I ran across this series on Youtube a while ago. It is very factual. Of course, the Amish, and Mennonites, portrayed in this series are not the most conservative of the Amish gamays. No. These are more liberal Amish, but you will see first hand how the Amish live.
I think you will also notice some of the differences in the Amish and Mennonite way of life. It might give you better insight into the situation between Hannah and Elam. Both are Christian. Both are trying to live their lives as best they can in God's love.
I have recently come across a series of "Life with the Amish" videos on Youtube.com which I wanted to share with you. I've found them very enlightening. Several British youths come to visit and live with various Amish families for a little time. Each family is treated in a different video. In this way, you can see that the Amish lead very different lives according to their particular gmay and the ordnung that the community espouses. In this section, the British youth visit the Mennonites. In this way, you can visually see the difference between Amish and Mennonite and perhaps understand the background that went into the story of Hannah and Elam.
I particularly loved seeing the black British girl dressed in Amish plain clothing. I know there is a Mennonite family near me who has adopted several black children. I know that I also have black readers. This truly shows the love of God does not see color. We are all God's children! Comment below, or on my Facebook page. What do you think of my incorporating a black character into the next book, either as an adoptive child or as a love interest?
My love Affair with Kindle Unlimited
One benefit of using Kindle Unlimited is that it contains lots of free e-books to download and read on your Kindle device. Aside from my own Arwilda Allshouse Amish Romance books, there are many public domain books available for free at the digital store which you can download instantly on your device. The free books section contains one of the most historical bestsellers from authors like Mark Twain, Lewis Carroll, Jane Austen and several others. You will find the plethora of free e-books at Kindle store if you know how and where to search for them. You can also get the Bible on your Kindle. There are several compendiums if you want someone to explain the Scripture to you. If you have Kindle Unlimited, you can download the app and read all of this on your computer or your phone.
What’s not to like? I know many of you have asked for paperback books, and during the summer that is especially understandable, but paper is expensive. It costs nearly $10 to print a book. The ones you buy on clearance sale at Walmart or on the remainder shelf at your local bookstore are not paying the author a living wage. Even at full price, the author is making a piddling 0.20-0.25 per book. The book you read, even if it is short, is a lot of work for twenty cents.
Why not Kindle? You worry about taking your kindle to the beach, but really, will you leave your phone behind too? You can keep that in your pocket. If you turn the phone sideways, it automatically makes the print larger without even changing the font. It’s a lot easier to carry than a paperback.
I for one am a great advocate of inspirational books. I love having many of them on my Kindle. I have quite a collection. I have read pretty much all of them and some of them several times over. They are full of yellow highlights and notes now. Yes, you can highlight on Kindle! I like outlining thoughts which mean a lot to me. These books have seen me through some upsetting times, giving me inspiration and have helped me meet challenges head on. They can help you get to grips with your most provoking of problems, too, Books can help you improve your relationships, work on your problematic love life & business, keep you on track and fully focussed, motivate, challenge you to do better things, help you move out of comfort zones, instruct you how not to procrastinate, help you deal with stress, certain illnesses, teen angst, anger management, body language, confidence... and the list goes on. Is there anything that we won’t ask for God’s help with? Someone, somewhere has pulled together the Scripture that will interest you. And if you are not ready to deal with the problems, escape them with a good novel.
Electronic Books (Ebooks)
With modern technology, the Ebook has become probably one of the most popular methods of marketing and publishing books. Self publishing has never been easier. On the other hand, finding and buying a book has never been a more difficult task. The easiest thing to do is to type a keyword in the address bar and see what comes up. Do you want Christian Romance? Sweet and clean romance? Amish books?
The Ebook comes in different guises and is designed to be read in different ways. With the advent of the 'Tablet' and 'Kindle' as we all know them, locating and reading an Ebook is now incredibly simple... and quite inexpensive too. I personally love that I can collect a dozen or so “read free on Kindle Unlimited books” before heading out to the local pool. Then if I start one book and decide I want to read a different one, it is right there beside me. If I finish a book, I can move on to the next.
Sure, sometimes it becomes quite a headache comparing and choosing. With the freedom of Kindle, there are authors who probably should have a good editor working with them, but personally, I’d rather have to overlock a few misspellings than miss out on the book altogether. I have learned that sometimes, albeit only occasionally, I have to close a book and move on without reading it. Sometimes the book is just too terrible or too filled with grammatical mistakes, but does that mean I would like to go back to having a publisher be the gatekeeper for all of the great books and great new authors out there? Absolutely not. At times technology stymies me, but all in all, I love the freedom of Kindle. If you don’t have a Kindle yet, why not?
As a writer of Amish Romance, I try to stay out of the political arena. I don't want to change anyone's political views or ruffle any feathers, but I've been praying on a topic for quite some time, and feel called to share. In fact, I've decided to write a story about one of the Amish residents of Lawrence County who is having some trouble staying out of the world of politics. I expect it will be done in a few weeks to a month. Sorry, I don't have a title yet. It's still in outline form. Sign up for updates and I will email you when it is published.
On to my dilemma about the Syrian refugees...
I’ve tried really hard to keep my mouth shut about the flood of Syrian refugees coming into the USA, but as much as I write about Amish, I am not Amish. I am Christian, Lutheran to be exact, and I find I can’t quite manage that separateness from the world that my Amish friends manage to do. Is it because my faith is not strong enough? Is it because I feel in some part God helps those who help themselves? I don’t know, but I do know, my Christian self (and even my humanitarian self) seem to be at war with my practical self, and yes, there is a certain amount of fear. I think it is justified.
I am concerned about the plight of the refugees. I want to take care of their humanitarian needs because that is the Christian thing to do. I want to bring Christ to them. Of course, I want to help in any way possible, but I just don’t understand their fleeing their country. Why are they here? Wouldn’t they rather stay at home and fix their own country? I would, but maybe that is just me. Maybe I’m naïve, but even the threat of death would not move me. But since many refugees are coming here….I’ve seen nine young men consistently at our local Starbucks lately. No women. No children. Men in their twenties. They do not appear to know English. I wonder what the Lord expects me to do. What is my part?
Even as I donate monetarily, I wonder, am I doing enough—we are not saved by works but by the blood of Jesus—so why am I worrying about MY works? Still, if I were living under an oppressive regime wouldn’t I hope that someone somewhere would open their homes and hearts to me?
As you see I’ve been wrestling with this problem for quite some time. There are probably innocents and hidden threats among the refugees. But there are also certainly poor children already in the USA who need our help. There are godless neighborhoods that need our prayers and mostly our Savior, so why again are we bringing in refugees who not only want to KILL us, but also want to proselytize among the youth? Is this a threat any Christian has considered? Radical Islam’s attempt to proselytize? What about the faith of our children? Is it strong enough to withstand this deluge of Islam?
Far more dangerous than death in my eyes are the facts that our children could be swayed from Christianity to the zealous faith of Islam. We have seen it happen. Are we as Christians, too meek? My Amish friends certainly say no, but we mainstream Christians have allowed God to be removed from our schools, our towns, and in many cases our lives. Too many youth look to gangs and crime for belonging instead of looking to our own strong examples of our Lord Jesus Christ. Should we be more vocal warriors for Christ? Should we be stronger examples? Is this threat to our faith, God calling us to be stronger? This is something I must think on—pray about--I don’t know.
Finally, I look at these young men coming claiming to be refugees, and ask, for a religion that allows plural marriage, where are the women and children? All does not seem right here. I have a gut feeling that we are being lied to. But is that any reason to stop the flood or poor oppressed people? Surely there are some oppressed people among the refugees, even if there are also terrorists. Our nation is built on oppressed people seeking sanctuary, so how can we turn them away? More importantly, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Matthew 25:40). Must we take that risk? I certainly don’t have an answer.
So I ask myself, what if some group in the USA decided to be radical and kill all Christians? Hey, it may happen in the not so far future at the rate we are going. Would I just die a martyr? Would I even be so strong in my faith? I hope so. I pray so. If I decided to leave the USA for somewhere else, wouldn’t I want there to be a country open to me?
After much prayer, and soul searching, I said, no. I wouldn’t leave. I would stay right here. I would stay because this is my home. I would stay because I should fix the place where I lay my head for my children and their children. I would stay because America preaches tolerance of all religions. I would stay, perhaps because as my Amish friends say, I am too proud, but nonetheless I would stay…
My children are grown, so I may have a different thought if they were young, but I think everyone has a love of the place they call home. Everyone wants that place to be safe. I will continue to pray, and I will continue to offer aid as I can to the people in their own countries. When my Christian friends say to me, ‘How can you turn away these innocents?” I can answer with a clear conscience. I can say, first, USA is a land of tolerance. If they are not tolerant, I feel no need to let them into our country to kill us or corrupt our youth. Furthermore, I feel the best help to them is to help them in their own lands, and finally and most importantly, pray. Pray without ceasing. The Lord said, “My Father will give you whatever you ask in my name (John 16:23). We are asking Lord, because I think many Christians, like myself are unsure how to answer this challenge.
Truly, I think the BEST thing we can do is pray. Put this terrible situation in God’s hands. My more secular friends throw up their hands and scowl at me as if prayer is NOTHING. We, as Christians, know that prayer is no small help. It is a BIG help in the form of our God. Please join me in prayer for our leaders and for the situation in the Middle East.
I do not want to make you change your mind, or challenge political ideas, or minimize the current threat. I just feel that thinking people must consider that these people may only be looking for a place to live peacefully, like our own forefathers. If they move in beside me—a real possibility in Pennsylvania—then I will treat them with tolerance as a US citizen. As a Christian, I will share Christ’s word. All the while, my heart goes out to the obvious innocent lambs among these wolves. There is no good answer in man’s mind, only the mind of God knows the plan. Come Lord Jesus.
Please share your thoughts and prayers.
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