"All of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude." ~ I Peter 3:8 (NLT)
As Christ-followers, we are instructed to pay attention to the attributes in the verse above, just as the persecuted Christians to whom this letter was first written were.
My Amish friends are taught from their earliest years to obey these commands all the days of their lives. For instance, before coming together for communion, they gladly spend time in prayer and fasting, preparing their hearts to be united "in one accord" (of one mind). When it comes to sympathizing with other members of their community, they immediately take up the slack for a person who is sick or grieving. They do this often by bringing food for several weeks or longer and lifting the workload off the farmer's shoulders by doing ALL his chores for as long as necessary. Think of that!
Loving another person as if they were your own sibling is simply having their back... being committed to them as you would in a family setting, even if you're not necessarily fond of that brother or sister. All the same, you are kind and unconditionally loving, which pleases God.
To some of us who are sensitive souls, having a tender heart comes quite naturally. We weep when others are sad or suffering and are willing to help carry their burden, (Galatians 6:2) and we want what is best for them.
Again, the Amish folks I call friends know what it means to put God first—then others, and lastly, themselves. There is no hesitation in helping at any cost, even sacrificially, supporting and caring in practical ways. Kindness is paramount. There is no "me first" attitude, which is so prevalent elsewhere.
During this month of love, what if we too followed closely the path of the instructions laid out for Christians in 1 Peter? Isn't that why we're here, friends... to do everything we can to point up the light of Christ that is so appealing and beautiful that people are compelled to embrace it with all of their hearts?
Blessings and love,
I'm happy to share with you an ebook special for The Fiddler—$1.99 between February 1-28. Search your favorite retailers to order.
Also, thanks very much for putting The Beginning on the ECPA bestseller list for four straight months! I'm so grateful.
Well, I've completed the synopsis for my Fall 2023 novel. And...I'll tell you a little secret: One of the main characters is Ella Mae Zook, Hickory Hollow's Wise Woman. Since so many of you have asked (pleaded) for a book focusing more on her, I hear you. :) I can't wait to write it. Thanks for being so amazing, friends!
AMISH CHEER CARDS ANNIVERSARY and a GIVEAWAY! It's the anniversary month for the launch of Amish Cheer Cards two years ago, and to show my appreciation to you, we're giving away one FREE "Little Things" card with each $20 purchase, including Valentine cards. (A $40 purchase = 2 FREE, etc.) This giveaway is available from February 1-8.