I LOVED this book!
It's a memoir of an Amish couple who were saved by grace. It was filled with joy in the mist of sorrow, and it reminded me of the great love and grace God has for us all.
Ora Jay says here of reading the Bible:
"Our Amish traditions were deeply ingrained, including the belief that it was by our works that we are saved. But as we read, we saw a little spark of grace. The Word of God came alive, almost as if God was tapping us on the shoulder and saying, 'Take a look at this.'"
Irene and Ora Jay Eash tell their story in this beautiful book. They take turns writing chapters and share about the Amish lifestyle, their tragic loss of 2 daughters and their journey to salvation through Christ.
Reading the Bible for themselves had a huge impact on them. They were learning things they never heard of before and the light of God's truth began to penetrate their hearts, leaving them with all sorts of questions about the Amish faith.
Ora Jay says:
"Since I was starting to read the Bible for myself, I began to question where the Amish laws came from. God's Word showed us that we had more freedom in Christ than what we'd been taught. In the Amish church we'd been raised to believe we only needed to listen and to follow our leaders in order to be good and to appease God. But we were starting to see that instead of just listening to our leaders, it was our responsibility to read and learn God's Word to learn right and wrong."
There were times of doubt, what if they were wrong? What if the Amish faith was right and they were in disobedience to God?
Ora Jay says of these questions:
"In the end we found ourselves going back to God's Word. We weighted the things we'd grown up learning and discovered that many of them were manmade rules that hindered, not helped, a relationship with God. In an effort to live in humility and piety, those we loved most in the world were walking in bondage, and they didn't realize it.
Of course, the Christian church outside of the Amish community sometimes does the same thing, depending on rules to help us make better choices. Why do we work so hard setting up idols and then try to appease them? Irene and I had to unlearn a lot of things so that we could learn them again God's way."
This is so true. Haven't we all done this? I thought this was a great reminder to seek God first and rest in His love and grace, and in what He has done for us, not in our own works.
This next conversation Irene has with a friend, I felt, was very relevant. How often do we focus on what is right and wrong, instead of how we can love someone?
Irene asks a friend about how confusing everything was:
"I'm not sure about who's supposed to be doing what. Who are we suppose to shun?
Her friend answered:
"You don't have to worry about shunning anyone, Irene. Just show love. Love is what you've supposed to do.
"That was a big challenge for me. It was hard to love people and not think, this is right or that is wrong."
Irene later says:
"What I can't give up is the hope I've found in Jesus Christ. The hope Ora Jay and I have both found. Knowing that it's not what I do that puts me on God's good side, but the blood of Christ. I can never change His love for me. I don't want to forego my relationship based on love for one based on works."
Ora Jay closes with this:
"It doesn't matter if you've been Amish or Mormon or Baptist or whatever - Jesus Christ is the answer. The more that you can keep your eyes on the simple fact that He is your Savior and He lives in you, the better. What ever we face today, we face with Jesus Christ, who walks with us daily."
This book was a joy to read and very uplifting. I highly recommend it!
If you'd like to read more about the grace of God, the book of Romans is a great start. It's one of my favorites. : )
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—
He did it to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus." Romans 3:23-26
Freely by His grace...
Buy it HERE on Amazon