Anabaptist Group Dynamics
And God Created Woman
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
Apr 22, 04
Apr 14, 05
Dec 28, 05
Nov 08, 06
Jul 04, 07
Apr 16, 08
Apr 23, 08
Apr 30, 08
May 07, 08
May 14, 08
June 18, 08
June 25, 08
July 02, 08
July 16, 08
Aug 20, 08
Aug 13, 08
Oct 02, 08
Oct 08, 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
Dear friends in Christ,
We pray that you are well with the love of our Heavenly Father. We are
well. Praise God. Last Friday, our son Jim arrived from Vancouver, BC,
to go with Don to Minnesota to visit Don’s brother Joe who was to have
open-heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic on Sept 30th and then to visit
the Elmendorf Hutterite colony. They came back on Wednesday.
It rained a little in that afternoon before they left and we saw a
beautiful, double rainbow. The rain itself is special gift from God here in
desert and the beautiful rainbow was a sign from God to us of His love. Here is
a picture of it taken from our back yard.
Michi and Naomi went to Linda Dowdle’s house for the weekly Monday
morning ladies worship meeting. Michi felt the love of our Lord so strongly
there. While Don
and Jim were gone, Michi and
Naomi played a game
each night after the supper. Our friend Nancy Garlock, who has moved away to
New York, had introduced the game to us. We think of her every time we play
this game and we miss her.
Our son Patrick
recently called from
the James Valley Hutterite colony in Manitoba and our five year old grandson
Titus sang some songs for us. It is such joy to hear Titus and his two year
old sister Elizabeth, especially when they sing for us. We are blessed by
Patrick and his family.
While our house was empty and lonesome, our daughter Naomi wrote a
song, “Childlike Trust” about trusting in our heavenly Father:
Just like a child that trusts his Daddy where he's leading him,
Just like a child that trusts his Mommy what she's feeding him,
Though I get lost in darkness, and no where to go,
I can come back to You, and rest under Your wing. I love You, Lord.
It is wonderful to feel the love of God. Thank you, Lord, for giving us
Your peace. Thank you, Lord, for giving Naomi the gift of song writing.
Wednesday, our friend Ricky Scruggs went to the airport to pick up Don
and Jim. Thank you, Lord, thank you, Ricky. He went to see the movie FIREPROOF
on Sunday and was talking about it when Kris and Tony Brown came unexpectedly.
They had gone to see the movie also on Sunday. It is about fire proofing your
marriage. We think it was arranged by our Heavenly Father that they could meet
each other and talk about marriage. Kris and Tony had just attended a marriage
seminar at church and Ricky had recently attended one at a conference.
This past week we have seen a number of circumstances that we believe
were arranged by our heavenly Father. Some unbelievers would call them just
co-incidences but we know that God loves us and is all powerful, able to arrange
things for those that love Him, those that are called according to His purposes.
Trip to Dresbach
Jim flew up to Minneapolis and spent Saturday evening in Rochester, Minnesota,
with Don’s half- brother Joe Breidenbach and his new wife Laura. Here is a
photo of Joe and Laura on the left and Jim and Don on the right. On Sunday they
drove to Dakota, Minnesota, to see the graves of Don’s father and grandfather.
Don’s grandfather, Murtha Murphy, was born in Ireland and came to America to
fight in the Civil War where he lost a leg. His father, James Murphy, had a
vegetable farm and also trapped fox in the winter for income. He had ten
children, Don was the seventh. He died when Don was seven years old.
After visiting the cemetery in Dakota they drove to the nearby town of
Dresbach where Don was born. Most of the town was wiped out when the freeway
was installed. The town is squeezed between the Mississippi River and the steep
bluffs. The house where Don was born is no longer there, the freeway went over
it. Joe wanted to see the area as he has heard so much about it from his
half-brothers and sisters. We visited La Crescent and then had lunch across the
Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin, which is just a couple miles from
Dresbach. We got to know Laura who works at the Blue Cross insurance company in
Seattle, Washington. Joe is a lawyer in Burien, Washington.
Visit to the Elmendorf Hutterite Colony
Don and Jim spent several days at the Elmendorf
colony, which is west of Rochester, Minnesota. It was a very impressive and
interesting visit. Don came away with the impression that the Elmendorf church
may be the most ideal church in the United States, the one closest to that which
the Lord Jesus desires, closest to the one described in Acts 2 and 4.
There are 21 families, about 140 people, living there; mostly young
folks, with only a few over the age of 50. The oldest, Grandpa Jake and wife
Susie, have 16 children and 127 grandchildren. There are nine different family
names, with five families headed by a non-ethnic Hutterite man, a very unusual
situation among the 477 Hutterite colonies.
Don was quite amazed at the number of chairs in the church meeting room
and the dining hall. They have so many more people now than when he last came
there. With so many people they have a housing shortage and need to expand, to
branch out to a new location. They are looking to do that on some land a few
miles north of their present location where they can place
more houses. They are also thinking about sending out a family to help a bunch
of ex-Hutterites in South Dakota, another family to help some people in Ohio
start a community and a third family to Oklahoma to help some folks there. They
already have a family in Tasmania helping to form a community there.
They live together with all things in common like the early church did
(see Acts 2:44-47 and Acts 4:32-5:11) and eat their daily meals together in a
common dining hall (except for Sunday evenings when they eat in their
apartments). Their meals start and end with prayer, usually by a different man
each time. Their daily church services are like that also, with different men
speaking each time. When they pray, they give the impression that they are
seeking to please God in all that they do, showing their love for Him and for
each other. They seem to have the righteousness, peace and joy of the Holy
Spirit that the apostle Paul talks about in Romans 14:17 and seem to be like the
people that Paul described Colossians 1:10-12. Yet they also know that they
need to keep striving to improve their spiritual life, to become more like
Jesus. They do not think that they are there yet so they keep looking up for
more grace from the Lord God.
Their custom is to have mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks with their
families at home which they can do since they all work on the farm. Here is a
photo of Pamela Lee, to her right is husband Bill, then Jim and Don.
They are concerned about wealth, believing that seeking wealth creates a
‘monster’ that people serve, which makes it hard or impossible to ‘seek first
the kingdom of God’, as Jesus said in Matthew 6:33.
Don and Jim were welcomed and spent many interesting and enjoyable hours
with various people there. Jim stayed with our old friends Bill and Pamela Lee
who used to live with us at Fan Lake in Washington State. Don stayed with
Willie and Miriam Wurtz who have four sons and seven daughters; the youngest is
2 years old. They just acquired a new two month old puppy that day so the
children spent time getting acquainted with it.
One of the impressive things that we noticed was the people at Elmendorf
strive to be brothers and sisters, just as Jesus taught in Matthew 23 “you are
all brothers”. The Hutterite churches have a minister but he is not elevated
above the others, he strives to be a brother, not a boss. The men at Elmendorf
meet weekly in a ‘brotherhood’ meeting to decide issues that affect them.
Most Hutterite colonies give a small monthly allowance to their members
but Elmendorf does not. They seek to be as free from the money ‘monster’ as
possible. Yet, because they stress love for each other, it is not hard to buy
something that they want, such as a book, they merely ask the brother in charge
of the finances for the money.
The letter to the Hebrews says, “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) Disobedience is because of unbelief.
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” (John 14:21-24)
May the Lord bless you, dear friend,
and fill you with His peace.
Your Anabaptist brother and sisters in Christ,
Don, Michi and Naomi Murphy
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.