A Surprise from Pastor Armen Thomassian

Today I spoke at Faith Free Presbyterian Church in Greenville, South Carolina to a few hundred people on the topic of “Growing in Christ” in exercising a personal life of holiness, in developing a healthy marriage, and in leading our families. I also did a QA session with the pastor, Armen Thomassian (photo 1), and received a great surprise, when Armen presented me with a beautiful, large, detailed sculpture of William Perkins (photo 2), the father of Puritanism, for the Puritan Resource Center in our William Perkins Library at our Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary.

I hope to continue the same theme tomorrow at Faith Free Presbyterian Church in relation to appreciation of Christ’s intercession (9:30 a.m.), life’s afflictions (11:00 a.m.), and Christ’s cry of dereliction (6:00 p.m.), as well as preach for the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) at 2:00 p.m. on Jacob wresting with the Angel of the Covenant.

We are thoroughly enjoying staying in the home of Pastor Thomassian, his wife Melanie, and their four precious daughters. Pastor Thomassian has begun a website familyworshipcompanion.com, in which he explains a chapter of the bible on video and makes relevant application points in order to help fathers to lead their families in family worship. He releases three episodes each week.

St. Andrews Mission Festival Day 2

Today Mary and I both spoke in the fellowship Hall at Saint Andrew’s Chapel (R. C. Sproul’s former church, photo 1) in Lake Mary, Florida. I spoke to a men’s breakfast on “Spirit-Empowered Evangelism,” and afterwards Mary and I sold a few thousand dollars worth of related books. Mary and I then had the privilege of visiting for an hour or two with Adrian and Claire Slootmaker, dear friends of mine for more than four decades, hailing back to my pastorate in New Jersey in the early 1980s. It is great to be with them!

A ladies’ luncheon was held at noon. Mary had the privilege of sitting next to Vesta Sproul, R.C. Sproul’s widow (photo 2). Vesta still comes into the office every day and does editing work. She continues to be lovely and lively and very involved in Ligonier ministries. After the luncheon, Mary spoke to the ladies on the subject of “Common and Uncommon Kindness,” from Jesus’s command to love our enemies in Luke 6.

Meanwhile, I enjoyed a two-hour fellowship lunch with Pastor Stephen Adams (photo 3, on my far right), Pastoral Administrative Assistant Ben Peters (my left), and Adrian Slootmaker (my right).
This evening I am taking the Queen out to eat at a special place. Your prayers for my three sermons at Saint Andrews’ Chapel tomorrow and for the Orlando RPCNA would be greatly appreciated.

“Come, Lord Jesus” with John Piper

Here is an interview that I had with Dr. John Piper, two days ago on his moving and humbling new book on loving Christ’s appearing: https://heritagebooks.org/prod…/come-lord-jesus-piper.html

I pray that this book, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, would stir all of us to live more in the light of the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are far too earth – bound in our day; our tent stakes are plunged too deeply in the soil of this earth. May God help us as pilgrims traveling through Vanity Fair to keep our eyes every day on Him who’s coming again to judge the living and the dead, our glorious Savior,, who will take us to Himself, if we are true believers, making us without spot or wrinkle fit for the everlasting Inheritance. Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly!

ETS 2022: Holiness

A quick trip: Mary and I were in Denver for the last two days, where the annual Evangelical Theological Society was held with 2000+ professors and ministers in attendance. The major theme of the conference was “Holiness.” I was grateful and humbled to give two seminar addresses yesterday in meeting rooms that were overflowing on “The Beauty of Holiness in Puritan Worship” (photo 1) and “The Puritan Use of Spiritual Disciplines to Promote Holiness.” In the first morning session on “Worship in the Beauty of Holiness,” chaired by Joshua Waggener, other speakers included Bryan Chapell, Don Whitney, and Greg Stiekes. The second afternoon session on “Holiness in the Puritan Era,” chaired by Andrew Ballitch, my fellow paper-presenters included Matthew Barrett and Stephen Yuille. I enjoyed meeting with Andrew Ballitch and Stephen Yuille over lunch (photo 2) to do some brainstorm planning for next year’s Puritan session, which will coincide with ETS’s 75th annual meeting. At the end of the second session, we had a helpful 40-minute panel discussion over the papers presented (photo 3). Between sessions, I was, of course, busy selling books at our Reformation Heritage Books table with David Woollin and John St. Martin, touching base with a host of friends who came by. I also had opportunities to speak with close to a dozen young men who are students at Puritan Reformed, in the process of applying, or hope to apply soon.  

Afterwards, I was pleased to spend some quality minutes with Baruch Brian Kvasnica (photo 4), who hopes to be our leading Israel-based tour guide next spring (May 8-20, 2023), when I hope to lead a tour in Israel and Jordan for close to 100 people, with the assistance of Michael Barrett and Jerry Bilkes. God willing, that promises to be an outstanding trip. We still have room for 2 or 3 more people to join us!

We also enjoyed being briefly with Allen Stanton, our first PhD graduate from Puritan Reformed, and Bani Li, who is presently in our PhD program (photo 5), before moving on to preach last night on “Prayerful Prayer” for Christ Presbyterian Church, in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, pastored by Mike Johnson. We especially enjoyed our time there with Roy and Karen VanZweden and their son Miles (photo 6). Roy, who served as MC and is now an elder in the church, reminded the audience that he often sat under my ministry 45 years ago in Sioux Center, Iowa as a 13-year-old. How time flies! After my sermon, John St. Martin and I enjoyed selling a table full of several boxes of Reformation Heritage books to the attendees. The church graciously bought the last handful of books left over, so we returned to our hotel empty-handed.

Today we were up early to fly from Denver to Detroit to Grand Rapids. Due to a snowstorm in Grand Rapids, we had to sit on the plane for an hour in Detroit, but finally there was a half-hour break in the storm which our pilot took advantage of. We arrived in Grand Rapids in the nick of time, before more heavy snow fell. Close to another foot of snow may fall in the next 24 hours in Grand Rapids, but we love the four seasons we experience here. Snow is beautiful and God is good!  

Weekly Sermon Quote— November 15, 2022

Find my last Lord’s Day sermon on Mark 10:13-16 here.

Ordination Celebration for Darryl Dedert and John Byl

We thoroughly enjoyed our evening of 3.5 hours of good fellowship and singing as ministers and elders and our wives of the Heritage Reformed Church in Grand Rapids (26 of us in all; unfortunately several on the right front couldn’t fit on the picture), commemorating the happy occasion of receiving of two new full-time pastors—Darryl Dedert (with folded arms in back row, ordained on September 23) and John Byl (with horizontally striped shirt in right row, to be ordained on November 20)—both recent graduates of Puritan reformed Theological Seminary. Pray that God will bless these two brothers abundantly in their ministry, together with their wives, Kara and Jessica, and children, to the maturation of God’s people, the salvation of the lost, and the glory of the Triune God.

Time of Fellowship with Willie Mackenzie (Christian Focus)

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Willie MacKenzie from Scotland, who has been working for Christian Focus Publications for 21 years. We had special fellowship sharing stories about our God-fearing fathers and the spiritual lessons they taught us. Willie’s father, Roderick MacKenzie, was a lay elder who often preached in conservative Presbyterian churches throughout Scotland. He was a brother to my good friend William MacKenzie, founder of Christian Focus, who still serves as its president today—and conveys the same spiritual depth that his brother Roderick had.

Since I also enjoy writing books for Christian Focus to publish from time to time, we talked about several potential future book projects and settled on two good possibilities—but I won’t tell you what they are until they are written, D.V.! Thank God for good spiritual fellowship (which I love!), and also for the fact that publishers who promote Reformed experiential literature throughout the world do not view each other as competitors in any way, but as friends who share the burden of wanting to bless the church of Christ with soul-enriching spiritual food. What a blessing this is in a world that is so angry, competitive, and out to destroy each other—even to the point of spreading gossip, hatred, and lies. I am just so very grateful for that good relationships that Reformation Heritage Books and I are graced to have with sound publishers in various countries. May God bless the edifying literature to millions!

Celebrating Mary’s Mother’s 88th Birthday!

Yesterday was the 88th birthday of my wife’s dear mother, Lena Kamp. She is a very special woman. I always tell her that she is the best mother-in-law in the world and thank her for being who and what she is–also because my wife is a great deal like her! Please pray that God will continue to bless our dear parents for several more years, and ripen us all for the Celestial City!

Weekly Sermon Quote— November 8, 2022

Find my last Lord’s Day sermon on Mark 8:34 here

Puritan Conference Sessions Now Available

Many of you have asked when and where you could listen to the 23 addresses and the one QA given at the once-in-a-generation Puritan Conference. They are now all available at www.puritanconference.com. Speakers on the photo below include Jeremy Walker, Sinclair Ferguson, Stephen Yuille, Steve Lawson, Ligon Duncan, Geoff Thomas, Mike Riccarrdi, and me. Other speakers not on the photo were John MacArthur, John Piper, Kevin DeYoung, Michael Reeves, and Ian Hamilton.  

Many thanks to the thousands of you who attended the Puritan Conference on October 5-7 of this year by Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary and Reformation Heritage Books in conjunction with Dr. John MacArthur’s team of conference workers at Grace Community Church in Los Angeles. Thanks, too, to the additional thousands who tuned in from 162 different countries around the world. Truly, God was in the midst of us, and we are so grateful for this conference and the impact that it had upon many.

Enjoy, be fed, and go to www.heritagebooks.org for the greatest number of Puritan titles offered by any publisher in the world. Reformation Heritage Books is scheduled to print 84 more Puritan titles in the next 7 years (one per month), plus one major set of works of a Puritan each year.