The Heart of the Amish: Life Lessons on Peacemaking and the Power of Forgiveness

The Heart of the Amish: Life Lessons on Peacemaking and the Power of Forgiveness

by Suzanne Woods Fisher

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781441228048
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/28/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 631,193
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of Amish Peace and Amish Proverbs, as well as many novels about the Amish, including the Lancaster County Secrets series, the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series. She is also the coauthor of an Amish children's series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Suzanne is a Carol Award winner for The Search, a Carol Award finalist for The Choice, and a Christy Award finalist for The Waiting. She is also a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California. Learn more at and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.
Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Phoebe's Light, Minding the Light, and The Light Before Day, as well as the Amish Beginnings, The Bishop's Family, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series. She is also the author of several nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at and follow Suzanne on Facebook @SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor and Twitter @suzannewfisher.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 11

Introduction 13

Part 1 Everyday Friction 19

A Little Amish General Store 23

The Red Mutza 27

An Olive Branch of Juicy Fruit Gum 32

A Jar of Pickles 36

Three Words a Mother Never Wants to Hear from Her Fifteen-Year-Old Daughter 40

Keeping Secrets 44

When Parents Make Mistakes 50

Friendly Fire 55

It's Never about the Furniture 61

Make Your Stuff 67

The Stories We Tell Our Children 71

A Turned Cheek and a Loaf of Bread 75

Inside the Ring of Protection 81

Part 2 Turning Points 87

The Unthinkable 92

Twist of Faith 99

Stuck in Bed 105

The Sugarcreek Scandal 110

Blessing Our Circumstances 116

A Four-Hundred-Year-Old Bible 121

Through My Tears 127

Rachel's Stand 132

Grace Walked In 139

Two Lives 144

Shielding Marie 149

It Can Wait 153

Honoring a Parent Who Is Not Honorable 160

Epilogue 167

Notes 171

Recommended Reading 177

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The Heart of the Amish: Life Lessons on Peacemaking and the Power of Forgiveness 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
poochiepepper More than 1 year ago
I thought I knew about forgiveness, I know nothing. The more I read, the more I took a hard look at myself. I thought I forgave slights, hurts, things done to me in the past, some I did but after really thinking about it, I haven't really forgiven either them or myself. I think of myself as a good person but forgiveness.... This is a must read and I will reread it many times. As quoted in the book, "Forgiveness can do so much". I think we as a human race need this.
RGNHALL More than 1 year ago
 I was deeply moved by this book and I really did not expect that from a book based on forgiveness.  I was filled with hope and peace after reading the stories of various Amish people who have been able to forgive little things to murder of their own children. The stories of the families involved in the Nickel Mines' shooting were particularly touching.   Forgive someone who murdered your sweet innocent child while they attended their quiet Amish school?  Forgive someone who texted while driving and hit your Amish buggy, killing several of your children and seriously injuring your wife?   Forgive someone who emailed hateful accusations?   How do we forgive others?  How do we forgive ourselves?  No one is able to forgive without God's intervention and Holy Spirit.  We rely on God and lean on His strength.             I can certainly testify to having struggled with forgiveness in my own life.  Most difficult of all for me has been forgiving myself for things I have done in my past.   I have been able to achieve that milestone through counseling and prayer.  This book includes scripture with each lesson on forgiveness.   This is a quick read as I simply could not stop reading once I began.   It could also be incorporated into a daily prayer and devotional time.   It has reflections with each lesson which include questions and thoughts for the reader to ponder.           I rate this book 5 stars and believe that it teaches a meaningful series of lessons on forgiveness.              I received a free kindle version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.   All opinions expressed are my own.  Reviews are also posted on amazon, goodreads, 
Fitzysmom More than 1 year ago
I've enjoyed so many of Suzanne Woods Fisher's books that center on the Amish. One common thread through each of those novels is the ability to live in community peaceably. The centerpiece of that seems to be their ability to forgive and move on. In most cases the bonds of those involved become strengthened. In The Heart of the Amish, Suzanne takes us into the lives of real Amish, Mennonite and other Plain families. Through their sometimes heart-rending stories we're able to gain a better perspective on how it is possible to forgive not only the daily offenses but the truly unforgivable.  Most people remember the tragic story of the Nickel Mines Amish schoolhouse shooting that made headlines across the nation. I remember being so amazed at the ability of the Amish families to not only forgive the shooter but to reach out in compassion to the shooter's family. Suzanne includes several interviews with people that were involved including the shooter's mother and wife.  After reading through the book I found myself pondering how I have handled forgiveness. Each one of us has had the experience of needing to forgive someone or needing forgiveness from someone. It is a very humbling situation but also a very freeing experience when done correctly. I think we could all learn something from the Amish about extending and receiving forgiveness. I would recommend this book to anyone that struggles with forgiveness. The different stories are sure to resonate and allow you a glimpse of what life could be like.  At the end of each chapter is a section entitled Reflections on Peacemaking. The preceeding situation is discussed and questions are asked to allow you to contemplate how you feel about it and what you would do in the situation. This book would be a good addition to a reading group that would be interested in a study of the Amish and their lifestyle. I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like inspiring and uplifting stories, then this is the book for you.  This book is filled with inspiring stories on peacemaking and forgiveness.  If you like the Chicken Soup books, then you will love this book.  It is so inspiring and gives such a sense of peace.  I would recommend this book to everyone.  I would like to thank Revell for giving me this book for an honest review.
Diana0 More than 1 year ago
The Heart of the Amish By: Suzanne Woods Fisher Forgiveness I believe at one point in out life we find someone we have a very hard time forgiving. Suzanne shows us through the Amish what they do. god expects us to forgive as He forgives us. God cannot work in a cold heart. If nothing else when we forgive it gets it out of our heart so God can use us. Suzanne Woods Fisher illustrates to us in The Heart of the Amish how Amish forgive and not take revenge out. They have a way of keeping peace in their community. Suzanne researched the subject of forgiveness with them. Learning how they can live peacefully. each chapter has a Amish proverb which I really enjoyed. The very first one I really liked. Wonderful book!! The trouble with our past is that it refuses to stay past. Amish proverb
Baranski1987 More than 1 year ago
What a wonderfully refreshing book about peace and forgiveness. It has help me with some of the heartaches and pain that I am dealing with. I know that I will be referring back to this book from time to time when I am dealing with a very difficult time. I for one have always had a hard time at forgiving someone and moving on and finding that peace. This book is a remind of that that we need to let go and move forward with our lives. I so love the reflections and the plain truths that are in this book also. It is a must read book. Be sure to get your copy today. Remember that it also makes a great gift!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Charity_Andrews More than 1 year ago
I know that most of you remember the Amish school shooting almost 10 years ago. The horror of such a thing and then seeing their response of forgiveness and support to the family that had hurt them, when they, themselves, were the ones that were needing support. This new release by Suzanne Woods Fisher takes us on an incredible journey of story after story of forgiveness. You don’t have to love Amish fiction to be a fan of this book. It’s a beautiful reminder that we all need. Society has us running to hold onto what’s ours and then fight for it when we lose it. Revenge and breaking apart of relationships is the more standard go-to for our culture. It would do us some good to meditate on forgiveness and the importance of it. It’s a great, little, easy read. Each chapter is a picture of forgiveness told only how Suzanne could! I definitely recommend it. Thank you, Revell, for this great book! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!
Gee0415 More than 1 year ago
The Heart of the Amish by Suzanne Woods Fisher was a very inspirational forgiveness. It showed the different ways the Amish do forgive in all situations but forgiven the same. I felt like as Christians have many of the values we have like the Amish. I have only read a couple of Suzanne's books but I look forward to many ahead. You won't want to let this read get by you.
VicG More than 1 year ago
Suzanne Woods Fisher in her new book, “The Heart Of The Amish” published by Revell gives us Life Lessons on Peacemaking and the Power of Forgiveness. From the back cover: We have all been hurt and we all have someone we need to forgive. But sometimes it’s hard to let go of our hurt and anger in order to truly forgive and move on. For the Amish, forgiving others in order to live at peace is woven into the very fabric of their faith. From daily annoyances to heartbreaking tragedy, they exhibit an incredible capacity for forgiveness that often baffles us. How do they do it? And how can we have the same attitude and ability to forgive? Through true stories gathered from a variety of Amish communities, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher shows you how the Amish are able to release their pain and desire for revenge, and live at peace with others. Her in-depth, personal research uncovers the astounding yet fundamental way the Amish can forgive anyone from the angry customer at the grocery store to the shooter at Nickel Mines. You’ll learn how to invite God into your story, apply lessons from the Amish to your own circumstances, and find the freedom that comes with true forgiveness. In “The Heart Of The Amish”Ms. Fisher has given us a study in forgiveness. In two parts: Part One: Everyday Friction and Part Two: Turning Points Ms. Fisher provides us twenty-six stories of what real people went through and how they were able to forgive both others and themselves. Every one of us, whether we are Amish or not, suffers hurt and we need to forgive if we are to move on and grow. It can be done. It is not easy, however The Holy Spirit is there to help and guide us. This book will provide inspiration. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Moonpie72 More than 1 year ago
There have been a multitude of books written on the subject of forgiveness, but this one’s approach is very different.  Forgiveness is a struggle for everyone at one time or another, and there are those that find it impossible.   I found this book more powerful than those with all the “dos” and “don’ts” because the author used real life stories.  The reader can relate to the people and circumstances in different accounts that will remind them of times they have not forgiven.  Seeing God’s grace in action really touches your heart.  You find yourself thinking, “If they can do that so can I.”   In many cases the wrongs done to the person will make the personal offenses you experienced seem small and trite. The Amish have a special corner on forgiving in that they have made it a part of their foundational beliefs and worship of God.  For them, it is not optional; it is a must to obey the Lord.  In reading this book and in the past, I am awe struck at the magnitude of injustices they truly and completely forgive, in comparison to the small offenses most people hang on to. Each story begins with an Amish proverb.  They were so profound I wanted to copy them!  Some I plan to use in our church bulletin.  All the testimonies were interesting and powerful.  They are all followed by “Reflections of Peacemaking” and “Plain Truth”.   “Reflections” asks thought provoking questions for the reader to look into their track record concerning forgiving others.  Some even draw you back into people in the story comparing yourself to the one wronged and their response to being hurt.  “Plain Truth” shares interesting facts about the Amish. This book touched my heart and inspired me.  It is a great read for anyone, but especially if you struggle with holding grudges and not others.  Everyone may not be Amish, but the Lord expects the same degree of forgiveness from us, His children. No one could ever do to us, what our sins did to Him.  We owe it to Him to forgive others.  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel Publications in exchange for an honest review. I am not required to write a positive review, the opinions I have shared are my own.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
This was well written and I loved the stories that were included to go with each chapter.  I wish I could forgive as easily as some people seem to be able to.  I enjoyed reading and came at a good time in my life.  I received this from Revell reads for a fair and honest opinion.
MysM More than 1 year ago
Intentional Forgiveness Can Change Your Life There is no limit to God's goodness and forgiveness, and the Amish believe "that to forgive an enemy — so contrary to human nature — is to follow God's instructions on forgiveness, as well as His example.  And they don't just seek to forgive.  They also love and bless those enemies."  One of their pithy proverbs states, "You can stop forgiving others when God stops forgiving you." Based on Biblical references and many true stories solicited through advertising from Amish and Mennonite believers, as well as from personal experience, Fisher divides her book into two parts:  dealing with everyday slights and grudges, and surviving incredible tragedies that have the potential to totally destroy us if it were not for the understanding of the healing power of forgiveness.  Each short retelling is followed by probing questions for reflection to connect it to our personal lives, to help us draw on God's strength in changing our own lives to ones free of the harmful effects of grudges, blaming, shame, and revenge — our real natures.  Whether it's the story of two young girls who usually were able to resolve their squabbles with a stick of Juicy Fruit gum, the learning of forgiving with distance or boundaries without closing the door for reconciliation with someone who isn't trustworthy,  or the families of the young victims of the Nickel Mine Schoolhouse murders who, in the midst of their grief, extended their forgiveness to the family of the shooter, the underlying truth remains, "We can hand over to God our wounds and worries, grudges and battle scars, trusting that He will see us through to the end." This book tells very moving, true stories with clear messages about how forgiveness works and the benefits it bestows on both the giver and the receiver mentally, emotionally, and physically.  For the Amish, it is their way of life.  If forgiveness is practiced in the small daily things, it will carry over and sustain you through the tragedies of life.  The Amish don't expect life to be fair, but they do expect that God can "bring redeeming moments out of unspeakable tragedy" and that the way toward that is through forgiveness. I feel that I'll be rereading parts of this book again and again, and doing some of the reflections in a very meaningful, life-changing way.  Ms Fisher has cut to the heart of the matter of forgiveness and redemption and there is no way to read this book and remain untouched. I received this book free from Revell Books, Baker Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
The Heart of the Amish is a wonderful book with a powerful message! Suzanne Woods Fisher is a talented author and I always love her books, both fiction and non-fiction. In her latest non-fiction release, The Heart of the Amish, Suzanne shares her personal research and insight of the Amish community and their choice to offer forgiveness to others. "Forgiving others in order to live at peace is woven into the very fabric of their faith." Divided into two parts, Everyday Friction and Turning Points, this inspiring book shares true stories of forgiveness, along with questions for reflection and application, and truths about the Amish community. We all experience the need for forgiveness and can benefit from the heartfelt lessons offered in this book! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and appreciate the opportunity to share my honest opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Heart of the Amish: Life Lessons on Peacemaking and the Power of Forgiveness by Suzanne Woods Fisher – A Book Review      It’s not often that I review a non-fiction book, but this one caught my eye after experiencing a wonderful vacation in the Amish area of northern Ohio.  Suzanne Woods Fisher has authored both fiction and non-fiction books about the Amish.  I have read several books on the topic of forgiveness, but this book approaches the topic from a totally different point of view.  Forgiveness is portrayed as being simple, but not easy.  Simple in that from the Amish point of view it is basic, not optional, central to their faith, yet not easy because, like with all of us, emotions do have to be dealt with.      While the book was not written as a devotional text, the structure does lend itself to being used in that manner.  The twenty-nine sections are short, making a focused point.  They could easily be read day by day with time to ponder the point being made.  I must admit though that I found myself getting so involved that I would read several sections each day, underlining, adding asterisks, and making notes in the margins.  Each section begins with an Amish proverb and ends with a tidbit, or as the author labeled it a “plain truth”, about Amish life.  Sandwiched between are real life examples of Amish forgiveness, forgiveness of significant wrongs, among these: murder, sexual abuse, and theft of life savings.        Forgiveness is deeply woven into the Amish culture.  As Christians we all know that God calls us to forgive so that we, too, may be forgiven (Matthew 6:12). There are lessons to be learned from the Amish, and their teaching and modeling of forgiveness for their children, living it out before them.  Fisher gives us a window into this, a glimpse into how we to might live out forgiveness before our own children, how we might practice forgiveness in light of the significance Christ gave it as he taught His disciples to pray.        Whether you are aware of an unmet need to forgive, or feel like you are doing well in this area, I would highly recommend The Heart of the Amish.  It is informative, persuasive, and engaging.  It speaks to the heart.  I thank Revell Publishers for providing The Heart of the Amish for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
A book that can be read in one sitting, and very hard to put down, a nourishing and insightful read, and one that is based on Forgiveness, easy to say but most have a hard time doing. There are some heart wrenching stories here, and we see how the Amish/Mennonite religion plays into the way they act when adversity strikes. The forgiveness works both ways, in forgiving those who have trespassed against them, and maybe the hardest one of forgiving themselves. This book is non-fiction, and there are many examples here. Some horrific, and some we have seen in the news and were amazed at how these people love God, and live his word. Human nature does not make it easy to accept what God has commanded, but these examples help you understand, and maybe help to make your own spiritual life better. One of the stories about a young girl catching her Mom on a busy day and asking for a ride, she is told to take the bus. The girl never arrives home, and the mother in the end has to forgive the killer, and hardest of all, herself. This book will linger with me for a long time, and I will be rereading it, the chapters are short and can be read quickly, but the meaning will last. I loved this book and highly recommend it. I received this book through Revell Book Bloggers Tour, and was not required to give a positive review.