Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Asa-God Rewards Obedience

By Mary Vee
II Chronicles 15, I Kings 15

From Asa's Journals

One day after the battle, the prophet Azariah came to me with a special message from God. I didn't know whether to be afraid of expect exciting news. The battle against Zerah the Cushinte and his men had been won solely by the hand of God. 

Now, I want to seek His will because ruling a nation, even if it is small is not an easy task.

He said, "Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.

"For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach and without the law. But in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, and he was foud by them. In those days it was not safe to travel about, for all the inhabitants of the lands were in great turmoil. One nation was being crushed by another and one city by another, because God was troubling them with every kind of distress. 

"But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for yor work will be rewarded."

He couldn't have said more encouraging words. The Lord is with us! He is pleased!

I'm going to get back to work removing all the detestable idols from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns we captured in the hills of Ephraim, too. 

I'm so excited. After the idols are removed I will have the altar of the Lord repaired, the one that is in front of the portico of the Lord's temple. The silver and gold and the articles that my father and I have dedicated will also be brought into the temple.

I have not been able to remove the high places of false worship in Israel, but my heart is fully committed to the Lord for the rest of my life. And as I know he sees what is in my heart, He will continue to be pleased.

I can't tell you what an energizing feeling this brings to my soul.

Following the war with Zerah the Cushite, we had peace in Judah and Benjamin. 

Here is the most exciting news. In my grandfather Rehoboam's time, many of the people split away from us. During my life time I have seen families from the trive of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon come to live with us in Judah. 

They especially returned to offer sacrifices to the Lord, God of Israel at His temple, with His appointed priests.

Praise the Lord God of Israel for His love to His people.

photo courtesy of

1. Who was Asa's grandfather?
2. Asa was a king of Judah who did/did not obey God? _____________
3. What message did the prophet Azariah bring Asa?
4. What did Asa do after hearing this message?
5. Who joined the people of Judah because they saw God blessed that tribe?
6. What did the new people do that please God? 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Hudson Taylor - Why Didn't You Tell Us Sooner?

By Mary Vee

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes
Fall, 1857

The true blessings for a missionary happen when we see someone come to Christ. 

Not every missionary gets to see this. I think of those who worked for ten years without a single person coming to faith in Christ. Other missionaries have been beaten and told to leave countries.

But last week I had a chance to witness Nyi, business man who walked away from the Buddhist religion to accept the free gift of God's love. This same man immediately shared what he'd learned to the Chinese men attending a Buddhist meeting. One of men listening also chose to put his faith in Jesus as his savior.

Nyi continued to meet with me. He asked many questions about God, hungry to learn. I gave him a Bible and taught him the answers to his questions, inviting him to ask more.

During our conversation Nyi turned to me as asked, "How long have you had the truth of God's love in England."

His questions bothered me. I knew where this question led and the answer saddened me. I said, "Several hundred years."

Nyi's eyes widened. He took a step back. "What?! The truth has been in England for several hundred years and only now coming to us. Why have you waited? Why has no one told us before?"

He looked at me with very sad eyes. I didn't have an answer. China is a large country and so many people had never heard of God's love. Why hadn't missionaries come sooner? True there had been some missionaries, but apparently none had come where his father lived.

Nyi placed his hand on his chest and inhaled. "My father searched for the truth for more than twenty years and died without finding it. Why, oh why did no one come sooner for him to hear ?"

I may not have had an answer to his question. But after sharing this experience with my co-worker, John Jones, we committed to diligently do the work God sent us to do with enthusiasm.

We organized a place to offer a free breakfast to the poor in Ningbo. Sixty to eighty people came daily for a warm morning meal and attended our chapel services. This took every penny of our finances more than once, but God continued to send us additional funds. 

Praise God for his help in giving us a place to help others, the money to serve the poor food, and HIs word to tell them the Truth.

Please pray for the people in China that they may hear the good news of God's love.

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China
Blessed by God

Do you have any questions?

Photo courtesy of

Research resources: J. Hudson Taylor, An Autobiography by J. Hudson Taylor; It is Not Death to Die, a new biography of Hudson Taylor by Jim Cromarty; Hudson Taylor Founder, China Inland Mission by Vance Christie; J. Hudson Taylor, A Man in Christ, by Roger Steer, and Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret by Dr. &and Mrs. Howard Taylor.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Asa - Attacked by Zerah the Cushite

By Mary Vee
II Chronicles 14

From Asa's Journals

The end of our peaceful time came.

Zerah the Cushite drove his massive army and three hundred chariots all the way to Mareshah. Any man in his right mind knew we did not stand a chance against such a vast army.

I called my army to arms and marched to Mareshah. Knowing the size of his army frightened me, seeing the army terrified me even more. I led my army in a call to the Lord our God. "Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the might. Help us, O lord our God for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. O lord, you are our God. Do not let man prevail against you."

As I finished the words I felt the peace I longed for. I knew God would care for us. 

And so He did. We barely had to fight. 

Zerah's army stood frightened for a short while then turned and fled. I and my army chased after them as far as Gerar. Zerah's soldiers fell dead all along the way, littering the road with their bodies. The number of surviving soldiers decreased rapidly, cutting off their defenses.

We carried off the plunder from the soldiers. Remember, we did not start this war.

The cities all around Gerar were destroyed. My soldiers took the plunder from there as well. The villages had great wealth. We could hardly carry it all. 

We went out to the pastureland where Zerah's shepherds took the sheep and attacked them as well. We took droves of sheep, goats, and camels and returned to our homes in Jerusalem with the riches from the battle.

Overwhelmed with the victory God gave, us we sang praises to Him and worshiped our Lord.

1.  Who is king of Judah at this time.
2.  The kingdom of Judah had ten years of ____________ (peace or war)
3.  Who started this battle? _________________
4.  Who had the bigger army?
5.  What did Asa do after he arrived at the battlefield?
6.  What happened to Zerah's army?
7.  What happened to Zerah's villages?
8.  What happened in the fields where Zerah's shepherds cared for the sheep?
9.  What did Asa do after the battle?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Asa - Abijah's Son is Crowned King

By Mary Vee
I Kings 15 and II Chronicles 14

From Asa's Journal

My father reigned in Jerusalem only three years. This hardly provided me the training I needed to take his place. But he died suddenly and I was crowned king.

The kingdom rested in peace for ten years. I can't tell you how good it felt not to have to deal with battles. After all, I needed time to learn my job!

During this time, I learned to listen to the advisors and priests. I ordered the immediate removal of all foreign altars and the high places, then commanded my men to smash the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. The incense altars in every town in Judah also were removed.

I commanded everyone in Judah to seek the Lord, the God of our fathers, and to obey his laws and commands. And as we sought the Lord together, He gave us peace.

During the time of peace, I continued the work started by my grandfather, king Rehoboam. I ordered the cities in Judah to be fortified. We put walls around them with towers, gates, and bars. 

This great land of Judah is ours because we sought the Lord our God. He gave us rest on every side. This became a time of prosperity for Judah.

My army had three hundred thousand men from Judah. Each man equipped with large shields and with spears. We also had two hundred and eight thousand soldiers from the tribe of Benjamin. Each man armed with small shields and with bows. All of the soldiers were brave fighting men.

One year after I became king, Jeroboam, the evil man who stole the hearts of the other ten tribes and steered them away from worshiping our great God, died. His son, Nadab succeeded him as king of Israel.

Nadab continued to lead the people away from God. I thought Jeroboam was evil, but his son Nadab committed greater crimes. Apparently the people of Israel agreed. From the tribe of Issachar a man named Baasha devised a plan to kill Nadab.

Nadab led his army to attack a Philistine city. During the battle, Baasha murdered Nadab and crowned himself king of Israel. The same day he began to reign he killed all of Nadab's family, even his cousins, anyone related to his father, Jeroboam.

The prophets said Jeroboam suffered this punishment because of the great and many sins he committed.

Unfortunately, Baasha followed in Jeroboam and Nadab's footsteps. He continued to lead the ten tribes of Israel away from worshiping and obeying God. 

This will not go well for them. I am reminded by their example of the importance to worship and obey God.

1. The kings of Judah have been Rehoboam, his son Abijah, and his son _________.
2. The kings of Israel have been Jeroboam, his son Nadab, and the new king ________.
3. Asa got rid of all the ___________
4. He ordered the people to _________________
5. Nadab was an evil king. So much so, a man from the tribe of Issachar planned to ______.
6. Was Baasha, king of Israel, a good or bad king?
7. Was Asa, king of Judah, a good or bad king?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Hudson Taylor - I Met a Business Man Who...

By Mary Vee

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

Shortly After June, 1857

John Jones and I now worked on our own in the city of Ningbo, ministering to the people there. We used a hall which the local people called the "Jesus Hall". One night I spoke from the passage John 3: 14-16.

Soon after the meeting started a businessman walked into the room and sat near the back. He appeared to be a merchant. He focused his look on me and seemed to ponder my words about God's forgiveness of our sins.

Many Chinese are Buddhist. The Buddhist have many rules for their people to follow. Life gets pretty complicated for them. Some have shared with me their lack of hope in ever having all of their sins forgiven. This man had the same worn look on his face.

In my message that night, I happened to speak about God's gift of salvation, a way of complete forgiveness. Belief in Jesus Christ and HIs sacrifice, which took the punishment for all our sins, was the only was to have true peace.

As my last word sounded, the business man stood and spoke to the audience. "My name is Nyi Yongfa and I am a cotton merchant. 'I have long sought the Truth as my fathers did before me, but have never found it. I have travelled far and near, but without obtaining it. I have found no rest in Confucianism, Buddism, or Taoism. But I do find rest in what I have heard here tonight. Henceforth, I am a believer in Jesus.' 

The others in the audience listened but left shortly after. I spoke with Nyi and learned he use to be a leader of a Buddhist sect. He invited me to attend one of their meetings. Of course I did not turn him down. What a great opportunity to share God's love!

On the night of his meeting, I met him outside the hall. He showed me the way and sat with me. The leader opened the meeting with ceremonies and business. To my surprise, Nyi indicated he wanted to speak. 

The men around us show their respect to him as he stood. "As you all know, I have resigned from this group. I came here to speak to you about a change in my life." 

Nyi did not appear embarrassed, rather he appeared confident, assured of his decision. He repeated my message from John 3:14-16, telling his friends, neighbors, and co-workers of the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

That very night, Nyi helped one of the men to a saving belief in Jesus Christ. 

This is how the work of a missionary is done. I had such a burst of happiness in my heart. What could possibly be better than witnessing a person believing in Jesus Christ and then telling another who also believed. 

I shall always remember this day and praise God for his love.

There is more to this story, come back next week.

Please pray for the people in China that they may hear the good news of God's love.

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China
Blessed by God

Do you have any questions?

Photo courtesy of

Research resources: J. Hudson Taylor, An Autobiography by J. Hudson Taylor; It is Not Death to Die, a new biography of Hudson Taylor by Jim Cromarty; Hudson Taylor Founder, China Inland Mission by Vance Christie; J. Hudson Taylor, A Man in Christ, by Roger Steer, and Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret by Dr. &and Mrs. Howard Taylor.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Abijah - First Battle

By Mary Vee
II Chronicles 13

From Abijah's Journal

Last time I wrote, I told you of my new position as king of Judah. After father's passing, I deeply wanted to reunite the kingdom, all twelve tribes.

As my foe, Jeroboam, king of Israel, he drew the battle line with an army twice the size of mine. I spoke to them, warning the soldiers of our deep desire to worship the Lord. I welcomed them to join us and to walk away from Jeroboam as their leader.

Not one came to our side. 

I raised my sword signaling my army to attack. But, it was then that a noise from behind my army captured my attention. I looked and found an ambush of Jeroboam's soldiers waiting to attack. They crept around behind us while I offered their army one last chance to join us. Crafty.

Surrounded on all sides by an army twice the size of us, I knew we were doomed unless we had help from God. I and my men cried out to the Lord. The priests with us, ones appointed by God, blew their trumpets signaling all the men of Judah to raise the battle cry.

At the same moment our cry rang toward the heavens, God routed Jeroboam and all of his army before us. Jeroboam and his army tried to flee, but God delivered them into our hands. Their army suffered five hundred thousand casualties from our swords. A heavy loss for Jeroboam's army.

My army chased Jeroboam, forcing him to retreat quite a ways. We took from him the towns of Bethel, Jeshanah and Ephron, with their surrounding villages. What a glorious victory for Judah. Jeroboam did not regain power at any time during my reign.

After the battle we celebrated the Lord's victory over Jeroboam's army. We had relied on the Lord the God of our fathers for help, and he provided.

Life became easier afterwards.

I married fourteen times and had twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters. I must admit I didn't keep all the commands of the Lord after the day of the battle. The priests warned my father against doing many of the things he did. They warned me too. My heart was not fully devoted to the Lord any longer.

Not like David, the great king that everyone talks about. The priest once told me I should feel blessed because, although I had sinned, for David's sake, the Lord his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem by raising up a son to succeed him and by making Jerusalem strong. 

The priest also said David had done what was right in the eyes of the Lord and had not failed to keep any of the Lord's commands all the days of his life--except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.

I don't know that I could live up to such a standard. It seemed easier to follow my father's footsteps, even though it did not please God.

1. Who is king of Israel at this time?  Who is king of Judah at this time?
2. Why did Abijah fight Jeroboam's army?
3. What sneaky plan did Jeroboam's army have?
4. What did Abijah and his army do when they saw Jeroboam's attack? They cried to _____
5. What happened next?
6. After the battle what kind of life did Abijah choose to live? Why?
7. Did Abijah choose to continue following God?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Rehoboam-Death and Life

By Mary Vee
I Kings 14, 15 and II Chronicles 12

From Abijah's Journal, New King of Judah

My father, Rehoboam, son of Solomon, grandson of King David reigned Judah for seventeen years. He assigned my living quarters in Jerusalem with him to give me the training necessary to reign in his place. Recently, my father died.

His passing troubled me, for although he prepared me to take over his throne, I still felt unprepared. In my heart, I knew what I had to do first. I wanted to reunite the kingdom as one Israel. I could only do this with God's help.

Jeroboam had reigned over Israel for eighteen years. He ripped the heart and soul of our people, pulling them away from worshipping God to praise evil false gods.

I rallied an army of four hundred thousand able fighting men to fight against Jeroboam. He drew up a battle line, commanding eight hundred thousand able troops. This did not frighten me. The Lord can win battles with only a few soldiers.

I brought my men to the top of Mount Zemaraim in the hill country of Ephraim. We stood facing Jeroboam's army. His men needed another chance to leave their leader and join forces with throne God appointed for Israel. Jeroboam could join us as well, if he wanted.

I called out to Jeroboam's army with this message:

"Jeroboam and all Israel, listen to me! Don't you know that the Lord, the God of Israel, has given kingship of Israel to David and his descendants forever by a covenant of salt? Yet your leader, Jeroboam, son of Nebat, an official of Solomon, son of David, rebelled against his master.

"Some worthless scoundrels gathered around him and opposed Rehoboam, my father, son of Solomon, when he was young and indecisive and not strong enough to resist them. And now you plan to resist the kingdom of the Lord, which is in the hands of David's descendants.

"You are indeed a vast army and have with you the golden calves that Jeroboam made to be your gods. But didn't you drive out the priests of the Lord, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and make priests of your own as the peoples of other lands do? Whoever comes to consecrate himself with a young bull and seven rams may become a priest of what are not gods.

"As for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not forsaken him. The priests who serve the Lord are sons of Aaron, and the Levites assist them. Every morning and evening they present burnt offerings and fragrant incense to the Lord. They set out the bread on ceremonially clean table and light the lamps on the gold lampstand every evening. We are observing God is with us; he is our leader. His priests with their trumpets will sound the battle cry against you. Men of Israel, do not fight against the Lord, the God of your fathers, for you will not succeed."

I gave them a few moments to consider my words. Stop by next time when I will have their decision to tell.


1. What happened to Rehoboam, king of Judah?
2. Who is Abijah?
3. What did Abijah want to do first?
4. Why did Abijah take his army to the mountain?
5. What did Abijah want to tell Jeroboam's army?
6. What do you think the Jeroboam's soldiers will decide to do?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Hudson Taylor - Judged to be Diseased in Body and Mind

By Mary Vee
J. Hudson Taylor date: June 1857

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

With all the different forms of worship, Methodist, Baptist, Catholic, Nazarene, the list could go on for pages, it is easy to understand how missionaries could run into unusual conflicts. For while we all come to share a faith in God and God alone, we seem to have differing theological views.

The personal choice to leave my sending mission, the one who sent only borrowed funds for our support, and rely solely on God for funds proved to be quite a problem for some. I dressed like a Chinese, wore my hair like them, endeavored to win their trust while sharing God's love. This did set me apart from other missionaries who had plenty of support, a mission, and dressed like the English.

When strong feelings for a young missionary lady teacher tugged at my heart, the head teacher immediately went out of her way to keep us apart. I thought of Maria Dyer for over a year, wanting to get to know her better.

As the wars calmed, I led the missionary families back to their homes in Ningbo and moved in with one of the families. They gave me a room in the attic to sleep, write, and study. One day, the rains grew fierce. I went downstairs for a cup of tea at the same time the ladies Bible study dismissed. All but two women left right away. The other two waited for transportation.

Maria Dyer waited with her fried near the door. She turned when I came down the stairs. Her eyes brightened and she walked near. I asked if I could speak with her. We invited another woman to join us and witness our conversation. During the conversation the woman who joined us asked me about my beliefs in God.

When the head teacher learned about the conversation she became angry. She had worked to keep Maria and me apart for such a long time. I tried to share with her my strong desire to serve God and knew she had seen my work. Yet she still said I was "fanatical, undependable, diseased in body and mind, and totally worthless." She also said Maria came from a higher class of family, deserving of a much better husband.

Fortunately, Maria thought otherwise. She wrote her parents asking permission to date me. I wrote her parents and explained my mission to serve God and my love for Maria. The woman who listened to Maria and I speak in her home also wrote Maria's parents and explained what she witnessed.

While I waited for news from Maria's parents, I respected the head teacher's wishes and kept my distance from Maria. John and I worked diligently to continue serving our great God, the one who called us to serve Him here in China.

Please pray that Maria's parents will answer soon. I must admit, I am lonely, and would love to have Maria for my wife and companion.

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China
Blessed by God

Do you have any questions?

Photo courtesy of

Research resources: J. Hudson Taylor, An Autobiography by J. Hudson Taylor; It is Not Death to Die, a new biography of Hudson Taylor by Jim Cromarty; Hudson Taylor Founder, China Inland Mission by Vance Christie; J. Hudson Taylor, A Man in Christ, by Roger Steer, and Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret by Dr. &and Mrs. Howard Taylor.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Rehoboam-There Was Some Good in Judah

By Mary Vee
I Kings 14, II Chronicles 11, 12

From Rehoboam's Journals

As king of Judah and Benjamin, I kept my promise to build up the defenses of the cities in my districts and put commanders in them with food, olive oil, and wine. I supplied the army in each city with shields, spears making each strong.

Next I married only women from the line of my grandfather, David. I married Mahalath, David's niece. She bore me three wonderful sons. Next I married Maacah, Uncle Absalom's daughter. She bore me four sons. In truth, I loved Maacah the most. In all I had eighteen wives and sixty concubines, twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.

I appointed Maacah's oldest son, Abijah as the chief prince. He would be next in line for the throne. I moved my sons to homes throughout the districts of Judah and Benhamin, supplying them with plenty of provisions. When they grew old enough, I gave them the wives I had selected.

Now, comes the time to confess my bad decisions. I didn't see a need to follow all of those commands the priests told us to do. Our cities had become strong. We didn't need all that religious stuff to protect us. We could take care of ourselves.

It pleased the people when I set up the same idols other countries had. What's the big deal about a few Asherah poles? We had men working in the shrines who's job was to please the people. Everyone seemed to have fun . . . and in truth, no one thought about God.

In my fifth year of reign, a messenger informed me Shishak, king of Egypt was on the move. He planned to attack Jerusalem with twelve hundred chariots, sixty thousand horsemen, an innumerable amount of troops of Lybyans, Sukkites, and Cushites. He captured my fortified cities and drove on to attack Jerusalem.

Shemaiah, the prophet interrupted a meeting I had with the leaders of Judah. Before I gave him permission to speak he said, "This is what the Lord says, 'You have abandoned me. Therefore, I now abandon you to Shishak.'"

We didn't need to hear more. All the leaders and I fell to the floor and humbled ourselves before the Lord and cried, "The Lord is just."

Shemaiah interrupted our cry and said, "The Lord has heard you and said, 'Since you have humbled yourselves, I will not destroy you but will soon give you deliverance. My wrath will not be poured out on Jerusalem through Shishak. You will, however, become subject to him so that you may learn the difference between serving me and serving the kings of other lands."

Shishak did indeed attack Jerusalem. He took our best gold armor, treasures from the temple and from the royal palace. Once he left, I made new shields from bronze and gave them to the commanders of the guard on duty at the entrance to the royal palace. Where ever I went, the guards went with me carrying their shields.

Because the leaders and I humbled ourselves before the Lord, His anger turned away from us and Judah was spared from complete destruction. 

Indeed, I now see the benefit to worshipping God.


photo courtesy of

1.  What did Rehoboam do first to help the cities he ruled?
2.  What did Rehoboam do next to protect his kingly line?
3.  What did Rehoboam confess?
4.  What punishment did he receive?
5.  When the prophet told Rehoboam what was about to happen what did he and his leaders do?
6. Did it make a difference?
7. What did Rehoboam learn in the end?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Jeroboam-The Prophet Gives Bad News to the King

By Mary Vee
I Kings 13-14

From the Prophet Ahijah's, who lives in Shiloh, Notes

Long ago, before Jerusalem became capital of Israel, Shiloh had been the home for our leaders. I have continued to live in Shiloh, conducting my priestly duties as before.

While Solomon was still on the throne, the Lord gave me a message to tell Jeroboam. It was then that he heard he would one day rule Israel. Time has passed and Solomon died.

Jeroboam took over as king of Israel while Rehoboam, son of king Solomon, ruled as king over Jerusalem. Most, if not all of the Levites, left their homes and moved to Jerusalem to show their dedication to the throne of David.

The Lord spoke to me saying king Jeroboam's son became ill and that he wanted to know if his son would live. He would send his wife to me dressed in a disguise. When she arrives I was to give her the answer from the Lord.

I am an old man, and not able to see well any more. Knowing who would be coming helped me tremendously. That afternoon I heard the sound of footsteps at the door. 

"Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why are you dressed in a disguise? I have bad news for you. 

"Go and tell Jeroboam this message from the Lord. 'I raised you up from among the people and made you a leader over my people Israel. I tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you, but you have not been like my servant David, who kept my commands and followed me with all his heart, doing only what was right in my eyes. 

'You have done more evil than all who lived before you. You have made for yourself other gods, idols made of metal. You have provoked me to anger and thrust me behind your back. 

'Because of this, I am going to bring disaster on our house. I will cut off from you every last male in Israel--slave or free. I will burn up your house until it is gone. Dongs will eat those belonging to you, and the birds of the air will feed on those who die in the country where you rule. The Lord has spoken!'

"Then I spoke to her. "As for you, go back home. The moment you return the boy will die. All of Israel will mourn for him and bury him. He is the only one belonging to Jeroboam who will be buried, because he is the only one the Lord has found favor.

"The Lord will raise up a king over Israel who will cut off the family of Jeroboam from the throne. It will happen today. Yes, today. It will happen because of the idols Jeroboam has set up. Israel will suffer because of Jeroboam's sins and the people's choice to follow him."

She left my home without a word. Later I learned that the moment she stepped into her home her son died. The king buried him and all Israel mourned for him as the Lord said. Next Jeroboam will see the rest of the fulfillment of the Lord's message.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Hudson Taylor-Living By Faith

By Mary Vee
Shanghai, 1857

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

A sweet sense of peace came to me the day I received confirmation of my resignation from CES. God would be my only boss. He had control of:

what money I would have, 
how much of my time would be spent in His work, 
whether I needed to supplement my income with a job using my medical skills, 
where I would live, 
where I would serve Him.

I did not serve a middle man or agency. I reported straight to God, and would be held accountable directly to the King for the use of my time.

No matter what happened, I was willing to do what ever God asked, whenever He asked me.

I fell to my knees and looked toward the heavens and asked God to show me what I needed to do next. This was not a one minute prayer. I spent hours praying to God sharing my intent to sacrifice all for His service no matter what my income. 

My complete faith journey reminded me of the days I went to medical school. The time I forced myself to live with the bare minimum, and then worked to live on even less. What joy filled my soul as I watched God take care of me then and now.

Trials and tests came my way. God worked diligently to teach me how to be responsible with the small income. I couldn't help giving money to a poor person. They were hungry! But I was hungry, too. To give all the money to the poor prevented the ongoing work God assigned. I learned to budget how much I'd give and how much I'd use for my essential needs.

The winter came and went, slipping into June. The three new missionaries from England arrived and needed the room where I slept. This chapter in Shanghai came to a close. John Jones and I received word from Dr. Parker indicating the unrest in Ningbo had stopped. We could safely escort his family and the others back there.

We set sail and all the while I marveled at the new adventure. With a new base in Ningbo, John Jones, William Burns, and I might be able to establish a ministry that reached deep into the interior of China.

Also . . . I must admit, I am excited to speak with Maria again. Do you remember her? She is the school teacher who stayed with the other missionaries in Ningbo. What did she experience while I was gone? Is she all right? 

Please pray for John Jones and me as we seek God's direction without the help of a missionary agency.

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China
Blessed by God

Do you have any questions?

Photo courtesy of

Research resources: J. Hudson Taylor, An Autobiography by J. Hudson Taylor; It is Not Death to Die, a new biography of Hudson Taylor by Jim Cromarty; Hudson Taylor Founder, China Inland Mission by Vance Christie; J. Hudson Taylor, A Man in Christ, by Roger Steer, and Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret by Dr. &and Mrs. Howard Taylor.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

So sorry Everyone

I have a few family emergencies.

I apologize for not posting the next story yet. This is the first time in four year I've missed.

Please feel free to read a past story.

I plan to have Hudson Taylor's next story up tomorrow.

Blessings on all of you.

Mary Vee

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Liar's Lament

By Mary Vee
I Kings 13:25-32

From The Prophet's Journal

I had heard that a prophet from Jerusalem came to the altar king Jeroboam set up. The prophet spoke a message from God to him. His message didn't exactly please, Jeroboam. In fact, Jeroboam wanted him arrested. 

A strange thing happened. Jeroboam had reached out his hand to yell at the prophet, and immediately it became paralyzed. Those who witnessed the event said they were amazed. Jeroboam ordered the prophet to pray to his God to heal the hand. The prophet did then finished his message. 

I'd heard he went back home down the road that went past my home. I went out looking for him, to offer food and rest. Not far away I saw him sitting under a tree. I invited him to my home, but he refused saying, "God instructed me not to turn back, I am not to eat bread or drink water with you in this place."

His droopy eyes showed how tired he was. Probably hadn't eaten or drank in a while. I said, "Come on. I too am a prophet, as you are." He looked up at me, brow furrowed as if not sure of my words. I really wanted to help him so I lied, "An angel said to me by the word of the Lord: 'Bring him back with you to your house and give him bread and water.'"

I reached my hand out to help him up. I felt honored to have him in my home.

Again something strange happened. While we sat down to eat I received a message from the Lord. Imagine! Me. The words flowed from my mouth without a thought. I said, "This is what the Lord says, 'You have defied the word of the Lord and have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. You came back and ate bread and drank water in the place where he told you not to eat or drink. Therefore you will die and not be buried with your fathers."

I hardly believed the words from my mouth. Maybe God wanted to scare the prophet. After we ate, I packed my own donkey for him and watched him leave. 

A short while later some people passed by my house telling news. They said, "Further down this very road we saw a body thrown down. And there was a lion standing beside it!"

I knew who it was. "It is the man of God who did not obey the word of the Lord. The Lord has given him to the lion which has killed him as the word of the Lord had warned."

I called my sons to help me. "Saddle the donkey for me." As soon as the donkey was ready I mounted and rode as quickly as possible to the place. There I found the prophet's body with  the donkey I gave him standing near and the lion, too. The lion had neither eaten the body nor hurt the donkey. 

I pick up the prophet's body and laid it on the donkey he rode. Tears flowed down my face. I took him straight to the tomb I had set aside for myself. I wept bitterly for him. "Oh, my brother!"

I called my sons closer and instructed them, "When I die, bury me in the grave where the man of God is buried. Lay my bones beside his bones. I now know the message he brought from the word of the Lord saying all of Jeroboam's priests will be killed is true. His words against the altar in Bethel and the shrines on the high places is true. This, my sons, was a true man of God."

Despite this prophet of God's words, king Jeroboam didn't change his evil ways. He instead appointed more priests for the high places choosing anyone he please. And none were Levites as the Lord commanded.

What terrible days are ahead. And I wept more.

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1. Why did the prophet of Bethel invite the prophet from Jerusalem to his house?
2. While at the prophet of Bethel's house, what happened?
3. Did either man believe it would happen?
4. What news came to the prophet of Bethel from travelers on the road?
5. What did the prophet of Bethel do?
6. Why did the prophet of Bethel cry?
7. Did king Jeroboam listen to the prophet of Jerusalem?