The Anabaptist Voice
Proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom of God: Love, Joy and Peace in Jesus.
We pray for our sons that God will guide them every moment of their lives. We pray that David has a safe trip and a blessed time to do his work in China and while visiting his relatives in Japan. Also we pray for Jimís plan for a bicycle ride across America with Naomi.
Naomi went to physical therapy this morning, and this is her last time. The therapist said that she did well, and she needs to keep exercising.
Dad and Mom went for a walk yesterday, the first time in over a month because of Dadís problem with his foot. Yesterday we saw so many wild flowers blooming, and they were beautiful. We only recognized lupines and what looks like daisies but are called brittlebush. It was a surprise to see lupines blooming here. We saw them at our home at Fan Lake in Washington and thought that they were mountain flowers.
We also found that our young orange tree is blooming! We have seen citrus fruit on the trees here in southern Arizona, and our friends gave us grapefruits that we are enjoying. We did not expect fruit from our tree this year as it has been planted only last fall, and it is a young tree. So it is a surprise to see the blossoms. Our weather is in the low 70s during the day and in the 40s at night.
Dad and Patrick talked on the phone for a long time yesterday. It is good to hear that our efforts at translating and publishing Hutterite teachings in Korean is progressing with the help of the Korean Anabaptist Center in Korea. If we visit Pat and Betty at the James Valley Hutterite colony in Manitoba in May or June, Betty may be spending her days working in the garden. Mom would love to work in the garden with her. She misses the garden, working with soil. There she enjoys the wonders of God. The tiny seeds have life, because God created it so. It is an endless wonder to see how the seeds sprout and grow.
Our Friday night meeting last week was at the home of Hal Briggs. He has a pet parrot and a cat which Naomi made friends with right away. The other two couples present were Mel and Becky Perry and John and Cel Tricky. They are all about our age which makes the meeting more interesting. The subject was talking with God, taking time each day to spend with God and we all shared how we do that, about our private prayer life. The discussion was a blessing to us and helps us grow spiritually.
The Sunday morning meeting at the Faith Community Church of Tucson was quite interesting. We were blessed with the singing in the Spirit (I Cor 14:15) that went on for quite a long time. It was wonderful to sense the Spirit of God blessing us with His love. During the singing Mom received a private word from the Lord. He told her ďI touch you.Ē Naomi was also greatly blessed. While the singing in the Spirit was going on, the pastor, Virgil Stokes, noticed a light in the room and looking around he saw it coming from Naomi. So he went over to her and prayed for her. We used to experience this mighty moving of the Spirit of God frequently in the charismatic and Pentecostal meetings that we attended in the 1970s and 80s. God hasnít changed; He is still the same God today as is described in the New Testament. It is us that change, sometimes experiencing dry periods in our spiritual lives.
You missed a good meeting Tuesday night at that same church. Again the Spirit was strong and there was much singing in the Spirit. The pastor gave a great talk on the subject of "laying on of hands". His presentation was outstanding! He started with the teaching in Heb 6 that lists the laying on of hands as one of the foundational truths of the Christian religion. Then he went on to show how the people in both the Old Testament and the New Testament practiced this truth and the results that occurred when they did. Finally he showed in the Bible where it appears that Jesus was teaching that the laying on of hands is the "default" gift. When Jesus couldn't heal many people because of their unbelief, He did lay hands on a few who were healed. So Virgil calls the laying on of hands the default gift, one that you can always do.
There is power in the laying on of hands, something that is not easy to explain to people. The Bible seems to indicate that it is a strong means of conveying a blessing on someone. However, one must be careful about who they lay hands on and who lays hands on them. The apostle Paul also said, ďDo not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thereby share responsibility for the sins of others.Ē (I Tim 5:22)
We especially liked this teaching of Tuesday night about the laying on of hands because we practice that gift daily in our home. Each morning when we get up and each evening before we go to sleep Dad and Mom lay hands on each other and bless and pray for each other. And when Mom goes out, she always asks for Dadís blessing and prayers with the laying on of hands.
Tuesday morning Jim and Ricky Scruggs met with us to discuss Jimís plan for a bicycle trip across America. Jim still hasnít made a firm decision to go but seems strongly inclined to do so. Dad told him that if it was Godís will then he should go. Dad said that there are several guide posts to help determine Godís will for specific projects. Just as a ship coming into a harbor at night follows the beacons to guide it into port, we also have beacons or guides to help us follow Godís will about a particular project:
1. Does the project have clear Biblical support in the New Testament? And not just vague support but direct support?
2. Has God arranged the circumstances to enable the project? Do you see things being arranged that only God can do? Recall how God arranged that Jonah would preach in Nineveh. Didnít matter that Jonah didnít want to go.
3. Does the project have the support of your spiritual peers? Remember that there is much wisdom in many counselors. ďA wise man will listen, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.Ē Proverbs 1:5
Wednesday morning Dad spent a couple hours getting an Arizona driverís license, his Washington license expires this month. He arrived at the DMV office at 8:05 am, five minutes after they open, and found the place crowded with much confusion. The lady at the door told him to get in line; there were about 50 people in line already. It took 45 minutes to get to the head of the line where he was given a driverís license application paper (45 minutes to get a paper!) and told to get in line again for a number. After another 45 minutes he was given a number and told to wait for his number to be called to pay the $10 fee. Then he had to wait to get his photo taken. When he got home, he wrote an email to the governor of Arizona about his adventures at the DMV office.
Our ďadopted daughterĒ Rosanna Walter from the Schoonover Hutterite colony is getting married in Florida this Saturday to Kevin Brendler. Kevin had contacted Dad last spring about Rosanna. On Wednesday this week, Dad received a fax from a Hutterite colony in Alberta that had a copy of a letter that Kevin had written to a young Hutterite woman in Washington, telling her to leave her home and church and go out into the world. This letter was quite upsetting to a number of Hutterites and so Dad wrote an admonishing letter to Kevin. A number of Hutterites called Dad to thank him for the letter. (Due to the nature of the Hutterite lifestyle, everyone usually knows what everyone is doing, and this life of no secrets is in accordance with the teachings of Christ.)
Today at our daily evening church we sang the song "From Glory to Glory He's Changing Me":
glory to glory He's changing me, changing me, changing me,
May the glory of the Lord fill our hearts and help us to truly know that the Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Our joy is not to be because of worldly success, for that is only temporarily, fleeting and misleading. Lasting joy comes only from God, our heavenly Father.