THE OZARK LETTER Page 1 of 8
A Publication of the Mid-Missouri Church of God
Lake of the Ozarks Volume IX, Issue 5 MAY 2006
MAY GREETINGS: Last August I took my wife and three girls to the Missouri State Fair for the first
time. It was a really fine and fun family experience. Nevertheless there was one exhibit that really
shocked my wife and me. We learned that Missouri held the terrible record of having the most meth labs
of any state in the USA! Our known illegal methamphetamine labs far outdistanced the number two state
to hold that distinction.
However, I was very glad to read an article yesterday that stated that the Missouri State Highway Patrol
reported a 45 percent decrease in methamphetamine incidents since last year. Many of you readers have
no doubt seen newscasts or articles that show that meth is the “drug of choice” for those who are seeking
highs via drug abuse, and that some of the crimes committed by some of the meth addicts are
The decrease here coincides with our governor pushing an anti-meth bill that took effect last year,
limiting the sales of ephedrine and pseudo-ephedrine, which are among the ingredients used to produce
the drug. Let’s all pray that effective anti-meth measures are enacted and enforced throughout our
country. As often happens, our children suffer the most because some parents on meth are so strongly
addicted so as not to care much about what happens to their children.
Editor ’s Note: The Ozark Letter was edited by my wife, Dotte Schneider, from its inception in April 1998
until her death in December 2001. Since that time it has been my pleasure to edit the newsletter. I will
soon pass the editing duties on to another. Editing has been an easy task, since so many of you have
faithfully submitted articles and other materials of interest. The Mid -Missouri Church of God is indebted
to our 180 readers in the USA and 21 readers in other countries for their inputs and continued interest. I
trust that the Ozark Letter has lifted you up at times, made you smile, and even inspired you in your
Christian walk. I expect that it will continue and increase in that regard. Thank you all very much, and
God bless you all for reading, praying, and contributing these past eight years. Wyatt L. (“Duke”)
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: A Christian woman and her three adopted, learning-disabled, home-schooled children had just
moved to Missouri from another state to start a new home.
After a long day of house hunting, she went to bed for the night. She could not sleep because she was
afraid for her home-schoolers since she didn’t know the laws that pertain in Missouri.
At 3:00am in the morning she got up and decided to read a “freebie” ads paper that she had brought
home. Her eyes fell on a Christian “Fear Not” ad announcing a meeting for home schooling and testing
disabled children. She felt strongly that God was answering her concerns and prayers.
She attended the meeting the next day and found warm hearts to pray with, state certified teachers and
testers of learning disabled, and received a contact who could explain the local home-schooling legalities.
Isaiah 65:24 “It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking,
I will hear.” NKJV
Item: There are many parents today whose daughter or son has gone away, missing from the lives of
those who love them
One such young man grew tired of disappointing his dad and left the family for three years, leaving them
concerned about his welfare. Prayers were heavy on God’s altar and on his mother’s heart.
Then another painful event happened. Their younger son was killed in a car wreck at the tender age of 15.
An older sister, near death from the same accident, asked the FBI to find her 25-year-old missing brother.
He was located safe in another country.
After a while, and more prayers, the prodigal son returned home. In time, he married well and ended up
being the child living nearest to his parents, watching over them in their old age, his father’s favorite.
Don’t give up hope!
Luke 15:32 “It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive
again, and was lost and is found. ” NKJV
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
June 4, Sunday, 1:30pm – Pentecost –Versailles
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 ” ” ” ” ”
TRUE FRIENDS WILL WOUND YOU
His poetry graces the scriptures and embraces the world, yet he exited this life with a barrel of
questions and doubts. He began his reign with great promise and wisdom, but by the end of his days he
concluded that “all is vanity and striving after wind.” Solomon the wise became Solomon the cynic.
He searched for meaning in the arms of a thousand women, yet he never found the love of one special
woman. “One man among a thousand I have found,” he wrote. Yet we are hard pressed in searching his
biography to know who that man was, and it is there that we might find the key to the difficulty in
David had his Nathan, Hezekiah his Isaiah, and even wicked King Ahab had his Elijah. In the history of
the Kingdoms of Israel, God always sent both good kings and bad a prophet to hold them accountable.
Sometimes they heeded and sometimes they did not, but nevertheless God made known the knowledge of
the right path. Someone was there who would stand before the
mighty king, point his finger in the king’s face, and declare, “You are the man.”
“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” (Proverbs 27:6) Solomon
was wise enough to know that sycophants home toward those with power as flies swarm a trashcan. He
had his nine hundred ninety nine bootlickers, yet we see no examples of a true friend of Solomon to warn
him of the crooked path he walked.
We are left to wonder how things might have ended had someone taken him by the conscience and told
him, “Sir, you are wrong.”
How would your life be different if you had such a friend? We need connections with other human
beings beyond the normal daily social context. We need people who will be friends enough to be brutally
honest when we stray from the straight path. Sadly, with society as it is, developing deep, lifelong
friendships is a challenge. But it is only from such friendships that honesty and trust can grow, and those
are precisely the friendships that will faithfully wound us when we need the wounding.
“Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man’s rebuke to a listening ear.” (Proverbs
25:12 NIV) —Lenny Cacchio, Lee’s Summit, MO
One of the many characteristics of our Great God is His love for His creation. “For God so loved the
world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have
eternal life (John 3:16).” This plan had to be put into effect because man has sinned and has separated
himself from God (Isa. 59:2). We also know that the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). All have sinned,
and yet God is willing to forgive and offer the gift of salvation because He loves His creation (Rom. 5:8,
1 John 4:10).
We are instructed to pray for forgiveness (Matt. 6:12). We are also instructed if we want to receive
forgiveness we have to be willing to forgive others (Matt. 6:14-15). God sets the example as well as Jesus
Christ. God offers salvation today to those who are willing to repent of their sins and ask for forgiveness
(Acts 2:37-38). God will also offer salvation to those who are resurrected as physical human beings at the
great white throne judgment (Rev. 20:11-12). Everyone who has ever lived will have the opportunity to
know God at one time or another according to His great plan.
It all starts with repentance and forgiveness of sins (Isa. 1:16-18). “In him we have redemption through
his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with
all wisdom and understanding (Eph. 1:7-8).” This walk with God begins when out of His kindness and
compassion He leads us to repentance (Rom. 2:4). What do we repent of? One of the things we can repent
of is breaking His Law. We are instructed to love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind, and to love
our neighbor as we love ourselves (Mark 12:28-31).
We all fall short. We cannot overcome any sin on our own. We need Christ living in us and we need
God’s mercy to clean us up and become more like Him with each passing day (Rom 8:37). Man is
basically hostile towards God until he repents and his sins are forgiven (Rom. 8:6-8).
Once we repent and we are baptized we become a new creation and we become the sons of God (2 Cor
5:17, Rom. 8:13-17). Not only do we become sons of God we become heirs of God and joint heirs with
Christ. Now that is exciting news!
As you read this keep this in mind when you look at the people in God’s church. The church is not
perfect. Christ who is the head of the church is perfect, but the people he is working with are not. That’s
why you may see people doing things that may not always make sense.
Each individual God calls to Christ is a work in progress. God does not wave a magic wand so that once
you repent and your sins are forgiven you automatically become perfect. Conversion is a life-long
process. That’s why forgiveness is a key element in how we get along with one another in the church and
in the world.
We are all trying to develop more of God’s character and it can be very challenging at times. God is
creating in us His perfect character, but being human we slip from time to time and we make mistakes.
God does not wipe us out because we have sinned. He continues to work with each one of us as long as
we continue to seek his forgiveness when we sin. Now if we deliberately sin against God and willfully
refuse to follow Christ, we can possibly separate ourselves from God which is a place to avoid (Heb.
God is willing to forgive anyone. God forgave David of adultery and murder (2 Sam. 11:4-17). Even
though David committed a horrible crime, God was willing to forgive him. David will rule over Israel as
their King when Jesus Christ returns and sets up his kingdom (Ezek. 37:24).
This does not mean a person can just go out and do whatever they want and expect to get away with the
sin. David always had a heart that was willing to repent and ask for forgiveness (Ps. 51).
He also suffered the consequences for making bad decisions even though he was forgiven of the sins he
God is also willing to forgive a nation if the nation is willing to ask for forgiveness (Jonah 3:10). Jonah
had preached to Nineveh and warned the king there that God would destroy Nineveh if they didn’t seek
forgiveness. The king called for the people to fast along with him and seek forgiveness. God chose to
have compassion on them and their sins were forgiven.
The same could happen today if the President were to call for a fast for the United States. If that were to
happen the many sins this country has committed could be forgiven, especially if the country changed
and started to obey God’s Laws.
Being like God means we have to be willing to show compassion and be willing to forgive. If someone
hurts us we have to be willing to forgive (Matt. 18:21-22). If they hurt us more than once we still have to
be willing to forgive. Part of the forgiveness process is being willing to sit down with the other person
and discuss what is going on in a loving way.
We also need to develop good listening skills so we can hear what the other person is saying.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. We get upset at someone and we walk around with a grudge or
just carry around all this anger because someone didn’t act the way we wanted them to act. God
commands us to deal with that person and deal with them in a loving way, which means being willing to
forgive (Matt. 18:15 and Eph. 4:26-27, Eph. 4:32).
It’s not easy to become more like our Heavenly Father and our elder brother Jesus Christ. God demands it
from us because of our great inheritance that is locked up for you and me. All of mankind is going to be
given an opportunity to know who God really is. He is working with a small number today and He will
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eventually work with all of mankind at another time.
You can have that opportunity today and look to God and Jesus Christ for direction and guidance. There
is much rejoicing in heaven when one sinner repents and his sins are forgiven (Luke 15:7). This awesome
God we call Father desires to have a relationship with you and is so willing to forgive you of any sin you
may have committed. Forgiveness is one of many beautiful characteristics of our loving and
compassionate Father. We have the honor of being his children.—Rory Ries, Festus, MO
SABBATH – A DAY TO REMEMBER
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shall you labour, and do all your work; but the
seventh day is a Sabbath unto the LORD thy God, in it you shall not do any manner of work, you, nor
thy son, nor your daughter, nor your man-servant, nor your maid-servant, nor your cattle, nor the
stranger that is within your gates; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that
in them is, and rested on the seventh day; wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it
Any Bible scholar worth his salt knows that the weekly Sabbath of the Christian Scriptures is not Sunday
but Saturday. Even Roman Catholic scholars will agree, though claiming that the Roman Church had,
contrary to Scripture, divine authority to change it. So how should we observe the day?
…First, the ‘day’ itself is observed from sundown on Friday to sundown Saturday. This is, in Bible
terms, the seventh day of the week. It is a day that has remained in unbroken sequence since the
beginning of time Sabbath is a time designated by the Creator as ‘holy’. That is, it is a day to be carefully
distinguished from the other six days.
…It is a day for physical joy and refreshment. We ‘rest from our labours’, our regular day-to-day
business activity. It is well-known that mankind needs this regular recurring pause in our busy schedule.
The Sabbath puts our acquisitive lives in perspective.
But Sabbath is especially a time for refreshment of the human spirit. It is a time to burnish our
relationship with our heavenly Father and our Saviour through prayer and meditation on His Word. And a
time to cement our relationships with our families and our brothers and sisters in Christ. It is also a time
to assemble for instruction from competent teachers.
…The seventh-day Sabbath is a sign of our covenant, made at our baptism, with our God. It is a perpetual
sign given by the LORD at creation to identify the people of God—a sign that has defined, and on
occasion cost the lives of, obedient saints down the ages.
…The weekly Sabbath and the Day of Atonement were, at their inception, the only holy days designated
in Scripture as full ‘Sabbaths’. That is, no secular work not of a humanitarian nature should be done, and
chores minimized. The other holy days are also for fellowship, instruction and physical enjoyment but
without the physical strictures of the Sabbaths.
In sum, the seventh-day Sabbath, for Christians, is not a burdensome chore but a welcome break from
the daily grind, a pause in our daily lives that brings rich reward. It is not a complex system of ‘dos and
don’ts’ but a willing personal expression of our submission to our Creator God and our Saviour, and of
our liberty in Christ. Each of us is free to observe it within the principles of the Scriptures. — James
Grandma, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. She didn’t move, just sat with her head
down staring at her hands. When I sat down beside her she didn’t acknowledge my presence and the
longer I sat I wondered if she was OK.
Finally, not really wanting disturb her but wanting to check on her at the same time, I asked her if she
was OK. She raised her head and looked at me and smiled.
“Yes, I’m fine, thank you for asking,” she said in a clear strong voice.
“I didn’t mean to disturb you, Grandma, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted
to make sure you were OK,” I explained to her.
“Have you ever looked at your hands,” she asked. “I mean really looked at your hands?”
I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down.
No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point she was making.
Grandma smiled and related this story:
“Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your
years. These hands, though wrinkled, shriveled and weak have been the tools I have used all my life to
reach out and grab and embrace life.
“They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor. They put food in my mouth
and clothes on my back. As a child my mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and
pulled on my boots. They held my husband and wiped my tears when he went off to war.
“They have been dirty, scraped and raw, swollen and bent. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to
hold my newborn son. Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and
loved someone special. They wrote my letters to him and trembled and shook when I buried my parents
“They have held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists of anger when I
“They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have
been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw. And to this day when not much of anything else of
me works real well these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer
“These hands are the mark of where I’ve been and the ruggedness of life. But more importantly it will be
these hands that God will reach out and take when he leads me home. And with my hands He will lift me
to His side and there I will use these hands to touch the face of Christ.”—Submitted by Milly Kasten, IL
FROM BILL JOHNSON, PRES., AMERICAN DECENCY ASSOCIATION
How easy it is to acclimate to the societal surroundings as the much used illustration – the frog in the pot
of hot water – not noticing that the water is incrementally becoming hotter, the undiscerning frog
accommodates, boiling to death. So it is with many people, including Christians, who ought to know
better. It is true today, as it was in Lot’s day and Noah’s, too.
There are many corporate attacks upon decency today. One corporation that relentlessly leads the way is
“Victoria’s Secret.” Day in and day out they foist scantily clad women in sexualized postures and poses to
sell their products. VS has done this for many years. Once they were much more sensitive to public
mores than they are presently. However, they are convinced they can get away with it as they have year
Many have tried to communicate to them via phone, email, direct contacts at the local mall, but VS only
hears what they want to hear: the ringing sound of cash registers. They are convinced that those who are
indignant over their in your face sexual displays are the fringe and they will grow weary in their
discontent and go away.
With God’s help, we will continue to tell those who have the capability of not being frog-like
accommodators; having ears that hear. Calling out to those willing to not only not give them a penny but
to tell others and to, yes, speak up and speak out – again and again and again. Doing so because they
know that Victoria’s Secret’s maverick advertising agenda little by little conforms Americans to godless
imagery and themes. .
What you can do? Be resolved to speak up. It helps build greater convictions. Make it a part of your life
style. Be Christ like. Be gentle, but firm.
Mr. Anthony Hebron, Vice-President of External Communications,
You likely will get a voice mail. Leave a message and express
your concern. Please make this call.
American Decency Association
Bill Johnson, President
P.O. Box 202
Fremont, MI 49412
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-
6677; Email: email@example.com Website: www.mmcg.org 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
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to attend en masse elsewhere. Come and enjoy the fellowship!