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Dear Young People,

I am taking this time to give a word of thanks to all those who contribute to make our Beacon Lights a successful magazine for our covenant young people.

I go along very much with Miss Lois Hoeksema’s ideas that she has written about in the April issue of our B. L. We need more people to contribute on different opinions. Miss Hoeksema has stated that in the Beacon Light Index there were more people writing on different opinions than there are today, well, that is very true. And too, in the earlier issues the booklets contained over 20 pages quite a few times, today the booklets scarcely ever get up to 15 pages. There may be some that feel they don’t have the ability to sit down and write.  I for one don’t write enough either, but I try my best now and then, and that’s the best we can do. I feel others could do the same if they could only try it once. I also believe there could be more opinions written in about the Index itself, that is, on some subjects found in earlier Beacon Lights, or many can add new comments.

I don’t know, but maybe there are those who have never paged through the whole book. I have found it very well written and helpful. If we didn’t have it a lot of us would never have known that these older Beacon Lights were in existence. I have read a few of these early issues and have found the articles in them very interesting. I’m planning on sending for more soon. Have you read any of these, if not, why not send to the librarian for them?

In our Beacon Lights Index I have found articles written by various young men who have been in the military service. These nice little articles were well written and very interesting, they were under such headings as: “Armed Services — off to Camp,” “Army Life,” and “Military Mail bag.” Why don’t we have this type of an article written in our Beacon Lights today? After all, I’m sure we have many of our young men in the Military Service throughout the World. Today there is a struggle in Vietnam and many men of our Protestant Reformed Churches are being sent there. Why don’t we have some articles from them? I believe it would be interesting to hear from them, that is, of the experiences they now have. Maybe some of our young men in the service don’t receive the Beacon Lights, but I’m sure if they would ask, the Beacon Lights staff would soon have issues sent out to them. And too, even if they do get the Beacon Lights it would be interesting to let other men in the service know how they are doing through written letters published in our Beacon Lights. I’m sure that many would appreciate this idea. So I’m sure if we only try we can have more articles in our magazine. Let’s give it a try.

Dear Young People,

I am taking this time to give a word of thanks to all those who contribute to make our Beacon Lights a successful magazine for our covenant young people.

I go along very much with Miss Lois Hoeksema’s ideas that she has written about in the April issue of our B. L. We need more people to contribute on different opinions. Miss Hoeksema has stated that in the Beacon Light Index there were more people writing on different opinions than there are today, well, that is very true. And too, in the earlier issues the booklets contained over 20 pages quite a few times, today the booklets scarcely ever get up to 15 pages. There may be some that feel they don’t have the ability to sit down and write.  I for one don’t write enough either, but I try my best now and then, and that’s the best we can do. I feel others could do the same if they could only try it once. I also believe there could be more opinions written in about the Index itself, that is, on some subjects found in earlier Beacon Lights, or many can add new comments.

I don’t know, but maybe there are those who have never paged through the whole book. I have found it very well written and helpful. If we didn’t have it a lot of us would never have known that these older Beacon Lights were in existence. I have read a few of these early issues and have found the articles in them very interesting. I’m planning on sending for more soon. Have you read any of these, if not, why not send to the librarian for them?

In our Beacon Lights Index I have found articles written by various young men who have been in the military service. These nice little articles were well written and very interesting, they were under such headings as: “Armed Services — off to Camp,” “Army Life,” and “Military Mail bag.” Why don’t we have this type of an article written in our Beacon Lights today? After all, I’m sure we have many of our young men in the Military Service throughout the World. Today there is a struggle in Vietnam and many men of our Protestant Reformed Churches are being sent there. Why don’t we have some articles from them? I believe it would be interesting to hear from them, that is, of the experiences they now have. Maybe some of our young men in the service don’t receive the Beacon Lights, but I’m sure if they would ask, the Beacon Lights staff would soon have issues sent out to them. And too, even if they do get the Beacon Lights it would be interesting to let other men in the service know how they are doing through written letters published in our Beacon Lights. I’m sure that many would appreciate this idea. So I’m sure if we only try we can have more articles in our magazine. Let’s give it a try.

Dear Mark,

As I was reading in the last issue of Beacon Lights, I came across an article written by you. I believe the title was “A New Topic”; I have a few comments to make on this, so here follows what I have to say.

It is true that the Bible speaks of wars and rumors of wars. But it must be that way, because Scripture also says that there is no peace. I believe that this fighting that is going on is a sign of the times, a sign that someday the world will come to an end. And, too, as time goes on, we will witness other signs that foreshadow the coming of Christ. We who live in the Grand Rapids area have also seen and heard of riots which have caused much damage to buildings and property; this, too, is a sign that the Lord is coming someday. And these riots are not just in the Grand Rapids area, but have also taken place in several other U.S. cities as well.

My opinion is that we as Protestant Reformed people must not support that war in Vietnam. I say this because there are too many problems in our own country to do something about, rather than being in Vietnam. I have also heard that this is why there are so many riots going on today.

Also I feel that we as Protestant Reformed people should not have any say so about it, because we should give our full support to the preaching of the word. We must not enter the politics of whether to support it or not. We know of too many other churches who get into this matter, but we must he different from these churches and not tie ourselves in with these worldly affairs. We must go to the Lord in prayer and seek from him what is right and wrong, and only then does the Lord give us strength to remain faithful to his name. Then we can be fully interested only in the Word and sacraments, rather than worldly affairs such as the Vietnam trouble.

In our churches also we have many families who had their sons go into that country to fight, but even they weren’t there because they wanted to be, but only because that’s where the government has put them. We don’t have anything to say about that either, because God has called them there for a time.

Sincerely,

Roger Kamphuis

I don’t see it happen too often, but now and then it does. This is what I’m talking about: it’s about our Protestant Reformed men who face the military service, whether Army, Marines, or other. I feel our men should watch what they decide when the time comes for them to leave home and church life. For if we are called, it is one thing, for then it is the call from the Government, and God puts that Government there for a ruling body. So then we must obey the call when it comes.

But some don’t care to wait, so they en­list for a three or four-year term. Now I feel that this is wrong for us who are Prot­estant Reformed young men because we must put the question of whether it is right or wrong before the Lord God in the form of prayer. I’m sure that if we do that, we wouldn’t have many who sign up for a three or four-year term. We Protestant Reformed people should be thankful that we don’t have many enlist, at least I haven’t heard of too many. I feel that those who face the military service ought to think this over, and take this matter to the Lord and ask the Lord, “Is it right for me to enlist?”

I myself feel it is wrong because we as Protestant Reformed young men are put­ting ourselves out of the Protestant Reformed Church. May we sign up for the Service and put ourselves away from the church? Maybe some men who sign up don’t think of it this way, but it stands to reason. That is what we are doing, right? I say again, it is wrong for us to sign up, because we must never want to put ourselves outside of the church. For if we do, we only put ourselves in trouble.

Some may want to do it because they feel that is the only way to get what they want. Well, I have now been in the Service about 19 months, and I have seen many times that that didn’t happen. I have heard of quite a few men who told me they signed up because they wanted this job or that job. But the Army puts a man where he is needed the most; it doesn’t go along with what the individual wants all the time. Now and then it happens that way, but not very often. In this day and age they need more men in certain fields. The young man, when he is about to go into the Service, signs up for one certain item; if they don’t need more men in that field, they won’t put him into it, but where they want him, or where he would do the best for the government. Some might get put in a much different field from what they wanted. I heard of quite a few who wanted to be put into the Artillery branch of the Service, but wound up in the infantry. Therefore, the man doesn’t usually get what he signs up for. It’s the Army, or any other branch of the Service, who decides for him. When I came in, I thought sure they would put me where I didn’t want to go. It turned out they wanted me to be a part of the artil­lery, so that’s where I am today, whether I like it or not. I was called, so they had the right to put me wherever they wanted.

But let this be a warning to those who believe they will soon face the military service. It is something we should give considerable thought to in the form of prayer before we come to our conclusion. Let us think about it, young men.

Yours in Christ,

Roger Kamphuis

Dear Mark,

I felt your article in the Open Forum entitled “A New Topic” was very well writ­ten. It spoke of the Singspiration held at Southeast Church on February 12. I would have liked to have been there, but the Lord has a place picked out for me already, and where He calls me, I must go. I my­self was drafted, so therefore I believe the Lord has called me to be away from home and church life.

I feel there is nothing wrong with our singspirations; of course, I don’t know what songs were picked to be sung, or what the special numbers were. But the last question you asked could have something to do with it; it was stated in this way: “Or could it be that there is just no interest in a sing­spiration?” I believe today that people are interested more in the modern way of life, that is, riding around in cars and going to see other friends after church rather than going to our programs that we really don’t hear that often. I enjoy going to these and other programs very much, simply because we don’t have that many of them. But then if you would ask certain young people why they don’t come, they would say they are busy. You would ask, busy with what? They would say with school work or with other friends. They really have enough time during the week for school work, so there is no need to do it on Sunday evenings. Maybe it’s that they don’t care to sing from the Psalter — but why not? There are many more beautiful songs of David and the Scriptures in general than in any other songbook around. And too, since we use the Psalter in our worship services, why not sing some of the different songs in it? I truly believe that the Psalms of David, which a large percent of these songs came from, are just beautiful. If we are Protestant Reformed people we should love to sing the praises of the Lord our God.

I believe that these singspirations are mostly for the young people, but I believe they don’t care about these programs be­cause they are busy with dates, homework, or other things. But if it’s a date, why not go to an evening of singing fellowship to­gether? I feel that would really be good. But if it’s homework, well, there is really no room for homework on the Sabbath, is there? That is, for a child of God? The only homework I could see for one to do on the Sabbath is the study of God’s Word. Maybe some are babysitting, but there is nothing that can be done about that.

I feel these singspirations are very worth­while, because we as Protestant Reformed young and old should love to sing the praises of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Yours in Christ,

Sp/4 Roger A Kamphuis

U.S. 55 829 461

BTRY. A. 4th BN. 28th Arty.

Fort Sill, Oklahoma 73503

Dear Editor,

I am writing in regard to the section entitled “Feature” in our Beacon Lights, written by Don Jonker. (Beacon Lights, November, 1963. Ed.)

I felt this Convention Survey was well written and most interesting to read. Because by this report, others who read the article could get an idea of what other Young People in our churches think of our Protestant Reformed Churches and Schools. And too, concerning church attendance, considering their attendance good, one fair, and one poor.

When I read the part where the article- speaks of school attendance, I was rather astonished to read that only eleven out of twenty would benefit from going to a Protestant Reformed High School. I didn’t really know what to think of that, for it seems to me that only half of them thought very highly of our schools, and the others didn’t seem to care. This is too bad, for it shows that the altitude of some people toward our churches and schools is really alarming.

It also struck me what some think of our Church’s reading material, for it seems to me that most young people don’t think too highly of our denominational literature, such as the Standard Bearer and Beacon Lights. It also seems to me that reading material such as certain novels isn’t bad at all. But as to more worthwhile material, I feel the Standard Bearer and Beacon Lights should be read more on Sunday, but is also very worthwhile reading on any day of the week.

I was happy to read that the majority thought that the Convention’s purpose was for spiritual edification of Christian fellowship. This is a good sign, and shows that most young people feel we need a Convention of this type to make closer friends with others from our other churches, but above all to study’ and talk about the things of the Kingdom of Heaven, which we strive for most of all.

I feel that a sincere Christian must avoid a job which would have him work on the Sabbath day, and this is simply’ because of all the job opportunities there are today. I feel there is no need to work on the Sabbath day. It would also be against the great commandment of God, for in Exodus 2(1:8- 11 we read that we must keep the Sabbath day holy, and in six days we must labor and do all our work.) And according to Exodus 31:14, he that breaks the Sabbath will be punished, for his soul shall be cut off from the people of God. That is why the children of Israel had to keep the Sabbath throughout their generations. It is the day of the Lord, and we must use it to one end, and that is to serve the Lord in all that we do.

I enjoyed the Survey very much, and am wondering what other Servicemen from our churches feel about it, especially those that missed the Convention, as I did, because of being in the Armed Forces at the time. It would be interesting to hear what others in the Military Service feel about this article if they get the Beacon Lights and read it, because they are also away from their homes and church life.

Yours in Christ,

Roger A. Kamphuis

Dear Beacon Lights Staff

How are you all? I am fine. I am just back from my furlough which lasted from July 14 to August 1, 1966.  I had a very nice time and saw a lot of my relation, which I liked very much.

I’ll write a few lines and try to give you an idea of what the Army is like.  My reaction to Army life is in this light: I tried to get into the Reserves, but I missed the Grade on my test, so then I was drafted on Nov. 3, 1965.  And I can say only that it is the call from God, our Heavenly Father.  For God alone has put me here, and I am bound to obey Him.  For God watches over His own wherever they may be, whether in civilian or in military life, whether I go to Viet Nam or remain in the States.

I can only thank God alone for taking me through ten months of Army life.  I am also glad I don’t do the things the other men do, such as drinking and so on.  I feel I cannot do such things as that, for God put me here for a reason.  I believe He is testing my faith in my God.  For I could go the opposite way, but I hold fast to the Bible, my only real comfort besides the Standard Bearer and Beacon Lights.  My Standard Bearer subscription runs out again in January, and I will surely renew it, for it is very worthwhile.

Now the government is thinking of extending my time.  It is in Congress now to extend the time of all U.S. personnel six months.  I don’t know whether it will go through, but that is also in the hands of our God.

Before I came home on leave, we were on test in our Battalion.  In that time we camped out and learned everything about the 175 mm gun.  Really we didn’t get much sleep at all.  But with that all over with, I guess I am awaiting orders for possible overseas duty.  But if the Lord wills I may spend my time in the States.

We are now shooting the 105 mm Howitzer, which is a two-wheeled, towed gun, and is pulled by a truck.  This gun has a range of about 7 miles, although in Viet Nam it is shooting 10 miles out.  We are only shooting this gun for a school support program such as an Officers’ Candidate School group.  We usually shoot from 15 to 50 rounds at a time.

I don’t mind the Artillery part of the Army so much, for I feel it is better than other parts of the Service.  I thought I would be put in the infantry, but instead I was called to the Artillery.  That shows a person how his thinking is all wrong sometimes!

I now have been at Fort Sill from January 21 to the end of August.  I have about 2 months to go, and then I will have completed my first year.  But if the Lord wills I could be extended for six more months.  I have a picture of our 175 mm gun on which I was trained.  I couldn’t get all of the tube in the picture. (It’s 37 feet long.) I also have an extra picture of me which you may have.

I thank you very much for sending me this news letter which you plan on starting in the future.  I think it is a very good idea, because it could give other Prot. Ref. men in the Service an idea of what they are doing, where they are stationed, and so on.  I hope there is a 100% interest in doing this sort of thing.

I thank you very much for the Beacon Lights magazines.  They are very worthwhile reading.

Your Brother in Christ,

 Pfc Roger A. Kamphuis

 

Dear Beacon Lights Staff

I was very much pleased to receive your letter.  I wish to express my gratitude for the copies of the Beacon Lights sent me.  I feel they are very helpful in keeping in contact with the Protestant Reformed Churches.

Presently I am stationed at Fort Gordon, Georgia, and live off post with my wife.  Of course, this makes the service much more pleasant.  I do feel that I’ve learned much from the Armed Forces and that it is an experience a young man won’t forget.

I feel that the hardest part of the Army is being separated from our loved ones and from the true preaching of the Word.  But daily we must pray and ask God not only for strength and guidance to walk closer with Him, but also for the assurance that we are Christian Soldiers.

Yours in Christ,

Pfc Henry W. Lenting

 

Dear Mark,

Your writing of the “Open Forum” in the June-July issue of Beacon Lights was very well written, and the subject was very interesting.  I may not have much to say, but a little is always welcomed, I understand.

I believe we should continue on the same scale we now have with regard to what day Young People’s meetings should be held.  I suggest this, because if we should change, it would make problems for some of us simply because in our modern working day we have day and night shifts.  I, for one, was on a night shift which started at 4 p.m. and ended at 2 a.m. Some young people wouldn’t be able to make it, so for this reason I think our meetings should stay on Sunday.  Also, I feel Sunday afternoons should be used for church-relate meetings such as these to avoid this “Well, there’s nothing to do, I guess I’ll go to bed” sort of thing.  Because, then, too, I have my doubts if our young people even care to stay awake for our Reformed Witness Hour programs.  So, seeing this is in church connection, it should stay on the Sabbath day.

Your brother in Christ Jesus,

PFC Roger Kamphuis

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