Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Elisha-Poisonous Stew Cured with Bread

By Mary Vee
II Kings 4

From Elisha's Journal

I returned to the area of Gilgal, a small village west of the Jordan River and close to the last place where I saw Elijah. There I had a meeting with a company of prophets, about one hundred men. 

A famine overwhelmed us at the time and I could tell the prophets had difficulty focusing on our discussions. They needed food. I called to my servants. "Put on the large pot and cook some stew for these men."

My servants had worked with me for sometime now and knew the importance of following my directions exactly as I say, for usually the Lord was the source of the instruction.

At times, however, the instructions seemed to confuse them. Like this time. Famine possessed our land, therefore how could the servants make stew? I knew God would provide. We needed to put the pot and water over the fire and He would supply the nourishment. 

My servants went to the garden. Several found fresh herbs to add to the pot. One man, however, found a wild vine with gourds. Apparently he didn't recognize the gourds, but decided to fill his arms with plenty for the stew. 

I proceded teaching the prophets from the Words given to me by God while the stew cooked. A while later the servants served the meal to all the prophets and myself. It smelled delicious.

We gave thanks to God for the food and proceeded to take the first taste. Barely had the prophets swallowed when they complained of stomach problems. "O man of God, there is death in the pot!" The men stopped eating immediately.

I called out to my servants, "Bring some flour and put it in the pot." They did as I instructed, stirred and simmered the stew then re-served the meal. The prophets tasted the meal again and smiled their satisfaction.

Flour is what we make bread from. The Word of God is bread for our souls. When we have trials and problems, when we need to know His instructions, when we are spiritually hungry and are in need of nourishment, the Word of God will supply. 

This became the new lesson I taught the prophets. It is also the reason why God used the flour to neutralize the poisons from the gourds.
photo courtesy of

1.  Elisha spoke with a group of _____________
2.  The men were hungry because there was a __________ in the land.
3.  Elisha asked his servants to get the large __________.
4.  When the men took their first bite of the food what did they do?
5.  Elisha told his servants to bring _________ and put it in the ________
6.  What happened when the men ate the stew the second time.
7.  Why did God use flour to fix the problem?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hudson Taylor-The Urgency of Peace

By Mary Vee
Year: February, 1867 
Hudson Taylor: age 35

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

Had we stood by and done nothing, the Chinese would have killed the missionaries in our compound.

The local people became angry when Mr. and Mrs. Nicol insisted on wearing only English clothing. 

An outburst of disagreements clawed at the unity our missionary group once had. For the sake of the ministry, and to bring our group to an agreement I held a meeting to discuss the issues. 

All the missionaries present except Mr. Nicol held to their decision to wear Chinese clothes as long as they served in China. Mr. Nicol, on the other hand feared the Chinese and resolved to push forward to only wear English clothes for his and his wife's protection. A second missionary chose to agree with Mr. Nicol.

The local Chinese people threw stones at the missionary compound. Any time any of us walked in the streets men and women picked up stones and threw them at us. 

This simply could not continue. By God's grace we were called here to be a testimony to these people. I determined in my heart not to be chased out of the city because of this issue. The time had come to meet with Chinese officials.

I put on my Chinese attire: a long blue silk robe tied around the waist with a belt. Over the robe, a short jacket of brown satin. Also, black satin boots, and a cap with a very broad brim, red tassel, and a button marking a professor's distinction. Mr. Green and Mr. Valentine joined me, wearing European clothes. Mr. Tsiu gave us instruction as to the proper way to bow before an official.

We arrived at the prefect's, the city's high official, and requested to speak with him. The servant returned to the door and informed us the prefect did not have any interest in speaking with us.

Mr. Green squinted his eyes and shouted, "We will take the matter into the hands of the British consul."

Amazingly enough, the door opened wide and the servant invited us inside. The Prefect met us. We immediately bowed as Mr. Tsiu instructed. This seemed to have impressed the Prefect. He showed us to a meeting room and when he told us to sit, we sat in the place intended for the lower classes. 

"Please." He motioned for us to move. "Sit over here." He pointed to the seats of honor. This showed us he was pleased with our choosing to sit in the lower class area.

We talked for some time, answering his questions, and showing our desire to help the Chinese people medically and to tell them about the God who loves them. He seemed quite pleased with our comments.

A few days later, I was pleased to see the clinic filled with patients waiting to be seen. Mr. Tsiu and other missionaries ventured out to the streets to preach the Gospel and reported no one threw stones at them.

We were surprised by a visit from the prefect's secretary. He wanted to inspect the compound. I think the prefect was curious what a missionary facility looked like. At the end of the inspection, the secretary bowed in appreciation. "Your facility is all you have said. The clinic is helping our people. We are pleased to have you here."

I knew we would be accepted by everyone in the city now that the prefect had a report of our work. 

The urgency of bringing about this peace took a lot of strength. I can't tell you how tempted we were to give up and go home. Praise God He gave us the strength to challenge the misunderstandings and show the officials how God desires to show His love to the Chinese people.

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China--Inland China!
Blessed by God even in time of trial

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, October 26, 2013

Elisha- God Rewards The One Who Gives

Mary Vee
II Kings 4

From the Shunammite Woman's Journal

I went outside to do some chores one day and found a prophet of God walking by. He walked slow and seemed to need a rest. I invited him into my home, offered him something to eat and drink, and gave him a place to rest. He had good color in his face when he left. I also gave him some bread for his journey.

Some days later, I saw the prophet come my way again. He must have regular business that brings him this way. I invited him in my home again, gave him food, drink, and a place to rest. He thanked me several times before he left.

I told my husband about this prophet. "Husband, he comes by our home frequently. I would like to build a room for him on the roof. We could put a bed there and offer him the privacy to come and go as he needs.

My husband is a good man, always willing to help. He agreed to build the room. Once it was finished I put a bed, table, chair, and lamp in the room for the prophet.

The next time the prophet came, I showed him the room we made. He was completely overjoyed. He spent the one night, stopped in for food, then left repeating thank you several times.

A week later, the prophet returned. He asked to speak with me. I went right away, thinking there was some problem.

"Tell me," he said. "You have gone to all this trouble for us. Now, what can be done for you? Can we speak to the king or the commander of the army on your behalf?"

"No, I can't think of anything. I live here among my people and am quite happy."

The prophet turned to his servant. "Can you think of anything we can do to show our appreciate to this woman?

His servant said, "Well, she has no son and her husband is old."

The prophet smiled at me. "About this time next year, you will hold a son in your arms."

I didn't believe him. My husband is old. We've never had children. "Please don't tease me, O man of God."

"Trust me, you will have a son."

His words came true. I became pregnant soon after their visit and about the same time the next year, when he stopped by, I showed him my new son.

What a wonderful blessing from God.

photo courtesy of

1.  Who walked near the Shunammite woman's home?
2.  What did she do for the man?
3.  She asked her husband to build a _________ on the ________
4.  Elisha was so happy he asked her what she wanted as a gift. She said ______.
5.  Elisha asked his servant for an idea. He said ___________________________
6.  Elisha told the woman she _________________________________________
7.  Did his words come true? ____________________

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Elisha- God Uses What We Already Have

By Mary Vee
II Kings 4

From Elisha's Journals

I returned to Samaria after finishing my work on Mount Carmel. The next day, I met with a group of prophets. 

In the group, standing in the back, was a woman I recognized. She was the wife of a prophet, a friend. 

The men began a discussion among themselves and as they spoke the woman cried out. "Elisha, you may recall my husband was a prophet. He has died."

This indeed was sad news to hear. I waited for her to finish speaking.

"You know my husband revered the Lord," she said. "But now the bill collectors are coming to take my sons as slaves to pay our unpaid bills.

This could not be. I had to do something to help this poor woman. She needed her sons to help her earn money. "How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?"

Her eyebrows rose to show her concern. "I have nothing in my house at all except a little oil."

God spoke to my heart right away, telling me what to say. "Go around and ask all of your neighbors for empty jars. Don't ask for just a few ask for big ones and accept everything they will share. Then go inside your home and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side."

The woman left, immediately.

That evening she came back to me and said, "I did as you asked. We went to every home in our neighborhood and borrowed every jar and container we could. My sons and I took them home, closed our door, and poured the oil from my little jar. The oil did not kept flowing, more than what should have been in the jar. We filled every container. What should we do next?"

The Lord spoke to my heart again, giving me the next instruction for her. "Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left."

She followed my instructions and saw with her own eyes how God loves us and takes care of us, using what we already have.

photo courtesy of

1. The woman's husband was a ____________.
2. When he died, the bill collectors want to take her _______
3. Why did they want to take her ______?
4. She ask __________ for help.
5. The woman was told to borrow many ________
6. Fill them with ___________
7. And __________ them to pay her debts.
8. Did Elisha say she would have any money left over?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Hudson Taylor: The Evil One's Efforts to Destroy a Ministry

By Mary Vee
Year: February, 1867 
Hudson Taylor: age 35

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

The missionaries serving in our compound in inland China adjusted to a great daily routine. The work was not easy. We moved fast to complete the day's task. In the evenings we rejoiced in another day to serve the Lord.

Several months passed since we moved into this huge facility God gave us. We had a lot of repairs to make to damage caused by the war then moved on to remodeling needs for a hospital and chapel.

Word spread throughout the community announcing the opening of the hospital doors. The people became quite excited since the nearest hospital was many miles away.

On the morning of our first hospital day, we opened the doors and found two hundred people waiting to be seen. Some had been carried in liters. What a joy to help these people.

Right away, I prescribed medications, cleaned infected sores, and performed eye surgeries. If only you could have seen the patients faces when they opened their eyes after having cataracts removed. It was as the Scriptures says, once they were blind, but now they see.

I didn't stand silent while working. Oh, no. I shared God's love with every person, answered their questions, and explained meanings. While I worked with the patients, the other missionaries in our group mingled with those waiting and shared the good news of Christ's gift. One of the benefits: a crash course in learning to speak Chinese for the new missionaries.

I must interrupt this joyous report with other good news. During this month, specifically February 3, 1867, my daughter was born. What a blessings she brought to the whole compound. Every woman gladly took time to hold the little treasure.

About this time John McCarthy and his wife arrived to join our staff. What an instant blessing he became. Using his medical skills, he joined me in the hospital room and saw one hundred and sixty patients by himself in a single day. 

I find it difficult to express the complete joy and exhaustion we felt at the end of each day.


As we know, the evil one goes about his work like a roaring lion.

Do you remember Mr. Nicol? The man I mentioned the last time? The one who refused to wear Chinese clothes or eat a Chinese diet? Yes. Well, it seems he had more trouble to cause. 

He wrote letters to the board in England, accusing me of allowing the lady missionaries to associate with the men. He knew they had their own separate quarters and were not allowed in any setting where the men were unless escorted by my wife. Still he chose to send several letters with accusations. 

The women wept when they heard the news. Mr. Nicol not only worked to hurt the mission and my ministry, he also hurt the reputation of the female missionaries. Fortunately, those in China chose not to listen to the troublesome rumors. 

The evil one was not satisfied.

Rumors sent around the Chinese people in Ningbo, where I first started the mission, stating Chinese people had been kidnapped off of boats at night by foreigners and taken to foreign shores and forced to do labor.

In Hangzhou, the city of our new mission, stories moved from one person to another saying Chinese people had been drowned in wells, and that I had poisoned patients during surgery. 

Sadly, as a result, the number of people coming to the hospital greatly decreased. The local people threw stones at the building and fights broke out in the streets.

Please pray for us to endure this great trial and that the work of sharing the love of God among the Chinese people can go forward.  

It would be really easy for us to give up. We could pack all our things and return to England. But I and the other missionaries with me have committed to fulfill the calling of Jesus Christ our Lord. We will stay.

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China--Inland China!
Blessed by God even in time of trial

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, October 19, 2013

Elisha-Disrespect in Bethel Brings Grave Consequences

By Mary Vee
II Kings 2

From Elisha's Scrolls

Many years have passed now since ungodly kings began to teach the Israelites to walk away from worshipping God. King Jeroboam put golden statues of calfs in many locations around the country and told the people they could worship the calf as their god instead of walking all the way to the Temple in Jerusalem. The people obeyed.

As time went by, the people didn't see the value in the prophets (men sent my God to bring messages to the people). The kings and the people killed many of them, and listened only to fake prophets who told them words they liked to hear. Even the great prophet Elijah felt alone at times.

There are very few Israelites left who will invite us to their home for a meal or a night's sleep anymore. Lord have mercy. 

Not only are the adults showing disrespect and violence against us, but they are also teaching their children to mock us. The parents have no restraint on the their children when they bully the prophets. In fact, the children don't suffer any punishment, they are praised and therefore have made harassment of prophets a sport.

Elijah, my mentor and friend recently went up to the heavens in a chariot of fire. He brought me comfort and taught me many things. We'd discussed the strong disrespect of prophets especially in Bethel.

The Lord sent me to do a task in Bethel, a city close to Jerusalem. I put on Elijah's coat and took my walking staff and walked the road to Bethel in confidence. Knowing the Almighty would protect me.

As I drew close to the city, a group of children ran from the city gates to my direction. When they arrived they circled me like wild snapping dogs and shouted insults. They raised their fists as though I had harmed them.

I kept walking, choosing to ignore them, but this only encouraged their wrath. Their words became louder and they fell into a group behind me. I turned back, looking for any remorse in  their faces, any cause to give mercy to these children.

There was none. I had seen the same look of the faces of grown men who killed because of their anger. Their parents from Bethel had taught these children a hatred and a desire to torment, to the utmost, any prophet of God. 

This sin needed to stop. These children would grow up to men who's goal would be to rid the country of any men of God. 

The children shouted a new chant, "Go on up, you bald head!" 

There was the proof. These children knew Elijah went up to the heavens. They wanted me to leave as well. And the disrespect for the position God has given me in their statement "bald head" showed they would never change.

I looked back at them one more time. Was there even one child who regretted their mission? No. Not one. 

This must stop. "In the name of the Lord you are all cursed."

A true prophet is one who speaks the truth. When he says something for God, it will happen.

Two she bears sprang from the woods and attacked the children. 

The people of Bethel have now seen the consequence of their anger and disrespect for God.


Author's note: This was a difficult story to tell. I didn't know much of the background before researching in Matthew Henry's commentary. Without the background it seemed easy to think Elisha was cruel. But Matthew Henry points out that, without the Lord's approval, the curse would not have been fulfilled. This was a huge sin in the country of Israel that needed not to be passed on to future generations.

photo courtesy of

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Since You're Here, Elisha...

By Mary Vee
II Kings 2

From the Elisha's Journals

Before Elijah left me, he asked, "What can I do for you." 

More than anything in the world, I wanted to serve God and the only way I knew I could do that well was to ask for a double portion of the spirit that was in Elijah. So I did.

After Elijah left me I took his coat and wondered how I should get back across the Jordan River. God spoke to me plainly. I knew immediately what to do. 

I had an amazing sensation, a knowledge of God's presence.

I hit the water with Elijah's coat as he had and God divided the waters for me to cross. He did that just for me!

If God is willing to do something so big for one so unworthy as me, than He is willing to take care of all of those who love Him.

The fifty prophets of Jericho met me on the shore of the river. They asked if they could go look for Elijah. They thought God moved him to a high mountain or a valley. I knew they would never find him. God had taken him up to the heavens. But they didn't understand. I finally gave them permission to search for him. 

While they were gone, I went to Jericho and waited for them there. At some point the prophets would return. Perhaps confused. Perhaps understanding.

The fifty men did return days later. They came to me and said what I knew they would: "We didn't find Elijah." 

Yes, of course they could not find him. They had to see for themselves, though. 

Men from the city joined our conversation. One man said, "Since you are here, Elisha, we'd like to present our problem to you. Jericho is well situated, as you can see, but the water is bad and the land is unproductive."

The Almighty spoke to me right away. He told me what He wanted me to do. I asked for a bowl and requested salt to be poured into it. The men did as I asked.

I took the bowl with the salt to the spring and threw the salt into it and said, "This is what the Lord says: 'I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive.'" 

I didn't have to go back days or months later to see if the water was good. I knew it would be, because God said so.

Still, there have been a few occasions when a man from Jericho came to me and happily reported the water was still delicious and the land grew healthy crops thanks to the good water..

And they thought it wouldn't? If God says it is--it is.

Photo courtesy of

1. When the prophets returned from searching for Elijah the men of Jericho told Elisha about a problem. What was the problem.
2. What did Elisha do?
3. What did he ask for?
4. What did he do with those objects?
5. What message did he give the people as he poured salt into the spring?
6. Did the water stay good?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Hudson Taylor-Those Who Cause Trouble

By Mary Vee
Year: December, 1866 
Hudson Taylor: age 34

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

Life would be immeasurably easier if those we worked with felt the same commitment to a job, right? Missionaries are not exempt from having one or two fellow workers who choose to find problems then stir up the joy in the workers.

Our problem started the day we sent one of our missionary couples, Lewis and Eliza Nichols, to a nearby city to expand our work. They met George and Adelaide Moules who worked for  another missionary group. George and Adelaide firmly believed Chinese people would not listen to their message about God's love unless they wore proper English clothes. After all how else could the Chinese notice a difference?

I, and the others who came with me, firmly believed that the Chinese would see our respect for them and show how much we truly cared about their feelings by wearing the same type of clothes. Well, I've mentioned this more than once in my past writings to you. I'll go on with the story.

Lewis and Eliza spent many evenings with George and Adelaide. I didn't know it at the time, but apparently the couple listened to George and chose to start wearing English clothes. This of course created quite a stir in the city where they worked.

The people in their village stopped coming to the Sunday services. After several weeks, Lewis came to me. I was shocked to see him in English clothes, but chose not to say anything at the time. Perhaps by staying with the main group a few days he would see the strong reason to return to wearing Chinese clothes.

Lewis and Eliza did not. They wore their English clothes every day. They requested help, a national to go with them and translate the church service for Lewis.

I must admit I was quite disappointed he didn't work through the problem as others have. I sent for a national from Ningbo, where I once worked, and asked him to go with Lewis back to their ministry. 

Tsiu arrived in a short time and left with the Nicols' for Siaoshan. While there, as I expected, the townsfolk became upset. An agreement had been made stating the foreigners renting the house had to wear Chinese clothes.

One night the mayor came to Nichols' home and dragged Tsiu out to the streets. Before their eyes the men beat Tsiu. The mayor then turned to Lewis and Eliza and said, "Will you leave now? If any of you are in this house tomorrow, you will be beheaded." 

Shocked at the brutal beating of the national worker, the Nichols' agreed to leave. They fled back to our mission compound and told us what happened. I immediately wrote the British Counsel telling them everything that happened and asked action to be take on our behalf.

Despite Tsiu's beating, Lewis and Eliza still believed they should only wear English clothes when doing missionary work in China. I spoke with them several times reminding him why we felt wearing Chinese clothes helped our ministry.

Lewis said, "I will not be bound neck and heel to any man."

His comment broke my heart. "If you persist in wearing English clothes, it could bring harm to our mission, like what happened to Tsiu."

Lewis shook his head and his face reddened with anger. "Then I suppose I had better make my way at once to one of the free ports."

His threat did not bother me. In fact, I saw it as a direction from God. "That may indeed prove to be the best course." I would not force him to leave. I would much rather he stayed and learned to change his mind. 

Lewis was a young man who needed patients and kind treatment to win his rough spirit. Unfortunately the couple would not listen. They refused to change to Chinese clothes like everyone else in the mission house. They even refused to come to our meetings.

I don't know if the Nichols' will choose to remain in China. 

Please pray for Lewis and Eliza Nichols as they seek God's will for their life. We could use their help here, but only if it's God's will. 

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China--Inland China!
Blessed by God

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, October 12, 2013

Where is Elijah?

By Mary Vee
II Kings 2

From the Scrolls Kept to Record Events 
from the 50 Prophets of Jericho

As scribe for the group of prophets residing in Jericho it has been my duty to record the events we witness and participate in. 

Yesterday, late in the afternoon, Elijah and Elisha came to our city. Elijah had work to do and Elisha came as his apprentice.

The Lord spoke to us, saying He would take Elijah on this day. We confirmed the message with one another and agreed the Lord had indeed spoken to us.

As Elijah performed duties in our city, assigned by God, we pulled Elisha aside and told him what the Lord had said.

Elisha nodded as if he already knew. He asked us to not tell anyone. 

We obeyed, but wanted to see what the Lord would do. We followed the two prophets from a distance, which unfortunately meant we could not hear their words. At least we could see where they went.

The two prophets approached the Jordan River and stopped. Elijah removed his coat and hit the water with it. We had heard about the Lord dividing the Red Sea for Moses and the Israelites escaping the Egyptians. We'd also heard about the time He divided the Jordan River for the Israelites as they ventured into the Promised Land for the first time. 

We however, had never witnessed such an event until now. As Elijah's coat hit the water, the river divided leaving dry ground for the two men to cross. They spoke for a short time on the other bank then walked out of our sight.

Not long after, Elisha came back to the river bank wearing Elijah's coat. He hit the water with the coat, like Elijah had, and walked across dry ground. We ran down to the river eager to learn what happened to Elijah.

At the shore we all bowed to the ground before Elisha. He told us Elijah had been taken in a chariot up in a whirlwind sent by God.

One of the prophets spoke, "We have fifty men. Let us go and look for Elijah. Perhaps the Spirit of the Lord has picked him up and set him down on some mountain or in some valley."

Elisha shook his head, "No. Don't send them."

Maybe he was in shock over Elijah leaving. We didn't know why he said that. We continued to offer to go search for Elijah.

Elijah had a twinkle in his eye and he raised his had to quiet us. "Okay, Go ahead and send them."

We worked our way across the river and set out to search the countryside for Elijah. We journeyed to the mountains and valleys, calling his name and never found him. After a thorough search, we gave up and sadly returned to Jericho and found Elisha. 

We bowed before him and lowered our heads. "We did not find Elijah."

He shrugged. "Didn't I tell you not to go? I knew you wouldn't find him. The Lord has taken him to the heavens, as I said and saw Him do."


photo courtesy of

1. Where were the prophets from?
2. Why did they follow Elijah and Elisha.
3. When Elisha came back alone, the prophets asked him if they could _______
4. Why did Elisha say yes?
5. What did the prophets find?
6. They went back to Elisha to report their findings. What did Elisha say?
7. Where did Elijah go?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Elijah Says Goodbye to Elisha part 2

By Mary Vee
II Kings 2

From Elisha's Journals

Elijah stood by me at the shore of the Jordan River. Elijah took his coat, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided, leaving a path for us to cross to the other side. I looked down and saw the bed of the river, the very soil which a moment ago had river waters  moving across, felt dry on my feet."

Again, as I had so many times before, when standing near Elijah, I marveled at this prophet's faith, and God's provision, wishing I could have such faith.

We stepped onto the shore of the other side and went no farther. Elijah turned to me, "Elisha, tell me, what can I do for you before I'm taken from you?"

Sure there were about a million things I could have said, but only one request tugged at my heart. "Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit."

Elijah's eyebrows raised. He stroke his beard and shook his head. "You have asked a difficult thing. Yet, if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours. If you don't see me when I go, your request will not come true."

I knew. Even after only serving with Elijah this short time that he was not a magical person or that he had special powers to grant me wishes. What this great prophet had was the very relationship God asks of all His children. Elijah had spent so many days speaking with the Almighty, learning His ways, seeking to understand Him, that God freely spoke through Elijah.

This was God granting me my request--if I obeyed Him and stayed close to the prophet who trained me to the very end.

Elijah stepped forward, continuing our journey. I didn't know where we were going. I didn't really care. I only wanted to learn more about God and what He expected from His servant. 

We came to a hill. Suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated us. A whirlwind swirled around Elijah and lifted him to the heavens.

I raised my hands and cried out, "My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!" And then Elijah was gone. Just like that. 

I stood alone.

I pressed my hand on my chest and wept. When I opened my eyes I saw Elijah's coat on the ground. I walked back in the direction we came, because I didn't know what else to do. I stood at the bank of the Jordan, pulled Elijah's coat off of my back and hit the water with it.

"Where are You, Lord, the God of Elijah?"

As Elijah's coat slapped the water, the river divided, opening a path for me. I walked across the river bed to the side where the prophets waited and watched.

The fifty men came to me and bowed. The leader said, "The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha."

photo courtesy of

1.  What did Elijah do with his coat. 
2.  What happened to the Jordan River.
3.  When Elijah and Elisha walked on the far shore of the river what did Elijah ask Elisha?
4.  What was Elisha's answer?
5.  When Elijah answered him, was Elijah the one giving Elisha what he asked?
6.  After walking a short ways, what did Elisha see?
7.  What happened to Elijah?
8.  What happened to his coat?
9.  What did the 50 prophets say when Elisha came back?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hudson Taylor-Feeling at Home in China

By Mary Vee
Year: December, 1866 
Hudson Taylor: age 34

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

Sixteen new missionaries and my family moved into the former Mandarin home. It may have been a mess from war damage, but it felt like home from the first moment we walked into the building.

Settling into a foreign country by yourself can be a bit scary. God, in His loving kindness, sent a group which became a  family. We grew closer to each other in friendship and in our personal walks with Christ.

We scrubbed floors, replaced damaged walls and ceilings, and put paper over holes allowing cold wind into the rooms.

We determined ahead of time to blend in with the Chinese culture in as many aspects as God would permit. After all, Jesus said we were to be in the world, not of the world. 

And I tried to place myself in the feet of a Chinese person. Would I be willing to listen to someone who came to England who didn't respect me? If someone came to my door fully dressed in the native clothing of another country and said they had an important message to tell me, I'd probably laugh in their face. Clearly the person didn't care enough about me or my country to communicate in a way I could understand.

Every man, woman, and yes, even my children wore Chinese clothes. We ate rice and cooked other meals like the native people, and ate with chopsticks. We spoke only their language even in the house. 

Speaking Chinese in the house showed we had nothing to hide and would not keep secrets from the local people. The local people we employed to help us soon relaxed when in the mission house for church services or the clinic for medical help.

We hired carpenters and other workers, giving jobs to local people who would know best how to repair the mission house. While we worked side by side, we shared God's love with our local helpers. 

Several women stopped burning incense to their gods and instead, prayed to the Almighty God. The number of local people attending Sunday services grew. What a blessing! 

The missionaries in the house and I met. We decided it was time to branch out. We had our base, now we needed to reach deeper into inland China.

Please pray for us as we set up our base in Hangchow, China and seek God's will where to go next.

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China--Inland China!
Blessed by God

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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, October 5, 2013

Elijah Says Good Bye to Elisha part 1

By Mary Vee
II Kings 2

From Elisha's Scrolls

I have trained under the prophet Elijah and have learned more than I could have ever asked. The Lord has truly poured his goodness upon this man.

On this day, Elijah and I walked on the road from Gilgal to Bethel, a short journey to the south. He stopped and said to me, "Stay here, Elisha. The Lord has sent me to Bethel."

In truth I didn't want to miss anything. Who knows what I could learn. I had dedicated my life to follow in the steps of Elijah, willing and ready to do God's will. I said to him "As surely as the Lord lives, and as you live, I will not leave you."

Elijah did the work in Bethel, directed by God. While there a group of prophets came to me and said softly, "Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?"

I nodded. Feeling sad about the situation. "Yes, I know, but please don't talk about it."

Elijah called me over to him and said, "Stay here, Elisha, the Lord has sent me to Jericho."

I felt very determined to not leave him. "As surely as the Lord lives and as you lie, I will not leave you." We walked to Jericho to the north.

While in Jericho, a group of prophets from that city came to me and said, "Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?"

Again the Lord spoke through the prophets. "Yes. I know, thank you. But please do not speak of it."

Elijah nodded for me to come over to him. "Elisha, Stay here. The Lord has sent me to the Jordan River."

The sun had moved far in the sky, there wasn't much left of the day. I couldn't leave him now. "As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you." We walked to the Jordan. 

I looked back and saw the prophets from Jericho following us but keeping a reasonable distance.

I want to tell you the whole story. What is to come next is exciting but will take another post to tell you. Come back to hear what happened next.


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1. Elisha and Elijah first went to ____________.
2. On the way there, Elijah told Elisha to ____________
3. Next they went to ______________
4. Prophets came to Elisha and told him ___________
5. Next Elisha and Elijah went to ________________
6. Why didn't Elisha want to stay back like Elijah told him to?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Ahaziah-Showdown with Elijah

By Mary Vee
II Kings 1

From Elijah's Scrolls

I have been a prophet during the time of too many evil kings in Israel. Once again, another evil king is on the throne. This king's name is Ahaziah.

Ahaziah fell recently. He suffered a severe injury. He made a bad choice when he sent messengers to Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron. As if that would do any good. 

God had given me a message, told me to stop the messengers on their way, and give them the message to take back to king Ahaziah. God wanted Ahaziah to know he would die since he sent messengers to Baal-Zebub to ask his questions. 

He could have sent the messengers to me and I would have asked the Lord. Everything might have turned out differently for him had he only looked to God for his answers instead of  a false god.

This morning, apparently Ahaziah became quite angry. He sent a captain with a company of fifty men to me. I could see them coming for quite a ways from the top of the hill where I sat. The captain halted his men when he reached the top and said, "Man of God, the king says, 'Come down!'"

Unbelievable. Did he honestly think I would be afraid? "If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!" 

Instantly fire fell from heaven and consumed the captain and his men. 

The fire didn't surprise me. God wanted to make a point to Ahaziah.

I assumed word about the captain and his soldiers reached Ahaziah not long after. Sure enough, the king still thought he could take control. He sent another captain with fifty men.

The captain said, "Man of God this is what the king says, 'Come down at once!"

Uh huh. Adding the words at once would frighten me? Not at all. "If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!"

Instantly fire fell from heaven, again, and consumed the captain and his men.

The king didn't not learn his lessons very well. Not much later, a third captain came with fifty men. But this captain fell on his knees before me and begged. "Man of God, please have respect for my life and the lives of these fifty men, your servants! See, fire has fallen from heaven and consumed the first two captains and all their men. But now have respect for my life!"

As his words ended, the angel of the Lord spoke to me saying, "Go down with him. Do not be afraid of him."

I stood and walked freely with the captain and his men. They took me to the king's chambers. where he lay in pain.

"King Ahaziah, This is what the Lord says: Because you sent messengers to ask questions of a fake god instead of coming to me you will never leave this bed and will die."

A few days later, king Ahaziah died. Just as the Lord said.

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1.  After King Ahaziah fell, what did he do wrong?
2.  King Ahaziah became angry at Elijah and sent ________ to fetch him.
3. What happened to them?
4.  King Ahaziah then sent a captain and fifty men. What happened to them?
5.  A third time, King Ahaziah sent a captain and fifty men, but what happened differently this time?
6.  What did the angel tell Elijah?
7.  What happened to king Ahaziah?