FILTER BY:

When I moved into Sunset Village, I had to part with so many “goodies” that I no longer would have room for in my small room.  That included many memories like the things you are asking for, but I’ll give you a few things that I recall.

My earliest position with Beacon Lights was Assistant Business Manager.  Winnie De Vries (later Zandstra) was Business Manager.  Every month we would go to Doorn Printing CO. on Eastern Avenue where the Beacon Lights was printed.  We had to make new addressograph plates for subscribers whose addresses had changed.  This often included some for the boys (young men) in service.  I took care of the people living in Grand Rapids and Winnie did those from the churches outside of the Grand Rapids area.

Later (I assume it was after Winnie married) I became Business Manager, taking care of subscriptions.

Next, I wrote a news column and an occasional fill-in elsewhere.  The news included births, obituaries, entering the military service and their homecoming, and weddings.  Much later I did proof-readings. Later still (recently) I gave one of my poetry books to the Beacon Lights Editor to be used as fill-ins at his discretion.

That covers as much as I recall.

Best wishes with your project!

 

* Thelma Westra is a mother in Israel and a member of Faith Protestant Reformed Church in Jenison, MI.

We live in a country whose beauty is great;

The mountains, lakes, rivers, with grandeur abound;

The flowers, trees, grasses, which God did create,

And the deserts and fields us with splendor surround.

We are thankful that we who inhabit this land

May have freedom to worship, to speak, and to write,

And we pray that our lives as examples may stand

For our neighbors; reflecting in our lives, Christ’s light.

So lift up a prayer that our rulers may be

Used of our God, in His infinite love,

To rule us in wisdom, so to fit you and me

For the time we’re transferred to the kingdom above.

Come to God’s house to worship Him
With reverence and with awe:
For great and holy is His name
And righteous is His law.
Our earthly cares are put aside
That in His love we may abide.

Since we such sinful creatures are,
It’s not an easy task
To rid our minds of mundane things
And in His presence bask.
But heav’nly riches then we claim,
With joy exalt His holy name.

The Bible is an awesome book,
Its pages tell a story;
The “new-born babes” may have a look
To see Jehovah’s glory.
The simple milk of Father’s word
The weak may understand,
And children young, or young-in-faith,
When guided by His hand
Are nourished and find pleasure great
In learning of His love.
They gain the joy of seeking Him
Who dwells in heaven above.

And when they are no longer babes
His word means even more.
They find this book a treasure trove
With grace and peace in store.
The longer that they study it
The richer still it grows;
The Holy Spirit guides their steps
As He new insight shows.
They see their overwhelming sin;
Repent, and are forgiven,
And through their precious Savior’s blood
They’re welcomed into heaven.

Day 1

In the beginning the Triune God
Created earth and the heavenly height.
He formed the light, He formed the darkness,
And divided them into day and night.

Day 2

On the earth He divided the waters above
From the waters that were below;
Between them He set forth the firmament
Away from the water’s flow.

Day 3

Then from the waters He called forth dry land,
The earth set apart from the seas;
He said, Let the earth bring forth tree, grass, and herb,
And fruit be produced by these.

Day 4

Let there be lights in the heaven, to divide
The day from the night, and for signs,
For seasons, for days and years, and for light
According to God’s designs.

God made two great lights—the sun and the moon;
The sun was to rule the day;
The lesser, the moon, was to rule the night,
And the stars the sky overlay.

Day 5

Then God brought forth from the waters around
All creatures that live in the sea;
Great whales, food-fish, amoebae as well,
Ancestors for those to be.

He also made fowl, o’er the waters to fly,
Large birds and small He created.
Each sort would multiply after its kind
As God, the Father, had stated.

Day 6

Then on the earth, things to live on the land;
Each creature designed by God;
He formed creeping things, wild beasts, and cattle
And all that would thrive on the sod.

Then to finish the work of creation
Our God said, Let Us make man;
In Our own image he will be made.
And so human life began.

The dust of the earth, by God’s own Breath
A living soul became;
God placed him in Eden, a garden so fair,
And gave unto Adam his name.

And later God said, It is not good
That man should be alone;
He caused a deep sleep on Adam to fall
And He removed a bone.

From the rib He had taken from Adam’s side
God formed a woman, named Eve;
She was the perfect help-meet for him,
As Adam did soon perceive.

At the end of each day, surveying His work
God called it “Excellent.”
He rested, and hallowed the seventh day:
Our God, Omnipotent!

*****

We know that we all are creatures of dust,
Given life by the Holy Spirit;
Yet we fell to the depths in horrible sin;
And His voice, we wished not to hear it.

God’s grace overruled our evil desires,
For He ever loved his own;
His dear Son’s atonement paid for our sins,
We’ll rejoice with our Lord on the throne.

“I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” (Psalm 37:25).

David reflects on the care of the Lord –
How He always is blessing His own;
Since the days of his youth the shepherd boy saw
That God’s children were never alone.
Their heavenly Father stood at their right hand
His grace and His mercy were shown.
Forsaken? No, never will God leave His seed
To wander outside of His care.
David remembers when helpless he stood;
Satan fought hard, his soul to ensnare.
God’s promises stand, His love does not swerve –
In battle David need not despair.
Did David then triumph? No, David is weak!
‘Tis the Lord Who will win every fight;
And David accedes – it’s not his own strength,
But the King of all power and might.
Now as an old man, he praises God’s name,
His Redeemer, upholding the right.

The trials of life are not easy to bear—
The illnesses, poverty, snares,
Disappointments, failures, the death of a friend,
And feeling that nobody cares.

But friend, don’t despair, you don’t suffer alone;
Your heavenly Father is near;
He answers our prayers, sends grace unsurpassed
Allaying our heartaches and fear.

Just looking around us may fill with alarm—
Our self-pity fills us with grief—
But looking above to the One in control
Brings us peace; what a blessed relief!

God uses these trials our souls to refine
As silver is tried in the fire;
Earthly cares overwhelm; God draws us to Him
Where His mercy is all we desire.

So focus, dear friend, on Jesus our Lord,
On Him all our burdens to cast.
What we’ve borne is so small compared to our gain,
We’ll emerge, triumphant at last!

My journey through the Scriptures led me through the end of time;
The book of Revelation has an ending most sublime.
I gazed at the pomp and pageantry recorded there by John
And felt a thrill of wonder at the view I looked upon.
How could a sinner such as I fit into God’s great plan?
Yet through the blood of Jesus Christ – redeemed is fallen man.
Together we, the sinner/saints of now and ages past
Become the bride of Christ: His church completed and enmassed.
The majesty and splendor, the beauty that is given,
No sin to mar the lovely scene: the marvel that is heaven.

I felt a bit deflated to leave the heavenly sphere
And read from Genesis instead-1 had to squelch a tear.
I read the first verse, second, third: my heart with awe now reeled
When I considered all the works these verses had revealed.
Our Triune God, by word alone, the whole world had created;
The first book of the Bible this history related.
Again I felt the wonder of a perfect world – no sin!
Splendid Eden was the site He placed the man within.
Throughout His word His plan unfolds: salvation for His own.
His wisdom, pow’r, grace, mercy, truth, and saving love are shown.

The Bible is an awesome book.
Its pages tell a story;
The “new-born babes” may have a look
To see Jehovah’s glory.
The simple milk of Father’s word
The weak may understand.
And children young, or young-in-faith,
When guided by His hand
Are nourished and find pleasure great
In learning of His love.
They gain the joy of seeking Him
Who dwells in heaven above.
And when they are no longer babes
His word means even more.
They find this book a treasure trove
With grace and peace in store.
The longer that they study it
The richer still it grows;
The Holy Spirit guides their steps
As He new insight shows.
They see their overwhelming sin;
Repent, and are forgiven,
And through their precious Savior’s blood
They’re welcomed into heaven.

Imagine you’re a shepherd tending sheep in darkest night;
Suddenly the skies around you burst, and blaze with intense light.
You’re aroused from lethargy, brightness penetrates your soul:
Then you view a glorious angel where the heavens did unroll.

You shepherds are sore frightened and begin to shake with fear;
But the words the angel utters really make it very clear
That instead of daunting news he brings tidings of good cheer;
Tidings that will thrill your heart, greatest tidings you could hear!

Lo, in Bethlehem is born the Savior, long awaited:
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, by the Father generated.
You will find this holy Babe lying in a cattle stall
Poorly swaddled, in a manger: He Who is the Lord of all.

Then a multitude of angels sing a heavenly song of praise,
Glorifying God Almighty for His great and wondrous ways.
When the angels go away, what will your reaction be?
Certainly you’d hasten onward, eager the Christ-child to see.

What a blessing that would be—God Incarnate, seen by you!
Yet the scripture says that we have a still more blessed view:
Since the Holy Spirit came to teach the godly mind;
We also have God’s written word where we His promise find.

We praise and thank our covenant God Who sent for us His Son:
With them the Holy Spirit: the blessed Three-in-One.
`Tis not of him that willeth, it’s of God’s grace alone
That He has so redeemed us: our Father on His throne.

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