rally their followers to march forth and conquer. The result is destructive, debilitating, dehumanizing war that rips apart families, cultures and civilizations. Millions suffer for the corrupt desires of a few leaders.

Most of our other problems are just variations of these same basic themes.

If ever the world needed great leaders, the time is now! But where will they come from? And what makes a truly great leader? What sets apart a true leader from the wannabees and also-rans who have brought us to our sad state of the world?

Few questions are more important to our future—both collectively and to you personally. And you need to know the answers! That’s why you need to read the latest issue of The Good News, so you can understand why the world is in the shape it’s in and how a transformation of leadership can—and will—make literally all the difference in the world!

Learn much more about what makes a true leader in the July-August issue of The Good News, now available online and arriving in your mailbox soon. Good News truly is on the horizon!

Scott Ashley—Managing editor, The Good News

July 4, 2012 Posted by | Good News Magazine, Media and Communications | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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