What Are They Up To at Living Education–Charlotte?

If you’ve ever wondered whether the “on campus” Living Education experience might be for you, one of the best ways to get a sense of what it’s like is to tap into the Living Education–Charlotte blog.

Each year, a student is assigned to post regularly in the blog area of Living Education’s LCGEducation.org site and write about what’s happening. This year’s student, Kaleb Johnson, posts about social activities, ways the dorms are serving the local congregation here in Charlotte, and presentations made by teachers and other faculty to the students. Others also contribute, and there are many posts by second-year student Nathan Kroon, LE staff member Rebekah Ross, and others. And photos from events are frequently featured.

So, if you’d like to get a sense of what it’s like being a student at Living Education–Charlotte, head on over to the blog and let them tell you firsthand!

The Sermon from the Podcast: “‘Is It Okay?’ Is the Wrong Question”

As advertised! Here’s the sermon that inspired the podcast for this week. Click here for the podcast if you didn’t hear it, and just hit play below for the sermon!

(Don’t be distracted by the way we spell “OK” differently in the podcast title! We’ll all survive!)

How Unique Geography Gives the U.S. Superpowers

We often emphasize in the Church that the United States and Great Britain did not become great because they are somehow “better than everyone else” and that the source of their abundant blessings is God’s unconditional promise to their physical descendant Abraham. Continuously enjoying those blessings is very conditional, but that’s a story for another time!

(Though, if you’ve never studied why all of this is the case and proven it for yourself, you will find our booklet on the United States and Great Britain in Prophecy a worthwhile Bible study.)

This means, for example, that although the U.S. is the most powerful single nation in the world (for now!), we should see elements that represent God’s divine blessing on the nation in ways that the people themselves had little to nothing to do with. That is, things that make the country great that the people had no control over.

With that in mind, the video below is one we stumbled upon recently, and it does a marvelous job of explaining how the unique geography of the U.S.—something that the original colonists and citizens of the nation could not have “created” or established for themselves—is one of the key reasons behind its greatness and power in the world. So, we thought that it would be worth passing along for those who might be interested! (And, frankly, we’re just fond of calling things “OP”—it makes us feel hip.) It’s below.

“Teach Us to Pray”

Here is the sermon from Mr. Rod McNair we mentioned in the most recent podcast discussing prayer and meditation. If you want to learn some of the fundamental elements of prayer, based on Jesus’ own instructions, this sermon teaches you exactly that. We highly recommend giving it a listen.

In fact, the sermon is available in podcast form, as well, for those who would prefer that. And it struck us in putting this post together that we’ve heard lots of folks say they did not even know the Church had a sermon podcast. We do! At least on Apple Podcasts!

So below the YouTube version of the sermon, we’ve added access to the podcast recording of the sermon. If you don’t have time to watch, you can listen! We’ve added a link to the broader LCG Sermon Podcast, as well.

In Search of the Eternal (Dopamine) Buzz

Some of us have noticed a lot of podcasts talking these days about dopamine—the neurotransmitter your brain uses to “reward” behavior—and how our current society is addicted to triggering it in so many unhelpful ways. (For example, social media is like a dopamine-triggering machine training you to keep on scrolling and scrolling and scrolling…) One neurologist said in a podcast recently that, in a way, the only real currency in the world is not the U.S. dollar, the British pound, the EU’s euro, or what-have-you. He suggests the only real currency in the world is dopamine, and that is what everyone in the world is “trading” in. And, in a similar sense, triggering our reward centers through dopamine hits is how many in the world—social media corporations, marketers, entertainment companies, etc.—are “reprogramming” our brains without our even realizing it.

All the talk reminds us of two articles by Mr. Gerald Weston that are very worth your time.

One that is very old but, ironically, increasingly relevant: “In Search of the Eternal Buzz,” from a 2006 TW magazine issue. It’s a short read—less than 10 minutes. Give it a shot.

The other is Mr. Weston’s article on the influence of social media, “Tame the Social Media Monster!”—the cover article of the 2018 March-April issue.* Of course, social media is not the only arena in which people are using our neurology against us (which Mr. Weston makes very apparent in the article, with comments from tech experts, themselves, who helped design it all), but reading about it—and equipping yourself—is a great place to start. It’s a longer read, but should still take most readers under 20 minutes.

Here are the two links again. Check them out!

* Unnecessary Behind-the-Scenes Comment™: We loved the cover on this issue. It was an early experiment more than four years ago in doing something a little different, and we were glad Mr. Weston let us play with it!

Biohacking and Thankfulness

Here in the U.S., Thanksgiving Day is tomorrow, and while not all of our teen and young adult readers are in the U.S., many of you are—and even for those who are not, when does thankfulness go out of style?

In the spirit of that, consider enjoying this short read from Mr. John Robinson titled “Hacking Thankfulness,” initially published in our January 2021 Tomorrow’s World. Mr. Robinson highlights how secular science and “biohacking” advocates have come to understand the power of gratitude and how we improve our health and our lives, in general, and the benefit of actively cultivating a spirit of thankfulness—an attitude the Bible has recommended for centuries.

We refer to this article in the podcast we plan to publish later this week, and we wanted to make sure we gave you a link so you could read it for yourself! Just click below—it’s only a 4-minute read, and worth the time!

And for those who do observe Thanksgiving Day, we pray yours is a happy one that brings to mind the many, many things in your life for which you can thank your Creator!

“Is it clean, or unclean, that is the question…”

[Apologies to Mr. Shakespeare, there…]

We received a question from a young adult out there on matters of clean and unclean animals, and it prompted us to post this great Tomorrow’s World Whiteboard which some of you may not have seen. It does a great job of summarizing Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. We hope you like it!

P.S. The question we received was about ducks and swans. In the list of unclean birds, “swan” is a mistranslation in some Bibles (like the KJV). Best evidence (including internal evidence in the passage) suggests that the Hebrew word concerns a kind of owl, completing the list of owls in the passage. Many other translations (NKJV) get that right.

P.P.S. Unlrelated to the topic, but, hey, why not here? We apologize that there was no podcast last week! Our podcasters were very focused on getting a new literature item ready for final review, and there just wasn’t time. We’ve thought about putting out two podcasts this week to make up for it, but we’re also in the middle of the Council of Elders meetings. So, we’ll see! But please forgive us! Now, the video (which was the whole point of this post)…