An Anabaptist Prophet Looks at the Iowa Caucuses

Before speaking to that question, I’ll tell you a bit more about this post by promising to answer three other questions as well:

  • Who sounds most genuinely friendly to the Christian faith: Clinton, Cruz, Rubio, Sanders, or Trump?
  • Who are the Christian candidates in the race?
  • What should be my role in the process?

Yesterday I thought again of the bizarre nature of national Presidential politics in the United States. The towering gullibility of the collective American mind is demonstrably bizarre.

Consider the two-ring caucus presently launching the opening act of Let’s Elect a President 2016.

The hawk-eyed Iowans will gather tonight to chatter and vote their hearts or minds in an effort to select a party standard bearer in each major political party. What comes out of Iowa tonight is supposed to be Really Significant.

Look. I don’t want to be unkind or sarcastic, but I have to be blunt. Iowa is only one of fifty states. What’s with making the results tonight so significant? Weird. Read more

Why Flavor Their Day So Poorly?

We can flavor another’s day
By how we act and what we say.
So skip the sour and add some honey;
Embrace the Spirit of Christ to make the day Sonshiny.

picture reminding of the power of pleasant words
Pleasant words are sweet and health.
“Pleasant words are as an honeycomb,
sweet to the soul,
and health to the bones.”

Proverbs 16:21

Accept no substitutes!

Why leave others with a bad taste? It will go with you as well. Read more

When a Pastor Gives Up…

This evening I feel twinges of nostalgia and sadness. And perhaps a twitch of a whiff of bitterness? No, I overcame that a long time ago.

Twenty-five years ago this evening, at the Mennonite church in Santa MarĂ­a (Sonora, Mexico), the first national minister of that congregation was ordained.

photo of Emanuel church in Santa Maria

As I recall, my Dad (James Roth) gave the charge. And as I recall, the church’s “founding father” (Joe Mast) as well as two members of BMF Missions (Merle Kropf and Wilton Smucker) were there from Oregon as well. I was the congregation’s pastor.

I continued in that role til I resigned in March or April (as I fuzzily recall) so Manuel Torres could take over. My family and I had to leave the field (in May, I think). Read more

A Rebel Heart for God

I thought of this again several times this month already:

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,
And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.”

That piece of 1 Samuel 15:23 just ain’t complicated at all: God won’t fit in a rebel heart.

Doing church things, saying church words, dressing church clothes, thinking church thoughts — none of them make room for God in a rebel heart.

But broken repentance does. Read more

I Must Decrease

“I’ve been there and done that,” I think to myself. “I’ve done what he’s doing and been what he is.”

“I’ve been there and done that,” I think to myself.

But times change and needs change. As does standing. As do positions, assignments, and responsibilities. And when the time comes for me to give up long-held things like that, I want to remember again what John the Baptist said: “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).

I remembered it when I resigned as principal of “my” school.

I remembered it when I encouraged another friend to assume a calling that would diminish “my” role.

I hope I remember it when I’m replaced as chairman of the board I’ve “headed” for over 19 years. Read more

Above all, love God!

since November 9, 2005