Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock. It is time to crawl out of that warm peaceful sleep. It is time to step into another day with a new refreshing thought and smile. Glancing out of my window, I am greeted by a world beaming with fresh sunlight. Everything is wrapped in a blanket of yellow sunshine leaving a glow of true warmth everywhere.

I notice that this small city is a little sleepy-eyed this morning and having a hard time awakening to a morning even as beautiful as this. The hush from the midnight hours still breaths heavy through the mornings’ rays of glory so that even the smallest sound can be heard.

Viewing another morning as this it is quite easy to dedicate ourselves with many thanks and gratefully meet each on-coming hour, isn’t it? Also, it is rather simple to appreciate a night of rest after a long day of work and to enjoy warmth even though frost may lay on our windows. We are thankful too for our homes that are big and beautiful com­pared to what others in this world must use to survive in. And of course, we always count it a blessing to have such an abundance of food that we can waste much while everyday people die from starvation and cries from tiny children can be heard as sicknesses resulting from malnutrition slowly eat them away. Then too, we have clothing piled away in our closets for every season of the year when others have nothing but rags to wear.

Maybe we should re-evaluate our thanks and gratitude. Perhaps our thanks really is not so evident after all. How often don’t we just rudely take all of these things for granted each morning that we rise? How often isn’t it that we don’t even consciously attempt to think of our endless gifts. Or now many of us, even with all of these blessings, still reveal the kind of repulsive greediness, that always wants more, always wants better, and always wants bigger? How many of us don’t thrive on the pathetic sin of competition, trying to have or do a little more than the next one. How often don’t you hear of obnoxious complaining in spite of all our wealth!

Let us stop again. This indeed cannot be considered sincere thankfulness. Today is Thanksgiving Day. What shall we say? Do we spend the day pretending that we are and have been throughout the past year a truly thankful people when actually by tomorrow we will have forgotten to give thanks. If we have not learned honest thankfulness in this prosperity, how shall we and our children even begin to touch the meaning and value of gratitude when all of these things are taken from us. Will we know how to be thankful when we no longer have a home to comfort us or a food supply enough to give us strength for even one day? Will we rise in the morning with a prayer of thanks on our lips when we have no shoes to wear on our feet or clothes to keep us warm when the winter winds blow? Will our hearts sing with thanksgiving when we have no rest when evening shadows fall and we must hide from a world that has lost all of its love? Will we and our children know gratitude when we have no church to attend or possible even no children to call our own! Will we understand how to be an appreciative people when we have no­thing? Perhaps we should sit back right now and teach ourselves to daily strive for a more complete and truthful meaning of Thanksgiving.

Still ticking away are the minutes of this unforgettable morning. The town is gradually peeking out of its sleepiness, but we must hurry a bit more or some of us will miss the meaning of the entire day. We have too much to be thankful for and time is not going to wait for sleepy people who drag themselves behind. Don’t lose track of time because we will not be able to make up for that which is lost.

Awake! Rejoice with great thanks and be happy in the Lord!

“Both riches and honor come of thee and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now, therefore, our God, we thank thee and praise thy glorious name.” I Chronicles 29:12&13

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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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