Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Simpler Way of Life

Today I took a road trip with a friend of mine to Shipshewana Indiana. This is the heart of Northern Indiana's Amish country.

As we drove through the countryside we would quickly come upon horse drawn buggies making their way into town. I have to admit that the Amish people have always fascinated me. Their determination to live a plain and separate life built upon the bedrock foundation of their faith and family.

I've often thought of the Amish people as living a "simpler life". But honestly - no electricity, telephones, indoor plumbing, microwaves, air conditioning, cars, tractors - not exactly simple. Maybe we could call their lifestyle simplified..., but definitely not simple.

One thing is for certain, the Amish have a sense of community that often puts the modern church to shame. My thoughts today went back to the early church found in Acts chapter2

They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Maybe it's time for the church of America to turn our hearts to the simpler things:

  • Teaching of the Word
  • Fellowshiping together
  • Sharing a meal together
  • Praying together
  • Sharing with those who are in need.
  • Praising God together with glad and sincere hearts.

Maybe if we focused on these simpler things, we would once again see God adding to our numbers daily those who are being saved.

It's something to definitely think about.


Edie said...

I think you have a good point.

I find the Amish to be very interesting too and would like to see their communities. My granddaughter's SS teacher told me this weekend that they just returned from vacation and she was so excited to have seen the Amish.

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

I totally agree my friend! I would love to live in that lifestyle. Might be harder, but in the long run, we would be far richer in the Lord.

Have you seen the movie "Saving Sarah Cain?" It's based on the Amish and VERY good.

Deb said...

Oh my goodness!! What great memories!!! I used to live in Topeka, Indiana which is only about 5 miles or so out of Shipshewana....how much stuff, veggies and baked goods I have bought there!!!!! In Topeka..at least when I lived there..us Englishers were the minority and we had several Amish friends. I loved coming home and seeing a buggy tied up in my yard. Yes, in many ways, the Amish have it totally figured out.
Thanks so much for this post and the memories!!!

Yolanda said...


I can't even begin to imagine what would happen in my family, in our souls, being gathered after years of separation at one table and to share Christ at that table...I'd just think I was in glory right then and there.


Marilyn in Mississippi said...

I so agree! I think we are too busy....always trying to get more done or more things. We should stop being such busy, busy Marthas and become a Mary!

Thanks for sharing your road trip with us!


Anonymous said...

Oh, how your thoughts on the Amish and our church today reflect my thinking, Lisa, on this whole matter. I have a relative in Lancaster, PA where Mom and I visited a time or two when we lived in Washington, DC. I absolutely was fascinated. I also lived in Oregon City, OR (near Portland) where a large community of Mennonites live. I would go to their quilting bees and be taught by these precious women. The life lived in either community is so alien to our way in this country, yet it calls to my heart as it seems to have to others on your post here. We have gotten so far from the beauty of the church's foundations. We have lost so much and could gain so much by realizing what we are missing, allowing God to orchestrate our ways, He tells us that His ways are not our ways. Oh, to only listen.
The Amish lifestyle is really not 'simple' compared to all the appliances and power we are so used to, yet they live a gentler life, a quiet and godly life in ways we have never know in this day and age.
Thank you for sharing and reminding me of the beauty of simplicity.
(... just rambling today...wishing I were in one of those buggies on a cooler day than I have here in Texas!) : )
~ linda

LisaShaw said...

My precious Sister,

You are speaking volumes of TRUTH!

I often think of the church (body of Christ) of Acts and how much the church in my childhood and young adult yrs seemed so much closer to that than today. It seems the body of Christ is drawing further away from what God has ordained in so many ways. It saddens my heart deeply.

I too have always been fascinated with the Amish people. I agree with you that we often think their lives are simple but truly it's simplified not simple. Lord knows if you took electricity away from me especially air conditioning I'd be in trouble the way I overheat and sweat (smile).

I liked when you said: "One thing is for certain, the Amish have a sense of community that often puts the modern church to shame."

Sadly true.

Blessings dear sister.

Carol said...

Amen! I totally agree.

Thank you for your birthday wishes too!!! I could hear you singing 'happy birthday'!!

Bless you.
Carol x