Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Are You In Or Out?

As I have said before, we are Mennonites, and we live in and around Amish and Mennonite country. The Mennonites came first, but after awhile, a group of them thought we were getting too modern altogether. So the group broke off, and with leader Jacob Amman, started the Amish. I have told many stories about my religion, including my unusual wedding where I was allowed no veil or rings, but in the church basement trouble was brewing with a wedding cake loaded with rum!! Anyway, from time to time as I drive by the old order Mennonites, I take pictures, and here are some of the more recent ones. Pictures four and five are a church, but instead of parking spaces, those are hitching posts for the horses. These people have stopped time and are apart from it. But actually, Jesus traveled and hung out with tax collectors and others. We are to be a light in this world, but can we do that if we are separate from it? Perhaps the answer is to go out into the world, but remain firm in our beliefs and not let it sway us. Here are two seemingly opposing verses. Or not.


"As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world."
John 15:19


"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of  The Father and of The Son and of The Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."
Matthew 28:19

39 comments:

Annie said...

Dear Ginny,

Your stories of your faith, its history, and the images you capture always bring me great peace.

Love
Annie

Shanda said...

Good thoughts. I believe they ring true for most churches though. As Christians we tend to stick together and don't try to relate to the world. We keep our light all to ourselves. My post today was regarding the same matter!

Regina said...

The pictures are cool and the verses are really interesting to me..I bet Jesus probably would of chosen a buggy over a limo (ha ha). Well I remember that post you did and the rum..what a kick!
It's a fine line..(out of, of all) but I agree, how do you do it if your too concerned with your own self?

Regina said...

I think He would of sipped unpasteurized milk too (ah ha ha)

Chatty Crone said...

Ginny - you are amazing - I didn't know all that.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I love hearing your 'story' Ginny.. It's just SO interesting... Tell us more!!!!

I so admire the Amish/Mennonites---and wish sometimes that we were all more like that. Our grandparents all lived off of the land and didn't demand help from others... These days, it's all about 'How can the Govt. take care of us?'..... GADS!!!!

GREAT post. I love it.
Hugs,
Betsy

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Being a Mennonite myself,I know a little of how these people think.The ones out here are so humble,yet so very proud of their humility.Somehow that doesn't go together for me.Yes,we are not to be of the world,but we are to reach out to the people,not draw back.

Karin said...

Very interesting post! The groups that separate themselves from the rest of society and become united because of their particular beliefs, just have to wait one generation to notice that there will be unbelievers in their own ranks. May God have mercy on us all when we become, as Ruth so aptly said, "proud of our humility" or think we are more spiritual than the next! We all need to wear Christ's righteousness, for we have none of our own, in which to stand before a Holy God! Let's be salt and light where we are placed. Thanks for a great post!

Lynn said...

Since I have only recently met you, Ginny, I would love to find those posts about your wedding and more about your life. Excellent thoughts on these seemingly conflicting verses of scripture. Blessings my friend.

Stacey Dawn said...

Love your stories - and the verses bring up good thoughts!

reanaclaire said...

Ginny..so you are an Amish? I read a fiction book by Jodi recently and that was the first time I heard of this close knit community..

SquirrelQueen said...

Ginny, I always find your stories about your religion and that of the Amish very interesting. Through the years I have had friends of many different faiths and have enjoyed learning about their beliefs.

I really like the horse and carriage crossing sign in from of the Walmart sign.

Lucy (aka rharper) said...

I love the Amish and Mennonite faith. I have so much respect for the people. This is a great post. Everytime I go to DC I try to manipulate a two hour drive up to Lancaster County so I can just kind of recapture something in my soul. Maybe it's the people; maybe it's the area. I love it.

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

That is where I have struggled at time when the bible says be not of this world and the things in it. When I am perplexed I pray and listen to my heart. We have to get out and be a witness but does not mean to do as the unbeliever does.

Great post to getting one thinkin'.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I have several Mennonite cookbooks :-) I love the old fashioned recipes that make ample amounts - good for freezing extra!

Love the story of your wedding, Ginny!

Sandra said...

you already knew i would love love the photos. wish i were there with you to take these photos. hubby comes from PA Amish country and talks about the buggies being a common sight. we are to be in the the world but not of it is what i get from these scriptures. over and over Jesus said we have to go out into the world, if every one stayed in their own little world, no one would ever have known the gospel. i admire their faith and their strength but not staying completely out of the world. i notice one is riding a bike, and i don't get why that is ok but not a car. also noticed modern day plastic hangers holding the dresses on the line. a little of both worlds there. my favorite movie of all time is Witness.

kanak7 said...

Fascinating post! I've always found this subject interesting. Food for thought...on a Thursday evening.

Joanne said...

I think you are right Ginny. We are supposed to go out and share our faith....but not become tempted or swayed by the pitfalls there. It's hard. There are times where I wish I could just pick up my family and move somewhere safer, calmer; away from the pitfalls of life. But Jesus didn't do that did he. He went out into that world and showed another way. The only way to live...really live. Through peace and God's word. What a great post Ginny. Thank yu for this! Blessings, Joanne

Tracy said...

I grew up near Amish country in Ohio and loved it...it's an amazing way of life! your photos are lovely and truly a glimpse into their way of life.
great photos...

Remington said...

Great post! Thank you for sharing!

S. Etole said...

I'd like to hear more about that rum-soaked wedding cake!!!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Beautiful photos, Ginny! I have seen the Amish in Pennsylvania on vacations and was always fascinated by their way of life. Where I live in Brooklyn there are a people and religion that also feels they are God's chosen people and they live separately as much as possible with old testament Biblical rules. I admire their faith, but I, too, think that extreme separation from modern society does not lead to a world where we can all live in peace.

wildlifewatcher said...

Hi Ginny, I grew up in Los Angeles where no doubt there were and are Mennonite congregations but probably no Amish folk. I was not raised in a christian home but after I gave my life to Christ at age 15, my parents (I am an only child) also became Christians. I like your post today a lot. By the way, one of my distant ancestors was an early Mennonite Bishop in Krefeld, Germany and some of his children immigrated to what became Germantown, PA with William Penn, a cousin. Have an outstanding day!

Mildred said...

Thank you for sharing Ginny. I love your photos. Wishing you a very good day.

photowannabe said...

Wonderful pictures of a different way of life. I enjoyed visiting some Amish and Mennonite communites a few years ago.
Being so separate doesn't seem to woo people to the Lord. We don't have to be "worldly" but if we are too muchsticking to our own kind we will never win the world.
Good post.

Mary said...

We leave in an area where there are many old-order Mennonites working farms in the community. I frequent a bakery that is run by an unmarried Mennonite woman. We joke that you can always tell a Mennonite farm by how clean it is. Their properties looked vacuumed. They have their own school but are not completely removed from the world. I've seen young, courting, Mennonites at symphony performances here in Eugene. It really is very sweet to see. The community is very supportive of their neighbors whatever their faith. I am slow to pick up but I had no idea this was your background. It explains your gentle thoughtful nature. Have a great day, Ginny. Blessings...Mary

Bobbi said...

Very well put, Ginny! I admire any one that follows God's voice in their own journey to know truth. I don't care if they are Mennonite, Amish, Baptist, or whatever... if they follow His direction for their life... then that is good.
I love any pictures of clothes hanging on the line.
This was a great post Ginny!!

Doris Sturm said...

I did not know this about you, Ginny, but I am pleased to learn about your history. I bet you are full of interesting stories about your childhood.

Thanks for the lovely images and sharing them with us.

Hope you are feeling well,
Doris (and Gizzy)

Together We Save said...

These pictures are wonderful.... looks like home to me. We have a huge Amish community in our small town. Thanks for sharing your message!!

George said...

Thanks for sharing these pictures -- and your stories -- with us. It helps us to learn more about the history and culture of both Mennonites and Amish.

Neal said...

I love to read Amish stories. I often wonder how truthfully the books display the Amish. It must be difficult to remain Amish with everything in the world pulling them away from that type of life.

Jane said...

HI Ginny - Thank you for your kind comments. It is good to be back in blogger land. I must have missed many of your posts as I had no idea that you were Mennonite. Please tell us more!

Jane

Ann said...

You always have such interesting posts Ginny.
The Amish horse and buggy are a common site around here. Love all your photos.

Rose said...

This sure is an interesting post for me...you certainly bring up relevant observations about the Amish view of faith...one I have often wondered about.

I also often think about where we would be if no one went for higher education...yet they are willing to hire drivers, go to doctors, etc. I know I sound critical, but it isn't that...it is just the line of thinking I always go through.

And through it all there is a sort of wistfulness for some of what I perceive as peaceful lives they lead...maybe they feel as stressed as I do....who knows.

Glenda said...

Great photos, Ginny!

On one occasion, Jesus prayed that we not be taken out of the world but be kept IN it, so my thoughts line up with Karin's comments.

I hope you are feeling much better these days!!

DawnTreader said...

Very interesting. I have never seen those signs before :) Of course since I've never even been to the US at all, I only know about the Amish culture from films and TV (and more recently a few blogs).

I suppose you won't get a lot of blog comments from the Amish themselves ;)

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

Churches and their differences, kinda like the verses?? It puzzles me...

Fred Alton said...

Traditions are not all bad. It does seem to me though, that the poor women have born the brunt of conservative teaching in many faiths. Consider the Amish with their long dresses and hot head-coverings...the Holiness groups with their demands for long hair on women, no short skirts, no pants, etc...and even the Muslims with their burkas.???

What Karen Sees said...

Hi Ginny, greetings from New Zealand!! It is so good to be back and feel of your sweet spirit and faith. I loved traveling through your 'neck of the woods' a few years back and seeing the Mennonite and Amish people, visiting with them and learning more about how they live. I agree with your thoughtful comments. We must live in the world as it is today, but at the same time hold on to our faith, our beliefs and our values. This is getting harder and harder to do as these ideals seem to slowly be disintegrating. P.S. I remember you blogging about your wedding as it was one of my favorite posts of yours!!