Thursday, August 21, 2008

James and Betty Taylor: Bedtime Stories Part I

How I miss the nights of telling stories to my sweet little siblings before bed! Rosalind still prefers pictures of dogs and horses to "real" stories, but in anticipation of the day that she begs for "one more" story, I thought I would record some of my favorite...

One sunny winter morning in 1776 Betty Johnson awoke for the last time in her parents' home-- for today she was getting married. Her husband to be, James Taylor, was a lively young man known for his love of dancing and partying. They had met at her fine old church, fallen in love and now the day they had waited for was finally here.

She gaily prepared for the wedding and festivities to follow. As the clock struck noon the bridal party entered the church in Royston. There she found her beloved James, excited-- and breathless. It was not until after the ceremony was over and they were pronounced man and wife that she realized the reason:

That morning, James had risen before dawn to make the last preparations to welcome his bride. But as he gathered wood and brought in grain, he began to be troubled with things he'd never considered before.

A little while earlier, Methodist preachers had visited the area and he had been among the foremost scoffers. This morning however, he could not shake the verse "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" from his mind.

Would he and his house serve the Lord? Hours passed as he struggled with this question. Finally he knew the answer must be yes. And out in his little barn, he surrendered his life to Christ.

But in the contemplation of these things he had lost all track of time. When he arose from his knees it was almost midday and he was still in work clothes! Would he make it in time? Hurriedly he donned his outfit and ran the whole two miles to church. He arrived breathless just as the wedding was about to begin...

As they left the church after the ceremony, James earnestly told Betty what had happened. In dismay she replied, "Surely I have not married one of those Methodists!"

Certainly this was not what she had bargained for! Every day James held "family prayers" and every day Betty flatly refused to join him. Daily she grumbled and scolded him. One day when she was being especially trying, James picked her up and carried her up the stairs. There, he kneeled down beside her and poured out his heart to God on her behalf.

Never before did she realize how much James cared for her. All the next day she quietly pondered what he had said and that evening joined him for family prayers.

From that day forward they were laborers together in God's kingdom and one day their great-grandson Hudson Taylor would bring the Gospel to thousands.

From Hudson Taylor Vol. I by Dr. & Mrs. Howard Taylor

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