Going to the Feast is, in one respect, like most other endeavors: The better you plan, the better you will enjoy it when it actually comes! But how do you prepare properly? Let's take it one step at a time. • Check the Feast site out. In order to know what to do or see when you arrive, some homework is necessary. Go to the library and borrow some books or see some films or slides about your destination. If you know a little about the history, the geography and the people and their customs, it will be easier to fit in comfortably. Checking the travel sections of newspapers and magazines for ideas and information is helpful, as are guidebooks. Write an embassy, consulate, tourist office or chamber of commerce. The sources are plentiful. • Talk to people. The most important resource for planning your trip is people. Go to those who have traveled to or, better yet, have lived in the area you plan to visit. Don't forget your pencil and paper — you won't want to forget their helpful suggestions. They can tell you where to go, what to see, the names of the best restaurants in town. You may even end up with a tour guide or a friend or relative of a former resident who can show you around. • Watch your health. When you finally arrive at your destination, the last thing you will want is to become sick. It is vital to be well rested before you travel to enjoy your trip when you get there. A well-balanced diet will help you to be in tip-top condition for God's Festival. • Avoid jet lag. If you're planning to " fly the friendly skies," as one airline slogan puts it, you may have to contend with the not-so-friendly effects of jet lag. And the problem of jet lag can be compounded by dehydration, the result of hours of breathing the dry air produced by aircraft air-conditioning systems. To lessen the problem, some suggest drinking at least eight ounces of liquid for each hour in flight and drinking little or no alcohol. Try not to make any plans for the day of your arrival. Just rest and allow your body to recuperate from your journey and begin to adjust to a new time schedule. • Use traveler's checks. Traveler's checks are the safest way to keep money when you're on the road. They can be cashed in banks and some hotels anywhere in the world, and if you lose them, they can be replaced quickly and without too much trouble. It's a good idea, of course, to carry with you a small amount of the currency of the country you will be visiting; you will need this for tips and taxis when you first arrive. • Make a budget. It's no fun to find yourself short of cash when something important comes up. Know how much festival tithe you have and budget how much you will need for each major expense — transportation, food, lodging, entertainment, miscellaneous. By setting aside 10 percent for unexpected situations, you will be able to budget the remainder with confidence. If you don't have a lot of money, try to share costs with a friend. • Help yourself remember this Feast. Record your activities and thoughts in a journal, or get a map and trace the routes you've taken and the places you've been. Some brethren like to collect literature from the site so they can share it with those who'll be thinking of attending the site in the future. There are countless other collectibles to help you remember this Feast. Postcards are great, especially if you put them into a scrapbook (don't forget to send some to the folks back home, too). Flags, patches and local specialty crafts are good. Photographs can remind you of the faces that made this Feast special.
PACK LIKE A PRO by Wilma Niekamp and Debbie Burbach
A seasoned traveler once said: "There are three rules for successful packing. Travel light. Travel light. And travel light." On the other hand, if you've ever been caught in the rain without an umbrella, you know how uncomfortable it feels to be without an item just when you need it most. So how do you decide what to take to the Feast and what to leave at home? It's simple, once you know a few basic principles. The main factors to consider when packing for the Feast are where you are going, how long you will stay and where you will stop en route. Write out your schedule of activities and the clothing you'll need for each of them. Keep in mind any local customs that may restrict what you wear; for example, in many places in Israel, a woman needs to cover her shoulders to avoid offending some. About two weeks before your trip, make a checklist for yourself, including everything from toothbrushes to safety pins. If you have small children, make a checklist for them, too. Set aside ample time in your schedule to complete your packing. You'll only pay for it later if you toss your clothing into a suitcase at the last minute, or stay up packing all the night before you leave. Check each item off your list as you pack it; double-check the list just before you leave for last-minute items like brush and comb or bathrobe. (And don't throw the list away; save it for use on the return trip or as a basis for future packing.) An experienced traveler rarely has to sit on his suitcase to shut it. He has a compact wardrobe with clothes that are interchangeable. He travels light. As you pack each item, ask yourself, "Do I really need this?" If in doubt, leave it out! Bring along outfits that can be mixed and matched, dressed up or down with accessories. For maximum versatility, try to build your wardrobe around one or two basic colors. Shoes, handbags, ties and sweaters are interchangeable this way and can keep your travel wardrobe to a minimum number of pieces with a maximum number of combinations. For example, a woman can wear a short-sleeved dress in a basic color of black, white or navy blue in warm weather. Adding a blazer in a matching or complimentary color and a necklace or scarf makes it appropriate for a cool evening out to dinner. Men, too, can capitalize on the mix-and-match packing scheme. The same pair of slacks that can be dressed up with a jacket and tie can be made more casual with an open-collar shirt and sweater. Layered outfits — shirt or blouse, sweater and jacket, for example — work well in a climate of changing temperatures, allowing you to subtract a layer when the sun shines or add a layer when the wind gets chilly. Even if your destination is a warm climate, pack one cool-weather outfit for unexpected changes. Before you close the lid, don't forget to tuck in extras like collapsible plastic hangers, plastic bags (always useful), a travel alarm clock and a sewing kit. Save room by transferring toiletries to travel-sized plastic containers. For a long trip, the extra cost of purchasing heavier supplies like shampoo at your destination is often worth the convenience of not lugging it along. If you're checking your bags on a plane, bus or train, pack one change of clothing in your hand luggage just in case your bags are delayed or lost. Also, keep money, valuables, essential toilet articles and anything that would be hard to replace with you, not in your checked bags, at" all times. To avoid clothing damage, luggage should be in good condition. If you'll be buying luggage this Feast, look for zippers with double stitching, sturdy locks and water-resistant material as signs of quality. Vinyl, nylon or leather bags can be durable yet expandable. Wheels on the bottoms of cases are great for pulling cases through airports. Experts advise labeling your bags both inside and out. Finally, the trip is over and you've arrived at the Feast! Before you dash off for a dip in the pool or a sight-seeing jaunt, why not unpack everything while you're still in a travel mood? Freshen up wrinkled garments by hanging them in the bathroom while you shower. The moisture will help straighten out the wrinkles.
PERFECT PACKING by Wilma Niekamp and Debbie Burbach
Wouldn't it be nice if clothes just somehow magically found their way into your suitcase? Here's a system designed to keep you from spending the Feast at the ironing board. It's best to pack your suitcase in three layers: First layer: Put all your heavier, oddly shaped articles — books, shoes, hair dryers — on the bottom. For even weight distribution, put shoes at one end, each pair in a plastic bag. Then put your waterproof toiletries bag at the other end. Fill the rest of the space with clothes you don't mind being wrinkled, like underclothes, socks, bathing suit Second layer: Make a "shelf" of your slacks, shirts or dresses by spreading each one over as much of the suitcase as possible, with the least amount of wrinkles. Make folds at the hips for pants and skirts, at the shoulders for shirts and blouses. This layer can be removed and replaced easily later on. Fold ties over a piece of cardboard, using a rubber band to hold them in place. Tuck belts along the sides of the suitcase. Third layer: Put on top of the second layer the things you will need first upon arrival — perhaps nightclothes, sweater, umbrella and rainwear.
IF YOU ARE GOING ABROAD by John A Halford
Many people travel away from their home countries at Feast time. Foreign travel can be exciting — if you plan properly, have the right attitude and take a few precautions. Make sure you have the right documents. Most countries require foreign visitors to have valid passports. Apply for a passport several months ahead of time, or make sure the one you have will still be valid. Investigate and fulfill requirements for visas, health certificates and other papers early, too; you don't want a worry over a delay to spoil your trip. A good travel agent can advise you on these matters. Leave photocopies of your passport and papers at home with a friend; tuck another copy in your suitcase. This will speed the replacement process if they are lost or stolen. You should always keep passports, other documents and traveler's checks in a safe place. Remember that most airlines insist that you reconfirm your return or onward flights several days before departure. If you do not reconfirm, airlines are entitled to give your reservations to someone else. Be careful about your health and diet. Although the food at all Feast sites may be clean and wholesome, your stomach might not be accustomed to it. Eat carefully, especially at first. The same goes for drinking water. Local Church members can advise you about whether to request bottled or boiled water. Be aware that phone calls to home can be extremely expensive. A three-minute call to the United States from some places in Europe or Asia can cost more than 20 American dollars. Electrical current and outlets vary greatly between countries. Your hair dryer or shaver may not work without a set of adapter plugs. If you're in doubt, don't plug it in. Don't be the "ugly American" (Briton, Nigerian, German, Australian). Foreign countries are different — if they weren't, you might as well have stayed home. Don't let these differences get you down. Don't ridicule your foreign hosts or their way of life. Don't tell people how much better things are where you are from. Remember that people in the country you visit are not intentionally trying to embarrass you or make you seem foolish. It is not their fault that you don't speak their language or don't like to do things the way they do. The best way to make sure your foreign excursion is as enjoyable as possible is to prepare. Buy a good guidebook and read it. Find out about local customs. Try to learn a few words of the language, even if you only master " hello," "please" and "thank you." Talk to people who have visited where you are going. Know what to expect. Then you won't be tempted to complain if it is too hot, too cold, too expensive, too dirty or too different. There is no place like home, so don't expect your foreign Feast site to be. Keep these things in mind, and your foreign Feast trip can be the experience of a lifetime.
PLANNING FEAST OUTINGS by Ronald D Kelly
Wondering how to make the most of your free time at the Feast this year? Here is some valuable advice. God has set aside the Festival season for special family togetherness and fellowship with brethren of like mind. And He commands His people to save second tithe: "And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires; you shall eat there before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household" (Deut. 14:26). To help you rejoice, God has inspired His Church to select Feast of Tabernacles sites around the world. These sites provide many opportunities for fellowship. Fine facilities for lodging and dining are available at Festival sites. At or near most of our Festival locations are some of the greatest natural wonders of the world. You may be able to visit national parks and places of historical interest on your way to and from the Festival. Side trips and excursions can be planned to benefit the family and provide ample opportunity for fellowship. But in order to take advantage of the many available activities during the Feast of Tabernacles season, you need to plan properly. The first thing you need to do is find out what is available on the route to or from the Feast and at the Festival site you attend. Become familiar with natural wonders, historic sites, museums, libraries and recreational facilities. If you have not been to the Festival area you will be attending this year, it is important to read about that area. A visit to your library can be most beneficial, providing you with information and building your excitement and anticipation about the Feast. Travel books provide details on what you can see and do. A variety of publications will give you hints on the most popular tourist attractions and other interesting activities. In addition, you can find listings for motel and hotel accommodations and restaurants along the way to the Feast. The next step is to sit down with your family and friends who will be traveling with you or staying with you at the Feast. Plan activities for several different days during the Festival, remembering to include time for Church-sponsored recreational activities. For some activities, children might like to invite friends. An excursion on a fishing boat or a swim in the ocean can be a lot more fun if children have others their own age along with them. If you enjoy fine restaurant dining, the Feast provides several opportunities to enjoy gourmet foods. However, the more popular restaurants fill up early — it's a good idea to make reservations a day or two in advance. Something you should consider during the Festival is the joy of helping someone less fortunate than you. Taking along a widow or someone who has been unemployed can provide a great deal of joy for them and you. Since the Feast of Tabernacles is probably the time of year when your family spends the most time together, family togetherness should be given special emphasis. Sit down as a family and discuss the activities you would enjoy doing together. There will be times your children would like to go on outings with other families or invite their friends along with you. A majority of families in God's Church use the Feast of Tabernacles season as their only time away from work and their regular routines during the year. With this in mind, outings you take on the way to and from the Festival and during the free time you have available provide a marvelous opportunity for relaxation and education. Planning those special outings can add additional joy to the Feast. It's time to tie the family together and plan your special activities now!
YOUR APPEARANCE COUNTS! by L Leroy Neff
Have you ever been revolted by the appearance or dress of another person? An abysmal lack of training in dress, grooming and hygiene, evidenced by the increasing number of "strange" -looking people on display in public, is apparent today. You can see such people at almost any time in almost any locale. But wait. You may easily see many faults in the dress and appearance of others, especially when they are extreme. But how do you appear to other people? And more important, how do you appear before God? Is He concerned? God most certainly does care about how you look. If you are a true Christian, you are one of the few lights in this dark world (Matt. 5:14). But what kind of a light are you? At this Feast of Tabernacles, you will be appearing before God Himself to picture the literal utopia that the wonderful world tomorrow will be. In addition, you will be on display to both others in the Church and people outside the Church. What type of impression will you leave in terms of your appearance? People have appeared before God and others at God's feasts in shameful ways. They have come to His annual Holy Days, as well as regular Bible studies and church services, in all manner of improper clothing. We all ought to examine ourselves concerning our clothing before we appear before God. We ought to wear the best clothing we have (suited, of course, to the particular occasion), and our clothes should be cleaned and pressed. For church services, men normally ought to be in suits, with jacket and tie, and the women in their best dresses. A few exceptions exist in some areas of the world, where custom or weather dictate otherwise. You women should ask yourselves if your attire conforms to the scriptural admonition regarding modest apparel (I Tim. 2:9). We need balance and propriety in our clothing and dress. Some give the excuse that they are poor. It doesn't cost money to wash your clothes and press them or to mend them. But it does take work! People are the products of the cultures in which they were reared. Many are too lazy or indifferent to improve themselves or their environments. But as God's people we must change if we are to grow enough to enter God's Kingdom. If we are used to shoddy goods, we must change. If we are used to filth and squalor, we must change. Here are some simple guidelines you should follow at all times — not just at the Feast of Tabernacles. You should bathe daily. You should wear appropriate clothing for the occasion. Your hair should be clean and well groomed. God commands that men should have short hair and women long hair (I Cor. 11:14-15), yet some men in the Church have longer hair than some women. If you do not know how to dress appropriately for the Feast, look for good examples in your congregation. Pastor General Herbert W. Armstrong and God's other ministers and their wives set a good example. If you are a husband, you should supply a sufficient amount of money or materials for clothing for your wife and children. Wives, familiarize yourself with Proverbs 31:19, 21-22, 24, which shows that a good wife will be supplying appropriate quality clothing for her family. Grow toward the perfect example of Jesus Christ. Strive for balance. God's way is to change, to work hard and improve physically and spiritually. Are you following this way? Are you improving in your grooming? When you appear before Jesus Christ at this Feast of Tabernacles, show your respect, admiration and love for Him by dressing and preparing properly for the occasion. Glorify God in your body!
CHOOSING FINE WINE by the Good News staff
During the Feast of Tabernacles, God gives us the opportunity to afford some really fine food and drink, including wine. There is a right use of wine, and during this season we should demonstrate that right use, primarily at the many dinners we will be eating with one another. * And why not? No other beverage is as closely identified with the Feast of Tabernacles as wine. Deuteronomy 14:26 lists wine as one of the pleasures for which the festival tithe is bestowed; Isaiah 25:6 describes the Millennium (typified by the Feast) as "a feast of wines on the lees." Fascinatingly enough, the prime attribute that makes for good wine is the same attribute that gauges a person's spiritual condition — character. The best wine comes from low-yielding varieties of grapes. And not only is the yield per acre lower for such grapes, but the grapes themselves are small. Wine receives its taste and color from the grape skin, and smaller grapes mean a higher proportion of skin to juice. With wine, as with many other things, quantity tends to degrade quality. Thus quality wines come from only a few varieties of grapes among the thousands in existence. These select few grapes can be counted on one hand: among reds, the cabernet sauvignon and the pinot noir; and among whites, the chardonnay and the riesling. Other kinds of grapes, of course, can also produce fine wine, but these few are regarded as the world's foremost. Wine is appropriate to the Feast of Tabernacles because it represents such qualities as patience, hard work, thoughtfulness and cleanliness. The small bit of astringency in dry table wine can make our food taste better. Wine is an aid to digestion (I Tim. 5:23). And having a glass of wine with a meal tends to slow down the pace of the meal so there is more time for fellowship. Wine "makes merry" (Eccl. 10:19), and used in moderation can help people relax at a feast (John 2:1-10). But wine, like all alcoholic beverages, can be abused. It's a test of character to avoid overindulgence. You should never drink so much that it affects your judgment (Phil. 4:5). Many of us will be eating meals in restaurants during the Feast. Not every restaurant knows the proper way to serve wine, though the best restaurants will offer it. A truly fine red wine should be opened as soon as possible after ordering your meal, because such wine needs somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes to "breathe" before it is at its best. Most white wines should be served chilled. What kind of wine to have with your food? Dry white wine goes well with fish because the higher acidity of the wine cuts the oil in the fish. Really fine red wine should preferably not be served with spicy foods, such as certain Mexican or Italian dishes, because the spices will make it hard to appreciate the various flavors in the wine. (Beer goes best with Mexican food, and most Italian wine is "harsh" enough to stand up to traditional Italian dishes.) Sweet wine should be reserved for dessert because sweetness is deadening and tends to depress your appreciation of your food. When drinking wine, you should take the time to notice its color (how brilliant?), its aromas and bouquets (its smell), its body (heaviness on the tongue) and its "finish" (aftertaste ). And after swallowing, think a few moments about what you just swallowed. As Robert Louis Stevenson once said, "A bottle of good wine, like a good act, shines ever in the retrospect."
* However, there should always be nonalcoholic beverages available for those who prefer them, and people who have a problem controlling their intake of alcohol should not drink wine at all, except at the Passover, where it is commanded. If a person who does not drink for conscience sake is present at a meal, outgoing concern dictates that those who can drink wine forgo it for that occasion (Rom. 14:20.
KEEP YOUR BALANCE! by Clayton D Steep
Did you ever watch a tightrope walker? There are some who do their acts on wires hundreds of feet above the ground! When you are in a position like that, every move is critical. Each step must be consciously analyzed and planned. Constant attention and watchfulness are absolute requirements. You must be ever on guard to immediately counter any gust of wind that could blow you off balance. There can be no sudden leaning to the right or to the left, no giving in to extremes. It is never more urgent to fix your eyes on the goal and make every motion contribute to attaining that goal. Without much effort you can probably see many similarities between a person walking a tightrope and the Christian life. Like the tightrope walker, we as Christians must keep our balance. In the excitement of Feast keeping, be sure not to overlook this important aspect of Christian living. The change of routine and the extra opportunities for spiritual and physical enjoyment provided by the Feast call for additional effort on our part to maintain balance (Prov. 4:25-27). Most of us will run into some circumstances that could cause us problems in this area: waiting in lines, unusual local customs, the availability of more food and drink than we should partake of, chances to stay up too late, so many occasions for clean fun that it is often difficult to find time for Bible study and prayer. You can no doubt think of dozens of other potentially troublesome situations. Here is one idea you may find helpful in keeping your balance and making this Feast truly profitable. Each morning, why not take a minute to review Philippians 4:4-8? I treads: "Rejoice in the Lord always [yes, and especially at the Feast]. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness [the meaning of the word gentleness includes moderation] be known to all men [in the Church as well as out]. The Lord is at hand [He is watching you as you appear before Him]. Be anxious for nothing [don't worry about the job or school situation you left behind to come to the Feast], but in everything by prayer and supplication [pray about what you do at the Feast], with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things." Do this and you will have no problem keeping your balance!
DON'T FORGET... by Ronald D Kelly
Planning for the Feast? Here is a checklist of final preparations you won't want to forget. Check each item off as you complete your plans. Several months before: • Arrange time off from your job. • Arrange housing accommodations at the Festival site. • If you plan to travel by air or other public transportation, make reservations. You can save by making reservations and paying early. • Have a family planning session to decide your travel route and activities during the trips to and from the Feast site. One month before: • Make hotel/motel reservations for the trip to and from the Feast. • Remind your employer you will be gone. • Contact school officials to arrange time off for your children. • Check the condition of your luggage and plan to replace it if necessary. Two weeks before: • Reconfirm airline schedules and reservations (or other public transportation you have arranged). • Prepare your automobile for the trip (check tires, oil, battery, transmission). One week before: • Arrange to have home deliveries stopped (newspaper, milk). • Arrange with the post office to have mail held for you (or arrange for a neighbor to collect your mail). • Be sure routine bills have been cared for. • Arrange with a neighbor or friend to take care of watering your lawn and taking care of your garden. • Arrange for care of household pets (remember that pets should not be taken to the Feast). • Withdraw your second tithe from the bank and purchase traveler's checks (carry only a small amount of cash). Just before leaving: • Leave your Feast address and phone number with a neighbor in case of emergencies. • Be sure Holy Day offering envelopes are in your briefcase, purse or Bible. • Make sure your children have appropriate schoolwork so they can keep up while at the Feast. • Check that all lights have been turned off. • Check that all electrical appliances are off (unplug electrical items where possible). • Check to see that all water faucets are off and that toilets have been flushed and are off. • If you have lights on a timer, be sure the lights and timer work properly. • Secure all locks on doors and windows. • Pray for God's protection on the trip and for the entire Feast. • Drive carefully. • Have a great Feast!