Amish Peace

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Amish child
©iStockphoto.com/StephanieFrey

In early October of 2006 there was a horrific shooting at a one room Amish school house in Nickel Mines Pennsylvania…killing 5 and wounding 5 more young girls. I think most of us probably remember that event. What I have never been able to purge from my mind is the reaction of the Amish families that were directly involved and the Amish community as a whole.

You see, more than half of those that attended the killers funeral were Amish. And as the money and gifts poured in from all over…the Amish included the killer’s widow and her children in the distribution of the gifts. How do they forgive like that?

So when I ran across this book, Amish Peace, at the first of the summer…it made the top of my reading list.

What a wonderful book and what unique people. The book explores how the Amish view time, money, community, forgiveness and the sovereignity of God. The author, Suzanne Woods Fisher, spent days with them in order to learn their stories so she could share them with us. The attraction that I now have for the Amish lifestyle is summed up in one word…simplicity.

Why is it so hard to live a simple life?

The Amish personify simple living! Here are a few notes on why/how from the book:

  • to only live with the things that they really use…and to treasure them.
  • Amish farms have no more than 80 tillable acres…on purpose.
  • each church district is kept to roughly 20 to 30 families…on purpose.
  • their houses and barns are spartan -like; spacious and uncluttered.
  • simple dress and grooming…so not to promote pride or status.
  • possessions are guided by function and practicality…not by the latest style or trend.
  • money is to help others.
  • not less choice…but they choose less.

I encourage you to grab the book…the stories read kind of as a devotional. I am not quite ready to become Amish, but I would love to begin living out some of the Amish ways.

The book is full of Amish proverbs and this one grabbed me…“Live simple, so others may simply live”

Share your experience with the Amish in the comment section below or get the book and let me know what you think.

About Eddie Broussard

Bond servant to Jesus the Christ, want to be harvest worker (only a few out there).
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  • Tammy

    Eddie, The Amish have fascinated me for a number of years now- ever since visiting Lancaster, PA on a vacation trip our family took. I “studied” them some after returning home and have since read numerous Christian fiction novels about them. While the books are fiction, they are written such as to allow a really good “look” at the way they live their lives. Right now our Sunday School class is doing the study “Becoming a Woman of Simplicity”. According to the study the definition of a woman of simplicity is “one who lives a God-paced life.” “She waits for God’s leading and has time to be still and know her Lord.” “She is a woman of profound simplicity because she has only one focus: being simply and purely devoted to Christ.” While I have a problem with parts of the Amish beliefs – – like the lack of acknowleding Jesus is God’s son – – they are the greatest example of “one who lives a God-paced life and being fully devoted”. Full devotion should certainly make it possible for us to forgive as Christ forgives. Unfortunately, like you, I’m still a bit too “worldly” to be prepared to enter their lifestyle.

  • http://www.ebroussard.com/ ebroussard

    Tammy…thanks for you insight. Interesting that a womens study is centered on life as an Amish women. We need a mans study to do the same (our families would benefit). I did not run across their belief that Jesus is not God’s son…I may need to do some more reading. Thanks for jumping in to the conversation.

  • Ken Brewster

    Thanks Eddie.

  • Ken Brewster

    Tammy, I used to work out of an Amish, market, like some work out of a Starbucks, eat breakfast lunch and dinner there sometimes, sit there and work. I got to know a few of the, befriended an 80 year old guy that looked like the guy at the end of the rainbow with a pot of gold, but grey, about 5ft tall, moved like he was 20, a great guy, humble spirit. I agree, also about some areas of their belief I don’t agree with, but… God Bless