Editor’s Notes – May 1991

The Beacon Lights staff has seen in recent months what effect increased postage rates and production costs can have on our monthly balance.  We did anticipate extra costs in production and so we were not alarmed by those increases.  We have seen a generous support from our churches and individuals.  We are thankful to our covenant God for the evidence of His love shown to us from our churches.  We covet your prayers and continued support.  The increase in postage costs and cover costs, however, in the past several years, and also maintaining an inventory of books has produced a decreasing balance in the past few months.

Promoting the sale of our books is one way of increasing the balance each month.  We plan to do that in the next few months.  This action alone, however, will only partly offset the decreasing monthly balance.  To turn our decreasing balance to a break even or increasing balance, we are increasing the subscription to the Beacon Lights to $7.00 a year starting June 1.  We believe this action now will make it possible for the young people’s magazine to be produced and mailed for the next several years without any increase in the subscription price.  Several years ago the price of a yearly subscription went from $3.00 to $5.00 so we do think that an additional $2.00 now for a yearly subscription is appropriate.

Did you enjoy Rev. Heys’ article last month on “Remembering Our Creator” that he wrote in “From the Pastor’s Study”?  You found out from that article that there are many important truths for us to remember that help us in each day of our lives as young people who work in the world or at home.  His article for this month “Standing in Awe Before God” also provides an important truth that will help us.  He compares a few Bible translations of several important passages of scripture to show that honoring God by using scripture’s language is standing in awe before Him.

Prof. Hanko explains further the background for the beginning of our Protestant Reformed Churches in his series on the Janssen Controversy.  “To Lose the Battle and Win the War, Chapter IV, The Basic Issue,” begins to answer the question why the doctrine of common grace was not condemned by the Christian Reformed Church when it condemned Prof. Janssen.  The staff is grateful to Prof. Hanko for giving us a clear picture that shows to us the beginning of the Protestant Reformed Churches.

Conversion to the Reformed faith is the basis for the feature articles in this issue.  Rev. Van Overloop provides an explanation of what is meant by “conversion” and in particular “adult conversion.”  I find this important for young people because you will be working out in the world.  How you act in that world and how you give an answer to those who ask you about your faith may be used by God to draw His own to the Reformed faith.  And to show you that can be so, the staff asked three of our members to write about how they came to the Reformed faith.  I thank Rev. Van Overloop for his excellent article.  I thank Tony LaCount and Milo Meyerdirk from our Grandville Church and also Mrs. Ellamae Jansma from our Hudsonville Church for writing their life history concerning their coming to the Reformed faith.  As one title puts it “The Lord Moves in Mysterious Ways.”

A special thank you to Rhoda Zylstra for sending in a poem “Walking with God.”  I enjoy receiving poems that emphasize spiritual truths.  Many of us have taken walks to view the beauty of God’s creation.  What that creation says to us about God is also a reason why we cast all our cares upon Him.

Ecclesiastes Letter #11 is in this issue.  Carol Brands finishes Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 with this letter, “Refuting Refutation of God’s Control.”  She points out that Solomon answers such questions as why men can’t find meaning in their labor.  What are the things that God does?  The next letter will be found in the next issue.  Thank you, Mrs. Brands for sharing your Ecclesiastes letters with us.

Since “Right to Life Supports Texts” concerns the same topic found in recent articles in the Beacon Lights, I have included it with this issue.  Mr. David Dykstra of our Faith Church in Jenison, Michigan writes, “I really don’t know if the enclosed article would be classified as a reply, response, or whatever….”  I’ll leave that up to the authors of the previous articles on RTL to decide.  I appreciate the kind brotherly spirit found in these articles.  In this way we are able to discuss issues where we have different views so that we receive a benefit.  Thank you, Dave.

Lora keeps us abreast of the Church News.  Bulletin clerks are reminded to send her their church’s bulletins every month so that the news is plenty and recent.

Take note, future ministers and teachers, of the ad from the Protestant Reformed Scholarship Fund Committee.  Applications can be obtained from Jim Holstege and are due by June 1, 1991.  The theme for this year is, “How should the old paths spoken of in Jeremiah 6:13-17 be preached and taught?”  We look forward to printing some of your articles in future issues.