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NOTE: The following sonnet first appeared in the Covenant Christian High School student paper, The Crier.

The eerie echoing wing-song of the geese
Spreads south across the cooling cloud-grey skies
To tell that winter’s cold white hand shall seize
The helpless land and all that therein lies.
So, too, the ever-dying trees do print
The tale of their demise in glorious leaf
In many colors, each o’erlaid with tint
Of frost that winter etches in relief.
Then slowly varicolored leaves turn brown.
E’en that which makes them lively soon is gone;
Then laughing children cruelly crush them down.
The gripping hand of winter pities none.
E’en so the winters of our souls foretell
Their comings; milder, if we heed them well.

Originally Published in:
Vol. 29 No. 10 February 1970

Space travel is a going thing. It’s what’s happening today. With the recent Apollo expeditions, man is about ready to explore the moon. After the moon, sooner or later the planets will be reached.
I truly believe that man will travel to other planets. This seems to be contrary to the expectations of most adult Reformed people to whom I have talked. There are several different opinions, but the general consensus seems to be that God will either strike men dead at the moment that they touch down on another planet, or blast them out of space on the way. I believe that people who think this way are deceiving themselves.
When God created all things, he placed man on the earth and gave him the command we call the cultural mandate: “Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28). It is this cultural mandate that has driven man to settle and explore vast unknown regions of the earth. It is this mandate which has driven man to learn so much about creation. When the whole earth has been explored, the cultural mandate does not cease to command. No, man is driven on to penetrate that immense new frontier, space.
God created the Universe to glorify Himself. He placed man in a special place in that Universe, a unique place. Only man of all the creatures was able to understand the glory of God in it all. Now, of course, in natural depraved man, this understanding has been perverted to a mere wondering at the amazing amount of order “Nature” gives to the Universe; but the Christian through Christ still sees God’s glory. I think that as we travel out into space we shall become more and more aware of God’s greatness, God’s glory will be revealed to us unendingly in new and fascinating ways.
This brings us to a very important question. What will be the effect of the exploration of space upon Christianity? Perhaps it is too soon to tell for sure. Undoubtedly, there will be much godlessness, if we can judge from the history of other frontiers. Undoubtedly, also, there will be “missionaries” who travel out to “convert” the godless. Eventually, though, I can conceive that there will be true Christian churches somewhere out in space.
Perhaps the reader has noticed that until now I have not considered one very crucial point. Suppose God in His Divine Providence ends the universe before man has the ability to travel far into space? I don’t know when God will destroy this earth, nor does any other human being. If the destruction does take place before man can travel to other planets, well and good. God has His eternal purpose and nothing that man does will change it. However, since man does not know God’s purpose and will in everything, he must continue to obey God’s cultural mandate until the end. The Christian is not exempt from this. Hence, I write this paper. To me, the prospects for the exploration of space and the uncovering of new wonders of God’s creation are very, very exciting.

Originally Published in:
Vol. 29 No. 7 November 1969

It was a big jump from the crowded, bustling hallways and classrooms of the other Christian high schools to Covenant Christian. The landing gave one a jolt; things were so different. Now that there has been sufficient time for a recovery from that leap, I’ll take a look at the new surroundings.

I found that, because many of the classes were small, there was almost a feeling of having a private tutor as a teacher. The teachers are often able to give an unusual amount of individual help to students, when this is needed. It seems to me that the teachers themselves are well qualified to teach at the high school level. It is my opinion that the teachers at Covenant are giving us a good education.

The educational tools that are at the students’ and the teachers’ disposal are excellent. Covenant has a modem language lab, which gives students (and any interested teachers) a chance to hear the language they are studying as it should be spoken. A science lab, which in my opinion is at least equal to that found in any other Christian high school, is also there for use. It is very well equipped for experiments and study helps in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and other sciences. Finally, Covenant has a library which, although presently lacking somewhat in the area of fiction, is stocked with a comprehensive supply of reference materials for those students who actually study.

Being entirely truthful about the matter, there aren’t that many students at Covenant who don’t study. Yet, studying isn’t the only thing about which a school must be concerned. When Covenant was still in the planning stages, we, as its future occupants were greatly worried about the idea of not having sports. Sports have always been a part of high school life, and they would have been missed very much. We are glad that Covenant has been able to field a cross-country team and a basketball team this year. We hear that baseball is also planned for next spring. I know I speak with the backing of every student at Covenant when I thank those who have worked to make this possible, especially Mr. David Korhorn.

We have not been able to come up with a name for our teams, but we hope to do so soon. I think we are developing a school spirit, and this is good. As our teams compete with other schools, both our athletes and our students are given one of the best opportunities they will ever encounter to witness as young Christians. This is possible through an exhibition of Christian sportsmanship and conduct, and a loyalty to Covenant Christian and to that for which it stands.

And for what does Covenant Christian High stand? The expressed purpose and reason for the existence of our high school is to provide covenant seed with a truly religious education. As a student I can appreciate the fact that teaching according to that principle and showing God’s glory in all things, is not an easy task for a teacher. It is a task which requires much study and thought. I think the teachers at Covenant are doing an excellent job in this difficult area. Sometimes, as a teacher talks with a class, it strikes me that I wouldn’t be getting a certain idea at another school. The ideas taught are distinctly Protestant Reformed in doctrine and principles of Christian living. As an aid in the latter, we are also having a chapel series entitled “Christian Youth in an Apostate Age.” We have already had several inspiring messages, and more are planned.

I’m told that every piece of written material must have an appropriate ending. I think I satisfy this demand when I say that I believe Covenant Christian High School is fulfilling its goals admirably, and if it continues to do so, it will become a truly great school, in every sense of the word.

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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