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It’s great to have a friend like you

While traveling on life’s road,

For when I’m weak and weary

You help me bear my load.

 

It’s great to have a friend like you

While I journey through the years,

To share my joys and sorrows with,

My gladness and my tears.

 

It’s great to have a friend like you

While I walk the narrow way,

Who will in love reprove me

If I should go astray.

 

It’s great to have a friend like you

While I struggle hard with sin.

Together we battle temptations

And strengthen our friendship again.

 

It’s great to have a friend like you,

You make me more assured,

For when I doubt and might ask, “Why?”

You point me to God’s Word.

 

It’s great to have a friend like you,

I know you’re always there.

I thank you now for all you do

Our friendship is so rare.

 

It’s great to have a friend like you,

For such is hard to find.

For friendships rooted in the Lord

Are of the rarest kind.

 

It’s great to have a friend like you,

The world sees it too,

They see the light of Jesus Christ

Come shining through in you.

 

It’s great to have a friend like you,

As I journey to life’s end.

I only pray that as I go,

I, too, am such a friend.

As teenagers and young adults

We should be “choosy” who we date

For it’s through the dating process

We receive our lifetime mate.

 

We should not date just anyone

But be selective in our search

So the partner that we choose for life

Is a member of the church.

 

Our wedding days are joyous days,

Ones we look forward toward.

But we also have the calling

To marry in the Lord.

 

For marriage is a life-time bond,

It joins two one for life.

Let’s remember that when choosing

One’s own husband or wife.

 

The husband heads and rules the home,

Provides for all their needs;

The wife submits and shows her love

With many loving deeds.

 

And if, God’s will, their home is blessed

With the sounds of little feet,

This couple’s love is richly blessed

With a joy that is so sweet..…

 

For words cannot begin to tell

The joy of man and wife

When God sees fit to bless their love

With the precious gift of life.

 

But now their role increases

They have children now to raise.

They must raise them in the fear of God,

Teach them to sing His praise.

 

If they’re faithfud in their calling

As they raise these precious youth,

They’ll have the joy to know and see

Their children walk in truth.

 

And through their years together

The love vowed long ago

Does not diminish with the days

But with each day it grows.

 

For a marriage in the Lord, my friend,

Does not soon fade away

But being one in love and faith

It grows stronger still each day.

 

They will at times in sadness weep

And experience some pain.

But if their trust in God they keep

They will find joy again.

 

Perhaps their children’s children

Will greet them in this life.

They are grandparents! what great joy

For the Christian man and wife.

 

To see their children’s children

Gives them joy in sunset years

For they know the day is coming

When they’ll leave this vale of tears.

 

And when that day does come

And the death of one takes place

There’s joy amidst their sorrow

For there’s comfort in God’s grace.

 

Though all earthly ties are severed

And they’ve lost their life’s helpmeet,

They know the day is coming

When they’ll meet at Jesus’ feet.

 

The surviving one has memories

Of the years they lived as one

And the knowledge that the fight of faith

Their loved one now has won.

 

What joy the marriage bond does hold

For the Christian man and wife,

A bond they base on love for God

Which joins the one for life.

 

So as teenagers and young adults

As we look and start dating

We must seek a Christian helpmeet,

That in marriage we may sing:

 

“May the grace of Christ our Saviour,

And the Father’s boundless love,

With the Holy Spirit’s favour

Rest on upon us from above.

 

Thus may we abide in union

With each other and the Lord,

And possess in sweet communion

Joys which earth cannot afford.”

So many and great are the works of our God

That through all of nature His grace shines abroad.

He formed out of nothing the land and the sea

Revealing Himself both to you and to me.

 

Revealing Himself in each little thing….

The flowers that bloom, the birds that sing,

The fish of the sea, the fruit bearing trees,

A gentle spring shower or soft blowing breeze.

 

The sun in the heavens—our great source of light,

The moon and the stars that rule the night

Are God’s great creation to us in the skies

We hold from the earth with wondering eyes.

 

There’s grass for the cattle: for man, herbs and grain

For the earth is enriched with His showers of rain.

The hills and the vales that cover our land

Show forth in great splendor the work of God’s hand.

 

The trees branching out so grand and so fair

Are sheltering homes to the birds of the air.

The fish and the mammals He also doth keep

Some finding their homes in the waters of deep.

 

The unnumbered sand grains on each seashore,

The billowing waves, or the ocean’s great roar,

The wild beasts, free to roam over our land

Were all the creation of God’s mighty hand.

 

In all things created—both great things and small

We see it was God who created them all,

And know that there’s none who with God can compare

For the life of each creature the Lord makes His care.

 

So is God’s great creation a wonder to us?

Or do we take it for granted seeing no need to fuss?

Do we not see the power of the great mighty God,

For in viewing creation, are we not simply awed?

 

Do we not see the truth that our God is great?

For who but our God could have power to create?

We read in His Word of all things He has done,

No other could do it—He’s the Almighty One.

 

The Scriptures reveal to us creation’s story

But we, here below, see creation’s great glory.

We see how all nature—we see EVERYTHING

Proclaims the great glory due to our King. ❖

In recalling conventions that I have attended,

I can understand why they are so recommended.

The mem’ries I have of those in the past

Will always be with me — those memories last.

We gathered together in all different places

Renewing old friendships and seeing new faces,

Some coming from here and some coming from there

All coming to grow in the truth that we share.

We had many good times for fun and for pleasure

Yes, many the memories I always will treasure.

But also we grew in our love of the Lord

Through the speeches we heard and discussing His Word.

This convention is really no different than most

Except maybe the mountains, which in part are your hosts;

They’ll surround you each morning at the YMCA

They’re a beautiful sight to wake up to each day.

The theme or the topic for this year’s convention

Has already been drawn to all your attention;

“Lessons From the Life of David” you’ll find

Is the topic we chose with young people in mind.

Each speech spoken at this year’s convention

Draws an aspect of David’s life to attention;

Each speech gives a lesson, I think you’ll agree,

That can easily apply both to you and to me.

David, an elect and God-fearing man,

Grievously sinned as both you and I can.

He called on his Father to forgive and to save

And God in His mercy this son David forgave.

We are, too, at times tempted again and again

And it’s easy to yield to temptation and sin.

But God as our Father is with us each day

To guard and to guide us unless we should stray.

Thanks be to God for His protecting care,

Thanks be to God for the truth that we share,

And thanks be to God for conventions, too.

To Him give all glory; for to Him it is due.

The following was written after rereading an article written by my mother, which I happened to come across shortly after her death. In reading the article I realized that many tears were shed by my parents on my behalf along with the tears that were shed by other parents for their children. In rereading the article, I see that now I as a parent will also have times when I express both grief and gladness by way of tears. I would like to share with the young people the thoughts of my mother’s article by way of a poem, both being entitled. . . .

“TEARS”

Because of the things you secretly do

And of the friends you choose to keep,

Tears upon our pillows fall,

Long and silently we weep.

You do things that “everyone else does,’’

And so you ask us, “Why the fuss?’’

Once again the tears appear

And heavy hearts within us.

When we cannot help but wonder

If we’ve somehow failed our calling

To raise our children in God’s way,

We can’t stop our tears from falling.

For you’re the children of the church

Yes, you’re the church of tomorrow

And when you act in such a way

Our hearts are filled with sorrow.

What would become of the church we love

If you continue the world’s way?

We shudder to think it, Young People,

And amidst our tears we pray.

Tears of anxiety, tears, and grief

Yes, many the tears of sadness.

But there are many other tears

We shed because of gladness.

A little one practicing songs

And possibly quite off key

Exclaims how he loves singing praises;

How happy he’s made us be.

The love of God is clearly seen

Within this young one’s heart.

Our hearts are filled with joy and praise

But once again the tears do start.

Or on an occasion when you, Young People,

Make confession the whole church hears;

‘Tis a joy for the whole congregation

And we cannot hold back our tears.

And after your public confession

There will be less sorrowful tears.

Not because you will sin no longer

But you’ll strive harder to live in God’s fear.

Don’t think that your life will be easy,

And whatever the world may do,

Hold fast to your words of confession

And Jehovah will see you through.

Call on none other than God, your Father,

For He is the Almighty One.

We pray that He safely will guide you

And strengthen you your course to run.

If you continue to fear Jehovah,

When your life on this earth is done

Your battle with sin will be over

And the vic’try you’ll have won.

Yes, tears of anxiety, fears, and joy

Yes, many the fallen tears;

Now they’re shed for you but soon shall be

Shed by you in future years.

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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