Brad Igou shared the story of his book Amish Voices: A Collection of Amish Writings with us last week. We also had an excerpt entitled “Free Rein.”
Today we have several more excerpts, and the book giveaway winner.
I focused on some of the shorter excerpts, but taken from different sections of the book, to give you a wider feel for it.
Are the Children His or Hers?
Our family is four-fifths male. The boys are “mine” when there are diapers to change, heads to wash, clothes to mend, Band-Aids to put on, clothes to wash, cookies to make, apples to peel, and small quarrels to stop.
The boys are “his” when there are baths to take, hair to cut, trips to make to the feed or parts store, toys to fix, a new calf is being born, enough snow for toboggan rides down the steepest hills, and extra-firm discipline is needed.
They are “ours” when we have family devotion, go for walks or wade in the stream, attend church, or visit Grandpa’s; when they get sick at night or enter school life; when we do farm chores; and when we sit around the table for a meal.
Nine Principles for Mending Broken Relationships
Two basic things can happen that cause broken relationships in a Christian community: someone sins against you, or you sin against someone else. Any sin, however small, that causes disharmony must be dealt with. Here are nine principles based on Scripture that will help us mend broken relationships:
1. Confess to the Lord.
2. Make the first move.
3. Do it quickly.
4. Meet the person face-to-face.
5. Go in genuine love.
6. Go in the spirit of peace and reconciliation.
7. Confess, apologize, and ask for forgiveness.
8. Let this end the matter.
9. Forgive your brother again and again.
A mother from Ontario has advised that instead of making children’s stockings and other things with the child’s initial, mark them with the child’s age. When a garment is passed down, it will stay with the child nearest that age, and they will be able to find their belongings without confusion. This works as long as the younger child does not outgrow the older one.
Back when I was four or five,
(Or maybe I was six),
We had a bantam rooster
That got me in a fix.
When I was heading for the barn,
He’d stand and bar my way.
I guess he thought he owned that barn,
And all the cows and hay.
He’s long been dead, with all his hens,
(And surely he had oodles).
I wonder how he met his end?
I hope he flavored noodles.
A circle letter is started when ten or a dozen people living at different addresses make up a group, and the pack of letters goes round and round the circle, each member taking out his or her old letter and adding a new one every time the envelope comes to his or her mailbox. Some kinds of circle letters the Amish write:
1. Family letters–brothers and sisters, or cousins, living in different places.
2. Wheelchair writers–from these letters the housebound gathers courage and faith, for they tell of others [living] in the same way and overcoming the same temptations.
3. Teachers–from this experience of teachers writing to each other, the idea for an Amish teachers’ magazine emerged. In the autumn of 1957, the Blackboard Bulletin was first published, consisting of articles by and for teachers.
4. Organic farmers.
5. Amish bakers.
6. Amish bishops.
7. Teenage girls.
8. Andy Mast Circle Letter–consisting of fourteen Amish with the same name, from Ohio to Ontario, aged twenty to eighty.
“Circles of friendship–that’s what circle letters are.”
The Accepted Pattern
I hope I wear my broad-brimmed hat as a protection against the weather and also because it has been the accepted pattern down through the ages among our people. But if I do these things, or drive my horse and buggy to show off, then there is pride in my heart, and I cannot expect a blessing from it. However, if I do it because I feel it is right and fitting for nonconformed people, then I believe it can be a part of living my faith and living by faith.
A Memoriam for a Child Who Died of Cerebral Palsy
LaMar Lynn Diener at five years old,
Left this world to join God’s fold.
He was one of God’s chosen few–
Temptation to evil he never knew.
He left this earth in heaven to sing,
The rest of us closer to Jesus to bring.
Though parents and sisters miss him so–
We’re glad for LaMar that he could go.
Learning to Know Yourself
A few months ago we were in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to visit a couple of hospital patients. Then we stopped at a big clothing store. As we were walking around in there, I saw an elderly Amishman come walking toward me. “Now who is this old man?” I thought, and then I realized I was looking into a big glass mirror. I didn’t know myself right away!
This started me to thinking that I should learn to know myself better, so this would not happen again. But then I had to think of how the Word of God is like a mirror, and how much more important it is that we learn to know ourselves in a spiritual sense, and see ourselves as we look in God’s Word.
Excerpts from Amish Voices: A Collection of Amish Writings by Brad Igou, © Herald Press, 2019. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Heraldpress.com.
Amish Voices Winner
I just drew a winner at random from your comments, using random.org. That winner is:
Comment #1, Susan Campbell!
Congrats, Susan. That just goes to show that sometimes getting in early pays off 🙂
Please email me a physical address where you want your book sent (ewesner[at]gmail[dot]com).
How to get the book
Thanks to Brad and the folks at Herald Press for the interview, giveaway, and excerpts.
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