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Why Nancy Sleeth Wants You to Be a Bit More Amish

The message of 'Almost Amish' is, fittingly, simple: How we live matters.

Nancy Sleeth wants all of us to think about becoming a little more Amish. And then she wants us to act.

Sleeth, who cofounded the creation-care organization Blessed Earth with her husband, Matthew, isn't advocating that we sell the family car in order to buy a horse and buggy. Sleeth lives in a small urban townhome, drives a Prius, owns a computer and cell phone, and does her farming in a community garden plot.

But in her new book, Almost Amish: One Woman's Quest for a Slower, More Sustainable Life (Tyndale), Sleeth does invite readers to rethink their choices through the lens of simplicity, intentionality, and careful stewardship. The readable, gently provocative volume combines observations about the values that shape the Amish lifestyle, scriptural support for the Amish-style values that Sleeth's family has come to embrace, and plenty of anecdotes showing readers how these values were integrated into their lives over time.

When she was in her early 40s, Sleeth came to faith in Christ along with her husband Matthew, an emergency room physician, and their two preteen children. Energized by their faith, the deep concern about the state of the decaying world around them led the family to make significant lifestyle changes. They gave away half of their possessions and moved to a home the size of their old garage. They reduced their energy usage by two-thirds, discovering a deep sense of family unity and purpose in the process.

I recently had an opportunity to talk with Sleeth (also ...

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