Just a reminder that the Annual Super Sabbath will be January 5. The theme will be “God – Our Refuge from the Storm”
and Roger Day will be the speaker. Enclosed with this newsletter is a flyer about the Super Sabbath and directions to the
Eldon location. Hope to see you there……… Also, the ladies will meet on Wednesday, December 5 at Andy’s Barbeque
Restaurant (Eldon) at 11:00am. Contact names and telephone numbers are at the bottom of this newsletter for the Ladies
Luncheon. Contacts for the Super Sabbath are on the flyer.
Soon, you will be noticing some changes in the MMCG website as Todd Craig is taking over the maintenance of the web-
DECEMBER GREETINGS: For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the
needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the
terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. Isaiah 25:4
A Publication of the Mid-Missouri Church of God
Volume XI, Issue 12
The Ozark Newsletter
Lake of the Ozarks
Freedom of Speech by Peggy Wooten
Taken from “The Christian Beacon”
Do our words matter or is it OK to just “let it all hang out” concerning what we say? In the late 60’s people were urged to
“let it all hang out” and some have been doing just that, particularly with their words. Much of the language used today is
harsh, crude, angry and mean-spirited. The gentility and politeness of the past seems to be gone. It doesn’t have to be that
way. We can affect our small part of the world in a positive way with kind words. According to Philippians 4:8 and Luke
6:45 we speak what is in our heart, what we allow to go in comes out when we speak. Our words reveal “US” and some-
times that’s not a pretty picture.
Let’s consider our children for a moment. When children are exposed to bad language, they will repeat it. You can count
on it! As parents we have a big responsibility to protect them as much as we can from the attitude of “let it all hang out.”
We must teach them that their words really do matter and that what we say has an affect on other people. Television and the
internet can be wonderful entertainment and teaching tolls. However, without the right supervision and direction these
modern inventions are potentially very harmful because of the visual images portrayed but also the language that is used.
The old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me” is so wrong! It is so important what
our children hear Mom and Day say at home. We must remember charity or love begins at home. Our words are like seeds
we sow. Some words are like seeds of doubt and are the hardest to get rid of. These are words that affect our relationships
with others in a hurtful way.
How often do we speak and let the words fall where they may without taking responsibility for the results? We do have
“freedom of speech” but with a strong responsibility for how we affect others with what we say and how we say it. Too
often, we put our mouth in motion before putting our mind in gear. Psalms 141:3 says “Set a guard over my mouth O Lord.
Keep watch over the door of my lips.”
The two phrases that have the most power to heal a damaged relationship just happen to also be the two phrases that are the
hardest for us to say. “I was wrong” and “I am sorry.”
Many of us remember the talented singer from the 1970’s, Karen Carpenter. She and her brother performed together. He played piano and Karen sang with the most beautiful voice. After one performance a critic in his review said
“I like the brother, he might go far without his chubby sister.” Those words started her on a weight loss trip that took her
into anorexia. When her parents realized the seriousness of her problem it was too late to reverse it. Her organs had begun
to shut down and she died at a young age. Karen had said she didn’t want to hold her brother back from being successful.
The critic had freedom of speech but his words were heartless.
Yes! We have “freedom of speech”. My purpose in sharing this is to encourage all of us to speak with love, and the con-
stant awareness of how our words affect the people around us. It is as important to purposely say positive things as it is to
refrain from saying negative things. Remember, a single kind word is of greater value to the living than a whole bunch of
kind words at a memorial service.
Talk to your friends and family members as if it’s the last time you ever will. Kind words aren’t just for people we know,
but everyone we meet. Our personal health can be affected by self talk as well. True freedom offers us choices and we can
all choose to speak with kindness, encouragement, politeness and love.
Sometimes You Can’t Give It Away by Lenny Cacchio
Taken from “The Sabbath Morning Companion”
Try this experiment. Walk into your place of employment with a wad of one-dollar bills and try to give them away. See if
people take them. I tried it once. “Anybody want this?” It was hard to find a taker, but someone finally took me up on the
offer, but then promptly handed it back. “What’s the catch?” they asked. “Are these real? Why are you doing this?”
Finally I put a stack of ones in the kitchen with a sign that read: “Free. Take One.” When they figured out that there were
no strings attached, they got together and decided to use the money to buy donuts for the office. And I can’t eat donuts.
People tend to be suspicious of freebies. No one goes around giving stuff away and expecting nothing in return. Or do
Parents give to their children because they want to, not because they have to. Friends help friends because they are friends.
Jesus tells us, “If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if
you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to re-
ceive as much back.” (Luke 6:33-34 NKJV)
There is a certain expectation that kindness will beget kindness, that there will be a quid for every quo. Is it any wonder,
then, that people refuse the gifts of God? Maybe God gives gifts, but surely he expects something in return. Jesus might
have said, “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matt. 10:8), but does he apply that rule to himself?
We all know that eternal life is a gift (Rom. 6:23), but there is also another gift that mankind in general has refused to ac-
cept. It is the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). Some people naturally resist it (Acts 7:51). They even “grieve” it (Eph.
Simon Magus saw the power of it and tried to buy it (Acts 8:20). God wouldn’t just give such power away, would he?
There must be some quid pro quo around here somewhere. But we read in Acts 10:45 that God poured out the gift of the
Holy Spirit on the Gentiles, and they didn’t even ask for it. In another place, Jesus tells us, “If any man thirst, let him come
unto me and drink. He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” And
the Bible tells us that he was speaking about the Holy Spirit. (John 7:37-39).
Do You Know the
Meaning of Freely
Page 2 The Ozark Newslet ter Volume XI , Issue 12 Can Truth Survive in a Postmodern Society?
(From the American Decency Association, December, 2007 and submitted by Diane Whaley)
So why do people refuse this wonderful gift from God? Why do they refuse gifts in general? No son refuses a gift from his
father. No daughter refuses a gift from her mother. Yet they will refuse a gift from a stranger – and from God. They refuse
such gifts because they don’t know the giver. If they had known the giver, they would trust the sincerity of the gift. They
refused to take a dollar bill from me because they don’t know me well enough. They refuse a gift from God because they
just don’t know and trust him.
There is one thing, though. “We are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to
those who obey Him.” (Acts 5:32 NKJV). “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count
the cost, whether he has enough to finish it?” (Luke 14:28 NKJV)
Obey? Count the cost? A father might give unconditional gifts to his children out of love, but he still has expectations. Our
Heavenly Father has certain expectations of us. When I was new in my Christian life, I was told of someone who was in-
quiring about a free, high-quality Christian magazine. The question was asked, “What will it cost me?” The answer: “Not
much. Just your whole life.” That echoes the words of Jesus: “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has
cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:33 NKJV).
Yes, God has his expectations of us. He expects us to become like Jesus Christ. (I John 3:2)>>>>>>>
The gospel message in all its component facts is a clear, definitive, confident, authoritative proclamation that Jesus is Lord,
and that He gives eternal and abundant life to all who believe. We who truly know Christ and have received that gift of
eternal life have also received from Him a clear, definitive commission to deliver the gospel message boldly as His ambas-
sadors. If we are likewise not clear and distinct in our proclamation of the message, we are not being good ambassadors.
But we are not merely ambassadors. We are simultaneously soldiers, commissioned to wage war for the defense and dis-
semination of the truth in the face of countless onslaughts against it. We are ambassadors – with a message of good news
for people who walk in a land of darkness and dwell in the land of the shadow of death (Isaiah 9:2). And we are soldiers –
charged with pulling down ideological strongholds and casting down the lies and deception spawned by the forces of evil (2
Corinthians 10:3-5; 2 Timothy 2:3-4).
Notice carefully; our task as ambassadors is to bring good news to people. Our mission as soldiers is to overthrow false
ideas. We must keep those objectives straight; we are not entitled to wage warfare against people or to enter into diplomatic
relations with anti-Christian ideas. Our warfare is not against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12); and our duty as ambassa-
dors does not permit us to compromise or align ourselves with any kind of human philosophies, religious deceit, or any
other kind of falsehood (Colossians 2:8).
If those sound like difficult assignments to keep in balance and maintain in proper perspective, it is because they are indeed.
Jude certainly understood this. The Holy Spirit inspired him to write his short epistle to people who were struggling with
some of these very same issues. He nevertheless urged them to contend earnestly for the faith against all falsehood, while
doing everything possible to deliver souls from destruction; “pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by
the flesh’ (Jude 23).
So we are ambassador-soldiers, reaching out to sinners with the truth even as we make every effort to destroy the lies and
other forms of evil that hold them in deadly bondage. As we close out another year, many of us have increasing concerns
about our beloved America.
Page 3 The Ozark Newslet ter Volume XI , Issue 12 The book of Esther speaks to our age. The Bible, the Word of God, speaks to all ages. It is timeless truth for every person
who loves the Lord Jesus Christ. The book of Esther not once mentions God or prayer. There is an explanation. The book
of Esther was written about a people who had been held in captivity, but though given the opportunity to return to Jerusalem
Dr. J. Vernon McGee in his Thru the Bible commentary states that these who chose not to return to Jerusalem were out of
the will of God. They were not a God-fearing people.
You may recall that the prophets of God warned His people in diverse ways over many years that God would deal with their
rebellion. He, in fact, did. They were carried away captive by a brutal, pagan people.
The years went by and Ezra and Nehemiah led a remnant of God’s people back to Jerusalem where they rebuilt the city.
However, millions stayed back in Babylon, content to marry and intermingle with unbelievers.
You may recall the story of a man named Haman, a leader under King Ahasuerus, who was filled with rage because a Jew
by the name of Mordecai, a judge, willfully failed to bow or pay homage to Haman when he passed by the king’s gate. Ha-
man became aware that Mordecai was a Jew, and rather than just trying to do away with Mordcai, he sought to destroy all
the Jews who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus. Haman appealed to King Ahasuerus stating, “There is a
certain people scattered and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from
all other people’s, and they do not keep the king’s laws. Therefore it is not fitting for the king to let them remain.” (Esther
The king agreed to a decree sought by the treacherous Haman to destroy the Jewish population.
All looked so bleak and dark for these wayward Jews. Yet, even though they were wayward, God made a way of escape for
them providentially using Mordecai and Esther in timely and miraculous ways. So we see a wayward, rebellious people
who had turned their back on God, yet God by His mercy and grace makes provision for their protection even in the midst
of deserved divine judgment.
America is not mentioned in the Bible. We are not God’s chosen people as were the Israelites; however, we as a nation
have also turned our back on God. Yet God has favored us, too, with His mercy and protection – forebearance meant to
lead us to repentance (see Romans 2:4). As God said to the rebellious people of old, He says to His people today,
“Therefore, also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with
mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God; for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.” (Joel 2:12-13)>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Page 4 The Ozark Newslet ter Volume XI , Issue 12
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 573-496-3203 or Charleen Gitthens at 573-392-5965 for location
and time if you plan to attend.
Just a reminder that the Annual Super Sabbath will be January 5. The theme will be “God – Our Refuge from the Storm”