July Greetings: “Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.” (Proverbs 3:25-26 NIV)
A Publication of the Mid-Missouri Church of God
Volume XIII, Issue 7
The Ozark Newsletter
Lake of the Ozarks
2009 HOLY DAY CALENDAR
Sept. 19—Feast of Trumpets (Saturday)
Sept. 28—Day of Atonement (Monday)
Oct. 3-9—Feast of Tabernacles (Saturday-Friday)
Oct. 10—Eighth Day Festival (Saturday)
Have a safe and fun Fourth of July!!!!! Here, in Missouri, we have been having hot and humid days and that is putting it mildly. It is great for the pool and for the tomatoes (providing you can get water to said tomatoes). Some of us remember when the only air conditioner we had was to just open the windows and let the hot air flow through or you might be lucky enough to have a window fan to circulate the hot air. And not everyone had access to a city pool, but had to swim in one of the spring fed creeks. Today, consider yourself lucky, if you can still find one of those creeks that aren’t polluted. I am showing ‘my age’ ,but the young boys, and some girls, worked in the hay fields when school was out and when they day was done (at dark), those creeks provided some relief from the heat. So much for looking back, but it sure does make you appreciate some of the modern conveniences of today – air conditioning and swimming pools, just to name a couple…..
Just a reminder that MMCG will not be hosting a Feast of Tabernacles in 2009, but will be supporting Ray Wooten and his United Christian Ministries who will have a Feast of Tabernacles at Lake Ozark at the Resort at Port Arrowhead. Contact the UCM office with any questions at 1-888-985-9066 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feast of Tabernacles 2009
Sponsored by United Christian Ministries
LOCATION: The Resort at Port Arrowhead, 3080 Bagnell Dam Boulevard, Lake Ozark, MO 65049
DATES: Saturday, October 3rd thru Saturday, October 10th
Lake of the Ozarks
You are invited to keep the Feast of Tabernacles in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. We are privileged to have the use of the Resort at Port Arrowhead. It has everything needed for fellowship, services,
bible studies, food and fun!
The following was sent by Lenny Cacchio in an email concerning the Sabbath Morning Companion:
I don’t know exactly when I started writing devotional essays, but it was at least 10 years ago that Sabbath Morning Companion made its debut.
What started as personal reflections from my personal study has turned into a weekly devotional. The e-mail subscription list has grown modestly, several publications have picked up the articles from time to time, my home town newspaper, the Lee’s Summit Journal, has printed articles on a weekly basis, and I have filled two books with a collection of my personal favorites.
I’m ready now for a rest from this type of writing. Like many people, I have lots going on, including a full-time job, family responsibilities, serving a growing church, taking care of things around the house, and just plain doing something nice for myself from time to time.
All this is to say it’s time to claim back my Friday evenings. I’ll continue to use my time productively, but with more focus on the unique needs of our home congregation.
From time to time you’ll still hear from me, but not necessarily on a weekly basis. You can keep up with me via my blog (http://morningcompanion.blogspot.com) and through Facebook, where I’ll speak out on things that are important to me, sometimes theological and sometimes not.
In any case, thank you for your support of Sabbath Morning Companion.
The Preexistence of Christ
By David Hines
(reprinted with permission from CHURCHLIGHT, January/March 2009 and also suggested by members of the MMCG congregation)
A father and son were taking a nature hike through the woods when they came upon some ants working furiously to clear a path. The ants were scurrying here and there trying desperately to provide a clear path for ant travel. They worked individually as well as a team, but to no avail. Father and son watched along time in silence. Finally, the boy looked at his dad and said, “I wish I could help the ants.” The father responded by telling his son that his presence would send them to hide for safety. After some more silence and some more observation, the son spoke with much intensity. “You know Dad, if I could become an ant, just become one of them for a short time, I could help them.”
This story illustrates the futile efforts of man to make his own way and how Jesus (the Son) thought by becoming a man, He could help us.
What was Christ’s position before He came to earth and became a man? Was He God’s first creation, as some claim, or just what was His involvement in creation? And where is He now?
Jesus was present with God the Father and was preeminent in the creation. He shared His father’s glory before taking on the form of man. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born to the virgin Mary and when He left the earth He returned to His former abode. As we go through God’s Word to establish these facts, perhaps these points can become more clear.
John 1:1 indicates that Jesus was in the beginning and was the Word, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Genesis 1:26 shows Jesus; presence with God the Father, “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
In Colossians 1:15-17, it is stated that He is the firstborn (Gr. Prototokos…transliterated) of all creation. Firstborn means preeminent and can also mean first in rank, not necessarily first in time, as if He were created.
For example, in Genesis 48:14, “But Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh’s head, crossing his hands, although Manasseh was the firstborn. Note also Psalm 89:20, 27; Jeremiah 31:9; Genesis 25:24-26.
Jesus showed His Father’s glory before taking on the form of man, “And now, glorify Thou Me together with Thyself, Father, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was” and also “Father, I desire that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am, in order that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me; for Thou didst love Me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:24)
Jesus existed before Abraham, “Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.’” (John 8:58)
He was conceived of the Holy Spirit born to the virgin Mary (Luke 1:34, 35), “And Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin? And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God.’”
There was a small voice of a child that penetrated the stillness of the night. It came from the bedroom across the hall. “Daddy I’m scared.” Out of his groggy, fuzzy state he responds, “Don’t be afraid, Daddy’s right across the hall.” After a brief pause, the little voice is heard again. “I’m still scared.” Always quick with an insight he responds. “You don’t need to be afraid. God is with you, God loves you.” This time the pause is longer. “I don’t care about God, Daddy. I want someone with skin on.” It seems like the logic used by the little child is precisely the reason the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. After thousands of years of being unsuccessful in being able to convince His people that He really loved them, God realized that the best way to demonstrate His love for us was to send us someone with skin on. Note the following texts:
John 1:14, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
Jesus took on the form of a bond-servant:
Philippians 2:5-9, “have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
When Jesus left the earth He returned to His former abode:
John 3:14, “And no one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven, even the Son of Man.”
John 16:26-28, “In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I will request the Father on your behalf; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and Have believed that I came forth from the Father. I came forth from the Father, and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again, and going to the Father.”
Yes, Jesus existed before His earthly ministry. He was the Creator of everything that was ever created and therefore He was not created as some say. And when His earthly ministry was finished, He returned to the heavens to the glory He had before the world was. And now we eagerly await His second coming when He will return for His saints and rule for a thousand years of peace. “And so when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, ‘Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel? He said to the them, ‘It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.’ And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was departing, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them; and they also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.’” (Acts 1:6-11)
(The following is from the Eldon ‘Weekly Standard’, June 3, 2009)
Imagine the Possibilities
By Michael Jones
(emphasis: editor’s CSH)
Imagine you owned a business.
Imagine you had several employees who you paid well to complete the tasks you hired them to do.
Now imagine that your employees decide they didn’t make enough money and that they wanted a raise. Only they weren’t planning to ask for a raise, they found a way they could force you to give them a raise, a good raise…and you didn’t have a say in it at all.
I mean you hired them, you paid their salaries but what difference does that make…they want more money.
Now imagine that they decided that they wanted a good raise every year, and instead of going through the hassle of forcing you to give them a raise each year, they found a way to make you give them a good raise every year…and you didn’t have a say in it at all.
Okay, now imagine that they decided that Social Security and 401 K plans just weren’t good enough for them when THEY retire. They didn’t feel they could be comfortable enough in the retirement years on a Government Program or their own savings, so they found a way to make you pay them for live…and you had no say in it at all.
Then imagine that they weren’t happy with the healthcare plan your business offered. They were tired of paying those nagging co-pays and deductibles, so they found a way to force you to pay all of their medical, dental, vision expenses…and you had no say in it al all.
It’s hard to imagine that a business could stay in business long in this kind of situation, and it would be pretty hard to feel that you, the owner of the business, had any control of the business at all.
It is hard to imagine, but this is the stranglehold our elected officials have on us right now. We hired them to represent and protect us, and they returned the favor by feathering their own nests, while we are left to pick up the pieces….and we have no say in it at all.
Imagine that we all got fed up with the lunacy that exists in Washington today, and went to the polls in November of 2010 and sent them all home.
Imagine that Americans joined together and took back our country. Imagine that we Americans stopped fighting over partisan politics and worked together for the common good of our country.
Imagine what would happen if we all returned to the principals our country was founded upon.
IMAGINE THE POSSIBLITIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
How Can I Understand the Bible?
By John Drane
(continued from the June, 2009 newsletter)
A WORLD BEST-SELLER
The Bible is without doubt the greatest classic of all world literature. Its most recent parts were written something like two thousand years ago, while the origins of its earlier sections are lost forever in the mists of time. Its story begins in the Stone Age, and ends in the world of the Roman Empire and the beginnings of the Christian church. Yet it is still the world’s best-selling book.
The Bible – Facts and Figures
In 1990, the United Bible Societies alone sold sixteen million complete Bibles worldwide – not to mention a further twelve million copies of the New Testament, twenty-seven million Bible portions, and an incredible 567 million short selections.
When Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in the fifteenth century, the Bible was the first book to be printed.
To date, the Bible has been translated into almost two thousand languages – substantially more than any other book – and has had a profound influence on the whole history of civilization.
Wherever you travel around the world, there is a good chance that your hotel room will have a copy of the Bible.
More than eighty percent of the world’s population have access to a Bible, or a portion of it, in a language they can speak or understand.
Though its stories happened long ago and in unfamiliar places and cultures, people all over the world are still fascinated by them. Some have made extraordinary sacrifices just to have a copy of the Bible – and down through the ages, thousands have been ready to die for the privilege of being able to read it freely. Even today, millions throughout the world eagerly read it as a source of guidance and personal inspiration for daily living.
In the Bible’s pages we have the rich literary treasures of two of the world’s great religions: Judaism and Christianity. But religious people are not the only ones to find themselves captivated by this special book. Its unique combination of epic stories, history, reflective philosophy, poetry, political commentary – and more – has a universal appeal to all ages and all cultures. From the Stone Age to the Space Age, its power to address the needs of ordinary people has not diminished at all.
For some, however, the Bible looks rather overwhelming. So many words – it’s difficult to know where to start. Others are suspicious of it, having heard vague claims that science has somehow “disproved” its message. But there must be something about the Bible, something worth exploring, if millions of people have changed their lives because of it.
If you are interested in finding out what the Bible really is all about, there is more to follow in the next Ozark Letter……..
MID-MISSOURI CHURCH OF GOD
PO Box 92, Eldon, MO 65026/mailing address. Actual physical address is: 602 East North Street. Phone: 573-392-1232 or 573-498-3775; Email: email@example.com Website: www.mmcg.org 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 the ladies meet for a “get together” and you can contact Martha Roberts at 573-496-3202 or Charleen Gitthens at 573-392-5965 for location and time if you plan to attend. You can also check the events calendar on the website.