Lammert and Minke (Boersma) Lanting were blessed with the birth of Rev. George Lanting at their home in Lansing, Illinois on July 28, 1922. Rev. Lanting attended Munster Christian School in Munster, Indiana. He spent his high school years at the regional Thornton Fractional Township High School. Rev. Lanting grew up during the Great Depression so his hobbies were inexpensive activities. He read, played sandlot softball and made model airplanes. For seven years he had a paper route.

When Rev. Lanting was nine years old, his family joined South Holland Protestant Reformed Church. In his early teens, the Lord gave him a deep appreciation and love for the Reformed faith. At this time he thought about the possibility of entering the ministry. When it became evident through the spoken Word and various articles in the periodicals that there was a need for ministers, Rev. Lanting felt the call of the Lord and decided to enter the seminary. Many of his friends and family approved and encouraged him in his pursuit of the ministry but there were some who seemed to be a bit skeptical. He did not attend college but he acquired two years of college credits before entering the seminary. On May 15, 1945, Rev Lanting married Wilmina Rutgers. The Lord gave them seven sons and three daughters. They also have thirty-two grandchildren.

The schism of 1953, overshadowed Rev. Lanting’s years in seminary. “For a time, two students from the Liberated Churches in the Netherlands and one from our churches, who had attended Kampen University, caused dissention between them and the professors as well as among the student body.”

Rev. Lanting was ordained in 1953, and began his labors in Grand Haven, Michigan. In 1959, the Lord called him to labor in Holland, Michigan. He was called to Edgerton, Minnesota in 1966. He labored there until the Lord called him to Loveland, Colorado in 1974. His last charge was in Pella, Iowa where he labored from 1981, until he retired in 1986, and became a minister emeritus.

Rev. Lanting still enjoys reading as one of his hobbies. He also enjoys tinkering around his yard and flowers and doing the necessary odds and ends required for the upkeep of his home. He and his wife still enjoy camping out in their trailer each summer. Because he grew up during the Great Depression, Rev. Lanting did not experience much peer pressure as a teenager. “Most teens accepted the equality that existed among them. There is little or no comparison to be made between then and now.”

Protestant Reformed Youth!

Our Thanksgiving!

What shall it be?

Although Thanksgiving Day is still some weeks away, there are already many things that are preparing the American people for the keeping of this traditional holiday. Because they belong to the customary picture of Thanksgiving Day, forest and field with their color and abundant yield are reminders of the coming celebration. The colored drawings and cuttings, as well as displays in both schools and display windows, call to mind that the most traditional of all American holidays is nigh at hand. When Thanksgiving Day arrives, all America will be “in the mood” for this annual festive occasion. Perhaps, more than ever before, the American people will be observing this Thanksgiving Day in harmony with tradition.

“Beacon Lights,” too, in conformance with the season and annual custom, seeks to call our attention to the coming observance of Thanksgiving Day. In the past, it has annually concerned itself with the keeping of this American tradition, and it has done so, if our memory serves us well, by both illustrative cover, and pertinent articles. Nor is it different with a view to Thanksgiving Day, 1955. This November issue is evidence.

Important it is that “Beacon Lights” concerns itself with this national holiday; not, however with the purpose of reminding our youth of the coming of the day as such, for such would only add to the conglomeration of evidences already manifested round about us. But, rather, the importance lies in regard to the observance of Thanksgiving Day. And, not only is it important, it is even necessary, for Thanksgiving Day and its observance are concerned, not with the keeping of a tradition, nor yet in abiding by a proclamation of our president and several governors, but with the spiritual activity of giving thanks. And, in concerning itself in regard to Thanksgiving Day from this aspect, “Beacon Lights” will be a light that pierces the darkness.

That we as Protestant Reformed Youth can observe a Thanksgiving Day, which, in the keeping of the American tradition, is annually proclaimed by our rulers, is evident from our very confession of faith. We believe in God, Who is eternally God. In distinction to the avowed deists, who acknowledge only a divine “Providence” and accordingly will proclaim a national day of thanksgiving, we believe and confess God, who in absolute sovereignty upholds, governs, and directs all things in harmony with His Own eternal good-pleasure and will. Thus, in distinction to the same deists, we acknowledge His Fatherly hand in all things, and at all times. In prosperity and depression, in health and in sickness, in peace and in war, we confess that He is God, and that all is the work of His hand.

Moreover, it lies in the very nature of such acknowledgement and confession, that we see the works of His hands as a manifestation of His attributes and virtues, or better said, His glory. It is true, of course, that in the sphere of earthly creation we can only see this glory as it manifests itself in righteous wrath and indignation, resulting in the death of all things. But, this too, we acknowledge and confess as the work of God, and a manifestation of His glory.

However, if it were only this work of God that we were aware of, and there were no more, thanksgiving would be an impossibility for us. For to give thanks, in the scriptural sense of the term, means to acknowledge benefits received. Hence, as we live in the sphere of this earthly creation we would know only of death. And death, as such, is no benefit. But in the light of the revelation of God, and the manifestation of His glory in Christ, we are delivered from death and the curse. Through that same work of God in Christ we are given eyes to see this marvelous work of His grace; we are given hearts that will and do acknowledge and confess that this is the work of the sovereign Lord of heaven and earth. And we confess that truly God, and He alone, is glorious.

What is more, in all these works of God, we rejoice. That is, in seeing the manifold works of God in creation, in this present world, and above all in re-creation, we are joyful. For we see God as God. We see Him in all His glory and beauty. We have the knowledge of God, which is life everlasting.

And finally, we believe and confess that all the works of God are eternal. Perhaps this, more than all else, reveals God in His infinite glory. His work has no beginning nor an end. From eternity to eternity His works are one with Him. For, from eternity He has decreed all things. And to eternity all His works abide. With Him there is neither mistake nor failure. Nothing can ever mar that work, or hinder it; hence, there is never any need for repair work. For all things, in heaven and on earth, for time and eternity, are the one perfect work of the Lord; the one work in that all things must and do work together for good.

When we, therefore, in this Thanksgiving season, enumerate our blessings in a special manner, we shall begin with that unspeakable rich blessing of His grace – the knowledge of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. But we shall also end in this same blessing. For apart from this knowledge of God in Christ, as the God of our salvation, there is no blessing. The blessing of God’s grace is not in things. However great our material riches may be, apart from the true knowledge of God’s revelation, the depths of poverty are known to be blessings.

Our thanksgiving will, therefore, be different from that of the nation in general. Because they will enumerate their material bounties, and consider the present national and international situation as fairly satisfactory, and thus give “thanks” to “Providence,” we may consider their thanksgiving to be merely an expression of satisfaction, or of contentment. If in any way there may be added a word of praise, it will be for man who has merited a token of appreciation from his “god” providence.

Ours, on the other hand, will be true thanksgiving. For it will be an enumeration of the works of God, of ALL the works of God, and a humbling of ourselves before Him in praise and adoration, in loving fear. This and this only is giving of thanks. For in so doing, we glorify the grace of God to usward, and His Most Holy Name.

Protestant Reformed Youth!

Our Thanksgiving!

Praise and adoration.

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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