THE OZARK LETTER
A Publication of the Mid-Missouri Church of God
Lake of the Ozarks Volume X, Issue 8
2007 HOLY DAY CALENDAR:
September 13 – Feast of Trumpets (THURS)
September 22 – Day of Atonement (SABBATH)
September 27/October 3 – Feast of Tabernacles (THURS/WED)
October 4 – Eighth Day Festival (THURS)
Be Aware of Your Baggage
From the Sabbath Morning Companion,
It’s an odd experience to see ourselves as others see us. When someone new walks into your church, what
do they see? Do they see you parading your neuroses? Do they see a social club with good music and
fellowship, but a lack of the preaching of the word? Do they see a coffee klatch or a healthy, functioning
The Apostle Paul addressed the Corinthian church with such a concern. That church must have been a
raucous place, for Paul warned them that people coming in off the street would see chaos, and perhaps
rightly conclude that the church was out of its mind, but “if you prophesy, preaching God’s Word, [even
though such preaching is mostly for believers] and an unsaved person or a new Christian comes in who
does not understand about these things, all these sermons will convince him of the fact that he is a sinner,
and his conscience will be pricked by everything he hears. As he listens, his secret thoughts will be laid
bare, and he will fall down on his knees and worship God, declaring that God is really there among
you.” (I Corinthians 14:24-25 Living Bible)
Essentially, Paul is holding up a mirror to these people and saying, “Take a look at yourselves, and see
the way other people see you. If you want to grow as a congregation, be aware of the signals you send
In our church for some reason many of the men began to tote briefcases as a handy way to carry Bibles,
notebooks, pens, and other miscellaneous gear. It has become such a common practice that no one even
seems to notice. Except the new people. Not long ago a new family began to attend with us. One day I
received an e-mail from the father with the question, “What’s the deal with the briefcases?”
There is nothing unspiritual about carrying briefcases to church, but I took it as an object lesson that
visitors will see our baggage in a way the old mossy horns will not. Sermons might be filled with
“insider” jargon, history, and internal politics that will be lost on new people. Just as bad, they might not
reflect the doctrines of your church. (A visitor has a right to expect that what they hear form the pulpit
reflects the church’s understanding).
Maybe they see a church fighting its past or maybe one that is poorly organized and leadership that is
poorly trained. It might even be that your church is no more than a doctrinal debating society that is self-
centered, self-absorbed, and failing to be light and salt to the larger community.
Paul’s two letters to Timothy and his letter to Titus address some of the internal issues that these two
young leaders were urged to address, including the need for sound Biblical teaching, civility in
discussion, and works of service. And, as Paul admonished many churches, stop your bickering over
People will notice the bags you carry to church. Some of it is good and some of it is bad, and our new
people see our baggage. But what keeps good people coming back time and again is to do what Paul told
Timothy: Preach the word (II Timothy 4:2). There is a hunger for meaning in life, and while good music
and exciting programs help, people looking for a church are looking to learn from the Word of God. The
bags they see should be filled with that. >>>>>>>>>>>
The following information is from Ray Wooten’s United Christian Ministries
NEWS FOR YOU, April, 2007:
FEAST OF TABERNACLES 2007: Plans are completed for 2007 Feast Of Tabernacles. UCM
is sponsoring the FOT in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. This year’s location will be the Inn at
Grand Glaize in Osage Beach. We have brochures for you. For reservations at the Inn at Grand
Glaize call 1-800-348-4731.
The FOT at the Inn should be very active and a lot of fun. Most importantly, spiritual, it will be
very meaty and profound. See the web site or call the toll free number for more information.
United Christian Ministries, PO Box 608, Roanoke, IN 46783
1-888-985-9066 or 1-260-672-9800
The following is from the American Decency Update, July 2007 and was suggested by
“The minefield of myspace.com”
Encouraging Christians to guard their hearts
In the past we have attempted to shed light on the harmful material available on MySpace.com.
We have warned of the danger to our youth – not only from the sexual predators that lurk on
MySpace, but also from the rampant immoral content on the site.
First this explanation of what MySpace is. MySpace.com (or MySpace) is a free service that
uses the Internet for online communication through an interactive network of photos, weblogs,
user profiles, e-mail, web forums, and groups, as well as other media formats. This all-inclusive
service is sometimes called a social networking interface. Persons can and do place favorite
pictures of themselves upon the web (scantily clad or beyond). They can and do also place
unedited video clips as well.
The article below reports the frightening statistic that “thousands of known sex offenders have
been confirmed as MySpace members” and quotes Connecticut Attorney General Richard
Blumenthal who referred to MySpace as a “virtual playground” for sexual predators. Stating:
“That combination of sex offenders and children is a recipe for tragedy.” It is encouraging to see
law enforcement taking a look at this concerning site. However, even if law enforcement is
successful in stopping some sexual predators, MySpace still poses great risk to our youth –
both physical and spiritual. We urge you to read the article below followed by the important
comments by Steve Ensley, executive director of Cleanwww Inc./AFO.Net (850-897-3842).
Parents need to be aware that allowing children and teens access to MySpace is the equivalent
of permitting youth to roam through a virtual minefield. There’s a great chance that damage will
RALEIGH, N.C. – Top law enforcement officers from eight states asked MySpace.com
[recently] to turn over the names of registered sex offenders who use the social networking Web
In a letter, the attorneys general asked MySpace to provide information on how many registered
sex offenders are using the site, and where they live. North Carolina Attorney General Roy
Cooper signed the letter, along with attorneys general from Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho,
Mississippi, New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
In a statement, Cooper’s office said media outlets in 2006 “reported almost 100 criminal
incidents across the country involving adults who used MySpace to prey or attempt to prey on
In December, MySpace announced it was partnering with Sentinel Tech Holding Corp. to build
a database with information on sex offenders in the United States.
“It is our understanding that the data from Sentinel reveals that thousands of known sex
offenders have been confirmed as MySpace members,” the letter said. In an interview, Cooper
said the information was provided by “absolutely credible” sources, whom he declined to
The attorneys general also asked that MySpace describe the steps it has taken to warn users
about sex offenders and remove their profiles. They asked the Web site to respond to their
requests by May. 29.
“They are by far the largest social networking site,” Cooper said. “They certainly should be the
standard bearer for changes that need to be made.”
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal called the site a “virtual playground” for
predators. “That combination of sex offenders and children is a recipe for tragedy,” Blumenthal
MySpace’s policy prevents children under 14 from setting up profiles, but it relies on users to
specify their ages. Cooper said MySpace should confirm ages…and also require parental
permission for young users.
“MySpace can certainly take its own action to remove those sex offender profiles from their
site,” Cooper said. “They say they are doing that but we want to know… exactly what steps they
Cooper has presented legislation to the North Carolina General Assembly that would make it a
felony for registered sex offenders to use social networking sites.
In North Carolina last year, a former sheriff’s deputy was sentenced to 15 years in prison after
being convicted of molesting a 15-year-old boy he met on MySpace, and a Boiling Spring Lakes
police officer was charged with the statutory rape of a 14-year-old girl he communicated with on
the site, Cooper said.
MySpace and other social networking sites allow users to create online profiles with photos,
music and personal information, including hometowns and education. Users can send
messages to one another and, in many cases, browse other profiles. [AP Writer, Monday, May
Steve Ensley, a leader in the field of Internet protection services, has a mission to assist
families and individuals in guarding their hearts and minds from the dark side of the Internet. He
comments below regarding MySpace.com.
“The article is correct when it states that MySpace is a social site, but so is a strip club! For us
Christians, we need to be very concerned that if MySpace cannot stop the worst of the worst
(registered sex offenders), why would we think they will try to stop any of the other extremely
destructive and immoral material! MySpace is a cesspool of immorality and yet Christians use
this site every day! Christians who would not go to a strip club or let children view pornography
think nothing of the activity on MySpace. This ought not to be brothers and sisters.
By John M. Morris
From “Days of Praise” and submitted by Charleen Gitthens.
“The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the
sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed” ( I Peter 5:1).
The leaders of the early churches were critical not only to the ministry of each church, but also
to its survival. Correspondingly, numerous New Testament passages deal with their
qualifications and function. In our text, Peter exhorts these men to proper leadership through
service and informs them of a reward waiting for them.
First, we notice that Peter addresses a group of elders, not a single individual in sole authority.
No example is given in the New Testament of any church which has grown past infancy which
has not incorporated the wisdom of a group of spiritually mature men into its leadership,
although there may need to be one who presides among this group.
The primary function of such godly leaders is to “Feed the flock of God which is among you,
taking the oversight thereof” (v.2). Note especially that the flock they shepherd is God’s flock
among them, not their own flock. A true flock leader takes strong and careful “oversight” but
does not usurp ownership.
These leaders are to serve “willingly.” Not under “constraint.” Their motive should be “of a ready
mind” and “not for filthy lucre or financial gain” (v.2). Moreover, these leaders must not be “lords
over God’s heritage, but being examples to he flock” (v3). They should lead by serving, thereby
establishing a mindset of service in the rest.
Finally, Peter reminds the leaders that faithful, sacrificial service will be rewarded, for “when the
chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away” (v.4).
May God continue to grant willing, faithful, sacrificial servants to lead each local flock.
The following was submitted by Arlo Giselman
A South Carolina man passing out tracts once stopped at a house and rang the bell. He heard
noises inside and knew that someone was in there, but no one came to the door. He rang the
bell persistently. Finally a man appeared, grabbed the tract from his hand, and rudely slammed
the door in his face.
A week later the Christian returned to that door and this time the man received him immediately.
After he entered the house, the man took him to the attic to see a rope dangling from the rafters
with a box beneath it. The man of the house said, “Friend, when you rang my doorbell last
week, my head was in that noose, and I was ready to jump! But you were so persistent that I
decided to go down and see who it was. While reading your tract God spoke to me. Instead of
jumping off that box, I knelt beside it and gave my heart to the
Can You Match these Famous Bible Couples?
MID-MISSOURI CHURCH OF GOD
PO Box 92, Eldon, MO 65026/mailing address. Actual physical address is: 602 East North Street. Phone:
The Mid-Missouri Church of God (MMCG) holds Christian Sabbath services each Saturday at 11:30 a.m.
at 602 East North Street, Eldon, MO… A Bible Study and song service is scheduled at 10:30am before
Sabbath services. Potluck meals after services are planned for the fourth Sabbath of each month. A
weekly Bible study is held each Thursday at 6:30pm. It is best to call ahead and confirm times if you are
traveling any distance to visit us (see the phone numbers above). Occasionally we will cancel local
services to attend en masse elsewhere. Come and enjoy the fellowship! Also, the first Wednesday of each
month at 6:30p.m., the ladies meet for a “get together” and you can contact Martha Roberts at 573-496-
3203 if you plan to attend this function.