Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Stylish Blog Award

Thanks to my dear friend, Sara, I have a new award for my blog: Stylish blog Award.

Thanks, Sara! With this award I'm supposed to tell five fun things about myself. things? Um...well, here goes:

1. I LOVE to watch old black and white games shows--or just about any old black and white TV show from the 50's and 60s'. It reminds me of my youth and some kind of innocence that was in life then. TV was never raunchy and you had to mind your p's and q's (no swearing on the air!). Men wore suits or tuxes and women wore evening gowns for TV appearances. Wow.

2. I prefer to eat crunchy foods. Mushy or smooshy foods (I call them non-violent) are no fun to eat and tend to make me gag. Especially hot cereals. UGH. Exceptions: cake of any kind.

3. I like to paint with watercolors. But I'm not very good. I wish I were a better painter.

4. I never realized how many books I made as a child until my son and I went through my school record book the other day. Out fell numerous little homemade books that spanned my school years. One was even sewn together to create a bound edge. Hmm. Guess the writing bug was in me early. I'd kind of forgotten about that.

5. I like politics more than I should. It gets me steamed up, though, so I avoid it these days. I like my opponents to play fair, but when they get all hoity-toity about their views, like theirs are FAR more urbane and "tolerant", I either want to laugh or punch them in the nose. Ha!

I'm supposed to pass this award on to five other bloggers, but I know how busy many of you are. So, if you love to blog, consider yourself "knighted" with the Stylish blog award. Please feel free to accept this award for yourself.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Clean Desk

I cleaned off my desk last night. I even got the vacuum cleaner out and swept the carpet in my study. I've been working on a book proposal all weekend and to tell you the truth, it got quite messy in that room, especially around the chair area. It's hard to believe all the crumbs and papers that can accumulate while a person is working diligently.

The book proposal is in so there's nothing else to do for that but wait. I'm ready to move on to other projects, but first I just HAD to get some of the clutter and mess under control. It's lovely to walk in here now and see clean space! I even gave The Beast a quick dusting.

As I cleaned, I talked to the Lord. I let Him know that I'm aware how much I need to be reminded to trust Him with all my work. There's nothing like hashing things over with Him. He listens, but also I have a sense of peace that He is looking out for me.

When I made a decision to serve Him all those long years ago as an 18 year old, I had a distinct impression that His call to me was simply: "Am I for you and you for Me?" That was it. Nothing profound or theologically deep, but the tug at my heart was strong and immediate. In fact, that phrase kept popping into my head and I couldn't ignore it.

When I said "Yes, Lord. I'm for You and You're for me" I had no idea how many roads we'd travel together. Some were hard roads and my heart was torn out and stomped on by life circumstances. But he has always been faithful. In fact the best part is, and always will be: He is FOR me.

Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you're there!
If I go underground, you're there!
If I flew on morning's wings
to the far western horizon,
You'd find me in a minute—
you're already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, "Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
At night I'm immersed in the light!"
Psalm 139:7-11, The Message

Monday, March 1, 2010

Removing a Blog From My List--Why?

WARNING: This post will annoy fawning Englishers who love the Amish from the outside but don't care one whit for their souls. Read on at your own risk.

I've had a blog on my reading list for quite some time. The person who writes the blog is ex-Amish. Since she is using anecdotal stories about her childhood years growing up Amish, she has a huge following. She caters to those who don't want to hear the WHOLE truth about the Amish: those English who only believe good things come from the Amish culture, and any negative MUST be just sour grapes.

I understand her motivation, but she sometimes rankles me with her pure and sweet stuff day in and day out. I wondered: "If it was SO wonderful to be Amish, why did she leave?" I searched her old posts looking for her explanation for why she left. I could find nothing to tell the reader why. I finally emailed and asked her that question. She told me it would be in her future stories, but she wouldn't share it until then.

I got the impression that she is stringing along her readers...keeping them from knowing the reason why so they would keep reading. Very clever. But it kind of made me feel queasy. Not exactly honest, if you ask me. In the mean time, day after day, Pollyanna stories roll forth from this blog. And the English lap it up like sweet kool-aid.

Today I read her post from a few days back about how a man came to her family when they were Amish and "used" them for an article. He surreptitiously photographed her father--in the whole and not just his hands--as was promised, and then published the photos. Her father took the opportunity to teach his children to never trust someone who wanted to interview them unless they knew the person. You can imagine how UPSET this bloggers followers were after hearing that awful tale of betrayal. The comments they left were filled with sympathy for the Amish and anger toward the deceitful journalist.

Here's where my mouth dropped open: she then POSTED the pictures herself! I know she is ex-Amish now, but if it was an offense then, why isn't it an offense now? This is the kind of two-sided thinking that drives me crazy about the Amish. The rules are there, but when it comes to gaining something from the English, all rules are breakable. And guess what? Her followers didn't seem to notice that SHE did to her family just what the journalist had done years ago.

I feel this writer uses her audience, and their ignorance, to gain her own status. I finally just decided to stop advertising her blog on my own blog. She will lose nothing from not being on my little blog, but it makes me feel better that I'm not sending readers to her sugar fest anymore. By the way, she doesn't post her name either. (Mystery AND Amish love feast rolled into one.)

I have learned from my ex-Amish friends that there IS good in the Amish world, and their quaint lifestyle is amusing and curious, but like all people groups, THERE IS BAD, TOO! Many of the Amish groups do not preach the Gospel at all...they preach rules and obedience. Even their "forgiveness" is mandated, whether they mean it or not...whether they deal with their hurts or not...whether they continue to use and abuse or not. I am not spewing sour grapes here, but I am speaking from a broken heart. This group of people DESERVES to know the Gospel as much as any other group, and our blindness to their spiritual needs just keeps them further and further away from salvation.

Again, I am not speaking against the Amish, I am speaking to those English who want to only know the cute and entertaining side of the Amish world. Wake up! Many of those wonderful people will die and not see heaven because we don't care enough to bring them the life-saving Gospel of Christ. If good works alone got us to heaven, then why did Christ come to die on the cross? Don't assume that ALL of the Amish know Christ...don't assume that their bishops all preach the Gospel...don't assume that they are all Christians. Don't assume.

The fields are ripe to harvest: will you be simply another fawning Enlisher, or will you pray for the salvation of the Amish? And when you pray, ask the Lord if He wants to send YOU to help minister to the Amish. Mission fields surround us right here in the United States. You can help this beloved people hear the Gospel.

To learn more about the Amish, how to help spread the Gospel, and to hear and read personal testimonies about life as an Amish person, please go to Mission to Amish People.