By Pauline Stevick

A chain of vignettes describing Amish humans and customs

Pauline Stevick has visited greater than 50 Amish houses in several Amish settlements around the nation. She has attended weddings, viewings, tuition periods and courses, family members gatherings, and greater than a dozen church companies. She has ridden in Amish carriages and has even slept in Amish houses. via her shut organization with the Amish, she has received distinct standpoint and is ready to offer willing perception right into a tradition that's misunderstood through many. past the obvious and straightforward reminds readers that even though the Amish costume in nearly exact garments, they've got specific personalities and convictions. In vignettes and reflections she finds the ways that contributors of the Amish group dwell out their religion opposed to the heritage in their communal tradition, the entire whereas emphasizing their individuality. themes diversity from Amish kin values to ladies to a retirement neighborhood in Florida to an Amish highbrow. Stevick's eloquent narration is descriptive instead of expository as she frequently attracts comparisons among Amish society and mainstream society, occasionally who prefer the Amish methods and at different occasions wondering them. past the obvious and easy portrays the Amish as dynamic those that event struggles, disasters, and successes no longer targeted to their neighborhood.

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Extra info for Beyond the Plain and Simple: A Patchwork of Amish Lives

Sample text

41 But the publican knows that he is evil, because both God's law and man's judgement are against him. He transgresses the law of God and uses, manipulates it, for his benefit. He breaks slyly or arrogantly, according to circumstance, the laws of men and uses them to his advantage—and for this he is hated and despised of men. So when he comes, he dares not cross the threshold of the temple, because the temple is the place of the Presence and he has no right, he shrinks from entering into the Presence of God.

He looked into her eyes and saw only himself—missed her completely! We do that too, even in the world of things; according to the way we focus our eyes when we look at a window, we may see our reflection, or the pane of glass, or the view beyond. We 29 can see with the eyes of indifference as the passers-by saw Bartimaeus. * We can see with the eyes of hatred when we become horribly clear-sighted but with the perspicacity of the devil, seeing nothing but evil, making a vile caricature of things.

We are not content to judge actions without giving people the benefit of the doubt; we question their very motives, suspect their intentions, instead of *believing all things, hoping all things'. We must act ruthlessly against this tendency we have to judge everything from the viewpoint of our little self. The first step on the way into the Kingdom is defined by Christ as *deny thyself*. We could put it in harsher terms: when we see that once again, instead of seeing or hearing someone, we are wrapped up in ourselves, we must round on this obstrusive 'I* and cry out in anger: 'Get thee behind me, Satan (Satan in Hebrew means adversary), you think not of the things of God!

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