Archives for November 24, 2021

Giving Thanks

Sometimes small things move us to thanksgiving. A Filipino PRTS student just walked into my study with five copies of our newly published volume 3 of “Reformed Systematic Theology: The Spirit and Salvation” and asked me to sign them for five ministers in the Philippines. He himself was converted from Arminianism to the Reformed faith not that long ago, as were these five ministers, so upon my questioning, he told me that he wanted to send them this volume (at his own expense!) to help them continue to make progress in the Reformed faith experientially. As he walked out of my study, my heart was touched with gratitude to God for this small, sweet token of His goodness. In a thousand ways, we owe thanksgiving to God for “His mercy endureth for ever” (Ps. 136). John Flavel put it so well: “He that gives no thanks for one mercy hath litte ground to expect another.”

I wish you and your family a truly blessed Thanksgiving Day in Christ Jesus. For things big and small, yes, “in everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thess. 5:18). May God grant us all to experience this holiday weekend the precious words of Thomas Brooks: “Thanksgiving is a self-denying grace; it is an uncrowning of ourselves and the creatures to set the crown upon the head of our Creator; it is the making ourselves a footstool, that God may be lifted up upon His throne and ride in a holy triumph over all.”

Rev. Rick Miller

Today Mary and I attended the funeral of a friend of many years, Rev. Rick Miller, a URC minister who passed away at the age of 62 from Covid, whom we trust is now rejoicing before His Savior. He also took a number of ThM courses at our seminary. By God’s grace, he was a faithful brother, zealous for truth, and loved people’s souls. He ended his ministry in the Covenant Reformed Church, Carbondale, Pa., but was buried here in Grand Rapids, having served the Dutton URC for more than ten years in the past. Rev. Casey Freswick preached the funeral message from 2 Tim. 3:6—4:8. Please pray for his dear wife, Maria, and his children Marie and Tom, that God will fill the huge empty presence with His own gracious presence.


Paul Smalley and I dedicated our new volume of systematic theology on the Spirit and salvation received yesterday from Crossway to our dear wives, so we had Paul and his wife Dawn over to our home last night. Paul first presented the RST, volume 3 to Dawn who read aloud the dedication to her husband (photo 1), and then I followed suit with the Queen (photo 2). Both of our wives were surprised and moved; it was a sweet hour and a precious moment. Paul and I talk often about what a gift of God Dawn is to him and Mary is to me. Under God, our greatest thanksgiving in our lives and especially in this week of Thanksgiving is our own dear wives.

Now you’ll have to buy the book to find out what we said to them and then read the book for your own soul and growth in grace!

Order your copy here: