“Men fainting from fear and apprehension of the things coming on the Habitable; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” (Luke 21:26, Dia.)
This text certainly describes the condition of things that has existed among the world during the past year. There is an air of tension and anxiety accompanied by events that warrant such feelings. With the many bombings around the world and the threat of possible bombings on U.S. land, and worst of all the expectation of war to break out any moment, as well as the money problems, widespread layoffs and strikes, it isn’t any wonder that the people are very uneasy. There is no outward show of worry, but there is an undercurrent of uneasiness.
“The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in Him.” (Nahum 1:7) We recognize the trouble as the preparation, according to God’s Plan, for blessing the whole world.
The world does not understand these things, but we, if we are Bible Students, know that it is the working out of God’s Plan. The increasing trouble will lead to worldwide Revolution, the second phase of the Time of Trouble, War, the first phase having already occurred. After the Revolution will come Anarchy. But after that comes the great time of blessing upon the whole earth. This is what we keep our minds stayed on and that helps us to be at ease during the trouble time. These three phases of the Trouble are pictured in 1 Kings 19:11,12 as Wind (War), Earthquake (Revolution) and Fire (Anarchy). But after the Fire “a still small voice,” the voice of God, the Divine Power, which will bring blessings to the world. This corresponds to Psa. 46:10: “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” So we look forward with great anticipation for that time of blessing for all the world.
2002 IN REVIEW:
- Roman Catholic Church priest scandal.
- U.S. prepares for war with Iraq.
- Washington, D.C., snipers.
- Corporate scandals.
- Republican electoral wins.
- North Korea nuclear violations.
- Jimmy Carter wins Nobel Peace Prize.
- U.S. economy sputters.
- Europe splits with America.
- War on terrorism.
“THE TERROR CONTINUES: American troops remained in Afghananistan, fighting occasional battles with the remnants of the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Meanwhile, the vice president of Afghanistan was assassinated by Islamic extremists, and an attempt was made on the life of the president, Hamid Karzai. The hunt for Osama bin Laden continued, and there were differing opinions about whether the al-Qaeda leader remained alive. The most–deadly terrorist incident of 2002 took place in Bali, where a nightclub frequented by Western tourists was blown up and almost 200 people were killed.”
“MAN IN THE NEWS: In many ways, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein replaced Osama bin Laden as the biggest enemy to U.S. interest. Throughout the year, the U.S. administration alleged that Saddam was creating or harboring weapons of mass destruction. After a year of back-and-forth rhetoric between Baghdad and Washington, Iraq agreed to welcome U.N. weapons inspections. (Associated Press, December 29, 2002)
WORLD IN BRIEF: “Siege of 2 Hindu temples in Kashmir leaves 12 dead.”
“Rioting in southern Jordan kills 1, injures several others.”
“U.S. warship visits China to rejuvenate strained ties.”
“Venezuela’s president vows to crush any coup attempts.”
“French truckers block roads to protest lack of pay deal.”
“Ivory Coast attacks increase war fears as talks continue.”
“39 Countries Short of Food - 25 of them are in Africa.”
“Russian Soldier Opens Fire, Kills 8 Comrades, Injures 3.”
“37,000 Sleep on Streets of New York. ‘It’s getting steadily worse out there. All the shelters are full. It’s tighter than it’s ever been.’”
(Orlando Sentinel, November 2002)
Comment: The above headlines show that these events are worldwide and that the Time of Trouble is in progress.
“BROTHER OF JESUS: Archeologists have authenticated what they say is the first physical evidence that corroborates biblical references to Jesus - an inscription of his name on the ancient bone box of his brother, James.
“The inscription found on the container, known as an ossuary, reads in Aramaic: ‘James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.’ The ossuary has been dated to approximately 63 BCE.
“Paleographer Andre Lemaire of Sorbonne University researched the box, which is owned by an anonymous Israel antiquities collector, while he was a visiting scholar this year at the Hebrew University’s Institute for Advanced Study in Jerusalem. Lemaire published his results in the November/December edition of the Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR). The findings were unveiled yesterday at a press conference in Washington hosted by the magazine’s publisher, the Biblical Archaeology Society.
“Hershel Shanks, editor in chief of BAR admits that the finding ‘confirms the Jewishness of both James and Jesus.’
“During the first century BCE, Jews often transferred bones of the deceased from burial caves to ossuaries. This practice was halted after the destruction of the Second Temple.
“Based on extensive research, Lemaire concluded that approximately 20 Jerusalemites from the period would ‘be called James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.’
“‘It is, however, impossible to estimate how many of these ossuaries would be inscribed,’ he writes in the article. According to Lemaire inscribing the deceased brother’s name on the ossuary was rare and likely occurred in this case, because Jesus - James’s brother - was a prominent figure.
“Dr. Amnon Rosenfield and Dr. Shimon Ilani of the National Infrastructure Ministry’s Geological Survey verified the authenticity of the ossuary.
“Researchers examined the chalk (lime stone), soil, and patina (the thin covering of the surface caused by age) of the ossuary. They further concluded that the ossuary was not tampered with.
“The anonymous antiquities dealer purchased the ossuary 15 years ago from an Arab dealer for a few hundred dollars. The item is believed to be from Silwan, a neighborhood in east Jerusalem.”
(The Jerusalem Post, November 1, 2002)
“2ND DOOR FOUND IN PYRAMID: CAIRO, EGYPT - Scientists using a robot have discovered yet another door deep inside the Great Pyramid, Egypt’s head archaeologist said Monday. The discovery followed the September 17 revelation on live television of a chamber behind a similar stone door in an 8-inch-square shaft in the pyramid Pharaoh Khufu built more than 4,000 years ago. ‘This find in the northern shaft, coupled with last week’s discovery in the southern shaft, represents the first major new information about the Great Pyramid in more than a century,’ said the director of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.”
(Orlando Sentinel, October 24, 2002)
Comment: The above article shows that we shouldn’t depend on the pyramid for truth because more discoveries are being made every day. How will these new findings fit in with what has already been known and accepted? In fact, the pyramid should not be used to teach a doctrine, but merely to corroborate doctrines that we already have learned from the Bible. The pyramid has a great many truths revealed in its construction. It corresponds to the Tabernacle and the Temple. But the Lord’s people of this age and past ages have had all that the Lord has revealed from His Word, and that is sufficient to maintain faith.
But the world needs more and the pyramid has been an obsession for them for many generations. The world has to have such things as a stone “witness” (Isa. 19:19,20) to convince them that what is in the Bible is the sure Word of God. They will be convinced in the Millennium when they realize that their scientific witness shows them what is in the Bible is true.
Last year the largest corporation in U.S. history, the Enron Corporation, filed for bankruptcy taking billions of dollars from investors’ funds. This year two of the largest airlines in the world filed for bankruptcy, United Airlines, U.S. Air, and more could be on their way after taking billions of dollars from guaranteed U.S. government loans.
The year 2002 may well go down in history as the year of the fallen giants. A weak economy and widespread accounting irregularities fueled what by one measure has been the biggest year ever for corporate bankruptcies, with the value of 2002 filings soaring to a record $368 billion as of December 25.
The number of public companies filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection was actually higher in 2001 - 257 versus 186 this year. But when measured by assets, the 2002 filings - bloated by big names such as WorldCom Inc., Global Crossing Ltd., Conseco Inc., Adelphia Communications Inc. and UAL Corp. - shattered last year’s record by 42 percent.
McDonald’s has been a public company 37 years and is the world’s largest restaurant company. It anticipates reporting a loss in the fourth quarter - the first quarterly loss ever.
That left economists and business experts nervously discussing the “ripple effect” of such massive failures on the U.S. economy and investor confidence.
Maybe we are not all doomed after all. After a few weeks of disappointing reports, this week’s data was more upbeat. Retail sales were positive in November, excluding motor vehicles, climbing a solid 0.7% - the first time unemployment claims had also declined in November.
On December 10, 2002, Reuters Washington News office released “The Elite Panel of Economists that Rules on U.S. Business Cycles” saying it needs more time before ruling that the 2001 recession has ended. The private National Bureau of Economic Research said, “The U.S. economy continues to evolve as in earlier months.”
Shoppers are spending less and many stores are struggling, but U.S. malls occupancy levels are strong at a 90.6%. Simon Property Group, Inc., the nation’s largest mall company with 178 malls, saw occupancy rates increase a full percentage point to 92% for the third quarter. Average sales per square foot also rose. The gains took place even as consumer spending slowed. And many mall-based retail tenants struggled.
Interest rates are still lower in the short term. Long-term interest rates are moving up sharply. The improvement in retail sales and jobless claims along with this past month’s rise in consumer sentiment might be a signal that the recovery is now regaining momentum but yields will still be hemmed in by fears about terrorism and war. The U.S. economy has been going down since Clinton’s last two years as president. The unemployment rates and debt have both been going up over the past four years.
President Bush’s economic team will talk big about helping the economy but little can or will be done. Bush will hold the line on government spending. The Iraq situation will keep investors and consumers on edge.
In this Time of Trouble we need to watch for the “times and seasons” of the Lord. “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.” (1Thes. 5:1)
JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES AND THE LAYMENS HOME MISSIONARY MOVMENT: Both are continuing on in their errant ways. Both have invented a new false class that Pastor Russell never taught and which is not Scriptural. The JWs have long since invented “new doctrines” and have taken themselves out of a designation as a Truth group. And it seems that the LHMM is fast approaching the same category. They both have failed to adhere to Jude 3: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Both these organizations have muddied the waters of the “common Salvation” with they’re false classes. More could be said on this and other aberrations, but this should be enough to show their true colors.
“CHURCHES HAVE HECK OF A TIME WITH HELL: Changing beliefs are forcing preachers to downplay damnation and emphasize life. Bill Faris believes in hell, that frightful netherworld where the thermostat is always set on high, where sinners toil for eternity in unspeakable torment.
“But you’d never know it listening to him preach at his south Orange County, Calif., evangelical church. He never mentions the topic; his flock shows little interest in it.
“‘It isn’t sexy enough anymore,’ said Faris, pastor of Crown Valley Vineyard Christian Fellowship.
“In churches across America, hell is being frozen out as clergy find themselves increasingly hesitant to sermonize on Christianity’s outpost for lost souls.
“‘There has been a shift in religion from focusing on what happens in the next life to asking, ‘What is the quality of this life we’re leading now?’ said Harvey Cox Jr., and author, religious historian and professor at Harvard Divinity School.
“Hell’s fall from fashion indicates how key portions of Christian theology have been influenced by a secular society that stresses individualism over authority and the human psyche over moral absolutes.
“The tendency to downplay damnation has grown in recent years as nondenominational ministries, with their focus on everyday issues such as childrearing and career success, have proliferated, and loyalty to churches has deteriorated.
“‘It’s just too negative,’ said Bruce Shelley, a senior professor of church history at the Denver Theological Seminary. ‘Churches are under enormous pressure to be consumer-oriented. Churches today feel the need to be appealing rather than demanding.’
“Hell is far from dead. A May 2001 Gallup Poll of adults nationwide found that 71 percent believe in hell.
“They just don’t want to hear about it. Even among some ‘born-again’ churches, hell is a rare topic of conversation. Born-again Christians believe in hell, but they also believe their decision to embrace Christ has earned them a one-way ticket in the other direction.
“Where once hell was viewed as a literal, geographic location, it is more often seen now as a state of the soul.
“Even the Rev. Billy Graham, who came to prominence in the 1940s as a fire-and-brimstone preacher, reconsidered hell. ‘I believe that hell is essentially separation from God. That we are separated from God, so we can have hell in this life and hell in the life to come…’ Graham told an interviewer in 1991.
“‘But to describe hell in vivid terms like I might have done 30 or 40 years ago, I’m not at liberty to do that because whether there is actually fire in hell or not, I do not know.’
“Hell’s roots are tangled up in the Hades of Greek mythology and the ancient Hebrew concept of Sheol - locales where the dead, both good and bad, resided.
“For churches, the fear of hell became a colorful - and effective - tool to teach the consequences of a sinful life devoid of God.
“In the centuries to come, scientific discoveries and the European Enlightenment would crack hell’s veneer, undercutting all things supernatural and questioning whether a merciful God would be so cruel.
“Amid this rethinking, more palatable theories of hell have developed: Souls not ticketed for heaven simply cease to be. Hell is a temporary state before heaven.
“As a young preacher, Father Wilfredo Benitez of St. Anselm of Canterbury Episcopal Church in Garden Grove, Calif., warned nonbelievers they would burn in Satan’s lair.
“He later dropped the tactic. ‘Can we accept a gift at gunpoint? This is total nonsense and madness.’”
(By Mike Anton and William Lobdell, Los Angeles Times, July 6, 2002)
Comment: The ancient Hebrew word Sheol has no equivalent in the English language resulting in various translations in the Old Testament. The nearest English word that properly translates it is unconsciousness. “For there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave [sheol], whither thou goest.” “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing.” (Eccl. 9:10,5) The Greek word Hades is merely a translation of the Hebrew word Sheol.
“MORE CHRISTIANS TURN TO ADVENT: ST. LOUIS - Ashley Timm, 15, worries that the joyful Advent season of spiritual preparation gets lost.
“‘Advent is about helping others, because Jesus loved us,’ she said. ‘I worry that some people think that it’s about getting lots of presents and seeing Santa Claus, instead of understanding the real gift of Christmas - that Jesus came into this world to save us.’
“The Advent season encompasses the four Sundays preceding Christmas and was celebrated by the early church as a period of penance and preparation for the celebration of the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ.
“A half-century ago, Advent was observed by Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, Lutherans, and less commonly by other Christians. However, Advent now has wider appeal as many Christians increase their appreciation for the importance of symbols and rites, said the Rev. Michael Kinnamon, a professor of ecumenical studies at Eden Theological Seminary in Webster Groves, Mo.
“He finds the growing interest in Advent and other liturgical rites especially strong in denominations like his own Christian Church Disciples of Christ and some Baptists. Both were once adamantly proud of having services and churches that were ‘plain and unadorned,’ he said.”
(Excerpts from Patricia Rice, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 30, 2002)
“POLL: AIDS Orphans On Own: Only 3 percent of evangelical Christians say they are willing to help children orphaned by AIDS, a new survey shows.
“Overall, 5 percent of 1,000 adults surveyed by the California-based Barna Research Group said they would help children in such a situation.
“‘Nearly 2,000 years after Jesus gave us the parable of the Good Samaritan, we are still asking the question, ‘Who is my neighbor?’ And we’re still getting the answer wrong,’ said World Vision President Richard E. Stearns.”
(Orlando Sentinel, November 30, 2002)
“ATHEISTS BOOST POLITICAL MUSCLE TO BATTLE RELIGION IN PUBLIC LIFE: WASHINGTON - Banding together against what they see as the encroachment of religion on American public life, more than 1,000 atheists organized on the National Mall for the first Godless Americans March on Washington.
“At the march last Saturday, they came bearing signs and banners with slogans such as ‘Religion Kills’ and ‘Believers Repent,’ marching past dozens of Christian counter protesters.
“‘We want the same rights of every other group of Americans who have marched down this mall,’ said Ellen Johnson, American Atheists president. ‘We need to become a well-oiled well-financed political machine.’
“To that end, Johnson announced the creation of the Godless Americans Political Action Committee. ‘Ladies and gentlemen, I see a sleeping giant that is waking up and ready to assert its political and cultural influence,’ Johnson said.”
(By Adelle M. Banks and Aparna H. Kumar, Religion News Service, November 9, 2002)
“ATHEISTS GIVE ‘GOD SLOT’ ON BBC A NEW PERSPECTIVE: LONDON - Some of Britain’s most eminent writers and thinkers are demanding equal time for atheism on a daily religious radio spot that is a cherished ritual to many believers of all faiths.
“‘Thought for the Day,’ the British Broadcasting Corp’s venerable ‘God slot,’ responded yesterday by giving listeners a dose of atheism, as the debate continued over religion’s place on the national broadcaster.
“Richard Dawkins, Oxford University’s professor for the public understanding of science, was granted an experimental ‘Thought for the Day’ slot an hour after Anne Atkins, a newspaper columnist and the wife of a Church of England vicar, had presented the daily fixture.
“He summoned the nation to abandon religion - to ‘leave the crybaby phase and finally come of age.’
“The issue has touched a British nerve. ‘Thought for Today’ may be just two minutes and 45 seconds long, but since 1970 it has been a fixture on one of the nation’s most influential news programs.” (Today on Radio 4, which draws 6.45 million listeners)
“The Atheist ‘Thought’ came a day after more than a hundred prominent atheists - including play wrights Harold Pinter and Arnold Wesker, authors Iain Banks, and John Fowles, and Joseph Rotblat, a Nobel Peace prize winner - published a letter demanding equal treatment.
“‘Thought for the Day’ has regular contributions from Sikhs, Jews and Christians but does not welcome contributors who hold no religious beliefs.
“‘By resolutely retaining the ban, the BBC is discriminating against the non-religious, and thus giving the impression of promoting religion as the one source of ethics’ the letter said.
“The debate over a program that is meant to encourage thoughtful contemplation quickly turned angry.
“‘To ask an atheist to contribute to (‘Thought for Today’) would be like asking an earthworm to comment on quantum physics,’ Gerald Aves commented in his e-mail to the Today program web site.
“Phil Healey responded: ‘this is an absolutely perfect example of the bigotry of those people who believe in fairy tales.’
“Church attendance has declined sharply in Britain, but a BBC poll two years ago found that 62 percent affirmed their belief in God and in Jesus Christ.”
(Associated Press, August 15, 2002)
Comment: Satan is walking about like a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8) promoting the thought of Atheism and is having much success.
CATHOLICS: “BISHOP QUESTIONS EUCHARIST: Anglican Bishop of Oxford Richard Harries has suggested that the ‘cannibalistic language of the Eucharist’ is part of the reason Christianity is declining in Britain. Harries outlined his views in his controversial new book God Outside the Box.
“The ‘Prayer of Humble Access’ reads, in part: ‘Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood.’
“In an interview with The Times newspaper in London, Harries said, ‘I do not think that Christians today take seriously enough people’s sense of horror at going to a Eucharist or Mass, if they have never been before, and hearing the imagery of sacrifice and eating God.’”
(Orlando Sentinel, August 24, 2002)
Comment: At the Last Supper when Jesus initiated the antitypical Passover for His disciples to replace the typical Hebrew Passover that celebrates the Jews deliverance from slavery, He said, “This is my body, this is my blood.” He was present there in the flesh saying these words, so how can it mean that the bread and the wine were His actual body and blood? He meant that they represented His sacrifice as the antitypical “Lamb of God.” Also, in the “Prayer of Humble Access” it says, “thy dear Son Jesus Christ.” Then at the end of the item it says “eating God.” Is Jesus the Son of God or God the Father? How can He be both?
“LAY WORKERS JOIN UNION: Lay workers at four Roman Catholic parishes in Texas who were worried about pensions and other benefits have joined unions - a rare move for church employees of any denomination, labor groups say.
“The employees have signed contracts with the United Farm Workers of America and AFLCIO.”
(Orlando Sentinel, August 24, 2002)
“CATHOLIC CAMPUSES HEAD FOR SHOWDOWN: A deadline looms Saturday that could ignite a smoldering conflict over academic freedom between the Roman Catholic hierarchy and theologians at the nation’s 235 Catholic colleges and universities.
“The winners and losers won’t be immediately clear, but in coming years jobs and the shape of Catholic higher learning may be at stake.
“Acting on instructions from the Vatican, U.S. bishops have ordered Catholics who teach their faith’s doctrine, morality, Scripture, law and history at Catholic schools to obtain a ‘mandatum’ (mandate, in English) from the bishop of the diocese where the college is located.
“The document, which the bishops agreed should be obtained by June 1 - Saturday - attests the theologian teaches only authentic Catholicism.”
(The Dispatch, Lexington, NC, May 22, 2002)
EPISCOPALIAN: “UNWED UNIONS GAIN SUPPORT: The Episcopal Church’s Kansas diocese will allow clerical blessings of homosexual couples and unwed heterosexuals for whom marriage is a financial hardship, Bishop William E. Smalley said.
“Smalley said Kansas is the first diocese to bless unmarried heterosexuals. With homosexual union, ‘others are doing it, but are very quiet about it,’ he said.
“Smalley said he based his decision on a resolution at the 2000 Episcopal convention that ‘acknowledged’ some Episcopalians live in committed relationships outside wedlock.”
(Orlando Sentinel, July 6, 2002)
PRESBYTERIAN: “PASTORS PROTEST: Hoping to recapture the reformer’s spirit that led Martin Luther to spark the Protestant Reformation, five pastors gathered recently at the Louisville, Ky., headquarters of the Presbyterian Church (USA) with a list of grievances, saying the church is ‘irretrievably apostate.’
“About 100 church members also signed the document in support. It calls on church leaders to discipline congregations and pastors who defy the church constitution, especially those who ordain noncelibate gays and lesbians as pastors.
“Arguing that church leaders ‘will respond to apostasy only when there is a financial crisis,’ the document also called on congregations to withhold their dues from any church agency that ‘tolerates defiance of our constitution.’”
(Orlando Sentinel, November 16, 2002)
“PASTOR QUITS AMID RIFT ABOUT GAYS: The Rev. Howard Edington resigned from Orlando’s First Presbyterian Church. The Rev. Howard Edington, who in two decades as pastor more than tripled the downtown congregation of First Presbyterian Church of Orlando, announced his retirement Wednesday in the wake of a controversy sparked by his conservative views on the role of gays in the denomination.
“The 60-year-old Edington’s vocal opposition to ordaining gay ministers and blessing same-sex unions - together with a sermon opposing the Orlando City Council’s recently passed ordinance protecting gays from discrimination - had roiled his congregation.
“At least two elders resigned. At one point, the minister was urged to take a six-month sabbatical, an offer he rejected.
“Edington did not dispute that his involvement in conservative causes, especially those involving sexual orientation, has led some members of the congregation to leave in recent months for other Presbyterian churches.
“He said that ‘our denomination is in trouble’ because of ‘the watering down of the theological standards of the church as a whole.’ The official stance of the 2.6 million-member Presbyterian Church (USA) denomination is that all ordained ministers must be in a heterosexual marriage or celibate, and that the church will not bless homosexual unions. However, Edington and others have charged that in practice the denomination does not discipline congregations that violate these policies.
“‘It is being defied by some churches, individuals and presbyterys,’ Edington said. He said he would not accept another pastorate.
“Edington’s success in turning First Presbyterian into a multimillion-dollar complex with about 5,600 members and nearly 200 specialized ministries drew praise from around the country. Bucking a national trend of churches moving their congregation out of downtowns, Edington decided in the 1980s that his flock would stay put in what he called the ‘Heart of the City.’ Since then, the church has grown into the fourth-largest congregation in the Presbyterian Church (USA) denomination. In October, Edington’s was one of five names affixed to a list of theological grievances taped to the front door of the denomination’s Louisville, Ky., headquarters, in imitation of Marin Luther’s action that sparked the Protestant Reformation.”
(Excerpts from Mark I. Pinsky, Orlando Sentinel, December 5, 2002)
Comment: The above shows what a hodgepodge of confusion there is among the different sects, as well as among some churches of the same sect. It is reminiscent of the ancient Tower of Babel. It is a real Babylon of confusion. It should be noted that their quarrels are about such things as homosexuals, abortion, unions outside wed lock, etc.
They are never about real doctrines of the Bible such as the Ransom, Restitution, Justification, the Kingdom, which we pray always for, and other important doctrines. Jesus said, “go thou and preach the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:60) However, it seems that the squabbling over their mundane differences may be one cause that will bring their downfall.
Correction: In the November 2002 paper, No. 544, under Doctrine Number One, first paragraph, last line, should read: reasonable to believe that the previous six days (epochs) were 7,000 years each (6x7=42,000) and the week 49,000 years (7x7=49,000).
Our heartfelt thanks and appreciation for the many beautiful Christmas cards expressing love and prayers. Be assured that our warm Christian love and prayers are ever with you. We wish for all our readers that they will grow in Grace and Knowledge of the Lord for a blessed New Year, as “The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (Prov. 4:18)
ANNOUNCEMENT: The Memorial for 2003 is on Monday, April 14, after six p.m.