July 31, 2013
The four horsemen of the apocalypse were on fearsome display last night, Tuesday, July 30, as a handful of the United Church of God’s media crew gathered at local members Rusty and Patti Wayne’s ranch on the west side of Cincinnati, Ohio, to recreate the dramatic vision that the apostle John recorded in Revelation 6. The long-planned video shoot was for an upcoming Beyond Today program about the four horsemen, scheduled to air in September and hosted by Darris McNeely.
James Myers, son of Cincinnati pastor Steve and Kathe Myers, and who is a competitive horse reiner (an advanced form of Western style riding), portrayed the horsemen, changing costume for each rider. On the production crew were video production associate Rudy Rangel who handled lighting, Jonathan Magee who handled costumes and make-up, and Jamie Schreiber and Clint Porter who recorded and directed. Senior web developer Tom Disher assisted in lighting and operated the smoke machine, and United News managing editor Mitchell Moss photographed. Steve and Kathe Myers as well as James’ wife, Jacqueline, helped handle the horses.
The shoot was a huge success; the footage and photographs will be able to be used for many years. Some additional photos appear below. A new piece of literature will also be offered on this Beyond Today episode.
Although a large storm system was moving toward Cincinnati from the west, no rain fell on the shoot and the weather was cool and calm. Three of the horses belonged the Myers, and one was borrowed from a neighbor of the Wayne’s. Thanks to the Waynes and the Myers for their property, time and help.
Mitchell Moss—Managing Editor, United News
July 26, 2013
A game of hide and seek quickly turns into a test of Jelly’s courage and faith.
Peter Eddington—Media and Communications Services
July 18, 2013
After seven years on the air, we reached a milestone last week: 30,000 responses from Beyond Today in Canada. A response is considered a request for literature and/or a subscription to The Good News magazine.
The first program aired on May 21, 2006, and we recorded 20 responses. From those humble beginnings just over seven years ago the total number of responses has continued to grow, now averaging 81 per week.
Topics of interest to our viewers include prophecy, finances and what happens after we die. Some of the most popular publications offered on the program include the “Bible Study Course,” “God’s Holy Day Plan: The Promise of Hope for All Mankind” and “The Ten Commandments.”
Several pastors report new people attending Sabbath services whose initial contact with the United Church of God was through Beyond Today. As we move forward with Beyond Today in Canada we look forward to many more encouraging results and God’s blessing.
The Media Team—United Church of God – Canada
July 16, 2013
Beyond Today Response Update
Also, a statistical analysis of individuals who responded by telephone to literature offers on Beyond Today revealed that half are steady viewers. Beyond Today has attracted a loyal audience who watch our programs routinely. For example, on July 11 we received the following comment from a regular viewer.
“I want to tell you that your TV program is superb and getting better every time! I look forward to your wonderful show every week and I wish everyone would listen up! Your commentators have the very best insight I have ever heard—so needed today. Thank you for all your thorough booklets which really explain each topic fully, as I have never heard it [described] before. God bless you for your wonderful work.”
Regarding the just completed 2012-13 fiscal year, Beyond Today produced 46,152 total viewer responses. Besides WGN America, the Word Network alone attracted 8,339 requests for literature. In terms of interest in Beyond Today throughout the world, our television programs generated response from viewers in 94 countries and territories (please see below).
Our presenters, Gary Petty, Steve Myers and Darris McNeely, and our entire production staff are grateful for your continuing support and prayers for Beyond Today and the United Church of God’s media outreach around the earth.
Peter Eddington—Operation Manager, Media and Communications Services
PS—Responses to Beyond Today were received from viewers in the following 94 countries and territories throughout the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
- Abu Dhabi
- Caribbean Netherlands
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- Hong Kong
- Madeira Islands
- New Zealand
- Northern Ireland
- Palestinian Territories
- Puerto Rico
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- St. Kitts and Nevis
- St. Lucia
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United States
July 9, 2013
Live Young Adult Bible Class (YABC)
The Young Adult Bible Class (YABC) continues this coming Friday evening, July 12, beginning at 8 p.m. EDT. Once again, participants are welcome to attend live or via webcast. The YABC is a part of the continuing education program of the Ambassador Bible Center and the youth and young adult services arm of Ministerial and Member Services of the United Church of God in Milford, Ohio.
The YABC is issue-driven. It will address current topics of concern and importance to youth and young adults. “Young adults” of all ages are welcome to join us! Each class will feature a downloadable handout connected to the webcast link. In addition to background on the topic and key Scripture passages, it will also contain several questions for you to discuss later with your friends and family.
YABC for Friday, July 12
“Integrity of the Heart—Or, What Would You Have Done at Gibeon?”
“Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, but who can find a faithful (trustworthy) man?” (Proverbs 20:6, see also verse 7, NKJV). Shortly after entering Canaan, Joshua and the Israelites were faced with a situation that challenged their integrity—their agreement with the city-state of Gibeon. This YABC will delve into how they handled that situation and examine how important “integrity of the heart” (1 Kings 9:4) is to God. We will also look at examples from David, Job, Ruth, Achan and Ananias, and discuss why integrity is a critical leadership component in all of our interpersonal relationships.
Presenter will be Matthew Fenchel, elder, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Plan to attend in person or join us online. You can also view the Bible class using your smartphone Internet browser.
Randy Stiver—Dean of Students, Ambassador Bible Center
July 8, 2013
The Cincinnati East, Ohio, congregation of the United Church of God is continuing its bi-weekly Bible study Wednesday night, July 10. The study begins at a new time: 7 p.m. EDT and is available live via webcast.
The Book of Hebrews Chapters 9 and 10.
We’ll continue our study in the Book of Hebrews finishing chapter 9 and noting the difference between atonement in the Old Testament versus atonement the New Testament. We may even have time to cover chapter 10 and discuss the “unpardonable sin.” So, don’t miss our Wednesday night study beginning at 7 p.m. The presenter will be Steve Myers.
Plan to attend in person, or you can listen online. You can also view the Bible study using your smartphone Internet browser.
Steve Myers—Pastor, United Church of God Cincinnati East
July 5, 2013
In almost every letter that the apostle Paul wrote to either churches or individuals, he greeted the brethren with “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” This was far more than a formality and pleasantry; this was God’s assurance of His grace (gifts) and His peace to His people. My desire to the entirety of the Church is the same: May God continue to give us His spiritual gifts and grant us respite and freedom from distracting conflict and disharmony.
In the United Church of God we have peace. Now we must protect it and build on it. It’s only in that environment of peace that we can do a meaningful work with the help of God’s Holy Spirit.
Paul also wrote in his letters that he prayed constantly for the congregations, giving thanks for their faith. Their faith translated into love for the brethren because of the hope they had from messages given by the ministry. Paul was always so encouraged when people’s lives changed.
Paul prayed that God would fill the new Christians with wisdom, spiritual understanding and knowledge so that they could do good works, be strong and full of joy (Colossians 1:4-5). I am devoting more time in prayer for you, as I think of our spiritual journey together. It’s a journey that has its moments of trial, but one in which I am confident that we will successfully reach our goal and destination if we stay together and prevail. God has called all of us for a great purpose—and if we make up our mind to achieve it without distractions, we will get there. We look to the Living Head of the Church, Jesus Christ—who knows our every thought and motive—to help us to stay on that highway. I believe the greatest days for the United Church of God are just ahead.
I am very encouraged by letters and e-mails that come to us from those who visit our websites and read our literature and start to make changes in their lives. Let me share just a few letters we have recently received from, in some cases, first-time readers:
“My husband and I have been watching Beyond Today and donating to Beyond Today for a couple of years. We are not actual members of your church, but we would like to attend some of your services in the Detroit area. Are we allowed to just show up and attend your Sabbath services? Thank-you.”
“Bless you all! I have come across the booklet title Jesus Christ: the Real Story. After reading it I find it very interesting and decided to further inquire about the United Church of God. I do hope to hear from you soon and really appreciate the work you are all doing to spread the Good News/Gospel of Jesus Christ. Thanks.”
“This was my first time on your site and thank you thank you. I really need this. I have lost my way from my Father and I want my relationship back.”
“I am writing for the 12 lesson Bible Study Course in paper subscription, if you can. I just like the hard copy so much better. Thank you for very much in advance. I hope to see you all in the first resurrection. God bless you all!”
“I have downloaded your recommended booklets and am in the process of reading them. I realize that reading and understanding God’s word is a lifetime commitment. Your Beyond Today and BT Daily programs are very helpful. Thanks again for your help.”
“I would like to have the booklets on God’s Holy Days. Can they be mailed to me? I don’t have any money now, but I really want to learn about those days. Thank you and may God bless you.”
“Your May-June issue of The Good News was very informative. Especially about abortion. I was always pro-choice until I read this article. Now I’m totally against abortion. I was very surprised at the extent of abortions worldwide. Other features are great as well, such as Exploring God’s word, The Bible and You, Follow Me, and my favorite, Beyond Today program, “Change Your Life Story.” Keep up the Good Work, as always.”
These letters really give us a great deal of encouragement. As God’s people we are able to pass along to others the hope we have in eternal life and a positive future for mankind!
At the home office we are preparing the sermon video for the Feast of Tabernacles, which comes early this year on the Roman calendar. This past week I gave a message to our home office staff at our weekly Monday morning staff meeting that will be used in part for the festival video. This year’s theme is Philippians 2:5: Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. In the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37), we are told to love God with all our heart and mind.
We will highlight how education is the heart and core of the gospel message, since one needs to know and understand the requirements for salvation. Conversion and salvation require education. Being a Christian goes far beyond just absorbing knowledge and information.
As we pray for you, please pray for us so that we can accomplish our part in God’s will—unimpeded with grace and peace. We need your prayers daily. May God bless you all!
In Christian love and service,
Victor Kubik—President, United Church of God, an International Association
July 2, 2013
Marriage 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
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!