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Stitching Theology to Life By Olivia Newport

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Jakob Ammann was a tailor. Most of us likely imagine he was a farmer, and perhaps he did farm, but the fact that he was a tailor may have played a role in the way his views developed. A little background: The roots of the Anabaptists, or “rebaptizers,” go back to the early 1500s. Huldrych […]

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Ten Firsts in Amish History by Olivia Newport

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Because I enjoy exploring Amish history and rooting my stories in situations the Amish wrestled with in the ways they interact with the outside world, I find myself drawn to tidbits that are “firsts” in Amish history. Here are the first ten entries into a list I suspect will be ongoing. 1. 1564: First publication […]

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January, New Beginnings By Amanda Flower

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I love January. It’s one of my favorite months. Yes, it’s cold and usually snowy here in Ohio. The days are short, and the nights are long. Despite the frosty temperatures and the darkness, January is full of promise because it signifies a New Year and my birthday month. I love new beginnings so to […]

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Sugarcreek: Gateway to the Amish by Olivia Newport

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“The gateway to Ohio’s Amish Country.” That’s a common moniker for Sugarcreek, Ohio, that appeals to the tourists or the simply curious. Located where two highways meet on the western edge of Tuscawaras County, the Amish population in and around Sugarcreek flows into adjoining Holmes County, one of the largest concentrations of Amish families in […]

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Thankful By Amanda Flower

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There is still the better part of two months left in 2015, but as Thanksgiving approaches and the end of the year, I can’t help but reflect on what a year this has been. And I am thankful for it. At the beginning of the year, I knew that I was under contract to write […]

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Are the Amish as Plain as We Think by Olivia Newport

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The savvy readers who follow this blog know that not all Amish groups are the same and that they are not to be mistaken for the Mennonites. There are about forty different Amish affiliations, from the largest and most familiar in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to groups that have only a few churches. But how did […]

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Amish Christmas at North Star Giveaway By Amanda Flower

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I had the pleasure of being part of the five-author anthology Amish Christmas at North Star released by WaterBrook Multnomah. This collection begins with the birth of four Amish children all delivered by the same Amish midwife twenty-five years ago. Each novella tells the story of where that child is in the present day. Spoiler… […]

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What Does Conversion Mean to the Amish by Olivia Newport

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For many Christian groups, especially those that came out of the revivalist or evangelical traditions, conversion points to a moment in time when an individual experiences a change of heart and chooses to follow Jesus. Someone giving a testimony might call this a “salvation experience.” The Amish have always believed that Christians experience salvation in […]