Volume 65, Number 2
Distribute JANUARY 9, 2021
Pioneer Child of God
The Story of John Loughborough
What happened last week: John Loughborough
grew up in the 1800s on a farm near Victor, New York. Last week he disobeyed his mother and learned that disobedience can cause painful consequences!
John also learned about moving rock piles. He learned to follow God’s leading, even when it meant donating all the money, which he earned by moving rocks, to the mission field instead of buying candy.
Death in the family
John’s father was a good carpenter, and there was usually plenty of food on the table. Unfortunately, little was known at the time about healthy living. His mother cooked meat three times a day. For breakfast, she fried pork and used the pork grease to make a thick gravy to cover slices of bread.
At lunch, John ate boiled pork or corned beef. And at suppertime, his family usually ate dried beef or ham. For dessert, John would eat pie or shortcake that was so full of lard that he could squeeze the grease out of his dessert with a spoon! There were always tea and coffee on the table as well.
It is no wonder that people got sick eating this way! When John’s father was 37, he became very sick.
As a carpenter, Mr. Loughborough built houses and made furniture. He also made
coffins for people to be buried in. As if that wasn’t enough work, he also volunteered to preach in the surrounding churches and give Bible studies. One Sunday evening after he had preached in several small churches, he arrived home and was told that someone had died and would need a coffin in order to be buried the very next day. After preaching, John’s father had returned home at eleven o’clock at night, but he stayed up all night to finish the coffin.
With not enough rest, a poor diet, and lack of proper handwashing, John’s dad
became sick with typhoid. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot of knowledge about caring for the sick in the 1800s. The family doctor arrived at John’s house to take care of his father. It seems unbelievable today, but the first thing the doctor did was take large amounts of blood from John’s father! Then he gave Mr. Loughborough several strong medicines— some of which were highly poisonous.
It wasn’t long before John’s dad started running a high fever. A cool sponge bath would have helped, but doctors didn’t know to do that two hundred years ago. In fact, they believed that fresh air would kill the patient, so John’s dad was made to rest on a four-poster bed that was covered with heavy drapes to keep the air out. A small opening was made near the top of the bed so that John and the other children could look in on their father.
“Oh, Father, please get better,” John begged his dad.
But John’s father didn’t get better. Instead, he died. John’s father was only 37! John was just seven.
Farming and forgiveness
John was a middle child. When his dad died, John had two older siblings and two younger siblings.
Because there was no longer a source of income coming into the
home, it was decided that John should be sent to live with his grandfather who owned a farm three miles from Victor, New York. “John, you are a big boy now,” his grandpa stated when John arrived at the farm. “So I’m going to put you to work.”
morning, after breakfast, John walked out to the field with his grandpa. Grandpa led a
brown horse with a bridle. John led a black horse.
“Do you know what this device is?” Grandpa asked, pointing to a piece of machinery in the field.
“No, sir,” John responded. “It’s a plow,” Grandpa explained.
Grandpa showed John how to hook the horses up to the plow. Then he demonstrated how the machine worked. For the rest of
the day, John plowed the field. He enjoyed looking back and seeing furrow after furrow of dark-brown dirt!
After he finished plowing the field, Grandpa helped him hitch up a harrow to the team of horses. “What do you think you get to do now?” Grandpa asked.
“I think I’m going to ride up there,” John guessed, pointing at the seat on the machine. “Yes, you are,” Grandpa agreed.
“This machine is called a harrow. It smooths out
the bumpy furrows so we can plant.” After Grandpa showed him how the machine worked, John hopped up on the seat and enjoyed harrowing the fields to prepare them for planting. Finally, it was haying season. Grandpa and the hired hands cut the hay and the wheat. After it had been cut, it was turned over several times to dry, which sometimes took days. John took strands of wheat and tied them into sheaves and stood them up so the wheat berries could dry. Later he helped the men gather the sheaves of wheat into bundles. Each bundle had about a dozen sheaves, and they left those bundles in the field to dry more thoroughly.
Finally, the wheat was dry enough, so Grandpa brought his threshing machine and
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All rights reserved. The Bible picture story (p. 13) is written by Linda Porter Carlyle. The Sabbath School lesson (pp. 14, 15) is provided by the General Conference Sabbath School Department. Illustrations and photos are from Kim and Lars Justinen of Justinen Creative Group, iStockphoto, or Getty Images.
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his men out to the field.
“John, we are going to thresh wheat today,” Grandpa announced. “And I have just the job for you!”
John looked at the contraption, and then he looked at his grandpa. “Grandpa, I don’t know how to operate this machine,” John said.
“You don’t have to,” Grandpa explained as he handed John a pitchfork. “You are just going to use this.”
John watched as the sheaves of wheat were thrown into the machine. Straw flew out the back while wheat and chaff fell through the machine and landed on the ground beneath the machine.
“John, you are the shortest man here,” Grandpa told him. “I need you to stand underneath the threshing machine and scoop the wheat and chaff out from under the machine. I will pay you twenty-five cents per day for your work.”
John stepped beneath the machine and started scooping. Twenty-five cents a day was a good wage in those days!
John learned a lot about farming from his grandpa. He also learned a lot about forgiveness.
One day, when they were riding home from church, he heard their neighbors calling them names. John looked at Grandpa who ignored the men and looked straight
ahead. As they got closer to the farm, John noticed something terrible! “Look Grandpa!” John pointed. “The fence is broken, and the neighbor’s cows are in your corn and wheat!”
John watched as Grandpa got on one of the horses and herded the cattle back to where they belonged. He watched as Grandpa began fixing the fence. John ran to help him. After they had finished fixing the broken fence, John and Grandpa walked inside the house.
“Let’s pray for our neighbors,” Grandpa encouraged as he and John’s aunt knelt on the floor.
“Dear God,” Grandpa prayed, “please help us to be a loving example to our neighbors in spite of the way they treat us. Lord, we long for them to be saved. We long for them to be in heaven someday. Amen.”
Letting the cows into the corn wasn’t the only terrible thing the neighbors did. On another day after church, John noticed that branches full of cherries had been broken off the cherry trees. Weeks later, the dead branches were found in a grove of trees about a half mile away. Once again John watched as Grandpa prayed for their neighbors.
The mean tricks continued. While the family was at church, someone picked their pears. There were no pears left for Grandpa to sell. Months later, the rotten pears were found beneath a haystack out in the field.
During all of this hateful treatment, John never heard Grandpa utter one unkind word. Instead, he chose to show love for his enemies as Jesus taught in the Bible.
To be continued
Based on Ella Robinson, Lighter of Gospel
The Painful PebbleLucinda J. Rollings
Grandma, how do you like my new shoes?”
Sophie asked, lifting up each sparkly red shoe so Grandma could see them.
“They are very pretty,” Grandma said. “They look like princess shoes. Where did you get them? I might want a pair.”
Sophie giggled as she thought about Grandma wearing sparkly red shoes. “Mom bought them on sale at the department store. But I don’t think they come in your size.”
“Oh, that is too bad,” Grandma said, frowning. “But we do need to go to the department store today, so we can look. I need some new slippers and you need—”
“Ice cream!” Sophie cried, dancing around Grandma. “Can we get chocolate-chip cookie dough? That is my favorite.”
“We will put it on our list,” Grandma replied, giving Sophie a hug. “Let’s go so we can get back and have our ice-cream treat before supper.”
“OK!” Sophie put on her sweatshirt and waited patiently by the front door while Grandma got her purse.
While shopping in the shoe section of the department store, Sophie began limping. “Grandma, my foot hurts,” she complained. She stopped to wiggle her foot.
“Let’s sit over there,” Grandma suggested, pointing to a bench.
After sitting down, Grandma said, “Take off your shoe, and let’s see what is happening.”
Sophie unbuckled her shoe and handed it to Grandma. She peeled off her sock, and Grandma looked at Sophie’s foot. “There
is a red spot on the bottom of your toe. Something must be irritating it,” Grandma said. She ran her hand around the inside of Sophie’s shoe. “What is this?” she asked, turning Sophie’s shoe upside down and
tapping it against the bench. Ping! A tiny
pebble fell out.
“That was the problem,” Grandma decided. “That tiny pebble was rubbing on your toe. Your shoe should feel OK now.”
“Where is the pebble?” Sophie asked, looking at the floor. “I don’t see it.”
“There.” Grandma pointed to where a teeny, tiny pebble lay. “You know, only a real princess could feel a pebble that small,” Grandma said with a giggle. “Princesses have very tender skin.”
Sophie laughed, popped up from the bench, and gave a little curtsy. Then she tugged her sock back on and put her foot inside her shoe. “That feels so much better. Thank you, Grandma.”
Grandma and Sophie finished their shopping and headed home.
At home, Grandma took her new slippers out of the bag. “I really wanted princess shoes like yours, but—” She stopped and ran her hand on the inside of her slippers.
“What are you doing, Grandma?” Sophie asked.
“I’m checking for a pebble, princess!” Grandma replied as Sophie giggled. “Your pebble reminds me of a time when I did something that was wrong,” Grandma
continued. “I told an itsy-bitsy lie. It didn’t hurt anyone, but what does God say about lying?”
“We should never tell lies,” Sophie answered. “Lying makes God sad, even itsy-bitsy ones.”
“That is right,” Grandma said. “When we do something wrong, no matter how small we may think it is, we need to ask God to forgive us. My lie was like the pebble in your shoe. It was small and hidden. But it really bothered me. Sometimes I would lie awake in bed at night, tossing and turning, thinking about it.
“You may not know this, Sophie, but I am a real princess. That is why God’s Holy Spirit kept reminding me that I needed to confess that sin,” Grandma explained.
Sophie plopped her hands on her hips. “You are not a real princess,” she insisted.
“Well, think about this. Our heavenly Father is the King of kings, and we are His children,” Grandma explained. “That makes us princesses.”
Sophie’s eyes popped open to the size of saucers. Her mouth dropped wide open. “Wow! I never thought about that before,” she said. “I thought you were teasing when you called me a princess.”
“I was not teasing.” Grandma smiled. “Finally, I couldn’t stand it any longer. I had to ask God to forgive me. I was so relieved. I have never forgotten how I felt, trying to keep that lie from being found out. It’s been a good reminder to always tell the truth. Whenever you do wrong, it’s always best to confess.”
The Most Popular GirlsMargaret Shauers
Jaylene’s feet all but danced down
the hall to the lunchroom. She had been bubbling with joy all week. For the first time ever, Laura Lynn and her best friend, Becky, had been inviting her to sit with them during lunch.
The most popular girls in school,
Jaylene thought gleefully. They are so
much fun, always laughing and joking.
Better yet, they thought she was clever and funny too. And the boys—well, even if boys always acted as if they only wanted to tease girls, boys always made their first teasing stop at Laura Lynn and Becky’s table.
Jaylene smiled again and walked into the noisy lunchroom. Yes! At the front, Laura Lynn was waving at her. Becky called, “Jaylene, hurry and get your lunch. I have the most exciting news about my party.”
Rumor had it that Becky’s parents might hire clowns or a juggler for her party guests this year. Jaylene hugged herself with anticipation.
“Hi, Jaylene,” Denae said when she got into line. “Sit with me today?”
Denae was terribly shy. She was Jaylene’s neighbor, and they had sat together for most of the year. Now Jaylene wondered if she had been sitting by herself this week.
She gulped. “Oh, Denae,” she apologized. “I promised . . .” She let the words trail off, and a huge lump knotted up in her throat.
What she should do, of course, was ask Denae to join them—only Laura Lynn and Becky were pretty exclusive. It made her uncomfortable because she had heard them
laugh about a slower, shier kid in one of their classes. Denae was not slow, but she hung back from people so much that it was hard to tell.
I have just been accepted, she
thought. I can’t ruin it now.
“Your assignment for the week is to treat others as you would have them treat you,” her Sabbath School teacher had said just last week. “This is one of the best ways to show your love for God.”
Denae’s face turned white at Jaylene’s words, and for a horrible moment, it looked like she might cry. Jaylene felt like crying herself and hardly noticed what she pointed at for the lunchroom lady to put on her plate.
Why does loving God have to be so hard? she wondered. Then she felt ashamed. God had loved her enough to send His only Son to Earth to die for her sins!
Get real, Jaylene Mattocks, she lectured herself. Out loud, she said, “I promised to sit with Laura Lynn and Becky again. But hey, come with me. I know you will like them.”
Both girls were nice enough not to say anything hurtful to Denae’s face. And maybe she could encourage Denae to be brave enough to tell those side-splitting stories about the pet monkey her family had before the little creature became so mischievous they had to give it to a zoo. And how they visited every few weeks, and the monkey still knew them.
Maybe this would all work out. and Denae would have new friends too. If not—well, Jaylene decided to let God lead her. If not, it only meant He didn’t want them to be her friends either.
Joseph Anderson Donetti & Friends
Linda Porter Carlyle
These Joseph stories will help you understand what your Sabbath School lesson can mean for you. Find the first stories about Joseph and Mac at www.primarytreasure.com. Click on “Stories” and scroll down to read 40 or so stories that happened before this story. Always be sure to get permission from the adult you live with before going on the internet.
MacKenzie Isabelle Evans opened her
eyes. The bedroom was dark and cold and quiet. She wondered if it was still night. She turned her head and looked at the clock that sat on the old desk near her bed. The green numbers read 5:31. The one on the end turned into a two as she watched.
Well, that meant it was morning! Mac threw back the covers. She hurried over the cold floor and across the hall. She paused in the doorway of her parents’ room and squinted through the darkness. There was only one long lump in the bed. That meant Dad had already left for work.
Mac scurried over to the big bed and climbed in. She snuggled against her warm mother.
Mom rolled over and kissed Mac on the forehead. “You should have been a farm child,” she murmured. “You always wake up in time to milk the cows.”
“Cows would be fun!” Mac said. “I wish we had one.”
“Um,” Mom said.
“I think one of those black-and-white cows would look really pretty in our front yard,” Mac added.
Mom yawned. “What about when the front yard filled up with cow pies?” she asked.
“Um,” Mac said.
Mac and Mom lay snuggled together under the thick comforter. Mom dozed. Mac was thinking. “Pastor Chuck told us in Sabbath School that we should always listen for God’s voice like Abraham did,” Mac began. “But how do you know if God is talking to you?” she asked. “I mean, what does God sound like?”
“That is a very good question,” Mom said. She stretched. “And thank you for starting the day with a question I don’t have to look up to answer.”
Mac giggled. She knew, no matter how she sounded, that Mom really thought curiosity was a good thing.
“God speaks to everybody through His Word, the Bible,” Mom said. “You don’t have to worry about what God sounds like when you read the Bible. You just have to open it up and read and listen. And God speaks to everybody through His creation,” she went on. “Even the tiniest things God made tell us of His greatness.”
“But what about if God wants to talk to just me?” Mac asked. “Would I hear His
voice out loud?”
“Maybe,” Mom answered. “God could choose to speak to you personally. He has spoken to lots of people that way—Noah, Abraham, Jonah, David, and Samuel, and probably a lot more people I could name if I thought about it for a minute. And He also
speaks in dreams and visions.”
“I wonder what God’s voice sounds like,” Mac said softly.
“I think God speaks to a person’s mind more often than He speaks out loud,” Mom answered. She wiggled into a more comfortable position. “I love the story I
heard a pastor tell once about God speaking to him. He said that one day a family brought an elderly gentleman in a wheelchair up to him after a service. They asked the pastor if he would pray for their grandfather. The pastor said that God spoke to his heart and told him to take the grandfather’s hand and tell him to stand up and walk.” “What happened?” Mac asked eagerly. “Well, the pastor did just what God told him to do,” Mom answered. “He
took the grandfather’s hand. He prayed. And then he told him to stand up and walk—and the grandfather stood up. And he walked! The pastor said the grandchildren’s eyes got very big, and they exclaimed, ‘He hasn’t walked for three years! We were just going to ask you to pray for his cold!’ ”
Mac laughed with delight.
Mom went on. “The pastor said God had never asked him to do such a thing before, and He hasn’t asked him to do anything like it again. But he sure is glad he was listening and heard God’s instructions that one time!”
“I hope God asks me to do something wonderful like that someday!” Mac said.
“That is all God is looking for,” Mom said.
“People who are willing to listen for His voice and let Him use them. But you don’t have to wait to do something you think is huge and wonderful. God can use you to do small wonderful things for Him every day.” Mac could tell Mom was smiling in the darkness.
The alarm clock began its annoying
beep-beep-beep. Mom reached her arm out of the covers and turned it off.
Mac bounced and sat straight up. “It’s time to get out of bed and listen for God!” she exclaimed.
Mom groaned softly. “Go turn the heat up,” she said. “And please check the refrigerator and see if there is any milk. I may have to send you to the market before school. Or go out to find a cow.”
A Long, Long Walk
DIRECTIONS: Help Abram lead his family to Canaan. Only one trail
reaches their new home.
A Long, Long Walk
Abram was a friend of God. One day God told Abram, “I want
you to leave your city. I want you to move to a new
land. I will bless you in the new land,” God said. “I
will give you many children and grand children.”
Abram and his wife, Sarai, packed all of their things. The servants loaded the
donkeys and the camels. Servants gathered together Abram’s
sheep and cattle. Many people traveled with Abram and
Sarai. They had to walk a long way. They slept in tents at
night. Finally, the people reached the beautiful new land
of Canaan. Abram worshiped God and praised Him for all of His blessings.
This story can help me listen when God calls me to serve Him.
The Message: I will listen when God calls me to serve Him.
References: Genesis 12:1–7; Patriarchs and
Prophets, pp. 125–131.
I don’t want to move,” Mika groaned.
“Neither do I,” Anya replied. “Dad said he felt the Lord wanted him to take the new job. I wonder how he knows what God wants.”
“Let’s ask him,” Mika suggested.
“We need to ask you something, Dad,” Anya whispered, tugging at her dad’s shirt. “How can you be sure that God wants us to move?”
“That is probably the same question someone asked Abram when God told him to move,” Dad said. “Let me tell you a story.”
Abram loved God. He talked with God
often during the day. He wanted to do whatever God said.
One day God spoke to Abram. “It’s time for you to leave Ur, Abram. You must leave all of your friends and go to a place that I
will show you.”
Abram must have been speechless. Why would God want him to leave his home and go someplace else to live?
God continued, “I will bless you, Abram. I will give you children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Your family will grow into a mighty nation. You will be greatly blessed.”
Now that must have really made Abram wonder, for he and his wife, Sarai, did not have even one child.
Nevertheless, Abram and Sarai chose to obey God. They packed up all of their belongings. Abram’s servants folded and packed all the tents. The time had come to leave.
Abram called together all of those who would go with them. Lot, Abram’s nephew, joined the group. All the people
Lesson 2, for January 9–15, 2021*
“Then I heard the voice
of the Lord saying,
‘Whom shall I send?
And who will go for
us?’ And I said, ‘Here
am I. Send me!’ ”
(Isaiah 6:8, NIV).
who worked in Abram’s house and the people whom Abram had taught to worship God also got ready to go. They loaded their donkeys and their camels and began their long journey. Abram, Sarai, their family members, and their servants, walked the dusty road day after day. The
sun was hot. But through it all God provided for them.
Finally, the caravan reached the land of Canaan. But still Abram and Sarai, their people, their donkeys, and their camels traveled on. When would they stop? Where was God leading them?
In Shechem, a place where many Canaanites lived, there was a forest of trees called the Great Trees of Moreh. When Abram reached the forest of Moreh, he called to his servants, “Halt! Set up camp here.”
As the servants prepared the camp, God appeared and spoke to Abram. “Look around you, Abram,” God said. “This is the land that I am going to give you and your family.”
Abram looked around. He saw a wide, grassy valley with softly rolling hills. He saw olive trees, fig trees, and springs of cool water everywhere. But Abram also saw something
that made him very sad. Among the trees he saw altars that were used to worship idols.
Abram immediately gathered stones to build an altar. He wanted to worship God and thank Him for being with them during their journey. He wanted to tell God that he was willing to go anywhere God wanted. He was willing to do whatever God asked him to do.
“And so,” Dad told Anya and Mika, “we need to be willing to listen to God—just as Abram was. God spoke words directly to Abram. Today He may speak to us directly; through His Word, the Bible; or through the counsel of people who are following Him. Your mother and I are glad to serve where God sends us. And when we are willing, God lets us know what He wants. He gives us understanding and helps us know in our hearts what He wants us to do.”