20 responses to Rich Stevick on Growing Up Amish – Part 1 (Submit Your Questions & Win 1 of 3 Copies)
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    Comment on "breaking the spirit" (June 17th, 2014 at 06:32)

    "breaking the spirit"

    Long ago, maybe in the 1970s or 80s I subscribed to Family Life and remember reading, in several instances, the need to “break the spirit” of children. This term was such a turn-off to my way of thinking about discipline and I didn’t renew my subscription. Several years ago I again subscribed but I have not noticed this term being used and just wonder if it is a common belief among the Amish or if the term means something different to them than it does to we English.

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      Comment on Breaking the spirit... (June 17th, 2014 at 09:03)

      Breaking the spirit...

      Carol, I can not speak to the Amish article you mentioned, nor specifically to what the Amish think on the subject. But I can say that the idea of “breaking the spirit” is in fact a Biblical concept and Biblical terminology. King David, after being faced with his sins, in Psalm 51 pours out his heart before God saying, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (Psa 51:17) According to David, such a broken spirit is a good thing; and I dare to think that the terminology of this very passage was possibly the basis for the work that you mentioned.

      The idea of “spirit” here no doubt refs to one’s self-direction and self-will — whether it is pliable to God’s instruction or rebellious to such. It can be — and should be — debated as to whether the term still conveys the same nuances today, lest we find ourselves implying something to today’s audience that the Bible does not intend. But even so, I don’t think we can fault the writers for their use of the term since it is a Biblical term and not doubt used among a people that would understand the term within its Biblical meaning.

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        Naomi Wilson
        Comment on Romans 6 (June 17th, 2014 at 09:39)

        Romans 6

        The same is taught in the New Testament. Romans chapter 6 explains very clearly.

        “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?”

        “Knowing this, that the old man is crucified with him, that that body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.”

        “Likewise reckon also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

        If you are truly born again, you find yourself to be dead to the world and wishing to live only to follow Christ. In other words, being completely yielded to God’s will. Hopefully, parents will follow scripture in raising their children, not only providing firm and loving guidance, but also demonstrating a living example of brokenness or yielded-ness to God’s will. A parent who is very familiar with scripture will understand that only the Holy Spirit can or should break the will of even the most well-raised children.

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    Mark – Holmes Co.
    Comment on Rich Stevick on Growing Up Amish – Part 1 (Submit Your Questions & Win 1 of 3 Copies) (June 17th, 2014 at 07:54)

    I’m not sure about “breaking the spirit,” but I have read articles & heard topics & discussions on “Breaking the WILL of a child WITHOUT breaking his spirit.”
    Breaking the “will” to me means teaching a child obedience and acceptance of authority. I don’t personally know anyone who would want to break the “spirit” of a child — our future depends on people with creative minds, determination, interests in the community and the world around us, and so on, but breaking a “will” is important.
    The term “gelassenheit” is what comes to my mind. I once read in a book that means in English “the good of the community trumps the good of the individual.” When a child’s “will” is broken, he or she will accept teaching and guidance and correction. For me, I’m grateful my will was broken. It left me willing to listen to the counsel advice, and correction of those older than me and taught me to control my temper and impulsive behavior. I think of that kind of thing when I see children throwing temper tantrums or ignoring their parent’s requests.
    As for Family Life, a lot of people in Holmes Co. get it, including myself, but there is also a lot in it I don’t always agree with. It’s printed/ published in Aylmer and that small community has a very different way of life and outlook than many of the older & bigger American communities.

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      Naomi Wilson
      Comment on Family Life versus other communities (June 17th, 2014 at 09:05)

      Family Life versus other communities

      Mark, would you possibly be able to elaborate on some of those differences? Our family really enjoys reading Family Life. We have never subscribed, and are still working our way through ten years of hand-me-down issues from the ’90’s. It always helps me to have a positive attitude about some of the more challenging aspects of being a wife and mother, and our lifestyle is very similar, which I appreciate because our children can relate to the stories. I find the different ways that Amish people react to the publication to be quite interesting, and something that I don’t understand.

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        Mark – Holmes Co.
        Comment on Rich Stevick on Growing Up Amish – Part 1 (Submit Your Questions & Win 1 of 3 Copies) (June 17th, 2014 at 09:56)

        Aylmer, Ont. is very conservative in dress & technology, home furnishings, etc. but more advanced in some other areas, like they have Sunday school and Old Orders here in Ohio do not. They have a reputation for being very strict with morals and very isolated from the larger society.
        Unlike older communities here they have many families from many different Amish backgrounds that moved in there looking for “something better” but since many of those families had issues of their own that were pushing them towards “something better” they have a large number of family issues within such a small community. They also have an unusually high number of people living there that are of non-Amish background. Some joined from the outside, some from Old Colony or team-Mennonite backgrounds.

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    Comment on Hey Erik -- techincal question... (June 17th, 2014 at 09:11)

    Hey Erik -- techincal question...

    Erik, for some reason as this thread has now gone to 2 pages, the links I received in emails to newer entries are not finding their specific posts. It’s not like it’s a major problem for me, but thought I’d mention it in case it is a technical hiccup that needs attention.

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      Comment on How to go right to the new comment (June 17th, 2014 at 09:16)

      How to go right to the new comment

      That is an annoying quirk which I am aware of happening on other posts with many comments. Thanks for reminding me, I think it is a back-end issue. If I can find a solution will put it in place.

      For the time being, one solution is to just click on the link in the “Recent Comments” box on the right sidebar (the specific link should be visible if you come relatively soon after the comment is posted, as that box lists the last 12 comments).

      That link will take you right to the new comment. Sorry about the extra step.

      • “a back-end issue” — sounds like the man who worked at the sawmill who backed into his saw…, and before he knew it he’d gotten behind in his work. (ha)

        FYI: The link to your 9:16 post (that I am responding to) worked just fine. I wonder if the problem may be the links to “page 1 posts” that get emailed out before there is a division in pages (?).

  • I know I’m late and may have missed the contest, but I definitely will read your newest book! [I already have the older book]

    My question is whether any of the college courses you mentioned will be offered online.

    I would love to take those courses [and a PA Deitsch class] and would jump in and take them online if they were offered.

    Thank you.

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    Don Curtis
    Comment on Mark's ideas (June 17th, 2014 at 12:18)

    Mark's ideas

    My son, Mark, joined the Amish about twelve years ago. I read him some of these posts. He was quite interested. The church and community at Belle Center, Ohio although New Order Amish have taken a firm position against ownership of cell phones of any kind. On rare occasions when necessary they will use the cell phone of a driver when out on the road. Also, they have taken a strong position against computer use in business or home. Mark said that he feels that the Amish churches made a big mistake in ignoring the cell phones and internet use when they first started being picked up by the Amish. He is concerned where this will lead and is glad that Belle Center clamped down on this before it ever became an issue. Mark asked me to say, “Hello” to Rich Stevick who he met a year ago and hoped one of these days you will come to visit him when you are in Ohio. He lives about two hours from Holmes County.

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      Richard Stevick
      Comment on Greetings to Mark, Don (June 18th, 2014 at 18:35)

      Greetings to Mark, Don

      I clearly remember meeting Mark at the Amish conference held at E-town College in June. We had a chance to chat at breakfast. I’ve been wanting to visit Belle Center for a long time. Now that we live in OH should make it happen. Tell Mark I will definitely look him up when we are in his area. Also, I want to visit with Fruit Dan Miller who kept a student for me 20 years ago when I first started bringing students to Holmes County. Aus liebe, Rich

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    Comment on Help to rebuild Forest View Lumber, the Amish sawmill in Montcalm County (June 19th, 2014 at 05:59)

    Help to rebuild Forest View Lumber, the Amish sawmill in Montcalm County

    Please HELP to rebuild Forest View Lumber, the Amish sawmill in Montcalm County. Details: https://www.youcaring.com/amish_sawmill

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    Professor Paul Schultz
    Comment on Do the Amish pay Federal Income Tax? (June 21st, 2014 at 14:41)

    Do the Amish pay Federal Income Tax?

    I was wondering if the Amish pay Federal or other taxes since they do not become corporate property at birth like most Americans.

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    Comment on Late question.... (July 2nd, 2014 at 08:19)

    Late question....

    I don’t know if Rich is still monitoring this thread, but even if not maybe Erik or others could help me out with some much-needed insight.

    Last week my wife and I took our vacation in Amish IN, mostly in Shipshewana. The lady (Englisch) that runs the bed & breakfast where we stayed was telling about some of the things that the Amish girl(s) that had worked for her would tell her. She said that sometimes Amish teens (sometimes a couple or multiple couples) would rent a motel room for a weekend, and a large part of the time was spend watching TV for hours on end. Apparently this is sometimes considered a weekend-long date, and this Amish girl even described it as “I’m his for the weekend.”

    I don’t know the lady that we stayed with outside of the couple of days that we were there, so I have no history to know one way or the other how dependable or accurate her story-telling is. I am certainly not suggesting that she’s stretching the truth, but I have to say that this kind of story (which was portrayed as not an unusual event) is more than a little hard to believe. So, my questions are…

    1. Is this kind of activity as off the wall as I want to think it is, or is the story accurate?

    2. If true, is it naivety on the Amish’s part of where this kind of activity can lead (a weekend alone in a motel room); or in the less-sexualized environment of the Amish can such a weekend get-away be kept on a non-sexual level that wouldn’t go against their Biblical teachings?

    Thanks for any help you can offer. This one is hard for me to wrap my mind around as being all that it was described to be.

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      Don, as the father of teenaged girls, I can tell you what MY take on this would be — NO WAY! I mentioned this to a non-Amish co-workers who felt just like I do.
      Have I heard of this? I have heard rumors of this kind of thing in other communities, but questioned just how true it is. I do not personally know anyone who did, but I have heard of motel rooms being rented to watch the Super Bowl or whatever, but I thought this was a group of youth. Again, it was just stuff I heard.
      Putting youth together in a hotel room like that is just asking for trouble no matter what church you belong to.

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        Comment on Thanks Mark.... (July 2nd, 2014 at 10:02)

        Thanks Mark....

        Thanks for your response, Mark. What you said is what I *want* to believe to be the case — but having some confirmation really makes me feel better.

        And hey, if you happen to run into Willis or Kathy Miller (Farmstead B&B) over near Mt. Hope, tell them their MO friends say hi. 😉

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    Marlene Strobel
    Comment on Craft Fair (July 8th, 2014 at 04:12)

    Craft Fair

    How do I get a table at the Ground Hogs fair in Pauxatawny, Pennsylvania that I seen on that Amish Show last Sunday evening?


    Marlene Strobel

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    Comment on Amish Women carrying fancy purses (July 8th, 2014 at 06:22)

    Amish Women carrying fancy purses

    I live in Ohio and my wife and I seen few Amish Women carrying fancy purses? I thought they are trying to look plain Not having a English your girl purse?

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