A Joyful Heart

The first novel I had published is called “A Merry Heart.” It’s about an Amish schoolteacher who has become negative and lost her faith in God. Some people lose faith when going through difficulties, like many of us are dealing with right now.

Do you have any favorite Bible verses that have helped you during times of sadness, depression, or a weakened faith? One of my favorite scriptures is found in Proverbs 17:22 — “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine; but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” What this verse means is that a joyful heart is like medicine to our soul — making us feel better physically and emotionally. Whereas, a broken spirit (or a depressed state) can cause is to feel unwell.

The need to find joy in life. even while going through hardships, is emphasized in my novel, “A Merry Heart.” What are the benefits of having a joyful heart? Why does God want us to find joy in life?


  1. Keren Herrera says

    The verse that has always put comfort in my life at any given moment and that holds me up to be strong is Psalms 91. It has always been in my heart and recite it by memory. I learned it when I was 7yrs old and it stuck with me until now. God wants us to see joy in life because holding pain, sadness or anything negative changes us, brings our spirit down and doesn’t makes us grown. That is what I think. Blessings Mrs Wanda. Thank you for your sweet journals you share with us.

    • I enjoyed this book!
      I also believe this verse applies literally. When there is no joy is does dry the bones. (Possibly osteoporosis or osteoarthritis ) I have seen this happen in my family with very unhappy people. I believe negative things can bring about sickness in our minds and bodies.

      Thank you for sharing your newsletters and for sharing your heart.

  2. Kathryn Vlassopoulos says

    I really don’t have a bible quote but every day is a blessing

  3. M . Singer says

    No, I don’t have a bible quote, I will just think to myself, this to will pass . Another way I handle undue challenges or what seems like a challenge is to reflect upon whether this problem will bother me in a week, a month or a year.

  4. Michelle Willms says

    I don’t have a favorite bible quote, but I have other spiritual ways to keep me positive. There is much beauty in the world.

  5. Diann Larry says

    Phil 4:13—always my favorite. He will supply what I need.

  6. Wendy M Looker says

    My favorite bible quote is Joshua 1:9. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” I have a bracelet I wear with this saying. In the world today it is easy to be afraid of so much of what is going on.

  7. Jackie Cockrell says

    My favorite scripture is Isaiah 40:31. I’d love to win this cookbook. I already have 2 Amish cookbooks, and every recipe that I’ve tried has been great!

  8. Nancy Tiffany says

    You inspire all your readers with JOY, Wanda just as God has asked of all of us. In our troubled world we need joy and peace from God to know he is in charge and not to be afraid and allow him to give us peace.

  9. Kathy sam says

    That was beautiful! You are my favorite writer! You make amish country come to life. Thanks for blessing me with an escape every time I read one of your books! Love them all.

  10. Vickey Cordoba says

    Luke 6:36 Be Merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

    I seem to need constant reminders, this one helps a lot 🙂

    • Sharon Miller says

      Ps 91:4 – He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
      This is one of my favorites. To know that He is covering me with Love, Protection, and Grace is so meaningful to me.

  11. Danielle Mulkey says

    As a hospital employee, I am grateful I can be here to help everyone that comes into our facility. God has blessed me with the gift of compassion which has been tested many times. Finding joy can be difficult some days, especially when you hear of a patient’s passing. What I do each morning is fill my cup with His word and I listen to Praise & Worship music on my way into work. Another way I cope with everything is cooking. I’d love to win your latest cookbook. Blessings!

  12. My favorite verse right now is Be still and know that I am God, we just had a grandson born at 33 weeks. He has an older brother whom is autistic, the family separation has been very challenging, we are keeping the older brother while our son and his wife are tending to our new grandson, prayers would be very much appreciated. Thank you

  13. Seva Irvine says

    Every day is a blessing and you decide what kind of day you are to have. I try to always see the joy in things and appreciate every opportunity that is put worth to me. I try to share with others, no matter how minimal it might be. This will give me joy, love and peace in my heart.

  14. Angea Walker says

    I have several favorites. I love your books and the message they bring!

  15. Mary Ritchie says

    1 Cor. 14:33 my God is a God of peace not war
    I would live to win this cook book

  16. Angea Walker says

    I have several favorites. I love your books and the message they bring! Would love to be entered

  17. Ruth Zartman says

    I really enjoy reading your newsletter and your books

  18. Rebecca Jackson says

    Personally, I love Philippians 4:13, especially since I got laid off and then did not get my job back. Finding a new job has been a struggle, but I now have the time to help my family get ready to move which is bringing me so much joy. While I am anxious to find a new job, I am content where I am right now and thankful for the opportunity and timing so that I can spend time with my family and help them as well.

  19. Debra Winterrowd says

    My favorite verse for such times is, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

  20. Sonya Spoon says

    John 14: 1-3 has been my favorite since 4th grade show and tell. My teacher always stated these verses as her show and tell and it struck a chord in me and has stuck with me ever since. I am so glad my Lord has gone on to prepare and will come back to get me. Thank you for winning the signed book last month. To show how God works. That is the book I ordered last month along with this cookbook!! I will be donating the book I ordered to my local library!! Thank you for allowing me to bless them with this.In answer to your last questions, there are many benefits of having a joyful heart. First you bless others with it and second they can see God in you and lastly life runs better when you have a joyful positive attitude. God wants us to have joy and live life abundantly. We can only do that with joy in our heat and soul.Sorry so long I think I could write a book. 🙂

  21. Lorna Jappinga says

    My favorite verse is: Proverbs 3:5-6
    Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

  22. Wanda Lee says

    I have been reading your books for several years and I’m fascinated by the Amish customs. I’m sure you won’t remember but I met you a few years ago at West Valley Nazarene in Yakima. We have since then moved to Marysville where I continue to read your wonderful books.

  23. Jennifer Decker says

    Love these verses, especially with things I am going through now.
    Jeremiah 17:7-8 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
    Would love to win your new cookbook!! Been doing a lot more cooking and baking lately.

  24. Rhonda Smith says

    One of my favorite verses is Philippians 4: 6-7 where is says not to be anxious about anything, but to pray about everything with thanksgiving. This verse has given me strength in some of my weakest moments. Thank you Wanda for having such a giving spirit with your readers. A true blessing, is your books in my life.

  25. Bev Keffer says

    The word joy appears 218 times in my Bible, to me, that means it is important; one important verse to me is “the joy of the Lord is my strength, Nehemiah 8:10.”” Winning your cookbook would also bring me much joy!

  26. Lela White says

    I honestly don’t have a favorite verse that helps to not worry, be anxious or depressed. I would love to hear of ones that might help though. Thanks for a chance to win, I would love to get this for my mom.

  27. So Wanda, your thought provoking question about which scripture would help in time of sadness caused me to do some extra Bible studying this morning. I had never researched that exact topic before. The Bible dictionary led me to the topic of “despair”. I think that sometimes that term is how I am feeling right now as I am a caretaker or 2 people. I have to be extra careful right now during this virus experience and at times it makes me really sad, lonely and truly in despair. The scripture that I searched out will now be one of my faves for this topic: 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 13, 17. Thanks for inspiring us to do some extra Bible searches. 2. Cor. 4:8-9, 13, 17 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed, we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken, cast down, but not destroyed. 13. We, having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed and therefore have I spoken; we also believe and therefore speak;. 17. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

  28. Amber Anderson says

    One of my favorite verses is Colossians 3:12. Where it tells us to live peacefully and humbly and to treat others with compassion, kindness and love.

  29. Hello,
    Thank you for sharing a much needed reminder. A Merry Heart, is what I need right now. God bless all readers and a special blessing for Ms. Wanda.
    This is the month of my father’s passing, b-day, and I do miss him. God blessed me with a wonderful father, that I always called him, “my daddy:.
    I thank my heavenly father, that he loves me so much! Now, that makes my heart merry.
    Wanda W.

  30. Julia Kirkpatrick says

    Thank you for sharing. I love all your books and I am always looking for new to read.

  31. Susan Campbell says

    Thank you for your column. The verse is very appropriate with everything that is happening now.

  32. Thank you for all the wonderful ideas and books you share with us. Bible verses have been the mainstay for many families in time of need or trouble. In today’s world this could not be more of an anchor for all of us.

  33. Libby Price says

    Thank you for sharing in your journal. I love your journal posts and other writings. I love your books too. I have one of your books that I won and I cherish it.Amish life is very interesting to read about, you find out so much about them. I love their recipes and I have tried some of them on ones that I have found. I have several favorite verses but my one favorite is the same one you quoted in your journal. Another one is Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Every day is a blessing and I thank God for every day. Take care

  34. I love the bible quote you mentioned I have saved it for future reference. I want to have a joyful heart but it have been very trying lately. Thank you for your kindness and bringing sunshine to my day.

  35. Roberta McMahan says

    I love the Bible Verse Philippians 4:13. It reminds me I can do all things with his help and strength.

  36. stacy morris says

    my scripture i love is 1 peter 5:7 cast your care on him for he careth for you i spent alot of time worried and upset but then i started to lean on God and give him all my cares and i became more joyful . thank you for Wanda for sharing the word with all of us

  37. Karen Engle says

    I used the “merry heart does good like a medicine” to help a friend, it is a favorite of mine.

  38. Psalm 27:13 says “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” This verse has sustained me through so many difficult times- especially during my infertility journey. Thank you for sharing your verse as well as encouraging us to share ours! We all need uplifting, life-giving words spoken to our hearts by the One who created us. God loves us too much for us to get mired in the negativity of our present circumstances- when we are God-minded and maintain an eternal perspective, we are able to see these temporal situations for what they are and remove their power over our lives.

  39. One of my favourites is Colossians 3:12. My life is very blessed and I am thankful for it each and everyday.

  40. My favorite verse is Joshua.24:15. As for me and my house we will serve the Lord. Durning this time of uncertainty, it is nice to know we can serve the Lord any time.even when there is a stay at home order. There is plenty ways to serve the Lord.

    I’m in the middle of reading your Amish Cooking Class book. I love it!!! We had Amish Haystacks for dinner the other night. Next comes Amish meatballs.

  41. Cindi Hoppes says

    Happy Wednesday! My favorite Bible verse is-
    Psalms 46:10; Be Still and Know I am God…
    I have hand painted signs hung in my home,
    pillows with the verse on it, and shelf sitters.
    Many thanks, Cindi

  42. Brenda A. says

    One of my favorite passages is Jer. 31:15-17. It lets me know that no matter what we’re going through with our children or grandchildren, there’s always hope. Thank you, Jesus!

  43. Terry Lee Ravish says

    I just finished this series “Brides Of Webster County” I read it several years ago and while waiting for your next book “The Mocking Birds Song” to be come available and just longing to read some of your books, I decided to go to my Kindle library and found this series. I had read it all before but I think I enjoyed more the second time around.
    a Merry Heart I felt what Miriam was going through and she had a right to be hurting. But as her mother try to tell her she needed to let go of her past and move on with her life. I was so happy when she finally agreed to marry Amos Hilty and then came to realize realized how much he really loved her and cared about her, even it took a near death accident for her to see that. She was finally was able to let go of her rejection from William Graber and move on with her life. She got her Merry Heart back.

  44. Barbara Evans says

    Your journal entries are always so uplifting. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us!

  45. Vickie Thomas says

    My favorite Bible verse is John 3:16..what I am most thankful for is my salvation when I was 9 years old I was saved, baptized and joined the church along with my mother and my Aunt Ruby, my favorite aunt. My mother gave me a white Bible that zips all around and she wrote inside of it to me, as my baptismal gift. I’m 71 years old and I still have that Bible, it is my most prized possession, my mother died at 57. Knowing that I have eternal life has got me through everything in my life and comfort to know that one day I’ll see my mother and family again.

  46. Cindy Hunt says

    My favorite verse is Psalms 91:2. God is always hete for me if I’m having a good day or a bad day. He loves us so much and is always here when I need Him. I never feel alone.

  47. Janus Galante says

    Hi Wanda,
    what a blessing you are, and how refreshing your books. Thank you!
    The scripture(s) for me are: This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.”
    Also, “the joy of the Lord is my strength.”

  48. Barbara O"Brien says

    My passage is “thought it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay” (Habakkuk 2:3) In these times we have to keep our faith in God and keep a merry heart.Be kind and friendly and show that nice smile you have.

  49. Vickie Little says

    I love all your books. They are uplifting and help me to find calm in an otherwise stressful time.
    Thank you for sharing the gift God have you with your writing.

  50. Hi Wanda,
    My favorite verse or verses has always been Psalms 23. The Lord is my strength! I feel blessed everyday! Thank you for the books you write, they are always interesting and a blessing.

    Thank you!

  51. Melissa Ellison says

    Proverbs 3:6  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Has always been a favorite sense a young child, my mom had it on a plaque by the door and I can always remember seeing it and its always stuck with me. Would love to win your cookbook.

  52. Donna Grammier says

    Back to childhood….John 3:16….always

  53. Anna Hesser says

    One of my favorites is Philippians 4:13 “I can do everything through him who gives me the strength.” I also like “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24. I love your books and I have a collection of cookbooks and would love to add this one to my collection.
    God Bless!

  54. IDA ELAM says

    At this time in my life, when everything seems crazy I read chapter Psalms 91 every day. I live within the shadow of the Almighty and I know that he will take care of me. Enjoy your book
    about the

    At this time in my life and everything around me seems to be in a crazy state. I read chapter
    Psalms 91 every day. I live within the shadow of the Almighty, sheltered by the God who is
    above all gods. I enjoy your books about the Amish and like to travel places to visit them.
    Would like to win one of your book.

  55. Roxaanna says

    My favorite verse is Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. It has gotten me through a lot of long, hard days.

    I also had a time when my husband, mom and 2 aunts were all battling cancer, the other verse I clung to was this. ” For truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard grain, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move and nothing will be impossible for you.” – Matthew 17: 20.

    I love your books as it keeps me in the faith.

  56. Cynthia Seaholtz says

    Psalms 23 is my go to verse. The Lord has always been my strength even when going through rough times. Please keep on writing cause I so enjoy. I can put myself in the book and forget everything else. I have to let you know how much I enjoy your cookbooks. I always use them for my jellies. My mother in law loves the zucchini jelly. So I always make extra for her. The rhubarb pie and preserves are super too. Happy 4th and God Bless

  57. Gayle orazine says

    Wanda, thank you so much for all your books. I enjoy each and everyone of them. The verses you use seem always to speak to me at that moment. I would so much love to have the cookbook.

  58. Jennifer M says

    I often refer to scripture Psalm 91:15 “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. It is a true reminder He is with us no matter what.

  59. Diana Stolcals says

    My favorite bible verse is Colossians 3:12. With everything going on in this country, it keeps me in check. Love your news letter every month!

  60. Linda Lewis says

    My favorite Bible verse is: Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you Hope and a future”

    I had kidney cancer and the doctor’s said that even if they operated, I would only have about 5 months more to live. A friend sent me a Thinking of you card and the above verse was on the card. i took ahold of that verse and made it my own. It gave me a great deal of comfort. I went to Roswell Cancer Hospital and the doctor there said, I do this operation about 200 times a year and I’m very good at it. How about May 15th? That was 6 years ago and I’m still here. I repeat this verse daily and it keeps me going because I feel that God does have a plan for my life.

  61. Connie Hacker says

    You journal entries always lift my spirits. As I’m waiting to be discharged from hospital my go to verse was Be strong and of good courage: be not afraid neither be dismayed Lord the God is wherever you go.

  62. Debbie A Lewandowski says

    My husband once made a medicines wooden box .
    He made letters of your “merry heart scripture” in the front.
    Its my favorite scripture!
    It was made with love and we still use it today!!

  63. Lelia (Lucy) Reynolds says

    I have numerous favorites Psalm 91, Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 121:1, Isaiah 40:31

  64. Diane L Tjaden says

    My favorite bible verse is the same as yours. I have had many hardships and problems in my life. I have always believed that hardships made the body sick. I try to find humor and beauty in things around me. I harden, and I feel good watching the seeds grow into seedlings and then become matured with the flower.

  65. Jaime Henry says

    I love the depth that some verses give me to ponder. I am a caregiver and sometimes I believe that my clients are brought to me for sometimes strength and sometimes just a lesson.

  66. Sue Rickson says

    I like your meaning of a joyful heart.

  67. Penny Huddleston says

    My favorite is : best I’ll and know I am God

  68. Joy Stewart says

    Jeremiah 29:11 says. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. I love that verse.
    I’ve been enjoying the favorite verses others have written and your encouraging words as well, Wanda. I have loved reading your books for years now. There’s always so much inspiration and lessons to learn from them. Thank you. I love to cook and bake and would love to win a cookbook. I will email you my info. Joy Stewart

  69. Jenny-Lynn Fricke says

    I have so many favorites psalms 23, John 3:16 and so many more I love reading your books I would love to win this cookbook, the Amish are so interesting I lived in Ohio for awhile and were close neighbors with them.

  70. Virginia Longstreet says

    I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God, Isaiah 61:10 helps me

  71. Cathy Savant says

    Always enjoy your thoughts and comments. Would enjoy trying recipes from your Amish Cookbook. Thank you.

  72. I have read Psalm 91, a lot, during the Pandemic. I love your books. I just devour them. Another favorite of mine is Be anxious for nothing. I have prayed this often during this time.

  73. My favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11. God gave me that verse 3-4 years ago.

  74. Jeanne McCarthy says

    I don’t know the exact place, but I have always liked “Be still and know that I am God.”He can do more than I can just as Jesus did with calming the sea. I don’t know if I read this book, Wanda. I will have to look at ti and see, which I will do now ! I have read most of yours and they are always good. Thanks for writing and sharing with us. The recipes too! You are very inspiring.

  75. Martha Stover says

    Thanks, I needed to hear this today.

  76. Janet Robinson says

    I would say there are three favorite Bible verses for me: The Lord’s Prayer, the 23rd Psalm, and “Jesus wept.”

  77. Pat Arre says

    While I do not have a favorite bible quote, I fully agree that a merry heart, as well as a smile and kind word, are good medicine, and especially so during trying times, like those we are all experiencing now. To all, take care and be safe!

  78. Eleanor Davis says

    Isaiah 40:31 is my favorite verse

    Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
    They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and
    not be faint.

  79. Bettie Clayton says

    PsalI couldn’t make it without him by my side. I love all your books.

  80. Betty J Monda says

    I have so many favorite verses from the Bible. I prayed Psalms 91 over my son when he was growing up and he is in church today serving others. My one verse I go back to all the time is Isaiah 40: 29-31 They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as a eagle, they will run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint. And one other one I love is found in Isaiah 43: 2 – When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched. Now will the flame burn you. And this tells me that when I go with God, He will protect me.
    I have found in my life that having a joyful heart is so much better than anything else. Because the bible tells us the joy of the Lord is our strength. And when we have the strength of the Lord Almighty with us, we can do anything.

  81. Melissa Morris says

    A joyful heart to me means being happy and feel great full. God wants us to be joyful Bc he made this world we live in and he made all the things around us. God made all the things we eat. I have joy in my heart and love being joyful and try to stay that way and keep my kids joyful.
    Things can go wrong and I stay positive and keep all around me positive. During the pandemic I have stayed very positive and keep my kids positive and keep them going.
    Our lord takes very good care to f us and has his hand on us all the time.

  82. Bonnie thrall says

    So much fear, anxiety and confusion today and I see myself and family walking down a street with townhomes on both sides as I live in. And as I walk down the middle of the street there are people hollering out of the windows representing depression, pain, fear, poverty, confusion, anxiety and loneliness among others, but at the end of that long street stands my Jesus and He says to me to keep my eyes on Him don’t look to the left and don’t look to the right but on Him and the more I do the Peace of God that surpasses all understanding keeps my heart and my mind and I am able to know that Greater Is He That Is In Me and my family then he that is in the world. God has never failed me through all the hurt and pain and hard times I am so thankful. Your books have been an inspiration to me for so long because you have written them from your heart. When we reach out to others that are hurting God makes ways out of no ways. God Bless you!

  83. Joan Stirewalt says

    My favorite Bible verse is John 14:6. With our daily connection to Jesus, we will know the Father as well.
    I have always loved your books ever since I read the your first novel “A Merry Heart”. We should have much joy in our hearts and lives every day and reflect God’s love for all mankind.

  84. Jaculin Manders says

    I have a number of favorite scripture quotes but my favorite book in the scriptures is the BOOK OF SIRACH (often termed a WISDOM BOOK). Some years ago I found a saying that speaks of scripture in a wonderful way: “A person whose Bible is frayed at the edges usually isn’t.” Thought provoking, right? Thank you for your wonderful Amish books. I read everyone as soon as our library has it as a e-book! God bless!

  85. Vickie Dailey says

    I am very intrigued by old time recipes and would love to add an Amish cookbook to my collection

  86. My friend gave Me a scripture to memorize and it has helped Me. I used to put it in My car so if I had doubts I could see it. The scripture is Philippians 4:13. I now share it with others when they need a scripture to help Them out.

  87. Denise Manges says

    I don’t have a favorite I like them all my grandfather use to recite scriptures to us grand-kids all the time. Sometimes its hard to keep the faith when your going thru some really bad times.
    As I was seating in the hospital back in 2018 and watching my husband fade away with his cancer it was hard to read your books but it took be about 6 months later and I picked it up and I read all the ones about the Prayer jars and I have read and feel very close to the family in your latest a crows call.
    I want to thank you for reading every entry that is wrote as I have commented before and you have gave me the inspiration to pick the books back up.

  88. Kara Nettles says

    My favorite verse is Isaiah 41:13

    “For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.”

    I rather like the visual of God being there to hold my hand through everything.

  89. Having a joyful is a must. It brings happiness to your life.

  90. A joyful heart allows you to appreciate the good things in your life.

  91. Having a joyful heart is a loving heart. You can take the good things in your life and enjoy them more.

  92. Philippians 4:13 “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
    Reading your books is one of my favorite times during my day.

  93. Rose Geer says

    I also like I can do all this through who gives me strength or Though you god all things are possible.. Amen

  94. I too have several scriptures that are favorites but the one that has helped me through many rough patches has been Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

  95. Margaret Stone says

    Jeremiah 29:11

    “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

    I always find strength and hope through God’s word.

    • Betty Ramage says

      Right after I graduated from high school my fiancee paid the ultimate price for our Freedom in Viet Nam. My life was forever changed. My hope was only in our Lord. The verse that I clung to was, “Lean not unto your own understanding. In all they ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path. He lost his life July 2, 1967. We got word on July 5, 1967. His funeral was July thirteenth. I have the blessed hoot to see him again someday. This is a very heartfelt and meaningful time of year for me. Our freedom is never free.
      I pray our United States draws back to God.
      We need to once again honor the foundation our founding fathers set before us.
      Wanda, you are a blessing to so very many people. Thank you!

  96. Wanda Dunlap says

    This always comes to mind especially these days John 3:16 it seems to be getting closer as more is going on in the world.

  97. Catherine White says

    I don’t have any particular favorite bible verse as such. I just remember what my Dad always told us – when life knocks you down, you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and continue on because that is what you need to do. One other lesson he taught us was that no matter how many friends you have, the only people who will always have your back and be in your corner are family. I have always remembered what he taught us because that is how he lived his life. Family was everything.

  98. Belinda Walker says

    Your books lift me up in spirit because they show bad situations that God will turn to blessings if we let him. My favorite scripture that lifts me up is Phillipians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. Thank you for your wonderful stories that you share. God Bless

  99. Sue Dailey says

    One of my favorite verses is “Be still and know I am God” This verse has helped me through my struggles with cancer. Your books are such an inspiration and also enjoy trying the recipes printed at the back of the books.

  100. I love all your books they are amazing it soothes my soul when reading them

  101. I too think we should abide by Galatians 5:13. Thank you Wanda!

  102. Judy Hewlett says

    I find comfort in knowing that God stays close to the brokenhearted….never will I leave you or forsake you

  103. Connie Ruggles says

    The whole content of the Bible provides what we need to hear in every situation. When I need something specific to my thoughts or fears I use a study Bible to look up a particular word that applies. God has the answers. I wish I could commit more verses to memory.

  104. I
    Psalms 91 is comforting to me. I recently lost my husband . Im still in the adjustment period. So I find myself reflecting on Bible verses that bring comfort.

    Also I say a prayer more often , even a short one to help calm my anxious feelings.
    I find when i read Psalms 91 more , and reflect on it, it brings comfort.

    Gods blessings on you Wanda as you continue writing such wholesome and enjoyable books,

  105. Gerri Moore says

    Through this pandemic knowing I am loved by God has kept my heart at peace. My favorite verse is found in Psalms 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. Only trust in God and His son Jesus. Your new cookbook looks very interesting and have enjoyed reading all your books that I can get my hands on. Thanks for being a servant of God in your writings.

  106. Mary Roelke says

    Psalm 23 has always been a favorite of mine.Enjoy reading your books.

  107. Philippians 4:13.I feel like God has always been there to give me strength to get thru every day of my life.He has always watched over me in bad times and helped me thru them.I enjoy reading your books and thank you for this chance.Have a happy safe 4th of July!

  108. Anetta Tredinnick says

    I lost my son when he was 17. The verse that I held onto was “Be still and know that I am God”. It might only have meaning to me. But to me, God was telling me He understood and would get me through it.

  109. Stacy Wiggins says

    I don’t really have a favorite bible quote at the moment. Love your books they are such a blessing to read.

  110. Debbie Porter says

    I have several verses that I cling to when struggling. Psalms 23 is one of them, as well as Philippians 4:13. Is the book A Merry Heart still available? I don’t recall hearing about it before, and would love to read itl

  111. Beverly C Clites says

    One of my favorite scriptures is Philippians 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. It has carried us thru many difficult times.

    Another one is I Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. That one was given to me by a very good friend who has now gone from this earth. It has helped us thru many times of discouragement.

    May God continue to bless you in your writing.

  112. John 3:16 is my favorite Bible verse. My mother had a joyful attitude and that is a trait that I aspire to have regardless of the circumstances.

  113. God is love and wants His children to be joyful which brings spiritual and health benefits.

  114. Debbie Benzi says

    My favorite Bible verse that helps me through difficult times is Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Having a joyful heart helps you both spiritually and physically, and a joyful heart can help you have a view of problems that a troubled heart probably cannot see. God wants us to enjoy the life he so graciously gave us.

  115. Susan Bowersock says

    My favorite verses in time of sorrow or need is the 23rd Psalm. “The Lord is my Sheppard, I shall not want”, always inspires me. I do my best to enjoy every day the Lord gives me, and doing his work makes me joyful.

  116. Sheila J Garrett says

    I was just reading in Proverbs yesterday and read and re-read the very verse. In the troubled times of our Country it is very hard to fight depression. I suffer with MDD, and PTSD it is worse than ever right now. I am glad I have my Church family and God who see’s me through the dark times and always.
    I read A Merry Heart, and tonight I will re-start it.. I love all your books and find much comfort in them..

  117. Emogene N Oliver says

    So many favorite Bible verses. I love reading your books. Would like the recipe book. Bless you as you continue to write.

  118. Marilyn Ridgway says

    “A Merry Heart” was a wonderful read. A couple of verses that are favorites when difficulties are pressing down are Psalms 35:9 “And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord; it shall rejoice in his salvation.” Nehemiah 8:10b “For the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
    Thank you for sharing your heart.

  119. Arleen Curry says

    Philippians 4:13
    I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.

  120. Peggy Knecht says

    My favorite bible verse is Psalms 23. It reminds me that God is always with us through times of trouble. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul.

  121. Jane E. Larson says

    I love reading your books and always look forward to the new releases. The most recent greenhouse book is very good, can’t wait until the next comes out. I like “Be still and know I’m God”

  122. Darlene Carroll says

    I really do not have a favorite bible quote. All I know is that I trust in the lord for he knows what he is doing.

  123. Darlene Carroll says

    I really do not have a favorite verse. I have my own saying I trust in the lord because he knows what he is doing.

  124. Lisa Garrity says

    My favorite book of the Bible is Philippians which helps me especially with finding joy in times of trouble. There are so many encouraging verses and it’s clear that we are meant to find joy in all circumstances with the double command to rejoice!

  125. Sondra Mitchell says

    I have several favorite verses. One of them is Proverbs 3: 5&6. I guess my favorite is John 16: 32b I am not alone because the Father is with me. Psalms 121: 1&2 also are my 3 favorites. I love your books.

  126. connie hand says

    I have had the pleasure of reading several series of your books. The Amish are a fascinating people. I am honored to have a chance to win the cookbook you are offering now.

  127. A verse that gives me comfort is Psalm 3:4 “ I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.” I live in the hills of KY and when I read this verse for the first time many years ago it made me think that God was listening to little ole me among His hill! In other words He knows where I’m coming from and I’m important to Him! Our Savior wants us to live a joyful life because He loves us and He delights in our happiness and love for Him!

  128. LaDonna Holmes says

    Psalms 100:5 for the Lord is good and LOVE endures FOREVER. This is one verse which I like to remember every day. Thank you Wanda for your spiritual enlightening words. I love and have all your books.

  129. Julie B. says

    Many years ago you were the first Amish author I had ever had the pleasure of reading. I love your spiritual books, please keep them coming.

  130. Carrie M says

    I have a few bible verses that are helpful in times of need.

    Joshua 1:9 “be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

    1 Peter 5:7 “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”

    Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
    Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take”

  131. God’s word says that “He came to give us life and to give it more abundantly.” He has given us all things to enjoy. All of creation brings me so much joy – birds, trees, flowers, my dog! All are blessings from Him to enjoy.

  132. faye baugh says

    Be still and know I am God. In these days of run, run and faster, faster it is good to know how to be still. Being still lets us hear and see all that God has put before us, so we can grow in him, to live in the world now.

  133. SARAH TAYLOR says

    I have several Bible verse’s one of them is John 3:16 Thank you Wanda for all your amazing books you write!

  134. Mary Wheatley says

    Many times through the years I was in ministry with my now-deceased husband, Proverbs 3:5 was a comfort and guiding light to help me through difficult times, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;”
    ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5 NKJV

  135. Michelle LB says

    I always keep a copy of Deuteronomy 31:6-8 and Joshua 1:9 in my wallet – so when I feel the need I can pull them out and be reminded that everything will be okay. It is amazing what just remembering that the Lord has my back can do for the mind and heart when experiencing any kind of negativity or sadness. I believe God wants us all to be joyful so we can fully feel and enjoy the love he has put into each of us – which allows us to see the good and love in all others.

  136. Stephanie Halcomb says

    One of my favorite bible verses is from Matthew 17:20, “For I assure you: If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” At this time, I feel that God wants us all to have faith that he is taking care of the current situation we are all in and that he’s in control. Having joy during life’s trials can bring us great blessings, because we know that God will be using them as part of our future testimonies. Since God is joyful he also wants us to have joy too!

  137. Every day is a gift

  138. Sarah M. Arnold says

    God wants us to have a joyful heart because we are a child of God and we cannot make it through life without him. Here is the bible verse I appreciate : But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness ,goodness,, and faithfulness. Thanks for your writings.

  139. Auriette says

    I don’t know that it is helping to ease anxiety, but Deuteronomy 28:61 seems appropriate. “Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed.” I do wish God had seen fit to mention wearing face masks and social distancing when necessary to stop sickness from spreading.

  140. Teri Dilts says

    Wanda, Thank you so much for choosing me to receive your Amish Cooking Class Trilogy. I love it. It was exciting to open the mailbox and find it. The photograph that your husband took was amazing. Thank you again.

  141. Teri Dilts says

    Wanda, You are amazing once again with your writing. God has truly gifted you. Thank you for your faithfulness to God.

  142. Sondra Thatcher says

    I don’t really have a favorite Bible verse but every time I hear one it seems to go with what is happening in my life at that time. I try to keep a merry heart. It is difficult at this time with what is happening in the world with this pandemic and all the trouble going on but if everyone would keep a merry heart it would help stop all the fighting in this country and pull us together. I hope you have a great month.

  143. Debbie Pena says

    I’m a 64 year old retired teacher .
    One sermon I heard years ago really stuck to me.
    The pastor simply said…don’t ever let someone take your Joy.
    If someone is rude to you, just pray about it and be happy.

  144. Casey Bankston says

    My husband and I used to be foster parents. When we were losing our last set, the little boy saw me crying one day and told me “Don’t worry mommy, God has a plan”. I asked how he knew (thinking he heard someone at church or even my husband or I say it), he put his hands on his hips and said “Because God told me!” It wasn’t until a few weeks after they left that i remembered the bible verse we chose for him when we had them dedicated in the church…Jeramiah 29:11!!!

  145. Renee Williams says

    I have always struggled with anxiety, so the present time has been difficult for me and only added to my anxious feelings. I have recently found three Bible verses to be of help….Psalm 94:19,
    II Corinthians 12:9, and Psalm 34:18. God has definitely been working in my life during the pandemic. Thank you, Mrs. Brunstetter, for giving us your newsletter to look forward to twice a month and for your amazing writing. I love your books and would love to win the cookbook.

  146. Karen Marie Hoth says

    I have not read A Merry Heart yet but look forward to reading it soon. I have several favorite Bible verses. From reading your books, I have become much better at praying several times a day instead of waiting until bedtime. I love your books and would love to win the cookbook. We all need the more simpler type of life that the Amish live.

  147. I have quite a few Bible verses that I turn to when in despair.
    Offering comfort is Lamentations 3:22, “The Lord’s loving kindness never ceases, his compassions never fail. They are new every morning.”
    During days of joy and gratitude, Psalm 981, “Sind a new song to the Lord who done marvelous deeds.”
    I have just finished reading AMISH FRONT PORCH STORIES. Really nice collection of Amish fiction summer reading. Familiar exasperating problems and challenges dealt with in a Christian way.
    Especially appreciated the supporting Bible verse at the end of each story.

  148. Patricia Wheelis says

    I am a big fan of yours and have loved the “christmas lopsided 🎂cake and book two!WOW! Thank you for what you and your husband do. My first author was Jannette Oke and you were my second author(But with attention to the Amish!!!🌻)
    July 16,2020 1:52

  149. Fannie Goldsmith says

    Whenever I get on your site and hear the sound of horse’s hooves it takes me back many years. I was 133 when we changed from the Amish church to the Mennonite church so it takes me back many years. Our horse’s name was Prince. He was a beautiful, patient brown and white paint. Thank you for continuing to write your stories.

  150. Roberta McMahan says

    When I was in the mafia I felt all alone and afraid. Every day I knew what I was doing was wrong and I would read my Bible every night. And John 14:27 New Living Translation
    “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. And at that moment I called my friend and he picked me up. And now I am back in the church and loving our God more and more each day.

  151. Julia Staffne says

    I believe that having a joyful heart helps everyone you come in contact with. It help you help help others see a different view of life. Like when you smile at someone make them feel like someone cares of about them. God wants you to have a joyful life so you look at things in a good light so you want to help people and you care about others not just youself. Be kind to others and they will be kind to you and shows god that you are living life in the way to do his works here on earth.

  152. Penny Knowlton says

    The verse that has helped me deal with sorrow, anger and depression is Jeremiah 29:11. For I know the plans I have for you, sayeth the Lord. Plans for good and not for evil to give you a future and a hope. This is so powerful for me.

  153. During my divorce, the verses in Jeremiah kept me sane.
    “For I know the plans I have for you. To give you hope as nd a future…
    I’ts still one of my favorites.

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