Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Luke- Broken Silence

By Mary Vee
Luke the Physician 
Luke 1

From Luke's Notes


Photo Courtesy

My name is Elizabeth. 

I have wanted a baby for the longest time. I am so excited because God has blessed me with pregnancy. Soon the child will come.

During the last three months of my pregnancy, my cousin Mary came to visit. And wonder of wonders, God has blessed her with a baby as well. She was only newly pregnant, but I knew. And she knew. 

My baby leaps and is so active. I can't wait to see him. You may ask how I know the baby will be a boy. Well you're right on one part, we didn't have the tools you have today to tell whether the baby is a boy or girl. What I did have was an angel's word to my husband Zachariah, the priest.

Any way. my baby is soon to be born and Mary said she would stay to help me until I gave birth. Right now I must go to rest.

~~~
I am so sorry to have left you. The baby came and I was a bit distracted. The news went out to our neighbors and relatives. The baby is well and I am fine. Giving birth is not easy, especially at my age.

On the eighth day, we took him to be circumcised. The attendant was going to name the baby Zachariah after the baby's father. A few posts ago we told the story of my husband, Zachariah going into the temple for his duties. An angel appeared to him and told him I would be have a son and that we were to name him John. Hah, there was no way we would go against what an angel of the Lord said. I blurted quickly before the wrong name was said by the priest standing there, "No! He is to be called John."

All those standing around were surprised. "There is no one among your relatives who has hat name."

Tradition was that babies are named after the father or a relative to be honored. Those standing around me didn't believe this was true. My husband, Zachariah, still could not speak. The angel had taken away his ability to talk when Zachariah didn't believe the news the angel told him in the temple. The attendants made some motions with their hands asking Zachariah what the baby's name should be.

Zachariah asked for his writing tablet and wrote: "His name is John." Everyone was surprised, but more astonished when Zachariah spoke his first word since seeing the angel. "The boy's name is to be John." He heard himself speak and laughed. "Praise be to the God of heaven. The Lord God Almighty who has returned my ability to speak."

The neighbors and friends standing there laughed and praised God to. "God has taken Zachariah's speech and returned it. Blessed be the Lord God Almighty," they sang out to God. Then they said to each other, "God must have a very special job for this baby. I wonder what it will be?" 

Well, you probably know how quickly news spreads with the Internet and all. I'm telling you, news spreads even faster when a nation hears what God has done. As for me, I am so very happy holding my son in my arms. He's so cute. Look at his hair. See his tiny toes and fingers?




Come back for the next story.

*********************************************************************************************


sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*The Hanukkah Book by Marilyn Burns, Four Winds Press, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1981
Jewish History.org
*Jewish Virtual Library.org
*The Hasmonean Dynasty

Monday, February 20, 2017

Jonathan Goforth-There Was a Poor Man Who lived on a Hill

By Mary Vee
Year: December1895
Jonathan Goforth-36 years old


Jonathan Goforth's Journal


My name is Jonathan Goforth. My wife, Rosalind and I are missionaries in China. 

There was a man who worshipped Buddha. He devoted his life to pleasing his god. While walking about his village, he heard a man speaking and went to listen because the days are long and hot in the summer and short and cold in the winter.

He sat and listened while my friend Donald spoke. He talked for more than a few hours. Villagers didn't mind listening such a long time. The change in their day was good. The man heard about the living God who created the heavens and earth. The stars, the sun, the moon. The God who loved him and sent His Son to pay for the sins of all who believed. The man pondered the words and believed. 

He became very excited to tell his friends about this living God. The God who loved his friends, too. He waited until others left then went up to Donald and begged him to go to his friend's house. So insistent was he that Donald agreed to go right away.

Cheng Ming-san was a poor farmer. His wife, three children, and his widowed mother lived in a small home on a hill. Cheng and his mother taught lessons about the Buddha religion to those in their village. They gave food from what little they had to a Buddhist hermit living in a cave. 

Cheng Ming-san was curious why his friend walked up the road toward his home, and who was that man with him? That tall man who was a foreigner. He set down his tools and waited for his friend to approach. They bowed and greeted one another.

The man said to Cheng, "Please listen to this man. Gather your family and listen to what this man has to say." Cheng's three children were busy and his wife worked in the kitchen. His widowed mother, though agreed to sit with Cheng and listen to Donald.

They sat and listened while my friend Donald explained the living God who created the heavens and the earth. The stars, the sun, the moon. The God who loved them and sent His Son to pay for the sins of all who believed. 

Cheng and his mother listened closely. They didn't say a word but listened. When Donald finished speaking they asked questions and he answered them. Both were amazed by this new teaching and suddenly wanted nothing to do with Buddha any more. Cheng's mother took all the Buddha idols from their home outside and threw them in the ravine. The idols broke into many tiny pieces.  

Cheng's wife was angry. She screamed at them. "We will all be killed by the gods. You know what you have done?" She yelled for a long time but neither Cheng nor his mother changed their minds. They had decided to believe in the God who loves them. The one true living God.

When my friend Donald finished telling me what happened, an amazing idea came to me. If Cheng's mother was so excited about her new faith in Jesus, God's Son and eager to learn more about God, maybe she could be the one God is sending to help Rosalind. 

I told Rosalind the whole story. She smiled. "Do you think she would come and help me teach other women about God?"

"I don't know. Write and ask."

That night Rosalind wrote Cheng's mother a letter inviting her to come help. She didn't receive an answer.

Instead, Cheng's mother came in person, ready to help.

God blessed us. We thought we needed more foreign missionaries to help, but God knew we needed local Chinese who loved Him. 


Jonathan has many stories to share. Come back each Monday to find out what happened next.



Resources Used for This Series
Being, Janet, and Geoff Benge. Jonathan Goforth: An Open Door in China. Seattle. WA: YWAM Pub., 2001.Print
Doyle, G. Wright. Builders of the Chinese Church: Pioneer Protestant Missionaries and Chinese Church Leaders. Eugene Oregon: Pickwick Pub, 2015. Print.
Goforth, Jonathan, and Rosaline Goforth, Miracle Lives of China, London" Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1931, Print.
Goforth, Jonathan. "By My Spirit" Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1942. Print
Goforth, Rosalind. Climbing; Memories of a Missionary's Wife. Chicago: Moody Pub, n.d. Print
Goforth, Rosalind, How I Know God Answers Prayers; The Personal Testimony of One Life-time, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1921. Print
Goforth, Rosalind. Jonathan Goforth. Minneapolis, MN: Bethan House, 1986. Print
Goforth, Rosalind, How God Answers Prayer: The Mighty Miracles of God from the Mission Field of Jonathan Goforth. USA: Revival, 2016. Print Original copyright not stated.
Jackson, Dave, and Neta Jackson. Mask of the Wolf Boy: Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 1999. Print.
McCleary, Walter. An Hour with Jonathan Goforth: A Biography. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1938. Print.
Meloche, Renee Taft., and Bryan Pollard. Jonathan Goforth: Never Give up. Seattle, WA: YWAM, 2004. Print.

.

Let Jonathan hear from you!
Leave a comment below.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Luke: Cousin News

By Mary Vee
Luke the Physician 
Luke 1

From Luke's Notes


Photo Courtesy
My name is Mary. 

An angel named Gabriel brought me a message from God. I still can feel my heart beating from seeing the angel and hearing the news from God. He said I would have a son and his name would be Jesus. 

I must admit, I was startled when the angel appeared. I had never seen one before. Gabriel was kind and patient as he told me the news. 

The angel also told me my cousin was pregnant. I was so excited to hear this news. Poor Elizabeth had wanted a child her whole married life. And now, when she was older God has granted her a son. I had to visit her, hear her news, and tell her mine.

I packed some things and hurried to the hills to the town in Judea, where Elizabeth and her husband, Zechariah, live. 

I laughed with delight when I saw her. "Look at you! You have a baby growing inside of you. This is wonderful news."

Elizabeth pressed her hands to her belly and made a sound. "The baby jumped."

"Really? Let me feel your belly." I set my hands on her stomach. It moved with the baby. "This is amazing. I feel your baby moving!" What a miracle. What a blessing.

Elizabeth didn't speak for a moment. She closed her eyes and held her hand on her belly. Suddenly she said in such a loud voice, "Blessed are you among women and blessed is the child you will give birth to. Tell me, why am I so honored that the mother of my Lord should come visit me?"

Her words surprised me until I realized God had spoken to her and given her those words.

Elizabeth said, "As soon as the sound of your voice reached my ears, the baby inside of me leaped for joy. Blessed are you who have believed what the Lord said will come true."

"It's true. I am having a son, Elizabeth. An angel visited me and told me what would happen. I am to name him Jesus." 

I couldn't help myself, a song came to me and I sang it:

My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
For he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me--holy is his name.
His mercy goes to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm.
He has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts..
He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever even as he said to our fathers.

When I finished the song, Elizabeth brought me something to drink. We talked and rested and laughed, and sang. God has bless the two of us more than we could have ever dreamed.

I stayed with her for three months then went home.

Come back for the next story.

*********************************************************************************************


sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*The Hanukkah Book by Marilyn Burns, Four Winds Press, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1981
Jewish History.org
*Jewish Virtual Library.org
*The Hasmonean Dynasty

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Luke-The Day Mary Heard the News-This IS Love

By Mary Vee
Luke the Physician 
Luke 1

From Luke's Notes


Photo Courtesy
My name is Gabriel. I am a messenger of God.

God sent me to Nazareth, a city in Galilee to deliver a message. This was the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy.

I was to speak to a young woman who was engaged to a man named Joseph. Joseph was from the same tribe as King David from long ago.

This woman was honorable, being a virgin before marriage, and her name was Mary.

I found her by herself and said, "Good morning, Mary. You are highly favored in God's eyes. He is with you."

Her eyes went wide. She trembled. My being here and speaking with her had startled her. To calm her down I gently said, "Don't be afraid, Mary. You have found favor with God."

She watched me, waiting for me to finish my message.

"Mary you will become pregnant and give birth to a son," I said. "You will call his name Jesus. Your son will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever. His kingdom will be forever."

She gently shook her head and closed her eyes, thinking about what I'd said. She softly spoke, "How can this be? I haven't been with a man to become pregnant."

This was a good question. I explained God's plan. "The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will hover over you and because of this, the son you will give birth to will be called holy, the Son of God."

I gave her a moment to think about what I'd said then told her, "I have more good news. Your cousin, Elisabeth is also pregnant. Even in her old age. Even though she has never been able to have children before. This is her sixth month of pregnancy."

Mary smiled.

"Mary, no word from God will be without power."

She nodded. "I understand. I am the Lord's servant. Grant to me all that you have said."

And with that, God's message had been delivered. Mary showed she understood. So I left.

*********************************************************************************************


sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*The Hanukkah Book by Marilyn Burns, Four Winds Press, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1981
Jewish History.org
*Jewish Virtual Library.org
*The Hasmonean Dynasty

Monday, February 13, 2017

Jonathan Goforth-Wang, Chief Storyteller

By Mary Vee
Year: December1895
Jonathan Goforth-36 years old


Jonathan Goforth's Journal


My name is Jonathan Goforth. My wife, Rosalind and I are missionaries in China. 

As each new day passed in Changte, more and more men and women walked from near and far to hear about the God who loves them. I spoke with the men and Rosalind spoke with the women. We were swamped with work. That's not so bad. But, I didn't like turning people away because the sun was going down and everyone needed sleep.

We'd prayed for help. One day we saw God's creative ways of answering prayer. He sent us a man we'd met a long time ago, a former opium and gambling addict named Wang.

Wang looked hungry, tired, and dirty when he arrived. We fed him, cleaned him up, and helped him get rest. The next day, he looked much better. Not completely normal, but better.

I asked him if he wanted to help me preach that afternoon. He didn't say yes. He wept. "I had a feeling I needed to come here, but I didn't know why." Then he said yes. 

For three hours, Wang spoke from his heart. He talked about his addictions and how God saved him. The men listened intently. At the end of the time I expected Wang to be exhausted. Instead he was excited and ready to help more.

That night at dinner we sat at the table. "Wang, you are an amazing speaker. Where did you learn to explain things so well to people?"

A broad smile spread across his face. "A long time ago my job was chief storyteller in the province. People came from great distances to hear stories. I earned a good wage and had a good life." 

He looked down at his food and spoke softer. "I started smoking the opium pipe. The smoke hurt my throat, keeping me from speaking loud enough for the large numbers of people to hear my stories. I lost my job and needed money. That's when I started gambling.

"When I believed in the one true God, I stopped gambling and smoking the opium pipe. To pay my debts I had to sell everything. I had no food. No place to live."

After hearing his story, I saw why God sent Wang to help. He was a gifted storyteller who could share what God had done for him. "Wang, would you like to help me on a regular basis?"

"Yes, very much so."

So he and I worked out a schedule. Between the two of us, we preached to men who walked from far away to hear about what God had done. Some men sat half a day listening. Some forgot they needed to leave early enough to get home before dark.

God blessed the work. Two important Chinese men chose to believe in God. One was a well-respected doctor, the other, a wealthy man. 

By April of 1896, Wang, Rosalind, and I had preached the Gospel to 25,000 men and women.

The new Christian Chinese men helped to start Bible studies in the surrounding countryside. God had blessed the mission with an amazing storyteller.

Our next problem: we needed someone to help Rosalind speak to the women and we were still not allowed to ask the mission board for help. There simply were not enough missionaries. What will God do this time?

Jonathan has many stories to share. Come back each Monday to find out what happened next.



Resources Used for This Series
Being, Janet, and Geoff Benge. Jonathan Goforth: An Open Door in China. Seattle. WA: YWAM Pub., 2001.Print
Doyle, G. Wright. Builders of the Chinese Church: Pioneer Protestant Missionaries and Chinese Church Leaders. Eugene Oregon: Pickwick Pub, 2015. Print.
Goforth, Jonathan, and Rosaline Goforth, Miracle Lives of China, London" Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1931, Print.
Goforth, Jonathan. "By My Spirit" Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1942. Print
Goforth, Rosalind. Climbing; Memories of a Missionary's Wife. Chicago: Moody Pub, n.d. Print
Goforth, Rosalind, How I Know God Answers Prayers; The Personal Testimony of One Life-time, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1921. Print
Goforth, Rosalind. Jonathan Goforth. Minneapolis, MN: Bethan House, 1986. Print
Goforth, Rosalind, How God Answers Prayer: The Mighty Miracles of God from the Mission Field of Jonathan Goforth. USA: Revival, 2016. Print Original copyright not stated.
Jackson, Dave, and Neta Jackson. Mask of the Wolf Boy: Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 1999. Print.
McCleary, Walter. An Hour with Jonathan Goforth: A Biography. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1938. Print.
Meloche, Renee Taft., and Bryan Pollard. Jonathan Goforth: Never Give up. Seattle, WA: YWAM, 2004. Print.

.

Let Jonathan hear from you!
Leave a comment below.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Luke-The Unbelievable Message

By Mary Vee
Luke the Physician 
Luke 1

From Luke's Notes


Photo Courtesy
My name is Luke. I am a physician. In my training, I learned to make accurate and detailed notes. These are so crucial for records.I do this for more than my patients. I've kept written notes about other events, especially the life of Jesus the Christ.

In the days when Herod was king of Judea one of the priests at the temple was named Zacharias. His wife was from the line of Aaron, the Aaron who was Moses' brother, and her name was Elisabeh.

Both Zacharias and Elisabeth were righteous before God. They followed His commandments and the ordinances of the Lord with out fail. 

Deep inside both Zacharias and Elisabeth wanted a child. They were getting pretty old and still had no son or daughter. They realized Elisabeth was not able to have children.

"Elisabeth," Zacharias said one day, "today is my turn to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense."

"This is a wonderful day, my husband." She was so excited. "God has blessed us with such an honor. You know all the people will be praying at the hour you go in to offer incense."

"I'm thankful for that." And Zacharias was. 

He put on his priestly garments and took the incense in his hand. Inside the temple, he walked by himself into the inner room. 

To his surprise an angel appeared to the right of the altar of incense. Fear overpowered Zacharias when he looked at the angel. He trembled and couldn't speak.

The angel said, "Don't be afraid, Zacharias. Your prayer has been heard. Your wife, Elisabeth will give birth to a son and you will call his name John. His birth will bring a lot of joy to you and your wife. Also, all the people who live by you and know you will celebrate this good news.

"Your son, John will be filled with the Holy Ghost from the moment he is first conceived. John will turn many people to the Lord. John will turn the hearts of fathers to their children. The disobedient will walk in the wisdom of the just. He will make the people ready for the Lord."

Zacharias swallowed and found his voice. He said, "How will I know this is true? You know I am an old man, and my wife is also old."

The angel said, "I am Gabriel who has stood in the presence of God. I was sent to speak to you and to bring this message of good news. Now, you will not be able to speak until your son is born because you didn't believe my words which will come true at the right time."

Zacharias walked out of the temple. The people crowded close to him asking, "Why were you in the temple so long? Are you all right? What happened?" But he couldn't speak.

The people thought Zacharias must have seen a vision while he was in the temple. 

Zachary's tried to tell them what happened using his hands but they didn't understand. When the time for his service ended that day, he went home.

Elisabeth his wife became pregnant. She chose to stay at home for the first five months to take care of herself and the coming baby.


*********************************************************************************************


sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*The Hanukkah Book by Marilyn Burns, Four Winds Press, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1981
Jewish History.org
*Jewish Virtual Library.org
*The Hasmonean Dynasty

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Matthew-Generations

By Mary Vee
Matthew 
Matthew 1

From Matthew's Notes


My name is Matthew. I was a tax collector before Jesus of Nazareth called me to be one of His followers. My life has changed completely since listening to His teachings and seeing His examples of how God expects us to live. These things will be discussed in greater detail in the days to come when I tell you what I witnessed.

For now, I want to start with telling you the generations of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Abraham's son was Isaac

Isaac's son was Jacob

Jacob's son was Judah and his brothers.

Judah's son was Perez and Zerah by Tamar, their mother.

Perez's son was Hezron
Herzon's son was Ram
Ram's son was Amminadab
Amminadab's son was Nahshon
Nahshon's son was Salmon
Salmon's son was Boaz by Rahab, Boaz's the mother Salmon saved Rahab when the walls of Jericho fell.
Boaz's son was Obed by Ruth, Obed's mother. Ruth's mother-in-law was Naomi.
Obed's son was Jesse
Jesse's son was David, the king
David's son was Solomon. Solomon's mother had been the wife of Uriah
Solomon's son was Rehoboam
Rehoboam's son was Abijah
Abidjah's son was Asa
Asa's son was Jehoshaphat
Jehoshaphat's son was Joram
Joram's son was Uzziah
Uzziah's son was Jotham
Jotham's son was Ahaz
Ahaz's son was Hezekiah
Hezekiah's son was Manasseh
Manasseh's son was Amon
Amon's son was Josiah
Josiah's son was Jechoniah and his brothers at the time the Jews were taken as slaves to Babylon.
After many Jews were taken as slaves to Babylon, Jechoniah had a son named Shealtiel
Shealtiel's son was Zerubbabel
Zerubbabel's son was Abiud
Abiud's son was Eliakim
Eliakim's son was Azor
Azor's son was Sadoc
Sadoc's son was Achim
Achim's son was Eliud
Eliud's son was Eleazar
Eleazar's son was Matthan
Matthan's son was Jacob
Jacob's son was Joseph, the husband of Mary who bore Jesus who is called the Christ.

All the generations from Abraham until David are fourteen. All the generations from David until the Babylonians took the Jews into captivity are fourteen. All the generations from when the Babylonians took the Jews until Christ are fourteen.

Between the generations shown in the last post by Luke and this one, the descendants of Jesus can be traced. This information is very important to have recorded. The highlighted ones are names you may recognize.


*********************************************************************************************


sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*The Hanukkah Book by Marilyn Burns, Four Winds Press, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1981
Jewish History.org
*Jewish Virtual Library.org
*The Hasmonean Dynasty