Saturday, July 22, 2017

Peter-Fever Kept Her Down, But Jesus Help Her Up

By Mary Vee
Mark 1



From Peter's Journal 

Photo by Mary Vee
Remains of the synagogue in Capernaum
The area has several rooms and is quite large.
My name is Peter. I am a disciple of Jesus.  I am here in Capernaum with several disciples. You may know some, they are James and John the sons of Zebedee, Matthew, Mark, Luke and others.

We went with Jesus to the synagogue. I told the story last time but here is a reminder, What a time! He spoke from the sacred Scriptures then forced a demon to leave a man. The whole thing caused quite a stir. As we left the synagogue, men who heard and saw Jesus that morning talked about what had happened as they walked away.  

I hadn't expected to see such a thing myself. I tell you, every minute I am with Jesus, I want to be with Him more. 

In my time, many men have risen to importance and have had a following. They inspire those who follow them to unite against the Romans to preserve our way of culture and way of life. But Jesus. He's different. What He says. What He does. His words and actions aren't about fighting the Romans. His message is more about us changing. I'm not really sure how to explain it yet. 

Photo by Mary Vee
The remains of one home in Capernaum possibly Peter's
Many branches of a family shared one big dwelling.
Rooms were walled off with their own exterior entrance.
Since my house was close by, we went there to get something to eat. 

When we arrived I saw my mother-in-law was in bed. She had a high fever and looked really ill. Her face was red from the burning heat. Her lips dry. She couldn't keep her eyes open and didn't speak. 

I gathered the disciples and Jesus away from her room and told them the news. "My mother-in-law is very ill. She has a terrible fever. I'm concerned she many not live."

"May I see her?"Jesus asked.

"Yes. Of course." I expected He would try to speak to her then console me. When someone older was this ill, there wasn't much that could be done. I showed him the way to her room. 

He walked into the room and said her name. I was surprised because I didn't remember telling Him her name. He walked to her bed and without saying a word gently reached for her hand. 

He spoke with such compassion. "Are you ready to get up?"

She smiled at him. Did you hear that? She could smile!

Happiness replaced the sickness in her eyes. She looked at him and said with a strength I didn't expect. "Yes."

Jesus helped her to sit. 

She didn't act sick any more. The red in her face had left. Her strength restored, and she could stand. She walked as though she had no illness. She looked into the front room and saw the others. "You must be hungry. I'll fix you something to eat."

Without a thought, a stumble, or a waver of her legs, she set to making a meal for all of us! 

Before she went to the food storage, she said to me, "Peter, you have been searching for the man who will save us for some time now. This man, Jesus, is the one you should listen to and follow."

Even though I was there, I'm not exactly sure what was communicated between them. But this I know, my mother-in-law was near death with fever and now she is well because of Jesus.


Come back to read 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
*My notes from my trip to Israel.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Mark-The Demon in the Synagogue

By Mary Vee
Mark 1



From Mark's Journal 

Photo by Mary Vee
Remains of the synagogue in Capernaum
The area has several rooms and is quite large.
My name is Mark. I am a disciple of Jesus.  I am here in Capernaum with Peter, James and John the sons of Zebedee, and other disciples who travel with Jesus where ever He goes, listen to him speak to crowds, and stay with Him afterwards. 

Capernaum is on the northern side of the Sea of Galilee. This is the town where Peter lives. Today is the Sabbath. Jesus woke early and wanted to go to the synagogue, as is the custom on the Sabbath.  We went with him.

Once the people gathered at the synagogue, Jesus began to teach. The service is not like what many of you have today where usually one person stands before the people and teaches. In our time, if a man had something to teach, he taught. On this day, Jesus was the first to speak. 

He talked for a time, and as he did, the men whispered to each other. This was not considered rude. Discussions and learning happened when these questions grew louder than a whisper. This time, their whispers came with surprise in their voice. The men felt, and I had to agree, that Jesus spoke as a person of authority. As though the words He said were His, not simply teachings from the scroll. 

They seemed confused whether they should respect His authority or not. 

From the back of the room, one man stood and shouted at Jesus. He said, "What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth?" The voice coming from the man was deep and raspy. By the fierce look on his face and the sound of his voice, we knew a demon had taken over him. It then said, "Have you come to destroy us?"

Those sitting near the man scooted away. No one wanted to be near demons.

It shouted louder, "I know who you are. You are the Holy One of God!"

The men looked at each other and whispered words I couldn't hear. The other disciples and I watched Jesus unsure what would happen next. 

Jesus sternly looked at the man and shouted, "Be quiet! Come out of him!"

That very instant the evil spirit shook the man violently and left him with a terrible shriek. The man collapsed down to his seat and had a calm but tired look on his face.

The men in the room were so shocked. Their voices rose saying, "What is happening? Is this a new teaching? He spoke with such authority!" They looked at Jesus then at one another. "Jesus even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him."

The men left the synagogue that day and went about telling everyone what they had seen and heard. "Jesus spoke with authority. It was nothing like the rabbis we've heard spouting the teachings they'd been taught. Then he made that demon leave that man, right in front of us."

Neighbors told friends who told family and their neighbors throughout all of Galilee what Jesus had done. 



Come back to read 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
*My notes from my trip to Israel.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Jonathan Goforth-Power to Stop Sleep

By Mary Vee
Year: October 1902
Jonathan Goforth-43 years old


Jonathan Goforth's Journal


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

This is month number two that my family has been back in China with me. God gave me the idea of what He wanted us to do during this time in China. 

Every month we would travel with the other missionaries to a new village and live in the new village for a month. WE would teach and share the Good News about the living God who loved them then move on to a new village. We would continue for ten months. At the end of the time we would spend the last two months of the year revisiting the ten villages to see if they needed help.

Last time I told you about our first day in Wuan. Our second day we set up a building that was given to us to use. The big room would be our church. The small room in the back would be my family's home. Rosalind spent the day setting up our home while the other missionaries and I set up the big room with the portable organ, a lectern, chairs for the people, and a big sign with words for the songs.

Many villagers came the next day for our first service. I knew they mostly came because they were curious why foreigners came back after so many had been killed in the Boxer Rebellion. I used that question as a chance to tell them about the God who loved them. They wanted to know more so they came back to the church service.

One day, Mr. Yen came to my office. He held the Bible I gave him in his hand. "I don't understand."

"What is the question?" I asked.

"Ever since I started reading this book you gave me, I have problems sleeping. But this only happens on days when I make a judgement against a person that I know is a wrong decision. Sometime I am paid to convict an innocent person. Sometimes I order the person to pay more than they have too. 

"Since I have started reading this book, I cannot sleep the nights I make a wrong judgement. I don't understand why that is. Sleep never was a problem for me before."

I invited Mr. Yen to tea. We sat on the floor together. For the rest of the afternoon I shared with him about the God who loves him. The God who expects us to be honest and keep His law. 

He had many questions.

I showed him the answers in the Bible he brought with him.

When the month ended in Wuan, twenty people had believed in the God who loves them and his Son, Jesus Christ. There were also many other people who were very interested in hearing more about God.

Over the next several years, we went to villages in the North Honan region of China telling the Chinese people about the living God, not one made of stone or wood. In every place we were welcomed, and many people listened and asked questions.



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, July 15, 2017

Peter-The Catch that Threw Me Overboard

By Mary Vee
Luke 5



From Peter's Journal 

Photo by Mary Vee
Sea of Galilee-Where Peter lived and fished
My name is Peter, I am a disciple of Jesus and a fisherman. I had gone out fishing all night with my friends. We didn't catch a thing. That happens sometimes. It's annoying, but it happens.

My fishing partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee and I docked out boats alongside other fishermen's boats. The location was like a marketplace on the north side of the Sea of Galilee. People came first thing in the morning to buy fresh fish as it came in off the boats. It was pretty crowded.

I notice Jesus on the rocky shore. Apparently, the people who came to buy fish noticed him, too. They gathered around him as he began to speak. 

The more he spoke the more people gathered around him. 

There were two boats close together, one was mine. Jesus, seeing my boat was empty, climbed into it. He asked me to push off a little ways from shore. The crowds moved into the space where Jesus had been standing. From the boat, Jesus continued to talk to those on the shore. His voice carried really well over the water to them. 

The other men who fished with me helped steady the boat and keep it in place. Jesus sat down and continued talking to the crowd.

When He finished his talk, He turned to me and said, "Put out to the deep."

I thought, now? We'd just come in from fishing.

He said, "Put your nets down, out in the deep."

I shrugged. I said, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. The fish just aren't biting. But, because you say so,I will let down the nets."

Seriously, I didn't know what to expect. Theoretically, there shouldn't be any fish coming into the nets. Then again, Jesus was in the boat and He is the one who said to put the nets down. I'm intrigued to see what will happen.

So, I did. 

Before the nets had been in the water a minute, the nets pulled down. That only happened when fish swam into them. I was amazed. My fishing partners were amazed as well. We grabbed hard on the line, pulling up as fast as we could, barely heaving the tremendous weight into the boat at all. The netting stretched and broke in places. This was going to be a huge catch. The biggest one I've ever seen!

Just that fast.

We couldn't keep up with the weight of the fish. I was concerned too many of the lines would be broken and we'd lose the catch. Other fishermen were near by. We called to them to come help. They rowed their boats close to ours and grabbed hold of the lines, tugging with all their strength. There was so much fish we filled both of the boats. 

The weight of the fish pushed the boats lower in the water. I thought we might sink. 

Everything happened so fast. I had never seen so many fish in the boats. This was the greatest catch I had every seen. I dropped everything and went to Jesus. I fell to my knees, so overwhelmed all I could do was say, "Go away from me Lord." Ever moment I was near this man I saw he was much more than just a man. So much more. He was and is the Savior. The Christ. God's Son. "I am a sinful man!"

Oh, if only you could have seen all that fish, you'd understand how overwhelmed we were. 

Jesus said to me, "Don't be afraid. From now on you will catch men. Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men." 

It didn't take me even a second to leave everything behind, our fishing boats, our fishing business, our families and followed Jesus as our full time work. I had so much to learn. And I wanted to learn everything I could from Him.


Come back to read 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
*My notes from my trip to Israel.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Luke-I Don't Know How But He Walked Through That Crowd

By Mary Vee
Luke 4



From Luke's Journal 

Photo by Mary Vee
To the right of the tree in the middle there is one
hill in the distance with a city. It is the
expanded/upper portions of Nazareth. Zoom in
to see a tiny piece of the city.
My name is Luke, I am a disciple of Jesus and a physician. I am here to tell you about the days I spent with Jesus. 

The last time I wrote, we were in the Nazareth synagogue. Jesus read the word's from the scroll chosen for the day. The words were from Isaiah and talked about the anointed one who would save.

The men had a lot of questions thinking Jesus would be the one who would lead a rebellion that would conquer the Romans. Then they realized who he was. They suddenly remembered him as a child and said, "Isn't this Joseph's son?"

Even I could see their meaning. They wanted him to go about healing people, but not listen to his words. They thought only of themselves.

Jesus said, "The next thing you'll say, I'm sure is the proverb: "Physician heal yourself. Do here in your hometown what we heard you did in Capernaum.'

Jesus stood, "What I'm about to say is true. There isn't a prophet who has been accepted in his hometown. Back in the day of Elijah, there were widows living in all Israel. The sky didn't rain for three and a half years and a severe famine hit every household. You read and know what happened. Elijah was not sent to any of those widows for bread. He was sent to a widow in Zarephath over on the Great Sea to the north of Tyre in the region of Sidon.

"And what about Elisha? You've heard of him? Many with leprosy lived in the land of Israel and not one made whole, except the man Naaman, the Syrian. A captain of his army. An enemy."

The words were true and the men listening knew it, but they didn't want to hear it. He didn't sound like a conquerer they wanted. One that would stomp on the Romans and drive them out. Their anger grew into rage. They stood and raised their fists. A few grabbed him and pushed him toward the cliff. 

I thought they would throw him over. Right before my eyes, he walked through the angry men like water through a crack in a rock, away from the cliff. He kept walking, away from Nazareth. The other disciples and I ran to catch up with him, a bit confused I'll admit. How did he got away from that angry crowd?


Come back to read 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
*My notes from my trip to Israel.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Jonathan Goforth-The Offended Chief Official and his Sedan Chair.

By Mary Vee
Year: October 1902
Jonathan Goforth-43 years old


Jonathan Goforth's Journal


My name is Jonathan Goforth. My wife, Rosalind, and I are missionaries in China. I've been so excited to have my family back here with me. The work kept me busy while they were in Canada, but I was very lonely.

Rosalind and the children returned to our home in China a few weeks ago. We are packed ready to leave first thing in the morning for a new village called Wuan. It is twenty miles away, which doesn't seem far until traveling with three carts, several families, and equipment on roads mostly destroyed in the last rebellion.

My family rode in the first cart with the driver while I walked behind that cart. The rest of the missionary families rode in the second cart. The third cart held our supplies and equipment for our work.

We left early in the morning. 

The journey took most of the day. About three miles before we reached the village a large rock blocked the way. We couldn't move it. Everyone, including the driver, stepped down from the carts and looked at the problem.

If we wanted to move forward, we'd have to jam our shoulders into the back of the wagon and lift while pushing it forward. The men all lined against the cart, shoulders pressing the wood. On the count of three we pushed up and forward.

"You have to lift a little higher," Rosalind called.

We pushed our shoulders against the wood again and counted to three again. The wagon raised just high enough to roll over the rock. We moved that cart forward and out of the way then did the same for the second and third carts.

There were so many potholes and large rocks in that twenty miles, we were exhausted by the time we reached the inn in Wuan. Not even the children were hungry after all the work we did. We reserved a space and flopped on the community bed. Hah...the kids didn't even talk or beg for water.

The next morning we woke refreshed and aching. I had bruises on top of bruises! We ate the breakfast served by the inn and were surprised to see a visitor asking to see us.

"Hello." The man bowed. "My name is Mr. Yen. I am the chief city official." He looked at our group and seemed to notice the children. "Did you travel with those children on the road from Changte? In the carts outside?"

"Yes. We've been to many villages in those carts."

"I went to Changte last month on that road. It was impassable by cart in places."

"Thank you for your concern, Mr. Yen. We are willing to travel those roads in what we have."


Sedan Chair used in China Photo Courtesy
He shook his head. "I will not hear of it. You will accept my offer of transportation by sedan for all of you, including the children. And in the future, if you come back, you must also use the sedans. If you do not, I will be offended."

I felt terrible. There were too many of us. It would take many sedans for our group. Not only that, I will feel terrible as a missionary who is to use money and services only for the work. These are chairs used by wealthy people. I began to politely refuse.

Mr. Yen held his hand up. "You will come to this city using the sedan transportation, or you will not have permission to come at all."

What could I say? "Thank you Mr. Yen. We are happy to accept your offer." I bowed. So did he, but he didn't leave.


There is more to this story. Come back next 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, July 8, 2017

Jesus-The Men of Nazareth Wanted a Rebellion


By Mary Vee
Luke 4



From Luke's Journal 

Photo by Mary Vee
To the right of the tree in the middle there is one
hill in the distance with a city. It is the
expanded/upper portions of Nazareth. Zoom in
to see a tiny piece of the city.
My name is Luke, I am a disciple of Jesus and a physician. I am here to tell you about the days I spent with Jesus. 

We followed Jesus on to Nazareth, I say we because I was not the only follower of Jesus.

Nazareth is a small city tucked in a valley between mountains. It is not on any trade route so most travelers don't go out of their way to visit there. Families who live in Nazareth enjoy living away from big cities and aren't interested in modern things like clothes and entertainment.

This was the city where Jesus grew up. And this is the place we are going today. 

We arrived before the Sabbath day. On the Sabbath, Jesus went to the synagogue like He always did on that day. We sat with him and waited for the service to begin. 

Jesus stood to read. He waited to be handed the scroll selected for today's reading. When he received it, He opened the scroll and found these words from the prophet Isaiah, which he then read: 

The Spirit of the Lord is on me because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.

The men sitting nearby nodded their agreement to the need. These were men who couldn't wait for an answer to the many problems in their country. The Romans made life difficult for the Jews and they wanted the Roman rule to stop. Someone needed to come and lead a rebellion, and if it was Jesus then they would be happy to join forces with Him.

Jesus kept reading the words of Isaiah the prophet. 

He has sent me to to those held in captivity that they can be set free and to restore sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed. and to proclaim that now is the time for the Jubilee of the Lord's grace. 

He rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant then sat down. It was expected for the reader to also speak so every eye stayed on Jesus, waiting for him. He said, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."

The men all around me were quite impressed with his gracious words. They listened to him speak more, anxious to join with someone who would lead a rebellion against the Romans.

Some said, "Wait, isn't this Joseph's son?" Others nodded, remembering Jesus growing up in this city and working as a carpenter beside his father.

They seemed unsure whether they wanted to hear Him speak more.

Then the questions began. 

Jesus didn't look overwhelmed at all. He stood there, ready to answer the men. The questions asked about taking over the country. Leading rebellions. Fixing the problems. That alone is quite a story to tell. I will come back next time to tell you about that.

Come back to read 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
*My notes from my trip to Israel.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Jesus: The Kingdom of Heaven is Near


By Mary Vee
Matthew 4, Mark 1, Luke 4



From Matthew, Mark, and Luke's Journal 

Photo by Mary Vee
The Sea of Galilee
My name is Matthew, I am a disciple of Jesus. Mark and Luke are sitting here with me, ready to tell what we know about our time with Jesus. 

News about John the Baptist spread. Herod had put him in prison. When Jesus heard what happened, he acted like he knew. Although the news made Jesus sad, he got up and walked to the road as if there was a job that needed to be done. 

"We are returning to Galilee," He said.

We gathered our few belongings and left Nazareth, the city where Jesus grew up. I was happy about our leaving. Not many of the people treated him very well there.  

We walked northeast toward the Sea of Galilee. Just so you know, that body of water isn't huge like the Mediterranean Sea. If you went to visit it today, it wouldn't seem gigantic. Water is drained from this sea in your time and bottled. As a result, the water level is going down. During the time Mark, John, and I lived, no one bothered to bottle water. So the sea level was much higher.

On the north side of the lake is a city called Capernaum. This was the town Peter and his mother-in-law had a home. It was the land given to the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali back in the days of Joshua. Come to think of it, the prophet Isaiah wrote these words long ago:

Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles--
The people living in darkness have seen a great light. On those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.  (Note from Mary Vee: this is Isaiah 9:1,2)

This is exactly what John the Baptizer said about Jesus. John the Baptizer said he was the one preparing the way and that Jesus was the light. Now here we are, going along the Jordan, up to Galilee after leaving Nazareth and into the land of Zebulun. I don't know about you, but I find this exciting to be a part of Isaiah's words coming true.

Jesus woke early each morning when we lived in Capernaum. We ate fish for breakfast then a crowd of people would gather around him. It was at this time that Jesus began to preach this message: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."

Luke here. News spread throughout the whole countryside about Jesus and the things he said. Jesus taught in the synagogues, because it was a place where regular men went to debate all kinds of topics. He like to teach these men about God. If you could have heard how smart Jesus was. There wasn't a single question that caught him off guard. Jesus knew a lot and he enjoyed helping people.

I'm not surprised everyone praised him as the Messiah. Probably because...He is.


Come back to read 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
*My notes from my trip to Israel.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Jonathan Goforth- Hiding Only Brings Sorrow

By Mary Vee
Year: October 1902
Jonathan Goforth-43 years old


Jonathan Goforth's Journal


My name is Jonathan Goforth. My wife, Rosalind and I are missionaries to China. I've been so excited to have my family back here with me. While my wife and children were in Canada, God gave me a brilliant idea.

The Chinese nationals in Changte who loved God proved their desire to take over the duties of the church. They'd stood strong for their faith even when their lives were threatened.

I turned the work over to them knowing they would tell their friends about the living God who loves them. It was time for me to go to other cities and villages in this region. I couldn't wait to get started.

But when I told Rosalind my idea, she said she wouldn't go. I was heart broken. "Please?" I begged her. "In my heart God has shown me the children will be safe and well. I need you."

She shook her head. "I will not let another child get sick from the awful diseases they have here. I'm going to keep them in the house and take care of them myself. No national nannies, and they won't be allowed to play with other Chinese children."

I pleaded with her. She refused to change her mind. In the days following, the other missionaries and I prepared and planned for a month long trip to the first village on our list. 

We didn't know how, but my son, Wallace became ill with dysentery. He was a strong boy, and with the doctor's help his health improved. I thought it was a good time to ask again, "Rosalind, please come with me. I need you and the children."

She said no. "I just can't expose the children to any more diseases."

I left for the next village with the other missionaries. I missed her. It would have been nice to hear the portable organ play in the meetings and have Rosalind to talk with the Chinese women. In one month's time, God opened the hearts of many Chinese in the new village. We started a new church there and placed the strong believers in God as the leaders. 

The other missionaries and I packed our things and returned to Changte promising to come back to the village to give any help. I walked in my front door excited to see my family, and asked, "How is Wallace?"

Rosalind kissed me and took me to the children's room. "Wallace has recovered."

"That's good news. Where is he?"

"Playing." A tear dripped from her eye.

"What's wrong?" 

"The baby is sick with dysentery. I called the doctor."

I walked into the baby's room. Constance lay still. 

"She's been sick for three days. The doctor came each morning to do what he could. He said her case is much worse than Wallace's. Jonathan, what can we do? We can't lose another child. Please, Jonathan." She wept.

"We can pray." I wrapped my arm around her and prayed, asking God to save our little daughter. I knew in my heart God loves His children and that the time for each one here on earth is unknown. When I opened my eyes Constance lay still in her bed. I set my hand on her forehead and felt no warmth. "She is with Jesus, Rosalind."

My poor wife. She cried so intensely. Her body shook with sobs for the longest time. After a while she took a deep breath and prayed out loud. "O God Almighty, You are the giver of life. Thank you for holding Constance right now. I know she can't come back to us here, but I trust You to love her until I can see her again." She wiped new tears on her sleeve. "This time, I will go where You want me to go to any village or city and tell the people about You." Two sobs crept from her before she said more. "Please, keep the rest of my children safe while they are with us."

We spent time remembering Constance with our friends, and laid her with her two sisters under the beautiful tree in the back of the compound.

That evening, Rosalind began packing for the next village. "Jonathan?"

"Yes?"

"From now on, the children and I will go with you and tell the Chinese about the living God who loves them. I won't hide with them any more. Hiding only brings sorrow."

I wrapped my arms around her, more in love with this wonderful wife God gave me than ever before. "I love you, Rosalind."

Life is never easy. Not on the mission field. Not at home. There is one thing we can remember and that is God loves us more than we can ever understand.



There is more to this story. Come back next 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.