Sunday, July 22, 2012

Blog Tour: Almost Amish (Review)

We live in a crazy, non-stop world - full of tweets, emails, texts and well tons of noise.

Is it any wonder that many people find the simplistic aspects of the Amish lifestyle attractive?

Nancy Sleeth takes pieces of that lifestyle and relates it to the "real world," pulling out aspects that Christians can learn from those principles.

Sleeth's topics include technology, service and community - and explores ways people can recapture the art of simplicity through each idea.

Sleeth also focuses on how people can limit - and even reduce dramatically - their use of technology. Her ministry, Blessed Earth, discusses how people can reduce their impact on the world (and reduce their carbon footprint.)

In all, Sleeth's book focuses on how we can turn away from the distractions of life and instead focus on faith, family and the simple things.

I enjoyed this book. After a hectic summer - full of ministry experiences - I can understand why Sleeth focused on the simple, yet fulfilling things we can learn from the Amish.

Am I ready to  turn off technology and become Amish - probably not (I really like my iPhone and iPad). But I can see why we need to stop, unplug and rest at times - so we can tun out the noise of the world, and instead tune into God.

On the scale of one to five, I give this book a solid three. I liked Sleeth's narrative style (a mix of "how to" and spiritual memoir). I also liked that it didn't make me feel like I would be a failure if I didn't immediately try all of her ideas.

Reading this book may not make you become Amish, but it may give you something to think about - and challenge a few of your Americanized ideas of life.

About The Author
Nancy Sleeth and her husband, Matthew, are cofounders of Blessed Earth, a faith-based environmental nonprofit. After an environmental and spiritual conversion experience, Sleeth and her family radically altered their footprint, giving away half their possessions and reducing their energy use by more than two-thirds.

Prior to heeding this environmental calling, Sleeth served as communications director for a Fortune 500 company and as an educator and administrator, most recently at Asbury University. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and holds a master's degree in journalism.

The Sleeths are the parents of Clark, a medical resident preparing for missionary work, and Emma, the author of It's Easy Being Green (Zondervan), which is a call to teens to live sustainable lifestyles. The Sleeths live in Lexington, Kentucky.

Online Resources
Read an excerpt: online
Visit her website: http://nancysleeth.com/
Check out her ministry: http://www.blessedearth.org
Download a study guide for Almost Amish

As a freelance journalist, I was provided a copy of this book by Tyndale House Books . This review was not influenced by a free book - just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail. The fact that I am a graduate of Asbury Seminary (Sleeth taught at Asbury University - across the street) and my assumption that we probably know people in common (Wilmore is a small town) also did not influence my review.)

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