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Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Heart of the Amish: Life Lessons on Peacemaking and the Power of Forgiveness by Suzanne Woods Fisher – A Book Review

     It’s not often that I review a non-fiction book, but this one caught my eye after experiencing a wonderful vacation in the Amish area of northern Ohio.  Suzanne Woods Fisher has authored both fiction and non-fiction books about the Amish.  I have read several books on the topic of forgiveness, but this book approaches the topic from a totally different point of view.  Forgiveness is portrayed as being simple, but not easy.  Simple in that from the Amish point of view it is basic, not optional, central to their faith, yet not easy because, like with all of us, emotions do have to be dealt with.
     While the book was not written as a devotional text, the structure does lend itself to being used in that manner.  The twenty-nine sections are short, making a focused point.  They could easily be read day by day with time to ponder the point being made.  I must admit though that I found myself getting so involved that I would read several sections each day, underlining, adding asterisks, and making notes in the margins.  Each section begins with an Amish proverb and ends with a tidbit, or as the author labeled it a “plain truth”, about Amish life.  Sandwiched between are real life examples of Amish forgiveness, forgiveness of significant wrongs, among these: murder, sexual abuse, and theft of life savings. 
     Forgiveness is deeply woven into the Amish culture.  As Christians we all know that God calls us to forgive so that we, too, may be forgiven (Matthew 6:12). There are lessons to be learned from the Amish, and their teaching and modeling of forgiveness for their children, living it out before them.  Fisher gives us a window into this, a glimpse into how we to might live out forgiveness before our own children, how we might practice forgiveness in light of the significance Christ gave it as he taught His disciples to pray. 
     Whether you are aware of an unmet need to forgive, or feel like you are doing well in this area, I would highly recommend The Heart of the Amish.  It is informative, persuasive, and engaging.  It speaks to the heart.  I thank Revell Publishers for providing The Heart of the Amish for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own.
heart of amish       

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