THE OZARK LETTER
A Publication of the Mid-Missouri Church of God
Lake of the Ozarks Volume IX, Issue 9 OCTOBER 2006
Just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am
holy.” (1Peter 1:15, 16).
We are well into the autumn season as this month’s letter finds its way to you. Have you noticed a change in
the weather – cooler nights and cooler mornings? A sure sign that frost is looming around the corner. We hope
that you are enjoying the fall colors. Columbus Day (originally October 11th) is now observed on the second
Monday of October, which this year is the 9th of this month. Most of us, in the Church of God, will be
observing The Feast of Tabernacles on this date. Oh, and don’t forget to set your clocks back an hour on
Sunday, October 29th. It is also suggested that at this time you change the batteries in your smoke alarms.
Not mailing The Ozark Letter in an envelope was a suggestion, but we have had some complaints; therefore,
we will go back to putting it in an envelope. Thank you for your input. CSH>>>>>>>>
2006 HOLY DAY CALENDAR
(All services will be held at the Mid-Missouri Church of God (MMCG) unless otherwise specified below.
MMCG’s location is at the bottom of the last page of this newsletter.
Oct 2, Monday, Day of Atonement – (services will start at 5:30pm)meal after the fast at the Pioneer Restaurant
Oct 7-13, Sat-Fri, Feast of Tabernacles (Baymont Inn, Lake Ozark, MO)
Oct 14, Saturday Eighth Day Festival ” ” ” ” ”
The Pursuit of Holiness Includes Modesty
By Bill Johnson, president, American Decency Association
Suggested by Diane Whaley
Those of us that know Christ as Savior and Lord are, indeed, each at different levels of sanctification. That is a
fact and must never be forgotten. It is vital that we not damage those who have not been long under the
teaching, preaching and discipling of the Word. Mature Christians continually must be sensitive and concerned
regarding that reality. With careless words and hasty judgments we can needlessly damage the babes in Christ.
That we must avoid.
Yet, at the same time, we need to be about the business of bringing the immature under the Word so they
would understand that God’s great love for them calls them to display their love to Him by responding to His
call to pursue holiness.
A couple of years ago I received an email from a Texas pastor concerned about immodesty in the church. I
took his comments of concern and produced a bulletin insert surrounding the issue of immodesty in the church.
The response that I received from that email across the country was overwhelming. The heartache regarding
this issue was heart-wrenching.
At the same time, many people expressed thanks that we tackled this issue which is damaging the church and
undermining the testimony and the righteousness of untold numbers of churches and individuals.
It is my hope and prayer that this newsletter will be used of God to edify the body of Christ.
I will be using the comments of people from various walks of life to help communicate the message that many
would like to convey to their children, grandchildren, Sabbath school class, youth group, parishioners, but
sometimes have hesitated for fear of negative repercussions. They are not oblivious to the reality that without
the right combination of diplomacy expressed and a healthy reception to the words, irreversible damage can be
incurred. It is risky.
On the other hand, to ignore the matter of immodesty is ultimately not God honoring either. It also is risky,
even more so.
So how does one address this? A few thoughts:
Immodest dress is lust producing. Immodest dress may turn heads but it also stimulates lustful thoughts
which is sin.
Jesus’ words: Thou shalt not commit adultery; But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman
to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee,
pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish and
not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it
from thee; for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body
should be cast into hell. (Matt. 5:28-30 KJV)
Further, God’s word says in Hebrews 12:14 “Pursue holiness without which no man shall see the Lord.”
Dressing immodestly is not pursuing holiness. However, this doesn’t absolve men of their responsibility.
Men are not to lust. But shouldn’t a Christian woman abstain from dressing in a way that tempts men?
What Christian would knowingly contribute to the downfall of another?
Immodesty should be discussed with love and rationality in the family first and by church leadership if
necessary. I believe the majority of girls and women in churches do not intend to tempt or offend.
We urge you – by the mercies of God – please be careful. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
The following is from an interview with Rick Warren and was taken from the Internet.
You will enjoy the new insights that Rick Warren has with his wife now having cancer and him having
“wealth” from the book sales. This is an absolutely incredible short interview with Rick Warren, “Purpose
Driven Life” author, and pastor of Saddleback Church in California. In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with
Rick Warren, Rick said: People ask me,” What is the purpose of life? And I respond: In a nutshell, life is
preparation for eternity”. We were made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him. One day my heart is
going to stop, and that will be the end of my body—but not the end of me. I may live 60 to 100 years on earth,
but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act – the dress rehearsal of God. He
wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity. We were made by God and for God, and until
you figure that out, life isn’t going to make sense.
Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you’re just coming out of one, or you’re getting ready to
go into another one. The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort. God
is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy. We can be reasonably happy
here on earth, but that’s not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness. This past year
has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.
I used to think that life was hills and valleys – you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop,
back and forth. I don’t believe that anymore. Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it’s kind of
like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life. No
matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on. And no
matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good for which you can thank God. You can
focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems. If you focus on your problems, you’re going into
self-centeredness, “which is my problem, my issues, my pain.” But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is
to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.
We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to
heal Kay or make it easy for her. It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character,
given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.
You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life. Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the
good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me
instantly very wealthy. It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don’t think
God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease. So I began to ask God
what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that
helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72.
First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit. We made no major
purchases. Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church. Third, we set up
foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care
for the sick, and educate the next generation. Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years
since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.
We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity? Am I going to be driven by
pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God’s purposes (for my life)?
When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don’t get anything else done today, I
want to know You more and love You better. God didn’t put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He’s more
interested in what I am than what I do. That’s why we’re called human beings, not human doings.
Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
Every moment, THANK GOD.
MID-MISSOURI CHURCH OF GOD
Lake of the Ozarks, PO Box 92, Eldon, MO 65026. Phone: 573-392-6677 or 573-392-1232; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 Village Park Senior Apartments building, 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!