Inside United: Realtime

Exciting News & Updates from UCGIA

Member Letter From Dennis Luker

July 18, 2010

Dear Brethren,

Thank you for your faithfulness to God and your support of His work! Your fervent prayers, tithes and offerings, and the other works of service are producing good fruit. Your love and giving of yourselves, as living sacrifices, in service to others, is making a positive difference in the lives of millions of people.

Here is some encouraging news from our Media and Communications Services department:

The first weekend on WGN America was successful. Beyond Today had a very good beginning on WGN America for our premier telecast on Sunday, July 11. We received 338 phone calls for the day from Gary Petty’s program, “Getting Control of Your Money.”

Some of these responses were from Canada, some were from our other five test TV stations, and some were from cable-access programming. After eliminating those from the count, we figure 268 of them were directly from WGN America in the United States. This does not include Web responses, which would likely at least equal that quantity.

As a reminder, we are beginning our contract on WGN America in the midst of summer when television viewing is normally lower across the board. As autumn draws near and people begin spending less time outdoors and on vacation, TV viewing generally increases. As this occurs and as the viewing audience becomes more familiar with Beyond Today and begins to watch regularly, response rates should rise.

Also, our Web traffic doubled compared to past airing days. On average we have between 400 to 700 Web visitors each Sunday. This time we had almost 1,400 Web visitors. The stats showed for the day 64 percent of the Web visitors were first-time beyondtoday.tv visitors. The top city locations that visited the Web site that day were from New York, Washington, Winnipeg, Atlanta, Nashville, Phoenix, Houston and Toronto. Our Canadian office is reporting an upswing in their responses, due to WGN America airing across Canada as well.

So, overall we had a great start on WGN America, and we thank God for this door He has opened. It reminds me of what Jesus Christ said in Revelation 3:8: “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.” We intend to keep walking through the doors that Christ opens to us to preach the truth of God.

In addition, our Canadian office has reported: “There is some exciting news to share. At least two new records were set with the responses from this week’s Beyond Today television program. The program title was ‘Getting Control of Your Money.’ We set a new record for overall responses, 156—surpassing the previous record of 149 responses set in October 2008. We also set a new record for the number of Good News subscription requests from the Beyond Today Web site—23. This eclipses the previous record of 18 set in April 2007.”

And here is more good news from Media and Communication Services:

In July the United Church of God passed another major milestone when we printed our 7 millionth English-language booklet! To put this number in perspective, if all 7 million booklets (at our current size) were laid end to end, they would stretch more than 900 miles. If put into a single stack, it would reach almost 45 miles high. It would weigh more than 500 tons—500 tons of truth!

In most years we have printed or reprinted about 500,000 to 700,000 booklets in response to reader requests. This averages about 50,000 booklet requests per month (not counting Internet downloads).

While the Internet, TV, The Good News and other forms of media are good at introducing people to God’s truth, booklets play a major role in helping people gain a deeper understanding of what the Bible teaches about various subjects. Our booklets play a crucial role in bringing people to greater understanding of the Bible and God’s plan and purpose for them.

Brethren, it is your generosity, prayers and support that are helping make this possible. Of course, we all know that the real credit goes to God the Father and to His Son, Jesus Christ, who lives and works in us as we yield our lives to Him. Jesus Christ was both human and divine, fully man and fully God. He was the uniquely born Son of God who preexisted as the Word with God (John 1:1-2).

As we move forward, doing the work of God, Satan is trying his best to divide us and prevent us from accomplishing that work. I can’t predict the future, but I can tell you this with absolute confidence and faith: Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, and He will bring good out of all that is going on in the Church. He is fully aware of everything happening and what everyone is saying and doing. In fact, He is using our present distress to test our hearts and minds and find out what is deep inside each of us.

God reveals through David that He is always observing and testing us: “The Lord is in His holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. The Lord tests the righteous, but the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates” (Psalm 11:4-5).

God also hates those who do “violence” to the brethren by spreading lies and rumors. “These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue…a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren” (Proverbs 6:16-19). He also says, “I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:10).

I would fear to be in the shoes of those who sow discord among brethren and are causing division among God’s people. God hates those sins. He will reveal, in His time and way, those who are the perpetrators of all this confusion and evil.

But, let me finish this letter to you on a very positive note. We all know, without a doubt, that this is God’s Church and that Jesus Christ is the Living Head and has authority over all things to the Church (Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:18). We can have total confidence in Jesus Christ to lead us through our present trials and bring good out of it all.

We all need to humble ourselves, repent of our own sins and mistakes and seek God’s forgiveness, as we forgive others. May God help us all to love Him above all else and to love each other more than we love ourselves.

Sincerely, in Christ’s service,

Dennis Luker, President

PS: I have received many e-mail messages and letters and apologize for not being able to respond to them all. Thank you for your understanding. LeeAnn and I deeply appreciate your concern and love and prayers. You are all also in our prayers daily.

July 19, 2010 - Posted by | Beyond Today, Good News Magazine, Home Office, Media and Communications, President's Office |

9 Comments »

  1. I believe God and Christ, in the end, always bring good—to those who really love God’s way. A very excellent letter from a man I perceive to be deeply converted.

    It seems clear we are having an opportunity to reveal to God and Christ whether our conversion is deep and solid enough that they will choose to make us first fruits.

    We are in the Laodicean era and God makes plain that the majority in this era will be in denial about their true spiritual condition. All of us (me too)have a strong proclivity in that direction. Personally, I believe those that do not repent and become deeply converted will not lose out on salvation, just not be first fruits. I use the word “just” somewhat in jest. It is missing out on something none of us can really even begin to imagine.

    True conversion has at its core true humility and true honesty. Both are rare traits for humans.There is no doubt,(especially considering what has happened in the past 20 years in the Church) the ministry, in all the churches of God, have much to be humble about.

    Again, I believe Denny (he did ask us to call him that)has been a man that has been moving closer and closer to the stature of Christ. None of us get very close to that stature. Not yet.

    In part,I make the point immediately above to say this. I have noticed when a leading minister (in most churches of God)writes to the elders he often closes with “Your brother in Christ.” Rarely, does he close this way writing to members.

    I hope the point above is taken in the spirit it was given.

    One last point. I have been corrected for not closing in prayer with “in the name of Jesus Christ.” I usually close by saying, in the Master’s name, in Christ’s name, something like that. It is interesting to me that many ministers do not appreciate one calling them by their first name but feel quite comfortable calling our savior by his first name. (I know, we don’t know his “last name.”)

    Maybe not, but perhaps we are in our “final exams.” It sure feels that way. Humility and honesty will be core attributes for all first fruits.

    By the way, I still close my prayers with “in Christ’s name, etc. As we all know, Christ is not his first name.

    Jim

    Comment by Jim Butler | July 20, 2010 | Reply

    • Jim, whoever corrected you for praying “in the name of Jesus Christ” needs to review a N.T. concordance. Paul calls Him by both names (sometimes inverted) more than a dozen times!

      In fact, I recall Joseph Tkach Jr. asking in 1995 why the church as a whole was afraid to call the Son “Jesus” — much more often calling Him Christ, almost like the name is Mister Christ.

      Comment by Richard | July 21, 2010 | Reply

    • Matt 23:8-11, Heb 2:10-13

      Comment by Tim McCaulley | July 26, 2010 | Reply

  2. Thank you for the warm letter Mr. Luker. May God bless you in the days ahead with an “…understanding heart…” as he did with King Solomon so long ago. Yours is not an easy task, so my family will be praying for you. Thank you for being willing to stand and be counted.

    Comment by Richard E. Robbins | July 20, 2010 | Reply

  3. Thanks for the letter–may Satan’s efforts to divide the church be unsuccessful, and may God continue to bless our efforts to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to the world and prepare God’s people for that same kingdom.

    Comment by Nathan Albright | July 23, 2010 | Reply

  4. We in Australia well remember your service here and your humility and dedication, – and we certainly appareciate that you are going to the Bible and the example and instructions of Jesus Christ in these letters of yours to the ministry and to us all. It is certainly a contrast to the arguments and contentions of men and we thank you for your good example. Stick to it…

    Comment by Jim Bellamy | July 24, 2010 | Reply

  5. Hello Mr. Luker

    In reading your letter, I noticed this statement; “Jesus Christ was both human and divine, fully man and fully God.” and I wonder if you would be kind enough to give me the scriptural support you use for such a statement?
    Thank you,
    Jerry

    Comment by Jerry Wright | July 28, 2010 | Reply

  6. Hi Jenny

    I am not sure what Mr. Luker’s support is, but some scriptures that could be enlightening are (bolding mine):

    Act 2:22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a MAN attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know”

    1Ti 2:5 “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the MAN Christ Jesus,”

    Heb 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.

    Hope that helps.
    Regan

    Comment by Regan Campbell | August 4, 2010 | Reply

  7. Oops, my bad. I meant Jerry, not Jenny

    Sorry!!!
    Regan

    Comment by Regan Campbell | August 4, 2010 | Reply


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