By Our Example

Every year I receive hundreds of letters and e-mails from readers who say they’ve been influenced in some way by the stories in my books depicting the Amish way of life. In our modern world, where too much emphasis is placed on “things,” many people are searching for something that will offer them a slower pace and help them focus on the important things in life. The Amish and other Plain People have set an example for that, which is why I believe so many people are fascinated with and drawn to their way of life.
Just as the Amish have given us an example for living more simply, every Christian should set an example to the world, showing others a Godly way of life. Letting our light shine so that the world may see our good works will bring glory to God. Remember as you go about your day that you may be the only Jesus some of your friends, neighbors, and family will ever see. What we say and what we do is how we show others that Christ lives in us. We should all want to make a difference in other people’s lives. What are some ways you might set an example for Christianity today?

Comments

  1. Shirley Chapel says:

    Today our church ladies bought in food to the church for the family of a church member who has just passed away. Today was her funeral. We all set up tables for about 50 people and served the food also. I love to fix food to help out at times like this. Working in the church kitchen provides fellowship with my Christian sisters during preparation and cleanup. I think also the family of the deceased feel God’s love throuh our efforts to be there for them during such a sad time.

    • Peggy Probus says:

      Last year I lost my husband to pancreatic cancer. The love and care our church family ministered to my family after the funeral was so meaningful. I’ve help prepare food for others in our church family and it’s another way to share the love of Jesus.
      I’m just getting started in learning about the Amish life through Wanda’s books and it is very interesting and thought provoking.

  2. Irene Menge says:

    I simply help where I see a need. I will help my elderly neighbors with raking leaves, or shoveling snow.

  3. Debra Langston says:

    I just got done with coordinating a pumpkin patch fundraiser where we raised a lot of money to help the homeless and also part of the money went to a school in Haiti. We shared the love of Christ with everyone who entered the patch. I lead my life everday and and every situation always thinking What Would Jesus Do? Shouldn’t we all?

  4. Debra Howell says:

    I think being able to stay calm in the midst of a crisis is a wonderful way to show Jesus to others. Family is so important. Last month I lost my only brother and we also found out my father in law has bladder cancer. Sometimes these type of things really makes one realize how important family are and that they won’t be around forever. Love and cherish those in your life NOW while you still can!

  5. being calm and understanding in all situations. It is not for me to judge. Just to live and love freely

  6. Jane I Staiger says:

    We have a very large Spanish community in our Church. This past week a member passed away leaving his wife and 3 children. Donations were requested from the pulpit for donations to help with his funeral costs. We learned on Sunday that those needs have been met….and more. I find that being a Christian (Catholic) means helping others, both monetarily and physically. I love both my Church and my Church family. We are called to help one another in all ways.

  7. Kimberly Toti says:

    Hi, Wanda
    I truly believe we all should give back.My fathet was a volunteer firefighter in a town where they only have volunteers.He did this up until the last week of his 73 year when the Lord took him home. Both my boys volunteer and my daughter makes up care packages and hands them out to the homeless. We have been living an even more simple life since reading your posts, so thank you.
    F

  8. Pam Hastings says:

    I have found that daily life can be best handled and portrayed by me stopping and asking God to take control. I also have learned, in most situations, to surrender that control. When I try diligently to have a calm and kind spirit, it helps my day, as well as others around me, to see the love of Christ in my heart. Of course, I’m not prefect, so I fail sometimes, but God has used those times also, to show myself and fellow workers that when we fail, we have to get up and try again.

  9. Elaine Shorb says:

    A friend of my late parents recently passed away.
    She bacame like a “mother” to me. I am so thankful that I was able to help her by getting groceries for her each week, picking up prescriptions, and taking her to doctors appointments. I also would just sit and let her tell me happenings in her life.
    She was unable to get around very well. But, we shared precious moments together.
    And, this was done by slowing down.
    I will miss this friend. But, by slowing down, I learned so many things from her.

  10. Suzanne Sellner says:

    We live on a short one-block street where some of us are Christians. We have a ministry to the women on our street who are single for whatever reason. Different ones of us cut their grass, edge, remove leaves and yard debris, take them to doctors’ appointments, or whatever else they need that we can do for them. My husband started the practice, and others on the street have joined in. We hope that the others will “know us by our love.”

  11. Wendy Cook says:

    Wanda, I’ve so enjoyed your books over the years and The Hawaiian Quilt. I’m a big fan of yours and am hoping in the future that you’ll tour around where I am and that I can come and meet you.
    So love reading about the Amish and their love of family, friends, their love for God and their church.
    Up by our cottage , there are a lot of Amish around us. I so enjoy visiting a couple of families we’ve made friends with . Also, to just see and watch how they can get all things done and still enjoy life and not be caught up in the hectic craziness of the modern world and life.
    Thank you for your books , I’ve learned a lot.

  12. I buy a book and can’t put it down. Your book s have given me a lot to think about, during this time in my life. I have hospice and VNA in for my husband and just spent 48 days with him in the hospital. I read a book a day . Your book s bring me faith to know that as a woman it’s ok to rest , and enjoy life. The Amish believe taking care at home . I can’t wait for your new book to come out. Thank you for writing amazing book s that can take us away from our current lives. I also enjoy reading where you are going next.

  13. Laurie Bergh says:

    My church has a household goods mission. Those in need get towels, bedding, dishes, etc. It’s a real blessing to help those in need of those items.

  14. Sondra Thatcher says:

    While I try to help out through my church when possible I also try to help people whenever I see a need. It makes me feel good to help someone without expecting anything in return. A simple “thank you” and the look on someone’s face is all it takes to make me feel good. I enjoy helping when it’s not expected of me. God Bless all.

  15. Karen Tackett says:

    Wanda, thank you for sharing this about letting our light shine (Jesus) as we go about our day. We have told people that being a Christian is not about their behavior on Sunday but how they live their life day to day even when no one is looking. Share the Love of Jesus wherever you go, show the world how much He loves them. Your stories not only show the simpler way of life which we love but also honor and glorify the Lord. Thank you again for your faithfulness to Him!

  16. Glenda R Gentry says:

    Enjoy reading your books. The books have brought calmness to my life. They have also brought me closer to God

  17. alberta wells says:

    I have always helped people in need, as I know that is what God would want me to do. It gives me a fulfilled feeling. An makes you smile.

  18. Gail Hollingsworth says:

    This journal entry was a great reminder for me. I’ve often heard, “tell others about Jesus and use words if necessary”. Our actions often speak louder than anything we could possibly say.
    I love your books and read them a lot to remind me to slow down and be thankful everyday for what I’ve got, not just a certain time of the year.

  19. Roberta McMahan says:

    There was a guy that came to our church one Sabbath.He was all in black and chain’s that had locks on them around his neck. He was standing in the hall not going in to the sanctuary because he was afraid he would be judged. I could tell he needed someone to talk to So God lead me to him to just listen to him and he started sharing with me the reason’s behind his cloths. I asked him to come sit with me and my daughter upstairs. The next week he came back not in black or chains anymore. God used me to get to him.

  20. Deborah Throgmartin says:

    More churches should do like mine. We give money to people in the church to help them when they need it.

  21. Kris Ross says:

    At church I try to be mindful of people who are new or visiting…I know I am shy and so hesitant to go to new places … so I introduce myself and try to talk to them…telling them a little bit about the church.. and even when I went to story time with my granddaughter…I saw a girl who obviously was from England, by her voice….and didn’t know anyone…we became great friends, and went on many playdates …her with her son, me with my grand daughter…..I guess knowing what makes me shy or “afraid” to get involved…..I know how that feels and try to make others feel invited and involved…

  22. Julie Mills says:

    My husband is dying. Yes, he has terminal cancer. He has been undergoing chemo treatments for over a year. We are now in St. Louis for our third week while he has daily radiation treatments, trying to save the sight in his remaining eye. Without God, we would not be able to make this journey. With His help, I have the strength to get through my daily life. I try to remain positive.

  23. Thank you for your comments Wanda….As I thought about what you said I was reminded of life growing up in the country. No television, no computers, no cell phones; but we were taught to have and to show respect. We had our chores – not much different than that of an Amish family – working in the garden, canning, learning to sew and play time was fun – just playing with simple toys. So today I find it easy to help where ever I can whether it is helping our church with supplying a food pantry, providing toys for underprivileged children, or just being a listening ear. I believe God is in all of these things and more; guiding and directing my paths. God is there always we just need to listen to His leading.

  24. NancyB from Many LA says:

    Your comments are so true. It’s so easy to get caught up in the world and “things”.

  25. JEAN HUNTSINGER says:

    I try not to get caught up in the todays things !! I love to share with my Church family my sons out grown clothes!!! It is a joy to give and expect nothing in return!! God is so good to me!!!!

  26. Having faith in God and doing something good for friends & family who need something done… means a lot to me. Even if they don’t say “thank you”…”it’s the good thought that counts”

  27. Things in this world are so chaotic. As the November elections draw near friends and family are turning on each other because of politics. I think simply listening without judging, and loving the person you may not agree with, are simple things that God expects of us.

  28. Linda Critcher says:

    Living your life faithfully and attending church consistently, no matter the problem. Many tend to blame God for problems, or if prayers are not answered according to their desires, they quit or get complacent on God. Or sometimes, God answers their prayers, and they think since everything is okay, they no longer need God and His House.

    Being a pastor’s wife for over 47 years, and also facing a very sick child at ge 7 weeks, who became mentally handicapped from the illness, proves that God doesn’t always answer the way we desire. He sees the “big picture”, we can’t see into the future. Our daughter did live, now 42 years old, but with limitations & eventual physical separation from our home, but….God has turned bad things into good. She has touched more lives than perhaps she ever would have in the so called “normal” realm of life. Yes, we prayed for healing, and God allowed her to live, she just did not live with the wholeness we expected.

    Now, after 25 years of being in a great home with such terrific care & training, our state is closing her home. Yes, we are so dissatisfied and scared for her safety and happiness. But we have to believe that our Lord will provide what is needed. Right now, we can’t see what’s best, we’re upset….but He can see and knows what’s ahead. We continue to pray her home might remain open, but if not, God’s in control. He just may have a greater “YES” to our prayers.

    We must stand faithful & keep believing & let others within & without the church, know that God doesn’t care less for us when He doesn’t answer “our way”. Just keep serving & show others that we serve a faithful God ad Point them to Him. Don’t get mad at God, just wait, pray & believe. He will answer according to His will! And after all, His way is BEST.

    God bless you as you serve Him. He’s worthy.

  29. Annamaria Romano says:

    I think the best way to set an example of Christianity today would be to try and help as many people as possible. In this day and age, there are many who are hungry and have no place to live. We should do as Jesus says “to love one another”. Do not shy away from the poor homeless person on the street, because of how they look etc.. Try and help them as much as possible

  30. By allowing God to use my painful-fully Redeemed past as my testimony and
    Part of a healing ministry.

  31. Janice Gamble says:

    I really wish I were born in the Amish faith. I love reading your books and the bible verses you include in them. I just recently finished the “Prairie State Friends” and the “Brides of Leigh Canal” series. I have a lot of trouble putting them down when I start reading. Its a really good feeling when you can do something for others and it also makes you feel good also.

  32. Dawn Koza says:

    This reminds me of an old song – “What you are speaks so loud, that the world can’t hear what you say. They’re looking at your walk, not listening to your talk”. Oh, so true and I try to remember that daily as I go about he doings of the day. God bless you.

  33. Arlene Weston says:

    I do so enjoy reading the Amish books. Their way of life seems so much more calm than mine though I know they do work very hard. Plus they have to tolerate being stared at like animals in a zoo. But they do show us good examples of how to live.

  34. Marla Erick says:

    Last Sunday was our Pastor’s turn to give a sermon at the nursing home. After our regular service we had a pot luck dinner and then some people went to the nursing home together. My cousin played the piano before, during and after the service. We helped the residents by wheeling them to the party room and with the hymns. It is such a joy for them to have young people visit and just simply talk to them. It reminded me that I should go more than once a month.

  35. Sheila heneghan says:

    Wanda, I understand about the simple life. I grew up in Christian County, Hopkinsville, Ky. I have of course read your books that refer to my hometown. I grew up in the country on a farm. Our life was simple and my grandparents lived their lives through God! Family and church were the basis for everything! When you are raised this way you never forget about God, the bible, family and hard work! Thank you for writing these books, they always remind me of more simple times. I was so happy to discover your books!

  36. Terry Monnett says:

    I so enjoy reading your Amish books and I am blessed to live near a small Amish community, as well as only 4 hours away from Shipshewana. I love visiting there, I always come home feeling so refreshed and calm and with such a sense of peace. Two things I have come away with is that we should love all people and not be judgmental, but forgiving, and those are qualities that I try to show daily.

  37. Mary Preston says:

    You can’t discount kindness. Sometimes the smallest things can mean a great deal.

  38. Ann Austin says:

    I think just make an effort to be kind, it is so easy to act in haste due to pressures and busyness. So often just a simple “thank you”, or “no, you go ahead of me”, or just holding a door open for someone can be an extension of compassion to someone. It has been said, “everyone is fighting a battle, so just be kind!” I think this is true, it is not always an easy thing to do, especially with some people or circumstances but it is worth the effort just to let a small light shine. I work at it, sometimes I don’t want to even make the effort but I try and see it from the other person.’s perspective. Usually it costs me nothing, other times it does involve some kind of expense, but Jesus thought people were worth the effort of Using His time, I wonder should I do any less?

  39. Katrina Gilkerson says:

    I wonder often how it would be to experience the Amish way of living. I really enjoy Amish books as well. I also believe it is very important to always set a good Christian example to the world so that unbelievers can see the light of Christ through you. Ways you can set an example of Christianity today is by honoring your parents and elders, treating everyone you meet with kindness, love and respect and worshipping God and Him only. Always bring glory to God in all you do, speak well of Him and never curse or swear. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

  40. Debra Harold says:

    I love reading your books and learning as a Christian how to keep my focus on God throughout my day! The world is so fast paced that it is easy to loose the focus. Thank you Wanda

  41. Doing things for other people and letting our light shine for the lord is what we are suppose to do as Christians! It is better to give then receive ! Helping our neighbor near and far is what we are suppose to do! We will get our reward in the long run! Thank you for this awesome giveaway Love all your books Wanda!

  42. Thank you for this lovely post. Everyone should be kind to others. it does not take that much effort!
    Joan

  43. If everyone showed kindness to others what a happy and peaceful world it would be.
    Marion

  44. Let us all be kind and respectful to others. Nice is easy if you try.
    Marilyn

  45. Connie Saunders says:

    Something as simple as a smile and a greeting at the grocery story maybe just what someone needed that day. I sometimes leave a note with my tip to say ‘Thank you”, ‘Have a great day’or even quote a bible verse. Yes, it is possible that the bible verse might not be appreciated but I would rather try than not! I know from experience that a compliment can lift your spirits. A simple ‘You are so cheerful’ or ‘You have a pretty smile’ or ‘That color looks good on you’ may help someone in ways you will ever know!
    Thanks for spreading God’s love through your stories.

  46. peggy clayton says:

    I always read my bible every day and there are some other books that go with it that are daily reading. When I go out I try to set by example and even though I am disabled I still can be smiling and welcome people to church and if i haven;t seen there for a week or so i make sure to tell them that I missed them and a hug goes a long way now days!

  47. Deborah Gordon says:

    I have enjoyed reading your books for a long time now. I am blessed beyond words to read how the Amish life. I love recipes in the book of every book. I need to get your cook books. Thank you Wanda

  48. Thank-you for this post. I like to comment people and encourage them. I don’t really know why, I guess Christ has put that in me. Thanks again.

  49. Karen M. Hoth says:

    One way that I show Christianity to the world is to give to local food bands. Even though I am on disability and things are very tight for me, I give to the local food bands as often as I am able to. Everything that I give is helping another person. . At church, I am the mission and service coordinator and am always looking for new places and people to help. One of my favorite projects is helping our veterans who were once homeless and are now getting their feet back on the ground. Our church serves them lunch followed by their favorite dessert – homemade cookies. We also walk around and talk and listen to our Veterans. Some love to tell of their service while others need a listening ear. They have made sure we have our freedom by fighting in various wars and upon returning fell on rough times. Now it is our turn to help them.

  50. We can strive to live a Christian life and use positive words, help and encourage others, listen to others, show kindness, be honest, and be loving to others.

  51. To believers as well as others, I often say something like: Isn’t it great God made us all so different?
    If the subject of discussion turns to gossip, I’ve found this comment is a great way to shut down the gossip and to make the point if someone else handles a situation different than I would doesn’t mean he/she is wrong, it just means they are different.

  52. Jenny-Lynn Fricke says:

    I try to show my love of god and spread the word everyday. I live in Ohio where we have a lot of Amish. I will open doors, say thank-you to people when they do something nice for me. Use positive words of encouragement, listen to others if they have a problem and try to help them. I feel calmer when I am showing by example.

  53. You are so right Wanda. We all should try to make a difference in someone’s life, whether by friending them, helping them and just being there for them. I agree we should let our light so shine! Love your books Wanda!

  54. Linda D. McFarland says:

    I try to be mindful of the people I come in contact with during the day. Slowing down to speak and greet someone who may be having a bad day, helping a young mom at the grocery store by taking her cart so she can get her children safely in her car, being kind to salespeople. Slowing down and being aware of others’ needs sets an example as well as giving you a good feeling…..a win win!

  55. Devota Weberding says:

    Thanks Wanda for the great stories, which allows us to get away from our crazy busy lives for just a little while and enjoy a simpler, wholesome life style. We all need to show kindness to everyone. Everyone’s day will be brighter, including your own.

  56. Sarah Arnold says:

    Thank you for the lovely blog. I hope I always shine for God. I teach high school and I pray for my students all of the time. I let them know I pray for them. When my husband fusses; I am trying to remain quiet and let him know I love him. I want to set the example for my own kids too.

  57. Living in a small community some times can be a wonderful thing. Unfortunately things have changed and people are not as kind and helpful as they once were in small, tight knit communities. We need to take a step back and get back to the simpler days. Kindness, caring and extending a helping hand should be top priority. A little kindness goes a long way. We depend too much on the modern conveniences and loss track of the important things

  58. A thoughtful post about showing God’s love, mercy and grace to others just as He has shown to us. I pray daily for my life to be used by God to radiate His love to the clients I work with and co-workers. Being mindful of small things for others is showing God’s love with His Word mentioning even a cup of water given in His name speaks volume. Thank you for sharing. I’m more content with simple things and not competiting with the world as worldly treaures will fade away.

  59. Danielle McDonald says:

    I make it a habit once a month to feed some of the homeless in my city and with each brown bag I write a verse from the bible so I can show them that faith is everything . I offer prayers to those who would like a prayer as well .

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