Kid's Good News
Vol 1-issue 39             Nov/14 /2002


From Sherly's Desk
Bible Story
Story time
This Week's Riddle #36
Answer of Riddle #35 and Winner
Change of Email Addresses

From Sherly's Desk:
Biblical Archeology Review featured one article in the month of October regarding the oldest artifact found in Jerusalem.  It is an ancient stone box called an "ossuary" dated 63 A.D.  Such boxes they used to put bones of dead person.  This particular box has an inscription in Aramaic language which is an ancient language and commonly spoken at the time of Jesus.  "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus" is inscribed on this box.  Archeologists believe that if this were talking about "Jesus of Nazareth" then it would be the oldest piece of evidence of Jesus outside the Bible.

There were two problems with this box.  1. Making sure of its Authenticity 2. To know whether James was the same brother of Jesus who is mentioned in the Bible.

Hershel Shanks, the editor of the Biblical Archeology Review said on News Hour with Jim Lahrer that paleographers have examined the writings on this box and found it reliable or trustworthy.  A paleographer is a person who examines or studies ancient languages and gives scholarly interpretation of earlier, especially ancient, writing and forms of writing.  He/she examines the oldest inscribed letter or writings and the manner of writings to know how old was that language, when it could have been written etc.

After analyzing they found that the inscribed Aramaic writings are of mid- first-century inscription at the same time when Jesus, James the brother of Jesus and Joseph the father of Jesus lived.  This was the time when Jews used to bury their dead and almost one year later they picked their bones and put it in a stone box called "Ossuary".  That also confirms the authenticity of this box.

Second thing is that these type of box or ossuaries have the common practice of putting the name of the dead person and his father.  They do not use the name of brother but in this particular box, Jesus' name is used as James brother.  According to the scholars, it may be because Jesus was the prominent figure of that time.  There is no chance that James may be Jesus' nearest kin or cousin or someone else because it clearly says that, "James, son of Joseph".

Archeologist are believing that this is most valuable and unique piece of evidence which will link the Biblical Jesus.

Bible Story:

Joseph reveals himself to his brothers -2
And Joseph said to his brothers, "Please come near to me." So they came near. Then he said: "I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt.  But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.  For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting.  And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance."

"So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.  Hurry and go up to my father, and say to him, 'Thus says your son Joseph: "God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not tarry.  You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near to me, you and your children, your children's children, your flocks and your herds, and all that you have.  There I will provide for you, lest you and your household, and all that you have, come to poverty; for there are still five years of famine.  And behold, your eyes and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see that it is my mouth that speaks to you.  So you shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that you have seen; and you shall hurry and bring my father down here."

Then Joseph fell on his brother Benjamin's neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck.  Moreover he kissed all his brothers and wept over them, and after that his brothers talked with him.  Now the report of it was heard in Pharaoh's house, saying, "Joseph's brothers have come." So it pleased Pharaoh and his servants well.  And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Say to your brothers, 'Do this: Load your animals and depart; go to the land of Canaan.  Bring your father and your households and come to me; I will give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you will eat the fat of the land.  Now you are commanded; do this: Take carts out of the land of Egypt for your little ones and your wives; bring your father and come. Also do not be concerned about your goods, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.'"

Then the sons of Israel did so; and Joseph gave them carts, according to the command of Pharaoh, and he gave them provisions for the journey.  He gave to all of them, to each man, changes of garments; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five changes of garments.  And he sent to his father these things: ten donkeys loaded with the good things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain, bread, and food for his father for the journey.  So he sent his brothers away, and they departed; and he said to them, "See that you do not become troubled along the way."

Then they went up out of Egypt, and came to the land of Canaan to Jacob their father.  And they told him, saying, "Joseph is still alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt." And Jacob's heart stood still, because he did not believe them.  But when they told him all the words which Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived.  Then Israel said, "It is enough. Joseph my son is still alive. I will go and see him before I die."


Story time....

O Jesus, Son of Maryam, heal me - 13

Till this time you have read that, Gulshan Fatima was paralyzed at her left side when she was only 6 months old. Her mother died when she was an infant. Her father loved her so much that he took her to England for treatment but when they heard the disappointing words of doctor, "it has no cure", their hearts broke down. Her father encouraged her and said, "We will go to Mecca and knock the door of Allah, and he will heal you." So they went to Mecca and visited Ka'aba - the house of Allah. Even she kissed the cubical shape of ka'aba but to their utter despair nothing happened. To avoid her father's troubled look, she kept her face down. Then they visited Safa and Marva from where they bought Zamzam water. She bathed with that water but nothing happened. She and her father returned home heart broken. Next blow for her was, her beloved father's death!! But while she was so disturbed, she heard a low, gentle voice telling her to read about Jesus in Quran Sura Maryam. She started reading Urdu Quran and started praying, "O Jesus, Son of Maryam, heal me!! Three years later her prayers were answered with a marvelous vision of Jesus. Jesus personally came and healed her. From the very first day, she realized the growing opposition from her relatives and acquaintance. Three weeks later she got a Bible. While reading the Bible she discovered the amazing fact that the Lord's Prayer which was taught by Jesus to her in her vision was found in the Bible word by word. Later she realized that baptism was necessary according to the Bible, so she took baptism and she was given the new name Gulshan Esther. She was rejected by her family members. Then she heard that her sister was dying. She went to see her but by that time she was dead. But God had told her that her sister will not die but will live. The miracle happened exactly. She came back to life after 14 hours. But when Gulshan returned to her school, she found that she had no job any longer. She returned to her sister's home but soon Anis's husband told her to get out of his house. So Gulshan went to Rawalpindi as advised by Anis but she was trapped....

Gulshan was puzzled hearing the door banged close behind her. She asked the lady near her, "what's going on, where is the job I have to do?" The lady said, "Job"? You are in jail like us, what have you done to be here?" Oh, she realized that the so called family friend has tricked her and put her in jail. She went to the gate and shook it and shouted but there was no answer. The lady again spoke and said, "no matter how much you shout, no one will get you out. You have to remain here until the trial or you have someone who can give bail and take you out. She started thinking, "how long I would have to stay here? Is being Christian a crime?" Of course being a minority is not a crime but her case was different. According to the Islamic Law she was a criminal. She also remembered that Anis promised to visit her soon. She looked at her bag and found that her Bible was still in it.

She looked around and saw the dirty floor, dark and airless room without any windows. Other women were sitting on dirty mats oncold, hard, dirty floor wrapping themselves with as many clothes to protect themselves from the Himalayan cold. She realized that she would not be able to sleep in that environment. She sat during the whole night without sleep. Hygiene was a problem in that cell and it really bothered her a lot. The whole room was filled with very unpleasant smell of toilet and there was no proper washing facilities. One Picher water was for all the ten people for drinking and washing purpose. Food was not good at all and the language spoken by jailers were so bad which made her uneasy. Sometimes family members of fellow prisoners visited and gave them food, clean cloths etc. They distributed among themselves and ate the food bought by family members but they had no interest in Gulshan. So they never gave her anything. Very often she heard the screams of fellow prisoners beaten up by police and wondered would it be her fate too? She could not sleep nor eat anything on her first week of stay in jail. But the only consolation for her was her precious Bible which she read very often and great peace filled her soul. She read about Peter in
Acts 12:6-8 and thought that he was also in the same condition as she was but they gave thanks and praise to God and rejoiced in Him. She also started thanking and praising God for her circumstances.

Her fellow prisoners were obviously criminals who broke the laws of Govt. by shop lifting, being in gangs etc. One of the women among them had murdered her husband and so she was in that jail. Gulshan's silence and continually concentrating on her Bible increased their curiosity and respect toward her. Finally one day a youngish woman whose face was full of evil asked her, "What is this that you read with this much interest?" She told further, "You were reading this book for many days without paying attention toward anybody, so it may be good, what is it about?" Gulshan asked, "Do you really want to know what is in it?" She said, "Yes, anything to pass the time." Other women also stopped their gossips to listen to their conversation.

Gulshan spoke about Jesus to those women. She held her Bible in her hand and said, "This is a mirror." But she was interrupted by one of the women, "How can it be a mirror, I think it is a book." She looked around to gather support from other women. Gulshan told her, Yes, it is a book which is also a mirror because it shows how we appear to God who is the judge of all." Other woman said with a cruel laugh, "Its not a good sight." Gulshan said, "You are right, because this book shows our real image and this book shows the evil things we do whom we call "Sin". Our sins are not good deeds in the sight of men or God. If we do something wrong, men punish us for our sin. God is holy so He should punish and condemn our sins more than any human being does. God does not like sin and the penalty of sin is death. That poor woman was listening very carefully. Gulshan continued her talks and said, "then you may be thinking that there is no way out or no escape for us and we must suffer the consequences of our sins. But the mirror shows that God deals with our sins in two ways. One way leads to death and the other way leads to life and we have to choose which way we would go. Kalsoum broke the silence of that room and asked, "how does the mirror do all these?"

Gulshan quoted
Mat 11:28 where Jesus said, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." and said, "This mirror shows us that God Himself provided a way for sinners to get forgiveness of their sins." They were listening to the arguments very carefully. One woman said, "We are all burdened with sin that's why we are here. No one can take away what we did." Gulshan explained to her the forgiveness of God from 1 John 1:8-9, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

They all were very much moved by this and some of them had tears in their eyes. They told their willingness to know more about this so it was arranged that Gulshan would take Bible study for them everyday in the morning. Soon she saw changes in the women's lives. Seven of them repented from their sins and promised Gulshan that they will never commit any crime again. One of them was the murderer and two of them were pickpockets. Months passed by and three of them were taken for trial and they left that cell with tears because they were leaving Gulshan behind. One day Gulshan was taken out and sent to the room of superintendent where horrified Anis sitting with her friend who put Gulshan into jail. As soon as Anis saw Gulshan she threw her arms around her then she turned to the older woman and asked, "what was the crime of my sister, why she was in jail? Did she murder anybody?" The older woman said, "She became a Christian" Her tone gave an appearance as if this was the crime more grievous than murder. Anis told her, "It is her personal belief and she found the truth. You cannot put a person in prison for this reason." The older woman had nothing to say so she said, "If you want you can take her home." Anis turned to Gulshan and said, "You must come with me home, right now."

Gulshan said, "Why I should come to your home, this place is better than your home." Anis looked hurt and said, "Why you said like this?" Because your husband insulted Jesus and the cross but these women in jail at least listen to me and I can do some valuable work among them." Anis told her, "I also love Jesus and want to learn more about Him." She also told that her husband met with an accident the same day Gulshan left her home and because of it he had to stay in hospital for more than one month. My husband gave permission to bring you home, he will not do anything against you, she said. Within one hour she was in Anis' home and was thinking how long it will last? Anis' husband was more polite to her than before. Once again Anis and Gulshan had enough time to study the Bible. They read the Bible two to three hours everyday until Anis grasped the basic concept of the Bible and Christianity. Anis told later that, "Bible is very simple to understand and its verses bring peace and solace in my heart. She also said that she felt the presence of Jesus whenever she read the Bible or study the Bible." Gulshan explained to her that, "where two or three people gather together Jesus comes among them and also about the Holy Spirit who is the teacher with us." Blund Shah was not very happy with his wife's new faith. Very often he teased her saying, "Why do you go and tell everybody that Jesus raised you from the dead? He ask her not to tell. Many visitors came to meet Anis and her husband but always men and women sat on different drawing rooms or verandah and Gulshan did not like it. She thought about the unifying character of Jesus Christ and the freedom in Christianity.

In the month of November Gulshan heard the news that Blund Shah was going to Lahore for his bus business and will stay there for weeks so everyone should go with him and stay in the house of Alim Shah the younger brother of Gulshan. When Anis told her, Gulshan said, "I am not coming with you to Lahore because Alim Shah's doors were shut for her as she is a Christian now. Anis was about to cry, then she said, "come with me, if Alim Shah will not let you in, I will take a rented house and I will stay with you."

So Gulshan went with them on Nov. 28th. When they reached Alim Shah's home Gulshan could not believe her ears what she heard. Alim Shah welcomed them and said, "I am pleased to see you. You are most welcome in my home." Gulshan was given a nice bedroom and a maid servant. Alim told her, "you can take my car and go any where you want to go as I told my driver to take you to your friends." On Sunday morning she called driver and went to the Methodist Church. People greeted her warmly and minister shook her hand but no one asked about her whereabouts so she did not reveal her problems to anybody.

Four months later one morning as Gulshan was sitting on a chair and praying to God and on other hand she had her Bible opened she heard some noise so she opened her eyes and found Alim Shah sitting in front of her with a smile on his face. She got tensed and some thoughts went through her mind. Alim Shan smiled and said, "I hope you are happy in my home with my wife and children and servants do not give any trouble to you." Gulshan said, "I am very happy in your home." "We love you very much and we want you to stay with us. We are building a bungalow for you in Gulberg, said Alim Shah" He continued, "I am going to visit Mecca, Medina and Islamic countries, are you coming with me?" Gulshan replied, "I have no problem coming with you but it will not make any difference in my faith." As soon as she finished her words, Alim jumped and took her Bible and stared at the open pages of the Bible and said, "Give me this Bible and I will send it to Bible Society so that you may not read the Bible. Give up the Bible reading and Church going and I will give you whatever you want. She spoke the
Psalms 119:105, "Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path." This is the word of God and it shows me which is the right way and which is wrong, I cannot give up this book, it is part of my life, Gulshan said." She saw the angry face of Alim Shah and quickly added, "I cannot give up going to Church because Church is the house of God. Bridegroom is coming to take His bride and bride is getting ready for His coming." He jumped up and threw the Bible on the face of Gulshan and said, before next morning leave my home, I do not want to see your face."

No one came to her that day in her room. The atmosphere was heavy and her heart was sad. Her sister-in-law did not say a single word to her, her brother was not there and there was no word from her sister Anis and family. With saddened heart she packed her bag with four or five dresses which was made for her by Anis. As she was going toward corridor she saw Safdar Shah coming. It was long time, she did not see him. She was about to greet him with smile but she was terrified when she saw his face and saw him carrying a gun. He took her by wrist and pulled her to the basement. He instructed, "sit here without moving." Then he went to call Alim Shah, there was dead silence in home. Gulshan looked at her brothers cruel faces, her heart was pounding and legs got numb without any strength but she remained sitting on the sofa trying to be calm.

Safdar Shah passed the gun to Alim Shah and said, "Finish this curse on the family." Alim took the gun and brought to her head, with no respect he asked, "Why you want to die? Why don't you say that you do not accept Jesus as Son of God and that you may stop going to Church. If you do so, I will not kill you and you will live." His face was filled with hatred. Her father's commandment for them to love her sister had vanished from them though his father never might have thought of this type of crisis in their family. It was a terrible moment for Gulshan. She never showed any disrespect for her brothers as the Muslim custom until Jesus came to her life.

She asked, "Is there any guarantee that if you will not shoot me then death will not come to me? Quran says that once a person is born in this world has to die one day. Go ahead and shoot me because I will not mind being killed for the name of Christ." She quoted the Bible verse saying, "It is written in the Bible,
"He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live."(John 11:25)

The gun wavered and dropped. Safdar Shah said, "You do not want to kill this Christian, she is already a curse on our home, throw her out." So they pushed her upstairs and on the way out she picked her bag from hall. She remembered the verse from the Bible,
Isaiah 54:17, "No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their righteousness is from Me," Says the LORD.

To be continued....

  This week's Riddle #36

Does the Bible speak anything about Santa Clause? If yes, please give at least one reference from the Bible..

Kids, who will be able to answer correctly, their names will be published
here.  While answering please do not forget to write your
"name" and "age"  To send your answers click here

Answer of Riddle #35 and Winner

Angel was sent to her to tell a gift of son, who will be called the son of the Most High. And he will be given the kingdom of his father David. Who he was and to whom the angel delivered the message?

Answer: He was Jesus and angel was sent to Mary to tell the birth of Jesus.
Riddle was taken from: Luke 1:28-32

Bincy A Thomas, 13 yrs, Kuwait. 
Bevin A. Thomas, 12 yrs, Kuwait, 
Bryan A. Thomas, 8 yrs, Kuwait.
Neethu Annie David, 11 yrs, Kochi, India 
Sam David, Cochin, India 
Geslyn Reeba George, 13yrs
were successful in sending the correct answer.

Change of Email Addresses

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