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
Apr 22, 04
Apr 14, 05
Dec 28, 05
Nov 08, 06
Jul 04, 07
Apr 02, 08
Apr 16, 08
Apr 23, 08
Apr 30, 08
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June 25, 08
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Secret of the Strength
Sermons by Eli Hofer
The Shepherd of Hermas
The Writings of Ulrich Stadler
The Church and
the Narrow Path
To Vote or not to Vote
Way of the Lord
The Anabaptist Voice
Proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom of
God: Love, Joy and Peace in Jesus.
family and friends,
Our last letter to you was July 21st. We pray you are well. We
left for an 8 day trip on August 4th early in the morning, and came
back on 11th late at night. We visited four Hutterite colonies.
God has blessed us with a new grandson, Isaiah Don, who was born on June 26th.
It was a joy to be with Patrick and his family. They are living in James Valley
colony in Manitoba, Canada. James Valley is a wonderful place for the children
to grow. They are protected and well loved by everybody. We were blessed to
visit our grandchildren there, they are very happy children.
The weather was very nice and beautiful all the time we were there with the
temperature in 70s. In Arizona, we were used to around 100 degrees and we did
enjoy the cool beautiful weather. When we came home on the evening of the 11th,
the temperature inside our house was 95degrees!
On Saturday, August 7th, we left the James Valley with Patrick, and flew to
Spokane, Washington , to visit Hutterian colonies there. Two ladies from the
Schoonover colony picked us up at the airport and took us to Schoonover.
We have known the Hutterites in the Washington colonies for 27 years but
havenít seen them much recently as weíve been down here in Arizona for the past
six years. Some of them we didnít recognize right away because they have grown
older but we had good visits. We enjoyed the singing that the young people did
for us after the meals and in the evening at the house.
Down here in Tucson we have very little fellowship so it was wonderful to
visit old friends up in Washington. We are praying about moving back up north
to a Hutterite colony so we were asking about that. Please pray for us. We
want to go where God guides
us. (Above is a photo of Don with grandsons, Elizabeth and Paul are in the
middle photo and below is a photo of Michi with friends.)
We are slowly recovering from the trip as we stayed up late each evening
fellowshipping and had to make six airplane flights to get up there and back
(Tucson to Denver, Denver to Winnipeg, Winnipeg to Chicago, Chicago to Spokane,
Spokane to Phoenix, Phoenix to Tucson).
Your brother and sister in Christ,
Don & Michi Murphy
Tucson, AZ, phone 520-297-1639
ďChrist in you, your hope of glory.Ē
Our Sunday Service
08/15/2010 10 am
(present were Don, Michi & Naomi Murphy)
Songs: O God is Love (August Rische, 1819-1906), O
Christ Our Lord (Michael Sattler, 1527), Abiding and Confiding (A. B. Simpson,
Introduction: Abiding in Christ Ė the parable of the Vine and the Branches
ďI am the true vine, and my Father is the
gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every
branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Abide in me,
and I will abide in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must abide in
the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in me.
ďI am the vine; you are the branches. If a man abides in me and I
in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone
does not abide in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such
branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you abide in me
and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.
This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be
ďAs the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now abide in my love.
If you obey my commands, you will abide in my love, just as I have obeyed my
Father's commands and abide in his love. I have told you this so that my joy
may be in you and that your joy may be complete.Ē (John 15:1-11)
Sermon: Experiencing Godís Love
The most wonderful experience that a person can have
is to experience the love of God. This amazing experience is available to
everyone because God created everyone, everyone, to be His children and to live
in His love on a daily basis.
God is love. God wants everyone to be aware of love, His love, and
experience it in a wonderful way every day. If we can experience this love we
will live a life of peace and joy, with happy faces and not a care in the world.
Love is a key theme in the Bible; it is mentioned 258 times in the New
Testament. It states that God is love and those who live in love live in God
and God lives in them. (1 John 4:16) This is love: not that we loved God, but
that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John
Much is said in the Bible about our need to love God and to love one
another and not to love the world or worldly things. However we are not able to
do this very well unless we are experiencing Godís love in our lives and resting
in His love.
Resting in Godís Love
Jesus teaches us about experiencing Godís love in a number of parables. He
tells us that being in the kingdom of God is being in His love.
Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven is like
treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in
his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant
looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and
sold everything he had and bought it." (Mt 13:44-45)
When we are experiencing Godís love we find it to be more valuable than
anything the world can offer so we are willing to give up everything to continue
When we are experiencing Godís love we are loving God, pleasing Him, and
living in obedience to His teachings and commands just as a loving child lives
in obedience to his fatherís instructions. We cannot be really loving if we do
not show it in our daily lives.
Jesus said, "If you love me, you will obey what I
"Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the
one who loves me."
"If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching."
"He who does not love me will not obey my
teaching.Ē (John 14:15, 21, 23, 24)
"Love one another. As I have loved you, so you
must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if
you love one another.Ē (John 13:34-35)
Experiencing Godís Love
If God is present in all places at all times, which is what the Bible
teaches, then God is part of our surroundings each and every moment Ė or as the
apostle Paul says, ďIn Him we live and move and have our being.Ē (Acts 17:28)
The question is, Are you aware of God surrounding you? Are you awake or sleep
to Godís presence?
The only thing that is real is this present moment, and the only thing that
matters is waking up to Godís presence Ė now. Become aware of Godís presence
all around you. Be aware that God is closer to you than the air that you
The most fundamental truth a person can ever embrace is that the present
moment is all that is real. The past is gone. The future is not yet.
Reality is always now. And the single most important aspect of reality
is that God is present in it every moment. To forget that God is present in any
given moment is to forget the most important aspect of that moment.
God is the God of the living, not the God of the already-past or the
not-yet-present. Heís the great ďI AMĒ, not the great ďI wasĒ or the great ďI
will beĒ. Heís been present in every moment in the past, for which we can be
thankful, and heíll be present at every moment in the future, which gives us
great hope. But heís only alive and active now, in the present Ė which
is, once again, the only thing that is real.
You need to become absolutely convinced that remaining aware of Godís
presence is the single most important task in your life.
Practicing the Presence of God
We need to surrender to Godís presence every moment. To remain aware of
that presence implies yielding to Godís will.
Whatever else may be going on in our lives, the ultimate goal must be to
consciously obey the Lordís command to ďseek first the kingdom of GodĒ,
submitting to Godís reign in each and every moment of our lives. When we do
this, we transform ordinary moments into sacred moments.
God loves us so much that he sent his beloved Son to teach us how to love
God and how to love one another. Then he died on the cross to show his great
love for us. We each are beloved and of very high value to God. He loves us
and calls us to return that love.
The simple practice of remaining aware of Godís presence each moment, being
aware of his love, brings us to a vibrant relationship with God and the key to
transformation into the likeness of Christ.
No spiritual discipline is easier or more accessible to everyone than this
one, for waking up to Godís present requires nothing more than remembering Godís
presence each moment. So remind yourself that you are submerged in Godís love.
That is the practice of the presence of God. Could anything be easier?
Song: So Many Times (Naomi Murphy, 2001)