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Trees of the Bible (5): Palm Tree

The palm tree is another important tree in the Bible. The type of palm tree native to Israel is also called the date palm because it produces large clumps of fruit called dates. Dates were an important fruit in Bible times. They were a main food that everyone ate since dates grew abundantly in the […]

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Trees of the Bible (4): Fig Tree

The fig tree is the third tree mentioned by name in the Bible, after the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam and Eve used the leaves of the fig tree to try to make aprons for themselves to cover themselves after the Fall. Fig trees are mentioned as […]

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Trees of the Bible (3): Oaks of Bashan

Oaks are one of the trees mentioned often in the Bible. This is a recognizable tree for many of us since oaks are found all around the world. The particular types of oak mentioned in the Bible are two kinds that grow short, gnarled, and broad with acorns that are slim and pointed. Oaks were […]

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Trees of the Bible (2): Cedars of Lebanon

One of the trees mentioned often in the Bible is the cedar of Lebanon. Cedar is a very versatile type of wood. It is very resistant to rot and is strong for use in building. The particular type of cedar that is called the cedar of Lebanon only grows in what is today Lebanon, Syria, […]

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Trees of the Bible Part 1: The Branch of Jesse

Recently, I was reading an article that stated that trees were the most mentioned living creature in the Bible after humans. Doing some digging myself by looking up the words tree, forest, wood, branch, bough, oak, cedar, palm, and including items made from wood such as rod, staff, and cross, I found over 800 references […]

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Synod of Dordt Part 10: The Canons of Dordt

The Synod of Dordt officially began on November 13, 1618 in the city of Dordrecht. It lasted through 154 meetings and ended on May 9, 1619. In a little less than six months, the delegates came to the decision that the Bible taught that all men are totally depraved, God’s election isn’t based on any […]

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Synod of Dordt Part 9: Preparation for the Synod

Planning for a national synod had begun early in 1618, even before Prince Maurice called for a synod. Because the church and state were tied together in the Netherlands, the churches in the Netherlands couldn’t call a synod themselves. Only the government, Prince Maurice, could call one. Representatives from all the provinces of the Netherlands […]

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Synod of Dordt Part 8: Prince Maurice Takes Action

By 1617-18, the theological and political situation in the Netherlands had become tense. The truce would end in only three more years. What would happen when the war with Spain resumed, and the Netherlands was divided between Remonstrants and Gomarists? At the moment, the Netherlands was on the brink of a civil war between Prince […]

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Synod of Dordt Part 7: The Remonstrants

While the war with Spain had been waged across the Netherlands, another war had been quietly simmering in the background. Jacobus Arminius, a professor at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, had been promoting a theology that opposed the five points of Calvinism. When Arminius died in 1609, the same year as the truce […]

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Synod of Dordt Part 6: A Truce

In 1584, the Calvinist Dutch appear to be on the brink of defeat by Philip II of Spain. But during this time, Spain and England had begun to have tensions of their own. Before this, Philip II had been married to Queen Mary of England, who is also called Bloody Mary for her persecution of […]

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Questions About the Suffering of Little Ones

Question #15 I know you don’t know me but I know you’ll pray for my family. My four-year-old niece, (name), will be undergoing brain surgery on January (date). She has a disease called tuberous sclerosis which, in the short-hand version, causes hard tumors to form on the brain and possibly other organs. This has caused […]

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Adopted Children

Are adopted (rather than biological) children in a Christian family part of the covenant? What Bible references can you suggest for your view?   The short answer is, “Yes! Absolutely!” Salvation in neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament is biological. Sin is biological, that is, it is passed from father to son on […]

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Lessons From Father

When I close my eyes to recall my childhood memories I find myself standing in the middle of a forest on a warm summer day. The trees are rustling all around as the wind plays among the branches. The sun is rising steadily, chasing away the damp and dew of night. The forest is alive […]

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A Daughter to Her Mother

As a child I always loved watching my mom bake a pie. To me it was like watching a fine art in progress. The precision of the ingredients, the exact rolling out of the dough. My favorite part was when she would shape the pie crust with her thumb. Scalloped u-shapes would form around the […]

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Time Spent…

When the Master calls in that last day How was my time spent, what will I say? Am I watching and waiting, looking ahead, Instructing my children, the Bible daily read? To raise up the children—I must daily prepare, To answer their question, and for their needs care Do I study God’s word that I […]

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The Work of Children in the Church

“Children have an important work to do in the church. It is not reserved for when they make confession of faith someday in the future when the they get to be 16, 17, or 18. However, the work of the children in the church is now, and that important work is this: to obey all […]

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The Covenant of God and the Children of Believers: Sovereign Grace in the Covenant, by David J. Engelsma. Jenison, MI: Reformed Free Publishing Association, 2005. 239 pages. As the title expresses, the covenant of God and the place of the children of believers in that covenant are the central contents of this book. As the […]

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Teaching Covenant Children to Pray

Imagine yourself as a five-year-old boy on your first day of kindergarten. Your mom drops you off at school. You find your desk in a classroom full of other boys and girls, your friends from church. Your teacher, Miss Waters, quiets the class and then says, “Shall we begin our day in prayer?” You look […]

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Teaching Children to Pray

Sarah is a member of Hudsonville Protestant Reformed Church in Hudsonville, Michigan. She wrote this essay for the Protestant Reformed Scholarship. “Our Father which art in heaven…” These words along with the rest of the Lord’s Prayer fast become a part of a covenantal child’s vocabulary in his first few years of life. It is […]

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Teaching Covenant Children To Pray

Andy is a member of Hudsonville Protestant Reformed Church in Hudsonville, Michigan. He wrote this essay for the Protestant Reformed Scholarship. Prayer is necessary for Christians. Prayer is not merely an option for Christians, to be used or not as they see fit. Rather, the Christian man or woman is under a joyful and blessed […]

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The Dinner Hour

Growing up in my house, we had what was called the “Dinner Hour”. That’s mostly a thing of the past now. It was probably a thing of the past then. My neighborhood friends down the street never experienced a dinner hour. On a good day they managed a dinner five minutes. I didn’t even bother […]

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How Should Children Be Raised?

Hi Rev. Laning, This is Lisa Poortinga. I go to Peace Protestant Reformed Church of Lansing. I have a rubric question that has to do with one of the classes I’m taking at Illiana Christian. It’s a child development class. I was asked by my teacher how we should raise our kids? Should we raise […]

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