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Another Christmas Gift for my Awesome Fans.

As the holiday draws near, it's hard to find time for everything: family togetherness with cookies and cleaning and decorating and of course, most important, time for Jesus, my Savior and yours. I've shared the work with some of my favorite Amish authors and have collected with them a dozen Christian tales. Here they are for your enjoyment. They are all completely free. Just share you email with these other Christian Authors so they know where to send your free story. Enjoy! Have a Blessed Christmas. Get all these books FREE on Instafreebie! Download now at: instafreebie.com/free/JHjob Download now at: instafreebie.com/free/EzsGQ Download now at: instafreebie.com/free/NgVuR Download now at: instafreebie.com/free/LCIp1 Download now at: instafreebie.com/free/5193r Download now at: instafreebie.com/free/cDEjb Download now at: instafreebie.com/free/QsRnR Download now at: instafreebie.com/free/AaREA Download now at: instafreebie.com/free/Vj38d Download now at: instafreebie.com/free/qWkfG Download now at: instafreebie.com/free/8QNrC Download now at: instafreebie.com/free/g7ZTH Download now at: instafreebie.com/free/GgWdG http://www.fairfieldpublishing.com/christian-romance-giveaway/ Don't forget to Read and Review on Amazon. Emma and Isaac Lapp, from The Christmas Quilt, return for your enjoyment. Christmas Blessings. Please Read and Review. Read Free on Kindle Unlimited. A Stand Alone Story http://amzn.to/2gSNkve

20 Clean Reads Just for my Awesome Fans


As a Thank You, we would love an honest review on any of he books below or on any of the Arwilda Allshouse books you have enjoyed.

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If you’re looking for a clean read, free of graphic language and gratuitous vulgarity, you’re in the right place! Scroll down and take a look at these 20 titles available on #instaFreebie, and get your free books with just a few clicks.

Caramel SurpriseRomance Suspense

Sandra James, owner of Coffee Confessions, a small Houston coffee shop that serves up coffee, books, music and good ole’ fashion customer service, which keeps her shop full of eclectic patrons at the cost of her personal life. She yearns for a man of her own, but will all hell break loose when a love lost and love anew collide?

Caramel Surprise is a short story that originally appeared in Coffee Confessions. Sit back, grab a cup of your favorite joe and prepare for an entertaining story filled with suspense and Sandra’s quest to find love.

IncredulityRomance Mystery

Callie was done with love—at least, she was until the cowboy of her dreams came and swept her off her feet. She thinks getting into a secret romance is all the excitement she can get, but after an intimate weekend together, she finds Dom on trial for murder in her own courtroom. Torn between her new love and her long-time profession, Callie has to find the right path in a terrifying, unfamiliar territory… or else risk losing both.

Worth the WaitWestern Historical Romance

Lenora Lawson has an ideal of what a marriage should look like. From the inside of the orphanage, she’s certain she’ll never have what she saw her parents share. She’s trying to figure out where to go and how to get there. She’ll be forced to leave the orphanage soon and she’s happy about that. She’s got to have a place to go when the time comes.

She’s daydreamed about adventure and the ability to make her own decisions. Living life on her own terms is just a fantasy. For now, anyway.

She agrees to marry Jackson Brodie, a cattle rancher in Kansas, when she gets into an argument with the headmistress in the orphanage. She’s sure she’s got no other options. She’s sad and angry, but decides to enlist his agreement that they’ll have a marriage of convenience.

He agrees, and all seems to be well, At least on the surface. What could go wrong when two people fall for each other when neither of them wants to be in love? Find out how this young couple figures out the way to true adventure.

The Case of the Hidden FlameMystery

Detective Inspector David Graham has just arrived on the island of Jersey, taking over a rag tag team of questionable commitment and skill at the Gorey Constabulary, a team that he is supposed to lead and develop into a cohesive investigative unit.

Within minutes, his first challenge presents itself when ex-soldier, Colonel Graves, finds a dead body on the beach. As the military man kneels down, he discovers it is his soon-to-be fiancé half buried in the sand…

In a small resort like Gorey, this event is monumental, and almost unheard of. The rumors swirl yet it is the new Detective Inspector’s job, with a bag still packed and travel dust on his shoes, to ferret out the clues and solve the case…while bringing his team along to assist.

With a Sherlock soul, The Case of the Hidden Flame packs humor and intrigue onto a small island of eccentric characters, roiling sea undercurrents, and deceptive coincidences – all accompanied by a fine cup of tea.


Noelle Langford’s ambitions have always been bigger than the little town of Havre de Grace, but when her father’s heart attack summons her home, she finds the town little changed, except that Connor Bradley, the high school nerd, is now the town’s doctor, a Grade-A hunk, and a widower with two young children.

Connor doesn’t have time for distractions, not while juggling single parenthood and his clinic on five hours of sleep a night. He most certainly doesn’t have time for Noelle, the high school flirt, who is prettier and more irresistible than he remembers.

When her father’s heart attack derails Connor’s plans for his first Christmas without his wife, Noelle wants to save the day for his adorable children, but can she also find her way into Connor’s guarded heart?

The Witching on the WallCozy Mystery

The Seven Caves tourist attraction has been a safe haven for 20 year old Bailey Robinson, that is until murder strikes a failing movie star in one of the Caves. The celebrity grew up in the town near the Seven Caves and was about to reveal the secret writings on their walls. But something murderous lurks within the Caves and Bailey is about to discover that she is one part of that secret.

Find out what happens as Bailey and her friends, Avery and Piper, discover that even a small town has a treasure trove of secrets, and some of them are magical, while others are sinister.

Simple Strategies for Stress ReliefSelf-Help

Simple Strategies for Stress Relief is the key to easily managing stress for good. This little book doesn’t just give you list of techniques for coping with stressful situations, it gives you an easy-to-follow blueprint for making lasting, life-long changes to help create and maintain the habits necessary for creating a more relaxed and peaceful life.

This book deftly guides you through a four-step process for understanding and then dissolving your stress. You’ll learn what really causes your stress, why you react to stress the way you do, where you’re going wrong with your current coping strategies, and how to change your own thought processes and habits to put an end to your stress once and for all.

A Bucket Full of AwesomeYoung Adult Contemporary Fiction

“Reasonable things will never bring you joy as much as unreasonable ones do.”

Summer Wallace is a wild, crazy girl who simply couldn’t care less about her appearance. She strongly believes in the saying, “You Only Live Once”, in teenage subculture also known as YOLO. She plays basketball like her life depends on it. Well, it sort of does, she loses one game and there’s a dent in her ego, not a small one either.

Meet Blake Walker, her best friend and her partner-in-crime. Saner of the two, however, together they can turn a rather normal, boring day to a momentously crazy one. But one day changes the course of their lives which leads Summer to make a ‘bucket list’ and complete it before her whole life takes a 180 degree. Whereas, Blake is determined to keep her as long as he can. And he is perfect for the job. After all, he does know her more than anyone else. And they have no room for regrets. As Summer Wallace says, “There shouldn’t be any space for regrets in our beautiful lives.”

Fairy EyeglassesFantasy

When Cassie finds a magic pair of glasses that allow her to see fairies, she has to figure out where they came from . . . and what the fairies want her to do with them.

A 12,000 word children’s fantasy story.

The LodestoneMiddle Grade Fantasy

When twelve year old Jack Paris feels the small jaws of a creature that shouldn’t exist clamp down on his leg, life as he knows it in small-town northeast Texas comes to a sudden end. Miss Edna, his foster mom, is forced to take him and his friend Sally to a world she secretly forsook two hundred years before to save his life. There Jack discovers that an evil wizard needs him for unknown purposes and will stop at nothing to capture him. The wizard pursues Jack and Sally through forests and under mountains on the other world, and even across Kansas back on Earth.

With all their hope placed in Miss Edna, she suddenly disappears, leaving Jack and Sally to carry on without her. It soon becomes clear, however, that the events of the present are tied to Miss Edna’s past, and the children begin a desperate effort to find her before all hope is lost.

When Jack finally realizes why the wizard needs him, he learns that to live and love, you sometimes have to be willing to die.

The Skeleton KingMiddle Grade Fantasy

Three blocks destined to bring eternal night. One treasure hunter who wants nothing to do with heroics, but can’t pass up a good challenge. A Skeleton King who threatens to take over the world.

The Skeleton King is a prequel to the Blade of the Sea series, and has been called a Minecraft version of Indiana Jones meets The Mummy.

Fans of the Elementia Chronicles and the Gameknight999 series will be drawn to Jesse Nethermind’s epic tale of Aziz the treasure hunter. Filled with action, humor, and monsters galore, The Skeleton King is the perfect adventure story for children and adults alike!

Poppy: Bride of AlaskaWestern Historical Romance

She wants a new life. He wants his old one back. They need each other to make it happen.

Power, prestige, wealth. Life was good for Matthew Turner, until his family was swindled out of their fortune. Now he must hunt down the man responsible to recover his inheritance. When the trail leads to Sitka, Alaska, stone-broke Matthew resorts to signing on with a missionary group willing to pay his way.

The only catch? He needs to be married.

Poverty, hunger, abuse. Fiercely independent Poppy Adams is desperate to escape her old life but her only chance is to do the one thing she vowed to never do: Become a mail-order bride.

Poppy knows better than to trust any man at his word, but there’s something about her new — gulp! — husband that threatens to break down her defenses. Matthew doesn’t want a wife, but he can’t resist being charmed by her no-nonsense manner and cerulean blue gaze.

Familiar: The Witch CycleYoung Adult Urban Fantasy

This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but with a song.

Connie Toledano was set to enjoy summer with plenty of time in the pool and Vegas adventures with her best friend Frankie. Then at a concert a sound like nothing she’s ever heard before works deep into her bones and things change. Frankie is creating fireballs with her mind and Connie is seeing things. Specifically, she’s seeing out of the eyes of a werewolf named River.

When River hunts her down and tells her that she’s a witch, a vampiric cult is after her, and River is her familiar, she has to get to the bottom of things just to save her own life. But she isn’t the only one in danger. People are dying and an enigmatic event known as the Witch Cycle is drawing closer. If Connie can’t unravel the mysteries before it’s too late…

Chan’s StoryDystopian Science Fiction

In this companion story to Numbers Game, Chan Norwell comes from the perfect citizen family. His mother is chief of the city monitor force, his brother an all-star, and his sister a prodigy—which leaves little room for a nobody like Chan. He is determined to have his time in the spotlight at last. But he doesn’t expect things to go so horribly wrong.

Alone, dishonored, and humiliated, Chan can only see one way out. When he meets Maizel, a brilliant redhead determined to follow in her mother’s suicidal footsteps, he sees his life for what it really is. If Chan can save Maizel, maybe there’s a chance he can also save himself.

The McCarran CollectionRomance Suspense

Bridget Olasfson, a beautiful archivist hiding secrets, comes to Utah’s brilliant red rock country to catalog the McCarran Collection. Though she’s sworn off men in her life, she’s attracted to Ben, the bad-boy, off-road racing McCarran cousin. But it’s Lew McCarran, the tall, quiet cousin, she turns to when she finds herself caught up in a dangerous intrigue involving a lost boy, a drug cartel, and death. What will she do when the only way to save the boy is to give up the man she loves?

Part romance, part cozy mystery, part thriller, The McCarran Collection is, last of all, a novel about family ties.

Coconutty Christmas ~ Holiday in HawaiiRomance

Kalea has repeatedly been warned about the temporary nature and heartbreaking consequences of falling for a handsome tourist passing through her little slice of Hawaiian paradise. Will the fear of being hurt keep her from experiencing all of the delightful surprises that life has to offer? Or will the trifecta of gorgeous Russ, a freak storm, and an unforgettable Christmas allow her to open her heart to the possibility of finding her happily ever after ending?

This sweet and romantic short story is part of The Escape Series, which includes the Kindle Scout winning book, Getting Lei’d, as well as its prequel novella, Aloha, Baby!, and the follow-up novel, Cruising for Love. The books in this series are standalones that do not have cliffhanger endings. They share characters, but are designed so they can be read in any order.

Luke’s WipeoutYoung Adult Action Adventure

Having led a sheltered life and now turning sixteen, home-schooled twin Luke Addison finds himself engaged in heated sibling battles as his parents leave the twins home alone for the final week of summer vacation.
Their sharp differences intensify when a city-wide disaster lands orphaned brothers, Pedro and Jose on their doorstep, in need of shelter, medical care and a place to hide.

The wonder years come to a screeching halt as they battle and pray their way through a confusing maze of fresh responsibility, romance, temptation, bodily harm, a house fire and a night in jail.

Santa Meets Mrs. ClausParanormal Romance

Ever wonder why no one has seen Santa Claus? One of the reasons is that he is an Arctic Wolf Shifter!

How does Santa find his Mrs. Claus? It’s not like he can “Swipe Left” and meet the perfect girl!

Get your free copy and find out these answers and enjoy a bit of Christmas excitement and another pack makes a play for Santa’s job!

Discerning SpiritsYoung Adult Paranormal Romance

To fulfill his destiny, he’ll have to uncover hers.

Zeph is half angel, half human, and a total disappointment. As the first double Divisa born in 20 years, everyone expected his supernatural gift to be extraordinary, but instead he didn’t have one at all.

After 17 years of insignificance, Zeph has given up on ever gaining the approval of his family and community, but when Zeph meets Eve, she sees value in him that no else has.

A shy redhead that looks exactly like a Celestia Divisa but is completely unaware of their existence, Eve is an intriguing mystery that Zeph can’t resist trying to unravel.

Together, can they open each other’s eyes to their incredible destiny?

Discerning Spirits is the first book in The Celestia Divisa Collection, a series of clean, paranormal angel romance novels that can be read in order or as stand-alones.

If you like sweet, heartwarming romance novels with charming characters that find themselves when they find true love, you’ll love Discerning Spirits!

ProtectorYoung Adult Fantasy Romance

To love and protect…across worlds.

Eighteen-year-old Faith Stryker is prepared to leap out into the unknown world beyond her home shores of New Zealand to experience life. Only she never expected to encounter Magio, a planet with two warring countries, where its people reach adulthood at eighteen by coming into their strength and prophetic abilities. Only after Faith discovers she’s a Halfling—thanks to her warrior father she’s never met—does her own skill of forethought develop.

Peacio’s Prince Davio Loveria is sent to the young Faith Stryker by his grandfather, but not all goes as planned. Davio discovers Faith isn’t just a Halfling, she’s also his soul-bound mate—an intense relationship he cannot, nor will not, give up.

With two wars now waging… one of land and the other of the heart… can the young couple find their place in the world?

Trump Draws Amish Audience in Lancaster PA

I have really tried not to clutter this blog with politics, but I just saw an article about Donald Trump visiting the Amish in Lancaster Pennsylvania. I have to wonder if the Amish will really vote. Many of my friends say no. They will keep to their non intervention in worldly society, but others express horror at the thought that Hillary Clinton can think that crushing a baby's skull is in any way anything but murder. Some also see that Hillary Clinton's appointment of pro-choice supreme court justices is not in keeping with God's law and they must speak out with their vote. The thought that such unborn children are not protected by the law is abhorrent for many....I would say all, but there are some Christians I know who are for Hillary due to Trump's brash attitude. I do not know what is right, but I invite you to pray and vote your conscience. Likewise, for the most part, many Amish are content to put this issue in God's hands and pray. Certainly, I see the power of prayer, but I also feel that God has given us a brain to discern what is right.

If we look at Scripture, there are many verses which say to let the fate of evil-doers remain in God's hands, but there are also those which espouse justice. Psalm 106:3 tells us, "Blessed are those who keep justice." What does that really mean? to "keep justice"? It speaks of practice, not prayer. Micah rails against powerful people who are unjust. They have taken property from the poor in Micah 2:1-2. The first 39 chapters of Isaiah speak of God's justice. Isaiah 61:8 says "God will not act wickedly" and verses 40-66 also says "no justice was found among these people" and delineates this fact. I wonder, will the Lord say the same of us when He comes again? Repeatedly in Scripture we are challenged to stand for justice. Where will we stand this day? Isaiah explains God's justice. I challenge you to read, ponder and pray and the vote your conscience on November 8.

In my latest series, Amish 9/11, I explore some of the dilemmas which face Christians in today's world as we struggle to be God's people. Can we be truly Christian if we silently allow evil to flourish around us without standing up for justice? Benjamin struggles with this question as he wonders if he has strayed too far from his Amish upbringing. How does he balance justice with his Amish need to stand apart, and yet, here he is in New York City. Has he already immersed himself in the world?

I was lead to write this story after Donald Trump said that Muslim people in New Jersey were dancing and cheering the fall of the Twin Towers on 9/11. I had to find out for myself. Was this true? I remembered seeing the newsclip on September 11, but I didn't remember where the people were from. I wondered if I was mistaken. Were they really from the USA or did the newscasters make a mistake. I knew they had made mistakes in the heat of the moment, once saying the wrong tower had fallen. Of course it didn't matter since the next fell moments later.

Still, I began to wonder as I researched, what would an Amish boy think of the temper of New York City on that fateful day? I named him Benjamin Lapp. and thought he had to become a New Yorker as well as Amish. I began slowly letting him learn what it was to be Englischer first, and then a New Yorker, fully immersed in the world he had once rejected. I wondered, what if one of his best friends sought out military service after the fall of the towers? What if someone he cared about died? How would this test his faith? How does violence test all of our faith? What does God really want from us? All of these questions are considered in the series Amish 9/11. Some are answered, but many are up to your own conscience, just like your vote on November 8 is your own. Read to find out what Benjamin Lapp decides is right.

I do believe that the Lord will call us to task on what we do this election season whether we vote or not and how that vote counts. Will we stand for justice? Will we be silent? Please pray for our country and our world. Come Lord Jesus!

Please join me in 30 days of Scripture. www.arwildaallshouse.com

Read the first book in the series: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LZR0SIN

God's Blessings!


Read more about Trump's visit with the Amish in Lancaster PA.

Amish Raided by Armed Government Officials

While doing research on my new series about Benjamin Lapp, the Amish 9/11 Series, I ran across an on-going impasse that has been brewing in the USA concerning the FDA regulations. I think the regulations may be getting out of control. This is about two questions: what constitutes "distribution" and if one owns the cow, does one also own the milk?

I talked to some of the local Amish about the problems with regulation and learned a little more. Apparently, the FDA regulations which govern the distribution of all produce and milk have hit against the Amish farm markets. While most of us feel that buying produce from an Amish farm market may be the freshest and most wholesome fruits and vegetables we can find, the FDA claims that raw food could not be sold in such a way without inspection which is of course paid for by the farmer. (Raw food is the food that you get right off the tree or bush from the farmers market without going first through FDA inspections which may take days, weeks or months, lessening the freshness of the food) The FDA said that the food must be inspected and graded before sale, no matter that the Amish have sold at farmer's markets for generations and the produce is clearly marked as such.

Prior to 2010, as long as the food was labeled that it was not inspected, the consumer had the right to choose to eat what they wanted to eat. Apparently, that has changed. The USA government now not only "protects us" but says that we are incapable of deciding this for ourselves. I am amazed that Amish food must be labeled but GMOs do not have to be labeled. I am just shaking my head here. In any case, I could not find any law that said this labeling law changed, but lately, Amish farm markets have been raided, with, believe it or not GUNS! Yes, that's right, armed federal officials have raided farm markets to impound the food which may or may not be okay for human consumption. Ironically, some of the Amish ate the food in front of the armed officials to prove a point. The food was good. I venture to say, much better than some of the stuff in stores!

I would venture to guess, the government that allows our food to be laced with mercury (fish) and water (In Flint, MI) with lead has no real interest in our safety. What the government does have an interest in is the money that the Amish is NOT paying to have the food inspected. There were serious charges laid, claiming that the Amish were engaged in racketeering and other crimes because they distributed food without the inspections. After this, some Amish decided to pay to have the government inspect. After all, they knew their food would pass. There was nothing wrong with it. This was just how they were selling for generations. This means though, that the consumer had to wait while the inspection was performed and the food was no longer "tree fresh" by only hours off of the vine.

The drama continued with raw milk. The milk was claimed to be "distributed" even though the milk was only given to the members of the gmay who also owned the cows. They were well aware that the milk was raw, ie not pasteurized or homogenized. The initial finding is that it was illegal to "distribute" raw milk. The Amish are fighting for their right to drink their own raw milk if they so choose. They also contest that since the cows belong to the gmay in a co-op the milk also belongs to the group. The finding was in favor of the FDA stating that no, the milk is not owned in a co-op because the cows are. Makes you wonder if the judge knows where milk comes from, doesn't it? This issue is still pending. Google: Amish raw milk and raw milk raid.

If you wish to read more, here are links to some of the articles I found. I am amazed that there are so many problems and so much corruption in our government and yet the Federal Agents felt that they had to attack the most peaceful among us, the Amish. We must all choose our battles, and apparently the Amish are no different. We all struggle to be a peaceful people, and yet we also espouse justice. What happens when those two clash? Isaiah says we must not just speak, we must act.

Benjamin Lapp, my character, in the first of the Amish 9/11 series must confront the issue of peace and what it means to live apart from the world when he moves to New York City circa. 2001. For those of you in the USA, you can guess that Benjamin will come face to face with violence in the Big City. How will he react and how will he serve God? I think many of us have struggled with this thought. I hope Benjamin's thought will help bring you closer to our Lord. Please pray for our county and our world. Amen.

Please find Book 1: Benjamin in the Big City on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LZR0SIN

Please read, review and SHARE.

If you haven't signed up for 30 days of Scripture with me, please do so here: www.arwildaallshouse.com

More References about the Amish and the Raw Milk Raid



Crux Est Mundi Medicina By Dr. Campbell

In my search for new material on some of the churches in NYC (which my new character Benjamin visits) I ran across Dr. Campbell's sermon. Today with all of the passions running high for the election, and politics, I thought this may bring some peace and understanding. As many of you know the Amish are being courted by the Trump followers. Whether or not they will come out at the polls is something I can't guess, but I do know that there is little in Hillary's agenda that seems Christian. Looking at the third parties, it is always worrisome. Will voting third party just give the election to the worst of the worst?

As always, the first thing we as Christians should do before making a decision, especially one of this magnitude is pray.

In Dr Campbell's sermon, http://www.broadwayucc.org/sermons/2016/8/9/crux-e... I found some answers. I hope you will too. His sermon, is copied below. Giving credit where credit is due. You may want to visit his site for past sermons both in print and audio versions.

A very sincere thank you to Dr. Campbell for his insights.

With love and God's blessings,

Arwilda Allshouse

Dr. Campbell's guest post follows:

Some of you know that I have chronic migraine headaches. They’ve been part of my life for as long as I can remember. When I was finally diagnosed in my mid-twenties, I began to very seriously pursue getting well. I decided that I would do whatever I had to in order to be rid of the pain. What I discovered is that some of the purported cures had pain of their own. There were dietary restriction that included a ban on peanut butter, ice cream, and pizza, among other things. I had to establish a consistent sleep pattern, which meant that even on the weekends, I got up and went to bed at the same time each day. I was careful with my intake of caffeine and sugar. I exercised regularly. I drank an inordinate amount of water. But despite my best efforts, the headaches continued. And so I saw more doctors. I had all kinds of tests. I heard all kinds of opinions. Eventually, I decided that I would try some alternative methods, so I went to an acupuncturist. Some people claim that acupuncture doesn’t hurt, but needles between my toes hurt! The acupuncturist also used those heated suction cups all over my body, leaving me covered with bruises. I tried every supplement anyone ever suggested. I read every article. I put Ben Gay on my temples. I rubbed peppermint oil onto the roof of my mouth. Most recently, I’ve started wearing a contraption on my head for twenty minutes a day that shocks me with painful electrical currents that are supposed to disrupt the nerve spasms in my head. Like other sick people, like some of you, I so badly want to be cured of what ails me that I am willing to experience some pain now in hope of relief later.

Isn’t it ironic that this is how healing and recovery work? Medicine can be bitter. Sometimes get worse before you get better.

Once or twice a year, I go on retreat to the Monastery of the Holy Cross in Westpark, NY. Chris Amy turned me on to that wonderful place a few years ago now. And every time I am there, I’m struck by the Latin words engraved over the front door: “Crux est mundi medicina.” “The Cross is the medicine of the world.”

I think that’s true. But I used to think of that in purely personal terms. “The cross is the medicine for James.” It was all about me being forgiven and cleansed of my sins. And there is something to that. On some cosmic level, the cross of Christ does save me and save you. But it also saves the world. The cross is the medicine of the world, for what ails the world. But like other harsh treatments, the cross can cause more pain before it brings relief, because the cross stands witness against the violence and injustice of the world and demands that we take another way.

The book of Isaiah is actually at least three books that scholars refer to as I, II, and III Isaiah. It was compiled over many years and reflects the political and religious realities of different people in different times. But maybe it was made into one book because of its strong common themes – the same themes that flow through all of the Hebrew prophets: justice for the oppressed, liberation for the captives, and welcome for refugees. These are universal themes that speak to universal needs. Everyone wants justice. Everyone needs mercy. Everyone deserves food and shelter and love. But what we want and what we get are often two different things. Most human societies are built in such a way to reward the few by denying the many. And so prophets, in every age, rail against the abuses around them and call for lives of common sacrifice so that there is equity and justice for all. The Bible calls that the Kingdom of God.

Jesus preached the Kingdom of God. And Isaiah did too. But the Kingdom of God and the Kingdoms of this world are often mirror opposites. And so prophets are rabble rousers, pointing out all the inconsistencies. Prophets are like doctors, finding an illness, announcing the cure and then saying: “This is going to hurt a little.” And hurt it did. Isaiah attacked the thing they were most proud of: their religion and their public displays of piety.

I was struck as I watched the conventions at our own public displays of piety. Our piety is a civil religion, washed in red, white and blue, worshipful of military strength, unquestioning of blind patriotism and always invoking these magic words: “God bless America.”

In Isaiah’s day, the public displays of piety consisted of things like burnt offerings and incense and Sabbath celebrations and convocations and solemn assemblies and new moon gatherings and festivals. There was music and the swirl of vestments and the sound of a thousand voices. There was the recitation of beautiful words and pomp and circumstance. It was enough to make your heart thrill, almost as good as a balloon drop. But God hated it all. Isaiah is really clear about that. God hated it.

But why? How could God hate something so beautiful and inspiring? And isn’t worship the work of the people of God? Indeed it is. But there was a problem. It was piety divorced from justice. The ceremony was beautiful, but society was broken. “Your hands are full of blood,” the prophet declared. “What you say you will do for the people and what you actually do are two very different things. You’re sick and you need a cure. And this might hurt a little.”

The cure of justice hurts because it costs something. Real justice demands a more equal sharing of the earth’s bounty. It means that the rich are not quite as rich so that the poor won’t be quite as poor. Those are fightin’ words in America, especially during an election year. And living into them may hurt, but it will also most certainly heal.

Isaiah put it like this: “Learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.” Notice that each of these phrases begins with an action word, a command: learn, seek, rescue, defend, plead. If Isaiah were talking to us he might say, “Stop talking about justice in your calls to worship and prayers of confession and communion liturgies, and get busy doing justice. Make it real.”

So, Isaiah’s words are meant for us, the people of God, but they’re not just for us. The cross is the medicine of the world. And we are the people of the cross. Jesus said that those who follow him are salt and light in society, meaning that we don’t only need the medicine ourselves; we also dispense it. We embody good news to the poor, and then we become the stone in the shoe of any political party, left or right, that ignores the poor. We embody release for the captives and welcome to strangers, and then we become pains in the behind in city halls and statehouses and the capital whenever captives or strangers are ignored or abused or scapegoated.

This passage ends with these lovely words: “Come, let us reason together, says the Lord…” This verse can also be translated as “Come, let us correct the situation.” And isn’t that wonderful?! If God invites us to correct the situation, then that means that we can! The message of Isaiah, the message of Jesus, the message of the cross and the Resurrection is that despite what ails us, as individuals or as a society, transformation is always possible. It might involve some bitter pills, some surgery, some sacrifice, some rehabilitation, but we can change. By God’s grace, we can change. And so can the world.

Tagged: Isaiah 1:1 10-20

Please visit Dr. Campbell's site directly for more information and archived sermons.


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About Arwilda Allshouse

Arwilda Allshouse is the author of the number one rated Amish Romance Fiction novel: Sadie and Samuel Collection.


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