THE OZARK LETTER
A Publication of the Mid-Missouri Church of God
Lake of the Ozarks Volume IX, Issue 4 APRIL 2006
APRIL GREETINGS: My wife and 13-year –old daughter are outside raking the leaves and debris off
of the flower beds. It is forecast to be 75 degrees today. I expect to see newly hatched mallards paddling
along behind “Mama Duck” any day now. The golden forsythia bushes and yellow daffodils have been of
long duration this year due to cool weather prevailing well into spring. Just this week the lavender redbud
trees are showing up and the lilacs have new tender leaves and buds. Any time now the creamy- colored
four- petal led dogwood trees will pop out all over the woods in these Ozark hills. Birds are nesting, and
fish are biting. The Lake of the Ozarks in front of our house is very low this year, and we are praying for
rain. We need abundant rain to re-charge the local wells and fill the cattle ponds.
Spring has arrived in the northern hemisphere. Our Creator God has again performed the miracle of
making all things new, giving us assurance that we can wholeheartedly believe in God’s promise,
“Behold, I make all things new.” Rev. 21:5. This year, March 30 was the first day of the first month of
God’s holy year, also called Abib 1 or Nissan 1. “Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto
the Lord thy God: for in the month of Abib the Lord thy God brought you out of Egypt by night.”
When God passed over the Israelites homes where the sacrificial lamb’s blood was dobbed on the
doorframes, and brought the entire family of Israel out of Egypt and slavery in one night, it makes it easy
to believe Paul’s statement: “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written: ‘There shall come out of
Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.’” Rom11:26.
This is the same Deliverer Jesus Christ, Savior Messiah, who is willing to deliver us from the slavery of
our sins today and tomorrow. “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the
world through him might be saved.” John3:17. “FREE AT LAST,” in the words of Dr. Martin Luther
Only Israel? — Or Jew and Gentile alike? “Is he God of the Jews only? Is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes,
of the Gentiles also. Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and the
uncircumcision by faith.” Rom4:29, 30.
Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God was sacrificed on the cross to blot out our debt of past sins upon our
repentance. “Purge out therefore the old leaven [sin—Ed.], that ye may be a new lump [symbolic of
unleavened bread dough—Ed.] as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.”
1 Cor5:7. Notice also Verse 8, next: “Therefore let us keep the feast [the Feast of Unleavened Bread –
Ed.] not with old leaven [sin –Ed.], neither with the leave of malice and wickedness; but with the
unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” We should also now walk in newness of life. Rom6:4. This is
our obligation once we are freed from the slavery of sin. –Ed.
THE GOOD NEWS PRAISE REPORT — To glorify God and strengthen faith
(If you have a prayer answered or a blessing received that you would like to share, please submit it to the
Mid-Missouri Church of God –see address bottom of Page 8. Space may not permit publication of all
answered prayers in this newsletter, but all requests will be prayed to our Father God in the same week
received. To preserve privacy, names will be withheld for praise reports that are published in the
Item: In May of 2005, a young Christian couple were happy to learn that they were expecting their first
baby. In August, doctors advised that the baby had a heart problem. At the feast of Tabernacles in
October, mother and baby were anointed for healing. But God did not immediately heal. He chose to wait
to perform a miracle for the baby.
At birth on November 22, it was found that the baby had a double outlet in the right ventricle, i.e., the
right bottom chamber of the heart had two outlets, and the left bottom chamber had none. Requests for
prayers were quickly sent out by the parents and grandparents.
In January 2006, an angiogram showed two holes in the heart, one the size of a quarter, but also that the
left chamber had grown and took one of the outlets with it such that the left chamber now had an outlet!
This miracle had the doctor saying the word, “Remarkable,” twelve different times (according to the
count of the proud father – who by then may have wondered if “miracle” was not in the doctor’s
In March the two holes were “patched” successfully by surgery and the baby was released to the parents
after about a week of observation in the hospital at Kansas City.
The little baby boy is now hungrily taking milk bottle after bottle, and putting on weight quickly. The
parents and grandparents are making this miracle of God known to every one they meet. As the song
says, “To God be the glory, great things he has done!” Hallelujah
2006 HOLY DAY CALENDAR
(All services will be held at the Mid-Missouri Church of God (MMCG) unless otherwise specified below.
MMCG location is at the bottom of Page 8.) (No potluck on Apr 22 Sabbath.)
April 11, Tuesday, 7:45pm – Passover Service
April 12, Wednesday, 7:45pm – Night to be Much Remembered, potluck meal
April 13, Thursday, 1:30pm – First Day of Unleavened Bread, Eldon Community Center,Eldon, MO
(Speaker – Rory Ries). Finger foods, no potluck.
April 19, Wednesday, 1:30pm – Last Day of Unleavened Bread, Eldon Community Center (Speaker –
Hank Weinmeister). Potluck meal.
June 4, Sunday, 1:30pm – Pentecost
Sep 23, Saturday, 1:30pm – Feast of Trumpets
Oct 2, Monday, Day of Atonement
Oct 7-13, Sat-Fri, Feast of Tabernacles (Baymont Inn, Lake Ozark, MO)
Oct 14, Saturday Eighth Day Festival ” ” ” ” ”
YOU SHALL NEVER WASH MY FEET!
Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” (John 13:8 NKJ)
If any of the disciples could be considered self-sufficient, it would have been Simon Peter. Jesus
once said of him, “When you were younger you girded yourself and walked where you wished.” It was
not his way to let others do for him. He was man enough to take care of himself, and his pride would not
It was Peter who wielded the sword in the garden in a misguided attempt to protect his Messiah. It was
Peter who had the audacity to walk on water. Peter – the talented Peter – could do whatever he set his
heart to do, and didn’t need anyone’s help.
Or so he thought.
So when Jesus knelt down to wash Peter’s feet, Peter acted like Peter. He was willing to help and serve
others, but he could not bear the thought of others helping and serving him. “You shall never wash my
Personally, I don’t mind washing my brother’s feet. The hard part for me is to let others wash my feet. I
can take care of myself, you know. You won’t catch me asking others for help. I pull my own weight. I
pay my own bills. I fulfill my responsibilities. So don’t try to help me.
But once a year a brother kneels before me and washes my feet. And every year I become embarrassed.
Like Peter I say, “You? Washing my feet?” And every year we read the scriptures together, and Jesus
tells me, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”
This is an ordinance of humility, to help your brother as a lowly servant. But sometimes it takes more
humility to let others help you. — Lenny Cacchio, Lee’s Summit, MO (April 16, 2005)
There was a major controversy that took place in the early church, not long after Christ had died. Most
people have never even heard of it nor do they have any knowledge of what had taken place. It is called
the “Quartodeciman Controversy.” Quartodecimans were those who followed what Christ had taught in
fixing the celebration of the Lord’s Supper on the night of the 14th of Nisan. The Lord’s Supper or what
some call the New Testament Passover takes place in the evening of the 14th, right after sunset. Christ
was then crucified the following day which is in the afternoon of the 14th of Nissan.
The controversy didn’t happen until some in the church at Rome, around the early part of the 2nd
Century, wanted to move the celebration to a fixed Sunday instead of following Christ’s instructions to
keep it once a year on the 14th . The way it was, the 14th could fall on any day of the week. Those who
wanted to move the Lord’s Supper to Sunday also wanted to celebrate his resurrection on that same
Sunday. Today, we call this celebration Easter Sunday.
Polycarp, a leader in the church and a student of the Apostle John, visited Rome. John had died and there
were changes taking place in the church that were opposite of what Christ had taught.
This controversy was huge, and caused many to follow the worldly, heathen practices at that time. The
Overseer in the church at Rome was Anicetus and he eventually conceded to Polycarp after much debate.
However, the successor to Anicetus, Victor I, changed the practices in the church and the Eucharist took
the place of the Lord’s Supper, and the church at Rome started to keep Easter Sunday as a day of worship.
Polycarp had been martyred before Victor I took over the church at Rome. Victor then made it law and
anyone who did not follow the practice of keeping the Eucharist and Easter Sunday were to be
The Quartodecimans went into hiding. Throughout church history the Quartodecimans have been in
hiding from severe persecution. There is documentation and historical journals that show the true church
of Christ, a small remnant, has always kept the Lord’s Supper on the night of the 14th. Billions of
professing Christians have no idea of this history nor do they know what the 14th of Nisan means.
The world, as a whole, has rejected the doctrines of Christ. God has given mankind instructions on what
days He demands us to worship Him (Levi. 23) and man has rejected His instructions and has come up
with his own ideas on how to worship God.
The weekly Sabbath (Saturday) is the day we are to worship God (Ex. 20:8). We also observe seven Holy
Days that we are to set aside as appointed times to meet with God, and they start with keeping the night
of the 14th of the first month of the year Abib (Levi. 23:5). The Jews later changed the name of Abib to
Christ instructed his disciples to keep this night and he set the example as far as what they were to do that
evening (Matt. 26: 17-30, Mark 14:12-26, Luke 22:14-20, John 13:1-20). Later, Paul wrote about it to the
Corinthians in 1 Cor. 11:23-30. He gave them specific instructions, and the church is to follow these
same instructions today. The world has been deceived by Satan (Rev 12:9). John also wrote about how
the world lies under the sway of the wicked one (1 John 5:19). How can one know whether they are truly
following Christ or are they following the traditions and teachings of men?
If we are sincere and we are willing to submit to God’s will, we can discern what is of Christ and what is
of man’s teachings (John 7:16-18). We can know the doctrines of God. Christ said in Matthew 7: 7, “Ask
and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” You have to do
your part. The Bereans were commended because they examined the scriptures on a daily basis (Acts
17:11). They did not just take someone’s teachings as being absolute truth. They proved all things by
searching the scriptures.
Christ said to enter through the narrow gate because it leads to life whereas the gate that is wide and
broad leads to destruction (Matt.7:13-14). Many in the world, even many professing Christians, are going
through the broad and wide gate because it is acceptable.
Those who are going through the narrow gate are the few and the few will always suffer persecution and
difficulties. Christ even said not everyone who calls him Lord will enter into the Kingdom (Matt. 7:21-
23). They call themselves Christians and some are even teachers, but they do not know Christ nor do they
know the Father. Only the true followers of Christ know him and God, the Father, and they know Him by
keeping all of His commandments and they walk as Christ walked (1 John 2:2-6).
Christ talked about false teachers and false teachings throughout the gospels. The apostles did the same
thing, over and over again throughout their letters to the churches. Paul wrote to the church in Galatia
telling them he was shocked to see so many turning away from the teachings of Christ. This was shortly
after Christ had died. Peter and John wrote similar letters about false teachings to the churches too (2 Pet
2:1-2, and 1 John 4:1).
Along with the Quartodeciman Controversy came the rejection of the one true sign, and that is Christ is
who he says he is. The sign he gave was to be buried in the grave for three days and three nights (Matt.
12:38-41). Try to count three days and three nights from a supposed “good” Friday afternoon burial to an
early Sunday morning resurrection. It does not fit.
The Jews were always asking for a sign and even when Christ gave them a sign they rejected it and they
rejected him. The world is no different today. Paul said the Jews request a sign and the Greeks seek after
wisdom (1 Cor 1:22-24). Not much has changed over time. Christ is a stumbling block to the Jews and
Christ’s teachings are foolishness to the world.
Everyone will have to answer for the decisions they make in their lifetime. This includes those who walk
in the world blindly and those who proclaim they know Christ but they don’t practice what he taught. Are
you willing to step out and go through the narrow gate or will you continue to follow man’s false
teachings and false practices? Christ addressed this issue in Matthew 15:7.
It is possible for a professing Christian to draw near to Christ with their mouth and honor him with their
lips, and yet their heart is far from him. Why is that? It is because they follow man’s traditions and man’s
commandments. They worship God according to man and not according to God.
Christ even says they worship him in vain. Matt 15:9. Their form of worship is all for nothing. Could that
also mean that looking to the east at sunrise on Easter Sunday is a false way of worship and it is all done
Apparently, the early church thought it was a false practice, and they clung to worshipping God and
accepting the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the 14th of Nisan. Some had even lost their lives over this issue
because of mainstream Christianity wanted the true followers of Jesus Christ to renounce their beliefs and
accept the doctrines of men.
You can call me a Quartodeciman and you will find me on the 14th of Nisan partaking of the bread and
wine and accepting Jesus Christ as my Passover Lamb. —Rory Ries, Festus, MO
A RECIPE FOR UNLEAVENED BREAD
Whole Wheat Flatbread
Set oven temperature at 390-400F
4 cups whole wheat pastry* flour
1 ½ t salt
3 T butter
2 egg yolks
2 T vegetable oil
7/8 cup milk or water
Sift the flour, then measure. Add the salt to the measured flour and sift again or stir thoroughly.
Cut the butter into small pieces, adding them to the flour as they are being cut. With a pastry blender or 2
knives, cut the butter into the flour as when making pastry.
In another bowl beat the egg yolks until lemon-colored. Add the oil slowly to the egg yolks, continuing to
beat as it is added. An electric mixer is good for doing this. Add the milk or water to the mixture, adding
only about one fourth of it at first, then the remainder.
Pour this liquid mixture into the flour-and-butter mixture and stir with a fork or spoon until it forms a ball
of dough that comes away from the side of the bowl.
Knead lightly on a floured board for abut a minute to shape the dough into a smooth ball.
Lightly flour the bread board again. Pinch off about one third cupful of the dough and place it on the
floured board. With the hands, pat it as thin as can easily be done; then roll it a little thinner with a rolling
Pick up the dough, lay it over one hand and with the other hand spread a little flour on the board. Replace
the dough and roll again. Repeat this operation until the dough is to thin that it just holds together without
breaking when handled.
Place the rolled dough on an ungreased baking sheet and mark into squares of any desired size with a
knife. Slide the sheet into the preheated oven.
Bake 8 to 12 minutes and very lightly browned.
*Whole wheat pastry flour makes the most tender bread, but whole wheat bread flour may be used. In
that case, the liquid (water or milk) will need to be increased to one cup. If bread flour is used, it is also
advisable to use the egg whites as they help lighten the bread.
MANY MORE UNLEAVENED BREAD RECIPES AT:
EXCERPT OF RECENT EMAIL FROM PASTOR JULIUS LENKUME, MAASAI MISSION,
KENYA, EAST AFRICA:
“Some hours ago I sent some pictures taken on 1st April 2006 at Poroko church where Emmanual
Nankoris is the pastor. It was join Sabbath services of Shankoe, Naronyo and Poroko. John Barta
(Shankoe pastor) teaching during bible study, translated into Swahili by evangelist Jackson Naropi of
Also Shankoe choir behind the tent and Naronyo choir sing in other pictures in front of the church. Alice
Oleletii is also in front giving testimonies. (is one of disable active lady in Shankoe)God has blessed her
and is really committed. She walks with us early on Sabbath day from my home to Poroko over 16kms.
She came my home on Friday to cut journey short to Poroko.
We have enough rains we praise God for this the land now is green.
EXCERPTS FROM 3-22-06 LETTER FROM LEON SEXTON, LEGACY INSTITUTE,
“For those of us taking the Passover symbols of unleavened bread and wine and washing one another’s
feet, it is important for us to come together with the right attitude of unity and reconciliation.
“We will come together to share the symbols of the New Covenant with each other and commemorate the
sacrificial death of Jesus Christ which blots out our sins.
“Taking the bread and wine together is symbolic of being united as one family – one people—one church.
The bread and wine are very important of UNITY in Jesus Christ.!
“By eating the bread and drinking the wine, we AGREE that we are one body and one people, not many
divided groups. We all become ONE in the Lord.
“The Corinthian Church was coming together as ONE congregation. They all CLAIMED to be ONE in
Jesus Christ – BUT THEY WERE DIVIDED!
“Various factions had formed in Corinth. There were cliques.
“The example Paul uses of their lack of discernment has to do with their divisions and how they were
treating one another.
“By participating in the foot washing, we humble ourselves before one another. We should not take the
symbols of the broken body of Jesus for our sins and the blood of the New Covenant IF we are unwilling
to humble ourselves before each and every one of our brethren who are members of the body.
“We are to live in peace and tolerance with our fellow brethren. Otherwise we are in danger of taking the
Passover unworthily and being judged by God.
“We can also be guilty of putting a stumbling block in the way of our brother or sister in Jesus Christ if
we are not willing to reconcile and make peace.
“So, my brethren, this year go to your brother or sister and make peace before you take the bread and
wine of the Passover. Symbolically, we must humble ourselves as foot-washers before we take the bread
and wine of communion together.
“I pray that all of you will be able to safely observe Passover wherever you are. And I pray that you will
be together spiritually united as one Body in Jesus Christ Our Lord as well as physically united at one
place.” —website: www.legacyinstitute.org
“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have as I have
“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have as I have
loved you.” loved you.” John 15:12
loved you.” loved you.”
MID–MISSOURI CHURCH OF GOD
Lake of the Ozarks, PO Box 92, Eldon, MO 65026. Phone: 573-372-2632 or 573-372-3221 or 573-392-
The Mid-Missouri Church of God (MMCG) holds Christian Sabbath services each Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
at 308 Fairground Road in Versailles, Missouri. This location is at the old Good Shepherd nursing home,
two blocks south of McDonald’s Restaurant. Please park in the northeast parking lot. Our green and gold
signs indicate the entrance. Coffee is always served for one half hour before and after services. A Bible
Study is scheduled at 12:15pm before services on the third Sabbath of each month. Potluck meals after
services are planned for the fourth Sabbath of each month. It is best to call ahead and confirm times and
locations if you are traveling any distance to visit us (see phone numbers above). Occasionally we will
cancel local services to attend en masse elsewhere. Come and enjoy the fellowship!