Heroines of the Past
June 1, 2007, Published by Amy Puetz; P.O. Box 429; Wright, WY 82732
It has been a rush to get this newsletter out on time. There were several writing projects I have been working on and then I needed to write a story for this newsletter. The most exciting news this month is that I am an aunt! My sister and her husband had their first baby on May 20, 2007.
I sincerely hope you enjoy this edition of Heroines of the Past and I want to say a big thank you to those who contributed stories. Check out AmyPuetz.com to read the writer’s guide and to see past issues of Heroines.Pilgrim on a journey,
Heroines of the Past
P.O. Box 429
Wright, WY 82732
Heroines of the Past
Hope of the MessiahBy Lilly Rice
"Orpha!" Mother’s strong voice rose from behind the vineyard. "Orpha, come, my daughter! We shall gather the fruits before the sun rises. Make haste, child!" I rapidly finished weaving my large reed basket and strode down to her.
"I come, Mother."
All morning we gathered the fruits into our baskets, until it grew too hot to work. As I walked beside Mother back to the house, my damp hair clinging to my cheeks, I watched her smile approvingly at me.
"You have worked hard, daughter. Come, drink from the well and refresh yourself." I nodded gratefully and dipped my hands into the cool water. I did not take much, for the drought had been long and water was still scarce.
Mother watched me finish drinking before saying; "I go to the village today with your father and brother. You must come also. For it is said that the Messiah has come to Galilee and speaks wise things there." My heartbeat quickened excitedly. How long had it been that we had waited for the Messiah to come to us? He was here! At last! "Oh Mother! May we make haste? I so long to hear our Messiah speak!" Mother smiled at me, her tough skin wrinkling at the corners of her eyes.
"Patience, my Orpha. Go. Call to the men so that we may depart." I heaved my basket, full to the brim with the fruits of our vineyard, and ran quickly toward the house.
"Father! Rueben! We go to see the Messiah. Come!"
We walked the dirt rode to the city in silence, each of our hearts eager to hear the words of the Messiah, our long awaited Redeemer. Dust wafted across our feet and legs from the dry road, coating them with filth. I wished for a stream to refresh myself in. Half a mile from the town, I could see the crowd gathering, a mass of color and movement. I loved the gatherings! Seeing all the people out together for some special occasion, the colors of their garments all mixed, like the sky at sunset. It set my own heart ablaze with excitement and expectation.
Reaching the crowd, we wove through the multitude of people until at last we could see what captured their attention. A man stood, on top of a hill, speaking to the people. I squinted against the sun. His robe was simple, much unlike those around him, unlike anything I had expected. I could not make out his face. Then, as he began to speak, I forgot all else as I listened.
"Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and follow me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." I wondered at his words, and the gentleness in his voice as he continued.
"Verily, verily I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life," He finished. His words gave me a hope and a happiness, greater than I had ever known. Without a doubt, I knew that this was the Messiah!The End
About the author
Lilly Rice is a home schooled Freshmen of Hubbard, Iowa. She enjoys reading, writing, playing the piano, working at her local library, American Sign Language, acting, and traveling. She also loves history, horses, and the woods.
Maidens of Virtue
"Modesty: A Matter of the Heart"By Rita Rice
Keep a notebook handy to write down your answers to the questions or to just jot down ideas that you want to remember.
I. Whatever Happened to Shame?
III. Adorned for God
Prov. 4:23, Mark 7:20-23 (Motives drive actions)
1 Peter 3:3-4, 1 Tim. 2:9-10
A Maiden’s Mission
Ask the Lord to show you the true motives behind the clothing you wear. Discuss with your mother what a representative of Jesus Christ should look like and what necessary changes you will make to honor Him.
About the author
Rita Rice has homeschooled her three children for the past 14 years. She has been involved in moderating several Bible study groups, including a group designed for mothers and daughters, "Maidens of Virtue." She enjoys reading Puritan literature and working in her flower garden.
Jemimah’s FaithBy Amy Puetz
Jemimah gazed aimlessly at the black basalt rocks that made up the walls of her room. No place on earth could have felt more like a prison. The black rocks seemed to reflect her dark mood. As the stench of fresh caught fish floated into her room from the shore she knew that not far from Capernaum there were lovely green hills and fresh air but she sighed sadly knowing that she would not be allowed to see them. Jemimah forced herself to think of pleasant things and this made her return to the thoughts that often comforted her on days like today. She remembered her past.
Her reflections always started with her childhood. Oh, those happy days of working in her father's fields and helping her mother prepare the meals for the large family. Such wonderful days! In retrospect, her childhood seemed better than she thought it was growing up. Many times there wasn’t enough food and Father always just managed to scrape enough money together for the greedy tax collectors. But somehow the happiness, laughter, and joy were what she remembered most. Fondly she recalled how her family would go to Jerusalem every year for the Passover and how the Priests in their long robes frightened her a little. Reflecting on the glorious days of worshipping God brought a tear to her eye. How long had it been since she had set foot in the synagogue? Twelve years, twelve long unbearable years. Determinedly she raised herself on her mat, "This will never do." She told herself, "I must NOT think about that."
As if to change the subject she thought about a handsome man who suddenly appeared in her pleasant but mundane childhood. He was a wealthy merchant from Jerusalem named Jakin. Even after all these years the name still brought a smile to Jemimah’s lips. In her mind she saw him as a bridegroom tall, with a noble bearing, kind gentle eyes, a quick wit that found amusement in simple things, and a strength that came from deep within his soul. After he established a profitable trade in Jerusalem he returned to Capernaum to get a wife as he promised his dying mother that he would. Nearly every girl in Capernaum talked of the rich man. While gathering water at the well the maids of the town talked of Jakin Ben-Simon.
"I hear that he has come to get a wife." one girl said as she filled her jar.
"Imagine marrying him." another expressed dreamily, "he is so rich that she would never have to work again. And she would have servants and slaves to take care of all her needs."
"Rebecca is by far the pretties girl in town, perhaps he will choose her." this remark made the mentioned Rebecca color with delight.
Jemimah listened to their prattle for some time before adding her own thoughts, "Surely he is not thinking of marrying a poor girl but he came to choose a daughter from one of the wealthy families."
"Just like you Jemimah, always so practical." retorted one of her companions.
Jemimah had listened as long as possible to their silly day dreams and she answered sharply, "Jakin Ben-Simon is no doubt a man of honor and would be offended to hear a group of poor girls talking about him as though he were a piece of bread that could be taken by anyone who took a liking to it. If he is worth having at all I should think he would want a steady wife who has more to her credit than just being pretty." This last stunning remark was aimed at Rebecca who was already dreaming of being a bride.
The next day, Jemimah’s younger sister, Hannah, ran into the house. "Oh Jemimah, the flowers on the hills are in bloom!" Jemimah put down the cloak she was embroidering and listened to her sister’s hurried speech about the flora on the hillside. It had long been a tradition among the girls in Jemimah’s family to gather flowers on the lush hills around Capernaum each spring when they first appeared.
"Let’s ask Mother if we can pick them this afternoon." Hannah exclaimed excitedly.
"There is so much work to do and I must finish my embroidery." Jemimah reminded her but she longed to roam the hills too.
Good naturedly their mother agreed to let them go. After a delightful afternoon the girls headed home with their arms loaded with colorful flowers when suddenly right in the middle of the path lay a wounded man. A small scream escaped Hannah’s lips. Many stories were told in Capernaum of the bandits that lived in the hills. Surely this injured man must be one of them or at least had an encounter with one of them. Jemimah approached the limp form and saw that his arm and head were bloody.
"I think this man was thrown by a donkey," she said as she pointed to the hoof marks in the dirt. "Look, his money pouch is still here. If he were attacked by bandits it would be gone." This evidence hardly satisfied Hannah who expected to be surrounded by rough bandits any minute.
"You go get help and I will stay here." Jemimah told Hannah.
"But what if he’s a bandit? Or . . ." Hannah began but before she could finish her sentence Jemimah said, "Hannah look at his face! Does he look like a bad man?"
Hannah didn’t know what a bandit or a bad man looked like but she assumed they must have some significant feature if Jemimah said they did.
Soon Jakin, for that is who the injured man was, found himself comfortably recovering in the home of Caleb, Jeminah’s father. Jakin liked the kind Jemimah and fully convinced himself that she had saved his life. It was only natural that he should ask for her hand in marriage. All Capernaum celebrated their wedding, which took place during the summer of her fifteenth year. The two-week festivities were talked about for years.
The first years of their marriage were heavenly, although their first argument was over a trivial matter. While Jakin was gone on a trip to Caesarea, Jemimah, not wishing to make more work for the servants, took her meals with them in the kitchen. The result of her kind action was a complete lack of discipline in the house and the servants no longer respected their mistress. Jakin criticized Jemimah sharply when he returned for allowing herself to be disrespected by the servants. Stubbornly she defended herself as being in the right and they had very unpleasant things to say to each other. Before nightfall they both apologized and their relationship returned to a happy state.
After nearly five years Jemimah still had not borne any children and she feared that she never would but Jakin kindly reminded her that God often gave children to the barren. "Just think about Sarah, and Rebecca, and Leah," he said.
Then a terrible storm came into their lives. It was like the gales on the Sea of Galilee, which suddenly appear and can easily break apart the sturdiest of boats. Jemimah began noticing that her monthly flow of blood lasted longer each month. To her horror one month the cycle of blood never stopped. Two weeks, three weeks, fours weeks, it continued, until she and Jakin became very concerned. Taking her to the leading physicians in Jerusalem, Jakin began to think he might lose his beloved wife. For Jemimah life was unbearable, her flow of blood made her ceremonially unclean which meant she could not worship at the Temple and anyone who touched her would be unclean till evening and if anyone touched her bed or chair they would have to wash their clothes and be unclean till evening. Jakin prepared special rooms in the house for her and hired a Greek servant who would not be concerned about the Jewish law. If Jemimah had known that she would suffer for twelve long years from this malady the ray of hope she held onto during the first few years would have drained from her heart. Slowly the years crept by, initially Jemimah thought the disease would heal itself, then she assumed a qualified leech (as doctors were called in this time period) could cure her but when neither happened she began to despair. During the hardest days Jakin was a rod of strength to her. Seeing her condition worsen, Jakin proposed visiting a famous leech in Alexandria, Egypt. Reports of the famous physician had reached Jakin’s ears and he wanted to visit him while trading merchandise in Egypt. Willingly, Jemimah agreed to go to Egypt if the leech thought he could help her after Jakin described her symptoms to him. On Jakin’s return trip from Egypt his ship ran into a terrible storm and was lost.
To be continued!About the Author
Amy Puetz, a homeschool graduate, loves history, sewing, and working as a computer graphic artist for her company A to Z Designs. She is also the author of the exciting book Costumes with Character. Visit her website at www.AmyPuetz.com. She makes her home in Wright, Wyoming.
Web-siteA to Z Designs
Who Said It?Match the quote with the person who said it. Answers are at the bottom.
____ 1. Mary
____ 2. Elizabeth
____ 3. Ruth
____ 4. Esther
____ 5. Eve
____ 6. Abigail
____ 7. Rahab
____ 8. Naomi
____ 9. Queen of Sheba
____ 10. Jephthah’s daughter
(a) Your people will be my people and your God my God.
(b) My lord, let the blame be on me alone.
(c) Give me two months to roam the hills and weep with my friends, because I will never marry.
(d) Call me Mara because the Almighty has made my life very bitter.
(e) I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.
(f) The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true.
(g) Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!
(h) With the help of the Lord I brought forth a man.
(i) I know that the Lord has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us.
(j) If I perish, I perish.
Titus: A Comrade of the Cross
By Florence Morse Kingsley
Reviewed by Amy Puetz
In 1894 a publishing company offered a $1,000 reward to the person who could best bring to life the times when Jesus walked the earth. The resulting book, Titus: A Comrade of the Cross, by Florence Morse Kingsley is one of the most compelling books I have ever read. Most of the story is set in Capernaum along the picturesque Sea of Galilee. The story follows the life of a young man named Titus. Despite his brutal father Titus has a good heart and he cares tenderly for his crippled brother, Stephen. After a series of events Titus gets a job working in the home of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. Stories of Jesus and how he cures the sick reach the crippled Stephen and he begins to hope that one day he will walk again. There are so many people from the bible in this book that it would be impossible for me to name them all. The ending has a sudden twist that will surprise you but I can’t tell you what it is, you will have to read it for yourself and find out!
Florence Morse Kingsley wrote a sequel, Stephen: a Soldier of the Cross, which is also very good, but as is usually the case with sequels, it doesn’t compare with the first book.
Movie ReviewThe Nativity Story
Reviewed by Amy Puetz
The story of Mary and Joseph is vividly brought to life in this movie. In the poor town of Nazareth a young girl’s world is suddenly turned upside down when an angel tells her that she is going to be the mother of the Son of the Most High. Keisha Castle-Hughes does a remarkable job of portraying Mary as a devout girl with a kind and brave heart. It is fascinating to SEE such a well-known story brought to the screen with such authenticity and drama. There are only a few places where the movie strays from the true story found in scriptures but it is still a delight to watch.
Answers to Who Said It?(e) 1. Mary (Luke 1:38)
(g) 2. Elizabeth (Luke 1:42)
(a) 3. Ruth (Ruth 1:16)
(j) 4. Esther (Esther 4:16)
(h) 5. Eve (Genesis 4:1)
(b) 6. Abigail (I Samuel 25:24)
(i) 7. Rahab (Joshua 2:9)
(d) 8. Naomi (Ruth 1:20)
(f) 9. Queen of Sheba (I Kings 10:6)
(c) 10. Jephthah’s daughter (Judges 1:37)