Archives for February 2023

PRTS Student Send-Off!

PRTS graduate Soo Bin Lee just came to say goodbye to me as he and his wife Sarah and their son will be traveling tomorrow to New Jersey where he hopes to be ordained into the ministry on March 18 at the Knowlton Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Columbia, New Jersey. He was a very good student and was able to pass all his ordination exams on the first round. Pray that God will bless him abundantly as a preacher and pastor in his future charge to the growth of God’s people, the salvation of the lost, and the glory of the triune God’s worthy name.   

Weekly Sermon Quote— March 1, 2023

Here’s a quote from my most recent sermon, “Why Was Christ’s Beauty Disfigured.” You can listen to the whole sermon here:

Pilgrim’s Well Podcast

A few months ago, I had the privilege of being interviewed on the Pilgrim’s Well by Seventh Reformed Church here in Grand Rapids. They asked me to discuss my testimony and the practices of prayer and meditation. I pray that the Lord will encourage you through these episodes:




“Family Worship” in Nepalese

I am humbly grateful to receive my “Family Worship” book today in the Nepali language, published by Gospel publication:

Please pray for God’s rich blessings of grace upon it.  

Final Florida Photo

Last night at 11:00 p.m. we watched the moon set over the Gulf of Mexico–it actually looked more like the sun (photo below) but was uniquely beautiful! 
A wonderful vacation week with the Queen is over. On the way home to GR now. Hope to preach tomorrow morning in our own church. Every blessing to you and yours for the Lord’s Day.

More Fun in God’s Beautiful Creation

Another relaxing day with my Queen on Marco Island at the weekly market in the morning  (photo 1), enjoying white ibises 10 feet away from us in the afternoon (photo 2), and relishing in the evening both a sunset by the Gulf of Mexico (photo 3), and a post sunset view from our condo (photo 4)–note the moon sliver in the center of the picture. God’s nature is amazing. Pictures never do it justice!

Vacationing and Editing!

A beautiful, calm, restful, sunny, 80 degree day on Marco Island biking, talking, and walking with the Queen. Absolutely lovely day with a lovely lady—my special Mary! (And yes, I also enjoyed sitting outdoors editing a hundred pages of a new 800-page book that Paul Smalley and I are working on—the title is a secret—for now!)

Happy Birthday, Sinclair Ferguson

Today is my very good friend Sinclair Ferguson’s 75th birthday. Here is a note of best wishes and appreciation that I just sent him:

Dear Sinclair,

       I wish you and Dorothy and your family every blessing on your 75th birthday tomorrow. May God graciously spare you for many more years with good physical and spiritual health and zeal for the triune God to the end, continue to make you eminently useful and fruitful, and save the best wine of personal communion with Him until last. May you live to see all your children and grandchildren brought to know God savingly (Ps. 128:6). Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

         I also want to take this opportunity to thank you wholeheartedly for all that you have meant and still mean to me. You are the most important mentor I have had in my life and I can’t express in words how your teaching and life has impacted me over the decades. One statement in particular that you made in a WTS class has impacted me hugely, and it was this: “Save the best energy of your life for preaching Christ!”

        I have also been deeply touched by all the ways in which you have assisted me over the last four decades—such as your editing of my doctoral dissertation, your forewords and endorsements for a good number of my books, and of course, for the unforgettable days you spent with us on our tour group in the UK several years ago. You also impacted me more than you know through a conversation we had when I was wrestling to know God’s will about accepting or declining a call that had been sent my way. I am deeply grateful for all these things—and many more.

        You have been a true friend indeed. I love you in Christ, dear brother Sinclair, and am humbled by our 40-year friendship. Have a wonderful birthday with your Queen and family!  Warmly, Joel

Dear friends, will you please lift up a prayer of thanks to God for Sinclair Ferguson today and pray that God will continue to bless him and his family and his speaking and writing ministry abundantly to His glory, the maturation of the saints, and the salvation of the lost?

Wonderful Fellowship at Grace Bible Church in Fort Myers

Yesterday I had the privilege of preaching morning and evening for my good friend, Dr. Tom Ascol, at Grace Baptist Church (GBC) in Cape Coral, Florida, for several hundred people. The church is very warm, appreciative, and “alive”! Between the services, we had a great lunch and blessed time of fellowship with Tom and Donna Ascol and their daughter Sarah, who works for both their church and seminary.

We were happily surprised also to meet at GBC one of our own elders and his wife from Grand Rapids, Dr. Jonathan and Mieke Engelsma, as well as the Elshout and Nieuwenhuis families from New Jersey, where I served 37 years ago. It was great to fellowship with them as well.

Today begins several real and much-needed vacation days with my very special Queen on Marco Island.      

Me and The Queen in Florida

We arrived on Marco Island, Florida this afternoon in time to enjoy the sunset with the Queen!

Tomorrow I hope to preach twice (10:20 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.) for Dr. Tom Ascol at Grace Baptist Church, 1300 Ceitus Terre, Cape Coral. Every blessing to you and yours on the Lord’s Day!