Archives for November 2020

Inundated with Books

Today I was in Kalamazoo, giving a funeral message for the family of Jake VanGiessen, a member of our church whom I have known for many years having grown up in the same church with him in Kalamazoo. A dear brother in Christ, Mr. VanGiessen moved to Grand Rapids some years ago to be near two of his three children. His third daughter is in Georgia with her husband, Mark Scholten, who is a Presbyterian pastor. He spoke edifyingly at graveside. Please remember the mourning family in your prayers.

When I arrived back in Grand Rapids, I discovered that Reformation Heritage Books was inundated with nearly 500 book orders today. These three young ladies worked hard at packing nearly all of them up today, so I quickly took a picture of them standing in the midst of books they packed up while Federal Express was picking them up in the background.

Pray for God’s blessing on all these books!

Our Seventh Grandchild, Hannah Marie

What a Thanksgiving present we had today! We were privileged to meet our new grandchild, Hannah Marie, born to James and Esther on Tuesday evening. She was one ounce shy of 10 pounds, and has a head full of black hair. All is well with both mother and daughter and we are humbled to receive our seventh grandchild from God’s merciful and faithful covenant hand in less than five years. Pray with us please that Hannah Marie may be born again soon and become a stalwart daughter of Christ’s church.  

Congratulations to MohHerng (Morgan) Chee

Due to having to lead a funeral for my Aunt Charlotte VanSetten, I was not able to attend a special event at our Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary today.

We are pleased to announce that MohHerng (Morgan) Chee (second from right) successfully passed his PhD comprehensive examination under the leadership of Dr. Greg Salazar (with Dr. Neele, Dr. Myers, Dr. Van Doodewaard serving as examiners) this morning. He is the second of our Historical Theology PhD students to complete his comprehensive exam. Please join with us in congratulating Morgan on this high achievement.

Also, please keep Morgan and your family in your prayers as they transition on December 2 first to their home city, Penang, Malaysia, and then onto Taipei, Taiwan where Morgan will be serving as a professor at our partner institution, China Reformed Seminary.

Ore From the Puritans’ Mine

I am very excited to announce that “Ore from the Puritans’ Mine: The Essential Collection of Puritan Quotations,” compiled by Dale W. Smith (Reformation Heritage Books) finally arrived today! I have been looking forward to its arrival for a long time.

With over 3,000 quotations gathered from 250+ authors and divided into 400+ subjects, this is by far the best collection of Puritan quotations ever published. In addition, each quotation is followed by the source and page where it can be found so that the diligent reader can peruse it in its own context. Indexes of topics and authors make this storehouse of gold an easy-to-use reference.

Sinclair Ferguson calls it a treasure trove that is “encyclopedic, doctrinal, spiritual, devotional, and readable.” This is a must-have book for every believer.

Order your copy here:

Audio Books – Cultivating Biblical Godliness Series

Here are half a dozen new audio books of material from the Cultivating Biblical Godliness series published by Reformation Heritage Books authored or co-authored by me. Feel free to share, promote, and enjoy.

How Can We Build a Godly Marriage?

How Should We Develop Biblical Friendship?

How Should Men Lead Their Families?

How Can I Cultivate Private Prayer?

How Can I Practice Christian Meditation?

How Should We View Children in the Church?

NOTE: If you click on the little play arrow, you can listen to the first five minutes of each audio book with no password.

Reformed Systematic Theology Vol. 2

My sister-in-law Linda sent me this picture of her husband Pete holding up “Reformed Systematic Theology, Volume 2: Man and Christ” by Paul Smalley and me (newly published by Crossway), with the comment that he regarded this as his best birthday present!

He made it though volume 1 quite a while ago, and was asking me when volume 2 was coming out. Now, during this coming Thanksgiving week you can give the same gift (at a 50% discount!) to a loved one who enjoys reading God’s truth from a biblical, historical, experiential, practical, and doxological perspective.

Get your copy here:

Aunt Charlotte

Our dear Aunt Charlotte passed away late Thursday evening at the age of 83. She was my mother-in-law’s sister. She held an important place in our family’s hearts. The kindness you see on her face is evidence of her sweet and generous heart. When she lived in Plymouth Manor, she was a friend to many and “Mum” to the seminary students. She also was very involved in serving our congregation. She took hospitality very seriously. When my wife was growing up, she was a sort of “second mom” to her, her siblings, and cousins. COVID and pneumonia, coupled with her Parkinson’s and asthma, were too much for her body to handle, in spite of the valiant efforts of the medical staff at Blodgett Hospital. I was able to be with her on Thursday morning to pastor her, though she responded very little. Mary continued by her side until 11:00 p.m. until she slipped peacefully away. She will be greatly missed. We entrust her to God’s mercy, grace, and tender lovingkindness.

“God or Baal: Two Letters on the Reformation of Worship and Pastoral Service” by John Calvin

Reformation Heritage Books has just released “God or Baal: Two Letters on the Reformation of Worship and Pastoral Service” by John Calvin. Written early in Calvin’s ministry to evangelical believers, these letters are now published for the first time in English, having been ably translated from Latin by David Noe. The book also contains an excellent foreword by Bruce Gordon, famous for his biography of Calvin.

Love for the Lord’s Day

In this short video, I explain that parents should demonstrate to their children how excited they are about the things of God. They should treat the Lord’s Day as a special day, a day to be set apart. Your children ought to know that you find your greatest joy and purpose in worshiping God.

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 15:13).

The Real Wages of Both a Minister and a Mom

This past Lord’s Day evening I preached a sermon for our dear church family on “Living Purely: No Tolerance for Lust” based on Ephesians 5:3-4 and in relation to the 7th commandment:

Afterwards, a mother told me that her 12-year-old son could not stop taking notes during the sermon, “and took it all to heart.” Yesterday she sent me a picture of the notes, and added: “God is working in his life and I am rejoicing as a mom; thank you for the warnings last night.”

These kinds of encouragements are the real wages of both a minister and a mom!