Anabaptist Group Dynamics
Commands of Jesus
Difference between Anabaptists and Evangelicals
Hutterite Sermon Prefaces
Marriage (Ulrich Stadler)
Living Word (Ulrich Stadler)
Modern views of Anabaptists
Mysteries of the Kingdom of God
April 14, 05
Dec 28, 05
Apr 16, 08
Apr 23, 08
Apr 30, 08
May 07, 08
Secret of the Strength
Sermons by Eli Hofer
The Writings of Ulrich Stadler
The Church and
the Narrow Path
To Vote or not to Vote
Way of the Lord
The Anabaptist Voice
Warm greetings to you, dear friend,
How are you? We pray God our Father
is blessing you. It had been quite hot here, around 90, and our air
conditioner had been going most every day. This afternoon the
temperature went down to 52 degrees because it rained a bit. It was so
wonderful to hear the sound of rain. It is a special treat for us here
in the desert.
Last Sunday was Mother’s Day and Michi received a beautiful bouquet of flowers
from her son David, and letters and phone calls from her other three sons.
Naomi gave her the beautiful Swedish weave that she made (see photo of Naomi
with her three birds). Michi is blessed with
wonderful grandchildren, wonderful children, a wonderful husband and wonderful
God our Father. We attended the CDO church Mother’s Day picnic
at a park on Sunday where we had lovely fellowship (see photo below).
Michi and Naomi went to worship the Lord on
Monday at Linda Dowdle’s house. They had brunch there also because a
lady named Greta is moving to Texas. The Lord gives her visions which
she shares with the ladies there. Michi and Naomi will miss her because
she reaches out to Michi and Naomi so she is special to them.
Our family is all well, thanks to God our
Father. Naomi receives text messages on her cell phone from her brothers
who encourage her to do more exercise. Naomi is again learning to walk
with crutches and this morning she and Michi went to the mailbox to mail some
letters with Michi holding her belt in case she falls. She did fall but
because Michi was holding her belt, she fell gently. The next-door lady
was walking her dog and she helped us, so Naomi could get up.
How to Be Stress Free!
Stress is a state of tension that is created when a person responds to the
demands and pressures that come from work, family and other external sources,
as well as those that are internally generated from self imposed demands,
obligations and self-criticism. Stress is a major contributing factor
either directly or indirectly to the leading causes of death: coronary
cancer, respiratory disorders, accidental injuries, cirrhosis of the liver and
The world offers a number of ways to
relieve stress such as the use of drugs, herbs, counseling, and so on.
The kingdom of God offers a completely different way of relieving stress:
become and live
as a child of God. A little child who is well loved doesn’t have stress,
he depends on his parents to take care of him and so he is content. We
see that in the book of Psalms where David frequently relates to God as his
father, casting his cares on Him.
Peter teaches, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under
God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your
cares on Him because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7)
Jesus tells us, “Unless
you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom
of heaven.” (Mt 8:3)
When a person views themselves as a child
of God and knows that God loves him, then he can rest stress free in His love
and care. Then he can truly experience that life in the kingdom of God
is one of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Rom 14:17)
So when things become stressful, run to your heavenly Father and hide in His
care. And of course if you always stay under His wing you will never
have any cares, any stress.
How To Be a Child of God
Simply live your daily life as taught by
Jesus in the New Testament. And that is only possible if His Spirit is
living in you and giving you the ability and power to live a holy life.
Jesus calls, “Come
to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.” (Mt 11:28-29)
Group Bible Study Method
A popular and fruitful method of group
Bible study for serious, mature Christians is the ancient practice of Lectio
Divina (Divine Reading) which involves reading a Bible passage three times
with a pause for private prayer, meditation and sharing between each reading.
It works best in a group of between four and eight people who are seeking the
kingdom of God and are open to the Holy Spirit speaking to them. A
humble group leader coordinates the process and facilitates sharing.
The same text from the Scriptures is read
out three times, followed each time by a period of silence and an opportunity
for each member of the group to share the fruit of her or his meditation, what
they heard or feel the Spirit saying.
Anyone may “pass” at any time. If
instead of sharing with the group you prefer to pray silently, simply state
this aloud and conclude your silent prayer with Amen. This method
requires a peaceful, quiet place where there are few distractions or
disturbances. It also requires people who are able to control their
pride and resist the desire to dominate the meetings. The leader’s role
is to facilitate a quiet time for hearing from the Holy Spirit.
Our Renton Home Fellowship
Beginning in January 1979 we hosted a weekly
small group meeting in our home in Renton, Washington, a Seattle suburb.
Don had previously attended a year long weekly training sessions at our
church, Faith Tabernacle, and was selected to be one of the home fellowship
leaders. The weekly meetings started out rather small but grew and by
1982 we were having 40 to 55 people in our home meetings, and not just from
Faith Tabernacle but from various churches. For example, on 4/2/1982 we
had 24 adults, 20 youth and 11 children meeting in our house. About 75
people came one afternoon for a wedding renewal ceremony of one of our
Our home meetings started at 7:30 pm and
usually included about 30 minutes of singing, 30 minutes of Bible study (led
by various members), 30 minutes of sharing, 15 minutes of prayer and an hour
of fellowship. We occasionally had an outside speaker come in, including
Michi’s uncle who was the Superintend of the Church of the Nazarene in Japan.
The youth and children met in different rooms. We generally had a pot
luck meal the first Saturday of each month and sometimes would go out to a
restaurant together or to a park. We took up collections to help those
in our group who were in need and also we would go help someone in their home.
The year long training that Don attended
stressed the role of the group leader. His job was to encourage
fellowship, see that the meetings started on time, ended on time, and that the
sharing stayed on the subject, and to gently quiet excessive talkers. He
was to encourage the sharing by asking questions and be careful not to share
more than anyone else. We were to be as Jesus taught in Matthew 23:12,
we were all brothers and sisters, all equal, a very challenging and difficult
concept for most leaders.
Is This Your Christianity?
On page 4 of Leo Tolstoy’s book ‘The
Kingdom of God Is Within You’ it is written: “We do not acknowledge allegiance
to any human government. We recognize but one King and Lawgiver, one
Judge and Ruler of mankind. Our country is the world, our countrymen are
all mankind. We love the land of our nativity only as we love all other
lands. The interests and rights of American citizens are not dearer to
us than those of the whole human race. Hence we can allow no appeal to
patriotism to revenge any national insult or injury…”
Do you think that this is the Christianity
taught by Jesus? Remember that God is love and those who live in love
live in God and God lives in them. (1 John 4:16)
Disobedience Means Unbelief
believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will
not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:36)
“And to whom did
He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were
disobedient? So we see that they were not able to enter because of
unbelief.” (Heb 3:18-19)
Jesus said, “Whoever
has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves
me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him…
If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love
me will not obey my teaching.” (John 14:21-24, 14:15, 15:10)
Now, dear friend, may
the Lord God strengthen your heart so that you will be blameless and holy in
the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy
ones. (1 Thess 3:13)
Your Pentecostal Anabaptist brother and sisters in Christ,
Don, Michi and Naomi Murphy
Tucson, AZ, phone 520-297-1639
God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God
prepared in advance for us to do.”