Give Me the Simple Life: Wisdom from God’s Word

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In 1982, the Ad Council created a public service television advertising campaign to discourage America’s children from engaging in recreational drug use. Championed by First Lady Nancy Reagan, it was part of the U.S. “War on Drugs.” The campaign’s slogan adopted the phrase: “Just Say No.”

Catchy, yes. Effective? Not so much.

The problem was that it wasn’t a very good message. It assumes that it’s easy to say no, but peer pressure to conform makes it difficult to say no. Once a child is in a situation in which he is approached to use drugs, it’s often too late.

In fact, in an ironic twist, the child actors involved in the campaign ended up being illegal drug users. Drew Barrymore, for one. John Alford, for another.

A better campaign would have been to think ahead. Avoid getting into difficult situations in the first place. Say, for   Keep Reading…

Give Me the Simple Life: Compare & Despair

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I read a study that determined no matter how much money a person makes, he or she will tend to be dissatisfied with income . . . if his or her neighbor is making more.

The author said the comparing mind is an impediment to happiness because there will always be someone who is richer, smarter, or better looking.

For example, the author pointed to professional athletes who complain bitterly about annual salaries in the millions.

Also known as . . . “Compare and Despair.”

Or, to quote far more ancient wisdom than mine,

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house or wife or servants, or ox and donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor (Exodus 20:17, NIV).”

Statistically, the Amish seem to have greater happiness and satisfaction in their lives than those in mainstream America. Lower rates of depression, lower rates of suicide.

There must   Keep Reading…

Friday Fun | Amish Proverbs

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Most every culture has proverbs that are unique to it. Whether called maxims, bromides, truisms, idioms, expressions, sayings, or just an old saw, proverbs are small, concentrated packages that let us peek into the window of a peoples’ values and beliefs. Pennsylvania Dutch, as an oral language, is resplendent with such sayings. Here are a few that my mother (proud of her Penn Dutch heritage) frequently quoted:

“Every mother crow thinks her own little crow is the blackest.” “In every path there is a puddle.” “Forbidden fruit creates many jams.” “There are two kinds of leaders: those interested in the flock and those interested in the fleece.” “Faith is the bird that sings at night.”

By the way, if you’re a Pinterest lover (as I am!), I have a Pinterest board of some pithy Amish proverbs.

Your turn. Which proverb is your   Keep Reading…

Too Much Money

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Unless there is within us that which is above us, we shall soon yield to that which is about us. Amish Proverb

For the last five years, Gil Hostetler has worked for a construction company that builds houses. He has plans, though, to buy a farm soon. “Me and my wife, we’ve been saving every penny so that I can get home and stay there.” Gil and Salome have three children. “This job—it pays real well. But money isn’t everything. It just isn’t so good to have Dad gone all day long.”

The houses that Gil’s employer builds are custom built, many with a million-dollar-plus price tag. Gil shakes his head at such lavishness. “I see these folks wanting these big grand houses, strapping themselves to pay the mortgage. Both the mom and the dad have to work to make those big payments, and then   Keep Reading…

Guess the 70th Country to Download the Amish Wisdom App Contest!

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As you probably well know if you’re following me on Twitter or Facebook, the Amish Wisdom app is now in 69 countries! Up until this point, though, only you iOS users have been able to download the app. Top secret news: the Droid version is in the works (my publisher didn’t want me to announce this yet, so of course I will)! Shhh! Stay tuned for more updates about the new version.

To celebrate, I’m hosting a “Guess the 70th Country to Download the Amish Wisdom App” contest. If you guess correctly, you’ll win your choice of one of my books, signed! To enter, just leave your name, email address, and your guess on this blog post. Good luck!

*Only those in the U.S. are eligible to win.

UPDATE: The 70th country to download the Amish Wisdom app is . . . Hong Kong! Keep Reading…

Win a copy of Life with Lily!

The Adventures of Lily Lapp, Book One: Life with Lily!

For a child, every day is a thing of wonder. And for six-year-old Lily Lapp, every day is a new opportunity for blessings, laughter, family, and a touch of mischief. As she explores her world, goes to school, spends time with her family, and gets into a bit of trouble with her friends, Lily learns what it means to be Amish and what it means to grow up. From getting a new teacher to welcoming a new sibling, Lily’s life is always full of adventure.

The first of four charming novels that chronicle the gentle way of the Amish through the eyes of a young girl, Life with Lily gives children ages 8-12 a fascinating glimpse into the life of the Amish–and lots of fun and laughter along the way. It combines the real-life stories of growing   Keep Reading…

The Big Reveal!

Lately, I’ve been stirring up a buzz about a big announcement… and the time has come to tell!  

You asked for this…and we listened: My oh-so-wonderful publisher, Revell Books, and I have teamed up to create an exclusive mobile app of daily Amish proverbs.

It’s available now…free! 

Each day, a daily word of wisdom, humor, encouragement and inspiration can be delivered right to your iPhone or iPad.

Click to Download!

Bring a moment of peace and calm to each day with the Amish Wisdom App. A one-tap option instantly shares the daily proverb on Twitter, Facebook or email to keep friends and family inspired to live a simpler life, or share an encouragement or laugh. In addition, the app houses all the archived podcasts from my weekly Keep Reading…

Plain Talk about the Amish: Bless Those Who Curse You

“It is better to forgive and forget than to resent and remember.” Amish Proverb

(c) Bill Coleman/Amishphoto.com

It started as a small loose thread on the elbow of Elsie Miller’s black sweater. It was just one thread, but she couldn’t leave it alone. During silent reading periods in school, she would hold her elbows and twirl that thread ever so slightly, between her thumb and finger. Twist and twirl, twist and twirl. She thought about knotting it and breaking it off, but never quite got around to it. Her hands just naturally went to that tiny, out-of-place piece of loose yarn.

(c) Bill Coleman/amishphoto.com

A few days later, during recess, her friend Katie pointed at Elsie’s elbow. “You have a great big hole!” Elsie held out   Keep Reading…