I cannot give it up, this little world I know,

The innocent delights of youth, the things I cherish so;

“Tis true I love my Lord, and long to do His will

But oh! I may enjoy the world and be a Christian still.

I love the hour of prayer, and love the hymns of praise,

And love the blessed Word which tells of God’s redeeming grace;

But I am human still, and while I’m here on earth

God surely will not grudge the hours I spend in harmless mirth.

These things belong to youth; they are its natural right;

My dress, my pastimes, and my friends, the merry and the bright;

My Father’s heart is kind; He will not count it ill

If my small corner of the world should please and hold me still.

And yet, outside the camp, ‘twas there the Saviour died;

It was the world that cast Him forth and saw Him crucified.

Can I take part with those who nailed Him to the tree?

And where His name is never praised, is that the place for me?

Nay, world, I turn away, though thou seem fair and good,

That friendly, outstretched hand of thine is stained with Jesus’ blood;

If in thy least device I stoop to take a part,

All unawares thine influence steals God’s presence from my heart.

I miss my Saviour’s smile whene’er I walk thy ways.

Thy laughter drowns the Spirit’s voice and chokes the springs of praise;

Whene’er I turn aside to join thee for an hour

The face of Christ grows blurred and dim, and prayer has lost its power.

Farewell!  Henceforth my place is with the Lamb who died;

My Sovereign, since I have Thy love, what want I more beside?

Blest Thou, Thou’rt now my free and loving choice

In whom though now I see Him not, believing, I rejoice.

Shame on me!  That I sought another joy than this,

Or dreamt a soul at peace with Thee could crave for earthly bliss;

These vain and worthless things, I lay them all aside,

Thy goodness fills my longing soul, and I am satisfied.

Lord Jesus, let me dwell outside the camp with Thee,

Since Thou art there, then there alone, is rest and peace for me;

Thy dear reproach to bear, I’ll count my highest gain,

Till thou return, rejected One, to take Thy power and reign.

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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