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Dear Beacon Lights Readers,

Today I received my Beacon Lights. I have read it through from cover to cover, and read all the various articles. I intend to reread them so that I will get the full value of them. I am so anxious to read all it contains that 1 don’t take time to read one article slowly, but at first read all, just to get the main thought of each writer.

I was so glad with Beacon Lights today that it seems as though I must write how helpful it is to me to carry on the good fight of faith.

Sometimes I feel all alone in the world, but when I read articles of fellow members of the church it gives me courage to go on. At times I become weary of all the things we must face and fight in order to walk uprightly. My heart rebels and I think as Rev. Hanko wrote. “Why jealously choke my emotions, why isolate myself from others and make myself the scorn of everyone? Why not be carefree, go along with the crowds and enjoy myself to the full. Why serve God for nothing?” Sometimes it looks to me as though my religion is vain. Nothing is satisfactory. Friends disappoint me. I look at life and so many things cause me to become bewildered and my faith is shaken. But how thankful I am that it is merely shaken and that it still lives! I am positive of that because 1 know the new life is within me, and I have faith, for I believe He is Lord of lords and King of kings. He will cause all things to work together for good to those who love Him.

(I left off writing there). Now it is two days later. My thoughts have dwelt on many things since then. I hesitate to send this up, but I think I will anyway. It will probably be of help to me and others to write my thoughts and my moods to Beacon Lights.

A verse I read this noon encourages me to write. James 5:16, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” We all have faults,—I would rather use this expression—we all have that which we must fight, the old man within us. I often want to give in, for at those times I think, what is the use. So it seems! It is very wicked to think thus: therefore we should fight that feeling every time it comes up in our hearts, for it is rebellion against the Almighty God. He sends His covenant young man to war, and not only a war against men and weapons, but against temptations: and makes it hard for them to fight the good fight of faith. If we would see the surroundings they are in we would say it is impossible for them to keep the faith and walk uprightly. But we know all things are possible with God.

At home here in the churches there is a war going on and we wonder sometimes what the outcome will be. Families are broken up because of doctrinal differences. Fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers and cousins are separated from worshipping in the same denomination. When we work we must fight unions and Sunday work. Where is the peace of today? What joy has the youth of today?

Here I am again. Looks as if I’ll never finish this letter or whatever it is. Let’s call it an airing of my thoughts.

Since the last time I wrote, a lot has happened to my outlook on life. How changeable we people are! One day we are very near to God and the next we cannot take hold on Him.

I feel so secure today. Rev. Vos’ speech of Tuesday night has been very enlightening to me. That which he said seemed to answer many of my puzzlings. He spoke on, “The church in tribulation.” How blessed we really are that we are in the sphere of the covenant,

and can hear God’s Word, and are taught from early childhood and throughout all the years of our life. More and more we learn to know God as He is, and we know we have all in Him. Rev. Vos made clear that all the fightings and sufferings we have here on earth, are the echo of the sufferings of Christ. I no longer ask —why? Why serve God? Why walk a more holy life? For now I know better than ever that we suffer for His name’s sake. The church of Christ (we as members of that church) is pure and sinless. Therefore, whenever we come in contact with sin and darkness there is enmity. Whether that be of the devil, the world, or our own sinful flesh. For by nature we, the devil and the world, hate the Son and seek to destroy Him. But the law of God is in our hearts. We glory in tribulation for we know Jesus said, “Be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.’’ We have the victory in Christ Jesus our Lord. We are waiting for that day when we shall be one with Him in glory.

We can say as Rev. Kok wrote in Beacon Lights, “Rejoice, O young man, in the days of thy youth: and walk in the ways of thine heart and in the sight of thine eyes.” For we know true joy and happiness comes from within. The law of God is in our hearts by the new life within us.

As I read in The Standard Bearer the “impressions” our 1941 Con­vention made upon the guests, 1 am glad that we have had the privi­lege of being the Host Society. Especially glad that everyone felt that we wanted them to enjoy themselves, and that they did.

We wondered, as we looked at that cold, wintry picture of our Church in the “Convention News”, if you were not somewhat in doubt about receiving the warm recept­ion we promised you. We wanted the 1941 Convention to be the big­gest and the best yet. And we feel satisfied and well rewarded for the effort we put forth in trying to make it so.

We did have finite some work with the Convention though. Even our president spent some time and thought on it, doing his best to advise us in that difficult but worthy task. We started our committee meetings soon after the 1940 Convention and continued to meet all through the winter on the same evening after our Catechism class met. This summer we met just about every week. But it was fun!

I do not believe that it would all have turned out as well as it did if our former Federation president, Mr. Homer Kuiper, had not been as helpful and full of zeal as he was. He attended most of our meetings during the summer months and gave us many valuable suggestions and needed advice.

The committee members still re­member the evening when the bus tour was brought up for discussion. Two gentlemen said they were willing to go to the bus station at once to investigate about the matter. After some time, they re­turned with the necessary informa­tion. We listened, and stared! On someone’s shirt front we saw the telltale marks of the remains of a hamburger. (Was he in a hurry or had he forgotten a napkin?) No wonder they were so eager to go. We were all so hungry, but could only grin and remain hun­gry.

One of our worries was how and where we would lodge all the delegates and visitors, but also this worry was needless because we had room to spare. We were surprised and happy to see even far away Manhattan and Iowa so well repre­sented. It showed their confidence in our ability to be the Host So­ciety, even though we were small in number.

With all our activities connected with serving as host for the Con­vention, I believe that the Conven­tion itself made a deeper impres­sion upon us. I dare say that we were edified, and that we left the final assembly just a little more positively Protestant Reformed, and that because God wants us to be. It is as He reveals Himself to us.

With the Convention a thing of the past, it seems as though a part of our life has been taken from us. And it has! As we look back we see how time flies. How much can be accomplished if we set our­selves to doing it with a will. How important it is to make the most of our time, and that by serving God as we ought, in doing all things to glorify His Name. Com­ing from far and near we spent those two days as Christian young men and women and fellow ser­vants of Jesus Christ. We were all very active, and time sped by like a flash. A week later one of our number had exchanged time for eternity. How important for us that we do spend our time pro­fitably.

We want to thank everyone for the splendid cooperation, good be­havior and interest shown in all that took place at the Convention.

Next year Roosevelt Park will have the needless worry, the ex­citement and fun we had in plan­ning the 1942 Convention. We hope it will be still bigger and better, bigger and better in the sight of God, to Whom be all Glory!

In conclusion, I would like to add a few remarks about our “Beacon Lights”. I am glad that the dele­gate board decided not to make use of advertisements in our paper. It would thereby lose its Christian distinction from the world. Rather than to rely on advertisers, we shall rely on our God, Who can fill us with sufficient zeal that we fin­ance the paper ourselves without any difficulty.

The “Open Forum” will, no doubt, arouse the young people to writing. After they see that a friend has written they, too, will want to get into the discussion, it will set them to thinking, and as they think they will begin to see things more clearly, and be eager to express their own opinions.

The first issue promises much for the future. We are thankful to have our own paper, but espec­ially thankful that this is one of the first fruits of our Protestant Reformed Young Peoples’ Federa­tion.

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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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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