"Beloved friend, if you desire to lead a holy & God-pleasing life & to attain eternal salvation after this time, then you must measure your whole life by the Word of God as the only standard of faith & conduct, & let all your thoughts, words, & deeds be in accord with the same, as commanded by God (Deuteronomy 5:32, 33).
That is what the king & prophet David did when he said, "I thought on my ways, & turned my feet unto thy testimonies" (Psalm 119:59), as if to say, "I examine & ponder on all my doings - all my thoughts, words, & deeds to see if they are according to thy commands - so that if I have done wrong in one or the other, I can return to the right."
The words above are the introduction to Rules of a Godly Life, a popular devotional source among the Amish. While John was in the hospital, I began reading a new book about the Amish while he was sleeping or off having tests. I have read a few books about the Amish but this one is, in my opinion, the very best thus far. The authors take the time to really dig into the lifestyle & beliefs of the Amish people & they relay this information to the reader in such a way that I'm sure, in my case, my mouth was hanging open in awe all the while I was reading.
Rules of a Godly Life was mentioned in this book. Thankfully the authors reprinted the entire devotional content at the end of the book. I was so impressed with what I read that I wanted to share these rules with you. There are 47 rules. It is my goal to share one or two each day throughout the month of October. I hope you will find them as illuminating as I have. Many of them gave me a new way of thinking about particular Scriptures & Christian beliefs. Many of them are just plain common sense.
There is no mention of the original author(s) although there are references to Rules having been published in Europe & thought to have first been included in a devotional book published in 1787. In 2000 an English translation was written by an Ontario Amish minister, Joseph Stoll.
I will start each day's post with one or two of these rules. I hope you will enjoy reading them as much as I have.
Concerning Your Thoughts
First of all, that which concerns your thoughts:
Take the following rules deeply to heart:
1. In the morning, awake with God & consider that this might be your final day. When you go to bed at night, you do not know if you will ever rise again, except to appear before the Judgment. For this reason, it is all the more expedient for you to pray every day, falling upon your knees both mornings & evenings, confessing your sins to God & asking His forgiveness, & thanking Him for blessings received.