The Anabaptist Voice
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
How are you? We pray you are well with our Heavenly Father’s abundant love and mercy. It sure is getting hot over here in Tucson. It was already 90 degrees at 7:00 this morning. Naomi is doing better. She still has stomachaches, but she is making lunches like she used to. Last Wednesday, while we were at the church, we heard loud thundering. It was raining! Wow! What a wonderful sound! We received a half inch of rain. We are way behind in the normal rainfall here in the southern desert of Arizona. That was a wonderful gift from our Heavenly Father. Thank you, Lord.
Sunday night, Don slept only for a couple of hours because of Atrial Fibrillation (abnormal heart rhythm). Monday morning he was still having problem, so he could not go to the Monday morning CDO prayer meeting at Coco’s restaurant. Michi called the restaurant and ask them to tell the group to pray for Don.
On Monday afternoon Don was still having heart problems and finally felt that he should go to a doctor so Michi drove him to the nearby Northwest VA clinic. He had no appointment but the doctor did examine him with an EKG test and told him that he should go to the emergency room of the main VA hospital in south Tucson, on the far side of town. Don did not want to go, so the doctor called in Michi to try to convince Don to go. He even offered to call an ambulance to take him there. Well, Don went home instead.
As soon as we were home, Sharon Shanton
called and asked how Don is. She said
she would pray for Don. Michi felt the strength
from the Lord, while listening to Sharon.
Pastor David of the CDO church called and prayed for Don. Joe Shanton and Larry Barbier called. The body of Christ become together in the
Lord praying for Don… Even though the
doctor recommended Don to go to the hospital, we just rested in the love and
care of God. Don knew what would happen
at the hospital, all night long, somebody is coming and doing something,
disturbing his sleep…
The VA doctor called Don about 4:45 pm Monday to tell him that he spoke with the on-call VA cardiologist who suggested that Don increase his heart medicine a bit. The next morning his nurse called to see how Don was doing. That was very kind!
Don’s heartbeat became normal around 8:45 Monday evening. What joy to hear the normal heartbeat! Thank you, Lord! Have you ever thought about what a joy it is to listen to a normal heartbeat? Our God is wonderful. We felt His love for us. Michi had to listen to Don’s healed and strong heartbeat over and over again, feeling God’s love.
The Special Touch Summer Getaway Camp
Here is Naomi’s report on her time at the camp: “I wanted to go fishing again this year, but there were no fish in the tub (okay, plastic fish). This year it was being used by humans. They seem to enjoy getting wet, I don’t know why, I’d much rather watch them get wet by the water slide than get sprayed by the hose.
“I caught only 72 plastic fish last year at the camp, which was very difficult to do. I guess that they just weren’t biting or else my worms didn’t look very appetizing. I was competing with another camper for the last 5 fish. The wind kept blowing them farther away from us, and the staff had to make waves with their hands to bring them closer to us. Then it was time to see who could catch the last fish and I won!
“Special Touch was being shared by two groups – the green and yellow groups (two different camps, one for physically disabled and one for mentally disabled). So the dining hall was a crowded place during meal time. That may be why there was no fishing this year. Because the electric wheelchairs were so big, a lot of maneuvering had to be done when it was time to eat. There were no bells to announce the mealtimes - most of the camps that I’ve been to use those big bells that churches used in the olden times.
“The camp was so big and so huge, I wished I had brought my hiking boots along, because there were mountains (okay, huge hills), rocks, dirt, sticks, etc that my walker had to battle with to help me get to my destination. I used my walker the whole time I was there, so by the end of the day I was glad to hit the sack. If I had known there were spare wheelchairs there, I would have used one during the week I was there.
“The highlight of the camp was when Jim came into the dining hall and surprised my by rubbing his knuckles down my spine. This was during meal time. He and I along with others in wheelchairs went hay riding under the stars. We also roasted marshmallows. He made three s’mores for me, three for himself, and some for other campers who joined us. Here is a photo of Amy, Jim and Naomi.
“Amy Scales, a 19 year old from the CDO church, was my caregiver. She has a quiet and gentle spirit just as it says in 1 Peter 3:4. So it was easy to talk to her. If I had seen anyone with a gentle spirit, I’d have to say she’s the only one. 1 Peter 3:4 describes her very well, ‘unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight’.”
The Grace of God
It is the responsibility of every Christian to keep himself in the grace of God. Jude exhorts us to keep ourselves in the center of God’s love (Jude 21). To do this a person may need to temporarily remove himself from all the demands of life. Sometimes you need to practice a disciple of solitude, sitting in the presence of God, letting Him bathe you in His grace.
This escaping and bathing are not possible for people until they are comfortable in God’s love – until they can relax and not feel guilty, until they can enjoy doing nothing for a time and believe that during these moments of restoration God is just as pleased with them as when they are working very hard. Only then can a person relax and allow God’s ministry of grace to flow into them.
An Encounter With God
On Sunday evening the CDO pastor’s sermon was on having an encounter with God, such as some of the Old Testament men had when God spoke to them and gave them orders to do something. This made Don think about his life and what orders God has given him.
One day in 1982 while in an assembly praising God in song with up-lifted hands, Don heard the Lord speak to him, telling him to become a ‘full time Christian’. He was a bit shocked as he thought that he was doing pretty good. He was a deacon in a large Pentecostal church (six pastors), led a weekly Friday night church meeting in his home with 25 to 35 people attending, most from other churches, and he led a lunch time Bible study at Boeing in Seattle where he worked as a software engineer. So being a technical type of thinker, he began studying the lifestyle of the early church to see what made them ‘full time Christians”. He learned that they were baptized in the Holy Spirit pacifists who lived in community with all things in common. Since they were taught by the apostles who were taught by the Lord Jesus and His Holy Spirit, Don realized that this was the lifestyle of a ‘full time Christian’. Brotherly community, the highest command of love.
Are All Believers Saved?
John 8:30 to 59 is just one of a number of passages in the New Testament that tells us that not all believers will go to heaven.
The end of the Sermon on the Mount tells us that same truth. "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." Mt 7:21
"Why do you call Me Lord and not do what I say?” Luke 6:46
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it." Mt 7:13
"Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Mt 7:14
He said to them, "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to." Luke 13:24 Many will try but few will succeed...
How to succeed? By seeking and accepting God's grace, His Holy Spirit, which gives us the power required to live a holy life as Jesus teaches and commands us. 2 Tim 1:9
We pray, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, that the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened in order that we may know the hope to which He has called us, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. (Eph. 1:18-19)
Let us try to follow the Lord in love. We plan to visit our family at the James Valley Hutterite colony next week, being gone until July 15th.
your Anabaptist brother and sisters in Christ,
Don, Michi & Naomi Murphy
Tucson, AZ phone 520-297-1639
Jesus said, "Do not resist an evil man." (Mt 5:39) He means do not resist evil with evil but respond with love, the Calvary type of love that Jesus demonstrated with His death on the cross.