September Greetings: “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:11-12)
A Publication of the Mid-Missouri Church of God
Volume XIII, Issue 9
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)
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 email@example.com and their website is www.4ucm.org. There will be a welcome reception in the Missouri Room at the Port Arrowhead Resort located at the Lake of the Ozarks, on Friday evening October 2nd at 7pm. Services will begin each day at 10:30am and last about an hour and a half. Daily Bible studies and seminars will begin at 9am. Details for times and locations of these presentations will be made available at the Feast.
MMCG will observe the Feast of Trumpets on Saturday, September 19th. There will be a Bible study at 10:30am and the message at 11:30am with a potluck to follow. We normally have a potluck on the fourth Sabbath of each month, but due to having a potluck on Feast of Trumpets, there will not be a potluck on the fourth Sabbath in September. We do plan to have a booth at the Eldon Turkey Festival, which will be on September 26th. Bible study and services will be at the regular time on the 26th and at our regular location.
MMCG will also have a service on Monday, September 28 to observe the Day of Atonement. At the publishing of this newsletter, the time had not been determined. *****************************************
The Trip Home
(Author Unknown – sent via email by Sam & Faye Stamper)
A pastor had been on a long flight between church conferences. The first warning of the approaching problems came when the sign on the airplane flashed on: “Fasten Your Seat Belts.”
Then, after a while, a calm voice said, “We shall not be serving the beverages at this time as we are expecting a little turbulence. Please be sure your seat belt is fastened.”
As the pastor looked around the aircraft, it became obvious that many of the passengers were becoming apprehensive. Later, the voice on the intercom said, “We are so sorry that we are unable to serve the meal at this time. The turbulence is still ahead of us.”
And then the storm broke. The ominous cracks of thunder could be heard even above the roar of the engines. Lightning lit up the darkening skies, and within moments that great plane was like a cork tossed around on a celestial ocean. One moment the airplane was lifted on terrific currents of air; the next, it dropped as if it were about to crash.
The pastor confessed that he shared the discomfort and fear of those around him. He said, “As I looked around the plane, I could see that nearly all the passengers were upset and alarmed. Some were praying. The future seemed ominous and many were wondering if they would make it through the storm.
“Then, I suddenly saw a little girl. Apparently the storm meant nothing to her. She had tucked her feet beneath her as she sat on her seat; she was reading a book and everything within her small world was calm and orderly.
“Sometimes she closed her eyes, then she would read again; then she would straighten her legs, but worry and fear were not in her world. When the plane was being buffeted by the terrible storm when it lurched this way and that, as it rose and fell with frightening severity, when all the adults were scared half to death, that marvelous child was completely composed and unafraid.” The minister could hardly believe his eyes.
It was not surprising therefore, that when the plane finally reached its destination and all the passengers were hurrying to disembark, our pastor lingered to speak to the girl whom he had watched for such a long time. Having commented about the storm and the behavior of the plane, he asked why she had not been afraid.
The child replied, “Cause my Daddy’s the pilot, and he’s taking me home.”
There are many kinds of storms that buffet us. Physical, mental, financial, domestic, and many other storms can easily and quickly darken our skies and throw our plane into apparently uncontrollable movement. We have all known such times, and let us be honest and confess, it is much easier to be at rest when our feet are on the ground than when we are being tossed about a darkened sky.
Let us remember: Our Father is the pilot. He is in control and taking us home. Don’t worry!
(The following article is from CHURCHLIGHT, July/September 2006)
Forgiving Each Other
By David Hines
A father in Spain and his teenage son’s relationship had become somewhat strained and the son ran away from home. The father went on a journey to reconcile with his son so he went searching for him. Finally, he got to Madrid and as a last desperate effort he put an ad in the local newspaper. The ad read, “Dear Paco, Meet me in front of the newspaper office at noon. All is forgiven. I love you, Your Father.” The next day at noon in front of the newspaper office 800 Paco’s showed up all seeking forgiveness from their fathers.
It shows sometimes how our relationship can become strained with our Heavenly Father. Because of our rebelliousness or a sin that we have, sometimes we are quick to receive the forgiveness that God gives us but not so quick to forgive others. God’s forgiveness and mercy is important and we should respond in like kind.
To show the loving-kindness that God has for us, consider Psalm 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” In most cases, the attitude generally is “I forgive you, but I will never forget it.” Unfortunately, that is man’s carnal nature and we don’t let go.
There is a story about the two Irishmen that are fighting and had a feud going on for several years. Finally, one of them is at death’s door and so the pastor says to one of them, you need to forgive and put this aside. Then they sort of reconcile and just as one was getting ready to leave, the other says, “but if you are alive tomorrow, the feud’s on.” At times, it becomes difficult for mankind to let go of these types of things and, of course, what kind of example are we giving our children when we have this same attitude? Certainly God gives us a great attitude to copy.
Jesus shows the importance of forgiveness in Matthew 6:14, 15, “For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” This is part of the Sermon on the Mount; Jesus was certainly bringing out the importance of forgiveness. This is one of the things that are the basics of Christianity, but sometimes we take it for granted and need to work a little harder at it to apply it to our lives.
In Matthew 18:21, 22, Jesus was talking to Peter, “Then Peter came and said to Him, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.’” During that historical period, the rabbis thought that if a man sinned against you, you could forgive him and if he did it again, you could forgive him another time and if he did it again you could even forgive him a third time, but a fourth time…no way! Peter says up to seven times and when you think about that he is doing twice that and for good measure adds another one. What is Jesus’ response? Jesus said up to 70×7. We don’t need to get out our ledger books and keep a record of the sins that people have against us. When people get to 491, we don’t say they are over the limit and we can’t forgive them anymore. It shows the complete forgiveness that Jesus is talking about. We know, too, that people need to have a repentant attitude. God forgives us when we repent and we have to see that in other peoples’ attitude as well.
In the parable of Matthew 18:23-35, Jesus goes into this great illustration here. He is the greatest teacher that ever lived and when He gives a parable, He teaches a lesson.
Verse 24 mentions that the slave owed the king 10,000 talents, which could be about $10 million dollars in silver content, but worth much more in buying power. It was an amount that couldn’t possibly be paid back. Of course, Jesus being the great teacher, probably gives a hyperbole when He uses this to exaggerate His point. This man couldn’t pay this amount back, no matter what. Later in verse 27, the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt.
In verse 28, that same slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, “Pay back what you owe.” A denarii was equal to one day’s wage. Think about the great debt that was forgiven him. In that day and age they had debtor’s prisons and if people couldn’t pay they would be in prison for the rest of their lives. The teaching of Jesus shows complete and total forgiveness.
In Luke 7:36-47, it sets the stage of a woman who was a sinner, probably a harlot and a Pharisee. The Pharisees were very self-righteous and after all they were the separated ones and would not think of having someone like this in their house. Jesus tries to remind them and again we have to understand the culture of the day. They were walking on hard paths, dusty and dirty roads with sandals, held down by rope. Their feet were dirty and sweaty and when they went to someone’s’ house, a slave would come to wash their feet. Jesus reminded the Pharisees they did not even wash His feet and did not greet with a holy kiss.
This was typical of their culture, but the Pharisee thought that he was too good. Jesus told him that this woman did all those things. He makes a good point, like the money lender that had a debtor he was forgiven little, but he was forgiven much. Both illustrations drive home a good point.
In regard to Christian love, we can’t really love others without forgiveness, because we have that barrier in our heart when we do that. Sometimes we do it out of self-righteousness that we forgive others. We have to be very careful that we do not offend our brothers and sisters in Christ. Also, to remember that forgiveness is not about us – it is about our brothers and sisters.
Matthew 5: 23,24 gives the proper order to deal with these matters, “If therefore you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. It doesn’t say that your brother sinned, it says your brother has something against you. So if he has something against you for some reason, the first thing to do is to leave your offering there and go and be reconciled to your brother.
Matthew 7:12 states, “Therefore, however you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” If we want to be loved by our neighbor, we love our neighbor and if we want to be treated well, we treat other people likewise.
We are all sinners and we try not to sin, but that doesn’t mean we are not going to sin. We have to recognize and confess sin and He forgives us. We are forgiven sinners, but sinners nonetheless. There are no perfect people among us and we can become very prideful..
Romans 12 reminds us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our mind. So if we put in God’s Word and all the good things, we transform our mind. We can renew and we can change. We don’t have to conform to this world.
Paul says in Ephesians 4 to have humility, gentleness, with patience, forbearance to one another in love, diligent to preserve the unity of Spirit in bond of peace. Strife is constantly there if we don’t. We know God forgives us, but we also have to forgive others and if God does forgive us, who are we to not forgive others. That can become a prideful attitude.
Another admonition is to put away bitterness, wrath, anger, and clamor. Evidently the church in Ephesus really had these problems and had to put all this aside and be kind to one another, tender hearted. It is as two ships that represented the Christian and were shooting at each other. We shoot at each other instead of shooting at the enemy. Satan is the enemy. We do not give the devil an opportunity. (1 Peter 5:8) The devil is out there and he would love to divide and conquer, whether it be brethren in the church, spouses, parents and children, and then lack of forgiveness surfaces..
Jesus reminds the Pharisees in John 8:44 “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies.”
It shows how prideful they became and even if they were Abraham’s offspring, Jesus says you are of your father the devil. Satan is the one that got Adam and Eve caught up in the first lie. Satan stated that if you eat of that forbidden fruit you will be like God and never die. Again it shows how deceitful Satan can be and Jesus says he is a liar and the father of lies and will take any opportunity he can to attack God’s people.
We have to put aside our carnal nature and we have to accept God’s Word and have that transformation. Remembering again, the world’s attitude is “I don’t get mad, I get even” or vice versa. Of course, who gets hurt with an attitude like this? It is the one that refuses to forgive. Let us follow the Bible’s wise counsel and forgive others as God forgave us and thereby not give Satan an opportunity to get his foot in the door.**************************************************
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.