Dear Friends:

Things have also been changing on the home front here at Fuller Ave. Rev. Veldman received and accepted the call of our Fourth Church and on July 23 preached his farewell sermon, at which time we also had a letter of Rev. De Wolf that he accepted the call of our Fuller Ave. congregation. Rev. Veldman bade the congregation a hearty farewell using the words of Rev. 22:21 “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.” I was thinking how beautiful it is when one can part with such words as these, and to say this is not just a mere wish but a statement of fact that cannot be changed. For I know that it is alone this grace that can keep you amidst the trials and temptations and can enable you to endure the absence from home and dear ones, for this grace is sufficient.

The world will try its utmost to deprive you of this grace that there is in Him. for it would have nothing of Christ through whom this grace is given to all God’s children. The words spoken by the wife of Pontius Pilate “have thou nothing to do with this righteous man.” is also the prevailing spirit around about you in whatever branch of service you may be in. Oh. I know, this same evil tendency is present in civilian life also, but when one thinks of you young men alone in the service and separated from home, church, and friends it is certain that you must feel it even more keenly.

But just at a time like this the evil advice of the world must be ignored, for in the measure that you listen and give in to such advice in that measure will you lose the very ground of your steadfastness in Him. Oh. I know, it would be so easy to follow the world and ignore the Christ but, I know also that we can depend upon this Lord for help and guidance and therefore I surely urge you not to listen to the world when it says “Have nothing to do with this righteous man.”

After all this advice is so very foolish. Just stop and think! Have nothing to do with this righteous man? Then with whom must we have dealings, if I must shun Him sent from God?

The world will answer “Deal with us and set your heart on things of this earth, see all the pleasures and joys you can have in her service, and alas, how many a young person is won by this siren song of the world. For they say, “If you listen to that righteous man, you can have no part with us.”

So boys, you must take a stand for the Christ of the scriptures for after all He is your only hope also during your period of service in the time of war. Surely, we will have everything to do with Him because he is the fairest among ten thousand. He is altogether lovely.

Sincerely yours,

Mr. A. Van Tuinen

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Dear Friends,

It is not my purpose to create a feeling of homesickness within your hearts by this writing, for I know full well that there is within the hearts of each one of you this longing for home and friends. Much depends on how strong these home ties are. For the most of you, there are your parents and many, no doubt, have sweethearts at home whom you long to see once again. Others there are who have left wives and children and in this case the longing for home becomes even stronger because of the established home of your own which you for the time being were forced to leave.

In all this I would like to lead you away from the sadness and loneliness this longing for home creates, but direct your thoughts from this very thing and lead you to a higher and better understanding of the home that all God’s children long for and shall one day share and of which these present homes are but a weak symbol or type.

For many of you boys the homes you have left have gained a new value in your hearts by your absence from them. We all know how we all become accustomed to good things and take them for granted. You perhaps remember the arguments with brothers and sisters and even the strong discussions which sometimes arose with mother and dad as to whether a certain thing was right or wrong—these all come back to our minds with greater force.

May your thoughts ever turn to the home that is prepared for us by God, for it is to this home that is the final longing and desire of God’s children. It may well be that the trials through which you are now passing are God’s means to center your hearts and thoughts upon that house of many mansions that the Lord Jesus Christ spoke of in John 14:2. Oh, I know that you still have your youthful ambitions in regard to this life, and that is well, but let us remember that all our efforts in themselves are vain. If only we keep before us the thought that after all we are strangers and sojourners, and with Abraham, we are looking for a city that has foundations, whose builder and maker God is, then we will not cling to the crumbling elements of this world but in all things praise our God.

What a comfort it is to know that when our earthly homes fail us, the eternal home remains our portion. It is certain that this earthly home must erelong fail and we must understand that we are after all strangers in a strange land.

May you be found diligent in the service of our nation, doing the duties, to which you are assigned as good soldiers of our country and may the fear of the Lord be kept alive in your hearts through, the grace that has been given you…

The Christian is placed in many different circumstances while on this earth. Some are characterized by hardships and trials, and others are full of joy and peace. How should the Christian respond? Throughout the Bible there are numerous times where God’s people sang in response to their various circumstances. Singing in response to God’s ordering […]

Continue reading

The book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon to his young adult son. Solomon’s purpose in writing Proverbs was “that the generation to come might know them [God’s wonderful works]…that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Ps. 78:6–7). Throughout the book, Solomon […]

Continue reading

The group of churches that John writes to in this trio of epistles had recently experienced a split because of doctrinal controversy. We do not know the exact content of the error that these false teachers were spreading, but it is apparent from John’s writing that their teaching somehow denied the truth of the incarnation—that […]

Continue reading

Jael: An Example of Christian Warfare

This article was originally presented as a speech at a Protestant Reformed mini convention held at Quaker Haven Camp in August 2021. Jael lived during the era of the judges. Deborah the prophetess was the judge who served Israel at the time of Jael. During this time, the Canaanites under the rule of king Jabin […]

Continue reading

Indiana Mini Convention Review 2021

One of this year’s “mini conventions” was hosted by Grace and Grandville Protestant Reformed Churches at Quaker Haven Camp. Located just over two hours away in northern Indiana, the camp was a perfect fit for the 120 kids and 15 chaperones who attended. A total of twelve different churches were represented: Byron Center, Faith, First […]

Continue reading

Editorial, November 2021: Catechism Season

At the point that this edition of Beacon Lights arrives in the homes of our subscribers, most young people in the Protestant Reformed Churches will have been sitting under the catechism instruction of their pastor or elders for more than a month. If our readers are honest, that observation probably comes with a (quiet) sigh […]

Continue reading

Tennessee Young People’s Retreat 2021

The 2021 Tennessee young people’s retreat was held August 9 to 13 by Providence, Hudsonville, Unity, and First (Holland) Protestant Reformed Churches. The retreat took place at Eagle Rock Retreat Center in the city of Tallassee. It was about an eleven-hour drive, give or take a bit due to stops for food and restrooms. Though […]

Continue reading