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“Books! Books! And more Books! Stupid Rules! Unreasonable teachers! Too much homework! Why in the world do I have to go here anyway? I can get this in any school.” These are some typical remarks made by many of the students in our own Christian schools today. I’ll admit I too used to question why I attended a Prot­estant Reformed school. People gave me various answers but I didn’t really under­stand these explanations. It took a worldly school to truly give me the answer to this question. Then I was finally able to grasp the importance of my Protestant Reformed education.

My first impression of college was one in which I felt completely alone. For some reason I felt completely different from the majority of the other students. It soon be­came apparent that the reason for this feeling was my faith. There were but a few that believed like me. I found it so hard to understand that most of the stu­dents could actually believe such things as that man has a part in his own salvation. What a change! In our own schools I had held a common bond with the other stu­dents. We all professed to believe the same thing. We felt a sense of unity in being Protestant Reformed.

The college teachers were also com­pletely different. They viewed their stu­dents not as individuals, but instead as just one of the class. They cared very little if a student passed or flunked, teach­ing to them was just a job. Many teachers also appeared to be very anti-Christian. Most used vulgar language and were pro-­evolutionists. One admitted to be a pro abortionist, while yet another advocated premarital sex under certain circumstances. There were many other little things which slipped into their lectures that made it ap­parent that they were not at all like our own covenant teachers. In our own schools, subjects were taught with a Biblical basis. Teachers cared about their students because they loved them in Christ. Sure, there were times they made mistakes, lots of mistakes, but they were trying their best to give every student the best education possible.

Thus today as I continue to attend a worldly institution of learning I am thankful for the Christian education I have re­ceived in our schools. Without it I realize how easy it would be to be lead astray by various wicked and evil ideas introduced to me by worldly students and teachers. This Protestant Reformed education enables me to withstand the wickedness and pol­lution in such a worldly institution today.

The 33rd Annual Protestant Reformed Young People’s Convention began as sched­uled on Monday, August 13 at Hope Church. Here conventioneers registered and were given lodging assignments in the afternoon. After supper at “home”, late­comers were registered and then all went to Johnson Park for a sports mixer. Here old friendships were renewed and new friends were made. After an evening of vigorous activity and Christian fellowship we returned to Hope for a roaring bonfire.

Tuesday morning after a business meeting, Elder Jon Huisken of Hope Church gave an introductory talk on the subject, toler­ance. Discussion groups followed. The first in a series of hotdog lunches was then speedily devoured. We then boarded buses for Battle Creek’s Kellogg’s Plant. (Here our Iowans discovered what is being done to their harvested corn.) Upon our return we rushed to our “homes” for supper and a change of attire. At 7:00 with smiles on our faces, we returned to Hope Church for the evening.

Wednesday morning, bright and early, we managed to drag ourselves out of bed and headed for church. We proceeded to board buses for the White River and our canoe trip. After approximately a two hour ride, we reached our destination. Canoes were handed out; cushions and paddles were put in place. One shove and down the river we went. However troubles soon began. Unexpected logs and expected human water pests invaded the canoes. Few escaped the “cool, refreshing” feeling of a stimulating dip so early in the day. Al­though the river was reportedly shallow we soon found out otherwise. It wasn’t exactly an easy task turning water-filled canoes upright in water over our heads. One by one our canoes reached the end of our journey. Tired but happy we managed to crawl out of the water and onto shore. After lunch along the river, we left for our next stop, Hoffmaster State Park. Following a swim in Lake Michigan, we gathered to­gether to hear Elder John Kalsbeek speak to us on the topic, Witnessing. Upon his conclusion we once again divided into groups and discussed the topic further. A delicious chicken dinner, fixed by some of our dedicated Hope hosts, topped off our stay at Hoffmaster. Our buses took us to Grand Haven’s Water Thrill Show and Musical Fountain. However our enjoyable day soon came to an end as we headed back toward Hope Church and a night of rest.

Thursday morning opened with a filling pancake breakfast. After a short business meeting we had our last discussion group on the subject, Prayer. The discussions were preceded by an informative talk given by Elder David Meulenberg. The afternoon was spent at Lamar Park where the tradi­tional East-West Ball Games were played. The Western guys were victorious over the East, while the Eastern girls evened the score by beating their Western rivals. The evening was once again spent at Hope Church. This time we heard Rev. M. Kamps speak on “The Armor of God.” An unusual special number was given by four Hope girls called a Chalk Talk. Janet Hanko showed her artistic ability as she drew a beautiful chalk drawing of a chapel in the woods.

Friday morning, those that could bear to drag themselves out of bed headed for

North Shore Beach. However things didn’t go quite as expected. A rain shower soon changed scheduled plans. Our lunch re­turned to Hope Church, so we too headed back in the Grand Rapids direction. After our meal we spent the early afternoon play­ing basketball and volleyball in Hope School’s gym. The rest of the afternoon was spent preparing for the banquet at Grandville Christian. Before we knew it, evening had come. What a wonderful eve­ning we shared together as covenant young people! Rev. C. Hanko gave the final speech on “The Victory of Faith.” A flute duet by Judy Swart and Linda Vander Vennen provided the final special number for the convention. Our president, Ken Koole, made some final announcements, presented the new Federation Board mem­bers, and thanked all those that helped make the 1973 convention a success. The banquet ended with the song “God Be With You ’Till We Meet Again.”

Thus another convention had come to an end. Although we had to part with friends and relatives we retained many happy memories of that week. We can be so thankful that our Lord even provided such an opportunity as this to meet as young people. Thus tire Lord willing, we’ll once again meet each other in covenant fellow­ship next year in the farmlands of Iowa and Minnesota.

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 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 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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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 […]

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