Meditation For January 16

“I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.” Psalm 39: 12

So life was viewed and felt by David. He was very superior to many of his ancestors. He had wealth and power and honor and reigned the greatest monarch of the East. But no condition can make the heir of immortality a citizen here. Others are strangers and sojourners, as to the transitoriness of their continuance in this world, and the certainty of their removal from it, but not as to their disposition. They mind earthly things and would be glad to live here always. But the child of God is in principle what He is in fact and in experience what He is in destination. He is also born from above and bound for glory. And though he is detained here in a foreign land for a while, for the discharge and the management of certain duties and interests, yet he thinks, even while thus engaged, of leaving it, in due time, for his own country where his best relations reside where lies his inheritance, and where he is to dwell forever.
Am I a stranger and a sojourner with God? Let me realize, let me exemplify the condition. Let me look for the treatment such characters commonly meet with. Like widows and orphans, they are often imposed upon, and wronged and injured. They are men wondered at. The Savior tells them not to marvel if the world hates them, for they are not of the world, even as He is not of the world. This treatment is in reality a privilege rather than a matter of complaint. It is when I am admired and caressed, and I find everything agreeable in my circumstances, it is then I feel something of the settler. But the disadvantages of my state make me think of home. These induce me to arise and depart hence, because this is not my rest.
Let me not be entangled in the affairs of this life. Let me keep myself as detached as possible from things which do not concern me. Let me not embarrass myself as an intermeddler and busybody in other men’s matters. But let me study to be quiet, and to do my own business. Let me pray for the peace of the country through which I am passing and be thankful for every advantage I enjoy in my temporary exile.
And let my affection be set on things that are above, and my conversation be always in heaven. Let me be not impatient for home, but prizing it, and longing for it; and judging myself by my relation to it. Oh, my Father’s house! Here toil, there rest. Here trouble; there joy and gladness. Here darkness; there light. Here sin; there spotless purity. Here the tents of Mesech and Kedar; there the spirits of just men made perfect, and the innumerable company of angels, and the Lord of all. Rev. William Jay

Announcements For January 16

Calendar

  • Monday, January 17: Consistory Meeting 7:00
  • Wednesday, January 19: Titus 2 7:00
  • Wednesday, January 26: Prayer Service, Don VanderBoon
  • Sunday, February 6 AM: Preparatory Service
  • Sunday, February 13 AM: Lord’s Supper, no Christian Education classes

Collection Schedule

January 23:  General        Mission: Sumba

Nursery Schedule

January 23
AM Heidi Schipper, Mya Schipper
PM Faith VanderBoon, Lauren Boerkoel, Charity VanderBoon

Family Visitation Schedule
Tuesday, January 11: Jim Bazen family 7:00
Tuesday, January 18: Mark Hoffmann family 7:00
Tuesday, January 25: Jim Bazen family 7:00
Tuesday, February 1: Marv Barnard family 7:00
Thursday, February 3: Jon Rozeboom family 7:00
Tuesday, February 8: Dan Schipper family 7:00
Tuesday, February 15: Don Walma family 7:00
Thursday, February 17: Will Heikoop family 7:00

Youth Group
Saturday, February 12; 3:00 PM. Tubing at Cannonsburg followed by fellowship and discussion at the Hoogmoed’s.

Announcements
We are preparing to start a Confession of Faith class. Persons interested in taking the class should contact Rev. Pronk.

Meditation For January 9

“I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” Revelations 22:16

How oft, in some dark wintry morning, like the present, have I beheld the morning star shining with loveliness, when all the other lights of heaven were put out. But how little did I think of Thee, Thou precious light and life of men! Thou art indeed the bright and morning star in the firmament of Thy church, in Thy word and in the souls of Thy redeemed. Henceforth, dearest Jesus, let the morning visit of this sweet planet to our darkened earth remind me of Thee amidst all the gross darkness by which in nature we are surrounded. Sure pledge of days as this beneficial star is, yet not more sure than Thou in the day-dawn and day-star of prophesy, which ministered to Thy coming; and in the twilight of grace upon the soul, the forerunner of a glorious day. Be Thou my morning song, my noontide joy, my evening meditation and midnight light. Through all the wintry seasons of my pilgrimage shine forth Lord Jesus upon my soul. Oh, you sons of sloth, you children of darkness and of night, rouse from your beds of drowsiness before the sleep of death seal up your eyes in everlasting darkness. Jesus, the Morning Star, now shines; and ere long, Jesus the Sun of Righteousness will appear, no more to go down, and all the sons of God will shout for joy. Robert Hawker

Announcements For January 9

Calendar

Today: Christian Education Classes resume this morning

Monday, January 17: Consistory Meeting 7:00

Wednesday, January 19: Titus 2 7:00

Wednesday, January 26: Prayer Service, Don VanderBoon

Sunday, February 6 AM: Preparatory Service

Sunday, February 13 AM: Communion, no Christian Education classes

Collection Schedule

Today:          General CEF
January 16:  General Building

Nursery Schedule

Today:

AM Janelle Walma, Hosanna Bazen

PM Katie Klaasen, Jenna Boerkoel, Kristen Bazen

January 16

AM Monica Bazen, Leah Boerkoel

PM Sarah Schipper, Sylvia Boerkoel, Kate Boerkoel

Family Visitation Schedule

Tuesday, January 11: Jim Bazen Family 7:00

Tuesday, January 18: Mark Hoffman Family 7:00

Youth Group

January 8: Volunteer service at Pregnancy Resource Center

Announcements

  • Grace Christian Academy is requesting that parents register their child(ren) as soon as possible for Kindergarten, Pre-Kindergarten and Young 5s for the 2022/2023 school year. In addition, we are requesting new families and new students (Grade 1-12) to contact the school so registration paperwork can be sent to them for the 2022/2023 school year in the near future. Please call the office at 290-0422 or email jamie.velting@gcagr.org for registration or with questions.
  • We are preparing to start a Confession of Faith class. Persons interested in taking the class should contact Rev. Pronk.
  • Congratulations to Ryan and Roberta Hoogmoed on the birth of their son, Jace Ryan, January 5. The Lord has blessed them and Jace and Roberta are both doing well. “For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of Him.”
    1 Samuel 1: 27
  • The January 14 baby shower for Roberta Hoogmoed is postponed.

Announcements for December 26

Calendar

Today: Dr. J. Bilkes AM  Dr. D. Kranendonk PM

Friday, December 31: Student J. Overduin, 7:00 New Year’s Eve

Saturday, January 1, 2022: Dr. J. Bilkes, 9:30 New Year’s Day

Sunday, January 2: Dr. D. Kranendonk AM 5:00 PM: Dr. J. Bilkes, Rev. Pronk’s Installation Service

Wednesday, January 5: Lay Preaching, 7:00

Collection Schedule

  • Today: General Fund, Mission (Timotheus)
  • New Years Eve: Building
  • New Years Day: General
  • Sunday, January 2: General, Benevolent

Annoucements

  • Grace Christian Academy is requesting that parents register their child(ren) as soon as possible for Kindergarten, Pre-Kindergarten and Young 5s for the 2022/2023 school year. In addition, we are requesting new families and new students (Grade 1-12) to contact the school so registration paperwork can be sent to them for the 2022/2023 school year in the near future. Please call the office at 290-0422 or email jamie.velting@gcagr.org for registration or with questions. Thank you.
  • Dear Church Family,: We would like to thank you all for your efforts to welcome us in Grand Rapids. The clean and spacious parsonage is giving us warm home-feelings and is overloaded with gifts. We enjoyed the basket of goodies from the Youth group, we’ve tasted the delicious meals, cookies and the fruit and vegetables are keeping us healthy. The many Christmas cards in our mailbox have also gladdened us. Above all we thank the Lord for his faithfulness : “With greatful heart my thanks I bring. Before the great Thy praise I sing.” We look forward to having you as a part of our life the coming years. And last, we wish you a blessed Christmas and may Gods peace go with you all in the New Year.
    Warm regards, Anna, Pastor Pronk and Matthias

Meditation

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.” Luke 2:15
Here is described to us the obedience of the shepherds. The Lord had made them the witnesses of his Son to the whole world. What He had spoken to them by His angels was efficacious and was not suffered to pass away. They were not plainly and expressly commanded to come to Bethlehem; but being sufficiently aware that such was design of God, they hasten to see Christ. In the same manner, we know that Christ is held out to us, in order that our hearts may approach Him by faith; and our delay in coming admits of no excuse. But again, Luke informs us, that the shepherds resolved to set out, immediately after the angels had departed. This conveys an important lesson. Instead of allowing the word of God, as many do, to pass away with the sound, we must take care that it strike its roots deep in us, and manifest its power, as soon as the sound has died away upon our ears. It deserves our attention, also, that the shepherds exhort one another: for it is not enough that each of us is attentive to his own duty, if we do not give mutual exhortations. Their obedience is still farther commended by the statement of Luke that they hastened (verse 16) for we are required to show the readiness of faith.
Which the Lord has made known to us. They had only heard it from the angel; but they intentionally and correctly say that Lord had revealed it to them; for they consider the messenger of God to possess the same authority as if the Lord Himself had addressed them. For this reason, the Lord directs our attention to Himself; that we may not fix our view on men and undervalue the authority of His Word. We see also that they reckon themselves under obligation, not to neglect the treasure which the Lord had pointed out to them; for they conclude that, immediately after receiving this intelligence, they must go to Bethlehem to see it. In the same manner, every one of us according to the measure of his faith and understanding, ought to be prepared to follow wheresoever God calls. John Calvin

Announcements for August 22

Calendar (D.V.)
Today, August 22: Rev. C. Engelsma am.  Dr. J. Bilkes pm.

Wednesday, August 25: Prayer Meeting at 7 pm. Will Heikoop
Sunday, August 29: Dr. J. Bilkes for both services.
Wednesday, September 1: Lay Preaching at 7:00 pm
Friday, Saturday, September 3, 4: Family Camp Cranhill Ranch
September 5: Rev. C. Engelsma for am.  Dr. J. Bilkes for pm.

Saturday, September 11: Sumba Fundraiser: Meeuwse Farm
Sunday, September 12: Dr. J Bilkes for both services
Sunday, September 12: Christian Education classes begin
Wednesday, September 15: Titus 2 7:30 pm Barb Meeuwse Phil 4:2-9

Collection Schedule:

  • Today General Fund & Mission (Hudson Taylor)
  • August 29 General Fund & Ministry Support Fund

Announcements:

  • The Mission collection for the month of August is for the Hudson Taylor Ministries. Their website states, “The current worrisome developments in China have led us to temporarily close down our web site. We ask for your prayers relating the difficulties the church in China is experiencing at this time.” www.hudsontaylor.us. We are aware that this organization continues to support Christians in China; therefore, perhaps more than ever, we recommend this cause to your generosity.
  • For those attending Family Camp, please complete the registration form in your mailbox and forward to Coral Hoffmann by August 29.
  • Equipped Community is hosting a conference September 17-18, 2021 on understanding Critical Theory and a Biblical approach to the social issues it raises. This year’s conference is open to high school students and adults of any age. Find details and registration at: bit.ly/EQ2021register. Send questions to contact@equippedcommunity.org.
  • The consistory has decided to update the English of the Apostle’s Creed to be more in line with current vernacular as follows:  “quick and dead” to “living and dead”  “an holy catholic church” to “a holy catholic church”

Meditation:

Luke 8:47 And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before Him, she declared unto Him before all the people for what cause she touched Him and how she was healed immediately. 48. And He said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.

Let us see lastly, in this passage, how much our Lord desires that those who have received benefit from Him should confess Him before men. We are told that He did not allow this woman to retire from the crowd unheeded. He enquired, “who had touched Him.” He enquired again, until the woman came forward and “declared” her case before all the people. And then came the gracious words, “Daughter be of good comfort. Thy faith hath made thee whole.”

Confession of Christ is a matter of great importance. Let this never be forgotten by true Christians. The work that we can do for our blessed Master is little and poor. Our best endeavors to glorify Him are weak and full of imperfections.  Our prayers and praises are sadly defective. Our knowledge and love are miserably small. But do we feel within that Christ has healed our souls? Then can we not confess Christ before men? Can we not plainly tell others that Christ has done everything for us, – that we were dying of a deadly disease, and were cured, – that we were lost, and are now found, – that we were blind, and now see? Let us do this boldly and not be afraid. Let us not be ashamed to let all men know what Jesus has done for our souls. Our Master loves to see us doing so. He likes His people not to be ashamed of His name. It is a solemn saying of St. Paul, “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thy heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9). It is a still more solemn saying of Christ Himself, “Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed.” (Luke 9:26)     J.C. Ryle

Announcements for Sunday, August 15

Announcements:

  • Please forward all bulletin announcements to Dave Meeuwse by noon on Friday, to be included in the bulletin for Sunday.
  • The consistory has decided to change the evening doxology to Psalter 410, versus 1 and 2, starting today, August 15.
  • The Mission collection for the month of August is for the  Hudson Taylor Ministries. Their website states, “The current worrisome developments in China have led us to temporarily close down our web site. We ask for your prayers relating the difficulties the church in China is experiencing at this time.” www.hudsontaylor.us. We are aware that this organization continues to support Christians in China; therefore, perhaps more than ever, we recommend this cause to your generosity.

Meditation for Sunday, August 8

“If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful; he cannot deny himself.” 2 Tim. 2:13

Then came the question, is there no rescue? Must it be thus to the end–constant conflict, and too often defeat? How could I preach with sincerity that, to those who receive Jesus, “to them gave he power to become the sons of God” (i.e., Godlike) when it was not so in my own experience? Instead of growing stronger, I seemed to be getting weaker and to have less power against sin; and no wonder, for faith and even hope were getting low. I hated myself, I hated my sin, yet gained no strength against it. I felt I was a child of God. His Spirit in my heart would cry, in spite of all, “Abba, Father.” But to rise to my privileges as a child, I was utterly powerless.

I thought that holiness, practical holiness, was to be gradually attained by a diligent use of the means of grace. There was nothing I so much desired as holiness, nothing I so much needed; but far from in any measure attaining it, the more I strove after it, the more it eluded my grasp, until hope itself almost died out, and I began to think that–perhaps to make heaven the sweeter–God would not give it down here. I do not think that I was striving to attain it in my own strength. I knew I was
powerless. I told the Lord so, and asked Him to give me help and strength. Sometimes I almost believed that He would keep and uphold me; but on looking back in the evening–alas! there was but sin and failure to confess and mourn before God.

I would not give you the impression that this was the only experience of those long, weary months. It was a too frequent state of soul, and that towards which I was tending, which almost ended in despair. And yet, never did Christ seem more precious; a Savior who could and would save such a sinner!… And sometimes there were seasons not only of peace but of joy in the Lord; but they were transitory, and at best there was a sad lack of power. Oh, how good the Lord has been in bringing this conflict to an end!

All the time I felt assured that there was in Christ all I needed, but the practical question was–how to get it out. He was rich truly, but I was poor; He was strong, but I weak. I knew full well that there was in the root, the stem, abundant fatness, but how to get it into my puny little branch was the question. As gradually light dawned, I saw that faith was the only requisite–was the hand to lay hold on His fullness and make it mine. But I had not this faith. I strove for faith, but it would not come; I tried to exercise it, but in vain. Seeing more and more the wondrous supply of grace laid up in Jesus, the fullness of our precious Savior, my guilt and helplessness seemed to increase. Sins committed appeared but as trifles compared with the sin of unbelief which was their cause, which could not or would not take God at His word, but rather made Him a liar! Unbelief was I felt the damning sin of the world; yet I indulged in it. I prayed for faith, but it came not. What was I to do?

When my agony of soul was at its height, a sentence in a letter from dear McCarthy was used to remove the scales from my eyes, and the Spirit of God revealed to me the truth of our oneness with Jesus as I had never known it before. McCarthy, who had been much exercised by the same sense of failure but saw the light before I did, wrote (I quote from memory): “But how to get faith strengthened? Not by striving after faith, but by resting on the Faithful One.”

As I read, I saw it all! “If we believe not, he abideth faithful.” I looked to Jesus and saw (and when I saw, oh, how joy flowed!) that He had said, “I will never leave thee.” “Ah, there is rest!” I thought. “I have striven in vain to rest in Him. I’ll strive no more. For has not He promised to abide with me–never to leave me, never to fail me?” From a letter written by Hudson Taylor

Announcements for Sunday, August 8.

  • At the recent consistory meeting the consistory decided that Don Vander Boon will be vice-president, Dave Meeuwse will be Clerk, and Jason Klaasen will be Treasurer. Please forward all bulletin announcements to Dave Meeuwse by noon on Friday to be included in the bulletin for Sunday.
  • The consistory also decided to change the evening doxology to Psalter 410, versus 1 and 2, starting next Sunday, August 15.
  • The Mission collection for the month of August is for the Hudson Taylor Ministries. Their website states,” The current worrisome developments in China have led us to temporarily close down our web site. We ask for your prayers relating the difficulties the church in China is experiencing at this time”. us. We are aware that this organization continues to support Christians in China and therefore we perhaps more than ever recommend this cause to your generosity.

Announcements for Sunday, August 1.

  • Please pray for Mr. Don Westrate, son-in-law of Mr. John Rademaker. He is receiving therapy at Mary Free Bed Hospital to recover for partial paralysis that he has from a brain tumor.
  • The Van den Berg family decided not to travel to the United States this week due to the continued restriction for travel from Europe. They have rescheduled their trip for April 27 through May 6, 2022, D.V. Note: The potluck supper scheduled for Thursday has been canceled.
  • Address change:

Ms. Stephanie West

3971 N Rosebud Ct. Apt. #6

Kentwood, MI 49512