Archives for August 19, 2013

Reforming Families Conference

My wife, Mary, shares about a conference we recently attended.

Rev. Geoff Banister and Ryan Elliott

Rev. Geoff Banister and Ryan Elliott

Verity Institute was the venue for the Reforming Families Conference, sponsored by the Free Presbyterian Church of Indianapolis, whose pastor is Rev. Geoff Banister. Elder Ryan Elliott was the workhorse behind the conference. It was attended by about 130 folks from far and near, including some large and beautiful families. The fascinating things these families seem to have in common are:

  • Variety—in age, in color (by adoption), personality
  • Dedication to the family—they help each other, they are involved in the same work and activities.
  • Purity—of course they are sinners, but their parents try to protect their children from the evils of the world, while at the same time they prepare them for life in society. The kids still bicker but the parents intervene in a loving and teaching way.
  • Counter-cultural—One family was sharing how they get primarily negative responses when they are out in society because they have so many young children. It can be discouraging but they feel blessed to receive the gift of children from God.

It was great to make many new God-fearing friends.

The theme for the conference was “Life in the Family of God,” and the speakers and topics were: Dr. David Murray on “Adopted Sons & Heirs,” “Loving Our Bridegroom & Beloved,” and “Using Technology Effectively in the Family”; Rev. Brad Baugham on “Recognizing Our God-glorifying Gender Roles” and “Understanding Headship and Submission”; Rev. David McClelland on “Getting Along” and “Preventing Authority Abuse and Conflict”; Rev. Geoff Banister on “Families Reforming in the Power of Gratitude”; and my husband on “Training Your Family for Godly Living,” “Covenantal Foundations for Parenting,” “Bringing Children to Christ,” and “Practical Steps for Child Rearing.”

The themes that stood out were:

  • The relationship of Christ and the Church is a beautiful model for our families and our church families. If Christ is submissive to the Father, why would we ever resist being submissive to those in headship roles? Most of us have relationships where we are called to submit and others where we exercise headship.
  • Church leadership, especially in times of conflict, must be like a shepherd, loving yet strong, fully dedicated, and humble.
  • Children of God, young and old, have inestimable privileges, including adoption, love, and covenantal grace. Christian families are to live out of those privileges, loving one another in Christ, modeling their families after scriptural guidelines.
Esther Beeke and her volunteer helper, 8-year-old Hannah

Esther Beeke and her volunteer helper, 8-year-old Hannah

All of the messages are posted on

Our daughter, Esther, was with us and managed the book table. Most families bought a good pile of books.

Now, this week we look forward to our own annual Puritan Reformed Conference (August 22–24) in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on “The Beauty and Glory of Christian Living.” It is not too late to register and join us! (Walk-ins are also accepted if there is room.)

Update on Trichelle Beeke

On July 26 I posted a prayer request for my niece and her husband. Here is another update from them.

Dear Church Family and Friends,

On Saturday we had an important meeting with our surgeon. The results were mixed. Here is an update.

We were disappointed to hear that the Lumpectomy did not have cancer-free margins, so another surgery (mastectomy) is booked for Tuesday, August 20. The lymph nodes were removed and 9 of the 17 were cancerous, which is not an encouraging sign.

The bone, liver, and lung scans do not show any ‘hotspots’ which was very encouraging to hear. Our surgeon cautioned us to ensure that we understood that the cancer is on the move through the body, but it has not established enough in those areas to be detected. We regard this as an answer to prayer, as we were both concerned about the results of those scans.

So for now, we are both healing from our surgeries and preparing for Trichelle’s next surgery Tuesday.

Thanks so much for all the love and concern shown to us, especially for your prayers on our behalf.

Dave & Trichelle Beeke