From: Subject: Beacon Lights: November 2007 Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2007 07:55:30 -0400 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/html; charset="Windows-1252" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Location: file://C:\Documents and Settings\GiseVanBaren\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\OLKC0\BL 2007 Nov.htm X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2900.3198 Beacon Lights: November 2007

Vol. LXVI, No. 10;  = November 2007=20


Beacon Lights is published monthly by the Federation of = Protestant=20 Reformed Young People's Societies. Subscription price is $10.00. Please = send all=20 correspondence, address changes, subscriptions, and article submissions = to the=20 business office.

Beacon Lights
621 Williams Street
Randolph, WI = 53956

EDITORIAL POLICY

The articles of Beacon Lights do not necessarily = indicate the=20 viewpoint of the Editorial Staff. Every author is solely responsible for = the=20 contents of his own article.

The Beacon Lights encourages its readers to contact the = business office with any questions or comments. Letters may be edited = for=20 printing. We will not publish anonymous letters, but will withhold names = upon=20 request.

If any material of Beacon Lights is reprinted by = another=20 periodical, we will appreciate your giving the source and forwarding the = printed=20 periodical to the business office.


Table of Contents

Editorial

Smok= e-filled=20 Rooms=97Let=92s Move On

Fruitful Branches

Longing=20 to Dwell in God=92s House

Church Family

= A=20 Word to Christian Employers

Gem of the Month

He=20 Who Was Sinless

Devotional

Wat= ching=20 Daily At My Gates=97November 8 through December 8

Memoir of Rev. C. Hanko

Chapter= =20 28: Trip to Holy Land=971984

Little Lights

= Music=20 in the Woods (3)


Editorial by John Huizenga

Smoke-filled Rooms =96 = Let=92s Move=20 On

It is said that our forefathers made momentous decisions for the = Protestant=20 Reformed churches in smoke-filled rooms. Indeed they did. And I am = grateful for=20 the heritage we are able to pass on to our children, and the solid = foundation=20 laid by their work. The matters placed before these men were great. The=20 decisions would have consequences for generations. Fierce battles were = fought on=20 behalf of the truth. Hours and hours were spent late into the night with = heart=20 wrenching, tense debates that would end with families divided. To this = tension,=20 tobacco smoke brought welcomed relief.

As we move onward through history, and reminisce about those days, = the=20 element of a smoke-filled room continues as an important element to = these=20 meetings. Perhaps we take some pride in the theological intensity that = the blue=20 haze represents. I truly hope that we continue to appreciate the = difficult work=20 that was done by those men. What they fought for was rooted solidly in = God=92s=20 word and can serve to guide our development today. The smoking, however, = needs=20 to be left behind, especially if we use their smoking as an excuse for = ours.

While time does not change true doctrine, it can and does change our = attitude=20 toward smoking. There was a day when it was easy to brush off concerns = that=20 filling one=92s body with smoke was a bad idea. That has changed. Some = of the=20 first questions asked by the doctor are: =93Do you smoke?=94 or =93Are = your children=20 exposed to second-hand smoke?=94 It is one of the first questions on the = health or=20 life insurance form. These questions are asked because the answer makes = a big=20 difference for one=92s health and life. The doctor is alerted to be on = the lookout=20 for the deadly effects in your body. The insurance company will prepare = for=20 higher costs and a shorter life by making you pay more in your premiums. = Now,=20 when we smoke, we know that we are making a choice that will very likely = take=20 away from the health and life that God has given. Our forefathers could = claim=20 ignorance, we can=92t.

So is smoking a sin? We have no direct statement in God=92s word to = that effect=20 because, to my knowledge, the activity of smoking did not exist at the = time.=20 Similar behavior such as gluttony and drunkenness is, however, = condemned.=20 Drinking alcohol in itself is not wrong, but when it continues to the = point at=20 which the mind loses control, it is. Alcohol also contains the potential = for=20 dependence as well has health and life degradation. How much food is too = much,=20 and why we eat is different for everyone. In this area of life too, the = sin=20 seems to have an element of losing control along with a degradation of = health=20 and life as a result. Smoking also has a mental control and health = element. One=20 difference, however, is the fact that food and drink have a life = sustaining=20 purpose whereas inhaling mind altering chemicals into our bodies does = not. So=20 even if an occasional puff on a cigarette is not a sin, I believe that = God=92s=20 word makes it very clear that we are only one step away from it.

Because smoking is something that perhaps only the strongest of us = can do=20 without being pulled into a sinful grip, I think we need to put an end = to=20 smoking outside of our church buildings. The psychological effect of = smoking=20 along with peer pressure makes it hard enough for our young people and = children=20 to resist trying a smoke. When our ministers, elders, uncles, and other=20 respected adults smoke, it makes the temptation to dabble in so powerful = a=20 substance as nicotine all the more difficult to fight. Such an influence = and=20 temptation certainly is not welcomed when we gather after a worship = service to=20 fellowship together. If anything, we ought to do what we can to = encourage and=20 help those who struggle with addiction to fight against it.

The negative impact that smoking has on the youth is only one reason = why it=92s=20 time to move on and leave the smoke behind. As our knowledge of the = wonders of=20 the human body increases with science and medicine, we marvel and = testify that=20 our bodies are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made by our God. When = the world=20 sees us willfully destroy our bodies, they mock our foolishness and = blaspheme=20 God. Let us not forget that we hold to a glorious heritage. We must let = this=20 light shine. The scattered sheep in the world hear Christ from our = pulpits. They=20 come to our churches to hear more, but often must first walk through a = cloud of=20 smoke. Let=92s clear the air and let our light shine. May the doctrine = we hold=20 dear to the heart come to clear manifestation in our life and = conversation as we=20 glorify God in our body and spirit.

In conclusion we consider this word of God: =93What? know ye not that = your body=20 is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, = and ye=20 are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God = in your=20 body, and in your spirit, which are God=92s=94 (I Corinthians 6:19, 20). = We know the=20 dangers of smoking. Statistics indicate that the average person who is = taken by=20 the addiction and smokes all his life loses about ten years of life. In = this=20 light, consider that such willful exposure of our body to danger is = condemned in=20 the sixth commandment as expounded in the Heidelberg Catechism, Lord=92s = Day 40.=20 May we stand together as the body of Christ to encourage and strengthen = one=20 another in the battles we face as the people of God.


Fruitful Branches by Andy Tanis

Andy is a member of Hope Protestant Reformed Church in Walker,=20 Michigan.

Longing to Dwell in = God=92s House

Psalm 84=97How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! = My soul=20 longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and = my flesh=20 crieth out for the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, = and the=20 swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine = altars, O=20 Lord of hosts, my King, and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in thy = house:=20 they will be still praising thee. Selah. Blessed is the man whose = strength is=20 in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the = valley=20 of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools. They go from = strength=20 to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God. O Lord = God of=20 hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah. Behold, O God = our=20 shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed. For a day in thy = courts is=20 better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of = my God,=20 than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a sun = and=20 shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he = withhold=20 from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man = that=20 trusteth in thee.

The word amiable, according to the Webster=92s Dictionary, = means =93worthy=20 of love or affection.=94 This is how the psalmist describes the house of = God. The=20 tabernacle is the place where God dwelt among his people. He meditates = on all of=20 the blessings that he sees and experiences when he is near, or even = better, in=20 the house of the Lord. His love for the house of God is so great, that = he says=20 his soul longs and faints for the courts of the Lord. His heart cries = out=20 desperately yearning just to be near his God. This joy that floods his = heart and=20 soul as he stands in God=92s dwelling place is far better than any = glimmering=20 shadow of carnal happiness he may find in this world.

The psalmist then begins listing the various blessings that he = experiences=20 when he is nigh to God=92s house. First, he mentions how even the birds = find=20 shelter here. Two birds in particular are mentioned. These are the = sparrow and=20 the swallow. One striking feature that is necessary to notice about = these two=20 birds is that they are relatively small, almost seemingly insignificant. = Yet,=20 sheltered in the arms of Almighty God and provided for in his = providence, they=20 find rest here as do we.

The psalmist tells us that he is so blessed to be dwelling in God=92s = house,=20 his heart is filled with praise. He says he would rather have the lowly = position=20 of doorkeeper in the house of God, than to claim the highest position in = the=20 tents of wickedness apart from God. One day, mind you, as a doorkeeper = in God=92s=20 house is a far greater blessing than a thousand days in this world of = sin.

Those who think that Sunday is just another work day or golf outing = (amongst=20 many other forms of entertainment) don=92t understand this psalm. They = are those=20 who enjoy the tents of wickedness so much that they are blinded to the = truth,=20 and stumble at this passage. If one can=92t live in obedience to the = fourth=20 commandment and keep the Sabbath day holy because he is so driven by a = love for=20 money and material pleasure, Christ=92s command to him is:

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt = thou=20 labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the = Lord=20 thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy=20 daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy = stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made = heaven and=20 earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: = wherefore=20 the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it=94 (Exodus = 20:11).

(Of course, we know that the first day is the present Sabbath day = because of=20 the resurrection of Jesus Christ who is the Lord of the Sabbath.) For = those who=20 violate this commandment, the calling is for repentance. Confess your = sins to=20 God, and truly find rest for your body and soul in his house! Be fed by = the word=20 of life (Christ) who by the power of the Holy Spirit uses the preaching = of the=20 gospel to breathe life into us, and to whisper words of sweet = forgiveness and=20 hope!

Where is this zeal today? Do we really feel this blessedness and joy = for the=20 amazing privilege we have to frequent the house of God, and to hear = Christ speak=20 to us? Or do we have a hard time getting out of bed on Sunday morning, = not=20 really all that excited to go to church? Perhaps, we struggle to pay = attention=20 because we don=92t think about the fact that our savior and bridegroom = is speaking=20 to us through the mouth of the minister. Do we complain and gripe about = the=20 minister as the one who stands equipped with the power of the Holy = Spirit to=20 boldly proclaim the gospel with authority, always trying to find some = fault in=20 what he says when he presents the truth of the gospel and speaks = Christ=92s words=20 to his bride, the church? Do we look forward to communing with the = saints,=20 edifying one another with that gospel of peace? Maybe in the = consciousness of=20 our own sin, the thought of coming into the presence of a holy and just = God who=20 hates sin makes us tremble!

May this passage of Holy Scripture truly humble us to the dust in = sorrow for=20 this blessed privilege that we take for granted! May we truly delight to = dwell=20 in God=92s house and there find the assurance that surely goodness and = mercy shall=20 follow us all the days of our lives, and we will dwell in God=92s house = forever=20 when he takes us to our eternal dwelling place in heaven!


Church Family by Dan Holstege

Dan is a member of Southeast Protestant Reformed Church in Grand = Rapids,=20 Michigan.

A Word to Christian = Employers

How should the Christian employer view himself and his company in = light of=20 the great commandment to love God with all one=92s heart and soul and = strength?=20 What is it about the Christian employer=92s attitude that sets him apart = from=20 worldly employers, that demonstrates to all that this man is not a = typical=20 businessman? As Christians living in this world we are called by God to = =93come=20 out from among them=94 and be separate (II Corinthians 6:17). The = Christian=20 employer too then must be clearly different from worldly employers in = the way he=20 thinks about things in the running of his company. He must demonstrate = by his=20 attitude and actions that he loves God and his neighbor.

Now as Reformed Christians we recognize that our love for God and the = neighbor arises out of a most profound gratitude for God=92s gracious = salvation=20 and is only possible through the work of the Holy Spirit within us. = Because of=20 God=92s wondrous grace by which he redeemed us from sin, we cannot but = love God=20 and our neighbor. We do it spontaneously. Finding that God first loved = us (I=20 John 4:19) and gave up his only-begotten Son for our sakes, we are = overwhelmed=20 by the desire to return that love to him. And by the power of grace = which is the=20 Holy Spirit we are enabled to live such lives of thankful love to God = and the=20 neighbor. Thus, love for God and the neighbor is the proper and natural = attitude=20 of the Christian employer which then sets him apart from the ungodly = employers=20 and businessmen of the world.

For a Christian employer, therefore, as for all Christians, it is = vitally=20 important that he view himself and behave himself before men as one who = is saved=20 by grace and thankful. He does this by demonstrating love for God and = his=20 neighbor. If he does not demonstrate this love he has no right to call = himself a=20 Christian or to be considered a Christian by others. The apostle James=20 especially stresses this, saying that =93faith without works is dead=94 = (James=20 2:20). A faith that does not manifest itself with good works of love for = God and=20 the neighbor is a dead faith; it is no faith at all. It is the phony = faith of=20 the ungodly and hypocrites in the church. Thus, James urges us to a life = of good=20 works. He says this is the way one demonstrates his faith, i.e., that he = is a=20 saved-by-grace believer. In verse eighteen of the same chapter he says = =93I will=20 show thee my faith by my works=94 (my emphasis). How then does a = Christian=20 employer show his faith by his works?

The Christian employer does this in the way he views himself and his = business=20 with respect to God. He does this by having an attitude of love and = submission=20 to God in his business. He does not only show his faith by going to = society once=20 a week and to church on Sunday, although he certainly does this. The = Christian=20 employer must love God in his particular place in the world. In other = words, he=20 must love God as an employer, as a businessman. In the building and = running of a=20 company, in the successes and failures, in the acquisition of power and = wealth,=20 the Christian employer must love and submit to God.

Loving God as an employer means recognizing and praising him as the = source of=20 all one=92s authority, abilities, opportunities and wealth. Worldly = business=20 owners view themselves as =93self-made=94 successes. They recognize only = themselves=20 as the source of their authority and abilities and wealth. They praise = only=20 themselves for their success (although they usually blame others for = their=20 failures). But this is not love for God. This is nothing but ugly pride = and=20 self-glorification. The law of God says =93thou shalt have no other gods = before=20 me,=94 but this kind of employer serves the god of himself and bows to = the god of=20 filthy lucre. He serves not God, but mammon (Matthew 6:24).

The Christian employer must recognize and praise God as the source of = all his=20 authority. In his business he certainly has power and authority. He has=20 authority over the running of the company, over decisions made from day = to day.=20 But love for God requires that he acknowledge him as the source of that=20 authority. In Romans 13:1 the apostle Paul points out that =93there is = no power=20 but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.=94 God is the real = possessor=20 of all power and authority. He gives it out to men to use in service to = him.=20 Thus Christian business owners must worship and bow down before God as = the=20 omnipotent one; they must recognize him as the one who gave them their = power;=20 and they must use their power and authority to serve him. They must seek = to=20 further the causes of his kingdom and seek to be good stewards of his=20 creation.

Loving God also means acknowledging and worshiping him as the source = of one=92s=20 talents and abilities. The apostle James has something to say about this = too. He=20 says that =93every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and = cometh down=20 from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow = of=20 turning=94 (James 1:17). The business owner must recognize that his = ability to=20 read economic trends or understand good marketing ploys or anything else = is a=20 good gift in the form of a talent which comes down from the Father. = Loving God=20 means giving him thanks and praise for those gifts. It also means using = those=20 talents to the best of one=92s ability. Jesus taught in the Parable of = the Talents=20 that one must take the talents given him by God and make them = prosperous. The=20 Christian employer must put his talents to work in a way that reveals = the=20 goodness of the giver.

Another way the business owner demonstrates love for God is by = acknowledging=20 him as the source of all opportunities that arise in the life of the = company.=20 This is probably something we do not think about so often, but = confessing the=20 sovereignty of God means recognizing him as the source of all our = opportunities.=20 He directs all things by his providence so that whatever happens is = according to=20 his will and by his power. So when the company is suddenly given the = opportunity=20 to gain new accounts or purchase new land or equipment or anything else, = the=20 Christian business owner does not heap praise on the market or some turn = of=20 events, but he thanks and praises God. He recognizes that God is = responsible for=20 that turn of events and he gives thanks and praise to him.

Furthermore, the Christian employer demonstrates his love for God, = and the=20 neighbor too, in his attitude toward the wealth he accrues. The = successful=20 Christian businessman, and there are many, inevitably accrues much = wealth=20 through his company. His attitude toward that wealth must be sharply=20 antithetical to that of worldly businessmen. Ungodly employers view = their wealth=20 as entirely their own to use how they please. They put it in the service = of=20 their insatiable lusts for pleasure, power, and fame among other things. = Their=20 love of money is truly a root of all kinds of evil (I Timothy 6:10). But = the=20 Christian business owner must be in stark contrast to this.

The Christian employer who loves God must view his money in relation = to God.=20 All of his money comes from God, has its source in God. God owns = everything in=20 the world. For =93the earth is the LORD=92s, and the fulness thereof; = the world, and=20 they that dwell therein=94 (Psalm 24:1). It is God=92s earth, his world. = He made it;=20 he controls it and directs it. So when wealth falls into our hands, how = can we=20 fail to recognize that it comes from God? How could we possibly think = that it is=20 all ours to do with as we please? It is not ours. Woe to the man who = loves his=20 money, who praises himself for obtaining it, who says to himself, = =93Soul, thou=20 hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and = be=20 merry=94 (Luke 12:19). It may be that God will say to such a man, = =93Thou fool, this=20 night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things = be,=20 which thou hast provided?=94 (v. 20). Rather, the Christian employer = recognizes=20 that God possesses all things, even money, and he lends them to us. He = expects=20 us to be good stewards of those things. What does it mean then to be a = good=20 steward?

A good steward takes care of the money or possessions of the owner. = He does=20 not seize hold of that money as if it were his own and then go spend it = all on=20 himself. He understands that the money is not his own. He understands = that he=20 has a responsibility with respect to that money to use it in ways = approved by=20 the owner. This kind of stewardship must characterize the Christian = employer=92s=20 attitude toward his wealth. He has been entrusted with it to use in ways = approved by God. He is God=92s steward with respect to that wealth. = Well, how does=20 God want him to use this wealth?

Jesus says that we must seek first the kingdom of God and his = righteousness=20 (Matthew 6:33, Luke 12:31). Now doesn=92t it make sense that we should = seek God=92s=20 kingdom first, seeing that we are stewards of God=92s things? God=92s = kingdom is the=20 number one priority for all believers, including Christian employers, = with=20 respect to their money. Jesus says that placing the kingdom first means = giving=20 alms to the poor (Luke 12:33). For us this means giving to the = benevolence fund.=20 Considering how wealthy we are today, the benevolence fund should never = suffer=20 lack. We must give abundantly to provide for our poor. Jesus also = describes this=20 seeking first as laying up =93treasures in heaven=94 because =93where = your treasure=20 is, there will your heart be also=94 (Matthew 6:20-21). Thus we must use = our money=20 to support heavenly, spiritual things. This includes all the =93kingdom = causes=94 of=20 Christian schools, the mission work of the Church, and many other = things. When=20 we liberally support all these causes we will find that our hearts are = in those=20 causes. Our hearts will be on spiritual things and not earthly, carnal=20 things.

Furthermore, seeking the kingdom first with respect to money means = using that=20 money rightly within the company itself. The Christian employer must = have his=20 heart set on heavenly treasures in his particular place of labor. The = apostle=20 Paul, after stating that =93the love of money is the root of all = evil,=94 says that=20 the man of God ought rather to =93follow after righteousness, godliness, = faith,=20 love, patience, meekness=94 (I Timothy 6:10-11). The Christian employer, = then,=20 must not be greedy and covetous, but rather one who loves his neighbor = within=20 his own company. He must treat his employees well. Paul says this = explicitly in=20 Colossians 4:1: =93Masters, give unto your servants that which is just = and equal;=20 knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.=94 The Christian employer = must be=20 concerned for the welfare of his workers even as God the Master is = concerned for=20 his welfare. He must be kind to them; he must show mercy to them; he = must=20 provide for their needs; he must be hospitable to them; he must be = honest with=20 them (see Romans 12:9-21). In this way he will seek the kingdom of God = first in=20 his business.

When the Christian employer seeks the kingdom of God first, when his = heart=20 rests on the heavenly treasures, then everything else will fall into = place.=20 Jesus puts it this way: =93All these things shall be added unto you=94 = (Matthew=20 6:33). If we were to apply this to the employer, Jesus means that the = business=20 will be blessed. It might not always experience what the world deems=20 blessedness. It might not always experience fiscal stability. But it = will be=20 blessed nevertheless. This blessing is the spiritual blessing of God. = This is=20 the blessing of peace and joy and contentment. Pay no attention to the = world=92s=20 idea of happiness as pleasure and power and fame. The spiritual blessing = of God=20 is true and enduring happiness.


Gem of the Month by Thelma = Westra

He Who Was Sinless

=93He Who was sinless = was made sin=20 for us.=94
Turning depravity into salvation
For sinners deserving = only=20 damnation.
Who but Jehovah could plan such a thing,
Jehovah of = Hosts, the=20 conquering King.
It pleased Him to sacrifice His only Son
Because = of His=20 love for the wholly undone;
He loved us and changed us by mercy and=20 grace
Into sanctified children=97His chosen race.
We now glorify = Him,=20 exalting His name,
And into eternity still will proclaim
The = wonder He=20 wrought, and the joy that He brought:
With the blood of His Son, His = people=20 He bought!
He Who was sinless was made sin for us!


Devotional by Skip Hunter

Watching Daily At My = Gates

November 8 Read II Timothy 2:1-6

Paul, in his second epistle to his beloved Timothy, writes to him=20 encouragement and direction. He does this because he believes that he is = near to=20 the end of his life and wishes to help Timothy in his work. Even today = godly=20 parents and grandparents will do this for their children and = grandchildren. They=20 do this on the basis of God=92s word. Notice the words of verse three. = The fight=20 on this earth is hard. It is a fight. The child of God must endure even = as a=20 soldier endures the hard conditions of the battlefield whether it be = jungle,=20 desert, or mountainous terrain. As soldiers of Christ, we must fight and = fight=20 hard the battles placed before us by God. We have the assurance that we = will win=20 the battles not by our strength but by the strength given to us by the = same God.=20 Young people, are you preparing yourselves to fight? Grandparents and = parents,=20 are you encouraging them in the fight? Sing Psalter 392.

November 9 Read II Timothy 2:7-13

Notice verse eleven. Because of our belief in the death of Christ for = our=20 sins, we have many benefits. The first mentioned is that of life. Not = the=20 physical life of this world which is marked by physical pain caused by = the=20 frailty of this body, but rather the spiritual life that will be = eternally ours=20 in heaven with Christ. This life will be marked with joy; this is the = joy of the=20 redeemed. This is the joy of those who God has elected from all = eternity; this=20 is the joy of those who have been bought by the blood of Christ, our = Savior.=20 Young people, do you seek earthly joy or heavenly joy? We will have to = endure=20 suffering; but do not despair, we are redeemed. What a blessed hope we = have!=20 Sing Psalter 329.

November 10 Read II Timothy 2:14-21

It is Saturday; the last thing anyone of us wishes to think of is our = studies. But yet Paul reminds us to study to show ourselves approved = unto God.=20 We might not look at our schoolbooks today; some may have put them away = for a=20 long time now, but we are still called to study. We may have the = opportunity to=20 enjoy nature. Study it to see God=92s glory and grandeur. Do not for get = to pick=20 up your Bibles and study today. Tomorrow is the Sabbath; will we be = found=20 approved before God? Study, people of God of all ages, and be prepared = unto=20 every good work. Sing Psalter 333.

November 11 Read II Timothy 2:22-26

Take a look at verse twenty-two again. Young people, are you heeding = the=20 first part of the verse? Older young people, are you putting away = childish=20 things? Older and elderly saints, are you walking in the station and = calling=20 where God has put you? That is what this verse calls us to do. Were we = with=20 those that =93call upon the Lord out of a pure heart=94 today? Did we go = to church?=20 Did we go twice? Did we go prepared to learn how to =93follow = righteousness,=20 faith, charity=94? This verse gives us much direction in how to live our = lives.=20 Let us follow its teaching and know our God. Sing Psalter 322.

November 12 Read Psalm 23

We are never too old for this Psalm. God=92s people of all ages can = enjoy it,=20 receive strength from it, and be comforted by it. Read it often and find = new=20 ideas in it for our lives. What is a shepherd? Have you ever given that = much=20 thought? In this less than agrarian society in which we live, we may not = know=20 much about shepherds. But the idea is important to God=92s people. Jesus = is the=20 good shepherd. Our ministers are the shepherds of the people of God. We = can go=20 on with this idea, but in order for us to know what a shepherd does, we = must=20 know what a shepherd is. Think about that today. Sing Psalter 53.

November 13 Read Psalm 23

This Psalm can be read over and over again. Our thinking assignment = for today=20 is sheep. Do you really know what sheep are like? In order really to = understand=20 Psalm 23, we need to know that. What are their feeding patterns? Are = they really=20 as dumb as people say? God=92s people are often likened to sheep. We = stray like=20 sheep. We are led like sheep. We need to be protected from the world=92s = wolves=20 like sheep do. We need to know what sheep are to see how we are like = sheep.=20 Think about sheep today. Sing Psalter 55.

November 14 Read Psalm 23

Once again we turn to this beautiful Psalm. In the end we find that = we have a=20 place to which we are being led. This place is one of peace. This place = is=20 heaven. This provides comfort to people of God of all ages. Even our = littlest of=20 children can understand the joys of peace. The most aged of saints wish = for the=20 peace that is found in God=92s fold with the one shepherd Christ Jesus. = Young=20 people, seek that place. Do it as sheep. Obey the shepherd. Dwelling in = God=92s=20 house is the one goal that will give you peace now and in eternity. Sing = Psalter=20 52.

November 15 Read Psalm 118:19-29

Notice verse twenty-four. Quite often we think of the Lord=92s Day as = Sunday.=20 Everyday is the Lord=92s day. We must always remember that. As we work = today and=20 throughout this week we must remember that every day we must use the day = that=20 Jehovah has given to us. In doing this we first of all prepare for the = Sabbath.=20 Secondly, we prepare for the Lord=92s supper that may be celebrated in = some=20 churches this week. Thirdly we prepare for the eternal Sabbath in = heaven. Use=20 today well, and you will be ready to use Sunday well. Sing Psalter = 256.

November 16 Read Psalm 1

Here is another Psalm that we would do well to read often. Who are = the=20 blessed ones? There are two chapters in the Bible that gives to us = descriptions=20 of those people. In this chapter we see the blessed ones are those who = walk in=20 God=92s law. They are the ones who have been planted by that river of = God that=20 nourishes them. The happy ones are those who stay away from the evil one = and his=20 ways. Let us seek to truly be blessed, and let us seek to walk in = God=92s way.=20 (Matthew 5 is the other chapter which tells us how to be happy.) Sing = Psalter=20 2.

November 17 Read III John 1:1-4

These words from John are the hope of parents and grandparents of the = church=20 of all time. Truth does not need to be defined. It is that which is in=20 accordance to the law of God. In the end, this is what parents and = grandparents=20 want for their children and grandchildren in their education and the = rest of=20 their lives. Doing your very best in school is part of that truth = because=20 students must study to show themselves approved before God. Young = people, show=20 zeal in your work. In doing so you will walk in truth and give to those = who love=20 you much joy. Sing Psalter 334.

November 18 Read Hebrews 11:1-6

What a wonderful gift faith is? By it we can believe God and all of = His=20 glorious wonders. Young people, as you study, take time to contemplate = what=20 those studies tell you about God. Man can invent but only God creates. = Abel=20 obeyed God and it cost him his life. Will we have the courage to do = this? It=92s=20 easy to have faith when things go well. What about when things are not = going so=20 well? Can we please God like Enoch? Enoch did not know he was to be = translated.=20 He was busy running for his life. But he spoke about God, he walked with = God=20 even when he was alone, and in doing this, he pleased God. Sing Psalter = 71.

November 19 Read Hebrews 11:7-13

People of God, let the ideas of Abraham lead you; not in this life = but in the=20 life to come. Our home is not here but in glory with all those who have = run the=20 race before us. Be persuaded of God=92s goodness and continually confess = being a=20 stranger and pilgrim on the earth. These ideas are good for God=92s = people of all=20 ages. Young people may have trouble comprehending the ideas of being a = pilgrim=20 and stranger. They may see the end of their studies being their lives on = this=20 earth. Older saints, we must lead them in the idea that the earth is not = their=20 home. Young people, speak to your godly grandparents often. They = understand=20 these truths, and will be happy to explain them to you. Sing Psalter = 221.

November 20 Read I John 4:1-6

This text tells us to do a necessary task in our lives. We may hear = many who=20 talk and sing about God. We may hear many interpretations of the Bible = writings=20 and speeches. We must try the spirits and see if those things are of = God. Young=20 people, this is true of you as well. Your parents are not always around = to guide=20 you. You must try the spirits. Songs and messages that are not of = God-not your=20 determination or another person=92s determination, but only Scripture, = you must=20 reject. You may have to shut off the music box, leave the concert, or, = refuse=20 attendance. In doing so you are obeying God and will find the =93peace = that=20 passeth understanding.=94 Be of good courage and say no to those things = which are=20 not of God. Sing Psalter 362.

November 21 Read Psalm 136:1-9

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. It is not too soon to think of what true=20 thanksgiving really is. First of all we must think of whom we must = thank. We=20 thank God who created the heavens, the earth, and all that is in them. = Ponder=20 God and his creation. Can we do anything but thank Him for all that He = has done=20 for us? Think about the wonders of creation; do they not force us to cry = out, =93O=20 God, how great thou art!=94? By doing this we will become less focused = on the=20 turkey and more focused on God, our creator. Sing Psalter 377.

November 22 Read Psalm 136:1, 10-26

Because the passage is a little longer today, I will not say much = about it.=20 God is good. He has redeemed us from all evil. Say verse twenty-five = before your=20 meal today and then repeat verse twenty-six. Thanks be to God. Sing = Psalter=20 378.

November 23 Read I John 4:7-15

Let=92s continue where we left off Tuesday. God is love. What a = beautiful=20 thought that is! Because He is love, we must love those around us. In = doing=20 that, we show our love to God. Now, notice verse 15. This is some thing = we must=20 do daily. Confessing that Jesus is God=92s Son is more than just words. = It is=20 saying the truths found in Scripture as well as walking a good daily = walk.=20 Whether we are old or young, we must pray for the strength to do this = each day.=20 Young people, you have to learn to do this. Ask for help from those = around you,=20 and ask for help from our heavenly Father. Sing Psalter 51.

November 24 Read I Peter 1:1-9

Notice verse three. Sometimes we have trials that cause us to be = =93down=94.=20 Sometimes those around us take away the hope we have in Christ. = Sometimes our=20 situations do not look as nice as we would want them. Through any of = this we=20 have the hope of the resurrection of Christ. This hope will sustain us = through=20 all trials and temptations. We do not have to worry about the trials of = this=20 life. Our elder brother has experienced them and has given to us the = hope that=20 will sustain us in all situations. Read the Bible often and know that = our God=20 will care for us in all things. Sing Psalter 342.

November 25 Read Psalm 24

A familiar Psalm now and then is a refreshing thought. When we can = hold to=20 the familiar, it takes away doubts, despair, and loneliness. Our King of = glory=20 is always around us and will always care for us. As we worship today, we = must=20 make sure that we worship the king of glory. He is not an earthly king. = His=20 kingdom is not of this world. He is heavenly and has a heavenly kingdom. = By=20 worshiping Him we find the way to true contentment in this life and in = the life=20 to come. Enjoy the Sabbath and be ready to enjoy the eternal Sabbath in = heaven=20 with the King. Sing Psalter 58.

November 26 Read Isaiah 44:21-28

Notice first of all in verse twenty-four that God is our creator. = Young=20 people, remember this as you study science and especially human anatomy. = The=20 creation is orderly because God is orderly. God also knows all things = because He=20 has decreed them. It was many years before Cyrus made history when these = words=20 were penned. These words came true and because they did, God=92s people = found=20 comfort then, and we can find comfort now. If God knows Cyrus, He knows = each of=20 us by name. Think about that. He knows you! Sing Psalter 375.

November 27 Read Psalm 3

People of God of all ages, this Psalm is for you! Those of you who = are=20 afflicted reread the first three verses. Do not despair, we have a = shield.=20 Jehovah will lift us up from despair and deliver us from those = afflictions. Of=20 that there is no doubt. Those who face death reread verses four and = five. God=20 who is in heaven hears us when we cry. We can sleep a comfortable sleep = knowing=20 that whether we awake on this earth or with Jesus in heaven, we will = find joy.=20 Maybe your physical state is such that you desire to awake in heaven. = The great=20 physician knows your needs and will bring you the balm of Gilead. Let = this=20 strengthen you in your afflictions. No matter what our situation = salvation=20 belongs to God, and He will bring to us blessing from His limitless = store. Sing=20 Psalter 5.

November 28 Read Hebrews 11:8-13

Young people, you have years of schooling ahead of you. Some have = more than=20 others. But yet as we read in Hebrews the city that we look for is not = on this=20 earth but rather in heaven. We are but strangers and pilgrims here. Let = us=20 remember that. We have a calling as strangers and pilgrims. That calling = is to=20 make our calling and election sure. This, as is true with all we do, can = only be=20 done with God=92s help. Making our calling and election sure is not how = we get=20 salvation, but rather how we show gratitude for salvation. We cannot = show=20 gratitude if our goal is a good life on this earth. We must seek for = that=20 heavenly abode. We must do this as, daily we study. We must do this as = we work.=20 Our abiding city has the foundation of God and His truth. Let us seek = Him and=20 His truth in all that we do. Sing Psalter 325.

November 29 Read Genesis 6:1-8

Notice the last verse. When we find grace in God=92s eyes, we please = Him with=20 our walk. Notice that the grace comes first and then the walk. Finding = the grace=20 is not our doing but God=92s. He leads us to the grace which He provides = for all=20 of His people. This is how we walk as strangers and pilgrims on this = earth. Noah=20 means comfort. God gives to us those men and women who provide comfort = in this=20 world as Noah did in the world in which he lived. Young people, are you = looking=20 for God=92s grace? Are you seeking the help of those men and women of = comfort?=20 Sing Psalter 252.

November 30 Read Jude 1-13

Part of working out our salvation or making our calling and election = sure is=20 earnestly contending for the faith. Jude lived during a time of = controversy in=20 and out of the church. It mimics much the way it will be before Christ = returns.=20 Jude=92s admonition to earnestly contend for the faith is one that we = need today.=20 We contend for the faith by our actions and our speech. It will get = harder and=20 harder, but our covenant God will sustain us through all things. Sing = Psalter=20 407.

December 1 Read Jude 14-25

The last two verses have been the favorite New Testament doxology of = many. I=20 know it is mine. Think about it. Christ will keep us from falling away = from His=20 everlasting love. He presents dirty old us to His Father in a spotless=20 condition. Think of a little child who stumbles and falls, who gets = dirty, both=20 his skin and his clothes. Now do you get the idea of this doxology? What = else=20 can we do but to thank Him by giving Him all glory, majesty, dominion = and power?=20 This brings much comfort to us as we live our lives. Sing Psalter = 315.

December 2 Read I Corinthians 13

This is the famous chapter on love. What is often missed is that this = chapter=20 deals with the love of the brethren in the church. It is often misused = for other=20 things including weddings. Now it is true that there is this idea in it, = but its=20 primary purpose is to prevent troubles in the church. Take a look at the = last=20 verse of the next chapter and you will see my point. Young people, as = you seek=20 to make confession of faith, think about preserving the unity of the = church.=20 This can only be done through the right way of love. This is the love = that God=20 showed to us by sending His Son to die on the cross. We must reflect = that love=20 in our lives. Sing Psalter 124.

December 3 Read II Peter 2:1-11

Verse nine of this chapter is most comforting. There are many = temptations in=20 the world. God is faithful and will lead us from them. This does not = mean that=20 we seek temptations. If we do, we will be like David and Peter and have = grievous=20 falls. See Canons Head five. We have been given a great heritage in = Scripture=20 and the Reformed faith. Woe to us if we throw it away. Young people, = this means=20 you. Older people of God, this means us. Sing Psalter 202.

December 4 Read II Peter 2:12-22

In verse seventeen we see an everyday situation which we can = appreciate. In=20 the summer we go through a dry spell. We see clouds but have no rain. = This is=20 what false teachers are like. They thunder and lightning, but nothing = good comes=20 out of them. We are called to try the spirits. We must do so that we are = not=20 fooled. We must seek true teachers and teaching of God=92s truths. By = doing this=20 we will have the assurance of God=92s love for us. There is no peace in = false=20 teaching. The only true peace is in God=92s Word and His way of = salvation. Sing=20 Psalter 336.

December 5 Read Psalm 4

The last verse is that to which I wish to call your attention. As we = awake=20 from another night of sleep we must thank Jehovah who has given to us = that night=20 of rest. We awake because He cares for us. Sometimes the night can be a = scary=20 time. Many deaths occur at night. Even these should cause us no fear = because for=20 the child of God death is the entry into heaven. We may take with us to = bed the=20 gladness of the day and rest assured that Jehovah will care for us. Sing = Psalter=20 8.

December 6 Read II Peter 3:1-7

Christ is coming! No, I am not talking about the shallow celebration = of=20 Christmas that already pervades the world around us. I am speaking of = that time=20 when He will come and take us to Himself. Both Peter and Paul felt it = necessary=20 to give instruction of these things. Reread I and II Thessalonians = sometime. In=20 our reading for today, we are instructed to think about the flood. In = thinking=20 about the flood, we think about the end of time. We will see how to = respond to=20 those who do not see the truths of Christ return or do not see them = correctly.=20 We will find comfort for our souls as we await His coming. Sing Psalter = 28.

December 7 Read II Peter 3:8-13

God is not slack concerning His promises. What a beautiful thought is = provided for His people! Many people make promises. Some are just out = and out=20 lies. Some cannot be fulfilled because of circumstances beyond man=92s = control.=20 God is not like that. His promises are true. He will have all of His = people come=20 to repentance. The world will not end until that happens. It is = comforting for=20 us to know that none of God=92s people will go lost because they did not = repent=20 before Christ returned. He will come back, and receive all of His people = unto=20 Himself. Sing Psalter 83.

December 8 Read II Peter 3:14-18

People of God, are we seeking to grow in grace? Do we faithfully read = His=20 word so that we can grow properly? Are we looking forward to tomorrow = when we=20 can join with fellow saints and learn more about our God? If we do these = things,=20 we will seek to grow in grace. This growing never ends. It begins with = parents=20 teaching the smallest children that God made them, and that Jesus loves = them. It=20 continues with our children and young people striving for the sure = knowledge and=20 hearty confidence of faith so they can seek to confess their faith = before the=20 church. Parents grow in grace by living out their lives in a way that = honors and=20 glorifies our Heavenly Father. Elder saints grow in grace as they help = others in=20 the church and patiently await the day of their entrance into glory. Let = us grow=20 in grace, people of God of all ages, and let us know that this pleases = Jehovah.=20 Sing Psalter 40.


Memoir of Rev. C. Hanko edited by Karen Van = Baren

Karen is a member of Protestant Reformed Church in South Holland,=20 Illinois, and a granddaughter of Rev. C. Hanko.

Rev. C. Hanko

Chapter 28

Trip to Holy = Land=971984

Editor=92s Notes=97Rev. Hanko was apprehensive that he would not = stay busy=20 enough in his retirement years. He soon found out that this was no cause = for=20 worry. He taught Dutch in the seminary for a number of years, he was = church=20 visitor for Classis from 1979-1989, he traveled extensively on behalf of = the=20 churches, and he traveled to Bradenton, Florida to preach there for = parts of=20 every year from 1980-1992. In this chapter, he relates the story of his = trip to=20 the Holy Land. While not taken on behalf of the churches, the trip was=20 instructive and edifying for both him and his companions.

In 1977, when I was 70 years old, I retired. This was not an easy = decision to=20 make. I had lived an active life, and did not fancy the idea of sitting = home and=20 twiddling my thumbs. If retirement meant doing nothing, I would put that = off as=20 long as possible. But the opportunity was offered to me to teach Dutch = to the=20 students in the seminary. That would give me something to do. So with = that in=20 mind, I informed Hudsonville=92s consistory, which reluctantly agreed to = approve=20 my action.

We had just moved into the new church on Beech Tree. The consistory = also=20 offered to me that we could move into the new parsonage, but since I had = in mind=20 to retire, we did not do that. It was a good thing also, for my last = duty as=20 minister of Hudsonville was to install Rev. Van Baren as minister = there.

In the summer of 1978, I had hip surgery. Dr. Avery had consulted a = bone=20 doctor about my Paget=92s disease, which had been developing ever since = 1956. The=20 doctors in Beaver Clinic in Redlands mentioned to me that I had this = ailment,=20 but said that likely it would never bother.1 On the world = tour of=20 1975 I had begun to limp a bit, not so noticeably, but I stumbled = readily.=20 Later, I fell without realizing what caused it. I began taking shots for = this,=20 but Dr. Avery wondered whether more could be done to prevent it from = developing=20 further. One doctor whom he consulted said that I should have hip = surgery,=20 replacement of the ball and socket. Another doctor advised strongly = against it.=20 After some time the doctor who advised the hip surgery won out.

For a few days I was in a private room at Blodgett Hospital, after = which I=20 went through a period of therapy, telling that left leg to move. Only by = concentrating on it would the leg finally move. While the surgery did = help for a=20 time, that leg was now shorter than my other one.

All the while I had not even given thought to where I would live = after I=20 retired. Somehow that problem never came up. It was Gordon Van Overloop = who came=20 over and asked me what I had in mind.2 He suggested the = possibility=20 of going to Sunset Manor, a retirement home, or buying an old house = somewhere.=20 He also mentioned that he had ordered a new condominium among the = Beechnut=20 apartments on 32nd = Ave.,=20 which he would turn over to me if I so desired. We went to where some = condos had=20 already been built, looked over the lot where he had intended to buy, = discussed=20 the price, and decided that this would be the best thing to do. So Gord = made all=20 the arrangements with the owners, managed to get a cut in the price for = us, and=20 gave us the privilege of deciding how we wanted the various rooms = arranged,=20 particularly allowing room for my library.

At the beginning of 1979 we moved with the assistance of some of the = family=20 and many members of the congregation. It was a rather stormy day, with = snow=20 flying, but we managed to get all the furniture across without any = damage. So=20 Allie and I were settled in a condo, in contrast to the eight-room house = on=20 School Street. It felt like we were living in cramped quarters, like a = motel.=20 But we soon became accustomed to it, and were glad that the place was no = larger.

In 1980, I had an opportunity to take a trip to the Holy Land for a = mere=20 $300. This sounded good to me, so I sent a down payment. Later I was = glad that=20 this fell through, because, upon further investigation, I found out that = it was=20 a tour of charismatics, who would spend prayer time in Jerusalem and on = the Sea=20 of Galilee. The reason it fell through was that Allie developed cancer = in the=20 thyroid gland. For this, she had surgery that same summer. The surgery = was done=20 in Zeeland hospital, but she had to go to Ann Arbor for treatments of=20 radioactive iodine. She was in isolation for four or five days. We could = come as=20 far as the door to see her. After she returned home, she had to go to = the=20 University of Michigan every year for a check up.

On July 8, 1984, we left for an unforgettable trip to Palestine. It = all=20 happened because Elaine had a brainstorm, thinking that if she could get = a group=20 of our own people together, this would make a nice trip. This is what = made the=20 trip especially enjoyable; that all but three of the twenty were our own = people,=20 and a number of them schoolteachers. There were twelve of us who left a = week=20 earlier to go to Egypt. A limousine took us to Detroit, Michigan, and = from there=20 we went to Brussels, Belgium. Later in the day we were served a meal and = obtained a plane that took us to Paris, France. After a bit of delay in = Paris we=20 went on to Cairo, Egypt where we arrived at three AM on Tuesday. A guide = was=20 there to meet us and direct us to a bus. It took some time to get out of = the=20 airport, which was under heavy security, but soon we were bumping and = racing=20 along with a driver who knew three English words, =93Kentucky Fried = Chicken.=94 One=20 extra large bump caused Gen Lubbers=92 suitcase to fall and coast behind = us. But=20 this was soon retrieved and when we arrived at the Hilton on the Nile, = we tried=20 to get a few hours sleep.

The first two days we spent in the large, disorderly city of Cairo. = We had=20 nice weather, hot but clear. Traffic in Cairo was mad confusion. There = were six=20 lanes of traffic, all going in the same direction, consisting of people = walking,=20 horse drawn carts maneuvering their way and cars and busses blowing = their horns=20 and trying to make time. One night at 11:30, we were still in a traffic = jam. But=20 we enjoyed seeing the pyramids, riding on camels and especially the = night tour=20 to the sphinx and pyramids under lights.

We went to Memphis, the ancient capital of the Egyptian kingdoms, = where we=20 saw a colossal image of Ramses II.

The land of Goshen is no longer the fertile country of onions, garlic = and=20 leeks, known to Israel. Since the Aswan Dam was built on the Nile, the = river no=20 longer overflows and the irrigation ditches are but stagnant pools of = filthy=20 water with a few miserable huts alongside.

We went by plane to Luxor and went by bus to Karnak. Then by boat we = went=20 across the Nile to the Valley of the Kings. We visited the tomb of King = Tut and=20 also went all the way down in the tomb of Ramses VI. What especially = impressed=20 us was how far the culture had already advanced in those days when the = tombs=20 were built. The passage in the tomb was a gradual slope. All along the = perfectly=20 aligned walls and ceiling were designs of all sorts, not rudely = scratched into=20 the wall, but carefully engraved by experts. There were alcoves along = the way,=20 also bearing all sorts of designs.

Near the tombs of the kings were caves used as dwellings. The = government had=20 made houses for the people to live in, but they preferred to stay in the = caves.=20 We visited an alabaster factory, where laborers made and painted vases = and other=20 objects from a mineral, harder than clay, yet not as hard as stone.

We then went to the Valley of the Queens where we saw the ruins of = the most=20 elaborate temple of all. It was the temple of Queen Hatshepsut, who is = thought=20 to have been the adoptive mother of Moses. She never appeared in public = without=20 a long beard to give an impression of authority.

We went back to Karnak across the Nile. We had lunch in a restaurant = that was=20 not exactly clean, especially because there was a cat running around = between our=20 legs and all over the place. There we had a salad of greens that we = enjoyed at=20 the time, but we did not realize that the water in which the greens were = washed=20 might have serious effects on us. After resting a while, because of the = heat of=20 the day, we went to the various ruins of temples of the kings. One king = had=20 built a temple to his honor, and the next king broke part of it down to = build=20 his temple. Amazing what a number of temples were lying there in ruin! = There=20 were obelisks of one solid piece, fully designed and standing 90 feet = high. How=20 in the world did these Egyptians ever raise something as tall as = that?

We took the plane back to Cairo and stayed in the same hotel in = Cairo. Some=20 of our party began to feel nauseous. In the afternoon we took the plane = to=20 Athens, Greece where we were to meet the rest of the party on Sunday = evening.=20 That trip from Cairo to Athens was a horrible experience because Allie = and I=20 were very sick. The trip was a nightmare. Twice the stewardess offered = me food,=20 which was the last thing I needed. But as we approached Athens, I began = to sip=20 7-Up, so that by the time we landed, I was able at least to stand on my=20 feet.

On Sunday morning, some of our group went to find a church. The rest = of us=20 had a short service in the hotel. In the afternoon we took a walk in the = park=20 and saw the changing of the guard. Allie and Kathy Bouwkamp remained = nauseous=20 most of the week, but the rest of us were pretty well over our=20 sickness.3

That evening, the other eight, who were making this trip with us, = including=20 Rich and Elaine Bos, arrived at the hotel in Athens. They had already = heard in=20 Grand Rapids about our bout with nausea. It was a pleasure to have the = group=20 complete. We had a meeting with the guide that night to make plans for = the week,=20 but most of us were eager to get some rest. John Kalsbeek Sr. was my = roommate=20 for the rest of the trip.4

On Monday morning our guide arrived and was ready to show us Athens. = We spent=20 some time at the Parthenon. On Monday afternoon the party went by bus to = Corinth. We rode part of the time along the sound and we saw the pass, = the cut=20 through the rock that is used by ships to avoid the long trip around the = point=20 of the peninsula. Our guide took us to Mars Hill where Paul = preached.

Tuesday morning, our guide came and we started out bright and early = to go=20 north through Greece to Thessalonica. We rode past Mount Olympus and = stopped at=20 a monastery at Meteora, perched high on a solitary cliff. There were 240 = steps=20 leading up to this lone spot. When we were almost there all the girls = who failed=20 to wear skirts or had sleeveless blouses on were forbidden to continue = on their=20 way or see the monastery. Allie and Kathy had purchased cheap skirts for = such an=20 occasion, but forgot them. All these girls gained was exercise.

We stayed along the way overnight and arrived in Thessalonica on the = morning=20 of Wednesday. We walked about on the seashore and saw many ships lying = at anchor=20 in the harbor. We also saw the ruins of the old entrance gate and = visited the=20 crypt of St. Demetrius in the basement underneath the church. Later we = walked up=20 the hill to see the ruins of the old wall and a castle situated there. = Thoughts=20 ran through our minds of what Scripture told us about this city in the = days of=20 the apostle Paul.

The next day we traveled to Delphi, where we spent the night. It was = a long=20 climb to Delphi. Imagine Paul on foot walking this rugged terrain day = after day.=20 The city itself was very hilly. We saw a number of statues with their = heads=20 broken off. The guide informed us that the Crusaders had damaged these = statues=20 in their holy wars.

The next day, July 20, we went to a port at Athens to take the ship = Oceanos=20 to visit various islands. This was indeed a highlight of the entire = trip. The=20 ship was very attractive, the scenery was beautiful, and the meals of = the very=20 best. During the day we visited various islands and at night we did most = of our=20 traveling. Our first stop was the island of Mykonos, outstanding for all = of its=20 white buildings. The most difficult part of these stops was that we had = to=20 descend a ladder to climb into a launch that took us to the island. This = was not=20 so bad when the sea was calm, but when the ship rocked we had to tread = lightly.=20 We spent some time in Mykonos and then were told to return to our = boat.

The next day we stopped at Rhodes with its famous entrance to the = harbor. We=20 were reminded that Paul stopped here on his way to Jerusalem. There were = many=20 attractions for sightseers on this island, such as an acropolis and a = palace.=20 Rich, Elaine and others took an extra tour to Lindos, on the other side = of the=20 island.

As we returned from Rhodes, a generator gave out in the ship, so that = there=20 were no lights in the gangways leading to our berths. We sat out on deck = for=20 many hours, being entertained in various ways. The snack bar was also = opened, so=20 that we could enjoy whatever snacks we wanted.

On Sunday morning, July 22, we arrived at the port near Ephesus. This = was=20 another outstanding experience on our trip. A bus took us to the ruins = of the=20 former city, about the best-preserved ruins of any of the old cities. = Here we=20 could see ruins of the former Roman temple, library and the = amphitheater. The=20 guide told us to imagine about a thousand people gathered here, as he = gave a big=20 shout which resounded against the hill. We could well imagine what a = riot that=20 was when the mob turned against Paul, shouting, =93Great is Diana of the = Ephesians.=94

From Ephesus we took ship to the Island of Patmos. This was an = especially=20 interesting part of the tour. There is only one very small city on the = island,=20 and only one likely place where there is a cave and where the apostle = John must=20 have lived. From this spot one can look over the broad expanse of the = sea, and=20 it takes but little imagination to see what John saw and describes in = the Book=20 of Revelation. We did not stay very long in the cave, because there was = a=20 baptism ceremony going on there, and they did not appreciate = interference.

That evening we had a short service on the ship. A few of the women = who=20 worked on the ship attended our service and stayed until about 11 = o=92clock=20 talking to Don and Judi Doezema.5

On our return trip to the port of Athens the sea was quite stormy, so = that=20 some of us were either close to being or were seasick. This was our last = night=20 on the ship, so we had a farewell dinner about six o=92clock in the = evening.

We had already been gone two weeks. But so much had happened that it = seemed=20 much longer. On Monday we returned to the port at Athens and were ready = to go on=20 the next phase of our trip to Palestine.

At Tel Aviv we met our guide Joseph, who would be with us throughout = this=20 tour. We went by bus to Jerusalem. Before we arrived there, we were = shown a=20 large miniature of the old city as it was in the days of Jesus. We could = walk=20 around this display, and were shown the temple, the palace of Annas and = the=20 palace of Caiphas. We had a mental picture of what Jerusalem must have = looked=20 like in Jesus=92 time.

From there we were taken to the foot of the Mount of Olives from = which=20 vantage point we could see, overlooking the Kidron valley, the entire = city of=20 Jerusalem. Our attention was called to the Dome of the Rock, the place = where the=20 temple had stood in Jesus=92 day. We also went to the top of the = mountain where=20 Jesus ascended to heaven. From there we went to our hotel to get settled = there.

Tuesday dawned and we were ready to see the Old City, called =93The = City of=20 David.=94 We visited a mosque which could hold five thousand worshipers. = Then we=20 went to the site where the Palace of Caiaphas is thought to have stood. = This was=20 near the Kidron Valley. We also visited the place that is considered to = be near=20 the site of the upper room where the Last Supper was held. Next we were = brought=20 down into a sort of dungeon where criminals, but also the disciples, = were said=20 to have been beaten.

In the afternoon we went to Bethlehem and saw the cave where Jesus is = supposed to have been born. Then we passed the field of Boaz where Ruth = had=20 gathered grain, and also passed the field that is thought to have been = the place=20 where the shepherds sat when they heard the announcement of Jesus=92 = birth.

Going back to our hotel, we were given the liberty to explore the = shopping=20 places and other sights near our hotel. Rich and Elaine and I went to = the=20 Damascus Gate to sit and watch all the strange creatures, including a = donkey,=20 coming out of this gate and climbing the steps out of this part of the = city. On=20 the sidewalk women sat peddling their wares. I might mention here that a = tunnel=20 showed that the old Damascus gate was 39 feet below the present = gate.

On Wednesday we did not return to the old city, because a small riot = was=20 disturbing the place and the gates were closed. Nor could we go to = Hebron=20 because of unrest there. So on a hot Wednesday morning we went to = Masada. Here,=20 high up on an almost inaccessible cliff, is where Herod the Great built = his=20 palace with rooms for some of his wives and large bins for food storage. = We rode=20 up there by tram. At the time of the siege of Jerusalem, when the Romans = invaded=20 Palestine, a thousand Jews hid themselves on this cliff. When the Roman = army,=20 encamped down below, tried to ascend this mountain they were doused with = hot=20 water or boiling oil. They did succeed in building a ramp, but by the = time they=20 reached the top the Jews were all dead.6

From there we went to the Dead Sea, where some of the group went into = the=20 water. This water is so heavy with minerals that one=92s rear keeps = going down and=20 one=92s legs up. Swimming is impossible. We never saw such desolation as = in that=20 entire area around the sea. Even a weed or a sprout of grass cannot = survive=20 there. The area still speaks of the curse that God laid upon Sodom and=20 Gomorrah.

Our next stop was Qumran where the Dead Sea scrolls were found. A = large=20 hexagon building now holds a number of the scrolls. We also saw there = the ruins=20 of what may have been a monastery for the Essenes, who made copies of = the Old=20 Testament scriptures.

That noon we had lunch at the restaurant of our guide Joseph=92s = brother in=20 Jericho, known as =93the City of the Palms.=94 As we rode along our = guide jokingly=20 pointed to a sycamore tree where Zacchaeus sat. We saw King Hisham=92s = palace and=20 the =93spring of Elisha.=94 On the Jericho road going back to Jerusalem = we saw how=20 forsaken this road can be, an ideal spot for robbers to beat up a man, = as we=20 read in the parable of =93The Good Samaritan.=94

Thursday, July 26, was an interesting day spent in the old city. = There was no=20 evidence whatever of the riot of the previous day. Joseph brought us to = the=20 Wailing Wall, but, being an Arab, wanted no part of it. This wall is = thought to=20 be the last remnant of the ruins of Herod=92s temple. The women were on = one side,=20 the men on the other. Each of us men was given a small cap to wear on = his head.=20 There were a number of people standing or sitting at the wall, engaged = in=20 prayer. There was a confirmation ceremony being carried on there for a = young=20 boy. As we left we saw a group of orthodox Jews, dressed in black with = the curls=20 on the sides of their heads, their patriarch in their midst.

Next we went to the Dome of the Rock, a Muslim temple, on Mount = Moriah. We=20 had to take off our shoes to enter. This is one place that certainly = looks=20 authentic. The Rock is considered to be the place where the altar of = burnt=20 offering stood. It is part of the hill and has a large hole in the = center, which=20 empties into a large pit, recently dug out. This pit empties in the = Valley of=20 Hinnom.

From there we went to the Pool of Bethesda, which also lies in ruins. = This=20 pool is much deeper than I ever imagined it. It is said to have been 200 = feet=20 wide, 350 feet long and 25 feet deep. There is not much left of the = porches=20 around it.

Passing the Golden Gate, we went to Hezekiah=92s tunnel. Some of our = party went=20 through on bare feet. The tunnel is s-shaped and is 600 yards long, = leading from=20 the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam. It is said that the workmen = started from=20 each end and met in the center almost in line.

We were shown the Pavement where Jesus is supposed to have been tried = and=20 condemned. With all alacrity (our guide did not enjoy being in this = area), we=20 hastened along the Via Dolorosa and to the Damascus Gate.7 At = the=20 Damascus Gate, I felt a small hand slide into my side pocket, where I = had my=20 billfold. But I grasped my billfold in time, and, still amazed at the = audacity=20 of the boy thief, gave him a whack with my cane.

Not far from the gate was the site that might have been Golgotha. It = is a=20 large rock formation with holes that resemble eyes and a mouth. If this = is the=20 place where Jesus was crucified, the crucifixion took place on a hill = near the=20 road that comes from Jericho on which the passers-by may have seen the=20 crucifixion on their way to celebrate the Passover in the city.

Just beyond this is a garden that is called the Garden Tomb. There = are olive=20 trees there that are thought to be hundreds of years old. On one end is = a cave=20 cut into the hill, if not THE tomb, then similar to the one where Jesus = lay and=20 arose. The guide said, =93If you stand here, that is, by the rock that = was=20 supposed to have been rolled away, you can see the place of the grave = clothes,=20 even as John must have seen them.=94

Friday dawned and we started out for Galilee. We passed the Valley of = the=20 Dance where, in the time of the judges, the few remaining Benjamites = could fetch=20 themselves a wife. We stopped at Jacob=92s well, a very deep well. This = well is 7=20 =BD feet in diameter and 90 feet deep. Once more one wonders how it was = possible=20 in those days to dig a well that deep. Here is where Jesus may have met = the=20 Samaritan woman.

We rode between Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal. The former is covered = with=20 green foliage, but the latter is bare. Quite fitting for the blessing = and the=20 cursing that took place there.

Our next stop was Megiddo on the southern edge of the plain of = Jezreel. This=20 is well known in Bible prophecy. Here is Ahab=92s water system or = tunnel, which is=20 regarded as a remarkable feat of engineering. It has 183 steps leading = down to=20 it. Its purpose was to supply the city with water.

We went on to Nazareth. It was a long difficult climb for the bus to = work its=20 way to the city, which is built on a cliff about 300 feet high. It was = from this=20 cliff that the people of Nazareth intended to cast down Jesus to get rid = of=20 him.

After having lunch in Nazareth, we went to the Sea of Tiberius and = took a=20 boat ride to see the ruins of Capernaum. The sea is 13 miles long, 7.5 = miles=20 wide and 130 to 157 feet deep. This sea could become very tempestuous, = as we saw=20 one afternoon while in Tiberius. In Capernaum we saw what was thought to = be the=20 home of Peter. We visited the synagogue, but as for the rest, the city = gives=20 every evidence of the curse Jesus pronounced upon it.

We headed back to Tiberius, past a cove similar to the place in which = Jesus=20 spoke while sitting in a boat. Passing Magdala, we came to Tiberius, = another=20 hilly city, where we stayed in a hotel.

On Saturday morning we went to the Mount of the Beatitudes and to the = Golan=20 Heights and the Syrian border. The young guard at the border seemed glad = to have=20 a bit of company, but we could not understand each other. From there we = went to=20 the source of the Jordan River, climbed over the rocks and paused a = moment by a=20 pool where people were swimming. The Jordan has its source in the snowy = peaks of=20 Mt. Hermon and flows to the Sea of Galilee and then on to the Dead Sea. = It=20 twists and turns over an area of 159 miles while the actual distance = from its=20 source to the Dead Sea is 65 miles.

On Sunday we went to the city of Haifa, on the slope of Mt. Carmel, = which=20 overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. We went to a diamond factory and saw = the=20 operations. At Mt. Carmel we were shown the cave where some think Elijah = hid=20 from Jezebel before he fled to the wilderness south of Judah. At = Caesarea we saw=20 the aqueduct of Herod the Great, built to bring water into the = valley.

We had come to the end of our tour, so, arriving at Tel Aviv, we took = the=20 plane to Brussels, where, about midnight, we saw part of the town. The = next=20 morning we bid farewell to those of our party, Corny and Fran Doezema, = their=20 daughter Dorothy and also Don and Judi Doezema, who were going on to the = Netherlands, while we started for Detroit.8 A limousine and a = van=20 took us home to Grand Rapids. I think it would be well for every = minister and=20 every schoolteacher to take a trip to that area to get a mental picture = of=20 Egypt, of Palestine and the many places referred to in Scripture.

Endnotes

1 Paget=92s disease is a chronic bone disorder that = results in=20 enlarged or deformed bones in the spine, skull, pelvis, thighs, or lower = legs.

2 Gord Van Overloop is the father of Rev. Van Overloop, = Jim, Tom,=20 Greg, Randy and David.

3 Kathy Bouwkamp is now Kathy Schut and is a member in = Hudsonville=20 PRC.

4 John Kalsbeek Sr. is the father of John, Charles, and = Calvin=20 Kalsbeek, and Karla Kamps.

5 Don and Judi Doezema are members of Southwest PRC.

6 When the Jews realized that their situation was = hopeless, the=20 heads of the clans agreed to kill those belonging to their clan. When = this was=20 finished, ten heads of clans remained. These ten cast lots to determine = which of=20 the ten would kill the other nine and then commit suicide. The grisly = work was=20 soon done.

7 =93The Via Dolorosa=94 can be translated as =93The Way = of Sorrows.=94=20 This refers to the path that Jesus supposedly walked to Golgotha.

8 Cornie and Fran Doezema are members of Holland Church. = They have=20 children in several of our churches. Dorothy is married to Henry De = Jong. They=20 are members in Holland Church.


Little Lights by Connie Meyer

Connie is a member of Hope Protestant Reformed Church in Walker,=20 Michigan.

Music in the Woods = (3)

It was May of 1849 when a visitor in black coat and top hat rode into = the=20 city of Holland. Who was he?

By now Holland had grown to over 200 log cabins and several shops. = The=20 surrounding woods were steadily being cleared to make room for fields = and farms.=20 Though the Dutch immigrants worked very hard to settle the area, it was = all they=20 could do to grow enough food to keep them alive and have some semblance = of a=20 roof over their heads. Luxuries and comforts were none. The visitor was=20 obviously not one of them.

Rev. Isaac Wyckoff! Yes, the man from the east who had so helped = their own=20 Rev. Van Raalte three years ago, and had helped them and many more = immigrants=20 since. They welcomed him with open arms. And he was very glad to see = them.

He came on behalf of the large Reformed denomination that was already = established in America since 1624. Could these new immigrants from = Holland join=20 his Reformed Church? And could the Reformed Church in America help = them?

They certainly needed it. Rev. Wyckoff saw their severe poverty. = Families=20 lived in one-room cabins with boxes and crates for tables and chairs. = They had=20 only a little salt pork, potatoes, and corn meal to eat. But he also saw = their=20 faith and hope. He reported back east that he had never seen such piety = before.=20 And he heard them sing their beloved Psalms with such joy and zest! = =93They do all=20 things with prayer and praise,=94 he wrote.

The Reformed Church in America held to the same confessions that = these wooden=20 shoe-clad believers did. They ought to be brothers.

But the matter was not so easily decided. These immigrant Dutchmen = were=20 battle-worn spiritual warriors. They had been sorely persecuted in the=20 Netherlands for holding to these Reformed truths in all their = distinctive=20 fullness. They had been forced to leave the State Reformed Church there, = a=20 secession known as the Afscheiding of 1834. That was not so long ago. = Now in=20 joining with the Reformed Church in America they might be compromising = those=20 very truths they held dear as their lives. The State Reformed Church in = the=20 Netherlands claimed to hold to these confessions too, but=85

Rev. Wyckoff added one more persuading argument. He told them they = could bid=20 his Reformed Church =93a fraternal adieu=94 (a brotherly good-bye) if = they were at=20 any time not happy about the union. Rev. Van Raalte supported joining = the large=20 denomination. Finally, the handful of elders and ministers in the woods = of West=20 Michigan agreed.

The following year, in 1850, these Seceders of the Afscheiding were=20 officially united to the Reformed Church in America. They were called = =93Classis=20 Holland=94 of the west. They were one.

It was a union that would not last.