As the new editor-in-chief back in the April issue of 1995, I asked for your help as young people, parents, single adults, grandparents, and anyone else who has a desire to keep the light of Beacon Lights shining. I asked for young people to write, and for your prayers and support, and I can say with great thankfulness that over the past 17 years, we have never run out of oil. Sometimes it got rather low, but God always stirred up new writers young and old to supply excellent articles for Beacon Lights.
It has been a great blessing to have been given the privilege of trimming the wick and polishing the mirrors of Beacon Lights, but the time has come to hand this work over to another light tender. The Beacon Lights staff has been looking and asking, and is happy that Mr. Mark Hoeksema is willing to take over this work. Being new to the staff, he would like a little time to become acquainted with the work before assuming the full responsibilities of editor-in-chief.
As I wrote in my first editorial, the figure of a lighthouse and the name of this magazine was explained by Rev. C. Hanko in the very first editorial of Beacon Lights as a light to guide the Young People to their goal. Rev. Hanko then wrote “as a ship at sea is in imminent danger of suffering shipwreck on some hidden shoal or treacherous rock unless the Beacon Lights guide it through the raging storm and murky blackness of the night, so Protestant Reformed youth must be warned of lurking heresies and threatening temptations which so easily beset them.”
It is our desire to keep this light shining with renewed brightness as the storm winds rise, and the waves, fog, and mist of temptation, lethargy and false doctrine rise to new heights. To that end, we continue to sound the need for more articles. Our new editor comes with a dedicated staff which has worked hard to maintain a steady flow of high quality material. They also come with new technology and tools to maximize the brightness of our light.
One of the goals is to tap into the power of the internet and use it like a thousand mirrors to spread the light and make past issues and articles easily accessible to our readers and especially the students in school with research assignments. The project begun some years ago to scan all the former issues and make them available on the internet is undergoing further processing. Currently, all these issues are available at www.beaconlights.org but our goal is to make it easy to search and find specific articles on specific topics. All the issues have been processed with computer software to convert the pages to actual computer text. But much work needs to be done to give it the final form necessary for quick and efficient searching. A good deal of excellent research can be done as is with the index that is available, but we want to improve it and encourage teachers to assign research projects that give students an opportunity to look through the old issues and take a healthy interest in the current issues.
Just as the modern lighthouses of today utilize new ideas and technology to keep the ships at sea well informed of the reality of dangers around them, so we hope Beacon Lights can keep our young people well informed of the dangers, and the way of truth and life. Pray for this work and the people who labor to keep this light shining. Pray for the lively preaching of the Word that nourishes our writers.