Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Esther-The Message in Sackcloth

By Mary Vee
Esther 4

From Hathach's Journal



Photo Courtesy
My name is Hathach. I have been appointed to serve Queen Esther by King Xerxes. 

The queen's maids ran into the hall, clearly upset about something. They called my name, "Hathach, hurry, the queen needs you."

I dropped what I was doing and went to her chambers. "Queen Esther, you called for me?"

"Yes. Oh good, you're here, Hathach."

She seemed frazzled instead of the calm person I usually see. My first thought was to see what I could do to ease her problem.

She paced then pointed out the window toward the King's gate. "Go down to the King's gate and find the man named Mordecai. He has put on sackcloth and ashes. I sent him clothes but he refused to change. Find out what the problem is."

"Yes, my lady." I left. Whoever this Mordecai was, he seemed to have importance for Queen Esther. That alone tells me I need to do whatever is needed to help this man.

I hurried out of the building without greeting anyone and on to the gate. In the open city square beyond the gate, there was only one man dressed in sackcloth and ashes. He had to be Mordecai. I approached him, "Are you Mordecai?"

He didn't look up at me. His head was lowered and he nodded. The poor man, in such misery. I'm not surprised that the kind queen was struck in her heart and wanting to help him.

Not knowing if he had any diseases, I didn't touch him. "I am Queen Esther's servant. The queen has sent me here to find out what problem is distressing you."

The man looked up at me. His eyes drawn, tired, and red from weeping. A tender smile, like that from a loving father, appeared on his face. 

"Please tell the queen," his voice was raspy, probably from the crying he'd been doing. He cleared his throat. "Haman, the man appointed to a high position by the king sent an edict to all provinces in the empire. This edict states all Jews are to be executed in the twelfth month and all their possessions taken from their homes. Hamas promised to pay the king's treasury the soldier's salary for this job."

He handed me a piece of paper. It was a copy of the edict. "Please," he said, "show the queen this paper. Tell her I am asking her to take this matter to the king and to beg for mercy. Tell her to plead with the king for her people."

He lowered his head again, so deep in sorrow.

I took the paper and hurried back to Queen Esther's chamber. "My queen." I handed her the paper then told her Mordecai's message.

She nearly fainted. I helped her to a chair and waited instructions.



...come back to read what happens next.

*********************************************************************************************
sources: New International Version, New King James Version  


1. Who is Hathach?
2. What did Esther ask him to do?
3. How did he know which man was Mordecai?
4. What did Mordecai tel him?
5. What did Mordecai give him?

Monday, March 28, 2016

Amy Carmichael--The Great Need

By Mary Vee
Year: January, 1925
Amy Carmichael: 58 years old


From Amy's Journal



Photo Courtesy
My name is Amy Carmichael. I am a missionary in India. The work here in Dohnavur has become everything I'd ever dreamed.

We who work here have named this place the Dohnavur Fellowship and have become a strong family of workers caring for abandoned Indian children and telling people in neighboring villages about the living God who loves them.

My heart is full. So much to do everyday. I couldn't be any happier.

During my daily prayer times, I asked God to send more workers to help when sickness strikes, or when helpers leave the fellowship. I've also prayed daily, asking God to send a doctor. We could really use a hospital. And, while I was asking, I also asked God to send a man who could be in charge of the abandoned boys that we've taken in to love, feed and house.

Several times the prayer seemed to be answered. Men and women would hear about the need, feel God calling them to serve, come to Dohnavur for a short time then leave. I tried to welcome them into our family and do whatever was needed to help them adjust. Some said India was too hot. They couldn't handle the high, humid temperatures. Some said the work was boring. They couldn't see the daily work in raising these abandoned children would help spread the word of the Living God in the future. Some said the Hindus were so strong in their idol worship that they would never be willing to listen about the living God. Then they gave up and left.

So many missionaries came and left. I was getting older and the illness that has plagued me ever since I started missionary work has made me tired and unable to do as much as is needed. Lord, we need workers.

One day a new missionary stopped in to see us. His name was Godfrey Webb-Peploe. He said he was on his way to China and wanted a break from the long voyage. The little boys immediately played with him. They laughed and hung on him like monkeys. 

I prayed, please Lord. He gets along so well with the boys and they need a leader so badly. And then I remembered he said God had called him to work in China.

Sigh. Will you pray with me? Ask God to send workers to our fellowship?


Come back next week to read more of Amy Carmichael.



Resources used for this series:. 
Benge, Janet, and Geoff Benge. Amy Carmichael: Rescuer of Precious Gems. Seattle, WA: YWAM Pub., 1998. Print.
Davis, Rebecca Henry. With Daring Faith: A Biography of Amy Carmichael. Greenville, SC: Bob Jones UP, 1987. Print.
Dick, Lois Hoadley. Amy Carmichael: Let the Children Come. Chicago: Moody, 1984. Print.
Meloche, Renee Taft., and Bryan Pollard. Amy Carmichael: Rescuing the Children. Seattle, WA: YWAM Pub., 2002. Print.
Wellman, Sam. Amy Carmichael: A Life Abandoned to God. Uhrichville, OH: Barbour Pub., 1998. Print.



Don't forget to comment! 
Let Amy hear from you!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Esther-Mordecai Had Never Been This Upset Before--Never

By Mary Vee
Esther 4

From Esther's Journal



Photo Courtesy
My name is Esther. I live in the women's quarters of the palace of King Xerxes. 

Recently, Xerxes chose me to be his queen.

I haven't seen my uncle in over a year. He had raised me like a daughter. I had learned to trust him for good advice and help with problems. I'd never had a chance to help him.

I stood in my room looking out the window. It was a lovely day and I looked forward to the events planned for me. Still I wished I could see my uncle and just chat with him.

"My lady, My lady," all my maids had rushed into the room. Whatever they had to say had to be especially bad because Hegai the king's appointed helper to the women also came in the room.

I remained calm. After all, what could be so upsetting that would have anything to do with me?

I turned to them and softly asked, "What is the problem?"

One stepped forward and bowed. "My lady, we have seen Mordecai. He is at the king's gate dressed in sackcloth and ashes. He is wailing bitterly"

Something horrible must have happened. I had never seen my uncle this upset. I wished I could speak with him, but as queen I wouldn't be allowed to talk to a person in sackcloth and ashes. "Take fresh clothes to him, right away. Tell him it is a gift from me."

My maids and Hegai bowed and left the room.

They weren't gone very long. "My lady"

"Yes, what happened?"

"Mordecai refused to accept the clothes. He--wailed so bitterly."

The news broke my heart. "Get Hethach," he was the one assigned to oversee any need I had.

Hegai turned to leave but said, "If I can be of any help, my lady, let me know."

"Thank you, Hegai."

Footfalls echoed in the corridor. Soon there was a knock on my door and Hethach entered. "Hethach," I said, "Go down to the king's gate and speak with Mordecai. Find out what is troubling him and why."

He bowed. "Yes, my lady." Then he left.

I must admit, I felt terribly afraid. My heart trembled and my hands shook. Mordecai was a strong and wise man. He never let things upset him and always looked for ways to solve a problem. What could be so bad that he would dress in a sackcloth with ashes and wail at the king's gate?


...come back to read what happens next.

*********************************************************************************************
sources: New International Version, New King James Version  


1. Describe Esther's view of Mordecai.
2. Why did Mordecai's actions bother her?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Esther-Mordecai's Sackcloth

By Mary Vee
Esther 3


From Mordecai's Journal



Photo Courtesy
My name is Mordecai. Everyone who lives in Susa had been summoned to the city square. I assume an announcement from the king is about to be made. This is how the king informed all the people of any news. 

I am a Jew. Long ago, when I was young, I lived in my homeland, Judah. The Jews were taken to be slaves in the Babylonian empire. It's a long story, the Babylonians being conquered and so on, but the empire is still here just under a different power.

As the years went by, many people speaking different languages ended up living throughout the empire's land. We all lived in the same communities and became friends. So there wasn't the Jewish section and the this or that section. The land was one empire with many different people. Over time, it was hard to tell which group people belonged to. We mostly all blended together.

As a strong Jew, though, I could tell who was a Hebrew and who wasn't. Fear for our lives kept me from broadcasting my heritage. I instructed Esther, my niece to keep this secret as well.

Men, women, and children crowded into the city square when the trumpet blew, each trying to get closer to hear what the herald would say. He stepped high up on the fountain, unrolled a scroll, and read this message:

Hear ye, hear ye, On the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, every Jewish man, woman, and child, young and old, are to be destroyed, killed, and annihilated. Their belongings are to be plundered. This is to be done in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month.

He read the same words in four other languages.

I was stunned. How could this be? What would cause this sudden edict? Have we done something to displease the king?

I grabbed hold of my clothes and ripped them apart and wailed. Back at my home I put on sackcloth and ashes and ran out into the city wailing as I never had before. Nothing that had ever happened, not the burning of our city Jerusalem, not the captivity, not the slavery, nothing could compare to this.

I ran in my pitiful appearance as far as the king's gate and stopped because no one wearing sackcloth was allowed to enter.

News traveled fast. In every province where the edict had been read, the people cried out in great mourning among the Jews. We all fasted, weeped, and wailed. Many lay in sackcloth and ashes. This news read in the first month would be carried out in the twelfth month.

My anger and shock energized me to wail even more. "I prayed, Almighty God, save us. Save us from this edict that will rid the earth of your people."


...come back to read what happens next.

*********************************************************************************************
sources: New International Version, New King James Version  


1. Mordecai belonged to what people?
2. Where did Mordecai live?
3. Why didn't he live in Jerusalem?
4. What secret did Mordecai keep?
5. What message did the herald read?
6. How did Mordecai respond to the news?
7. Where did Mordecai go?
8. The answer to this one will be in the next story, but do you know why he went there?

Monday, March 21, 2016

Amy Carmichael-India's Robin Hood-The Gun Fight

By Mary Vee
Year: January, 1923 
Amy Carmichael: 56 years old


From Amy's Journal



Photo Courtesy
My name is Amy Carmichael. I am a missionary in India.

The man Indian people called "Robin Hood" escaped from prison. He and his friend fled to the mountains. Friends of mine knew where he was.

I had found a way to meet him in the woods. "I know now I should not have escaped and I am sorry," he said.

"You must give yourself up to the police to end this nightmare for yourself," I pleaded

His eyes grew sad. "It's too late. The police will kill me when they see me. Too many robbers steal and kill then claim they are me. The police say I have done all these things. The truth will never be told." He lowered his head.

"Make me a promise," I said.

"I won't go to the police."

"I understand. But promise me you won't use your weapon, not even to save your own life. That will be your statement to the world that you did not commit those crimes."

He didn't answer me. I sat on a rock and invited him to sit by me. "Help me say Scripture verses." I chose ones I thought he would know. He said the words with me. I helped him when he couldn't remember a word. We sang songs and prayed. A peaceful spirit came over his face.

He stood and helped me stand. "You better go before someone sees us."

"Will you remember what I said?"

"I will remember." He walked away with his gang of men.

Yes, he would remember, but would he follow through and not use his weapon?

September 20, 1923 came. I remember the day so well. The temperatures were cooler and the sky clear. A messenger came to the compound and asked to speak to me. "Yes? What is the message?"

"The police found Jambulingam in the mountains near Caruniapuram. He is dead."

"No!" I sat on the nearest chair and wept. His life didn't have to end this way. "What happened?"

"The police captured him. In their anger they beat him and shot him."

It happened just the way he said it would. Oh how my heart ached for him. He could have served his time then started his life over. "Tell me, did he defend himself? Was there a weapon in his hand?"

"He had a gun but he didn't use it," one woman said. "He ran up a hill holding his gun. They say he turned, dropped the gun, and raised his hands toward heaven. That was when the police stormed him."

Such a sad story of a life. But, his decision to not use his gun was proof to me that Jambulingam, known as India's Robin Hood, listened to my words, meant what he said about believing in God, and will be in heaven. 

I visited the police several times requesting they clear Jambulingam's name of the charges. They refused.

So I wrote a book telling his story. Copies of the story went throughout India. Many men and women decided to ask Jesus in their heart after reading about Jambulingam, the man accused of many crimes he didn't commit, some he did, but turned his life over to the Almighty God, the God who loves us.


Come back next week to read more of Amy Carmichael.



Resources used for this series:. 
Benge, Janet, and Geoff Benge. Amy Carmichael: Rescuer of Precious Gems. Seattle, WA: YWAM Pub., 1998. Print.
Davis, Rebecca Henry. With Daring Faith: A Biography of Amy Carmichael. Greenville, SC: Bob Jones UP, 1987. Print.
Dick, Lois Hoadley. Amy Carmichael: Let the Children Come. Chicago: Moody, 1984. Print.
Meloche, Renee Taft., and Bryan Pollard. Amy Carmichael: Rescuing the Children. Seattle, WA: YWAM Pub., 2002. Print.
Wellman, Sam. Amy Carmichael: A Life Abandoned to God. Uhrichville, OH: Barbour Pub., 1998. Print.



Don't forget to comment! 
Let Amy hear from you!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Esther-The Death Edict

By Mary Vee
Esther 3

From King Xerxe's Chronicle



Photo Courtesy
My name is King Xerxes, my palace is in Susa.  

I recently promoted a promising young man. His name is Haman. I've heard a lot of great reports about his work. I feel good work should be honored to encouraged others to do their best.

Haman had been in his new job for only a day when an incident happened out at the gate. Apparently, a man refused to bow as Haman passed by.

This is a serious offense, I'll admit. But Haman came to me very angry. He said there was a group of people living in the empire who had different traditions from us and refuse to obey the king's, my, laws.

Well, once I heard that I saw his reason for anger and asked what he thought should be done about the situation. He suggested a decree be signed ordering the deaths of all those disobedient people. He was so concerned that our empire be rid of them that he offered to pay the salary of the men who would carry out the deaths.

The idea couldn't be all that bad. My former queen, Vashti, didn't obey me. She was forced to leave and never return. Why not get rid of these people. Then everyone in the empire could live in peace.

I handed Haman my signet ring and said, "Keep the money and do with the people as you please."

On the thirteenth day of the first month I summoned the royal secretaries to write Haman's orders in every people language of the empire. I gave permission for these to be written in my name and sealed with my ring.

The next day messengers were sent with a copy of the decree to every province informing the people to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews--young and old, women and little children--on a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month. The people were then to plunder all the Jews belongings. The people would have plenty of time to prepare for this day.

As soon as the messengers left, Haman and I sat down and drank a celebration. The empire would be rid of the Jews.

...come back to read what happens next.

*********************************************************************************************
sources: New International Version, New King James Version  


1. Who received a special promotion?
2. Why did the king promote him?
3. What happened shortly after the promotion?
4. What did Haman tattle to the king?
5. Haman didn't go after one man, he went after ________
6. Haman asked permission to ___________
7. The king agreed and the next day __________________
8. What did the king and Haman do once the messengers left?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Esther-Hamon Thirst for Revenge

By Mary Vee
Esther 3

From Haman's Journal



Photo Courtesy
My name is Haman 

I am a very powerful person in the empire. King Xerxes has promoted me above all the nobles. He has honored me. That means that all the people of the empire should also honor me.

Each one should bow to me and understand my importance when I walk or ride past them.

Each person should feel honored to hear my voice.

And they do. 

Except that despicable Mordecai.

He claims that his heritage as a Jew does not allow him to give me the honor I deserve. 

That just makes my blood boil. 

I took a breath and then thought. Yes. If I could come up with the perfect plan, I wouldn't punish just Mordecai. No. No. No. I will punish all his people. Every single Jew in all of Xerxes kingdom.

It is the twelfth year Xerxes has been in power. The time had come for me to end my misery with Mordecai and the Jewish people living here. Yes. I rolled my hands together. I will rid this kingdom of Mordecai.

I asked permission to speak to Xerxes. 

Xerxes said yes.

I walked forward to his throne and bowed. "Your majesty, There is a certain people living among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom whose customs are different from those of every other people group. They do not obey the king's laws. In truth, your Majesty, it is not in the king's best interest to tolerate them." 

I glanced up at the king to see the expression on his face. He seemed very interested in what I was saying, so I took a chance and kept going.

"If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them. To show how important this request is, I will put ten thousand talents of silver into the royal treasury as payment to the men who will carry out this business."

...come back to read what happens next.

*********************************************************************************************
sources: New International Version, New King James Version  


1. Why did Haman dislike Mordecai?
2. Who else did Haman decide to punish?
3. What did Haman tell the king?
4. What did Haman ask the king?

Monday, March 14, 2016

Amy Carmichael-Robin Hood Imitators

By Mary Vee
Year: January, 1921 
Amy Carmichael: 54 years old


From Amy's Journal



Photo Courtesy
My name is Amy Carmichael. I am a missionary in India.

The man Indian people called "Robin Hood" escaped from prison. He and his friend fled to the mountains. Friends of mine knew where he was.

I sent a message to him, Jambulingam, please do not go back to stealing, even if you are hungry.

He sent a message back to me, "I will never go back to stealing or breaking the law. I believe in the living God. Jesus Lord saved my life."

People in the village talked about the Robin Hood and his friend. They stole at night and hid during the day. Many of the reports came at the same time on the same night in different places. Anyone could tell that new thieves were using the name Robin Hood to commit their crimes and not get caught.

I went to the police myself. "You must listen. A man cannot be in two places at one time. Jambulingam could not have committed these crimes."

The police chief pressed his shoulders back and scowled. "If you know this man so well and have been speaking with him then you should be telling us where he is." He walked closer. "Where is he?"

I kept my voice quiet and confident. "I honestly don't know." I turned and walked back to the mission.

I sent another message, "Jambulingam you must give yourself up to the police. Go to the British police. They will keep you safe and help clear up the misunderstanding."

Jambulingam sent a message back, "We can't. You have no idea how dishonest the police are. They will kill us if we turn ourselves in. Meet me in the forest. You know where. We can talk there."

Late that night, after all the children were in bed, I took my shaw and walked to the meeting place. Just as he promised, Jambulingam was there. He stepped out from behind bushes and waited for me. I walked closer. The man was tired. His eyes were wild with fear. He looked both ways on the road to see if I was followed.

"I am alone," I said.

He took my hand and pressed it between his with the respect he'd give his mother. "Please believe me when I say I have not stolen anything since leaving the prison." He looked at my eyes. "I admit, I've wanted to. We hear the people talk. They say we are committing these robberies. We may as well really do them."

"You must never give up in doing good. Not become sad or discouraged. God is with you. He will protect you if you turn yourself into the police."

"I can't." His friend stood close to him. "We can't." Jambulingam lowered his head. "I see now I shouldn't have escaped from prison, but it's too late to go back. The police will kill me one day."

"You say that day will come. And it may. But if you want to show your love for God let it be that you wouldn't have your weapon in your hand. Please don't give the police a reason to kill you."

He stood. "You must go before you are seen."



Come back next week to read what happened to India's Robin Hood.



Resources used for this series:. 
Benge, Janet, and Geoff Benge. Amy Carmichael: Rescuer of Precious Gems. Seattle, WA: YWAM Pub., 1998. Print.
Davis, Rebecca Henry. With Daring Faith: A Biography of Amy Carmichael. Greenville, SC: Bob Jones UP, 1987. Print.
Dick, Lois Hoadley. Amy Carmichael: Let the Children Come. Chicago: Moody, 1984. Print.
Meloche, Renee Taft., and Bryan Pollard. Amy Carmichael: Rescuing the Children. Seattle, WA: YWAM Pub., 2002. Print.
Wellman, Sam. Amy Carmichael: A Life Abandoned to God. Uhrichville, OH: Barbour Pub., 1998. Print.



Don't forget to comment! 
Let Amy hear from you!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Esther- Mordecai Refuses to Follow the Crowd

By Mary Vee
Esther 3

From Mordecai's Journal



Photo Courtesy
My name is Mordecai. 

My daughter, what I mean is the girl I raised as my daughter after her parent's died, has become the queen.

Imagine that!

Her name is Esther, and we are Jews. That is the amazing part. The king doesn't know she was born a Jew. I counseled her not to tell anyone in the palace--for her safety. 

Jews were brought here as slaves a long time ago. Who knows, maybe she needed to be herself for this time. God will tell us if and when she needs to step forward and proclaim her heritage.

The big news at the city gate, where the men come to discuss topics of interest, is Haman, son of Hammedatha. Yesterday, King Xerxes promoted Haman, giving him a seat of honor higher than all the other nobles. 

I don't know very much about this man yet, but I pray he will be someone who will serve the king.

This morning I went to the gate and sat, waiting for today's discussion to begin. We were in the middle of a very interesting topic when someone approached from inside the gate. We turned and saw a man whom I presumed to be Haman. 

He had on a fancy robe and paraded through the crowds with his chin lifted high in the air. The people bowed and said words like, "my lord," and "Your lordship." 

I had determined long ago to worship only God and Him only would I serve. This meant I would not bow down or honor anyone but the almighty God. Needless to say I did not bow when Haman went past, neither did I say "my lord," or any thing like that.

This apparently did not make Haman happy. He sent an official to talk to me. 

"What is your name?" the official asked.

I told him. He left right away to report my name to Haman. Two other royal officials walked up to me and asked, "Why do you disobey the king's command?"

I answered, "I am a Jew and can only bow before the Almighty God."

Day after day Haman rode through the gate. Day after day the men bowed to him. I did not. Day after day the officials asked why I refused to bow to Haman. AND day after day I said "I am a Jew and can only bow before the Almighty God." I thought their questions were annoying, but I never tired from saying my answer.

...come back to read what happens next.

*********************************************************************************************
sources: New International Version, New King James Version  


1. What did the people at the gate do when Haman road past?
2. Why?
3. What did Mordecai do when Haman road past?
4. Why?

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Esther-Hamon's Honor

By Mary Vee
Esther 3

From Haman's Journal



Photo Courtesy
My name is Haman. 

Over the course of time I have risen in ranks in the king's work. I guess I'm doing a good job.

Today, the king called me into his chamber, and before his other officials he said, "You Haman have please me. Your work and attitude is exactly what this kingdom needs.I am hereby elevating your status above all the nobles in this room and in my kingdom. You are to have a seat of great honor in my empire.

I was surprised, but felt I deserved the honor. I bowed. "Thank you, your majesty. I will seek to serve you." Then left his chambers. 

Just think, honor will now be given to me everywhere I go in the kingdom. All the people will have to bow down to me when I walk past. I will be given a robe to wear and that way every man, woman, and child on the street know exactly who I am. 

I have longed for this day. And definitely deserve it. I mean, I have done everything to please those who have been in place over me. Shouldn't I be honored?

I couldn't wait to see my new power in action. I first walked out to the gate where the important men from the city gathered to discuss topics.

As I approached, the men turned and saw my robe. I squared my shoulders back and lifted my chin. They stood together, it was wonderful! Then they bowed to me. "My Lord," they said as I walked past. I couldn't believe my ears! 

And then I saw all the men had indeed stood, except one.

I eyed this man and wanted to know who he was immediately. How dare he show me such disrespect. I turned to the servant near me. "Find out the name of the man who did not bow to me. Get that name now."

He bowed and said, "Yes, my Lord."

He returned shortly after, "His name is Mordecai, my Lord."

Mordecai was it. Mordecai would be a name I would remember. I planned to search into his family history and learn everything I could.

We'll see if this Mordecai has the nerve to continue such disrespect to a high ranking official of the king. Especially me.


...come back to read what happens next.

*********************************************************************************************
sources: New International Version, New King James Version  


1. Who is Haman?
2. Why did the king call Haman to his chambers?
3. How did Haman feel about this news?
4. What did Haman do to test his new job?