To Be Amish or an Englischer

 

My sister and I drove to a town about an hour away that sold Keen boots, which my doctor recommended. While there, we stopped into a library.

It amazes me how unique every library set up can be. This building didn’t seem handicap accessible, as I remember it, and the main floor has lots of empty space to maneuver around in. I took a large number of steps to get to the “stacks” down cellar and most of the lights needed to be switched on at the end of every second row.

I couldn’t find many Christian authors so I went back upstairs and asked the librarian. She said that they were mostly in the romance section and gestured to the general area. “We’re about to close,” she said.

So, I grabbed two by Marta Perry; I read one of her paperback novels years ago. She wrote one in a series of four and I liked her style. These two were Amish novels and I used to read that genre but gave it up years ago.

The first novel in the Pleasant Valley series was Leah’s Choice, and the second was Rachel’s Garden. I ordered book three and book four on Thursday and picked up Anna’s Return  that afternoon. Book four, Sarah’s Gift is coming from a city library instead of from our local one, so I’ll have to wait until next week.

The first four are published by The Berkley Group, New York, NY and are copyrighted by Martha Johnson in 2009, 2010, 2010, and 2011 respectively.

            If I have to sit to heal my feet, it’s nice to read books with the heroine’s thinking, using courage, and sometimes making self-sacrificial choices that those outside the Amish community may not consider. One such thought: Is it better to work long hours to provide for my child, or should I live near family and cut back on material things so I can be home more before the youngster grows up and leaves?

I fought resistance from my dad to go to college, but the whole community didn’t frown on that ambition. One of the main characters didn’t like having to fit into the perfect “Amish lady’s” role, so she left.

Marta Perry handled the pros and cons of Amish life and Englischer life-anyone outside of the Amish faith is an Englischer-with clarity and no condemnation.

Whenever I read Amish romance novels, I long for a simpler life to a small degree. I’m so thoroughly entrenched in the Englischer world, I’d suffer from culture shock if I got forced into an Amish lifestyle, I’m sure. Which is an impossibility, Amish don’t force people to join them.

Last year, I blogged about transcribing Amish journals for a writing customer. I learned a ton about their particular Amish community, and it seems as if much depends on the people and their Bishop for some of the rules that they adopt.

Marta Perry grapples with how the culture and the relationships of the Amish effect the heroines and the ones they love so well, that when I finish one, I’m more than ready to get to the next one.

Whether in an Amish environment or an Englischer world, it’s more than apparent that “People Need the Lord” as the song says. https://youtu.be/1uZcGaixMhg?t=5

And we need each other. May God bless you.

 

God directs Our Path

I went to church the other night to a Bible study that Craig teaches even though I wasn’t feeling 100%. There’s another lady that attends and she’s about our age. I thought she might feel uncomfortable being alone with Craig since the other Bible study on the Holy Spirit was canceled because of Christmas being around the corner.

I thank God that Craig is trustworthy and that our church tries to have more people around so there’s no person alone with another.

After we arrived early, the phone rang and this lady called to let us know her transportation fell through, so she wouldn’t be able to attend class. I thought, Isn’t that just like God? Solomon says in Proverbs 3:6 “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” 

Image result for steps OR pathways

(photo from chadd.org)

I wish I acknowledged God in all my ways, my life would be different, better than it is now. It’s hard for a human to constantly acknowledge God, especially if they don’t remind themselves. Maybe sticky notes all over the house would help. 🙂 But then, what about rebellion? Would that raise its ugly head? Ah, what a mess rebelling against God’s ways makes.

I’m so grateful that Jesus came to earth from the heavenly realm. He promises so many things in the Bible that I’ve found to be true. Speaking of Him coming to earth: Merry Christmas!

If you find God orchestrating your steps to work things out for your good, there’s another reason to give Him thanks.

Jesus Asks Us to Love, Not Hate

I didn’t intend to blog much tonight, but I checked my blog site and read a blog I follow called Daily (w)rite. She wrote about the children that were killed in Pakistan. As a girl growing up in India, she learned to hate the Pakistanis. She eloquently decries murdering innocent children and she feels deeply for the grieving families. I wrote a comment giving what I feel the Bible says about Jesus’ love for all of mankind and how He must cry when He sees us hurting one another.

Instead of building each other up and sacrificing our selves for others’ sake, we often live for ourselves first and foremost. I am as guilty as anyone. Our Wednesday night Bible study is covering 1 John 4 and other books in the Bible we chose, like Matthew 5:38-48, and 1 Corinthians 13. We decided they highlighted how to love God more and how to love others more, which is our focus for this study. We are talking about really loving others, especially those that are not as lovable to us as others might be. What does that look like in actuality? How do we live it?

We are also bringing in ingredients to make soup each week, and I’m finding the breaking of bread and working together in  the kitchen beforehand is creating an unexpected bond.

One of our participants accepted the Lord Jesus as his Lord and Savior in October and the Word of God is coming alive for him now. He is so eager to learn what the Bible has to say and he tells us he’s been delivered from addictions and sins that he’s lived with for many years. Not everyone has that experience. They may find some relief and then God helps them be set free of other burdens over time. Each person is unique. So this new believer asks questions that brings depth to our studies as we tell of our experiences over the years with God and His word, or we begin a search and learn along with him. His face radiates with the joy of a new life in Christ.

I intended to write a short ditty about receiving two copies of “Live Magazine” in the mail today. My article is featured on the cover of the January 11, 2015 issue. What a delightful surprise. Somehow it seems insignificant in the face of the heart-wrenching loss of precious children. I’m content with the byline, but hoping to comfort hurting people in Jesus’ name seems a much more appropriate use of blogging space and blogging time; Thanks for reading, if you made it this far. May God enrich your heart today.