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Lori is a member of Peace Protestant Reformed Church in Lansing, Illinois. First place winner in the Beacon Lights writing contest (high school and younger category).

As she sat on her bed hugging her old, love-worn teddy bear, Jordyn thought about what had just happened at the supper table. “Well,” her dad had said with a trace of regret and pride in his voice, “your mother and I have decided that it is God’s will for us to take that job offered me in Illinois. We have prayed about this for weeks, and you all know that we have asked your opinions about it.” He stopped to wipe a tear away that had somehow managed to spill down his wife’s face, and had given her a weak smile. “We will not leave until the month after school gets out, so Alex will be able to finish his year in 3rd grade.”

As she reflected on her reaction, she knew she had to apologize to her parents for jumping from the table and slamming her door to burst into tears. But why did they have to move? They had had a perfectly good life in Michigan, and her dad has an awesome job. Why? She angrily asked God, as she slammed her fist into the pillow. Please make my parents see that a move is not the best thing for us right now! I am happy here! She heard her mom tell her dad to just let her be for now; she will come out to talk later. It always amazed her how her mother could always predict her.

* * * * *

A month later, Jordyn was in her room again, but this time, singing her favorite psalm, Psalm 136. Her mother gently knocked on her door, and then went in. “Hi, Mom,” said Jordyn. “What are you doing now?”

“Oh, I just went through the kitchen and packed what we won’t need,” her mother replied, and sat on her daughter’s bed, smoothing her blue and pink bedspread. “Are you getting used to the idea of moving?”

“I have been praying about it, and have talked to my friends about it, and I think I am aware now that you really don’t have a choice, in a way,” she rushed on, trying to express her thoughts in the right way. “God led you to believe that this is the best choice you could make for your family, and it is just as hard, or harder, for you to pick up and leave as it is for me.”

“Yes,” replied her mother, “I think you have the idea. We would not be blessed here knowing that God wants us in Illinois.” She gave Jordyn a hug, and left, saying “I am going to start dinner. If you want to, you could go to the garden and get me some early tomatoes for the BLTs.”

The garden—one of Mother’s favorite pastimes. She was really going to miss it, seeing there was no room in the tiny yard they would procure with the house they would move into in Illinois. The small yard there will be a big adjustment after living on a 1½-acre plot all her life, Jordyn mused as she stood up to go get the tomatoes for her mother.

* * * * *

Standing in her new yard, looking up at the big gray house that was nothing like the beautiful brick house they had in Michigan, Jordyn knew it would take a while before she would get used to her new life here. There was a lot to do yet though, so she went back inside to help her mother figure out where everything would go in the kitchen. At least she finally had a window in her big room on the top floor. She was sick of living in the basement.

Neighbors and people from their new church were taking things out of the truck in the driveway and helping Jordyn’s mom and dad put everything away. She could hear Alex’s laughter from out in one of the trucks. He must be having a good time, Jordyn thought. I hope he isn’t in anyone’s way. She started putting glasses and plates away, thinking to herself that maybe, just maybe, life here wouldn’t be that bad.

In school that September, Jordyn was sitting at a table with her new-found friends, laughing with them in the same way she had in Michigan with her other friends. Yes, she considered herself blessed. God sure is taking care of us, Jordyn thought, glancing over to where her dad was sitting with the other teachers, eating their lunches and talking. And to think that I didn’t know whether I would like it here or not! The people here are so welcoming and affable! That night after her personal devotions, Jordyn made a point of thanking God for sending them down to Illinois, the very opposite prayer she had made months ago in Michigan when her dad had told them that they were going to move. Yes, God knows what He is doing, and it is all for the best, even when His people can’t see it right away.

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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