THE OZARK LETTER
A Publication of the Mid-Missouri Church of God
Lake of the Ozarks Volume XI, Issue 11 NOVEMBER, 2007
NOVEMBER GREETINGS: Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the LORD
and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give
you the desires of your heart. Psalms 37: 1-4/NIV
The “ladies meeting” will meet in November on the 7th and we will be listening to a music CD. The
hayride, at the Gitthens, will be the first Sabbath in November which is November 3. See the telephone
numbers listed at the bottom of this newsletter, if you need more information.
The second Saturday in October, the City of Eldon observes the Turkey Festival. This year the Mid-
Missouri Church of God had a booth and gave out Christian literature. In spite of a rainy morning, there
were many people attending the Festival. Approximately 1700 items were distributed with the church
address and telephone numbers. Hopefully, we have planted “seeds” that will bring people to ask
questions and hopefully to receive salvation. In a group that large, you never know who you are
confronting or just what their needs happen to be. Csh>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
The following is from Chicken Soup for the Soul
“Follow Your Dream”
By Jack Canfield
I have a friend named Monty Roberts who owns a horse ranch in San Ysidro. He has let me use his
house to put on fund-raising events to raise money for youth at risk programs.
The last time I was there he introduced me by saying, “I want to tell you why I let Jack use my house. It
all goes back to a story about a young man who was the son of an itinerant horse trainer who would go
from stable to stable, race track to race track, farm to farm and ranch to ranch, training horses. As a
result, the boy’s high school career was continually interrupted. When he was a senior, he was asked to
write a paper about what he wanted to be and do when he grew up.
That night he wrote a seven-page paper describing his goal of someday owning a horse ranch. He wrote
about his dream in great detail and he even drew a diagram of a 200-acre ranch, showing the location of
all the buildings, the stables and the track. Then he drew a detailed floor plan for a 4,000-square-foot
house that would sit on the 200-acre dream ranch.
He put a great deal of his heart into the project and the next day he handed it in to his teacher. Two days
later he received his paper back. On the front page was a large red F with a note that read, ‘See me after
The boy with the dream went to see the teacher after class and asked, ‘Why did I receive an F?’
The teacher said,’This is an unrealistic dream for a young boy like you. You have no money. You come
from an itinerant family. You have no resources. Owning a horse ranch requires a lot of money. You
have to buy the land. You have to pay for the original breeding stock and later you’ll have to pay large
stud fees. There’s no way you could ever do it.’ Then the teacher added, ‘If you will rewrite this paper
with a more realistic goal, I will reconsider your grade.’
The boy went home and thought about it long and hard. He asked his father what he should do. His
father said, ‘Look, son, you have to make up your own mind on this. However, I think it is a very
important decision for you.’
Finally, after sitting with it for a week, the boy turned in the same paper, making no changes at all. He
stated, ‘You can keep the F and I’ll keep my dream’.
Monty then turned to the assembled group and said, “I tell you this story because you are sitting in my
4,000-square-foot house in the middle of my 200-acre horse ranch. I still have that school paper framed
over the fireplace.” He added, “The best part of the story is that two summers ago that same
schoolteacher brought 30 kids to camp out on my ranch for a week.” When the teacher was leaving, he
said, ‘Look, Monty, I can tell you this now. When I was your teacher, I was something of a dream
stealer. During those years I stole a lot of kids’ dreams. Fortunately you had enough gumption not to
give up on yours.’
Don’t let anyone steal your dreams. Follow your heart, no matter what. >>>>>>>>>>>>
From the Sabbath Companion,
By Lenny Cacchio
It saddened me when I saw him. His once vibrant athletic frame was now a shadow of its former self,
racked by the crude chemotherapy of the day. I remember most how terribly thin and pale he looked,
and how much hair he had lost. But he grinned when he saw me and asked, “Did you play much ball this
summer, Leonard?” “Yep,” I said. “Every chance I got.”
He was Nick Ioveno, my high school baseball coach. Legend had it that he once played professional
baseball and made it all the way to the New York Mets. In his first game someone hit him a groundball
that went right between his legs. So much for his career in The Show.
What I knew about him was crude at best: he was the toughest son of a gun I ever knew. We began
baseball practice in the dead of winter doing heavy workouts in the gymnasium, running until our lungs
ached, calisthenics until our legs quivered, wind sprints until we collapsed on the gym floor and maybe
even tossing our cookies.
But Coach Ioveno especially liked the indoor practices because he could smash groundballs at us across
the gym floor with a fungo bat. Coach Ioveno was expert at having the ball short-hop us in the knees –
or maybe a little higher. If he hit someone a little higher (ringing the bell, he called it), he whooped in a
victory shout while the poor guy tried to regain both his breath and his composure.
I hated this guy.
But there was something about the great game of baseball that kept drawing me back, and there was no
way I was going to let that man beat me. Coach told us that our team was going to win games because
no other team in the league was out there as early as we were, working as hard as we were, and going
through the fire as we were. I think he was telling us that we had more to lose than they did. We worked
harder, hurt more, sweat more, and bled more, so it should stand to reason that we should want to win
When the season started, the discipline, conditioning, and the drilling of the fundamentals all worked for
our benefit. For some reason we just kept winning. Maybe it had as much to do with the fear of losing.
We nearly lost one game early on, and Coach laid it on us with all the power of his lungs during the long
bus ride home. “Man,” I thought, “we won the game. What will happen if we lose?” Later in the season
we did just that and the outburst was intolerably worse.
I hated this guy!
We did eventually win the league championship, but came within an inning of letting it slip. We were
down 6-1 going into the last inning of the last game. We had worked too hard to let it get away, and we
rallied to win 7-6. Coach was the happiest fellow around. “You’re a real winner, boys, if you can come
from behind like that!” When we got back to the locker room, we grabbed him clothes and all and threw
him into the shower and laughed and joked along with him. This was our last chance to soak him, as
most of us would be going on to the varsity team the next year.
Still, I hated this guy.
It was that summer that we learned of his particularly virulent form of Hodgkin ’s disease. So when I
saw him at the start of school in the fall, I was as uncomfortable as a clumsy youth could be when
staring the look of death in the face. “Did you play much ball this summer, Leonard?” “Yep. Every
chance I got.”
As the year drew on, Coach became thinner and thinner, weaker and weaker. Some days he couldn’t
even stand in front of his class to teach. I remember walking by his classroom one day and peaking in.
He was sitting at his desk, his head hanging limp and forward, his gray, gaunt face drawn and suffering.
The class was deathly silent.
When the dead of winter came and baseball practice started, Coach Ioveno was there as usual, barking,
joking, teasing, and hitting fungos at guy ’s knees and other parts of the anatomy. Some days were better
than others, but he was there most of the time. As the season drew on, he relied more and more on his
cane for support, and in a sense it was as painful for us as it was for him. Near the end of the season he
was unable to be with his team in the dugout. In order to coach, he stayed in his car in the parking lot
and sent his instructions by messenger.
Before our final game of the year, the varsity coach convened a team meeting in the locker room.
“Coach Ioveno has gone into the hospital again, and this time we don’t think he’s coming out.” Coach
then walked out the door and toward the ball field. Someone yelled, “Let’s win this one for Coach
Ioveno”, whereupon we ran onto the field and proceeded to trounce the opposition and win the league
A couple of weeks later I was sitting at a desk in the gym with hundreds of other students taking my
final exams. I looked up and saw a thin, frail, bearded man walking by. It was Coach Ioveno, the man
who never quit. He had defied the doctor’s prognosis and come back to LaSalle Senior High School
where he had dedicated his life. “How does he do it?” I wondered. It was then I realized that I loved this
That was the last time I saw Coach Ioveno. In the summer of 1970, 29 year-old Nick Ioveno died.
A while back, someone asked me about my Last Great Day story. How would I envision that wonderful
resurrection when all will have a chance to know God? Whom would I seek out and what would I say?
As for me, I will seek out Nick Ioveno. I’ll find a fungo bat and have him hit me some grounders. And
I’ll also want to thank him for teaching me lessons that have stayed with me even until now.
Lessons such as perseverance in the face of adversity. Never give up. Push yourself beyond what you
think your limits are. Work harder than the other guy and eventually you’ll be on top. Strive for
excellence. Stay focused on the ball and stay focused on your goals. Think about what you’re doing
while you’re doing it. Master the fundamentals and leave the flashy stuff to Hollywood. The team is
more important than your personal batting average. Don’t read what the newspaper says about you.
Expect every play to come your way, and anticipate what you’ll do with the ball. Enthusiasm. Hustle.
Win or lose, shake hands with the other team. Most of all, fight until your last breath for what you
believe in and what you love.
Thank you, Coach Ioveno, for teaching me the lessons of life. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
The following was submitted by a member of the MMCG congregation
What if, instead of wallowing in our misery, we all chose to focus on being valued by a dear friend, for
example, or the memory of a colleague’s face when she receives a surprise birthday cake at work, or the
smooth ride we’ve had to work in the past week? As science is now proving, feeling grateful can
actually make us healthier, literally. Practicing gratitude, acknowledging the blessings in our lives and
making it a point to recognize the good things can change us positively. We’ll sleep better and exercise
more. We’ll feel more optimistic. We’ll be more alert and active. And if we do this over a period of
time, we’ll realize that we’re making progress toward our life goals. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Find the correct letters to read this Bible verse:
GB ISM ESA HFGTKH, UAH FGD ZEDA HE DA
ISX XTGSC. FA OFE YAUGAPAK GS DA, IK HFA
KZTGQHJTA FIK KIGX, EJH EB FGK YAUUM KFIUU
BUEO TGPATK EB UGPGSW OIHAT. VEFS 7:37-38
Hints – A=E H=T K=S I=A F=H T=R G=I S=N
MID-MISSOURI CHURCH OF GOD
PO Box 92, Eldon, MO 65026/mailing address. Actual physical address is: 602 East North Street.
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 at 6:30p.m., the ladies meet for a “get together” and you can contact Martha Roberts at 573-
496-3203 or Charleen Gitthens at 573-392-5965 if you plan to attend.